Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Direct Action on Section 59

The liberal hand-wringers have set up this nifty piece of technology that allows New Zealanders to email their MPs with their views on the repeal of Section 59 of the Crimes Act.

For those people who can distinguish between occasional smacking on the one hand, and physical abuse on the other hand; and who believe that the State's first priority should be protecting children from real physical abuse, rather than occasional smacking, I invite you to take the following steps to email all MPs with your opposition to the Bill, using this same website.

To do so, take the following steps:

Visit http://wizard.repealsection59.org.nz/.

Send your message to all 121 MPs.

Create your own email message.

Press "Next".

Fill in the form with your email address, and first and last names.

Click "Next".

Change the Subject Line to "Don't Repeal Section 59".

Paste the following message:

Along with the vast majority of New Zealanders, I strongly disagree with the Green and Labour Parties' moves to repeal Section 59 of the Crimes Act. Far too much of taxpayers' money has been spent so far debating this tedious and trivial issue.

As the law currently stands, parents who beat their children unreasonably are given no protection under Section 59. There is no overwhelming case history of parents who have escaped prosecution, or conviction, for committing violent acts against their children. On the other hand, the State appears to have been unable to prevent far too many parents from inflicting genuine harm on their children.

The repeal of Section 59 does nothing to protect a single New Zealand child from criminal abuse. It is a red herring inspired by social engineers who have run out of ideas in confronting some of the main causes of child abuse: poverty, poor education, poor health outcomes, substance abuse, and intergenerational welfare.

On the other side of the debate, there is genuine concern from many law-abiding, caring, and loving New Zealand parents that a repeal of Section 59 will criminalise an occasional use of reasonable force against children.

There is no public mandate for the legislation. It is dividing New Zealanders, and in particular, their faith in the parliamentary process. I urge you not to support this Bill, and instead to concentrate your efforts on reducing serious harm against New Zealand's most vulnerable children.

While in the long term, a public debate on the benefits of smacking versus other forms of discipline may overwhelmingly result in a preference for non-smacking disciplinary measures, this attempt to criminalise law-abiding and successful parents, for no benefit to the children concerned, strikes of monumental political stupidity.

Deal with the important stuff first.

Kind regards,

Monday, March 19, 2007

Disagreeing with Your Own

I find myself in the strange position of agreeing with Cactus Kate in principle, but disagreeing on the outcome.

Firstly, I don't think there should be a reasonable force exemption in the crimes act against children. In principle, I don't think there should be any kind of defence against beating a child. I don't see any moral justification for using physical discipline.

I think most rational parents come to the view that consistently smacking an ill-behaved child just doesn't work. Having said that, there are a lot of irrational parents who never reach that conclusion. There are also many parents who beat their children and are offered no protection by section 59 as it is, because the Court simply doesn't interpret their kind of punishment as reasonable.

I agree that it is the State's role to legislate and define what constitutes an assault against another person, irrespective of the relationship between the two people.

Where I disagree, however, is the emphasis that this Government is putting on the issue, and how it has effectively made repealing section 59 the major social priority of this government.

The real harm to children is gross physical violence by parents and others who are often encouraged to breed children they otherwise would not have. If the Government actually cares about violence against children, and the appalling child death rates, it should be placing much greater responsibility on non-performing parents to ensure their children are healthy, educated, fed, properly housed, and physically safe.

An occasional smack does little harm to a child. Again, I agree it has no benefit, but that's another issue. The real harm against children--which Sue Bradford and even the PM are claiming that this Bill somehow addresses--is the failure of the welfare state to make parents responsible for the upbringing of their children.

That is the biggest social lie of this new century. Middle class parents, who feel legislatively marginalised by an occasional smack, rightly feel that the State's attention should be better focussed on ensuring children are protected from serious harm.

Sue Bradford is motivated much more by ideology rather than a genuine desire to protect children. That Labour has succumbed to Bradford's charms, for the sake of protecting its majority in the House, and is alienating vast tracts of middle New Zealand parents who may occasionally smack but otherwise raise their children responsibly, shows just how out of touch they are.

Over time, section 59 should be phased out. But a lot more has to be done to protect the most vulnerable children in society from abuse by irresponsible parents--and the social harms of alcohol and drug abuse, poor educational and health outcomes, and exposure to violent crime--before any repeal of section 59 is needed.

It is nothing short of an absurdity that the Government has made itself the enemy of its own constituency by introducing legislation that protects no children from serious harm, sends a message to moderate parents that they are harming their children, and is overwhelmingly opposed by voters. It's a tiny, inconsequential piece of legislation, which even its promoters say won't be enforced. In short, Bradford's bill achieves nothing of any use, other than pissing people off. To allow a minor party to hijack its legislative plans, and in so doing alienate large numbers of voters, suggests Helen Clark has lost her cunning nose for public opinion, and her ability to massage that opinion around her own agenda.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

One Standard For All Socialists

CYFSWATCH got shut down because some commenters made threats of violence against Green MP Sue Bradford. Bradford shrieked to the Police, claiming that she feared for her personal safety.

Yet over at that paragon of pinko sensibility, Millsy gets his own back. Claiming that the National Party wants to preserve the right to beat people, he ranges across threats of physical violence, racism, and religious hatred:


The National party are a bunch of violent fuckheads who dont care about a kids right to be free of violence. I think they get off on beating their kids, nothing like bashing a child with an iron bar for spilling the milk to make you feel better. Taito Philip Field is a typical child beating coconut ape who, with his race need to go back up the trees where they belong, and, we need to push violence out of this country RIGHT NOW!

HITTING CHILDREN IS WRONG, and the sooner these coconuts, white trash bogans, scruffy Old-Testamenters and white-middle-class-closet-nazis realise this, the better.

Its time we moved into the 21st Century folks. A new order, where violence is frowned upon.
Posted by millsy : 3/14/2007 10:30:00

But Millsy isn't finished, even after a telling-off from Idiot Savant:

"That fucking Garth George is a fucking wanker, wanting to protect parents who bash their children. I hope one day that someone bashes hime like he bashes his kids. Teach that intolerant bigot a good fucking lesson. People like him need a good thrashing. And that bitch who used the horse whip on her son, thinks she can use violence to coerce her children with the threat of the stick. It probably turns her on, giving her kids a beating.

"New Zealand disgusts me. We seem to be addicted to violence in the home, beating children on a whim.

"Posted by millsy : 3/15/2007 08:54:00 AM "

Long Live Joseph Stalin.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

In-Flight Safety

Occasionally I find that my personal views inhibit my social life. One such instance occurred in a bar in Auckland recently, where I was chatting up a hot Emirates hostess.

The conversation started with my criticism of the in-flight safety announcements.

"Why is smoking in the toilet a fire hazard?" I ask.

"Because the plane could catch fire," she answers, in that vacuous, I-haven't-thought-deeply-about-this-but-that's-what-they-told-me-at-hostess-school kind of way that air hostesses all seem to possess. I have noticed that there is something quite particular about the mentality of flight hostesses, which they share in common with Labour Party MPs: the unrivalled ability to spout platitudinous nonsense. There's no justification for pinko politicians on the public payroll to come up with this rubbish, but at least I can understand why air hostesses are so dumbed down. Day in and day out, they are forced to be polite to often obnoxious passengers, responding to such inane questions as: "Is this chicken or beef?" Or: "What does the non smoking light mean?" In a social context, my experience of air hostesses is that conversation almost exclusively revolves around where they have landed from, and what their next destination is.

But I am not satisfied with this answer. "So smoking in the toilet is a fire hazard, but smoking in the cabin is not?"

"No," she answers. "Smoking in the cabin is also a fire hazard."

"I see," I say. "So how come for forty years smoking in the cabin was allowed, and of all the millions of flights, not one plane ever crashed because a passenger was smoking?"

"I don't know," she responds.

I wasn't trying to ask annoying questions, of course. So I gave her a way out of the argument. "I can understand that the in-flight air conditioning system may not be totally efficient, and non-smoking passengers dislike the smell of cigarette smoke. Wouldn't it be more honest to say that smoking on planes irritates non-smoking passengers, rather than claim that the plane will crash if somebody lights up in the toilet?"

Emirates girl wasn't prepared to concede this point. So I progressed to the issue of lifeboats on planes.

"What is the point of lifeboats on a Boeing 747?" I ask.

"They're in case a plane lands on the water," she says politely. I buy her a drink, because she's hot, and come back to the conversation.

"Are there enough lifeboats for every passenger?"

"Yes, of course," she answers.

"Are they very useful, these lifeboats?"

"Yes, they're a key part of in-flight safety," she says.

"I see." I take a swig of my drink, and then say: "How many planes have ever used these lifeboats?"

She doesn't know what I mean. So I expand on this. "Well, put it this way. You spend ten fucking minutes during take-off telling us where the exits are, and where the lifeboats are, when every passenger airliner that has ever crashed into the water has lost everybody on board."

She wasn't amused by this, but she's still smiling politely.

"We need to put passengers' minds at ease."

I say it isn't helpful to give passengers the inaccurate impression that if a 350 tonne airplane hits the water at 300 miles an hour, the plane will somehow remain intact, and the passengers able to walk off into their lifeboats.

"If a plane's going to crash in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, nobody's actually going to survive to deploy the lifeboats, are they?" I say.

It is at this point that she starts to feel defensive. Being the not-very-sensitive guy that I am, I don't notice this. It doesn't occur to me that after four years of working for Emirates, she herself has found comfort in the existence of lifeboats. So I continue.

"And what's the point of showing passengers where the fucking exits are? Don't you think, just maybe, that a passenger who does happen to survive a massive plane crash might just jump out of the BIG FUCKING HOLE IN THE PLANE, rather than calmly follow the other passengers along the lights to the designated exit?"

The conversation ended shortly afterwards. Bloody pity, really. Emirates Girl was hot.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Where is CYFS when you need them?

This nutjob, when she's not spending all her days listening to the radio, instead of out working productively in society, is babysitting.

Who the fuck breaks down in tears when reading Dr Seuss to a baby? And who the fuck leaves such babies in the care of such warped people?

Work for the dole would do her a helluva lot of good.