Monday, April 13, 2009

Goff on smacking

Phil Goff said on Q&A yesterday that he did not think a smack as part of good parental correction should be allowed under law, despite voting for a law that allowed exactly that. So now that it is, he says that parents should not be prosecuted for it. In other words, if you break the law, you should not be prosecuted for it. Even if you smack your kids in the supermarket.

Yet if the law reflected the intention of parliament - or certainly, Goff's position on it, it would have to be amended to remove criminal sanctions. So if there should be no criminal sanctions for smacking, why would Goff not support the retention of the current law, but with the removal of these sanctions so that the law reflects his position? Goff's position is undefendable. If I was him I'd keep a little quiet about this law.

Even if he came out and said that if the smacking referendum result was to reflect current public opinion he would respect that, he'd be a hypocrite given that he would no doubt instruct Labour not to vote for ACT MP John Boscawen's bill that attempts to change the law, should it come out of the ballot and be passed before the referendum.

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