Monday, June 15, 2009

NO Right Turn is truly an idiot today, and way off the mark

The anonymous blogger at NO Right Turn does not appear to have had a decent coffee after getting up this afternoon. He has a few clues on most things, and is one of the better bloggers around, but on the subject of the upcoming referendum on physical discipline he is just plain pig-ignorant, and lets himself down.

Why? He claims that people like Jimmy Mason, who punched his kid in the face, and a person who beat her young son with a soup ladle – and not only beat her, but bruised him all over his body would have been able to successfully claim a reasonable force defence had the law on parental discipline not been changed.

This is just a stupid claim to make. Never mind that, like most irrational people, he does not see the difference between a beating when a kid is cowering on the floor and a light smack for correction. But you think he’d criticise CYFS for supporting bail for the parent. But no, he doesn’t.

Furthermore, he says that anybody who supports a defence of reasonable force for correction are people who wish to abuse children themselves. It is irrelevant to him that any defence – if used - would fail in cases like this every time and that no lawyer would even suggest such a defence.

I don’t particularly like the referendum question, and was very tempted to cross out both options or not vote at all, but this kind of misinformation has made me determined to vote NO.

So, after reading this post I have today decided that I am going to vote NO at the referendum next month. I encourage you to read the post at NO Right Turn too and vote NO also.

The forms should be out this week. I’m voting NO not because I think a smack as part of good parental correction should not be a criminal offence in New Zealand, not because parents should have a choice in whether to lightly smack naughty kids, but because I am making a stand against misinformation from people who should know better.

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Blogger Tim Selwyn said...

I don't recall exactly what I/S said but I think he means it would have been possible to raise the defence - not necessarily that it would have been successful.

June 15, 2009 at 4:46 PM  
Blogger Swimming said...

If there is no chance of a legal being sucessful it is a bit silly to suggest the possibility of raising it. The success of such a defence would be no different if the charge was assault with intent to injure.

so why even bring the possibility of raising the defence into the discussion,given that a beating like that is not reasonable force for the purposes of correction?

June 15, 2009 at 4:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good on ya mate.


June 15, 2009 at 8:24 PM  
Blogger Tim Selwyn said...

That's what the jury decides. The fact they can run that defence at all could be said to be prejudicial.

June 15, 2009 at 10:22 PM  
Blogger Swimming said...

The jury decides what? Whether the defence should be used in a child abuse case or whether it should be upheld. Surely you don't mean the former, and I hope you don't mean the latter. The jury doesn't get an opportunity to decide and rightly so.

Running a defence of reasonable force in a child abuse case is akin to putting water, rather than petrol, in a car's petrol tank. Pointless. So why would a lawyer suggest such a defence for a jury to decide, Tim?

June 15, 2009 at 11:33 PM  

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