If a parent smacks his or her child in New Zealand today, he or she is breaking the law.
The left and the anti-family zealots would say “well that doesn’t matter, the police have discretion, they won’t penalise good parents for a little smack“.
I beg to differ. It does matter because though the law may not be enforced vigorously now, who’s to say that won’t change?
Name one period in history where oppressive laws have been available to the state and haven’t eventually been used by that state.
Ayn Rand expressed the dangers of even ‘unenforced’ laws well;
“There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals.
Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.
Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens?
What’s there in that for anyone?
But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted-and you create a nation of lawbreakers-and then you cash in on guilt. “
The current situation has created a nation of law-breakers. It has created a subtle ‘climate of fear’. Every parent who smacks a child today-and most still do, does so with one eye furtively looking about.
Looking for what? the well-meaning old lady over the fence. Your wife’s bitchy sister. The neighbour whose right-of-way you sometimes park in.
Another thought must be spared for what your child might say to school friends, teacher, counsellor, or ‘keeping ourselves safe’ police officer.
Worse-some parents must even factor in what a spouse might say to a judge in a future child custody battle.
The parent must always think-do I take the risk, do I do what’s right by my child, or do I take the coward’s road and fail in my duty to my chidren?
Responsible parenting places one’s family and freedom at risk. It forces a parent to either break the law and invite a visit from the police or worse-a black mark in the files of Child, Youth and Family-or to go against one’s own conscience and place the state’s dictates above the best interests of one’s own children.
If that doesn’t set up the ‘control by guilt’ situation envisaged by Ayn Rand-what does?
Prime Minister Key-this is not a peripheral issue. It is far more important to me and hundreds of thousands like me, than taxes, Treaty Issues, crime, health, ‘climate change’, inflation or the economy.
This is a parent’s right to bring up their own children, according to their own conscience, we are talking about here.
You might not like smacking. You may never have smacked your two fine looking children.
But do not make the mistake of thinking that this issue is not important to a huge chunk of voters.
You won the last election because people were so-o-o-o sick of Helen Clark and you seemed like a good bloke, a self made man with a lovely family-you seemed so bloody ‘normal’.
Contrary to what you might think, your ‘glorious compromise’ with Helen Clark over the anti-smacking bill did you no good in the heartland.
They voted for you in spite of your stance-not because of it.
The anti-Labour feeling in middle New Zealand gave you a huge opportunity and you almost blew it.
That anti-Labour feeling has dissipated. Phil Goff is comparitively ‘normal’ too.
You have the chance to lock in support for National and yourself for decades-if you return to New Zealanders the right to parent responsibly and within the law.
You could lock in the conservative Christian vote before it is siphoned off to another vote-wasting ‘Christian’ party. You could earn the undying gratitude of Maori, Pacific Island and Asian communities, the European working class that recently rejected Labour PCism and virtually every other demographic but ‘white liberals’ and the far left.
Reagan converted the ‘Reagan Democrats’ to the Republican Party. Thatcher brought large chunks of the British working class to the Conservative cause.
Neither of them would have succeeded had they told their potential voters that they couldn’t smack their children.
The choice is yours John Key-restore to parents the rights stripped from them by Helen Clark and Sue Bradford-or blow the best opportunity you will ever have to lock in hundreds of thousands of votes for National.
If you doubt my word, or your advisers tell you I am deluded-here’s a challenge.
My 6 year old boy plays rugby every Saturday. You’re welcome to come along. Chat to the parents on the sideline. Most of them voted for you. Ask them what they think you should do.
Like I said-the choice is yours.