Her Bill she said removes "an excuse for violence towards children," and it does it by criminalising those who, in her words, "beat, assault and hit their children." This is how she characterises smacking: as beating, assaulting and hitting children.
But smacking is not violence, smacking is not beating or assaulting children -- failing to distinguish between smacking and violence is a failure to distinguish at all -- and a failure too to understand that there are already laws on the books against beating, assaulting or inflicting violence against children, but those who do beat their children simply ignore them. A new law criminalising smacking is utterly unlikely to influence those parents who do inflict violence towards children; instead, it will criminalise parents who don't.
UPDATE 1: I was interested in this comment below: " Smacking is morally wrong, as is a ban on smacking." Some people won't understand that comment, so a link to this article might help, explaining the difference between persuasion and force. As the author Mark Skousen says, "persuasion instead of force is the sign of a civilized society." Read the piece to see just what he means. It's not quite what you think. ;^)
UPDATE 2: Given that Bradford is a Green MP, would anyone like to explain the connection between the environment, and having smacking banned?
UPDATE 3: You may choose to take it or leave it, but if you're struggling to answer the above question with anything other than "no idea," then the explanation is surely that she's not in the Green Party for the environmental politics. This, remember, is the woman who left Anderton's hard-left New Labour Party in 1990 because she saw a "definite move to the right."
Two blogs have some relevant background:
Writing at his Whoar blog last year in the midst of the Greens's co-leader's contest, Green member Phil U. warned of the left acquiring a "death grip" on the party. [Punctuation has been somewhat cleaned up to make it readable.]
I’d like to finish with what I think is a telling anecdote. I was present when Sue Bradford and Catherine Delahunty made their first appearance at a green party meeting, this after both being hounded out of the alliance part of the alliance by Jim Anderton -- it was at his feet they learnt their organisational ‘chops’(and it shows...) -- the left are very ‘top-down,’ bordering on control freaks.
The Green Party at that time was a very low-key affair, [with] meetings held in the low-roofed attic of a bookshop on K. Road. At this meeting, Bradford said to me out of the corner of her mouth (I had known her for some years) that “this party is ripe for taking over” -- and she wasn’t wrong.
Later in that same evening I approached the then-leader of the Auckland Greens (a lovely lady but lacking that political killer-will), and told her that “that woman over there is going to take your job." This duly came to pass.
And if Trevor Loudon is correct in his five-part exegesis of Bradford's history, the environment was the last thing on Bradford's mind for which she was "taking over" the Green Party: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.
Her Green party bio states: There are three ways to make radical social and environmental change. 1) Working within the system; 2) throwing rocks at the system from outside; 3) building new organisations within the shell of the old system.Which of those three ways do you think she is working on here with her anti-smacking Bill? She is intent on removing parents' hands from their own children; but she has no problem with governments getting their hands on children's minds, or even getting her hands on them herself -- as Catherine Delahunty, her co-trustee at the Kotare School -- "a centre for radical and liberating education for social change," she says -- makes clear enough in this speech outlining the Kotare School's aims. Part 2 is here.
RELATED: Politics-NZ, Politics-Greens, Smacking