Friday, March 30, 2007

Still holding firm

Parliament ground through another clause of Sue Bradford's Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Bill - only two more to go. Meanwhile, the protests and threats against an MP's children from the child-beaters seem to have had some effect - three National MPs who were planning to back the bill at its third reading have withdrawn their support. The bill will still pass quite comfortably, 65 - 56, but it's a shame that so few National MPs are willing to take a stand against family violence and the religious right. Did someone remind them who was paying the bills or something?

Meanwhile, John Key's reaction to the threats issued against one of his MP's children is disappointing. His condemnation was less than fulsome, and he immediately undermined it by effectively making excuses for the thugs, saying that

"the position won't necessarily go away...New Zealanders feel absolutely offended that (prime minister) Helen Clark's government has decided they know better how to raise their children than they do."

So much for the firm principle that violence and intimidation ahve no place in democratic politics.


Welcome back. Good to see you are up and running again.

J K's
"Helen Clark's government has decided they know better how to raise their children than they do"
Is pretty much on the money. It seems that there a lot of people out there who could do with a few lessons in child care. Not least the fundamentalist religious right who seem to base all their parenting skills on the 3000 year old doctrine of "spare the rod and spoil the child" a doctrine that has been shown to be a far from satisfactory method of raising well adjusted adults.

I wrote to my MP (John Key) outlining why I support he Bill. I doubt that I shall be listened to - he only has ears for those that oppose.


Posted by Anonymous : 3/30/2007 10:55:00 AM

NRT - can you provide the URL for that quote from John Key, so one can see if he was saying that in relation to the threats to Katherine Rich (which are of course deplorable), or that statement was unconnected to the threats.

Oh and well done on repeating the hysterical claims that those supporting the Borrows amendment are in favour of family violence. Wow you must have such a low opinion of so many NZers.

I wonder how you would like it when defending the civil liberties of prisoners you were smeared as being in favour of murdurers and rapists.

You are normally one of the best people in the blogosphere for playign the issue not the ball. On the S59 issue you seem to have lost it entirely and at every opportunity have used cheap slanderous smears against those who honestly disagree with you. Now hey that is only my opinion, but as I said that is not behaviour I have seen from you before.

Posted by David Farrar : 3/30/2007 11:37:00 AM

dpf it was the stuff article to which I/S linked:

I'm with you on the play the ball, not the man, stuff too - though the analogy isn't that I/S is in favour of rapists and murderers, but would be in favour of rape and murder (or indeed a rapist and murderer).

I/S - I have never smacked a child, I hope I never will, please do not call me a child-beater.

Posted by Graeme Edgeler : 3/30/2007 11:54:00 AM

It should also be noted - especially by those fundamentalist religious right who believe that that sparing the rod is to act against the word of God. Actually this form of child "control" was previously written down by those dreaded Babylonians - LONG before the Old Testament. In deed, the practice may well have been imported by the nomadic jews after their time in Babylon. The early middle eastern "Civilisations" were ones characterised by their overt violence towards the weakest in their society. So the principal is an OLDIE but that does not mean it is a GOODIE! There are many practices of the ancient "Civilisations" that have been abandoned for the better. And hitting children is one practice that certainly needs to go.


Posted by Anonymous : 3/30/2007 12:02:00 PM

The people who threatened Katherine Rich's children are probably the same people who ran the cyfswatch site. They are no better than the brownshirts who would burn synagougues and attack jewish owned businesses in the 1930's. They are jack-booted thugs who hid behind the bible and the concept of "family values".

Posted by Anonymous : 3/30/2007 12:33:00 PM

Despite his spluttering above I note DPF makes no reference at all to the threats to Rich on his own blog. Screeds of entries about Section 59 on the home page but nothing about Rich.

DPF reaction has therefore been equally disappointing when you consider how vocal he is on this issue.

What I have noticed as someone, who was quite ambivolent about the bill, is that many of the most vocal nay sayers *are* child beaters, or at least using the language of child beating.

To those that suggest Sction 59 doesn't give protection to beating - listen to the words of many of the status quo supporters.

Posted by Anonymous : 3/30/2007 01:22:00 PM

Wow I love people who will demand what I blog on and won't even sign their name to it.

There is no need to blog that I condemn threats to Katherine as I have condmened such threats on many occassions.

I would remind people that I actually have volunteered assistance to Sue Bradford's office after the threats to her. Which is a hell of a lot more than anyone else has done.

And with the Stuff article, it doesn't even make clear what Key is referring to when he talks about the position won't go away. The article has obviously been edited in some way. I don't see that comment relating in any way to defending those who made such threats.

Posted by David Farrar : 3/30/2007 02:19:00 PM

"Wow I love people who will demand what I blog"

Except, I didn't demand you blog on anything. You came rushing over here to defend John Key and all I was saying is that you paid scant regard to Kathrine Rich's position in any of your blog entries.

Blog on whatever the hell you want, fine by me. Are *you* demanding that people don't comment unfavourably on what you blog :-)

Remaining anonymous in some discussions is a double edged sword and your point about that is valid. But given the context is it all that surprising?

Posted by Anonymous : 3/30/2007 03:18:00 PM

Until very recently I’ve been quite a vocal supporter of the repeal section 59 campaign. Then I encountered a Christian, a Catholic even, she said I aught to see one of her churches presentations on it, and now I’m convinced. This government is really over stepping the mark here, not only should this bill be thrown out, but I believe section 59 should be expanded to include the elderly.

This is for mostly the same reasons as its ok to beat children, I believe its ok to beat the elderly. Primarily convenience, just like children, can they really understand what they are being told? Most of them are senile and don’t realise what they are doing is inappropriate. And last of all, once they are old enough, they become your responsibility, and we all know, once something is your responsibility, it’s your property.

So who’s with me, "Share the love, Beat the elderly!"

Posted by Anonymous : 3/30/2007 03:34:00 PM

I/S - don't let them bully you on this issue "Oh and well done on repeating the hysterical claims that those supporting the Borrows amendment are in favour of family violence. Wow you must have such a low opinion of so many NZers".

You said nothing of the sort. None of the speeches I listend to from National we're opposing family violence - they were opposing "banning smacking" which the Bill does not do.

Nor were they exposing the fundamentalist forces that have largly been behind the campaign. To do so would have made their position seem a bit more credible.

I have done a series of several posts on my blog on this issue because I got fed up with the lies that have been told about this bill. Those lies have been told so often and for so long that I'm sure many people (including blog commenters) believe them - but there are some that are smart enough to know better and are doing it for their partisan purposes.

I've always held Katherine Rich in very high esteem - and now that has grown even more. She stands up to intense pressure from her caucus and party to stand up for what's right - and she will be remembered for a long time for that.

Posted by Anonymous : 3/30/2007 05:23:00 PM

what if the opposition to the bill secretly had the numbers (i.e. it was close enough that whipping would win it).
It could be quite the coup.

indeed probably the same small group. certain obnoxious people do get around... they also get around in fathers support organizations.

I don't think you have a "playing the issue not the ball" reputation...
not many bloggers do of course.

Posted by Anonymous : 3/30/2007 05:53:00 PM

Yeah, I agree with DPF, you are letting yourself down with your S59 posts. You can do much better, and usually do. Thats why I read your blog. If you think that intimidation has no place in politics, then why don't you continue to condemn Clark for intimidating its MPs by telling them to vote for something they didnt want to.

Posted by Swimming : 3/30/2007 06:43:00 PM

Helen Clark isn't telling "its", or anybody's MPs to vote for anything.

Posted by Anonymous : 3/30/2007 07:42:00 PM

The Morning Report link is at

When asked by Geoff Robinson about the threats to Mrs Rich's children, Mr Key's reply was "We are deeply concerned about that. We certainly wouldn't condone any kind of frankly sick behaviour from any member of the public towards any MP, but I have got to tell you Geoff the position won't necessarily go away actually because this legislation is passed. I mean, New Zealanders feel absolutely offended that Helen Clark's government has decided that they know better how to raise their children than they do and I think it's a disgrace when the government have something so unpopular that they will take what is frankly a pretty undemocratic approach to say we are not going to listen to the people even though they elected us and put us there, what we will do is take the matter into our own hands."

Posted by Anonymous : 3/30/2007 08:37:00 PM

Correction: I copied the wrong link, it should be


Posted by Anonymous : 3/30/2007 08:58:00 PM

Now I know why I haven't received any reply from J K! Even though I am in his electorate I am NOT a New Zealander. I can't be! Because - "I mean, New Zealanders feel absolutely offended that Helen Clark's government has decided that they know better how to raise their children than they do!"


Posted by Anonymous : 3/30/2007 09:03:00 PM

Isn't this a little like the "mainstream" of dear ol Don?
Only those who think as I do are NZers? Mine is the only valid opinion. etc


Posted by Anonymous : 3/30/2007 09:08:00 PM

Early this week I emailed every National MP that has voted against this bill so far, and asked them "If they became government, would they vote to repeal the Bradford Bill"
Only one MP saw fit to respond, and did not address the question at all.
Someone needs to publicly put the heat on these guys, who are all gutless wonders riding the fence while Bradford and Co take all the flak.

Posted by Anonymous : 3/31/2007 05:29:00 AM

They are probably not reading their emails (considering all the spam!) but you are probably right in your implication that they will not repeal and certainly don't want to commit to repealing.

Posted by Anonymous : 3/31/2007 09:42:00 AM

I suspect they only read what they want to read

Posted by Anonymous : 3/31/2007 11:14:00 PM