Thursday, March 19, 2009

Turning back the clock

That's the only way to describe ACT MP John Boscawen's decision to introduce a private member's bill to repeal the anti-child-beating law. And despite it being spun as an "amendment" by the Herald, "repeal" is the right word. According to Boscawen's press-release - and strangely unmentioned in the Herald piece - it would reintroduce a defence of "reasonable force" for parents beating their children:

The amendment will change the Act so that: it is no longer a crime for parents or guardians to use reasonable force to correct children; there are clear statutory limits on what constitutes reasonable force; parents and guardians have certainty about what the law permits; it is no longer reliant on police discretion for the law to be practical and workable.
In short, a child-beater's charter, which will license violence against children which we (well, everyone except David Garrett) would never tolerate against adults. Provided, of course, that parents use a rod no thicker than their thumb.

Meanwhile, I note that ACT has stopped using its old slogan "the liberal party". It was always false advertising - the only freedom they ever cared about was the freedom of the rich not to pay taxes - but I guess with creeps like Garrett and Boscawen on board it became completely indefensible. Which leaves them looking for a new one. "The reactionary party" is a bit too obvious (besides, I'm not sure how they feel about absolute monarchy). "Free market child beaters", perhaps?