Thursday, August 20, 2009
He proposes simply deleting two clauses in the Bradford law - the key clause banning the use of force for correction, and another stating that the ban on correction prevails over a clause permitting force to prevent harmful, criminal, disruptive or offensive behaviour and to perform "the normal daily tasks that are incidental to good care and parenting".
Mr Baldock said his proposal, unlike the Boscawen bill, would let parents hit their children with instruments such as a wooden spoon.
"I'm not opposed to the wooden spoon or ruler because you can control things with that better than you can with an open hand."
Now, firstly, I wouldn't think this was the moment for advocating the second-kitchen-drawer method of discipline.
But the main thing is - surely - if you amended the law as he suggests... much as I'm sure he thinks a periodic belting is part of "the normal daily tasks that are incidental to good care and parenting"... if you deleted (2) and (3) I wouldn't have thought it would make the difference he wants it to: there would still be not actual defence for smacking.
[Mind you, I'm someone who thinks (1) does not allow punishment so much as actual prevention such as restraint or removal of the child. Which makes the law both more stringent and less confusing than I've heard it made out to be. OTOH, I wouldn't think (2) overrides any other defences for assault.]
But my main point was: Not Larry's most un-counter-productive interview, there.