The anti-anti-smacking campaign

It is interesting to consider the actions of Larry Baldock in circulating petitions against the anti-smacking bill on Air NZ flights.

First obviously Air NZ staff shouldn’t have allowed him to do this. We don’t want this to be a precedent for lobbying on board flights.

But what is fascinating to me, is that on three out of four flights the pilots did give permission for the petitions to be circulated, despite undoubtedly knowing they shouldn’t. And in one case they handed over the PA system to him.


The obvious answer is because they think the proposed law is so ridiculously stupid. And that they figured almost everyone on board would agree. And this happened on three separate flights.

This is one of those issues which transcends party affiliations. I’ve heard so many negative comments on this law from people whose politics I know are not my own.

I haven’t seen recent polling on this issue, and the wording of any poll questions would be crucial, but off memory older polls have shown 80% opposition.

The issue before Parliament now isn’t whether to vote for Bradford’s bill or not. It is whether to accept Borrows amendment. This will allow smacking for disciplinary purposes so long as any harm is “trifling and transitory”.

Every MP who votes against the Borrows amendment is voting to criminalise parental discipline which is merely “trifling and transitory”. This is a million miles away from the cases the Bradford bill is meant to be about – kids beaten black and blue.

Purely from a political sense, I should be delighted that Labour MPs are lining up like lemmings to vote against the amendment. It will haunt them politically at the election.

But I’d rather have a sensible compromise law, than scoring political points.

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