Dom Post on flick to the ear case

The Dom Post editorial is on the case of the man who had six cops interview him after he flicked his son’s ears for not stopping his bike:

When Christchurch musician Jimmy Mason “flicked” his three-year-old son on the ear he thought he was giving him a lesson about road safety. Don’t ride your bike near the road when you’re told not to. What he was actually getting was a firsthand look at the Government’s anti-smacking legislation in operation.

… When the anti-smacking legislation was steered through Parliament last year, Ms Bradford and her Labour allies assured the public that the law change would not criminalise parents who administered a light smack to their children.

Technically they are correct in Mr Mason’s case. He has not been charged. But he has been stigmatised, something that is likely to be of almost as much concern to the Government as it is to Mr Mason.

Labour believes the initial furore over the anti-smacking legislation has died down now that it has been in place for more than six months.

But publicity about such cases revives the damaging spectre of a nanny state interfering in the private affairs of citizens…. 

Those who argue the law worke, it’s great, no problems have no idea I suspect of how many parents around NZ would have read that story and shuddered, thinking that could have been us surrounded by six cops debating whether our kids are safe to return home to us.

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