From: Craig Smith [mailto:Craig@hef.org.nz]
Sent: Tuesday, 14 November 2006 8:41 p.m.
Subject: Family Integrity #145 — Press Release sent today
MP Sue Bradford is in self-destruct mode as she makes incriminating remarks in a form letter trying to justify why she voted to keep the lower legal age for purchasing alcohol:
"Clearly, there are a wide variety of factors that impact on the harms caused by alcohol, that simply cannot be and will not be addressed by
simply raising the purchasing age. . . .
"I am not prepared to strip away the legal rights of a section of the community on the basis of research that is not definitive. Nor will I
use the law to take away rights when there is no evidence that the law will be effective."
If you transpose these statements into the context of the debate over the repeal of section 59, you will see that Ms Bradford is most
definitely "prepared to strip away the legal rights of" all parents and to do so "on the basis of research that is not definitive," (in fact,
even in the face of good research by Dr Jane Millichamp of Otago University and only recently released, to the contrary).
She is also quite willing to "use the law to take away rights when there is no evidence the law will be effective" in reducing the prevalence of
She is happy "simply" to ban reasonable force in the correction of children, rather than address the "wide variety of" real and observable
"factors" that lead to child abuse and family violence, namely, alcohol and substance abuse; family breakdown (which means many
children grow up in homes where one of their natural parents, usually the father, is replaced by a stranger); graphic violence on the TV,
computer, and cinema screens, and in video games; and bullying in public schools. These factors are crying out to be addressed, but Sue
Bradford’s simplistic answer is: ban all use of reasonable force from normal parenting, ie. strip away the legal rights and protection of all
parents! Criminalise the lot, she says. It seems in her book parenting is not a complex issue and a blanket criminalisation of "reasonable
force" is not simplistic. Yeah. Right.
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