Monday, January 30, 2012

Spanking laws caused London riots

A reader sends a British TV news video on Should the law on smacking be relaxed?. That is a British word for spanking.

The most amusing part is that the woman who is most indignant about spanking has to admit that she does not have any kids and does not understand why experience with kids would be relevant.

The UK Guardian reports:
Legislation governing the smacking of children needs to be relaxed so working-class parents can instil discipline in their homes without fear of prosecution, a senior Labour politician has said.

The Tottenham MP David Lammy claimed that Labour's 2004 decision to tighten up the smacking law was partly to blame for last summer's riots, which erupted in his north London constituency.

In an interview with LBC Radio, the former education minister said: "Many of my constituents came up to me after the riots and blamed the Labour government, saying: 'You guys stopped us being able to smack our children.'

"I have to say when this was first raised with me I was pretty disparaging. But I started to listen. These parents are scared to smack their children and paranoid that social workers will get involved and take their children away."

Lammy, who admitted to smacking his three- and five-year-old sons, said working-class parents should be able to physically discipline their children to prevent them from joining gangs and getting involved in knife crime.

Current legislation, enforced under the Children Act 2004, says parents are allowed to smack their offspring without causing the "reddening of the skin".

Previously they could use "reasonable chastisement", with a judge deciding whether they had overstepped the mark. However, since the 2004 amendments the decision has been left to social workers.

Lammy said a lot of parents in his constituency had been left confused by the changes and were reluctant to physically discipline their children in case they were contacted by social workers.

He added: "The law used to allow 'reasonable chastisement', but current legislation stops actions that lead to a reddening of the skin – which for a lot of my non-white residents isn't really an issue."

The politician said parents in Tottenham had to raise their children "with knives, gangs and the dangers of violent crime just outside the window", but "no longer feel sovereign in their own homes" because of the laws.

I had read about the London riots last summer, but never the cause. The NY Times
reported in August:
LONDON — Outside a London court last week, as those accused of looting and rioting in the most destructive and widespread violence in recent British history faced justice, a mother turned to her 11-year-old son, accused of theft, and asked simply, “Why?”

That question has been at the heart of a fraught national debate as Britons puzzle over what drove even some previously law-abiding people to steal, sometimes risking arrest for nothing more than bottles of water.
So we finally learn the cause of the riots and it was the spanking laws?!

This still doesn't make sense to me. If the non-white Londoners were rioting about the spanking law, why were they so concerned about a law based on "reddening of the skin"? It sounds like a law that was written for white people. The white people should be the most concerned as their skin turns red more easily.

At any rate, British parents no longer feel sovereign in their own homes because they have social workers second-guessing their discipline.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Government should have no right to dictate to any of us. Abuse in the home does happen. But that's what a judge is for. Social Workers are just a ploy from the governments and Agenda 21 to destroy freedom and induce a police state. If a Social Worker ever came to my home, I'd remove them from my property. If I had a kid, I would raise them to defend themselves. And god forbid I went from a simple spanking to physical abuse. I'd hope my kid had learned enough from me to call the police and take me to court over it. I have seen how Social Workers obfuscate the truth of a situation with their double talk politics. They serve a useless position and should not exist in any official or authoritative role/capacity. A court of law is where any and all legal matters belongs. Not is some dictators office building.