Tuesday, June 03, 2014

England to get Cinderella Law

Britain is ahead of the USA is stupid nanny state laws, and here is the latest:
Parents who deprive their children of love and kindness could be jailed for up to ten years under a proposed new law.

Changes to child neglect legislation would make ‘emotional cruelty’ a crime for the first time under what is being dubbed a ‘Cinderella Law’.

David Cameron vowed there is 'nothing more important than the protection of children', as details emerged of the new offence which is expected to be included in the Queen's Speech in June.
That's right, parents have no constitutional rights in the UK, and the queen announces new policies.

Here is some sensible criticism:
In the eyes of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), there is always some new species of child abuse that apparently requires the attention of government officials and the criminal-justice system.

The NSPCC’s latest media campaign, launched today, targets emotional abuse. The NSPCC wants a new ‘Cinderella Law’ that would criminalise certain forms of emotional abuse. One of its spokesmen, John Cameron, said this morning that ‘we must recognise extreme emotional abuse for what it is - a crime - and those who carry it out should be prosecuted’. This campaign represents a new phase in the NSPCC’s attempt to extend the scrutiny of officialdom and experts over family life. For some time now, the child-protection industry has been trying to establish itself as the sole authority on what constitutes emotional correctness in family life. Its scaremongering about a rising tide of emotional abuse is an attempt to create a climate in which the behaviour of what it deems to be ‘emotionally abusive’ mums and dads can be criminalised.

The term ‘emotional abuse’ is really a metaphor used to pathologise any form of parental behaviour that contradicts the NSPCC’s strictures. ...

The NSPCC has opted for a definition of emotional abuse that includes some very real and unambiguous acts of harm, such as ‘conveying to a child that they are worthless or unloved’, but also forms of behaviour which, depending on the context, may not be harmful to a child. For example, the NSPCC includes in its definition of emotional abuse ‘making fun’ of what a child says or how he or she communicates with others. I am not sure what universe the NSPCC inhabits, but in the real one making fun of one another is the stuff of family life.
While the crime is new, the UK is already using emotional abuse allegation to take kids away, according to a UK official:
Parents who fail to provide the basic level of emotional and physical support for their children do so for a variety of reasons including incapacity, inability, and wickedness but a lack of legislative clarity is not one of those reasons. There is no evidence to suggest a change in the law will prevent further instances of neglect from occurring. ...

Practitioners are fully aware of the harm caused by emotional neglect and abuse. Emotional abuse is the reason given for nearly a third of child protection plans. This shows that local authorities are acting to keep safe children who are suffering from emotional abuse.
This was all promoted by a charity, according to the UK BBC, with horrible arguments by govt officials:
It follows a campaign for a "Cinderella Law" from charity Action for Children. ...

Robert Buckland, a Conservative MP who has backed the charity's campaign, said the current law was outdated as it is based largely on legislation first introduced 150 years ago.

And he stressed that non-physical abuse could cause "significant harm" to children.

"You can look at a range of behaviours, from ignoring a child's presence, failing to stimulate a child, right through to acts of in fact terrorising a child where the child is frightened to disclose what is happening to them," Mr Buckland told BBC Radio 5 live.

"Isolating them, belittling them, rejecting them, corrupting them, as well, into criminal or anti-social behaviour."

He said the new law would not criminalise parents for being nasty, but for their criminal behaviour.
How is that for a justification? It just criminalizes criminal behavior!

He makes it clear that if the child is uncooperative with the authorities, then they will consider that evidence that the parents have committed a crime.

The BBC gives an example of a story that this law is targeting. It is a mixed-race child, of a white mom and black dad, who was not fully accepted by the white step-dad. Thus the law is just criminalizing an opinion.

The new law, as well as the current practice of punishing emotional abuse, is wrong on several levels. It is a gross invasion of privacy and family life. There is no clear definition of what the crime is. There is no scientific evidence that any child will be improved. The law will be abused by social workers, prosecutors, and other bullies who just want to intervene in the lives of others.


Anonymous said...

This is a very slippery slope... Who is to say what is "emotional cruelty" and what is "character building"? Oh - of course, it's the Government, just another way to send you to prison if you don't agree with them... Tyranny is on the march, and where it ends is usually with millions dead.

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