June 17, 2009
In today’s Herald, Brian Rudman points out that the $8.9M being spent on the referendum is equivalent to half the money that the government spends on adult education, or a quarter of what Barnardos spends each year on helping children in need.
For all their fear-mongering, the pro-smackers have been unable to produce any evidence to back their claims that good parents will be marched off to slappers prison. The best they could come up with as a poster boy for their cause was Christchurch musician and father-of-six, Jimmy Mason. A month ago he was convicted of assaulting his 4-year-old son.
He was dubbed the “ear-flick dad” but witnesses and even he told a different story.
A witness saw him yelling at the boy in downtown Christchurch, saw him yank his ear and hit him in the face with a closed fist. Mr Mason’s version was he gave the boy “a bloody good flick” because he was “being a prat”.
A policewoman testified he repeatedly shouting “f … ing listen” to the child and told her “I hit the big one in the face and that is what I do …”
Later, on what passes as television current affairs these days, Mr Mason was given the chance to recreate his attempts to teach his youngsters safe bike riding practices.
He thought better of repeating the physical violence, or the angry swearing. But if he’s the best the smackers can do by way of a martyr figure, they should apologise for wasting our time – and money.