It all smacks of a fudge

    The government’s refusal to go for an outright smacking ban says
    much more about political expediency than it is does about the
    interests of children. In the House of Lords this week peers passed
    a compromise amendment to the Children Bill that would allow
    children to be hit as long as it did not cause physical or mental
    harm. This may offer marginally more protection to children than
    the current law allowing reasonable chastisement, but there will
    still be too much room for interpretation and too much scope for
    lawyers to line their own pockets.

    It is disgraceful that both of the main parties imposed a
    three-line whip forbidding peers to vote for a total ban. Surely
    this was a matter for individual conscience. Scare stories about
    parents being prosecuted for tapping a child on the legs are plain
    silly; this is no more likely than one adult merely pushing another
    adult is likely to result in a prosecution for common assault. A
    complete ban would have the advantage of clarity while allowing
    everyday life to go on. The government should think again. It is
    time to put children’s interests first, political calculation
    second.

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