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

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