Lindsay Perigo
Lindsay Perigo

The Politically Incorrect Show - 16/02/2001

[Music - Die Fledermaus]

Good afternoon, Kaya Oraaa & welcome to the Politically Incorrect Show on the free speech network, Radio Pacific, for Friday February 16, proudly sponsored by Neanderton Nicotine Ltd., the show that says bugger the politicians & bureaucrats & all the other bossyboot busybodies who try to run our lives with our money; that stands tall for free enterprise, achievement, profit, & excellence, against the state-worshippers in our midst; that stands above all for the most sacred thing in the universe, the liberty of the human individual.

[Music up, music down!]

Earlier this week I reported the story of the Canadian woman who had successfully sued her employer for $300,000 for letting her drive home drunk from an office Christmas party. In fact, she didn't drive home - she went to a pub with friends, got more drunk, then drove into a truck on the way home. Yesterday, the culture of victimhood struck again - this time in Australia, when a man was awarded $2.5 million in damages for the "pain & suffering he has endured as a result of receiving the strap at school seventeen years ago." This notwithstanding that a bone scan of his hand revealed no abnormality whatsoever.

Coincidentally, the push is gathering momentum in this country for a ban on smacking by parents, with the Children's Commissioner & the Minister of Youth Affairs renewing the call for such a ban yesterday morning. These entities are supported by empty-headed, Politically Correct handwringers in the media. One of their arguments is that adults should be forbidden to do to children what they are forbidden to do to other adults - an argument that would forbid any form of punishment for misdemeanours altogether, since we're not allowed to confine adults to their rooms or force them to write out lines or deny them access to their favourite videos either.

Another argument of the empty-heads is that anyone who smacks his child is likely, sooner or later, to beat him to death with a lump of wood - an argument which is absurd on its face.

My purpose here, though, is not to argue the pros & cons of corporal punishment, or to deny that it was used to excess in state & religious schools - especially the latter - in the past. (I would point out in passing that in an educational free market, parents who objected to corporal punishment would be free to avoid those schools that practised it. There would arguably be a role for the state in imposing restrictions that ensured such discipline did not turn into abuse.) My purpose is, first, to wake you up to the insidious erosion of parental prerogatives that such a ban would represent. There are already too few of those prerogatives left. Nanny already takes blood samples from babies at birth; she gives them an IRD number; a national register of babies is being proposed; the New Zealand Qualifications Authority has a stranglehold on what they will be taught & how they will be taught it later in life - in myriads of ways you are being told that your children are government property. Now it is suggested that the government should dictate your disciplinary regime as well.

My second purpose is to ask - what sort of can of worms will this Australian court decision open up? Will New Zealand follow suit? I doubt that anyone over the age of 30 in this country did not receive corporal punishment at school &/or from our parents at some point. Somehow we have all lived to tell the tale, healthy & untraumatised. Will we all now have licence to sue our former schools & our parents for "pain & suffering"? The Australian award amounts to $316,000 for each stroke. What windfalls are in the offing?! Should I kick myself for not having been much, MUCH naughtier at

Truly, 'tis a mad, mad world.

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