MICHAEL LAWS – Smacking debate proves both parties want to play nanny

Sunday Star Times 30/08/2009

Is John Key thick? Or does the prime minister think that we are? These are the only two possible explanations, after a week in which the National Party leader exposed a hubris that has taken him only nine months to acquire. By contrast, Helen Clark took nine years. The pro-smacking referendum result of nine days ago was the most significant defeat of Wellington liberalism since McDonald’s ended the reign of “nouvelle cuisine”. And yet Key keeps finding new ways to forestall and frustrate democracy.

His latest effort has been his unilateral declaration that National will not support Act MP John Boscawen’s private member’s bill that seeks to enact the public will on the smacking issue. Why? Because the law is working properly, replied the PM. Which is a nonsense. Because it is not working at all.