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Clayton Cosgrove in Rangiora

1 comments | 11:48 pm | top |
From 10:30am til 11:30am every Friday, Clayton Cosgrove parks his big old red van in the main street of Rangiora, just down a bit from ToyWorld. Mum had come upon this piece of information somewhere, and when I suggested that we go out there to have a chat with him about Section 59, she agreed. This morning's Press had stated explicitly that "Clayton Cosgrove is coming under a lot of pressure, being inundated with emails" - and by reading between the lines, it was possible to go away thinking that he might just be shaken from his current stance on the issue, - supporting Bradford's ridiculous bill.

Let me say before I continue, that I have always felt better about Clayton Cosgrove, than any other Labour MPs - and this is not saying much - a warm sort of feeling - that he was a good guy in a pathetic political party. This feeling could well be due to the "Clayton Cosgrove, Waimakariri MP - working hard for you" billboard that was always up on the side of the building where his office in Papanui, Christchurch was located.

Back to the topic though, of my short *meeting* with Cosgrove in Rangiora this morning. An old lady was standing on the footpath beside the bus, chatting to Cosgrove's PA. They were revving each other up, and I heard the old lady in the flowery blue dress say: "If I hit an adult, I'll be prosecuted, if I hit a dog, I'll be prosecuted - and If I hit a child, that is not ok!". "We don't want to smack the children" she said. "Who's we?" I asked - "80%" of New Zealanders don't agree with that..." The PA and the old lady didn't answer me. "It's Bradford's anti-discipline bill" I said. "Oh, so you're saying that smacking is the only way to discipline your children?" asked the PA. "An issue this big should come to a referendum." I interjected.

I headed back to the car and grabbed some of Larry Baldock's petition sheets on the clipboard and a red BIC pen. By now there was a good gathering of "anti-repealists" outside Clayton's "caravan". Across the Zebra Crossing there, was Kate Wilkinson - wearing the "raise money for Guide Dogs" shirt, raising money for the cause. I headed across and spoke to her. She told me that from her experience as a lawyer, that Bradford's proposed ammendments to Section 59 rendered it un-workable and stupid.

Eventually my Mum and I were invited onto the trailer, and we both pretty much avoided the question "do you live in this district", because of course we didn't live in the Waimakariri district - we live in the Ilam electorate.

When I mentioned the fact that 80% of New Zealanders did not want Section 59 repealed, he told me: "Those 80% who hold your opinion are wrong".

Cosgrove's attitude was entirely arrogant. When I told him my understanding of the implications of the bill, he simply told me that I was wrong. "Repeal will simply remove a defence for parents who abuse their children" he said.

One or two (or three) times while he was speaking, I interupted (out of sheer exasperation), to disagree with him or to quote a statistic. At this, he simply repeated the sentence he had been saying when I interrupted. He kept repeating that sentence (ie. Can I continue?) over and over again like a broken record, until I had finished. I found this to be extremely inhuman and weird.

"Parents won't be criminalised for lightly smacking their children" - he said - "it's obvious, because the Police simply don't have enough time"...

Ah, Cosgrove, thanks so much for clearing that up - it all makes so much sense now.
Only thing is, we have spoken to the police on several occasions and they have told us categorically that they will be have to investigate every allegation of "child abuse" (smacking) that they hear of.

I don't know how many times we are expected to have to ask this question - but I'll ask it again:

"If the repeal of Section 59 will not criminalise good parents who (lightly) smack their children, then why for Pete's sake are you so desperate to repeal it?"

Ah, but Cosgrove, had to say that didn't you? Otherwise Clark might get upset and kick you out of your electorate come 08 election - now we wouldn't want that, would we?

Please note, comments are from memory - and are not verbatim.


Anonymous AlbatrossNZ said...

It has now been nearly three years since this post. We had a horribly worded referendum on the issue. The bill has been endorsed by experienced, professional social workers as well as plunket, barnardos, the paediatric society of New Zealand and everyone in National(including Kate Wilkinson) voted for it. The bill is working and no parent has been prosecuted for light smacking. It was a good bill. Section 59 previously allowed parents to get away with abuse via weapons. That Clayton wasn't able to clear up your concerns was disappointing, considering he's my MP too.

I encourage anyone including the author to check out the Yes Vote website. In it you can see why the repeal of Section 59 is working. and in perticular, how the police are doing with it.


8:39 pm, March 07, 2010 

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