Happy clapper smacker

Colin Craig is chasing (and getting) publicity for his smacking stance but this could be a risky strategy.

Colin Craig: I smack my kids (NZH)

Conservative Party leader Colin Craig has admitted that he smacks his children if they misbehave, despite the law being clear there is no justification for the use of force as part of parental or caregiver discipline.

During an interview on RadioLive today, Mr Craig was asked if he would start to smack his own children if the law was reversed.

“I occasionally do it now,” he replied.

He said the physical discipline of his own children was technically against the law if police saw it in the public interest to prosecute.

“And how would I know what they think?”

He said mostly his discipline consisted of “a flick of a finger on the back of a knuckle”.

“It hurts for a moment,” he said.

Police have said they “do not intend being drawn into a political debate on this issue in an election year.”

Craig  obviously thinks it’s a vote winner. It may win some support from  traditional (often Christian orientated ) parents, but I wonder if he is misjudging how popular it will be. He’s aware of some possible difference between people polled and parental practice.

Polling by Curia Market Research of 1000 respondents last year covered the issue of whether the law banning smacking should be changed to smacking being a reasonable form of correction, with 77 per cent agreeing, he said.

Mr Craig conceded that did not necessarily mean the same numbers of parents were ignoring the law and smacking their children.

Openly talking about ignoring current law is a risk. Members of Parliament need to be seen to be complying with the laws that Parliaments make – there is already a widespread negative perception of “do as we legislate, not as we do”.

Craig also runs a risk of the reinforcement of another perception of the Conservative Party being a (fairly fundamentally) Christian aligned party. Despite his attempts to play down any religious focus he can come across as a bit of a happy clapper.

If he is seen too much as a happy clapper smacker it may limit his appeal.


Leave a comment


  1. Brown

     /  13th January 2014

    You are starting to look a bit silly when it seems unlikely Craig will change anything. The census shows Christianity is in decline so its hardly an issue that will influence anything in 2014. The opinion polls show a vast majority of people did not want to ban smacking and as Christianity is in clearly in decline its seems that the word “often” in respect of parents who support Craig because they are Christian is simply wrong.

    The bashers would, I suspect, have little idea about anything so would hardly be Christian. We know beating a child to death is not what Craig does but lets just compare them on the basis they both involve a physical response to stimuli.

    If Christianity was the be all and end all for people and their political views we’d have no legalised hookers or gay marriage. We were not brave enough to test the public waters on those issues.

    I’m also sick of the Christian label when in reality its a mix of all sorts. Its conservative socially and that is where it ends. You have got your liberal legislation past the hurdle because the hurdle was commanded by parliament to lie down and not present an obstacle while the hand wringers jogged past. Democracy in action.

  2. There’s a rumour going around that Colin Craig has 12 children, but he’s beaten most of them to death to complete the prophecies foretold by liberal progressive soothsayers. No doubt he’ll probably need to adopt another dozen or so once the baseball bat comes back from the repair centre.


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