Ian Hassall bullied by anti-anti-smacking protesters
Ex-children’s commissioner Dr Ian Hassall claims he was bullied and insulted by protesters outside the Auckland Marine Rescue Centre last Tuesday. Mereana Ruri, from the Office of the Children’s Commissioner was speaking to a forum held to prepare for the debate on Green MP Sue Bradford’s private members bill to repeal section 59 of the Crimes Act (which allows parents to use reasonable force to discipline their children), when a “racket” interrupted her presentation.
Union of Fathers members on the sea wall held signs such as “drink and pregnant legal, smacking illegal” and “no smacking = UN job for Helen”, and used a loud hailer to make their objections known.
The NZ Herald reported: Fathers shout for attention:
But the nuisance factor finally wore down Dr Ian Hassall, the first children’s commissioner, who ran out of patience and went outside threatening to call the police. He returned to tell the forum he had asked the protesters to “cease and desist” which they did, shortly after.
Dr Hassall later told the Herald the men had made “various insulting and rude remarks” to him.
“Essentially they are bullies. They want to bully their children and want to bully us, and probably got kicked out of home because they bullied their wives.”
Fortunately, the entire event was captured on video by cameraman Murray Bacon, so you can watch Dr Hassall undergoing his distressing experience: Download antianti-smacking video [1.24MB .wmv]. I trust suitable post traumatic stress counselling will be made available.
Later in the Herald report, Sue Bradford said that she was pleased to see the back of MP John Tamihere because he “supported violence against children”.
The systematic use of personal attacks on people with opposing points of view is a common occurrence when an ideological program is being foisted on a community which does not share the embedded values. It’s effective – when people are made to perceive there is a danger in deviating from the politically correct line, most of them can be expected to bury their heads in the sand.
The casualness with which Hassall, Bradford et al are prepared to throw around serious accusations should raise serious concerns about their motives in removing the current protection for parents afforded by section 59.