Lau­rels for smack­ing ban cam­paign­ers

Sunday Herald - - EDITORIAL & LETTERS -

THIS news­pa­per whole­heart­edly ap­plauds and praises the Green MSP John Fin­nie whose hard work has made a ban on smack­ing chil­dren an in­evitabil­ity in Scot­land. We also ap­plaud the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment for back­ing him and the chil­dren’s groups which helped shape pub­lic opin­ion on this is­sue. Scot­land is be­com­ing an in­creas­ingly pro­gres­sive coun­try, of­ten lead­ing the world when it comes to lib­eral val­ues. Fin­nie’s bill is among the most pro­gres­sive pieces of leg­is­la­tion ever laid be­fore our par­lia­ment.

We stand not only as a bea­con of de­cency to the rest of the UK but to all those other na­tions which still be­lieve beat­ing a child is ac­cept­able.

This leg­is­la­tion makes it very clear that the weak­est in our so­ci­ety will be pro­tected. It states cat­e­gor­i­cally that vi­o­lence is never a so­lu­tion. This is a water­shed mo­ment: an en­tire gen­er­a­tion of chil­dren will be raised without the threat of vi­o­lence. They will ap­proach the world and its prob­lems with a mind­set that looks to fix prob­lems without knee-jerk force. Th­ese chil­dren will shape the so­ci­ety they in­herit hav­ing learned that not only is vi­o­lence never an an­swer, but it is, in truth, an ad­mis­sion of mo­ral fail­ure.

Fi­nally, the ar­gu­ments of right-wing tabloids and so-called fam­ily-val­ues cam­paign­ers that par­ents should be al­lowed to beat their chil­dren are frankly dis­gust­ing. Any­one who be­lieves that beat­ing a child is in any way jus­ti­fi­able or ac­cept­able should seek help for their men­tal health. If em­pa­thy is a sign of men­tal well­be­ing, then th­ese peo­ple are very sick in­deed.

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