OPINION: Inspired by the latest trend in boutique political parties, I am thinking about starting one of my own.
I am currently short of one of the apparent prerequisites - which is being investigated for some kind of criminal offence - but Conservative Party leader Colin Craig has shown a way round that.
Last week, Kim Dotcom who is being investigated for international piracy launched the "Internet Party", neatly overshadowing independent MP Brendan Horan's announcement he is launching the "Independent Coalition Party" now that he's been cleared of nicking his mum's cash.
Not yet facing any charges but not wanting to be outdone, leader of the Conservative Party, Colin Craig, managed to throw some of the media spotlight back on himself by announcing on radio that he, too, is a wild and crazy outlaw. Craig has picked a piece of legislation he thinks is silly - Section 59 of the Crimes Act - and cheerfully tells us he wilfully ignores it by smacking his daughter.
As laws to break go, it's not one of the cool ones. For fashionable cache, public figures usually opt for admissions involving sniffing and/or inhaling rather than whacking your kids.
Many of us are still exhausted from the intense debate between 2005 and 2007 which ultimately removed the legal defence of "reasonable force" for parents prosecuted for assault on their children.
We can recall the pro-smacking arguments which were based in large part on the idea that you should be able to give a swift smack to a child in circumstances when their cognitive ability rendered verbal reasoning an unviable option, or when you as the person responsible for their wellbeing needed to assert your authority.
I'm pretty sure that's a fair summation. And if we're really going to go revisit the debate, I'm happy to help by cutting to the chase and with the launch of my own "Logical Conclusion Party".
It occurred to me then, and still holds true for me now, that if we're going to physically discipline our children because we are a) in charge and b) can't reason with them, then the logical conclusion is that there are some other people we should also be able to legally assault.
Drunk people, obviously. Anyone who has tried talking an issue through with someone who is on the wrong side of six jelly shots and eight pints of lager will appreciate that a quick slap would be more efficacious. The same might arguably apply to the elderly and infirm and mentally disabled.
The Logical Conclusions Party would be happy to provide policy support to other elements of conservative thinking. Craig has stated previously when arguing against free school lunches that when kids turn up at school hungry we shouldn't feed them, but rather prosecute their parents for failing to provide. The LCP can extend that thinking to healthcare. When people get sick, rather than treat them we should find out who they caught the disease from and have them arrested.
- © Fairfax NZ News