Family first?

After my little chat with Wallace Chapman today on Radio Live, on his talkback show this afternoon, I received the following email from Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ, via one of his adherents. (For audio of the interview, see below at the bottom of the post).

Anyway, I thought you might like to read it…

“Unfortunately people like Wallace Chapman and those who say the science is settled on smacking are too scared and academically dishonest to have an open debate on this issue. Their argument simply doesn’t hold under the weight of examination. So they run for cover and try to persuade themselves they’re right.

We had the same problem during the anti-smacking law debate.

Fortunately common sense prevails and 80{1b812f7ed7a77644fff58caf46676f6948311bf403a3d395b7a7f87010507f87} of NZ’ers can see through the facade and academic trash and continue to oppose the law. That’s why the supporters of the law are dead scared of referendums and block debate.

I wouldn’t bother wasting time listening to the programme. I’m sure nobody else was either 🙂

Bob McCoskrie
National Director – Family First NZ”


Leave a Comment

  • stwart January 16, 2014, 8:58 pm

    Bob Mc Coskie is an idiot and that is why his party will not be in parliament next year –He is missing the point in mt opinion

  • James Hunter January 16, 2014, 11:46 pm

    That is bizarre.
    Unfortunately the ones “running for cover” or “dead scared” are more likely to be the kids who don’t know when or how their parents are going to hurt them in the name of ‘correction’ or good parenting. The idea that big people hitting big people is bad, but big people hitting small people is okay (most likely because they are small and can’t fight back or change the situation) is so last century. So inadequate. We can do better.

  • Philip McConkey January 21, 2014, 4:11 pm

    People like Bob McCoskrie start from a set of beliefs about people and society(often based on their literal interpretation of the Bible), which are then used to ‘guide’ all manner of interpersonal and social practices. Research findings about reality are simply irrelevant, because their beliefs are the ground on which everything else stands.

  • Chuck Bird January 22, 2014, 4:23 pm

    Kyle do you want me to published your email to me on another blog? I consider your posting of Bob’s email on to me on your blog aggressive and unprofessional. It is an invasion of my privacy.

    • Kyle MacDonald January 22, 2014, 4:34 pm

      Hi Chuck,
      I’m very happy for you to publish whatever you like of my communications with you. I’m sorry you feel that publishing an email, disseminated via “CC” widely amongst a number of other people, including “Blind” CC’ing Bob McCoskrie without my knowledge, feels like an invasion of your privacy.
      I feel it was important for people to know the tone and type of responses people get from your organization if they publicly report evidence, that you or other members of Family First disagree with.
      I respect your right to your views, but I’m not interested in being bullied, insulted or attacked by you for reporting science.

      • Kyle MacDonald January 22, 2014, 5:42 pm

        In fact Chuck, let me save you the trouble, here’s the full email conversation, including my reply:

        From: Kyle MacDonald
        Subject: Re: Alternate view on smacking by Steve Taylor
        Date: 17 January 2014 4:14:49 pm NZDT
        To: Chuck Bird
        Cc: Wallace Chapman, Jeremy Parkinson, Steve Taylor

        Hi Chuck,

        Thanks for the invitation to debate your viewpoint on the Radio.

        I’m not interested in accepting this invitation at this time. It would be up to Wallace and Radio Live if they wished to interview Steve or any other representatives of your organisation about the matters you raise.

        Given the tenor of your emails, and your colleague Bob McCoskrie’s yesterday, I would appreciate it if you didn’t contact me again.

        Kind regards,

        Kyle MacDonald BA; MHSc(Hons.) MNZAP
        Registered Psychotherapist
        P: 09 973 5950
        M: 021 708 689



        On 17/01/2014, at 2:59 pm, Chuck Bird wrote:

        Hi Wallace

        I have contacted Steve Taylor, Director of 24-7 Ltd, a Family Counselling agency established for 12 years. He would be happy to debate the opinions masquerading as facts by Kyle McDonald, President of the NZ Association of Psychotherapists.

        I have emailed Kyle and got no response. This is very similar to the global warming alarmists who make things up but refuse to debate unless they have the total advantage of a friendly host who will cut off callers.

        I find it ironic that you expect me to accept the views on how to raise children by a self-professed expert but you also think you know more about raising children than I do yet you have no experience.

        I hope this email gets to you. You are the most polite left wing talk show host on air. Most cut callers off and then proceed to bad mouth them.

        I would be happy to make the trip up to Auckland to make things even – two for and two opposed. However, I am sure Steve could manage on his own.

        Kind regards
        Chuck Bird

  • Chuck Bird January 22, 2014, 6:02 pm

    Kyle, I notice your postings attacking Bob and Craig and you theories you claim as fact only have supportive comments. Are you prepared to debate your theories without censoring comments?

    • Kyle MacDonald January 22, 2014, 6:09 pm

      Hi Chuck,
      Any and all comments on this post have been posted uncensored. The posts you refer to are from members of the public not me. I am not prepared to enter into any debate with your organization, as I have previously stated. I would feel uncomfortable being responsible for giving the ideas and beliefs you espouse any further airtime.

      These are not “my theories,” but globally supported, replicated studies by highly reputable scientific and academic organizations. Your insistent and aggressive communications continue to border on harassment, and as I have requested before I would kindly ask you to desist from ongoing communication on this matter. My answer is, and remains, no.

      • Chuck Bird January 22, 2014, 7:23 pm

        Hi Kyle,

        I am pleased you are not going censor my comments on your blog. You do not have to respond. I will leave it to those members of the public. I would like to make it clear I am not a member of any organisation as you imply. I am a supporter of Family First but speak for myself. I do not agree with all Family First’s policies or Bob McCoskrie’s views.

        With respect I disagree with what you think is the scientific approach. You do not have to respond I will leave it to others if the choose. I do not believe scientific issues are decided by vote. This applies to the global warming scam, fluoride in water, PSA testing for prostate cancer or social issues. A couple of decades ago certain psychologist come up with repressed memory theory which relates to parents mainly fathers sexually abuse their children. This flakey “scinece”wreck many good families.

        I see you have pointed to someone in NZ whose study supports the view that moderate smacking is harmful. I can point to Prof David Ferguson or Dr Jane Milllichamp. My only degree is one of common sense and that say when qualified experts disagree the science is not settled.

  • Robert Mann January 23, 2014, 11:00 am

    The evidence since the NZ Herald originally printed this, to my surprise, 16 y ago has not required revision.

    Robert Mann
    expanded from NZ Herald 5-11-97

    The media on June 2 gave extensive, uncritical coverage to yet another bout of advocacy that a new criminal offence be created – smacking your own child in your own home – by repeal of s.59 of the Crimes Act.
    The excuse for this largely one-sided publicity was a claim by a Professor Anne Smith of Otago that she was going – in a week or two – to publish some account of research in many countries, said to show that smacking children causes long-term harm. The Commissioner for Children, Ms Cindy Kiro, appeared to have provided funding for Prof. Smith, and weighed in with the particular opinion that there is no threshold for this harm – any smacking will damage the child, later.
    This is only the latest of several attempts to ban spanking.
    In order to appraise this advocacy, we rely on beliefs about nothing less important than human nature. One young neighbour of mine, a doting first-time parent, gushed to me “a child comes into the world perfect, and our duty is not to interfere with its blossoming”. Stan Freberg spoofed this attitude in his song ‘That’s My Boy’ – remember the cooing line “look at him load that gun!” ? Whatever else you may think of Freud, I hope you will prefer his more realistic slogan: “the arrival of a baby in a household constitutes a barbarian invasion”. A little child is purely selfish and therefore needs to be taught societal rules of behaviour.
    If you see your toddler across the room about to electrocute or scald itself, too far away for you to restrain the child physically, do you or do you not want the child to obey your command at a distance? If that child is to act safely (contrary to its own ignorant inquisitive impulse at the time), it will have to freeze or take evasive action in direct, blind, trusting obedience to your order. A clear example of such a life-saving relationship is recounted by Catherine Caughey in her autobiography ‘World Wanderer’. Her sister when 3 was ordered at a distance to freeze, so that a deadly snake glided on past the child rather than attacking as movement would probably have provoked.
    I contend that adults owe children such previous conditioning as will cause obedience in such emergencies.
    What background must have been established between you and the child in order for that obedience to be forthcoming when required? In general, the previous history of the child will have included many probings of limits, which were of course met in the first instance by verbal prohibitions. Indeed, the selfish (if not barbarian!) will of the child is asserted long before it can understand or utter language; this early period is a window of opportunity for parents to link their verbal tone with physical penalties.
    As the child escalated defiance on previous occasions, after one or two stages of to-&-fro a stage arrived when the parent (or guardian) either used physical force on the child to assert due authority or allowed the child’s will to prevail. If the child has always been allowed the last word or action, then the child will likely assume the emergency sketched above to be just another opportunity for assertiveness, just another verbal joust in which s/he can expect to “win”. Unless a few previous experiences have convinced the child that an extreme ‘emergency command’ tone must be obeyed, the child will likely go ahead and maim or kill itself. Mere previous verbal exchanges will not have ensured the needed obedience.
    The parent will thus have failed the child by failing to insist that the basis of running the world is the superior knowledge & wisdom which adults do, by & large, accumulate.
    The criterion of the child’s personal safety, which I have relied upon in the above example, is of course not the whole story; other criteria also apply. A child’s desires cannot be allowed to prevail always over the legitimate needs & desires of adults. I contend that adults owe children guidance on the limits of behaviour which constitute civilisation. Today over-indulged wilful children are hampering education by sabotaging schoolroom work just for ‘fun’, and the teachers no longer have available to them the recourse of corporal punishment to curb serious persistent antisocial behaviour. This is bad for the offenders, sooner or later, as well as everyone else involved.
    Worse, Jane Ritchie has for many years been advocating the creation of a new crime: corporal punishment on your own child in your own home. Since starting this campaign, she has stated on national radio that she does not envisage any actual prosecutions if this crime were to get inserted on the statute book. She thus reveals a confused, if sincere, attitude to the law. It is no proper function of Parliament to pass laws which are not intended to be enforced.
    Obviously, excessive force – let alone habitual brutality without any pretence at justice, as forced upon the child Kipling – must be deterred and punished where possible. But a reasonably considered smack is not at all like those excesses. It is the minimal pain which will prevent later, much worse, violence – some of it on innocent third parties such as those maimed in road crashes by selfish young drivers.
    I emphasize the concept of minimising violence, as opposed to the stupid doomed trend to attempt abolition of violence. It does seem to me that the best we can hope for is to optimise violence. Actually, smacking as I define it is not violence at all – not being intended or likely to injure.
    To assist choices between types of punishment, let us augment the proverb “sticks & stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” with the wisdom of the (originally Samoan) proverb “the thrust of the spear may be parried but the hurtful word cuts to the bone”.
    Unfortunately these choices are being steadily restricted, even warped, by the gender war. By & large, a woman cannot prevail against a man in a physical fight, especially if in domestic circumstances and without weapons. The political ideology WimminsLib (misleadingly called ‘feminism’) has therefore pretended that justice will be served by exaggerating men’s domestic violence (e.g. the biased ‘Hitting Home’ propaganda from the Ministry of Justice) and by purporting that verbal punishments can serve as the final enforcement mechanism for domestic order, instead of the sting of a few smacks.
    Those who claim that smacking is immoral routinely allege that alternative punishments exist. They usually fail to specify any; but one sometimes mentioned is euphemistically termed “time out” – more honestly called solitary confinement. The cruel mental effects of this unusual punishment are rarely discussed.
    On the traditional approach, the typical child’s upbringing will require a few well-chosen careful smacks which will cause no injury. These must be such that the child will understand (insofar as it is able) the justice involved, and will be treated throughout with evident stern love. Many of my friends agree that this type of upbringing served them very well; and they thank, rather than resent, their parents & teachers for it.
    The Swedish blunder of prohibiting corporal punishment even in the home must not be copied here. And I urge that suitable arrangements be restored for teachers to use this method of discipline.

    For those who have come this far with my argument, the question arises: what are the WimminsLib ideologues hoping to achieve by their campaign to ban smacking? This intriguing puzzle invites some speculation.
    Firstly, if interpersonal conflict gets confined to verbal methods, physical impact having been banned, women will tend to gain power because women tend to more unrestrained brutality in vocal conflict. Second, if men are not allowed ever to hit women, it will become prohibited for a husband to sober up his wife by a sharp smack when she is going hysterically irrational. This particular action is, in my opinion, very important for social stability – nothing less than a main basis for social order. I have seen a wife pleading for such action when she was going out of control.

    Those who join the fray against the campaign to ban smacking should keep in mind that we are up against radical dishonesty in some of its main promotors. Dirty tricks are frequent e.g. defining smacking in the same single category as physical abuse; misusing the term ‘violence’; withholding the Smith/Kiro ‘report’ while using its claimed conclusions for political purposes; etc etc. We are up against radical dishonesty bent on misleading. It will be best if we treat it as such, not as if it were an honest, merely misconceived campaign.

    • Kyle MacDonald January 23, 2014, 11:21 am

      Hi Robert,
      Thanks for sharing your opinion and views, you are of course entitled to them. However they are not supported by the current global body of empirical evidence, which has progressed over the last sixteen years.

    • Chuck Bird January 23, 2014, 1:57 pm

      Good comment Robert. Kyle and I have a different approach to research. Whether moderate smacking is extremely harmful to children should not be decided by a poll of qualified researchers in that field. Experts can and have been wrong. I wonder if Kyle remember Dr Benjamin Spock as I do. He was recognized as the expert on child rearing. Below is a quote from his bio.

      “Yet while he recognized the serious shortcomings of the rigid child-rearing methods of the past, and while he may have provided parents with some solid, common sense advice, the weight of evidence suggests that ultimately Spock’s ideas have not helped to produce more secure and well-adjusted children and adults.”

      I object to my grandchildren being part of a social experiment be it with this legislation that may fortunately change or the sex education that they are given in school.

      Experts are not always right. The police are meant to be experts in when and how to react to breaches of the law. There is very strong evidence that the police did not their job in the case of two children recently murdered. The police have ducked for cover when asked if they notified the Court of the serious threats they were told of. The surviving parent will have to live with the result of an “experts” mistake.

      The same applied to socially scientists who lobby the legislators. They do not have live with the results the parents do

      • Kyle MacDonald January 23, 2014, 2:25 pm

        Hi Chuck,
        Thanks for continuing to sharing your opinion and views, you are of course entitled to them. However they are not supported by the current global body of empirical evidence, which has also progressed quite a long way since the days of Dr. Spock.

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