David Lammy: Labour was wrong to ban smacking
Setting aside the political reality that no British citizen has been sovereign in his or her own home since UK accession to the European Economic Community in 1973, His Grace is at a loss to know what Mr Lammy is talking about.
The Mail story appears not to be fabricated, for it quotes the Tottenham MP at some length. And you'd expect a former education minister to know what he's talking about. Yet he calls for 'a reversal of Labour’s 2004 decision to tighten up the smacking law':
Previously parents could use ‘reasonable chastisement’, while the new definition prohibits any force that causes ‘reddening of the skin’. Mr Lammy poured scorn on that description, saying it was irrelevant to black children.And it transpires that Mr Lammy was interviewed by Iain Dale on LBC Radio, 'after he had made a call on the Mumsnet website for smacking to be legalised'. Further, Mr Lammy 'set out his support for scrapping the smacking ban in his book Out Of The Ashes: After The Riots'.
He said: ‘Many of my constituents came up to me after the riots and blamed the Labour Government, saying, “You guys stopped us being able to smack our children.”
‘When this was first raised with me I was pretty disparaging. But I started to listen. These parents are scared to smack their children and paranoid that social workers will get involved and take their children away.
‘The law used to allow “reasonable chastisement”, but current legislation stops actions that lead to a reddening of the skin – which for a lot of my non-white residents isn’t really an issue.’
There is no such ban, Mr Lammy.
This being the case, it is rather difficult to attribute last year's riots to the prohibition of smacking. It is also a moot point to suggest that 'reddening of the skin' is 'irrelevant to black children'. This being the case, black parents would be more likely to ignore the non-existent ban and carry on smacking regardless.
Does anyone know what David Lammy is twittering on about?