Letters: SNP ban on smacking criminalises loving parents

How reassuring that at a time of strained police budgets and various other grave issues, the Scottish political elite feel the need to criminalise skelped airses.

Is smacking of children 'reasonable chastisement' or criminal assault? (Picture: John Devlin)

I have to say it came as a shock to learn that generations of people I had hitherto thought to be loving, kind and decent parents, who raised happy, orderly and ­mannered ­children, were nothing more than common criminals ­waiting for the law to finally catch up with them.

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Perhaps, in the spirit of the age, we could have a public apology from Nicola Sturgeon to all those people who had their airses skelped by their parents while a callous and cruel state stood by in silent complicity.

I’m sure Mr Henderson at number 6, and Mrs Johnstone at number 22, both of whom had their airses skelped, would finally manage to find closure after so many years of ­suffering: suffering they were tragically unaware of.

Oh, the injustice. Oh, the shame. Oh, thank God for Holyrood and its mystifying but clearly well informed ­political priorities.

Leaving aside the disturbing implications of this ­innovative state intrusion into the highly subjective world of raising children (and why complete strangers know better how to raise a child than its parents is unclear), there seems to be a fairly obvious practical ­problem.

Given that corporal punishment, unlike actual abuse, causes no detectable physical, psychological or emotional harm, and has no detectable negative behavioural ­consequences, how exactly does the state plan to identify these “criminal” parents?

Michael Calwell