The shrieking classes are in a state of high agitation this morning after ACT”s David Garrett floated the idea of voluntary sterilisation for abusive parents.
Offer the buggers a few thousand bucks in return for getting themselves sterilised, he suggests.
He says this may be one way of preventing the birth of children who might otherwise be injured or killed through domestic violence.
Mr Garrett says one option would be to offer $5000 if the parent agreed to be sterilised.
Alf is surprised that the fiscal implications do not seem to have been considered.
The way Alf remembers it, ACT – at their weekend conference – was railing against government spending and want it capped.
Maybe Garrett wasn’t listening, or perhaps he recognises that some things must be regarded as good government spending.
Not this idea, sunshine.
Handing over $5000 to abusive parents to give some semblance of their sterilisation being voluntary would be bad government spending.
Or rather, it would be needless spending, because a much better idea is to simply sterilise abusive parents. Full stop. End story.
Alf still has some gadgetry in his shed that once was used for lopping the nuts off lambs. He is happy to donate this to the Corrections Department – or whatever department becomes involved – for preventing abusive parents from breeding.
But let’s hear more from Garrett.
He argues that some parents who abuse their children continue to have more, and that shouldn’t be allowed.
“That must be costing a huge amount of money and if we can incentivise people who, quite plainly, shouldn’t be having children to stop having them then … that’s something we should at least have a discussion about.”
David Garrett says this is not ACT Party policy, but his own personal view.
Ah, so what does ACT think?
Surprise, surprise. The politicians who so eagerly championed “three strikes and you’re out” have gone weak, wobbly and nervous on this one.
The party is distancing itself from Mr Garrett’s comments. ACT leader Rodney Hide says the MP is entitled to his views but does not represent the wider party on this issue.
Much louder objections are being shrieked by the do-gooders and hand-wringers.
Tau Huirama from Jigsaw, a national organisation that focuses on prevention and early intervention in child abuse, says the proposal is reminiscent of eugenics policies in Nazi Germany.
Alf doesn’t remember the Nazis giving $5000 a pop to those they sterilised.
On the other hand, they had the trains running on time, which is something we could do with here.
As for the Labour Party, it says this is a ridiculous idea, and the money would be better spent on educating parents.
Trouble is, parents usually have been educated already. At least, they have been through the school system and come out the other end with their abusive propensities intact.
If the buggers want to bash kids, Alf doubts they can be taught to desist.
They don’t have to be taught how to fornicate, of course, and inevitably they are going to do exactly that with much the same gusto (or greater) as they beat the progeny that is the consequence.
But Garrett is not alone and does have some support out there in the broad community.
Alf enjoyed this observation of one person who commented to Radio NZ on its reporting of the Garrett story:
The state offers financial incentives for people to have kids. So what’s wrong with a financial incentive for them not to have kids?