I was on the local BBC this morning, having been invited to discuss the merits or otherwise of corporal punishment. There were three of us in the studio – one was a retired teacher (Opposed to it) , a Human Rights Lawyer (Opposed to it) and yours truly (In favour of it). I thought the discussion had balance and I was afforded the time to make my points, criticising the EU and UN to a presenter who had worked for the EU as it happens!

But earlier on this morning, I caught a debate on the BBC Radio 4 “Sunday” programme. There was an item on the war in Afghanistan and there were two guests discussing it. One opposed UK involvement in the war from the very beginning whilst the other opposed our involvement it following “the hideous mistakes” of Bush and Blair. There was a consensus that a criminal-prosecution based policy against Al Queda and the Taliban would have worked best. (The sort that led to /11) Unbelievable – poison dripping even in the religious hour.

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130 Responses to SUNDAY SUNDAY

  1. Jack Bauer says:

    I supposed the bleedin’ hearts are opposed to it, because everything in the country has turned out so much for the better since the decline of corporal punishment.


  2. David Vance says:


    You betcha. I was informed things have never been better.


  3. Jack Bauer says:

    DV — I guess that’s Nu-Labor’s next Alice in Wonderland election slogan…


    But only if you’re…

    – Wanted in several countries for Islamo-terrorist offences

    – Sentenced to 10 years for murder – out early on good behaviour (i.e. didn’t stab a “screw”)

    – A wannabe drug dealer.

    – A race baiter.

    – On welfare

    – Running the UK from Brussels

    I could go on, but time’s a passin’

    Just like all that has been passed through the Socialist Crapitalor, in our once proud sovereign nation, passes the BBC by.


  4. Anon says:

    So both guests on the earlier programme were opposed to the Iraq war.

    BBC bias again I suppose.


  5. David Vance says:


    One side of the debate covered – bias


  6. whitewineliberal says:

    You supported the state sanctioned beating of children by persons other than the parents? Or was this corporal punishment of adults?


  7. Sproggett says:

    Glad to hear the debate was a satisfactory one, David. I am sorry I didn’t hear it.

    I can’t say that I am happy with the idea of any adult hitting my children – even I wouldn’t lay a finger on them.

    Everyone is different, though.


  8. Allan@Oslo says:

    I’m not happy with the idea of my children being subject to corporal punishment – unless they had behaved so badly as to deserve it. That is the point, Sprogget.


  9. eh? says:

    whats beating your children got to do with the afghan war?


  10. Lurkingblackhat says:

    You supported the state sanctioned beating of children by persons other than the parents?

    As a parent I support the people in “loco parentis” having the right to use corporal punishment if necessary.

    I was a school boy of the 60’s and 70’s , who when to state schools that some might call “old fashioned” (we called them “good”). They were in what people still all “disadvantaged” (a.k.a. bloody rough) towns.

    Corporal punishment in all the schools I attended was used as a last resort. It worked. Didn’t stop wrong doing completely but the consequences of your actions were real, known in advance and meaningful.

    Talking to my father who went to schools in a rough town in the 1930’s concurs.

    Whatever else it was is was it was not “state sanctioned beating of children .”

    How old are you?

    Every had the cane or plimsole at school?

    Ever been to a school that used corporal punishment?

    P.S. sorry for feeding the troll


  11. whitewineliberal says:

    i was at school when corporal punishment existed 70s, 80s. Don’t have a view on whether or not it was successful. I was never beaten by a teacher. My father was first beaten by the head at his school when he was four years old. I consider the issue an anachronism and wouldn’t want to see a return And what’s all this glib “troll” stuff? I don’t comment on this site to rub people up; merely to offer (usually) an opposing view.


  12. eh? says:

    You supported the state sanctioned beating of children by persons other than the parents?

    He quoted proverbs, spare the rod and spoil the child. Clearly he supports parental beating of children, as well as state sanctioned beating of children. Claiming it was wrong to call the cane violence, and said this was the application of discipline.

    He was asked where does it move from punishment into abuse and was unable to answer. A male teacher disciplining a 15 year old woman is acceptable to david vance. He even argued down the professionals, a HR lawyer and a former teacher.

    The survey was more reasonable than what david vance was saying. It’s about ‘respect’….

    You can’t teach children respect if you use violence to get your message accross.

    They wiped the floor with him…..:-)


  13. Martin says:

    whitewineliberal: I thought you limp wristed liberals were into beating each other for pleasure?


  14. eh? says:

    martin are right wingers into beating children…it follows from your logic.


  15. eh? says:

    I thought the discussion had balance and I was afforded the time to make my points

    So is the bbc biased or not?


  16. David Vance says:


    Gosh but you are stupid.

    I related two different stories, one with no bias one with bias. Is that concept to tough to follow?

    As for my own debate, I take my morality from the Bible, not the Human Rights Act. I note the others were unable to define where their “moral consensus” came from. In a time when students stab teachers, video “happy slapping” and then distribute it around the web, encourage distressed fellow youths to jump to their deaths, who can but agree with my liberal co-panellists in their assertion that things have never been better?

    The problem with trying to argue with some liberals is that their own intellectual incoherence means they cannot consider another viewpoint in a sensible manner. Bourbons.


  17. Newmark says:

    Caning was still common when I was at school.

    At junior school I was caned several times (on the palm of the hand).

    At grammar school I managed to avoid being caned. The punishment hierarchy was: lines, detention, caning.

    I have never objected to corporal punishment in principle (providing it is not inflicted on the head or ears). However, I don’t think that it is effective in improving discipline. I wasn’t aware of anyone ever behaving any better because of fear of the cane. If anything, it was a bit like ASBOs, where having been caned was almost a badge of honour.

    The degree to which discipline was maintained in the classroom depended almost entirely on the strength of personality of the teacher. One of our masters was a decorated war hero and I suppose we were somewhat in awe of him. We behaved impeccably during his lessons but were very quick to exploit weaknesses in some of the other teachers. Strangely, discipline was also very good with some of the more easy-going masters, where we warmed to their personality.

    Nothing to do with the threat of a caning.


  18. Martin says:

    eh?: Hmm. It’s the liberal left that are obsessed with beating and children.


  19. eh? says:

    They were not asserting that things had never been better, but that society was better than before. Are you suggesting that contemporary society with its HR’s safe guards for women and children against the oppression of men is not a step in the right direction? Should we go back to Victorian times and have children up chimneys? Of course its better today. You are confusing steps forward to rid children from violence with all things liberal and throwing your proverbial right wing baby out with the bath water.
    Also the hyperbole that you used to demonstrate your points was pointed out….theres nothing wrong with overstating your case in certain circumstances, but thousands of stabbings?????

    As for ‘moral consensus’ and where it comes from, do you really need the bible to tell you its wrong to beat children. OK then how about suffer little children…need i quote more?


  20. eh? says:

    Gosh but you are stupid.

    I related two different stories, one with no bias one with bias. Is that concept to tough to follow?

    NO. But why would you highlight a story with no bias on the bbc on a site dedicated to exposing its bias?? For what purpose? To demonstrate that the bbc isn’t all bad? Isn’t that backtracking from your stand here in that the bbc is a complete waste of tax payers money because it is so thoroughly corrupted with bias?


  21. Little Black Sambo says:

    If you don’t agree that life is better since the virtual end of corporal punishment (“hitting” as NSPCC would call it) that doesn’t mean you want to go back to Victorian times. The 1940s andn 50s now looks like a golden age for children to have been brought up in. Perhaps we should try to restore some of the standards of that period.


  22. eh? says:

    little black sambo, every generation looks back with rose coloured spectacles. I for one do not assert that in all things society is better today than it was yesterday. But who can deny that there have been improvements and that we have moved forward.

    I also agree that never before have ppl been so well off, yet so unhappy. But will caning a 15yr old woman by a male teacher make things better, if so can you tell me how.


  23. DB says:

    Today’s newspaper reviewers on R4’s Broadcasting House – George Cox, one of New Labour’s favourite quangocrats, Labour peer Lord Mackenzie, and actress Susan Penhaligon who said on air that she’d always voted Labour.


  24. DB says:

    And on R5’s Gabby Logan show – Kevin Maguire.


  25. Jack Bauer says:

    Today’s newspaper reviewers on R4’s Broadcasting House – George Cox, one of New Labour’s favourite quangocrats, Labour peer Lord Mackenzie, and actress Susan Penhaligon who said on air that she’d always voted Labour.
    DB | 05.10.08 – 4:43 pm | #

    I fail to see any bias here. What’s the problem?


  26. David Vance says:


    Gosh but you still don’t get it. I write as I see things and yes I am quite capable of saying when the BBC gets things balanced. That does not detract from the substantive point it is biased.

    As for the suggestion made by one of the liberals that the Bibles teachings were made for another time – securalism uber alles.

    I stand by every word I said, though of course unlike liberal gibberish, my comments are fact based. Each year thousands of kids are stabbed. Don’t you READ the news?


  27. haddock says:

    can we have some uniformity here please…. if you are a parent and have succesfully brought up kids…. use the words ‘smack’ or ‘slap’. If a lefty, quango member or NSPCC use the word ‘beat’


  28. Jason says:

    eh? | 05.10.08 – 4:29 pm | #
    “Of course its better today.”

    In what way? Kids may be safe from those “big oppressive adult meanies” but are they safe from each other? Kids are out of control because the prevalent philosophy in our education system and spewed by the media is that it’s “immoral to have morals” (in fact the only morals that aren’t deemed “oppressive” are the morals which say: thou must be politically correct, embrace diversity, accept everyone’s lifestyle no matter what, and worship at the altar of environmentalism.)

    The result? Feral kids who rampage through the streets and stab each other. What about the rights of innocent kids not to be at the mercy of such marauding gangs? The left only ever thinks about the rights of the less-than-innocent: in punishing them, are we respecting their rights? Yet they never think about the rights of the innocent people who are the victims of a society in which savage behavior is not adequately punished.

    What aspects of society would you say are “better today”? Decades of the influence of the progressive left in our institutions of learning have resulted in generations of kids who can barely read or write, who are ignorant of the most basic general knowledge and who have non-existent skills of reasoning. They are ill-equipped to survive in an objective world in which reasoning skills are essential. In failing to teach them such basic survival skills, are they not thus being “abused” even more than they were before?


  29. David Preiser (USA) says:

    This seems to be part of a pattern of reports and commentary following on from that report from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.

    The BBC just did that whole “relative poverty equals actual poverty” from End Child Poverty, and Mark Easton was wringing his hands about that UN Committee report on his own blog.

    It’s about much more than rapping knuckles or tanning backsides. This is about eliminating ASBOs, and practically decriminalizing children (defined ever older, it seems) altogether. Just read “There’s No Crime” Easton’s post to see just how dopey this is getting.

    Britain does find itself with an ignominious reputation for locking children up – around 3,000 behind bars today – a higher proportion than almost any other country in Europe.

    The age of criminal responsibility, set at just 8 years in Scotland and 10 years for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, is among the lowest in the world. When we do incarcerate children, we find it impossible to prevent self-harm on a truly alarming scale.

    Aww. The poor widdle dears. I bet Easton doesn’t want you to know about this:

    Boy feeds Aussie zoo’s animals to croc

    A 7-year-old boy broke into a popular Outback zoo, fed a string of animals to the resident crocodile and bashed several lizards to death with a rock, the zoo’s director said Friday.

    He’s apparently a nasty piece of work at such a tender age. In Australia, children under 10 can’t be charged with a crime. He’ll probably get the Paddington Bear treatment for this. Don’t worry, Easton, the little blot on the landscape won’t be driven to self-harm. He’ll just end up harming others instead.

    Beating this kid won’t help, of course, and this doesn’t mean I advocate teachers hitting students (I went to schools which allowed teachers and principals to use various blunt instruments – never anything like “If” proportions. It didn’t stop any of the aggressive kids from being acting out but did make a few good kids tie their stomachs in knots if they ever got into a little trouble).

    But this kid should be locked up, and put under serious supervision and medical treatment. That won’t happen because of these “hug a hoodie” ideals. The topic David Vance discussed on air is only one front in this war on personal responsibility.

    Combine that with the “relative poverty” sleight of hand, and it’s a nice big social engineering package. Yet the BBC doesn’t address the big picture. Instead they do a segment on each tree, no forest to be seen. Either they don’t see it, in which case they’re not doing their jobs properly, or they do and wallow in the feel-good details and still don’t do their jobs properly.


  30. David Vance says:

    David P /Jason,

    Thanks for putting that in the bigger picture, I hope the slower of thinking get it, eh?


  31. Fred Kite says:

    It seems that Newsnight has got Greg Palast to ramp up a story about the “stolen election” of 2008 from Michigan to the Washington DC. Something about minorities being done out of votes.
    Only it has been held over for some legal reason, according to Palast himself.
    The legal reason being that it is not true.
    More here:


  32. archduke says:

    palin on the offensive – linking ayers to obama.

    “palling around with terrorists”.

    you go girl! damn right too!


  33. archduke says:

    david p is bang on the money – there’s a bigger context here.

    anyone read the booklet given out to schools about the “UN rights of child”?

    basically the message is – parents have no rights over there kids. what we have instead is classic Marxism – using kids to usurp authority , from the ground up – including a full on assault on the very nature of the family.

    the bunkum about “child poverty” in britain fits into that mould – in that it is not up to the parents to better their child’s lot – NO SIR.. thats the STATE coming in and talking responsibility away from parents.


  34. archduke says:

    sidenote : anyone else notice how the Tranzis and Leftists get all hung up about the “rights of the child” and “child poverty”…

    and yet, they all fully support abortion.

    which says to me that they arent interested really in kids. they just use it to further their political agenda.


  35. eh? says:

    What aspects of society would you say are “better today”?


    Running away with the notion that all kids are feral youth does not win an argument. When they said society has never been better, can any of you tell me when people have ever been so well off, so well educated, etc etc. That is what they meant. Like I said before, people have never been so well off yet so unhappy. Maybe we do have illiteracy level that are horrendous but that is much better than only a few elite being educated. The cane won’t change anything, where is the evidence that violence works?

    All children are not feral youth, the good kids never get a mention.

    I hope the slower of thinking get it, eh?

    Why don’t you help me out? Tell me the answer to the question you did not answer on the show. Where do you draw the line between discipline and abuse???


  36. eh? says:

    basically the message is – parents have no rights over there kids.

    So pass it on to teachers? The debate on the show did bring out parental responsibility. All are agreed parents need to do more, but institutional beatings are not the answer to feral youth.


  37. John Bosworth says:

    The BBC website headline reads: Palin turns on ‘folksy’ charm.

    Folksy is within our old friends: quotation marks.

    Ironic, isn’t it? The BBC has for the last 15 years taken pride in recruiting on-air presenters with regional accents until traditional received (BBC) English has been drowned in an angry sea of dropped syllables and glottle-stops – but it has it never described the new generation of Beeboids anchors as “folksy”.

    Surely Sarah Palin’s accent is, using BBC-speak, “reflecting the cultural diversity” of the USA


  38. eh? says:


    Gosh but you still don’t get it. I write as I see things and yes I am quite capable of saying when the BBC gets things balanced. That does not detract from the substantive point it is biased.

    You know actually it does… are stating that its not biased in all cases and that is a significant move away from your stated position many times here.


  39. Anonymous says:

    In the crime and drug ridden estate where I unfortunately have to live, the youth, who the likes of whitewineliberal love so much, are completely out of control.

    One sod and his cronies get their kicks out of ambushing pensioners, abusing and spitting on them. The best we can hope for is that enough decent people find the courage to speak up so he gets an ASBO. My personal opinion is that this should be accumpanied by a few strokes of the birch, to set an example to the other scroats.

    This would seriously reduce the problems in this area and wouldn’t cost a lot either. Crime and anti-social behaviour increase when there is no fear of real punishment.


  40. Martin says:

    Anon: whitewinetwat wouldn’t know what a Council estate is. He/she/it only knows the inside of an upmarket Islimngton wine bar or the public toilets on Hampstead Heath.


  41. GCooper says:

    I’m still trying to control the occasional outburst of laughter at the suggestion that people are better educated today.

    Anyone who could even think that is so far out of touch with reality that they require treatment.


  42. Jon says:

    GCooper | 05.10.08 – 8:16 pm

    Actually an experiment was carried out recently – and the brightest children today struggled to do the GCE exams of the 50s and 60s.

    The trouble with the “lefties” on here is that they do not understand the difference between violence and discipline. If we follow their reasoning putting someone in prison is kidnapping. No doubt defending yourself against asault is GBH.

    The debate which David was on was not in fact balanced – why 2 who disagree with corporal punishment against one who aggrees with it? If the public were really reperesented it would have been the other way round. The likes of whitewineliberal have had thier go at running the country and it didn’t work.


  43. Jon says:

    archduke – you are quite right – is abortion murder? Well to a lefty if there is no difference between abuse and corporal punishment then logically they could not disagree with this argument.


  44. cameron says:

    I totally disagree with you Jon and david – hitting children IS violence – how would you feel if someone twice your size hit you – you would not be happy would you?

    The old adage about CP being good was always perverted. Punishment to children should not include hitting them for fucks sake – ive never hit my 4 kids- and they never deserved hitting either.

    This debate is total bullshit isnt it? Why are we even debating hitting children?


  45. Jon says:

    cameron | 05.10.08 – 9:03 pm |

    Well thats your opinion and I respect you for it – but that is what debate is about isn’t it? Because someone disagrees with your point of view is no reason for not having it – What do you say to people who do not agree with you on other issues. Debate is had to persude others to your view.

    “–ive never hit my 4 kids- and they never deserved hitting either.” – glad to hear it.
    I have had the cane at school – only once though.

    If corporal punishment led to violence then every one over 40 should be a violent person, but they are not.


  46. archduke says:

    “cameron | 05.10.08 – 9:03 pm”

    i had three slaps of the cane from the headmaster why i was aged seven. on my hand.

    and you know was more humiliating about it – it wasnt the actual punishment, it was the walk from my class to the headmasters office. THAT was humiliating.

    and guess what? i never misbehaved in school ever , EVER again.

    i ended up getting straight A’s and getting a university degree.

    and for that – i have to thank my headmaster, his cane, and for setting me on the right track.

    god knows where i would be now if i had P.C. bollocks in my primary school… probably stacking shelves on tesco or on the dole.


  47. archduke says:

    This debate is total bullshit isnt it? Why are we even debating hitting children?
    cameron | 05.10.08 – 9:03 pm |

    typical leftist crap – just because you disagree, shut the debate down.


  48. archduke says:

    archduke | 05.10.08 – 9:24 pm

    may i hasten to add – whats even more amazing about it is that i can recall in 100 per cent colour the entire memory of it.

    and here am i recalling it over 30 years later.

    corporal punishment isnt a license to hit kids – it only needs to be done the once. and by god does it make you change your ways. espcially at a young age.

    only happened to me once – but that was enough. i avoided “troublemakers” in my class after that. they were no longer the cool kids.

    the kids that studied were the ones to be friends with.

    ( i wont even go into the shame of my parents, when the headmaster brought them to the school to explain his actions and why he had to resort to it.. and my dad basically agreeing and saying – dont do that ever again.. yeah – i got the message… )

    look folks – when you grow up in society you need boundaries – and when you cross them, there are penalties. thats what “civilisation” is all about.

    obviously the Left dont believe in that – because they want to overthrow our free society and replace it with a Marxist totalitarian one.


  49. Sue says:

    Melanie P once wrote in favour of corporal punishment. I completely disagree. She said:
    “The catastrophic breakdown of parenting, emotional chaos and absence of love and care in their disorderly homes increasingly results in aggression as their instinctive response to the slightest setback.”

    This statement is so true, but in my view it applies to the parents more than the children.
    How can anyone believe that people who have already demonstrated that they are ‘problem’ parents will be improved by being encouraged to use smacking as a method of curing the bad behaviour of their children?
    The only thing anyone has ever learnt from corporal punishment is that violence is an acceptable method of enforcing your will. It is not even logical.

    I watched a mother physically chastising her small son for hitting another child. With each blow, she was uttering the immortal words “You. Must. Not. Hit. Other. People.”
    I‘t wasn’t much of a mystery to me who he learned his ‘naughty’ behaviour from.
    The real crime in our society is that people aren’t all that interested in their children. The things they value lie elsewhere.

    We can love and cherish our children without spoiling them, or caving in to their every demand. Children respond to love, interest, and attention. They crave parental approval, and depriving them of that causes far more problems than ‘sparing the rod.’

    God forbid that we should ever go back to the days of corporal punishment in schools.

    How can anyone logically advocate a method of chastisement that in principle is no different from what we despise about the Religion of Peace. Beating, stoning, repression, control, and subjugation.

    Physical chastisement is as illogical as wife-beating or any other bullying activity.
    It deters by fear, and it its lesson is brutality.

    At best smacking is a quick fix for parental inadequacy.
    It may be a short term deterrent, but its long term lesson is merely that violence rules O.K. It is an abuse of power.

    When do you smack. At what age? When do you stop? How hard do you smack? What are the rules? Should adults do it? Husbands? What badness deserves it?

    Encouraging inadequate parents to smack their children will not cure society’s failings one iota.
    Children’s natural need for attention requires understanding and appreciation, and attention-seeking behaviour by children deprived of it is often considered ‘naughty.’

    Even ‘nanny naughty step’ understands that.

    Our society has created a generation of moronic adults. We worship trash, reward idleness and selfishness and substitute hope and aspiration for inebriation, celebrityhood and material possessions.

    Change that first. Don’t advocate smacking.

    I have brought up my children without smacks. One day, tired and at a loss, I slapped one of them who who was being particularly provocative. It upset us both – and I was the one who learned a lesson. That I was pathetic.

    Smacking may be a quick fix but comes with a long term negative outcome. Irresponsible parents will not be cured by being given permission to smack.

    Adult hooligans and vandals should be removed from society and given something to bloody well do. For goodness sake.


  50. archduke says:

    and one more thing – i am probably in a unique situation compared to most B-BBCers…

    i have relatives in both england and ireland. both sides are irish. and one side went through the english liberal education system, and the other went through the irish catholic system.

    i could write a book on it. no prizes for guessing who has done better in the world, corporal punishment included.

    whenever something about education or rearing kids comes up over here in the UK, i reference that family experience.