Smacking not the answer

Jane James

David Lammy, Labour MP for Tottenham, has called for the ‘smacking ban’ to be repealed. He claims his constituents back this, blaming lack of parental control as a factor in last summer’s riots – a view also held by Tory London mayor Boris Johnson.

The Socialist Party opposes smacking or harming children in any way and believes that children have rights too. Many parents who hit their children do so when they’re stressed, angry or have lost control. Parenting does not come naturally and many parents would welcome advice and classes in how best to bring up their children.

Caring for children can be difficult, so activities bringing parents, children and qualified staff together can help. The Sure Start projects, now cut, did that very well!

When Socialist Party members were campaigning in Tottenham after the riots some parents did say that more discipline was needed for young people. But people acknowledged the need for more help and support for families

Cuts, especially the closure of all Tottenham’s youth clubs, played a significant role in the riots. Young people now had nowhere to go which was frustrating for them. So if David Lammy wants to do something positive for his constituents he should join the protest outside Haringey’s civic centre on 20 February against huge cuts that will wipe out even more essential services.