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Lord slammed as ‘ignorant’ after suggesting Wales’ smacking ban was to frighten children from going to England

26 Mar 2022 3 minutes Read
Charles Moore, former editor of the Daily Telegraph. Picture by Policy Exchange (CC BY 2.0).

A top academic has criticised a Lord and former Telegraph and Spectator editor after his “ignorant” comments about Wales’ new child smacking laws.

Charles Moore, Baron Moore of Etchingham, openly mused in his column whether the new law was a bid to discourage Wales’ children from venturing into England in case they were smacked.

Physically punishing children became illegal in Wales on Monday, leaving England as the only nation in Britain where it is legal to slap a child.

But writing in the Spectator, Charles Moore said: “Wales is the part of the United Kingdom I know least well, so I cannot speak with authority, but I do question the Welsh government decision to criminalise the principality’s parents if they smack their children.

“Does Mark Drakeford, the First Minister, have such a dark view of his compatriots that he thinks their homes must be policed in this way? Are there not laws already which punish actual cruelty to children?

“Or is he simply trying to frighten them from crossing the border, where his law does not apply?

“Devolved politicians love exterior bogeymen. I can imagine Welsh kiddies being warned not to catch the train at Knighton, say, or pass over the bridge from Chepstow to Sedbury, thus entering, in both cases, the smacking-friendly zone of England.”

Professor Laura McAllister who is co-chair of the Independent Commission on the Constitutional Future of Wales, said she found it odd why many political commentators in England felt the need to comment on Welsh matters they had no expertise in.

This – at least self-confessed – display of dismissive ignorance by Charles Moore in ⁦the Spectator⁩ underlines how weirdly obsessed the English are with other nations’ laws and borders, when it suits their arguments,” she said.

‘Protect children’

The smacking ban in Wales removed what the Welsh Government called “the archaic 160-year-old legal defence” and provides children with the same protection from assault as adults. The law applied to everybody in Wales, including visitors, from 21 March.

Under the Children (Abolition of Defence of Reasonable Punishment) (Wales) Act 2020 all types of physical punishment, such as smacking, hitting, slapping and shaking, are now illegal. It means that parents could now be charged with offences such as actual bodily harm.

The so-called ‘smacking ban’ has been opposed by Welsh Conservatives who have said that it will lead to a will lead to a “Stasi culture” and the UK Government has no plans for such a law change in England.

But Wales’ Deputy Minister for Social Services, Julie Morgan said it was a “historic moment for children and their rights in Wales as we make physically punishing children a thing of the past”.

“I have campaigned to make physical punishment illegal for more than 20 years. I am thrilled that from today children finally have the same protection from assault as adults,” she said.

“The law is now clear – easier for children, parents, professionals and the public to understand. Physical punishment is illegal in Wales and I can’t tell you how happy that makes me.

“We want to protect children and their rights and this law will add to the fantastic work we are doing to make sure all children in Wales have the best start in life and to live the lives they want to live.”


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Cathy Hill
Cathy Hill
1 month ago

I’ve got a lesbian daughter and a trans son, so my children are already frightened of going to England.

CJPh
CJPh
1 month ago
Reply to  Cathy Hill

What on Earth do you mean by that?

Llwynog Abertawe
Llwynog Abertawe
1 month ago
Reply to  CJPh

I think he’s implying that LGBT people are more likely to be discriminated against in England.
I don’t know about trans people, but I do recall seeing a ranking of regions in ‘England and Wales’ that referred to the whole of Wales being more friendly to gay people than South West England, North East England, London, etc
Seems weird to do Wales as a whole region though.

CJPh
CJPh
1 month ago

Imagine being afraid of England as an LGBT person, though! That’s either deluded or wilfully xenophobic – I know 2 individuals (one from sub-saharan Africa, one from Iran) who settled in London due to being persecuted in their homelands for their sexuality. The more ridiculous the charges we level against England, the less serious our movement seems.

CJPh
CJPh
1 month ago

Beyond the obvious idiocy of the sentiment espoused, we have, once again, the bizarre phenomenon of gleefully announced ignorance finding its way from a unionist brain to the public sphere. When did this become a thing – did Newton begin every address with “Well, I don’t know much of anything about literature but…” or did Churchill really start his most famous address with “Given that I have absolutely no knowledge of how a toilet works…” Your ignorance isn’t a point of pride, chaps. It’s the reason this Union exists and, mercifully, is crumbling.

Richard
Richard
1 month ago

‘ Walea is part of thr UK i know lesst well ‘ says it all ! Hope he researched more in his old job ?

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
1 month ago

Writing in the Spectator Charles Moore said: “Wales is the part of the United Kingdom I know least well, so I cannot speak with authority, …” So why does he feel he has to say anything then?

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
1 month ago

Did this buffoon question Scotland having this law in place before us or is it just another case of ‘Know your place Wales, you are part of England’? He admits to knowing little about Wales. It seems he doesn’t know that this law is in place in 60 odd other countries around the world. To quote Foggy from Last of the summer wine – ‘KEEP UP THAT MAN!’.

Richard 1
Richard 1
1 month ago
Reply to  Fi yn unig

Keep on not keeping up, Moore! You’re a walking argument in favour of independence.

Erisian
Erisian
1 month ago

Such a well informed bigot. Wales has not been a principality since the 16th Centuary.
I trust he will be disuaded from crossing the dyke out of fear of being ridiculed

CJPh
CJPh
1 month ago
Reply to  Erisian

Leave him alone! “Wales is the part of the United Kingdom I know least well, so I cannot speak with authority…” The poor chap is just a little twp, you see.

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago

English toffs enjoy a good smacking. They get introduced to it by nanny, then a few occasional thrashings at prep school and topping it off with some seriously deviant stuff long before the age of consent at some remote public school. The worst cases go on to Oxbridge and join dodgy groups like the Bullingdon. Thus violence against the person becomes normalised.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

60 years late if you ask me, my school staff room was populated with ex Japanese prisoners of war who thought beating up kids was part of their PTSD relief therapy…as for the opinions of Lord Moore they are worth less than nothing…

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Ah, but they thought they were doing you some good, character forming and all that. So many repressed people went into teaching back in those days, late 50’s to mid 60’s in my case, because it then gave them a kind of authority and power. Don’t blame the Japs, a lot of the guys never saw any war service, they just liked beating kids.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago
Reply to  hdavies15

I was being kind hd15, if I described their individual methods of inflicting pain they would be instantly recognisable to my contemporaries. Mr Drakeford how about reparations for the pain and suffering we endured not to mention the corruption involved, while you are at it ?

Kurt C
Kurt C
1 month ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

I suffered corporal punishment in Northern Ireland in the 80s, it was a power thing, many teachers got off on it clearly. This ban is long overdo.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
1 month ago

What a clown ! Why are these people paid to be columnists ! A six year old would find something more accurate to right about.

Last edited 1 month ago by Steve Duggan
Quornby
Quornby
1 month ago

What a plonker.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
1 month ago

The London based media are to blame for this type of ignorance. Wales is not so much banning smacking but giving children equal rights.
That’s the real problem with the English, they don’t actually understand their own language.

Kurt C
Kurt C
1 month ago

I find it’s the casual bigotry and lazy “sheep shagger” insults that puts us off crossing the border. The lacking decency just adds to the disinterest. Some places are harsh and snacking has nothing to do with that.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
1 month ago

I’ve never heard such a rediculous thing from such a cretinous fool as Charles Moore.. Oh, dear. Our smacking ban will frighten children from going to England lol. Such poppycock! This racist, and he is racist, once claimed in a 1992 Telegraph article how certain races succeed more than others. Who said of young black men how they were effectively hardwired to steal and were not as enterprising and as talented as the Jews. Basically it was ethnic profiling. A hateful bigoted old man! He sits on his fat behind in the House of Lords doing absolutely nothing while claiming… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Y Cymro
Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

The Wales of the future will be a better place without Lords, Knights and Baronesses…

Ieuan Evans
Ieuan Evans
1 month ago

Another clown of a Lord. God help us.

CapM
CapM
1 month ago

“Devolved politicians love exterior bogeymen. I can imagine Welsh kiddies being warned not to catch the train at Knighton, say, or pass over the bridge from Chepstow to Sedbury, thus entering, in both cases, the smacking-friendly zone of England.”

Or maybe what he really thought was –

Centralist politicians love exterior bogeymen. I can imagine English parents being warned not to catch the train to Knighton, say, or pass over the bridge from Sedbury to Chepstow, thus entering, in both cases, the smacking-unfriendly zone of Wales.

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