Common assault, er... the loving smacking of little people too small to hit back, is in the news again. The Deputy Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, Ms Boer-Buquicchio says that, "Prohibiting all corporal punishment is a legal imperative and I hope the United Kingdom will take that essential step urgently". Cue outbreak of media/taproom big-gobbery (‘No foreigner can tell us...A good hiding never did me any harm... Common sense... PC Brigade...', etc, etc). But spare a thought for these people. Since the Children Act 2004 lowered the limit of parental violence to common assault, its defenders have had to extol the irreplaceable benefits of a mere tap. It was so much more defensible when it was the cuts and bruises of actual bodily harm. And in any event - without it, how can one possibly grow up to enjoy S'n'M in adult life?
According to a Servants Quarters' tabloid at Sketch Mansions, yet more of these professional round-ball proles have been reverting to type. Team mates' former girlfriends indeed. Disgusting. In my day we would never have looked at a gel who wasn't hitched to a fellow member of the First XV. And all that writhing about after a harmless tackle -don't they have any bogus blood capsules?
Professor Chris Barton is a retired Family Law Teacher, Vice-President of the Family Mediators Association and a regular contributor to Family Law. Click here to follow Chris Barton on Twitter
The views expressed by contributing authors are not necessarily those of Family Law or Jordan Publishing and should not be considered as legal advice.