Harking back to yesterday's suggestion by Larry Baldock that Clark was facing a caucus revolt, here's where Harry Duynhoven was at;
Transport Safety Minister Harry Duynhoven last night revealed how close he came to crossing the floor over the Bradford bill.
Mr Duynhoven is one of Labour's more conservative MPs, and was frequently challenged by National MPs to vote with opponents of the bill.
"On this issue I have been more torn than any other issue we have debated in this House," he said.
"I have seriously considered whether I fitted still, whether my views and the basis of my value system were appropriate for the party I am in."
Personally I don't think he was on his own. But now we will never know.
With the amendment we will have the police defining what is acceptable. If they don't want to make that call they can refer the case to CYF. What is CYF's directive? As always they will be using their discretion based on evidence and testimony. So what happens before a case reaches court is pretty much the same.
Thereafter, the accused will have no defence of reasonable force and the court will have to decide what is and isn't 'inconsequential'. Things have just become a lot murkier. What was bad legislation has been turned into worse legislation and so it will be passed.
There will be more reports because the population, thanks to this extraordinary debate, is charged up about the moral rights and wrongs of smacking.
And given the result, it's a debate that has been a waste of time. Except for the CIR petition that asks govt to do something meaningful about child abuse.
General Debate 21 May 2013
27 minutes ago