I'M sure John Finnie MSP and former Children's Commissioner Tam Baillie believe they are protecting children by pushing the Scottish Government into “ensuring a smacking ban becomes law” (“Parents to be banned from smacking their children in a UK first”, The Herald, October 19). However, I deeply resent the implication that my dear mother, rest her soul, assaulted me when she administered the loving discipline that I needed once or twice as a child. I'm not talking about hitting me about the napper, shaking me, or hitting me with an implement, acts which, quite rightly, are already deemed criminal assault. No, I remember as a five-year-old, being told not to sit on the armrest of a chair as it would break. It wasn't just childish ignorance when I did do so, but I insolently looked her in the eye and deliberately defied her. She knew that in my case I would only learn respect by a gentle skelp on the bum, which she administered in another room so as not to humiliate me.

Real assault has long been deemed criminal behaviour, and the Government should try to make sure the law is enforced, not tell loving parents how to discipline their children. There is the real danger that social workers and others may miss real cases of abuse due to a mountain of trivia landing on their desks.

As a parent I understand that good parenting skills are difficult, but definitely possible and we don't need government interference. Other people, of course have a different view and they are entitled to it. We are very proud of our daughter and son-in-law who are displaying excellent parenting skills without needing to resort to smacking, which of course is not for everyone.

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William Campbell,

59 Woodhead Avenue, Kirkintilloch.

I WELCOME the proposed ban on smacking children in Scotland It is neccessary to protect a minority of children whose parents, having "lost it" with good parental control, resort to assaulting theirchildren.

I have seen some very worrying situations in the streets where children are chastised and smacked in public. It begs the question of how they are treated at home behind closed doors.

Dennis Forbes Grattan,

3 Mugiemoss Road, Bucksburn, Aberdeen.

WHEN Nicola Sturgeon asked Holyrood recently for consensus what she really meant was that most Scottish National Party policies would henceforth be promulgated by the Green Party. Recent pronouncements by the SNP all pander to keeping the Greens happy in order to persuade them to continue to shore up the minority SNP government.

The smacking ban is just the latest in a long line of surrender to the most minor of the Holyrood parties following on from the fracking ban, the Air Departure Tax and rises in income tax.

Less than 50 per cent of Scots voted SNP in 2016, a tiny minority voted Green, and between them they still do not have a majority of public support. Ten years has taken its toll of the SNP. We are now governed by a party totally out of touch with the voting public and their policies reflect this, not least the ongoing quest for Scottish independence.

Dr Gerald Edwards,

Broom Road, Glasgow.