IN season two of Peaky Blinders the vicious Major Chester Campbell attempts to control our hero Tommy Shelby by locking up and beating his family. He explains to Tommy in his thick Belfast accent that sometimes, “To make sure your dog obeys you, you have to show it the stick once in a while”.

Watching this, I’m fairly sure that the members of the enlightened elite who have just made smacking your child a criminal offence will see themselves in the role of Tommy, battling the backward brutal traditionalists who use violence to get their way. But as parents are about to find out, the reality is that today’s elite represents a modern version of Chester Campbell, using the stick of law and order to force us to accept their ways.

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The modern elite appears more caring than the old lot, often using children and “victims” to carry their message for them. But if anything they are more authoritarian than the like of Major Campbell.

The brutality of the smacking act, passed last Thursday, will mean that a light smack on the hand or bottom of a child will be a criminal offence. Hard smacking is already illegal but to the middle-class anti-smacking zealots, that was not enough. Children, they argue, need “equal protection from assault”.

The very language they use is alien to the millions of parents who occasionally smack, rather than “assault”, their children. Parents know that smacking a child is a form of discipline done out of love and concern rather than something that is abusive and criminal.

The zealots talk about children and adults as if they are the same, needing “equal protection” under the law. But ordinary people, indeed society knows that children are not the same as adults. We cannot ground adults, confiscate their phones or send them to their room. If we did we would be breaking the law.

It is debatable whether smacking is the best form of discipline for children. But rather than debate or discuss this with the public, as politicians could and should if they so wish, they treat parents like dogs that need to be shown the stick. They pass a law and threaten us with the brute force of the state and the police.

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No longer treated like citizens, as adults who have an opinion and a basic level of autonomy to raise our children, we have a “culture change” imposed from on high, we are made “aware” by the new authoritarians holding the stick above us.

The smacking act is a disgrace. It is a form of brutality that undermines parents, weakens the meaning of freedom in Scotland and will go on to destroy many loving families who dare to think and act differently to the modern elitists in Holyrood.