Letter: A smack in time...

Sir: As long as society condones the emotional and intellectual illiteracy of people like Chris Rhodes (letter, 29 September), Paul Boateng and other adults who advocate the right of parents to strike their children, we'll have monsters like the Ezzos, and I thank Philip Hodson for bringing their nasty ways to a wider audience ("Smack addicts", 25 September).

Mr Rhodes attacks Philip Hodson for using extreme language and examples to distort the issue, yet he does exactly the same in reverse. According to Mr Rhodes' book on childcare, Rule 1 is: Always say "smack"; it sounds a lot less threatening and painful than "hit". Rule 2: Always use the phrase "loving and supportive parents"; this distances adults from child- abusing bogeymen and makes them sound like nice, ordinary people. Is it okay for a "loving and supportive" husband to smack his wife? Hmmm, lucky old Mrs Rhodes.

All in all, I can't help but notice how child-hurting apologists sound remarkably similar to Private Eye's well-known cab driver who says, "String 'em up; it's the only language they understand." I wonder if by any chance they are related?


Bracknell, Berkshire