John Finnie’s own daughter and cabal of anti-smacking MSPs will ‘scrutinise’ his Bill

If you’ve ever wondered what democracy in action looks like, this isn’t it.

John Finnie’s Bill to criminalise parents who smack their children has been assigned to a committee that is already stacked in its favour.

Five out of seven members of Holyrood’s Equality and Human Rights Committee co-signed Finnie’s Member’s Bill.

If that’s not enough to make you scream ‘bias!’ the convener of the committee is none other than his daughter, Ruth Maguire MSP.

Given the circumstances, it’s hard to see how this particular committee will provide a fair and balanced assessment of the Bill.

The move is also a slap in the face to the public, which has already been denied a fair hearing under Finnie’s sham consultation.

Held in the summer holidays, the consultation only received 660 responses.

When you consider that 600,000 families in Scotland have dependent children, this was hardly sufficient representation.

Over the next few months we hope that many people will come forward to warn the MSPs that a smacking ban will hurt families rather than help them.

Removing the reasonable chastisement defence will leave loving parents at risk of criminalisation simply for administering a tap on the hand.

It will tie up police and social workers with a plethora of trivial cases.

Worst of all, it will do nothing to help children who are genuinely at-risk.

The committee will shortly issue a call for evidence. We’ll let Be Reasonable supporters know so they can respond.

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