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1 May 2014: A Matter of Judgement - A Memory Man Production

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Jack


Admin
A Matter of Judgement
A Memory Man Production

It is 1940's Britain; you are magistrate and a respected pillar of your community. You are strict with your almost 11yo son Kevin whom you spank whenever he is naughty or his behaviour falls short of that expected from the son of a man of your stature. So far it has always been your hand to his bare bottom.

Kevin - 11
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Today the local bobby has brought Kevin home to you after catching him red handed in an act of wanton vandalism, the magnitude of which; had he been some kid arraigned before you in the Juvenile Court, even as a first offender, would have caused you little hesitation before awarding him four, perhaps even six, strokes of the birch.

Fortunately the constable has brought Kevin to you instead of the station after apprehending him. No other kids were involved but there were one or two passers by who saw the incident.

What will you do?


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John Boy


Sherrif
Sounds like he needs to meet mr. strap or the birch for this.

http://www.malespank.net/listAuthor.php?author=John+Boy

Stone Man


Marshall
We'll likely talk, but unless there is substantial mitigating evidence (that you would have accepted from a non-related boy before you) Kevin is in for six strokes of the birch.

Padraig


Trailboss
What kind of "wanton vandalism" a 11 y.o. could really do in 1940?

StevieWeeks


Trailboss
Kevin was probably a German Spy sabotaging the war effort... trying to betray the ARP and the Home Guard to the Nazis using his secret radio transmitter...

Listening to Lord Haw-Haw instead of to Mr. Churchill....

Kat


Editor Extraordinaire
Like Padraig, I want to know exactly what he did, and then hear his reasons for why he did it. I don't really like things dealt with unofficially, and I don't like being forced into a position where I must sit in judgement on my son in a legal matter. I don't know if it's possible, but I would like to recuse myself as magistrate and support my son as he faces whatever punishment another, impartial magistrate assigns.

Kat

MemoryMan


Sherrif
Padraig wrote:What kind of "wanton vandalism" a 11 y.o. could really do in 1940?


He was caught trespassing in the local allotments wantonly trampling and uprooting hundreds of plants.

For the benefit of our transatlantic cousins the wartime government had instigated a "Dig for Victory" campaign.  Householders were exhorted to turn their flowerbeds into vegetable plots and to dig up their lawns.  Park flower beds would be more likely to be growing turnips than tulips and local authorities acquired tracts of cultivatable land to divide into allotments for gardeners to cultivate at peppercorn rents.

Some, at the time, would have regarded his "crime" as tantamount to espionage.

http://www.malespank.net/listAuthor.php?author=MemoryMan

ivor


Marshall
On the basis that Kevin admits it and I am confident that the policeman wasn't lying, then I'll deal with the situation myself. It would do neither my, or Kevin's, reputation much good were he to be brought to court.

Having dealt with similar cases I know what punishment would be awarded but I don't have a birch and getting hold of one would cause awkward questions to be asked. Kevin is going to get a sound leathering with my belt and can consider himself lucky.

http://www.malespank.net/listAuthor.php?author=Ivor+slipper

StevieWeeks


Trailboss
Err...

There's not much to discuss here...

It's during wartime.
The penalty for espionage during time of war is quite clear.

Kevin needs to be executed by firing squad "pour encourager les autres" and all...

Stevie.

David M. Katz


Marshall
I want to agree with Kat butI just can't bring myself to turn my boy over to another magistrate so I will handle it as suggested by ivor.


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squarecutter


Sherrif
i think he needs a caning. Such implements are cheap , in plentiful supply in the period depicted, and not all out of the norm in this era for parents or school masters to use on a boy of 11 who has misbehaved in so serious a manner. Some may even possess one already.It is a punishment the severity of which  Kevin would definitely understand. He may even have received it at school. A traditional six of the best in the study is called for along with a lecture and a reminder of how lucky he  was not to have to explain himself to a fellow magisrate and then be birched at the police station and locked up for a day

Eldo


Cowboy
Of course I don't switch him! Not for this type of thing. Maybe that's something they do in the barbaric lands over in the Americas, but we certainly don't do such a thing here in the English lands.

I'll use a leather strap instead.

1strappedboy


Sherrif
MemoryMan wrote:
Padraig wrote:What kind of "wanton vandalism" a 11 y.o. could really do in 1940?


He was caught trespassing in the local allotments wantonly trampling and uprooting hundreds of plants.

For the benefit of our transatlantic cousins the wartime government had instigated a "Dig for Victory" campaign.  Householders were exhorted to turn their flowerbeds into vegetable plots and to dig up their lawns.  Park flower beds would be more likely to be growing turnips than tulips and local authorities acquired tracts of cultivatable land to divide into allotments for gardeners to cultivate at peppercorn rents.

Some, at the time, would have regarded his "crime" as tantamount to espionage.

My grandparents told me about these and I thought they were pulling my chain until I was a bit older and researched this independently.  I could see that easily as an act of wanton vandalism of the caliber of an unthinking 11 year old.

Now that I'm faced with this, I must decide if I turn him over to those responsible for wielding the strap/birch on other offenders or dealing with this myself.  Modern softy me says I take a strap to him myself and nowhere near as hard as would be or an "official" castigation and let this be a done deal between us.

1940 Magesterial (and English) me says I can't be seen as "shirking" my duties/responsibilities therefore I send him through the system and allow whatever comes forth as a "just lesson".  It seems to me that my grandparents (who hail from this era in Jolly Ol' England) wouldn't be too concerned about how I'd feel about my parents being strict (or cruel for that matter).  The father/son relationship wasn't then built on the current kind of 'touchy-feely' love.

MemoryMan


Sherrif
This is a real "rock and a hard place" one.  What Would I do and what Should I do.  I don't have an answer even though I wrote the scenario, and I also note a few regular responders haven't put finger to keyboard either.

As a magistrate I've righteously sentenced a number of children and youths to the birch, comfortable in the knowledge that I don't have to do it, or even witness it, myself.  I could safely leave it to the p....d off coppers who have to deal with their unruly and criminal behaviour on a daily basis to administer my sentence with gusto.

As a father, although I'm quite strict I'm not some flinty hearted old Victorian.  I've never dispensed justice to Kevin other than with my hand.  Part of me says I should tell the policeman to go ahead and charge him and allow a fellow magistrate to pass sentence - but it will almost certainly be a birching and I shudder at the thought of a burly policeman slashing a judicial birch rod with all his strength into Kevin's bared rump.

Then there's the publicity.  It wont be the usual half inch at the bottom of a column in the local paper; I can just see the headline - MAGISTRATE'S SON SENTENCED TO THE BIRCH - followed by a lurid account of the incident.

No no; I'm going have to bite the bullet and deal with it myself.  As Square commented punishment canes were readily available at the time. (in RL our local newsagent stocked them) I'm going to have to acquire one, bare his bottom and administer double the birch dose I would have awarded such a miscreant in court.

My first angry stroke will most likely almost cut him in two - but I can't see myself maintaining such vigour throughout the thrashing.

http://www.malespank.net/listAuthor.php?author=MemoryMan

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