This week's Community Column is written by Helensburgh resident and Conservative West of Scotland MSP Maurice Corry.

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In the past week or so in Parliament, we have been debating legislation on banning parents from smacking their children.

Like most people, I am not supportive of hitting children, which I’m sure is the same as the majority of us. However, there is a real difference between hitting a child and a more gentle bump on the bum if they have been seriously naughty or put themselves in danger.

For generations the human race has survived on passing down knowledge, but we all know children push the limits, and sometimes, mild discipline is needed.

It is the same throughout the animal kingdom; anyone who has watched an Attenborough documentary will have observed wild animals giving their young gentle nudges when they are falling out of line.

READ MORE: Opinion: Whatever the question, Farage isn't the answer

As people and parents, we should all recognise the difference between abuse, which is already illegal, and acceptable discipline. Parents should have the ability to raise their children appropriately without fear of prosecution.

Yes, children need safeguarded and protected from abuse, but perhaps this is one stage too far. Are we going to have children as witnesses in court against their parents?

How can this possibly be policed, and what costs will be implicated? Surely the money and resources could be better spent on families already needing help?

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The European Parliament election result last week is not a mandate for another referendum on Scottish independence. It was the lowest number of votes the SNP has received at a recent election, and just over a third of the votes cast in that election.

The SNP can’t even manage the devolved powers they currently have, and hand back other ones that they know they can’t manage. If they can’t manage them know, how possibly could they manage in an independent Scotland?

READ MORE: EU vote 'historic and spectacular', says SNP's Brendan O'Hara

Derek MacKay has admitted Scotland is going to have a budget shortfall of £1bn over the next three years, which he naturally blames on Brexit. Strange, then, that the other three countries in the UK aren’t experiencing the same problem.