I went to a British boarding school in the 1960s and, although I was never on the receiving end of corporal punishment, many of my friends were. Canings were commonplace, as they were in many schools of the period. Nor was I ever spanked at home. My parents were kindly souls and did not believe in such harsh Victorian methods. But I did have one first-hand experience of corporal punishment, which still makes me smile all these years later. The reason that I was sent to a boarding school was that my father was a diplomat with a succession of