Have they read it?

July 1st, 2010 at 5:49 am by David Farrar

A mixture of priests, rowers, former Governor-Generals and the like assembled yesterday to demand that the Government adopt every single recommendation made by the Law Commission on .

I wonder how many of the group of 14 have actually read the report and recommendations? There’s 512 pages to read and around 100 recommendations. If you are going to lend your name to such a report, I hope you have had the decency to read the whole thing – not just the executive summary.

Did media ask any of the “celebrities” if they had read the full report? Did they ask them if they can cite the major recommendations?

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141 Responses to “Have they read it?”

  1. Psycho Milt (2,423 comments) says:

    This is another Doug Sellman job – yesterday’s announcement mentioned him as involved in putting the group together.

    Labour really should look at hiring Sellman to handle their PR. The guy gets the exact same tired old temperance movement bollocks into the media on what feels like a weekly basis, so he’s obviously got some serious PR skills – unlike Goff’s team.

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  2. Danyl Mclauchlan (941 comments) says:

    A mixture of priests, rowers, former Governor-Generals and the like . . .

    From the linked article:

    Sir Mason Durie, public health researcher: “I’m not against alcohol – what I’m against is a society that allows people to drink to excess and cause damage to themselves and others.”

    Dame Temuranga Batley-Jackson, Parole Board member and Maori advocate: “[I support this] simply because I have spent the last 20 years on the Parole Board. The most violent people and the most violent offences all had a background of alcohol.”

    Papaali’i Dr Semisi Ma’ia’i, former Auckland GP and health advocate.

    Sir John Scott, emeritus professor of medicine at Auckland University.

    I would be surprised to learn none of those people understood what they were advocating.

    [DPF: Sure they did, but they would not have generated headlines. It was the rowers, priests and ex GGs that did]

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  3. Brian Smaller (3,965 comments) says:

    I almost fell off my chair when that doddery old coot said “You can get three bottles of cheap wine for $20 at the supermarket. This has to be stopped”. Yes, we can’t have the great unwashed enjoying a glass of wine brought cheaply, can we. Those peasants just don’t know how to appreciate fine things.

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  4. flipper (4,327 comments) says:

    The usual suspects. Reminds me of Excel’s “Citizens for Rowling” and other similar “we know best” groups.
    Why should the labours of a couple of jumped up law lecturers carry abnormal weight? And, as for “Invoice” Jackson …. Dumb.

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  5. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,703 comments) says:

    Aaaaaaaah Lloyd Geering, the only Christian who has written more books for profit than the number of people he has brought to God.

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  6. ross (1,414 comments) says:

    > Sir Mason Durie, public health researcher: “I’m not against alcohol – what I’m against is a society that allows people to drink to excess and cause damage to themselves and others.”

    Durie seems to ignore the fact that a minority have a problem with alcohol…and a minority have a problem with driving on the correct side of the road. Education and training might produce better results rather than waving a big stick. Bringing in new laws to try to prevent a perceived problem seems to be the way to go nowadays. And when it fails to bring about the desired outcome, what then?

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  7. ross (1,414 comments) says:

    > “[I support this] simply because I have spent the last 20 years on the Parole Board. The most violent people and the most violent offences all had a background of alcohol.”

    I think you’ll find all violent offenders have a background of milk. They all drank milk when they were kids. Therefore milk is the problem and should be banned immediately. :) The scary thing is, this person is on the parole board!

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  8. Pete George (23,793 comments) says:

    I think it’s good that prominent people are prepared to speak out about it. Alcohol overuse is a huge problem here. It is also hugely difficult finding acceptable and reasonable ways to deal with the problem.

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  9. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    I hear cervical cancer kills only 60 people a year.

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  10. Manolo (14,161 comments) says:

    A motley array of wowsers, failed politicians, myth peddlers, and naive do-gooders.
    To all of them: Stop telling me how to live my life.

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  11. Brian Smaller (3,965 comments) says:

    Maonolo – well said. These do-gooders seem to forget that they were ever young. Shit, when I was a kid growing up at the Mount, we never heard of alcohol. I don’t think I ever saw a drunk person or went to a boozy party. And we never EVER brought booze from the DB Mount when we were 16.

    Pete George – make abuse of alcohol that affects other people have harsh consequences.

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  12. exaybachay (19 comments) says:

    “If you are going to lend your name to such a report, I hope you have had the decency to read the whole thing – not just the executive summary…”

    Whoa whoaa! Now hold on there, Tex… stop telling ME how to run MY life. IF I wanna not read the fine print then base my opinions on heresay, I’ll not read them. This is NZ, not some commie Caribean Island!

    “A motley array of wowsers, failed politicians, myth peddlers, and naive do-gooders…”

    Couldn’t agree more! Why, once we get together our lobby group of drunks, wife-bashers, academics and hard men, we’ll crush their ROTTEN SKULLS!

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  13. NOt1tocommentoften (433 comments) says:

    DPF – that is rather rich given your super quick response to most of what was said in the report. Infact, you were commenting based on leaked aspects of the report days before it was released.

    Should you not have waited until you had read the full report before you spoke out about some of the recommendations too then?

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  14. Pete George (23,793 comments) says:

    make abuse of alcohol that affects other people have harsh consequences.

    That’s one thing that may help – a bit.

    It’s going to take a lot more than that and a few well known names collectively speaking out to turn our drink abuse culture around. It should be a change driven be ordinary people.

    Most of us have “been there, done that”.
    Many of us will have tried to teach our kids about it (too often not by example though) and then crossed our fingers as they grew through their teen years.
    Most of us will have made jokes and laughed about getting pissed as newts, and about having rotten hangovers.

    If enough of some of us try to get a reasonable balance, show how to drink with common sense, and make it clear that self abuse and abuse of others using alcohol is bloody stupid, if enough of us do this enough then we might make some slow progress.

    It’s not up to the government (unless we want to give them our responsibilities), it’s up to us.

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  15. Falafulu Fisi (2,141 comments) says:

    This sounds similar to the US Congress last year passing laws that none of them read the proposals (~ thousands of pages).

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  16. American Gardener (553 comments) says:

    ross – alcohol does lead people to act in ways they wouldn’t while sober. It does cause violence and family breakdown. It aggravates pre-existing mental health issues. A responsible government does need to look at what can be done to minimize the risks and harm.

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  17. davidp (3,585 comments) says:

    I don’t understand why wowserism is even on the government’s agenda. I presume the Law Commission writes about whatever it feels like writing. But why are they driving the government on this? Why doesn’t Key just say “thanks, but we’re working on higher priorities at the moment” and make it clear that no action will be taken. This risks becoming National’s shower heads issue… it has been going on for months now, it is illiberal, and someone needs to close the issue down.

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  18. Pete George (23,793 comments) says:

    Alcohol overuse and abuse is on quite a different level to shower heads. I don’t see any risk to me of someone else choosing an inefficient shower head. My kids have never thought of buying too many shower heads.

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  19. exaybachay (19 comments) says:

    Georgina Earl (formerly Evers-Swindell), former Olympic rowing champion.

    Caroline Meyer (formerly Evers-Swindell), former Olympic rowing champion.

    So this is how they break the news to me. After all we’d been through… :cry:

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  20. Scott (1,807 comments) says:

    DPF has a way of brilliantly framing arguments to lead people onto the conclusions he wants. The facts are that a prominent group of New Zealanders, many with admirable records of achievement, are campaigning for the government to do something about alcohol abuse.

    I find myself in agreement with Pete George on this one. I think alcohol is a major problem in New Zealand. There is a huge culture of binge drinking, particularly among the youth. Alcohol abuse is wrecking lives and families. So something must be done.

    It is right and appropriate in my opinion for the government to take action on this.

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  21. American Gardener (553 comments) says:

    Manolo – the problems begin when how you choose to live your life impacts on how I live my life. That is where government has a responsibility to minimize harm for all.

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  22. Scott (1,807 comments) says:

    To see the problems that alcohol causes go here-http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/3872531/Sobs-as-bashers-sent-to-jail
    The judge notes that the attackers,young women,all had a history of alcohol abuse. Alcohol abuse is destroying their lives and the life of their victim.

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  23. backster (2,194 comments) says:

    Led by a preacher whose chief demonstration of his faith was bludgeoning a helpless pig to death with a wooden club, the rest being academics whose accolades were awarded under the patronage of the Clark woman. Only the sportspeople are worthy of special consideration of their views in my opinion.

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  24. Hagues (703 comments) says:

    “Georgina Earl (formerly Evers-Swindell), former Olympic rowing champion.
    Caroline Meyer (formerly Evers-Swindell), former Olympic rowing champion.”

    Slightly Off Topic, but aren’t they current Olympic rowing champions? More sloppy journalism.

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  25. Psycho Milt (2,423 comments) says:

    To see the problems that alcohol causes go here…

    That seemed to be a story about the problems home invasion and GBH cause, Scott. One thing that would help us a lot more than imposing further restrictions on people’s recreational drug use would be to stop pretending that alcohol commits crimes. The dozy tarts in that story may feel better about themselves for pretending alcohol was responsible for their actions, but the rest of us shouldn’t be sucked in. The judge certainly wasn’t.

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  26. Psycho Milt (2,423 comments) says:

    Only the sportspeople are worthy of special consideration of their views in my opinion.

    Yes, clearly sportspeople can be relied on for expert knowledge and sound advice on any subject, whereas the medical professionals in the group are obviously ill-qualified to express an opinion on the effects of drug abuse. How foolish of the media not to make that explicit…

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  27. davidp (3,585 comments) says:

    Scott>There is a huge culture of binge drinking, particularly among the youth.

    Because the drinking age used to be 20, and there was absolutely no binge drinking then. So putting the age back to 20 must solve the problem!

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  28. Manolo (14,161 comments) says:

    “A responsible government does need to look at what can be done to minimize the risks and harm.”
    Way to go, Stalin.

    “Alcohol abuse is destroying their lives and the life of their victim.”
    Tough. You want me to feel sorry for the scum criminals?

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  29. American Gardener (553 comments) says:

    Perhaps alcohol labeling needs to have the same restrictions and impositions as cigarette labeling

    Labeling & packaging could be restricted to plain white labels with the manufacturers logo, contents, volume etc and graphic images of the consequences of alcohol abuse. Photographs of teenage bodies on mortuary slabs, car accidents, beaten partners, unwanted pregnancies and abortions,-prison cells and prison rape, even the decomposing body of a geriatric drunk who has died alone and unloved.

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  30. American Gardener (553 comments) says:

    Manolo – that is very black and white thinking. There is a million miles between raising the drinking age and increasing enforcement activity and the mass murders committed under Stalin. You are being overly dramatic for no reason.

    You may have no com-passion for the perpetrator but think about the victim. You and your fellow far right libertarians are all very gungho hiding behind pseudonyms on Kiwiblog. I wonder how tough you are in real life.

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  31. Brian Smaller (3,965 comments) says:

    People who use alcohol as an ‘excuse’ for their crimes are preying on the gullibility of the Lloyd Geerings of this world. I have been pissed out of my brain many times as a young man and never committed any crimes while intoxicated. Never got into a fight. Never found myself climbing into the ‘wrong’ house or any of the other things that are attributed to alcohol consumption. I suggest the vast majority of people share a similar experience.

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  32. Brian Smaller (3,965 comments) says:

    You may have no com-passion for the perpetrator but think about the victim. You and your fellow far right libertarians are all very gungho hiding behind pseudonyms on Kiwiblog. I wonder how tough you are in real life.

    You might have a point if you were not hiding behind a pseudonym on Kiwiblog while posting that statement.

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  33. Chuck Bird (4,890 comments) says:

    I heard one of these experts interviewed by Larry Williams. He was a professor so I think it must have been Sir John Scott. He did not even realise that there was no minimum drinking age. So much for the experts.

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  34. Manolo (14,161 comments) says:

    Black and white indeed. I was taking on the Stalinist-approach to problem-solving you suggested.

    Where do you draw the line on (your words) “a responsible government can do to minimise the risks and harm”? More regulations and higher prices as suggested by these wowsers? Why don’t you go further and ban alcohol and cigarretes altogether? That should get rid of the problem, shouldn’t it?

    As a libertarian I’m against creeping government interference in my life. I can make my own decisions and live with the consequences.

    You appear to believe life can be made perfect through regulations. Fortunately, it cannot.

    By the way, I invite you to disclose your full name here.

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  35. Fletch (6,516 comments) says:

    Hmmm, not being a drinker myself, I am probably more biased toward raising the age to 20.

    I wonder if those comments on here railing against those wanting restrictions are more biased toward the other way because they like alcohol and remember the shenanigans they got up to when they were kids and how it never really did them any harm – the only thing is – maybe the drinking culture is not the same as you remember? Look at the images on the news of youth spilling out onto the street, throwing up, and falling over. Is that the same as you remember?

    Also, kids have access to cars these days that are as powerful as cars driven by any rally driver.. It wasn’t like that in our day.

    I am all against the Govt sticking their noses into people’s business, but a medium must be struck between letting people do what they want and the safety and wellbeing of the general populace.

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  36. Falafulu Fisi (2,141 comments) says:

    American Gardener is a state/government worshiper. The state knows best.

    Tobacco companies have put horrific label on cigarette packages for a number of years. Still people see those and keep buying ciggies. Leave individuals to look after themselves. If they do self-harm, that’s no one else’s faults. It’s entirely their own making.

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  37. krazykiwi (8,040 comments) says:

    By the way, I invite you to disclose your full name here.

    Don’t hold your breath Manolo. The cowardly American Gardener snearingly outed a Kiwiblog commenter recently. Grounds for life ban IMO.

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  38. JiveKitty (778 comments) says:

    1) Here’s the full list:
    * Sir Paul Reeves, former Governor-General (convenor).
    * Dame Silvia Cartwright, former Governor-General.
    * Archbishop John Dew, Catholic primate.
    * Professor Sir Mason Durie, Maori health expert.
    * Georgina Earl (Evers-Swindell), rowing gold medallist.
    * Jeanette Fitzsimons, former Green Party co-leader.
    * Sir Lloyd Geering, theologian.
    * Dame Te Muranga Batley-Jackson, Manukau Urban Maori Authority founder.
    * Michael Jones, ex-All Black.
    * Dr Semisi Maia’i, Pacific Medical Association co-founder.
    * Caroline Meyer (Evers-Swindell), rowing gold medallist.
    * Archbishop David Moxon, Anglican leader.
    * Inga Tuigamala, ex-All Black.
    * Archbishop Brown Turei, Anglican leader.

    So DPF’s not really being particularly distortionary in his characterisation, is he? The majority of them are well-known people who are unlikely to have a greater understanding of the issues than anybody you could pick at random. Why should we care what their position on the issue is?

    2) “Sir Mason Durie, public health researcher: “I’m not against alcohol – what I’m against is a society that allows people to drink to excess and cause damage to themselves and others.”

    Dame Temuranga Batley-Jackson, Parole Board member and Maori advocate: “[I support this] simply because I have spent the last 20 years on the Parole Board. The most violent people and the most violent offences all had a background of alcohol.”

    Papaali’i Dr Semisi Ma’ia’i, former Auckland GP and health advocate.

    Sir John Scott, emeritus professor of medicine at Auckland University.”

    Yes, there are four people on this list involved in medicine, public health and crime, which means they probably have a better understanding of the harm that alcohol causes, but do they understand the relationship between taxation on alcohol and externalities? If not, why do we care what their opinion is? If so, do they understand that the BERL report appears to have methodological biases aimed towards certain conclusions? And yes, I’ve seen the rejection of the Crampton and Burgess critique. I’ve also seen the response to that. It’s weak.

    From NBR: “Adrian Slack says Berl was only commissioned by the Ministry of Health and ACC to look at the social costs and not the benefits of alcohol”

    “It wasn’t intended to be a cost benefit analysis”

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/berl-economist-hits-back-alcohol-report-critics-104736

    These quotes alone should give one quibbles about using the conclusions of the report. There were further problems cited by Crampton.

    There’s a discussion here: http://www.tvhe.co.nz/2009/07/24/from-the-hand-berl-on-crampton-burgess-on-berl/

    Carmpton’s pieces are easy enough to find when searching here: http://offsettingbehaviour.blogspot.com/search/label/BERL

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  39. exaybachay (19 comments) says:

    The Law commision argues with itself here:

    http://www.lawcom.govt.nz/UploadFiles/Publications/Publication_154_466_Speech%20to%20ALAC%20Conference%20060510.pdf

    Interesting to note that they consider alcohol more dangerous than methamphetamines. Also that all their analogous arguments imply restriction is pointless.

    Since logic doesn’t work, it seems clear that the drinking age should be dropped and all advertising restriction removed. People can’t be saved from themselves, even when they ask to be, even the people the LCom name as “poor” (residents of South Auckland/Otara etc – why not just refuse to enter the liquor store?). The only interesting recommendation is the instant $250 fine for being picked up or sheltered while drunk. Why shouldn’t the police make some beer money?

    Remove all booze restrictions.

    Let the people go wild. Let them find their own solutions. Everything else is unnecessary handwringing.

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  40. Brian Smaller (3,965 comments) says:

    Look at the images on the news of youth spilling out onto the street, throwing up, and falling over. Is that the same as you remember?

    Yep – pretty much. We used to buy two or three flagons of beer each at the old DB Mount and get trashed. A lot of vomiting was done and there were lots of parties that spilled into the street – complete with cops in riot gear moving us yongun’s on. That was over 30 years ago.

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  41. scrubone (3,097 comments) says:

    The TV program “noise control” is instructive.

    Every single episode there’s a house of young people who simply don’t care about anyone but themselves, and think it’s their legal right to have as much fun as possible for as late as possible so long as they don’t actually hit their neighbors over the head with a baseball bat.

    Not to say that’s anything new.
    (ok, it looks like while I was writing that several people said much the same thing)

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  42. scrubone (3,097 comments) says:

    Brian: I’d be interested to know if you could identify any differences between now and then.
    For example:
    * Attitudes towards the police
    * Attitudes towards parents
    * Attitudes towards “rights”

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  43. Pete George (23,793 comments) says:

    Yes, there are four people on this list involved in medicine, public health and crime, which means they probably have a better understanding of the harm that alcohol causes

    I’d be surprised if anyone with any brain cells left to comprehend can’t understand the harm that alcohol causes. Or, as mentioned above, that people try to use alcohol as an excuse when causing harm to themselves and others.

    There’s obviously the personal and family and societal impact via sickness and violence. But also very significant is the financial impact. How many “poor” people pour dollars down their throats?

    If we wanted to catch up with Australia economically it could be simple if we drank much less.

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  44. exaybachay (19 comments) says:

    “If we wanted to catch up with Australia economically it could be simple if we drank much less.”

    Organised crime, concieved during the prohibition years, built Las Vegas. If you want economic boom, begin prohibition.

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  45. American Gardener (553 comments) says:

    Krazykiwi – do you mean Russell Fletcher ? More than happy to out myself: my real name is Kari Ferrell.

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  46. Lucia Maria (2,645 comments) says:

    Oh no, Archbishop John Dew is on that list!

    I went to a talk of his on one of the Holy Father’s Encyclicals. It was a good attempt at doing his actual job, that of being a Catholic Bishop. Unfortunately, during the Q&A, most of the audience wanted to know what he was doing with this and that political cause.

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  47. krazykiwi (8,040 comments) says:

    If we wanted to catch up with Australia economically it could be simple if we drank much less.

    Now that I agree with. Imagine if NZers saved & invested what we spend currently on alcohol, tobacco and gambling.

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  48. JiveKitty (778 comments) says:

    @Fletch: You mention high powered cars and youth. If you go back thirty years or so, drunk driving was a lot more acceptable and common. Youth of today are far less likely to drive drunk or even drive having drunk anything alcoholic. That’s not to say none do, but that the attitude has changed such that your point there is fairly irrelevant as the access to high powered cars is balanced out by the attitude change more or less.

    Furthermore, this: “Look at the images on the news of youth spilling out onto the street, throwing up, and falling over. Is that the same as you remember”

    Yes, it happened. It wasn’t publicised and people drank in different locales back (think six o’clock swill, think house parties rather than going and flailing about at a club – I refuse to refer to it as dancing).

    At least, that’s the impression I have – given we’re not bothering to back our views up with any evidence.

    @Pete George: My wording was “better understanding”, as I accept that they may very well have a better understanding than most. It was not implying that most don’t understand alcohol has costs.

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  49. Lucia Maria (2,645 comments) says:

    I wrote a post a number of years ago that showed the link between alcoholism and socialism. The more socialist a country, the more the people drink. Unless the Government clamps down on drinking, that is. Just look at Russia today and their massive problems.

    So, socialist countries have two options. Restrict alcohol or become less socialist.

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  50. krazykiwi (8,040 comments) says:

    Farrell – you are scum. Outing yourself is your decision. Outing someone else is plain nasty. Get a life.

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  51. JiveKitty (778 comments) says:

    Do Australians drink less?

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  52. Redbaiter (11,880 comments) says:

    “Alcohol overuse is a huge problem here.”

    As Lucia Maria says, its the same in every socialist country. How come you can’t see the link??

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  53. JiveKitty (778 comments) says:

    @Lucia Maria: Correlation does not equal causation. And there are so many potential confounding variables there. Consider this: Maybe they drink to escape from their pitiably abysmal lives because as we all know, socialist countries are horrible places, right? And maybe socialist countries allow this to go on or even encourage it as a societal pressure relief valve.

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  54. Redbaiter (11,880 comments) says:

    “Outing someone else is plain nasty.”

    Let him go. He’s only doing it because has nothing else. Just a typical left wing coward. I never respond to assertions regarding my identity. If these dumbfucks want to assume the truth of some dopey internet claims then they’re welcome. I’m here for the ideas, and as long as somebody has a steady ID, the rest doesn’t matter.

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  55. Fletch (6,516 comments) says:

    @JiveKitty, if people aren’t drinking and driving as much then why all the horrific drink/drive ads on TV? There would be no need for them if there wasn’t a problem.

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  56. Lucia Maria (2,645 comments) says:

    Jive,

    Well, yeah. That’s probably a big part of it.

    I’d also be curious to know how many of those causing a problem through the abuse of alcohol in NZ finance their grog with welfare money.

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  57. JiveKitty (778 comments) says:

    It’s a publicised issue. Just because something is pushed by the government doesn’t mean it’s the most pressing issue of the day. It’s the difference between perception and reality, with perception dictating what is done. And like I said, it’s not to say that people don’t still drink and drive. They do. It’s just that now it’s seen as more important to be seen to be doing something about it.

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  58. Redbaiter (11,880 comments) says:

    ” Correlation does not equal causation. ”

    Jivekitty- its no damn mystery. The reason alcolhol abuse is a problem is down to the three main planks of socialist power seeking strategy-

    1) the destruction of the nuclear family and

    2) the destruction of traditional morality and

    3) the destruction of individual responsibility.

    The more they succeed in these endeavours the more our society sinks into a destructive morass.

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  59. redeye (633 comments) says:

    Our local supermarket enforces an alcohol ‘walk by’ as a condition of entry. As it seems do a lot of them.

    I don’t have a problem with them selling the stuff but surely forcing everyone (including reforming alcoholics) to enter through the bottle shop is no different to heroin dealers waving the stuff in addicts faces.

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  60. malcolm (1,952 comments) says:

    Get your Law Commission off my drink. If I want to go out and drink too much, talk utter rubbish to my friends, dance like a madman, chat-up intriguing women, and do no harm whatsoever to anyone, then who’s business is that? By all means let the police jump on the minority who are dickheads, but leave the civilised people alone.

    THEY CAME FIRST for the Cigarettes,
    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Smoker.

    THEN THEY CAME for the Alco-pops,
    and I didn’t speak up because I didn’t like them anyway.

    THEN THEY CAME for the Spirits,
    and I didn’t speak up because I don’t like them either.

    THEN THEY CAME for Beer,
    and by that time there was no one left who thought it odd that a grown man couldn’t have a beer.

    I wrote a post a number of years ago that showed the link between alcoholism and socialism.

    Have you got a link to that, Lucia? BTW, what are our options for dealing with the well-known correlation between Catholics and drinking?

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  61. Fale Andrew Lesa (473 comments) says:

    Redbaiter, I whole-heartedly agree with your last comment.

    The destruction of the Western Nuclear Family, Morality and Ethical Responsibility – this is the source of our social dillema, alcohol and drugs are merely external influences.

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  62. tvb (4,553 comments) says:

    I just loathe these worthies who think us lessor mortals do not count on this sort of thing. My instinct would be to ignore their petition. I do not think the Law Commission is the right vehicle to look at this sort of thing. It needs something much broader based like Royal Commission in Alcohol Abuse.

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  63. Lucia Maria (2,645 comments) says:

    Further to Redbaiter’s comment of 11:19 am, there was some researched published on LifeSiteNews recently on the link between type of parenting and whether the children were likely to drink heavily or not. What they found was that parents who were strict, but had a lot of warmth in their relationship with their teens, had kids that were far less likely to drink heavily.

    But those that came from families that were very strict and had little warmth were more likely to drink heavily. Likewise, those that came from families that were permissive (and high warmth) also drank heavily.

    In NZ, because of the Government’s increasing role in the destruction of the family and the moving away from discipline (think anti-smacking) and punishment in general, I wouldn’t be surprised if permissive parenting has a lot to do with our high drinking culture.

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  64. Lucia Maria (2,645 comments) says:

    Malcolm,

    Have you got a link to that, Lucia? BTW, what are our options for dealing with the well-known correlation between Catholics and drinking?

    I’d have to look for it. It’s somewhere on the old Sir Humphreys on Blogspot. It was a bit of a tongue-in cheek post, without a lot of substance.

    As for the Catholics, just send us to Confession. It’s a rarely used Sacrament these days.

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  65. Manolo (14,161 comments) says:

    I’m not surprised Bishop John Dew is on the list. He’s one of the myth-peddlers, who believe they know better and you ought to live miserably in this life before attaining joy in the eternal life that follows.

    These sellers of fiction, these religious leaders, are disqualified. Same applies to the politician wowsers.

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  66. Redbaiter (11,880 comments) says:

    “the well-known correlation between Catholics and drinking?”

    A lie.

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  67. Pete George (23,793 comments) says:

    I think alcohol abuse predates the socialist plot by a wee bit.

    “the well-known correlation between Catholics and drinking?”

    I’ve seen them doing it in church.

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  68. Fale Andrew Lesa (473 comments) says:

    Manolo, I’m not too sure.

    Catholic Priest’s have a rare liberty, they have the opportunity to pry into the social lives of ordinary New Zealander’s via Confession. Surely, this gives them a better chance to join the dots around our social dillema’s? such as the abuse of alcohol in New Zealand?

    :D

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  69. American Gardener (553 comments) says:

    Falafulu Fisi – will you be at blogger drinks tonight ?

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  70. Brian Smaller (3,965 comments) says:

    On the occasions I have been down Courtney Place at night I have seen lots of young people having a good time. Sure, there were a few dickheads and young women who looked too smashed to left alone, but most were just having fun and being young. Let them alone. They do grow up. In fact lots of those young people are probably working quite hard and can make decisions on what they imbibe all by themselves.

    OTOH

    If a guy is drinking heavily and bashing his family then use existing laws to punish him. Maybe three strikes will be a winner here. “Look, the next time you assault yoru wife or kids or neighbours while drinking you WILL go down for a long time.” It will probably do more than those sickly adverts on TV sayign ‘It’s Not OK’.

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  71. Redbaiter (11,880 comments) says:

    “It will probably do more than those sickly adverts on TV sayign ‘It’s Not OK’.”

    That’s it you see Brian. These scum think that government can assume the role of the family, and mold social mores, but it cannot. Nothing can take the place of a child’s mentoring by his father and mother in a stable home, but the Progressive’s strategy is to destroy families, destroy homes, and destroy morality.

    Like some gormless cartoon character, the Progressives are sitting on a tree branch and sawing it off at the same time.

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  72. malcolm (1,952 comments) says:

    Ok thanks, Lucia. So was it tongue-in-check or did it actually demonstrate a causation? As JiveKitty noted, correlations are everywhere but causations are much more elusive.

    A lie.

    It’s common knowledge. Although probably a bit dated now, just like the Catholic family with 11 kids.

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  73. k.jones (210 comments) says:

    Hmm.. looks like the debate is warming up. Tabled on the 2nd of August I think. Did anyone read Deborah Coddington’s article on what the alcohol industry supports MPs – supplying endless beer/beer fridges etc???

    and back in the real world…here’s how “Bill and Mary Smith” see this debate: “Alcohol needs better regulation than what we;ve got. What we’ve got is not working very well. We know current regulation is not working very well because we have all had direct experience of it’s current shortcomings…)

    Im guessing the only thing off the menu is still only excise tax (given the budget money go round/ETS impacts that makes sense from a politikal persceptive…)

    Be prepared for the age concience vote to a lot closer than 42/76 as it twas last time.

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  74. American Gardener (553 comments) says:

    The problem is not that there is too much government intervention in our lives – the problem is that there is not enough intervention.

    I find it interesting that my 9 year old son is far more strict than me when it comes to not using a cell phone in the car. Ditto car seat belts. Education by television since birth and in school has made these rules the normal way of thinking for him.

    There are probably numerous things we could to make a;lcohol consumption unsexy in the dsame way cigarette smoking has been made socially unacceptable.

    If we were all DNA profiled either at birth (or as adults for those who are already adults ) we could identify those who have a propensity for alcohol addiction. They could then be educated or supported to make positive choices.

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  75. Redbaiter (11,880 comments) says:

    “I’ve seen them doing it in church.”

    What were they doing letting you in to a church?

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  76. Redbaiter (11,880 comments) says:

    Think they’re is anything relevant in the nature of the political systems that the top countries on this list subscribe to??

    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/foo_alc_con-food-alcohol-consumption-current

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  77. davidp (3,585 comments) says:

    Brian S>On the occasions I have been down Courtney Place at night I have seen lots of young people having a good time.

    I live just around the corner from CP and I never have a problem or feel threatened by anyone. It’s a beat up by the media and busybodies.

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  78. Pete George (23,793 comments) says:

    Churches are actually very good at letting people in. Most don’t even charge you for it.

    I got married in a Catholic church (first time, for convenience rather than wholeheartedly). My kids went to Catholic (and other) schools. I haven’t lived in (whatever country is regarded as the most communist) all my life.

    The priests drink wine and let the plebs suck a dry cracker. Is that why ordinary Catholics are thirsty after church?

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  79. malcolm (1,952 comments) says:

    Think they’re is anything relevant in the nature of the political systems that the top countries on this list subscribe to??

    No. Lucia was talking about alcoholism (and presumably the other negative aspects of alcohol abuse), not consumption per se. Luxembourg and France are hardly known for their binge-drinking and bad behaviour on the turps. Nor the Czechs or Spaniards.

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  80. Lucia Maria (2,645 comments) says:

    Malcolm,

    Here’s the post: Socialism Driving NZ to Drink

    It was based on heavier drinking in Russia during Communist times than afterwards. There’s probably something to it.

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  81. malcolm (1,952 comments) says:

    Thanks Lucia, I’ll have a read.

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  82. Lucia Maria (2,645 comments) says:

    I always have coffee after Church.

    Only the Priest has to drink the wine, but it’s become the thing to do. People think they are missing out if they don’t get some. But it’s a tiny sip, you could hardly call it drinking.

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  83. malcolm (1,952 comments) says:

    Coffee will be next, Lucia. Now that governments have got the taste for banning things which are bad for us, there’s no limit to it. First the smokes, then the booze, next it will be coffee and chocky biscuits.

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  84. Lucia Maria (2,645 comments) says:

    Malcolm,

    LOL!

    What’s worse, I have coffee at McDonald’s. I’m sure McD’s is in the Government’s sights as well.

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  85. Pete George (23,793 comments) says:

    I don’t think it is solely a recent socialist thing.

    The Hebrew Bible recommends giving alcoholic drinks to those who are dying or depressed, so that they can forget their misery (Proverbs 31:6-7).

    Alcoholic beverages have been traced as far back as 9000 years ago in China (pre-Mao).

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  86. malcolm (1,952 comments) says:

    You’re very bad, Lucia. 10 Hail Marys and we’ll forget you ever mentioned it.

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  87. flipper (4,327 comments) says:

    Stop!
    This debate has become childish.
    The issue is the “we know best” attitude of a SELF APPOINTED elite.
    I can make up my own mind. I do NOT tell others how they should think.
    I object to being lectured by Reeves et al.

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  88. Pete George (23,793 comments) says:

    Flipper, do you think alcohol should be more freely available so more people can make up their own minds?

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  89. flipper (4,327 comments) says:

    Pete George – Get off the grass

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  90. MikeNZ (3,233 comments) says:

    # Redbaiter (10189) Says:
    July 1st, 2010 at 11:09 am

    ” Correlation does not equal causation. ”

    Jivekitty- its no damn mystery. The reason alcohol abuse is a problem is down to the three main planks of socialist power seeking strategy-

    1) the destruction of the nuclear family and

    2) the destruction of traditional morality and

    3) the destruction of individual responsibility.

    The more they succeed in these endeavours the more our society sinks into a destructive morass.

    Yes Red
    One leads to another and maximises the effect.

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  91. Manolo (14,161 comments) says:

    “First the smokes, then the booze, next it will be coffee and chocky biscuits.”
    What about sex?

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  92. Fale Andrew Lesa (473 comments) says:

    Pete, when these ‘children’ can convince civilised society that they are responsible consumers of alcohol, than we can start treating them like young adults.

    To put it bluntly, they have a long way to go.

    We will stop treating them like children when they can convince us that they are capable of acting like adults: this is how I see it.
    Modern society is facing social decline: this is an opportunity for us to change that or atleast slow it’s pace.

    :D

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  93. malcolm (1,952 comments) says:

    What about sex?

    What!? My wife told me that the government banned it years ago.

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  94. Lucia Maria (2,645 comments) says:

    Oh, sex has to be banned.

    If it were restricted to within marriage only, we’d quickly get rid of our welfare problems and the power of the socialist state would be greatly reduced. Not to mention the fact that our drinking problems would go down, too.

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  95. MikeNZ (3,233 comments) says:

    good one malcolm :-)

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  96. JiveKitty (778 comments) says:

    @Pete George: I think flipper’s actually dealing with the issue at the crux of this post – which is only tangential to the alcohol debate – that these people who are demanding the law commission’s recommendations go ahead are a self-appointed group with no more knowledge of the issues than anybody else and yet their opinions are being given much more weight than they should because of their standing in relatively unrelated areas in society.

    Yes, you can make a case for the minority of those who deal with criminal and medical issues may have greater understanding of the harm alcohol does than the average person, but you can’t make a convincing case that they have greater understanding of the economics of the issue, which is important – given the measures proposed tend to be economic, for example, increased excise tax, further restrictions on sale, etc; that the costs don’t appear to have been weighed against the benefits, and that it is externalities and their internalisation that needs to be considered here.

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  97. Psycho Milt (2,423 comments) says:

    Modern society is facing social decline:

    Did it start when we abandoned slavery, or when we implemented universal adult suffrage? I can’t decide…

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  98. Psycho Milt (2,423 comments) says:

    Yes, you can make a case for the minority of those who deal with criminal and medical issues may have greater understanding of the harm alcohol does than the average person, but you can’t make a convincing case that they have greater understanding of the economics of the issue, which is important…

    Even more pertinent, they’re no more qualified than the rest of us to offer opinions on the morality or ethics of extending govt restrictions on recreational drug use.

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  99. krazykiwi (8,040 comments) says:

    @Psycho Milt – you confuse justice with social progress. They are not one in the same.

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  100. lastmanstanding (1,310 comments) says:

    This is yet more tyranny by the minority against the majority and should be treated as such. These people are anti freedom anti citizen self serving and need to be told to go back under the rock they inhabit

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  101. Fale Andrew Lesa (473 comments) says:

    The freedom of chaos, uncivility, social disorder and overall decline does not exist LMS. I doubt that the binge-drinking culture is a majority, can you provide support for this assertion?

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  102. JiveKitty (778 comments) says:

    “Pete, when these ‘children’ can convince civilised society that they are responsible consumers of alcohol, than we can start treating them like young adults.”

    Damn, Fale, I guess all there aren’t any young adults who do consume responsibly then. Or if there are, what are you trying to say?

    Also, law must be consistent. If you want to raise the drinking age, go ahead, but when that’s done, raise the voting age, the age of full criminal responsibility, the age at which one can get married and the age at which one can join the armed forces/police. These are far more important things with greater effects than that of alcohol consumption. If it is acceptable that an 18 year old have these other rights and corresponding responsibilities of an adult, which are on the whole much more important and impactful than the right to purchase alcohol, then logically they should not have the right to purchase alcohol taken away.

    “its no damn mystery. The reason alcohol abuse is a problem is down to the three main planks of socialist power seeking strategy-

    1) the destruction of the nuclear family and

    2) the destruction of traditional morality and

    3) the destruction of individual responsibility.

    The more they succeed in these endeavours the more our society sinks into a destructive morass.”

    I suppose it depends how you define these things – alcohol abuse, etc. But there are alternatives to what is being advocated by the law commission, for example, with regard to 3) enforce the law consistently and don’t make exceptions or excuse the results of alcohol abuse. From what I’ve learned about children, if you are consistent in your behaviour and application of rules, they will respect them. If that is done, you will probably see more acceptance of individual responsibility, which in turn could potentially lead to more moral behaviour and consideration of consequences – although I’m not really sure what you consider moral. Furthermore, consistent enforcement without exceptions would also mean that the targeting was improved and didn’t affect those who do nothing wrong and are responsible.

    Note I’m not suggesting harsher penalties. I’m suggesting consistent enforcement.

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  103. malcolm (1,952 comments) says:

    I doubt that the binge-drinking culture is a majority

    Exactly, FAL. So why must we all suffer wowserism because of the behaviour of a minority? There are plenty of laws to deal with people being dickheads – we just need to enforce them and stop paying old pollies and worthys to dream-up new laws and restrictions.

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  104. JiveKitty (778 comments) says:

    lastmanstanding: “This is yet more tyranny by the minority against the majority and should be treated as such.”

    Fale: “I doubt that the binge-drinking culture is a majority, can you provide support for this assertion?”

    There is no such assertion Fale. The changes will affect the majority – regardless of whether they binge drink – and are being suggested by a minority.

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  105. nickb (3,696 comments) says:

    This is a “let them eat cake” moment if ever there was one.

    The Law Commission is the biggest bunch of wowsers and statists in government.

    I was under the impression that their main brief was merely to recommend and investigate possible improvements to our legal and justice system. Not to be the guardians of New Zealand’s public morality (what qualifies a bunch of policy analysts, researchers, low-rate lawyers, and clapped out ex-Prime Ministers to do that?)

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  106. Pete George (23,793 comments) says:

    “Note I’m not suggesting harsher penalties. I’m suggesting consistent enforcement.”

    This points to one of the main problems.

    A minority abuse and avoid repercussions.
    Further restrictions are applied to everyone.
    A minority still abuse and avoid repercussions.

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  107. Fale Andrew Lesa (473 comments) says:

    Malcolm, I probably didn’t do a good job in clarifying my opinion on this matter – I actually favour tougher law enforcement, not the raising of the drinking age and so fourth. Children already drink at 13, 14 and 15 where I currently reside. The drinking age does little to prevent this.

    I favour more penalty for the social disorder brought about by alcohol abuse.

    Thank you JiveKitty for your constructive contribution to this discussion.

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  108. malcolm (1,952 comments) says:

    That sums up the logic, Pete.

    Law Commission:

    “A minority are being dickheads, however we can’t stop them by enforcing existing laws, instead we will create some more laws. Unfortunately the new laws will affect the decent people. Tough – we’re the Law Commission and we only have a hammer. And when you only have a hammer, everything looks like a nail, including you plebs. Now piss off because we’re the Law Commission and we’re off to have a nice long lunch at Martin Bosley’s with a different wine with each course. And we’d better not see any of you plebs drinking in Courtney Place when the BMW takes us home.”

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  109. lastmanstanding (1,310 comments) says:

    Fale This as with so much legislation and regulation punishes the good majority of citizens for the crimes of the minority yet history shows it doesnt fix the problem.

    This is because pollies and civil servants look for easy solutions so they can pretend to have the answer.

    Rather than identifying the problem and ldealing with it they take a sledge hammer to a walnut.

    Case in point. As an employer under OSH I have to identify problems and either eliminate or minimise.

    I am not allowed to take an easy solution that has consequences against innocent people.

    Yet Governemnts do this all the time. They unreasonably restrict the freedoms of the majority with measures that not only dont fix the problem with the minority but actually make the problem worse.

    This is what we freedom fighters are campaigning against

    We expect those who put themselves up to govern us find solutions that address the problem NOT punish the innocent.

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  110. Fale Andrew Lesa (473 comments) says:

    I completely agree lastmanstanding, bravo!

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  111. malcolm (1,952 comments) says:

    Malcolm, I probably didn’t do a good job in clarifying my opinion on this matter – I actually favour tougher law enforcement, not the raising of the drinking age and so fourth.

    I’m with you on that. This has turned into a meta discussion without much reference to the LC recommendations. I’m guilty on that count.

    I think there’s a moral panic on binge-drinking. I haven’t really seen it and my wife and I venture down to Courtney Place often. I just see large numbers of young people, mostly having a good loud time. Yes they look stupid and say silly things, but I know from experience that they’re enjoying themselves and most are not harming anyone. Nothing wrong with that.

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  112. Pete George (23,793 comments) says:

    I more or less agree too – but note that some of the broad brush measures that governments take are responding to public pressure.

    And using the simplified selling approach – it’s easier to debate and change and police an age limit like 20 to 18 than it is to isolate the real bits of the problem and deal with them.

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  113. Pete George (23,793 comments) says:

    Boloni, I don’t think the big problem is with licensed premises, which I’d hope would be better than they were with smaller nicer places being much more prevalent than the barns and public swill bars.

    The problems often start at the supermarkets, and end up in the streets and in the homes afterward (bars fit in between, maybe contributing a little but not usually much).

    I’m not sure the young are the worst of it, most of them are out to have a good time. When it becomes an entrenched habit and it impacts on family life it can do greater damage.

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  114. OTGO (579 comments) says:

    I have two young teenage daughters. I have taken them into AKL City at 1.30am to show them what happens to their peers who get pissed to the point of being comatose. I have taken this initiative because I care for my offspring. It will be their choice in a couple of years how they handle alcohol. Hopefully what they saw will help them to be careful and make good choices.
    I don’t think the people on this list actually know too much about the cause and effects of binge drinking. It is all about their media profile and their perception of how they want to be seen in public or on the pages of New Idea.

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  115. Pete George (23,793 comments) says:

    It’s not that simple Boloni. There are very public problems with over-drinking here in Dunedin (a lot of it is students but by no means all) – and much of the pissing up goes on in private homes or flats away from the law. And most of them aren’t underage.

    And the real problems often don’t occur at the point of consumption – someone can get benignly pissed in a public bar and go home and bash the missus because his tea isn’t ready (or it’s far too ready).

    Of course the street scrappers and vandals could be dealt to better, but that’s far from all of it. A lot of the drinking and the problems are in private. Very difficult to police.

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  116. kowtow (8,928 comments) says:

    bring back drunk in a public place……..

    frightening that a cop can order you out of your house(a man’s home is his castle)on an allegation but they cant pick up a drunk like they used to…..that’s part of the problem.

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  117. Scott (1,807 comments) says:

    “The statement backed a Law Commission report published in April that recommended raising the drinking age to 20, increasing alcohol prices through higher excise tax, restricting alcohol advertising and availability and lowering the alcohol limit for drivers.
    The Government is considering the report, but has already ruled out an increase in excise tax on alcohol.”

    I think raising the drinking age back to 20 is a great idea. Restriction of alcohol advertising and availability another good idea. This carnage cannot continue. Let’s face facts people — binge drinking is a huge problem. People like Malcolm don’t see a problem — but then Malcolm never sees a problem.

    We have got way too liberal on the sale and advertising around alcohol and it has been to our detriment. This would be a good thing to do. It would help to minimise harm. I say give it a go. The present regime is certainly not working.

    And I am sick of the Liberals/anything goes opinions on this blog. Our society is falling down. You can’t see it?

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  118. American Gardener (553 comments) says:

    The problem is not that there is too much government intervention in our lives – the problem is that there is not enough intervention.

    I find it interesting that my 9 year old son is far more strict than me when it comes to not using a cell phone in the car. Ditto car seat belts. Education by television since birth and in school has made these rules the normal way of thinking for him.

    There are probably numerous things we could to make a;lcohol consumption unsexy in the dsame way cigarette smoking has been made socially unacceptable.

    If we were all DNA profiled either at birth (or as adults for those who are already adults ) we could identify those who have a propensity for alcohol addiction. They could then be educated or supported to make positive choices.

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  119. adamsmith1922 (724 comments) says:

    To American Gardener

    CRAP

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  120. Manolo (14,161 comments) says:

    To American Gardener: Change your nick to North Korean Gardener.

    Take a one-way ticket to communist paradise and tell me how much you enjoy life regimented to the nth degree.

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  121. JiveKitty (778 comments) says:

    Scott: ““The statement backed a Law Commission report published in April that recommended raising the drinking age to 20, increasing alcohol prices through higher excise tax, restricting alcohol advertising and availability and lowering the alcohol limit for drivers.
    The Government is considering the report, but has already ruled out an increase in excise tax on alcohol.”

    I think raising the drinking age back to 20 is a great idea. Restriction of alcohol advertising and availability another good idea. This carnage cannot continue. Let’s face facts people — binge drinking is a huge problem. People like Malcolm don’t see a problem — but then Malcolm never sees a problem.

    We have got way too liberal on the sale and advertising around alcohol and it has been to our detriment. This would be a good thing to do. It would help to minimise harm. I say give it a go. The present regime is certainly not working.”

    Do you understand the concept of externalities? Do you understand the concept of internalisation? Do you understand what the taxation on alcohol offsets? Do you understand the incentives in what you propose? Do these treat the causes of the problem or do they treat the effects? Are they poorly targeted affecting the majority who don’t cause a problem? Will these succeed in the stated goals, or going back to incentives, will there be unforeseen effects (unforeseen by those making the proposals) due to a poorly thought out knee-jerk reaction?

    “And I am sick of the Liberals/anything goes opinions on this blog. Our society is falling down. You can’t see it?”

    Damn diversity of opinion and on a weblog of all places. I want it to be so that only people who agree with me have opinions. Why can’t you see?

    American Gardener: “The problem is not that there is too much government intervention in our lives – the problem is that there is not enough intervention.”

    Conjecture without backing evidence.

    “If we were all DNA profiled either at birth (or as adults for those who are already adults ) we could identify those who have a propensity for alcohol addiction. They could then be educated or supported to make positive choices.”

    Cost/benefit analysis of such a policy. Further ramifications of such profiling? Think Minority Report-esque stuff with government treating individuals based upon potentiality rather than reality. Environment is also very important in how a person developst. This we know. Unfair treatment, likely.

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  122. k.jones (210 comments) says:

    I hope DF keeps running this as a thread from time to time over July? It seems to strike an entertaining chord with you timeless libertarian folk. However, back in voter land: Key’s problem is not whether change is in order, but how much change is needed to cash in on public opinion…

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  123. Redbaiter (11,880 comments) says:

    “Did it start when we abandoned slavery, or when we implemented universal adult suffrage? I can’t decide…”

    It started about when unproductive bludgers (like you) began electing politicians who steal money from the productive and give that money to the bludgers who voted for them. (that’s you again)

    A sure way to bring any society to its financial knees and ultimately destroy it.

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  124. Redbaiter (11,880 comments) says:

    “Take a one-way ticket to communist paradise and tell me how much you enjoy life regimented to the nth degree.”

    Being the lame mindless fuckwit he is, he’d probably love it. Especially the bit where they chant about their undying faith in the righteousness of their oppressors.

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  125. Pete George (23,793 comments) says:

    I guess the Law Commission will suggest legal solutions, and the politicians will try and bring in political solutions and the police will have to try and solve things via policing.

    It’s a social problem. Would it be too radical to look to society for it’s own solutions? Or better, for those in society to find ways of dealing with the problem themselves. Then commissions of inquiry and laws and arrests wouldn’t be so important.

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  126. Psycho Milt (2,423 comments) says:

    It started about when unproductive bludgers (like you) began electing politicians who steal money from the productive and give that money to the bludgers who voted for them. (that’s you again)

    Translation from gibberish into English: “Get off my lawn!”

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  127. Viking2 (11,665 comments) says:

    Haven’t read all the posts but think about this.
    One of the reasons young people drink alcohol so much is that they can afford it. They can afford it for two principle reasons. The obvious one is that the relative cost to a consumer has been driven down by both volumes and efficiencies in production and transportation etc. That includes the availability via wider market distribution and therefore less cost to attain.

    The more influential cause though IMHO is the fact that young people have so much more money, especially those that are at work.
    None go to work for less than $12,75 an hour these days and its doesn’t tke many hours to earn a reasonable amount of wastage money. We need to remember that many teens are still living at home, no or minimal cost, are earning adult wages with teenage costs, almost never save and so spend spend spend.
    Put the two together and we have the cocktail we have.

    Its the same drivers that allow the hoons to have fast cars etc. Over paying the youth.

    Bring back youth rates and both these issues will go away as will much of the unemployment of young people.
    Quite basic really.

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  128. Viking2 (11,665 comments) says:

    # Pete George (5424) Says:
    July 1st, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    I guess the Law Commission will suggest legal solutions, and the politicians will try and bring in political solutions and the police will have to try and solve things via policing.

    It’s a social problem. Would it be too radical to look to society for it’s own solutions? Or better, for those in society to find ways of dealing with the problem themselves. Then commissions of inquiry and laws and arrests wouldn’t be so important.

    Ironical really that you think a new rule will fix this. Its the current rules that exalt the worth of youth to a status that gives them more money than their earning power really is, that is the nub of the problem
    I therefore look forward Pete to you recommending the abolition of the minimum rate of pay for young people and its replacement with a suitable youth rate regime.

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  129. Pete George (23,793 comments) says:

    I didn’t suggest a new rule will fix this, I meant the the opposite.

    I don’t think youth rates are anywhere near the answer for this either (they will help other things) – alcohol problems are right through the age groups.

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  130. gravedodger (1,575 comments) says:

    I have scanned through the 133 comments on this post and noted only one reference to a real sanction on the drunks. you are dancing on pine needles ie very little impact.
    All adults over say 8 could drive a car but society wont allow driving legally till 15 and to rise to 16 or has it?
    A sanction exists to make it illegal to drive with variable ,age related not experience, levels of alcohol in the blood.
    That sanction is based on arbitrary limits often arrived at by a breath analysis. (often accepted as evidence)
    FFS why with all the obvious problems with binge drinking don’t we as a society bring back ‘public drunkenness’ as an illegal act sanctioned on the basis of a breath analysis with no avenue of challenge and absolute penalty for various degrees of intoxication based on the breath results.
    Any other limitation will cause undeserved consequences for the vast majority of consumers of alcohol who can enjoy their legal right to drink without a discernable problem.
    Domestic violence – breathalize all the combatants and then act on that result.
    Public affray just do the same with loss of liberty.
    Detox facilities, very spartan with basic first aid and judicial supervision available easily cleanable
    Yes my answer will be expensive but anything less will be just as costly and wont make a blind bit of difference.
    Make initial transgression at misdemeanor level and escalate penalties and sanctions as repeat offending occurs.
    We need a solution that brings a sanction on the perpetrator of drunk in public with no additional (apart from cost) interfererance in the rights of those who can drink within the law.

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  131. American Gardener (553 comments) says:

    testing

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  132. JiveKitty (778 comments) says:

    gravedodger: “why with all the obvious problems with binge drinking don’t we as a society bring back ‘public drunkenness’ as an illegal act sanctioned on the basis of a breath analysis with no avenue of challenge and absolute penalty for various degrees of intoxication based on the breath results.”

    Because it is probably unenforceable, and if enforced will likely be inconsistently done, as public drunkenness based on a breath test will not necessarily be based upon behaviour. Furthermore, unlike when driving a vehicle while drunk where damage is probable and often of significance, the same cannot be said about damage from public drunkenness where there is a much greater likelihood there will be none.

    @Viking2: While I agree that there should be a youth rate, my question for you is: Were these issues not here prior to youth rates being removed?

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  133. Johnboy (17,015 comments) says:

    “How many Kiwi men are brazen wnough to approach a girl while sober outside a pub? ”

    So you are what we call a “Beer Gauge” then Angie. :)

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  134. Johnboy (17,015 comments) says:

    None that could spell properly.

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  135. malcolm (1,952 comments) says:

    The more influential cause though IMHO is the fact that young people have so much more money, especially those that are at work.

    And the massive increase in the student population, driven by bums-on-seats funding, interest-free loans and all these silly polytech courses for hairdressing etc. Once upon a time to become a plumber or hairdresser you did an apprentiship and got paid bugger all. Now you spend 2 years at poly, borrowing money gratis and pissing it up.

    The increase in the student population in Wellington in the last 10-15 years has been massive.

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