Drug Foundation Alcohol Bingo

October 24th, 2012 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

The has published a bingo card of “cliched phrases” they say MPs will use to defend the liquor industry.

Firstly I’m disappointed that the NZDF, normally fairly sensible on drug and issues, is now into denigrating motives of MPs. I expect Doug Selman to rant on about MPs defending the liquor industry, not the NZDF. The fact that MPs disagree with them on an issue, doesn’t mean they are defending the liquor industry. It means they don’t agree with the proposed law will have more benefits than harm.

What is interesting is the list of phrases they include, because I assume that in including them, they think that the proposition is flawed.

  • Unfair to responsible drinkers
  • We’re doing research on this
  • Parental responsibility
  • Education Is the answer

So are NZDF against doing research, against education, against parental responsibility and for punishing responsible drinkers?

I think NZDF do a good job overall, but they should stick to sensible research based advocacy, and avoid stupid stuff like this which may make them feel they are hip or cool, but will have no impact with those they are trying to influence.

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13 Responses to “Drug Foundation Alcohol Bingo”

  1. Graeme Edgeler (3,283 comments) says:

    NZDF isn’t the New Zealand Defence Force?

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  2. Kimble (4,434 comments) says:

    … but they should stick to shoddy-research based demagoguery…

    FYP

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  3. KiwiGreg (3,250 comments) says:

    Yet another “Charity” taking government funding to lobby the government.

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  4. Crampton (215 comments) says:

    The facts in their fact sheets have a couple problems.
    http://www.offsettingbehaviour.blogspot.co.nz/2012/10/you-cant-kill-bad-stat.html

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  5. Kea (12,463 comments) says:

    Are these freaks (NZDF) funded by the tax payer ?

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  6. kowtow (8,326 comments) says:

    How much does the taxpayer shell out on this bollocks,and similar NGO’s or whatever they are?

    Mind you what’s wrong with denigrating MP’s,pollies are falling in much more disrepute these days,no surprises.

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  7. wat dabney (3,726 comments) says:

    Allow me to correct your opening statement: “The NZ Drug Foundation has published a bingo card of “cliched phrases” they say MPs will use to defend personal liberty.”

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  8. elscorcho (154 comments) says:

    Allow me to put forth my left wing view

    1. Alcohol is not necessarily harmful. Alcohol generates benefits (social utility) and costs (healthcare etc). Until we actually do a full econometric analysis – rather than just add up the costs of hospital admissions and crime – we can’t actually make a proper judegement on this.

    My own hypothesis is that the benefits generated by alcohol outweigh the cost, and if anything, we need cheaper booze.

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  9. questions (198 comments) says:

    No David, that is clearly not what they are saying.

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  10. Kimble (4,434 comments) says:

    – rather than just add up the costs of hospital admissions and crime –

    And lower earnings, and poorer health, and earlier mortality, and all the other internal costs of alcohol consumption that we will just call “costs” and then call “social costs” and then claim are “real social costs” and then move on to “real costs to the taxpayer”, is that what you mean, coz thats what they did.

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  11. elscorcho (154 comments) says:

    “And lower earnings, and poorer health, and earlier mortality,” – they are all relevant costs, but you HAVE to also identify the benefits generated by alcohol in terms of personal happines.

    I read the entire Law Commission report and I was disgusted that it took such a one-sided view. Everything in politics is about balance. Increase the speed limit = people get places faster = less wasted time BUT also = more crashes. Same with alcohol. If it only had costs, it should be entirely illegal. It doesn’t.

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  12. Ross_Bell (12 comments) says:

    We weren’t aware that bingo was ever hip or cool.

    The point of the bingo card was not to question MP’s motives, it was to make them — and New Zealanders — think about their reasons for not supporting positive, evidence based change to reduce alcohol-related harm.

    No, we’re not against research, education, or parental responsibility. These are important parts of the debate. These are, however, known phrases which some people use to shift responsibility for actually doing something about this massive problem. They are flippant comments all too often used to throw away or avoid evidence based discussion. Given that alcohol is not just an issue for New Zealand, there is a solid evidence base for which policies are likely to bring about positive change and these are the very policies still missing from this Bill.

    Being able to predict how individuals in power will respond to important but controversial legislation is hardly a bad reflection on the Drug Foundation. Our staff has been monitoring the debates and have seen many of these phrases used already. The feedback we are getting from those who are using the game in the manner in which it was intended is that people are already getting pretty close to calling bingo.

    The fact is, regardless of which stats you’re using, alcohol causes a lot of harm in New Zealand and the response from Parliament has been disappointing.

    Ross Bell
    NZ Drug Foundation

    p.s. And before some of you get your knickers too much in a knot: “Yes”, we receive taxpayer funding (to do stuff like http://www.methhelp.org.nz). “No”, we did not use taxpayer funding on the bingo card.

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  13. BigFish (132 comments) says:

    There’s an equally tired use of cliche and misuse of statistics from anti-alcohol campaigners in this debate, including stretched definitions of terms that define alcohol consumption which serve to increase supporting statistics to maximum effect.

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