Friday, April 23, 2010

Yep, thought so

You know you support the right party when, some days ago, in response to the Law Commission proposals on alcohol, you comment thus:
I could have written the LC’s report in four words:

Ban, restrict, prohibit and tax.

These are the usual responses to any problem in New Zealand.

And then today this comes from Rodney Hide and Heather Roy in a press release.
"The Law Commission's reported proposals on alcohol are frankly ludicrous", ACT Deputy Leader Heather Roy said today.

"They cannot possibly pass the government's tests for good regulatory and tax policy."

"It seems the Commission wants to take New Zealand back to the days of punitive excise taxation and nanny state regulation of shop trading hours, closing times for bars and the purchase age.

"We have been there and done that with alcohol policy and it didn't work," Mrs Roy said.

Since liberalisation that commenced in 1989, consumption per head has declined significantly and there has been no increase in hazardous drinking. The vast majority of New Zealanders have a responsible attitude to alcohol.

Pretty basic truths. It'll be interesting to see where this goes.

12 comments:

Psycho Milt said...

Sigh - again I'm agreeing with ACT, a sure sign that the proposal we both dislike is seriously fucked up.

On the plus side, National gets plenty of money from the liquor industry, so hopefuly those funders will demand a return on their investment when the govt considers implementing the commission's recommendations. Now there's a sentence I never expected to be writing...

Danyl said...

Since liberalisation that commenced in 1989, consumption per head has declined significantly and there has been no increase in hazardous drinking. The vast majority of New Zealanders have a responsible attitude to alcohol.

That's not actually true though - according to the many reports on the subject, our consumption has risen massively and our binge drinking has also increased. %25 of the population are regular binge drinkers, ie people who do not have a responsible attitude towards alcohol and are damaging their health by abusing it.

Gooner said...

Danyl, I wondered whether that statement by Heather Roy was correct but presumed it must have been or else she wouldn't have said it. As I type this I realise how stupid that sounds: she's a politician.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Danyl, stick to washing test tubes. You're no good at rational analysis and even less good at intelligent expression.

Do you presume to suggest that one in four New Zealanders are 'binge drinkers and that thirty years ago all was perfect? Obviously you are not old enough to remember the daily mass exodus of drunks from pubs at 6.20 p.m. or the plaintive cries of hungry families whose fathers had pissed most of the weekly wage up against the wall and then thrown the rest at the TAB?

I think I'll take the ACT Party's analysis. It has credibility.

Psycho Milt said...

%25 of the population are regular binge drinkers...

I can easily believe that, because according to infallible official source "Wikipedia:"

The New Zealand health service classifies Binge Drinking as anytime a person consumes 5 or more standard drinks in a sitting.

In other words, we have a definition of "binge drinking" ideally suited to moral panic enthusiasts.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Yes indeed, Milt. You've described our Danyl to a tee.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

I wonder if Danyl and the nation's other moral panic enthusiasts have paused to consider how foolish is the statistic '25% of the population.' That really means pretty much half the adult population because 'the population' includes babies and children, demented rest home inmates, prisoners, hospital patients, members of religious orders, to mention just a few unlikely candidates for the title 'binge drinker.'

Now everybody knows Australians are bigger piss tanks than Kiwis.

Heine said...

Depends on how people define "binge drinking" really. These days more than a few units puts people into that category.

They could overnight redefine it and put more or less people into it.

Psycho Milt said...

You've described our Danyl to a tee.

Danyl's take on this was:

My fantasy policy as regards almost all drugs is that they’re legal but heavily taxed to reflect the high external cost of drugs of abuse, so I’d be happy to see the excise increased but not the prescriptive policies around the sale of the drug.

Which seems reasonable to me, not that I agree re the taxes.

Geoff Palmer though is another matter - if people won't behave the way he'd prefer them to, find ways to punish them. Classic "moral panic" stuff.

This is another opportunity for National to provide evidence that they really do have a point of difference vs Labour when it comes to Nanny State. But they've skipped every other opportunity so far, so don't get your hopes up...

Psycho Milt said...

Depends on how people define "binge drinking" really.

Exactly. You can raise and lower the number of "binge drinkers" for policy purposes simply by pulling a new number of std drinks out of your arse. Palmer should have just suggested upping the number - binge drinking slashed overnight, awesome victory for the govt.

Gooner said...

Danyl's take on this was:

My fantasy policy as regards almost all drugs is that they’re legal but heavily taxed to reflect the high external cost of drugs of abuse, so I’d be happy to see the excise increased but not the prescriptive policies around the sale of the drug.

I could live with that.

Blair Anderson said...

Sheese! T'is enough to drive one to spark up!

The silliness Hide et al speak of is all the more sillier as they too fail to recognise that one will never make any headway around the drug we drink until we ALL realise that the illegality of that other neighbouring recreational intoxicant cannabis is fixed. It is indeed an irony that what is supposed to work for more effectively controlling alcohol cannot be tried with cannabis even if it means 'regulating; restricting outlets, increasing tax, monitoring strength, constraining advertising, and better enforcing age of consent'. [the Law Commission has made it plain that the 'restricted substances regulations' - a perfect match for delivering the above IS NOT TO BE USED FOR CANNABIS. Thier resoning is that someone overseas known best what we should do.

Yet what is proposed it is meant to work for alcohol... ? Why NOT cannabis. Would we ban Alcohol because they think it a good idea in Saudi Arabia?

I bet the alcohol report doesn't make a connect yet there is there solution - stop driving people to drink! Cannabis is SAFER.