Under the previous Labour govt, right-wing bloggers used to quack on about "nanny state," utterly oblivious to the fact that National govts are equally full of such "mother/father knows best" types.
For an example, look no further than National MPs Tim Macindoe, Jackie Blue and John Banks (do you want to pretend he's not one? Really?). These three are backing raising the alcohol purchase age to 20, or even worse, enacting some kind of split purchase age level so that... so that... well, I'm fucked if I know what the aim of it is apart from making the law a lot more complicated. It seems to be one of those compromises in which you choose the most stupid, pointless, expensive and difficult option exactly and only because you get to call it a compromise.
These pompous do-gooders cite "overwhelming public support" for raising the age. Well, duh. It's no skin off my nose to support a law that only affects other people - why wouldn't it have overwhelming public support, given the small proportion of the population it's going to affect? I expect a poll tax on Chinese immigrants used to have overwhelming public support for exactly the same reason. What counts is how much support this law change has among the citizens it will apply to - I haven't seen any figures on that, but I'm willing to bet "overwhelming support" wouldn't be an apt description.
This will be an interesting conscience vote - it will tell us who in Parliament has the integrity to stand up against the practice of picking on a minority for the sake of being seen to do something about a problem. (Except in the case of Winston First MPs - this proposal is actually a very close fit with their "You kids get off my lawn!" policy, so they probably won't go with a conscience vote). Happily, it will also tell us which MPs are such cowardly weasels that they'd inflict by far the worst option on us for the sake of being able to say they reached a compromise.
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