Alcohol madness

Some interesting reactions to Helen Clark’s comments about the liquor licensing laws in the wake of last week’s killing of Manurewa liquor store owner Navtej Singh. Clark noted the “grave concerns” of the Police about the role alcohol was playing in violent offending, and the soaring number of liquor outlets “since rules were relaxed in 1989 and new research linked outlet density with binge drinking and alcohol-related harm.”

The Drug Foundation “welcomes (the) PM to alcohol debate.” They say that the voices of a number of communities are ignored when liquor licensing decisions are made:

“Improving liquor licensing laws along with addressing cheap booze and liberal marketing practices will go a long way to turning around New Zealand’s poor drinking culture”, said Ross Bell.

Sounds reasonable. Of course communities should have a voice in how a dangerous drug is pushed on their streets. But wait…

In a press release entitled “Butt Out, Helen”, ACT’s other MP stretches logic to its outer limits, arguing that restrictions on alcohol sales would:

“…penalise those New Zealanders who already obey the law – in the same vein as dog micro-chipping and the Anti-Smacking legislation…”

“Miss Clark knows that tightening liquor laws and capping liquor licences won’t stem the rising tide of violent crime – this is just a cynical and transparent attempt to make it look as though Labour cares about public safety,” Mrs Roy said.

This isn’t the only funda-mental-ist libertarian madness in evidence either. Lindsay Perigo, reincarnated as a “

Leave aside the bizarre notion that Helen Clark (and her colleagues, presumably) don’t care at all about “public safety”. And the debatable idea that tightening the availability of liquor won’t impact on crime (although the Police seem to think it will). Why shouldn’t communities decide these matters?

Alcohol is a drug, and it does cause social problems, after all. More so than some other drugs we could name.

Tonight Manurewa MP George Hawkins is to seek Parliament’s leave to introduce a private member’s bill aimed at restricting the number of liquor outlets. ACT has vowed to dissent, thereby blocking the Bill. Will sense prevail?

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4 Responses to “Alcohol madness”

  1. peterquixote Says:

    This shooting incident dude .. isn’t it about the people who go astray all their lives and end up violent and little.
    I wish we could start a fund for the family of that man who was lost, rather than talk political junk like Helengrand always does.
    Soon she will leave us thank Christ forever to unUnited Nations.
    What is wrong with Helengrand?

  2. Sconehead Says:

    Does Helen Clark drink? I have this suspicion that she doesn’t touch the stuff. There’s a whiff of the Wesleyan about her.

    Poor thing. She looks like she needs one more than ever these days.

  3. Steve Withers Says:

    The research does show that making it harder to get alcohol does limit the damage it does. To acknowledge that doesn`t make anyone a `wowser`.

    People like to think they can fix things and have them stay fixed, so they will tinker around with limiting liquor outlets and whatever else comes to mind and some of it may even work.

    But at the end of the day there will always be useless murdering pricks out there who will find a reason, one day, to kill someone. Some could have been prevented, perhaps, with different family and social policies in place 20 years ago….but that wasn`t how it went down.

    Whether by nature or by nurture, they exist and persist and we lock them up as they reveal themselves.
    [Thanks for the comment Steve. I should have made it clear that I don’t think that anyone thinks that just limiting the supply of alcohol is going to solve all the problems. But it’s worth doing if it makes a difference and prevents even one more tragedy.]

  4. Sheila Joyce Gibbs Says:

    I would like to leave a full page true story, on this subject, as Alcohol destroyed mine & my late husbands health.
    It basically contains a drug, even though its legal.
    Now we should all understand why for such a long time, it wasn’t legal.

    Let me know, if you have space.
    Thankyou.
    Sheila
    Ph. No. 250-995-1643
    [Sheila, May I suggest that you put your story on your own weblog — wordpress.com has automatically generated one which you can activate in your account page with a click of a button — and then people could link to it. As I’m not actually an anti-alcohol campaigner it wouldn’t really be appropriate to do more than link to your story. Best wishes P]

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