Steve, thanks for continuing to ask questions about these complex …

Comment on Besieged businessman stands for zero tolerance but also calls for more ‘joy and laughter’ by Russell Guy.

Steve, thanks for continuing to ask questions about these complex social issues. There are five questions you’ve asked of me.
Individual freedoms are fine until they come up against legislation. “Judgmental group think” refers to those who vote for laws to remain. You can’t have it both ways.
Do you agree that sometimes we should relinquish an individual right for the good of the group?
This was the essence of tribal law and in many instances, it’s still obvious to those who have the eyes to see it in action around Central Australia. It’s called mateship in the way that it was originally forged in the bush, but it’s broken down in all societies now, for a number of sociological reasons. Selfishness is its adversary. Greed is its enemy. Accountability is a casualty.
Group accountability versus individual rights in this instance, is the right to consume alcohol at a responsible level. When it becomes irresponsible or excessive as it has, ‘responsible people’ are charged with an enquiry into why this may be so and our governments act on their reports or not, for the good of the people.
It seems to me that self-interest – individual rights at the expense of the group – is the quickest route to anarchy and that appears to be one of the sociological reasons for the breakdown in community mateship worldwide.
I have posted elsewhere that I don’t agree with the by-law that insists on property owners removing graffiti at their own expense, but I guess it depends on the magnitude of each case as to whether some just get on with it or not. I don’t understand Council reasoning behind it. Perhaps the Mayor of the CEO might comment?
Your question about your right to drink “tawny” 24/7 conflates the issue of a floor price with the need to supervise what is essentially a legal drug. I know this kind of statement may get up your nose, but it’s a fact. No other recreational drug is unsupervised and popular ones such as marijuana, ice, etc are illegal.
Hopefully, someone from the local People’s Alcohol Action Alliance (PAAC) who have chosen to make policy recommendations to Senate Committees, may answer you with a more informed response.
In accord with the research statistics that I’ve tried to present over past weeks, it’s my opinion that the current restricted access to “tawny, beer or cheap vodka” has produced an excessive consumption for which taxpayers, you and I, foot a hefty annual bill – not counting the cost of purchase or the profit made. Cost recovery is on its way, otherwise we’ll go broke in the lucky country one day. Some say, that we’re heading for moral bankruptcy as it is.
The real question which you raise is one of local leadership on responsible social policy for Alice Springs and I’m glad you do. A case can be argued that the “law abiding citizens” you speak of are responsible for “the few” not being able to hold their liquor and who may be drinking for different reasons than you. I think it’s more than a few, and that drinking amounts to high risk, excessive, harm-producing, consumption.
In the late 1970s, Prof. Colin Tatz described “drinking to oblivion” as drinking to forget. When you live and work amongst alcoholics as I do on a daily basis, you see the need for patient care and the truth of his statement.
This morning, I was forced to literally be a nurse bringing a cup of herbal tea to an 65 year old frail, talented woman and a peacemaker to an older woman who’d fallen foul of a store official. Sometime, today I have to apologise to a man who I was short with yesterday. He is a reforming alcoholic and I don’t want him to slip back to oblivion drinking just because I couldn’t take anymore. I’d really like it if you could see this through my eyes and help because some days, it’s too much.
Regarding welfare payment penalties. This is being trialled with truancy where children whose parent/s/guardian/s/carers are recipients. Since you raise it, my opinion is that, like zero tolerance law and order solutions, welfare withdrawal will penalise children and only drive alcoholism underground, creating a black market which is a reaction to prohibition.
Have you thought that the solutions you espouse create prohibition?
I believe that it would be preferable to further restrict or amend current restrictions to supply, so that all of us, primarily the police, can start to clean up the town and alcoholics receive the kind of care / tough love necessary to reform their lives. They need help as the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress (CAAC) has advised, to at least, manage their money.
I suggest that one outcome will be a wider business prosperity, a return to productivity / job placement and lives lived in equality.

Russell Guy Also Commented

Besieged businessman stands for zero tolerance but also calls for more ‘joy and laughter’
Yeah, good one, Steve. Remind me to watch Groundhog Day again, next time I run into you in the Mall.


Besieged businessman stands for zero tolerance but also calls for more ‘joy and laughter’
Steve, the name is Russell. You are so petty to introduce fried foods into the “logic” of excessive alcohol consumption and its ghastly contribution to inequality in this town. Let’s see your analysis of the economic costs and income management program. You’re on the side of anarchy and you can’t perceive that your policies create prohibition. You keep to the one trick of law and order and I’d reckon even the police are tired of it.


Besieged businessman stands for zero tolerance but also calls for more ‘joy and laughter’
Steve, I’ve been reflecting on my response below and I believe I can make it clearer. I said that “the real issue is local leadership” in bringing solutions to the social problems facing Alice Springs, but in clarification, the qualities of those who aspire to it, should bear closer examination.
It appears that you are concerned by the fact that you can’t consume alcohol whenever you want and that includes cheap liquor which has a high level of pure alcohol. As I understand it, the reasoning behind a floor price is to standardise the price per drink at around that of beer – a product medically deemed less harmful than cask wine or “tawny”, for example.
Your reasoning is that “a few” alcoholics have made this difficult and you wish to remove them by “zero tolerance, law and order” policing, thereby bringing them before the courts and prison system, with no stated policy on rehabilitation or child neglect.
You appear opposed to any other method, such as prevention by restricting access to liquor supply and wish to maintain a 24/7 approach to sales, despite the cost to the taxpayer.
Have I got that right?


Recent Comments by Russell Guy

NT-SA agreement hardly historic
Paul Keating, in his 1992 Redfern Speech, framed by speechwriter Don Watson, author of the somewhat dryly punitive opus, The Bush, also claimed a historic mandate, announcing success for Reconciliation “within the next decade.”
It’s in the nature of politics to claim credit for doing something, mostly spending tax revenue and living in hope that it won’t run out.
In my opinion, the “historic” issue is just a beat up or a sop.
Pass me another piece of Bicenttennial birthday cake, please.


Greens on Pine Gap: Move towards non-aligned foreign policy
The Greens, once declared an “alternative” political party, inherited the structural social and cultural goalposts, but they keep trying to kick goals through them.
Kinselas’s, one of Sydney’s long established pubs, was recently sold through the Sunsuper-backed Australian Pub Fund for $22m.
It was purchased in 2010 for $10m, but it’s been said that it would have gone for $40m had the NSW government’s lock-out laws not been enacted.
Senator Di Natale obviously supports other supply-reduction measures, but dealing with the structural wealth of Super funds and their investment in the alcohol industry is a bit more difficult than continuing to bang the party political donation route to government corruption.
It would be nice if politicians who eschew liberal social policy when it suits them, could tackle financial regulation through institutionalised investment in the alcohol industry.


They must be joking!
@ Charlie Carter. Sense is subjective. Some people laugh when others don’t and vice versa. Cheers.


They must be joking!
From reading these comments over a number of years, there are a lot of disgruntled people who have moved to Alice Springs in recent times, who appear to want the place to conform to their aspirations.
They talk about “remote” and “communities” in the abstract.
They have no idea of Mbantua.
They want what they think life should offer, according to what they read in the glossy inserts or la dolce vita on television.
When the lights go out and it’s time to cook dinner on an open fire, what then, ye dreaming?


What the open letter didn’t say
End-of-day performances by the many local musicians, occurring in the Mall is a great idea for so many obvious reasons.
I did this numerous times in the 1980s with musos and it’s not that difficult with a small PA system.
It creates paid work and gives a sense of cultural belonging that cannot really be created by other art forms.
Music speaks all languages. We had occasional problems with intoxicated persons, but violence was extremely rare.
I urge the council to look at this again, especially where inner-city gentrification is forcing musicians out and replacing “live” entertainment with grog shanties. Goodness, people might start dancing again.


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