Steve, the name is Russell. You are so petty to …

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

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.

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, 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?


Besieged businessman stands for zero tolerance but also calls for more ‘joy and laughter’
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.


Recent Comments by Russell Guy

New abattoir for Alice? Some cattle men pushing for it.
@ Trevor Shiell: I’ve been following your posts for some time and they are so on the money that I almost feel depressed after reading your sustained critique of government apathy when it comes to your table of viable industry and opportunities missed.
What is it?
Are you so far ahead of your time that you are dismissed for being a prophet (we don’t do prophets much anymore) or is it that nobody, including MLAs can be bothered to debate you?
The almost total silence that greets your researched posts is a wonder in itself.
I wonder how you can keep posting in the face of such indifference, but, as has been noted in the Broken Window of Tolerance story on these pages, hope springs eternal.
It’s another wonder than nobody has bottled it and sold it in the Mall.


Youth crisis: broken window of tolerance
This is a clear distillation of much of what has been said in these pages for a number of years by many people trying to rationalise the progressive liberalism which has left a legacy of seven days per week takeaway alcohol.
Social engineering is a term used to describe social movements and their effect, but present alcohol reform is deconstructing modern social policy by trying to rationalise liberal supply and its pathology.
The Cultural Revolution that brought sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll to the post-war generation, many of whom became politicians, is as much implicated as anything else when it comes to determining the kind of values societies need to follow in a postmodern world.


Collective memoir of Tracker wins top prize
Great to see that memoir, too long stuck in a rut of selected facts, is forging ahead as a genre that can be worked into a prize-winning consideration and that Australian literature is recognised as being capable of speaking to a present-day cultural reality. Congratulations to the author.


In a flap over flags – a possible compromise?
I think your idea has merit, Alex and I hope it gets up. I made a similar point a month ago concerning other strategic vantage points for the Aboriginal flag, posted 20th February, 2018 at 2:03pm: http://www.alicespringsnews.com.au/2018/02/13/aboriginal-flag-on-anzac-hill-the-nays-have-it/


Feel free to try this at home
The last Sunday in March is apparently ‘Neighbourhood Day’ around Australia. This morning, I was given a free cup of tea at a market stall, announcing the event.
A gent next to me said, “G’day, neighbour.”
I was momentarily affronted that he would break into my morning to tell me this after having had my home broken into during the weak.
I told him so and said that I would get over it, but it’s not the first time I’ve been robbed and I’m bruised.
The flyer that came with the free cuppa said: “The principal aim of Neighbour Day is to build better relationships with the people who live around us. Neighbours are important because good relationships with others can and do change communities, connections help prevent loneliness, isolation and depression. Reach out to families with children and teenagers in your community to help them connect and belong.”
I haven’t exactly been shy about doing this for most of my adult life, but I’m tired, burnt-out, lonely and depressed enough to be affronted by a simple act of goodwill from an anonymous man, posing as a neighbour at a market stall on Saturday morning.
Does anyone else feel like this?


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