In a major blow to those who promote social inclusion …

Comment on Night out on the town, and living to tell the tale by Russell Guy.

In a major blow to those who promote social inclusion by law and order without the introduction of a take-away alcohol sales free days regulation to impede the current excessive consumption in Alice, the UK Conservative government, led by David Cameron, has announced a floor price on alcohol (Guardian. 23/3/12).
Cameron, instinctively opposed to such state intervention, has been persuaded by evidence of crime and health experts on the damaging social impact of alcoholism, especially among young people.
He has overriden objections from the health secretary, Andrew Lansley. The 40p a unit minimum price could mean 50,000 fewer crimes each year and 9,000 fewer alcohol related deaths over the next decade, the government claims.
He is also to press ahead with proposals requiring clubs and pubs to pay a levy to the police to cover the cost of alcohol-related disorder.
The government can defend itself on the basis that the action is proportionate in view of the damage to the nation’s health caused by binge drinking.
Cameron has said that “binge drinking isn’t some fringe issue, it accounts for half of all alcohol consumed in this country. The crime and violence it causes drains resources in our hospitals, generates mayhem on our streets and spreads fear in our communities.
“My message is simple. We can’t go on like this. We have to tackle the scourge of violence caused by binge drinking. And we have to do it now. When beer is cheaper than water, it’s just too easy for people to get drunk on cheap alcohol at home before they even set foot in the pub.
“So we are going to introduce a new minimum unit price – so for the first time it will be illegal for shops to sell alcohol for less than this set price per unit.
“This isn’t about stopping responsible drinking, adding burdens on business or some new stealth tax – it’s about fast immediate action where universal change is needed.
“Of course, I know this won’t be universally popular. But the responsibility of being in government isn’t always about doing the popular thing. It’s about doing the right thing.”
Chief Constable Jon Stoddart, of the Association of Chief Police Officers welcomed the move. “The growing trend for ‘pre-loading’ means that young people are often drunk before they even enter a bar,” he said. “By the time they hit the streets at closing they are more likely to get involved in crime and disorder.”
Alice Springs with the same problems has been divided on a floor price. The UK government decision and Australian evidence-based statistics suggest that alcohol abuse is an underlying and separate issue to a simple law and order solution.

Recent Comments by Russell Guy

Aboriginal flag on Anzac Hill: the nays have it 
@ My Opinion, posted 20.2.18. 12:22pm:
I’m an amateur historian, but there’s an argument that the geo-political climate that caused Great Britain to raise the Union Jack over what became the colonies turned out to Australia’s advantage. At least, wisdom in hindsight suggests it so.
Indigenous or First Nations people suffered beyond measure and today assert a form of sovereignty through a limited Native Title that is not altogether historically retroactive, leading to social issues bundled together under slogans such as Closing the Gap.
There is always a relative unity among all peoples constituting a nation, but what seems undeniable is that united we stand, divided we fall.
Councils around the country fly the Aboriginal flag, but not, it seems, all that often from military sites, which still serve to unite a country in a geo-political sense, most often concerned with sovereign borders.
The social problems remain, so do other strategic sites from which the Aboriginal flag can be flown as a symbol of unity within the Alice community.


Congress call: Put full-time police back at bottle-shops
@ Surprised. Posted 6/2/18. 7:40AM. Re your comment about costs related to harmful levels of alcohol consumption within NT communities:
“You know, they fail to take into account that currently we pay $50m in the Territory in relation to alcohol sales in taxes. That money unfortunately goes straight to the Commonwealth so there is some arguments there how the Territory Government gets that money back” (Des Crowe, CEO. NT branch of the Australian Hotels Association. ABC 6/2/18, responding to the NT Police Association call for industry responsibility).
This appears to be a game of “pass the buck” with Liquor Inspectors and “new technology” attached to the BDR as a “way forward.”
Smoking in public places is banned and the health warnings that now appear on tobacco products have helped create a greater awareness of the issues related to the peer enforcement of smoking, but the tobacco industry didn’t go quietly.
Perhaps, the alcohol industry needs to admit responsibility and leadership by comparing the costs to public health for its products, but that would affect the corporate bottom line.
The $50m in taxes is miniscule in comparison to the billions spent on alcohol-related health issues that taxpayers subsidise on an annual basis.
That money could well be spent elsewhere.
It’s not an economic issue, but one of leadership in community values and political will.


Congress call: Put full-time police back at bottle-shops
@ Laurence, posted February 3, 2018. 6:17pm: Re your comment about a “radical rethink”.
Leaving aside the suite of measures so far employed to address the harmful levels of alcohol consumption in the NT and notwithstanding the absence of a floor price, there is something in what you say.
Stewardship is an old fashioned word for community values.
In the 1920s, Rev. John Flynn, who knew something about the health of people in the bush, wrote that we would have to render an account one day.


Congress call: Put full-time police back at bottle-shops
There is a groundswell of awareness about the use of methamphetamine (Ice) at a community level throughout Australia.
Most people seem to have direct or anecdotal experience of families being tragically affected, but if it was better understood that ‘for every person who uses methamphetamine in a year there are 85 drinking alcohol;for every person addicted to methamphetamine there are 20 addicted to alcohol;for every ambulance call-out for methamphetamine problems there are 25 for alcohol;for every methamphetamine presentation to an Emergency Department there are 30 for alcohol;for every amphetamine-related death there are 65 alcohol deaths’ (source: Emeritus Professor Ian Webster, Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education newsletter 2/2/18), the alcohol problem confronting communities in the NT might be considered more seriously.


THE TROLL by Blair McFarland
Thanks for this, Blair. As Monty Python would have it, say no more.


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