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

Town still upset with Stuart statue, say researchers
I’ve not come across the term “creative arts therapist” before, but as a writer, it suggests that artists and in this case, the sculptor need therapy in order to heal, not just ourselves, but the culture within which we live.
I’ve heard of cultural amnesia, but not cultural healing, although, perhaps, this is what the Reconciliation movement has been attempting and, I guess, those in the aftermath of war, once the dust clears and what’s left is assayed.
This seems to be a definition of what is meant here.
Ironically, an “appreciation of arid landscape” noted by the analysts, came about because of the Stuart Highway and without the statue which has the “town upset”, this exhibition may not have happened.
In this paradox, difference is celebrated, but given that all difference is equal, some people don’t appear to mind. Perhaps, they have cultural amnesia or some other malaise.


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With thanks to the pioneering Lutheran Missionaries whose venture of faith during the 1880s was a hard slog and is well-recorded.
Their Christian concern for the Arrernte underpins our tourist industry at a time when such religious freedom as allowed their Mission Station to implement employment and educational training programs are not considered significant by a large portion of our population, including the majority of politicians.


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I believe the Galaxy is short field take off / landing as opposed to the Airbus / Boeing Emirates type which may make the comparison inequitable.
Just saying and stand correcting, but the Alice is well known as an emergency field for long-haul flights, so weight is an issue. Since the port of departure is some hours north, fuel load could still have been critical.


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There goes the neighbourhood.


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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.


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