Erwin, Good idea for a column! One problem with those …

Comment on What a week! by Russell Guy.

Good idea for a column!
One problem with those who are saying to the alcoholics, “stop blaming everyone but yourself”, is that it’s not getting through. You can’t talk to a needle or a bottle, but consider these facts from the Age (1/7/12) and by the way, welcome to Happy Hour!
As reported over the weekend, the Victorian Auditor-General found that liquor licences in Victoria have more than doubled since 1998 to 19,000 (same thing in Alice over the past forty years). Alcohol-related harm costs Victorian taxpayers $4.3billion per year (more taxes anyone?) Between 2000-01 and 2009-10, alcohol-related emergency room presentations more than tripled, hospitalisations rose by 87% and alcohol-related domestic violence doubled (Warren Snowdon said something like that about the NT earlier this year, but where is his voice in all this – won’t even engage with the AS News – pathetic for a public official).
The Victorian Department of Justice spent $67m on alcohol harm-reduction campaigns in the past four years. These efforts were “hamstrung by the powerful alcohol industry.” Does anyone remember the campaigning against the tobacco industry in the late 1970s-80s in which prices rose considerably?
Why not a floor price for alcohol? The Victorians are among the growing list of those considering it or implementing it now, while we in the NT with a staggering pathology equivocate.
The Age concluded that Australia has a “binge drinking culture which is out of control”, requiring “strong moral leadership and elctorally unpopular decisions by Government”.
So to those who blame the drunks, I say let’s get our own house in order so that we have a society that is not dictated to by the alcohol industry.

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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