Seems to me the only people more annoying than the moochers who ask for more and more while doing less and less are those lemon-sucking wowsers who are more and more vocal in insisting we enjoy ourselves less and less.
The age of Nanny is not dead. Her latest incarnation rode in yesterday on Geoffrey Palmer's horse, and has already been taken out for a trial canter this morning by Simon Power. It's a horse that needs to be shot.
The whole thrust behind Geoffrey fucking Palmer’s recommendations on alcohol consumption (yes, you'll be hearing some strong language if you choose to read on) is that we -- i.e., you and I -- are not behaving as they -- i.e., Geoffrey and Simon -- think we should when we consume it. We're drinking too much of it. We're making too much noise when we do. We're swinging from too many chandeliers, singing too many macarenas and getting in the way of too many decent people going about their business at 3am in the morning. We're getting uppity, and something must be done. Geoffrey: fuck you. Simon: fuck you. How about we live our lives and you live yours, and as long as we don’t get in each other's way I'll be very happy.
But that sort of approach was never on the cards, was it Geoffrey. If your whole agenda wasn’t clear when Helen Clark gave you a truckload of cash to write your report, then it became abundantly clear when you commissioned "independent" research from your tame consultants to inflate the “social costs of alcohol.” And if Eric Crampton and Matt Burgess hadn’t spotted your duplicity you might have gotten away with it, you arsehole. But you didn’t. You were exposed as trying to bolster your bullying with bullshit, and you got pinged.
But you're completely unashamed by that, aren't you – you’re unashamed because you really do think it's your Government-given self-anointed right to boss us the fuck around. Well, as I said before, fuck you and the unbridled power you rode in on.
You talk about "changing the policy settings" when what you're really doing is telling free people how to live their lives. You talk about "encouraging" changes in behaviour when what you mean is force. Christ, you can't even be honest in your inhumanity.
You say that taxes on alcohol should increase? But your colleagues have already stuck your hand in drinker's pocket once this year, haven’t you -- adding around fifty cents to a pint of beer and endangering the whole craft brewing industry – and last year – adding 10% to the cost of spirits – and the year, before, and the year before that. Fact is, your excise taxes on our alcohol are already through the roof, aren’t they, and heading higher every bloody year (and every year another learned report is handed down recommending yet another bloody increase “for our own good”), making us wonder just how much is enough! Just how much do you want the the working man and woman to pay for their pleasures, you thieving gobshites.
You say too that bars and clubs should be forced to shut down from 2am? Tell you what, if you don't like the look of what goes on after 2am, then stay the fuck home.
You say that new liquor licenses should be made more difficult to get and to keep? Way to go helping out small businessmen by cutting compliance costs, you bullying arseholes.
You say that 18- and 19-year-olds should be banned from buying alcohol from bottle stores and supermarkets? Which means you think they're responsible enough to vote for unbridled power-lusting cretins like yourselves, but not responsible enough to pour themselves a drink when they get home from work.
Tell you what, why not just mind your own fucking business, and we'll mind ours.
And let me tell you something else too: It's not your job to "encourage" anything; it's your job to get the hell out of our way.
And as it happens, in those rare places and situations where governments do get the hell out of the way -- in places like France, say, where youngsters can enjoy a drink with their parents from an early age – it’s there that we do find responsible drinking; and we find it because responsibility is encouraged, not discouraged. That's self-responsibility, Geoffrey -- a concept it's clearly too late for you to learn, but some of us really would like to encourage. That’s the opposite of the restrictive, coercive, heavy-handed six-o’clock-swill mentality that you and arseholes like you would like to bring back.
But here's one final lesson to digest, from a chap called Herbert Spencer: that the ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools. That goes double for the architects of those shields as well.
Geoffrey: fuck you.
UPDATE 1: Eric Crampton makes a polite clarification:
Palmer didn't commission the BERL report: MoH and ACC did. As I understand it, the Law Commission views as defamatory that it be construed as having commissioned it. Palmer chose to use the report 'cause it was around, then chose to commission Brian Easton as a neutral party to resolve differences between BERL and us.
We can wonder whether commissioning Easton as neutral agent here is consistent with the Law Commission wanting a neutral view. . .
UPDATE 2: Chopper Read makes a less than polite point more than appropriate to Simon Power and Geoffrey fucking Palmer: Make Dead Shits History.
UPDATE 3: You think Courtenay Place at 3am is bad? You should see “closing time” in Africa. Once a year, a tree in southern Africa produces very juicy fruits containing a large percentage of alcohol – and as soon as the fruits are ripe, animals come there to help stave off dehydration. You can imagine what happens next.
Geoffrey Palmer and his
Wellington Wowsers Law Commission observers (who supposedly did late-night research tours around NZ’s seventeen-most popular drinking spots) appear here about 2:02 in.)