This week: Meths ban mooted, Wellington ratepayers hammered, and a dead Beatle forgiven.
1. “Meths drinking on the increase” – What a surprise. Did the politicians, who regularly increase the taxes on booze and cigarettes, and the wowsers who celebrate hysterically every time they do so, really think there would be no consequences in this?
If you price something off the market, people will look for cheaper alternatives. Such as methylated spirits instead of ethanol-containing beverages. Of course, when there is an unintended side effect to sin taxes, the knee-jerk reaction is to reduce the availability of whatever has sprung up in place of the taxed commodity. But people never learn. Wayne Temple, from the National Poisons Centre at Otago University, now wants to ban methylated spirits. Does he really think that will be the end of the matter and that no-one will poison themselves with intoxicating alcoholic compounds?
How about a new approach to the problem of health problems related to the use of intoxicatants? Why doesn’t the government just assume for a moment that adults should be permitted the freedom to put whatever they like into their bodies, as long as they remain financially and legally responsible for their actions before and afterward? People would not turn to crap such as meths if it were cheaper to purchase less harmful alternatives. Have the wise heads forgotten (or never learned) the Iron Law of Prohibition?
2. “Wellington City Council convicted over driver’s death” – Can you imagine what would happen if a truck driver working for a private firm died in a crash at work? The directors and shareholders of the company would suffer significant financial penalty, someone would probably wind up behind bars, and Matt McCarten and the authors of The Sub-Standard would demand all CEOs be hanged. But when a city council employee dies, the council receives a fine less than a quarter of the maximum, CEO Gary Poole announces that managers will receive extra training, and it’s back to business as usual. And of course Wellington ratepayers will pay that fine, thank you very much. Looks like the Council’s roading engineers failed to adhere to guidelines on the recommended gradient for the road, allowing drivers to take trucks down a wet 42 degree slope. Yet no-one is held responsible, and the CEO doesn’t have the integrity to sack those responsible for placing council employees at risk of death - and then offer his resignation, as he should.
Why should Wellington ratepayers have to keep funding a bureaucratic empire that is so blasé about killing its employees? At the very least, property owners should have the option of using other companies for their roading maintenance, rubbish collection, water supply and other utilities, instead of having to use the Wellington City Council.
3. “Vatican forgives John Lennon” – How gracious of them. Only took 44 years, after initially condemning Lennon for his observation that the Beatles were “bigger than Jesus” and for claiming that Christianity will “vanish and shrink.” Turns out of course that Lennon was right on both counts--perhaps that’s why he was forgiven! Congregations have been shrinking for decades as the left-wing political tendencies of the churches become more apparent and churches continues their absurd attacks on the wrong people--such as a Catholic archbishop’s decision to excommunicate doctors who performed an abortion on a nine year old girl who was fifteen weeks pregnant with twins after being raped by her stepfather. Was the stepfather excommunicated? Apparently not. Neither have priests in the Catholic church who have been systematically raping children entrusted to their pastoral care for decades.
The perpetrators of these sex crimes should be brought to justice, and those who have covered up their activities and given them opportunity to re-offend should be exposed. The decision to forgive John Lennon for voicing an opinion which today seems quite reasonable, but which was controversial at the time, is a bizarre distraction from the huge task the Catholic Church must confront--rooting out the paedophiles that lurk within its ranks and assisting in their prosecution under common law.
“When the people fear the government, there is
tyranny - when the government fear the people, there is liberty.”
- Thomas Jefferson