Bars, restaurants and alcohol shops fear new licensing restrictions will send them out of business in a shake-up billed as the biggest since the end of six o'clock closing. [AUDIO, RADIO NZ]
But advocates for the new licensing restrictions are cock-a-hoop
at the new powers it gives them that the new licensing gives locals a say in when and where liquor outlets can open.
What the report linked to above doesn’t say—and neither do the advocates for restriction recognise this—but locals already have a say in when and where liquor outlets can open. In fact, they have virtually complete control.
Let us suppose, for example, that there are parts of South Auckland in which there were a bottle store on every corner (and I use South Auckland since, as these restrictions are another elitist measures to control the working man’s simple pleasures, South Auckland is the place where they will be most controlled. If there really were a bottle store on every corner (there are 350 bottle stores in Manukau, but many more corners) then that would in fact be a sign that this is precisely what “the community” does want—because the customers of those bottle stores, who come from “the community,” are the very people who are keeping all these bottle stores open, demonstrating as clearly as you can that this is precisely what “the community” does want.
They already have a say in where and when outlets are open—having a say by voting with their wallet every time they make a purchase. Buy readily, shops stay open. Don’t frequent the shops, the shops close. This is the power of the consumer to direct the activity of retailers.
So what the control freaks should admit, and what you others who’ve given the control freaks the power should understand, is that the control freaks don’t want communities to have a say; they simply want power to say “this is not what I want.” “The community, c’est moi.”
Because these new restrictions do not at all give a say to communities. Because everyone in the community is having their say every day—every time they choose to visit, or not, their friendly local bottle store. Who it gives “a say” to is council planners and bureaucrats. To the self-anointed guardians of other people’s morals. To those opposed to the working man’s simple pleasures. To the wowsers. The teetotilatarians. People without a life who want to make your life less colourful and less enjoyable, and with less access to the ingredients that make your private life more enjoyable. And in giving a say to the busybodies, they are taking it away from the communities themselves.