Robson-On-Politics - Thursday 9 November 2006
Parliament's vote on alcohol purchase age - Rogernomics rules, for now
In the United States, the Gun Lobby libertarians often say that gun rights are inalienable rights.
One of their slogans is that "guns don't kill people, people kill people" and that if America has a "gun problem" (i.e.
far too many innocents are getting injured or killed by guns every week) then the answer isn't to erode those
inalienable owners' rights, the overwhelming majority of whom are responsible and don't deserve to be stigmatised, but
to "change the culture" instead by "teaching responsible gun-owning" behaviour etc.
We've made a lot of progress since 1999 to turn the corner on the libertarian ideology of Rogernomics in Aotearoa, but
we haven't quite got there yet when it comes to advancing community values and interests in the campaign to better
protect children and their families against the liquor marketing lobby.
Yesterday Parliament choose the ultimate in weasel words, another tax-payer funded Labour Party Review of the situation,
even as a majority voted against three measures that, as part of a wider government policy programme, would have have
given real impetus to the culture-change project in favour of turning the tide against our youth binge drinking
No one denied the evidence of harm by the No. 1 drug problem
No one denied that lowering the alcohol purchasing age, combined with the very liberal liquor retailing and marketing
regulations, means that more young children are getting themselves into strife than would be the case if those
regulations and laws were strengthened.
All the majority of MPs have done is to say that no matter what the evidence of harm to children, the individual
shopping rights of 18 and 19 year old adults are more important at this time.
That was Rogernomics and Ruthenasia too - despite the evidence, the ideologues of the '80s and '90s stuck with their
ideology which talked the language of individual liberty but actually entrenched social harm particularly to the weakest
Parliament is sovereign and a future Parliament will have an opportunity to again examine the evidence. At a future
date, as we put Rogernomics behind us, the tide will turn and a majority of representatives will, I am sure, one day
respond to the will of the community in favour of community interests.
I wonder how family values party leader Peter Dunne voted?
Parliament voted 72-49 to say that the shopping rights of 18 and 19 year olds are more important than the mental and
physical health of 14 and 15 year olds.
The leader of the "sensible party that puts families' intersts first," United Future, is called Mr. Peter Dunne.
I wonder how he voted on the Sale of Liquor (Yourh Harm Reduction) Bill?
Where did the Labour Ministers stand, particularly those that in the 1980s were selling off State asset after State
asset in a desperate bid to raise a bit of cash after earlier stupidly going along with Roger Douglas' unaffordable
income tax cuts that had mainly benefited those already on high incomes?
MPs' voting record is on the Drug Foundation's www.20years.co.nz
Thank you to our scientists who did their best to share their knowledge
I really admire the scientists and academics, like Professor John Langley and Dr Kyp Kypri, for how they had the courage
and took the time to share their findings on some of the effects of our current liquor laws on young people's health
with the politicians in Wellington.
Our healthy civic society depends on professionals with a social conscience.
And the health of civic society also depends on the great public health campaigners - like those at Alcohol Health Watch
and the NZ Drug Foundation. The campaign goes on!
Progressive Senator elected in Vermont
Great to see Bernie Sanders has been elected as a Senator in Vermont. This is a great advance for the progressive
movement in America.
My favourite quote of his is this:
"It is a disgrace that the US has the highest rate of childhood poverty of any industrialised country on earth. Iraq is
important, but it's not the only issue."
The Democrats, who totally supported the Republicans decision to illegally invade Iraq on false pretences back in 2003,
used the "Iraq issue" endlessly in yesterday's elections without once addressing any of the fundamental issues - like
what should be done in Iraq now? How should the world act now to best help Iraqi families and communities get out of the
cycle of total despair that they are now in thanks to the Democrat/Republican Middle Eastern foreign policy?
I am going to make a very bold prediction now: The outcome of Vermont elections will ripple through the the United
States in the years ahead - it is a positive ripple!
Apartheid State - time to protest to Labour MP
Ross Robertson (Labour) is the chairperson of the NZ-Israel Parliamentary Friendship Group.
Last week, the Israeli coalition government which includes the Israeli Labor Party was expanded to include a fascist
party whose platform is the ethnic cleansing of the last remaining Palestinians out of their homeland.
The party, whose leader is now Deputy PM, wants to ferret Palestinians out of Israel into neighbouring states
-presumably to go into the refugee camps created in 1948 in places like Syria and Lebanon and where most of the world's
Palestinians presently live because they are not permitted to return home.
If you want a point of contact to express your opposition to the apartheid government, a stamp-free note to the Labour
MP Ross Robertson wouldn't go amiss.