Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Drink more beer--- this really takes the piss---

One reads a lot of crap in the newspapers, but the article I read in the NZ Herald today; quoting sources via the Telegraph Group Ltd is either a take the piss piece of news or downright bad research. If any of the kids I work with on a daily basis hear about it, then we would have one more impediment to safe and rational behaviour around the use of alcohol.
This is what the ‘researchers’ claim. They say that participants in the study who consume a set amount of beer (or any alcohol?) perform better in a series of tests. We need no more information other than to assume that the boorish behaviours we already see on our streets will just have had one big boost to justifying their ‘fun nights out.’
If anyone takes this seriously, then how many steps have we taken back towards even more crazy and unsafe consumption of alcohol? Now don’t get me wrong: I am not advocating a non-drinking culture; we know that never has and never will work. I am saying that sensible use of alcohol is fine, but in the hands of young teenagers, who have a way to go to achieve any balance in their lives, then it is obvious what a belief in this so called research will lead to.
You may say that the kids we are worried about will not read the report anyway and that they are far more involved in the everyday pursuit of having fun. Wrong my friends. Kids have access to so many avenues in the media and the ways to promulgate such reports. It will be on Facebook, Utube and twitter within hours of its release. I am sure that the word will spread and the behaviours justified.
Maybe, many will also see the report for what it is--- just a way of filling in a small gap at the bottom of page 3 or whatever page it manages to capture. Let’s hope so.

What can we think when the Government vetos dicussion//////////

When a government uses a very rare power of veto over a private members bill in parliament, and when there may be some support for it, one has to wonder where we are headed. We have a proud tradition of democracy in New Zealand and in the past, many private members’ bills have been passed into law. They are drawn through a balloting system and they may take several years to get a chance for discussion.
In this case, a Labour Party initiative to increase the term for parental leave after a child is born should have had a chance to be debated. Other smaller parties have indicated that they will support the bill, possibly even the coalition partners. The Governments response? ----- They will use their power of veto to kill the progress this may have made. They say that NZ cannot afford to pass such legislation because the time is wrong. When will it be right?
We all know that there is a limited amount in the ‘kitty’ for spending initiatives and that governments need to prioritize their spending. They also need to listen to the electorate and when there is a possibility that such a move re paid parental leave has wide currency, then the least they should do is to allow debate. If after that process and the support is not enough then fine--- Parliament has spoken, but to squash the right to have a public debate is reprehensible.
Is this going to be the pattern for the remaining two and a half years for this Government? What they are proposing is arrogant and undemocratic. I hope that the public shows its indignation and forces a change of heart. If not--- then be prepared for similar responses in the future. Where that leads---?

Check out blog for 3rd April

First chapter out for The River Always Flows---- needs more hits--- pass it on to friends

Was also told by NZ National Library that I can blog 'Talk To Me.'  It has ISBN number for hard copy to buy.