Bring On The Nanny State!

My, the Australian Hotels Association are a pessimistic bunch. Whether it's anti-smoking laws, or gambling restrictions, or shorter trading hours, they're completely convinced that the next "draconian" Government measure imposed on them will cause the entire industry to collapse, killing local nightlife and putting lots of "ordinary Australians" out of work. Now, in the past I have written opposing alcohol trading restrictions in Newcastle, but I believed and still do, that Newcastle is a special case. The AHA however is the eternal boy who cried wolf on these issues, and in their latest missive, they've gone a little further than is comfortable.

Claiming that it's partly in jest, the NSW President of the AHA, Scott Leach, has penned a missive decrying the nanny state in Australia. He's angry about regulations restricting pub trade and alcohol consumption, claiming that "In the United States citizens can tote guns, choose not to wear seatbelts and they allow kids as young as 16 to drive huge petrol guzzlers. Here we can’t water the lawn without the government telling us when, how and with what." (and that's working out very well for them), in comparison to Australia. Mr Leach envisions a nation where tourists can camp on the beach, pubs can serve unlimited drinks and patrons can drive home afterwards.

My sympathy runs out here. See, I love rules. When I hear that chewing gum is illegal in Singapore, I think "Gosh, we could do with some of that here" (without the death penalty part, however). Pretty much everyone loves the rules when it comes to protecting their own way of life - I'm sure there are those on talkback radio today agreeing heartily that the "do gooders" have gone too far who also decry the behaviour of alcohol fuelled yobs. Mr Leach wouldn't want the backpackers camping in his backyards. Well, as a socialist I think public property is everyone's responsibility - that's why I'd love to see transit officers actually fine people who put their feet on train seats, security guards to prevent morons taking prams on escalators, any rules possible to stop Sydney more closely resembling lower George St at 3am. And let's have a law to stop idiots whining about nanny states, then suing when the laws they decried fail to protect them from their own stupidity.

Anyway, I'm off to pick all the flowers in Scott Leach's garden. He won't mind, surely - he's the guy who wants to get rid of all the petty rules.


  1. Allan The Photographer30/06/2011, 11:43

    Well I disagree Nico

    It comes down to policing.

    Thanks to political correctness, many things police used to do to combat the violence is not allowed anymore.

    You played up you ended up on the receiving end of a bloody good beating and spent the night in the lockup. This doesn't happen anymore.

    They have lowered the physical requirements to be a police officer. You used to have be close to 6ft tall and built like a brick shithouse.

    Allowing female police officers. Don't kill me for this but it is kind of stupid having a 5'6 female police officer try to control a alcohol fueled situation. Compared to a 6'0 guy built like a brick shithouse who can throw a punch.

    Ask yourself this. Do you think the police officer in question here would have been overpowered by a drunken female if they were 6'0, weighing around 80kg's?

    Or in this instance do you think a male, obviously under the influence would have felt confident enough to throw punches at a 6'0 80kg male officer


    And again

    So there is a lot of evidence to suggest that under certain situations having female police officers can further inflame the situation as opposed to using intimidation to calm the situation.

    There is also the issue of transport. The time when many venues close, Cityrail is not running trains, Taxis are at change of shift and buses are run to a reduced schedule. In Newcastle's case being an industrial town there used to be workers buses that late night patrons used to also use to get home. These no longer run either.

    Most importantly however it's policing. Police, especially those who work the night shift in the entertainment precincts should be able to give a drunk a bit of a beating and lock people away for the night, release them in the morning. That would straighten a lot of people out.

    In a nutshell, police standards have dropped to political correctness. They no longer are able to do the things they need to do to maintain order.

  2. I really don't think police brutality is the answer here...especially not in this age of increased surveillance and camera phones. Aside from all the other reasons why I think this is wrong, the police would have to spend huge resources in court fighting assault charges. Transport yes.

    The "political correctness gone mad" argument dovetails with "we live in a nanny state!" frequently, it seems.

    BTW, 6ft and 80kg isn't very big. DH is about that size and I can pin him when not knocked up; GS described him as "slim" when fitting his wedding coat. Try 110kg for some impact.

  3. Allan The Photographer30/06/2011, 12:06

    Problem is. You can have all the surveillance in the world. But Surveillance does not physically do anything. I'd much rather a few blokes locked up for the night with busted noses from police then a person fighting for his life in RPA because there was no police around or the police only acted after the assault took place because they where not in a position to physically prevent it.

    And yes I do believe we live in a Nanny State. I'm a staunch libertarian. It's reaching the point where the vocal minority are effectively telling us how we can live our lives and telling us what we can and can not do.

    In the context of the violence in our night spots. It's the minority of idiots who cause the problems. Yet we ALL have to suffer the consequences of their actions. People WILL lose income if trading is restricted. People SHOULD be able to choose where they spend their leisure, doing what they want to do WHEN they want to do it and not be dictated to.

    If it means a few blokes get a hiding and end up in the lock up for a night then so be it. The majority of the population is better served for it. The strain on the legal system is diminished since less people are facing court over serious assault charges and gaol time. Rather they have some nasty black eyes to show for their trouble.

  4. My point was, even if we decide the police beating D&Ds is the solution, they're not going to be able to get away with it in a world where everything everyone does is monitored.

    (I don't think it's the solution. Actual drunken late night violence wasn't really the point of my post).


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