A Month Of Australian Miserablism

by Dick Puddlecote

Note: I’m rather glad I never did emigrate Down Under. It seems an even nastier place than the Imperial Motherland. If I had my time again, and I were single, I think I’d settle in somewhere like the Republic of Filtheria – a place in the sun that had its “revolution” three generations ago, and where the unshaven pigs slouch round in dark sunglasses, contenting themselves with the occasional bribe from pimps and streetvendors. Sadly, the Americans appear to have bombed all such places into prohibitionist tyrannies even more joyless than their own accursed lair.

There are several dozen pieces by Kipling that put a lump in my throat. Here’s one of them:

Ship me somewheres east of Suez, where the best is like the worst,
Where there aren’t no Ten Commandments an’ a man can raise a thirst;
For the temple-bells are callin’, an’ it’s there that I would be —
By the old Moulmein Pagoda, looking lazy at the sea;
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay,
With our sick beneath the awnings when we went to Mandalay!
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin’-fishes play,
An’ the dawn comes up like thunder outer China ‘crost the Bay!

He’d never seen modern Singapore. SIG

It seems that since the their government passed legislation enforcing plain packaging for tobacco, Australian prohibitionists have gone into overdrive. Barely a day passes without some new misery being contemplated for the poor unfortunates who find themselves living there.

In order to log it for posterity, here’s a brief rundown of what has emerged from the authoritarian antipodean dustbowl in just a month.

We’ve seen plans to progressively ban tobacco entirely.

The 2000 Smoke Free Generation initiative has secured the backing of Tasmania’s independent upper house, the Legislative Council, and will be scrutinised by the state government.

The Legislative Council is calling for a ban on cigarette sales to anyone born after the year 2000. The initiative, brought to Australia by a University of Singapore academic, means that, from the year 2018, young people who would have then come of legal age, no longer could smoke.

The same day, it was proposed to quadruple the price of wine.

THE price of cheap wine could be increased fourfold to combat the rising cost of death and injury fuelled by alcohol.

A government inquiry has been told wine is cheaper than bottled water and raising the price is the best way to fight the 32,600 deaths and 813,000 hospital visits caused by alcohol each year.

In New South Wales, they are targeting nightclubs by planning to …

-Ban shots (no more birthday shots)
-Ban cocktails (no more mojitos)
-Ban doubles (no more scotch on the rocks)
-Ban glassware (no more bottled wine or beer)
-Restrict sales to no more than 4 drinks per person at a time (no more shouting your mates)
-Force venues to stop serving drinks an hour before close.

From here

While elsewhere, others are calling for plain packaging for McDonald’s and Burger King.

“What it is necessary to do is to create a neutral environment for consumers, because at the moment we have an environment that is obesity-promoting,” said Bebe Loff, director of the Michael Kirby Centre for Public Health and Human Rights at Monash University.

The Australian Medical Association got stuck in too last week.

THE legal drinking age should be lifted to 25 to stop young people becoming addicted to alcohol and limit the violence associated with drunkenness, the head of the nation’s peak medical organisation says.

AMA president Dr Steve Hambleton said the human brain was still developing until the age of 25 and exposure to alcohol earlier could change a person’s addictive potential.

And, just in case alcohol is actually available anywhere in the future, there are calls to reduce the drink drive limit …

Across Australia, the general driving and riding population has a legally allowed blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit of .05, which has been in force for over 30 years. But technology, attitudes and knowledge have improved. So isn’t it time to reconsider this BAC limit?

… which has only re-energised commenters who want breathalysers on every street corner for pedestrians.

Personally, I believe Australians have developed a binge drinking culture. And, that Point Zero 5 ought be made mandatory for ALL public places. That way, drunkards walking the streets could be issued with a penalty. Over time, we would develop a view that drunkenness is not OK – anywhere.

In case you were wondering, Point Zero 5 (0.05) is a drink driving (or, indeed, walking) limit more severe than that in force in the UK.

There is the odd blip of common decency Down Under – like that highlighted by Snowdon today – but, for the most part, all that walking around upside down seems to have finally seen the blood rush pressure mash their heads up.

Best of luck, My Choice Australia, you’re gonna need it.

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