Phoney booze war lacks fire power – Garth George

NZ Herald Aug 26, 2010

If the Government’s proposals for changes to the liquor laws are, as it says, an “all-out war on youth binge drinking”, then it’s destined to have about as much success as the campaign to capture the Gallipoli Peninsula in World War I. But in the meantime it’s going to be a phoney war, even longer than the one between Britain and Germany in 1939 and 1940. That lasted nine months, but our phoney war against the depredations of alcohol overindulgence is set to last at least a year if not longer. For none of the provisions proposed this week are scheduled to come into effect until after the Rugby World Cup in September-October next year. Meanwhile, thousands of New Zealanders, young and old, will fall victim, through road carnage, murder, violence, crime, suicide and alcohol-induced illnesses, to a booze culture which has long been running right out of control.

..Yet these are all things which would have a salutary effect on our rampant booze culture and would show positive results in a relatively short time. As Family First director Bob McCoskrie says: “At a time when we’re trying to tackle domestic violence and child abuse, which is far too often fuelled by alcohol abuse, the measures announced will make little difference … populist policies that fail to rock the boat and fail to tackle the problem.”