Posts Tagged ‘Alcohol’


May 11, 2017


This Government in all its stupendous and magnificent stupidity has decided to blind- test welfare recipients for alcohol and drugs. It will do so through compulsory blood tests. Can you believe this? Anyone tested positive will be black-listed and only receive half their welfare entitlement. Subsequent further positive results will deny them 100% of their welfare payments.

They will try and enhance their chances of catching those addicts by testing sewer effluence. It is hoped that the Government’s welfare officers (police) get greater accuracy in pin-pointing the residential areas where those unfortunate souls might be living.

Our treasurer, Mr Scott Morrison was salivating when announcing this latest compulsory random blood-testing  ‘innovation’ as part of his latest budget. His face all religious and with devout evil intent.

It is hoped this will bolster a much needed revenue bonus for the Government who are desperately finding ways to give the promised 50 Billion tax cuts to the big Australian  businesses.

Can you believe this? Despite all that’s known about addiction, this government is ignoring the world’s best advice; punishing is never the answer. It will make things a lot worse. Experts know that it is help that is needed, not punishment. Punishment only works in making it reverse and worse. Has this Australian Government ever heard the word ‘rehabilitation?’

Yet it is rehabilitation that is in such short supply. The few re-habs that are available do this by charging enormous fees and are run on profit first and rehabilitation last. They take advantage of desperate parents forking out thousands in the hope the children will come back. This story rings a bell, doesn’t it? So it is with most Government ‘services’ all run for profit. The few free facilities’ are run by well meaning but totally untrained personnel. It relies on outdated methods, are woefully underfunded. They are so few in numbers with so many in a queue that it requires for addicts to hang on for months and months, just waiting. Many give up even trying. It is a misconception that help is available. By and large it is not.

But when it gets to punishing, oh there is plenty and more in the pipe-line, much more. You just watch! The dreaded inspector is snooping under beds and around sewage and toilets now. Sniffer dogs well trained. Catching addicts in the hollow of the night, screaming, muffled sounds, strapped down for compulsory blood test. No more welfare. Thrown on the heap. The desperation thickening.

The crowbar taken out. Your place is next!

The need to get drunk in Australia.

November 29, 2016

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Why does it seem so necessary to get pissed so often in Australia? Is life so boring?
And why do politicians feel that closing down venues or restricting alcohol venues will cure a societal problem?

Why do we keep thinking that punishment is the answer? Is Australia not all that it’s cracked up to be? Do we really think that treating young people, as in the above photo is an answer?

So many questions, but at least this night-mayor of Amsterdam seems to give one reasonable answer.

Loitering at Bankstown Square

January 17, 2014

Rhubarb & Apple crumble

Rhubarb & Apple crumble

It is re-assuring, even extraordinary to find our government advising the elderly and those in frail health to try and stay cool. Those that do not have air conditioning and are on the streets the advice is to seek shelter inside large shopping malls. The relentless heat-wave is taking its toll. Hundreds are taken into hospitals. Bush fires and alerts are keeping people on their toes. Ambulances are racing from collapse to collapse of bodies. Things are a bit nervous again, just when we felt it safe to get out again after the anxiety and bustle of Christmas. Images on TV show some nursing homes with the elderly sitting with their feet in cold water. Try and stay cool and well hydrated!

The loitering of pensioners or those who cannot afford running air-conditioning at large shopping complexes is a well known fact. It saves money not having to switch on cooling devices at home, even if it is just a fan. One is dry and comfortable. I often see the elderly in the comfortable surroundings of those huge shopping malls watching the world of the shoppers go by. There are large settees or arm chairs. Sometimes a surreptitious nice nap doesn’t go astray either. A splurging out of a fifty cent soft ice cream from the Big Mac. emporium. It is all taken into one’s stride. It passes the time. Time is what is in abundance here. I often do exactly the same while H. scans the latest in fashion boutiques you will find me keenly watching, observing and taking a terrific well earned shut-eye. Making a rhubarb crumble does take it out of you.

To stay ‘well hydrated’ is yet to be followed up with ‘drink water’ and avoid sugary drinks such as Coke or other sugar laden liquids. Of course alcohol is totally wrong. No, nothing of that kind. Just imagine the revenge of the Soft drink and Alcohol industry. Governments must tread carefully. A balance between health and survival and assuaging the holy Market is of the essence.

It reminds me about how my mum used to go to Bankstown Square back in the fifties and sixties or so. However, her aim for survival was the opposite. It was to get warm. Back in The Hague we were shown waving palms and Mosman suburbs with a very fit post man dressed in Omo white shorts leaping over fences delivering the post to sun-drenched gleaming white toothed wives standing next to a glorious white painted picket fence.

That first 1956 winter in Revesby in the grey asbestos fibro garage with the frost millimetres away from our noses underneath the blankets. The kerosene heater came next winter. Mum coping with a family of six all huddled together listening to ‘Smokey Dawson’ on the Bakelite radio. It was the Thursdays when our pay packets would be handed to her. We needed desperately to get enough money for a proper house. Even the proper house after a couple of years, was still clad in the same asbestos- fibro and still the undeclared frosty winter.

Mum did the only thing available to make the best of it. She made sandwiches and filled the thermos with hot coffee and escaped on the bus to Bankstown Square. It was the first large shopping centre to open in Sydney. It was headline news with marching girls, flags were out, jubilation of an entire nation. Bankstown Square was warm and had a buzz about it. There were crowds of people. My mum was a social creature and would strike up a conversation in her half Dutch half mangled English. Bread would be delivered by the ‘bugger’. She somehow never learned to say ‘baker’, instead just called him the Dutch ‘bakker’ pronounced ‘bugger’. ” Hello bugger, three loaves today, dank you well”.
Even today it still makes me LOL.

The End of Year “Schoolies” wipe out

November 20, 2012

The mystery of Schoolies and the “wipe-out”.

I thought I knew that our liquor selling licensing laws and businesses were seen by many in the world as pretty antiquated. I suppose it might well explain much of why so many young go well over the limit once unshackled from the final years at school and seek to wipe themselves out during the cultural phenomenon known as ‘The Schoolies.’ The ‘Schoolies’ is a three week festival whereby the year twelve students celebrate their final year at school. Perhaps, the prohibition is still lingering on here in Aussi-land and it all breaks loose during Schoolies..

I don’t quite know the origins of it or what the background of this festival is but I don’t think it has anything to do with Brazilian Carnival or running of the Spanish bulls or similar foreign carnivals. I can’t remember ever having experienced those year twelve festivals. I never went through year twelve. Perhaps that explains it.

There are curious contradictions in our alcohol beverage consumption. We are not exactly shy when it comes to getting full or even totally blotto pissed. Ok, it might not be proper here in The Southern Highlands to be seen pickled but even here not too many would point a finger at you if one occasionally did a Bazza McKenzie stained glass picture show in the taxi forgetting to wind down the window. Yet, to actually get the stuff, you have to go to specially licensed outlets.

The most curious outlets are our supermarkets. Things have finally been allowed to sell grog at supermarkets but the actual selling point still needs you to go to a separate outlet. I mean you still can’t buy butter or a long neck at the same time and at the same counter. However, here in Bowral the separation of grog and groceries have taken a small step forward in our Aldi store. You can buy butter and booze at the same counter. Amazing progress! It is ONLY allowed at counter nr 5. You can’t do it at the other counters and there are signs on the trolley (lockable and deposit paying progressive innovation, Euro inspired), warning you, that only at counter 5 you can buy butter, wine,  beer and prawns.

God knows how the Aldi lawyers must have been tortured through dealing with the ‘licensing police or board’. How ‘counter 5’ was given a license must rank as one of the most significant battles won with our licensing laws.  To buy the stuff, one has to still be 18 and only in approved points of sale. Cash register 5 is now a licensed venue for the sale of alcohol. Hoorah!

I remember as if yesterday buying a bottle of sherry for my mum and dad at Christmas time when still in Holland at age 12 or 13. I bought is at the grocery store but could also have bought it at the fruit and veggie shop. Even today, you can buy a Heineken or a latte in the train or at the rail station or at the newsagent.

I can’t imagine what the consequences would be if you could buy a can of beer on a train between Sydney’s Central station and Parramatta. I guess all hell would break loose and you can’t open train windows anymore either. Nor are trains provided with toilets. We must have camel-like bladders.

When I queued at the nr 5 Aldi counter with my peanut-butter and a fine pinot I remarked about the oddness of only being able to buy liquor at counter nr 5. A stern looking lady behind me stated; “that’s because only people above the age of 18 are allowed to serve at this counter.”  Somewhat flummoxed, I looked at all the Aldi staff and remarked that most of them would be over 18 and asked, not unreasonably I thought, what would happen if my grandson of 10 was helping me packing the pinot back into the trolley. I further asked what would happen if wine was also sold at cash register 1,2,3 or even 4? The stern lady rebuked me and said firmly;” well, that’s the law” and shut down the conversation by giving me a long and hard stare. She obviously thought I was a heathen and an alcoholic. I thought that logic wasn’t very forthcoming from her yet and decided to just buy my stuff and shut up, give it some more thought in the privacy of my car.

It is strange though. Binge drinking here, especially amongst teenager is a serious problem and many a future alcoholic must be in the making during those much accepted Schoolies. Yet, the availability of alcohol is so much more restricted.

So, why is it that in countries such as Italy or France where alcohol can be bought by anyone at almost all shops, day and night; yet, binge drinking is far less prominent? Alcohol is often consumed around the dining table with food and conversation. Getting inebriated in countries with unrestricted access is rarer and certainly much more stigmatized than in Australia were selling of alcohol is much more restricted at licensed premises and only to those above the age of 18.

Why is that so?