Shane Te Pou on wowsers and prohibitionists

Shane te Pou has written a column at the NZ Herald against wowsers and prohibitionists: Quote:

I think many New Zealanders will respond like me when they hear about the latest study telling us we are going to die if we drink a bit more of this or eat a bit more of that. They switch off.

In recent weeks, alcohol harm has been in the news. We see the inevitable headlines and by reading the comments on social media, it appears the anti-alcohol lobbyists are not resonating with people as they would hope.

I can’t say I am unhappy about that either. The fact is these people are prohibitionists. They want to stop you drinking any alcohol at all and they want to deny you the choice to be able to do so at a pub, restaurant or buying alcohol from a supermarket or bottle store.?End quote.

Yup, just like those pushing for taxes to control obesity, or anti-tobacco campaigners. The tactics are the same. Demonise the product, the consumers of the products and then demand bans, blocks, taxes and restrictions.?Quote:

You think I’m kidding? Recently, the executive director of Alcohol Healthwatch, Nicky Jackson, said that in all her years of research, she had “never met a moderate drinker”. In other words, all alcohol is harmful.

I suspect whether you drink or not, that is an extreme position for most New Zealanders. We all know alcohol causes harm, but we are rarely told that over the past 40 years consumption has dropped, hazardous youth drinking has declined and that the “cost to society” figures regularly bandied about have been disproved time and time again.

These prohibitionists, who are almost always funded from the public purse, are not motivated by objective public health concerns, but often rather by a subjective and superior, moral argument.

We must be aware of these people and their motives; they believe they know better than the rest of us. We must be on guard because the simple rights of the majority of us who drink sensibly, will be slowly eroded if there isn’t a decent argument mounted for moderation.?End quote.

And if you oppose their wonky ideas they then resort to lawfare to silence effective critics. They are right and you are wrong and so they sue you.?Quote:

For Maori, there is relevance in this debate too. We are often told how poor we are and how sick, and how much booze we drink and drugs we take.

Can I tell you, the solving of these issues does not come by having Pakeha academics limiting our purchase options or deciding where or when we should be able to buy and consume alcohol. The solution comes from good information, education on what is safe and what isn’t. Not the wagging finger of the elite telling us what is good for us.

More Maori choose to abstain from alcohol than non Maori. That’s good news from my perspective and I support their choice. For the rest of us who do drink, we want to be able to do it in a way that doesn’t harm our health or cause us significant life issues.

Finally think about this. Do normal, functional people become raging alcoholics, or is it more likely to be people who have low incomes, dysfunctional family situations and mental health issues? We have to have a sensible, healthy societal relationship with alcohol. Most of us do already. Those should be the dominant voices in the discussion. End quote.

Hear, hear, well said Shane. Watch the lawsuits.