A Day of Shame for Victoria, Australia

28/02/2013

Assaults in Victoria, Australia have increased by 15.4 per cent! Recall that 70% of all assaults are alcohol related. Hundreds more people have been bashed in the financial interests of Big Liquor! How many have been permanently maimed? Scarred for life? Traumatized? Recall that 100s of more police have been added to the Vic Police Payroll – but the root cause of this violence has not yet been tackled let alone beaten. Commercialized Binge Drinking reigns supreme over the common human decency demanded of our civic leaders by the very responsibility of their roles. Only weak, ineffective measures are given the go ahead down here. That is why the innocents will continue to suffer. This is a day of shame in Victoria. A Day of Shame!


4 Corners delivers indictment on AHA’s attitude

25/02/2013

Four Corner’s report on alcohol related violence, the profoundly tragic, far reaching consequences for the victims and their families, the police and emergency services, and the positively Machiavellian attitude of the hotel “industry” is a must see.

http://www.facebook.com/abc4corners


Four Corners program promo claims pollies have taken the crackers…

23/02/2013

Four Corners are promoting a report Punch Drunk by Janine Cohen and Karen Michelmore to be broadcast ABC1 Monday 25/02/2013 at 8.30 pm and repeated Tuesday 26th at 11.35 pm on ABC 1. Also on Saturdays at 8.00pm on News24.

From the promo:

“We are not facing a crisis, we’re in a crisis. It’s occurring right now.”

Read the statistics and it’s hard to argue with these dire warnings. The latest figures show that each year as many as 70,000 people are involved in alcohol-related assaults. In all, it is estimated that alcohol-related violence costs the community $187 million each year. Four Corners also reveals there’s a growing body of evidence that shows a link between binge drinking and brain damage. As one expert explained:

“You will face assault, you will assault, you will have falls. You will find yourself with a brain injury as a result of the long-term use of alcohol.”

While the overall incidence of alcohol-related violent crime varies in each state in Australia, one thing is clear: the violence associated with alcohol abuse is getting more extreme. Indeed one key judicial figure has taken the unusual step of opening his court to the cameras and telling Four Corners:

“One day someone is going to sit down and weigh up the benefit in terms of taxes to government from the sale of alcohol, against the detriment or the cost to governments of servicing the consequences of violence.”

The reporter’s pose: “Why is Government backing away from a fight with the Alcohol Industry?”

Expert answers: “They’ve donated quite large amounts of money to political parties – on both sides.”

That sounds plausible! This should be an interesting show.


A Current Affair deals with pre-loading binge drinking

21/02/2013

See report here: http://aca.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=8614832

Reporter Alison Piotrowski found 90% of those they surveyed had pre loaded prior to hitting their preferred “entertainment” precinct. Of these, 60% had already consumed more than 6 standard drinks. Paul Dillon, famed alcohol researcher, reported that because the pre loaders were affected by their intoxication their often held intention of not spending so much once out – goes out the window! The binge more often continues – from the pre load to the streets and to the clubs. Paul correctly focuses on the supermarket corporations who sell alcohol to cheaper than bottled water. (Many of the same people working in Australia’s supermarkets have been brought over to Australia from the UK, having ruined that country’s young so completely and so profitably)

Paul points to parents across the country condoning and participating in the binge drinking activities of their children. “It’s just horrific – it makes no sense” is Paul’s lament.

Alison speaks of these young folk trying to find “confidence at the bottom of a bottle” with helpful, drunk young folks proffering their support. Alison makes no mention of “addiction”.

Popular media medico, Dr Kerryn Phelps stated that a pre loader having consumed 6 -10 drinks is twice as likely to get into trouble with the law, have accidents or be involved in assaults and sexual assaults. And Dr Phelps points to 4 out of every 10 pedestrians killed on our roads have a BAC over point 05. “So, just walking around drunk is a health risk”. Well said Dr Phelps. We could add a “crime risk” and “social risk” and others.

28% of Australian women between the ages of 14 – 24 binge drink – a figure doubling the tragic numbers of the year 2000.

Big Liquor’s social engineers have done their jobs well. It’s amazing what millions of dollars in marketing research and garnering political support for favourable media and licensing laws can do for you. “Democracy doesn’t come cheap” said one BL social engineer.

Dr Phelps points to their increase in risks of assaults and sexual assaults and accidents – but doesn’t mention the propensity for FASD nor the cancers nor the addiction.

ACA labels their slide “women” when the women mentioned include 14 YO children. “Females” would have been more accurate. That a media company considers a 14 YO to be a “woman” is indicative of that industries predilection for seeing them as fair game – a fair market for normalizing alcohol use.

Herald Sun columnist Suzie O’Brien points to the risks binge drinking females run – all to commonly run. Unfortunately, she believes that the cohort pictured by Alison would somehow change their behaviour  – if they were made aware of these risks that include sexual assault, murder and unprotected sex. Susie, it’s been found time and again that education programs don’t change behaviour – unless they are packaged with a hard legal edge…  Why repeat false hopes and disproved lies?

For whatever reason, perhaps there is a banned words register for journalists in Australia, but Allison’s piece never mentions the word “addiction”, or “cancer” or phrases such as “birth defects/abnormalities” or “Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder”. The truly frightening – all too real realities that many of these kids depicted on this segment will have to suffer or otherwise face – these are never mentioned or shown. No gory photos of affected brains of FAS babies. No cancer or liver operations.

We cannot truly and comprehensively outline the realities of commercialised binge drinking in Australia’s media. It must be a freedom of speech issue!

 

 


Extremist Nutters Fail to Intimidate

27/09/2012

A representative of an outer fringe, extremist group rang my home number today in a vain attempt to intimidate.

She could offer no explanation as to how she obtained my home number, stating that it was on the web site. It was a pat, reflexively given answer.  She refused to make any effort to explain herself.

Readers will note that a Media Inquiry Number is made available on the very front page or landing page of this website.

This is a known, long held tactic, by those nasties working for Big Liquor.

Something I was warned about at the very start of the campaign, some years ago.

Mike Cockburn


NY Times Links reports a pedestrian 08 like policy would have avoided Afghan Massacre.

19/03/2012

The truly tragic massacre in Afghanistan has motivated the NY Times to write this:

Nearly every combat outpost in Afghanistan is automatically part of a volatile mix: a hardened enemy, increasingly sophisticated and deadly land mines, nervous young soldiers, powerful weapons and machinery, suicide bombers, the stress of multiple deployments, searing heat, unfriendly locals, unfamiliar languages.

The U.S. Army has concluded that adding alcohol to that mix is unwise.

But now, with the massacre of 16 Afghan civilians, alcohol has been suggested as a possible causal factor in the killings…

And:

The military’s General Order No. 1 prohibits the possession or consumption of alcohol in five countries, including Iraq and Afghanistan.

Still, alcohol finds its way onto bases and outposts, either passed from soldiers from other countries, smuggled in from local markets or delivered in care packages from home. Sometimes the alcohol is disguised as mouthwash — usually gin or vodka doctored with blue-green food coloring.

And:

An assistant secretary of the navy, Juan Garcia, said a pilot Breathalyzer program in submarine units had yielded a 45 percent decrease in “alcohol-related incidents.’’

The Moral of the Story?

Even in heavily disciplined environments, only random breath testing delivers!

Only random breath testing will find the illicit alcohol.

No one in Australia and the UK can point to a single harm minimization program that can instantly produce a 45% decline in Alcohol Harms.

In fact, so out of touch are the Australian Drug Foundation, that Mr Geoff Munro, National Policy Manager, hadn’t even heard of the U.S. Navy’s pioneering success.

And, he admitted he had nothing to do with the Northern Territory’s outstanding success with Drinking Licensing in Chronically Affected areas.

Nothing effective comes from the ADF.

I’ve repeatedly challenged Mr Munro to come up with one policy innovation that the ADF has come up with.

He refuses to believe a projected 5% increase in ethanol consumed, “despite” all the “evidence based” measures supported by Mr Munro.

Come up with it Geoff! All the programs that led to a population wide decrease of 45% of toxic, carcinogenic, teratogenic and addictive alcohol, that you recommended, and you achieved!



Australian Drug Foundation has No Knowledge of U.S. Navy Success

15/03/2012

In an unbelievable display of ignorance, Last Night, Mr Geoff Munro, Senior Policy Sifter for Australian Drug Foundation, admitted no knowledge of the U.S.Navy’s success in embedding a Pedestrian 08 Like Campaign.  The U.S. Navy program shares with Pedestrian 08: A declared max Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Limit; Breathalyzer Machines (on All Ships); Random Breath Testing (RBT); as well as adding fixed time and place testing. Finally both programs provide consequences for transgressors.

Geoff has a thing about identifying “evidence” for the potential of Pedestrian 08 as the genuine life saving policy that it certainly is. (In this business, “Evidence Based” can be code for “Do nothing because no one else has done it yet” or “I can’t back this because minister xyz says I can’t”)

He has a problem relating the success of Australia’s most successful life saving measure against the many harms committed by Big Liquor – in this case Drunk Driving (DUI) – largely beaten by our famous Motorist Point 05 Campaign. This is the model on which Pedestrian 08 stands.  “No evidence!” declared Geoff. He chooses not to see the success of RBT as used by Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority to detect errant Commercial Pilots.  “No Evidence!” Nor does he know about what happens to Aviation Safety when you withdraw this safety measure. Witness the recent news of a struggling Indian Airline who couldn’t afford to maintain their Random Breath and Drug Testing. This resulted in one pilot caught by other authorities trying to fly his jumbo on a BAC of 0.09! Not to mention a building total of 50 – that’s FIFTY other transgressors on drugs and or alcohol fortuitously caught by other authorities. That would be “No Evidence!” I suppose Geoff! Leading to the biggest news so far reinforcing this model: The recent success and expansion of the U.S. Navy via its Nuclear Powered Submarine Fleet involving a whopping 45% Turnaround – “No, I haven’t heard of it” and 5 mins later: “No evidence”.

The ADF are fundamentally out of the loop on this one. Totally out of the loop. This is a PR machine. That’s it.

Geoff was presiding over a the first forum funded to raise awareness of Victoria’s Secondary Supply laws, along with advice to parents on how to handle children and alcohol.

Geoff and company acknowledged a guess that only ten percent of any audience of parents at any forum would know of the toxic, carcinogenic, teratogenic and addictive nature of alcohol.

Yet, their presentation gave no facts to parents likely to deter them passing on their own habits and addictions onto their children. Eg: Big Liquor Maims Babies (FASD), Big Liquor causes Cancer, Big Liquor sells a toxic substance, Big Liquor promotes addiction, violence etc.

As I stated:”I don’t get it. The parents don’t know the dangers – no one else is going to tell them – and you are working for the government. You don’t warn them so they think it’s a drug with no side effects like they see it on TV? Who is going to tell them!”

Dissembling response only.

It then gets worse! The presentation included a line advising Parents not to supply alcohol to anyone under the age of 15. What a disgrace! A government funded front refusing to outline dangers to parents who may well need the truth about this killing, maiming drug of addiction. Then they move on to advising Parents to supply their child with Underage Drinking.

What is going on at the Australian Drug Foundation?

Geoff also acknowledged not being involved, in any way, in the Northern Territories recent success with Drink Licenses. (The N.T. gained an instant 15% drop in offenses).

It seems governments and authorities don’t look to Geoff’s ADF when ever anything effective needs to be done.


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