I confess I was shocked by the blatant beer and circuses approach adopted by National to the challenge live television coverage of the Rugby World Cup posed to my compatriots. Open the bars they compassionately cried. Equality for binge drinking students and the huddled masses! Hang about here: how many homes don’t have televisions? How many zillion replays will there be? Had they learned nothing from the Northland bye-election?
And what about the workers: the extra staff on call or working in A & E Departments, police and emergency services. God forbid they are denied coverage. Another quick law change to allow ambulance, fire service and police drivers to use their mobiles? Big tv screens in A& E and operating theatres to be included in core hospital services?
Manboys in the mainstream media lost their balance (not that they have much) and sobbed compassionately, unsabashedly joined forces with Winston Peters and declared doubters to be wowsers. Apparently one thing in this land of freedom and democracy you are not allowed to be is a wowser. Well I’M A WEE WOWSER AND I’M OKAY. Labour leapt onto National’s beer wagon alongside Winston. The Greens lost their bottle and joined them. Columnists, and at least one cartoonist were more thoughtful.
Is it not enough to do my bit for the beer barons most days now? Offsider, a rugby fanatic, has done a lot more over the years but also thought opening the bars a silly idea. Don’t we understand that mankind is on the brink from lack of drink? We’re in a state of emergency!
The current liquor laws were much debated two years ago, the World Cup problem raised, no accommodation thought necessary apparently. So what’s going on? Too many piss-ups at Parliament? This is not how you make or change laws. Then there is the mess of the mangled Healthy and Safety legislation. Are we being softened up for flogging off Parliament’s lawmaking powers to more competent overseas legislatures? On the basis of National’s performance it mightn’t be bad idea.