Monday, November 03, 2008

'Drink motherfucker, drink!'; or an alternative way forward for the NSW Labor government

Nathan Rees is a desperate man.

For reasons entirely outside his control, he has somehow ended up premier of New South Wales. It must have come as quite a shock.

He got the gig because he is basically the last NSW Labor politician still standing who hasn't been been charged with corruption, assault or child sex offences.

Actually, there was a small number of others, but they are hated for attempting to force electricity privatisation on the state in the face of overwhelming opposition, including the NSW ALP's own state conference.

Then there is the trains, the schools, the hospitals, the push to privatise ferries, the selling of the state to developers, the refusal to pay essential service workers a decent wage and severe attacks on civil liberties.

All of which have created a crisis so deep for the Labor government, that they handed the reins to some guy no one had ever heard of in the vain hope we wont notice he is from the same gang as the rest of the bastards that have made our lives a nightmare since the mid '90s.

This government has only survived recent elections by running a campaign amounting to "But have you seen the opposition?"

Poor Premier Rees.

With Labor having copped unprecedented hidings in by-elections, how does he respond?

Naturally he goes after drinkers.

Premier Rees "could not believe what he saw on Sydney's streets when he headed home late on Saturday night after his Labor Government's thumping at the ballot box".


He said: "The exhibitions of public drunkenness that I saw were mind-boggling … it's getting silly, binge-drinking".

Oh dear.

The article, which reports that Rees is "known to enjoy a drink", notes that "not everyone involved in the debate was convinced by his sudden discovery of the issue of alcohol-related violence".

Gee, is that so? Could it really be a cynical manoeuvre by a desperate politician to jump on the latest moral hysteria bandwagon that costs nothing in a desperate attempt to save a rapidly sinking government?

Surely not.

Let's face it, Rees has to do something and its either bash binge drinking or fix the trains and schools.

No governments' AAA credit rating has ever been threatened by a press conference called to condemn excessive drinking. (If only because no one is ever going to heed a morality lecture from a member of the NSW Labor Party, thus ensuring the government's badly needed tax revenue from alcoholic beverages remains perfectly safe.)

Now, I have had my say on this question of binge drinking hysteria. I wont repeat myself here.

What I will say is this.

Premier Rees, you are wrong. The evidence is not on your side.

You may be satisfied with a few smug headlines for the cheapest of political stunts bashing the easiest of victims (drunks, who can't even stand up to fight back).

However, if you want to save your stinking government, you may want to consider a strategy reversal.

How about doing something radical and promoting policies aimed at increasing citizen's happiness?

I know that isn't the style of the NSW Labor government, believe me, I catch trains. But how about a clean break with the past? It's the only way you'll save your skin.

So here is my radical plan.

Instead of bashing drinkers, how about going out of your way to promote alcohol consumption?

That's right, a new study has shown that the happiest people are those that drink every day.

"The index, based on a survey of 2,000 Australians in April, found that those who drink up to three drinks a day are far happier than those who never drink.

"And the wellbeing of 18- to 25-year-olds - the key binge drinking demographic - remains high regardless of how many drinks they have."

The unhappiest? Apparently, "people who did not drink at all had the lowest wellbeing of all".

What a shock.

Now I would have thought this was pretty fucking obvious, but in this day and age, so low have we sunk, that it actually requires some poor bastard to go around with a clip board and ask people to discover the bleeding obvious.

Yes, shocking as it may sound to the crypto-prohibitionists in the government and media, people consume alcohol because it makes them happy.

If you really want to survive, Premier Rees, may I suggest a change of tact.

In the interests of our collective well-being, how about, rather than lectures on the evils of some newly discovered binge drinking culture, getting out there and touring the state's pubs and bars — sticking your head in each one and shouting "Drink motherfucker, drink motherfucker, drink!".

Or, perhaps for the higher class wine bars, jumping in to shout "Scull, scull, scull! Yeeeaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!"

You could even invest in an advertising campaign to raise public awareness. I have a few suggested TV ads below, utilising some good ol' drinking shanties by the Poxy Boggards.

First up, and straight to the point, here is one whose central message is the apt "I'd rather have lager than life". And who wouldn't, with public services the way they are in this state?

"For life without liquor is to no avail/so bring me lager for life!" could be Rees's re-election slogan.

A second option is this one below, which hammers the crucial issue: "Bring us more beer!" This one has the advantage of its chorus featuring a long list of various types of beers that people can order, one after the other.

A third option (below) goes for the tried and tested "shock" option. Like those horrific smoking ads featuring blocked arteries and tarry sponges, it brings home to the average citizen the terrible consequences that face "That strange motherfucker who doesn't like beer".

Among other things, his own dad disowns him, his wife divorces him and his son changes his name. And why wouldn't they?

And finally, my personal favourite: "I wear no pants". I include this one if only because, as close observers of this blog will note, I often don't.

Such a re-election strategy beats the hell out of the now quite weary "But have you seen the opposition?"

Because the answer is we have. That's why we drink.


  1. Actually, it's "Poxy" ;)

    It's both rare and amusing to hear myself in a recording we made 7 years ago (I have one of the verses in "Bring Us More Beer"- that IS setting the Way Back Machine a bit far back...)


    (A.K.A. Peanut, Boggard Emeritus)

  2. Peanut, Boggard Emeritus, if that really be your name (and allow me to express some doubt on the matter) I have no idea what you are referring to with this supposed "error" in relation to the correct labelling of the musical band, the so-named "Poxy Boggards".

    It says quite clearly "Poxy" in the post. It has always said "Poxy".

    In fact, the term "Poxy Boggards" even appears as a hyperlink to the said band's website.

    It says this now, said so in the past and always had said so.

    Anyone who suggests otherwise is a counter-revolutionary traitor and a fascist agent.

    Carlo Sands does not make mistakes.

    However, leaving aside your quite blatant imperialist-running-dog, fifth-columist, Trotskyite deviations, I am happy if I have brought back memories. Although I must state I am suprised you have any to recall.

    Indeed, I am happy that my blog appears to be making headway into what is its natural constituency: those who have also heard the calling, and dedicate their energies and creative talents towards the often thankless task of promoting the abuse of alcohol.

    I will go even further and do something I have never done before.

    Astute followers of this blog will note that I failed to hesitate to vent my wrath even on the Australian cricket legend Adam Gilshrist, when he dared make his unfortunate anti-drinking comments on this blog - and he is the greatest wicketkeeper batsman ever to don the whites anywhere in the world!

    That is: I thank you for your comment and even note it is an honour to receive it.

    Yours in alcohol abuse,

    Carlo Sands.
    Possibly deceased.

  3. Binge drinking can be harmful because of excessive alcohol consumption. A person may encounter health hazards that can lead to alcohol related diseases. Just a word of advice though, it's best to drink in moderation or none at all, so that there would be no regrets in the future.

  4. Dear alcohol rehab (if indeed that be your correct name, and you will surely not begrudge one to express a certain doubt as to the accuracy of the claim), the allegations you make in relation to binge drinking are nothing short of extraordinary.

    Binge drinking is damaging to one's health? I have never heard anything of the like as long as I have lived.

    If such claims could be proven, they would prove nothing short of explosive.

    If it be true, then why has no one provided any warning?

    Why has the government, for one, not embarked on a public health awareness campaign, dedicated to informing the citizenry of the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption?

    Why did no one tell us binge drinking was harmful?

    If this be true, then of course I feel I would have no choice, however reluctantly, but to take advantage of the services offered by the link you provided for "Alcohol Drug Interventions & Drug Treatment Referrals".

    However, I am somewhat at a loss, as the clinics referred to in your link are all in the United States.

    In order to afford the plane ticket, I would have to give up drinking for about half a decade and save the cash that would otherwise feed my booze addiction.

    But, and here you see the problem, how could I stop drinking *without* the assistance of the medical programs you have offered for a quite reasonable fee?

    It is catch 22.

    I can not give up drinking without your assistance, yet I cannot get your assistance without giving up drinking.

    What a quite horrible trap!

    However, I feel I must take up one part of your post.

    You, "alcohol rehab", write: "Just a word of advice though, it's best to drink in moderation or none at all, so that there would be no regrets in the future."

    I don't know, I have this nagging feeling that if I took your advice the regrets on my death bed would be: "Fuck! If only I had spent more of time binge drinking, my life would have been so much more enjoyable and not so fucking boring and painful!"

    I would have to lean over to my offspring and, with my last words, urge: "So make sure you tell your children, not to do what I have done, and ensure you continue drinking until the rising of the sun".

    yours in alcohol abuse,
    Carlo Sands (possibly deceased)