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Alcohol: The New Election Issue

Alcohol: The New Election Issue

Justice Minister Simon Power has today announced that the Government welcomes the report from the Justice and Electoral Select Committee on the Alcohol Law Reform Bill. “We’ve agreed to accept all 130 substantive changes to clauses to help us build a strong and enduring legislative framework to reduce alcohol-related harm and support a safe and responsible drinking culture,” the Minister says.

Due to the timing of the election, this bill will not be able to be put into law until after a new Parliament is elected. Tamaki Independent candidate Stephen Berry is glad to have the opportunity to make alcohol laws an issue for this election. “Voters can be sure that I will stand in steadfast opposition to every new law and restriction proposed in this bill. This election I promise to be a beacon for individual liberty against the dark spectre of nanny state legislation being propagated by the National Socialist government.”

Sections of this bill will severely restrict the operations of supermarkets, with proposals including controls on where liquor can be displayed in a supermarket in an effort to make alcohol less prominent. “An entire industry will be forced to spend hundreds of millions of dollars altering their store layouts because the Government thinks you are too stupid to make decisions for yourself,” Berry says.

This bill will also have the effect of destroying competition in the market and will likely lead to Muldoon style price controls. “So called convenience stores will be banned from selling alcohol entrenching the market share of big liquor industry players. The Government will also be demanding pricing data from liquor industry participants in order to assist the Government in implementing a minimum pricing regime. Justice Minister Power assures us that regulation will be used to obtain this data if liquor retailers are slow in providing it.”

“Worse is plan by our politicians to restrict advertising of alcohol which is a horrific destruction of basic rights to freedom of speech. The bill as it stands seeks to ban the promotion of any price reductions over 25% of regular retail price outside of liquor retail premises.”

Other features of this planned law include a graduated purchase age of 18 for on-license and 20 for off-licenses. “The politicians further demonstrate their lack of faith in adults to make their own decisions about their lives by controlling where they can purchase and drink alcohol. People old enough to die for their country and elect our gang of thieves apparently are not old enough to buy a box of beer and take it home to drink.”

Finally, it isn’t just freedom of speech and personal sovereignty that will be destroyed by this law. Private property rights face extra violation too. The law will widen the definition of public place in regard to liquor bans to include areas that are private property such as car parks and other areas the public has ‘legitimate’ access to. “The only area of private property a member of the public should have access to is one where they are deemed to have been given permission by the property owner. This law will lead to more private property being deemed effectively public.”

Stephen Berry is a determined advocate of individual liberty, holding it to be a higher concept than any of the excuses politicians will trot out to destroy it. “Unlike the populist gang of 122 sitting in our Parliament today I will not use fear mongering over public safety as an excuse to destroy liberty.”

“I completely oppose any attempt by politicians to implement any further restrictions over alcohol laws. My policy is that if alcohol is not being supplied to anyone under eighteen, then it is of no business of the Government. If elected I will vote to liberalise laws surrounding alcohol and all other restricted substances.”


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