Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Knee Jerk Policy: New Zealand

I'm not much on lambasting entire countries based on the policies of whatever current administration that happens to be holding the reins of power. As an American I'm well versed in policy hate transcending to culture hate. And so my criticism here is meant to be taken in such a light. Consider that a disclaimer of sorts.

The leadership of New Zealand is completely out of touch with reality, would seem to be driving policy through the dangerous haze of ideology, leaving constructive thought and any semblance of logic choking in their dust.

Via Phil at Pacific Empire:

Following the alleged murder of a tagger in South Auckland in January, the government announced a crackdown on tagging. Now after the fatal shooting of a liqour store owner in South Auckland last week, the Prime Minister is planning a crackdown on liquor outlets - surely a knee-jerk, blame-the-victim response.

"Helen Clark said yesterday police had told her that violent offending in South Auckland appeared associated with binge drinking and the area’s proliferation of liquor outlets. It was a nationwide problem.
Officials had been asked to look at a range of measures including capping the number of liquor licences and widening the grounds on which the public could object to a liquor licence being granted, she said…
The move follows the fatal shooting of Navtej Singh, 30, during a robbery at his Manurewa liquor store on June 7."
Phil goes on to quote an article that contains a pure example of the immediate blowback of such policies and then laments the obvious (to some, apparently) longer term side effects of such shortsighted idiocy, highlighting the rise of black marketeering and the subsequent violence that would follow.

The effect of prohibition here in America was quick and viral. An exploding black market and a catalyst for organized crime. In short during the 13 year expanse that entailed first the 18th Amendment and concluded with the 21st amendment America learned a valuable lesson (one which would be amazingly unlearned some decades later) in restricting personal consumption. That you can legislate consumption, habits, or addiction does not at all mean you can control or mitigate them. That's a pipe dream of simple idealists. Enforcement through ideology or malformed speculation is postulation and hardly a sound building block in affirming or maintaining a vibrant, core civilization. Believe me, as a close observer of the War on Drugs, I know.

Give Phil's post and related links a complete read.