Booze culture symptom of bigger problem

Last updated 05:00 26/05/2013
CHEERS TO THE WEEKEND: Taxing booze off the shelf is not the answer, writes Athol Kemp.

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The belief that we have an out-of-control booze culture is a result of the fact we have an out-of-control society.

Yes, there are sections of society that have a problem with booze as they have no comprehension of what they are doing to themselves or society. Conversely, there is an extremely large proportion of drinkers who do know the limits and when to say when.

Any given Sunday we open our newspaper, log on to Stuff or turn on our radio to hear about a half a dozen idiots who lost control on Saturday night. Does this really reflect the attitude and actions of millions who actually entertained themselves with an enjoyable weekend having a tipple? Personally, I think not.

Who are the problem drinkers? Well, they come from all walks of life, teens to judges and politicians with a good smattering of ordinary folk in the middle. So isn't the real question why are these individuals out of control?

No matter what approach is taken to address the perceived booze culture there will always be exceptions to the rule. Until social policy stops isolating individuals we will have problems, booze, drugs, crime, rape, fraud and even murder.

I believe that what we have is a problem where individuals are reacting to an environment that has been created by politicians, big business and greed.

Taxing booze off the shelf is not the answer, after all, it only takes is a sack of spuds to produce poitin (potato whiskey).

What is needed is everybody - politicians, businessmen and families - to step up and look after each other.

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