I am furious, reading in The Press that our politicians are going to waste 27 hours debating to introduce tighter controls to curb our so-called binge drinking culture, but from the onset it is reported they are doomed to fail with nothing changing.
Nothing needs to change. We already drink less per head of population than all the European countries with their so-called cafe style drinking, and their beer is usually 50 per cent stronger than our 4 per cent amber lolly water.
I would rather the 27 hours be put to better use debating about how to get rid of child poverty, poverty in general, and ensure better health and education services.
Then I get to the world section of The Press and I'm not so furious after reading about Syria, Russia etc. If our MPs can afford to spend three weeks debating frivolous alcohol issues, then New Zealand can't be too bad a place to reside in, I guess.
Beats being bombed or sent to a gulag any day.
Peter Power, Hokitika
Joe Bennett's installation, aka a pile of old rotting rubbish (Oct 24), might yet morph into something much more malevolent should he become personally acquainted with the pyric wonders of spontaneous combustion, resulting in a Pyrrhic victory for Joe over the vanity of artistically sophisticated soliloquies (ASSes).
I earnestly advise that you fork your own rubbish before it fuels a fire, Joe, or it might just be your house which becomes a burnt offering, and that to the amusement of uncharitable souls and art critics alike.
I Williams, Christchurch
SKANKSY, NOT BANKSY
I agree with P Rattray of Fendalton (Oct 23) regarding promotion of public art - graffiti as opposed to tagging. More of it I say, and I'm sure the council and police would agree. However, over this way, it's more ''skanksy'' than ''Banksy''. There's not a blank wall, fence, traffic light pole not sprayed with a tag. You don't dare stand still for too long in a white T-shirt round Linwood.
It's these toe-rag taggers the council's after and the only annoying thing they have in common with the legendary Banksy is . . . you never see the buggers doing it!
Islay McLeod, Linwood
Being sent to prison in New Zealand is not that harsh, considering prisoners get well fed, hot water for showers, recreation time with games, weights, pool and darts. They get regular visits from family and friends.
Imagine if we brought in a system like Russia, where the two Pussy Riot girls have gone. These labour camps have harsh conditions, with porridge and soup for meals, getting up at dawn for physical exercise before putting in an eight-hour working day.
They are nowhere near their family and relatives, instead being sent many miles away as they need to be isolated from society for full correction. They live in barracks of 30 to 40 per room; bullying and assaults are all too common.
That is real punishment. These two girls were arrested and charged with hooliganism, not a serious charge by our standards.
I wonder how many of our prisoners would want to face these harsh conditions. This may be one idea to keep them out.
Linda J Paul, Hillmorton
BUILT FOR SAFETY
I totally agree with the Automobile Association's rubbishing of claims by some motoring experts.
I have spent 35 years of my working life in the motor trade and I feel the argument of those seeking to retain the current warrant of fitness scheme is all about gaining revenue from the motorist. I have also spent 25 years in a business with motor vehicles clocking up 70,000km a year, with some doing over 500,000km in total.
Not one of them required a replacement of a part for safety reasons.
The motor vehicle of today is very robust, built for safety and made to last.
The requirement for a WOF every six months is totally unnecessary, other than for lining the pockets of manufacturers and motor traders by charging prices for parts which are exorbitant at about 500 per cent profit on the cost price.
In the US they do not have any WOF requirement at all and their accident and fatality rates are far lower than ours.
Give the motorist a break from high costs and reduce the WOF inspections.
Murray Smith, Ashburton
NOT HUGE EXPENSE
The cost of $40 every six months to know your car is safe is not a huge expense, especially with the state of Christchurch roads.
Seventy per cent of the public surveyed want it to stay the same.
We have the oldest fleet of vehicles in the OECD countries.
With so many schools closing, children will be travelling further, cars must be safer.
Insurance premiums will go up because there will be more accidents and injuries and deaths.
Even if you drive a safe vehicle there's still the chance of someone that's not hitting you or your family. This is a no-brainer.
If it ain't broke don't break it.
This will cost us more in the long run.
A R Hopman, Christchurch
An Italian court has convicted six scientists of manslaughter for failing to give adequate warning of a quake in 2009 that killed more than 300 people. While I feel their positive affirmations of safety were not justified by the facts, I am astonished as to just how seriously these men's statements were taken. Imagine if scientists' assertions garnered this much respect in other areas.
We would acknowledge that climate change is probably the most serious threat facing the human species and do something about it.
We would know the world was not created in six days some six thousand years ago and that we evolved, and thus killing and persecuting others in the name of religion is an act of egotistical arrogance.
Ideally priests, prophets and proselytisers would all similarly be held accountable for their statements and merit a prison sentence for every unanswered prayer, false prophecy and unfulfilled promise.
Unless this reasoning is applied universally the actions of the Italian court, far from being virtuous, are merely vindictive.
Darren A Saunders, Waltham
Congratulations Christchurch! The long weekend was full of fantastic activity and life in our city. We saw the introduction of three new festivals, on top of the business as usual, sports, church fairs, exhibitions and established events like Diwali.
The inaugural events included the Avon-Otakaro Spring Festival celebrating river activities and its environs, the Whitebait Festival in Cranmer Square and the innovative and uniquely rebuild focused Festa - the Festival of Transitional Architecture. Thousands of people attended events across the city, including the Luxcity light structure show on Saturday night which brought crowds right into the centre of town.
No wonder Lonely Planet sees us as ''bouncing back with a new energy and inventiveness'' and rebuilding with a ''breath-taking mix of spirit and flair'', and has included Christchurch in its list of top 10 cities for 2013.
Nicky Wagner, MP, Christchurch Central
As one who ''abhors the cold-blooded murder of the English tongue'', I hasten to state that few errors escape the eagle eyes of The Press proof-readers (or whoever - or whatever - take their place these days). I must admit, too, that the occasional mis-spelt or wrongly chosen word provides amusement on an otherwise dull page.
Thus, while feeling somewhat of a heel, I note (Letters, Oct 19) the ''resilient soles'' who protested outside Cranmer Courts.
Warwick Harris, Woolston
Last Monday (Oct 14) you published a photo and article, with a video link, to a lingerie burlesque at the Hornby Workingmen's Club, a fashion show called Living Dolls - not really for women at all, in any sense.
This week it's the Methven Rodeo. Is that little brown calf, tied up in the heat and dust, with its eyes rolling, really loving what it does, as a participant claims? Would he care to be trussed up like that?
Cruelty and exploitation - are these suitable subjects for a Press video link?
I suppose if that's what your readers want, then that's OK.
Nothing is useful which isn't honest, after all.
Katherine Gillard, Ilam
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