The Press - - Perspective -

Cashed-up drunks wel­come

Nick Hunt (The Week­end Press), BNZ Cen­tre land­lord, wants drunk and drugged folk cleansed from our city cen­tre be­cause they are in­tim­i­dat­ing peo­ple and are a ‘‘dread­ful’’ look.

Hon­estly, I couldn’t agree more. I have lost count of the num­ber of times I have been ha­rassed by highly in­tox­i­cated hood­lums in town, all of them well heeled and en­joy­ing Christchurch’s bar scene.

Every week­end hoards of cashed-up drunks roam the streets, dam­ag­ing both peo­ple and prop­erty while tak­ing up pre­cious po­lice re­sources and fill­ing A&E with the ca­su­al­ties of in­ner-city booz­ing. The eco­nomic and so­cial cost of al­co­hol abuse is huge, so maybe it is time we banned al­co­hol from the city cen­tre.

No chance: Sell­ing al­co­hol to monied-up pun­ters is big busi­ness or, as Nick Hunt might say, ‘‘easy money’’ and the Cen­tral City Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion would most likely agree with him, no mat­ter what the cost to so­ci­ety. Cap­i­tal­ism isn’t known for hav­ing a con­science, af­ter all.

Mean­while, Hunt and the CCBA con­tinue their so­cio-eco­nomic witch hunt against any poor and down­trod­den souls who dare to ven­ture into the city cen­tre, deem­ing them un­couth, un­sightly and un­wor­thy of our fine new city. The mes­sage is clear: If you can af­ford to party in your ‘‘glad rags’’, then come on in and get as drunk as you like, but if your rags are the real deal, then sorry but you’re not wel­come. The say­ing ‘‘Money talks’’ comes to mind. Dave He­gan St Al­bans

Poor drunks not wel­come

Nick Hunt says the Christchurch City Coun­cil has to do some­thing to re­move ‘‘so-called home­less peo­ple’’, many of whom he says are ‘‘drunk and drugged’’.

Paul Lons­dale (Cen­tral City Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion Man­ager) adds ‘‘beg­ging, rough sleep­ing, men­tal health is­sues and drug and al­co­hol ad­dic­tion’’ to the list.

The rea­son these peo­ple are there is the lack of sup­port from the cur­rent Gov­ern­ment over the past nine years – lack of af­ford­able hous­ing, lim­ited ac­cess to drug and al­co­hol re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­grammes, and the se­vere un­der­fund­ing of men­tal health ser­vices. Chris Brown Lyt­tel­ton

Wa­ter tax af­ford­able

I un­der­stand that there are some 12,000 dairy farms in New Zealand, but that only 2000 use ir­ri­ga­tion. In other words, only 16 per cent of dairy farms are heavy users of ir­ri­gated wa­ter, and those that do would pay the heav­i­est prices if wa­ter was taxed at 1 or 2 cents per 1000 litres. The rest (84 per cent) would pay only a few hun­dred dol­lars a year – peanuts for farm­ers earn­ing hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars a year. Tom Brock­ett Red­wood

Wa­ter and the milk­ing shed

I’m no sci­en­tist but one of the ar­gu­ments for in­tense ir­ri­ga­tion is that ‘‘the wa­ter sim­ply pours into the rivers and out to sea’’. So what do these ex­perts think na­ture in­tended? That the river ecol­ogy should re­ar­range it­self to ac­com­mo­date the dairy in­dus­try?

As I write, I am lis­ten­ing to Dr Mike Joy who men­tions his gen­uine af­fec­tion for cows and his ex­pe­ri­ence in the milk­ing shed. I too have had that ex­pe­ri­ence but it wasn’t fac­tory farm­ing. And the farmer made a com­fort­able liv­ing. Ca­role Hadler Rolle­ston

Don’t blame North Korea

The two ar­ti­cles in the world sec­tion ti­tled ‘‘North Korea threat­en­ing world peace’’ and ‘‘Rus­sian war games spark con­fu­sion, fear’’ are un­mit­i­gated mir­ror images of re­al­ity. World peace is not, and has never been, threat­ened by North Korea, nor Rus­sia. Amer­i­can hege­monic as­pi­ra­tions for world dom­i­na­tion have been the prob­lem since WWII in Cuba, Viet­nam, Iraq, Libya and Syria.

In 1989, when Rus­sia aban­doned the War­saw Pact, Ron­ald Rea­gan promised Gor­bachev Nato would not move one inch east­wards. But the United States re­neged on its prom­ises and in 2007 placed mis­siles in Poland.

Since 2014, Nato has been po­si­tioned right at the bor­ders of Rus­sia, un­der the pre­text that Rus­sia had in­vaded Crimea and Ukraine. Crimea was a peace­ful tran­si­tion to the Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion – not a shot was fired – and Ukraine an Amer­i­can-en­gi­neered vi­o­lent coup. Now Rus­sia, in re­sponse to Nato’s ag­gres­sive mil­i­tary ex­er­cises right at its bor­ders is ac­cused of hold­ing ex­er­cises within its own (sic!) bor­ders.

Amer­ica’s navy has been ha­rass­ing and pro­vok­ing North Korea and China right at their bor­ders. No won­der that North Korea, hav­ing wit­nessed so many regime changes, pre­pares it­self by de­vel­op­ing a nu­clear de­ter­rent. Tom Van Meurs Rolle­ston

‘‘I’m gut­ted that the Greens have man­aged to self­s­ab­o­tage when they are so badly needed.’’ Andrew Troup, Christchurch

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