RWC doom merchants are misanthropes

The success of bars opening during rugby world cup games has revealed that those who opposed the policy are moralizers, not reality checkers.

The proposal that bars be allowed to open without special license in the very early hours of the rugby world cup games, was opposed by the Police, Green party and a crowd of doom merchants (see below).

In the world of our misanthropic elite, ordinary people are automatons, nudged like a Savea shoulder charge into open bars to get drunk and beat each other
up.

Despite their predictions of legions of drunks causing mayhem at 6am, almost nothing happened.

The reality is that very few people in the real world can handle staying up until 6am in the morning. Very few of them, and those who wake up to go to the bar, feel like drinking alcohol at that time. Bars were simply a perfect place for viewing a world cup game socially, with no arguments over whose turn it is to go to the kitchen for tea and coffee.

The only reason police and so-called social and health experts are given any leeway in offering opinion on policy is that they say they know what things are like in the ‘real world’.

It turns out that they don’t.

This is particularly damning for the Police. The usual moralizers can be understood to be part of our social fabric; albeit discounted by their disgust of the untidy world of others.

The job of the Police is to enforce our laws, not make them. When they cross the line, it must be rooted in reality – offering information about their experiences enforcing the laws.

With the RWC bar laws they did far more than that. They predicted a heavy load placed on them by drunk bar patrons. The fact that no one admonished them for complaining about having to do their job signals that their claims were really dog-whistles about the untrustworthy nature of the public.

We should not let this matter rest. The histrionic and misanthropic elite are self-interested and blinkered, and this makes them regularly wrong about what people do in the real world. This experience of their massive disconnect from reality should not be forgotten.

Neither should we forget those who stood for the Bill. Primarily, the sponsor ACT’s David Seymour, who said the Bill was “a victory for the presumption that New Zealanders are free
to do as they please.”

National voted for it, but we must also be fair to Labour, though not its six MPs who voted against it in the free vote they were given. Andrew Little rightly observed that it was a way for ordinary New Zealanders to watch pay-television they otherwise could not afford. Grant Robertson said the bill was about a sense of community, not about people going on “benders.” He joked that people were more likely to be under the influence of caffeine and bacon, than alcohol.

Here’s a quick reminder of some of the claims that were made:

  • Police deputy commissioner Glenn Dubier claimed there had been a
    ‘probable’ increase in domestic violence and other crime at the 2011
    RWC. For this RWC he said “the
    hours of extra drinking time prior to and after the game will…
    increase the risk of harm.”
  • The Green Party said there would be an increase in alcohol related harm and that women and children would bear the brunt.National Community
  • Action on Youth and Drugs workers said RWC will become a "marathon drinking challenge” with “24 hour
    drinking” dares, and fighting in the streets.
  • The Health Promotion Agency
    said it “reinforces
    the current culture of drinking in New Zealand”.
  • The College of
    Public Health Medicine
    said the law “runs counter to established international policy and
    principles for alcohol harm reduction”.
  • The Medical Association’s Stephen Child said “linking alcohol so overtly with our national sporting icons [is] contrary to the clearly identified need to
    change New Zealand’s drinking culture.”
  • Women’s Refuge chief executive Ang Jury predicted “inevitable harm associated with extended access to alcohol over the
    course of the Rugby World Cup.”
  • Hawkes Bay DHB chief executive Kevin Snee opposed the bill saying “Late
    night and early morning consumption of alcohol is clearly linked with
    increased levels of intoxication,” and would expose viewers to extensive alcohol
    advertising and sponsorship, which encourages young people to take up
    drinking earlier and “predisposes them to heavy drinking in the long
    term.”
  • Mid Central DHB said they “strongly recommend” MPs reject
    the bill, but if it went ahead should be limited to semi-finals and
    finals.
  • The
    Public and Population Health Unit at Northland’s District Council said “There is
    widespread community support for reduced hours of alcohol sale and
    greater controls on alcohol in Northland…” Mills wrote.
  • Waimakariri District Council said the law was not “family-friendly”. 
  • Environmental
    Health co-ordinator Graham Caradus, of Tasman District council, said it was “likely to exacerbate levels of alcohol related harm”.
  • Kapiti District Council suggested patrons be screened at
    the door for intoxication and tea and coffee “be readily available at
    all times”.

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