MUST READ: A Health Warning For Liberals

Medicine is pressured by a radical socialist transformation

Medicine is pressured by a radical socialist transformation. Some of this is top down. Much of it is bottom up, writes Dr Grant N Ross

For
2 years I was the Melbourne University Liberal Club’s token doctor.
Turning up late, or never, I would always be out of kilter with JSM,
political theories and fights of the day and somewhat under the
impression that Kroger was a kind of cheese. 
Luckily,
being a stereotype got me over the line.

I
would like to redeem my standing by attempting to write about the
direction of health under Labor and the alternative policy direction
the Liberal Party should choose when in Government.

I
feel that there is a need f
or a Liberal establishment to take note of
the direction of health under Roxon and Plibersek and to hear the
story I am about to tell about the pressures within medicine that
will come to change the way doctors do politics for the next 20
years. All is not well, and I want to tell you why.

As
we speak, Medicine is pressured by a radical socialist
transformation. 
Some
of this is top down. Much of it is bottom up.

The Top Down 

 From
the top down, there have been a series of reforms that:


  • Create
    a greater role for government in health


  • Are
    mostly anti-doctor


  • Occurred
    without significant consultation with the medical profession


  • Involved
    the creation of enormous layers of bureaucracy to centrally manage
    an existing private industry


  • Prioritised
    special interests and unions rather than the front line service
    deliveries

Such
reforms include the creation of many different councils to
micromanage various health care aims instead of directly funding
practitioners; and by doing so orchestrate a transfer of power away
from practitioners and patients towards bureaucrats and their
interests.

A
quick list of the agencies and bureaucracies created by federal Labor
include the following:

  • Australian
    commission on safety and quality of healthcare

  • National
    Health performance authority

  • Independent
    Hospital Pricing Authority

  • The
    Administrator and funding body

  • Medicare
    Locals

  • Australian
    Medical Locals Network

  • Australian
    national preventative health agency

  • Local
    Hospital Networks

  • Health
    Workforce Australia

  • Aged
    Care Reform Implementation Council

  • Mental
    Health Commission

  • Aged
    Care Financing Authority

There
are three cardinal reforms by Labor that have made things worse in
health; national registration, Prescribing and Medicare Locals.

National
Registration

Since
2010 we have had the imposition of a massive tax on doctors by way of
a National Registration reform by Nicola Roxon.
Previously, doctors were registered to a state body but are now
registered to the Australian Health Practitioners Registration
Agency; a centralised national authority.

AHPRA,
formed by Labor to ‘facilitate’ national registration, imposes a
$680 ‘Doctor Tax’ on doctors every year; much higher than
previously imposed. The agency’s role, it seems, is to run a police
check once a year, keep names on a register and then deal with a
doctor if they do something wrong by threatening or taking away the
legal right to practice Medicine.

Whilst
most doctors agree on the need for professional regulation, nobody
accepted the AHPRA model being imposed in the face of a functioning
previous system.

There
is an overwhelming sentiment among the medical community that the
AHPRA reforms are decidedly anti-doctor. Firstly, they removed
semi-autonomy from the previous state based QUANGOs. Secondly, the
AHPRA came about against the wishes of the AMA and the medical
profession at large. Thirdly, doctors have to pay extraordinarily
higher registration fees. Fourthly, AHPRA lumps doctors together with
other health professionals in an overt breach of professional
autonomy:


Ahpra

Footnote I – The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law came into effect in 2010. Whilst it was a COAG agreement, AHPRA was a cornerstone commitment of Labor and driven largely by their political agenda and under mostly government influence.

What
is most worrying is that the registration reforms are a direct step
towards the complete Federal take over of health; via monopolising
the licensing of ALL health professionals in the country to one
federally controlled agency. This should be interpreted as a step
towards government socialisation of the entire health workforce. 

Nobody
is quite sure what will happen in the future with AHPRA. I would look
at it as a dysfunctional way of registering doctors and a target for
reform under a Liberal government.

Prescribing
under Labor

The
Labor reforms have particularly offended the medical profession by
allowing nurses and other non-doctors to prescribe medications.
Prescribing has long been the privilege of the physician, a deeply
difficult and precise business and the Government have legislated for
non doctors to prescribe dangerous medications.

Doctors
still do not agree with this. Below is an example of a lethal
medication that should not be given to people in a range of
circumstances ranging from addiction to intra cranial conditions that
is available from a nurse with no medical training. 

DHA

Footnote II – http://www.ahpra.gov.au accessed 6/11/2012
  
Whilst
nobody would wish the loss of political capital by enabling more
practitioners to prescribe, a government should make a principled
stand on prescribing and give that right exclusivity to those who
lead the health system; doctors. Put simply, do not politicize
opiates; morphine is a drug, not an entitlement. We are all better
off without this gray zone.

General
Practice and the Medicare Locals

Medicare
Locals are essentially the creation of large bureaucracies all across
Australia to control the delivery of General Practice services.
Marking the greatest shift of power away from the functioning private
sector to yet more bureaucrats, these organizations claim to
‘coordinate resources’, ‘identify gaps in access’ and other
nebulous imperatives.

They
are really about creating a centralized bureaucracy, more removed
from front line services, to control the allocation of General
Practice visits. Most of these agencies will be run by non-doctors
with political agendas. This
WILL
redirect front line funding.

Whilst
most left leaning elitists and pundits would label a move against
Medicare Locals as ‘protectionism’ for doctors, it should be a
Liberal priority for several reasons.

Fee
for service, rather than centralized allocation, is the most
efficient form of funding for primary care. Doctors alone deliver the
vast majority of primary care via their minute to minute labor.
Direct funding is clearly superior.

Secondly,
reinforcing private practice builds trust within the medical
profession and empowers doctors to deliver good care for their
patients.

Thirdly,
it builds on the only model that can safely deliver cost effective
health care in a flexible and dynamic way. There is pragmatism within
the medical profession that is unrivaled in history. Pragmatism
requires individual liberty. It is the antithesis of bureaucracy.

Doctors
should be allowed to govern how they arrange their practice and the
market is the best way to ensure that each patient finds the doctor
they prefer. We all know that we would prefer to choose our doctor
when we need them; not when the government tells us.

I
have written about three big players in the health reform agenda of
the last 5 years. National Registration and the step towards
socialist health system, widening of prescribing rights and finally
the complete government takeover of General Practice. These are just
a few example of the top down socialist pressures on health that I
have noticed. 
Alas,
they are not the most worrying change ahead of us.

Luckily
for us, Peter Dutton, Shadow Minister for Health, has already
demonstrated his capacity for reform by pledging to scrap the
Medicare Locals and GP super clinics.

Dutton
is an ex policemen, successful businessman, ex-Minister in the Howard
Government and assistant treasurer to the great Peter Costello. He is
clearly a man who understands health and has a distinct policy vision
to restore the health system to a position of strength, rather than
interference and bureaucratization. I believe he will be warmly
welcomed by the medical community and be one of the best advocates
for the restoration of a sensible health system.

The Bottom Up 

Dutton

I
have spoken about some of the top down pressures in a socialist
direction on the health system. I would like to talk briefly about
some of the pressures from the bottom up, that only a doctor can see,
that are still pertinent to the Liberal agenda.

If
the fantasia reforms of the Roxon/Plibersek era are anything to lose
sleep over, they are nothing on the bottom up forces plaguing
medicine at a much more sinister level.

Since
my entry into medicine as a first year student in 2006, the values
underpinning medicine have been rampantly veering towards the left.
The pressures mounting from the bottom, aka medical school
environments, are horrendously aligned with ALP and Greens stigmata.
For those who thought that foaming at the mouth socialism and
bureaucratic elitism were limited to the confines of the Arts
departments, you are wrong.

The
Medical schools themselves have pursued a long march style reform
into the medical degree; especially in the selection of candidates.
Traditionally, school leavers were selected based on ENTER/ATAR score
and the Undergraduate Medical Admissions Tests. No test is perfect,
but the principle was that admission was based on objective academic
capacity; with a view to selecting bright school leavers (whether
advantaged or otherwise).

This
principle cemented medicine as being about academic capacity,
something worth its salt in any market, rather than ‘social
equity’. This is the right way for things to be.

Nowadays,
courses almost universally select via interview. You can dress up how
‘official’ and ‘standardized’ your interviews are, but they
remain the quintessence of subjective selection. That is the purpose
of interviews. They are effectively a mechanism to allow people to
form a personal opinion on a candidate. And exercise bias. 

Adelaideu

On
a background of the inherent socialist tendencies of education at
both secondary and tertiary level, the reforms to selection have
outright enabled the medical schools to pursue a political agenda
that aims to expand the role of government in healthcare, involve
medicine into a nexus of government social equality agendas and
further the promotion of minority special interests to any particular
degree. This is the definition of long-marching.


Wollong

The
results of these efforts are now coming to fruition. Medicine is
becoming overtaken by special interest group after special interest
group, all vying to dictate the rules of medical practice and
employment, values and principles in an ever growing mountain of
elitist control. The effects of this can be seen via organizations
such as the Australian Medical Students Association, the Post
Graduate Medical Council of Victoria and even the Medical Journal of
Australia and the Australian Medical Association; a nexus of
bureaucratic woe:

Amsa

Footnote III – http://www.amsa.org.au

These
organizations are replete with bureaucratic choke holds and
indecisive post modern ‘collaboration tactics. The result,
obviously, is what we have seen under Kevin Rudd: Power from the
people to their overlords in an ever growing unholy alliance of
bureaucrats, red tape and pathetic backyard politicians who would
rather do anything to promote themselves rather than a good idea. It
promotes ‘sellout politics’ and betrays the individuals who
together make medicine what it is and what gives individuals the
right to be free in this country. 
So
long as this framework persists, doctors will be worse off and
patients will be worse off. 

 At
the moment, the AMA can be proud of the leadership it has had.
Brendan Nelson went on to become Liberal Party Leader. Rosanna
Capolingua was clearly Liberal, Michael Wooldridge kept General
Practice sustainable and independent. Steve Hambleton, current AMA
leader, stands for sensible restraint and genuinely aims to protect
autonomy for doctors. We have been lucky. But I am not so sure about
our future. Just look at what the ever growing Australian Medical
Association calls for on Climate Change:

Amsa2

Footnote IV – http://www.amsa.org.au/press-release/20120703-amsa-calls-for-leadership-on-climate-change/
  • Australian
    Medical Student Association


    Health-climate-change

    Footnote V – Australian Medical Students 2010 Policy Document Climate Change and Health see website http://www.amsa.org.au
  • The
    Australian Medical Association’s is little better than the student
    body in this regard:
     
Ama

Footnote VI – http://ama.com.au/node/4442

I
think I have made my case. 
If
anybody in the Coalition did have a silver bullet to stop the long
march, they’d immediately be preselected for a golden safe seat. I
am not that man.

However,
if we were to theoretically look at reversing the political bias
pressuring medicine in Australia, I would start with reforms that
target medical selection, medical training, the de-bureaucratisation
of medical registration at the junior level and aim to move the
governance of medical training away from University bureaucrats and
elitist back to grassroots doctor groups.

This
would help. 
There
is an argument for such change on the basis that it restores
efficiency and principles of autonomy to the medical profession and
by extension of that, to patients. It would be one hell of an effort,
but I honestly do not believe it to be beyond an Abbott government to
achieve in some capacity.

The
other issues are perennial for Liberals; especially for those of us
who have campaigned on campus. The fight against bureaucrats, against
elitists and to genuinely reform education in this country in the way
that David Cameron is trying in England. Perhaps some of the above
changes could be caught up in a commission of audit. I would like to
see that. But I don’t know. I am not a politician.

Conclusion

As
a doctor, I naturally bring more of a background of social sciences
and welfare to the Liberal table than I do tax reform and economics.

However, there is a need for a Liberal establishment to take note of
the direction of health reform that the Roxon and Plibersek ministry
has imposed on health and a need to identify them as inefficient,
retrograde, centralist and to be removed as needed. Equally important
is the message I would like to impart about the need to think about
what is needed to prevent the medical establishment being long
marched into foot soldiers for the ALP.

Just
remember, health accounts for 12-17% of spending and employs 11% of
all Australians. That is one hell of a voter base to lose to the
left.

Peter
Dutton has a lot to contribute to health in the next Liberal
Government. Autonomy, efficiency and restraint will serve our country
well. Similarly, I encourage young Liberals in rising positions of
leadership to consider the principles of a sound health system as
they develop their policy directions.

The electorate expect a good
health system and we have no excuse for leaving ourselves weak on
this front from a simple lack of knowledge.

Dr
Grant N Ross MBBS B.Med Sci is a medical practitioner and graduate of
Melbourne University.

 

Footnotes

Footnote
I – The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law came into effect
in 2010. Whilst it was a COAG agreement, AHPRA was a cornerstone
commitment of Labor and driven largely by their political agenda and
under mostly government influence.

Footnote
II –
http://www.ahpra.gov.au/
accessed
6/11/2012

Footnote
III –
http://www.amsa.org.au/
see About AMSA accessed 6/11/2012

Footnote
IV –
http://www.amsa.org.au/press-release/20120703-amsa-calls-for-leadership-on-climate-change/

Footnote
V – Australian Medical Students 2010 Policy Document Climate Change
and Health see website
www.amsa.org.au

Footnote
VI –
http://ama.com.au/node/4442


TV ban for Dick’s jokes

Good morning comrades! Welcome to communist Australia.

The thought police now come directly from our media. The quintessential Aussie larrikin, 200 years of taking the mickey and the ability to laugh at ourselves in good natured spirit has been flushed down the dunny –  by whom? Probably a single, very naive, PC twit.

Surely the control freak that orchestrated this madness would know the offending ad has already gone viral around the world? Wouldn't they know that a six-year-old could explain every word in the ad? I guess not. Is this where we are headed? Do speak out on this one, leave a comment while it is still allowed. GC.Ed.

Dick Smith is furious that a television advertisement he filmed for Australia Day, which is saturated with "Dick" jokes and innuendo, has been deemed too offensive to air during prime time television.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/business/media-and-marketing/tv-ban-for-dicks-jokes-20130123-2d6pq.html#ixzz2IpdnC6BL

The tyranny of tender feelings and the war on free speech

The ramifications of Labor's proposed anti-discrimination laws are being exposed as the fine print is examined. First cab off the rank to sue could be Trish Crossin who was dumped in Gillard's "captain's pick" to push Nova Peris into parliament because she is Aboriginal. Is this a race based decision? GC.Ed

Put it all together, and Labor is presiding over the greatest assault on Australians’ free speech in our lives:

– it has held an inquiry into what the Greens dubbed the “hate media” – particularly critics of the government

– it is promising new privacy rules affecting the media

– it is threatening new laws to control who owns the media – a response to conservatives such as Gina Rinehart buying into media assets

– it is considering tough new laws to regulate “bias” and reporting, applying tougher controls – back by threats of jail – on everything from big newspapers to even small blogs.

– it has punished News Ltd for its critical coverage by twice over-ruling the decision of an independent panel to award News the tender for the Australia Network.

Read more:http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/

the_tyranny_of_tender_feelings/

Free speech test in Australia – FAIL!

This affair is a dangerous,travesty of democracy. The numbers simply don't add up to support genuine concern for social unrest. Immigration minister Chris Bowen late last year sat on Dutch MP Geert Wilders' visiting visa for two months forcing a cancellation of speaking engagements.

However, Labor's tentacles of control are long and coercive. Wilders' visa for his planned February engagements has been obtained but not so for venues.

What is Labor so afraid of? Muslims in Australia edge 2%, militant trouble makers being a small fraction of that. If this is driven by Gillards guru John McTernan, a foreigner far more socially divisive to Australians than Geert Wilders could ever be, the real fear for Labor will be realised when freedom loving voters prove their numbers at the polling booth later this year. Perhaps then the proven agent provocateur to our social harmony will have their visa cancelled and sent packing, without a taxpayer funded bonus. GC.Ed.

''In Sydney, venues that were initially available were cancelled or would not take the booking when they realised who the speaker was,'' she told me. She provided a list of rejections: the Hilton Hotel, North Sydney Leagues Club, Sydney Masonic Centre, Wesley Convention Centre, Luna Park Function Centre, the Concourse at Chatswood and the Sir John Clancy Auditorium at the University of NSW.

''I offered a church-based venue in Sydney a donation and their reply was, 'You could offer $4 million and we would not accept your booking'.''

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/free-speech-dogged-by-politics-of-difference-20130120-2d13b.html#ixzz2Idhnwuh9

Free speech is a double-edged sword

As Muslims in particular use our anti-hate laws to their best advantage under the orchestral arrangement of multiculturalism, "fools rush in" like Barry O'Farrell and Nicola Roxon to establish a greater Nanny State making it easier to lodge complaint. With The Australian Human Rights Commission adjudicating, and vying for relevance, biased findings are surely a forgone conclusion? GC.Ed.

In the week before the Cronulla riot, Jones described the young Muslim men who for years had been sexually harassing women on the beach as ''vermin'' and ''mongrels'' who ''rape and pillage''. That was the context of his comments, a context which dropped away entirely as a prosecution for hate speech by the Administrative Decisions Tribunal dragged on for seven years. No mention was made in Sunday's news reports of the far more sinister and contemporaneous example of public hate speech on September 15 last year.

During a demonstration that turned violent in Sydney, some protesters carried provocative placards including one infamous message, ''Behead those who insult the Prophet''. Many wore headbands with Arabic script exhorting jihad. Among the chants was, ''Our dead are in paradise, your dead are in hell''.

 Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/racial-hatred-bill-offers-open-slather-to-obnoxious-20130113-2cnf1.html#ixzz2HtIAA6CI

Here’s one for Nanny Roxon.

Attack of the killer bananas: Posters put up around BBC's £1bn headquarters warning of the dangers of the fruit.

6Posters have been put up at the BBC's new £1bn headquarters warning staff to stop eating bananas after a colleague warned the fruit could killer her.

The posters feature a picture of the fruit with a cross scrawled over it, with the directive telling staff not to peel or eat it anywhere near the colleague, according to The Sun.

 A spokesman for the BBC said: 'The posters placed in specific areas of the newsroom have been put up by staff out of courtesy for a fellow colleague who has a strong medical sensitivity to bananas which can lead to severe symptoms.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2257907/BBC-asks-staff-stop-eating-bananas-amid-health-fears.html#ixzz2HECRr11F 

Let’s Get This Party Stunted

Screen-Shot-2012-07-20-at-5.21.23-PMSiobhan Harris discuses how a proposed ban on nightclubs closing at 1am will lead to more irresponsible drinking and alcohol-fuelled violence:

Melbourne Mayoral candidate John Elliot is calling for nightclubs to close at 1am. He argues that this controversial move will put an end to street violence and keep Melbourne CBD residents safe. This ill-conceived promise will make street violence worse and ensure that residents feel less safe.

Nightclubs in Melbourne typically open around 9pm or 10pm, so if this measure were to come to effect, nightclubbers would only have 3 or 4 hours to enjoy themselves. But of course, nobody goes to a nightclub as soon as it opens (unless free entry before 12pm is offered) because girls and boys are busy getting ready or travelling from suburbia. Plus everybody knows the vibe peaks around 12pm.

When I was a receptionist at a restaurant I used to finish my shift at 2am every weekend. No matter how tired I was I wasn’t going to let another weekend pass me by without hitting the dance floor. So I would head to the nearest club, dance my legs off, drink and head home. It was the perfect system, all of my friends would be there and we shared some very memorable moments.

If I wasn’t able to do that, I’d take the party home. House parties would flourish, and what’s more, there’d be no legally responsible person telling you you’ve drunk too much or no security guard to boot you out. You’d just drink until you spewed and probably drink some more. House parties are so much more dangerous than nightclubs, underage drinkers aren’t asked to present identification and the booze is usually a rocket fuel concoction of spirits and soft drink.

But let’s just say nightclub X closed its doors at 1am, this would result in an outpour of club patrons all fired up and angry that they’ve been asked to leave. So they do what fired up and angry men and women do best, fight. Street brawls would be commonplace.

I also used to work as a street club promoter, picking up girls and guys off the street and then bringing them into the club to boost the numbers. I’m more qualified than anybody on this topic because I’ve seen the carnage on the streets when people are rejected from their favourite destination. I asked a guy once if he’d like to come in, he said yes and we headed to the door of the club. Unfortunately for him he was rejected because the bouncer suspected that he was drunk. This man travelled all the way out from the outer suburbs to drink and he was not happy, boy was he not happy. He punched the nearest guy walking past and both of them started throwing punches left right and centre. I’ve also witnessed a stabbing, the guy said it felt like getting punched really hard in the stomach.

I live in Melbourne CBD and I’ve even lived on King St. What I don’t want to see is a mass exodus of drunken idiots annoyed that they can’t party on. I want nightclubs to end when they feel that they should. Not to mention the effect it would have on small businesses. Nightclubs, bars and strip clubs would have to cut corners that would probably include job losses.

We can’t afford the extra street violence, we can’t afford the cost to businesses and we can’t afford to close our clubs just because some misguided candidate has a disproportionate fear towards youths.

Siobhan Harris is a student at La Trobe University. 

MyChoice Australia: Help Fight The Nanny State

It's been a tough few weeks for those of us who believe in individual freedom and personal responsibility in Australia. As if the introduction of plain packaging for tobacco wasn't bad enough, our nanny state industry now wants plain packaging for food, and government mandated 'regulated portion sizes'  ID scanners have been proposed for bars, the AMA wants to raise the drinking age to 25, and in Victoria, John Elliott wants all bars to close at 1am, because apparently forcing everyone onto the street at the same time with no public transport which will inevitably lead to violence as it has everywhere else is something they want in Victoria. Not even our children are safe: kids have been banned from playing ball games after school as well as cartwheels (two months ago hugs and high-fives were banned for violating a 'no contact' policy.  I could go on, but you get the idea.

This is why last month, our parent group, the Australian Taxpayers' Alliance, started MyChoice Australia as Australia's first dedicated activist group committed to fighting the nanny state, and restoring our long-lost liberties.

I would encourage everyone here to visit the MyChoice website, sign up, and take part in this campaign.

The official MyChoice launch was held in Melbourne last month, with Tim Wilson from the IPA, Dr. Michael Keane from Monash University, and Cassandra Wilkinson from The Australian. Please watch the video below – it's 40 minutes, but well worth the time to watch – promise!

 

Youths and Alcohol: the great moral panic

Screen-Shot-2012-07-20-at-5.21.23-PMSiobhan Harris rejects arguments for further alcohol regulation, and argues we need a return to personal responsibility:

Yesterday the National Summit on Alcohol Marketing to Young
People was held in Parliament House in Canberra. The event was in association
with the National Alliance for Action on Alcohol (NAAF).  In attendance were public health experts,
non-government organizations, law enforcement bodies, youth associations and
‘experts in alcohol’.

Together they reached a ‘broad consensus’, that youths were
being exposed to alcohol advertising and marketing. They also list the ways in
which youths were being exposed such as social media platforms like Facebook.
They patted themselves on back for understanding that we’re in a new age of
technology and social media and youths get their information from a variety of
sources.

Music, cultural and sporting events and clubs were said to
normalize drinking as it’s promoted as part of a fun and healthy lifestyle. They
found that the current policy is insufficient in addressing the problem of
youth drinking. Together they called for greater regulation along with four
major demands. Greater regulation is always called for when creative measures
are not considered.

So together they set about a list of demands. The first
demand on their list was a comprehensive inquiry into marketing and promotions
exposure to focus on how the marketing is targeted towards youths, assess the
exposure of sporting and cultural events and demanding that the alcohol
industry provide transparency into their annual expenditure on promotions and
marketing.

The second demand was to conduct an independent review and
analysis of research on promotions and advertising on attitudes and behaviours
of youths in relation to alcohol consumption.

The third demand, arguably the most noteworthy is to produce
a ‘failure analysis’ of the voluntary industry administered code of alcohol
practice that currently operates in Australia. The final demand was, as is
always the case in moral panics, a call for greater regulation by the
government.

So how did they come to recognize youth alcohol consumption
as a public problem? The document makes no mention of trained medical
professionals providing an evidence based approach, nor were reliable
statistics used to supplement their assertions. In fact the document makes no
mention of any reasons for the need to act. Why? Because it was unnecessary,
there was already a broad consensus.

Without blinking an eyelid they have exaggerated the
‘problem’ of alcohol consumption by youths and have blamed the big bad media
for causing further harm. Media theorists can’t even agree on the effects of advertising
let alone a group of morally superior Nanny Statists. Youths have often been
the focus of insidious attempts fuelled by public outcry that leads to
government intervention into the lives of youths. Such intervention is often
punitive, counter-effective and leads to a significant social division.  

The current restrictions on advertising is already a
stranglehold of creative license. Take for instance the Alcohol Beverages
Advertising (and packaging) Code under Section C;

i) must not depict the consumption or presence of alcohol
beverages as a cause of or contributing to the achievement of personal,
business, social, sporting, sexual or other success;

ii) if alcohol beverages are depicted as part of a
celebration, must not imply or suggest that the beverage was a cause of or
contributed to success or achievement; and

iii) must not suggest that the consumption of alcohol
beverages offers any therapeutic benefit or is a necessary aid to relaxation

I mean really, alcohol achieves many of those outcomes, but
we just can’t say that. We can’t say
what we really think because the government has to tell us we’re wrong, tells
us that alcohol is bad for you. The Nanny that cares for us, government knows
what’s best for us.

Alcoholic brands also help fund sporting clubs in local
communities, all that does is associate the brand with a community focus. To
suggest that people automatically associate alcohol with a fit and healthy
lifestyle is demeaning at best.

Every time we let the Nanny care for us, we sacrifice our
civil liberties, often incrementally over a long period of time. That way we
won’t notice, we accept the next small change. The more we get bossed around
the less likely we are to learn from and experience risk. The more power we
give to the Nanny, the more it will take until eventually regulation is so
strangled that we’re banned from activities, behaviours, speech or appearance.

The government and all Nanny Staters should learn that
sometimes the best action is inaction. Let individuals make their own decisions
about how they consume alcohol, let them experience risky behaviour. Remove the
ridiculous restrictions on advertising and let people make up their own minds. 

Siobhan Harris is a student at La Trobe University. 

Coming Soon: Plain Packaging For Fast Food & “Regulated Portion Sizes”.

TimAndrews1

Tim Andrews discusses the latest calls for regulation by our nanny-state industry: 

Well, that was fast!

Straight from their imposition of plain-packaging for tobacco products, our taxpayer-funded anti-freedom paternalistic nanny state advocates have abandoned any pretense that it was ever about tobacco, and have begun to call for plain packaging for fast food.

In today’s taxpayer-funded The Conversation appeared this article: “Plain packaging for junk food? Health experts call for govt intervention”.

According to Bebe Loff, the taxpayer-funded director of the Michael Kirby Centre for Public Health and Human Rights at Monash University, the problem is that it “took 60 years, and a decision by the government to ignore its own guidelines for regulating, to see the plain packaging crackdown on the tobacco industry” and we just can’t wait that long for fast food! We need to act now! We need plain packaging so that we are not “encouraged every time we turn around when walking through a supermarket, and being bombarded with all sorts of imaginative marketing techniques.” Because Australians are stupid! We need the government to tell us how to act and think!

Plain packaging for food isn’t the only thing endorsed by our taxpayer funded nanny state industry. In the same article are calls for “regulated portion sizes”. That’s right, we need a government to tell you exactly how much you are allowed to eat. I’m surprised ration cards weren’t proposed in this article. At this rate though, they’ll probably be seriously promoted in a few months…

Tim Andrews is the Managing Editor of Menzies House, and Director of the anti-nanny state campaign, MyChoice Australia.