Zero tolerance. Fuck Yeah!

September 18th, 2007

For far too long now, I have been promoting harm minimisation as the only model for intervention when dealing with a person living with addiction.

NO more. Inspired by Bronwyn Bishop, who chaired The winnable war on drugs: The impact of illicit drug use on families, and throughout the hearings in April and culminating in the findings, shows us how to disregard, disrespect and dismiss not only only the person, but also the data advising of harm minimisation, I have embraced zero tolerance. Zero tolerance is just as it sounds- no excuses ever!

The very first drug addict I will be demanding zero tolerance towards is John Winston HoWARd. It is my professional opinion that our PM has a psychological addiction to power (P). For the first eleven years there was a regular supply of his drug of choice and no one really got in the way of his daily fix. Kim Beazley (twice), Simon Crean and Mark Latham were all no threat to HoWARd’s regular dose of P, but then came Kevin Rudd- Kevin07, he threatened to disrupt Johnnie’s supply of the big P with poll after poll screaming that the supply of P is slipping and will inevitably end.

Initially we only saw short term lapses, then the long-term effects of Johnnie’s addiction were becoming increasingly obvious. Two Ministers felt they had to have an intervention and confront Johnnie’s P use habit. Alas, while they were concerned, no one could actually make the call to have him placed in a detox facility, where the only option is total abstinence. I observed all the classic emotions when faced with the threat of losing a drug of choice. I saw denial:

I hope people understand from observing me in 30-odd years of public life that I have never run from a fight before and I dont intend to do so now. -I will get my P Johnnie.

anxiety:

“Well Kerry, what matters is the party has decided that they want me to stay. I want to stay. I’ve got a lot of fight in me, there’s a lot of things I want to do, and I have resolved very much to fight this election campaign like none other. And there are a lot of things I want to accomplish, and that’s why I’m staying in politics. […] I love politics and I’m still determined to try and do the best thing for this country, and I’m still determined to give my party and the Coalition a real chance of winning what will be a very difficult election.” – I may lose my P Johnnie.

and finally the classic addicts ‘use or die’ bargaining:

“… but look, can I just say something about it. I’ve given a lot of thought to this, and my position to the next election, and this is what I’ll be telling the Australian people is, is very simple. If the Australian people are good enough and kind enough to re-elect me again, there are a lot of things I want to do, and I would want to approach those things with enormous energy.”- Please let me have my P Johnnie.

Johnnie displayed and continues to display, classic withdrawal anxiety symptoms as he faces the real possibility of abrupt discontinuation of his P.

As said, inspired by Bronwyn Bishop and her total lack of compassion or civility to anyone with an opposing view, I propose that we not give Johnnie another chance, we instead place him as far away from the big P as possible and never, ever let him get his Power back.

In the spirit of zero tolerance and with thanks to the words of the Chair:

Johnnie would have to make a case for keeping his seat, or it would be taken away. He would not be able to get the seat back even if he became drug free at a later stage. The electorate would benefit from being given “a real chance at life”, instead of living under a system with a leader who only wanted them to get a Power fix to feed his addiction.

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Image from here

Team spelled ‘me me me’

September 15th, 2007

I cannot remember when I have experienced this much schadenfreude. As a rule I avoid the emotion as I see it as destructive, but for HoWARd I’m making a big, fat exception and you know, it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

Merely, 2 days after Howard the retiree and 1 day after Team HoWARd we get this.

“The opinion polls do indicate that my level of personal popularity is quite high, given I’ve been prime minister for 11 and a half years, it really is. In fact, my level of personal support is significantly higher than that of the party’s. If the party’s level of support in the opinion polls was as high as mine is, well, we’d be a different story.” Team HoWARd spokesman – John W.

My thinking on this is, YAY, I’m being helped by the enemy in bringing the enemy down…

So, keep up the good work guys.

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Velcro… no sharp edges

September 10th, 2007

APEC is by and large over, however, the criticism of the dozens of police who were unidentifiable will be investigated for failing to wear name tags during a weekend protest amid accusations their tactics were unnecessarily heavy-handed.

“People need to remember we’ve had incidents in the past where those badges (when they were made of metal) have been taken by protesters and used as weapons against police- people need to keep an open mind.” -NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione.

Not placing metal weapons on police which may be used against them in a violent situation is reasonable, however the missing name tags are cotton patches attached with Velcro.

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Image text is “STAY IN YOUR HOMES you’ll only get in the way.” Image from here.

Fortress Sydney

September 7th, 2007

I am very fortunate to live in Sydney and am usually very proud of my city. However, pride has temporarily left me as I contemplate the APEC public holiday.

A good example to illustrate the disappointment I have, is in the way this city has talked up the violent protesters that we must all be terrified of. In particular, is the shoddy treatment meted out to The Stop Bush Coalition. Throughout the negotiation period with the NSW police, which began in May 2007, the representatives of the protesters from within the coalition have been attending security meetings and listening and compromising. As late as 05/09/07, they have remained accommodating and balanced in response to the continued accusations that they face, that all protests and all protests are going to become violent and therefore it is legal to stop protests based on our assessment of their intent.

“We note the statement of the Supreme Court affirming the right of every person to engage in protest including in the declared area. However in this case the Court was forced to oppose our preferred route by the decision of the NSW police to place a barricade across the intended route of our march so as to stop our protest. We will continue to gather at Town Hall from 10 am for a peaceful protest on Saturday September 8. We will now march down George St along Park St and into Hyde Park North. The rally will conclude with music and bands. The unprecedented campaign by NSW police against political protest during APEC can not be justified. The security blanket thrown over the city is an attempt to deflect debate on the real issues that APEC leaders should be addressing.” -Source.

Alex Bainbridge: 0413 976 638, who is Stop Bush Coalition’s spokesperson, spent this morning attempting to convince 9am with David & Kim that the vision showing protesters destroying property at Melbourne’s G20 meeting last year is not indicative of protests around Australia. Alex gave the example of a peaceful protest such as the anti-war protests across all major Australian cities, in March 2003, which I attended in Sydney and can confirm that 350, 000 people were indeed peaceful. Kim would have none of this ‘peaceful protest’ talk from Alex and left herself wide open for him to say

“It’s not the protesters who are violent here. The violence comes from HoWARd and Bush who are extremely violent towards Iraqis, where surveys show that 1 in 4 do not have access to clean drinking water. We are using our democratic right to protest the wrong policies of the HoWARd and Bush governments.”

Compare the behaviour of the two competing coalitions- The Stop Bush Coalition with that of the Coalition of the Willing.

So, fortress Sydney, arresting comedians, haranguing protesters and scaring the kiddies.

Good luck with that guys.

UPDATE: OH NO– an outbreak of peaceful protesters.

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Image from here