Thursday, March 27, 2008

'Government, media bingeing on cheap, pretty alcopops'

March 27, 2008 - 6:31PM

Health chiefs say a combination of brightly coloured, cheap pre-mixed alcoholic drinks and existentialist nihilism are enticing Australians into a binge-drinking culture.

New research from VicHealth reveals almost 60 per cent of 18-24 year-olds drank so-called "alcopops" in a four-week survey period, compared to 52 per cent who drank beer.

But Australian Medical Association (AMA) federal president Rosanna Capolingua said the binge-drinking epidemic even drew people away from GOON.

"Alcopops are a specific issue within the binge-drinking problem," Dr Capolingua said.

"Here you have drinks that are about affordable prices and pretty colours, particularly targeted at girls - who were just starting to come around to beer after 200 years of suasion.

"We have to look at the alcohol industry and how it targets young people with alcopops. It builds brand loyalty and the kids connect with a type of drink - they're hooked in.

"It's not respectable, I mean, would would the Hoff (above right) do?

"Then they go off and have an accident, or they're king hit while waiting in a queue outside a tavern, or they're raped, are having unprotected sex, sometimes with Wayne Carey.

"We need to think about what can be done: talking to and educating children and parents. We need to educate the suppliers and the consumers and also consider things like warnings on restaurant menus and walls inside pubs and not just rely on labelling on bottles.

"Like the demise of tobacco, we need similar health education campaigns, and consider solutions similar to the banning of smoking in venues to defeat this threat of lolly water."

Paul Dillon, of Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia, suggested the nation's drinking epidemic would get worse before it got better.

"We have a generation of people who are being introduced to potent, top-shelf spirits through RTDs (ready-to-drink products) at a very young age," he told AAP.

"We have yet to feel the full repercussions of that. Where does this generation of drinkers go to next?

"These products are introducing them to a range of products they otherwise would most probably not have messed around with in the past."

Products with the highest alcoholic content that were surveyed by VicHealth include bourbon and cola drinks Bulleit Bourbon and Woodstock Blue, and Jager Bomb, a mix of Jagermeister liqueur and energy drink - all of which have nine per cent alcohol content.

AAP/The Age

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Kew Racing

A pictorial essay of racing A grade at Kew.

15minutes: Grimace, this hurts.
30 mins: Urgh, grimace this hurts.
45 minutes: wrong way turn back!

Finale: The little buggers belt me up the hill again!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Carers Bonus

The News Limited press have gone balistic over alleged plans to scrap the carers bonus.

I think this is a ridiculous claim, that has only gained traction because the payments were never factored in to forward estimates, and were never formalised as part of the carers payment/allowance system.

By all means remove these 'bonuses', but the focus should be on making the payment/allowance structure more generous.

The News Jackals focus on the bonus, but do they really care about the system more broadly?

Let's provide more financial support for carers, and at the same time do away with the notion of bonuses.

Power Couples

Thursday, March 06, 2008

a nugget of truth. a truth nugget, if you will.

sometimes a simple sentence says it all. Guy Rundle, crikey's us correspondent:

Howard will surely go down in history not as a Thatcher-style conservative agenda setter, but simply as a delayer, a ten-year obstruction."

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Mea Culpa

Can Kevin Rudd please stop apologising for everything.

It is fine to apologise for things that you are in fact responsible for, and apologising to the stolen generations was naturally the right thing to do.

But I'm sick of Kevin the moral panic panda apologising for things that are of no significance whatsoever, or aren't even his fault.

It's almost a sign of supreme hubris- I'm am in chare of everything, so if anything goes wrong at all, I will take responibility, and remedy the situation.

This is just ridiculous.

The most recent example is taking responsibility for interest rates.

I mean, years of underinvestment in skills and infrastructure at both a state and Federal level, and then all of a sudden it's Kevin's fault.

He's only been in office for 100 days!

I think part of it is due to the constant campaigning mentality he has adopted. I think he needs to chill out.

People will judge him based on the solutions he develops for problems, rather than the false responsibility he takes for them.

For many years Labor struggled under the false tag that interest rates would be lower (and by proxy, inflation would be lower) under the Coalition.

After all that has been done to rebuild Labor's economic credibility the last thing Rudd should be doing is accepting responsibility for the poor economic performance of the previous government.