Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Drunk Town

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  • BenWilson, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Somehow, I think I prefer drunks to secret policemen. Let alone drunk secret policemen.

    Depends on the numbers. We do have secret police here, of several kinds. But I agree, drunken policemen have been amongst the most unpleasant kind of drunk I've ever dealt with.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    A drivers license is a right - it's part of a right to free movement. It can be bridged or removed if you commit a motoring offence or haven't passed a test, but by default, one is entitled to drive a car.

    A society where normal activities are 'privileges' conferred at whim is not a liberal democracy.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4411 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to DexterX,

    perhaps there are less police about at present on party nights

    I dunno about that. Look at the obscene level of force on display for the second student protest in Auckland, which occurred on a Friday afternoon (and was a striking contrast to the inspector and a couple of other uniforms who observed the first protest), and I doubt that there's any shortage of police officers available to enforce the law on "party nights". More about where they're deployed, and how.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3898 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    A drivers license is a right

    Bollocks it is. If it were a right, you wouldn't have to jump through hoops in order to get one. It's a privilege, allowing you to legally be in control of a lethal weapon. If a driver's licence is a right, then so is a firearms licence.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3898 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to BenWilson,

    We do have secret police here, of several kinds

    No, we don't. We have police, and we have intelligence services. We categorically do not have secret police.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3898 posts Report Reply

  • Roger, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    There's nothing more destructive to the rule of law than those laws not being enforced.

    I could not agree with this more! My personal view is all laws where there is not a clear committment to enforcement should be removed from the statute book.

    Ruining people’s livelihoods is a horrible thing to do, and has to be bound up with legal safeguards..

    If you don't like the rules, don't play.

    And hallelujah to this to! Lets have clear rules and then enforce them strictly and consistently.

    Auckland • Since Jun 2007 • 173 posts Report Reply

  • chris, in reply to chris,

    I am not sure what point you are trying to make here. Are you suggesting we need a totalitarian government that happily butchers it own people and lets gangs of xenophobic goons beat up women in the street for being out with a foreigner?

    I possibly should have mentioned that the foreigner in question, a wan yet Kong fu infused public schoolish Englishman chased down one of the attackers who was then arrested, dealt with by the standard Confucian restorative justice program, served time, and was subsequently released, his family and 'friends' paid the $12,000 to replace the tooth.

    Tom your response brings to mind a 2004 case of two New Zealanders arrested here for being drunk and disorderly, one of whom wished to test these very boundaries by ripping open a policeman's poorly tailored vestment, buttons flew, as did the culprits on the next plane home.

    Our young people “act out/up” because they can do so in the knowledge that if they are arrested due process will be followed and they are completely without fear of arbitrary and savage extra-judicial state brutality.

    New Zealanders sticking it to the man? Even post Arie Smith-Voorkamp? I'd posit the phenomena is more closely related to the average kiwi male's difficulty expressing himself intelligently and articulately in what is still a largely repressively conformist society. As Lilith and Islander observed and as Russell touched upon:

    The news media need to be wary of depicting any unconstrained behaviour as a threat -- the Herald ran a pic with a similar story last week that showed a crowd of people in Vulcan Lane.

    On that note one has to wonder what the mayor is getting at with:

    Mr Brown and Mr Coster drive up to Karangahape Rd. A transvestite in a blue sequined dress, 15cm heels and a blonde wig walks out of the Family Bar and Mr Brown averts his eyes.

    Given that the continuing theme was mess and mayhem one can only assume that her hairpiece must have been all over the show, otherwise I can't see why it deserves a mention, except of course to highlight that Mayor Brown is not down with the T. Back of the net for normalcy.

    Thanks Ben for responding to Tom's 'butchering' et al. .

    中国 • Since Jan 2010 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Rob S,

    What really got to me was the availability especially after the super markets got in on the act

    And again, here's an example of how it's really a cultural or social issue and not about law or availability. All this time in China I don't think I've ever lived more than a two minute walk from somewhere selling at least beer, if not baijiu and possibly other forms of alcohol (but beer and baijiu are the two most popular), and that's been true of every Chinese city I've lived in or visited. And these places selling booze are the equivalent of dairies, or, in the case of my current dealer, a bike shed whose manager realised that some of us gather in the garden on summer afternoons for a couple of quiet brews and decided to profit from that. Apart from the occasional group of middle-aged men getting a bit rowdy in a restaurant (and their rowdiness is generally good-natured and always kept within the group, so much as one can restrain noise), I don't see any drunk and disorderly behaviour, let alone drunken aggro. Why? Because I generally avoid the more "Westernised" areas like the aforementioned Sanlitun. Traditional Chinese drinking, and most people here still drink traditionally, as Chris reminded us, is done with friends, family or colleagues over a meal and when the meal ends, the drinking ends, and there's no 'acting out', it's just having a good time.

    And one thing I haven't read in Chinese newspapers is the kind of stories about society going to the dogs and drunken yoofs vomiting all over the streets. I have read about drunk driving, which is a problem. And as Chris pointed out there is domestic violence. There is binge drinking here, but it's the aggro that seems to be lacking.

    So I'm saying we need to stop fiddling with the law and start taking a good, hard look at the cultural and societal factors behind NZ's drinking problems.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2001 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    I doubt that there’s any shortage of police officers available to enforce the law on “party nights”. More about where they’re deployed, and how.

    Two friends of mine – a Maori father and son – have a pretty jaundiced view of police priorities in the CBD.

    On separate occasions in the past three years, they were both assaulted – dad jumped by a group after leaving the casino with a friend, both quite badly beaten and son stabbed in the hand on Queen St on a Friday night (and not even particularly late) when he tried to stop someone randomly coming at his mate with a knife as they were walking along.

    In both cases the police simply weren’t interested. The father (a gentle, well-spoken man) was even told by a policeman he flagged down on Fanshawe Street that “brown guys fighting isn’t our problem”. The fuckers wouldn’t even call an ambulance for them.

    I did try and get them to make complaints, but I could understand why they weren’t interested in engaging with the police again.

    So there’s that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18656 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    It's you know, R&B and them video things, with here! a pic of a tattooed guy, http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=10814047
    Nothing rational about our drinking.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • chris, in reply to Russell Brown,

    So I’m saying we need to stop fiddling with the law and start taking a good, hard look at the cultural and societal factors behind NZ’s drinking problems.

    That's bang on. Sorry my last comment was in reply to Tom, I'm not sure what happened there.

    中国 • Since Jan 2010 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    We have occasional public order problems because in this country we don’t live under the repressive weight of Confucianist social control and a harsh totalitarian dictatorship that cares nothing for due process or human rights.

    There are too many things wrong with your comment, too many ways this could go way off topic. Let's just start with replacing 'Confucianist' with 'Legalist', as in Han Feizi's philosophy. The public order problems we have here in China are about corruption and harsh or abusive rule by local officials, and are generally not fuelled by excess consumption of alcohol in a conformist culture that teaches men to be 'hard' or whatever. The lack of drunken aggro on the streets of China has nothing to do with repression or totalitarianism or the CCP's lack of respect for human rights, the rule of law or due process and everything to do with traditional Chinese culture.

    Speaking of totalitarian dictatorships and contempt for due process and human rights, yesterday saw me waiting for 20-odd minutes outside the Foreign Experts Bureau while my boss got some paperwork done. That happens to be right next door to the Letters and Visits Bureau, where people suffering some injustice or another in their far-flung hometowns can complain to the central government. That's a few hundred metres west of Xiannongtan on the north side of the South 2nd Ring Road, if anybody wants to see. There were many police and judiciary vehicles with licence plates from Shandong, Liaoning, Jilin, Jiangsu, many other provinces - one favourite tactic of local officials is to try and intercept the 'trouble makers' and ship them back home before they can get into the Letters and Visits Bureau. There were crowds of people lining the footpaths on either side of the road looking unhappy, chatting, discussing the situation. There was a poem somebody had composed about their complaint posted on a powerpole - I was tempted to take a photo, but of all the places one would expect a plainclothes cop or even secret policeman to be concerned about the activities of a foreigner, this was one. I did not see any sign of violence or repression beyond the presence of those police and judiciary vehicles and the fact that those people had something to complain about. Just saying, cos there are still quite a few people who talk as if the Chinese government is all about tanks and machine guns mowing down protestors. This place has problems, sure, and they can explode into spectacular violence, but everday reality is surprisingly mundane.

    But anyway, I think the whole drunk town thing is more cultural and societal than governmental or legal.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2001 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I did try and get them to make complaints, but I could understand why they weren’t interested in engaging with the police again.

    Understandable, but also an unfortunate enabler of the very behaviour that put them off engaging. The IPCA is quite willing to administratively crack heads, and stories like that are a part of the reason it's now the I PCA. (Don't like that I can't put emphasis without having to put a space afterwards. Can be fixed, please?)

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3898 posts Report Reply

  • Graham Dunster,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2009 • 126 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    I thought you meant this longer article. Opium den reference at para 4.

    I was particularly amused by this quote:

    "The bar has been popular with Korean students, who have grown up in a culture that combines singing, food, and drinking to excess."

    So, pretty much the kiwi drinking culture, but with singing and food.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1039 posts Report Reply

  • Graham Dunster,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2009 • 126 posts Report Reply

  • Graham Dunster,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2009 • 126 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    The IPCA is quite willing to administratively crack heads,

    What's the stats on that? How many complaints are upheld? How many are "Police acted appropriately?" How many complaints for brown people are upheld?Does it help your complaint if they know the colour of your skin first?
    I am well aware of RB's mates treatment by cops because it happens to me. It has been consistent since I was about 16. Now, not so much because it's just easier to avoid the police and handle situations without them. I cant say I have ever been really helped by a policeman. It sucks. It's blatantly racist. Try it yourself sometime, are you of a brown persuasion because that is the requisite and I bet there are more complaints where police "acted appropriately" if your skin is brown or not white.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5967 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    What’s the stats on that? How many complaints are upheld? How many are “Police acted appropriately?”

    The stats aren't broken down in the way that you'd like, but their annual report for last year shows that of the 17 public reports they released the police got slapped in every one that wasn't looking at a pursuit-related death (and lightly slapped in one of those, too).
    You're welcome to do an OIA request to find out if they meet your criteria for impartiality.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3898 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    You’re welcome to do an OIA request to find out if they meet your criteria for impartiality.

    Nah, my experience with my complaint has given me an experience I don't wish to have again. As I said, it's easier to avoid them.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5967 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    No, we don't. We have police, and we have intelligence services. We categorically do not have secret police.

    Language police, on the other hand, can be found on every street corner.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • chris, in reply to BenWilson,

    class

    中国 • Since Jan 2010 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to chris,

    On that note one has to wonder what the mayor is getting at with:

    Mr Brown and Mr Coster drive up to Karangahape Rd. A transvestite in a blue sequined dress, 15cm heels and a blonde wig walks out of the Family Bar and Mr Brown averts his eyes.

    I was tempted to ask, but stopped for fear of being accused of Brown-bashing. I know a wall of undulating sequins after a hard day's night can make one a tad queasy, but that's only a crime against fashion. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11853 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    A transvestite in a blue sequined dress, 15cm heels and a blonde wig walks out of the Family Bar and Mr Brown averts his eyes.

    What Auckland needs is a Mayor with the chutzpah to wind down their window and shout "Get off my corner you slut!"

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3354 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    Later: I'm off to get thoroughly, non-violently, uproariously, inadvisably and unapologetically drunk. Because it's fun.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1039 posts Report Reply

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