Cracker by Damian Christie

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Cracker: P is for Politics.

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  • Rich of Observationz,

    Former UK Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown is ex-SBS (like the SAS, but a whole letter harder). And MI6. Never seemed to do him any harm.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Damian, that's a lot of assumptions to swallow on no evidence pertaining to the actual individual.

    They're also probably true. In just the same way a lot of profiling usually is. Maori are more likely to commit crimes, for instance. Should that really stand against them as candidates? I know it does, but I don't think it's really right that it does.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10630 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Bell,

    Check out 6 spades and Queen of diamonds:
    http://www.release.org.uk/nicepeopletakedrugs/deck-of-cards/

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 168 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    And I think we do have a particular problem in NZ, and I'd like to know why.

    All I can offer you is that it's not new. Keith Stewart once wrote about a consignment list for a Christmas celebration for a small colonial town in the late 19th century. The volume of alcohol it included was genuinely staggering.

    Danyl has an interesting post about a new book on Prohibition, which makes the point that although it's invariably regarded as a failure, Prohibition did markedly reduce US alcohol consumption -- which was its aim. It just created some other problems.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    But yeah, in a perfect world, people making drug policy would be able to be honest about past use without it being game-ending.

    Does anyone else remember in 1999 when a large number of MPs - including Helen - admitted to having previously smoked pot?

    My memory of the details is a little fuzzy (shut up), but I'm sure it was motivated by some sort of drug discussion, which lead to lots of MPs admitting to having sparked up in their university days.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    the Roots of Desire For Oblivion.

    Couldn't help thinking... "What a great name for a Reggae Band"
    And as for drug taking MP's, I think it should be compulsory, I mean, how long ago was "The Enlightenment"? That gave us so much, the French Revolution, The Industrial Revolution and all kinds of super arty stuff.
    Blessed be the drug takers, for they have truly seen the light. ;_~
    (Picasso smiley)

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Check out 6 spades and Queen of diamonds:

    That list forgot Graham Caphill... oh, sorry... he didn't take drugs... did he?

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Prohibition did markedly reduce US alcohol consumption -

    How would they know? Gotta admit you were drinking illegally first,then admit making,moving it around the country etc. How accurate could you be, unless there were autopsies to test.Today's consumption would also have other factors to contend with.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    How would they know?

    Nah, this is looking at alcohol consumption after Prohibition. Apparently it didn't get back to pre-Prohibition levels until the 1970s.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    Some of the most professionally inept people I've met have been teetotalers.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    Damian, that's a lot of assumptions to swallow on no evidence pertaining to the actual individual.

    Yeah, of course. Likewise I believe you were suggesting that all seemed to be shipshape (or at least "hadn't manifested itself in any known problems"). My point is that neither of us know Mr Prast, and what he was like during that time. He's the one who said he had problems with it, I'd suggest it's more likely those problems were the ones reasonably associated with P use - i.e. trouble with work, finances, personal relationships etc, than "erectile dysfunction".

    I'd also say there's a bit of a difference when it comes generalising about people with P addictions, and Maori. It seems like it's a convenient way to suggest my argument has all the logic of a racist's. :)

    Anyway, as you point out, you won't be voting for him because someone you know says he's an arrogant wanker, I won't be voting for him because I think people who become P-heads don't have what it takes to run the Super City. Either way, he ain't gonna win!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I do like that this little storm in a tea cup has come to pass, there's been very little mention of previous drug use in NZ electoral campaigns, and ultimately who are we fooling.

    I was thinking while I was out for a ride earlier how the whole debate would change if there were suddenly no secrets about this.

    I could (although clearly, I wouldn't) give you a list of nationally representative sportspeople who've had the odd night out on party drugs. Which would doubtless come as a shock, if not a surprise : they are, after all, fit young people with good disposable incomes, doing what young people like them tend to do.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Apparently it didn't get back to pre-Prohibition levels until the 1970s.

    I believe the big change was also that pre-Prohibition, Americans' drink of choice was spirits, whereas afterwards they started to move back towards less hard-hitting forms of alcohol. (Think of famous American forms of alcohol; bourbon, tequila, moonshine. Yes, I know they produce (some) decent beer and wine these days, but *historically* that was not the case at all.)

    And I've seen statistics on how many Americans just don't drink at all - it's really surprisingly high in a NZ context, even assuming that some are fudging the truth a little. Thinking of adults I know, I could only name off-hand two non-drinkers; one is highly allergic to alcohol and one is from Saudi Arabia. We drink a *lot* here.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    I was thinking while I was out for a ride earlier how the whole debate would change if there were suddenly no secrets about this.

    Indeed Russell. Without detailing everything I've ever done, I like to give sufficient clues every so often so that if I ever got caught snorting something off a hooker, people would say "well, didn't you ever read his blog?"

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    how many Americans just don't drink at all

    My mother (tipple of choice: Johnnie Walker Red) became put off Baptists for life when she worked in a restaurant in the USA and ran into some who ordered hard liquor and drank it out of teacups so no one would know. (Of course, my American half of the family hails from Louisiana, the state where you can buy Southern Comfort at your local petrol station. There are also, erm, drive-through liquor stores. The Catholics don't play!)

    I would like to note, for the 'Quest for Oblivion' record, that whenever I have been off my tits, I was going for Russell's Theory of Bigger Fun. I am afraid there is no need to psychoanalyse the (nonexistent) huuuuuge emotional hooooole in my soouuuuul, or whatever.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    I would like to note, for the 'Quest for Oblivion' record, that whenever I have been off my tits, I was going for Russell's Theory of Bigger Fun. I am afraid there is no need to psychoanalyse the (nonexistent) huuuuuge emotional hooooole in my soouuuuul, or whatever.

    Ha! Me too, except instead of bigger fun, I always got very loud, very funny and humiliatingly vomity. So that's why I'm as near to a teetotaller as you get in Mt Eden. I have no qualms about voting in someone who may have tried P. We've all done stuff we're not proud of, and I suspect many of our powerbrokers have had dubious substances in their bloodstreams some time in their past.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    My mother (tipple of choice: Johnnie Walker Red)

    Mine, gin and Catholic 8-) She and her sis love the drive thru .8-)
    The Brethren drink lots I hear.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Damian, I'm just uncomfortable with condemning someone as unfit for public office for crimes committed by people like them. I basically hold a 'presumption of innocence' line about things like that. It's highly likely IF these things happened that you rate as near certain, that they will actually come out, and then I'll happily agree with you that he's less fit for office than some other candidates.

    And I take your point that believing him to be less desirable on account of hearsay of his being an arrogant wanker is just another form of generalization. He could be a reformed ex-wanker, and there's a strong argument that being an arrogant wanker is an excellent qualification for public office too.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10630 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    My mother is irreligious, and enjoys rum, gin, and the odd champane....she was brought up as aPresbytarian but it didnt really take - except, from family knowledge, she's been drunk about twice in her life.
    She just likes the little quiet glow you get from a couple of drinks...

    I am a failure as an experimenter with substances other than alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine: I cant stand inhaling smoke; I am very leary of substances that come as pills (and I react very badly to any opiate- one experience of clinically administered morphine was quite enough), and I have waaay too much respect for fungi (and certain cacti) to play round with them as entertainment. So - I dont play round with them. But an interesting section of my library is devoted to them - and if/when, I'm terminally ill, I'd be willing to give some a go. There is so very much interesting anecdata relating to them - and pretty good evidence that humans have been ingesting them for many millennia-

    In local body elections *here*, I wouldnt vote for anyone who wasnt liberal in their attitudes as to what other people ingested - or who *was* a notorious pothead or alcoholic (or whatever...)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    My mother (tipple of choice: Johnnie Walker Red) became put off Baptists for life when she worked in a restaurant in the USA and ran into some who ordered hard liquor and drank it out of teacups so no one would know.

    Okay, them, I would *definitely* never vote for.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Everyone's got faults, but that don't mean everyone is faulty.I think it boils down to how we treat each other. A person who truly shows they care about Auckland passionately for the people and the cities well being, would get my vote. Power to the people for the people by the people.not the selfish few.It's the democratic way, isn't it?

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Sof' - indeed-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • vangam,

    To quote a former meth cook and dealer I interviewed for a Metro feature a couple of issues back (on drug dealers), "I'm yet to meet anyone who has become a better person as a result of heavy use of methamphetamine."

    I'm yet to meet anyone who has become a better person as a result of the heavy use of alcohol.

    It's not really the point is it?

    Rangiora • Since Jun 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Eade,

    Good Post Damian on a difficult subject.

    What I have learnt here is that smoking amphetamine is very dumb way to put it into your body.

    although a strange aside, can't help reading that without it we wouldn't have had a Punk Rock scene.

    Or alert U.S airforce combat pilots from what I understand.

    auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 1112 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    In the immortal words of Salvador Dali...

    "I don't do drugs. I am drugs."

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5415 posts Report Reply

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