A Christmas tail that should be docked
At the time of writing Christmas is only a little over 100 days away, but how much fun is it going to be for most Kiwis?
I don’t want to be the Grinch who stole Christmas, but the signs are there that this one will not be the best for many people who call New Zealand home.
First of all there is the domestic economy to consider. We have 13,000 less jobs than we did before the 2008 election no matter what bullshit Bill ‘Nospeakada’ English might claim. Nospeakada is claiming that we have gained 50,000 jobs and to anyone unfamiliar with the vagaries of the world of Government statistics could be forgiven for wondering how such a difference of opinion could occur.
The fact is that the figure quoted by the Opposition which makes this Government look stupid has been taken from Statistics NZ who compile their data from information supplied by employers and employees whereas Nospeakada is relying on that great National guessing game called the Household Labour Force Survey where 1000 people are surveyed and the results of their opinions are extrapolated out to create whatever they want us to believe. So it is fair to conclude that there are less people with a job now than there were before this mob conned their way into Government.
Clearly this is likely to mean a lot of kiwi kids are set to endure a Christmas like Tiny Tim with all that implies (and I’m not talking about the late Herbert Khaury either). I say clearly because the Government is hell-bent on following a fiscal policy of which even the Reserve Bank has said, The New Zealand government's drive for fiscal austerity will hold back growth and keep interest rates lower for longer and the government's efforts to build its revenue base through spending cuts and raising indirect taxes will slice four percentage points from nominal gross domestic product over the next four fiscal years.(source NZ Herald 13/09/12 - report on The Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy Statement)
But it is not just the unemployment levels that will impact upon Christmas this year. We still have a major problem with binge drinking in this land and Christmas is traditionally a time when the levels of this activity spike and the knock-on effect (or possibly more appropriately the knock-up or knock-out effect) means more hardship and tears for far too many Kiwi families. The politicians have recently had an opportunity to do something meaningful about this but as usual simply tip-toed around the fringes and tried not to damage relations with any of their party donors. The focus went on legislation surrounding the sale and purchase of alcohol and in my opinion they completely missed the point.
I say that because like any halfway intelligent person I know that young binge drinkers are only part of the problem. Even the number of outlets and the hours they are open will only go a small way to making a difference because this is all about a certain mindset. That mindset that it is cool to get so pissed you throw up, pee yourself and generally make a total nob of yourself is deeply entrenched in the Kiwi psyche. The way to change binge drinking habits seems to me to be simple in theory at any rate. First of all you have to begin creating a climate where binge drinkers are perceived as the dickheads they are and where there stupid, annoying and aggressive behaviour is shunned in much the same way that smokers have virtually been shunned. But for those who don’t care too much about feeling the chilly winds of public opprobrium, there need to be legislative consequences (which there already are) and judges who will enforce them (which there aren’t).
So in the absence of any meaningful measures being implemented by those deadheads we pay so much to ruin our country it will be business as usual this Christmas like every other year and a load of irresponsible imbibers will beat up their wives and kids, kill and maim a good number the rest of us on the roads, and generally piss the remainder of us off big time with their loud and obnoxious attempts at being the life and soul of the party.
However it won’t all be doom and gloom will it? After all we do have the Santa Parade to look forward to, don’t we? Or do we?
It seems to me that a Grinch has hi-jacked the Auckland Santa Parade this year and we can only hope he doesn’t ruin all the rest as well. This particular Grinch calls himself the Health and Safety Officer and he is there to make our lives safer (read boring).
The way the Grinch is making lives safer in Auckland is by banning the clowns and people on floats from chucking lollies to the kids. The excuse tendered for this is that the littlies might run out to grab a sweetie and get run over. Duhh! Has the Grinch never heard of the temporary barriers that are regularly set up along the side of the roads where parades travel?
But wait there’s more as they say on the shopping channel. There is also a total ban on anyone squirting the crowd with water pistols and the like (probably to avoid any drowning or Tsunami effects that might wipe out the Sky Tower. FFS they are only water pistols they aren’t mechanically powered and they don’t fire fucking bullets!
Keeping the shopping channel theme going; if you call within the next ten minutes you will also find out that participants in the parade are not allowed to do cartwheels down the road in case they cartwheel though some animal poop. This must be so that none of them out their hands in a warm one from one of the horses and die screaming in agony.
So I think it might be a good idea to give Christmas a miss this year and just go and spend some quality time with your loved ones and have your own Santa Parade where you go and throw stuff at the Grinch preferably not the sweeties or the water. If it was me I’d choose the stuff they are scared the cartwheelers might stray into.