Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The It-Should-Be-Unlawful Commission

Geoffrey Palmer, the former university lecturer who was Prime Minister of New Zealand for all of about six weeks (which was all it took for his Cabinet colleagues to get sick of his endless, droning voice from the top of the table) and who is now ensconced in what we in New Zealand call a 'cushy job' as head of the Law Commission, wants to raise the age that people can legally buy alcohol from 18 to 20.

It seems Geoffrey and his band of fellow-travellers on the It-Should-Be-Unlawful Commission think that young New Zealanders who are old enough to be held responsible for serious crimes such as murder, to vote, to drive a car (and an aircraft), to fight in a war, to marry, to have sexual relations, to buy a house, to start a business, and to do every other damned thing an adult New Zealander can do, are too young to purchase a bottle of wine.

All this because these wowsers think excessive drinking by young people is an enormous threat to decent society. Actually, I think they they are targeting the wrong demographic. I think it is old farts like Geoffrey who are causing the most damage to society, whether they are drinking alcohol or not. Geoffrey and his band of arrogant, we-know-what-is-best-for-you fools are damaging society through their ill-conceived paternalistic plethora of laws that interfere in every aspect of New Zealanders' lives. The endless raft of petty legislation these fools propose is, in my opinion, largely the cause of New Zealand's social and economic ills.

The worst of it is that the It-Should-Be-Unlawful Commission is undemocratic. Successive governments seem to feel obliged to enact the recommendations of this group of know-it-alls without wider consultation and without canvassing ideas from other quarters. The arrogant presumption of Geoffrey and his cabal that their recommendations will translate straight to legislation is clear from the fact that they include draft legislation in their recommendations.

It is time to abolish the Law Commission. They are a blight on our democracy and a far greater threat to our society than all the drunks put together.