Monday, April 24, 2017

A letter to my local State member

Consider this a diversion from the usual finance posts on this blog.

Today my concern is State politics in New South Wales, Australia.


In New South Wales we have just had a moral-conservative Premier who enacted late-night alcohol bans in large parts of Sydney justified from a moral panic about alcohol fuelled violence. This has destroyed much of Sydney's nightlife.

I can imagine Anthony Bourdain doing a show on Sydney. It would be embarrassing. This city has become dull.

The departed Premier also banned greyhound racing - which in Australia is a sort-of-poor-man's-horse racing. The dogs are a working class pursuit - sometimes involving cruelty to our canine friends (but probably not much worse than the cruelty to horses racing them). Electoral politics forced the Premier to reverse that ban.


Since then the New South Wales Premier has changed - and so I saw my chance to write a letter to my local politician.

I have not received a response from him - so I am putting the letter here for wider circulation.

Dear Rob Stokes
Member for Pittwater,  
I am a member of your electorate. Address ***. 
I want to make sure that under Gladys Berejiklian the New South Wales Government continues its attempt to morally regulate everything enjoyable in human society. This was the tradition established by our departed and sorely missed honourable spoilsport and former Premier. 
You have banned drinking in large parts of Sydney. I applaud you. People should not be allowed to have a good time.  
But you chickened out and reversed your entirely admirable ban on greyhound racing. 
I am deeply alarmed.  
Worse: I have come across the new trend of corgi racing.  
Here is a corgi race - the Ladbrokes Barkingham Palace Gold Cup.

It looks like a lot of fun - and thus should be banned. 
Corgis are blessed creatures, dour hunting dogs suitable for keeping Her Majesty, Queen of Australia, company. But use of them to have a good time is abuse of the finest traditions. And an insult to our Queen and hence our system of Government. 
I want to make sure that you recommit to banning dog racing in New South Wales, and of the utmost importance you should commit to banning corgi racing. 
The suitably sour legacy of Mike Baird should be honoured by no less.
And the Queen would approve.

I await Mr Stokes' response and will post below.


CrocodileChuck said...

Category error: Your electorate is Waverley, & your MP is Bruce Notley-Smith.


Anonymous said...

Sarcasm is likely to be wasted on a politician.

Stephanovic said...

Perhaps Stokes is awaiting instructions from his Factional Warlords.

Tom Marinov said...

John, good post on Corgi's.

However this Government has cemented the time honourered gambling game of selling off prime assets and leasing them back. I wonder if your readers could do an analysis of the rate of return of selling off the Land Titles Office, perhaps we coud run some simulations on selling off the Opera House etc.

dearieme said...

They're not hunting dogs, they're heelers. Po-faced satire is better when accurate. Not that the humourless so-and-sos will notice.

Whenever I wonder why people applauded the Restoration after Cromwell died I need only think of all the sour puritan swine who intrude on our lives today. All strength to your elbow.

Isam Laroui said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

As much as I enjoy your blogs, this blog seems out of your area of expertise. As a local resident of Kings Cross the initiative to curtail a culture of drunken violence has strong local support, and as a taxpayer i thought you would applaud the reduction in costs incurred in hospitals, police and social services.

This is not all regulatory driven. Take Kings Cross. The drinking culture of the Cross had been dying for some time prior to the lockout laws.

Why? Firstly, the demographics have changed. The 2011 postcode has become expensive as its proximity to the city, heritage buildings and amenities have lifted property values so much so that young, beautiful people can no longer afford to live here.

Secondly the chant (with a strong British accent) of "three dollars to the pound" has gone as the GBP has gone down the gurgler. Brits are global market leaders in binge drinking and are the innkeepers best friend. What few are left are now down in backpackers near Central station adding colour on local foot paths and walkways each night. The GFC drove more change than law change.

Retail and entertainment has changed. Shops across Sydney have struggled to survive with changes in consumer preferences. New eateries have opened in Potts Point (the latest being the Rex Bistro - superb!) serving real food rather than takeaways to provide roughage for the upcoming upchuck.

Indeed, looking back over the past two decades most of the hotels have gone (Park Royal, The New Crest, The Hampton, New Hampshire to name a few) replaced by apartments. A stalwart of the Cross, the "old" Burbon and Beefsteak was well and truly dead before the lockout laws. The new Bourbon reflects market not law changes.

So, if you think that Sydney should build its global image on being a great place to get pissed and beat the shit out of a stranger, go lobby for it. I would humbly suggest that you trial this in your home suburb first. There are few people around this neck of the woods who miss walking around a dried pool of blood on the footpath.

The lockout laws have been a huge success for most people. Has Sydney a less vibrant entertainment scene as a result? I believe a new one has emerged, and I for one like it though sadly there are restaurants where it is impossible to get a booking.

I suspect the market has moved and wise business owners should be on trend. I wonder what your investment approach would be to a business proposition based on selling cheap beer to drunks and gamble on a sport that harms animals? Could I count you in? Perhaps not - it seems you are more focused on running corgi kennels instead.

John Hempton said...

Chuck. I am in Pittwater now. I was Friday night and will be to Monday. Then next Friday. I spend more time in Pittwater than Wentworth so I moved my enrolment.

I also regret the name Bronte Capital. It should have been Bilgola or Avalon or even Bungan...

Unknown said...

Dear Anonymous - are you sure you live in Kings Cross? I think you might live on the Moon! Im an ex-Sydneysider now residing in Melbourne. let me inform you that there are planeloads of Sydney fun seekers disembarking at Tullamarine every weekend - to find fun, sophistication and late night booze - in one of Melbourne's myriad "fun spots". Funnily enough - there has been no increase in violence by the way. I hate to say it but Sydney is in decline and if you look at the stats you will find that I'm correct.
All this aside though - I need to point out the utter two faced ridiculousness of reading your drivel about your experience of living in Kings Cross. Why did you move there if you didn't like what night clubs bring/do/are? It's not like Kings Cross has got worse - statistically, it's actually a bit better (in terms of organised crime, prostitution & deaths per drinker).
You are exactly like the person who buys a the cheap house under a flight path and then grizzles about aeroplane noise - or the cheap bungalow next to the sewage farm and then complains about the smell! Buy purchasing a house and then whining and complaining until it changes, aren't you practising your own form of social engineering? Who gave you the right to do that?
Kings Cross will return and I hope it is soon!

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