Tuesday, January 28, 2020

P and poverty

Started the day by reading this headline:

Kids in poverty miss start of school year, as siblings share one uniform

This continuing poverty problem is baffling. OK. High rents is a undeniable issue. But then we have children apparently living in tents and garages. That's a terrible environment for kids but no rent problem. Still no money though? And state houses are affordable, but still no money? With all the extra emergency assistance WINZ is handing out? Food and clothing has never been more accessible. Food banks, markets, recycled clothing stores, charity shops. 

Then I spent 40 mins watching Fighting the Demon. If you can get past the overly dramatic treatment of the subject I recommend it.

Apparently meth is ravaging poor small towns. Police identified 600 P users in Kawerau (out of a population of 6,000). The kids are going without food. Debt is rife. Up to Whangarei, with the highest Jobseeker rate in NZ and an addiction counselor says the business man is using meth to be more 'productive' but the beneficiary is using it to escape his existence.

Therein lies a couple of clues.

But the media never puts the two issues together.


Mark Wahlberg said...

Greetings Lindsay, a new year, but the same shit pervades the headlines. I suspect if you add "P" to the mix of alcohol,cannabis,tobacco and prescription drugs to societies fix of choice, you have some sort of explanation for many of the problems highlighted in your recent posts.
In the lead up to the Christmas period and for reasons i can't explain, I monitored the amount of supermarket alcohol advertising coming through my mailbox. In the 4 weeks over the Xmas period, Countdown and New World collectively accounted for about 50 colourful pages of mouth watering booze of every description and without which we were told, no festive season would be complete. These must have additions to Santa's big day were complemented by full page advertising in our community newspaper promoting the local "Big Barrel" liquor franchise . A shop I might add,which was opened with much fanfare by our Mayor, who put her dressmaking scissors to good use with a ribbon cutting ceremony accompanied by many words of praise for a new business setting up in economically challenged small town New Zealand.
The machinations of the drug world remind me of a time 30 years ago when an acquaintance of mine purchased a new Harley Davidson motorcycle and two dealers did a deal. With the price agreed upon,the purchaser produced a childs lunchbox full of 1-2-5-10 and 20 dollar bills. It took over 2 hours to count and recount the $28000 price of the bike. I wonder if this is still done today or do todays big dollar machines belong to and paid for by some trust fund in the Cayman Islands??

Richard said...

Legalise P and get rid of the tobacco excise tax .. so that addicts can afford to feed their children. It's just common sense.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Mark, There was some footage of numerous tier-arranged storage units holding cash in the doco. Not sure if that was filmed in NZ though. Yes, the harm from alcohol is right up there and if anything elicits a smidgen of sympathy for substance addicts it is my own penchant for wine:-)

Richard, Most would think P legalization is a bridge too far but is the legal supply of methadone very much different? Could a regime be designed along similar lines or are the two drugs too different?

Mark Wahlberg said...

Lindsay,I wonder what percentage of Kawerau's population regularly purchase Lotto tickets or feed food money into Pub Pokies in an attempt to win big and feed their numerous habits?
Alcohol and gambling have been socially destructive since forever, but thankfully, they are legal, so any harm they do has been factored into our tolerance levels.
After all, whats a day at the races all about if not to have a beer,flash some flesh and have a bob each way?

I cant remember the exact detail, but Some years ago Peter Dunne as Minister of puritanical oversight decided the cost of the popular pensioners tipple, Sherry and Port, were so cheap they might become an incentive for young people to start drinking alcohol. To fix the problem he increased the price via taxation. Problem solved. Now this didn't sit well with some local pensioners who felt they were being singled out and punished for the failings of society at large.

Being enterprising old school country boys they found a solution to combat Mr Dunne's attack on their ability to imbibe in their twilight years. They purchased a still and along with home brew beer started producing their own cheap rocket fuel. They formed a club along the lines of a croquet or bowls club. It became quite popular as other financially challenged pensioners heard of its existence and joined to enjoy the comradeship and share tall tales and true from their legendary pasts.

It wasn't long before the authorities got wind of this den of demon drink and the Federales staged a raid. I'm told mobility scooters scattered in all directions being chased by the Rapid Response Unit of the day. Thankfully the only shots fired were of an alcoholic variety before the felons had the cuffs slapped on their liver spotted wrists.

In court they were admonished for their fall from grace and asked if they had no shame? I cant remember what the penalty was, but i suspect the judge did have some consideration for their age and past law abiding behaviour before they chose to become outlaws. I believe their remorse was obvious when the judge ordered the destruction of the still and the 20 gallons of hooch they hadn't got around to drinking. It was a salutary lesson about the consequences of breaching societies rules and expectations.

I can understand why pensioners are leaning towards growing a couple of plants in the back garden.