Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Sydney: A Glimpse Of The Future?

Last summer a good friend of mine, Tim Andrews, popped by on his way to Europe and shared more than the recommended amount of sherberts with a few of us in London.

To peals of laughter, he regaled us with tales of some of the barmy rules his home of Sydney has imposed on drinking. From stories about the state deciding when he is allowed to drink to waiters chasing him around with a plastic chair because he walked out into the sunshine to enjoy a beer - where it is illegal to drink without being seated - we could only react with pity. Well, a lot of hilarity too, of course, I mean how could you not?

My personal favourite was a story of a politician who was offered a drink late at night and chose a single malt. His companion went to the bar but was told he couldn't be served that particular drink because it counted as a shot and the law said they were illegal after midnight in order to tackle binge-drinking. "What a stupid law that is!", raged the politician, to which his friend replied, "yes, but you voted for it".

Now, if you read Saturday's links, you might have seen this article. It not only suggests that Tim wasn't exaggerating, but also that the hysteria over drinking in Sydney is quite insane and is destroying the night time economy.
As I write this in 2016, not a day goes by without the press reporting of yet another bar, club, hotel, restaurant or venue closing.
Repeat after me. The state only ever steps in where free markets fail, OK?
Kings Cross, in particular, has been decimated so badly that it will never, ever, come back as an entertainment precinct. Hugo’s Lounge closing, which was the swankiest bar in Sydney for fifteen years and voted Australia’s best nightclub five years running, was the last nail in the coffin for the area. 
The venue also housed the 130-seat Hugo’s Pizza, which had not just won Best Pizza Restaurant in Australia at the Australian Restaurant & Catering Awards, but was also named the World’s Best Pizza in the American Pizza Challenge in New York. 
Manager Dave Evans cited revenue falling by 60% due thirty-six different "stringent conditions" that had been placed on the business over the past two-and-a-half years. The closing of the venue made seventy staff lose their jobs.
But how can this happen? Surely the state has our interests at heart? They serve us after all, yeah?
And oh, how ridiculous these rules have become in Sydney. A special little person has decided that there is a certain time at night when we are all allowed to go out, and there is a certain time that we are allowed into an establishment and a certain time that we are all supposed to be tucked into bed. There is a certain time we are allowed to buy some drinks, and over the course of the night the amount of drinks we are allowed to buy will change. The drinks we buy must be in a special cup made of a special material, and that special material will change over the course of the night at certain times. The cup has to be a certain size. It cannot be too big, because someone might die. Over the course of the night, this special little person will tell you what you can and cannot put into your cup because someone might die
It is now illegal to buy a bottle of wine after 10pm in the City of Sydney because not a single one of us is to be trusted with any level of personal responsibility. Apparently there is an epidemic of people being bashed to death over dinner with a bottle of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc that we have all been blissfully unaware of. 
Likewise it is now illegal to have a scotch on the rocks after midnight in the City of Sydney because someone might die.
Ah, that's the one which caught the politician out.
You can drink it if you put some Coca-cola in it, but you can’t drink it if the Coca-cola has been mixed previously with it and it’s been put in a can. Because that is an “alcopop” whatever the hell that means. The only person more confused than me is the bartender. The poor sod is only trying to scrape a few nickels to make it through university; not only are they struggling with their hours being drastically cut back with venues shutting, but the government is now threatening them personally with fines if they break any of the rules.
Oh what a tangled web we weave when 'public health' is allowed free reign in the city of Simple Simon and his snobby, judgemental friends, eh?
It is also now easier to get a beer in Pyongyang, North Korea, than it is in Sydney.
It's a long read but do pour yourself a bevy and have a gander at the whole thing. I guarantee you your drink will taste ever the sweeter as you thank your lucky stars that the absurd restrictions Sydney residents are forced to put up with thanks to extremists are not in force over here. Yet.

I've said before that I pity the hell out of Tim for having to live in that Godawful city, but I've made a mental note not to laugh so much next time he recounts his stories. After seeing what he has to put up with, laughing about it must appear to him to be as cruel as kicking puppies.

Also bear in mind that these bansturbators share information globally and there are many temperance nuts who would like to create the anti-fun hellhole of Sydney over here too. It's why they need to be watched like a hawk and their efforts should be resisted at every turn. Sydney proves what can happen if we're not vigilant.

For the sake of your children who have to grow up in the world that 'public health' aspires to create, always remember that we're on the side of the angels here and they are most definitely not, won't you?

H/T Entropy72

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