That visit to the pub and a few beers has not come under too much threat yet other than the need to be under the limit if you intend to drive. Tossing a few bucks into the pokies for a flutter while you are at it is about to become a whole lot more complex though.
Our Prime Altruist Julia Gillard has announced that she is determined to push through gambling restrictions, which she calls reforms, (sounds better, doesn’t it?) on poker machines. This she claims will “ease the suffering of families hit by problem gambling.” She has not explained why if gambling is a problem, she is only dealing with one form of it, but we know why.
Yesterday in “A great week for the nanny state, killjoys and wowsers,” I observed:
Take for a start, Gillard’s pet Green Independent, Andrew Wilkie who is obsessed with problem gamblers to the point of wanting us all forced to set a limit on our wagers on the pokies. This under normal circumstances would be dismissed as eccentricity, but the Gillard government is depending on his vote to drag her sorry arse across the line. The Greens after all have what their Senator, Christine Milne described as a power sharing agreement with the government.
In her statement today, she makes it clear that all pokies users are to be “reformed” because of the obsessive demands of one man.
“I made an agreement with Mr. Wilkie; I intend to honour that agreement,” she said.
“That kind of problem gambling causes human misery. I don’t think we want to see anybody profiting on human misery.
“Of course people like to have a bet; but I don’t think they like to see their fellow Australians suffer.”
Quite touching really, I mean all that integrity and honour on display as well as the concern about human misery. She fails to mention though that she is honoring etc because she is relying on Wilkie’s vote to keep her in power. As for the “profiting on human misery” bit, she seems to forget the degree to which governments profit from taxes on gambling. A little hypocrisy there.
There is in the report however a bit of comic relief. It comes from the WA National Tony Crook, who after a truly exotic display of footwork exclaims:
“Clearly the issue about punter welfare is critical and I take the PM for her word on that.
“I’m all for people taking responsibility for their own actions. The question is, how do we go intervening and managing people’s actions?”
Punter welfare is a completely new concept in Australian politics. Who says the Nationals have no original ideas? 🙂 The last bit is a doozy though. “All for people taking responsibility for their own actions,” followed by the need to “go intervening and managing people’s actions.” Only the LNP could see that as logical.
As a matter of interest, I recall JH saying that he joined the LNP as a result of talking to David Russell. John is reputedly a fan of poker, and it is worth the question, did he join as result of Russell explaining to him the LNP policy on ‘punter welfare?’ 🙂