Free Meth/The War on P

So almost 10 years ago, the National Government announced its ‘WAR ON P’.
Since then, usage rates have remained exactly the same, arrests have gone way up and things are actually getting worse.
Who would have thought? Why does this happen?
When meth first hit the scene, I was there. This was in the early 2000’s. All the gangs switched to making it or selling it and it became difficult to source other drugs. Many non gang sources did the same.
LSD, speed, oil, hash, ecstasy, ketamine, all those fun drugs which used properly, respectfully and by knowledgeable adults, can lead to a great night in, a night out out or ‘into the within’, disappeared. Cannabis was still plentiful but it became harder to get all those other things, and easier to buy meth. While its always been hard to get things like cocaine in NZ, the white powder of meth was easy. Its a shame its such a shit drug.
And the supply of that shit drug was endless, the demand grew with it. People have always used drugs and always will. People use the drugs they’re able to get ahold of. Whether it be a can of flyspray (cheap but not recommended) or a bag of meth.
When John Key announced the ‘War on P’ in 2009, I’d long ago left that world behind. But I knew what it would mean for those involved. Dollar signs.
true

Thanks to RNZ for the awesome pictures and the stories that prompted me to write this! http://shorthand.radionz.co.nz/brokenbad/index.html

The further the government tried to crack down on the supply of meth, the greater the demand for it and the more lucrative it would become, and the more addicts would be pushed into the inexorable meth madness thats has been created.
So whats the solution then Maxy boy? Pretty simple really. Make better alternatives available. Make all the alternatives available. The advertising exec in the RNZ story won’t be buying mth when they can go and buy coke. Poorer users will buy a cheaper high, one that won’t shit them out as bad as meth will. But still if people want meth, it can be for sale alongside everything else, sold by a pharmacist/retailer with detailed knowledge of the drugs and with information given on usage, treatment options, counselling etc etc.
Tax it. Just like we do with alcohol. Not ludicrously like we do with cigarettes. Use the proceeds to fund treatment, counselling, education and studies.
But if its legal then everyone will have access and everyone will do it? That first part is correct, just as it is correct right now. Its easier for a 16 year old to go and buy meth than it is to buy alcohol. But eventually if they want either they’ll get ahold of it. But the everyone will do it part? Not so much.
People that want to use drugs, will use them. The trick is, helping them to make the best decisions whilst they do so, and to minimise the harm to themselves, the community and society.
Its time to end the ‘War on P’, and the ‘War on Drugs’. Both have cost us billions and done nothing but destroy lives. I’d love to have an alternative catchy name like the ‘Peace on People’ but it doesn’t quite fit.
Its time we started doing what experts have recommended and what studies conform to be in our best interest. To be spending money on helping, not harming people.

Another great graphic from RNZ’s meth story of stories. Listen to them online now https://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/live/national

Advertisements

Garden Place madness

So Council is now proposing another Garden Place
makeover? Hot on the heels of putting out the idea of turning
Garden Place into a shared space with roads through it and
carparks, an idea which was heavily opposed by the public,
they’re now promoting the same thing again? This time though
the idea is being put forward by private property developers.
Nevertheless the ratepayers will be the ones forking out for
another concrete covered revamp with even less green space.

What is most interesting is that Council has seen
fit to promote these private citizens plans so widely,
spending ratepayers money on communications staffers
time to prepare social media posts and press releases.

After Council overwhelmingly heard that there was no appetite
for another GP redesign or roads through the middle, the public
may have been mistaken in thinking the matter was put to
bed. It appears HCC is particularly keen to make this happen,
thankfully judging by the latest public response, Hamiltonians
have not yet got tired of saying No to things they don’t want.

As other developing cities around the world have started
adding more places where its safe to walk, it seems like a
‘Back to the Future’ move by Council to be moving the other
way. In 2015 alone they were talking about fning people
parking in the Ward Lane/Caro Street shared road. This never
came to fruition though and now the poles have reversed.

As the whims of Council change, we can only hope that more
consultants are not fowin in from overseas or Auckland at the
public expense to drip yet more concrete over poor Garden Place.
If they want to make it more family friendly, surely a destination
playground and having the library open would be better.

Originally published in the September edition of the Western Community Newspaper.

Trump v Trump – NZ News Sites Report the US Primaries

I gave up my daily habit of checking Stuff.co.nz and the NZ Herald sites a while back. Between coverage of Entertainment news and Crime reporting and cross-over ‘stories’ on reality TV and its ‘stars’ it just didn’t seem like there was any actual news.

I was comforted by the fact that if there was some, you know, news in the newspapers, someone else would link to it and save me the trouble of seeing more Kardashians than child poverty reporting. Of seeing more The Block stars than people from my block and the real issues people are dealing with.

Anyway, I wondered how NZ news sites were covering the US primaries, after seeing a story from The Guardian showing Donald Trump has received more media coverage than all the Republican candidates put together.

Surely our bastions of kiwi journalism (No not RNZ) wouldn’t be as bad as Fox News, CNN, CBS etc.

I used a simple metric, it’s called Ctrl-F (or Command F for you Applets). On the home page of each website, where a huge number of kiwis go to digest what the site has chosen to show them, you hit find, and type in the word, and see how many times it appears.

The first time I tried it, just after the Super Tuesday primaries, my hope in NZ news editing was, unsurprisingly intact! That is the complete and utter lack of hope, which has been evident ever since the lead up to the last election.

Mentions on the home page:
NZ Herald
Trump: 14
Rubio: 6
Clinton: 4
Cruz: 3
Sanders: 1

Stuff
Trump: 11
Rubio: 5
Cruz: 1
Clinton 1

Have checked back a few times since then and seen similar flows of numbers. Today for instance:

NZHerald:
Trump: 4

Stuff:
Trump: 3
Rubio: 3

No I didn’t miss anyone out in today’s ones. We seem to have a higher Republican coverage slant. No mention of Sanders historic and game changing Michigan primary win. Unfortunate.

Many Kiwi’s would assume Trump is on the way to becoming the next American President, based on their ‘headline only, quick glance’ consumption of news becoming more and more prevalent.

It’s a worry.

 

Against “conservative leftism” : Why reactionary responses to neoliberalism fail

The most pertinent essay for the NZ left in a long time

FightBack

NZ flag

by Daphne Lawless. For Fightback’s upcoming magazine issue on neoliberalism.

If you had told a socialist or a radical of a few decades ago that Marxist socialists would not only be defending the Union Jack-emblazoned New Zealand flag – a remnant of the British Empire, known as the “Butcher’s Apron” because of all the blood spilled on it, the flag of the colonialist, capitalist state – but marching behind it on demonstrations, they would undoubtedly think that you’d gone crazy. As recently as 2005, the “Defend Our Flag” movement was the preserve of conservatives like the Returned Services Association or the fascist National Front.

And yet, on the marches against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) signing on 4th February, Union Jacks were plentiful. On Facebook, socialists and radicals were calling supporters of Kyle Lockwood’s alternative flag, to be voted on in a referendum in March, “traitors”. How did this…

View original post 5,315 more words

Hamilton City Council caves conceding cash to cycling

As readers of this blog may have noticed, I’ve been campaigning hard for decent cycling infrastructure in Hamilton for some time now. My blog post numbers reached 500 individuals a day. As one of Hamiltons 2 cycling/make world a better place/political blogs (chur Hamilton Urban Blog!) thats pretty ok numbers for a small city who tend to not even vote in local body elections.

An info graphic showing Hamilton City Council planned to spend $0 over the next decade was used by the good young things at Generation Zero and led to over 350 submissions on the ‪#‎Ham10YP‬ and shared all round the place. We drove online social media submissions and accounted for 98% of all of them.

Yes it’s wonderful that the council have finally bowed to massive public and factual pressure and decided to actually spend $ on cycling infrastructure.

Of course it’s only 0.6% of the transport budget and cyclists make up 6% and growing according to census figures. Bow down before the mighty 10th of what should be received. We as a City are clearly not worthy.

Jump on this piece of consultation, tell them you want more, you want better, maybe even also thank them for at least making a start. Sigh. Do it for our kids, so that they may ride safely. Do it for others both now and in the future. Do it for less traffic and a cleaner planet. Do it for the love.

Chur.

The Delorean Bicycle – Hamilton City Council Celebrates 100 Years Of Back To The Past

The following article was published in the ‘Waikato Argus’, the forerunner to the Waikato Times, back in 1913.


Cycling Tracks 

Speaking at last nights meeting of the Hamilton borough council, the Mayor said he was almost ashamed of the number of people who were being prosecuted for riding bicycles on the footpath. He thought the time had come when they should lay down cycle tracks in Hamilton, and he would be glad if the works committee would report on the matter. He moved that they be instructed to do so. It seemed to him they might lay a track from Whitiora and over in Hamilton East, and along some of the other roads where there was a good deal of traffic. He was informed that in Ulster alone there were 150 bicycles.

Cr Tidd, in seconding, said he had brought the matter up a month ago.
Cr Speight was totally against the proposal. They needed footpaths in the outer districts, and these should be attended to first, unless they got a special rate from the cyclists.

Cr Tristram said his experience was that cyclists deserved no consideration whatsoever. No matter how good the roads were they would get on to the footpaths. If the roads were good enough for walking on they were good enough for cyclists. When he used to cycle they were not half as good.

The borough engineer said a cycle track six feet wide would cost from £5 to £6 per chain. Cr McKinnon said he was quite of Cr Tristram’s way of looking at it. If they formed cycle tracks, it would just be a favourite track for speed tests and that sort of thing, and they would have more trouble controlling the traffic than they do at present. He did not think they were called upon to spend any money in this way.

Both footpath and track would require to be kerbed. Cr Hayter said he would like to see cyclists getting a fair chance. They had none at present against vehicle drivers, who would not keep to their proper side.

The Mayor thought the cyclists were very ill-used. There were hundreds of them in Hamilton and nothing had been done for them during the last few years. Cycling was the poor mans method of getting around. Cr Tristram said there was no use remitting it to the works committee, as they had considered it and had no recommendation to make.

The Mayor altered his motion to appointing a special committee, consisting of himself and Crs Fow, Tidd and Hayter, with the engineer. Cr Howden seconded, and this was carried by five to three, Crs Tristram, McKinnon and Speight dissenting.

Cr Howden suggested that the committee should experiment with a track along Anglesea street to find out the cost, etc., and the Mayor said that could be considered.

I really wanted to make my next post about the Council denying oral submissions to the public and being the only council to do so, and since I’ve recieved a response to both my formal complaint and my OIA request surrounding the erosion of democracy in our ‘City of the Future’ I guarantee it will be. Stay tuned Tronites and other Kiwi’s interested in cycling, local democracy and the separated cycle path to a brighter future.

– Max Dillon Coyle

WaikatoArgus-page-001Cycling — Ohinemuri Gazette — 21 August 1901 — The Ohinemuri Gazette. AND UPPER THAMES WARDEN WEDNESDAY  AUGUST 21  1901. Local and General.Ohinemuri Gazette — 21 August 1901

Which Hamilton City Councillors Hate Cycling?

CyclingHCC

At a June 2014 Hamilton City Council meeting there was a discussion on the way cycle facilities are funded in relation to other transport modes. It was suggested that the group developing the Cycleway Plan take into consideration the suggestions that were being flagged through this Annual Plan process.

Councillors Macpherson and Gallagher put forward an amendment:

“That Council will equitably fund cycle facilities, at least commensurate with the proportion of cyclists in relation to other transport modes, and will lobby Central Government to restore the same level of partnership funding as currently applying to motor vehicle facilities.”

Those for the Amendment:
Councillors Gallagher, Macpherson, and Wilson

Those against the Amendment:
Mayor Hardaker, Councillors Chesterman, Yeung, Forsyth,Pascoe, O’Leary, King, Green, Mallett, and Tooman

The Amendment was declared lost.