Clearly there are a lot of proposals, and some, such as raising the alcohol excise, are perhaps aspirational, but the Government will give due consideration to the entirety of the report.
“I look forward to working with my Ministerial colleagues on doing that and drawing out the recommendations that will best achieve an environment where responsible alcohol use marks the New Zealand drinking culture,” he said.
Breathing is aspirational as well, yet the Government seems to favour that. So what's the difference? Class, that's what. The home life of our own dear Prime Minister is a responsible drinking culture. Rarely is he seen in a relaxed, informal setting without an acceptable drink: a glass of crisp white wine when at home, a bottle of some authentic South Island beer when he is grilling an authentic Kiwi barbecue with the Young Pretender in the garden of Government House, a bottle of the sponsor's beer when he is hanging out the gym with the All Blacks in a manly but not homo-erotic way.
Mr Key is Mr Reponsible Drinking. But he is as likely to be seen with a fag as to grow a beard. Prime Ministers do not do that sort of thing anymore. The other Associate Minister for Health, who once relaxed at the expense of British American Tobacco, now enjoys the hospitality of the brewers.
Smoking is a poor man's addiction, as Mrs Turia observes. Nice people stopped smoking years ago and the only middle-class smokers left are a few Bohemian types. On the middle-class scale of values, smoking is higher than glue-sniffing and mainlining H, but only slightly higher. Smoking dope is far more acceptable; in some communities it is almost mandatory. Smoking P is utterly unacceptable, except among the property-developing community. Contradictory? Of course, but we are the bourgoisie: we make the rules and some of them we observe.
So we, the bourgoisie, are quite happy to make smoking prohibitively expensive for those who do it. We will also take measures against the use of some forms of alcohol, such as RTDs - which are only consumed by teenage sluts who are bound to get pregnant and then live on the DPB for the next 18 years. But Mr Revenueman, you can keep your hands off our Gewürztraminer.