Most of us would have said it many times “Government is out of touch” and yes they are!
My most recent example of a government being out of touch is the New South Wales Barry O’Farrell state government.
Ok we would all agree there is a definite problem with alcohol and violence and our thoughts do go out to the family and friends of all victims. “Yes” something needs to be done, but what Barry O’Farrell has done is plain and simply wrong and irrelevant.
What is “mandatory” sentencing going to achieve apart from throwing people in jail for a long period of time ? How does that help a family who might have just lost a son or a daughter to a punch or a kick from someone who has had too much to drink ? It does nothing to reduce the rate of violent acts as many people who are intoxicated are simply not capable of thinking properly and clearly enough to consider the consequences.
Is an idiot who has had to much to drink going to stop and think to themselves “ohh better behave because of mandatory sentencing” I DONT THINK SO !
I do agree that quite often we will hear of a court case where the defendant has been dealt with far too leniently……. but that is no reason to introduce mandatory sentencing, Judges and Magistrates need to be advised of community expectations for various crimes and if a judge or magistrate hands down what is deemed a excessively lenient sentence, he or she should be held to account and warned or fired if necessary.
To reduce the rate of alcohol related violent acts we simply need to get a little bit more serious about the serving of alcohol. Pubs and clubs need to adhere to the responsible serving of alcohol a lot more thoroughly. Instead of looking at each additional drink as a few more bucks in the till, the pub and club owners need to consider the person they are serving and the general public a little bit more than they currently do. If someone has had too much to drink they should not be given another beer or another bourbon, they should be refused service and assisted to a taxi.
While writing this post l am actually getting quite angry with these pub and club owners, because they are selling as much booze as they possibly can… all in the name of making a few bucks…. but every patron who they help intoxicate is another drunk for the taxi driver to try and get home, the public to avoid and possibly for the police to deal with.
Many of these pubs and clubs are playing a huge role in causing this problem, but they would scream if they were forced to shut their doors a few hours earlier.
My position on what Barry O’Farrell has done is he has gone after the “easy target” and not really considered the likelihood of his new laws actually making a difference. For Barry O’Farrell it “looks” like he is taking a tough approach, but in fact he is taking the cheap option, because he should be looking at the pubs and clubs and winding back their hours, along with holding judges and magistrates accountable for sentences for serious crimes which seem too lenient.