Thursday, 17 April 2008

Anne Bressington: The Epitome of Stupidity

In what is seen as a victory for Independent, Ann Bressington, the South Australian government has successfully passed her bill to ban certain drug paraphernalia including bongs.

Anne Bressington is a twat. A first class twat. Once again her selfish, arrogant holier-than-thou opinions have been pushed onto the public. As a former Administrator for the Festival of Light and keen suporter of Fred Niles Christian Democrat Party, the foundations of her polices start to take shape. Completely void of evidence or scientific research, Bressington hails the strategy of Zero Tolerance as the “answer” to the drug problem. She hates Harm Minimisation and has contempt for those who support evidence based treatment that is different from her own unique brand of research. Bressington earned her fame from the infamous split with independent, Nick Xenophon.

The ridiculous new laws were passed last week and prohibits the sale of bongs, pipes, cocaine “kits” and even hookahs which are a traditional item for some cultures. Those caught, could face 2 years jail and/or a $50,000 fine. The whole idea of banning drug paraphernalia has been a issue for Bressington since 2006 when she introduced the Controlled Substances (Sale of Equipment) Amendment Bill. Like drinking, a certain culture arises around drugs especially marijuana. Shops that sell related equipment can be rather “in your face” and enough to make some self moralising conservatives a little uncomfortable. Since most people don’t visit these shops, Bressington fallaciously compared the sale of drug equipment to an issue that was more familiar to the public - the sale of alcohol and tobacco.

"It would be unthinkable for a tobacconist to be able to sell cigarettes to minors on the understanding that those minors would not open the packet and smoke the cigarettes" 

"It would be just as unthinkable to sell alcohol on the understanding that the bottle would not be opened and the alcohol not consumed."

-Ann Bressington

Of course fuckwits like Bressington have absolutely no consideration for anyone’s well being and are more interested in pushing their own personal views onto the public. Experts have been trying to explain to her for a long time now, the problems attached to banning clean and safe equipment for drug users. Her head must be so thick that this information was unable to reach the tiny pea like brain that is incased in cold, hard shit. Her “victory” might be good for the comfort of her conservative cheer squad but probably a death sentence for others. At best, she is going to be responsible for hundreds of sicknesses each year including possibly the spread of HIV-AIDS to users who might have avoided it previously. All this is unimportant to the likes of Bressington and co because it’s better to send the right message than to allow someone to buy a wooden water pipe, regardless of the damage, death and pain it causes.

Ms Bressington said the new laws would help prevent children being lured into illegal drug use.

-Sydney Morning Herald

Like needle exchanges (which she disapproves of), these shops provide clean, safe equipment for drug users so that blood-borne diseases are not transferred between them. If users share a badly made pipe and burn or cut their lips, blood might be passed on to the next user who might pickup HIV-AIDS, Hep B/C or other nasties. The same goes with home made bongs that are usually low quality and are made of materials that are not suited for the purpose of inhaling smoke. Home made equipment might also contain lethal chemicals or carcinogenic agents that react when heated up. The dangers are many and very real. 

This blatant use of her position to appease a minority group of Zero Tolerance zealots needs to be questioned by other members of parliment who are supposed to have our best interest at heart. What positive outcomes has been achieved? What are the advantages of banning such equipment in comparison to the lives it may save or the health problems that are avoided? Another factor to consider is why hasn’t the advice of experts been taken into consideration? Why has the advice of specialists who deal with these issues professionally been overlooked in favour of so called “public concerns” which have no solid data to back it up. 

In 2006 when Bressington was pushing for compulsory drug testing in schools, she stated that, "The reaction from parents has been overwhelmingly positive and supportive in SA". This was her reasoning to dedicate so much time and effort to her cause. When she later announced her proposed bill, parent groups, medical experts and school associations were not “overwhelmingly positive” like she claimed but outraged about the proposal. 

”Making the tests compulsory completely overrides the rights of parents. It’s mandatory. It removes all consent from parents. This is a Bill that could potentially take so much away from parents, school communities and community groups.”

-David Knuckey. Director of the South Australian Association of State Schools Organisation

As usual, the contemptuous Bressington showed off her rhetorical tactics and rolled out the “soft on drugs” attack to anyone who opposed her. This label is a familiar trait of the religious right and moralist who preach moral based drug policies over evidence and research. Anyone who opposes their views are labelled “soft on drugs” and it’s always lapped up by the media. For example, Howard’s favourite NGO, Drug Free Australia, cornered the major political parties with a tricked up survey before the election. They asked for a public response as to whether they were going to have tough drug policies like the Liberal Party or be “soft on drugs”. 

Although the anti-drugs campaigner’s move has outraged parent groups, she says anyone who opposes her legislation, which also would allow tests to be carried out without parental consent, is “soft on drugs”.

Critical Times - MPs want drug test for teens. 17/08/2006

Again Bressington has used so called “public support” to introduce this latest bill. She was allowed to actually bring into law, a dangerous and unworkable policy based on nothing but the view that the public wanted it. Like the drug testing in schools issue, those who opposed her were labelled “soft on drugs” and their often expert advice was dismissed. 

“Concerned parents need to watch closely who opposes the measure . . . it will be an indication of who is soft on drugs”

-Ann Bressington

With the threat of being labelled “soft on drugs”, both Liberal and Labor supported Bressington’s bill. Attorney-General Michael Atkinson has also jumped on the band wagon and is flagging the new bill as a success to the government. Taking the lead from Bressington, he has labelled Liberal Party Legal Affairs spokesman Isobel Redmond and Independent M.P. Kris Hanna as “the Cheech & Chong of the State Parliament as they try to save the bong” because they wanted the bill amended. Closer examination reveals that they only wanted to exempt culturally important & traditional water pipes like hookahs, narghiles, shishas and ghalyans, from the ban . 

Many experts opposed the new bill but facts and evidence have never influenced Bressington’s views before. One local drug expert, pharmacology associate professor Rodney Irvine, said users will seek other ways to inhale smoke and that could be more dangerous.

"When you close one loophole another one emerges, a different pattern of use emerges. They'll make them out of anything, obviously. "I would say that there's a possibility those alternative homemade ones will have some problems." 

-Associate Professor Rodney Irvine

Ann Bressington is the epitome of what’s wrong with our drug policies. A self appointed guardian of our desperate need to ruin our lives through drugs. Luckily Bressington is around or else SA would have turned into a chaotic world of crazed junkies, raping and looting whilst Adelaide burns in the distance. Thank you Allah for our saviour, our moral beacon that shows me the way when I stray ... all the way to jail. 


Damian said...

Good post, Terry.

amphibious said...

The Wran gov in NSW banned the sale of all dope smoking paraphenalia in 1985.
How strange that this ludicrous measure got up in the only state that allows a modicum of dope to be grown for personal consumption.
Of course, the akshal smoking of cannabis is a result of the introduction of tobacco from the New World. Prior to that the middle east ate it a a sweet meat called 'marjoum' and the sub continent drank it mixed with milk & spices as "bhang".
As would I were it not so bloody expensive on the east coast.

Ross Sharp said...

I've smoked a mountain of pot at various points in life, taken cocaine once, speed quite a few times in my early 20's, and LSD once. And I never had a single bad experience with any of them. I still enjoy the occasional spliff. But without a doubt the dumbest and most destructive habit I've ever engaged in was to take up smoking cigarettes, and I can buy a packet at any newsagent, service station, supermarket, department store, corner shop, burger and kebab joint, and vending machines. When silly cunts like Bressington start advocating a total ban on the manufacture, distribution and sale of tobacco, I might give some credence to their "concern" about drug consumption. Until such time however, I'll continue to dismiss these hysterically stupid tools as anal-retentive time-wasters and amatuer pamphleteers who are stuck so far up their own self-obsessive self-rightousness over "illegal drugs" that it's a wonder their navels don't flap every time they draw a breath.

Banning bongs is not exactly going to stop anyone from rolling a four-paper joint. It's certainly not going to stop me if I feel like it.

Terry Wright said...

Thanks for your comments.

Amphibious: Yes, SA have the Cannabis Expiation Notice scheme where small amounts of dope or one plant for personal use etc., gets you an on-the-spot fine and no criminal record. Funnily enough, the scheme includes "Possession of equipment for smoking or consumption of cannabis or cannabis resin" - $150 fine. Bizarre.
Governments are hell bent on stopping people getting high (except alcohol). They ignore traditions and culture if there is any connection to drugs (not that right wing conservatives care much about non Anglophone heritage anyway). Like the US demanding Latin America cease the consumption of the coca leaf which is very much part of their culture. The SA ban on drug paraphernalia ignores traditional smoking equipment like the hookah.

Ross: Great response. You would have to be the most descriptive writer I have read.
Bressington is a senile. Anyone who gets this far into their life with such an obsession like she has, and still doesn't know the facts, has a major mental problem. Worst than that is her contempt for those who she supposedly cares so much about. The arrogant "Do it my way or no way" approach leaves behind those who don't respond to the judgemental, harsh and inhumane treatment she proselytises about so much.

albi said...

Another excellent post, Terry.

I agree that these purveyors of moral panic have no interest what-so-ever in the welfare of their constituency, children (Won't someone please think of the children!!) or of addicts. It's purely an exercise in furthering their own narcissistic dellusionism - that they are making a difference.

These attempts to 'legislate morality' will always fail, due to the moral failings of the initiators.

I look forward to your next post.


Max said...

Anne Bressington scored her SA senate seat on Nick Xenephon’s coat tails and some people in Adelaide believe that this is one of the reasons that Mr Xenephon has moved on to the federal arena so as to avoid any embarrassment at being involved with a right wing mentally challenged politician. So, we in South Australia have Mr Xenephon to thank for leaving us with a politician who nobody had heard of before the last state election and nobody wants.
Ms Bressington has a huge chip on her shoulder due to the untimely death of her daughter some years ago from a heroin overdose, she is now trying to justify her pathetic existence by forcing her corrupted value system upon the world. I wonder, would it be possible to point out to her that her daughter’s death was not her fault but that of the current drug laws, and if so, would she comprehend it.

Bron said...

Excellent post, Terry. Bressington sounds like a narrowminded, moralistic bitch.

Now, have you seen this in the SMH?

Get tough on grog! Ban beer and spirits and all the rest, and leave the spliffs for us to enjoy peacefully (and without violence... unlike alcohol).

The double standards! Argh.

Bron said...

Did that link work?!

Jack Dorf said...

Dog whistle politics at it's finest.

Find something to demonise.
In this case the innocent bong.
An object only really used by a marginalised section of the community.

No real electoral backlash.
(I assume?)

Labor's support guarantees them the moral high ground in the ongoing debate on drugs.

I reckon the Rann Gov see this as a win win situation, scabrous dogs that they are.

Let us hope that Anne's other policy platform regarding casual sex contracts never gets the backing of the ALP.
(More detail in my url)

Terry Wright said...

Thanks for your comments.
Albi: I agree that these purveyors of moral panic have no interest what-so-ever in the welfare of their constituency, children (Won't someone please think of the children!!) or of addicts. It's purely an exercise in furthering their own narcissistic dellusionism - that they are making a difference.

I think this about sums it up Albi.

Max: I wonder, would it be possible to point out to her that her daughter’s death was not her fault but that of the current drug laws, and if so, would she comprehend it.

This proves Bressington has an agenda. Anyone who actually researches the cause of most addicts deaths realise it's the system to blame. Only those with an ulterior motive will hide the facts and play on the public's naiveness. It sickens me that she uses her daughters death as a reason to push her own personal agenda whilst hiding the facts.

Bron: Bressington sounds like a narrowminded, moralistic bitch.

She is.

Get tough on grog! Ban beer and spirits and all the rest, and leave the spliffs for us to enjoy peacefully (and without violence... unlike alcohol).

You're right Bron, Imagine if a new drug appeared that made people violent, ruined lives, reeked havoc on your body, mushed your brain, made you incomprehensible, was easy to consume just by drinking it, made you vomit, gave you ulcers, gave you the DTs the next morning, made you pass out and was highly addictive. Would the government legalise it and allow it's sale in supermarkets?
I am not a dope smoker but it is insane to spend so much time and resources to police a ban of a relatively harmless drug. I understand hard drugs needing much tighter control but grass? pfft.

Jack Dorf: Labor's support guarantees them the moral high ground in the ongoing debate on drugs.

It seems The Greens and The Dems have sensible drug policies but are labelled loonies by the other political parties. Why can other conservative countries like Switzerland and Germany allow prescription heroin etc. yet our supposed left wing Labor Party not even understands the basics. I don't think they realise how silly they look by nearly half the population. Any politician who declares they are "tough on drugs" are immediately put in the "buckethead file" as being thick. Really, who can stand in front of a camera and declare their support for such silly policies? It's like publicly announcing that the earth is flat 500 times. Maybe some will begin to believe it.

Ross Sharp said...

Thanks Terry. And for the link, which I've reciprocated.

Terry Wright said...

Thanks Ross.

Keep up the writing!

Blaklabel Dollz said...

I'm a high school student from South Australia who occaisionally partakes in the use of recreational drugs. I am scoring highest grades in two of my three classes and am maintaining a b average for the other. If I was subjected to compulsory drug testing and was expelled for drug use, where would that leave me? I have a bright future ahead of me and have any goals for university. Because my friends and I like to relax or like to party a bit longer once or twice a month should not restrict us from being given the freedom of choice that our fellow "law abiding" class mates have. Therefore it does not surprise me that, after suggesting the compulsory drug tests in schools, Ms. Bressington has now gone on to ban drug paraphernalia. This is just again typical of the narrow mindedness of not only her, but also of the rest of our politicians who let the bill be passed. Will we forever be villianised for the choices that we make?

Terry Wright said...

Thanks for your comment blaklabel dollz.
Although your age is a concerned, we must accept reality that school students will take drugs. It's not about whether you're old enough, but the fact that people of all ages are going to do it anyway ... we should be dealing with safety for the user and to give you as much honest information as possible. You alone make the ultimate choice.

Yeah, people like Bressington care not one iota about anyone but themselves. You get good grades, do everything right and because of some bozzo can't deal with a society that thinks differently than themselves, they will force their views on us via any way they can. The government goes along for the votes of course. These are our so called leaders. pffft

Good luck with school and I am sure you will make it through uni and have every success you want in your life. The key to anything in this world is not to abuse it ... especially drugs.

BTW, if you're not sure about taking something, use your common sense and don't. You always have tomorrow. You sound very bright so you don't need me to explain the risks. Just be careful.

blaklabel dollz said...

Thanks for the advice. I realise how easy it is to become addicted, and how hard it is to stop. My boyfriend is fighting and currently winning against an addiction to speed. We went out to a party last weekend and ran into an old friend of his who offered him a taste... I saw how hard it was for him to say no. I'm more than willing to help him through his addiction, but it's the last thing I want for me. Thanks again for the advice. More kids my age need that kind of support rather than the fire and brimstone approach that is the standard reply to any mention of drugs.

Terry Wright said...

Thanks for coming back, blaklabel dollz.

People your age are too often talked down to with no respect for the everyday ups downs you go through. Fo some reason, moralists seem to think you have no life issues and all you should be worrying about is school and sport. Usually these people have never been confronted with ample drugs and booze and can't grasp the real world.

To be strong at your age is commendable and not easy to do.I get the lure of speed and because it's usually a weekend drug, it's impossible to go out without that constant urge to "pep up" on it. When I use to do a bit of speed, I found weekends insanely boring unless I had some. It's a hard cycle to break, but it is possible. Keep up the support for him because he needs it.

BTW, speed dependancy can take months or years to break so be prepared for a long haul.

Good luck with your boyfriend and if you need an ear to listen, I'm always here.

Anonymous said...

Mike Rann is a twat, he pushes drugs more underground.

Anonymous said...

Ann Bressington is reactive and ill-informed about everything she jumps on the bandwagon about. Her daughter died of a drug overdose - so this to me puts her at the opposite end of 'expert' to talk about anything drug related. Banning it does not fix it and thinking she has the right to be a drugs campaigner just because her daughter died is pathetic. Why is she still allowed to be in Parliament when she got about 40 votes and Nick is now gone????

Firesnake said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hiro said...

I've seen Bressington in the flesh and I can indeed confirm that she has a chip on her shoulder the size of Ayers Rock. She's also thick as a brick, and will sprout off completely inaccurate statements and accusations with absolutely no substance to them. I have information from a reliable source that Xenophon certainly did move to the Federal arena to get away from her. This woman only got 32 votes in the entire state, and then had the nerve to attack Xenophon publicly because he apparently asked her for some money - towards the campaign expenses. I mean how thick is she, he got her a high earning job that is guaranteed for eight years, one that she would never have been able to get herself, and apparently asked her for a tiny fraction of that amount, and she thinks that is unreasonable. She also was in the news a while ago saying it should be law for all men to get women to sign a legally valid "sex contract" prior to sex, so they can't be sued for rape. She also supports a total creep (can't remember his name) who was involved in a shoot out with police which severely wounded an officer. Yet if someone smokes pot by themselves every now and then, THEY are a criminal? Please. If there's any consolation, karma exists - Bressington's bong laws are ignored in SA, shops continue to sell them, nobody has ever been charged and it appears her DrugBeat centre at Elizabeth has had its funding withdrawn and will shut down - seems the Government here has finally had enough of her shit and decided to put this feral woman back in her place where she belongs. She has no business running debate in this state or country. Good riddance!

Anonymous said...

You're the foul-mouthed twat here, not the lady. Bridle your tongue -- its not her fault pointing out the pursuit of some personal pleasures (that you hold) destroys lives like her daughter's.

Drugs do your brain in, even marijuana:

The only thing I sort of agree with you on, is the sale of hookahs. Certain Middle Eastern and South East Asian cultures use it with tobacco alone, or even just herbs and molasses (its still harmful, but not as much).