OZ - Son of former premier warns of looming social chaos

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Son of former premier warns of looming social chaos

THE State Government has been urged by the son of former premier Sir Thomas Playford to kill the gambling "snake" on the state's "bosom".

Pastor Tom Playford warned yesterday that the state would be thrown into social and economic chaos unless the reins were tightened on gambling. A member of the Heads of Christian Churches Taskforce into Gambling and a long-time opponent of poker machines, he said he was becoming increasingly disturbed by the effects of gambling.

"The Government is as addicted to poker machines as anyone else," he said.

"They can and they must wean themselves off this addiction which destroys people. It perverts our type of government."

A minister at the Salem Baptist church at Gumeracha, Mr Playford said the poker machine situation had reached a critical stage. "This is a bad situation for a government to be in because they have become the predators in our society," he said.

"Particularly galling to me about gambling is the number of people going down because of gambling.

"This just destroys homes and households.

"There are seven innocent victims for each person addicted to gambling - children coming home to Weetbix for dinner."

Pastor Playford said the "gambling explosion" was "perverting our form of government". He said: "Our governments have taken into their bosom the gambling industry.

"The Government must kill the gambling snake which has attached itself to the bosom of the State.

"The South Australian Government is now getting nearly 14 per cent of its revenue from gambling.

"They will discover soon that they have got into bed with bad company.

"The Premier here (John Olsen) said he is going to introduce a bill later this year to cap the number of machines in South Australia.

"We don't need poker machines to be capped - we need poker machines to be scrapped."

Pastor Playford said his father, who was premier from 1938 to 1965, was opposed to all gambling.

"My father was generally distressed by gambling.

"I clearly remember him saying: 'I will not be a member of any government which allows poker machines into South Australia.' I am against gambling for the same reasons he was - it destroys lives."


Quote; "This is a bad situation for a government to be in because they have become the predators in our society..."

These words from the son of arguably the greatest Premier of South Australia are succinctly poignant, bringing together our greatest problem - government's dependence upon income derived from a source least able to sustain payment. Soon it will amount to a massive 20% of general revenue derived from taxing gambling.

The paradox of a welfare society is its predation of the very people whose welfare it professes to care about.

The savagery of this wheel is evident in the news last night that house breakings are up 32% in one year. Some people would say arming the population with ever more guns will cure the kleptomania. However the evidence show that the breakings happen mostly in broad daylight while the home occupants are at work. The articles nicked are predominantly jewelry and electronics that easily bring cash to sustain both a drug habit and gambling.

The tenuity of gun-lobbyists claims that draws a direct correlation between such statistics and the disarming of the people of certain types of weapons indicates to me an inability by many to address the real issue, which in this case is a pussillanimous government and a rogue bureaucracy ever needing more revenue. It also indicates a young generation ill-equiping themselves to oust the incumbent hypocrites. Arming such a generation does not address the social issues we're faced with. Neither is it in the Governing class' interest to educate the chattering classes overly much. Dumbing down takes on a new slant in South Australia in the year 2000 AD...

Regards from OZ

-- Pieter (zaadz@icisp.net.au), April 10, 2000


It's time to ask---OZ is a name for Australia or a part of Australia? Where did it come from?

-- (nemesis@awol.com), April 10, 2000.

Pieter, Here in this part of the States gambleing is controled by the various Indian Tribes.. good or bad, it has changed their lot in life from total poverty to a fairly equal life with us whites... this I see as good..... here in the States the biggest social problem I see is not gambeling, but drugs.... we have the biggest drug problem in the world... most of all crime is directly connected to drugs... most of our prison population is in jail because of drugs, and we have more people per cap in jail than any other nation on the planet... this is fact.

We have people forming gangs to sell drugs... we have people shooting other people to protect their turf because of drugs... we have people robbing stores and mugging people in broad daylight because of a $300 to $500 a day drug habit... we spend $1,000,000,000's of dollars a year to stop the drug problem... and it gets bigger each year...

I know this will sound strange, but why not get the Gov. out of the loop and let people go to hell in their own way?... legalize it and tax it... we'd cut crime by 90% and pay off the national debt in a few years :-)

-- Netghost (ng@no.yr), April 11, 2000.

As I see it Australia has its Aussies who, as yobbos, can only spell it phonetically as Ozzies - thus OZ. It's a name of a cartoon emu also. Ozzies rhymes with mossies, short for mosquitoes of which the large ones we seemingly have been abundantly blessed with. Bring repellant...,just thought you might be interested.

With the introduction of poker machines everywhere some years ago we are seeing a growing drug crisis. In that regard we are experiencing what you just described, a growing underworld culture. I'm in the country but it is noticeable here too. There appears to be a gravitational pull to the lower denominator. The cash economy is rampantly robust. I suspect this is partly the reason for a Goods and Services Tax come visiting - to halt a black market. Unfortunately a new parallel black market is already in place. How that works I'm not saying.

Meantime the point of this post is to bring a spotlight to bear on the futility of arguing the gun laws of Australia if nothing is known about the social situations that bring them to prominence and to the attention of the NRA. For example, at Port Arthur a great sadness happened that brought us the gun buy-back of 1966. What it did not bring was the issue of mental health and the crook system. We blame a gun and guns. It's easier than being introspective about the dysfunctional system run by chattels of multinationals.

But by and large we are a lucky country with many blessings and wealthy. The health and wealth belongs to fewer persons every day. Maybe these things happen by design.


-- Pieter (zaadz@icisp.net.au), April 11, 2000.

Pieter, your drug problem has always been there... slot machines had nothing to do with it... that's just political spin.

Black markets always spring up when the gov tries to prohibit something that the people want.. a good rule of thumb would be to legalize anything that has a Black market value.. then tax it... you can't control it if it's illegale, all you can do is put people in jail, and that's spendy :-)

-- Netghost (ng@no.yr), April 11, 2000.

Correction: Native Americans do NOT control gambling anywhere in the United States, they must operate under the same Federal Laws as everyone else.

-- Porky (Porky@in.cellblockD), April 11, 2000.

Porkey, all of the casinos in this area are on reservation land... they pay no Fed Tax, State tax, or sales tax on anything they sell or earn... they have their own police force... city, county, State, and Fed have no jurisdiction there... There is no other gambleing other than at the Indian casinos... isn't that control of gambleing?

-- Netghost (ng@no.yr), April 11, 2000.

Porky -

The tribes are sovereign nations and have a number of special rights granted under treaties with the US government. Indian gaming really took off after the Supreme Court ruled in 1981 that gaming of this nature was governed by civil law rather than criminal, and that such laws did not apply to activities on Indian reservations.

That said, let me state that I am no fan of legalized gambling and least of all of state-run lotteries. The most recent studies document horrific impacts on families from gambling addiction and I find the state's involvement in such activities deeply offensive. I would love to see an initiative on the ballot to repeal the CA state lottery, which has been a sham from Day 1. "Our schools benefit, too." Rubbish! The state gov't set about reducing school funding even further once the lottery went into effect. *grrrrrr*

-- DeeEmBee (macbeth1@pacbell.net), April 11, 2000.

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