Tuesday, 8 May 2012

PNCC Fails to take real step forward...again!

Michael Cummings Editor MSN. 

This was from the editor of the Manawatu Standard [Saturday 5th May 2012. “$17 million was spent on gaming machines in Palmerston North in 12 months The city's mayor, Jono Naylor, described it as "incredibly sad"; Hospitality Association chief executive Bruce Robertson said it was "good". Both were commenting on the reliance of community groups on the grants funded by pokie profits, and their conflicting views reflect the moral conundrum at the heart of the issue” He went on to say. “At what point does the sadness inflicted by pokie-fuelled problem gambling outweigh the good the money from the machines does in the wider community? Good question Michael…Michael went on to give his opinions on the issue, and I suggest you read the editorial. Here are my thoughts…

Dear sweet benevolent and kind Uncle Bruce. Robertson doesn’t care a hoot about the community as you and I understand it. Community for him represents a money making machine for his members and if they had their way they wouldn’t give a cent back.
They only do so because it’s the law and they have to, their public relations spin attempts to create a different picture. Pokies are as we all know directly linked to booze and booze and pokies are a deadly mix.
The Salvation Army demonstrates clearly the hypocrisy of the Hospitality Association when they stated at the last PNCC committee meeting, “That taking money from the creators of the problem to fix the very problem they create is just plan wrong! And they are spot on, for they are telling the truth.
Before banning the death creating tobacco companies from sponsoring events heaps of sporting bodies took money from that source, did they die after its withdrawal; no they did not. Did community groups exist and survive before one armed bandits came on the scene, yes they did and they will do so again. The community here in Palmerston North alone  would have $17 million available for community groups rather than a small percentage of that via pokies and this figure may well be much higher when you take into account what its also spent on booze in these misnamed ‘Hospitality’ centres.
Pokie machine winners are only the owners of those pokie machines, no one else wins, and they can’t for the machines are geared to win, that’s why they are called One Armed Bandits and their owners and suppliers are Bandits. While the word hospitality sounds a little like hospital but their roles are directly the opposite, one heals while the other creates harm and spreads epidemic sized mayhem across whole communities. 
As to the view expressed by the Mayor Jono Naylor I’ll wait to see which way he votes before passing judgment. If he votes for the sinking lid policy in full he will have proven that he is willing to put his vote where his mouth is, and that would be most refreshing.

The Council committee has met and by a small majority reduced the lid on pokies from 430 to 400 but still failed to take the progressive step taken by other councils to introduce a real sinking lid policy that would see this figure decline each year automatically. Councillors who are scared that they may lose the blood money they receive from the pokie bandits abstained from voting indicating clearly that they place their need for income both for themselves and the organisations they work for, above that of those harmed by the relentless pressure put on those who are addicted. Unlike the Salvation Army which rejects the un-Christian behaviour of accepting money from those who wreck lives and families, they feel they can have a bob-each-way. Lew Findlay and Adrian Broad [who both get money from the Street Van operation] Vaughan Dennison, who works for the YMCA, and Billy Meehan all abstained on the grounds of a conflict of interest. Funny that don’t you think? If they are opposed to pokies and one could be forgiven for thinking that Findlay and Dennison because of their close connection to religious organisations would be against pokies and the evil that accompanies it, and would vote against it. Are they suggesting that a sin is only a sin so long as it doesn’t affect you in the pocket?

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