Beer doesn’t kill people, people kill people



‘Research’ paid for the booze industry that claims booze doesn’t make people violent is the sort of quack science the tobacco industry and big oil have used to deny cancer and climate change…

Researchers slam ‘biased’ alcohol study
British anthropologist Dr Anne Fox last year released an international, alcohol industry-sponsored study which blamed New Zealand’s macho culture, rather than alcohol, for violent crime.

…when you consider how powerful the booze industry is in NZ (and you just need to look at how they lobbied National to weaken any new laws against them), allowing them to doctor their own research to be used in Parliament shows how far we’ve allowed their interests to dominate social policy.

Booze needs serious clamping down, we are a nation of drunks in denial about how alcoholic we are. We need…

  • Minimum pricing
  • Getting booze out of supermarkets
  • advertising restrictions
  • Super vice tax on Booze profits

I’m not interested in hearing about ‘personal responsibility’ what about corporate responsibility? How can a product that causes so much social harm reap the private profits but pay for so little of the public cost?

- Sponsor Promotion -

Screw the booze barons, their interests have been protected and advanced for too long.


  1. “Booze needs serious clamping down, we are a nation of drunks in denial about how alcoholic we are. We need…
    – Minimum pricing
    – Getting booze out of supermarkets”…

    You actually had me up to there, but yeah, nah. You’re infringing on my rights [shakes fist in faux outrage].

  2. The scariest thing is that all initiatives mentioned above to minimise harm and violence precipitated by alcohol abuse would be stopped by multi national corporates that would sue under TPPA investor state clauses claiming loss of profits if these measures were introduced.

  3. It fits right in with the Keyster’s philosophy of shopping for scientific opinion.

    We have entered the age of stupid.

  4. I’m not interested in hearing about ‘personal responsibility’…

    Apparently, you’re also not interested in hearing about the results of research into the problems you post about either. Fox has released a compelling argument for rejecting the claim that alcohol “causes” violence – if you haven’t bothered to have a look at her argument, don’t bother posting about it.

    Your opinions on what the country needs are just that – opinions. Start a lobby group if you want opinion-based policy implemented.

    • Cough – cough

      Dr Fox claimed that alcohol consumption was not a cause of violence, but instead, that beliefs regarding acceptable behaviour when drinking were to blame.

      She recommended that children were educated regarding proper behaviour when drinking, parents were taught how to talk to their children about alcohol, and the public educated about acceptable drinking behaviour via media campaigns.

      Researchers Nicki Jackson from the University of Auckland and Professor Kypros Kypri from the University of Newcastle in Australia, were appalled at the report’s recommendations.

      They have published a critique in the latest issue of the international peer-reviewed journal Addiction, addressing the key claims with reference to the scientific evidence.

      Ms Jackson says that “these types of recommended approaches may modify a person’s knowledge or attitude, but rarely their behaviour.”

      “The report is highly selective in the research used to support its recommendations. It fails to acknowledge the huge body of evidence concerning effective strategies for reducing violence, such as earlier cessation of sales in licensed premises,” she says.

      “Despite failing to meet even basic standards of research the report cannot be ignored, because the findings are being used by the alcohol industry to overturn licensing decisions and in submissions on public policy,” says Professor Kypri.

      “We believe this was simply an effort by the alcohol industry to raise doubts about the existing evidence, which is strong,” he says. “Employing ‘merchants of doubt’ is a strategy used by the fossil fuel industry to subvert science on global warming.”

      “This report should be viewed in the same way.”

      – See more at:

      • Maybe Jackson and Kypri will have some substantive criticisms of Fox’s research in their article in Addiction, but they haven’t managed any in their press releases.

        Fox makes a very strong argument for rejecting the claim that alcohol causes violence. It’s based on two things:

        1. If alcohol caused drinkers of it to become violent, we could expect to see levels of violence match amount of alcohol consumed when we look at different cultures. We don’t see that – level of drinking and level of drunken violence vary wildly across cultures.

        2. If alcohol causes drinkers of it to become violent, we could expect to see all or most drunk individuals committing acts of violence or agression. We don’t see that – most people don’t commit drunken violence, and the people who do commit drunken violence don’t do it every time they drink.

        Those two factors pretty much rule out the claim that alcohol “causes” violence, and strongly support Fox’s claim that cultural factors are the main cause of drunken violence.

        That may be annoying, in that cultural factors are a lot harder to change via policy than the availability of alcohol is, but research is about what the evidence actually is, not what you’d prefer it to be. Jackson and Kypri seem to be starting with their preferred policy measures, then working backwards to find evidence to support it – that’s a crap way of formulating policy and the hospitality industry is right to oppose it.

        • New Zealand
          • 31% of all crime in New Zealand can be attributable to alcohol (2007-08).[12]
          • At least one third of recorded violence offences committed in 2007-2008 occurred where the offender had consumed alcohol prior to committing the offence.[13]
          • Alcohol-related crime is estimated to cost New Zealand NZ$716.5m a year with NZ$200.1m alone spend on policing.[14]
          • On average, 33% of all recorded offences are committed on Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday mornings. However, when the number of offences where it is not known if an offender was affected by alcohol is accounted for, the overall most probable percentage is expected to be 46% of all offences.[15]
          • Approximately half (49.5%) of all homicides recorded between 1999-2008 involved either a suspect or victim being under the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident. 207 (42.3%) involved at least one suspect and 175 (36%) involved at least one victim under the influence of alcohol at the time of incident.[16]
          • In 2005-06, net healthcare costs related to alcohol use only was $343m. The largest component of this number was inpatient hospital costs of $121.0 million, or around a third.[17] .
          • BERL estimated the social costs of the harmful use of alcohol in 2005-2006 (expressed in 2008 dollar terms) to be $5.3 billion, of which 76 per cent ($3.7 billion) were tangible costs.[18]

          Alcohol is a very strong drug on which it is possible to overdose …..

          Psycho milt obviously enjoys this drug and apparently does not get violent on it ……. good on him I say.

          But has it made him stupid in his reasoning towards it ???.

          It DOES kill braincells and its hard to know how much he’s drunk……..

          • 31% of all crime in New Zealand can be attributable to alcohol

            The evidence that alcohol causes violence is that much crime is “attributed” to alcohol? All that means is that alcohol causes violence because someone says it does.

            All of the points you provide beg the question. They assume that alcohol causes violence, and are then offered as evidence that alcohol causes violence. That’s a logical fallacy, not evidence.

            All we can infer from the points you list is that violent people are more likely to indulge themselves in violent crime after they’ve been drinking alcohol. That in fact backs Fox’s research – we need to focus on these violent shitheads and where they got it from, not pretend that they are fine, upstanding, harmless citizens who wouldn’t have hurt a fly if they hadn’t touched that awful violence-causing recreational drug (that somehow only causes violence in them, not in other people). One thing Fox doesn’t recommend that she ought to have is making alcohol consumption an aggravating factor for sentencing, not a mitigating one.

            • Yeah, I agree. Alcohol might take away people’s inhibitions but it isn’t going to make a non-violent person violent. Alcohol abuse is a problem in society, but correlation does not imply causation when it comes to violence.

      • Given that the vast majority of people never become violent when drunk it stands to reason that Dr Fox has a decent point here. Why is alcohol violence so prevalent in Australia and NZ while France and Germany don’t suffer nearly the same problem -despite having similar overall drinking patterns?

        Alcohol lessens the ability of a very small percentage of people to keep their violent/volatile tendencies in check. That is the outtake here which most academics looking at alcohol-harm cannot bring themselves to study – it’s gone in the too-hard basket.

        FWIW, Kypros Kypri’s comments imply he occupies righteous academic ground but during the entire Local Alcohol Policy process around NZ he has been one of the NZ Police’s go-to academics for opinion on the one-way door to look at one specific policy (the other is Prof Peter Miller). Interestingly, when you research the merits of the one-way door you discover quickly that a very tiny minority of academics agree the one-way door reduces alcohol-related harm. The majority – including those who have actually researched it – are either completely anti them, or offer no opinion either way.

        So, to accept Prof Kypri’s opinion as being unbiased basically because he’s on the side fighting alcohol-harm is as naive as believing Dr Fox is. When you factor in the remuneration the NZ Police and other organisations such as Alcohol Healthwatch have contributed to Profs Miller/Kypri to prepare opinions for them or appear at conferences it’s a bit hard to ignore the significant financial and career incentives they both receive for doing so.

  5. Supply cheap booze to the burgeoning moron class and you will get trouble.
    It’s an evolutionary thing I think. As common populations become more affluent and their designer sneaker size becomes greater than their IQ then off to the pub? Trouble son.

    You been to a pub where the majority of the patrons were stupid when they were sober and now that they’re pissed ? Grown men hitting each other, women shrieking like banshees and hitting each other. Everywhere you look there’s violence and depravity. Hair pulling, vomiting, pissing, shitting in the streets, vandalism, rooting and chillingly , breeding. A seething tangle of humans writhing about in their own excrement as they drunkenly tear each other to pieces.

    Ethanol has a lot to answer for. It’s chillingy insidious with a nefarious history and a brilliant chemical to dull the senses thus aid in control.

    There’s no stopping it now. Best just let them go for it then hose down the streets and zip up the body bags. Natural selection, I think it’s called.

    douglas meyers

    Ron Trotter

    Ron brierly

    Lest we forget.

    • Been there. It was the so called 6 O’clock Swill and after Dad rolling home with the little brown 2 flagon Suitcase fights arguments ….

      • Now they’re rolling out from home into the streets in the early hours…

        I’ve seen Courtney Place in the early hours of Saturday and Sunday mornings. Drunken thuggery doesn’t begin to cover what takes place. (In one instance, a poor ATM machine beside the K-Bar suffered the wrath of a drunk who took a rubbish bin of it’s hinges and proceeded to pound the electronic life out of the machine. God knows what the the ATM had done to deserving the pounding it got… )

  6. Great line “I’m not interested in hearing about ‘personal responsibility’ what about corporate responsibility”.
    Personal responsibility is being used as the ultimate get out of jail free card for the Nats and corporates for taking no responsibility for anything themselves for years now.
    In regards to the government, we don’t have a government to take responsibility for nothing, and to just blame everything on the individual.

    • How about we look at personal responsibility, government responsibility, and corporate responsibility?

      People need to make good decisions, but government and business should support that, not make it harder.

      Maybe we need to charge the alcohol industry every time a person commits a crime under the influence? I wonder how that would push them to change their marketing strategy.

  7. The outrageous irony of the alcohol industry trying to shift the blame for the violence triggered by its products onto the macho culture that it has invested much time, effort, and money, cultivating and exploiting mercilessly over many decades and multiple generations, nearly made me shit myself laughing.
    They must think we’re all as stupefied as the consumers of their toxic products.
    So then. According to the alcohol industry, violence isn’t caused by the products they produce, but it is caused by the macho culture that decades of their dishonest product promotion has cultivated.
    This is blatantly obvious for those who consume non-toxic (illegal) psychoactive substances, yet seemingly impossible for those who consume toxic (legal) “fuckwit-in-a-bottle” to get their heads around.

  8. When the booze industry blandly spouts about how beer doesn’t kill people, people kill people – they are following the John Key School of Master Spin.
    While it is true that beer doesn’t kill people – beer itself is only part of the alcohol problem. The bigger issue is how the alcohol industry tries to market alcohol as a normal everyday product, and dresses up soft drinks (RTDs) to attract kids. And now they are trying it with very low alcohol beer with almost identical packaging to normal strength beer. It isn’t difficult to see a pattern here – get people to try the low alcohol beer and try to entice them to move onto the real stuff!
    The biggest issue in New Zealand is binge drinking, pre-loading, getting pissed out of your brain – call it what you like – it all means imbibing a hell of a lot of alcohol in a short time.
    The body is not meant to cope with that, alcohol is a poison and a deadly poison when too much goes into the body at one time.
    The political right always talk about personal responsibility. Well I would like someone in the alcohol industry to start showing a bit of responsibility and social conscience for the welfare of New Zealanders.
    Alcohol should be seen as the dangerous drug is actually is, not just a plaything which corporations push onto us so they can rake in billions a year.
    Used responsibly alcohol has a place in society, but the alcohol industry has pushed it from being a nice accompaniment for a meal to a ritual initiation into adulthood. They do not worry about the mess that has to be cleaned up afterwards and the comatose teens that end up in A and E.
    Successive governments have been too timorous to stand up to the alcohol industry in this country, or maybe the bribes are just too big to be turned down.
    We sneer at the Americans over how their gun lobby controls at least half of Congress. Yet much the same thing happens in New Zealand with the alcohol industry.
    We won’t get control of the mess that alcohol causes until we take back the power from the alcohol pushers.

  9. The prohibition of Cannabis makes even less sense than the prohibition of Cannabis.

    The present open slather for the booze pushers with their political ‘donations’ and connections shows how not to legalise a drug.

    Cannabis does not cause the violence that alcohol does ….

    Its the only interesting part of the police 10/7 tv show was those crazy, stupid and quite often violent drunks that seemed to take up so much of police time …………….

  10. Let’s just for a minute take this survey at it’s word, that violence trumps alcohol. Wouldn’t you think, as decent corporate citizens, that Lion Nathan’s first reaction would have been “Well, if that’s the case, maybe we shouldn’t be adding booze to that?”

    • There are some people who should never be allowed to drive a car but nevertheless spend a lot of time driving them, causing no end of mayhem and the occasional death. Should we conclude that cars cause bad driving? And should the car manufacturers’ first response be “Well, if that’s the case, maybe we shouldn’t be making and selling cars?”

  11. Imho booze removes social inhibitions and if one is in a bad mood because someone wronged you or you wronged someone and you feel like picking a fight then the alcohol will release the tendency to violence. The cause is the unethical behaviour previous to feeling like you need to get drunk to quench your thirst for a remedy. Perhaps if every one were ethical always there would not be a need to drink and not confront ones problems. The social lubrication marketed by the alcohol industry is strong and they preach a drinking culture with a very strong allure but perhaps it would have less pull on us if we were more honest. Clean hands makes a happy heart.

  12. I haven’t heard anyone asking:

    What is so awful about a sober life that so many people need to get pissed?

    That’s the question those so-called experts need to ask.

    • Yup. This.

      I used to binge drink at weekends at university because I was escaping stress. It was a way to get completely out of it and have my problems just go away for an evening. Now I’m older I’m happy to have a drink because I like the taste. I don’t get drunk, I’m not interested in that and I don’t want the hangover either.

      Why are people getting heavily drunk and being violent? What are the underlying issues here? I know this is a lot more difficult to address rather than just making alcohol harder to obtain, but I think it’s important to look at.

      Maybe a better mental health service that is easier to access would be a good start.

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