Richard Moore: Make a stand on teen drinking

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The time is upon us when our MPs get to vote on the age at which teens can buy drink legally.

There are several options open - raise the purchase age back to 20, split it between that age for buying from a booze shop and 18 at a bar or restaurant, or just leave it as it is.

The last option would be criminally stupid, as over recent years we have seen the hurt and injury caused by boozed-up young people.

It's not only themselves they hurt - in fights or putting themselves in dangerous sexual situations - but also other members of the community.

Recently, a guy buying food at a McDonald's in Tauranga was allegedly attacked by a drunk 16-year-old and seriously injured.

The victim, aged 48, got smacked around his face, leaving heavy swelling, and had a bruised right lower leg after being repeatedly kicked while on the ground.<inline type="recurring-inline" id="1003" align="outside" enforce-sites="no" />

That's what booze does.

I'm a reasonably self-controlled middle-aged guy but, after a few whiskies, I'm less likely to hold back from a threat as my genetic disposition from Viking forebears is to immediately end the danger.

Inebriated teenagers have the double whammy of not thinking about the consequences of their actions and a dangerous "I'm indestructible" attitude.

I find it outrageous that a 16-year-old can allegedly beat up a grown man and still be given the luxury of appearing in a youth court. Something definitely stinks in the state of New Zealand on that one.

Surely if a thug is old enough to smash someone of that age senseless, then he should face a real court and some time inside with the big boys.

Court jurisdiction should be based on the seriousness of the crime, not the age of the offender.

And, if you want more examples of how ridiculous the drinking age is here, then you need to look no further than Queen St on a Saturday night.

Television footage of Auckland Mayor Len Brown walking through crowds of seriously intoxicated young people was eye-opening for many adults and shaming for the teens.

Many of us have done stupid things after having too much to drink and it is no badge of honour.

Our political leaders need to man up and raise the drinking age across the board for the safety of the community.

And they must not listen to the vested interests of those who profit from boozed-up teens.

IF YOU haven't seen the sensational TV series Game of Thrones, you really have missed something.

It is the most grand TV series ever put together and is a fabulous mix of intrigue, power politics, brutal revenge and generally good fun.

Each episode in America was watched by more than 4 million people and it stands head and shoulders above most other production efforts.

Although, having said that, there are a number of characters in the series that lose their heads along the way.

One of them was former US prez George Dubya Bush. It's true. Dubya's head appears in a scene where a number of heads are arrayed on spikes.

It had been bought in a bulk buy of false heads and has a long wig on, but the features were recognisable enough for the producers to apologise to Dubya about using his bonce.

They are cutting that head out of the TV series and any DVDs produced from now on.

Which I reckon is a huge shame, as Dubya has never made more sense on film than he did in Game of Thrones.

HERE is a little message to Papamoa residents who walk their dogs on our wonderful beach - take bags with you to clean up after your pooey pooches.

I walk on those sands pretty much every day and I am getting fed up with seeing steaming piles of oooky stuff amid the oil drops.

The main culprits seem to be older men who apparently think it is okay to allow their mutts to pollute the sands. It isn't hard to do, you lazy so and sos.

NOW, here is why you need to be careful of what you say in front of your feathered friends.

In Japan, a lost budgie made its way home after telling its address to a copper.

Yup, the light-blue budgie had gone for a bit of a solo flight in Yokohama but had lost its way.

A bit stumped, it must have remembered hearing its owner say to ask a policeman if it ever got lost. And that's what the bird did.

Thank goodness the 64-year-old owner was not in the habit of dropping four-letter words, otherwise the budgie could have ended up on a charge.

richard@richardmoore.com

- Bay of Plenty Times

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