Do I need a law passed to wipe my ass too?

Maybe if Australians were left to think for themselves we'd make better decisions

Is Australia a nanny country? I was at the theatre with my mate last night and I commented how it’s so great to be able to take booze into the theatre with you after interval. We’re not allowed to do it in Oz… although I used to just smuggle a glass of champagne underneath my coat.

Thank goodness my parents taught me from a young age that the key to smuggling booze into a music festival is to pour vodka into a water bottle or hide wine in your coat. (My dad has a special leather jacket that can hold two bottles of wine, quite a find).

My British theatre-going buddy was surprised at this and said that it must lose the Aussie theatre companies a bit of money in bar revenue. I have to agree. I went on to say that we couldn’t eat and drink on trains either, like you can in the UK. We do have silly rules in Australia, which is why Western Australia is sometimes nicknamed the ‘nanny-state’.

Today I discovered that the Australian government is going to ban brand labels and other marketing imagery on cigarette packaging by 2012. We will be the first country in the world to do so. I had to sigh at this. Can’t people make decisions for themselves anymore? Do they really think that have ‘Marlborough’ written across a cigarette packet is going to influence whether someone smokes the cancer sticks or not?

Do we really have to run after everyone and slap them on the wrist for every little thing they do wrong? It’s like the government assumes we’re all a bunch of sheep that can only make poorly-informed decisions.

Anyway, in England what I enjoy more than drinking in the theatre or eating on the train, are the pub rules, or lack of them. On Friday I was enjoying a bevy at a pub in central London and all the customers had spilled out onto the street to enjoy the sunshine. Sure, we had to dodge taxis and fight each other for a space on the pavement, but I’d rather have the freedom to do so than be forced to drink inside.

I know a pub in Perth, WA, where we can’t even carry our drinks to a table outside because that is deemed ‘street drinking’. Give me a break. Does someone need to hold my hand and lead me to the table as well?


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