Friday, 21 March 2008

Bitter pills for ACT

I suppose ACT can try and argue that it isn't their fault that a couple of girls got wrecked on party pills and dumped on the roadside (1) before ending up in hospital in critical condition, and it is of course just bad timing that hit happened the day the story about ACT on Campus doling out party pills to students during 'O week' (2) was all over the news. After all, silly young things are getting trashed on all sorts of substances every day of the week.

Just bad luck, really. But this 'bad luck' highlights how ACT on Campus's stupid and irresponsible stunt may have helped people get into a similar miserable condition. And, because it was stupid and irresponsible, ACT on Campus, and grow-up ACT, fully deserve any blowback from the coincidence.

It is even worse timing that this all happens at the same time as ACT announce cabinet ambitions for Roger Douglas (3). Maybe the unfortunate coincidence of ACT on Campus's attention-grab and the misfortune of the as yet unamed girls can serve as deeper parallel, however. It was, after all, the Douglasite reforms of the 1980s and 90s that lead to the surge of drugs use, crime, gambling and violence in New Zealand.

ACT want more of these reforms and -hey - ACT on Campus (a youth group that is seperate and distinct from ACT, but which supports ACT (4)) are pushing the drugs! Is that freemarket efficiency we hear so much about?

1 - 'Two girls dumped on North Shore roadside after drug overdose,' unattributed article on TV3 website, 21st of March, 2008. (
2 - 'Act youth tempt with party pills,' unattributed article on TVNZ website, 20th of March, 2008. (
3 - 'Pills overshadow Douglas promption,' unattributed article on TVNZ website, 20th of March, 2008. (
4 - I thank Mikee for bring this crucial distinction to my attention.


MikeE said...

You really need to get your facts right.

First of all it wasn't ACT handing out BZP, it was ACT on Campus which is a youth group that is seperate and distinct from the party (that supports act non the less).

Secondly it was being sold, not handed out, to comply with the Class D regulations in the MODA.

Thirdly it was 2 weeks ago during O week, not yesterday as you suggest.

Fourth, it had absolutely nothing to do with the two girls on the shore, and quite frankly your attempt to link the two situations is digusting.

Fifth, it is very unlikely that the girls passed out from consumption of BZP, as this is physicologically improssible after consuming CNS stimulants such as BZP. I'm willing to bet that a tox screen will show other substances such as alcohol (a *real* harmful drug that is given out free of charge at both national and labour party events - and responsible for 3% of male deaths evenry year in NZ) or possibliy date rape drugs such as GHB or Rohyponol.

Then again, its easier to just make shit up and blame BZP rather than the cops and the media actually doing any proper research.

Please, get yoru facts right before spouting crap on the web. It makes you look like an idiot.

lurgee said...

I smell Damage Limitation in overdrive here.

I clearly identified that it was ACT on Campus that were distributing the pills, in the first paragraph pf the post. What part of "ACT on Campus were doling out party pills to students" is unclear? Admittedly, the final paragraph is innaccurate, and I will ammend it to reflect that it isn't ACT themselves supplying drugs. I hope you don't mind if I use your phrasing?

The pills were being 'sold' for a dollar. This is different from them being 'handed out'? Sorry, but even in my impoverished state, I regard that as a bit of a joke. We can quibble over the semantics if you like, but it just makes you look more foolish and desperate.

I make it quite clear that there is no connection between the two girls dumped on the North Shore and the ACT on Campus stunt. I find your insinuation that I attempted to make a direct link between them digusting (sic). Talk about shooting the messenger ...

As for the whether or not the girls ended up unconscious as a result of ODing on party pills or not, I am merely repeating what the media have reported. My point is that it is a PR disaster that a story like this has hit the news about the same time as the ACT on Campus stunt did. Bad luck for ACT / ACT on Campus, if the damage wasn't completely self inflicted.

However, I accept the point that ACT on Campus were distributing the pills two weeks ago. I have adited the post to make this clear.

MikeE said...

And yesterdays news reported that it was not BZP (suprise, suprise) but in fact, GHB (although why they stil refer to it as Fantasy I don't know - I hven't heard anyone out in clubland refer to it like that in years!).

And claiming that you didn't try and link the two stories is complete bullshit. Re read your first paragraph. You attempt to make a direct linkage between AOC, and what was likely a date rape drugging type incident on the north shore.

Imagine if I'd accused you of the same sort of behavior...

lurgee said...

I can't see what you're claiming to read in my first paragraph. Sorry (well, not very), but I can't. I wasn't trying to link the two storries, other than by pointing out that the coincidence (you are aware what coincidence means, right?) of the two stories being in the news at the same time was a bad look for ACT/ACT on Campus, and that still stands.

With that in mind, whether or not it was BZP or GHB or Derris Dust isn't really material. That is wasn't the same drug is to miss the point that ACT on Campus were encouraging people to get wrecked on pretty nasty stuff. What happened to the two girls shows what can happen to people when they get wrecked on pretty nasty stuff. Like I said, a bad look.

MikeE said...

BZP is hardly nasty stuff.

I've consumed shitloads of it without any harm whatsoever. And so have the consumers of the other 26 million BZP based pills sold.

Now booze on the other hand... is responsible for 3% of NZ male deaths annually. And I have it on good information that this dangerous drug is on the menu at most political party functions... yet noone bats an eyelid.

And don't give me any of this alcohol isn't a drug bullshit. Its the most harmful drug in NEw Zealand.

lurgee said...

One of the harmful effects of BZP is that it makes people sign up for ACT on Campus, which is a worrying trend. Perhaps this is why Labour / Progressives are so keen to ban it, whereas ACT opposed the legislation. A drug that turns people into free market ideologues - scarey thought. A drug with a comedown that wrecks society! Wonder if there it would make a good film?

As for alcohol, I totally agree - it is heinous stuff. I gave it up 4-5 years ago (after spending most of my twenties sloshed on cheap cider and wine - not simultaneously, at least, not all the time ...). It certainly is a drug, and a cause of a lot of suffering and hardship.

I am still here.

 I am still here.  I haven't gone away.  I'm just trying to shame you all into better behaviour through my disapproving silence.