Alf was alarmed to learn The Boss has confessed to guests at a fundraising event that he has been on the wagon since his return from a Hawaii holiday last month.
According to this report at Stuff:
Key revealed his abstinence at a fundraising event at Wellington’s Dockside restaurant on Wednesday night. He noted the irony about delivering a speech while standing in the bar.
A spokeswoman said “He is just taking good care of himself for the campaign.” Key is known to favour pinor noir and English-brewed Bath Ales.
Obviously The Boss did not consult Alf before taking what looks like a drastic as well as highly unnecessary course of action.
If he had consulted Alf, he would have been advised that trying to attract the wowser vote is best avoided. Next thing you know they will be demanding a return to the days of abolition and prohibtion, which happened to be the inglorious days of bootleg booze.
As it turns out there has been a bloody epidemic of abstemiousness among political leaders.
Labour leader David Cunliffe hosted end-of-term drinks last night at Parliament and vowed that would be his last glass of wine before the September 20 polling day.
And Greens co-leader Russel Norman has eschewed alcohol since before May’s Budget. He wanted to remain “100 per cent” focused, a spokesman said. Co-leader Metiria Turei rarely drinks, but will continue to have the odd glass.
Alf is by no means surprised to learn that Turei rarely drinks. Her disposition towards wowser behaviour is all too plain in much of what she does, none of which endears her to the Member for Eketahuna North.
Oh – and Mana leader Hone Harawira hasn’t touched a drop for 25 years.
This explains his highly disagreeable demeanour too.
The only satisfaction to be got from this sad story is that the Stuff hacks are uncertain about whether “legendary carouser Winston Peters” will forgo his favourite whisky on the campaign trail.
At yesterday’s adjournment debate, marking the end of the 50th Parliament, Peters quipped: “Unlike National, we don’t get drunk on a wine biscuit.” He was throwing a party at the Backbencher pub last night to celebrate NZ First’s 21st anniversary.
Alf deems it his public duty at this juncture to point out (especially for the edification of the Greens and Tariana Turia) that Adolf Hitler hated smoking.
According to an account here, and went to great efforts to stamp the habit out including:
* Raising taxes
* Banning smoking in some public places
* Calling for a ban on smoking in vehicles
* Inventing the term passive smoking
* Financing an expensive anti-smoking campaign.
Moreover, Hitler rarely drank and never ate meat. He lectured his country on the benefits of gnawing raw vegetables.
Leading the other team, in the war between the forces of authoritarianism and democratic freedom (which should include the right to smoke and drink) was Sir Winston Churchill.
He once said:
“I drink a great deal. I sleep a little, and I smoke cigar after cigar. That is why I am in two-hundred-percent form.”
On another occasion, in a church hall, a women claimed that during his lifetime he had consumed enough alcohol to fill the hall to a point halfway up the walls. In reply
… Churchill let his eyes travel to the ceiling before saying; “So little time, so much to do.”
Let’s not forget he died at the age of 90, surrounded by his family and revered by a nation.
Yep. He committed suicide at the age of 56 while the Fourth Reich was being brought to its knees.
Churchill, of course, had Continental tastes when it came to drinking.
“I drink champagne at all meals, and buckets of claret and soda in between,” he was not ashamed of saying. He also noted that “Hot baths, cold champagne, new peas and old brandy” were the four essentials of life.
But he also kept his mind primed with Scotch and sodas during the long workday and relaxed after hours with his now famous Churchill martini: a glass of chilled English gin flavored with vermouth.
“There is always some alcohol in his bloodstream,” biographer William Manchester attested, “and it reaches its peak late in the evening after he has had two or three Scotches, several glasses of Champagne, at least two brandies, and a highball.”
There’s got to be much to learn from this about leadership.
Alf will muse on it while chatting with his mates in the Eketahuna Club tonight.