Last week’s announcement of new minimum standards for alcohol in remote Indigenous Australia show that Jenny Macklin simply doesn’t get the grog battle which rages in our nation’s centre.

Her ideas, as reported last Thursday in The Australian, are neither tough nor new. For decades, state licensing authorities have had “tough processes” including public interest assessments and lodging of objections.

In NSW and Queensland, community impact statements assess the health and social impact of approving or varying a liquor license. But however tough the language, problems arise when processes become a “tick and flick” or conditions laid down fall upon the local copper for enforcement.

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  • Trevor says:

    02:50pm | 14/11/12

    Legalise cannabis. Read more »

  • SS says:

    02:24pm | 14/11/12

    Government are the sole cause, they are not the solution, let Aborignal people fail before you derail them, if government have controlled all policy and programs then whos accountable, to me the best solution I can see is education for the ignorant society Australia was built on, I want to… Read more »


Welcome to this week’s I Call Bullshit, a regular column where we pick apart mischievous misrepresentations, balderdash, and outright bunkum. This week, with bulging bellies, blurry brains and labouring livers, we’re taking a look at detox diets.

This is a monument to enemas. We have nothing else to add. Pic: AP

It’s easy to see the appeal of a detox. You’ve been shovelling twenty kinds of crap into your poor system, you can sense it’s struggling to cope, and you want to turn back the clock.

Like a very Earthly Confession, you want to wipe away your sins with a few Hail Marys, some lemons and dash of cayenne.

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Cookie diets, lemon detox diets, juice fasts, vegan weeks, the master cleanse.

Some people get so obsessed about this kind of food, they name their kids after it. Right, Gwyneth? Pic: AP

Magazines are full of them, friends bang on about them, and every celebrity worth their size zero britches will happily rave about their benefits.

Is there anything more frustrating, galling, idiotic, and yet somehow tempting than a detox?

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It’s that time of year, isn’t it? When the intention to eat healthily just doesn’t result in the same. Puritanical thoughts of eating only soup for dinner somehow morph into soup plus half a loaf of buttery toast. Steamed fish and vegies ends up as steak with cheesy potato bake.

Gwyneth: no wonder she's got glowing cheeks.

A roast with all the trimmings is a regular occurrence and apple crumble is, somehow, always okay. Yes, the winter weather is dictating my diet and I have no choice, do I? It’s rather impossible not to put on the “winter two”. Or three, or four.

And as we reach August, this means I’m stuck wearing what fits. One, my fat jeans, or two, my leggings - marvellous creations with lots of stretch. But of course, I’m sick of both. (See boys, when we say “I don’t have anything to wear”, we often mean “I can’t fit into anything in my wardrobe”). I’m afraid that looking great in winter is only achievable if you’re Gwyneth Paltrow. Aka, Wonder Woman.

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  • James says:

    06:36pm | 21/08/09

    VM, I agree, I did say “it all depends how far you want to take it”.  It just seems you’ve picked one moment in human history but ignored another (when seeds etc. weren’t eaten) I’d suggest you check your facts about uric acid, some grains/seeds/ legumes can produce just as… Read more »

  • VM says:

    11:05am | 19/08/09

    James, the “Way nature intended” is a very long bow to draw. Did nature intend for us to have power stations and heaters because we have the intelligence to do so? Skyscrapers? well how about Mud Huts? Trust me, I’m no crazy hippy. Humans may be adaptive creatures, but there… Read more »


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