www.ipa.org.au IPA Review | August 2009 9
Wowserism may be different,
but it’s not dead
by richard allsop
‘I’m not a wowser but…’ tion of 6 o’clock closing and local preference provisions
(allowing municipalities to exclude licensed premises).
Those words seem to have become the standard introduction for any- There was also a strong push to ban the employ-
one proposing a new restriction on what should be matters of indi- ment of barmaids, who, it was feared, would on the
vidual choice. one hand lure innocent young men to drink, and on
The Rudd Government are masters of it. In an interview with the other see things in a public bar that were not suit-
4BC last year, the Prime Minister himself said in a discussion on poker able for a woman to see. Radical Labor politician King
machines ‘I am no wowser on these things.’ When proposing extra O’Malley saw barmaids as ‘angels of mercy luring men
health warnings on alcohol, Health Minister, Nicola Roxon, asked if
she was a wowser said ‘I don’t believe I am.’ Communications Minister,
Stephen Conroy, joined in when he maintained ‘I am not a wowser’
For a country that is
when introducing his stringent internet filter measures.
Proving that ‘not being a wowser’ is bipartisan, former Liberal
apparently entirely absent
leader, Brendan Nelson asserted that he was not one, while even Family of wowsers, we sure spend
First Senator Steve Fielding wants it known that he is ‘not a wowser’.
Victoria’s new Police Commissioner Simon Overland is encour- a lot of time discussing how
aging the ‘community to come to a position that says being drunk in
public is not OK’, but he too is ‘not a wowser.’ Left-wing advocate of best to stop each other
internet filtering Clive Hamilton is similarly ‘keen to establish that he
is not a wowser’.