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Happy New Non-Story

Happy New Year to everyone.  I thought I'd start of the year with a nice non-news-story brought to us by our friends in the Scottish National Party.  A chap called Stewart Maxwell of the SNP quite rightly wants to stop sales of alcohol to those who are under-age and so he has written to supermarkets asking them to stop selling booze through self-service tills... well he says that's the reason he's doing it, although personally I think it's just a cheap way to get some personal media attention. 

His big point is that, "[i]t would make much more sense for alcohol as a licensed product to only be for sale through a full service till where a sales assistant can properly assess a customer's age."  Whenever I've tried to buy alcohol (or any age-restricted item) through a self-service till the machine makes an infuriating beeping noise and will not allow you to continue with the transcation until a member of staff has confirmed my age.  The self-service tills won't even let me get away with buying two boxes of ibuprofen at a time let alone anything more serious.

I agree that politicians should take an interest in whether kids are drinking themselves silly, but this story just reminds me of Jim Hacker's route to become Prime Minister when he and Sir Humphrey took a non-story about the "euro-sausage", put a bad spin on it then solved the "problem" with some tough action.

Incidentally, anybody who thinks that I've just done exactly the same thing by writing about this non-sense is quite right.


  1. High fat emulsified offal tube anyone?

  2. "[i]t would make much more sense for alcohol as a licensed product to only be for sale through a full service till where a sales assistant can properly assess a customer's age."

    So, on that basis, he'd shut down the whole of the online whisky industry that forms so much of Scotland's exports, eh?

    I don't think he thunk this through much.

    Happy New Year DB - good to see you back.


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