This story in today's Observer is almost too silly to believe but it is true. Jackie Slater, a 50+ year old woman was refused when she attempted to purchase a bottle of wine in a branch of Morrisons because she was accompanied by two young women (her daughter and her niece), one of whom was 17 and neither of whom had any ID. The reasoning was that the older woman may have given the alcohol to the girls after leaving the store.
Sunday, 11 October 2009
I barely know where to begin with this ridiculous, illiberal nonsense. The thing is though, it's not just Morrisons. I have heard anecdotally and also read on numerous occasions of this sort of thing happening in different supermarkets across the country. This is the natural progression of the sort of authoritarian diktats that we get from our government. It puts supermarket managers in fear that they will be prosecuted for allowing youngsters to get hold of alcohol and they react by being ultra-cautious. The net result of which is that they appear a laughing stock and get coverage like Morrisons have done today.
The thing is that even if Jackie had been buying the wine for the woman who was 17 years old this is perfectly legal as long as it is drunk at home.
I am very uncomfortable with the idea that we are now in a situation where stores are so terrified that they feel compelled to take massively disproportionate action in this way.