Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Sunday, 11 October 2009

More reasons to avoid Morrisons

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.

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.


Ian Eiloart said...

This is just another example of the Government making everything illegal.

Kalvis Jansons said...

We ought to have a weekly list of any shops doing this sort of thing: hall of shame.

Cardinal Richelieu's mole said...

It exemplifies the New Labour approach of having the measure of everything but knowing the value of nothing. So yes, shops are monitored and controlled and frightened and the result is not sensible and diminishes our experience of daily life and makes the struggle all the greater in New Labour's world.

What we really need now is a New labour minister to tell us it is all justified and proper for the compelling reason that "it is the right thing to do". The sooner this wretched, corrosive government leave us alone the better. Obviously!

Constantly Furious said...

Clearly, great minds think alike.

Though I swear a lot more... ;-)

Timothy Wallace said...

It applies to the fight against knife crime, too - I'm 21 and bearded, and was ID'd in Sainsbury's last week for a canopener. Bizzare.

Jennie Rigg said...

This is not the fault of the store, or the checkout operator, but of the government. Having worked as a checkout operator, and had it drummed into me that a £5000 fine would be mine and mine alone if I served an underage person, I erred on the side of caution, because I didn't HAVE £5000.

You are shooting the messenger by blaming Morrisons for this.

Mark Thompson said...

I am actually blaming the government as I thought I had made clear in the body of the post. Morrison's (and other supermarkets) response is a reaction to the illiberal diktats of the government.

The title of the post betrays my weakness for 1980s/1990s TV advert based puns.

PS: I have also responded to your post about this on your blog now too.

Jennie Rigg said...

Comment addressed to the two commenters above you rather than yourself, sweets.

asquith said...

You're totally right, & so is Jennie in stressing that this is essentially the actions of the state that is to blame rather than cashiers who generally cringe with embarassment when enforcing the utter shite they are obliged to enforce.

Also- you're right to say that it's legal for a 17 year old to drink wine, but not only that, if it weren't legal it should be because it's a right & proper thing. Having a few drops with a meal would give her a more sensible attitude to alcohol than this song & dance shite.

Let's say this is happening with someone who is 12, 13, 14. Wouldn't it create a myth of binge drinking as something really great, rebellious & everything THEY don't want you to do?

I recently twatted about the real-world impact of this vetting scheme, btw. Worth attention.

asquith said...

Anonymous said...

You can hardly blame the cash operator for what they did, it’s their job? They don’t want the fine in which they could get! You can all have your opinions but you would of properly have done the same!