I get the impression that ID cards will be forced on us sooner rather than later, despite what the new government says. Labour tried the threat of terrorism to scare us into accepting them, but most of us weren’t fooled by it. They should have tried this approach as reported in the Scotsman,
DRINKERS who look under 25 years old would be required to produce proof-of-age ID in order to buy alcohol under plans to tackle Scotland’s drink problem.
In an attempt to change the nation’s drinking culture, Labour wants to introduce a mandatory “Challenge 25″ scheme that would force drinkers with youthful looks to carry identification proving that they are over 18 if they want to buy alcohol from off-sales or drink in pubs and restaurants.
You want a glass of wine with your meal? Papers please?
The plan, which is similar to the system operated in the United States, would affect hundreds of thousands of Scots by forcing them carry passports or driving licences when they go out on the town to prove they are over 18.
So expect an inundation of new driving licences and passports to have to be issued after a night on the town. And if any illegal immigrant wants a passport, well they just have to follow a young person home from the pub and mug them.
Even drinkers over the age of 25 would be forced to prove their age if bar staff believe they could be younger.
“We want to protect shop staff and bar staff so that anybody who looks younger than 25 is asked for ID before they buy alcohol,” a Labour spokesman said.
“At the moment, people tend just to ask drinkers if they look 16, 17,18 or 19 but we want to raise the bar to 25.
“This will make it much more difficult for underage people to buy alcohol and will create a culture whereby every young person who wants to buy alcohol will have to produce ID.”
They like creating cultures, don’t they? You would think they’d be happier being microbiologists. Only, the twelve year olds drinking cider in the park will be unaffected as they aren’t buying the booze anyway.
SNP ministers have already proposed introducing a “Challenge 21″ system, a provision that is contained in the Scottish Government’s controversial Alcohol Bill, which is currently making its way through parliament.
Last night, the SNP government indicated that it would look favourably on Labour’s proposal to amend the Bill so that the barrier is raised to 25.
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said last night: “We are pleased that Labour thinks that this is a good idea.
With a straight face?
In America, laws governing the purchase of alcohol have, as a rule, been far stricter than those in the UK.
In all states, the legal limit for drinking is 21. Some states, including California and New York, operate a “Challenge 30″ policy, whereby identification has to be produced if the buyer looks under 30.
Other states simply ask anyone wanting to buy alcohol for ID, a situation that results in even senior citizens showing a driving licence when they go to the off-licence.
Now, this would suit Labour.
The “Challenge 25″ proposal was included in an interim report published by the Alcohol Commission set up by Labour to look at Scotland’s troubled relationship with drink.
Better people have tried for centuries to sort out Scotland’s drinking problems.
But the document released yesterday by the commission, chaired by Professor Sally Brown, of Stirling University, made no recommendations on minimum pricing – the most contentious policy of the SNP government’s Alcohol Bill.
As you know, I was/am an alcoholic. Higher drink prices means less spent on food and heating, and children going without.
Today, MSPs on Holyrood’s Health Committee are expected to publish a report on the bill, which will reflect the parliamentary divide on the issue by failing to back or reject minimum pricing.
In Scotland, minimum pricing has been opposed by the Tories, the Lib Dems and Labour – leaving the Bill well short of the parliamentary majority that it requires to get through parliament.