Picture of a judge's wigThe Judge RANTS!Picture of a judge's wig

Date: 03/08/08

Common Sense Has Checked Out

It's bad enough that we are governed by officious control freaks - at least we can (in theory) vote those bastards out from time to time.

But what if your grocers decide that they too must don the uniform of Enforcer and hide behind the gold braid of the cretinous 'rules is rules' mentality which is now the prevailing mode amongst those who have (or believe themselves to have) power over our lives (whilst being forever "responsive to their customers", of course)?

This was posted on the No2ID forums yesterday. Our correspondent goes by the nom de clavier of 'hatless'. I reproduce his post in full:

"Just to add to the 'guilt by association' stories of excessive shop policy on demanding proof of age "ID" when buying alcohol...

"I was in Tesco yesterday evening in an unnamed-town-on-Thames and we were stuck in the queue behind someone who was daring to try and purchase a couple of bottles of wine with the rest of his shopping.

"He was clearly old enough but had made the mistake of shopping whilst being accompanied by his daughter. The checkout girl refused to sell him the wine on the grounds that his daughter was under-age.

"He rightly objected, the manager was duly summoned...

"The Accused was mightily unimpressed, and had sent his daughter to go and sit in the car while he made the purchase, but they were having none of it. It sounded like they were demanding ID to prove that she was his daughter and not some random under-age binge-drinking lout.

"The manager told The Accused that this was the law. He asked where was the notice that you can't go shopping with your family, the manager said "we can't pin up copies of the law". At which point I joined in with "it's not the law" but she insisted that they could not sell him the wine because of it and it was their rules/policy etc. Not much to be done beyond that point as it's their shop and I was still waiting in the queue...

"At this point The Accused said sod this I'm not shopping here ever again and walked out. Shopping left, unpurchased, likewise the two bottles of wine.

"The checkout girl said if the man's daughter had been e.g. a five-year-old there wouldn't have been a problem, so it's not as if there's no flexibility there.

"So the 'need ID for proof of age' argument is meaningless because they can refuse to serve just because you are within 100 feet of a young person, never mind anything like 'probable cause' or 'have reason to believe'.

"Give someone a rule to apply and they will apply it as much as they possibly can, reasonableness and personal judgment be damned. The government doesn't need to 'market' ID cards - just hand out rules to all those jobsworths out there.

"Oh, and the really good bit?

"The checkout girl was having to wave all alcohol purchases at the supervisor... because she was under-age."

I've hardly ever shopped at Tesco. I don't intend to again whilst it is being run by a cadre of fuckwits (the managers, that is, not the checkout staff - zey haff to obey orderz). As I have no economic leverage against those pricks, therefore, I can only express my opinion graphically:

Spoof Tesco logo with motto 'Every Little Hitler'