Gone are the days of 18 and 21 being celebrated as the birthdays when you get the keys to adulthood. Adulthood has been deferred; minatory has been extended, and that murky inbetween now a longer limbo.
This ‘Challenge 25’ policy isn’t just about drink.
It is used to challenge a 20 odd old buying a 12 DVD, when they are twice that age.
I have always maintained that age isn’t the factor – for we are not all automatically willing and able to cope with things because of our age, protecting young people but not older ones.
The more you forbid, the more you’ll provoke.
And once over 25 – people can buy what they want, and it harms just as much.
It has made retailers our guardians, and the ridiculous fines if they guess an age wrong means that their paranoia leads to arguments at the till. It’s not flattering to be thought younger than you are. Why do we privilege youth?! So don’t make it sound like it’s kind of compliment: “if you are lucky enough to look under 25…” because it isn’t. It’s causing embarrassment and offence, on both sides, and also inconvenience.
We are proud in the UK not to be an ID carrying country. This policy enforces that on young people, using the frightening technologies of biometrics to learn and retain information about people. The abuse (and even its supposed proper use) is appalling, continuing the control and tracking of citizens.
It makes me wonder if it is a way of starting ID carrying through the back door and influencing the youngest generation.
The adverts about peer pressure and drinking were much better, for they were for any age, and should put the responsibility on the consumer not just the retailer.
Meanwhile, you’ve created an industry around ID, useful for secret services and any who would abuse the system.
This isn’t liberty, this isn’t taking care of citizens, it’s another mixed message such as “we like the income that smoking gives us, but we’ll put health warnings on cigarette packets.”
So I don’t agree with First Minster Nicola Sturgeon that this is a step to be proud of. Scotland has been great in many ways at making sensible laws first in the UK, which then trickle down. This is not one of them.
Challenge 25 website doesn’t even have a contact – my email bounced, so we don’t know who to hold to account.