Protecting You From Yourself

Over the long weekend, a visitor to our home spoke of an incident that highlights the very worst of the nanny state.

Mum, Dad and their 18-year-old daughter visited their local liquor store to purchase a couple of bottles of wine to bring to our place for dinner.

When going to pay, the parents were refused service unless their daughter provided proof of age identification.

The parents politely explained that the wine was for them and their daughter had nothing to do with the purchase.

The store attendant (equally politely) explained that because the young lady looked under 25 it was ‘the law’ she had to provide ID even if the purchase wasn’t for her.

I have no idea if it is the law or not but if it is, it only serves to demonstrate how stupid government has become.

Let’s break this stupidity down to its essence.

In this case, two adults (parents) weren’t able to purchase a legal product because they were accompanied by their daughter, who also happened to be an adult, but didn’t have identification to prove it.

The fact that this individual was not involved in the purchase at all (aside from being with her parents) meant nothing.

When the father suggested his wife and daughter leave the premises and he would buy the products, this was again refused because ‘the cameras would identify it as a ruse to break the law’.

So let’s be very clear what this means. An adult is not able to purchase a legal product if they happen to have another person with them who doesn’t meet some predetermined criteria.

It would logically mean that an adult cannot purchase cigarettes or alcohol if they have their infant child with them. I guess the government thinks it would be better to leave them in the car, or alone on the street rather than be with a parent in a store.

Perhaps a pharmacist would be required to limit the sale of medication if anyone other than the prescription holder was in attendance when paying at the counter.

Such an idiotic approach could be applied to any age or some other criteria limiting the sale of a product. Surely no government could be that stupid…or could they?

Worse still, government over-regulation is infantilising Australians. By playing to the lowest common denominator, we are dumbing down Australians. Personal responsibility – a key maxim of the Conservative Party – goes out of the window. The minute something goes wrong, people want to blame (if not sue) the government, a business - anyone but themselves, for not protecting them from themselves.

In an effort to apply their legislative power to cover every scenario and to protect people from themselves, we have seen government over-reach many times.

At some point they thought it a good idea to force companies to put calorie displays on mass produced food products to help combat obesity. As if any consumer - who supposedly doesn’t know eating takeaway every day is bad for them - will be dissuaded by being told it’s also highly calorific.

It is the same in a bunch of other areas. The real question is: where will it all end?

Human nature will never change. People will always make poor decisions and some people will always break whatever laws are enacted.

Limiting the individual freedoms of the overwhelming majority of people to protect the dumb or deliberate decisions of the few is not good government.

I hope that on this occasion my friends encountered an over-zealous sales assistant, not a ridiculous law.

If that is the case then we should be encouraging Wesfarmers-owned Vintage Cellars to allow their staff to apply more common sense rather than ridiculous over-reach.

Things that make you go Hmm…

There’s a stink over gender-neutral dunnies at the footy, renewables threaten Queensland’s energy grid and Labor whistles ‘racist’ over barring overseas visitors from Aussie screening. A WA dad is fined for combining beer and fishing, Brisbane council targets hoon pensioners, and watch out for this academic h-bomb.  Today names, tomorrow politics for dolphin researchers but are these ‘fat tax’ complaints material?

Facebook says oops we did it again, tax havens produce funny data, oui have a problem in France as Nepal tells the UN to nick off. Vote-buying gets eye-watering in Colombia and besets the Fijian government. #metoo claims a serial hugger, blow me down, Elon Musk was serious about these gadgets and Trekkie tricorders might soon be reality.