(A guest post by Wayland Ellis). ‘Challenge 25’ has had a profound impact on our everyday lives. It is now impossible for most people to go about their lives without having to see those offensive and insulting ‘UNDER 25?’ notices on a daily basis.
Young adults are made to feel like second-class citizens, being asked to prove their age even when they are obviously adults. Having to prove you are an adult in this way turns you into a child. An entire generation has been made to feel like they don’t matter.
Young people today are being referred to as ‘Generation Sensible’, because they drink and use drugs less than previous generations. But why should they have to look at these hideous ‘Challenge 25’ notices every time they visit a shop? Why should they be treated this way? Maybe they want supermarkets to be nice places, and not have those notices shoved in their faces.
If alcohol consumption has fallen, it won’t be because of ‘Challenge 25’. Kids will always be able to get hold of alcohol if they want to.
It has been suggested that the reduction in alcohol consumption among young people was a result of a change in attitudes towards alcohol, such as an increased awareness of the health risks of drinking alcohol, as well a change in the way young people spend their free time.
Also, were things really that bad in the past? I was at school in the ‘bad old days’ of the 1990s when we supposedly had a high rate of teenage drinking. But I hardly ever drank, nor was I aware of a problem with drinking among my classmates, either at school or sixth-form. The other students wouldn’t turn up drunk, or talk about being drunk.
This was, of course, before the statist revolution, before ‘Challenge 25’.
You don’t see ‘Challenge 25’ notices in shops in other European countries. Even in Iceland, a country notable for its very low rate of teenage drinking, ID checks only apply to state-run Vinbudin stores, and so they only affect people who use these stores. You do not see ID notices in ordinary shops.
‘Challenge 25’ unfairly punishes the public at large. It’s time it was abandoned. At least, we should start by having an honest debate about ‘Challenge 25’. Perhaps I’m not right, but let’s just have the debate, and engage in an honest, adult discussion.
Beyond this, my suggestion is simple: If someone asks you for an ID when you buy alcohol, just leave the money on the counter and walk out with the drink. This isn’t illegal, as you’ve paid. I advocate people do this, just as a political statement, to derail the system. We need to start resisting this injustice.
Wayland Ellis is the author of ‘A Revolutionary Idea called Common Sense – The Case Against Alcohol Regulation’. Visit his website.