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February 10, 2006

Your Fingerprint for a Pint.

Remember back a little bit when some doctor was saying that pubs should only serve two drinks to people or something? How we all laughed....of course, if this ever came in you’d just have a couple of rounds then move on to the next place.

Not so fast sunshine:

Clubbers and drinkers will be asked to register by providing proof of ID and personal information including name, address, date of birth and a photograph. They will then have the print of their right index finger scanned on to a computer.

Each time a person enters premises in the scheme his or her finger will be scanned, bringing up a list of personal details. In return for participating, people will no longer have to produce means of identification on entry to nightclubs.

Although a few venues elsewhere in Britain have introduced fingerprint scanners, this is the first time they have been “networked”. If someone is identified as a troublemaker his or her details can be flashed to other licensed premises within seconds, giving doormen warning to look out for them.

Now while this is aimed at "troublemakers" how long before someone is calling for this to be a national scheme to cut down on the dreadful problem of excessive alcohol consumption?

At which point we’ll all drink at home and then you’ll have to use your ID card to open the special alcohol containing fridge. With rations points for your trips to the supermarket no doubt.

Yes, that’s an excessive dystopia but don’t for a moment think that there isn’t someone out there plotting such or a doctor or two who can be found to support it.

February 10, 2006 in Food and Drink | Permalink


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Don't panic, it won't take long for nasty people to start bootlegging bathtub gin and for speakeasies to spring up. Problem solved! And won't the situation be so much better...

Posted by: Mark Holland | Feb 10, 2006 11:10:22 AM

Already anticipated here! (Scroll down if necessary.)

Posted by: David Farrer | Feb 10, 2006 11:24:49 AM

Would you have any problem with it if there was no government funding, and it was a purely private scheme by the nightclubs?

Tim adds: As long as it doesn’t then get hijacked (which I think it would) no.

Posted by: Matthew | Feb 10, 2006 11:49:19 AM

If it's private and voluntary then I can't see the problem. I mean for publicans and licence holders to be able to control access and keep out trouble makers is their right as well as thier obligation. If I objected I could always drink elsewhere; there will always be someone willing to keep out of the system.

The problem is, as Tim points out, this government is very keen on high tech systems to control our behaviour. I wouldn't bet the farm on them not making the system compulsory at some stage in the future, especially if they could nationalise a working system rather than cock up their own.

Oh and Mark, it won't just be nasty people making moonshine. Some of my scandanavian chums are quite nice and they cook up some pretty lethal hootch in order to circumvent their country's restrictive laws on booze.


Posted by: The Remittance Man | Feb 10, 2006 1:15:13 PM

"ration points for rationed pints?"

Posted by: gene berman | Feb 10, 2006 2:17:42 PM

Rationing and bootlegging, eh? I used to know a Ukrainian guy who grew up in the Soviet era. The government would go on periodic anti-alcoholism binges and bootleggers would spring up like mushrooms. People drank as much as ever.

It'd be better if they could attack the root causes of drinking instead, but unfortunately the root cause approach isn't applicable to the problem: How the hell do you blame drinking on the Jews?

Posted by: P. Froward | Feb 10, 2006 3:18:04 PM

Cameron's already muttering about trying this sort of approach with chocolate, seeing as the public can't be trusted not to eat themselves to death on Snickers bars.

Does he think any woman is going to vote for him with policies like that?

Dad used to make wine in his kitchen cupboards in Koweit. It was great. Almost as good as my homemade chocolate puddings.

Posted by: auntymarianne | Feb 11, 2006 1:17:04 PM