Good news for Scotland

25 January, 2008

It's lucky for Scottish retailers that they will find out immediately whether they've passed or failed a test purchase (OLN, Jan 11).

I've recently retired from retail after more than 20 years in the trade, and recent years have been made a misery by an increasing number of test purchases and police "popping in" to "see how things are". We were caught out in a sting once, due to an inexperienced member of staff serving a 15-year-old, and after that I made sure my staff were trained and trained again.

The worst thing, though, is the lack of a single approach by authorities when dealing with retailers . That leads to confusion and fear and has given me real problems in finding new staff over the past few years. At least Scottish retailers will know where they stand.

Paul Barrett

Manchester




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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle ľ which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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