He has a good point, as in many cases these stings will end up creating an offence out of thin air. Surely test purchasing, if justifiable at all, should only be done where there is strong evidence that underage sales are already being made. However, given Labour MPs’ usual frothing hysteria about underage drinking, you can’t help thinking he’s being a tad hypocritical.
Another aspect is that constantly being asked for ID even if you’re well over 18 must be a significant deterrent to young people drinking in pubs and bars.
Incidentally, the other day I was behind a lad in the queue for the till at a petrol station, and he was asked for ID for a packet of fags, which he couldn’t produce, so the sale was refused. He said he was 22, and to be honest looked it too, but took it with good grace.