It’ s not often that Buckfast gets any press but there are accusations of discrimination flying out of the South West and unusually this time out it’s not a question of taste (it’s disgusting).
Buckfast (Buckie), is a fortified wine produced by Buckfast Abbey in Devon. The wine was first produced in 1890s by Benedictine monks at the Abbey using a recipe brought over from France.
In the 21st Century the drink has achieved a surprising level of popularity within working class and bohemian communities in certain parts of Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
My favourite description of the effect of Buckfast comes from the Portadown News. “Buckfast offers users a brief ‘high’, followed by 20 years of acting like a complete tw*t, alienating all their friends and smelling like cough syrup, before eventually dying penniless and alone in a rented flat on Thomas Street.
So what’s the beef? This is direct from the BBC:
Two Scottish councils are facing legal action over claims they discriminate against shops which sell Buckfast.
J Chandler & Co, which distributes the tonic wine, said it had evidence officials in Glasgow and South Ayrshire had singled out the product.
Both authorities have denied the claim and said they had always acted in accordance with licensing laws.
Buckfast, which is produced at Buckfast Abbey in Devon, has been highlighted in debates in Scotland on alcohol abuse. The fortified wine has an alcohol content of 15% and is popular with many young and under-age drinkers in the west of Scotland.
J Chandler & Co has claimed in the past that politicians have made it an easy target for societal problems.
Now it plans to take Glasgow and South Ayrshire Councils to court.
It will seek a judicial review of the actions of both licensing boards at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.
Spokesman Jim Wilson, said: “They shouldn’t be discussing or alluding to particular products, so why is Buckfast being targeted?
“We are taking legal action because this has got to stop.
“We know what Glasgow licensing board is up to. They’re using euphemisms to refer to Buckfast and we are not prepared to let this continue. This is not sabre-rattling.”
Councillor Douglas Campbell, chair of South Ayrshire licensing board, said: “South Ayrshire licensing board is currently consulting on a code of practice for off-sales premises.
“No products have been specifically targeted by the board and it is up to the individual licensee’s discretion as to which products they should display.”