The ultimate 'carding'

From the Canadian Press:

EDINBURGH, Scotland — An Internet campaign to ban Britain's treasury chief from the country's pubs seems to be striking a chord.

Earlier this month, treasury chief Alistair Darling (seen at right) raised taxes on cars and cigarettes. But it is his new alcohol duties -- which raised the price of a pint of beer -- that have Britons' backs up.

So, when a pub landlord here in Darling's hometown barred the chancellor from his establishment, drinking holes across the country followed suit. Many are posting pictures of the white-haired, bespectacled treasurer above the big red word "barred."

Bar manger Andrew Little at the Utopia pub, which kicked off the campaign, says the poster is "tongue in cheek." But, he says, it seems to have "touched a nerve."

Hundreds have joined Internet groups devoted to running Darling out of every pub in the country, and establishments from the Tap & Spile in the north England town of Lincoln to the Plough Inn in Finstock, near Oxford, said Darling would not allowed to partake of their booze.

The government has raised taxes on alcohol by 6% above the rate of inflation, which translates to an extra four pence (about eight cents Canadian) for a pint of beer, 13 pence (around 26 cents) for a bottle of wine and 55 pence (around $1.12) a bottle for spirits such as whisky.

The duties are scheduled to rise by another 2% above inflation in each of the next four years.

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