ACCORDING to the sartorially challenged but slick Yorkshire crooner Robert Palmer in 1985, we all had to face being addicted to love.

The hit song epitomised the decade of excess as the accompanying video of women in little black dresses playing along caused quite a storm, even for the MTV video age.

Quite how it would go down today is anyone’s guess but, regardless, it remains a classic of the time and if you hear it on the radio it is hard not to immediately think of the video.

Fast forward to today and it is easy to think that Scottish ministers are in the middle of their own follow up single in that they appear to be addicted to bans.

Everything appears to be falling foul of the great authoritarian purge as ministers meddle into our lives in ever increasing ways.

It’s like 1984 meets Brave New World at times - but set in 2024.

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In the past fortnight, wood-burning stoves were outlawed on environmental grounds, which is causing understandable anger across rural Scotland.

New evidence has also surfaced this week about the alcohol ban on trains which may not be as popular as ministers and ScotRail would have us believe.

According to ScotRail’s own passenger survey, the vast majority want an end to the ban despite bosses claiming earlier the result was too close to call.

A poll of commuters carried out last December revealed that 56% of passengers want to see an end to the prohibition, with just 29% in favour of keeping it.

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The figures are seemingly at odds with previous comments from ScotRail bosses. Appearing before Holyrood’s Net Zero, Energy and Transport Committee last month, ScotRail managing director A lex Hynes told MSPs there was “no clear winner in terms of public opinion”.

He added: “The alcohol ban divides opinion. Everyone has a view on it. Some people would love to be able to drink on trains and some people are vehemently against drinking on trains.

ScotRail chief Joanne Maguire agreed, saying there was “roughly around a 50-50 split on views of alcohol”.

Strict rules forbidding drinking were brought in just under four years ago at the start of the pandemic in a bid to keep travellers socially distant.

Previously, passengers could drink after 10am and before 9pm and were able to buy beer, wine and spirits on most trains.

But ministers deemed that the ban would remain in place long after the pandemic for reasons known only to themselves really.

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Regardless, Scotland remains one of the few, if indeed the only, western country where you can’t have a beer or a glass of wine on a train.

As a regular train user, I have no real urge to have a drink on the half-hour journey home of an evening but that’s beside the point.

If I wanted one then I should be allowed to have one, just as I can in England and the rest of Europe.

Rather like wood-burning stoves being outlawed, there appears to be no real logic or point to it and just seems to be a ban for a ban’s sake.

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Why this is important is because of the creeping iron-clad fist that ministers seem increasingly intent on using to get us all to toe the line, which and that should seriously disturb all of us who cherish living in being part of a free democracy.

What started as a trickle is fast becoming a torrent as more of our rights are being eroded by the authoritarian shower in Edinburgh intent on imposing yet more bans.