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I’ll drink to that

An excellent piece on CiF on the neo-puritans and their efforts to wage class war on the poor through banning and taxing booze. Killer quote:

The 19th-century temperance movement was defeated by an alliance of liberals and the working class, and it looks like a repeat performance might be required. A prohibition bill was squashed in the Commons in 1859, the year in which John Stuart Mill in On Liberty savaged the “beer house purism” of the religiously inspired anti-alcohol lobby.

Let’s face it – irrespective of the issue, if you’re lining up against JS Mill, you’re most likely on the wrong side of the argument…

  1. Matthew
    January 10, 2010 at 1:19 am | #1

    Let’s face it – irrespective of the issue, if you’re lining up against JS Mill, you’re most likely on the wrong side of the argument…

    I'm not sure John Taylor would agree.

  2. Dave Weeden
    January 10, 2010 at 7:58 am | #2

    Er, idle argument from authority? Mill fallible too, you know.

    I'm conflicted on this; I'm with Professor Nutt in that alcohol is both more addictive and destructive than many other drugs. And I don't buy libertarian type arguments with addictive substances; addicts aren't rational, so "everyone should decide for themselves" reasons don't apply.

    But: I find this government puritanical too, and don't like that either.

  3. January 10, 2010 at 8:43 am | #3

    Killer quote you jest ? More hysterical than historical . Liberals were the temperance movement , the Parliamentary voice of nonconformist conscience , itself the core of the League. This vote largely passed to the Labour Party hence Harold Wilson's disingenuous claim that British Labour had more to do with Methodism than Marxism.*

    The Conservative Party , funded by the ‘Beer-age ’ resisted the moves towards prohibition that the left “Liberal progressives” actually brought about in the US .
    Had we not had the left alliance of bossy booted Lib Lab nannies in charge we would never have had the smoking ban. Where were the Liberals there ..? Where are they ever when freedoms are to be defended , hiding in Labour’s skirts .
    It was the Liberal government that passed the Defence of the Realm Act in 1914 at the beginning of the First World War but more to the point is has been the Liberals left that has championed health fascism at every turn since .

    * Teeny bit misleading that as it emerges that the MI5 of the 60s far from being nutty conspiracy theorists of legend ,correctly identified that the left was riddle with traitors informing for their Soviet masters .Jack Jones eg.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beerage

  4. January 10, 2010 at 8:59 am | #4

    The National Temperance Federation , formally associated with the Liberal Party was founded in 1884..just looked it up and the triv bit about 1859 ..it had no support at all but this pre-dates the high days of prohibitonism

    You do write some crap honestly

  5. January 10, 2010 at 10:26 pm | #5

    Newmania, where did John B mention the National Temperance Federation?

  6. January 11, 2010 at 7:59 am | #6

    He did not , I was pointing out that to make this statement ….

    "The 19th-century temperance movement was defeated by an alliance of liberals and the working class,"
    ….an almost complete ignorance of the 19th century is required. That the Tempernace movement actually had formal relations with the Liberal Party is, I thought , a "way " into , the period for the year zero John B

    Happy ?

  7. January 11, 2010 at 10:36 am | #7

    I didn't mention Liberals, I mentioned liberals. There's a pretty obvious distinction.

  8. January 12, 2010 at 10:07 am | #8

    Obvious to me thats for sure but if you meant the Conservative Party I think you could have made it "even more obvious".

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