Distilling a philosophy
The manager of Fitzpatrick’s in Rawtenstall, the last surviving temperance bar in Lancashire, has pleaded guilty to drink-driving. His embarrassing predicament would have been understood by the very earliest members of the temperance movement, however.
— When cheese-maker Joseph Livesey of Preston founded the British Association for the Promotion of Temperance in 1832 it demanded only that people temper their drinking by refraining from spirits.
— Livesey’s personal journey can be traced in the names of his various publications, beginning with the Moral Reformer (1831), the Preston Temperance Advocate (1834), the Teetotal Progressionist (1852) and the Staunch Teetotaller (1867).
— 1867 also saw him convert to vegetarianism.
With just 451 votes, the Liberal Democrat candidate at the Rotherham by-election, Michael Beckett, registered one of the lowest totals ever for a representative of one of the main parties in a parliamentary election. But there is still a record to beat: no one has yet registered zero votes in an election. These candidates came closest:
|Catherine Taylor Dawson, Vote for Yourself Rainbow Dream Ticket (Cardiff North 2005)||1|
|Martin Kyslun, Independent (West Derbyshire 2005)||5|
|Dorian Vanbraam, Renaissance Democrat (Putney 1997)||7|
Earning a living
Besse Cooper of Atlanta, Georgia, said to be the oldest woman in the world, has died aged 116. Does high spending on healthcare make us live longer?
|Health spending per person||Average life expectancy|
Demise of the company car
Number of cars per 1,000 people:
Source: RAC Foundation
This article first appeared in the print edition of The Spectator magazine, dated 8 December 2012