The Spectator

Barometer | 6 December 2012

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.

By-election limbo

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
£5,520 US 78.5
£2,910 Canada 81.5
£2,860 Germany 80.2
£2,650 France 81.5
£2,300 UK 80.2
£2,110 Japan 83.9
£2,000 Spain 81.3
£1,990 Italy 81.9
£1,340 South Korea 79.3

Source: WHO

Demise of the company car

Number of cars per 1,000 people:

Private Company
390 1995/97 29
426 2002/05 29
458 2005/07 23

Source: RAC Foundation

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