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The Spectator: defending drunkenness since 1828

23 September 2014 10:51

University terms are getting started and this year’s Freshers may be glad to read that The Spectator has always staunchly supported the right to get drunk. In the late 19th… Continue reading


Happy Valentine's Day

14 February 2013 9:48

Thanks to AH for this reminder that the Victorians – and many since – were right to think Scotland a land of romance and all that stuff.

Please SIr

Let Them Eat Gruel: The Government-Health-Security Complex Invades Your Kitchen - Spectator Blogs

5 January 2013 14:11

Addressing the American people for the final time as President, Dwight Eisenhower warned that: This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the… Continue reading


What’s Next: Plain Packaging for Booze?

27 March 2012 14:13

Hats-off to Dick Puddlecote and Chris Snowdon for being quick to notice the latest absurdity being considered by the Commons health select committee: plain packaging for alcohol. Yes, really. The… Continue reading


Yes, the NHS Must Treat Fat Folk

27 March 2012 2:08

A truly repellent piece by Cristina Odone in the Telegraph in which she argues for NHS-rationing by liefestyle and wealth. That’s not quite how she puts it, for sure, but… Continue reading


The Department of Something Must Be Done & the Drink Police

23 March 2012 12:35

Even if you accept that the government’s plans for a minimum alcohol price in England and Wales are well-intentioned you can be pretty sure that it’s a bad idea. How… Continue reading


Surviving the Ides of March…

15 March 2012 14:26

I’m indebted to Patrick Kidd for unearthing this terrific advertisement for Scotsh Whisky, published in the Western Morning News in 1927. These are indeed treacherous times so it is pleasing… Continue reading


The Public Health Racket

8 February 2012 15:00

A fine catch by Tim Worstall who rightly scoffs at this passage in today’s Telegraph report on the (Westminster) government’s plans to "tackle" alcohol consumption: [M]inisters are expected to unveil… Continue reading


The Legend of the Patriotic Drinker

25 October 2011 13:04

This is one hell of a statistic: In Britain, taxes on all types of alcohol contributed 36 percent of national revenue in 1898-99, but they were also 19 percent in… Continue reading


A Bloomsday Puzzle

16 June 2011 3:02

As yer man said "a good puzzle would be to cross Dublin without passing a pub". A better puzzle would be why anyone would think this a good idea or… Continue reading

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Politician of the Year

3 September 2010 4:05

Andrew Stuttaford says Alexei Kudrin is Finance Minister of the year but, surely, that understates matters? Russia’s finance minister has told people to smoke and drink more, explaining that higher… Continue reading


More Booze-Related Fraud

19 January 2010 3:19

To return to a subject we considered the other day, it seems there’s no end to the mendacity ministers are prepared to endorse if it furthers their efforts to tell… Continue reading


What’s the Real Cost of Booze?

13 January 2010 3:02

A reader asks if I might write something about the "ridiculous assertion that alcohol abuse costs every Scot £900 a year". Happy to do so! We all know that if… Continue reading


Nanny’s Intemperate Insistence Upon Temperance

9 September 2009 14:36

Angela Harbutt of Liberal Vision and Samizdata’s Jonathan Pearce say much of what needs to be said about the British Medical Association’s depressingly predictable demand that all alcohol advertising and… Continue reading


Localism Is Barred From Your Local

20 August 2009 12:05

One of the things that’s happened as a consequence of devolution is that sometimes Westminster finds itself following Holyrood. It’s almost as if the latter has actually become a mini-laboratory… Continue reading


Burning Issue: Does Hogwarts Have A Drinking Problem?

30 July 2009 0:40

Lord knows there’s almost no idea too dumb to appear in a newspaper, but this recent effort from the New York Times is a cracker: Does Hogwarts have a drinking… Continue reading

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Big Business & Big Government, Together Again…

28 July 2009 16:37

There are plenty of reasons to be skeptical of the Scottish government’s desire to set alcohol prices. Not the least of them is that, in addition to the usual health… Continue reading


The First Quiet Drink of the Evening

12 March 2009 2:07

Further to this post on Dublin pubs, my father reminded me of the great, wistful moment in The Long Goodbye when Terry Lennox tells Marlowe: "I like bars just after… Continue reading


The Decline of the Dublin Pub

11 March 2009 15:01

The Long Hall: photo by Flickr user inaki_naiz. Used under a Creative Commons License. An important article in the New York Times on the decline of the traditional Irish pub.… Continue reading


Kingsley’s Rules

26 November 2008 17:28

Roger Scruton reviews Kingsley Amis's Everyday Drinking, now happily reissued: At the start, Amis announces certain 'general principles' to be followed in creating drinks, all of which can be derived,… Continue reading

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From Gin Lane to Faliraki

26 August 2008 17:23

Ah, Sarah Lyall. Bless her. The New York Times' London correspondent has an entertainingly gruesome piece on the lagered-up misbehaviour of Brits on tour. No-one who has spent any time… Continue reading


Something Must Be Done! This is Something!

16 June 2008 14:02

Chris Dillow has a splendid post filleting the Scottish government's plans to raise the age at which one may purchase alcohol at an off-license from 18 to 21. As he… Continue reading


Department of Advertising

10 June 2008 15:09

Shamefully, I don't think I'd heard of Billy Beer until Mike Crowley posted this fantastic advertisement at The Stump. I mean, what better slogan could there be? Could an reader… Continue reading


Adventures in Marketing

3 June 2008 19:20

Lots of good things come from China, but this is magnificent. Perhaps James Fallows can do a series of posts on counterfeit Chinese whisky? Via, here, here, here, here and… Continue reading


Picture of the Day

14 May 2008 20:31

Skipper Neil Darling and his Selkirk team-mates celebrate after Monday night’s Border League final victory over Jed-Forest, bringing the title back to Philiphaugh for the first time in 55 years.… Continue reading