Once more on Dry January: the temperance campaign that still wont speak its name

In Uncategorized on January 3, 2017 by kmflett

Once more on Dry January: the temperance campaign that still won’t speak its name

Gin Lane by William Hogarth

Dry January is with us and as usual with some official backing. Farewell (certainly by the end of the first week in January), the Christmas drinkers. Yes, drinkers have their pubs back and should find no shortage of seats to sit in for the weeks to come

Not drinking as much in January, particularly if you have had an indulgent Christmas, is no bad idea both health wise and finance wise.

However Dry January is not about cutting down on drink but signing the pledge as it were not to drink at all.

That is hardly great news for the pub and hospitality industry or for the service sector in general (which partly thanks to Mrs Thatcher’s tour of destruction in the 1980s is now key to the UK economy). I’m not known for my great love of capitalist endeavours but there are (lots) of people’s jobs at stake here as well as the future of places like the pub where people can go to socialise over a drink (alcoholic or not).

The bottom line is that the organisers of Dry January are from the same lineage as temperance campaigners of old, albeit with a modern twist on temperance.

In the US total abstinence was a strong movement (hence Prohibition). In the UK temperance mostly meant not drinking spirits. Beer was often not regarded as an issue.

The organisers of Dry January are totalists and I wish they’d say so.

The temperance movement (as I’ve previously noted) is historically important and might well have a useful point to make still. The point can and should be debated and discussed but this is quite hard when Dry January is the temperance campaign that won’t speak its name.

In the meantime I’ll be supporting Try January, in moderation


3 Responses to “Once more on Dry January: the temperance campaign that still wont speak its name”

  1. Surely in Dry January we should all be drinking Martinis??

  2. Each to their own John, which is, sort of, the point I’m making. If too many temperance types appear I’ll bring out Victor Grayson on temperance (although alcohol was unfortunately a factor in his demise)

  3. The idea that each month has to have an obligingly ‘friendly’ message – all for our own good – grow a moustache for cancer, shave something off for circumcision, means that each year is whittled down until barely a moment survives for life and living. We have competing days for Aids and , I don’t know, just guessing, Plant A Tree, each portentously Capitalised with a logo and a cheerful animation. But, essentially, the argument is against the hidden agenda, that of willing subservience.

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