In which I react to The Times' new gin with an 18th Century reference. This is dead topical.
However, it it with heavy heart that I report that it was only the second most important bloggy gathering in London over the weekend.
Those satirical slanderers of stagecraft, the West End Whingers, held a party for assorted thesps, writers and bloggers, and had a fine time of it all.
Bet they didn’t have any Adnams, though.
(We really should have a blogging journalists’ drinks at some point)
Iain Murray has a thoughtful piece about the
drinking culture in the UK on his blog. [Links dead] The thrust of the piece is a discussion of the reasons behind a trend for young Brits to go out with the intention of getting drunk, rather than an intention to socialise.
Iain comes to an interesting conclusion:
Whatever the debate about relative crime levels, I am not sure that many people with extensive experience of both countries would argue with the proposition that the UK is a more disorderly country than the US. The more I think about it, the more I am sure that this shift in attitude to drinking is a symptom of increasing disregard for the societal rules of order -- manners, as Wilberforce would have put it.
There are some other reasons for this trend, not least the move away from tenanted pubs towards the large managed bar chains after the Beer Orders of 1989. (These have since been revoked. Legislation designed to break the hold of the large breweries over the pub trade result in nothing more than a transfer of power to the large pub operating chains. (I used to write for The Publican newspaper, incidentally)) Ever notice that the big, city centre pubs seem to have loads of seats, yet when you try and sit down, you can't find one free? Have you ever noticed that you drink more while standing up? There is a distinct connection between these facts.