By J. Greenaway
The problem of alcohol hasn't ever been faraway from British politics. firstly, governments had to regulate its sale for public order purposes and since it used to be a big income. Then in Victorian occasions a strong temperance circulate arose which sought to ban or critically lower the ''Demon Drink". This in flip aroused the hostility of the "Trade" and the problem turned considered one of fierce electoral politics. After 1890 drink was once interpreted extra as a social reform query after which within the First international struggle, after an immense ethical panic, far-reaching measures of direct country keep an eye on have been imposed within the pursuits of nationwide potency. Later within the 20th century alcohol use got here to be obvious as a side of relaxation and city making plans and, extra lately, as a future health factor. Drawing upon quite a lot of basic resources, John Greenaway makes use of the complicated politics of the problem to shed mild upon the altering political method and to check quite a few theories of the policymaking approach. either historians and political scientists might be drawn to this research.
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Extra resources for Drink and British Politics since 1830: A Study in Policy Making
Hence, radical Liberals, from outside the mainstream temperance movement, began to seize on the issue of local control or local option as a means of stimulating the political sensibilities of the dormant mass of the population. There was surely no subject more worthy of the attention of a reforming party. First off the mark was G. O. Trevelyan, a cousin of Sir W. C. Trevelyan, President of the UKA, 38 Drink and British Politics since 1830 who stumped the country with Lawson, delivering a series of speeches in urban centres on the liquor question in December 1871.
This would be aggravated by the Trade, which was never more sensitive than when it was hit directly in the pocket. Also, the saturation point on liquor taxation was thought to be low, and there was also a danger of illicit distillation and illegal trading. Finally, there was the vested interest of Chancellors of the Exchequer, whose main concern was to balance the budget and not to promote temperance. 49 An alternative path was to reduce hours of sale. Here, there were problems about shift workers, but earlier closing on weekday nights was certainly one option canvassed to reduce drunkenness.
The problem for the UKA was the disjuncture between prohibition, an authoritarian solution, and the democratic ethos and ideology that otherwise permeated the organisation and the movement. The prohibitionists saw themselves, in populist terms, as agents of liberation. Their goal was to free the people from the slavery of Drink, just as earlier crusaders had freed the country from slavery, the Corn Laws, child labour and so on. Theirs was a movement from the grass roots that sought to articulate the demands of ordinary men and women to be freed from the tyranny of the Trade which was ‘foisted’ upon them by the magistrates and the governing class.