For those new to CabbieBlog or readers who are slightly forgetful, on Saturdays I’m republishing posts, many going back over a decade. Some will still be very relevant while others have become dated over time. Just think of this post as your weekend paper supplement.
Gordon’s Gin (03.07.09)
I have to declare an interest at the beginning of this post. Last week would have been the 62nd birthday of my best friend. He died too young from alcohol consumption. Not by cirrhosis of the liver, but dementia, not a death that most people associate with alcohol, but not uncommon.
When in 1751 Hogarth drew his cartoon satirising the drinking of cheap gin in the Seven Dials area of London, he did it to bring to the public’s attention the excessive consumption of cheap alcohol by the poor and promote the Gin Act, which attempted to reduce the sale of spirits.
Roll forward 250 years and we are slowly working our way to a new Gin Lane, but now we call it a Sports Bar. London cabbies now have to weigh up every potential fare after 10 pm. Are they swaying, looking dazed or do they have a can of ale in their hand?
Alcohol consumption has doubled since the 1960s and research published in 2006 showed deaths from liver cirrhosis have increased markedly in Britain while falling in most other European countries since the 1950s.
And alcohol consumption can only increase as the economy goes into decline and more people lose their jobs because of this incompetent Government.