I had a long hard chuckle at a recent Twitter discourse involving Douglas Carswell (the only sitting UKIP MP) and a leading scientist where Mr Carswell insisted that the sun causes the earth’s tides. I loved Prof Paul Nightingale’s put down. “Douglas, this isn’t a controversial point. Its in Newton’s Principia.” published in 1687. Glad to see our elected representatives keeping abreast of the latest scientific literature. This comes of course on the back of the Leave Campaign during the EU Referendum claiming that “people in this country have had enough of experts”. Well this seems again true given the new PMs latest policy to ignore pretty much any educational expert of the last 50 years and determine to re-introduce grammar schools. I live where there are grammar schools, indeed I’m a product of one as is one of my children, the other attended a secondary modern. Frankly the best education and the most inspiring teachers we experienced were not at the grammar school in my opinion. Those schools seem to take the best and frankly do little but beat them over the with expectations of high grades, Russell Group University places etc. etc. My son’s secondary modern treated him as an individual and inspired him to a point where he has submitted his thesis, will soon get his PhD and is working at an internationally renowned university as a post graduate researcher. Shows to me that grammar educated or not between 11 and 18 what is really needed is to inspire and show belief in the individual.
Against this background then I wonder whether it is even worth drawing attention to this interesting study from Sweden. Quitting Alcohol Can Be Easier To Maintain Than Cutting Back determines that “total abstinence from drinking may be easier to maintain in the long run than trying to cut back”. Any one who knows me will know I’m likely to agree with this. I’ve been abstinent since 2004. For me I’d tried repeatedly to control, manage, limit etc. my drinking and I had repeatedly failed finding myself once again wildly out of control beyond the limits I’d set for myself and once there it wasn’t simply a point of stopping and controlling again. No that took time and effort to get back to some point of abstinence. Guess what. And then I’d start believing I could control it and… the wheel kept on turning.
Previously the most widely accepted position is that an agency agrees with the users of the service what their goal is, reduction, abstinence or control and works in consort with that position to help. This study seems to refute some of that indicating those with abstinence as their chosen path are more successful long term to maintain it.
But then let’s find an MP with a degree in Imperial History willing to offer their tuppenceworth… 😉