Barometer

300 signatures can be wrong. How about 2 million?

21 May 2016

9:00 AM

21 May 2016

9:00 AM

Name check

306 business people signed a letter to the Daily Telegraph saying that Britain would be better off outside the EU. Some notable collections of signatures:
364 economists signed a Times letter about the dangers of monetarism in 1981.
5,154 physicists signed a paper in Physical Review Letters last year reporting a more accurate recording of the mass of the Higgs boson particle.
75,000 people signed a petition protesting against the government’s leaflet on why we should vote to stay in the EU.
540,000 signed a petition demanding a stay of execution for Beau, a Missouri dog accused of killing a duck.
1m Spaniards signed a petition in 2013 demanding that their government resign.
2.2m people signed a petition to demand George Zimmerman’s prosecution for killing Trayvon Martin in Florida in 2012. He was prosecuted and acquitted.

Places of refuge

Countries with most refugees as a percentage of population:

Lebanon 17%
Jordan 8.3%
Nauru 4.9%
Chad 3%
Turkey 2.3%
South Sudan 2.2%
Mauritania 1.9%
Djibouti 1.7%
Sweden 1.5%


Source: UNHCR

Department of discontent

Which government department has the unhappiest civil servants?
% OF STAFF WHO RESIGNED IN PAST YEAR

Treasury 6.3%
Culture, Media and Sport 4%
Health 4%
Justice 4%
Cabinet Office 3.5%
Transport 3.3%
Energy and Climate Change 3.3%

Tales out of school

Ofsted says 100 illegal schools operate in England under the banner of home-schooling. A freedom-of-information request to 190 councils last year found that there were at least 36,600 children being home-schooled, with parents giving the following reasons:

Philosophy/lifestyle differences 13%
Dissatisfaction with local school 9.3%
Cultural/religious reasons 6.2%
Bullying 4.8%
Special needs/medical problems 4.3%
Rejected by preferred school 3.4%

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Show comments
  • Frank

    Will Straw has sent a leaflet addressed to me personally at home. It is described “Promoted by Will Straw on behalf of Britain Stronger in Europe”. This leaflet quotes a number of statements made by, for example, by the Official Treasury Report, which the leaflet states are “facts”. In reality, these statements appear to be statements of possible outcomes, not facts. Can Will Straw be prosecuted for knowingly publishing lies?

  • Hermine Funkington-Rumpelstilz

    Love Europe, worship statistics.

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