Barometer

Who first committed ‘cultural appropriation’?

5 September 2020

9:00 AM

5 September 2020

9:00 AM

Culture clashes

The pop star Adele was accused of ‘cultural appropriation’ for adopting a Jamaican hairstyle for the online Notting Hill Carnival. Who first committed this alleged sin? The concept has been traced to a paper presented by Canadian art historian Kenneth Coutts-Smith at a symposium of the International Association of Art Critics in Lisbon in September 1976 — he used the terms ‘cultural colonialism’ and ‘historical appropriation’. His earliest example didn’t involve black cultures, however, but the Medici adopting an ‘idealised view of Roman Republican Virtue’ in the construction of Florence.

Bags of rubbish

The mandatory charge for plastic bags is to be doubled to 10p and extended to small convenience stores. Before the charge was introduced in 2015 the quantity of plastic used to supply British shoppers with single-use bags was estimated at 61,000 tonnes. How does that compare with other uses of plastic? Quantities in tonnes:

Bottles | 947,000

Construction industry | 800,000

Packaging film | 759,000

Pots, trays and tubs | 441,000

Electrical goods | 400,000

Vehicles | 400,000

Source: WRAP

Tax receipts

The Chancellor was reported to be considering a variety of tax increases. Which taxes raised the most revenue in 2017/18?


Income tax | £175bn

National insurance | £130bn

VAT | £125bn

Property taxes | £62bn

Corporation taxes | £58bn

Capital taxes | £31bn

Fuel taxes | £27bn

Source: IFS

Child mortality

A study of 260 hospitals revealed that just six under-19s had died of Covid-19, all of them with severe pre-existing conditions. What were the leading causes of death in the 1,633 children (aged 28 days to 15 years) who died in 2018?

Congenital abnormalities | 271

Cancer | 253

External causes (accidents, violence) | 170

Diseases of the nervous system | 134

Respiratory disease | 121

Circulatory disorders | 96

Endocrine, nutritional disorders | 92

Infectious and parasitic diseases | 82

Source: ONS

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