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Would Jesse Boot have agreed with Stefano Pessina? (Clue: he called his employees ‘comrade’)

Plus: Who’s serving a whole-life sentence, and how British Muslims feel about halal meat

7 February 2015

9:00 AM

7 February 2015

9:00 AM

Right Boot, left Boot

What would Jesse Boot, who built Britain’s largest chemist chain from his father’s herbal shops, made of the spat between Labour and Stefano Pessina, chief executive of the firm? — Boot was a lifelong Liberal, but then he was already 50 years old when the Labour party was formed. He was in the habit of calling his workers ‘comrades’. — But it was his son John who saw the company’s Nottingham factory as the basis of a future welfare state, declaring 1938: ‘When we establish pension funds which relieve our workers of fears for their old age, when we reduce the number of working days in the week, or give long holidays with pay to our retail assistant, we are setting a standard which governments in due time will be able to make universal.’ — John was no more a socialist than his father, however, selling Boots to the United Drug Company of America.

Slaughter lines

Footage emerged of sheep being mistreated in a halal slaughterhouse. What do British Muslims think of halal meat? — 45% believe stunning animals before slaughter is unacceptable — 21% believe it is acceptable — 12% believe that not stunning them is unacceptable — 71% believe a prayer should be offered to the animal before slaughter — 46% say no animal should see another die — 60% buy most of their meat from specialist halal butchers — 23% buy most of their meat from a national supermarket. Source: Eblex

Long life

The European Court of Human Rights confirmed that British courts do have a right to impose whole-life sentences. What do you have to do to get one? —57 prisoners are currently serving whole-life sentences — They have 167 known victims between them — 12 have only one known victim — 15 committed murders after being released from earlier sentences for murder — 2 are women — The youngest was 23 when given the sentence — 41 received whole-life sentences after 2004, when Home Secretaries were banned from imposing them and the job passed to judges. The most whole-life sentences given in any one year was 7 in 2010 — Soham murderer Ian Huntley isn’t one of them.


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