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Labour’s austerity tradition

Plus: the figures on knife crime, crowds at religious festivals, and the prevalence of paedophilia

27 June 2015

9:00 AM

27 June 2015

9:00 AM

The spirit of 1945

No one would have been more surprised at the sight of 100,000 people marching in London under the banner ‘End Austerity Now’ and demanding ‘Tories Out’ than Sir Stafford Cripps, President of the Board of Trade and briefly Chancellor of the Exchequer in Attlee’s government.
— Hard though it might be to remember now, but austerity was once a proud Labour policy. The rationale of the policy, devised by Cripps, was that by suppressing private consumption, resources could be spent instead on boosting exports.
— Any anti-austerity march in 1947 would have been led by the Conservatives, whose slogans of the time included ‘Starve with Strachey’ and ‘Shiver with Shinwell’.

Cuttings job

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe blamed a drop in stop and search for a 25 per cent rise in youth knife crime in London. Knife crimes in England and Wales last year:

Homicide 189
Attempted Murder 245
Threats to kill 1,630
Assault with injury 13,000
Robbery 10,500
Rape 311
Sexual assault 125

Faithful crowds


23,000 attended the Summer Solstice at Stonehenge, down from 36,000 in 2014. Some crowds at religious ceremonies:
8,200 attended the Queen’s coronation in Westminster Abbey in 1953.
80,000 is the capacity of St Peter’s Square, Vatican City, regularly full for Easter Mass.
2.5m attended last year’s hajj in Mecca, 1.5m accommodated in the Grand Mosque.

How many paedophiles?

The deputy director of the National Crime Agency estimated that there are 750,000 paedophiles in Britain, 250,000 of them ‘true paedophiles’ with an interest in prepubescent children: that’s 3 and 1 per cent of the adult male population, respectively. How does this compare with other estimates of the proportion of the population with paedophile tendencies?
0.5% James Cantor, University of Toronto.
2% Pope Francis, estimating percentage of Catholic clergy with paedophile tendencies.
21% John Briere, University of South California, in 1989 study based on a questionnaire of 200 university students.
58% 1970 study by Freund and Costell, which claimed to measure penile stimulation in 28 out of 48 Czech soldiers. shown pictures of prepubescent girls.


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