Skip to Content


Does anyone else have an upper house as undemocratic as the Lords?

Plus: Sexual offences on trains; biggest yachts; Facebook figures

5 September 2015

9:00 AM

5 September 2015

9:00 AM

Peers’ peers

Forty-five new peers were created. Are we alone in having an upper house of parliament made up of appointed cronies?
FRANCE Senate has 348 members elected for six-year terms by 150,000 state officials known as ‘grandes electeurs’.
GERMANY Bundesrat is made up of 69 members delegated by governments of individual states.
ITALY Senate composed of 321 members, of whom 315 are elected for five-year terms by voters aged 25 and above, and 6 appointed as senators for life.
JAPAN House of Councillors composed of 242 members elected for six-year terms under a system of proportional representation.
UNITED STATES Senate has 100 members, two for each state excluding Washington DC, directly elected by the public.

Train pain

Jeremy Corbyn proposed women-only carriages to help reduce attacks. How many sex offences were committed on the railway in 2014/15?

Sexual offences against women 847
Sexual offences against men 37
Exposure 161
Other sexual crime 354

Source: British Transport Police

Boat club

Russian mining businessman Andrey Melnichenko is to build a 466ft sailing yacht, the biggest in the world. But there are bigger motor yachts. Who has the biggest?

Roman Abrahamovich, Eclipse 557ft
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai 532ft
Qaboos bin Said al Said, Al Said 508ft
Prince Abdulaziz, Prince Abdulaziz (yes, named after himself) 482ft
Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle, Rising Sun 452ft

If the Queen still had Britannia she wouldn’t make the list; it is 412ft long.

Facebook figures

Facebook claimed that the number of people using it on a single day passed 1 billion for the first time. Some other Facebook statistics quoted on the web, which may or may not be true:
27% of motorists admit to using Facebook while driving.
— Average teenage user has 300 ‘friends’.
66% of female users claim to have been bullied on the site.
28% of newlyweds update their relationship status on their wedding day.

Show comments