Skip to Content


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?

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%

Show comments