The Spectator

Barometer | 11 May 2017

Also in Barometer: The gay rights poem that led to Britain’s last blasphemy trial; the world’s oldest people

God forbid

Irish police investigated Stephen Fry over a complaint of blasphemy, which is no longer a criminal offence in Britain.
— The last prosecution was a private case brought by Mary Whitehouse against Gay News and its editor Denis Lemon over a poem in which a Roman centurion tells of having sex with Jesus after his crucifixion. Gay News was fined £1,000 and Lemon £500; he also received a suspended jail sentence.
— The last man in Britain jailed for blasphemy was Bradford trouser salesman John William Gott, who got nine months’ hard labour in 1921 for calling Jesus a circus clown. He died soon after his release.


Brexit is a key factor in the coming general election. What percentage of each party’s voters in 2015 voted Leave last June?

Ukip 98
Conservative 58

Labour 36
Lib Dem 26

Green 21

Source: NatCen Social Research

Counted out

An Indonesian man died at the claimed age of 146, which cannot be authenticated because the country’s birth records did not begin until 1900. Despite increased life expectancy, the world record has not been beaten since the death of Jeanne Calment
in 1997 at 122. Previous holders of the title:

Augusta Holtz
of Missouri, died October 1986 at 115 years, 79 days.
Matthew Beard of Florida, died February 1985 at 114 years, 122 days.
Fannie Thomas of California, died January 1981 at 113 years, 283 days.
Delina Filkins of New York, died December 1928 at 113 years, 214 days.

Unless new and authenticated data emerges, the record cannot be broken until 2022, as the world’s current oldest person, a Jamaican called Violet Brown, is now 117.
Source: Gerontology Research Group

Something in the air

The government published its air pollution strategy. How does urban Britain’s particulate concentration of 12.4

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.


Unlock more articles



Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in