The Spectator

Barometer | 12 April 2017

Also in Barometer: the demise of the free in-flight meal; egg-hunts without Easter; what’s the minimum wage around Europe?

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Cabin fodder

British Airways proposes to stop serving free meals on long-haul flights.

— Although passengers once took it for granted that on-board food would be free, airline meals began on a Handley Page flight from London to Paris in 1919, when a packed lunch of sandwiches and fruit cost three shillings (just under £8 now).

— Once free meals were the norm, the first carrier to call a halt was South West Airlines, founded in the USA in 1967. It offered free peanuts instead, calling itself ‘the peanut airline’ with ‘peanut fares’.

Ryanair went one further in cutting frills, charging €2 for a pack of peanuts.

What’s a Grecian earn?

The National Living Wage went up to £7.50 an hour for over-25s, but Jeremy Corbyn wants £10 for everyone. What’s the minimum hourly wage around Europe?

Ireland - €9.15 (£7.62)

Germany - €8.50 (£7.08)

France* - €9.66 (£8.04)

Netherlands* - €9.79 (£8.15)

Spain* - €4.17 (£3.47)

Greece* - €3.82 (£3.18)

*Paid monthly: figures presume 35-hour week

Source: EurWORK

Chemical reactions

How is the campaign to rid the world of chemical weapons going?

— The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) says that as of October 2016, 64,437 tonnes had been destroyed, amounting to 91 per cent of the world’s declared stockpile in 1993.

— Nations that still have declared stocks: Iraq, Libya, Russia, Syria and the USA.

— At the end of 2015, 24 out of 27 Syrian production facilities were functional.

— Among declared stocks worldwide are 1,656 tonnes of sarin, 1,395 of soman nerve agent and 2,451 of mustard gas.

Source: OPCW

Scrambled eggs

Cadbury and the National Trust were criticised for staging an egg hunt without the word ‘Easter’. More non-Easter events:

Spring Eggstravaganza at the Royal Academy of Arts: ‘get crafty and make your own spring-themed artworks’.

Spring Bunny Museum Trail, Haynes International Motor Museum, Yeovil, Somerset: ‘eggsplore the museum to discover all the soft-toy creatures’.

Spring Egg Hunt, Glencoe Park District, Chicago: ‘bring your basket and get ready for an egg hunt’.

Spring Bunny Hop, London Children’s Museum, London, Ontario.