The Spectator

Barometer | 12 October 2017

Also in Barometer: Theresa May’s place in history, how Catalonia measures up as a nation

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Cheat sheets

The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education wants universities to catch out more students who buy essays online. How much do cheats pay for this service?

— 1,000 words in seven days to 1st standard £103. Also offers 2:1 standard for £74 and 2:2 standard for £57. This website offers a refund if you don’t get the promised grade.

—A rival site offers a 1st standard essay in seven days from just £18.99, with £13.99 for a 2.1 and £11.99 for a 2.2.

— From £16.18 per page on a site which says ‘compare our prices with those set by solicitors, barristers, doctors or accountants’.

Falling short

Where would an early exit leave Theresa May in the prime ministerial ranks?

— Eight have had shorter terms, most recently Sir Alec Douglas-Home, who served three days short of a year in 1963/64.

— If May survives until 29 October she will overtake the Duke of Grafton.

— On 21 April 2018 she will overtake Sir Anthony Eden.

— To outlast Gordon Brown she must serve until 28 May 2019.

More in store

Insurance firm Aviva claims store-based retail will decline as people buy more online. But are shops really dying? In the first half of 2017 there was a net loss of 659 chain outlets, but independent stores grew by a net 762: 14,419 opened and 13,657 shut.

Fastest growing sectors



Beauty salons






Mobile phone shops


Fastest shrinking sectors

Women’s clothes




Electrical goods


Public houses/inns


Shoe shops


Source: Local Data Company/British Independent Retailers’ Association

Nation stakes

How would Catalonia measure up as an independent European country?

Population 7.48 million: 21st, behind Austria and Belarus, ahead of Denmark.

Area 32,108 sq km: 34th, behind Switzerland and Moldova, ahead of Belgium and Macedonia.

GDP $260 bn: 15th, behind Denmark, and Austria; ahead of Ireland and Finland.

GDP per capita $34,700: 15th, just behind France, just ahead of Italy.

Source: Catalonia Statistics Institute, IMF