The Spectator

Barometer | 13 July 2017

Also in Barometer: who finds all the lost golf balls, and the long, slow death of coal mining

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The joy of Sixtus

Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg and his wife announced the birth of their sixth child, a son called Sixtus Dominic Boniface Christopher. But is that appropriate?

— A sixth child ought to be ‘Sextus’. Five popes were called Sixtus but the name is believed to derive from a Greek word meaning ‘polished’.

— Among the living, there is Sixtus Henry of Bourbon-Parma, whom some believe to be the rightful monarch of Spain, and Sixtus Preiss, a Viennese hip-hop artist whose work includes Samba Feelin Beein This, Trilingual Dance Sexperience and, appropriately, given the Tory performance in the general election, What a Fine Mess We’ve Made of This.

Mine decline

Jeremy Corbyn addressed a record Durham Miners’ Gala crowd, estimated at 200,000. How many might have been miners? Coal industry employment over the years:

1920 (peak employment)


1945 (Labour’s post-war victory)


1964 (election of Harold Wilson)


1973 (three-day week)


1984 (miners’ strike)


1997 (election of Tony Blair)


2015 (last UK deep coal mine closes)


Source: ONS

Employ yourself

The Taylor Review into work practices was published. Which industries have the highest number of self-employed workers?



Professional, scientific and

technical activities


Wholesale, retail and repair of motor vehicles


Admin and Support Service


Transport and storage


Old balls please

The owner of a golfing company was jailed for manslaughter after the death of an amateur diver he had paid between £20 and £40 a day to retrieve golf balls from a lake. (Professional divers would have cost £1,000 a day.) How many golf balls must you find to make a living from it?

—A pack of 40 secondhand Titleist NXT Tour golf balls costs £12.99 online.

—At that rate, ignoring costs, you need to find 23 balls an hour to earn the equivalent of the national minimum wage.

—There are lots to find; US golfers lose 300 million golf balls a year, says CNN.

— Texas-based claims to find and sell between 40 million and 50 million a year. It has 50 full-time staff.