The Spectator

Barometer | 16 March 2017

Also in our Barometer column: Hitler’s referendums; Scotland’s referendums; who works from home

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Mary Queen of Golf?

The vote by the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers to admit women as members has reawakened speculation as to who was the first woman to play golf.

—According to legend, Mary Queen of Scots played the game at St Andrews and coined the phrase ‘caddy’ when referring to the cadet who was carrying her clubs. Yet the evidence seems to relate to a charge made by her opponents that she played golf within days of the death of her husband, Lord Darnley.

— A more realistic candidate appeared in the Caledonian Mercury, an Edinburgh newspaper, in 1738, which reported two women playing a game at Bruntsfield Links; a ‘charming Sally’ won.

Hitler’s referendums…

The author Ian McEwan said that the EU referendum reminded him of Nazi-era plebiscites. What referendums did Hitler hold and what were the results?

On withdrawal from the

League of Nations, 1933

95% yes

Merging the posts of Chancellor

and President, 1934

88% yes

Reunification of Saar region

with Germany, 1935

91% yes

Approval for military occupation

of the Rhineland, 1936

99% yes

Approval for Anschluss between

Germany and Austria, 1938

99% yes

…and Scotland’s

Nicola Sturgeon is to seek a second referendum on Scottish independence. When it comes to the votes on independence in 2014 (asking Yes/No to independence) and the EU referendum last year, how is Scotland divided?

Voted No and Remain


Voted No and Leave


Voted Yes and Remain


Voted Yes and Leave


Did not vote in one or both


Source: YouGov

Who stays home?

A professor giving an interview on the BBC was interrupted by his children, showing the perils of working at home. A snapshot of Britain’s home workers:

— In 2014 the Office for National Statistics recorded 4.2m as working from home, 13.9% of the population.

2.9m worked almost exclusively in their ‘home or grounds’, the rest in other places, too. This included 69,000 farmers.

— After farming, for men the commonest homeworking occupation is ‘property, housing and estate managers’ (22,000); for women, childminding (69,000).