The Spectator

Barometer | 17 April 2019

Barometer | 17 April 2019
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Embassy endurance

Julian Assange was thrown out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London, seven years after seeking sanctuary from extradition proceedings. But there are people who have hidden longer in embassies:

— Jozsef Mindszenty, a Hungarian cardinal, spent 15 years in asylum in the US embassy in Budapest. He had served eight years in jail for opposing the communist regime but was freed during the Hungarian uprising in 1956. In 1971, he was allowed to leave Hungary to live in exile in Austria.

— Berhanu Bayeh, Ethiopian foreign minister between 1986 and 1989, has been sheltering in the Italian embassy in Addis Ababa since 1991, when his government was overthrown by the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front.

The rent gap

The government announced plans to give tenants in the private rental sector more security. How do private tenants measure up compared with social housing tenants?

SOCIAL / PRIVATE

Lived in property

less than a year

8.3% / 25.4%

Lived in property more than five years

62.7% / 25.1%

In full-time work

29.5% / 62.9%

Retired

27.2% / 8.6%

Unemployed

7.3% / 3.6%

Living with children

33.3% / 36.8%

Median weekly income

£354 / £614

Source: Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

Legal aid ledger

It was reported that Shamima Begum, who left Britain as a 15-year-old to fight Isis and who has since been deprived of her British citizenship, has been awarded legal aid. Where does the legal aid budget go?

— In 2017/18, £1.64 billion was spent on legal aid.

— £887 million of that went on criminal cases and £707 million on civil cases.

— Of the £887 million on criminal cases, £269 million was spent on cases in magistrates’ courts.

— £126 million was spent on solicitors’ advice in police stations.

— £17 million went on advice and representation regarding prison law.

Source: Ministry of Justice

Easter tidings

How often is Easter as late as 21 April?

Easter fell on 23 April in 2000 and 24 April in 2011. We will have to wait until 2030 for it to fall as late as it does this year. In 2038, it will fall on 25 April — the latest possible date and last seen in 1943.

— Easter more commonly falls on it latest possible date, however, than it does on its earliest possible date – 22 March. That last occurred in 1818 and will not occur again until the year 2285.