The Spectator

Barometer | 17 March 2012

Heated debate

Eric Joyce, MP for Falkirk, was fined and given a community order for butting a fellow MP in a Commons bar. Which countries’ national and regional assemblies are the most violent, according to the number of videos posted online over the past four years?

Country Number of fights
Ukraine 6
Taiwan, South Korea 6
Italy, India 3
Russia, Somalia 2
Argentina, Germany, Georgia, Israel, USA 1


On tap

Rising water bills have not resulted in enough investment to prevent a hosepipe ban. Are water bills higher in places with less rainfall?

Typical annual household
water cost (200 Megalitres)
Annual rainfall (mm)
€166 Rome 802
€220 Madrid 438
€372 Oslo 863
€402 Brussels 794
€498 London 611
€524 Paris 607
€616 Amsterdam 831
€908 Copenhagen 589

Source: Iagua/

Basket case

The Office of National Statistics has updated the basket of goods used for the calculation of its inflation indices based on its assessment of our shopping habits. What is coming in and what is going out?

In: Hot oat cereal, soft continental cheese, pineapple, four-can pack of stout, takeaway chicken and chips

Out: Candy-coated chocolate, casserole dish, step ladder, outdoor adventure boots, annual leisure centre membership

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A little of what you fancy…

It was reported that eating two slices of bacon a week can increase the risk of dying from cancer by 16 per cent. Here are some other things blamed for an increased risk of cancer over the past 12 months:
— Wine (two glasses a day said to treble risk of mouth cancer)
— Contraceptive pill
— Growing up on a farm
— Being tall
— Sitting down
— Eating white bread or pasta
— Vitamin E supplements
— Swimming in chlorinated water
— Cheese
— Grapefruit

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