History of hustings
Why are hustings called by that name?
— The word ‘hustings’ is derived from an old Norse word for ‘house of assembly’. In English it was applied to the court held by the Lord Mayor of London in Guildhall, and also to the wooden platform on which the court was held. It was later applied to the meetings at which election candidates used to be publicly nominated.
— The process involved a show of hands which gave candidates an idea of the support they might expect were a poll to be held. Candidates with little visible support would often withdraw, with the result that a candidate would be elected unopposed, rather as some Conservatives have been hoping might happen in the case of Boris Johnson. The public nomination process was abolished in 1872.
Beside the seaside
Residents of Bognor and Clacton complained after Which? magazine declared them to be Britain’s worst seaside resorts. Which are the most popular seaside towns in Britain, judged by the number who chose to go there on holiday in 2017?
What is Theresa May’s economic legacy?
Funds and games
Investors have been blocked from withdrawing money from funds run by Neil Woodford, following poor performance. How many funds outperform the market? In 2016, Standard & Poors found that in US investment funds over a 15-year period:
— 92% of funds which invested in the S&P 500 Index underperformed that index.
— 95% of funds which invested in mid-cap stocks failed to outperform their own benchmark index.
— 93% of funds which invested in small cap stock did the same.
—The least-worst performance was by fund managers who invested in global equities, where a mere 83% underperformed their benchmark index.