The Spectator

Barometer | 21 September 2017

Also in Barometer: Scotland’s disappearing snow patches; when politics was on a roll

Roll up, roll up

Party conferences this year revolve around the familiar settings of Bournemouth, Brighton and Manchester. But one party used to be more adventurous.
— For its first conference in 1981 the newly formed Social Democratic Party (SDP) opted to have a rolling conference with meetings in Perth, Bradford and London, with the entourage travelling between them (to quote the Conservative Research Department) ‘rather like Trotsky in his armoured train’.
— The following year the train rolled between Cardiff, Derby and Great Yarmouth, but broke down between Peterborough and Ely on the last leg.
— The travelling conference was then abandoned, but during its last assembly as a major party in 1989, leader David Owen gave his speech on the seafront at Scarborough due to a bomb scare.

Euro millions

How much do we send to the EU per week?

£350 million gross contribution excluding rebate (due to rise to £375 million by 2019).
£235 m gross contribution minus rebate.
£155 m gross contribution minus rebate and EU funding of UK public projects.
£106 m gross contribution minus all EU money spent in UK, such as farm payments.

Last orders

Wayne Rooney was banned from driving for two years, fined £170 and given 100 hours of community service for drink-driving. In addition to disqualification, how are drink-drivers punished?
— In 2015 there were 37,578 convictions, 30,357 of them male and 7,007 female. This compared with 72,127 a decade earlier.

Fines 76%
Community orders 16%
Suspended sentence 3%

Immediate custody 2%
Conditional discharge 0.5%
Absolute discharge 0.2%


Melting point

The final surviving snow patch from last winter in the Scottish Highlands was reported to be on the point of melting — for only the sixth time in 300 years. How many snow patches have survived from winter to winter in recent years?

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