The Spectator

Barometer | 27 July 2017

Also in Barometer: beware the £256,000 ground rent and how many people change gender?

But me no butts

Boris Johnson, being taught a Maori head-to-head greeting, joked that it might be ‘misinterpreted in a pub in Glasgow’. But did he offend the wrong city? In 2007 the OED appealed for details on the origin of ‘Glasgow kiss’, meaning a headbutt. Then, its earliest known first use was in the Financial Times in 1987, whereas ‘Liverpool kiss’ (meaning the same thing) was traced back to 1944. The appeal pushed back the Glasgow first use, but only by five years to 1982, when the Daily Mirror said: ‘Glasgow has its own way of welcoming people… there is a broken bottle gripped in the first of greeting. Or there’s the Glasgow kiss — a sharp whack on the nose with the forehead.’

More equal than others

After the BBC pay uproar, how does the UK fare globally in gender equality issues?

Scores out of 144: one is the most equal

Enrolment, tertiary education 1
Literacy rate 1
Women in Parliament 43

Labour force participation 48
Women in ministerial positions 49

Wage equality for similar work 52
Professional and technical work 72

Earned income 92

Source: World Economic Forum

Switch trials

The government wants to make it easier to change sex, possibly by allowing self-declaration of gender. How many people use the present system, which is governed by the Gender Recognition Panel?
— Between January and March this year, it decided on 64 of 112 applications received, 56 of which resulted in the issue of a full Gender Recognition Certificate.
— Of these, 42 were male at birth and 14 were female.
Four of the applicants were married, 50 were single and two were status unknown.

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