The Spectator

Barometer | 28 July 2016

Also in Barometer: the Olympics in numbers, and is there such a thing as the silly season?

Capitalist faces

A report by the Business and Pensions select committees described Philip Green as the ‘unacceptable face of capitalism’. That was a description first coined by Edward Heath as Prime Minister in 1973 and applied to Tiny Rowland.
— Rowland at the time was engaged in a boardroom battle with fellow directors of Lonrho, the mining conglomerate of which Rowland was managing director. They accused Rowland of making decisions without consulting them. Rowland, for his part, dismissed non-executive directors as ‘Christmas tree decorations’.
— Rowland had also offended Heath’s government by breaching sanctions against Rhodesia, then under unofficial independence declared by Ian Smith.

Olympic boycotts

Russia narrowly avoided being banned entirely from the Olympics in Rio. Bans and boycotts used to be far more common. How has the number of participating countries grown?

1960 Rome 83
1964 Tokyo 93
1968 Mexico City 112
1972 Munich 121
1976 Montreal 92 (African boycott)
1980 Moscow 81 (US-led boycott over Afghanistan)
1984 Los Angeles 140 (Soviet bloc retaliatory boycott)
1988 Seoul 159
1992 Barcelona 169
1996 Atlanta 197
2000 Sydney 199
2004 Athens 201
2008 Beijing 204
2012 London 204
2016 Rio de Janeiro 206

The price of the Games

Not everything is going up in price. Estimated cost of the Olympic Games

Athens 2004 $15 bn
Beijing 2008 $40 bn
London 2012 $12 bn
Rio de Janeiro 2016 $11 bn

Do silly seasons still exist?

Is there still a ‘silly season’? Government press releases by month in 2015

June 881
July 925
August 628
September 895
October 824
November 908
December 834

(The present government was not formed until 8 May.)

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