The Spectator

How controversial was Basic Instinct?

How controversial was Basic Instinct?
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Stone me

Boris Johnson threatened to unleash the ‘terrors of the Earth’ on an unidentified Tory MP who claimed that Labour’s deputy leader, Angela Rayner, deliberately crossed and uncrossed her legs to distract the Prime Minister at the dispatch box – in the manner of Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct. But that was just one way in which the 1992 film caused offence. It was also accused of glorifying violence, portraying negative stereotypes of gay people, making smoking glamorous and exploiting Sharon Stone, who later claimed that she had been tricked into removing her knickers for the offending scene.

Let us pay

How is the cost of living crisis beginning to bite?

– In March, 87% of households saw an increase in the cost of living compared with the previous month

23% reported that it was difficult or very difficult to pay their household bills

43% said it was difficult or somewhat difficult to afford their energy bills

30% said it was difficult or somewhat difficult to pay other housing costs

One third of renters said their rent had increased over the past six months

17% said they were borrowing more money than last year

Source: Office for National Statistics

Journey times

How have travel patterns changed since the pandemic? Percentage of journeys of various modes of transport on Wednesday 13 April compared with the pre-pandemic average for Wednesdays:

Cars 90%

Light commercial vans 108%

HGVs 106%

National rail 74%

Tube 64%

London buses 79%

Buses outside London 65%

Cycling 125%

Source: Transport for London

On the move

House prices have risen sharply, but what about the number of houses changing hands? Housing transactions by year in the UK:

2014/15 1.2m

2015/16 1.32m

2016/17 1.15m

2017/18 1.21m

2018/19 1.19m

2019/20 1.17m

2020/21 1.20m

2021/22 1.37m

Source: HMRC