The Spectator

When did the anti-vaxx movement begin?

When did the anti-vaxx movement begin?
iStock
Text settings
Comments

No vax

There is nothing new about the anti-vax crowds supporting Novak Djokovic. Organised protest in Britain began with the formation of the Leicester Anti-Vaccination League in 1869. Vaccination of children against smallpox had been compulsory since 1853, but faith in the vaccine plummeted with an epidemic which erupted in the city in spite of vaccination — 314 died from the disease in 1871/72. There was also increasing anger at the jailing of vaccine refuseniks, 61 of whom were imprisoned between 1869 and 1884. Thousands gathered on 23 March 1885 for an anti-vaccination march from the Temperance Hall to the Market Place. In 1898 the law was revised to allow conscientious objection.

Power and the purse

Which countries have the most expensive electricity for domestic consumers?

Price ($) per kWh

Germany 0.39

Bermuda 0.37

Denmark 0.34

Belgium, Portugal 0.32

Cayman Islands, Bahamas 0.31

Cape Verde 0.30

Ireland, Japan 0.29

Barbados, Cyprus 0.28

Italy, UK 0.27

Source: electricrate.com

Lie of the land

The government announced agricultural subsidies for ‘rewilding’. How much agricultural land is there in England and how was it being used on 1 June last year?

Hectares

Total agricultural area 9.37 million

Utilised agricultural area 8.83 million

Croppable area 4.86 million

Under crop on 1 June 2021 3.88 million

Permanent grassland 3.56 million

Temporary grassland 756,000

Woodland (on farms) 382,000

Fruit/vegetables 119,000

Outdoor pigs 12,000

There are a total of 13 million hectares of land in England, so around 68 per cent is currently farmed in some way.

Source: Defra

Medical recruitment

How have NHS staffing levels in England changed during the pandemic?

Oct 2019 / Oct 2021

Clinical staff 595,249 / 640,271

Doctors 116,860 / 127,740

Consultants 49,010 / 52,501

Nurses/health visitors 295,209 / 316,362

Clinical support staff 340,362 / 372,617

Source: NHS Digital