Magazine article The Spectator

Barometer

Magazine article The Spectator

Barometer

Article excerpt

Having it so good

Lord Young was forced to resign as an adviser to David Cameron after claiming that people in Britain 'had never had it so good'. The phrase is associated with Harold Macmillan, who used it in 1957, but he was echoing the 1952 US presidential election slogan of the Democrat Adlai Stevenson:

'You never had it so good.'

-The Republican, Dwight Eisenhower, attacked Stevenson's claim in a powerful TV commercial: 'Can that be true, when America's billions in debt, when prices have doubled, when taxes break our backs and when we're still fighting in Korea?'

-Stevenson lost the popular vote 45 per cent to 55 per cent.

School holidays

A report this week from Teach First suggested that school holidays in England should be shortened. How do British holidays compare internationally? Typical school holiday time a year, in weeks:

South Korea 8

Australia, Italy, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Singapore, Sweden 12

South Africa 13

England, Wales and Scotland, Germany, New Zealand, Switzerland 14

Hungary 15

Canada, France, Ireland, USA 16

Japan, Spain 17

Source: International Review of Curriculum and Assessment Frameworks

Murder rates

The killing of a British woman, Anni Dewani, on honeymoon in Cape Town, has led to renewed comment on the level of South Africa's murder rate. …

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