A magpie-like stash of random figures and quotes posted on this blog as SocialStat and SocialSpeak
1 in 6 people in the UK is illiterate. Source: National Literacy Trust.
56, the number of years since political conferences were first televised.
1967, the year the term ‘quango’ was first used (‘quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisation’) by the Carneige Foundation’s Alan Pifer.
£100bn, the deficit faced by the Treasury in 1433 (in today’s money) after war with France.
13, the number of conspirators, including Guy Fawkes, who plotted to blow up parliament in 1605.
1922,the year the National Union of Students was founded.
1987, the year Princess Diana held the hand of an Aids patient.
£100m, what councils asked the government for to repair roads after last year’s severe weather.
£8,000, amount of dodgy booze seized by West Sussex County council, destined 2010 festive black market
4, amount of police officers uncovered publically posing as eco activists
74, Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi’s place in last year’s Forbes worldwide rich list
8,000, the estimated number of people marching against cuts in the May 11 Hardest Hit protest
1983, Birth of the McDonald’s Chicken McNugget
£60bn, the amount the Charities Aid Foundation estimates could be raised if UK billionaires adopted a Bill Gates-style “giving pledge”
1.5m, number of people in the UK with a learning disability
£100m, the cost of insurance claims after the riots
40,000, total volunteers involved in the Notting Hill Carnival
£36,000, the cost of a degree for non-Scottish students at Edinburgh
500,000, the amount of “delay minutes” Network Rail estimates is caused each autumn by leaves falling on the line
$10bn, value of transactions in a single year in the global bartering market
19, the years between Stephen Lawrence’s 1993 murder and the 2012 conviction of two of the original suspects
9 months, the “grace period” for families affected by the £26,000 welfare cap, allowing them to adapt to benefits loss
164.9, millimetres of rain that fell in the UK during spring last year
40,000, the number of “toolkits” handed out to those organising of street parties for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee
6, average daily hours British teens spend looking at screens at home
£100m, amount London West End shoppers spent on Nov 25th, a “traffic-free” shopping Saturday
“It isn’t so much that hard times are coming; the change observed is mostly soft times going.” Groucho Marx.
“Nothing that is morally wrong can be politically right.” William Gladstone.
“Rule No. 1: Never lose money. Rule No. 2: Never forget rule No. 1.” Warren Buffet.
“Most men love money and security more, and creation and construction less, as they get older.” JM Keynes.
“If it bleeds, we can kill it”. California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (in the movie Predator).
“When you see all that rhetorical smoke billowing up from the Democrats, well ladies and gentleman, I’d follow the example of their nominee; don’t inhale.” Ronald Regan.
“A riot is the language of the unheard”. Martin Luther King.
“Crushed tower block, mixed with soil, makes a very good basis for growing roses.” Prince Charles.
“A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water.” Carl Reiner.
“An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.” Author Bill Vaughan.
“Donnie Brasco: You think I’m a rat…? Lefty: How many times have I had you in my house? If you’re a rat, then I’m the biggest mutt in the history of the Mafia. .” From the undercover cop film Donnie Brasco.
“Italy is now a great country to invest in… today we have fewer communists and those who are still there deny having been one. Another reason to invest in Italy is that we have beautiful secretaries… superb girls.” Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi, 2003.
“We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons.” Mad magazine’s Alfred E Newman.
“I would never lie. I willfully participate in a campaign of misinformation.” Agent Fox Mulder, The X-Files.
“Never respect men merely for their riches, but rather for their philanthropy; we do not value the sun for its height, but for its use.” US journalist and abolitionist Gamaliel Bailey.
“I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma.” Singer Eartha Kitt.
“I can guarantee your privacy.” Phone-hacking whistleblower and ex-News of the World staffer Paul McMullan, offering Hugh Grant a quiet room in his rural pub, unaware the actor was taping him.
“Your wife has a very good left hook, Mr Murdoch.” Labour MP Tom Watson after a protestor assaulted Rupert Murdoch with a foam pie.
“I remember David Cameron saying “hug a hoodie” but I haven’t seen him doing it, why would he? Hoodies don’t vote, they’ve realised it’s pointless…” Russell Brand on the riots.
“It’s the poster child for multicultural London.” Samenua Sesher, Kensington and Chelsea council head of culture, on the Notting Hill Carnival.
“A professor is someone who talks in someone else’s sleep.” W.H. Auden
“No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face.” John Donne
“A tree’s a tree. How many more do you need to look at?” Ronald Regan
“Gullible simpletons” Doreen Lawrence’s description (to the original inquiry into her son Stephen’s death) of how investigating officers had treated her and her husband
“It’s better to be a pirate than to join the Navy.” Steve Jobs
“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘let’s party!’” Robin Williams
“A clear conscience fears nothing.” Queen Elizabeth I.
“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” Groucho Marx.
“I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph.” Shirley Temple