Coffee House Specdata

Ten things that went badly right in Britain in 2013

20 December 2013

This was supposed to be the year of strife, strikes, misery and more. Instead, to the surprise of Britain’s politicians, things have instead gone badly right. I look at them in my Telegraph column today, and here are the top points:-

1. Crime plunges

With the austerity and the unemployment, internal government reports predicted that Brits would respond by unleashing a crimewave. Instead, recorded crime has fallen to the lowest level in 25 years:

2. We’re doing more with less

People think public services are getting better, in spite of substantial cuts in local authority spending. The doomsayers were wrong – thanks to resourceful British public servants, more is being done with less.

3. University acceptances  at record high

The decision to treble tuition fees was predicted to lead to a drop-off of university students. Instead, acceptances of university places are at an all-time high.

4. …Not just for rich kids

Last year, 60 academics wrote a letter of protest saying the decision to treble tuition fees would lead to a drop-off of university students especially from poorer families. But poorer families are exempt from the fee, and acceptances of university places are at an all-time high. The below shows university acceptance rate of 18-year olds who had qualified for free school meals.

5. The rich are being squeezed harder than any time in history

George Osborne has discovered what JFK called the “paradoxical truth” – that lower tax rates can lead to higher tax yields. The 50p rate was cut to 45p – and what happened? See below. An FoI request from The Spectator revealed earlier this year that the top 0.1 per cent – yes, the richest of the riches – now contribute more income tax than the bottom 50 per cent (who now pay less than 10pc of total income tax). Never have the lower-paid been asked for a lower share of income tax. Under a Tory Chancellor, the British income tax burden is more fairly spread than ever.

Screen Shot 2013-12-23 at 09.10.50

6. Jobs bonanza

Labour said it was ‘fantasy’ to suggest that companies would create more jobs than the government was shedding. But they did: creating two jobs for every one lost in government. Result: employment is through 30 million for the first time. And it’ll keep on going.

7. UK born employment is growing at last

Under Labour, almost all of the rise in employment was explained by more immigration. But now,  after far-reaching welfare reforms, UK-born workers make up most of the jobs rise. The link between British jobs and British dole queues is being restored and unemployment’s falling at the fastest rate in 16 years:-

8. The BNP’s dying on its feet

Unemployment is still painfully high, and when mixed with mass immigration it tends to create a political explosion. Golden Dawn is menacing Greece, Jobbik is now Hungary’s third-largest party and even the Swedes had to arrest 28 neo-Nazis this week. But in Britain, the BNP is dying on its feet. Why? It tried to hawk racism to the most tolerant country on earth.

9. The young face huge unemployment rates – but they’re not taking drugs. Or smoking.

Unemployment is sharpest amongst the young, with about a million not working or studying. But the devil is failing to make work for idle hands – they’re turning away from, not towards, drugs.

And it’s never been lonelier behind the bike shed:-

10. Sales of The Spectator

And sales of The Spectator are approaching an all-time high with a million online readers every month.  With our best-ever subscription offer (click here) More people than ever before now realise that life’s too short not to read The Spectator.


  • Al

    its a gov’t diktat post, designed to lure the general british public into a false sense of security while they line us up to be ‘raped’ by the EU/Roma/Vulgarian invasion in a few weeks time. Then a short time later they’re going to invite toney blairs mates – the Albanians.

  • Otto

    test 3

    • Picquet

      Possibly working.

  • Otto


    • Picquet

      Yep, seems to be.

  • Otto


    • Picquet

      No, it’s gone again. Try using the phone.

  • saffrin

    1) More to do with lessons learned by the police on how to avoid recording crimes and the realisation of the public in general not to bother reporting a crime as the police are unlikely to do anything about it.
    5) One shouldn’t confuse income tax with taxes paid. The poorest are still paying the highest tax, proportionately speaking.
    8) UKIP are now seen as the most credible answer to both Europe and those LibLabCon crooks.

    • Skalavagr

      The fact that UKIP are now seen as the most credible answer is proof positive that we have reached the very nadir of politics :(

      • saffrin

        Nadir from a Brussels, LibLabCon point of view.
        How dare Britiain’s voters think for themselves?

  • Otto

    To the man who has leapt out of the tenth floor window the world seems beautiful until the ground hits him.

  • Otto

    Yes, long live the bubble while it lasts. Long live the Wonga economy.

    • saffrin

      Anyone stupid enough to take out a payday loan deserves all they get.

  • Otto


    So on to Miliband in 2015.

  • Bonkim

    Recycling – waste of money – Collection costs 2 or 3X savings from landfill diversion. Overall carbon footprint also high.

  • FrankS2

    Going by the picture at the top, maybe Mr Nelson is writing about 1973.

  • FrankS2

    But surely Massey Ferguson no longer make tractors in Britain…

  • Daniel Maris

    Depends what graphs you choose to look at. I’d look at the number of 30 year olds living with their parents, the number of new houses taken by foreigners not UK citizens, the huge increase in pressure on school places, and the decline in real disposable income for average working families.

  • derekemery

    Is crime really plunging or are police fiddling their figures to makes themselves look good?

  • Raw England

    Oh, it seems I’ve landed in Utter Opposite World.

    This is so out of touch, so brain-mashingly incorrect that I think you’ve given me cancer.

  • john

    These are random benchmarks and such can always be dug up in any circumstances. (Parts of ) London are very wealthy and at the top in Europe and the world. Everywhere else in the UK is very weak and has nowhere to go economically.

  • global city

    One thing that has become painfully obvious during the recession and the Euro crisis is that too many international organisations are political, and make politically coloured statements.

  • Eddie

    Number 1 and 3 are absurd.
    Number 1, Crime plunges. Oh really? That’s thanks to better car alarms and DNA if nothing else. Some forms of crime are up – street crime, mugging etc. Also, the police spend their time arresting people for saying rude things online under silly and spurious ‘harassment’ laws instead of going after REAL criminals.

    Bad year for the police, who have been shown to be utterly incompetent, corrupt and lie-spewing (Plebgate, Hillsboro, Lawrence). So many educated professional people I know (me included) no longer trust the police. Not a good year for Plod then.

    Number 3, more students go to so-called universities. Good thing? Really? 50,000 media students graduates every year; hardly any scientists; 90% of those doing science masters degrees are foreign.

    We should REDUCE the number of students going to uni; we should close down dumbed-down unis and turn them into training colleges teaching skills, not meeja studies, women’s studies, sports studies and the rest. A dumbed down, customer-led Degrees R Us university system is NOT a good thing at all.

  • Normandee

    Are the conservatives giving gift vouchers now? if so you have just earned a bunch.Problem is they may be as reliable as an HMV voucher.

  • john

    As in virtually every other year, no progress was made towards making Britain a more democratic, equal opportunity, modern country. We still worship the Windsors and accept their self indulgence and arrogance as a traditition of our country. After 2013, we even have a Head of State lined up for the second half of this century!
    Why do we not kick these spongers out and have the testicular fortitude to choose our own Head of State? Hopefully the Scots will do a bunk and the Windsor myth will take a giant hit.

  • Lady Magdalene

    “Unemployment is still painfully high, and when mixed with mass immigration it tends to create a political explosion”
    It’s still coming Fraser. But it’s UKIP, a non-racist, patriotic, libertarian-conservative party, which is going to deliver it.
    UKIP support comes mainly from the working classes of Britain, whether they voted Conservative, Labour or LibDem in the past.
    The working classes are sick and tired of the liberal political elite and the metrosexual intelligentsia on north London sneering at them and wrecking their life chances via the EU and mass immigration.
    It’s payback time. The payback started in May 2013, in the County Council elections. It’s going to be far, far worse in May 2014 in the EU and Local Elections and it will be reinforced in May 2015 in the General Election.
    We want OUR interests put before those of the EU and 3rd world immigrants. We want OUR country back.

    • Pip

      Just another Pro Tory piece of Propaganda from Nelson which completely ignores the facts and the truth.

    • lojolondon

      Excellent post – right on the nail!

    • Franchman

      What a lot of cobblers ! UKIP may win most MEPs next year, but they have no chance in a General Election when people will vote for a party that can actually govern and has the best track record.
      The Tories will win that by a country mile.

      • Skalavagr

        Surely there is some danger that UKIP will appeal to a significant percentage of Tory voters and so reduce the overall Conservative vote?

  • Son of Hayek

    Should have resorted to QE years ago. Mr Nelson, the oligarchy have temporarily succeeded in extending a debt-fed consmer economy.

    I see lots of shops having sales – is this a healthy sign?

  • Alibarbs

    Recorded crime has gone down – if you believe this is due to anything other than the police fiddling the figures and people not bothering to report it unless they need a crime number for insurance purposes, you are not the intelligent man I always thought you to be Mr Nelson.

    • trapezium

      That graph looks almost exactly the same as the British Crime Survey, which is gathered by asking people about crime levels, rather than asking the police.

      By now, all the different surveys are pointing the same way: crime is falling pretty fast. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to ask whether the government has much to do with it but the reality is difficult to deny.

      And in any case the point is that the doom-sayers were wrong. They said we’d see crime spike and the opposite is true.

      • Alibarbs

        I hope you’re right.

      • sarahsmith232

        Crime rates, like the effects of immigration, is regional. One of the ways that the Left uses to minimise the stat’s on the impact of immigration is to talk about it in national terms. But Scotland/Wales/N.Ireland and most rural areas haven’t been dramatically negatively impacted on. So they can say ‘social housing is only taken by 2%/9% of immigrants’ ’cause they’re looking at the national figure. If looked at in London it would be more like 90%.
        Same deal with crime. Saw the Bethnal Green & Bow MP say that crime in Tower Hamlets has increased by 9% (this is in a v.v.v.high crime area already). Violent street robberies in London have prob’ been rising since ’97 but they’ll say ‘crime is in free fall, you want the prove, here’s the national numbers’. Well, I don’t doubt in aging Devon/Cornwall/Norfolk etc it prob’ is. But the crime rate should be looked at regionally. ‘Cause in some areas it’s still exploding.
        One of the Left’s con tricks, looks like the police and the Tories have cottoned on.

  • Neitherangryorscared

    7 is the best stat I’ve seen for a long time.

    5 is a false dichotomy though – the private sector jobs weren’t created because the public sector ones were shed. So it’s just as valid (and wrong) to say that if the cuts hadn’t been made there would have been 33% more jobs in existence.

  • Smithersjones2013

    1. Does anyone believe Home Office Stats anymore?
    2. Clearly a voodoo poll (people’s impressions are often so wrong)
    3. Celebrating another significant increase in the nations debt. Nice one
    5. Just in time for the Romanians and Bulgarians
    6. Just in time for the Romanians and Bulgarians to spoil the show
    7. They hate the Tories so much they are all voting Labour again to get rid of the Tories.
    8. Or they can’t afford them because of the cost of living or they are lying and in any case that has little or nothing to do with this government
    9. Or they can’t afford them because of the cost of living or they are lying and in any case that has little or nothing to do with this government
    10.Beware of internet stats. Exactly what does.

    “an all-time high with a million online readers every month”

    mean? Its not ‘unique readers’ or ‘subscribers so its likely a inflated misleading figure intended to deceive and falsely impress. because it involves a big number.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    “Instead, recorded crime has fallen to the lowest level in 25 years”
    Make that “reported crime”, because as so many have realised, Plod`s a waste of space.

  • Richard Simmons

    Number 2 Public services
    Delivery is unchanged except for refuse apparently.
    However only a minority of public sector employees do work (nurses, doctors teachers, cops , soldiers etc) that any of us would recognise as value adding.
    The majority remain a dead weight. The Kings Fund found that only one third of the funding increase under New Labour had gone directly into increasing effectiveness. Two thirds had been absorbed by salary increases and general administration.
    So this outcome is not entirely surprising. A small amount of the Michelin man fat has been trimmed without impacting delivery.
    As most corporations discover sooner or later – you can employ many fewer people and improve dramatically. Indeed – removing overcomplexity and the dead wood actually makes it easier for people do what needs to be done. Simpler and smaller really is better.
    The Government have been shamefully feeble on this – and you Fraser should beat them up more on it.

  • Noa

    Surely Fraser, upbeat Christmas message notwithstanding, as an excellent investigative journalist, it is better for you, and us, to follow a sceptical Candide’s dictum that “we must cultivate our garden”, in analysing such statistics, in lieu of the Leibnizian mantra of his teacher, Professor Pangloss, that “all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds”.

  • jasperpepper

    Re. Point 8 on drugs.
    Could it be that young people are not reporting the use of illegal drugs because they are unaware or don’t regard them as illegal? I mean, who gets prosecuted for using these days?

  • gelert

    Isn’t the fall in crime due to plod fiddling the figures ?

    • trapezium

      No, it’s not. It’s likely that Plod fiddles the figures it publishes, but the fact remains that crime is falling all over the industrialised world and the UK is no exception.

      • gelert

        Yes. In the US it’s thought to be possibly due to abortions reducing the offspring of social misfits.

        • trapezium

          That’s one of the reasons suggested, particularly by Donohue and Levitt, but far from the only one (or, in my view the most convincing).

  • itdoesntaddup

    The idea that the kids are getting high on reading The Spectator these days it at least novel. However, increases in university student numbers are not a metric of education success. Rather, it was the hints that finally school exams are becoming a little tougher that hold out more prospect of a better future. Spending more on degrees that will never pay for themselves, rather than spending on improving the lot of those cheated by the dumbed down school system is going backwards.

  • CharlietheChump

    1. UK Interest rates can only go up
    2. Europe is not fixed
    3.The US is not out of the woods – watch out for the Obama/Congress spending rematch in 2014.
    4. Watch out for China
    It’s nice we have some good things to consider but let’s not get carried away.

    • 8 Ace – £1.49

      Never be careless with your hands patting yourself on the back but let’s at least raise a glass to a bit of good, old-fashioned British gumption.

      • Hexhamgeezer

        10/10 for the moniker

        • trapezium

          As for yours… do geezers come from Hexham? I thought it was home to posh geordies.

  • psyllium

    ‘It tried to hawk racism to the most tolerant country on earth’. Don’t mistake tolerance for apathy.

    • Alexsandr

      i suspect UKIP have sucked many supporters.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …well, let’s leave their personal lives out of this.

        • sarahsmith232

          LOL, literally.

      • sarahsmith232

        Lovely, there’s an edit function. Tee Hee. Unless, that is, you MEANT that.

        • Alexsandr


          cant change it now or VG and your posts will look silly!

          • sarahsmith232

            It made me laugh, so, good on ye’.

            • Alexsandr

              i actually meant sucked. Sucked them from liblabcon.

              • sarahsmith232

                LOL, he’s to hoping for a Ukip landslide come next May.

    • Swanky

      Hear hear. And as a tri-national*, I dispute Fraser’s breezy statement that Britain is the most tolerant nation on Earth. It is certainly one of the most tolerant, but then its tolerance has not even been tested until quite recently. And any discussion of tolerance must confront, pretty much immediately, the question ‘tolerant of what‘?


      • sarahsmith232

        The Left makes zero sense when they boast about their appeal to ‘well educated, tolerant’ voters (Tessa Jowell, the Gaurd’). They seem to forget that if people are being expected to tolerate something that means their experience of it is a negative one. They’re effectively saying ‘we understand that mass immigration can’t be enjoyed so we’ll pick up the votes of those who are able to insulate themselves effectively enough to be able to tolerate it’. So, yes, that would be the ones ‘well educated’ enough to be able to afford to avoid it.
        Course,this can’t occur to them, they’ve been too brainwashed by the BBC, there are such things as anti & pro social types, the anti exists as a entirely pitiful ‘vulnerable’ ‘fearful’ uneducated group, the pro the opposite. They believe this rubbish ’cause it confirms for them that they are members of a superor group. Oxbridge educated idiots & morons.

        • Tom Tom

          Tessa Jowell, wasn’t her father a Harley Street doctor like Harriet Harmans ?

        • mark tayler

          The Tories always complain about BBC pro-Labour Bias, but never have the guts to privatise it.

    • lojolondon

      Also, the Liebour party flooded Dagenham with immigrants, so the BNP went from 12 seats to zero. I am not a BNP supporter, but that is NOT democracy, (and you have completely mis-represented the situation).

      • sarahsmith232

        Absolutely spot on. Newham went from 80% white in ’97 to 80% non in 2010. Shocking, absolutely beyond belief. Labour then boasts about taking on the BNP and winning. Unbelievable.
        One of these days I intend to find out which was the Labour MP that when in early 90s they realised that the priority needs system was favouring the recently arrived, making it impossible for English in Tower Hamlets to get housing he responded with ‘Well, they’re all racist and they vote Tory’. This is in the book ‘The New East End’, they quote him but don’t name him.
        This despicable mind set is the reason why the white working-class have been ‘disappeared’ by the Labour party in East London. They have literally been cleansed, pushed out by a deliberate policy to get shut of unreliable voters. If we lived in country with a free media this would have been revealed but we don’t, so no one knows what took place.
        Another good reason why there’s a long overdue need for such a thing as a Spectator Internet TV station. Someone, please?

        • mark tayler

          Willie Hague explicitly campaigned in the 2001 general election against Labour’s mass immigration policy to “turn Britain into a foreign land”.

          We all know the result of that general election.

          • First L

            Because certain media such as the appalling BBC attacked them as racist.

      • mark tayler

        The BNP knuckle-heads are totally unelectable. Their thuggish image has permanently toxified their brand.

  • brossen99

    This is firmly on track with the Energy Bill !

  • swatnan

    Ho! Ho Ho! merry Xmas Merry Xmas!

  • leftythinker

    LAr lar lar im not liserning.

    everthign am are is gettign worserer. it hav two if teh toryies am is in goverment. othrewis teh interlectamual underpinigns of my filoserfy am invaliduated.

    that woud not be fair.

    • dalai guevara

      Can I take you’re ferrero four a quick spin?
      That wood be fare.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Can we put you in a weighted sack and throw it in the river? We won’t even charge a fare.

      • Swanky

        You may dip into the ferrero rocher, as long as you promise not to eat them all.

  • the viceroy’s gin

    Well, as you Speccie kids have decided to continue your pleasuring of the establishment today, let’s take these in order:

    1. Crime figures continue on their long term downward trend, as the native population moves past the crime producing age demographic, as also seen elsewhere around the West. It remains to be seen whether the establishment’s freshly imported demographics wave reverses this longer term downward trend.

    2. There have been no “cuts”. No matter how often you Speccie teenagers fantasize that there have been “cuts”, your statement is false. Spending went the full Darling, and then some. Therefore, your entire premise for this poll question is false. Isn’t it time you kids got with reality on this?

    3. and 4. The longer term trend for university is to seek to increase enrollments. This would go along with the long term socialist drive to make education into an “industry”. The “industry” is thus charged to find raw materials, both domestic and foreign, and increase its sales. It doesn’t matter what’s done with the raw materials, because the “industry” is state subsidized. Classic socialist scam. Classic. Unsurprising that the socialist Speccie favors this, and the only relevant metric for them is increasing enrollments. Well done, Speccieville. You’ve perverted all legitimate concepts of higher education in the Western world.

    5. and 6. I’ll ignore these, since others seem to be dismantling your feeble attempts to prop up the meager employment numbers. They’re vulnerable in multiple ways, all of which your socialist viewpoint seems to discard.

    7. The obligatory socialist “waaaaaycism” narrative. Be vigilant, lad. Those waaaaaycists are just everywhere.

    8. The longterm decline in youth drug use continues, as elsewhere. See the crime statistics earlier. Take this one with a grain of salt, however. The demographic story is in flux, as all but you socialists understand full well.

    9. More long term demographic trends, re smoking. Best you bubble denizen establishment not be patting yourselves on the back over this, same as all the rest of the above long term trends. The premise of your blogpost is that these things are happening “unexpectedly”. However, most of what you’re clumsily cramming into this forced blogpost is well understood, having been underway for decades and decades, laddie.

    10. I’m still waiting to see your proper accounting and real subscription and advertising numbers, lad. I question whether you lot will go full-on Newsweek, after your Camerluvvie mates get dumped, and your sugar daddy gives up on the whole affair.

    • Dan Grover

      For a crazed grump who is apparently happy to threaten to murder people from behind his keyboard, your unrelenting patronising attitude suggests a woefully undeserved confidence in your own rational faculties. Anyway…

      1. “It remains to be seen” is your code for “I have no evidence at all”, right? Yeah, it does remain to be seen. Maybe the “freshly imported demographics” will also turn into shapeshifting lizards. It remains to be seen. The fact is that economic downturns are often associated with significant rises in certain things (and we’ll return to this later!), including crime – which is something we haven’t seen this time. It’s not like we have LESS people of a “crime producing age demographic” than before. You seem to be painting a picture that suggests that white Britons are naturally more criminally inclined and so, with their aging (though white British birth rates are currently higher than our death rate, so…) crime is going down. Well, OK!

      2. Of course there have been cuts. Obviously. The total spending doesn’t need to go down, does it? If you increase spending in the NHS and fund it by disbanding the RAF, is it reasonable to say there haven’t been any cuts? The poll there is asking people their attitudes to public services, a number of which are provided by local councils, almost all of which have received very significant cuts – that welfare, NHS and education spending may have gone up at the same time resulting in a net increase, that doesn’t help the public services now, does it? Yet, despite *their budgets being cut*, people aren’t reporting a decrease in quality. That’s the point, lad.

      3, 4. Again, you’ve seen the point in front of you, cocked your head, swung round on your one non-gammy leg and ran off in the other direction. The point is that those pupils from families without much money are not being put off going to university, as was suggested when the fees were raised yet again. If you don’t like the fact that people are going to university, that’s fine. It’s ok, lad. But that’s something different entirely, especially for graph four, which is based on percentage not absolute numbers. EITHERWAY I’d like to think we can agree that entrance to university should be based on ability and not income – so in what way is the increase in ability for the poor to go to university not to be welcomed. WOOSH, there goes the point, yet again. Over there. Far away.

      5, 6. Wonderful. An admission of success. Well done!

      7. Writing sentences that technically include all the words required to form a sentence doesn’t actually mean you’re saying anything. I literally have no idea what point you’re making here. You posted this 19 hours ago, it’s now 11am, so you posted at about 4pm. In fairness, that’s a good solid 5 hours into your Christmas time Brandy session for the day, and Lord knows you have nothing else to fill your Fridays with, so I can forgive this. Mazel tov.

      8, 9. With smoking, I suspect you’re correct. See – I can admit that, and it’s fine :) I’m a happy person, it’s not something I struggle with. But there’s a strong historical trend that suggests a link between poverty and drugs, and again between poverty and, uhh, recessions. So when people get poorer, the chances of them turning to drugs increases. As I said earlier re: the crime figures, it’s a trend one usually associated with recessions that we’re not seeing this time. Ergo, it’s surprising – although perhaps it’s not surprising this year specifically, since the trend hasn’t broken since the start of the recession; Really, it’s *this* which is surprising.

      10. As a shareholder, you should probably use more official channels to obtain this information.

      You *are* a shareholder, aren’t you? You must be, to have such an emotion investment in it.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        I’m always amused with your whiny rants, lad, composed in feverish response to one of my posts. You’re quite the drama queen. And good heavens, now it’s a murder mystery you’ve worked up even, this one. Anyway…

        1. I don’t speak in “codes”, lad, and I don’t “paint pictures” of “lizards” or whatever else it is you’re fantasizing. That’s for you dramatists. When demographic change is observed, it can be and often is correlated with social indicators. That’s apparently news to the likes of you, that statistics and data are brought forth, rather than your drama queen pageantry, but it’s true. As mentioned, this particular correlation has been made throughout the Western world, unbeknownst to you apparently, and is a long term trend. But maybe if you throw a long-enough whiny rant, you can reverse it.

        2. Yes, the total spending needs to go down. And in particular, it needs to go down more than brother Darling had mapped out. Neither occurred. Sorry, lad, but you’re misguided and whiny, as usual.

        3. and 4. So yes, as might be expected, you give whiny support for the socialist industrialization of higher education, creating it as an instrument and arm of leviathan government, regardless of societal/economic need or ability of the (foreign or domestic, hopefully for your schemes a lot more wealthy foreign) raw materials to the government owned industry. Let’s go ahead add you to the list of those perverting all legitimate concepts of higher education in the Western world.

        5. and 6. I’d admit that you’re a whiny drama queen, but that’s probably about it, lad.

        7. You’re a persistent whiner, I have to admit. Not original or creative, mind you, but you grab ahold of the chew toy and whimper away, with fervor.

        8. and 9. Your bleatings about statistical analysis are amusing, if ill-informed. In any event, you’re doing nobody much harm in bleating them, but the point stands that the multiple long term trends that the Speccie teenager and you are fantasizing as this year’s found gold are simply long term trends, well understood and recognized as such throughout the Western world, and any attempt to cram them into an end-of-year establishment propaganda piece are to be scorned. Not by you of course. You only seem to scorn reality, from the looks of things .

        10. Oh no, lad, unlike you, I don’t take investment in socialism, emotional or financial. But I do take grim satisfaction in seeing it corkscrew into the ground, and viewing the hysterical flailings of such as you, at the prospect.

  • asalord

    Yet another dubious paean to British nationalism from Mr Nelson.
    Thankfully Scotland will soon regain its independence.

    • HookesLaw

      Sadly for you the only prop or spur to Scottish independence was a selfish desire to corner north sea oil.
      That is down the pan and England is now rich in shale gas.
      So epic fail all round.

      • terregles2

        If the spur to Scottish independence had been only oil then it would have been voted for in the 1970’s.
        There are several of reasons for people living in Scotland wishing independence and they are not all financial reasons. I am glad that England will be rich in shale gas as it will be good to see both countries independent and prosperous.
        After Scottish independence we will be rid of Trident and the exploration for oil that the MOD banned as it was too close to the nuclear weapons can go ahead.. Previous exploration showed that the Firth of Clyde has large oil reserves. Even without oil many Scots find the idea of independence increasing attractive. Being rid of the incompetent Westminster governnment is enough for many.

        • bugalugs2

          ‘Being rid of the incompetent Westminster governnment is enough for many.’

          How sweet, there’s still someone deluded enough to think, despite the mounting evidence, that a Scottish government will be less incompetent! Ah, bless …

          • terregles2

            I am not really under any illusions about any politicians. I do not imagine that a Scottish government will not do things that many of us will dislike and I don’t expect complete competence all the time.What we will have though is more control over what type of government we elect and it will be easier to throw them out when they displease us. It makes sense to have your parliament elected by all the people living in your country.
            I think it will be good to get rid of the undemocratic House of Lords and I certainly do not relish the thought of being governed for another four years by a government led by someone like Cameron who a majority of people in Scotland voted against.

      • Smithersjones2013

        Ah well if Cameron is as inept as usual he will somehow against all the odds persuade the Scots to leave the Union and then you won’t have to bother yourself about what those Scottish rogues are up to..

    • Fergus Pickering

      It’s a King Charles’s Head with you people. We are not talking about Scotland. We rarely are.

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      As if anybody south of Berwick cares you sad little bore.

      • bugalugs2

        Lots of people south of Berwick care, we’re looking forward to repatriating back south of the border all those jobs given to Scotland as sweeties for the unproductive kiddies!

        • terregles2

          Which particular jobs did you have in mind.?

    • george

      wilful ignoring of all the opinion polls … even those of the children given the vote – the ones the snp hung its hopes on brainwashing.
      wee fat eck is a classic shyster who wraps himself in the flag and I’ll be glad when his brain dead dreams of nationhood lie in tatters.
      (ps did you guess I’ll be voting NO :o)

    • Swanky

      Is that your picture from the day you were born? It’s generally how infants look: very pink, no hair, eyes shut tight and a look of agony as if they can see their future, right there.

  • HookesLaw

    ‘But now, after far-reaching welfare reforms, UK-born workers make up most of the jobs rise’
    You need to keep preaching that.
    And your own measly mealy mouthed prognostications are why Ed and Ed might get into power. Plus the antics of the friuit loop kipper nutjopbs of course.

    • post_x_it

      Ed West ist going to be king?

    • Smithersjones2013

      You are such an embarrassment to your party.

  • RavenRandom

    Good stuff. Time for the coalition to weaponise the good news.

  • James Allen

    Just looking at a couple of these (because I don’t have time to review them all):

    1. Crime
    Recorded crime is a classic socialist method of measuring criminal activity. Two huge areas of crime, drugs and cyber-crime, go unreported because of tacit decriminalisation on the one hand and the failure of banks to inform police of fraud (for fear of scaring away customers) on the other. If you’re an enterprising criminal these days, you go online.

    2. Jobs
    4 out of 5 of all new jobs in the economy have been taken by women working fewer than 25 hours per week; 280,000 full-time workers have been forced to reduce their hours. And the number of people in employment has increased more slowly than the population.

    Just 15 minutes to check the most important of these two examples and they’re full of holes. I really expected better of the Spectator. Clearly the online platform is bad for print journalism, just as the 24hr news cycle destroys broadcast journalism.

    We live in troubling times…..

    • HookesLaw

      Such a shame the facts hurt you isn’t it.
      The point is by the same metric as under labour crime has fallen when lefties said it would increase.

      • James Allen

        My point is about the metric – catch up!

        • HookesLaw

          No – by using the same and consistent metric or measuring standard, crime has fallen. What was not recorded before – assuming it was not – is not recorded now.
          So by the metric that was used at the time of the forecast the forcast was wrong.

          Personally I would have thought that the more there was to rob, the more there is to rob; so if the wealth is in cyber space I am not surprised the criminals are after it. It hardly measures.up to a breakdown in social cohesion as predicted by lefties.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Do try and understand the difference between recorded crime and actual crime. More and more people are learning that there is no point reporting traditional crime to the useless police. They are only interested in investigating and prosecuting political incorrect crimes like writing the wrong thing on Twitter or pinching a girl’s bottom forty years ago.

            • Tom Tom

              Having had the experience I know whereof you speak. Lacking redress through the Plods makes one inclined to want a Beretta 92

            • Smithersjones2013

              You can’t report individual cases of internet crime directly to the police. You have to report it to the responsible company (Amazon, eBay, your bank etc) and they may or may not report it to the police and when they do 100 hundred iterations of the same crime might be reported as just one. In fraud terms its like saying Harold Shipman committed one murder

              Then beyond that there are the millions of attempted frauds that are just deleted and the stolen internet identities that people never learn about. In all likelihood the incidents of crimes have never been greater.

              All this propaganda about falling crime achieves is to make the Government sound ridiculously out of touch and derelict in their duties of policing various types of crime.

              • Duke_Bouvier

                So is stealing a tube of smarties that is about 50 crimes, 1 per smarty? Does it make a difference if I had promised to share the smarties with my school friends, so 50 children lost 1 smarty each? And if I in fact go and buy another tube of smarties so I can still give everyone, does it still count as 50 crimes even though I am the only person down any smarties?

          • Tom Tom

            Give Chief Constables incentive packages and before long “recorded” crime will be negative

            • Tim Reed

              They already have incentives of the PC kind.
              No grooming/rape gangs in Rochdale and elsewhere.
              If the police look away, they can’t record it, let alone deal with it.

          • James Allen

            Your point about the metric would only hold if crime were being committed in the same way now as it was before (plus a whole host of other constants), but I have mentioned two big areas where it isn’t.

          • Smithersjones2013

            More lies. The Statistics are not consistent and pretty much never have been. The metrics change regularly and over recent years a new Fraud Agency has taken over pursuing all reported fraudulent activity. Fraud figures are now reported on a separate sheet to police reported crime as they are no longer dealt with by the police constabularies.

            Whatever gripes you have about Labour, the key issue is the figures are as questionable as now as they were under Labour. They just make the Coalition look as shifty as Labour did.

            • Tom Tom

              You mean the SFO ? Very few forces have an Economic Crimes Unit and the officers they have are noddies

      • john p reid

        Its not crime falling that was pointed out in the spectator, it was recorded, reported crime was at its lowest, that’s different to crime and anyway it’s the CPS that judges if a crime is alleged to have taken place and no one is prosecuted, whether the balance of probabilities mean that an actual crime has taken place,

      • Smithersjones2013

        Indeed Labour misjudged the Home Office’s ability to fiddle the figures. They should have known better. They fiddled them enough when they were in power to know,

    • Tom Tom

      Good Comment

    • Swanky

      And we all know that part-time work tends to be poorly paid work. But employers in contemporary Britain simply can’t afford to hire the talent they could really use. (Hint: it’s not because their business models stink; it’s because they’re over-taxed and over-regulated when it comes to hiring, firing, and managing personnel.)

    • Smithersjones2013

      I think you’ll find they’ve actually hived off all the Fraud figures (finance, internet etc) to a separate Fraud agency and into a completely separate report which conveniently goes unreported unreported. Last I saw they were still well over 400,000 reported frauds despite the Government hiding behind Police surrogates such as Banks and Internet Companies which as you point out can heavily and artificially reduce the number of crimes reported.

      If ever there is a dodgy statistic its a Home office statistic.

      Of course it may well be that everyone is so skint because the standard of living is going up so much that there is nothing left to steal or even the criminals are so skint they can’t even afford to commit crime!

  • anyfool

    Everything is looking up, explain why your fellow members of the 4th estate are trying their utmost to get the two idiot Eds elected.
    There is no snippet of info no matter how irrelevant that they will not use in this pursuit.
    Your circulation might be on the up, but almost all other print is on the way down.

  • London Calling

    For once charts I like to view……….it is good news and plenty to be positive about for 2014…………Happy Christmas you filthy animals………….:) :O

  • Jez

    One of the points inserted could be to generate a passionate response (be it disclaimer filled).

    Can you guess which one it is kids?

    • Fergus Pickering

      Nope. Tell us, O wise one.

      • Jez

        I would Fergus……. but I feel a disturbance in the force.

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