The Spectator

How violent are prisons?

Name calling

Springwatch presenter Gillian Burke says she finds it ‘jarring’ to call animals by their English names, preferring Swahili. Some popular Swahili translations:

– Elephant: tembo/ndovu

– Giraffe: twiga

– Lion: simba

– Hyena: fisi

– Hippopotamus: hippopotamus

– I’m fed up of paying for a TV licence: Nimechoka kulipa leseni ya TV

Full Marx

A Labour politician named Karl Peter Marx Wardlow was elected as a councillor in Stockport. The fondness for left-wing parents to name their children after their political heroes is most obvious in Keir Starmer – his first name is also shared with Keir Mather, who won the Selby and Ainsty by-election for Labour last year. What were the most popular names of left-wing heroes used for boys’ names last year? Number of boys registered with the name:

Anthony 269

Tony 33

Aneurin 23

Karl 23

Clement 17

Harold 13

Gordon 10

Keir 6

Ramsay 4


Hard cell

How violent are prisons? Here are some annual figures for the past couple of years:


No. of assaults on staff per 1,000 prisoners 92 

Prisoner-on-prisoner assaults per 1,000 185

Acts of self-harm per 1,000 733

Self-inflicted deaths (total) 85

Barricades 1,372

Escapes 8


No. of assaults on staff per 1,000 prisoners  97

Prisoner-on-prisoner assaults per 1,000 163

Acts of self-harm per 1,000 694

Self-inflicted deaths (total) 85

Barricades 1,273

Escapes 12

Source: Ministry of Justice

Variety show

How are efforts to promote biodiversity of animal species in England going? Percentage of species between 2017 and 2022 as against between 1970 and 2022:


Strong decrease 27% 

Weak decrease 10% 

Little change 15% 

Weak increase 8% 

Strong increase 40%


Strong decrease 21%

Weak decrease 16%

Little change 28%

Weak increase 12%

Strong increase 22%

Source: Defra