If Alex Salmond is cutting bureaucracy, why does he have so many quangos?

Plus: What readers really think of Of Mice and Men, and Britain’s last third-party election win

31 May 2014

9:00 AM

31 May 2014

9:00 AM

Escape committees

An LSE/Institute for Government report estimated the cost of Scottish independence at £2.7 billion, a sum arrived at by multiplying the 180 bodies which would need to be set up by £15 million. The SNP challenged the claim, saying it planned to set up a ‘slimmed-down’ administration. A reminder of some of the quangos already run by the Scottish government:
— Scottish Agricultural Wages Board
— Bus Users Complaints Tribunal
— Rent Assessment Panel for Scotland
— Scottish Advisory Committee on Distinction Awards
— Hill Farming Advisory Committee for Scotland
— Scottish Records Advisory Committee
— Fisheries (Electricity) Committee

Independent variables

While support for Ukip has been growing, what has happened to opinion polls of British membership of the EU?

Nov 2012 56%
July 2013 46%
March 2014 39%
May 2014 37%
Nov 2012 30%
July 2013 36%
March 2014 41%
May 2014 54%

Sources: Opinium/Observer; YouGov/Channel 5; YouGov; Ipsos/Mori

Mouse trap

Michael Gove wants to drop American classics such as To Kill a Mockingbird and Of Mice and Men from the English syllabus and replace them with works by British authors. A spokesman said Mr Gove ‘really dislikes’ Of Mice and Men. Where do these books feature in polls of readers’ top 100 books?

To Kill a Mockingbird
BBC listeners’ poll (2003) 6th 7th 5th 39th
Of Mice and Men
BBC listeners’ poll (2003) 52nd 39th

Election returns

The last time a party other than Labour or the Conservatives failed to win the popular vote in a national election was in the 1906 general election. How did the country vote then?

Liberal 2,565,644
Conservative 2,278,076
Labour 254,202
Irish Parliamentary 33,231
Independent Conservative 26,183
Independent Labour 18,886
Social Democratic Federation 18,446
Scottish Workers Party 14,877
Free Trader 8,974

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