Tensions in the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Jamaica led some to speculate that the Commonwealth might not long survive the present Queen’s reign. Who came up with the idea of naming the successor organisation to the British Empire after a term first used by Oliver Cromwell?
– Lord Rosebery is recorded as referring to a ‘Commonwealth of nations’ in 1884, a decade before he became prime minister.
– The term was first used officially in the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900, which established a federation of British colonies.
– The idea of a British Commonwealth first surfaced at the 1926 Imperial Conference.
– The word ‘British’ was dropped in 1949.
The Russian stock market partially reopened. Remarkably, there are still some companies listed on the MOEX index which made their investors large profits in the year to 25 March (although not all are available for trading). Percentage increases:
Ashinskiy Metzavad 157%
GK Salmolet 106%
Korporatsiya Vsmpo Avisma 67%
Phos Agro 64%
The Chancellor cut fuel duty by 5 pence. How much of a litre of fuel is now tax?
– For unleaded petrol, 49% of the price is now tax. For diesel, the corresponding figure is 47%. This is the lowest proportion over the past decade.
– It was highest in February 2016, when oil prices were low. Then, 73.6% of the cost of a litre of petrol and 74% of the cost of a litre of diesel was tax.
Source: RAC Foundation
How are British butterflies bearing up?
– Of 56species, 36 saw numbers increase and 19 saw a decrease in 2021.
– Over the past decade, 7 species have seen a significant increase and none have seen a decrease.
– In the longer term, 19 species have seen a decline and 16 an increase.
– The species which did best in 2021 were Painted Lady (+378%), Glanville Fritillary (+104%) and Brown Hairstreak (+91%).
– Those which did worst were Clouded Yellow (-64%), Holly Blue (-50%) and Cryptic Wood White (-47%).
Source: UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme
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