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Average number of ships negotiating the Straits of Dover at any given time: 500

Merchant vessels which sank in 1991: 111

Secret companies registered in the British Virgin Islands in 1986: 5,000

In 1992: 65,000

Summer season flight slots allocated at Heathrow Airport in 1985: 171,000

In 1990: 232,075

Throughput of passengers at Brussels airport in 1987: 6,400,000

Forecast throughput in 2000 with new hub-and-spoke scheduling: 25,000,000

Proportion of the EC's poor to be found in Great Britain: 1/4

Earth summit treaties agreeing to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 60 per cent: 0

Estimated numbers of Amazon basin natives in AD 1500: 20,000,000

In 1992: 200,000

UK industrial sites where an accident could cause a major public emergency: 289

Percentage increase in English dentists since 1979: 29

Estimated grams of carcinogenic petrochemicals ingested each day by typical Briton: 0.5

Average electors per Welsh parliamentary constituency in 1962: 50,125

In 1992: 58,383

Sources: BBC Radio 5; O M Lewis/Lloyds List; File on Four, BBC Radio 4; ibid; HM Monopolies & Mergers Commission; ibid; SWA; ibid; John Pilger/New Statesman & Society; New Scientist; Private Eye; ibid; Dept of Employment (off-site emergency plan required); Dept of Health; Simon Wolff/New Scientist; Dept of Health; ibid.