CAPTAIN MOONLIGHT:Best of trends . . . a word to the spies . . . agony in Oz

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The Independent Online
LAST week saw the publication of the Government's annual statistical snapshot of the nation, Social Trends, containing lots of figures, graphs, percentages and tables indicating the state of Britain today. Intimidated, but anxious for knowledge, y ou will, of course, be looking to the Captain for the thoughtful analysis and guidance which are his hallmark and which have proved so invaluable in the past. I will not disappoint you. Here follow Captain Moonlight's Five Most Fascinating Findings About Britain Today.

1) How long would it take a married man on average hourly adult earnings across all industries and services with a non-earning wife and two children under 11 to earn enough to pay for 1lb of pork sausages? Ten minutes. For a Ford Escort? 1,787 hours and 56 minutes.

2) Each person in England and Wales consumes nearly eight gallons of water a day. Nearly a third of that is used for flushing lavatories (the Government uses the term "toilet", but I would advise against that, although there are no figures for comparative usage). Captain's advice: think before you flush.

3) 64,000 people moved from the South-east to the South-west in 1993, while 51,000 moved from the South-west to the South-east. Nobody else moved much. Captain's conclusion: something is going on. No wonder the M25 is so busy.

4) According to Table 12.6, page 204, there are no Black Caribbean, Black African, Black Other, Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi or Chinese motorcyclists in London. Captain's query: how can they tell who is what under those helmets?

5) The highest primary clear-up rate in 1993 was achieved by the Gwent Constabulary, in Wales; the lowest by the Metropolitan Police. Captain's recommendation: swap these two forces round.