In the week after the schools went back in England and Wales, an extra 538 people died (77 a day). Over the previous five years, an average of 8720 people had died that week in September, but this year the number surged to 9258. How many more would be dead by Christmas? The next week there was a lull: only 289 excess deaths. But then the universities returned, and the excess mortality count doubled. In the week ending 25 September, 574 more people had died each day. There was a drop to 319 excess deaths the following week, and then a rise to 678 (97 a day). On and on it went, week after week after week. Almost five thousand excess deaths were recorded between the schools going back and the start of December. The year was 2015 and most people weren’t paying attention. No one read the numbers out.
I used to be a republican, but that was before Brexit. What does Britain have that the other countries of Europe will still want access to after we leave the EU? Banking will be safer away from ‘offshore London’. There are other places in the world besides Sellafield that can store spent nuclear fuel. The most expensive higher education in the world is unlikely to attract so many overseas students, its lure and decline mirroring that of Swiss finishing schools after their 1980s heyday.