blueprint media

Month: April, 2015

Chinese or French Sir?

China now devotes more land – 799,00 hectares – to growing grapes for wine-making than France – 792,000 hectares – according to the International Organisation of Vine and Wine.

Since 2000, the percentage of the world’s vineyards located in China has risen from 3.9 per cent to 10.6 per cent, while France has seen its share drop from 11.5 per cent to 10.5 per cent.

France remains, however, the biggest producer of wine in the world and made the most money – £5.5 billion – from selling its wine abroad.

Source: Andrew Trotman, Daily Telegraph, 28 April 2015
blueprint brief – 29th April 2015


Euro Stallers

As emotions rage over the UK’s future in the European Union, some political parties are offering a referendum on the country’s membership.

You would have to be celebrating your 58th birthday before the 5th of June this year to have participated in the 1975 referendum – which asked whether or not the UK should continue as a member of what was then called the European Economic Community.

Just over 67 per cent of the electorate voted in favour.

Source: Wikipedia
blueprint brief – 22nd April 2015

Death Count

According to the NatCen British Social Attitudes Survey, supporters of the death penalty – at 48 per cent – are a minority for the first time.

Abroad, 85 per cent of Japanese people in 2010, 63 per cent in the USA in 2014 and 52 per cent of Russians also in 2014 favoured the death penalty.

Only 45 per cent in France in 2007 and 29 per cent of Finns in 2006 were so minded.

Source: Barometer, Spectator, 4 April 2015.
Blueprint brief – 15th April 2015


The Masters Golf Championships is just getting under way in Augusta, Georgia.

Alongside the US PGA and the US and British Open Championships, the four competitions represent golf’s Grand Slam.

No one has won all four in the same year.

Bobby Jones, a lawyer by profession, won four equivalent championships – the US and British Amateur Championships and the US and British Open Championships – in 1930.

Jones backed himself to win the Grand Slam at odds of 50—1 and, as an added bonus, collected $60,000, today’s equivalent of $11 million.

Source: Roger Alton, The Spectator, 4 April 2015.
blueprint brief – 8th April 2015

Franchise Follies

The first past the post electoral system depends upon single member constituencies with approximately the same number of electors in each.

How to explain then, to take but one example, that in 2010 the 110,924 electors in the Isle of Wight elected a single MP as did the 21,837 electors in Na h-Eileanan an Iar (formerly the Western Isles)?

Source: Michael Pinto-Duschinsky, Standpoint magazine, April 2015
blueprint brief – 1st April 2015