On Thursday 30 April, this blog had 2,849 unique visitors. That brought the total number of unique visitors for all of April to precisely 74,000. The chances of that being an exact thousand are, of course, just one in a thousand.
Which set my mind thinking on the following incredible coincidence of numbers in recent news headlines. I wonder if we might make a film about it, like that really boring one “The Number 23” with Jim Carrey. We could call it “The Number Nil”.
Number of People Dead in the UK in the Great Pig Plague – Nil
Number of people charged in Gordon Brown’s Manchester “Very big terror plot” – Nil
Number of responsible caring parents of Madeleine McCann – Nil
Number of the 117,000 people stopped and searched by police in 2007/8 under section 44 of the Terrorism Act, who were then convicted of a terrorism offence – Nil
The trebling in a year of the number of people stopped and searched under anti-terror laws, is another example of the massive growth and abuse of police power under New Labour. Nobody was convicted of a terrorist offence after being stopped and searched. 0.06% were charged with a terrorist offence. Just under 1% were charged with a non-terror related offence.
In London the police have been using these stop and search powers to set up cordons, particularly on tube stations in high immigrant areas. The idea is that if they search enough immigrants they are bound to find a few carrying drugs or knives, and it helps them meet their New Labour arrest, charging and conviction (clearup) targets.