A very Them & Us Christmas quiz

Each week the Socialist’s Them and Us column brings you the best examples to show that we’re definitely not ‘all in this together’.
How much attention have you paid to their highs and our lows? Try our 20 questions of 2012 to find out. Answers in italics below.

1) Who surprised us all by quoting Marx and saying “workers of the world unite” at Tory party conference this year?

2) What was Cameron referring to when he said: “I seem to remember I was in Leeds station at the time.

The choice was to have one of their small ones or their large ones. I’ve got a feeling I opted for the large one and very good it was too.”?

3) Five ‘young gun’ Tories published a book called “Britannia Unchained: Global Growth and Prosperity”. In it they identified the biggest problem facing the economy – what was it?

4) Fill in the missing words from this text message sent by Rebekah Brooks to Cameron:

Brilliant speech. I _______ twice. Will love ‘_________ together’.

5) Grandparents-to-be Charles and Camilla spent £170,000 to pay Camilla’s sister to redecorate their holiday cottages.

In this Jubilee year public spending on the royals has been on the up. But what one thing are they doing to keep their spending down?

6) 1.6 million 20-40 year olds live where?

7) What proportion of the increase in housing benefit claims since 2009 has been working families?

8) Who was given temporary exemption from corporation tax this summer?

9) The deposit to stand in the police commissioner elections was a whopping £5,000. But what was the turnout?

10) A survey carried out by the Guardian showed 83% of teachers notice what about some of their students when they arrive at school in the mornings?

11) What has the Trade Union Reform Campaign and drunken revellers shouting “Mein Fuhrer” as they rampaged round a ski resort, got in common?

12) What is the average amount involved in benefit fraud?

13) What was the average amount that MPs had to pay back as a result of the expenses scandal?

14) The ratio of executives’ pay to workers’ pay was 47:1 in 2000. What was it in 2011?

15) The Department for Work and Pensions publishes figures for the amount of unclaimed benefits every year. What was the figure for 2010-2011:

a. £1 billion

b. £5 billion

c. Even more

16) Portcullis House is the building used by MPs for meetings etc. It’s got lots of posh fixtures and fittings, including 12 fig trees. How much do these cost a year?

17) The supporters of gas and electricity privatisation in the 1980s argued that it would result in lower energy bills for consumers.

What percentage have energy bills actually increased since 2004? (Hint: They’ve gone up seven times faster than wages.)

18) IMF boss Christine Lagarde berated the Greek people for being tax dodgers. But what is her (tax-free) salary?

19) The government has had to re-organise the way that milk for under-fives is provided because some companies were inflating the amount they were charging per pint. Bearing in mind that a pint of milk is about 45p, what were some companies claiming?

20) Singer Whitney Houston died in February this year. What percentage did the price of her iTunes compilation go up by within hours of her death?


1) Chancellor George Osborne. Though he seemed to have missed the point as the statement was in reference to asking workers to give up all employment rights.

2) The last time he’d had a pasty. The place he claimed to have bought it from had closed down two years earlier.

3) Idleness.

4) Cried, working

5) Freezing pay for their staff.

6) With their parents

7) 85%

8) Sponsors of the Olympics.

9) 15%

10) They are hungry.

11) Tory MP Aidan Burley is head of the campaign, which is dedicated to making the anti-trade union laws more repressive.

And he was filmed last winter celebrating at his friend’s ‘Nazi-themed’ stag night. All in the best possible taste of course. Although he got the sack from his Parliamentary Private Secretary job as a result.

Seemingly unable to learn his lesson he tweeted during the Olympics opening ceremony: “Thank God the athletes have arrived! Now we can move on from leftie multi-cultural crap. Bring back Red Arrows, Shakespeare and the Stones!” You couldn’t make it up.

12) £59 a head

13) £1,858 a head.

14) 102:1

15) £12.3 billion

16) £30,000 (And we’ve been paying that for the last eleven years.)

17) 120%

18) £298,000 a year

19) £1

20) 60% (Apparently the original price was wrong…)