Could it be that Labour leader Ed Miliband's demand that all school pupils must study maths until they are 18 has been prompted by new evidence that his own MPs struggle with numbers?
The man in charge of the party's policy review, Jon Cruddas, admitted this weekend that he is "barely numerate". And when the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) recently tested the ability of honourable members to answer a relatively simple mathematical question, only a quarter of Labour MPs got it right.
My son has just turned 13 and I made him a card to mark the moment he became a teenager. I put a picture of him as a choir-boy next to a Photoshopped shot of him as a saggy-trousered gangsta rapper - the innocent child mutating into a growling ball of rebellious fury. But a series of recent official statistics are making me question whether the old joke is true any more.
With less than 50 days to go until elections for the new police and crime commissioners (PCCs) in England and Wales, there is growing anxiety that one of the government's flagship criminal justice reforms resembles a slow-motion car crash.
The introduction of directly-elected commissioners was hailed by its Conservative architects as a vital step in "giving people democratic control over policing priorities".
One can see it etched on the faces of young bobbies just beyond the fluttering tape which marks the edge of the crime scene. The murder of two of their friends and colleagues has left them in deep shock and grief.
There is anger in their eyes too, but they know above all they must remain professional. Greater Manchester Police find themselves in the role of both crime investigators and crime victims.
If Wednesday was about truth, today is about justice. The report of the Hillsborough Independent Panel opens up a new path down which the campaigners are set to march.
There is now a very real possibility of prosecutions of police officers or others found to have been involved in the systematic amendment of key statements to the original Taylor inquiry in 1989. A case could be made that this was an attempt to pervert the course of justice, trying to airbrush out the evidence of potentially criminal negligence.
If the Conservative right see the appointment of Chris Grayling as a signal that the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is going to re-adopt the slogan "prison works" then I think they may be disappointed.
The MoJ is in the middle of a programme of severe budget cuts and central to achieving the 26% savings is ensuring the prison population of England and Wales can be stabilised and, ultimately, brought down.
Here's my report on new research that suggests young people who smoke cannabis run the risk of a significant and irreversible reduction in their IQ. The findings come from a study of about 1,000 people in New Zealand.
Although cannabis is widely used in the UK, possession can lead to up to five years in jail. The research has been seized on by both sides of the debate over whether to legalise cannabis.
In the sultry Athenian air, this feels like a place holding its breath.
Greeks have always scrawled on walls. But after sunset this troubled summer, masked graffiti agitators have roamed the capital's streets applying their urgent exhortations to every flat surface they can find.
The empty seats scandal at these Olympics refuses to go away. The problem is not simply that each vacant place is a kick in the teeth to the millions of sports fans who have tried desperately to get hold of tickets.
The blocks of empty seating are also a reminder of the privileges available for the rich and powerful at these Games. It looks dreadful because each unused spot emphasises the special treatment afforded to officials and their business partners who then don't turn up.
New figures reveal that the NHS in England spent more than £270m on antidepressants last year - a massive 23% increase on 2010. The health service spent almost £1m a week more on the drugs than the year before.
Antidepressant use has been growing rapidly for decades. In 1991, English pharmacies handed over nine million items. In 2001, it was 24.3 million. Now the number has grown to 46.7 million prescriptions issued - a 9.1% rise on the previous year.
Only rarely do countries get the opportunity to describe themselves to a watching world. Today's Olympic opening ceremony is a defining moment for this country - literally.
But trying to pin down national identity is always a difficult and dangerous occupation - even more so if your chosen medium involves marshalling 1,000 people, nine geese and 70 sheep on a sports field.
As much of Britain basks in longed-for sunshine one senses that, despite all the economic gloom, our national spirits have been lifted. We instinctively believe that warm weather makes us happier. But is it true?
Yesterday's well-being statistics suggested the opposite. The happiest region of the whole UK is the most northerly - Shetland, Orkney and the Outer Hebrides. Some islands see only around 1,000 hours of sunshine a year compared to a UK average of 1,340 hours.
There is a risk of jumping to conclusions with today's well-being figures. We know that people in rented accommodation report significantly lower levels of life satisfaction than home-owners. But that doesn't mean renting is bad for your happiness.
All we can say is that there may be something about the kind of people who rent their homes that makes it more likely they will have lower levels of well-being. Home-owners are generally financially better off than people who rent and they are more likely to be in a stable relationship - both factors that are also associated with higher levels of life satisfaction.
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