Well done to government

The Writers’ Handbook has been developed to help all writers in the
Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre (DCDC), irrelevant of their role
or team. The publications DCDC produces are sometimes the only contact
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Irrelevant of?

That’s that then

A transgender woman made redundant by the Times has lost an employment tribunal in which she claimed to have experienced discrimination and unfair dismissal.

The background – not the legal allegation so much, the background – was really that since The Times does not uncritically support the varied trans agendas then therefore it’s antitrans in its working environment. Bit of a stretch that claim really.

A newspaper that allows a columnist to refer to “bumboys” may or may not be anti-gay, anti-LGBT or whatever, but the use of the word bumboys by a columnist isn’t evidence either way.

Ooooh, this is good!

Record demand for help from NHS gender identity clinics has seen waiting times reach more than two years , an investigation has found.

Don’t we make them wait three years before reaching for the scalpel anyway? So, they’re getting 2/3 of the work done in advance!

Smart motorways

Matt Jacobs, whose father, Derek, 83, was killed in March when his van came to a stop on the first lane of the M1 smart motorway before being hit by a coach, said smart motorways should be scrapped altogether.

“Hard shoulders have been a safety feature of motorways since the 1960s when there was a fraction of the traffic there is today,” he said. “With today’s volume of traffic, the decision to remove them is murderous negligence and incompetence. Many more people will be killed as a direct consequence of this decision.”

Yep, they will.

“I also pressed Highways England on their commitment to reducing spacing in the future “where applicable” to one mile – which is probably still too far apart – and left the meeting with the strong impression Highways England would look, again, to do the absolute minimum when it came to improving safety by reducing refuge area spacing.

“The ‘where applicable’ qualification appears to be just another attempt to reduce costs to the detriment of the safety of recovery operators and motorists.

How much does the change cost per statistical life saved? More than a couple of million £ and the people should die.

Which is the argument for no hard shoulder roads in the first place. Yes, some people will die but have you seen the cost of building out another lane?

Bureaucratic efficiency

Your Reference CAS-5559392-PLH851

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Ooooh, we likes this we does

That is spot on. The absurdity that is faced by almost everyone around this country is that what is recycled, and how, varies considerably from place to place. This has to end. If it’s worth recycling then doing so must be enforced and nothing less than a national framework will do. That’s what a Green New Deal requires.

A rigorous examination of what’s “worth recycling”? Bring it on.

Assuming that it will in fact be a rigorous examination of course.

Well Owen, it’s like this, you see?

Far-right violence is on the rise. Where is the outrage?
Owen Jones

Human beings are inconsistent creatures. It depends upon who is getting the slapping, d’ye see?

There is also that thought that those who say we must “fight” fascism, “fight” racism, “fight homophobia” might get people confused as to what the word “fight” actually means.

Err, yes Sonia, this is what we’ve been saying

Yes, parliament can block a no-deal Brexit – if it can just agree on how
Sonia Sodha

If a majority of the Commons voted for some specific plan then that would indeed be the plan. We’ve understood this point for some time now.

The parliamentary Brexit problem is that there’s a majority against the current plan, crashing out with no deal on October 31. But there’s no majority for any other plan.

We know, this, we’ve been saying it for some time now.

Tell us it ain’t so!

Infrastructure investor John Laing is putting on hold fresh investment in renewable energy projects in Europe and Australia because of a lack of wind.

Olivier Brousse, chief executive, said: “Wind in Europe over the last 18 months has been lower than anticipated. We’ve commissioned a long-term forecast on wind in the region and it is a lower number than we thought.”

This means its windfarms are not generating as much power as expected. As a result it took a £55m hit on the value of its European windfarms.

You mean renewables calculations have been based upon errors about reality?

Surely not…..

Munch, munch, munch

Anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International has been accused of promoting a “toxic” internal environment of bullying and harassment, making it the latest high-profile charity to come under fire over its workplace culture.

That sound of political autophagy.

What does colonial actually mean these days?

I left Iran to pursue an academic career where I could have better access to knowledge and collaborate with international scholars. Instead, I feel increasingly trapped in Germany. My political identity defines my role as a scholar, even in the seemingly democratic, liberated environment of academia.

Projects which depict an oppressed, exotic other – for instance, through examinations of topics such as physical violence in Islamic rituals or the persecution of women in the middle east – tend to be well-received by lecturers and students. But these projects play into deeply problematic expectations of colonial narrative. My friends have joked that I should take my camera to a village and film a strange ritual, and my career would be solid as a rock.

It’s not just academia where the colonial gaze drives how we work.

Germany? Iran? Colonial?

Actually, Iran, colonial? Well, maybe Arabs, Turks, Mongols, but that’s not usually what we mean, is it?

Boys of no appearance

Four teenage boys have denied harassing two women in a homophobically aggravated attack after they refused to perform a sex act on a bus.

Two 17-year-olds, a 16-year-old and another boy, 15, appeared at Highbury Corner Youth Court in London on Wednesday to enter not guilty pleas to a charge of causing harassment by using threatening or abusive words or behaviour.

They’re not named – that guide to appearance and backgrouind – because they’re under age.

Two little tales about sovereignty

Richard Murphy says:
August 21 2019 at 10:54 am

You can give a reason

But you can’t explain how to do it and honour our commitments

Nor can you explain how we are still a nation or why you think we passed our sovereignty to the EU when very clearly we never have, in the slightest

So as an argument that’s so full of holes and so not based on truth or reality it takes us nowehere

So. Let us consider the Vodafone tax case. Where Murph was vehement that massive amounts of tax were being dodged. As Richard Brooks was alleging. And English law was stating that those profits in a Luxembourg company in Luxembourg were taxable in the UK. Controlled Foreign Companies, dontchaknow. And the EU demurred. They said that under EU law such profits were not taxable in the UK.

We have a conflict between UK and EU law. Sovereignty is rather defined by whose law wins in such circumstances.

The EU.

And the second. Murph decided that the UK should adopt passport based taxation. It was gently – if sneeringly – pointed out that he couldn’t do that, not regarding other EU countries that is. Would go against free movement of peeps. He accepted that – eventually. UK cannot pass a law to do x because it has given up its sovereignty on that issue.

As, of course, with trade etc.

Now, of course, it’s possible to argue that it’s all worth it. But the statement ” you think we passed our sovereignty to the EU when very clearly we never have, in the slightest” is clearly and obviously colei.

Incentives, incentives

Capital gains tax Entrepreneurs Relief does, in essence, reduce the rate of gains tax by those who sell privately owned businesses. In most situations they pay 10% on their gains rather than 20%. The tax rate is halved.

In the last year for which data is available the relief cost as much as the tax paid on these disposals, or £2.36 billion. Of this £1.73 billion went to just 4,000 people, at a tax savings of more than £430,000 each, on average.

That is wholly unjust. It is a simple boost to those already wealthy. Remember, these people had by definition just picked up gains of in excess of £4 million each. And as I have argued before, the relief makes no sense. It does not encourage entrepreneurial activity at all. It encourages short-termism and selling out rather than developing entrepreneurial activity, both of which are the opposite of what the UK needs.

Nothing about this relief makes any sense at all. It has to go.

Rule number one in economics. Incentives matter.

A corollary of which is that we get less of those things which we tax. Because that reduces the incentive to do those things which are taxed.

We like people being entrepreneurs. They end up – as Bill Nordhaus pointed out – keeping about 3% of the total value created by their endeavours. The other 97% largely flows to consumers in the form of the consumer surplus. We like people working hard to make us richer. Therefore we let them keep more of the already trivial portion of the value created they get to keep in order to create that greater incentive to crack on with it.

This does not make sense in what manner?


The biggest claim made by Brexiteers right now is that Remainers do not understand them. If only we tried a bit harder it would be obvious what this is all about, they say.

It’s about national pride; democracy; taking back control; having our own laws; deciding who lives here.

I think those are their claims. Tell me if there are more. Just don’t mention economics: it does not come into it.

D’ye think the Spudmeister has even heard of Patrick Minford?

Oh, right

It did continue. For a bit:

Richard Murphy says:
August 20 2019 at 10:20 am
The UK has reasonable residence rules now: I have to say that as I helped shape them

We simply do not need domicile to be fair to those arriving or temporary residents : tho0se issues are covered without alternation being required

There is no base cost to entry for people now and there would not be from the change

Laurence Parry says:
August 20 2019 at 10:34 am
I also helped draft the residence rules (apart from the split year treatment, which is rubbish)

Richard Murphy says:
August 20 2019 at 11:02 am
I do not recall your involvement

James says:
August 20 2019 at 11:30 am
Really Richard?

You helped shape the non-dom rules?

I can’t find any mention of you in the formulation of non-dom rules at all. All I can find is you saying repeatedly that they should be changed.

So if you helped write the rules, why did you do such a bad job of it?

Richard Murphy says:
August 20 2019 at 1:29 pm
I helped write the current U.K. residency rules

A slight difference there

James says:
August 20 2019 at 2:31 pm
I can’t find any record of you writing the residency rules, or indeed being involved in that process at all either.

Other than writing a few blogs about it anyway. I can check the House of Commons library if needed.

Could you point us to where you say you had so much input? Because I can’t find any record of you at all in this process.

Richard Murphy says:
August 20 2019 at 3:08 pm
You clearly do not know how advisory teams work

And that is also your last comment here because you are a troll