Ritchie on top pay

First clear signals have to be given as to what is considered fair pay in the UK. This measure would deliver that message – and I defy anyone to say pay of above £265,000 is needed.


PS I am aware that this cap would not apply to rewards paid by owner directors as dividends in private companies – but then these are, in economic terms, not salaries but profit distributions and so are not the focus of the policy I am suggesting, which is meant to address excess salary payments.

Hmm hmm.

So I would predict a flight of business talent from publicly traded companies to private equity myself. Plus an exodus of talented foreigners from the country. But then what do I know, I’m not a retired accountant, am I?

Yes, this is true, but it’s not English

Such podiatric reverence was probably not uppermost in Simon Hughes’s mind when he cited African and Asian families as models of how the young should look after the old. Rather than “forcing” the elderly into care homes where their main companion is a television set, the Liberal Democrat justice minister railed, British families should seek to emulate the example of immigrant families who “look after their families to the end”.

It is true that the circle of care, at least in Indian families, embraces all generations. When we speak of family, we do not limit its meaning to spouses and children. By family, we mean the “wider family” that Hughes invoked: parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, even second cousins and in-laws. And, in the pecking order, age is the determinant of veneration.

This is neither right nor wrong in any moral or cultural sense but we do know that we English have been living in nuclear families at least since the Middle Ages. We’ve had at least half a millennium where the standard household unit is two adults and their own children. We haven’t been living in the extended family for as far back as we can reliably trace. Granny didn’t live with her grandkids.

Just ain’t the way we did it.

This is a new political party that I must get to know better

Anne Sinclair, the former wife of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, has insisted she “didn’t know” the disgraced International Monetary Fund chief regularly took part in extramarital sex parties at home and abroad.

In her first “tell all” interview on the “nightmare” she endured after her 64-year old ex-husband was arrested on rape charges in New York in 2011, Miss Sinclair, 65, said: “I know it sounds idiotic, but believe it or not, I didn’t know” about the libertarian orgies he attended in France and the US, and his numerous affairs.

The thought of shagging some bird in the presence of Strauss Kahn doesn’t particularly appeal, I admit, but libertarian orgies sound like they might attract the voters.

Although I do have the slight suspicion that Mr. Samuel was reaching for the word “libertine” rather than libertarian.

WE didn’t need to fill in paperwork last time I landed in Normandy

On D-Day, they defied fierce German shelling and machine gun fire to reach the Normandy beaches.

Seventy years on, and much frailer, our Second World War heroes have come up against a new adversary as they return for the landmark anniversary… French bureaucrats.

The authorities require veterans’ groups to complete lengthy forms at short notice or risk being turned away from the battle sites on June 6.

So, who is volunteering along with me to drive the tanks over those French bureaucrats?

They’re going to do what to prostitutes?

Legislation to enforce a “Swedish model” of anti-prostitution laws in Northern Ireland that criminalise the buyers of sex would be unworkable because the devolved government at Stormont has no powers to authorise telephone bugging operations.

The region’s justice minister, David Ford, has told the Guardian he is far from convinced over the plans because mobile intercepts – crucial in prosecutions in countries which have introduced the laws – are rarely used even in cases against republican and loyalist terror groups.

I beg your pardon?

In order to stop the vile crime of some bloke paying £10 for a handjob they’re suggesting that the police should be allowed to tap random phone calls? Go on fishing expeditions? For of course the phone that the tart makes the assignation on will likely to be the same one she orders a pizza on. And the whole point of the tapping will be to determine which is which.

Can we just get on with shooting everyone proposing this vileness please?

And Caroline Spelman comes out as an ill informed idiot

The former Tory cabinet minister Caroline Spelman has called for the UK to consider criminalising the purchase of sex and urged more male politicians to enter a public debate about the reform of prostitution laws.

Spelman, who as environment secretary from 2010 to 2012 was one of David Cameron’s few senior female ministers, said she supported the Nordic model, named after the system in Sweden, Iceland and Norway, which makes it a crime to buy, but not sell, sexual services.

Speaking to the Guardian, the MP said it was important for more men to make their views clear about the issue, which provokes strong feelings on both sides of the debate.

Well, here’s a man talking about it. Fuck off you sorry excuse for a thinking being.

1) If consenting adults wish to exchange money before rubbing genitals what the hell’s that got to do with you?

2) These people are lying to you:

Figures from the Association of Chief Police Officers, reproduced by the House of Commons library, suggest 17,000 of the estimated 30,000 women involved in off-street prostitution in England and Wales are immigrants, of whom 2,600 are deemed to have been trafficked and a further 9,200 are viewed as vulnerable.

We went looking for evidence of trafficking in Operation Pentameter. And every police force in the country tried to look at as many of the brothels, saunas and working girls as they could. And found enough evidence to charge, let alone convict, exactly no people of the vile and repugnant crime of sex slavery.

They did find evidence of quite a lot of economic migration, this is true, but economic migration and sex slavery aren’t the same thing. But what you’re being presented with there is the assumption that people who have come, legally or illegally, to this country and then decided to rent out their genitals are sex slaves. And this simply isn’t the case. No, not even under the UN definition of trafficking.

At best you and we are being lied to. At worst you know this but are repeating the lies.

Ignorant stupidity from Oxfam again

Yes, yes, it’s a lovely statistic but it’s a completely moronic one to be using:

says Oxfam chief executive Mark Goldring. “At a time when the five richest families in the UK have the same wealth as the bottom 20% of the population it is unacceptable that the poorest are paying such a heavy price.”

For the bottom 20% of the population has no wealth at all. As I’ve said before, if you’ve got a tenner and no debts then you’re richer than the bottom 20% of the country all put together. This is because it is possible to have negative net wealth: to have debts higher than your assets.

You know, like someone leaving uni with some student debt?

And this is just fatuous:

The Trussell Trust, the UK’s biggest food bank network, revealed that more than 900,000 people received food parcels in 2013-14, a 163% increase on the previous year. Its figures understated the likely level of people going hungry, it said.

What? You give people food and that means that they’re now going hungry? Perhaps we should ban food parcels in order to reduce hunger then? Back here in reality we take the number of food parcels being handed out as being an indication of how much huger has been decreased.

Well of course heroin is “very agreeable”

Jeez, that’s the point of it after all.

Rock star Damon Albarn has come under fire after describing his past heroin use as “very agreeable and very creative”.

No one would take the stuff if it wasn’t agreeable. But of course we get the wowsers:

Mark Dempster, who is one of the country’s most respected addiction experts and runs a Harley Street drug counselling clinic, said it was very irresponsible for people in the public eye to dismiss the dangers of heroin.

He said: “It is really not a good idea for a rock star to suggest that heroin can help you be creative.

“In music you get this whole rock and roll thing where it is seen as living on the edge and living for the ultimate hit, but that is a rather naïve view.

“To send out a message that heroin is glamorous is very dangerous because you may have young people who are already smoking cannabis and this simply helps make the leap between the two that much easier.

“There maybe people who are able to take heroin recreationally for a short period of time, but the reality is that for most people, it does not take very long at all for you to become physically addicted.

Crippled JC on a pogo stick: no one ever becomes physically addicted to heroin. Psychologically addicted to it, yes, sure, but not physically. And the vast majority who use heroin at one time or another don’t even become that. Finally, near all the harms that do come from use come from the fact that the stuff’s illegal. Those who get hold of the pharmaceutically pure stuff (and there’s always a few in the medical system who do) have no particular problem in keeping themselves and their careers going for decades.

But that this is one of the country’s leading “drug counsellors” spouting this nonsense shows how absurd the ground over which this is debated is.

It’s the Wonder of the World it is

At least 1,000 hospital patients are dying needlessly each month from dehydration and poor care by doctors and nurses, according to a NHS study.

The deaths from acute kidney injury could be prevented by simple steps such as nurses ensuring patients have enough to drink and doctors reviewing their medication, the researchers say.

Between 15,000 and 40,000 patients die annually because hospital staff fail to diagnose the treatable kidney problem, a figure that dwarfs the death toll from superbugs like MRSA.

That’s something like 5% of all deaths in the nation each year. But we can console ourselves with the knowledge that the NHS is the Wonder of the World, isn’t it?

No, I do not believe these numbers

Children will be blocked from online pornography sites which will demand users to prove they are adults, under new legislation.

Ministers want sites to ask for credit card details and other personal information to prove they are over 18.

The new legislation which is being drafted is aimed at stopping the estimated 20,000 children aged 16 and under who are accessing pornographic material online every month, according to Atvod, the Authority for Television on Demand.

Of these, around 44,000 are believed to be primary school age pupils.

Partly because
it’s obvious that it should be 200,000, so that 44,000 can be smaller than that number. But also because the 200,000 looks to be very small to me.

There’s what, 300,000 kids in each year? Half male, so 600,000 teenage boys of 12 to 16 in the country at any one time? Any number less than 599,999 for accessing porn once a month on the internet isn’t going to be believable, is it?

Dear Nick Cohen: try research instead of guessing

My guess is that, in order to save British culture from foreigners, our rightwing patriots will undermine it by instituting a system of identity controls.

May is heading in that direction. Already, employers must check the immigration status of applicants before hiring them. She will make landlords and NHS receptionists do the same. In theory, this sounds a ferocious deterrent. Who wants to come to a country where they cannot work, rent a home or receive medical treatment? In practice, it is just another stunt from the publicity hounds at the Home Office. All kinds of foreigners have pieces of paper that entitle them to live in Britain. EU nationals, their partners, European Economic Area nationals, Chinese citizens with work visas, American citizens with student visas… There are dozens of valid documents and that’s before you get to the forgeries.

All hospital administrators and landlords will do is what employers already do: photocopy the patient or tenant’s documents and say, if the police question them, that they appeared to be genuine. The only way to turn a stunt into an effective policy is to issue identity cards for everyone in or visiting Britain. Only identity cards can meet the demands of public and press. But in meeting them they will destroy a notion of British freedom, which, call me a sentimentalist, I find worth defending.

We are a common-law democracy, with limits of the power of the state. We are not a country where police officers can demand to see your papers or stop and search you without good reason. We are not a country where you have to prove you are entitled to treatment before a doctor will help you. The talk-radio hosts’ screams and the tantrums of Ukip and the Tories will tear that old country down and create, for all their Euroscepticism, a Britain far closer to a Napoleonic Europe.

As they do it, they should remind you, if a reminder is needed, that no one does as much damage to a country as the patriots who profess to love it the most.

It won’t be UKIP doing it. Back when we did have a (Labour!) government trying to do it there was a campaign against having ID cards. Which was the first political party to affiliate to it?

Full question and answer.

The Government is pushing for ID cards and, less publicised is the link up
of all databases on every British subject. The Children’s database will be
accessible by an estimated 400 – 600, 000 people; this includes the NHS
spine, where everyone’s medical history will be readily available to
businesses and any organisation the Gov’t deems suitable and who can afford to buy it.

What is your opinion of these databases do you feel this Gov’t has gone too far?
How do you feel knowing that your children or grand children could be
restricted for life should their DNA be found to contain certain genes, and
that the sheer amount of Gov’t workers and agencies will be able to access all your child’s details?

ID cards (or internal passports which they really are) will not work:The soppused benefits of their introduction have not materialised in any nation which already has them.
As you correctly point out the real danger is the database behind it, This centralisation of information in the hands of the Government requires trust, not just the current Government, but in any future government which may be elected.
The point you raise on DNA is a particularly good example, but there are of course others.
I and UKIP as a whole oppose internal passports and oppose the creation of the proposed all encompassing database

Which other points do you find of concern?

There is for a start no guarantee of security and this government has a track record of selling databases to interested organisations: I do not trust them, remember the geriatric protester ejected from labour’s conference under the ‘anti-terror’ legislation which would ‘not be abused’?
Of course when German people complied with early attempts to make a national database in the 1930′s, the question on religion had no particular significance: It was only the passage of time that showed them how dangerous a question it was to have answered. Who can say what information we give now will not be used against us in the future. The database relies upon a fundamental trust in the Government, and yet who knows who will be the Government in 25 years time?

Thankyou Nigel, NO2ID have been trying to get this very point across to the Government, who to date have been blind to this very issue. It is good to see that there is one party who has some common sense and the interests and safety of the British people at heart.

On the subject of NO2ID, UKIP was one of the first political parties to affliate to the campaign, and we wholeheartedy support their aims

Or more recently:

Speaking to Sky News, Mr Farage hit out at the spot checks and the billboards calling on illegal immigrants to hand themselves in.

“Spot checks and being demanded to show your papers by officialdom are not the British way of doing things,” Mr Farage said. “Yes of course we want to deal with illegal immigration but what’s the point of rounding people up at railway stations if at the same time they are still flooding in at Dover and the other nearly 100 ports in this country.

“I’m astonished that the Home Office has become so politicised…before long they will be live video-streaming of these arrests. I don’t like it. It really is not the way we’ve ever behaved or operated as a country. We don’t have ID cards. We should not be stopped by officialdom and have to prove who we are.”

Research, try it.

Remind me how this stops Germany invading France again

Filter coffee machines will have to turn off automatically to help save energy, under new European Union rules.

All of the devices on sale for domestic use from next year will be required to go into “standby mode” after brewing the drink, the Sun reported.

The European Commission said the changes would save money on electricity bills and were “supported by consumer and industry organisations” as well as member states including the UK.

The problem with this layer of government is that it’s dominated by Adam Smith’s men with a plan. And there’s no area of life too trivial for them to try and plan either.

No, seriously, think about this for a minute. Several thousand people laboured mightily to bring this about. The EU Commission worked on it, proposed it. The Parliament voted on it. National Ministers approved it. Quite literally thousands of people worked to bring this about. We have to pay all of these people very decent salaries indeed as well. Absolutely no one of these people costs us less than £100,000 a year. And yet this is the sort of triviality they turn their minds to? When there are still serious problems, say the existence of Simon Cowell, that need to be attended to?

This is the problem with the EU. It puts in power the sort of cunts who think that this is a problem even worth considering.

Hang the lot of ‘em.

Drink more booze for your health!

If you like to unwind with a glass of wine, then this might be the news you’ve been waiting for. Because according to a leading scientist, drinking just over a bottle a day won’t harm your health.

Dr Kari Poikolainen, who used to work for the World Health Organisation as an alcohol expert, examined decades of research into its effects. Men are currently meant to have no more than four units a day but women are supposed to have three units – around the equivalent of a large glass of wine.

A bottle of wine has ten units. But Dr Poikolainen believes drinking only becomes harmful when people consume more than around 13 units a day.

He also claimed that people who exceed the recommended limit could live longer than teetotallers.

Dr Poikolainen said: ‘The weight of the evidence shows moderate drinking is better than abstaining and heavy drinking is worse than abstaining – however the moderate amounts can be higher than the guidelines say.’

Pretty much the standard finding. As with so many things there’s a curve, t5he interesting thing being the shape of it. And that standard finding is that boozing up to some 40, 50 units a week is healthier than pure abstinence, after that more unhealthy.

So, given this statement of the standard finding, what do we hear next?

But Julia Manning, from think-tank 2020Health, said: ‘This is an unhelpful contribution to the debate. It makes grand claims which we don’t see evidence for.’ She added: ‘Alcohol is a toxin, the risks outweigh the benefits.’

Fuck off you sour old trout.

How damn stupid do you have to be to believe this argument?

So Deborah Orr tells us all about how her mother worked her fingers to the bone running the household, how poverty meant she never had, despite father working 6 days a week, store bought clothes or a takeaway. And she doesn’t have to do that, no one does these days in fact. Then:

Yet, despite all these profound and fundamental changes, the definition of what is “full-time” work and what is “part-time” work hasn’t altered. Red Pepper magazine points out that “Keynes thought that by the 21st century we would all be working about eight hours a week and getting paid liveable wages for it. The history of human progress up until fairly recently has been people working less and less, and having more time to actually live and enjoy life. The triumph of neoliberal doctrine has reversed this – and to the benefit of nobody.”

And what is “neo-liberal doctrine” anyway? Essentially it’s that people should be paid as little or as much as the market can bear, without social intervention of any kind. That’s it. That’s what human life should be all about, according to the dominant ideology of the age. Then we wonder why social problems are so endemic. People don’t exercise enough. People don’t cook enough. People don’t spend enough time with their children. People don’t read enough, to themselves or their kids. People don’t volunteer enough. It’s hard to look after the elderly. People drink too much. People watch too much TV. Why? Because people are at work, and if they’re not at work, then that’s the biggest of all the problems. The way we live our lives needs fundamental restructuring. Time is precious. But you wouldn’t think so, not at all, not from looking at the average earnings people get for spending precious time at work.

How damn stupid do you have to be to believe both parts of that argument?

As I’ve repeatedly pointed out, it’s those household production hours that have declined, in a manner that Keynes didn’t predict, leaving us all, both men and women, with vastly more leisure time. She actually points this out in the first part of the piece then entirely ignores it at the end. This is just so damn stupid.