OK then Owen

A healthy democracy depends on an active citizenry which is able to make informed decisions. That is, in theory, the role of the fourth estate: to help the public understand their own society and the world around them, to hold the powerful to account and to challenge myths and expose uncomfortable truths. You do not need to be a long-time critic of the British media ecosystem to see those basic functions are not being satisfied when it comes to Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal. Rather than detailed scrutiny being applied to the most important single political event since the second world war, it has been reduced to a spectacle, a pantomime, all framed on the government’s own terms.

Just as Theresa May’s “no deal is better than a bad deal” bluster collided with political reality, Johnson’s demagoguery was followed by his own capitulation to the EU’s red lines. Yet his embrace of a deal first offered by the EU 19 months ago – and rejected by May as something “no UK prime minister could ever agree to” – has been presented as an against-all-odds, critic-defying triumph. The consequences of a deal predicted to strip the country of £130bn worth of growth – making the average Briton £2,250 a year poorer over the next 15 years – should be front and centre in the debate.

So we should examine every proposal by you, McDonnell and Corbyn by the effects on GDP growth, should we? Never another matter to have a look in?

Or do things like democracy, the way we’re ruled, inequality, civil liberty and all the rest get a look in?

And if they do with the plans you like then why don’t they with other plans?

Howdahs are to be illegal?


Elephant riding holidays abroad offered by British travel companies could become illegal under plans being considered by Defra.

Senior sources at the department said they were seeking the best legislative route to banning the “appalling” holidays, with plans to hold a consultation into banning it.

British holiday companies currently offer experiences abroad in countries including Sri Lanka, Thailand and India, where travelers can ride elephants or watch them perform “tricks”.

However, animal rights campaigners argue that these practices are cruel, as elephants are frequently “broken in” by being beaten with steel hooks so they become compliant.

They are also often not kept in appropriate enclosures…

The best description of this is the reappearance of colonialism. Darkie foreigners must do as the British middle classes demand.

This is about Americans don’t forget

Social class can be determined within just seven words, and it could have major implications in job interviews, researchers from Yale University believe.

In a new study, 274 people with hiring experience were asked to listen to audio recordings, or read transcripts, from the pre-interview discussions of people who applied for a lab manager position at the university.

The hiring managers were asked to assess the candidate’s professional qualities, starting salary, signing on bonus and social class, without reading CVs.

The findings showed that within the first seven words, hirers had made snap judgements of the candidates, based on class, which were later reflected in decisions to hire, as well as salary and bonus levels.

Accent is rather less important over there than it is over here. Hmm, maybe not quite right, perhaps less variable is better? In England, certainly, you can spot someone to within 5 miles by their accent. Unless it’s RP of course and American doesn’t quite have that. In Germany the varied accents/dialects aren’t mutually intelligible across Lander lines. Italian isn’t even a real language, what we think is is just the Florentine version of it.

And of course class and geography mix in all cases.

Whether that will translate to different wages in quite the same way is interesting. For the old days in the City the lads with the fast working class accents (Cockneys, obviously) were usually very much better paid than the poshos. Generally speaking that is – the Cockneys were there as the traders, on talent, the poshos on connections and to man the front desks, take people to lunch. Pay reflected who was making the money. As our own bordello manager will be able to tell us…..

Dr. McKinnon and the Paralympics

We have the Paralympics. Which have complicated classes for disability. Cognitive lacks play over here in one class, limb lacks over here in another, sight there and so on. There are even classes within classes to that we get swims where everyone is called Bob.

We already classify by the exigencies and happenstances of genetics and accident. Because it is entirely obvious to all that those without the brain to tie their own shoelaces aren’t going to do all that well against Magic Johnson. That those with the one and only functioning limb will, by the very nature of these things, paddle slower than Duncan Goodhew. Even at the ages of those two sportsmen.

There will, in fact, be no sport unless we do classify.

None of this is about righteous nor just. It’s about this simple point that sport requires uncertainty. It must be possible for there to be the race.

Male musculature as against female? What race? Therefore we should indeed distinguish and classify.

And don’t forget that by drawing a line there will always be some unfairly on the one side of it. Internal testicles making one not a woman for the purposes of racing? High testosterone levels in an Indian sprinter?

OK. The alternative being the demolition of women’s sport as a category as the male physique conquers.

Someone’s going to get screwed, sure, but who should it be? Probably the few, right? Not the all?

Well, no, not really

You’ve not addressed it:

Richard Murphy says:
October 20 2019 at 10:56 am
He also chose badly

And what this shows is that markets are not able to support such activity

Hence the need for an active state backed investment bank issuing its own bonds

I think you’ll find I have addressed this issue

Because you’ve not worked out how to make sure the state doesn’t make bad investments. After all, the idea that John McDonnell knows how to invest for our pensions is pretty much of a stretch, isn’t it…..

Price fixing always works so well, doesn’t it?

It’s called a Green New Deal, of course.

Start insulating houses in these places. Create jobs.

Build the infrastructure for the growing home holiday market we are going to have to have whilst we’re at it. That’s improved public transport. And facilities.

And at the same time regulate this debt: better fix the price that can be paid.

And we’re going to do really, really, well when politicians get to pay for things by increasing the base money supply and can only control the resultant inflation by raising taxes.

Those holding bonds with a fixed rate of interest are going to do really, really, well under that set of incentives, aren’t they?

There are stupid forms of greed too

Mark Denning departed Capital Group five days after the asset manager was approached with claims that he had used a “secretive fund” to personally invest in some of the same businesses supported by funds he helped to manage on behalf of clients, according to a documentary to be screened tonight.

The claims, which suggest ordinary investors were exposed to serious conflicts of interest, are the latest blow to the fund management industry, which is under close scrutiny after the scandal surrounding Neil Woodford, the former star stockpicker.

The BBC’s Panorama alleged Mr Denning, 61, used a fund based in Liechtenstein, called Morebath Fund Global Opportunities, to buy the shares. The fund appeared to be named after the village of Morebath in Devon, where he owns a nine-bedroom house, Panorama said.

Front running your book is a bad idea in the first place. But to then provide such obvious evidence linking you to it is just stupid.

Meghan seems particularly dim

Spectacularly dim even:

The Duchess of Sussex has revealed she was warned before her marriage to Prince Harry that the British tabloids would “destroy” her life, as she spoke of struggling to cope with the reality of being part of the royal family.

In an interview for the ITV documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, she said the last year had been “hard” and that she had had “no idea” of what she would face.

You’ve just told us you were warned…..

Yep, quite right

Mervyn King, the former Governor of the Bank of England, warned today that Brexit has dragged on “far too long” and was preventing Government from addressing underlying issues within the UK economy.

Speaking as City traders braced themselves for yet more volatility on the markets after MPs on Saturday delayed approval of Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal, Lord King said he thought most people now have the view “just do it”.

As Mark Carney has also been saying. It’s the uncertainty itself which is now doing more damage to the economy than whatever action might actually be taken. We’re at that piss or get off the pot moment. Past it actually.

Seriously Honey, get a grip

Duchess of Sussex: I’m struggling to ‘thrive and feel happy’ in the royal family

It’s a duty you’re performing there…..

The Duchess of Sussex has spoken of the unbearable pressure of life in the spotlight as a member of the Royal Family, saying it is no longer enough for her to “just survive” it.

The Duchess, who has a five-month-old son, said it is essential for her to “thrive” and “feel happy”, warning that simply enduring with unwanted scrutiny is “not the point of life”.

Privilege does come with the occasional down side you know?

A thing about trans athletes

As I understand it, anyone who transitions knows that they’re going to have to give up a number of things. But the results of transitioning are going to be worth it.

Hmm. OK. So, that’s like every other choice any of us makes in life then. Opportunity costs are, after all, real.

So, perhaps everyone just has to put up with the fact that transitioning means no more competitive sport for you.


Seriously, no, corporate law doesn’t work that way

While the split in SoftBank’s contribution between equity and debt is still being negotiated, its investment could make it the majority owner of WeWork. Were this to translate to formal voting control for SoftBank, it could force it to consolidate the loss-making company on its balance sheet, the sources said.

This in turn could result in SoftBank assuming WeWork’s liabilities, which include long-term leases for office space that it refurbishes and rents out under short-term contracts, according to the sources.

No, just because you’ve got to consolidate the subsidiary doesn’t mean you’re now responsible for the subsidiaries debts.

You still have limited liability at that level of the subsidiary.

You might have to show them on your balance sheet, sure, that’s what consolidation means. But still not responsible for them.


The maker of Always sanitary pads has given in to claims of discrimination by transgender men and removed the ‘Venus’ symbol of the female sex from the wrapping.

Menstruation is – as with the inverse, pregnancy – rather the definition of the feminine.

A trans activist using the pseudonym ‘Melly Boom’ had tweeted in July asking Always why it was ‘imperative’ to have the sign on their sanitary products.

The tweet said: ‘There are non-binary and trans folks who still need to use your products too you know!’

Time to end care in the community, no?

How does this work then?

The choice is now between the NHS and US health care.

What portion of EU law means we must have the NHS and not US style health care?

Worker rights or US-style employment arrangements.

All EU derived workers’ rights – many of which we overperform on anyway – are already transposed into British law.

Care for the environment or no future at all.

The EU is the only fount of care for the environment?

Concern for the whole country or the interest of tiny minority, some of whom control too many of our newspapers.

The interests of that plurality that voted to leave?

One person had a good day. Keir Starmer shone out from the Labour benches. He was reasoned, considerate, fair to all sides of the House, and tore to shreds the Tory claims – which, despite his invitation that they do so, they did not defend. You could just say it was a lawyer’s speech. It was more than that. It was excellent politics. I admit that for the first time I am persuaded that he is the leader Labour now needs.

Gimmie Vermine!

BTW, has he told the SNP he’s agin Scots independence yet?

This parliament has to build on that. And he has to be completely defeated – by the people of this country as a whole – to ensure that he and those he represents never again get the chance to ruin the four countries within our Union. I am sincerely hoping they are up to the task.

Does Snippa even realise it yet?

Well, yes Willy

Looking back, not only to the referendum but to the years before, it’s clear that the greatest weakness of the pro-EU cause has been an inability to find ways of fighting Europhobic faith with passionately argued reason.


That is the great question. Other than the EU being, well, you know, our sort of things among wet upper middle class types, why?

Give us an actual reason other than guff about playing nice with Johnny Foreigner.


Boris Johnson has told the EU that he is “not asking” for a “deeply corrosive” delay to Brexit, as he ordered a senior diplomat to send an unsigned photocopy of the request drawn up by MPs asking Brussels for an extension.

The Prime Minister phoned European leaders on Saturday night to declare that the letter MPs had forced the Government to send to Donald Tusk “is Parliament’s letter, not my letter”. A senior No 10 source said he was asking them to “invite Parliament to reconsider”, on the basis that “the best thing for the UK and Europe” is for Brexit to take place on Oct 31.

Obeying the letter of the law……fnarr, fnarr.