Well, yes, this is a problem

Martina Navratilova, the nine-times Wimbledon singles champion, has attacked the “insane” practice of allowing male-born transgender athletes to compete against biological women.

Writing for The Sunday Times, Navratilova describes it as “cheating”, saying that hundreds of trans athletes have “achieved honours as women that were beyond their capabilities as men”.

She adds: “It is surely unfair on women who have to compete against people who, biologically, are still men. I am happy to address a transgender woman in whatever form she prefers, but I would not be happy to compete against her.”

As PJ O’Rourke put it on a slightly different matter there are times when these things are important – making babies – and times when they are not – trading bonds.

Now all we’ve got to do is work out which is which?

So, how stand we all?

Ever the peacemaker, I promised to keep quiet on the subject until I had properly researched it.

Well, I’ve now done that and, if anything, my views have strengthened. To put the argument at its most basic: a man can decide to be female, take hormones if required by whatever sporting organisation is concerned, win everything in sight and perhaps earn a small fortune, and then reverse his decision and go back to making babies if he so desires. It’s insane and it’s cheating. I am happy to address a transgender woman in whatever form she prefers, but I would not be happy to compete against her. It would not be fair.

Umm, what?

By definition, buybacks intend to punish the shareholders who sell and benefit those who don’t, which in RBS’s case involves the taxpayer.

Who is this idiot?

Simon Goodley is a Guardian business reporter

Like the Halal Butchery Reporter for Peppa Pig Weekly then.

Pre-announcement of buybacks shares are at one price. Post- at another. Those who sell into this new price have benefited just as much as those who hold on.

How could it be any other way? If those who sold into buybacks lost out they’d never sell into them, would they?

Is South Asian right here?

You all know more than I do:

Marriage between cousins leading to fatal genetic conditions remain a factor in a significant proportion of child deaths in Bradford, according to a safeguarding report.

The report by the West Yorkshire city’s child death overview panel found that consanguineous relationships led to deaths from genetic and congenital abnormalities.

The report, published annually by Bradford children’s safeguarding board, reviewed 69 child deaths. These included 29 that occurred in 2017-18, 33 in 2016-17, and seven that took place in previous years.

More than two-thirds of these deaths, 67%, involved children under the age of one, most of whom died within 28 days.

Children of south Asian heritage were overrepresented in the figures

South Asian? Or Pakistani? Is cousin marriage common among “South Asians” or is it more restricted than that?

Seems like a reasonable demand

And third, pension funds must have their own version of a living will. If banks need these then so too do pension funds. The possibility of being dependent upon bailout should be seen as the absolute last resort: the obligation of the company to meet its liabilities as they fall due should be paramount, and if it cannot be met then a charge over the equity in issue of the company that has promoted the scheme should be put in place: no shareholder of that concern should be able to extract value until the obligation to the members has been met.

One that’s largely already met tho’ isn’t it?


The first British saint of modern times is to be created after the Pope gave final approval for the canonisation of Cardinal John Henry Newman.

We’ve got a portrait of him on the wall. An original – no, not the Millais one.

Wonder if it’s time to take that to the Antiques Roadshow?


She accepts the relationship was consensual but said: “I was looking for help and he took advantage of me. He abused his power.”

The relationship ended after two months when Lord Ahmed told her he would not leave his wife, she said.

“I genuinely did believe that he had feelings for me, I’m just so stupid… and I believed that he was going to help me,” she said.

In her interview with Newsnight, Ms Zaman said she feels exploited by Lord Ahmed because she was suffering from anxiety and depression.

The woman is 43 years old.

That’s interesting

Mother is no longer a gender-specific term that applies only to women, lawyers on behalf of the Government have said.

Therefore the motherhood pay gap is no longer a gender pay gap. And so sexism cannot be the cause. Not that it is anyway but now we’ve confirmation

It may well be honey

Today a coalition of women’s healthcare organisations and Royal Colleges have written to the national broadcaster demanding its ban on providing information about abortion is reviewed.

“Abortion is not a ‘contentious issue’ — it is a routine part of NHS-funded healthcare, provided by doctors, nurses and midwives every day in hospitals and clinics across the country,” they write.

It’s still contentious. To prove that it isn’t you’d have to prove that there were no votes against the most recent changes to abortion law when it went through Parliament….


Ana Joaquim, from Wood Green, who is originally from Portugal, earns £8.50 an hour as a barista at BEIS, which outsources its catering to a company called Aramark.

Looking out my window into Portugal where the minimum wage is €600 a month or so.

So, Ana, you should be paid more why?


Part of our Ever Popular Series, Headlines In The Guardian Which Prove Betteridge’s Law.

What is the focus of sexual attention, which bit of sex is emphasised, changes with fashion. But not the attention nor the sex:

What women wear has always been part and parcel of sexual politics. But, 18 months after MeToo was born, has fashion’s centre of gravity moved away from sex?

That’s over here

Owen Jones and his suggestion that is.

As Andrew C points out:

Off topic but hilarious:

“Let’s give citizens free cash to save not-for-profit journalism”
says Owen Jones

Not for profit journalism being one thing I concede that Owen Jones and the Guardian are experts in.


For Owen is insisting that this £10 billion be spent upon his mates. Instead of £10 billion being spent upon what we want. You know, us out there, us whose money is being allocated. That we all have £200 more a year to allocate as we wish is a great idea. But what if our preferred allocation doesn’t include any form of media. Instead of a Pigeon Fanciers’ Monthly subscription, we’d prefer a few pigeon chicks? Instead of reams more of snowflake outpourings we’d prefer to Easyjet to the Alps for real snowflakes? What if, and perish the very thought of it of course, our desires for spending our money don’t conform to what Jones thinks it all should be spent upon?

Fortunately, we’ve a method of dealing with this. Jut cut taxes by £200 a head. Then we all go spend that on whatever it is that we want and not what Owen Jones thinks we should have. Everyone’s happy here – other than Owen and seriously folks, who gives a damn about that?

There becomes a point when….

The singers Phoebe Bridgers and Courtney Jaye claimed Adams behaved inappropriately during their relationships.

In an interview with The Telegraph last year, Bridgers said she met Adams in 2015. “A mutual friend in LA was like, ‘Ryan would like you’. He really was just trying to get me recording and trying to get Ryan to hear me, but Ryan was like, ‘Let me see a picture of her’.”

Bridgers says that she and Adams “ended up hanging out all night and recording a song together called Killer. Then, a couple of weeks later, he was suddenly trying to hook up with me. I was super-down and had just broken up with my high-school boyfriend. We slept together on his 40th birthday and I’d just turned 20.”

Moore, one of the stars of NBC’s award-winning “This Is Us,” burst on the scene as a teen singer and had musical success in the late ’90s and early 2000s. She claimed Adams stalled her music career and told her, “’You’re not a real musician, because you don’t play an instrument.’”

“His controlling behaviour essentially did block my ability to make new connections in the industry during a very pivotal and potentially lucrative time – my entire mid-to-late 20s,” 34-year-old Moore said to the Times.

These are adult women. You know, the strong independent types who should take over the world. The mutterings about underage stuff are of course different. But adults, come along ladies, whining about who you take your knickers off for is usual enough but we expect a bit more than he wasn’t very nice to me.

Well, yes, so, what do we do?

Transgender men’s ability to access fertility treatment to have children should be reviewed by the Government, Britain’s most senior family court judge has said.

Sir Andrew McFarlane, the president of the Family Division of the High Court, invited Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, to review fertility laws after hearing the case of a transgender man who was able to access a sperm donor 10 days after legally completing his gender transition.

The man, who was born a woman and is identified only as TT, became pregnant and has taken his case to the High Court to be registered as the “father” on the child’s birth certificate.

No problem whatsoever with he fertility clinic bit. Even fine with the NHS bit.

Father though, isn’t that rather confusing the two different concepts of sex and gender?

But this then takes us one step on. Are there in fact any good reasons why we do want to distinguish? Other than order, that’s just the ways things are and should be? Do, we, for example, trade genetic diseases through birth certificates? In a manner that would be cocked by this in a manner that sperm donation wouldn’t already cause?

That is, other than that the demand is ridiculous, what’s the argument against here?

This was the damn point

He made an interesting comment. It was that his employer now holds no gilts in its pension fund. It has invested in much riskier corporate debt instead. This, as he put it, was being done in a ‘chase for yield’ and a need to ‘match the liabilities’. In other words, the trustees have abandoned caution in an attempt to match income to their obligations. Short term accounting demands have made them leave prudence behind.

But, as he noted, this explains where the debt is in the UK economy. In 2008 it was on bank balance sheets, and they failed.

This time regulation will have reduced bank exposure so it is on pension fund balance sheets instead.

The aim of QE was to get people out of gilts and into corporate bonds. That’s the damn point.


As is explained to him in the comments:

QE has had the impact of sending investors such as pension funds further down the rate curve, and ultimately into higher rated corporate debt. This is not the trustees ‘abandoning caution’ as you term it, but because of an obligation, mandated by legislation, that certain liabilities need to be matched. (Something that Gilt investments are not able to do because their yields are so low, because of QE).

To which:

So, QE has created risk fir the next financial crisis

As I said it would in 2010

All you have done is confirm that

Well, that and a blasé indifference


That’s the QE that Ritchie says should be our major government funding mechanism with MMT, right?