What motivates Oxfam?

At which point we have to ask why Oxfam is perpetrating this drivel upon the public sphere. And I’m afraid that the only answer I can come up with is a very cynical one. Drawn from the insights of that arch-cynic (although he was also right) C. Northcote Parkinson. No bureaucracy is ever ready to go into that long dark night, the aim and purpose of a bureaucracy is simply for the bureaucracy to perpetuate. And anti-poverty campaigners in my native UK back in the 1950s and 60s realised that they had a problem. Absolute poverty was essentially beaten in Britain in the 1930s. Thus they couldn’t really campaign against something that didn’t exist any more. So, some moved to campaigning about the absolute poverty that persisted in other parts of the world (and Oxfam, among others, did some very good work here) and others set about redefining poverty to mean relative poverty. Or as we can also call it, inequality. For while we did manage to prove Jesus wrong, the poor would not always be with us, inequality most certainly would be.

And the current prediction is that we’ll pretty much wipe out global absolute poverty by 2030. One of the few global targets that does in fact look achievable too. At which point, what is a bureaucracy campaigning against poverty, one perhaps called Oxfam, to do? Who will provide that indoor relief for the dimmer scions of the establishment that is a campaigning NGO when there is no poverty to campaign against?

Quite, change the problem from poverty to inequality and the grandchildren of Jocelyn and Jocasta will still have someone to fund their gap yah.

On that dribbling idiocy from Oxfam

Sam Walton’s heirs have some $100 billion between them, vast piles of cash. But that is a one off sum; they’ve got that wealth the once and the once only. Out here, we consumers are getting over $250 billion a year of value from that same creation, Walmart. Over the past couple of decades we’ve had $5 trillion and they’ve had $100 billion. Surely the bargain of the century?

I’m not talking about whether the rich deserve their spoils. We are not talking rights or morality here, just pure pragmatism. The reason we’re cool with the Walmart heirs having $100 billion is because we’ve had $5 trillion out of the arrangement. And we’d like the next person who has an idea to make us $5 trillion richer to think that their kids, or even they themselves, might be allowed to keep some fraction of it.

Poverty exists and obviously we’d prefer that it didn’t. That’s why we need more rich people not fewer: because we need someone to create value for the rest of us to consume.

Seriously, who cares if they get three per cent of what we do?

Interestingly, this isn’t true

It would be one thing if the incoming commander in chief showed any hint of humility, of realizing that his duty to the nation requires showing some respect for the strong majority of Americans who voted against him despite Russian meddling and the F.B.I.’s disinformation dump.

The majority of Americans who voted voted against him but the majority of Americans did not vote against him.

A fairly important distinction there.

If only the Co Op had had a banker in charge

Co-op Bank has agreed to pump millions into the pension scheme of the Britannia Building Society.

The struggling lender will hand the group’s pension trustees £50 million over the next seven years, as well as placing a £137 million portfolio of top-rated mortgages or debt into a custodian account with another bank as security for the scheme.

The pension scheme became the responsibility of the Co-op Bank after its disastrous merger in 2009 with the building society and marks the latest financial hit as a result.

Instead of those non-bankers that Ritchie defended so vociferously.

Something about this story doesn’t make sense

Latham House farm in Wigan has been in Jimmy Morris’s family for more than 80 years. He and his wife, Gillian, use their nine hectares (23 acres) of greenbelt land to graze sheep and cows, and in the winter they welcome Blackpool beach’s donkeys for their holidays.

The first they knew of proposals to build on their land was when a council notice was pinned to a lamppost on their road. A stretch of land next to the Morris’s farmhouse, near the junction between the M6 and the M58, has been marked as a possible site for a new road leading from the motorway, plus 170 houses and 150,000 sq metres of employment space.

The family bought the farm 30 years ago, after renting it for more than half a century, in the hope that they could secure it for future generations.

Is the land being compulsory purchased?

If not, then how are people building on their land without permission?

How excellent

More than half of millennial fathers want to be demoted into a less stressful job in order to be better fathers, according to a report released on Monday.

As experts warn of a “fatherhood penalty” for men who want to be more involved in the upbringing of their children, 53% of millennial fathers told researchers they wanted to move to a less stressful job, while 48% would take a pay cut to achieve a better work-life balance.

Off you go then.

What, it disappears then, does it?

Every dollar of profit given to the shareholders of corporations is
a dollar that could have been spent paying producers or workers more, paying more tax, or
investing in infrastructure or innovation.

The people who receive it do what with it? Err, spend it or invest it, meaning that it goes to workers, producers, tax, investment or infrastructure.

Bloody Oxfam

There is no getting away from the fact that the biggest winners in our global economy are
those at the top. Oxfam‟s research has revealed that over the last 25 years, the top 1% have
gained more income than the bottom 50% put together.

Checking their own report as their source:

Since the turn of the century, the poorest half of the world’s population has
received just 1% of the total increase in global wealth, while half of that
increase has gone to the top 1%.

Twats writing about global income and wealth who are not able to distinguish correctly between income and wealth are twats, aren’t they?

Oxfam really are sodding idiots, aren’t they?

In 1990, 35% of the global population lived below the extreme poverty line. After three
decades of poverty reduction, it is estimated that in 2015 less than 10% of the world
lived below this line, calibrated at $1.90 a day.
5 While it is important to celebrate this
progress, we can‟t be complacent. For the world to reach the Sustainable
Development Goal target to have eradicated extreme poverty by 2030, the World
Bank has made it clear that we must see a more equal distribution of growth, with an
associated reduction in inequality.

In order to see a reduction in inequality you need more unequal growth, not more equal growth, you ignorant, ignorant, tosspots.

The incomes of the poor must grow more quickly than those of the rich in order to reduce inequality…..

To end the injustice of extreme poverty, it is clear
that economic inequality must be addressed.

Nope, not at all. to end extreme poverty we need to be creating more wealth, more value add. Because people can only consume value that is created.

This is fun

The Government has been urged to crack down on health tourism after it emerged that a Nigerian woman cost the NHS £350,000 by flying to Britain to give birth to twins.

Luton and Dunstable University Hospital is said to be chasing payment for the caesarean section the unidentified woman had, followed by intensive care treatment for the two babies.

Fun in a rather dark manner.

We know that the NHS won’t pay more than £30k per qualy, or rather than NICE won’t let it for a drug or treatment. But what’s the number for treatment in general, ICU etc?

You can’t blackmail a known adulterer with tales of adultery

The most convincing proof to me that the Russians weren’t involved is that said Russians are not idiots:

Within seconds Trump was throwing punches, suggesting it would be a “tremendous blot” on the record of the intelligence agencies if they were responsible for leaking the now notorious kompromat dossier, which alleges that Russian intelligence has evidence of perverted sexual behaviour by Trump.

It’s been generally known for decades that Trump screws whatever he can. He’s been known to seat his wife (of the time) and current mistress at the same table at parties just for the joy of it. Kompromat of his having odd sexual tastes is not in fact kompromat therefore.

It doesn’t really matter what the odd sexual tastes are either. Golden showers or that he gave Michelle a blow job, doesn’t really matter. It’s just not compromising in the way that, say, an evangelist getting it on with a hooker is.

And people who do blackmail know this. Evidence that James Bond shags stunners does not provide a hold over James Bond now, does it?

SOAS again

It quotes black undergraduates who say their academic progress is being hampered by older white professors who cannot relate to them. “Both of my tutors are white men. How can I have a rapport and feel comfortable talking to a 60-year-old white man?” asks one. “Our experiences of life are so different and you’re coming from completely different places.”

You’re going to have to do a bit of work then aren’t you matey? This is an ageing and still largely white society. So you’re going to have to figure out how to relate to old white guys at some point.

Willy’s a card, isn’t he?

The starting point has to be getting the language and argument right. What prompts anger with executive pay is the belief that it has risen far too fast for far too long with too little justification or relationship to the right kind of performance. Shareholders and society alike want – or should want – executives paid well to build great, purposed companies over time. Instead, the incentives are too much oriented to delivering a high share price in the immediate future, encouraging corner-cutting to get there. If Corbyn had said that last Monday he would instantly have had a more defensible position.

The only viable way forward is to create the best justification process possible, along with the best-designed incentives to produce results that everyone is proud of, as the Purposeful Company taskforce argued in its interim report on pay last November. (Full declaration: I am on its steering group.) Scoring goals in football happens over 90 minutes; scoring goals in business life – innovating, building great products and market share – takes years. Reward should be phased over the same period and designed to build companies driven by purpose.

Which is why CEO pay is almost all in long term share awards these days. The numbers being exactly those that Hutton is complaining about.

Idiot, idiot

The vision of a low-tax Britain that enforces fewer regulations in terms of workers’ rights has been a motivating force for a number of high-profile supporters of Brexit. However, in a letter seen by the Observer, Asscher writes that it is in the interests of both the UK and the remaining 27 EU member states that May’s government is prevented from creating a low-tax “neoliberal” outpost.

In a sign of the complexity of the trade negotiations to come, Asscher writes: “If you and I pay taxes, so should the large enterprises. Let’s fight the race to the bottom for profits taxation together, which threatens to come into existence if it is up to the Conservative UK government.

But a large enterprise is a legal person, not a natural person. And it is only natural persons who can carry the burden of taxation – on the simple grounds that there’s only us around.

The entire idea is thus stupid.

Entirely fascinating

The dossier published by BuzzFeed was originally intended as “opposition research” against Mr. Trump. There’s nothing unusual about this; political campaigns routinely investigate the background of their opponents to identify vulnerabilities. This information is often passed quietly to reporters in hopes that a damaging article will result. What was surprising in this case was that the allegations against Mr. Trump, none of them verified, ended up on a highly popular news website.

Wait, what?

Is he really saying what I think he’s saying? That peegate dossier was originally done by the Hillary campaign?

If so isn’t that actually rather the story here?

Minority position does not have political party. Boo Hoo

It’s a pretty desperate situation. For many like me, clearly to the left of Hunt and clearly well to the right of the Trotskyists, all that is left is a void where there appears to be no hope of proper political representation.

If you’re a social but not economic liberal; a social democrat with green tendencies but who thinks the label green is too limiting; and whose aim is centred on social, economic and tax justice in a mixed economy that is not dominated by global corporate interests then right now the UK political scene presents you with the prospect of howling into the wind but no immediate chance of securing political representation from a party that comes close to representing your reasonable aspirations for the country, economy, health, education, the planet and so much more.

And political parties operate in a market of course. And if there’s no one else in the country who shares you political position then you’ll find there is no political party for you.

Yes Jonathan? And?

We’ve learned too that the dossier included a claim of secret meetings between Trump aides and Russian officials. Now, that claim has not been proved and could of course turn out to be, as Trump insists, “garbage”. But it comes from a document deemed sufficiently credible by US intelligence agencies that they briefed both President Obama and Trump on its contents.

I’ve met Russian officials. And?

Jeebus, the snowflakes really are losing it, aren’t they?

The mistake is to project on to Trump the standards that would normally apply. Take this week’s parallel drama, as several of his nominees came before the senate to have their appointments confirmed. They all offered sweet words of reassurance: the would-be attorney general insisting he was no racist; the prospective secretary of state avowing that he was no patsy to Putin. Official Washington seized on these morsels of comfort, especially when Trump tweeted an apparent admission that his senior team were at odds with him on several core issues: “I want them to be themselves and express their own thoughts, not mine!”

But what if such licensed independence is all for show? Maybe Trump has no plan to use these cabinet members for anything but window dressing. On foreign policy, Rex Tillerson could turn out to be a glorified ambassador, says Robin Niblett, the director of Chatham House. Real decision-making power might reside with Trump, son-in-law Jared Kushner, Breitbart founder Steve Bannon, and firebreathing national security adviser Mike Flynn. That would fit Trump’s style, says Niblett, with “Power concentrated ever closer around the chief executive.”

And Hills would have given her Cabinet operational freedom too, yes?

They’re just going nuts.