Not quite Larry

There have been periods in Britain\’s history – the famine of the 1340s, followed by the Black Death – when there were colossal falls in living standards,

No, the Black Death caused, for those who survived of course, a massiove rise in living standards.

It was a Malthusian economy, see? Fewer people, same amount of land and production from it, higher living standards.

No, left wing is not an insult

The latest playground insult for adults? You\’re so \’leftwing\’

David Cameron seems to be hoping \’leftwing\’ will stick as an insult – much like the way \’liberal\’ is thrown about in the US

Ignorant, counter-productive, these aren\’t insults either but they are usefully descriptive of much of the British left wing.

Yes, I know, I\’m going off on Worstall Rant #162 and will soon start foaming at the mouth and screaming.

There\’s nothing at all wrong with desiring a richer, greener, more equal perhaps world. Similarly praising the dignity of manual labour, thinking that we\’d all be better off with a bit more community and a little less individualism.

Even the elimination of rent seeking, the removal of the power of one over another.

You can agree or not agree with any of these goals as you wish: they\’re goals, largely determined by your priors, your morals and prejudices. I might disagree with some, you might. Might prioritise individual liberty a little more than that communal outcome, whatever.

But what drives me into that screaming froth mouthed rage is that so much of what is proposed by the so called \”left\” in Britain is actually counter-productive given their expressed goals. And I can only think that this is because they are ignorant of the consequences of the actions they propose to supposedly reach their goals (I doubt very much that any of them are bright enough to be evil about these things. I\’ve worked, as you know, in politics and none of them strike me as that clever).

Yes, the dreary litany: they argue for higher corporation taxes when such taxes are, in large part, actually paid by the workers in lower wages. They argue for high tax regimes, highly progressive tax regimes, to fund a large state, without realising that you can only fund a large state with regressive taxation. They argue for national pay deals refusing to see that these kill people. We must keep the NHS as the last Stalinist bureaucracy in Europe despite the obvious failures of such Stalinist bureaucracies.

Polly\’s \”we must be more like Sweden\” without anyone going and doing the work to understand why Sweden fucking works.

And this is where the froth mouthed screaming rises to hysteria: I could design them a system which achieves their goals better than the idiocies that they themselves put forward. We know how to lower the gini, we know how to provide more affordable housing, we know how to provide better equality of opportunity and even greater equality of outcome.

But the fuckers just won\’t listen, will they?

Why DSK wasn\’t set up

But Paris is almost entirely unanimous on one point: that Epstein’s very readable piece is predicated on an assumption of competence by the UMP dirty tricks department that’s nothing short of fantastic. “That lot couldn’t conspire their way out of a paper bag” is the consensus.

It\’s not the most flattering of explanations but it does have the ring of truth to it.

Death to National Pay Bargaining

It\’s a good idea but I do think they\’re going to fuck it up:

It’s true that, in the current system, hospitals in the North can find good permanent nursing staff, and offer their young doctors a less stressful life than in the South or East. But just as national rates undermine private employment in poor regions, they also create problems in rich ones. Hospital trusts in the South East too often find themselves scrambling for agency cover. Relying on agency nurses is bad for your health: researchers have established that hospitals in the South register higher fatalities and lower productivity when, with full-time wages below the local private sector’s, they are forced to use temp staff.

National rates make it easy to hire good teachers in Durham or the Wirral; but in London and the South East, finding a maths teacher can be a nightmare. The Coalition Government is introducing a “pupil premium”, so that additional money follows disadvantaged children to whichever school they attend. Schools with lots of these pupils tend to have fewer good teachers and high staff turnover. But if schools are tied into pay scales and rigid conditions, they can’t offer anything special to attract better staff.

Quite, it isn\’t about lowering pay in poor areas. It\’s about having the right pay in all areas and that could and would mean rises in some areas just as it might mean (gradual, almost certainly in the form of different pay rises over the years) falls in others.

But as I say, I have a feeling they\’ll screw this up:

The change that is being floated is one of five or more separate pay-scales,

Fools: what we want is to be more like Sweden:

Here, rigid, centrally set pay spines were swept away in the 1990s. Instead, everyone has an individual contract, setting their pay as an individual, not placing them at a point on a scale.

How much do we have to pay to get you, yes, you, that unique and precious mixture of skills, talents and desires that is an individual human being, to come and work here doing this job?

Labour, the workers, it\’s just not some homogenous mass which can be parcelled out, allocated across different jobs or regions. It\’s 30 million unique individuals and all should be treated as such, don\’t you think?

Kafka and the European Arrest Warrant

There\’s something of a problem with this EAW you see:

In another case, Andrew Symeou was extradited to Greece in July 2009 to face charges in connection with the death of a young man on a Greek island.

He spent a year in custody before being granted bail but could not leave Greece. He was finally cleared by a Greek court in June this year.

You can get picked up and dumped in the prison of any other EU country on the basis of no evidence at all. Simply the issuance of a warrant is all that is required.

However, once you\’re there, you\’re a foreigner with no connections to the country, a flight risk, and thus you don\’t get bail and you cannot return home while the case is processed. You know, get on with life, go to uni, whatever, while the mills of Balkan justice grind slowly.

But if you can be picked up anywhere in the EU and dumped into any prison on the basis of no evidence then you\’re not in fact a flight risk, are you? If every police force in the continent can be forced to look for you, pick you up and deliver you to the court, then you are no more out of their reach pottering around Enfield productively waiting for trial than you are stuck in either a Greek prison or confined to Greece.

Indeed, the very fact that you have been picked up and delivered on an EAW shows that you absolutely are not out of the court\’s jurisdiction while awaiting trial in your home country.

So not only have they got the most basic thing wrong: the EAW shouldn\’t exist, no, we should not be bundling up Britons to face the courts of other countries without seeing the evidence against them, but the very fact that the EAW exists should mean instant bail and return to home while the case drags on.

And as the EU hasn\’t the wit to organise this then fuck \’em.

Can we leave yet?