Quite so, the glory of our isle

Except it probably won’t actually get called Boaty McBoatface. Nor will the other imaginative suggestions such as Big Shipinnit or Big Metal Floaty Thingy-Thing likely make the final cut. But, just days after the NERC launched a poll, encouraging the public to suggest a suitable moniker, the Great British public did what it does best – and has been doing for centuries. We took the piss.

And I can’t say I’m surprised. This is, after all, the country that created Punch, Viz, Private Eye. The people who call the Queen “Brenda” and the Prince of Wales “Brian”. The nation that dubbed Liverpool Cathedral “Paddy’s Wigwam” and voted to send the Spice Girls on tour to Baghdad. We’ve met with triumph and disaster, and we’ve always made a bum gag just the same. Love it or loathe it, schoolboy humour runs in our blood like Bovril and weak bitter.

Quite amazing really, an article in The Guardian that actually understands the local population.

I thought we were supposed to be against this sort of thing now?

I’ve seen more of Ann Hirsch than I have of possibly anybody else on the planet. To be specific, I watched her one-minute film of her vagina “singing” I Feel Pretty, which is brilliant and hilarious and joyful, and makes you feel sad and angry about all the other vaginas on the internet which are shaved, penetrated and exploited.

Art despite it being paid for, is not exploitation, is that it?

So when was it ever different?

It only occurred to me recently, at the still tender age of 20, that these boys had no idea what they were talking about. Yes, they could name dazzlingly complex sex positions such as the “backward upside down cowgirl” that I thought only a contortionist could achieve. But, really, they were just pontificating on the basis of a few illegally downloaded porn films, traded around on memory sticks at break time.

Only a year before, they had been trading Pokémon cards.

My first lessons about sex didn’t come from sex education lessons, but were filtered through pre-pubescent boys, who received their information from porn. A 2008 report into youth exposure to pornography, carried out in the US, found that from a pool of 5,000 undergraduate students, 93% of boys and 62% of girls had been exposed to internet porn before the age of 18. The report also found that “boys were significantly more likely to view online pornography more often and to view more types of images”.

OK, so the access to porn may be different but I challenge anyone to give us a period or era of human history when the underlying reality was any different. Maybe when we were all back on the farm and everyone knew what taking the sow to the boar involved but that’s still not a great help with intimacy nor consent is it?

(Cue old joke: Young lad to young girl at the covering: wish I could do that. “Well, she might let you”.)

Telegraph seems to have changed

Changed the way they load cookies that is. Clearing out the Tele cookies in Chrome no longer gains access to the paper. It seems to load 31 cookies all at once. Thus it states that, even having cleared them, that you’ve had your lot for the month.

Bit of a pity for I quite like reading it, but not enough to actually pay for it.

Aren’t we lucky? Two stumps in one day!

It’s the Americans, the bastards!

For all these reasons to pretend that there is any legal reason that prevents the publication of country-by-country data should candidly be bluntly dismissed as straightforwardly untrue. Instead what my sources tell me is that the suggestion has been made in this form to appease the USA.

In the USA the inclusion of country-by-country reporting data in tax returns is seen as a European imposition on US companies even though it is actually an OECD issue. It is massively resented by the Republicans and is only being implemented because it has been argued that it is a mere administrative reform to tax returns not requiring legislation for approval, which would be blocked if it was proposed, like most things of any value are in the US these days. But, in a compromise the IRS thinks it has to make to get the data I understand that they have told the EU that they believe that the OECD stipulation that the data be unpublished is binding and that if any country or countries publish data for jurisdictions other than their own then they will not share data the US receives on CBCR with them. Apparently they accept the EU as one administration for this purpose.

So, the threat of legal action is from the U.S. here and the issue arises because the OECD rules do not require that a group of companies submit its country-by-country report to all the countries in which it trades but only to the tax authority of its parent company, which is then legally bound to share it, which is what it looks like the US is refusing to do. The consequence is that the US can hold the EU to ransom as a result.

It’s not the Americans, the bastards, it’s the companies, the bastards!

The EU has said of country-by-country reporting that to demand publication of data for all the jurisdictions in which a multinational company trades could lead it into a legal minefield.

Now, of course one has to be cautious about an excuse offered by an unnamed official to a journalist on a document that may, or may not, have been officially leaked. The claim may not be true, if course, and may just look usefully convenient when the political will to act does not exist.

But suppose for a moment that the claim is true. Suppose that the EU – the largest supra-national legislator in the world – thinks it cannot legislate because of a legal minefield. Who created that minefield? What is the risk? And why can’t it be cleared?

I have already dealt with the likelihood that the USA is the real risk and it’s not threatening legal action: blackmail is more its line. So the risk cannot be from there, and it cannot be from EU member states, so it must come from companies.

The clear implication of this is unpalatable. As many of us have feared to be the inevitable direction of trade deals and agreements, the EU may now be signalling that it can only regulate companies to the extent that they concur with its wishes, and if they do not then the EU is recognising that the threat of legal action may be real.

In other words the rule of law is now conditional on the consent of those supposedly subject to it.

Corporate law may, then, be prevailing.

This is the route to the corporate state, and that is fascism.

The fight over country-by-country reporting is, then, no minor issue: this is about the right to decide who really rules and the stakes are very high indeed.

And, err, yes, we do normally think that the rule of law is conditional on the consent of those subject to it. Any number of leftie campaigns are about “No, we do not consent to this law, change it!”. As is most of Ritchie’s campaigning of course. No, I do not consent to people paying less tax than I think they ought to, change the law!

Further, err, yes, we would rather like the government to obey the law. Like, you know, the UK government over Cadbury, Vodafone and the CFC rules? Or only locking up child rapists when there is evidence that child rape has occurred and it was ‘im what dunnit?

You know, law?

Just one drop is alive and well in the US

Somehow I thought we’d moved on from this:

Social workers SEIZE sobbing girl, 6, from her home of five years in adoption race row: Devastated white foster family forced to give up their daughter by court because she is 1.5% Native American

Lexi, a six-year-old with one-and-a-half per cent Choctaw blood has been removed from her foster parents of five years

One assumes, given the normal Amerind coiffure, that if the pencil falls out of the hair then she can be seized?

Now this is going to hurt

Gawker Media itself was hit with a $15m judgment, while its owner, Nick Denton, was personally ordered to pay $10m in damages.

Gawker (whatever the holding company is called) will have insurance coverage of some sort. This may well go beyond the max of that but still: it’s a limited company. Denton however, there might be some insurance coverage for him as an officer of the company but again, it’s possible that this award goes over whatever the limits were. And that’s gonna hurt, personal cash going. And of course the company can’t pay it if the award stands, can it? And similarly his stake in the company is worth nothing if the award stands.

He did well out of First Tuesday but I wonder how much person dosh he actually has?

Turkel said Gawker Media’s gross revenues in 2015 were $48.7m and that founder Nick Denton has a total of $121m, including a $3.6m Manhattan condo. Gawker Media is worth $83m, the lawyers said.

That $121 million presumably includes his stake (majority?) in Gawker.

No doubt we’ll find out at some point

The Court of Appeal has allowed a well-known entertainer to keep his extra-marital “threesome” secret in a move which heralds the return of the court injunction.
Judges said the man, who can only be named by the initials PJS, was entitled to secure a legal ban on a tabloid newspaper which wanted to report the “open relationship” enjoyed by him and his wife, known as YMA.

What slightly puzzles is, if it’s an open relationship then why must it be kept secret?

Nick Kristof is a real idiot sometimes

ONE of the worst things that can happen to a woman or girl around the world is a fistula, an internal injury caused by childbirth (or occasionally by rape) that leaves her incontinent, humiliated and sometimes stinking.

Victims are the lepers of the 21st century, and although the condition is almost entirely preventable, it is suffered by hundreds of thousands of women worldwide.

The condition is invisible because it distastefully involves sex, odor and private body parts, and because victims tend to live in impoverished countries and already have three strikes against them: They’re poor, rural and female, and thus voiceless and marginalized.

They’re the same group that is routinely denied education, denied the right to own property, denied jobs and denied any recourse after being battered, raped or married against their will — and that’s why gender equity worldwide should be a top item on the social justice agenda.

This is fuck all to do with womens’ rights or gender equity. It’s to do with poverty.

No one, no matter how rich, poor, patriarchal or just plain flat out stupid wants women stumbling around smelling of piss and shit. No one wants their mother, sister, daughter, nor day I say it their potential fuck, to be in this condition.

So, why doesn’t it get fixed? Because these places have been run by terminal dimwits for the past couple of centuries and they’re as poor as fuck. It’s not a rights nor gender issue, it’s a poverty issue. Get GDP growth up and this will be one of the first things that that newfound wealth is spent upon. By common agreement and desire, no armtwisting needed, no campaigning.

Hmm, so, to calm down a bit. What was the incidence of fistulas before modern surgery? Is this current poor world incidence any greater than our own ancestors went through?

Yes, I like it: Boaty McBoatFace

The good news for the Natural Environment Research Council’s decision to crowd-search a name for its latest polar research vessel is unprecedented public engagement in a sometimes niche area of scientific study. The bad news? Sailing due south in a vessel that sounds like it was christened by a five-year-old who has drunk three cartons of Capri-Sun.

Just a day after the NERC launched its poll to name the £200m vessel – which will first head to Antarctica in 2019 – the clear favourite was RRS Boaty McBoatface, with well over 18,000 votes.

As and when the site recovers you can vote here.

We may have lost India, those bastards over the Pond have been ungrateful little shits for over 200 years now but we are still British and proud of being eccentrics. Noble Britons, do your duty, vote early and vote often!

On that sex slave trafficking

The other girl said: ‘I wanted to build a future for myself. But when we go here they changed completely.
‘They forced us to do things we did not agree to. I was afraid of the slightest movement.’
The girls were freed a fortnight after being brought to the UK when police received a tip-off from a member of the public on Twitter and raided the brothel.

As ever, it undoubtedly happens. But not to any large extent as pretty quickly one or other of the punters will realise what is happening and dob the traffickers in. Being forced into prostitution is vile, it’s rape. The bastards also got 53 years for doing it, good. But it’s not going to happen very often and it’s not going to last very long when it does.

As BiS tells us, the economics don’t work either:

A few days after meeting Matei and Petre the men became their ‘boyfriends’ and enticed them with the dream of moving to the UK.
They left Romania, travelling across Europe and catching the ferry to Dover.
From there they were driven to a rented three-bedroom terrace in Preston, Lancashire, where they were told they would be expected to work as prostitutes.
Police believe the girls were visited by as many as 10 men a day, and while one of them made £1,000 through prostitution she was not allowed to keep a penny.

Risking 52 years, bringing someone over from Romania, for £1,000? That’s not an economic transaction, is it, that’s just gross stupidity.

Facepalm

Corporate destruction like electricity, abundant food, a higher standard of living…. just gorgeous how thick as pigshit some of our elected representatives are.

They’re right but aren’t they going to get stick for being so

Novak Djokovic, tennis world number one, said he believed men should be awarded more prize money than women as their matches have more viewers.
He made his comments after winning the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells on Sunday and defended the use of viewing statistics to determine prize money.
Earlier the event’s chief executive, Raymond Moore, provoked controversy ahead of the final between Victoria Azarenka and Serena Williams by saying the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) was a “lucky organisation” which “rides on the coattails” of the men.

Outrage in 3…2…1….

Conduct a small mind experiment. Split the two tours. Would the women be earning as much as the men?

So here’s an interesting new military theory

She warned that media stories about Mr Corbyn’s non-interventionism were having a negative impact and imagined a voter saying: “That Jeremy Corbyn you know, faced with terrorists he’d sit down and have a cup of tea with them or something.”

Ms Shawcroft went on: “Now I mean, you know, maybe we should try it! Bombing them and attacking them has got us nowhere, why don’t we get the teabags out?
“You know I did read a while ago about when the EDL were going round picketing outside mosques… One particular mosque in the Midlands somewhere just opened the doors and said would you like to come in for a cup of tea?
“And they went in for a cup of tea and now they’re friends with the EDL. Straight away the EDL are now like oh, well actually these people are not the monsters you know that we’re being told all this time, they’re actually human beings that you can sit down and have a cup of tea with.
“So you know I think we should bear in mind that having cups of tea might actually be the best kind of system of defence and national security that you could have, but there we are.”

Hmm.

Ms Shawcroft, who is on the steering committee for the pro-Corbyn activist group Momentum, has courted controversy previously.

Makes you wonder why the Stalinists didn’t just sit down and have a cup of tea with the kulaks. The BEF with the Panzergruppen.

Well, it’s one explanation I suppose

‘It’s an absolute obsession… she’s got really specific tastes’: Meet Brigit the cat burglar who roams the streets stealing men’s underwear and socks – but only in pairs
Brigit, a tonkinese cat, has taken 11 pairs of men’s boxers in two months
The six-year-old cat prowls the streets of Hamilton, New Zealand, at night
Brigit has also collected 50 pairs of socks and likes to steal them in pairs
The sticky-pawed animal leaves them around the house and backyard
Her owner, Sarah Nathan, is hoping to return them to the original owners

There are other explanations for 11 pairs of men’s boxers turning up at some bird’s house.

Unionisation, that’s what did for Gawker, unionisation

An Oxford education, elite media lawyers and the constitutional shield for freedom of the press was not enough to protect Gawker publisher Nick Denton – and the view of press rights in America – from the wrath of 6ft 7in, 302lb Hulk Hogan.

On Friday in St Petersburg, Florida, the legendary pro-wrestler, whose real name is Terry Bollea, delivered a $115m legal hit on the iconoclastic web publisher, a victory that signals a significant change in the public’s tolerance for media invasions of privacy – and that could bankrupt the site.

For three weeks jurors heard how Denton, a media star with ambitions of revolutionising news coverage, and AJ Daulerio, a former Gawker editor, had published and refused to take down a 2006 sex tape of Hogan and the wife of his best friend, DJ Bubba “the Love Sponge” Clem.

Denton’s refusal to do so now stands as a fateful decision that could determine whether the 49-year-old publisher goes down as both creator and destroyer of Gawker Media. If the judge in the case imposes as $50m bond on Gawker, which its representatives say it cannot pay, the site and its nine ancillary publications could quickly collapse.

That’s just the proximate cause, of course. The ultimate cause is the recent vote to unionise Gawker.

Hey, it’s no worse logically than most of the shit people try to sell us these days.