Snigger, oh snigger indeed

It always was outrageously fascist:

A flagship government plan to assign a state-appointed figure to oversee the welfare of every child in Scotland has been blocked after the Supreme Court ruled that the controversial named person’s scheme was unlawful.

Judges said the proposals breach rights to privacy and a family life under the European Convention on Human Rights.

Note that that’s not the EU but the Council of Europe…..

I am enjoying Indian English

The more the rant media drives itself to orchestrated frenzy over Kashmir

“Rant media” describes just so much of that media landscape, doesn’t it?

Dubai-Kozhikode flight makes emergency landing in Mumbai due to ruckus by passenger

“Ruckus”, lovely word.

And here’s a lovely example of that rant media:

It clearly seems that the lobbies at the international level are working to make sure that the opinion in the US becomes so much gripped with the fear of “Radical Islam” that Trump’s arguments of hate and the need to exterminate this hate through “destruction” of the very “roots” of Islamic radicalism start echoing in the heart of every American.

ISIS kills people to get Trump elected.

Yeeeees…, how’s your lithium dosage?

So, let’s ban the sale of sugar then

Here instead is a grab-bag of ideas that would convey the same message, some or all of which will one day be enacted. Ban fast-food outlets from stations and airports. Ban the sale of confectionery and sugary drinks to the under-16s. Ban the sale of over-sugared products in supermarkets (as measured by a ratio of sugar to other nutrients). Ban the bringing into schools of unhealthy foods. Ban the presence in offices (like our own here at The Times) of vending machines that seem to sell mainly crisps and chocolate. Specify a weight-to-height ratio limit on air passengers wishing to avoid a surcharge.


My word this is one hell of a shock, isn’t it?

They may enjoy looking after their children while their wives go out to work.
But house husbands may pay a high price for their modern take on marriage.
Research shows that couples are more likely to divorce when the man does not work full-time.
The US researchers say that while the gender stereotyping of women has relaxed, men still suffer from the expectation that they should be the breadwinner.

There is an tiny part of the united States which is still Merrie England

As the Mail says:

The future is gray for British English: How american spellings are taking over the world with flavor, center and defense becoming the norm

I take great delight in writing for Forbes using the English spellings. I discussed it with editors when I started and they were fine with it. And I have been amused at people shouting at me because I can’t spell labour, colour and the like.

I’ve gone further than this too. I used to take great pleasure in using the -ize endings, archaic English which American retained as English switched to -ise. Just because some pendant might come along and complain. But now that that joke is buried under writing for Americans I’ve switched to -ise.

I know, petty, petty stuff. But, you know, why not?

I wish someone would tell me where this is

This is a continual claim:

One of the legitimate complaints against the EU is its determination to drag us into treaties that claim to be about trade but are really about releasing multinational corporations from democratic control. Three of the agreements it is trying to impose – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) – make a mockery of parliamentary sovereignty.

They threaten to reduce to the lowest common denominator the laws protecting us from predatory finance, the exploitation of workers, food adulteration, climate change and environmental destruction. They threaten to force the privatisation of public services.

Specifically that privatisation. I have at least skimmed two of those three. And I cannot find anything, anywhere, which advocates, insists upon, determines, hinders or advances privatisation.

I can find things which say that if you do privatise and then reverse then compensation must be paid but that’s a standard part of current law anyway.

Anyone help me out here? Where is this insistence or advancement of privatisation?

All sounds good

First it was the Beatles, now Motown classics are to be re-recorded by stars for a new Netflix children’s show aimed at reaching out to parents tired of listening to saccharine children’s songs.

Hot on the heels of forthcoming animation series Beat Bugs, which features modern renditions of the Beatles classics sung by artists including Rod Stewart, Robbie Williams and James Corden, comes another show from the same creator, which will be based on the songs of Motown artists such as Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and the Jackson 5.

Seen a few of the trailers (hey, who wouldn’t on hearing of this?) and it’s all rather fun. Not entirely convinced the covers are better (Rod doing Sgt Pepper would be fun to hear but I can’t find it) but you know, better than Inky Tinky or whatever the Teletubbies songs were.

One complaint though. The animation of the mouths for the characters who are supposedly singing is terrible. Having actually been involved in a project that worked on this, marginally at least, I know it’s difficult. But, but no, more effort should have been expended there. It is possible to get it right.

And with Motown, really important question. Who are they going to use as the backing band? The Funk Brothers are still largely available…..

And if they are, if they can have just the one moment that is this at 3.35:

I’ve said this before and no doubt I’ll say it again. But at 3.35 and just following there’s that shit eating grin of being with a fucking hot band and knowing that you’re absolutely nailing it.

Just absolutely nothing quite like it. And if Netflix manages to coax that sort of work, even if it’s only for a few moments over the 50 songs, then they’ll have done well.


Football has developed its own economy, with its own inflation rate. While the real world is looking down the back of the sofa, football burns money for a laugh – literally in the cases of some especially offensive players. A socialist sport has become an orgy of unashamed, self-congratulatory avarice.

I do agree that football is socialist. In one sense at least – the competition means that all the revenues and more flow through to the workers. With rare exceptions owning a club is the way to consume, not make, capital.

But assume you are a socialist and think that the workers getting the cash is a good thing. What’s wrong with them getting more?

Oh dear lord…..

Hummus and other “healthy” supermarket dips are laced with high levels of salt and fat, it has emerged, as health campaigners have revealed some pots contain more than four packets of crisps.

Hummus is made with chickpeas. Of curse there’s sodding salt in it. Ever tried chickpeas without salt?

They’ll be complaining that bread has salt in it next…..oh, hang on….

An interesting little point about Yahoo

From the Facebook results:

Facebook, which was founded in a Harvard dorm room in 2004 and joined the stock market in 2012, reported a 59pc rise in quarterly revenues to $6.44bn, while net income increased 186pc to $2.05bn. Both were ahead of forecasts.

Meanwhile, costs were up a third to $3.7bn. Spending on research and development rose 25pc to $1.46bn.

Yes, obviously, this doesn’t translate directly to Yahoo. But the general point stands. A large chunk of the costs of running these internet thingies is in trying to develop what to do next. If you accept that the basic idea is done, that you’ll not pivot to something else, then there’s good money to be made by simply running what already exists. Sweat the extant business that is, invest nothing in it. Pull that R&D spending out and profits do rather rise, don’t they?

The poster child for this is of course AOL. Their dial up business (no, seriously) still throws off rivers of cash.

To Yahoo, there’s an argument, which obviously I’ve not gone and checked but I think it could well be valid, that if Mayer had just said “Yahoo will die in a decade” therefore we’ll invest nothing and just send the rivers of cash to shareholders then those shareholders would be better off. That billion spent on Tumblr for example, but also just the general underlying spending on trying to advance things rather than just maintain and extract.

Or, as many have found before, sweating a dying business can be much more profitable than trying to reinvent it.

The same could even be true of Microsoft……forget mobiles, search and all that, Windows and Office, sweat them for two decades and let the thing die.

Naah, I’ve got this covered

Office workers must exercise for one hour a day to combat the deadly risk of modern working lifestyles, a major Lancet study has found.

Not quite as onerous as it sounds

A decent walk – at a speed of just over three miles an hour – was enough to achieve the benefit, he stressed.

“You don’t need to do sport, you don’t need to go to the gym, it’s OK doing some brisk walking maybe in the morning, during your lunchtime, after dinner in the evening. You can split it up over the day but you need to do at least one hour,” he said.

That hour in the evening standing at the bar and wandering out for a smoke now and again qualifies, no? I mean, that’s walking?

Ever so slightly more seriously I absolutely hate the way I feel with no exercise at all. And yes, that 15 minute wander to the office and back (when in Czech) does indeed help. Although as the stories about cycling will tell, in reasonable weather I do rather more than that.

Complete nonsense


Equality, inequality, are defined as personal incomes. This we can alter whatever we do to corporate taxation rates.

So, nonsense.

But then think about it as Ritchie does. Which is that corporate taxes are carried by the business itself. It’s not the shareholders, they don’t change their actions as a result of a change in corporate tax rates (they are the same statement).

Thus corporate taxation doesn’t change inequality when measured against incomes, does it?

Not quite what the informed gossip says

Oddly speaking at such an event was not listed amongst the reasons why City University appointed me as Professor of Practice in International Political Economy, which is the role I really wanted last September, and which I got for reasons wholly unrelated to Corbynomics

Rather, the fuss about Corbynomics and the chuntering about the immediately arriving peerage is what led to the one day a week appointment.

Allegedly, according to the informed gossip.

Teddies, pram….

Richard Murphy says:
July 26 2016 at 3:49 pm
I walked away from McDonnell because I saw the contempt he had for those appointed to his team and knew there was a dsisaster in the making, as there has been

My bitterness is that Corbyn and McDonnell I have so badly failed those who trusted them

I have changed not an iota

I advised Miliband, Corbyn, McCluskey, Lucas, Osborne and Cameron (when he borrowed country-by-country reporting) alike because they wanted my ideas

Most have used them well

Corbyn has not

And please note his entire economics advisory team have walked away

Do you really think he’s going to find another one?

Get real

The problem being that there’s a limited number of prams to throw things out of.

There’s always been an advantage to Nigel

Bill Etheridge says he wants to see ‘a return to the days’ when prison focused first and foremost on punishment, and vowed to ‘rehabilitate without using significant financial resources’.

His measures include:

removing all luxuries from jails, including all electronic devices.
an automatic 10-year sentence increase for prisoners who attack prison officers.
locking prisoners in their cells for the first six months of sentences.
banning all visits over the same period.
a £40,000 annual charge on prisoners to be levied until ‘their assets are depleted’.

Idiocies like this were stamped upon and stamped upon fast.

I recall one version of a manifesto that lasted about 30 minutes as a result of things like this.