Bit odd really

We need to be more frank about the afflictions faced by the elderly, according to actress Miriam Margolyes.
The 75-year-old Cambridge-educated comedienne believes the physical challenges of getting older are rarely discussed.
In fact, she said there was a conspiracy of silence about the elderly.

‘Nobody tells you that old age is going to be sh***y,’ she said in an interview. ‘It’s a kind of conspiracy.’

Literature is just absolutely packed with the miseries of age. Given that Margolyes has done some Shakespeare I assume she’s familiar with Lear?

So this explains the loyalty of the third sector to Brussels then

However, his guarantees are not backed up by any legislation or formal policy. Despite his public assurances, funding that is directly administered by EU institutions could be most under threat immediately after Brexit happens. This is because the UK government has not been involved in the process of managing or distributing funds. Essentially these direct funds bypass the UK government. Preliminary research by DSC indicates that in 2015 £189.9m was paid directly to UK charities by the European commission.

That’s rather a cheap way for Brussels to buy the loyalty of an entire class of screaming harpies.

Not really Mo, no

Mo Farah, a runner who was knighted after becoming the most successful track athlete in Britain’s Olympic history, condemned the executive order banning people from certain Muslim countries, saying that “President Donald Trump seems to have made me an alien.”

You have a British passport, don’t you?

BTW, even with one of those in American law you are actually an alien.

Questions in the Observer we can answer

Dump the metropolitan SJW stuff, all the LGBTWTF stuff, the waaacism, and get back to doing something about making the working class life better.

You know, that thing the Labour Party was set up to do instead of being colonised by whatever today’s bubble concern is?

Labour is moving close to disaster. How can it reconnect with its roots?

Can we kill this idiocy right now please?

The government will pay its top post-Brexit international trade negotiator, tasked with sealing deals from North America to New Zealand, more than the prime minister, according to a job vacancy advertised on an internal civil service website. “Soft” Brexit campaigners say the £160,000 salary is a sign of the struggle the government is having in attracting the skilled staff it needs after decades of trade deals being handled from Brussels. In particular, there are fears the UK’s much-vaunted move to “the front of the queue” for a deal with the Trump administration will see inexperienced officials overwhelmed by tougher US counterparts.

Critics also think the salary is a waste of money for the first two years of the five-year contract because the UK will be unable to reach agreements until the terms of divorce from the EU are finalised in 2019.

The is another of the Remoaner, well, lies isn’t too strong a word, floating around out there. Akin to that Clegg/Mandelson one about having to charge WTO import duties.

We do not have the sovereign right to bring into action new trade deals while part of the European Union. That’s entirely true. But we’re entirely at liberty to discuss whatever we want with whomever between now and then. We are absolutely allowed to set up conditional treaties – on the day we leave we’ll sign this agreement, even we can, if we so wish, sign agreements now that say “this comes into effect the day we leave”.

Article 50 doesn’t stop us negotiating. The Treaty in general does stop us having different legal arrangements for trade until we have left.

Is that all clear now?

Useful lesson, you can’t trust politicians

Heathrow’s third runway is “unlawful” because locals bought houses and sent children to schools due to repeated Tory promises it would not happen, campaigners are arguing.

In legal documents seen by this newspaper, four Tory councils challenging the Government are arguing their residents had a “legitimate” expectation” the project would not be approved.

They have identified 19 “broken promises” made by David Cameron, Theresa May and other political figures saying the third runway would be scrapped.

As far as I can tell these promises all date back to pre-2010.

And anyone who believes the promises of an opposition politician deserves what they get, good and hard, no?

They’ve not quite got this homeopathy thing, have they?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced today that its laboratory analysis found inconsistent amounts of belladonna, a toxic substance, in certain homeopathic teething tablets, sometimes far exceeding the amount claimed on the label. The agency is warning consumers that homeopathic teething tablets containing belladonna pose an unnecessary risk to infants and children and urges consumers not to use these products.

Homeopathy– – you’re supposed to use smaller amounts.

This is really quite astonishing

So, Ms, Lagarde points out that inclusive growth is important. People need to buy into the idea that all are becoming better off.

So, what can be done? The answer is not for policymakers to hold off on reforms that boost productivity and growth. Rather, policymakers should consider options that make these reforms more palatable from both a growth and distributional perspective.
With this in mind, our staff paper looks at a number of country cases and analyzes how well-targeted measures can complement reforms and offset adverse distributional impact.

So, for example, Malawian maize subsidies are grossly distorting, get rid of them. But part of that positive sum gain might be paid out to poor farmers as a basic income, say.

Awight then. And Ritchie tells us that the takeaway here is as follows:

The argument is clear.

First austerity does not work.

Second, trickle down does not work.

Third, what you promote as a mechanism for growth matters: not all growth is equal and much is inequality inducing.

Fourth, what matters most of all then is growth aimed at reducing inequality. Nothing else is sustainable.

Absolutely none of which is actually said by the IMF nor Ms. Lagarde.

What they are actually saying is go gung ho for growth but spread the benefits around a bit. And they most certainly do not say that inequality increasing growth is unsustainable. They have, after all, heard of the Kuznets Curve, something our professor of practice in international political economy seems blissfully unaware of. A curve which two of the countries the IMF mentions, Malawi and Ethiopia, are undoubtedly on the wrong side of currently, inequality-wise.

Or, the TL:DR version – he’s making shit up again.

Seems to have got Richie and Colin Hines off to a T here

The outstanding method of modern nationalism is discrimination against foreigners in the economic sphere. Foreign goods are excluded from the domestic market or admitted only after the payment of an import duty. Foreign labor is barred from competition in the domestic labor market. Foreign capital is liable to confiscation.

The problem being that that’s about Nazi economic policies.

Your right to your life, yes, and then there’s murder

In the latest controversial incident the unnamed woman, who was over 80, reportedly suffered from dementia and had earlier expressed a desire for euthanasia when she deemed that ‘the time was right’.

As her situation deteriorated, it became difficult for her husband to care for her, and she was placed in a nursing home.
Medical paperwork showed that she often exhibited signs of fear and anger, and would wander around the building at nights. The nursing home senior doctor was of the opinion that she was suffering intolerably, but that she was no longer in a position where she could confirm that the time was now right for the euthanasia to go ahead.
However the doctor was of the opinion that the woman’s circumstances made it clear that the time was now right.
The doctor secretly placed a soporific in her coffee to calm her, and then had started to give her a lethal injection.
Yet while injecting the woman she woke up, and fought the doctor. The paperwork showed that the only way the doctor could complete the injection was by getting family members to help restrain her.
It also revealed that the patient said several times ‘I don’t want to die’ in the days before she was put to death, and that the doctor had not spoken to her about what was planned because she did not want to cause unnecessary extra distress. She also did not tell her about what was in her coffee as it was also likely to cause further disruptions to the planned euthanasia process.
The Review Committee concluded that the doctor ‘has crossed the line’ by giving her the first sleeping medicine, and also should have stopped when the woman resisted.
The paperwork and the recommendations of the committee are now being considered by prosecutors and health officials.
Kohnstamm said he was in favour of a trial: ‘Not to punish the doctor, who acted in good faith and did what she had to do, but to get judicial clarity over what powers a doctor has when it comes to the euthanasia of patients suffering from severe dementia.’

Isn’t “Did what she had to do” such a chilling phrase?

As to a trial, yes, and if the charge were murder I would vote to convict. For there is a line here, a slant on that slippery slope, where it does change.

Which is, of course, why I’ve been against stepping off the top of the hill in the first place.

Seriously, the “I want to be able to die when my time is right” has led to an elderly lady being held down so that she can be murdered by a doctor?

I remember this one

John Hurt, the widely-admired English actor who rose to fame playing flamboyant gay icon Quentin Crisp, has died aged 77.

There#’s a scene where he’s in the dock, wearing make up (no, not just stage, obviously). Made a hell of an impression if I can recall that all these years later. The character seemed to leap out of the screen*.

Oddly, I always thought he was Irish. Only English in the Peter O’Toole (who may actually have been born in England as well) sense, that the accent was trained.

*Scrolling down the article there’s a photo of it. But I remembered before scrolling down. And that photo does look very odd as well, that microphone is a bit modern for the time it is set isn’t it?


Britain’s accounting watchdog has sounded the alarm over the military’s spending plans, warning the MoD’s ability to pay for kit and maintenance is “at the highest risk ever”.

The National Audit Office’s analysis of the MoD’s £178bn spending plans for 2016 to 2026 – which include projects such as the F-35 fighter, Dreadnought nuclear submarines and P-8 Poseidon spyplanes – warns of a series of concerns on the already stretched defence budget.

In the standard analysis of government the purpose of it is to gain those public goods that we cannot gain without it. And defence, against those marauding Walloons, is first on that list.

It’s true that MoD is not notably well run – but then nor is most of government. Yet here the argument is about whether government can afford to spend 2.4% of government revenue on what is government’s first task.

Hhhm, maybe we took a wrong turn at some point?

Perhaps not the correct career choice

Labour’s Harriet Harman claims sleazy professor offered to bump up her university grades in exchange for sex
The former deputy leader of Labour claims the “repulsive” offer was made while she was studying politics at York University in the 1970s

So you’re a rapey sorta character. Or perhaps just one willing to trade power for sex (ie, not far off the normal male spectrum even if off it). That is, your power for their putting out.

Your power is such that Harry Harmanperson is the best your power position can obtain. Or even make the offer to.

Yes, this is ungallant but might you not think that perhaps the career choice hasn’t led to quite, exactly, the life you desired?

After all there is a reason why there’s an occasional heterosexual who works as a model booker rather than politics lecturer at York.


The two defendants are alleged to have been involved in a racket which led purchasers to believe they could make big profits out of the rising value of the metals.

What these victims were never told was that there was no chance of them being able to re-sell the commodities in 1 kg blocks, said Mr Polnay.

“These metals all have industrial uses. But those businesses who use them don’t want to buy them by the kilogram from various members of the public,” he said.

“The metals these defendants sold were, in effect, worthless, because in the form they were in – 1kg blocks – there is no one who would want to buy them,” said Mr Polnay.

I recognise that wording….

“This meant that for every £100 that a client thought he was investing, £50 to £74 would go to the salesman. Obviously and contrary to all fair, reasonable and honest behaviour, this was kept secret from the consumer,” he said.

On average, the defendants would use only £19 out of every £100 paid by investors to buy the metals.

I even recognise those numbers.

Dickinson, said to have been the prime mover in the scam, was sent to prison for seven years and disqualified from being a company director for 10 years.

Oorloff, who was described as having had a lesser role, was jailed for four and a half years and disqualified for seven years.

Both defendants will face a confiscation hearing at Guildford Crown Court on May 19, 2017.