How we get to hundreds

Exposed: the horror Zimbabwe is hiding behind a news blackout

I’d believe it, certainly.

Hundreds of people, including children as young as 10, have been killed

Really? Shit!

And then:

Hundreds of people, including children as young as 10, have been killed or beaten in Zimbabwe


No, government killing people, government beating people, both wrong. And yet Blair Peach was not British government beats demonstrators to death was it? A demonstrator, possibly….

Isn’t this discrimination?

Last week, universities in England were preparing reports on how they have diversified their student populations. These reports will be submitted to the director of fair access at the Office for Students. My university, King’s College London, will report, happily, that our undergraduate intake is now 77% state school, more than 52% ethnic minority and has the fastest growing population of low-income students in the Russell Group.

52% ethnic minority is rather higher than the UK average. Even among the age cohort in London. So, why this illegal – for such is illegal – discrimination?

Hmm, what’s that? But it’s to make u for the past or summat? But English law doesn’t work that way – illegal discrimination on the grounds of ethnicity is illegal. And yes, given the way peeps talk about Oxbridge all we do need is those numbers showing out of proportion with the target population….

Impressive numbers

Women around the world march against austerity and violence
Tens of thousands take to city streets to protest against violence and the impact of austerity on their lives

Propelled by a mass public rendition of Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves and accompanied by a thudding police helicopter overhead, hundreds of protesters have rallied in central London in solidarity with an estimated 89 Women’s Marches worldwide.

In Athens, Berlin, Washington DC and Los Angeles, to name just a few, tens of thousands of demonstrators turned out to protest against violence against women and the impact of policies of austerity.

Thousands, tens of thousands, all most impressive. Then look again, London, hundreds.

A crowd of hundreds in London is nothing, spit in the sea of the city. There were hundreds shopping in Marks and Spencers. The Oxford Street branch alone. Between 1 and 2 pm. Hundreds, in a city of 8 million, is smaller than the queue for Tube tickets.

Might be true

Britain’s wealthiest business people are fleeing abroad amid mounting complications over tax, the country’s richest man has warned.

Amid a growing political crisis over the UK’s future relationship with the EU, Gopichand Hinduja, whose family controls a £20.6bn industrial fortune, told The Sunday Telegraph many of the country’s wealthiest people have ­already quietly left Britain for Dubai, Singapore and other financial centres.

But what are those tax campaigners going to say about it?

Good riddance? We didn’t want their money anyway? Huzzah London house prices will fall?

Or just do a Spud and insist people don’t move for tax reasons?

Well, no, not so much

Arizona: Four women convicted after leaving food and water in desert for migrants

A lot of weight upon that “after” there.

A federal judge has found four women guilty of entering a national wildlife refuge without a permit

That’s the misdemeanor – think £5 fine from the magistrates level of crime – they’ve been found guilty of.

R Kelly’s sales dropping

Might be about sex allegations, might not be:

R. Kelly has been dropped by his record label following a stream of accusations of sexual abuse of minors.

Perhaps the cause of the dropping might be those allegations but the willingness to do so will be about sales.


With Hinckley Point also in doubt, the UK’s future energy policy is in tatters: the nuclear option is dead because it is technically and financially not feasible.

If ever there was a moment for us to be focussing on what is important in politics to announce a Green New Deal to solve this problem this would be it.

Now show that the Green New Deal is cheaper than nuclear.

A difficult task given that the GND will be funded by the issuance of new money – and how much would nuclear cost us if we did that?

Umm, well….

This is simply wrong. It is not true that we are outright losers from exports, and it is unambiguously not true that we are the only winners from imports, at entire cost of those who export to us.

At which point he bumbles off to talk about money being used in settlement.

But imports are the point of trade, they’re the work of others that we get to consume. Exports are a cost to us, they’re our work that others gain by consuming. Tracking pieces of government issued paper doesn’t change that.

Selective school does good job

London state school secures 41 Oxbridge offers

We can write Polly’s article for her now, can’t we?

The point though being:

The sixth form, which is oversubscribed, annually accepts 300 students, who are interviewed before being offered a place.

Selective school has good results.


Define the worth of a job

The dispute, which has been fought through the tribunals and courts for more than a decade and involves about 14,000 separate claims, stems from 2006, when a new job evaluation scheme was introduced by the then Labour-run council, with the aim of addressing gender pay inequality. Instead, say the women affected, it entrenched discrimination by paying female-dominated jobs such as catering and cleaning less than male-dominated jobs such as refuse collection because of a complex system that penalised people working split shifts and irregular hours.

The distinction between the same pay for the same job and the same pay for a job of equal worth. For in a market based economic system the only useful definition of a job of the same worth is one that pays the same….


A lap dancing venue that was threatened with closure by equality groups has had its license renewed after its dancers insisted they were feminists too.

Urban Tiger, a gentleman’s club located in Bristol City’s Centre, received its annual permit despite objections from women’s rights groups who called for the “sexist” venue to be closed.

Campaigners claimed that the club promoted outdated attitudes towards women as the dancers are objectified by the people who pay to see them perform.

Other people’s favoured activities should be illegal because you disapprove? Truly, the Lord Chamberlain’s Office lives on….

How the tune changes

Helen Evans, a former Oxfam safeguarding chief, criticised the report for failing to distinguish between serious sexual violence and issues of workplace harassment. She said: “Let’s be clear: by sexual misconduct we mean rape, sexual assault and other serious crimes. These cannot and must not be equated with bullying and harassment”.

We’re going to go back to making that distinction right across society, are we?

Nothing went wrong, just the EU happened

Italians used to be fervently pro-EU. What went wrong?
Stefano Montefiori
Italy once stood enthusiastically at the heart of the European project. But over the years disaffection set in

So, you’re a young, lusty, hetero male and you get invited to a party that’s going to be full of ex-convent schoolgirls turned models. You gird your loins and look forward to a good time.

Experience of the actual party leads to realisation that the booze is non-alcoholic beer and lite at that, the food vegan and the lust interest are the winners of that look alike contest Dolly Parton herself lost.

A certain disappointment might set in, no? Possibly disaffection?

In fact, leaving looks like a good idea?

Brexit elsewhere

Back to opinion: I’m such an extremist that I insist the very existence of the European Union is a bad idea and that our leaving might be the first tumbling brick which brings the whole edifice down. Yet it is still factually true that the Brexit process is in a bit of a bind. Among those who have to decide, those parliamentarians, there is no majority in favor of any action or deal. And yet the default, without such positive decision making, is that Britain leaves without a deal at all, and reverts to WTO terms.

Myself, I’m shivering with anticipation even as I note that rather a lot of my countrymen disagree.


Glad they did put the link in there.