Well now….

So giving this prestigious prize to two frontline human rights activists does highlight the growing global recognition of the widespread and endemic sexual harms women suffer during wartime. But despite this welcome recognition – and in spite of the widespread reporting of sexual violence incidences in conflict – the international legal system lacks a binding legal convention on the prohibition of violence against women.

Is there a prohibition on violence to men? People? Yes? Then all are covered, no? No? Then why should there specifically be one about women?

Accused of running an election campaign

Brazil’s far-Right election front-runner was accused of setting up a ‘criminal network’ with big businesses to spread fake news through Whatsapp.

Brazilian media reported that well-heeled supporters of Jair Bolsonaro paid for messaging by third-party agencies, each paying up to 12 million reais ($3.26 million) to spread tens of thousands of attack ads.

That’s the way it works these days. That funding, if proven, might well be dodgy.

Mr Haddad has complained frequently that he was the target of false social media information campaigns.

Among other things Mr Haddad, 55, has railed against “libelous” social media posts claiming he tried to have sex education “gay kits” distributed in schools when he was education minister under the now-jailed ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Bolsonaro, 63, is an ex-paratrooper whose ultraconservative and law-and-order rhetoric has lifted him in the polls.

He has proved himself an adept user of online platforms, largely spurning traditional media outlets and debates in favor of reaching out to millions of followers on his Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Don’t forget, when Obama used Facebook it was a marvellous demonstration of the Brave New World. When Trump did it was right wing lies.

Well, fancy that

Genes are inherited:

Genetics plays a significant role in whether young adults choose to go to university, which university they choose to attend and how well they do, a new study suggests.

Previous studies have shown that genetics plays a major role in academic achievement at school, with 58 per cent of individual differences between students in GCSE scores due to genetic factors.

This does presuppose that intelligence is genetics related but you’d have to be a complete idiot – like say Danny Dorling and his belief in the tabula rasa – to not believe that.

The thing about the placebo effect is

That the placebo effect works.

Cough syrup maker Benylin has been accused of selling identical pills as cures for different types of colds.

Benylin’s medicines, one of which claims to be for “chesty”, the other for “mucus” coughs, carry the same product license meaning they contain identical ingredients.

The disclosure was made by Martin Lewis, founder of Moneysavingexpert.com, who has been vocal on medicine rip-offs including the often inflated cost of branded medications versus own brand tablets.

He warned that the Benylin branding could lead to consumers thinking that it offered “something extra”, potentially prompting them to buy them rather than cheaper genetic equivalents, which may be just as effective.

Which is lucky for those who want to do market segmentation and product differentiation.

Non Sequiter

Faced with the claim that there has been no austerity you realise you are up against what might best be described as a small world, and decidedly selfish, view of economics.

Whether or not there has been austerity is a simple empirical fact. By the Wren Lewis definition – government not ballooning he deficit out to whatever level means no rise in unemployment – then yes, there has been.

By a more reasonable one, there hasn’t been. Government spending is about where it was before the crash as a percentage of GDP. Which is what should have happened along entirely standard Keynesian lines of course. Recession, deficit rises, recovery, it falls.

Fun thing I was told

Varied people are telling broadcasters that they simply will not appear on a programme that includes Richard Murphy. Which, given how he’s himself supported no platforming seems rather fun. For I am at least told that the broadcasters are tending to prefer having the not-Spuds rather than the Great Tuber.

The problem here is that we do already know this

I would suggest that the observation (not set up as an experiment, but by chance offering a large scale observation of actual behaviour as if an experiment was intended) is capable of extrapolation. Whenever suppliers are price takers (as in competitive markets they should be) taxes on suppliers will always be paid by suppliers and the suggestion that they are passed on to others makes no sense at all. This is now seen to be true for rents. I think it will be elsewhere.

So the next time you hear some rightwinger argue that tax is not paid by capital but is passed on to consumers or workers just note that what they are actually saying is that there are non-competitive markets in existence and that this fact should be their real focus of concern. But oddly, it never is. Right wingers are the last people who want competitive markets. They do not permit abuse, after all.

He’s confusing “capital pays this tax” with “capital pays all taxes I think should be incident upon capital.”

Ritchie is, himself, insistent that employer’s national insurance is actually incident upon wages. Who pays the tax thus being a question of “it depends.”

Plus he’s missing what the damn point was in the first place. More taxation of landlords will mean fewer landlords, thus fewer places to rent an thus higher rents. Could happen too – and pointing to rents falling doesn’t change that. Because that’s to ignore ceteris paribus, something we never should in economics.

As we thought

The concept of misandry is dangerously vague in comparison to the reality of misogyny. I predict that if misandry is taken forward as a hate crime, it will be used to curb discussions of male violence and female oppression. Again.

Misogyny should be a hate crime and misandry shouldn’t because reasons.

Hmm, well, yes

Ministers have thrown their support behind a campaign to put World War II hero Noor Inayat Khan on the new £50 note.

After the Bank of England announced there would be an open submissions process for the new note, which will be reissued in plastic in 2020, ministers and historians said it was the perfect opportunity to raise awareness about the brave Muslim spy.

There were other women who went through the same process. Not hugely sure that this particular one is more deserving. Being the unkind person I am though….

Transport Minister Nusrat Ghani…Foreign Office Minister of State Lord Ahmad….The campaign has begun to pick up momentum after being spearheaded by activist Zehra Zaidi, Tom Tugendhat MP and Baroness Warsi,


Let’s use this idea, shall we?

Teachers must stop devoting so much time to slavery because it puts black children off History, the Royal Historical Society has said.

A new report by the society has found that the “seemingly relentless focus” on the exploitation and abolition of slavery can be “intellectually limiting and, at times, alienating” for black pupils.

We must also stop talking about the patriarchy because that puts young women off.

Boil yer heads laydeez, puhleeze

Waitrose is to change the name of its Gentleman’s Smoked Chicken Caesar Roll because feminist campaigners said it was sexist.

The roll, from Heston Blumenthal’s range at the supermarket, contains anchovy mayonnaise, similar to ‘gentleman’s relish’ but the name was branded “outrageous” on social media and the chain has issued an apology.

Amy Lamé, Sadiq Khan’s London night Czar posted an image of the product on Twitter and said: “I never knew sandwiches were gender specific. I’m female but thankfully Waitrose let me purchase this anyway.”

She tagged the organisation Everyday Sexism, who document instances of sexism experienced on a day to day basis.

Next week, Philips to rename Ladyshave.

Or, we might just assume that if this is what people are complaining about we’ve done all the difficult stuff and have no problems left.

It’s as if he’s never read Keynes

We are twentieth. And ignore Ireland: its GDP data is so distorted by being a tax haven even Walt Disney would dismiss it as incredible.

We are also the slowest growing country in the EU.

That is not a coincidence.

Tax rises? Bring them on, I say. We will all be better off.

It is the deficit – or surplus of course – which is stimulatory or contractionary. For tax is, as MMT says, taking money out of the economy, reducing demand.

So, the MMT man tells us that more tax is going to make us better off.


Oh, and those places which do send more of GDP through government. Are they better off than we are? Hungary? Croatia, Greece?

Logic professor, logic

The late Prof Mick Moran, who taught politics and government at Manchester University for most of his professional life, had, according to his colleagues, once had “a certain residual respect for our governing elites”. That all changed during the 2008 financial crisis, after which he experienced an epiphany “because it convinced him that the officer class in business and in politics did not know what it was doing”.

After his epiphany, Moran formed a collective of academics dedicated to exposing the complacency of finance-worship and to replacing it with an idea of running modern economies focused on maximising social good.

If the officer class is clueless – obviously it is and that applies to any group we might promote to such status – then there’s no manner of “running” the economy is there? Which is, of course, why we use liberty and markets to do so, so that there’s no clueless wonder “running” things.

Interesting but dangerous

Indian government minister MJ Akbar filed a defamation suit against one of at least 10 women accusing him of sexual harassment on Monday, calling her allegations false and malicious.

The lawsuit, a copy of which was reviewed by Reuters, names journalist Priya Ramani as the sole accused and says that she “intentionally put forward malicious, fabricated and salacious” allegations to harm his reputation.

Oscar Wilde made this potential mistake…..

Well, he would, wouldn’t he?

One of Britain’s most high-profile retail landlords has backed calls for higher taxes on online retailers to relieve the pressures of the “out of date” business rates regime on the country’s struggling high streets.

Brian Bickell, chief executive of Carnaby Street owner Shaftesbury, called for a “level playing field” between shops and online shopping websites such as Amazon, which typically occupy much cheaper property and pay much less in rates as a result.

That we currently have a level playing field – those who use property pay tax based on the value of the property they use – doesn’t fit the narrative of someone on the losing end of that level competition, does it?

Well, yes, could be

Modern mummy marketing is by and large geared towards heterosexual women in a comfortable socioeconomic income bracket. The mummy-targeted consumables shilled by celebrity mums like the Kardashians are deeply entrenched in anachronistic gender roles, suggesting that a new mother’s main role is as primary carer of her children.

Err, yes. A new mother’s main role is a primary carer to that new child. That’s why we have maternity leave, d’ye see?

This heteronormative approach to motherhood


But convertible into what?

Patisserie Valerie’s management snubbed a £30m deal that would have protected small investors, it has been revealed, as furious shareholders rounded on the company last night.

Investment fund Crystal Amber was plotting a convertible debt deal to rescue the firm which would have meant investors would not have seen their stakes diluted by the emergency fund raise that offered up new shares at a huge discount.

Convertible into equity. Which means dilution, doesn’