Booze Kills

Alcohol-related deaths among women are at their highest ever level, new figures have revealed.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that last year there were 8 female deaths from alcohol for every 100,000 people in the UK – the greatest number since records began in 2001. This was being driven by an overall rise in alcohol deaths among 55 to 74-year-olds in recent years.

Super. Now correct for demographic change, for the fat that the portion of the population which is 55 to 74 year old females has risen.

Our result is?

That is, has the rate among 55 to 74 year old females risen, thereby skewing the population rates, or has the rate among that subset risen thereby doing so?

Tax isn’t the French problem

Civil war is a strong term to use. I suspect John Lichfield knows that. I presume he uses it wisely as a result. And where France goes, who knows who might follow?

I have a concern. As Lichfield notes, France rioted 50 year’s ago and rising prosperity deflected the anger. Now no one thinks that will happen. All increases in prosperity go to a tiny handful in society. People are oppressed, and they know it.

We need to be clear about the cause of the oppression. The superficial anger is in tax. I am well aware of it. But the cause is inability to make ends meet.

We cannot do without tax.

And we need green taxes.

So the problem has to be tackled another way.

The problem is excess rents.

And maybe excess interest costs.

And a lack of a living wage.

The problem is not tax.

The problem is the failure of a society where enough is made for all to make sure all can partake.

No, really, the problem is not tax. In France. Where tax as a percentage of GDP is 45.3%, compared with the OECD average of 34.3% (which is pretty much where the UK is).

No, tax definitely isn’t the French problem.

Interesting numbers

These examples are telling because they point to the importance of different social norms in mediating gendered preferences and behavior. They also introduce another piece in our puzzle: all the culturally recognized incidences of pre-modern transgender individuals mentioned above involve natal males who transition to female. In the DSM-5, prevalence rates of gender dysphoria are estimated at 0.005 percent to 0.014 percent of the population for natal males, and 0.002 percent to 0.003 percent for natal females. The higher prevalence of males exhibiting the condition is likely related to a higher percentage of male homosexuals worldwide (3 to 4 percent) as compared to lesbians (1 to 2 percent). While these rates are the subject of debate, the higher ratio of male homosexuals as compared to women is a consistent finding across surveys.

There’s a lot of noise about 0.05% of he population isn’t there?

I think we can guess that Sports Direct has less than 20% of its sales online

Retail tycoon Mike Ashley wants to see a 20pc tax levied on online sales and prison sentences for executives who consistently “fiddle” their way out of paying the levy, as part of his plan to save the country’s “dying” high streets.

He said any companies with more than 20pc of their sales generated online should have to pay the tax, which would “level the playing field” in the retail sector and give local councils more money to help encourage people to shop close to home, such as offering free parking.

12 year olds can’t give consent. That’s why people can’t shag them

And yet here we’ve a doctor thinking that 12 year olds can and should consent to medical treatment that prevents puberty?

A GP has been convicted of running an illegal transgender clinic, providing hormones to children as young as 12 despite being refused a licence by the NHS regulator.

Dr Helen Webberley, 49, ran the clinic from her home, treating children who wanted to change sex, charging between £75 and £150 an hour.

She also provided online advice, calling herself the Gender GP, prescribing children and teenagers who had been denied treatment on the NHS.

Is this racism?

Now my experience of “the question” is laid bare in the data: within the last month alone, one in five BAME people has had someone assume they aren’t British on the basis of their ethnicity.

The BAME content of the population has changed in the last generation. Cultures take time to change.

And, well, what actually is the percentage of BAME population that isn’t native born? It’s possible that it’s 20% or more isn’t it? Note, percentage of BAME, not percentage of total population.

They would, wouldn’t they?

Increased US Oil Production Means Cheap Oil Ain’t So Good No More


Doctor Who stars have rejected claims that the show has become too PC, with one actor asking whether it is even possible to be ‘too’ correct.

Mandip Gill and Tosin Cole, who play Yaz and Ryan in the show, instead praised the programme in an interview with Radio Times for being an “entertaining reminder” of important issues.

So, not for the first time, the modern world is saving my life

This is something that we would currently call trivial. An abscess under a tooth causing the jaw and cheek to blow up. Becoming distinctly painful.

I’ve just started a €5 euro course of amoxicillin, something that is up there at 99 to 99.9% certain to take care of it. If it doesn’t there are other things behind that to do so.

And 100 years ago there wouldn’t have been that thing. And yes, people did die – agonisingly actually – as a result of abcesses. Pulling the tooth might clear it up, might not.

Just a little thought to cheer me up while I wait for the swelling to go down.

Anyone know the correct answer here?

So, why lower pensions ages for women? My assumption – and please do correct if this is wrong – is that in Britain men have tended to marry women a few years younger than themselves. 3 to 5 years is about the historical average. Thus, when pensions were instituted, have different pension ages so that the average couple would retire roughly together.

This is not beyond the wit of man, surely?

Breast cancer survivors have complained that screening letters are forcing them to relive the trauma of their battle.

Women who have had double mastectomies to remove the disease have said they are still receiving invitations for mammograms, even though they have do not need to be screened.

Now, charities are calling on the NHS to better link its IT systems in order to prevent the distress.

The NHS system automatically posts letters to British women between the ages of 50 and 70 who are registered to a GP to invite them for regular breast screenings, including the time and date of the appointment.

According to NHS Digital, Women in England are called and recalled for screening using an application called Breast Screening Select (BSS).

Using the application, doctors flag higher risk individuals as well as remove patients from the system.

However this is not always the case and women who have survived the disease and are living ‘“flat” – having had two mastectomies – are still being given screening appointments.

Running a database. Or even, making sure the information on one is correct. This is not beyond the wit of man. Although it does seem to be beyond the ability of a bureaucracy. Which is one good reason why perhaps we shouldn’t use bureaucracies to run things.

Or maybe it’s just Hayek’s pretence of knowledge. Either way, not hopeful for this method of doing things, is it?


An agreement has been reached at the eleventh hour between Chief Pleas and Sark Electricity to keep the power on and avoid any disconnection.

The two parties initially failed to reach a deal during a meeting on Wednesday evening and the power was set to be cut off at midnight tonight.

Sark Electricity had been in dispute with Chief Pleas for a number of months after the government forced the company to drop its price 14 pence to 52p per unit recommended by an independent price regulator.

The agreement reached last night now states the price of electricity will go back up to 66p per unit to allow the company to sell supplies without losing money.

Sark’s government now has three months to buy Sark Electricity.

Electricity on Sark will cost what electricity on Sark costs. Doesn’t matter who owns it. Tey can – and probably will – subsidise it thought taxes. But it’ll still cost the same.

There’s something wrong here

The number of children having teeth removed in hospital has risen almost a fifth in six years, new figures show.

Dentists said it was a “scandal” that so many teeth were being left to rot, amid a diet of too much sugar and too little toothbrushing.

The NHS figures show more than 45,000 hospital operations to remove teeth from teenagers and children in 2017/18 – a rise of 18 per cent since 2012/2013.

The severity of the tooth decay means that the treatment has to be undertaken in a hospital under general anaesthetic, rather than a dentist.

They included 75 cases in which children had to have every single tooth removed – a 40 per cdnt rise over the period.

Sugar consumption is lower than it used to be. So, what is it that they’ve done wrong to reach this result? Who knows, we might even be polite and assume they’re mistaken rather than just flat out lying.

Dear God these people are idiots

An analysis released this week by the property firm Savills spelled out just one of the reasons why. A property downturn could, it estimated, reduce the number of affordable homes being built by a quarter. When prices fall, developers’ profits shrink and they retreat from the market. And when developers stop building, promises to stop future buyers being locked out of the market by building 300,000 new homes a year aren’t worth the manifestos they were written on.

If every home in the country has just become 30, 50% more affordable, why worry about how many affordable houses are being built?

Guess what calculation we won’t see here?

But now, Beefeaters from the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace and Kensington Palace could vote to strike for the first time in 55 years in a row over pensions.

Historic Royal Palaces (HRP) employees, including Jewel House Wardens and other workers, who have been affected by the closure of their pension will be balloted on strike action from Friday, November 30, which could result in a walkout.

Unions claim changes will mean members’ final salary pensions will be replaced by an inferior plan

What is the value, as a percentage of their annual pay, of the accrual of that final salary pension?

It’ll be an eye popping number and one that rather puts the lie to he idea that the public sector is underpaid.

Business rates on pagan burial grounds

We both know and like Tim Daw around here.

A farmer who built the first new long barrow tomb in the UK in more than 5,000 years has been told that he must pay thousands of pounds in business rates on it.

Tim Daw, the owner of the burial ground used by Pagans, has been told by the Valuation Office Agency that he must pay between £4,500 to £5,000 a year in business rates for his burial mound where people pay to inter the ashes of their loved ones.

Long barrows were in widespread use in the early Neolithic period and examples still exist today, but the burial method fell out of use.

Usually, church graveyards and burial grounds are exempt from the tax as they are seen as places of worship. But Mr Daw has been told that his long barrow is a commercial storage facility that must pay the tax, as it falls above the rateable value on a business property of £12,000.

Mr Daw, from Devizes, Wiltshire, said the decision means mourners visiting his tomb will have to “pay to pray” and that the move discriminates against non-Christian forms of worship.

The interesting part is, well, how have they defined that value? Given that it’s the only one what comparator have they used to work it out?