How long does it take to cross the bloody Channel?

British exporters sending goods to far-flung destinations in the coming days risk being locked out of harbours around the world as a no-deal Brexit looms, business leaders have warned.

Independent trade experts and the UK’s biggest business groups said exporters could be dispatching goods from UK ports imminently that would not arrive until after the 29 March deadline. This raised the prospect of goods being stuck in ports or facing hefty additional costs in the event of a disorderly Brexit.

The Bangladeshis are going to lock out our cargo of sewing machines because we’re having a spat with Brussels?

It’s not sexism Dame Sally, it’s politeness

The country’s chief medical officer has hit out at “sexist” attacks after being accused of a “nannying” approach.

Professor Dame Sally Davies questioned the BBC’s Nick Robinson on whether a male counterpart would have been given the label.

She was speaking after the UK’s chief medical officers said families should ban phones at bedtime and keep them away from the dinner table.

In an awkward exchange on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Dame Sally was questioned about the nannying claims by Mr Robinson.

He asked her: “You always have this question, so I know you are familiar with it – this balance you have to get between nannying on the one hand, or being accused of it at least, and on the other hand banality, stating things that are obvious.”

Dame Sally shot back: “I thought you were going to be sexist.”

Robinson asked, “What bit of that is sexist?” and Dame Sally replied: “I wonder whether you would say to a male chief medical officer…”

A man who came out with this tosh would be told to fuck off you cunt.

So it’s not sexism it’s just politeness. Or even, it is sexism and aren’t you glad we are being so?

To be slightly more serious there’s an interesting point here. Yes, indeed, women are equal and can and should be doing any and every job and all that. And yet there’s something that all too many still don’t quite get. Quite how brutal men are to each other. And we’ve still got, very strongly, the social insistence that we don’t treat women in the workforce in the manner we entirely happily would men.

That is, we’re nowhere near equal treatment and women would, in general, be entirely horrified to find out what that would be if we were.

I’ve forgotten why

A former New York Times executive editor has been accused of plagiarism in a new book looking at how journalism has evolved over the last decade.

Jill Abramson, whose book Merchants of Truth: The Business of News and the Fight for Facts was published this week, has denied claims of plagiarism but promised to “review the passages in question”.

The claims were made by Vice journalist Michael Moynihan, who accused Abramson of lifting passages from publications such as The New Yorker, Time Out and the Columbia Journalism Review.

The forgotten being why Abramson left – or had to leave? – the NYT. And I’m not interested enough to go look it up. Her Guardian pieces don’t fill with enough glee to bother. They’re not loopy enough to mock, wrong enough to fact check. Just very boring mainstream – mainstream for a NYC liberal that is, considerably loopy by real world standards but still not sui generis. I’ve never seen any piece where she’s said anything you could’t guess at before reading once you knew the underlying subject.

Now we know why of course, we’d read it before elsewhere.

Timmy elsewhere

Brexit is about to give us a problem with this, though. Karl Marx was right: wages won’t rise when there’s spare labour available, his “reserve army” of the unemployed. The capitalist doesn’t have to increase pay to gain more workers if there’s a squad of the starving eager to labour for a crust. But if there are no unemployed, labour must be tempted away from other employers, and one’s own workers have to be pampered so they do not leave. When capitalists compete for the labour they profit from, wages rise.

Britain’s reserve army of workers now resides in Wroclaw, Vilnius, Brno, the cities of eastern Europe. The Polish plumbers of lore did flood in and when the work dried up they ebbed away again. The net effect of Brexit will be that British wages rise as the labour force shrinks and employers have to compete for the sweat of hand and brow.

Back in The Times.

On the subject of stagnant wages, the rate for these sorts of things hasn’t changed in 15 years. No wonder we hear so much about earnings – it’s journalists who are affected.

Fair comment really

Moyo’s attorney, Kagiso Jani is demanding his client be discharged and acquitted.

Jani was left a frustrated man after the case, which was set for trial for Monday and Tuesday, had to be postponed as the State did not bring any witnesses and thus were not ready to continue.

“The State think the court will rubber stamp whatever it says. And it does not care about the welfare of the accused person. He is not able to see his wife and this attitude of the State will affect his marriage because as a married man he must have sex with his wife!” fired Jani.

Anyone asked the wife?

Great political moments

Sen. Cory Booker made himself look the fool yet again this week while questioning judicial nominee Neomi Rao.

At Tuesday’s confirmation hearing, the Jersey Democrat senator went after Rao with the clear suspicion that she’s some kind of religious bigot, asking first: “Have you ever had an LGBTQ law clerk?”

Her reply exposed Booker’s total lack of preparation: “I have not been a judge, so I don’t have any law clerks.”

Why not?

Speaking separately Mr Fox admitted a zero tariff approach was among a range of options being considered.

But he insisted that was not “what I would propose and I have not actually heard anyone else in government propose it”.

Is there no one in government who understands the basic economics of trade? That unilateral free trade is the only logical stance?

But, but, services must be universal!

Middle class parents should lose their free nursery hours because the Government’s flagship policy is “entrenching inequality”, a select committee has said.

Under the policy, working parents who earn up to £100,000 between them are entitled to 30 hours of free childcare for three to four-year-olds, which is double the 15 hours they were previously entitled to.

The multi-billion pound taxpayer funded scheme, which came into force in September 2017, was aimed at encouraging parents to get back into work rather than getting put off by prohibitive childcare costs.

But MPs on the education select committee found that the policy has given a boost to affluent families while leading to “perverse” consequences…

We must all use the NHS because a service only for the poor will be bad. We must abolish private schools because only when the middle classes must use public education will their pressure raise standards.

Double standards, who’d have any without them?

Tech support desk. Am I being an idiot?

So, second hand PCs, Dells. Want to run them with 2 monitors. Windows 7 does this.

So, buy VGA splitter cable. Install. I get duplicate monitors. But that’s all.

!windows button! P gives monitor choices. I want extend, not duplicate. But it won’t take. Won’t work, nowt happens.

So, am I being an idiot here? What is it that I’ve not done?

This entirely kills social media

Ministers are talking about redefining the role of social networks to hold them directly liable for the content that gets published on their platforms, in effect enshrining them as publishers in law.

It’s making BT responsible for the content of telephone calls.

Something entirely inconsistent with the basic model. Basically, either they can be publishers or we can have social media. It’s not possible to have both.

So she was indeed Pocahontas

Senator Elizabeth Warren was once again forced to address her past claims of Native American heritage on Tuesday, as the Washington Post reported the senator and Democratic candidate for president listed her race as “American Indian” on her registration for the Texas state bar more than three decades ago.

The yellow registration card, which is dated April 1986, was filled out in blue ink and signed by Warren, the Post reported. The paper said her office did not dispute the card’s authenticity.

Not as bad as her actual policies but still….

As we know Ritchie invented this

So obviously, it won’t work:

Whatever Alexandria’s Aims Ocasio Cortez’s Green New Deal Won’t Work

Alexandria Ocasio Cortez is to reveal the details of her Green New Deal in the next few days – the one thing we absolutely know about this being that it won’t work. This isn’t a commentary upon climate change nor the desirability of doing something about it. This is just a simple statement of fact about the universe we inhabit. As with the climate the economy is a complex, even chaotic, thing. Plans to substantially reform it therefore don’t work, no matter how egghead the planners nor pure in motive the instigators.


And low interest rates also stop the trickle (or flood) up of wealth: they are rents, after all.

Low interest rates raise the price of higher yielding assets. QE shows that, share prices rose because of QE as Spudder oft complains.

So, low interest rates stop the flood up of wealth, do they? Even though Spudda complains about how low interest rates have raised asset prices?

Green ink

I get a letter:

Brexit No Deal No food

You made a short appearance this and proved that you are a supremely ignorant stupid bastard

It would be much better if you remained silent

Please do….try making an honest living

Hugh Cooke

They’re not in green ink any more but the same old letters still happen.

French organisation

If France’s record-breaking capitulation in the Guinness Six Nations opener seemed shambolic at the time, then it appears even more of a bungle-fest with the revelation that Sebastien Vahaamahina had no idea he was captain in the second half.

The lock, who threw the wild pass that George North intercepted for the late, winning try, explained that, after Guilhem Guirado’s withdrawal in the 58th minute, he was bemused when English referee Wayne Barnes asked which penalty option he preferred.

“I told him to address the captain,” Vahaamahina said. “He replied, ‘you are the captain’. I did not even know I was a captain. The staff did not warn me.”