I knew Doris Day before she was a virgin

A Grammy-nominated rapper who built his reputation on a tough upbringing in Atlanta, Georgia surrounded by drugs and guns is actually British, it has been revealed, as other rap artists share their shock that he may be deported.

US immigration officers detained 21 Savage, whose real name is Sheyaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, on Sunday for allegedly overstaying his visa.

Designing the background to fit current fashion is nothing new in popular music

El Twatto

In an argument with two real economists we get Spuddo saying:

But what that means is three things. First, in Simon and Jonathan’s view economic policy is being run for the sake of economic policy. Its aim is to restore monetary policy. Second, that means the aim is to put bankers back at the heart of economic policy, and not people. And third, the aim is to restore finance as the constraint on activity instead of that limit being the available resources within the economy i.e. the goal of establishing full employment.

If we get to full employment then interest rates will be able to rise to the time value of money. Instead of being artificially suppressed below that as at present.

This is putting bankers at the heart of the economy?

So, not politics then

Among the things Ritchie does know about:

English politics might wait a long time for something like the SNP to come along. Until long after they have gone, maybe.

Single issue party succeeding in English politics?

What’s scary about it is that this suggests that no deal is Labour’s best hope. And I regret to say it, but in party political terms it probably is. As I was told by an influential member of Corbyn’s team in March 2016, Brexit was a Tory fight and Labour just needed to watch it out to win from it.

That was a position grossly negligent in political terms. But nothing has changed as far as I can see. That’s what Labour are doing. It’s a plan predicated on a no deal. And it’s predicated on chaos. And that Labour can win from this. Which is thought to be a price worth paying.

He’s talking about we do it, we don’t, what’s the deal or no deal because Ukip won or lost?

Um, what?

The painting is thought to represent the patron saint of lawyers and advocate of the poor. The figure appears to be holding what the gallery describes as “a legal document, which would be appropriate for Saint Ivo”.

Yes, I know, odd mixtures of things that saints are patrons of at times. But really, lawyers and the poor? Is it actually possible to be patron of two things quite as in opposition as that? SPUC and Planned Parenthood perhaps?

The Gang of Six

A group of disaffected Labour MPs is preparing to quit the party and form a breakaway movement on the political centre ground amid growing discontent with Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership on Brexit and other key issues including immigration, foreign policy and antisemitism.

Not going to work, just as the Gang of Four didn’t.

Might keep Jezza out of office which would be one definition of working but not the one most politicians would use…..

It always was a terrible idea anyway

Theresa May’s deputy has warned that a proposed reduction in the number of trains running along High Speed 2 will “seriously undermine” the case for continuing with the project.

David Lidington has asked HS2 Ltd, the government-owned firm behind the scheme to set out the “current business case” for the £56 billion project, after The Sunday Telegraph revealed that the company had suggested it could cut the hourly number of trains by a fifth to prevent costs from spiraling out of control.

And the case for any infrastructure lies in the capacity utilisation…..

Alternative lyrics

I ain’t nothin’ but your poontang,
Cryin’ all the time
I ain’t nothin’ but your poontang,
Dryin’ all the time
You ain’t never bust a nut, you ain’t no friend of mine.

Thankfully it was Leiber and Stoller who had that job first time around…..

This doesn’t even follow in its own logic

In the first instance MMT says all money is created by either government central banks or other banks acting under state licence.

Second it says that money only has value because the government promises to back it.

Third, it suggests that this backing is evidenced: the requirement that tax be paid in government created money guarantees state created currency a value in exchange, most especially if there is no other currency in circulation in an economy.

And fourth, this necessarily means government spending must come before tax is raised in our macroeconomy or there would be no money created to settle the tax bill. This cannot be issued as semantics: it is fundamental to understanding the role and nature of deficits.

Central banks and or commercial banks create money.

Therefore government spending must come before taxation otherwise there would be no money to collect the taxes in.


Which fifthly means government deficits are a necessary and good thing because without them the means to make settlement would not exist in our economy.

But if it’s the banks, central and commercial, which create the money then it would be the absence of banks which would lead to the absence of money.

And sixth, and most important of all, knowing this liberates us to think entirely afresh about fiscal policy, which Portes rightly says is prioritised by MMT over monetary policy, which I would happen to argue is now largely redundant anyway because in a world of low interest rates monetary policy is wholly ineffective, and I believe low interest rates are here to stay.

Low interest rates are a monetary policy.


Well, yes Owen, quite so

Pop stars such as Mariah Carey may well be fooled by publicists into thinking that, by performing in countries ruled by abhorrent regimes, they will advance progressive causes. They do no such thing: they simply help legitimise tyranny. They became pop stars because of their love of music. They must surely ask themselves if they really ever aspired to become the propaganda devices of one of the worst regimes on Earth.

We’re awaiting your apologies for praising Chavez and Maduro even now…..in fact, didn’t you go there to do so?

For the teenage lad in me

Duchess of Sussex writes messages of support on bananas for sex workers

Yes, I know, they’re bananas, cheap and healthy fruit to go into care boxes for those out on the streets.

But still. Bananas. Sex workers. Tee hee.

The Duchess, who visited a charity which helps women break free from sex work, homelessness and addiction, resolved to send a personal, handwritten message to those in need.

During a tour of the kitchen at One25, a charity in Bristol, she was seized with inspiration, asking for a felt tipped pen to draw hearts and notes, including the words: “You are strong”, “You are loved”, “You are brave”, “You are special”.

That’s just ludicrous of course.

Calling BiS

Lucia Palacios, 22, was consistently top of her class at home in Maracay, Venezuela. Her grades were so good she gained a place at one of the country’s then coveted medical schools, training to become a specialist nurse.

But today Ms Palacios – not her real name – is working as a prostitute, selling sexual favours to British and German holidaymakers on the Costa del Sol.

She is one of 208,333 Venezuelans that the Spanish authorities record as having fled the failed central american state for Spain over the last few years.

The true figure is thought to be much higher and many educated women, like Ms Palacios, have been forced into prostitution to make ends meet.

Is there an observable increase in Venezuelanas?

Ritchie should but Ritchie won’t

Tax reliefs, terrible things, they deprive the government of necessary funds, restrict the good it can do, cause austerity.

And we really shouldn’t be subsidising the consumption of energy now, should we? Not in this world of climate change. In fact, that reduced rate of VAT on energy is part of that $5 trillion we’re said to, globally, use to subsidise fossil fuel consumption. Really, we should stop doing that.

Or maybe we shouldn’t? This being a useful litmus test for those who will try to use these figures. There will indeed be, as there is, shouting about that £4 billion. But that’s as near nothing compared to that £53 billion. So, people who are serious about reducing tax relief so as to reduce austerity – which should they be saying we should do away with? And which will they say we should do away with?

Who wouldn’t want a 20% pay rise?

Since I started teaching part-time, my Friday mornings have begun to look remarkably different. Rather than waking up at 5:30am as I do during the rest of the week, I roll out of bed at a leisurely hour and often start my day with a yoga class. After enjoying the luxury of breakfast at my kitchen table instead of a classroom desk, I spend the rest of the day planning my year 10 lessons for the following week. Occasionally, I treat myself by popping out to the post office or the bank. More often than not, I’m sending emails trying to secure writing commissions – now I am teaching part-time, I need to find other ways to top up my income.

This probably sounds appealing to most teachers, who have usually spent most of their Friday dreading that year 9 double lesson after lunch. And there’s no doubt that teaching part-time has kept me in the classroom; I was very close to becoming one of the 31% of teachers who leave the profession within their first five years of qualifying.

But there are two glaring issues with the Friday I have just described: first, I am still continuing to do school work even on my day off; and second, I’ve had to take a cut in my salary and seek out additional work to make up the difference.

You do less work and you get paid less. Hmm, shocker, eh?

Rather than the option of working part-time being available only to those who can afford it, what if all teachers everywhere were able to work a four-day week, and crucially, without a loss in pay?

Sounds good to me too. When are you going to start paying me five days’ pay for four days’ work?

An important concept

Patisserie Valerie executives Luke Johnson and Paul May are facing fresh questions after failing to disclose they were also landlords to the stricken bakery chain.

The duo, the chairman and former chief executive respectively, own Patisserie Valerie’s Tunbridge Wells site, a fact that was not disclosed as a “related party” in the accounts of operating company Stonebeach.

A spokesman for Mr Johnson said the company’s board had been made aware of the relationship, but decided it was below the threshold – called a “materiality level” – at which details needed to be disclosed.

Materiality. Sure, all sorts of thing happen, which are important and which are not? That depends upon the relative size of the happening to the whole.

Landlord of one shop out of 160? Sure, not material. Own 50% of the freeholds and renting them at top notch rates to the company? Material. In between, well, look up Sorites.

Are there people fiddling their tax bills by paying in cash? Sure are – do we abolish cash to deal with it? Nope. Suspend civil liberties? Nope.

Is it material, germane to the subject under discussion?

This is actually possible

The “Little Ice Age” of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was triggered by the genocide of indigenous people in the Americas by European settlers, new research shows.

Scientists have long wondered what caused the drop in temperatures so severe it sometimes caused the River Thames to freeze over.

Now, new analysis by University College London (UCL) argues that so many people were slaughtered or died of disease that the amount of agricultural land dramatically reduced, in turn sucking carbon dioxide (CO²) from the atmosphere.

Known as the “Great Dying”, the upheavals following the first contact with Europeans in 1492 is thought to have slashed the population of 60 million living across the…

Whether it’s true or not is another matter. Can’t say I’m entirely sold on it. For I’m pretty sure that we generally start it off, the little ice age, before 1492.

However, entirely willing to believe it contributed…..