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?

Someone really should test this assertion

So Serrato started digging, looking for information on every Chemnitz-related video published on YouTube this year. What he found, according to a New York Times report, is that the platform’s recommendation system consistently directed people toward extremist videos on the riots — then on to far-right videos on other subjects. “Users searching for news on Chemnitz would be sent down a rabbit hole of misinformation and hate. And as interest in Chemnitz grew, it appears, YouTube funnelled many Germans to extremist pages, whose view-counts skyrocketed.”

Nobody who knows anything about YouTube will be surprised. Time and again, researchers have discovered that when videos with political or ideological content are uploaded to the platform, YouTube’s “recommender” algorithm will direct viewers to more extremist content after they have watched the first one. Given that most people probably have the autoplay feature left on by default, that means that watching YouTube videos often leads people to extremist sites.

So, how many iterations of the recommendation engine gets you from a Jezza speech to an insistence that we’ve got to starve 8 million Ukrainian kulaks? Is it more or less via Seumas Milne or Andrew Murray?

Well, we could always ask London for advice

Britain’s first unmanned trains have sparked a safety row as politicians and union officials voiced concerns about football crowds on match days.

The new Glasgow Subway trains were announced to much fanfare this week, designed to be driverless and completely unstaffed by 2021. As well as having no drivers, they will also have no door staff.

While some lauded this as the future of transport, others worried that passenger safety was not being prioritised.

Pat McIlvogue, a regional officer for the Unite union, said there were worries about overcrowding and rowdy passenger behaviour on match days.

He told The Telegraph: “Match days are a well-used situation and how they’re going to manage the influx of traffic and people piling into doors when the doors are shut, what happens then?

Well, Mr Union Officer. Have you gone and asked those nice people at the Docklands Light Railway how they do it?

Well, this is good then

So, all we’ve got to do then is examine any claims to power using socialism and egalitarianism for actual realites of corruption, resource curse, kleptocracy, petro-narco dictatorship.

Gonna make running Scotland on he whiskey and oil revenues difficult, no?

This is joyous

Boris Becker’s diplomatic passport is a “clumsy fake”, a Central African Republic foreign minister has claimed, in the latest instalment of the former tennis star’s bankruptcy saga.

There appears to be a difference of opinion between the country’s foreign ministry and its Brussels outpost, and the foreign ministry appears to be contradicting a statement attributed to the president, Faustin Archange Touadéra.

As someone with a little experience of third world diplomats.

Thinking of there actually being the one government with the one view or set of actions is not the right way to think about things. There are various little groupings. Think of them as baronies perhaps. Each of which have their own independent – and often contradictory across the entire system – freedom of action in their territory. That territory can be a field of action, rather than actual piece of land.

One Baron has issued the passport in return for, well. At least one other is disputing their right to do so or angling for a share of the, well.

Because there’s more money in dogs than the disabled

A harsh thing to say but true all the same:

Why are there more clothing lines for dogs than disabled people?

Interestingly, there is a solution:

Toronto-based designer Izzy Camilleri is best known for her work styling celebrities such as David Bowie, Angelina Jolie and Meryl Streep. But her latest collection, released this month, has one major difference: it is designed for people with disabilities.

After doing some custom work in the early 2000s for a client who was quadriplegic, Camilleri had her “eyes opened” to how existing clothing did not necessarily work for women using a wheelchair. For example, having a “seated frame” meant that many traditionally designed trousers rode down or dug into her client’s waist. At the time, “adaptive clothing” – clothes made with disabled people in mind – barely existed; when it did, it was not aimed at fashion-conscious young adults. “Most of what was out there were clothes for [older people] living in long-term care facilities,” Camilleri says. “I realised there was nothing for younger people. [I was] motivated to fill this void.”

It’s known as “the market economy.”

As society becomes richer more resources are available, some of which are devoted to those desires of the disabled perhaps. After all, we’ve stopped that exposure on the hillside thing, haven’t we, which is a useful sign of rising up above a subsistence society.

We can also take a Marxist view. Capitalism is, by its very success, collapsing profit margins so ever more frantic attempts to find a profit take place. Including making pretty clothes for the wheelchair bound.

What is interesting though is that we’ve a Guardian article insisting that a problem is being solved without government having been involved.

Pecunia non olet

The charities rejecting Presidents Club donations over scandal
Allegations of groping and sexual harassment at men-only fundraising gala prompt action


Great Ormond Street hospital – sending the money back, will not accept future donations
Received: £530,000 between 2009 and 2016.

Comment: “We are shocked to hear of the behaviour reported at the Presidents Club charitable trust fundraising dinner. We would never knowingly accept donations raised in this way. We have had no involvement in the organisation of this event, nor did we attend and we were never due to receive any money from it.”

Evelina children’s hospital (part of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS trust) – sending the money back
Received: The Presidents Club pledged £650,000 to fund a six-bed high-dependency space within a new intensive care unit. Construction is under way. At the dinner, Richard Caring pledged £400,000 to put his name on the unit – Evelina confirmed that would not be going ahead.

Comment: “We are very alarmed by the allegations about the behaviour of some of those attending the Presidents Club fundraising dinner. This is not the kind of event we would wish to be associated with and we will therefore be declining funding from it and returning all previous donations from the Presidents Club.”

Truly, idiots.

That terrorism campaign is working then

Which part of whose campaign is a little more difficult to work out of course:

For a heart-stopping hour, it appeared a nation’s collective worst fears had come true.

On Black Friday on Britain’s best known and busiest street, packed with Christmas shoppers, commuters and school children, it seemed that terrorists had struck. At 4.37pm, hordes of people on Oxford Street were convinced they had heard the sound of gunfire and explosions.

It was a false alarm, but whatever they heard – or for that matter didn’t hear – prompted a stampede for cover. Shoppers ran for their lives, certain they were under attack.

But that is the point of a terrorism campaign. To strike terror into the heart of the population. Thereby gaining leverage as people fuck it up themselves without anyone having to do anything.

As I’ve pointed out before, Sharia marriage is not recognised in UK law

Getting married should be one of the happiest times in a woman’s life, but for some Muslim brides the fairytale can suddenly come to a shocking end.
Rukhsana Noor and Habiba Jaan both found themselves homeless and hundreds of thousands of pounds in debt after they learning that their Sharia marriages were not recognised under UK law.
Both women’s stories are told in a new Channel 4 documentary, The Truth About Muslim Marriage, which exposes the plight of women who discover they have no legal rights after their ‘marriage’ falls apart.
Habiba, a mother of four, found out that she was never legally married to her husband because they’d never registered the marriage. When she begged him for a civil ceremony she discovered that he was actually legally married to someone else.

And thus, obviously, nor is polygamy.

This isn’t, either, some mark of the oppression of Muslims or anything. It is the civil marriage which is the legal part, not the religious one. The standard CoE wedding, when the five (? priest, couple, two witnesses) go off stage for 5 minutes is when the marriage, in the law, actually takes place. The rest is whatever we want to call it but it ain’t the legal part of it all.

I’m actually quite keen on the Portuguese system. Any ceremony you like, anywhere, why the hell not. But if you want the legal protections and rights of a legal marriage then you have to, without exception, rock up to the civil registrar and go through the same process as absolutely everyone else. The advantage being that everyone really does therefore know what’s a legal marriage.

I’m even happy with the idea of no legal recognition of marriage at all on absurdly libertarian grounds but agree that’s just not ever going to happen.


Police in Germany were relieved when a call about a potential unexploded Second World War bomb turned out to actually be a monster courgette.

A worried 81-year-old called police when he spotted the 16inch (40cm) vegetable- also known as a zucchini – in his garden.

Police rushed to the scene in Bretten, near the southwestern city of Karlsruhe, and quickly established it was nothing to be afraid of.

Officers who responded to the callout said the summer squash “really did look very like a bomb”.

The offending vegetable, which was very dark in colour, weighed about 11lb (5kg). Police believe someone threw it over a hedge into the garden.

Very like a bomb?

This is well known to be true

The Queen is merely ‘a countryside woman of limited intelligence’, the writer of hit royal series The Crown has claimed.
In remarks sure to raise eyebrows amongst the millions of fans of the hit show, screenwriter Peter Morgan has insisted the monarch ‘would have much preferred looking after her dogs and breeding horses to being queen’.
‘If you had told me I would be doing this, I would have told you it was mad, hallucinogenic conjecture’, Mr Morgan – known for his republican sentiments – mused in the Sunday Times magazine.
‘I wouldn’t have guessed there would be anything more to say about this countryside woman of limited intelligence who would have much preferred looking after her dogs and breeding horses to being Queen.’

No one really has said over the years that Our Brenda has a towering intellect. She’s not going to be extending Wittgenstein, nor Einstein.

She is canny though, as many have also noted.

There is though a certain amusement at Fritz himself, married as he was to one of the Princesses Schwartzenberg, having a pop at the system of aristocracy and monarchy.

I’m from the government and I’m here to help

Will be the third to befall this unfortunate woman:

A woman survived the carnage of the Las Vegas shooting to then suffer the further trauma of seeing her home burn down with most of her possessions a week later in the California wildfires.

As to the statistical likelihood – of course, we now know that it is 1. But even a priori it’s not that far fetched.

Country music festival out West. Will draw in fans from the surrounding hundreds of miles, more, Vegas has many flights in and out. – it was a big festival. Country music is, unsurprisingly, more popular in more rural areas. Richer rural areas are more likely to have people who can afford to fly off to festivals. Woman from rich rural area goes to festival… is indeed coincidence but it’s not a totally weird one.

You know, not like a lottery winner also meeting a decent Labour MP or something.


While Vince and the Vegan Society welcome the new wave of plant-powered sports stars, others are less happy because many are giving up meat for personal performance benefits, not because they are in tune with the vegan lifestyle and compassion for animals.

They usual nonsense about intentions mattering, not actions. But, but, my intentions when shooting the kulaks were excellent…..

Not that odd

Humans accelerate pretty fast actually:

This adrenaline-packed video shows a top athlete going head-to-head with a fighter jet – with a very surprising result.

As the end of the race nears it seems like a close call but the sprinter just edges into the distance and pips the aircraft to the post.

It’s over 50 metres. For 100 the jet would win easily. And a human can beat a horse over short distances too (and also long, over 25 miles). Usually beat a car for 10 or 20 metres too.

We’re actually pretty zippy off the blocks.