SEBASTIAN SHAKESPEARE: Multi-millionaire property tycoon Kevin Cash is on the brink of bankruptcy after the ‘McMafia’ death of best friend Scot Young who plunged from his balcony in London

If he’s bankrupt then he’s not a multi-millionaire then, is he Sebs?

Well, yes Owen

Imagine this. The BBC appoints a prominent radical leftist, a lifelong Bennite, the chairman of the publisher of a prominent leftwing publication no less, as its flagship political presenter and interviewer. This person has made speeches in homage of Karl Marx calling for the establishment of full-blooded socialism in Britain, including a massive increase in public ownership, hiking taxes on the rich to fund a huge public investment programme, and reversing anti-union laws. They appear on our “impartial” Auntie Beeb wearing a tie emblazoned with the logo of a hardline leftist thinktank. Their BBC editor is a former Labour staffer who moves to become Jeremy Corbyn’s communications chief. They use their Twitter feed – where they have amassed hundreds of thousands of followers thanks to a platform handed to them by the BBC – to promote radical leftist causes.

This would never happen. It is unthinkable, in fact.

Paul Mason wasn’t the economics editor of Newsnight, was he? To be replaced by a drone from the TUC?

Odd from Polly

Since Margaret Thatcher forced compulsory competitive tendering on councils, there has been, astonishingly, no evidence and no research to prove whether outsourcing is value for money. There are no controlled trials, no measuring long-term effects or knock-on costs to the state of lowering pay, finds the Smith Institute.


Outside the gates of the British Museum last week 60 outsourced cleaners, porters, technicians, plumbers and electricians petitioned to be taken back in-house. They were handed over to Carillion five years ago. Now the company’s bankruptcy leaves them in limbo, and they want to return as the museum colleagues they once were.

But where are the rest of them? Carillion crowed to Facilities Management World that it was taking over 138 museum staff in a “hugely prestigious contract”. But those 138 have dwindled to just 60, for the same volume of work. That’s how outsourcing operates, cutting more brutally than public employers dare.

That is a trial right there isn’t it?



Defined contributions pension were made legally possible in the UK by Margaret Thatcher’s government in 1986. Workers were told these new kinds of pensions would give them more individual choice. But individuals proved to be much less economically rational than Thatcher assumed. When given control over their pensions, people tended to make naive financial decisions based on rules of thumb, which led to smaller pension pots. Workers on defined contributions pensions also found themselves at the mercy of the market. If they happened to have the back luck of retiring during a recession, their income was going to be far lower than it might have been. Finally, many employees with defined contributions pensions found their employer was putting much less towards their pensions. According to one analysis, employers spent on average 15% of their earnings on people with defined benefits pensions and just under 3% on people with defined contributions.

This leaves today’s young people with four options. The first is exit. Many skilled young people have realised that things are getting worse in the British workplace, and have decided to head for more attractive places such as Australia – which also happens to have one of the world’s best pensions systems.

The Australian superannuation system is defined contribution……


It’s hell for Cheltenham bookies as fans and favourites make light of wet
There was no hiding place for the layers on day one of the Festival as, despite the soggy conditions, punters cashed in and had a day to remember

Apparently the Guardian has never heard of the idea of a bookie balancing his books……

Still, congratulations to the bookie’s PR firm for placing that story……

Numbers and journalists

If Toys R Us liquidates,10 to 15 percent of all toy sales could be lost forever


Toys R Us could soon liquidate its U.S. operations and the result will leave a lasting impact on the toy industry, Jefferies analyst Stephanie Wissink wrote in a note to investors Friday.

While Toys R Us accounted for 15 to 20 percent of U.S. toy sales last year, not all of that will shift to other retailers when the retailer is gone. Instead, about 10 to 15 percent of this volume will fall through the cracks and be lost for good.

15% of 15% of 100% is not the same as 15% of 100%.


Idiot is idiot

The much-anticipated launch of Musk’s Falcon Heavy rocket, the most powerful ever launched by a private company, went off without a hitch. Musk successfully sent his cherry-red Tesla roadster hurtling toward Mars, launching what a CNN commentator called “a new space age”.

There is, perhaps, no better way to appreciate the tragedy of 21st-century global inequality than by watching a billionaire spend $90m launching a $100,000 car into the far reaches of the solar system.

Twat. All new launchers are tested with a valueless payload before anyone entrusts anything important to them.

France is a despotism, says Guardian

So it is with his latest scheme, his instruction to the top brass of the US armed forces to lay on a military parade in the nation’s capital, perhaps on 4 July. He’d been nagging the generals about this for a while but, according to the Washington Post, he gave the order at a meeting at the Pentagon last month.

Donald Trump orders Pentagon to plan grand military parade
Read more
No need for us to deconstruct the motive behind this instruction. It came after Trump was the guest at France’s Bastille Day parade, where he stood at Emmanuel Macron’s side and watched tanks, gun trucks and column after column of starchly uniformed soldiers. “We’re going to have to try and top it,” Trump said afterwards. (The actual order to military chiefs was phrased in the language of a spoiled child: “I want a parade like the one in France.”)

Trump’s desire for a military parade reveals him as a would-be despot
Jonathan Freedland

Doesn’t follow, does it?

Yet, as the think tank highlights, while wealth has been increasing compared to GDP, the tax revenue from wealth has not. The burden of funding public services is firmly on labour, not capital.

Err, no. The burden of funding is upon incomes, the flow, not wealth the stock.

This all helps explain why the idea of taxing wealth is gaining traction and not just on the Left. Nick Timothy, the former chief of staff of Britain’s Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May, writing in The Sun newspaper, called on the Government to “increase taxes on accumulated wealth”.

I agree with Nick – with the current capitalist model seemingly unable to deliver prosperity for all, it’s time to seriously examine the case for wealth taxes. Which is exactly what we’re doing in a forthcoming UnHerd audio-documentary.

Which is where Unherd seems to be. Continuity SDP perhaps?


The industry’s defence will always be that their prices are based purely on the data. While it may be true that customers who describe themselves as unemployed have more car accidents than people who describe themselves as homemakers, is it really fair to differentiate between those groups?

From our new series, Questions in The Times We Can Answer.

Where did Willy get this idea from?

It is the crossover moment. For the first time, more men are dying of prostate cancer than women are from breast cancer. Any GP surgery will offer a blood test to check a man’s prostate-specific antigen (PSA) indicating cancer. All men have to do is ask.

The trouble is that, as we all know, men are from Mars. They don’t go to GPs, don’t talk about illness and believe in their own invincibility. Men with their compartmentalised brains are inherently greater risk-takers and believe they will beat the odds. In any case, to concede the threat of illness is an acknowledgement of weakness – very unmasculine.

It doesn’t have to be about EQ/SQ you know. Could in fact be because we’ve been spending 9 x on trying to treat breast rather than prostate cancer.