No one knows how many homeless people there are. Countries define homelessness differently; count only those sleeping rough and in shelters on one night night in a year; struggle to estimate those camping with friends or family and living in bad housing or places not meant to be homes.

But what’s clear is the number is increasing.

If we don’t know how many there were, don’t know how many there are, then how can we know the number is increasing?

Oh, yeah, sorry, forgot myself. Guardian and numbers, ’nuff said.

Lies work both ways George

The rewards for political lying are massive: they include winning referendums and elections. The penalties are either nonexistent or tiny.

This being one of the few times when tu quoque is logically valid. Have you actually read the newspaper you work for on the subject of American access to the NHS? Jezza’s claims? On claims of poverty when inequality is meant? On many a subject in fact.

Err, yes

Ministers must do more to tackle cheap credit offers


Yesterday’s Times reported that several high street stores are offering eye-watering interest rates with a holly sprig on top. JD Sports, Next, H&M, even good old M&S are now selling expensive and instant credit. “Get it today. More time to pay,” purrs Argos. Cut to the scene of the bailiff at the door and the children sobbing.

Is it cheap credit or expensive credit we’re supposed to be worrying about?

Not wholly and exactly perhaps

The controversial views of columnist and broadcaster Katie Hopkins have landed her — and the media outlets she has worked for — in hot water. In 2017 alone, she lost a libel action against poverty campaigner Jack Monroe and was sacked from her radio show after a tweet she made following the Manchester bombings.

Hmm, well, yes.

My best period financially was probably two or three years ago, when I was hosting my radio show on LBC and doing other paid engagements. Sadly, my opinions have since made me unemployable. Fortunately, supporters in America, South Africa and Australia help to fund the work I do.

This is certainly an unkind view and it might even be wrong. But my impression has always been of someone straining just that little bit too much to be controversial. It’s a great gig if you get it just right – Mail online columns do pay £100k a year and up – but actively seeking to be pushing the envelope does risk tearing it.

Possible, compared to journalists

A nine-year-old boy will become the youngest ever graduate at the end of this year, sparking a competition among the world’s top universities to sign up the boy genius.

OK. There is variance among humans after all.

Laurent Simons has an IQ of at least 145

There never was a golden age of newspapers but there’s at least a thought that there was a time when an IQ of 145 would have been thought to be, by the Telegraph, evidence of being a bit bright rather than actually a genius.

245 would be a more likely number for young Laurent, don’t you think?

But then perhaps among modern journalists that first number is right?

No political bias at HuffPo, no sirree

The church is facing serious questions about some of its pastors allegedly pressuring young people into taking out loans of up to £5,000 or giving thousands of pounds in “seed offerings” and failing to act on these allegations, as exposed by HuffPost UK on Friday.

HuffPost UK found SPAC Nation’s leader was at the Conservative Party Conference this year seated behind cabinet ministers, such as Home Secretary Priti Patel and Chancellor Sajid Javid, for the prime minister’s speech. He has also met ministers at Downing Street and won a peace award sponsored by the Mayor of London’s office.

The Mayor of London of which political party?


Jurors heard how his wife Mrs Taylor, 53, and her lover, Mr Cannon, 54 – who was logging with the family – became consumed by a “venomous hatred” of the father of four when he refused to end his marriage. The pair then plotted to kill Mr Taylor.

Forestry, it’s fatal.

Not really, no

Almost half of couples opt for DIY online divorces

It’s not even true that half of all couples are married and thus can divorce. Further, not all marriages that do split use the DIY method, finally only some half of marriages do end in divorce.

So, really, half of couples do not use the DIY method.

Dear Lord, does she really think this way?

Afua Hirsch is a Guardian columnist


The first time Elaine Welteroth came on to my radar was at a Thanksgiving dinner. American friends in London had invited me and I was torn between gratitude for their hospitality and deep reservations about celebrating something with genocidal undertones.

I mean, I can understand a Guardian columnist not liking Thanksgiving. For it’s a celebration of the fact that socialist, communal, farming doesn’t work. But to worry about breaking bread with friends over it?

Oh dear

Profits at Lloyds Bank plunged in the last three months as it became the latest bank to be dragged down by a wave of last-minute compensation claims by customers affected by the payment protection insurance (PPI) scandal.

The bank, which has already set aside more than £20bn for PPI payouts, was hit by a further £1.8bn provision in its latest accounts released on Thursday.

Pre-tax profits for the third quarter were just £50m on an underlying basis, down 97pc on the £1.8bn profit reported a year earlier.


Profits on an underlying basis were £1.8 billion and a bit, leaving the £50 million or whatever after the taking of the PPI hit.


Arts graduates and technology

Toyota is developing a hydrogen-powered car which could be fuelled for a year by the manure of a single cow, bosses have claimed.

Chief technology officer Shigeki Terashi said a cow’s droppings can be converted to produce enough hydrogen to run its next-generation Mirai saloon for 12 months.

The concept car uses a “fuel stack” to transform liquefied hydrogen into electricity with water as the only byproduct, making the technology zero emission.

It’s a fuel cell. Which may well come in a stack but still…..

How does this work?

“We need to guarantee that we adequately fund public media so that it is not kept economically weak and vulnerable to political and commercial pressures.”

If the politicians control the paying for it then how can it be free of politics?

Guardian fun

So Gary Younge says:

For along with Trump’s personal frailties is a series of political characteristics that underpins his anomie. He is a misogynist, a racist, a xenophobe and a nationalist. Those are not psychological descriptors but political ones, fortified by systems and ideology.


This was not because people didn’t see those things, but because they either didn’t care, cared about other things more, preferred him to the alternative, or simply didn’t show up. As such, his victory marked a high point for the naked appeal of white supremacy in particular and rightwing populism in general, and a low point for the centre-left, neoliberal agenda.

Which gets changed by the subeditors, in the subheading, to:

To reduce his presidency to a frail mind is to ignore the fact he’s an emblem of free-market, white supremacist nationalism

Younge may be many things but he’s not stupid enough to add free market to Trump’s list of failings. Nor to think that free market is equal or part of white supremacy, nationalism and the rest.

The Guardian’s subeditors are that stupid.

Silly girl

Imagine a place where there are no elite or expensive private schools. And imagine a society where housing is affordable – a three-bedroom house, for example, costing one quarter of a similar property in Sydney.

What would such a place be like when the two main drivers of financial stress and resultant inequality were removed?

It would be … the most liveable city in Australia. It would be Warrnambool.

Last week the Victorian coastal city of Warrnambool was crowned by the Ipsos annual Life in Australia study as the most liveable city in Australia.

Access to nature, feeling safe, a sense of community and a lack of traffic congestion “helped the area score so highly”, according to reports.

But I also think inequality – or the perception of it – is important when it comes to liveability.

Take away elite private schools and ridiculously expensive median house prices, and suddenly you’re living in a much more equal place.

Median house prices aren’t part of inequality. It’s the distribution around the median that is.

Sigh, Guardian and numbers…..