Where’s my cut?

Inside China’s audacious plan for global media dominance

Beijing is buying up media outlets and training scores of foreign journalists to ‘tell China’s story well’ – as part of a worldwide propaganda campaign of astonishing scope and ambition.

I’m always dubious about these people buying up journalists stories. Simply because I’m part of – even if a minor part of – the target market. And on one ever does offer to send me these sorts of cheques. Maybe I’m too minor but…..

It’s like the great climate change cover up. So, where’s my cash?

Dear God these people are idiots

An analysis released this week by the property firm Savills spelled out just one of the reasons why. A property downturn could, it estimated, reduce the number of affordable homes being built by a quarter. When prices fall, developers’ profits shrink and they retreat from the market. And when developers stop building, promises to stop future buyers being locked out of the market by building 300,000 new homes a year aren’t worth the manifestos they were written on.

If every home in the country has just become 30, 50% more affordable, why worry about how many affordable houses are being built?

Nice to see The Guardian reverting to form

Lyft, which launched in 2012 as Zimride before changing its name a year later, is a car service similar to Uber, which operates in about 300 US cities and expanded to Canada (thought so far just in one province, Ontario) last year. Ever week, it sends its drivers a personalised “Weekly Feedback Summary”.

Two typos in two sentences. We’ll have Teh Grauniad back in no time.

Guess I’ll not chase those outstanding invoices then

The newspaper publisher Johnston Press has confirmed it is ending its debt crisis by entering administration and handing control to its lenders, as revealed by The Telegraph.

The embattled publisher of The Scotsman, The Yorkshire Post and the i newspaper is applying for court approval to appoint administrators and execute a pre-packaged sale to a new holding company controlled by the New York hedge fund GoldenTree Asset Management.

I’ve a couple of different times written for the company, widely separated in years. This latest was, umm, three pieces I think, earlier in the year. They’ve managed to keep up their perfect record of not paying me …….

Their underlying idea, buy up those failing newspapers and profit from running them down had merit. It’s rather what the Barclays have done at the Telegraph, sweat out the final years of an assets life. Little to no maintenance, no investment, just such the positive cash flow out.

Hey, it works, or at least can do. Perfectly respectable strategy. Thing is though, you’ve got to buy everything cheap enough for the sweat from those assets to pay for it. Not what they did….

Well, yes Polly, here’s what this means

This austerity has seen cuts “unprecedented” in our history, says Johnson. But much worse is to come unless we change our ways. Assuming we want to keep present standards – not improve them but just maintain them – then on Office for Budget Responsibility reckonings, by 2068 nearly a quarter of our spending will be on the NHS, pensions and social care. This isn’t a guess, because the people who will need that care and those pensions are alive already. That means everything else will have to be severely cut back – or tax must rise to pay for it. Borrowing more is certainly possible, especially for investment. But paying more tax for services is the irreducible choice no politician dare put to the people.

That is, on the taxes we pay we cannot afford the welfare state we’ve already promised ourselves.

That’s pretty much what the right has been saying all these decades, isn’t it? Meaning that the right was right, nu?

Polly, Love, no, really

Why is capital gains tax on property and shares forgotten after someone dies? Tax relief for Alternative Investment Market shares, intended for startups, mainly benefits the super-rich.

Because we already charge inheritance tax at 40% on the estate. And the idea that start ups getting funded mainly benefits the super-rich is more than asinine even by your standards Dearie.

Well done Telegraph subs, well done

It’s not tax cuts here:

Drastic tax cuts mean tens of thousands of NHS staff are fleeing their gold-plated pensions

Seriously:

NHS workers are abandoning their generous gold-plated pensions in droves, with a quarter of a million opting out since 2015, according to new data laying bare the extent of problems first revealed by Telegraph Money.

Experts are blaming the exodus of 245,500 NHS staff from their defined benefit pension scheme in the past three years, including 100,000 during 2016 alone, on the creep of tightening tax rules.

Jon Greer, head of retirement policy at wealth manager Quilter, said: “The impact of the lifetime allowance is beginning to rear its head, a trend likely to continue as the Treasury has made it clear that taxation on pension is no longer for the substantially wealthy.”

Well, no, the lifetime allowance rules show how a defined benefit pension makes you wealthy in fact.

And it still ain’t all a tax cut, is it?

Jeebus, Telegraph subs, think it through….

He is less than three feet tall, but he packs muscles, power and swagger in a little frame. Microman is the smallest star in Mexican professional wrestling.

Mexico’s “lucha libre,” a wildly popular mix of sport and entertainment, long featured small figures and dwarves in a deeply demeaning role: they were “mascotas” – a word that can mean both “mascot” and “pet” – for full-size wrestlers.

But a new generation of little people are now rising lucha libre stars in their own right, and dream of one day headlining the main events on their fight cards.

Microman wowed a skeptical crowd at one recent bout in Mexico City, where he and two co-stars, El Gallito and Guapito, took on another team of small-sized wrestlers.

He and his fellow “Micro Stars” were met with a smattering of jeers when they got in the ring.

But Microman silenced them when he climbed onto the top rope – more than three times his height – to execute a high-flying leap straight into the neck of his also small, but larger, rival.

Not really. He’s 3 ft. Three times his height is 9 foot. The top rope around a professional wrestling ring is 9 foot is it?

Have you ever read such a butchery?

Whatever it is that Barclay’s said it’s presumably not this:

Food import prices are set to rocket under a no-deal Brexit as punitive EU trade tariffs are slapped on food shipped in from abroad.

A report by Barclays found suppliers and retailers are facing a £9.3bn bill if the Government fails to strike a deal with Brussels before the end of March.

Live poultry imports would be slapped with tariffs of 130pc – handing Brussels a £686m windfall – if World Trade Organisation (WTO) Most Favoured Nation tariffs are imposed.

Other products that would be badly hit include orange juice at 180.1pc, lamb carcasses at 82.3pc and garlic at 71pc, the report found.

I can’t quite find that Barclay’s report but even they’re not dim enough to be claiming that if we’re outside the EU we must impose EU tariffs – and pay the money to Brussels – on imports into the UK? The Telegraph on the other hand…..

It’s just occurred to me

10% of the equity of firms over 250 people goes to the workers.

The Guardian is a ltd, with more than 250 staff. Thus Scott Trust Ltd will lose 10% of Guardian equity.

a) The staff will be so chuffed to get equity in a loss maker.

b) Actually, Scott Trust Ltd is no longer a charity, it’s a business. So staff get 10% of the equity there.

Hmm….