Well, there’s quotation and then there’s quotation

More Conservative idiocy. This time from the self-styled salon intellectuals at CapX, or to you and me the place where brain cells go to die. Chewing up bandwith in defence of indefensible class privilege this week saw Tim Worstall hail the Conservative triumph (his phrase) that are … food banks.

The actual quote is:

But this leads us to question why this is a conservative (but not Conservative) movement and system of organisation.

Malevolence or just the incompetence of the state education system in this literacy stuff?


Civil Engineering becomes “mud. And there is always mud.” Boxing is “hit. don’t get hit.” Economics is “incentives matter. Opportunity costs.” If you can get your mind around those two points then you’ll be doing better than all too many professional economists.
The first is obvious, people react to what they’ll get from doing or not doing something. The second is rather more subtle and it’s something that economists really do insist upon. The cost of doing something is whatever you give up to do that thing.
The cost of making love to your mistress is not making love to your wife that afternoon, not unless your lifestyle is very much more exciting than that of most of us. Being slightly more serious one of the costs of going into business making mobile phones is not being able to use the capital, the buildings, the land, to make cars.
We’ve had to give up our ambitions to be Henry Ford in order to be one of the Ambani brothers (preferably the one making money).
There are always opportunity costs because we can always be doing something else other than what we actually are doing. The cost of whatever it is is whatever it is we give up to do it.

That mistress and wife point is probably one that makes more sense to an older, rather than younger, man.


It’s a common mental disorder that one or other of us knows what everyone else should be forced to do. Our own liberalism is based in the fact that we’ve not a scoobie about what will maximise the happiness of others, good grief, the existence of Simon Cowell proves that. Thus our basic prescription that people should be stopped from doing what damages the rights of others and after that left alone to do as they please.

An extract

It’s as if the government doesn’t know what it’s doing, isn’t it? And that cannot possibly be true about the NHS, an absurd thought. For we all know that it’s so exquisitely managed that no system in the world comes near it.

Timmy elsewhere

It’s a rather unlovely thought that part of our economic system, capitalism, is driven by the base motive of greed for profit. It’s the other part of it, those markets and their competition, which lead to why it makes the rest of us so rich. For the combined system does one thing extraordinarily well – it makes things cheap in short order.

In 2007 the iPhone was $500; today no one makes anything that feeble and entry prices are still only, what, $20? That’s not a bad recommendation for an economic system, really.

Yep, it’s my fault

Why we Ukippers should be ashamed of ourselves

As Nigel has been saying as he tours the studios, to have thought that winning meant we had won was a gross, hubristic, error. So now, with Paul Nuttall gone, we are going to find out whether there are second acts in political lives.

For our point is that regardless of who sits in 10 Downing Street, it is there and in Westminster that the power should be held. If we collectively decide to change – or lose – our minds then we should be at liberty to do so rather than be locked into governance from afar. The fight is far from over.

There is an element of having written this only to be able to say this

But then the rep for the Police Federation which, for those who don’t know, is the union policemen aren’t allowed to have. The job of a rep for which is to say that there should be many more Police Federation members being paid ever-escalating amounts of money. This isn’t something to complain about. That would be like whining that the pitbull won’t let go of your ankle; this is what they are for.

But it is worth examining whether these claims of ever fewer police are in fact true. The answer being up to a point Lord Copper.

And my thanks to Louis R who dug out the old police numbers for me, unprompted I might add.

The sad bit about this is that 20 years ago this would be entirely uncontroversial

Our politicians are wrong about internet censorship


It took us many centuries, a lot of effort and much expended blood and gore to get to this place where we are free – at liberty and ruled by the law, not the whims of people nor the rage of the mob. That we have those who would snatch them from us worries me far less than what our rulers will do to us and our liberty in the name of protecting us from those bearded nutters.

Guess who?

Other than that, there are bad points about them both.

With Le Pen it is undoubtedly the very ugly undercurrent of racism and anti-semitism. Yet with Melenchon, the problem is economic stupidity of a Venezuelan level of ghastliness.

A 100 per cent tax rate gains no revenue whatsoever, but that is proposed. In an ageing country, he proposes lowering the pensions age. He would kill off the nuclear industry which supplies 75 per cent of current electricity, and in general appears about as well informed as Chavez himself.

Not an appealing choice, but as your parents should have, but probably didn’t, tell you about choosing a mate: ugly beats stupid every time.