Quite amazing

Peru’s former president Alan García has died after deliberately shooting himself in the head when police tried to arrest him in connection with a multibillion-dollar Latin American corruption scandal.

“I am saddened by the death of former president Alan García,” tweeted the country’s current president, Martín Vizcarra, confirming the news. “I send my condolences to his family and loved ones.”

Earlier, García’s lawyer, Erasmo Reyna, told local media his client “took the decision to shoot himself” early on Wednesday after officers arrived at his home in the capital, Lima, to place him under preventive detention.

Peru’s interior minister, Carlos Morán, told journalists García had told police officers he was going to call his lawyer and had “shut himself in his bedroom” before a shot was heard.

The 69-year-old politician – who faced accusations of taking bribes from the Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht during his 2006-2011 presidency – was admitted to a nearby hospital soon after, at about 6.45am, suffering from a gunshot wound to the head.

Before his death was confirmed Peru’s health minister, Zulema Tomás, told reporters García was in a “very serious” condition and had suffered three heart attacks from which he had been resuscitated. A 27-strong medical team, including neurosurgeons and intensive care specialists, was fighting to save the former president’s life.

Gun, head, self, not instant. But, you know, efficiency of politicians and all that.

Capitalism and Feminism

It’s always struck me as entirely weird that feminists tend to be lefties.

Play with those numbers how you wish. The startling decline in mothers weeping bitterly over white coffins happens as and about capitalism takes root in any particular time or place. No other economic system has ever managed to do this. Yes, we probably do think that women not burying their children is feminist. Thus capitalism is that most feminist economic system.

Modern politics

Anyone desire a clue as to why a country run by politics and politicians is so shit?

I’ve just received an election leaflet from one candidate complaining about the Community Charge going up. Community Charge was abolished in 1993.

jgh in comments earlier.

Wings Over Scotland libel case

Those of us south of the border won’t have heard much about the Wings Over Scotland blog. An amusement being that it’s vociferously pro-indy and written from Bath. The writer of which was trying to sue for defamation. The answer to which was:

He also described Mr Campbell as someone who has “chosen insult and condemnation as his style”, and said the blogger cannot expect to be able to “hold others to a higher standard of respect than he is willing himself to adopt.

“I do not accept that he can dismiss the feelings or reputations of his opponents cheaply, but receive a high valuation of his own.

Seems a fair verdict.

My word, really?

Spudda tells us it’s all done!

A short introduction to a historic report, published 12th April 2019 by LUT University and Energy Watch, that models the global energy system on an hourly basis using the real economics of existing renewable energy technologies. A unique first, and essential ammunition for all worried about climate change.

We’re saved? We can power the world on 100% renewables!

Except, well, page 18 of the main report.

Energy Storage
Storage technologies play a vital role in enabling
the transition towards a fully renewable energy
system across all sectors. As shown in Figure 3.1-4,
a significant share of electricity demand is covered
by storage that increases through the transition
period up to nearly 5000 TWhel by 2030 and further
significantly increases to over 30,000 TWhel by
2050. As the shares of solar PV and wind energy
increase significantly beyond 2030, the role of
storage is crucial in providing uninterrupted energy
supply. The ratio of electricity demand covered by
energy storage to electricity generation increases
significantly to around 18% by 2035 and further on
to about 23% by 2050, as shown in Figure 3.1-4.
Electricity storage technologies cover most of the
storage requirements from the electricity sector,
complemented with some shares of electricity
derived from stored heat. This cross-sectoral
storage is enabled through an integrated power
and heat sector

OK, super. So energy storage will become effective and economic.

So, which technologies? Umm, what’s that? They will? You are assuming that are you? Ah, you are.

So, OK, sure we can power the world on renewables if we only had an economic method of electricity storage. But assuming that we do doesn’t prove that we can now, does it?

This also amuses:

A global transition to 100% renewable energy across all sectors – power, heat, transport and
desalination before 2050 is feasible1. Existing renewable energy potential and technologies, including
storage, is capable of generating a secure energy supply at every hour throughout the year. The
sustainable energy system is more efficient and cost effective than the existing system,

Great, so we don’t need to do anything about it, do we? Private lust for profit will get us to this more efficient and economic system on its own.

Good, glad we’ve got that settled.

That Curajus State

As we know the Senior Lecturer is insistent that the State should have more power. Be Curajus.

Erdogan has certainly been that.

The Turkish lira has shed almost 30 per cent of its value since Mr Erdogan switched the parliamentary system to an executive presidency last year, partly prompted by his poor meetings with investors in London last May, when he announced that he was planning to rein in inflation by suppressing interest rates — a move that flies in the face of all economic orthodoxy.


Berat Albayrak, 41, flew to Washington late last week to try to breathe life into the Turkish economy and currency, which have been failing since Mr Erdogan, 65, centralised almost all powers in his hands.

Turkey’s muzzled media has largely hailed the trip as a success, focusing on Mr Albayrak’s discussions yesterday with President Trump and Jared Kushner, the US president’s son-in-law, in which they touted having tripled trade to $75 billion.

However, one investor told the Financial Times that it was “one of the worst performances from a finance minister I have seen”. Another told Axios, a news website, they had “never seen someone from an administration that unprepared”. A fund manager described it as “a shit-show”.

That Curajus State is an interesting idea obviously. Except that our more usual problem is curbing the actions of the idiots who manage to gain office.


Ever since judges lost their exemption from doing jury service, members of the bench have struggled to find inventive reasons to avoid it — but Judge Keith Cutler’s excuse will take some beating.

The resident judge of Winchester and Salisbury has been excused from a stint on jury service after it became clear that he was to be the judge on the same case.

At first even that clear breach of the principles of natural justice was not enough. Judge Cutler replied to the jury summons by pointing out that he was listed to be the judge in the trial but was told that his reason was not a sufficiently strong excuse.


We might be getting a clue here

Why are so many millionaires campaigning against millionaires?

One of the interesting things about this mania for dropping tax returns among the Democratic runners is how many of them are part of that 1% they so rail against. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, they’re all there, securely in the top 1% of family or household incomes for the US. They all also rail against the incomes and inequality of the one percent which must take a certain amount of mental contortion.

Sure, there are several arguments that could be used to justify all of this. Perhaps such tribunes of the people – they’re all currently in the Senate – should be in that top 1%. Why shouldn’t those selflessly devoting themselves to the public good be well rewarded?

Another thought could be that if you can’t rip off $500k a year from senior office in a nation as rich as the US then you’ve not got the financial nous to run for dogcatcher.

It is also possible to make a rather more serious point about this more general whinge about inequality. It’s as it is in the UK, it’s not about the 1% and 99% at all. Which, given that the inequality gap here hasn’t changed much over recent decades seems fair. Rather, it’s about the inequality gap between the 0.9% and the 0.1%.

It must be hard being Julie Bindel

Why Andrea Dworkin is the radical, visionary feminist we need in our terrible times

Imagine desiring a cause to fire up the masses, lead the revolution. Imagine insisting upon being part of the cadre that leads that revolution.

Then imagine that no one’s very interested because you’re preaching revolution against the oppression of the patriarchy to the richest, freest, generation of women that have existed ever.

Must be terribly galling really.

This is seriously amusing

So, recent decades have seen an insistence that everyone must have CRBs. Not quite everyone, but damn near.

So, the answer is to expunge offences from records?

Criminals will have minor offences wiped from their records under plans being considered by Sajid Javid to stop them being denied jobs by “spent” convictions.

The Home Secretary is reviewing a rule where anyone with more than one conviction, no matter how minor, automatically has them disclosed to a prospective employer for the rest of their lives.

The new plan could mean minor assaults, thefts or drug possession would not automatically be disclosed to employers by the Government disclosure and barring service.

Why note reduce the demands for CRBs?

Isn’t this fun about candidate’s tax returns?

So, they all pile in about Trump not releasing his tax returns. Then Beto O’Rourke, s#rising start, releases his returns for the past decade.

This is really quite glorious, Beto O’Rourke has released his tax returns and the WSJ has thus found out that he underpaid his taxes for two years, 2013 and 2014. Given the emphasis the Democrats are putting on getting Trump to release his tax returns is that the end for this little campaign? I mean, it should be, right?

Yep, it’s a technical and near trivial mistake. And yet, you know….

To ask the counterfactual

Patrick Jahnke is right: this is a fundamental flaw at the heart of modern accounting. I have said this morning that nothing lasts forever, and I stand by that. It’s wise to realise that’s true. But to assume nothing has value in a generation’s time is as flawed as thinking anything lasts in perpetuity. And what the practice of discounting in accountancy means is that no company plans for a generation hence. And yet it is believed that investing in the shares of these companies is a rational basis for making pensions provision.

That this is not true – because these companies have no plan for the time when pensioners will want to realise their investments – should be apparent. But it is not.

Which human organisation has a longer time horizon than the major corporation?

No, not in theory, in practice?

Bonus question. If we have an inevitable too short a time horizon among the things we can invest in then aren’t we going to have to have a secondary market in investments?


Cretinous nonsense:

Studies show that average global incomes could be significantly reduced, perhaps by as much as
one-quarter by the end of the century, if limited or no action is taken to reduce carbon emissions.

That’s from the Bank of England and they at least should know better.

The actual worry is that incomes could be reduced by 25% from where they would be without climate change. We do also expect incomes to be some 3 to 5 times higher then than now. It’s the reduction in their being 3 or 5 times higher, not reductions from incomes now.

Legalisation and contraception would

What was it? Reduce the incidence?

A third of pregnancies among women in their early 20s end in abortion for the first time, official data has revealed.

Every woman in their 20s has an absolute right to free, buckshee, and effective, contraception. So, how’d that work out then?

Well, it would appear that lowering the cost of each incidence of shagging has raised the frequency. Not unexpected as a result. But the elasticity seems to be that it raises the incidence of abortion. Not quite the elasticity that was predicted really.


Royal superfans criticise Harry and Meghan’s ‘disappointing’ decision to keep birth private as they vow to arrive in Windsor anyway

The people they talk to say, well, their baby, their way to do it and good luck to them.

This is a bit convoluted

A millionaire businessman has revealed his fight to bring his daughters back to the UK after his “manipulative and arrogant” ex-wife took them on holiday and never came back.

Ganna Tigipko, 34, flew her children to Ukraine in July last year has refused to bring them back.

A dual Ukrainian-British citizen, Ms Tigipko is the daughter of politician Sergiy Tigipko, 59, who served as Ukraine’s vice prime minister from 2010 to 2012.

Her flouting of a High Court order which prevented her from leaving the country with the girls was described as a “furtive flit” and a “gross act of defiance” by a judge.

Ms Tigipko’s former husband is a Russian businessman living in London who cannot be named to protect his daughters’ identities.


Ah, yes. The daughters will have his name, won’t they? Not much of a disguise of their identity, it has to be said….

Well, yes, but, but…..

England’s steepest street has been named by the Ordnance Survey for the first time as as a hill in Bristol, where residents tie their cars to lampposts to stop them from rolling away.

Bristol’s residential Vale Street has the steepest gradient in England with a slope of 22-degrees.


While the hill may be tricky it does have its upsides. Katherine Haddow, who lives on the street, added that the slope gives home-owners the advantage of a “completely un-obscured” view across the city.

Well, it gives a great view over Brislington which might not be all that much of an advantage. Still, they can see the Bath Road from there. You know, the route out of Bristol and off into civilisation.

That’s a challenge then

It’s really quite masterly in its way, this piece of projection. Still, we’re asked one particular thing, or rather told something which we can refute:

And we all know that almost no Brexiteer can name an EU regulation that they would actually want to repeal.

I think I count as a Brexiteer. Worked for Ukip, stood for them as an MEP candidate.

Just off the top of my head I’d get rid of the entirety of Reach. Plus all the bendy banana laws. And the European jam, jellies and marmalades laws. That’s just things I’ve actually written columns about over the years. Give me 15 minutes and I’l find a library full for you.

A weekend of reflection leaves me still bemused by Brexit. Or at least by Brexiteers. Let’s leave aside all the nastiness of some who claim to represent those interests. Let’s instead consider what Brexit is supposedly about. Except I cannot. Because I do not know.

It’s based upon entirely the wrong ideal – ideal – of governance for a free and liberal society. It’s using the Roman Law derived idea of a regulation for everything and nothing without a regulation. Whereas a liberal society says these limited things must be regulated because of third party damage and everyone’s free to get on with the rest as they wish.

The European Union’s simply on the wrong side of liberal.