For the collection of idiot Guardian headlines

Despite the Nigel Evans trial, the wrongly accused are not the main victims in rape cases

Well of course they’re bloody not.

The major victims in rape cases are those who have been raped.

The major victims in cases of false allegation of rape are those who have been falsely accused.

We can tell the difference quite easily too. In the one someone has been raped so they are the victim. In the other no one has so that victim position is open to be filled by the accused.

Then we get to Owen Jones’ actual piece:

MPs led by David Davis are on the offensive against the Crown Prosecution Service, and there are renewed calls to grant anonymity to alleged rapists, a privilege no one proposes for accused murderers

We don’t grant anonymity to the murdered either. Nor, in fact, to any victim of any other crime.

This represents a troublesome loss of perspective. No one who is rational can look dispassionately at the facts and conclude that false accusations are the real problem when it comes to rape. Official statistics suggest that 97,000 people are raped a year, yet on average only 15,670 become recorded crimes and, in 2012-13, there were just 2,333 convictions. A CPS review last year found that, over a 17-month period, prosecutions for false allegations made up just 0.6% of rape cases.

Oh, just great. Start with the number of possibly, estimated to be, unreported crimes to give a big number. Trump that at the end with only the number of prosecutions for the reverse crime. Well done laddie. What we actually want to know is what number of allegations are made as against those who are found guilty of doing so. You know, the same as your numbers of alleged, estimated rapes and convictions.

What nonsense, being proud to be British

However, the pride of Britons in their national identity has fallen to an all-time low, with only one in five young people “very proud” to be British, the British Social Attitudes survey has found.

According to the figures, seen by The Sunday Times, a third of people are very proud to be British, compared with 43 per cent a decade ago.

The young and highly educated are the least likely to feel proud to be British than older people or those with fewer qualifications.

Why would anyone be proud of having pulled the winning lottery ticket in life, that random chance of having been born British? Thankful possibly, grateful perhaps, but proud?

The monarchy, the BBC and pubs are among the most important aspects when it comes to defining Britain, according to a new research.

William Shakespeare, the House of Commons and our weather also top the list of key British associations.

The major feature of being British is that we don’t try to define it. There’s none of this Germanic nonsense where people try to look for the soul of the nation, the blood of the race n’all. No Froggie insistence that it’s all contained in three word phrases, not for us a l’Americain where it’s hand on heart to the flag. We simply are and that’s the end of that.

Think how damn difficult it is to really come up with a definition of Britishness. The best I can do is that we’re the only group of people who are willing to entertain the idea that not all Morris Dancers are entirely and completely mad. Not sure about it mind, but willing to entertain the idea. Or is that the English?



All hail the glorious GallMeister!

This is just incredibly fabulous from the GallMeister himself:

One of the underlying important themes that the Tax Justice Network and I have emphasised over the last decade has been the continual shift of the burden of taxation from capital onto labour. As if evidence were needed that this trend is continuing, this was the headline from an email that I received this morning from the OECD:


Of course, the situation varies from country to country.  It is the trend that is important,  and that is a continuing explanation for the crisis that our economy, and that of the world at large, faces.  Growth without a rising share of labour income  is not possible:  inequality prevents it.

No, no, just let that sink in for a bit.

So, labour is being horribly oppressed as the tax burden upon it rises. This is being done by reducing tax free allowances on labour income, thus subjecting higher portions of total income to labour taxation.

That is what the OECD is stating and that is what the GallMeister is complaining about, yes?

And yet what is the case in the UK? Where the personal allowance has risen considerably (admittedly only to make up for decades of fiscal drag but still) thereby reducing the portion of total income that is subject to labour taxation? One of the implacable opponents of this policy being a retired accountant from Wandsworth currently resident in Norfolk?

Can you imagine what gall you must have to hold both positions at the same time? That the neoliberal lackey running spit dogs like myself are wrong for oppressing labour with ever higher taxation and also the spitlackey dog running neoliberals like myself are wrong for reducing the taxes paid by labour? The former by reducing tax free allowances and the second by increasing them?

Still, I understand such gall will be rarer in future as they’re going to surgically remove it.


First, the proportion if NHS resources going to GPs is already falling, significantly. It is now less than 9% of all resources when it was over 10%. So the service is already underfunded.

Eh? A fall of the proportion of a budget going to one activity means, by definition, that that activity is being underfunded?


Oh dear Nick, Oh dear

Food banks will be to the 2010s what hunger marches were to the 1930s. But they are not dramatic places. You don’t see queues of distressed people waiting by their doors. The food banks are discreet. The Anglicans who run them show their kindness by doing nothing to draw attention to their clients’ poverty.

For all their unobtrusiveness, food banks might do as a symbol of our times too.

Let us take food banks to be a sign of our times then. What do they signify?

That Brits seem to be entirely happy to put their hands in their pockets and provide charity for their fellows? Seems like a pretty good thing to me.

But this is simply silly:

In America, the average worker has not had a pay rise since 1973. In Britain, median full-time pay stopped rising in 2000, then collapsed after the crash. The great recession came after 30 years of the rich leaving the rest behind. (In the past two decades, for instance, the top 1% has grabbed three-fifths of all the gains in American growth.)

You cannot believe both of those things. That the average USian has not had a pay rise in decades and also that the rich have only been taking three fifths of the economic growth. It’s an either or. Either the rich have been taking all of the economic growth (for we all do agree that economic growth has been taking place, yes?) or the wages of the average worker have indeed risen.

And we know where this confusion comes from too. From the way that health care insurance is paid for in the US. It is part of labour compensation but not part of labour wages. And an increasingly large part of labour compensation has been devoted to health care insurance over the decades (given that the health care sector has moved from 8 % or so of GDP to 18% this must be so). Meaning that looking just at cash wages shows no great post inflation change but labour compensation has grown strongly.

To clarify why this is important think about our own health care financing system. It’s paid for out of taxes (nominally, but not in fact, out of national insurance). The cost of the NHS has increased (some 5% of GDP to 11% or so). So, let us try to equate the two systems. Have UK wages risen over this period? Yup, they sure have. Has NI risen over this period to pay for the NHS? Yup, sure has. But, do we look at the rise in wages after the increased costs of paying for health care? Do we look at post NI wages when determining whether wages have risen? No, we don’t. And thus to compare with the US system we should compare after health care has been paid for: or, both before. But not look at one set of figures before health care costs and the other after.

Of course feminism means socialism

For we all do know that is is the capitalist patriarchy that must be fought against.

His original comments were echoed by the Socialist Party’s Maharashtra unit chief, Abu Azmi, who said that women who have sex outside marriage should be punished by death, even if they are raped.

“If rape happens with or without consent, it should be punished as prescribed in Islam”, Mr Azmi told the Mid-Day website.

“The solution is this: any woman, whether married or unmarried, who goes along with a man, with or without her consent, should be hanged. Both should be hanged. It shouldn’t be allowed even if a woman goes by consent.”

A socialist and a moron there. But I repeat myself.

Better get fracking, eh?

President Vladimir Putin threatened the “extreme measure” on Thursday of cutting off Russian gas for Ukraine unless the country pays in advance for all its supplies.

In a stark letter to 18 world leaders, Mr Putin acknowledged that, in such a “critical situation”, gas deliveries to the European Union would also be jeopardised.

The EU buys a third of its gas from Russia, about half of which arrives through pipelines running across Ukraine. But Mr Putin accused the EU of causing the current crisis, leaving Russia with “no alternative” but to toughen its approach.

Actually, the best thing that anyone could do right now is to get as much oil and gas as we possibly can flowing into the international markets. The US should allow crude and LNG exports, the EU should be fracking all over the place, get Iran, Iraq and Saudi pumping at full capacity. There’s enough out there to potentially drop the oil price $30 or $0 a barrel.

And that would entirely screw the Russian economy. Hell, people want to play economic games then why the hell not?

On sex charges and aquittals

Naming no names but if I, as a 50 ish bloke, stuck my hand down the knickers of a 20 ish filly, uninvited and as, perhaps, an invitation to her to respond I really wouldn’t be all that surprised to find myself being charged and possibly even found guilty of some form of sexual assault, possibly even attempted rape or some such.

If I were a bloke doing it to a bloke I have a feeling that the drunken fumble argument might work. For we all do have a rather different view of male sexuality and come ons vis a vis female such. It can be, how to put this, rather cruder.

I take it that we have now firmly established this principle in law?

Worstall’s Law in the wild

Worstall’s Law: Every organisation will be, in the end, run by those who can stay awake in committee meetings.

Paul Ralley sends me a spotting of this law in the wild:

The group is owned by its members and 80 or so member societies.

Area committees are the grass roots of the organisation. There are about 48 of them, each with 10 to 12 members who serve three-year, elected terms.

These area committee members elect members of the seven regional boards. They, in turn, elect 15 of the 21 members of the group’s board. Of the remaining six, five come from member societies, such as Midcounties and Midlands, and there’s an independent director, the role held by Lord Myners.

There are also boards for the food business; the bank, which the group no longer fully owns; and specialist businesses, which include the pharmacies and funeral care.

Maybe time to update the city gossip column?

In 1990, Miller joined Texaco as marketing manager – just three years before the oil major, subsequently acquired by Chevron, was hit with a lawsuit for “negligent” and “reckless” drilling in the Amazon region of Ecuador.

In 2011, Chevron was finally presented with the bill for that environmental contamination: a mammoth $18.2bn (£10.9bn). It makes Miller’s Cabinet career-ending £45,000 expenses claim look like small change.

Err, yes
, but might be worth updating the anecdote to include the fact that Chevron has just won the case proving that the environmentalist lawyers had lied, cheated and bribed their way to that victory, no?

After all, doing so would add to the possible jokes one could tell about the behaviour of Ms. Millar.

Well, we knew this was going to happen, didn’t we?

Household fridges and freezers will need to be automatically switched off at times when Britain’s electricity demand is high, in order to keep the lights on as Britain becomes more reliant on wind energy, experts say.

The current electricity grid will struggle to cope with the number of wind farms expected to be built by the early 2020s because the power they produce is so intermittent, according to a report from the Royal Academy of Engineering.

A radical overhaul of the way the electricity system is managed – including a “smart grid” that can control household appliances to reduce demand when power supply is inadequate – will be needed, it finds.

Seems entirely logical from an engineering point of view. Rather less so from a political one. God knows what the bastards will do if they can reach into your house and control your electronics….and don’t forget, today’s bastards might not be so bad as those we get tomorrow.