This is entirely fascinating

The NHS must offer transgender patients awaiting transitioning treatment access to fertility services or it risks breaking the law, the health service has been warned by the country’s equality watchdog.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is threatening legal action if “outdated” NHS policies, which it says discriminate against the transgender community, are not changed urgently.

Eh?

“Our laws and our values protect those who seek treatment for gender dysphoria,” Hilsenrath said. “This means that, where appropriate, treatment should be made available in order to ensure that access to health services is free of discrimination. A choice between treatment for gender dysphoria and the chance to start a family is not a real choice.”

You’re specifically insisting that we chop your nads out and at the same time we’ve got to protect your right to have children?

Whut?

The removal and storage of eggs and sperm – a process known as gamete extraction – gives transgender people the option of having their own biological children after transitioning treatment.

Yup, that’s what is being said.

Cakeism.

Yes, Nicolas, entirely right Mr. Maduro

Nicolas Maduro, the Leftist leader of Venezuela, blamed far Right opponents, neighbouring Colombia and financiers based in Florida for what he said was an assassination attempt with a drone in Caracas on Saturday night.

He appeared on TV hours after cutting short a speech to the country’s military amid scenes of panic to point the finger at a familiar list of enemies.

Officials said two drones loaded with explosives went off during the president’s speech. However, firefighters disputed that version of events, saying a gas tank had exploded in an apartment.

Not that it should surprise any if someone is trying to off him but still….

Honest Guv’ not me

We can hear the helicopters going over with hte great big buckets of water to put out a brush fire over in Monchique. Can’t see or smell the smoke but then it’s a bit hazy, given the heat and the dust coming up from the Sahara.

Apparently David Cameron’s holiday villa is threatened by the fire.

Nope, not me. Honest.

It’s amazing what he doesn’t get really

But that brought us to another theme, where again I bow to Danny’s expertise. This is the so-called NAIRU – that is the non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment. It’s not that long ago that the bank thought this was 8%. Then it was 7%, then 5%. Now it’s about 4.5% on their opinion. But why? As Danny explained, when researching a new book out next year from Princeton entitled ‘Not working: where have all the good jobs gone?’ he looked at NAIRU since 1945. He says as a result that it’s quite fair to argue that from 1947 to 1958 it was 1.5%. Of course the world has changed since 1958 (excepting the fact that’s when I arrived in it). And the profile of employment has changed radically too. But why has NAIRU changed? Or has it? Could it be argued that it is now no more than 2.5%? I think that plausible.

The actual purpose of most labour market reform over the past few decades – ever since Thatcher started to rush the unions – has been to lower Nairu.

If you asked Snippa whether that had worked he’d indignantly insist not.

But there he is insisting it did work.

The important thing being that he’ not even understand the conflict, would he?

Terrible, just terrible, isn’t it?

The far right is at its strongest since the 1930s, and the media is helping
Owen Jones

Prominent far-right figures being given airtime on the BBC, LBC and ITV are not being properly challenged on their views

And far lefties flounce off in a huff when their views are challenged on the same shows.

The far right is on the march, and it is being legitimised and enabled by parts of the mainstream media. The shambolic interview of Raheem Kassam – sidekick to Steve Bannon and Nigel Farage – by the BBC’s flagship Today programme was a striking case in point. This champion of Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (or as he calls himself, Tommy Robinson) – a man whose convictions include fraud, assault and contempt of court – was allowed to present himself as a legal expert. His link to the far-right Breitbart website was not mentioned.

His claim that there was “nothing far-right about us” was not challenged, despite his sympathy for banning Muslim immigration, or his response to Sheffield’s lord mayor banning Donald Trump from the city: “What is it with these Muslim mayors that as soon as they get power they start acting like fascists? Oh right yeah sorry that’s Islam …” There was no attempt to refute his farcical claim that the Mussolini-praising Bannon was a “Kennedy Democrat”. His past vile statements were not put to him, like: “Can someone just like … tape Nicola Sturgeon’s mouth shut? And her legs, so she can’t reproduce. Thanks.” His repeated use of the term “cultural Marxism” – a far-right trope with antisemitic roots – or description of trans people as “trannies” was not mentioned. The interview was a travesty, another step further down the road of far-right normalisation.

The general view is that people are not stupid. That’s why we have democracy, because people are not stupid and can indeed choose. Idiots spouting nonsense will be perceived as idiots spouting nonsense. Whether it’s idiots holding up Venezuela as a model for the economy or those insisting upon racism as a grounding for society.

What Young Owen’s complaining about is the air time given to the idiots he disagrees with, not that on offer to those he agrees with – or himself, of course.

They’re not worth this much

Of course, value is subjective. But still:

With its terracotta-tiled stone houses perched on a rocky crag overlooking rugged countryside, it might seem like the perfect Italian hill town.

But San Piero Patti has been losing inhabitants to ageing and migration for decades and has now decided to offer its empty houses for sale at €1 (90p) each in a bid to inject new life into the community.

New owners will be obliged to restore the often dilapidated homes, using traditional stone, timber and terracotta roofing and employing, where possible, local artisans.

Sicily, like most of the Mezzogiorno, is undergoing depopulation. That does leave large chunks of housing that no one locally wants to use. It’s thus cheap enough to buy. But those restoration costs – it’s entirely possible to end up with something worth less on that market than the costs of just having done it up. Sure, value is subjective, you or I might think an Italian cottage worth that doing up cost. The market is telling us that the rest of the world, on average, doesn’t agree.

And there is a reason why these areas are undergoing depopulation of course. Other places offer greater value as a place to live.

Quite gorgeous

I entirely agree. And I share his frustration. For years I have been seeking to present balanced argument on tax in the media. It’s hardly radical to say that you expect people to pay the right amount of tax, in the right place, at the right rate and at the right time, after all. Nor is it radical to say that you want the government to do this even-handedly in the interests of fair competition. From whatever political perspective you come that, surely, makes sense.

But like Rupert, I have been put up, time and again, against people I consider extremists. That is people like the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance and the Institute for Economic Affairs, both of which organisations argue for the end of the structure of society as we know it, the destruction of democracy as we are familiar with it, and the end of those services on which the most vulnerable people in this country rely. They also promote tax havens that would destroy fair competition and undermine markets. And that has been done in the name of supposed balance. But it is not. It creates bias.

I just hate being put up against people who know anything.

I will have to think hard about that one. And the next time I am asked to go on air with the likes of Mark Littlewood from the Institute of Economic Affairs I might have to think seriously about whether to do so, or not.

The BBC is biased. It’s biased because it gives the far right a platform where none can be justified.

I’m not arguing against free speech. Nor is Rupert. What we are saying is that the balance in reasonable debate is not unreasoned extremism. And it’s time the BBC realised that. As yet they do not.

Therefore no one who knows anything should ever be on the BBC.

Apparently I’m famous in Iran

For a moderate meaning of famous that is.

For some 18 months I’ve been doing pieces which then get translated for one of the wonkist economics magazines in the country.

Which appears to have led to other people desiring More Worstall! Woo! Hoo!

So here in one paper is this piece:

Screenshot of my own copyright

Which is, I think – my Farsi not really being up to scratch – this piece from CapX as translated. That is available for reprint for free.

All of which is more than a tad a pisser. Being Famous I Tell ‘EE, famed enough that people want More Worstall! And it has to be in a country where I’ll get thrown in jail for sanctions breaches if I actually try to charge people for anything.

Sigh.

We might find out that “senior paramedic” means union offical

Struggling ambulance trust considers using volunteer and military drivers
Paramedics ‘horrified’ as East of England trust consults on plan due to staff shortages

Well, using volunteer drivers is indeed commonplace in many other countries. Here in Portugal the local fire and ambulance is near all volunteer. Regular fund raisers to get the cash for fuel and equipment too.

What really interests here though is:

A senior paramedic at East of England Ambulance Services said they were “absolutely horrified” by the proposal for volunteer ambulance drivers, even for low acuity patients, adding that it showed how “desperate” the trust was ahead of the winter,

What’s the betting that our senior paramedic is in fact a union official? Horrified at the thought of the unpaid taking his members’ jobs?

Fairly silly

Maths textbooks should be banned because they intimidate pupils, a leading girls’ school headmistress has said.

Jane Prescott, head of Portsmouth High School said that students risk becoming anxious if they can see that their classmates are “galloping ahead” of them.

The move has been a “confidence booster” for girls, and allows them to “feel encouraged, and feel they are good at Maths”, Ms Prescott said.

That’s rather the comprehensive ideal run riot isn’t it?

Mustn’t let those who grasp the subject run ahead now, must we?

Well, no, not really

Stonehenge builders were Welsh, Oxford University finds

We were slightly short of the concept of being Welsh at that time. Then again current day South Walians aren’t Welsh either. Largely the descendants of recent migrants from the Midlands plus some Irish. That’s why they’re so fervently flag waving of course, recent immigrants often are.

The effects of token women on shortlists

Imagine a four-person shortlist that has three women and one man on it. With this shortlist, a woman will be hired only 67% of the time.

If you’ve got two women and two men on the shortlist, a woman will be hired 50% of the time – the odds you would expect if people were making hiring decisions purely based on merit.

What chance do you think a woman has of being hired when there’s one woman (against three men) on a four-candidate shortlist?

According to a recent study looking at academic hiring, there’s statistically no chance she’ll be hired.

Many employers are actively trying to recruit more women to senior positions, and are changing the composition of shortlists as a means of doing so. Some large corporates have recently announced that they’re scrapping all-male shortlists and are asking recruiters to find a more diverse range of candidates.

But as the study above suggests, adding just one woman to a shortlist to prevent it from being all-male may not do the trick. This is because the ratio is still sending the implicit message that a man is more appropriate for the job.

Or possible that people see through the inclusion of a token woman on a shortlist?

We might be able to answer this question

Why are there so few queer female coming-of-age movies?

Well, in the form of movies where they keep their clothes on it could just be that there’re not that many people interested. Lesbians are some 1% or so of the female population. So, we’re talking about something that resonates with (sure, of course we don’t have to be exactly the same as the characters. I’ve never fought anyone with a samurai sword but Kill Bill passed the time pleasantly enough) some -.5% of the adult population.

That’s something to spend tens of millions on, is it?

In the sort of movies where everyone doesn’t keep their clothes on I’m told that it’s a very popular subject.

Sadly I’ll forget to use this excuse

Middle aged drinking may reduce dementia risk, new study finds

Analysis of more than 9,000 people found those who never touched a drop were around 50 per cent more likely to develop the degenerative condition compared to those who drink moderately.

Published in the British Medical Journal, the results challenge formal NHS advice, which recommends going teetotal to reduce dementia risk.

How unlike government advice to be wrong…..

How weird

A former head of human resources for the Federal Emergency Management Agency is under investigation after being accused of hiring women as possible sexual partners for male employees, the Washington Post reported Monday.

Very generous of him, wasn’t it? Not the popsie with the biggies as his own secretary but for the other blokes?

Or maybe he was being really generous and getting would be cat ladies into contact with those who could save them from that fate?

Jeebus

The diverted profits tax – set at 25%, which is 6% higher than corporation tax – was brought in to prevent international firms from using transfer pricing, where they divert goods and services via a lower tax jurisdiction to avoid paying in the UK.

That’s not the definition of transfer pricing. And transfer pricing is a system of rules companies must follow, not one they mustn’t.

Sheesh