Oh Dear Lord, are they serious?

HS2 should consider slowing the speed of its trains to save money or risk only completing half the line, peers have warned, as they called for a major rethink of the Government’s flagship transport project.


The only reason even the cooked and biased cost benefit analysis works is by having higher speed trains. Slow them down and there’s no point to the project at all.

Wait, Windows 7 has the snipping tool?

I’ve long rather wondered – I might have mentioned it around here in fact – at the way some people manage to lift charts and maps and stuff from places. I’ve never really known how to do screen captures and all that. So, I was terribly excited by Windows 10. And the information youse guys provided in answer to a question of mine about how to use it. The snipping tool!

So, working desktop has two boxes on it, W7 and W10 boxes. Just because that’s what came on used boxes that were bought. But that meant when a page was found that I wanted to lift something from – usually on the W7 box – I would then load the page again on the W 10 one, snip, email it to the W 7 one, then use it.

All a bit inefficient really.

Umm, W7 has the snipping tool in it. At least this version on this box does.

How’s that for technological mastery? It only takes a decade for me to note it.

The potato interrogates Nigel Farage

How will you deal with the Northern Ireland border?
What trade deal do you want with Europe?
How will you manage a trade deal with the USA when they say none is possible if there is a hard border in Northern Ireland?
What EU law are you going to repeal if we Brexit as you wish? Would that have also been possible under May’s deal?
Why do you want to use WTO rules when no one else in the world does?
You know that the WTO is a seriously discredited organisation, don’t you? Why do you want to use its rule?
No deal is technically impossible, as I am sure you know. If we say there are no rules the reality is everyone else will impose their rules on us. How are you going to manage that?
How are you going to manage the disruption of a Hard Brexit?
How many people will die in the UK because a Hard Brexit will deny them the drugs they need?
Every credible organisation offering a Brexit forecast says it will cost UK jobs. How are you going to replace them?

As someone who used to develop policy for Nigel Farage – not with, for – perhaps I can answer some of these

1) Exactly as we do now.
2) We’ll declare unilateral free trade. What they do is up to them. For details see Patrick Minford’s worked through and costed example.
3) See 1)
4) CAP, CFP are two for starters. REACH will follow.
5) Because we don’t really care about the rules others impose upon our exports. The value of trade is in what we can import, see 2)
6) What are you talking about you silly little man?
7) See 5)
8) Same as we’ll manage any opther diusruption. As bestg can be done.
9) None, see 2)
10) Government doesn’t create jobs. Private enterprise does, within the rules set by government. As we’re going to relax much of that regulation that job creation will be easier, won’t it?

Ever so slightly infelicitous

But I can’t help noticing that Gentleman Jack is the latest in a glut of recent high-profile lesbian period dramas.

Umm, yes.

recent high-profile lesbian dramas


recent high-profile period dramas



recent high-profile lesbian period dramas

Looks like an extremely specialised taste there.

Still, this is the BBC, it won’t be that graphic. Maybe they’ll shout at each other then eat chocolate together?

Lordy be headline writers!

80,000 Britons on web forum run by neo-Nazis

Jeebus. That’s more than the BNP vote, isn’t it? And we know hot all of them can read let alone log on.

A white nationalist and neo-Nazi online discussion forum received 80,000 responses from people in the UK, Theresa May will reveal today, as she says it is time to confront the growing threat from the far right.

Well, that’s less worrying. It’s a different number, responses to members. for one person might make many responses. Which is actually how web forums work.

The work by the Home Office’s Office for Security and Counter Terrorism shows that a white nationalist and neo-Nazi discussion forum had 12 million posts during its lifetime. In one month it had 800,000 visits, with 80,000 appearing to originate from the UK, according to Downing Street.

Oh, wait, what? 80,000 visits? That’s less than this blog gets in a month. Hmm, well, maybe. But we’re in tat sort of range, a specialised and exotic taste or fashion at least.

Details matter, eh?


Number of British paedophiles may be far higher than thought
National Crime Agency chief says new figure is seven times greater than earlier estimate

Gosh, how have they worked this out?

The number of Britons with a sexual interest in children may be seven times higher than previously thought, the head of the National Crime Agency has said.

Lynne Owens said the revelation came after investigators scoured through sites for paedophiles on the dark web, finding an estimated 144,000 accounts linked to British people.

Err, yes. Very accurate indeed. So what’s actually going on here?

She is calling for £2.7bn over three years to boost the fight against serious and organised crime.

Ah, bureaucracy calling for larger budget. Surprise!

Slightly worrying, eh?

Jeremy Corbyn has drawn up plans to take control of Britain’s energy networks in a multi-billion pound power-grab modelled on the nationalisation of Northern Rock.

A leaked Labour party document has revealed plans for a swift and sweeping renationalisation of the country’s £62bn energy networks at a price decided by Parliament.

The blueprint, seen by the Telegraph, lays bare for the first time Mr Corbyn’s plan to bring all energy network companies under public ownership “immediately” following a Labour election win.

The party is planning to employ the same legislative tools used to nationalise Northern Rock in order to justify naming its own price for the companies.

Nationalising them? Well, silly idea, obviously. But at below market price? Stealing them? And how are they going to use the NR tactics?

That depended upon the BoE not offering liquidity support so therefore it was bust. Now, maybe BoE was instructed not to offer liquidity but still. In that circumstance it was actually bust.

What would be – what could be – the equivalent tactic? Announce they’re going to buy them at £x, watch the price fall to price £x and announce that’s market price?

Unfortunately I’m too cheap to pay for either the Telegraph or FT where this is explained.

Err, yes

Scotland Yard’s detectives had believed in ‘Nick’. His claims of being raped and tortured as a child by a group of paedophile VIPs that included a former prime minister, military generals and the heads of MI5 and MI6, had been described by the Metropolitan Police back in December 2014 as “credible and true”.

For more than 15 months, the force took seriously Nick’s insistence that he had personally witnessed three children being murdered by the gang.

So, what we really want and need to know. Did Bea Campbell, OBE, believe these allegations?

It’s one of those compass needle tests, butt end version.

Hmm, well

Social media trolls are as bad as drink drivers, the Government’s Suicide Prevention Minister has suggested as she called for society to treat them with the same level of revulsion.

Jackie Doyle-Price said some online behaviour would never be “tolerated in the streets” and people needed to make clear “we don’t find that acceptable”.

She compared online trolling to someone 30 years ago driving after drinking four pints – something that was “socially acceptable” at the time but which now most people would take a “very dim view of”.

It’s an entirely useful analogy. But is it a correct one?

Useful in the sense that yes, it used to be socially acceptable and now it isn’t for the booze. And there are those who are trying to make the “abuse” similarly socially unacceptable. But should we be doing so? Is robust free speech something that should be made socially unacceptable. Possibly, possible not.

No, really, just fine with people having any view on that at all. It’s like burping at the dinner table, chacun a son gout.

Meanwhile, she said social media platforms needed to clamp down on internet trolls and harmful content to stop the “Wild West” nature of the internet.

Which is where the analogy breaks down. Because now she’s saying that pubs shouldn’t serve four pints because someone might then drive….

A certain amount of trying it on here

The set up seems believable. And yet:

A Jewish businessman has criticised the Family Court for putting him in a Catch-22 situation over a divorce ruling which allegedly traps him between family law and religious law.

Alan Moher, 54, was ordered to hand over a £1.6million lump sum to his wife Caroline, 46, by the Family Court and told he must also pay her £1,850 per month in maintenance payments until he grants her a ‘get’ – a document that officially ends a marriage under Jewish law.

However Mr Moher, of Salford, Greater Manchester, claims that a get is only valid if it is granted ‘freely’, while he is being put under pressure to provide it by the continuing maintenance payments.

As an aside, is Moher a derivation of mohel? At which point we’re in cliche territory, no?

Anyway. Judaism does maintain its own courts and they do deal with exactly this sort of thing. Not sure, there might even be separate Sephardi and Ashkenazi such. Anyone know? But that would seem to be where to go get a ruling. Is such continuing maintenance until a get a bar to the get being granted freely?

Well Rabbi?

Which is where the hint of a suspicion arises that using the secular courts to fight this is trying it on a bit.

This is hilarious

Julian Richer funds a tax whingeing protest group led by Ritchie’s friend, Brooks.

Julian Richer has just sold his company using a structure that means no capital gains nor income tax liabilities on the sum received.

No, really:

Isn’t This Tax Abuse? Julian Richer Sells Richer Sounds Without Paying Capital Gains Tax

But of course this is different. Entrepreneur cashes in his life’s work without paying capital gains or income tax. Yes, that’s obviously different because reasons.

Julian Richer is entirely and absolutely obeying the law here. What’s going to be interesting though is the reaction from those tax campaigners who complain so bitterly when others do exactly the same, entirely and wholly obey the law.

Think about Arcadia, Taveta and all that for a moment. Tina, Lady Green, does not pay UK tax on the dividends she receives. This is loudly condemned. It has most certainly been called tax abuse, tax dodging and tax avoidance. The reason she doesn’t pay that UK tax is because she’s a foreigner living in a foreign country.

But this is different because, right? Even, tax abuse and tax compliance all depend upon who is doing it?


Warner perceived Day as the girl next door with a freckled face and a golden smile who was virginal and eager to please (the two not being mutually exclusive in those days),

Rather fnarr, fnarr for an obituary.

Women’s Equality Party manifesto

How does this work?

including truly shared parental leave with the same
rights for self-employed parents

Maternity and paternity leave are paid for – in the UK at least – 10% by the employer and 90% from national insurance contributions that the employer doesn’t hand over to HMRC. The self employed are their own employer and also pay very much lower NI in return for gaining fewer such rights and payments.

So, who pays that 10% if not the employer of the self-employed? And then, are NI rates upon the self-employed to rise to cover that maternity and paternity leave?

How, actually, does this work?

Fun thought, isn’t it?

in a country where the Swedish Democrats, (Sverigedemokraterna) strongly influenced by the idea of keeping different cultures apart – as well as the idea of ethnicity as the basis for nationhood-

Anyone want to come up with alternative measures of nationhood? Sharing the same piece of geography maybe? A common culture?

Family, clan, tribe, they obviously depend upon that ethnicity. Nation maybe not so much. But what is that glue?


Dear Tim Worstall, Editor, The Continental Telegraph,

We rejected the petition you created – “Break up HMS Victory and send the timbers to France to help rebuild Notre Dame”.

There’s already a petition about this issue. We cannot accept a new petition when we already have one about a very similar issue.

You are more likely to get action on this issue if you sign and share a single petition.


Click this link to see your rejected petition:
View your rejected petition

Can we have a petition about a rejection of a petition?

It’s astonishing how wrong The Guardian can be

Ah, so. The report is to either landlords or tenants of retail properties. And where – whichever you are – would you like to have your property? Where there’s lots of cash available from aspirational buyers? Or where there’s lots of community but bugger all money?

Tough one, eh?

But then the Daily Mash did get the paper right, didn’t it? The Guardian, wrong on everything. All the time.

Slightly weird

Settlements to the families of 346 people who died in the two catastrophic Boeing Max plane crashes will be calculated, in part, by how long the victims knew they were doomed.

Lawyers handling claims against the US aerospace company said the longer the passengers and crew were aware of their desperate fate, the larger the likely payout.

“There’s a better chance of (financial) recovery if it took minutes rather than seconds for the plane to crash,’’ Joe Power, a personal-injury lawyer representing some Ethiopian victims, told Bloomberg this weekend.

Sure, there’s a difference between straight financial damages – how much would they have earned for their families if they hadn’t died, to make those families financially whole – and pain and suffering ones. But I thought that it was the Warsaw Convention which determined airplane accident damages? Which have strict limits on payouts, especially for pain and suffering?

Or has the American tort bar found ways around that? Or, indeed, am I just wrong?