I don’t think he’s quite there yet

But this is certainly a recommendation, isn’t it?

He seems to have found his vocation, for now, within the great, liberal-baiting tradition whose practitioners have included, in this country, Auberon Waugh, Julie Burchill, Taki, David Starkey, AA Gill, Rod Liddle, Jeremy Clarkson and any number of lesser exhibits now clustered around the Spectator.

Other than Starkey and Taki a decent enough roundup of the better prose stylists of the past 40 years really, isn’t it? Don’t think Milo’s there, yet, but I certainly wouldn’t be ashamed of being so mentioned (and, obviously, I won’t be).

Cruise ships and pollution

The view is pretty spectacular. But it’s what he cannot see that worries MacQueen. Like many cities across the UK, Southampton has such poor air quality it breaches international guidelines, and while the government and local authorities are looking to take action on cars, maritime fuel – the dirtiest and most polluting of all diesels – is on no one’s radar. Not only do the giant cruise liners churn out pollutants at sea, they also keep their engines running when they are docked in places like MacQueen’s home town.

Hmm, OK, should this be something we worry about?

German environment group Nabu claims one medium cruise ship emits as many pollutants as five million cars going the same distance. It says the ships belch out 3,500 times more sulphur dioxide than cars

You know, maybe we should?

– although international rules to reduce sulphur emissions in shipping are due to come into force in 2020.

Ah, no, we already got this, done and dusted.

Misread this

Racing 92 7 Munster 32: Visitors honour Anthony Foley with bonus-point Champions Cup win

Didn’t Foley play for Munster? Going down by 927 points isn’t honouring is it? Umm…..ah!

Because Mummy really should slave over a hot stove

That she doesn’t shows that she doesn’t love the little ones:

Britain’s booming restaurant culture is fuelling record levels of childhood obesity, with today’s children spending at least twice as much time spent eating out as previous generations did, experts have warned.

Health officials said families no longer behaved as though dining out was a “treat” and have instead allowed restaurant meals and fast food to become a major part of youngsters’ weekly diet.


Dr Alison Tedstone, PHE chief nutritionist told the Telegraph: “Going out for a meal is part of Britain’s culture but instead of being a weekly ‘treat’ for families, it’s becoming the norm and contributing to the obesity epidemic.”

No one went out for meals up to WWII. It was, believe it or not, the Berni Steak House which was the treat after that. Before it was pretty much hotel dining rooms and that was it. And it didn’t become common enough to be a treat, rather than for high and holy days only, until what, the 70s? 80s?

All of this moaning just confirming something we should al understand. There’s no one quite as conservative as the modern day progressive.

Back into the kitchens you feminist hags! Back to the 1960s!

Yes, jolly good

His most memorable dispatch from France came after an unidentified aircraft had aroused a fever of speculation by crashing and scattering grenades across the runway at Orly. For whom was this deadly cargo intended? Ottaway was sent to investigate, and came back with a crisp one-line telegram: “Grenade is French for pomegranate.”

Well, yes, quite so

The Brexit forecast was in a different category. It was like the “dodgy dossier” of the intelligence community on Saddam’s weapons arsenal. It was experts distorted by politics, consciously or unconsciously saying what they or their paymasters wanted to hear. It was “sexed-up” science.

The reasons given by economists for their Brexit forecast are feeble. It did not take account of “inherent momentum”, of international factors or of government remedial action. That is surely inadequate. The true reason is that Project Fear, the Treasury-orchestrated attempt to frighten voters into the remain camp, consumed the political and intellectual establishment. It blighted the judgment of social scientists. It not only failed in its purpose of instilling fear, it appeared to validate a bogus reason for voting Brexit – that all experts are mendacious toffs.

As some of us were saying at the time. Policy based evidence making.

Isn’t this all most amusing

Russian president Vladimir Putin interfered in the US presidential election to aid Donald Trump, according to a declassified assessment by the NSA, CIA and FBI.

“We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary [Hillary] Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump,” the agencies found in a long-awaited report that stands to hang over the head of the incoming Trump administration.

So, who is going to be the first journalist (I can’t, not my subject matter at Forbes) to compare and contrast this with the Clinton Administration’s support of Yeltsin against Zyuganov?

I was there at the time and it was all pretty obvious.

Steyn perhaps? Williamson?

Much of the report seems to be complaining that RT and Sputnik, as state funded operations, reflect the desires of the state.

Blow me down with a wet haddock then. VOA never does anything comparable of course.

Watch for the outrage here

The 69-year-old, who campaigned to become Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner and vowed to support victims of domestic abuse, set out the 11 rules in a document, which was posted online after it was issued to a letting agent.

Single parents, workers on low income or zero hours contracts, families with children, pet owners, smokers and single adults will also not be considered. Only those who are able to afford rent and can provide a rent guarantee are to be accepted for his properties this year.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Mr Wilson, who works alongside his wife Judith, said the criteria, which he reissues every year, was “sensible” and the result of the “financial fine tuning of the business”.

He said he issued it to agents to predominantly ensure he didn’t waste the time or money of those who couldn’t get a rent guarantee for his properties because they did not earn enough.

“It is just economics,” he said. “I live in the big bad world of reality, if I do not let properties and do not get the rent then I do not eat, I starve to death… it is the Government’s job to help poor people.

Man rents his own property to whom he pleases. Complaints in 3…2…1..

Obviously just too embarrassing to continue

Ministers have ended funding for an all-female pop group dubbed Ethiopia’s Spice Girls following a furious backlash from Conservative MPs.

Yegna, a five-strong pop group, was promised £5.2million of taxpayer’s money to develop a “branded media platform”.

Priti Patel, the International Development Secretary, has now moved to end the funding amid concerns that it is not value for money.

What worries though is that there is an aid spending system which thought that this was a valid use of money. So, what other horrors lurk in that system?

Idiot is idiot again

They appreciate what economists don’t, and that is that all this complexity is faux: value is not made by discounting the future. Value is made by doing the right thing now in the light of the uncertainties that we face which we may not be able to quantify but which we believe to be real. And when economists begin to appreciate that we may get better economics.

Net present value, that discounting, is attempting to work out what value will be created in the future by the actions you take now.

How else should you work out what you should do now other than by trying to work out what value it will produce in the future?

All humans do this too. We don’t have the tonic with that 12 th double gin because of the appalling headaches that too much tonic water causes.

Diesel cars 10x more polluting than trucks

Actually, umm, no, that’s not quite true:

It found that heavy-duty vehicles tested in Germany and Finland emitted about 210mg NOx per kilometre driven, less than half the 500mg/km pumped out by modern diesel cars that meet the highest “Euro 6” standard. However, the buses and trucks have larger engines and burn more diesel per kilometre, meaning that cars produce 10 times more NOx per litre of fuel.

Fiddling with the numbers there then.

Terrors, eh? Terrors

The traffic measures are designed to allow for the construction of a new access road into the field where the exploration will take place. Over the next three months Cuadrilla plans to develop a site roughly the size of a rugby pitch, creating a well pad lined with an impermeable membrane to protect the environment.

In April, it hopes to begin drilling down thousands of feet into the rock to take samples and assess the best trajectory for horizontal wells that will, for the first time in the UK, extend out into the shale rocks beneath nearby homes.

A whole rugby pitch!

I’ll tell you what’s wrong with education

Headteachers must be given the power to sack poorly performing staff if the standard of the Scotland’s troubled education system is to improve, John Swinney was warned today (fri).

The Commission on School Reform, set up by think tank Reform Scotland, told a Scottish Government consultation is was “imperative” that heads have the final say in the hiring and firing of teachers and how to spend staffing budgets.

What’s wrong is that this is even a matter for discussion.

What do you mean managers don’t hire and fire staff?

They’re really, really, stretching here

More than 50 Electoral College members who voted for Donald Trump were ineligible to serve as presidential electors because they did not live in the congressional districts they represented or held elective office in states legally barring dual officeholders.

Thus Donald Trump should not be President:

“We have a list of 50 illegal electors,” Clayton said. “That puts Donald Trump below the threshold that he needs to be elected president. Let’s debate it in an open session. According to the Constitution, the Congress, if nobody wins on the first round of balloting, picks from the top three candidates. That will be Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and Colin Powell.”

Ho hum.

What is amusing though is that the transgressions are the sort of minor thing that happen in any complex organisation. And yet these people doing the complaining are the ones insistent that government can solve all our ills.

You know, government fucks up so let’s have more of it?

Well up with this new tech, aren’t these snowflakes?

For Simon & Schuster, it can also be immensely profitable. During Yiannopoulos’s tenure at Breitbart – where he’s told gay people to “get back in the closet” and women to “log off” the internet – he has amassed more than 1 million followers on Facebook. Threshold Editions, the Simon & Schuster imprint dedicated to “innovative ideas of contemporary conservatism”, has a hit on its hands.

Can you have followers on Facebook? I thought you were limited to 5,000 friends?

1 million followers on Twitter, possibly, before they cancel your account.

Socialist thinking

‘The five biggest French banks made a profit of 25 billion euros last year, so I propose a supertax of five billion euros,’ said Montebourg.

Big pot of money! We’ll have some!

With no thought whatsoever as to what that big pot of money currently does before it is taxed.


Markets are markets, eh?

A week after “alt-right” figurehead and Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos landed a lucrative $250,000 (£203,000) book deal with publisher Simon & Schuster in the US, the UK division of the publisher has walked away from the opportunity, confirming it will not publish his controversial book.

A Simon & Schuster UK spokesperson confirmed to the Guardian that it would not be publishing Yiannopoulos’s memoir, titled Dangerous, which is due out in the US in March.

Senior editors at many of the UK’s biggest publishing houses told the Guardian they were unlikely to offer for the book should it come on to the market. “It will be a toxic book to try and sell here,” one publishing insider said.

A publishing director at a nonfiction imprint, who also asked not to be named, said: “A lot of semi-toxic books do go to large publishers, but I wouldn’t touch this if it was offered to me and don’t think anyone else will.”

You can see where The Guardian is going with this, can’t you? Toxic! We Brits won’t touch it! Hurrah!

And then we get to the nub of the matter:

Major publishers insisted their reluctance to take on Yiannopoulos had less to do with his opinions than that, outside media and rightwing circles, he was relatively unknown in the UK. “He doesn’t have a platform in Britain,” said one. “We have a history of publishing toxic books here that have done well, but this won’t be one of them, he’s just not that well known.”

The book sales are to come from the fame, the Twitter account (perhaps the fame from not having one of those any more) etc. That is, this is a celebrity book not a political one. Milo’s Greek Jewish cookbook would have done as well.

At which point, so, how well did Owen Jones’ latest do in the US? Sure, we know it did well here, national column, turns up at all the right demos, large Twitter following. And in the US?

Blimey, this is a surprise, isn’t it?

Britain’s wealth gap will be passed down the generations as well-off older people bequeath property to their already thriving offspring, according to new research from one of the UK’s leading thinktanks.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) found that today’s young people were likely to inherit more wealth than their predecessors but the benefits would be skewed to those who were already well off.

Rich people are rich.

Alert the media!