Erm, Yvette, free speech luv, free speech

MPs condemned Google for not taking down a video by a former Ku Klux Klan leader which accused Jews of masterminding the genocide of white people because it did not breach its guidelines.

He’s a ghastly thug to be sure but that free speech stuff does still apply to him.

And she expressed disbelief when Google’s vice-president said the recording posted by David Duke, a notorious Holocaust denier, did not “breach our guidelines”.

The recording, broadcast on YouTube, accuses “Zionists” of having “ethnically cleansed the Palestinians” and planning to do “the same thing to Europeans and Americans”.

Ms Cooper told Google’s Peter Barron: “You allow David Duke to upload an entire video which is all about malicious and hateful comments about Jewish people. How on earth is that not a breach of your own guidelines? I think most people would be appalled by that video and think it goes against all standards of public decency in this country.”

He’s allowed to breach public decency sweetie. What he’s not allowed to do is break the law.

She said: “We understand the challenges you face … but you all have millions of users in the UK and you make billions of pounds from these users.

“You all have a terrible reputation among users for dealing swiftly with problems in content even against your own community standards.

“Surely when you manage to have such a good reputation with advertisers for targeting content and for doing all kinds of sophisticated things with your platforms, surely you should be able to do a better job in order to be able to keep your users safe online and deal with this kind of hate speech.”

Clearly that sort of hate speech isn’t illegal for no one’s prosecuting Duke, are they?

Twitter suspended three accounts that were highlighted to it by MPs but one, which included a tweet with a hashtag “deport all Muslims”, remained.

Nick Pickles, from the microblogging site, said that while it was “highly offensive” the tweet did not breach its rules around hateful conduct.

Quite so….

From the Professor of Practice in International Political Economy at City, University of London.

We can’t tell anything useful about Scottish GDP because:

Why might the data be misstated? First, there simply isn’t enough data to reliably estimate Scottish GDP. We have no figures for where sales take place in the UK, for example. VAT returns are an utterly unreliable source for this: a UK company does not submit data separately on sales in Scotland from elsewhere. The same is largely true on spending. So forget Scottish GDP data: we just don’t know what it is.

It’s entirely true that it’s difficult to track sales by location inside a customs union or single market.

But then we don’t measure GDP by sales anyway. We measure by production, consumption or incomes, each of which should be, but won’t because of cheating, the same.

And we can measure place of production, place of consumption and place of the person earning the income.

Which is why ONS uses the income and production approaches to measuring GVA, GVA being the equivalent of GDP in smaller statistical units than that customs union or single market.

Shouldn’t a professor, even one of practice, in international political economy, even at Islington Technical College, know this?

Companies must pay their tax!

Mr, Chakrabortty:

It concerns a private sector that is not expected to provide good jobs, decent pay, its fair share of tax

One of the central issues in Britain – running through everything from Brexit to last week’s budget – is how to get businesses to earn the licence granted to them by the rest of society.

In desperation, Wilkes and Doherty texted everyone in their contacts book to help Colin – councillors, business people, charity groups. Within hours, Dawn Tolcher, an executive from local football team Tranmere Rovers, was in touch: she could apply for public funding for an apprenticeship for Colin, then put him on secondment to Neo.

And they all struck it lucky with Tolcher. Tranmere Rovers could have done what so many other companies do with the billions taxpayers spend on apprenticeship training: game the system and use it as a source of bargain-basement, publicly subsidised labour.

(Erm, isn’t that what they did?)
I wanted you to hear Colin’s story because it cheers me up. But also because it gives some idea of what can be done when businesses don’t rip off the public, bilk the tax collectors or exploit the staff – and actually pay their way as part of society.

You see the bit running through there about companies paying their tax?

Tranmere Rovers.

Seems to make a loss and pay not tax most years, except when it does something like sell off the training ground.

Didn’t Chakrabortty bother to check?

I seriously doubt a Dallas to Houston train set

It’s private money so why not and good luck to them. Yet still I doubt it:

Now there are only six trains per week from Houston, three headed west to Los Angeles, three east to New Orleans. The service to San Antonio leaves at 6.55pm and arrives at 12.05am: a 225-mile journey that can be made more cheaply, quickly and frequently by bus.

Yet if a private company succeeds in its bold ambition, the city famous as the hub of big oil will one day be a beacon of public transportation: connected to Dallas with Japanese-style bullet trains zipping at 205mph on new track to new stations.

Train travel is, by it’s very nature, point to point. And yet Dallas and Houston are both sprawling megapolii with no actual one point which is the city nor the centre.

Unconvinced to say the least.

Truly, we have no problems left

Dog owners should adopt a “stick and flick” method instead of using poo bags, according to advice from the Forestry Commission.

Discarded plastic dog waste bags are an eyesore, the organisation says, and the best approach should a pet foul on a footpath is to find a stick and flick it into the undergrowth.

The guidance was highlighted by Conservative MP Anne Main ahead of a Westminster Hall debate on the issue on Tuesday.

If MPs are discussing how dog shit should be cleared from a forest path then truly, we have no serious problems.

What fun!

The progressive senator Elizabeth Warren accused Donald Trump of firing a prominent prosecutor to install “cronies” , warning on Sunday of “a massive fight” in the Senate over his picks for new US attorneys.

Right Lizzie:

New presidents typically replace the appointees named by their predecessors, but not since 1993 has a new administration done so in such a rapid, sweeping fashion.

So the last person to do this was Bill Clinton then?

That’s the way to do it!

It is an ancient craft that dates back to the Iron Age, and characterises across vast swathes of rural Britain from the Cornish countryside to the Scottish Highlands.

Now dry stone walls will be built by ex-prisoners as part of a £10 million drive to stop traditional skills dying out.

Teach the recidivists the skills of tomorrow!

Denis Kucinich has it all sorted out

The privatization of the money supply is one of five major factors in poverty and inequality today, the other four being the emergence of the military-industrial-intelligence-congressional complex, the maintenance of the for-profit health-care system, and the erosion of public education through the creation of charter schools and the tremendous lifelong debt burden placed on those seeking higher education.

The clarity of the economic thought there is amazing, isn’t it?

So, if we returned to Congress creating money, imported the NHS system, cut the Pentagon, insisted upon only public schools and had free college then there would be no inequality nor poverty in America?

I’m absolutely certain that some of the poverty and inequality is caused by the public school system myself…..

Stanton Glantz is a one, isn’t he?

There is strong and consistent evidence that exposure to secondhand smoke causes heart attacks and that smokefree workplace and public place laws cut heart attacks (and other diseases). The most recent evidence comes from a large study in Sao Paolo, Brazil, where heart attack deaths dropped by 12 percent following implementation of its smokefree law.

Even so, we still hear people challenging the science. For example, a recent article by a onetime employee of the tobacco industry-supported Cato Institute and bartender, tries to use the natural variability in results in different studies to argue against this fact.

He’s a bartender! Was! Ignore him!

And fancy that, he looks at many studies to see what the average effect is rather than concentrating only upon those that show the effect he seeks.

Damn, he’ll be doing science next, eh Stanton?

Err, rilly?

John Carlisle says:
March 12 2017 at 7:26 am
I think a nationwide poll will show that the remainers are substantial majority, while the leavers are an entrenched minority, sustained by the cognitive dissonance. We need to fight to stay in – by whatever means!

Didn’t we, err, just have a national poll?

Interestingly confusing

Woman, 26, appears in court charged with raping man twice.’ I thought this was a traffic-stopper of a news story, too. How did that work, I wondered.

Under English law, which is what applies here, rape is defined as penetration with the penis without consent or a reasonable belief that consent had been given.

Women do not generally have penii so it’s not an offence that women can generally commit.

There can of course be those who are genetically male, or perhaps even genetically female but physically express as male, who thus have a penis but declare that they identify as female.

Which is what is the explanation here. Bloke in a dress, one who hasn’t had the tackle done, allegedly raped someone twice.

At which point I shall reveal myself to be terribly old fashioned. As in with PJ O’Rourke upon this sort of thing, there are times when such differences make no difference at all. If Miss is how you wish to be addressed (or Xe or any other variant) then those who can trouble themselves to be polite to you should do as you wish. When deciding upon other matters, like whether you’ve just raped someone through forcible buggery we’ll have a look at the more basic attributes thank you very much.

At which point the fun question here. So, if convicted, should Xe rapist serve in a women’s or men’s prison? He does self identify as female so therefore in a women’s presumably. But then there’s that penis issue which would seem to militate against that. Or should we, given the evidence that she is more interested in men as a sexual object stick Xe in the women’s anyway?

Woes, woes for the poor in Macao

Auyeung echoes that sentiment, lamenting that she does not qualify for most government assistance, and struggles to make ends meet.

During her first five years in Macau, she left the house where she worked as a maid only twice, fearing she would be sent back to her village in mainland China if she was stopped by police. When she finally emerged, it was to marry and move in with her husband.

He had purchased a small flat in an old walk-up building. He died six years ago, and Auyeung she still lives in the flat with her two sons. Although she does not need to pay rent, living costs take up her entire £1,000-a-month salary. The two sons are at medical school.


There are quite literally hundreds of millions of peasants out there who would take that deal. It may not be all that fair nor all that lovely but it’s s fuck sight better than what’s on offer in most of the world.

Only in The Guardian. Converting at PPP we get about £17,000 a year, with housing costs already paid. That’s in the top 3% of global incomes. And two sons going on to become doctors. Only in The Guardian is this poverty.

Paul Pun of Caritas Macau says the gap between rich and poor in Macau is wide: “The government is aware of the issue, but they need to have the courage to face the problem, and face the property developers.”

They’re the people making the place so bloody rich!

But there is a plan

Theresa May has been accused by a powerful parliamentary committee of putting the national interest at risk by failing to prepare for the “real prospect” that two years of Brexit negotiations could end with no deal.

The worst that can happen is a reversion to WTO terms. This makes us richer – as long as we do the other half of the Minford plan, unilateral free trade.

Thus the worst no deal result is a good one. Which means that the only deals we should even consider are ones that produce a better result than that. Over to you Brussels.

Seems fair enough actually

Nine MPs claimed Amazon Prime subscriptions on their parliamentary expenses, giving them access to the service’s biggest Hollywood blockbusters and Jeremy Clarkson’s The Grand Tour.

Some of them said it was a mistake, or were caught in a “subscription trap” after taking out a free trial, the Daily Mirror reports after new figures were revealed.

No, not the excuses.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, responsible for handling expenses claims, told the paper subscriptions could be claimed but MPs must “justify the subscription is primarily used for parliamentary purposes”.

That. As an MP you’re running two offices which need all the usual office supplies. I’m a little out of date of course but back when everyone used to buy from the world’s worst toupee, the Viking Catalogue. You set up an account and then got your office gubbins delivered. These days I can well imagine an Amazon Prime account being used to do the same.

As long as, you know, it is to deliver the office gubbins. If it’s used to crank one out to Pammie Does Parliament on those lonely nights away from the family then hang them all.