Isn’t this just a fabulous argument?

The appalling destruction of Grenfell Tower and the lives of so many who lived there has exposed what society, in its heart, already knows: our housing cannot continue to be subject to the market’s desires, needs or fluctuations. If some housing is regarded as being more valuable, more desirable, corners will always be cut in the places where there is less financial return. The same goes for people: the most disadvantaged always suffer most from the mistakes of the powerful.

Council housing fuck up. Therefore all housing must be by the State.


Quite remarkable

Jeremy Corbyn has called for the empty homes of rich people in Kensington to be seized for Grenfell Tower residents who have been made homeless by the fire.

The Labour leader said that the London Borough was a “tale of two cities” between a wealthy south and a rich north.

He suggested that “requisitioning” expensive vacant properties could help ensure that residents are housed locally.

Yes, that’s great, isn’t it? Local council conspires to burn people to death and the solution is to confiscate private property.

Tears, tears to my eyes

First, the Bank of England seriously considered increasing interest rates in May. If that happens the proverbial will be mingling with the fan faster than you can imagine: the UK is sitting on a mountain of private debt that many can barely afford.

And people are already under enormous pressure. Retail sales volumes fell by 1.2% in May as rising prices depressed consumer spending growth.

It’s not just that austerity mixed with Brexit does not work: it is now an outright disaster.

Bring on the Green New Deal: it was designed for situations like these.

Richard Murphy, professor of practice at Islington Technical College, is suggesting that we should have both fiscal stimulus and monetisation of spending to deal with rising inflation.

I’m just not sure whether they’re tears of sadness, rage or laughter at this howling idiocy.

It’s called acting love

However, it is not Bomer’s incontestable conventional attractiveness that is setting off alarm bells. It is his off-screen gender and the consistent issue of cis performers playing people of trans experience in film.

Recent years have seen both Jared Leto and Eddie Redmanye win Oscars for their respective trans-woman roles in “The Dallas Buyers Club” and “The Danish Girl”. Chloë Sevigny, Felicity Huffman, Elle Fanning and other notable cis-gender actors have taken on parts that show trans people either during or mid transition. Almost all of these actors have collected praise from the mainstream press for doing so.

Lauding cis actors for delving into trans experiences has long been a Hollywood tradition. The frequency of those plaudits has only more regular more and more films take up the trans narrative at different angles.

And yet, even as more trans stories surface across all media, actual trans actors are often shut out of telling stories that are — in many senses — theirs to tell. It’s a trend that’s been a regular source of criticism and genuine concern.


Someone really needs to get across the point that this is all just pretending in front of the cameras.


Refurbishment that is more about putting in a cladding to make a tower block visually acceptable to Notth Kensington makes a lot less sense than making it safe. If the cladding is flammable (and according to those interviewed on Radio 4 last night the requirements are lax) then the prettification is wholly unacceptable.

The cladding was part of your Green New Deal you fool.

Ritchie misses the Fed’s point

The US Fed has raised interest rates. Let’s not get overwhelmed: the range is now 1 to 1.25%.

But, let’s ask why. The US is not facing an apparent inflation threat. QE has not delivered price increases as all the hawks said it would. Nor is the US economy over-heating on any measure bar climate abuse.

So why increase rates now when there is no apparent need to do so?

The interesting part of their announcement was their laying out how, why and when they are going to reverse QE.

You know, that reversal of QE which SnippaSpud has been insisting will never, never, happen?

Don’t worry Dawn Foster’s on the case

This matters. Currently, 4,000 tower blocks have the same building regulations applied to them as Lakanal House. Sometimes, it appears, the risks are heightened by the very attempt to make the blocks more liveable. Architect Sam Webb, who has long campaigned for greater fire and blast safety in tower blocks, told the Fire Risk Management Journal of his fear that there is a trade-off between fire safety and the materials used to construct more energy efficient buildings. “The materials are not fire-resistant and in some cases they’re flammable.”

We depend on a collection of officials and experts to keep us safe. We cannot know at this stage how they performed with relation to maintenance and safety at Grenfell House. But we do know that lives cannot be protected without money and there is bound to be renewed discussion about the extent to which financial pressures have affected those who protect the public up and down the country.

Apparently making buildings green kills people but it’s austerity to blame.

Difficult to take this seriously really, isn’t it?

So, I said the economically obvious thing, India needs fewer people doing peasant agriculture and more doing manufacturing and services. That’s just how a country develops.

I am criticised with a concatenation of non sequiturs. Perhaps the best of which is this:

A cursory look at the global economic scenario will make it amply clear that Worstall’s advice is totally misguided. The world economy is stagnant or contracting. Real wages have been stagnant for decades. Consumption is at an all-time low.

Are these people even phoning this in from our own universe?

There’s the added joy that they seem to think I support EU and US farm subsidies. And they make that wondrous mistake about farm productivity. Which is to insist that low input farming is more productive per acre. Sure it is, or at least it can be. But it’s much less productive per hour of human labour, which is what determines the living standards of the farmers.

Sheesh, I mean really, sheesh.

Err, whut?

The rapid spread of the Lacrosse building fire, which was sparked by a cigarette on an eighth-floor balcony and raced up 13 floors to the roof of the 21-storey building in 11 minutes, was blamed on flammable aluminium composite cladding that lined the exterior concrete walls.

The same type of cladding was installed on the Grenfell Tower in 2016, as part of a £10m renovation.

Aluminium composite panels have a polyethylene or plastic core and an aluminium coating. It is a cheap building material widely used worldwide to clad high-rise apartment buildings.

The local council is putting flammable plastic coatings on high rise buildings now?

Lone nutter or a logical extention of Berniedom?

James “Tom” Hodgkinson, the gunman who shot congressman Steve Scalise during an attack on a Republican congressional baseball practice session on Wednesday, was a leftwing political activist with a record of domestic violence.
Hodgkinson also posted messages criticising the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, whom he described as “Republican Lite”. He showed strong support for Clinton’s rival in the Democratic primary, Bernie Sanders. “I want Bernie to win the White House,” Hodgkinson posted in August 2016.

Sanders said in a statement on Wednesday that he had been told Hodgkinson had “apparently volunteered” on his presidential campaign. Media reports suggested Hodgkinson volunteered in Iowa.

Nothing to do with Bernie of course.

Just as random nutters aren’t the responsibility of Trump, Breitbart and so on. Right?

Right? Bueller?

Robert Icke volunteers for a pay cut

Theatre will be dead within 50 years unless outrageous ticket prices are curbed, an award-winning director has said.

Robert Icke, who is currently directing Andrew Scott as Hamlet in the play’s transfer to the Harold Pinter Theatre, said younger audiences simply could not afford the amount now charged for seats.

Scott, who agreed to Hamlet’s West End transfer only on the condition that it would offer cheap seats for the under 30s, called modern price schemes “disgusting”.

If there’s less money coming in from the punters then someone, somewhere, on the producer side has to be getting less. We can and should assume that Mr. Icke is volunteering, yes?

Pity this

Speaking in 2007, Mr Farron told a magazine: “Abortion is wrong … Society has to climb down from the position that says there is nothing objectionable about abortion before a certain time”. He was asked if gay sex was also a sin and replied “we’re all sinners”, before later in the campaign being forced to clarify that he did not believe it was a sin.

They may not be views held by all that many people but they’re entirely legitimate, even respectable, views to hold. It’s the general view of the Catholic Church for example, in both cases.

Oh my

Fears were raised that green energy concerns were prioritised ahead of safety as it emerged that cladding used to make the building more sustainable could have accelerated the fire.

Say it ain’t so. Say that a society carried away wi’ the fairies in an extraordinary popular delusion wouldn’t do such a thing.

The Colin Hines solution

To do this Jeremy Corbyn must revisit and vigorously shake his people’s QE “money tree”. This could pay for real economic activity on the ground via decentralised infrastructure projects to make the nation’s 30 million buildings energy efficient, ensure a shift to localised renewable energy, and the building of local transport systems.

Older people with significant saving should be offered “housing bonds”, paying, say, 3% interest to help fund a massive council and affordable homes programme.

Why borrow if you’ve the magic money tree?

Plus, of course, inflation is 2.9% (?) you’re offering 3% interest and the magic money tree will drive inflation higher.

Can’t see it being all that great a deal myself.


As the FT notes the real explanation is falling incomes.

OK, UK incomes are down from 2007/8.

More than that though, it has imposed specific costs. Nurses, teachers, the police, and so many other key workers people depend upon and value have said that austerity and their consequent penal pay awards has gone far enough and they can take no more. And people agree with them: these key workers are very obviously only saying what is reasonable and justifiable.

Hmm, I wonder. If all of our incomes have fallen then shouldn’t theirs too?

Might I learn something new here?

Petroleum Minister Pradhan felicitates Kashmiri students

Felicitates……is this some interesting sexual practice special to Kashmir? Or Kashmiris? Possibly a threesome involving a Hindu, a Moslem and A Han? Sex while wearing cashmere? While listening to Led Zep (in which case it’s neither very new nor interesting, is it).

Yes, yes, I know, congratulates. But it does sound more interesting, felicitates, doesn’t it?

These are allegations in a court case

Not proof of anything:

A woman falsely claimed 15 men had raped and sexually assaulted her and saw one of them jailed for seven years, a court heard.
Jurors heard how Jemma Beale made the allegations over three years, telling police she was gang raped in the street, attacked in a pub and assaulted by a group of men with a piece of barbed wire.

Of course, false claims of rape are so rare that we just shouldn’t even really think of it as a thing.

Although I do seem to recall that when Baroness Whoeveritwas went through all of the numbers false allegations were of at least the same order of magnitude as convictions when measure from initial claim all the way through to final disposal of said allegation…..

Ecks? Ecks?

Philip Hammond is preparing to lead a battle within the government to soften Brexit by keeping Britain inside the EU customs union, The Times has learnt.

The chancellor believes that ministers must rethink their decision to pursue an entirely independent trade policy, according to several sources.

Start your purge gentlemen.