Well, obviously this would happen

It can also be revealed that until last week Mermaids was advertising “same day” cross-sex hormone treatment for children. NHS guidelines do not allow the treatment, which causes irreversible bodily changes and can compromise fertility, for anyone under 16.

In a court case, reported last year, Mr Justice Hayden removed the seven-year-old child, known as “J”, from his mother after finding she had caused him “significant emotional harm” and “pressed [him] into a gender identification that had far more to do with his mother’s needs and little, if anything, to do with his own”.

There really are people out there more than a little nutty on every subject under the Sun. This will be true of sex changes for kids just as with anything else. Clearly and obviously this will happen.

I fear Ms. Bennett does not understand

Although, unlike his efforts on behalf of global environmental and nuclear catastrophe, Trump’s alliance with the NRA endangers principally his compatriots, this staggering acceptance of the latest homegrown massacre could be what finally – if it cannot guarantee pariah status – shreds US claims to global leadership. A country that accepts 93 firearms deaths a day, on a wayward reading of an 18th-century statute, is not obviously better placed than the ostracised Aung San Suu Kyi to lecture on human rights or, as Trump at the UN, on global security. He fretted about “rogue regimes” that even threaten “their own people with the most destructive weapons known to humanity”. Idiots. Don’t they know over-the-counter semi-automatics will do the job perfectly well?

It really isn’t the guns. It’s the people.

The Czech Republic has similar levels of gun ownership. It doesn’t have the same incidents. It is therefore something other than the availability of the guns.

The 18th century statute is fun too, no? Freedom of religion, speech, rights to trial and all that? Just 18 th century statute we can cast aside?

Interestingly done

A pregnant woman was dropped from a BBC television debate on abortion after being told that she might upset others taking part.
Former nurse Sarah Costerton was interviewed as a potential panellist for a new BBC2 programme called Abortion On Trial, hosted by presenter Anne Robinson.
Mrs Costerton said programme-makers had seemed keen for her to participate but after being told her pregnancy might distress other participants or restrict what they felt able to say, she was informed that she would not be required.

The married mother of three said: ‘They were worried it would inhibit people speaking freely or cause upset; that me being pregnant would offend people who opted for a termination. That’s what was said.’
She said the programme-makers had given no explanation for not selecting her, but added: ‘It seemed that me that being pregnant was a stumbling block.’
She said that she did not see how a debate could fully represent all views on abortion if none of the participants was pregnant, and the programme makers had ‘missed an opportunity’ by not inviting her to take part.

We don’t, of course, know all of what happened. But it would be odd to have a discussion by only having those with one set of views, or perhaps by deliberately excluding a certain set of them.

‘If women who had terminations are willing to go on the television and testify to that and explain their reasoning, me sitting there pregnant shouldn’t make any difference or be offensive.’

Well, yes.

Really not quite the way that I’d put it

More specifically, The Butterfly Effect is a four-hour, seven-part exploration of the impact of the tech industry on the porn industry. It’s about the way free porn sites, notably PornHub, have made it very hard for porn workers to make a living.

The music industry has gone through similar upheaval, but musicians get more sympathy than porn actors (and can make money doing live gigs), Ronson says.

I’m really quite certain that sex has a live gig employment section.

Fun question

Why does this matter?

Catalonia’s separatists looked increasingly isolated as the region’s biggest bank announced plans to leave and political pressure rose in both Madrid and Barcelona to bring the standoff to a head.

“It’s very sad what we are seeing, the departure of extremely important companies from Catalonia,” Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said at a press conference in Madrid on Friday. “This isn’t the fault of the companies. It’s clearly the fault of irresponsible policy which at the end of the day generates uncertainty and anxiety.”

Corporate tax is paid to the central government, isn’t it, not the regional?

Well, so McCarthy was right then

Popular ‘Blacktivist’ social media accounts were reportedly run by a Russia-linked group – not American activists – according to CNN. They used these accounts to spread pro-racial diversity messaging like topics on #BlackLivesMatter and and to promote anti-police brutality events. CNN reported on Friday that they also used the accounts to manufacture and sell merchandise such as t-shirts with black pride slogans. Apparently, the aim of their activities was to “stoke outrage” and “amplify racial tensions” in order to influence the 2016 U.S. election.

Well, OK, not McCarthy as he’s long dead. And not actually BLM either, as there’s nothing at all to suggest that Russia has been paying them. But, still, fun, no?

Just how big are the digital monopolies?

The continued rise of digital platform monopolies – the dominant organisational form of contemporary capitalism – is likely to further concentrate economic gains and will drive debates about how data should be governed.

I guess we’re talking about Facebook, Amazon and Google here, yes?

Turnover of a company is the wrong thing to look at, should be wages plus profits to equate to GDP. However, ignoring that – $30 billion Facebook, Google $100 billion, Amazon $135 billion.

Call that $300 billion among friends. US economy is around $20 trillion. That, overmeasured – and I’m comparing global to national GDP as well – is some 1.5% of the economy. Concentration, eh?

Aw, Diddums

But where Facebook has been much kinder to Trump is in its extremely permissive attitude toward the numerous low-quality and sometimes fraudulent fan pages that dominate the right-wing political space within the social network: Content that features videos of “patriots” beating “thugs,” wild conspiracy theories, fabricated stories and worshipful coverage of the president.
According to a study released in August by the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, low-quality websites like Breitbart News, Conservative Tribune, Gateway Pundit, Truthfeed, Western Journalism, Political Insider, and EndingtheFed were among the most popular conservative sites shared by Facebook users.

Despite being operated by small companies with almost no footprint within the larger media landscape, many of these pages have millions of “likes” on Facebook. That’s largely the result of early ad spending, which the social network encouraged in the mid-2000s as it was trying to get a foothold in political advertising, according to people who have worked in the industry.
These junk pages, most of which employ almost no one with real journalism experience, enjoyed more influence on Facebook in the 2016 presidential election than more traditional conservative media organizations like the Washington Times, the New York Post or the Washington Examiner. The conspiracy-peddling Breitbart News, Conservative Tribune and Gateway Pundit sites even beat Fox News Channel, the researchers found.

The readers are clearly getting what the readers themselves desire to get.

Not that lovely line about “no one with real journalism experience.” People without an Ms. in Journalism are writing things I don’t like! And getting millions of readers!

Facebook, which declined repeated requests to comment for this story, appears to inflict no penalty on pages that frequently produce misleading or false content.

People must not be allowed to contradict the narrative!

Yes, a lot of this stuff really is shite but so what? That’s exactly what free speech means.

There’s an easy solution here

Not a good one but it would be fun politically:

Savers may face a fresh raid on pensions as the cost of tax relief passed £50 billion for the first time.


There is also disquiet that at least 70 per cent of the cost goes to members of final-salary pension schemes, who are usually older workers who already have very comfortable pensions.

Abolish it for defined benefit pensions, keep it only for defined contribution. That, not entirely but mostly, screws those public sector pensions and leaves the private sector alone.

It would also, at a stroke, clip that 30% pay premium the public sector has as a result of those very generous pensions.

Not going to happen and I’m not entirely serious. But wouldn’t it be fun?

Good timing

The current prime minister of Iceland sold almost all his remaining assets in a major Icelandic bank’s investment fund on the day the government seized control of the country’s collapsing financial sector at the peak of the 2008 crash.

According to leaked documents, Bjarni Benediktsson, then an MP on the parliament’s economy and tax committee, sold several million króna of assets in the Glitnir bank’s fund in the final days and hours before an emergency law placed Iceland’s failed financial institutions under state control.

Apparently no laws were broken so that’s good then.

Don’t think this works, does it?

After the couple had a son together through IVF at the clinic in 2008, a number of embryos were frozen and they signed agreements annually for these to remain in storage.
In October 2010, the mother handed IVF Hammersmith a ‘consent to thaw’ form, forged with ARB’s signature. On the basis of this document, an embryo was thawed and successfully implanted.
‘Unwanted child’
The father said his ex-partner’s dishonesty resulted in the birth of his daughter, an “unwanted child”.
“It’s a very, very difficult situation for me. A beautiful child, a child that everyone would want, a child that I love. But also a child that has brought us so much pain.”
He argued that the clinic should pay for the cost of her upbringing, including private school fees, holidays, refurbishing her bedroom and her wedding.

Isn’t it a basic of English law that having a healthy child simply cannot be a tort which leads to damages?

I dimly recall some case where a women went in for an abortion, they took out only one of two embryos, the second one was born and she could get no damages?

Really, just not getting it

Richard Murphy says:
October 6 2017 at 1:59 pm
All money is debt

There is no other money unless you want to return to something akin to the gold standard as Positive Money do, with the consequences that followed in the20s and 30s that would surely happen again

So no way will I go there

He tells us all that QE didn’t work.

QE was what some very clever people thought up to make sure that the 20s and 30s didn’t happen again. And, look, they didn’t. Because of QE.

So he agrees with the problem but insists that the solution which works doesn’t.

Ritchie and bonds again

Robert Ley says:
October 6 2017 at 11:56 am
This sounds like an idea which is crying out to be revived.

What rates of return do you envisage the bonds paying, and what mechanism would be provided for local investors who wanted to buy or sell once the bonds had been launched ?

One point of contention you might find being raised by certain ‘regulars’ is identifying how the capital amount borrowed by the Authority might be repaid if it is spent on illiquid assets such as housing, recreation spaces or air quality improvements, as your correspondent suggests. But I would imagine this could be reclaimed via taxation ?

Richard Murphy says:
October 6 2017 at 12:12 pm
I think bonds should be long term

And it should be assumed they roll over

OK. So, taken to the extreme these are perpetuals with no secondary market. How high is that interest rate going to have to be?

It would appear that Buzzfeed doesn’t do much journalism then

So he reached out to key constituents, who included a neo-Nazi and a white nationalist.

“Finally doing my big feature on the alt right,” Yiannopoulos wrote in a March 9, 2016, email to Andrew “Weev” Auernheimer, a hacker who is the system administrator of the neo-Nazi hub the Daily Stormer, and who would later ask his followers to disrupt the funeral of Charlottesville victim Heather Heyer. “Fancy braindumping some thoughts for me.”

“It’s time for me to do my big definitive guide to the alt right,” Yiannopoulos wrote four hours later to Curtis Yarvin, a software engineer who under the nom de plume Mencius Moldbug helped create the “neoreactionary” movement, which holds that Enlightenment democracy has failed and that a return to feudalism and authoritarian rule is in order. “Which is my whorish way of asking if you have anything you’d like to make sure I include.”

“Alt r feature, figured you’d have some thoughts,” Yiannopoulos wrote the same day to Devin Saucier, who helps edit the online white nationalist magazine American Renaissance under the pseudonym Henry Wolff, and who wrote a story in June 2017 called “Why I Am (Among Other Things) a White Nationalist.”

The three responded at length: Weev about the Daily Stormer and a podcast called The Daily Shoah, Yarvin in characteristically sweeping world-historical assertions (“It’s no secret that North America contains many distinct cultural/ethnic communities. This is not optimal, but with a competent king it’s not a huge problem either”), and Saucier with a list of thinkers, politicians, journalists, films (Dune, Mad Max, The Dark Knight), and musical genres (folk metal, martial industrial, ’80s synthpop) important to the movement. Yiannopoulos forwarded it all, along with the Wikipedia entries for “Alternative Right” and the esoteric far-right Italian philosopher Julius Evola — a major influence on 20th-century Italian fascists and Richard Spencer alike — to Allum Bokhari, his deputy and frequent ghostwriter, whom he had met during GamerGate. “Include a bit of everything,” he instructed Bokhari.

In journalism school they tend to call this sort of stuff “research.”

You know, writing about something it helps to go talk to those people who do that thing?

Guardian column answers itself

Why don’t women win Nobel science prizes?
Hannah Devlin
In recent years, the average age of recipients has been steadily climbing. Between 1931 and 1940 the average age of physics laureates was 41. It has risen steadily since, and so far this decade, it is 68. This over-cautious approach, where scientists are rewarded for discoveries often decades-old, means younger scientists who are still active, a greater proportion of whom are women, miss out.

That’s actually the basic gender pay/achievement/power gap right there. More men stick with the career.


Just to prove that people really are losing minds over this, we have an insistence from a Professor of Practice that “I know that it will be claimed to be due to the intellectual property having been developed in the USA. But let’s be candid; IP is worthless without a customer and it is UK customers who create the value added in this country, and not the IP as such.”

It’s worth just savouring that. JK Rowling created considerable intellectual property with her books, but it’s the readers who provide it, so therefore JK must be paying tax everywhere else and not in the UK – or perhaps only in the UK on her UK sales. Or we could be using the standard international agreement that tax is paid where and by whom the economic value is created. JK in the UK under our rules and Facebook in the US under whatever their rules are.

The logic here is not strong

Honey from across the world is contaminated with potent pesticides known to harm bees, new research shows, clearly revealing the global exposure of vital pollinators for the first time.

Almost 200 samples of honey were analysed for neonicotinoid insecticides and 75% contained the chemicals, with most contaminated with multiple types.

If 75% of honey is contaminated then we might well assume that 75% of bees are.

Neonicotinoids aren’t very damaging, are they?


Richard Murphy says:
October 5 2017 at 2:49 pm
But UK options can be more effective and are not available here

Sally Phillips says:
October 5 2017 at 8:22 pm
No. Given the amounts involved UK options would make no difference.

I do appreciate when you said above that you don’t have enough time to learn about these things.

Your contributors here can be your tutor.

Richard Murphy says:
October 5 2017 at 11:00 pm
What the heck are you talking about?

I said US based options are not UK tax favoured

I was right

And you choose to be rude

I presumed you were a troll, and you are

Once again he says this but

The reality is that there are savings in every community. And as I have long argued, many savings are literally wasted. Banks do not need deposits to lend.

Then how can a bank go bust when people withdraw their deposits in a bank run?

Think it through. Those Granite bonds at Northern Rock are still paying off, there’s been no great big loss on the loan book. Yet NR did most assuredly go bust. How, if banks don’t need deposits?