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Impressive

What Sunak and his far-right allies want to create with their pernicious rhetoric of unity, to which Labour subscribes, is a feeling of inclusion for some in a group from which others are most definitely excluded.

Unity’s Bad, M’Kay?

But perhaps most of all there is the realisation that the need for a new, unifying, narrative within politics is very high.

Unity’s Good, M’Kay?

After that there is my belief that any such narrative has to simultaneously accept the imperative of collective co-existence and the innate requirement that this be fair whilst at the same time recognising that the differences between us have to be accepted and even celebrated because they are what make us unique so that we can stand out in a world where our obvious need for company and mutuality is ever-present.

A wise person once summarised this as loving our neighbours as ourselves, but I am going further than that.

Aren’t we the lucky ones to be treated to the Fifth Gospel?

Don’t be so bloody stupid, of course not

A former Conservative MP under investigation by the police over a rape allegation returned to Parliament last week to vote for a ban on transgender conversion therapy, The Telegraph can reveal.

Crispin Blunt’s decision to return to vote in the Commons for the first time since October is likely to reignite a fierce debate about whether MPs accused of sexual offences should be banned from the parliamentary estate.

Is he considered such a danger to the public that he’s on remand? No?

Therefore he is merely that, someone accused and not, in any way, guilty of anything. So, of course he cannot be banned from either the estate or voting.

Jeez, this isn’t difficult.

If people have alternatives then…..

….it’s not possible to impose the monopoly vision upon them, is it?

The focus of most tax authorities was on the scale of the tax losses that they might generate, but in terms of their political economic impact, their consequence was much bigger. John Christensen and I suggested, right from the beginning of the time that we worked together in 2003, that the real function of tax havens was to act as the launchpad for an assault on democracy.

The underlying logic of this claim has always been quite straightforward. Those who hate representative government subscribe to the simple logic that if only they can starve democracies of the revenue that they require to fulfil their mandates then they can undermine the whole social contract that is the foundation of the democratic promise created by the universal electoral suffrage that has only really been commonplace from the 1930s onwards. Tax havens are a way to deny them that revenue.

That you call the monopoly vision democracy doesn’t change that it is a monopoly vision. Which is why choices must be denied, of course.

Well, it sorta depends

The claim by a former government minister earlier this week that parts of London and Birmingham with large Muslim populations are “no-go areas” has highlighted the enduring myth that there are UK neighbourhoods and towns unsafe for white people.

Paul Scully, the MP for Sutton and Cheam in Greater London, later retracted his suggestion that Tower Hamlets and Sparkhill were unsafe for non-Muslims to enter, made during a BBC interview about allegations of anti-Muslim sentiments within the Conservative party. But he also defended invoking the Islamophobic trope on the grounds that people told him they perceived there to be a threat.

Whole Northern towns seemed to be unsafew if you were white, female and teen.

How ‘no-go zone’ myth spread from fringes to mainstream UK politics
Notion of Muslim-controlled areas unsafe for white people has been promoted by rightwingers since the early 2000s

Nick Griffin made the claim live on TV, on Question Time. How everyone shrieked at him that it wasn’t true!

And, of course, it was true.

Just a musing about scrap metal

Solar panels. Clearly, going to be a big business in recycling them. Or perhaps is disposing of them. Which is where the musing comes in.

So, think of standard silicon (so, not the Cd/Te ones). Might be a bit of gallium/germanium in there for really top end ones. Aluminium frames. Don’t know what connectors are made of – gold perhaps? Plated obvs.

So there’s some metals value in there. But clearly the bulk is silicon. And that, I think, has no value. Or single digit $ per tonne levels perhaps.

Because the raw material is pretty valueless. Sand, effectively. OK, that’s then made up into silicon metal at a high purity – 99,9999%, say. At which point it costs maybe $20 a kg. But it’s the process of making the Si atoms up into the ingots of high purity metal that adds that value. A process that you’ve got to go through with the Si atoms you’ve just recovered from the solar panels.

Unless there’s a lot of gold and copper in there I can;t see such scrap panels as having a positive metals value once you subtract any cost of processing. That is, I can’t see a free market in solar panel recycling emerging unsubsidised.

Now this really is only a musing, I’ve not checked any of the numbers. But if it’s true then that just adds again to the cost of solar, doesn’t it? We’ve real, positive, disposal costs at the end.

Doesn’t answer the question

Justice Bryan, in sentencing, said: “The tragedy that played out on 25 April 2022 is a salutary lesson to all those who peddle the myth that cannabis is not a dangerous drug.

“No one is suggesting that [the murders] were religiously motivated. You never intended to make any sacrifices of your victims. This was simply a symptom of your psychosis.

“You were well aware of the risks to your health of smoking skunk cannabis. You had doubled your consumption of cannabis in the weeks leading up to the killings.

“You may have consumed seven grams of cannabis a day immediately before the killing.”

Dr Nigel Blackwood, a forensic psychiatrist for the prosecution, said the symptoms of manic behaviour displayed were caused by the large amount of cannabis Jacques had consumed.

Jacques had been hospitalised in a psychiatric ward in 2018 and diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

We know – know – that those going nuts will, often enough, self-medicate.

Personally, but not to any level I’d want to have to try and prove, entirely willing to agree that too much (like, say 7 g a day) could turn you nuts. But at any level of proof we’ve not shown that here. Nutter self medicates, or drug consumption makes you nuts?

Obviously, the jury isn;t still out on this but as a more general point, yes, in fact it is.

Blimey

Extremists are trying to undermine British democracy, Rishi Sunak warned on Friday as he called for the country to come together and “beat this poison”.

In a speech on the steps of Downing Street, the Prime Minister said there had been a “shocking increase” in extremist activity in the UK in the wake of Hamas’s Oct 7 attack on Israel.

Mr Sunak called the victory of George Galloway in the Rochdale by-election on Friday “beyond horrifying” and said that extremism demanded a response “not just from government, but from all of us”.

Deckchairs and ocean liners come to mind.

Kill the bureaucracy, stop the boats and build some damn houses. Who gives a F that Gorgeous George is back in Parliament?

No. Fuck Off

Jealousy.

I appreciate that this suggestion is unlikely to meet with universal agreement. Jealous of Sadiq Khan? That virtue-signalling pipsqueak? The Leftie London Mayor who’s constantly trying to politicise public spaces by filling the fourth plinth at Trafalgar Square with sculptures of transgender “sex workers”, giving London railway lines woke new names, and using New Year’s Eve firework displays to turn the London Eye into the EU flag? Why would anyone on the Right be jealous of him?

The answer is simple. They’re kicking themselves because they’ve belatedly realised that they should be doing exactly the sort of thing he does.

Quite blatantly, Khan uses his position of power to promote his own ideological values. And yes, it’s utterly insufferable.

The aim is to to replace one purveyor of mimsy political grandstanding with another of a slightly different shade.

It’s to return to a politics and government that does only what it is necessary that government does and then fucks off and leaves the rest of life alone.

But, guess I should wish for a unicorn at the same time, right?

Oh Dear

What she really means is that the wealthy are immune from the pressure that higher interest rates impose on the rest of the population, and even gain from them, and as a result of their considerable, and relatively excessive, spending power within the economy inflation is continuing at above 2% and there is no real prospect of that changing.

The consequence is that she admitted that the single tool that she claimed was available to the Bank of England to control inflation – which she said is the interest rate, whilst conveniently ignoring both quantitative easing and the massive current quantitative tightening programme – is not able to bring the rate of inflation down at present because the richest in the UK are insisting on continuing to spend. This is despite the massive economic pressure being brought to bear on those with lower incomes, either from downward pressure on wages, which the Bank of England is heavily promoting, or from increased interest rates.

You would think, as a result, that Mann would realise that keeping interest rates high was a futile exercise. Far from it, though: she is still an advocate for raising them.

What is not hinted at in the reports of what she said are any indications that she thought that other tools might be brought into use to tackle this issue. Raising taxes on the wealthy would, of course, be one way to address this issue. That is glaringly obviously necessary, given the problem she outlines. I am sure it was not said.

The wealthy do not consume all their income. Therefore changes in interest rates do not change their consumption habits – they can dissave if required.

Raising taxes upon hte wealthy in order to reduce inflationary pressure does not work. For the wealthy do not consume all their income, have savings, and can therefore dissave to maintain their consumption.

Well, logically, yes

The Tories are an anti-Muslim mob

What do you expect with a Hindoo as party leader?

Just for the hard of thinking. This is a very cheap shot at an obvious point. It is not a reflection of my views on anything at all. Other than that Professor Richard J Murphy is known to offer up all sorts of opportunities for very cheap shots.

Ah, so that’s how they’re going to – try at least – stop GM going bust. Again.

Joe Biden has warned Chinese electric cars are a threat to US national security, as he ordered a sweeping investigation into whether the vehicles can be exploited for spying.

The President accused China on Thursday of using unfair trade tactics to flood the US market with technology-packed vehicles that can hoover up sensitive data about people and infrastructure.

He said the US Department of Commerce would investigate vehicles that used technology from “countries of concern” and prepare to hit them with new restrictions.

Gotta try summat because they need that help, right?

This is just such a terrible surprise

There are fewer than 500 “affordable” cars for sale in London that comply with Sadiq Khan’s Ulez rules, data show.

Just 461 vehicles that meet the capital’s emissions standards are available to buy for less than £2,000 in Greater London, according to figures from Auto Trader.

Londoners can claim a £2,000 grant for scrapping older cars that do not comply with Ulez emissions rules under a scheme introduced by the Mayor of London last year.

Yet the statistics show that the supply of affordable Ulez-compliant second-hand cars has all but dried up.

Distinctly pump up demand, no change in supply – because these are old cars, no one produces new supply at £2k – and quantity available falls. Lordy – someone should write a book about this.

Sigh

George Galloway has won the Rochdale by-election, defeating the incumbent Labour Party who finished a distant fourth.

So, how about that arrival of the Muslim vote into British politics then? Quite the opportunity to build a little party carrying what, 15 to 20 seats? Because there are constituencies with highly concentrated populations, the thing needed to gain seats in a FPTP system by constituency.

Say Hello to Dearieme

Dearieme is known, in that online personality, to all of us here. And at other places around the internet – Marginal Revolution comes to mind where I’ve sometimes considered leaving a comment but found that Dearieme got there earlier, better and more pithily than I can manage.

From comments here you might know that he’s been ill recently.

Privately he’s said that this has been serious. Significantly so.

So, just one of those little things if you please. Just say “‘Allo” to Dearieme and a little wish for the best?

Despite the fact that he’s spent two decades telling me that my parents were wrong for not sending me to Ampleforth.

OK, now I really don’t believe BMI

One online calculator seems to have me at BMI of 24.8. Which is absurd – I’ve got a proper gut on me and feel bloated at times.

I would be fit at 5 to 8 kg less.

Which, give it a couple of months and I will be – moving, more exercise in the new place etc.

But it does make me think that BMI is a pretty feeble measure.

Dearieme

Can you get in touch? Sorry, forgotten your real name…..

OK, lety’s try this again. Can you email me with an email addy that I can respond to please? timworstallATgmail.com

Interesting claim

What puzzles and depresses me is the claim on the one hand that we are the most highly taxed we’ve been in a generation, yet all public services seem to be going down the pan for lack of funding. Can anyone explain to me how this can be?

That is, it has to be said, an excellent question. Thankfully, it is not too difficult to provide an explanation.

The UK government has since 2010 sought to reduce its overall level of expenditure. As is obvious from the above equation, GDP must have been reduced as a result.

Since government spending does,inevitably, become someone else’s income, because contrary to the impression most politicians present it is not money poured into a black hole, consumption (C) is also reduced by cuts in government spending.

Governments since 2010 have also sought to reduce the level of benefits and other payments made by it, reducing the capacity for consumption as a consequence.

Tax is high because government hasn’t been taxing enough.

Aha, aha

Polyamory (having multiple partners at once consensually) and open relationships (where couples pursue other sexual relationships but tend to stay emotionally connected to just each other) aren’t anything new. The anarchist revolutionary Emma Goldman advocated for “free love” in place of “that poor little State and Church-begotten weed, marriage” in the 1910s, while many in the queer community practiced open relationships long before “polycule” became a TikTok buzzword.

Yet if you say that Teh Gayers tend to be more promiscuous, on average, than Teh Heteros you can be accused of homophobia. That it’s factually true among male gays to be so – on average of course – while less so for lesbians doesn’t seem to matter. Or perhaps it’s that because poly is an acceptable work while promiscuous is not then it’s OK to admit it using one word and not t’other.