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Called eating the seedcorn, Matey

I posted this video on YouTube this morning. In it I argue that Labour says there is no money to invest in schools, hospitals, transport, and energy infrastructure. But hundreds of billions of savings lie idle in bank accounts. Suppose they were saved with the government to fund investment in these projects. Those savings could provide all the money needed to transform our economy. So why is no political party offering to do this?

The things those savings would be spent upon would not provide a financial return, having been spent. Thus we would be consuming capital in order to finance current spending – eating the seedcorn.

It’s entirely possible to change this. To make health care, the energy infrastructure, things that throw off cash to investors. That means privatising them, pricing them properly and producing profits which is that payment to investors for the use of their money. Do so and folk would invest.

I have a feeling Spud would not like that.

As PJ O’Rourke said

Hillary Clinton has accused women of abandoning her in the 2016 presidential election and claimed that female voters were more willing to take a risk on ­Donald Trump.

She reminded everyone of their mother in law. Which, from the female side, often isn’t a positive.

Seems fair enough

Ministers are allowing private schools abroad to brand themselves as “British schools” despite not teaching about same-sex relationships, equality or drug abuse as required in England, the Guardian has learned.

Overseas schools are able to be officially accredited as “British Schools Overseas” (BSO) by the Department for Education (DfE). This came after the government U-turned and exempted them from using the same curriculum it requires in England if doing so would conflict with local laws.

The Guardian seems shocked that anyone would be allowed to obey local laws nopt those imposed by the colonialist British. But then that’s The G, eh? Colonialism is great if it’s our sort of it.

Erm, yes?

Transgender men are suffering from “postmenopausal” problems like incontinence in their 20s because of taking testosterone, a study has revealed.

Experts analysed 68 transgender men who were taking the cross-sex hormone to change their identity from female to male and found that 95 per cent had developed pelvic floor dysfunction.

The participants, who were as young as 18 and had an average age of 28, had bladder and bowel symptoms that medics would expect to see in a woman after the menopause.

Experts said the impact of the sex-changing drugs on bodily functions are under-researched and under-reported, with people “not being informed of the risks at gender clinics”.

Playing with sex specific hormones is going to play merry hell with sex specific homrones. And?

Your help required

So Monbiot’s new book is a bestseller.

It also has a number of errors, of fact, of logic etc. So, I’m going to do a quickie response to it. Up on Amazon in 10 days to 2 weeks, about. Also run it as the paid part of the Substack.

OK. So, what do I call it?

Their title is “The Invisible Doctrine. The Secret History of Neoliberalism (& How It Came To Control Your Life)”.

What should I call mine? “Monbiot Talks Toss” would not quite work while being usefully descriptive.

Any ideas?

Erm

The official inquiry by Sir Brian Langstaff concluded the pharmaceutical industry’s contaminated product manufactured by subsidiaries of Bayer, Baxter and other drug groups to treat haemophilia did not contain adequate warnings and should never have been licensed.

Diana Johnson, the Labour MP and the chair of all-party parliamentary group on haemophilia and contaminated blood, said: “The pharmaceutical companies need to apologise and there needs to be a claim against them for some of this money.”

If it was the licence that was the problem then it should be those who granted the licence, no?

It’s also worth making another point or two. Hep C, for example, we didn’t even know it existed in the 70s, didn’t have a test until into the 80s. At some point of ignorance the outcome, however appalling and shitty, becomes just one of those things. It’s also true that even if we accept that then there’s still that further point. The scandal here isn’t that shit happens, it’s that shit having happened the establishment blew smoke and backfilled for decades.

Finally, there are those who insist that it was all about neoliberalism and capitalism and using paid donors in the US and all that. And here’s the problem. There’s not one place, not a single country nor health system, that collects enough plasma or blood products without the use of paid donors. Whole blood, yes, but not blood products. Again, jus’ one of those things. Factor VIII means paid donors. As the UK – or the NHS – goes into complete conniption fits whenever money is mentioned this does mean buying from the US. Sorry, but it does.

Conscription is slavery

Rishi Sunak has vowed to bring back National Service for 18-year-olds to create a “renewed sense of pride in our country” in his first major policy announcement of the election campaign.

Under the mandatory scheme, school leavers will have to either enrol on a 12-month military placement or spend one weekend each month volunteering in their community.

This is how all politics starts, no?

Hinkle and Al-Din have been ridiculed by critics as pseudo-intellectual, cravenly opportunistic grifters who have carved out an intentionally provocative niche designed to siphon followers away from other highly online political communities.

Suits Gerry Healy, for example. Bob Avakian.

Promoted by its two most prominent spokespeople, Haz Al-Din, 27, and Jackson Hinkle, 24, Maga communism comprises a grab bag of ideas that can seem lacking in coherence – ranging from a belief in the power of Donald Trump’s followers to wrest power from “global elites” to an emphasis on masculine “honor”, admiration for Vladimir Putin and support for Palestinian liberation.

No more deranged that those groupuscules from the left…..

No doubt we’ll be told it’s the water company’s fault

A child contracted the rare Weil’s disease after swimming in a river, an Essex council has said.

Dedham parish council said the student “suffered a severe infection after swimming in the River Stour at Dedham, and has been very poorly”.

In a letter published online, the authority said it was a “confirmed case of Weil’s disease (leptospirosis), which can be very serious”.

The disease is spread in the urine of infected animals, most commonly rats, mice, cows, pigs and dogs.

People can contract Weil’s disease if soil or fresh water gets in their mouth, eyes or a cut.

Nationalise ’em Danno.

Except, of course, the number of rats (etc etc) in the river is nothing to do with the water cpompany….

Well, yes

Spurlock was also later criticised for not disclosing that he was an alcoholic or for acknowledging that his drinking during the making of the movie could have impacted his health.

Hoo, boy

You have to tax wealth to grow an economy.

I know that might sound perverse and, to most people, even illogical, but it is a straightforward statement of fact. Any economy that wants to grow has to tax the wealthiest in that community quite heavily and then redistribute the proceeds to the lowest earners in that country if it wants to grow.

Now, I stress this is not a statement of opinion. It is a statement of economic fact and the logic is quite straightforward. The wealthy are wealthy because they do not spend all their income. They save. That’s how they accumulate wealth. This really should not be seen as anything very surprising. The trouble is that savings do not boost our economy, whatever our politicians, our Treasury, and those in the Bank of England might think.

Instead, they save. Savings withdraw funds from active use within an economy, and as such, they deflate an economy as a result.

If there is no deferral of consumption – no saving – then where do the resources to invest come from?

No, no, leave money aside, that’s just the accounting. To invest in something means that labour (or cement, or metals, whatever) has to be deployed upon something that cannot be consumed now but can be consumed at some point in the future. Therefore some amount of either resources or consumption must be delayed in order for investment to be possible. There is no way around this. The entire point of investing is that resources are withdrawn from the current economy.

Man’s a twat.

And savings do not fund investment. Bank credit does that.

Isn’t this the bloke insisting that Thames Water is bust because it hsa too much debt and not enough equity?

Markets are forward looking

‘Mild positive’: markets greet prospect of Labour landslide with calm
Hazel Sheffield
Financial indexes barely flickered as the election was announced, suggesting Starmer’s move to woo the City has been a success

Sigh.

What is already known is already in market prices. This is the grand lesson of the efficient markets hypothesis. This is also a useful test of it.

We’ve all known for some time that a) the election was coming and b) that Labour were going to win it. So the price of that is already in prices.

That Starmer’s going to be PM in July rather than January is not wholly new information now, is it?

Electing a non-commie

Ana Eugenia Clemente, a 33-year-old Venezuelan actor, clutched Milei’s new book as she exalted Argentina’s entertainer-in-chief. “I feel a deep hatred for the evil left that damaged my country and feel Milei is a person who has come to save not only Argentina, but the world,” she enthused.

Sounds good, eh?

The results of electing commies

Three decades on from the birth of democracy in the country, the ANC could see its vote share fall below 50% for the first time.

In a country that became mired in corruption under the former president Jacob Zuma, inequality has soared and a run of two months without power cuts by the state energy firm Eskom is cause for celebration.

So, you know, let’s not elect commies.

It’s basic politics, innit?

US authorities have launched a legal effort to break up Ticketmaster after botched ticket sales for artists including Taylor Swift and Bruce Springsteen fuelled accusations of anti-competitive behaviour.

The US Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against Ticketmaster and its parent company Live Nation accusing the group of illegally inflating ticket prices at the expense of both artists and fans.

It’s possible, of course it’s possible. So is another explanation possible. Lots of people want to see the shows, more than there are shows to see. Supply isn’t matching demand.

The way to check this. What are the margins like at Tickemaster? What are they like at other ticketing agencies? What are they like for the venues and tha artists?

Who’s making out like a bandit? That’s the person earning from the monopoly…..Oh, Hello Ms Swift, how delightful to hear from you……

It’s an ambition

Reform UK poses a major threat to the Conservatives in 28 seats, analysis by The Telegraph shows.

YouGov data indicates that Richard Tice’s party is expected to win more than 20 per cent of the vote in a series of constituencies across England’s North and Midlands.

In these areas, Reform UK could deny the Conservatives a win by taking a slice of their support, challenging the party for victory, or leapfrogging the Tories and taking second place.

Disappointed about Nigel’s decision. But, there we are.

To bother with only one of his questions

8. Record high interest rates mean the government is paying tens of billions a year to UK banks on money that the government effectively gifted to them using QE. How are you going to stop those unfair payments?

We’re doing QT. That means selling the QE gilts back into the market. Then we destroy the money collected. This reduces the central bank reserves held by the banks, one for one, £ for £, and so reduces the amount of central bank reserves gifted to the banks and upon which interest is paid.

Problem solved.

All the other questions have equally obvious solutions.

But, you see, Computer Weekly was right about this

Paula Vennells has blamed a former Post Office IT director for issues with the Horizon computer system not being investigated in 2009.

In her written evidence to the public inquiry, the organisation’s disgraced former boss revealed that an article by Computer Weekly on problems with Horizon was dismissed as “nonsense” by bosses.

Mike Young, the former operations director, who was in charge of IT at the Post Office until 2012, allegedly said that the trade magazine “did not know what it was talking about”.

Mr Young had been “adamant” that the article, which first revealed the plight of sub-postmasters suffering unexplained accounting shortfalls, should not be treated as a “red flag”, according to Ms Vennells.

Well, OK, so how Canadian will it be?

Dunno how Nigel is going to respond to the election announcement.

Reform aren’t ready. But if Nige decides to steam in anyway I’d guess Reform will rise 4 to 5%, abouts. That puts the Tories at serious risk of a proper Canadian moment. Might not gain Reform any seats at all given FPTP. But it would – OK, could – kill the Tories.

So, whachu think?

This is fun

Thames Water

Nationalise the company.
Wipe out the shareholders.
Pay for whatever debt is considered to be of value with new long-term government bonds.
Provide required new capital.
Change regulation to require appropriate levels of capital investment to deliver rivers and beaches free of sewage from all water companies.
Offer to buy out all English water companies on the same terms as Thames, with that offer diminishing in value as companies delay accepting it.
Problem solved.

Item 5 apparently – from Spud’s own numbers – cost between £260 billion and £600 billion. Is that a wise use of societal resources? No, not money, but actual resources?

Might not a few swimming pools solve the problem rather better?