January 2014

So where’s the evidence?

Hundreds of thousands of children are traveling in smoke-filled cars every week.
In England alone, more than 430,000 children aged 11 to 15 are exposed to second hand smoke in cars each week, according to estimates by the British Lung Foundation.
185,000 children of the same age are exposed to smoke while in the family car on “most days”, if not every day.
“Given these data only cover children aged between 11 and 15, it is possible that the total number of children affected on a weekly basis could be in excess of half a million.”

Lots of up to and possibly as many as and estimates in there. So it might all be a load of blown smoke anyway.
But I ask the readership this.
IF the medical evidence is correct …..

If that evidence is indeed correct then the question is: well, where are all the sick children?

If passive smoking is a bad idea then, if 500,000 children are exposed to it on a weekly basis, then we should have some evidence of the bodies piling up. If we don’t then one of two things must be true: either that the exposure isn’t happening or the exposure doesn’t cause the bodies to pile up.

So where are the sick kiddies?

Ritchie’s solution to the Gagging Bill

Most amusing:

I think, as an individual, you may still be free to blog as you wish. However, if you are commissioned to do research by Joseph Rowntree or Unite you or they will not be free to publish the results directly.
What I am thinking is if your report is tweaked and submitted to a free-to-read, peer-reviewed online academic journal, it might make life more difficult for the government.
If they try to ban the publication of legitimate peer-reviewed academic research, it would damage their reputation irretrievably. Would they really ban British Medical Journal? Or block international journals?
I think this could be a way forward.
Any takers to set up a new online journal of critical research? – See more at:

Hands up everyone who thinks that Ritchie’s reports will pass peer review?

So, is this rape or not?

A man on trial for rape for allegedly refusing to wear a condom on the third time he had sex with a woman in a one-night stand has told the jury it was 100 per cent consensual.

Imomotimi Wilson, 30, met his alleged victim in a pub and she agreed to go back to his house but told him she would only have sex if he used protection.

They had consensual sex twice but on the third occasion claims that Wilson failed to use a condom.

The woman, a 40-year-old, said Wilson treated her ‘like a piece of meat’ as the alleged attack took place.

She said he held her hands over her head and told her ‘if you love me you’ll do it’ before raping her for 15-20 seconds.

But giving evidence at his trial at Cambridge Crown Court Wilson said ‘she said stop and that’s when I stopped’.

He said: ‘She said I feel like having sex again and I said “Yes, I feel like having sex with you as well again but there is no condom”.

‘She was romancing me, touching and kissing, and I said no, I do not want to do that because there is no condom.

‘She started kissing me again and then I penetrated her. I believed 100 per cent it was consensual.

‘Then she said stop and that’s when I stopped. There were three seconds of penetration.’

Interesting question, eh?

At one end of the argument we might have the loonies insisting that as it was penile penetration of the vagina then of course this was rape: for that always is. At the other we might have an unfortunate misunderstanding of consent. One quickly dealt with when the truth became apparent.

And the jury is going to say what do you think?

Since when was feeding the starving connected with the Jooos?


It is precisely because of this that Oxfam, founded in Oxford in 1942 as Famine Relief, turned to the actor Scarlett Johansson in 2007 to become its global ambassador. She travelled to Oxfam projects, something that provided photo opportunities for herself (as a caring artist) and for Oxfam (to shine a light on the important work that the charity does).

In January, Johansson was appointed the brand ambassador for SodaStream, an Israeli company that produces machines to carbonate beverages. SodaStream’s factory is located in the Israeli settlement of Maale Adumim, near Jerusalem.

Therefore, because Johansson works with the Jooos she cannot work with Oxfam.

Bugger this feeding the starving thing and embrace the anti-semitism of the British left instead.


My God! Isn’t this appalling!

Those rich lousy foreigners coming over here and buying up all our art!

Britain lost more than 33,000 works of art, archaeological artefacts and other culturally important items – including a Picasso masterpiece – to rich foreign buyers last year.

A treasure trove of more than £1.7bn-worth of old masters paintings, Greek, Roman and Egyptian antiquities,…..Picasso’s Child with a Dove, which the Spanish artist….Raphael’s drawing Head of a Young Apostle,…..The duke also sold Louis de Gruuthuse’s copy of The Deeds of Sir Gillion de Trazegnies in the Middle East. The 15th-century Flemish manuscript, which features artwork by Lieven van Lathem,…

So what’s actually happening is that stuff we bought from foreigners when we were top dogs is now being bought by foreigners given that we are no longer top dogs.

Oh Woes, Calamities unbound, eh?

Sounds about right

Russian men losing years to vodka
Spirit linked to 35% of cases where a man dies before age 55, with study citing national sport of spectacular drunkenness

With the emphasis there on “spectacular”.

Even in central Moscow they dig a few corpses out of the melting snowbanks each spring.

Seumas on Stepan Bandera

He rally doesn’t like people who didn’t like Stalin, does he?

The party, now running the city of Lviv, led a 15,000-strong torchlit march earlier this month in memory of the Ukrainian fascist leader Stepan Bandera, whose forces fought with the Nazis in the second world war and took part in massacres of Jews.


During his political career, the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) split into two factions: the OUN-M and the OUN-B. Stepan Bandera was responsible for the proclamation of an Independent Ukrainian State in Lviv on June 30, 1941, eight days after the start of Germany’s aggression.

The OUN intended to take advantage of the retreat of Soviet forces from Ukraine. Some members thought that they had found a new powerful ally in Nazi Germany to aid them in their struggle against the Soviet Union. However, just days after the proclamation and the Nazi invasion of Lviv, the leadership of the newly formed government was arrested and sent to concentration camps in Germany, and on July 6, 1941[1] for his refusal to rescind the declaration, Bandera was arrested and imprisoned by the Nazis and not released until September 1944. Also, within two years of the declaration, the Nazis had imprisoned or killed 80% of OUN-B leadership.[2][3][4] Soviet authorities authorised the KGB to assassinate as it happened in Munich, West Germany, on 15 October 1959.

Not that I’m saying Bandera was sweetness and light but……

Dear God Theresa May’s an obnoxious little shit

And Clegg goes along with this?

Nick Clegg has signed up to a plan drawn up by Theresa May to strip foreign-born terror suspects of British citizenship – a move that would render them stateless – if they are judged to present a threat to national security.
Clegg said he supported the home secretary’s proposal to strip naturalised British citizens of their citizenship if they are judged to present a threat to national security. It would even apply to those who have no other citizenship, rendering them stateless.

He said the current laws had become a “passport for endless games in the courts to prevent people being deported that should be.

“We are tightening up the way the courts can interpret article 8, the right to a family life, so it cannot became an excuse for unjustified legal procrastination.”

Speaking on LBC’s Call Clegg, he added he knew the plan to make some naturalised British citizens stateless was controversial, but justifiable in a very small number of cases. He said the revocation of British citizenship “would apply in cases where individuals pose a real threat to the security of this country”.

Condemning these twats to a life of weasel felching would be much too kind.

You can’t go around stripping people of their citizenship: not unless you manage to convict them, in court, with a jury, evidence given and examined, of having lied or fiddled to get their citizenship. Fraud in gaining it is indeed a valid reason for revocation. But nowt else is.

Because, once you’re a British citizen then you’re a British citizen. And you have all the same protections from arbitrary justice (or should I say obnoxious little shits posing as Home Secretary) as any and every other British citizen. That’s what it means: Abu Hookhand has, if he is a British citizen, exactly the same rights before the law as I do. This does not depend upon my lack of melanin, my native born status, my lack of desire to impose Islam on the cattle nor anything else. It’s the definition of being a fucking citizen.

Equality before the law.


Convict someone of trying to be a terrorist? Great, jail them. They’ve served their sentence? Then let them out. If they’re a British citizen then they’ve done their time and that’s that. If they’re not then fuck ’em out of the country. But as long as that citizenship was legally obtained then we all get treated the same way, as those citizens.

Now, how do we get that lifetime sentence of weasel felching onto the books for the ghastly little shits who would propose an abomination of a law like this?

In which I disagree with Peter Oborne

Not all that unusual of course:

In any other profession, the three errant MPs would have been shown the door

The first involves Eric Joyce, Labour MP for Falkirk, who head-butted a Conservative MP and caused damage and mayhem in the Strangers Bar of the House of Commons. At a later date he wrestled two policemen to the ground during a karaoke night at the Sports and Social Bar. There was another episode in an airport, but that is a complicated story and need not detain us here.

The second concerns the Conservative Patrick Mercer, who was exposed by BBC Panorama and the Telegraph for accepting £4,000 (by a reporter pretending to represent the Fiji government) to ask parliamentary questions.

The third case is the most topical: the Lib Dem Mike Hancock, who has been accused of making a series of inappropriate advances towards a female constituent suffering from mental health problems.

This is a democracy you know and the drunks, corrupt and perverts have every right to representation.

As of course do the idiots and the clueless but we’ve already got the Labour and Green parties to handle them.

In praise of the black economy

“A doubt therefore arises as to how much governments want to interfere in the black economy, since millions of people depend on it and fighting it would create great social instability.”

Yep, when the State fucks up, as it did in Spain, then people turn to voluntary cooperation through markets without the intervention of said State.

To as much as 25% of the Spanish economy. Ain’t it remarkable what can happen without the Curajus State fucking it up?

One for Maggie McNeill here

Dozens of alleged sex traffickers have been arrested in New York before this weekend’s Super Bowl, as congressmen warned that visiting American Football fans could order under-age prostitutes like takeaway pizzas.

Police and FBI agents detained more than 200 people accused of crimes related to trafficking women in advance of Sunday’s match, the biggest event in the US sporting calendar, according to the NYPD.

These people are lying through their teeth here, aren’t they?

The truth is to be found here.

These people are entirely mad you know

The European Union is secretly developing a “remote stopping” device to be fitted to all cars that would allow the police to disable vehicles at the flick of a switch from a control room.

Confidential documents from a committee of senior EU police officers, who hold their meetings in secret, have set out a plan entitled “remote stopping vehicles” as part of wider law enforcement surveillance and tracking measures.

“The project will work on a technological solution that can be a ‘build in standard’ for all cars that enter the European market,” said a restricted document.

The devices, which could be in all new cars by the end of the decade, would be activated by a police officer working from a computer screen in a central headquarters.

Once enabled the engine of a car used by a fugitive or other suspect would stop, the supply of fuel would be cut and the ignition switched off.


I agree that I’m not the world’s greatest car enthusiast but what? As far as I can recollect turning off the ignition also locks the steering on a car. And they want to do that to a car doing 120 mph through a suburban street as it attempts to escape from the cops?


Perhaps we should send the people who thought this up out onto the motorway and then we’ll cut their engines?

To say nothing of the civil liberties implications here. No, they’re mad. Hang them all.


A businessman who carried on living with his former wife after they divorced asked her if she would stay on as his housekeeper when he installed another woman in the home, a High Court judge was told.

The man could not understand why his former wife became “so aggressive” when he informed her of the new arrangements, the court heard.

Blimey, and I thought I was archaic in my attitudes towards the fairer sex.

There really ought to be a prize for that sort of lack of knowledge.

And once again into the breach with Ritchie

Looking at this argument of his again:

Two illustrations of the fact that tax competition does not work have come to my attention this week. The first arose in evidence given by Chris Sanger of Ernst & Young to the House of Lords on Monday earlier in the session during which I also gave evidence. He said that in his firm’s experience tax was the sixth or seventh most important consideration in decisions made by companies on international location. I do need to get one to five from him.

More important is a new paper by Tidiane Kinda for the IMF, the abstract of which says:

Using manufacturing and services firm-level data for 30 sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries, this paper shows that taxation is not a significant driver for the location of foreign firms in SSA, while other investment climate factors, such as infrastructure, human capital, and institutions, are. By analyzing disaggregate FDI data, the paper establishes that, while there is considerable contrast in behavior between vertical FDI (foreign firms producing for export) and horizontal FDI (foreign firms producing for local markets), taxation is not a key determinant for either type of FDI. Horizontal FDI is attracted to areas with higher trade regulations, highlighting interest in protected markets. Furthermore, horizontal FDI is affected more by financing and human capital constraints, and less by infrastructure and institutional constraints, than is vertical FDI.

In other words, tax competition does not work.

Now note that that is about investment in sub-Saharan Africa. You know, the place where Ritchie and the TJN and associates have been screaming for years that big business dodges all the taxes that it can. To the tune of hundreds of billions a year they claim. This happens because investment is routed through places like Mauritius (just as an example).

Hmm, OK.

Then look again at this paper by an associate of Ritchie’s. Delight in the to and fro between he n’ me over it and here’s the conclusion:

So I sent an email to Professor Clausing.

“I read that as stating that precisely because many multinational firms
are “tax dodging” therefore the incidence of the corporate income tax
is not upon the workers in the form of lower wages.

I can see the logic here. If Google sells all its EU advertising from
Ireland, as it does, then the corporate income tax rates across Europe
will not affect its decisions to invest in Europe. For however many it
hires or employs, it knows that it will be paying tax in Ireland on
the revenues and or profits of such hires.

The same would be true of the various arrangements of Microsoft,
Facebook, Amazon, Apple and so on.

In wider terms, it is precisely the jurisdiction shopping that such
companies undertake that explains the lack of evidence of an impact
upon labour of the corporate income tax.

I just wanted to check that that is the implication that you are
making in this part of your conclusion?”

Her response?

“Thank you for your email. Yes, that is the implication.”

So we have an interesting set up here.

1) Big business, as Ritchie, the TJN etc claim, does indeed dodge all sorts of taxes through the use of offshore. Thus we’re not going to see the effects of tax rates on investment decisions because people are dodging the effects of taxes by using offshore. We cannot therefore use the claim that there’s no effect of taxation on investment decisions if we’re also making the claim that everyone is dodging taxes. Because dodged taxes don’t affect investment decisions.

2) We could, as Ritchie and the TJN claim, agree that tax decisions don’t affect investment decisions. But if we do that we cannot claim that big business is dodging taxes. Because taxes don’t affect investment decisions, do they?

What we cannot do is claim both, that business uses, extensively, offshore to dodge taxes and also claim that taxes have no effect upon investment decisions. They’ve got to give up one or other of these assertions.

For as Professor Clausing points out, the fact that we cannot see the effect of tax upon investment is precisely because companies are dodging the taxes by using offshore.

It’s cognitive dissonance time again.

Ritchie on tax competition: you’ll like this one

Today’s blog output is really quite remarkable.

Here’s one blog:

More important is a new paper by Tidiane Kinda for the IMF, the abstract of which says:

Using manufacturing and services firm-level data for 30 sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries, this paper shows that taxation is not a significant driver for the location of foreign firms in SSA, while other investment climate factors, such as infrastructure, human capital, and institutions, are. By analyzing disaggregate FDI data, the paper establishes that, while there is considerable contrast in behavior between vertical FDI (foreign firms producing for export) and horizontal FDI (foreign firms producing for local markets), taxation is not a key determinant for either type of FDI. Horizontal FDI is attracted to areas with higher trade regulations, highlighting interest in protected markets. Furthermore, horizontal FDI is affected more by financing and human capital constraints, and less by infrastructure and institutional constraints, than is vertical FDI.

In other words, tax competition does not work.

OK, excellent. The bald statement that tax competition simply does not work. Firms do not locate for tax reasons.

A second blog. And recall, this is on exactly the same day, culled from the same day’s newspapers:

Reuters has reported that:

Fiat said on Wednesday it would register the holding of its newly created Fiat Chrysler Automobiles group in the Netherlands and set its tax domicile in Britain, cementing a politically sensitive shift away from its home base in Italy.

The combination of Fiat and Chrysler through a Dutch holding company tax resident in the UK has all the appearance of being a massive tax planning exercise. The UK is quite explicitly playing the role of a tax haven in this set up, combined with the use of the Netherlands in a similar capacity.
How is that? Firstly, the UK only charges UK resident companies to tax on their UK earned profits now and not on any profit earned anywhere else in the world or on profits remitted here. I have a strong suspicion Fiat makes very little money in the UK (barring on car distribution, which will already be taxable here anyway). This makes the UK a perfect headquarters location for a group that has absolutely no real ties with the UK and which wishes to avoid sending its profits back to its real centre of control – Italy, in this case. Combining this with the Netherlands generous tax haven treaty structure which allows income and gains to flow through Europe to an HQ location (like the UK) with little or no withholding tax on the way and the ultimate ‘no tax’ set up can now be created in london based on the argument ‘nothing happens here’ because it’s all been taxed ‘elsewhere’ whether that in fact is true or not.

That is, a complaint that a company has based its location decision purely upon tax motives.

It is really most wondrous that a man who has actually held a professional job at some time can manage such cognitive dissonance.

Calling for tax experts on the Google Motorola thing

So, Google has sold Motorola on to Lenovo. Or as the Beeb has it:

Google has sold struggling US mobile phone company Motorola Mobility to Chinese computer maker Lenovo for $2.91bn (£1.8bn), in a surprise move.

Google had paid $12.5bn for the company less than two years ago.

Bit of an ouchie there you might think. A near $10 billion loss.

But I’m not so sure myself.

They sold the desktop box unit for $2.35 billion.

And there were also $8.5 billion in accumulated tax losses. While Google owned Motorola Mobility there’s no doubt at all that they could utilise those losses to offset Google’s profits. Consolidation and all that.

So the net cost, assuming they kept the company, was more like $1.5 billion. Which means that if they sell the unit now for $2.9 billion then they make a profit: and they keep the stash of patents which is what we all thought drove the acquisition in the first place.

But that does depend upon whether they can keep those accumulated tax losses while also selling off the unit. And that’s what the question is.

I can imagine that they can: have a structure that owns the Mobility business, the patents and the tax losses, sell off Mobility and keep the other two. But the really interesting questions are:

a) Can they do so?

b) Have they done so and

c) Where would we look it up to find out?

Colin Hines Has A Plan!

Let’s build houses where no one wants to live!

That appears to be the result of the National Plan from the Green New Deal group. Of which, of course, Ritchie is a member:

The UK’s increasingly bottom-heavy economy and jobs market (The great migration south: four out of five private sector jobs now created in London, 27 January) demands policies that will benefit the whole of the country. It was to tackle this growing north-south divide while helping protect the environment that the Green New Deal Group recently published a National Plan for the UK.

This calls for a £50bn-a-year green infrastructure programme, funded by a crackdown on tax-dodging and green quantitative easing, to make every building in the country energy-efficient and to build hundreds of thousands of new, affordable, sustainably sited, energy-efficient homes. Such a “jobs in every constituency” approach would create employment, business and investment opportunities in every city, town, village and hamlet in the country.

So everyone wants to live in the south, far from the lands of barms, and so the solution is to build lots of houses where no one wants to live.

I wonder what system of propizkas is proposed to make people live in these new houses?