The Guardian doesn’t like it up em

A comment on the Robin Hood tax of mine got deleted.

Perfectly polite, in fact most of it was from a peer reviewed paper on the subject.

But, you know, banished, because it made a nonsense of the argument being put forward in the original piece.

32 thoughts on “The Guardian doesn’t like it up em”

  1. Ok, so what was your comment? I assume you can put it here with little fear of it being pulled.

    Tim adds: I’m using it elsewhere for a piece tomorrow instead.

  2. Meanwhile your former colleagues at Telegraph blogs spend much of their time trolling UKIP supporters to boost site traffic, and writing obnoxious articles designed to piss off their readers and then hiding behind “comments are closed”.

    “Quality” newspapers indeed.

  3. “Tim adds: I’m using it elsewhere for a piece tomorrow instead.”

    And “… *most* [my emphasis] of it was from a peer reviewed paper on the subject.”

    Are you sure it wasn’t pulled on grounds of length?

  4. I’m thinking of making T-Shirts for Guardian readers and Progressives. The first one would say:


    Should sell loads.

  5. This is a common tactic of the British left; not the British Right-of-Centre. We do seem to have a more, say we say, confident view of free debate.

    It’s amazing what they find offends their ‘community guidlines’, usually reasoned argument that contradicts their own.

    Take our favourite troll, sorry, blogger, Richard Murphy. Writing on the flat tax he has argued AGAINST removing a direct burden from the low paid on 4 grounds:

    1. The tax they pay is “tiny”.
    2. The “vast majority of the benefit” goes to people on higher incomes.
    3. They would lose their pension rights (if we removed an NI charge from them)
    4. They would lose more in benefits than they gained in the tax break.

    As he refuses to post any of my comments because I’m a “troll”, would you all indulge me:

    1. It is not tiny to them. How patronising and dismissive! It is a massive element in calcuating the Living Wage!!!!
    2. No. Absolute benefit would accure to higher income people as well, true. However, as a proportion of their total income, the lower paid gain much more.
    3. Bollocks. On the same thread he provides a link to a paper he co-wrote with Howard Reed in which they call for IT and NIC to be replaced by a unified tax.
    4. Well, if that’s the case then the marginal rate of tax is greater than 100%. This is the IDS asrgument and, if Ritchie truly believes this, he is making Duncan Smith’s case better than IDS ever could!

    Yes, I can see why Richard Murphy hates trolls.

  6. Using a combo of and zoopla, and because I’m a bit bored at the moment, I find that Bill Nighy appears (no sales data) to own a house in Torriano Ave NW5 worth about £1.3 million, a couple of places in Albany worth a similar amount each, and a cottage in Suffolk worth perhaps £300,000.

    If this is correct, he can certainly get fucked.

  7. I’ve been banned from the Guardian comments section ever since I accused one article writer of being racist.

    You must realize when dealing with the political left that they are morally superior to the rest of humanity, and that racism is very definitely the non-flavour of the month at the moment amongst lefties. To accuse one of their member of racism is the worst insult imaginable and results in hysterics, toys being thrown out of prams, etc etc .

  8. Oh boo hoo you got a comment deleted, I had my entire CIF identity deleted which I thought was rather rude, I can’t comment on anything. You clearly haven’t got the hang of trying to properly rile them.

    As to the Tobin Tax bring it on, the bankers (sadly) won’t leave as they have nowhere to go.

  9. @ Ironman. RM is right that the tax *is* tin – if you are looking at it from the perspective of The State.

    You are thinking about the problem from the perspective of people affected, and poor people in particular. This will never do. This is not Courageous Thinking.

  10. Gary

    Yep, I’m finding that out today.

    “Tiny”! How outrageously insulting to describe the fruits of a man’s labour (any man’s) as “tiny”.

  11. I posted some stuff about the flat tax as well – and my last comment showing that the top 1% have the same share of pre and post tax income now in 2013 as in 1990, but had more at the height of Labour in 2007-9 got deleted – it doesn’t fit his world view.

    My pet hates are his constant stream of assertions – “I say it is like this so therefore it is” and then when asked to back up his argument he links to more papers he himself wrote. I’m not sure he really undertands the idea of peer reviewing.

  12. I’m not sure he really undertands the idea of peer reviewing.

    Oh, but he does.

    1) he is, clearly, peerless, and therefore only he can review his work

    2) and he will continue so to do until Labour make him, ahem, a Peer.

  13. Tyler

    Yes, it is annoying to have legitimate honest comments deleted or deliberately misunderstood. Most annoying of all though is the sheer hypocricy of a man shouting “troll” and engaging in all sorts of ad hominem argument whilst all the time proclaiming his distate for the same.

    He does read this blog though and I’m sure he’s reading this thread. So maybe he’s not quite the intellectual coward I’ve always believed him to be and maybe he will post your comment and respond after all.

  14. bill40: So just re-register and get a new identity. Be sure to keep your comments or even screen-shots when they first go up. I’ve had several identities cancelled, and re-registered several times.

    On the penultimate one they got sneaky and even more vicious that usual. They left my identity intact, but deleted all my past comments, even the innocuous ones and refused all new comments.

    What’s with the hostility to bankers? They serve a valuable function and have made the UK an awful lot of money. Do not, please, succumb to the communist fallacy that middlemen and facilitators are worthless compared to the workers. The truth is the reverse. Is it because they took government money after screwing up? Who wouldn’t? You should be angry at the gullible and stupid politicians who paid the money.

  15. @ Ironman

    Sometimes he posts my comments, sometimes he doesn’t. I tend to find though when they blow his argument (more correctly: statements) out of the water with hard, 3rd party evidence, then they don’t get posted.

    I also find that sometimes he simply chooses to answer a question of his own making or choosing. Or simply resorts to ad hom attacks – the latest being that he is always right and I am always wrong (except on human rights vs tax, of course).

    I also love the way he calls his blog the No.1 economics blog on the net. Let’s leave aside the very loose description of economics, the site that measures this also takes into account twitter. He tweets *all* the time…handy to boost his rankings. I wonder what his ranking would be if it were only page views that mattered.

  16. What horribly phallocentric title. Yet another example of the hegemonic control that the patriarchy exerts even on the most progressive of us.

  17. I gather this tax will make evil bankers into kind and thoughtful men and women. It will stop crime, pay off everybody’s debts, re-grout the bathroom, pick the kids up from crèche and cause the sun to shine every day. All this without a single drawback at any stage.

    Anybody who responds to this with comments along the lines of TANSTAAFL is clearly just a vicious neo-liberal cynic.

  18. Bill40

    Bankers won’t leave ?

    Don’t read the papers much do you ?

    Barclays and RBS are in the middle of destroying their investment banking arms. Lloyds never had one to speak of, and HSBC are moving all those operations back to Asia.

    The City is dying. New York and Frankfurt are on a similar course. The West has regulated itself out of competition. Asia is the only game in town.

    This isn’t going to make us wealthier. Sure it will smooth the peaks and troughs, but overall we will be poorer. It’s basic risk v reward.

  19. The City is dying.

    Dear God. If things carry on like this, we might have to manufacture something. O, the humanity!

    Srsly, Asia probably is the game this century, just as the USA was for the 20th and England was for the 19th. The centre of gravity tends to move around. We couldn’t really have expected the little people to carry on paddling around in paddies for another century. Plus ca change, and all that.

    Doesn’t matter. Globalisation. If there’s money to lend, it matters not where in the world the lenders are. Neoliberal global capitalism and all that.

  20. Ian B,

    Medium term you’re correct of course.

    Short term, we’re running an experiment to see how much it hurts to adjust when a country legislates away its own competitive advantage.

    It’s just the narrative that bankers carry on oblivious that irritates me, when in reality tens of thousands have lost their jobs with many more to come. It’s the jobs that move abroad, not necessarily the people.

  21. @Corvus,

    It’s not much of an advantage to a country if that only competitive advantage is a few thousand people in one square mile pushing consumer prices up for the rest of the population. Some people really do talk as if bankers actually subsidise the economic activity they take their not inconsiderable cut of.

    It’s as if some people actually believe that banking is a free and competitive market.

  22. So Much for Subtlety

    Ian B – “Srsly, Asia probably is the game this century, just as the USA was for the 20th and England was for the 19th. The centre of gravity tends to move around. We couldn’t really have expected the little people to carry on paddling around in paddies for another century. Plus ca change, and all that.”

    I hope Asia is the game this century. But we have every reason to think that people who have paddled about in rice paddies will continue to do so. After all, modern industrial societies have up to now only been the work of Northern European societies and Japan. And to some extent one of its former colonies. No one else has been able to do it.

    It ought to be easy for them to do it. It is not as if they have to invent the steam engine. Just copy what the West did. But in country after country, the IMF has forced them to make the right choices, they have had economic growth as a result …. and then they have rejected it. You can see this in India, in Brazil, most strongly and extensively in Argentina and perhaps even now in Japan.

  23. “… pushing consumer prices up for the rest of the population…”

    Bullshit. Pure, unadulterated, right off the shelf commie bullshit.

    Just for laughs, why don’t you tell us just how it’s done. In detail. You get points if you can quote anything that’s been peer reviewed to support your contention. You get extra points if you can avoid quoting Karl Marx, Barack Obama or Richard Murphy.

  24. “@Ironman, what makes you so confident RM reads this blog?”

    Can you imagine someone with the personality defects possessed by Richard Murphy not searching out everything written about him?

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  26. @bloke in germany

    Do bankers pay no tax on their salaries and bonuses? Do London restaurants, cab firms, Porsche dealerships, art galleries, theatres, whorehouses, coke dealers, building firms etc see no benefit?

    While I’m no fan of the way the city works, the fact that it is regulated more heavily that it should be isn’t the fault of the individual bankers (though they may benefit).

    I can’t see how sacking them all and moving the whores, car dealers, galleries and builders excavating basements under townhouses to Singapore will help us?

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