February 2016

Anti-extremism always does degenerate into anti-what we don’t approve of

A teenage boy was left ‘feeling like a terrorist’ after anti-extremism police questioned him for looking at Ukip’s website at school.
Joe Taylor, 15, was reported to officers by teachers who also discovered he had looked at BBC footage of a march by the English Defence League.
Staff at Wildern School in Hedge End, Hampshire, acted on the Government’s counter-terror Prevent scheme that obliges schools to monitor children and report signs of extremism.


Ain’t Ritchie just wonderful?

Corproration tax cuts have failed the UK

Hmm, how’s that then?

FTSE 100 companies paid tax equal to 23% of their profits last year, almost a quarter less than in 2010, according to figures from accountants UHY Hacker Young.

Leave aside the fact that not all FTSE100 companies are UK resident and so not all pay UK corporation tax. And also leave aside that some 70% of the revenues of the FTSE100 come from outside the UK meaning that the UK corporation tax rate is at best only a minor influence on their total tax bills.

And just consider this. The large company rate for corporation tax is 21% (or at least was in the year under discussion). And Ritchie is complaining that they only paid 23%?

That’s, err, one hell of a tax gap, isn’t it?

You didn’t build that!

Charles Darwin and other pioneering thinkers were not “heroic geniuses”, according to a new study saying we can all take credit for science’s greatest discoveries
Innovations from the likes of Darwin, Albert Einstein or Steve Jobs arise through societies and social networks acting as “collective brains”, scientists claim.

Cue Mazzucato insisting that it’s government that enables this therefore we must all pay further tithes to government. Except:

Dr Muthukrishna explains: “To be an innovator, it’s better to be social rather than smart. There’s no doubt that there are variations in people’s raw skills, but what predicts the difference between a Steve Jobs and a Joe Bloggs is actually their exposure to new ideas that are wonderful and different.
“If you want to be more creative the best thing you can do is to talk to people who disagree with you.”

Where’s the one place you won’t hear different ideas? Inside the groupthink of government of course.

And of course Mazzucato herself is interesting on this point. She’s tried well hard to get me fired simply because I disagreed with her…..

Today’s idiot stupidity about Brexit

British people will not be able to live abroad in France and Spain if the UK leaves the EU, a minister has claimed amid warnings that a “Brexit” would lead to a decade of economic chaos.
David Lidington, the Europe minister, warned that a British exit from the bloc would be a “massive” risk and said “everything we take for granted about access to the single market” would be in question.

He really is a miserably stupid cunt isn’t he?

And we can prove this rather simply. I can here: if I go 15 clicks down the road to Silves I get to the Fabrica do Ingles. For the linguistically challenged, that’s the English factory. Set up here in Portugal a few hundred years ago to process the local cork for wine stoppers. By, as the name implies, English peeps. You know, somewhat before the EU?

Or you can test this in any decent off licence.


You’ll note that not all of the names there are wholly and distinctively Portuguese. Because Europeans have been moving around the continent before the EU so graciously gave us the permission to do so.

And if the absence of the EU really would mean no migration across Europe then we wouldn’t have quite such a German royal family, would we?

Man’s worse than an idiot or poltroon. I would really start to swear but I can think of any insult greater than politician here.


A serious comment someone left elsewhere:

Yes our GDP is 6 times what it was in 1930. In 1930 the cost of ketchup was $0.09 a dozen eggs was $0.18 pork loin $0.19 lb. Gas was $0.10 gal. Compared to today’s prices the cost of goods has risen by more than 1500% in 85 years, let’s not kid ourself that our GDP is more because we produce more, we don’t, we in fact produce less.

Srsly? Really, trying to say that the US economy produces less now than it did in 1930?

The explanation is obvious, not knowing the difference between real and nominal.

but just to comfort you, this guy has the vote.

A nation of snitches

More than 85% of fraud allegations made by the public over the last five years were false, according to figures obtained by the Observer.

A freedom of information request to the Department for Work and Pensions discloses that between 2010 and 2015 the government closed 1,041,219 alleged cases of benefit fraud put forward by the public. Insufficient or no evidence of fraud was discovered in 887,468 of these. In 2015 alone, of the 153,038 cases closed by the DWP’s Fraud and Error Service, 132,772 led to no action.

Explains how the Stasi got away with it, doesn’t it?

On the rugby

So, yes, we won, for the third time this championship. And yet any of the four Southern Hemisphere teams would beat any of the Northern ones in any of the games I’ve seen so far.

Yes, Argentina too.

Six Nations is definitely second class rugby at present.

While we’re at it, can we deal with these people too?

Britain’s most popular cafe chains are serving sandwiches and pastries containing high levels of salt, despite promoting a natural and healthy image for their customers.

An analysis by the Telegraph has found that many of the sandwiches and paninis sold by Starbucks, Caffe Nero and Costa contain high proportions of the maximum daily salt levels recommended by health experts.

One Starbucks panini alone contained 3.1g of salt, more than half the maximum daily recommended amount for adults, while a panini in Caffe Nero has 3.2g of salt.

The usual suspects comment:

Health campaigners said many customers would be shocked by the findings and called for more to be done, by both retailers and government, to reduce the level of potentially harmful ingredients in cafe foods.

Sonia Pombo, nutritionist and campaign manager for CASH said: “It’s shocking to see reputable coffee shop chains such as Costa Coffee, Café Nero and Starbucks, which portray a healthy lifestyle image, selling these products so high in salt.”

CASH, which is organising Salt Awareness Week, is calling on both food manufacturers and restaurants and cafes to meet stricter salt targets in the fight to save lives.
Ms Pombo added: “The food we eat is now the biggest cause of death and ill health in the UK, owing to the large amounts of salt, saturated fat and sugars added by the food industry.
“High blood pressure and obesity both lead to the development of cardiovascular disease, stroke, heart attacks and heart failure, which are the commonest causes of death and disability in the UK.”

And now consider what they’re actually complaining about. Bread requires salt to rise, cheese and ham to cure. So, a ham and cheese sandwich made from 100 g each of bread, cheese and ham, will contain…erm, about 2.5 g of salt.

So, can we burn them too? Sell them into bondage?

And at what point do we rally and burn down this ivory tower?

A Christian postgraduate student has been expelled from his course, effectively ending his chances of a career as a social worker, for voicing opposition to gay marriage in a Facebook discussion.

Felix Ngole, a 38-year-old father of four, expressed support for Kim Davis, the county clerk from Kentucky in the US who was jailed for refusing to issue marriage licences after the introduction of same-sex unions in September last year.

He argued that homosexual activity is against the teaching of the Bible, quoting a verse from Leviticus describing it as an “abomination”.

Cue the usual jokes about burning those who wear drip dry shirts while eating shrimp. However:

The post, from his private Facebook account, was part of a discussion thread in which other users voiced their opinions on all sides of the debate.

Entirely private life note.

It was not until two months later that he was summoned to a disciplinary hearing at Sheffield University after a fellow student complained about his post.

He said he was initially not even told what he was accused of doing. He was eventually told that it involved breaching social work guidelines on “personal conduct” and “bringing the profession into disrepute”.

At a further hearing, a university “fitness to practise” panel concluded that he was entitled to his opinion on the issue of gay marriage but that there was a danger he “may have caused offence to some individuals” by voicing it.

They concluded that, even though he was not yet even qualified as a social worker, his comment on the Facebook thread would affect his ability to operate in the profession.
As a result he was effectively expelled from the university, ordered to hand in his student ID and even his library card.


In a letter expelling Mr Ngole from the university, a departmental official said: “Members of the committee expressed serious concerns about the level of insight you had demonstrated with regards [sic] to the comments you posted on Facebook.

“The committee were clear to point out that their decision is not based on your views but on your act of publicly posting those views such that it will have an effect on your ability to carry out a role as a social worker.

“Members were in agreement that this action was an extremely poor judgement on your part and had transgressed boundaries which are not deemed appropriate for someone entering the social work profession.

“It was their belief that this may have caused offence to some individuals.”

So what is it that we do with this university? Immediate thoughts include a three foot metal file with which we roger them sideways. Possibly a large cheese grater. But upon consideration I feel that only burning the place to the ground, selling the faculty into bondage and then ploughing the ground with salt will do.

Academia Hallun Delenda Est

We are, after all, at war with these people, they pose a grave threat to our civilisation.

Timmy elsewhere

But then that’s rather Venezuela’s tragedy, isn’t it? The people trying to run the economy have no more idea of now to run an economy than my breakfast piece of toast this morning knew how to run an economy. And I eated that just as history will, in the fullness of time, be able to digest the economic idiocy of Maduro, del Pino and Merentes.

I tend not to write for free either, however….

Over at Vox there’s the now standard piece about being asked to write for free. Dammit, it’s a piece of work, people try to make their living doing this, what the hell do you mean you don’t pay?

Yeah, yeah, supply, demand, exposure all that.

And yes, I make my living doing this and no, I don’t write for free (well, not very often at least. I did 400 words for the NYT just to be able to say I’d been in the NYT for example). Actually, I often refuse to go on the radio if they don’t offer to pay.

However, back to writing, my style is terrible by American standards, where they’re very keen on absolutely precise grammar and all that. And I wouldn’t know a grammar if it came up and gave me a blow job. But I do have a certain style: may be a good one, may be a bad one, but there is one (and yes, I do get sick with envy at, in the UK at present, Owen, Boris, Rod Liddle, it’s not the what but the how is instantly recognisable).

Now read this piece by the writer who doesn’t get paid very much very often. And recall this has been through US newspaper style editing.

Yes, I’m a bitch, but….

Yes, Owen Jones is an idiot

More than seven in 10 of Britain’s top military brass had parents with the means to send them to private schools;

The military tends to run in families. People who are in the military get an allowance, from their employer the government, to send their kids to public (for non-UK types, private) schools. Thus is the incidence of the privately educated in the Armed Forces explained, not by inherited wealth.

Ya think?

When you ask people to judge the similarities between heterosexual couples and their parents from photos, a fascinating picture emerges.
Women tend on average to pick partners whose faces look a bit like their fathers’, while men often choose partners who slightly resemble their mothers.
Resemblance doesn’t stop at faces – you can also see subtle similarities on average between partner and parent height, hair colour, eye colour, ethnicity and even the degree of body hair.

Humans tend to pick in tribe over out tribe?


Allow me to translate that for you

Channel 4 News economics editor Paul Mason is leaving for a freelance career to escape the constraints of impartiality rules governing broadcasters.

Mason told the Guardian he had been delighted with his time at Channel 4, but wanted to use journalism to explore the themes he has written about in his book PostCapitalism: A Guide to Our Future.

He said: “I don’t disagree with the impartiality rules as, without them, TV as well as the press would be completely Tory. But I think that I have been working under those rules for 15 years now and, with my book becoming fairly influential in a space that I would describe as the left of social democracy, I feel the time has come.”

My book’s selling and a TV contract won’t allow me to peddle this shite. On the unacceptable grounds that they demand that my economics, as economics editor, make some contact with reality. So, I’m off.