September 2016

Tax incidence!

‘Make property sellers pay stamp duty’


Stamp duty should be paid by the seller of a home rather than the buyer to give a boost to those trying to get on to the property ladder, the Yorkshire Building Society has suggested.

The mortgage lender said that the move would make first-time buyers entirely exempt from the tax burden, saving an average of £3,791 in England and £13,171 in London.

Err, but….

Yorkshire Building Society believes that the reform would increase the number of transactions by 16,000 in the first year, including 6,000 more houses bought by first-time buyers.

This is based on the expectation of a 2 per cent increase in transactions after the overhaul, similar to the effect of the stamp duty holiday in 2009. That was introduced in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis amid the cooling of the property market.

No, who writes the checque changing is not the same as a tax not existing.

Mr McPhillips said there was a risk that those selling would simply increase their asking prices to take account of in the higher stamp duty, but argued that there was “no real incentive” for people to do so. “Yes, you are having to pay the stamp duty on the property you are selling, but it is less than the one you are buying, so in a net change you are better off.”



Incredible drone footage shows the Church of Scientology’s secretive ‘Gold Base’ HQ – complete with a special gym, suite and full-sized theater just for Tom Cruise

Wouldn’t he fit into a half sized one?

Now they’re banning an ad about freedom of speech

An advert for an Enid Blyton giftshop tea towel featuring a golliwog clutching a pint of ginger beer has been banned by advertising bosses.

The Ginger Pop store advert, which was taken out in a local paper in June this year, was banned because it would likely cause “serious or widespread offence”, the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) said.

It comes after the store, which is based at the foot of the 11th century Corfe Castle in Dorset, where the author visited in 1940 while on holiday, was disqualified from a window dressing competition when owner Viv Endecott covered the window of her shop with the tea towels.

The advert, which was published after the disqualification, invited residents to buy one of the tea towels, which Ms Endecott designed herself.

The towels show a golliwog in the centre surrounded by various words such as “freedom of speech” and “political correctness gone mad”. “English Freedom” is also written in capital letters directly underneath the golliwog.

And yes, we really do get this:

Adnan Choudry, the chief officer of Dorset Race Equality Council, said in June: “Golliwogs don’t just offend black people, they’re offensive to people of any race.

“People used them as a means to abuse black people in the 1970s and 1980s – people still remember those days.

“I thought we had all moved on but obviously not. I have had dealings with her in the past – I have told her my opinion, that they should not be sold, but goes on selling them.”

Your opinion is that they should not be sold. Her opinion, and that of her customers, is that it’s just fine to go on selling them.

And guess what? You can fuck off because we don’t ban things based upon your opinion.

Well, he’s got a point

An arguable one at least:

Anewly elected member of Berlin’s regional parliament once described Winston Churchill as a “war criminal”, it has emerged.

Ronald Gläser of the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party accused Churchill of responsibility for 50m deaths.

Obviously not responsible for the whole thing and I would assume that Ronnie here is being more than a bit of a dick. But certainly some of Churchill’s decisions could be argued to be war crimes. Myself I’d generally put it down to “war is hell” and thank the lord the correct side won. But some of those decisions are a bit iffy.

I find this amusing

The cases include two instances of an auditor and a senior manager in the audit client getting intimate. When the most basic rule of auditing is independence you have to wonder how far professional ethics have fallen when firstly the auditors in question let these situations continue and secondly others did not intervene to effect changes.

Superficially this look like a minor issue; actually it’s about an environment in which the most basic of rules are not complied with. And that’s worrying.

This from the bloke who goes dating at Quaker meetings.

I don’t think I want to eat in this restaurant


An Australian restaurant promising to recapture the “stylish days” of the British empire’s “developing cultures of the world” has been criticised amid claims it is romanticising colonial rule.

British Colonial Co, a bar and restaurant in Brisbane, marketed itself as “inspired by the stylish days of the empirical push into the developing cultures of the world, with the promise of adventure and modern refinement in a safari style setting”.

Not a bad idea – one friend insists that the reason for the Empire was that everyone went off looking for something edible for lunch.


In a statement, the restaurant’s owners said they were proud of the brand and upset and saddened by the negative attention.

“British Colonial Co was founded on the principles of providing Brisbane foodies with relaxed, casual dining,” a spokeswoman said in a statement provided to AAP.

“We believe that our decor and menu has great synergy with Brisbane’s climate and the expansive palette of our clientele, who are looking for a melting pot of food and beverages to enjoy in a relaxed atmosphere.”

I don’t think I want to eat in a place which doesn’t know the difference between palette and palate.

Frogs on holiday

A Frenchman has gone on a frustrated rampage in a tiny New Zealand fishing village after he spent four days waiting for a hitchhiking ride.

The 27-year-old Frenchman arrived in the west coast settlement of Punakaiki, home to just 70-full-time residents, late last week.

According to New Zealand police the man spent four days attempting to hitchhike south.

On the fourth day after no one had picked him up he went “berserk”, allegedly attacking the Welcome to Punakaiki sign with a rock, abusing motorists and throwing other road signs into the local river.

“Oh he threw an absolute hissy fit; he was lying prone on the road screaming that New Zealanders were assholes and he couldn’t wait to get back to Europe,” says local Neil Mouat, who eventually called police after an elderly fisherman “had words” with him, and Mouat feared the altercation could turn violent.

“He was a spoilt millennial, and he created a hell of a din. But all that time he was standing in the wrong place to hitchhike – a corner with poor visibility and nowhere for cars to easily pull over.”

West coast senior sergeant Paul Watson said the man had been hitchhiking around New Zealand for some time and become “enraged” when his travels abruptly halted in the minute settlement of Punakaiki, which has no grocer or corner shop and only basic public facilities.
“That road sees a bit of traffic but this man had no joy, I suspect because of his aggressive behaviour. He also told us he hadn’t eaten for two days so that could have contributed to him losing the plot.”

Nah, it’s just that he’s French

Quelle surprise

Students at some of the UK’s most prestigious universities ‘live in crime hotspots where violence, sex offences and robberies are highest’
Students at the LSE are among the most likely to live in a crime hotspot

We could of course say that students cause crime – but beyond a bit of drunk and disorderly, few spliffs and a bit of leering that’s not really true.

But students are poor and poor areas have more crime…..

Err, yes Pippa

She was widely ridiculed for her debut book – a collection of painfully obvious top tips for party-planning.

Now Pippa Middleton, the sister of the Duchess of Cambridge has risked further mockery by admitting she has not tested all the recipes in her new healthy cookery book herself.

Still, at least she appears to have read it, which is more than Naomi Campbell did with her novel (s?)

Well, yes…..

Just time to pop to Marks & Spencer to try out its Empire Pie, a sort of Indian version of shepherd’s pie. I will be buying one a week from now on.

I hadn’t heard of Empire Pie until the screeching leftie historian Louise Raw condemned it for glorifying the oppression of millions under the jackboot heel of British colonialism. Ban this fascist pie, etc.

I think it’s fair to say not everyone who responded to Raw’s comments thought she was sane — not least the man who said he would boycott tartar sauce out of respect for those murdered by Genghis Khan’s hordes.

Who knew that the world worked this way?

It seems to be the most unlikely combination: a computer nerd coupling up with one of the world’s most beautiful women? But Miranda Kerr, who recently announced her engagement to Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel, is by no means first on the scene – the trend for dating geeks was started by actress Talulah Riley, who has married and divorced tech billionaire Elon Musk twice.
Following their most recent split earlier this year, Musk has been spotted with former Mrs Johnny Depp Amber Heard. Even tennis star Serena Williams was rumoured to be getting in on the act, dating Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. We take a look at the so-called founder-hounders and their prize partners…

The good looking women of their generation end up with the rich young men of their generation.

True, what’s “rich” changes over the years and millennia, but the behaviour seems to persist.

Erm, yes, well, Telegraph?

So, talking about shipping. And the lead part is about Hanjin and container shipping.

Which they illustrate with a chart of dry bulk and crude carrier rates – the other two part of the market.

Doesn’t get better:

Before the recession, tanker freight rates were in the region of $45 a metric tonne, according to the information provider S&P Global Platts. Over this past summer the rate averaged just $9 a metric tonne, and it slipped below $5 a tonne the day Hanjin folded.

No, really, just no. It never did cost $9 million to rent a 200k tonne tanker. Not for any trip anywhere. And it doesn’t cost $1.8 million now.

I think our journalist might have got confused between the day rate and the per tonne rate.

Tee Hee

A Syrian rebel accidentally blew himself and his comrades up while taking a selfie with a phone possibly connected to a bomb, the media reported on Friday.

The 30-second clip shows eight men from the Free Syrian Army gathering around a camera. They were sitting in front of a rebel flag as they sing into a microphone, with two rifles propped up in front of them.

The unverified footage then showed one of the men picking up a phone and holding it up to take a picture of him and the other rebels, the reported.

A clicking noise can be heard moments before a sudden blast rocks the room, with flames and smoke obscuring the camera’s view.

Well, yes….

While some criticised what they saw as a case of cultural appropriation, Jacobs said he saw only people, not their race. “[To] all who cry ‘cultural appropriation’ or whatever nonsense about any race or skin colour wearing their hair in any particular style or manner – funny how you don’t criticise women of colour for straightening their hair,” the designer said.

Still, there are those who need to be told to fuck off:

And they attacked his comparison with the attitudes towards people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds straightening their hair. The pressure many feel to do so is in itself a form of racism, they argued.

One Instagram user, whose handle was king.kourtt, wrote: “Saying ‘I don’t see colour’ is honestly just a way of avoiding the obvious issue at hand. Racism and culture appropriation so exist! By avoiding the problem you are the problem. Please remember that. By having these conversations, in a respectful manner of course, we can turn this situation into a positive learning opportunity.”

Fuck right off that is.