Does England actually have any Roma?

A little it here:

A time bomb’: how social tensions are rising in a corner of northern England
Roma and British Pakistani communities are increasingly divided over problems of crime, litter and antisocial behaviour


Eighty miles away in Liverpool, Gill Furniss made plans to leave the Labour party conference, missing Jeremy Corbyn’s speech. As the local MP, she could see that the fight had the potential to reignite long-running tensions in Page Hall – especially if, as chatter at the school gate suggested, the fight had begun when a Roma girl pulled off the headscarf of a Muslim classmate.

Roma. Now, I’ve worked in Czech where there are a lot or Roma. Here in Portugal there’re quite a few – had a little horse fair at the end of the road a few weeks back. Here there’re still those living out of the back of a cart etc.

The thing is, does England actually have Roma?

Travellers, sure, the Irish kind of which have been shown to be a little different from the average Irish population but not much. But actual Roma? North Indian genetic stock and all that? Migration across Europe in the past couple of thousands years? Entirely different language group etc?

I don’t know which is why I ask youse guys.

Power, profit, moves to the thing in short supply. Always

Men have the power in ballet:

Boal knows other women with stories to tell, but they are too afraid that speaking up will negatively affect their careers. The risk of making waves feels especially great for female dancers because though the ballet world is populated mainly by women, it is dominated by men.

“We women are a dime a dozen, and there are a bunch of 14-year-olds coming up,” Boal said.

Boys in ballet hold the power from a young age. Studios are eager to recruit them, teachers are excited to train them, and female classmates know they need to get close to them.

Yes, that’s what happens.

Equally, when there’s lots of capital and not much labour then wages rise. Returns to capital are high in places with little of it. This is just how things work. Diamonds are rare therefore they’re expensive, seawater, you often enough pay to have it taken away there’s so much of it.


Apparently 1 in 200 are paedophiles

The viewing of indecent images of children is so prevalent that people probably know someone within their circle who does it, Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner said today.

Human society tends to be organised in over lapping groups of the 200 known to any one specific person. Thus if everyone knows one then incidence will be around that one in two hundred – 0.5%.

Which does seem extraordinarily high, about the same as the claimed incidence of trans, isn’t it?

If we include hebephiles, ephebephiles etc, then perhaps but actual paedophiles?

The law is what the law is

And that’s entirely fine. But there is something, well, something, about this:

A gay sauna has found itself in an equality row after asking a transgender man without a penis to leave their nude bath house.

The, nude bath house describes itself as “sex friendly” so, it’s that sort of gay bath house, not a bath house that happens to cater to a gay clientele. Which is, some might think, where gomadal arrangements become the important distinction. BTW, the place is only licenced for “men”.

The bit that really amuses:

The 26-year-old, whose identity is unknown, attempted to use the sauna with a friend on Monday night before another customer informed staff that “a woman was using the venue”.

With racism etc, it’s how other people feel that defines, not the person doing the doing. Under that definition that’s a woman therefore. Alternatively, if gender is self-defined then why isn’t racism?

Agitprop doesn’t pay like it used to

When I was a teenager, older relatives hustled me off to summer jobs with tales of paying for college by working summers at the local grocery store. By contrast, my wife and I will start paying for our kids’ college expenses before we finish paying off our own student loans. Last year, I had three side jobs alongside my full-time position at a thinktank. That’s how we afford to save (and pay for emergencies). If a straight white guy like me has to grind like this to reach – and stay in – the middle class, know that it’s much more difficult for folks with fewer privileges.

Both he and his wife are paying off graduate school loans.

Conor P Williams is a fellow at the Century Foundation, a progressive thinktank.

Maybe a different job might help?

Too drunk to fly

Sometimes we see pieces about pilots being “over the limit” without there being clear explanation of the manner in which this is over the limit to fly, not to drive. The flying limit being about a half pint of standard beer or so. A proper dalliance with the stewardesses the night before sorta level.

But this?

A pilot has admitted being almost 10 times over the alcohol limit shortly before a flight from Heathrow, police said.

Katsutoshi Jitsukawa was arrested at the airport after failing a breath test just 50 minutes before Japan Airlines (JAL) flight JL44 to Tokyo was due to take off with him in the cockpit.

The Japanese broadcaster NHK reported that the driver of a crew bus alerted police after smelling alcohol on the pilot. The flight was operated by a Boeing 777 aircraft, which holds up to 244 passengers.

A Metropolitan police spokesman said Jitsukawa pleaded guilty to exceeding the alcohol limit at Uxbridge magistrates court on Thursday.

Tests revealed he had 189mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood in his system, almost 10 times the 20mg limit for a pilot. The drink-drive limit in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is 80mg.

Yes, that’s too drunk to fly.

Rather fun

To be able to make this point again.

It is true that I don’t – as you may well have realised – share Owen Jones’s vision of what the good society would be. But if he wants us to be more Nordic, it really does mean we should become entirely the opposite of everything Jones urges — radically free market, capitalist and near entirely fiscally devolved societies. I’d still object to the tax rates but bring on the rest, quite frankly.

The value of gradually acquiring new places to write, leaving old ones behind perhaps, is that the few greatest hits as logical or propaganda points can be rolled out again in new clothes and guises. They also develop a little. It is, for example, only recently that I found out this:

However that misses the point that underneath those taxes, the Scandinavians are more free market, even more capitalist, than we are or even the US is. Their corporations are indeed more efficient – because they are deliberately structured to not just emphasise but exalt the shareholder interest.

Isn’t it odd that the literature does indeed state that the Nordic corporate board system is “most efficient” while no one at all recommends that we should all be using it?

To City University


Thank you for your kind inquiry as to whether I would be interested in your vacancy for a Professor of Practice in International Political Economy. I understand that the pay rate is that of a Senior Lecturer. Given that I have no teaching experience nor no known ability at such I should be able to take up the reins of the previous incumbent without too much difficulty.

I do though have what might be a major concern. I actually know something about international, political and economy, having had an international business career for some decades, been intimately involved in party politics and fought more than one election, plus a known and demonstrable knowledge of economics. Even my predecessor in the post on offer has agreed with that last point despite his disliking the flavour of my opinions built upon that knowledge. I do need to reassure myself that knowing something of the subjects under discussion is not going to disqualify me from your detailed consideration for the post.

I should also ask whether the vermine comes with the post or is that something I should try to organise separately?

Your etc.

A. Applicant.


A year today I must either have a new job, be self-employed again, or for the first time in my life be unemployed. That is because my contract at City, University of London, expires on 31 October 2019 when the EU funded Horizon 2020 project that funds my current employment ends. There is very limited prospect of securing a similar source of funding in the UK at present because of Brexit. The consequence is I am already beginning to think about what I might do.

And we’re told there are no benefits to Brexit?


I have to take exception to this as a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, which is also a regulator. If a member firm wants to quit a market it is not the ICAEW’s job to defend that firm’s commercial interests. Its job is to act in the public interest. And if there is no market-based solution to auditing in the future, so be it. The ICAEW should recognise that and not seek to support the unsustainable retention of a private monopoly that has not met the public interest test, but has secured significant wealth for a few.

Competition quitting a market proves it’s a monopoly already.

Pleasuring the Google News Algo

So, tech gurus out there. Anyone got any guides to pleasuring the Google News algo?

Story selection by them. A year back I had a pretty good idea of what interested them, got them to pick up a story. Now, not so sure. But now I nee to know again.

so, any guides out there? Any thoughts on what they do like to showcase, put on the front page?

I do actually know two people at Google but neither work on News…..

That shows me then

The launch of a shingles vaccine and delays to copycat versions of a blockbuster helped Glaxosmithkline to achieve strong quarterly results.

Revenue at Britain’s biggest pharmaceuticals company rose by 6 per cent to £8.1 billion and pre-tax profit by 5 per cent to £1.7 billion in the third quarter.

Trading was boosted by sales of Shingrix, the shingles vaccine, in the United States

Shingles vaccine?

But shingles is just chicken pox coming back, isn’t it?

Well, obviously enough, not, but then that’s why no one does get their medical treatment from me.

Suppose so really

Affordable housing residents in a new enclave of 3,400 homes are being prevented from using a luxury swimming pool and gymnasium, which are being kept for the exclusive use of private owners and renters.

Residents paying taxpayer-subsidised rents at Royal Wharf in the London borough of Newham have complained they are victims of segregation because they will not have access to a state-of-the-art clubhouse that neighbours who own or rent privately will enjoy.

Homes in the complex on the north bank of the Thames sell for up to £1.2m but 243 apartments have been made available to people on lower incomes at 60% of market rent as part of a flagship scheme by the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, to try to fix the capital’s housing crisis.

Up to about 500 residents are affected and some have branded the decision unfair because it appeared to discriminate against them because they were less well-off than the other people at the estate.

Yes, this is discrimination against you. Just as the decision to offer you subsidised housing is discrimination in favour of you.

Swings and roundabouts really, isn’t it.

Well done Zoe, well done

In talking about French Presidents Zoe Williams gives us this:

You would think it would be really easy to govern a country and have a high-functioning relationship, since all of those problems that regularly capsize a marriage – infidelity, addiction, debt, yoga – you wouldn’t have time for anyway, unless you were a leader from the 1970s.

Can anyone recall a French President who didn’t have the time for infidelity?