What’s this despite?

Nigel Farage added nearly £400,000 last year to the coffers of a company that has acted as a repository for the former Ukip leader’s earnings from media appearances and the lecture circuit.

Despite claiming in 2017 that he was “skint”, filings to Companies House suggest the picture may have changed in the period since he stepped down as leader.

Thorn in the Side Ltd, of which Farage is the sole director, had assets of £548,573 for the year to May 2018 – a substantial jump from assets of just over £157,000 recorded for the previous year.

He’s skint, he goes to work and earns some money. What’s this “despite” then?

We can test this contention

Fake lesbians on film: will audiences only watch women if they’re in bed together?

We have a genre of film making which is rather more ruthlessly capitalist even than Hollywood. Most of the actors in it are not lesbians although there’s often enough some faking of it. Lesbian porn is popular among the viewers, yes.

People have been known to watch Anne Hathaway keep her clothes on – to remark on those pointy elbows – so the only is not true. But fewer might be supported.


Interesting times. Despite the likelihood of a delay, I might still be holding casting calls for that celebratory marching band come March 29. The best bet is that delay will happen, but all that will enable is to delay having to reach the decision that no one can agree on. The important thing to realize being that normally in politics when there’s no agreement, nothing happens. But we’ve already got baked into the system that we leave with no deal if no changes are made. But that requires that agreement, which there isn’t one of.

For those with a clever solution, please mail it posthaste to Number 10 Downing St., SW1, London. For everyone else, there’s popcorn.

Slightly career limiting, don’t you think?

Devereux is wrong. His proposal is just another example of a neoliberal fantasist’s unicorn approach to policy making: suggesting an ideal that is great in an Oxford paper that has not the slightest shred of evidence that it could ever be of benefit to the world at large.

I would hope we had enough experience of the believers in unicorns to kick such ideas into touch by now.

This isn’t what misogyny means love

Quiz time! Put your calculators away, please, I have a maths problem designed to test every inch of your natural intelligence. Ready? Here we go: Pete Davidson is a 25-year-old comedian. He is dating Kate Beckinsale, a 45-year-old actor. What’s their age difference?

Twenty years? Wrong. The correct answer, judging from popular responses, is: “Too many years to be acceptable”. While society takes older men hooking up with younger women for granted, we still seem to have a lot of hang-ups about women dating younger guys. There is a one-word explanation for this: misogyny.

Yes, obviously, sexual attraction moves in mysterious ways. Rather a lot of us like a nice pair of buns and all that. But it’s not really a hidden secret that men are attracted to nubility and women rather more to status. Human society only makes sense if we can agree upon those as tendencies at least.

That human society then goes on to assume these are universals, rather than the tendencies they are, is not misogyny.

What talent was the show about?

A sex scandal swirling around South Korea’s K-pop industry has deepened after a singer and TV celebrity admitted he had secretly filmed himself having sex with women and sharing the footage online without their consent.

Jung Joon-young, who rose to fame after coming second in a TV talent show,

Can Rocco enlighten us?

Hmm, yes, well

Infertility could increase the chance of cancer in mid-life by almost a fifth, research suggests.

The reporting here, actually quite good.

But the four-year study of women who were in their 30s when monitoring began, found that those who suffered infertility problems were 18 per cent more likely to develop any type of cancer during the period.

Researchers stressed that the overall risk of cancer at this stage in life remained low.

Overall, those with fertility problems had an absolute risk of 2 per cent, compared with that of 1.7 per cent among other women.


However, I wonder.

During the follow-up period there were 1,310 cancers diagnosed among the infertile women and 53,116 among the control group of women who were not infertile.

Breast cancer was the most common cancer in both groups.

The single largest risk factor for breast cancer is – I think I recall at least – not having brought a child to term and then nursed it.

So, I wonder, I wonder If we run this again with the infertile – presumably, those with no children – against the fertile but exclude those who already have children?

Oh dear

It appears that no radio station has asked Ritchie to come on and discuss the Spring Statement:

This will not happen of course. He will talk about all he proposes. And never will a Chancellor have spoken so purposelessly. He has no clue whether anything he says will be delivered. Less still does he know if he will be Chancellor. Or even be in government.

As such I will, by and large, be treating the event with the contempt it deserves.


Wait, seriously? This is actually a real news report?

Absolutely nothing has changed,” says Rashid, a young asylum seeker on his own in Britain who was among the people who met the UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, when he visited the UK in November. “I am still living on £5 a day, struggling with travel, struggling with food, struggling with making friends. I thought that was going to be changed to something like £50 a day, but I am still hoping and waiting for change. I don’t know what I have to do.”

We’re to run the economy according to the delusions of children now?

How vulgar

More than 3,500 bankers in the UK are paid more than €1m (£850,000) a year, according to pay and bonus details published by the European Banking Authority.


Luke Hildyard, the director of the High Pay Centre, called for reform of the banking industry. “Much of the revenue used to pay these rather vulgar sums of money

That use of vulgar is so revealing, isn’t it? That British disdain for trade…..

Err, yes

Lone viewers of pornography become accustomed to being fully in control of their sexual experience – which again, says Faulkner, “isn’t replicated in the real world”. Being faced with a real, complicated human being, with needs and insecurities, could be deeply off-putting.

In online forums dedicated to porn-induced erectile dysfunction (PIED), tens of thousands of young men share their struggles to stop using pornography, their progression from soft porn to hardcore and the barriers they face in forming real-life romantic and sexual relationships. It is hard to prove outright that pornography causes ED, but these testimonies replicate findings from the clinical literature: that if men can kick their porn habit, they start to recover their ability to become aroused by real-life intimacy.

Young men who wank themselves into insensibility ddon’t subsequently get hard ones.

When they stop the self-manipulation they do.

Astonishing finding really, dontcha’ think?

This is cool

With their enormous shaggy torsos and long curved tusks, the imposing creatures last walked on earth during the Ice Age.

Fast forward thousands of years and the woolly mammoth may once again make an appearance on this planet – after Japanese scientists claim to have taken a “significant step” towards bringing the long-extinct animals back to life.

Researchers extracted bone marrow and muscle tissue from the remains of a mammoth named Yuka, who has lain frozen in Siberian permafrost for more than 28,000 years.

No idea whether the sciencey bit here is accurate. But it would be cool, wouldn’t it?

And wouldn’t it be even better if they were able to do it with the pygmy types of elephant, rhino and so on? Sadly, they won’t, as they tended to be on islands that were rather warmer, like Malta etc. But, still, would be fun.

A slightly different questions. Mammoths are more closely related to Asian elephants than African elephants are to Asian. And something I don’t know, can Asian and African cross breed? So, are we really talking about different species?

Collapsing from inherent contradictions

Corporation tax has three purposes. One is to protect the income tax base from attack. The second is to tax capital, which by and large it does, making it a rare tax as a result. And third, it is a tax that should be used to apportion taxable benefits to those locations where value is added in the global supply chains that benefit us all.

Corporation tax isn’t – solely at least – incident upon capital, that’s the very problem with it.

But OK, suppose it is. Thus the tax will be incident upon where the capital is, and so it should be, not upon where the value add is. For it’s the capital adding the value, that’s why the return is to the capital.


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Well, yes, they’re animals

A Peak District farmer has been forced to give up his “gentle” highland cattle after a single dog walker complained that they felt unsafe around the herd.

Alex Birch, 32, has roamed his 27-strong herd on Baslow Edge in the Peak District for 40 years, ever since his grandfather David Thorp first introduced them to the land as a young man.

Walkers in the national park regularly encountered the red-haired cattle, described as “the most photographed cows in the world”, as they grazed on the bracken.

They were even the face of BBC Look North’s weather programme.

But ramblers cannot find the animals on Baslow Edge anymore, as Mr Birch has been forced to sell and slaughter his cattle following a complaint to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) from an anonymous dog walker.

The complaint stressed concern after a walker claimed that one of the highland cows attempted to attack their dog.

One complaint about maybe an attempt?


One thing I don’t know. Is this private land? Or a commons?

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Hmm, well, you know

But let’s be clear: if, as I think, at least 10% of the UK economy is unrecorded (and this is what all peer-reviewed evidence suggests) and much of this is identified by non-recording consumption, then this cannot be done by the wealthy alone. They are wealthy, but they could not fail to record so much of what they spend without the active connivance of hundreds of thousands and quite likely millions of others who are in receipt of that spending and who would not declare it to HMRC. More plausibly, the non-recorded spend and non-recorded income is spread right across the economy and anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear knows that to be true. The builder, cleaner, coach, and trader taking unrecorded cash are all part of this problem, as are countless others. They are not wealthy. Many, I know, may just be trying to make ends meet. But they all break the law. And they all contribute to the tax gap. And they all undermine a fair tax system, and honest taxpayers.

Unless Labour acknowledges this it will allocate resources to the wrong issues when seeking tax justice.

And it will not direct enough resources to HMRC to put matters right.

It will also not ask the right questions about how to correct the income distribution.

If all the first is true then your estimates of the income distribution are wrong, aren’t they?