Tim Worstall

Aha. Aha. Ahahahahaha

So, what about interest? The Bank of England is putting up rates as fast as it can and is determined to leave rates as high as possible. Its obvious goal is to create long term positive real interest rates for the first time since pre-2008. Suppose rational businesses have noticed this and are putting up their costs to cover these anticipated interest cost increases, which are a major part of their expenditure? Interest costs account for 30% of the income of water companies, for example, although they are a bit extreme. For business to do this would be entirely rational.

For businesses to be able to put up their prices means they have pricing power. Capitalists are greeddy so if they have the ability to put up their prices then they will put up their prices, whatever their cost base. That is, if this was possible then prices would already have risen whatever happens to interest rates.

That is, also, Spudnomics is bollocks. But we knew that.

You know what? I bet he hasn’t thought this through

Sir Keir Starmer will announce plans to block all new North Sea oil and gas developments and limit borrowing to green investment only as part of a radical blueprint to make Britain a “clean energy superpower”.

The Labour leader is expected to set out his net zero energy policy when he launches his latest “national mission” in Scotland next month. It will include a pledge to ban all new North Sea oil and gas licences, signalling a seismic shift in decades of UK energy policy.

Decommissioning costs. That’s what’ll kill this.

Back when the oil companies all knew that they should save some money to pay for decommissioning fields at their end of life. Tearing down the rigs etc.

Government said bollocks, we want the cash now. So, oil companies paid their taxes and didn’t save. Because the government deal was that you can have the tax repaid when you do have to decommission. The tax paid instead of saving for decommissioning, that is.

OK, so a lot of that decommissioning is now happening or is about to. The burden on the Treasury is substantial. And the new oil fields only just starting to pay tax are what pays those taxes back in those decommissioning costs.

Don’t have the new fields starting up and there’s going to be an awful hole in the Treasury accounts. Because, of course, they’ve already spent that oil tax money that now needs to be repaid.

I would bet good money that there’s someone in the Treasury, right now, trying to alert Starmer and Reeves to this little problemette. Whether they’ll even understand it when it’s explained is another thing.


No, really, it is:

Harvesting electricity from the air
Dr Yao said: “What we realised after making the Geobacter discovery is the ability to generate electricity from the air – what we then called the ‘Air-gen effect’ – turns out to be generic.

“Literally any kind of material can harvest electricity from air – as long as it has a certain property.

“It just needs to have holes smaller than 100 nm (nanometers) – or less than a thousandth of the width of a human hair.”

This is because of a parameter known as the “mean free path” – the distance a single molecule of water travels in air before it bumps into another.

The researchers found they could design an electricity harvester based around this number made from a thin layer of material filled with nanopores smaller than 100nm.

New possibilities
They would let water molecules pass from the upper to the lower part of the material.

Each pore is so small they would easily bump into the edge as they pass through – meaning the upper part would be bombarded with many more charge-carrying water molecules than the lower.

It creates a charge imbalance, like those found in a cloud, as the upper part increased its charge relative to the lower part, creating a battery.


And now the question not answered here. How much? Sure, a cloud can produce lightning and that’s a lot. But clouds are also pretty big. So, how much usable power can we get here? Inswhatever it is we use to measure power, watts, amps, grannies or stones?

Chesterton’s Fence

The next time you pick up a Mars bar something might feel different – it will be wrapped in paper rather than plastic.

The new environmentally friendly packaging will remind older fans of how the bars were sold until 1977

So, why did they move from paper to plastic?

We can’t decide on this new move until we know that, can we?

Plastic keeps out moisture and air much better than paper, and keeps chocolate fresh for years.


It is understood that ITV executives are now likely to face questions over their handling of the matter from the Commons Media, Culture and Sport Committee on June 6.

Dame Caroline Dinenage, its chairman, said: “It will be interesting to know who knew what and when at ITV and This Morning”.

Media luvvies having a shag really is not a matter for government or even politics to investigate. It’s media luvvies having a shag.

The real interest rate

Expectations are that matters will get much worse still: markets are speculating that bank base rates might now reach 5.5% by the end of this year, which will deliver an almost unprecedented (in recent history) positive interest rate as a consequence of the Bank of England base rate exceeding the inflation rate.

This is the man who insists we should all save for our pensions in bonds and gilts, right? And seems to think that the country should also have negative real interest rates.

The two are not, not exactly, consistent with each other.

Well, yes, this is true

The Bank of England sold £24.8 billion of bonds in the first three months of this year just to force up interest rates

As we said back 15 years. The aim of buying gilts with new money was to force down interest rates. As inflation reappears – which it will, at some point – the bank will sell those gilt, collect the money and cancel it. This will force up interest rates.

The Great Tater of course welcomed the printing of money. Then insisted that QE would never be reversed. Because of this insistence that it would never be reversed he’s spent the last decade shouting that the BoE is lying about the size of the public debt.

Oh, right.

Yes, but, yes, but

The introduction of the post-Brexit health and safety quality mark has been described by the chief executive of the Fire Industry Association as a farce that “makes absolutely zero sense”.

Ian Moore, who leads the trade body for fire safety in the UK, said replacing the European Union’s CE mark with the UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) mark “makes zero difference to increasing the quality of the products”. He added: “It doesn’t add any value whatsoever; it’s just bureaucracy and will cost the fire industry millions of pounds.”

The association represents more than a thousand UK manufacturers of fire safety equipment, most of which are small and medium-sized enterprises.

The government postponed the introduction of the post-Brexit product safety regime for a third time at the end of last year, giving businesses until the end of 2024 to replace the EU’s CE mark.

Sure, that’s all true of the UKCA. But here’s the secret – it was all true of the CE before that. It’s a piece of bureaucratic paper. Fill out the form correctly, pay the fee, get the mark. That’s it and that’s all it ever has been.

It’s all only ever been tossery.

It’s worse than this, much worse

Callers trying to beat the deadline for topping up their pensions are being ignored and cut off

Savers are struggling to plug gaps in their national insurance record to boost their state pension because government telephone lines keep cutting out.

We haven’t even been able to get a response (to a registered letter) asking for aid in tracking down a lost NI number. Despite the promise being a response in 10 days.

That’s before we even get to the point that the pension should have been in payment for 18 months – and isn’t – nor that we’d like to top it up.

Government is actually denying that there is even an NI number associated with the birth certificate, passport and drivers licence.

Fortunately we’re in a position where we can just shrug and accept that government has stolen the money. But the cunts are going to have to fight damn hard to get any more out of us.

Hope so

Is the green belt doomed? One of the great creations of postwar British planning – the concept of a national park within reach of every city-dweller – is fast losing friends.

Abolish the green belt. Now.

For here’s the effect of it.

That’s the slum housing on Whiteway in Bath. Chicken coops for the proles.

That’s Englishcombe, about 400 yards away.

The chicken coops are built because Englishcombe is part of the green belt.

The proles must live in hovels so that the middle classes can stare at a fucking field.

God I hate planners.

This is insane

The cheapest one-bedroom flats in the development – which is across the street from parliament and has views of the Thames – are on sale for £1.75m.

Studio apartments (estate agents’ new term for bedsits) that are significantly smaller than Agyekum’s one-bedroom flat are advertised to rent for more than £3,600 a month.

Agyekum’s rent is £862.42 a month. That’s because his flat is one of 13 “affordable homes” that Westminster city council required the developer, Berkeley Group, to provide for working Londoners under a section 106 agreement as condition of granting the planning application. There are nearly 200 apartments in total at the scheme.

Entirely, wholly, absolutely, fucking insane.

Even if you’re going to ding the developers for the cheap housing this is still insane. Sell the one bed for £1.75 million and buy 5 one beds 5 miles away. 5 times the housing, see?

Absolute insanity.

Hendon is a place on Earth

This, then, is how we were brought up, my older brother, Anthony, my younger sister, Tamara, and me. A Hendon childhood, buying records in Hounsom’s on Watford Way and stationery in Batty’s nearby; playing tennis and mini golf in Shirehall Park; going camping with the 7th Hendon Scout group; holidaying in British seaside towns and in cottages on windy moors; learning about British kings and queens; having Mum read us stories about Paddington and Winnie-the-Pooh.

My parents had a full social life but also a simple one — once a week or so, a couple of friends round for dinner or cake. The company they most enjoyed was each other’s. An evening in eating (inexplicably) boiled eggs in tinned curry sauce with rice; a morning trip setting off in the car to the coffee bar attached to the local supermarket. Suburban life.

Life after having survived the Holocaust, the Gulag, the Bloodlands.

I have a memory (doubtless edited, as memories always are) of Danny the Fink insisting that the British suburbs are indeed that heaven. Not that real heaven of unparalleled joy etc, but the apotheosis of the human experience at least. Simply because they are that petit bourgeois life where nothing very much – other than love, life, family, children – ever really happens.

Oi’l give tha’ a 364 out o’ 365 then

30 water treatment works released 11bn litres of raw sewage in a year, study suggests


Every day in the UK about 347,000 kilometres of sewers collect over 11 billion litres of waste water.

The system is 364 out of 365 efficient then. And getting it the next 12 hours efficient would probably cost 50% of the total cost of the system right not. Then the next 6 hours another 50% and so on. That’s just the way that marginal costs work…..

The question is never whether there will be shit in the rivers. It’s how much shit and how much are you willing to pay to have less? Oh, not that much? Well….

Spud’s inflation forecast

Britain will fall into recession by the end of this year or early next year, a top City investment chief has predicted, following the bond market turmoil.

Luke Hickmore, investment director at asset manager Abrdn, said the “real surprise” of rising core inflation in Britain’s economy would force the Bank of England into action on interest rates.

This in turn will lead to surging mortgage costs, which will put people’s incomes “under a lot of pressure”, he warned.

The prediction comes days after the IMF forecast that the UK will no longer suffer a recession this year.

Government borrowing costs have surged since data on Wednesday showed core inflation in the UK economy, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, increased to its highest level in 31 years to 6.8pc in April.

Markets are pricing in that the Bank of England could raise rates as high as 5.5pc by the end of the year, which has suppressed bond prices and sent the cost of Government borrowing surging.

Note that at that point we’d still have negative real interest rates.


Spud’s insistence that inflation is going to disappear because food and energy inflation are coming back down. Just shows how well grounded he is in basic monetary economics. The very reason we even have this concept of core inflation is because everyone knows that food and energy are highly volatile. So, sometime – sometimes – we strip them out so as to see what are the inflation rates looking like across that core of the economy.

For example, the Fed is known to use core PCE (personal consumption expenditure) as its target for that 2% goal. It did all through QE and near zero rates. To be consistent it probably should now, too, right?

To put this another way there is no “the” inflation rate. There are a number of different ways of measuring, each of wihch illustrates but does not define the phenomenon. The one central bankers actually worry about is core inflation (whether RPI, CPI, PCE or whatever). Because if we do get into a self-reinforcing inflationary spiral that’s where we’d see it.

The paucity of my religious knowledge

So, this other work I do then, slight change for Monday:

Knew about UK – “late may bank holiday” or summat, isn’t it? What used to be Whitsun – which I never knew what that was. But. US Memorial Day.

Pentecost tho’? Why the Scandis celebrating that?

Pentecost is one of the Great feasts in the Eastern Orthodox Church, a Solemnity in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, a Festival in the Lutheran Churches, and a Principal Feast in the Anglican Communion.

Ah, Lutherans. No Papists taking the day off tho’. Nor non-US colonials.


Umm, wasn’t this out for ages?

Phillip Schofield has admitted having an affair with a much younger man who worked with him on This Morning and resigned from ITV over his lies about the relationship.

The television presenter, 61, issued a statement on Friday night in which he admitted the relationship was “unwise” but then stressed it was “not illegal”. The career of one of ITV’s most bankable stars may now be over, 38 years after he first appeared on British TV screens.

Schofield dramatically stepped down as presenter of ITV’s flagship daytime programme last week amid reports of a feud with his co-star Holly Willoughby.

On Friday night, he said he was “deeply sorry” for having lied to his wife and to ITV about his relationship with a young man reportedly 30 years his junior and who he first met as a teenager.

But he said the affair – which he described as “on-off” – had only begun once the young man began working on the ITV daytime show.

“Contrary to speculation, whilst I met the man when he was a teenager and was asked to help him to get into television, it was only after he started to work on the show that it became more than just a friendship,” said Schofield, adding: “That relationship was unwise, but not illegal. It is now over.”

I’m sure I recall reading about this back when we had that shreiking perfomance over “I’m gay!”.

Given the way the reporting works here it’s difficult to work out what the fuss is. Obvs, it’s not the gay bit. Which leaves us between the modern sins of either shagging the staff or lying about it.

So, this is an idea that should be kyboshed then

Lockdown measures could be imposed on the UK by the World Health Organisation (WHO) during a future pandemic under sweeping new powers, ministers fear.

Member states would be obliged to follow the agency’s instructions when responding to pandemics, including by introducing vaccine passports, border closures and quarantine measures, under a draft update to its regulations.

A new “pandemic treaty” under discussion would also force Britain to spend five per cent of its health budget on preparing for another virus outbreak.

Ministers are understood to be alarmed by plans to increase the WHO’s powers enabling its governing body to require countries to hand over the recipe of vaccines, regardless of intellectual property rights, and to counter misinformation.

This is, indeed, the imposition of world government. To which the correct response is a stout and robust “Fuck Off, Matey”

That also applies to anyone in Parliament who even dreams of voting for it. And presumably there were some of ours there who were part of the negotiations – lions with friggin’ lasers at the least.