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Tim Worstall

Because it is my idea, mine I tell ‘ee

Many organisations on the left of UK politics are now calling for wealth taxes. The Taxing Wealth Report 2024 does not do so. It is appropriate to explain why that is the case.

There’s really no other explanation. Spud has decided. Without bothering to read the literature – lots of bright people have devoted time and effort to understanding this area over the decades and centuries – and without bothering to bounce his conclusions off anyone else. But Spud has decided. Therefore his decisions is correct. And that’s just the way it is. And should be – according to Spud.

To suggest that he’s got to say something different in order to justify spending the Popham Trust’s money would be scurrilous. So, we won’t do that.

Not something I would advertise, really

A proud democratic socialist, she campaigned, in Britain and internationally, for justice and against poverty all her life.”

About Glenys.

A social democrat is a Polly, wanting us to be more like Sweden. A democratic socialist is a Leninist, running along Soviet or N Korean lines. I don;t make the rules here, that’s just what the phrases mean in English.

This is hardly news

Arthur Conan Doyle secretly resented his Sherlock Holmes creation, says historian

He killed him off so that he could stop writing about him after all.

Author blamed literary success of the fictional detective for his highbrow historical novels ‘lying unread’

Then brought him back as no one read his other guff anyway…..

Hark at the bastards

The Resolution Foundation. Blairite to Fabian-style regulators to a man:

The Foundation also called for a major planning shake-up, with the cost of planning applications now five times higher than in 1990.

“The outcomes are far too unpredictable, also holding back housing and badly needed energy infrastructure. In future, businesses submitting applications consistent with local plans should be automatically approved.”

They’ve cheered on, argued for, approved, every barnacle encrusting the economic ship of state. Now they think there should be a detailed plan for all building everywhere? And that only that which the concillors have already thought of may be built?

There is an alternative explanation possible here

France’s parliament is awash with drugs and alcohol as politicians struggle to cope with public life, an MP has revealed.

Caroline Janvier, MP for French president Emmanuel Macron’s Renaissance party, said the pressures of political life have led to a spike in the consumption of drugs and alcohol among some of her colleagues.

“There are evenings where drugs are circulated, just as there are dinners at the end of parliamentary sessions where alcohol is consumed excessively,” Ms Janvier said in an interview with Paris Match.

“Politics produces deviant behaviour.”

Which is that deviants go into politics. Or evem that normal people go into politicsi in order to have those late nights at the office where they can be deviant away from the wife.

After all, that intense insistence upon telling everyone else how to live their lives is pretty deviant, no?

Willy’s Hand Jive

The substance behind No 10’s inevitable refutation was so threadbare that it bordered on the comic. But then there is no better defence to hand. The prime minister, intoned his spokesman, did not think Brexit was in danger, trying to reinforce the point by declaring: “It’s through our Brexit freedoms that we are, right now, considering how to further strengthen our migration system. It is through our Brexit freedoms we are ensuring patients in the UK can get access to medicines faster, that there is improved animal welfare. That is very much what we are focused on.”

Is that it? Apart from the fact the claims are at best half-truths, at worst palpable falsehoods, as a muster of Brexit “freedoms” they fall devastatingly short of the promises made during the referendum campaign. Recall the economic and trade boom, a reinvigorated NHS, cheap food, controlled immigration and a reborn “global” Britain strutting the world. It’s all ashes – and had today’s realities been known in 2016, we would still be EU members.

The immediate collapse of Britain’s economy if we did leave also didn;t happen. Major proponent of disaster being Willy Hutton.

So, you know….

Those socialists do get all national, don’t they?

It is South America’s only English-speaking nation, home to the fastest-growing economy in the world. But now, just as vast oil discoveries are set to transform Guyana, a threat to its very existence looms from its troubled neighbour.

On Sunday, Venezuela is holding a national referendum calling on the population to declare support for a claim, going back more than a century, that two thirds of the landmass of modern Guyana should be absorbed by Venezuela.

The problem with socialism is that you always do run out of country to impose it upon…..

But net zero’s so cheap, save us all fortunes

Hundreds of thousands of homes across Britain will be in view of electricity pylons under a massive net zero expansion of the energy grid.

Three hundred towns and villages across rural England and Wales could be impacted by the thousands of electricity pylons needed to expand the National Grid to meet net zero targets, a government report has warned.

Oh Aye?

This is perfectly true

The world’s first tampons for men have been criticised by feminist campaigners as an “insult” to women who suffer period discrimination.

On another side of the packet it is stated that “periods are not a gender issue”.
Vuokkoset, a Finnish company released the controversial new sanitary product earlier this month to coincide with Transgender Awareness week and International Men’s day.

The product comes in a dark blue box which bears the words “For Men” on one side, but then extends this phrase around the packaging so it eventually reads “For Menstruation”.

Periods are not a gender issue, they’re a sex issue. As Transmen are in fact women then yes, menstruation – pace the drugs – is a possibility and so tampons, why not?

The nutters would be the ones marketing tampons to transwomen – and yes, those nutters do indeed exist. There’s even a brand which leaks fake blood to be really inclusive (no, really!).


End of second para – we should do what we want and damn the money.

End of final para – everyone else should work out how to find the money so we can continue to do what we want.

Not the way things work in a capitalist world really.

The best town in the world


There are caveats to Skerries’ anointment: Miller does not compare it to other towns in Ireland or elsewhere; his research skewed towards middle-class, older residents; interviewees cited binge-drinking, cocaine use, petty crime and other problems; others lamented the lack of a cinema, hotel or swimming pool.

The overall portrait is of a prosperous, forward-looking community humming with a love of sport – Gaelic football, hurling, rugby, cricket, bowling, sailing, karate, hockey, kitesurfing, sea swimming – plus arts, drama, bridge, bingo and environmental activism.

A thoroughly, overweeningly, totally, bourgeois town of 11,000 people. Almost certainly religiously, ethnically, monocultural.

Hmm. So how’s The Guardian going to spin that as being the finest place in the world to live? The way they’ve done it I guess, to entirely ignore the point.

Some numbers here for the constituency (a 20x sized area) and look at where the non white Irish are concentrated.

You know those folks who say the young are our future etc?

And that therefore the young should have more of a say – reduce the voting age etc?

Across the continent, the image of the radical-right voter – typically white, male, non-graduate and, above all, old – is changing, and studies suggest that in several countries, support for the far right is growing fastest among younger voters.

How much of that is predicated on old lefties assuming that the young vote left?

And will their calls change when they realise the truth?

Barking nutter

A government adviser has called for roads in cities to be “ripped out completely” to combat air pollution.

Dr Gary Fuller, a member of Defra’s air quality expert group, said that cities should instead be turned into “green spaces” where residents and children could relax and play free from pollution.

The Imperial College academic has been an independent reviewer of research that supported the expansion of London’s Ultra-Low Emission Zone.

His comments came in a talk to Brighton residents about measures to combat the 29,000 to 43,000 people dying early each year in the UK as a result of nitrogen dioxide and particulate pollution.

Now, whether he actually quite sauid that is another matter. But it’s entirely possible. For most Single Issue Fanatics never do bother to think in the round. How many would starve without roads to transport the food for example?


Weather warnings are in place across the UK as temperatures plunged below freezing overnight.

Snow hit parts of London on Friday and the icy conditions are forecast to continue throughout the weekend. It comes after temperatures plunged to their lowest since March.

Aren’t we now three or four years past the no snow ever again event?

MacGowan’s gone

And as his obit makes clear, no one thought he’d last this long.

But here’s the big surprise:

Shane MacGowan, singer and songwriter, was born on December 25, 1957. He died of viral encephalitis on November 30, 2023, aged 65

The booze and the drugs won’t have helpe4d, obviously. But they didn’t get him – an infectious disease did, one that could get any one of us, any day.

As to Fairytale, yes, we’re all bored shitless of it, obviously. But it is an absolute masterpiece of a song.

Bit of a whinge, this

And now, to make matters far worse, starting in 2024 Spotify will stop paying anything at all for roughly two-thirds of tracks on the platform. That is any track receiving fewer than 1,000 streams over the period of a year. Tracks falling under this arbitrary minimum will continue to accrue royalties – but those royalties will now be redirected upwards, often to bigger artists, rather than to their own rights holders.

OK, but 1,000 streams what are we talking about here?

What it won’t tell either artists or users in Spotify Wrapped is how much money was paid for all that streaming time. Short answer: not enough. If you want to do the maths, the maximum one can possibly earn in Spotify royalties is $0.003 a stream. It doesn’t add up to a living wage for most artists.

Three cents? Seems, umm, entirely reasonable to me actually. You?

Who wants a company – anyone in fact – to be chasing millions of under 3 cents amounts each reporting period? Note that Spotify doesn;t then keep that – it just pays it out to other people instead.

Everyone’s fucked here

Ryanair has found “fake parts” in two of its aircraft engines during scheduled maintenance checks, becoming the latest airline to be impacted by a brewing scandal.

The parts were discovered during checks in Texas and Brazil over the past few months and have since been removed from the engines, the low cost carrier’s chief executive Michael O’Leary told Bloomberg News.

It comes as the global aviation industry is grappling with a fake parts scandal that has left airlines and regulators scrambling to assess engines and trace equipment.

Aviation regulators have accused an obscure London company called AOG Technics of supplying thousands of engine parts with faked certification documents for Airbus and Boeing models,

Anyone who thinks that it’s only the one company. AOG, that’s been fiddling the docs is mad. Insane. There’s simply too much money in it for only one fiddle. Thei airlines aren;t in on it – they know that if they were their insurance disappears. But the supply chain? Only the one?


Well, yes, obviously

The UK has a stockpile of plutonium and uranium big enough to power every household in the country for six years, or up to a century if it continues to be re-processed, according to the Adam Smith Institute (ASI).

The think tank is urging the Government to draw on these reserves as a source of clean energy, while liberalising the “sclerotic” planning system to accelerate Britain’s nuclear development.

Some countries, including France and Japan, already recycle their nuclear waste to make fuel. Britain also used to be a world leader in re-processing, but only used the technique recommended by the ASI on a relatively small scale.

Of course, entirely true.

The think tank said fuel can be made from nuclear waste by mixing plutonium and uranium compounds, turning the blend into small pellets and heating these in a sintering furnace at 1,700C for 36 hours. The pellets are then inserted into a fuel tube, welded shut and put into a reactor. With 140 tonnes of plutonium at the Sellafield nuclear site in Cumbria, of which 100 can be used for this purpose, and thousands of tonnes of uranium in the UK, the ASI estimates that Britain has the resources to create enough fuel to power every household for six years.

The think tank said fuel can be made from nuclear waste by mixing plutonium and uranium compounds, turning the blend into small pellets and heating these in a sintering furnace at 1,700C for 36 hours.

The pellets are then inserted into a fuel tube, welded shut and put into a reactor.

With 140 tonnes of plutonium at the Sellafield nuclear site in Cumbria, of which 100 can be used for this purpose, and thousands of tonnes of uranium in the UK, the ASI estimates that Britain has the resources to create enough fuel to power every household for six years.

MOX, great stuff, the only reason not to use it is interminable reguilation. Something that government can solve – if it wishes to.

Of course, this solution does not work

George is right, of course. It is obscene that they can do this.

And one answer is that we need to tax the rich a great deal more.

I do not think that all the problems that are created by the rich can be solved by taxing them. But doing so will certainly reduce their capacity to consume – and that is vital.

Because Spud would then spend all that money on other people. Who would then consume.


And, it gets worse. Because rich people, wealth – wealth is non-consumption. But as we know, poorer people spend a larger portion of their income upon consumption. Therefore, removing wealth and then passing it on to poorer people *increases* consumption. It’s the marginal propensity to consume/save. And we know that Spud knows about this because he’s used it as a justification for one of his schemes before.