Tim Worstall

So, ideas please

Someone I know – no, not me – is looking to have a go at StopFundingHate. But needs a name for his new organisation.

StartFundingDebate

StartRespectingDebate?

I dunno – all and any ideas welcomed.

Well, no, not really

We have a duty to build more homes, Robert Jenrick tells Tory heartlands

Government might have a duty to allow more homes to be built. Or a duty to bugger off out of the way so that more may be.

But the idea that government should actually build the things, where government decides they should be, is what got us into this mess in the first place.

Keirin

So The G carries a nice piece about keirin. Why it started, gambling, place in Japanese society etc. It’s a fun piece.

Except, well, it never actually does explain what keirin is, how it works. Which is a bit odd really. From Wiki:

Riders use brakeless fixed-gear bicycles. Races are typically 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) long: 6 laps on a 250 m (270 yd) track, 4 laps on a 333 m (364 yd) track, or 4 laps on a 400 m (440 yd) track. Lots are drawn to determine starting positions for the sprint riders behind the pacer, which is usually a motorcycle, but can be a derny, electric bicycle or tandem bicycle. Riders must remain behind the pacer for 3 laps on a 250 m (270 yd) track. The pacer starts at 30 km/h (19 mph), gradually increasing to 50 km/h (31 mph) by its final circuit. The pacer leaves the track 750 m (820 yd) before the end of the race (3 laps on a 250 m (270 yd) track). The winner’s finishing speed can exceed 70 km/h (43 mph).

Yes, we can see why that might be attractive to gamblers. Given a program of races over a day a repeated charge of high octane excitement in those final sprints.

But The G’s piece would have been better if it had given a – shorter perhaps – explanation of what it actually is.

I thought everyone knew about champagne?

The row over the origins of champagne is about who invented the method of making the French wine sparkling, and popularised the effervescent drink.

Dom Perignon, a French Benedictine monk, is credited with champagne production in 1697, although his story is shrouded in myth. The claim that he called to his fellow monks: “Come quickly, I am tasting the stars!” was invented for a late-19th century marketing campaign.

Bolstering the English case, it has also been claimed that Christopher Merrett, a West Country scientist, invented the second fermentation technique required to produce champagne, and the bottles to contain it, documenting his discoveries in 1662.

It’s the bottle that’s the crucial invention, not the second fermentation. Anyone familiar even with beer would know about second fermentations. It’s having a bottle that’s sound enough to be used to store something under pressure that’s important. Further, being able to make that regularly – that is, mass production of the bottle strong enough to contain the pressure.

That’s definitely an English invention. And yes, the bottles used to be exported from England to be filled and then returned.

This is all well known. Well, well known enough that I’ve read about it in some popular history or other so it must be pretty well known.

It’s even entirely logical – you can’t have bottled fizz until you’ve a bottle that can withstand fizz now, can you? So it’s got to be the bottle that’s the crucial invention.

Tsk, missing a trick here

Let Scots in whole of UK vote on independence, Boris Johnson is urged

Instead, let the whole of the UK vote on Scottish independence.

Given that the porridge wogs never do restrict themselves to pissing out how many actually want to keep them inside the tent?

So let’s go sort this out

Robert Reich on what ails America:

We overlooked that our educational system left almost 80% of our young people unable to comprehend a news magazine and many others unprepared for work.

OK, so how do we cure that? There’s no shortage of money in the K-12 system*. Must be the way it’s spent therefore.

So, what, kill the teachers’ unions first?

*As an example, Baltimore, which is no one’s poster boy of a fine system, spends more per pupil, on a PPP adjusted basis, than Finland does. And Finland is considered perhaps the best school system in the world by the usual suspects.

Quite right too

On Monday, a French woman, Valérie Bacot, will walk into a court to be tried for killing her stepfather turned husband. She has admitted shooting him dead and believes she should be punished.

In her defence, she is expected to tell the the hearing at at Chalon-sur-Saône in Burgundy how Daniel “Dany” Polette made her life hell from the day he raped her when she was 12, to the day he died 24 years later while prostituting her.

The ending of the story being right that is. We do indeed need to have a system which examines then sorts out such events.

Perhaps he was a complete bastard who deserved it. Perhaps it’s all a tissue of lies. So, some system is needed to see what really did happen. Who is – if anyone is – culpable and who – if anyone – should be punished.

Fortunately we have such a system, it’s called the courts and the individual process in a specific case is called a trial.

Good, so that’s sorted then.

The male physique

The New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard is set to make history and headlines, plus a considerable amount of controversy, after being confirmed as the first transgender athlete to ever compete at the Olympic Games.

The 43-year-old will be a live medal contender when she competes in the
women’s super heavyweight category on 2 August.

That’s a decade and more older than most of the other competitors. Which is a useful if very rough guide to that difference in the male physique. To give competitors 10 years and still be competitive?

Gold medallists at this weight have been, since 2000 when the category started, 21, 25, 25, 24, 27.

But of course there’s no such things as sex or even biology, is there?

Step by step with the plan

The Duchess of Sussex has revealed that she hid references to Diana, Princess of Wales in her new children’s book.

The Bench, which was inspired by Prince Harry’s relationship with the couple’s two-year-old son Archie, includes illustrations of Princess Diana’s favourite flower, forget-me-nots.

As sales flag again then there will be another revelation of summat or other. And then again and……it’s all just so planned, isn’t it?

Presumably the last page has Phil renting a white Fiat Uno……

But it’s different when I make money out of it

For example, Packham has acted as a guide for holidaymakers on a £14,000 per person trip to Papua New Guinea, an 11-day cruise on the “exceptional True North Boat”, run by Steppes Travel, a specialist company that “carefully creates pioneering journeys in the world’s far-flung places”.

The present and environmental campaigner has also travelled with Steppes to Alaska in November 2019 producing a photo diary reproduced on its website and in its magazine.

The company acknowledges the ‘climate emergency’ and says it is working “to reduce our carbon footprint”.

Packham also admits to having done “lots of trips tour guiding” for another firm Spencer Scott Travel in Cuba, Peru, South Africa, Botswana and Uganda. “Check them out if you want something special,” says Packham on Spencer Scott Travel’s website that includes a link to his own personal homepage.

Packham, of course, gets paid well for being the guide – for which read shill – for these trips. For the business model is that the name, Packham, sells the tours in the first place. But that’s different, right?

When the Curajus State is Curajus

Westminster council is acting for all 32 London boroughs.

£6 million is being spent on having emergency body storage.

Of course you could just say this is wise contingency planning. But not in mid-June 2021 is it. In mid-June 2021 it looks like panic in the face of an anticipated Covid wave.

Amazingly, yes, it is contingency planning.

The Authority seeks to procure a framework agreement for temporary body storage in the event of an excess deaths situation ………This will be a contingency contract, only called upon in the event that an excess deaths situation arises…..This will be a contingency cover framework and as such there is no minimum guarantee of any level of spend or call-off

So when the Bastard Tories don;t plan for perchances then they’re Tory Bastards and when the Bastard Tories do plan for perchances then they’re Tory Bastards.

Amazing how the Curajus State isn’t supposed to be Curajus if it’s not P³’s friends running it.

Twatto!

The article is from the Sunday Times. The suggestion she makes is, in my opinion, deeply racist. It is to end the dependence of the NHS on those she thinks to be ‘foreigners’. One in seven NHS staff identify themselves as not being British at present. But since many who now use the NHS think that all those British people who come from ethnic minorities who work for it are foreign, and all too often demand not to be seen by them, what this really amounts to is nothing short of a racist dog whistle to remove anyone not white or with what might appear to be a non-British name from the NHS.

Harding’s platform for the leadership of the NHS is in that case not just racist, it will also put very large numbers of its staff at risk of very real discrimination in the course of their employment. That, of course, is illegal. And it is the inevitable consequence of what she is saying. The floodgates for litigation would open up, and wholly reasonably so.

What she actually says:

Harding, 53, would challenge the “prevailing orthodoxy” in government that it is better to import medical professionals from overseas and benefit from the investment of other countries because of the huge cost of training a doctor.

You’d think that someone who works in academia would be in favour of UK academia training more British workers….

What fun

Bronze Woman is one of more than 120 monuments, plaques, murals, statues and artworks in a new pocket-size guidebook, Black London, compiled by Nanton and her co-author Jody Burton, and published on Windrush Day on Tuesday.

The oldest entry is Cleopatra’s Needle, an obelisk carved in Egypt more than 3,500 years ago and shipped to London in 1878 to be placed on the Embankment.

That’s not really black now, is it? Thutmose III would have been horrified if you’d called him black – that was those Nubians upriver. Mohammed Ali who gave it to us was Albanian. Cleo herself was Greek (or Amanda Barrie).

Come along now, we’re Europeans, we know a bit of geography. African ≠ Black.

Seriously, let’s not become American about this.

Modern literature

Through a series of beautifully observed novels that deftly map the fractures of the contemporary world – Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun and Americanah – Adichie has become one of the most eloquent voices of anglophone Africa. She has also become a fierce protagonist in debates over racism, feminism and free speech.

Much of Adichie’s work wrestles with questions of identity in a globalised world and, in particular, what it means to be black and to be a woman. In a world of contested identities, this has inevitably drawn her into a number of controversies, most notably with trans activists. Last week, she published a three-part essay entitled It Is Obscene, which went viral, picked up by newspapers across the world. The essay is both a passionate defence of herself against her critics and a blistering polemical reflection on the state of public debate today.

I actually read this thing, It Is Obscene. And, well, I thought it terribly weak, very lily livered, and I desperately wanted the writer to come out and say what they were actually bothered about.

No, I don’t mean in my sense of a resort of Anglo Saxonisms. Rather, well, OK, but what’s the beef? Can you please be clear about this?

Then again, I clearly don’t write literature and there might well be that interesting reason why I don’t read it either. Which is that it keeps striking me as being very weak, entirely lily livered.

Julie Bindel’s argumentation

Needs a bit of a polish this:

The applicants claim that the law contravenes three articles in the European convention on human rights: the right to life; prohibition of inhuman and degrading treatment; right to a private life. One of the arguments is that the law puts women’s lives in danger by driving prostitution underground; that they are more likely to face violence from sex buyers because only “bad” punters will take the risk; and that women have the right to make autonomous decisions to sell sex.

There is no evidence for these claims – on the contrary, research in those countries that have adopted the abolitionist model has shown that rates of violence and homicide perpetrated on women by pimps and punters is far lower than in decriminalised regimes.

Note the “s” on “claims” in the second paragraph. And yet the point she doesn’t address is whether adult consenting women do or do not have the right to make autonomous decisions to sell sex.

To which the correct answer is yes, of course they do. Or at least should. Hey, even ring it around with all sorts of constraints. Poor women can’t because they’re being driven into it by economics, druggies can’t because addiction, kiddies certainly can’t anyway and so on. But clean in the addiction sense women who desire to rent out orifices because they desire to? Who in buggery is Julie Bindel to tell them they may not? Should not – just fine, Bindel away at that – but not may not?

But then that sort of skipping over logic is the only thing that allows Bindel’s case to gel……