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Tim Worstall

I think we can all agree with this

Politicians need convictions

Do we convict them for what they do or what they don’t do?

Which brings us to the Last Continent’s method of dealing with this, the moment someone’s elected PM they’re put into the jail.

Saves time, see?

At this level of analysis

The BBC reported that Mr Gribbin is also said to have allegedly criticised women, writing on UnHerd’s message board: “Do you think you could actually work and pay for it all too like good citizens?

“Men pay 80 per cent of tax – women spend 80 per cent of tax revenue. On aggregate, as a group, you only take from society.

“Less complaining please from the ‘sponging gender’.”

He added that women were “subsidised by men to merely breathe” and in January 2022 he also posted: “Men pay 80% of tax. Women take out 80% of expenditures.

“Square that inequality first by depriving women of healthcare until their life expectancies are the same as men, fair’s fair.”

If I had stood my chance of making it through unscathed by this sort of analysis would have been?

Eh?

The Tories introduced the lifetime pension cap. Based on the value of a fund, and not just contributions, it has caused major difficulties for hospital consultants in particular. There was an obvious problem needing a solution.

The Tory solution was to abandon the cap.

That solved nothing but perpetuated a massive bias towards wealth in the pension system.

Now, Labour says it will maintain that bias.

It could have instead said it would abandon the cap and cut the rate of relief on contributions. That would have worked.

He was going to increase the taxation of public sectror pensions contribuitions, was he?

Imagine using Monbiot to explain economics?

Spudcup does:

To explain this requires that I revisit an explanation of just what neoliberalism is. George Monbiot did this very well in 2016, and although he has a new book out on this theme, I doubt that he will do much better than this:

Neoliberalism sees competition as the defining characteristic of human relations.

Given that I am a neoliberal I am allosed to say bollocks to this.

The defining belief of neoliberals is that humans are a cooperative species and markets are how they do that cooperatin’. A market transaction is a cooperation. The competition is between those who you might cooperate with.

This isn’t difficult people.

Should get these things right

Known as “Posh George”, George Cottrell was a volunteer for Farage in 2016 before his arrest in the US on money-laundering charges and ultimate guilty plea to one count of wire fraud in a case unrelated to his work at Ukip, Farage’s party at the time. The crime was committed in 2014, before Cottrell worked for either the anti-EU party or Farage.

Cottrell served eight months after a plea agreement that reduced his possible prison sentence from a maximum of 20 years, according to court documents at the time.

In English terms, he served 8 months on remand and was sentenced to time already served…..

Oh, right?

I felt entirely alone’: comedian Grace Campbell on the aftermath of her abortion

Well, there was one less around.

When Grace Campbell decided to terminate her pregnancy, she felt relief at being able to exercise a right so many women had fought for. But nothing prepared her for the depression that came after. Here, the comedian reflects on the physical and emotional toll

Ho Hum.

An excellent exampole of a male and female difference. She’s looking for confirmation, assurance, empathy. Men are saying, well, don’t do that then. Not all men, obviously, but that’s a v male response to this all the same.

Democracy, eh?

Green parties have shed seats in the European elections, provisional results suggest, raising fears that the continent may be on the verge of weakening its climate ambitions. Projections for the new European parliament showed the Green faction pushed from fourth into sixth place, with 53 seats, amid a broader shift to the right.

One possible explanation

Not that I think it’s true, nor even vaguely so:

But that did not appear to influence voters, with the AfD gaining 16.2 per cent of the vote, according to an exit poll by state broadcaster ARD.

Germany’s Greens were the biggest loser on Sunday, falling 8.6 percentage points to 11.9 per cent,

Fairly large chunk of the voters who are grotty little fascists they just wibble a bit about what they want to be grotty little fascists about.

While that’s fun the reason it’s not true is that the AfD aren’t fascists while a signifricant portion of the Greens are.

Rocco, one for you I think?

If only politicians understood double entry

The argument then becomes but there’s always the other side of the ledger in any transaction – which is obviously true. We want to do things that make a profit – a real profit that is, the outcome, the result, is worth more than the use of those same inputs put to other use. That’s value additive and it’s value we consume, it’s value that is our real income and so on. We want the things we do in hte world – our consumption of resources like land, labour capital and so on – to be value additive.

Where Spud’s argument goes wrong is that he thinks government spending is that value additive solution. The reason he goes wrong here is:

worth more than the use of those same inputs put to other use

It’s not that “solving child poverty would be nice” it’s that perhaps leaving that cash in the pockets of investors might get us free energy – fusion say. You know, maybe something better? Leaving investors alone to get on with things did, after all, bring us free telecoms. 2 billion do now gain free telecoms from WhatsApp after all…..

What worries me here

Labour is signalling this weekend that it intends to clamp down on a loophole that allows thousands of investors in private equity deals to avoid paying income tax.

How do you do that without taxing sweat equity at income tax rates?

I’m sure it’s possible but who has confidence in politicians getting it right?

Harsh but fair

In short, the Greens have drifted to the very far left of British politics and swallowed all the necessary delusions while doing so. It is all a little ironic, given that the roots of the Green movement lie in fin-de-siècle proto-fascism, the blood-and-soil notions of purity that so commended themselves to Adolf Hitler and became, in the end, a stirring Nazi slogan. I suppose one might argue, then, that at least the Greens are remaining true to one plank of the ideology that was most definitely present when the movement was created. Not every vestige has quite been jettisoned.

The gall is strong with this one

Iagree with Will Hutton that the essence of socialism is fellowship, and it’s easy to show what that can mean in practice (“Socialism isn’t a dirty word. It’s simply about wanting to make a fairer society”). The NHS is essentially a system of mutual medical aid with state funding, paid for by income tax – the more you earn, the more you contribute – which means it is firmly rooted in the socialist principle “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”. It has been the most popular institution in the country for almost 80 years. People may complain about its performance (largely caused by Tory attempts to dismantle it), but how many of them criticise it for being socialist?

I’d like Labour politicians to pledge to apply the principles of the NHS to other state bodies. And if the Tories and the rightwing press scream that this is socialism, Labour should ask people how bad the socialism of the NHS has been for them.
Charles Osborne
Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, eh?

The Czech Republic has a universal health care system, based on a compulsory insurance model, with fee-for-service care funded by mandatory employment-related insurance plans since 1992.[1] According to the 2018 Euro health consumer index, a comparison of healthcare in Europe, the Czech healthcare is ranked 14th, just behind Portugal and two positions ahead of the United Kingdom.

Ah.

Surprise!

Israeli special forces have freed four hostages held in Nuseirat, central Gaza, as Israeli attacks and airstrikes in the same area killed at least 93 Palestinians, including children, local medics said.

The way The Guardian has that it’s here’s the rescue, over here, then there’s this entirely other thing, over there but just close by, which is the massacre of innocents standing in the street.

Some other – possibly more balanced but who knows – reports have the rescue going on then armed men tuble out of nearby buildings to try to prevent it who then get shot and bombed and so on.

Who to believe, eh?

Just something I’ve heard

So far at least, something being said but how true it is:

For weeks, hundreds of highly trained IDF, Shin Bet, police and special forces officers had game-planned the rescue, using models of two buildings deep inside Nuseirat in Gaza, where “precise” intelligence indicated Ms Argamani and the three male hostages were being held in two separate buildings.

Blocks of flats:

The hostages, code-named “diamonds”, had all been kidnapped from the now infamous Nova music festival and were being held by armed guards in locked rooms in low-rise apartment blocks just 200 metres apart from each other.

The “high-risk” rescue was made more complex by the “cruel and cynical” decision to embed them within the dense civilian population in flats occupied by families, Rear-Adml Daniel Hagari, the IDF spokesperson, said in a postoperative media briefing.

So he sotry goes – and as I say, I don’t know this – the girl was being held by a local journalist.

Just another reminder that we can’t trust the information coming out of Gaza. Because the only “journalists” in there are either Hamas themselves or under Hamas control. There just aren’t any foreigners in there.

Someone woke up, eh?

New Zealand was on Saturday night expected to revoke a ban on drilling for oil and gas amid fears of blackouts, as Labour plans to impose a similar crackdown on the North Sea.

The country’s coalition government is preparing to invite energy companies to resume exploration in the three major offshore fields that supply most of its gas.

It comes after National Grid operator Transpower was last month forced to warn families to limit their electricity usage to avoid a shutdown during a cold snap.

The decision to reverse the ban, made by resources minister Shane Jones, will be a setback for green activists and likely to be regarded as a blow for Labour after Ed Miliband has repeatedly pledged to halt new drilling for oil and gas in UK waters.

And?

Peter Geoghegan, from Democracy for Sale, said: “The GWPF refuses to declare its donors but our investigation has found that the most prominent face of climate change denial in Britain is being bankrolled by Conservative donors with seats in the House of Lords, including one appointed in Liz Truss’s controversial resignation honours list.

“That GWPF is being funded by Tory peers and has close ties to Nigel Farage’s Reform UK goes to show how climate denying money is influencing our politics.”

People are allowed to spend their own money their own way, yes? Like Dale Vince giving £5 million to Labour?

Those who can etc

Rather fun.

Budding influencers like the young woman I met that night often refer to me as a social media “star”. But really, I’m small fry. I have 35,000 followers on Instagram and 23,000 subscribers to my YouTube channel. I specialise in dreamy, fashion-adjacent images with long, thoughtful captions about life and love. I’ve made an entire career out of it with brand deals, books, a successful blog and now a Substack, The Simple Letter. Technically, I’m what the industry calls a micro-tier influencer. Creators at the top end with more than 1 million followers are referred to as mega influencers; those at the bottom end are called nano influencers and have follower numbers anywhere between 1,000 and 10,000.

All very reminiscient of the Model, Actress, Whatever, in LA or NYC. The true stars make fortunes and there an awful lot out there on the edges who might pick up a sugar daddy to make it work.

This particular example doesn’t do that – instead she’s following the those who can, do, those who can’t teach etc. She’s making her living writing about what it’s like to be an influencer.

Soon to be followed, no doubt, by someone writing books about the sociology of influencers – these things do always seem to go one stage further Meta over time.

Snigger

Nevertheless, our politics is obsessed with distinctions based on national identity. Many of the arguments against immigration rest on the idea that there is a true and pure national identity, which means some people “belong” while others do not. Ethno-nationalism is particularly overt among far-right parties, even if the message has been softened from “racial identity” to “cultural identity”, to make it more palatable. But the cord that tethers us to a particular land – our national identity – is not innate; it is based on recent or ancient migrations, or the happenstance of your mother’s location at the moment of your birth.

So, let’s try this at Murrayfield for the England Game. Or Cardiff for the same. You Celts are know nothing far-rightists for hating the Anglo Saxons who atre, after all, simply immigrants who have enriched your diverse lands.

Hey, it might even be true too – but it’s not the way humans work, is it?