Tim Worstall


Freightliner has confirmed that it will be withdrawing its entire fleet of electric locomotives in response to soaring electricity prices.

The company – which is the largest UK freight operator of electric locomotives – says it has been forced to replace its 23 Class 90s with diesel traction following a steep rise in wholesale electricity prices of more than 200% between September and October.

A Freightliner spokesman said: “As a result of an unprecedented increase in electricity prices, FL has taken the difficult decision to temporarily replace its electric freight services with diesel-hauled services in order to maintain a cost-effective solution for transporting essential goods and supplies around the UK.

The knowledge is strong here

Pete Turner says:
October 13 2021 at 9:18 am
You have constantly talked about the merits of pension funds and individuals buying long dated Government Bonds for security ..well have you noticed that from the summer 2020 the 30 year gilt is down over 40%!!!!! …pretty shocking for a “no risk” investment..you clearly have no understanding of duration risk. Thankfully some of us do.

Richard Murphy says:
October 13 2021 at 11:01 am
Have you noticed that if you hold a 30 year bond you might do so for the long term?

Apparently not…

Thank goodness I do not engage investment advice from the likes of you

Pete Turner says:
October 13 2021 at 1:25 pm
Richard, I am not giving you advice I am sticking just to facts so no conjecture. So yes from last summer the 30yr gilt is down over 40%. And from today if you hold it to maturity (so longer term as you say) when it repays at par you are guaranteed a further loss..those are the facts.

Richard Murphy says:
October 13 2021 at 1:40 pm
And the demand for them remains strong

I suspect you will find the volume traded is low

How do you have something with strong demand and low traded volume? The implication seems to be lots of people buying them and yet no one buying them.

Yes, absolutely!

And politics does require integrity.

If Cummings is right (and he may not be) both were treated as incidental to the gains that the Conservatives might make. No wonder politicians are held in contempt in that case.

Surely we can do better than that?

So, let’s rejoin the EU. Or an independent Scotland could. Which means signing up to join the euro. But then, well, just never bother to do so.

That would be acting with integrity, wouldn’t it?

It’s like Dachau, innit?

I have some experience of the internet trolls. I have suffered the threats to self and property. I have massive sympathy for Chris (Packham – Ed) and his courage. As he says, all this has a cost. Those doing the trolling and making the threats want that cost to be felt. I think that criminal. So do they. That’s why they seek anonymity when causing harm. But the campaigns do have to go on.

Having people disagree with him in his comments section is just like having your car trashed, innit?

Yes, I know this is unkind of me


No, it’s not about her looks. It’s about her look. It may well be specific to this one piccie. But the impression is that each and every idea that anyone else has which isn’t agreed with entirely is just so stupid as to not even need comment. Just clearly and obviously wrong because it’s not shared.

BTW, it’s Sally Rooney who apparently is a novelist of some repute.

Now there’s an idea

Could work:

But critics have said the format of the tour is at odds with the grisly subject matter.

The tour’s promotional image shows what appears to be a woman running through a darkened alleyway with a silhouette of Jack the Ripper behind her.

Guy Walters, a writer and historian, told The Telegraph: “I’m a keen runner and I’m also a historian, but there are times when the two things should not be combined.

“Running is about self-improvement, fitness and fun. Jack the Ripper was a disgusting murderer of women. The two things don’t go together.

“What I find strange about horror is how it diminishes with time. Nobody would suggest doing a Yorkshire Ripper run so why is this acceptable?

That’s the one where someone chases you through Sheffield waving a hammer? Could work, could work….

Shocker innit?


He added: “This is the first overtly dramatic case, but it’s certainly one of the main things that’s quoted in the reason GPs are leaving the profession.”

Professor Martin Marshall, chairman of the RCGP, said: “GPs spend a large amount of their time on box-ticking and filling forms, which is frustrating because it takes us away from frontline patient care – but the non-clinical members of our practice teams, such as our practice managers and receptionists, also often find themselves snowed under with bureaucracy.”

Who would have thought that having government for a customer could cause that?

Fairly boutique this Ethics thing

Not exactly huge by the standards of the industry:

Ethic currently has $1.3 billion under management.

Boutique even. Which explains this:

On Tuesday, the couple announced they had invested in fintech asset manager Ethic, saying they “want to rethink the nature of investing to help solve the global issues we all face”.

Investing, well, yes, sweat equity for the publicity perhaps?

After all, it worked pretty well for Shatner with Priceline, right?

The true history of the slave trade

The Guardian lets us in on it.

All of modernity stems from that kidnapping of West Africans. Of course it does.

With, ahem, no mention at all of the first regular buyers of slaves from The Portuguese – Akans. That first trade (after the collection of some Berbers to be sold in Lagos) was actually from the oil coast (roughly, now Nigeria) to the gold fields in now Ghana.

Oh, and of course, absolutely nothing about the trans-Saharan trade.

Nope, all wipipo from Europe. Tsk, aren’t we the naughty ones.

Of course femicide is very bad indeed

Be a victim of that and your name will be read out in the House of Commons, you’re a martyr to the patriarchy.

A 66-year-old former military administrator stabbed her 78-year-old husband at their Somerset home and told a 999 operator: “I thought I’d get his heart but he hasn’t got one,” a murder jury has been told.

Penelope Jackson allegedly murdered her husband, David, a retired army lieutenant colonel, on 13 February at their home in the coastal village of Berrow, claiming he was abusive and controlling.

A jury at Bristol crown court heard that David Jackson managed to call 999, telling the operator his wife had stabbed him and screaming in pain as she allegedly drove the knife into him for the final time.

Jackson herself then took over the call, and calmly told the handler: “I’ve killed my husband, or tried to, because I’ve had enough.” When asked where he was, she replied: “He’s in the kitchen bleeding to death with any luck.”

Kill a bloke and he had it coming to him, didn’t he?

What a clever idea

No, this one has legs:

A simple bowl of curry is at the centre of the latest row in a long-running territorial dispute between Japan and the Koreas.

Media in North and South Korea reacted angrily after an online media report about a seafood curry sold in Japan that includes mounds of rice shaped to resemble the Takeshima islands, which Koreans refer to as Dokdo.

The rocky islets, which lie roughly equidistant between the two countries in the Japan Sea – or the East Sea according to Koreans – are administered by South Korea, but Japan insists they are an integral part of its territory.

Not that East Asian islands will gain much traction over here. But the idea – shape the food into that of some contested area, watch the nationalists pile in to eat. Fabulous advertising.

The place in Derry with the mashed spuds shaped as the 6 counties. The Aquitaine shaped pork chop perhaps. Falklands shaped steak in Buenos Aires. The possibilities are endless. Bonzer idea.

What fun

The Guardian’s venture capital arm has invested in a UK start-up alongside Sir Len Blavatnik, Britain’s richest man, despite repeatedly criticising the billionaire in print.

GMG Ventures, which invests money on behalf of the Scott Trust, the owner of the Guardian, has joined a a $16.5m (£12.1m) fundraising round by Vidsy, a video advertising technology company. Sir Len’s business Access Entertainment was another investor.

That clash between cash and moral stances, eh?

Portugal should move to Azores time

Parts of Portugal are so far west that there’s a reasonable case for it not being on London time but another time zone over – the Azores one. OK, not all that strong a case, being two hours out from Spain would be odd etc.

However, using one of the major appointment reminder services (no names, no packdrill, but from a company that provides both search and email) you end up getting reminded of appointments on Azores time, not Portuguese. Some investigation (a bloke who used to drink in the same pub now works at HQ) and I find out that this time zone allocation is not in fact from that major company. It’s a step – at least – further back into the system. Some significant part of the world now has this error coded into it.

It’s not there yet but there could actually come a time when it would be sensible for Portugal to move to Azores time rather than trying to fix the coding.


These people are insane

You what?

In July, Sierra Leone became the 23rd African country to abolish the death penalty. Although its use across the continent has dwindled – thanks to concerted efforts from human rights organisations and governments – the death penalty remains on many more countries’ statute books due to its strong colonial legacy.

During the colonial period, punishments that were being abandoned in Europe found fertile ground in Africa. Among them was the death penalty, which was deployed as a key element in the mechanism of colonial repression.

While imprisonment became the most common response to crimes in colonial Africa, the death penalty was at the heart of the colonial project, its practice deeply woven into the fabric of state formation and citizenship building.

African political entities did not use the death penalty before colonialism? What nonsense is this?

What might usefully distinguish said colonial period is the infrequency with which it was applied as compared to earlier…..

Doesn’t sound all that terribly sensible

Developers must install rainwater toilets when building new homes to stop river pollution, campaigners have said.

Britain’s Victorian water system is already struggling to cope, with sewer systems frequently overflowing, making England’s rivers the dirtiest in Europe.

Now there are calls for tougher restrictions on developers, limiting their ability to connect new homes to sewers and requiring new homes to meet water efficiency standards.

Water companies can dump raw sewage in rivers and the sea when rainfall mixed with waste water from households overloads the system, something which is only supposed to happen on rare occasions but in practice happened 400,000 times last year.

Campaigners said measures such as reusing rainfall to flush toilets as standard, reducing the volume of water going into sewers, would stop the system becoming overloaded.

The system works by capturing rainwater and filtering it into a tank where it is kept at a suitable temperature to avoid bacteria. The water is then pumped through the plumbing system when a toilet is flushed.

By diverting rainwater from sewer systems into household plumbing, sewers become less overwhelmed, decreasing the likelihood of river pollution.

Bit Heath Robinson. Every house now has to have an additional system.

Why not just build out the central sewer system a bit more?

And wouldn’t it be nice to see the proper costings on this?

BTW, doesn’t the water company own all the rainfall anyway?

New place to write

Teen Vogue introduces us to the concept of necropolitics, the horrifying idea that some lives are worth more than others. This is, they insist, because capitalism is such a vile distortion of the true human spirit. As we might expect from people trained to tell us what is this season’s must-have nail polish, they’ve managed to get the entire concept the wrong way around.

That some lives are worth different amounts from some others is simply the way that we humans act, it’s something built into the basics of the species. The only influence capitalism has, as opposed to any other form of economic structure, is that it raises the value applied to each life.

The only problem with this work is that it does mean that I’ve got to read the likes of Teen Vogue.

Sigh, the things I do, eh?

He is a one, isn’t he?

Critics claim that the overhaul disproportionally benefits Western countries, while potentially hamstringing governments’ ability to set their own tax rates to entice international investment to their shores.

“The expected agreement would see rich OECD countries take the great bulk of new revenues, and would also sharply limit the freedom of others to set their tax rules and defend their tax bases,” said Alex Cobham, chief executive at the Tax Justice Network.

Now that there is an international agreement imposing tax rules he’s against an international agreement imposing tax rules.

Seems a bit strange having just spent two decades shouting for an international agreement imposing tax rules.

Carole Cadwallader’s getting really, really, excited here

Not entirely sure why:

And although the SEC found that Facebook had made “misleading disclosures”, including lying to journalists,

Lying to journalists isn’t a crime.

But the whole thing is Ha! Facebook! Evil! without any particular evidence of any evilry. About the worst that can be said about the latest revelations is that the company operates to the rules of shareholder primacy. Which is pretty much what the law and custom says it should be doing.

I maintain my standard position here. The huge screaming match is simply progressives insisting that if there’s a source of power – as Facebook could be – then progressives should b running it. And that’s all there is going on here.

Difficult thing to complain about really


The FCA boss Nikhil Rathi is now proposing to scrap the bonuses after two independent reviews found the regulator had acted too slowly to protect consumers. He said the payouts had “not been effective at driving individual or collective performance”.

Details of the bonus payouts obtained by the Observer reveal £125,529,590 has been paid out in bonuses at the watchdog since 2016, including bonuses worth up to £45,000 each for executive directors.

In the year to 31 March 2021, £19.8m in bonuses was paid out, with average payouts of about £5,300 for those receiving awards.

These are among the biggest bonus pots ever handed out in a government department or quango.

Gina Miller, the business activist and co-founder of the True and Fair Campaign, which is calling for a package of financial reforms to benefit consumers, said: “These payouts are an absolute insult to people who have lost their life savings or have had their lives decimated because we have a regulator which isn’t fit for purpose.

OK, quango, government, why in buggery should they have bonuses?

But also, the industry itself works on wages plus bonuses. And you would like to have at least a modicum of people at the quango who know the industry from the inside. So, to at least some extent, you’ve got to adopt the pay scales and pay styles of the industry you’re trying to recruit from.

Actually, there’s a good argument that given the incompetents they do have they should be paying better bonuses – and also adopting that other employment feature, firing people on the spot.