Tim Worstall

Sure it had an effect

There was no single moment when I began to sense the long shadow that Cecil John Rhodes has cast over my life, or over the university where I am a professor, or over the ways of seeing the world shared by so many of us still living in the ruins of the British empire. But, looking back, it is clear that long before I arrived at Oxford as a student, long before I helped found the university’s Rhodes Must Fall movement, long before I even left Zimbabwe as a teenager, this man and everything he embodied had shaped the worlds through which I moved.

You speak English, Zimbabwe was at least a relatively rich country for the area, Zimbabwe did at least have the rule of law, an education system and all that.

What else was it you wanted to talk about concerning Rhodes and colonialism?

I’d like to say something about feminism…..

…..and the merits of women in politics and all that:

The fisheries minister has raised eyebrows by disclosing she was busy organising a nativity trail on Christmas Eve when the Brexit deal was agreed, and didn’t read its fine print on fish.

Victoria Prentis insisted that the agreement was beneficial for UK boats when she appeared before the Lords EU Environment Sub-Committee on Wednesday, but conceded some quarters of the fishing industry had been hard done by.

It’s just that having been there and done that, politics, the idea that anyone at all who voted either way on the law actually read it is too silly an idea to entertain even for a minute.

That the people who wrote it read it is a bit of a stretch……

Here’s the question

Speaking as she signed the article of impeachment after the vote, Nancy Pelosi said she did it “sadly, with a heart broken over what this means to our country.”

She added: “Today, in a bipartisan way, this House demonstrated that no one is above the law – not even the president of the United States.”

If they’re so certain that he’ll not win if he runs again – 2024 – because the nation rejects fascism etc, Then why are they trying so hard to ensure he can’t run in 2024?

Wonder why they bothered to do QE then?

The last decade has proved that governments do not operate at the behest of bond markets, as was once thought. Instead, bond markets operate with the consent of government, which can and will provide them with more or less debt to trade entirely at the will of government. This is a massive change in relationship. Fiscal rules pretend that this change has not happened.

Fiscal rules also pretend that government interest costs are set by the whim of markets. Again, over the last decade it has become absolutely apparent that this is not the case. So a fiscal rules is, again, misguided.

If all that’s true then why does the BoE own £800 billion of gilts? Why would anyone bother if there’s no problem selling bonds at an interest rate controlled by government?

Lordy Be

Pilgrim Slight Return says:
January 13 2021 at 12:30 pm
In terms of Trump, he most certainly did not behave as graciously as Obama did in defeat.

Even though (as Brittany Kaiser and Carole Cadwaladr might advise) Obama and his supporters had every right to call ‘bullshit’ on the 2016 election result, they did not.

Anyone actually recall who did run in 2016?

This is why comments moderation

Arendt was also right about Trump. All that was required for his messaging to succeed was a mass of indifference to fascist communication.


How would you feel if Congress and the President passed a law making it illegal to think in a fascist way? And then a power of Attainder to deal with Mr Trump.

Richard Murphy says:
January 13 2021 at 10:47 am
I would think such a law crass

You can’t stop people thinking

You can seek to stop the dissemination of such thought in ways that are harmful to society

It’s all anti-fascism, d’ye see?

A prize of ginger beer all round

Will be on offer to the first spotter:

The cost of shipping goods from Europe to the UK has risen sharply this year, raising the prospect of higher prices for French cheese, German sausages and other imports together worth tens of billions of pounds.

The average cost of transporting a lorryload of goods to Britain from Germany was 26 per cent higher in the first week of 2021 compared with the average for the third quarter of last year, according to Transporeon, which tracks freight flows.

What we’re looking for is the first idiot to say that the cost of German imports has risen by 26% rather than the cost of importing from Germany. A special secret handshake is also on offer for the first spot of an editor stupid enough to print said mistake.

They’re going to jail

So devastating that the database was subpoenaed by a grand jury digging into fraud claims against Holmes and Balwani. But when investigators turned to take a copy of the database, guess what?

From the filing: “On or about August 31, 2018 – three months after a federal grand jury issued a subpoena requesting a working copy of this database – the LIS was destroyed. The government has never been provided with the complete records contained in the LIS, nor been given the tools, which were available within the database, to search for such critical evidence as all Theranos blood tests with validation errors. The data disappeared.”

Definitely, jail.

Owen Jones’ Mea Culpa

As smoke billowed out of Caracas, some of Maduro’s UK apologists – the appeasers, the opportunistic cheerleaders, even some true believers – suddenly discovered consciences. In Britain, leftwing commentators had even less reason to embrace the man who remains Venezuelan President: domestic support for him here has always been negligible. Cheerleading for Chavez in Britain has always been a conscious choice, and it is all the more striking because it comes without the excuse of external pressure or cynical self-interest: indeed, it carries the price of damaging the cheerleaders’ credibility even among many Labour voters.

Those who made that choice in Britain are now attempting to walk away whistling from the crime scene, but apologism for the figurehead of the international far left – including the self-confessed socialists who stormed the legislature – should come with accountability.

Good to see him finally owning up to it.

Isn’t this just a damning condemnation of the patriarchy?

Equity found that 72% of female performers felt pressured to “look a particular way” in order to get work in comparison with 28% of male performers,

People who play dress up get judged on their looks. Differently across genders in a sexually dimorphic species.


The report flags up the underrepresentation of women on the Cultural Renewal Taskforce, which is responsible for supporting the culture sector in the pandemic. “Zero leadership positions are occupied by women, with only three women on the taskforce as a whole,” it states.

And isn’t that disgusting?

Parrish, the artistic director of Sphinx, called the taskforce’s gender imbalance “disgraceful”.

The Miles Kington school of column writing

Miles Kington, habitue of the Old Green Tree as he was, knew how to write his little feuilletons. His method being, as he once said, to come up with the last line and everything follows from that.

Bit like writing a joke, the punchline comes first. At which point Arwa Mahdari has been taking note. Sex toys- male chastity devices – are, these days internet enabled. Hackers thus arrive. So:

Be very careful about what kind of junk you connect to the internet.

The game being to fill the space the editor has allotted before that line…..

So, what’s new?

The Italian health ministry has been criticised after a draft of the country’s new pandemic plan revealed medics would be permitted to choose which patients receive life-saving care.

This is the first time Italy has updated its pandemic plan since 2006. The absence of an adequate plan is thought to have contributed to Italy’s coronavirus death toll of more than 79,000.

The draft copy of the pandemic plan for 2021-23, seen by the Guardian, stipulates that while health workers are obliged to provide the best and most appropriate care to patients, there are circumstances that may make it necessary to prioritise who to try to save.

Everything is always rationed. Those £30,000 per year QUALYs for example.

All that changes is how you ration, not whether. We do, after all, live in a resource constrained universe.


Richard Murphy says:
January 11 2021 at 1:13 pm
I think he is wrong on that

More important, he was wrong to give up on freedom of movement

When capital can roam and labour cannot the return to labour will always fall

That’s the same mechanism by which some of the burden of corporation tax falls upon labour, not capital. But of course the P³ insistence is that the burden of corporation tax never does fall upon labour.

Odd that how the same thing differs in effect according to which hole in the stump is being looked out of.

People shouldn’t have what they want

That is because what large party politics is now very largely about is the re-amplification of the messages received from those groups, many of which are deeply selfish and insensitive to community need precisely because of the way in which they focus upon the individuals wants and desires.
This is not the moment to go back to the dogmatic politics of the pre-Thatcher era, but it is the moment to rediscover principles and the merits of political leadership that takes people to a better place that they had not previously imagined.

Or, as the P³ really means, you can’t have what you want you’re going to get what I allow.

Horrors, horrors!

UK retail sales suffered the biggest decline in 25 years last year as the closure of non-essential shops during lockdowns more than outweighed the online spending boom fuelled by Covid-19.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said total sales fell by 0.3% last year from the level in 2019 – the worst performance since records began in 1995 – reflecting the impact of government lockdowns and shifting consumer spending trends.

A vast pandemic leads to a rounding error change in retail sales. Gosh, that is terrible, isn’t it?

So much for dating apps then

At the end of 2019, Nelly Sutro was living in New York, facing the fast-paced grind of city dating life. Fed up with apps, ghosting and rushed drinks with strangers after work, she complained to her friend Lina about the situation.

Unbeknown to her, Lina had been in touch with another friend, Ryan Lacey, who was based in Germany for his US army job, and also struggling to meet someone. “She connected us on Instagram and suggested that we chat,” says Nelly. “She thought we’d be really good together.”

The pair hit it off but

OK, new tech and all that, but still friends making the introductions.

It’s in the original definition

Jews practice apartheid, Palestinians can’t vote and…..hmm:

One cannot live a single day in Israel-Palestine without the sense that this place is constantly being engineered to privilege one people, and one people only: the Jewish people. Yet half of those living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea are Palestinian. The chasm between these lived realities fills the air, bleeds, is everywhere on this land.

Note the definition of the area. That includes the West Bank and also Gaza as well as Israel. So at least part of the complaint is that those living with Hamas as their government, those with the Palestinian Unity whatever it is, don;t get to vote for the government under which they do not live.

Quite appalling, I agree. Why shouldn’t Brits vote for the government of France after all?

So, when do they come for the Marxists?

Twitter has said it has suspended more than 70,000 accounts since Friday that were primarily dedicated to sharing QAnon content as the social media site continued to crack down on content after supporters of Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol.

“Given the violent events in Washington DC, and increased risk of harm, we began permanently suspending thousands of accounts that were primarily dedicated to sharing QAnon content on Friday afternoon,” Twitter said in a blog late on Monday.

“These accounts were engaged in sharing harmful QAnon-associated content at scale and were primarily dedicated to the propagation of this conspiracy theory across the service,” the company said.

After all, it’s a pretty widespread conspiracy theory, at least some adherents insist that it requires a revolutionary solution, the bourgeoisie to be eliminated as a class. So?