Tim Worstall

And so the demands move on

In a message of support to the conference, Elton John said: “The failure of many churches to welcome, accept and include LGBTQ+ people creates stigma, loneliness, fear and denial, causing lasting damage to their wellbeing and mental health.” Churches must be safe and affirming, he said.

Jayne Ozanne, a prominent figure in the Church of England and a speaker at the conference, said spiritual abuse of LGBT people was “the next big scandal” for the church following decades of disgrace over child sexual abuse.

“It’s a ticking timebomb. When I first spoke out, I felt I was the only voice. Now I’m one of thousands, and people are feeling more and more emboldened to tell their stories,” she said.

Campaigners say charismatic and evangelical churches that tell LGBT people they are an abomination or possessed by demonic forces are driving some towards self-harm and suicide.

Sigh.

There’s the obvious point that certain mosques are going to be less than welcoming of all of this. But more than that is the grasping ambition of the entire idea. You’ve got to change the Word of God – as believed, whether it’s true or not – because Woken SS.

I seem to recall that certain totalitarian movements of the last century made the same sort of demands….

Makes you wonder

Trump and Biden town halls: two channels, two candidates, two planets

If they’re really that different, the two sides, then perhaps one side shouldn’t rule the other. Either way.

They have already tried dividing into two nations and that didn’t work out well. So the only option would seem to be that government only does what it is absolutely necessary that government does and which can only be done by government. Everything else gets left to the peeps themselves.

That is the more you insist that the coastal wokerati really are an entirely different tribe from the Flyover deplorables then the more you should be in favour of minarchist government.

Not that it works that way of course but logic and politics were ever strange bedfellows.

What fun

I, of course, cannot test this as I don’t know how to use a mobile phone as anything other than, well, a phone. But others might be able to:

The days of being plagued by an annoying tune that you just can’t get out of your head may be over, thanks to Google.
The search engine has launched a Shazam for humming’ tool, allowing anyone to hum a tune into their phone to work out what song it is without knowing the lyrics.
To use the tool, open the latest version of the Google app or find your Google Search widget, tap the mic icon and say “what’s this song?” or click the “Search a song” button.
Hum, whistle or sing a tune for at least 10 seconds. Google’s artificial intelligence system then searches through its vast database to present you with a list of possible songs.

So, “bum bum bum badda bum bum, bum bum bum badda bum bum” gives Queen and Bowie or Vanilla Ice? “Boom, Boom, Boom bababa Boom, Boom, Boom bababa Boom” gives us that bloke from Orange Juice or not? And whistling a piece of Bach at it will get us how many pop songs?

I bet

The FBI is investigating whether the exposure of Hunter Biden’s emails was linked to a foreign intelligence effort to undermine the US election.
Agents seized a laptop and hard drive containing the emails at the end of last year, according to a subpoena issued by a US district court in Delaware. They are looking at potential foreign involvement, NBC News reported.
On Wednesday the New York Post published some of the emails, including one from an adviser to Ukrainian energy company Burisma, for which Hunter Biden worked while his father was vice president.

Because shouting about Russians is so much more effective than actually trying to answer the questions “Did you really do that, Hunter?”

Still, an interesting question for American journalists. Anyone doorstepped Hunter yet?

Actually, that is an interesting question. Son of a Senator won’t get Secret Service protection. Son of a serving President will. Son of a VP? Dunno. But it’s at least possible that Hunter had SS protection for years which could be interesting. And he might have it now too – son of a P candidate might get it. Which would make doorstepping him hard.

But still, interesting question. Has anyone even tried to ask, well, Hunter, those your emails or not?

I wonder

A history teacher who showed his pupils cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in class was beheaded near his school in a Paris suburb on Friday by a suspected Islamist terrorist who shouted Allahu Akbar police said.

Will there be anyone stupid enough to hem and haw over this?

Sophie Vénétitay, deputy head of the SNES-FSU teachers’ union, said: He was murdered because he was doing his job, namely teaching critical thought. She said the victim was a history and geography teacher who was in charge of moral and civic education”.
In that capacity, he gave a lesson on the freedom of expression with the Mohammed cartoons she said.

Nesrine Malik doesn’t seem stupid enough to do so but perhaps we can hope for something from Owen Jones? The “Yes, but….” The but being that while free speech, yay! we still shouldn’t offend people because look what happens?

You should do this

Today the Adam Smith Institute, along with our friends at the Taxpayers’ Alliance, launch our drive to get as many of you involved in the housing white paper consultation as possible.

It’s been an issue that has blighted Britain for decades. Scarce and irregular housing supply in the places people want to live, and an incentive structure that allows home owners to lock-out first-time buyers from the market, have left a whole generation priced out and our country less productive and poorer than we need or ought to be.

This could change though. In consultation is the Planning For The Future white paper. Its basic aim is to move England to a zoning-based system where local councils set out rules about what can be built where, but don’t take an active role in approving or rejecting individual applications for development. Rules over discretion. More micro-democracy. More beautiful buildings where people want to live.

It’s an issue we’ve been researching for a decade and its vitally important that the country gets these reforms right. So that’s why we want you sensible folk to join us in submitting evidence to the consultation.

Click the button below (or click here) to be taken to the page with our suggested answers to the questions being asked, click here to be taken to the full consultation page, and watch our video setting out how the housing crisis began and how we can fix it (and do like and share it with your friends).

Well, no, not really

The errors made by HMRC also include, as the PAC note, HMRC’s failure to include tax avoidance that is abusive but about which they feel there is little they can do. This includes most of the abuse of international tax by large companies and much of the tax planning of the wealthy. One could, of course, accuse HMRC of replicating much of the class bias already apparent in their treatment of tax abusers in their tax gap estimates as a result, because it is undoubtedly true in the U.K. that only the ‘little people’ get prosecuted for their tax abuse. It could also simply be said that this systemically understates the tax gap and had always done so, again as I have long emphasised.

HMRC tries to estimate how much tax should be paid if everyone obeys the law. Then subtracts from that how much is paid which gives us the gap.

OK, well, so be it.

Tax avoidance is obeying the law. Even if Snippa thinks that the law should be different, or that avoidance shouldn’t be legal, or that it is the spirit, not letter, of the law that should be obeyed it is still true that tax avoidance, by definition, is legal. So it’s not what HMRC is trying to measure.

Perhaps not so categorical

And, because we face growing unemployment there is no risk of inflation arising as a result of this money creation process.

The money creation rate in Zimbabwe/Venezuela is? The unemployment rate in Venezuela/Zimbabwe is? The inflation rate in Zimbabwe/Venezuela is?

I entirely agree that a take off in inflation is less likely when there is unemployment, the Philips Curve exists. But “no risk”? Sorry, reality doesn’t appear to work that way.

Cretinous idiot

Halima Begum is director of the race equality thinktank the Runnymede Trust

Yep, you Halima, a cretin.

Absolute transparency around remuneration is the only way to achieve this goal. Here, the introduction of mandatory gender pay gap reporting under the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 is instructive. As organisations such as the BBC have found to their cost, failing to address the historical remuneration bias towards men is a surefire way to incur the wrath of both serving staff and the public.

But the government has failed to make the ethnicity pay gap report mandatory, effectively ignoring numerous important reviews and consultations, including the 2017 McGregor-Smith review, which found racism affects ethnic minority workers in every aspect of the labour market.

The gender pay gap is 9.6%. The ethnicity pay gap is 2.3%.

The thing that we do not have transparency and reporting upon is, by the standards of these things, solved. The thing we do have transparency and reporting upon is not solved. This is not a logical argument in favour of transparency and reporting as a solution to such problems.

You cretin.

Ultimatum time!

Brexit: No 10 startled by EU insistence that UK accept trade terms

Horrors!

Downing Street reacted in dismay as Emmanuel Macron led EU leaders in warning Boris Johnson that he must swallow the bloc’s conditions, in what appeared to be taken as a direct challenge to the British prime minister’s threat to walk out on the talks.

At a summit in Brussels, the EU proposed a further “two to three weeks” of negotiations but Europe’s heads of state and government offered Johnson little succour, demanding that he alone needed to “make the necessary moves to make an agreement possible”.

The intervention was evidently regarded as incendiary in No 10 as Johnson had said he would make a decision on Friday on whether there were grounds to continue the talks. In September, he had said that without agreement by the time of this summit the government would “move on” to focus on no-deal preparations.

This being how negotiations are done.

“Here’s our demands. Obey or no deal!”

“Well, if we could just clarify the details here?”

“Well, OK, we’ll change that little bit. But our demands, Obey!”

Somewhere around the 55th iteration of this the deal is done. Or, not, obviously. But that the “Obey!” bit has been done is about as remarkable as Boris or The Donald chasing totty.

Well, I agree, absolutely

Behind Cambridge Analytica lay a bigger threat to our democracy: Facebook
Jennifer Cobbe
More needs to be done to clamp down on big tech’s nefarious methods of influencing our politics and culture

Oddly, I don’t think Jenny means bans on articles which show a lefty in a bad light – like, say, buying the VP’s influence through oligarchs hiring his son.

But maybe I’m just being mean.

Impartial, oh yes!

A Twitter spokesman said earlier on Thursday that the @TeamTrump account, and the accounts of White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and the New York Post, had been blocked from tweeting because of the company’s policies on hacked materials and posting private information.

In an election period, blocking news that perhaps – perhaps!, as with the pee pee tape, Russians funding Trump’s hotels etc – one candidate in the election might have some ‘splainin’ to do.

We are, of course, fine with The Guardian declaring that all Tories are bastards – fine with them being allowed to and actually saying it, not that we necessarily agree with it – and also the Mail telling us that Jezza’s gonna start the Gulag up again in Basingstoke. Because they are publishers. And Twitter is showing itself to be? A platform, a publisher?

Err, yes, thought we knew this?

Climate change wiped out early humans, a study has found, as scientists warn that global warming could have a greater impact than previously thought.
Cousins of Homo sapiens failed to adapt to the cold tens of thousands of years ago, a new paper argues, leaving them vulnerable to extinction when temperatures dropped below the levels they were used to.

The land disappears under a mile of ice and humans will find it difficult to survive, yes. Thought this was well known?

The lesson, of course, being pump out that CO2 so the land doesn’t disappear under a mile of ice……

Geeky calculation time

So, over here something about fracking and radiation. As I point out, it’s true, but is it important?

So, actually looking it up, we get this change in radiation exposure:

They found elevated levels of beta radiation in areas located downwind of UOGD wells, with levels decreasing with distance (an additional 100 UOGD wells within 20 km was associated with a 0.024 mBq/m3 increase in beta radiation downwind).

So, what we want is that exposure – or change in it – in the Banana Equivalent Dose unit. Perhaps, 24 hours of an ambient increase of 0.024mBq/m3 equals how many bananas consumed?

Wait for this to become permanent

People who live in Covid-19 hotspots in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland are to be banned from travelling to Wales, the Welsh first minister has announced.

Mark Drakeford said he had asked for the “necessary work” to take place to allow devolved powers to be used to prevent people from travelling into Wales from “high prevalence” areas.

Not, particularly, the banning of people travelling from those specific areas. But rather the system of documents that show where you do live so that you can be checked as allowed to go to certain other areas.

A propizka system so that Plod can check that you are allowed to be there. The Russian word being the appropriate one here. And yes, it is a step further than internal passports – or ID cards.

“Help”

The Dutch government will permit doctors to euthanise terminally ill children aged between one and 12 after months of debate within the ruling coalition.

The country’s health minister, Hugo de Jonge, said a change in regulations was necessary to help “a small group of terminally ill children who agonise with no hope, and unbearable suffering”.

The euthanasia of children has a very long history within our species. But still – “Help”?

Blimey, this is a stretch

The Christian community where Amy Coney Barrett has previously served as a female leader – or handmaid – expels members who engage in gay sex, according to a 2018 interview with Craig Lent, the group’s current head.

Lent told the South Bend Tribune that the People of Praise, a charismatic Christian community that has counted Barrett as a member, would end the membership of a person who discloses gay sex or any other “ongoing, deliberate, unrepentant wrongdoing”.

Barrett, an appellate court judge who has been nominated by Donald Trump to serve on the supreme court, said in a confirmation hearing on Tuesday that she had “never discriminated on the basis of sexual preference and would not ever discriminate on the basis of sexual preference”.

The Guardian’s getting very close to – or actually maybe – making the claim that a church expelling what it sees as a sinner is discrimination. Which, well, yes, it is, in one sense of making a discrimination. But probably not in the sense of the law or anything.

Barring David Starkey from Twitter for the “so many damn blacks” thing is discrimination and it’s also, in a wide-ish sense, the expulsion from a belief group for belief violation.

All that’s changed is which belief system.