Tim Worstall

The ancestor will be revolving

Rage against the dimming light: Irish rebel over lighthouse LED makeover

One of the lights to be changed is St John’s Point. Which is – I assume at least – where g g grandpops was. He was a lighthouseman and moved up from Queenstown to Dundrum and there aren’t many other lights around there.

He’ll thus be revolving. Or, of course, heartily approving. If they work better then why not?

Language, language

When an interview with the woman appeared in The Times on July 27, friends of Mr Spencer told the newspaper she had not mentioned the allegations of sexual assault.
She reacted angrily to the suggestion, telling friends at the time that she had reported allegations of “sexual abuse” to him.

They’re not the same thing, are they? Assault – an heinous crime – and abuse – well, what is the definition of that?

She said: “He never suggested I should go to the police. In fact I asked him when he would withdraw the whip, he first said when he had a police report, then changed it to a charge, then he said ultimately he’d need a conviction.

Eh? She wanted the whip withdrawn – ie, end his career – of an ex-minister on her word alone and without having even reported it to police? Rather Star Chamber isn’t it?

So here’s some fun

Areas are being locked down again.

More than 2.7m people in northern England have woken to fresh lockdown restrictions despite living in neighbourhoods which have had fewer than four confirmed cases in the last 14 days, Telegraph analysis has revealed….

We have slightly out of date information on ethnicity by area.

Further data on ethnic groups by local authority can be found from either the Office for National Statistics or Nomis.

Wouldn’t that be a fun cross correlation for someone to do?

Just for completeness sake perhaps alongside one of material deprivation?

Wonder why some newspaper hasn’t already done it really…..

Vermine for Prem hurts

Them tech giant monopolies

It would probably work better if those warning us of oli- and mon- opolies knew their stuff:

much as it examined and then banned Microsoft from bundling its Explorer search engine with its other software more than a decade ago.

Explorer was a search engine then, was it? Not a browser?

Inman even links to this:

European computer users who rely upon Microsoft Windows and its Internet Explorer application to get online are to be offered the chance to switch to a competing web browser. The deal today between the software company and European Union regulators ends more than a decade of legal wrangling.

Holy Lord, seriously?

Restaurateurs are hoping the scheme will boost a struggling sector. Hawksmoor, the high-end steak restaurant chain, said it received 5,500 bookings in six hours after it advertised the “best steak and chips in Britain” for a tenner (it reduced the cost of a 300g portion of rump steak and chips from £30 to £20 before applying the discount).

£30 for steak and chips? And that’s rump?

I’ve been out of England too long, obviously, given my surprise at that number. I’d expect dinner for 2 including the wine for that. Actually, we do go for – lunch, agreed – for two for significantly less than that. Including the wine, coffee, amuse guele and tip.

Today’s cretin

Nobody benefits from a world of 8 billion or 11 billion people, except for large capital interests that need cheap labour and mindless consumers.

It might be possible to argue that 8 to 11 billion people benefit from being able to have a life…..

Difficult one really

Crispin Odey, one of Britain’s most high profile hedge fund bosses, has been charged with indecently assaulting a woman more than two decades ago.
The Brexit donor, who founded and runs Odey Asset Management and has an estimated wealth of £825m, was charged over an attack alleged to have taken place in Chelsea in 1998.
The attack is alleged to have happened at Swan Walk in west London, where Odey owns a home and several of his businesses are registered, the Evening Standard reported.
Mr Odey said: “The allegation is denied and I will strongly contest this matter.”
The case was due to come before Westminster magistrates’ court next week but has been postponed until 28 Sept due to a backlog of hearings created by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Odey, 61, has been charged under the Sexual Offences Act 1956 with a single offence alleged to have occurred in July 1998, the Crown Prosecution Service said. He is charged with “indecently assaulting a woman over the age of 16”, the Standard reported.

Actually, not so difficult as all that. Sexual assault is a he said, she said offence. Because the act itself, sex (one assumes that is what it concerns) is entirely legal. It’s about consent. And 22 years ago? Probably no witnesses other than the two participants? The likelihood of a fair trial – you know evidence ‘n’ all that – is what?

One of the things the Americans have got right in their legal system is that insistence of taking statutory limitations seriously.

And nineteenthly

And fourth, there is the sheer hypocrisy of my approach when appealing for independence for Scotland whilst opposing it as irrational for the UK to have it from the EU using the mirror image of the arguments in each case.

Sometimes is not just what he says but that he cannot see what he has said:

And fourth, there is the sheer hypocrisy of Johnson’s approach when appealing for Union in Scotland whilst opposing it as irrational with the EU using the mirror image of the arguments in each case.


Way back when Britain had a much bigger industrial base than today,

So, when was that?

Agreed, manufacturing used to employ many more people. Manufacturing used to be a larger portion of a smaller economy. But manufacturing output is only a shade off the record levels of the 00s. And distinctly larger than pre-Maggie etc. Like times larger.

Tsk Nicola, Tsk

Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of misleading the UK public after she was criticised by a statistics watchdog for making unsubstantiated comparisons about coronavirus rates in Scotland and England.
Scotland’s First Minister repeatedly claimed earlier this month that the prevalence of the virus was “five times” higher in England, and opponents said she had deployed the figure to suggest her policy was working better than elsewhere in the UK
She also used the statistic to justify her controversial refusal to rule outimposing quarantine on visitors crossing the border into Scotland and taking a different approach to Boris Johnson on air bridges
But in an intervention described by her critics as “damning”, Ed Humpherson, Director General for Regulation at the Office for Statistics Regulation, said that the uncaveated comparison should never have been made as it was not backed up by sound data.
An investigation also found that the justification for the claim provided to the media who questioned its basis was different to the one provided to regulators, after Ms Sturgeon’s officials changed their story.
The accusations of citing false figures will prove embarrassing for Ms Sturgeon, who has won widespread praise for her handling of the pandemic despite separate statistics published on Thursday confirming that Scotland has the third-highest rate of excess mortality deaths in Europe.

Politician quotes dodgy figures, well I never.

And of course what’s really important here is that how may get it is not the point. It’s how many excess deaths are avoided which is. Oddly, something that would be improved by lots of people getting it then not dying from it. Because that means we can open up again earlier and do nice things like treat cancers thereby reducing the number of excess deaths.

Herd immunity being a real thing even if we’ve not got there yet.


As a Council Member of the Progressive Economy Forum I was involved In drafting this letter to the FT, published this morning

OK, not quite, but isn’t that just rubbing shoulders with the high and mighty?

The OBR’s focus is on how the government might pay for the consequences of the coronavirus crisis. We do not think that this is appropriate. That is because this approach is essentially microeconomic, and assumes the government is an entity independent of the economy as a whole. The implication is that the government is an agent too small to influence the direction and level of activity in the economy.

We do not agree with this view. In the macroeconomy the government shapes the direction and size of the economy through its regulations and decisions on spending, taxing and borrowing.

OK, so how about loosen the strictures of regulation so as to increase the size of the economy?

Patrick Allen (Chair),
Ha-Joon Chang,
Stephany Griffith-Jones,
Will Hutton,
Robert Skidelsky,
John Weeks*
Carolina Alves,
Danny Dorling,
Daniela Gabor,
Will Hutton,
Sue Konzelmann,
Johnna Montgomerie,
Richard Murphy,
Natalya Naqvi,
Ann Pettifor,
Guy Standing,
Geoff Tily

Ain’t that a set of people you don’t want to be agreeing with? And look at Will Hutton, so important he has to sign twice.

Job creation

And yet although these companies that might fail might employ 6 million people in all apparently unemployment is not going to be more than 3 million in total, a figure which the claimant count suggests is fast being approached Even before furlough has come close to ending.

Put bluntly, this makes no sense at all. Simply extrapolating the data in the article (and I can see no reason why not: the sample is big enough in all cases for that extrapolation to be fair) and the number of jobs at risk looks to be around 6 million (16 million, times 75%, times 50%).

Apparently the thought that new businesses might arise to employ a few of them doesn’t occur to our Snippa. Which , given that the economy destroys about 3 million jobs a year, creates about 3 million jobs a year, is odd. An economics professor should know that…..

And yet sex goes on

Police officers are killing Black people, Covid-19 is killing all people, and poverty and unemployment are reaching giddy heights around the world. Communities and victims’ families are asking us to amplify photos of Black people who’ve died in custody such as Tanya Day, David Dungay and George Floyd. And a local campaign to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14 is encouraging people to post childhood pics of themselves and sign a petition so Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids stop being sent to prison at alarming rates.

Terrible things are happening out there. We get you.

So it was with incredulity that this Tuesday past I watched as a rapidly increasing number of women on my Instagram feed posted beautiful photos of themselves. Of course, hot selfies are the bricks upon which the house of Instagram is built, so this alone wouldn’t have piqued my interest.

But these were different. These stood out. They were all black and white, they were all aggressively artful and they almost universally opened with #ChallengeAccepted. Each woman acknowledged having been “challenged” by another woman and subsequently nominated 10 more. Most praised “strong women”, exalted empowerment and ended with #WomenSupportingWomen.

These weren’t just random selfies. This was a movement. But for what?

While the intention seems pure and intellectually feminist-lite, there was, at first at least, no groundbreaking or even mildly new point being made. The overarching message seemed simply to be that women are beautiful and wonderful and we should help each other out. But as an awareness campaign, it seemed futile at best. We’re already aware.

Hmm. Our lassie seems not to have met many actual humans. Nor quite understood what drives them. Which is, as with all other animals, to have grandchildren. Which means making the most of whatever assets one has to gain and keep a mate to have them with and to aid in raising them. That’s actually the base game of the species.

This, often enough, going into hyperdrive the worse the surrounding environment is.

‘E was right you know, eppur si muove but it’s sex that makes the world go ’round.

That’s proven then, socialism causes prostitution

“Eating from rubbish bins to survive was no life, so we left. But, now with the pandemic, we are in limbo, we are stuck in Colombia, and hungry again. We have gone from one crisis to another.”

Venezuela’s total economic collapse has fuelled a large-scale, complex and underfunded humanitarian crisis. An estimated 4.5 million Venezuelans have fled a country blighted by unemployment, collapsing utilities, a defunct healthcare system and severe food shortages.

And as refugees, it is women who have been the most vulnerable to labour and sexual exploitation, trafficking and violence.

Would be a useful tagline for Labour, no? Elect Corbyn and the women have to go on the game…..