Flatulent tosspottery

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.

Let’s see if I’ve got Amanduh’s complaint right here

This week, as well, Reuters published a disturbing report exposing how One America News, which can aptly be described as an authoritarian propaganda channel supporting Trump’s demands to be installed illegally as president, is being bankrolled by the communications giant AT&T.

OAN’s founder, Robert Herring Sr., not only claims that OAN was started at the request of AT&T executives but that court records show “AT&T has been a crucial source of funds flowing into OAN, providing tens of millions of dollars in revenue.” AT&T defends this by saying they offer “many news channels that offer viewpoints across the political spectrum,” but of course, OAN is not “news,” because they heavily supported false claims that the 2020 election was fraudulent. OAN is profiting handsomely from Trump’s insurrection, as the “network’s online audience soared in November after conservative mainstay and OAN competitor Fox News affirmed Joe Biden’s victory.”

A cable channel, running on a cable system, makes money from being a cable channel running on a cable system.

This is funding, is it? And doesn’t count as just being a cable channel because Amanduh disagrees with it?

Umm, yes?

Trump’s lies!

According to the House committee: “On his federally mandated financial disclosures, President Trump reported that the Trump Hotel earned him over $150m in revenue during his time in office.

“However, the records obtained by the committee show that the Trump Hotel actually incurred net losses of over $70m, leading the former president’s holding company to inject at least $24m to aid the struggling hotel.

“By filing these misleading public disclosures, President Trump grossly exaggerated the financial health of the Trump Hotel. He also appears to have concealed potential conflicts of interest stemming not just from his ownership of this failing business but also from his roles as the hotel’s lender and the guarantor of its third-party loans.”

Profits from a business are different from revenues from a business. Umm, yes?

It might not be necessary to be fiscally ignorant to be a Democrat but apparently it does help.

We’re being lectured by Dame Margaret, Lady Hodge, are we?


There’s a “for sale” sign hanging over Britain. The Pandora papers have exposed how secrecy, influence, property and other assets are freely available to the highest bidder. Huge data dumps like this provide an invaluable peek into the secret world of offshore finance and the way it is exploited by the world’s richest people. Yet again, the UK and its tax havens stand at the heart of the world’s tax avoidance and dirty money crises. Britain asks few questions, doesn’t care who you are, and doesn’t mind where your money comes from.

We now know that 35 current or former heads of state have exploited secrecy to avoid paying fair taxes, to hide their wealth from the population, or to launder money they have stolen from their own people into Britain and elsewhere. We’ve also learned that the Conservative party has received millions of pounds in donations from oligarchs in foreign jurisdictions, who used their wealth to gain access to and influence over our government leaders here in Britain.

Hmm, that’s the Dame Margaret, Lady Hodge, connected with Stemcor is it? That one? The Dame Margaret, Lady Hodge, who is the only publicly known and named user of the Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility over a family trust or summat?


All of her actions are and were entirely and wholly legal in every jurisdiction. But then so are most to near all of those in the Pandora Papers.

Shoot them

Or, perhaps, leaf it alone:

Wisteria has “colonial roots”, according to a sightseeing guide funded by Transport for London which has branded botanical terms “native” and “invasive” as offensive.

Classifying plants as “exotic” also has “colonial connotations” as it symbolises the “mysteriously foreign”, the authors of the map claim.

The ‘Art on the Underground’ pamphlet guides visitors through green spaces in Brixton, south London, pointing out the “colonial roots of plants in our parks, gardens and squares today”, and that acts of colonialism “still affect who owns a garden today and who doesn’t”.

Root out this hate. Trim society. Prune the prejudice.

Mr Olusoga’s outrageous demand

He really is demanding this:

The deeper question, however, is whether the UK television industry is capable of producing programmes that reflect Britishness in all its diversity – socioeconomic, regional, gender, sexual, generational and ethnic. The reasons to worry in this regard is because behind the scenes and behind the camera, television has long struggled to build a workforce that resembles the nation it seeks to reflect.

That’s not an outrageous demand, but this is:

What is most depressing about this report is how familiar it all is. Previous reports from previous decades say much the same thing. This, in part, I suspect is because the industry has failed to fully accept that the status quo is abnormal. All-white production teams based in London, a city with a workforce that is 36% minority ethnic, only seem acceptable because culturally we have normalised what is abnormal.

TV should reflect the nation. But actually, TV is made in London so it should reflect London.

So, let’s run this around the other way. Teesside is the most white – or most non-BAME perhaps – area of the country at something like 98.7%/1.3% (from memory). So a show like Vera should have near no non-pasty faced hard folk in t-shirts ganning doon the toon.

Is that what the show has? Nope. And now let us consider Olusoga’s likely reaction to our insisting that it should.


Which is the barking mad bit?


A Black History Month website controlled by a white man featured taxpayer-funded adverts alongside claims that white people are the “genetically defective descendants of albino mutants”, a Telegraph investigation has found.

Not exactly the way I would put it but as far as we know black is the default colour – perhaps the original – and white skin evolved several times. Evolution is the survival of those with different genes, or genetic expressions perhaps. White skin isn’t albino tho’. But the rest, genetically defective descendants of mutants, is actually true even if not quite the way to put it.

But that’s not the barking mad bit:

However, it is owned by a private business, controlled by Ian Thomas, an advertising executive, who set it up long after the annual celebration was established.

On Friday, Linda Bellos, who was instrumental in launching the Black History Month celebration in the UK in the late Eighties, compared the website’s white ownership to “enslavement”.

“The whole purpose of Black History Month is to empower us [black people] … I don’t want some white man, or even white woman, playing that role,” she said. “The taking of ideas, and indeed the taking of people, was done very successfully by the British, it is called enslavement. I am not talking about his motives, but I am talking about the outcome.”

Celebrating this nation’s lovely diversity with a website is enslavement now….


Seriously, dribbling idiots:

In a joint statement on Monday night Mr Kwarteng and Ofgem chief executive Jonathan Brearley said: “Central to any next steps is our clear and agreed position that the energy price cap will remain in place.”

Earlier, Mr Kwarteng told MPs: “The energy price cap, which saves 15 million households up to £100 a year, is staying. It is not going anywhere.”

A government source said on Monday night: “The energy suppliers want to get rid of the cap. It came up multiple times [at the meeting]. But as Kwasi has said, the priority is protecting consumers, and the price cap protects consumers.”

Reality is non-optional. The cure for high prices is, of course, high prices. For they reduce demand and so bring it into line with supply. If you then insist that prices cannot rise to match supply then you guarantee shortages/queues and all that.

If you insist that wholesale prices can move and retail cannot then all the people buying wholesale and selling retail then go bust. That was the mistake California made.

Jesus, Tories are supposed to know about this stuff…..

Sector analysts have warned that, of the 55 energy companies currently existing, fewer than 10 may survive by the end of the year.


This just ain’t true:

Life expectancy in England falls to lowest level since 2011
Excess Covid deaths contributed to life expectancy in England falling by 1.3 years for men and 0.9 years for women

We don’t measure life expectancy. We measure age of death, then take that to be a proxy for life expectancy. But the use of a proxy does require understanding the proxy. So, how many think that Covid will be carrying off 80 year olds in 80 years time?

Then the current reduction in lifespan from Covid is not an influence upon life expectancy, is it?

Cottage cream accents

We can work out what they’re doing wrong here:

Speaking with a “cottage cream-thick English accent” is an example of privilege, NHS leaders have been told in seminars on racial justice.

In one talk in June, titled “creating an anti-racist NHS – what is the work to get us there?”, Kehinde Andrews, a professor of black studies, claimed the NHS needed to “acknowledge that there was systemic racism in the workplace from individual workers to executives”.

A professor of black studies is not going to find that there’s little problem. And from memory he’s the bloke who writes articles barking even by Guardian standards.

Finally, they’ve got someone who doesn’t know that the phrase is “clotted cream” trying to explain class and privilege to the English.

Lions, lions with lazers.

Jeez, what is the damn complaint here?

Pfizer has been accused of holding Brazil “to ransom” over demands to shield itself from possible vaccine side-effect lawsuits in its contract to supply the country with 100m Covid jabs.

In its $1bn (£700m) deal with Pfizer Export BV, signed in March, despite its prior complaints, the Brazilian government agreed that “a liability waiver be signed for any possible side-effects of the vaccine, exempting Pfizer from any civil liability for serious side-effects arising from the use of the vaccine, indefinitely”.

Indemnity from compensation claims has been common in contracts between many countries and big pharma companies since the late 1980s.

It’s been standard in vaccine contracts because we know that vaccines will kill some people. Doing anything to the entire population simply will kill some people. Ask the entire population to walk up the stairs and some will die.

We also have state, government, compensation schemes. Because we know vaccines will kill some people. But the public good is such that we’ll all chip in to pay the compo to those who do.

This is nowt to do with ‘rona, it’s just the basics of the whole damn field.

Echoing AstraZeneca’s acrimonious row with the EU, the Brazilian government had previously complained about Pfizer’s stipulation “that if there is a delay in delivery, there is no penalty”. But it agreed in the contract that while Pfizer would “use commercially reasonable efforts to meet the delivery schedule” it would ultimately, “under no circumstances be subject to or liable for any late delivery penalties”.

“All efforts” and “all reasonable efforts”, entirely standard commercial contract language. What in buggery is it that these people are whining about?

All efforts means we sell the CEOs teenage daughter if that’s what it takes to get the vaccines delivered on time. Reasonable means we limit ourselves to what we’d expect a reasonable business to do in order to meet timescales. Like deprive the teenage daughter’s father of his job perhaps, but nor her of her freedom.

Come on people this is just longstanding and well understood commercial law.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reported in February that Pfizer had demanded Brazil and Argentina put up sovereign assets as collateral to guarantee indemnity, as well as create a guarantee fund with money deposited in a foreign bank account.

We should probably read that as “you do actually have a real vaccine compensation fund, don’t you?”

Ah, this explains it:

Alena Ivanova, campaigns officer at Global Justice Now, said: “Pfizer is all too happy to cash in on publicly funded coronavirus vaccines, but doesn’t want to take on any of the risk. It’s an all too familiar move from pharmaceutical companies that seem more interested in protecting their profits than protecting the public.

“We can’t keep putting our faith in private companies to provide lifesaving medicines, only to see them hold countries to ransom.”

These cunts are at the root of it. Any stupid argument is acceptable as long as it leads to the overthrow of capitalism.


Why not build expensive stuff on expensive land, collect all the vast piles of moolah and build low value housing on low value land? You’ll be able to build more low value housing that way….

Advertising system does what advertising system is supposed to do – people are outraged!

It takes a little time to work out what is happening here:

Facebook has been accused of breaching equality laws after its technology was found to favour men when targeting job adverts for male-dominated roles such as mechanics and pilots.

The campaign group Global Witness has filed complaints with the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and Information Commissioner, claiming a Facebook algorithm designed to show jobs to the most interested candidates is discriminatory.

In one case, 96pc of those who viewed an advert for a mechanic were men, while 95pc of those who saw a nursery nurse posting were women. Adverts for pilot positions were disproportionately seen by men, while those for psychologists were far more likely to be seen by women.

Facebook has now said that it is preparing to update its job advert system within weeks. Global Witness alleges that the company may have breached laws preventing discrimination against women in the workplace.

In the Global Witness tests, the advertiser had not specified that job adverts should be directed at a particular gender. The targeting was instead the results of a Facebook algorithm that aims to push adverts into the feeds of users likely to be most receptive.

So, Global Witness mocks up some ads which look for psychologists, pilots and so on. Mechanics and pilots are largely male dominated fields of work, psychology female. OK.

So the ad placing mechanism shows more of the mechanic and pilot ads to men, more of the psychology to women. That’s what you want the ad placing mechanism to do, that’s the whole point of the idea in the first place. Advertise to the people likely to be interested thereby lowering the cost of the advertising. You don’t advertise tampons on porn sites and you do advertise fast food delivery around dinner time. That’s just the way it all works.

At which point Global Witness (BTW, a charity supposedly dedicated to ending third world poverty, presumably they’re changing tack now that third world poverty is being dealt with by the capitalism they despise) gets outraged.

Their demand is that advertising must be directed at people who have no interest in the thing being advertised. Ho Hum.

Ah yes, it’s all Covid, right

Cuba’s health system buckles under strain of overwhelming Covid surge
A lack of medical supplies is crippling the Covid response, amid an economic crisis sparked by the pandemic and US sanctions

The idea that Cuba’s health care system could have been shit all along cannot be contemplated, right?

the island’s vaunted health service


Gissa Job, Gissa Job!

Anna Chan for the Asian Leadership Collective told The Telegraph: “Unfortunately, incidents like this are all too common and only serve to appropriate and position East and South East Asia culture as nothing more than a prop or gimmick.

“This will continue to happen until companies begin to engage and consult with community leaders to ensure inclusive and accurate representation of culture.

“From our experience, this incident suggests legacy processes within the business that must be addressed. Inclusivity and unconscious bias training would be a strong starting point for the group to be taken seriously at their word to being open to learn and grow.”

So Anna, how much do you charge to engage and consult?

Ellie Mae’s argumentation

I’m not going to use this column to argue that what Thatcher did to mining communities in the 1980s was inevitable, or that she was motivated to act out of environmental concerns, because those are such embarrassingly unfounded arguments that it would be insulting to debate them.

That’s inconvenient so I’ll not talk about that.

Desperately masculinist of me I know but it’s a rather feminine argumentation method.

Instead I would simply draw attention to the question Johnson was asked before he made his asinine remark: has he set a firm deadline for transitioning away from fossil fuels?

Now why do you suppose such a question would lead the prime minister to insult thousands of families in this country, many of them living in communities that voted Conservative at the last election? I’d wager his crude little outburst was a deliberate distraction from the fact that an honest answer would have involved admitting that no, there is no firm deadline. In fact, there isn’t anything – because the government scrapped its own industrial strategy a couple of months ago and replaced it with a “Plan for Growth”, which was condemned by the business, energy and industrial strategy committee as “short-termist, unclear and unwelcome” and “nothing more than a list of existing policy commitments, many of which are hopelessly delayed”.

Cool so we’ve lost of existing policy commitments which means we have a plan, right?

This is fun

Anti-smoking campaigners and politicians were horrified; Vectura’s inhalers help treat asthma and lung disease — conditions exacerbated by smoking. Jonathan Ashworth, shadow health secretary, said the bid was “deeply alarming and wrong”. He wrote to Kwasi Kwarteng, the business secretary and Sajid Javid, the health secretary, urging them to intervene.

Last week, the charities Cancer Research UK, Asthma UK, the British Lung Foundation and Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) called on the government to block the deal, saying there was a “real prospect” that PMI would use the takeover to “legitimise tobacco industry participation in health debates”.

Big Tobacco must not change its business model to reduce harms done.

At the same time Shell and BP etc must invest in solar and windmills. Big Oil must change its business model to reduce the harms done.

These people have never met a human, have they?

So, bird sends kid to private school. Guardian reading friend asks newspaper’s readers what she should say about this:

On average, private schools have nearly four times the income of state schools (figures from my recent report for Common-Wealth). Could they justify why their child is worth four times more than another? Prof Sol Gamsu, Durham University

What sort of idiot tosspottery is this?

It’s *my* child. The most precious thing in the world to me. Sure, intellectually I know that other people have children, they might even quite like them. There’s a certain importance to there being those other children otherwise I’m not going to have grandchildren, am I?

But how can anyone who has actually met the occasional human being wonder why or whether parents value their own children more highly than those of other people?