Only if we use the American meaning of black

They insist that the generational gap between Charlotte and her assumed African forebear is so vast as to make the notion ridiculous. Others argue that even the evidence that Madragana was black is itself sketchy.

David Williamson, the late co-editor of Debrett’s Peerage, once opined: “It really is so remote. In any case, all European royal families somewhere are linked to the kings of Castile. There is a lot of Moorish blood in the Portuguese royal family and it has diffused over the rest of Europe. The question is, who cares?”

The answer, of course, is rather a lot of people. As historian Professor Kate Williams has noted: “If she was black, this raises a lot of important suggestions about not only our royal family, but those of most of Europe, considering that Queen Victoria’s descendants are spread across most of the royal families of Europe and beyond. If we class Charlotte as black, then ergo Queen Victoria and our entire royal family, [down] to Prince Harry, are also black… a very interesting concept.”

If we use that one drop rule, where octoroons were still slaves, does this mean that Caroline herself, or any descendants, were or are “black”. This not, of course, being anything close to what we, in England, have traditionally used as a definition of “black”. Probably, precisely because we didn’t have slavery here as a race based institution. Therefore the idea of having to have some strict dividing line wasn’t relevant.

The American definition is of that one drop kind. Which is why someone like Meghan, who we English wouldn’t describe as black, seems to think of herself as being so.

To use an analogy. Between my father and I we could – without considering that little talent bar – have played rugby for any of the four home nations, soccer for any of the five, all based on the grandparent rule. No one at all would ever describe either of us as other than English. Or to go further back, one g g granny was a bit of a goer. Couple of marriages, at least one divorce, the birth certificate for one child has marginalia “born 11 months after husband’s death” and hell, much of this was in 19th century Oz. G granny from this source was born in Callao, Peru. Possibly of the husband (English) of the time, possibly of the mestizo (Spanish/Amerind) known to be hanging around.

Anyone therefore going to call me First Nations or summat? Lizzie Warren stylee? No, clearly and obviously not. So all this about Charlotte is bollocks in this English sense then, isn’t it?

Except for Mao, Pol Pot, Genghis Khan, Hitler and ….

“Trump is the worst criminal in history, undeniably,” Chomsky told Brooks. “There has never been a figure in political history who was so passionately dedicated to destroying the projects for organized human life on Earth in the near future. That is not an exaggeration.”

Actually, any rational accounting would have Nehru having killed more through enforced poverty etc.

Chomsky is 91.

But race is trivial

That frequency is amplified by the media’s treatment of race as a spectacle rather than a serious subject, which has contributed so much to the climate of trivialising racism that triggered the Black Lives Matter protests in the first place.

That’s rather the aim, that race and racism becomes something trivial, of no more importance to life than the presence or not of freckles.

Isn’t it?

Now this is fun

Imagine how our less “enlightened” selves of 2010 would have responded to the recent statement from the University and College Union that a person may self-identify as whatever race they choose.

Now how much fun can we have with that?

So, we’re to entirely ban freelancing then

Zero-hours contracts exploit workers. And despite what the government’s report suggests, and the fact that zero-hours contracts tend to work very well for employers, the vast majority of people on zero-hours contracts want out. The only way to tackle this situation is to ban zero-hours contracts altogether. This will enable more people to have access to secure jobs with decent working hours and opportunities for progression.

Wonder if these legal eagles have actually thought this through? Freelancing, such as wot I do, being a form of zero hours contract of course.

And to be honest about it I’d be seriously pissed off if someone said that they were going to make it illegal for me to – occasionally – write for The Times.

What a pathetic little demand

But education is the long game; elites need to move now to show they are serious about fighting inequality and anti-immigration sentiment. And in a world increasingly divided into flys and fly-nots, what better way to do that than to tax those who fly the most and spend the most on airfares?

The proceeds of that tax could be invested in economic development, infrastructure projects and schools in the areas that are most economically fragile and which therefore have become most hostile to immigration.

Not practical, not realistic, not doable, you say? Actually, such a tax already exists. It has been levied on airline tickets in a number of countries including the UK, France and Brazil since 2002 and its recipient, the UN agency Unitaid, uses the money to finance the fight against Aids, tuberculosis and malaria.

Instead of patronising leavers, Ukip and Trump voters, let’s levy an additional £5 on every business class ticket sold in the UK and use the proceeds to finance the economic development of the places most severely hit by the negative effects of globalisation.

250 million (around) passenger movements in the UK each year. 10% are business class? A guestimate, sure. But around and about right maybe?

We’re going to raise £125 million. That’s going to do a lot to ameliorate globalisation, isn’t it?


The world is wrong,” wrote the American poet Claudia Rankine. “You can’t put the past behind you. It’s buried in you; it’s turned your flesh into its own cupboard.” To be black, in a society that invented race for the specific purpose of dehumanising people who are black, and then invented an equally formidable system of denial, is to carry the burden of history that others would rather forget.

Eh? Agreed, Carlyle wanted to use race to dehumanise but he was rather swiftly shown to be wrong, no?

The Guardian’s own research found that just 3% of Britain’s most powerful elite are from ethnic minority groups.

If you’ll not take age and lifecycles into account you’re never going to understand the world.

Who could he mean?

I’d made a film for Newsnight about what the Labour Party needs to do to reconnect with voters, and at first I was pleasantly surprised. The producer of the film was brilliant. But then they showed it on the programme and afterwards made me debate against a semi-literate lump of cretinous rage who just jabbered meaningless idiocies that had nothing to do with anything I’d said or even the questions a bemused Kirsty Wark tried to ask her. Like a Chatty Cathy doll programmed by an educationally subnormal friend of Stalin’s: pull the cord and out it all comes, a succession of furious non-sequiturs. “Never again,” I told the idiot of a programme producer, afterwards, very solemnly.

A woman entirely resistant to the lessons of experience

Please reassure Owen Jones that not all lefties become rightwing with age. My grandparents came from Ukraine and were Bolsheviks. My grandfather, both grandmothers and two great aunts were founder members of the Communist party and remained members until they died in their 90s. My father, aunt and uncle were also CP members for most of their lives. I am 68, have been a party member from 16, and I have no intention of changing my orientation. Carry on the good work, Owen.
Dr Laura Miller

Umm, yeah.

Well done ignoring the major lesson of the 20th century.

But then might this be the same Dr. Laura Miller?

Life Cycle Events
Madricha (Leader) Dr Laura Miller is trained and licensed by the Society for Secular Humanist Judaism in the USA. She studied under the late and much lamented Sherwin Wine. Laura lives in London, England, and at present is the only Officiant for Secular Humanist Judaism in Europe. She has written and coordinated weddings, funerals, bar and bat mitzvot, baby namings and adoptions (in place of conversions), and is prepared to travel if a family would like her participation.

In SHJ ceremonies, the scripts are written by the families or couple concerned, using a template and list of possible Jewish traditions translated into modern terms that Humanists accept. In addition, other traditions can be included if family or couple feel they are important. The only caveat is that Officiants licensed by the SHJ do not use God language directly in their ceremonies but prayers etc. can be incorporated by others in the ceremony if the family/couple so wish.

Judaism without God is an interesting concept, no?


Palmer had worked at the prison in Dannemora for more than 27 years and had a base salary of $72,644. He had known Sweat and Matt for at least five years.

That’s a serious amount of money. Upstate, rural New York, and he’s getting 150% of the US median wage? And for 27 years……should know what is what.

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. — A prison guard charged in connection with the escape of two killers admitted providing them with tools, paint, frozen hamburger and even access to a catwalk electrical box, but claims he never knew they planned to bust out, authorities say.

Err, yeah.

Quite a high pay rate for someone quite that dim, no? Unions, dontcha’ love ’em?

It ain’t about the oil Maduro

Venezuela’s president has accused the US of using continuing street protests to attempt a “slow-motion” Ukraine-style coup against his government and “get their hands on Venezuelan oil”.


The US already has its hands on Venezuela’s oil. For they’re the biggest customers for it. They turn up and pay for it at the going market rate.

Whoever governs Venezuela this will continue to be true. The Americans will be the major customers and they’ll pay for it just like everyone else. As they are paying the market price in Iraq after the invasion etc etc.

Pity Latin America

Entirely typical Guardianista bollocks:

For the region this means that just as the first wave of leftism may be reaching an impasse in Argentina and Venezuela, a second, more profound one is beginning in unexpected parts of Latin America: conservative Chile, ultra-conservative Colombia and moderate Brazil. For the world, this spells the end of the dogma that the economy determines people’s consent rather than the other way around. It is the time of the people once again.

To translate this for you.

Having fucked up both Venezuela and Argentina we should use the same policies in Chile, Brazil and Colombia. You know, on the basis that fucking over the lives of 69 million people is a tragedy, doing it to a further 263 million is just a statistic?

The Ego has landed

Mr. Shaxson\’s thesis.

The BBC hasn\’t made a documentary about his book, Treasure Islands, one of the 100,000 or so books published in the UK last year, because the BBC is in the pay of the tax havens.

Or something.

No doubt they won\’t make one about the Courageous State either for the same reason.

Hey, makes sense to me.

Laugh of the day

The blockade also restricts access to long-term credit which means Cuba is often limited to dealing in cash transactions or expensive short-term credit. This makes bilateral trade more costly for the island and significantly stifles their economic freedom.

Not quite as much as the Cuban Government\’s denial to its citizens of any form of economic, or even political, freedom stifles anything but then motes n\’ beams n\’all that.

Left Foot Forward and the Robin Hood Tax

Cretins, we\’re surrounded by cretins.

There’s really only two problems with this idea.

1) It would not be the banks, not even the bankers, paying the RHT. There really is something called tax incidence, no, really, and it will be all consumers of financial prodcts that pay the tax. That’s us, the citizenry then.

Heck, one of the UK’s few Nobel Laureates, Sir James Mirrlees, has pointed out that trasnaction taxes are to be avoided anyway as they cascade through the economy.

2) Such transaction taxes will increase volatility, not decrease it. Sorry, but this is also true. Speculation, all those derivatives, they dampen price volatility, not increase it. Yes, I have read your reports and they’re all bollocks, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

So, let’s have an RHT so that we, us, can pay more taxes and so that we can have the financial markets gyrating ever more wildly.

Doesn’t sound so good now, does it?

Those ever longer working hours

You know, those ones that rise up as an incantation in Guardian not-think pieces?

Analysis of the most recent time use survey for Britain — which includes the unemployed and \”homemakers\” as well as working couples — shows that women work an average of five hours 55 minutes a day on employment and chores, compared with a man\’s five hours 37 minutes.

Yup, they\’re bollocks.

Because what everyone, but always, looks at is market working hours without adjusting for the decline in home working hours.

Now you might think this is trivial but this ignorance of reality leads to some entirely stupid prescriptions. For example, the nef (how did you know I was going to use them as an example of stupidity?), tell us we should all be doing fewer market working hours….and then rather fail to tell us that this will mean many more household production hours, leading to a decline in leisure time and an increase in total working hours.

Further, we can make a general presumption that market working hours are more productive than household. For in hte market we\’ve the division and specialisation of labour while in the household this is, at best, limited. So production will be, as this general presumption, less per hour of household labour than it will be for an hour of market labour.

So the nef\’s suggestion is that we should work fewer hours in order to work more hours to be poorer.

Put that way it sounds most attractive, doesn\’t it?


Defence charities have snubbed the News of the World by refusing to accept millions of pounds in donations in protest at the alleged hacking of dead soldiers’ families’ phones.

Pecunia non olet.

Actually, worse than fools.

Some limbless squaddies will now not get their bionic limbs because the non-injured middle class twats who run the charities have been able to buff up their moral credentials by refusing such \”tainted\” money.

There must be a word which encapsulates \”you suffer for my moral prejudices\” even if I don\’t know what it is.