Lefty logic

Dear BBC Management,
I was disturbed to read in yesterday’s Guardian that the Metropolitan police have made contact with BBC journalists to request unbroadcast footage of the protests in central London on March 26th.

Mm, hmmm.

It took a full week following the death of Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protests, for example, for the true story of police brutality to emerge after footage released by a passer-by reversed the police’s false and self-serving account which had been parroted by an obliging media.


In response to the Met’s request, BBC Management should now issue a public statement mounting a strong defence of the confidentiality of its journalists’ material and sources.


The argument is that because previously unseen footage was of use in solving the Tomlinson thing then no one should release unseen footage?


What a loon

The co-host of the BBC\’s Springwatch programme said that everyone must do their bit for the environment. \”If I didn\’t recycle and shop locally, I couldn\’t see the point of being human,\” he told the Radio Times.

That\’s Chris Packham.

Art, religion, the beauty of a summer\’s day. love, no, all are worth less than bloody recycling.

Setting out his radical approach, Packham said: \”There\’s no point bleating about the future of pandas, polar bears and tigers when we\’re not addressing the one single factor that\’s putting more pressure on the ecosystem than any other – namely the ever-increasing size of the world\’s population.

\”I wouldn\’t actually penalise people for having too many children, as I think the carrot always works better than the stick. But I would offer them tax breaks for having small families – say, 10 per cent off your tax bill if you decide to stick with just one child. And an even bigger financial incentive if you choose not to have a family at all.

\”I read the other day that, by 2020, there are going to be 70 million people in Britain. Let\’s face it, that\’s too many.

And he doesn\’t seem to realise that that ever expanding population thing is already being solved. As the world gets rich people are having fewer children. We just don\’t need to do anything more than simple economic growth.

Ms. Laurie Penny and reality

Connections are there none:

Laurie Penny in “You Say You Want a Revolution”: “There can be no question that the conditions are right for a youth movement. The young people of Britain are suffering brutal, insulting socio-economic oppression. There are over a million young people of working age not in education, employment or training, which is a polite way of saying “up shit creek without a giro”.

If you are not in education, employment or training, if you are a NEET, that is exactly when you do get a Giro, isn\’t it?

We find out about UKuncut and Wittington Investments

Finally, what they\’re complaining about:

At 3.30pm we gathered on Oxford Street and moved toward a new tax-dodging target, Fortnum & Mason, to stage an occupation. This foodstore is owned by Whittington Investments, which runs a devious tax avoidance scheme, stuffing money in Luxembourg and avoiding £10m a year in tax. This money could pay for about 500 nurses.

Still entirely missing the point that Wittington itself is 79.2% owned by a charity, the Garfield Weston Foundation, which donates £40 million a year to good causes.

Health £
The Royal Marsden Cancer
Campaign London 1,000,000
Cancer Research UK London 500,000
The Forever Friends Appeal Bath 250,000
Stroke Association London 150,000*
Birmingham Children’s
Hospital NHS Trust Birmingham 100,000
The Liver Group Charity London 100,000
University of Dundee Dundee 100,000
Moonstone Therapy Centre
Appeal Bristol 100,000

Kids Kidney Research London 100,000
Best Beginnings London 100,000
Motor Neurone Disease
Association Northampton 100,000
Thrombosis Research
Institute London 100,000
Bowel & Cancer Research London 56,000
Alzheimer’s Society London 50,000
British Liver Trust Ringwood 50,000
Rainbows Children’s
Hospice, Loughborough Loughborough 50,000
Royal Surrey County Hospital
NHS Trust Guildford 50,000
Changing Faces London 50,000
The National Autistic Society London 50,000
East Anglia’s Children’s
Hospices (EACH) Cambridge 50,000
Melanoma Focus Chalfont St.
Giles 50,000
Treetops Hospice Trust Risley 30,000
Helen Rollason Cancer
Charity Chelsmford 30,000
Foundation for the Study of
Infant Deaths (FSID) London 25,000
Teenage Cancer Trust Cambridge 25,000
Aspire Stanmore 25,000
Tropical Health & Education
Trust (THET) London 25,000
Headway – The Brain Injury
Association Nottingham 25,000
Starlight Children’s
Foundation London 25,000
Jo’s Trust London 25,000
Willow Foundation Hatfield 25,000
Autism Treatment Trust Edinburgh 25,000
Buddy Bear Trust Dungannon 25,000
British Nutrition Foundation London 20,696
Muscular Dystrophy
Campaign London 20,000
St Andrew’s Hospice
(Lanarkshire) Airdrie 20,000
CancerCare North Lancashire
& South Lakeland Lancaster 20,000
Rainbow Trust Children’s
Charity Leatherhead 20,000
Cued Speech Association UK Dartmouth 20,000
Research Autism Bristol 20,000
SANE London 20,000
St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth 20,000
Action Cancer Belfast 20,000
Allergy UK Swanley 20,000


UKuncut occupying Fortum and Mason

Friggin\’ morons. Fortnum\’s is owned by a charity, dingbats.

The Trustees would therefore be looking to make grants
of around £40 million as usual during the next financial
The grants made, as usual, support a wide range of
charitable activities, but the largest overall grants in
terms of value were made in the Art (total £5,680,500)
and Education (total £11,985,166) categories. These
included a lead grant of £3 million to the British
Museum for the new Research Institute for Science
and Conversation and a grant of £1 million to the Royal
Opera House towards core costs. A grant of £1 million
was also made to the Royal Marsden Cancer Campaign
and a further pledge for that sum was made to English
Heritage towards the redevelopment of Stonehenge.
Cancer Research UK received a £500,000 grant for its
Clinical Trials Unit in Manchester and there were eight
other grants for this amount. The remaining grants
were mostly for £250,000 or less, thus enabling the
Trustees to provide core support for as wide a range of
projects as possible.

The money comes from:

At 5 April 2010, the Foundation owned 79.2 percent of
Wittington Investments Limited, a company registered
in England. Wittington Investments is the ultimate
holding company of Associated British Foods plc, which
is listed on the International Stock Exchange, and
Fortnum and Mason plc and Heal’s plc.

Is everyone involved with UKuncut entirely fucking ignorant?

Can we have a little reality here?

The Low Carbon Kid touts himself as the one who knows about renewables and energy.

Renewable energy is free

You what?

Given that Solar PV requires a 46 p per unit subsidy it\’s very diffiult indeed to make any sense of such a drivellingly stupid statement.

The rest of the piece is similarly filled with complete nonsense.

Surprisingly, he\’s decided not to publish my comment pointing this out…….

Just who should we support here?

Well, not \”we\”, but \”they\”:

The Muslim LGBTQI group Imaan today criticised the East End Gay Pride event, saying its organisers had close links to the English Defence League.

The event was organised for 2nd April, supposedly in retaliation to homophobic stickers being placed around East London declaring it was a ‘gay free zone’.

It\’s quite delicious really. We\’ve, in one corner, someone from the English Defence League, a not quite fascist* natalist party who are defending the right of freeborn Englishmen to indulge in a little man on man action be true to their sexuality.

Tolerance is, after all, supposde to be one of those English virtues, even if we\’ve not always lived up to the advertising.

On the other side we\’ve some nasty little religiously inspired homophobes who really ought to be demonstrated against.

So, the conundrum for the \”they\”, the lefties, who should they support?

Berry has allegedly been involved in another hard-right racist group called Stop Islamisation of Europe.

They called on the board of Pride London to take over the organisation of East End Gay Pride and organise an event that instead believed in “community cohesion and celebration of our diversity”.

Pink News reports that Berry has now resigned, while others have called for the event to be cancelled.

Ah, that\’s it. Even though Berry is doing the right thing he shouldn\’t be doing it as his heart is not pure.

Sadly, all too many also make the next leap: doing the wrong thing as long as the heart is pure is just fine, as large swathes of the 20th century showed us.

*Re the first comment: I\’m trying to look at this as if I were standing on the left…..

Sunny\’s complaint

But what really shocked me was that no one appears to have the authority to call out the campaign. When I filed my complaint, I was told by the ASA that it can\’t interfere and that it\’s a matter for the Electoral Commission. The latter, however, now says it\’s a matter for the ASA, as it only deals with political parties.

So, in effect, the No2AV campaign falls into a grey area that is now being exploited by a group that steadfastly refuses to reveal who is backing it and by how much.

Would you look at that?

There\’s no bureaucracy responsible for stopping people from running ads that Sunny doesn\’t like.

Obviously, I agree that this is terrible, political activists should clearly be able to, by law, stop people from doing whatever it is that said political activist doesn\’t like them doing.

What would be the point of being a political activist if it were otherwise?

To the barricades sisters!

The repercussions of these cuts can be seen already, with recent figures showing that the number of women aged 25-49 on jobseeker\’s allowance is now at its highest since records began in 1997. It is time to take to the streets.

Number of unemployed women goes higher in first recession since 1997.

Scary how things like that can happen, isn\’t it?

Take VAT stupidity

Another bunch of numpties appears:

“It is simply unfair that aviation pays no VAT. Why should one of the dirtiest and noisiest industries in the world get away scot-free when ordinary people are charged VAT on basic necessities like toilet rolls?”

Oooh, I can answer that question.

“VAT Air travel, like all UK public transport modes is zero-rated for VAT.”

So you will, of course, be campaigning for VAT on train and bus transport as well?

Take VAT

Take VAT, which describes itself as a \”UK Uncut-esque\” action group, was formed last month to raise awareness of companies that avoid paying VAT.

These range from companies such as HMV and Tesco, which use a VAT loophole to sell CDs and DVDs VAT-free from the Channel Islands, to airlines. No VAT is charged on aviation fuel or flights from airports within the EU.

\”Everyone in Britain, from the poorest pensioner to the richest banker, should now be paying VAT on products at 20%,\” said Cameron, a spokesman for Take VAT. \”Yet the biggest companies are getting away with paying nothing. That avoidance is costing the public millions.\”

Are these people insane?

Who do they think actually pays VAT?

That\’s right, the consumer. Not the company (whatever Mark Wadsworth says). The incidence of consumption taxes is upon consumers (not entirely, but certainly in the majority) so complaining that by the public not being taxed this costs the public millions is simply insane.

Where do these loons come from?

Food price rises: it\’s not the speculators dingbats

Hey, this guy has the Nobel for Economics, you going to listen to him at least?

What’s behind the surge in food prices? The usual suspects have made the usual claims — it’s all about the Fed, or it’s all about speculators. But I’ve been looking at the USDA World supply and demand estimates, and what stands out from the data is mainly that we’ve had a huge global harvest failure.


But the main point is that the demand for grain is highly price-inelastic: it takes big price rises to induce people to consume less, yet collectively that’s what they must do given the shortfall in production.

So would the World Development Movement please shut the fuck up?

Mr. Aristide speaks out!

What we have learned in one long year of mourning after Haiti\’s earthquake is that an exogenous plan of reconstruction – one that is profit-driven, exclusionary, conceived of and implemented by non-Haitians – cannot reconstruct Haiti.

No, no, of course not. Profits are bad, M\’Kay?

Education has been a top priority since the first Lavalas government – of which I was president – was sworn into officeunder Haiti\’s amended democratic constitution on 7 February 1991 (and removed a few months later). More schools were built in the 10 years between 1994, when democracy was restored, and 2004 – when Haiti\’s democracy was once again violated – than between 1804 to 1994: one hundred and ninety-five new primary schools and 104 new public high schools constructed and/or refurbished.

How excellent: although this isn\’t so good.

Haiti\’s devastating earthquake in January last year destroyed up to 5,000 schools and 80% of the country\’s already weak university infrastructure. The primary school in Port-au-Prince that I attended as a small boy collapsed with more than 200 students inside. The weight of the state nursing school killed 150 future nurses. The state medical school was levelled. The exact number of students, teachers, professors, librarians, researchers, academics and administrators lost during those 65 seconds that irrevocably changed Haiti will never be known. But what we do know is that it cannot end there.

You never know, profit seeking might mean building to the earthquake code: unlike the building done by the government you led.

UK Uncut: blithering idiots

And ignorant to boot.

UK UnCut claims that since Boots, bought out by private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts in 2008, moved its headquarters to Switzerland, the tax it pays has dropped from 33% to 3%, saving £150m a year.

It isn\’t the move to Switzerland which has reduced Boots\’ corporation tax bill. Not, at least, in anything more than a very minor manner.

It\’s the interest bill it\’s paying which has reduced corporation tax paid.

The company was bought by loading it up with debt. The interest on that debt is therefore an operating cost of the company and so reduces taxable profits.

Do also note that it\’s not actually certain that such a manouvre has reduced total tax collected. Of course, yes, the debt has reduced taxable profits at Boots and thus the amount of tax that Boots pays. But the interest received by whoever does actually receive it is taxed at the level of the recipient. If it\’s, just as an example, a higher rate taxpayer who holds one of the Boots bonds, then they will be paying 40% (possibly even 50%) on that interest received: a higher rate than the 28% corporation tax that Boots would have paid without the interest bill.

And whining that all the interest goes to foreigners doesn\’t work either: what this means is that there\’s some £billions (whatever the number is) of foreign capital being used to provide luvverly shops and pharmacies for Brits to enjoy: us getting the benefits of foreign capital is a good thing.

I would bet reasonable money that not a single one of UK Uncut would be able to explain this story. Yet they\’ll still protest it: gullible, ignorant fools that they are.

Of course, don\’t look for those who do understand this (Mr. Murphy perhaps? TJN?) to bother to tell anyone. Gullible, ignorant fools are just what they need and are thus delighted to have.

Once again our Russian friends come to the rescue

Neil Clark told us that we really should renationalise our airports because having private business run them was obviously just awwwwwful when they couldn\’t cope with the snow.

We should move to something like the US system, where the State or municipalities own the airport with contractors actually running it.

Once again, as they did nor much of the past century, our Russian friends leap into action and show us the perils of such communal ownership.

Angry passengers revolted at Moscow\’s Domodedovo airport on Monday as freezing rain and power cuts disrupted flights for a second day.

How is the airport run?

Since 1996, Domodedovo Airport has been operated by East Line Group on a 75-year lease, although the runways continue to be controlled by the state.

Yup, precisely that system that Clark recommends as solving the problems with snow disrupting flights.

Interesting point

However, I am now a bit confused about the stated reasons of our progressive left of why they oppose Wal-Mart. After all, leftoids like to educate us that selling food and other necessities to ordinary people for low prices is bad when Wal-Mart does it. But when Hugo Chavez does the exact same thing, except that he also wields the power of the gun to force those capitalist pig farmers and factory owners to give up their products for even less, this suddenly becomes praiseworthy!

Luckily Bob Crow is only a union leader

Railway union boss Bob Crow reckons putting a one-penny tax on text messaging would wipe out half the UK\’s deficit, demonstrating a rather optimistic approach to financial planning.

It\’s not just that he\’s ignorant of basic economics, that you\’ll get fewer such messages if you charge for each and every one of them, it\’s that he\’s innumerate to boot.

It would have to be £1 each to halve (roughly) this year\’s deficit.