Julie Bindel’s argumentation

Needs a bit of a polish this:

The applicants claim that the law contravenes three articles in the European convention on human rights: the right to life; prohibition of inhuman and degrading treatment; right to a private life. One of the arguments is that the law puts women’s lives in danger by driving prostitution underground; that they are more likely to face violence from sex buyers because only “bad” punters will take the risk; and that women have the right to make autonomous decisions to sell sex.

There is no evidence for these claims – on the contrary, research in those countries that have adopted the abolitionist model has shown that rates of violence and homicide perpetrated on women by pimps and punters is far lower than in decriminalised regimes.

Note the “s” on “claims” in the second paragraph. And yet the point she doesn’t address is whether adult consenting women do or do not have the right to make autonomous decisions to sell sex.

To which the correct answer is yes, of course they do. Or at least should. Hey, even ring it around with all sorts of constraints. Poor women can’t because they’re being driven into it by economics, druggies can’t because addiction, kiddies certainly can’t anyway and so on. But clean in the addiction sense women who desire to rent out orifices because they desire to? Who in buggery is Julie Bindel to tell them they may not? Should not – just fine, Bindel away at that – but not may not?

But then that sort of skipping over logic is the only thing that allows Bindel’s case to gel……

Tough on crime!

Ministers are facing demands to explain why thousands of convicted sexual offenders across England and Wales have avoided prison.

An Observer investigation found that adults convicted of sexually assaulting children under 13, or of engaging in sexual activity with underage teenagers, are among those who have not been jailed.

An Observer analysis of thousands of convictions shows that between 2013 and 2020, 14,530 of the 44,721 adults sentenced for sexual offences were given suspended or community sentences – almost one in three. Just over 60% were immediately sent to prison, with the rest dealt with in other ways, such as conditional discharges and fines.

It is fun seeing how “bang ’em up” becomes the mantra when it’s politically convenient to say so and an absolute horror when it comes to the politically inconvenient. Viricide, for example, is to be understood, copping a feel means jail?

Logical consistency in the trans argument

Currently, people cannot obtain a full Gender Recognition Certificate to legally change their gender without the consent of their spouse.

But MPs on the Commons women and equalities select committee are holding an inquiry looking at how laws could make changing gender easier, as part of a wider probe into reforms of the Gender Recognition Act.

The LGBT charity Stonewall told MPs it “strongly urges” scrapping the spousal consent provision, citing the 84.9 per cent who disagreed with it in the Government’s recent GRA consultation.

It’s not so much that he spouse can stop you getting the chop. It’s that they get a divorce – a right to one – if permission isn’t granted. This is opposed by Stonewall.

Hmm, OK.

So, another contention is that sexual attraction is concerned with gender, not natal sex. Thus, those lesbians who do not date the ladypenis are being hateful bigots. Because the ladypenis is attached to a woman, look, the certificate says so, the declaration is that this is a woman. So, not dating such, when a woman attracted to women, is bigotry.

But when it comes to marriage this logic doesn’t seem to hold. Because – just to pick an example – a man changing to being a woman in a previously heterosexual marriage turns that former heterosexual woman into a lesbian. Because sexual attraction is to gender, not sex, right?

But people should not have the possibility of the dissolution of the marriage when they are forcibly turned into a lesbian? Or even from into het if it’s a lesbian partner that does a Freddie? And so on through the permutations?

Nice logic you’ve got there Stonewall. Be a pity if anyone bothered to examine it.

Missing Alan Coren again

One of the founding fathers of the European Union was put on the path to sainthood by Pope Francis.

Robert Schuman, who called for a supranational community for coal and steel in 1950, was recognised by the Pope for his “heroic virtues”, the Vatican said.

Mr Schuman said cooperation on coal and steel, especially involving France and Germany, would make future wars impossible.

The Schuman Plan led to the European Economic Community in 1957, which evolved into the modern EU in 1993.

Climbing upon the butter mountain the Lord showed him the Promised Land of the technocratic state run by functionaires. He did then walk upon the wine lake before revealing, to the astonished worshipers of the Golden Market, all 1,252 pages of the duck egg regulations and said “There’s more of it where that came from!” and they turned from false idols and praise the Lord.

Government’s not very good, is it?

Matt Hancock failed to tell Boris Johnson about a major Public Health England (PHE) study showing the effectiveness of vaccines against the Indian or delta variant during a key meeting to decide whether to extend Covid restrictions, The Telegraph can disclose.

The Telegraph understands that the Health Secretary had known about the PHE data three days before the “quad” of four senior ministers, led by the Prime Minister, met last Sunday to decide whether to postpone the planned June 21 reopening until July 19.

However, multiple sources familiar with the meeting said it was not raised by Mr Hancock or discussed at all during the course of the talks.

As I’ve pointed out before, Hayek had much to say on this point. The impossibility of the centre gaining the necessary information to be able to plan matters in any detail.

The point being this isn’t one specific time, one mishap or action. It’s a fundamental problem with any centre trying to gain access to enough information…..buggers that Curajus State right up.

Does not compute

And this trade in human beings meant that you got free labor in the colonies in the Caribbean, in the Americas, and so on.

Sigh. If you buy the laborer then the labour isn’t free, is it? The labour costs that capital cost, the price of the labourer, divided by the number of years of labour gained. Plus, obviously, the operating costs of the labour.

Slave labour might well have been cheaper, but it wasn’t free.

Where primary commodities were produced at very suppressed prices, these primary commodities in their sale brought huge profits and this profit margin is what created the capital sums for the emergence of capitalism. That’s the origin of it. 30% of the British Midlands capital formation took place through the drain of wealth from India.

That’s the next sentence. Which doesn’t make all that much sense, given that slave labour wasn’t used in India……

And today, the debt crisis, the burden on so called developing countries is over $11 trillion. There is no way these countries can ever pay it; and in the current Coronavirus recession it is an impossible payment for them. This year developing countries have to pay almost $4 trillion in debt servicing. That’s not the $11 trillion principle. This is to service the debt, and it’s not possible.

Entirely bollocks. They ain’t paying a 40% interest rate whatever the actual sums outstanding might be.

At which point I got bored with the nonsense.

Bollocks matey

Jadarite, a mineral unique to the valley, contains lithium, a fundamental component in batteries, which is in increasing global demand thanks to the boom of the electric car industry. Experts believe that there could be as much as 200 million tonnes of lithium ore — a tenth of the world’s supply — in the land surrounding the town of Loznica, the region where Kokanovic farms.

“Could be” tells us that this isn’t a mineral reserve. This is, at best, a resource. And 200 million tonnes of ore grading 1.8% ain’t 10% of the world’s supply of anything.

It was originally estimated that there are 200 million tons of the lithium borate ore, which would make the future Jadar mines one of the world’s largest lithium deposits, supplying 10% of the world’s demand for lithium.[8]. Later on, United States Geological Survey concluded that lithium supply is closer to 1.51% of world’s demand for lithium.

Even that’s not right because it’s still mixing and matching definitions. If it all exists, if it’s all mined, and if other people don;t open up other mines, then it might be that single percentage point or two of global supply. And at 3.6 million tonnes of, so far, resources:

Owing to continuing exploration, identified lithium resources have increased substantially
worldwide and total about 86 million tons. Lithium resources in the United States—from continental brines,
geothermal brines, hectorite, oilfield brines, and pegmatites—are 7.9 million tons. Lithium resources in other countries
have been revised to 78 million tons. Lithium resources are Bolivia, 21 million tons; Argentina, 19.3 million tons; Chile,
9.6 million tons; Australia, 6.4 million tons; China, 5.1 million tons; Congo (Kinshasa), 3 million tons; Canada,
2.9 million tons; Germany, 2.7 million tons; Mexico, 1.7 million tons; Czechia, 1.3 million tons; Serbia, 1.2 million tons;
Peru, 880,000 tons; Mali, 700,000 tons; Zimbabwe, 500,000 tons; Brazil, 470,000 tons; Spain, 300,000 tons; Portugal,
270,000 tons; Ghana, 90,000 tons; and Austria, Finland, Kazakhstan, and Namibia, 50,000 tons each.

Or, that 1.2 million more conservative resource indicated there for Serbia.

All of that before we even begin to think about seawater content, something that people are claiming they can extract economically now…..

It’s a nice deposit there in Serbia. But it ain’t a mineral reserve – Rio Tinto hasn’t even designed the extraction technique yet, let alone defined the deposit – and as a resource it’s a nice little addition to global supplies but no more than that.

If you’re going to start out with a lie then things will descend into getting worse, won’t they?

When discussing anything it’s important to start from reality. Only then can logic be used to untangle those skeins concerning what we might do:

The figures are stark: the latest Home Office data shows 52,210 rapes were recorded in England and Wales in 2020, but only 843 resulted in a charge by the end of the year, that’s fewer than 1 in 60 cases.

It is not true that 52,210 rapes were recorded in 2020 in England and Wales.

There were 52,210 allegations of rape made in England and Wales in 2020 which were then recorded by the police.

It is not true that every allegation of rape is, or was, a rape.

This error in the starting point leads to such as this:

and a special commission on juries to consider a range of things, including juror education.

These are urgent issues to be addressed, but the review’s answer can not be that rape is just a difficult crime to prosecute. In most rape cases, it is not a question of whether sexual intercourse occurred, but whether there was consent or not. This is what, the review claims, can lead to a focus on the victim and their “state of mind” during investigations and prosecutions.

Well, yes, given that the definition of the crime is what the possible victim’s state of mind was then the focus on defining the crime has to be on the possible victim’s state of mind was, doesn’t it?

Well, actually, you know Owen?

Watt’s treatment provoked justified outrage among his peers. “These sorts of encounters are becoming commonplace for reporters in #ageofrage,” was how Sky News’ presenter Adam Boulton put it. While he is right to be concerned, to contextualise the event as part of a generalised “age of rage” is misplaced. There is a difference between irritating online debate on all sides of the political spectrum, and physical harassment of journalists carried out by the far right.

Physical harassment of journalists – by anyone, whether of the right or the left – isn’t actually the point. It’s that physical harassment is the wrong thing.

Sure, journalists – I guess I can include myself among that number now – like to think of themselves as pure and wondrous and defenders of this and that and different. But the offences are violence against the person, ABH, GBH, things like that. They’re offences whether carried out against a journalist, a janitor or a Juventudi. The offence is the violence, the harassment, not the person it is being carried out against.

This even being true if you are Andy Ngo.

We even have phrases which encompass this idea, civil liberty, human rights perhaps. The important part of that second being the human bit – they’re things that apply to everyone, not just those self-proclaimed to be doing socially useful activities.

Sounds a bit de trop

Parents will be able to select ‘neutral’ gender when enrolling kids in secondary schools in Belgium this September, under plans designed to combat discrimination.

Eleven-year-olds will be grouped according to three genders – male, female and neutral – in the first phase of a plan expected to lead to a redesign of toilets, changing rooms and sports lessons.

Between 1 per cent and 3 per cent of adults and up to 75,000 children in Belgium are transgender, according to estimates by LGBT groups.

One to three percent? The incidence of the T is greater than that of the L or the G? Te veel, toch?

Stonewall – Sigh

Teachers should drop the terms boys and girls in favour of “learners”, and mix up the sexes in PE classes, Stonewall has told schools.

The usual idiocies over language. The distinctions will still be made by everyone just as with the Falklanders. If they can’t be called Bennies then they’ll be called Stills. From Cretin to ‘Mong to short bus rider, the same sentiment, meaning, is there. Stop using one method of marking the classification and given that humans will keep making the classification then another method of marking it will be used.

Then they get really lunatic. What’s the one part of schooling where it’s entirely obvious, plain, simple, that there are the two sexes?

The controversial LGBT charity is urging teachers to ditch all gendered language and gendered uniforms and suggests that children should compete against the opposite sex in sport.

Depending upon age and sport that’s between doesn’t matter a damn and murder. Rounders at age 6 it won’t make much difference, boxing or rugby at age 17 and it’s likely that someone will die. And it won’t be one of the lads either.

To be a member of the Stonewall School & College Champion schools, establishments have to pay a yearly fee, starting at £150 plus VAT for those with less than 100 pupils, and rising to £800 plus VAT for those with more than 2,000 learners.

But then this is all about the grift, isn’t it? 32,000 schools in the UK, that’s an awful lot of fees to be collected.

Coffee shops are now vital to the economy

Starbucks is without doubt a Public Interest Entity in the UK.


‘public-interest entities’ means: … Entities designated by Member States as public-interest entities, for instance undertakings that are of significant public relevance because of the nature of their business, their size or the number of their employees.”

£370 million turnover? 0.019% of GDP as turnover – note, turnover and GDP are not the same thing at all. 7,000 employees? 0.02% of labour force?

That’s what is required to be a PIE?


As to this:

Richard Murphy, director of Tax Research, said: “The accounts offer no clear insight as to what is going on. And that is the problem. Starbucks still needs to put all their cards face up on the table in a spirit of transparency and openness and it is still not clear that they are.”

The P³ accountant, superhero, cannot work out what’s happening in a set of accounts?

There are numerous ambiguities in the accounts, including a reported £16 million transfer pricing adjustment that increases UK profits but which Starbucks says has nothing to do with tax, plus significant prior year tax adjustments meaning there is a current tax charge when a significant loss was made. Starbucks, I am told, say there is nothing to see in any of this.

Well, gosh, perhaps cash taxes paid aren’t a good guide to the tax bill concerning any one year then?

Confusing exports with wealth

Odd thing for an economist to do, confuse exports with wealth generation:

I quote this from the Guardian news summary email this morning:

British food and drink exports to the EU fell by £2bn in the first three months of 2021, with sales of dairy products plummeting by 90%, according to an analysis of HMRC data.

Overall food and drink exports to Ireland fell by 70.8% year on year, to Spain by 63%, Italy 61% and Germany 55%. The HMRC figures show dairy products down more than 90% and exports of cheese down by two-thirds compared with 2020. Whisky fell 32%, chocolate 37% and lamb and mutton 14%.

Please don’t tell me that Brexit is a success.

And please don’t tell me that these losses can be recovered from new trade deals. That is impossible.

Brexit is a simple act of economic sabotage in pursuit of racist goals.

If we don’t export it then we eat it ourselves. And imports have dropped over the same period too. So, umm, on balance not a great deal has happened.

It being important to recall that exports are our hard work that goes off to be enjoyed by Johnny Foreigner, they’re not the benefit of trade at all.


The cynical attack on Stonewall is a reminder of the need to stand up for trans rights
Freddy McConnell

Well, yes. Freddy is the bird who became a man, then stopped taking the drugs, had – as in carried to term – a baby then wanted to be listed as the father, not mother. Also, probably the Guardian worker who claimed that he felt his life was in danger in an unsafe working environment because Suzanne Moore wrote a piece muttering about not being able to change sex or summat.

Good luck to Freddy and how he lives his life. No, really, it’s his life to live and we all wish him well. It’s just that his views on this subject might not be entirely and wholly mainstream. Perhaps, you know?

So here’s a little historical question

The Last Abbot of Reading

OK, so it’s a play and all that.

But was Hugh Faringdon actually the last abbot of Reading?

It’s not uncommon for distinguished and elderly monks – I think particularly of Benedictines, which the Reading house was – in these days to be awarded an honorary abbacy (abbotcy?). Of one of the houses that was destroyed in the Reformation. I’m really pretty certain there was one at Downside in my time there. Abbot’s ring and all that, but not actually the Abbott at all. Instead, abbot of “somewhere destroyed around 1540” an an honorary title.

A quick look around doesn’t provide me with any listing of houses whose titles are used this way. So, does anyone know?

Is “Abbot of Reading” a title still floating around in the manner that King of Jerusalem still does (although how many claimants to that there are I’ve no idea, at least three royal houses did so in modern times).

Oh Aye?

Today I am very happy to announce that the commission has given the green light for Greece’s national recovery plan,” the European commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, said in a speech at Athens’s ancient agora as the prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, stood next to her. “This plan … belongs to the Greek people and will transform the Greek economy.”

If it’s all entirely Greek then why does it require the approval of the German Defence Minister?

It’s necessary to prove this contention

We have the power to end this pandemic. We have the technology, materials and productive capacity to vaccinate the world against Covid-19 this year. We can save millions of lives, protect billions of livelihoods and reclaim trillions of dollars worth of economic activity along the way.

But instead, our countries are now moving into the pandemic’s deadliest phase. Mutant strains are spreading into regions where the vaccines are not only scarce; they have barely arrived. At present rates of vaccination, the pandemic will continue to rage until at least 2024.

This is not a coincidence. The system of pharmaceutical patents at the World Trade Organization was designed to prioritize corporate profit over human life. Even in the midst of a deadly pandemic, a coalition of pharmaceutical companies and global north governments refuses to re-order these priorities – blocking patent waivers, refusing to share vaccine technologies and underfunding multilateral responses.

It might be true, that’s possible. But everyone else not in alliance with that ghastly oil, Nick Dearden, seems to be saying that it’s not patents which are the problem. It’s the ability to spin up factories to make the stuff. Which isn’t a problem that is solved by voiding the patents.

No matter how many times people claim it is.

Fnarr, Fnarr

Somewhere along the line, playing gay has gone from making you flavour of the month to leaving a strange taste.

That might need a little rephrasing there, Guardian.

As to the larger point they’re trying to make well, if straight should no longer play gay then presumably gay should no longer play straight. Which is, given the tastes of the personnel in the industry, going to be more than a little restrictive, no?

Of course, we could always decide that it’s all about playing dress up and we can evaluate individuals on that basis – how well do they play dress up? But then that last is sensible and therefore has no chance today.

I keep having to point this out

Another float flops as Made.com shares slump
Shares in online furniture retailer close just under 200p float price, leaving it worth than a fifth less than its expected £1bn valuation

If you sell something for more than it’s worth just after you’ve sold it then you have sold succecssfully. If whatever it is you’re selling soars in value immediately after you’ve sold it then you’ve been unsuccessful, you’ve left money on the table.

Sure, there’s a difference between short and long term and all that. Even so, the price falling immediately after you’ve sold means you got a good price for it, you were successful.