A missed opportunity

There were occasions when Philip straightforwardly set out to be rude; because he could. When he met the Labour MP Parmjit Dhanda in 2002, he asked him what he had done before entering parliament. He had been a student and a trade union official, he replied. “You didn’t do anything then,” Philip said.

True, but, when Dhanda tried to turn the tables and ask, well, what did you do before you became the consort?

“Oh, I fought in the Second World War.”

Not including that part is indeed a missed opportunity.

Crass idiocy is still crass idiocy, ya kno?

For some time, it has been government policy to privilege the interests of private landlords over other homeowners. This process began in the mid-1990s when banks introduced buy-to-let mortgages, which assessed buyers’ creditworthiness on the rental yield from the property, rather than their existing income. Easy finance gave landlords an advantage over first-time buyers.

Banks were not directed to do this. They found out that it made sense to do this. This is a market, not government, response.

Buy-to-let landlords have also enjoyed tax relief: mortgage interest relief, and a wear-and-tear allowance.

Just like every other business in the country – the cost of providing the good or service is deducted from the revenues from doing so before tax on the profits is applied.

David Renton is a campaigner and barrister.

We must therefore conclude that David Renton is an idiot.

There are solutions. Take the idea of long-term renters in the private market establishing a right to buy the home in which they live. How is the policy likely to look to older homeowners? If it was directed at the single homeowner who split a two-storey house in half and rented out one floor of it, many other homeowners would find the idea objectionable.

But imagine if it was targeted at landlords owning a minimum of five properties (there are enough landlords in that position for it to make a difference). When someone is hoarding five homes, why shouldn’t they be forced to allow others to have a chance of owning their own homes, not to seek profit but to simply live there?

Politicians need to be brave enough to explain to voters that the hoarding of properties by commercial landlords doesn’t just hurt young renters but many homeowners too. A Labour party that forges a cross-generational alliance on this basis could reap serious rewards.

Yep, a mindgarglingly stupid man.

Because you’ve just banned pensions and insurance companies from providing developments of rental homes – even, rentals at affordable rents, as quite a number of them are doing.

In fact, taken as it is, this proposal bans housing associations……

The louder he talked of his honour

A car leasing firm is being investigated by fraud officers after it went bust owing £26m to hundreds of savers lured in with the offer of returns as high as 11pc.

Raedex Consortium – whose boss Reginald Larry-Cole has written a book on ethical capitalism – is facing inquiries from the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) following its collapse last month.

The faster we counted the spoons.

Not a bad ending

In the end, it happened exactly as the Iron Duke would have wanted it – as ever, with his beloved wife by his side.

Determined to die at home rather than in hospital, Prince Philip was able to pass away “peacefully” at Windsor Castle, where he was Ranger for more than half a century, very much on his own terms.

As his frail condition worsened overnight on Thursday, with insiders warning that he was “gravely ill”, any talk of whisking the 99-year-old back to hospital was quickly dismissed by the Queen.

According to one well-placed source: “He spent most of the four weeks he was in hospital trying to get home. They operated on his heart in a bid to give him a little longer, maybe with the 100th birthday in mind. But he didn’t really care about that. He just wanted to be back in his own bed. There is no way he would have wanted to die in hospital.”

Aged 99, in your own bed, in your own palace, with wife by your side?

There are worse endings…..


Stump thinking. Or is it because today’s Friday?

To summarise the story, Brookfield claimed to be net zero because of its carbon offsetting and because of what are called its avoided emissions in its renewables business.

Avoided emissions are, of course, good things. They are what are being sought. The difficulty is that you cannot both count them once on the basis of the fact that they did not happen and then count them again as emissions avoided and so offset them against the emissions that you do make, which would seem to be what Brookfield was doing. They can only count once.

But in Sustainable Cost Accounting I am going to make everyone count their Scope 1, Scope 2 and also Scope 3 emissions. And as Scope 1 emissions are what’s in the supply chain and Scope 3 is what’s emitted by the use of the product, then that means I am double counting emissions because everyone’s use and supply is part of the next bloke’s supply chain.

But this isn’t a contradiction, no, candidly, it isn’t.

Now here’s an entrepreneur

The family’s only concession to entrepreneurialism was opening a kiosk on the promenade each summer to sell the lozenges to holidaymakers from Lancastrian mill towns who were staying in the boarding houses of nearby Blackpool and made a day trip on the tram to Fleetwood. Many suffered from respiratory problems as a result of unhealthy working conditions in the mills. On their return they would write to Lofthouse of Fleetwood to ask where they could buy the lozenges locally.

One day in 1963 Doreen picked up a pile of these letters and suggested to no little bemusement that she make a tour of Lancashire’s mill towns in her battered MG and visit every local chemist to show them the letters as proof that the product would soon disappear from their shelves. “They thought I was a little crazy,” she recalled.

The family gave her permission but no money for petrol. Diminutive, neat and attractive, the fiercely determined Mrs Lofthouse set off on her expedition, depending on a sale to buy the petrol to drive to the next town. She returned with dozens of orders.

That is, to a large extent, she did build that……

The product’s retro packaging also proved a hit overseas. The distinctive black and red lettering had first come about because Doreen’s mother-in-law, Frances Lofthouse, had originally typed the words “Extra Strong” in red, underneath Fisherman’s Friend in black, because she did not want to waste the red ink on the typewriter.

Canny folk up there, eh?

Well, yes, clearly so

Runnymede Trust boss Halima Begum accused of using it to play politics

Obviously. This, from Halima’s view, being the point of the exercise.

If you believe that government is the solution then working toward a solution means doing politics, for politics is how you influence what a government does.

We can like this or not, claim that charities shouldn’t do politics and all that, but that’s what she and the like are doing.

How very interesting

More than a third of the vast floating platforms of ice surrounding Antarctica could be at risk of collapsing and releasing “unimaginable amounts” of water into the sea if global temperatures reach 4C above pre-industrial levels, UK scientists say.

Researchers from the University of Reading said that limiting the temperature rise to 2C could halve the area at risk and avoid a drastic rise in sea levels.

Well, actually, not all that interesting. Because we’re never going to get to 4 oC, we’ve already done more than enough to avoid that.

Yes, yes, yes, I know, all codswallop anyway – but even using the usual COP and RCP and all that stuff, we’ve still done enough.

Well, doesn’t this disprove PHE?

Public Health England insists that we’ve an epidemic of child obesity:

A software mistake caused a Tui flight to take off heavier than expected as female passengers using the title “Miss” were classified as children, an investigation has found.

The departure from Birmingham airport to Majorca with 187 passengers on board was described as a “serious incident” by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB).

Apparently not then. For if all were given that obese weight then this wouldn’t have happened, would it?

Getting rid of these restrictions is going to be the difficult but, isn’t it?

British holidaymakers will have to pay hundreds of pounds for Covid tests if they want to take a trip abroad this summer under plans announced by the Government on Friday.

Travellers who want to visit countries on the safe “green list” will still be expected to pay for gold standard PCR tests on their return to the UK at around £120 each – an extra cost of almost £500 for a family of four.

People who have been fully vaccinated will still be required to take the PCR tests on or before the second day of their arrival back in the UK because of Government concerns that “green list” countries could still harbour new Covid variants.

Every pecksniff in the land is going to be arguing for keeping – as “useful” no doubt – every restriction possible. Here, £500 for leaving the country is going to discourage quite a lot of travel, isn’t it? Someone will start justifying it for the climate……

Anyone any idea what this means?

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Trying to access this:



El Twatto Twats On Tax

The P³ tells us about American taxes:

About which he says:

Class warfare has taken place in the USA, and the wealth owning classes won. 20% of the overall US tax burden was shifted from the corporations largely owned by the wealthy onto working people. The tax haven assault was not only on the right of government to tax, it was also on the people of the world. As corporate profits have risen – and they have – corporate tax revenues have fallen.

People who actually know what they’re talking about would suggest something different. US law distinguishes between C corporations – who pay the corporate income tax – and S corporations where the owners pay the individual income tax on their share of the profits.

Over the past 50 years there has been a significant move – of perhaps 50% of the US economy – from the C corp form to the S corp. Thus some significant portion of the taxation of corporate profits has moved from that corporate share to that labour share. Because the corporate share charted there is the corporate income tax.

Ritchie’s argument really is that when he moved from using a Ltd company to an LLP for his work then that is proof that the remnant limited companies must pay more in profits tax.

But then grasping that would require knowing something about tax……


Hans Küng obituary
Rebellious and controversial theologian censured by Pope John Paul II and regarded as the enfant terrible of Roman Catholicism


An inveterate rattler of cages, Hans Küng spent more than half a century calling for a grass-roots revolution in the Catholic Church. Even his last book, Can We Save the Catholic Church? (2013) published when Küng was 85, exhorted the faithful to rebel against papal authority.

Right about now he’ll be finding out who was right then….

Now this is interesting

A judge has forced a betting company to pay £1.7 million to a customer after it withheld his jackpot by claiming that he won because of a “defect” in an online game.

Andrew Green, 54, had told the High Court in London that he felt “robbed” when Betfred officials said that they would not pay out after his win.

When did bets and betting winnings etc become justiciable?

I thought the deal was that you couldn’t use the courts to enforce gambling debts and that’s why, also, gambling was income tax free?

Which bit am I missing here?

There’s a level of government management that just doesn’t work

We’re past it:

Drinkers should take cash to the pub with them next week to avoid falling foul of new rules that say staff should take payments for drinks outside, The Telegraph has been told.

Guidelines have been drawn up that ban pubs from taking payments indoors – potentially shutting out a third of the sector from Monday’s reopening.

Consenting adults probably can work out how to pay for a round without the intervention of the bureaucracy.

Things that are important

At the start of the Ankara meeting, Mrs Von der Leyen – the first female president of the Commission – was left visibly perplexed as Mr Michel and Mr Erdogan took the only two chairs available in the centre of the room.

Video footage picked up the German politician saying “erm?” as Mr Michel, without hesitation, took his place at Mr Erdogan’s side. Eric Mamer, Mrs Von der Leyen’s spokesman, said “the protocol level of our president is exactly the same as that of the president of the European Council” and she “should have been seated in exactly the same manner as the Council and Turkish presidents”.

He added: “The president of the Commission was clearly surprised. She does consider that these issues are important and need to be treated appropriately, which they clearly were not.”

Which chair to sit upon – clearly, vastly important. As opposed to, say, vaccinating against a pandemic sweeping the continent.

Which is why we should deal with Brussels in the Cato manner, I’ve some salt here, I know some deconstruction experts for the buildings and £500 will rent us some time from Moseley fils‘ expert in bondage.

Other than that we’ll have to take off and dust ’em from orbit, it’s the only way.