That destroy the environment thing

From a Guardian set of pictures:

Wales, 1965
Now known for its extensive forests and greenery, the mining town in the Ebbw valley in South Wales had a reputation for social deprivation, and for the scars left on the landscape by years of heavy industry.

So the environment has recovered within my own lifetime then? So much for the eternal destruction of the environment by capitalism then, eh?

Just a tiny little thing

Needed an image from a photo library just moments ago. Wanted something for “work” so put “work” into the sites search engine.

Which gave me rows and rows of images of people in meetings or sitting in nice dry and warm offices. Absolutely no one at all standing out in the rain shovelling shit at all.

No, not complaining at all. It’s just an interesting little sign that this is what work is these days. The imagery is perhaps a little in advance of reality in that there are some still out there in the environment among the ordure but not that far.

Don’t think this is true you know

Our happy ignorance had a lot to do with the victories of feminism. Germany’s women’s movement started in the 1970s with the fight against section 218 of the country’s criminal code, which punished abortions with jail sentences of up to 10 years – for both the woman and the doctor. That’s why it was such a big thing when 374 film stars and other famous women declared “We’ve had abortions” on the cover of Stern magazine in 1971. Because the law didn’t mean fewer terminations; only more women dying of abortion by coathanger. Women like my great-grandmother. I am yet to meet a German person who does not have a section 218 victim in the extended family.

Willing to agree that legal abortion will lead to fewer dying of coathangers. Can’t see it possibly being true that legal abortion leads to no more abortions tho’. That’s most certainly not the experience here, is it?

And the idea that every German family – however extended – has someone who died from an illegal abortion is absurd. The overall death rate of all women of reproductive age from all causes isn’t high enough for every family to have a victim is it?

Tee Hee

Of course, it’s not really funny that someone’s been scammed. Except, obviously, it is:

Mr Simmonds has launched an urgent investigation into the deal, in which oil explorer Lekoil appears to have been tricked into thinking it had secured cash from the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) for a project in offshore Nigeria.

Lekoil hired the ex-Foreign Office minister as a non-executive director last week and suspended its shares on Monday.

The Aim-listed explorer said it appeared to have struck a deal not with the QIA but with individuals masquerading as its representatives.

The only reason to fake a loan is as part of an advance fee fraud. And that this one is to finance a project in Nigeria is indeed Tee Hee.

An interesting question

Or at least one that’s interesting to me.

Now, obviously enough, a proper valuation of that lifestyle they’ve currently got is difficult but this is the correct question that should have been asked before they set off down this path. What’s the amount of cash they’ve got to pile up before their lifestyle beats what they’ve already got? Then, what’s the chance that they’re going to reach that figure?

Frankly, from this accounting point of view it’s difficult to work out why they’re bothering.

Why are they bothering? They’re taking on substantial risk and yet it’s difficult to see them getting any further than they already are.

Dear Squaddie, you’re fired

There is what they were doing to be considered:

Two soldiers serving in the regiment that conducts ceremonial duties for the Queen carried out a string of armed robberies across south London, a court has heard.

Grenadier Guards Kristopher James-Merrill, 20, and Dillon Sharpe, 23, are alleged to have raided seven convenience stores with their friend Marlon Wright, 25, between July 24 and 26 2018.

Their regiment is one of the most senior in the British Army with soldiers recognised by the scarlet tunic and bearskin uniforms they wear while on ceremonial duty at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.

They’re supposed to be aiding Cabinet Ministers in the bushes of course. But then there’s also the efficacy:

But four of the attempted raids failed and Sharpe left empty handed after workers fought back.

If a couple of squaddies can’t hold up a corner shop then do we actually want them as squaddies?

Well, no, not really, no

The oldest thing ever found on Earth has been discovered by scientists, and it is more than two billion years older than our planet.

Tiny specks of stardust, dating back seven billion years, have been uncovered in a meteorite which landed in Victoria, Australia, in 1969.

Can’t recall who did “We Are Stardust” (Hawkwind?) but they’re generally right. Every atom from iron on up is made inside a nova or supernova, no? And everything above H is made in a star? So pretty much everything must be old enough to have been through one cycle of star and boom.

It is fun, isn’t it

While many people sympathised with them, particularly the young and those more in tune with Meghan’s values relating to her racial identity and feminist views, others disapproved.

A nice example of cakeism.

A woman who becomes a duchess purely on the basis of who she beds and makes her womb available to decides to insist she’s a feminist. That raising (descent if you prefer) from middling actress to global superstar is purely and totally patriarchal. And yet she’s the strong independent one?

Make up your mind, eh?

The Tories must learn from the Orkambi victory and keep drug-pricing off the table


The NHS has significant buying power, and regularly negotiates discounts,

Thought we just said that the NHS shouldn’t deal in drug pricing?

But the true stupidity is here:

Under pressure, the government admitted it had a “moral obligation” to explore providing access to cheaper versions of the drug, and Labour committed to doing so if it won power. Confronted with the real possibility that the government might break its monopoly, the public relations disaster of desperate families flying to Argentina to keep their children alive, and with an election looming, Vertex gave in and struck a deal.

The battle for Orkambi was won, but the problem is not going away. Whether it’s Trikafta, the successor drug to Orkambi, or any of the new wave of extremely expensive immunotherapy treatments for cancer, many more crucial yet overpriced drugs are coming on to the market. The country cannot be held to ransom every time the NHS needs to buy another medicine from another monopolist.

The monopoly is granted to get the spending on the development of the drug in the first place. If we don;t grant the monopolies then the development ain’t gonna take place…..

This is fun

For women of my generation and younger, the slut-shaming of Keeler,

The phrase used in its literal meaning.

Christine Keeler was indeed horizontally tangoed for money and was vilified for it.

Obviously an editing mistake at The Guardian because who expects clarity of language there?

Presumably this joke has already been made

France will go ahead with its controversial new tax on the profits of large technology firms such as Google and Facebook despite US threats to retaliate, as the government vows that it is just the start of a crucial rethink of the regulation of tech monopolies.

Cédric O, the French junior minister for digital affairs, told the Guardian that Emmanuel Macron’s drive to make companies including Amazon and Apple pay more and fairer tax would go ahead, despite US warnings that it could open up a new front in the international trade war.

The novel was about being submissive Cedric, not dominant. Still, we can still mutter something about cocksuckers when we’ve a junior French minister insisting the entire world must bow to his demands….

Are there any useful attributes in this CV?

JustEducation Director

Alex is an educator and outreach worker with an MA in Social Justice and Education. She’s in the midst of working towards a PhD specialising in restorative justice and theories of peace and emotion in schools. She is particularly focused on conceptions of violence within the UK education system and is excited to bring her expertise to the curriculum and delivery of JustEducation.

BTW, I think they’re barking mad as an organisation but they seem to be doing it properly off charitable donations and as far as I can work out there’s only one full time and they’re not making a fortune for London, not at all. So, barking mad but the very best of British to them.

Well, no

Cambridge is so unequal, compared with other cities, is because it has a much greater share of highly-paid, high-skilled jobs. The question for policymakers is: does everyone in Cambridge have the skills and opportunities to access those jobs?”

The skills to be a professor of nuclear physics at Cambridge are, we tend to think, quite rare.


A comment at The Guardian:

“which reinforce the inherently colonial practice of “colourism” – the discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone.”

It’s not colonial, it’s classist. Dark skin means sun exposure. That is, someone who works for a living outside in the fields. Pale skin means someone rich enough to stay inside. Thus the bits in Jane Austem where the girls worry about their bonnets for they might get freckles.

This also changed, entirely, when work for poor people moved inside and only the rich could afford to get away for a tan. Suddenly, to have a tan – darker skin – became a mark of wealth, not poverty.

A change rather reflected in make up in fact, pre WWII (about, roughly) the aim was to powder or cream the face to be pale, pale, white. Post it much foundation make up is to add colour, not take it away.

This also explains the popularity of sunbeds and fake tans, something which a century ago would have been quite literally unthinkable.

Colourism exists, most certainly, but that flip shows that it’s about class, not colonialism.

For the part about it that the colonialism reason cannot explain is why that flip.

That it’s about class also explains why colourism happens in places that never were colonies – Thailand say.

A good education on the subject would explain this…..

Blithering idiocy

“We have to be bold enough to say the free-market model doesn’t produce, doesn’t work … the trickle-down effect didn’t happen,” Starmer told a meeting at the Mechanics’ Institute where the TUC was formed in 1868.

“We have to rebuild an economic model that reduces inequality and protects working people.”

Whether the trickle down effect works or not doesn’t mean that free markets work or not. Further, whether free markets reduce inequality or not isn’t the decisive test of whether they work or not either.

Gosh, that’s interesting

I don’t wish to knock profit. It’s important. But I also suspect that most users of accounts really do not know what it is.

Some might think it’s something tangible that they might see, or even physically count. But of course, it is not. It’s a residual. That’s because it is the difference between income and expenditure.

We can’t count residuals, eh? Makes a true buggery of attempts to tax what can’t be counted then.

Something of a can of worms here

We’ve now got tribunals deciding what is work of equal value.

Samira Ahmed has won her equal pay claim against the BBC in a landmark case that lawyers say could leave the broadcaster facing a bill running into the millions for similar claims by other female staff.

Ahmed, the presenter of viewer feedback programme Newswatch, claimed she was owed almost £700,000 in back pay because of the difference between her £440-an-episode rate and the £3,000 an episode Jeremy Vine received for hosting the similar Points of View programme.

As Adam Smith pointed out all jobs pay the same in the end. But even excluding that idea this is still something of a can of worms. For there are undoubtedly popsies out there being paid sums to be toothsome when their male counterparts aren’t. Be interesting to see that before a tribunal, eh?

And when will we see sex discrimination cases about the sexy movies? The women always do get more than the men after all.