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Preview: The Devil's Knife

The Devil's Kitchen

Making everyone happy is impossible. Pissing them off is a piece of cake. I like cake.

Updated: 2018-02-19T19:57:17.596+00:00


Gunz! Shootz!


As usual, after the latest school-based mass murder, there are lots of people screaming about Americans and guns, American love of guns, and general gun fun.


Gun ownership per capita in the USA has remained consistent over the last 45 years.

On the other hand, the frequency of mass shootings has significantly increased—especially in the last 10–15 years [information about two thirds of the way down that article: graph reproduced below].

Instead of screaming about gun ownership, perhaps we should be asking what has changed to increase the prevalence of people who want to carry out these mass shootings...?*

Crazy idea, I know.

* And no, I don't have an answer. I have a few suspicions but, in the meantime, I look forward to opprobrium and the occasional sensible comment.

UPDATE: Squander Two was saying something similar some time ago. Do go and read the whole thing...

NGOs are learning from the master


As more NGOs—including Save the Children (for later) and the Dave Milipede-fronted International Rescue Committee—are embroiled in sex and corruption scandals in the wake of the Oxfam allegations, it is worth reminding ourselves that these organisations are simply learning from the true masters of pimping and child sex—the United Nations.
And the wonderful thing about the UN, you see, if that they are a pan-global organisation so that their staff pimping, blackmailing and fucking kids is not confined to any one area; they get to run their protitution rings on every continent (from May '06).

So, there you go: if you are a paedophile, just go and work for the UN and you too can not only fuck kids but actually get them to bring in a bit of cash too.

It's simply a case of "everyone else is doing it, so why can't we...?"

And, thanks to our government's funding, through taxation, of fake charities such as Oxfam, we can go to bed with the warm, fuzzy feeling that comes with having paid for child prostitutes.

On the bright side, Oxfam has said that it will stop bidding for government funding (for a bit).
Oxfam has said it will stop bids for Government funding until ministers are satisfied it can meet the “high standards” they expect.

The charity received £176m in government support last year.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said on Friday: “Oxfam has agreed to withdraw from bidding for any new UK Government funding until [the Department for International Development] is satisfied that they can meet the high standards we expect of our partners.”*

If we defund all of these thieving, child-fucking bastards, the government would probably be able to cut the deficit to zero within months.

Stop funding fake charities with our tax money—now!

* No, not sexual partners. Stop sniggering at the back there...

Justice for Grenfell


In order to try to keep up the general hysteria around the Grenfell Tower fire, a pointless group called Justice4Grenfell has pissed away well-meaning members' donations on a great big publicity stunt.Group Justice 4 Grenfell hired three vans with adverts which read: "71 dead. And still no arrests? How come?"Au contraire, there have been a number of arrests—and, indeed, convictions. How about this lady...?A woman who made fraudulent claims for support offered to people affected by the Grenfell fire, has been charged with fraud. Joyce Msokeri, 46 (17.02.71), of Ambleside Gardens, Sutton, will appear in custody at Westminster Magistrates, Court, today, Tuesday, 5 September charged with six counts of fraud.Msokeri was arrested on 25 July after making fraudulent claims for support being provided to the survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire. She was charged on 4 September.Or this gentleman...?A serial fraudster has been jailed for 21 months after he pretended his wife and son were killed in the Grenfell Tower fire in a “despicable” attempt to pocket £12,500 set aside for victims of the disaster.I grant you that more arrests should have been made...People who were unlawfully subletting flats in Grenfell Tower will not be prosecuted if they come forward with information about who was in their properties at the time of the deadly fire, the government has said.The guidance has been issued amid fears that the threat of prosecution has prevented tenants coming forward to help identify people who were there on the night of the blaze but may not yet have been reported as missing.Still, you can't have everything, eh...?Tottenham MP David Lammy, whose friend, the artist Khadija Saye, died in the fire, has repeatedly questioned the official number of dead as “far, far too low” and said that “failure to provide updates of the true number that died is feeding suspicion of a cover-up”.How would David Lammy know? This is a man so stupid that he can't count higher than ten without taking his socks off.Given how much the public enquiry will inevitably cost the taxpayer, perhaps Justice4Grenfell should just shut the hell up and let the vastly overpaid panel get on with the enquiry.Or, if they genuinely give a crap about "justice for Grenfell" use the donated monies to actually help people—rather than concocting pathetic publicity stunts. [...]

The art of being wrong: Alison Saunders edition


Alison Saunders—Director of Public Prosecutions and unpleasant, incompetent fool.After a string of collapsed rape trials caused by the police failing to properly examine the evidence, it is hardly surprising that the DPP and CPS are coming under a bit of pressure.As such, it is only right that the DPP should pop out from under her rock, and reassure the public that the criminal justice system isn't completely fucked. Unfortunately, this is Alison Saunders that we're talking about so [for it is she—Ed], naturally, she completely screwed it up in a January 18th interview.Britain’s most senior prosecutor has claimed that no innocent people are in prison because of failures to disclose vital evidence, despite admitting there is a “systemic issue”.As the article points out in the very next paragraph, there was at least one innocent person in prison because of these failures.One man had his rape conviction overturned last month after serving four years in prison. Judges said Danny Kay would not have been found guilty if previously unseen Facebook conversations were shown to jurors.But let's be generous to Saunders and assume that she meant, since this chap has been released, there are no innocent people in prison because of these failures right at this very moment.Critics dismissed Alison Saunders’ assurance as “impossible” as they follow the collapse of several high-profile rape cases which were undermined by phone messages and pictures uncovered by lawyers.Well, indeed—as yesterday's Daily Mail highlighted.A teenager suspected of rape spent three months in custody because police did not disclose text messages that proved his innocence, he has claimed.BT engineer Connor Fitzgerald, 19, was arrested last year after a complaint was made against him. But charges were dropped only last week when it emerged that the complainant, who is entitled to lifelong anonymity, had sent texts threatening to destroy him.But what can Alison say in her defence?Samson Makele's legal team said police had downloaded the entire contents of the 28-year-old's phone but failed to fully examine it. Ms Saunders appeared to lay part of the blame on his defence team."The suspect must have known he took photographs, that could have been raised very early," she said. She added: "How would anyone have known there were photographs there until the defence told us that they were there?”How indeed, Alison. And, of course, this being such an important point, it does seem really very unlikely that the defendant wouldn't have raised this with the arresting police force. So one is led to wonder what the police force did with this information. Well, we know the answer: they did bugger all.The trouble is that Alison has form on this issue, issuing guidelines—and publishing opinion pieces—which are aimed (as far as is practicable in a civilised country) at reversing the burden of proof in rape cases. And we are now seeing the disastrous fruits of her labour—women making false or malicious rape claims with, in the vast majority of cases, absolutely no repercussions.One of the few legitimate roles of the state is to provide a functioning criminal justice system. It is becoming rather obvious that these unsafe rape trials are severely undermining public confidence in said justice system.So, here is your humble Devil's recipe to rectify the problem:in every single case (such as the one below), where the accusation is malicious or obviously false, the accuser must be prosecuted for perjury and, if convicted, given the maximum appropriate sentence (but a minimum of imprisonment);the head of the CPS, Alison Saunders, must be summarily sacked (and preferably prosecuted for Misconduct in Public Office);every police officer who has failed to disclose evidence should be named, publicly sacked, and prosecuted;the lawyers who failed their clients in not insisting on full evidential disclosure should be severely, and publicly, censured;for a limited period, and where perjury h[...]

John Sentamu: a bit of an embarrassment to an omniscient god, frankly


John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York: the kind of man who illustrates why a god might rain death and destruction upon the Earth.The main problem with the Church of England—other than the fact that no one actually attends the services, donates money, or gives a fuck about whatever say-fairy bollocks it is wittering on about today—is that its representatives are so fucking stupid and pig-ignorant that they make the Middle Ages look like the Enlightenment. I mean, what institution could possibly preserve its reputation when chiefly represented by arch-beta Justin Welby...?However, prat though Welby might be, he has been eclipsed this week by the barn-storming ignorance of John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York. Now, generally, if one is completely ignorant, one might avoid the press in general: unfortunately, there are none so blind to their own stupidity as the truly ignorant, as evidenced by Sentamu indulging in a Grauniad interview (via Longrider).“Income inequality is the cause of all our trouble. Inequality leads to huge social problems,” he said....Referring to a 2009 book, The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone, by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, Sentamu said: “You can only build a wall if the spirit level is absolutely straight. At the moment, our spirit level is going the other way, so our walls aren’t straight, and all our attitudes, our behaviours, our cultures are warped. The book says we should not concentrate too much on growth at the expense of equality. More equal societies are happier societies.”There is absolutely no evidence for this assertion at all. This book, that purported to "prove" this kind of assertion, has been comprehensively debunked—not least by Christopher Snowdon in The Spirit Level Delusion.People were pretty equal under Communism: so tell me, Archbishop, were people frolicking and dancing in the sunlit fields of the USSR, Communist China, and Cambodia? No. I mean, lots of people were in fields under those regimes: there were plenty of people above, enslaved in a subsistence lifestyle on collective farms; the others were mainly below ground, in mass graves.Leaving aside the evils of Communism for a second, part of the problem is that, in surveys, most people don't really care about inequality: well, they might say that they do, but they don't care enough to actually do anything about it.Which is a bit of a problem for the dear Archbishop's next nugget.People who are willing to pay more tax towards health, education and social care should be able to do so through voluntary, hypothecated payments, John Sentamu told the Guardian....Sentamu also pointed to a 2017 British Social Attitudes survey, which found 48% of respondents favoured higher taxes to pay for more spending on health, education and social benefits. Only 4% said they wanted taxes to be cut, and 44% said tax rates should stay the same.“If citizens are willing to pay more, there needs to be a mechanism to do so. I call it top-up,” said Sentamu.People were worried that higher taxes would be absorbed into general government spending. “The government should say it would guarantee that these tax increases will go towards health, education and social care. There’s no reason why it can’t be done.”Here's the thing, Johnnie-boy: there already is a mechanism for doing this. You simply write a cheque to HMRC, and post it to: The Treasury, 1 Horseguard's Road, London. And yes: you can specify what you wish your donation to be spent on.And via Tim Worstall, the government's Debt Management Office even publish a report on how many people actually donate every year. Despite the many thousands of people clamouring for more tax—and assuring us sceptics that they themselves would just luuuurve to hand over more to the state—the numbers are not very impressive.It's almost as though Revealed Preference was a real thing, eh...?On other topics, it is implied that Sentamu also praises Oxfam's recen[...]

Trump tax


So, Trump and the Republicans enacted the "most drastic changes to US tax code in 30 years". Inevitably, some Leftard protesters made themselves look completely loopy through the use of ludicrous hyperbole.
As the vote occurred, activists in the press gallery shouted “Kill the bill, don’t kill us”.

Anyway, so what has actually happened? Well, it's a big and complicated law but one of the main features is the reduction of Federal Corporation Tax—from around 35% to 21%. So, some companies have already started offering pay awards to their workers a a result.

Further, Apple is now repatriating a massive amount of their overseas cash, leading to the largest tax bill payment ever—a cool $38 billion. In reporting this, The Grauniad makes a very bold assertion... [Emphasis mine—DK]
The company, which has faced international criticism for its tax evasion policies, also said it would spend $30bn in the US over the next five years, creating 20,000 new jobs.
Tax evasion? Apple is deliberately and illegally evading paying tax?

As Sir Humphrey might say, that's a very brave assertion.

Anyway, so far, I think that we can chalk up these tax reforms as a win for Trump.

The stupid—it hurts (just don't smuggle controlled substances to solve it)


The trouble with relying on harsh prison sentences as a deterrent for idiots undertaking criminal actions is that idiots are idiots. Your humble Devil is forcefully reminded of this fact by a recent BBC story about a prize idiot called Laura Plummer.A British woman has been convicted of smuggling 300 painkiller tablets into Egypt and jailed for three years.Laura Plummer, 33, was arrested after she was found with the Tramadol tablets in her suitcase, on 9 October.Uh huh. Why on earth would Ms Plummer be trying to smuggle 300 Tramadols into a hell-hole like Egypt, I wonder...?Plummer, from Hull, claimed the painkiller, legal on prescription in the UK but banned in Egypt, was to treat her Egyptian partner's back pain.Riiiiiight.Her family said her lawyers had lodged an appeal. Plummer previously said she had "no idea" the tablets were illegal.As it happens, I had no idea that Tramadol was banned in Egypt; but, hang on—Tramadol is pretty strong stuff, right? In fact, it is an opioid that can cause some pretty bloody side effects, as well as opioid dependency. As it happens, this is the very reason that Tramadol, and many other opioid analgesics, have been banned in Egypt (and other countries).Gosh. But it's legal in the UK—how lax are we...?Well, when the article describes this drug as "legal" in the UK, it does qualify that with "on prescription".It is a class C drug and is only available in the UK with a prescription from a doctor or other qualified healthcare professional.As a class C drug, it is illegal for anyone else to supply Tramadol, to have it or to give it away, even to friends.Uh huh. So, when the Beeb says that Tramadol is "legal on prescription", what it actually means is 'in the UK, Tramadol is illegal to possess or supply unless via a prescription issued by a medical professional.'In other words, as a class C drug, Tramadol is not legal in the UK—except in that one very specific circumstance.And Ms Plummer somehow managed to get hold of 300 of these Tramadol tablets—how? Did she go along to her doctor and pretend that she had pain back enough to warrant their prescription? Because that would, of course, be fraudulent (and illegal).Or did she gain them from some other source? Where did Laura Plummer obtain 300 tablets of a class C controlled substance—a substance that is illegal to possess, and most certainly illegal to sell or give away? It's not as though she stumbled on a party-pack in Boots now, is it?Perhaps she encouraged a whip-round from family and friends (also illegal)?I put it to you, m'lud, that Laura Plummer knew that Tramadol was a controlled substance since she would have had to go to some lengths to obtain 300 tablets of the bloody stuff.And, as such, might have had some inkling that maybe, just maybe, trying to smuggle 300 tablets of a substance controlled in the UK into an unstable but socially strict place like Egypt might not be the best idea.The family has previously said Plummer had no idea that what she was doing was illegal and was just "daft".She may well be "daft" for trying to smuggle drugs into a third-world hell-hole, but I really don't think that she was innocent. Did Ms Plummer not even ask her beau why he couldn't get suitable painkillers in his native country?According to Ms Plummer's sister, Jayne Synclair (relation), the Egyptian boyfriend "did not even know she was bringing them."Riiiight. Of course. The wonderfully-named Omar Caboo had absolutely no idea, did he? He hadn't got an earthly that his "girlfriend" might try to smuggle a bunch of opioid drugs into a country with something of an opioid addiction problem. Definitely not.As I said above, idiot is idiot.*UPDATE: the UK government's Ask Frank website outlines the legal issues if you are caught with Tramadol in the UK [emphasis mine—Ed]:If the Police arrest you in possession of tramadol unlawfully, they'll always take some action. This could be a[...]

From the archives: a polemic


I found this across the web whilst researching recently. I wrote it when I first became leader of the Libertarian Party and it was, apparently, posted on the now defunct LPUK website. I rather like it, so I thought I'd reproduce it here, for posterity...----My friends,We are broke. Our country—whatever it may once have been—is now laden with debt. And this isn't "the government's debt": it is our debt.The government has no money but what it takes—what it extorts—from us.We have gone beyond consensus politics: if a man were to come to your door, with a gun, and demand half of everything that you earned—on pain of severe punishment, on pain of the total ruination of your life—would you not protest?For a moment, lay aside those dutiful thoughts of those starving millions beyond your gate, and think, instead, of those within your own household—within your own family: would you not rather protect them first?Of course you would: they are your kith and kin and you would expect—would you not?—that everyone, like you, would defend theirs against you were you the one holding the gun.The government has now utterly removed from you the means of protecting yourself and your family against the man with the gun: indeed, you dare not defend yourself because you fear that it is you, not the mugger, who would end up in the dock.For the government is the man with the gun, demanding tithes from you: the government is here, at your door. But not randomly.No.The government has gone out and bought itself nice things—plasma TVs, second homes, duckhouses, moats. And jobs, and votes. All of those things that you could not afford—because it has been here before: at your door, with a gun.Five years ago, it was here—threatening you with prison if you did not pay up—for the sake of all of those children who were not yours. You paid, because you had no option.Four years ago, it was here—threatening you with prison if you did not pay up—for the sake of all of those unhealthy who were not yours. You paid, because you had no option.Three years ago, it was here—threatening you with prison if you did not pay up—for the sake of all of those uneducated who were not yours. You paid, because you had no option.Two years ago, it was here—threatening you with prison if you did not pay up—for the sake of all of those feckless bankers who were not yours. You paid, because you had no option.One year ago, it was here—threatening you with prison if you did not pay up—for the sake of all of those MPs who had no duck-houses or second homes or moats. You paid, because you had no option.And now the government has spent everything that you had to give, and more, on its pet projects—on buying its second homes, on buying its duckhouses, on buying its votes—and none of it benefited you and yours. Not even by one iota.The government didn't care that you couldn't afford to give any more: it didn't care that you had no money.The government didn't care that you had lost your job: the government didn't care that all of those thousands of pounds it took in National Insurance payments translated into a few hundred when you were in need.And now, when you are getting back on your feet—back in a job that is not as good as the one the government destroyed, back struggling to look after your family on the pittance you are paid, back paying off your debts—the government, too, is back: it's back with the gun.The government is back—demanding half of what you broke your back to earn—because it has more grand schemes, more votes to buy, more trinkets to deliver to its favoured ones.Will you so willingly hand over the sweat of your brow? Will you so willingly condemn you and yours to penury? Will you capitulate again?Or will you fight?Join us—and help us to stop the extortion.Join us—and understand that providing for you and yours is not a sin.Join[...]

The UK's EU negotiating position


Right, fuck this waiting around bollocks. Does the EU really think that the legendary British tendency to enjoy queuing means that we are just going to sit about and wait for these fucking cultural and economic pygmies to dictate our future? They do—so, something must be done.Pace Pete, for he does understand the issues, but he and others are approaching the whole Brexit issue as technocrats—in, essentially, the same mentality that characterises the EU itself.I say "fuck this shit". I want this done—and done now. So, here's how we should address this issue..."Fuck you, ladies and gentlemen of the EU: fuck you very much. We are tired of you dicking us around, and our patience is at an end."Yes: we understand the trade problems inherent in customs barriers: but, unless you are stupider than we thought, so do you—and so do your businesses."You may not understand the pressures of a democracy, but the Council of Ministers very much does: so we recommend that you ask them how they—and their citizens—feel about cutting off trade with the fifth largest economy in the world."Either you will listen, which is fine by us; or you will not listen, which will simply justify our own citizens' decision to leave an undemocratic institution."The UK is the first and best democratic government in the world, and our people are irritated by your prevarications, and tired of our failure to enact the path that they voted for."With this in mind, we are immediately ending this shambolic pretence at a 'negotiation'. Instead, we will refocus our time and resources on building the systems that we will need to continue trade."So, we will immediately sign free trade deals with any countries that want to engage with the UK: what are you going to do—go to war with us? Really? The only vaguely capable military power in the EU is German—and how do you think the world will react to yet another German army mustering outside its borders?"Yes: that's what I thought. Now get back in your fucking box, you twats."Our trade philosophy is simple. Today, we will register a '0% tariff' trade plan with the WTO. Why, when the British people want to buy foreign imports, would we make them poorer? We're not idiots, you know."Next, we will examine all of the standards espoused by UNESCO, etc. and, if we agree, adopt them. And we shall once again take our place (and our own votes) at these tables, to influence regulation."We shall use our foreign aid budget to influence these standards in our favour. Most importantly, we shall spend considerable amounts of money and influence to ensure that Developing Countries have the governance and infrastructure also to comply—and then we shall do our best to open their trade to our products. With the main point that, with this power, we shall become favoured trading partners with these hugely populous countries."But you ladies and gentlemen of the EU need to understand one very crucial thing: we are doing this as of tomorrow."Fuck these negotiations: and fuck you all up the arse. The people of the UK voted to leave behind your undemocratic, technocratic bullshit—these farcical negotiations are simply prolonging your entirely unjustified power over the people of this country."So, let me say it again, fuck you into the middle of next week. We're done here."We leave it to you to go back to the peoples and businesses of your countries and tell them that you fucked up the negotiations with the fifth largest economy in the world. We leave it to you to tell them why there is now a massive customs barrier to their goods coming to the UK."Good luck with that."The people of the UK have tolerated your bullshit for six months and, let's face it, they are as fucking bored with it as we are."So, get tæ fuck, you cunts: you aren't even worthy of being called 'snake-oil salesmen'."Fuck you: we've left, as of this m[...]

As an MEP, shouldn't you know this...?


At least one German MEP is not happy with Jean-Claude Junker's vision of a united states of Europe.Speaking to in Strasbourg, Ms von Storch, deputy leader of the far-right Alternative for Deutschland party, which is part of the Europe for Freedom and Democracy group in the EU parliament, labelled the speech “frightening”.[...]“The European Union which has been presented to us today is not the one we want to be members of."Well, fair enough—your humble Devil can understand this position. After all, it's just one of the reasons that the UK voted to Leave. But another comment does rather show how staggering ignorant some politicians can be...Asked how long the EU could survive in its current form, she added: “It has to be reformed immediately. “They will change the European Union to the United States of Europe without treaty change. Without the change of the treaties. This is incredible what we have heard today."Um, yes. Quite so. I don't know why you should be so surprised at this, Ms von Storch.The ability to change the EU without having to change the treaties was inserted into the Lisbon Treaty—which the Germans politicians were thoroughly happy to sign up to. The clauses concerned are one of the reasons that this author was so outraged that our own politicos pushed ahead with signing the EU Constitution Lisbon Treaty—especially after both that nice Mr Brown and that dish-faced arse, Cameron, promised us a referendum on it.These "passerelle clauses" are referenced by Mr Junker in his speech:When it comes to important single market questions, I want decisions in the Council to be taken more often and more easily by qualified majority – with the equal involvement of the European Parliament. We do not need to change the Treaties for this. There are so-called “passerelle clauses” in the current Treaties which allow us to move from unanimity to qualified majority voting in certain areas – if all Heads of State or Government agree to do so.I am also strongly in favour of moving to qualified majority voting for decisions on the common consolidated corporate tax base, on VAT, on fair taxes for the digital industry and on the financial transaction tax. Europe has to be able to act quicker and more decisively.Well, isn't that a surprise? Who would have thought that it might be dangerous to give politicians huge powers, or that they might use them in a way that you don't like eventually?How naive are you, Ms von Storch?There is a certain amusing irony to this, of course: Germany has been happily pushing the EU along, enjoying it's dominance for decades. And now, the Germans are being hoist by their own petard. And they can't say that they weren't warned, you know.If only there were some kind of German word for this... [...]

Beales of laughter: rank feminist rancour in the Grauniad*


Zoe Williams: a very silly woman. Your humble Devil notes that Zoe Williams has decided that serial perjurer Gemma Beale is, in fact, a victim—a victim of the justice system...... a system in which men are the norm and women the deviants.And how has darling Zoe come to this conclusion? Why, because this serial perjurer is not just a serial perjurer but also a woman—and it is for this latter reason (rather than the serial perjury) that she was sentenced to 10 years. These three ideas – a woman as ambassador for all women, a woman as a threat not to the individual but to the system, and a woman as a dishonesty time-bomb, waiting for the right sentencing conditions before she unleashes her falsehoods – all spring from the same well: a system in which men are the norm and women the deviants. However far any given woman has deviated from honourable, law-abiding behaviour – and unquestionably, Jemma Beale deviated a long way – she wears shackles of cultural expectation that are punitive indeed.Well, no, Zoe. Jemma Beale was locked up because she lied, in court, repeatedly. And, as Timmy pointed out, the system just doesn't work if witnesses lie in court—that is why we have the crime of perjury. And, as he points out...And yes, we do go after rich white men too. Both Jeffrey Archer and Jonathan Aitken served time for it.To make this story all about women lying about rape—rather than the wider crime of perjury—is to deliberately and wilfully miss the point. But that's Zoe for you, eh?What a little scamp she is.There lingers this question over the length of sentence: 10 years is atypical; recent, similar cases have resulted in two-year sentences.Really, Zoe? What "similar cases" were those—I mean, I notice that you neither link to them, nor give any other details...? In those cases, did a women report "four separate incidents [...], claiming [they] had been sexually assaulted by six men and raped by nine"; were they found guilty of "four counts of perjury and four counts of perverting the course of justice" and did an innocent man serve at least five years in prison as a result of those false claims?Did these "similar cases" actually exist, Zoe—or did you just make them up? I fear that it might be the latter, you know.You wee scamp, you.But, just to put the icing on the cake, Zoe then decides that Jemma Beale must, poor dear, suffer from mental health issues.If this were fiction, one’s next question would be about Beale’s mental health: plainly, no one turns their life into a construct of bogus victimhood for fun. But there is no place for that question...No, Zoe—there is not. Because it doesn't really matter, you see—Jemma Beale lied repeatedly and did so (in one case, at least) with malice aforethought.But in the days before the alleged assault, Mr McCormack said Beal had threatened to get him into trouble with the police....Prosecutor John Price QC told Beale: 'You were already planning out what you were about to do – accuse him of attacking you.''It was the opportunity to do what you had been threatening to do which was to get Steven McCormack in trouble with the police...'The problem with writing all of this behaviour off to "mental health issues", Zoe, is that we are constantly being told that people with mental health issues are just like us. Indeed, apparently, we all have mental health issues at some stage in our lives (your humble Devil's are largely measured in how many bottles of wine he drinks a night).But if all women who make false rape allegations are, actually, suffering from mental health issues and thus should not be treated like the criminals that they so obviously are, then the perception is that anyone with mental health issues might do something similar. And so we start to wonder if people with admitted men[...]

Trade: no easy answers


Warning: this post contains detail for grown-ups. Again I find I am having to repeat the same basic points. As you should know by now, Britain cannot stay in the customs union. The customs union is one of the founding frameworks of the EU. It is the amalgamation of all customs rules, practices and tariffs - where all tariff revenues go to the EU under a single customs code. The EU has a Common External Tariff regime which varies according to product types.Though we cannot stay in the customs union we can have an agreement on customs harmonisation. Tory Brexiteers have it that we cannot make our own trade deals if we have such an agreement. This is only partially true. It prevents us from diverging from the common external tariff rate. That though does not preclude new deals on removing non-tariff barriers, which are more significant. The reason we would seek a customs agreement is to avoid Rules of Origin (ROO). If we have a zero tariff agreement with the EU but then started to give preferential access to third countries, goods could be re-exported to the EU at a rate less than the EU's own common external tariff. The EU does not allow this so it has a system of rules where exporters have to prove true origin and where there is a disparity a top up tariff must be paid in order to stop us undercutting member states. This is condemned widely as bureaucratic and protectionist - which it is, and would lead to tariffs being applied to UK car exports - which could kill tens of thousands of jobs. The workaround for this is to unilaterally mirror the EU's rules of origin and to keep our regime of tariffs the same as the EU's. There is then no lawful basis for the EU to apply ROO. That means any tariff agreements we look at will effectively have to be cleared with Brussels - which will in all likelihood say no. So here we have to do a value assessment as to whether a truly independent customs regime can provide sufficient economic progress so as to offset the loss of the UK automotive sector. Given that tariffs are complex and difficult to remove politically, there is no guarantee of that - therefore an accord must be struck with the EU. That means the Toryboys don't get to tinker with tariffs. Tory "free trade" ideas have no basis in fact. This does not stop Toryboys bleating about tariffs on coffee but that little nugget of received wisdom is sufficient proof for them to gamble the entire UK automotive and pharmaceuticals sector. They are never going to grow up - nor are they going to crack open any books on the subject any time soon. This is what it means to be a Tory. Why would you crack open a book when you already know everything?The hard reality of Brexit is that there are no sweeping unilateral measures the UK can take. UK consumption of goods alone is not sufficient to make an impact on global trade thus any issues we seek to resolve will have to be done on a multilateral basis with patience and skill. The process of reaching these such agreements is time consuming, politically contentious and very often sabotaged by the French looking after their former colonial interests. This is why we have to seek a number of allies across a number of sectors outside of the EU. That means we are going to have to find ways of securing goodwill which will be difficult when we don't have the ability to unilaterally open our markets. This is why international development must be at the core of our trade policy because it is pretty much the only means at our disposal to enhance market access. We have to invest to ensure that LDCs can overcome the regulatory barriers. This is why our aid budget is so critical. It is an arm of our foreign policy.As mentioned before, we could diverge from the EU regulatory regime but this would have consequences [...]

Britain needs to play it smarter


allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="270" src="" width="480">There is some chatter on the web as to whether Brexit can be parked. Personally I don't see that happening. Call it a hunch but I think the process has taken on a life of its own independent of the politicians and they lack the coherence to influence it in either direction. I can, however, see Brexit transmogrifying into something that is neither Brexit nor EU membership.The repeal bill process is not an afternoon at the photocopier. It's a major feat of legal engineering and it is going to take years. We can pass certain bills that technically mean we have left but the Brexit limbo could be of such a composition where making the final switchover in various sectors, ending EU supremacy, would be viewed as so destructive that it would go into some sort of review, much like TTIP has. There it exists as a concept but it's not actually going anywhere until it's taken off the shelf and dusted down.We have heard much about the possibility of an accidental Brexit where we crash out without a deal, but there is also a possibility of "accidental remain" where our lack of direction and inability to agree on anything leaves it hanging in the wind.The only way I see to avoid this fate is for the government to face the reality that the EEA is the fastest and most practical means of leaving the EU. It doesn't matter if the EEA is suboptimal. It has the singular merit of being out of the EU.We can quibble til the end of time over the various compromises the UK would have to make but in since the advent of the WTO agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade there is little likelihood of reaching that elusive regulatory sovereignty. That issue we can address later. To my mind it is secondary to ending EU political union.If we do not want to drift into a Brexit limbo then we need to see some decisive action from the government. All we are seeing right now is dithering, pretending it's all there for the taking when what we're actually doing is reinventing the wheel - and a poor copy at that.The basic mistake is the belief that the Brexit process itself is the opportunity to do everything all at once. This is a classic misnomer. If anything the Article 50 process is a lengthy admin chore we must go through before we can start looking at systemic reforms. The only safe and sensible way to leave is by reverse engineering our membership and that means the first step has to be quite close to EU membership. It wouldn't even matter if post-Brexit absolutely nothing had changed. What matters is that, having completed Article 50, we would have the power to start changing things on our own schedule.This is the bit where us leavers need to get real. All of us have a strong dislike of the EU, but we cannot say that everything about economic integration is bad. What matters is that we preserve what is worth keeping and build on it. It would be a grave mistake to sacrifice any European trade in the belief that trading with the rest of the world will compensate. It really won't.That though, is going to require some adaptation to our ideas. Like it or not, the EU has us over a barrel. As the regional regulatory superpower it does call the shots, and since the EU has a number of other countries hooked into regulatory harmonisation by way of FTAs we are going to find their wiggle room for an independent UK regime will be next to nil.Ultimately we are going to have to change our attitude to the EU in order to make a success of it. The hostile and confrontational tone is not doing us any good and it's dangerous because we will need the EU's extensive assistance in borrowing their third party cooperation agreements and trade deals. Se[...]

End austerity and hypocrisy now!


Your humble Devil notes that there has been another Corbyn inspired agitprop march today. Unfortunately, I had something else inconsequential to do, so was unable to make it.

However, in solidarity, I have designed a placard which I will have properly made up for the next march—I do hope that it will help...

Anyone else want one? I reckon that we could make quite an impact...

Here we stand / In a special place / What will you do here?


Your humble Devil has finally felt the need to refresh his quill for a brief post.The thing is, you see, that whilst the British people voted the right way in opting for Brexit, the contempt and derision aimed at them—this demos in democracy—has been as depressingly predictable as ever.As I alluded to before, I have spent a good deal of the last decade wandering up and down the country engaging with housing associations (and their tenants) for work: that means that I have seen a great many of the old industrial heartlands in the kind of close-up that I never dreamed of doing.And, largely, I make a point of going into pubs to hear people talk—because it is incumbent on any political animal to understand the point of view of those outside their immediate sphere of influence. Especially since my general sphere is middle-class, white, and prosperous-city-centric.Here is the point, children: there is a colossal rift in this country between the "haves" (London and the Home Counties) and the "have-nots" (everywhere else). Osborne, in his clumsy Oxbridge way, at least recognised this—even if his Northern Powerhouse remains totally undefined—whilst most other people of my acquaintance seem to be living in a fucking fantasy world.I have significant concerns about how we can progress—and, in any case, to do so, we need to acknowledge the problems. Part of the rank stupidity of Remainers is that they seem to be blissfully unaware that there are any problems—and for that reason Brexit remains the best choice we could have made (even were it not the will of 17.5m British people).So, without further ado, and via the excellent Tim Newman, let me introduce you to Tucker Carlson. OK. So. I don't know who Tucker Carlson is really (apparently he is currently a Fox presenter), but I don't think that I have ever heard anyone encapsulate all of my personal concerns and beliefs quite so eloquently. Or at all, actually.You should watch this. And do not think that it is just "all about America"—it isn't. Watch it, and then come back... allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="270" src="" width="480">Like Carlson, I don't really have to care: like Carlson, I live in the city of our country's federal government so I'm alright, Jack. But I think that we should all care—if only because there is trouble brewing.Let's look at just a couple of his points:when Carlson talks about those outside Washington DC, think those outside of London;when he talks about the "middle-class" in the US, it is equivalent to the formerly-prosperous working- and middle-classes in the UK;Carlson points out that the Republicans are anti-Obamacare but did not know what they would replace it with—well, I think that we are familiar with that argument from Brexit, no?and whilst the "over-correction" that he talks about regarding Trump has not happened in the USA, it has happened here—with Corbyn.But note that the difference in the UK, over Carlson's implied scenario, is that the over-correction to Corbyn has not come from the 'neglected classes'—it has come from the affluent classes to whom Corbyn has, essentially, promised cash monies. And these people are, largely, the worst and most affluent people in the country, e.g. students, etc.Back on the night of the 2015 election, a friend invited me to take part in a debate at the Bethnal Green Working Men's Club: I was introduced as "a man whose views I hope will enrage you..."The audience was largely composed of students. So, yes, my views did enrage them. Especially when asked if I was pro-tuition fees, I replied "why should a bin man pay for you to sit on your arse 'studying' philosophy fo[...]



Your humble Devil apologises for his lack of posting: it has become increasingly difficult to actually put quill to vellum, as it were.

It's not purely that the political situation is rather uninspiring, it is also that I have become very much out of the habit of writing (about politics, at least). As such, every time that I fire up the blogging screen, I feel an incredible weariness.

I asked Pete to blog here because I thought that contemplating the actual mechanics of leaving the EU was important: I wanted to know, as much as anything. My reasons for voting Leave are actually very similar to Pete's, i.e. the rebooting of democracy and power structures in this country: however, he has a knowledge of the intricacies of the technical aspects that is beyond mine and I thought these worth setting down, here, for the record.

I shall try to post a little more frequently going forward. But, please, be warned that the reasons for eschewing this format haven't really gone away. My postings may be rare.

In the meantime, thanks to those of you that are still here...

The Brexit we deserve


In a few years time, we will see Brexiteers writing enraged little screeds puzzling why we are still adopting EU law by way of statutory instruments and why we do not have sovereignty. They will wonder why we are on an EU leash, parked in a Brexit limbo, probably in a never ending association agreement, implementing ECJ and Council decisions. This is assuming they haven't packed up and moved on to blether about something else - having failed to even recognise that we have been shafted.There will be a reason for this. None of them ever closely examined the options or explored the many nuances of sovereignty in this ever interconnected world. Mainly because they didn't want to know. They are not interested in details. We could have been out of the EU and in an EEA/Efta deal, evolving our way further out by using the country specific annexes within the two years. But no. That isn't Brexit according to the hard Brexit clan.Instead we will dither without a plan, ask for an extension, and negotiate a transitional arrangement until a final trade agreement can be reached. This will be EU membership but without the bother of having to send MEPs to Strasbourg. And since it will take years to replicate a comprehensive agreement, the momentum of Brexit will have abated. The Tories will lose and election and a new prime minister will convert the status quo into a "special status" and most people will simply shrug and be glad to get on with something else.Nobody will call this soft Brexit because we won't be in the EEA and we won't by name be in the EU - but that's what you wanted. But we won't be independent, we won't have sovereignty and in fact will probably have less power of veto than Switzerland or Ukraine.It won't be popular but in the end the refusal to engage in the details and the realities of our predicament has consequences. They will complain bitterly but from the beginning they wanted no part of the grown up debate. They had no opinion on the shape of the referendum campaign, they opted out of the debate as regards to a plan, and maintained this binary Janet and John narrative that there is only the one true Brexit - all in pursuit of an intellectually stunted view of sovereignty - which exists nowhere in the real world.The only way we will get a Brexit that satisfies the Brexit-o-mongs is one that sees us absolutely crippled, out on our ear on WTO terms, trashing all of our European exports - and more besides. Grown ups, however, do not want that. That is why there is an extensive debate about the shape of Brexit - which Brexiteers refuse to engage in on any adult level. They might, by accident, get the Brexit they crave, but by then the democratic "will of the people" will be to accept anything we are given to avoid it. That will be the ultimate consequence of this boneheaded clamour to denounce a more considered Brexit as a "betrayal". You'll hate it, as will I, but ultimately it will be the "Brexit" we deserve. Never in the history of politics has a movement been so deserving of defeat. [...]

Brexit: what needs to happen


What our Tory friends have not yet worked out is that you cannot design a replacement for 40 years of evolutionary integration inside two years - or even ten that this rate. Just supposing you could, you would need to spend some considerable time working up a proposal that is not only realistic but also one the EU could agree to. You would want such a proposal in place before triggering Article 50.This they have not done. As much as there is no vision behind Brexit, there is nothing even approaching a consensus on how we get out. This is largely in thanks to Vote Leave who insisted that we don't need a plan at all. This view is supported by noted thicko, Steve Baker MP, who is salivating at the prospect of walking away without a deal.In any other circumstances we would point and laugh at them as indeed we did with Ukip when they produced their manifesto. The problem here is that these such people are actually in charge and the wheels are falling off the bus. The supporting cast in this carnival of incompetence is a clueless media unable to make even the most basic distinctions. Only now we're heading over the cliff do they start asking the right questions. All of this, though, is a little too late. To have anything like a sensible approach we should have started the ground work months ago. As we have said from day one, Brexit is a process, not an event. If you treat it as an event, seeking to tie up all the loose ends and build all the institutional infrastructure in a single hit you will fail.As much as anything the single market is made up of a number of intricate regulatory systems whereby a transition out of them would require masses of new resources, a re-write of the law and a complete redesign of the IT infrastructure. There are no shortcuts to this and to pull it off we would need a detailed transitional scheme well in advance. IT procurement alone is fraught with problems and delays.Then there is the matter of the Great Repeal Bill. We are assuming that we would wish to maintain a high degree of harmonisation and free trade, therefore the adoption of EU laws is our starting point. This is a lengthy piece of legal engineering and we cannot copy and paste. EU law gives effect to certain EU institutions.Speaking of institutions, since we have offloaded a lot of our domestic administration capacity we would have to rebuild it. In the interim we would have to continue using EU systems from food safety to maritime surveillance.If the aim is to leave the EU that leaves us with two choices. Either write a bespoke transitional deal and a bespoke destination - or use the EEA - the only instrument that comes close to resolving these issues. Since we have opted for the former, we have chosen to open up multiple cans of worms regarding the jurisdiction of a number of EU bodies along with the intractable problems regarding the border in Ireland. From the outset we have made the job ten times more complex than it needs to be with many times the risk.We would also note that designing a bespoke system is no small undertaking. It will likely take years. All the while we must stay in the EU. As a leaver I would have thought that the EEA agreement presents the fastest way out of the EU with the least complications. But what do I know?The problem with that approach is that it prompts our Brexiteers to whine that we haven't left the EU if we haven't left the single market. Of course this isn't true. I know that, you know that, they know that. It's just not Brexity enough for them. But this is where they have failed to understand the[...]

Deeper down the Brexit hole


With the appointment of Steve Baker, unless this government collapses, there is now no possibility of a sane Brexit. Worse still I believe that any attempts to campaign for an alternative would be a waste of time since this is a clear message that May does not intend to modify her approach even slightly. This current configuration might actually be worse than just last week. All that remains now is to the chart the many unforced errors that will bring about the biggest economic calamity in living memory.I had hoped for a more intelligent Brexit but ultimately I accepted the risks when I voted to leave. It has always been there at the back of my mind that Britain probably needs to fail politically in order to rebuild it into something fit for purpose. The silver lining is that this will, unequivocally, destroy the Tories.We are now looking at a period of major austerity the likes of which we have not seen since the war. The people in charge of Brexit now have zero idea how trade works - no idea what can be accomplished and they approach this with the worst possible attitude to the EU. Not only do I not think this government capable of succeeding, Baker is one who would quite gladly see it fail - since he believes the WTO option is viable. Combined with David Davies who already has a cavalier attitude - we have the most toxic combination possible. On the back of this we can also expect for out trade policy to be outsourced to The Legatum Institute. Baker has been lining that up for a while - taking his advice from the utterly clueless Shanker Singham. Our trade policy with the rest of the world will fail at the first exposure to reality. Nobody serious thinks it is credible. Singham is widely thought of as a charlatan and a fraud. There is now no doubt in my mind that we are totally fucked. The message May has sent to British business today, agriculture especially, is "pack up your shit and leave". If there is any hope at all it is that the EU will attempt to save us from ourselves. That though is contingent on a government capable of compromise. This one isn't. The one remaining hope is that this government collapses. If then Brexit is halted, Brexiteers only have themselves to blame for their irrationality, juvenility and galactic stupidity. Specifically, the reason Baker is such a disaster is that he believes Brexit can be concocted by way of a series of Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs). MRAs have only ever been used as a precursor to full regulatory harmonisation. It is one thing to establish an MRA but you are then faced with the problem of maintaining and agreed level of convergence which means any new laws have to be put to a joint committee to ensure they fall under the MRA. What we tend to find is that MRAs are issued in those circumstances where third country regulatory regimes are too alien in culture but of the same standard. In practice this turns out to be unsatisfactory with many annexes and embargoes being added to the agreement where it is found that divergence presents either an unfair commercial advantage or presents a direct threat in terms of product safety. This can be anything from formaldehyde traces on dildos to chlorine wash on chicken carcasses. Where it is found that there is significant divergence, anything in that product group loses its preferential risk assessment score and is subject to extra testing and customs checks. In the past the EU has used MRAs to establish lines of supply into the EU, making third country exporters dependent on EU trade and then they shift the goalpo[...]

Brexit: Corbyn's issue illiteracy


The idiot Corbyn is once again talking about leaving the single market but preserving access to it. For those who need it spelled out, this is pure illiteracy. Everyone has access to the single market. If I'm a dildo producer in Elbonia I can export to the EU but I must pay a tariff and go through the third country customs channels. Because Elbonia does not have a preferential trade agreement with the EU it has a low score on the EU database so a container is 100% likely to be stopped at the docks while goods are sent away for formaldehyde testing at the expense of the producer. Meanwhile the container is taking us space incurring a thumping daily fee for every day it is held - which can be anywhere up to two weeks depending on the workload of labs. Ten times more expensive than tariffs. This is why non-tariff barriers are the greater threat to UK trade. So say we were to drop out of the EU without a deal we would assume the same status as Elbonia. Having already been a member of the EU we'd have a slightly better risk assessment - but we'd still end up having our containers diverted and inspected. Then if we sign a free trade deal with Elbonia where we don't inspect their goods then our risk assessment score is reduced. That's why we have to be careful about the deals we sign after Brexit. Elbonian dildos have high levels of carcinogenic toxins. If we want to avoid that scenario then we must have a deal where our own testing houses are approved by the EU. This would be a mutual recognition agreement on conformity assessment. That way any goods cleared for sale here can also be sold in the EU. That though does mean an EU agency will have to perform routine inspections of our testing houses to ensure compliance to the standards they set out. That means adopting their standards not only for the production of goods but also for the testing and the methodologies therein. It's complex for ordinary goods but when it comes to food and animal products it gets highly involved. This is why Norway contributes to the various EU agencies in order to keep the costs down for business. Now multiply this dynamic to the three hundred or so other policy areas - including medicines and chemicals. We would need a patchwork of agreements covering all these different areas. Technically we would be outside the single market but it means you still import EU procedures, regulations and standards. The short of it being that if the EU council decides on the meaning of a regulation then you adopt it without question. Being outside of the single market you have no means of veto and you are not involved in the decision making process.The fact is, when the EU accounts for half of our exports and it being the nearest and largest market, there is no escaping EU institutional influence and that nebulous "sovereignty" we seek is not so clear cut. Every shortcut we take has ramifications for our trade with the EU. Every decision has consequences that ripple out.It's all very well saying we want "tariff free access" but that doesn't come close to what we need. Thanks to the "Anything But Arms" agreement even the r likes of Elbonia have tariff free access but unless it can meet EU standards and prove it then costs of trade are prohibitive. This is what our political class does not understand. It is the regulatory union (the single market) that facilitates trade. Being out of it means more direct costs for business, more delays and substantially less trade - none of which can be easily recouped by way of [...]

That moment when you remember the left are depraved


Corbyn - a man who has no problems speaking on a platform with people more than happy to wave the flags of Hamas, Hezbollah, IRA, Communism, or whatever filth the left ascribes to. And let's not beat around the bush here. Get into a conversation with a leftist and sooner or later they will bring up Israel. I do have opinions on that subject but my default line is that we have more important things to talk about than an ethno-nationalist spat going back more than half a century. But why do they bring it up? Well it's simple. They are obsessed with it. Nothing else matters to them. It's a perfect cover. They can shroud their flagrant anti-semitism in quasi-legitimate moral outrage - which is always disproportionately directed at Israel, regardless of the fact that both Egypt and Lebanon treat Palestinians equally abysmally. Not for nothing can you find leftists sharing platforms with Islamists. They ultimately share the same goal. The reason I have chilled out in recent years is because I no longer seek out debates with leftists and the memory fades as to just how repellent they really are. But thanks to Corbyn they're all coming back out of the woodwork and it all comes flooding back as to what utter pieces of filth they are. This is when I really lose my shit. And then there is the sheer economic illiteracy. As tweeter Ciarán McGonagle points out, echoing some of my own sentiments, Labour now appear to reside in non-interconnected world where economic policy can be imposed unilaterally without regard to global context, where increasing tax on upwardly mobile corporates and high earners inevitably leads to increased revenues without risk of relocation. Where the City's hegemony is inevitable and can be squeezed for new revenues as though other nations are incapable of competing for business. Where Government can pick and choose which international laws and regulations it deigns to adhere to without losing global influence in making those laws. Where the Govt can nationalise and subsidise industry at a whim without fear of reprisal or economic consequence. It's a magic wand fairly land where you can peddle "solutions" from 1945 as though the last seventy years didn't happen - and because of the cult like status of Corbyn they will invent absolutely any mental contortion to justify economy wrecking policies. Not forgetting their insistence on foisting this shitty socialist heath system on usAnd this is actually where my heart sinks because apart from the antisemitism and sharing platforms with jew hating terrorists - and giving houseroom to antijewish conspiracy theorists, you can say a lot the same about the Tories. The cowardly drift leftward is ultimately why Britain is in the shit. Time and again conservatives have caved into these scumbags You know, seriously, so long as you don't mind bringing up vacuous shallow shitbird offspring, if you do have children, raise them as leftists because they will never have to be held to account for the repulsive views they hold, and they will never be expected to act like adults. They'll be more successful at work because they can effortlessly glide between social scenes spouting the same socially convenient claptrap without being called out on it. Their warped and morally degenerate worldview has somehow become the social currency of the West and conservatives self-censor just to be able to put forth moderately conservative ideas - which are then shrieked down by bunch of leftist harridans. Worse still[...]

We don't need Corbyn. We already have a command and control economy


 You can tell how debased politics has become by the state of party manifestos. Labour;s being a prime example. In days of yore you would set out your goals but reference papers on how you would achieve it. This would go beyond the fag packet paths we see. These days they spend nothing on research, they don't know how to enact their policies nor are they aware of the many obstacles created by regional and international agreements. Corbyn being a socialist has decided to say socialist things. Ok, fine. Makes a change. He wants to nationalise utilities. As one might expect. I could be persuaded. But then these people only really know a little bit of history.As it happens utilities used to be property of local corporations - or as we now call them, councils. Nationalisation was essentially the theft of property. We privatised it because nationalisation had turned it into the unwieldy mess that it was. Corbyn wants to reverse that to a state where it functioned less well than it does now when what we actually want, if we want to bring it back under public control, is re-municipalisation. In this, you don't have to be a big borrow and spend government. You can simply give councils the power to run their own energy operations. Some councils already act as wholesale gas and electricity buyers and some have reserves large enough to invest in small modular reactors where they could very easily undercut the big power stations by investing in CHP. Using the waste heat water for municipal heating. You then collapse energy demand over time and drive the corporates out of the market. The result is a public controlled hyper efficient energy system that even central government cannot meddle with. The corporates presently control the market because in effect the grid is still controlled by the government and depends on centrally mandated policy. A genuinely free market wouldn't build Hinkley Point in a million years. This is a government white elephant largely to create jobs. In that respect Tory energy policy is not a million miles away from the socialism Mr Corbyn prefers. If we adopted municipalisation we could very easily have a mixed market that would ensure genuine competition to the point where central government could be taken out of the picture to a large extent. Energy is presently expensive because of the command and control diktats from central government - largely working to a moonbat climate conspiracy theory. If Corbyn actually wants command and control energy grid that we spunk billions on for the sake of creating jobs he would be just as well leaving it alone. But this is all so very typical of modern politics. The SNP did very well in the popularity stakes but are now receding because it turns out that they have no idea how to govern. Ukip failed for the same reasons. They had ambitions but no idea what to do when they got there and consequently could not turn popularity into power. The only reason the Tories are deemed competent is because, to a large extent, they are a continuance of the same regime and have no real reform agenda. Better to leave it as it is than hand it over to chimpanzees with no clue at all. Ultimately, whenever you hear anyone talking about nationalisation you're just hearing sloppy left wing anti-Thatcher grudge politics. Utilities were always local, they were never meant to be nationalised and they suffered because of it. The joke of it being that the hyper-nationalisation of public utilities was driven by the Tories. Despite c[...]

Questions to which the answer is "no" #856


From Conservative Woman...
The time has come to execute the outdated NHS and let a more streamlined, functional and sensible reincarnation take its place. Will Theresa May be brave enough to do this and help millions of British citizens suffering pointlessly from such a useless, wasteful and inadequate healthcare system?
Theresa May is a fascist, and is thus not going to remove the state from anything—and certainly not from a system that many British people, inexplicably, see as some sort of religion.

What Conservative Party?


There is term often used to describe EU activity. Mission creep. Gradually taking over areas of competence which should be the sole domain of the member state. When it comes to trade, regulation is increasingly becoming the defining factor where extraordinary decisions affecting the lives of many are taken by courts. Gradually we are seeing agreements encompassing standards on social welfare and workers rights.As far as the EU goes though this is not mission creep. This is the EU's mission. To establish a Europe wide demos where it alone dictates the framework for social policy. The EU was never intended to be a trade bloc alone. This is why I see Brexit as very necessary. If decisions as to who is entitled to what do not rest with national parliaments then you have lost control over a substantial part of governance. More to the point, these decisions - and the power to press for change is taken away from the people.I have always taken the view that nation states need the ability to set policy according to their own distinct cultures and working arrangements. Where workers rights are concerned, that is a matter for people empowered by political organisations and unions. As much as this is the most democratic means, it is also the best way to safeguard rights. What we have seen when such matters are pushed out to the EU is that the more entitlements we get the worst working conditions become in reality. There is a disconnect between lawmakers and the public whereby the unintended consequences of centrally mandated policy ultimately erodes competitiveness.One of the defining features of my earlier career was watching dynamism all but disappear  in the jobs market where decent paying temporary work was regulated out of existence. As a result people are increasingly compelled to stay in bad jobs no matter how awful they are. The rights granted to individuals by the EU have, over time, become anti-freedoms.Were it the case that the disparate and economies of Europe were convergent, you could perhaps make the case of a uniform social policy. That though is not, and never will be the case. Therefore pressing ahead with such incursions for purely ideological reasons can only ever be harmful.It is this "social Europe" I am the most fundamentally against. I cannot and do not object to economic and regulatory integration for the purposes of free trade but it is more important than ever that we are free to compete and it is for the good of democracy if the social agenda is one steered by the public and not the faceless officials in the ILO. My beef with the EU has always been political integration.This is yet another reason why I cannot bring myself to vote for this Conservative Party. If there was any point to Brexit at all it is to set a clear line of delineation between integration necessary for the betterment of trade and that which is nobody's business but ours. In fact, one would argue that Brexit was largely pointless unless the government was going to set about a fundamental rethink of employment and social policy hitherto dictated by EU directives. But what do we see instead? Continuity New Labour.In some respects the Tories are to be commended for various policy tweaks, especially the so-called "bedroom tax" in that it has nudged welfare dependants into making tough calls which will in the long term improve their prospects. What we need to see though is[...]



And so to a vital article about which group of tedious fuckers is the most prejudiced...
These findings confirm that conservatives, liberals, the religious and the nonreligious are each prejudiced against those with opposing views. But surprisingly, each group is about equally prejudiced. While liberals might like to think of themselves as more open-minded, they are no more tolerant of people unlike them than their conservative counterparts are.

Political understanding might finally stand a chance if we could first put aside the argument over who has that bigger problem. The truth is that we all do.
No we don't, you wishy-washy, tree-hugging, cod-philosophising, hippie fuckwit.