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Saturday 15 February 2020

Trans women aren't females - and it's OK to say so

Trans women are not biological females. There. Said it.

As a libertarian I'm all in favour of personal freedom - whether this consists of blokes wearing skirts and high heels and living as girls, or girls wearing suits, sporting a Number One cut and living as blokes. It's fine. It really is. Do what you want; you can even take pills and have surgery to assume the look, so long as you have the means to sustain it. No one cares. But please don't ask me to perform feats of Orwellian mendacity in pretending that you are actually a member of the biological sex in which you have chosen to live.

What is really chilling about yesterday's landmark ruling for common sense in the Miller case is that the real issue has yet to be decided - the lawfulness of the 'College of Policing' guidance that has seen 120,000 wholly innocent citizens recorded on their semi-private computer system as guilty of 'non-crime hate incidents'. How dare they? Words and actions in this country are either criminal or they are lawful. If they are lawful, these nasty secret little power cabals such as the 'College of Policing' may be entitled to record them - but we are entitled to full knowledge of what may have been recorded against us, for making statements such as that in my first paragraph. These records must be fully open to personal inspection under the UK's own version of the GDPR, and the 'College of Policing' fully liable in civil law for any loss or damage caused.

It absolutely infuriates me that these secretive private organisations funded from our tax yet exempt from all accountability can take such liberties with our liberties. We must drag their dark little 'College of Policing' into the sunlight, subject it to full public accountability and put its self-serving capos before the appropriate parliamentary committees.   

Friday 14 February 2020

Budget briefing: Why Javid had to go

I think there are sound reasons why Sajid Javid had to go, not least of which was the damage he could potentially cause to the UK economy by allying himself with the Remainer doomsters and gloomsters at the Treasury. Allow me to explain -
UK public sector spend - Source: OBR
You can see that ever since the Thatcher government in 1979 (which was elected, remember, because Labour had so screwed the economy) Britain has had a sort of tax-take comfort zone which is somewhere between 35% and 40% of GDP. In fact what I've labelled 'taxes' includes both interest payments and interest receipts and dividends - so the official term is 'public sector current receipts'. Total spending is generally higher than current income - somewhere around the 40% mark.

Now to put some of the arguments within cabinet into perspective, 1% of GDP is about £22bn a year. So before rebates and tax-collection adjustments,this is what we will save by leaving the EU*. If we wanted to, say, increase total government expenditure from 39.3% of GDP to 42.5% of GDP (a fairly modest increase) this would give us an additional £70bn a year (plus £10bn EU leaving bonus) for investment. So even £100bn over 20 years - £5bn a year - for HS2 isn't such a big thing.

Of course this additional borrowing means we have to pay interest - but rates at the moment are close to zero. And investment borrowing - to up the nation's game, increase capacity, productivity and so on - also produces additional tax income and lower current expenditure on welfare. This is why it's particularly vital to invest in those parts of the UK that have been so long deprived of it, ever since the Callaghan Labour government started closing the pits and running down British industry in the 1970s.

Number 10 knows this. The Treasury doesn't. And Sajid Javid went native. He had to go.

* Yes it is. This is from the EU's own website from 2015 - I just had it on file - when the 1% figure was £20bn. After rebates and tax-offsets of course it comes down to £12/£13bn.

Thursday 13 February 2020

Preventing online harms to politicians

Government proposals to prevent online harms to politicians and those in public life 

I may yesterday have given the impression that I in some way objected to our wise Leader's introduction of internet censorship for the UK. Nothing could be further from the truth. I recognise that the wise and reasonable proposals made by the fragrant Lady Morgan and the saintly Ms Patel will propel the UK into a place unknown by other democratic nations.

In particular, I applaud the wisdom of including perfectly legal and lawful content in the material to be censored. The White Paper is intended to protect vulnerable groups such as children and those active in public life, in circumstances in particular in which politicians and civil servants may be offended or disturbed by comments on their actions made by citizens. Politicians must be free to do as they wish without negative and sometimes hurtful comment from citizens. So even though such comments are quite legal, they must be banned from the internet for the public good.

Quite rightly neither the government, the courts, the regulator Ofcom or companies that provide platforms in return for advertising revenue wish to be bothered with vexatious complaints about censorship and injustice from individual citizens. The government will therefore make it practically impossible to appeal the arbitrary banning of content and voices, in the best interests of the State.

We also welcome moves to end internet anonymity in the UK. It is clearly simply wrong that so many individuals making comments on news sites, Twitter, blogs and other internet forums do so under assumed identities. During the recent General Election campaign, for instance, the government estimate that some 64% of anonymous political statements were posted by those from the civil and public services, who only form 39% of the workforce. As those employees are contractually forbidden from making public political statements, ending internet anonymity will either silence them or allow them to be easily dismissed from their posts. National productivity will also be increased as they will get on with making beds, policing bus lanes, changing colostomy bags and so on rather than fiddling with their phones.

I also applaud measures to be taken against disinformation and the saying of untrue things on the internet, and clearly the BBC must have a major role as the arbiter of what is truthful and can be stated and written by citizens in this regard. 

Personally, I think the proposed legislation doesn't go far enough. There is no mention for example of regulating or banning cartoons that portray politicians in negative and sometimes hurtful ways. These must also be included in the scope of legislation or Twitter will become a mass of poorly-drawn caricatures posted by named persons in such a way that will evade censorship.

I confirm I am willing of my own free will to submit this posting to the Google Blogger UK content checking authority, appointed by Ofcom in accordance with the Online Harms Act 2020, for verification and permission to publish

Wednesday 12 February 2020

Dear God, the frightful buggers are at it again

This ill-thought out, incomplete and premature response to the April 2019 consultation was rushed out today by DCMS mandarins ahead of Nicky Morgan's replacement tomorrow. The timing is desperate.

I'll post tomorrow again about this, but as a catch-up reminder, here was where we were in April of last year -

Tuesday 9th April 2019

Censorship and Repression - May's Ceauscescu moves 

A leader desperately clinging onto power and fearful of the whispers of the people will inevitably enact repressive measures to restrict free speech - and it's therefore no surprise that the doomed May has gone down the Ceauscescu path with proposals contained in the Online Harms White Paper for widespread government censorship of the internet.

She is supported by her sinister Grand Vizier Sajid Javid and by Labour's Noncefinder General, Tom Watson - whose credulity in giving his support to criminal fantasists who flung accusations of paedo assault against the wholly innocent matches only his deep Socialist support of any measures that restrict free speech and repress democratic freedom.

The way they're going to do it is this. First they establish their ability to impose swingeing penalties on the online service providers - Facebook, Twitter, Google (the host of this blog). Then they task these firms with implementing government censorship requirements or risk even greater penalties. For blogs such as this, the duty will not be simply to remove censored content when notified but to act proactively to identify those blogs likely to offend the government and close them down in advance. With MPs whining like babies about people being rude about them, you can be sure they'll include censorship of political criticism in a government-imposed list of censored blog content including (Chapter 7)
Guidance to companies to outline what activity and material constitutes hateful content, including that which is a hate crime, or where not necessarily illegal, content that may directly or indirectly cause harm to other users – for example, in some cases of bullying, or offensive material. (my underlining)
In other words, anyone the government wants can now become a 'protected group' under censorship law - including MPs, the patrician establishment, the betrayer civil service, scum corporate globalists, mutton-headed Whitehall dags and plod chiefs, the EU capos ..

Neither will blogs be able to remind readers for example of Yvette Cooper's home flipping or her mendacious pledge to house migrants in one of her homes -
Being harassed online can be upsetting and frightening, and online harassment can amount to a criminal offence. Far too many people, from public figures to schoolchildren, have experienced this kind of behaviour.
Yep - non-criminal, wholly lawful  'harassment' of public figures will also cause Google to censor blogs under May's Ceaucescu Law . Take a look at this - it may be the last time you see it

And finally, the Ministry of Truth will come to life as the government decides what information and informed comment can be published on this blog
(Information) can harm us in many different ways, encouraging us to make decisions that could damage our health, undermining our respect and tolerance for each other and confusing our understanding of what is happening in the wider world. It can also damage our trust in our democratic institutions, including Parliament
Oh boy - so it's blogs that damage our trust in Parliament - not Parliament's betrayal of democracy or corrupt MPs as I previously described  them as denizens of Dante's eighth malbolge  - pimps, seducers, flatterers dipped in shit, liars, fornicators, barrators, perjurers, corrupt office-holders, half-wit frauds and peculators. And I can name at least three of each. And have candid photos of one (widely circulated on the net) who importuned another pervert to shit on him.

As even the 'Daily Remain' comments
Tory MP and former Culture Secretary John Whittingdale, writing at the weekend, was completely justified in warning that the proposals risk dragging Britain into a 'draconian censorship regime' more akin to China, Russia or North Korea. No other Western democratic state has countenanced similarly far-reaching controls.
Government censorship of blogs, FB and Twitter will be wide ranging, using the government's own tame Ministry of Truth agencies including the BBC - and even forcing GFT to push BBC pro-government propaganda onto users;
  • The steps companies should take in their terms of service to make clear what constitutes disinformation, the expectations they have of users, and the penalties for violating those terms of service.
  • Steps that companies should take in relation to users who deliberately misrepresent their identity to spread and strengthen disinformation.
  • Making content which has been disputed by reputable fact-checking services less visible to users.
  • Using fact-checking services, particularly during election periods.
  • Promoting authoritative news sources.
  • Promoting diverse news content, countering the ‘echo chamber’ in which people are only exposed to information which reinforces their existing views.
May, Javid and the Red Tories have truly become globalist dags and tools of the Socialists. The Noncefinder General and his Marxist capo must be rubbing their hands with glee.

OK, I suggest any readers with any interest in freedom investigate using Tor and Signal.If this repressive authoritarian shite becomes law, we're going underground.

Patricia Scotland digs her nails into Commonwealth door

Attempts to drag Patricia Scotland from her dire and institutionally damaging leadership of the Commonwealth Secretariat are gathering pace. Boris, it seems, is learning the lessons taught by Tony Blair - that for longevity in power, stack the NGOs, quangos and charidees with your own people. The UK has now joined Australia and New Zealand in either freezing or cutting funding. Scotland earned the nickname 'Baroness Brazen' in 2017 when she spent £338,000 of Commonwealth Secretariat funds to refashion her official residence. She has also been criticised by auditors for awarding a £250,000 contract to her friend Lord Patel's firm KYA Global without any competitive tenders. Scotland has been lobbying for her own re-appointment this year - but pressure is growing to install a leader with greater visible probity who sets standards of transparency and good stewardship for the organisation's funds.

However, don't assume that Boris has abandoned his instinct to cut or abolish the plethora of NGOs that sprouted like mushrooms under the Blair regime. By filling their places with his own Brexity and Internationalist post-holders, he will guarantee opposition support for future reform.

At a time when the UK's trade, defence and migration links to the Commonwealth will be paramount, the last person we need in post as head of the Secretariat is a Blairite Remoaner who may seek to sabotage the nation's Internationalist endeavours.

Scotland must go. Pay her off.

Scotland ... oot!

Tuesday 11 February 2020

Dirty Rotten Bastards

Over a career spent handling hundreds of millions of other people's money, the one key constant that has always allowed me to sleep at night is not once, ever, having stolen a penny of it, never having taken a bribe and never having succumbed to corruption. I have turned down everything from Wimbledon centre court tickets, cruises, hampers, Glasto tickets to thinly veiled offers of brown envelopes. My philosophy is don't even admit the thin end of the wedge; I was always clear with tenderers and subbies - the limit was an inexpensive working lunch. Not that I wasn't up for a drink - but when they put the company card behind the bar I'd add £20 of my own to the pot. Yes, scoff all you like - but I have a reputation for the very highest standards of stewardship of my clients' money, and I'm proud of it.

So reading today that Austrian government officials took bribes of £55m from Airbus simply disgusts me. The levels of public corruption here are very much greater than in the UK - every political and public actor from the Burgermeister upwards is suspect. Partly it's being in a half-beer half-wine country, partly it's the deeply corrupt culture of the EU. I now regard all public officials in Austria as potentially corrupt and deal with them accordingly.

The Austrian corrupt payments were the largest amongst Airbus' campaign of bribery, fraud and filthy money - all of which has now been swept under the carpet with no prosecutions for a €3.6bn payoff to the even more corrupt EU.

It stinks like week-old Mackerel. Dirty corrupt bastards.

Monday 10 February 2020

Road Pricing - an idea for Boris' second term

Roger Bootle in the Telegraph this morning outlines a number of measures to improve the UK's productivity - the last of which is road pricing. Personally, I like the idea - replacing VED with an ad valorem tax would help, say, older rural motorists who only drive maybe once or twice a week to the shops and will penalise the single occupant sales rep doing thousands of unnecessary miles and choking the road system. I also like using public transport and park and ride - I was made to be driven, not to do the menial work.  

However, I can hear the creaking of rising hackles. This is not an idea for Boris to introduce before 2024. For a start, we need our own GPS satellite system in place - and a better use of a few billions I cannot imagine - and road pricing introduction will be accutely sensitive to both fuel prices and advances in electric and autonomous vehicles. We also need to take drivers out of the cabs of all vehicles running on steel rails within the M25 and automate to double or triple track capacity. Automated trains can have much closer running distances than manned units.

And we need a few years to allow people to get used to the idea that having roads clogged with single-occupant ICE vehicles is simply daft.

Sunday 9 February 2020

Police organisation - time for a radical rethink?

One of the reasons that academics have had such difficulty in determining the most efficient size and scale of a police force is the degree to which police forces are vertically integrated. We are used to each of our 43 police forces, under the hierarchical control of a Chief Constable (The Met is a special case) and with detective and CID branches that may have specialist sub-squads dealing with drugs or counter terrorism, a traffic division, armed response units, specialist operational functions that may include scenes-of-crime, armourers, procurement and stores and vehicle maintenance and back office functions including HR, finance, payroll, pension administration, media communications and PR.

And one of the problems we have in discussing the structure and composition of policing is that there is always an implicit assumption that this degree of vertical integration is how it must be. Thus those who argue for larger national or regional police forces inevitably do so on the basis of claimed efficiencies in back office and specialist operational support services. But why should the key part of the police service most valued and wanted by the public that owns it, local policing, be dragged into the hubristic empire-building of ambitious senior officers?

One of tensions at the heart of the long struggle between Whitehall and Town Hall for control of policing are two very different views of what the UK's police forces should do. One the one hand we want local policing, community building, informal dispute and disturbance resolution, reinforcement of the Little Platoons and the ears of sworn constables attuned and receptive to the concerns and priorities of citizens. On the other hand Whitehall fears an ever-present danger of chaos, anarchy, terrorism, major incidents, fire, flood, disease and strikes, and even more than such events themselves it fears its own inability to deal with them. Whitehall therefore wants a large, flexible, mobile force with existing command and communications structures as closely under the control of the Home secretary as possible to be deployed to maintain the well-being and security of the State.

If we accept that both ambitions are to some extent legitimate, we must ask how, or even if, they can both be achieved without a duplication of resources. Can we integrate and amalgamate the back-office and specialist operational functions? Can we regionalise and specialise counter-terrorism policing and detective work for indictable offences such as rape that needs particular skills and resources? Can we roll out integrated communication systems and secure mobile information access that can serve a local beat copper both when on his rounds and when he's called upon to police football crowds in the nearest city?

But above all, can we return local policing to being local policing, immune from the woke fads, promotion obsessions and box-checking of ambitious middle-ranking managers? Under the democratic direction (but not operational control) of watch committees, elected bodies and even lay magistrates?

Policing is broke. It needs fixing. It is simply not acceptable that the police no longer respond to reports of non-indictable offences. It is even less acceptable that the organisational and management failures that allowed the systemic child sexual abuse of thousands of young girls in our town and cities are permitted to continue.