Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Vote Ken Or The Puppy Gets It.

Dear Sir,

We the undersigned have begged, pleaded and ordered Londoners to vote for Ken over the last few months. We have blown the lid on how Boris Johnson's past words could be viewed as racist if they had appeared in a completely different context to how they actually appeared. We have exposed how it is possible that if Boris Johnson is elected he will close down the tube and ban buses even if there is no evidence that he will do so. We have explained to Muslims that he will ban the Koran even though he will have neither the power nor the inclination to do so. We have explained that he is a neocon/Zionist Bushite who will not sign Kyotu even thought that is not within his remit.

And yet it appears that many Londoners are still intending to vote Boris.

Up to this point we have had patience with dealing with you suburbanite troglodytes but there comes a point where a line has been crossed. If you won't even respond to our explaining how Boris Johnson's decision to be amusing whilst on a television comedy show disqualifies him for the job then it is hard to see what will get it through your thick skulls, it is Ken's right to be mayor.

It pains us as members of London's vibrant cultural community, although many of us actually live in Dorset, to see London being taken hostage by a right wing posh Tory. Did we mention that he went to Eton, on a scholarship that many of our Daddies had entered us for? Posh Bullingdon Boy Boris is in no position to understand what the London Mayor is supposed to do. In contrast most of us have received several hundreds of thousands of pounds from the mayor's
office in recent years, so our expertise really should count for more than the likes of the Evening Standard reading nazis in the outer suburbs.

In light of this we feel that we have but one course of action left open to us. If Boris Johnson is elected mayor we shall eat this adorable and tasty puppy for dinner on Friday evening. The choice facing Londoners is stark they can vote for Ken and elect a mayor who cares about puppies or they can elect Boris who is still trying to pursue a course of action that will mean that a poor puppy will be served in a casserole.

Should this puppy die to satiate Boris's neocon, racist, buffoonish, Bullingdon Boy selfishness? It is your decision (unless you have a postal vote in which case don't sweat it, we'll sort it out for you.

Yours Desperately,


Polly Toynbee,
Seamus Milne,
Richard Gott,

Race Baiters:
Lee Jasper,
Doreen Lawrence,
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown,
Simon Wooley,

Sheikh Al Qaradawi,
Azzam Tamimi,
Osama Bin Laden,

People Who Were Famous In The 1980s:
Tony Robinson,
Billy Bragg,
Vivienne Westwood.


Labour MPs:

Anon Entity,

Assorted Twats:

Phil Jupitus,
Hugo Chavez,
Damon Albarn,
George Galloway.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Really Embarrassing Body.

I've just been looking at the television pages to see what to watch tonight. Is it me or is Channel 4 being a little bit insensitive in their scheduling, because let's face it, there can't be many bodies more embarrassingthan one found floating in your pool with evidence of a sexual assault:

21:00- Embarrassing Bodies.
22:00- Michael Barrymore: What Really Happened

{ Original post edited for typos}

A 'Daily Nuclear Strike'

Polly Toynbee, with her usual sense of proportion, writes:
Associated Newspapers, the owner of the Daily Mail, has used the London Evening Standard as a daily nuclear strike in the city's mayoral campaign. Its billboards across London every day claim spurious "scandal" after "scandal" involving Ken Livingstone. Few read the paper, but all London sees the newsstands.
Thankfully the Guardian shows how a proper newspaper should cover the London mayoral race:

  • Richard Reeves on the dangers of 'progressives' splitting the vote.
  • Martin Jacques declares that Livingstone is a demigod and asks of Boris Johnson "Does anyone really think that Johnson has any serious commitment to public transport or knows what it means? Does anyone believe that he can represent the 40% of Londoners who are non-white when his own racial prejudices have been made so apparent?". Perhaps Ian Wright could represent them.
  • Dave Hill (again), "Livingstone has acquired the expertise that comes with experience whereas Johnson cannot tell us who his transport specialists are going to be. Which of the two would you prefer in charge?"
  • John Carvel on Ken, "He is the same witty, articulate, self-deprecating, stubborn, leftwing pragmatist that he was then."
I may expand this article into last week's Grauniad and beyond, later today. I'm sure I could find well over a hundred articles scaremongering about a Boris Johnson victory.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Health & Politics.

The link between autism and the MMR vaccine has been pretty comprehensively discredited. I realise that it is hard to imagine that a study published by the Lancet would turn out to be such complete crap but there you go.

In politics however the empirical reality is that facts matter much less than public perception, and seeing as the anti MMR lobby is organised and motivated whereas the supporters of MMR are generally apolitical this means that all three of the remaining candidates for US president are willing to pander to the scaremongers.

The scientific evidence here is pretty clear yet the controversy has caused levels of vaccination to fall off and by not challenging the supposed MMR autism link all the candidates have demonstrated that they are willing to endanger the citizens whom they seek to serve and lead in order to get elected.

Where the political backlash against vaccination is even greater in some parts of world than in the West, it has enabled diseases that were on the cusp of being eliminated, like Polio, to make strong resurgences and it has left a lot of children severely disabled for life. For the three main aspirants to become the most powerful person on the planet to fuel this backlash for votes is disgusting.

Claiming The Mantle Of Victimhood

Obama pastor: I had death threats

I'm willing to bet that no evidence of these supposed death threats will see the light of day, and he certainly won't call in the police. This is the classic maneuver of a far left demagogue who has been caught out, pretend to be the victim of a violent hate campaign.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Striking Teachers.

With teaching unions trying to blackmail the government into giving teachers a further inflation busting pay rise (they are up 19% in real terms since a decade ago), by striking as pupils are preparing for their exams it is clear that the power of the Unions has grown too great once more. Seeing as the Unions are willing to wreck the life chances of the children in their care it is important for pupils and parents to be able to assess how at risk they are from this. So how about making it compulsory for schools to publish information pertaining to the trade union affiliation of their staff?

I'm not talking about naming individual teachers but just a brief summary of how many unreliable teachers a school has, so that if one school has 10% NUT affiliation and a second suffers from 50% NUT affiliation then the children and their parents are able to choose the school least likely to suffer from maliciously timed stoppages.

As someone who was at primary school 20 years ago when the last wave of teaching strikes was underway I can clearly remember that the most militant teachers were generally also the most dim, useless and bullying, one of the militant teachers told my mother that she became a socialist when she failed the 11+ which figures. I doubt that much has happened in the intervening two decades to change that.

Friday, April 25, 2008

A Request.

Is there any readily available online resource that gives a list of how much each government department is spending? I'm particularly interested in how much the Department of Work & Pensions spends. I've seen figures given for the department of around £7 billion but that cannot be including the amount that they pay out in welfare and pensions, as that is obviously over £100 billion. Any answers in the comments please.

Update: It's okay this is what I'm looking for.

Quote Of The Day.

Remember the World Conference Against Racism (and Jews) that was held in Durban during the week prior to the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks? You remember the one where holocaust denial literature was being peddled, where Robert Mugabe received a standing ovation whilst the representatives of Western countries were denounced. Where the countries that still practiced slavery demanded compensation for the slave trade that the West abolished more than a century earlier. Yeah that one.

Joy of joys there is going to be a sequel! In the National Review Anne Bayefsky reports on some of the preliminary events:
The United Nations opened an “anti-racism” meeting here Monday. First up on the agenda? Anti-Semitism. Not anti-anti-Semitism but actual anti-Semitism
It appears to be the Iranian government that is particularly active in trying to ban Jews from the event. Rather incredibly the Iranian government's commitment to antisemitism is so great that even Al Qaeda have been upset by it, sort of.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Race Nut Watches Match Of The Day.

Dumbjon is unimpressed with the latest Martin Jacques racism-in-sport article that he churns out regularly. This time it's about Ian Wright's resignation from Match of the Day complaining that he was being treated like a 'comedy jester' for reasons that escape me. There's not much to add about this particular one.

So how does he manage to detect racism so frequently? Normally he will find a relatively small number of non whites in a particular field and then expand from there. Sometimes his methods of doing this are a tad unscientific.

In a column about Lewis Hamilton he observes:
Apart from the Japanese, virtually every face in the paddock, let alone on the starting grid, was, until recently, white. This is hardly surprising. The more expensive and/or exclusive a sport, the whiter it tends to be: the fact almost has the force of a law. That is the main reason why the Rugby World Cup, the Pacific islands excepted, was so desperately white, the Springboks included.
If you ignore the non white participants then the ethnic make up of the participants does indeed seem overwhelmingly white. Who knew?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Food Glorious Food.

Gordon Brown's "Food Summit" to discuss the food prices crisis seemed a bit insensitive to hold so soon after John Prescott's hilarious shocking bulimia revelations. As a political gimmick though promising to tackle the food crisis is probably a clever and cost free idea. Nobel winning economist Gary Becker explains here:
The second reason for optimism relates to the lower productivity of food production in the poorer parts of the world relative to the United States and other developed countries. Higher food prices will induce an increase in productivity in developing nations by encouraging greater use of machinery, fertilizers, and other forms of capital. It will also encourage consolidation of some agricultural holdings into the hands of more efficient farmers.
In other words the crisis will resolve itself soon enough without actual intervention by politicians, so they may as well position themselves to claim credit for it.

Quote Of The Day.

On Newsnight there was a debate between the founder of a new anti-Islamist Muslim group the Quilliam Foundation, whose name unfortunately escapes me, and the supporter of Hamas and founder of the Ken Livingstone supporters group "Muslims for Ken", Azzam Tamimi who denounced the new group for being at war with Muslims because they:
"Have something in common with the Israelis and the zionists"

No One Expects The Sith Inquisition.

A small sect is being viciously persecuted in Wales.

Coming Next: Stress Bricks.

I always wondered how stress balls actually relieved stress:
George Galloway has been left dazed and bruised after being pelted with a rubber stress ball while out campaigning in central London.

Yeah, that would work.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Quote Of The Day.

Most artists aren't very smart. They like shiny stuff"

What Would I Do Without The Internet.

I'm really not sure whether this is supposed to be serious, comic or kinky, but I happened across the Christian Domestic Discipline site and it is er compelling.

Obviously if it is for real, and they do seem to be very deadpan, then I shouldn't be finding it so funny as it would be rather sinister, but it can't be serious can it?
Pinning a rebellious wife's inside leg also prevents assuming a mulish *ironing board* position - with the legs extended - since it is almost impossible to do with one leg. As the spanking withers any rebellion, the woman's legs will naturally relax as her resistance fades and she accepts her fate
If it's satire then they have been quite effective in winding people up.

And in case you are wondering, no I didn't come across the site whilst googling anything to do with spanking.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Undead.

Darling: I Can't Rewrite Budget.
Well obviously not, because that implies that he wrote the original budget himself. I've got a theory that Alastair Darling is actually a ghost and therefore cannot touch anything so he can't hold a pen or touch a keyboard in any case. It was when the cameras filmed him walking along Downing Street on Budget day that I noticed how he just appears to glide down the street making no contact with either the ground or his colleagues, in short he appears to be insubstantial and incapable of making an impression on anyone. It is likely that he is unaware that he's been dead for a couple of centuries.

One of his ex colleagues who could never be accused of being incorporeal is John Prescott who made the hilarious shocking revelation at the weekend that he had been bulimic when he was Deputy Prime minister. Actually he suffered from Bulimia by proxy, a rare condition in which the sufferer stuffs his face and makes the rest of us throw up.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Maoists & Gurkhas

Daniel Hannan MEP is in Nepal, presuambly observing the election, and he reports that Nepal's newly elected Maoist* government wants to stop the recruitment of Nepalese men into the Gurkha regiments of Britain ( along with those of India and Singapore).

They have been serving in the British Army since the end of the Gurkha War ( 1814-1816), a conflict which was concurrent with the tail end of the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812. Not to be jingoistic, but fighting three wars on three continents simultaneously and achieving the desired objectives in all three is a pretty impressive feat!

Anyway hopefully the prospect of losing the Gurkhas can encourage the British government to treat them correctly.

* Hopefully their Maoism is about as deep as that of peace protesters who wear Mao T-shirts and 'Free Tibet' badges together.

Subsidy Junkies

Australian PM Kevin Rudd is having a luvvie fest, or whatever the Australian equivalent of 'luvvie' is, which looks a lot like Tony Blair's infamous 'Cool Britannia' Downing Street reception for the likes of Noel Gallagher a decade ago. Actress Cate Blanchett is thrilled with the new direction of Australian government/luvvies relationship. The Australian film industry is already over subsidised and uncreativel and it looks like this will be exacerbated. Much like our own in fact.

I've quoted this before:
The director Stephen Frears recalls meeting him soon after he had announced a big increase in money for films. "Do you know what you've done?'' the movie man asked. "Created a rush of absolutely terrible British films?'' the benefactor replied, laughing.
Fair play to Gordon Brown, he does at least realise that subsidies are anathema to good movies. Sure he does it anyway in order to but publicity but at least he knows that it is wrong. There is a pretty decent correlation with the level of subsidy a country offers and the paucity of it's actual cinematic output.

Quite often after watching a few good films from one country I try to look up
details of their subsidy regime and almost always they have relatively low subsidy regimes, so for example Germany which has produced numerous excellent films in recent years and sure enough they spend less than half of what France spends and far less the the UK shovels out. So whilst we make tedious gangster movies the Germans are producing masterpieces such as 'The Lives of Others'. Similarly I've noticed a lot of good Brazilian films in recent years and sure enough their government drastically reduced subsidies in the 1990s.

The ironic thing about government film funding is that whilst the rationale is to preserve and promote the indigenous culture, once film makers are freed from competing on a level playing field with Hollywood, they tend to make low grade pastiches of Hollywood productions. In the absence of subsidies they are pushed to find niches that Hollywood doesn't fulfill and actually begin to reflect a distinctive national culture.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Excusing Terrorism.

Also on Question Time, Lib Dem MP Lembit Opik referred to a claim by the Home Secretary that there are 2000 individuals involved in terrorist plots at any one time:
"If there are 2000 people trying to disrupt our lives, what is it that's wrong with government policy that makes so many people feel that disconnected in this country, that there's that level of terrorist threat. Getting 300 police officers is to completely ignore the lessons of Northern Ireland, in Northern Ireland we stopped terror by addressing... by dissolving the motives of terror, that doesn't mean you condone terrorism, you dissolve the motives, you go into communities and you make those communities feel part of the UK, you don't do that with 300 terror police"
First of all he is factually wrong, terrorism in Northern Ireland was curbed by extensive infiltration of the Sinn Fein IRA by the security forces. Personally I believe that successive UK and Irish governments had wanted to pander to republicans by pretending that they had legitimate political concerns, but until the IRA were defeated it was politically impossible to reward active mass murders.

Secondly the problem is only partly why so many people feel disconnected, after all many people feel dissconnected but very few use it as a justification to slaughter people en masse. So the question isn't why they feel disconnected but why they view that as an excuse to kill.

Thirdly despite his protests he is condoning terrorism, could you imagine him urging the government to respond to something he genuinely felt to be inexcusable, such as the BNP, by addressing the motives of those who support them? No me neither. The euphemism "trying to disrupt our lives" is a bit of a giveaway too.

Fourthly why does he assume that it is government policy that motivates the terrorists? Isn't it at least as likely that they are motivated by the intellectual climate created by people like himself dignifying the pathetic and self pitying rants of the terrorists as representing a serious point of view that needs to be addressed?

I recall that Opik was also on Question Time the week before the 7/7 bombings where he made a claim, which I'm recalling from memory, that the USA and UK invaded Iraq in order to steal their oil and that hundreds of thousands of muslims were being killed by us as a result. Does he not think that people in his position spreading conspiracy theories about the government murdering muslims in order to enrich themselves might just be a motive for terrorism?

Different But The Same!

On Question Time Harriet Harmen repeatedly droned on about the importance of equality and all that crap, except when it came to a question about Enoch Powell when what was important was was celebrating diversity. Aren't diversity and equality close to being polar opposites of one another?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Zero Tolerance.

Hurrah an evil racist is brough to book by our McPhersonised police:

When two police officers came to interview Jamie Bauld, a polite, friendly Down’s syndrome boy with a mental age of about 5 [which is enough for him to be nicknamed 'the professor by the police-ed], he welcomed them with a big smile and a handshake. As the officers read him his rights and charged him with assault and racial abuse, he agreed with everything they said, then thanked them for coming to see him.


Jamie, 18, cannot tie his shoelaces or leave home on his own, nor can he understand simple verbal concepts such as whether a door is open or shut. But his parents said that he was charged with attacking a fellow student, an Asian girl who also had special needs.

ACPO On Immigration.

ACPO, the Association of Chief Police Officers have issued a report claiming that there is no major increase in crime associated with immigration. This runs contrary to claims made by the Chief Constables of Cambridgeshire and Kent, it also makes the incarceration and nationality statistics look rather strange. It was conducted by the head of ACPO's race and diversity squad phoning detectives and community officers and asking them whether they believed that there was a connection between immigration and crime, as someone called 'Rob' puts it here:
'So, the Race and Diversity Stasi ring you up and ask you if you think crime is committed disproportionately by non-Britons. Given the insane attitude of the Police force towards race issues, it is a no brainer what the average copper would say. No Guv, everything's fine.'

The other thing to consider is that crime is overwhelmingly committed by the young, and the peak age for impulsive and 'petty' crimes such as vandalism, shoplifting and the like is only in the mid teens, with more serious crimes most common in the early to mid 20s.

Seeing as immigrants are (I think) usually in their 20s and 30s and without teenage children it may be that the impact of immigration doesn't contribute very much to petty crimes that make up the bulk of all offences committed, whilst having a disproportionate impact on more serious crimes.

This comes back to something I have repeatedly criticised the pro-immigration lobby for, rather than arguing that the benefits of immigration outweigh the costs they just refuse to acknowledge that there are any costs to immigration.

Update: Inevitably the usual suspects have swallowed the ACPO report whole.

Update: Conservative immigration spokesman Damian Green claims "There is no evidence to suggest an immigrant is more likely to commit a crime than a UK citizen and it is, of course, wrong to suggest that immigrants are more likely to commit crimes". This is untrue, there is plenty of evidence, look at the prison stats. He appears to regard factual accuracy as taking second place to being in line with fashionable thinking.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Quote Of The Day.

In relation to Barack Obama's recent remarks to a private San Francisco audience that less well off Americans were ignorant hicks who only believed in all the silliness about the 2nd amendment and god because they were 'bitter', Thomas Sowell writes:
Obama is also part of a long tradition on the left of being for the working class in the abstract, or as people potentially useful for the purposes of the left, but having disdain or contempt for them as human beings.

Karl Marx said, "The working class is revolutionary or it is nothing." In other words, they mattered only in so far as they were willing to carry out the Marxist agenda.

Fabian socialist George Bernard Shaw included the working class among the "detestable" people who "have no right to live." He added: "I should despair if I did not know that they will all die presently, and that there is no need on earth why they should be replaced by people like themselves."

Sounds very familiar.

Obama has been lucky so far that his novelty as the first serious black candidate for the office of President of the United States has caused people to overlook just how wearisomely familiar his brand of faded radical chic mixed with elitism is. His ideas are not new and they have been tested to destruction by the likes of Carter, Johnson and innumerable governors and mayors.


'France’s answer to global food crisis is EU protectionism'

Hmm, it's strange how France's reaction to a shortage of food is identical to their reaction to an abundance of food. In fact I wonder how much EU dumping of excess food in the past has done to suppress the development of local farming in the poorer parts of the planet.

I won't claim to fully understand what is behind the surge in food prices but some of the most often cited explanations don't make a great deal of sense, biofuels only take up 1.5% of the world's agricultural land so they can't explain a two year doubling in prices, meat eating is increasing but not fast enough to explain the rate of the increase, similarly the population is not growing fast enough to account for it. The only explanations that appear to make sense are that it is down to the increase in fuel prices combined with with a vicious circle of people hoarding because they believe that food is scarce which then causes real shortages.

Update: On the subject of biofuels Mr Eugenides chronicle's the Independent's shameless about turn on the issue.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

War What's It Good For?

Whilst I'm on the subject of western leftists who have man crushes on Latin American demagogues, there is this article about US involvement in Latin America particularly Colombia and Ecuador, by someone called Hugh O'Shaugnessy. He asks:
The incident, in which at least 21 members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc) were killed, has had international repercussions. What use are armies in a region like Latin America?
The answer is in the question, killing marxist terrorists is a pretty good use of an army.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Argentina's Falklands Veterans.

Former KGB agent of influence Richard Gott is complaining about the refusal of the Falkland Islanders to allow the relatives of Argentinian soldiers who died there to visit the islands. It quickly emerges in the comments that this is not in fact true and it is the Argentinian government that has placed obstacles in the way for political reasons. That a corrupt traitor like Gott is lying is a bit like finding out about Knut the polar bear killing carp, kind of obvious and not really newsworthy. However there is a link in the comments to an article in Der Spiegel from last year about Argentina's soldiers in that conflict that is worth reading.

Argentina had a conscript army at the time, so they had little choice about participating in the invasion and being part of the junta's regime. The officers were a different matter of course, they were volunteers yet despite that when it came to the actual fighting most of them abandoned their troops and headed to Port Stanley to surrendered quietly after the battles had been fought. From the Spiegel piece:
"Our own officers were our greatest enemies," says 44-year-old Ernesto Alonso. They supplied themselves with whiskey from the pubs, but they weren’t prepared for war. "They disappeared when things got serious." Many of the officers had previously worked as torturers for the Argentianian [sic] dictatorship. "They used us recruits for their sadist phantasies [sic]," Alonso says.
If the Argentinian government is really interested in being able to honour their veterans then they could start by treating the living ones appropriately, but of course that isn't their motivation here, they are trying to whip nationalistic fervour to distract from the situation at home, just as they were 26 years ago.

Damp Squibs.

Sometimes newspaper stories are far less interesting than the headlines suggest.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Same Old, Same Old.

Now I've been blogging for a couple of years a lot of the same stories are repeating themselves again and again, so instead of wasting my finger strokes on writing new posts here are some old ones about stories that are in the news once more- Abu Qatada and the legal and 'human rights' mob colluding in forcing Britain to host terrorist associates. And here is a post on the stupid idea to grant amnesties to people who have broken the law and entered this country illegally which has now been endorsed by the three main London mayoral candidates.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Poles To Be Jaded

Oh dear god, a Polish TV station have bought 'Big Brother 3' which first aired in 2002. This was the series which gave us Jade Goody. For a reminder of that illustrious series take a look here.

Polar Bear Behaves Like Polar Bear.

Germany's celebrity polar bear Knut has triggered a new controversy by fishing out 10 live carp from his moat and killing them in front of visitors.
Perhaps they should have gotten themselves one of those vegan polar bears instead. You'd have thought that the fate of Timothy Treadwell would have corrected the tendency to anthropomorphize bears.

{via Tim Blair.}

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Quote Of The Day.

Ethically challenged he may be*, but Silvio Berlusconi has a point here:
“The Left says it loves the poor. So it does. The Left loves the poor so much it creates more of them every time it gets into power”.
Of course if Berlusconi wins the 6 of the 7 largest developed democracies will be controlled by the right. Britain being the singular exception.

* Although I suspect his dodginess isn't that extreme by Italian standards.

I'm Clever Enough To Work For The Daily Express

On another blog earlier today I speculated at what the response of the Di'ly Express would be to the unsurprising verdict of the inquest:

""The Daily Express is probably going to have a large misleading headline tomorrow along the lines of "Diana: Unlawfully Killed!", with a brief mention of who unlawfully killed her inside."

And this is what their actual response is:

Monday, April 07, 2008

Zanu C.P.

The controversy over the Conservative selection process for the European Election shortlist rumbles on.

David Cameron promises to investigate why data on turnout and spoilt ballot papers isn't being published.

And when he's done that he is going to help OJ Simpson find the real killer.

The Olympics.

Although I have frequently expressed my opposition to London hosting the 2012 Games, I don't believe I have said anything about Beijing hosting the 2008 event. The thing is whilst I do thoroughly oppose China's treatment of Tibet and East Turkestan as well as it's human rights record in general, this is actually why they actually deserve to have the expensive and bloated farce that is the Olympic Games. Let's give 2012 to them too.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Self Awareness (Lack Of).

At the left wing group blog, Liberal Conspiracy, the man with the most punchable face in the blogosphere asks "Is the problem that lefties aren't angry enough?". To all my lefty readers I say absolutely, the one thing the left has really been short of in recent years is frothing at the mouth loons and you should certainly try that approach in public more often

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Lords Immigration Report.

The House of Lords immigration report appears to confirm what most similar studies into immigration elsewhere have found, that the net benefits to the native population are very small at best and the costs are particularly concentrated among the less well off.

There is a case to be made that an almost neutral impact on the native population combined with the large benefits to the immigrants themselves means that the overall effect is a great increase in human happiness and prosperity and should therefore be welcomed. This is an honest and well reasoned argument which argues that the benefits outweigh the costs.

There is another school of argument by the pro immigration camp that is based on lying about the impact of immigration and smearing anyone who dares point out the costs. This attitude was particularly dominant for the first 6 or 7 years of this Labour government. Since then the tide has begun to turn but there are still exponents of the lie and smear approach around. One such is economist and author Phillipe Legrain.

Take his response to the Lords report:
their findings and recommendations are deeply flawed - which is perhaps not surprising considering the committee is chaired by Tory has-been John Wakeham and also includes two Conservative ex-Chancellors, Black Wednesday Lamont and boom-and-bust Lawson.

Since the old duffers can't work it out, here is a quick and easy guide to the economic benefits to Britain of allowing in foreign workers.

This sort of stuff would embarrass the editor of the student newspaper at clown college, but it would at least be forgivable if he then went on to actually state anything that the Lords got wrong. Judging by his later post approving linking to a columnist pointing out that the media reports on the Lords report are mistaken I doubt that he actually listened to what Lord Wakeham's committee said . In fact all he does is restate the acknowledged upsides of immigration, ignore the downsides and make some spurious untested claims. For example he says:

Over the past five years, GDP per person - a good measure of average living standards - has risen by 2.2% a year, faster than in any of the other G7 rich countries.
Well seeing as at least two of those countries, Canada and the USA, have more immigrants relative to their size than the UK what does this prove? Isn't it just as likely that people tend to want to move to countries that experiencing economic growth rather than them just happening on any shore and making that country richer?

Next on his blog he links to a debate that took place between himself and Andrew Green of Migration Watch on Radio 4. He appears to claim that the BBC edited the interview in a manner that was unfair to him, because we know how the Beeb is a hotbed of anti-immigration activism, but he posts the unedited interview which frankly shows Legrain in an even worse light. Whilst Green is impeccably polite and focused on the facts Legrain repeatedly shouts him down, spouts vacuous generalities and at one point accuses Green of simply disliking foreigners which given that his previous career was as a diplomat stretches credibility.

The really strange thing about Legrain is that otherwise sensible commentators on the left consider him somehow profound.

As I've said before on this blog I am not particularly against legal immigration, not of groups that tend to integrate well at least. It would be nice if the world were to ever reach the point it was at prior to World War One when movement across countries was almost entirely unencumbered not on economic grounds but simply because freedom of movement is a nice thing to have, however with security threats and welfare states that is unlikely to ever be the case. Pretending that there are no downsides and that anyone who says otherwise is a racist or a xenophobe is a big part of the reason why the government have handled it so poorly. Similarly the disdain shown towards the indigenous culture in favour of the 'vibrant' and 'dynamic' immigrants is distasteful can only increase communal antagonism.

Buga Me, Mugabe Loses.

With the opposition surprisingly winning the parliamentary election in Zimbabwe and looking as though they ight even win the presidential election there are a few things worth saying now:
  • If you are a corrupt dictator who relies on thugs and crooks to cling on to power then it is best not to be so inept that even the thugs and crooks can't be bothered to fix elections.
  • Whilst the MDC is a vast improvement on Zanu PF it would be a mistake to expect too much of them.
  • Morgan Tsvangerai is not necessarily going to be a savior, despite his undoubted courage. As an opposition leader he has repeatedly shown poor judgment and an unwillingness to listen to dissenting voices.
  • Any successor to Mugabe will be an improvement but we shouldn't simply hand out money to Zimbabwe until the new leadership has demonstrated a commitment to freedom with action as well as words.
  • Although it won't happen, the best thing that could happen to Zimbabwe would be to dissolve it into two countries to create nation states for the Shona and Matabele peoples.
  • Whilst I'm usually sceptical when claims of racism get thrown about, it is quite appalling that until Mugabe started attacking white farmers he was treated as a statesman and a hero in the west and given numerous honourary degrees and knighthoods despite the fact that he had used death squads to murder tens of thousands of black Zimbabweans since he came to power.

And The Problem Is...?

Some people are never satisfied!

Bankers, Is Very Appropriate As Rhyming Slang

In the wake of the Northern Rock and Bear Stearn crises I was wondering how hard it is for a bank to go bust, I mean if the Commonwealth Bank of Australia aren't bust despite their insane lending policies how screwed up were the Rock and Bear Stearns?:
The bank gave Deng Gatluak a $20,000 car loan, even though he did not speak English, had no job and no concept of finance.

His wife Nyatut - who still speaks virtually no English and has no assets - was made the guarantor on the loan.
The man also had eight dependents. The criticisms that the greed* of the banks is responsible for the crisis seems mistaken to me. They may or may not be greedy, but the point isn't that they want to make money, it is that they like many others convinced themselves the long period of growth that came with the period of globalisation and the internet in the 1990s was permanent and that the economic cycle had been abolished and that the old rules of lending no longer applied.

Via Swinish Capitalist at Tizona.

* Greed like selfishness is a concept the media only ever apply to the wealth producing sector. The vast increase in taxation that the UK has undergone in the last decade is never attributed to the greed of ministers and the public sector.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

A Tale Of Two Cities

James Cleverly, juxtaposes two recent visits by cabinet ministers to Basra:

And London:

This may also be the first time that the words "Harriet Harman" have been used alongside the word "Cleverly".

{Via Marvin}