Category Archives: Politics

Political stuff

Why Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and Why Feminism Widens the Divide between Rich and Poor

MarilynThere is a theory about why gentlemen prefer blondes which started as a sort of academic joke. It goes like this. It is much easier to tell whether a blonde woman is healthy or not.  Sick blondes look red and blotchy, whereas illnesses in brunettes, with their darker skin, are harder to spot. But then evolutionists tended to take the theory a bit more seriously; after all, there is indeed an evolutionary advantage for a man in choosing a healthy-looking blonde as a mate, since he can be better assured that she will be able to bear and look after healthy children.

Not all that far up the road from this theory is one about feminism. Before feminism, there was relatively little opportunity really smart men to meet really smart women. They would meet the children of their parents’ friends, of course, and their neighbours. They really wouldn’t meet many women at all at university, because there were very few women at university. If they qualified as young doctors, it would meet nurses, and if they joined an office, they would meet secretaries.  Some nurses and secretaries are smart, but not all.

Now, there is much more opportunity for really smart men to meet really smart women. As fellow students at university. As colleagues in their professional life. And in every Continue reading

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Talking about a Post-Brexit World

2-Francis-Hoareresized-190x285It is now over a year since Francis Hoar’s careful analysis that the UK is not prohibited by European law from now negotiating trade deals with non-EU countries which will take effect in March ’19. But it is an analysis that is becoming more compelling now.

Jean-Claude Juncker has suggested that the UK cannot negotiate these trade deals during the 2 years period under Article 50 (Frans Timmermans is more realistic), but it seems clear that Juncker is wrong about this.

It is true that in the Blue Skies Case (Commission v United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, Germany), the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) declared illegal an agreement entered into by various EU countries with the USA for co-operation in the area of aviation. But note the summary of that case Continue reading

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Electric soup

invertersI have been installing a lot of solar panels on my roof. And in the garage, inverters and battery etc.

This is not because I am a fan of solar power, or this State’s Government’s obsession with renewables. Just the opposite. I think that that obsession will lead to yet more massive increases in mains electricity prices here, and even more power cuts. The home battery bit is expensive, but one needs it, apparently, to maintain power during the power cuts (you would have thought that you could use the electricity coming from the panels. But you can’t.  That has to go into the grid, and if the grid is off, it’s thank you and goodnight.)

Already, my taxes do not lead to much return. I have

  • No mains water (I collect my water from the roof);
  • No rubbish collection (I burn as much as possible);
  • No mail deliveries (I have to collect from the post office in the local township of Myponga);
  • No sewerage (I have my own Envirocycle system);
  • No mains gas (I use bottled gas for cooking on the hob);
  • A very poor telephone line, incapable of carrying an internet connection;
  • Very poor mobile telephone reception (I had to put in an 8 metre high antenna);
  • No road surface (the road I live on is just a strip of dirt).

So, with my own electricity generation, I will be even further off grid. I bake Continue reading

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Our Trust in Barnier

What on earth is the UK Government doing?  Binding itself to pay tribute to the EU for years after Brexit is barking mad.  The worst of all worlds.

Perhaps they have just been worn down by endless remoaning.  But this is a road that leads to never-ending servitude to the EU.  Logic would say that the EU should be paying for access to the UK market, since it sells more to the UK then it buys, not the other way around.  But there is no more logic here than that which drives a battered wife into continuing submission to her abusive husband.

quote-and-that-is-called-paying-the-dane-geld-but-we-ve-proved-it-again-and-again-that-if-rudyard-kipling-15-99-45The UK’s best hope is that the EU is so utterly intransigent in its demands for even more Danegeld as to eventually scupper the negotiations entirely.  Then the UK can just leave, as mandated by the referendum, without paying anything, and without any Continue reading

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We were wrong, say climate scientists

This was in The Times today:

We were wrong — worst effects of climate change can be avoided, say experts

Scientists admit that world is warming more slowly than predicted

The new assessment is good news for small island states, such as Tuvalu, which could be inundated by rising seas if the average temperature rose by more than 1.5C

The worst impacts of climate change can still be avoided, senior scientists have said after revising their previous predictions.

The world has warmed more slowly than had been forecast by computer models, which were “on the hot side” and overstated the impact of emissions, a new study has found….

The study, published in the journal Nature Geoscience… suggests that the world has more time to make the changes.

Michael Grubb, professor of international energy and climate change at University College London and one of the study’s authors, admitted that his past prediction had been wrong…

They could have saved themselves a few lines by simply announcing “Robert Was Right”.

 

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The Real Nigger in the Woodpile

The_Nigger_in_the_WoodpileAnne Marie Morris, the MP for Newton Abbot in Devon, has been disciplined for saying, in the context of a discussion about Brexit:

Now I’m sure there will be many people who’ll challenge that, but my response and my request is look at the detail, it isn’t all doom and gloom. Now we get to the real nigger in the woodpile, which is, in two years what happens if there is no deal?

Well, the American expression “nigger in the woodpile” (meaning an important issue that is being overlooked) is somewhat antique, and probably best avoided in public speech. But it is really less offensive than many other epithets that are regularly thrown around, like imperialist pig, pakeha, bog-trotter, breeder, red-neck and Continue reading

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Mr 50%

Sadiq Khan has condemned the London Bridge attack as ‘deliberate and cowardly’.

Well, it was plainly deliberate. But cowardly? I do not think so. The perpetrators must surely have known that there was a very real risk that they would be killed. And they were. Cruel? Yes. Irrational? Yes. Deplorable? Yes. Cowardly? No.  So Mr Khan is only 50% right.

Sadiq Khan is not the only one who has been talking pious nonsense about this. Several statements have been made to the effect that these terrorists are out of line with Islam. Well, actually, they are Continue reading

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Herd Instinct

The world establishment is going apoplectic about Trump pulling the US out of the Paris Accord. Even normally-moderate news channels are broadcasting lectures instead of reporting news, scarcely able to contain their rage. It is as though a country in the Arab Middle East said it did not believe in Islam any more.

There are other views, of course.

Trump is not an ideal POTUS, but it would take a genius to be wrong about absolutely everything. And anyway, it Continue reading

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Julian Out for Summer

Happily, Sweden has just dropped its nonsensical rape charges against Julian Assange. JA should now be able to leave the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

The Metropolitan Police say:

Whilst Mr Assange was wanted on a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) for an extremely serious offence, the MPS response reflected the serious nature of that crime. Now that the situation has changed and the Swedish authorities have discontinued their investigation into that matter, Mr Assange remains wanted for a much less serious offence. The MPS will provide a level of resourcing which is proportionate to that offence.

So, he still has to answer for jumping bail. But no more risk now, it seems, of being sent to Sweden, which has a terrible record of “extraordinary rendition” to the USA.  Hopefully, there will be a decent street party for him when he comes out.

The end of a disgraceful chapter in Sweden’s history.

ArdinThere will be no party, presumably, for his one-night stand Anna Continue reading

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The Trump effect

Donald Trump is obviously not entirely unintelligent. By the same token, not even his biggest fan could deny that he frequently says things that are, to put it kindly, maladroit.

But here is the thing. Every time he says something that makes us think, “Hey, that’s not right”, his political opponents come along and say something even worse.  This week, for example, he said, “No politician in history, and I say this with great serious, has been treated worse or more unfairly”

Mandela sadIt was a remark which demonstrates an extraordinarily distorted view of himself. And it prompted this picture on Facebook, showing Nelson Mandela behind bars, looking sad (as he would be) but with a wistful and tolerant half-smile. The implication, of course, is that Nelson Mandela was a politician who had been treated worse or more unfairly, and that it was really dumb of Donald Trump to forget it.

But Mandela was not sent to prison as a politician. He was sent to prison as a terrorist. We will probably never know quite how many people Mandela killed, either directly or indirectly. Some reports put it at about 200 deaths, and many others injured. Like Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness (also mass murderers), he is one of these people for whom the past has, in some sense, been erased by their subsequent efforts towards peaceful resolution of broader conflicts. The families of all their victims are required to relinquish their anguish. And there is some sense in that, for Continue reading

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