Friday, 20 January 2017

Oh, the (unintentional) irony

The Guardian is running an article about how the BBC 's Laura Kuenssberg has been found to have been impartial in her reporting of a statement from Jeremy Corbyn:
The broadcaster’s regulator concluded that a Laura Kuenssberg report for the News at Six in November 2015 breached the broadcaster’s impartiality and accuracy guidelines, in a ruling that triggered an angry response from the corporation’s director of news.

The News at Six item included a clip of the Labour leader stating: “I am not happy with a shoot-to-kill policy in general. I think that is quite dangerous and I think can often be counterproductive.”

Kuenssberg had presented that as Corbyn’s response to a question put to him on whether he would be “happy for British officers to pull the trigger in the event of a Paris-style attack”, but the Trust concluded that Corbyn had been speaking in a different context. sdsd
Which is hilarious, coming from the Guardian, with its ignoble history of inaccurate and anti-Corbyn coverage. Even today, they are running a report titled, Corbyn to order Labour MPs to vote for article 50 trigger; even though he has said no such thing:
Jeremy Corbyn will order Labour to vote in favour of triggering article 50 in a move likely to prompt a rebellion of around 30 MPs, including several frontbenchers.

The Labour leader signalled on Thursday that he would impose a three-line whip if the government lost its supreme court challenge and brought a Brexit bill to parliament.

However, dozens of Labour MPs, especially those with largely urban constituencies that voted to remain, are known to be agonising about whether to defy the party line.
If you read further down the article, you discover that Corbyn did not actually say he was going to issue a three-line whip:
Asked by Sky News how he would handle any legislation in the Commons, after the Guardian revealed that some shadow cabinet ministers were considering voting against it, he said: “It is very clear. The referendum made a decision that Britain was to leave the European Union. It was not to destroy jobs or living standards or communities but it was to leave the European Union and to have a different relationship in the future.

“I’ve made it very clear the Labour party accepts and respects the decision of the British people. We will not block article 50.”

When asked if that meant a three-line whip, an order to MPs to vote for the bill, he replied: “It means that Labour MPs will be asked to vote in that direction next week, or whenever the vote comes up.”
Notice how "ask" morphs into "order" in the headline.  The Guardian might argue that Corbyn is talking in euphemisms, and if it was another politician they might have a point; but Corbyn doesn't tend to do that.  When he says hell ask them to vote for Article 50, he probably means that.  He is not an authoritarian leader.  He allowed a free vote over Syrian air strikes and on Trident.  As a life long rebel against the party line himself, it does not seem to be in his nature to impose strict discipline on matters of conscience.

Presumably, when he doesn't actually issue said whip, they Guardian will accuse him of backing down in the face of pressure ...

Monday, 12 December 2016

Trump

Asked to comment on George W. Bush's victory in the 2000 presidential election, the economist J.K. Galbraith said, "I never thought I would ever long for Ronald Reagan."

I suspect in 4 years time we will be saying, "I never thought we would ever long for George W. Bush."

The Republican barrel is a sort of ghastly reversal of Pandora's Box - just when you think all the horror and misery has come out of it, you find Donald Trump slithering around the bottom of it.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Fidel Castro dies

At the age of 90.

I suppose he figured it was time to go, having lived to see the completion of his life long goal - the utter devastation and humiliation of the United States.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

This isn't funny any more

Looks like the USA is going to have the Presidency, the House of Representatives and the Senate all under Republican control. That means Trump can actually DO STUFF. This never was funny. But now it is really not funny any more.

Thank you, America

For putting this chump in the White House:
We should be focused on clean and beautiful air-not expensive and business closing GLOBAL WARMING-a total hoax! -Donald J. Trump, 2013
This is why we should be very angry with Americans. All of them. Especially the deomcrats, who must have searched long and hard to actually find a candidate who could actually lose to Trump.

Though that is perhaps unfair. Clinton didn't lose to Trump. Clinton lost to Clinton. Her twenty five years of baggage, and twenty five years of smears, doomed her.

If anything, it should be the other way round. The Republicans should be congratulated on finding a candidate in Trump who almost managed to lose to Clinton.

America, what are you doing?

Looks like three very tight races in Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Pennsylvania. 58 college votes up for grabs across those states, enough to win it for either candidate. Though Trump is ahead, marginally, in three.

Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, have we told you lately how much we love you?

Come on, Michigan the WORLD expects - nay, requires - you to do the right thing.



The ghost of Warren G Harding will be lookin on with interest, to see if here at last is the candidate who will nudge him off the bottom of the rankings of American presidents.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Guido Fakes

So the other day, the slightly-better-known-than-me-blogger Guido Fawkes aka Paul Staines aka a big fat Tory FIBBER posted a big fat Tory Fib about this Brexit thing that has happened while I have been Otherwise Engaged.

The tl/dr version of his post is that people who didn't like Brexit were big fat liars because they had predicted the end of the world would commence the day after the referendum and when this didn't happen (because in the strange world Staines inhabits, the pound hasn't relentlessly tanked) and now the Remoaner fibbers are trying to say that they never actually said that at all and the End of the World would kick off after Britain actually left the EU blah blah blah, and this was all lies, lies I tell you!

He produces DEVASTATING documentary evidence to back up his claim - a report issued by HM Treasury, no less, assuring us Brexit apocalypse would be 'immediate' and he quotes some absolutely DEVASTATING evidence to PROVE beyond a SHADOW OF A DOUBT that ALL REMAINERS are lying deviants who molest hedgehogs.  To whit:
This paper focuses on the immediate economic impact of a vote to leave and the two years that follow. Such a vote would change fundamentally not just the UK’s relationship with the EU, our largest trading partner, but also our relationship with the rest of the world. The instability and uncertainty that would trigger is assessed. 
The Treasury analysis in this document uses a widely-accepted modelling approach that looks at the impact of this uncertainty and instability on financial markets, households and businesses, as our economy transitions to a worse trading arrangement with the EU. 
I am grateful to Professor Sir Charles Bean, one of our country's foremost economists and a former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, who has reviewed this analysis and says that it “provides reasonable estimates of the likely size of the short-term impact of a vote to leave on the UK economy”. 
The analysis in this document comes to a clear central conclusion: a vote to leave would represent an immediate and profound shock to our economy. That shock would push our economy into a recession and lead to an increase in unemployment of around 500,000, GDP would be 3.6% smaller, average real wages would be lower, inflation higher, sterling weaker, house prices would be hit and public borrowing would rise compared with a vote to remain. 
He even draws red oval shapes around some bits of it, a skill I have yet to evolve.  But, I mean, why would you need red oval shapes when the evidence is so DEVASTATINGLY PROOFY as that?  The Remainers predicted the End Of Times would be IMMEDIATE after a VOTE FOR LEAVE and - well, the GDP figures released the other day show growth of 0.5%.  GROWTH.

Only, yeah, Paul Staines is a big fat Tory FIBBER so it will come as no surprise at all to learn that this is just a big ol' FIB.

I mean, he didn't invent it or anything, the paper exists.  Though, curiously, Mr Staines doesn't link it on his bloggy-woggy or anything, because that might result in some people stumbling across the truth or something and Ol' Stainy doesn't want THAT.

Unlike Stainsey, I'm happy to linky.

Because here's the thing.  The paper he is quoting is a legit paper released by Her Madge's Gummint and everything.  But the bit he's quoting is a bit written by the former Chief Idiot To The Treasury, Mr Gideon "Call Me George" Osborne himself, a man whose occupancy of the office of Chancellor was somewhat akin to a stalker's relationship to romance - he isn't wanted, he doesn't get it, but he won't go away.

So enough of George, because it isn't nice to kick a man while he's down (a lesson that the Tories never learned) and back to Paul Staines.

Like I said, Mr Staines makes a bi deal of the words 'vote to leave' which are prefaced by immediate and OHMIGOD it looks soooooooooo bad, until you actually look at the original report.  The bit written by the experts who knew what they were talking about, I mean, not the bit written by the Gidiot in Number 11.  Because then you discover that - unfortunately for Stainsey - when grown up economist people (as distinct from moron bloggers) use words like IMMEDIATE they don't mean RIGHT NOW.

If Staines had bothered to read a bit beyond the foreword written by Gideon Osborne he'd have found this out for himself.

'coz if he'd read only as far as PARAGRAPH FRIGGIN' FOUR of the Executive Summary (and who really reads beyond the Executive Summary?) the Stainsinator would have learned that when those clever economicky type people use words like IMMEDIATE they have a bit of a special meaning that is lost on both him and on Gideon:
The analysis in this HM Treasury document quantifies the impact of that adjustment over the immediate period of two years following a vote to leave. Such a vote would trigger a redefinition not only of the UK’s economic relationship with the EU and the rest of the world, but also of much of the UK’s domestic economic policy, regulatory and legislative framework. A vote to leave would cause an immediate and profound economic shock creating instability and uncertainty which would be compounded by the complex and interdependent negotiations that would follow.
"The immediate period of two years," GEDDIT??

So, yeah, what do you make of that, Staines, you big fat Tory FIBBER?

Of course, its not Paul's fault that George Osborne was almost as useless a writer of forewords as he was a Chancellor.  But the evidence was all there in black and white and all he had to do was read it and be honest.  He massively failed on one of these counts.  Because if you look beyond the Wise Words of Gideon's foreword, you'd have to be pretty damn thick not to realise that when the EXPERTS (as distinct from idiot bloggers) used the term immediate they meant a two year time scale.

They even have a section called, "Part 3: Modelling the immediate impact on the public finances of a vote to leave the EU," (page 74) which is examining the impacts through to 2018. Which is two years away. 'Immediate' appears to cover the period from the vote up until exiting, working on the assumption that Cameron stuck to his word and triggered Article 50 pretty much immediately after a referendum.

Which possibley suggests a worrying lack of scientific rigour on the part of the authors, because, you know, Tories and their word ...

But, anyhoo, either oor man Stainsey did not bother to read the report before ranting his branes on the interwebs; or he is a klutz who did not understand what he read; or he is a Big Fat Tory FIBBER who understood it and decided to misrepresent it to the readers of his blog, because, you know, the truth isn't much good if it doesn't advance the Tories.

Which was it, Paul?