Killing Aunty Beeb

Gawd bless my lil Sis; convinced her to get me a subscription to Reason magazine for my birthday and she pulls through (a little over 6 months late but who's counting.

Anyway a brilliant column on the makeup of new agencies and how this correlates with the behaviour of the host state:

In a paper published in the spring issue of the journal Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, Pal analyzed data from 98 countries. Her goal: to see if there were statistically significant correlations between press freedom and seven measures of instability, including ethnic tensions, external and internal conflicts, crime and disorder, military participation in government, and religious tensions. An increase in press freedom, she concluded, reduces all seven measures of instability. (emphasis mine)

Now I think we are far from being able to say explicitly that one causes the other; more likely there are synergies at play that won't show up on an initial analysis but the results are compelling: greater press freedom skews attempts at government at closing down alternative lines of debate (why I feel the internet is so important and rightly feared by our current political elites).

This is particularly interesting though:

Pal also noted that state ownership of media is associated with higher corruption, weaker civil liberties, insecure property rights, lower education and life expectancies, and higher infant mortality and malnutrition.

And yes I realise that Aunty Beeb is not technically state owned, but it does derive it's powers of coercion from the state so will be less likely to bite the hand that feeds it (nibble mildly in the case of the Squandervative coalition maybe, but only because they lack the prerequisite spine to do anything about it).

Worth a try killing the Beeb in any case though eh?


Giving Out Of Poverty

I am on holiday having spent the better part of 3 months working 12 hour days just to keep vaguely on top of my work; it has been the peak season for us and I am bushed. I am on a retreat with several churches in North Wales with my wife and daughter followed by 2 days back before heading out to Spain, palming off our daughter on the grandparents (you know, for an actual vacation.)

In a meeting this morning the retreat organiser got up to remind us of the annual offering we make to the hotel staff; we bulk-buy the rooms and services of 2 hotels each year and at dinner on the Thursday we all contribute massively to the tips for the staff; the amount is divied up by management depending on the hours worked - we are hoping to raise over a £1000 this year as the staff are impeccable, attentive and long-suffering considering the number of elderly and infirm with us.

That is why it struck me as Dow right offensive when David, the organiser, told us that the management, in a spirit of honesty and integrity, put all the collected offerings through payroll, making it subject to tax and national insurance, then top up the amount extorted in tax so it doesn't hit their employees: the cleaners, the waiters, the receptionists and the cooks.

It struck me that in the drive to alter tax breaks for the rich and poor one thing that is never brought up in discussion or is very quickly closed down is the righteousness of taking this money; the workers in the hotel are all minimum wage and earn every penny yet will still be taxed and squeezed till their pips squeak; the final act of indignity is only avoided by the long-suffering management of the hotels giving up their own monies to dole out a gift for their staffs' hard work given by those, the majority of which are on a fixed income, who are seeing their savings undermined, and their own limited income destroyed by inflation. All so David Cameron can continue paying foreigners to build idols to the green god while thousands die for want of NHS resources being cut, squandering every saving he makes on keeping a currency we elected not to join afloat and an established elite saving face.

The poor will not bleat because they will never understand why their wage packet seems so light despite their phone calculator saying it should be something else; they don't understand why the terms of their contract with government - what they are getting with their money - are so inexplicably skewed towards the socialist kleptocracy and squandervatives in charge because they are too busy scrubbing toilets and waiting tables, and their management have enough respect and integrity to mitigate the effects of the looting of a gift from those they serve to ensure it is a finer offering than is possible.

But we are on the precipice; when understanding comes it carries a whirlwind with it and it will carry this new bourgeois with it; we have seen a glimpse of it over the last few weeks with a thousand people suddenly realising that the behaviour of the politicos' client class will never be challenged, whilst those who do try, the breadwinners, the tax-chattels defending their property, will be punished severly.

This can't go on.


Them Riots

Been a little busy these last few months and Lord knows the faux-Duggan riots has been better covered elsewhere.

But man this idea is coming into it's own eh?