Blind Cyclists Union
Ah yes, but caning whose children ?

Some 49 per cent of mothers and fathers are in favour of corporal punishment to crack down on the worst offenders, it was revealed.

So says the Telegraph, quoting a survey apparently commissioned by the Times Educational Supplement.  Since this is an educational story, I will get the red pen out and give a stern ticking off to almost everyone who covered this story for not linking the study, to TES for not publishing it anywhere I can find it, and to the NASUWT for providing the following quote

In fact, evidence suggests that behaviour has improved significantly since corporal punishment was abolished.

Without proper referencing. Bad form, see me after.  The biggest red cross goes to the BBC, who chose to expend most of their article listing a detailed breakdown of the ideal celebrity teachers, which is clearly the most important part of the research. Idiots.

NASUWT get a big red tick, however, for pointing out the very same question that immediately occurred to me

However, no one appears to have asked those who have called for the return of corporal punishment whether they would be happy for their child to be caned.

Well, quite.  Since the survey doesn’t appear to have been published or linked to from anywhere, and since the journos from the MSM, with the execrable exception of the BBC,  haven’t bothered to quote anything but the headline stats from the press release (which TES don’t seem to have on their website), we don’t know if that question was indeed asked, or much else about the survey.

From personal experience (yes, I am that old, just), I believe that disciplining children with sticks in the classroom will teach them one very important lesson. That those placed in authority over others can be arbitrary, capricious and violent.

It’s a great life lesson, for sure, but I reckon there are probably ways to demonstrate this to children without brutalising them. And, again from personal experience, the moment you do this to a child, you may as well take out the big red ink pad and stamp “PROBLEMS WITH AUTHORITY” on their file.

Only the marks you leave on the outside will heal.

Twitter, Facebook politely tell Home Affairs Select Committee to get stuffed

The Register notes

Policy wonks from Twitter, Facebook and BlackBerry faced MPs on the Home Affairs committee today who were carrying out a postmortem of the disorder across England last month.

Because, of course, social networks are the new rock’n’roll, i.e. the evil influence that will corrupt your children and harm society, and so Something Must Be Done.

People have been banging on for years about the internet and it’s ability to ‘democratise’ all sorts of things, and to some extent this has always been true. However, now that internet based communication tools have started to impact upon actual democracy and the political sphere in particular, The Powers That Be are absolutely shitting themselves.

This is the sort of thing that’s often hilarious to watch, right up to the point where the legislation starts being drafted, at which point it equally often becomes a painfully tragic display of authoritarian stupidity.

You may recall, in fact, that there was a brief outburst of such stupidity that had Theresa May as it’s epicenter, during which the horrible fuckers at the Home Office mooted shutting bits of the internet during ‘unrest’.  Their swift u-turn on this may not - I’m sure you will be surprised to hear - have represented an outbreak of common sense or decency.

But according to Yale scholar Navid Hassanpour, the apparent positive role the internet played in the revolution has been misrepresented.

In a widely circulated American Political Science Association conference paper, he argues that shutting down the internet did make things difficult for sustaining a centralised revolutionary movement in Egypt.

But, he adds, the shutdown actually encouraged the development of smaller revolutionary uprisings at local levels where the face-to-face interaction between activists was more intense and the mobilisation of inactive lukewarm dissidents was easier.

In other words, closing down the internet made the revolution more diffuse and more difficult for the authorities to contain.

But I digress. 

Twitter general counsel Alexander Macgillivray dismissed the idea that the micro-blogging service was good for organising criminal activity, and claimed the company had no evidence to show it was used for that purpose during the recent disorder in England.

He said that the idea of shutting down networks during social unrest, as recently mulled over and almost immediately rejected by Home Secretary Theresa May, “would be an absolutely horrible idea”.

Very polite, but very much ‘fuck off’

Facebook’s Director of Policy, Richard Allan was still more scathing

Allan said that politicos needed to work with a society that was “permanently connected” to the online world.

"We should assume this is going to be a reality henceforth".

Deal with it, in other words.

Good for them. 


Drug Hysteria, doncha just love it ?

Police believe illegal drugs may have caused the death of one man and left a second man seriously ill in hospital.

Oh well, if the police believe it, it must be true.

Emergency services were called to a house in the Raigmore area of Inverness at about 18:25 on Thursday.

Northern Constabulary said an investigation was continuing and a possible line of enquiry was that the man’s death was drugs related.

Police warned the drug potentially involved may have been a type of ecstasy tablet known as Einsteins.

The blue-green tablets have the letters E=MC2 inscribed on them.

The man died in hospital while the second man remains in a serious condition, officers said.

Note that there’s no information on what killed the poor dead chap, or what’s actually wrong with the second man. None at all.

Most likely they have been poisoned, though of course I stand to be corrected if it turns out not to be the case. 

I have, on occasion, stuffed Ecstasy into my face like it was sweeties, as do many millions of people around the UK each and every weekend, and I am noticeably not dead. By itself, as a rule, Ecstasy will not kill you.  Even the “Ecstasy will kill you!” poster child Leah Betts didn’t die as a direct result of it, but because she drank seven litres of water in an hour and half. That will kill you. With or without Ecstasy.

Usually in cases like this - and as I say, I stand to be corrected if any actual information emerges - the harm to the individual arises due to contamination, either accidentally or purposely introduced.  Particularly unscrupulous criminals have been known to cut stuff with such pleasantries as cement dust and rat poison.  I’ve also known stuff sold as E to turn out to be ketamine, which most certainly can kill you.

While it is right that the fact these poor guys were harmed is trumpeted far and wide as a warning to others that something may be hinky with the supply chain, and what has happened is certainly a horrific tragedy, it is wrong to suggest that they were harmed by illegal drugs. They were most likely harmed because drugs are illegal, and as such are generally produced by unscrupulous and incompetent bastards in unsanitary conditions.

Criminals don’t do QA testing.

Political ideas that have dominated the public mind for decades cannot be refuted through rational arguments. They must run their course in life and cannot collapse otherwise than in great catastrophes …
Ludwig von Mises, via Detlev Schlichter’s piece "No Way Out …”  and (I think) Mises: the last knight of liberalism By Jörg Guido Hülsmann (Google Books link)
The UN, fucked up on drugs, again.

According to the latest report published by the UN Office On Drugs and Crime (Office on drugs? Snork!), “Amphetamines and Ecstasy : 2011 Global ATS Assessment”, amphetamine type stimulants (ATS) such as ecstasy and methamphetamine now rank as the world’s second most widely used recreational drug type after cannabis.

The report notes

ATS are now manufactured and marketed with organized crime groups involved throughout the production and supply chain.

Well, yes. They would be wouldn’t they ? Short on irony awareness, perhaps as a result of all the necessary translation, it goes on to suggest

the ATS trade and its high profits threaten security, health and the welfare of populations across the globe.

Well, again, yes. High profit trade will tend have a negative impact on security and welfare if it is conducted by organised crime groups.  That it is in fact that very prohibition which causes most of the problems is not news, though it seems to be the kind of wisdom which only revealed to politicians after they leave office, never while they hold it (and yes, Bob Ainsworth, I am looking at you).

The Assessment also addresses the rise of new stimulant drugs. In addition to amphetamines and Ecstasy, established ATS markets have also seen the emergence of so-called analogue substances which fall outside international control. Substances such as mephedrone or methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) are sold as “bath salts” or “plant food” and act as substitutes for illicit stimulant drugs such as cocaine.

Spooky. It’s almost like all these things must be linked somehow.

ATS are attractive to millions of drug users in all regions of the world because they are affordable, convenient to the user and often associated with a modern and dynamic lifestyle. Their risks are often underestimated in public perception.

Well, yes to the first part, obviously, or they wouldn’t be so darned popular. Presumably the insane reason for continuing prohibition is that the UN (et al) don’t think people should be free to chose what level of risk they accept, presumably because people are just to damn stupid.  Except.


As any fule know, at least any fule who has bothered to read the now infamous report scribd above - authors including one Prof David Nutt, the former government adviser on drug policy who was unceremoniously thrown into the street by an apoplectic Alan Johnson for having the temerity to advise the government that their drug policy was fucking stupid - public perception of the risks is about right.

All of the things that the ATS report lumps together are lower risk than alcohol. This is especially true of Ecstasy, which is so fra removed from the other ‘ATS’ constituents that one wonders why it is even included in the same report. As Prof Nutt pointed out, more people die of horse riding.

No doubt when the people responsible for this report become former UN advisors, they’ll all get together and author report that says prohibition is wrong, harmful and stupid.  And so the wheel turns.

Locking people up for being dicks on the internet, where do you stop ?

We had the now infamous Paul Chambers #twitterjoketrial, whereby Chambers was convicted of a crime for being a bit of a dick on twitter, then we had the spectacle of two idiots being jailed for four years for being dicks about the riots on Facebook.

Now we have “Internet ‘troll’ jailed for mocking dead teenagers on Facebook

A man was jailed yesterday for posting videos and messages mocking the deaths of teenagers including a girl who threw herself under a train.

Sean Duffy, 25, wrote abusive messages on Facebook tribute pages and even uploaded videos to YouTube taunting the youths and their families, as part of the practice known as “trolling”.

Among his victims was Natasha MacBryde, 15, who died when hit by a passenger train near her home in Bromsgrove, Worcs, on Feb 14. The next day Duffy posted comments including “I fell asleep on the track lolz” on the Facebook tribute page created by her brother James, 17

Now if I happened to know Mr Duffy, I would find it very compelling to punch the horrible little bastard right in the snout, and the rest of the things he did make for even less savoury reading, as does the now obligatory “it was Aspergers wot made me do it gov” defence. Make no mistake, Duffy is a grade A twat.

Paul Warren, the chairman of the bench, sentenced him to 18 weeks for each of the offences to run concurrently, the maximum sentence.

Duffy was also given a five year Anti-Social Behaviour Order and was prohibited from accessing websites including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Bebo and Myspace.

But Seriously ? Come on! Per the title, if you’re going to start locking people up just for being utter twats on the internet, well, you think you’ve got prison overcrowding now ?

People say stupid and offensive things thousands of times a day. Other people are very upset by them. Sometimes - that ‘sticks and stones’ rhyme your mum taught you to the contrary - they are deeply hurt by them.

But y’know what ? That’s life.  Trying to enforce civility with the blunt tool of the justice system is not just illiberal, it is also plain fucking stupid. As per the title, where do you stop ?  

UNICEF Jump the shark

According to the UK website of UNICEF, the ‘United Nations Children’s Charity’

Right now, children in Somalia are dying of hunger. We need to act now to save lives.

It also says

UNICEF IS FUNDED ENTIRELY BY VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTIONS. WE RECEIVE NO FUNDING FROM THE UN BUDGET

So presumably, UNICEF are just flat out busy trying to deal with this terrible crisis, and have little time for anything else ? Well, no, as it turns out

Parents in the UK feel powerless before the consumer pressures on their children, suggests international research into family life.

The study by Unicef, comparing families in the UK, Sweden and Spain, found UK parents buying high status brands to “protect” their children from bullying.

They managed to take some time out from trying to stop people from starving to death - a worthy cause if ever there was one - to conduct an IPSOS Mori Poll to state the bleedin’ obvious. 

But don’t worry, these crazy clever guys and gals have a solution!

To help alleviate such pressures, Unicef calls for a series of measures. It says the government should follow the example of Sweden by banning television advertising aimed at children younger than 12.

The UN also calls for government to pay all employees and subcontracted workers the living wage, the minimum pay rate required for a worker to provide their family with the essentials of life, which in London is £8.30 per hour.

I have a better solution. And it’s actually right there in the UNICEF bumf

The report also found parents in Sweden and Spain found it easier to “set clear boundaries for their children”.

Then UK parents should be able to do the same. Just as parents chose to do these things, so they may also chose not to. It’s not rocket surgery, and it doesn’t take a UNICEF report.

But UNICEF don’t stop there, no sir, no way. According to the Telegraph piece

Unicef UK said the obsession was one of the underlying causes of the riots and widespread looting which gripped the UK last month, as teenagers targeted shops for the designer clothes and goods.

Blimey! UNICEF and IPOSO Mori have done a full root cause analysis of the recent riots, that should be worth reading. Except that if you take the time to download the full 95 page report, you won’t find a single mention of even the word ‘riot’.

Actually, it’s worth downloading the report and at least giving it a cursory glance, just to see how much money was spent on it. UNICEF itself tells us 

Just £5 could provide a child with life-saving food for a week.

So just how many Somalian children did UNICEF choose not to save by spending all those £5s on this report ?  IPSOS Mori don’t do this shit for free, and the methodology was quite involved.

Still, at least UNICEF is “funded entirely by voluntary contributions”, not like one of those fake charities

The study, which was jointly funded by the Department for Education, was commissioned after an earlier Unicef report ranked Britain as the worst country in the industrialised world to be a child.

Oh. For. Fuck’s. Sake.

For the avoidance of doubt, that, right there, is Fascism. Dehumanising a group and then advocating violence against them was wrong when the EDL did it, and it was still fucking wrong when these asshats did it. 

h/t Harry’s Place

Why the new McDonalds menu won’t turn us all into drooling authoritarian fucktards

All except for Felicity Lawrence, that is. 

The coalition government has chosen to cast public health as a matter of personal responsibility. It takes the classical liberal view that individuals should make their own choices, free from state intrusion. Nudging us to healthier choices is OK, but regulating is not.

Really ? Well, good for them, I was under the impression that they were a bunch of statist, authoritarian fuckpigs,  Must have missed something.  Like there being anything at all ‘classically liberal’ about either the Conservatives or the actual, y’know ‘Liberal’ Democrats.

Funny that.  You can probably guess the next bit.

On this liberal reading, the fact that your risk of being obese relates closely to your socio-economic status is not a question of social justice but a problem of the feckless poor being too ignorant or spineless to make good choices.

Erm, no, not really, as is so often the case, what’s happened there is the author has projected some of her own rather horrible opinions in there.  That ‘classical liberal’ view that it is the responsibility of the individual actually has absolutely nothing to say about your “socio-economic status”, merely your status as an individual with responsibility for yourself, be you rich or poor.  Surely you can’t get much more egalitarian than that ?

However, if we are to accept this logic as the basis for argument, what would be the solution to the problem of the state believing that feckless, ignorant, spineless, poor people can’t make good choices ? 

Voluntary deals are “the refuge of scoundrels”. If Justin King, the chief executive of Sainsbury’s, can thus describe them to the select committee, it’s surely time even this pro-business government acknowledged just how woefully inadequate they are too.

The state should legislate to ensure that they don’t have to make choices.

Which is different.

Seriously ?

TUC conference weather forecast : Gale force stupidity

Bob Crow, for it is he,

also said that it was time to re-nationalise water and energy industries, as well as the “lame ducks” such as the banks.

He told the TUC conference: “If we want to have real control over our industries then we should take over our industries,” he said.

Recall, if you will, that this is the very same Bob Crow who suggested that a 1p tax on text messages would wipe out the deficit. On which occasion, as even the Guardian felt the need to point out, his math was off to the tune of £149 Billion.  Not the sort of chap you want anywhere near your electricity bill.

And as for nationalising the banks, well, the problem we just had with the banks is that we socialised their failures and made the taxpayers eat the costs.  That was dumb, and is something people are rightly very annoyed about.  Pop quiz, hotshot, who will be responsible in perpetuity for the downside risks of banking if we nationalise the banks   Taxpayers. Duh!

And that, of course, is leaving aside the fact that nationalising banks would be a monumental act of outright thievery. Not something to worry tovarich Crow, I’m sure.

Not wishing to be outdone in the brain hurt department, Len McCluskey

the general secretary of Unite, said unions should not “meekly accept” employment laws, adding: “If tax avoidance is lawful and unpunished, let’s plan for anti-union law avoidance in the same spirit.

Well, ‘tax avoidance’ is unpunished precisely because it is lawful. Presumably what this means is that the TUC will be encouraging unions to abide by the letter and spirit of the law ? No, no, you’re probably right.

he added. “Law is an essential thing for a civilised society, of course, but class law, pushed through a parliament full of expense cheats by a cobbled-together Coalition which no one voted for is not going to paralyse me and it should not paralyse our movement.”

Ah, I see, laws and democracy are fine things until they do something I don’t like, then they are to be discarded. Glad we got that settled.

While the Telegraph, currently in a snit with the Tories about their evil plans to concrete over all this green and pleasant land, actually do a bit of cheerleading for these idiots today, I’m confident that this is all so much willy waving.  Sound and fury signifying nothing.

My ears in the unions tell me that amongst the membership, the supposedly draconian proposal to require a majority of members to vote in favour of strike action before it can become official is actually broadly supported, largely due to the absurdly low turnout at the ballots. It seems that much of the membership is happy to sit this one out, and many of the remaining members are tiring of being taken to the streets by a tiny minority.

There are also some severe rumblings about Unison and Unite amongst their members. Apparently  being left dependant upon support from reps of other unions in the workplace as their higher ups ignore them in favour of prosecuting their campaigns against the ‘ConDems’ is somewhat rankling.  Many members crossed picket lines during the the last batch of strikes.

There simply isn’t the broad support for the kind of gung-ho civil disobedience that the three hundred delegates who could be bothered to attend find so beguilingly attractive.

Does Nick Broomfield want to roll in the snow with Sarah Palin ? You Betcha!

Nick Broomfield - the Guardian tells us -  has made a documentary about Sarah Palin, a subject clearly very close to his heart and, like many other leftoid blokes, certain other parts, notably his libido.

It must be the shoes.  Naturally, Nick isn’t quite able to deal with the idea that he might like the ‘baddie’, presumably his parents never let him watch Blake’s Seven. Either that or they did and he still hasn’t got Servelan out of his system quite yet.  How else does one explain a man describing Palin’s wardrobe as “rather kinky outfits” ?

I’ll save you the trouble of reading the Graun’s review or watching the clip, a couple of minutes in, Broomfield makes the distinction between Democrats and Republicans like this : Democrats are rational intellectual, poring over legislation like professors. Republicans are notrational or logical at all, they are simply emotive, since they believe that America shouldn’t need a welfare state or big government.

Because in the world of Nick Broomfield, there can be no rational argument against those things.  I seriously doubt the poor man would even recognise that as bias, or be able to imagine the missing matter from his own intellectual firmament which is clear from the outside, but so skews the cognitive process on the inside as to be invisible.  Or he could just be a twat. It really is hard to tell these days.

Then again, if you want to see a couple of hours of someone falling in love with Sarah Palin only to be cruelly and/or hilariously (delete to taste) rejected and subsequently attempting to do a fairly pointless hatchet job on her - My God! Did you know she’s a CHRISTIAN!!! - before stropping off home in a pile of tears and snot, maybe this is the film for you.

YMMV

Which brings me to a thought. Could it be that the left is predisposed to exaggerate the power of the press because doing so provides a comfortable explanation for what is an otherwise unpleasant fact - that the British people don’t share our beliefs for some deep-seated reasons? The media are just a scapegoat. And we all love a scapegoat.
The Revival of Maryism : Bag a Maryist, Claim a fiver

No, this is not how liberty begins, but how it begins to end.

Look at how many do not understand that Liberty comes from the prohibition of corruption and vice – the means by which society is undermined and manipulated by those encouraging and introducing it – applied equally across all parts of society.

See, the grubby proles do not understand liberty. Lacking as they do the correct moral outlook (viz, that identical to the prejudices of the author)  they will, left to their own devices, become corrupt and indulge in vice (viz, they will think and behave in ways of which the author disapproves). And when they do so, they must be punished.

No.  Now unlike ‘luikkerland’, the author of the piece from which that extract comes, and some of his/her cohorts - or their moral equivalents at the Guardian, I will not level some paranoid accusation that such utter wibble in some way ‘pollutes the national discourse’, nor shall I say that it corrupts or undermines anyone.  You could laser etch that paragraph on the fucking moon so I have to look at it every night, and as far as I’m concerned it would make it no less wrong, nor would I be any more likely to believe it.

Luikkerland and the others - some of whom I hold in high regard - have their blog and I wish them well with it, I’m sure there’s an audience for this kind of thing. Suffice it to say that the author’s definition of ‘liberty’ diverges from my own to the extent that I would politely describe it as ‘rampant patriarchal authoritarianism’,  The reader is - as ever - free to make up their own mind.

All of which is by way of being merely the lead up to my main point, which is that I am concerned that the spirit of Mary Whitehouse lives on (see earlier post) and more importantly, I am beginning to worry that it might be my fault.

You see, I met Mary Whitehouse as a tiny child. I lived in Bewdley for a short time during which she lived a couple of miles up the road in Far Forest. She was horrid to everyone, and not well liked around town (or village as it was then).  I grew up far away from there but as I grew older, so my dislike of her crystallised into a deep and abiding distate for her and everything she stood for - as so neatly encapsulated in luikkerland’s paragraph above.  And - Thatcher haters take note - I am deeply ashamed to say that when she died in 2001, I actually celebrated a little.  It didn’t take me long to be ashamed about that, and I still regard it as a stain (one amongst many) upon my character.

Perhaps because of this, she is clearly haunting me.  So, dear readers - of whom there are occasionally as many as eight - I must seek your help in exorcism.  Henceforth I dub the espousers of such opinions “Maryists”, and no, the one letter difference from ‘Marxists’ is not a coincidence, one letter is about all the difference there is in terms of the authoritarianism of the outlook.

When you spot a Maryist seeking to protect you against your corrupt, vice ridden self, you would be doing me a massive favour by simply posting the following as a comment : "You are Mary Whitehouse and I claim my £5"*.  Though  I doubt such a troubled soul will ever truly rest in peace, we can but try.

Perhaps I’ll have a ‘Maryist of the week’ feature, if anyone cares to submit a Maryist for consideration get in touch via comments or twitter.

* For the avoidance of doubt, there aren’t any actual £5s unless the putative Mrs Whitehouse is prepared to give you one, which is unlikely.

News International : The Spirit of Mary Whitehouse Lives On.

I wasn’t going to write about this, gallons of ink - much of it green - and gigabytes of text have already been expended on the subject, most of it simply contributing to the entropic tendency towards drooling stupidity of the textual corpus.  However, one thing has been really bugging me.

It is, simply, the resurrection of the spirit of vile old harpy and Thatcher bosom buddy Mary Whitehouse. It is visible in the (predictably idiotic) wibblings of George Monbiot suggesting that media ownership be expropriated and that Commons appointed committees be given editorial control over content - this being the Moonbat’s solution for allowing the media to hold power to account, and therefore not even remotely logical.

It is visible in this particularly offensive and likewise illogical screed from ‘Liberal’ Conspiracy - yet another piece of of evidence that the conspiracy in question is one ‘against' rather than 'of' which suggests that 'print media' - note they're including blogs, as that would effect them - should be regulated to remove all political bias. So I guess we're starting with the Morning Star and working through the New Statesman and up to the Grand Dame of bourgeoisie intellectual cheer-leading that is the Guardian. No more columns for Polly Toynbee.  Presumably the newspapers by the Coalition of Resistance and the SWP that were handed to me at the recent #J30 union rally would also have to be banned. I get the feeling that isn’t what they have in mind, but you never know.

It is even (predictably, but still pretty horrifyingly) visible in this Guardian piece (which I’ll come back to) which really gives the lie to the whole hideous endeavour.

It is the attitude, common among many of those who ought to know better, that the consumers of the ‘right wing’ Murdoch press are stupid, semi literate, racists who cannot be trusted to make choices for themselves.

It is the idea that Mr Murdoch is sitting in a command bunker somewhere making all these useful idiots dance to his tune like so many depraved marionettes.

I draw the comparison with Mary Whitehouse because she summed this kind of shit up pretty well. It is the belief that you, little person, are not intelligent or sane enough to be responsible for your own opinions, you cannot be trusted to properly select the media you consume and if allowed to do so you will be corrupted by it. 

But fortunately for you, I, the cakky fingered interfering old conservative Christian witch/Guardian reading intellectual/bien pensant political blogger, from my comfortable seat on the moral high ground, with my massive intellect and unfaltering moral compass can be unfailingly trusted to make such choices.

So I will make them for you. Wheather you like it or not.

This is gratuitously horrible on many levels. It denies people - some people - intellect, it denies them agency, it denies them dignity.

It totally ignores the kind of theories and models of media consumption of which one would assume - apparently quite wrongly - your average Guardianista to have at least a passing awareness.

And in its origin of sneering down the nose at the grubby plebs, it is also, demographically speaking, flat out wrong. From the Guardian article linked above :

You’d suppose, at first headline glance, that ABC1 readers (better educated, better paid, better placed in managerial jobs) would hold their noses at a downmarket Murdoch paper. Suppose again. There are six times more ABC1 readers (2,808,000) of the Sun as there are of the Indy, three times more than of the Guardian and well over twice as many as the Times's haul. And those cherished younger readers (aged 15 to 44)? The Sun has 4,293,000, double the Telegraph, Guardian, Indy, FT and Times combined.

Hold your nose even harder and the News of the World's post-hacking 2,926,000 ABC1 readership outdistances the Sunday Times and is more than the Sunday Telegraph, Observer and Independent on Sunday count of the educated classes put together.

Who taxed all the pie ?

Apropos of my last post on tax, here is a pie chart (wot I made, caveat lector) showing the distribution of uk taxes by category. Raw data is available from HMRC here

If I’ve buggered it up, do please let me know.