A lot of moaning about corporation tax in leftie-blogland today, for no particularly discernible reason. How about this as a ‘no big corporation tax dodging’ principle to adopt at G8:
* All countries adopt the current UK system of charging the parent company tax at the national rate for its home country, with all tax paid abroad offset up to the national rate for its home country
* Only companies that agree to adopt the practice above, and to nominate a registered country as their home country, are allowed to list on regulated stock exchanges
* G8 ministers decide which countries count as ‘registered’, based on principles such as ‘don’t take the piss’, ‘aren’t Ireland’, etc.
This Spectator piece brings a couple of conjectures to mind:
1) Anyone who uses the phrase ‘pie in the sky’ is an idiot who should be ignored.
2) Anyone who believes absolute national debt, rather than national debt as a proportion of GDP, is a figure with any relevance to anything is an idiot who should be ignored.
These conjectures, happily, tie up with an existing known fact: that Fraser Nelson is an idiot who should be ignored.
Read a selection of grumpy middle-aged Tories and Libertoonians slate 18-year-old kids for being pompously grumpy about getting a stupid question in their History A-level.
CHILD PSYCHOLOGY NEWSFLASH: bright kids are often pompously grumpy, and are usually far too worried about exams.
…however, the concept of right-wing bloggers being upset by grumpy pomposity is leaning towards ‘white males are the most oppressed group’ levels of un-self-aware lunacy… oh, wait, most right-wing bloggers believe that too.
At least the kids will mostly grow out of it.
I’ve a new piece up at Liberal Conspiracy on happiness, tolerance and migration data. Which is fun if you like that sort of thing.
Frank Dobson spoke nothing but truth last month:
‘Be warned,’ he said, ‘the Lib Dems and the Tories have not abandoned party politics.’ There was, he alleged, a three-part strategy. When they had disposed of the Speaker, they would demand Gordon’s resignation. If they got that, they would demand an immediate general election on the grounds that we couldn’t have yet another Labour leader without an electoral mandate. ‘And anyone who thinks that an immediate general election would be of benefit to the people who voted us in, is not on this planet.’
From Chris Mullin’s excellent account of Westminster life during the surreal days of ‘well-paid people with expense accounts use them; remind me why we’re supposed to care’ [*]-gate.
[*] no, really don’t.
The Economist’s Charlemagne blog has a good piece on why Vaclav Klaus is being utterly ridiculous when he claims that the reassurances being made to Ireland and the UK over the Lisbon Treaty mean that he should hold off ratification:
Imagine that an internet rumour had started that Marmite (or baked beans, if you cannot stand Marmite) contained minute traces of pork fat, and this caused a fuss in British Jewish and/or Muslim circles. Then imagine that one supermarket offered to solve the problem by putting a kosher mark on the label, and another, with a big market share in northern England said they preferred to say it was halal on the label, and the whole thing became a fuss about multiculturalism. You could easily imagine the makers preferring to avoid putting any religious markings on the product at all. But one constant would remain through all of this fuss about whether Marmite is vegetarian, or baked beans kosher or halal. What was inside the jars and cans would not have changed “one iota”.
[*] well, if I wrote ‘good piece on the Lisbon Treaty’, who the hell would click through?
David Mitchell is entirely correct on the wheelie bin pseudo-scandal, as one might expect:
I can almost hear the Oxfam advert: “This is Andrea. Every week, she has to walk three bins all the way down the street, round the corner and into the backyard. It’s either that or people will see her bins. It’s crazy, but you can help.”
From the list of ‘things that don’t get said very often’, here’s a very sensible comment from CiF on the Total refinery strike:
I’m very sorry to say it, but these wildcat strikers are idiots. Nothing wrong with striking at all – but always, always, always make sure it is an official strike endorsed by an official ballot and thus with the full force of law on their side – that way they can’t be arbitarily sacked for striking.
Instead these wildcatters seem to be ignoring their own union procedure and think that they can simply do what they feel like regardless. And now they are shocked they’ve been sacked.
Sheesh – it’s not as though the miners strike was centuries ago and has gone from folk memory. It was fairly recent and most union people learnt the central lesson, which was always ballot your members before striking to make it an official strike. That way you have the law on your side.
These wildcatters appear to be too stupid to learn from history and they’ve paid the price.
As always, Rick at FCFT is good on this one too. Meanwhile, Dave Osler has a bit of a hard-on for the strikers over at LC – fair enough, if you’re an old Trot you have to take your pleasures where you can find them…