Apparently, the consequence of leaving a corrupt, inefficient and incompetent, over-bearing bureaucracy might be a significant increase in wealth – or more accurately, a significant decrease in wealth-destruction:

The average Dutch household could be better off by over £8,000 a year and national income will grow by over £1 trillion if the Netherlands leaves the euro and the EU, according to a new study.
The study by the respected British Capital Economics research consultancy into “Nexit” – as a potential exit by the Netherlands has been termed – finds significant benefits over the next two decades if the country swaps its EU membership for a status similar to Switzerland or Norway.

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Here’s a lovely post on the death of his old dog, from James Lileks.

We lost three dogs last year and gained two.

Humphrey was very old but he made it to the point where he’d had half his life with us. His last year was very much as described by Lileks, a process of decline, milestones passed like his last ever walk, reaching the stage where he couldn’t get up without help, losing bowel control. He was a sweet, gentle old dog who’d had a bad time yet, with that extraordinary ability of dogs, he carried no bitterness.

Sam was scheduled to be put down when we heard of him. He died of natural causes on his bed almost a decade later, after a short illness and a full, happy life. To the people who made him lost, then wanted to kill him I can only say: screw you, he won.

Ben was lost when Sam died, they’d had nine years together. Then we got Bernie and Ben entered a new phase with renewed interest in life. Then he got old, but not gradually, like he’d been hit by a truck. For giant dogs, like Ben, this can happen and it’s a blessing in the sense that that old age though harsh, is brief.

The cigarette burns on Bernie’s back have become less visible, the scars and bruising on his face have healed. We’d just asked for the most desperate case in the rescue and it was Bernie. He was seriously depressed but after three or four months he came over one evening, sat by me, leaned against me, sighed and closed his eyes. He stayed there for half an hour. It was like he suddenly believed, like he trusted this was permanent. He’s also a mastiff. Ever since that evening, he’s felt no need to go off by himself and lie quietly.

Then we took Percy from a euthanasia list, another loving, playful pup about to be destroyed because of human fecklessness. He’s a funny animal, like a cross between a boxer and a ridgeback.

Since Christmas, the rescue we got Bernie and Bertie from have saved dozens of dogs and they’ve been unable to save dozens more, all killed around Christmas with people getting rid of old ones to buy puppies, or dumping unwanted gifts. Most of them are Staffie or Mastiff crosses. Many are bitches who’ve been bred until they’re past their usefulness.

The worst case, who was saved this week, is a Staffie bitch who was used as a brood mare then, when she miscarried a litter, she was thrown to the dogs – used as bait for fighting dogs. Her face was ripped to pieces, her teeth were smashed.

Rescue dogs, don’t buy them from breeders.

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Was the Guardian ‘bugged’ by laser beams? This post, by a very sensible author, says probably not.

In the late 1980s the business I ran experimented with lasers on windows for this purpose, a physicist friend who’d been working on CO2 lasers at a couple of Scottish universities did the actual work. CO2 lasers are good for this because they’re infra red so usually invisible.

It worked OK but the problem is, you have to catch the return beam which places constraints on where you can use it. Or do you?

It turns out this sort of system is more sensitive if you don’t catch the return beam but use two beams and look at the interference patterns in the scattered light. Having an instrument sensitive enough to do this is another thing.

But this physicist had been to an army research place where they’d been using a heterodyne, to be posh about it, approach for laser range finding, so it was part of military technology in the mid-eighties.

Also I discussed it with some special forces people who’d been involved with the Iranian Embassy siege and they remembered these odd machines being brought in and used in a way that was consistent with that sort of eavesdropping.

So I wouldn’t be certain this technique wasn’t used. That was in the 1980s.

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More on the effects of Swedish criminalisation of prostitutes’ clients:


The biggest overall result is the increased stigma. Practical results have to do with the police going after clients. Street workers have lost valuable assessment time they need before getting into a client’s car [because the clients are too nervous about arrest to stop and talk.—ed.]  Also, their clients have more control and can say, ” Don’t drive to that spot, I know a better one the police don’t know about.” Police target  indoor workers too, trying to catch their clients. That means the focus is now on making clients feel safe enough to see us, rather than us focusing on our own safety.  In addition, the pimping laws force us to work alone. It’s also illegal to rent out premises to us. Many work from home, and if the landlord finds out, he is forced to evict you. So they want to save us, but they punish us until we are willing to be saved. And if we say we want to be “saved,” all they offer is therapy [rather than economic alternatives—ed.]

The context?

On Friday, Swedish sex workers’ rights organization Rose Alliance released this statement on Facebook: “Our board member, fierce activist, and friend Petite Jasmine got brutally murdered yesterday (11 July 2013). Several years ago she lost custody of her children as she was considered to be an unfit parent due to being a sex worker. The children were placed with their father regardless of him being abusive towards Jasmine. They told her she didn’t know what was good for her and that she was “romanticizing” prostitution, they said she lacked insight and didn’t realise sex work was a form of self-harm. He threatened and stalked her on numerous occasions.  She was never offered any protection. She fought the system through four trials and had finally started seeing her children again. Yesterday the father of her children killed her. She always said, “Even if I can’t get my kids back I will make sure this never happens to any other sex worker.” We will continue her fight. Justice for Jasmine!”

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This is from one of the manifestos for the 1945 General Election:

The health services of the country will be made available to all citizens. Everyone will contribute to the cost, and no one will be denied the attention, the treatment or the appliances he requires because he cannot afford them.

We propose to create a comprehensive health service covering the whole range of medical treatment from the general practitioner to the specialist, and from the hospital to convalescence and rehabilitation; and to introduce legislation for this purpose in the new Parliament.

The success of the service will depend on the skill and initiative of doctors, dentists, nurses and other professional people, and in its designing and operation there will be full scope for all the guidance they can give. Wide play must be given to the preferences and enterprise of individuals. Nothing will be done to destroy the close personal relationship between doctor and patient, nor to restrict the patient’s free choice of doctor.

The whole service must be so designed that in each area its growth is helped and guided by the influence of a university. Through such a service the medical and allied professions will be enabled to serve the whole nation more effectively than they have yet been able to do. At the same time Medicine will be left free to develop along its own lines, and to achieve preventive as well as curative triumphs. Liberty is an essential condition of scientific progress.

The voluntary hospitals which have led the way in the development of hospital technique will remain free. They will play their part in the new service in friendly partnership with local authority hospitals.

Motherhood must be our special care. There must be a large increase of maternity beds and convalescent homes, and they must be provided in the right places. Mothers must be relieved of onerous duties which at such times so easily cause lasting injury to their health. The National Insurance Scheme will make financial provision for these needs. All proper arrangements, both voluntary and State-aided, must be made for the care of other young children in the family, in order that the energies of the male breadwinner or the kindness of neighbours and relations, which nevertheless must be the mainspring, should not be unduly burdened. Nursery schools and nurseries such as have grown up during the war should be encouraged. On the birth, the proper feeding and the healthy upbringing of a substantially increased number of children, depends the life of Britain and her enduring glory.

The Conservative manifesto.

The National Health Service isn’t a Labour achievement; the Conservatives would also have founded one. But the Tory NHS would have been pluralist in supply, emphasising patient choice, linked to the universities and enshrining the principle of free, politically-unencumbered scientific research.

Labour’s legacy to this country isn’t the NHS, it’s 13,000 unnecessary deaths over eight years. It’s a system designed around the interests of its staff, not those of the patients.


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I haven’t been posting because I’ve been far too busy with work – which now includes lambing in the coldest March for 30 years. But I can’t let this pass without a brief comment.

Congratulations to The Speccie for a masterpiece of car crash journalism, in Darius Guppy’s defence of Boris Johnson. BoJo absolutely needed the “he’s a liar but hey, aren’t they all?” defence right now. I can’t remember anything causing more hilarity in social media.

But let me draw your attention to one short part of Delerious’s rant, one that refers to me:

A police informer planting listening devices in someone’s home – an offence for which he was arrested. He admitted guilt, only to sell the recordings to the press at a later stage.

This, from a man who is involved in a grotesque example of lawfare against me at the moment, libel trolling with a completely baseless, vexatious action in South Africa where the most important point in the dispute – the allegation he showed me shipping documents that he said were for the illegal export of armoured vehicles to Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war – boils down to my word against his.

If you were involved in such a dispute and if you were already facing a counter-suit for libel, would you go out of your way to publish a paragraph of new libel against your opponent?

Would you publish a lie that not only isn’t true, but also can’t possibly be true?

You see, in 1990 and 1991, when I tapped Guppy’s phone, telephone tapping wasn’t illegal.

It wasn’t made illegal for the best part of a decade afterwards.

So of course I wasn’t arrested for it or for anything related to it. Of course I didn’t ‘admit guilt'; there was no crime to be guilty of.

And as for the ‘police informer’ bit, if I had given evidence against Guppy as an informant he’d be back in jail by now. Informants have very strong protection from harassment by the people they give evidence against. Instead, because I was just one of 60 odd witnesses, I have to spend money paying a criminal investigation consultancy to put together a detailed complaint of what is colloquially known as ‘stalking’ before Guppy can be arrested and jailed for his six year (and counting) campaign of on- and offline stalking against me.

The real reason for this dispute remains the same. Guppy framed me for robbing him in New York and I had no choice but to give evidence against him – as a witness not an informant. Here’s a video of me discussing the framing with Ray Berke, the detective who investigated the ‘robbery’ in New York. If you’re interested, there are a further two videos of discussion about the incident. You’ll be amazed, but it turns out Guppy wasn’t the Master Criminal he’s made out, and the police saw through him.


More to follow when I have a bit more time.


UPDATE: Well I’ll be jiggered! It was illegal. Guppy’s still lying, of course – he knows quite well I wasn’t arrested – but I’m posting this to correct the claim the tap wasn’t illegal.

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in·ev·i·ta·ble [in-ev-i-tuh-buhl]


1. unable to be avoided, evaded, or escaped; certain; necessary: an inevitable conclusion.
2. sure to occur, happen, or come; unalterable: The inevitable end of human life is death.

3. That which hasn’t happened, although it should have happened according to our calculations


4. that which is unavoidable.

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This happens over and over again. Israel is accused of an atrocity – here it’s the killing of a child. The BBC & Guardian go large on it, the cretin-o-sphere explodes in protest. Then it turns out to be balls, in fact it was a Palestinian missile that killed the child.

And there’s tumbleweed blowing across the empty streets of a ghost town.

What was front page news when Israel was to blame becomes a page 37 small box correction nobody notices. Everyone remembers the child killing and Israel.

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