Unemployment forecast brings warning for Osborne

CIPD says pressing on with austerity measures would depress economy and lead to real-term wage cuts.

Eeeer. No shit Sherlock.

Unemployment forecast brings warning for George Osborne | Business | The Guardian


I've been meaning to post this news link from Channel 4 about Heathrow since before xmas...
They cut snow defence by two thirds.
So no wonder they couldn't cope. That's the whole trouble with private companies when they foul up they do so spectacularly. Usually crying to the Gov. for a bail out. Only in this case Heathrow refused the help the Govt. offered.

Windows - tsk...

Yesterday - I tried turning my 'puter off - my big black Acer box... using 'install updates' and there it hung... 'installing updates 1 of 3...' 20 minutes passed then an hour, two hours, then eight before I lost patience and pulled the plug on it. Did a 'Safe boot' - couldn't see anything wrong - went to a last restore point. Told it was corrupted - couldn't be used. An earlier point worked...

What was causing the frozen/hung shut down? It looks like it was the .NET extension for the firefox browser - Microsoft Update Quietly Installs Firefox Extension. Of course I haven't let that extension anywhere near firefox - and I've two year's worth of log saying how it's failed to install, it looks like this was one fail too many and it decided to have a massive sulk about it.

Now I need to find out how to stop Windows trying to do updates for things I expressly do not want.

Oh the irony - the 2nd update on the list is supposedly a fix so you can remove the 'one-click' update from firefox.

Remove the Microsoft .NET Framework Assistant (ClickOnce) Firefox Extension.

US intervened in Michael Moore NZ screening

I'm just shaking my head - G W Bush was just a over-privileged frat boy that never grew up. This is just pathetic...

WikiLeaks cables: US intervened in Michael Moore NZ screening | World news | The Guardian

and here's what MM has to say about it...

Another wiki-leaks cable.

Set Knowledge Free: The University as a Public Good « The Return of the Public

Let’s take social science first. What is the most prestigious social science? Put it another way – which social science has a Nobel Prize all of its own? OK. The Nobel Prize for Media Studies? … No. It’s the Nobel Prize for economics. Economics is the top predator – economists are the physicists of social science. And who determines the content of economics and related research in accountancy and business studies? The financial sector. As the financier-turned-reformer Philip Augar has pointed out over the last thirty years ‘finance wrapped its tentacles around the relevant parts of the academic world … under these circumstances it is little wonder that so much academic research was supportive of the financial system’.

So academics supported the financial system and the consequences were disastrous – for the discipline, but, more importantly, for the wider society. Most academic economists had no idea that there was trouble ahead. In the words of Joseph Stiglitz – Nobel Prize-winner in, anyone? – in economics, that’s right –

‘If science is defined by its ability to forecast the future, the failure of much of the economics profession to see the crisis coming should be a cause of great concern’.

Given the performance of the economists it is not clear that the discipline qualifies as a science at all. It is as though physicists spent ages pushing an elephant up the stairs of the physics department and then expressed surprise at what happened when they heaved it off the roof.

Set Knowledge Free: The University as a Public Good « The Return of the Public

Xmas travel chaos

Just a random thought sparked by the recent snow travel chaos thing.

Isn’t it weird?

It just points up how so many of us live so far from home nowadays. Not so long ago (only so far back as the 1960s really) only a small handful of people did that - people used to be born and stayed within a certain relatively small area of their own communities, so before then family Christmases were easy to arrange, when most would live within walking distance from each other. But now every Christmas sparks off a mass exodus in all directions with people having to travel miles across the country (or even to other countries) to get back ‘home’. It’s a historical accident that the Christian Church founders decided that Christmas should take over the pagan Solstice ceremonies - but now hundreds and years later it’s the worse possible weather to be travelling anywhere.

But because it’s tradition (by the way that’s among the worse reasons to do anything) people persevere with it - when, I don’t know, if they feel the mutual need to have a big family get together once a year, then why can’t they arrange among themselves to do it at a time when not everybody else in nearly the whole Western world is all doing the same thing? There’s just too many of us now to be all doing the same thing at the same time - we need to stagger things out a bit - the infrastructure simply can’t cope.

But with people not being sane rational creatures (individuals can mostly be sane and rational - but people hardly ever can) - I guess that's never going to happen.

Vince Cable: I could end coalition

"'There is a kind of Maoist revolution happening in a lot of areas like the health service, local government, reform, all this kind of stuff, which is in danger of getting out of control. We are trying to do too many things, actually,' he said.

'Some of them are Lib Dem inspired, but a lot of it is Tory inspired. The problem is not that they are Tory-inspired, but that they haven't thought them through. We should be putting a brake on it.'"

Vince Cable: I could end coalition | Politics | The Guardian

So can we all stop pretending that this is coalition Government - and have another election now please?

Pissarides warns chancellor: don't axe jobless benefits

Well, you can pretty well predict with 100% certainty that Osbourne will be totally ignoring these warnings.

UK's Nobel economics laureate Christopher Pissarides warns chancellor: don't axe jobless benefits | Business | The Observer

Jobless total rises above 2.5m

"Vicky Redwood, UK analyst at Capital Economics, said the jobless total was likely to rise "sharply" to hit 3 million over the next two years."

Eeer. it's likely to hit that long before then - she's forgotten the numbers that are going to be moved from Incapacity Benefits onto Job Seeker's Allowance...

Jobless total rises above 2.5m as public-sector cull begins | Business | The Guardian

Clegg will lose his greatest reward

"Unlike, say, America and France, we use a single vote to determine both who we want to represent us in parliament and who we want to govern us. Unlike most European countries, we also have highly centralised government that (bar Scotland, Wales and, to a lesser extent, London) leaves the country with no alternative sources of political authority to Westminster and Whitehall. That one vote is more or less the sum total of the ordinary citizen's influence over how the country and its public services, from health to education, are run. And as we have seen, coalition largely destroys even that slither of influence."

By his act of betrayal, Clegg will lose his greatest reward | Peter Wilby:

Vulnerable children 'at risk'

Really? You think?

But so long as it saves some money - that's all OK right?

Not that the handful of multi-millionaires who are behind these policies know anything about how the poor live or anything...

BBC News - Vulnerable children 'at risk', says Baby P council

and so it begins

BBC News - Housing benefit cap: Councils 'move people from London'

The gap between rich and poor starts to widen into a chasm...

and most people - according to this survey care about it, but paradoxically hate benefit claimants. Hum. These people are stupid if they think they're not next in the firing line...

damning report on impact of benefits cuts

It's bloody obvious that cuts in HB are going to totally devastating to many people's lives... but like Nu Labour before them this Govt. is happy to ignore any report they disagree with.

Ministers accused of 'burying' damning report on impact of benefits cuts

It’s a Kodak moment: the end of Kodachrome

Nostalgia for film and slide photography is all very well... and I'd have taken a lot more slides and polariods in my time - if only they weren't so damn expensive.

It’s a Kodak moment: the end of Kodachrome | spiked

The ultra-rich could solve this financial crisis

All of which is true, except the problem is the ultra-rich not only helped cause the global crisis by their unmitigated greed in the first place, but it's also them who PAY the politicians (it doesn't matter which party) to get them in power to let them keep their profits and keep their off-shore tax havens etc. The money they pay out in party donations is a small portion of what they would have to pay in taxes, that's why they do it in the first place.

The ultra-rich could solve this financial crisis | Prem Sikka | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk