Sunday, 12 August 2012

Politics stuff from the weeks 23/7 -12/8/12

London is the ‘global capital of money-laundering’
"Britain is still the money-laundering capital of the world, according to a special six-page investigation published in this fortnight’s Private Eye."
The reason - laissez-faire capitalism. This is what a lack fo regulations gets you - not a useful economy, that actually makes/does things that help - but an economy dedicated to shafting other people, in the interests of 'personal advancement'.
"light-touch banking regulation and a thriving network of tax havens, have made Britain the centre of an embezzlement industry that steals billions from the world’s poor."
For the UK to really be a world-leading economy, it should first make its way to the front. And for that to happen, there must be widespread reforms of its financial system.

'France implements Robinhood tax: has the sky fallen in?'
The French have become the first country to impose a financial transaction tax. Hollande doubled the proposition of Sarkozy, but only from 0.1 to 0.2%
Actually, if the UK switched from Stamp Duty to a FTT at this low rate, it would actually lose revenue!
On AccountancyLive:

'Women’s sport treated differently in Olympic TV coverage, study finds'
"Male athletes’ achievements were more frequently attributed to athletic ability and commitment to sport, whereas women’s successes were more likely to be put down to luck.
When female athletes failed, their physical ability and commitment were questioned, whereas men’s failures were presented in the context of their competitors’ success."
This is not unprecedented:
I'm not bothered so much by the difference in coverage - if it's dull, it's dull, and shouldn't receive as much coverage - it's not possible to tell, from a simple stat, why the stat is as it is.
What i am bothered by, is the difference in how men's and women's achievements are treated.
Whenever snippets are done about men, it's all about the work, the training, the effort -- when it's about women, it's "yeah, i'm really enjoying it, and she's really fun, and it's great, thanks"
Sexism in sport? Sexism in journalism of sport? Are they separate? I don't think so.

'Time for banks to show us the money'
"Banks have long fought shy of revealing more data even privately to their regulators, hiding behind the fig leaves of client confidentiality and competitive advantage. But such reticence is unbecoming when taxpayers stand to foot the bill for their mistakes. Firms that have nothing to hide should prove it."

'Hong Kong chokes under 'worst' air pollution'
I have been to Hong Kong, actually. I quickly succumbed to terrible chest pains, which i worked out must have been caused by the air pollution. It took a couple of weeks for my chest to recover.

Guess what, folks -- market self-regulation doesn't work! I know - another shocker. This time in the world of definitely-not-selling-to-kids alcohol advertising.
'Alcohol advertising standards violations most common in magazines with youthful audiences'

Decades after the Agent Orange plastering of Vietnam, the US is finally pledging reparations to the victims of the onslaught.
"rates of cancer, birth deformities and other dioxin-related diseases are higher than the national average in the area -- and the health threat lingers."
"American veterans have received billions of dollars for diseases linked to Agent Orange but neither the US government nor the chemical manufacturers ever admitted liability."
But let's be clear about this - they are not due praise for this - they are only due a cessation of shame. Compensation for past damage is not something that should be met with adulation.

A WHO report has calculated that 1.4 million deaths around the world can be directly related to fossil-fuel air pollution. And this number is expected to soar, in the future, as the pollutants build up, and the output increases, with economic growth.
The only way to mitigate this problem is by ceasing emission, by halting/reversing economic growth and shifting to renewable sources of energy.
In June, this year, soot from diesel combustion has been upgraded from "probably causes cancer" to "causes cancer"

"Two recent television programmes made public what doctors and patients already know: fitness to work assessments being conducted in the UK by the private firm Atos are unfit for purpose and damaging. Why are doctors involved in this farce, asks Margaret McCartney"
Yet another example of how the private sector cocks up healthcare, right royally! There should be a clear separation of State and private healthcare - the evidence for that is clear.

'Twitter sparks concern over journalist ban'
"This is the inevitable result of what happens when we safeguard our free-speech protections to private corporations," said Dan Kennedy, a Northeastern University journalism professor who writes a media blog. "In the new interdependent media environment, your right to speak and write freely extends only as far as someone else's business interests,"

France has followed Britain's privacy watchdog in demanding Google hand over the information it reaped from people's Wi-Fi connections, while doing their Street View function.

I'm not surprised that racism and homophobia went together, in this case - but the police are never so swift when they do it themselves!

[video] If you use Chip & PIN, in a restaurant, for example, you might be at risk to hackers, extractng your data from the corrupted reading device.
The hack occurred on VeriFone card readers - who are 75% of the market. This is why biodiversity is useful, for biological organisms.

Yup; capitalism does not provide for people, in their dotage. It's only because of life savings (that are undermined by collapsing companies and inflation) that millions of people can scrape through.

'Chile bans marketing of toys in children's food'
"The companies are still using toys to draw in Chile's increasingly chubby children more than a month after the ban took effect on June 7"

HMRC, some might know, does reward whistleblowers, and has shelled out £1 million to them in the last 4 years

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