The Ranting Kraut

19.3.2006 – 27.9.2010

Archive for the ‘In The News’ Category

EU Gender Quotas?

Posted by rantingkraut on September 17, 2010

Viviane Reding, the EU ‘Justice’ commissioner threatens to require minimum quotas for the proportion of women in top business positions:

The target should be that by 2015 at least 30 percent of all supervisory board members should be women, and 40 percent by 2020 …” (source)

An odd target in a way, since English speaking countries, at least, tend not to have supervisory boards. It is also worth noting that supervisory boards have little to do with the day to day running of a business. They are an ideal target if you want to hand out favours without demanding competence.

Posted in discrimination, EU, In The News, misandry, Regulation, Socialism | Comments Off on EU Gender Quotas?

Vince Cable’s Brain Drain Subsidy

Posted by rantingkraut on July 15, 2010

Vince Cable’s proposal for a graduate tax is prominently discussed in the news. Cable proposes a graduate tax which would make repayments of student funding dependent on earnings. Partly, this is already the case: student loan repayments only start after a minimum earnings threshold has been reached. A graduate tax could vary more finely with the salary but, more importantly, it would probably not end after the original fees have been repaid.

This is the most important difference: the best and the brightest can easily skip repayment altogether by working abroad. If you owe the government a fixed amount of money any interest you have in clearing your debt does not vary with your place of residence. Your tax burden however does, hence there will be an added incentive for graduates Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in In The News, UK politics | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on Vince Cable’s Brain Drain Subsidy

Tories to keep equality act

Posted by rantingkraut on July 3, 2010

This item briefly made the online headlines: The Tories are planning to press ahead with Harriet Harman’s equality bill requiring, among other measures, ‘gender pay audits’.

CBI director Katja Hall is quoted as saying: “Forcing companies to publish average salary figures for men and women could mislead people into thinking that women are paid less than men in the same role, which is rightly illegal, when differences will actually reflect the proportions of men and women in higher-paid jobs” (source)

Also of interest: Should we mind the Gap? from the iea for download here: pdf.

Posted in discrimination, In The News, Regulation, UK politics | Comments Off on Tories to keep equality act

Tell them which laws to scrap

Posted by rantingkraut on July 2, 2010

Nick Clegg has acked us which laws we want repealed. There is a government website that asks for suggestions and allows ratings. All those concerned about freedom of speech and due process should probably endorse this one proposal:

Repeal all terrorism acts from 2001 onwards in their entirety

Posted in Civil Liberties, Freedom of Speech, In The News, Justice System, surveillance, UK politics | Comments Off on Tell them which laws to scrap

Another Case of Illiberal Democracy

Posted by rantingkraut on June 30, 2010

Thanks to the First Amendment, the US is the only country with non-trivial restrictions on government censorship. Ever wondered what the opposite of the First Amendment would look like? Look no further than France for a demonstration.

Posted in Civil Liberties, EU, Freedom of Speech, In The News | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

The UK Budget is none of the EU’s Business

Posted by rantingkraut on June 8, 2010

The EU commission apparently plans to vet the UK’s budget before it is presented to the commons. Given that the UK is not part of the euro zone, it is not clear what the economic rationale for this measure is supposed to be. It is clear however, why such a gesture would be important to someone who ultimately wants to make the transition from a common market to a federal state.

The telegraph reports that “Mr Van Rompuy and the European Commission have tabled plans that will require all of Europe’s governments to discuss their budget plans with other EU finance ministers and officials before they [are] presented to national parliaments.” (source)

Mr Van Rompuy, by the way, was prime minister of Belgium from 2008-2009. We remember that Belgium’s public debt fell (!) to levels of around 84% of GDP when Van Rompuy was budget minister before rising again to over 90% while he was heading the government. He sure has experience of managing high levels of public debt. This leaves the wider question of whether Belgium’s political establishment is in a position to lecture Britain -or Spain for that matter- on fiscal prudence.

Posted in EU, In The News | Comments Off on The UK Budget is none of the EU’s Business

Performance Targets and the Police

Posted by rantingkraut on May 3, 2010

The Scottish police seem to have noticed that target driven policing causes the police to focus on fulfilling targets rather than serving the public: “Speaking at the Scottish Police Federation annual conference last week she said the performance-related payment system was leading to a “car salesman” style of policing.

She said: “In Strathclyde Police we have senior officers refusing competency-related threshold payments and special payment applications as officers have not met the performance indicator targets set for anti-social behaviour fixed penalty notices, stop searches and other fixed penalty notices.” (source)

Apparently, things aren’t better in England either. One can only hope that the supposedly planned ‘bonfire of labour laws‘ will address this issue after a change in government.

Posted in Civil Liberties, In The News, Regulation, UK politics | Comments Off on Performance Targets and the Police

Can 77 Economists get it Wrong?

Posted by rantingkraut on April 15, 2010

Apparently 77 economists have sided with Brown in the following letter:

As expected, a key election issue concerns how much to cut government expenditure in 2010/11. The main opposition party now proposes to cut an extra £6 billion in 2010/11, on top of the measures already planned by the government. This cut is described as efficiency savings. But in macroeconomic terms it is just a cut by another name. It will lead directly to job losses and indirectly to further falls in spending through the standard multiplier process. At a time when recovery is delicate, it could even affect confidence to the degree that we are tipped back into recession – with much larger job consequences. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in In The News, UK politics | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Stasi 2.1

Posted by rantingkraut on March 8, 2010

If the tasks of the state know no limits, the reach of its police force can know no limits. That’s why, as New Labour seeks to micromanage every aspect of human behaviour, more and more state employees are pressed to take on police tasks:

Under CSAS, a chief constable can give employees of local authorities or private companies limited powers such as the right to hand out on-the-spot fines for offences including disorder, truancy and littering; stopping vehicles for roadside tests and confiscating alcohol.”  (source)

Posted in Civil Liberties, fence posts, In The News, surveillance | Tagged: | Comments Off on Stasi 2.1

Police Raid on Manchester

Posted by rantingkraut on February 20, 2010

It appears that the police has been laying siege to Manchester city centre in a massive fishing expedition. During the operation, pedestrians apparently had to pass airport style security checks just to walk down the pavement.

Given that the alleged reason Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Civil Liberties, Drugs, fence posts, In The News, UK politics | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »