'But this morning’s story about his not paying capital gains tax on a London property appears overblown. Alexander bought his London flat in 1999 and started claiming on it only in 2005 when he became an MP; at that point it was his only home.
When he sold it two years later he paid no cgt - even though by then he had a home in Scotland (bought in 2006) and had designated the flat as his “second home” in respect of his Parliamentary allowance.
How come? Because under HMRC rules, if you move out of your main abode there is a three-year grace period during which you don’t have to pay any capital gains tax on selling it. As a result there was no obligation on Alexander to pay the levy and therefore he didn’t breach any rule. It is neither a “legal loophole” nor a piece of cunning tax avoidance.
In fact, I’m not sure the country wants a Treasury minister idiotic enough to go out of his way to pay taxes he was not liable for.'
2. Anna Raccoon beautifully explains the 'Bureaucratic Pecking Order':
'Those who can peck,
Those who can’t peck,
Those who can’t teach pecking,
administer the teaching of pecking.
Those who can’t administer the teaching of pecking,
regulate the administration of the teaching of pecking.
Those who can’t regulate the administration of the teaching of pecking,
advocate at the bar, for or against the regulation of the administration
of the teaching of pecking.
Those who can’t advocate at the bar, for or against the
regulation of the administration of the teaching of pecking,
legislate about advocating for or against the regulation of the
administration of the teaching of pecking.
And this whole house of cards, legislation about advocating for
or against the regulation of the administration of the teaching of pecking,
is all paid for only by those who can and do peck...'
3. Blazing Cat Fur details (in his words, not mine):
'Ali Mallah a notorious Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Union Thug Assaults intrepid blogger Blazingcatfur! Mallah, who is also a Vice President of the virulently anti-semitic Canadian Arab Federation, is well known for his anti-Israel derangement and is shown in the video as he attempts to prevent Blazing from filming an anti-Netanyahu protest sponsored by the Leftist Islamofascist alliance in Toronto.'This story may run and run.
4. Anna Raccoon has found another example of wasted public money:
'The financially pressed NHS has commissioned the Mother’s Union in Somerset to hand knit 150 breasts.There are examples of this sort of waste throughout the public sector, but if the Conservative/LibDem coalition propose any cuts the cry will be 'doctors, nurses and teachers' not outreach workers and teachers of tit sucking.
They are ‘cheaper than’ the £35 a boob version they used to buy.
The fake breasts will be issued to health visitors and community nurses who help support new mothers.
Before we could afford outreach workers to go and teach new born babes how to suck……
Jeez, no wonder the country is broke.'
5. And talking of breastfeeding, And there was me thinking reports on a most peculiar fatwa:
'One of Sunni Islam's most prestigious institutions is to discipline a cleric after he issued a decree allowing women to breastfeed their male colleagues.There are some really strange people around.
Dr Izzat Atiya of Egypt's al-Azhar University said it offered a way around segregation of the sexes at work.
His fatwa stated the act would make the man symbolically related to the woman and preclude any sexual relations.
According to Islamic tradition, or Hadith, breast-feeding establishes a degree of maternal relation, even if a woman nurses a child who is not biologically hers.'
6. Burning Our Money explains why the poor have not got poorer but richer and why the definition of poverty needs updating:
'Yes, there are plenty of people who live sad dysfunctional workless lives. But that's nothing to do with lack of material resources. That's to do with poor education, destructive personal behaviour, and our grotesque level of welfare dependency. None of which will be solved by yet more welfare cash.
Which is why we have long argued for reformulating our definition of what constitutes poverty. Ideally, we'd like to switch to an absolute standard of poverty such as they have in the US. But if we have to stick with a definition measured relative to median income, we'd settle for dropping the current poverty line at 60% of median income, and switching to a 50% line.
First, because we estimate it would save £20-30bn pa from the current welfare bill. And second, because it would increase the attractiveness of work relative to welfare (ie it would make the poverty trap problem a whole lot easier to solve).'