Going for Gold in the Victim Olympics

Q. How interested are you in the details of what your colleagues do, and with whom, when they are not at the office?

A. Not at all, I’ve got a hundred things to get through on my things to do list and thinking about what Roger from Accounts gets up to in bed is neither of interest or value to my working day.

B. Mildly curious but only out of morbid curiosity because Roger from Accounts seems like a complete car crash of a human.

C. It’s the most important part of my job, forget the parts of my job description about delivering products to our customers on time and for a profit, I need all the details of where and in whom Roger pokes his snag. We’ll get on to the core business of the company once we’ve sorted the sexuality questions of every colleague.

If you answered (C), James Adonis wants you for a sunbeam;

Life as a bisexual man at work

By James Adonis

Barely a week goes by without some mention in the media about gay men, lesbians or trans men and women. The same applies in academic research. Of all the colours in the LGBTIQ rainbow, there have been countless studies on each of those letters except, it seems, the letter B, for bisexuals.

Oh oh, brace for incoming accusations that we are all awful people again for reasons we previously weren’t aware of.

What makes this a curious trend is that bisexuals comprise the largest proportion of this minority group and yet they “remain the most invisible and under-researched” of the lot. That’s the realisation that prompted a study due to be published soon in the Journal, of Vocational Behaviour.

Ah, another fine subject for free grant money research study, we are certain.

The researchers were intrigued by the experiences that bisexual employees encounter (or is that endure?) in the workplace. That intrigue stems from prior research which has revealed gay men and lesbians are six times as likely to be out at work than their bisexual colleagues. Bisexuals also report greater anxiety, stress, depression, panic attacks, compulsive behaviour and substance abuse.

Wait, more than transgender folks, those people with a suicide rate equivalent to inmates of holocaust camps and the gulags? Can we fact check this please?

In this latest study, which comprised more than 200 people, the bias against bisexual personnel was exposed as presiding quite strongly among gay men and lesbians, too. That’s surprising because it means it’s not just heterosexuals who actively discriminate but minority groups as well. In other words, those being discriminated against are themselves doing the discriminating. This is especially targeted towards bisexual men; far more than bisexual women.

More than 200 people we studied? Well, with a sample size that large we are clearly looking at a scientific endeavour that is on a par with the scale of the Human Genome Project. 

These consequences arise due to a pervasive human need to categorise. People are either black or white, male or female, young or old, and of course gay or straight. To suddenly meet someone who doesn’t squeeze into a binary code is too confronting and confusing for many individuals – particularly when the person they’re meeting is a bisexual man – and so they subsequently perceive them as “indecisive, inauthentic and untrustworthy”.

Or maybe the 200 people you interviewed were unusually indecisive, inauthentic and untrustworthy regardless of where they stick their genitalia outside the office environment? Correlation or causation? 

Here’s another point to ponder; humans are particularly competent at judging authenticity. It’s likely an ancient evolutionary feature that served our ancestors well. If your survey shows an unusual statistical trend towards judging these people to be inauthentic, why assume that it’s the fault of the observer and not a result of some characteristic of the observed? 

As a result, the researchers believe there are serious implications for employers, specifically in relation to staff turnover and career progression. Faced with such discomfort in the workplace, it’s not unreasonable to expect bisexual employees to hop from one job to another seeking an escape from bosses who “reward stereotypically masculine behaviour by their male employees”.

Wait, what? Bosses reward stereotypical masculine behavior? In which fucking universe? Have you actually visited an office in 2018? They are about as masculine as a Liberace Christmas Special and have been for the best part of a decade.

Apart from the obvious implication of that last sentence – that the denigration of non-masculinity in workplaces should cease – it’s also recommended employers make space for bisexual employees in their diversity policies, staff associations, training programs and initiatives. To this day, they tend to be neglected.

Oh goody, more diversity training. That’s what this company needs to turn the shareprice around.

As someone who’s been openly gay at work for over two decades, this research has made me try to think of a bisexual colleague I’ve had, either from the past or the present. None spring to mind. There have been plenty of gays, lesbians, trans people and queer folk but not a single one who’s been out as bisexual. When reflecting on the statistic noted earlier, that bisexuals make up the greatest proportion of LGBTIQ people, that’s quite an astonishing realisation.

Or perhaps they didn’t find you attractive enough to make the effort to flirt with you?

Bill’s Opinion

If we work together, please don’t tell me about your sex life. No, really; I just don’t care. It’s not important to our relationship at work. 

On a similar theme, I’d don’t want to know that you do Boot Camp, Cross Fit, are vegan, teetotal, Christian, believe in climate change, like quinoa, once met William Shatner, or any other number of facts completely irrelevant to our working relationship.

From the study’s own summary;

Our data reveal several important findings, the most striking of which is the divergence of experiences, attitudes, and outcomes between men and women who are bisexual.

People are different. Who knew?

First, we found evidence of more bias against bisexual men than bisexual women.

Your sample size was 200 people. So perhaps 100 bisexual men and 100 bisexual women? You’re drawing conclusions from a study that could fit in a village primary school’s assembly hall? Ah, science is fun.

Second, our data show that bisexual men are less likely to disclose their sexual orientation at work both prior to and during employment. Third, bisexual men report experiencing more workplace discrimination than do bisexual women, and they also report increased minority stress, psychological distress, and substance use.

Hang on, apart from for vacancies at brothels, when do sexual preferences get discussed at a job interview? Reverse that statement above and consider the legal case you’d be slapped with if, “…and which way do you swing?” was asked just after the obligatory, “….what previous experience do you have in this area?”.

Dear bisexual people, we’re just not that interested. Sorry.

Career advice for your children

In the future, there will be a great deal of money to be made as a lawyer, psychologist or gender re-re-assignment surgeon (yes, the double “re” was deliberate).

Why?

I had my bits chopped off to become a lady and now I’m not so sure it was a good idea. Who do I sue?

Which, as regrets go, is somewhat more material than, “I wish I’d bought tickets to see Roxette before they stopped touring”.

For the past 17 years, Jeremy Bate has lived as a woman.

But now, after hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery, he believes it has all been a mistake.

At the age of 52, Mr Bate now says he was never anything other than a man and has called for more support for people questioning their gender.

Oh, that’s awkward.

What caused this awful mistake?

At the age of 35, Mr Bate transitioned from his biological sex after a devastating relationship breakdown exacerbated a gender confusion he says was originally caused by an anti-miscarriage drug his mother took when he was in utero.

One supposes the “pro” of the anti-miscarriage drug was that he was born and not stillborn.

We’re not offered any medical opinion on the likelihood that anti-miscarriage drugs cause or even correlate with gender dismorphia but this is the Sydney Morning Herald. If you want journalism, you need to go elsewhere.

Nathan Hondros might want to consider the possibility that a pregnant mother reading this today ceases her anti-miscarriage drugs and her baby dies as a consequence of his mental and professional sloth, but hey….

About four months ago Mr Bate started reading deeply about the science and ideology of gender and he began to question what had happened to him.

Apologies if this seems insensitive but wasn’t the time to question the dogma at least 17.5 years ago?

He said he raised questions in online transgender support groups, but was blocked almost immediately because he was “challenging the accepted wisdom” and was accused of being “transphobic”.

Then he became angry.

Only then?

After a decade and a half of walking with a limp and maintaining a surgical wound between his legs it was only after someone was rude to him on the internet that he became a little vexed? This is a man woman man with the patience of a saint.

He was angry at the system for letting him down, he was angry at those he believes have an ideological agenda and he was angry there was no support.

There seems to be a name missing from that list of people to be angry at though. Give me a moment, it’ll come to me eventually.

Mr Bate said he was shocked when transgender support groups to which he belonged “turned on him”.

“It sends alarm bells to me, because they don’t want to tolerate anyone moving away from it,” he said.

“They’d rather think I was never a proper trans in the first place, because they just can’t stand the idea.

“Their basic ideology is that you have to have been born that way, and if you can turn away from it, then that cancels their argument.”

Well, quite. Isn’t the entire point of the transgender movement is that this is an inherent natural condition, like homosexuality, and therefore the best way to care for individuals presenting themselves as transgender is to agree and provide them with support and free “treatment”?

To suggest that it’s something you can be and then, after further contemplation suddenly not be kind of destroys that whole “it’s definitely not a mental illness, you horrid transphobe” narrative.

Bill’s Opinion

It’s a serious suggestion; encourage your children to study and train in professions poised to benefit from what I am copyrighting as the “Transgender Regret Industry” which will likely see peak revenue around the 2030 decade. There’s gold in them there knockers hills.

One of the biggest payouts will be to the child that Emma Sakild is currently publicly abusing in Sydney as a result of her obvious Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy condition.

Hoping that Master Bate would recognise that he was in any way culpable for the decision at age 35 to chop off his gonads is clearly a revelation too far. However, we think it’s best to end with his own words on the matter;

Mr Bate said he would have been better off if he had counselling to help him become more comfortable with the body he was born in.

Ya don’t fucking say, Sherlock, ya don’t fucking say?

Pips preparing to squeak

House prices are a matter of opinion whereas debt is real.

Mervin King, former Governor of the Bank of England.

The fun continues apace in Australia as people too young to have ever experienced a significant downturn are coming to terms with the first in their adult lives.

Our old friend, The Pwoperdee Doctor, is calling on the Reserve Bank of Australia to cut interest rates, not for him, you understand, but for the sake of the kids;

And later this week, more questionable content from The Doctor;

His content sometimes seems suspiciously like financial advice. This, for example, seems to be encouraging first time buyers into a falling market;

Since when was instant negative equity ‘The Great Australian Dream’?

Here’s a question for The Doctor; would you advise a close relative of yours to buy their first property today or wait a while for the falls to flatline? If not, be prepared for a little legal action in a year or two seeking a contribution from you for giving poor advice when someone sitting in a 2 bed apartment finds it’s now worth $100k less than they paid for it.

Over at the Sydney Morning Herald, a media outlet that previously relied almost entirely on its property listing subsidiary for any chance of making a profit most years, reality is starting to sink in.

One has to enjoy the circular nature of Finder’s Graham Cooke’s logic and his demonstration of a Nobel Laureate’s mastery of mathematics;

Yes folks, that’s right; if property falls by 20%, people who bought recently with a 20% or less deposit will be in negative equity. I bet he had a team of monkeys up all night with calculators working that out.

Actually, it’s worse because stamp duty is several percent depending on the jurisdiction so negative equity is achieved earlier.

This is all so unexpected, of course. Nobody could have seen this coming.

Which reminds us of Taleb’s classic chart from ‘Black Swan’;

Meanwhile, theres an interesting bet on between the Kouk and Tony Locantro;

Specifically, we are wagering $15,000 to $2,500 that Sydney or Melbourne or national wide house prices will or will not fall by more than 35 per cent from their peak at any stage before and up to the December quarter 2021.

 

Bill’s Opinion

 

At the current trajectory, Stephen Koukoulas will lose $15,000.

Of course, no market ever moves in a straight line and, as we saw in 2008, expecting any government to simply let markets run their course in a downturn is a very naive position to take.

It’s far more likely that interest rates will be cut, regulators will be told to ease lending restrictions, banks will be reminded who really owns them and the Millennials will be encouraged into another generational wealth transfer over to their parents’ generation.

By the way, this is all happening at a point in the economic cycle where money should still be made. The USA is unlikely to go into recession in 2019 and that should have been good news for the Australian economy. That the mood seems not so cheery in the “Lucky Country” speaks volumes.

If you’re about to buy your first property, why not wait until you’ve seen 3 to 6 months of no falls in prices, just to be certain you’re not jumping in a year too early?

Ask a financial planner (a good one, not one who relies on selling you “products”) whether some physical silver or gold might be a good thing to own right now, perhaps? Ask also about uranium mining shares.

After all, there’s always an inherent risk to catching falling knives…..

Corporate protection rackets

Spotted recently at a place of work;

An accreditation that the workplace is “breastfeeding friendly”?

Okaaaaaay.

What’s going on here, do we think?

Surely very few people in 2018 would be so vehemently against helping mothers to continue breastfeeding for as long as they wish after childbirth (well, perhaps not too long that the child could write a letter in cursive script requesting a portion)?

So why the need for an accreditation agency to provide fancy certificates which, in effect, do little but state that, “this employer isn’t a dickhead about breastfeeding“?

Well, perhaps it’s something to do with the fact that one has to pay to be accredited?

The website is suspiciously cagey about how much this accreditation will cost. “Call us for a quote” for a service that can’t be much more than a quick visit to the dedicated room and a browse of the written policy?

Hmm, smells like a scam.

Bill’s Opinion

As we’ve seen with monopolies on virtue signalling, such as White Ribbon, what begins as a laudable idea soon takes on a momentum and becomes self-justifying. The moment fees are charged for the charity’s official seal of approval, it can be fairly certain that the charity has corrupted its purpose.

In fact, the ABA isn’t actually a charity at all, it’s a private “training” business that receives revenue from two almost equal sources; the fees from its protection racket and generous donations from the Australian taxpayer;

That’s a nice business you’ve got there, it’d be a shame if anything happened to it like a negative press campaign about being a bad place for young mothers to work“….

Hiding in plain sight

Oscar Wilde learned the hard way that sometimes it’s expedient to keep a low profile and not draw attention to behaviour that, when exposed to the judgement of the wider society, may not be as acceptable as you may have previously thought.

Sydney University have recently suspended a lecturer for presenting an image of the Israeli flag with a swastika transposed on it….. in a lecture, i.e. not at some private speaking engagement but as part of an official university course. A search of the Sydney University website drew a blank when looking for “Anti-Zionist Studies” or “Anti-Semitism 101” but it’s probably called something else more academicky.

That Professor Tim Anderson is an unreconstructed radical Communist is apparent from even the most cursory glance at his social media accounts, but his history of being wrong about absolutely everything predates the Internet; back in the 1970s, he was involved in a radical group responsible for a bomb attack that killed two innocent garbage collectors. He was imprisoned but had the conviction overturned on appeal.

Regardless of his innocence in the act of terrorism, this is a man who has no moral quandaries with the regimes of Venezuela, Syria and North Korea and has made many visits to these hellholes where he fawned over their dictators. In fact, his life work seems to be in orbit around a simple philosophy; western democracy is bad, authoritarian collectivism in whatever form is good.

That Sydney University ever employed him in the first place is hard to understand. It’s difficult to comprehend quite what academic value there is to be had for students to listen to lectures from someone who pines for a Socialist utopia where we finally, after all these false starts resulting in just a couple of hundred million murders, get the correct version of Socialism.

Should he be prevented from stating his opinions, however loopy they are? Of course not.

Should he be paid to do so by the generosity of the Australian taxpayer? Nah.

Since the suspension, 30 of his fellow academics have broken cover and signed an open letter in support of Anderson.

Amusingly, the letter doesn’t explicitly use the words “free speech“, one assumes because this is a term that has recently been associated with the non-left. I hesitate to use the term “right” as the definitions have shifted so massively in the last half decade or so resulting in classical liberals being called Nazis for defending the rights of people to say things with which they disagree.

Instead, we see the term “academic freedom” used as a proxy for “free speech“.

Ok, what’s their record on free speech then? After all, your arguments for free speech look somewhat insipid if they are limited only to speech with which you agree.

Here’s the open letter with the list of Comrade Anderson’s apologists helpfully listed at the bottom.

Let’s have a dip in to the cess pit of unreconstructed Marxism and radical left lunacy that makes up that list;

Fruitloop #1: Stuart Rosewarne. From his university bio; “Stuart Rosewarne’s research and teaching interests are in environmental and ecological economics, critical socialist ecology, international political economy, and the political economy of gender.

Critical Socialist ecology? You can be damn certain the one thing he’s not critical of in the slightest is Socialism.

Fruitloop #2: Rebecca Pearse. “Beck” wants us to decolonise the curriculum and some other word salad we can’t translate into English.

Fruitloop #3: Dr. Nick Riemer. Nick’s twitter account shows he’s drunk the climate change KoolAid, supports open borders and, of course is an activist in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) cause, an organisation with a correlation rate trending close to 1.0 of anti-Semitic members;

Fruitloop #4: Dr. Dave Brophy. Dave likes the usual causes of his colleagues but with a slight focus on criticising the Chinese government, which may indicate that all is not yet lost with regards to his ability to actually think for himself. Of course, he’s fully signed up to the BDS bollocks too though;

Fruitloop #5: Dr. Linda Connor. Linda is an anthropologist but seems totally obsessed far more interested in climate change than her field of research, judging by her Twitter account. Presumably she’s classed as an academic expert when people collect statistics proving that 97% of experts believe in catastrophic man-made climate change.

Fruitloop #6: Dr. Jake Lynch. Jake is just your common or garden BDS supporter, so much so in fact, that he had to (successfully) defend himself in court against charges of anti-Semitism.

Bill’s Opinion

Defenders of free speechacademic freedom” would be more credible if they could demonstrate any track record of standing in solidarity for people with opinions they completely reject. The simplest of internet searches on almost everyone on the list of academics supporting terrorist sympathiser and murderous dictators’ ally, Comrade Tim Anderson, proves they are all living in the same radical left wing echo chamber.

Here’s a clue to those beardy hippies in the Faculty of Arts and Social Science; ask your real scientist mates from the engineering department to sign up too.

Here’s another clue; why not channel Voltaire and defend the rights of people with whom you disagree to speak and we might take you a little more seriously. Perhaps start by inviting this tour onto campus;

What can we learn from this depressing episode of cultural Marxism?

Simple; if you have a family member or friend considering studying humanities at the University of Sydney, use every persuasive tool at your disposal to change their minds before they fall down the rabbithole of radical left brainwashing. The “education” they will receive will be useless for anything of tangible benefit to themselves or the world.

As Pandora learned though, there’s always hope;

Finally….. we found ONE!

Not a Fruitloop: Dr. Colin Wight. Colin must feel extremely lonely at the University of Sydney, as he is probably the only academic on the campus who understands nuance and accepts the possibility that very little in life is ever black or white;

Who bears the cost?

This idea seems to pop up every few years and then sinks without trace; birth control for men being trialled.

The treatment is a gel that’s applied to the skin. It reduces testosterone production to a level where viable numbers of sperm are no longer produced.

Here’s an interesting admission though;

But so far, the new gel has yet to pique the interest of a pharmaceutical company that wants to take male birth control to market.

Why might that be, do we think?

Could it be that commercial organisations make informed decisions based on which products might be popular? And, if so, why do they believe a male contraceptive won’t be particularly popular?

As an aside, the article offers a statistic that condoms are effective barriers to pregnancy only 85% of the time. Hmmm, does that pass the sniff test do we think?

All is revealed when the source link is followed to the Planned Parenthood website! For those who are unaware, Planned Parenthood is hugely discredited and is primarily an abortion on demand service. It’s origins are mired in eugenics and a desire to sterilise those deemed unfit to reproduce. To this day, black women are disproportionate (to their numbers in society) clients of Planned Parenthood abortion clinics.

So, let’s treat the 85% statistic with some scepticism.

Bill’s Opinion

Female birth control and condoms are popular forms of contraception because of one very important factor; the woman knows whether it is being used or not.

A male birth control gel or pill does not have that transparency for the woman.

Why does this impact the popularity of the method of birth control?

Well, who bears the most immediate cost of an unwanted pregnancy? In whose best interest is it to not conceive a baby if that isn’t a preferred outcome?

Obvious really. The pharmaceutical companies aren’t stupid.

Questions we can answer

Traditional bricks and mortar retailers are suffering as people switch to cheaper, more convenient ways to shop.

Here’s a question for anyone who owns or runs a business;

Q. What do you do if your competitors are carving into your margins and market share with cheaper prices and more convenient services?

Do you;

A. Look at your cost base and search for efficiencies that will allow you to reduce prices?

B. Work to create a better consumer experience?

C. Investigate whether there are alternative goods or services you could offer to complement or replace the loss-leading lines?

D. Lobby the government to impose special duties, taxes and levies on the consumers who purchase from your competition?

Bill’s Opinion

If you chose option D, congratulations! You are officially a member of the crony capitalism class.

Welcome to the internet and the 1990s, Australian retailers, spoiler alert; get to see Bowie, Prince, George Michael and Motörhead in concert at the next available opportunity.

Troll level; Jedi

We wrote about the Cloggy Kaas Kop who is taking the Dutch government to court in an attempt to change his age from 69 to 49.

At first blush this looked like a serious request and simply a logical extension of the “everything is a social construct” lunacy.

However, it’s increasingly likely this is an excellent exercise in trolling and is having the desired effect.

Hilary Brueck over at Business Insider, for example, is tying him/her/zherself in knots trying to explain why age isn’t a social construct but gender is.

In fact, no she isn’t, leaving this statement hanging awkwardly without any reasoning to explain why what Retelband is attempting is “problematic” (now there’s a great word to look out for when you suspect you’re being bullshitted).

Depressingly, there was no further “logical” explanation as to why age can’t be changed than what is written above. It would seem that simply saying the words, “problematic”, “offence” and “nonsense” constitutes an argument these days.

Here’s Shon Faye’s “takedown”, by the way;

Which seems to be saying, “it’s not the same because it’s not the same“. Again, not really an argument is it? Feelings trump facts.

Predictably, the Grauniad’s Komment Macht Frei gets in on the act with an article pointing out that our Dutch friend has a long and glorious history of trolling and mischief but never quite gets to the part we are, by now, desperate for someone to articulate. Namely, how is it that biological gender is a social construct but chronological age isn’t?

Bill’s Opinion

People such as Ellie Mae, Shon and Hillary might want to consider counting the assumptions required to be correct for each of these statements to also be true;

1. Gender is a social construct that can be altered by a change in societal attitudes of acceptance, application of hormones and surgery.

2. Age is a social construct that can be changed by societal attitudes, legal edict, and editing numbers on government databases.

3. Biological gender is determined by, erm, biology and gender dysphoria is an unfortunate mental illness that should be treated with sympathy rather than complicit fantasy.

4. Emile’s court case is what you get when people realise a large group of society has agreed to ignore a illogical and indefensible idea and are making significant practical real life changes based on the fallacy.

Loving your work, Emile.

Slave to the rhythm

Australia has joined the international club of countries with legislation seeking to eradicate modern slavery from the supply chain of domestic businesses, prompting much backslapping and self-congratulatory tweeting by politicians.

Obviously the spirit of the legislation is to be admired, a reduction in human misery is a goal we can all support.

However, how effective is the legislation likely to be?

Well, given that the legislation borrows heavily from the precedents set elsewhere, particularly the UK, we’re not confident it will dramatically improve any existing cases of exploitation and serfdom. As we’ve explored previously, the UK legislation is a bit rubbish.

Despite loudly proclaiming that the Australian version fixes shortcomings of the UK legislation, there’s scant evidence of this in the legislation (summary of the bill here). The main “innovation” seems to be an online register of statements made by the companies impacted by the legislation. Not exactly William Wilburforce levels of anti-slavery work there.

The main area of criticism we levelled at the UK legislation has been recreated in the Australian legislation; the companies most at risk of finding slavery in their supply chain are deemed to be those with revenue greater than $100m p.a., which makes no logical sense at all. By that logic, a domestic bank is more likely to be using child labour in Indonesia that a small scale importer of Balinese-style furniture. Does that sound right? Of course not.

In fact a skip down the list of the largest companies in Australia would easily remove plenty of the names as being highly-unlikely to find slavery issues in their supply chain.

Of course, definitions are always worth examining. One element that is included in the definition of “modern slavery” is “the worst forms of child labour“.

That seems like curious wording, suggesting we’re happy with the 2nd worst forms of child labour. This is further defined as;

The worst forms of child labour are defined in Article 3 as:
a) all forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery, such as the sale and
trafficking of children, debt bondage and serfdom and forced or compulsory
labour, including forced or compulsory recruitment of children for use in
armed conflict;
b) the use, procuring or offering of a child for prostitution, for the production of
pornography or for pornographic performances;
c) the use, procuring or offering of a child for illicit activities, in particular for the
production and trafficking of drugs as defined in the relevant international
treaties; and
d) work which, by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out, is
likely to harm the health, safety or morals of children.

Read that again. Does that definition prevent a 12 year old Bangladeshi child from voluntarily working in a textile factory? Not really.

There might be a reason for that ambiguity.

Bill’s Opinion

Wherever it’s been passed, modern slavery legislation seems pretty rubbish at actually driving the outcomes it claims to deliver. Generally, the legislation does little more than require very large companies to write a public statement once a year to the effect that they’ve had a look and they didn’t find any forced labour in their supply chain.

A general rule about regulation is that the largest companies are quite amenable to it as it serves to raise the barriers to entry for the smaller companies. The CBI’s anti-Brexit stance is a good case study of this. Australian companies with revenue greater than $100m will not care a jot about having to write a statement on a website once a year.

In addition, the definition of modern slavery is shockingly ambiguous on the use of children in paid labour. Why? Well, one possible reason might be that paid child labour is preferable to the alternative. In countries with extreme poverty, families have to make stark choices to make ends meet. As a matter of survival, a child may be required to bring an income into the household once they’ve reached an age where this is possible. Denying this as an option can result in an even worse alternative income stream – child prostitution.

With this terrible choice in mind, let’s take a moment to laugh loudly at the virtue signalling of this article, written by two Australian academics, equating workers in Australian retail outlets with those child workers in Bangladeshi sweatshops;

……and closer to home, the underpayment of Australian workers employed by companies like 7-Eleven, Dominos and Pizza Hut are indicative of the oppressive working conditions that may amount to modern slavery.

Good grief.

Let my people go“, but only once they’ve delivered my Hawaiian with extra jalapenos.

It’s culcha, stoopid

Tim Newman hosted an interesting debate over at his place this week on the neo-colonialism of Africa by China.

To summarise; some African states are preferencing Chinese investment over Western countries because they believe, rightly or wrongly – time will tell, that the conditions and requirements that accompany the cash are less onerous. No hectoring about legislating for same sex marriage before a couple of billion dollars of humanitarian aid is released into the president’s Swiss bank account, that kind of thing.

This piqued my interest and I felt it deserved being exposed to a smaller audience (still trying to find a font for sarcasm, by the way).

Colonialism has a bad reputation these days, hence why the description above of the Chinese indulging in neo-colonialism would probably grate if read by anyone in Beijing.

The pros and cons of the era of colonialization are often debated and we could spend a long time discussing the multiple motivations of each country during their various land grabs into Africa, Asia and South America. Geo-political power and financial theft were clearly the defining factors in most “adventures” into the dark interiors of these continents but there were also many individuals motivated by altruism and a higher moral purpose.

We can cynically dismiss these as fools or worse but there’s enough evidence to show they truly believed what they were doing was moral. If you find yourself challenging that statement, perhaps have a thought experiment and switch the Christian missionaries for Wahhabi-inspired jihadis – both were/are motivated by a certainty of moral purpose.

But, whether we feel that the moral standards or geo-political decisions by people a hundred or more years ago are still compatible or comparable in any way with today is not particularly interesting.

To clarify; what’s the damn point of criticising the King of Belgium for taking the Congo in 1886? He did it because all the major powers around him in Europe had done it elsewhere and he felt left out. Belgium’s little personal ego trip was simply a tragic and farcical conclusion of similar decisions made for mildly different reasons in the centuries before. The British got India because they didn’t want the French, Portuguese, Russians, et al to get it, for example. Very different times, very different situations.

Whatevers, as the kids say.

No, what’s really curious is to examine how the experiments have turned out post-independence and hypothesise about the results.

My original thought on how to tackle this was to search for a ranking of countries by a measure of something like “safety”, then look down the list for ex-colonial states and see how they compare, perhaps examining if there were unique or common aspects that might explain differences.

The first search brought up this, the Global Peace Index from the Institute for Economics and Peace. Looks credible.

Hang on, France (61) is lower than Sierra Leone (35)? The USA (121) is only one point above Myanmar (122) and 3 points above the Democratic (ahem) Republic of Congo (126)?

Oh do fuck off. Let’s have a check of our old friend the test of expressed versus revealed preferences… where exactly in the Democratic Republic of Congo are your offices, you people working for Institute of Economics and Peace?

I bet the poor workers in the Mexico office are spitting tacks they didn’t get the New York job.

Well this explains a lot;

It is a United Nations accredited NGO in Special Consultative Status to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

Ok, let’s find another survey then, one with slightly more credibility than a Caitlyn Jenner Instagram post of a positive pregnancy test.

Here’s the WEF with their list claiming Rwanda is 9th whilst the UK is 78th. Look, we all know Britain has been on the slide for some time now but is it really that far below Rwanda in terms of safety (excluding Tower Hamlets, obviously)?

Christ on a bike, this is turning into a struggle. If you didn’t previously realise that UN-funded organisations are highly-politically motivated, perhaps today is the day your moment of satori arrives.

This list is curious though, the list of countries ranked by migration rate (you may need to click the button to sort in descending order).

Turkey has the 2nd largest intake of immigrants after the USA? Hmm, curious. Just an uninformed guess here, but I wonder if that’s something to do with Syria?

Here’s another curious list and one more relevant to the original question; countries people WANT to move from and to.

Vilfredo Pareto being a hero round these parts, we’ve made some pretty charts for your edification;

The chart above somewhat contradicts the taxpayer-funded studies of the WEF and IEP. In fact, with almost two thirds of the population of “peaceful” Sierra Leone wishing to get the hell out of Dodge, it’s almost as if the respondents to the Gallup poll are trolling our lefty tax breastfeeders.

This chart also shouldn’t surprise anyone in the least either. When we get to South Africa (1% of potential migrants want to move there) we perhaps ought to bear in mind that, if you’re in the half of the Nigerian population who want to leave, South Africa is actually a more realistic prospect than the USA.

Also, the statistical margin of error of this survey is plus/minus ~1%, so there’s that.

Bill’s Opinion

Hats off to Western European post-Enlightenment culture; it’s the most popular in the world and the most successful at providing a safe and stable environment for common people (i.e. those who don’t have privileged careers working for UN quangos in New York) to just get on with their lives.

Liberia’s constitution was written as an almost cut and paste from the American one.

Draw your own conclusion as to why half of Liberia’s population want to move, and most likely want to move to the USA.

My opinion is that the culture of the USA is universally-accepted to be hugely more preferable than that of any of the countries listed on the first chart, nearly all of whom have been independent nations without colonial masters for 70+ years.