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Tuesday, 13 January, 2009

Sarah McDermott | 15:43 UK time, Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Here's Kirsty Wark with a look ahead to this evening's Newsnight:

"The persistent inequality of social class."

That's at the heart of the government's White Paper on social mobility. But hang on a minute, this is a government that has been in power for almost twelve years! Why has New Labour failed to deal with these inequalities until now? Harriet Harman says: "It is our task in government to play our part in fashioning a new social order with fairness and equality at its heart." When he was Prime Minister, Tony Blair famously refused to say that the gap between rich and poor was a problem in itself. Now the government has turned turtle. David Grossman will be reporting, and we hope to speak to the Cabinet Office Minister Liam Byrne.

We have also filmed a piece of social engineering for Newsnight, following a group of children from Burnley who have dropped out of school or been excluded, as they spent 48 hours in one of England's oldest public schools.

Has Israel committed war crimes in Gaza? Could the country be prosecuted in the International Criminal Court? Legendary lawyer, Alan Dershowitz joins us live.

Paul Mason will have the latest on the government's plans to guarantee up to 20 billion pounds of loans to small businesses to help them survive the economic downturn.

And does snooker need to be sexed up? Ronnie O'Sullivan, the world snooker champion believes the sport is in desperate need of some show business. I once had a snooker lesson from Stephen Hendry in his home town snooker club but somehow I don't think that's what Ronnie means. We've sent Steve Smith to spend the day at the UK Masters at Wembley to see if he can come up with some ideas.

Join us at 10.30pm.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    It is to be hoped that Alan Dershowitz is not going to be interviewed solo, but that there will be a counterweight. His views on the Isarel/Palestine conflict are very well known, and eg during the 2006 Israeli-Lebanon war he wrote articles defending IDF behaviour and the high civilian death toll. One can almost predict what he is going to say. Presumably Newsnight is trying to be deliberately provocative and there will be intellectual sparring between AD and interviewer - pity it's over the bodies of hundreds of women and children.

  • Comment number 2.

    Good evening JJ.

    I was just wondering if you had not responded to my postings on the Thursday 9th list because you had chosen not to respond or because you had not seen them (they were late additions). I won't copy them here because they belong on that list not this. Easy to check back if you wish to. I'm still curious.

    Cheers.

  • Comment number 3.

    "Alan Dershowitz joins us live" Treat him with kid-gloves or he might threaten to bankrupt you!

    As to "Why has New Labour failed to deal with these inequalities until now?"

    Err..... ummmmmmmm....

    Looks like a good night.

  • Comment number 4.

    BBC USE INSULTING TERM 'FAMILY' ON WEB.

    We have hardly stopped reeling from the crass utterance of a toff, squaddie ging-er, when the BBC prints a stereotypical picture of an obviously one dimensional man and an obviously one dimensional woman, with a child between them, AS IF CHILDREN COME IN SOME MAGICAL WAY FROM SUCH PAIRING!
    How insulting to all those lesbian and gay couples and the legions of petri-dish heroes in their iconic white coats, who are nature's intended source of new life.
    What if a child were to see that picture? Where would we be if every child demanded a father and a mother? BBC, you should be ashamed of yourself. Please post an abject, fawning and totally bogus reply on the blog. It is what any right-thinking individual would do, in similar circumstances.

  • Comment number 5.

    A reminder or two

    The exchange in Cif can be found by those interested.

  • Comment number 6.

    Re:
    "The persistent inequality of social class"


    I am willing to wager that during the course of this evening's interview on Newsnight, the Cabinet Office Minister will respond with something like "We realise that there is still much to be done" etc. In other words, NOTHING will be done. (Is it ever?)

  • Comment number 7.

    STATE OF FAILURE

    I say, I say, I say, I've got a Tory/Labour doctor/vet/pilot/builder/fund-manager. Is he any good? No. Then why do you stick with him? Oh, I always vote Tory/Labour. (Delete as applicable)

    Why do the lemmings think politicians can govern? MPs are not chosen for any proven ability; ministers rarely stay in one post for long, the party puts power before people AND THEY KEEP MESSING UP. Apart from being bad at the job, within a party, one group are ambitious whip fodder and the rest are waiting for a fat pension. NONE ever challenges the Westminster rot, on our behalf. (My MP admits the rot, yet he is a whip! I think there is a name for that.)

    Hands up all those who feel represented in this representative democracy?

    SPOIL PARTY GAMES

  • Comment number 8.

    I suppose putting Alan Dershowitz on Newsnight is all part of what Hazel Blears repeatedly called "getting out the message" last night.

    As predictable as Soviet state broadcasting.

  • Comment number 9.

    The Third Way sounded good on paper. It promised to offer support for, in terms of economics, the 'Property Owning Democracy'. At the same time, though, it wanted to solve social problems by a very different strand of government policy. In the case of the latter, New Labour was indeed very active; not least in the provision of education to the younger pupils - which was reckoned to be the philosphers stone. As it will take so long for even early cohorts to pass through to employment the jury is still out on this.

    The problem was that support for the first leg demanded that government actions had to be regressive - the rich had to get richer in order for the rest of us to benefit from 'trickle-down - rather than progressive - as had previously been the case for left-wing parties. In practice, as we now see, this meant we had to offer special deals to the financial services industry. We also now know that this was an illusion; a snare and a delusion.

    Instead of taking the capitalist robber barons out and shooting them, as might have happened in repvious revolutions, we are forced to bail them out! Even so, there has to come a time when progressive policies are brought back.

    As a footnote, however, I am nervous about the statistics of social mobility. Might they have been skewed by the massive distortions created by the financial industries as have so many other 'facts'/

  • Comment number 10.

    Guaranteeing small business loans is a good idea, which (in the form of start-up loans) has worked in the past. The problem is that, at one extreme - where these are offered to anyone without qualification - it could be a licence for charlatans to print money. At the other it requires someone, presumably the banks to rigourously vet the applicants; as happened previously, where the bank's incentive to tackle the job seriously was provide by them having to match (50/50) the guaranteed loan themselves. In the current climate this will probably still be problematic where banks are so risk averse. Maybe the banks part will jhave to be reduced to as low as 10%. But it is not an easy task for anyone to manage.

  • Comment number 11.

    Given the abuse Alan Dersowitz took from BBC the last time I recall him on one of its shows, how he was repeatedly shouted down and not allowed to speak, not allowed to finish what he had to say nearly every time he tried, I'm surprised he agreed to appear again. I'm surprised anyone agrees to appear on BBC given its unfair treatment of interviewees its political bias doesn't agree with.

    I haven't heard or seen any talk by BBC about Hamas or others on the other side being brought before the International Criminal Court even though they clearly target Israeli civilians. In fact, Hamas has said that these people are legitimate targets and firing rockets at them is a legitimate action of resistance. That is in part why the US and EU have called them terrorists. The one sidedness of this issue in the BBC blog posting above is proof of BBC's bias and its incitement of its audience to a prejudicial hateful attitude towards Israel and Israelis not based on facts.

  • Comment number 12.

    "The persistent inequality of social class"; in 1973 my parents were as poor as church mice and yet I went to university, the first in my extended family ever to do so, because I was eligible for the maximum student grant. Now we have maximum student loans, brought in by a "Labour" government then run by a rather decent bloke who happened to have attended Fettes College, the most exclusive private school in Scotland.
    My wife and I were adamant that our children would not be burdened by debt by wanting an education; luckily we were in a position to ensure this was so. So many others are not.
    Rather than "phootering aboot" as they say in Shettleston, it would benefit us all if HMG concentrated on re-building and re-shaping a new, more balanced economy, where the non-lawyers and non-think tank interns could obtain meaningful jobs at wages which preclude the necessity for humiliating Working Tax Credits, Family Tax Credits et al. Anything else at the moment, from a domestic point of view, is irrelevant piffle peddled by a bunch of apparatchiks whose condescending verbiage about social class hides the truth that, in their heart of hearts, they know the only class worth belonging to is their own political class. Enough with the "fairness", already!

  • Comment number 13.

    FOR SERVICES TO TRANSPARENCY - HAZEL BLEARS (#8)

    Hazel Blears is so transparently vacuous, even the most potato-headed lemming should see in her the failure of politically motivated selection. If Hazel is one of the elite - god help us - what were the ones who didn't get picked like? Call in Birdseye. The light of reality passes right through La Blears, unimpeded, and illuminates all that is wrong with the management of this country. Hazel believes that optimism is all you need; competence, intelligence and half an idea what is going on - optional.

  • Comment number 14.

    There have been war crimes. They should be prosecuted. Those that act as 'spokespersons' for the perpetrators and claim these serious events are part of the 'fog of war' should be tried as well, for 'aiding and abetting'.
    International law should not be different for those Zionist's that play the anti-Semetic card. Didn't M. Regev give the defence/retort that the British bombed Dresden into the Abyss, so Israel can do the same to Gaza?
    Hamas did agree to an Israel behind the 1967 borders.
    I say let's look again at the initial Balfour agreement, and confine the new state to within the initial agreed boundaries.
    Why do the Zionists get preferential treatment in Europe? Has the Western world still not paid enough for what Hitler did?
    Where is the Zionist's gratitude for what the Western world did for the survivers?
    A bit of humility now and again would work wonders....

  • Comment number 15.

    mercerdavids (#9) "New Labour was indeed very active; not least in the provision of education to the younger pupils - which was reckoned to be the philosphers stone. As it will take so long for even early cohorts to pass through to employment the jury is still out on this."

    No it isn't. A) We have NO evdence that we can improve IQ through education and B) we will just increase dysgenesis through keeping more of the top half of the female distribution in education for longer (as it delays motherhood and reduces TFR).

    New Labour's policy of Education x 3 (and Bush's/Neocons' No Child Left Behind in the USA) is at odds with all the available empirical evidence which has accumulated over decades. It is Lysenkoist nonsense at best.

    At worst, the projection is that it can only make matters far worse through increased differential fertility, i.e skewing the population dysgenically.

    Giddens is a Harry Potter dreamer.

  • Comment number 16.

    barrie (#13) I agree.

    OK, I've shown you mine (analysis and solution - unpopular and draconian though these may be).

    Now.... what's yours?

  • Comment number 17.

    Markonee1 (#14) "Didn't M. Regev give the defence/retort that the British bombed Dresden into the Abyss, so Israel can do the same to Gaza?"

    Netanyahu has used this sort of line repeatedly over the years. It's just a variant of the anti-semitic (guilt) line. The truth is that some of these people will stoop to anything.

    War crimes were defined after Dresden. There are now no excuses. One might have expected a senior politician like Netanyahu to know this (not that this would stop him from conveniently forgetting when that suited perhaps?). Is it any wonder that Palestinians are wary of negotiating with a people who won't even define their borders?


    It's not called chutzpah for nothing, and those who don't stand up to it are called other names and treated beneath contempt.

  • Comment number 18.

    A large number of working class children grew up to move into white collar work and professions and become 'middle class'. Their children weren't going to revert to working class. At the same time work itself changed and offices reduced staff because of computers while manufacturing reduced greatly and automated and buses were run without conductors. There are fewer jobs for the newly aware of education to start on the journey to the wonderland of the middles.
    There is no basis on which to make a comparison and the surrounding culture such as media, arts and family are impoverished in many ways compared to the years following the war.
    Rightly or wrongly there used to be a greater sense of social coherence and housing hadn't yet turned into the mad gamble it seems to have become. No wonder there was greater civil peace and the streets felt safer.

  • Comment number 19.

    TU QUOQUE AGAIN

    Mark Regev does not appear to have grasped that his arguing that Hamas' launch of indiscriminate rockets against Israeli civilians (being a war-crime) CAN NOT legally justify Israel committing war crimes against Gaza civilians in response. If Hamas commits war crimes it should be prosecuted under international law. If Israel then retaliates with war crimes it too should be prosecuted (if it were a signatory of the ICC - a clever game is played here by Israel and the USA).

    Deshowitz tries a similar, invalid line of nefarious rhetoric when he makes reference to Churchill's and Roosevelt's during WWII. The crimes today were defined after these events. That was part of the purpose of the post war IMT (which sadly comprised little more than victors' show trials to cripple Germany and National Socialism).

  • Comment number 20.

    Who was responsible for closing most of the Grammers and championed the now widely recognised failed Comprehensive education system?..eh..if your not sure, go ask Diana Abbot MP


  • Comment number 21.

    I felt the interview with Alan Dershowitz on the Israeli attacks on Gaza was pointless. Why invite such a partisan commentator to consider whether Israel could be prosecuted for war crimes?

  • Comment number 22.

    I've seen the great clash on News night.
    As suspected, Israel is immune from prosecution. There is no court as yet empowered to bring Zionist war criminals to justice.
    One of the defences of Israel's action, in so far as killing of civillians, women and children, is quote "America and Britain have killed more children, in Afganistan"! I'ts likely true, but we've been killing for many years now to create that obhorant number, the 'Zd's have done it in 18 days.

    Are forces allowed to shoot through human shields in any event? To the point where the sole bank robber is killed by killing the 50 hostages?? I just hope I'm not in a bank when a robbery takes place. (Thank goodness for internet banking :o)
    Why does America continue to shield these people? Is it only me who finds it strange, that the American's support the 'Zd's, even though the 'Zd's have nothing good to say about their sponsers. Is it all about the American'shope they can be part of the Promised Land and be saved when judgment day comes? Regrettably, they are Gentiles like everyone else and WILL burn in hell.
    Strange how the 'Zd's have 90% trade with Europe, when they are sponsored by America! Why so few Israeli goods in their patrons house??

  • Comment number 23.

    Despite other commenters concerns I thought Prof Ian Scobie did a really good job in counterbalancing Alan Dershowitz. It appears that Dershowitz is behind the times on international law. Can we see more of Ian Scobie please?

  • Comment number 24.

    Harriet Harman says that its her and her and her governments task to fashion a new social order with fairness and equality at its center.

    I guess she must have felt really hard done by then. First thing she did when getting a bit of spondulix was to send her own kids to private school. So much for fairness and social equality.

    Liam Burn on tonight's edition after spouting a load of nonsensical tripe about how this fairness and equality is going to be achieved reiterated; I will defend any parents right to chose the education they can afford for their children (like Harriet Harman I presume).

    What he meant was if you have the money to buy your way into an automatic career through the school you went to then the labour party is all for it. fairness and equality remain just something we only talk about silly. We don't really mean any of that rubbish. God forbid, the very thought.

  • Comment number 25.

    The pate of Kinnock, the smile of Brown, the hand gestures of Blair; this guy Byrne looks like Mandelson cobbled him together in his kitchen.

    Why bother having this type of spokesman on the programme?

    You know you'll get the helter skelter spout of statistics; the obdurate refusal to enter into any kind of debate/ argument/dialogue and the absolute refusal to comment on a fellow member of their own political class.

    Or is that as good as it gets these days?

    Why not instead show re-runs of snooker in the 70's, with Ray Reardon, Eddie Charlton and the Hurricane, before Steve Davies ruined the game for us all by taking it far too seriously.

  • Comment number 26.

    THE FAR LEFT

    I was left far behind by Kirsty's diction tonight. When, finally, stumbling over the papers, she seemed to lose the will to communicate, and I certainly lost the will to live.
    As for her other 'skills': to ask a man, in a deeply rational profession, to comment and then bomb his reply, two thirds constructed, is not only rude, but self defeating and crass.
    How much is she paid - again?

  • Comment number 27.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 28.

    Indiscriminate killing of civilians is called- the terrorism. An act of terrorism committed by individuals or by the state should be equally condemn, investigated and prosecuted. Nobody should be above the law.
    The occupying power has an obligation to provide a humanitarian corridor for unarmed civilians to flee from the war zone. There is no a slightest concern from the Israeli side to protect the lives of women and children who are deliberately trapped in the densely populated area and have no chance to escape. It’s a war crime. The Israeli government should face the trial in The Hague.
    Israel is committing most horrific atrocities against the Palestinian people and can no longer be called a civilized country.

  • Comment number 29.

    MUDDLED REPORTING

    Why doesn't Newsnight EVER cover the facts of the matter about education and social mobility?

    For several decades maitained (and many private) schools have used NFER CATs (IQ tests) to predict Key Stage 3 and 4 attainment and the correlation is in the order of 0.7. More recently, schools have been just using key Stage 2 results along with a number of other standard variables to the same end.

    The bottom line is that there is high test restest reliability. In other words, it is usaully the case that if pupils only attains low KS Levels at Key Stage 1 and 2, chances are they will only attain low Levels at Key Stage 3 and 4. Pupils don't often surprise teachers in their attainments. Why?

    It's because ...... ad nauseam here I know, the evidence strongly suggests abilities are largely genetic. If one doesn't inherit the genes, all the education in the world is not going to compensate. That some people do well, even though they come from relatively deprived backgrounds should not surprise anyone, but they tend to be exceptions. Sadly, fathers of children are not always the biological fathers.

    Only fools make policies out of exceptons to the rule.

    Isn't it time that Newsnight reviwed the facts of the matter instead of all this promissory rhetoric from New Labour which is clearly unupported by their own data from years of national SAT and GCSE testing?

    Many inner schols already have VERY good, i.e well educated teachers. That is NOT the problem. It's the pupil intakes.

  • Comment number 30.

    OPTIMISE AND STABILISE (#16)

    You always shout at me when I put up my two-pennorth JJ - but here goes.

    (1) optimise 'the individual' by re-instating motherhood as the highest human achievement and by using as many of the pre-pubic years as it takes, to maximise 'BEING potential' in the young, deferring the imposition of doing skills until they can be readily taken up.
    (2) change the perception of party politics in the public mind, such that independent candidates are seen as superior to party-label rosette stands.

    I suggest point one might reverse the sterile career-woman mind-set, and point two would move politics away from hypocrisy and connivance; it would then attract a different calibre of candidate.

    Out of concern for your blood pressure JJ, I have refrained from further detail - it's all on record.

  • Comment number 31.

    IDEOLOGUES AND MENACES

    Blair never understood that Michael Young's concept of MERITOCRACY was created in a dystopic satire!. Young (who drafted the Old Labour manifesto of 1945) and later Hernnstein and Murray in 1994, warned of what would happen if Social Mobility was encouraged, i.e. a SORTING of society into an elite and an underclass - i.e. GREATER POLARISATION. Young, Herrnstein and Murray warned that this would be a social disaster!

    Milburn and Byrne either simply do not understand the basic empirical and historical facts here (watching them on TV persuades me that this is most likely the case) or they are egregiously/destructively misleading the public, wasting billions of pounds of taxpayers' money on socially divisive Lysenkoist policies which can only further blight already human capital improvershed communities.

    Why doesn't Newsnight ever confront these peole with the direct question: If you don't have the genes, how does 'education' help?

  • Comment number 32.

    SHOCK HORROR - ROYALS OUT OF TOUCH!

    I thought that was in the job description?

    Signed: slap-head, squint-eyed, short-arse, whitey subject.

  • Comment number 33.

    New Labour has simply lowered standards to make it APPEAR that there has been greater social mobility. If one goes from 5-10% going to university in the 70s to nearly 50% today, standards have clearly been shifted down. This is a basic Gaussian fact. They have not IMPROVED matters, they have made them WORSE.

    Even though we are now being told that we are facing one of the worst economic downturns in recent history, people like Byrne and Milburn still twitter the ignorant ideologically driven nonsense that they do with impunity rather than listen to those who have been warning of the dangers of peddling these polcies.

  • Comment number 34.

    Beerbohmtree (#21) "I felt the interview with Alan Dershowitz on the Israeli attacks on Gaza was pointless. Why invite such a partisan commentator to consider whether Israel could be prosecuted for war crimes?"

    The BBC sometimes seems to take impartiality to an absurdly anarchistic extreme in that if someone asserts a view, the dialectically opposed view must also be heard.

    Whilst pursuit of truth does not in practice ever work like that (outside the adversarial legal games played in a courtroom) the BBC production teams do not appear to have quite got the hand of this.

    I kept getting intrusive thoughts of Woody Allen as Dershowitz spoke. He appeared pround of the idea that if others do things which are wrong, Israel is OK to go and do the same.

    Personally, I think there is something wrong with people who behave that way, but then I've probably spent too much time looking into criminal behaviour.

  • Comment number 35.

    JadedJean #19

    'Deshowitz tries a similar, invalid line of nefarious rhetoric when he makes reference to Churchill's and Roosevelt's during WWII. The crimes today were defined after these events. That was part of the purpose of the post war IMT (which sadly comprised little more than victors' show trials to cripple Germany and National Socialism)."

    Do you lament the demise of National Socialism in Germany the way Putin laments the fall of the Soviet Union? I'm not surprised...that you revealed yourself as a closet Nazi. I suspected it all along from your Jew hating rhetoric. BTW, the purpose was not to cripple National Socialism, it was to eradicate it and warn anyone who thought about trying it again that they would pay for it with their lives. As for Germany, at least West Germany prospered after WWII as never before in its history. And that is a fact.

  • Comment number 36.

    I've only been to this blog a couple of times. I possibly realise why now.

    I was dismayed to read the contributions of the couple of Dinosaurs who still believe education should be about the gene pool you come from.

    First of all, they produce no scientific evidence to support their supposition. I would of thought that a proper education would have taught then that if your going to put forward a thesis, its always a good idea to back up your view with sound evidence.

    Secondly, it only takes a fairly rudimentary amount of knowledge and grasp of these things to understand that our system isn't about meritocracy and education but about who has power. I have found no evidence to suggest that those who hold power in society have any more intelegence than those they weil it over. I could give numerous examples but I think you would be able to fine your own quite easily without too much trouble.

    I speak as someone who failed the eleven plus, left education at fifteen with no achedemic qualifications. I consider myself to have the same worth as any other human being.

  • Comment number 37.

    I've only been to this blog a couple of times. I possibly realise why now.

    I was dismayed to read the contributions of the couple of Dinosaurs who still believe education should be about the gene pool you come from.

    First of all, they produce no scientific evidence to support their supposition. I would of thought that a proper education would have taught that if your going to put forward a thesis, its always a good idea to back up your view with sound evidence.

    Secondly, it only takes a fairly rudimentary amount of knowledge and grasp of these things to understand that our system isn't about meritocracy and education but about who has power. I have found no evidence to suggest that those who hold power in society have any more intelligence than those they wield it over. I could give numerous examples but I think you would be able to find your own quite easily without too much trouble.

    I speak as someone who failed the eleven plus, left education at fifteen with no academic qualifications. I consider myself to have the same worth as any other human being.

    Oh yes, I also no that Jurassic Park doesn't exist, its just a fantasy, unlike some of the dinosaurs on this site.

  • Comment number 38.

    MarcusAureliusII (#35) "the purpose was not to cripple National Socialism, it was to eradicate it and warn anyone who thought about trying it again that they would pay for it with their lives. As for Germany, at least West Germany prospered after WWII as never before in its history. And that is a fact."

    No. The original de-nazification plan, as part of the Morgenthau Plan, which included anti-racist propaganda, was to reduce Germany to a market garden economy. This was done in lieu of even more draconian steps outlined by the Soviet Union at Tehran in late 1943. The longer term plan was to make the Western sectors despise the allies and thus increase the scope of Soviet influence. When the USA saw what was happening they did a volte-face and implemented the Marshall Plan. This is why Germany prospered after the war. It also laid the foundations of the EU (via coal and steel - 'the means of production') allegedly as a butress against the USSR. Consider political correctness and disproportionate, i.e undemocratic, Jewish hegemony, a major, but contrived blowback (the de-nazification programs and cold war skewed Western politics towards anarcho-capitalism Trotskyism - in all its muddled but made-over glory.

    Many have indeed noticed that countries which try to implement Socialism in One Country (Stalinism/Democratic Centralism or National Socialism) render themselves prone to threats of American 'liberation' and 'regime change' as well as coersion/subversion through 'Human Rights' campaigns. Many ask whether this is because attempts to foist Trotskyism on Germany or the USSR was foiled by Hitler and Stalin respectively. Anarchism spread through the USA and Europe after the war, and we are now having to deal with the socio-economic consequences. Old Labour and its polices are a dim memory as a consequence.

    Your arrogance (and political naivety) is breathtaking. Perhaps you should study a little of Skinner's and Herrnstein's work (and Hayek's 'The Road to Serfdom' to see how it was done by Thatcher/Reagan) in order to enlighten you about the illusions of freedom and dignity?

    I do in fact believe that the alleged evils of National Socialism and Socialism in One Country have been exaggerated for propaganda purposes. Those purposes were to reinforce free-market Liberal-democracy essentially in the interest of Jewish-American hegemony. This reveals itself in statistics whether you or I like that or not.

    It will end in tears. It always has.

  • Comment number 39.

    funnyJoedunn (#37) "I was dismayed to read the contributions of the couple of Dinosaurs who still believe education should be about the gene pool you come from.

    First of all, they produce no scientific evidence to support their supposition. I would of thought that a proper education would have taught that if your going to put forward a thesis, its always a good idea to back up your view with sound evidence."

    Your first paragraph explains your second.

    That you don't appreciate that just shows you don't actively look for evidence to check for your views, just rhetoric. You like many others are deluded.

    There is NO evidence for environmentalism/enrichment apart from limiting further physical damage. Hence the current emphasis on CHILD PROTECTION.

    Try the archives. You have nothing to lose but your ignorance/naivety.

  • Comment number 40.

    barrie (#30) I accept those as worthy and realistic objectives. It's a pity that Liberal-Democracies have spent decades doing the opposite whilst trying to export dysgenic dogma elsewhere in the name of 'freedom'.

  • Comment number 41.

    I have found no evidence to suggest that those who hold power in society have any more intelligence than those they wield it over.

    Doctors, dentists, pilots, accountants, techers .. these all have 'power' over others because they are more intelligent and thus able to become qualified to help others.

    "I speak as someone who failed the eleven plus, left education at fifteen with no academic qualifications. I consider myself to have the same worth as any other human being."

    But not in terms of qualifications or the ability to help others perhaps?

    You appear to be arguing from ignorance, which is invalid, i.e irrational. There's a lot more of it about since Blair and friends made deference a social sin. Why did he do that do you think? Why did he and his friends lower standards? (If you can work that out, please enlighten MarcusAureliusII and thegangofone).

  • Comment number 42.

    26. At 11:39pm on 13 Jan 2009, barriesingleton
    How much is she paid - again?


    As we are dealing, again, in class (nominally), it's apparently lacking it, and certainly bad form, to pose such questions to those in the 'Bubble Class' (I made that up... basically the West London/Islington/Westminster politico-media Triangle, with a few, actually a heck of a lot, of offshoots that snake Northwards, by weekly shuttle).

    Just ask one P. Mandelson who, according to his reply on SKY this morning 'doesn't read the Daily Mail'. Well, not when it doesn't suit, maybe.

    Me, getting back to Aunty's finest, I am simply still getting to grips with the notion of the nighttime floodlight system... for the tennis court... at the overseas villa.

    We are truly represented by those who can empathise.

    34. At 01:29am on 14 Jan 2009, JadedJean

    The BBC sometimes seems to take impartiality to an absurdly anarchistic extreme in that if someone asserts a view, the dialectically opposed view must also be heard.


    Couldn't agree more, though I may quibble with 'sometimes'.

    The Newsnight twofer, combined with the calibre of moderator and the malign editorial umbrella agenda, makes these things hardly worth paying attention to.

    Certainly reasoned debate with information and education at its core is suborned at the altar of ratings and sound bites. Plus a few career-enhancing oar stick and stirs by the 'star' to keep things 'sparkly'.

    Very few things are black or white. Maybe it is possible to enjoy something that spans the massive views and opportunities inbetween whilst still being as 'colourful' as their market rate broadcast salary targets demand.

    Worth a try?

  • Comment number 43.

    Alan Dershowitzs' continuous mention of Hamas rockets raining down on Israeli towns totally ignores the fact that Israel broke a 4 month long ceasefire on November the 4th 2008.

    Please read this article:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/nov/05/israelandthepalestinians

    This is the reason Hamas fires rockets, because its elected officials were being assassinated by the Israelis.

    I hope that in future Newsnight presenters will bring up this fact more often, in response to the constant accusation that Hamas is to blame for starting this.

  • Comment number 44.

    SHADED-FREUDE (#42)

    Yo Junkk! Your reference to: "the malign editorial umbrella agenda" immediately brought to mind the BBC practice of putting all-and-sundry (at all hours of day and night) in the noisy street, to deliver some minor piece of verbiage. How those behind-the-scenes wunderkinder (far more educated than I in the sparkly art of meeja) must whoop with joy WHEN IT COMES ON TO RAIN, AND THEY CAN DEPLOY THE UMBRELLA! (The added noise of raindrops only serving to enhance.) Bring back John Sergeant, and let him spin round lamp posts and splash in puddles; it's what news is for.

  • Comment number 45.

    Jadededjean 41

    Good job you left a little ambiguity in your post.

    Tell me, who is more important, the surgeon or the taxi driver who gets him to his work?

    The nurse or the cleaner who keeps the ward free infections?

    The man who sends you the cheque or the postman who delivers it?

    The doctor who diagnoses the illness or the poorly/ none paid carer delivering daily help?

    Its a fine line between arrogance and;

    'The theory of the leisure class'

    Look it up ggogle.

  • Comment number 46.

    snooker

    since the players can't now drink booze and smoke fags the character has gone out the game?

    as in

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTptQhI2sps

  • Comment number 47.

    funnyJoedunn (#45) I did not say, nor do I believe, that having innate abilities/qualifications renders one more 'important', 'superior' or better human beings (sadly). The advantages demand more responsibility and duty of care towards others less fortunate. At the same time, those who benefit from the services provided should show more humility/respect/deference in their own best interests. A little over three decades ago, the primary incentive for many going into the professions was still the intrinsic rewards of the work itself and benefiting others rather than remuneration. That's hard to believe today, but some may still recall that what I say is true. Today, sadly, it's a different story.

  • Comment number 48.

    I think to use the Dresden argument is pretty pathetic when the Germans deliberately targeted cities like Manchester, Liverpool, Coventry, Portsmouth, Plymouth and of course LOndon for weeks of saturation bombing and Churchill and the head of the Raf, Bomber Smith said 'you sowed the wind and now you shall reap the whirlwind' and caused a firestorm in Dresdens killing thousands. This may be seen as revenge on the worst scale but in the light of todays morality can be seen as unjust. But that was then and this is now and after the formation of the UN in 1948 we are supposed to be more civilised even after Me Lai and Pol Pot but the deliberate wholsale slaughter of innocent children in bombed out rubble is a war crime when the whole agenda od Israel seems to be the eradication of the Palestinians in the future, yes, a crime has been committed and it should be heard in the Hague

  • Comment number 49.

    #47 JadedJean

    Fortunately having read many of your posts you yourself don't have to worry about innate abilities and qualifications.

    Its just as well as you are somebody who combines sentiments like "The advantages demand more responsibility and duty of care towards others less fortunate" with the view that you don't affirm or deny the Holocaust but you like suspect statistics about Jewish survival rates from the 30's. Hitler and Mussolini did "good things and bad things".

    Mass murder, war, genocide.

    You are quite like Mussolini JadedJean.

    I love the Hemingway byline "Mussolini: Biggest Bluff in Europe" where Mussolini greeted the press reading a mighty tome. Hemingway crept around the back and it was an upside down French-English dictionary.

    My point is that people like you rely upon sophistry and pseudo-scientific propaganda and you have to sidestep reality (there is no link between race and IQ) and history (yes there a Holocaust and Hitler was an evil murdering bastard).

    Good things and bad things. Very sloppy.

  • Comment number 50.


    I can see how the goose steppers would love to lose impartiality at the BBC. Probably why this blog attracts so many?

    Fortunately there are nowhere near enough morons in the world to even contemplate it so your posts are a bit like a naughty child leaving graffiti and running away.

  • Comment number 51.

    wanabee07 (#43) Thanks for the links, here's one from CNN on the same theme as the Guardian piece. It's all there in the abuse of language and law by Israel and their supporters I reckon. I suspect they believe their own nefarious rhetoric in the end. Sadly, no matter how often narcissistic duplicity is exposed, it rarely makes an iota of difference as tact and diplomacy are seen as weakness. It's well known that Cluster B Axis II Personality Disorders are incorrigible. This does not bode well alas. Clinicians usually advise victims to just run, which is rarely what they want to hear.

  • Comment number 52.

    Go1 #49

    "but you like suspect statistics about Jewish survival rates from the 30's."

    Those 'suspect' figures are readily obtainable from The Jewish Library. I would have thought you would regard that source as impeccable.

  • Comment number 53.

    SPARK NOT SPARKLE (#50)

    Hi Gango. I have long held the view that blogging is exactly as you characterise it: "posts are a bit like a naughty child leaving graffiti and running away." But I would delete: "a bit like".

    I have concluded (at 71) humanity is inherently juvenile and any effort to ameliorate this can only come from judicious denial of childish impulses (in a word: wisdom).
    The content of posts on here make no difference to 6+ billion 'kids'. The blog is akin to 'Any Questions', 'Question Time' and 'PMQ's. Together they serve as a reminder of the immature state we are trapped in and the, almost total, lack of awareness of that 'fact' and its impact on current issues and future viability.

    Blair's acceptance of a FREEDOM medal from Bush, was a telling tableau. One child (trapped by need) giving another child (trapped by need) a freedom award; exquisite irony. If only either had had the wisdom of eschewal. They were watched by 'the dazzled' who elevated both to stardom; they being also children, and too immature to read the signs or resist the sparkle.

    The centre cannot hold, the edges are flapping in the breeze and the rest is decline, unless from some small spark comes wisdom.

    I'll get me blanket.

  • Comment number 54.

    CREDIT DRIES UP BECAUSE THE SECURITIZATION SCAM IS EXPOSED?

    Labour's spinning twaddle to the media and (under pressure) the Lords too and look at the background of the one who's been sticking it to the media.

    Now that risky loans can't be securitized (i.e dodgy high risk loans are sliced and diced and then passed on to the unwary with dubious credit ratings) banks are reluctant to lend money to risky ventures - so guess what, Mandelson and New Labour now plans to have the British tax-payers take on at least 50% of those risks! Now, who decides on which businesses are 'viable'? We are back to what started this fiasco in the first place, except now, the Joes and Josephines who are in PAYE fund the gamblers!

    Truly privatisation of profit and socialisation of risk. It isn't even democratic.

  • Comment number 55.

    Speaking of Schadenfreude, a real ride -Wheeeee!

    ;-)
    ed

  • Comment number 56.

    Further to #52

    Go1, I find it odd that you so steadfastly refuse to even consider any alternative scenario to the one you believe. Did you check that site and review the figures? I think probably not. Is it that you want there to have been a holocaust? Is it of some advantage to you somehow? I would have thought that any less horrific explanation for the loss of relatives and so many other members of the group would be worth looking into - unless there is some advantage to be gained from not looking.

  • Comment number 57.

    HOW GOOD IS THE GOOD LIFE?

    I gather that man cannot live by bread alone, but needs money, gambling and credit/debt in addition. Has anyone proved this assertion? There are still mutual building societies in existence and some barter communities.

    Perhaps some BBC pundit might comment?

  • Comment number 58.

    Barrie (#57) I take it you've noted that at New Labour Party conferences they sing Jerusalem as well The Red Flag?

    It's testament to just how deeply we have collectively been lulled into fantasy and self-delusion that if one says it as it is one risks being considered by some to be 'offensive'.

    If banks are not lending because they are risk averse stripped of the ability to dump toxic loan risk, they simply should not lend, as in the past, someone, somewere had to pick up some of that risk, even if it was spread abroad thinly! Instead of distribution of wealth they ran a scam of distributing debt, and they are trying to bootstrap the economy again using the same ruse, this time using the tax payer of the future to fund today's hyperbolically sold dodgy businesses.

  • Comment number 59.

    JadedJean; "Doctors, dentists, pilots, accountants, techers(sic)....these all have power over others because they are more intelligent..."

    I'm intrigued as to what kind of power they have over us; I can change my doctor, change my dentist, change my accountant, change my techer(sic); can't really change the pilot, true, but what hold does he have? If he crashes, he's likely to be offski too.

    One thing they all have in common; they all need to absorb, retain and regurgitate information, a lot of it in some cases, in order to achieve a recognised standard of competence for their job. Is that intelligence?

    Are you French, by the way, or merely menopausal? Can I suggest snooker?

  • Comment number 60.

    kashibeyaz (#59) "I'm intrigued as to what kind of power they have over us"

    This has been explained at length. Look to countries where these people are in short supply because of low mean IQ and dysgenesis. Infrastructure and their economies are either in decline or pretty much absent (see Nigeria, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and watch the USA deteriorate with its demographics).

    I suggest you need to think about (and look further into) my posts (even if they contain the odd typo). What I have to say isn't self-contained in one post.

    Can I suggest a little deference might do you some good?

  • Comment number 61.

    #60 JJ

    "Can I suggest a little deference might do you some good?"

    Perhaps Kashi needs a reason.

    Are you sure you are not autistic?

    I ask because you you seem tome to be obsessive in your desire to demonstrate an ability to use a lot of jargon with which many (most?) people will not be familiar.

    Or is it just a nerdy pomposity?

    (Or do I mean pompous nerdyness?)

    Your Brand image isn't good, JJ. Perhaps if you changed your name to something a little more exciting, maybe Twinkle-Twinkle , it would improve your outlook on life. Perhaps have a nice cup of tea and think about it eh?

  • Comment number 62.

    13thMan Reasons are not causes - you evidently have considerable difficulty following simple instructions.

    You should spend less time concerning yourself with image and more with reality.

  • Comment number 63.

    I can NOT believe that Dershowitz was introduced as an "expert" in international law!! Sure he is - he only plagiarised Joan Peters' book and passed it off as his own in The Case For Israel. Both were proven to be frauds by Norman Finkelstein - THAT is who should have been on Newsnight! Not someone whose claim to fame is defending OJ Simpson and slandering the name of Norman Finkelstein's late mother who is no longer around to defend herself. I am truly appalled and will be complaining to the BBC to let them know just how disgusted I am!

    Time to switch to Channel 4 news!

  • Comment number 64.

    Finkelstein_Lobby (#63) The Newsnight team are quite good at letting guests show themselves in their true colours.....many will have focused on the studio guest instead.

    Don't be too quick to switch ;-)

 

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