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Tuesday, 27 January, 2009

Sarah McDermott | 15:53 UK time, Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Jeremy Paxman presents this evening. Here are details of what's in store:

Tonight: a rescue package for the car industry, but why is it getting special treatment? Are the Government back in the job of "picking winners", '70s style? Or is this a smart response to the troubles of a key sector of the economy? Jeremy will ask the Minister responsible.

Plus, with different countries bailing out banks and industries at home, are we witnessing a retreat from globalisation?

We also have a fascinating film about the plight of former child soldiers in Uganda.

Do join us tonight at 22.30.


  • Comment number 1.

    Better Regulation Action Plan 2005

    I was reading another blog and someone had posted this.

    To me it looks like a form of deregulation described as risk targeted regulation , but I might be out of my depth of understanding here ?

    Anyone else have any better understanding of this ?

  • Comment number 2.

    a feed in tariff has proven to create 100,000s of new jobs and generate billions in income. yet the govt still do nothing. worse. they borrowed fritter cash away on yesterdays dying industries.

  • Comment number 3.

    Mr Paxman,

    Please can you ask whichever talking heads appear on this evening's programme the following question, or a variant thereof.

    Q/ Corus are planning to sack 3, 500 staff in the UK due to a downturn in steel demand as fewer cars are being built. Car firms are being offered a £ 2.3 BILLION 'loan package' to help the car industry survive the downturn. As a result of Lord Mandelson's announcement, how many of the planned sackings do you think Corus will actually carry out ?

    A/ None of them, because we have an endless supply of money to keep throwing at the car industry to revive steel demand.
    B/ 1000
    C/ 2000
    D/ Every single one, because this announcement is too little, too late to solve a problem which, as Gordon Brown never tires of telling is 'global in nature'.

    Yes, a bit of a crummy question, but you could always pretend that you are doing it on the pretext of wanting to get with the programme of 'audience interactivity'.

    And just think you might get an answer which enables you to calculate the cost of each Corus job saved. But then again...

  • Comment number 4.

    I'm not generally a supporter of state intervention in the economy, since it tends to make a worse job of things overall than the market does (which is saying something, I know!) However, I'll give the Government the benefit of the doubt and at least accept that they mean well and believe their interventions will make a difference.

    The problem I see with the assistance to the motor industry (accepting that it's a load guarantee, not a grant) is this: at the end of the day, who is actually going to be buying the cars?

  • Comment number 5.

    I have been looking to buy a car for some 7 months now.

    In that time I have tried all makes, all models, diesels, petrols, 'green' hybrids and LPGs. I have considered British-made, foreign-made, new, old, used, and if the Man in the Moon made cars I would also have visited his showroom by now.

    At 6 foot 2 inches tall I have tried to squeeze myself, uncomfortably, unsafely and unhealthily, into every make of low CO2 super-mini only to realise that much bigger family-sized saloons and hatches, let alone super-minis, are now so cramped inside that only the tiniest of people can reap the benefits of a low-CO2 cheaper-to-buy and cheaper-to-run car. No doubt, years from now, the NHS will be swamped with millions over 5 foot 11 seeking help for back-pain, twisted necks and bad posture breathing problems from buying such cars now. Ah, but that is for the future.

    After considerable searching I have concluded that the only car that will 'fit' someone of my height is a 4x4 - the last car that I would have considered buying at any time let alone now. Alas, even though we are told there is a dearth of buyers for 4x4s, I have yet to find a dealer, any dealer, offering even a basic reduction on their asking prices. The arrogance of some car dealers is only rivalled by that of some estate agents. Complete denial of the economic climate methinks. The impression I get is one of sheer greedy!

    But here's a tip for car makers and car dealers who wish to sell their cars - LOWER YOUR PRICES!

    If M&S, Debenhams and every High Street retailer is discounting heavily in order to sell then why aren't the car sellers doing so?

    Why doesn't the Government make hefty price reductions of cars a requirement before one penny of tax-payers' money is handed over to them?

    It is scandalous that any money is given to car makers before they drop their prices! Let them join the rest of the economy in reducing prices in order to sell and in order to survive.

  • Comment number 6.

    In listening mode

    "THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think the most important thing is for the United States to get engaged right away. And George Mitchell is somebody of enormous stature. He is one of the few people who have international experience brokering peace deals.

    And so what I told him is start by listening, because all too often the United States starts by dictating -- in the past on some of these issues --and we don't always know all the factors that are involved. So let's listen...."Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 7.

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

  • Comment number 8.

    re-The car industry and globalisation.

    Well, I for one was hoping that the credit crunch would signal an epiphany - that we would finally recognise the misery, congestion, pollution, death and destruction caused by the uncontrolled growth in motor vehicles worldwide, and start to shrug of our dependence on this slave that has become our master.

    Similarly with the spread of globalisation: with the unnecessary cost and pollution of transporting goods around the world, when we should all put more emphasis on being self-sustaining locally and at home.

    It would be worth a decade of comparative pain and hardship to get back to a more meaningful lifestyle, cherishing less of, rather than more and more of everything.

    The government seems hell bent on joining the salesmen and marketing moguls encouraging us to get into debt again.

    My old Rover stays in the garage, and I've no intention of buying the latest fad in motor cars or anything else that is not essential. I've just bought my seed potatoes and onions, etc., today so we will survive because of a past work ethic, frugality, and the joy of self-sufficiency.

  • Comment number 9.

    Dear Mr Paxman

    "Never in the field of human endeavour have so many sponged so much, from so few ...", Supreme Leader Brown, January 2009.

  • Comment number 10.


    Steve-London (#1) Excellent post!


    "Not just a light touch but a limited touch. Instead of routine regulation attempting to cover all, we adopt a risk based approach which targets only the necessary few.

    A risk based approach helps move us a million miles away from the old assumption - the assumption since the first legislation of Victorian times - that business, unregulated, will invariably act irresponsibly. The better view is that businesses want to act responsibly."

    Classic mendacity from New Labour (Neoconservatives).

    Some way down where they say they created the FSA in 1997 by merging nine regulators into one it was clear what they were up to. They did the same in the Home Office (HMCIP put up a fight), effectively rendering inspection all but impossible as it spread a single Inspectorate far too thin. This has been how New Labour's operated for years - legislating for anarchism, i.e anarcho-capitalism. All too few understand this for what it is, and those who did and benefited from it had a vested interest in obfuscating the process by selling it to the VERY naive, who would otherwise be protected, as 'freedom'.

    On a more crypic level of what's being destructively done through uncontrolled immigration, see this example from the USA bearing in mind that over 99 percent of London's population growth in the next 30 years will be in BME groups. As the proportions change, so will the pressures NOT to assimilate. We can expect the same corruption one now sees in the immigrants' home countries as a consequence as they don't even see it AS corruption. Those who sneer at these warnings just aid and abet the demise which isn't in the interests of those migrating here. Those who sneer tend not to understand the dramatic economic significance of group mean differences in educability for GDP and social stability.

  • Comment number 11.

    # 8 hillsideboy

    A man (I presume) after my own heart. It astonishes me the extent to which our political elite (ha!) have yet to shape and understand the root cause of this crisis, still less to craft solutions to lead us out of it.

    The root cause is to have developed a debt-fuelled, fantasy economy where every Tom, Dick and Harry is made to look and feel like he's got rich quick thanks to the masterful skills of no-more-boom-and-bust Brown.

    Throw in our total reliance on cheap energy, presumed to be an infinite resource and, therefore, fostering the assumption that it's alright/normal to pick up your fruit and veg in the local supermarket, flown in from Egypt, Bolivia and Greece and ... hey presto ... you have all the makings of a collapsing economy/society.

    Collapse has all but arrived. The politicians are baffled (hence exhortations for us all to go out and buy new cars ASAP and everything will be alright again ... what planet are these people on?) and have not the faintest idea how to respond to this crisis. Not a clue.

    All I know, is that I am leading my family into a new era of self-reliance and self-sufficiency, whilst educating them that to rely on politicians is about as wise as relying on a 10-year weather forecast.

  • Comment number 12.

  • Comment number 13.

    Some might like to abandon globalisation, though I would argue its benefits far outway any disadvantages. But in any case, globalisation is simply a fact of modern life. We cannot get away from it. The EU aims to protect us from the worst excesses, especially via the Euro, but of course we ducked that one - thinking we were better off linked to the Wall Street financial markets! In essence, though, we need to learn how to play globalisation to our advantage; and not to be taken in by the snake oil salemen in the City!

  • Comment number 14.

    Don't forget JadedJean; the truth will set you free.

    Where is your pal NewFazer when I need him- ref#52 Monday?

    In 1968, Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson- I know you'll like this already - used a test which measured IQ and potential for rapid development on a group of elementary school pupils and provided their teachers with the names of two groups they had identified ; "unusually bright" and "average".

    One year later, the pupils took the test again and those in the "unusually bright" group showed increases of more than 12 points on the IQ test, while the "average" group only showed an increase of 8.

    The teachers told the researchers that the"unusually bright" group were better behaved, more intellectually curious and showed lots of potential.

    But Rosenthal and Jacobson had not used the original test results to group the children, as they had said. They had split the names randomly between the groups.

    Another Soviet plot?

    Intelligence is no indicator of performance.
    We don't need IQ tests, we need better teachers, then maybe education in this country can play the vital role it performs in developing countries - and even Germany- in producing well balanced, thoughtful and humane young adults who can contribute fully to the life and work of their place of birth.

    And I don't know why we're tossing crumbs to the UK outposts of car manufacturers who pay lip service to innovation and sustainability. And are they really going to offer cheap loans to people to buy cars?

    Oy ve, Maria!

  • Comment number 15.

    hillsideboy (#8) and moraymint (#11) If only more would post and talk like this. The only redeeming thing I saw/heard on BBC News today was an employee sensibly asking what the point of the loan guarantee package and keeping people in work was given that people were not buying cars? They are not buying cars as banks aren't giving out silly loans to buy cars anymore! They high rates of production were driven by the toxic/securitized loans and Mandy wants to kick start all that again this time with the tax payer underwriting it all it seems!!!!

  • Comment number 16.

    Given the infinite wisdom of a public that is so critical of chancellors and the national finances it is amazing how many people are in serious debt. Household budgets are much more manageable than national ones but personal demands seem to have grown exponentially. A rent book, an insurance book, food, clothing and warmth plus a modest amount for transport and entertainment used to suffice. We were thinner, fitter and delighted in being able to have medical treatment. Nowadays, poverty is defined as a less distant holiday. We had to come back to earth eventually but can we learn? Perhaps we're programmed to bring about our own destruction. We're certainly getting better at it. On the other hand, perhaps we're considerably less clever than we'd like to think.

  • Comment number 17.

    kashibeyaz (#14) As I have remarked elsewhere, you are a) arrogant, b) ignorant and c) incorrigible. Why do I say this? It's because the points made with respect to IQ and educability on this blog are no longer professionally in dispute. In our Maintained Schools, NFER CATs have been used for years to predict KS 3 and 4 performance, with r's of about 0.7, which effectively render our SATs IQ proxies. I've been through all this at length repeatedly, but people like yourself don't know when or how to listen, just argue like adolescents. Give people the benefit of one's experience and one will always encounter arrogant people who think they know better when clearly they haven't got a clue. It is INTAKE which matters, not teachers.

  • Comment number 18.

    Given the likely new initiative in Afghanistan and rising unemployment perhaps the government could consider a voluntary National Service.

    A lot of people would not fight in Iraq but might join up on a temporary two year basis to fight in Afghanistan. It sounds as though they will need support soldiers and perhaps they could train them up with the post-Iraq bonus of them going on to full time careers. A lot of fit older people would probably go but would only probably make soldiers for very limited roles.

    But the the flaw might be the vetting cost.

    You couldn't have any goose steppers getting military training.

  • Comment number 19.

    #15 JadedJean

    Lets change to "big government" and "make the trains run on time"!

    Hitler was a veggie and had a "good" attitude to the environment (for a mass murderer).

    OK he had millions killed on fictitious science; destroyed many countries; caused Germany to be occupied for decades; reduced Europe to ashes etc etc.

    But I am sure you guessed that as an "anarchist and Trotskyite" who "paints Hitler in the darkest possible light" I am being as sarcastic as I possibly could be.

  • Comment number 20.

    Beautiful tribute to John Updike by Stephen Smith and absolutely loved Jeremy's interview with Ian McEwan on Updike :o)

  • Comment number 21.

    # 17 JJ

    Ad hominem ad nauseum

    As a self declared scientist, your response in post 17 does not appear to contain any valid response to the points made in post #14, merely the unleashing of a salvo of insults and dictats.

    The case study described appears to be a cleverly contrived experiment, designed to ascertain whether we , as humans, introduce some bias when provided with such information (not too dissimilar to the infamous Hawthorne effect).

    I'd be grateful if you could critique the study on a methodological basis, rather than unleash a tirade of abuse at the poster for being arrogant, ignorant and incorrigible.

    People in glass houses.....

  • Comment number 22.

    Oh dear oh dear. Speaking as a scientist, I can assure people that JAded Jean comes across as the most bigoted least rational scientist I have seen for a long time.

    Now, the problem is that intelligence is quite heritable, but obviously not completely, otherwise you would have exactly the same families producing geniuses every time. What is heritable is culture and attitude and schooling, and oddly enough studies show that differences in schooling and environment can have massive effects upon IQ test results, so that children who tested the same early on show greatly different results later. Wht it boils down to is environment has a greater effect upon intelligence as measured by the tests than your "race", (a social concept rather than a scientific one- you can create any race of your choice by specifying one characteristic DNA pattern that includes people you want to include, making them a "race" apart, but ignoring the fact that they share other characteristics with the other "races")

    For the record, I would be interested in knowing what JadedJeans political views are, seeing as mine are near the Lib Dems.

  • Comment number 23.

    Hawkeye_Pierce (#21)

    You are clerly not a psychologist though are you? Have you looked into the methodology? If a scientist why not? Your post is abusive.

    You miss the point as do most others. What do you think the links to the Jensen and Rushton article were? Did you read them?What do you think the links (some time back now) to the exchange betwen Murray and Flynn at the AEI was all about? Why didn't HeadStart work? Why haven't we been able to reduce the B-W Atttainment Gap?

    I am exasperated bacause it's psychologists who are reporting that IQ can not be raised through environmental intervention. Tere are ideologues out there who have ignored this and keep saying it can be done, despite decades of work hoping we could proving unsuccessful. Test scores per se can be raised, often by teaching to the test (which is why UK SATs are now in trouble) but 'g' can not be raised. We wanted to be able to do it. We can't.......

    It is almost always non professionals (or political ideologues) who BELIEVE the contrary, yet it is professionals from whom these people have allegedly tacitly 'grasped' their false ideology who say we can't.

    When one looks at any of the studies purporting to achieve improvement it has always been shown to be ephemeral, teaching to the test, methodologically flaws (e.g. the compsition of the test restest group changes) etc etc.

    There is no evdience that teachers can improve IQ through education. This was once the holy grail of psychology. So you now have psychologists telling the world - 'WE CAn'T DO IT'.

    Do you understand now?

    Sadly, it is not just IQ that can't be changed.
    I have covered the socio-economic implications of this at length in this blog and CiF over recnet years. You have been seeing it happen through dysgenesis and predatory lending.

  • Comment number 24.

  • Comment number 25.


    If you want to know, follow the links.

    Draw your own conclusions.

  • Comment number 26.


    Hawkeye_Pierce (#21)

    It wouldn't take much work to search for studies re-analysing 'self-fullfilling prophesies', 'Expectancy Effects', Placebo Effects', 'The Pygmalion Effect' etc as these used to be used to hone undergraduates' skills in metholdology, NOT, I hasten to increase their trust in Expecancy Effects and the unreliabiility of IQ testing. However, [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]Teacher Expectations and Self-Fulfilling Prophecies by Jussim, Robustelli and Cain (2008) should suffice to open true sceptics' eyes and perhaps explain why I am exasperated given the tacit points that I have yet again in the above post, and given the potentially dire consequences we now face on both sides of the Atlantic (the 2007 ETS Report and our Leitch Report - all sadly now reflected in our SATs results) in the face of what appears to be a never ending stream of nothing more than argument from ignorance, arrogance, incorrigibility and wishful thinking being pitted against the empirical fact that we have absolutely NO reliable evidence that we can change genetic expression (e.g. 'g') through environmental interventions.

    The Pygmalion Effect (note the ethnicity of the authors, as for some odd reasom this is sadly all too common, see 'Not in Our Genes' for another - it is invariably used in defense of 'anti-racism', which I suspect is not at all what it appears, it's just a self-interested agenda where one, verbally able, white, minority group abuses an academic discipline politically to secure hegemony). It is part of a stream of misguided 'research' which has misled, and continues to mislead, more than a generation of often initially well-meaning, but ever more science averse (80% of psychologists are now female) incompetent 'social scientists' who continue to do more harm than good through operating on the basis of an ideology rather than evidence based research.

  • Comment number 27.

    I've tried to post a link to an article 3 times, each time it hasn't been displayed anyone care to tell me why? It's just a link to an article, it doesn't break any house rules.

  • Comment number 28.

  • Comment number 29.

    I think it was right and proper for the BBC not to run the gaza aid appeal and especially even more so after a particular question was asked at PMQs.

  • Comment number 30.

    calcination (#22) Just about everything in your post is false. Environmental input can and usually does mean physical damage post gestation, which LOWERS ability. Genes are inherited and intelligence matures with age in fact, the correlation between offspring and parents INCREASES with age. Whatever area of science you work in, you reveal above that you do not have competence in this area. Please don't invalidly argue from authority when you have little grasp of the research. Race is a scientific concept, it is a gene barrier. It can be classified genetically with about 99% accuracy. Links to all of this have been provided repeatedly, those genuinely interested in the facts rather than rhetorics can look these up for themselves in the archive, it can't all be put in one post, or pne day's blog.

    My personal politics are not strictly relevant.

  • Comment number 31.

    It's all very well having trenchant interviews and (alarmingly addictive) analyses from Paul Mason, but where have all the graphs gone?

    Stephanie Flanders had it right; excellent set piece with studio follow up and just at the right moment - graphs! I really miss the glazed eyes and resigned look on Jeremy's face when they cropped up.

    Come on Paul, there is so much opportunity at the moment; plese don't let it go to waste.

  • Comment number 32. seems everybody is eager for the public to guarantee other people's lifestyle spending through taking on expensive debt?

    if you can't afford it do without.

    there is no need to bankroll failed industry in saturated markets when there are plenty of new industries with huge growth potential.

    one model that works is the john lewis model where staff are part of the company.

    2. nothing on the the bbc staff uprising over the gaza based bbc executive jedi mind trick?

  • Comment number 33.


    Mismanaged Human Capital is the focus here. The high heritability of 'g' in conjunction with low Total Fertility Rates, compensatory immigration, assortive mating, high (gene barrier differentiated) differential fertility and highly counter-productive equalities driven 'Liberal-Democractic' policies (especially with respect to education), are, I (and others elsewhere), am suggesting, driving the crisis that we now find ourselves immersed in. Those who ridicule this must, given the evidence, be held responsibility for contributing to perpetuate the problem. People SHOULD be angry with them.

  • Comment number 34.

    M_Rock (#27) There are important links in #26 as well (which is currently referred). These directly address questions put by other posters. I have yet to work out why some links are allowed immediately, others referred, and yet others removed as inappropriate or broken. We live in strange times where much that is held to be popularly, and obviously true is in fact, false.

  • Comment number 35.

    Dear JJ

    So you say Hawkeye's post was abusive. So was one of mine (blocked by mods). Have you ever wondered why people react to you in that way? We can judge you only from what we see. My own feeling is you are an arrogant, narcissistic and socially inept person. Of course, I could be wrong. Another possibility is you are an immature person who delights in annoying people... perhaps you didn't have your bottom spanked enough as a child. I am sure there are other possible explanations.

    So far as I can tell from posts, my views are not too far from those of others. Perhaps much of what you say is accepted by scientists. I am not commenting on that. What I do say is you are a nuisance, an irritant. Why don't you just go away?

    BS. "emasculate"? Did you mean get rid of the cobblers?

  • Comment number 36.

    Google "Teacher Expectations and Self-Fulfilling Prophecies" by Jussim, Robustelli and Cain (2008).

  • Comment number 37.

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

  • Comment number 38.

    thegangofone (#19) "But I am sure you guessed that as an "anarchist and Trotskyite" who "paints Hitler in the darkest possible light" I am being as sarcastic as I possibly could be."

    You may indeed be being sarcastic, but this does make what you say true, just ironic. Trotskyism and deregulative Austrian/Chicago School Neoconservative Hayekian anarcho-capitalism comprise two sides of the same coin, i.e. a pincer movement. What we have seen since the end of WWII is an increase in polarisation between the elite and the underclass. The latter has been swollen demographically and it has been turned into debt slaves placated by pseudo-equality/civil-rights propaganda so that toxic risk could be more easily foisted upon them as delayed ARM rates as the elite pocketed risk free profits. In a word - usury.

  • Comment number 39.


    HI JJ. Up at post 22, Calcination queried your politics. Your reply is VERY UN-JJ and, as such, revealing. You say at post 30, "My personal politics are not strictly relevant."

    Should we (the bloggers) not inspect the words: 'personal' and 'strictly' with great care? It is clear that the views you hold are close to absolute, and that you are prepared to battle with those who hold opposing views, to win them over. That has a VERY party political feel to it.

    I am inclined to believe you have a complete JJ-party political credo (dogma?) all worked out and ready to launch when Britain finally collapses in a heap. A bit like Attaturk are you JJ? After JJ the Deluge??

    New Fazer has more-or-less said that you NEED to remain incognito; is that proper?
    Should the NN bloggers gang up (perhaps have a word with Guido) and 'out' you? After all, a few of them are smarting 'bigtime' from teacher's ruler and the cranial impact of the board-rubber.

    For the record, and to be annoyingly repetitive, my credo is: SPOIL PARTY GAMES.

  • Comment number 40.

  • Comment number 41.

    Hello Newsnight (I wonder if this will be referred to the mods as all my previous posts have been.)

  • Comment number 42.

    13thMan (#35) "So you say Hawkeye's post was abusive. So was one of mine (blocked by mods). Have you ever wondered why people react to you in that way?"

    No. I know why people behave this way. It happens all over the place to anyone who takes this line. It is classic. Clearly you are not aware of this. It happens because critics are a) ignorant of the facts and b) arrogant enough to voice their fallacious personal opinions as facts without looking into the research even when that's served to them on a plate. You have no idea how to do research.

    Take this on board. You are totally wrong, so are those you take comfort from.

  • Comment number 43.

    So a link to the full transcript of Obama's interview on alArabia TV is "unsuitable"!

    Here's a link to a transcript from the "civilised world"


  • Comment number 44.

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

  • Comment number 45.

    My personal views


    Hi Jean


    It could be , thou I have a more earthy name for their actions , but I will refrain from using it here.

    To me that press release shows that the regulatory system has been drastically changed under new Labour and the Labour defenders line that this is all the Conservatives fault is just vacuous spin.

    Please don't get me wrong , I believe over regulation is wrong and can hold back small business , but there is a limit to deregulation and by the looks of it Labour might have over stepped the mark.

    It might also help people that have to interview members of the Government when they are told the Government has been "trying for tighter regulation for the past 10 years.", now they can challenge that claim.

    "uncontrolled immigration"

    It would be going off topic if I went off on that tangent.

    Anyway thanks for responding.

  • Comment number 46.

    #39 BS

    "After all, a few of them are smarting 'bigtime' from teacher's ruler and the cranial impact of the board-rubber. "

    Not sure anyone is smarting. Only those with respect for the teacher would smart.

    The lack of respect (at least in my case) arises from a perception of something unpleasant. Not so much content as presentation.

    Over the years I have met many who use esoteric language and a sneering style to hide their own inadequacies. They provoke criticism. Some are able to recognise their failings and learn; others are such arrogant schweppeses* they cannot; they deny their failings and blame all around. Eventually they end up leading miserable lives in a downward spiral. Some say, "serves them right".

    *Sh' you know what!

  • Comment number 47.

    barrie (#39) My personal politics are not relevant to the truth/falsehood of the emprical findings and lawful relations. That is my point. I think you'll find that NewFazer used the word MUST rather than NEED. I don't see how personalizing will help here as the points being made are extensional. The evidence is out there. The job in research is to contribute to that, test it to destruction and only accept what is left standing so long as it remains standing. If that has an absolutist tone to it, so be it. To the best of what I know (and I have the advantage over some of having a strong applied background in an area which has social consequences), what I am sharing here is the best of what is currently known, and I know the fields to which I refer quite well. That should show through the conjunction of the links. Those who are posting critical remarks clearly do not know this work, and it is why I am a little exasperated, it is as simple as that. I know how to recognise those who know the work - for what should be obvious reasons.

  • Comment number 48.

    calcination #22 - very interesting, thank you.

    sosraboc #28 - thank you very much for those links. "Beyond the Flynn Effect" is a fascinating article, which I would have been unlikely to read otherwise. I particularly noted the passage:

    I also wish to underline that if we want to write the cognitive history of the 20th century, rising IQ is at most half the story. There are other intellectual qualities, namely, critical acumen and wisdom, that IQ tests were not designed to measure and do not measure and these are equally worthy of attention. Our obsession with IQ is one indication that rising wisdom has not characterized our time.

    Very pertinent, I feel, after another tendentious day on the Newsnight website. I asked, somewhat rhetorically, recently whether it was like this every day. The answer is clearly "yes".

  • Comment number 49.

    What's unsuitable about this?

    Peace to all

  • Comment number 50.

    re#18 Gof1
    For one moment I thought that we had both got into step - as I have been espousing National Service since I did mine in 1950/52, even hoping my own kids would benefit from the discipline and camaraderie in this now rather selfish society.
    However, you suggest voluntary service, whereas I plead for a means of ensuring that all immigrants have to show some allegiance and loyalty to the country in which they have chosen to seek refuge: refusal to serve the country = refusal to remain.
    It need not be so militaristic as you propose: there are so many ways in which a form of Peace Corps could serve this country whilst learning about civic responsibility (as opposed to the meaningless farce of the present method of granting citizenship).

    Having said that, I now have to resume what you refer to as goosestepping, as I do not support your views of 'let 'em all come' nor the liberalist agenda that 'we are all equal'. Some of JJ's posts and links are hard to grasp, but if you still doubt that there are differences, I suggest you take a look at the regular BBC TV Crimewatch programmes.
    The mug shots of Wanted Criminals each week show a distinct bias compared to the ethnic proportions of the English population. Can you explain that away in simple layman language?

  • Comment number 51.

    Steve-London (#45) "I have a more earthy name for their actions"

    Well, a lot of people seem to describe what is tehcnically true but unfamilair to them as 'lofty', but in economics, the type we have had served to use since 1979 has essentially been Austrian School anarcho-capitalism (Von Mises, Rothbard and Hayek) topped off with Friedman. No Gold Standard, but the idea that the market determines value i.e that one can charge what one wants if a consumer (sucker) will pay and nobody drives your price down is what this is all about (especially if you can find a devious but legal/deregulated) way to dump the risk on someone else (the more unsuspecting/trusting/illiterate/innumerate the better.

    Caveat Emptor

    A bit like this blog really. The truth for some seems to come down to what punters like or want i.e will 'buy'.

    Sadly, it isn't ever like that - there are plenty out there quite happy to create la-la land for punters.

  • Comment number 52.

    #58 Monday, barriesingleton; provenance; the origins are self explanatory ; names refer.

    Sources; General Federal Archive, Koblenz; Institute for Contemporary History, Munich and National Archives, War Crimes, Washington DC.

  • Comment number 53.

    # 47

    "I am a little exasperated*, "

    All those nasty people saying things about you. Aaaaah! Not fair, is it? You poor dear!

    * Enough to make you give up and go away?...maybe go for a little walk? As I've said before, it really isn't so dangerous out there. Just a little scary and confusing at first,until you get used to it. My advice would be to try a little humility; learn than listening is a big part of communication. Learn that people who scream and shout may be heard but not listened to...they are often taken as loonies... if you don't you'll current take your problems with you.

  • Comment number 54.

    13thMan (#36) "Over the years I have met many who use esoteric language and a sneering style to hide their own inadequacies."

    You do not know how to recognise this in your own posts and you clearly do not know how to do independent reading and evaluate the methodology and results of empirical research.

    In this blog, you are being rationally criticised for bare-faced arrogance/audacity - chutzpah as you are misleading people - get used to it. Such constructive criticism is all too infrequent these days and the social costs are high.

    On the matter at hand you simply do not know what you are talking about. That is a fact. Neither do those you take comfort from. Your and their posts to date indicate that you are incorrigible and, like it or not, a PC bigot.

    Let's see if you, RadiantPoachedEgg, kashibeyaz, calcination, sosraboc and thegangofone, are able to learn from reality rather than what the would like to be true. There is a world of difference.

    Research hurts - truth is rarely palatable as it surprises, i.e it catches one unprepared/proves one wrong - we are hard wired to respond to the unfamiliar/novel with fear/aggression. (neophobia).

  • Comment number 55.

    13thMan (#46) "The lack of respect (at least in my case) arises from a perception of something unpleasant."

    This is probably just your brain telling you that you have something radically new to learn and that hitherto you have spent a lot of time defending a false set of beliefs. This can be a very unpleasant experience but don't shoot the messenger. Good scientists and other intelligent people have to cope with this all the time. They are, however, in a minority, so you and others will find plenty of people to take comfort amongst if you so wish. But be warned, the latter tend to have a surfeit of false beliefs. They are, however, easily led so long as one tells them things which they want to hear. This, sdly, is how Liberal-Democracy currently operates, and how it is destroying itself.

  • Comment number 56.


    Well JJ - I dunno. I have never met a human yet who did not bias their data. To my mind that justifies enquiry into the background and foibles of any 'presenter'.
    This is not to challenge your choice of remaining an enigma - just to challenge the assertion that such choice is of no account. If I were a shape-shifting lizard from a galaxy far, far away (like Dubya Bush) and had lost my gizmo, while in lizard mode, I would be a little coy.
    Ah well, my inbox just rang - the game's afoot.

  • Comment number 57.

    RadiantPoachedEgg (#48)

    "I also wish to underline that if we want to write the cognitive history of the 20th century, rising IQ is at most half the story. There are other intellectual qualities, namely, critical acumen and wisdom, that IQ tests were not designed to measure and do not measure and these are equally worthy of attention. Our obsession with IQ is one indication that rising wisdom has not characterized our time."


    Flynn is politically motivated and he publicly acknowledges this. I suggest you look up the exchange between he and Murray at the AEI site.

    When people like Flynn look like they are on unsafe ground, they more or less say that there are other things than IQ like height and weight, hair colour, amount of fast-muscle, eye colour etc, except what's listed in your post isn't measurable is it? In science, unless one can measure what one is talking about, one can't be sure it's real or that one knows what one is talking about. For example, one could say there is also 'soul', 'good-heartedness', 'a good mind', 'je ne sais quoi'...

    Clearly this isn't going to sink's all hard to grasp, and you think it should be easy. It's enough to make one wonder why people bother doing degrees doesn't it?

    You're incorrigible. Keep taking your cues from other like yourself, it can be reassuring being a sheep.

  • Comment number 58.

    kashibeyaz (#52) You believe everything that Governments put in public domain archives? Have you learned nothing? Have you noted that it's all in English to start with or were those your translations?

    Do you really think that history is just about rehashing what other people have written? No wonder you are so cock-sure.

  • Comment number 59.

    barrie (#56) Perhaps you miss my point. Yes biases slip into mesurement etc (did you read the .doc file referenced as "Teacher Expectations and Self-Fulfilling Prophecies" in #26 by Jussim, Robustelli and Cain (2008)? If not, do so, as it will come up in Google as a downloadable. The first few pages should suffice to reveal how why I said our cocky and easily misled enthusiasts posting here are ignorant, arrogant and incorrigible. The reality is that they behave like very poor undergraduates who haven't learned how to read papers yet, instead, they just trawl for what they want to be true.

    The reason why deference was rewarded in the (ever more distant) past was because most researchers learned an honour code and held each other to it.

    The detractors here are not worth the time of day except as examples to others of how not to behave.

  • Comment number 60.


    I'm not feeble-minded, my dear, and I don't believe I had the pleasure of addressing you.

    I'll take your word for it that it can be reassuring being a sheep; I've always tried to be a human being myself. I'm not a scientist, but I do have a doctorate, and I found 'doing' it very stimulating.

    As I remarked on a previous occasion, I find your manners rather wanting. After brief observation I would say that your one vestigially redeeming characteristic is that you use the word "sadly" to indicate occurences you clearly don't regret in the slightest. Very diverting.

    Incorrigibility is somewhat in the eye of the beholder, in my superfluous opinion.

    Carry on.

  • Comment number 61.

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

  • Comment number 62.


    You have certainly made a powerful case.
    Of course, no doubt the UK archives make a powerful case for Dr Kelly having committed suicide, and Blair knowing nothing of cash for honours or lies for war. Then there will be other papers exonerating Margaret over Arms to Iraq etc. The only truth I feel SURE of is that all recorded 'truth' is adjusted.

    Thanks anyway for popping up today with the answer to my query.

  • Comment number 63.

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

  • Comment number 64.

    #54 JJ

    " you clearly do not know how to do independent reading and evaluate the methodology and results of empirical research."

    Evidence? You would benefit from reading what is written before responding. (You have a record of responding to things neither written nor implied. Perhaps foolishly inferred by a twisted mind....perhaps twisted in the downward spiral.


    "On the matter at hand you simply do not know what you are talking about."

    What matter is at hand?

    You really would benefit from reading what is written before responding. Reacting irrationally as you do you reinforce my perception of you as someone on a downward spiral. Probably beyond rescue. Completely doolally tap.

    " That is a fact."

    Now I know you are not a real scientist.

    #55 "false set of beliefs. "

    Please let me know what they are. I like good giggle!

  • Comment number 65.


    kashibeyaz (#52) Have you noted how the Soviets were very reluctant to talk about how many Jews were 'exterminated' but kept focusing on how many Soviets were killed in the war instead? These were the people who liberated the Eastern camps. Might that have been because many Jews in these territories were Soviets (most Jews in France stayed in France and most Jews left Germany before 1939), and that many Jews killed in the East were in fact either combatants or collaterals (cf. Gaza) or died of disease etc. Or do you think that Jews had nothing to do with Bolshevism and the war? If so, the Italians, Japanese, Germans and many other European countries (and recently Solzhenitsyn) and others really did get it all wrong. Look up who Abbas did his PhD under - do you reckon his supervisor might have known a thing or two?

  • Comment number 66.

    13thMan "Evidence?" You began soem time back by stating that you expected Newsnight to explain terms which you do not understand. You then argued when advised to use Google to look them up. You have shown no improvement at all in your grasp of what has been explained to you despite very careful selection of some of the best sources available having been made available to you as links. You also show little or no insight into your intellectual deficits and as you have asserted that you have served as an external examiner, this, in my professional judgement, is evidence enough that there is something seriously wrong with your ability to recognise the difference between truth and illusion/deception. If you require any further advice, I suggest you seek it professionally - you'll probably have to pay for it.

  • Comment number 67.

    60 to 63?

  • Comment number 68.

    sosraboc (#67) Cooling/damping a fruitless 'flame-war'? The Murray-Flynn AEI exchange back in 2006 is worth watching. Mark my words:- The failure of governments on both sides of the Atlantic to take note of and act upon the drivers of the current economic crisis because of political correctness has been, and will contrinue to be, THE tragedy. See ETS videos from Feb 2007.



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