BBC BLOGS - Newsnight: From the web team
« Previous | Main | Next »

Tuesday 7 July 2009

Sarah McDermott | 18:01 UK time, Tuesday, 7 July 2009

From Emily Maitlis:

A small, deeply unscientific poll in this office has revealed that most colleagues start laughing when you mention the Italian PM's name. Which is probably the least of Silvio Berlusconi's problems right now, but it does suggest - if this is in any way representative - he may struggle to get people to take the G8 seriously when he hosts it, in the earthquake struck town of L'Aquila tomorrow. For its duration, world leaders will be housed in an "austere police training school", which may come as a disappointment to anyone expecting a Sardinian villa, with all conceivable extras laid on. The agenda for the G8, it's being reported, is in such disarray that the Americans have had to step in and sort it out. Meanwhile, three Italian academics have written an "appeal to the first ladies" asking them to boycott the summit in the name of women everywhere. Will Signor Berlusconi be put off his game by this? We'll be joined by his communications chief tonight.

Our Economics Editor Paul Mason asks if the unrest coming out of China's north west has been fomented by its economic problems - at what point does nationalism re-emerge as a response to poverty and instability?

Plus we'll have the latest on the 10p tax fiasco, as Gordon Brown faces a Commons revolt.

The nearest most of us get to understanding the dire state of US healthcare is when we repeatedly see US TV networks going to adverts for incontinence and impotence drugs during their commercial breaks. While nothing President Barack Obama does with his healthcare plan may cure this particular ill, we'll be analysing the scale of the problem across the pond and what the White House calls "The McAllen problem", as politicians here squabble over how best to preserve the NHS health budget.

Join us for all this and more at 10:30pm on BBC Two.

Follow Newsnight's Twitter updates by clicking here

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    US healthcare isn't dire, it's vastly superior to our lousy NHS. Typical lefty BBC bias.

  • Comment number 2.

    What a coincidence we started with G8 agendas at #14 yesterday.

    To be honest does it really matter about the agenda. They are just a talking shop. Does anything really get done. I mean really get done for the better.

    Look at the mess the world is in, so what has been going on at previous summits. Not a lot?

    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 3.

    re; 'typical lefty bias' I do hope that you are not in the 'land of the free' when you collapse with your heart attack or your 'hypo' and expect a blue cross admission without signing your life away, how dare you compare this sainted system of 'free at the time you need it' with the 'casino' of multi-national privatised madness operating in the states. I have lived there, obviously you haven't and whilst this system we have has it's minor irritations we are world class at healthcare, with some correspondents who cannot wait for a Tory administration with all it's nightmare scenarios for Joe public....

  • Comment number 4.

    GETTING IN TOUCH WITH FOREIGNERS ABOUT YOUR GRIEVANCES IN BRITAIN.

    I gather Prince Charles doesn't like it when hotheads use a foreign connection to attack Britain. Not so far from a fathead calling a foreign chum to stop an imaginary 'attack' eh? Perhaps if he dropped 'defender of faiths' and took up 'unifier of faiths' (with Tony? No, let's not go there) no one would need to be bombed - even by US!

  • Comment number 5.

    CHINA I


    CHINA II

    "On 5 July 2009, hundreds of Uighur protesters clashed with Chinese anti-riot police in the capital of China's Muslim region of Xinjiang, two days after ethnic unrest left at least 156 dead and more than 800 injured. Chinese officials have blamed the unrest on separatist groups abroad, who it says want to create an independent homeland for the Muslim Uighur minority. Exiled Uighur businesswoman and activist Rebiya Kadeer was accused by the provincial government of "masterminding" the violence, but she has denied having anything to do with it.

    Uighur protesters took to the streets to demand independence of the region. The Chinese government suppressed the riots, with the death toll at 140 dead and 828 injured, the worst bloodbath in China since the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown."


    no surprises here then. 75% of the populaton is Han Chinese, 13% the Muslim Uighur minority. So, not only a p[roblem of proportionality but explicitly unconstitutional troo (see China I).

    Coverage by NN should be revealing. Imagine Muslims in England doing this.... Not hard to imagine is it?

  • Comment number 6.

    STOP PRESS

    "the E.C. threatened France with a 17 million euro fine (approximately $24 million) for not doing enough to preserve the species. France, in turn, pledged to spend around $970 per hamster to protect them, but it doesn't appear that any of that money has actually been spent."

    If ever we needed evidence that 'we've' been losing our sense of perspective this has got to be evidence of this surely?

  • Comment number 7.

    Ive noticed the new "7/7" memorial (not referred to as "7th July", of course), like the National Memorial Arboretum, opened in 2007, is completely free of 'English language' punctuation. Have the full-stops and commas, found on First World War memorials, been deemed absurdly old fashioned, or is the sculptor illiterate? Naturally, no-one involved in the commissioning of the memorial appears to have noticed or cared.

    I know this is viewed as laughable by most, but I do hope that, one day, the lefties who run this country, by way of their control of the media and the education system, will realise what they have done to the country and find some sense. We always have to wait for the situation to become catastrophically bad (see: multi-culturism), before anything is done
    .............

    The U.S. healthcare system is only in ECONOMIC dire straits, unlike the U.K. where the problems are both economic and quality-of-care related. However, let's remain in the leftie dream world where the NHS is 'the envy of the world'.

  • Comment number 8.

    I TOO AM 'ENDANGERED', AND THE DOPEY LORDS WANT TO 'SAVE' ME (#6)

    At 72, I can see illness and daft do-gooders looming. They seem not to understand that, if my kids want to bump me off to get at my money, I DESERVE IT! I put them on this god-forsaken planet - without asking them! The Lords also seem unable to imagine that far more old people want to go when they choose, perhaps with the help of informed, loving relatives, than ever get 'sent off' early out of greed. Might those engaged in the lucrative trade of 'Houses of Slow Decay' be having more influence on The Lords that we know? Time to follow THAT money, rather than imaginary gains by greed-lusting, homicidal families.

  • Comment number 9.

    MR MEN AND THE NHS (#7)

    NHS care is fine so long as you have the arms of Mr Tickle to reach your drink, when the table is routinely abandoned 'over there' on a 30 deg. C day, and you have the roar of Mr Noisy as your alarm button is either dead or 'elsewhere' (including its cable trapped in the high-tech bed sides, or simply on the floor.) If you are Mr Rogered, a stroke patient - forget it.

    The ward I refer to has a 'vision' statement. It starts: "To provide consistent, holistic, high quality . . . Yeah - right. Maybe more money would fix it. How about paying nurses rewards for each simple act?

  • Comment number 10.

    barrie #8

    The House of Lords are only being good Corporate Nazi's ( many of them appointed by King Corporate Nazi Blair ) not allowing intelligent members of the population to circumnavigate what probably amounts to Private Inheritance Tax.

    BBC " click online " did a feature on the future of OAP care, suggesting that the infirm could live in high tech housing units where every move of the occupant was recorded by sensors. They claim that they could tell whether you were able to bend down, whether you were washing due to the amount of water used plus a range of other factors. Apparently the whole object of the exercise was not to send anyone to check on you unless you were apparently dead or close to it. All your movements would be on CCTV video also. Of course this will cost our welfare state a fortune, and now they are tightening up the criteria to claim disability benefits so if you don't go into a ( almost universally now private ) nursing home you starve and freeze to death at home.

  • Comment number 11.

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

  • Comment number 12.

    A small, deeply unscientific poll in this office has revealed that most colleagues start laughing

    It is possible that a slightly larger, more scientific poll in the country (or, as a thought, an election) might reveal that most of the population are not laughing at all about the antics and effects of certain leaders closer to home (Though, to be fair, it is now so egregious many do seek solace in dark humour, which the BBC seems to have not picked up upon much - may I commend the 'Downfall' series? Though it seems this might instead cause all in 'the office' to fall silent a moment and bite their lips, Braun-like, per a key scene from the Bunker).

    Or about the coverage they get, versus that applied to others, from what one used to imagine was an objective news reporting organisation.

    You might think it. Seems odd to then feel the limpet-like confidence in one's situation to then so overtly share it in print to shape a view.

    Unique.

  • Comment number 13.

    Emily/Newsnight just had to have a bit on the Michael Jackson milking machine on at the end, didn't she/it? The MJ parade is clearly just expolitative/commercial.

    As JunkkMale says, Newsnight needs to get a grip on what's slowly gripping this country around the throat and rather than showing which side it's on, provide its viewers with more informed/balanced reporting (well done Paul M in saying journalists were at least still struggling to grasp what is going on in Western China).

    Newsnight's stance on the now retitled 'War On Terror' appears to be pro Israel and her expats, and anti SCO, which is costing our economy and demographics dearly.

  • Comment number 14.

    7/7 is a neocon date that places it within their war on terror idiom. where is the national memorials for those killed by the ira? or during the miners strike? or by shipman or fred west or any other criminal behaviour.

    what this jedi mind trick stunt is trying to do is to sanctify and embed this 'war on terror' neocon claptrap into the normal consciousness when actually its just acts of home grown criminality no different than the animal rights lot trying to blow up vets.

  • Comment number 15.

    " A small, deeply unscientific poll in this office has revealed that most colleagues start laughing when you mention the Italian PM's name."

    Since when have dirty old men been considered amusing?

  • Comment number 16.

    NON GRAVITAS

    nortongriffiths (#15) It seems that unelected Deputy PM Mandelson (and the people at Newsnight etc) finds time to snigger about willies and balls.. This is a remarkable take on reality when we're constantly being told that the economy is going down the pan under the management of these gurus, is it not?

  • Comment number 17.

    War crimes loophole
    Jack Straw says we hold some values dear. Unlike british citizenship which in the past has been handed out to anyone 'with the rations'.


    Police
    was it not revealed in mayors question time a while back that convictions for violence is no barrier to remaining in the met?

    China
    so there are groups that cannot be assimilated?


    Maloch Brown resigns? Neocons tightening their grip on the FO?

    not only swearing but smut on NN?

    the biggest story is the huge wealth transfer from poor to rich by speculation on the commodity markets that broke the back of the economy.

  • Comment number 18.

    'House prices fell back in June, according to the latest property survey from the Halifax.

    It says property prices dropped by 0.5% last month, partly reversing a large 2.6% rise in May. '

    House prices rose in London after BNP activists said they would not go there due to the racial mix.

    Now they have stopped saying that prices drop back.

    Aren't they supposed to be patriots?

  • Comment number 19.

    bookhimdano (#14) Excellent!

  • Comment number 20.

    Is there more to come on McBride and the HoC committee that wants to talk to him?

  • Comment number 21.

    Is there an implication on the police that there may be agitators within the Met for the BNP?

    What steps are being taken to root out the racists?

    I don't know if the current batch of allegations against Black and Asian police officers is racially motivated in origin but I assume the upper echelons are not stupid and are looking into it.

    Then again Sir Ian Blairs comments on the Lawrence report were not reassuring.

  • Comment number 22.

    #17 bookhimdano

    "Unlike british citizenship which in the past has been handed out to anyone 'with the rations'."

    We should be more discerning these days with new procedures - but wouldn't it be great if the EU could designate a new country and then put all of the national socialists there.

    Rather than let these people try to take away our liberty take away their citizenship.

    Its just a dream I know - but it would be like ridding yourself of some vile cancer.

    Still the BNP aren't a Nazi party - they are "modern and progressive" whatever that means.

  • Comment number 23.

    #8 barriesingleton

    "The Lords also seem unable to imagine that far more old people want to go when they choose, perhaps with the help of informed, loving relatives, than ever get 'sent off' early out of greed."

    When people who are fond of Hitler and not too fussed at all about democracy and human rights show an interest in euthanasia - what with their interest in eugenics n'all - well thats why people stay very focused on the big picture rather than the tragic individual cases.

  • Comment number 24.

    "I don't know if the current batch of allegations against Black and Asian police officers is racially motivated in origin but I assume the upper echelons are not stupid and are looking into it."

    Of course they will, as they should. But you have to ask if the gross over-representation of BME groups (Black Caribbeans especially although Muslim Britons are not over-respresented interestingly, and East Asian Britons are underepresented) in offending behaviour, both in the community and in our schools, is a) a reflection of institutional racism or b) higher innate criminogenic risk for some groups. This goes for other groups and behaviours, e.g. Jewish risks for some behaviours which have long been commented upon. I think the empirical evidence is now strong for such innate risk factors just as they are for breast cancer (Ashkenazi) or prostate cancer (Blacks) or skin cancer (Whites). I think you should give this some serious thought, as campaigning as you do for equality and anti-race realism is just a campaign for ignorance and negligence otherwise.

  • Comment number 25.

    #5 jaded_jean

    "Coverage by NN should be revealing. Imagine Muslims in England doing this.... Not hard to imagine is it?"

    First off you always bleat on about "statists" as the solution to everything - though your beloved Hitler killed tens of millions of them in Russia and the Chinese suffered at the hands of the Japanese allies of the Nazis.

    I don't think the PRC would see themselves as statists these days.

    Secondly a five year old would make the connection that Hitler tried to exploit any crisis with total amorality, and when a race "realist" tries to stir up racial strife is it their interest in non-democratic forms of government that motivates or their desire for security?

    It can't be the latter as you prefer the one for all notion where people give up their self interest and security in favour of the state - which was Hitler in reality.

    He did not care how many lives he sacrificed in war or executed when they did not conform to his racial and political beliefs.

    But I suppose the clever Nazis were the ones who were Hitler loyalists first and then National Socialist ideologues second - or you got shot.

    Speaking of policy I am not clear whether Griffin has a policy on furniture made from human bones? Will it be de rigeur as for Himmler?

    Such nice well balanced people on the far right.

  • Comment number 26.

    thegangofone (#22) "wouldn't it be great if the EU could designate a new country and then put all of the national socialists there."

    Yes, the UN and EU recognises the People's Republic of China, North Korea, Vietnam, and many other National Socialist countries. In fact, the way the world's demographics and politics/economics are going (see SCO membership and interested parties), it probably won't be too long before the Liberal-Democracies comprise a very small minority of the world's population. The USA and EU only comprise about 1/6 of the global population as it is, and the indigenous populations of these countries are declining because of their below replacement level fertility rates (which I put down to their non National Socialism).

  • Comment number 27.

    Guardian:
    'In a dramatic intervention using the protection of parliamentary privilege, the former shadow home secretary revealed how MI5 and Greater Manchester police effectively sub-contracted the torture of Rangzieb Ahmed to a Pakistani intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), whose routine use of torture has been widely documented.'

    If it is widely suspected that the ISI may have members loyal to al Qeada/Taliban is it wise for MI5 officers to have placed themselves in a position where they could be blackmailed?

    Leave aside the moral issues or the practical evidence that torture does not apparently achieve anything and may make an innocent individual turn to the extremists.

  • Comment number 28.

    #24 jaded_jean

    "campaigning as you do for equality and anti-race realism is just a campaign for ignorance and negligence otherwise."

    Your comments are as ridiculous, prejudiced and evil as usual.

    Your "agnosticism" on the Holocaust is backed up by "statistics" but you won't be off to advise the Djemjanjuk trial that there never was a Holocaust. Its just childish black propaganda.

    Negligence - well it would be negligent to do nothing about evil in a democracy - but then in fairness you do not believe in democracy.

    As an aside I don't think the BNP campaign literature mentioned that.

    As Voltaire said "If you can make people believe absurdities then you can make them commit atrocities". A Comment made for National Socialists really.

    I am not sure they need to believe though - people inclined to believe the kind of rubbish you promote such as Hitler "was a peace lover" (and they are hated by your pal barriesingleton) are probably just looking for an excuse to channel their innate insecurities expressed through racial hatred.

  • Comment number 29.

    thegangofone (#25) "It can't be the latter as you prefer the one for all notion where people give up their self interest and security in favour of the state - which was Hitler in reality."

    The difficult problem which you need to wrestle with I suggest is why millions of Germans voted for Hitler and revered him as their leader. Even those who trie dto kill him in the war were only doing so because he wasn't winning it for them so they believed. They all believed there was a genuine problem in their times (Jewish Bolshevism and naked Capitalism) and that the National Socialists were going to solve this. Stalin was fighting the same problem in the 1930s as a little impartial study will reveal. He had his opposition domestically too, all countries do. What you have to consider is whether that opposition is the very same opposition which has been dragging the West's (and Eastern Liberal-Democracies' in general) economies towards disaster. That, I suggest, is how the SCO will see it.

    Sound political analysis requires one to see, and describe, both sides, regardless of ones personal preferences. You should try it isntead of trying to shut down rational analysis with abuse.

  • Comment number 30.

    thegangofone (#28) "...their innate insecurities expressed through racial hatred..."

    So as you accept that some people do have innate insecurities, all you then have to accept is that some groups of people have higher frequencies of innate dispositions than others. That is 'race realism'. You can make your group classification on the basis of genotype not phenotype.

  • Comment number 31.

    On Darling

    'A new Council for Financial Stability - made up of the FSA, the Bank of England and the Treasury to meet regularly and report on the systemic risks to financial stability'

    If there is no agreement on what instruments are being traded (how "risky" are CDS etc) and the credit ratings are being done by people who may not understand the instruments then how can they agree on, or quantify, the risk?

    That is before the method of risk analysis is considered as I understand there is great divergence.

    Also if money is set aside that is sensible but again the CDS values are, I think Paul Mason said, some four times the value of real money in the entire world.

    So the set aside idea does not really work if there are still yee-hah derivatives being unleashed with impunity.

    As I understand we STILL don't know the value or location of all of the toxic assets.

    Obama has a horrendous agenda of tasks to cope with and I can't help but feel that talented and able as he is he is not putting in the changes that are needed.

    But then in fairness he inherited crises from day one and so perhaps needs more time before an improvement of policy reaction based on whether the financial sector really grasps the nettle of change.

  • Comment number 32.

    @ #15 NortonGriffiths - :p What's wrong with SB having a bit of fun? I don't see what the big deal is with his private life and his role as Italian PM.

  • Comment number 33.

    Mistress76uk (#32) Perhaps you need to very clearly explicate, for the benefit of NortonGriffiths, the worldview of the mistress, as I suspect most males are firmly led to believe that any male who behaves like SB will be punished (usually by females).

  • Comment number 34.

    THE CANDID MAN CAN (#32)

    Prithee Mistress - methinks there is much about the male you know not.
    'Who can put you right there - the Candid Man can'. Cherchez l'homme candid.

    Major and Edwina? (Shudder.)

  • Comment number 35.

    @ JJ #33 & Barrie #34 - It's normal in a lot of countries for world leaders to have wives and girlfriends on the side - a prime example would be Francois Mitterand. Why is it that an extra-marital affair brings down politicians in the UK & US, whereas it's normal in France and other parts of the world? Surely a politician should be judged on his/her policies?

  • Comment number 36.

    Mistress76uk (#35) "Why is it that an extra-marital affair brings down politicians in the UK & US, whereas it's normal in France and other parts of the world? Surely a politician should be judged on his/her policies?"

    Does it have anything to do with an electorate expecting the people who lead them to be trustworthy, have integrity, and behave in ways which they can respect?

  • Comment number 37.

    Strugglingtostaycalm #7

    "Have the full-stops and commas, found on First World War memorials, been deemed absurdly old fashioned, or is the sculptor illiterate?"

    Like you, these days I often find myself railing against sloppiness but in this instance it is not so. Many years ago when I was an agog art student struggling to take command of type, I was fortunate enough to be taught by one Anthony Froshaug. He initiated one experiment where we had to eschew all punctuation marks, not even cap initials were allowed. Instead we had to find other ways of cuing the reader, spacing, positioning, colour etc. Even now i will still take a little artistic licence and omit punctuation from titling where I feel it is ugly. No, I don't think the sculptor is illiterate, I think he was simply trying to achieve an even 'colour' in his text.

  • Comment number 38.

    I, personally, could not care less who some politician has an affair with on the side as long as they did their job properly.

  • Comment number 39.

    Mistress76uk (#38) "I, personally, could not care less who some politician has an affair with on the side as long as they did their job properly."

    Would you care who your partner had an affair with on the side so long as s/he did their job properly?

  • Comment number 40.

    38. At 7:55pm on 08 Jul 2009, Mistress76uk wrote:
    I, personally, could not care less who some politician has an affair with on the side as long as they did their job properly.


    In theory, I would agree.

    But then there comes context.

    I am hard pressed to imagine how one tasked to handle secrets, tough decisions and affairs of state can do so to their best ability if, at the same time, they are trying to cover up something they don't want others - from spouse to media to public - to know about. Especially if those that can come know are not 'onside' and might seek to use this information.

    That it matters and can be used is indeed regrettable, but simple social, cultural, etc.. facts of life.

    Personally I thought world icon Bill 'I did not have relations' Clinton did more harm to the standing of the USA by opting for the 'trouser round ankles in the Oval Office'/'Lie about it until totally busted' option than even the 'lob a few cruise missiles in the general direction and call that proportionate' response.

    If you seek to be a messenger, who you are and what you stand for frames the message.

    Hence multiplicity of standards tends not to play well.

  • Comment number 41.

 

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.