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Wednesday 1 July 2009

Sarah McDermott | 18:06 UK time, Wednesday, 1 July 2009

From the web team:

Tonight we devote a large part of the programme to examining what has changed in the financial industry nearly a year after the banking crisis. Paul Mason will be giving his assessment on whether regulations to be introduced in next week's White Paper could prevent another crash (follow Paul Mason's Twitter updates by clicking here). We'll be joined live by the Minister for the City, Lord Myners. Meanwhile Justin Rowlatt has been investigating if the age of excess in the city has been curtailed and we'll be debating if the culture has changed at all.

Also tonight - should a broadcaster that's funded by the Iranian government be allowed to operate in Britain? Press TV, the English language international television news channel is being investigated by OFCOM for breaching its duty to be impartial and accurate and one of its presenters has resigned following the station's coverage of the Iran protests. Our culture correspondent Stephen Smith investigates.

Plus we'll have the latest from Michael Crick on National Express, and, of course, highlights from Andy Murray.

Do join Jeremy at 10.30pm on BBC Two.


  • Comment number 1.

    "Press TV, the English language international television news channel is being investigated by OFCOM for breaching its duty to be impartial and accurate"

    Were there any suggestions that OFCOM should investigate the BBC for breach of its duty to be impartial and accurate over the Iranian election disturbances?

  • Comment number 2.

    should a broadcaster that's funded by [a] government be allowed to operate... for breaching its duty to be impartial and accurate

    Tricky. How is the government funding collected?

  • Comment number 3.

    From the top deck. No. 14. Wednesday, 1 July 2009

    Five years! .....

    How many students can have their education marred stroke destroyed in 60 months? It currently takes three years to get rid of a Teacher through the Incompetency Procedure. So why the extra two years? To deal with the lawyers perhaps? Or to increase the redundancy payment?

    (Oops! Sorry, forgot to deduct the 15 months harvesting time stroke planning stroke holiday! So it should, in fairness, be 45 months)

    HMPs .....

    .... still claim that they should have - paid - outside interests which keep them in touch with the real world. How many of the GBP working in the real world earn 180k ?pa, or 80k et al on top of their normal full time salary?

    Queues .....

    Long lines of young males in Calais all looking as though being between the ages of ?teens to 30. Comforting to know that so many other countries dont persecute, abuse and torture women only the men. Judging by the absence of the opposite sex in the lines women are quite happy to stay in their home country. Or perhaps women are not allowed to emigrate without the permission of their menfolk?

    Teachers .....

    .... are - generally speaking - not allowed to have second jobs. Does this explain why the profession is in such a mess i.e. they are not in touch with the real world?

    The Politics Pen .....

    Q .... too controversial for mainstream politicians ....unQ Seemingly, from the airtime allocated to each of the various cost cutting presentations the ishooz are just a bit too controversial for the NN Editorial team.

    Mr Cameron .....

    .... states that Mr Brown is Q .... incapable of being straight with the British people .... unQ Sorry, are used pots and kettles the same colour?

    Mr Osborne .....

    Mr Mandelson asks that Mr O Q .... withdraw the innuendo ....unQ One might have to hope, given the soundbites made and the general competence displayed, that it might be best that Mr O just withdraw. Period.

    Delayed Quotes and Observations .....delayed due to MJs final bow.

    In NN piece on 26.6.09. where BBC expenses were being discussed with somebody important sic defending the actions of the members club:

    Q .... Average pay in the BBC is higher than the public sector ....unQ Commentators have offered that 11k is the lower end starting point for corporation staff. Hmm.

    Referring to relative value of remuneration awarded to top execs ... Q .... journalists making editorial decisions that have considerable effect on many people .... unQ
    Perhaps proof positive as to whom controls the real agenda and as to why recent HMP events took so long to get in the - full - glare of the spotlight.

    Q .... (not) a single one of these expenses are unjustified ....unQ Hmm. One hundred pounds each on Bruce Forsyth and J Ross. Does the BBC indicate from this that they place both Mr F and Mr R on the same elevated plateau? If so, it might suggest that the corporation has problems defining real talent?

    Ms Kaplinski 2 .....

    Q .... those that brought tickets ....unQ Sorry, but it might be suggested that there goes the Pulitzer. And why do the camera angles insist on proving that she often wears a skirt?

    Amnesty .....

    .... for illegal immigrants ... Notable for the initial attempt as illegal immigrants being redefined as Legal Economic Migrants by Q .... legalising the illegals ....unQ

    Ms Anand .....

    Q .... Stop saying ****** or well get into trouble. ....unQ Noticeably no such qualms when it is a report - for example - of an increase of trading profits by *****s. So, which is it .... the journalists control the agenda or the multi-nationals are at the helm?

    And, seriously, does Mr Neil really need a sidekick, foil, straight man stroke woman?

    East Coast Main Line .....

    The first of many? And does anyone know whomsoever privatised these utilities and services in the first place? A (nother) Public Enquiry warranted perhaps?

    The News Event of the Week .....

    Q .... Murray mania takes hold! ....unQ Major news story is about mints? Surely something much more important must be going on somewhere ... Surely?

    Ofsted Inspectors .....

    .... being so capable of recognising such high standards - despite, judging by the current reports system, having been dumbed down over the last few years - might best serve the education system by returning to the classroom en masse and getting up to date hands on knowledge and experience in real classrooms.. (Something they are currently seriously lacking.)

    Asylum Seekers .....

    Is there any truth to the rumour that the proposed new Franco British centre in Calais - to deal with those individuals awaiting judicial process - will be staffed entirely by Officials from Greece?

    Royal Mail .....

    U-turn or realistic assessment of the situ? Savings need to made, the returns would be poor so why is it not logical to postpone? Although cancellation would undoubtedly be preferred.

    Has no-one considered the BRS idea or the JLP setup as a logical option?

    Mr Gove .....

    To the gallows, pronto, please!

    How dare anyone call Sir JP Q .... obtuse ....unQ and still be allowed to continue to pay the license fee??

    No sir!

    No, No, No!

    Q .... ....unQ

  • Comment number 4.

    "Q .... Murray mania takes hold! ....unQ Major news story is about mints? Surely something much more important must be going on somewhere ... Surely?"

    hurry murray mint
    lick backhand tint
    surely our mint
    or returned tinkled

  • Comment number 5.

    With regard to cutting public spending, I have thought for many years that the NHS should not provide free food for people in hospital. We pay NI for pensions and medical care, not for food. My mother had to spend a year in hospital while waiting for a place in a nursing home and would have been more than willing to pay an amount towards her food.

    Similarly, my husband, who received excellent care for a heart operation in London was annoyed at the constant complaints about the (in his opinion perfectly good) food from some patients. I noticed the same attitude 40 years ago and felt then that people might be more appreciative if they paid something.

  • Comment number 6.

    For the regular NN bloggers. A short time ago in this blog I said I would apply to be scientific advisor to any independent candidate.

    A former Chief Scientific to advisor to HM Government used my work twice without quoting source. On very significant issues.

    It is not a question of JJ narcissism to be cited. It is of public interest. If only a tiny fraction of a percent of my work if judged of sufficient quality that those in the media spotlight want to be associated with it. Then what contribution could the rest of my work make?

    As a symbol of my integrity on open debate I have offered my services to an independent candidate. That invitation has not been posted on their blog, together with all supporting references. But subsequent comments have been cleared for posting without moderation.


    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 7.

    I pay a UK TV license by direct debit, every year. But the BBC Taleban has disconnected viewers like me, who live overseas, from watching your excellent program. There is a vast market for persons like me who support and watch BBC news and current affairs output, who would be happy to pay for access to same, even if its another license fee. At a time of thretened cuts in license fees, surely there is someone within the Big Bloated Corporation (BBC) that will recognize that Michael Jackson has sold more music since he died, compared with the last decade. Open the airwaves, charge for it via internet, and you will win. Apart from that, I will illegally stream my favourite BBC output to my iPhone, but would prefer to do so legally. Wake up BBC

  • Comment number 8.

    Should the "World Service", funded as it is by the British tax payer, be allowed to continue broadcasting from Great Britain? Doesn't it also breach Ofcom guidelines, albeit in a much more subtle manner?

    Incidentally, aren't these guidelines archaic and breached every day by the BBC, et al, and shouldn't this be the kind of debate "Newsnight" hosts?

    Shouldn't we be free to hear what we like? American journalism doesn't suffer from MSNBC or Fox, so why would our journalism suffer from any U.K. equivalents. We already have C4 News and the BBC on the far left; shouldn't we be allowed the opposing views from time to time?

  • Comment number 9.

    'should a broadcaster that's funded by the Iranian government be allowed to operate in Britain?'

    well, if the bbc can broadcast bbc persia in iran, why not?

  • Comment number 10.

    "...what has changed in the financial industry nearly a year after the banking crisis....investigating if the age of excess in the city has been curtailed and ....if the culture has changed at all."

    I was lucky enough to get some money into a 6.5% bond before Nationwide and most other banks made savings non-viable. Their Notice of AGM arrived last week, proudly proclaiming "Most Trusted Savings Provider: source Marketing Sciences" I was less impressed to look through the Directors' Remuneration Summary and see total remunerations ranging from £743,000 to £1,550,000 and indications of numerous other lucrative posts held outside of the bank's employment. I really cannot see how such excesses are justified and paid from the humble savings of myself and other customers. The only power that I could exercise was to register my vote against several of the Directors who were standing for re-election.

  • Comment number 11.

    "should a broadcaster that's funded by the Iranian government be allowed to operate in Britain?"

    Equally Press TV could ask whether BBC Persia, funded by the British Foreign Office should be allowed to operate in Iran. They could accuse the BBC of being impartial for not focusing on protester violence as is usual practice with protests in the UK. Footage of the protests in Iran clearly shows fires in the street and stones being thrown.

    A report by the BBC's Hugh Skyes ( said

    "The day after the election, I watched a small crowd of unarmed, and very courteous Mousavi supporters being charged by baton-wielding riot police."

    I can barely imagine the BBC publishing a report which read.

    "I watched a small crowd of unarmed, and very courteous climate camp protesters being charged by baton-wielding riot police."

    The report also said...

    "A few minutes later, I was in a larger crowd of Mousavi supporters who were demonstrating entirely peacefully when they were attacked by Basiji militia driving motorcycles and wildly swinging wooden batons at anyone in their path.

    I saw who was stirring the violence on the streets of Tehran. It was not the unarmed demonstrators."

    Again, can you imagine the following going up on the BBC website?

    "A few minutes later, I was in a larger crowd of climate protesters who were demonstrating entirely peacefully when they were attacked by riot police on horseback, wildly swinging wooden batons at anyone in their path.

    I saw who was stirring the violence on the streets of London. It was not the unarmed demonstrators."

    If you want an example of how the BBC reports on a protest in the UK, look no further than this.

    There is plenty of mention of protesters throwing missiles, but no mention of police swinging batons, either wildly or in fact, at all.

    There is nearly always some violence at protests. There are always some trouble makers who will throw stones. The question is, how do you report it. Do you keep mentioning protesters throwing stones and missiles and refer to police violence as "scuffles" (as seems to be standard BBC practice), or do you report with shock and horror that unarmed protesters are being assaulted (as happens routinely at UK protests).

    Given the large gulf in how the BBC reports on police violence and protester violence in Iran compared to the UK, what does this say about BBC impartiality?

    The same gulf in reporting occurs when reporting on protests in Israel. Can you name a single Palestinian protester shot dead in the last 20 years? I thought not. Yet within a week or two of protests in Iran we know all about Neda.

    Again, it's the standard case of sticking the boot in on official enemies, but treading much more carefully when it comes to home turf or official allies.

  • Comment number 12.

    KingCelticLion (#6) "It is not a question of JJ narcissism to be cited. It is of public interest."

    You could apply for McBride's or even Campbell's old job with lines like that ;-)

  • Comment number 13.

    Throughly excellent Jeremy tonight - particularly his debates with Prof Stiglitz, Gillian Tett, Vince Cable and Pittman on safeguards to possible future financial disasters, where it emerged that not enough had been done!

    Also loved Jeremy's debate with Martin Bright and the guy from Press TV. Even though the guy from Press TV was given evidence of how prejudicial their news was, he still refused to admit it. Surely propoganda being broadcast in the UK is dangerous?

  • Comment number 14.

    A Judeo-Christian philosophy, popular in Western counties, says in one of its understated passages, "...For the love of money, is the root of all evil."
    The unrepentant, sharp-suited individuals, in front of Commons committees are laughing behind their hands at you and I, or rather, my Northern fellows and I, as we sink into ruin. Their actions have ruined many of our already tough lives, yet try to elicit our sympathy at their foregoing of bonuses and ham-act a quivering lower-lip to imply remorse.
    What happens when you put the donkey in a field of strawberries? The writers of that old book knew only too well.

  • Comment number 15.

    I noticed the BBC added someone called Craig Murray to the Norwich North list of candidates tonight. It's the former Ambassador Craig Murray of some reputation:

    Why haven't the BBC interviewed him? We need more politicians of proven integrity who are prepared to expose and fight wrongdoing.

    (The BBC was criticised over its pro Israel coverage tonight. It's sad, but I suggest that, to anyone with independent views who takes the trouble to check the facts from multiple sources, you have establised yourselves as distinctly pro Israel/USA/UK.)

  • Comment number 16.

    Just watched the debate. It was comical. The guy from Press TV was a comedian who didn't have a clue. The "political journalist" claimed that a sign of bias was Press TV saying that Obama was not under pressure from the Zionist lobby. Er, right... or perhaps the bias is that they reported it whilst the BBC, Sky, ITN and the rest chose to ignore the obvious... And then there was Jeremy Paxman, that was upset when it was mentioned the BBC gets its money from the government...

    The saddest thing is the pretence that Western media is objective. Commissioners are too scared to commission what will upset the powerful, production companies make proposals that won't get them blacklisted for being too anti-status quo, and everyone in the media pretends that obvious government lies (such as Iraqi WMDs in 45 mins, the economy works but it's just tough times, etc...) are truths or at least very real possibilities.

    In that light I suggest we watch the BBC to get the low down on Iran, and watch Press TV to get the low down on the UK, the US and Israel.

  • Comment number 17.

    16. At 11:45pm on 01 Jul 2009:

    "In that light I suggest we watch the BBC to get the low down on Iran, and watch Press TV to get the low down on the UK, the US and Israel."

    That's about right. Similarly, if you want the low down on Labour, scan the Guardian but read the Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph or SWP website.

    The word hypocracy, thinking of the G20 policing, came to mind when Milliband referred to unacceptable treatment of demonstrators in Iran. Iran has been under Western threats and embargoes for years. They have acted no worse than the UK or US would when faced with the need to maintain internal stability. The Iranian demonstrators have my sympathy but once the US and UK started to make political capital out of critising Iran the end was assured and inevitable.

  • Comment number 18.

    13. At 11:27pm on 01 Jul 2009, Mistress76uk wrote:

    "Surely propoganda being broadcast in the UK is dangerous?"

    Yes, it can take a country into illegal, immoral and unnecessary wars.

  • Comment number 19.

    It was the best of discussions, it was the worst of discussions ... I thought the piece on banks was extremely good, especially Gillian Tett's comparison with Terminator Two, with the robots quietly recovering round the edges. But the piece on the Iranian TV channel was a total shambles.
    There were some really good points waiting to be made (some have been made already on this blog) but that was just air-time wasted.

  • Comment number 20.

    Regarding this evenings discussion about the banks. If as a tax payer I am a share holder in these failed banks where is proof that I am a shareholder. We aren't issued with certificates and when the banks if ever make a profit then my share should go up in value. This is just Government spin.
    Also for Gillian Tett to say that if bankers aren't given bonuses we can't get the best bankers is a bit of a joke since they have proved themselves incompetent already.
    If G. Brown wants to know how to regulate the banking system all he has to do is visit Norway, where they have had no credit crunch and have the healthiest economy in the world and no sub prime fiasco.

  • Comment number 21.

    #12 JJ

    As Clint Eastwood once said in Magnum Force (1973). "A man's got to know his limitations".

    Chief Scientific Advisor to a Government of independents will do me fine.

    To put New Fazer behind the monitors. I knew MJ would never do 50 dates at the Millennium Dome. When i got shortlisted to run it, it wasn't the project or failure, or was it not the most worth while. It was not some external journey.

    IF I had got the job. The responsibility would have been on me to save billions of lives around the world, stop the collapse of the planets ecological life support systems. To do that having to supply £50 billion pa to the backers and UK economy.

    I spent days, weeks, months over coming self doubt. Making it smaller, getting on top of it. A very intense internal psychological journey.

    Having done it myself, when I looked at MJ contemplating 50 dates at the Dome. I could see in his eyes and demeanor, he hadn't fulfilled the goal of his journey. First you must do it in your head.

    The question is not of self absorbed ego. It is can you deliver THE PROJECT.

    At the age of 19 I was running R&D projects for the MoD. I have implemented and ran standards procedure for a factory of 2500 people at the same time. I have run some of the most influential music events in the UK. I advised Greenpeace prior to them taking over co promotion of Glastonbury. When I look at the BBC coverage I can see some of my 'DNA' there.

    Once I blundered into a job of setting up the site then becoming a general foreman of Europe's largest civil engineering project.

    Each and every time it has taken me to the edge of madness. But a line I never crossed. All were 'firsts' so could never copy anyone else. While doing them I have been hated and despised at times by those involved.

    But when THE PROJECT was delivered and the ecstatic reviews appeared, but most importantly those involved realised they were part of something beyond what they could have achieved as an individual. I have had apologises and thanks from those who detested and reviled me the most. Because they were part of something beyond what they believed possible and realised why at times it had to be done this way.

    I have done the journey of self analysis or self doubt and anguish. I have absolutely no problem with responsibility of scientific advisor to independents or a Government of independents.

    But I could not be someone who protects or gets people to believe in something which lacks integrity and soul. A man has got to know his limitations.

    Once I thought it was important to be loved and liked by people. That I realised was an illusion. Sometimes you have to accept to do your best you will be detested, hated, reviled and mocked.

    I have kept my word to this Newsnight blog.

  • Comment number 22.

    Press TV...Churnalism Iranian style. Why am I not surprised Galloway - plus all the other usual suspects - are contributors to this Islamic rant supreme mulla funded piece of TV...(read garbage)

    Cameron warned his fellow parlimentarians recently that there will be riots on the streets due to Browns prevarications. Camerons right about rioting on British streets...but he's wrong about the reasons.

  • Comment number 23.

    Regarding impartial coverage of Iran, did you know that on Monday 15th of June, just after 7 o'clock on the Today programme, when discussing the turnout at the Ahmedinejad rally the day before, BBC reporter Jon Leyne warned us, "Not to get into a number's game". However the next morning, on the same programme, at pretty much the same time, when discussing the turnout at the Moussavi rally the day before, the same reporter Jon Leyne, had no such similar qualms in proclaiming, "Huge numbers! Maybe even as many as two million". (Incidently neither broadcast is anymore available on the BBC's website, though I'm certain you can find the tapes, up in the vaults.)

    Just out of interest would the Newsnight team consder this to be imprtial? And can we look forward, to Jon Lyne receiving a grilling from Mr. Paxman in the near future on the subjects of impartiality & hipocrisy?

    Thank You

  • Comment number 24.

    Re: Press TV


    The BBC demanding impartiality from Press TV is hypocritical to say the least, when the BBC itself is pressured and dictated to by the Zionist Lobby as was the case in the recent Gaza War.

    It seems, the Western media is using impartiality as a caveat when the truth is / needs to be exposed.

    War Drums:

    Reminiscence of the Iraq War, you can tell the War Drums being beaten and the public psyche being prepared for War with Iran through false means by the Neocons once again!

    Election riots / Neda:

    Thus the Iranian post-election riots and Neda's death, seems to be part of a wider conspiracy to destabilize Iran, and create a catalyst (or prepare the ground, if you like), for War with Iran.

    For example, see:

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 25.

    #21 KingCelticLion
    This sounds like a statement of a real person well anchored in reality and humanity the way I see them. One can chisel wood or stone, one doesn't chisel people to their own liking and in their own image with their minds still ticking and hearts beating. Only fools think they can.

  • Comment number 26.

    The World Service broadcasts across the world and is funded by the Foreign Office, as is BBC Persian and BBC Arabic. How about a thorough-going investigation of that? Of course, the BBC maintain that the hundreds of millions received are a grant-in-aid, thereby guaranteeing impartiality but one has to ask what's in it for the FO.

    @ T_1000 re Jon Leyne's biased reporting -glad I wasn't the only one to notice that he didn't want to get into the 'numbers game' so long as he didn't like the numbers.

    The BBC enthusiastically cheer-led the war, boosting Government lies and ignoring alternative views, worse even than Sky according to one German study. It should be no wonder that they follow the Government lead on Iran, continuing to imply that Iran is developing nuclear weapons when both the IAEA and US intelligence say there is no evidence of this.

    Only last night on Radio 4, Michael Buerk was allowed to trail The Moral Maze by alleging that Iran looked to be 'developing nuclear weapons'. What does he know that the IAEA does not?

  • Comment number 27.

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

  • Comment number 28.

    Mosts posts here show that viewers are not taken in by one-sided charges of propaganda in these sensitive times.

    What the 'impartial' BBC should be doing is a) presenting the Iranian government's case (endorsed by the SCO) as best, and as favourably, as it can, and b) the British/Israeli/USA/EU case as best and as favourably as it can, leaving the viewers to decide.

    The BBC has not been doing that in my view. Martin Bright's case last night was highly emotional and as such, propaganda/misleading. Lots of reputable material has been written in the West about the power of the Israeli/Neocon (aka Zionist) Lobby. This isn't a 'conspiracy', it's just a fact of modern life.

    More balance please. Conflict management/resolution requires one to see both sides. The chap from Press TV did a reasonably good job under adverse conditions I thought.

  • Comment number 29.

    a decent round up of the financial situation on NN. well done.

    NN coverage of gaza invasion was and is shocking. On a day a report claims war crimes in gaza NN goes on about iranian tv that one watches? is there an iran obsession. If so why?

    is it the same reason why no one asks why brown blair and cameron are patrons of the JNF that has polices that would be illegal in the uk? how do they square that with a belief in human rights for all? is it because that is something they do not believe in? is this something we should not know? their position on human rights? pretty fundamental one would have thought?

    Yet in the EU debate they are given airtime to criticise some eu political groups for their 'funny views' on gays etc as if they come from some moral high ground ?

    if there is a curfew on exposing this odd policy on human rights maybe BBC journalists should consider their position? or do they feel happy with such news curfews?

  • Comment number 30.


    the uk is under occupation of the neocons. the FO is a neocon 'station' and 'asset'. even carlton house, the fo building, is rented from a russian oligarch based abroad. When the deputy of the friends of israel is the middle east advisor taking over from Lord Levy who had close friends in israeli military intelligence its just a two finger salute to any pretence of justice or british national interest?

    if the FO decision makers were friends of gaza with close personal ties to the occupied territories how much 'noise' would be made every day in the media about the apparent perception of bias?

    why can't we have people in the FO who stand up for human rights for all? Who keep the uk out of wars instead of agitating to stir them up against places that pose no threat to the uk? Who want a defence force to defend the uk not bend it to fight pointless regime changing wars? The FO, as part of uk defence in depth, should be an asset to the uk not to other people's agendas?

  • Comment number 31.

    The Future of State Owned Banks and Regulation System

    1: Mr Cable suggested that our Gov is wanting to sell banks too quickly , before their share value has recovered enough for the taxpayers to get their money back, but who's telling them to do this ?

    Personally I still think if we (taxpayers) are to lose money on selling these banks too early , then we should offer these banks bad debts to the actual mortgage holders first at fire sale prices (a 30% loss) , instead of the institutions. This would clear some peoples negative equity and thus help people to become economically viable again , that can only be a good thing when helping us get out of this recession.
    If my memory serves me right the Tories suggested this in early 2008.

    2: Regulation , I found it a bit strange that the minister suggested the Tri regulation system that this Government had set up had worked, sorry I mean it had not failed.

    3: On the new regulation Bill , may I suggest that the reason the Bill is not complete is that the New EUSuper Regulator has not issued it's instructions yet.

    4: Should merchant (complicated) Bank activities be separated from high street deposit (simple) banks activities , good question !

    Wasn't this done in the USA in the 1930's ?

  • Comment number 32.

    "The BBC has not been doing that in my view. Martin Bright's case last night was highly emotional and as such, propaganda/misleading."

    Indeed. When it comes to official enemies, journalists are suddenly permitted to become angry and emotional. You can see it in BBC reports in many different crises. Just take a look at this report from the Russian siege of Grozy. The reported is fist-shakingly angry and very emotive.

    No BBC reporter would be allowed to make a report like that if the target was an ally.

  • Comment number 33.


    Interesting article on the government's restructuring plan for banks. Looks like parts of Lloyds and RBS will have to be broken up and sold separately quite soon, whether the government likes it or not. Is it in the British taxpayers interest? Evidently no. I dont understand why the European commission has the decisive vote on this issue, when they didnt contribute any financial capital to bail out British banks in the first place.

  • Comment number 34.

    StevenJMUK (#32) Part of this is possibly explained by the pernicious allure of negative reinforcement (i.e. relief from aversive stimulation/punishment) regardless of the consequences. In our ever more feminized times the heuristic seems to be that it us good to relive suffering per se, which is a hopeless heuristic as it means no sanactions, just licence to indulge. Your link provided a good illustration.

    This bias figures frequently on Newsnight these days (Wark is the worst 'offender' here, Paxman (surprisingly), the next, and Esler the least in my view). It's both symptomatic and reinforcing of our degenerating culture which is gettting mroe and more histrionic and narcissistic I'm sad to say, but I can see how and why this happens - it appeals to the uncritical, so is good for ratings :-(


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