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Wednesday 23 September 2009

Sarah McDermott | 15:49 UK time, Wednesday, 23 September 2009

US President Barack Obama has delivered his first speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Mr Obama named global challenges including nuclear proliferation, wars, climate change and the economic crisis. He said he was "well aware of expectations" in his presidency - but said that tackling global challenges could not be solely a US endeavour. Tonight we'll be outlining the big issues for the UN General Assembly and Obama.

President Obama will chair a UN Security Council summit on nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament tomorrow, at which Prime Minister Gordon Brown is expected to announce that he wants to cut the UK Trident fleet of missile carrying submarines. Mark Urban will be considering the diplomatic impact and political significance of the move and how it fits into the UK's defence plan.

And following Labour MP Stephen Hesford's resignation as a parliamentary aide over the Baroness Scotland affair, we'll debate if she really ought to now stand down, and ask if Gordon Brown understands the concerns of the public on this issue.

In Bournemouth Nick Clegg has delivered his keynote speech to the Liberal Democrat conference. Our Political Editor Michael Crick has written that "Nick Clegg's talk today suggesting he's planning to become PM next spring is utterly bogus" - we'll be hearing more from him tonight.

Do join Jeremy at 10.30pm on BBC Two.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    DEJA VU AGAIN?

    Was it my imagination, or did Obama open with, almost word-for-word, his inauguration speech? Is this what they call 'joined up government'?

    Great to hear the Obama-boom ring out again. It alerts me that the content will not be worth scrutiny.

    Oh - in passing - who actually wrote the speech? Common courtesy dictates we should be told. Weasel words come from weasels, and fake lions are happy to deliver them. Where are the wise owls who hire no writers? No one seems to give a hoot.

  • Comment number 2.

    CLEGGACY NICK - A MAN IN A HURRY

    Did I hear him say he didn't come into politics to grab power (or similar)? Then why didn't he do the full apprenticeship? The term 'indecent haste' comes to mind.

    Arrogant? Over Confident? Riding for a fall? It takes a lifetime of doubting to find out how much you don't know. Nick has half-a-lifetime of certainty under his belt. Hmmmmmmm.

  • Comment number 3.

    "Tonight we'll be outlining the big issues for the UN General
    Assembly and Obama."


    No coverage of Gadaffi's speech? Why not?

  • Comment number 4.

    despite having a serious war there the govt have seen no urgency to reappoint a minister for afghanistan since malloch left?

    or are they bored with it now?

  • Comment number 5.

    Does Obama have to make a speech every day? People are getting sick of him.

  • Comment number 6.

    What's all the big rush to replace Trident, its not that old anyway, and surely if it has been properly maintained it should last a good few years yet. Whilst I appreciate that the wiring on ships suffers metal fatigue ( the whole boat is continually flexing even though you can't see it ) , perhaps said submarines should have been designed to last longer term, easy to refurbish.

    There are plenty of examples of aircraft lasting long term ( Dakota's of WW2 vintage still flying in daily service ) so it should be possible to re use the current missiles in a new sub. Its all down to basic engineering theory, if it moves grease it, if it doesn't paint it.

  • Comment number 7.

    I THOUGHT ONLY SCHMUCKS LIKE ME IGNORED ALL BUT MYSELF

    I gather SOME NATIONS ARE MORE UNITED THAN OTHERS. I would have thought courtesy and solidarity demanded ALL speeches be heard by all. If you let them in, they should be heard. One expects 'Westminster integrity' in Westminster - sad to see it in higher places.

  • Comment number 8.

    barrie (#7) The BBC did broadcast the Gaddafi speech, but some words were lost and they switched it to multiscreen pretty quickly after that 'sound loss'! Towards the end, the edgy male translator was swapped out for a calmer, female, translator too. Those scripting the Obama speech will not have wanted audiences in the Liberal-Democracies to listen to what Gaddafi had to say... and Ahmadinejad's up next...

  • Comment number 9.

    JJ #8

    Perhaps the Gaddafi virtual censorship was similar to what happened to the Lib-Dem member for Westmorland and Lonsdale ( can't remember his name ) had to say at the conference on BBC Parliament this afternoon. The main sound feed was cut throughout his fairly long speech, you could catch bits of it in the background noise and the audience seemed appreciative.

    They soon had the full sound back on to hear ten bob fat cats talking their usual drivel on the video screen. I Decided to put a pop video on during Clegg's attempt at a keynote speech which was really boring. Perhaps the Lib-Dem's should elect the member for Westmorland and Lonsdale as their next leader, he's just about the only Lib-Dem MP who ever talks any sense on anything.

  • Comment number 10.

    CLARIFICATION OF MY #7

    Point taken JJ. I was actually referring (poorly) to neither Brown nor Obama (as reported) listening to Gaddafi. I belong to a poetry group; I would not dream of stepping outside when others were reading their poems, regardless of my opinion of their work. What an example to set to 'the governed'. Perhaps Paxo might take this up with - er - oh forget it.

  • Comment number 11.

    barrie (#10) Ah, Brown's boycott. A bit pointless daft when the whole country could watch/listen on BBC. Still, the boycott was for a quite different audience, I fear :-(

  • Comment number 12.

    JUST READING THE OBAMA SPEECH - SAME OLD SAME OLD

    To paraphrase (regarding the NPT) "In the new Obama-spirit of togetherness, this is not about pointing the finger at individual nations, but if Iran and North Korea do not toe the line, they will get what is coming to them - in a deeply spiritual sense of international cooperation."

    The hubris still leaks through. We are in the year '1 BO'. No doubt about it. Tony won't like it.

  • Comment number 13.

    THE RACE SUBTERFUGE EXPOSED?

    The race card that we keep see being played with respect to Obama is, I suggest just a very clever way to take the public's eye off the disproportionate Jewish influence in the White House given a) the recent mess which Wall Street has caused and b) the inflammatory situation in the Middle East over settlements, Iran etc. i suggest it has little to do with Black Americans per se, it's about the Israel Lobby, AIPAC, and Jewish hegemony. See Gaddafi's speech or Ahmadinejad's for the real political context, which is Israel and its supporters domestically. So long as the population is feeling emotional about low achieving Black people or Muslim 'terrorists', eyes are taken off the much more destabilizing (see Wall Street) sub-set of the Jewish population.........

    Discuss.

  • Comment number 14.

    Postscript: I use the term sub-set with care. See also APD which shares half it's statistical Factor Structure (Hare).

    These are the disorders which account for most of the prison population, and there are obviously more out than in. They are untreatable, they are not mentally ill - just extremes of 'normal' human personality - they lack empathy, but are good at theatrics :-(

  • Comment number 15.

    Obama wants less nuclear proliferation? Perhaps he shouldn't destabilize countries with nuclear weapons like Pakistan and the USA then. In case anyone has missed the news Germany has started issuing debt in US dollars and more are soon to follow as many ready themselves for a dollar implosion, I wonder what does Obama really think will happen then? Does he think that his military will continue to keep the USAs 1600 warheads safe after the last MRE is gone? To remind everyone of a little history, when the USSR imploded the US stepped in with cash to ensure the security of the USSRs nukes, who will do that with the USA?

  • Comment number 16.

    Was Tom Jones at the UN today?
    Is there any chance we could have Gaddafi as our Prime minister, he seems more up-together than our Gordon. Maybe Mandelson could strike a deal with one of his mates and swing it for us.

  • Comment number 17.

    Perhaps someone could tell Jeremy Paxman that it's "for him and his colleagues to sort out" and not "for he and his colleagues to sort out".

  • Comment number 18.

    Brown is right to defend his staff. If one of my staff made a small admin mistake I wouldn't sack him/her.

    She already had a £5,000 fine which is a big enough penalty.

    Is it more that the media just don't like the Baroness Scotland. Who is she anyway?

  • Comment number 19.

    The Sun and The Mirror in the same programe?
    Everyone else must have been busy.

    You can't but feel sorry for political print journalists in the UK.
    They are doomed to life of finding a decent story.

    They seek and hope that one day they will stumble upon something, anything
    to resemble The Watergate Affair.

    They will wait forever. So, in the meantime they try and make every story, no matter how insignificant, seem like the whole world spins on the outcome.

    911 showed them that you never know what is around the corner.
    So why prattle on about whether Brown should go now or at the next election.
    It is a pointless exercise.

    Still the two newspapers received free airtime which would have pleased their owners.



  • Comment number 20.

    @!7

    Have you ever fronted/presented a live TV current affairs programme?

    You can't find a better frontman than Paxman in British broadcasting.
    The only one who comes near to him is Jon Snow.

    -----------

  • Comment number 21.

    OMG - I think it's the first time I have ever seen Jeremy with his hands over his face with despair in an interview between Burns and the Iraninan guy who went on a rant. Loved Jeremy's interview with Lord Gilbert (the only one who spoke sense tonight, and ened up being praised by Jeremy!) and Capes, who came unstuck very quickly :p

  • Comment number 22.

    OBAMA IS NOT SLOW TO 'DO GOD' SO LET'S GET THE CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE:

    The last time I looked, America refused all inspection, by inferior foreigners, of her (presumed) secret war-orientated activities.
    But is not the Christian way to open oneself to total scrutiny before demanding that others do so?

    I am willing to bet they have an advanced chemical/biological weapons program. As recently stated, I believe they are well on the way to a viable laser weapon. I would not be at all surprised if 'applied sound' is in there somewhere. And didn't we hear about microwaves recently?
    Those are the imaginable stuff - I hate to think what they have in the UNimaginable variety!

    So, Barack Obama - friend to the world - and god-afeared, lets see ALL your cards. Or are you no more genuine than the last man? As you have said: the new age starts with YOU. Let's see a new morality, a new candour and a new humility. Let international inspectors scour your country, and I will be the first to admit I am wrong about you.

  • Comment number 23.

    Pittsburg agenda:

    Gio-codecs
    Socio-aegis
    BRIC-quorum
    Mitre limits via traditional finance
    Sectrix loci: manuf. biosci. comms.
    Dissemination on healthcare xor education
    Confederacy

  • Comment number 24.

    THE ONE THING THEY NEVER WANT TO CHANGE

    Oh dear - Cleggacy-Nick is never going to master the prancing is he? He is another who just can't prance. Almost as bad as Ming the Suspenderless. BUT THEY WILL NOT GIVE IT UP! And therein lies the truth about gottabe 'leaders'. They dream of being up there, eyes a-gleam, arms thrown wide, as ADULATION washes over them like a lover's warmth.
    It is depressing beyond words. What use is an undramatic drama-queen? The chocolate teapot comes to mind. There must be something about these desperados. Gnawing need seems to go hand in hand with gauche gesturing - politics is a weird world. Cast your mind back to Wilson, Major, Thatcher, Kinnock et al, ad infinitum. How shall we ever be free of them?

  • Comment number 25.

    THE UK FURTHER* HUGELY REDUCING ITS NUCLEAR DETERRENT- AS THE PRIME MINISTER HAS PROPOSED- WOULD BE A ONE-WAY TICKET OFF OF THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL FOR THE UK, AND WOULD IMMEASURABLY DAMAGE THE COUNTRY'S STANDING IN THE WORLD, BOTH POLITICALLY AND IN TRADE TERMS :

    * Since 2001 the UK has reduced its deployable nuclear warheads by over 50% (over 300 to under 160), and has the least nuclear weapons of all the 'world's 5 major nuclear powers', IE- the USA, Russia, China, France and the UK:


    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    The present Royal Navy Vanguard submarine based UK nuclear deterrent consists of 4 Vanguard submarines, with each submarine having 16 missile tubes- each missile tube capable of launching 1 Trident nuclear missile...

    In other words- IN THEORY*- the UK's total nuclear deterrent today in 2009 is 64 submarine launched nuclear missiles...

    * IN THEORY because: of the RN's four Vanguard class Trident-nuclear missile submarines- on any given day as (for over 1/2 a decade) regularly as few as only one of these 4 integral-to-the-country's defence and 'world-profile' vessels is operational-

    http://www.defencemanagement.com/news_story.asp?id=7413 :

    "The Royal Navy is cannibalizing parts from various ships and (Trident nuclear missile/Vanguard) submarines to keep other vessels afloat and operational it has emerged..."

    "... The revelation that the (present Trident/Vanguard submarine) nuclear deterrent is being gutted for parts is particularly worrisome. If there was a national or international emergency some of the Vanguard class submarines would most likely have to be left in the docks since they would most likely be missing parts crucial to the sub’s operations....":

    http://www.defencemanagement.com/news_story.asp?id=9925 :

    "Some commanders may feel uneasy about (reducing Trident carrying subs from 4 to 3) given the fact that recently two of the (present Vanguard)submarines were out of service due to major repairs. In the future a similar scenario could leave Britain with one or zero active nuclear deterrent submarines..."

    Prime minister Brown recently 'decreed' that the UK's new Trident system submarines, when built, will each have only 12 missile tubes- instead of the Vanguard's 16- or the US Navy's Ohio class submarines' 24-

    http://www.janes.com/news/defence/naval/jmr/jmr090420_1_n.shtml :

    "The UK's next-generation ballistic-missile submarines will have 12 missile tubes rather than the 16 aboard the existing Vanguard-class Trident-armed submarines"

    3 new Vanguard-successor submarines X 12 missile tubes each= 36 missile tubes...


    64 missile tubes with the present 4 Vanguard submarines-based Trident system

    vs

    only 36 missile tubes with the apparent Labour & MoD toadies' preferred system: 3 Vanguard-successor submarines/& their new Trident missiles->>

    = almost a 50% reduction in the UK's nuclear deterent, and all without a parliamentary or public debate or public consultation/advisement...


    This big and far-reaching a decision should not be in the arbitrary hands of only one politician!!!

    And certainly should not be made without Parliament facilitating an extensive public consultation... AND NOT UNTILL AFTER A GENERAL ELECTION OCCURS!!!

    The UK govt using the always controversial nuclear disarmament topic to distract UK voters from Labour's egregious policy errors- & to simultaneously arbitrarily reduce the UK's relatively tiny nuclear deterent- rather than enabling an informed public discussion regarding the size and shape of the country's future nuclear forces is gross hypocrisy...

    It also ignores contemporary facts, NOT THE LEAST OF WHICH IS THAT THE UK HAS REDUCED THE SIZE OF ITS NUCLEAR DETERRENT BY OVER 50% DURING THE LAST 10-YEARS!!!

    If the Vanguard submarine replacement/Trident Replacement programme goes ahead as presently Labour-rigged, its outcome would result in a hugely more reduced UK nuclear deterrent than today's already substantially diminished UK capabilities..


    1) "Red alert - China modernises its nuclear missile force"

    Beijing is now deploying or developing up to five intercontinental nuclear-armed ballistic missiles in what amounts to China's most ambitious increase in intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capability since the late 1980s... :

    http://www.janes.com/news/security/capabilities/jir/jir090521_1_n.shtml

    2) Russia is rearming itself and selling masses of hardware/warships to countries like India, Brazil & China...

    http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htsub/articles/20090703.aspx

    Not to mention comparitively huge sales of advanced submarines, Frigates and similar vessels by France and Germany to many non-NATO nations... such as India, Singapore, Vietnam and many Persian Gulf countries...

    Roderick V. Louis
    Vancouver, BC, Canada

  • Comment number 26.

    THE UK HUGELY REDUCING ITS NUCLEAR DETERRENT- AS THE PRIME MINISTER HAS PROPOSED- WOULD BE A ONE-WAY TICKET OFF OF THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL FOR THE UK, AND WOULD IMMEASURABLY DAMAGE THE COUNTRY'S STANDING IN THE WORLD, BOTH POLITICALLY AND IN TRADE TERMS :

    PART #2:

    3) Russia is reactivating two of its retired Typhoon SSBNs:

    http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htsub/articles/20090703.aspx

    4) Russia Might Complete Bulava Flight Tests in 2009:

    http://www.globalsecuritynewswire.org/gsn/nw_20090618_6389.php

    5) Russia Set to Build New Nuclear-Armed Submarine:

    http://www.globalsecuritynewswire.org/gsn/nw_20090626_8028.php

    6) Russia to build eight nuclear submarines:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/3124166/Russia-to-build-eight-nuclear-submarines.html

    7) President Medvedev visited Sevmash, inspected ”Yury Dolgoruky”:

    http://www.barentsobserver.com/president-medvedev-visited-sevmash-inspected-yury-dolgoruky.4612254-58932.html

    8) State-of-the-art nuclear submarines to the Russian Navy:

    http://www.barentsobserver.com/index.php?id=4608935

    9) Russia to lay down 2nd Graney class nuclear sub in July:

    http://en.rian.ru/mlitary_news/20090625/155349485.html

    "...Under the Russian State Arms Procurement Program for 2007-2015, the Navy will receive several dozen surface ships and submarines, including five Project 955 Borey nuclear-powered strategic ballistic missile submarines equipped with new Bulava ballistic missiles, two Project 885 Yasen nuclear-powered multipurpose submarines, six Project 677 Lada diesel-electric submarines, three Project 22350 frigates and five Project 20380 corvettes."

    10) Russia may export up to 40 diesel submarines by 2015 :

    http://en.rian.ru/mlitary_news/20090624/155340341.html

    --------------------
    --------------------

    At the risk of being too repetative- Prime minister Brown 'decreed' several
    months ago that the UK's new Trident system submarines, when built, will each have only 12 missile tubes- instead of the Vanguard's 16- or the US Navy's Ohio class submarines' 24-

    The missile compartments used in the US Navy's Ohio class Trident-missile carrying submarines are, in effect, modular, coming in '6-pack' (6-Trident-missile-tube modules).


    These '6-pack Trident-missile-type modules' are easily swappable with tactical-weapons/versatile modules that, rather than dedicated to only launching ICBM (Trident) nuclear missiles can instead be used to launch conventional, tactical weapons- such as Tomahawk cruise missiles...

    These tactical-weapons/versatile modules can also be used for launching unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV's), unmanned air vehicles (UAV's), special forces units such as Special Boat Service; US Navy Seals, etc...

    The US Navy's Ohio class successor submarines- when built- are intended to use similar tactical-weapons/versatile modules...

    Why is this relevant to Gordon Brown's recent apparent unilateral decision to substantially under-size the design of the Royal Navy's Vanguard submarine replacements?

    Because if these new vessels are constructed- as the PM has recently decreed- at only 1/2 the size of the US Navy's current Trident carrying Ohio class submarines- they will be needlessly and counterproductively greatly limited in the types of future roles/missions they can be assigned...

    In other words, rather than having the UK's Vanguard successor submarines limited to only being assignable to carrying nuclear missiles- because with their 12 missile tubes each- and consequently very limited on-board space for hardware, armaments, etc- they are only able to be assigned to carrying Trident missiles.... wouldn't it make more sense to have these vessels built large enough so each vessel had space for 24 missile tubes each- and, if circumstances allowed or demanded- use 1/2 (12) for Trident missiles, and the other 1/2 (12) for conventional weapons such as Tomahawk cruise missiles, UUV's, UAV's, delivery of special forces to missions overseas, etc??

    The UK public deserve considered, open & properly-informed debate among their MP's and representatives regarding the form, capabilities and levels of the country's future nuclear deterrent and its related hardware/subsystems, etc...

    The UK's armed forces and its defense-related research and development industries need reasonable increases in long-term funding, not intellectually dishonest cop-outs...

    A UK general election is needed now, in part so that hugely long-reaching decisions- that would be very difficult to reverse- regarding the UK's future defence capabilities are not made by a govt- and a small subgroup of govt- whose priorities are its/their survival rather than the country's long-term interests...


    A general election is needed now- before Labour arbitrarily sacrifice the country's future to their apparent self-interest motivated re-election objectives...

    Roderick V. Louis
    Vancouver, BC, Canada,

  • Comment number 27.

    THE UK FURTHER* HUGELY REDUCING ITS NUCLEAR DETERRENT- AS THE PRIME MINISTER HAS PROPOSED- WOULD BE A ONE-WAY TICKET OFF OF THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL FOR THE UK, AND WOULD IMMEASURABLY DAMAGE THE COUNTRY'S STANDING IN THE WORLD, BOTH POLITICALLY AND IN TRADE TERMS :

    (PART 3)

    * Since 2001 the UK has reduced its deployable nuclear warheads by over 50% (over 300 to under 160), and has the least nuclear weapons of all the 'world's 5 major nuclear powers', IE- the USA, Russia, China, France and the UK:


    The FUNCTIONAL AND HIGHLY APPROPRIATE URL- below- links to a Ministry of Defence web site PDF document that contains the UK government's own statisitics supporting the above assertion....

    The below URL was incorrectly catagorized as "Unsuitable/Broken URL," and removed by Moderator...

    In order that UK-based and other persons visiting the Newsnight and other BBC web site pages can be objectively informed regarding 'FACTS' relating to the UK's Trident/Vanguard submarine-replacement programme- it would be in the public interest for BBC moderators to NOT REMOVE THE URL BELOW

    (and, if able- it could only be constructive and approriate for BBC moderators to bring the UK govt document that the below URL links to, to the attention of producers of Newsnight AND other BBC programmes such as Radio 4's Today programme; BBC World Service's The World Today, etc)

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]


    ----------------
    Roderick V. Louis
    Vancouver, BC, Canada

  • Comment number 28.

    So Corporate Nazi sympathizer " Wing Nut " trots out onto Newsnight yet again attempting to stir it for Brown in the USA, yet wont actually commit himself to naming alternative Labour leaders. I can't understand why Paxo treats him as so credible after he suggested introducing road pricing to fleece the public to plug the alleged budget deficit. Almost 80% of the mostly once Labour supporting politically active population rejected the planned and much media puffed Congestion Charge scheme for Greater Manchester last year.

    Perhaps Brown would be doing better in the opinion polls if he had widely advertised the fact that Lord Adonis has at least kicked road pricing into the long grass. Labour focus should be on highlighting possible Tory plans to privatize the Highways Agency for 85 bn, then let the private sector introduce road tolls. Cameron was recently on Andrew Marr spouting what a good idea the private M6 toll was despite the fact that traffic on it has fallen to an all time low more recently.

    The forthcoming general election increasingly looks like a choice of varying Corporate Nazi plans for a version of a welfare state for the stock market parasites. Everyone I know wants international aid ( particularly to China and India ) cut before anything else, yet still out of touch with the public politicians consider it a sacred cow.

  • Comment number 29.

    from mimpromptu
    Streetphotobeing, Thursday’s upon us
    With new faces undoubtedly to meet
    Hoping not to encounter too much of a crass
    But rather people more up my kind of street.

    Whether on bikes or sitting on benches
    And not ‘firing shots’ from imaginary trenches.

  • Comment number 30.

    Mistress76uk (#21) "OMG - I think it's the first time I have ever seen Jeremy with his hands over his face with despair in an interview between Burns and the Iraninan guy who went on a rant."

    You appear to be using the word 'rant' in an idiosyncractic or nefarious way (all too common these days when describing the views being expresed by those not in favour).

    So, please tell us all what it was, precisely, which the Iranian interviewee said which amounted to a 'rant'. What he said, appeared, to me (and probably to many others watching) to be sadly true. Surely Paxman had to appear to be despairing, for the sake of our US friend? Iran has much of the SCO behind it alas. I take it you do appreciate that?

  • Comment number 31.

    NORMALCY - IT'S NOT VERY ENTERTAINING

    barrie (#24) "Cast your mind back to Wilson, Major, Thatcher, Kinnock et al, ad infinitum. How shall we ever be free of them?"

    You know the answer, and you've made your own (in my view important) contributions to spelling it all out in these pages over time.

    Not in the Liberal-Demoracies (or elsewhere I suspect - although Stalin and Mao lived simply by example). Politics and entertainment (see the Hollywood and PR link) thrive on Narcissistic Personality Disorder and its close relatives in Cluster B on Axis II, - a serious observation I submit) which is sadly just part of the human condition. It's something most of us have progressively knocked out of us to a considerable degree as part of the normal development process of growing into a human being which can live with others. Even the most lauded amongst us is far from God-like, but the idea that some are so is most appealing to those who don't quite make it into adulthood, and they are legion. This is what politics and the entertainment/marketing industry thrives upon (you will note that this is downplayed in the non Liberal democracies.

    Normalcy is a bit dull.

    Ever been to Switzerland, Finland? ;-)

  • Comment number 32.

    from mimpromptu
    I would recommend to the other bloggers to watch the most recent Barack Obama's interview with David Letterman presented by Worldwide Pants. He has that something that makes him uniquely special, at least as far as politicians go - plain talking and common sense tinged with a great sense of humour.
    During his conversation with the President of Poland yesterday he apparently said that he does have a certain vision of direction in which he would like to world to move but then also admitted that it may not work. No grand rhetoric here. And it's not all up to him anyway, as he pointed out in his UN speech.

  • Comment number 33.

    MrRLouis (#25,26,27) "only 36 missile tubes with the apparent Labour & MoD toadies' preferred system: 3 Vanguard-successor submarines/& their new Trident missiles"

    We needed these nuclear weapons to defend ourselves against the Old Labour Party and to sustain free-market libertarian predatory lending/consumerism. The Old Labour parties abroad needed their weapons to protect themsleves from the expansion of the latter...

  • Comment number 34.

    mimpromptu (#32) You don't appear to appreciate that he is not a dictator/despot. Show us that you really do understand that he just head of a Party, and has a Communications Director and lots of speech writers directing/scripting what he says.

    You need to grapple with the nature of 'The Credit Assignment Problem' and superstitious/adventitious reinforcement in general, and how this is related to 'magical thinking'. This is the Newsnight blog (for grown-ups), it's not CBBC...

  • Comment number 35.

    From mimpromptu
    Streetphotobeing
    Is there no institution in this country to which you can appeal for the restoration of your photostream share account?
    If not, perhaps the President of the USA may help?
    I would like so much to be able to see your drawings again in particular?
    In fact, I've just had an idea. I will copy and paste this message to the Whitehouse itself as I'm on their list.
    With regard to speech writing for Barack Obama, it is true that I have heard him use some of the 'slogans' and 'ideas' that certain individuals in the UK are keen on but I have a feeling that he now realises it and will probably take greater care to check up on things in the future.

  • Comment number 36.

    @ JJ #30 - Moukhtari (the Iranian guy)alleged that the US spent US$45million on trying to destabilize Iran and put Iranian children in the line of fire. His remarks may be percieved to be slanderous, and he is vilifing the US government. There is no evidence to suggest that the US was responsible. Jeremy had his hands over his face in despair at this point, which is a pity, as he could have cross examined him on this point. The reason for the despair (genuinely) displayed by Jeremy, was that he could picture the fallout from this interview between various governments and the fact that Moukhtari's statement could lead to acts of terror as a result.

  • Comment number 37.

    Erratum @#36 - I should have written US$450million and not US$45million.

  • Comment number 38.

    THE CIS/SCO BLOCK, ITS FRIENDS AND TRIVIAL TRUTHS

    As predicted, the UK (along with United States, Canada, France and Israel) did a theatrical, drama-queen act over Ahmadinejad's speech to the UN, just as the UK boycotted Gaddafi's. However, it's worth listening to Medvedev's speech to see where Iran and Libya get their confidence from, perhaps.

    The question one has to ask, I suggest, is how much truth is there to the assertions of Ahmadinejad and Gaddafi? How much of Natural Language makes some of it inevitably trivially true given that SOME(x)=NOT(ALL(x)=AT LEAST ONE(x) in terms of the logical quantifiers and statements about their bete noir....?

  • Comment number 39.

    Mistress76Uk (#36) "There is no evidence to suggest that the US was responsible."

    I suggest you watch some of the many BBC programnmes about how the UK and USA were responsible for the Shah and destabilization of Iran before the revoltion in 1979. A day does not go by without some press coverage as to whether Israel will or will not attack Iran with or without the USA's approval/support. Unless you have direct access the classified CIA material, why do you assert the contrary when Iran (and even the rest of the world) is telling you what's happening, all of which is clearly consistent with what was well known policy in the past?

    Why is the USA and UK in Iraq and Afghanistan (to the West and East of Iran)? Why does Iran want to join the SCO? Why is Pakistan eyeing it too?

  • Comment number 40.

    @JJ#39, I agree with you on the destabilization of Iran by Ex-President Carter before the Iranian revolution in 1979 - that is a fact. However, the there is no evidence to suggest that the US has tried to destabilize Iran.

    According to this article
    source: http://ncr-iran.org/content/view/7205/1/
    "The protesters who travelled from across U.S. to gather outside the U.N. Headquarters called for change of regime in Iran. They said that the revelations of brutal torture, rapes and killings of anti-government protesters in Iran demonstrate the regime’s illegitimacy, thus the presence of its representatives in the international bodies including the UN General Assembly has no legitimacy."

    The people of Iran want free and fair elections, under the UN, which they have not had. Since Iran is a democratic country, surely people have a right to protest without being subjected to torture or death.

  • Comment number 41.

    Postscript (#39) Look into the demographics of NYC and ask yourself what it is that is being said which is so 'offensive'? here isn't a day of news which does not cover a major economic crisis brought about by Wall Street. Which is the dominant elite in NYC demographically (#5) and in terms of cognitive ability? See IQ mean differences by group - intelligence is not all there is to life, conscientiousness matters too, that seems to go awry in the Axis II, Cluster B PDs). These are just the facts sadly. There is a very long history to this problem, and few know how best to deal with it as some really do champion selfishness and greed as good. This is an issue which has been covered in some detail in these pages, and all of it supported by solid historical and empirical references.

    So, why do you (tacitly) deny it, or refer to those who angrily allude to the damage it causes as 'ranting'?

    Do you appreciate that Islam eschews usury just as Christianity once did? Do you know which group proscribes it within its own group, but not between its group and out-groups? The former group comprises 1.4 billion of the world's population and has much in common with the SCO nations. The latter group at best comprises no more than 14 million, and many (most?) within that group itself are dissenters. At root, I suggest, this is a type of human problem, not strictly a racial or group problem per se.

    I suggest it's best seen as a Personality Disorder prevalence issue, and epidemiological issue. The problem is, we know it's incorrigible, those with this disposition don't think they have a problem....

  • Comment number 42.

    I had to read up on the SCO (Shanghai Co-Operation Organisation) - from what I gather
    (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shanghai_Cooperation_Organisation)
    isn't it a group of countries (China,Kazakhstan,Kyrgyzstan,Russia,Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) which want to share security, economic and cultural co-operation?

    and that "The Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS), headquartered in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, is a permanent organ of the SCO which serves to promote cooperation of member states against the three evils of terrorism, separatism and extremism. The Head of RATS is elected to a three-year term. Each member state also sends a permanent representative to RATS." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shanghai_Cooperation_Organisation)

  • Comment number 43.

    Mistress76uk (#40) "However, the there is no evidence to suggest that the US has tried to destabilize Iran.

    Don't be so naive. Covert operations mean just that. The coutries concerned don't go arond admitting it! You have to look to what happens. The way to do this is to look at how 'Human Rights' is used by Liberal Democracies' NGOs to undermine political systems based on duties or which are Democratic-Centralist. Read the PRC constitution (modelled in the 1930s USSR constitution) and you may see how some of the 'Human Rights' of the Liberal-Democracies are in fact proscribed by law elsewhere as sedition. You have to look at the whole political system, not just judge what you see from that which you live under. Women are used by NGOs in the Human Rights movements in Iran and West China, why is that? The Liberal-Democracies are in dire demographic trouble - headed towards extinction in fact with their below replacement level TFRs. You need to look into this, and how and why this has come about.

    The Liberal-Democracies are biologically destroying themsleves. That is what the data shows.

  • Comment number 44.

    Mistress76uk (#42) "isn't it a group of countries (China,Kazakhstan,Kyrgyzstan,Russia,Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) which want to share security, economic and cultural co-operation?"

    Yes, a bit like the USSR, CIS and Warsaw Pact.......................................................................................................!!! ;-)

  • Comment number 45.

    On Trident again some of the big questions seemed to go unanswered to me. Its obviously a good idea to have total coverage in the nuclear deterrence side but who are you deterring?

    It just isn't credible that Russia is going to launch a nuclear salvo or that we would respond alone. Its not even clear that Russia is an enemy as such.

    I guess that the US would like a simpler situation where only the superpowers have real strategic clout.

    Situations can change fast but if some rogue state did launch an attack how would they do it? Its an act of obvious suicide should it happen as a missile barrage as there would be immediate returned fire and so no obvious gain. That would only be conceivable in the fever of a failed state situation where executive control failed.

    I am a cautious person and can see that the "just in case" aspect of any insurance does reassure and I want nuclear deterrence.

    But is it not more likely that a rogue state would try an attack via a suitcase bomb or some cargo ship rather than risk mutually assured destruction?

    If so should our weapons systems reflect that need?

    Trident would not as I understand it be ideal for bunker busting a nuclear hardened weapons facility in a preemptive strike.

    Personally I would have thought long term cooperation with the French may be cheaper and desirable for a new range of more limited and focused weapons.

    But I am sure Trident is a desirable stick to wield.

  • Comment number 46.

    On the nuclear issue again but with reference to AfPak I would have thought if the US pulls out of Afghanistan that makes state failure in Pakistan more likely.

    If they have nuclear weapons then could this be the first state (and I certainly don't want to see that happen) to experience the combined wrath of the US, Russia and China should they become loose nukes and one gets used?

    I don't see how the big three (and India) could accept any status quo. Would this in fact then be the first state to discover that nuclear weapons are NOT an advantage defensively.

    But personally I could hardly say I am upbeat about Afghanistan but then I always thought it was hold there and make sure Pakistan knows it must win in the border areas. Pakistan is making good progress.

    Ideally we leave Afghanistan a functioning and stable democracy but it is still a result if al Qaeda are defeated.

    But unless there is a clear understanding of who in Afghanistan and Pakistan is al Qaeda and who is disenchanted Taliban that can't happen.

    The fact that the controllers of the Mumbai attacks don't seem to be close to being arrested seems disconcerting as I assume that that those persons probably were state trained.

  • Comment number 47.

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

  • Comment number 48.

    #38 Jaded_Jean

    "The question one has to ask, I suggest, is how much truth is there to the assertions of Ahmadinejad and Gaddafi?"

    You spout on every day but never produce the beef. Just get somebody to go to the alleged Nazi death camp guard Djemjanjuk trial and use your truthful "statistics" to show that there was no Holocaust. There were no reliable statistics about the numbers of Jews prior to WWII and additionally there are documents and trails and confessions and witness statements and relatives who never saw their loved ones again.

    Your great argument is that the Holocaust was "made up to put people of statism".

    With Hitler you never needed to put people off "statism".

  • Comment number 49.

    Postscript (#43) This sort of thing is esily found. Why do you think Russia was complaining about NGOs in its back yard not too long ago? Large numbers of the naive public are used as innocents aka 'useful idiots'.

  • Comment number 50.

    #28 brossen99
    "The forthcoming general election increasingly looks like a choice of varying Corporate Nazi plans for a version of a welfare state for the stock market parasites."

    The BNP, the real Nazis, will be contesting the election and as they have a website that "gets more hits than all of the other parties combined" surely they will introduce a dictatorship.

    As you find Islam so offensive I would have thought you found their views attractive.

    But of course as they are not "a Nazi party" but a nationalist party - therefore they must be "anarchists and Trotskyites", in their terms, as the democratic parties are.

    Its odd that their supporters tend to revere Hitler and desire National Socialism.

    Can you trust them I wonder?

  • Comment number 51.

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

  • Comment number 52.

    Newsnight how about some catch-up items.

    Not so long back the government seemed to be losing data daily but have the problems really been fixed e.g. the RAF loss of sensitive staff details.

    There was an item on the new Economic Defence League where somebody didn't get work for years as he was a "Trotskyite". I am sure I have heard others use that phrase around here. What happened to the organisation and is it now simply replaced by another anonymous body?

    Will Gordon have to go to trial as a witness over the McBride smear trials that I believe are in the offing?

    I have asked for an update on the Mumbai atrocity hunt for the controllers before.

    If the Tories win an early election does Tony Blairs EU Presidency bite the dust?

    Will the North West Frontier police man get his 10-15,000 troops as he wants?

  • Comment number 53.

    Oh Newsnight other ideas are what about examining the Baby P batterer and brother to see whether these monsters were created? The brother of the batterer was a National Front type and they revered Hitler.

    Was that a factor and had somebody indoctrinated them or were they just born bad? Did we fail them as I did read at one point that they were in care - but also apparently potentially tortured their own grandmother to get her will changed?

    I also wondered whether Lewington was inclined to children as a previous Nazi would-be bomber was also a paedophile. I assume that as he rang chat lines looking for women that was his exclusive domain.

  • Comment number 54.

    Gadaffi's speech made a lot of sense.
    He's certainly right about the Security Council.

    The hostility shown to the Iranian speaker by Jeremy was disrespectful.
    Mr. Burns got an easy ride. He spend years demonising Iraq and has now turned to Iran.
    Mr. Burns scoffed when the Iranian guest pointed out that the US was funding anti-Iranian groups such as the Kurdish PJAK and Mujahedin-e Khalq Organisation (MEK or MKO).

    Please Newsnight, remember that Iran is a signatory to the NPT unlike India, Pakistan and Israel. The IAEA has no evidence of military programmes and Iran's desire to control its own fuel cycle is completely understandable.
    Iran non-existant military programme also serves as a useful tool for Mr. Netahyahu to deflect attention from the illegal settlement expansion.
    Obama has been rebuffed. Will he recover?

  • Comment number 55.

    employing illegal labour is not an administrative error. But it is a humiliation for the security services not to know who is close to the senior legal minister in the uk and possibly installing backdoors on her computer, planting bugs or making polonium tea?

  • Comment number 56.

    thegangofone (#50) The People's Republic of China is National Socialist. Please read the constitution. The Soviet Union was National Socialist - they called it Socialism in One Country. The Labour Party was National Socialist.

    If you want to waste your time writing nonsense about your not wanting a nasty government which kills people etc, I wish you'd do it somewhere else, as who would? It's like saying all unmarried men are batchelors surely, or that you don't like eating concrete!

    If you want to waste your time trying to convince intelligent readers that your view of politics is in any way representative of what really goes on in the world, I suggest you're posting in the wrong forum as most people posting here are brighter than that, it's why they watch Newsnight instead of some of the other rubbish on TV these days. Most people here will just find your verbiage annoying. Many have nicely said so, some angrily so. Have you not noticed? The only ones who ever agree with you are as out of touch as you are. Try to learn from your mistakes instead of repeating them day after day. or is your sole purpose of posting here to try to deter other people from airing/discussing what is really going on? Nobody here thinks gassing people, torturing people, or anything else like that is a good idea, OK? That's not the message...

  • Comment number 57.

    irish_Mark (#54) "Iran non-existant military programme also serves as a useful tool for Mr. Netahyahu to deflect attention from the illegal settlement expansion."

    This age old game seems to work by destabilising nationalism/statism once admitted as a minority group, as nationalism works to the advantage of majority groups but not settling minorities which will not assimilate from enclaves. To the extent that members of an enclave, especially if cognitively able, closely knit, eugenic and nepotistic, can encourage individualism as 'freedom' in the exclave host, group size and identity ceases to matter. This is how to analyse what's being egregiously done I suggest. It's gone on for centuries alas, see 'persecution'. It's easy to cry 'persecution!' when one has an empathy deficit, which goes hand-in-hand with grandiosity (narcissism/psychopathy). The behaviour infuriates those on the receiving end, as the protagonists, sadly, just can't see it.

  • Comment number 58.

    Go1 #48


    "You spout on every day but never produce the beef."


    So you do. Not once have I seen any positive refutation of any of the evidence presented to you. Instead you hurl abuse or airily dismiss "web sourced statistics" (from the Virtual Jewish Library no less) and then just disappear having offered no real argument in support of your cause. Your silence when challenged speaks volumes.

  • Comment number 59.

    AN EXERCISE IN RATIONAL ANALYSIS

    Here is a newspaper article which warrants close scrutiny. How many factual errors or odd statements can you spot?

  • Comment number 60.

    Postrscript (#59) Some sense from Sweden reported in YnetNews

  • Comment number 61.

    Anybody read this... http://www.migrationwatchuk.com/briefingPaper/document/165 I'm not sure it's allowed by the blogdog.

    Then on the news you hear "Scotland" employing a foreign person, and several thousand would be immigrants hanging about on the french coast, and you think where the hell are all these people going to fit? It amazes me we don't have a few hundred in every town in britain sleeping on the streets, so where are they, oh yes in the council houses us brits have paid for.

  • Comment number 62.

    ecolizzy (#61) Hence it's 'racist' to talk about immigration and 'offensive' to point out difference in cognitive ability, especially if related to nationality. Migrants contribute to the economy as good consumers, especially if they're low-skilled, as that makes them less discerning and more readily receptive to advertising and other means of persuasion, including schemes which put them into debt.

    The sad thing is if anyone thinks reasoning with predators or appealing to nationalism will ever work. Those concerned are just self-interested. They are internationalists. They are economic anarchists. Thinking otherwsie is, sadly, naive. This is why the government is in denial, they serve those who are their major funder, and that's no longer the TUC.

  • Comment number 63.

    Ecolizzy #61

    I hadn't read it but now I have. Sobering is the least of it. A time bomb waiting to explode, an elephant in the room, call it what you will it is not good news. Why is it happening? Brown and his cronies are simply ignoring it, the government of this country is ignoring a situation highly detrimental to the indigenous population. Why? Because, as individuals they have too much vested interest? Because the nation is bankrupt? Because the government has given away too much power to commerce and can no longer influence the course of events? You choose. Whichever you do choose it is scandalous.

    Interestingly the chart on P4 of the accompanying PowerPoint presentation bears out JJ's warnings of native population decline.

  • Comment number 64.

    62 & 63 I suppose JJ you are right it is all about money! That's what I mean about us being morally bankrupt. We are exploiting our own work people and the incomers. We don't really want all these new people, just a few to keep the genes moving around a bit. We as JJ says are exploiting them and our own at the same time. Most immigrants work for very low wages, and often for their own nationality already here. I know about the muslim way of banking, I know they don't charge each other interest, so they get in a way a free loan to keep expanding their businesses. That gives them an unfair advantage to all other races here, who else gets a free loan?!!!! I also know they give a percentage of their wages to charity, but I bet it only goes to other muslim groups, I bet the indigenous groups never see a penny. So that also points to business, and why gordon loves them so much.

    I'm aware Fazer that we are having almost no children, well again as JJ says not the intelligent ones. I would argue that they are bright enough to see the beginning of the end for us as a nation, so don't want to have children. But I also know it's economic as well, bright people don't have children unless they can afford them. The others have them and the rest of us pay for them.

    Just why doesn't the media expecially NN talk about it?!!!!

  • Comment number 65.

    ecolizzy (#64) "I would argue that they are bright enough to see the beginning of the end for us as a nation, so don't want to have children. But I also know it's economic as well, bright people don't have children unless they can afford them. The others have them and the rest of us pay for them."

    That's it in a nutshell sadly. It also removes unwanted, restraining competition at the top. It's classic Trotskyism.

    "Just why doesn't the media expecially NN talk about it?!!!!"

    Because they want to 'get on', pay their mortgages etc, and know who pays their salaries? See News International. It's sadly obvious to me why there's all this PC censorship/censure - it isn't humanistic at all, it's venal and it's predatory.

    Trying to point out the bigger picture is met with the likes of this or with inane diatribes from people like thegangofone. They don't seem to be able to see how this has evolved to serve self-interested, narcissitic, or psychopathic people, even when they get to see and hear desperate exposes of it at the UN as we saw yesterday. Suddently the messengers are the terrorists! Most peole just aren't smart enough, which takes one back to the start....

  • Comment number 66.

    Anybody know why logins have been changed suddenly?

 

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