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Thursday 19 November 2009

Sarah McDermott | 16:31 UK time, Thursday, 19 November 2009

European leaders are due to arrive in Brussels in the next few hours to select a president with the announcement later tonight. The prevailing mood among EU leaders appears to be for a low-profile chairman rather than a more charismatic president with international connections.. What does the choice - and the way it is being arrived at - tell us about the new Europe of 2009 and beyond? The same old backstairs deals? David Grossman is in Brussels for us.

Hamid Karzai has been sworn in as Afghan president for a second elected term, saying he wants Afghan forces in charge of the nation within five years. Our Diplomatic Editor Mark Urban will be explaining why he now sees a much clearer picture emerging of how much longer our troops will need to be there.

Jon Kay is in the Wiltshire town of Wooton Bassett, famous now as part of the final journey for Britain's fallen in Afghanistan. What do the people there think of the town's loyal tradition of honouring fallen servicemen and the focus on it as a place of national mourning?

And Robin Denselow meets a group of disabled musicians from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The band, Staff Benda Bilili (which means 'open your mind, look beyond appearances') all suffered from polio as children, but their disabilities have not stopped them taking their music from Kinshasa to Europe where they have been wowing audiences on their tour.

And David Ginola and Dara O Briain will be discussing the Thierry Henry hand ball that sent France past Ireland and into the World Cup.

Do join Gavin for all that and more at 10.30pm on BBC Two.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    But what about the football? I've been re-packing my post colonial baggage all day today. The Irish team in Paris were subjected to the most blatant form of cheating last night, denying them a place in the world cup final. Our justice minister has even weighed in on the issue, as a battle more fraught than the 1916 rising commences. Please Newsnight, just look at how the small guy gets stamped on again by the big guy!

  • Comment number 2.


    ‘.....a low-profile chairman rather than a more charismatic president’

    What it is about the need for our political leaders, decision makers, those needing to have a sound head on strong shoulders, to be Charismatic personalities. I’d rather a boring, but honest and safe leader in any realm.

    Very occasionally will you find one who combines both. Usually there will be another major character flaw. Often moral/sexual impropriety. See GREAT WORLD LEADERS in history.


    It’s like the complaints that our top sport people are arrogant. What do you want, winners, or pussy cats. Sheesh!

  • Comment number 3.

    #2

    Brightyangthing

    Considering how top sports people or successful performers can be torn into shreds by the greedy, financial ot otherwise, no wonder they need to become assrtive, vigilant and confident in order to survive.

    mim

  • Comment number 4.

    #36ecolilly ”Because of PC I think we are losing our moral compass, why don't we say these acts are disgusting, instead of saying nothing.”

    I believe a mix of PC, and laws taking away freedom of speech are to blame. Those factors have silenced the indigenous public with the tag of ‘racist’ for the past decade, allowing uncontrolled immigration to reach a tipping point that prevents the major political parties from speaking out as the ‘immigrant vote’ is now significant.

    Gordo’s Speech (read out by HM the Queen) included yet more proposals for immigration ‘reforms’ that should have been taken by parliament years ago:-
    “The main reforms include a new concept of temporary, time-limited "permission" to come to Britain, which will replace the five separate categories of those who come to work, study, or visit.”

    During my previous roles as an aid-fund provider (ComSec, UK Gov’t and World Bank) I have never been allowed even to board a plane to any of the aid-recipient countries – without a valid visa, a time-limited contract of no more than 1 year, and a constant scrutiny and evaluation of my work. So why have we not had such measures here? And, referring to the link you posted, how are juvenile immigrants allowed to arrive here?

    “It also introduces a new streamlined power of expulsion to replace the current powers of deportation and removal. A consultation paper published last week on the future of welfare support for asylum seekers is also expected to lead to measures to encourage those who have no right to be in the country to leave Britain”. The word ‘encourage’ probably implies an extension of the £5000 bribe to go quietly.

    #33 Gof1 “Polls show people are unhappy in regard to uncontrolled and unreasoned immigration but they are not in favour of racial hatred or dumping democracy in favour of national Socialism”. I always refer to overcrowding and cultural conflicts, never racial hatred. And look what our form of ‘Democracy’ has achieved, both here and overseas. National Socialism seems to be regarded with some pride elsewhere in UK. (SNP)

  • Comment number 5.

    Not really interested in a studio discussion of ball-handling, but I shall certainly watch the Staff Benda Bilili Band. I used to play with pub bands in Papua New Guinea and Malawi and am amazed at the 'open your mind' abilities of such musicians from some of the world's poorest countries. Haven't been to Democratic Republic of Congo, but half-way through 'Blood River,a Journey to Africa's Broken Heart'(Tim Butcher's account of his 'suicidal' mission to recreate Stanley's expedition along the mighty Congo River) I would like to give my support to these guys from this war-torn area. Should put some of my gripes in perspective.

  • Comment number 6.

    what is this new habit of responding to posts in other threads and so raise the noise to signal ratio? its must be messageboard terrorism. a proper mod would delete or move them to the correct thread as off topic?

    rant over.

    karzai is being set up as another shah of iran. with probably the same result- ending with an islamic fundamentalist coup?

  • Comment number 7.

    '... And David Ginola and Dara O Briain will be discussing the Thierry Henry hand ball that sent France past Ireland and into the World Cup.'

    Strange how up in the arms the Irish are about being cheated. I seem to recall that most of our gaelic and gallic neighbours whooped with delight at the 'hand of God' that put England out of the 1986 world cup.

    Re-arrange these words.... "petard, hoist, own, your, by" into a well known phrase or saying.


  • Comment number 8.

    RE: Repatriation of fallen soldiers through Wotton Bassett.

    I believe it is important for people to attend, to show our troops that we, the public, support them. Contrary to media coverage, the public do support our troops - it is the government we do not support, due to their actions or lack of action.

    I believe that it is important that TV coverage of the repatriation is broadcast on TV, as not everyone can attend Wotton Bassett, and by being able to follow it on live TV we can reflect on what sacrifices these galant soldiers have made.

    I personally knew Dane Elson who died in Afganistan, and write to many members of his troup. I am able to describe how many attended, and what individual immediate familes and close friends did - i.e place a single rose on the hearse, or wear T shirts with slogans. This is appreciated by the troups, that thier efforts, are known to the public, and reinforces the ultimate sacriffice thes heroic soliers make.

    I believe that all TV news broadcast for the rest of the day, ie nes at 6pm and 10pm, should make the repatriation of the fallen through Wotton Bassett, the lead news item, regardless of how many times they take place, to reinforce the loss of each individual. Showing footage of the plane landing at RAF Lynam, on the 6pm and 10pm bulletins, shows no respect to the individual, on that particular day, as it depersonalises the homecoming, and gives the impression that it is previous footage of past arrivals being shown.

    These soldiers have often done heroic deeds, to save fellow comrades, and the least the TV companies should do, is cover these very sad and moving events, so that we the public, can have a few minutes to reflect and remember each and every individual that has fallen. It is the very least we can do.

  • Comment number 9.

    ON BEING CHEATED - AND IRISH (#7)

    Oh boy - they are going to be REALLY mad when the Lisbon penny drops!

  • Comment number 10.

    #9 ON BEING CHEATED - AND IRISH

    They might get a replay, they got one on the Lisbon Treaty

  • Comment number 11.

    NOT IN MY NAME (#8)

    There was a soldier on the radio recently who made it VERY clear that if he did not WANT to do the job he loved - under the conditions currently prevailing - HE WOULD STOP. Like most who have a choice, he chose to go into danger. I have seen three on TV - none of whom was 'for queen and country'.

    Some men are drawn to extreme danger; the high possibility of 'coming unstuck' is an added attraction. (Don't ask me to explain the women . . .)

    These guys are earning a living the way they want to. I have no idea what they would do if the world ever got civilised.

    No sensitive person is unmoved by the death of a friend. However, I am of the view that 'pre-emptive war' is a dubious concept (very Blair/Bush) and those who die in its pursuit, may reasonably be looked on askance.

  • Comment number 12.

    what does susan make of this film?

    ...Imagine that a storm blows across your garden and that now, genetically-manipulated seeds are in your crops. A multi-national corporation pay you a visit, demand that you surrender your crops - and then sue you for $200 000 for the illegal use of patented, GM seeds....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E42ndfjnP1g&feature=sub

  • Comment number 13.

    12

    I have no idea what they would do if the world ever got civilised.


    barry this was posted today. extra ordinary film of soldiers who have killed on the battlefield who then reject war. we won't get films like that here as it undermines the 'narrative'.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlVPqPE9REU&feature=PlayList&p=-DCeB501UdQ

    given the length of this war[s] a whole generation will be changed by it.

  • Comment number 14.

    TO AVOID EU SUPER STATE STATUS, GET RID OF THE EU PARLIAMENT!!

    If member nations don't like the way the EU appears, its structures or its heading in the superstate direction, there are more alternatives than only leaving the EU.

    Moving to get rid of the very structure that most threatens to facilitate the creation of a Super State- the elected EU Parliament- is one of them...


    Another is amending the EU Parliament's structure so that EU MP's weren't elected, & were instead appointed by their member nation governments, with ALL EU member nations allocated equal numbers of EU MPs- perhaps (10) or so.

    The primary 'political base-unit' of the EU for more than 40 years was the EU 'member nation'.

    Individual country's belonging to the EU (& its precursor, the European Economic Community (EEC) were- alone- the only enfranchised 'bodies' that were allowed to vote on EU legislation-like issues (laws, directives, standards, etc).

    While this structure existed, it functioned however indirectly- to prohibit the formation of an EU Super State.

    Once an 'EEC/EU Parliament' was formed in the 1990's- with its primary political base-unit the 'individual people' living within the EU's member countries- it opened the door to- & unavoidably encouraged the slide towards- an EU Super State...

    By its existence, an elected-by-EU-member-nation-citizenry EU Parliament is fundamentally & irrevocably in a dangerous conflict of interest (competing roles) with the other primary political unit of the EU: its member nations' governments...


    More to the point, the EU Parliament (having authorities over & effects on member nations exercised by its MPs votes- who are separated-from-their-respective-member-nations'-governments control or direction) will (through votes) make decisions on issues that- by their nature- put the EU Parliament into an oppositional relationship with EU member nations' governments & their positions on issues...

    The unavoidable result will be the EU Parliament- & its extensions such as EU civil servants & the like- continually (bluntly, or surreptitiously or illicitly) attempting to shift the balance of power within the EU's structures so that the EU Parliament can 'win' against member nations (or their extensions, like cabinet ministers/civil servants, etc) when ever there are differences over issues between the EU Parliament & member nations' governments...

    Shifting the power balance in the EU Parliament's favour can only be done by reducing the powers & authorities of member nations'/their governments, which is unequivocally represented by the much debated for suitability-for-a-referendum, Lisbon Treaty ('EU constitution').

    Whether or not there ought to be a referendum in the UK (or any other EU member nation) on the constitution-in-disguise Lisbon Treaty, is not as important as UK politicians/stakeholders & their counterparts across the Continent planning ahead- cohesively- for strategies to deal with its aftermath...

    Promptly getting up & leaving the EU, might be an obvious impulsive reaction to the Lisbon Treaty, but this would be short sighted & counterproductive.

    Instead, disseminating a succinct, easy to understand alternative future EU structures would be constructive... and is highly needed...

    To be sellable widely across the EU, an alternative EU structure ought to describe a 'legitimately simplified', palatable but still functional EU.

    This could be defined as an EU without its own Parliament or at least without an elected one, & an EU in which member nations are guaranteed- in a codified treaty- their integrity & basic nation-state decision making apparatus, & not to be penalized for opting out of things such as the Euro, foreign policy positions, etc.

    An EU without the moderating, rationalizing and constructive effects of the UK at its centre would be far more of latent threat to world stability than an EU in which 'an independent, sovereign UK' plays a central role...



    Roderick V. Louis,
    Vancouver, BC,
    Canada

  • Comment number 15.

    (re-submitted, amnded for clarity)

    TO AVOID EU SUPERSTATE STATUS, GET RID OF THE EU PARLIAMENT!!

    If member nations don't like the way the EU appears, its structures or its heading in the superstate direction as a consequence of the Lisbon Treaty, there are more alternatives than only leaving the EU...

    Moving to get rid of the very structure that most threatens to facilitate the creation of a superstate- the elected EU Parliament- is one of them...

    Another is reverting the EU Parliament's structure back to its pre-1990's format so that EU MP's weren't elected, & instead were again appointed by their respective member nation governments, with ALL EU member nations allocated equal numbers of EU MPs- perhaps (10) or so.


    The primary 'political base-unit' of the EU for more than 50 years has been 'individual EU member nations'.

    For most of its history, individual country's belonging to the EU (& its precursors, such as the European Economic Community (EEC) were the only enfranchised 'bodies' that were enabled to vote on EU legislation-like issues (laws, directives, standards, etc)...

    While this structure existed, it functioned- however indirectly- to prohibit the formation of an EU superstate...

    Once an elected 'EEC/EU Parliament' was formed in the 1990's- with its primary political base-unit the 'individual people' living within the EU's member countries- it opened the door to- & unavoidably encouraged the slide towards- an EU superstate...

    By its existence, an elected-by-EU-member-nation-citizenry EU Parliament is fundamentally & irrevocably in a dangerous conflict of interest (competing roles) with the other primary political unit of the EU: its member nations' governments...

    More to the point, the EU Parliament (having authorities over & effects on member nations exercised by its MPs votes- who are separated-from-their-respective-member-nations'-governments control or direction) will (through votes) make decisions on issues that- by their nature- put the EU Parliament into an oppositional relationship with EU member nations' governments & their positions on issues...

    The unavoidable result will be the EU Parliament- & its extensions such as EU civil servants & the like- continually (bluntly, or surreptitiously or illicitly) attempting to shift the balance of power within the EU's structures so that the EU Parliament can take primacy over member nations' governments... and 'win' against member nations (or their extensions, like cabinet ministers/civil servants, etc) whenever there are differences over issues between the EU Parliament/'Commission' aka 'cabinet'& member nations' governments...

    Shifting the power balance in the EU Parliament's favour can only be done by reducing the powers & authorities of member nations'/their governments, which is unequivocally represented by the much debated for suitability-for-a-referendum, Lisbon Treaty ('EU constitution')...

    Whether or not there ought to be a referendum in the UK (or any other EU member nation) on the constitution-in-disguise Lisbon Treaty- is not as important as UK politicians/stakeholders & their counterparts across the Continent planning cohesively- for strategies for how to deal with its aftermath...

    In reaction to the Lisbon Treaty, leaving the EU might be an obvious impulsive objective for some EU member nations, such as the UK- but this would be short sighted & counterproductive...

    Instead, working with Continental allies, disseminating a succinct, easy to understand proposed alternative future EU structures would be constructive... and is highly needed...

    To be sellable widely across the EU, an alternative EU structure ought to describe a 'legitimately simplified', palatable but still functional EU...

    This could be defined as an EU without its own Parliament or at least without an elected one, & an EU in which member nations are guaranteed- in a codified treaty- their integrity & basic nation-state decision making apparatus, & not to be penalized for opting out of things such as the Euro, foreign policy positions, etc...

    An EU without the moderating, rationalizing and constructive effects of the UK at its centre would be far more of latent threat to world stability than an EU in which 'an independent, sovereign UK' plays a central role...




    Roderick V. Louis,
    Vancouver, BC,
    Canada,

  • Comment number 16.

    oh dear been referred.

    to see what video was modded put this sentence into youtube
    .................


    Imagine that a storm blows across your garden and that now, genetically-manipulated seeds are in your crops.


    .........................
    i've been exposing this story on the boards for 7 years everytime they try to bring it into the uk.

    if you watch it you might realise why they might not want a knowledge like this in the uk.

  • Comment number 17.

    JAUNTYCYCLIST

    I have taken-in the GM clip only. The sad thing is: I would like to doubt it, but the world convinces me it is true.

    The psychology of war film I will settle to shortly.

    Thanks.

    Barrie

  • Comment number 18.

    18.barry

    this week we had another lot of 'gm is great, will save the world' stories seeded in the uk media.

    eg.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/news/gm-crops-have-a-role-in-preventing-world-hunger-chief-scientist-says-1823219.html

    one wonders if the chief scientist and royal society has seen all the evidence of how it works in practice?

    the govt and their sponsors depend upon our ignorance of what is happening around the world. given the farmers have to sign gagging orders its surprising anything got out about what gm really means for any country foolish enough to implement the patent rights system on seed and soil it implies.

  • Comment number 19.

    brightyangthing- Some people hark back to the past, to put it in one sentence in the original German-

    "Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer"

  • Comment number 20.

    #19 Jaunty

    Was aware of the GM story.

    There are a whole lot of planetary ecological/ environmental issues concerned with this interface between ecological and socio-economic systems.

    There has been an insidious creep of all environment related challenges being subsumed under the banner of climate change. If a politician is asked about the environment the answer is "we will be producing a Bill on climate change".

    (The is the motoring equivalent of ensuring a car will pass an MoT by considering buying a tyre tread gauge.)

    The public are slowly being brainwashed in to believing that the only problem with the environment is climate change and that is being dealt with at a meeting in Copenhagen.

  • Comment number 21.

    GENETICALLY MODIFIED REASONING (#18)

    I have little grounding in GM. But extrapolating from other areas of science, if it is not a disingenuous - even devious - stitchup, then it is totally anomalous. I take it the Chief Scientist is 'independent'?

  • Comment number 22.

    the longer 52m gm film goes through the situation in greater depth.

    it demonstrates the intimidatory tactics used, the gagging orders, how it is sold as giving people choice but extinguishes any choice as soon as the land is infected.

  • Comment number 23.

    anyone having trouble finding the full gm film the longer film 1.06mins was uploaded today on Journeyman.

  • Comment number 24.

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

  • Comment number 25.

    Brightyangthing

    On facing a new day and new challenges

    I've just been sitting right by my door
    On one of my cushions down on the floor
    After a night of decent sleep
    And not awoken by nasty creep.

    That makes me happy
    Relaxed and ready
    To face the world
    Having a word
    With people I'm yet later to meet
    Plus twirl and glide
    To musical beat.

    Hope you have a bright day, Brightyangthing

    mim

  • Comment number 26.

    Re: Acpo head warns police chiefs may quit over Tory plans

    This article appears on this morning's BBC Homepage.
    The Tories are right that far more accountability is needed as far as the Police are concerned as until now they seem to be able to get away with all kinds of unpleasant 'enterprises' and at the same time boasting of the fact that they are unaccountable, as illustrated on many an NN page.

    I couldn't possibly pretend what the best solution to this problem should be and what kind of legislation should be introduced, but I know that the policies on the Police should be fundamentally rethgought and reconsidered.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8369536.stm

    Madam Mim

  • Comment number 27.

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

  • Comment number 28.

    Although the other day I recommended the former President of Latvia, Mrs Vaira Vike-Freiberga, for the post of the President of the EU, I think that the EU have come up with good and solid choices for both the post of the President and the EU's high representative on foreign affairs and security, i.e. Mr Herman van Rompuy and Baroness Ashton respectively. And it is good to see that they did choose a woman to play such an important role in the world.

    Madam Mim

  • Comment number 29.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8369371.stm

    well, I for one cannot believe that Ms Harmon could be guitly of this charge.

    Surely she has a hands free set as an approved expense
    or
    a chauffeur and car at her disposal for all activities
    or
    A teleporter
    or
    moves around supernaturally with nothing more than just a twitch of her nose

  • Comment number 30.

    POLICE OFFICER MISSING IN FLOOD

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/policeman-missing-as-massive-floods-wreck-bridge-1824328.html


    From the misdated Tuesday Blog. Police /Flood. As positioning of concepts very close.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/newsnight/fromthewebteam/2009/11/thursday_17_november_2009.html#P88654672

    "What is being presented in the media and by politicians re flooding is not true. Local authorities and police forces knew about the 2007 floods more than 10 years before they occurred. All the flooding you will hear about in the media over the next few days could have been presented.

    The work is from 2002. Police had shut down the project to prevent UK flooding. So I used part of the prevention strategy as an example to change legislation. Part of which is in the legislation in the Queens speech. Unfortunately it is being implemented reactively rather than proactively."

    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 31.

    I'm surprised that David Grossman is willing to admit in public to his ignorance about European politics. I presume he must confine his listening and viewing to the BBC in which case he probably shares its fixation with the US and Barak Obama. To those of us who don't share the BBC's obsession with American domestic politics there are luckily numerous outlets, based in countries with more respect for press freedom than the UK, to satisfy our wider interests - Der Speigel Online, Euronews, France 24 and Russia Today are my favourites.








  • Comment number 32.

    #29

    Brightyangthing

    So it looks like not everything's lost yet and that the Police are at least a bit independent from the current government.

    mim

  • Comment number 33.

    Brightyangthing

    I may have spoken to you before about birthday dates although it may have been to Streetphotobeing, I can't remember now.

    I've just found out that Baroness Ashton is two years younger than me but that we were born on the same day of calendar. Perhaps it's a useless piece of information but I thought I'd mention it to you.

    She does have a very positive write up in the Wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catherine_Ashton,_Baroness_Ashton_of_Upholland

    mim

  • Comment number 34.

    #33 update

    Brightyangthing

    I would like to stress again that I remain very cautious and largely sceptical about astrology. There do occasionally appear to be similarities betwee people born under this or that star sign but in no way do I consider astrology as a valid and provable theory. Well, theories will only remain as theories, as opposed to theorems, for instance.

    Have a good day
    I better push off now

    mim

  • Comment number 35.

    David Grossman's reporting on the election of a European president, and the following discussion (with UKIP, of all parties ?!) highlight once again the negative approach and somehow "funny attitude" towards Europe. Make it as hilarious as possible, making jokes about these Europeans and coming up with some non-entity president HaHa - look how good we are. You did not even get the pronunciations right. Maybe a more balanced view, a more modest approach (Britain,or England, is not a major player), and some true reporting about the differences between Britain and other European countries, like poverty, democratic systems, GDP, Health Service, would make people realise that somehow the (hilarious, annoying ?) European Union does work for millions of people, giving them a decent way of living in a conflict free part of the world. Compared to a lot of the European countries, Britain looks outdated, tired and out of place in the 21st century.

  • Comment number 36.

    #35

    Wise words, pol!

    I was going to stamp no 35 with some info about the first European Constitution, of which info below but you've taken up the slot yourself:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_May_3,_1791

    mim

  • Comment number 37.

    #6 jaunty
    "what is this new habit of responding to posts in other threads and so raise the noise to signal ratio? its must be messageboard terrorism. a proper mod would delete or move them to the correct thread as off topic?"

    NN bloggers often express the view that the Beeb's topics may not always be the ones that most justify analysis and discussion. It has been unwritten law that one can raise, rant(or even recite) about whatever moves one. In my case at #4, with the early appearance of Thursdays NN page I had the option of posting a response to an archive or to the current page, which I chose.

    I prefer the analogy of 'threads', as in a carpet, to be as the warp (ongoing threads) rather than the weft or woof of a day's weaving. In that respect I appreciate your posts on GM, which although not a NN item today, should certainly command attention for a very long time - and not be swept under an archived carpet square. Woof Woof

  • Comment number 38.

    #37

    The indignant one

    Have you too turned into a dog now?

    A big one or a small one?

    And what colour may I ask?

    mim

  • Comment number 39.

    @35:

    Is this the same Europe you mention that still can't manage an internal or independent audit. Is this Europe you extoll still a dumping ground for failed politicians and wasters such as the Kinnocks; a job creation scheme for the useless backed up by a shed load of mandarins. A Europe that bullied any country that resisted its expansions plans; telling the Irish to vote yes or starve. Only the brain dead, well meaning but stupid and easily duped buy into this nightmare European federal superstate.

  • Comment number 40.

    HERE BLOODY HERE (#39)

    I have just received my copy of 'Ten Years On' from the Taxpayer's Alliance. I hope to goodness they are not another British Scam.

  • Comment number 41.

    EEC and Now EU

    Is a 5 year Chairman or Chairwoman of the Council of Ministers a good thing ?

    Well it's my understanding that a Chairperson decides what's on the agenda at meetings , examples of this are found in private companies , boards of trustees and of course in our own cabinet system of government with the Prime Minister being the Chairperson.

    So even if member states take it in turn to have their own person as chairperson of the Council of Ministers, which I doubt will happen , a full rotation of all 27 nation states will now take 135 years.

    I have to say I preferred the old solution , so each nation state , large or small, would take it in turn every six months to push their own agendas, with a full rotation period being 13 years.

    The full powers of this 5 year chairperson will only come clear over time, as current and future council decisions will set precedents, e.g. what we call constitutional instruments. You only have to look at how other commonwealths or unions have developed over time to see how this leads to more centralizing of powers for the chairperson.

    I can only conclude that the Lisbon Treaty has changed how we are to be governed and therefore was more than a mere tidying up exercise as proclaimed by some.

    OT slightly, but still on the effects of the Lisbon Treaty being enacted.

    Was the EU and the Republic of Seychelles SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement) signed on the 11th of November it's first use of the EU's new legal status, was this not a historic EU event ?
    I did not see it in the main media , so I nearly missed it.

  • Comment number 42.

    @39:
    Maybe you made a typing error, replace Europe with United Kingdom, and it might make more sense...

  • Comment number 43.

    Brightyangthing

    I'm not sure whether I've spoken to you before about an exerimental /innovative/ contraption that's being used by one individual to point directions and paths Lessing to one of his impersonations which today is the guy that's portrayed on the photo introducing tonight Newsnight Review. He has prepared everything very carefully and the 'troops' were there out in force. It put me off ice skating and so I'm now at the Blue Moon' sipping some beer. He uses the contraption purely to promote himself hoping probably to make big bucks. The whole thing is not only boring and tiring but also extremely annoying, However, I'm trying not to get angry with the people who 'act' on his behalf.

    I'm still waiting for the loved one to contact me directly as I wouldn't like to ruin or in any way harm the exchanges we already have. And anyway I much prefer the man to make thiat final move.

    I think I'll push off in a minute towards Wandsworth.

    mim

  • Comment number 44.

    #43

    Brightyangthing

    One additional problem with the imposter\impersonator is that he's heavily involved in nasty politics and I think he's brought the game now to the Blue Moon as well.

    mim

  • Comment number 45.

    I popped in, in fact, to the Cine Lumiere to see what's on but as I have seen the film already i shall make my way home in a few moments.

    mim

  • Comment number 46.

    Mim I get the feeling the rough weather has put you off cycling to the ice rink ? You seem to be much better when skating.

    Ive had a terrible time of it pain wise just recent. While doing my usual research for answers came up with this :

    http://headacheandmigrainenews.com/migraine-drug-brings-down-drug-company/

    The investors didn't like the outcome of the trials and basically blew it away. Crikey !

    Like to see NN doing more on the subject of drug research, all the financing pitfalls and how hopes get dashed for those in chronic pain.

  • Comment number 47.

    #46

    sorry to hear about Yuit unrepenting headaches.

    I've been going to the ice rink but there's a si silly and annoying game going on there with people acting like puppetsd which quite ofen makes me leave

    more later, snooze time

    mim

  • Comment number 48.

    Oprah

    I watched the interview you had with Trisha about Oprha. I am very much disappointed with Trisha's comment. Does she really know oprah's show? When some one who knows her show and gets opportunity to speak about it, would easily say lots of things what makes the show popular. Nothing special to be a very good business person which Trisha identify Oprah with. Just in brief Oprah is one of the special human beings we got on this planet. The business come even before she knew it. She is just doing her job with her best ability and honestly serving her people and all of us.

    I read the following on your web:"Britain's very own Oprah, chat-show host Trisha Goddard, who styled herself in Winfrey's image." What are you talking about? Is she really trying to image herself like Oprah? or you are just trying to make good news. Nothing wrong to be inspired by others leave alone by Ophra. I tell you this Oprah doesn't only listening others but also listen her big heart.

 

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