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Thursday 5 November 2009

Sarah McDermott | 18:02 UK time, Thursday, 5 November 2009

The Bank of England's rate-setters have decided to pump an extra £25bn into the economy in their quantitative easing (QE) programme. The Bank has already spent £175bn on QE, which involves printing money to buy assets from banks and other companies to stimulate the economy. But despite all the many billions being spent, small businesses have seen a seventh consecutive month of reduced lending. So is QE really working? Tonight Liz MacKean will be asking if the money is reaching those who really need it.

The shadow foreign secretary William Hague spoke to us last night about the Conservative party's decision not to hold a Lisbon Treaty referendum. He defended the Tory pledge to claw back power from the EU if elected, a policy French government minister Pierre Lellouche called "pathetic". Mr Lellouche has since said that he is prepared to "live with" whatever policy the UK had on Europe. But how are we going to be perceived in Europe and beyond if the Conservatives come to power at the next election?

Security forces in the Iranian capital, Tehran used batons and tear gas to disperse opposition supporters yesterday, witnesses and state media reported. Tonight we have a very strong interview with an Iranian opposition protestor about the brutal treatment inflicted upon him while in prison.

Emily's sore throat has got the better of her, so Gavin's stepped in. Join him at 10.30pm on BBC Two.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    It must be pretty clear by now to even the casual observer that Quantitive Easing is little more than a virtual welfare state for the stock market parasites. Likewise interest rates at virtually zero, plenty of opportunity for the likes of Hedge Funds to speculate ( mining shares would appear to be their favourite ). Like 2007, the FTSE is once again becoming a huge great pyramid scheme, this time based on government subsidized borrowed borrowings.

    The stock market parasites are soaking up any available capital from the banks, leaving very little for our real sustainable economy. Similarly low interest rates are discouraging saving, perhaps none of the alleged proficient economists have worked out the impact of many older people no longer spending on anything except essentials due to drastically reduced income from savings.

    Perhaps its high time the Bank of England and the Corporate Nazi puppet politicians like Brown and Darling stopped pandering to the stock market parasites and did something for our real future sustainable economy. Perhaps a good start would be to raise base interest rates straight back up to 5%, as this could increase the amount of REAL money circulating around in the UK system. Small businesses could then start to grow, but the Corporate Multinational Cartel ( of which the banks are key members ) don't want true competition from potential job creating small business. Perhaps potential corporate con man Alan Sugar's remarks the other day sums up the Corporate Nazi ideology to a tee, plenty of money available to subsidize his stock market parasite mates, nothing for people with sound ideas for innovative sustainable growing long term business investment. It would appear that the interest rate is not the problem as it can be priced in to any small business plan, its getting the initial capital for potential expansion, " new " plant and machinery, adequate sales stock that is the real problem for most potentially growing small businesses. Perhaps the banks wont lend to small business because they know full well that anyone with a good business plan will pay back all the initial loan ASAP, like with credit cards, the banks want you to make the minimum payment and expose yourself to swinging charges.

  • Comment number 2.

    iran = no gaza

    ...Knowing of the ability of Israeli forces, often using U.S. weapons, to strike targets with pinpoint accuracy, it was difficult to understand or explain the destruction of hospitals, schools, prisons, United Nations facilities, small factories and repair shops, agricultural processing plants and almost 40,000 homes....

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/06/opinion/06iht-edcarter.html

    when will anyone challenge brown blair or cameron on how they square their patronage of the jnf with human rights for all?

    ...Uri Davis, an Israeli scholar and human rights activist who has co- authored a book on the JNF calls Canada Park "a crime against humanity that has been financed by and implicates not only the Canadian government but every taxpayer in Canada." Canada Park is particularly sensitive for Israel because it lies outside the country's internationally-recognised borders. The Palestinian inhabitants' expulsion, Eitan Bronstein, director of the Israeli NGO Zochrot (Remembering), said, was a premeditated act of ethnic cleansing of villagers who put up no resistance."We have photographs of the Israeli army carrying out the expulsions," he tells tourists, holding up a series of laminated cards. According to Zochrot, 86 Palestinian villages lie buried underneath JNF parks....

    http://www.opednews.com/articles/Israel-in-Canada-Promised-by-Eric-Walberg-091018-922.html

  • Comment number 3.

    BANKS CAN BE BAILED OUT BY THE UK GOVT WITH 'TRILLIONS' OF POUNDS OF GOVT MONEY- BUT THE UK CAN'T AFFORD THE AIRCRAFT/WARSHIPS REQUIRED FOR PRUDENT LEVELS OF NATIONAL DEFENCE??

    BUNK!!

    THE LABOUR GOVT's NEGLIGENT DEFENCE SPENDING PRACTICES FROM 1998-2009 HAS BADLY DAMAGED ALL OF THE UK's ARMED FORCES BRANCHES!!

    DURING THIS PERIOD THE ROYAL NAVY HAD ITS DESTROYERS AND FRIGATES STRIPPED OF VITAL DEFENCES AND ITS AIR ARM DESTROYED TO 'FEED' THE NEEDS OF THE BRITISH ARMY:


    1)
    As part of a Labour govt cost-cutting strategy, during the late 1990's the Royal Navy's 3 aircraft carriers- HMS Illustrious, HMS Invincible and HMS Ark Royal- had their obsolescent 'outer layer' 'Sea Dart' anti airborne threat weapons systems removed.

    Contradicting standard protocols, no replacement weapons system was fitted to these three most-integral-to-the-RN's-capabilities-and roles-throughout-the-world warships....

    This despite many technologically advanced systems existing then that could easily have been fitted to these warships...


    ... Warships that then had and still have today* a highly inadequate, aged 'inner layer' anti airborne threat 'machine gun' based weapons system- 'Goalkeeper'- that, by itself, is not known to be effective at countering modern airborne anti-ship threats such as the supersonic sea skimming (Russian) SS-N-27 'Sizzler' anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM)and its clones...

    * Invincible is no longer in active-service status and has been, in effect, retired...;

    2) Similarly, between 2004-2008, the RN's remaining Type-42 Destroyers had their Sea Dart weapons removed without any- let alone an up-to-date system- being fitted as a replacement...

    When their Sea dart weapons were removed from the RN's carriers and Type-42 Destroyers, the Weapons Officers and support technicians responsible for Sea Dart also went... no doubt enabling the Labour govt to redirect associated costs to elsewhere in the MoD and/or govt...

    Mirroring the RN's Aircraft Carriers' experiences- the Type-42 Destroyers that had their Sea Dart systems removed and that were not 'retired' or sold were kept in active service by a Labour govt that appears to have ignored the egregious risks that putting dis-armed warships on patrol places Royal Navy service personnel under:

    "HMS Defenceless: Two destroyers sail minus missiles to save cash"-

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1025299/HMS-Defenceless-Two-destroyers-sail-minus-missiles-save-cash.html

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1025254/Two-Navy-destroyers-unable-missiles--theyve-removed-save-cash.html

    "Navy destroyers sail without missiles":

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/defence/2104716/Navy-destroyers-sail-without-missiles.html

    In this century, up-to-date, ship-launched 'outer layer' anti airborne threat defensive weapons are mandatory equipment for pretty well all developed-economy countries' aircraft carriers and escort warships- such as Destroyers and Frigates- except for the UK's....

    Outer layer airborne threat defensive weapons are vital to enable an incoming airborne threat to be engaged as far out as possible- 15 to 90 miles or more- rather than the barely 1 mile out that Goalkeeper and similar 'machine-gun based' 'inner layer' defence systems such as 'Phalanx' reach their effective limits at...


    Modern anti-ship missiles travel in terminal mode at upwards of 3/4 of a mile per second making 'taking a second shot at the incoming missile- if the first shot misses'- highly likely to not be feasible for warships restricted to using only Goalkeeper, Phalanx or a similar (machine gun based) inner layer defence system....

    Technologically up-to-date warships that have outer layer defence systems, and that miss an incoming airborne threat are able to 'take a second shot' at the threat using either their outer layer defence system again- or their inner layer defence system(s)- or both...

    Goalkeeper, Phalanx and similar 'machine gun' based inner layer warship defence weapons have not been shown in tests or battle records to be effective- as stand alone systems- at countering up-to-date airborne threats such as the widely marketed Russian SS-N-27 "Sizzler" anti-ship missile...

    3) During the 2004-2008 period, RN Frigates- that did not have 'outer layer' anti airborne threat defence systems- had their 'Phalanx' 'inner layer' anti airborne threat defence systems removed and sent to Basra, southern Iraq to provide protection against home-made rockets, artillery and mortars for British troops deployed there....

    This left front line Frigates that were already egregiously vulnerable- due to their not having outer layer defences- effectively defenceless to up-to-date technology airborne threats...


    Adding to the damage caused by this 'rob peter to pay paul' armed forces funding policy, during this period, Royal Navy ship-board personnel were sent to Iraq to support the Army in operating these 'land based' Phalanx systems...

    This, instead of the Labour govt approving funding to buy new 'land-based' Phalanx systems for use in Iraq, and training Army personnel to operate them:

    http://www.janes.com/events/exhibitions/dsei2009/sections/daily/day3/phalanx-defender-of-the-r.shtml

    4) For the better part of 1/2 a decade: 2003-2009, the Royal Navy's 2 remaining operational aircraft carriers- HMS Illustrious and HMS Ark Royal- had their entire supply of fixed-wing aircraft (Harriers) plus their pilots and maintenance personnel 'hijacked' and sent to British bases in Landlocked Afghanistan...

    This has so severely damaged the Royal Navy, that it has lost the ability to operate an Air Arm:


    "Back on board: regenerating UK carrier strike capability", 04 September-2009:

    http://www.janes.com/news/defence/jdw/jdw090904_1_n.shtml

    "... there is no disguising that the extended commitment of (Royal Navy Harriers) to the Afghanistan theatre has over the same period significantly curtailed the availability of the UK's ground attack Harrier force - particularly its maritime-oriented Naval Strike Wing (NSW) - to exercise in the carrier-borne strike role...."

    "... As a result, HMS Illustrious, currently the UK's high readiness strike carrier (CVS), has frequently found its hangar and flight deck empty of fixed-wing aircraft over the past three years...."

    "... This is not good news at a time when the RN is attempting to practice and hone the strike potential of its existing carriers in the run up to the introduction of the two new 65,000-ton Queen Elizabeth class vessels from the middle of the next decade...."

    "... The impact of this lack of sea time has been keenly felt in (Royal Navy air wings) and on board Illustrious."

    "... Pilots have not been able to maintain (skills) in the art of operating from the cramped and moving flight deck of (an aircraft carrier)..."

    "...Meanwhile, the lack of fixed-wing aircraft on board Illustrious has led to a skill fade in both flight deck crews and the ship's air management organization..."

    "... Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff (Carrier Strike), Navy Command Headquarters, Captain Jock Alexander: '... it is a fact that given the tempo of operations in Afghanistan, a lot of Harrier pilots have seen little or nothing of a carrier in four years.

    "'... The same goes for the air engineers...'"

    "... '(today) there is a need for the (Harrier pilots/support personnel/engineers) to understand and appreciate how the ship works...'"...


    The removal and non-replacement of the Sea Dart airborne threat defence weapons from the RN's Aircraft Carriers and Type-42 Destroyers; and

    - the removal and sending-to-Iraq & Afghanistan of the RN's Type-23 Frigates' 'Phalanx' airborne threat defence weapons; and

    - the removal of the weapons officers and support technicians positions associated with the Sea Dart and Phalanx systems from these warships; and

    - The removal and sending to Afghanistan of ALL of the RN's Aircraft Carriers' fixed-wing aircraft & their pilots, support technicians and maintenance personnel for almost 1/2 a decade-

    ... doubtless saved the MoD considerable funds... which could reasonably be assumed went directly or indirectly towards the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts...

    But, who but the most intellectually dishonest and unprincipled would take the position that these monetary savings outweighed the severe risks to these central-to-UK-world-role warships, their service personnel- AND the UK's international interests generally- resulting from these vessels being left to, in effect, spend many months on patrol bereft of basic, vital defences in some of the world's most threat filled waters??

    PLANNED NEW AIRCRAFT CARRIERS FOR THE ROYAL NAVY:


    In another of what is over-a-one-decade-long pattern of Labour govt attempts to very dangerously economize on Defence-spending, the planned new aircraft carriers- each intended to be more than 3 times as large as the RN's current 20,000 tonne carriers- are to be constructed without 'outer layer' airborne threat defensive weapons and without armour:

    http://www.naval-technology.com/projects/cvf/ -

    ".... A number of protective measures such as side armour and armoured bulkheads proposed by industrial bid teams have been deleted from the design in order to comply with cost limitations...."

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-1100714/The-4billion-Airfix-Kit-Behind-scenes-Britains-biggest-warships.html :

    "... Money has also been saved in side armour protection, though (Simon Knight, the project's Platform Design Director) insists this was a strategic** rather than a budgetary issue...

    (**what kind of responsible 'strategy' would support building warships without armour??)

    "(Simon Knight stated) 'The CVF’s first line of defence is the frigates and the new Type 45 destroyers around us,' he adds....

    "'Our only self-defence is close-in weapons systems (IE: 25-year old 'inner layer' Phalanx machine guns- rvl) and small guns...

    "'Instead, what you have on the ship is 36 of the most lethal aircraft ever made.'..."


    (... aircraft whose designed-capabilities DO NOT include protecting warships from incoming anti-ship missiles...)

    Is the value*** of a sunk aircraft carrier or two less than the finanacial cost of properly constructing & competently equipping these warships??

    (***
    in pounds, lives-lost and the UK's diminished national stature on the world stage)

    If warship armour and inner layer as well as outer layer airborne threat defensive weapons weren't vitally important and necessary for modern aircraft carriers to have, again, why would other first world countries'- such as the US, Japan, S. Korea, France, and even Italy- be investing many, many millions of pounds in armour and airborne threat defences for their navies' aircraft carriers??

    http://www.military-today.com/navy/improved_nimitz_class.htm :

    "... These (US Navy 'Improved Nimitz' class supercarriers) were completed with Kevlar armour over their vital areas and have improved hull protection arrangements..."

    "The Kevlar armour has been retrofitted to the earlier carriers, as have many of the advanced systems built into the newer ships..."


    http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/uss-theodore-roosevelt-headed-into-midlife-overhaul-02810/ :

    Note the text-

    "... Under this order, the USS Theodore Roosevelt will receive 2 MK29 MOD 4 ESSM ORDALT Kits, and 4 Solid State Transmitter (SSTX) MK73 MOD 3 ORDALT Kits. ORDnance ALTeration kits allow ships to swap out their older RIM-7 Sea Sparrow air defense missile systems for the RIM-162 ESSM, which is designed to deal with modern anti-ship missiles...."

    "... This particular order also includes 2 more MK29 MOD 4 ESSM ORDALT Kits for use on LHD ships****..."


    (**** the US Navy's 'medium-sized', 43,000-48,000 tonne aircraft carriers:

    http://www.news.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4200&tid=400&ct=4

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/navy/lhd-8.htm - RVL )

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_George_H.W._Bush_(CVN-77) :

    Note the text-

    ".... Armament:

    "... 2 × Mk 29 ESSM launcher & 2 × RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile..."


    http://www.naval-technology.com/projects/cvn-21/ :

    Note the text-

    "... Weapons:

    "... The carrier will be armed with the Raytheon evolved Sea Sparrow missile (ESSM), which defends against high-speed, highly manoeuvrable anti-ship missiles. The close-in weapon system is the rolling airframe missile (RAM) from Raytheon and Ramsys GmbH...."


    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ship/cvn-78-specs.htm :

    Note the text-

    "... Armament:

    "•Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile
    •Rolling Airframe Missile
    •CIWS ..."


    http://www.naval-technology.com/projects/cvn-21/cvn-213.html

    http://www.naval-technology.com/projects/cvn-21/cvn-214.html :

    "... (The G Ford class supercarrier) CVN 21 will be armed with the Raytheon Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM), which defends against high-speed, highly manoeuvrable anti-ship missiles...."

    In addition to not being nuclear powered, having no fixed-wing aircraft launch catapults, close to non-existant damage-control systems- IE: no armour, and not being fitted with airborne threat ship self-defense weapons needed to deal with modern, widely marketed Anti Ship Cruise Missiles (ASCM's), such as the Russian "sizzler" SS-N-27... it's been reported recently that 1 of the 2 planned 'mega-carriers' planned for delivery to the RN will not be able to be utilized for any aircraft types except for helicopters:

    "Latest Defence Fiasco: I See No (Warships)":

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/alexmassie/5473496/latest-defence-fiasco-i-see-no-ships.thtml

    "Royal Navy to get two carriers - but only one air group?":

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/10/26/carriers_but_no_aircraft_plan/

    "Royal Navy could be forced to build aircraft carrier which doesn't carry planes":

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1222879/Royal-Navy-forced-build-aircraft-carrier-doesnt-carry-planes.html

    "Navy surrenders one new aircraft carrier in budget battle":

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article6888962.ece

    A 65,000 tonne 'Helicopter Carrier' planned for the Royal Navy, that, if one compares its atrociously deficient weapons and damage-control-systems and consequential impotent capabilities with that of a properly designed and built 'helicopter carrier' 1/4 of its size- Japan's recently commissioned 14,000 tonne "Hyuga" .... and then asks "which of these two warships would win in a one on one battle?"... it becomes obvious that Labour is again selling out the country and its future for a few votes in Scottish Ministers' constituency seats...

    "Japan Launches (Aircraft) Carrier... Sorta":

    http://www.defensetech.org/archives/003686.html -

    "... The Hyuga... will carry an Aegis-type air defense system, with the U.S.-developed AN/SPY-1 multi-function radar; her principal "weapons" armament will be 64 advanced ESSM-type Sparrow missiles... "

    "... She will also be fitted with two 20-mm Phalanx "Gatling" guns for close-in defense against anti-ship missiles, and she will have six tubes for anti-submarine torpedoes...."


    http://www.janes.com/news/defence/naval/jni/jni090424_1_n.shtml

    http://defense-update.com/products/h/hyuga_250409.html -

    "... Hyuga is equipped with 16 Mk41 VLS (Vertical Launch System) cells (each cell carries and can launch 4 ESSM-type Sparrow missiles- rvl) for anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles and accommodates two 20mm Phalanx anti-missile cannon and two triple 12.75-inch torpedo mounts for self defense...."

    http://ukdf.blogspot.com/2009_02_01_archive.html :

    "... Arguably the strongest indication that the JMSDF is seeking to increase blue-water capabilities is the Hyuga programme...

    The UK's half-baked Aircraft Carrier project should, at the minimum be put on hold until the Strategic Defence Review (SDR) is finished its first stage...

    As part of the SDR, the carrier project ought to be examined in-depth to at the least determine if a functional redesign is warrented...


    Considering that for over 12-years, the UK Labour govt has refused to authorize funding for the basic maintenance AND VITAL NECESSARY WEAPONS UPGRADES of the Royal Navy's front line warships and has not directed that sufficient resources be provided for the RN- and in particular, its Air Arm- to continue conducting basic operations...

    ... and considering the RN's substantial capabilities' degradation during 1998-2009, is it sensible for the Labour govt to be attempting to replace the RN's comparatively small 20,000 tonne aircraft carriers- HMS Ark Royal and HMS Illustrious- with enormous 65,000 tonne mega-carriers that are, due to Labour govt cost-cutting strategies- intended to be constructed without basic ship self-defense weapons, without armour and that won't have fixed-wing fighters to embark and deploy??

    Whatever party forms govt next and whoever is Minister of Defence or responsible for armed services funding and strategies/policies- they will be faced with a stark choice of:

    1) allowing the continued severe degradation of the UK's military capabilities- in particular the Royal Navy; or

    2) fixing today's disastrous, highly dangerous situation by reversing Labour's willfully-blind-to-consequences defence-expenditure policies 1998-2009...

    In the near future, the RN and other UK armed forces branches don't just require reasonable increases in annualized funding- they also need objectively-set, responsible capability benchmarks to aim at (and updated at a minimum every 2-years)... both of which have not been provided and/or facilitated by the Labour govt during the last 12-years!!

    Today, in addition to its new Type-45 Destroyers being equipped- at commissioning*****- with the weapons and defensive systems required so that they can legitimately function as 'multi-mission/multi-role' Destroyers, capable of prosecuting actions and defending against threats in ALL 3 naval warfare spheres, IE: sub-surface, surface and airborne the RN urgently requires the expedited construction of at least 14- 16 of these warships- not 6 as Labour has begrudgingly agreed to....

    (***** instead of being commissioned as dangerously stripped-down models, as is currently occurring due to Labour govt economizing...)

    Additionally, the RN needs- at the minimum- either:

    1)
    its 2 operational aircraft carriers' weapons and defensive systems updated to 21st century standards- starting immediately!!;

    or

    2) the immediate lend-lease of 2 or 3 up-to-date, fully equipped-with aircraft/weaponry/etc replacement carriers from the US...

    http://www.defense-update.com/products/l/lhd8_makin_island_200409.html

    http://www.news.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=4200&tid=400&ct=4

    These ships' serving in the RN at least until the UK commissions- with a full compliment of fixed-wing and other aircraft- UK-built aircraft carriers******...

    (****** designed with 21st century military-capabilities as a first priority, instead of cost effectiveness and 'make-work-project' political objectives dominating design decisions...)

    Roderick V. Louis,
    Vancouver, BC,
    Canada

  • Comment number 4.

    sign of a crunch?

    usually on nov 5th there are so many fireworks going off around here its like the shock and awe bombing of bagdad.

    tonight there have been hardly any fireworks.

    it really is all quiet on the western front.

  • Comment number 5.

    QE is just printing money like Zimbabwe, and like that country the our stock market is going up, see here-

    http://blogs.salon.com/0001330/myImages/2007/04/17/zimstock.jpg

    Of course it is also destroying the value of the Pound see here-

    http://www.gold-speculator.com/attachments/james-turk/1732d1238600209-message-weak-currency-alert_2009-04-01a.jpg

    Of course anyone who has been over to Europe knows how far the Pound has already fallen, this is a very bad thing and if they continue down this road the destruction of the country is inevitable.

    As for the Iranians, their elections are still less fraudulent than in Afghanistan and their Police torture is no different than anything the the Met does see here-

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/jun/10/ukcrime

    And the Iranians are certainly way behind the Americans and MI6 in torture, they don't even outsource it yet. Don't get me wrong, the Iranian regime are a nasty bunch, but in the end our own government and supposed law enforcement are no different, and in many cases much worse.

  • Comment number 6.

    God, smug Europeans like Agnes Poirier really make my blood boil.

    I hope she doesn't mind me referring to her as "European", rather than "French". "One Europe", after all.

  • Comment number 7.

    ED BALLS IS A MOTORING HAZARD

    While driving I heard that Ed Balls has now pontificated on sex education in schools, emphasising marriage and civil partnerships. For a moment I lost all concentration. School itself is damaging enough. School dominated by Balls is even more so, and sex education, under that terrible aegis, is about as dangerous as it gets. I await with anguished anticipation, 'The Little Book of Balls', written by that worthy, and distributed as the Orificial Guide to Coupling.

  • Comment number 8.

    LEST WE FORGET (#4)

    "its like the shock and awe bombing of bagdad."

    A timely reminder, jaunty. I noted at the time of 'Shock and Awe' that we were fighting terror with terror - innocent civilian death with innocent civilian death - indiscriminate attack with COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT (a war crime).

    As I posted recently (approximately): "We wage just war on you - you just fight dirty."

    The victor writes the history - the aggressor codifies the ethics.

  • Comment number 9.

    #5 from mimpromptu
    turbojerry

    It's shocking to read what you've just posted about those Police Officers, especially that's a preplanned, organised organised torture and not some officer losing it on the day. I wonder what the more civilised countries are going to think about it all and those who are supposed to be in charge on these beautiful isles/?/

    I have heard some rumours.about some kind of semi-scientific experiment being conducted on these lands (you know, the one that Richard Dawkins talked about) whereby sexual prowess of a female is being made reseach into with the express agreement/participation of the MI6 with the original participation of G W Bush and Tony Blair and now being condoned with such vigour by Gordon Brown and Pete Mandelson. Is this the case you are talking about in your post?

  • Comment number 10.

    Gavin Esler is useless as a Newsnight presenter, especially when the main subject is economics, but a tame ten bob fat cat effort throughout last night's programme. Here's wishing Emily a speedy recovery.

  • Comment number 11.

    #5 Turbojerry

    Torture by UK seems to be quite systematic. I have evidence of torture, but can do nothing with it.

    The fact that UK police do use torture quite routinely is such a taboo subject, by no organisation wanting to look at the evidence it is effectively hidden.

    With evidence of torture you have to report it to the police service where the torture occurred. It is not treated as a criminal investigation but just a complaint. So it goes to Professional Standards, they report it to the IPCC.

    The IPCC refer it back to the force who did the torture for investigation. They of course need to cover it up so don't investigate, while sending officers around to threaten the complainant if they persist in trying to take it further.

    So most UK police torture is covered up except the rare case in London where people have access to the larger civil rights law firms and the media which are unavailable in the regions.

    UK police officers are allowed to torture people in the UK as they know the system will cover it up, as it is not in the interests of good PR for the public to know what really goes on.

  • Comment number 12.

    nice planted piece about iran. No doubt its Pravda. As the persian service was mentioned was it an order from the Neocon castle of the foreign office? Keeping the darkness going? The public's focus elsewhere?

    11. in mayor's questions a while back it came up that convictions for violent assault are no bar to being in the MET.

    EU.

    anything that rattles the french and the undemocratic 'eu project' team has to be good? Maybe they think the uk is some kind of ireland who they can tell to go away and think again until they come up with the right answer which is whatever instructions they say? It seemed if they could use the language of 'terrorism' for anyone who opposes them they would have? one day they will. anyone who opposes us is a terrorist they will say.

    the eu hasn't passed an audit yet?

  • Comment number 13.

    Really disappointed with the discussion on QE. There was no opposition to this extreme policy amongst the 3 guests. One even suggested we should be shoring house prices up! I despair.

    I believe we are recklessly just re-creating the conditions which caused the crisis all over again, except even more so with lower rates and QE. We had a crisis caused by high house prices, high debt and rates being too low. Yet all the talk was about propping house prices up, keeping rates down and getting lending going again. Does no-one see the obvious flaw in that tactic?

  • Comment number 14.

    General Gordon

    After the 'no retreat, fight till the last round last man' speech yesterday now our reason for being in Afghanistan is not 'defending the streets of the uk' but if Kazai is corrupt or not? Last week it was about saving women and babies.

    if our 'biggest domestic threat continues to come from the mountains of Pakistan and Afghanistan' why are we spending billions on internal security here? is it for fun or that the reality is the biggest threat comes from within the british population fighting among themselves?

    Of course even if afghanistan and pakistan become happy clappy christian democrats the neocons will be finding other wars for us. if not iran then somalia, sudan,yemen, syria etc.

    The General also keeps using the defeat or victory language. What is victory in this case? When every muslim country that has a section of the population who supports AQ is 'pacified'? Or when every 'terrorist' sympathiser everywhere in the globe is gone forever and ever and ever.....

    funny the General does not, in the same way, talk about defeating the IRA. Did i miss the victory parade? Should it not have been a national holiday?

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/Afghanistan/article6905981.ece

  • Comment number 15.

    13

    Does no-one see the obvious flaw in that tactic?.....

    if you are trying to create a 'bounce feel good factor' for the election it makes perfect sense. so what if it trashes the economy. For some having power is an end in itself and comes first in all decision making. They think power is the highest idea of the mind. which is just another false belief.

  • Comment number 16.

    This week I have been trying to explain why carbon trading will never work and why any agreement at the Copenhagen summit is pointless.

    Again the NN blog as been running ahead of the politics and mainstream media.

    Concern over carbon trading:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cif-green/2009/nov/05/carbon-emissions-trading-copenhagen

    Copenhagen unlikely to achieve anything:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/nov/05/copenhagen-climate-change-treaty-delay

    Like the Large Hadron Collider when some scientists hypothesised it's problems were caused by feedbacks from the future ensuring it could not fulfill some dangerous mission.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/6318034/Could-the-Large-Hadron-Collider-be-held-back-by-its-own-future.html

    Perhaps the nonsense of Copenhagen and carbon trading is being sabotaged by similar ripples from the future.

    Let us look at a NN scenario. We have a scientist with research funding to find a correlation between climate change and carbon dioxide. No problem with that, there has to be a relationship. From a chemist and physicist perspective, the CO2 molecule will absorb the longer wavelengths of energy.

    From an ecological stand point. Increase in temperature of 10c doubles the rate of reaction. So we do have a greater rate of decomposition of organic matter whether in tropical rain forests or Scottish peat deposits. If decomposition exceeds deposition we do have a net increase in atmospheric CO2 (in that simple defined model).

    Then in the NN scenario we have the educated presenter who has studied classics and political history, who asks the politician who studied art history and political and economic theory, for the solution.

    The politician gives an answer to a planetary ecological challenge in terms of reference to their own narrow sphere of familiarity. Cap and trade of CO2.

    Out of this entire scenario of what they are calling the biggest disaster ever, one of catastrophic extinction, are the real experts. The independent planetary ecological ideas.

    They might ask do the climate scientist and politician both agree in the past that the earth experienced temperature rises and there have been fluctuations in CO2 concentrations. Both will agree.

    The planetary ecological engineer then asks the question that neither the climate scientists, media or politicians ever ask.

    What brought temperatures down in the past as the climate change obviously didn't experience runaway disaster in the past?

    As the solution existed before people, before politicians and before economic discussion of cap and trade. Would it not make sense to find out what worked successfully in the past rather than risk everyone's lives and some untested cap and trade policy which no consensus exists on.

    Simple.

    At which point NN eject the planetary ecologist from the studio for stating the obvious and ending the debate the media had nailed it's colours to.

    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 17.

    THE KARZAI - BROWN CHARADE

    Having watched Karzai, I see a Blair-like act. What you see and hear, is NOT what you, subsequently, get. Brown is either a fool who believes Karzai's utterances, or a knave who just receives 'assurances' and parrots them in political hypocrisy. Of course: Jekyll Brown might be a believer and Hyde Brown a hypocrite. What a PM! (Pathetic Muppet)

  • Comment number 18.

    #16 roger thomas

    "As the solution existed before people, before politicians and before economic discussion of cap and trade. Would it not make sense to find out what worked successfully in the past rather than risk everyone's lives and some untested cap and trade policy which no consensus exists on.

    Simple."

    1. In a democracy it is the idea that citizens who are ultimately taking the risk ultimately choose the politicians who should be listening to the scientific consensus.

    If you are saying we should lay down democracy and obey the science-Fuhrer that ain't happening.

    If you are saying that the scientific consensus does not reflect the real science then clearly that battle has to be fought out with the scientists. If 99% of them agree on the broad detail I am happy.

    2. As Al Gore was saying on the Daily Show last night (as he swanked about with his Nobel and showed off his new book Hard Choices) we have Hard Choices as there is very little time to avoid the tipping point and limit temperature increases.

    You know scientists can be very bright and have integrity and still say things like "we will crack HIV in 18 months" - in 1986.

    Do we have say twenty three years to waste? I think not.

    The consensus as a non-scientist understands it is that we really need to control our carbon output and bring it down.

    Can that do harm?

    If cap and trade of carbon is not the perfect plan who cares? The greatest enemy of a good plan is the idea of a perfect plan.

    3. In terms of NN debate if we are talking about a full blown scientific debate then NN is not the forum - perhaps Horizon or a special as how do you pack all of the scenarios and counter arguments into a 5-10 minute slot.

    4. "What brought temperatures down in the past as the climate change obviously didn't experience runaway disaster in the past?" - it may have been a disaster for modern humanity?

    I can only conclude that you may have made a contribution in the past and you may do so in the future but your output seems to reflect your need for you to be at the centre of things.

    There is nothing wrong with that if you deliver the goods but I can see destructive criticism that may damage the public consensus and no indication of when you were going to arrive at the answer that you can surely only presume exists.

  • Comment number 19.

    17. At 1:15pm on 06 Nov 2009, barriesingleton

    re: CHARGE OF THE KARZAI - BROWN CHARADE

    http://tinyurl.com/ya789zv

    And this is who is going to shore up confidence in his leadership?

    As head of the current coprophagic GOAT herd, the notion of Gordon Brown telling others to clean up their act, not appoint cronies, etc, is… quaint

  • Comment number 20.

    #5 turbojerry

    "
    And the Iranians are certainly way behind the Americans and MI6 in torture, they don't even outsource it yet. Don't get me wrong, the Iranian regime are a nasty bunch, but in the end our own government and supposed law enforcement are no different, and in many cases much worse."

    Thats a bit of a leap. I think there are cases to answer on renditions and and torture but it would seem to me that it is more generally a case of the UK/MI5 looking the other way (hard) as the Republican/CIA elements went AWOL on the Geneva convention.

    Democracy allows us and the Americans to plug the gap with legislation and to examine the argument that torture does not really achieve anything.

    On Binjam Mohammed (if I spelt his name right) there are the moral and criminal issues and then there is the fact that the intelligence people can't be too bright if they torture an innocent man for four years before deciding he is in fact innocent.

  • Comment number 21.

    Has the Labour Party flight actually pulled out of its nose dive or are the occupants of the plane now resigned to destruction and will decide on what to do then. Surely they are not going to keep Gordon or is that so mad it may just work as they say?

    There are no signs of coherent ideological/policy change (Post Office), no signs of changing personnel beyond Miliband maybe ducking off to Europe. There funding must be precarious though the unions are staying loyal. Finding activists must be like searching for WMD in Iraq. Their core vote is soft thought I think also the Tory vote is a lot softer than they would want at this stage.

    So going back to the scenario of a lost election and Brown throws in his handbag and storms off .... who picks it up? What direction are they heading in?

  • Comment number 22.

    POLICE BRUTALITY

    I'll start off by saying that all the policemen I know or have known (and it's a few) have all been thoroughly good blokes (and bloke-esses). They are all there from a basic desire to serve and I for one am very pleased they are moved to do this thing. I'm glad they are out there.

    If there are a few who, out of sight, might knock seven bells out of some sub-human creature who deals in crack to kids then I will turn a blind eye. It's all very well playing by Queensbury rules but if all your opponents are trotting round with zip guns in their pockets then you are bound to lose out. If we want to preserve our ordered society (what is left of it) then we are going to have to get dirty hands now and then. Let's not be squeamish about it.

  • Comment number 23.

    It worries me that Peter Hain was still lamely trying to lament the Beeb letting Griffin on Question Time - on Question Time two weeks after he said he would never join the programme.

    The BBC probably never had a choice as they have to be non-partisan.

    The days of no-platform for racists and fascists does not apply in the internet age where the need is to counter the lies and fabrications the BNP offer. Evidence would be as a single example Barnbrook being pulled up for bringing his council into disrepute for citing murders that never happened - due to a combination of contributing factors such as dyslexia and church bells.

    It would also be good to see - or know it was being addressed - all of the democratic parties combine to reject them explicitly.

    It was not just the Churchill and Spitfire emblems they have also been hijacking Owen Glendwr and William Wallace I believe.

    Meanwhile I still find it hard to believe that the media can't nail the BNP down on whether they are National Socialist or not.

    I assume the English Defence League will either wither away or be revealed to be more or less a front for the far right.

    Would a piece on the Bologna train bombing from some time past actually reveal where the far right in this country may be heading?

  • Comment number 24.

    IT'S NOT LIKE ME TO TAKE ISSUE (#22)

    I am choosing my words here - suffice to say i could tell a story of an individual whose experience was not so good.

    'Rough Justice' (TV) and similar enquiries do seem to indicate that 'villains' are fair game when a 'fitting' crime has occurred. Perhaps - as with hospitals (another story) there are 'black spots' and pools of light in policing? 'Twas ever thus.

  • Comment number 25.

    WHEN BROWN IS JEKYLL HE CAN HIDE FROM THE DOINGS OF HYDE (#19)

    Great link Junkk.

    Jekyll-Brown has a Moral Compass - and he knows it. He could not possibly go against the Christian ethic of the Manse, and his Faith-filled Father.

    What Hyde-Brown has done, over the years, is perhaps a hurt child's angry reaction to "the Christian ethic of the Manse, and his Faith-filled Father". And it looks as if doting Sarah will not prove to be a 'Marriage of Salvation'. Gordon needs to be looked at askance by someone who dares to introduce him to himself. Know what I mean blokes?

    When Brown lies in his teeth, they are probably Hyde's teeth in Jekyll's face - might that be why the smile just won't work? It must be hell in there.

  • Comment number 26.

    #22 New Fazer Mk 2

    This not the case at all. What we have is police officers torturing and threatening innocent members of the public purely in a numbers and corruption scam.

    Police officers enter the national computer and make false details of arrests that never happened to go alone with false incident reports of crimes that never existed.

    This gives them a 100% clear up rate for offences which exist only in the imagination of the police. The police work with corrupt solicitors. The forged custody records are signed by the solicitors so they can claim legal aid for clients they have never spoken to.

    Everything looks above board. In reality innocent members of the public who have never been arrested, charged with any offence, had any legal advice are being convicted and sentenced for crimes the police have made up.

    Try standing up for your rights and very unpleasant knock on the door night squads with threaten you and your family.

    These police are the sub human, not the villains, because they have crossed the line, willing to destroy peoples lives to further their own interests. They are worse than drug dealers.

    People have a choice whether to take drugs or not. People do not have a choice to be tortured by the police and have their lives totally destroyed.

  • Comment number 27.

    Barrie #24

    "IT'S NOT LIKE ME TO TAKE ISSUE (#2"

    Oh go on! Spoil yourself! ;-)

    There will always be individual exceptions. Some might say they prove the rule. Generally speaking (normal distribution) UK police are a pretty good bunch. But always remember the truism that we get the police force we deserve.

    I'd have thought Rough Justice far too edgy for you! Mainstream media's 'investigative reporting' has far too large an axe to grind on behalf of their paymasters for me to put much faith in them.

  • Comment number 28.

    ...the NN blog as been running ahead of the politics and mainstream media....

    often the case.

    this used to happen on the great debate board which had breaking stories. which is probably why they closed it.

  • Comment number 29.

    Roger Thomas #26

    That's not been my experience. I speak as I find.

    "People have a choice whether to take drugs or not."

    Not really, it's a behaviour thing. I'd argue that they shouldn't be allowed that 'choice' as they are incapable of making the correct decision. But then we have so many 'choices' bestowed upon us in these enlightened liberal democratic days. Like loans that cannot be afforded and all those beautiful new, trendy clothes we just HAVE to have.

  • Comment number 30.

    TABOOS AND STEREOTYPES (#29)

    With you there NF. I might have said before (;o) that I am convinced cultures only prosper if they reinforce Nature. Stereotyping might be tough on the extremities but it maintains the centre in good heart. Taboos that reinforce 'natural truths' likewise. Perversely, modern man - drastically 'aided' by modern 'man-woman' - has smashed all structure. And here we are.

 

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