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Tuesday 24 November 2009

Sarah McDermott | 15:53 UK time, Tuesday, 24 November 2009

The Bank of England has disclosed that it loaned RBS and HBOS a breathtaking £61.6bn in emergency funding in October and November 2008. This is the first time that the central bank has detailed its support for the two institutions. Our economics editor Paul Mason is in the City to dig up reaction to the revelations and spell out what they mean.

A retired police superintendent has claimed that police officers in England and Wales have made arrests just to get people on to the DNA database. Police chiefs have denied the claim, which they called "plainly wrong". Are 75% of young, black men really on the database now? Richard Watson has been finding out what the young, black, male population in Brixton feel about the claim.

On the day that the US is expected to announce a target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions before next month's UN climate summit in Copenhagen, our Ethical Man, Justin Rowlatt will be speaking to President Barack Obama's Energy Secretary, Steven Chu.

And the tables are turned against our political animals Matthew Taylor, Patience Wheatcroft, Lord Digby Jones and Ann Redstone in the Newsnight Politics Pen. How would our heavyweights raise money through taxation?

Join Jeremy at 10.30pm on BBC Two.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    DNA (Doesn't Need Apartheid) "Are 75% of young, black men really on the database now?"

    'Most Recommended' posts on BBC's Have Your Say (below)suggest that the Brixton sample will be even more anti DNA testing particularly by police:-

    "If I trusted this and subsequent governments, if I trusted the police of now and of the future, I would be quite happy to agree to the DNA data base. But, sorry, certain events have all but eroded that tust, so... NO!"

    "No. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Next thing will be recording the DNA of every baby born in Britain. Welcome to Stasi Britain"

    "NO! Innocent until proven guilty, not the other way round!"

    However, it could be argued that we already have our personal details from passports etc., on computer records and these might later include bio-data, so is a record of our DNA code any more intrusive?

    I believe the long-held 'innocent till proved guilty' maxim is now rather simplistic in this age of terrorism, suicide bombers, drug crime, etc. Many people now live in perpetual fear of serious crime, and being elderly and with a teenage daughter puts me in a different category to today's youth.
    If one imagines a situation, such as a kidnap, where a DNA sample on the database enables a criminal to be identified and the victim freed, one might look more favourably toward a universal DNA database - particularly if the victim was one's daughter son, spouse or parent?

    This should not be left to the police, which suggests 'guilt', but be a routine DNA swab by one's GP. Even the equally routine NHS habit of mislaying such data on public transport would surely be less personal or useful to potential criminals?

  • Comment number 2.

    It must be remembered that the police can take your DNA and access the Police National Computer and make up details of an arrest that never happened just to make it look legal.

    What are you going to do if they are threatening you? Not give them your DNA. You do anything to get out of the station, to safety etc.

  • Comment number 3.

    A dead body is found. The next day police come round your house. They take a strand of you hair from a comb, brush etc. It is placed in a sample bag.

    On returning to the police station the PNC is accessed and a label receipt etc printed out with yesterdays date on it. (They have software applications to be able to change the date of entries on the computer so they are not the same as the actual one when they were made).

    How do you explain in court how a hair was found on a body the day before you were arrested. With a perfect match to your DNA.

  • Comment number 4.

    our Ethical Man, Justin Rowlatt will be speaking to President Barack Obama's Energy Secretary, Steven Chu

    Sweet. Where this time? Let me guess... In the dining room... with the candlestick holder?

    Sorry, at the moment I don't feel the BBC is quite treating this rather important issue with quite the scope and heft it might.





  • Comment number 5.

    should Polish politicians mix with british politicians that oversee a system that targets on race and deny their people a fuller democracy [they can elect their head of state]? :)

  • Comment number 6.

    mervs speech can be watched online on parliament tv.

    in many ways it was a landmark speech.

    he stressed separation regulation [that darling thinks unimportant] and that the idea you can pay back debt without saying its contingent upon the economy is false [as osbourne would like us to believe]. So it was very much 'a plague on the political houses' speech. he pulled the rug from under both of them.

    the banking model he proposed was along the lines of the essential utilities where supply is guaranteed but the providers come and go which would mean banks could and should fail. he said he wants to bring the idea of risk [!] into finance ie that you can lose your money and that banks should be able to close like the hedge funds have.

    i would go further and have a state bank already set up that can temporally take over the functions of a failed bank [pay wages, direct debits etc].

  • Comment number 7.

    actually isn't the only game in town the iraq inquiry?

  • Comment number 8.

    #3 roger. Absence of a DNA database would not (does not?)prevent bent coppers from fabricating false evidence, in similar ways to those that you suggest, such as by taking fingerprints and transposing them onto photo evidence, planting drugs etc. I've created some fictitious photos of events using Photoshop, and I'm sure the police have better software.

    DNA has solved several long-standing crimes recently, also proving innocence as well as guilt. I believe you've had some unfortunate treatment from police, whereas I've managed over 70 years of undetected crime. There does seem a need for more independant checks on police activities.

  • Comment number 9.

    Nos 6

    'i would go further and have a state bank already set up that can temporally take over the functions of a failed bank [pay wages, direct debits etc].'

    YES second that.

  • Comment number 10.

    @ Indignantindegene #1 - I wholeheartedly agree with you about taking everyone's DNA samples via the GP. It's an excellent idea. We already have our medical records/blood groupings etc on our GPs records, so to add a DNA sample to the records would be a good idea. Not only would it help in terms of fighting crime, it would also help people trace their relatives easily too.

    A huge *GASP* at the £61.1billion loan to RBS & HBOS - look forward hearing a lot more on that story :o)

  • Comment number 11.

    The Bank of last resort

    Covert lending would probably have stopped the initial panic in this country over Northern Rock; a simple guarantee of savers' deposits, enhanced in limit due to the circumstances, would have worked just as well, however, in avoiding the public run; but when asked how safe depositors' money was, let us not forget Alistair's reply that their money was safe "for the moment". Next morning it all kicked off.

    "Civilian" depositors aside, institutional investors have I believe a legal right to know how their institution of choice is financed; Myners was allowed to side step this point on C4 News tonight, by saying that the amounts of loans were detailed in the accounts; the accounts of course failed to state that the money came from the Bank "of last resort"; hence the merger of Lloyds TSB and HBOS lacked the much vaunted transparency we're all supposed to be enjoying post Schemozzle.

    Whilst I agree that covert lending can indeed be useful in keeping the all too febrile Henrys of the City docile, there is a fine line to tread between impartial caution and partial secrecy.

    If Myners appears tonight, don't let him off the hook on this, NN.
    Alex Thomson did, Big Jon wouldn't and as for Jezza - it's food and drink for him.

  • Comment number 12.

    D&A?

    My optician has never swabbed my mouth and if he/she tried I would bite their buds off.

  • Comment number 13.

    Surely the implication of the bank story is that the Lloyds TSB/HBOS shotgun marriage brokered by Gordon Brown in the back of that plane
    back from Israel with Victor Blank involved misleading shareholders?

    The Prime Minister's job must now be on the line - nothing less I hope -
    and Peter Mandelson who overrode the Office of Fair Trading on the HBOS/
    LloydsTSB merger must surely now resign as well? What says Neelie Kroes?

    But to get back to more important scandals - football: Ceefax reports that Colonel Gadaffi will be mediating the World Cup qualification row
    between Algeria and Egypt. But who is taking a lead in sorting out the
    World Cup qualifying row between France and Ireland? Step forward the Scottish Justice Minister Kenny McAskill perhaps? 'Compassion' as well
    as passion requires Thierry Henri to fess up and there to be a rematch.

  • Comment number 14.

    Gluttons for Punishment

    We have the highest prison population in Europe, ASBOs, ABCs, Parenting Orders, Community Payback.... I'm sure someone in your "pen" might suggest the taxpayer could save a ton of money in activity costs for these and other forms of punishment by simply passing a law that said that at birth everyone's D&A would be harvested and kept in a database; on reaching the age of 12, each person would have to prove they were innocent of any crime whatsoever, otherwise they would not be allowed to leave the UK ever and all access to offshore banking facilities would be withheld; this would surely obviate the need for prisons and the rest.

    People fought and died for this country to uphold the rule of law, to demand universal suffrage and now we hear the simplistic little Englanders whining on yet again about "nothing to hide, nothing to fear." Howzabout sleepwalking into a police state?

    The price of democracy is eternal vigilance and it was no Socialist who said that; still true, nevertheless.

  • Comment number 15.

    A tartan scandal

    The first British winners of the European Cup and winners of the Cup Winners' Cup - Glasgow's Celtic and Rangers respectively - now languish at the bottom of their groups in European competition.

    The national team manager has recently being dismissed - and nobody wants the job apart from a Superman lookalike.

    The only consolation are the wise words of McAskill, penned in the legacy of McGonagle; "They will all answer to a Higher Power and more fool them when the Rupert of OZ pulls the plug."

  • Comment number 16.

    bob complaining about the special relationship? just bite the pillow bob.

  • Comment number 17.

    do you think if the witness for the iraq inquiry were treated in the same way as these people we might actually get the truth? drill anyone?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/nov/24/evidence-uk-complicity-in-torture

    this is the failure of the neocon language. a war on terror is not the same as a war for human rights. one must always be suspicious of those who say they are against something because it doesn't tell what they are for which might be just as bad or worse.

    if this was a war for human rights could torture still be contemplated as a legitimate tool?

  • Comment number 18.

    Kashibeyaz

    Loved reading your #12

    mim

  • Comment number 19.

    #14

    Kashibeyaz

    And this one is brilliant too!

    mim

  • Comment number 20.

    climate changers will hate this waste of energy

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KIKkcQAY8o&feature=sub

  • Comment number 21.

    Streetphotobeing

    I've had the best compliment yet for my gliding and twirling today. I won't repeat it as this would be boasting and others may not agree with this opinion anyway.

    Unfortunately, I've had problems with my sit spins this afternoon so will have to put a bit more effort of making them happen as they should more often. I think I was bending forward too much or something like that or perhaps was trying too hard but otherwise not a bad day on ice.

    Hope the rest of the evening goes well

    mim

  • Comment number 22.

    Lions led by donkeys

    I've worked with representatives of the US Army, the German Bundeswehr and the British Army on a commercial or potentially commercial basis and I noticed one particular thing about them all; only in the British Army could you tell someone was an officer with your eyes shut; the linguistic difference in American and German troops (speaking German, not English) between officers and enlisted was untraceable, but in the British case, all too evident, as has been since the year dot, no doubt.

    This particular class divide exemplifies the death of meritocracy and the concomitant rise of the phoenix of Establishment Power in the UK; yet again a symptom of a Third World country with delusions of grandeur.

    Please show me the Brigadier from Bridgeton or the Colonel from Croxteth.

    It does matter.

  • Comment number 23.

    Nos 21 Mim

    That's very good to hear, I'm sure it helps your thinking as well - you sound logical in analyzing what was going wrong with the sit spins.

    Just watching the tennis - my partner thinks Federer looks sexy in his shorts. I'm wondering if it will go into NN cus I'm staying with the tennis.

  • Comment number 24.

    17. At 9:18pm on 24 Nov 2009, jauntycyclist wrote:

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

    Great post...maybe the best i've read in two years!

    are you formally bookhimdanno?

  • Comment number 25.

    Interesting read :

    http://www.dailyreckoning.com.au/bond-scam-government/2009/11/23/

    Looks like its going to be three sets.

  • Comment number 26.

  • Comment number 27.

    24

    yes. was there any doubt? :)

    the new bbc login didn't accept the old id for some reason.

  • Comment number 28.

    So the Police are arresting people to get them on the DNA database, a database that the government back in 2007 admitted already had 100,000 errors in it and is just as insecure as the ID database and so open to tampering. Don't worry, when you get arrested or worse because of their errors they will put it down to "computer error", we are all Joseph K now.

    As far as the £61.6bn loans are concerned, you have to realise there is no law now, not disclosing this material change to shareholders is no longer "securities fraud" as it was under those old fuddy duddy laws which sit on books even today, no, the banksters, the BoE and Treasury don't need to be troubled by laws, they are only for little people, like you and me.

    The BBC seems to be ignoring the Iraq inquiry, which is not surprising, then again I doubt it will actually reveal anything, no one ever mentions the Niger uranium documents which we know came about because of the theft from the Niger embassy in Rome in the 2001 New Year, before Sept 11, before any public pronouncements about Iraq being a danger, but physical evidence is just a "conspiracy theory" these days, and the propaganda campaign against Iraq being modeled on Operation Canned Goods which was Nazi Germany's propaganda campaign against Poland to justify that invasion will definitely not be touched on.

  • Comment number 29.

    27 jaunty

    thought so!

    Boy...do i miss jj's posts!

    I believe jj had the same login prob...or maybe it's more sinister than that. In any case, she quite rightly frowned upon private posts.

    I think i'm getting withdrawal symptoms!

  • Comment number 30.

    Digby Jones' proposal is to tax prostitution!

    gafaw....gafaw!!!

    Blimey...don't our girls work hard enough?


    ...at least one of them mentioned the TOBIN TAX (...you guessed it, it was the woman)

  • Comment number 31.

    EVEN THE HAIRS ON YOUR HEAD . . .

    As far as I know, it is an offence not to register the birth of a child in UK. Few seem to realise THAT is the 'doom-point'.

    Just suppose we were to get a deluded Prime Minister (far fetched, I know) who declared war on half the globe, inviting retaliation; retaliation requiring massive mobilisation? That registration of your child, that you freely enacted, SIGNED OVER an innocent life to a madman. Against that indiscretion, being ADDITIONALLY recorded in DNA terms, is small beer.

    And what does the Lisbon Treaty say about all this. Are we now EU fodder, for EU madmen to DRAFT into EU global lunacies? If not - it will not be long . . .

  • Comment number 32.

    OH NO YOU CAN'T! (off message)

    I am acutely aware that Magic (Boom-Boom) Obama, heaven-arcing comet of the campaign trail, has now morphed into Busted Barack, charisma-free stumblebum. He even looks a shade or two paler. Who was that other popular stage performer who went pale, and then went away?

  • Comment number 33.

    CAN'T SEE A WAY, TO BAIL YOU OUT TODAY - MY DEBT WON'T LET ME.

    Is it not highly likely that (for these two banks, at least) the rapid repayment of the 'secret loan', meant they had no money for gasping small businesses? And THERE was Brown saying he was doing ALL HE COULD to save those very businesses. Mr Hyde I presume. Jekyll just chew his nails.

  • Comment number 34.

    #32

    Mr Singleton

    Who on earth are talking to in your thirty two?
    Madam Mim, the doggie, the bear or bee?
    And who was the one who went pale?
    Who are you expecting to fail?

    Are you sure it is you who's winning
    The game malconstrued from beginning?
    And what are you expecting to get?
    Please do think about it in bed!

    Madam Mim

  • Comment number 35.

    @ #30 BankSlickerminustheR, I thought the Tobin Tax was a rubbish idea :p (and the FT doesn't support it either). I miss JJ's posts as well :o(

    An eminent edition of Newsnight - very interesting report by Paul on the secret £61.6Billion loan by the BoE and particularly the studio debate by Jeremy with Professor Milne & Michael Fallon. It seems that a few other countries, namely the US etc, have all made similar loans to stop their banks going bust. Was it such a bad idea? After the debate, it seems that it was a good idea (it was around the time of the Northern Rock collapse), so Gordon Brown didn't do badly after all. Excellent report by Richard on DNA databases and the current method of obtaining DNA samples.

    Crème de la crème of the night was Jeremy with Chris Grayling. What a classic!! Jeremy highlighted the murder case of Sally Anne Bowman, and how her murderer had been traced because he was on a DNA database as he had been in a pub brawl where his DNA was taken by the police. Ha ha ha @ Jeremy pointing out to Grayling that when David Cameron had stated "we will be there to protect you," in his conference speech, Jeremy said that he'd really meant was "we will be there to protect you unless Chris Grayling is banging on about his civil liberties issue on DNA." :p

    Absolute corker!







  • Comment number 36.

    #29 Apparently JJ was banned, for being "off topic" too often!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I read that on Steph Flanders blog, by NF2

  • Comment number 37.

    #23

    Streetphotobeing

    Funny you should mention logic. Apart from the obvious help basic logic can provide while learning things like sit spinning or learning languages, for example, I just love looking at arguments from different angles and different perspectives, then tearing them apart into a sort of mixed puzzle pieces and then putting them into a whole new view point or a psychological state of mind, or way of being and thus occasionally managing to help people to become more fullsome and happier individuals.

    Unfortunately I can't help all my followers to do that and so those who are unhappy with my behaviour should go and seek help elsewhere.

    I have yet to read the link about money more carefully and whether it has anything to do with Madam Mim but am wondering how your evening went and who won.

    mim

  • Comment number 38.

    OY VAY! (#36)

    Hard to believe in view of some 'off-topic-monkeys' we've got. No names no Nazi Ice Drill.

    Thanks for clarification Lizzy.

  • Comment number 39.

    @ Ecolizzy #36 - I don't remember JJ being "off topic."

  • Comment number 40.

    #36

    Ecolizzy

    It looks like you're not too distressed by the ban.
    I'm pleased about that.

    mim

  • Comment number 41.

    On a point of pedantry - or an interest in correct English: "Profiles retained if convicted" is incorrect.

    A "profile" cannot be convicted; only a human being can. It should have been written as: "'Profiles' retained, if the accused is convicted".

    I enjoyed Justin Rowlatt's latest sojourn to Fantasy Land, but he really should see someone about this habit. Seriously, Justin; I'm concerned.

    It's abundantly clear, to all but the truly imbecilic, that no American President is ever going to wreck the U.S. economy in a fantastical belief the climate can be controlled, not least because the American people, through a troubling process called 'democracy', wouldn't allow it. I know that we bow to our masters in Brussels, so democracy isn't an issue, but why Justin and his ilk cannot grasp this inconvenient truth is a wonder.

  • Comment number 42.

    Even thought my real name is above. Not my intention, the BBC wouldn't allow me to put my original user ID. So asked me for my user name and also my name. Then so I gather put my name on my posts.

    Anyway I even though I assume you know my name. I can't deny I have been to prison twice. I have never committed any crime or been arrested for any crime or had any independent legal representation.

    Now I have seen BBC docs when a reporter joins the police and secretly records what goes on. What no reporter can or will be able to do is record what goes on to a person in a police station. One they have to be able to get themselves arrested. Two any recording photographic equipment is taken off them.

    People have seen pictures of what UK/allied services have done in Iraq. Do you really believe UK 'other services' don't do the same here?

    Jaunty Cyclist in his previous incarnation BHD posted extensively on The Game, the interpretation of Nash's Game Theory, where the self interest of the individual is the best for the whole.

    Chris Grayling spoke about the criminal justice system. It isn't it is a criminal justice industry. People who believe that if "you haven't done anything you haven't got anything to fear" are so laughably off the mark it just shows their naivety.

    What is the evidence you have been arrested for a crime in court? It is a police officer going into court putting his hand on the bible and describing your arrest.

    You might have been walking down the street and wacked from behind. Taken to a police station. You might ask for a solicitor. Remember what sort of solicitor will the police give you. Remember in a police station it is the the police who supply you the solicitor.

    Is it one who will represent and defend you, provide you a full and fearless defence. Or one who will work with the police and ensure they are protected and you are convicted. Because by doing that they will get the most work from the police.

    The criminal justice industry is not about law and order or rule of law. It is about self interst. Arrest/ charge ratios. conviction rates. Do you think you will get a fair trial. It is about efficiently convicting people.

    Allowing you to cross examine the prosecution or allowing you to give evidence in your defence takes time, reduces efficiency. So you aren't given it. You might have never have committed any offence, been arrested for anything, you might never have had legal representation or given a fair trial. But you are essential to keep police officers and the rest of the justice industry in a job. Whether you have committed any offence is completely irrelevant to the process.

    That Stephan Kiszko. He believed in good old British justice. It doesn't exist. It is a game to provide work for those working in it.

  • Comment number 43.

    #42
    Hi KingCelticLion,
    You can put the same thing under your username and your name. And you can change your settings at any time. Try it, see if it works...

  • Comment number 44.

    #42

    Roger

    It is really and truly terrifying what you're saying about the Police 'essential' practice in this country. In the last couple of months you have been throwing light on why I, personally, have been finding it difficult to fight off the creeps out of my life.

    However, I am 100% convinced I will be successful. In some ways, it's already happened apart from some desperate button pushers trying to hold on to their 'power'. If I were them I would run away to some distant and unknown corner of this world as I do not think their future is bright. I've said before, the rest can be sorted out once they are out of the way.

    Apart from one stupid incident with a policeman in Kensington Gardens near the almost incredible Rider on a Horse Statue beaming with physicial energy, I have never seen the aspect of the Police as you describe it and have only met with curtesy and politeness, and on that basis I do find it difficult to believe every word you're saying.

    In fact, I've just come up with a new ditty touching on the issues above. Here it is:

    It's still dark. Coming up to five.
    But sure enough it will soon be light.
    More things to unravel and to deal with
    In order to dig out the creeps from the pit.

    I'm hoping to be ready to send off those e-mails I talked about yesterday morning before the Prime Minister's Question Time. It would be ideal if the outline of the truth about Madam Mim was mentioned this afternoon but if this does not happen today it is bound to happeh soon enough, I am sure!

    mim

    P.S. I've just thought that really the conclusion of what you've been talking about is that the whole nation is sick at heart, that there is no place for kindness in the UK, that everybody is corrupt and not no one is prepared to lend a helping hand to anybody else, etc, etc., but I am not convinced this is true. This cannot be true. I know it is not true.

  • Comment number 45.

    #44 update

    And to prove my point here is a useful and helpful link:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/nov/24/human-rights-uk-role-torture

    mim

  • Comment number 46.

    #44 & #45 update

    I should have mentioned that now that I have read Ian Coban's article in the Guardian, I'm sure that very uncomfortable questions addressed to the government will be asked later on during the PM's QT.

    mim (^_^)

  • Comment number 47.

    #46 update

    Wanting to know a bit more about Ian Cobain (and not Coban as above, apologies), I have also read another article by the journalist. This time it's about a Russian spy, Alexander Lebedev, who owns The Evening Standard.

    The article ends on with the following words uttered by AL in French: 'Qui vivra verra', i.e. 'He who'll live will see'. I wonder what he meant by that and how many victims have already been claimed in the name of the game?

    Madam Mim (;_;)

  • Comment number 48.

    I'm thinking of composing a ditty about a spy/traitor undone by the sausage inside his own trousers

    Madam Mim (^_^)

  • Comment number 49.

    39. At 00:29am on 25 Nov 2009, Mistress76uk wrote:
    @ Ecolizzy #36 - I don't remember JJ being "off topic."


    I wonder how many 'strikes' before one is out, he says, noting that some here (inc. yours truly) would seem to have added to the tally.

    Didn't know there was a 'list'. Or that names and box ticks mattered so much over the calibre of what a person writes. In light of the topic and conversations as a consequence in this thread (I claim back my on topic, 'do not go to the naughty step' card!).

    Maybe we are all 'off topic', but some are more 'off topic' than others?

    Imagine if laws of the land were like that, and technically we all could be found guilty of something, subject to the secret whim of... oh.

  • Comment number 50.

    #48 update

    Silly me, I should have provided you with the link on Alexander Lebedev:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/oct/12/alexander-lebedev-evening-standard

    By the way, Lebed' means a swan in Russian /d' stands for softened d here/

  • Comment number 51.

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

  • Comment number 52.

    BBC Lyons Den

    ..Sir Michael Lyons, the BBC Trust chairman, said the corporation has "no intention of diluting BBC commitment to universal access to free news online" ...

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/nov/24/bbc-wont-charge-online-news

    er its not free is it mate.

    this idea the bbc is free runs to the heart of darkness at the executive level?

    the bbc site should be behind a login screen. then it can be 'free' to those who have paid for it. Otherwise it's no different than dumping product to depress a market. Kind of what the eu does to africa with agricultural goods or china does to the eu with things like shoes.

    bbc is just dumping its 'product' online and then saying look aren't we clever.

    for an executive to say bbc is free is at least is wilful misleading use of language? unless they really do believe it then nothing can help them in their delusions?

  • Comment number 53.

    JJ I regarded him as the egg that bound this blog together, and always made a very intelligent contribution, now this site is often dross. I don't post so much as I feel I might be banned as well. I cannot believe he was banned for being "off topic", if NF2 is correct. Have you read some of the posts here?!!!

    People look at life in a lot of different ways to NN and have a contribution to make in a sideways step, away from what was on the programme, nothing is cut and dried, there's always another angle.

    Where have all the acerbic posters gone to, been banned? You need those witty comments, everybody loves an argument, it keeps blogs alive.

  • Comment number 54.

    #53

    Ecolizzy

    It looks like I have misunderstood your position towards jj. The fact that you like his ascerbic whatever doesn't mean I have to, does it? But he thinks I do have to obey him and that's the problem. He now writes under newphasermk2 and a few other names, as well as identifying himself with well known personalities, dead and alive.

    I wish you an enjoyable continuation of exchanges with jj, ecolizzy, at whatever level they may be

    Kind regards

    mim

  • Comment number 55.

    HARD HITTING MEASURES IN A MAD SOCIETY

    I was half asleep, but I think I heard we are going to get 'hard hitting' measures to deal with DOMESTIC VIOLENCE? That sounds about right for today's Britain. The reality is so often found in the language, is it not? So we are going to SCHOOL five-year-olds 'not to do it'. 'Funny' - we used to hit them to achieve that.

    Day by day, the evidence pours in, that those tiny newborn ANIMALS IN HUMAN FORM, need bespoke, dedicated nurture - defined and reinforced by cultural norms and taboos - if they are to have EVEN A CHANCE of contented, rewarding life.

    ALL the information is in the public domain. The WESTMINSTER 'domain', in which our utterly SELF-serving politicians live, seems to have no cognizance of the above. Just to listen to Balls, Cooper, Flint, Brown, Miliband, Miliband, Ainsworth, Beckett - the list FEELS endless, is to hear, WITH DEAFENING CLARITY, the sterile motivation of these tiny souls, draped in the voluminous trappings of power. THESE are the 'messengers' of our failure, and I cannot help but HATE them, in my impotence to influence anything. Of couse I know they are products of the politicians who preceeded them; I should pity or care. But SUCH IS MY FRUSTRATION, I am consumed by unadulterated HATE.

    'Now see what you made me do.' (Eric Berne)


  • Comment number 56.

    Didn't mind JJ. Some of the stuff was accurate and right, some interesting and thought provoking and some pure drivel.

    If JJ posted anything that could be disagreed with then people were free to challenge it.

    Surely JJ could come back under the an assumed identity within the witness protection programme, as long as none of us 'dobbed' him up.

  • Comment number 57.

    QUOTE OF THE DAY - 'World Leaders' Say The Funniest Things

    “‘The fact that I flew here to sit on a panel for one and a half hours, then I´m flying straight back to the US, is an example of our commitment to environmental sustainability,’ boasts Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo, blissfully unaware of the irony of her statement.”

    Taking Care Of Business - http://www.newint.org/features/2009/12/01/corporate-influence/

    The sheer volume of information one can get, and needs to process, can overtake the ability to actually DO anything.

    So one can find oneself subdued by 'events'.

    The utter incompetence of our political classes still astounds even as it exceeds one's worse expectations and fears. Matched only by the superficiality at best, equal incompetence and complicity at worst, of most major media... which frankly depresses.

    And then, there are the rest. From activists to big business, as typified by that quote above.

    Yes, I am keen to learn all I can and DO more to make the world a better place for my kids.

    But the rank hypocrisy of those who have set themselves up, and above 'us' is proving very hard to stomach... much less try and work around (as 'with' seems only to occur to them if there is money to be made, careers to enhance or a target to be met).

  • Comment number 58.

    Merv's swerve that MPs didn't know.

    no surprise the mps didn't know. they don't know much. the govt still don't believe in bank separation that would end the 'too big to fail' scam.

    as for 'small shareholders' any who think the share market is based on transparency is deluded and deserves to loose?

    'THE' scientists.

    golf courses and ski slopes in the desert. it shows we are focussed on what is essential? The transfer of wealth from the many to the few through the mechanism of carbon trading. which is what all this is about.

    Politics Pong Pastured

    at last!

    Belgium

    will we finally have a rumpuy tax?

  • Comment number 59.

    Re Police tactics, Databases, State run law enforcement........ and Utopia.

    See the bullet points as a simple circular flow chart.

    •DNA/Fingerprint/Eye Scan etc Database - ALL world citizens at birth
    • Available to Law enforcement agencies when required
    • In order to protect ALL world citizens
    AND
    • Convict ALL guilty world citizens

    IN AN IDEAL WORLD (UTOPIA) would be a SAFE approach for all innocent parties

    BUT OF COURSE

    • IN THAT IDEAL WORLD (UTOPIA) there would be no crime so no need for any such scheme.

    Reminds me of the lyrics..... ‘life is a circle without a beginning and nobody knows where the circle ends.’

    Put the bullet items in a circle and make your cut anywhere.

    SO since whilst there are fallible, self serving and flawed human beings on this planet and those intent on doing harm to others, we have two stark choices as a starting point:

    1) NO Regulation – save for the individual standing up for themselves, which of course would quickly get organised into vigilante gangs, organised by the ‘strongest’ of those same fallible, self serving and flawed human beings. Money or other services/commodities may even change hands – then we’d have money managing organisations, then ................

    2) A Regulative System of some sort that is of course first and foremost very very clearly defined and then managed by those very same fallible, self serving and flawed human beings – mostly the louder and stronger ones.

    SOME CHOICE. BRING on Global Warming eh? Perhaps we just expect too much. Try working in the field of expectation management! Can’t even make it work in business or club of 300 people with shared interests and goals. What hope the world.

  • Comment number 60.

    mimpromptu #54

    "But he thinks I do have to obey him and that's the problem. He now writes under newphasermk2 and a few other names, as well as identifying himself with well known personalities, dead and alive."

    In view of your undoubted paranoia I should not be surprised that you invent stories like this. Are you so far divorced from reality as to be unable to register the very pronounced difference in writing style between myself and JJ? Be advised that JJ does NOT write under the name of NewFazerMk2 (or any other) and to say so is to tell a lie. JJ has no desire to control you although I would wish to see your behaviour controlled, certainly within the confines of this blog.

  • Comment number 61.

    Roger Thomas #56

    "Didn't mind JJ. Some of the stuff was accurate and right, some interesting and thought provoking and some pure drivel."

    I'd be interested in any link you might post which directs me to any 'drivel' written by JJ. (The archive is still there.)

    If it's drivel you want - read mimpromptu's offerings.

  • Comment number 62.

    JJ? A viewpoint.
    Never met though read some posts before I joined. Required lots of back study to get ANY understanding, so a bit off putting.

    BUT,

    If I was a moderator (any vacancies??) the reason for removing posts or banning this poster (assuming this is the case) would be nothing to do with views, but with unrelenting manner in which he/she posted streams of personal abuse. THAT in my view has NO PLACE on any open blog or MB.

    If you can’t argue your point without name calling, then you’ve really got NO POINT!

    I also noted recently that most of the incomprehensible (sorry) posts by the chap from Vancouver were being removed. What of that?
    Paranoia, persecution complexes and conspiracy theories abound.

  • Comment number 63.

    Roger Thomas #56

    "Surely JJ could come back under the an assumed identity within the witness protection programme, as long as none of us 'dobbed' him up."

    JJ has not been 'banned' from the blog. Instead, access has been 'restricted' - to nothing. More PC I guess.

    I believe the problem with an assumed identity is that JJ's IP is static. If it were dynamic another persona would be possible.

  • Comment number 64.

    Brightyangthing #62

    "If I was a moderator (any vacancies??) the reason for removing posts or banning this poster (assuming this is the case) would be nothing to do with views, but with unrelenting manner in which he/she posted streams of personal abuse."

    Could you point me to any such stream please?

    If you want streams of abuse try accessing Go1's archive.

  • Comment number 65.

    #62 BYT I don't think JJ ever insulted anyone, he did put it very strongly in his suggestions of what people should read and learn from. But personal abuse was not his style.

    I've had personal insults thrown at me by Go1, Street, and Mim, but I've got broad shoulders, and ignore them, they don't know me, and I'm far from being the fascist they all call me!!!!

    I notice Go1 seems to have disappeared as well, now that he can't insult and misrepresent JJ!

    I stop reading posters that insult me, so don't really know what they write these days.

  • Comment number 66.

    ..witness protection programme..

    as an aside the uk has no universal witness protection programme. only a few forces do it and people on it have still been murdered. In one case the BT engineer who passed on the details of a couple in wpp [who were later murdered] was only sentenced to 6 months for 'breach of data'. One might of thought he was instrumental in the murders and should have got life?

    in france there is no wpp at all.

    but because usa cop shows mention it all the time people generally think there is a universal service and that it is effective.

    this may also be another reason why under labour the number of organised crime gangs has doubled since 1997.

  • Comment number 67.

    u#59 & #62

    Brill reads and brill analysis, as always, Brightyangthing.

    I don't know whether you've seen the PM QT but Gordon was talking about some prescription. Strange talk. Medical prescription prescribed by unprofessional laymen?

    Anyway, I went to see my GP earlier on and I am delighted with it. Things are definitely looking up in terms of the public perception of myself as a normal inidividual. I am delighted about that too. Things are looking up, Brightyangthing.

    I have to push off now but will get back to you later.

    mim

  • Comment number 68.

    #65

    Ecolizzy

    I can't remember throwing abuse at you. On the contrary, as far as I remember I kept inviting you to even meet you in person and I also remember apologising to you if I have ever hurt you. I think I know who you are in real life which is why I tried to take special care in communicating with you.

    As for jj, well, it doesn't look we can agree on him and I suspect you don't really know what he is up to. I don't think you would like to know. It might hurt. And very, very much.

    mim

  • Comment number 69.

    HOW NOW BROWN CAW (#65)

    It is not surprising that a man who can't hear himself saying 'Alky-Ada', will fail to realise the difference between 'proscribed' and 'prescribed'.

    Mind you, in a country that has given up on 'Accept' using 'Except' as both itself, and the former, perhaps we should forgive wee alien Jimmie Brown, as he struggles with our language.

    Just the sort of polymath you want in charge of, rolling things out - going forward.

  • Comment number 70.

    NF Mk2 #64 and ecolizzy #65

    1st. I am not going to trawl back through weeks or months of posts to 'prove' my thoughts,
    but... 26 Oct, posts 43, 53, 55,64 and 67 ALL include direct or subliminal comments that could be deemed personal abuse' should someone choose to report it. And I suspect it would be upheld.

    2nd. I saw much of this with a few posters (GO1 being another) and it generally meant I didn't bother to read what might have been valid points.

    3rd NONE of it bothers me, even If I am a target. Sticks and stones.

    4th. I see Go1 (yep and JJ as using playground tactics to score points. They should 'get a room or maybe a ring (boxing) and slug it out. They complain of low quality posts/posters yet do little to pull up the standards.

    5th. WHOSE standards are setting the content of this blog/board? I try with the possible exception of point 4 above, to read and evaulate and often learn from most particiapnt as far as time and intelligence allow.

    Anyone who believes to have found the TRUTH, let alone the ONLY truth is in my book harbouring the biggest delusion of all, and dismissing possibly simple ideas of those below them is sheer stupidity. Must be a government minister!

    Anyway, as Bil Gates might say to a class of 14 year old 'Friends' fans, "In real life, sometimes people have to leave the coffee shop and go to their jobs!"

  • Comment number 71.

    ANOTHER CHARACTER SKETCH - KENNETH CLARKE

    Today, on the Daily Politics, tiny twerp Ken, declared the need to prevent Hizb-ut-Tahrir led schools from creating a toxic atmosphere of extremism, to ensnare the future terrorist.

    Could this be the same Big Beast Ken, who defended, vigorously, his right to induce inhalation of toxic tobacco smoke, to ensnare the future addict?

    While the Westminster ethos embraces, and glorifies, such individuals (and there are MANY) we shall get devious, self-serving governance - as sickeningly in evidence today - directly connected to the Mr Hyde mind-set of Jekyll/Hyde Brown.!

  • Comment number 72.

    #59 byt I agree your 2 options re-State run law enforcement, and Utopia., examples being:

    (1) the mafia and the taliban, and
    (2) democracy, UK style; an example of which occured this morning with the Supreme Court (in effect) finding in favour of The Banks v The Public.

    The fact that a group of (presumably)highly qualified lawyers (aka The Supreme Court) can find incorrect the decision of two previous groups of (presumably) highly qualified lawyers (aka The High Court and The Appeal Court)brings one to an irreversable final judgement - that the Law is an Ass.

    I was a victim of this legal flip-flopping in the Equitable pension fiasco, in which successive referals to our learned friends resulted in the reversing of previous learned decisions. What does this do for faith in our legal system? Is it simply the effect of an established hierarchy of courts, that have to show that they know better than the lower courts, or maybe their Lordships in Supreme Court are now in their dotage, or have been promoted beyond their level of competence?

    What is sorely needed is a Court of Pragmatism, which does not dwell on the precise meaning of a word or phrase, but looks at the overall effect and 'the greater good'(eg Deportation of Foreign Criminals v HR laws).

    In this specific case, the state should take control of those banks in hock to the taxpayer and draw up user-friendly rules that do not rip off the public in order to enrich overpaid bank executives and shareholders.


  • Comment number 73.

    brightyangthing #70

    "1st. I am not going to trawl back through weeks or months of posts to 'prove' my thoughts,
    but... 26 Oct, posts 43, 53, 55,64 and 67 ALL include direct or subliminal comments that could be deemed personal abuse' should someone choose to report it."


    Well, I did bother to go back and find the posts you mention and here they are:

    43 "Instead of taking offence at being shown to be flawed, why not take the feeling as a first step towards becoming less so?

    53 You are incorrigible.

    55 you nitwit!

    64 ???
    ( I really can't think what you object to here.)

    67 Maybe you should try to grasp the bigger picture within which what you are told to think is relevant is actually happening, instead of being swept along like a goldfish?"


    If you any of this 'offends' you I suggest you re-examine your sensibilities. You are exhibiting exactly the behaviour JJ describes.

  • Comment number 74.

    Hey Indignant One #72

    My ex boss of many years (and many years ago) was erstwhile chair of ELTA. Not sure how things stand currently.

    Re banking.

    I simply believe the following.

    - FREE banking will (MUST) end soon.
    Who should be charged what, for what is a much bigger question. And I am one of those who benefit from FREE banking. BUT I used to have to

    pay for every cheque when I first left school and worked in
    a ........... BANK!

    - Personal/Commercial banking MUST be separated from Investment Banking soon.


    Should we start a be kind to ass's day? They are much maligned me thinks. They are really not THAT bad! That braying noise gets on your nerves after a bit though right enough!!!

    Many years ago a friend from school, whilst studying law, spent 6 months in Belize, when I recall there was no regulation for example on use of recreational drugs amongst many other contraints on behaviour. The place by her account was a lawless, filthy pig sty because no one was compos mentis enough to care.

    Despite living in the midst of a nanny state, seems we have similar in many areas.

  • Comment number 75.

    Ethical Man, Justin Rowlatt will be speaking to President Barack Obama's Energy Secretary, Steven Chu.

    Just caught it.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/8378729.stm

    Actually, some fair questions. If not too many. Shame about the answers.

    And this is the calibre of person, and thought, that has now persuaded President 'will he/won't he' Obama to come and bless Copenhagen with his presence?

    O......k.

  • Comment number 76.

    NF Mk2
    I AM NOT Offended. I made that clear in (quote - 3rd NONE of it bothers me) Nor am I bothered by content that may or may not be akin to my own views on life.

    post 64 was a sweeping generalisation rather than specific.

    I merely pointed out, in response to some questions as to the whereabouts and reasons of non appearance of JJ, that antagonistic, lacking in respect if you like, interpersonal content may have fallen foul of filters or have been complained about by the seriously over sensitive. I merely offered the possibity that any ban (which I see no evidence of) may have been as a result of personal insults being exchanged, not only by JJ.

    I do not beleive they were or should have been. It is an Eagles Eye view if you like.

    '.... You are exhibiting exactly the behaviour JJ describes.'

    As is this if I really want to be a pedant. Posters on here are largely anonymous and however many exchanges take place on nor off the blog, do not really KNOW anyone's belief or circumstances and therefore such comments, largely harmless and throw away, bring nothing to the party.

    It's a free world and I belive we have two eyes, two ears and only one MOUTH for a good reason. We learn when we listen and read, and merely regurgitate what we believe or believe we already know when we speak (type/write)

    Just keep it respectful. Or sit on it.

  • Comment number 77.

    Oh for more time to really have a rant !

    We are losing our understanding of what being a free people is these days, the old laws are now being superseded with haste and we're being given limited undefined rights in exchange for a 1000 years worth of struggle and legal precedents defining what Liberty and Freedom should mean.

    No government (servant of the people) should have a policy of treating all it's citizens and their offspring as potential criminal suspects by default.

  • Comment number 78.

    JJ

    So if JJ has been restricted surely in a democratic system the regular posters should have been consulted for their views.

    Isn't it a bit fascist/totalitarian for the 'knock on the door night squad to remove' someone from the blog. If that isn't bad enough, why were the regular contributors not consulted on the issue.

    If we didn't post it would be an empty page.

  • Comment number 79.

    SETTING BATTERY HENS FREE JUST DOESN'T WORK (#77)

    We can't handle blanket freedom. It is a form of universal suffrage - and look what we do with that, come voting day!

    Only if we re-program the hens, before release, will they be able to survive outside the lie. The way to freedom is to:

    WISE-UP THE YOUNG.

    PS Come back and rant properly Steve!

  • Comment number 80.

    brightyangthing #76

    "Just keep it respectful. Or sit on it."

    Respect must be earned.

    If children are not corrected when wrong, how can they ever learn?

  • Comment number 81.

    Roger Thomas #78

    "If we didn't post it would be an empty page."

    Sadly it wouldn't be empty, nature abhors a vacuum. It would fill up with twitter, much as it is doing now.

    To quote JJ, "It will turn into a cross between Jam & Jerusalem and the Mad Hatter's Tea Party. Just idle opinionating."

  • Comment number 82.

    JADED JEAN IS RISEN AGAIN (#81)

    "It will turn into a cross between Jam & Jerusalem and the Mad Hatter's Tea Party. Just idle opinionating."

    HALLELUYAH! (:o)

  • Comment number 83.

    Barrie #82

    I say old chap, steady on! We'll get accused of being off topic.

    (You were amazingly close to the gefilte fish at #38 weren't you? How'd you get away with that?)

  • Comment number 84.

    #76

    Brightyangthing

    I mostly ignore jj's, mk2's, barriesingleton's, cookieducker's posts though occasionally choose to talk about them to people I may have some regard for.

    For instance, my suspicion about Ecolizzy is that although she may indeed be liked and appreciated by some of the above, ultimately she is being used as a pawn in their game to make me jealous. It's been going on for about 23 years but the more people pretend they don't like me the faster I lose respect for them and simply can't be bothered any more whether they do like me or not, whether I turn them on or not and so on and so forth.

    Although I do not have a brilliant figure, I do seem to have energy that people, especially men, find stimulating but they get confused, the men that is, when they compare me to a lady with long legs, big boobs and a beautiful face. On the whole, I think, that is how most men perceive and appreciate women, that is by their looks first and their personality or whatever they may represent second. I have never had any need to compete with women like that. It's a pointless exercise. Instead, I prefer to concentrate on what I'm involved in at any particular time, it used to be work at St George's for example, and now it is, apart from twirling and dittying, communication with the world, nice people I meet in the streets /by the way, it was Tim's funeral today and I have now met his family with whom I shall be in touch/, my family, obviously and a few friends that I care about. As for the rest, it is 'take it or leave it', nor more nor less as Cordelia put it to her father although I do not pretend that I actually love everybody. Far from it.

    Because of my attitude and the way of being some people get so desperate to attract my attention they go to absolute extremes to do so with the consequences that are quite obvious for the public to see.

    mim

  • Comment number 85.

    YOU MIGHT SAY THAT (#83)

    (:o)

  • Comment number 86.

    #4 byt "My ex boss of many years (and many years ago) was erstwhile chair of ELTA. Not sure how things stand currently".

    ELTA being just one of seven Equitable Life action groups that continue to press government (Financial Authority)for compensation, the situation is still awating response, after countless reports by the Ombudsman, parliamentary committees, and other learned persons. So the wheels of justice continue to grind slow but exceedingly rich for lawyers and their ilk, whilst more of the victims are ground exceedingly small - to dust in fact - as they pass away on their reduced pensions.

    Since jj is quoted frequently here, I recollect some (polite)exchanges with him on whether one's trust is best placed in Nanny State or Private Enterprise. Both failed to protect my pension investment, and although I accept the general principle of 'caviat emptor' I still believe there is room, and need, for some measures of consumer protection against the unacceptable face of capitalism. A few state-owned bank branches would offer better pressure against the cabal of the big banks than reams of legislation and small print for the enrichment of the legal profession.

  • Comment number 87.

    Nos 84

    Oh mim I do hope they don't ban you, getting referred to the moderators a lot recently.

    Federer won what a bummer and the beeb cut the broadcast when NN was on up until ethical man nonsense, wast of tax payers money. Spooky or what.

    Work on those ditties and have a good evening.

    A JJ quote:-

    'Soft soaped and shafted'

    Off topic ?

 

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