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Friday 15 January 2010

Verity Murphy | 12:16 UK time, Friday, 15 January 2010

UPDATE - HERE'S A BIT MORE DETAIL ON TONIGHT'S PROGRAMME:

"We hear on the radio that rescue teams are coming from the outside, but nothing is coming," - Haiti earthquake survivor Jean-Baptiste Lafontin Wilfried.

In a special programme we focus on the aftermath of the devastating Haiti earthquake, which has killed an estimated 45,000-50,000 people.

Correspondents on the ground say there is little immediate sign of a co-ordinated relief effort and that there is growing anger among survivors, many of whom are spending another day without food and shelter in the ruined capital.

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said the Haiti relief effort was the main US priority in the western hemisphere, as its aircraft carrier, Carl Vinson, arrived off the coast.

More troops, helicopters and a hospital ship will be sent in the coming days.

Tonight, we will be asking how much of a difference the US can make. We hope to be speaking to the US State department, a senior Haitian diplomat, and the UN's emergency relief co-ordinator.

We will also be looking at the lessons learned from previous earthquakes and natural disasters in Indonesia, Pakistan, Iran, and elsewhere, and debating the best ways to respond to such events.

Do join Gavin on BBC Two at 10.30pm.

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Entry from 1216GMT

Here is what we are planning for tonight's programme:

There is growing anger and frustration from survivors of the earthquake in Haiti over the speed at which aid is being delivered to them. Flights have been arriving in Port au Prince, but there are few signs on the ground of the people most at need getting help.

Tonight, we will be devoting the whole programme to the Haiti quake - looking at the logistical problems on the ground and the lessons learned from previous disasters in Indonesia, Pakistan, Iran, and elsewhere.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    I have to say I had always believed the UN had a "ready to go" response for any humanitarian crisis and I can't see why the tragic loss of UN workers in Haiti would affect an outside effort. Is the airport damaged or something.

    Perhaps my notion of some aid arriving almost immediately would cause conflict as those that did not have water and shelter may riot I suppose.

    I suppose also they have to consider aftershocks and I get the feeling that numbers of probable dead were badly underestimated initially.

    Still very sad and I am glad we as a nation are going to do all we can to help them.

  • Comment number 2.

    As we now are approaching an election I note that Brown seems to be smiling. This does not seem to happen too often and the last time was shortly after he announced he had "saved the world" from the economic crisis he helped to create I think. Then we found out about McBride and the email smears.

    Is it good for democracy to have these nasty little attack dogs and does Brown have a new one?

    What is McBride doing and will the HoC committee ever get to hear the full truth about whether Gordon did know exactly what he was up to?

    What of the court case the Tory MP was raising - will it kick in before the election?

  • Comment number 3.

    I repeat a previous comment.

    Just HOW MANY journalists and media types are there on the ground, taking up valuable resources such as food, water, shelter.

    BBC - how many do you have currently in Haiti.

    There are issues at the airport Gango (fuel shortages, runway damage, planes stuck with no fuel to take off) and the port (au prince) is also badly damaged but there are other areas of coast.

    I wonder why helicopters are not being used to drop aid around the outlying areas. They don't have to land. I appreciate that could spark a free for all, but if carefully targetted and one area 'flooded' with basic provision for survivors, then moved on.......

    What about shipping in the area? Apart from any military options or coimmercial vessels there must be hundreds of luxury cruise ships and large yacths within an hour or two of the region. One thing they will have are desalination/water puryifying units, the output of which should perhaps be commandeered and transported. They will also all have a small fleet of landing craft and outboards.

    Doubtless at first sign of trouble they all turned tail to safer calmer waters.

    What disasters like this need are borderless apolitical agencies FILLING ANY NEED they can, without too many meetings and discussions.

  • Comment number 4.

    Is there any political movement towards a better control of financial instruments like CDS and are there moves towards a standard method of risk analysis for the purposes of regulation?

    I have heard nothing in terms of election pledges as the parties focus on the cuts. The problem is if we have another crisis like the last one would there be anything to cut?

  • Comment number 5.

    On the Djemjanjuk (alleged Nazi death camp guard) trial I have not seen anything about the defence trying to rely on the crackpot "evidence" that there was no Holocaust as the far right-types have often tried to claim.

    They are nasty people who can't face up to the historical evils of National Socialism or prefer to to be blind to it because of what dwells in their personalities. The kind of people who can't grasp that there are no significant genetic difference between the races when you look at the science. The kind of people who would give up democracy in the blink of an eye. They are so insincere and so aware of the failures of their views that they will often deny what their true beliefs are.

  • Comment number 6.

    Will there be any attempt to correlate quake events with the use of tectonic weapons and occasionally resultant tsunamis?

  • Comment number 7.

    'A man who admitted making nail and ball bearing bombs at his West Yorkshire home has been jailed for 11 years.

    BNP member Terrance Robert Gavan, 38, also pleaded guilty to six counts of having or collecting documents useful in terrorism. '

    You get the nicest people in the BNP don't you?

    I have to say I do applaud the sentence as in the past the far right have been treated like misguided eccentrics.

    You can see how such a man would fit into the BNP. They "are not a Nazi party" they are "modern and progressive".

    Will we ever find out how Nick Griffin lost his eye?

  • Comment number 8.

    #3

    Running away from trouble is a well known thing, BYT. There is a Polish expression which goes as follows:

    What's bad is not me.

    Or turning a blind eye is another way of reaction though obviously neither applies to everybody.

    These days, with global communication being so quick, your idea about borderless aid agencies ready to go almost immediately, sounds very sensible.

    mim

  • Comment number 9.

    Next Monday: I hope you have time to cover the story of the guy who was found not guilty of 'fraud'.

    "The jury was told that police found almost US $300,000 in Mr Ellis's Paypal account and that he received $18,000 (£11,000) a month in donations from people using his website."

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/tees/8461879.stm

    That is a serious blow for music and video content site owners.

    So, if I copy Newsnight and offer it to USA viewers and call myself a 'club' I can charge what I want and not be breaking the BBC copyright law?

    That case is an insult.

    _________

  • Comment number 10.

    BATTLEFIELD-INJURY, PREMATURE-BIRTH, CATASTROPHE, SHOCK-AND-AWE BOMBING.

    All bring life close to extinction. Three of the above elicit extreme concern and action - the fourth is a tool of civilisation - a price worth paying.
    I wonder how the 'balance sheet' looks?

    Can we get some apologist from the Halls of Westminster, to explain the underlying rationale? Or might it be they have never even considered it?

    So depressing, that as people die under rubble, natural or man-made, 'there's always been a photographer to record the happy scene':

    ‘Old it flash bang wallop what a picture
    Could be earthquake, or it’s Shock ‘n Awe.
    Poor flat families underneath the dust
    Are they dead yet? The camera’s not fussed.
    Ave a break – eat yer grub
    Feed yer rumblin’ tum – chum.
    What a picture, what a picture.
    Rumble, grumble, help ain’t come!
    Edgy stuff for Newsnight – dumb DUMB..

  • Comment number 11.

    #10

    I'm sure your colleague appreciates the effort but to me it doesn't read all that well rhyme wise or wise wise,
    human wise nor love wise
    future wise nor size wise

    mim

  • Comment number 12.

    #11

    Getting help from the Russians, are you, you 2?

    It's called source identification

  • Comment number 13.

    #12 continuation

    I'm sure NATO will be grateful for your effort

  • Comment number 14.

    #47

    Brightyanthing

    I've been musing myself about the issues about sorting one's own house, i.e. basic human values principles, etc before even attempting to interfere into those of others, not to mention preaching, shouting, terrosing and spreading disease in the abodes to which they have never been invited.

    But then, Brightyanthing, there are those who may never be able to comprehend what are musing about.

    mim

  • Comment number 15.

    #14 missing word

    The last phrase should read 'what WE are musing about' to which I would add 'and how we are musing about', i.e. not losing sight of the world beyond our own, etc

    mim

  • Comment number 16.

    What’s happening in trying preventing
    Is an attack of ethicising and skinning
    With dry patches remaining
    That then require creaming and caring
    On top of it there is juice draining
    That then require replenishing

  • Comment number 17.

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

  • Comment number 18.

    Pest Test - abridged version of #17

    Turns out there is a test
    For a high-tech pest
    Whose spokesman with initials BS
    Produces verses in jest

    mim

  • Comment number 19.

    #31 from previous page - update

    Brightyangthing

    I see real signs of borderless organisations working together helping the earthquake struck Haitians.

    This morning I received an e-mail from the iTunes, working in this case on behalf of the Red Cross, asking for help for the Haiti people, not talking about the Pan American Health Organisation as well as, obviously the UN with Ban Ki-moon expecting to visit Haiti later today.

    You can be a bit of a visionary at times, BYT.

    mim

  • Comment number 20.

    #14 & #15 further reflections

    BYT

    I've been musing further on self-obsession as opposed to preservation of one's own identity and basic human principles:

    Obsessive adherence to symbols and numbers
    Directions, echoing and gnawing
    Bubbling and struggling taking ‘forever’
    While suffering with burning and fever
    Will cause eventually the bubble to wither
    And the rest of the body to cinder

    mim

  • Comment number 21.

    I heard a spokesperson from a disaster charity saying their first aircraft had just arrived... 'with bottled water'.

    As the most basic need, untainted water supplies are obviously a priority.

    I was just surprised the logistical systems globally were not optimised to store and deliver this commodity without having to carry water further than necessary, time and weight-wise.

    As a serious, but equally potentially daft (I accept), suggestion for future aid efforts, might it be an idea in areas prone to disasters to build with aid well sited earthquake-proof reservoir (sprung leg low level - no need for 'head' - tanks with flexible connectors?) buffers to water supplies around regions, than can be tapped in the event of emergencies?

    I'd have thought just 2/3 of these, even if located to the periphery of distribution centres such as airports, wold equate, and a lot more cheaply and quickly (in future), to one plane load.

  • Comment number 22.

    #21

    JunkkMale

    Are you thus proclaiming yourself the future Caesar of the Universe?

    Talking about an obsession with bottled water and numbers 2 & 3. One female shared by 2 males, is this the plan?

    Seemingly 'clever' but ever so predictable.

  • Comment number 23.

    At # 23 a further rhyme on no 2

    It’s not that trickery hasn’t been tried
    Especially with placing oneself on this or that side
    Relatively recently there was an item on Newsnight
    Whereby a moustacho with a grin on his face
    Ran from the left to the end of the queue
    Proclaiming himself winner to be?

    And one on no 3

    There is a boy who never grew up
    ‘Professional symbolist’ right through and through
    He too has been dreaming placed in the queue
    Bespectacled this one and predictable too.

    mim

  • Comment number 24.

    WATER OF LIFE (#21)

    I guess the trouble with water is that you can't store it for long before it becomes the home of all sorts of life that is not good for humans. So I suppose you need a treatment plant sitting alongside your tank.

    Perhaps civilisation (see #10) would be better served, if it had 'standing' rescue potential, as provided locally for mountains or caves, but resourced to the level of a national 'standing' army.

    The truth is obvious: we mount a bloody war (largely on the innocent) far more readily than a 'bloody' rescue. But LOOK UP! We fly to the stars and are one with the gods!

    Globals all.

  • Comment number 25.

    Incidentally, when did the BBC start mispronouncing the name of the country as 'Hate-ee'? It has been 'Ha-eeti' since before Christopher Columbus. This must be an official dictat. The only people I have heard pronounce it the right way have done so only once (apart from Haitians that is). Might be a bit much to expect the French pronunciation of Port-au-Prince though.

  • Comment number 26.

    WATER WATER EVERYWHERE.......... (#21/24)

    As we face more flooding here as rain plus snow melt breaches recently repaired dykes, water is much on the mind (and perhaps also on the brain). A commodity balanced to both give life and to take it away.

    Junk - The bottom line here is so often the location of $$$$$. So often, disaster zones, be it flood, famine or earthquake occur in the world's poorest places. They do not have the money to provide the infrastructure to have relief close at hand.

    Anyone care to predict the chicken and egg here? Are they (warning, sweeping generalisations afoot!) poor simply because the infrastructure gets wiped away on a regular basis thus requiring ANY profitability in the nation/region to be ploughed back into rebuilding?

    Do they live in a known disaster zone because they are poor and choices are restricted, perhaps, by the tribal nature of their communities?

    Are they poor because they governments and Commerce around the world keep them that way for a purpose?

    Sometimes, in fit of compassion fatigue, at starvation in Africa’s Dust Bowl; flood in Bangladesh (the whole damn country is a bloody River Delta for goodness sake) ; earthquake/Tsunami in the Pacific Rim it makes me weep. Is this perhaps nature (Mother) or God (Father)’s way of saying – THIS IS NOT A GOOD PLACE TO LIVE?

    Questions, questions, questions.

    Answers please, on a postcard to.............. GOD. You know the address. It’s everywhere!

    *****
    OH GOD, have just heard that Hilary Clinton (and how many hundreds in security and the likes) to SEE, pres flesh, reassure...... SURELY the space and weight and transport and fuel and $$$$$ could be put to much better use in tents, food, water, medicine, EXPERTS who could DO SOMETHING. I await pictures of Mrs Clinton and her entourage in hard hats, overalls and boots, really getting stuck in. Any bets????


    HANGS HEAD IN SHAME!

  • Comment number 27.

    HGP (25)

    Maybe they have been taking lessons from Gordie - remember his drunken bag lady terror org - Alki Aida!


    I agree about local dialect pronunciation. As long as conventional anglicised is correct - we don't report about student riots in Pareeee, or the footie match in New CASTLE! for example.


  • Comment number 28.

    CASH is what is needed, as you stated on the program but how much a will be distributed to all the people on the ground?

    CASH to enable everyone to help themselves.

    CASH to enable self help and self rebuild,

    Diggers, tractors, fuel and water and in the warm country tarpaulins are enough , if they have some money to exchange for goods.

    Cash for Recycled goods . Timber, Bricks, nails

    Yes Most things can be reused and recycled but the will is needed back in the peoples eyes to enble it to happen.

    Provision of a sense of pride and self respect and acknowledgment of the problems they have and guidance in how to achieve on an individual level is crucial.





  • Comment number 29.

    A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING UNDER HEAVEN BYT? (#26 27)

    Sorted! Move all the 6 billion to 'residential areas' - grow food in the fertile areas, and the rest of the planet can be given over to pointless wars, in televised 'megarenas', between randomly designated opposing groups. Anyone not usefully employed, would be drafted into the army (or pararmy - like the Olympics).

    'Oh brave new world' etc. But probably no worse than this one.

  • Comment number 30.

    #10 SHOCK-AND-AWE BOMBING-a tool of civilisation- a price worth paying?
    Important theme, Barrie; justifies more investigation and discussion.

    I admit to some ambivalence on the subject. Despite the obvious carnage, no nation at war (particularly the initiator) wants to highlight the downside - the loss of life of its own troops or of ‘collateral damage’ (the Americans have such a gift for neutralising evil, eg. shock and awe = death and destruction; extraordinary rendition= sending away for torture ). I remember well WWII, being 7 years old on the day of UK’s entry. We were told mainly of enemy losses, so as to keep up our morale high; known then as ‘propaganda’ now ‘spin’.
    It is sad for me to watch the annual flypast of the sole surviving Lancaster bomber (which I was proud to have flow in as an ATC cadet) and reflect that these magnificant aircraft and their brave crews carpet bombed entire German cities.

    All wars are uncivilised behaviour, I was going to say ‘animal’ behaviour, but animals rarely attack others en mass, except in need of food. And there is some justification in defence of territory. In the case of humans, this raises the issue of nationhood and ‘love of one’s country’. I would once have given my life for my country, having done my National Service during the Korean War period, but my request for service overseas was met with a posting to Home Command, at Maidenhead!

    Nowadays, few would fight for Queen and country; love of religious ‘brotherhood’ seems more motivating for many. This I fail to grasp: my country, it’s heritage of natural beauty, history, culture and customs I can enjoy and (once) wanted to defend. Those who give up their lives for invisible religious beliefs must do so as a result of early brainwashing, many through belief in dubious martyrdom rewards in a second life. But my ‘land of lost content’ has been wrecked, and all I can now do is to continue to post on the reasons as I see them, the entry of UK into the current war being one of them.

    A major cause of my ambivalence about war is that there is a place in man’s soul for heroics, for which war and combat provide opportunities. These can be satisfied in other ways, such as risk taking of which I have done my share in flying, diving etc., but this is not the stuff that has inspired great works of literature, music and art, as has war and religion. Now that religion has ceased to motivate westerners (whilst over-stimulating others) how else can we create and achieve historic events other than in conflict?

    On the other hand, having just watched a TV documentary on Verdi’s opera ‘Aida’, it seems that once-great civilisations that that triumphed in conquest and inspired literature and the arts (in this case Egypt and Ethiopia) are now has-beens. Ironically, the narrator of this documentary was the late Charlton Heston, a boyhood hero of mine from his Hollywood epics, who is now remembered as the main lobbyist for the right of all Americans to bear arms!

    That’s enough reflexion for my weekend. C’est la guerre- or is that the railway station?

  • Comment number 31.

    II (#30) LEAN, MEAN FIGHTING MACHINES.

    Most interesting post with much to ponder.

    That lone Lancaster, flanked often by Spitties and Mossies, during their regular appearances at Goodwood Revival, elicit many oohs and aahs and admiring glances skyward. Yet I too find myself with that disquiet, that such beauty (oh the sound of soaring merlins.....) was imagined and fabricated purely as an instrument of death and destruction - to kill and maim. I find it hard to equate with protection.

    Aside: 2009 saw the long awaited return of the lone Vulcan.

    "....no nation at war (particularly the initiator) wants to highlight the downside - the loss of life of its own troops "

    Interestingly, the tables have turned in most recent overseas conflict. We hear ALL of our own losses, since they can be absolutely quantified and qualified. We hear virtually NOTHING of successes (ie losses to the other side) since those figures are NOT qualifiable. Thus, at home, we are, perhaps, overly aware of the futility of or lack of justification for our presence in the arena.

    We hear of no success, and see no end.

    ".....few would fight for Queen and country;"

    So what the purpose in each and every 'wasted' life of those who willingly sign to take the queens shilling is mourned and marked on granite slabs and crosses around our own nation?

    "....my country, it’s heritage of natural beauty, history, culture and customs I can enjoy and (once) wanted to defend."

    Interesting. ARE these really important enough idyllist reasons to fight to the death. I appreciate your generalisations and the heart of the matter, but surely there MUST be a very direct threat to very existence rather than merely the nature of that (STUFF)to truly justify conflict?

    Sadly, attack has TOO OFTEN been the first line of defence!

  • Comment number 32.

    Brightyangthing

    I've realised today how big a part greed, greed and greed is playing in the game. Personally i just want a bit more and do things that I like doing, have enough to eat and a roof over my head.

    Shame indeed, as you say!

    mim

  • Comment number 33.

    #7 Go1 "A man who admitted making nail and ball bearing bombs at his West Yorkshire home has been jailed for 11 years." And rightly so too.
    But why is it always considered necessary for the media to mention that he was a member of BNP? The media doesn't quote the political associations of others mentioned in any incident or crime?

    eg " Here is the news - A man was knocked over in the middle of a road - he was a member of the Liberal Party. And we have just heard that there has been an arrest in the recent bank raid - by a member of the Labour Party"

    Seems to me that, probably at the request of government, the media and others with vested interests are now running scared of the potential for loss of previous voters, due to their total negligence in looking after the interests and heritage of English voters. (too little, too late, but timely election-wise).

    And whilst on the subject of media presentation(a current issue with posters) I have two observations:
    1/ 'Viewers may find the following news pictures disturbing' but I never do, despite their cameramen vying to get the most intimate shots of distress, panning up and holding on victims' faces, hoping for tears and anguish to come through. Perhaps most of us have become inured and immune to 'disturbing' pictures, due to over-exposure to natural and man-made tragedies, and to violence on TV and films generally?

    2/ And I believe it is their intention to disturb me when TV news presenters display certain full-in-your-face photos, then proceed to pan up even fuller to over-fill the TV screen. This seem to have started with the Stephen Lawrence murder, when his face was pushed closer and closer through my TV set to my armchair every hour on news bulletins. The technique continued with the face of the Brizilian victim of the tube-train police shooting popping right out of my TV screen, with a j’accuse stare that followed me round the room and into my kitchen, and then Baby P’s tragic smiling face being thrust ever larger into my lounge every few minutes.

    If this is what barrie refers to as ‘edgy’(perhaps from the new breed of Media Studies graduates) then please note that I have 20:20 vision, a 42 inch flat screen TV, and I’m not guilty of any of those incidents.

    End of my weekend whinge.

  • Comment number 34.

    #32 continuation

    i'd be happy to withdraw from politics, the way I did for so many years, and to stop talking and dittying about the chasers.

    As there seems to be big bucks involved I'd be happy for all of it to go to worthy causes, like for example helping the Haitians and helping really underprivileged kids, especially in the poorest areas in Africa.

    Hopefully, BYT, things will sort themselves out. I'm going to try and relax about things like positioning and directions, etc

    mim

  • Comment number 35.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8462890.stmhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs

    post #4

    /newsnight/fromthewebteam/2010/01/thursday_7_january_2010_in_mor.html

  • Comment number 36.

  • Comment number 37.

    BRITAIN IS THE HOME OF INEQUALITY AND RIP-OFF - WHY?

    Might it be because Hitler did not succeed in invading us, and wrecking all the vested left-overs from 1066? This country has managed to stay free of 'cleansing', with its corruption in-tact, right up to 'Lisbon', when we finally merged with the unprecedented institutional corruption of the EU. Seamless transition. I blame Hitler. (And NO we would NOT still be breeding Arians, and eating babies - life does not work like that.)

  • Comment number 38.

    Failure to accurately predict the UK weather over the past few weeks must demonstrate that the Met Office is not fit for public purpose. Although I am not generally in favour of privatizing any " public services " but perhaps privatizing the Met Office would be a good way of at least reducing the current astronomical public borrowing requirement. That is assuming that any private investor would be foolish enough to buy it ?

    I heard on the grape vine that many bulk haulage contractors are not even bothering to participate in salt distribution, even though they currently have wagons laid idle. The long queues make salt haulage totally uneconomic, anyone participating is probably doing it as a social service to keep their drivers from being laid off due to lack of their regular work for the construction industry.

  • Comment number 39.

    THE SUN'LL COME OUT TOMORROW (#36)

    Strikes me Brossen, that the key para's from your link(s) is this

    "....."They need to say that these longer-term forecasts are experimental and not use ridiculous phrases like 'barbecue summer' dreamed up by the communications people."

    When you see Met Office people on TV now they have a look of panic - and they dig themselves deeper into a hole. The short term forecasts are excellent. They should say the longer-term ones are highly uncertain, then keep modifying them."

    What I ask is another of those chicken and egg questions.

    Who is asking for accurate medium/long term forecasting?
    WHY are the Met Office falling under their spell and 'giving' it in full and certain knowledge, that regardless of WHY, it is NOT accurate?

    Is the media or the baying GBP at fault here, or at least carrying SOME responsibility?

  • Comment number 40.

    BTY #39

    For the Met Office to refrain from longer term weather forecasting would kind of blow any of their credibility on the Climate Change Scam, would it not ?

    Its probably dead easy to predict our short term weather in a westerly wind, just ring up Ireland the day before and see what's happening there.

  • Comment number 41.

    It would appear that mainstream media weather forecasting has got itself into a bit of a politically correct pickle. It would appear that they are not always as short term accurate as BTY would suggest. The last Saturday just before Xmas was the key big seasonal prize domino meeting at remote rural Tosside. On the strength of the forecast my 87 year old dad stopped at home under a warning of " heavy snow ", in the event there was no snow till Monday.

    The BBC TV weather forecast was far better in the 1980s when they showed you the full Atlantic chart with all the fronts and pressure gradients on it. If it showed an occluded front in a northerly wind you could work it out yourself that it was likely to snow. ( that is assuming you did the 1970s O level geography syllabus ) Its just a load of fancy computer graphics these days designed to please the average brain dead ten bob fat cats. Even then, if they predict rain in summer the tourist industry are ringing up on their backs complaining about potential loss of business

  • Comment number 42.

    OH NO - YOU DON'T GET AWAY WITH SUCH INACCURACY BYT! (#39)

    I have been catching the forecasts, right across the channels, and can assure you that what ALL the weather girls are saying is:

    "THE THUN WILL COME OUT TOMOWWOW, AND IT WILL BE BWIGHT AND BWEAZY".

  • Comment number 43.

    Ah Brossen (#41)

    The magical 80’s. I still HAVE the shoulder pads!! About the time that the demand for ‘entertainment and titillation’ appeared to be the cry of the proletariat. Their wish was granted.

    Do NOT misunderstand. I do not protect or support forecasters when they are wrong BUT should be right. There are enough days when I yearn to have an open line to encourage them to actually LOOK OUT OF A WINDOW BEFORE speaking. Sometimes I think I must have had a Dorothy moment in the night and been lifted from the North East (Scotland) to the North West if I were listen to the forecast for the day.

    BUT

    Here you hit the nail on the head.

    “.....If it showed an occluded front in a northerly wind you could work it out yourself that it was likely to snow. ( that is assuming you did the 1970s O level geography syllabus )”

    It’s is ALL about the intelligence and application of the audience. A small percentage of the total audience that is. It is about YOU (the individual) APPLYING some prior understanding and knowledge.

    The only issue I see is that the BBC and more cerebral broadcasters choose to present factual reports including weather, in the manner of
    GMTV and ‘the Sun’ these days.

    (#42)
    Is there a danger that we confuse serious scientific organisations (Met Office) with presenters and entertainers.

    Again, chicken and egg. Did the public DEMAND pwetty young thingth (I will ignore the lithpitht comment) above nerdy scientists or did they accept what they were being presented with. Dates, times, names and pack drill required.

  • Comment number 44.

    #43

    Brightyangthing

    Your discussion with Brossen99 seems quite complicated and I do not really feel like going through all the texts with a fine tooth comb, especially that yet again we get disparaging comments about 'ordinary' folk, but this time television viewers. If it's not 'dumb' patients then it is 'brain dead' public. It's not how I like to go about things claiming for instance to be a God's daughter, etc, or just about to be seriously involved with a 'god' of sorts but rather to think and feel in terms of body and soul, with each one of us on this planet has though obviously bodies are of different shapes and sizes and some souls are more sophisticated or more subtle or kinder than others, etc.

    I shouldn't think 'pwetty young thinghths' would have been informed about dates, times, names and pack drill required as the nerdy scientists would no doubt feel that they are worthy of it or have enough brains to understand.

    And anyway, I just do not get too excited talking about weather or indeed about climate change. It just does not grab me that sort of thing and prefer to contemplate or consider human things more, ranging from living conditions through health, bodily existence and experiences, like let's say sport or dance or indeed birth and death and what's in between, and consequently moving on to mind and soul 'activities' with particular enjoyment of treasured exchanges with people on similar wavelengths, both soul and humanity bit wise. I just do not seem to be able to forget that basic human respect aspect, BYT.

    mim

  • Comment number 45.

    Charlemagne Prize 2009

    "Today, Donald Tusk is one of the most respected European leaders. The Polish people can also take the highest pride in this recognition."
    Jose Manuel Barroso

    In 2008 the prize went to Angela Merkel. Previous winners include Bill Clinton, Vaclav Havel, Valerie Giscard d'Estaing, John Paul II and another Pole, the late Bronislaw Geremek.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100116/ts_afp/germanyeuropepolandprize

    I do feel proud, especially that Mr Donald Tusk is one of my favourite politicians, a man with great diplomatic skills who, with his government, managed to keep Poland stay relatively clear of the world financial crisis and a man with a lovely and subtle sense of humour.

    mim

  • Comment number 46.

    #44 an afterthought

    BYT

    I just had a thought - wouldn't it be great if the 'pwetty young thingthins' found a way of so confusing the nerdy scientists it would be them 'forced' to seek help from the 'dumb' and 'brain dead'?

    All I can say is good luck to them although personally I prefer not to rely on luck too much but rather on my own skills, whatever they might be, hard work and dedication but obviously not in complete isolation but rather through RESPECTFUL interchange with likeminded people.

    mim

  • Comment number 47.

    #39

    A bit of a shame that, Brightyangthing, but I'm afraid I have to agree with you about the media on that point.

    It sometimes seem to me as if too many Brits have lost sight of what I see as real values and respect for another. It's either that they have it too good perhaps and needing artificial excitement with loss of basic decency or they are in a grip of mass hysteria. It is just possibly that some kind of tragedy is waiting to unfold round the corner, whoever the victim or victims may be.

    mim

  • Comment number 48.

    Mr Barrie Singleton - you, corruption, Hitler and the history of the UK

    I find your views on the above most interesting, I must say. You have certainly evolved since I first started reading your posts. And good luck with preparing the ground for 'New Britain'(?) with no corruption at all possible as everybody will be muzzled up and under total control, with everybody being transformed into device guided robots, including, I assume, the Royalty, if you allow Them to continue. Perhaps you are planning to call yourselves the Royalty or some other awe inspiring titles. Gods, certainly, as you mentioned earlier. But please do let us know what titles precisely you are planning to give yourselves.

  • Comment number 49.

    #31

    Brightyangthing

    'Sadly, attack has TOO OFTEN been the first line of defence!'

    More often than not that does seem to be the case although there have been in the past and are now alive others who plan attacks in order to either gain power and conrol over 'lesser beings', etc or money or both with these attacks, more often than not, having something to do, it seems to me, with their sexuality.

    As I've mentioned recently, I've started a book by Peter York 'Dictators' Homes' and it is precisely what he proposes as one of the reasons for little boys growing up into self-proclaimed dicators. Hitler's story in this respect is well known but apparently Stalin as well had a problem in this department when growing up while we have heard about Milosevic' troubled childhood.

    mim

  • Comment number 50.

    BYT, hope you have a good day, mim

  • Comment number 51.

    I wonder whether a diplomatic route is still possible with those who have been proclaiming extreme views on Newsnight blog site with regard to all kinds of issues, not just some strange accusations directed at myself

  • Comment number 52.

    #44mim "I just do not get too excited talking about weather or indeed about climate change. It just does not grab me that sort of thing..."

    How on earth do you manage to reside in UK with that attitude? You should know that the mandatory opening gambit in conversation between Brits is to mention the weather, preferably complaining about it.

    Naturally, the weather has been raised in this blog, so I am obliged, out of courtesy, to respond with my opinion herewith.

    Since Michael Fish made the unforgivable blunder two decades ago of rebutting a member of the public's opinion that there may be a storm on the way, Met Office has issued TV weather forcasters with a fail-proof method of being right every time. They now make statements like "there is a 20% chance of rain(or snow or frost)" which leaves them being correct whether or not it does rain, snow or frost

  • Comment number 53.

    QUESTION: HOW MANY EX-PRESIDENTS DOES IT TAKE TO MOUNT A RESCUE?

    ANSWER: 2. One with a swagger and one whose a

  • Comment number 54.

    THE CLEAR NEED FOR ADULT EDUCATION CLASSES IN BRITAIN TODAY!

    See post 53. Doh!

  • Comment number 55.

    #52 continued (after my new laptop prematurely posted my half-finished dissertation on the weather)........

    The only way to fault such 'percentage probability' forecasts is to check the incidence of rain/snow, etc over a specific period, to see whether the overall percentage was achieved. Since this requires a slide-rule and dedication to watch each and every forecast made during that period, the Met Office can not be faulted.

    The other Met Office device is the new moving image map of UK, which gets me so bored watching the round-and-round-the-British-Isles (accompanied by detailed comments and shadows falling across various remote areas that I have no intention of visiting that day) that I forget what the attractive Weather Girl said it was going to do in my area several minutes ago.

    Please can we have back the old stationary map of UK with plain figures for temperatures and recognisable symbols stuck on, like the 'golden sovereigns' as my dad used to call the sun symbol?

  • Comment number 56.

    ARE YOU WONDERING WHAT MIGHT BE REVEALED WHEN BLAIR MEETS CHILCOTT?

    I have had this on file for years. Take a look, it will 'set you up' so to speak. http://www.newstatesman.com/200307210014

  • Comment number 57.

    #55

    indignantgene

    it's not that I never talk about weather and I have posted things here on climate change, but I find other things much more interesting like what is occupying me.currently human rights and liberty.

    Thanks for the response

    mim

  • Comment number 58.

    #56. barriesingleton wrote:
    ARE YOU WONDERING WHAT MIGHT BE REVEALED WHEN BLAIR MEETS CHILCOTT?

    The final phrase in your link:-
    "If you get a group which is cut off from reality, it tends to discount genuine criticism and has an urge to emphasise positive news. It gets worse until there's an implosion." - or a general election.

    Could also apply to Tony B.liar's successor, or to Westminster generally? Let's hope the Chilcott committee are ruthless in their interrogation and reporting, then it should result in implication.

  • Comment number 59.

    climategate2- more climate figures fiddling revealed?

    apparently they have been using data only from warm weather stations.

    the mystery of the vanishing weather stations

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100022474/climategate-goes-american-noaa-giss-and-the-mystery-of-the-vanishing-weather-stations/

    as if this was not enough apparently - the IPCC may retract their statement that the himalayan glaciers will melt by 2035 becuase

    ...scientists behind the warning have admitted that it was based on a news story in the New Scientist, a popular science journal, published eight years before the IPCC's 2007 report.

    It has also emerged that the New Scientist report was itself based on a short telephone interview with Syed Hasnain, a little-known Indian scientist then based at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi. Hasnain has since admitted that the claim was "speculation" and was not supported by any formal research....

    given the IPCC was set up to ..ensure that world leaders had the best possible scientific advice on climate change.. then why were they using a campaigning report as evidence?

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6991177.ece

    but there is more IPCC.

    Millions of pounds of British taxpayers' money is being paid to an organisation in India run by Dr Rajendra Pachauri, who has built up a worldwide network of business interests since his appointment as chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2002, the controversial chairman of the UN climate change panel, despite growing concern over its accounts. A research institute headed by Dr Pachauri will receive up to £10 million funding over the next five years from the Department for International Development (DfID).

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/7005963/Taxpayers-millions-paid-to-Indian-institute-run-by-UN-climate-chief.html

    its not climate science. it looks more like a clever climate industry designed to extract fees and grants through churning out scare stories and calling it 'science'?

    World misled over Himalayan glacier meltdown

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/7005963/Taxpayers-millions-paid-to-Indian-institute-run-by-UN-climate-chief.html

  • Comment number 60.

    YOU MEAN OFFICIALDOM MANIPULATES DATA? (#59)

    You will be telling me 9/11 was not all we were led to believe next!
    But such manipulation would imply democracies (who are SO high minded, they never get into mutual war) are PERMANENTLY WAGING WAR OF OPPRESSION 'on their own people' (remember that phrase?). This, in turn, would mean that Blair, Bush, Obama, Brown et al, are strangely motivated, and deceitful, having an agenda that is not about our wellbeing.

    Surely not?

  • Comment number 61.

    61

    i agree. surely not. any such appearance is merely an optical illusion. After all the BBC would not have been deliberately and knowingly pumping state sponsored propaganda as 'science'?

  • Comment number 62.

    ALL IS NOT LOST - THERE IS STILL ONE WAY FORWARD (#61)

    O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O
    stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two ginscented
    tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was
    all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished.
    He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.

  • Comment number 63.

    just as the govt said there was no doubt about wmd in iraq so they say is no doubt about the science of climate change.

    meanwhile carbon trading still transfers billions every quarter from the poor to the rich and undeserving.

    the guardian class do not know their art. The art of statecraft is to provide benefit to the people. Taxing them with money or war on the basis of bogus statements is not in the people's benefit.

  • Comment number 64.

    #63 jaunty, did you see this link ?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sc-1SNZepoU

  • Comment number 65.

    #59-64
    If the evidence that Climate Change and specifically Carbon Trading is a massive scam, or even just a ‘bad forecast’ - what action should we be taking? I only know of one UK political party that has stated publicly, including at EU meeting, that it is a scam:

    http://uk.altermedia.info/general/eu-parliament-nick-griffin-mep-on-global-warming-hoax-no-to-the-new-world-order-24-november-2009_2453.html

  • Comment number 66.

    64

    there seems more evidence that it is a huge hoax? or least room for debate. to say the 'debate is over' sounds more like totalitarianism than science?

    meanwhile some people are getting very rich indeed.

  • Comment number 67.

    65

    the thing to do is build up the public evidence showing it is a scam. i doubt the national climate would be improved by voting for marginal hard right parties?

    even now the bbc editors are beginning to moderate their hard line pro climate agenda?

  • Comment number 68.

    #66

    jaunty

    it's becoming loud and clear that it is nothing but a hoax

    are you one of those that's gettingg stinking rich after all your diatrabs against bankers?

    totalitarianism? Remains to be seen

  • Comment number 69.

    #67 jc

    You and others have frequently drawn our attention to the scale and weight of vested interest that exists in UK institutions and worldwide, and I have little faith in the BBC following public opinion rather than that of the establishment, as I have illustrated in previous postings.

    I have also suggested that any new parliament would benefit from a few radical 'goads' to keep challenging the lethargy, apathy and complacency (LAC)of the main parties. I doubt the national climate will improve with plans afoot to raise taxes, cut services, and ignore the continued immigration pressure on jobs, services and housing, whilst handing out even more overseas funding (to the poor and the super-rich) through the guilt scam of Carbon Trading.

    A few radical MPs with a tendency to speak out against and ignore pc, Eu regs and 'Rights and Equality' distortions might shake some of the above LAC. Such fringe party MPs would not be in sufficient numbers to implement radical new policies and a hung parliament might be the result.

    Meanwhile, I shall not feel guilty about my forthcoming long-haul air trip, or my wood-burning fire that reduces the swindling costs of energy paid to foreign companies.

  • Comment number 70.

    Indy #64

    It rather looks like Griffin has been bought out by the Corporate Nazi's on his pre-Xmas climate change scam position as he is now apparently playing all his key cards on " Troops Home ". I can't see much political point in that as if you support an end to involvement in Afghanistan you can vote Lib-Demmic, and if you are even considering voting for Clegg you are hardly likely to be voting BNP even as a desperate protest ?

  • Comment number 71.

  • Comment number 72.

    Climate scam:
    They are playing catch up at the BBC with many heads very red with embarrassment, the penny dropped collectively at the beeb only about a month ago. The corporation held on to the belief that scientist can't lie, the white coats gave them credibility..."it seemed so plausible". One thing the Beeb folk didn't do was research the other scientists data, the non-govt funded data. The Beeb is on a damage limitation but hush hush operation. Effectively the global warming theory is dead in the water as far as the beeb in concerned but will still be pushed from govt, here in europe and especially the states; the US admin can sell its folks any old nonsense, something to do with the low education standards and fluoride in the water.
    I sometimes feel sorry for the likes of Susan watts, having to parrot information, it must be soul destroying. Investigative Journalism is not what you get from the beeb.
    One poster on here (mim i think) says that climate gate/change is not at the top of their list of concerns but then says she/he is more interested in "human rights and liberty". The Climate gate scam was or is going to disempower millions, ensuring more poverty and especially holding back any progress the third world was going to make for its peoples.
    Climate change, carbon trading ect is an engineered policy from the govt elites - not the elected polictions as they are just puppets - that has been in the making for 30-50 yrs, an agenda with its main aim to depopulate the planet...because there are to many people on it. Those who guide or bankroll our politicians even give speeches, publish articles and write books on the subject.

    Zbigniew Brzezinski is in this clip.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HFaJohG2vo

    If that sent you to sleep..sorry. Me I'm awake 24/7.

  • Comment number 73.

    Oh dear!


    UK economy faces decade of 'painful readjustment'
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8462207.stm

  • Comment number 74.

    UK economy faces decade of 'painful readjustment'

  • Comment number 75.

    Mods

    After #68 I had another of those attacks of severe pain on the right hand side of my bowels and a genera feeling of discomfort

    Monika

  • Comment number 76.

    AN APPEAL - POLITICIANS UNITE!

    Apparently, you are only puppets in the hands of 'the other scientists' whose 'data, the non-govt funded data', as per #72 who for 30/50 years have been working hard in order to 'disempower millions, ensuring more poverty and especially holding back any progress the third world was going to make for its peoples', as well as on 'an agenda with its main aim to depopulate the planet...because there are to many people on it'.

    Monika

  • Comment number 77.

    #66 & #72

    jaunty

    I overheard a man last night that by now he'd made enough, meaning I should imagine dosh. He may or may have not been referring to the suggestion you made at #66 but something tells me that he actually did.

    You seem to be providing for us quite opposing views, jaunty. On one hand you say this is all a 'hoax' but on the other you claim that the whole, obviously serious, operation has been 'in action' now for the last 30 to 50 years, thus making us all confused about what you are really about.

    Hoaxing while sitting on the fence or being dead serious?

    It's not good for you not to sleep at all, jaunty. It doesn't work. I once saw a programme on the BBC about a man who went completely mad with subsequent death, if I remember correctly, after not sleeping for a prolonged period of time. What is it that you are doing while not sleeping, jaunty?

  • Comment number 78.

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

  • Comment number 79.

    mim. some people get up in the mornings to get ready for the work day. You confuse me with a fellow poster; jaunty. 'Being awake 24/7' is not literial, it means been aware whats going on around us, be it the slanted media, the machinations of govts ect. The ability to see clearly that..for instance, George W Obama is surrounded by Marxist and all his advisors are Wall ST cronies, but you'll never hear that on NN will yer.. no you wont. I like watching newsnight but its a bit like watching John Cravens newsround; news reports from BBC news is simplistic, sanitised and agenda driven; multicutural diversity is a good example of them pushing a govt agenda, although they have changed their attitude towards that hot potatoe recently with the rise of the far right and 40percent of the voters not interested in any of the 3 main parties. Anyhow, Paul Mason will only get any real credibility when he says the Bank Of England/The Federal reserve are privatly owned and operate NOT for the benefit of the people but for some corporations and banking families...and then expose them for what they are; tyrants. Don't bother responding as I'm off to lithuania and I've got no Internet connection where I'm staying...ita a bit rural.

  • Comment number 80.

    Well, kevsey, that's true I didn't check properly who posted what. However, you both use very similar lingo, just as jj used to, and that's the reason I don't make any distinction between you 3 but will take greater care to do so in the future.

  • Comment number 81.

    mim

    for some reason you are confused and mixing two different posters up AGAIN!.

    no wonder nothing makes sense to you.

  • Comment number 82.

    Mods

    I'm not sure why you are not letting my post at #78 through. All I was saying that I've read up about problems that can arise after prolonged periods of sleeplessness to all kinds disturbances, including confusion, brain pollution, loss of identity and moral judgement, aggressiveness, impairement in physical function, confusion and even hallucinations which I imagine would include feelings of having become so powerful that everybody is under their control, even Barack Obama.

    Monika

  • Comment number 83.

    well, jaunty, you seem to be using the same kind of lingo and ideas, as I said at #80. I'll do some comparative work on yours and kevsey's texts and we'll see whether I'm right or wrong

  • Comment number 84.

    No comments,the article speaks for itself ;o)
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article6991808.ece

  • Comment number 85.

    BbBbBbBUTTER ON FRUIT CAKE!

    http://uk.news.yahoo.com/21/20100118/thl-butter-ban-would-save-lives-d831572.html

    Only 3,500 more deaths a year, and they want to ban butter! I thought some of us needed culling, there's too many people in the world! Oh dear what will be banned next?!

  • Comment number 86.

    #84 Ah Mistress I notice the BBC have not brought this to our attention. My god 12,000 people what a nightmare, especially for the surrounding citizens, but then I suppose they'd all be going to it.

  • Comment number 87.

    kevsey & jaunty

    I was going to compare your texts looking for similarities but as I do not find them in any way inspiring, 'educative' or worh consideration as serious proposition for the world to proceed, apart from some obvious remarks you seem to be making in my direction, I'm giving up on the project.

    #72 re: the Americans - all uneducated idiots or otherwise?

    You are being abusive again, this time towards the Americans, kevsey?

    I remember Jeremy doing a University Challenge programme a few years ago with the best British students from that year's crop as against American students who outshone the Brits by quite a large margin.

  • Comment number 88.

    # 80

    Hmm. Interesting. If all people who ‘sound’ the same or use the same 'lingo' MUST be the same person, then do we only have ONE member of the Labour party (which one?); one Conservative; one Lib Dem............... Crikey, that too the extreme and maybe they are all TONY BLAIR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



    NURSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    DIdn’t realise our human cloning project had got quite that far yet.

  • Comment number 89.



    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8461727.stm

    Some very interesting stuff here, including comments.
    Do nothing, and this could all too soon become a self fulfilling prophecy. Make life (for humans) unsustainable on this planet and the destructive influence of mankind HAS gone. Phutt. BINGO.

    p.s. Hope the link works.

  • Comment number 90.

    #89 Good link BYT thanks, I've been reading stuff like this for years, but we don't take it seriously enough. None of us has stopped consuming have we?! The trouble is this type of thing is all surrounded by sound bites, and someone about to make a lot of money out of it. It's never sensible, and something we can all relate to. We are going to run out of resources, there are too many people, but none of us want to accept that!

  • Comment number 91.

    CONTROL OF THE 'KNOWN WORLD' - IT'S A MAN THING

    We don't need conspiracy theory to validate a drive to global control - just a historical perspective. Leaders - ancient, to the present day - always seek to widen their domain.

    Throughout history, men who NEED power ALWAYS need more. Ergo: in a 'global ethos', such men will need to control THE ENTIRE WORLD - nothing less will do.

    Now that all the movers and shakers have a global mind-set, it follows the nuttiest ones will be dreaming: GLOBAL DOMINANCE.

    Man is the Ape Confused by Language and, when deranged, becomes OBSESSED BY CONTROL. In my view, the drive for control is an imperative of the newborn, gone haywire; it manifests from bulimic to murderous tyrant.

    This day had to come, and now that we are 'mostly harmless' (on a diet of effeteburgers) THE NUTTERS might just succeed.

  • Comment number 92.

    BEWITCHED......... BUTTERED, BEWILERED....... AND BANNED (#84/85)

    I am suppose to be working but could NOT resist this tantalising little morsel. Another prime example of ‘DUBIOUS’ Science.

    First of all, even if SAT FATS are the bad boys (and the jury is still out amongst most real scientists – (we must not forget the massive Dietary spread/diet industry at play here) how much of the SAT FATS being consumed in Finland came from BUTTER. Or at least from butter consumed in an obvious manner.

    And anyway, aren’t Hydrogenised fats NOW the bad boys? I know I would rather have a small amount of butter (natural) occasionally, than a larger amount of synthetic, MANUFACTURED (key word alert!) ‘spread’ more often.

    In Britain I am sure that most dietary issues are related to the sheer volume of food (much of which is MANUFACTURED and COMMERCIALLY PROMOTED) of calorie rich, nutrient poor carp we are entreated to consume on every street corner every hour of the day and night.

    Perhaps we should BAN ALL processing and packaging of food and go back to eating au naturale. I am convinced that if we mostly went back to consuming 80% 'natural' produce, general better health and wellbeing would ensue.

    If that kills me, so be it.

    Now, where is that crispy, salty skin off the chicken I so virtuously remove yesterday? MMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

  • Comment number 93.

    #89

    Perhaps, Brightyangthing, one day we will all go up in flames, the whole of mankind, and nature then can take over again, rebuild its biodiversity, etc, No more dictators, murderers, people who think they know 'better'.

    Joking aside, for the time being we are still here, worrying and writing articles about the future of the planet.

    I particularly took note of four comments:

    1. Criticism of Hilary Benn for talking but not doing
    2. One guy's idea about the need to kill off a vast number of humans, just as kevsey at #72
    3. Usefulness of photosynthesis in getting rid of CO2
    4. And Gary Winter summarising the article as follows: 'So a bleak article. It identifies a problem - destroys its own logic and ultimately comes up with a non-solution'

    Thanks for the link and your comments, BYT

    mim

  • Comment number 94.

    #88

    BYT

    I appreciate that a lot of politicians sound almost the same and of course I may be wrong but something also tells me that I might be right. It is time consuming to go through the BBC Network Blog individual pages one by one but I may yet find, one way or another, what seemed to me, virtually identical statements in their posts

    mim

  • Comment number 95.

    WHEN WILL THEY EVER LEARN.............

    Oh help. Two items on the BBC News email on my pet topic. EDUCATION, EDUCATION, EDU ****** CATION!

    1. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8464710.stm

    THAT old chestnut again.

    SURELY
    ANY selection/pushing towards University education should be to
    a) THOSE most able to benefit from it AND return that benefit - REGARDLESS of their class or income
    and
    b) NOT more than 25 - 30% of the population max. We don’t need an certainly cannot afford more.

    ".....My mission is to ensure that all of Britain's people, from every background, are given the opportunity to develop their talents and learn the skills which will transform their lives."

    Just HOW does this very generalised but direct quote translate into University Education an Elite Professions?

    We need people with talents and skills, across the board, and what I recently saw describe very aptly as ‘Uncommon Sense’. An ability to think, to understand, to apply, to share, to moderate and if we ARE to continue to follow any sort of economically viable and sustainable position in the world (MY Jury is out on this) then we need people to actually manufacture something the world needs??? ’eceonomically’.

    Subsequent governments have eroded all support for the University of life (Free for all) an appear to be trying to turn out automated consumers. Looks like they are succeeding

    Then
    2. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8464916.stm


    What Education requires is a thorough from the ground up examination of
    a) what we need our populace (of all ages) to learn (lifelong learning is a GOOD scheme I think. Force feeding (Hot housing) the very young has paybacks we are only just beginning to see.
    b) How it can best be delivered.
    c) By whom
    d) In what kind of establishment – if such is require at all. Too much focus on the BRICKS and not enough on the MORTAR has long been an issue. People make a school good, not buildings and equipment.
    e) How is it measured and managed. Local NOT national. And STOP using testing of the pupil as a means to test the efficacy of the teachers.
    f) A system that empowers individuals to impart wisdom an knowledge to other individuals MUST be a priority. ONE SIZE does NOT fit all.

    And yet again, they are focusing on those with ‘good academic results’ gaining teaching posts. Don’t we all recall many ‘brilliant minds’ who had no teaching ability at all?

    I DO agree with a much higher minimum educative level before entry into teaching but there should also be psychiatric testing for suitability. And inspections MUST be tougher (NOT carried out by ex teachers) and you should be able to remove teachers performing poorly (not simply to school management) much more easily than is currently the case.

    And I have just scratched the surface of these stories................

    ...... WHEN WILL THEY EVER LEARN?

  • Comment number 96.

    LEARNING TO BE OR TO DO - THAT IS THE QUESTION (#95)

    Our culture suppresses competence of being in the interest of excellence ofdoing. The result is confusion in the individual and massive compensatory activity, writ large in those who gain high office.

    WISE UP THE YOUNG

  • Comment number 97.

    Mim (#94)

    Not sure you expect to benefit or derive from such a time consuming exercise.

    If you are wrong, and I think you are in this case, (we often learn and mimic those we share interests with) you have wasted time and perhaps lost some confidence;
    If you are right, SO WHAT?

    We all hide behind keyboards and in most cases false or partial identities/nicknames.

    LET IT GO.

    Much more of import to spend time and energy on surely?

    Listen to a Mary Black song - Thorn upon the Rose
    "So we show the parts, we feel our best
    And squirm around the edges trying to cover up the rest.

    REST!

  • Comment number 98.

    #92

    Brightyangthing

    My aunt, who worked as a REAL scientist, always says that it is important to eat butter because it contains quite a bit of natural Vitamin A which helps to keep eyes healthy whereas artificial fats can, in fact, have detrimental effect on our bodies.

    If anyone showed even a box of or wrapped margarine to my mother she reacted as is sh was going to have convulsions. She also thought butter was good to eat and she was a REAL doctor /surgeon, in fact/.

    mim

  • Comment number 99.

    #95

    I like your bit, BYT, on psychiatric assessment of teachers as well as a way of making them go once proved they are failing their pupils or students, if not academically then ethically.

    mim

  • Comment number 100.

    Mim (#4 - Monday Blog)

    I think it best to keep relevant comments on relevant pages, so will respond here.

    I have not read, anywhere on this blog, any treatise to
    “.....the need to kill off vast populations,”

    Discussions DO sometimes centre around possible large scale self inflicted or ‘natural (earthquake?) losses in the future, AND those of the past. But I think it can be too easy to see what we think is there, rather than what REALLY is; to read between the lines and the spaces in between the lines between the lines; to focus on one aspect or angle to the detriment of seeing the wide angle(usually inconclusive) view.

    ALL conspiracy theories CAN be falsely upheld thus.

    Applying both eyes, both ears and peripheral vision (mine is faulty but brain compensates apparently!) to look in from the outside rather than out from in is my preferred modus operandi.

    Have a good rest and a good day! I have enjoyed a short walk in beautiful Scottish sunshine, clear skies and fresh air. A free tonic for the spirit.

 

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