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Monday 11 January 2010 - the plan so far

Verity Murphy | 11:53 UK time, Monday, 11 January 2010

Prime Minister Gordon Brown is set to issue a rallying call to Labour MPs at the PLP meeting tonight by setting out his election strategy and telling MPs they can defeat the Conservatives.

Our Political editor Michael Crick will be assessing the internal dynamics of the Cabinet and considering what has changed since the coup.

Plus we have the story of the former Guantanamo inmates who have been reunited with their detention centre guard who contacted them on Facebook.

And we have an interview with Barbara Ehrereich, whose latest book investigates that all-American notion that positive thinking is beneficial to health and wealth.

More later.


  • Comment number 1.

    Been thinking about the Iris Robinson case. Was the BBC investigative journalism in anyway motivated by her views on homosexuality ? At what point were the BBC aware of her mental status and was that taken into consideration on the broadcast timing?

    Just to be clear its my view is that she should have been challenged on her homosexual views. The alleged kick back is a legal matter I would guess, but should still be seen and acted on (BBC) in the context of her mental status.

    The Sun :

    As you can see today there are some sun spots and the solar wind has increased but it is still fairly weak.

  • Comment number 2.


    Cleg says the British voter is not a child, and will not be fooled by empty promises from Labour and Tory. HE WOULD SAY THAT WOULDN'T HE. Being a 'party' to the Westminster malaise, his scheming trolls, in the party-pits, have to come up with a DIFFERENT empty promise i.e. WE WILL NOT LIE TO YOU LIKE THEY DO.

    It is all of a piece. None of them is PRIMARILY concerned with Britain's INTERNAL health (her people's peace of mind) furthermore, even UK status on the world stage will be momentarily set aside WHILE THEY FIGHT A GROSSLY EXPENSIVE WAR FOR POWER - POWER FOR ITS OWN SAKE.

    There is one saving grace: no party will lose its soul (as in my heading) THEY ARE UTTERLY SOULLESS, and their leaders are 'men without honour'.

  • Comment number 3.


    Was Mrs S simply 'witnessing' to her faith? Was she also 'a woman taken in adultery'? Mote and Beam - cast the first stone. Check Jesus.

    Should we not challenge ALL views on practical homosexuality? Especially from 'interested parties' and 'vested interests'! Have you heard what smokers and drinkers will come out with?

    I don't doubt that I (even I) can be challenged on aspects of my lifestyle. Bet I'll wriggle like mad - won't make me right though.

  • Comment number 4.

    positive thinking would have rejected 'war on terror' and would have used a positive such as 'war for freedom and human rights, 'defending democracy' etc. to say what you are for is more exact and directional than saying what you are against.

    if one was for human rights then torture could not be seen as consistent with that narrative where it can remain unexamined with war on terror.

  • Comment number 5.

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

  • Comment number 6.

    Of course New Labour can beat the Conservatives in the next General Election - that doesn't mean they will.

    "Dynamics of the Cabinet"; contradiction in terms.

    Guantanamo inmates reunited with their guard via Facebook; is this Newsnight or Cilla Black?

    Positive thinking beneficial to health and wealth; any thinking would be helpful.

    Who is putting these programmes together? Simon Cowell?

    Can we vote on which presenter is living the dream most completely for us?

    When do the lines open, I wonder?

    Nothing on Cameron on "character"?

    I heard some of his waffle on BBC NEWS channel; we do indeed get the politicians we deserve.

    Please pull yourselves together, NN; you are capable of better than this.

    And enough of the bowels talk, already.

  • Comment number 7.

    #4 jc
    "... to say what you are for is more exact and directional than saying what you are against." I agree: the other JC made the same mistake with his 10 Commandments, mostly commencing 'Thou Shalt Not..' or should we blame the messenger? Not sure I'm happy with the pursuit of happiness, or the right to bear arms either.

    Sorry about the flippancy, but there is little gravitas on NN lately.

  • Comment number 8.

    Regarding the power of positive/negative thinking: There really is a scientifically proven mind-body connection. Our brain activity affects, not only our physical activity, but our hormone levels as well, which impact our immune and other systems. Depression can result from negative thinking, and it can be lethal. Feeling in control is a very powerful emotion that can result in immense positive results. Pragmatism, an art of evaluation and being realistic about a given situation and potential outcomes, is a different thing. Given equal potential outcome evaluations, the "glass is half full" vs "glass is half empty" thinking styles will make a difference in actions attempted, therefore affecting actual outcomes. "If you believe you can't, you're right!" Who was it who wrote that and when?

  • Comment number 9.

    gitmo arabian nights blind date

    one wonders if when they come back from their newsnight date there will be stories of 'a hug' or even 'a kiss'?

    its going to be a 'lorra lorra laffs'. not.

  • Comment number 10.


    According to some lady on Radio 4 this morning: 'science has shown there is no beneficial effect from positive thinking'. As far as I heard, she made no mention of the negative affect of negative thinking.

    I have long been given to understand they can delineate the pathways between brain and immune-system sites, in the body. But perhaps they were just canals on Mars?

    I wonder how much of this research Big Pharma is behind? As Obama said: "There is Evil in the World" (though when he said it, he was probably looking the wrong way).

  • Comment number 11.

    UK gas reserves down to six hours as imports fail to arrive

    yet the govt continue to pretend there is no problem with having only 11 days supply.

    new labour have proven in major decisions from iraq to market fundamentalism to energy security [the stupid expensive offshore windmills] they are reckless

  • Comment number 12.

    10 she made no mention of the negative affect of negative thinking.

    because that is the realm of mental health and the usual procedure is to lock people away or medicate them into living comas?

  • Comment number 13.

    Mayo: 'BBC is marginalising religion'?

    "I was listening to a BBC News bulletin during Easter 2008 about services to mark 'the rebirth of Christ', a line clearly written by someone who had no contact with or understanding of the concept of resurrection...

    they'll be nailing santa to a cross next?

    no wonder if the bbc think everyone should be religiously illiterate that they can then be fooled by extremists?

    i have heard a lot about the nihilism of al quaeda recently. what about the nihilism and relativism of uk society and the bbc? mulitculturalism is nihilist and relativist. it is the ultimate expression of it. basically saying there is no such thing as the Good, that all things are relative and so 'equal'.

    If one looks up Good in dictionary there are certain words related to it. Those things that participate more of them is better and closer to the good than those that do not. therfore all things can be ranked as to how close to the good they are and we can say this is better than that. But to the lefty nihilist and relativists, who worship 'equality' as the highest idea of their mind, that is 'discrimination' and 'bias' and so 'bad'. which is where the bbc is and why it openly propagandises multiculturalism despite its harmful effects on society.

  • Comment number 14.


    But they haven't spotted ME yet. I have this Alexander Pope quality of enjoying negativity so much, it doesn't even register on their equipment (from the same factory as those whole-body scanners).

    Life Gets Teejus, Don't It? (:o)

  • Comment number 15.


    The Church of 42, is long overdue. Douglas Adams was the Prophet to end all Prophets. Did he not warn about little pieces of green paper and knowing where your towel is? The Church of 42, would would sweep all false religions before it, the world would fill with wonder at such wisdom - and die laughing. make it so.

  • Comment number 16.

    Barry @ 10

    Prof Wiseman's book 59 seconds says otherwise, although it says the benefit of positive thinking is only that it makes you feel better.

    It also says that those who tend to achieve their goals are good at holding both positive thoughts of what achieving their goal will be like and negative thoughts of things that could cause them not to do so.

    I don't think either of those are particularly surprising.

    Surely the headline in the facebook story is pretty much all anyone needs to know about it

  • Comment number 17.

    OOPS - MY ERROR (#16)

    I thought it was about healing rather than achievement of goals? Shows how how poorly I listen.

    They said the same thing at school.

    Not sure about prof. Wiseman - might have to rename him. I always get a perverse pleasure out of negativity. Sort of C S Lewis, without the niceness. (:o)

  • Comment number 18.


    You are correct this case is about healing rather than achievement of goals.
    I think some aspects of positivity/negativity are a bit like extraversion/introversion. Where you get your sense of energy from - is it inside yourself or outside from others. Whatever you need to make yourself come to terms with your situation.

    Having just watched the interview.
    I think Barbara Ehrereich is argueing for a more balanced position like the situation Prof Wiseman describes. She's riling against positive thinking as a way of hiding from reality. And that rigid adherence to it is a hinderence to properly assessing a situation.


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