BBC BLOGS - Newsnight: From the web team
« Previous | Main | Next »

Friday 12 February 2010

Sarah McDermott | 12:00 UK time, Friday, 12 February 2010

More details on tonight's Newsnight:

"Our enemies will also seek to use all tools at their disposal to attack us. That means not just bombs, bullets and aircraft but also propaganda and campaigns to undermine our will and ability to confront them."
Director General of MI5

There has been a co-ordinated attack on the critics of MI5 today from the highest levels of government and from the director general of the intelligence agency. Tonight, we discuss whether the secret service has been wrongly caricatured as an organisation that supresses information and colludes in torture. Are such attacks really "dangerous for the country" as the home secretary and foreign secretary said today?

More bad news for the prospects of economic recovery. Poor GDP figures in Germany and across the rest of the eurozone have once again raised the spectre of a double dip recession, while the euro has fallen still further on the currency markets. Our Economic's editor Paul Mason will explain what all of this means for Britain.

Michael Crick is in Scotland where Conservative leader David Cameron is promising a "fresh start" in relations between the Scottish and UK governments. But how would a Cameron led administration in England work with an SNP led government in Scotland, and what could it mean for the Union?

Plus Gordon Brown's most personal interview yet - is this the start of a new political strategy?

Join Gavin at 10.30pm on BBC Two.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
FROM 12:00 UK time

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

We're looking at the denials by the head of MI5 that his staff withheld documents relating to the torture of a UK resident, Binyam Mohamed, from a House of Commons scrutiny committee.

And Michael Crick is in Scotland where Conservative leader David Cameron is to promise a "fresh start" in relations between the Scottish and UK governments, should he win the next UK election.

More details later.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    What are the chances of Michael Crick providing a balanced item for once?

  • Comment number 2.

  • Comment number 3.

    2. Jauntycyclist - Stephanie Flanders on STUPID PIIGS. We used to think of them as 'family orientated', but that was a tad fascist, i.e. regulatory.

  • Comment number 4.

    Sorry just had to pop this one in, it is a Friday, and I thought funny.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1250464/Vicar-outrages-congregation-telling-women-silent-submit-husbands.html?ITO=1708&referrer=yahoo

    Has this Vicar got a death wish?!!!!! Thought some of you might appreciate it. ;)

  • Comment number 5.

    A 'FRESH START'. IS THAT ANYTHING LIKE 'CHANGE' OR A 'NEW DAWN'

    What is it about Westminster, that they have neither wit nor nous?

    When a bunch of crooks gets rounded up, and dispersed to widely spaced police stations (no conferring) if they all say: 'It is my understanding that Lord Sainsbury has complied with all taxation requirements', you just KNOW it is rehearsed. Bright crooks would never fall into that trap. Yet we even have coined the term: THE PARTY LINE! So not only have we got a bunch of crooks in Westminster, any replacements will also be crooks, but worse - DIM CROOKS. And while we vote for PRE-SELECTED DIM CROOKS because they are holding up a bloody rosette, there will be no FRESH START, NEW DAWN or CHANGE at Westminster.

    SPOIL PARTY GAMES

  • Comment number 6.

    ecolizzy @ 4

    One of the most respected female senior managers I've ever worked for used to behave in a not dissimilar fashion to this. Hard but fair with a rep for getting things done at work - but then a giggly school girl with her husband - I suppose it may have been another set-up behind closed doors.

    It's something that can only applies when you are together in public.
    Perhaps the vicar's misses doesn't want him talking to any ladies of the congregation.
    I think it sounds worse than an actual implementation of the rule would turn out to be.

  • Comment number 7.

    4. ecolizzy - Thanks for that gem. The wisdom of outraged women eh?:

    'One female member of the church said she was 'disgusted' by the sermon, adding: 'How can they talk that way in the 21st Century? No wonder the church is losing touch if this is the kind of gobbledegook they want us to believe it.

    'I will not be going back to that church and will have to seriously consider my faith if this is the nonsense they are spouting now.'
    Another, who also didn't want to be named, said: 'We're supposed to let out husbands talk for us and remain silent?

    'What kind of medieval sermon is that - we are not in the 15th century. I have already cancelled by direct debit to the church.'


    I guess it's the kind which drives Islam, Catholicism and is data driven and intelligent rather than demicidal?

    Said women should see Mark Easton's blog today for figures, and perhaps consider the revealing birth rate/death wish.

    But that would be telling them what to do.... wouldn't it. Sigh...

  • Comment number 8.

    BUT MIGHT NOT A BLOKE BE WILLING TO 'TRADE'? (#4)

    Nicely posted Lizzy. That is more 'bag of monkeys' methinks, rather than 'can of worms'. And timely. Scope for a bit of Adult discussion there, I would say.

  • Comment number 9.

    "Our enemies will also seek to use all tools at their disposal to attack us. That means not just bombs, bullets and aircraft but also propaganda and campaigns to undermine our will and ability to confront them."

    Director General of MI5


    Is he absolutely sure that he knows who our enemies are?

    For example, is he sure that they don't already control (or even comprise) our so-called government?

    They appear to have abrogated responsibility for managing the nation - what could be more destructive than that?

  • Comment number 10.

    "Our (everyone except the oligarchy of oil companies, bankers, politicians etc) enemies will also seek to use all tools at their disposal to attack us. That means not just bombs, bullets and aircraft ("shock and awe", shooting people on the Tube, torture etc) but also propaganda and campaigns (dodgy dossiers, forged uranium documents, control orders etc) to undermine our will and ability to confront them (with The Rule of Law.)"

    There, fixed that for you.

    Has anyone else noticed that all these attacks "from the highest levels of government and from the director general of the intelligence agency" involve no facts with which to contradict their critics? And that phrase itself is just a call to authority, I mean no one in authority lies do they? Not Catholic priests, nor Met Commanders, nor politicians nor intelligence agencies, right?

    As for the economic situation, here's a nice post on Zerohedge-

    It Is Too Late To Prevent The Collapse Of The G-7
    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/albert-edwards-500-net-liabilities-gdp-it-too-late-prevent-collapse-g-7-greece-irrelevant-we

    and another-

    Just How Ugly Is The Sovereign Default Truth? How Self Delusions Prevent Recognition Of Reality
    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/just-how-ugly-sovereign-default-truth-how-self-delusions-prevent-recognition-reality

    and in case anyone is interested in what happens then, perhaps you should look at the crime wave that is happening in bankrupt Vallejo in California-

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/02/08/BAAU1BUHVT.DTL

    We are in a box, a coffin actually, and it wasn't made for us by the likes of Osama or Saddam, it was made for us by those who are supposed to protect us and this realm and by the oligarchs they serve.

  • Comment number 11.

    10. turbojerry - well put.

    On the one hand these alleged 'nationalists' have the gall to assert that they can't do anything about international bankers/speculators crippling national economies (except force the public to support them when their liquidity dries up), and on the other, they're telling us that they're busy protecting us from the the very rare (and in some cases understandably disaffected, if seriously misguided in their actions) Muslim males from Leeds, or elsewhere, who are outraged by the military forces of deregulators shooting up Iraqis, Palestinians or Taleban etc, essentially for trying to keep the aforementioned libertarians from wrecking their way of life!

    When they're not doing that, they're threatening Iran, and for what? Israel isn't signed up the the NPT, allegedly has WMD, and from all appearances, is the greatest threat to stability in the Middle East, which, predictably, gets a low press profile!

    It's sickening.

  • Comment number 12.

    The Morgan-Brown PR crocodile-tears/emotional-blackmail show is further sad testament to just how rotten our liberal-democratic politics now is.

    That a pollster was interviewed to explain (to the very same future viewing public) that image management is now absolutely central to election campaigning, really takes the cynical biscuit don't you think?

  • Comment number 13.

    @12

    Brown had a good teacher.

    “The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic.” -Joseph Stalin

  • Comment number 14.

    Stalin played his part in bringing down Tzarist Russia in 1917 on behalf of the Germans, but at least, once in power, once free of the original ex NYC etc anarchists (which Churchill spoke of in 1919 in Hansard), he successfully built the USSR into a socialist superpower.

    All that Brown and Blair have done over the years is continue to break up Britain, which Thatcher and friends began, and which now debt burdens the British (English?) public, no doubt to the glee of Wall Street/City and other financial benficiaries/opportunists.

    That's observable/irrefutable fact is it not?

  • Comment number 15.

  • Comment number 16.

    Statist

    Do you seriously believe that Stalin's way of running Russia/USSR was a serious proposition in the long term? If it had been, his style of politics, I'm quite sure, would still be going strong. I appreciate that there are about old relics around pining for reintroduction of Stalinist system not only in Russia but also in this country and probably across the world but I do not really think they have much chance in succeeding, even if, as you say, they may be enjoying temporary 'grip' on the current UK government. That's partly why it is a real shame if the stories about the MI5 not having acted above board when dealing with vulnerable individuals are true, be their victims in detention camps or indeed 'free' to roam the streets.

    It seems to me that it would be better to admit, one way or another, to mistakes that may have been committed by this or that agent rather than carry on in this convoluted fashion and anyway, it looks like the Supreme Court at least is not in the 'grip' either of this government or the 'Stalinists' so there seem to be still a few rays of hope shining around.

    mim

  • Comment number 17.

    In the last couple of days I've seen a couple of films about Nelson Mandela, both excellent ih my opinion.

    One is a documentary made by Angus Gibson and Jo Menell and entitled 'Mandela Son of Africa, Father of a Nation' and the other directed by Clint Eastwood entitled 'Invictus'.

    Below are a few of my impressions on the subject in a dittied form:

    My problem with oppression, whatever the reason,
    Must be very deep seated and real.
    On watching ‘Invictus’ I burst into tears
    When Clint showed us the cell of Mandela’s in prison.

    I also cried when the Springbox played with the black kids
    Having realised that this was just it,
    That they equally cared about their country and game
    And that there was no way that it was a shame
    To share the same passion on equality terms.

    mim

  • Comment number 18.

  • Comment number 19.

    #18

    mademoiselle_h

    Who do you think you'll marry when you're 70, Emily or NN?
    It's not at all clear what you mean.

  • Comment number 20.

    #18 addendum

    For those interested in learning a bit more about the origin of the title of Clint Eastwood's films here's a link:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invictus

    mim

  • Comment number 21.

    Are you all right, Brightyangthing, we haven't heard from you for a few days?

    Hope you have a good weekend!

    mim

  • Comment number 22.

    'our enemies'.

    who are our enemies? The Truth? Justice? Human rights for all? are these enemies?
    Which would make our friends things like lies, injustice and inhumanity?

    if one is a shinning eyed neocon one might believe they are? we have seen Sawers evidence in the iraq inquiry. He was in the FO hostile witness camp more interested in pumping a narrative?

    if you treat a dog badly will it's character improve or deteriorate? If you treat a horse badly will it's character improve or deteriorate. Treat humans badly does their character improve or deteriorate? So if we wish to improve the human condition should we treat people badly or well?

    a 'war for human rights' is not the same as a 'war against terror' which hides one motives and methods?

    is SIS saying after 7 years they did not know about rendition [including via uk bases] or that the usa were involved in torture? which is why they kept quiet? is the intelligence that bad that they did not know? is that credible?

    the fight is over the soul of the uk? time for the neocons who have hijacked uk foreign policy to go.

  • Comment number 23.

    in perhaps a not unrelated story

    The new McCarthyism sweeping Israel

    ...To disagree with the state is to 'delegitimise' the state: that is the increasingly strident response of the country's political and military establishment to those who dare to criticise its conduct...

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/the-new-mccarthyism-sweeping-israel-1898156.html

    Israeli human rights groups complain of state crackdown

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/c4b2356a-183b-11df-9256-00144feab49a.html

    if the fight in israel is between those who want human rights for all and those who don't perhaps we have the same fight in the uk?

  • Comment number 24.

    23. jauntycyclist 'if the fight in israel is between those who want human rights for all and those who don't perhaps we have the same fight in the uk?'

    Yes, but I'd be very wary of talk of human rights rather than human duties. Cynically, it pays to foster human rights as in the end that feeds individualism, which is anti-statism. They may just wnat that to happen amongst Palestinians! Israel, like the rest of the liberal-democracies already champions anarchism - it's social duties to others which matter, but they know these are socialist/Catholic/Muslim.

    Just remember, our (anarchistic?) Bill of Rights came about as a consequence of an invasion by the Dutch William of Orange in 1688. That is often spun as liberation from the state and re-emergent Catholicism. What we actually got from the ex Spanish exiles/colonists was their banking and mercantile system (cf. Dutch East and West India Companies and what they got up to), i.e they abandoned their old base (a rather larger Holland than today, i.e. it went down to N France) for a new one - London and the City......... Next stop was NYC in the late C19th, one time, New Amsterdam. Note the Puritans were Protestants, anti-statists.

  • Comment number 25.

    16. mimpromptu - A lot of misleading propaganda was peddled in the West about the USSR. Stalin was the head of a Democratic-Centralist party, he wasn't a dictator. Like so much that was once good in the West today, it was wrecked trying to defend itself against anarchism abroad in my view.

    Today, The People's Republic of China is Stalinist, has positive economic growth, a much smaller rate of imprisonment per 100,000 in comparision with the USA, and is clearly a world economic/military super-power. It will therefore be making many Eastern and Third World Developing counties elsewhere look in their direction as an example of good governance, don't you think?

    If you don't think so, perhaps you should?

  • Comment number 26.

    THE PRIMARY HUMAN RIGHT IS: 'NO CONCEPTION WITHOUT CONSULTATION'

    Whilst this is, clearly, a paradox, implicit within it lies an extensive continuum of duties, falling on All those who in any way legalised, connived at, acquiesced to, assisted in, or directly brought about (by whatever means) the new life.

    Yet conception is, probably, the least controlled activity in our culture; not just of itself, but - in developed nations - in terms of DELAYED CONCEPTION which leads, more frequently, to combination of sub-standard egg and sperm. This amounts to exacerbation of the primary breach of Human Rights that is conception itself.

    After that - it just gets worse.

  • Comment number 27.

    26. barriesingleton - pragamatically, perhaps that's how the Chinese 'One Child Policy' system works out? One child, and then, for some, more 'if appropriate'?

  • Comment number 28.

    'I'VE NEVER SEEN THE AMAZON - I'VE NEVER REACHED BRAZIL' (#27)

    Very remiss of you to post such as to tempt me into comment based on indirect data, Statist. Indeed, when I consider - I have no certainty that China exists! I am given to understand, by the (proved unreliable) media, that 'China' had a 'one child policy' and my recollection is, that it was reported as 'enforced', rather than high minded.

    I shall now run away in the approximate direction that Miss Muffet went.

  • Comment number 29.

    ..Stalin was the head of a Democratic-Centralist party, he wasn't a dictator....

    how many did this 'democract' kill?

  • Comment number 30.

    29. jauntycyclist 'how many did this 'democract' kill?'

    Far less than the Americans did/do allegedly.

    Look up what a chap from the Swedish communist party wrote about all this, and look to China today.

    One has to understand that much that's published in the West is in fact black propaganda. One day we will probably learn that much that was said after the war about Germany was exaggerated too.

    There is a pattern to this, even today. It keeps the free-market running and the regulators at bay.

    This should be obvious if one thinks about it. One can even see elements of this in the cartoon of Hayek's 'Road To Serfdom' made by/for General Motors after the war.

    PR is a very dirty/devious business. I'm sure you appreciate this. There will no doubt be a 'purge' of the Labour (and Conservative) party after the General Election, but I don't think they'll end up in shallow graves do you?

    In my experience, too many people readily believe all sorts of horror stories which they should be far more critical of, especially about alien, socialist, countries. There are criminals in all countries of course, and some people do die in prisons, naturally, some used to be executed, some still are in some countries.

    Compare the crime rates in the USA vs China, and think back to the 30s, 40s and 50s. Think of countries which had Civil Wars.

    A lot of what I once blindly accepted, I no longer do, mainly because I have questioned what I once did not, and looked into it more carefully and critically.

  • Comment number 31.

    ON THE SUBJECT OF KILLING AND PROPAGANDA (#39)

    This morning, over radio, I heard our troops being told to only kill bad guys.

    This evening (TV) I saw our troops spraying bullets like confetti. One looking across to his mates, as he did. Then a rocket was fired to kill a sniper. Clearly a 'selective-bad-guy-rocket'.



  • Comment number 32.

    #30 Statist

    You (sort of) side tracked jaunty's querie @ #29!

    What about Stalin's gulag camps etc. and Alexander Solzhenitsyn's life experiences an all that stuff...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleksandr_Solzhenitsyn

    I'm fairly sure Solzhenitsyn did not write propaganda for the West's anti-statist movement???

  • Comment number 33.

    32. freemarketanarchy 'I'm fairly sure Solzhenitsyn did not write propaganda for the West's anti-statist movement???'

    How do you know....? What effect/consequences did they have?

    Did his books sell better in Russia or USA/Europe? In the end, he hated the West too....and left.

    There were different phases of USSR too. Who actually ran 'The Terror?

    Have a look into Solzhenitsyn's '200 years...' (that which you can find in English, anyway).

  • Comment number 34.

  • Comment number 35.

    Psychology - it's tricky stuff.

    Here's something to think through and which highlights that there's a major flaw with the Western propaganda line uncritically accepted by many:-

    China makes out it broke with the USSR after 1953 (when Stalin died) because China was going soft on Stalinism. Note China's population is today 5 times that of Russia, and that China is still Stalinist in structure. What collapsed was a non-Stalinist USSR!

    So, if Democratic-Centralism is such a terrible system leading to GULAGs etc (GULAG is just short for prison system), how come it's not being vilified, and why instead is it being held up a great success story?

    Hmmmmm?

  • Comment number 36.

    #33 Statist

    OK...maybe my reference to Solzhenitsyn confused the issue somewhat!

    I admit, I'm a bit confused about Solzhenitsyn...'Was he, or wasn't he?'....and I'm not asking whether he used Harmony hairspray!

    Admittedly, Solzhenitsyn rejected the view that it was Stalin who created the Soviet totalitarian state and argued that it was Lenin who started the mass executions.

    But...from Wiki (about Gulags)...

    "More than 14 million people passed through the Gulag from 1929 to 1953, with a further 6 to 7 million being deported and exiled to remote areas of the USSR.[5] According to Soviet data, a total of 1,053,829 people died in the GULAG from 1934 to 1953, not counting those who died in labor colonies[6] or those who died shortly after their release but which resulted from the harsh treatment in the camps.[7] Anne Applebaum
    notes that "both archives and memoirs indicate that it was common practice in many camps to release prisoners who were on the point of dying, thereby lowering camp death statistics."[8] The total population of the camps varied from 510,307 (in 1934) to 1,727,970 (in 1953).[9].

    Most Gulag inmates were not political prisoners, although the political prisoner population was always significant.[10] People could be imprisoned in a Gulag camp for crimes such as unexcused absences from work, petty theft, or anti-government jokes.[11] About half of the political prisoners were sent to Gulag prison camps without trial; official data suggest that there were more than 2.6 million imprisonment sentences in cases investigated by the secret police, 1921-1953.[12] While the Gulag was radically reduced in size following Stalin’s death in 1953, political prisoners continued to exist in the Soviet Union right up to the Gorbachev era.[13]

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

    A awful lot of people died in Gulags well after Lenin died in 1924...i.e. the vast majority!

    Was it not yourself that said 'do not judge them by what they say...but by what they do!'

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

    Were all those deaths simply a price worth paying for the rights of the many over the rights of the individual?

    Maybe Islam has the answer?

  • Comment number 37.

    30 ...Far less than the Americans...

    sorry but this is fantasy. like holocaust denial. talk to people who have been through the gulag system, who lived through those times and then come back. there is a british romanticism relating to communism which is not only delusional but dangerous.

    stalin plans included ethnic cleaning on a massive scale [including things like katyn], mass starvations [like ukraine], working people to death in the gulags, several purges, rape as an instrument of the state,liquidation of a class of people etc

    russians know

    ...Mr. Medvedev made the comments on his video blog, on the occasion of a holiday devoted to the memory of victims of repression. He warned that revisionist historians risked glossing over the darker passages of the Soviet past, citing a poll that showed that 90 percent of young people could not name victims of the purges.

    “Even now we can hear voices saying that these numerous deaths were justified by some supreme goals of the state,” Mr. Medvedev said. “Nothing can be valued above human life, and there is no excuse for repressions.”...

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/31/world/europe/31russia.html

    for those in the east ww2 only ended in 1989.

    all gulags systems are attempts to perpetual the darkness of a dogma by destroying those who bring light. which is why artists, writers, teachers etc all end up in them.

    in those days any who could read or write was an 'intellectual' and could be executed or condemned on the whim of the local read army political unit.

    when stalin wanted something done like a road or a bridge or a factory building they would work out what kind of workers were needed and how long it would take and the nkvd would go and find these people and sentence them on trumped up charges for that exact length.

    communism is about 'equality through terror'. which is why free people with a mind do not choose it.

  • Comment number 38.

    36. freemarketanarchy - Look up tthat period and do some sums. Look up how many the United States imprisons today, and compare that with China, which has a much larger population. Then compare USA with old USSR. Also bear in mind that people die all the time (think WWII and camps here too). 1% of the UK population comprises a school cohort (about 600,000 kids). How many are born each year? How many people die each year? How many people 'pass through' UK prisons each year? Hint: 80,000 are given custodial sentences each year (80% average 13 weeks), 120,000 are given community sentences each year, but over 200,000 are supervised in the community at any one time, and at any one time the prison population is around 80,000. But how many 'pass through'?

    We have a much smaller incarceration rate than the USA (see recent post/link comparing this to China and USA). It's very easy to paint an alien system black, especially if it's a closed system. Our media drones on and on about how bleak and cruel socialism is everywhere. Surely that's what one would expect of the free world media - it's how it's kept 'free' and how people are kept in debt.

    Look back on past BBC Newsnight treatments of socialist/statist regimes. Hardly a record of balanced coverage. See coverage of Iran in teh last week.

    I'm sure many in the BBC/NN don't see it...that's why pointing out bias to them is a waste of time. They don't intend to be biased, and we now live in peculiar times when if one doesn't mean to do something, or doesn't know that one is doing something, then...errrrr one can't be held responsible for doing it - allegedly as there is no intent! See Iraq Inquiry. It's 'bonkers'. Seriously!

  • Comment number 39.

    37 jauntycyclist 'sorry but this is fantasy. like holocaust denial.'

    No, I'm prompting you to think critically and not to just believe the propaganda that you've been fed post WWII. Remember, during WWII the Russians were glorified by us. You have been fed propaganda to make you despise/fear socialism and thus tacitly defend the free-market, believe it or not.

    'talk to people who have been through the gulag system, who lived through those times and then come back.'

    A lot will be ex cons and lie. We know now that lots of people lied about the holocaust too, ase after case has been exposed. Lots were political prisoners, politically motivated, or just out to make fame or money. One has to be sceptical, whether it's this, or climate change, wars on terror, whatever, else one remains a useful idiot serving domestic politics.

    'there is a british romanticism relating to communism which is not only delusional but dangerous.'

    As I say, look at Stalinist China today. Why no horror stories? It's Stalinist and proud of it.

    It's very hard to see outside one's political conditioning (unless one has worked as part of it).

    You should know this. You see it (partially), if not critically remark upon it, nearly every day....

  • Comment number 40.

    #26. barrie
    Trust you to cast a beam of light through the dark blog on Russia’s gulags v China’s low prison population (don’t forget to factor in that they execute hundreds every years!)

    “THE PRIMARY HUMAN RGHT IS: 'NO CONCEPTION WITHOUT CONSULTATION”
    to which I would add ‘and no indoctrination before consultation and enlightenment.’

    Brainwashing an innocent newborn child with an unproven set of beliefs before it has learned about life, nature and society’s ills should be a criminal offence. A dogma is for life, and not only for Christians.
    Having been born free of such brainwashing and presumption I am still able to form my own belief system - mainly one of continuous ambivalence.

    This enables me to accept (often from NN bloggers) certain principles from faiths that I mainly detest, when weighed against the ‘freedoms of the individual’ of western society that have gone beyond many moral or ethical constraints: humans can only handle so much freedom.
    A certain amount of self-control is necessary for the common good of any society, but not to the extent that the citizen is ‘owned’ by the state (eg as in Russia, China, other dictatorships and Islamic states). Unfortunately democracy involves pandering to the unreasonable wants of the majority, and immigration and globalisation destroy established cultures.

    Once patriotism and love of country were main motivators; later ambivalence about empire and colonialism set in, followed by the burdens of Commonwealth; and lately dislike of control by (bloody foreigners) in Europe. I’m now looking for escape to some form of commune....but got to go now as the Filipina poolside waitress is taking lunch orders: I’ll be back in time for the Prom season at RAH.

  • Comment number 41.

    39

    not to just believe the propaganda...A lot will be ex cons and lie..

    its clear where the propaganda is here. interesting line in historical revisionism. Is putin lying about stalin? the russian PM?

    this type of ludicrous post reminds of the line the chinese internet warfare team were using a year or so ago. In the gulags part of the mind games was that they would give people a cup of hot water and call it soup. But in order to get it you had to ask for 'soup'. Then if you asked for food they would say 'you greedy person haven't you just had soup'. Good luck with your stalinist 'soup' .

  • Comment number 42.

    Just to spell out the obvious for anyone who is having trouble thinking the logic of this puzzle through, here's the conundrum: under Stalin's constitution (effectively the one Chinese have today except provinces can't secede), Russia etc did rather well, became a super-power and was widely praised by lots of Western intellectuals (eg. the Fabians) as the new civilization. Then, when Stalin dies and t hey change their constitutions a few times, it starts to deteriorate (a Cold War with the USA and Europe did not help). Meanwhile, China falls out with the USSR for going slack on Stalinism. Eventually, in the late 80s, the 'reformed' non Stalinist USSR collapses, and for some inexplicable reason, the West says communism has collapsed, even though China is going from strength to strength, so much so that by 2008 it is showcasing wonderful cities and the fact that it has the USA etc in debt!!

    If the Soviet system (i.e Stalinism) was such a bad system, how come it only collapsed when the USSR gave up on it and how come China, which is still Stalinist, is doing so amazingly well?

    USA/European propaganda eh - Satanic...

    I hold no torch for communism for what it's worth, I just think the idea of the state (like family writ large) is logical/sensible, and that Old Labour had some humnanistic policies.

    I just see some major problems with conventional 'wisdom'.......

  • Comment number 43.

    Review

    Nation state.

    what a strange discussion. If you believe the nation is the highest idea of the mind and so 'identify' yourself with it and build your identity upon it then certain things follow.

    a nation is created out of a common feeling from among a group of people so the idea a nation can come out of group of people with different common feelings is illogical. Which is why the extremist policy of unlimited immigration and the doctrine of multiculturalism is designed to break up a nation not create one. This is the jedi mind trick that has been promoted. A trick a BBC executive has said they are not neutral about but promote through segmentation of channels etc. Notice the bbc have no 'home' channel where everyone can watch 'together'. Asian here, black music, there etc. nothing together. its form of apartheid mindset.

    Recently there are been several 'british' series on tv as if just knowing british history is enough to create a common feeling among somalis, nigerians, chinese, slavs, pakistanis etc who live in the uk. Who have their own 'history' and experience of the uk history usually from being the other side of the maxim gun?

    in trying to make the uk a microcosm of the world populations to please the monarch after loss of empire all that will happens is to recreate the wars in the world on uk soil. which is why we spend increasing billions on internal security. an increasing trend unlikely to change? till the uk becomes like somalia?

    there is no longer a common majority feeling in the uk. Mainly because monarchy class system is by definition excluding and not inclusive. Which will have long term consequences. unless the uk adopts a usa model and dumps the monarchy class system.

  • Comment number 44.

    43

    China, which is still Stalinist, is doing so amazingly well?..

    that is the false belief isn't it? what does well mean? by what measure? how can any system that relies on the gulag system [or Laogai in china] be doing well?

    Currency manipulation to undercut everyone else is merely a policy of fascist nationaism? that in the end will lead to war.

    yes it clear you think the state is the highest idea of the mind. and so would accept and support the gulag system as necessary to make sure that remains supreme. because it won't remain supreme without it.

  • Comment number 45.

    41. jauntycyclist 'Is putin lying about stalin? the russian PM?'

    is Blair lying about Iraq? the Britsh (ex) PM?

    Really, you aren't taking this in at all are you? The USSR began to deteriorate after Stalin's death, i.e. after it became revisionist. That's what the Chinese called post Stalinist USSR, i.e revisionist. China is still Stalinist. Do we revile or revere China today? Think about it.

    Politics - it's all 'interpretation' (see Mr Straw to Chilcot). Or watch weepy Gordon on TV tonight.

  • Comment number 46.

    44. jauntycyclist 'yes it clear you think the state is the highest idea of the mind. and so would accept and support the gulag system as necessary'

    Well, I'd settle for the NHS, British Gas, Coal Board, British Rail, BA, BT, state education, British Leyland - remember those evil 'statist' industries? ....... and yes, even a British Prison/Probation (GULAG) Service which isn't being privatised to Group 4, Securicor etc.....

    But then, maybe asan evil statist (probably not far from a 'terrorist' in some people's minds?) in unguarded moments I may be prone to eat babies for breakfast or join the BNP or something odious like the Old Labour Party?

    So... pay me no mind, vote Conservative/New Labour or Lib Dem and have more of the same privatisation, it's what freedom is all about after all.

    Me....I just like to make people think a bit. I mean no offence.

  • Comment number 47.

    44. jauntycyclist 'that is the false belief isn't it? what does well mean? by what measure?'

    8% GDP growth? How well is the Eurozone/EU doing, the USA and UK? Yes, China wants this corrupt system of the liberal-democracies to change, and guess what, with some much control of their manufacturing and with so much of their debt it might just do that. How about all the 'sanctions' which the libertarian, free-market West has wielded against regimes that it does not approve of?

    I don't think you have fully thought through the position you have been articulating in these blogs. I'm just helping you do that. Try it on for size.

  • Comment number 48.

    44. jauntycyclist From the Ludington Post, feb 8th'According to figures compiled by the International Center for Prison Studies, with less than 5 percent of the world’s population, the U.S. has almost a quarter of the world’s prisoners. Now that’s over-achieving if I’ve ever seen it.

    We hold 2.3 million people behind bars, far more than any other country in the world. China, with four times our population, is a distant second in prisoners, with a mere 1.6 million. And our prison population is growing, so nobody’ll ever catch us.

    Our country is also proudly first in incarceration rates, with over 750 people in jail for every 100,000 in population. England’s rate is a lackluster 150 incarcerations per 100,000; Germany’s a measly 88; Japan’s a puny 63. Obviously, the rest of the world just isn’t trying.'


    What was that about the 'gulag system [or Laogai in china]' jauntycyclist?

    China does have criminals, not as many as the USA perhaps, but they do have criminals, and in China, a crime agianst the people is taken very seriously, as the people come first, they are family.

    How many of us in the liberal-democracies truly see how political conditioning works via 'education'?

  • Comment number 49.

    43. jauntycyclist 'A trick a BBC executive has said they are not neutral about but promote through segmentation of channels etc. Notice the bbc have no 'home' channel where everyone can watch 'together'. Asian here, black music, there etc. nothing together. its form of apartheid mindset.'

    Yes, but is it a trick or just a sign of normal human failing? In fact, in some boroughs in the country, White British people are already a minority in some age groups, and shortly they'll be minorities overall. But one won't find them referred to as an ethnic minority group and find them treated as such, with special provisions. Why is that? It looks like discrimination to some (are they that wrong?), hence they get upset and vote for 'extremist', i.e. 'nationalist', parties.

    People, we're just not consistent. Perhaps we would all do well to remember that?

  • Comment number 50.

    Happy Valentine's Day Everyone :o)

  • Comment number 51.

    - LIGHTLY TURN TO THOUGHTS OF LOVE (#50)

    Thank you 76uk. I offer a topical love poem in return.

    FAIR LOVE CONQUERS ALL

    The love of war shines from the young man's eyes.
    (What young girls shine with: quite beyond surmise.)
    As Britain's vaunted army strides those lands
    And trigger-fingers shake - bewildered hands.

    What British madness guards the burglar's crown
    from my unmeasured use of fearful force?
    Then sends our warriors to face a foe,
    To 'come in peace' as violently they go?

    What logic calls-in air-strike's blunderbuss:
    Excessive overkill that none endears?
    Yet makes incongruous 'Health and Safety' fuss:
    "Shoot only bad guys - heed the good folk's fears!"

    All springs, apparently, from love of Peace.
    Ours - bought with theirs, imposed on Terror's Lair.
    A noble win-win Peace-Prize dividend!
    Once more, in love and war, all things are fair.


  • Comment number 52.

    @ #51 Barrie - Bravo! *applause*

  • Comment number 53.

    44 JauntyCyclist


  • Comment number 54.

    47

    ..8% GDP growth? How well is the Eurozone/EU doing, the USA and UK?..

    how did they achieve that? what would be the figure if there was no currency manipulation? no massive debt of the 'consumer countries' funded by china?

    the basic flaw in the state family as a model is that it requires someone to be the parent and someone to be the child. the State is never going to want to stop being the parent so will demand everyone else remain a child forever.

    the state family model is not a democracy. there is no democracy in the family. the parent will is law. good or bad.

    which is why organised crime prefers this obey or get a bullet model.

    i'm sure it appeals to certain type of psychology. ie those who want to be dominant parents who never let go and those who forever want to be children. Which are both psychological flaws.

  • Comment number 55.

    53

    its one thing to not like what the west is doing. quite another to want to replace it with the chinese communist model?

    yes there is a financial oligarchy and politicians are their front men. Our troops are dying to install a higher level of democracy in iraq and afghanistan than we have here [we cannot elect a head of state nor the upper house and the national oath and anthem are protecting only the monarchist poems].

    the model for a game is to have a set of rules and a ref. in the financial markets there were few rules [in some cases none] and the regulator ref was terrified into doing nothing by the politicians [see tony's famous speech].

    if there were no rules or supervision on the motorway, or air traffic control or even football would it not degenerate into smashups? So why did anyone think the financial markets should be 'exempt'. even today Darling [against King's advice] refuses to introduce laws that would prevent it happening again.

    the focus is not over if there is a market but that it just has rules and a ref like anywhere else. The collapse of the markets is due to ignoring economic laws. So they reasserted their laws. which shows they work and will bite anyone who tries to ignore economic laws for any length of time.

  • Comment number 56.

    #51

    What, or who, are you in war over, Mistress76uk's favours and gratitude, singie?

  • Comment number 57.

    #56 addendum

    Oh, and are you fighting on behalf of 'geography young man'?

  • Comment number 58.


    'GAME OVER for London'

    "The outflow of physical metal from bank vaults is happening at a mind bending pace."

    'Last August 2009, a busload of former key employees from the USDept Treasury and Wall Street firms arrived in Brussels Belgium. They turned themselves in to legal authorities in an attempt to avoid eventual prosecution'

    Another little problem that you probably wont read about until/unless it goes critical. Not quite sure about the believability of the former employees turning themselves in, still rather interesting if true.

    Ref : http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article16987.html

  • Comment number 59.

    As it's St Valentine's Day I thought I'd do a kind of spoof of T S Eliot's 'The Love Song of J A Prufrock', it being one of my all time rhythm & rhyme favourites. For the time being I've come up with the following:

    Twelve o’clock
    Along the reaches of the street
    Held in a solar synthesis
    Shimmering solar incantations,
    Warm up the floors of memory
    And all its clear revelations
    Its diffusions and precisions
    Every street lamp that I pass
    Beats like a pulsating drum,
    And through the spaces in the park
    Noon evokes the memory
    As the Eros points his magic arrow.

    Half-past one,
    The street-lamp uttered,
    The street-lamp flattered.

    /which is based on:

    'TWELVE o’clock.
    Along the reaches of the street
    Held in a lunar synthesis,
    Whispering lunar incantations
    Dissolve the floors of memory
    And all its clear relations
    Its divisions and precisions,
    Every street lamp that I pass
    Beats like a fatalistic drum,
    And through the spaces of the dark
    Midnight shakes the memory
    As a madman shakes a dead geranium.

    Half-past one,
    The street-lamp sputtered,
    The street-lamp muttered,'/

    taken from Prufrock and Other Observations. 1917.

    mim

  • Comment number 60.

    #59 continuation

    As suggested, here's a follow up:

    Let us go then, you and I,
    When the evening is spread out against the sky
    Like a cloth laid upon a table;
    Let us go, through certain full of people streets,
    The chattering retreats
    Of vibrating nights in one-night overseas hotels
    And happy restaurants with oyster-shells:
    Streets that follow like a worthy argument
    Without insidious intent
    To lead you to an overwhelming question….
    Oh, do not ask, ‘What is it?’
    Let us go and make our visit.

    In the room the women come and go
    Talking of yours and mine fratello

    Let us go then, you and I,
    When the evening is spread out against the sky
    Like a patient etherized (2) upon a table;
    Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
    The muttering retreats
    Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
    And sawdust (3) restaurants with oyster-shells:
    Streets that follow like a tedious argument
    Of insidious intent
    To lead you to an overwhelming question . . .
    Oh, do not ask, "What is it?"
    Let us go and make our visit.

    In the room the women come and go
    Talking of Michelangelo. (4)

    mim

  • Comment number 61.

    54. jauntycyclist 'what would be the figure if there was no currency manipulation? no massive debt of the 'consumer countries' funded by china?'

    What would the case be if things were not as they are?

    What are you doing there? You must deal with realities if you are being rational. What would happen if pigs flew?

    'the basic flaw in the state family as a model is that it requires someone to be the parent and someone to be the child. the State is never going to want to stop being the parent so will demand everyone else remain a child forever.'

    Heads up: 1) here are adults and children in the world. There always have been and there always will be. 2) abilities are Normally (Gaussian) Distributed i.e some people never really grow up (i.e think of low abilities in some areas as being childlike, and as we reach old age we become child-like again - understand?).

    Thus there is a place for the state to look after people. Disregard this important point and you will lose out all round. In fact, you will bring the very things which you need in life crashing down around you! See liberal-democracies for a very sad and painful illustration.

    There are some pearls there jauntycyclist, and they are for free...

  • Comment number 62.

    "A DOGMA IS FOR LIFE - NOT JUST FOR CHRISTIANS!" (#40)

    The doctrine of CONTINUOUS AMBIVALENCE. Priceless! L Ron is spinning that he never thought of that one IDG2!!

    Open an Academy - I'll join. (:o)

  • Comment number 63.

    40. indignantindegene 'Brainwashing an innocent newborn child with an unproven set of beliefs before it has learned about life, nature and society’s ills should be a criminal offence. A dogma is for life, and not only for Christians. Having been born free of such brainwashing and presumption I am still able to form my own belief system - mainly one of continuous ambivalence.'

    'born free of such brainwashing and presumption' ??

    Perhaps you're not as free as you like to think indignantindegene? Perhaps it's just natural hubrism and social conditioning which makes people think otherwise throughout the liberal-democracies?

  • Comment number 64.

  • Comment number 65.

    Iran's friend sends more than a message?

  • Comment number 66.

    61

    no doubt i will have time to re educate myself [through labour] as to 'my errors' in the gulags? :)

  • Comment number 67.

    66. jauntycyclist - 'Arbeit macht frei'!

    'The expression comes from the title of an 1873 novel by German philologist Lorenz Diefenbach, in which gamblers and fraudsters find the path to virtue through labour. It was adopted in 1928 by the Weimar government as a slogan extolling the effects of their desired policy of large-scale public works programmes to end unemployment'

    it may surprise/inspire you as to where that phrase came from and why it was chosen...

  • Comment number 68.

    #61

    But what do they taste like, jaunty, from your position, Statist, nice and complying?

  • Comment number 69.

    IF PIGS FLY (#61)

    "What would happen if pigs flew?"

    Bacon would be out of reach for all but the elevated.

  • Comment number 70.

    #39Statist
    "..in some boroughs in the country, White British people are already a minority in some age groups, and shortly they'll be minorities overall. But one won't find them referred to as an ethnic minority group and find them treated as such, with special provisions. Why is that? It looks like discrimination to some (are they that wrong?), hence they get upset and vote for 'extremist', i.e. 'nationalist', parties."

    It's simply 'discrimination in pursuit of power' by all major political parties in order not to upset 'grateful voters' who are now a critical mass in our democratic system. Having become radicalised, a substantial minority will look to nationist parties in May. But the tipping point has been passed, with no going back, so segregation is the only solution available to those who wish to preserve their heritage. Hence I argue for more power for local authorities, e.g. powers to encourage or ban mosques, and thus preserve our different cultures.

    #63
    "Perhaps you're not as free as you like to think indignantindegene? Perhaps it's just natural hubrism and social conditioning which makes people think otherwise throughout the liberal-democracies?"

    Agreed. My social conditioning is due to deliberately choosing like-minded friends - and partners who accept my values. That, surely, is a basic Human Right.


  • Comment number 71.

    70. indignantindegene 'Agreed. My social conditioning is due to deliberately choosing like-minded friends - and partners who accept my values. That, surely, is a basic Human Right.'

    Ach Zo! Nein... It is in your making.. and it is your duty! (-;

  • Comment number 72.

  • Comment number 73.

    TONY GOT HIS PACT ALL BACK TO FRONT. (#72)

    Somewhere, in a dusty attic, is a pristine picture of Tony - hair, smile, charisma, all in their powerful prime. But look at the man himself!

    Blair now carries the stare of a haunted man, speaks with a croak that many a thespian might aspire to when portraying 'possession', and has the taut, florid face of terror.

    And still the penny has not dropped.

    Men obsessed by infant, un-met need, seek power in a multitude of ways. Such need can NEVER be met. Their search for relief becomes ever-more desperate. Now we have Wee Jimmie Brown trying to fill his void - again, at our 'expense'.

    Soon we shall have no pennies. . .

  • Comment number 74.

    72. ecolizzy 'Are we beginning to see the light yet?'

    Sadly, no.

    In my experience most people do not want to know.

    Most people find the message 'offensive'.

    In my view, that is precisely why we slowly got ourselves into this position in the first place. This is precisely why we will continue to remain in this position so long as this is the case. This is why, sadly, it will just continue to get worse. This, sadly, is why Germany dispensed with liberal-democracy in te 1930s, as what most people want, doesn't work to their collective long-term advantage if most people behave like children well into adulthood.

  • Comment number 75.


  • Comment number 76.

    75. mademoiselle_h 'I really take issues with your view that everything China does is linked to communism. This is so outdated and untrue. In fact, I bet you can find more socialists in the UK Labour party conference than the whole of China.'

    This reveals that you do not understand the nature and practice of Chinese socialism. You should read the Chinese Constitution and try to understand how you may be the victim of Western propaganda and hubrism.

    Look carefully at state ownership in China. Look more closely at their SEZs. Operationally (i.e. judged in terms of outcome), these were their means to cripple the liberal-democracies were they not?

    have you considered that maybe they deploy their miscreants in SEZs as GULAG labourers, working indirectly for the betterment of the Chinese state overall?

 

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.