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Monday 15 February 2010

Verity Murphy | 17:50 UK time, Monday, 15 February 2010

UPDATE - MORE DETAILS ON TONIGHT'S PROGRAMME

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It is day three of the joint Nato-Afghan military operation codenamed Moshtarak.

Military officials say that the operation is succeeding in pushing Taliban fighters from their strongholds in and around Marjah and Nad Ali in Helmand province.

But this progress has not come without a price - three Nato deaths related to the offensive have so far been confirmed, and the operation suffered a setback on Sunday when rockets fired by coalition troops killed 12 civilians.

Tonight, Mark Urban will be giving us his step-by-step guide to how the mission has been unfolding on the ground, and what we can expect to see next.

Also, Parliament is in recess this week, but this close to a General Election there is no sign of a break in the battle for votes.

Conservative leader David Cameron has today renewed a pledge to give public sector workers the chance to form co-operatives to run services.

Mr Cameron said the plan, under which the staff of taxpayer-funded services, such as primary school teachers and nurses, would decide how they were run, would "unleash a new culture of public sector enterprise".

But the Schools Secretary Ed Balls has accused Mr Cameron of using co-operatives as a "gimmick".

Tonight, Jackie Long assesses how Mr Cameron's scheme would work and we debate whether it really is as bold as he says.

Paul Mason has a report on the social impact of the Greek economic crisis - is Greek society undergoing a metamorphosis?

And for all you Dr Who fans out there - scriptwriter writer Andrew Cartmel will be talking about the claims that in the 80s the Time Lord wasn't just battling cybermen and daleks, but Mrs Thatcher too.

ENTRY FROM 1129 GMT

Our Defence editor Mark Urban will be reporting on the progress of Operation Moshtarak, Nato's offensive in southern Afghanistan, which military officials have said is being slowed Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) planted by Taliban fighters.

Jackie Long is looking at the Conservatives' renewed pledge to give public sector workers the chance to form co-operatives to run services.

Paul Mason has a report on the social impact of the Greek economic crisis and austerity measures - how is Greek society changing?

More details later.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Paul is probably your greatest asset NN, I hope you appreciate this.

  • Comment number 2.

    the old old story coming out again, a 'stray' missile that has wasted a house, a family, maybe an uncle and a grandmother and absolute devastation for a family and what do we say? We apologise, we offer condolences, we are absolutely pathetic, we have missiles that we are told can land on a sixpence, can distinquish one side of a room to the other side of the room, well, don't make me laugh or in this case make me cry as the recipients of this nice little 'mistake' will be our lads at the hard end of all this and it will also stiffen the resolve of the Taliban who will say 'how can you trust these butchers who maim and slaughter' We have provided all the ammunition for their propaganda. Wringing hands won't do only an exit strategy will do......

  • Comment number 3.

    How is Sir Andrew been threw A similar Caper its not Nice but you CAN survive IT Yours Ayye Duncan

  • Comment number 4.

    I've seen enough of that airbrushed picture of Emily Maitlis thank you. Will you take it away now please.

  • Comment number 5.

    2. steve 'the recipients of this nice little 'mistake' will be our lads at the hard end of all this and it will also stiffen the resolve of the Taliban'

    Cynics (realists?) might say that this is precisely the objective. Cynics might assert that instead of fighting a war on the source of terror, it serves a political purpose to fight a war which incites terror(ism) domestically, as how else might one fight to support the 'freedoms' of liberal-democracy in the face of the ever visible corruption and mendacity which it fosters? But such people would be called irresponsible, or even 'traitors', by some (e.g. the chap from MI5)? But what is the truth of the matter?

  • Comment number 6.

    Is it bad that I'm instantly turned-off by the mention of Afghanistan and that I don't give a monkey's about Greece?

  • Comment number 7.

    4. MaggieL 'I've seen enough of that airbrushed picture of Emily Maitlis thank you. Will you take it away now please.'

    It's quite remarkable isn't it? We see this everywhere in the 'News' etc these days. Pretty images in place of content. If one watches the weather one is drawn, to 'what a nice dress', or how flattering the makeup is on, say, Laura Tobin, It's as if the medium is now just an opportunity to 'present', i.e to flaunt. It's become a catwalk (for both sexes).

    That's the entertainment industry - vanity reinforcing all that's bad about our culture.

  • Comment number 8.

    having just around to watching generation jihad i'm a bit surprised people are being banged for long terms up as terrorists merely for having information with no proof of intent, means, preparations etc.

    i lived in a loony left council and in their main library in the 1970/early80s were many of the books that are now regarded as terrorist manuals and are banned. I know because i read them. There even was black flag kind of stuff on how to form cells, recruit members, bring down power lines, attack airports, avoid surveillance etc.

    under the current laws anyone who reads those from research could be convicted of being a terrorist?

    kids on the internet [like the 15 year old who was 'convicted'] are bound to look at these things and then move on?

    these are not terrorist laws that cover acts. they are thought police state laws?

    further it seems these thought crimes are only muslim related. Which is why it is still legal in the uk to raise money and support with 'literature' the setting up of illegal settlements in the west bank.

    there is no debate in these gung ho afghanistan etc reports about why people are attacking us. whereas the biased injustice is pretty obvious? even down to these ludicrous laws that are those of a thought police state ie the same model as the spanish inquisition.

    the spanish inquisition job was to prove and ensure muslims [and jews] were loyal' to the spanish state. after 300 years of injustice they gave up and just expelled them all [ie they recognsed multiculture cannot exist without the rising up of civil war]. So given the evidence that even after 300 years [when they had more violent means of persuasion than today] that thought police system failed why are imitating it?

  • Comment number 9.

    6. The Count 'Is it bad that I'm instantly turned-off by the mention of Afghanistan and that I don't give a monkey's about Greece?'

    "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


    Maybe you're a budding 'enemy' or 'traitor'? Maybe you should get a friend or family member to force you to watch footage for rehabilitation?

    Your conditioning is extinguishing - hence the guilt feelings. Seek out your nearest MI5 funded (BBC) rehab portal immediatel - don't delay! Do it today!

  • Comment number 10.

    Don't understand not being interested in what's happening in Greece.

    Give it three months and it'll be happening here.

    Might pick up some coping strategies.

    Emily Maitlis is from Zargon 50 so they don't need airbrushes there, it is simply a question of azzimulation.

    Clegg says his team will not accept Cabinet positions in a minority Government of whatever hue. The country is safe again.

    Bettes vos jeux; Straw caretaker leader after Labour loses election in May; new leader Miliband Junior.Leading them into the wilderness for a good long while.

  • Comment number 11.

    Alternatively, credits/indulgences can be readily purchased at many reputable retail outlets (M&S, Tesco, Starbucks, Top-Shop, Goldman-Sachs...).

  • Comment number 12.

    #1

    Statist

    Is it because Paul has Trotskyite tendencies or is it because of his surname?

    In my view they are all pretty good in their fields.

    Nevertheless, I've just read the Wikipedia article about Paul which reveals that Paul is, if not a musician as such, then at least very musical. One just never knows and I now wonder what kind of music he likes.

  • Comment number 13.

    The Goldman-Sachs - Greek connection.

  • Comment number 14.

    Statist @ 9
    Will do!
    Outside of the the Afghan army playing a major role - I'm not sure how much more I need to know about what's happening at the moment.
    It strikes that for a while Mark has been left struggling to find things to say that are any different from what he's already said.

    kashibeyaz @ 10
    I don't think it will.
    Economically Greece is a sick man people have been waiting to kick. Societally and economically we are a very different country.
    Whilst we might find ourselves in a similar position I don't think we're likley to react in the same way nor are others going to react to us in a similar way.

    mim @ 12
    Paul listens to classical music - he revealed so on his blog about media purchasing habits.

    I think the most interesting thing about the Conservatives' pledge is that it plays against a mute govt with respect to such things. It was bizarre seeing Andy Burnham argue at the weekend that something couldn't be govt policy as they didn't have a policy yet.

  • Comment number 15.

    #12 addendum

    Personally, apart from not being very keen on Trotskyism, what does put me off Paul Mason's reports is his tendency to indulge in 'graphs' and 'graphics' but otherwise, not being an economist as such but rather having on the whole a simple, common sense attitude to finances, I can't really judge Pual's qualities in this respect.


  • Comment number 16.

    8. jauntyclclist 'these are not terrorist laws that cover acts. they are thought police state laws?'

    You've almost got it, but you're still missing some essential elements. These are not 'thought police state laws', but 'thought police anti-state' (free-market anarchistic) laws. These are designed to prevent the rise of the state (see Greece for a currently running pilot project of the SI). One has to remember that the Taliban and other 'terrorists' like the Iranians, want to sustain or build a state. That's why they like to get pally with the Chinese (cf. Iran and the SCO).

    State building is exceptionally bad for free-enterprise, i.e free-market business and speculation as it means regulation...!

  • Comment number 17.

    'OFFENSIVE' IN SOUTHERN AFGHANISTAN? SURELY IT'S MORE A SEDUCTION VERITY!

    We had 'Shock and Awe' in Iraq. Let's have a catchy new title for this touchy-feely warfare?
    As the handshake with locals is now the thing, and evacuation of many, out of harms way, de rigueur - why not call it Shake and Vac?

    From what Jock Stirrup has said: "New Labour - New Warfare", I guess the word 'offensive' is now deeply - well - offensive? Poor Gumby Bob, he doesn't know if he's invader or missionary. I hope enough sun-loungers and flip-flops have been procured.

    What a pantomime. And now all the Taliban have disappeared.

    BEHIND YOU!

  • Comment number 18.

    NOT JUST A PRETTY FACE, BUT SHE SPEAKS THREE LANGUAGES AS WELL!

    I hope Statist will support the probability that attractiveness and intelligence (loosely defined) tend to go hand in hand? So Emily's 'accomplishments' come as no surprise.

    But it bears noting that it is quite common for academically gifted women, who are also attractive to men, quite frequently 'go the beauty route' to life-gain i.e. follow the genetic imperative. (Carol Vorderman even 'reverted to type!)

  • Comment number 19.

    #17

    singie

    Pantomime - a bit perhaps but for real rather at long last again.

    mim

  • Comment number 20.

    18. barriesingleton - No disrespect to Emily intended, just an endorsement of another poster's (and your own often justly stated), critique of style over substance. She did a fair job at inducing Gove to hoist himself a few nights back over the Swedish model too. Heaven help us if any of these parties get back in this year. Meanwhile, it looks like the BNP may be set to become the Old Labour Party now that it's finally dumped it's daft membership/discrimination policy?

  • Comment number 21.

    in the independent we have people 'laying the ground' for the extension of their Inquisition against muslims in an article called

    Bruce Anderson: We not only have a right to use torture. We have a duty

    ...I have come to the conclusion that there is only one answer to Sydney's question. Torture the wife and children....

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/bruce-anderson/bruce-anderson-we-not-only-have-a-right-to-use-torture-we-have-a-duty-1899555.html


    if a muslim wrote that about westeners [that in the name of defending islam its is ok to torture women and children] they'd be in belmarsh doing 4 years as someone promoting 'terror'?

    add that to the 'why they are making war on us' list.

  • Comment number 22.

    I'm at a Media Society meeting discussing 'Celebrity Brands, Desire, Dollars and Danger?'

    will report later

    mim

  • Comment number 23.

    WE WERE ALL BATTLING MRS THATCHER IN THE 80s

    Then she regenerated as Major, who regenerated as Blair, who regenerated as Brown, - it is like a Biblical curse. The Dark Side took control way back, and just goes ON and ON and ON! Westminster is a Black Hole at the centre of a galaxy of falsehood and misery, whose gravitational pull binds us all. Small wonder that universal suffrage sounds like UNIVERSAL SUFFERAGE. This is the age of universal suffering and rage.

    The chain of regeneration can only be broken if the support matrix of 'party politics' is DISRUPTED - DISMANTLED - DEFEATED (I've been waiting to use that!) Or, to put it more simply:

    SPOIL PARTY GAMES.

  • Comment number 24.

    23. barriesingleton - But if they're essentially 'American' party games, how do we spoil those? Won't we get branded 'terrorists'?

  • Comment number 25.

    once entertainment becomes hijacked by the political then its days are numbered. it becomes propaganda tv.

  • Comment number 26.

    24

    rightfully yes. merely spoiling things without inviting to an alternative is no better than mindless vanadalism.

  • Comment number 27.

    Patients miss out on treatment as drugs sold abroad

    ...Drug wholesalers selling stock abroad to maximise profit means UK patients are missing out on essential medicines, experts say.....

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8516080.stm

    do market fundamentalists still believe 'the market' is the best arranger of society's essential and strategic services?

    the market is there to deliver profit not to be a social service.

  • Comment number 28.

    26. jauntycyclist 'merely spoiling things without inviting to an alternative is no better than mindless vanadalism.'

    Which is pretty much what has been going on here since at least 1979 (with chutzpah at least). We saw it done to Germany after WWII and to Iraq recently. Before that, we saw it done to Russia (in the 90s by the Chicago Boyz). It goe son, and on, and on.

  • Comment number 29.

    actually that 'torture women and children' isn't going to translate well on the muslim street. i doubt the subtle nuances of a comment speculation piece in a liberal democracy that most will be outraged by will come across. It will be read as 'western policy' and where this war is going.

    will this stupid article have the same symbolic affect as Generation Jihad said rushdie's self indulgence Satanic Verses did on radicalising muslims against the uk?

    the work of years to build 'social cohesion' ripped up in day by a few hundred words. words can be weapons of mass destruction too?

  • Comment number 30.

    28

    what has been going on here since 1979 is the [false] belief in market fundamentalism as the mechanism to deliver a nations infrastrure that sowed the dragon's teeth of privatisation, pfi, credit crunch etc

    it seems even the roast beef of brains types are beginning to see market fundamentalism delivers nothing but disaster which is why even cameron is now offering workers in state industries the chance to create co operatives.

  • Comment number 31.

    NOT ALL WINSTON SMITHS COME TO LOVE BIG BROTHER. (#24)

    Fortunately, I haven't got enough years left to come to love Big Brother.
    Meanwhile there is a tiny possibility of revolution within these shores. It's a sort of hobby. But I like to think it is a good use of my time and energy.

  • Comment number 32.

    I always look forward to Paul's reports/debates - not only does he make it interesting for the viewer, he also has the ability to make people understand the topic covered. What better way of aiding understanding than to have it illustrated graphically?

  • Comment number 33.

    31. barriesingleton - No need to.

    Big Brother was fiction, created by an ardent anarchist (Blair/Orwell) who served Thatcher and friends just as well as Von Hayek did.

    Why do so few see this? Is it testament to how powerful the conditioning has been?

  • Comment number 34.

    I've just watched BBC1 Panorama outlining the rise in disability hate crime where a not obviously disabled man confined to a wheelchair did secret filming to illustrate the problem. Its perhaps hardly surprising considering how allegedly funny and popular " comedy series " Little Britain attempts to portray how all wheelchair users are complete frauds as a key feature of the programme. Now its being spewed out all over again on DAVE, whilst true comedy like the Spike Milligan Q series is virtually banned as it is no longer deemed politically correct. Add to this all the propaganda put out by high profile mainstream politicians ( particularly the Tories but Brown has had his moments also ) on how anybody claiming incapacity benefit are worthless scroungers and what do you expect will be the result ?

  • Comment number 35.

    8. jauntycyclist - I think you're basically right. A few misguided hot-headed youths (some criminals) looking for a cause at a time when they need a sense of identity, can readily be exploited politically in order to fuel an illusion of threat from orchestrated international terrorists, when it's more likely that a more substantial threat to more of our lives comes from lack of government itself, orchestrated by libertarians with an almost religious obsession with profit through free-market speculation and profit.

    Surely we have far more evidence of the latter, and the damage which it does to many more lives?

    'According to a report yesterday, Goldman suggested a way that Greece could push healthcare liabilities further out into the future. The bank has refused to comment. Other eurozone countries have been discovered using cross-currency swaps similar to one causing concern in Greece, including Italy, which did a controversial transaction with JP Morgan before it joined the euro.

    The size and scale of the use of derivatives is not fully understood, even by Eurostat, the European Union's official statistics body, which has complained that member nations' finances are opaque and that the information it is given about derivatives deals is incomplete.

    Gustavo Piga, an economics professor at the University of Rome, whose 2001 paper on the topic sparked furious debate within the EU, questioned the wisdom of using Wall Street banks to invent ways to skirt debt rules. "What kind of relationships start to arise between these governments and these banks once they are in this mortal embrace of reciprocal blackmail potential? How does this change the dynamics on other issues, such as the regulation of banks?


    The Indepdendent 15 feb 2010

    Or see the Rolling-Stone article last year on G-S.

  • Comment number 36.

    8. jauntycyclist - 'Generation Jihad' - Was it my imagination, or did helpful, investigative, people with traditional Jewish names frequently pop up in this programme? This ia good recruitment drive to get threatened/frightened gentiles to support Israel's interests is it not?

  • Comment number 37.

    #22

    Well, all kinds interesting aspects on the celebrity issue came up and i think I better give a considered summary but for now I'd like to mention that one of the conclusions was that there is a difference between celebs and stars.

    Oh, and also that every individual has the right to some degree of privacy, whatever their status.

    mim

  • Comment number 38.

    Vote Conservative (anarchist) and help destroy the NHS, education system etc by becoming a self-serving Trot.

    See 1917-1928 USSR for past example.....

  • Comment number 39.

    Great report by Paul Mason from Greece. Can we have similar reports from the other PIGS countries?

  • Comment number 40.

    Paul Mason's musical interests i think is baroque. He once corrected a poster on here about a piece of music that was used on one of his reports. He mentioned some obscure composer, which might have given some indication of his musical interests. I took note of this on account I was once taught by a classical guitarist who was also an accomplished baroque player.

    An example:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGDBshL-QhU



    I could be wrong...maybe its the Sex Pistols and Moterhead on his ipod.

  • Comment number 41.

  • Comment number 42.

    I found last night's debate on Cameron's proposal to introduce co-operatives to deliver public services disappointing and lacking in substance. There were serious and, in my view, rather obvious concerns which were not discussed. For instance, the whole issue of democratic control of co-operatives. They will be delivering public services using public funds. Giving co-operatives freedom over the way they deliver services may sound attractive but you only need to look at the health debate over postcode lotteries to see where it all might go wrong. Would co-operatives run social care and if so, would it make any easier or more difficult to prevent the scandals we have in these areas at present? I suspect that it might actually make it harder to deal with failure in service delivery and no doubt, if co-operatives fail financially, the state would then need to bail them out. If anything, I can see co-operatives involving increased levels of management and administration (if that were possible) if there are numerous co-operative un its delivering services.

    I'm not convinced by the empowerment argument any way. If co-operatives are to involve the same personnel as previosuly ran the service, will they really be transformed by the process as Cameron believes?

  • Comment number 43.

    42. nedafo2 'For instance, the whole issue of democratic control of co-operatives. They will be delivering public services using public funds.'

    Think Goldman Sachs, Barclays, RBS etc ... public funds serving private interests and profit - 'partnership'.

    Cameron is a spin merchant, as was Thatcher, as was Blair. I'm just not entirely sure that any of them really knew/know whose interests they were/are serving, or whether they really cared/care. Lost souls.

  • Comment number 44.

    if the co op was labours idea why did they ignore it and adopt market fundamentalism?

    are the customers in a bad way in john lewis?

    we have had 13 years of labour's underperformance?

    its merely ideological to argue against it.

  • Comment number 45.

    36

    we await the bbc's 'Generation Crusader' [about people and their supporting networks who are prepared to bend the truth to get into unnecessary wars against muslims] with muslim commentators to balance it up. Will we wait long?

    an investigation into how party leaders patronage of the JNF and human rights for all is compatible would be a start. But there is a curfew on that. unlike the 'lets torture women and children of terrorists' message.

  • Comment number 46.

    jauntycyclist - In my book, you can't compare running a retail business with the provision of social care, education, health services etc using taxpayers' money. I don't care if John Lewis fails; I do care if the provider of public services using public funds fails in the provision of those services. It might be a suitable model for the provisions of some of the less sensitive service areas but tell me, aren't local authorities not able to contract out these services as things stand? Aren't employees free to band together to bid to provide these services? Why don't they at present?

  • Comment number 47.

    eccolizzy @41:
    And not a bum note played. I've been playin for 30+yrs and I've NEVER seen that done before. Why I'm i not surprised though its been done by a young Japanese fella? they really do apply themselves to study don't they. By age ten he no doubt had all the works of pink Floyd down, using only an elastic band and spoons, it would have been his warm up party piece before doing some serious work on a steinway & sons.

    er sorry, yes Newsnight was very good, er Paul Masons report was very good and the Wark, as usual looked good...was she on?

  • Comment number 48.

    46

    water and energy are privatised. are they not strategic services few other countries allow to be in foreign hands?

    the dead hand of political interference means local people cannot manage their unit without many layers of management is not a good model that works is it?

    contracting out to companies run for profit is not the same as a not for profit co operative. why would anyone think a private company is more likely to keep up standards when the evidence is they look to maximise profit?

    for some to paint the current models of centralised state and privatisation as some utopia while a co op model is the worst form of satanic mill seems odd?

  • Comment number 49.

    #47 I know off topic, but Kev here's a Jimi fan..

    http://www.youtube.com/user/LXDmuse#p/u/13/3K5n6ySc1tg

    Sorry Posters!

  • Comment number 50.

    # 48 - I don't see the co op model as a form of satanic mill; I simply wonder if it will work in practice. I don't come to this with any particular ideological or political agenda.

    I quite agree that water and energy should not be privatised. You only need to read the posts from ArmegedionTimes to see what the consequences of the privitisation of the energy industry will be in the next decade.

    I have reservations about local people managing their own units. I expect my local authority to exercise control over how services are delivered. The services are being provided with taxes which I contribute to and I want a body that I elect to have control over the delivery of these services. If the local authority is are the local people you refer to then fine but I don't want unelected local people making important decisions about public services in may area - whether to close a day centre, who gets medical treatment and who doesn't, what religious teaching will be included in the school my children go to. This is my concern. If this is what you class as the dead hand of political interference, then I'm all for it. I want the people who make these decisions to be accountable to me.

    I would also be interested to establish if many public sector workers really want the hassle of running co ops where there is no financial incentive for them; my feeling is that the days of people doing so out of some sense of civic or public duty have long gone. I hope that I am wrong but I doubt it.

    On reflection, I'm coming to the conclusion that there is too much emphasis on structures. Is it possible that the real problem may be with the people working in them? It is easier to blame and criticise structures rather than people. Co-incidentally, I watched the Dispatches programme last night on primary school education last night. It was pretty depressing. Based my own observations of the school which my children attend, I think that what is far more important than class sizes, the curriculum, teaching techniques, etc is the ability of the teachers and the children. If the majority of teachers are unable to pass a test at primary 6 level then what chance do the children have? Would the fact that the school is run as a co op really matter in that case?

    Enough of my ramblings. Any thoughts/observations would be gratefully received.

  • Comment number 51.

    jc
    Torture or tautology?

    Of course the notion of torture is anathema to most civilised persons.

    But none of the critics of the Telegraph article have attempted to suggest an alternative answer to the hypothetical situation described.

    I have previously suggested that the long-accepted legal position of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ has been made untenable in the case of intended suicide bombers, and that evidence of intention, sufficient to get a conviction, might be difficult to gather without (i) blowing cover too early, or (ii) being too late to stop the intended suicide, and the death of innocents. Retrial in the case of the failed London bombers was such a case as (i) with the 1st jury being not all convinced, and the 2nd jury having to be directed in their verdict.

    Yesterday’s blog was relevant, containing a lengthy discourse on prison populations, but the statistics quoted for various countries, even if accurate, do not stand direct comparison as there are many variables. There is little doubt that the fear of apprehension and of subsequent punishment vary widely in different countries and cultures.

    In UK the virtual absence of coppers-on-beats, banning of any form of corporal punishment (clip-round-the-ear) and the use of totally ineffective ASBOs and tagging have resulted in the absence of fear of both apprehension and punishment. By comparison, in Malawi during Dr Banda’s totalitarian reign the fear of his red-shirted Congress Party Youth (army) and of the brutal police kept the streets virtually crime-free (except for red-shirted vandals). I once attempted to save a hapless guy from a lynch mob for allegedly stealing a neighbour’s light bulb; he was being stripped naked ready for a beating with clubs. I offered him a lift to the police station for what I thought would be questioning and perhaps reprimanding, but he preferred to face the crowd rather than the brutal police. Tough on crime and the causes of crime had a starkly different meaning there.

    So, how do you get a confession of intention to commit an act of terrorism from a person who may not value his own life or that of innocent civilians; has been brainwashed and probably groomed by religious fanatics; and believes that martyrdom will bring some rich reward in the hereafter? With no scope for the carrot, the stick will be needed.
    More serios and realistic thought will have to be given to what form the stick can take, and the Geneva Convention will need to be updated to fit this age of terrorism and suicide bombers. Some innocent (or not completely guilty) parties will get hurt, but is that really any different to innocent civilians (collateral damage) being killed and injured in wartime?

    The only other alternative is for urgent work to be done on improving or developing truth drugs, brain scanners and psychological techniques. And persons suspected of criminal intent, and indeed all those who wish to settle in UK, should have to swear an oath, not of allegiance to the Crown, but - on the holy book appropriate to their faith - that they renounce all belief in jihad and martyrdom, and will abide by UK law.

    Having lit a blue touchpaper I have now retired some 10,000miles away, where unfortunately NN is not available live or on BBC iPlayer.

  • Comment number 52.

    44. jauntycyclist 'if the co op was labours idea why did they ignore it and adopt market fundamentalism?'

    Some question s for you:

    1) What makes you think New Labour is Labour? (Entryists pose as something other than what they purport).

    2) Which party abandoned Clause IV?

    3) What defined Labour (cf. Sidney Web)?

    4) What did New Labour hope to do by persuading a (very naive?) UK electorate to abandon all their 'old' politics???

 

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