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Monday 15 March 2010

Verity Murphy | 18:02 UK time, Monday, 15 March 2010

UPDATE - MORE DETAILS:

First a quick word about something happening tomorrow - Justin Rowlatt will be popping up in Livingston, West Lothian, on Tuesday for Newsnight's very first edition of Pop-up Politics.

He and the team will be at The Centre in Livingston from 1pm onwards and would love it if you could join them - full details on our website www.bbc.co.uk/newsnight

But before that there is the matter of tonight's programme - here's what is coming:

Hot on the heels of Transport Secretary Lord Adonis saying a planned strike by British Airways cabin staff would "threaten the very existence" of BA, Prime Minister Gordon Brown has entered the fray, calling the strike "deplorable" and "unjustified".

Shadow chancellor George Osborne says Mr Brown cannot have it both ways - condemning the strike while at the same time taking money from Unite.

Tonight, Michael Crick examines the relationship between the union and Labour, and how the strike will affect it.

Also, in an interview on Woman's Hour today, Mr Brown signalled that he intends to "keep going" as leader even if Labour fails to secure a majority at the general election.

We'll be joined by political insiders to look at whether this was simply an answer to a direct question, or a message to colleagues and others in the event of a hung parliament.

Also, do public libraries have a future? Should they be saved at all costs or in the digital age are they a luxury that hard pressed local authorities cannot afford? Ahead of Labour's review of libraries, which is due out in a few days, David Grossman has gone to Swindon where there has been a recent campaign to save local libraries.

And Peter Marshall has a film from Washington on the links between British parties and their US counterparts.

Join Jeremy tonight at 10.30 on BBC2

ENTRY FROM 1146GMT

Tonight on the programme we'll be looking at the latest developments in the proposed BA strike, after Gordon Brown called the planned action "unjustified and deplorable".

We will also be looking at the refinancing of Greece's debts, as an announcement of a bail-out is widely expected.

And David Grossman will be exploring some of the challenges facing public libraries - will they be circumvented by digital technology and what is the future of local authority funding?

And Peter Marshall has a film from Washington on the links between British parties and their US counterparts.

More details later.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    And Peter Marshall has a film from Washington on the links between British parties and their US counterparts.'

    That might be interesting.

    Will they be Social Democrats of one sort or another? See the Socialist International's president, and the Great Squid ongoing saga over Greece.

    Please note:

    Benito Mussolini was raised in a Red household where his father used to read to the family from Das Kapital... Mussolini rose rapidly in the ranks of the Italian Socialist Party. When he decided to support Italy’s entry into World War One, he left the party to join other pro-war socialists who took as their symbol the fasces that had been a symbol of Revolutionary France. This did not prevent Mussolini from continuing to call himself a socialist as late as 1920, two years before seizing power, and continuing to campaign for nationalization of the land, workers’ participation in the running of factories and partial expropriation of capital.

    Like Mussolini, Hitler studied and admired Lenin. Hitler, too, developed his own unique ideology, and not in name alone were the socialist roots of National Socialism visible. Upon taking power, Hitler made May Day—the international socialist holiday—a national holiday. Nazi authorities commissioned statues, reminiscent of Soviet "socialist realism," glorifying heavily muscled laborers. They developed the "people’s car," the Volkswagen."


    The above is a classic article from one of the USA's staunch Neocons, at the height of their influence in 1999

    Still, what do facts matter? It's what many/most people think that matters these days... innit?

  • Comment number 2.

    This needs to be said. And also in response to some friday posts.

    Barack Obama AKA Barry Soetoro (will they ever get to the bottom of his birth certificate and his eligibity for President??!) is just another puppet pressy, speaks well from the autocue though. The last time the USA had a president of independent mind, they sent him to Dallas and took him away in a casket; if Kennedy had just followed the agenda that was laid out for him he could've done two terms. The American constitution is held dear to many yanks but has seen an attack since the bush administration: Freedom of speech eroded, the right to carry guns slipping out of the hands of many, the Patriot act used against its citizens ect ect. And don't forget the country is full of Lawyers milking it.

    The Obama admin are having a hardtime implementing their agenda; healthcare is finding extream resistance from the tea parties - the middle and traditional working class are having none of it but socialized health care is gonna get railroaded through, even if its watered down. Obama has surrounded himself -and these appointments are made from above him remember - with the same banksters who wrecked the economy and then socialized private debt with the aid of putting guns against their own heads stating quite literally "if we go down so does everybody else", hence the massive tax payer bailout.."we had no choice" was the mantra from the Bush Admin, and yeah,that may be so but..
    Terms that describe practices such as 'moral hazard' has then followed, you already see that with banksters operating as before. And on top of that, the still yet undisclosed bad debts hidden away. The USA is supposed to be the richest country on the planet, well it has great military strength but her total debt is staggering; the figure of $27 trillion is what I've heard. So the USA and its standing as a powerhouse economy is an illusion (that and denial) headed by the frontman Barry Obama, he that acts like a magician, slight of hand performed whilst he cast his eyes to the curtain stage left waiting for a thumbs-up and a reassuring nod from his masters.
    Like all empires, they eventually collapse, and be assured by this, when they eventually collapse, there will be an intention to bring down everybody else with them...the Chinese and others are fully aware of this, all the indicators for this move is there for you to see, if you can be bothered to look beyond only the BBC lame stream news.

    I better bring this around: meanwhile 'Peter Marshall has a film from Washington on the links between British parties and their US counterparts'..this better be a good report because i can think of better reasons why Peter Marshall should be in Washington.

  • Comment number 3.

    :o) Look forward to Jeremy on Newsnight tonight!

  • Comment number 4.

    the left in Greece has always been strong and they seem to be able to mobilise street demonstrations at the drop of a hat...a bit like the French in that regard unlike here where Thatcher anti-union legislation is still in force even after years of a Labour government but who said it was 'Labour' government as NuLab is to the right of Ghengis and his mates. Lord Adonis condemns the BA strikers, so he thinks workers with a take home of 15k is a fair reward for the work they do does he? Another nail in the Brown coffin is that he agrees with him but will accept 3mill from the Unite union to bale them out of Carey Street. We neeed a little Greece to oil the wheels of dissent....soon

  • Comment number 5.

    Hhhhmmm Libraries, well mine and my sisters local library are always full of mainly foreign people using the many computers for the internet for a very small fee, they also manage to use their mobile phones the whole time they're in there, and shout at all times.

    The books have vanished, replaced with DVDs, CDs and cards to purchase. The old classics that I used to read have also vanished, you can't find a decent writer in the place. Replaced with popular lightweight paperbacks, the type you find in airports. Oh well, was a time when you could continue to educate oneself in the peace and quiet of a library, but those days are long gone. : (

  • Comment number 6.

    these days with the internet there is no excuse for not having a good education. One can listen/watch to lectures from reputable professors, easily check facts and counter views all with a click. So libraries of books are a legacy of the days when people could afford books and so had no access to self improvement. These days a library needs a bank of computers and access to the internet to fulfil its function of offering access to education to 'the people'.

    it should also have newspapers and a coffee machine. i see them as alternatives to cafes these days. and old people can save on the heating. so they still have a place in society until 95% of people have internet.

  • Comment number 7.

    In the HuffPost:

    'The official, Michael D. Furlong, hired contractors from private security companies that employed former C.I.A. and Special Forces operatives. The contractors, in turn, gathered intelligence on the whereabouts of suspected militants and the location of insurgent camps, and the information was then sent to military units and intelligence officials for possible lethal action in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the officials said.

    While it has been widely reported that the C.I.A. and the military are attacking operatives of Al Qaeda and others through unmanned, remote-controlled drone strikes, some American officials say they became troubled that Mr. Furlong seemed to be running an off-the-books spy operation. The officials say they are not sure who condoned and supervised his work. '

    When you consider that there have been books highlighting the regular moonlighting of spies and suchlike in the US to corporations the blurring of formal and informal lines could lead to problems.

    Some still speculate that Watergate where ex-CIA agents did the break in for Nixon may have not been done so for the cited reasons.

    I assume that in this country our officers don't moonlight and we would never get, say Alistair Campbell, using people to spy on political opponents.

  • Comment number 8.

    Ive read that the Chinese Government is not going to guarantee regional and city debt, why
    what does this mean
    whats happening ?

    Greece -
    reduce the deficit
    default on government debt
    or receive a bailout

    Germans sure don't want to bail them out. So will talk and announcements mean anything ? I just think Greece is the beginning of the sovereign debt crisis about to become contagious. The debt is spread over banks in France, England, Germany, and Switzerland plus the banks have been allowed to set up the ICE Trust CDS exchange = flaming the fire with insanity .

    Why don't we come up with a different word for 'banks' - a nasty one to really reflect what they are about. I think the word bank is derived from the word 'table' its not relevant any more.

  • Comment number 9.

    #1 statist

    So you have broken cover in your new guise as "statist"?

    I am shocked and amazed in almost equal parts.

    Its difficult to know what your post is trying to say as you stress it was a neocon article and therefore according to your muddled ideology they are "anarchists" and worse are probably include people who are Jewish. Shock horror in your world - only.

    Then there is the content itself. The general implication is your theme that National Socialists and Socialists are closely linked. But did Hitler study Lenin or merely thrash around the beer halls stealing this piece of ideology here and there to try and engage the disillusioned in the vacuum of the thirties? Is dictatorship consistent with a collective approach?

    Lenin had the Tsar's shot and Hitler had a portrait of Frederick the Great on his wall at all times. Is the Fuhrer-State consistent with Leninism? Did the Nazis describe the Russians as sub-human when they went on to kill 22 million of them?

    But your posts in previous incarnations were equally flawed as you tried to argue that the Holocaust was "made up to put people off statism" and that there was sound science to support the race "realism" you advocate.

    Yet the BNP for instance could not muster this mass of science to refute the laws that the EHRC require them to adhere to. Instead they said that they had been meaning to change their racial membership policies for years. Then they went on to describe the EHRC as a sniveling quango for making them do it.

    The far right are very muddled and incoherent and if they are influenced by Lenin might the Prevent anti-terrorist strategy not be a good idea?

    Are they trying to forment revolution as a Lenin might have done?

    They so hate Prevent as it may show that links with the lone bombers of the far right like Lewington of late are not so alone as they appear to be.

    There is good reason to keep a very close eye on these far right people - or monsters in common parlance.

  • Comment number 10.

    'ORDINARY FAMILY CAMERON' - OR IS IT?

    We all know that at election-time our MP will appear in the high-street or on the doorstep (for two nano-seconds) asking PERSONALLY for your vote, while being in reality, a ROSETTE STAND inviting you to "VOTE ROSETTE" (aka Party).

    BUT NOW IT IS WORSE. While Labour are unsure if they can market an irrascible toad, whose wife causes toes to curl calling him 'her hero'
    the Tories feel they are in with a chance with Shiny Boy Dave and the 'Wife from Heaven' who gently chides.

    BUT WHAT SORT OF WIFE WOULD 'OFFER HERSELF UP' (insert the right word please) IN THE FOUL PURSUIT OF PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS? (Politics yet further removed from the rosette-stand travesty of democracy?)
    The Trevor Macdonald interview was a disgraceful sales pitch, in which a telling phrase from Samantha was REPEATED for effect, and direct 'HE'S NOT BROWN' inferences were scattered throughout.

    Mrs Ordinary would have told Dave to do his own dirty work. These two are no more ordinary, than Mr and Mrs Hero Brown. Now let's see is Mrs Nick is made of 'ordinary' stuff.

  • Comment number 11.

    On the Peter Marshall film will the trend towards corporate influence grow as we see the Fox/GOP merger move into new territory?

    Could we see Fox taken over by even larger corporations who see their political assets as significantly valuable?

    If the UK mimics the US will we see the "communist" NHS loving Tories link themselves closer to Sky and then be confronted by a future Palin/Fox/Tea Party who "love their freedom" and are against the public option in the US - but did slip over the border to Canada for health benefits and Tripp has benefited from public health help.

    Its odd that News International is so flexible in their support for political parties.

  • Comment number 12.

    4. stevie 'the left in Greece has always been strong and they seem to be able to mobilise street demonstrations at the drop of a hat'

    But what is the left? Weren't Greece, Spain and Portugal 'dictatorships' for many years after WWII?

    Oddly, there aren't any Chinese or Russians here.

    Is this not just a bit odd and worthy of some critical investigation?

  • Comment number 13.

    6. jauntycyclist Good post.

  • Comment number 14.

    Am I reading this correctly... http://themakingof.giveyourvote.org/how-does-it-work/ Is someone outside of GB allowed to influence, nay demand how someone should vote here????!!!!

    This, if I've understood it correctly, is treason, how can someone outside the country, not British, vote for our government? Please tell me I'm thick and don't understand, please!

    It makes a mockery of GB completely! : (

  • Comment number 15.

    How Credit Default Swaps Came about and the hand of Goldman Sachs:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/14/michael-lewis-wall-street_n_498690.html

    Where's the big stick ?

  • Comment number 16.

    14. ecolizzy 'Please tell me I'm thick and don't understand, please!'

    Well... OK...you're.....thick and don't understand!

    Look, a) this is a website b) it's got .org after it and see the 2006 Charities Act for teh scope of 'charity'. I told you this was trouble, and err... c) they can't write!

    Having said that, there are lots of really dumb and 'bad' people in this country these days. Please don't let yourself become one of them! I know great temptations are put our way...

  • Comment number 17.

    #1
    “Still, what do facts matter? It's what many/most people think that matters these days... innit?”
    #4 stevie
    “We neeed a little Greece to oil the wheels of dissent....soon”

    That is our problem; we think and whinge too much but rarely ever ACT, unlike other nationalities in Europe (and in our midst).

    Considering the level of discussion about the degeneration of government and society shouldn’t there be a few more posts suggesting action? The last time that happened was when a few elderly folk refused to pay their council tax.

    The major march against the war in Iraq may not have achieved the result intended, but had it been a few weeks before a General Election (as now) it might well have caused a re-think by those who continue to abuse democracy and cling on to power.

    Although I have learned from the many posts analysing history and arguing over the precise classification of different political groups, I would welcome a few proposals for effecting changes in our present dire straits.

    I’m waiting for the clarion call, meanwhile I’m busy planting my seed potatoes, but I’ll keep my pitchfork handy.

  • Comment number 18.

    LOOKS LIKE YET ANOTHER SPOOF LIZZY (#14)

    My son says they are all the rage. I had one forwarded by email, about a bogus card scam - as if from regional police.

    My son's contempt for me still stings. Children are so cruel, even at 36!
    But then - I broke the first rule of conception - ASK THE UNCONCEIVED. So I deserve everything I get.

  • Comment number 19.

    The class problem: it's how people decide what goes into a class which is the big problem. Next time you use/write a noun (or verb) phrase, think about membership. What are you really saying/writing, and how true is it?

  • Comment number 20.

    14. ecolizzy Look upon it as like someone on 'Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?' - calling a friend...

    That's how idiocratic this nation is getting.

  • Comment number 21.

    BROWN: "I OWE IT TO THE PEOPLE TO STAY ON"

    Not something Tony suffered from. He abandoned Sedgefield, mid-term, scuttling towards the American Honey Pot, and the world platform of Catholicism. Either way, it demonstrates how Westminster politics elevates the 'poor in spirit' - with our supine blessing.

  • Comment number 22.

    Contrasting two articles on China and European relations. Surely, pressing for sanctions against Iran isn't going to help anyone but Iran and China at the expense of Europe? So why is it being done? Is Israsl suffering economically? is its security seriusly threatened? Does Israel really care what the USA says/does?

  • Comment number 23.

    17. indignantindegene 'That is our problem; we think and whinge too much but rarely ever ACT'

    I think you may well have put your finger on something there. Education, education, education = the new opium of the masses?

  • Comment number 24.

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

  • Comment number 25.

    17. indignantindegene 'Although I have learned from the many posts analysing history and arguing over the precise classification of different political groups, I would welcome a few proposals for effecting changes in our present dire straits.'

    I suggest you take what I said about classes very seriously as classes are at the heart of logic, language and mathematics. How we classify is thus critical to all intelligent behaviour. How we do this naturally is very error prone, and certainly inconsistent between people and groups, this much is very well understood and documented. How we teach classification is therefore crucial, and it's a selection process, as not everyone has the patience/humility to accept instruction, given it necessarily highlights one's a priori, natural, woolly, thinking, and in public too. A few moments thought about the basics is not too much to ask of people though. We quantify into classes, and it is worth looking into what those quantifiers are, how they pop up in language, and what the problems with some verbs are. This takes one into statitics and probability, the language of the sciences.

    Sadly, many who assert that they're politicians, and care about people, just abuse people's natural thinking. Others are just incorrigible and are best ignored.

  • Comment number 26.

    Ah thanks Stat and Barrie! ; )

    I can wipe the sweat from my brow, and stop panicking then!

    I think I'm going to get "mug", preferably a jug type tattoed on me 'ed. ; )

  • Comment number 27.

    'In Peace there's Nothing so Becomes a Man etc ...
    But When the Blast of War Blows in our Ears...etc'

    Further to my #17 above here is a good example of action triumphing over words:-

    Tonight’s BBC Local News confirmed that a 4 year battle against the building of over 800 new houses on green belt land resulted in a unanimous decision by the Worthing Borough Council not to proceed with this development.

    The eco-group against this plan have kept up their vigil and protest for 4 years and will still man their camp in case an appeal is lodged.

    Although their protest has been on the grounds of the potential damage to ancient woodland and natural habitat, I believe a substantial number of local inhabitants challenged the alleged need for more houses. The statistics show clearly that the growth in population is largely due to immigration, as is the resulting ‘growth’ in ‘essential’ public service posts.

    This is people power at its best.

    #177
    “Watch closely the machinations of EHRC, the most expensive, deadly and unrepresentative 'British' quango. You ain't seen nothing yet!”

    This will be where the next big battle will come from. Also on tonight’s BBC News the EHRC was quoted as stating that there may be prosecutions over the disproportionate numbers of non-whites being subjected by police to stop-and-search.

    I suggest EHRC scans the on the BBC Crimewatch Most Wanted mugshots website to see whether dis-proportionality is the problem. Profiling makes good sense.

    Meanwhile, I’ve finished planting my seed potatoes(selected varieties based on my discrimination toward specific genetic characteristics that I LIKE) but still I’m keeping my pitchfork handy.

  • Comment number 28.

    the news about china's currency manipulation as economic warfare keeps building

    ...And it’s a policy that seriously damages the rest of the world. Most of the world’s large economies are stuck in a liquidity trap — deeply depressed, but unable to generate a recovery by cutting interest rates because the relevant rates are already near zero. China, by engineering an unwarranted trade surplus, is in effect imposing an anti-stimulus on these economies, which they can’t offset....

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/15/opinion/15krugman.html?src=me

  • Comment number 29.

    #25
    "I suggest you take what I said about classes very seriously as classes are at the heart of logic, language and mathematics. How we classify is thus critical to all intelligent behaviour. How we do this naturally is very error prone, and certainly inconsistent between people and groups…”

    Could it be that there is too much time and argument spent on classifying? Ticking boxes and counting makes for a very dull monastic type of life. Think Mendel counting and classifying his 29,000 peas. Very good science, but I had a lot of real living to do, and still have.

    Perhaps I should lecture you and all bloggers on the works of Frederick Chopin, or the joys of New Orleans Traditional Jazz, both of which I prefer to spend my spare time on?

    “We quantify into classes, and it is worth looking into what those quantifiers are, how they pop up in language, and what the problems with some verbs are. This takes one into statistics and probability, the language of the sciences.”

    I’m not completely ignorant in those languages, having used queuing theory to determine the manning requirements for marine pilots and then taught them how to win at Crown & Anchor! All I need now is to be one page ahead of my teenager in maths and triple science.

    By all means stick to what you prefer. Some of us prefer a slightly woolly mind as insulation against cold logic and the growing lack of warmth in the human condition.


  • Comment number 30.

    27. indignantindegene 'This is people power at its best.'

    Are you sure it's not cuts in funding spun as 'effective people-power'?

  • Comment number 31.

    "And Peter Marshall has a film, from Washington, on the links between British parties and their U.S. counterparts."

    Could this be an attempt to besmirch the name of the Conservatives, by trying to tie them inextricably with the Republicans, to counter Labour's links with the unions? 'Look, Labour is just like the Democrats.' To which you could retort: 'Yes, they're ineffectual...on both sides of the Atlantic'.

  • Comment number 32.

    More on Lehman fraud -

    http://www.alternet.org/economy/146026/the_video_that_will_put_geithner_behind_bars

    and

    http://market-ticker.org/archives/2077-Timmy-Must-Be-Fired,-Or-Obama-Must-Be-Impeached.html

    Interesting to note that the 2,200 page report isn't being discussed on NN, and that Barclays are trying to stop further revelations in court.

    It seems government by the crooks for the crooks will not be televised.

  • Comment number 33.

    Libraries, "are they a luxury that hard pressed local authorities cannot afford?"

    Local authorities are awash with cash. Surrey Council is spending £74 million replacing perfectly functional street lighting with "green" alternatives. You don't do that if you're skint. Same as all the other councils with their luxury office accommodation, non jobs by the thousand, inflated salaries and pensions, junketing etc etc. Then they talk of cutting something useful like libraries. Sack a few jobsworths and cut back on the "fact finding tours" but keep the libraries.

  • Comment number 34.

    29. indignantindegene 'Could it be that there is too much time and argument spent on classifying? Ticking boxes and counting makes for a very dull monastic type of life.'

    Look, that's just the way modern life runs. It's computerised. If it aint in a box it aint binary - automated/extensional - OK?

    'Think Mendel counting and classifying his 29,000 peas. Very good science, but I had a lot of real living to do, and still have.'

    These days it's all done on chips and by robots!

    'Perhaps I should lecture you and all bloggers on the works of Frederick Chopin, or the joys of New Orleans Traditional Jazz, both of which I prefer to spend my spare time on?'

    Not if you're asking sensible questions about why some idiots misclassify their left and right!

    'By all means stick to what you prefer. Some of us prefer a slightly woolly mind as insulation against cold logic and the growing lack of warmth in the human condition.'

    Then you'll remain bemused and howl at the moon like barriesingleton does. It's about classes and behaviours, not woolly 'minds' and 'the human condition'. We need to get our grasp of behaviour right ..;-)

    Keep up your sort of talk/thinking above and it can only get worse.

    Promise!

  • Comment number 35.

    Another one!

    Vivien Stern, Baroness Stern
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baroness_Stern

    She was raised to the peerage as Baroness Stern of Vauxhall in the London Borough of Lambeth in 1999. She is a member of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights. She lists her political interests as criminal justice, foreign affairs, human rights and international development.

  • Comment number 36.

    26. ecolizzy 'I can wipe the sweat from my brow, and stop panicking then!'

    No, you're right to be panicking, just not about the nitwits that run sites like that!

    What you should be panicking about is why brighter people like the Newsnight team are not running with issues which we have all been covering and documenting for some time now! There are real concerns and they are effectively being ignored. Why? Even after the predicted consequences have happened too! What more might they need for credibility?

  • Comment number 37.

    33.

    i know someone in the computer selling biz and he says march is a great time of year as councils go bonkers trying to spend what is left of their budgets just to 'use it up'.

    and councils say they do not reveal the wages of the top earners in case it shocks people.....

  • Comment number 38.

    Margaret Hodge is now arguing on Newsnight that Starbucks coffee shops should be allowed to be established inpublic libraries...must only be because....IT'S GOOD FOR BUSINESS!

  • Comment number 39.






    Has the EHRC reached the end of of it’s purposeful life? Infighting, smear campaigns and bickering would suggest that it no longer serves any useful or valid function.

    Thereby harking back to .....

    1. At 9:36pm on 25 Jun 2009, JAperson

    Skipping the vast bulk of the story - merely, readers (or otherwise), to avoid causing any unnecessary distress, legal action or projectile vomiting ....

    Herewith ....

    Part Two ....

    Lord Justice Judgem had by this point reached the end of his tolerance. As if in quasi Tarentino-esque slow motion he raised his head. His nano size pupils lasered across the courtroom and seared into the Defence Counsel eyes. Mr Joachim Gently QC, recognising the scowl before the storm knew his case was over. He smiled briefly hoping that his modest grin would be interpreted as contrition. Only he knew he was in fact thinking of his splendid fee, his sublime lover and taking a trip on the piste this weekend.

    “Mr Gently” Justice Judgem swallowed loudly as if to emphasise that he was savouring the imminent plucking of the hung bird “I have listened patiently to you defend your clients rights for just a little too long” Judgem gargled “I have had enough. Face facts, if the Crime Sheet says’ the perpetrator is described as a Clown, you look for a Clown.”

    A stern harrumph for effect he decided.

    “Enough! Get over it! Move on!”

    Common sense?


    The Burqa, along with the Hijab, is raising it’s head again, in France anyway. Where next? The Netherlands? Italy?

    Sadly it’s a long time since the UK started any trends.



    Surely the second most pointless piece of research ever behind “How long is a piece of string?” (Which at least came to a conclusion, even if it did take two years!)

    The meaning, symbolism or covert purpose of order or arrangement of gender titles and gender specific names!

    Mrs & Mr, Mr & Mrs. Brian and Amanda or Brian and Amanda. Does it really matter?



    So Mrs Top Con implies her life partner is a pretty normal bloke and pretty much like most other husbands.

    Two questions .....

    How much is he worth?

    And, in making the comparisons with other husbands, just exactly how many husbands has she had?


    Cash for commodities.

    Should tax payers, at the very least, demand a partial refund from the Main Home Allowance that paid for the electricity that apparently wasn’t even connected?

  • Comment number 40.

    Margaret Hodge nee Oppenheimer

    I kid you not!

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

  • Comment number 41.

    Libraries, If funding is to be cut or people want to help their local library why can't people donate their books to the local library just the same as donating to a charity shop? To me this makes sense but I enquired at our local library some time back and they said they could not accept them it was to do with health and safety, i ask you....If one library ends up with more copies of a certain book than needed that library could pass them on to another that may not have a copy etc...

  • Comment number 42.

    Excellent Jeremy on Newsnight - particularly the debate with Andrew Rawnsley & Dan Finkelstein and also the debate on BA with the Labour MP who's also a Trade Union bigwig. Who said Monday nights were dull?

  • Comment number 43.

    Libraries can enrich lives. They might need to do some 'out of the box' thinking, but more importantly they need to provide books and do it in a way that helps you find things, perhaps things that you never thought of before. One way to do this with fiction is for librarians to arrange books by genres - lots of different genres, a simple technique that allows you to browse for new ideas. Instead my local library has taken to putting everything in one long alphabetical order of author. You would have to wade through the entire library collection to hope to find something new. Needless to say I don't. I also can't ask the librarians as the place has just gone self service and they have disappeared. The upshot is that I go into the library just that bit less and life is just that bit less rich.

  • Comment number 44.

    #29

    Ah, indignantindegene, Chopin! And Jazz & Blues! In the last few months I discovered an African Albino musician/singer with a golden voice, Salif Keita, for example? Have you ever heard him? I skated to him this afternoon, notably to some of the songs from his album 'Sosie' which I downloaded from Amazon straight into my iPhone. Absolutely astonding how he interprets them. Interestingly in one of them he sings against 'training' human beings as if they were mere dogs. The gist of it, in fact, is about the inevitable passage of time and the irreversible changes it can bring. Another is about 'black and white music'. Once you've got it, you've got it whatever the colour. There is also a very powerful love song on the album entitled 'La Valse de Lilas'.

    When I glide to these songs, indignantindegene, I feel as if Salif Keita has magically attached wings to my body.

    mim

    A

  • Comment number 45.

  • Comment number 46.

    And here's a positive piece of news on one Public Library, i.e. a new opened Library by the Conservative run Council in Wandsworth:

    http://www.yelp.co.uk/biz/wandsworth-town-library-london

  • Comment number 47.

    Personally, I think and feel that Barack Obama and David Cameron are natural allies personality wise. Both can be characterised as politicians with a human touch and a subtle sense of humour, for example.

  • Comment number 48.

    #40

    Disappointing to read about Margaret Hodge blocking investigation into child abuse as per link. And I thought I liked the way she was as a politician.

  • Comment number 49.

    Gordon Brown called the planned action "unjustified and deplorable".

    But has he, yet, got to calling it out with his daily 'unacceptable' which, having duly accepted it, he will then intone that, in doing squat, 'lessons have been learned'?

    Someone else has put it in interesting terms:

    http://whoknowswho.channel4.com/stories/Labour_and_Unite%3A_the_awkward_couple

    and/or, possibly, more devious ones:

    http://www.the-daily-politics.com/home/38-editorial/1323-ba-strike-a-setup-by-unite-to-give-brown-election-boost

    I am sure the MSM will highlight this if it transpires. *Ch4 do not seem to have found favour with my comment on their page. Ain't free speech wonderful?

  • Comment number 50.

    40. DebtJuggler There's certainly something out of the expected occuring, but oen ha sto ask wheter it is just natural intelligence taking advantage of equal opportunity. Back in 2003, The Forward remarked:

    'Russian Jews once served as a barometer for the state of democracy and human rights in the country, the oligarchs are becoming something of a barometer for the state of economic liberalization.'

    Peston has a piece today on another Lebedev (this time Alexander, not Platon). First 'The Evening Standard', now 'The Indepdendent'. He's partnered with Gorbachev, and I take it it's the same extended family?.

    Is this what Human Rights and equality is really all about? Do all equally benefit from Human Rights, or is it primarily liberated 'oppressed', networking, minorities?

    Equality - this is something which every fair-minded person should look into, statistically.

  • Comment number 51.

    #34 “We need to get our grasp of behaviour right ...Keep up your sort of talk/thinking above and it can only get worse.”

    It will certainly get worse if talk/thinking is all we do. I’m advocating more forthright behaviour – action.

    #37 “..and councils say they do not reveal the wages of the top earners in case it shocks people....”

    Then write, e-mail or phone your local councillor and demand that such information is included on the council tax breakdown.

    #39” The Burqa, along with the Hijab, is raising it’s head again, in France anyway. Where next? The Netherlands? Italy?
    Sadly it’s a long time since the UK started any trends”

    That’s because we only think and talk about our problems. Better write, e-mail or phone your MP before the election and before EHRC bans any form of protest.

    “Should tax payers, at the very least, demand a partial refund from the Main Home Allowance that paid for the electricity that apparently wasn’t even connected?”

    Yes! Demand is a good action verb, particularly if reinforced by a letter to your MP.

    #40 Margaret Hodge
    "As Minister for Culture, Creative Industries and Tourism, she criticised the UK's foremost classical music festival, the Proms, for being insufficiently inclusive, instead praising television shows such as "Coronation Street".(Wickepedia). That one phrase,
    indicating, as it does, an objective to further dumb down our society by state managed inclusivity is enough to demand her resignation from the post responsible for safeguarding our culture and tourism.

    My protest letter will follow.

  • Comment number 52.

    28. jauntycyclist Tnanks for the link, from which I quote:

    'To give you a sense of the problem: Widespread complaints that China was manipulating its currency — selling renminbi and buying foreign currencies, so as to keep the renminbi weak and China’s exports artificially competitive — began around 2003. At that point China was adding about $10 billion a month to its reserves, and in 2003 it ran an overall surplus on its current account — a broad measure of the trade balance — of $46 billion.

    Today, China is adding more than $30 billion a month to its $2.4 trillion hoard of reserves. The International Monetary Fund expects China to have a 2010 current surplus of more than $450 billion — 10 times the 2003 figure. This is the most distortionary exchange rate policy any major nation has ever followed.'


    Meanwhile, Russian 'Oligarchs' have been moving into businesses in deregulated Britain.

    Does anyone else sense anything strategic happening, or is this overly oimaginative, and is it just market-forces (aka libertarianism) plus Human Rights driven equal opportunity at work along with natural group ability?

    That's a genuine question. How does one go about trying to answer it objectively?

  • Comment number 53.

    Baroness Stern on rape etc - This, along with the prima facie, caring campaign for the rights of 'children' (anyone under 18 is a child, but crime peaks at this age and then tails off) in the Criminal Justice System, b) focusing on communications problems amongst the criminogenic (low verbal IQ is not educable) and c) campaigns not to incarcerate but to use community sanctions or cautions, all appears, to me, in practice/outcome, to be socially subversive. The ungrounded assumption throughout is that the police or others in Public Service can, through environmental means, better control these behaviours, that their inability to do so thereby makes them culpable, and that more education is a panacea. In fact, the net effect will be just the opposite for reasons spelled out elsewhere. Are we to hold people like Stern responsible for 'unintended consequences'? Do they listen? What evidence drives their beliefs?

  • Comment number 54.

    51. indignantindegene 'It will certainly get worse if talk/thinking is all we do. I’m advocating more forthright behaviour – action.'

    I'm with you there.

    My point is just that all effective action (behaviour) is based on getting class discrimination right, otherwise action (behaviour) is misdirected.

    These are not just words. See the 'Steep and Thorny Way...' article which I commended to jauntycyclist and barriesingleton.

  • Comment number 55.

    BA strike

    what has it to do with the govt? there are lots of other airlines to take their place?

    Friends and Allies

    Cicero's treatise on friendship demonstrates that whatever uk foreign office is doing its not based on friendship. it's more vassal, doormat, bought, servile....

  • Comment number 56.

    Thought for the day/month: What was wrong with the STASI anyway?

    Wasn't it just Neighbourhood Watch ('abroad')?

    Was anti-STASISM etnnocentricism aka nationalism aka anti-statism?

  • Comment number 57.

    55. jauntyclclist 'what has it to do with the govt?'

    Assuming that's not rhetorical: British Airways - Note: The means of production, COMMUNICATION and exchange.

    Historically:

    'The British Airways Group was formed on 1 September 1974 through nationalisation by the Labour Government of the time.'

    On your second point, who said this, and to whom was he referring?

    'We possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets in all directions, perhaps even at Rome. Most European capitals are targets for our air force…. We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that that will happen before Israel goes under.'

    As I see it, people can say and do some very odd things, especially when they have cause to think that others really are out to get them. :-(

  • Comment number 58.

    'Sir John King, later Lord King, was appointed Chairman in 1981 with the goal of preparing the airline for privatisation. King was credited with transforming the loss-making giant into one of the most profitable air carriers in the world, boldly claiming to be "The World's Favourite Airline", while many other large airlines struggled.[18] The flag carrier was privatised and was floated on the London Stock Exchange in February 1987 by the Conservative government. From above link on BA.

    Question. Why did Britain ever become so enamoured with the 'argument' that a bad service-provider was one which was not hugely profitable or owned by 'share-holders'? Surely a service-provider a) provides jobs and b) a service to member of the state? Profit may be necessary to ensure that the service is maintained etc, but the primary purpose is to provide a service and employment is it not? Incidentally, how many people were given shares (or understood what discounted shares were) in BA when it floated? It was a nationalised service-provider was it not?

    The problem, as always, is spin (which counts on language ability and intelligence), and that's what those behind Thatcher and Reagan excelled at. Spin/expolitation. What we have seen over the past decade or so is spin exposed. But why? Paradoxically, it has been under New Labour that this has been done....

  • Comment number 59.

    57

    BA is not a state industry. the unions had a ballot.are those not the rules of the game? why should the govt stick its oar in? :)

    who cares if BA goes under. there is no shortage of airlines these days? Isn't Ryan Air [by passenger numbers] the uk's favourite airline?

  • Comment number 60.

    59. jauntycyclist 'BA is not a state industry.'

    No, it's not, but the point is it was

    For some, the early 80s is not such a long time ago.

    If one goes through life only following one's own thought trains, and most of those are conditioned by the limited scope of the immediate past, what hope is there for enlightenment or change? This is why so many in the past naively spoke of raising consciousness and put so much store by education. The problem is, we now know that (the scope of) 'consciousness' is largely genetic, so it can't be raised (via education). Do you understand what I am saying? Do you know better? If so, by what criteria?

  • Comment number 61.

    'Robert Owen explained that what drove him to detest religion was "the . . . absurd [idea] that each [person] . . . determined his own thoughts, will, and action, and was responsible for them to God and his fellow man." This assault on the bonds of individual moral accountability together with the offer of earthly transcendence is what made socialism so sublimely seductive and so terribly destructive.

    Then is the story of socialism over? I believe it is. Never mind that 12 of the 15 EU countries are now under social democratic parties. Whatever those parties offered the voters, it was not socialism. Tony Blair said in the campaign: "Labour is the party of business." The main argument about economics has been settled. But if I am right in believing that the deeper appeal of socialism lay elsewhere, then we can expect that the quest to reach the kingdom of heaven in the here and now, and without having to pay the price of moral rectitude, will reappear in new form, presenting us with tragedies and challenges in the twenty-first century.'


    The Rise and Fall of Socialism By Joshua Muravchik
    (February 08, 1999)


    By highlighting the concerns of the UNITE members, New Labour's socialist credentials are being challenged in teh run up to the election. Whilst much has changed over the years, and largely under the influence of anarchistic/Trotskite US neocons, what have people really learned about diversity and what can be done?

    NOTHING!

    Once they finally understand that diversity is genetically driven as is its product (action/behaviour/labour), they'll come to see that not only is socialism viable, but it's necessary for survival. The problem is that to date, most people who have called themsleves 'socialists' don't understand enough about behaviour to understand socialism, nor will most of them be told.

  • Comment number 62.

    62

    we now know that (the scope of) 'consciousness' is largely genetic, so it can't be raised (via education)...

    no its not. any model that suggests that is wrong. the modern model of man is about as complete and accurate as that of climate science. people were telling us there was 'no doubt' about that too remember?

    science is all about doubt. about models. to quote shakespeare'' there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy' :)

  • Comment number 63.

    NN and Libraries and jeremy, Finklestein and Rawnsley an excellent night, I must confess I drifted off during the Libraries bit...I tend to do that in those places...you can't even have a good snore anymore

  • Comment number 64.

    62. jauntycyclist 'no its not. any model that suggests that is wrong.

    Is that based on what you've learned from Greeks then? You have to be careful with those Greeks you know! ;-)

    'the modern model of man is about as complete and accurate as that of climate science.'

    Nope. We know this based on much better data. Have you not been paying attention in class? ;-)

    'people were telling us there was 'no doubt' about that too remember?'

    No, those climatologists are just bad scientists. I'm telling you stuff you can rely on.

    'science is all about doubt. about models.'

    No, it's about functional relations between observation sentences, and I'm telling you something reliable, and just because you're reading it in a Newsnight blog, doesn't make it any less worth paying attention to grass-hopper.

    'to quote shakespeare'' there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy' :)'

    Shakespeare wrote plays, and a long time ago too! This is not philosophy - this is modern science. You really should try paying more attention, I'm beginning to worry that you may not be worth saving from yourself. ;-)

    One of the very sad assumptions today is that one must get one's priceless stuff from priceless vendors - i.e glitzy shops. I blame Hollywood etc.

  • Comment number 65.

    62. jauntycyclist 'science is all about doubt'

    No, that's what the anarchists/subversives would have you believe. Their objective was to intellectually cripple the last generation or two.

    In your case, you should doubt what you currnetly believe though, as it is false. That is because what you think is not informed by good scientific research.

 

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