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Tuesday 20 April 2010

Verity Murphy | 18:04 UK time, Tuesday, 20 April 2010

UPDATE - MORE DETAILS ON TONIGHT'S PROGRAMME:

Tonight, Paul Mason looks at what has changed in the banking system since boom and bust left the state picking up the pieces.

And, in a live interview, Jeremy Paxman will be asking Chancellor Alistair Darling whether his party, which was at the helm during the crash, can really be trusted to change the banks.

Plus, as hopes that most UK flights could soon return to the air are dashed by more volcanic ash drifting south from Iceland, Susan Watts examines the science behind the decisions being made and whether the air authorities from another region would have made a different choice.

We will also have the latest on how the plan to use Spain as an extraction point for stranded Britons is faring.

Also tonight, Michael Crick is in Dundee, and we have a live interview with Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond who, when launching his party's manifesto today put the case for a hung parliament and called for Scottish electors to vote SNP and achieve a "balanced parliament".

And we have the next instalment of Motorway Man, which this week sees Margaret Beckett arriving in her caravan and Stephen Smith weighing up the election odds with racing pundit John McCririck.

ENTRY FROM 1124BST:

As a new volcanic ash cloud means that plans to open swathes of airspace have been significantly revised, Susan Watts asks how robust is the science behind the decisions being made?

Are we relying on a system which is too inflexible and puts too much emphasis on modelling rather than empirical evidence?

Also, the political parties know there are votes in attacking banks, but who has the most radical and credible policies on financial services and balancing the wider economy?

Paul Mason will be looking at each of the main parties' plans and we have a live interview with Alistair Darling.

Michael Crick is in Dundee. The SNP manifesto is out today, and tonight we have a live interview with party leader Alex Salmond.

And we have the next instalment of Motorway Man, which this week sees Margaret Beckett arriving in her caravan and Stephen Smith weighing up the election odds with betting pundit John McCririck.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Look into the likely gains in revenue national economies for the PIGS (Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain) and Norway and Iceland as long as the rest of Europe is grounded.

  • Comment number 2.

    I predict a lively interview with Darling tonight, however, if Jeremy is interviewing Alex Salmond - then we will have a classic on our hands!

  • Comment number 3.


    Max Keiser Discusses Goldman Sachs Market Meltdown Con on Alex Jones Tv...and other stuff.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHhFBeplYdk

  • Comment number 4.

    #1 math ap mathonwey

    So is this going to be another far right conspiracy?

    The Holocaust was made up to put people off statists; there is no climate change due to human impact and all three 9/11 towers fell to "Jewish conspiracy" being some of the other adolescent musings I have read on here.

    Whacko's of the far right unite - you have nothing to lose but your padded jackets with those neat straps to stop you hurting yourselves!

  • Comment number 5.

    On the ash problem I would have thought modelling is one thing but if those F16's in Finland had the glass globules inside the engines then thats good enough for me.

    I assume that if you let them fly and were wrong you many not lose one but several planes at least and that is a lot of people.

    But I do wonder if there may not be routes where there was less risk.

  • Comment number 6.

    I hope the Paul Mason report may look at whether there is cohesion between financial reform; fraud laws and accountancy rules.

    I have read that Goldman Sachs may well get away with what they did - if so then is the prosecution a political device or an act of frustration or is it actually going to nail them.

    I just can't see Labour coming out of the scrutiny of the debates well as there are several open goals and bland spin won't help them.

  • Comment number 7.

    2 Mistress76UK

    The name Darling and the word 'lively' are rarely used in the same sentance.

  • Comment number 8.

    Ed Balls seems to be quite happy that his party are sliding in the polls but could still have the most seats.

    The old two parties are really locked into the old mindset that this is just an aberration and normal business will be resumed presently.

    Expenses, lobbying, the economic crash and Iraq have all added to the old Tory sleaze and created an appetite to try and actually get the policies the public want rather than some promises for things they don't that never materialize anyway.

    This has to be good for the Lib Dems but potentially bad for the country, as Shirley Williams suggests, if Labour and the Tories don't facilitate the changes needed - like PR.

    Meanwhile there are those like kevseywevsey who think that "the Griff" is going to be a king maker.

    Presumably, in kevseywevsey-world, only if there are no acts in support of the BNP publicity officer Collett's threat to kill the BNP leader Griffin that lead to his arrest.

    National Socialism is replacement monarchism and such acts demonstrate that it is more about power grabs than anything else.

    Hopefully the UK has woken up to the fact that these absurd head bangers are beguiling communities with their lies and will defeat them simply by exposing the lies.

  • Comment number 9.

    thegangofone [#4] "So is this going to be another far right conspiracy?"

    That depends on whether you consider the EU far-right or not. I see the far right as pro business and free-market - I see the EU superstate as a creation to manage that. The simple fact is that Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain (teh PIGS) are doing business whilst the rest of Europe is not. These countries (like Iceland) need money at the moment and the longer their competitors are grounded, the longer the boost there will be to their economies. This may well be a contrivance (in the wake of a natural event) which shows how the EU can macro manage economies in the crippled Eurozone. As I see it, the EU will want to drag this out as long as possible as that is better than lending these countries money which they would have to pay high (5%+) interest on or take handouts from the IMF (USA) which will force them to sell state assets.

  • Comment number 10.

    thegangofone [#5] "On the ash problem I would have thought modelling is one thing but if those F16's in Finland had the glass globules inside the engines then thats good enough for me."

    We were told there would be thousands of deaths from H1N1 too. Did you believe them? If so, why?

    The official hasn't been named and NATO would not confirm the F16 story.

    Sometimes govenments and other people, tell lies. I hope you find this information helpful.

  • Comment number 11.

    Another view of the Politically/Economically Correct ash-cloud (be sure to zoom out to see Iceland).

  • Comment number 12.

    Such power we women have, we can even make the earth move! ; )

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/8631775.stm

    Well, you've got to have a laugh

  • Comment number 13.

    The website radarvirtuel.com shows you where planes are in realtime.

  • Comment number 14.

  • Comment number 15.

    ecolizzy [#12] But only promiscuous women cause such (social) earthquakes ecolizzy!

    I wonder if the Iranian media translate the colourful rhetoric/metaphors which Brown etc use in the same way?

  • Comment number 16.

    #15

    I wonder if the Iranian media translate the colourful rhetoric/metaphors which Brown etc use in the same way?

    Ha,ha, now that would be a larf Math. ; )

  • Comment number 17.

    Ecolizzy, do you think promiscuous females see the adverse consequences of their promiscuity? For example, men worry about fidelity in females because they need to be sure that their children are actually theirs. They don't like the idea that they have been deceived into funding the upbringing of someone else's child. Females don't have that problem as they carry their child. I worry that many females just can not see this, as they tend to have more limited horizons, and tend to be more self-centred.

  • Comment number 18.

    Is anyone really surprised by this article "Now we know the truth. The financial meltdown wasn't a mistake – it was a con" by Will Hutton in the Guardian on Sunday?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/apr/18/goldman-sachs-regulators-civil-charges

    The people who tend to do best in business tend to be those who have the highest fear threshold, i.e those who take the greatest risks (it's needed to give them a buzz), and who can be very bullying and highly emotional. For years we have heard people assert that such people deserve the big bucks, and that they are sexy, charismatic etc, we have seen them paraded as role models on TV and in our schools too.

    Sadly there's another name for this set of behaviour. Most of the time we actually try to lock these types up and to throw away the key, as we know that they never change. But there, we're talking about non White-Collar criminals. What we have done with White-Collar criminals is not only legalize their behaviour by changing legislation, but we highly reward it too!

    Now, why did we ever come to do that? It has been explained.

  • Comment number 19.

    NOT DOING IT RIGHT (#12)

    You could start by STOPPING the earth moving Eco. Get thee to a road-building project.

  • Comment number 20.

    #1 PIGS FLY under the ashflow, why then oh why can't I?

    "Are we relying on a system which is too inflexible and puts too much emphasis on modelling rather than empirical evidence?"

    My flying days were spent flying into PNG jungle and mountain strips, aften with poor visibility and limited navigation aids and charts and we all relied on pilots providing sitreps and SARwatch reports every 30 minutes. Times have changed but, as we are all aware,there will always be a risk element to flying, despite nanny state and elf and safty.

    Cruise levels are normally of 30-35000ft on the basis of cloud levels, upper jet stream movements and efficiency of jet engines. The met office and other observations must surely provide continuous feedback on altitudes and areas that are not affected by the ash cloud.

    Could NN ask the experts why modified departure and entry routes and altitudes could not be used for some emergency flights, such as to bring home the stranded, or would that spoil the government's Dunkirk armada?

  • Comment number 21.

    Both Clegg and Cameron would appear to be competing for pole position as " CHANGE " candidate yet neither of them is offering what represents a real fundamental change in government policy on the key factor which is likely to have a major negative future impact on our lives ( especially the poor ) the CLIMATE CHANGE SCAM ?

  • Comment number 22.

    As of 19:00 tonight, there are several planes coming into or already in UK airspace. We have two BA flights, one from Calgary and one from Denver. There are in addition Lufthansa, Easyjet and a private Cesna. I count about a half dozen. All jets.

    Also there are a number of flights up over almost every other Western European country.

    So what gives?

    Perhaps we are waiting for GB's armada to make a few rescues before we clear our airports??

  • Comment number 23.

    The plan is being run from a computer simulation. I don't think there is much empirical data because the plane that can do the job is in for a service.

  • Comment number 24.

    indignantindegene [#20] "Could NN ask the experts why modified departure and entry routes and altitudes could not be used for some emergency flights, such as to bring home the stranded, or would that spoil the government's Dunkirk armada?"

    They could ask. Have you had a look at that website?

  • Comment number 25.

    @ Math #13 - Thanks for that site! At the time of writing this, there are 6 aircraft flying in UK airspace within the "ash cloud." Interesting to note, that France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland etc who are also under the "ash cloud" are choc-a-block with planes.

  • Comment number 26.

    BBC Monday 19th "The cloud of volcanic ash drifting across Europe is continuing to make much of the continent a no-fly zone this week."

    AP Tuesday 20th "LONDON — Many European flights took to the skies Tuesday for the first time in days"

  • Comment number 27.

    lightning caused by electrical discharge within the ash column pic

    http://www.swisseduc.ch/stromboli/perm/iceland/eyafallajokull_20100416-en.html?id=3

  • Comment number 28.

    For tonights interview of Alistair Darling:

    I am a small businessman who has been a customer of Natwest for over 15 years. This year I planned a small (6%) expansion of my business which would give it a gearing ratio of 25% compared with 50% when I negotiated my last loan around ten years ago. I received an offer of the finance, which many other businesses have not, but the rate quoted was at a margin of DOUBLE what it was ten years ago. When I discussed the rate the message was take it or leave it. Not only do I share the huge government debt to finance the bailout of the banks but my business is penalised to subsidise the bank's profits as well. I am determined enough in business to have taken the offer to do my bit to grow the econmomy but I have a very bitter taste in my mouth.

  • Comment number 29.

    EDGY WEDGY - VOTE FOR CLEGGY

    With a sinking heart, i just watched the gravitas-free LibDem party broadcast. If that is what gets votes, I am seriously off-centre.

    Through an EDGY SLOT on my screen, the Nick and Vince 'JERKY ZOOM SHOW' squeezed itself into my Now-Space. Vince wedged himself into the LEFT HAND END of said slot, while Nick 'did phone' in back. They took turns to be jerked around (like a couple of jerks?) until, mercifully, it was over. I have no idea what was said - I was transfixed by the crass mastery of visual art.

    Would I want these guys to run my life? Guess. Didn't Nick say 'we are not like them'? Had me fooled. I want assisted death - AND I WANT IT NOW!

  • Comment number 30.

    29

    ..Would I want these guys to run my life?..

    uk democracy institutionalises incompetence. no demonstration of ability or skill is necessary to make life affecting decisions by MPs.

  • Comment number 31.

    cyril Harding [#28] They're not charities you know. They're not even British/national banks. They're just in business for profit like small businesses. They have a duty to their shareholders. They only care about you like the mortgage brokers cared about their sub-prime MBSs/CDOs etc etc.

    That's the sad truth you know. They can't even securitize their suspect loans anymore so have to be more careful who they lend to.

    If you want support from a state bank you'd have to vote against free-market liberalism and for socialism (if you could find a party peddling it, and you won't in Britain). However, be warned even if you could, socialism is dull, grey and well.. regulating (except in China where they seem to run capitalism like some folk run snake farms). It also makes running some businesses crimes against the people, so not worth investing in, as that would be a crime against the people too.

  • Comment number 32.

    jauntycyclist [#30] "uk democracy institutionalises incompetence."

    That's right. That's 'Social-Democracy' - a US invention. It takes a lot of skill to appear to be governing when the task is, in fact, to minimize government in favour of banks and big businesses.

    It takes some a very long time to grasp this though, as many naively think of governement as a very active process. That only happens in socialist or theocratic/authoritarian regimes. Many years ago (under Thatcher) Senior Civil Servants were instructed to become facilitators - i.e. to effectively go into reverse. They did. That's why Public Services are now so 'inefficient'.

  • Comment number 33.

    ..you'd have to vote against free-market liberalism and for socialism ...

    or a caliphate or fundamentalist Christian state which forbids usury, wants the gold standard etc.

    a recent talk that discusses the basis and purpose of law.

    http://www.gresham.ac.uk/event.asp?PageId=45&EventId=917

    In the talk there is a useful analogy of the 'house' of law and like a house can be extended, improved or demolished and rebuilt.

    He also discusses the modern false belief of law as 'morally neutral'. Nothing is morally neutral. Indeed much of uk law is still infected by the medieval tyranny of the monarchy. The scrapping of the gold standard, of fiat money, of light touch regulation, the adoption of the adam smith model of humanity where self interest is the 'regulator' is not morally neutral.

    the fact it is not illegal to trash the whole country financial system is not 'morally neutral'. so Darling and Labour are not morally neutral by still not preventing it happening again. Basically it is saying 'greed is good'. whereas it is 'finance is good'.

    originally fractional reserve banking was designed to be used as risk capital [mainly for shipping and new industry]. then it became perverted into funding credit card consumerism. factional reserve banking should be only for risk capital. banks perverted fractional reserve banking so it no longer became a good for the nation but a poison. it needs to be ring fenced [again] for risk.

    he also discusses the MP's defence they were doing nothing illegal even if it wasn't honest.

    he examines the case of the german advert that was placed looking for people to be cooked and eaten. 200 replied. 4 were interviewed and one was chosen and duly cooked eaten. The police couldn't charge anyone with murder because it was consensual.


  • Comment number 34.

    #28 - Read Janet Tavokoli's three books to understand how they will use you and leave you trashed using meth labs of delusion to reduce their risk and make money out of yours. Forget Darling he is a told what to do about to be a has been. Anyone/business that is needy looking for a loan is dead meat walking - all set up by Brown whom they now have by the balls, bashing gold and silver to hold up the pound and dollar. The question is - what is value, what are morals ? HSBC allowed Kautilya Nandan Pruthi to have very many bank accounts and set up a "short term loans operation" to business at extortionate rates (loan shark) which he openly said in print - was 'unregulated' - turns out to be very much more like something else ( alleged ponzi ) but that's what the bank allowed him to do. Look up info on him to realise how gone wrong the government, regulators and the bank have been. Then do yourself a favour stay away from banks.

  • Comment number 35.

    #33 - An increasing number of finacial commentators of note believe the gold standard will have to be reintroduced.

  • Comment number 36.

    For those who think gold and silver are like tulips, others think: -

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4F2ADVsxQJ0&feature=player_embedded

  • Comment number 37.

    The vacuum that Mr Clegg has filled has nothing to do with Conservative party policies- and everything to do with UK voter perceptions of the last Parliament; the bungling performance of Labour while in govt; Parliament's & Labour party dysfunctionality and sleaze; and probably most important: to do with voters' acute, abundant awareness- albeit not often articulated- of the almost incomparable in history precipices that the UK is hurtling towards:

    1)
    the creation of a member-country-destroying EU superstate;

    2) the bust up of the UK (caused primarily by Labour's 1/2 baked, incompetent, corruptly-motivated 'devolution' programme);

    3) the City's subjugation to and disemboweling by overseas' financial centre's;

    4) the neutering and grievous diminishing of the UK's once esteemed-world-wide armed forces;

    5) the UK's armed forces' centuries of allegiance to the Crown replaced with being answerable to Brussels;

    6) the removal of the UK from its 6-decade-long role filling one of the UN's permanent-5 Security Council positions;

    7) the relegation of the UK from being one of the world's best innovator and inventor nations to a country- or 4 separate countries- that has/have less high-tech and industry research and development competencies and depth than many third world countries....

    Contrary to what many UK commentators are saying, the UK's Conservative party is being viewed by overseas' audiences as exemplary in its development of sell-able, needed policies:

    "Canada and Britain: a tale of two oppositions",
    Globe and Mail, April 11-2010:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/editorials/canada-and-britain-a-tale-of-two-oppositions/article1529772/ -

    "British Conservatives present, to use Leader David Cameron 's own words, 'a progressive party in tune with the modern world,' and the policies match the rhetoric.... Canadian Liberals have much to learn...."

    "... in addressing their policy deficit, Liberals should closely study the performance of the Conservative Party in the current British election..."


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

    AN EU SUPERSTATE IS NOT REQUIRED FOR THE EU TO CONSTRUCTIVELY MEET ITS FOUNDERS' INITIAL OBJECTIVES* AND WOULD END UP CONFLICTING WITH THEM...

    Within an EU structured as an an 'aligned to-varying degrees' economically, politically and in internal legal & social-policy ways group of nations, the EU's member nations can, to a comparatively large degree, counterbalance each other in terms of polices, laws, directives AND FOREIGN ENDEAVORS...

    In contrast, nations incorporated into an EU structured as an amalgamated superstate, will lose their abilities to moderate, effect and block the development and implementation of polices, laws, directives AND FOREIGN ENDEAVORS of the EU superstate...

    ... a superstate that would have 'regions' replace member countries...

    ... a superstate that would continue to have Brussels-based bureaucrats whose primary objective is the creation of an ego-motivated Goliath to stride the world's stages as its main purpose...


    ... contradicting the main motivations for the founding of the bodies that preceded the EU: eliminating potential causative factors on the Continent and amongst its countries that previously have led to and could in the future lead to ethnic intolerance, negative prejudices, inequitable application of christian principles, legal tenets, and wars...

    AN EU PRESIDENT, "FOREIGN MINISTER"; "AMALGAMATED MEMBER-COUNTRIES' MILITARIES" & THE LISBON TREATY GENERALLY->> ARE UNASHAMEDLY DESIGNED TO FACILITATE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AN EU SUPERSTATE... A SUPERSTATE THAT WOULD FUNCTION FIRST AND FOREMOST TO SATIATE THE DANGEROUS, EGO-MOTIVATED AGENDA'S OF CLOSED-MINDED BUREAUCRATS...

    * ALIGNMENT- TO REASONABLY VARYING DEGREES- OF MEMBER NATIONS' SOCIAL, ECONOMIC AND HUMAN RIGHTS POLICIES/LAWS...

    Roderick V. Louis,
    Vancouver, BC, Canada

  • Comment number 38.

    8.36 Math ap Mathonwy (#31)

    I can assure you I am not looking for charity.

    What I do want is effective regulation of banks in general and British state-owned banks in particular. Frankly British retail banking has operated like a cartel for years and it is very frustrating to have a government so inept in its regulation, an ineptitude which I consider to be a brake on recovery, and which now seems to be in cahoots with this government.


  • Comment number 39.

    "AN ‘INDEPENDENT’ SCOTLAND WOULD BE ENTITLED TO ONLY A (POPULATION-BASED-RATIO) PROPORTIONATE SHARE OF THE UNITED KINGDOM’S OIL, GAS & SIMILAR RESOURCES"

    One way of looking at the United Kingdom & the greed-motivated 'Scotland independence' situation is that of a large company formed, say, 300 years ago by the merging of 4 distinct, legally-separate companies.

    Each of the small companies that merged into the big company was located in geographically separate locations from the other companies.

    But nonetheless the 4 legally separate, distinct companies merge into one single large company, with its own distinct legal-personality & status. The distinct legal-personality of the 4 smaller companies ceased to be.

    For the purpose of this legal argument, letters are used to signify each company: "E" + "W" + "NI" + "S".

    At the time of merger, the merged company, "EWNIS" has a recognized value of fixed + other assets, equalling the sum of the previously existing smaller companies' fixed and other assets.

    At the time of merger, one of the small companies joining the merged company- "S" - was not in possession of highly valuable "commodity XX".

    Company "S" managers and employees had no idea that one day their small company might come into possession of "highly valuable "commodity XX". One of the reasons for this is because at the time of merger, "highly valuable 'commodity XX' was unknown in the corporate world.

    "S" is located in a geographically separate location from the other 3 companies joining the merger.

    Some years pass and the merged company- "EWNIS"-acting as a legal entity, obtains for itself rights to lands that are outside of- but adjacent to- the lands owned by "S" at the time of merger...

    When these new lands were obtained by "EWNIS", it was understood by all employees/managers of "EWNIS" that access to & use of the new lands was to be for the uses of the company,- "EWNIS"-.

    It was also understood that access to these newly acquired lands was to be non-discriminatory, with employees/managers of "EWNIS" not afforded preferential or less favorable rights because they were from 1 of the 4 particular divisions of "EWNIS": E, W, NI, & S.

    Similarly, it was understood when these new lands were obtained by "EWNIS" that benefits from their use by/on behalf of "EWNIS" were to be for the (merged) company- "EWNIS"- and not only for a part of the merged company- such as "S".

    Some more years pass, & "highly valuable "commodity XX" is discovered on some of the lands that had been acquired by "EWNIS", AFTER the 4-companies' merger.

    The location where "highly valuable "commodity XX" is found is on lands adjacent to the lands "S" 'owned' & brought into the 4-companies' merger.

    This "highly valuable "commodity XX" is not found on any of the lands that "S" brought into the merged company, at the time of merger...

    But "highly valuable "commodity XX" is found on the lands acquired through-the-work-of EWNIS's managers.

    These managers were acting exclusively on behalf of "EWNIS" & for its corporate, legal interests.

    These mangers were not acting on behalf of "S". This in part, because "S" no longer existed legally as a company.

    Over the following years, "highly valuable "commodity XX" is put to good use for the whole of “EWNIS”, and the (merged) company prospers. In important ways, "EWNIS" becomes dependent on "highly valuable "commodity XX" for its prosperity & competetiveness.

    It is well understood among “EWNIS’s” 4 corporate divisions, that any benefits from "highly valuable "commodity XX" will be evenly applied to the whole company, without certain divisions- say “S”- receiving more benefits based upon their previous- but no longer existing- separate legal status.

    This understanding is put into practice- without variation- subsequent to "highly valuable "commodity XX" being discovered on lands adjacent to lands that "S" owned & brought with it into the 4-companies' merger.

    The "S" division of "EWNIS" is very small in terms of its value and number of employees- compared to the rest of "EWNIS"- being only about 8% as big as the rest of “EWNIS”.

    A few more years pass & it so happens that managers working for the small "S" division of "EWNIS" recognize that if they could break their tiny, separate division away from the merged company, and if they were able to get away with “taking with them the lands acquired by “EWNIS”- that were adjacent to the lands owned by “S” previous-to-merger- they would be able to make a claim- empty nonetheless- but still a claim for ALL of "highly valuable "commodity XX" on these lands: that had been acquired by “EWNIS”.

    In law, the ”S” division of “EWNIS” would have no rights to exclusive use of and no right to obtain exclusive ownership of any lands or assets like “highly valuable "commodity XX" that had been acquired by or due to the work of the merged company:
    "EWNIS".

    Upon separation, “S” would, at best have rights to a proportionate share of any lands/assets/“highly valuable "commodity XX" that had been obtained/accrued/acquired due to the work of the merged company, with the other divisions of the merged company retaining rights to proportionate ownership and benefit of these lands/assets/“highly valuable "commodity XX".

    An urgently needed task for the next govt- &/or the Official Opposition- would be to set out in legislation "rules/laws &/or formulas" for the sharing/allocation of UK resources such as oil & gas 'post break up'.... rather than waiting for unilateral declaration of independence by 1 of the UK’s component parts, & having to do this then.

    Who knows, once articulated, a UK resources allocation-law might be a disincentive for 'unilateral independence' being declared by one of the UK's component parts...


    _________________
    Roderick V. Louis
    (near) Vancouver, BC,
    Canada

  • Comment number 40.

    flicks [#35] "An increasing number of finacial commentators of note believe the gold standard will have to be reintroduced."

    Commentators indeed.

    1. There's not enough gold in the world/ground.
    2. Do you appreciate that it's the Austrian School of economic anarchists which hankers after the Gold Standard? These include the people who brought you exciting phenomena like the fiat money driven Credit Crunch....

  • Comment number 41.

    INDEPENDENT SCOTLAND= NATIONAL SUICIDE

    An 'independent' Scotland- as is obvious- would be faced with its 4 and 1/2 million or so population's interests/their elected representatives' interests & ojectives up against the interests and objectives of the EU's 594 million other peoples and their Brussels' representatives...

    What reasonable possibility would an 'independent' Scotland have of having any real influence on- or opposing- a 'superstate' EU's social, foreign, trade, industry, economic and 'military'/defence objectives or policies if Scottish views/objectives conflicted with any of these??

    Scots are perhaps more argumentative, sulky & temperamental than their continental and English counterparts, but the facts are that as part of a 'United' Kingdom, for over 300 years, Scots have been enabled to participate- at levels vastly disproportionate to Scotland's population- in the shaping of, stabilization of, political-structures development of & the industrialization of western civilization & much of the world's most successful countries- not to mention the exploration, discovery and mapping of many previously unknown parts of the world...

    Faced with the stark realities of 'Independence'- and the consequential loss of Scottish world-influence- & EU influence- that this would bring Scotland/its people- compared to that enjoyed by Scotland/its people as a fully integrated part of a 'United' Kingdom:

    are Scots irrational and 'politically suicidal' enough to choose their 'independence' and consequent total subsumation- to the point of invisibility- within an EU 'superstate' over being part of the UK??

    The EU's member countries- such as the United Kingdom- while part of a non'superstate' EU- do and can continue to- in ethical, productive ways- very effectively act to counterbalance each other- and act against EU politicians'/bureaucrats' improper objectives- should they exist today or occur in the future...

    This present- however in need of strengthening- counterbalancing capacity of EU member countries

    - particularly large economy & population ones, that have central, pivotal roles in the world's most influential & powerful economic, trade, human-rights & military structures such as the United Kingdom,

    - would disappear if these countries- such as the United Kingdom- were to surrender their sovereignty and become incorporated into an EU 'superstate'....


    _________________
    Roderick V. Louis,
    Vancouver, BC, Canada

  • Comment number 42.

    BBC 10-o'clock News:

    ''Hung Parliament' this, 'hung parliament' that'.

    No analysis, yet again, of policies; in this case, the SNP's.

    Why am I supposed to pay for this amateurism?

    Also, why two 'big beasts' presenters (for which, read: 'incredibly expensive'): the excruciating Huw Edwards, in Edinburgh, and Fiona Bruce, in the studio.

    For Newsnight, this is Strugglingtostaycalm.
    Thanks for that, Strugglingtostaycalm. Strugglingtostaycalm, there, for Newsnight.

  • Comment number 43.

    Most people STILL don't get it. In our 'social-democracy', government is effectively a sinecure and real power is devolved to 'the markets'. The problem is, the process is a one way-street. The forces devolved undermine the processes of government, ultimately, they make government fail. That's how it's designed to work. Look closely at what the three parties are offering, and you'll see it all in its true horror.

  • Comment number 44.

    MrRoderickLouis [#41] I think you'll find that Scotland (like Ireland, Wales and the Regional Development Agencies (see the 1998 Act) i.e the SW. SE, London, M, NE, NW, are all about the size of the basic EU unit or state. These are the administrative units of the EU superstate. France, Germany etc can each be broken up the same way. These are the states of Europe (Not UK, Germany or France, each of which is too big). The maximum size is about 6 million (it's called a NUT), which is close to the population of England as it was at the end of the C18th in fact.

    See? Break up and consolidate. A EU of states, just not as we once knew them. We are in transition, that's all (I reckon).

  • Comment number 45.

    If planes start falling out of the sky tomorrow unelected Transport Minister, Lord Adonis will not resign, nor will anyone else, no responsibility will be taken by anyone. Changing the rules to fit the test and upping the ash limits by 10x seems a fairly dodgy strategy to me yet no one will be held responsible should something go wrong. Total unaccountability by the unelected as usual.

  • Comment number 46.

    I've just seen Paxman unleash one of his typically sarcastic interviews with Lord Adonis about the Government's response to the vocanic ash crisis and have to say that on this occasion his style of questioning was totally inappropriate. As someone who was in Berlin at the time of the eruption and, along with around 500 international delegates attending a conference there, was potentially going to be stranded for the next week at least, I took the initiative on Saturday to secure a coach from a German operator in order to get the UK contingent (around 50 people) back home and got everyone to London without a single problem by Monday lunchtime. With a growing sense of confusion within the potential travelling party about the situation at the time - and their ongoing speculation about the likelihood of flight restrictions being lifted in particular - it took me and a colleague around 8hrs just to secure an appropriate vehicle and coordinate a group that was aready pretty much singing from the same hymnbook. While our administrative capacity is clearly somewhat less than the government's to find a swift response to Acts of God, if the problems we encountered mobilising one small group and one coach were extrapulated in consideration of the size of the national problem, let alone the international one, then to have a go at Adonis in this way was totally absurd. I agree the goverment should be doing all it can to get people home but surely in circumstances like this, the onus on individuals to take at least some of the initiative and try to come up with an independent creative solution to the situation is just as high.

  • Comment number 47.

    THEY RAN THE SHUTTLE ON SIMILAR LINES (#45)

    Only lost a couple . . .

  • Comment number 48.

    NONE OF THE ABOVE (#46)

    Adonis epitomises the motormouth politician weasel. Nuff sed.

    Paxo was indeed 'out of order' and epitomises a fading media god, in crisis.

    I suppose it added up to edgy. All's well.

  • Comment number 49.

    re the interview with Darling. Jeremy, you let him off the hook.
    How much longer do we have to put up with the complete lack of understanding of how financial markets work by the Chancellor as well as the other political parties. They are far more complex than is ever proposed by Darling tonight, Vince Cable and even the Beeb's own Peston. There are two important points that seem to have been totally overlooked.
    1. Financial Markets. There are two sides to markets - buy side and sell side. or debt and equity. We only hear about one side. I have not once heard mention made of those institutional fund managers who are personally charged to operate within very fine (usually moderate)risk parameters to protect and grow the assets of a fund to benefit pensioners, widows and orphans. No easy task given the turmoil in markets over the last 5 years or so. Sure, they are well paid, but every one I've ever met takes his/her responsibilities very seriously and is hurt by poor relative performance. And in this area the FSA is streaks ahead of the SEC.
    2. Banker of last resort - whether you define this as the Bank of England or the Government, it doesn't matter. But if you bail out, let's say RBS, with taxpayers money and don't put a realistic repayment plan in place at the point of lending, you can't complain if the Bank fails to change its behaviour when it comes to rewarding its key personnel (revenue generators). What the govt should have said at the time is yes, we recognise that you operate in competitive markets and you reward people based on their performance against targets you set them and your ability to pay. Therefore the Govt should have imposed a repayment programme to the taxpayer of x% of gross or net profit or EBITDA over the short term, say, 3 to 5 years, leaving the Bank(s) to reward from a much smaller bonus pool. But the Govt completely missed the chance to do the obvious and now just make huffy noises about what they might impose on the supported Banks, but they won't.

  • Comment number 50.

    Top notch Jeremy tonight - both with Lord Adonis & Alistair Darling.
    :p Adonis failed to explain why he headed an uneccesary ban on flights, the fact that only 1 ship was deployed by the Royal Navy (the rest were still in British waters) and none of the 100 promised coaches were there to rescue the stranded in Madrid. Perfectly summed up by Jeremy - "it was a shambles." Best question of the night however, was Jeremy asking Darling how traditional Labour voters would find it strange that he seems to protect the vested interests of a sector in society described by Brown as "morally bankrupt." Is anyone convinced by either of them?

    Loved Stephen's "Motorway Man" tonight - shame John McCririck couldn't have been given more airtime! :p mixed messages with the psychic - "G" is going to sink, and someone with a "C" will win.........

  • Comment number 51.

    #48 Singie

    Crisis, what crisis?

    Mary, mary, quite contrary.

    mim

  • Comment number 52.

    In the Independent:

    'In an interview with the BBC Asian Network, Mr Clegg was asked about the BNP and how to counter its support among some communities in Britain.

    He said: "I feel really strongly about this. The BNP is an evil, vile, fascist organisation.

    "We, the Liberal Democrats, have been devastatingly successful at beating the BNP back. '

    I vote Lib Dem and I would love to see the Lib Dems hammer the BNP in Stoke and Barking but in the short run I don't care who whups them so long as it is a democratic and respectable party.

    I loathe Labour on the one level but Margaret Hodge and Tristram Hunt seem to be fine candidates.

  • Comment number 53.

    #43 math ap mathonwey

    "Most people STILL don't get it. In our 'social-democracy', government is effectively a sinecure and real power is devolved to 'the markets'."

    Most people STILL get that if you were to vote for a party like, say for instance, the BNP real power would be devolved to their leader Nick Griffin and we would be living in a National Socialist Fuhrer-state dictatorship.

    For those neutral readers who don't get far right innuendo the reason the markets was quoted by that poster is probably because they are inferring an alleged "Jewish hegemony". The "evidence" will consist of the fact that some bankers have Jewish names.

    You will be as likely to see these far right people raise a class action with the EHRC as their rights are allegedly being infringed as you would be to see them raise evidence that the Holocaust was "made up" by millions of people with different nationalities and politics.

    They know that people can see through them but they still post as they are obsessive even though the fact that they never produce the goods in terms of evidence for any assertion that they make means that they must know on a level that they hold a purely emotional and unbalanced view.

  • Comment number 54.

    Please explain where governments get weaklings like Lord Adonis from and make them Cabinet Ministers. Paxman tore him apart and made him and the government look like buffoons. But Paxman and Jonathon Humphries aren’t the only ones capable of doing it. My own experience is in the Teletronics and Automotive Industries: Mitsubishi, Sony, Panasonic, Hitachi, Epson, Ricoh, Peugeot, Honda, Rover Longbridge, Rover Cowley, Landrover Loads Lane, Jaguar Castle Bromwich, Jaguar Browns Lane, Volkswagen, Saab, Volvo, Magna Automotive, Visteon Automotive, Bear Automotive, Trelleborg Automotive, Johnson Controls, etc, etc. All, vast global companies. Every single one has a dozen Paxmans!

  • Comment number 55.

    #40 math ap mathonwey

    "2. Do you appreciate that it's the Austrian School of economic anarchists which hankers after the Gold Standard?"

    Do others appreciate that many of the far right posters who pollute this page hanker after Hitler's National Socialism and frequently mention how much in common they have with Lenin and Stalin ideologically.

    Of course in fact Hitler hardly ever went to economic cabinet meetings and was quite happy to pretty much leave the banks and industrialists alone so long as they delivered the materials he needed for war.

    In fact if there had been no war then it would probably all have unraveled as he had no grasp of economics apparently.

  • Comment number 56.

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

  • Comment number 57.

    #50

    Spot on, Mistress76uk

  • Comment number 58.

    #29 barriesingelton

    "With a sinking heart, i just watched the gravitas-free LibDem party broadcast. If that is what gets votes, I am seriously off-centre."

    You have a strange sense of humour!

    Given that you have praised the various incarnations of jaded_jean when that poster used to rant nonsense about race and genetics and praised Hitler and National Socialism I would guess that many already suspected for some time that you are indeed seriously off-centre.

  • Comment number 59.

    In the Guardian:

    "Some cabinet members were deeply concerned by a report from the BBC claiming a senior Labour figure had described a post-election Labour-Lib Dem deal as "the ultimate fulfillment of the New Labour mission".

    Please God say its Charles Clarke after quite a few beers!

    As a Lib Dem voter I want PR and I am happy to contemplate coalition or supporting a minority government.

    But I don't think the senior Labour figure really gets what effect Iraq, 10p, light touch financial regulation, lobbygate and so on and so on have on most people - they really don't get what they are more or less at the same level Michael Foot was years back.

    They approach irrelevance with a sturdy ambivalence and blinkers to the world that is changing around them.

  • Comment number 60.

    #53

    Gango

    'They know that people can see through them but they still post as they are obsessive even though the fact that they never produce the goods in terms of evidence for any assertion that they make means that they must know on a level that they hold a purely emotional and unbalanced view.'

    Perhaps he is in love, Gango, and we know what happens when things go wrong on this front. do we not?

    mim

  • Comment number 61.

    comments on tonight's NN: make millions of unemployed, blame the unemployed, force them to take minimum wage jobs at Tescos. Sound like a fairly standard NuLabour/Tory line? Add in massive cuts in public sector jobs - start from beginning.

    ---

    for flights: simple.

    yesterday, when the owners and managers of the airlines wanted to ignore safety rules, then there should have been a flight - the worst plane in the fleet should have been filled with these people willing to take this risk with *other people's* lives, and flown through the worst part of the cloud 3 times. Then the engines checked. (The pilot would have to be a volunteer). This would have been a good test.

    today, i have one question: if a flight goes down, *who* is responsible? According to yesterday, it'll be the pilots? Or will it be the management/owners, or the Govt? Who will be held responsible for the reduction in safety rules if that reduction leads to lives being lost?

    and in the long term, if as the geologists are right, and the other larger volcano erupts as well, we will need a fleet of airships that can still transport people. Airships, as well as being safer, are infinitely more environmentally neutral.

    why are international rules, including from areas that experience volcanic ash commonly, being ignored because European airspace is hit by them? Why is this "stress testing" showing Europe's air being so qualitatively different from the rest of the World?

    these airlines have experienced flying planes throughout the world, they already HAVE 'stress-tested'.

    the Govt is handing responsibility to the airlines - the airlines to the pilots. So each pilot is now facing the same choice as the soldier at the beginning of the film "Wargames". It is good that the pilots have the last say on it, but surely it is also the govt and airlines who share the most responsibility - they could *also* ground the planes.

    --

    new IMF bank tax:

    in other words, mutual societies like nationwide that do not engage in financial shenanigans, will be taxed in order to be forced to 'save' the corrupt banks when they go bust again. Or else this is short-lived Headline grabbing, intended to give the time/cover for the issue to be 'kicked into the grass.' Its hard to tell. But it is far harder to imagine anything coming out of the IMF that did not bode well for those not already fantastically wealthy.

    ----------

    chancellor interview:
    if our Chancellor cannot understand that the entire financial model is *wrong*, then he is too incompetent to be trusted with the Treasury. This point was made in the programme.

    ...1 million people are working as bankers in the UK??? Is that accurate??

    ...we can unilaterally create *new* banks with clean debt sheets, even if we cannot unilaterally clean up the current bunch.

    ...if they can strengthen the regulations, then they can also relax them - AGAIN. We need a change in structure. We need financial instruments we can trust, that are fully transparent and accountable, and we need a change in political structure to make sure they don't quietly change them back when no-one's looking.

  • Comment number 62.

    #58

    Gango

    Those 2 are like chalk and cheese though there's something else that 'unites' them - sick obsession.

    mim

  • Comment number 63.

    "17. At 5:02pm on 20 Apr 2010, Math ap Mathonwy wrote:

    Ecolizzy, do you think promiscuous females see the adverse consequences of their promiscuity? For example, men worry about fidelity in females because they need to be sure that their children are actually theirs. They don't like the idea that they have been deceived into funding the upbringing of someone else's child. Females don't have that problem as they carry their child. I worry that many females just can not see this, as they tend to have more limited horizons, and tend to be more self-centred. "

    am i the only person amused by his blaming women for being so self centred they ignore the even greater self-centredness of his notion of "man"? The woman wishes to care for the child, the man wonders 'if it is his'. Limited horizons indeed.



    "28. At 8:11pm on 20 Apr 2010, cyril Harding wrote:

    For tonights interview of Alistair Darling:

    I am a small businessman who has been a customer of Natwest for over 15 years. This year I planned a small (6%) expansion of my business which would give it a gearing ratio of 25% compared with 50% when I negotiated my last loan around ten years ago. I received an offer of the finance, which many other businesses have not, but the rate quoted was at a margin of DOUBLE what it was ten years ago. When I discussed the rate the message was take it or leave it. Not only do I share the huge government debt to finance the bailout of the banks but my business is penalised to subsidise the bank's profits as well. I am determined enough in business to have taken the offer to do my bit to grow the econmomy but I have a very bitter taste in my mouth. "



    "31. At 8:36pm on 20 Apr 2010, Math ap Mathonwy wrote:

    cyril Harding [#28] They're not charities you know. They're not even British/national banks. They're just in business for profit like small businesses. They have a duty to their shareholders. They only care about you like the mortgage brokers cared about their sub-prime MBSs/CDOs etc etc."

    idiocy. Banks, like all companies, can look to make profit short, medium or long term. By not taking too much profit, by investing where it is needed, they help to make the entire economy grow for the longer term. The problem is not the institution of banks, but of how they have been structured and managed. In effect, much of Western finance is now betting upon the failure of their own economy - our economy - and the drying up of credit to small business like Cyril's is all part of that. A few are making vast fortunes, lending us the money to buy goods from their factories abroad. A major economic restructuring is essential.



    "If you want support from a state bank you'd have to vote against free-market liberalism and for socialism (if you could find a party peddling it, and you won't in Britain). However, be warned even if you could, socialism is dull, grey and well.. regulating (except in China where they seem to run capitalism like some folk run snake farms). It also makes running some businesses crimes against the people, so not worth investing in, as that would be a crime against the people too."

    ...what? What we have *now* is socialised banking, the banks have received almost £1,500,000,000,000, there is no transparency or accountability, and Civil Service and politicians are colluding for their own benefit. What we require, is actually the rules OF the Free Market - transparency, accountability, openness to access for all, limitations on monopolies. What is dull is rank-and-file sheeplike conformity, what is interesting is individual freedom, and control/information over their own lives. Central-control Socialism, central-control Corporatism - where exactly is the difference? Certainly by the second generation of an unaccountable Elite?

    "32. At 9:09pm on 20 Apr 2010, Math ap Mathonwy wrote:

    jauntycyclist [#30] "uk democracy institutionalises incompetence."

    That's right. That's 'Social-Democracy' - a US invention. It takes a lot of skill to appear to be governing when the task is, in fact, to minimize government in favour of banks and big businesses."

    social democracy gives power to banks and big business?? So what does Neo-Liberalism do? What about US right-wing Reaganism? And yet you also applaud China's economic record! You are *very* mixed up.


    "It takes some a very long time to grasp this though, as many naively think of governement as a very active process. That only happens in socialist or theocratic/authoritarian regimes. Many years ago (under Thatcher) Senior Civil Servants were instructed to become facilitators - i.e. to effectively go into reverse. They did. That's why Public Services are now so 'inefficient'."

    or, Thatcher began the process of 'Presidentialism' that we so clearly see today, and whilst proclaiming to the Public she was "rolling back the State", in fact she was busy selling off parts of national bureaucracy to proft-making companies, and turning over much of the rest to Quangos - bodies of bureaucrats unaccountable to Parliament, only to the executive branch. Which has all meant that we pay vastly more for our bureaucracy, that like all unaccountable bureaucratic bodies it has simply grown and grown. This isn't "socialism" or any such guff - it is simply over-centralisation, non-transparency, and non-accountability.



    "43. At 10:49pm on 20 Apr 2010, Math ap Mathonwy wrote:

    Most people STILL don't get it. In our 'social-democracy', government is effectively a sinecure and real power is devolved to 'the markets'. The problem is, the process is a one way-street. The forces devolved undermine the processes of government, ultimately, they make government fail. That's how it's designed to work. Look closely at what the three parties are offering, and you'll see it all in its true horror."

    the odd thing is "Math", everyone else is seeing that the financial collapse was anything BUT a consequence of free markets - it was an event orchestrated by wealthy and powerful individuals *deliberately distorting* markets in order to line their own pockets. If you replace the wording " 'the markets' " in your post, and replace it with " 'the insanely wealthy' ", though, and your post can make perfect sense.



  • Comment number 64.

    #62 addendum

    In fact, Gango, it's 2 obsessions they are united by:

    1. To undermine Paxo

    2. Sick

    mim

  • Comment number 65.

    In fact, 'men' overestimate the mechanical functions of their appendages. A 56-year old woman should know something about that, should she not?

    I won't speak for other women, but symbolic representations of them mean nothing to me at all apart as a form of communication.

    A brief analysis of the 'shortest' sophrology exercise will be provided in a while.

    mim

  • Comment number 66.

    #65 update

    I don't think I'll bother as not many bloggers will be able to see the whole picture anyway, suffice to say that the 'sexy' pictorial and verbal symbols were all over the place in this small sophrology 'exercise'.

    mim

  • Comment number 67.

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

  • Comment number 68.

    Brightyanthing

    How is your chest today, BYT? Is the infection easing off?
    And did everything go according to plan with your son?

    mim

  • Comment number 69.

    48. At 11:47pm on 20 Apr 2010, barriesingleton wrote:
    NONE OF THE ABOVE (#46)

    Adonis epitomises the motormouth politician weasel. Nuff sed.

    Paxo was indeed 'out of order' and epitomises a fading media god, in crisis.

    I suppose it added up to edgy. All's well.


    http://news.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/hi/the_p_word/newsid_10080000/newsid_10083900/10083988.stm

    A possible new generation of interviewer? Competent politicians of any hue, however, not yet in evidence.

  • Comment number 70.

    thegangofone [#55] "Do others appreciate that many of the far right posters who pollute this page hanker after Hitler's National Socialism and frequently mention how much in common they have with Lenin and Stalin ideologically."

    You will find that it was Ludwig Von Mises of the Austrian School of economics (which included Hayek) who asserted that Stalinism and National Socialism are the same ideologically.

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

    I don't understand why you persist in making such critical remarks about people for only stating what is true, and I haven't read anyone posting to this blog who says the things that you assert they say. Are you sure that you fully understand what you read? Maybe you are taking issue with your own corrupted ideas sometimes? Some people do that you know. They confuse their own misunderstandings with what other people actually write or say.

  • Comment number 71.

    NO - YOU ARE NOT ALONE GNUNEO (#63)

    They also smile, who only sit and read.

  • Comment number 72.

    #69 Thanks for that link JunkkMale, very interesting, I'd heard about this interview, but couldn't find the video. Two bright, clear headed, and non interupting young women.

    Good points made as unemployment has risen yet again by 43,000, but we still keep welcoming the immigrants. Now 2.5 million unemployed the same amount (net) that have arrived here in the last few years, strange that!

    Apparently out of the 6,277 workers at the Olympic site, only 828 are british, thanks to Mr David Isted for persuing this question, under the freedom of information act, with the ODA.

    So british jobs for british workers a total lie, as we knew it was!

  • Comment number 73.

  • Comment number 74.

    gnuneo [#63] "am i the only person amused by his blaming women for being so self centred they ignore the even greater self-centredness of his notion of "man"? The woman wishes to care for the child, the man wonders 'if it is his'. Limited horizons indeed."

    I asked ecolizzy a question in response to a post she had contributed. My reference was to a letter published in The Times on 19th. Did you understand either?

    "In effect, much of Western finance is now betting upon the failure of their own economy - our economy - and the drying up of credit to small business like Cyril's is all part of that. A few are making vast fortunes, lending us the money to buy goods from their factories abroad. A major economic restructuring is essential."

    The Wall Street model is very non Anglo-European. It is a predatory model which caused trouble in Germany in the 1920s and in teh USA. It thrives on exploiting other groups and undrmining he welfare state.

    "social democracy gives power to banks and big business?? So what does Neo-Liberalism do? What about US right-wing Reaganism? And yet you also applaud China's economic record! You are *very* mixed up."

    Social-Democracy and Neo-Liberalism is the same thing. Social-Democracy was created for Europe after WWII. It erodes the state and promotes free-market anarchism.

    "or, Thatcher began the process of 'Presidentialism' that we so clearly see today, and whilst proclaiming to the Public she was "rolling back the State", in fact she was busy selling off parts of national bureaucracy to proft-making companies, and turning over much of the rest to Quangos - bodies of bureaucrats unaccountable to Parliament, only to the executive branch. Which has all meant that we pay vastly more for our bureaucracy, that like all unaccountable bureaucratic bodies it has simply grown and grown. This isn't "socialism" or any such guff - it is simply over-centralisation, non-transparency, and non-accountability."

    It was Keith Joseph, a fan of the Austyrian School of economics. See above.

    "the odd thing is "Math", everyone else is seeing that the financial collapse was anything BUT a consequence of free markets - it was an event orchestrated by wealthy and powerful individuals *deliberately distorting* markets in order to line their own pockets. If you replace the wording " 'the markets' " in your post, and replace it with " 'the insanely wealthy' ", though, and your post can make perfect sense."

    Free-market liberalism (Social-Democracy) is the tool by which those people get rich. It keeps regulation (governance) at bay.

    I suggest you give some thought to the advice given to thegangofone. It helps one to think clearer if one cuts out emotive hyperbole I find.

  • Comment number 75.

    thegangofone [#55] Here's a lecture:

    http://www.yidio.com/stalinism--national-socialism-and-fascism-paul-gottfried/id/81593041

    from an affiliate of the von Mises Institute (Austrian School) which tries to put the history into perspective. There's another lecture by George Reisman along similar lines:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uk9WQaAIbOg

    You should be able to get the text at the von Mises website. Remeber, teh Austrian Schoolers are free-market libertarians. Lib-Dems if you like.

    Please listen to these lectures before responding, as they may help clarify matters. I hope you find them helpful. The history is more complex than some would have one imagine.

    Some would argue that by fighting fascism etc so aggressively, the USA (and its dominions) ended up with less and less regulation, which, it has been argued (credibly in my view) led to the likes of this:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/apr/18/goldman-sachs-regulators-civil-charges

  • Comment number 76.

    #17 Math when I posted that link I was being ironic. Just how many "promiscuous" women are there in Iran? I would think the great majority are killed in some way, probably by relatives, often stoned to death. Even in Turkey the fathers bury their 16 year old daughters alive because they spoke to some boys and brought shame on the family. It even happens here, young women killed because of some outlandish idea of "Honour"!!!!!

    As for men supporting other mens children, it happens all the time. Many men chose to live or marry women who already have children, many men are very philanthropic, more than women I would say.

    And if the father of a womens child isn't around, me and the dear old state pay for the childrens care. I know of one women who recieves £2,500 a month in benefits, and she has 3 children all by different fathers. Now I'm not saying it's a good thing, that children sometimes have no idea who their father is, but what is anyone going to do about it? Abandon the women and child, so the children suffer?

    As Islam is becoming so popular here we will have a massive backlash from our hedonistic ways, as happens from time to time, and we will all become good, (repressed) women again. ; )

    And of course it's completely laughable that women have any influence on the earth in a physical sense, you appear to be scientific, should have known that! ; )

  • Comment number 77.

    barriesingleton [#71] "NO - YOU ARE NOT ALONE GNUNEO (#63)

    They also smile, who only sit and read."

    Is that a wry response? Let me ask a basic rhetorical question (apart from referring readers to earlier mentional Times letter of the 19th, which highlights the key point about 'general awareness').

    Which of the sexes invests most in appearance (e.g. make-up, clothes, cosmetic surgery, presentation)?

    This is what I meant by self-centred (although I was also making a very explicit point about certainty of parentage too and how that bias relates to consideration of others). From this innate bias, I suggest much else derives, i.e what is held true for most females remains personal, a matter of appearance and personal opinion, rather than a matter of what is demonstably, impersonally empirically right. What is demonstbly right requires an engineers 'clinical' view of the world, which is definitely not self-centred, it is intersubjective.

    In psychology, the self-centred view is known as metaphysical solipsism. It is such a common cognitive style in fact that in 1980, Jerry Fodor suggested that cognitive psychologists adopt methodological solipsism as an approach for understanding how people naturally think. Interestingly, psychology is predominantly a female subject these days, even more so than it was in 1980.

    This, I suggest, may explain the very small number of females in the hard sciences/engineering (but do see the 19th April letter).

  • Comment number 78.

    ecolizzy [76] "Math when I posted that link I was being ironic. Just how many "promiscuous" women are there in Iran? I would think the great majority are killed in some way, probably by relatives, often stoned to death. Even in Turkey the fathers bury their 16 year old daughters alive because they spoke to some boys and brought shame on the family. It even happens here, young women killed because of some outlandish idea of "Honour"!!!!!"

    Think back to the 50s. In britain, girls getting pregnant outside marriage brought great shame upon many families did it not? Girls being thrown out of their home being told never to darken their doors again etc. Remember?

    Don't knock Iran. It's far more cultured than is made out. This is a matter of morality and ideology. Look into the intellectual sources behind the revolution in 1979. We are induced to vilify Iran for political reasons.

    "As for men supporting other mens children, it happens all the time."

    I don't think you quite see my point (which was very much my point if you think about it). Women replicate themselves. Men under such conditions do not. Here began the great deceptive strategy. See Reich on this.

    "Many men chose to live or marry women who already have children, many men are very philanthropic, more than women I would say."

    This is not/was not the point, although yes, men are more socialistic than females.

    "As Islam is becoming so popular here we will have a massive backlash from our hedonistic ways, as happens from time to time, and we will all become good, (repressed) women again. ; )"

    I'm not sure about that. A little more discipline would not be a bad thing though.

    "And of course it's completely laughable that women have any influence on the earth in a physical sense, you appear to be scientific, should have known that! ; )"

    They have influence in many areas, as they should, women have some abilities men do not. It's just that in other areas they generally do not have the innate competencies to make useful contributions and should not be encouraged to ty to do so. There are always exceptions, as biological sex is not an all or none affair, as I am sure you know.

    I think we have more to re-learn from Islam than they do from us. For the ugliness of 'promiscious' female behaviour see the free dialup and chat satellite channels. It's a vision of hell (a Mary Whitehouse moment).

  • Comment number 79.

    Everyone loves a wedding?

    I think our Scottish bloggers/voters might be interested in this link:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/scotland/article7100989.ece

    The 3 major parties all plan to increase foreign aid in their manifestos; one minor party plans to 'eliminate all foreign aid until poverty and deprivation amongst British people has been eliminated, after which aid will be given to countries which 'take back' immigrants'!

  • Comment number 80.

    #68
    Mim

    Dear one home safe and sleeping it off. Ironically, as a geology student he was doing an assignment on Iceland's Volcanoes!
    I am still doing likewise largely between bursts of activity.

    General

    Brain too woolly to put coherent thought together on: safety/economics, the 'cost' of insurance/compensation and who will really pay. Strikes me that the whole claim/counter claim will result only in a very slight redistribution of loss and a tax on us all to cover.

    And I do not really get to grips with gripes on here about what a politician looks like or says, or what an interviewer looks like/says.

    And none of them can do right for doing ...............ANYTHING.

    They have all for far too long been pawns in a game and used as a panacea for people unwilling or unable to:

    a) think for themselves and take appropriate actions
    b) take instruction on what to do for their best
    Too many it seems are able to understand that if they won't do a, they need to be told what to do. But they don't like it.

    In my business situation I am spending far too much time trying to explain Democracy to 300 'members' of a club, who even in their sub e=sections cannot agree and each demand the 'right' to have their minutest desires pandered to. And they want it cheaply, provided by volunteers too. These are intelligent/professional adults. I despair.

    My current 'study' is on how to discern truth and fact from 'information', which is almost always subject to some sort of manipulation, interpretation and controlling influence. Almost everything and everyone has an 'agenda' and will distort or ignore what does not fit it in order to sway an apathetic or ignorant audience.

  • Comment number 81.

    indignantindegene [#79] Maybe if those who went into politics as a career had to first study the history of and then spend some time in countries like Nigeria, Pakistan and Bangladesh they would better appreciate the practical realities which many fear. Those who get all indignant can only be doing so because they have no grasp of how populations grow and outstrip resources only to expand and move elsewhere and continue the process. What people here have to better appreciate is that what many of our politicians say isn't just motivated by their desperation to 'get on' but also their desperation to keep their jobs and make a living. Like so many, all else to them is secondary.

    How's the activism going? Did you see the replies to the 19th April Times article. Par for the course sadly. That's life eh?

  • Comment number 82.

    MONEY CAN'T BUY ME LOVE...............

    #79 Interesting link II

    What makes them any different from say Charles and Diana, Posh and Becks, Jordan and Mr A, B, C, D E.............

    We have an 'underclass' perhaps not starving and perhaps NOT net beneficiaries of outside aide BUT .......

    these issues are seldom as clear cut as they seem. And perhaps the bottom line is that there are/will be corrupt and greed individuals everywhere. If we stop helping others through aide/charity because perhaps some of those funds go for foie gras for the leaders, should we deny ANY support to those in need.

    Item about humanitarian giving on R4 You and Yours 12:34.
    hese

  • Comment number 83.

    CODES OF HONOUR (#76)

    Hi Liz. You have got me wondering how many 'honour killings' there are, per year, against 'honourable killings' sanctioned by our 'honourable' MPs and enacted by our high-minded, brave, mercenary killers? Mind you, the latter kill under a Christian ethos, so it's probably OK. (:o)

  • Comment number 84.

    brightyangthing [#80] "My current 'study' is on how to discern truth and fact from 'information', which is almost always subject to some sort of manipulation, interpretation and controlling influence. Almost everything and everyone has an 'agenda' and will distort or ignore what does not fit it in order to sway an apathetic or ignorant audience."

    I suggest you limit your study initially to the two men who shared the chair of philosophy/psychology in the 1970s. I observe that advice has been given here before, and it was very sound advice.

  • Comment number 85.

    Supplement to #70

    Here's just how complex it gets (note the author of the first link in #70):

    http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/articles/MacDonald-Gottfried.html

    This is the way that modern politics is discussed in some quarters.

  • Comment number 86.

    #75 math ap mathonwey

    "Some would argue that by fighting fascism etc so aggressively, the USA (and its dominions) ended up with less and less regulation, which, it has been argued (credibly in my view) led to the likes of this"

    In trying to be clever in the past you have stated that Stalin was quite ideologically close to Hitler and was in particular a statist.

    Then you go on to try and claim that the Holocaust was "made up to put people off statists" by people like Stalin - who was a statist.

    In the past you have claimed that in fact those in power in Liberal Democracies are "fascists" and now that they fought fascism (National Socialism) too aggressively.

    Maybe it was the 70 million war dead or the Holocaust or something.


    You try to weave a tangled web but its mostly yourself that you entangle.

  • Comment number 87.

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

  • Comment number 88.

    indignantindegene [#79] From your link:

    "Last night the Scottish government said aid money was delivered directly to good causes through Scottish-based organisations. “Our priority is supporting these bodies which do important work to help people who live in extreme poverty,” said a spokesman."

    Referring back to an interesting article from Stephanie Flanders last year, money is 'fungible' In other words, it could be said that the President cold have thought 'well, the very kind Scottish (and other European) people have kindly provided money to feed the poor people, so we can afford a lavish wedding'. We must send them a thank you note.

    The sad thing is, many people do the most awful things because they can't see what's wrong with it. They aren't evil. They just can't see some things very clearly. Those who can, assume that everyone else can or should, so get angry as a consequence. Sadly, individual differences are not like that. That's what makes it all so tragic. To begin to grasp the scope of this problem one has to be prepared to question the most obvious, the things one takes most for granted. One has to entertain the idea that those assumptions may be wrong.

    Many of our politicians in their speeches today sound just like Miss World contestants of old, well, to me, at least.

    As an aside - 'people of the book' - I hear that a lot these days and it set me thinking. Generally, boys/men don't tend to read and write much do they? They like mags with pictures if at all. It's usually women who read and write. So, why do we see so many 'males' on these blogs? A paradox?

  • Comment number 89.

    #83 Yes Barrie you make a very good point, perhaps why I don't believe in any god, as so many wars are fought "with god on their side".

    I just don't understand how relatives can kill their offspring, just because it is seen as an insult to the men. Just how big is these mens egos, complete narcissists.

    I thought it took two people, male and female, to produce and bring up a child, why don't these men commit suicide if they've failed so badly bringing up their female children.

  • Comment number 90.

    THE PRISONER

    Refers Mon #76 & 88

    How quaint. One lurks in our midst. Beware the giant white balloon.

    A logical step perhaps. But largely pointless since the 'character' will be visible from the outset, despite all wishes for anonymity. We are so much more than a name or label the hobbies we pursue or the clothes we wear. Who we are is evident by how we behave, what we say or think and the 'voice' we use to communicate.


    Now, post a link/names again to your reference #84 there's a good chap. I'm far too tired, busy and plain lazy to trawl back and find what you are referring to.

    Tx

  • Comment number 91.

    "74. At 09:50am on 21 Apr 2010, Math ap Mathonwy wrote:

    The Wall Street model is very non Anglo-European. It is a predatory model which caused trouble in Germany in the 1920s and in teh USA. It thrives on exploiting other groups and undrmining he welfare state."

    yes indeed, and unfortunately is *very* Anglo-European. It is an end result of an economic trend that has existed since at *least* Roman times, almost certainly from before. It is a model of Feudalism, or in its essence - Exploitation. It includes slavery, unwaged work, rent, and wage slavery, it is the exploitation of those who have little by those who have more and intend to keep it that way. It has been allied with the 'Washington Consensus' to expand it globally, following the lines of the East India Dock Company, the first Multi-National Corporation.

    -which drove millions of Indians into poverty, ultimately starvation, and destroyed the economic basis of the nations it subjugated. Welfare States tend to require either a low Wealth-Gap, or else an enraged citizenry - for obvious reasons.


    "Social-Democracy and Neo-Liberalism is the same thing. Social-Democracy was created for Europe after WWII. It erodes the state and promotes free-market anarchism."

    the countries that most tried Social Democracy were the Scandinavians - i wouldn't say the State has been particularly "eroded" there, although with the improvements in education, and passing power downwards, the size of the managerial bureaucracy is far smaller in comparison than any other system tried, or currently used. And yes, the emphasis on Citizens owning their own companies in cooperatives and other non-exploitative systems did indeed promote 'free markets' across Denmark, for instance - and those free markets, undistorted by either ownership/control by the grotesquely wealthy, or by the megalomaniac 'Vision' of centralised planners, managed to create the wealthiest, most stable and least exploitative countries on Earth.

    Neo-Liberalism was the attempt to sell - or openly give-away - national assets to private individuals/groups *purely* in order for those groups to benefit, financially and structurally. It was the deregulation of Industry, including Finance, so that through artificially manipulating markets through breaking market rules those few could increase their assets tremendously, to the cost of the general Public. It was the deliberate intention to remove the non-rich from decision making (an objective totally at odds with Social Democracy), and to hide that fact from the populace. It ends with no free markets, and an incredible wealth gap, leading either to another period of naked Feudalism if left unchecked, or else massive public disorder. See "Enraged Citizenry", above.

    so although they share the characteristic of believing in the Liberal notions of private ownership, alongside other Liberal notions such as Freedom of Association, Freedom of Speech etc - Human Rights in short - the two outcomes are very different. Social Democracy is the intent to empower the Citizenry, to reduce wage-slavery and make the economic system itself as democratic as possible, to reduce bureaucracy and centralism, and to narrow the Wealth Gap. Neo-Liberalism is the intent to enrich the rich, reduce Citizen participation, and ultimately to destroy the Welfare State until the poor turn upon the other poor and blame *them* for the poverty the majority are experiencing.

    that is clearly what the UK has had since 1979, and none of the 3 main parties are honest about wanting to change that. How many of them are arguing for limits on how much media one individual/company can own/control?

    "Free-market liberalism (Social-Democracy) is the tool by which those people get rich. It keeps regulation (governance) at bay. "

    there cannot be a 'Free Market' without regulation, just like there cannot be 'Free Speech' without regulation to ensure ALL can be heard without being shouted down by a minority or majority. The 'Financial Collapse' was caused by a LACK of proper regulation, and that was brought in by the neo-liberal Thatcherites, whom we have never got rid of since.


    "76. At 10:19am on 21 Apr 2010, ecolizzy wrote:

    Even in Turkey the fathers bury their 16 year old daughters alive because they spoke to some boys and brought shame on the family. It even happens here, young women killed because of some outlandish idea of "Honour"!!!!!"

    it is not "honour", it is the belief that a culture 'owns' its women, its 'egg-banks'!. In fact, up until VERY recently, Europe lagged far behind Islam in cultural freedoms for women, and its worth remembering that women were regarded IN LAW as property of the male - this was the Roman practice, and was spread by that Empire far and wide, with Catholic Christianity enforcing it when the political empire collapsed. It is hard for us in the modern day to remember it was only in the 20th Century that women were regarded as sufficiently 'people-like' to be allowed to vote across much of the West, and that there are still strong forces in our current secular society that would seem to be inimical to further equalisations in Rights.

    ---but the 'Right' to own another's body, to control who that person touches and how with their body even after adulthood - this Patriarchal notion that women are property! - this is a disgraceful reversion to a sociopathic society, and cannot be tolerated. Even if that requires a *very* strongly worded well made 'informational video' crafted by UK libertarians and also liberal Imams, to watch in every UK classroom. And all that seems to tie in with your apparent reasoning that 'men' (lol) can get stupid about "who's" the child really is.

    this is a possessive trait, whereas the adult trait would be to treat all children with love, equally, with understanding and compassion, and in cases of break-up let the *child* be involved in the decision making as well.


    "77. At 10:37am on 21 Apr 2010, Math ap Mathonwy wrote:

    barriesingleton [#71] "NO - YOU ARE NOT ALONE GNUNEO (#63)

    They also smile, who only sit and read."

    Is that a wry response? Let me ask a basic rhetorical question (apart from referring readers to earlier mentional Times letter of the 19th, which highlights the key point about 'general awareness').

    Which of the sexes invests most in appearance (e.g. make-up, clothes, cosmetic surgery, presentation)?"

    which of the sexes have least economic power and economic stability? Traditionally? So which gender had to 'win' attraction from the other through competitive visual displays to a greater extent than the other gender, that already held all the material cards?


    "This is what I meant by self-centred (although I was also making a very explicit point about certainty of parentage too and how that bias relates to consideration of others). From this innate bias, I suggest much else derives, i.e what is held true for most females remains personal, a matter of appearance and personal opinion, rather than a matter of what is demonstably, impersonally empirically right. What is demonstbly right requires an engineers 'clinical' view of the world, which is definitely not self-centred, it is intersubjective.

    In psychology, the self-centred view is known as metaphysical solipsism. It is such a common cognitive style in fact that in 1980, Jerry Fodor suggested that cognitive psychologists adopt methodological solipsism as an approach for understanding how people naturally think. Interestingly, psychology is predominantly a female subject these days, even more so than it was in 1980.

    This, I suggest, may explain the very small number of females in the hard sciences/engineering (but do see the 19th April letter)."

    i see. And this has to do with some nutty right-wing Iranians blaming environmental disasters on 'loose women' (very akin to some nutty right-wing Americans blaming environmental disasters on 'gay rights') - exactly *how*?



    "Think back to the 50s. In britain, girls getting pregnant outside marriage brought great shame upon many families did it not? Girls being thrown out of their home being told never to darken their doors again etc. Remember?

    Don't knock Iran. It's far more cultured than is made out. This is a matter of morality and ideology. Look into the intellectual sources behind the revolution in 1979. We are induced to vilify Iran for political reasons."

    indeed. Well spoken.


    "I don't think you quite see my point (which was very much my point if you think about it). Women replicate themselves. Men under such conditions do not. Here began the great deceptive strategy. See Reich on this."

    you would appear to be arguing that monogamous marriage, which has been enforced through threat of State violence against those who would like to follow other structures, is a Patriarchal control mechanism. It is to enable the male to feel he has children he can definitely own. So although i have respect for Reich, you do have to ask - *whose* "deception strategy" is it?


    "I'm not sure about that. A little more discipline would not be a bad thing though."

    ah yes, the discipline of Saudi Arabia, perhaps?


    "They have influence in many areas, as they should, women have some abilities men do not. It's just that in other areas they generally do not have the innate competencies to make useful contributions and should not be encouraged to ty to do so. There are always exceptions, as biological sex is not an all or none affair, as I am sure you know."

    as i do so often to feminists, i turn the question around. Which competencies do men lack that should prevent them from being encouraged to take which occupations? Although indeed there are innate biasses from gender, there are few occupations that would not benefit from an equal perspective from *both* competencies. Perhaps those social/architectural monstrosities like cheap tower blocks for the poor would have been made humane with more feminine '"self-centredness"?


    "I think we have more to re-learn from Islam than they do from us. For the ugliness of 'promiscious' female behaviour see the free dialup and chat satellite channels. It's a vision of hell (a Mary Whitehouse moment)."

    you have never spent time in an Islamic country, obviously. Islamic men are just as desperate for porn as men everywhere else, in one Kurdish (turkey) Internet Cafe i went to, every single computer had a porn page displayed on the unused computers, and no-one there (all men) were at all shocked. The only difference is how women are treated - here, women are free to be as expressive as they want, using their natural sexiness to attract attention. There, such behaviour is savagely repressed, as it reminds the 'men' that women *do* have a power over them.

    The 'ugliness' of porn is nearly always caused by some underlying exploitation - either against the people in it, or against the viewer. It is indefensible to claim that it is "promiscuous female behaviour" that causes this, it is a women's natural right to be as promiscuous as she wishes - just as it is a man's.


    "80. At 11:14am on 21 Apr 2010, brightyangthing wrote:

    In my business situation I am spending far too much time trying to explain Democracy to 300 'members' of a club, who even in their sub e=sections cannot agree and each demand the 'right' to have their minutest desires pandered to. And they want it cheaply, provided by volunteers too. These are intelligent/professional adults. I despair."


    lol, i'm not surprised. A life-times habit is hard to break. :)

    for a smallish group (20-30), the rules of democracy should be quite simple:

    1. everyone is heard.
    2. everyone has to agree on the final measure.
    3. no 'future deals' can be struck - the vote has to be an honest reckoning of the current issue.

    this is damnably hard to maintain, and can require years of patient explanation - along with many many long hours in meetings until argument becomes debate, becomes agreement. The more people find themselves listened to, the less time they spend in worthless point scoring. The more confident people become of giving their opinions, the less time they spend in back-biting and bickering.

    can you imagine an economy/society where the kids have learned in a school environment where these ideals are the norm, and have been taught deeply through experience?

    to accelerate the process of democracy, say perhaps for a new cooperative, i would advise thinking of bringing in eg Danish interpersonal group educators (or whatever the term is), until the group is working smoothly. Democratic thinking requires a completely different mind-set in the workplace. Look up "summerhill school, A S Neill".

  • Comment number 92.

    MULTIPLE PERSONALITY (#90)

    'Science' recently told us that multitasking simply robs attention from tasks in-hand, to apply to the new addition. How might lack of attention manifest here?

  • Comment number 93.

    BUT THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT IS, NEVERTHELESS, TO REMAIN UNCONCEIVED (#91)

    Breaching that right which (oh the irony) is about the least controlled of all 'Western' behaviour, is by far the greatest assault on 'the person'. Owning another, is small (comparative) beer, and even killing (honour or mercenary) is de facto 'sub conception' and surely further diminished by virtue of the probability that many of those killed will be 'better off dead'.

  • Comment number 94.

    WHO'S THE DADDY? (#91)

    The 'incumbent' male has valid genetic-imperative reason to kill the 'displaced' (absent) male's young. He only needs to intuit (or smell) they are NOT his. I agree that the mature, cerebral, human approach should be to treat all children as worthy of love and support.

    BUT HAVE YOU TRIED TELLING THAT TO THE BREWERS, AND TO THE CHANCELLOR?

  • Comment number 95.

    #92

    common sense tells us that we can either focus on one task, or spread attention over a range. In fact, unless the individual is a yogic master, it is highly unlikely the complete attention can be upon any one 'thing' for very long anyway. And anyway, many tasks are simple enough that doing many of them at once is not only efficient, but easy - with enough practice.

    regard driving, or walking whilst chewing gum.

    what does that have to do with 'The Prisoner'??

  • Comment number 96.

    #93

    a woman should have the Right to decide whether or not this world is a fit place, either globally or specifically her own situation, to bring a child into the World.

    that is the basic Right, We have already amended that to give Rights to unborn children - they have the Right to medical care to try to save their lives should the mother have an accident, or to prevent late-term abortions.

  • Comment number 97.

    #94

    i know many people who drink, even excessively, and do not attack other people's children. Shocking, i know, but true.

    as most studies with an open mind showed (ie were not set-up to find the 'correct' conclusion), it was not necessarily the alcohol (or other drugs) that is the key problem - it is the lack of authentic respect from peers/the workplace/social expectations that largely cause the behaviour - allied with a culture that still regards beating wives and children with less than total rejection.

    whenever unemployment goes up, or repressive working practices enacted - violence against women and children go up. There are no comparative studies done for cooperatives that i am aware of - does anyone else know of any? I would expect them to be far lower, however.

  • Comment number 98.

    YOU SEEM TO HAVE AN OBLIQUE AGENDA GNUNEO (#97)

    I make no excuses - and leave.

 

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