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Tuesday 6 April 2010

Sarah McDermott | 10:50 UK time, Tuesday, 6 April 2010

The plan hasn't changed much but here are a few more details:

As the starting gun is fired on the 2010 general election race we take a close look at the runners and riders.

Who is fancied to go the distance, who to fall at the first hurdle? Has anyone nosed out in front on this first official day of campaigning?

Michael Crick has been in Rochester and Gillingham in Kent where Gordon Brown was meeting voters, and David Grossman has been following David Cameron from London to Leeds where the Conservative leader will end his day with a rally.

Jeremy Paxman will be joined in the studio by senior politicians from the three main parties and the Newsnight political panel - Danny Finkelstein, Peter Hyman and Olly Grender.

Emily Maitlis will be giving us an exclusive first look at her election night graphics - explaining where the key battlegrounds are, and what each of the parties would need to achieve in order to win.

And there will be a rundown of all of the exciting events and features Newsnight has in store for you throughout this campaign - surely worth a look at 10.30pm on BBC Two.
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FROM EARLIER TODAY:

And they're off!

Gordon Brown has made his much-anticipated journey from Downing Street to Buckingham Palace to trigger a 6 May general election.

Our Political editor Michael Crick will be following the prime minister throughout the day and travelling with him to Kent where he is expected to meet disenchanted and disconnected voters in the marginals.

David Cameron has just made a speech in Central London at the Conservatives' campaign launch, watched closely by our Political correspondent David Grossman who will also be following Mr Cameron to Leeds later where he is addressing a rally early this evening.

We'll be joined in the studio by politicians from the three main parties to debate all of the day's events, and by our political panel of Danny Finkelstein, Olly Grender and Peter Hyman.

And Emily Maitlis steps into the illustrious shoes of Peter Snow and Jeremy Vine to give us a first look at the BBC's 2010 election graphics.

Emily will be explaining where the key battlegrounds are, and what each of the parties would need to achieve in order to win. Will we have a Swingometer in 2010?

More details later.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    :o) It's all go! Bet it's going to be one corker of a show......

  • Comment number 2.

    'And they're off!'

    Exactly. It's being covered like a horse race!

    They breed race-horses and it's not an equal ops affair. If it were.. well.... just imagine the spectacle.

    The BBC's helicopter followed GB's car all the way...... why? What did that cost/achieve?

    Another four weeks for those who crave the pointless excitement/volatility of gambling on something that most people don't care about for all the right reasons.

    Plus ca change....

  • Comment number 3.

    Shocked to read this article about Karzai threatening to join the Taliban!

    Source: http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D9ET066G0&show_article=1

  • Comment number 4.

    POWER-NEEDY AND JUVENILE (#3)

    Remember Nixon's petulence when he lost? Brown's fury when he couldn't be topp? Sailor Heath's sulk when beaten by a woman. We elevate the wrong stuff 76 - and we get stuffed.

  • Comment number 5.

    so how much did the extra year of drift and dither benefit the country?

  • Comment number 6.

    One issue that seems to me to be under-reported is the health of all of the parties in terms of activists.

    Labour was haemorrhaging activist's and I suppose that the Tories have some ideological issues that may have seen volatility in their ranks. The Lib Dems have had a number of leaders and that may have disheartened some.

    All will have suffered losses due to the expenses issue and so you have to assume that there are very few people to hit the streets or perhaps one party is more endowed than the others. Its a short campaign and so it will be resource hungry in personnel I assume.

    Following on from that another issue is that traditionally you would see the third party crumble to the two party squeeze. But I assume this time that won't happen as both of the two larger parties have a very soft vote and some may not want to switch to the other major party due to issues like expenses as the Lib Dems were far cleaner than the big two.

    So following on from that I assume that it is quite possible that as the public mood starts to crystallize we could see a collapse in the vote of the Tories or Labour - with the latter being my favourite.

    Should Labour collapse and drop to third place, unlikely but possible, I would pay money to hear Croquet Prescott, the champion of working people and banks, give his view on PR then.

    The big two always like to see competition in the marketplaces but, as with expenses, it seems that they don't like some rules to be applied to them.

    A voting system that relies on the notion of two party governance relies on both of them to be healthy for democracy to function well and that has not been the case for some time.

    We are up to eight or so Parliamentarians who have their files with the CPS and that may be a European record that we don't want.

    They neraly all have some variant of PR as its a fairer voting system.

  • Comment number 7.

    in between parliaments? Great. Can't we stay like this forever?

  • Comment number 8.

    Will the ructions that led Nick Griffin, of the odious BNP, to go to the police in fear of his own colleagues potentially expose the suspected links with the English Defence League and how would such a discovery add to the EHRC membership issues?

    You would only have to have a few Prevent connections made between far right "lone wolves" and the BNP for things to get very serious indeed.

    Then again as they go on imploding that's perhaps not a worry.

  • Comment number 9.

    #2 statist

    "They breed race-horses and it's not an equal ops affair. "

    But too much in-breeding and you don't get the right result.

    Returning to your frequent pathetic references to race remember that the BNP's warring factions could not muster a serious argument against the EHRC requirement on non-racial membership. Therefore there is no political party that agrees with your refuted and wicked notions that have no basis in science - or you would provide that rather than the usual waffle.

    As for change I don't think there is any appetite for National Socialism anywhere.

    Again even the BNP are "not a Nazi Party" or perhaps they don't have the courage of their undeclared convictions - and perhaps some are more worried about impending convictions though I suspect there will be a lack of evidence.

  • Comment number 10.

    MANDELSON SPEAKING ON LOSS OF BELIEF IN POLITICS BY THE PUBLIC.

    No realisation of his own part in it all. A classic narcissist, Mandy can never see himself as others see (and hear) him. Perhaps just s well - he would die of embarrassment.

    ROCKY HORROR SHOW
    Mandy keeps using: "Granite-like resilience" to describe Brown. Who writes this claptrap? Are they paid for it?

    "The resilient-willed Brown has set his resilient jaw against all contenders and will show resilient determination going forward."

    Resilience isn't working.

  • Comment number 11.

    Alistair Darling has still cheerfully stuck to his jolly view that no regulatory system foresaw the "unique global economic phenomonenon" that was almost identical to the Wall St Crash but with Keynsian remedies available. He makes it sound almost like an achievment rather than Britain being a protaginist of the light touch regulation that nearly wiped us out - and still may.

    To date I have heard nobody - not even the mighty Vince Cable - really nail why this could not happen again.

    Financial reform in the US is only just hitting the top of the agenda there and could show that the policies of one or both of the big two, who did not appreciate the credit boom issues as the Lib Dems had, are not in synch and therefore could be an electoral issue in themselves.

    How can Labour form instance back peddle on too-big-to-fail banks and could any uncertainty on the future of Barclays and so on undermine the sector recovery?

    Could the mistakes of smaller banks with high risk derivatives still take the global economy down?

    Are we to see changes to fraud and accounting laws to handle Repo 105 situations and demark what is and is not acceptable?

    Is the electorate to be treated like fools who are to see this whole mess reduced to whether NI increases will make us better or worse off in the short run?

  • Comment number 12.

    I would hope that whatever formal or informal agreements go on between the democratic parties with regard to cooperation against the BNP they get it right this time rather than make us all endure the Question Time fiasco.

    Then again if Griffin went to the police with regard to his safety and some of his colleagues unhappy at his European expenses perhaps it was all some master plan.

    But lets not be complacent and remember we have a responsibility to identify why people should not vote for these undemocratic head bangers and to prevent the naive being sucked into their ranks by their perpetual lies.

  • Comment number 13.

    Will we see St Blair of Iraq and Alistair "the rabbitt" Campbell renounce their supposed ideological differences with Brown as the election unfolds or will they be kept away from the cameras?

    Will the former still break bread with his former friends, and alleged drinks partners, Byers, Hoon and Hewitt who have strayed from the path of goodness?

    I do so hope that Newsnight will pursue the internal reptures that may be unconducive to good governance should the electoral system keep the Labour failures in power.

  • Comment number 14.

    ...Today 223 districts - India has 636 districts - in 20 states are "Maoist affected",Ninety of the affected districts, according to the government, are experiencing "consistent violence"

    In Chhattisgarh, the rebel heartland, nearly 50,000 villagers have been forced from their villages by a state-sponsored militia and are now lodged in some 20 camps.)

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/soutikbiswas/2010/03/indias_maoists_a_doomed_revolution.html


    more than 1/3 of india under maoist control? will they do a Nepal? what will the maoists do, who some compare to the taliban in their disregard for human life, if they get their hands on the nuclear weapons?

    is india becoming a failed state? and is china behind it?

  • Comment number 15.

    'But too much in-breeding and you don't get the right result.'

    Precisely, it's a point to be seriously taken on board by a minority group which stays small, is endogamous, i.e doesn't assimilate. It accounts for recessive mutations such as CYP21 genes leading to higher prevalence of NCAH.

  • Comment number 16.

    Churchill’s Choice” for Afghanistan?

    ..General McChrystal, having read Winston Churchill’s Memoirs, has opted for the new strategy for Afghanistan, named as ‘Churchill’s Choice’, defined in these words:

    “The more an outside army sought to impose order, the more ferocious the Afghan response. Brute force of arms, was not only insufficient and ineffective, but likely to foment greater antagonism. Therefore, there was the option of pulling-out and working through and with the tribal system, and leaving the tribals to their blood letting.”..

    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2010/04/06/%E2%80%9Cchurchill%E2%80%99s-choice%E2%80%9D-for-afghanistan/

    how come milliband hasn't told us of the 'new churchill policy'? is he hiding? or are we to believe he doesn't know what the new policy in afghanistan is?

    so much for democracy and womens rights, education and all the other rubbish we have been told?

    chuchill's analysis backs up the academic research that occupation increase the risk of suicide bombers in the homeland and does not diminish it.

    bring the troops home.

  • Comment number 17.

    Here's more for go1 to worry about, poor girl.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/main-parties-accused-of-failing-to-confront-the-bnp-1936714.html

    I keep seeing the capital letters of BNP each time a pass over her posts

  • Comment number 18.

    Afghanistan, which had been a moderate source of employment for security contractors, has become the hot market for guns for hire.

    It’s estimated there are 25,000 registered security contractors in Afghanistan..
    But the reliance on armed private security contractors is already causing problems.

    In February, U.S. military commanders warned that trigger-happy Afghan contractors guarding coalition convoys were indiscriminately shooting and killing civilians in western Kandahar province. Such abuses hurt U.S. efforts to win over the local population

    http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Number+private+security+personnel+Afghanistan+soars/2762625/story.html

    US special forces have a novel weapon in the fight to expel Taliban from a desolate and war-weary farming community in southern Afghanistan -- heavy metal music.

    When insurgents open fire in Marjah, an armoured vehicle wired up to powerful speakers blasts out country, heavy metal and rock music so loudly it can be heard up to two kilometres (one mile) away.
    "Some locals complain but it's a way to push them to choose. It's motivating Marines as well,
    The officer said they also broadcast messages from the Afghan government, as well as threats to the Taliban -- there are no obscenities, "but we tell them they're gonna die", he smiled.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jbIoF_cy41xeipXrTnDkxGR0k4vg

    afghanistan sounds like some kind of surreal film? ever get the feeling our own govt/media are not painting the full picture about what is going on over there? It seems a cross between heart of darkness and heart of madness?

  • Comment number 19.

    Has everybody gone to bed at 3 pm? Or is it something to do with my laptop? Or yet, perhaps something really important has happened leaving everybody flabbergasted?

    mim

  • Comment number 20.



    With apologies to the composer of the song - and the City of - Chicago.

    My Town .... Kind of!

    Empty Department Store, Beauty Salon, Charity Shop, Financial services, Budget Clothing Shop, Budget General Goods, Pawn Shop,, Card Shop, Opticians, Betting Shop. Bank. ......

    Ethnic Grocers,Cobblers, Rave records Shop, God Shop, Indigenous and Ethnic Butchers stroke Grocers, Newsagents, Financial services, Card Shop, Haberdashery, Financial services, Empty, Double Glazing, Political Social Club, Cafe, Computer Supplies, Cobblers, Hairdressers, Bargain Booze, Chemists, Nail Bar. ......

    Chinese Restaurant, Hairdressers, Electrical Supplies, Second Hand Furniture, Budget stroke Pound Shop, Sweet Shop, Amusement Arcade, Charity Shop, Pizzas, Tanning Salon, Hearing Aid Supplier, Charity Shop, Sandwich Takeaway, Barber, Video Rental. ......

    Estate Agents, Kebab Takeaway, Estate Agents, Estate Agents, ......

    Estate Agents, Estate Agents, Solicitors, Estate Agents, Florist, Ethnic Hairdresser, Solicitors, Estate Agents, Solicitors, Estate Agents, ......

    Estate Agents, Fish and Chips, Empty, Fast Food, Chemists, Furniture,New Age, Bed Shop, Furniture, New Age, Empty, Cafe, Ethnic Grocer. ......

    Pizza Takeaway, Charity Shop, Vegetarian Restaurant, Ethnic Butchers, Sandwich Bar, Games Arcade, Indoor Market, Florist, Post Office, Discounted Household Supplies, Hairdressers, Flooring, Bookies. ......

    Empty, Ethnic Food, Ethnic Hairdressers, Amusement Arcade, Charity Shop, Empty, Up-market clothes, Up-market clothes, Fast Food, Opticians, Takeaway and Bakery, Charity Shop, Bookies, Butchers, Disability Supplies, Party Supplies, Travel, Jewelers, Empty, Travel, Insurance, Charity Shop, Parish Council, Dry Cleaning, Burger Bar, Empty, Solicitors, Ethnic community advice centre, Bookies, Craft Supplies, Jewelers. ......

    Fast Food, Empty.


    The above is ....

    An example of ....

    Where we are, where we’ve been and where we might be going.

    Take any town, anywhere, and you’ll find a story ....

    And ....

    No, my name ‘aint Joe Friday!

  • Comment number 21.

    #218 from the previous page

    It looks like then, Ecolizzy, that your son's dad must be a very brainy man if the cleverness inheritance is to be believed.

    mim

  • Comment number 22.

    18. jauntycyclist - Yes, ironic isn't it? Even their own President says he's thinking of joining the Taliban.

    From your link:

    '"Taliban hate that music," said the sergeant involved in covert psychological operations, or "psy ops", in the area in Helmand province.

    "Some locals complain but it's a way to push them to choose. It's motivating Marines as well," he added after one deafening round of several hours including tracks from The Offspring, Metallica and Thin Lizzy.'


    One can just imagine the Taliban doing their rounds saying: 'This is why we keep planting IEDs etc. If we don't, they'll be hawking this diabolical rubbish all over the country, corrupting our kids just like they did their own. Look at the USA and UK on satellite TV today! That's what we're trying to save our people from'

    I bet they'll be pointing out which group dominates the music business too. Something which will just facilitate their recruitment drive :-(

    Modern psychology is such rubbish, guess why?

  • Comment number 23.

    My key election issue is again the fact I have nothing to vote for. Scotland Wales and Ireland nationalist parties have united to oust England. The trouble is if you are English there is nothing to vote for. There is Britain i.e. the BNP or the UK in UKIP. None of the major parties will support England.
    I want an English Parliament or scrap devolution one or the other. This is above anything else. I therefore have nothing to vote for and the election is a farce. It is an assault on the rights of English people not to allow us to have our say. England is a nation also just as Ireland Wales Scotland are and we should have the right under human rights to have our say at the ballot box as an independent nation. Anything less is just a farce. Why should a minor nation like Scotland or Wales have more say in a democracy. The truth is the election is fixed as a result because the country with the most voters England can not speak independently. Until there is a sole voice for England the UK election is a farce. End devolution or give England its own parliament.

  • Comment number 24.

    #21 addendum

    Ecolizzy

    It seems odd to call one's clever child 'odd'. I'm sure you don't mean it in a derogatory way, or anything like that, but it does sound odd. Hopefully he is a good humoured young man.

    mim

  • Comment number 25.

    Singie

    I've just sent some green stuff down to my stomach hoping it'll help.

    #10

    Personally, I know one other like that with a total lack of the self-reflection ability and complete absence of any decency whatsoever.

    mim

  • Comment number 26.

    Dear Channel 4,

    The list of your advertisers, to boycott, will follow the election.

  • Comment number 27.

    'We'll be joined in the studio by politicians from the three main parties to debate all of the day's events, and by our political panel of Danny Finkelstein, Olly Grender and Peter Hyman.'

    Whose combined talents appear to function (on me at least) somewhat like the neuralizer used by Tommy Lee Jones in Men In Black!

  • Comment number 28.

    Love the new election campaign trailer, and especially the fact that Jeremy will be doing Saturday Editions too :o)

  • Comment number 29.

    Ecolizzy

    Of course there seem to be certain tendencies running through families, with mine for example being quite a broad mixture going generations back of docs, including surgeons, insurance/business people, educators, scientists, churchmen, intellectuals, singers, fine artists and dancers, with each of the current offsprings having in common the dancing skill though it's only me who can't live without it. We also share some kind of inkling for the arts.

    Who gets what from their predecessors and to what degree can never be predicted in advance and thus, as far as I'm concerned, statist's genetic theory does not hold and does not reflect reality.

    mim

  • Comment number 30.

    This one is a bit hard to comprehend, if one begins in UN in 1947. Although, sadly, not if one looks later of course, i.e. at Israel declaring UDI in 1948, and the subsequent wars and occupations.

  • Comment number 31.

    23. Rule Change Crazy 'England is a nation also just as Ireland Wales Scotland are and we should have the right under human rights to have our say at the ballot box as an independent nation. Anything less is just a farce. Why should a minor nation like Scotland or Wales have more say in a democracy.'

    The idea seems to Balkanize Britain into units the size of EU NUTS (6 million) so England becomes like Scotland, Wales, Ireland, but as Regional Development Agencies (at one time 'Regional Assemblies - NE, NW, M, SE, SW and London). New Labour reckoned they had a mandate (see 1998 RDA Act), hence Lisbon Treaty? With power centralized in Brussels, the 53 Articles of the FCHR will put an end to any local government which might regulate the freedom of the markets and those which do well from consumers (supermarkets at he expense of producers etc).

    Paranoid?

  • Comment number 32.

    DID I CATCH BROWN DECLARING HIS TRUTHFULNESS AGAIN?

    Is the Moral Compass back from the menders?

    So now we have Campbell ('I never dun the Kelly job') Mandelson ('I find money really rather tacky') and Blair ('I'm so straight, people just press money on me') clustered around Brown ('my Mother and Father instilled truthfulness in me from an early age') as the indescribable face of Labourism.

    Lucky for them that Shiny Boy Dave and his PR chums, are overplaying the GlamSamCamAmDramSpam (with a bump - don'tcha know) to the point where sales of sick-bags, may well bring economic recovery - unaided.

    Meanwhile, I don't think the Nick-Chick is going to play that stupid game. Indeed, Nick looks very pale - I guess 'he knows'.

    So we are faced with stark proof that, while many £millions go down the petty-political drain, regardless of the election result, this country will be led by a bunch of the most unsuitable dross ever gathered in one place. The parties will get back into the Westminster Citadel - repair the cracks - raise the two-finger flag (aka Onion Jack) in our faces, and it will be business as usual.

    SPOIL PARTY GAMES

  • Comment number 33.

    Meanwhile outside the navel gazing of Westminster we have the release of a video by Wikileaks showing the killing of civilians including Reuters journalists and the shooting of people who tend to the wounded and children the whole thing can be seen here-

    http://www.collateralmurder.com/

    Not that it's being covered by the BBC news channel or Newsnight, the only reference on the BBC is on the website here -

    WikiLeaks posts video of 'US military killings' in Iraq
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/8603938.stm

    Note the use of quotes around US military killings, fortunately there are real reporters in the world, if not the BBC, who got confirmation that the video is authentic and who didn't do silly things like put their titles in quotes.

    As for the election, it can be summed up simply.

    Who will ensure the prosecution those responsible for the Iraq war and stop them from cashing in on the killing as Tony Blair is doing via UI Energy?

    No one.

    Who will stop Israel from stealing the identities of the British people?

    No one.

    Who will stop Americans from continuing to fund the Real / Continuity IRA and bombing us?

    No one.

    Who will ensure the prosecution of the Banksters, the ratings agencies those who oversaw them in the FSA, Treasury and Bank of England?

    No one.

    So who am I voting for?

    No one.

  • Comment number 34.

    29. mimpromptu 'Who gets what from their predecessors and to what degree can never be predicted in advance and thus, as far as I'm concerned, statist's genetic theory does not hold and does not reflect reality.'

    That's either because your grasp of reality is not shared by others (e.g. behaviour geneticists - a rebuke), or perhaps just because you don't understand the lmits of what can currently be precisely predicted based on research in behaviour genetics. The latter has technical limits. This is true in all of science. We can not predict the dyannical system of weather and climate in great detail, but that does not mean it isn't lawful.

  • Comment number 35.

    Statist....keep postin' the truth!...for that's all you've ever posted, based on evidence and fact...unfortunately most just can't understand it :o(

    DebtJuggler
    BEng (Hons) IIi....Approx IQ = 125(ish)...nb aged 44

  • Comment number 36.

    I am so disappointed tonight...just saw Arsenal lose to Barcelona!

    What was really disappointing was Greame Souness's comments at the end.....extolling the the virtues of Lionel Messi for Barcelona (he is truly a great player in football today btw!)

    But Souness was prabably the hardest player in his day!

    Talk about the feminisation of of our society!....

    If Souness had played for Arsenal tonight against Barcelona...after 20 minutes he would have just walked up to Messi and given him a swift kick to the balls and taken him out of the game!

    He must have a very short feminised memory.

    Oh well! so much for football hard men!

    Btw...have webecome a nation of panseys....I fear so!

    (BTW - I am a West Ham supporter...just for the record....up the 'ammers)

  • Comment number 37.

    #33

    And Who will make any concessions to women who want to raise their own children rather than contributing to 'the economy' (does anyone else hear the two Rons voices there?

    The first party leader who leaves their wife at home doing just that, rather than on the campaign bus/train/plane/helicopter, or undertaking some Very Important PR job for some city broker or art institution may interest me a little more.

    He Who dares be REALLY brave MAY win!

  • Comment number 38.

    "Darling 'was' a supporter of the International Marxist Group, one of whose key objectives was the nationalisation of the British banking system as a first step towards full-blown Communism."

    'The first time Darling wanted to nationalise the banks - ALL of them'
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1078636/The-time-Darling-wanted-nationalise-banks--ALL-them.html

    Note the name of the author?

    If only those stupid bankers really knew what the long term plan was...they'd vote New Labour/Conservative/Lib Dem!

  • Comment number 39.

    How much money is lost to the 'black economy'?

    Could one of the things we do for the good of the country be the encouragement of our friends and relatives to put their employment on a legal footing? I'm sure, in theory, cuts could almost being negated were the uncollected tax to be collected.

    Perhaps a few of you naughty middle-class readers of this post should stop paying the builders cash-in-hand.

  • Comment number 40.

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

  • Comment number 41.

    I honestly can't get my head around why the Tories are bleating so loud about the proposed 1% increase in national insurance contributions being a threat to people's jobs. The real elephant in the Labour room is the Climate Change Act, which will give the stock market parasites just the excuse they need to start mass asset stripping of UK manufacturing industry, perhaps on a scale not seen since before 2000 and the full Ken Clarke road fuel tax escalator. Like Corus Redcar, large swathes of industry will be rendered worth more dead than alive.

    Obviously the top priority for any new government acting in the interest of the majority of the British people would be to repeal the Climate Change Act ASAP. However, since all the main parties primarily serve the interest of their Corporate Nazi stock market parasite speculator financial backers, perhaps any real " change " in the event of a new Tory party in government is highly unlikely ?

  • Comment number 42.

    "The Queen has FINALLY agreed to a dissolution of Parliament" says Brown the Blair impostor who chickened out of an election 2 ys ago?

    Guess Labour's Cider Tax was the final straw .........???!!!!!!!!!!

    As for Constitutional reform: the Scottish Parliament was delivered by
    a civil society campaign in which the Labour Party played just a part;
    without the full support of the Liberal Democrats PR would not have been
    conceded in Scotland and without the role of the SNP's Alex Salmond and the SNP's Sean Connery Referendum victory would not have been guaranteed.

    Brown lost the 1979 home rule referendum - and we had to wait 18 years to recover from that disaster .... As for the elected London Mayor - I
    seem to remember Gordon Brown moved Heaven and Earth to stop Londoners
    choosing Ken Livingstone as Mayor and then they lost to Boris Johnson?

    Debates may well change this election - but Douglas Alexander's party
    has of course ensured the exclusion of the SNP and Plaid Cymry who are
    both governing parties in Scotland and in Wales. That's antidemocratic.

  • Comment number 43.

    Cameron is just saying 'vote for us, we'll govern even less than New Labour!'

    But that's precisely what's caused all this trouble for Britain, going back to Thatcher (at least)!

  • Comment number 44.

    :o) A first rate Jeremy yet again tonight, particularly with Hunt et al, and then my favourite trio of Finklestein/Grender/Hyman.

  • Comment number 45.

    I have no intention of voting for any of the main three parties as I regard them all as corrupt, behaving in a fashion more akin to an organised crime syndicate than any sort of democratic organisation. Looking around the newspapers sites, blogs etc many others feel the same way. Perhaps we could have a good deal more coverage of the minor parties. As the big three no longer figure in the calculations of many of us it would make the campaign much more interesting to see what the minors are up to.

    Today was a particular case in point, the three expense fiddling leaders greasing about the place trying to con people into voting for them. Nauseating to watch. I'd rather have seen what Farage, Griffin, Lucas etc were up to, at least with them there is a degree of sincerity and honesty that is completely lacking in the big three.

  • Comment number 46.

    After watching this evenings program I have to say that the BBC are rather shortsighted in having the 3 major parties (in the BBC's opinion) involved.
    Has it not occurred to the program producers that there are now 4 major parties in this election?
    Many voters will be voting UKIP in this election. They are fed up with 65 years of Labour and Conservative governments, the Liberal Party is just a diluted version of both aforementioned parties. The voting public do want change, and they want a big change.
    UKIP have candidates in most regions of the UK canvassing for seats in the next election and going on public opinion as to who they will be voting for, UKIP will probably get a vast amount of votes, and probably more than the Liberal Party.
    Yet the BBC has not included this party in the run up to the election programs. Why?
    The next election will probably be the most important election in the next 100 years.
    Please include UKIP in your programs, they stand as much chance if not more of getting seats in the next government as the Liberal party, so should be included in Newsnight forecasts.
    Not having them on the programs is very short sighted of the BBC.

  • Comment number 47.

    I've just nearly fallen off my chair as Jeremy Paxman has accused the Tories of trivialising the election! Does he not realise it is the media that trivialises everything in this country and especially the broadcast media.

  • Comment number 48.

    OH WHAT A BUNGLED WEB THEY WEAVE

    Poor Vince - he just doesn't do 'silent make-weight' does he. Standing next to Tricky Nicky, while he wove his way to the right slogan, VC looked like a Duck out of duckhouse. Major LibDem error.

    Poor Sarah just doesn't do Wag. Though the skirt was short her bum looked big in it, and the shoes were totter-factor-10. When she realised the skirt was 'out there' (unlike the Brown vaunted 'truth') so she began to apply an awkward hand. Serious Labour non-asset.

    Which just left Dave - stripped down to his hackneyed Persil. Super-mum Sam, not in my view, but there, in whiteness, nonetheless.

    And everywhere the ecstatic crowds of extras, drafted in from Central Office - each lot looking exactly like the other - redolent of the vast amounts of money and effort nullified by all sides, SIGNIFYING NOTHING.

    They truly are both fools and knaves to treat us to these idiotic displays. Paxo had a limp attempt at addressing this. CRICK - DO YOUR JOB.

  • Comment number 49.

    Gordon Brown, going on about he’s middle class with middle class values as convinced me to vote for the Liberal democrats. They are the true friends of the working class.

    Over the past 13 years, the gap between rich and poor as widened, this is not surprising with new labour allowing massive bonuses to rich professionals in the financial industry. By new labour being dependent on the financial industry particularly in London, this country is nearly bankrupt. Another five years of new labour with there “Spend us out of the recession” mantra will caused this country to go back to the 1970's were Denis Healey went to the IMF to bail the country out of its massive debts.

  • Comment number 50.

    SLEEP PATTERNS (#19)

    And the Blogdog nods off at 10.30 Mim!

  • Comment number 51.

    It was a good programme tonight. No screaming or shouting, respect all round, apart from Gordon rudely ignoring Michael Crick, but then it was out in the streets, not in the studio. Jeremy seemed relaxed with Emily promising improved visual solutions to lead us through the possible and then final results. All in all - to be recommended.

    mim

  • Comment number 52.

    "...be negated...", sorry.

  • Comment number 53.

    THE PSYCHOLOGY OF TAXATION (#39)

    You raise a couple of really interesting points Struggling.

    One reason I feel we might get the troops back and do a 'fingertip search' of the Whole of Britain for a new Domesday Book, is the unknown size of the black economy.

    But more fundamental, is the psychology of tax. I have always felt that income tax is stupid - to the payer it feels like robbery - worse, robbery before you even smell the money you have worked for! Not only is that bound to be circumvented, it will FEEL like 'putting things right' rather than doing wrong. I am a much better psychologist than I am economist. But I cannot but feel that if the tax take were less, under some other regime of collection, I am SURE the contentment of the population would rise were income tax removed, and rise to more than a compensatory degree. Unhappy people are expansive.

  • Comment number 54.

    #37

    I fully understand your concern for the children not having their mums around at all times but our views do diverge on this point. Based on the fact that come from a much poorer country where willy nilly most women simply had to work, I vow that kids brought up without constantly present mothers are less happy and less well adjusted to real life than those who don't though it is a question of making sure that kids are not left completely to their own devices with nobody to turn to or to look after them while their parents work, etc. I even think it may be beneficial for them to have to deal from early childhood with all kinds of different personalities and temperaments. It all boils down to feeling loved and cared about for real rather than the numbers of hours spent with one's own folk day in and day out.

    mim

  • Comment number 55.

    #54 addendum

    And it seems to me better to have happy and self-fulfilled parents rather than boring, frustrated and nagging ones present at home 24 hours out of 24.

    mim

  • Comment number 56.

    48. barriesingleton 'They truly are both fools and knaves to treat us to these idiotic displays. Paxo had a limp attempt at addressing this. CRICK - DO YOUR JOB.'

    Whilst many will have shared your view(s), it will have been far too few to matter. These displays seem idiotic, because that's the demographic they've been pitched to surely - the only audience which counts too! Unless, of course you agree with some here, that we are in fact, 'all the same'?

  • Comment number 57.

    #54 addendum

    Brightyangthing

    Having said what I said about the validity, if not even benefits, of working mothers, it was funny to hear Jeremy suggesting David Cameron and Gordon Brown 'parading their wives as soft toys with a pulse', which made me think about a Japanese humanoid robot:

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/sci/2010-04/06/c_13238599.htm

    Imagine men creating one, but much more elaborate, against the model's agreement, then put up for sale, to satisfy their appendages, etc. I should imagine this being an absolute nightmare for the model.

    There has been talk about something like that happening already on these pages before.

    Re: going to the European Court of Justice

    I'd rather face the naked truth than living with or agreeing to vile abuse, for the sake of one's conscienc and upholding the high moral ground which you also mention.

    mim

  • Comment number 58.

    One more thing, BYT.

    It's interesting how childhood experiences and upbringing can keep a most powerful hold on our future ideas and vision of the world.

    Perhaps you come from a home where your mother didn't go out to work while I'm so used to all the females in my family working that I do not see a problem about it. Nor do Polish men, especially in my family, preoccupy themselves with such issues as feminism/feminisation, feeling lost in it all, or women feeling abused by male dominance, etc. They just share their lives, including looking after their children, with each couple following their own rhythm of contributions depending on individual skills and preferences.

    mim

  • Comment number 59.

    #58

    On reflection, I'd like to add that none of the couples within my family lead an idyllic life with no male/female tensions or anything like that, but they do share every day tasks naturally and I've never encountered problems about males claiming intellectual superiority over their partners/wives, etc.

    mim

  • Comment number 60.

    45. Simon_987 'Today was a particular case in point, the three expense fiddling leaders greasing about the place trying to con people into voting for them. Nauseating to watch. I'd rather have seen what Farage, Griffin, Lucas etc were up to, at least with them there is a degree of sincerity and honesty that is completely lacking in the big three.'

    Agreed, but is this just because the smaller parties have so little grasp of the real legal, economic and international political forces which constrain what the main parties can say/promise? I get the impression that it's the fact that they're locked into so many constraining contingencies which accounts for the treacle like speech of the main parties. If they could truly declare UDI and implement whatever policies they chose it would be a different matter I suspect. If one asks any party how they'd implement their policies they report to impenetrable unaccountability as a consequence.

  • Comment number 61.

    59. mimpromptu 'On reflection, I'd like to add that none of the couples within my family lead an idyllic life with no male/female tensions or anything like that, but they do share every day tasks naturally and I've never encountered problems about males claiming intellectual superiority over their partners/wives, etc.'

    Some people just assume/accept it without any fuss.

  • Comment number 62.

    58. mimpromptu 'It's interesting how childhood experiences and upbringing can keep a most powerful hold on our future ideas and vision of the world.'

    On the other hand, one wonders what 'keep a most powerful hold on our future ideas and vision of the world' can mean given that the evidence now shows that Shared Environment contributes very little at all to intellectual development.

    Radical? I did suggest that the full implications of what I have been highlighting were really quite shocking, revolutionary even. Although note, I am just reporting, i.e. that's what the research now shows. Those who say they don't think, believe etc, may just be reporting what they don't know/believe. Reporting their mistaken beliefs in fact. Now, is that logically possible? if so, could it be true?

    What might happen when one's core beliefs (and what logically flows from these) are shown to be false? Perish the thought. The demise of old, errant, thoughts is the sine qua non for new ones?

  • Comment number 63.

    #62

    shocking? perhaps - for complete lack of respect for others, vileness and self-delusion

  • Comment number 64.

    Trust and relations:An interesting study on what may be awry in some Cluster B, Axis II cognitive scotomas? Think of the paranoid free-marketeers obsessed with dog-eat-dog competition, and the seemingly unresolvable conflict in the Middle East. All it takes (sadly) is a higher frequency in one group to tar (stereotype) an entire group. It's just the way that most people work. :-(

  • Comment number 65.

    Whatever happened to Max Hastings? He was always on the TV in the past with his comments, why not now, wrong flavour?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1264092/GENERAL-ELECTION-Neither-political-party-tell-truth.html

  • Comment number 66.

    63. mimpromptu 'shocking? perhaps - for complete lack of respect for others, vileness and self-delusion'

    Sometimes we misjudge what the source of our pain is, and misattribute it to something quite unrelated. When we'ree wrong we feel unsafe. What we thought worked to protect us is shown to be what made us vulnerable. Exposure of that can be frightening, unsettling, making us child-like for a while. But... it's also the prerequisite to positive change. An opportunity to learn something more reliable, something safer. That's something that every good researcher not only had come to terms with at some time in their history, but is something they have to live by every single day. It's the opposite of what most people do. Isn't that odd?

    'Researchers' are unsual, statistically speaking. They tend to be quite bright. To most, they are 'odd' ;-).

  • Comment number 67.

    this comment is by way of a gee-up for any of the questioners, maybe someone will take a look ,who knows... i used to vote labour, never again after this last 13 years. why is it that none of the commentators,ask the following questions -- does nobody notice the following-- 1. gold sold off at low rates, when by keeping it, and selling later, it would probably have paid off our debt. 2. money taken from the pensions pot, to enable these jokers, to put money into projects that havent got any better and have now jeopardised future pension prospects. 3. jobs would be increased, if petrol was lowered by this latest 3p and also by the loss of the 2p they have already increased it by. (note - items 1 and 2 would have offset item 3. lastly why doesnt someone speak up about taking off road tax and putting a figure on petrol, which would automatically make everyone pay. this would be a major saving to the exchequer as everyone would have to pay, and couldnt get away with it. are we saving money or just keeping people in a job for polical expediancy?. thanks for the opportunity to voice my oppinion, will anyone take any notice, i doubt it.

  • Comment number 68.

    65. ecolizzy 'Whatever happened to Max Hastings?'

    Well, since you asked. Politics stoops low - and, by the way, Ostriches don't stick their heads in the sand, that just a myth/mistranslation.

    They tend to just run away.

  • Comment number 69.

    THEY'RE THE WRONG GLASSES GROMIT! (#65)

    Max Hastings is more about glasses than flavour Lizzy. If he got out more, with the right pair on (or he could Google my name with SPOIL PARTY GAMES) he would find that: far from having my head in the sand, I shall have my message in the 'Voter Face', in Newbury, from now till the election.

    That message - as ever - is that until we SELECT LOCALLY, INDIVIDUALS of known calibre (rather than accept some party-rosette-stand-cipher, by voting for their rosette) Westminster will continue playing its self-serving GAME, while we are inexorably subsumed in the global myth; a myth run by even greater fool/knave dreamer/schemers than are currently 'leading' us.



  • Comment number 70.

    35. DebtJuggler 'Statist....keep postin' the truth!'

    'In the Blair-Brown universe, telling the truth is a sackable offence.

    Max Hastings Mail 7 April 2010

    Having said that, you need to watch the scope of some of your swipes. They go beyond just criticism at times. Mark barriesingleton's words on that score.

  • Comment number 71.

    "..I've never encountered problems about males claiming intellectual superiority over their partners/wives..."

    You must have lead a very sheltered life.

  • Comment number 72.

    'New Labour sought to change irreversibly the character of this island, to build a multicultural society. Part of the price we are paying for this is that London has become the global capital of jihad - violent Muslim radicalism"'

    Max Hastings


    Another way of seeing all this is that it was the UK's 9/11. That is, by swamping this country, and especially London and the NW, in this way, and then waging a phony 'War on Terror', it was almost guaranteed to arouse hostility towards Muslims, which in turn, I suspect, it was hoped would rally support behind NYC/Washington backed Israel in their local domestic and plans for expansion.

    Another Hastings remark from the same article:

    'The most important health warning of this campaign is: do not listen to what Brown says; instead, remember what he has done.'

  • Comment number 73.

    69. barriesingleton 'That message - as ever - is that until we SELECT LOCALLY, INDIVIDUALS of known calibre (rather than accept some party-rosette-stand-cipher, by voting for their rosette) Westminster will continue playing its self-serving GAME, while we are inexorably subsumed in the global myth; a myth run by even greater fool/knave dreamer/schemers than are currently 'leading' us.'

    But surely, as a closet-anarchist, you wouldn't want anything else? You appear reluctant to tell people what to do, or to be told what to do (think). In fact, you appear to favour freedom, individualism, and fine words. ;-)


  • Comment number 74.

    #65

    Ecolizzy

    I've read the link but don't for a minute think that there are many voters not realising how bad things are.

    mim

  • Comment number 75.

    One thing that we do know about this election is that the economic situation means that there isn't going to be any good news on taxation or spending. This means that there is even less incentive for the politicians to tell the truth and the whole truth.

    They also seem to have worked out that they can get get away with never answering any direct question, no matter how many times it is put, so we are going to get even more mini-speeches, carefully crafted and rehearsed to ensure they never commit to anything.

    So, Newsnight, how about an election not for the politicians but for the voters?

    Pick a topic for every program – there are plenty of them: the NHS, double dip recession, manufacturing, government waste, house prices, the railways.... Get the ordinary voters to ask the questions and please not some throwaway vox-pop.

    Give us 15 minutes of the experts, the commentators, the academics. Lets hear what other countries do, what the think tanks are suggesting, how the pundits assess the parties.

    Don't let the politicians set the agenda and certainly don't let them not answer the questions they want to not answer.

    Election coverage for the electors. Now isn't that a novel idea?

  • Comment number 76.

    71. MaggieL 'You must have lead a very sheltered life.'

    It's probabilistically inevitable that brighter males tend to pair up with less bright females. But then, criticising someone (especially someone one allegedly loves) for being less cognitively able than oneself is about as daft as criticising them for being shorter! As both characteristics are largely genetic, what good could ever come of that, and how bright could such behaviour be? It does, however, possibly explain 'love honour and obey', at least at the higher end of the distribution (one SD+). Whether this applies to most people is moot though. The rule is likes attract. Partners tend to be similar.

  • Comment number 77.

    74. mimpromptu 'I've read the link but don't for a minute think that there are many voters not realising how bad things are.'

    Is that because you think it might make you look good to say such a thing, or because you are prone not to describe your own behaviour accurately?

    From the article: They cling to the hope that some party will offer a way out of our fearsome fiscal crunch that will not hurt.

    Look at your responses to what's been posted to this blog in recent (and not so recent) times. Are they those of a person who is willing to face harsh realities, or someone who 'shoots messengers'? Might it be the case that like so many people, you confuse the message with the messenger?

  • Comment number 78.

    NEWSNIGHT IS REALLY JUST THE BIG BROTHER HOUSE WITH SPRINKLES (#75)

    I think you are getting Newsnight muddled-up with Public Service Broadcasting Ian. Newsnight is about edgy presentation of mud-wrestling, but without the mud. For everything else there's Daytime TV.

  • Comment number 79.

    33. turbojerry I watched the full video from your link. I'm still uncertain. Do you reckon the camera operator in shooting-Crazyhorse's accompanying Apache may have gone off location ('having a brain-fart') after receiving feedback from ground forces that the guys with RPGs/AKs may have just had cameras etc? 'Fog of war' etc or just bad practice? Wouldn't journalists have either tried to clear their movements/activities with central or local command, and otherwise known that they would be putting themselves at risk?

  • Comment number 80.

    #59 Mim
    “....I've never encountered problems about males claiming intellectual superiority over their partners/wives, etc.”

    I have been pondering this state of affairs. If one stands at a distance and observes human behaviour (including ones own and those close to you) it is clear that such behaviour – one individual/group beating, with words or sticks, another from whom they actually want something, whether the hierarchy is real or perceived, is highly damaging in the long term to all parties.

    Harmony is best achieved when any two parties to any liaison/relationship/task is built on understanding and acceptance of the ACTUAL relative skills/and abilities rather than wishful thinking that all were exactly the same. Division of labour was a most interesting concept although of course it tended to involve some elements of boring repetitive activities to those involved – but it did focus on perfecting the specific, different and individual skill of different groups for the benefit of the whole.

    This sometimes involves some level of biting of tongues and sitting on hands and acceptance that something less than perfection can be perfectly rewarding. Keeps the Blood Pressure at healthy levels too. Making love is so much more pleasant than making war.

    I could sound like a cross between Statist and Michael Caine here, but ‘not a lot of people seem to know that!’

  • Comment number 81.

    75. Ian Eperson 'They also seem to have worked out that they can get get away with never answering any direct question, no matter how many times it is put, so we are going to get even more mini-speeches, carefully crafted and rehearsed to ensure they never commit to anything.'

    It's a little bit scary that this also describes something quite characteristic of people with Axis II, Cluster B Personality Disorders, the hallmark of which are relationship problems, identity issues and lack of empathy. One piece of general advice being that if you ask them a direct question but only ever get evasive answers - run! May it be that this profession attracts people who are inclined to be of that ilk? If so, serious a question: what is to be done? My guess is that this is why the Democratic-Centralist approach is so strict about Party membership/duties and explains their routine purges (just meaning 'new blood') which is, I suspect, much misreported/spun by the anarchistic Liberal-Democracies?

    Still maybe those evil socialists do terrorise their people just for the fun of it....;-) (Caveat written in the BBC spirit of election non bias).

  • Comment number 82.

    80 brightyangthing 'I could sound like a cross between Statist and Michael Caine here, but ‘not a lot of people seem to know that!’'

    No, you sound like a grown up. Just encourage others to do the same OK? ;-)

  • Comment number 83.

    Statist #73 (in response to 69)

    “.....reluctant to ............ be told what to do (think). “

    Interesting comment in its generality but my observations lead me to assess that many posters on here may appear to you to be averse to being told what to do or think, quite simply because the person telling them is doing so without stating their credentials or sources. And it comes thinly veiled in distaste and wrapped in subterfuge.

    Which is a shame because there is much worthy of consideration in some of your posts but you appear hell bent on painting yourself into a corner full of self indulgence, the narcissism you so despise in others. Why not try to truly engage and help others by suggesting what MAY be done to effect change rather than continually pointing out that which will not do so.

    Just something you might like to think about.

  • Comment number 84.

    #76
    "It's probabilistically inevitable that brighter males tend to pair up with less bright females. But then, criticising someone (especially someone one allegedly loves) for being less cognitively able than oneself is about as daft as criticising them for being shorter!"

    Right on. If you will excuse personification of your probability based comment, I deliberately chose a partner with a more naive outlook on life to brighten my days. I often felt that I had been too Left brain hemisphere in life and career, but now enjoy a more social and intuitive outlook. As a youth I sought the Victorian ideal, a quietly spoken wife who could play the piano and sing - when asked. Probability ruled that option out and my choice may have been an unconscious attraction to a person not unlike my mother in appearance and cognitive ability.

    However,there also a theory that opposites attract, as in magnets!

  • Comment number 85.

    83. brightyangthing 'Interesting comment in its generality but my observations lead me to assess that many posters on here may appear to you to be averse to being told what to do or think, quite simply because the person telling them is doing so without stating their credentials or sources. And it comes thinly veiled in distaste and wrapped in subterfuge.'

    Are you sure you've taken on board what I've repeatedly posted about the nature/logic of the ad hominem ('argument from authority' being just a seductive variant of this), celebritism, and endemic narcissism? If you pause and look into this, you will change your view.

    You are creating a fantasy person, because you need a celebrity, a personality. It's propositions/statements which matter.

    As to positive solutions, again, perhaps you need to look more carefully, as to some it's quite obvious, and they have said so. Tat it is not obvious to you is just a function of your having not looked properly. Have a look, you'll be surprised.

  • Comment number 86.

    84. indignantindegene 'However,there also a theory that opposites attract, as in magnets!'

    The evidence (assortive mating) seems to suggest that whilst this may be true of magnets, it doesn't apply that often to humans..... humans tend to stay together more if they have things in common. Histocompatibility is subtle though - there, a bit of variation helps fight off invaders. Same and different are exceeding complex notions (see Quine for a lifetime's work on this - Darwin too ;-).

    I have noted that in this blog, I appear to bring out some of the best and worst in (some) females. C'est la vie ;-)

  • Comment number 87.

    I think the labour vote will be splintered badly. The Tories they won over with New Labour will go back to the Tories, or UKIP now labour hasn’t got Blair. The traditional labour voter of the working class, many will vote for LD, BNP or UKIP. This will leave the labour with middle class socialists, and working class people that I too thick to realise, that labour now cares for middle class and nothing of the working class.

 

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