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Wednesday 7 April 2010

Verity Murphy | 19:10 UK time, Wednesday, 7 April 2010

SOME MORE DETAIL ON TONIGHT'S PROGRAMME:

The great wash up clean up is underway with the leaders of all three main parties using day two of the campaign to outline how they would reform a scandal-hit parliament.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said he would overhaul the system, introducing fixed term parliament and promising to hold a referendum on changing how MPs are elected and a replacement chamber for the House of Lords.

Conservative leader David Cameron said his party would go further in giving voters the right to kick out MPs who break the rules.

And Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg's proposals include a cap on political donations.

But for the electorate is such talk a case of too little too late?

How can the politicians build up public trust while at the same time tussling for votes, and will the proposals really take the heat out of public anger over the expenses scandal?

Tonight in the studio we bring together three senior politicians and three members of the public, who feel ignored by politicians and not served by the system, for a live debate.

We will also examine the apparent rift between Afghanistan's government and the West.

Today President Hamid Karzai's spokesman was forced to give assurances that Afghanistan is committed to the fight against the Taliban, denying published reports that the Afghan leader threatened to join the Taliban
unless the US and its allies ease up on pressure to reform.

Mark Urban takes a look at the rising tensions and we will be talking to the US state department.

And, move over Alan Partridge - we have the first film from our very own Motorway Man, Stephen Smith, as he moves into the Donington Park services on the M1 - a surprising election battleground.


ENTRY FROM 11.29

Seconds away, round two.

Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg are preparing for their final face-to-face House of Commons clash ahead of the 6 May general election - and we will be watching.

We are also keeping an eye on the "wash-up" - the period of horse-trading over which outstanding legislation will become law before the election.

As campaigning focuses on plans for political reform we look at voter disengagement. Is change to the voting system what is needed to reinvigorate the electorate?

And, move over Alan Partridge - we have the first film from our very own Motorway Man, Stephen Smith, as he moves into the Donington Park services on the M1. All will become clear later...

Plus, as the head of Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission (IEC) and his deputy resign, we will examine the apparent rift between Afghanistan's leaders and the West.

More details later.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Yes!

    People who know a lot about proportional representation are usually the kinds of people who can kill pot plants with speeches.

    Yet at the same time this could be the single biggest route to re-engaging the public with the politicians. More importantly because there would no longer be any electoral skews that meant as today that some 44,000 votes gets a Tory seat and 35,000 a Labour one and for the Lib Dems the situation is probably worse again.

    So all of the votes count and all of the issues can surface via the ballot box - there are less opportunities to set the agenda.

    As for all of the rubbish about coalitions and strong government consider that nearly all of the world has some variation of PR and that "strong leadership" gave us Thatcher and the Poll Tax, Blair and his deployed arguments about Iraq and the credit crunch.

    Competition is encouraged in markets to prevent cartels and monopolies.

    The Politicians should, as with expenses, accept that greater competition can be a good thing and that people should consider both financial market uncertainties but also the will of the people should there be periodic coalition government.

  • Comment number 2.

    It was a day of ironies.

    As Brown stood before No. 10 and claimed he was one of a team and not a team of one with his colleagues I thought if some wicked member of the press yells "Rozzers!" how many would duck?

    Meanwhile the villainous Nick Griffin of the BNP who has yet to comply fully with the EHRC legal requirements on membership must love the police. He has identified a a cadre of BNP members who would get rid of him far more literally than Charles Clarke would (will he start running on to race courses soon?) and went to the police who arrested a senior BNP man.

    So he must love the police and they have and will treat the man with total professional respect.

    I suppose he may not only be running for Parliament but may periodically zig zag due to security concerns.

    This is the reality of the National Socialist political methodology that Hitler used and as the Independent says "In 2002, Mr Collett declared his admiration for Adolf Hitler".

    What did Griffin expect - roses?

  • Comment number 3.

    In Afghanistan Karzai has made noises about maybe he should join the Taliban. He would almost be as missed as we would miss Nick Griffin should he leave the country.

    I have wondered in the past whether any attempts on Karzai's life had been made and so far as I know the answer is no.

    Drugs money funds the Taliban and his brother is, I have read, alleged to be "associated" with the drugs arena - always a healthy thing for a Presidents brother ...

    So all in all how does the Afghan Parliament react to this when they are not beholden and his words are probably verging on treason - Karzai is not the dictator?

    Could he be worried about what the Talib leaders captured in Pakistan may be telling?

    Does he suspect that there may be a move on the drugs trade as it is swelling and causing such horror in Russia as Newsnight reported the other day?

  • Comment number 4.

    In the HuffPost 'Murdoch: MSNBC, CNN 'Tend To Be Democrats,' New York Times Carries Obama's Water' Sam Stein :

    'Speaking at a forum for the public affairs TV series, The Kalb Report, the News Corp. CEO valiantly declared that his rival networks -- MSNBC and CNN -- "tend to be Democrats" while those at his own Fox News "are not Republicans."

    Reminded that Fox currently houses the 2008 Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, Murdoch replied that he wasn't sure how often his chief at the network, Roger Ailes, used her for news. "I know whenever he does the ratings leap... I'm not adverse to high ratings."'

    So no concerns about the impact of a Tea Party/Palin/GOP/Fox conglomerate that could be said to have created that atmosphere after the health care bill that led to outbreaks of violence and so on.

    The consistency that sees anybody to the left of Glen Beck as a communist - or fascist - does not smack of McCarthy and does not incite an atmosphere where even some educated people regard Obama as the anti-christ!

    Meanwhile our own Tory leader Cameron is backed by Sky and with his profound love of the NHS must therefore be "a communist" in Palin-esque terms.

    The only way to rationalise this is to consider editorial independence - as experienced by Andrew Neill over the Pergau Dam - or as Murdoch says "I'm not adverse to high ratings".

    No worries about democracy or the health of the media that should act as watch dog to democracy then. As his son said "profit" is the motive force.

  • Comment number 5.

    As voters consider voting for Labour they have to consider what Labour is on the Brownite-Blairite scale so they know what to expect should they scrape back in.

    Given St Blair is now not a force and Byers, Hoon and Hewitt are now gone and Mandelson seems to have gone down the middle way is it fair to say that the Blairites don't exist anymore.

  • Comment number 6.

    #73prior Statist

    “You (barrie) 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. ;-)”

    Isn’t this a case of the pot calling the kettle black (or BME if sensitive)?

    I respect your knowledge and research-based facts, and concur with much of your advice, but expecting change only by informing the masses to THINK is as unlikely to achieve change as barrie’s SPG advice. At least he suggests ACTION as a (long-term) solution.

    The worst of all possible election outcomes would not be another 5 years of Brown, but another 5 years of Mandelson - appropriately dubbed by barrie ‘The Pink Peashooter’. That self-seeking, twice-removed MP is, as usual, manoeuvring to take the NuLabour reins whatever strength they have in the next parliament.

    My suggested action is not to study the manifestos of the main parties; they will all make the same empty promises, and have been equally ineffective whether in power or opposition. Instead, help to achieve real change by tactical voting.

    Vote for any independents or minor parties that support:
    (i) reduced control from Europe;
    (ii) Proportional Representation; and
    (iii) a halt to immigration.

    Don’t cop-out that this would be a wasted vote, or that extremists will form the next government; however, the election results will give voice to our overwhelmed English minority, and show the underlying strength of the vote for real change.

    In marginal seats, check local media for any poling forecasts or analysis of strengths to avoid splitting a vote that may let NuLabour or Blulabour back in.

    ‘If In Doubt Keep Them Out’ by voting Lib-Dem, which is the least evil, being against the war and in favour of Proportional Representation, but UKIP should otherwise be first choice for meeting the above criteria.

  • Comment number 7.

    "Stephen Smith, as he moves into the Donington Park services on the M1" - is this where the "cabs for hire" go to fill up and count their brown envelopes?

  • Comment number 8.

    Election Question 2010: To what extent is the contemporary clamour for 'democracy' across the 'free-world' now just a naive (infantile/adolescent) clamour for self-destructive anarchism which has been shrewdly peddled by those who do very well from increasing consumerism and market volatility?

    In other words: be careful what you vote for.

  • Comment number 9.

    6. indignantindegene 'Isn’t this a case of the pot calling the kettle black (or BME if sensitive)?'

    No. Barriesinglton suggest more INDEPENDENTS, but that shows no grasp of how politics works in practice, as Independents would just group into unelected parties. Governance is almost all about legislation. The fear of a hung parliament is only because if no party can get legislation through, you end up with paralysis, i.e even more anarchism (great for the markets in fact). Legislation (or Statutory Instruments) is where the action is. In fact, it's almost exclusively where the action is. This does not mean that I don't respect barriesingleton's posts, but I think he is politically naive from a human behaviour perspective.

    I have said this before to him, but he does not respond (he just doesn't post his slogans as much). I have said that what we really need is a One-Party Democratic-Centralist state like the PRC, which to all intents and purposes is what was envisaged bu Old Labour after WWII and long before. The PRC got the idea from Britain as did the Stalinist USSR! We have something not too far from it anyway. See local elections and councils, we just have silly parties in the way! The PRC system seems to work. We should study it more closely in the context of Old Labour, ditching all the New Labour Trots (essentially free-market anarchists in 'drag').

    'but expecting change only by informing the masses to THINK is as unlikely to achieve change as barrie’s SPG advice. At least he suggests ACTION as a (long-term) solution.'

    Not much more one can do in a NN blog surely? But yes, in principle you are right. I do not hold out much hope ;-(

    'The worst of all possible election outcomes would not be another 5 years of Brown, but another 5 years of Mandelson - appropriately dubbed by barrie ‘The Pink Peashooter’. That self-seeking, twice-removed MP is, as usual, manoeuvring to take the NuLabour reins whatever strength they have in the next parliament.'

    Cameron's lot would be just as bad, as they're essentially the same - i.e. anarchists, deregulators - Social Democrats. That's a post WWII European thing foisted upon us (and the Japanese, and Koreans) by the USA Trots - just think of the money on weapons and think this came cheap! Russia must know this, as must the PRC. We in the 'UK' are stuck in the middle of an old Cold War still, but we invited this curse in the late C19th alas. We gave East European anti Tsarist anarchists (I reckon it's a brain thing) political asylum, many moved on (via Liverpool) to NYC and then St Petersberg. They are emotionally unstable people, never happy unless wailing and arguing - it's an infantile/adolescent disorder, and politics is for grown-ups.

  • Comment number 10.

    Looks as though the labour party stand an excellent chance.

    http://www.mpacuk.org/story/070410/press-release-muslim-vote-will-play-decisive-role.html

  • Comment number 11.

    ...No more Burger King on Afghanistan base? Soldiers grumble.

    “This is a warzone, not an amusement park,” wrote Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Hall

    Small shops, which will not be closed, sell Afghan memorabilia such as “war carpets” woven with fighter-jet and Kalashnikov patterns. “Business is good. The Boardwalk’s a very nice place,” says Wali Jan, a salesman at the Afghan Toys and Gift Shop....

    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/2010/0407/No-more-Burger-King-on-Afghanistan-base-Soldiers-grumble.

    afghanistan. heart of darkness, the mind of madness.

  • Comment number 12.

    donington? if the sartorial smithy is bored the seat of ancient mercian kings is just down the road at Repton [where they filmed Goodbye Mr Chips]. there are some saxon stones at breedon hill. Swarkstone bridge was where the scottish army got to before they turned back.

    keep an eye on the airport. sometimes the battle of britain flight lands there.

  • Comment number 13.

    'The National Treatment Agency (NTA), which runs the treatment programme for drug users in England and Wales, was asked whether their work cut crime.
    //
    When pressed, the NTA acknowledged that "over one-quarter of problem drug users showed a sharp increase in the volume of offending after entering treatment through the Drugs Intervention Programme".

    Interestingly, for this group of largely heroin addicts, the Commons committee latched on to the idea of giving them free heroin. Here is the exchange between committee member Ian Davidson MP and Sir David:

    Mr Davidson: "Have you considered giving them free drugs as a means of cutting crime in order to make everybody else's lives better?"

    Sir David Normington: "There are those who think that should happen. That, of course, is absolutely not the Government's policy. I think it is a sort of counsel of despair because it does not take you anywhere. It means that you leave these people on drugs forever."

    Mr Davidson: "It is not a counsel of despair for the people who are living beside them, whose houses are getting broken into, with respect."


    From Mark Easton's blog Wednesday 7 April 2010

    When are people going to listen?

    Rehabilitation, education, and therapy doesn't work the way that many have been led to believe. Readers here have been told why this is....but for how many has it truly sunk in?

  • Comment number 14.


    Electoral Reform - I shall watch with a great deal of interest.


    I can't believe that anyone is considering voting for any of the political parties involved in the expenses scandal, however, not only do there seem to be people who are willing to do exactly that but they are even prepared to vote for the very MPs (including party leaders) who have helped themselves to tax payers' money.

    What can you say about voters who not only turn a blind eye to political corruption but actually legitimise it by knowingly voting for corrupt MPs?

    Surely this is proof positive that we really just get the corrupt politics and corrupt politicians that we truly deserve.

    May I ask Newsnight that if they come across any members of the public who is going to vote for a Candidate - that claimed expenses from the Taxpayer that they shouldn't have - if they are remotely concerned about willfully voting for someone who they know is corrupt?

    Surely this isn't an unreasonable question to ask.


    Anyway, before we can claim to be living in anything like an actual democracy then we really need a constitutional convention to bring about a fundamental root-and-branch reform of our parliamentary system:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitutional_convention_%28political_meeting%29


    On the agenda should be:


    1. Abolishing the House of Lords to be replaced with a fully elected chamber. We are the only western democracy that does not have a fully elected chamber and it shows. Hereditary peers - people who are in positions of power through an accident of birth - are an obscenity to the very notion of democracy.

    If you are a supporter of hereditary peers and against the right of the people to choose their elected representatives then you are nothing more than an enemy of democracy and should be ignored by absolutely everybody for this reason.

    The House of Lords must be abolished and replaced with an entirely elected chamber as a matter of priority for fixing our broken parliamentary system and this is simply non-negotiable.


    2. Implement a full separation of powers so that the cabinet cannot consist of members from both houses. This would break the power of the whips and force the House of Commons to properly debate issues and hold the executive to account.


    3. Pass a bill of rights so that we, the people (remember us?), actually have a written constitution that fully codifies and legally defines the relationship between citizen and state. This would guarantee and protect basic individual freedoms (like the right to free speech) from the excesses of the state.

    One of the greatest lies ever told has been the strength of having an "unwritten" constitution. As an American commentator pointed out on Radio 4 - that simply means that we have nothing and that's exactly what an "unwritten constitution" means - nothing.


    4. Reduce the ridiculous number of MPs that we currently have and introduce primaries that allow constituents to choose who they want to represent them for elections. There would then be no need for any party leaders to indulge in “positive” discrimination as the candidates will be entirely the responsibility of the local constituents.

    This works perfectly well in the US and if party members want a candidate from an ethnic minority or a woman or is gay then they can vote for them. Very simple to implement and no quota or short lists required.


    5. Last but not in any way least - First Past the Post versus Proportional Representation. Personally I prefer FPTP as this works perfectly well in the US but the whole area, including Pros and Cons for each system, should be properly examined and then voted on.


    If any of the political parties want our vote then they know what they have to do. Anyone who is interested in bringing any of this about should get behind the Power Pledge:

    http://www.power2010.org.uk/

  • Comment number 15.

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

  • Comment number 16.

    Gold has broken out again today, which means something has gone wrong. Whats the low down on the dangly bits ?

  • Comment number 17.

    According to The Daily Mail, Andy Burnham has stated that if Labour gets re-elected, it will close A&E and Maternity Wards, as well as sack 1/3 of hospital doctors and 1/4 of nurses.....

    Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/election/article-1264269/General-election-2010-Burnham-admits-Labour-close-A-E-maternity-wards.html

  • Comment number 18.

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

  • Comment number 19.

    #12 JC

    And not to forget the racing circuit and museum just underneath the flightpath of EMA, freqently rather slippery due to fuel haze from taking off and landing craft of all sorts. Not that I'm a closet petrol head or anything.

    But what this has to do with politics............ I'll claim the fifth!

    So this is.....

    Voter disengagement. I am agog and aghast at media suggestions today that the malaise began with the recent expenses fiasco. It goes back way before then and will take more than a bit of payback and empty promises to cure.

    Unfortunately I see the malaise at least as much the result of a lack of understanding by the GBP of what we do vote for, and a refusal to then allow the elected representatives to do what we elected them for. ie Govern.

    There is a fine balance between the public's 'right' (aargh, I hate using that word) to question wrong doing and an acceptance that most people are trying their best in a system that is far from perfect.

    Perhaps, to my view, ONE reform that could make a difference is to do away with the playground tactics in the house of booing, hissing and shouting across each other and trying to score pathetic points. I wonder how much more valuable work could be achieved if that were to be considered.

    Same with electioneering. Maybe a version of a swear box. Massive fines every time a party/candidate does down the opposition instead of standing up for themselves and their party.


  • Comment number 20.

    DEAD MAN TALKING

    Just heard a clip on PM, of Blair-past, tirading that no one should gain a position of power by birth. He said nothing about ascending to global heights by vacuous oratory and sucking up to the Americans, while sacrificing one's own country.

  • Comment number 21.

    14. Chaos Magick Look back through history to the changing size of the population of Britain, and the proportion of MPs and Peers to people. Then think of devolution and the RDAs.

  • Comment number 22.

    My post yesterday ....


    I entered the comment as thought it might be somewhat more interesting than what the politicians had to say ....

    I was right!

    And it’s so, so, so much more enjoyable as it is, for me, a pretty uncommon occurrence!



    BBC N24 today ....

    A Jobbing Reporter, from somewhere in England ......

    (Doesn’t that really just bring a whiff of nostalgia for the wartime years? The camaraderie? The will to live? .... Oops! Sorry! There is a war on! (Yet we are somehow always in the phony stage!) )


    ....... is not allowed to tell us exactly where ‘Yes, you are really only voting for me and my wife, Top Con’ is peddling his wares.

    Maybe perhaps it is some Industrial unit perhaps run by a Nu Con supporter whom is perhaps putting in an early marker for his stroke her red leather upholstered bench tenure .... Perhaps. ..... D’yafink?.


    So much for transparency in politics!

    Or is it that Top Con doesn’t want any attendees other than Nu Con ‘Rent a Pretty Young Things crowd’? Or perhaps he doesn’t want to meet any real voters? Perhaps he doesn’t want the cameras to witness any dissent? Perhaps the workforce at this particular venue all want to keep their jobs?

    Or perhaps he just doesn’t want us, the voters, to know where he’s really going?





    Me ..... This AM ....

    In a hurry. Meeting. Hungry. Spot placard. Reputable fast ‘joint’ pushing tasty snack. Next to nothing! Queue up. Double order.

    (Why not? Mucho cheap! Real bargain!)

    Till time!

    “Two hundred and fifty percent on top, please?”

    Choke, splutter, traumatic fracture of lower jaw.

    Query.

    “It’s on the poster Sir, Full price, if no not-at-all-cheap beverage Sir.”

    Return fare fund shrinks.

    Stagger to placard.Read micro-print. Gasp. Error’d sic(k).

    Toddle on. Mmm! Drool. Tasty. Very. Eyes stomach ratio dodgy. Way over much!

    Julie Andrews time ..... ( AKA .... Feed the birds! )

    Starlings raise skyward their collective beaks then scatter!

    They don’t like it!


    Moral of this (true) story .....


    Read the small print, the offer isn’t always good for every one!












  • Comment number 23.

    I would like to see a swear box. Gordon Brown could be giving the taxpayer are lot of money though that

  • Comment number 24.

    You could have a have your say section like on the BBC News website

  • Comment number 25.

    17. Mistress76uk 'According to The Daily Mail, Andy Burnham has stated that if Labour gets re-elected, it will close A&E and Maternity Wards, as well as sack 1/3 of hospital doctors and 1/4 of nurses.....'

    I fear are another one who has a serious problem accurately grasping and reporting reality.

    From your link:

    'His comments come just a week after a survey revealed that a third of hospital trusts were planning to sack doctors and a quarter were planning to get rid of nurses to save money after the election.'

    Do you see the difference between what you posted and what is written in the article?

    Do you make a habit of this?

  • Comment number 26.

    #18 adjustment

    I meant to say: 'What's a better therapy than rape, etc...'

  • Comment number 27.

    19. brightyangthing 'Voter disengagement. I am agog and aghast at media suggestions today that the malaise began with the recent expenses fiasco. It goes back way before then and will take more than a bit of payback and empty promises to cure.'

    The MP's expenses trivia was just a distraction from The City/Wall Street kleptocracy/plutocracy which politicians can, in reality, do nothing about in Liberal-Democracies because they are to all intents and purposes essentially answerable to these people because of their control over the economy. The idea seems to have been that MPs could save their own skin and fool most of the electorate that if they could be seen to do something about their own tuck-shop pilfering, all would be well in the world.

    It isn't, but most people won't notice anymore as we are now so dominated by highly emotional, I'll-shriek-or-cry-if-you-challenge-me-like-your-mum females who really haven't got a clue just how ruthless these predatory psychopathic/narcissistic males have been (in fact many females are grotesquely turned on by them, maybe it's that low testosterone thing?) and how they've been used/fielded by them as 'useful idiots'.

  • Comment number 28.

    #80

    BYT

    '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.'

    Regarding particularly the last phrase of the last sentence:

    The first longer text I learned to read and was happy to assimilate at the age of 7 was based on this principle. Not because of any socialist/communist ideology but out of respect for people who were much less skilled than the professionals in my family.

    Personally I don't feel either superior or inferior to any individual whatever their position or financial situation which does not, of course, mean than I consider myself the same as any other individual dead or alive apart from the obvious fact of actually having been born and destined to die sooner or later.

    And so, although on one hand and in certain respects we could all be considered equal, it is also true that some people are more unique than others.

    mim

  • Comment number 29.

    20. barriesingleton 'Just heard a clip on PM, of Blair-past, tirading that no one should gain a position of power by birth. He said nothing about ascending to global heights by vacuous oratory and sucking up to the Americans, while sacrificing one's own country.'

    It rather accounts for why this country is in such a mess. He clearly has unquestioned (and unequestionable) dogmatic assumptions about what drives behaviour. Is he exclusively arts trained?

    The thing about people who 'learn' is that they do question their assumptions, they don't try to force the world to fit them, on the contrary, they let nature (evidence) shape their behaviours.

    What you appear to be describing in Mr Brown's behaviour is that of a misguided Lysenkoist, although if he was just referring to the Lords...

  • Comment number 30.

    20

    Barry

    don't mention the war.

  • Comment number 31.

    #80

    '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!’

    I've suspected this for a long time now but in view of what I've discovered and realised about Statist and his 'engineering', etc, in the last couple of years, I feel disappointed. But at least you've admitted to it and so perhaps redemption may yet be possible. As far as I am concerned, he is beyond all redemption, especially on moral grounds.

    mim

  • Comment number 32.

    @ Statist #25 - the article states "Labour would close A&E departments and maternity wards if it wins the election, health secretary Andy Burnham admitted today" and that "among the planned closures already known about are A&E wards at Whittington Hospital in north London, Queen Mary's in Sidcup, Chase Farm in Enfield; and both the maternity and A&E unit at Kingston Hospital in south-west London."

    The named closures are just the tip of the iceberg.....there will be further cuts to the NHS. The hospitals will have severe cuts in their budget, and they have already planned on cutting 1/3 doctors and 1/4 nurses to balance the books. Since both A&E and Maternity wards will be shut down, the doctors and nurses will also have to be culled.

  • Comment number 33.

    @ Mim #26 - I never knew rape was a therapy.....

  • Comment number 34.

    SEND FOR CRICK - WHERE'S TONY?

    I heard today that one of Brown's hopes is to recover votes lost to The War - aka Tony's War. So was the 'Gobal Tony' show, that rolled into abandoned Sedgefield 'for one night only'?

    If he never appears again, they will have more egg than they have faces to put it on. if he does appear again, they can say goodbye to those war-shy voters.

    In passing, Brown has beaten his Moral Compass into an entrenching tool, and is digging furiously, while 'Deceivedgate' mutates into the voters being the deceived ones. Keep digging Jimmie - I can still see you.

  • Comment number 35.

    #33

    Now you know, Mistress76uk, at least that's what one 'don juan' thinks.

    If you read today's posts you'll easily work out who I'm talking about.

    mim

  • Comment number 36.

    31. mimpromptu 'I've suspected this for a long time now but in view of what I've discovered and realised about Statist and his 'engineering', etc, in the last couple of years, I feel disappointed. But at least you've admitted to it and so perhaps redemption may yet be possible. As far as I am concerned, he is beyond all redemption, especially on moral grounds.'

    It would be in your best interests if you practised behaving in ways as advised, i.e. in ways which are different from the ways you currently behave above. Your current ways of behaving are not good for you. Try to learn from those who demonstrably know better.

  • Comment number 37.

    32. Mistress76uk 'the article states "Labour would close A&E departments and maternity wards if it wins the election, health secretary Andy Burnham admitted today"'

    A&E departments and maternity wards will always close - and for all sorts of reasons. Others may open for example.

    'and that "among the planned closures already known about are A&E wards at Whittington Hospital in north London, Queen Mary's in Sidcup, Chase Farm in Enfield; and both the maternity and A&E unit at Kingston Hospital in south-west London."'

    So? This is not what you posted is it? Re-read what you posted.

    'The named closures are just the tip of the iceberg.....'

    Evidence?

    'there will be further cuts to the NHS.'

    New Labour said they were ring-fencing the NHS did they not? Are you saying they have now said they have made a U turn? If so, where is the evidence please?

    'The hospitals will have severe cuts in their budget, and they have already planned on cutting 1/3 doctors and 1/4 nurses to balance the books. Since both A&E and Maternity wards will be shut down, the doctors and nurses will also have to be culled.'

    You are either now making material up, or are making references to sources which you have not cited. Which is it?

    Are you in the habit of just making stuff up and calling it true/reality?

  • Comment number 38.

    Mistress76uk / Statist # various

    I know full well that this is a subject involving quasi-religious indoctrinated emotions but there are good reasons for concentrating A&E and maternity on specific sites. To illustrate the A&E factor I will recall the case of a friends son who fell off a set of roller blades and broke his elbow a few years ago now. They rushed him off to the nearest A&E at the main local hospital where he was X-rayed etc and advised that ideally he needed surgery. The trouble was that the surgeon was on his day off playing golf, so they just set it the old fashioned way on a wing and a prayer. He recovered with slight mobility problems with is elbow, but perhaps he was just lucky, far better and probably faster overall recovery if it had been operated on and pinned.

    One of the local A&E departments in the slightly smaller of the two mill towns was closed to major admissions when they built a new hospital at the other town. Never had the misfortune to need it recently, but said new hospital has a heli-pad for the Air Ambulance if you need one. Its only ten minutes down the Motorway from the closed A&E, ( which still treats minor injuries anyway ) , but perhaps more importantly there would appear to be specialist staff available 24/7 at the new A&E. The same principle applies to maternity units, and whilst in an ideal world one could insist that all medical units had top staff on site at all times in reality we can't afford it. Perhaps some people would like to keep expert emergency surgeons sat around twiddling their thumbs most of the week, but after all practice makes perfect ?

  • Comment number 39.

    35. mimpromptu 'Now you know, Mistress76uk, at least that's what one 'don juan' thinks.

    If you read today's posts you'll easily work out who I'm talking about.'

    Imagine many disturbed people in Europe after WII sharing their views about people they did not like. Imagine such people describing what they thought was the case, but which may well not have ever been the case, or their not knowing how to tell the difference. Can you see why being able to do so is important? Can you see the trouble which may have been caused by large numbers of 'Displaced Persons' sharing their views? This happens all the time in real life, alas. Humans often confuse belief/thought with reality, quite sane ones too.

  • Comment number 40.

    @ Statist # 37 - you have clearly failed to read the article! Re-read it.
    Nu Labour have NOT ring-fenced the NHS at all - haven't you paid attention to anything in the press lately?
    The BBC's own News website
    source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8091427.stm
    has even spoken about NHS funding CUTS.
    Statist - do you work for the Labour Party?

  • Comment number 41.

    #10 eco

    Wakey wakey England

    This is just one of many from your link:

    http://www.mpacuk.org/vote/your-mp-islamophobe.html

    It is just further evidence that whilst we, the ever tolerant English, continue with our apathy, lethargy and complacency, settlers in this country organise themselves for a take-over. Those of us preparing to ‘not bother’ voting next month should wake up and realise that ‘no vote’ means ‘no hope’ of retaining control of our own future.

  • Comment number 42.

    #40

    The indications are, Mistress76uk, that this is the case, particularly with Gordie and Mandy, though at the same time he considers them as 'useful idiots'. He sometimes likes to see himself as the puppeteer of all the world politicians and Newsnight journalists, etc

    mim

  • Comment number 43.

    40. Mistress76uk 'you have clearly failed to read the article! Re-read it.'

    I did. You simply don't understand/report accurately what you read. Nor do you understand how and why some newspapers spin.

    'Nu Labour have NOT ring-fenced the NHS at all - haven't you paid attention to anything in the press lately? The BBC's own News website has even spoken about NHS funding CUTS.'

    Again, you don't appear to be able to read what is written and to report it accurately. For instance, you do not you appear to know the difference between a cut and a shortfall.

    'Statist - do you work for the Labour Party?'

    Are you reality-comprehension/reporting-challenged like mimpromptu?

    Perhaps what you should be looking out for is how the PFI funded hospitals and polyclinics will survive in the future at the expense of older buildings, because private sector vultures are after public funds (tax-payers money) just like Financial Services have been. Guess who's historically been behind this sort of predation? See Russia in the 90s for an example.

  • Comment number 44.

    42. mimpromptu 'The indications are, Mistress76uk, that this is the case, particularly with Gordie and Mandy, though at the same time he considers them as 'useful idiots'. He sometimes likes to see himself as the puppeteer of all the world politicians and Newsnight journalists, etc'

    Do you fully appreciate that here, like elsewhere, you are in fact merely providing us with instantiations of your own thoughts about what is written, and not with accurate reports of reality? The same must be said with respect to Mistress76uk's posts.

    Neither of you appear to be receptive to helpful correction either. What should this be taken as evidence of?

    Do you understand that there is an important, fundamental difference between your thoughts/beliefs and what what is actually factually the case?

  • Comment number 45.

    Surely if our society is supposedly democratic, then the way our voting system works allowing the party in power to move the boundaries which gives them a better chance of regaining power in the election, isn't this system then not democratic?
    Surely the system we have now, is not right? How can this be allowed? If you vote for a particular candidate, then your vote should go to that candidate, not because of boundary changes be lumped together with the votes given to another candidate?
    Everyone is talking now the election is looming nearer, that they will change the way in which we vote or votes are divided, but it never happens.
    I believe the present system is corrupt. If you vote for someone then that someone should get your vote, not someone else in either the labour or conservative party.
    If we want a proper election result then we should have a proper election and means of voting.
    I wonder if anyone has brought this matter to the European Court or some higher body that can look at the way we 'fix' our elections and see that it just isn't right.
    We are all too eager to comment on other countries elections and how they are fixed, and yet our election procedure is no better.

  • Comment number 46.

    All parties talk about wanting to connect with the people and get their message across.

    The public should be able to access each party's site and read clear commitments and have a clear view what each party's priorities are.

    Once in government the sites should be updated once a month to show exactly what has been done on all the promises made, and where problems occur in keeping the promises we should be told about them and what steps are being taken.

    This way a party is held accountable throughout the time it is in office for promises made and we can judge them on an ongoing basis instead of listening to excuses about why they didn't do this or that after years in office.

    Opposition parties should keep us infomed of any changes in their position on an ongoing basis instead of this mad scramble to cobble together policies which might win them votes at the last minute.

    We're sick of vote enticing tactics which bear little relationship to what is actually accomplished by a government.

    Tell us what you really plan to do then do it. Keep us informed after you get our votes not just before.

  • Comment number 47.

    Outstanding Jeremy tonight - especially his interview with the US Asst Sec of State, PJ Crowley on Hamid Karzai and his threat to join the Taliban. Also enjoyed the debate with Young et al too.

    Stephen's report was the funniest :o)

  • Comment number 48.

    45. spiceymackerel 'Surely if our society is supposedly democratic, then the way our voting system works allowing the party in power to move the boundaries which gives them a better chance of regaining power in the election, isn't this system then not democratic?'

    Do you appreciate that China is democratic, and so was the former USSR?

    What do you define democracy to be? How and why is your conception of democracy different from that of the average Chinese citizen?

  • Comment number 49.

    @ Statist #43 - A shortfall is, simply put, a shortage. The government has not got enough money in its coffers, and so will be cutting the amount of money the NHS actually needs.

    Why are you so entrenched in defending the current government?

  • Comment number 50.

    #41 I didn't read that link you put up Indi, but I have now. Truely frightening, I wonder if the government moniter all these websites. I don't think the GBP has a clue what's going on in the Islamic world, it seems like a different place than England to me.

    Yes I can see their argument about going into Iraq and Afganistan, and I can understand their objections.

    But they certainly are a Trojan horse, fighting our way of life from within, but perhaps people don't know that fable anymore.

  • Comment number 51.

    Do you think any of these staff will be sacked in view of the cutbacks?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1264033/From-Algeria-Zimbabwe-atlas-nations-ONE-hospital.html

    Just where have all those expensively trained nurses and doctors gone to that were trained here?

    Just how does this hospital function with so many different nationalities and training backgrounds, you're not telling me they are all equal in ability surely.

  • Comment number 52.

    #42 update

    Mistress76uk

    Now that Statist is 'smelling' David Cameron coming into power, I'm quite sure he'll be sucking up to the Tories. Headless chicken springs to mind. One of the brain surgeons used to tell me that when I would take the side of a patient rather than be a docile, 'adoring' sec.

    #47

    You keep singing Jeremy's praises. Could you expand as to what you liked about tonight's discussions and Jeremy's role in them? Men like to have their egos pampered by adoring females but some of them are actually able to take our opinions into account and appreciate the occasional constructive criticism, etc.

    mim

  • Comment number 53.

  • Comment number 54.

    Brightyangthing

    I have a feeling there's a misunderstanding between us due to the evolution I've made with regard to emotions coupled with love making, etc. As you rightly said yourself, some things can only be discussed and tackled in private. Although I do feel under a lot of pressure which you probably understand, luckily I'm over the desperate stage, for the time being at least, and am constantly trying to find new ways of dealing with some of the very unsatisfactory circumstances I've found myself in.

    mim

  • Comment number 55.

    HOLDING PARTIES TO ACCOUNT (#46)

    Political parties have no actual 'being' hence they feel no shame nor obligation to perform ethically. Party MPs (who, it is to be hoped, might have some humanity) are able to take up an 'only obeying orders' position vis-a-vis the party, losing their need for scruples thereby.

    On the face of it, your idea of web-sites that monitor pledges - progress - and outcomes, is sound. But just watch the soulless parties, and their zombified MPs, go right out and hire a bunch of unscrupulous specialist manipulators, who can make a website dance any jig to any tune. We would gain nothing.

    In my view, only a radical re-think, from voter enfranchisement, through candidate selection, to government configuration, will bring anything approaching democratic integrity. The first step at this election is:

    SPOIL PARTY GAMES

  • Comment number 56.

    '1.firms need to manage conflicts of interest properly. The investment banking model contains inherent conflicts of interests and we have made it clear that the industry should recognise the need to address the concerns of the regulators and the public. Of course, having a conflict is not the same as abusing it but the onus is on firms to demonstrate that they are actively identifying their conflicts and that they are being managed. We also have an eye to proprietary trading. If investment banks continue to make money from buying and selling securities for their own account rather than from traditional investment banking activities, there is a higher potential for conflicts of interest to arise.'

    Ref :- http://vmehta.conforums3.com/index.cgi?board=lifestyle&action=display&num=1249222561&start=795#1270706182

    No kidding everyone -

    George Soros on Credit Default Swaps:-

    “It’s like buying life insurance on someone else’s life and owning a licence to kill him,” he said of the swaps, which pay the buyer face value if a borrower defaults, in exchange for the underlying securities or the cash equivalent. " - incentivised destruction.

    Ref: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/5514341/George-Soros-urges-governments-to-outlaw-toxic-credit-default-swaps.html

    Goldman Sachs hand in the Sovereign debt crisis :

    'We now know, for example, Goldman Sachs helped Greece hide its public debt and then placed financial bets that Greece would default, using credit-default swaps to avoid risking its own capital. It's the same tactic Goldman used for (and against) American International Group (AIG): Hide the ball, and then bet against the ball and fob off the risk to investors and taxpayers, using derivatives to remove the risky tactics from the balance sheets. Even today no one knows the fair value of the complex derivatives underlying these and related maneuvers, which is exactly the point.'

    Ref: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-reich/fraud-on-the-street_b_519450.html


    "Of course, having a conflict is not the same as abusing it"

    That's a bomb shell of a line - morally and as a society were really in trouble now - this looks like a green light from the regulators to incentivised destruction.

    To the FSA have I got it wrong ? please we need absolute clarity of understanding here.

  • Comment number 57.

    #19

    Brightyanthing

    'Same with electioneering. Maybe a version of a swear box. Massive fines every time a party/candidate does down the opposition instead of standing up for themselves and their party.'

    It's the voting cards in the ballot box itself by which politicians are fined for running negative campaigns, etc

    mim

  • Comment number 58.

    #54
    Good Morning Mim

    Hope you are well.

    Do not worry about misunderstandings, especially those over the ether, where vocal nuances and facial expressions that can convey meaning are missing. Sometimes I read a response (or make one) where in hindsight it is clear that there has been a chasm somewhere between what the writer intended and what the read took as the meaning.

    If critical, clarification can be given, otherwise best left rather prodded and picked over. I think you may mean your #31 responding to my #80 yesterday. I think you misunderstood my meaning and references but no problems. Or if you disagree with what I did mean. Mo problems.

    Life is just far too short.

    btw, as I am out most of today, you kindly asked recently after my friends son with spinal injury. Thank you. There is some positive news in that some 'signals' that control movement are finding their way past the injured vertebrae showing some movement in one arm/hand and two or three toes. Still too early to say in the lad will walk again but one day at a time we hope and we pray. They are a wonderfully strong and supportive family and will come through no matter what I have no doubt

    I am spending a lot of time currently with a friend who is trying to re-adjust a move back to Scotland after 17 years as an ex pat, having lost her husband and one of her sons in the past 4 years. And tomorrow a small get together on the anniversary of the other tragic event I mentioned previously. This may be hard for my 18 year old who is very close to the family.

    Hope other posters don't mind too much this single rather more direct/personal post early in the day. Essentially, what is happening in the lives of those close to me is far more important than any blog, tv programme, presenter, even election if I dare suggest it.

    Have a good day - all bloggers - be kind to each other. You never know what may happen in the next half hour let alone day, week, month........

  • Comment number 59.

    #58

    Thank you BYT.

    I'm glad to hear there's some positive news about the lad with the spinal injury.

    Perhaps you're right, let's leave misunderstandings rest for the time being but I'd like to make a couple of points:

    1. Any support given to Satist makes my blood boil. It cannot be helped. Although, obviously, it's none of my business how he gets on with people like Ecolizzy, etc, as long as it's nothing to do with me.

    2. I think I may have been not only misunderstood but also understimated by many /on and off the ice/.

    'what is happening in the lives of those close to me is far more important than any blog, tv programme, presenter, even election if I dare suggest it'. - agreed.

    'You never know what may happen in the next half hour let alone day, week, month........' - exactly. I posted something to the effect the other day.

    Considering you're attending a funeral tomorrow, I can't really wish you a good time but hope you remain well.

    mim



  • Comment number 60.

    The great wash up clean up is underway with the leaders of all three main parties

    On the plus side, I must say it was refreshing to to see the terms 'clean up' being used for honourable members with a 'wash up' topping.

  • Comment number 61.

  • Comment number 62.

    SEMI DETATCHED? (#61)

    A thought-provoking post Liz.

    The council concerned is Conservative, and they will retain part ownership of the land. Well - that is surely 'part control of the whole'? Not a million miles away from council housing, if you take out who carries the profit/loss and who does the repairs. And this is a Conservative council - a CONSERVATIVE council - reminding us that Flogger Maggie once SOLD all the council houses to lumber the workers with debt they could not neglect while striking.

    If you can't beat 'em - trap 'em.

    What if I put my house on wheels? I suppose I would get done for road tax or failing to SORN. (:o)

  • Comment number 63.

    49. Mistress76uk '@ Statist #43 - A shortfall is, simply put, a shortage. The government has not got enough money in its coffers, and so will be cutting the amount of money the NHS actually needs.'

    No, you should not translate via terms like 'simply put', as there is no licence to invent/fabricate here. Departments almost always ask for more money, and whilst there are changing demographics, there is below replacement level fertility rate which means a low birth rate (1.8). A shortfall means that they ask for more money based on their projections, but the NHS managers are not going to get that extra money. That's the shortfall in the context you cited. It is not a cut, which would mean a reduction in funding year on year.

    'Why are you so entrenched in defending the current government?'

    I am not. Unlike you (and, sadly, many others) I know how to distinguish between the state on the one hand and the Government on the other. The state comprises Public Sector workers (mainly Civil Servants) who actually run the country by managing and providing services. The Government only comprises temporary MPs, most of whom are in practice anarchists in that the Conservatives, New Labour and Lib-Dems all have policies which erode the state (and Balkanize Britain into RDAs) in the interest of free-markets and privatisation and profit - i.e consumerism at the expense of the consumer.

    These are not simple points to grasp. I suggest you give some time to considering this. For anarchism, see The Austrian School of Economics or The Chicago School. For some of the consequences, see the Credit Crunch! For the scope of the problem, watch FRONTLINE's 'The Warning'. For the driving factors, see this, at least, the video.

    Question: If one can't write as adults about what matters in this blog, where can one do it please?

  • Comment number 64.

    50. ecolizzy 'But they certainly are a Trojan horse, fighting our way of life from within, but perhaps people don't know that fable anymore.'

    Trojan Horses are odd things. So long as many people in the UK are critical of Muslims and their ways, the Trojan Horse is doing its job I suggest....

  • Comment number 65.

    #53 ecolizzy
    "Figures suggested an extraordinary 98.5 per cent of 1.67million new posts were taken by immigrants."

    New Labour's election manifestos made little or no mention of immigration policy. But their record:

    Illegals: Migrationwatch says the true total could be as high as 870,000.

    Failed claimants: 285,000 still living in Britain – only 10,815 removals in 2009; 2,985 benefited from the £3,000 Assisted Voluntary Return scheme. = £9m of your taxes.
    A new backlog of 40,000 cases in the asylum system.

    Overseas student visas: 1998:69,607; 2008/9:236,470. More than 10% sponsored by a bogus college last year. At least 1.5million student visas issued in past 8 years.

    Britain's jails: 11,546 (15%) foreign nationals from 160 different countries, including murderers, rapists, burglars, paedophiles, drug dealers and thieves.

    New British citizens: 1.5million - all with full voting rights. So that should help meet Brown’s ‘British Jobs for British Workers’ and get plenty of grateful Labour voters.

    It also shows the need to get some radical change in the next parliament

  • Comment number 66.

    55. barriesingleton 'On the face of it, your idea of web-sites that monitor pledges - progress - and outcomes, is sound. But just watch the soulless parties, and their zombified MPs, go right out and hire a bunch of unscrupulous specialist manipulators, who can make a website dance any jig to any tune. We would gain nothing.'

    That there was serious discussion about online petition 'signitures' driving debates was either the height of political populist cynicism (debates do nothing unless part the complex technical process of processing a Bill) or just more evenidence of our being on the road to idiocracy, for the very reasons which you give above.

  • Comment number 67.

    Question to bloggers/readers: Ask yourself, honestly - is it you which you wish to be read/heard, or is it 'your' propositions?

    A test of the scope of our endemic narcissism and metaphysical solipsism. Whether or not there are still grounds for hope will be manifest....

  • Comment number 68.

    58. brightyangthing Mark my words - there are times when we all misunderstand/misinterpret, that's in the natur eof our folk psychology, it's a modus vivendi only. In fact, all the psychological (intensional) verbs are problematic in this respect.

    However, if/when one puts more faith in these psychological verbs than one does in those which do work with physical reality, one has a psychological problem, and that can become a very serious problem, and especially for others. See Axis II, Cluster B and relationships.

    I also suggest that the sexes have different risks here, essentially because of innate sex differences in language ability/fluency.

  • Comment number 69.

    65. indignantindegene What you are pointing to is just one strand of the anarchism which the UK has been subject to for decades. Just remember what I said above, there is an important distinction to be made between the Government of the day, and the people who have to run the country (Civil Servants/Public Sector/the state). For decades we have alternated parties which have been anti-statist. Some people can not understand how that could be, because they can not distinguish between a Governing political party on the one hand, and the state (Public Sector) on the other. Civil Servants are just Vogens, i.e. they have to do as they are told. They would, if instructed (metaphorically speaking) cut off their own noses. The Civil Service is very much like the Military Service in terms of its hierarchy and codes. They are just 'troops'. :-(

    This should scare some people....but it won't, they'll pull down the shutters.

  • Comment number 70.

    69. Vogons at work.

  • Comment number 71.

    The new 'hi-tech' economy...

    Remember Mandelson on Newsnight not long ago explaining our 'industry' figures? He wasn't talking about 'metal-bashing' he disdainfully said... but...(pointing to his head).....

    Groan.... The metal-bashing no doubt is being done by that backwards country with a mean IQ of 105 to our shrinking 100, a counry with powerful state (democratic-centralist) control and a population of 1,100,000,000 to our 60,000,000. With an SD of 15 points, do the simply arithmetic (if you are able or it isn't too demeaning) :-(

  • Comment number 72.

    #65 indignantindegene

    ...and to emphasise your point...

    1. System of vetting foreign medics 'needs improving'
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8608010.stm

    2. NHS Trust forced to hold English lessons for foreign nurses
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1263684/NHS-Trust-forced-hold-English-lessons-foreign-nurses.html

    "Overseas workers at Oxford Radcliffe Hospital are being encouraged to attend 10-week English language courses run at the nearby Oxford and Cherwell Valley College. More than 70 different nationalities are employed at the trust, largely from the Philippines, Poland, Burma and the Caribbean."

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

    Isn’t it ironic that these two stories have not been linked in the media/press...even some of the cleverest in our society just don’t get what's been going on.

    The only plausible explanations for these scandals have been proposed by one poster on here and Kevin B. MacDonald http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_B._MacDonald

  • Comment number 73.

    67. metaphysical solipsism:

    'I pressed the trigger,
    Well I'm blessed,
    he's hit my bullet,
    With his chest'

    Peter Geach (in a cutting response to Jerry Fodor circa 1980).

  • Comment number 74.

    #62 And this is a Conservative council - a CONSERVATIVE council - reminding us that Flogger Maggie once SOLD all the council houses to lumber the workers with debt they could not neglect while striking.

    Very true Barrie, I feel so sorry for young people nowadays they must be defeated by our system. There will always be the lower paid in our society, but yet we can't provide them with a cheap home to rent, so that they can establish a family life, and some security of tenure. No wonder so many give up and just take the benefits and have the babies, because they have no hope of a normal working life.

  • Comment number 75.

    #67 Question to bloggers/readers: Ask yourself, honestly - is it you which you wish to be read/heard, or is it 'your' propositions?

    Both, so what does that make me Statist? : )

  • Comment number 76.

    #65 It also shows the need to get some radical change in the next parliament

    I shall work on this Indi, but unfortunately I live in a safe seat area, so not much hope of my vote changing anything! : (

    Remember that site 82 seates will be decided by muslims ; )

  • Comment number 77.

    Blunder by doctor Daniel Ubani sparks out-of-hours review
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/health/article6220681.ece

  • Comment number 78.

    72. DebtJuggler 'The only plausible explanations for these scandals have been proposed by one poster on here and Kevin B. MacDonald'

    The group is wider than that. See Lynn, Rushton, Jensen.

    The immediate cause, however, is the low birth rate and especially differential fertility hitting the higher end of the ability distribution. This was something which Herrnstein drew attention to in the 80s and again with Murray in 1994. You are right to highlight what you do though, as there is indeed one elite group which vociferously shrieks when this is ever pointed out. The reason? It's because this trend is in their longer-term interests, so stopping people (via emotional aversive conditioning) from talking/thinking about what's going on is very much a group strategy, be this intentional or not (see Robert Trivers). In a term - it's 'human group politics'. :-(

  • Comment number 79.

    #64 So long as many people in the UK are critical of Muslims and their ways, the Trojan Horse is doing its job I suggest....

    Do you mean critical of the muslims here or in other countries Statist? I suggest to muslims here that they should assimilate into our english society. That doesn't mean giving up their beliefs or their way of life entirely, just find a way of living in tune with our way of life and culture.

    That doesn't mean the women have to strip off, and they all turn to drink and going down the disco. Just try to realise that a christian is more like them than they think, unlike the rest of us non believers. And I would add that I think a great many muslims do enjoy living here, and are part of our society.

    What they do in their own predominately muslim countries is entirely up to them, nothing to do with us, that's why we should never have gone into Iraq and Afganistan, just to please the "americans".

  • Comment number 80.

    given the level of incompetence in both administration and law making MPs need to be skilled in the job they are being paid for?

    only when they can demonstrate a high standard of skill in thta job should they even be considered to do other jobs?

    there is still no nation building science in the uk.

  • Comment number 81.

    75. ecolizzy '#67 Question to bloggers/readers: Ask yourself, honestly - is it you which you wish to be read/heard, or is it 'your' propositions?

    Both, so what does that make me Statist? : )'

    That's for you to come to terms with.

    The point here is to encourage a bit of reflection upon (i.e finer discrimination of) what function each class of behaviours actually serves in terms of consequences. That's another way (to some, no doubt, tedious because it isn't mentalistic and thye can't see why the alternative is much needed) of referring to reinforcement (which pertains to frequencies of behaviours or rates). My point is that we have an ever more infantile/adolescent culture because of the way that the birth-rate has shifted, and that there's a dark paradox being highlighted here. Do you see it? What do children need, and yet what are we in fact doing via all this anti-statism and individualism/liberalism?

  • Comment number 82.

    79. ecolizzy '#64 So long as many people in the UK are critical of Muslims and their ways, the Trojan Horse is doing its job I suggest....

    Do you mean critical of the muslims here or in other countries Statist? I suggest to muslims here that they should assimilate into our english society. That doesn't mean giving up their beliefs or their way of life entirely, just find a way of living in tune with our way of life and culture.'

    What I mean is this (and it has been said here for a long time if you look back, but it is not obvious perhaps). We have been induced into pulling down our own culture/state for decades now. We have become anarchistic. The Islamic religion is, in many ways, like Catholicism if you look closely (see the link via the Baathist party created in Syria by an Eastern Orthodox originally, it is a branch of Catholicism). These are statist systems of governance. What you are seeing, in much of Muslim behaviour, I suggest, is the sort of devout behaviour and high moral family standards (including anti-usury) once found amongst Catholics. You have to remember that Catholicism was subverted by Protestants. Also bear in mind that both Hitler and Stalin were essentially Catholics, and ask why these two are vilified (ignore the propaganda stories for the time being). This requires some careful thought if I am right about was has been going on, and if it didn't take a lot of thought, I don't think it would be worth saying. Nor would so few grasp it. If and when you do see what I mean, there maybe be quite an 'aha' response....

  • Comment number 83.

    80. jauntycyclist 'there is still no nation building science in the uk.'

    So you keep saying. But have you considered whether that is the case by design? If not, why not?

  • Comment number 84.

    A VERY ENTICING CAN OF MOST DELICIOUS WORMS (#72 final link)

    Mr MacDonald is clearly a Very Naughty Boy to rival Brian, DJ! I only skimmed it but it made my eyes water!!

    But look on the bright side: The nucular arsenal is to be reduced and neither Russia nor USA will have devised an even more potent weapon since the Cold War - after all, why would they?

  • Comment number 85.

    84. 'Mr MacDonald is clearly a Very Naughty Boy to rival Brian, DJ! I only skimmed it but it made my eyes water!!'

    An interesting (revealing?) remark. To the best of my knowledge, there have been many links to many offerings by MacDonald et al. over many years....

 

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