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Wednesday 26 May 2010

Sarah McDermott | 11:28 UK time, Wednesday, 26 May 2010

More details on tonight's Newsnight with Jeremy Paxman:

Tonight we have a report from inside Pul-e-Charkhi, Afghanistan's most notorious prison.
In the Soviet era it was notorious for forced disappearances and executions, and for the past three decades it has been the place where the Afghan state has sent its enemies.

At this moment there are many Taliban behind the heavily fortified gates, along with convicted murderers and drug traffickers.

Lyse Doucet was given access to The Zone - the maximum security area in which Taliban and al-Qaeda prisoners are held, where, like The Maze in Northern Ireland at the height of The Troubles, prisoners who say they are political prisoners not criminals are largely left to run their own affairs and remain wedded to their cause.

Our Economics editor Paul Mason will be reporting on the potential of a second banking crisis occurring despite the billions of pounds of taxpayers' money already spent to keep them afloat. In the studio we will be hearing the expert view of top economists and bankers.

We will have the latest on the arrest of a man on suspicion of murdering three women who were sex workers in Bradford.

And we will be talking about Alone in Berlin - a book written in 1947 about an ordinary German couple who took on the Nazis - which has become a surprise hit.

What does it tell us about the nature and scale of German resisistance during World War II, and about modern Germany's relationship with its past?

Join us at 10.30pm on BBC Two.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here's the plan for tonight:

Lyse Doucet has gained rare access to Pul-e-Charkhi, Afghanistan's most notorious prison, which is located east of the capital, Kabul.

It is home to around 5,000 men including many Taliban and al-Qaeda inmates and tonight we have a fascinating film from inside its gates.

Paul Mason will be considering if we are on the verge of a second banking crisis and how exposed our banks are to the sovereign debt crisis.

And we'll be asking what Alone in Berlin - a book written in 1947 about an ordinary German couple who took on the Nazis - which has become a surprise hit tells us about modern Germany's relationship with its past.

More details later.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Red Cross gives first aid lessons to Taliban

    The International Committee of the Red Cross says it trained "over 70 members of the armed opposition" in first aid last month.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/may/25/red-cross-first-aid-taliban

    does the red cross get any state money?

    the red cross might have a point as they could say the taliban are resisting 'occupation' so are not 'terrorists'?

  • Comment number 2.

    ..Afghanistan war: Gen. McCrystal impatient with Marjah campaign

    "You've got to be patient," Lt. Col. Brian Christmas told McChrystal. "We've only been here 90 days."

    "How many days do you think we have before we run out of support by the international community?" McChrystal replied.

    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-South-Central/2010/0525/Afghanistan-war-Gen.-McCrystal-impatient-with-Marjah-campaign

    so the taliban can just play the time game and win by default?

  • Comment number 3.

    Certainly look forward to Lyce's report tonight. I sincerely hope that we do not have a 2nd banking crisis. Would the new coalition government buy up unreliable/failing banks to protect investors, or would they simply hang them out to dry? If the new government does not help, then I see a large exodus of money to other countries, such as India......note the Indian government does not allow banks to fail, and are in fact expanding. I've just googled "Alone in Berlin" - a masterpiece I intend to read soon :o)

  • Comment number 4.

    I am very interested in whether in Pul-e-Charkhi Lyse Doucet got a better idea of exactly who we are fighting.

    The most disturbing thing to me is that though war is dynamic and chaotic I don't get the feeling that we have a clear profile of our enemy - or possibly enemies as I would expect local corruption and conflicts between war lords.

    But the principal concern must be if there are foreign fighters where are they and why can't we cut their transit routes from Pakistan.

    I have always assumed there to be a Ho Chi Minh trail of caves that would make ideal targets as the military could be sure they were not civilians so no collateral damage and drones should be able to monitor transit between the staging post caves.

    I would have thought that if foreigners blended in they would stand out like sore thumbs despite the Afghan attitude to hospitality.

  • Comment number 5.

    I suppose the Paul Mason thing will be treading a line between not setting off a panic on Santander and banks of that ilk - though I think it was Lloyds that got bashed yesterday - and spelling out how close we are to a major meltdown.

    Even if this current threat is not the terminal to me there is not too much reason to be optimistic as the US reform so far does not, to my lay knowledge, fully control derivatives.

    Given experts have pointed out that the Fed and SEC were in Lehmans for six months before it went down and saw nothing due to a handful of employees and Repo 105 that does not make me relaxed about the response though I understand Obama has to get his proposals past the increasingly eccentric and lobby prone Republicans.

  • Comment number 6.

    Alone in Berlin - I applaud its inclusion and long time readers of this page will remember those posters on here who have tried to portray Hitler as a peace lover and WWII as being started by Jews whilst the Holocaust was made up "to put people off statism" ... by statists who largely agreed with Hitler.

    Yes though the far right are whacko's its always worth ramming home history and attitudes and why Germany is a changed country that is not yearning for Hitler and why the UK does not want to become like the Germany of the past. That's because they can say anything on the web and some people are naive.

    I am very aware of the dangers of changing the law on free speech but think that Holocaust Denial is so hideous that as Germany have not suffered any great problems as a result of their legislation against that specific problem we would do well to emulate it.

  • Comment number 7.

    How close could we be to a failed region, as opposed to a failed country, in the Caribbean as we have Jamaica in crisis as they try to catch Dudas and Mexico have had a full blooded military conflict for some time and and the end does not seem to be in sight?

    There must be a risk that corruption and violence will spread to other countries as crime Lords mimic their neighbours.

  • Comment number 8.

    I thought Ed Balls was terribly trite last night when speaking of the economy.

    If I understand it if we don't cut the debt mountain then growth will simply help us pay the interest on what we owe.

    It has to be paid back and there is absolutely no reason to think that we will suddenly outperform the boom years based on fools good credit.

    In fact you would hope that noises about a greener economy and re-balancing the economy will probably mean in the short run slower but more sustainable growth.

    So at the end of the day there will have to be cuts and Labour knows that as they know who holds some direct responsibility for running up those debts and being far too lax on financial regulation.

    If Labour are not pretty clever with their feet then I don't see why the next election fought on a different plain won't involve a far more credible three parties and if it is still first past the post there is no guarantee that Labour nearly melting down this time won't become a reality then.

    The public are not fools and will spot Labour taking the immoral path of being neigh sayers to cuts unless they propose credible alternatives.

  • Comment number 9.

    EDGY PRISON FOOTAGE - COULDN'T GET THAT HERE!

    Prison in feudal countries was, is, and will be, a shock to our sensibilities. I doubt our 'improvements' will make much difference (except through bomb-breached walls).

    Would it not be truly edgy to smuggle some video 'gear' into a British prison, and show the world what civilised incarceration can be like when no one is looking?

  • Comment number 10.

    AFGHAN CREDO (#2)

    Hence the purported comment: "You have the watches - we have the time."

    I hope Kipling was buried with notebook and pencil.

    I wonder how many of our heroes would want to take them on kit-for-kit?
    (Gunga Din just said something unrepeatable.)

    Of course its invasion. And BOY did we have some really nasty surprises, plotted under that nice Mr Churchill, had the 'Naaaazi Hun' set foot in OUR LAND. Mind you, any day now, we shall be required to use only 'reasonable force' when invaded.

    Oh - it's all going awfully barmy.

  • Comment number 11.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/bernard-madoff/7765659/European-banks-pay-back-Madoff-victims.html

    Oh dear

    More to come no doubt and some hope for those ripped off by the ponzi wide-boys in the UK who should never have been allowed to run business bank accounts.

  • Comment number 12.

    Am I the only person to consider Emily Maitland biased during last nights debate between Francis Maude and Ed Balls? She seemed to question everything Maude said whilst supporting Balls' point of view. In her body language she twisted to sit on a plane parallel to Balls and directly opposing Maude.

  • Comment number 13.

    Re The Banks -
    As long as we have naked short selling and unregulated synthetic derivatives; banks, currency, whole countries can be taken down as described by James Rickards. Ive no doubt hedge funds are shorting the pants off Goldman Sachs - would guess not many people would shed a tear - financial warfare by incentivised destruction.

    What we have to ask is why was 'debt' seen as a the thing to do ? What is it about humans that makes them so prone to affinity fraud behaviours, greed and selfishness that they just destroy. When and how are we going to be incentivised NOT to destroy?

  • Comment number 14.

  • Comment number 15.

    #13

    In fact lets have Simon Johnson:-

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/simon-johnson/wall-streets-victory-lap_b_590044.html

    "Of course, most of the anti-Lincoln fire has been directed against the idea that "swaps desks" would be "pushed out" to subsidiaries -- i.e., the big broker-dealers could still engage in these transactions, but they would need to hold a great deal more capital against their exposures, thus making the activities significantly less profitable.

    It is striking that while Treasury argues that increasing capital is the way to go with regard to financial reform, they are adamantly opposed to what would amount to more reasonable capital levels at the heart of the derivatives business.

    This is beyond disappointing."

  • Comment number 16.

    The second bank crisis is already here except the players, the outcomes and effects are unknown.

    New EU and or other 'Bank taxes' will not by themselves work in terms of effective bank regulation - a highly pro-active approach is needed to bank regulation ... but let the bankers do the work... demand that the banks prove their transparency, solvency and ethical trading credentials ... or be put into administratation with full and managed sequestration of their assets.

    Banks operate under licence using 'our money' as stakeholders - banking CEO officials need to be hauled in monthly by a banking watchdog (the FSA is not up to it) and their executives be questioned about their hedge fund and speculative activity, liquidity etc whether they deserve bonus payments of up to 30 times what the best neurological and other surgeons can earn.

    Bank taxes will not work as ultimately the customer/stakeholder will pay - but a new proactive bank regulation regime, with a new banking transparent set of accountancyry standards, administration for banks that are insolvent and regular public 'interviews' with banking executives would sort out many of the banking problems and weed out the banks that need to be closed/merged/ broken up etc.

    Let the banks do the work on regulation - that is the key to successful regulation - the banks should be required to prove the merit of their existence/solvency and privilege of being licensed and being able to manage our money.

    The banking regulation emphasis is completely wrong - it needs to be more aggressive towards the banks and weed out the problems in the system - the banks should have to prove their worthiness to have a licence on a daily basis - be transparent, have the best best new accountancy partices and explain and quantify all of the risks that they are taking and encountering in their daily operations.

    This is in effect would be new tax on the banks - a good regulation tax with the banks meeting all associated costs and keeping e.g. a BoE or independent regulatory body (with publicly elected members) informed of an overview of all of their activity, trades and risks on a daily basis.

    This would mean pro-active accountability for the banks ... let the banks do the work and justify their existence and practices under full public scrutiny.

    The golden banking piggies are just 'taking the p**s' with their gold plated trimmings, golden ladders, golden troughs and taking out the top cream slice every time before the accountants get there. In any other industry this would be called conspiracy and theft.

    Time to stop the talking and take action with effective banker's sweat regulation

  • Comment number 17.



    So ....


    Are "Free Schools' going to be a way of funding cash strapped private schools currently slowly sliding down the pan?

    Are "Free Schools' going to be very popular amongst parents of 'faith'?

    Are "Free Schools' going to be showered with cash? ( Which will then slowly tail-off, by which time it will be too late to opt 'back' in to the system?)

    Are "Free Schools' going to be a total waste of tax payers money?

    Answers on a postcard to ....

  • Comment number 18.

    under Obmama the British empire is being 'wiped off the map'?

    ..Day of a 1000 Drums
    Rally for the Restoration of Ancestral Names

    The thought of restoring it’s rightful Indian name to what is now currently known as Mt. Rainier, at first seemed as impossible as landing on the moon, or the United States having a black President, but since it’s inception, has gained momentum as well as a lot of unsuspecting support as well as anticipated support.

    At the root of the reason’s at to why it’s felt the name should be restored, is to bring forth a healing, a healing to millennia of generations of American Indians exterminated, removed and forced to assimilate to the dominate societies way of life.

    http://www.restorenativenames.org/


    here is something for cricky


    After Rainier's retirement, he continued to be consulted by the ministry and in 1805 was promoted to Admiral of the Blue in the celebratory promotions following the British victory at the Battle of Trafalgar. In 1807, he became a Member of Parliament (MP) for Sandwich....

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]


    Sandwich was a parliamentary constituency in Kent, which elected two Members of Parliament (MPs) to the House of Commons from 1366 until 1885, when it was disfranchised for corruption.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandwich_%28UK_Parliament_constituency%29


    maybe the british museum will give the native bodies back now? one native american from International Repatriation blog was refused access to the collection. he had no problems elsewhere in the uk.

    http://internationalrepatriation.wordpress.com/2010/03/18/brief-update-london/

  • Comment number 19.

    18. At 9:13pm on 26 May 2010, jauntycyclist wrote:

    under Obmama the British empire is being 'wiped off the map'?

    ..Day of a 1000 Drums
    Rally for the Restoration of Ancestral Names

    The thought of restoring it’s rightful Indian name to what is now currently known as Mt. Rainier, at first seemed as impossible as landing on the moon, or the United States having a black President, but since it’s inception, has gained momentum as well as a lot of unsuspecting support as well as anticipated support.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    As it seems that no one can actually remember the original name or remembered to write it down somewhere - how about making up a name or better still ... calling it ... Mt Rainier?

  • Comment number 20.

    can lyse explain that afghanistan powerpoint thta has everyone else stumped like a modern day gordian knot?

  • Comment number 21.

    Apparently:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/us_and_canada/10167666.stm

    Is this going to be mentioned tonight or once the task is fully completed?

    M

  • Comment number 22.

    WOULD THAT BE THE SAME OBAMA?

    Whose inaugural speech gloried in the invader-spirit with no mention of the indigene, whose spirit was broken.

    Rename Mt Rainier Mount 'Nicked-son'. I covers the initial theft of the land, and the replacement of honourable leadership with iniquity.

    YES WE DID.

  • Comment number 23.

    THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS AND THE GULLIBILITY OF CROWDS

    The parallels between Hitler's Germany and Thatcher/Blair/Brown's Britain, are all to plain. Even down to the wholesale killing of those we deem 'other' - hence, expendable.

    Even the 'pointless acts of defiance' tally. Of course - we have pained discussion of what occurred then, but live so deep within the current lie, that even the scholars of Newsnight seem not to notice our iniquity.

    Two who defied Hitler were beheaded. Metaphorical beheadings, are more the British way, but the silencing is just as effective.

    Oh - it's all going terribly well.

  • Comment number 24.

    Fascinating report by Lyce from Pul-e-Charkhi. From minor criminals (thieves) to the taliban leaders who have their own floor and own rules...amazing that they are being taught boxing, so upon release, they will be better trained fighters. Oh the logic.

    Excellent debate by Jeremy with Tett/Hendrie/Sacks - although the most convincing argument was by Hendrie, and with the best solution to the crisis too. European banking is in a mess :o(

    Loved the discussion on "Alone in Berlin" with Beevor & Leeder on resistance to the Nazis by Germans. Even though they were few in number, they still showed great courage in their beliefs. I can't wait to read it.

  • Comment number 25.

    Alone in Berlin. Surprised to see the piece on British TV, in the current climate and especially considering what they did to Brian Haw again today. Even more surprising to be watching the programme that came after it....sublimnal msg there, well done BBC- maybe there is hope for you yet!

    The 'crazy population' in Britain's unofficial prisons have been growing by 30-40% per year these past five years at least, from what I can gather. Maybe the CIA are still going around putting LSD in people's bread, for a bit of a laugh maybe...but do you ever wonder where all the political dissidents in Britain actually are? There must be some, right?

    Personally I wd prefer to have been beheaded. Still in a lot of physical pain right now, never mind the rest. Slow painful death is not a nice thing to be sentecned to...I do hope that I am not taken alive again.

    http://jakemaverick.blogspot.com/

  • Comment number 26.

    Bet that one isn't gonna get posted then! Really dnt know why i keep bothering...

  • Comment number 27.

    Ditto on almost every point to #24 Mistress76uk except that with Hendrie part of me shared the desire to get real and direct with the situation but the other part thinks that social instability and global issues like al Qaeda and North Korea and global warming mean that that is too high risk. If we can viably avoid that crisis then we should try.

    Like everybody I hope that we are not feeling terribly relieved that the worst of the economic crisis is over as our canoe tips over the waterfall and into the big drop.

    Very, very worrying.

  • Comment number 28.

    #23

    Though you might wake up in a state of shock one of these dawns or while 'dreaming', you 'animal, you.

    And please may I ask you, what kind of pleasure do you actually get out of it? A 'little boy's' winning a 'b/conker's game'?

    M

  • Comment number 29.

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

  • Comment number 30.

    I'D LIKE TO TEACH THE WORLD TO???????????

    #17
    JAP

    Surely the answer only needs a postage STAMP?

    We don't need MORE Schools, or NEW schools. We just need GOOD Schools (whatever one of those is) that are not afraid to teach those who want to be taught what they NEED to be taught, Let those who want to learn learn what they need to learn and stop throwing so much money at those for whom the institution itself is the problem.

    And turn tech colleges BACK into tech colleges.

  • Comment number 31.

    #22 barriesingleton

    "Whose inaugural speech gloried in the invader-spirit with no mention of the indigene, whose spirit was broken."

    I tend to think a civil rights lawyer was not the kind of person to be glorying in the invader spirit. You must have heard a different inauguration speech.

    Perhaps you have been duped by some far right whacko as they often tend to try and use the US/Native Americans as was done at Nuremburg to try and suggest that they are really perfectly normal people and that what they did to the Jews was no different.

    The Nazi's lost all the military and legal and moral and political arguments.

  • Comment number 32.

  • Comment number 33.

    #25

    The CIA seem to be putting sparkling shooting stars into my nourishment, mav., before the final firework display.

    M

  • Comment number 34.

    #33 addendum

    Perhaps I should have said 'the final synchronised firework display'.

  • Comment number 35.

    #30

    Do you think, Brightyangthing, that I am a good 'teacher', or let's say an effective steering and synchronising/balancing guide of fine potential, whilst at the same time an unremitting judge/executioner of the beyond return debased?

    mim

  • Comment number 36.

    #33

    shooting stars? no, I didn't mean the groping pins and needles in sensitive places

  • Comment number 37.

    IT'S FULL MOON AGAIN. AND IT SHOWS ON THE NEWSNIGHT BLOG.

    The frightening thing is: I made the prediction, after noting some of the posts, and THEN looked up the phase tables.

    Oh dear.


  • Comment number 38.

    #34 from previous page

    Coming to think of it, perhaps the mysterious number 44 does comprise of a unique combination of 4 individuals, Barack Obama, two other fathers in high places and a female working together on polishing fine moves.

    M

    P.S. No, neither of the fathers I mention sport a moustache.

  • Comment number 39.

    #41

    I'll get back to you about your Chopin recommendations in more detail tomorrow.

    But for now, I already have a few of his pieces on my iPod, including the Grande Valse Brilliante, Funeral March and several of Rakhmaninow's wonderful interpretations.

    Today, however, I ice danced with Nigel Kennedy playing Bruch's Violin Concerto #1 in G as well as gave vent to my desire of expression to a few of my favourite songs by Jacques Brel.

    mim

  • Comment number 40.

    Did I see Little Timmy Geithner walking down Downing ST and be greeted by George Osborne? ..Jesus! I think I did. I hope someone sprinkled Holy water about the place and called a priest. I mean cum-on! you don't invite Charles Manson and his mates round to a private party, it's gonna go bad for sure; lamps and coffee tables are gonna get broke.
    Clearly the folks at the beeb are oblivious to who Little Timmy actually is. The report should have begun with.."Satan is on our shores, hide your money.." or something to that effect.

    GO1, you dismissed comments from Baz regarding the Obama inauguration speech and then ended with this:

    "The Nazi's lost all the military and legal and moral and political arguments."

    Very true young man, very true. But, and this is a big but.. who got all the Nazi scientists? who got all the knowledge for superior military design? who has been responsible for more deaths and wars since 1945 than any other country? who sent man to the moon?..big clue that last one. I'm sure you know anyhow but just in case you don't...'operation paperclip' and then go from there. Then you will discover that overt dictatorship from Germany was replaced by a covert dictatorship and it emanates from those folks over there in the United States Of America. They've got form, check out the native Indian holocaust. Spielberg never knocked out that story but there's plenty books on the subject for you to choose from.

    I'am just told Tony Blair is gonna join the Global warmer criminal syndicate group. Clearly he's not smart enough for the other groups he could have joined: CFR, Trilateral Commision, Bilderberg...nope! he's a 'warmer'. Would that be killing two birds with one stone? Anyhow don't quote me on that story on account its new to me and was just verbally given that.

  • Comment number 41.

    #40

    kevsey

    I thought Timoty Gethner's and George Osborne's comments were the only sensible ones expressed last night on Newsnight and straightforward too. It's the banks who should be paying for their financial mismanagements rather than the taxpayer. What's 'Nazi' about that?

    Although America's past is full of cruelty things have progressed in great leaps and bounds in the direction of democracy. By comparison to other countries, for example - the authorities don't shoot protesting students in their squares like the Chinese nor do they murder every journalist who 'dares' speak out against the government like they do in Russia.

  • Comment number 42.

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

  • Comment number 43.

    Geithner, Summers and Greenspan in particular were responsible for this financial attack on the public because he/they strongly advocated 'removed' regulation, seemed to think massive debt was a good way to go and allowed unregulated synthetic derivatives. Oh yes and their power meant affinity fraud spread to almost the rest of the world. Not that Mr Brown would ever admit his little affinity on 'risk' based regulation.

    Oh Dear

    You have to wonder why Obama thinks its a good idea to be employing Summers and Geithner?

  • Comment number 44.

    #38

    I hope Her Majesty The Queen wouldn't be offended if She learned that I consider Her as our Patron.

    M

  • Comment number 45.

    EMPLOYER - EMPLOYEE (#43)

    As I have posted before: POWER = MONEY MONEY = POWER.

    Obama was 'bought' to power at an eye-watering price.

    Who is 'er' and who is 'ee' Kev?

  • Comment number 46.

    "THE CENTRE CANNOT HOLD"

    Iain Duncan Smith, second only to Tony 'Mars' Blair, as a 'Bringer of War', is the leading 'light' at the Centre for Social Justice - and he believes he is tackling the corrosive effects of welfare on the borderline workshy.

    Meanwhile government intends to tinker with the mainstay of British life (pleasure, pain, crime, degradation, health) i.e. ALCOHOL, by adjusting the price. More for the brewers - more tax take.

    Never was the truth more stark, that you need NO HUMAN MANAGEMENT SKILLS TO MANAGE BRITAIN. Any fool should see: our problems are CULTURAL. British culture is 50% warp (the word speaks for itself) and 50% alcoholic weft, woven tightly together. None of our nonentity ninnies, signed up to the Big Westminster Lie, have either competence or motivation to unpick this mess.

    Perhaps MPs should get performance-related-pay? But we would have to define 'performance' carefully, or Tony would be demanding back-money!

    Oh - it's all going awfully well.

    CULTURE IS KEY

  • Comment number 47.

    Mim:

    "I thought Timoty Gethner's and George Osborne's comments were the only sensible ones expressed last night on Newsnight and straightforward too. It's the banks who should be paying for their financial mismanagements rather than the taxpayer."

    Yes the words were there, but the actions will be sadly wanting. Little Timmy was just saying what some aide told him to say. Unlike some of the other more polished charlatans (Rubin, Summers, Greenspan, Bernanke etc.) he doesn't even come across as even the remotest bit sincere.

    flicks:

    "You have to wonder why Obama thinks its a good idea to be employing Summers and Geithner?"

    Obama just did what Rahm told him to do.

  • Comment number 48.

    Well this will be interesting :-

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=apaq8bkKnrqw

    Looks like the banks are going to be hit from all sides - a real war zone - fiat currency getting blown out of the water by mans greed and selfishness with a financial nuke weapon invented by a women, that could have been stopped by a women but that women was prevented by men.

    Everyone going around deluding themselves that printing up more stuff is the way to go - more debt piled onto more and more and more. Looks like all round psychosis on the war zone.

    Oh dear.

  • Comment number 49.

    WHEN THIEVES FALL OUT (#48)

    Interesting times.

  • Comment number 50.

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

  • Comment number 51.

    #50

    Having said, I couldn't possibly substantiate the 'others'' full and conscious participation in the scheme apart from Gordie and Mandy.


    I do think, however, that G W Bush may have been aware of everything.

    M

  • Comment number 52.

    #39 mim:
    “I'll get back to you about your Chopin recommendations in more detail tomorrow.”

    Yesterday I watched ‘The Pianist’ and ‘Stephen Fry on Wagner’. The first included Chopin’s Ballade No 1, to which I had referred in my post, and ended with his Grande Valse Brilliante, to which you refer. I’m sure you are familiar with the film about the occupation of Poland; BBC review here:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/films/2002/12/19/the_pianist_2003_review.shtml

    The Wagner documentary is on again tonight BBC4 at 11.30pm - well worth staying up for! Both items have a common connection, dealing with great music, but tainted - in the case of ‘The Pianist’ by the fact that it was directed by Roman Polanski, presently wanted on extradition to USA, and in Wagner’s case, by his anti-Semitism and the fact that he was revered by Hitler.

    My own view is that ‘mavericks’ often make a vital contribution in an otherwise ‘conforming’ society. It seems that Diversity aids Creativity but I’m not sure which is cause, and which effect. That is one reason why I speak up for a few radical MPs - but not the total swamping of our culture.

    I was fortunate to see Bruch’s violin concerto and Mahler’s 5th in Sydney Opera House; the ultimate ecstatic memory. Hope they all have the same effect on your skating and twirling!

  • Comment number 53.

    the taliban prisoners run their system? sounds like Belmarsh? does anyone think thye can defeat such people determined to die for what they believe? The west believes in nothing but nihilism and self interest and fighting for money?

    eu bank tax

    is a plan for systemic failure? why not regulate so it doesn't happen?

    The Good People?

    like Vanunu? like those who leaked the climate change emails? like kelly?

    what would you have done? what are you doing now? the bad philosophies don't die but still exist under other names.

  • Comment number 54.

    BRIAN HAW IS AN INSPIRATION (#53)

    Good to see a post that challenges 'The Mess' IDG2.

    I wonder if Haw has been arrested to 'prevent terrorism? If I am forced to take to the streets to flush out the silent 'authority' that allows 'lies for votes' during General Elections, Plod will probably detain me, similarly.

    Oh - it's all going awfully well.

  • Comment number 55.

    #52

    There are mavericks and mavericks, indi, I don't have to appreciate nor intend to have anything to do with them all. I know that one of them, i.e. no 52, is planning a holiday with me while I'm planning to send him to the lions.

    As for myself, I would be quite content to carry on having an enforced 'holiday' cycling around London, recording images on my cameras, listening, dancing and twirling to music. Plus, of course, to continue my fight with silly willies.

    M

  • Comment number 56.

    well done, Emily, one of your best interviews...spot on girl..

  • Comment number 57.

    CULTURE CLUB OH BOY!

    #46 Barriesingleton


    Culture is the Key ,................... Is right BS.

    We need a climate of change...................


    Or are we lost? Are all of our fine words, just empty words, serving only to vent our own spleens, justify our own individual brokenness, allowing us to avert our gazes from the mirror and raise pointy fingers to others via our television screens and red top front pages.

    Or can we effect a change of culture. After all, the climate is changing and we are oft reminded that it is our cold/dark northern climes that are responsible for our dark/cold natures that require copious volumes of alcohol or decamping to sunny climes for unholy days to make life bearable.

    I do not see pricing policy changes (alcohol) making much difference.

    If we become Mediterranean in climate perhaps we will automatically become Mediterranean in culture. Eat lots (but not too much) of fresh fruit, veg and fish stews, drink slowly with meals in sunny smiley family settings....

    (addendum)
    Not very Mediterranean here. Had washing blowing in the sun this morning, to be replaced by torrential rain showers and black skies. Just now hail stones the size of peas and snowy sleet have laid down a thick layer of white over everything, ground, cars, hills, roofs...... And topped with thunder and lightning.

    Crowded House I think required – Four Seasons in One Day. And I turned off the heating and took the snow shovels out of the cars dressed in, well not very much last weekend!

 

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