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Friday 10 December 2010

Verity Murphy | 12:22 UK time, Friday, 10 December 2010

More detail on tonight's programme:

Met Police chief Sir Paul Stephenson has defended the handling of yesterday's tuition fees protests and the "commendable restraint" shown by royal protection officers when a car carrying the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall was attacked.

However, others have criticised the operation, with students accusing police of being heavy handed and provocative, others questioning why the violence was not contained more, with Whitehall's buildings and the royal couple better protected.

Tonight, Paul Mason reports on how the violence unfolded, who exactly was behind it, and the tactics used on both sides.

We have an interview with Daniel Ellsberg, the famous whistleblower who leaked the Pentagon Papers about the Vietnam War in 1971 about how he views Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and his website.

Plus, in collaboration with the BBC's Natural History Unit in Bristol we have a special report on the recent spate of shark attacks in Sharm el-Sheikh.

Join tonight's presenter Stephanie Flanders for all that at 10.30pm on BBC Two.

PS Check this out - David Cameron and his daughter swear by what he calls the 'Newsnight bottle'. How about you?


Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Lord Monckton on Cancun, Newsnight apparently avoiding any coverage ?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmYafq3J5lo

  • Comment number 2.

    I believe this forms the basis of the discussions at Cancun, echos of the Corporate Nazi alleged secret conditions Conmoron was prepared to sign up to to host the 2018 World Cup ?

    http://sppiblog.org/news/the-abdication-of-the-west

  • Comment number 3.

    ARE YOU SUGGESTING PREZZA WOULD JET ALL THAT WAY ON A FOOL'S ERRAND?

    Reporting the BBC doesn't do rationally: 9/11 - climate - Big Bang cosmology - man/woman difference - religion - PC stupidity. Add your own.

    All documentaries are now 'fronted' by an all-singing-all-prancing celebrity (Even Hislop has succumbed!) while news and current affairs has gone over to the Lark Side.

    Can one weep edgily?

  • Comment number 4.

    This is worrying; agreeing yet again with barriesingleton.

    Have just watched the weather report on BBC; it was like an episode of Old Tyme Musick Hall crossed with a Christmas panto.

    The weatherman Bill Murray plays in Groundhog Day is supposed to be a caricature, not a role model.

    Channel 4 and Jon Snow, Krishnan and co. are the only ones worth watching for anything approaching news coverage, although the guy who got in amongst the police lines yesterday on the BBC News Channel to report on the fracas was pretty cool in a crisis. Exception proves the rule.

    The Young Jewish Dentist Party are children of Thatcher too. Thatcher and Blair, the double act that has defined the last thirty odd years of British life and look certain to define, via their progeny, the next thirty.

    Where are the Aneurin Bevans, the Harry Trumans, the De Gaulles of our era? Or are we stuck with Tommy Sheridan and a bunch of indistinguishable Oxbridge PPE special advisors, rewarded with safe parliamentary seats who eventually end up running the country for a while. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

    Long live John Pilger!

    Watch the BBC News? More info on Timmytime.

  • Comment number 5.

    "TRANSPARENT IMPENETRABILITY" (#2 link)

    Now there's a thing! I reckon there is a lot of it about Bro. Blair's speeches were classic examples (but who wrote them?)

    The REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE ACT, transparently enacted to protect the voter from political skulduggery at election time (or the other way round?) has split lying into two sorts: the Woolas sort (106) lying about the person, and the Conservative HQ sort (115) lying about possible outcomes. A good lawyer might suggest one kind of lie-for-votes is less culpable than another kind of lie-for-votes. Does that sound like Animal Farm?

  • Comment number 6.

    BLAIR RETURNS TO CHILCOT - BY UNPOPULAR APPEAL?

    Chilcot would appear to be playing a straight bat. Is he just better at deception than all the others? Or will he need a quiet word from some enforcer, to bring him inside the lie?

    Blair was wracked with fear at his first ordeal. There must be a fair chance of auto-combustion this time.

    If 9/11 unravels (still waiting for a relevant Wikileak) before Chilcot reconvenes, his work may be irrelevant. Tony was Dubya's man.

  • Comment number 7.

    AND NOW - A SUMMARY OF THE WEATHER (REPORTING) WHERE YOU ARE (#4)

    "The weatherman Bill Murray plays in Groundhog Day is supposed to be a caricature, not a role model."

    Priceless Kash - priceless. That ranks with: "Remember you are not a god" and should be on every weather-cock's makeup mirror.

    Respect.

  • Comment number 8.

    1

    yep. avoiding that and idf occupation. ooh look sharks.


    Russia will not renew Kyoto protocol

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/dec/10/cancun-climate-change-conference-kyoto

  • Comment number 9.

    3

    is it the local sex capital.

  • Comment number 10.

    THE OBAMA ILLUSION - MR SHOWBIZ IN THE PILGER SPOTLIGHT

    Much as I read him from 'Yes We Can' to 'Yes We Can But'. And the BBC get a justified mention near the end.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXL998q7skI

  • Comment number 11.

    "Where are the Aneurin Bevans, the Harry Trumans, the De Gaulles of our era? Or are we stuck with Tommy Sheridan and a bunch of indistinguishable Oxbridge PPE special advisors, rewarded with safe parliamentary seats who eventually end up running the country for a while. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
    Long live John Pilger!
    Watch the BBC News? More info on Timmytime."
    True, and by competing with SKY (and other edgy commercial media 'portals'), the BBC is eagerly digging its own grave, much to Murdoch et al's glee. From what I see, it appears that either those at the BBC can't see this, don't care, or are colluding. Just look at the biased line up recently which was highlighted by Debtjuggler etc. We seem to have been roped into someone else's war.

  • Comment number 12.

    barriesingleton (7) "Priceless Kash - priceless. That ranks with: "Remember you are not a god" and should be on every weather-cock's makeup mirror.
    Respect."
    When you did you Screaming Lord Sutch bit in 2005, would you have considered kissing babies to get votes?
    It's what those courting admirers do. Basically (and pretty exclusively when it comes to the public), they just want people to like them. They will never say what they think if they think that doesn't curry favour.
    This is why we are all in the mess which we are in, including them. They are self-selected for their ability to create a mess.

  • Comment number 13.

    '.. others have criticised the operation ... others questioning ..."

    Had to turn sharply to the left to make sure I did not have a Crick in my neck reading this.

    Kinda up there with 'senior sources say..'.

    These days it elicits the news gleaning equivalent of checking one's pockets.

    More often than not, 'others' turn out to be anything but, and much closer to home.

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/danielknowles/100067809/the-nus-is-an-irrelevance-staffed-by-careerist-labour-sympathisers-elected-on-a-joke-turnout/

    All together now: '..we don't need no thought control'.

  • Comment number 14.

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

  • Comment number 15.

  • Comment number 16.

    I know the programme tonight is going to concentrate on the violence yesterday in London. However what the parents that I know want answers to are
    1 Can we hold back some of our taxes so that we can use the money to fund our childrens education rather than having it put into the pot for foreign wars ?
    2 Do we have a possible case in The Court of Human Rights regarding the unfair treatment of English students as compared to Welsh or Scottish. we are actually called The United Kingdom - As the Scottish scheme for Scottish students to pay no tuition fees extends to all EU residents EXCEPT the English this is I think racist.
    3 Two years ago before my oldest son went to iniversity I was shouted down at a school meeting as being ridiculous when I suggested that it was in our childrens interests to send/encourage them to go to Scotland for thei gap years [2 years] so they could become resident and tap into the Scottish system. Should we now be looking at this seriously as not only would we promote a better understanding of life - working on minimum wage or volunteer work in Glasgow is not as sexy as a working tour of India but would help to balance the books
    4 Can we look into setting up a way for the parents and relatives of our next generation of students to protest - we have all been told over and over again that our children must score higher and higher in exams and that without a degree they will amount to nothing in life . We have supported, cajoaled ,coached etc to make sure they stuck with their studies and got the grades only to have the goal posts for the next round of education moved further and further apart - first it was "you need 5 As" and now its all about taking on debt for life. As parents we want to protest too but if we dont turn in for work we dont get paid and by golly we are going to need the money now!! So how can we get involved while at the same time fitting it in around work and distancing ourselves from the deplorable violence that happened yesterday ?
    5 If further education is going to be available to only those who can afford it [dont tell me about loans and other rubbish - 4 of my sons friends with good grades decided not to go to university because of the fear of the percieved debt - this was despite them being from low income families who would have got support.]Will this restriction on availability trickle down through the whoile of society ? My very real fear is that if the government won't fund the education of young people with 4 good A levels why should they continue to fund further education for less able students ?- there are many young people with learning difficulties who attend specialist further education colleges where they principly attend to learn independance skills. Will their funding also be withdrawn ? Will their colleges shut -

    Lots of anxieties Im afraid and lots of anger on behalf of young people where we live in a small Northern town with terraced housing, onroad parking,lots of charity and pound shops and not a lot of money and now very little chance our kids will even do as well as the last generation.

  • Comment number 17.

    #16 Angela please stop worrying, no money has to be paid up front! This debt will only come into operation at the end of your childs education and pay back time starts when they are earning £21,000 a year.

    Under the old regime of Labours you had to pay £3,290 a year up front, roughly a thousand pounds a term. (By the way I don't remember demonstrations when Labour introduced the fee paying system!) So it cost us almost £13,000 up front to get my child through Uni, and on top of that she is now paying back her maintenance grant of £6000, as she now earns enough to start repaying. Through her entire time at Uni she worked two jobs to stay afloat, I know that option isn't so available now as so many immigrants take the café, pub and shop jobs that these kids used to do.

    I believe the poorest 23% will get their fees paid, and 50% will never repay the debt as they won't earn enough, or be in work for long enough.

    I think an awful lot of panic is being generated about these fees, here is the investigative report on it http://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/5342

    I agree it is not a comfortable position to leave Uni with a very high debt hanging over one's head, especially if the young person ever want's to buy property. But if the young person really wants to go to Uni and is good at it, they should go. There are of course many ways to get an education, and Uni doesn't suit everyone, especially if they are prepared to work hard and study in their free time.

  • Comment number 18.

    as NN is in that part of the world

    The rabbinic statement prohibiting renting or selling homes to gentiles in Israel has prompted condemnations.

    http://www.jpost.com/Features/FrontLines/Article.aspx?id=198810

    Israel prevents whistleblower from accepting human rights award

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hvE2NXYpIstZjjVLIZdeaplCTxnw?docId=CNG.a8f77417d0291e36102d6723ad98a57c.961

    ..More than 120 Israeli rights groups and NGOs joined the second annual Human Rights March,

    a bad year for human rights" in Israel with increasing attempts to push through racist and anti-democratic bills

    "Israel's foreign minister speaks at the UN General Assembly about the removal of Arab citizens from Israel and he doesn't lose his position, the chief rabbi of Safed, a state employee, tells people not to rent to Arabs and he doesn't lose his job," he said....

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jKTvfoiPnYZBXRfnCnLaVMq8VP5g?docId=CNG.a8f77417d0291e36102d6723ad98a57c.8d1

    and what is the NN story? ooh sharks.

  • Comment number 19.

    GRRRRR - DON'T GET ME STARTED ON WARS (#16)

    Our stupid leaders LOVE the old ways, when it is to do with 'warring above our weight' and global-swanking beyond our credibility. But the old values of solvency and integrity can go hang. For me, THAT is the root problem.

    All the pitch to students is about the MECHANICS of debt. I WANT TO NAIL THE CULTURE OF DEBT. Being not yet jaded, the young have sharper senses; I suspect they VISCERALLY just do not want DEBT 'AT ANY PRICE' - even cheap debt. Political wizards can do three-dimensional calculations, written on Mobius-Strip fag packets, till they are Coalition-Striped in the face. It will never remove the FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH that debt is a bad idea - EXCEPT FOR USURERS.

    I invite Nick, Dave, Vince and their devious chums, to stick that in their pipe and tax it (as they do poisonous, addictive tobacco).

    Weep young Britons.

  • Comment number 20.

    ..The son of Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour issued a public apology Friday for swinging from a flag on Britain's main war memorial during a protest against higher university fees...

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5ilDiWglC90lfVG4V-IKGdkKxso0w?docId=CNG.9c07eaad5245857f7c88d2bb772e1f0c.561

    Bratz?

    Why is the child of a multi millionaire on a demo? The trustafarians are the only ones with idle time for this sort of thing.

  • Comment number 21.

    19

    people in debt can be controlled.

  • Comment number 22.

    YOU WOULD THINK THE ISRAELIS WERE SPECIAL OR SOMETHING (#18)

    Piecemeal - we are shown what Israel 'allows itself to do' to anyone who does not fit in with their plan. What we don't know, of course, is just how ambitious that plan is. Confrontation is out of the question, as the cry of 'anti Semitism' goes up, but (rather than 'ooh sharks' #18) can we have a factual look at just what Israel intends, and just how little it cares about opprobrium?

    Is it STILL a 'Chosen People' thing? In 2011!!!!!! Then God help us all.

  • Comment number 23.

    23

    just don't try renting a house barry. weez not welcome.

    curiously if one is pro human rights for all one is called anti semitic. which means to be pro semitic one has to be anti human rights.

    the real battle in israel is between those who want human rights for all, who get called all sorts of names [see hasbara handbook of internet warfare point 1], and those who don't.

    Cameron is patron of the JNF. which must mean he is anti human rights?

    someone is claiming mossad put the shark in the water.Ludicrous. but who is putting the shark in the israeli mind?

  • Comment number 24.

    THE NOMINAL BEAM IN MY OWN EYE (#23)

    'Interfaith Blair', is the bellwether. With his usual gut-instinct for maximum platform space and paid claptrap, he has positioned himself ACROSS ALL FAITHS. What a performer - what a performance!

    But his adroitness serves to demonstrate the global disaster that is faith itself - any and all faith. All babies KNOW there is a higher power. As children it is reinforced (or not) in terms of deity. Maturity (as with Santa and the Tooth Fairy) SHOULD leave faith behind - BUT MANY DO NOT MATURE SUFFICIENTLY.

    In the past, fighting THEM on religious grounds was in keeping with the general state of understanding - today it is incongruous. But our immaturity means that, instead of leaving dogma, ritual and SPECIAL STATUS behind, we get The Church of Dawkins - every bit as rabid and illogical as the rest.

    Just as affluence is seen as the new 'pill' surely philosophy and wisdom would 'deliver us from servile' to observance of every wretched kind. Until this is achieved, I declare the Dark Ages to be still in progress. But am I doing anything about it?

  • Comment number 25.

    I think Camilla did exactly the right thing in that incident last night ..... presumably she wound the window down to try and calm the crowd? .... and then wound it up again when instructed to do so by a policeman as
    he got the situation under control .... .The Metropolitan Police Commissioner should focus on the real issue
    which is how a student ended up being injured outside Parliament after allegedly being hit by a truncheon?
    Of course in retrospect they should have travelled to The Palladium in Prince Philip's converted London taxi.

    Then the driver could have done a U-turn on Regent Street when things got lively ....

  • Comment number 26.

  • Comment number 27.

    Regent Street during the Christmas rush-hour in 2010 was not exactly Sarajevo in 1914 when the driver had to reverse several times before his unfortunate Royal passengers found themselves vulnerable to Princip's attacks.

  • Comment number 28.

    POWER ELITE - POWER EFFETE (#26 link)

    Huhne is clearly a power junkie. Probably mapped his course early on. But he is a touch less lovely than Window Dummy Nick, so it got away from him.

    Worthy of note that when Al Gore lost the Presidency race, he switched to climate-cuckoo land. Politicians all 'sign up' to soulless entities (parties) rather as Blair signed up to Bush. In doing so they lose their souls. After that, they live 'within the lie' and nothing is either true or false; expediency is all. Huhne has come home to roost.

  • Comment number 29.

    something about the statement that violence has no place in protest or the demonstration of opposition feels void, when it comes from senior social agents who have supported official foreign policy that has intervened in the functioning of other countries (see balcans, iraq, afghanistan, etc) with admittedly more deadly weapons than snooker balls or cobblestones.. the hypocrisy is rife and no journalist dares to say it like it is.. enter the wikileaks saga who exposes most of politics (the bit that matters) for the dishonest theatre that it is.. shame

  • Comment number 30.

    AH YES - BUT YOU ARE BEING LOGICAL, ALMOST PHILOSOPHICAL (#29)

    It is said that 'diplomacy' is the 'art of lying abroad for your country'. By the same token, politics is 'standing', at home, for anything you can get away with.

    Vaclav Havel coined 'living within the lie'. Money is a lie. 'Terror' is a lie. Democracy is a lie. And there are many more. There is a brute similarity between whacking indigenous heads with a metal rod and bombing Johnnie Foreigner in his home. If this really is the best we can do, as I have said before, this country should be put into Special Measures until we can show some competence.

    Weep Britain.

  • Comment number 31.

    " Where are the Aneurin Bevans, the Harry Trumans, the De Gaulles of our era? Or are we stuck with Tommy Sheridan and a bunch of indistinguishable Oxbridge PPE special advisors, rewarded with safe parliamentary seats who eventually end up running the country for a while. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

    Long live John Pilger!

    Watch the BBC News? More info on Timmytime."

    Having first read Le Monde as a youngster on a camping site on the 'Cote de Beaune' (Meursault to be precise)
    when De Gaulle was still running France, I struggle to make sense of postings such as the above .... De Gaulle
    was no Aneurin Bevan and Truman dropped two A-bombs on Japan?! As for Tommy Sheridan, trial is ongoing
    and a surprising number of charges have been dropped by the prosecution - even before closing statements.
    Sheridan's legislative record remains impressive I would suggest regardless of the outcome of proceedings: a
    bill that ending 'poindings' would never have passed without him; and he campaigned for free school meals.

  • Comment number 32.

    As for comment 12's reference to Screaming Lord Sutch: I remember sharing a B&B with the Sutch camp in the March 1983 Darlington by-election when Edinburgh Uni students came down to helpout Vincent Hanna with
    the exit-polling for Newsnight chaperoned by Dr Henry Drucker and myself ..... Labour just held on during
    the by-election but lost the seat 11 weeks later in the General Election to Tory Michael Fallon .... But what I
    remember in particular was the attractive, witty populism of Lord David Sutch whose manifesto deliberately
    targetted younger voters with the offer of free guitars and associated gear for the unemployed and pointed
    out the illogicality of adding cruise missiles to Britain's nuclear arsenal on the extremely rational basis that
    it was basically a waste of money to stockpile enough nuclear weapons to blow the world up several times
    over when once was surely enough ....... Sadly he didn't kiss enough babies and lost his deposit - yet again
    - but lived to fight another day by doing rock gigs round Darlington's pubs - to finance his next campaign!

    A legend!

  • Comment number 33.

    Enjoyed your interview with Daniel Ellsberg. Subsequently stumbled across another historical piece on earlier security leaks by former 'Newsnight' presented the legendary Sir Ludovic Kennedy interviewing an MI6 agent
    during Christmas past ..... Note the remarkable similarity between this "Sir Arthur" and satirist Peter Cooke?!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfZvJ3PzS3M From BBC's 'A Life In Pieces: Part 9: Drummers Drumming'

  • Comment number 34.

    stupid students

    why did they leave the agreed route? the students have broken their word and have shown themselves untrustworthy.

    part of growing up is choosing to use their power for good. clearly they have no conception of that.

    the student leader seemed hysterical. blinded by some false beliefs. at least she admits their stewards are incompetent and admits she cannot control a demonstration.

    I used to know sailors who worked the oz-arabia sheep ships route where the sheep are packed so tight they can't move.lots die from the heat. they used to put the dead sheep in shredders that blows the goo overboard.

    more steph. she asks intelligent questions.

  • Comment number 35.

    #32; you miss the point; nowadays politicians are the same; no-one could accuse the bunch quoted as homogenous; and, yup, Tommy is included in the mix.

  • Comment number 36.

    good to see they are beginning to arrest the wiki terrorists. any uk terrorists should lose their internet connection for breaking the service rules.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/netherlands/8192780/WikiLeaks-teenager-arrested-for-revenge-attacks.html

  • Comment number 37.

    RULE BREAKERS (#36)

    Thats all the politicians arrested then Jaunty! Have you read the MP code?

  • Comment number 38.

    37

    isn't having your hand in the till within the rules?

  • Comment number 39.

    ..John Major: Fantasy to Reality

    lecture to yale

    the usa laps this stuff up

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0f_125cQZU

  • Comment number 40.

    "stupid students
    why did they leave the agreed route? the students have broken their word and have shown themselves untrustworthy."

    "Untrustworthy"...then they were only following the example set by their political leaders. In fact, as Ms Solomon pointed out, they did leave the agreed route.


    "the student leader seemed hysterical. blinded by some false beliefs. at least she admits their stewards are incompetent and admits she cannot control a demonstration."

    On the contrary, Ms Solomon gave an outstanding and assured performance and imho turned Ms Flanders inside out. Ms Solomon was so accomplished she literally did not let Flanders get a word in edgeways. She was logical in argument and was certainly not hysterical. In fact, she was as accomplished as her co-student-union leader Aaron Porter was on Question Time on Thursday evening [however, the latter did have a habit of leering at the audience with the face of a Cheshire cat after each delivery. It was quite unbecoming.] Remember, both are only just recently graduated and yet both were able to deliver such articulate, polished performances. I would even go as far to say that they were both better than any of their experienced political adversaries on both programmes (or were they shows?), Dimbleby aside that is. What might you think could explain that? What is the common characteristic that Mr Porter and Ms Solomon both share?

    "good to see they are beginning to arrest the wiki terrorists. any uk terrorists should lose their internet connection for breaking the service rules."

    The person referred to in your attached link is a 16 y/o Dutch school boy and you have the temerity to label him a terrorist. Get real!

    To me, you sound rather resentful of university students and all students in general. I wonder why that might be? Was it because you couldn't quite cut it to be a university student yourself!

  • Comment number 41.

    "SCIENCE ISN'T EMOTIONAL - IT DEALS IN FACTS" (#39 link)

    There you have a major political fallacy - in a Major nut shell. This non-scientist has swallowed the myth of scientific RATIONALITY whole.

    I bet he thinks the NIST report on 9/11 is science-based, as is 'climate' cosmology. He even thinks Susan Watts is well informed.

    I listened to Major's opening remarks then, before my large intestine could try to throttle my brain, I jumped to the middle. There was this 'great statesman' saying the immortal words of my title.

    Weep true scientists.

  • Comment number 42.

    MP CODE - NOTE THE EMPHASIS ON MONEY RATHER THAN INTEGRITY (#38)

    "Selflessness
    Holders of public office should take decisions solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends.
    Integrity
    Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might influence them in the performance of their official duties.

    Objectivity
    In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.

    Accountability
    Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.

    Openness
    Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.

    Honesty
    Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.

    Leadership
    Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example."

  • Comment number 43.

    Russian spy agency unveils Kim Philby memorial plaque

    ..It features a quotation from Philby: "I look back at the life I led as given to the service of a cause that I sincerely and passionately believe is right." ...

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/8191989/Russian-spy-agency-unveils-Kim-Philby-memorial-plaque.html

    who else keeps uses that motto as an excuse ?

    the russians of course had a whole regiment skilled in killing spies in Smersh 'Death to Spies'. So they don't see it as that honourable.

    see the bungling mi6 'who couldn't believe 'one of us' was a spy'

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

    given the way he was treated in moscow when they had no real use for him why the plague now?

    Philby contradicts that motto ..In his memoirs, My Silent War, published in English in 1968, Philby contradictorily asserted no doubt to please his editors that he had accepted the Soviet invitation to become their spy out of a lust for power: 'One does not look twice at an offer of enrolment in an elite force'....

    his last wife said ..He was depressed, out of work and lonely. He once told me that drinking was the best way to commit suicide. ...

    or for someone to trust philby?

  • Comment number 44.

    42

    Clearly that list must be aspirational :)

    It is of course ludicrous to expect someone whose only 'qualification' is that they have been selected by a political party to stand for election to live up to any of that.

    As the Romans pointed out virtues and vice are the result of long habit. The habits are acquired in private life. Any yet 'unpurified' perversions only become magnified when someone is launched into public life.

    If one reads about say the previous culture inside, at one time, wall st elite if you wrote a report and even a comma was out of place the whole thing was dumped in the bin unread [no matter how brilliant it might if been]. The idea there being a total commitment to an ethos of perfection in the workplace so it becomes a habit.

    UK democracy institutionalises incompetence. We have a shadow chancellor who can neither ask his own economic questions nor judge the answers. MPs are selected not because they have demonstrated any skill but because they are say 'asian', 'rich', 'male' or whatever else the local party bosses thinks will appeal either to the local electors or their own prejudices. So political dogma rather than any evidence that demonstrates skill in leadership etc is the gatekeeper.

    if anyone with any talent gets through it is mere chance.

  • Comment number 45.

    We must be living in a parallel universe......
    http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/216911/British-passports-to-be-made-abroad

    nuff said.

  • Comment number 46.

    45

    the government hayekists will say the 'market' is the only source of wisdom. So it is upon that altar of false beliefs that virgins of common sense must be sacrificed.

    the guardian class have adopted a set of infantile false beliefs that does away with guardianship and taking responsibility.

  • Comment number 47.

    Harriet Harman. I've always said she was not normal; a bit strange. Liberalism is without doubt a very serious mental illness. Its that serious an illness, it could well be responsible for the demise of a once great country.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1337876/Harman-praises-hero-immigrants-send-welfare-handouts-home.html

  • Comment number 48.

    #45 and #47 Thanks for the links Mistress and Kev, I'm sitting here weeping, how absolutely crazy to print our passports abroad, and put more of us out of work.

    And as for Harman she should be certified, or tackled about her racism towards the british people, just because she's extremely rich, the average jo bloggs isn't!

  • Comment number 49.

    THIS CHEAP SHOT IS JUST TOO GOOD TO MISS (#45)

    British passports to be made abroad. As a consequence, in a few short years, the majority of 'Britons' will feel a real sense of belonging when holding one.

  • Comment number 50.

  • Comment number 51.

    #50 There's something seriously wrong with us as a nation.

    See what I mean! We are completely stark raving mad, just like Harriet.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1338097/Tuition-fees-protest-Anarchists-Argentina-Germany-Italy-plotted-mayhem.html

    Apologies for quoting myself!

  • Comment number 52.

    "THE APE CONFUSED BY LANGUAGE" (#50 #51)

    "POLITICS: THE ART OF SELF-DECEPTION WRAPPED IN THE CRAFT OF DECEIVING OTHERS 'FOR THEIR OWN GOOD'."

    "SPOILPARTYGAMES."

    "WEEP BRITAIN."

    It's catching Lizzy!

  • Comment number 53.

    #52 When listening to Radio 4 this morning I heard that 20 million people watched the x factor final.

    Would that be a better way to conduct our voting Barrie? Or is that "fixed" just like our politics here?! ; )

  • Comment number 54.

    STARK SIMILARITY (#53)

    Narcissistic poseurs run both Lizzy. X-Factor is PRIMARILY a platform for Simon Cowell (just watch him pose!) and the 'governance' of 60+ million poor souls, is the plaything of Dave Cameron (just watch . . .).

    In Dave WE HAVE GOT OURSELVES ANOTHER ONE. Ignoring poor wee Jimmie G Brown, who had simply got caught up in the Westminster Machine, the 'last one' was TECTONIC TONY - for whom (in his imagination) God moved the plates out of his way. Now he strides the earth like a Colossus, using all faiths as stepping stones, forever 'passing GO' and collecting another wad.

    Perfidious Albion has added perversity to her name.

  • Comment number 55.

    Fairness?

    Folks have known the truth for centuries. This cool medieval quote from the letters page in the Observer;

    "The law doth punish man or woman,

    Who steals the goose from off the common;

    But lets the greater felon loose,

    Who steals the common from the goose."

  • Comment number 56.

    FORSOOTH (#55)

    That time changed naught, can't be denied.
    Please God, the peasants by and by
    Will wake - perchance to step 'outside'
    And take a gander at 'the lie'.

 

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