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Friday 3 December 2010

Verity Murphy | 12:21 UK time, Friday, 3 December 2010

More detail on tonight's programme:

Internet shopping is the stress free way to shop and now accounts for one third of high street sales. But do we ever think about what happens once the order is despatched, or how the thousands of workers who bring the goods to our door are treated?

Tonight, we have a report on the workers handling deliveries for some of Britain's biggest retailers who have no employment rights and earn as little as 50p per package.

We will bring you up to date on the latest Wikileaks revelations.

And we have an interview with Richard Thaler - the academic behind "Nudge", the theory which has been embraced by the Tories and is said to lie behind much of the thinking about how government should influence human behaviour.


  • Comment number 1.

    ..According to Professor Thaler, we would all invest in the stock market if we were rational, but we do not...

    oh dear. why would anyone rational 'invest' in a rigged game? if that was the way to wealth why is he wasting his time with all this other stuff?

    peer pressure works which is why its currently 'cool' to drop out of school and live a gangster lifestyle with a 'only fools and horses' work mindset? Once one 15 year old has a baby they all want one?

    some people need more than a nudge they need a slap?

  • Comment number 2.

  • Comment number 3.


    The mistake Woolas made was to put his head above the 'parapet' of Westminster, all-party, piled-high general dishonesty. As I have posted before: the REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE ACT (the joke is in the title) can only be accessed VIA THE POLICE! (Yet the ignorant media have been querying the recourse to law!)

    Having received in May, a generic Conservative flyer that appears to be in contempt of Section 115, I intend to 'persuade' Westminster to change its ways, and show a little integrity. I will not be troubling the police. I shall certainly apply the 'Clegg Protocol' to this law, and ignore any aspects that don't suit. It might even help to


  • Comment number 4.

    Would like to know why you haven't invited Adam Curtis onto the show in the Richard Thaler interview, considering he did a piece on The Governments Behavioural Insights Unit on his BBC blog.

  • Comment number 5.

    "Nick Griffin is going to contest his former seat.."
    and this non-entity matters because .. ?

    wikileaks : can we trust the reporting of the cables, it would appear not .. considering the media went big on iran being in receipt of BM25 long range missiles from north korea without mentioning that the russians did not believe the missiles exist since they have never been tested in north korea nor in iran , and thought that they were a paper fiction .

  • Comment number 6.

    Phil Woolas is the victim of a ludicrous stitchup and if this nonsense is allowed to stand, politicians will rue the day they started down this road.

    Down the years I've seen LibDem leaflets that were IMHO absolutely blantant smear campaigns or downright lies and deliberate falsehoods - this action is so hyprocritical it beggars belief.

    In case you live in a cotton wool house and have your ears and eyes stuffed with it, politics is a dirty business which is about differentiating yourself from your opponents by elevating your own policies and track record whilst denigrating theirs, calling into question their judgement, competence, integrity, ability and policies.

    As grown ups, we then listen to what is said, taking virtually everything with a large pinch of salt, then decide whose particular pitch is the least worst fit to our own ideas and vote accordingly.

    If the test of whether everything that is said and published is factually correct is going to be applied, then we're not opening a can of worms, we're pouring millions of tons of them all over the process to the point where it will become totally unworkable.

    There will now be party workers deployed trying to find even the littlest factual error in every leaflet, press release or public statement - these will be carefully filed and depending on the result of every individual election, wheeled out and lodged as objections by the losers.

    This will then leave democracy wholly dependent on the whim of some pen pushers whose judgement will determine the result, not the votes of the electors.

    We now know that Clegg SAID he wouldn't put up tuition fees but just days BEFORE the poll was actively planning to ditch his promises.

    We now know that Clegg SAID he was opposed to the Tories spending cuts in terms of scale and speed, whilst again BEFORE the poll he was planning to go along with them.

    Both of these 180 reversals in his publically stated position amount to deliberately allowing the electorate to be deceived about what a LibDem coalition would do - but that's OK, is it, whilst Phil Woolas' "robust" response to his LibDem opponent in the best traditions of opponent smearing is so beyond the pale that it justifies assuming the electorate are small children who need protecting from knockabout politics?

    Get real - better still, Get Clegg!

  • Comment number 7.


    woolas was quite rightly removed from office not for making up what he would or would not do in office but for making up stories about others.

    comparing that to a coalition agreement is just loyal desperation.

  • Comment number 8.


    Did you get this flyer in your constituency? Untold numbers did.

    Was it true? Could it ever be true? Did it come true? Did you just shrug and accept it?

    Is it me?

  • Comment number 9.

    Evidence of a nation of adolescent hissy-fitters incapable of seeing themselves as the rest of the world now does (even though our own media never stops publicising it to the world!).

  • Comment number 10.

    ..'take the British away and give us back the Americans'."...

    yes lets take ourselves way from afghanistan. they don't need us. they don't want us.
    why are 345 british dead? 345!!!!

    tony blairs legacy wars are not worth one more british life. let the americans and the afghans play their games.

    we need to stop fighting other people's wars. given oil has been found in the falklands we might have one of our own soon?

  • Comment number 11.

  • Comment number 12.

    "And we have an interview with Richard Thaler - the academic behind "Nudge", the theory which has been embraced by the Tories and is said to lie behind much of the thinking about how government should influence human behaviour."
    Instead of talking about irrationality, perhaps we should be talking about how we differ along another, very well researched, dimension, which also begins with the same letter?
    But I guess not, as we're 'all in this together', and to the same extent?

  • Comment number 13.


    What are those American's like? Fancy putting Hilary up on the veracity of Wikileaks!

  • Comment number 14.


    That will certainly fit them for the teaching profession on return. But what is all that violence-orientated training about? And hugging in body-armour? I don't think so.

    I was about to suggest the Salvation Army but . . .

  • Comment number 15.

    #3 barrie

    ‘I intend to 'persuade' Westminster to change its ways, and show a little integrity. I will not be troubling the police. I shall certainly apply the 'Clegg Protocol' to this law, and ignore any aspects that don't suit. I intend to 'persuade' Westminster to change its ways, and show a little integrity. I will not be troubling the police. I shall certainly apply the 'Clegg Protocol' to this law, and ignore any aspects that don't suit.’

    I’ve applied a similar level of ‘integrity’ by filling in the required forms to all my banks and investments that state I am not a taxpayer and require the Gross Interest in all dealings. Having paid taxes for 50 years of earnings I believe I should not have my pension taxed (double taxation) and need to preserve what little wealth I have left.

    I’ll wait for any challenge and argue my philosophy then. This seems a reasonably form of civil disobedience and protest at the wasteful use my tax payments (as posted last night)

    Incidentally, BBC news 24 tonight asks “where do you stand if you don’t go to work because of the snow – does your employer still have to pay you?” The expert, understandably, said the answer is 'NO'.

    Our local GP practice has been closed for the past 2 days; the ‘CLOSED’ notice on the door doesn’t deem it necessary to provide any explanation – or apology.

    My question: – Is the NHS still going to pay their full (recently inflated) salaries without deductions?

  • Comment number 16.


    Let me know how it goes.

    The IHT on my brother's estate was eyewatering - far too much to get a loan. The IHT office (one bloke) demanded we try and fail, before he would allow a Grant on Credit, and the delay cost us interest due to - delay in paying.

    Now I have to find a way of dying that cheats the buggers. Cryogenic storage BEFORE DEATH?

  • Comment number 17.

    if a doa attack on one website wikileaks 'threatened to bring hundreds of others down' what would a real cyber attack do on thousands of state websites? or was it just a convenient excuse to close the domain name?

  • Comment number 18.


    I was watching one of those pernicious TV ads for 'No Win No Fee' accident claims, and recalled that, not so long ago, SOLICITORS COULD NOT SOLICIT - by law. That made me consider the similarity with the repeal of Glass Steagall. Have I got a point? Could both be regarded as pre-emptive wisdom, applied judiciously to restrain man's base nature?

    What other examples of the 'Brakes of Wisdom' being taken off man's juvenile need-n-greed are there?

  • Comment number 19.

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

  • Comment number 20.

    Nudge nudge, wink wink - know what I mean?

    I like the concept of ‘nudge’ though I haven’t yet painted a fly as a target in my loo, I prefer to consider the environment by decanting on the compost heap.

    I’m also motivated by the act of reverting back in time to being a hunter-gatherer (or an African village person) so most days go to the local woods and collect fallen kindling for my solid-fuel stove - saving money being a further motivator. However, having read about the Uruguay ploy (offering to leave their oil deposits untapped in exchange for a payment of half the value) I am now prepared not to light my wood-burning fire in exchange for a government payment equal to half the carbon credit.

  • Comment number 21.

    Im a Hermes courier and at 45pence a parcel im earning well under the national wage after ive paid for petrol not to mention all the other costs like maininance of car, tires to mention a few.

    its discusting we will never be able to strike and ask for a better pay per parcel as we are self employed and have no union...

    how is this fair... its not and theres nothing we can do about it..

    its about time the law changed to give people like us a fair deal.

    From an unhappy courier.

  • Comment number 22.


    I suspect that if the privatisation of the Royal Mail goes through our posties will soon be in a similar position to you, except that perhaps they will have to hire their van on an expensive franchise to maximise corporate profits ?

  • Comment number 23.


    Yaweh would appear to be running rings round Jehovah DJ!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Hello JJ!

  • Comment number 24.


    cameron is a patron of the jnf. no one has yet asked him how he squares that with a belief in equal human rights for all regardless of race, colour or creed?

  • Comment number 25.

    Oh for crying out loud NN, not Irwin Stelzer (Mr Free-market) on yet again.

    #21 anonymous musssy
    For your info. Irwin Stelzer is Jewish and probably most of the owners of the shops, whose goods you deliver every day, are Jewish as well.

    Stelzer just stated that he started out 'delivering flowers for 25 cents a shot'. Now at todays prices (he's 78 y/o btw) that would equate to around $9.50 a delivery!

    SOME people are truly heartless, if not sadistic.

    musssy - take my advice and find work with a more socially minded employer.

  • Comment number 26.

    EU Greenwash wearing thin in Germany ?

  • Comment number 27.


    Specifically, his warning was against Thatcher. But Blair was heir, and Brown fell down, now Thatcher's children come tumbling after; laughing and playing all the way - WITH OUR LIVES.

    Now comes The Nudge. A whole book about How to Lose Friends and Influence People. Only a slogan-hungry politician could think there is anything new in this. Hello Dave! The Big Society (those who are still awake) know this stuff. Try not to look more of a pillock than you did on that poster.

    The only nudge I am keen to arrange, is the one that a loving confidant gives a clapped out individual, who has reached the point of pointlessness. I have every sympathy for the courier @21 above, but at least you can still make your point. The old and ill go into terminal storage, sans everything, where the slightest hint of a nudge brings do-gooders running to restore the 'status banal'.

    This country is three-parts barmy and Parliament is full of gormless ninnies - some who have not even outgrown religion!

  • Comment number 28.

    A lot more should have been said about the exploitation of couriers. I have known several who have had bad accidents due to the hazards of their trade and also the increasing competitiveness that encourages speed at all costs. A survey should be conducted to determine the percentage of crippling accidents suffered by couriers who work at delivering goods cheaply to customers and how that affects their livelihoods and lives after they have been in accidents.

  • Comment number 29.

    Up until two weeks ago I was a Hermes 'Self-employed Courier'.

    I am of the opinion that I was, and the couriers that remain working for Hermes, are employees of Hermes. Hermes give us the work, have direct control over what we do via the Field Manager network and Hermes employees at the Courier Helpdesk, they provide equipment (HHTs) that we are required to use in the course of our work for them, and they set the remuneration for the work in the form of a non-negotiable set rate for delivery of each parcel.

    Also, the Next statement was a little 'economical with the truth' in that Next have a 'Courier HelpDesk' which is given, by Hermes, the contact number for each of the couriers, and they do contact the courier directly with questions about, and directions for, the delivery of Next parcels.

  • Comment number 30.

    Who's exploiting who?

    As the work gets less and less and we get more workers in, action by companies like Hermes will get even worse, incredible how some people have to survive on peanuts, and are exploited.

    Frank Field tried to hold a debate in parliament about mass immigration, I think a score or so MPs showed up, must have been something more important on!!!! : (

    I don't think I was ever asked if I wanted my country exterminated, was there a vote on it I missed?

  • Comment number 31.


    If you want power, Lizzy, get a whip.

    I am trying so hard not to do a 'ping-pong' post on the theme of courier misery versus stored-unto-death misery. Probably failing.

    Of course Mammon's 'bottom-line ethos' turns a blind eye to grinding the 'powerless but work-hungry'; that is the soulless nature of our times. But what is 'storage unto death' all about? Is THAT bottom line too? Or is it 'Political Correctness gone mad'? OR EVEN THE FORMER HIDING IN THE LATTER? There's a thought.

    Apologies to 'used' couriers, but MY recent experience was with my brother's ENFORCED, slow, miserable death (AND NO HELP DESK). Hence my opportunistic posting.

    To the couriers above, I would suggest that, as parties have no soul, you vote for independents, to SPOILPARTYGAMES.

  • Comment number 32.

    #31 stored-unto-death misery

    Watched some beeb news this morning, they were reporting on the problems of living with dementia in this country, your above thought came to mind Barrie.

    If you write a living Will stating you want to be bumped off in case of dementia will it shortly be enabled?

    No-one if we are completely honest wants to live like that, I certainly don't, and do the people suffering really want to. Having experienced quite a few old people with various illness and dementia, they all wish they were dead, and keep saying why am I here.

    I believe pneumonia was called the "old mans friend", well as we are so good at keeping people alive, (even those that want to die,) and having vaccinations against this disease, how long will we keep people alive to suffer.

    We just don't care enough to let people die. Someone is making a load of money out of it as well.

    An afterthought; as so many people take drugs, and alcohol, and eat too much, will the future generations really live that long, will these three "evils" become the new pneumonia?

  • Comment number 33.

    NONE SO BLIND (#32)

    I think it was under Blair (and certainly 'under Westminster') that the NHS became a glorious 'cause celebre'. At the same time NHS dentistry largely disappeared, and the charging system mutated wildly. Somehow, our bizarre leaders had failed to notice that teeth are part of healthcare; teeth being part of every human body and a severe source of pain - even death.


    It is a very ODD MIND-SET that promotes, with vast funding and ballyhoo, new hospitals, scanners, low waiting times and organ transplants, while blatantly dismantling dentistry. If a member of my family behaved in a similar manner, I would suspect mental illness. (We don't do extreme, callous, conniving.)

    The VERY ODD MIND-SET is my 'Westminster Ethos' under which factional party politics thrive, and smiling leaders, with well maintained teeth, FEEL NO PAIN. Do MPs have a Health Plan, INCLUDING DENTISTRY, paid for us?


    Westminster runs US ragged in much the same way that the couriers (above posts) seem to be by their 'masters'. We are manipulated pawns. Might there be a link?

  • Comment number 34.


    You see them roaring commands and yanking chains. It's a dog's life. I have concluded that politics attracts such people, with the small difference that they want to control US.

    We have laws of procreation (wildly applied) NO LAW OF POSITIVE NURTURE, laws for schooling, behaviour laws, tax laws, NONE FOR DEPARTURE ON DEMAND, and laws for disposal of the dead.

    Some laws do not apply inside Westminster - now there's a thing. You would expect the PRIME MOVER of a civilised state to be the MOST constrained component, thereby avoiding the CORRUPTION OF POWER. Surely WISE individuals, possessed of INTEGRITY, would BIND THEMSELVES in draconian ways, to the point of pain?

    The ninny-ciphers of Westminster, just stamp themselves 'HONOURABLE' the moment their rosette gains them entry to Westminster (how redolent of the 'AAA' of City banking) and then proceed to screw us with REPETITION and DEVIATION, but without hesitation. Again - it's a dog's life.

    Weep Britain.

  • Comment number 35.

    EATING CAKE NEEDS NO TEETH (#34 additional)

    'What planet is the government on'.

    'Like travelling back in time' (comment of former Soviet dentist contracted in Yorkshire.)


    Weep Britain.

  • Comment number 36.

    #30.ecolizzy, referring to
    The Special report: Will the white British population be in a minority in 2066? Asks
    “Who's exploiting who?

    Major points by Professor David Coleman (one of Britain’s foremost experts on demographics, and hugely respected for his academic rigour and avoidance of emotion and prejudice in his work) are that:

    The longest-lasting impact on our society may well be the demographic upheaval brought about by the policy of mass immigration,
    73% of the public said they would feel unhappy; we don’t have the public services to cope; more than 2 million new homes will have to be built over the next 25 years for immigrants, with more cramped living standards, or increased prices because supply cannot meet demand; water supply in the South-East would come under enormous strain; more than a million additional school places will be needed over the next decade at a cost of £100 billion; and an enormous change to national identity — cultural, political, economic and religious, would be brought about by white Britons becoming a minority group.

    This is relevant to the NN discussion on the alleged exploitation of internet delivery couriers. UK’s Minimum Wage is a huge magnet to the world’s millions of dollar-a-day earners, and those who cannot find employment here (no relevant skills, cannot speak English, and/or are illegal immigrants) can join this black economy by accepting ‘self-employment’ slavery with no questions asked.

    The ‘self-employment’ status may also provide covert employment to ‘top-up’ many claiming unemployed and job-seekers benefits, so needs looking into - but not by compassionate Conservatives. More TALC.

  • Comment number 37.

    The nudge theory should work both ways. For example, we have not managed to nudge the Government in the right direction regarding the Forgemasters loan as yet, or an in or out referendum on membership of the EU.

    Will the Armed Forces benefit from the 160,000 reduction of job cuts to the public sector, as we are told that they are part of the public sector too, well, at least for cuts.

  • Comment number 38.

    So thirteen years of labour throwing money at education didn't work...

    It proves JJ/Stats/tabs theories right.

    I used to work in data processing, we had a phrase that said, "rubbish in, rubbish out" I wonder if that holds true in education.

  • Comment number 39.

    THERE MIGHT BE MORE TO IT (#38 link)

    Let's have a look at Priggy-Boy Gove (pictured doing an imitation of one of those fish that stick on the tank-glass).

    I gather Gove has a 2.1 in English from Oxford? It hasn't done much to curb his raw ambition or to improve self-awareness, has it!

    What sort of intelligence do we want in our children - especially in the ones who go on to govern? Personally I want wise, self-aware, competent individuals of integrity WHO NEED NEITHER A GOD, NOT A PARTY, TO PROP THEIR INADEQUACIES. This does not describe Mr Gove (Anglican Conservative) yet I have no doubt he scores well in an IQ test.

    I strongly suspect that (in very crude terms) the Left Brain designed the IQ test to make it look good. The Right Brain doesn't go in for such dismal pursuits. It is not beyond the realms of possibility, that the LB actually WANTED to make RB come out of an IQ test LOOKING BAD! If that sounds a bit 'Westminster', think on't.

    Schooling for learning was never natural. Since it had some early success, the lives of the young, and the forces impinging on them, have changed immeasurably (and unmeasured). Schooling for learning isn't working, but I want to suggest it is more the case because schooling is dumb, rather than because the kids are dumb.

    Take another look at Gove, stuck to his tank. Do you see wisdom? Do you see anything you are looking for in governance? He is a party politician running education. Education isn't working. QED?

  • Comment number 40.

    Now we have to pay for Kraft to move part of its operation to Switzerland.

    I haven't bought anything by Cadbury's since the takeover and avoid Kraft as much as possible.

  • Comment number 41.

    how the market is ripping off the public.

    unlike in europe the uk govt resolutely refuses to ensure the uk has 100 days storage of oil and gas saying it is the 'market' that is the best arranger. If we had 100 days of storage the public would not be forced to pay a temporary wholesale price in fuel that then never comes down.

    the govts commitment to failure and the market exploitation of temporary price spikes to profiteer from the public is a national disgrace.

    a week or so wholesale price spike should not affect the price of fuel bought at summer contract prices.

    the regulator is asleep and toothless.

    of course ripping of the poor is good hayekism. as is paying bankers billions for stupendously stupid and greedy bets with money they did not have to cover those bets.

  • Comment number 42.


    the hayek belief the market is the 'best arranger' of a nations affairs results in the market arranging it so you end up in destitution. locking in a spiral and trend of poverty.

    markets do not deliver national wealth and stability they deliver private profit.

  • Comment number 43.

    Jaunty #41

    The reason we do not have adequate gas storage is not down to the market, plenty of companies have put in at least two firm workable proposals for underground gas storage here in the North West. Every time they apply for planning permission the eco-fascists pop up and demand public enquiries and the the Minister ( Prescott again ) stop the project in its tracks. What more evidence does one need to prove the eco-fascists are working in the interest of the energy cartel and have nothing to do with protecting the people or our environment

  • Comment number 44.


    it may also be convenient for the govt to blame the nimbys and useful for the govt that the nimbys do 'complain'?

    clearly they see no urgency in a strategic failing that has gone on for decades.

    the govt has powers to overide and shorten inquiries if the project is in the national interest.

    the labour [and this] govt was totally jacking up on the 'no rules, market knows best' hayekist heaven which is why tony blair had wild eyed hysterics and went out of his way to give a speech to slap them down when the fsa said there needed to be rules to control what was going on in the city.

    if the dominant atmosphere is 'market knows best' then govt will see no 'urgency' in rectifying a strategic weakness.

    so now we have a situation where after 10 days of cold weather energy companies say prices must go up because oil wholesale prices have temporarily gone up. are they buying oil on a daily basis? no. its profiteering. europeans with 100plus days storage can sit out temporary price spikes. we cannot.

    we also have a pointless 'regulator' who seems to have no independent reasoning and merely accepts what the energy companies tells them which is why, among other things, billing is still just as opaque as ever.

    a while back i posted the european gas price chart that contradicted the gas companies statement that prices had risen 20% above the march high. Any regulator whose focus was the public should have slapped them down.

    why is the uk govt subsiding these inflated energy prices with the 'winter fuel allowance'. They should be looking at why the price is so high in the first place.

    the basic problem is the govt deny there is a problem. which is why they see no urgency and refuse to see it as strategic and so overide the vexacious nimbyism.

  • Comment number 45.

    Phil Woolas

    ..previously a television producer for the BBC (on Newsnight) in 1988–90, where he became firm friends with fellow MUFC supporter Michael Crick....

  • Comment number 46.


    ..It signals the first step towards selling off the 50-year-old West London complex, home to shows like Newsnight and Blue Peter. The BBC aims to sell the 23-acre site for redevelopment as a base for other media.

    for a political programme to move to salford is the textbook triumph of dogma over reason?

  • Comment number 47.

    Didn't someone on here talk about copper prices rocketing?!

    Well a good 'ole bank has got in there!

  • Comment number 48.

    A nice little earner?!

    Something is seriously wrong with our political system.

  • Comment number 49.


    Interesting times Lizzy.

  • Comment number 50.


    Not the sort of faces I want to see at bed-time Lizzy (or down a dark alley).

    Look how they are rallying round Woolas, declaring loudly that he is a friend. There is something very odd about politicians.

    If I went for a job, for which I had no ability, and they made it clear I was being hired because I had a nice tie, I would feel decidedly uneasy. If I then found I was 'honourable' for no reason, I'd run.

    My MP thinks he has a PERSONAL mandate to exercise his judgement, and to be rude to me, 'because the people have spoken' via the ballot box. he must surely APPRECIATE THAT all but a rump voted for his rosette? So he is a fool-fantasist or a knave-conman. And all the others are the same. I venture that is what is 'seriously wrong'.

    Will a Newsnight presenter EVER put that simple point to a politician? "DID THE VOTERS VOTE FOR YOU OR YOUR ROSETTE?" Simples.


  • Comment number 51.

    50pence a packet?.....Luxury, no I is all unravelling now, soon it will be kids up chimneys....told ya....

  • Comment number 52.

    lib dem mp on defence committee hires russian national? if they put that in spooks it would be unbelievable?

  • Comment number 53.

    one might wonder if the material released by wiki leaks is worth a life on the run and being hunted by several not very salubrious regimes?

    if you are going to make enemies with some of the most powerful states in the world it should be over something significant? rather than the opinions of minor officials?

  • Comment number 54.


    Some are beginning to think that John Lennon's anti-war pop at the 'Liberal' US establishment was ultimately punished.

  • Comment number 55.


    Not only is Obama tall (!) he clearly knows that debts must be repaid to the ultra-powerful 'installers' of presidents, and the life-granted must be lived INSIDE THE LIE, or it will be removed.

    It is all too apparent that The Ape Confused by Language now has an unstable world culture, that simply HAS TO TOPPLE. It is ironic that America still uses the pyramid symbol, with an open eye, even when the truth is AN UPSIDE DOWN PYRAMID - BLIND TO REALITY.

    Life has been turned on its head. Even dumb weight, ultimately, obeys gravity. Great will be the fall of it.

  • Comment number 56.


    First JFK and now, according to Mr Strongman, John Lennon.

    Meanwhile BBC interviewed Keith Elliot Greenberg, writer of an alternative Lennon book. No mention of wound discrepancies.

  • Comment number 57.


    Lennon made the establishment look like monkeys.

    A group called 'UK Uncut' made the establishment look like monkeys yesterday.

    ...and for their new found political activism they are now spied on by the Metropolitan Police's undercover - Forward Intelligence Team (not only an oxymoron but a great acronymn to boot).

  • Comment number 58.

    Just draw your own money out on Tuesday...that's all, it doesn't matter how much.

  • Comment number 59.

    ‘That “chief” was Meir Dagan, the outgoing head of Mossad. On his first day in office eight years ago, Mr Dagan had stood on a table in the organisation’s canteen and promised to support any operation against any of Israel’s enemies, with every means he had — legal or illegal.
    He could allow his field agents to use proscribed nerve toxins, dumdum bullets and methods of killing that even the Russian or Chinese secret services would not use.’

    Just imagine the head of Iran’s or North Korea’s secret intelligence services ‘reportedly’ behaving in such a manner as described in the following article.

    MI6 eat your hearts out!

  • Comment number 60.

    It really beggars belief. We may as well have a sign saying "Britain For Sale 99% Discount." De La Rue (the British company who sound French) who print money, may well be bought up by a French company. Of course, De La Rue has made a profit of 57% this year.


    To quote Barrie - "Weep Britain."

  • Comment number 61.

    Was anyone else listening to Radio 4's Today programme this morning when James Naughtie mis-introduced the Culture Sectretary - Jeremy Hunt?

    It was the funniest thing I have ever listened to on live radio. If Radio 4 re-post the programme on 'Listen gain', it occurs at just before 8.00am. Was the coughing fit put on?

    James Naughtie blames Dr Spooner after renaming Jeremy Hunt

  • Comment number 62.

    indignantindegene (36)
    "Major points by Professor David Coleman (one of Britain’s foremost experts on demographics, and hugely respected for his academic rigour and avoidance of emotion and prejudice in his work).."
    We had a population bulge after the war through the 50s, not a boom...
    If you have not done so already, read the Hudson-on-Hudson link provided by Hawkeye_Pierce in post 34 of Mason's Thursday blog:
    Pay particular attention to the old thesis of population density and land value as everything else, I suggest, is froth. Except, I bet, it's supposed to be others (us) who pay property developers via taxes and through PFI?
    What we saw baldly stated from two of Friday night's American guests was either self-serving limited awareness or something far more sinister I suggest. They don't get it as they are over-confident. They are irrational. They are takers, not givers....

  • Comment number 63.

    Debtjuggler (19)
    A remarkable line-up.
    But just as ants, bees etc are not aware of the consequences of their actions, either individually, or collectively, so too is the case with humans, so, pointing out group behaviour is often met with indignant denial simply because those involved are not consciously planning it. If one analyses these matters statistically, the facts, however, speak for themselves. What is anyone to do, especially if it's forbidden to notice let alone remark upon such matters?
    Answer: Look at the consequences and highlight inequality. It's the law.

  • Comment number 64.

    Debtjuggler (19)
    Two articles written just before the Credit Crunch with the recommendation that they be read together:
    The suggestion is that most of us dismally fail to put things together which we should, and that we make completely the wrong inferences instead.

  • Comment number 65.




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