BBC BLOGS - Newsnight: From the web team
« Previous | Main | Next »

Monday 5 September 2011

Sarah McDermott | 11:28 UK time, Monday, 5 September 2011

Tonight on Newsnight Richard Watson examines if Britain was turning a blind eye to maltreatment and colluding with the Gaddafi regime to arrange the rendition of Libyan terror suspects - the PM has said that allegations that MI6 was involved should be examined by an independent inquiry.

Paul Mason will be asking if the IMF's managing-director, Christine Lagarde, was right when she said the global economic outlook had darkened suddenly over the summer, and Jeremy will be speaking to the former chancellor Alistair Darling.

Then we'll be hearing from Murdo Fraser, the favourite to become the next leader of the Scottish Conservatives who reckons the only hope for the party to attract greater support in Scotland would be to split off from the UK party.

And Tim Whewell has been meeting the high command of Libya's National Transitional Council.

That's Newsnight with Jeremy Paxman at 2230 on BBC Two.


  • Comment number 1.

    Bank ring-fencing gets backing from leading investors

    Mr Pitt-Watson, however, dismissed the argument as misguided. "Right now, banks' cost of capital is low because they are 'too-big-to-fail'. As long as the retail bank is still within a ring-fence, it will still be protected, so its cost of capital will not go up, and can do just as much lending as today," he said. "However, the cost of capital for the investment bank may go up, since it will be allowed to fail. As a result the banks might tend to put more of their resources into the retail bank. The ring-fence might lead to more money going into the economy, not less."

  • Comment number 2.


    Boardroom pay packages soar to average of £4.5m in 2010

    "The evidence exposes the myth that big bonuses and high salaries result in better company performances," said Deborah Hargreaves, chair of the commission. "There has been massive growth in what has been termed performance-related pay, yet no such corresponding leap forward in company performance."

    Isn't it funny how the elites in the corporate bordrooms always refer to their pay as 'compensation'. I guess that means the rest of us are merely wage slaves.
    Those that work that is!

  • Comment number 3.

    Here's one to start the week with:

    Liberalism and socialism is a mental disorder. They open the borders and let 4 million in to try and change our culture. And they ummed and arred about building new homes. Can I suggest they build them near those river banks where paxman casts his fishing flys and the other houses can be built in and around the back gardens of those diversity loving Labour MPs..we can start with getting some homes built in near proximity to Lord Prescott.

  • Comment number 4.

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

  • Comment number 5.

    DEFAMATION? (#4)


    As many here will know, my MP (and others now sitting) used a conservative 'Xxxxx Instrument' to apply 'xxxxx xxxxxxxxx' on voters in 2010. The instrument was a Xxxx Flyer with a series of assertions that only a CONSERVATIVE WIN IN THEIR CONSTITUENCY could stop 5 more years of Gordon Brown. Manifestly xxxxx as, in at least one constituency, receiving the instrument, THE CONS LOST.

    In an ongoing struggle with my MP, I recently requested the NUMBER of 'Xxxx Flyers' that his acolytes put through Newbury doors. His response was xxxxxxx, xxxxxxxxx, and the assertion he will not respond further.

    THIS IS WHEN ONE DISCOVERS THAT OUR 'XXXXXXXXXX' MPs EXEMPTED THEMSELVES FROM FOI! And political parties. HAVING NO LEGAL EXISTENCE, cannot be deemed 'public authorities' under the FOI Act. So The Cons escape too. There's Westminster integrity - it has that xxxxx . . .

    I can guess 'what is next' for the Libyan NYC. It will be a master-class in xxxxxx from a high-order Westminster Jolly-group.

    Weep Libya.

  • Comment number 6.

    @ Kevsey #3 - Thanks for the article. Sometimes it seems as though we are living in a parallel universe :o( The Afghani refugees get a £1.2million mansion, whereas the soldier who was fighting for the country to give the Afghanis freedom gets a tiny 1 bed flat he cannot even use a wheelchair in on the sixth floor. Why are soldiers treated so appallingly?

    Boris Johnson also has an interesting article out in today's Daily Telegraph too Re: Gaddafi

  • Comment number 7.

  • Comment number 8.


    Boris had me fooled there 76 - the name I had in mind was nearer home.

    One thing is sure, if the Westminster Model is followed


  • Comment number 9.


    Boris writes: "It may all sound reprehensible, but I am afraid it’s called politics."

    We SHOULD be afraid. Reprehensible politics are so very British.


  • Comment number 10.


    Ed Miliband seeks to rewrite Labour's founding principles

    "In the first redrafting of the party's clauses in 17 years since Tony Blair famously scrapped clause IV, which until then had committed Labour to a programme of mass nationalisation, Miliband hopes to get party support for his wider ambitions for the party, which have so far been controversial with union leaders."

    We now live in a corporatist state in the UK (and the US). The corporations (i.e the banks, News International etc.) have complete control of the legislature. Corporatism is just Fascism by another name. Surely we are now reaching the point whereby if Labour are to provide a credible alternative then they have to consider something far more radical than the above.

    OR…perhaps New Labour are just libertarian shills and the above 'Refounding' is simply another deceptive makeover to fool the masses.

    'Red Ed' indeed!

  • Comment number 11.

    Albion at its most perfidious?

  • Comment number 12.

    'We'll examine if Britain was turning a blind eye'

    The various 'we's' (inc: who falls under 'Britain' in this instance) will be interesting in the latest forensic 'examination' from the edit suite.

    John Prescott must be well rested. Sure his 'insights' will help clarify the reasoning behind the government of the day. Ms. Abbott might be 'indisposed for once.

  • Comment number 13.

    #6 Mistress re the Boris article

    Be very careful of what Bullingdon Boris writes. Despite his blusterous, bombastic style, he's as neo-con as they come.

    Take for example the untruth that he peddles in the article with regard to banking and wealth creation. He repeatedly connects the two phrases, as a way of acheiving repetitive enforcement, as if it were fact. Of course, the banks, and most of the City do NOT create any wealth. The only way wealth can be creeated is by making real stuff. You know, taking commodities such as steel etc and turning them into useful finished products to sell/export to others. Real work is required to be performed.

    So in that sense, they should merely be considered as 'skimmers' of profit through their handling of the worlds money/equities/currencies transactions etc. They do not create any wealth for the UK, all they do is make money and private profit at the expense of the rest of us bailing them out every once in a while

  • Comment number 14.



  • Comment number 15.

    amazing to hear from Darling yesterday the chaos that was NuLabour, what awful people these people are, no scruples, no decency, just slag off each other through third parties, Brown's spys were Ed Balls and Milliband and to think they are still in situ today...we are all lost, finished...kaput....

  • Comment number 16.

    stevie @ 15

    Those of us who were outside of the Westmonster bubble could rely on journalist Tom 'bloodhound' Bowers to tell us in an unauthorised biography of Gordon Brown, exactly what serious flaw Gordon Brown had.

    Therefore, nothing that Alastair Darling has revealed is of any surprise whatsoever.

    Nevertheless, the vast majority of the politically disinterested English still smelt a rat.

  • Comment number 17.


    The nest can only be Westminster.

    Nuff sed.

  • Comment number 18.

    stevie @ 15

    Or as the highly respected journalist William Rees-Mogg once memorably wrote "Gordon Brown -the man who stole all our futures".

    Thank goodness even the politically apathetic English finally said enough.

    Mind you, what has followed has been no great shakes so far although to be fair, they have been dealt a rotten hand by Brown.

    We need a growth theory now - non-endogenous or not, it really does not matter but economic growth is a sensible way out of the debt hole.

  • Comment number 19.


    The UNHOLY TRINITY of Westminster, political party and MP, is discredited and damned by its own action and inaction.

    The MP is a rosette stand who, once installed, is 'untouchable' by the voter. Safe seats are a dishonourable disgrace.
    'The Party' is ephemeral - outside law by virtue of notional existence.
    Westminster is a Citadel whose ramparts FACE US. Few laws apply, fewer impinge.


    Not this little Black Duck.

  • Comment number 20.

    Furthermore, Bowers pointed out that Brown surrounded himself with a 'cabal' of deeply unpleasant people, in the political sense.

    Now most people know their names - Ed Balls, Charlie Whelan, Damien McBride and last but certainly not least - Shriti 'Shrek' Vadera.

    In one very sad sense, this unacceptable behaviour is rooted in the ugly politics of the 1960's/70's, i.e. deeply tribal, very divisive and most unlikely to get anything progressed.

    I expect those attitudes are still there at Westminster, bubbling away like the witches cauldron.

    They do not really change at all, it seems to be an aggressive bloke thing, give the other guy a good kicking.

  • Comment number 21.


    Might someone ask Dave - he'll know for sure.

    I ask because, prompted by JC's thoughts on growth (#18) I would guess a country on a war-footing (I have some memories) settles for the current standard of living (or lower) and drops petty political in-fighting to see the country through its dark days.

    Might Just William spare a little time from Libya building, to apply his massive experience to England saving?

  • Comment number 22.

    so Tony is part of Murdoch's family? no conflict of interest then.

  • Comment number 23.

    barriesingleton @ 21

    Cameron is not particularly interested in political England.

    He believes in a zombie political entity called 'Britain' and he is so desperate for that political zombie to plod on, he is prepared to sanction the semi-detachment/rebranding of the Tory Party in another country, namely Scotland.

    This was something that I predicted would happen in Scotland when the SNP were renewed by their recent election success up there, namely, the forced detachment of the other political Parties in Scotland from their masters at Westmonster.

    If only my fellow English people were as keen on politics as your average Scot, then we English would have some meaningful representation at Westminster.

    But as it stands, we English are prey to politicians with a different agenda, some of whom are from other countries i.e. Scotland, Wales and NI.

    Surely that is a completely indefensible political position in the long run for us English?

  • Comment number 24.


    To an outsider, not one money expert has any idea of the underlying forces (or the intrinsic chaos, perhaps) of global money.

    All the money gurus with their algorithms, and systems named after dead experts, seem analogous to climate forecasters with THEIR algorithms and their models.

    Will the monetary Piers Corbyn please stand up?

  • Comment number 25.


    Dave data accumulates just as Brown data did - much from their unguarded past exploits, pre politics.

    Modern man is pretty accomplished at messing up his young; a sub-set of these look for CONTROL of others as a proxy for the control they can never achieve over their demons.

    Machiavellian politics are the anorexia and bulimia of a class of possessed male?

    How different it would be if mature, wise, demon-free, selfless philanthropists, formed the government.

  • Comment number 26.

    I'm looking forward to seeing JP interview Darling (hope I'm not disappointed as rumour has it that JP's gone soft (he's too scared of the BBC 'Guardian readership 'PC' police).

    IMO, Darling's lashing of you know who is a deliberate & devious cover for & distraction from what Darling has failed to address in his book (i.e. in reasonably coherent and transparent detail) i.e. how Labour mis-managed the UK economy for thirteen years & then botched & bungled the financial crisis and greedy banks because ... when the next financial crisis hits - there is no spare cash to deal with the next round of bank failures and financial contagion.

    In other words, the Labour govt may have saved the banks - but they have levered up the likelihood of further problems coming around with the UK undead high risk banks which now pose just the the same risk to the UK economy as 3-4 years ago & with record debt and deficit levels - the next financial crisis will bankrupt the UK for sure.

    IMO, Darling & Brown did not save the world's financial system from collapse, which is the spun lie rhetoric of the liberalised money grows on & is printed from trees loonies - D & B just managed to save the big nasty greedy bad banks so that their banking chums keep receiving their big fat bonus hauls.

    Hope you are you satisfied, Darling?

  • Comment number 27.

    23.At 17:16 5th Sep 2011, JohnConstable wrote:
    barriesingleton @ 21

    Cameron is not particularly interested in political England.

    Surely that is a completely indefensible political position in the long run for us English?

    Yes - indefensible and unworkable, but we should not blame Cameron as doing the best he can with the Lib Dems (i.e. socialists who hate the British working class with a passion & vengeance - probably because many of them or their parents or grandparents were 'working class').

    But, I don't think its the long run - if the Tories stick to sucking up to bankers, hedge fund managers and property developers, they will become an easy target for all & sundry at the next general election if not much sooner, if some radical actions & strong shock treatment is not applied to the UK domestic economy.

    If the Coalition govt fails - the resultant stalemate or disaster of a Labour/ Lib Dem govt or coalition spells the end of Britain & British sovereignty as we're devoured by the EU eurocrat dictatorship & further devolution and messing with the UK constitution by England hating liberals & foreigners both at home & in Europe

  • Comment number 28.

    27 The british isles is still under norman monarchy occupation. That is why the 'national' oath is not to protect the rights and freedoms of the all the people but the place and position of one family and why the national anthem has nothing about the nation in it but is a monarchists sing song.

    the rest of politics is bread and circuses.

  • Comment number 29.

    I see that the establishment/ political class/ BBC are shielding a major point on enquiry with regard to G O'Donnell & the Cabinet Office - which is the real centre of government in the UK.

    When Straw read out his last statement/ lies to the House of Commons, over El Megrahi's release - the statement had been prepared by The Cabinet Office and probably had also been pre-approved by Cameron & Clegg as absolving the Labour cabinet of any criminality regarding the role of the British govt in his release - this is an important but little known piece of Westminster MP's protectionist hidden protocol - all administered by the Cabinet office.

    The documents now being unveiled in Tripoli show that the labour govt was complicit in El Megrahi's release as contrary to lies put out by Straw & Brown - the trail leads all the way to the Cabinet office as O'Donnell must also have been sitting on evidence/documents at the time (and is now the keeper of documents) that would have directly refuted the lies emanating from the then Labour govt & Holyrood.

    If a honest copper can be found - can we send one in to see O Donnell and look carefully at what documents he had & was and is still probably concealing in his cabinet office as surely the logical position is that all this demonstrates the need for independent enquiry & probing.

    All conjecture of course - we don't have a problem at the heart of govt - cos' it ain't got one

  • Comment number 30.

    @ Nautonier #26 - :p you've been reading The Independent (whose monthly circulation is LESS than that of Newsnight at one of it's lowest points ever)! Jeremy is STILL at the top of his profession, and I suspect tonight with Darling will be a corker!

    I'm not entirely convinced by the disbanding of the Conservative Party in Scotland.... so all the former Scottish members are now going to have their independent party..... is this a Scottish version of UKIP in the making?

  • Comment number 31.

  • Comment number 32.

    I don't read the Independent - I just sort of skim through the headlines occasionally (because it is still one of a few that is still free online) as I find its layout confusing - actually I've been writing for a couple of years to the effect that I think that the PC brigade at the BBC have nobbled JP and required him to restrain his bullying of socialist & other liars et al.

    Let us hope we see the original JP tonight!

    IMO, the English Tories would be nigh unbeatable at Westminster with a new alliance including a new Scottish Centre Right Party, UKIP, Conservatives and the rest

  • Comment number 33.

    Cameron has chosen a judge to examine claims that UK security services were complicit in the torture of terror suspects and now the latest accusations from Libya of maltreatment.

    This blogger is reminded of the great care that the Blair Government took to choose 'the right judge' in what was know as the Hutton Enquiry, the outcome of which, many commentators decided was a total whitewash.

    These people are all 'establishment' figures, judges* notoriously so.

    One feels that another whitewash is practically guaranteed from Judge Gibson.

    * The days of the admirable Judge Lord Denning are long gone, todays judges seem mostly preoccupied with ensuring their own nests are well and truly feathered.

  • Comment number 34.

    Apparently Tony Blair has called Colonel Gaddafi personally to ask him to stand down. The delusional lunatic went on for ten minutes about not being a war criminal before Gaddafi could not even get a word in.

  • Comment number 35.

    so the uk state keeps people in prison without trial for 11 years, illegally transports people for torture and makes up evidence to go on wars? The political class have been caught with their hands in till and said they were doing nothing wrong. The police have been selling information about witnesses to newspapers and dragged their heels about investigating it.

    its all a bit banana republic.

  • Comment number 36.

    :o) Jeremy on top form with Alistair Darling tonight. Loved the fact he pointed out that Darling's party had been responsible for the mess the economy is still in and also how the BoE's status was his creation........

  • Comment number 37.

    "One more heave school" - Jeremy on Lord Forsythe

  • Comment number 38.


    Ah yes: the 'Old Judge ploy' as Clouseau would have termed it. I don't think Sir Humphrey ever pronounced on that one (though he did on the Queen's Commission).

    Pure deceit - quintessential Westminster.

    In passing: our business reclaimed £7K from the Business Rating 'authority' when I demanded to see relevant case law. It turned out to be Denning. The judgement was unequivocal, AND THE 'EXPERTS' HAD READ IT A ABOUT F!

  • Comment number 39.

    Despite the efforts of the late Robin Cook to promote an ethical and moral foreign policy, there does appear to be a case that parts of the previous Governments machine i.e. the security services, operated within a moral vacuum.

    I am thinking particulalry of rendition and assisting the Gadaffi regime by passing information on Libyan exiles residing in this country to the regime. That is particularly shocking and really distasteful and surely illegal by the norms of international law.

    The current Government at Westminster had better not be turning a blind eye to this and we are told by Cameron that the secret services have been given clear political directives in that respect.

    This blogger views the whole NATO campaign as promoting the highest standards of ethical and moral behaviour as expressed by the will of the UN, which might seem odd in the context of prosecuting war, however a greater tragedy, namely the wholesale slaughter of countless Libyan civilains by the Gaddafi regime; has been averted.

  • Comment number 40. December 2005 that Mr Straw said: ‘Unless we all start to believe in conspiracy theories and that the officials are lying, I’m lying and that behind this there is some kind of secret state in league with some dark forces in the U.S. ... there is simply no truth in claims that the UK has been involved in rendition.’

    so we should start to believe there is ' some kind of secret state in league with some dark forces in the U.S'? And that it is no longer a conspiracy 'theory'?

  • Comment number 41.


    When a TOBACCO BARON points a pudgy accusatory finger, at a major purchasing sector of STATE SANCTIFIED POISON, you know you are living in the AGE OF PERVERSITY.

    Perhaps we shall soon hear high-minded views from the ALCOHOL LORDS, who fuel the same cohort (going forward)?


  • Comment number 42.


    Do I recall, accurately, that we only went to war in Iraq because IDS allowed himself to be dazzled by the xxxx of Blagger Blair?

    Responsible is as responsible does.

    Nuff sed.

  • Comment number 43.


    EMB's first lecture was delivered with implicit acceptance of the 'American State Lie' of 9/11. Either this senior spook, whose job was surely, in part, to INTUIT when something is 'not quite right', has not one inkling of 9/11 'inconsistencies', or she has sold out.

    Neither is reassuring!

  • Comment number 44.

    @40 Shall you write to Jack Straw Jaunty, or shall I? (I mean it!)

  • Comment number 45.

    Jack Straw has always been a very slippery customer, which, given recent events with respect to rendition etc, is rather ironic as he first came the the attention of Eliza Manningham Bullers outfit as a radical young student.

    I suppose that as young Straw became part of the political establishment, some part of him subliminally slipped over to the dark side.

    Let us be clear about this - physical torture is in almost every circumstance a complete waste of time - no useful information is going to be gained and for that reason alone, it should rarely be used.

    I found the revelation that information on Libyan exiles being passed to the Gaddafi regime by the Secret Services particularly offensive because a relative had been teaching a Libyan English many years ago but that stopped immediately when he revealed that his job was with the Libyan Broadcasting company and that he was sent to photograph/film exiles in Europe - some of whom were probably then killed by the regime.

    If you define yourself as 'British' then the actions of past British Governments in this respect must fill you with shame.

    Fortunately, this blogger considers himself to be English and therefore has no meaningful political connection with the British politicians at Westminster and therefore I am able to absolve myself completely from the underhand things that they sometimes get up to.

    The political environment in England will return to full health when the English finally wake up and decide to take political control of their country again.

  • Comment number 46.


    If you are not one of The Straw Man's constituents, Sasha, our 'Honourables' have a strict protocol that says they cannot have anything to do with you. I have now written THREE TIMES to Baroness Kennedy (human rights, law, and good works) regarding the illegality of the Liar Flyer; most recently by recorded delivery. Being in the Lords, the protocol does not apply. BUT SHE HAS NEVER REPLIED.


  • Comment number 47.

    Mistress @ 6:
    Thanks for the link to the Boris Johnston artical. I must admit I do like Boris but mosty for his entertainment qualities rather than his intellect..still, that was a good artical none the less even though I think Boris plays to the galley somewhat as I still think he's owned by the usual special interests. Boris is a good example of someone rather fortunate in that his family and schooling ensured a life closer to the ruling estabilsment because really, when you think about it, he would not be out of place wearing a bright yellow coat collecting trolleys at Tescos.

  • Comment number 48.

    Economy Tram Lines.

    JP said 'it looks pretty bad globally'

    but does it? China is booming. So are other countries. There is no doom and gloom there. Its the happy time.

    the west is not 'the whole world'. the west is getting poor and the east richer. so why is it still 10 yuan = £1. is the uk economy 10 times stronger than china?

    fx bombs are being dropped all over the west destroying jobs and lives and the political class just say its 'market forces'. market forces would be driving jobs back to the uk. its not market forces but strategic imperial forces.

  • Comment number 49.

  • Comment number 50.


    we saw[yers] 'the secret state in league with some dark forces in the U.S' on display in the Iraq inquiry with the unconvincing witnesses from the FO. Never mind that Blair managed to mainly drumtub about iran in an iraq inquiry.

    maybe when we assume the state is mainly lying we are closer to the truth?

  • Comment number 51.

  • Comment number 52.

    John_from_Hendon @ 8

    I'm afraid you really are flogging the proverbial dead horse there, with respect to the new format blogs, John.

    The wretched Giles Wilson of the Editors blog parish explained why the Beeb had made this editorial decision to truncate the new format blogs to 200/400 characters, and was practically buried with an avalanche of adverse comments (of over 600, if I recall correctly).

    Although I personally no longer post on the Nick Robinson or legendary Robert Peston blogs as I loathe the 'dumbed-down' Twitteresque format, the new format is actually quite popular so will probably be staying.

    However, I think your point stands with the new format blogs regarding polarising arguments etc as a few of the Beeb bloggerati have also stated this.

  • Comment number 53.


    China is booming. So are other countries. There is no doom and gloom there. Its the happy time.

    If that were true, Germany's growth figure wouldn't be stalling. Meanwhile, stock market in China has already fallen back to its 2008 level. There is no such notion as a safe haven anymore, every economy in the world is inter-related.

  • Comment number 54.


    germany is part of the west.

    the stock market isn't a measure of an economy it is a measure of a series of bets by the super rich.

    the idea market forces is the main driver rather than politics isn't borne out by the evidence in the fx market.



Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.