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

Monday 7 November 2011

Verity Murphy | 17:40 UK time, Monday, 7 November 2011

Tonight Richard Watson has a report on the News of the World (NoW) newspaper hiring an ex-police officer to carry out surveillance on two prominent lawyers representing victims of phone hacking.

Richard has been speaking exclusively to Derek Webb, the ex-police officer turned private detective, who was commissioned by the NoW to follow solicitors Mark Lewis and Charlotte Harris.

And we will be hearing from Mr Lewis and Tom Watson MP

You can read more about that story here.

David Grossman has a report on the row surrounding the UK Border Agency and Home Office over claims that identity checks on travellers from outside Europe were scaled back in the summer, without ministerial approval.

And Mark Urban has the latest from Greece where political leaders are holding talks on appointing a new prime minister and coalition government to clear the way for a bailout package which would ease the country's eurozone debt crisis.

Mark will also be reporting on Italy where government borrowing rates have hit a euro-era high putting increased pressure on PM Silvio Berlusconi.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    N o W CORRUPTION. BUT THEN, GOVERNMENT IS CORRUPT, SO WHY NOT?

    18 months now, I have been trying to confront Westminster (in all its guises, offices and officers) with the Liar Flyer - False Instrument, used by 10 sitting MPs in the 2010 General Election. The defences of the Westminster Organism are as complex and effective as the human immune system. Westminster is immune to truth, integrity, AND THE PEOPLE it purports to serve. There is a growing, general challenge to our corrupt governance, but the organism will fight back AT US with a ferocity most will not expect - UNTIL IT'S TOO LATE. See my post #62 on the previous thread.

    DISMANTLE WESTMINSTER - INSTALL INTEGRITY

  • Comment number 2.

    To see the truly masterful sleight of hand which has been at work since 2007, just look at how the focus has moved from banks/financial services having loaned too much money to feckless borrowers unable to repay (they could buy goods to look good on the basis of what they earned by work but were lured into borrowing at interest). Here we are also talking about major corporate borrowers which include, note, PROPERTY DEVELOPERS as well as the millions of John_and_Jane_credit_to_Buy_To_Let borrowers who were egged on by the deluge of media fuelled property porn. It has moved on to debt across the less bright parts of Europe (PIIGS) where NOW the focus, note carefully, is not on private sector debt but on GOVERNMENT (sovereign) debt and the alleged profligacy of running Public Services!.

    It is a masterful sleight of hand which counts on people not knowing their classes and quantifiers. By political operational definition Europe is politically Libertarian, i.e characterised by small Government and letteing the markets drive. The Pubic Sectors actually play a rather small part of the REAL economy.

    The Libertarian (we don't allow any other sorts into power) politicians are just using the debt that was created in the USA to break the Public Sectors across Europe, making many millions of naive people across Europe falsely believe that the problem is all the fault of the almost sinecure i.e. non regulating, Governments which were set up by the USA after WWII in the first place. Greece is going to get a hog tied coalition so it can't do anything to stop the EU minions of the USA I bet.

    Watch the recent BBC HARDTALK where Peter Altmaier (Merkel's Chief Whip) who was on Newsnight on Friday. In the HARDTALK interview he says that Greece must privatise more. At least he is frank about what is going on.

    Would one expect him to say anything else? Germany is the speaking puppet of Wall Street USA in Europe.

  • Comment number 3.

    brossen99 wrote about people taking advantage of the elderly - mistakenly commending JohnConstable.

    Question: What sort of system is it which progressively dumbs down its population both amongst the young through differential breeding whilst increasing the proportion of the elderly, both groups being easy to milk as uncritical consumers? Think over-priced trainers at one end, and complex utility bills at the other. Not to mention the honour of paying top read and watch all about "celebrities"

    Hint: It certainly isn't SOCIALISM. People are missing the point of who the malevolent self-centred people tend to be. They certainly don't make good NATIONAL SOCIALISTS. On the contrary, that's why one of the most common Axis II cluster B disorders is Anti-Social Personality Disorder, which our prison system and Financial Service sector is bulging with.

    I suggest a thinking cap and some humility is required to grasp this point.

  • Comment number 4.

  • Comment number 5.

    A possible outcome of the current financial crisis might be a profound shift in policymakers attitudes.

    That is, they may no longer decide that dishonesty is the best policy, and that rather it simply stores up problems until they become almost unmanageable.

    For example, it is extremely dishonest, but unfortunately very common, for Governments to live beyond their means, spending more than they are recovering from the tax base, and consequently borrowing year-after-yera, decadea-after-decade, to cover the short-fall.

    Until the day of reckoning arrives.

    Which it just has for many European countries, including this one.

    You may wish to translate talk of necessary 'reforms' to be a coded word for more honesty.

  • Comment number 6.

    Not phone hacking again. When are you guys going to get it into your heads that nobody is interested.

    The collapse of the euro is a trillion times more important.

  • Comment number 7.

    JohnConstable wrote ""For example, it is extremely dishonest, but unfortunately very common, for Governments to live beyond their means, spending more than they are recovering from the tax base"

    Just consider this. How many home-owners and businesses live beyond their means spending more than they are bringing in from their incomes?
    Think mortgages and business loans. How many years are the loans taken out over? That is how most people in the Libertarian nations LIVE - is it DISHONEST?

    I am not saying it isn't "dishonest" - but I AM suggesting that you (and lots of others) have not fully thought this through. That's a bit of a cheap shot, as those who do well out of most of the above, count on this blind-spot which is why they encourage self-centredness and celebritism etc. It is also what economic growth and the Libertarian fiat money supply counts upon, sadly. We all need to wake up to this..

  • Comment number 8.

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

  • Comment number 9.

    Murray @ 6

    I think you are correct - the man-in-the-street is probably not very interested in phone hacking per se, unless it is the revelation of something totally out-of-order, such as the hacking of the late Millie Dowlers phone or alternatively, some low-brow tittletattle about a 'celebrity' - which must give said celebs deep joy, publicity and lots of wonga from the Murdoch empire ... kerr-ching, indeed.

    However, phone hacking by the media is fascinating to the media, hence more regurgitation tonight.

    Nevermind that via devices such as the Lawful Intercept, everything that you or I do via electronic media is combed and the potentially interesting bits stored by the Government/US authorities for reference.

    That should be of some concern to Joe Public but as it is mostly submerged, the people continue with their lives relatively unaware that they are being watched.

  • Comment number 10.

    Murray wrote: "Not phone hacking again. When are you guys going to get it into your heads that nobody is interested.

    The collapse of the euro is a trillion times more important."

    Agreed. If you watch "It Take Two" on BBC, the spin off nightly show "Strictly Come Dancing", one will see what the media (and alas, much of the country) is now primarily interested in - THEMSELVES and celebritism.

    Most viewers don't appear to appreciate that they are actually paying through the nose for these celebrities to perform either. If one looks at the credits of the production all should becomes clear if the hyperbole, OTT emotion and choice of verbs, adverbs, nouns and adjectives doesn't suffice. Most won't see it. They are so immersed in e-motion..Real issues are "boring".

    They'll pay for it in the end - just as Germany did in the late 20s and 30s.

    Note, it wasn't women or the feminised-brained who ended up shooting each other in the streets of Munich, and later, much of the rest of world.

    There's a message there.............

  • Comment number 11.

    Please, no Labour ministers giving lessons on border control. I know its a big ask ...but please!..no Labour ministers on this subject. Thankyee :)

  • Comment number 12.

  • Comment number 13.

    brown-dog @ 7

    Businesses and home-owners who cannot finance their loans go to the wall.

    Nobody forces anybody to take out a loan.

    However, policymakers give a lead or signal to businesses and home owners which encourages or discourages their fiscal behaviour.

    Although 'money as debt' has been gong on for a very long time, I think that the root of the current crisis was the policy decision by Bill Clinton and his advisors to scrap the Glass-Stegal firewall and crucially, to persuade banks and other lenders to offer homeloans to the NINJA's.

    That was sucidical, despite or maybe because of, all the financial alchemy that was involved. You would have thought that they would have learnt something after the Regan era Savings and Loan fiasco, the full story of which has still not been told - although it must have embedded 'moral hazard' into the minds of policymakers everywhere.

    Ps. Agree with your previous point about the effective non-existence of genuine socialists in the US - but they would contradict the 'American Dream', which in reality, for most Americans, is just that - a dream. Does'nt stop folks trying to get there though.

  • Comment number 14.

    brossen99 wrote: "Perhaps you hadn't noticed but what we have as far as political ideology in the UK at least at the moment has all the worst relative basic human rights aspects of Nazi Germany and Stalinist USSR combined, with none of the alleged advantages you are always pointing to"

    I generally accept/share most of your sentiments, but not your naming.
    and this is important. I am trying to be helpful.

    Look to China and the BRICS - that's Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. That is where the future lies. It is most of the world.

    China stands at the centre, and it has one star for its capitalists in its four classes along with the big star for the party which regulates its capitalists in SEZs which are part of an internal passport system.

    Try not to fight the inevitable over a much abused label i.e naming the problem class "Nazis". They are Libertarians. They were the problem in 1920s and 30s Germany, and they were in the USSR too. It is a class which attracts the Anti-Social Personality disordered who have had laws passed (deregulated) to make their behaviour venal not illegal.

    Think about this. Some of these devious people have had you shooting yourself in the foot by having you mis-classify the enemy and thus vilifying your potential allies at the same time.

  • Comment number 15.

    Excellent interview by Jeremy with the Greek Tourism Minister :o) Deary me, 95% of Greeks had stated they earn less than Euros 30,000 per annum, and only 324 swimming pools (17000).......oops!
    Brilliant report from Susan too on mental disorders and hopefully cures for sufferers. I was shocked to hear that 1 in 6 bipolar sufferers commit suicide, but it is amazing that brain scans can help.

  • Comment number 16.

    unsurprising that a sick, inhumane society should see increasing numbers of mentally ill members. three cheers for the chemical kosh - not!

  • Comment number 17.

    JohnConstable wrote: ""Businesses and home-owners who cannot finance their loans go to the wall."

    Why didn't all the banks etc go to the wall? Why haven't all the people with homes which they couldn't afford been re-possessed? Why aren't all the property developers bust?

    "Nobody forces anybody to take out a loan. "

    Why did Monty Slater get sent a credit card application?

    One may as well ask how one gets people hooked on drugs and other goods.
    Please don't make naive assertions about choice, it just describes two or more rates of emitted behaviour under different contingencies of reinforcement.

    You don't appear to know how much is known about the control of "choice"
    through behaviour science - those in marketing and Financial Services certainly do - that's how they make so much money out of over aged kids.

    If people had the choice which you allege they do, why have so many parents and Governments had such a hard time managing "kids" in the free world?

    I suggest you have a rather poor knowledge of behaviour science and how it's exploited to make money out of the vulnerable.

    People ARE forced - they are made offers which they can't refuse, as it's made out that the alternatives are even more dire. People are enticed and trapped like children. Some of those who do this are remarkably like paedophiles. They are psychopathic. Believe it or not, Germany in WWII along with the USSR was trying to round these types up and protect people from them.

    Just TRY and see it that way and see how it works out. Offenders always blame the fascist police. They have a child-like sense of entitlement.

  • Comment number 18.

    GOOD TO KNOW HINDUJA-MAN IS WATCHING OUR BORDERS.

    He must know the answer lies in controlling who gets a passport - and how.

  • Comment number 19.

    Susan watts said that "this brain came from a healthy adult female"...did I hear that right?

    Medication for mental disorders don't work..they just mask mental upsets. Meds do -over time - more harm than good. And bipolar is another name for extream moods which we all have. I'm not saying mental illness is not real but understanding modern living, poor nutritional diet and exposure to chemicals etc will be what needs to be studied to unlock the mystery not just of mental illness..but most illnesses. The problem with those kinda studies is there ain't no money to be made. Its chemical where the money is at.

    Has that big lump of rock passed between us and the moon yet?
    Remember the supermoon and the Japan earthquake.

  • Comment number 20.

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

  • Comment number 21.

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

  • Comment number 22.

    ARE WE LOSING SIGHT OF OUR INTERFERENCE WITH NATURES 'THINNING'? (#16)

    At every stage of life, from fertilisation through to puberty, Nature - left to herself - thins out our progeny. Her 'intent' is surely obvious? But Cleverness has trounced Wisdom and the individual has triumphed over the group, such that we now medically intrude, ever earlier, ever more effectively, PREVENTING NATURAL THINNING.

    Is it not high time we asked ourselves just what embedded error, Nature was trying to exclude from the gene pool, when our cleverness intervened? Might we not reasonably expect ever-greater malfunction to manifest as a result of such routine intervention?

    Probably not. THIS IS THE AGE OF PERVERSITY.

  • Comment number 23.

    Awesome, Awesome, AWESOME!

  • Comment number 24.

    brown-dog @ 17

    "We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way." By Victor E. Fankl

  • Comment number 25.

    Enquiry/Complaint to the Production Team

    You keep having spokespersons on BBC from Think Tanks. Monbiot had a good article on these:

    http://www.monbiot.com/2011/09/12/think-of-a-tank/

    but I can never quite work out whether you're being ironic/satirical or just downright offensive to viewers (remember Policy Exchange - maybe they could come on to give an impartial view on this week's report by the IAEA on Iran?).

    Tonight you had Charles Grant which the banner said was Director, Centre for European Reform. What next, someone as Director, Canute Centre for Ocean Management, telling us how to manage rising sea levels from their self-elevated position at the centre of the universe?

    People really don't see how absurd this all is. They don't see the narcissism. It was the original sin you know, and the media serves as a massive fly paper for those 'afflicted'. with this all too human feature of arrested development.

  • Comment number 26.

    '25. At 07:03 8th Nov 2011, brown-dog -
    You keep having spokespersons on BBC from Think Tanks. Monbiot had a good article on these: http://www.monbiot.com/2011/09/12/think-of-a-tank/ '


    One man's think tank is another's 'don't think much of it at all... tank'?

    From media to Monbiot, one has to accept that filling the 24/7 news maw means filling space with fresh(er) faces is near mandatory.

    What would be nice is if the filling were honest enough to do so in any way other than to simply support agendas, or at the very least attempt objectivity.

    Context is useful, but as a non 'wingist' I can see the problem with some descriptions, so perhaps the best to hope for is consistency... rarely delivered.

    From think tanks to guest 'experts' (noting it's still seen as worth a few more minutes until Mr. Prescott is let back in to share his wisdom, so his equally questions-asked heir apparent is deemed a worthy substitute) we are therefore treated to folk who can either be treated to extensive preambles, or none. Depending.

    Hence for every 'spawn of Attila the Hun' we are offered simple 'Mum's', who turn out to be Guardian royalty.

    Usually carefully selected more for propaganda and/or heat than light.

  • Comment number 27.

    I will rephrase this : ""Businesses and home-owners who cannot finance their loans may go to the wall in extremis."

    Why didn't all the banks etc go to the wall?

    Because some of them (in this country) were deemed to be too big to fail, following the fallout from Lehman Brothers. I agree with those who say that too big to fail is too big.

    Why haven't all the people with homes which they couldn't afford been re-possessed?

    Because it is not sound financial practice, in most cases, to re-possess properties, far better for the lender to reschedule loans if possible. Although I'd draw the line at the desperate Japanese, who at the height of their property bubble, offered inter-generational mortgages.

    Why aren't all the property developers bust?

    Again, some are being kept afloat by the banks because it is the prudent thing to do in the longer term. Many have been allowed to go bust, notably Imagine Homes (Grant Bovey and Anthea Turner) who effectively sweet-talked the Bank of Scotland into lending him some £40M which has subsequently gone down the taxpayers plughole.

  • Comment number 28.

    european natural gas prices have dropped 15% over the last two months and the world price has been in a downtrend for months.

    still with a feeble energy regulator and a minister in love with the bogus co2 warming theory to raise taxes the uk public still pay through the nose in ever higher prices.

    funny the europeans haven't had the increases we have and they are even more mad for the co2 lie.

  • Comment number 29.

    brown-dog @ 17

    You assert that people ARE forced {to take loans} - they are made offers which they can't refuse, as it's made out that the alternatives are even more dire. People are enticed and trapped like children.

    It would be helpful if you could give us some examples.

  • Comment number 30.

    #3 brown dog (and others)
    "Question: What sort of system is it which progressively dumbs down its population both amongst the young through differential breeding whilst increasing the proportion of the elderly, both groups being easy to milk as uncritical consumers?"

    Agree entirely with your analysis, that most of our society's degeneration is due to manipulation through dumbing down, 'Panorama' (#4) being just one example of the media's collusion in this process. It seems that every documentary must contain superflous scenes of the presenter driving in a car, and the talking heads are invariably chosen from amongst the dumbest available citizens: 'Panarama' even found it necessary to include a visit to a casino, in case the audience didn' t understand the term 'gambling'!

    But do you (and others who constantly post examples of, and reasons for, our society's decline have any 'action plans' that may attempt to remedy this progressive situation? You have often informed us that education will not change our basic intelligence, so is there any scope for change?

    My only solution is to keep posting 'Vote Radical, pester your MP and sign e-petitions' - and get ready to participate in, or even help organise, the inevitable marches and civil disobedience campaigns that are sure to arise as our home economics worsen.

    Incidentally, I have indulged in 'differential breeding' and am one of the elderly to whom you refer; both characteristics give me a broader perspective on society as it was and is now. Unfortunately, in this age of 'equality' and extreme capitalism there is no longer a BBC Third programme for those who are not in the lowest common denominator and eschew 'entertainment' so I have to use the remote control with my Tivo box to eliminate adverts and padding: the nearest I can get to an executive summary of 'news'.

  • Comment number 31.

    7th November report on “The Revolution in Mental Health”
    Newsnight treats economics, politics, and international affairs seriously, with a good level of investigation and debate. Surely science should be treated just as seriously?

    Instead, last night’s report fell into the trap of presenting special effects such as full screen coloured cells in 3D, which are mostly incomprehensible to the general public, and now taken to mean only that this is about the magical mystery world of science. Such treatment perpetuates the regrettable message to viewers that science is beyond you, so here are some pretty bits to look at while we waffle on.

    The report was woolly and disappointing on many counts. It was also cruelly misleading. Correctly pointing out that mental health problems affect a quarter of the population, the presentation sounded as though there were indeed new treatments available.

    There is no new finding, no new treatment. In fact, most of the report was about diagnostic methods. Newsnight’s science editor showed brainscans saying they showed where the mental problems were (a gross simplification) and hinted that genetic studies were elucidating the causes of mental illness. With the exception of Huntington’s disease, no such study has given a clear result, and certainly none that could lead to therapy in the near future.

    “Mental health" turned out to mean bipolar illness, which itself was nowhere explained. Instead, a sufferer was shown, and happily, his was the only sensible opinion that survived Newsnight's editors; he managed to say that new treatments raised hopes, only to dash them a few weeks later. He also said that his condition had been stable for 4 years, but not on what medication, so clearly that wasn't Newsnight's revolution.

    Thus, the only reason for giving air time to this report seemed to be that Thomas Insel was in England. Thomas Insel is a respected science administrator. Newsnight's science reporter managed to get some time with him (I won't call it an interview). The result? A special effects full-screen close-up tinted purple, breathing the word "on the edge of a revolution" or some such vague guff. And, worse, your science editor walks over a lawn with him and mentions as a new therapy, ketamine. Thomas Insel politely dismisses this molecule, used to calm horses, but unsuitable for humans. Any stable lad/lass can get hold of it. It's a bit irresponsible, isn't it?

    What a mess, and sad for the communication of science and medicine.

  • Comment number 32.

    Why I rely more on the internet for news first, and with a better chance of accuracy and impartiality...

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-15635476

    'For several days there was media silence... about the exchange...

    ...a decision had been taken not to embarrass the French president, our correspondent says.'


    Once caught up, (out) sounds like a decision was also taken at the BBC to not embarrass the US president ever, looking at what was not even disputed.

    We have an new MSM no free-speaking democracies deserve.

  • Comment number 33.

    31. At 10:49 8th Nov 2011, Chas Nassim
    What a mess, and sad for the communication of science and medicine.


    Maybe Richard Black can conduct a masterclass on it? Not so much on improving the educating and informing bit on substance, of course, but how it is portrayed.

  • Comment number 34.

    29 forcing people into debt

    only 10% of the land is built on forcing prices up. an inner subsidised empire owns most the land on which there is no land tax and does not even have to be registered if not sold [it is passed around through marriage]. So there are parts of the uk where one person owns whole valleys and villages so they can set the rent without any competition.

    time for a land tax and a completed registry and a land monopoly law that prevents local rent fiefdoms and an end to subsidy to millionaires for merely owning land.

  • Comment number 35.

    #19 kev wrote:

    "Has that big lump of rock passed between us and the moon yet?
    Remember the supermoon and the Japan earthquake."



    R4 said this morning that it will be closest to Earth at 23:28 tonight (UK time)

    The rock/asteroid does does not nearly have enough mass to cause a ripple gravitational effect on the Earth's surface...unless it hits us that is.

  • Comment number 36.

    I am absoultely astonished at claims that anyone who has entered Britian as an illegal immigrant has simply vanished as is lurking around as 'invisible' as a possible criminal or other threat to the British public.

    No they have not vanished - and they are obviously in e.g. our prisons and police stations & courts - are receiving treatment at dentists and in our GP clinics & hospitals - some of them are sitting besides us on buses & driving cars without licences & insurance etc.

    No - they have not vanished - they are very, very visible for anyone with half a brain & any kind of inclination to uphold the 'law'.

  • Comment number 37.

    This couldn't be more on-cue on this blogsite!

    Nicolas Sarkozy complained to Barack Obama of liar Benjamin Netanyahu
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/barackobama/8876102/Nicolas-Sarkozy-complained-to-Barack-Obama-of-liar-Benjamin-Netanyahu.html

    'As the conversation drifted to Israel, Mr Sarkozy is reported to have said: “I cannot bear Netanyahu, he’s a liar.”

    Mr Obama did not challenge the assertion, instead replying: “You may be sick of him, but me, I have to deal with him every day.” '



    I wonder if they count their fingers after shaking hands with him?

  • Comment number 38.

    Italy, too big to fail..too big to save. That'll be a rock and a hard place then. Should be fun to watch how the elite and their elected sock puppets try and sort that one out.

    Can I suggest Newsnight not bother with the science stuff by the way. Just stick to politics/geo politics and indepth news.

    Maybe i was dreaming but did I watch a programm last night about global cooling from the BBC? It seemed only yesterday that the beeb would have trailers showing coal fires burning with polar bears and their cuddy cubs floating on ice with Al Gore doing some narrative about new taxes to save the planet from man made global warming...or something to that effect.

  • Comment number 39.

    #36 Nautonier wrote:

    "I am absoultely astonished at claims that anyone who has entered Britian as an illegal immigrant has simply vanished as is lurking around as 'invisible' as a possible criminal or other threat to the British public."

    Not only that, they now charge us £77.50 when we have to get a new one. What's the point if they don't even look at them.

    I'll probably buy a cheap fake one next time....save some money.

  • Comment number 40.

    39.At 12:50 8th Nov 2011, museV wrote:

    Not only that, they now charge us £77.50 when we have to get a new one. What's the point if they don't even look at them.

    +
    Yes - its annoying but is still very small bunce to the economic & other damage being caused to British people, by this abuse - underlying this is the mess caused by the lack of independent soverign border control woing to the HRA & the incompetent & feeble judges who refuse to deport those with no right to be in the UK, even when they are caught 'red handed'

  • Comment number 41.

    '37. At 12:40 8th Nov 2011, museV wrote:
    Nicolas Sarkozy complained to Barack Obama of liar Benjamin Netanyahu
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/barackobama/8876102/Nicolas-Sarkozy-complained-to-Barack-Obama-of-liar-Benjamin-Netanyahu.html


    Politicians discussing other politicians of being economical with the truth, and the person focussed upon is... not them. It must be another zero irony day. Not a nice blog thread that, by any measure.

    I am having trouble believing that, in this day and age, senior pols don't have a runner simply for the task of getting on (and off) errant active mics. So the whole thing has a fishy aroma already.

    To what end, who can tell, but with complicit media to hand, it will not be honest and it will not be reported accurately.

    Reading a few fun tweets from senior BBC bods when challenged that would put Clinton to shame on what they are 'aware of' vs. what might have actually happened, from oddly absent journos, to deaf ones to ones who do as they are told.

    Interesting state of affairs.

  • Comment number 42.

    Ms. May has not impressed me much on anything, but just sat over lunch through SKY coverage of some 'enquiry', and again my 'least bad' antennae were tweaked.

    Chaired by a man I wouldn't trust on anything save claiming to be a favoured BBC pundit, a sorrier collection of braindead tribal makeweights it would be hard to imagine.

    One old duffer, who somehow has scored enough public dosh to afford a suit, apparently figured the public funding of his existence would be served by finding ever dafter ways to ask the Minister to resign, simply to stir things up.

    It was.. pathetic.

    I simply recall Chris Bryant the other day spinning some tale about an officer who thought he might have had to let in a terrorist or three because of the cuts, and his imminent tea break.

    Neither Mr. Bryant nor the chummy interviewer seemed to find such lack of professional curiosity to be more of an issue.

    I was looking for the Airplane! Xray sequence, but this will serve...

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

    Now the faux outrage avenue seems to be proving utter pants, seems like Mr. Bryant is now joining Prezza in the back-burner room until their cred has been forgotten long enough to wheel out for the next outing.

  • Comment number 43.

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

  • Comment number 44.

    43.
    I'll try again (without people like me, the over-paid barrister mods wouldn't have a job at BBC, would they?)

    ++

    It's a like a bad dream isn't it - Labour MP's asking for Teresa May to resign after Labour party DELIBERATELY encouraged/allowed somewhere between 9 million and 11 million immigrants to enter UK between 1997 and 2010 - so many and with so little security and management systems that no one will ever know how many & how dangerous etc.

    How about that potentially most useless Vaz & others asking Ms May if she was going to 'resign' (for trying to clear up the Labour mess)?

  • Comment number 45.

    Barriesingleton wrote ""Is it not high time we asked ourselves just what embedded error, Nature was trying to exclude from the gene pool, when our cleverness intervened?"

    Links to the online Eugenics Review were provided to ecolizzy so she could make a start on this very issue as it is the one which inspired Galton and thus laid the cornerstone of Differential Psychology, which, up to WWII pretty much was co-terminus with the science and profession of Psychology itself (testing and selection). I suggest you read the last few chapters of R A Fisher's magnum opus "The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection" (1930) too. Many here will just get a glimmer of the issues which have dominated major developments in science (e.g genetics, demography, behavioural science) for well over a century.

    Incidentally, Kevseywevsey is spot on with many points, the drugs don't work, but there is a lot of money in saying otherwise (Susan Watts mentioned the funding of Ketamine-man - note how tax payers and naive researchers end up doing "independent" research on behalf of the pharmaceutical companies?). The drugs don't work (are not clinically efficacious) and here is a major part of the reason: the drugs don't work because they are poured into the brain via the blood stream and so go everywhere, not just where they're needed, in the doses required.
    It's pretty well understood which bits of the brain do what, and why they go wrong, but doing anything about it has always been the problem.
    FMRIs are not going to solve that problem. That it's genetic is not new either, but what can be done if one breeds more of the afflicted?

    Newsnight does not appear to be paying attention. Is this institutional ADHD? Female variety is mainly ADD?

    The problems are not diagnostic, they are the dismal therapeutic efficacy and prognosis. The more we learn the more certain THAT conclusion is. To solve this one has to think "eugenically" - that literally means good breeding.

    JohnConstable quoted Vicktor Frankl

    Does one want to look good or does one want to learn?. It is always a key question, and research is painful, not fun.

    Look more CRITICALLY into many of these accounts (including Frankel's).
    Many of them have been shown to be fraudulent or distorted often written for political or economic gain (narcissistic supply). It makes very depressing reading, but it has to be done in science when one is looking at clinical efficacy. Many of these people therapists have their own Identity (Personality) Disorders. If one looks into the existential therapies (like Logotherapy), one will see that they attract these types as both therapists and clients and they also reinforce the behaviours (see also Kohut, and Rogers with his Client Centred Therapy). None of this "works" sadly, but it does make a lot of people (look into their heritage) money at the expense of other people's desperation and largely genetic afflictions. We seem to be breeding more of them too.

    JunkkMale wrote "One man's think tank is another's 'don't think much of it at all... tank'?"

    No. Language is a public system. This is important. It is public like C, BASIC, FORTRAN, HTML. One has to learn how to use these terms. A campaign to make people forget this has got us into this mess. Those who can't tell their political left from their right are SPATIALLY challenged.

    "What would be nice is if the filling were honest enough to do so in any way other than to simply support agendas, or at the very least attempt objectivity."

    Yes. But they don't do they?

    "Context is useful, but as a non 'wingist' I can see the problem with some descriptions, so perhaps the best to hope for is consistency...
    rarely delivered."

    No, others make this very serious mistake too. Language is public. If one doesn't understand what right vs left wing refers to that is like saying one doesn't understand how to read a map which is nothing to be proud of and like any confession of ignorance is not to be worn as a badge with pride, as it is in fact a tacit cry for help (e.g. to read a map). We have had right wing anarchists encouraging people to be free (confused in their ignorance) for decades, many of them teachers! Most have no idea what they have done. They think it creative! It has been the opposite.

    Substitute

    right-wing=Private Sector/Third Sector

    and

    left-wing=Public Sector/Government

    and you see economically what is going on, and maybe, the slight of hand which being referred to above in other posts in this blog and elsewhere.

    This impacts upon us all. It is not just a matter of personal space and use of words. There are no private meanings. To believe otherwise is solipsistic, elf-centred, i.e narcissistic which is a symptom of arrested maturational development (being physically young and immature).

    This economic issue (public vs private) is out there in the world. To grasp fact from spin in the news requires allo-centric analysis and an all too rare humility and self-criticism.

  • Comment number 46.

    A copy’n’paste from the banner above .....

    “...... and more or less anything else that takes our fancy.”

    (Please note - Mr, Mrs, Ms, [or any other preferred PC identifier] - Moderator that I’ve not opted to take the opportunity to italicise, emphasise or capitalise the word “... our ...” That would be just be a major, major step too far(?) So much so I’d be obliged to redact it myself to avoid being judged as - in any way, not even remotely - cynical! After all, this is the BBC!)

    So .... Let us see how far my next post goes down the ‘road’ of “ .... our fancy” ?

    (Hints .... It’s in the ‘news’, which runs 24 hours a day, so traverses ‘night’. [News plus night! Geddit?] It’s in the public domain, although the ‘actual’ quote is not exactly easy to find and it is, most definitely, a ‘contemporary ‘ishoo’ )




    Oops! Apologies for the ‘post’ silence sic .... I was thinking!

    Oh Yes! ..... Democracy, free speech, freedom of thought, the ‘right’ to interrupt ‘two minutes silence .....

    To be! Or not to be! - posted - That is the question?

    177

  • Comment number 47.

    brown-dog @ 45

    I quoted Victor Frankel simply because I came across it whilst looking up freedom of choice on Wiki and it seemed to counterpoint your assertion that many people are effectively 'kidults', who you say are easily lead into making false choices by marketeers, bankers et al.

    To repeat, if you could kindly supply some examples of people being 'forced' to take loans then that would move the debate forward.

  • Comment number 48.

    JohnConstable wrote: "You assert that people ARE forced {to take loans}
    - they are made offers which they can't refuse, as it's made out that the alternatives are even more dire. People are enticed and trapped like children.

    It would be helpful if you could give us some examples."

    By US you actually mean YOU as some will know that there have been many examples posted here in the now dim and distant past. One of the most useful was a warning video form ETS in the USA in February 2007 on the looming demise of The American Dream based on academic, demographic and economic data.

    I suggest you read a paper published in 1990 by Richard Herrnstein which covered some of the implications of The Matching Law, and that you then look into the research in Behavioural Economics (and by that I do not mean Kahneman and his persecuted clan who have been peddling the Nudge fudge to the Cabinet Office which supports Libertarians who are driving our problems according to the analyses outlined here over some time now). Read the last paragraph of the paper very carefully. This is all about the biology of addiction or habit formation and the protection of the vulnerable by those who should be Governing like parents. It will be hard graft reading this. It was the Pristine Chapel of Behavioural Science many decades ago, and they were loaners - driven out by the "liberators".
    :
    http://dtserv2.compsy.uni-jena.de/ws2006/allgpsy_uj/66311830/content.nsf/Pages/1BFDBBD932114E66C125723600318CDC/$FILE/herrnstein%201990%20am%20psychol.pdf

    I also suggest you get the data from the OECD (Marshall Plan) PISA wesbite and do a basic Excel scatterplot of the 2009 (maybe also 2006 and 2003) OECD PISA Maths Proficiency Level data by EU member state and separately by gender bearing in mind:

    a) that the language, maths and science measures of these representative
    15 year olds are proxies for IQ subscales (verbal, spatial, and
    non-verbal) which are largely genetic and

    b) that the Factor g (which is usually statistically extracted from these subscales, but maths is good by itself), correlates positively at about 0.7-0.8 with GDP, and negatively about the same level with TFR.

    There is a problem there. Do you see it? It takes some effort.

    High regression coefficients mean reliable population level predictions.

    It is what administration and Governance is all about. It is what the North-South divide in the European crisis is all about. Compare Finland, Sweden, Norway with Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain. The latter were Catholic, and authoritarian until "liberated". The North was Lutheran (that is not an endorsement).

    The problems are worse in the USA.

  • Comment number 49.

    JohnConstable wrote about nasty things happening at the end of WWII in Western Germany.

    Here's a thought to ponder:- Wouldn't one have thought that if a group of curious people came along and asserted that upon closer analysis, despite what many people (especially Germans) had been led to believe after WWI (as part of the allied denazification process), i.e that lots of innocent Jewish people had been intentionally killed in camps during WWII, what may have happened is that a) some people died due to epidemics such as typhus breaking out due to bombing by the allies limiting supplies to the camps, b) a lot of other people went missing as Displaced Persons once the Iron Curtain came down in Eastern Europe, and that numbers had continued to fall naturally because of a low birth-rates in this quite successful group. Wouldn't one have thought that such an explanation would have been received as GOOD news by those who thought their relatives had been cruelly murdered by the Germans?

    Instead, there's been outrage, and threats to lock people up for even suggesting such things, as if those being told somehow benefited from the allegation that lots were murdered, i..e as if there was some merit to perpetuating the message that the great regulators of Europe (Germany) were cruel and that this is what happens when one runs any form of state (national) socialism. What would the alternative system be which would flourish were that so? Who might benefit?

    Just a thought........



    nautonier wrote: "It's a like a bad dream isn't it - Labour MP's asking for Teresa May to resign after Labour party DELIBERATELY encouraged/allowed somewhere between 9 million and 11 million immigrants to enter UK between 1997 and 2010 "

    Yes, a very bad dream - nightmarish - but the worst of it all is that most of the people behaving this way don't even know when they are telling their untruths. That is precisely why they are so fluent in/adept at it. If they WERE more aware of what was wrong with what they were doing, they would not be so fluent/adept. You might note that they talk VERY quickly. It's egocentric, and it is a variety of bullying.

    Sadly it's incorrigible and there is no shortage of these people who live in bubbles. They are absolutely necessary for the anarchic workings of the Libertarian system as they ensure not regulations ever work effectively..

    indignantindegene wrote: "But do you (and others who constantly post examples of, and reasons for, our society's decline have any 'action plans' that may attempt to remedy this progressive situation? You have often informed us that education will not change our basic intelligence, so is there any scope for change?"

    If you look back through my contributions here you will see what I have suggested the solution must be, and it will be that or extinction. You will have observed a number of Western politicians doing the rounds of the major BRICS? Most people here will be thinking of small changes.
    That is a big mistake. Fatal in fact. They are the ones who are helping sustain the decline. That is how it happens...

    It doesn't bode well. Check out the data which I have referenced in an earlier contribution here (OECD/PISA 2009 by state and gender.) Look at the rank ordering of states across the EU in maths at the higher Proficiency Levels. That can't be improved by education, education, education - it will just make it worse in time, and so will low skilled immigration. Property developers and bankers don't care about any of that. They are internationalists. They will move on, like locusts.

  • Comment number 50.

    JohnConstable wrote: "To repeat, if you could kindly supply some examples of people being 'forced' to take loans then that would move the debate forward."

    It's no debate - I'm just giving you a crash course in some Behavioural Economics which is an empirical (biological) science. This IS what is going on. What people THINK doesn't come into it (much if at all sadly).

  • Comment number 51.

    Follow on from No. 46 above!

    A copy’n’paste, from the ephemeral, ethereal, electro-encyclopeadia sic AKA the Internet!

    (Please note that the following ‘edited’ word has not been avoided - Oops, I meant to type ‘altered‘ - by my choosing. The ‘editing’ - you might prefer to call it cowardice - was actioned on the ‘originating’ [It’s a quote, Dammit!] www site !)

    "It was my aim to shove it right up that black a------."

    (For those B-readers still unclear .... the ‘a-word’ - a colloquialism, ‘street’ etc - refers to the human gastro-intestinal waste materials exit orifice. [ Not really surprising it’s reduced to ‘a...’!] It rhymes with ‘class’ or - in USA speak - ‘crass’! The latter seems, perhaps, to be somewhat more appropriate.)

    The furore (Was it the PC brigade wanting to remind all that it still intends to maintain it’s ‘power’?) caused this statement to be construed as possibly racist. Wisely - or, dependent upon your point of view, not - the target subject chose to avoid the ado, of which there was much, and get on with other matters.

    The reaction would appear to bring the ‘ishoo’ of race discrimination sic to an inevitable crossroads whereby a question has to be asked of those that attributed’ “possibly racist” to the voiced (Rhetorical, I’m sure but then I haven’t seen the Trophy!) exultation.

    Namely ....
    If the phrase “black a------” could be interpreted as racist by those that hold the mic, charge the presses, fill the airwaves et al then surely the same could be said of such discriminations as the ‘Black Police Officers Association’, ‘Music of Black Origin’ etc, etc, etc?

    And, seriously, before you consider my premise don’t even think - not ever for one brief minute sic - that I might even be remotely cynical - or critical - of something that might be thought of as total hypocrisy!

    Who’d dare think such a thing!


    And .... Oh Yes! ....

    Sarkozy and Obama .... Behind closed sic doors! ..... The real way of the world ....

    Reminiscent of Deity Dave commissioning a private report on ‘future’ employment legislation, Terry Might’s trial immigration control sic and ‘Vulpine-gate!

    Ah! (Or is it ‘Aargh! ) ....

    News management - or is it worse than that? - at it’s best!!


    363

  • Comment number 52.

    brown-dog @ 50

    You say that you are giving me a crash course in some Behavioral Economics (BE).

    Fine - except that I am a very time-pressured businessman/systems engineer and although a greater knowledge of BE could be useful in some aspects of my work, these forums are not, IMHO, the appropriate place for me to work at this.

    In fact, these blogs are more-or-less at the bottom of my priority list.

    It would have been helpful if you could have managed to provide some specific examples of people being coerced into taking loans but you preferred to give generalized examples which seem to support some theories of human (and animal) genetics and also politically .. national socialism.

    IMO, your output is probably too intellectual for these forums but each to his own.

    PS. I replied to your post because it is a basic human driver to reciprocate, I give you something, you give me something and if you do not - it is not fair. Most of human society seemed to be predicated on that simple premise - no need to unnecessarily complicate things.

  • Comment number 53.

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

  • Comment number 54.

    JohnConstable " replied to your post because it is a basic human driver to reciprocate, I give you something, you give me something and if you do not - it is not fair. Most of human society seemed to be predicated on that simple premise - no need to unnecessarily complicate things."

    Socialist societies are predicated on this but Libertarian societies are not. The simplification of "fairness" in your post may be unwittingly self-serving, as is caveat emptor. The assumption of plasticity and equality choice and hard work is rewarded is all a self-serving mythology.

    The logical conclusion of where this all goes is that of criminalising the Libertarian system, which is why business-people were co-extensive with enemies of the people and imprisoned in the former USSR. In Libertarian systems such behaviour is legal of course, and it has been massively encouraged (think The Apprentice, all the Business Studies courses since the 70s, MBAs etc). This was how the Cold War was waged before 1989. Why would China have ceased? It is more Stalinist that the USSR was.

    This behaviour is now being criticised as venal by many people but all one is just likely to get are "apologies" from psychopaths who then just keep going about their business as the law allows. It's inevitable.
    Governments can't regulate. Markets regulate.

    See the problem? If not, the Chinese and BRICS will. I don't see much changing, but the fundamental drivers of our demise ARE changing, as the gene pool has been deteriorating for some time, which will make matters get worse for most.

  • Comment number 55.

    JohnConstable wrote: "IMO, your output is probably too intellectual for these forums but each to his own."

    Alternatively, you either can't grasp what has been going on, or it suits your self/business interests not to do so as that might stop or impede you doing what you do for a living. Give that some thought as it is a big part of why this is not going to change within our system. It is also why some vilify nazis as regulators. That is just how the system works I suggest.

    It's obvious to many people that in order to live they have had to borrow. That is what a Libertarian (business orientated) system has done in lieu of paying people wages, it has indebted them instead. If one entices people who have very low levels of impulse control (like children) and low levels of literacy/numeracy (like children), to sign up for loans houses, cars etc which they can't afford on their incomes, whilst saying it will all be ok "trust me", and then securitizaing the toxic loans so someone else buys the risk, it is obvious what will happen in the end. The same goes with giving people "choices" which they can not really understand (which hospital do you want to go to, which school etc, one can always offload the bad consequences by saying they chose).

    If one is clever enough to write here one is probably clever enough to grasp this, but sadly, one will probably also be clever enough to wilfully NOT see what is inconvenient.

    This, I suggest, is blind-spot which is common, and which is precisely why nothing much is changing over the European and wider Credit crisis.

    Crosstalk on RT had something on this yesterday as the entitlement issue. We now have lots of people protesting because what they think they were entitled to is being taken away. This is not intellectual. We import and breed impulsive people as consumers of debt and we field people for whom the consequences of predatory business behaviour is opaque because they are well rewarded for not knowing the consequences.

    The latter have been branded "snakes in suits", and of course they won't like having their behaviours exposed. Doing so would mean, if that exposure was followed up by legally enforced sanctions, mean that they would lose their sources of supply. Its a systemic, not personal problem. As you said a while back, we ,massively deregulated in 1999 and 2000 but it started way back in the early 80s.

  • Comment number 56.

    brown-dog @ 55

    Just to clarify when I stated that "your output is probably too intellectual for these forums ..." I meant that for time-pressured people such as myself, your posts require more time and effort to comprehend than the average for these blogs and this blogger does not usually have the time.

 

BBC iD

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.