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Friday 2 December 2011

Verity Murphy | 13:32 UK time, Friday, 2 December 2011

This week's Autumn Statement has been described by commentators as a "seismic shift" in the political landscape.

The government promised to eliminate the budget deficit by the next election but now says it needs another two years to meet its target.

Borrowing and unemployment are set to be higher than forecast and spending cuts to carry on to 2017.

Hundreds of thousands more public sector jobs are also set to be lost.

Tonight, we will be looking at which people and what parts of the country will be feeling the most pain.

The A14 in Cambridgeshire is receiving an upgrade as part of a number of infrastructure investments by George Osborne. Our reporter Richard Watson visited the area to be gauge reaction to the measures.

And Gavin Esler has an interview with the British ambassador to Iran, Dominick Chilcott, who is just back in the UK after a tumultuous week in relations between the two countries.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    "....effected by the extended austerity...." Affected surely? Has someone been using voice-activated software?

    Be sure to compile a detailed written report for Mr Osborne's holiday reading when he takes his family to Klosters this winter. We're all in this together you know.

    I could imagine a very good puppet sketch with Mr Ebenezer Osborne being visited by the ghost of Christmas future.

    BRING BACK SPITTING IMAGE!

  • Comment number 2.

    'Hundreds of thousands more public sector jobs are also set to be lost.'

    http://www.cipd.co.uk/pressoffice/_articles/Treasuryselectcommittee011110.htm

    "Dr Philpott comments further: “On these estimates 1.6 million lost jobs looks to be the total employment cost of the coalition government’s fiscal austerity measures."

    NN - How many jobs to be lost? This estimate was based on 2.5% annual growth assumption.

    Any chance of getting Dr Philpott on the programme?

    I'm no great fan of a bloated public sector but the long term damage likely to be done here to British workers & families while immigrants pour in by the hundreds of thousands is an outrage?

    I repeat again - Why do TU's organise politically correct strikes and fail to organise action about the damage caused by mass immigration to their current & soon to be ex-members?

  • Comment number 3.

    Looking at this oldie, I'm stuck that history is repeating itself, only more so.

    "Spitting Image - Santa Clause is on the Dole"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNace1KBqac

  • Comment number 4.

    http://www.localgov.co.uk/index.cfm?method=news.detail&id=104276

    850,000 public sector jobs to go... + ... ' ? ' no. jobs in private sector

  • Comment number 5.

    @2 "Why do TU's ...... fail to organise action about the damage caused by mass immigration to their current & soon to be ex-members?"

    1) Such action would be illegal, as it would not be part of a "trade dispute".
    2) Action of the sort you are proposing would inevitably incite violence or worse.

    Of course, within the EU many UK citizens take advantage of the freedom of movement to work abroad - and claim local benefits in between jobs.

    I have no-doubt that significant unnecessary non-EU immigration is being allowed for the purpose of forcing wages down. This should undoubtedly be stopped, but it would be grossly unfair to target bully these people for trying to improve their lives. They work hard and contribute to our society: we have a Filipino gentleman in my Welsh Male voice choir.

  • Comment number 6.

    HONOURABLE PEOPLE BACK PROMISES WITH SELF-IMPOSED PENALTIES.

    Only once, in recent time - to my knowledge - did an MP feel obliged to resign, for not keeping a promise: Estelle Morris. I heard her explain that she went to PM Blair, and he said words to the effect of: no need to resign - "there are ways".

    If appropriate law applied in the Potty Chamber, NONE would be permitted to flaunt the fatuous appellation: “HONOURABLE”.

    Nuff sed

  • Comment number 7.

    'But how do the people effected by the extended austerity feel'

    Beyond the already pointed out, presumed typo, one presumes how any carefully selected vox pops respond when asked on their feelings about what was once less bad getting worse, I'd imagine.

    'Over the moon, Brian, over moon...'? Or, possibly, not.

  • Comment number 8.

    Why does Newsnight rarely come to Wales nowadays when discussing economic issues - it seems you are happy to travel to the North of England, occasionally to Scotland but not to Wales.

    The people of Wales are in a mess economically and heavily dependent upon public secor jobs... but you go to Cambridgeshire... hardly a public sector dominated area - in fact, many in Britain consider that part of the country to be the heartland of Middle Class England?

  • Comment number 9.

    barriesingleton wrote: "HONOURABLE PEOPLE BACK PROMISES WITH SELF-IMPOSED PENALTIES."

    You keep posting factually untrue material about politicians and politics which are likely to mislead the unwary. You do this even after the errors have been highlighted repeatedly. Politics is primarily about party policies. It may be the case that some of those occupying Ministerial officers (or their shadows) aren't doing the job they are tasked with, and criticism there is just, and democratically helpful as it highlights something useful, about governance, but you fail to do that in your comments, as you don't refer to policies. Do you not see how and why this is unhelpful and just amounts to verbal abuse? You are now encouraging others to behave in the same pointless way. Why?

  • Comment number 10.

    "And Gavin Esler has an interview with the British ambassador to Iran, Dominick Chilcott, who is just back in the UK after a tumultuous week in relations between the two countries."

    I wonder, will Mr Esler ask whether there could be a connection between the embassy attack and the blowing up of of a facility near Isfahan?

  • Comment number 11.

    Here's an extract showing the difference between the Public and Private Sector behaviour.

    "The UK has a workforce of 29 million people.

    Some 23 million of these are employed in the private sector. Of these, only 3.2 million contribute to a workplace pension scheme that also includes a contribution from their employer.

    The remaining six million workers are in the public sector. A much higher

    Some 87% of public sector employees are currently paying into a salary-linked pension scheme, compared with 12% of private sector employees."

    One could say that MOST of those choosing to work in the Private Sector CHOOSE to spend their money and not to save, or to pay into a pension scheme for when they and their colleague are older They mainly live for the short-term. Note the article also says:

    "The number of people actively saving in company pension schemes in the private sector has almost halved since 1991."

    On the other hand, those who choose to work in the Public Sector have been protected by their employers, so when they retire, they are somewhat protected given the state pension is so meagre.

    Is a case to be made that the aggregate behaviour of the Private Sector is more SELF-centred than the Public Sector? As we have seen elsewhere, the SELF-centred tend to blame and/or punish others for their own SELF-centred behaviour, largely because they don't think ahead, or beyond their own immediate self-interest. They just assume that, if some other individual or group is better off, it's ipso facto unfair, rather than explicable in terms of different circumstances prevailing. Why don't they even LOOK? It's because people assume the Null Hypothesis but don't test it. Same with the frequency of some ethnic groups appearing on programmes like Newsnight. it's highly unexpected statistically so why no comment about this inequality? It is odd, and it is part of the problem we are now dealing with as it is a licence to abuse.

  • Comment number 12.

    "The German government has made it clear that the European crisis will not be solved in one fell swoop. It's a process, and this process will take years."

    Merkel

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/eurozonecrisis-david-cameron-calls-for-action-6271249.html

    At least THAT'S credible. Most of what one hears from Sarkozy and Cameron etc just isn't.

  • Comment number 13.

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

  • Comment number 14.

    clarkson still on the run? Maybe blair can give him a few tips?

    if one substitutes the word jews,blacks or gays for public sector worker would the bbc still be defending him?

    is clarkson the new marie antionette? living in a detached bubble of bbc loadsamoney unreality?

  • Comment number 15.

    11 where did you get those figures from? the ones i tend to see show that half the uk population works and half of those who work are in the state sector. so those 25% who produce wealth in fact support 75% of the rest of population given the state is a consumer not a producer.

  • Comment number 16.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/2355079.stm

    Extract from Estelle Morris' resignation letter (2002)

    "I am writing to confirm my wish to resign as Secretary of State.

    As I explained when I came to see you yesterday morning, I am proud of the role I have played in the government, both as Schools Minister and as Secretary of State.

    In many ways, I feel I have achieved more in the first job than I have in the second.

    I've learned what I'm good at and also what I'm less good at. I'm good at dealing with the issues and in communicating to the teaching profession.

    I am less good at strategic management of a huge department and I am not good at dealing with the modern media.

    I believe passionately in what this Labour Government is trying to do

    All this has meant that with some of the recent situations I have been involved in, I have not felt I have been as effective as I should be, or as effective as you need me to be. "

    In other words, she said couldn't do the JOB properly..These days their job seems to be to discredit and get rid of the Public Sector. Perhaps she was no good at that? Maybe she was Old Labour (her family history would suggest so)?

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

  • Comment number 17.

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

  • Comment number 18.

    14. jauntycyclist wrote:

    "if one substitutes the word jews,blacks or gays for public sector worker would the bbc still be defending him?"

    But he didn't did he? If anyone had used those words in that context no-one would be defending them.

    I like Clarkson. He's the sort of idiotic figure this increasingly po-faced nation needs. Anyone who takes him seriously must be very sad. If Unison hadn't whipped it all up for their own publicity ends it would have passed with a murmur. Thinking of setting the police on him, taking legal action. Honestly! I think he's got a DVD coming out. They fell for that one hook, line and sinker.

  • Comment number 19.

    Whilst most eyes are on Iran, Russia and China don't approve of the UN Human Rights report on Syria and give a warning to stay out:

    "We would like to warn against illegal interference by outside forces even under the pretext of protecting human rights," said Russia's envoy Valery Loshchinin.

    "This will have serious and unforeseen consequences."
    http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCATRE7B01M720111202

    Russia Today goes further than Reuters, asserting that the UN report of Human Rights violations in Syria is biased, and too reliant on rebels.

    "The Russian ambassador to the UN human rights office and other international organizations based in Geneva has doubted the credibility and objectivity of the document prepared by the UN human rights watchdog on the situation in Damascus."on [in Syria]."
    http://rt.com/news/syria-us-eu-sanctions-829/

    Yet more challenges to the integrity and independence of the UN (like the earlier criticism of the UN IAEA report on Iran).

  • Comment number 20.

    jauntycyclist wrote: "where did you get those figures from? the ones i tend to see show that half the uk population works and half of those who work are in the state sector. so those 25% who produce wealth in fact support 75% of the rest of population given the state is a consumer not a producer."

    It was on 28th November, a BBC article on pensions:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15925017

    There are only about 6 million Public Sector workers. About half of those are in health and education. A full breakdown was provided a few days back and these are quite closely monitored and regularly published.
    Only 20% of the workforce is in the Public Sector.

    Some misleading figures were put out on a Channel 4 programme a while back, but that was by the same people who tend to do other "sensational"
    programmes. perhaps they think it edgy? I don't trust Channel 4 or 5 anymore.

  • Comment number 21.

    5.At 15:19 2nd Dec 2011, Sasha Clarkson wrote:
    @2 "Why do TU's ...... fail to organise action about the damage caused by mass immigration to their current & soon to be ex-members?"

    1) Such action would be illegal, as it would not be part of a "trade dispute".
    2) Action of the sort you are proposing would inevitably incite violence or worse.

    ++
    Hi Sara Clarkson - thank you for your comments

    "1) Such action would be illegal, as it would not be part of a "trade dispute"."

    So nearly a million public sector workers going meekly into redundancy & their union organises 'action' over pensions? The action does not necessarily mean industrial strike action - their are other legitimate methods & means of assisting those set to lose their jobs?

    "2) Action of the sort you are proposing would inevitably incite violence or worse."

    Why would it - I haven't proposed anything of the sort? - What I am querying is why the TU's (and full media) remain silent and organise politically correct 'action' when what most of their TU members need is some sort of assistance in the job market when they get the sack - in terms of forced mass immigration.

    "This should undoubtedly be stopped, but it would be grossly unfair to target bully these people for trying to improve their lives. They work hard and contribute to our society: we have a Filipino gentleman in my Welsh Male voice choir."

    But no one is bullying immigrants - they're getting all the breaks at the expense of British workers as receiving massive subsidies. Whether immigrants work well or sing well is immaterial as they're subsidised unfair cheap labour competition for British workers, in their own country, in a 'recession' cum 'depression'.

    The question is why don't the TU's do something about the pending loss of their members jobs?

  • Comment number 22.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-15995845

    Another reason why climate change science modelling is suspect as it does not or cannot factor in such natural & other events such as e.g. major volcanic eruptions & their effects on global climate predictions?

  • Comment number 23.

    18
    The Blatter of the BBC

    the bbc elite are living in a protected bubble funded by the public.

    clearly from the reaction we are not 'in it together'.

    marie antionette needs to go to where marie antionettes end up. without a handshake.

    clarkson is so 1990s.

  • Comment number 24.

  • Comment number 25.

    jauntycyclist wrote: "ah yes 6 million of the workforce but 50% of the economy."

    I suggest it'd be better to look up the 2010 or 2011 "UK Blue Book"
    and/or go to the ONS site rather than The Mail. Most of our economy is Service Sector and the "economy" has been heavily weighted for Financial Services. It wasn't teachers, nurses, policemen, prison officers, firemen, tax inspectors, social security staff etc who created the Credit Crunch you know, even if some Libertarians would people believe otherwise!.

    "On 25 October 1924, the Daily Mail published the forged Zinoviev Letter, which indicated that British Communists were planning violent revolution. This was a significant factor in the defeat of Ramsay MacDonald's Labour Party in the 1924 general election, held four days later."

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

  • Comment number 26.

    Surely they're havin' a laugh?!

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2069343/Now-law-foreign-aid-Ministers-want-commit-Britain-billions-handouts.html

    Wonder who'll send us foreign aid when the money runs out ; )

  • Comment number 27.

    @21 Trades Union membership is not restricted to British Citizens, but is open to all workers in a given undertaking. Legitimate Trades Union action is to pursue disputes with an employer. Action for any other purpose would leave the union vulnerable to having its assets seized.

    An overtly political strike would not be illegal as such, but would leave organisers open to various civil legal actions. It might be possible to use the internet to promote a "national stay at home day" etc, but as your aim of opposing immigration is overtly political, that is the province of a political organisation, and not a trades union. Having been a Union rep in my time, I know what I am talking about.

    You are either naive or disingenuous in suggesting that a strike against immigration would not have very ugly side effects. There are very dark forces in the UK who would do their best to hijack it. In a country where a journalist was "sort of proud" that his articles led to a paediatrician being mistakenly attacked as a paedophile, I think it highly likely that they would succeed.

    sincerely,

    Sasha (as in Alexander)

  • Comment number 28.

    @27 Addendum. Trades Union official strikes, rightly, cannot take place without a ballot of the membership. The law would actually prevent* a ballot taking place if not in furtherance of a legitimate trades dispute. Therefore the only way of organising political strike successfully would be by means of an underground organisation and some coercion. This has of course happened under dictatorships, or amongst occupied populations in time of war, but I can't see it happening in Britain - (yet).

    * by legal injunction, contempt of court proceedings, seizure of ballots, imprisonment, etc etc.

  • Comment number 29.

    "YET" (#28)

    The fulcrum that will ensure catastrophic tipping, when 'the point' is signalled.

    I would not be a city dweller.

  • Comment number 30.

    The populace is being nicely split into discrete groups some of which are scathing and rude about some other groups while dealing in half-truths. This has some very unhappy antecedents and hardly likely to contribute to a concerted response to the present situation. Those who criticise on air should perhaps reveal their own circumstances. The situation at one time was that the split between those with workplace pensions and those without was between white collar workers and manual workers.
    Perhaps a few facts would clarify things if that's what we want or would that spoil things?

  • Comment number 31.

    just supposin' that Clarkson had said 'we should take out the Royal family and the front bench of the government and that they be shot' does anybody think he would have still been in a job at six pm? .........no neither do I......

  • Comment number 32.

    OR WOULD THAT SPOIL THINGS? (#30)

    Exactly! This is why the obvious topic of THE ERROR BAND (when percentages of 0.1 and even 0.03 are being bandied about) is avoided by NewsyNighty gurus.

    It goes with the false-colour-wash wall imagery, the floating geometry, and the musack etc.

    BRING BACK GRAVITAS

  • Comment number 33.

    23

    Now if you're referring to how much the BBC overpays its 'personalities' that's another subject altogether. A five-year freeze on the licence fee may see diminishing returns for them on that front. At least Clarkson has outlasted Ross. No particular virtue though.

  • Comment number 34.

    31.

    Not sure about the royal family, but certainly a lot of people may be thinking that about the front bench. But they don't really mean it! Lighten up! Fortunately we live in land where people can say daft things without being arrested and tortured. Do you really want to ban freedom of speech? There are plenty of countries where people yearn for our right to freely express their opinions, no matter how stupid or misguided they may be. Let's not give that up too.

  • Comment number 35.

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

  • Comment number 36.

    And there was I going on about freedom of speech at 34 only to find the BBC has denied me it at 35.

  • Comment number 37.

    You know when someone behaves in a way thats deemed untenable, (often applied to government ministers and the like) if they behaved only half as bad would this be unfiveable? Or if they did something just a bit grumpy cause they got out the wrong side of the bed could we call it unoneable or untwoable...cause it certainly wouldn't be untenable would it?

    Sorry, mi dogs just ran off over the field got to go.

    FENTON!..FENNNTONNN!

  • Comment number 38.

    Look at the UK "Blue Book" by SECTOR and think about the economy. How much of "OUR" debt is

    1) "Government Debt" (the mismatch between what is taken in from ALL sorts of taxes (income, corporation, NI, fuel/petrol tax etc etc) ~£450,000 million

    2) "Household Debt" (be careful on this one, it may not be what you think

    3) "Bank and Business Debt" (THE BIG ONE)

    Ask yourself, "What exactly comprise these CLASSES?" How are debts allocated to these categories?

    When you think about the concept of HOUSEHOLD you have to look very carefully at what it is technically defined as in our ONS and EUROSTAT data. You can't just ASSUME you know. It is an accounting category.

    When you think of "Government Debt" there is the money spent on salaries and procurement (think hospitals which procure goods (whilst in schools about 80% of their revenue goes on salaries). But what about funding PFI projects. Is that money borrowed on the markets? If so, where does THAT money get spent? Is THAT not going on the PRIVATE sector, to "preferred bidders".

    The point here, is that Public Sector WORKERS can and have sometimes been dumped upon, USED. They can be used as an excuse for Libertarian politicians to borrow money on the international money markets in order to pass that on to some favoured PRIVATE SECTOR groups for capital projects which are said to be necessary, but what if those projects are only necessary because the population has been INCREASED through massive immigration IN ORDER TO BORROW THE MONEY and build property and infrastructure at the expense of future generations and higher taxes and capital asset stripping?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/dec/01/anders-breivik

    Finally, on the Simon Baron-Cohen article in the Guardian. This is bandwagon stuff. This is a researcher who pushed the idea that the extreme male brain is autistic. He has some of the major scientists in history down as autistic as a consequence. Go to the other extreme and what is he pushing? Feminised-brains. What are feminised-brains good for, they're especially good for debt based economies - borrowing, debt, spending money on "retail-therapy". This good for Libertarianism. Who does well out of Libertarianism. The Financial Services Sector. Who dominates that? What sort of people are a major threat to that? MALE regulators, a major example from history - Mr Hitler.

  • Comment number 39.

    @various restassured: Freedom of speech is one thing, but freedom to be grossly offensive whilst getting megabucks at the expense of (much poorer) licence payers is something else. Let him go to Sky, where his views will fit in perfectly!

  • Comment number 40.

    EDGY BBC - EXEMPLARY BROADCASTING IN THE AGE OF PERVERSITY

    Nuff sed

  • Comment number 41.

    barriesingleton wrote: "Exactly! This is why the obvious topic of THE ERROR BAND (when percentages of 0.1 and even 0.03 are being bandied
    about) is avoided by NewsyNighty gurus.

    It goes with the false-colour-wash wall imagery, the floating geometry, and the musack etc."

    They do. They highlight the flaws (even if unwittingly some times) and tend to do so "even handedly" and "subtlety" (sometimes quite cynically). Perhaps they expect the audience to appreciate this?

    They only have less than a day to prepare the news. What's sometimes hard to fathom is why investigators (like Sue Lloyd Roberts) go undercover with "activists" which presumably the Government of Syria would rather term "terrorists", and why the BBC doesn't generally seem to appreciate why, given the help which some of our people give to these "activists", the Governments of foreign nations then send their "activists" off to wreck our embassies and economies!

    The Gavin Esler, po-faced interview, with the British Ambassador to Iran last night was a classic. "Moi?...What have we done?" seemed to be the message.

    Sometimes Newsnight takes satire/parody/chutzpah just a little too far or do they just not have the time to do the preparation?.

  • Comment number 42.

    27 & 28
    At 22:48 2nd Dec 2011, Sasha Clarkson wrote:

    You're not even attempting to answer the question - no one is suggesting TU's break the law over job cuts - but the TU's are saying nothing about over a million workers set to lose their jobs in the middle of a depression while hundreds of thousand of immigrants pour into the UK

    "The question is why don't the TU's do 'something' about the pending loss of their members jobs?"

    It's the lack of 'something' that concerns me - but not you, apparently, by your comments; as what you are or may be inferring and/or saying is that this job loss/immigration situation is part & parcel of e.g. EU membership & as, otherwise, is acceptable to you?

  • Comment number 43.

    40.
    At 11:19 3rd Dec 2011, barriesingleton wrote:


    EDGY BBC - EXEMPLARY BROADCASTING IN THE AGE OF PERVERSITY

    Nuff sed
    ++

    I understood what you posted previously Barrie but may be stretching it a bit for those with lesser 'cognitive ability' unless 'verified as fact' by reference to e.g. Guardian newspaper

  • Comment number 44.

    YOU MEAN (unbiased) FACTS ARE GETTING INTO PRINT NOW? (#3)

    It's all shouting in a bucket nautonier. But nice that you care.

    I used to write to myself - now I write to the NewsyNighty Blog. The difference is 0.0025%, as measured by the INDEPENDENT OBR (Office of Bogus Reality).

  • Comment number 45.

  • Comment number 46.

    WHAT HAPPENS TO THE HIGHER CHAIN OF CULPABILITY WHEN THE DRUG IS ALCOHOL?

    Baron - Pusher - User.

    Barons become Lords; Pushers get Knighthoods; Users get destroyed.

    Delete 'Alcohol' insert 'Tobacco' - the Great British story is the same.

    Weep.

  • Comment number 47.

    Honour "violence' is back in the news comprising another swipe at traditional family values using extreme behaviours to do so.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16014368

    To see how insidious this Libertarian politics is, look back 60 years or so ago to when many British females, who had children out of wedlock, or behaved which then would have been widely considered shameful. They would have been shunned by their families. Before then, many may have been put in what were effectively mental hospitals

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

    It IS since the traditional morality was undermined (remember the teenager of the 50s and rock n roll etc) that we've had our social problems increase, most of which have been repeatedly documented here.

    Ironically, many of our immigrants probably thought we still had that traditional morality - they are trying to do today what we did 60 or so years ago. who is in error (leaving aide the violence which is criminal).

    Still, most people won't see the destructive nature of our Libertarian secularism. Probably because there's too much fun to be had in the very short-term and any control is a violation of their "rights"
    (entitlements)..

    Bloglife: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGNmFrhK7E0

  • Comment number 48.

    nautonier wrote: "It's the lack of 'something' that concerns me - but not you, apparently, by your comments; as what you are or may be inferring and/or saying is that this job loss/immigration situation is part & parcel of e.g. EU membership & as, otherwise, is acceptable to you?"

    He's taken the time to give you helpful, rational answers to your questions. You are typically personally offensive and provocative in response. These matters are not personal, they are allocentric, and legal. You should make the effort to discuss matters objectively in terms of consequences not feelings or stop posting.

    You're trolling. If you persist you won't last long.

  • Comment number 49.

    Private sector pensions are a national disgrace.

    Governments have allowed employers to cut pension contributions to inflate their own profits, effectively dumping the cost of retirement on the taxpayer - it's a major abuse and should be ended.

    Secondly, because the welfare safety net exists, this creates a threshold in terms of the private individual pension income which, unless you can achieve a significantly higher level of income in retirement by paying into a pension, effectively makes it a complete waste of money - just like the disincentive to work for low wages when in receipt of benefits.

    Thirdly when you look at the meagre wage levels and the way the coalition has driven up the cost of living through tax hikes and allowing Sterling to depreciate by a third leading to import price rises, it's not surprising people simply don't have the money to afford to make a sensible level of pension contributions.

    When you add in the impact of student loan debt, the high cost of housing in the UK and personel indebtedness, the personal debt figures just don't stack up.

    To hear that the government is going to delay the introduction of any complusion on employers to require them to offer pensions is a scandal, meanwhile quantitative easing has taken a big bite out of pension annuity rates.

    We hear about "sharing the burden" - big businesses are racking up big profits even in the impending recession - yet it's left to overstretched individuals to make their own pension provision.

    Let's be clear about it - unless you put away a sizeable percentage of your income on a salary of £45,000+, you won't end up with any more in retirement than someone who makes no provision and relies on the state welfare retirement benefits.

    The root cause therefore is low/poverty pay and no obligation on employers to pay into the pensions of their workers.

    To then argue that public sector pensions should be degraded because private sector ones are so dire is liudicrous.

  • Comment number 50.

    Confusion

    The OBR wants more immigrants here, the Conservative government want to cut immigration, guess which one is telling the truth!

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/wanted-more-immigrants-to-boost-british-economy-6271541.html

  • Comment number 51.

    Here's a follow-up from a thoroughly modern anti-statist:-
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/25/AR2010032502363.html

    One should think PIIGS and Euro.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-16016131

    "Mr Delors insists that all European countries must share the blame for the debt crisis - which has led to fears for the survival of the euro.
    //
    Commenting on those - like the British - who objected to euro membership by saying the currency could not work without a state, Mr Delors said:
    "They had a point."
    //
    She [Merkel] and French President Nicolas Sarkozy have called for EU treaty changes.

    The two are to meet on Monday, to agree on joint proposals to be put to a meeting of European leaders next week."

    Is there to be a mini-Eurozone MkII (France+Germany) as "Fregumy" (or plus Belgium, "Frelgumy")? Or they could just appropriate the name "Europe" and forbid the others from calling themselves "Europeans"
    unless they agree to give up on sovereignty and bow to a real ECB and an over-riding EU Parliament?

    It looks like a hoard of NUTS, and an example of how not to do "democratic" politics by the back-door, but given that the USA has put a lot of work and money into this European Project since WWII, it certainly won't give up on it easily.

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

  • Comment number 52.

    richard bunning wrote: "Governments have allowed employers to cut pension contributions to inflate their own profits, effectively dumping the cost of retirement on the taxpayer - it's a major abuse and should be ended."

    I say again, Libertarian Governments don't have any SAY in this matter.
    They have to leave this to CHOICE.

    They HAVE TO let the markets determine what happens in the Private Sector. They only have a say about what happens in the PUBLIC SECTOR.

    If you want to see a change one would have to get rid of Libertarian governance, and that is not something most people can even imagine given that the very idea of this alternative is continually made aversive by association with horror propaganda images of HITLER and STALIN.

  • Comment number 53.

    JCBs DON'T RIOT (#50)

    Hi Lizzy. The Age of Perversity is really taking off. To treat humans as units of consumption and work - like JCBs - is about as dumb as it gets.

    Once again we are faced with the fool/nave, conspiracy/cockup duality.

    I heard Dave described as intelligent today. But if you have never met your demons, they run you ragged; education-based functionality is NO DEFENCE AGAINST DEMONS.

    Sigh.

  • Comment number 54.

    ecolizzy wrote: "The OBR wants more immigrants here, the Conservative government want to cut immigration, guess which one is telling the truth!"

    Just remember: - the markets are essentially computerised profit and loss balance sheets - they don't see race. sex or creed, as they're programmed for greed.

    Below replacement birth-rates plus an ageing population (just think about "the spending/borrowing force" between 16-65) demand immigration, as the size of the aforementioned "workforce" must shrink in time which spells a declining economy. It's been known for at least 80 years.

    Do you see an alternative?

    The only alternative that I can see would be for us to run a non Libertarian economy like China, but we're far too busy undermining that abroad to ever have one at home.

    So ...it doesn't look good does it?..

  • Comment number 55.

    48.
    At 16:23 3rd Dec 2011, brown-dog wrote:


    You're trolling. If you persist you won't last long.

    ++

    Are you threatening me?

    The only troll on here, IMO, is guess who?

  • Comment number 56.

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

  • Comment number 57.

    50.
    At 17:33 3rd Dec 2011, ecolizzy wrote:

    Confusion

    ++
    Ecolizzy

    Please don't be taken in by the complex bigot rhetoric of newspapers like the Independent & Guardian.

    OBR are simply be realistic by reflecting that the current very high level of UK mass immigration is forced on UK by EU & UK govt policy of pushing student immigration as main UK main business 'growth' because UK govt & polticians are Vince incapable of creating any real jobs for British people - foreign students soak up all spare jobs supporting themselves at UK college so fewer & fewer jobs for young Brits.

    "George Osborne's economic strategy rests on continued high levels of immigration to Britain"

    This is the quote from your web link - Osborne's strategy is not resting on mass immigration - the govt is just incapable of changing the status quo as being in coalition govt with pro immigration Lib Dems.

    The article by the Independent complex bigots is simply politicised mischief making at the extreme.

    The question that the Independent will never ask of the Labour Party & its TU money jangling masters - the trade unions is what I have posted earlier:-

    "The question is why don't the TU's do 'something' about the pending loss of their members jobs?"

    Osborne's strategy is not dependent upon UK mass immigration - that is a blatant mischievous nasty complex bigot lie - as all immigrants to the UK are heavily subsidised by British workers (and are not just subsidised & protected by the the British govt - there is a difference).

    The issue is why will no one in authority - govt., pressure group, political party, institutions, media, tackle the big questions that really matter?

    IMO, answer is and abdication of responsibility - 1.something million jobs to be lost very soon in UK and immigrants still pouring in by hundreds of thousands every year.

    Independent analysis is a poltical opinion & is not objective and to suggest Osborne is relying on mass immigration in any way is absurd? Mass immigration is happening because of legacy from labour govt and not because of any kind of strategy from Osborne - really is absurd to the point of lunacy for even Independent to venture that kind of opinion - it is just a bad opinion.

  • Comment number 58.

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

  • Comment number 59.

    @48, @55

    Good people. If by trolling we mean stirring up the ordure, and being deliberately provocative, then we're all guilty of it from time to time. Yes, I confess to the occasional peccadillo, although usually I have a more serious intent.

    Why do we do it?
    1) It's fun!
    2) It relieves our anger and frustration when people have the temerity to challenge or, even worse, ignore our cherished beliefs and carefully constructed arguments.

    We are all a mass of contradictions: the very fact that we can empathise with people means that we also understand how to wind them up. Such is the human condition. Success as a human being requires internal checks and balances.

    I am feeling benevolent tonight. Thank you truly, b-d, for the defence, but to both and all - peace be upon you - at least for now! ;-)

    PS to change the subject, amidst all the real problems and misery in the world, some are worrying about an apparent case of "lèse maggiesté"

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hereford-worcester-16016496

  • Comment number 60.

    56.
    At 21:04 3rd Dec 2011, brown-dog wrote:


    nautonier wrote: "Are you threatening me?"

    No. If a doctor told you if you drank/smoked too much you won't live very long, would you think the doctor was threatening you? Some people on the receiving end of helpful advice do react in such ways. In hospitals there's a term for such reactions, some people really do think they're being attacked when they're being helped....

    ++

    Well I think you are - mods please take note - as well as continually disrupting the message board, going off topic etc

    Haven't you got anything better to do with yourself instead of disrupting what otherwise would be some thoughtful & worthwhile discussions?

  • Comment number 61.

    59.
    At 21:23 3rd Dec 2011, Sasha Clarkson wrote:

    No problem - I asked you a question - you didn't choose to answer it - that's fine - I didn't expect you to answer it as it is not for you to answer:-

    "The question is why don't the TU's do 'something' about the pending loss of their members jobs?"

    Cheers!

  • Comment number 62.

    @61 Seriously, I thought I'd answered it.

    Legally, the remit of Trades Union action is limited to obtaining the best deal possible on terms and conditions with an employer, and to protect individual members against victimisation etc, as well as providing some services for members. In addition TUs may lobby on legislation relevant to terms of employment, working conditions etc. Anything more broadly political is not part of core TU activity.

    If unions wish to sponsor "a political party", and/or to campaign on wider social issues, they legally require a separate political fund, which individual members have the right to contract out of.

    The issue of immigration control is certainly a "wider social issue", but one which, for historical and cultural reasons, is likely to regarded as poisonously divisive by TU leaders and activists, and therefore left alone if at all possible (though there have been exceptions). Even those who admit immigration is a concern, may well not agree with your interpretation. Also, these political activities may not conflict with the core purpose of a TU. Remember that those immigrants here legally may well be union members and therefore entitled to the full protection which that entails. They are already part of local communities and protecting them is a matter of solidarity within that community.

    Life is complicated - and I'm off to the pub! :-)

  • Comment number 63.

  • Comment number 64.

    NO WONDER MY PHONE DOES ODD THINGS (#6)

    When they come for me, I pity the poor fool who has to read all the emails, blog posts, and random writings - over 4 PCs!

    Move along - nothing to read here.

  • Comment number 65.

    39. Sasha Clarkson

    "Let him go to Sky, where his views will fit in perfectly!"

    I switch from BBC News 24 to Sky News frequently and was amazed to find when the News International story first broke that Sky were harder and more incisive in their questioning than the BBC.

    In fact a staff member of The Guardian, I can't remember the name - middle aged with moustache - congratulated a Sky presenter on its balanced coverage. Now I know about leopards and spots and the Murdoch angle, but they spared no punches at the time.

    Think the trouble with the BBC is that they've been running scared about pushing too hard lest they offend ever since Greg Dyke resigned over the Gilligan-Kelly controversy.

    Dyke was my senior reporter boss when I was a trainee reporter on The Hillingdon Mirror 1970. He looked about 50 or so even then, bless him. Okay name dropper!

  • Comment number 66.

    We're in an era of 'reality' TV (which is anything but), 'interesting' editorial or guest selection, 'news' by twitter and those 'when ... go bad' YouTube cheepies.

    So I see potential for 'When mods take note (or turn a blind eye)'.

    Today I will mostly be book shopping online based on the capitalist irony of this selection of ±£20 tomes being pushed in the Guardian, so as to ensure a balanced grasp of economics:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/dec/02/books-christmas-presents-economics-reviews

    Though there is one claim that may give pause.. '...but they all lead to the same destination: a bigger role for the state...'

    On past and current evidence, that may appeal of course to some, but not sure I am as keen.

  • Comment number 67.

    @65 Fair comment :-) - but the Murdoch line has at times been very prominent:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=GB&v=ELJh2bTK1ew

  • Comment number 68.

    @63 - Lizzy: this is typical unpleasant propaganda from the Murdoch press. They learned a lot from ПРАВДА, but are cleverer about it. They were probanbly targetting UK ex-pats with the right to vote.

    Use a reliable source!

  • Comment number 69.

    THE CLEGG PARADOX (Andrew Marr Show)

    Nick declares that EU member states break the rules they WROTE FOR THEMSELVES TO OBEY. His solution is to STRENGTHEN THE RULES!!!!

    Wrong Nick: the solution is to DRIVE POLITICIANS OUT OF STATE MANAGEMENT.

    I informed Nick (and many of his ilk) - with irrefutable proof* - that UK politicians break the Election Law that they WROTE FOR THEMSELVES TO OBEY.

    NICK'S SOLUTION WAS TO IGNORE ME. But then: HE IS A POLITICIAN.

    In these dark times, we are fools to permit 'business as usual' in the sphere of governance. It was 'USUAL' that got us WHERE WE ARE.

    DISMANTLE WESTMINSTER – SPOILPARTYGAMES – INSTALL INTEGRITY

    *

    http://spoilpartygames.blogspot.com/2011/09/take-liar-flyer-challenge-6-sep-2011.html

  • Comment number 70.

    An intelligent and amusing contribution to the public/private debate from the FT's Tim Harford:

    http://timharford.com/2011/12/you%E2%80%99re-wrong-%E2%80%93-we-are-all-wealth-creators/

    Of course, it's not the whole truth: the public AND private sectors all have their fair share of deadwood too!

  • Comment number 71.

    We've all been made aware of the extent of organised crime in Italy, and have recently heard about significant corruption in Greece (non payment or collection of taxes with the collusion of those in Government etc).

    But here's an article which covers some of the threats which are part of that behaviour in Italy which should put into perspective some of our sensitivities and provide some insight into what happens as populations degenerate as a consequence of falling cognitive ability and skewed birth-rates (see PISA/OECD and the North-South divide across Europe).

    Governance without major powers and resources (staff i.e Public Sector police etc) becomes almost impossible and highly prone to corruption.

    "Italy's accounting court estimates that corruption among public officials amounted to 60 billion euros in Italy last year, while the Bank of Italy said that as much as 150 billion euros in dirty money is laundered every year."
    //
    "When they can't control the election of the mayor directly, the clans use threats to try to gain back influence," he said during the presentation of the report.
    //
    One mayor, Angelo Vassallo, was shot and killed last year because of his effort to provide honest and transparent governance in the seaside town of Pollica, south of Naples".

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/12/03/uk-italy-mafia-idUKTRE7B20EQ20111203

    It's a gloomy perspective on the cost of trying to sustain honest and transparent behaviour against the demographic odds.

    A further worrying point to bear in mind on this point is that most of our expectations of what's normal are based on what we know of the range and frequency distribution of normal human variation in behaviour, but, if a significant proportion of the adult population abuses drugs (both legal - e.g anti-depressants and/or illegal, e.g. cocaine and alcohol), the rates of the behaviours which are making up society as we know it will be way outside those expected parameters, as many of the stimulant drugs are in fact behaviour rate enhancers in otherwise normal people.

    In other words, widespread abuse of stimulants such as cocaine will have been a significant "game changer", making much that we think base on normal expectations, just "academic".

  • Comment number 72.

    BE YOUR OWN RELIABLE SOURCE SASHA? (#68)

    I live in a country that strips mothers from their young - institutionalises children - negates the indigenous culture - renders individuals effete through welfare - promulgates faux democracy - profits by citizens’ self-destruction with substances - connives at TV’s nihilistic degradation, and yet measures us MOSTLY HAPPY.

    "Barmy" IS TOO SMALL A WORD!

  • Comment number 73.

  • Comment number 74.

    62.
    At 22:30 3rd Dec 2011, Sasha Clarkson wrote:

    Thank you for your reply although I'm not sure it moves things on any further.

    I know a good number of Civil Servants who are very concerned over the security of their employment & are dismayed by the lack of input by Unions on issues like UK mass immigration.

    That's why I'm posting the question as the Labour Party is 86% funded by TU's & membership fees & one can only be dismayed at the lack of imput by the both of them, into the UK immigration debacle.

    Which comes back to my opinion that TU barons are not really interested in the welfare of their members - as their main activities are politicised & not are welfare based or even based on the merits of 'issues'.

  • Comment number 75.

    Sasha Clarkson wrote "PS to change the subject, amidst all the real problems and misery in the world, some are worrying about an apparent case of "lèse maggiesté""

    It's remarkable that whilst our politicians are boldly going where angels would fear to tread in an effort to topple alleged dictators all over the world, some who would otherwise be glorifying ex Prime Ministers here as if they WERE dictators become either outraged if their idols are shown in anything other than a perfect light, or spend their time finding trivial personal fault with their personalities when they are in fact no more than elected leaders of Libertarian democratic parties which explicitly state that they don't believe in Government.

    http://video.pbs.org/video/1302794657/

    It's worth pondering just the first few minutes given what we see playing out on the world stage today. Rationality doesn't much come in to it, I suggest.

  • Comment number 76.

    ecolizzy wrote: "What the Australians think of us and our barmy country"

    What a lot of people don't understand is that this is Social Democrats at work, the Left-Communists which Lenin attacked as anti-statist Libertarians in the early part of the C20th and which in more recent times has been known as the New Left. It is NOT left wing ecolizzy. It is anti-Government. Take note that the Human Rights legislation applies only to what goes on in the Public Sector. It is designed to cripple the state, erode the PUBLIC Sector managed by the elected Government.

    It is very hard for most people to grasp how this works, as they think that Governments do the opposite. Just think about the facts, and you'll soon see why Germany rose up against all this subversion in favour of free-market anarchism in the 1930s. Those they rose up against then fled to the West, i.e Britain and the USA which they incited to wage war against their oppressors. That is why you see this (right-wing Libertarian) politically correct behaviour mostly in these countries today. It is poisonous to the REGULATIVE state by design. It's why Hitler and Stalin are the arch bogeymen.

  • Comment number 77.

    Imagine a hospital or school (i.e. about half the Public Sector - about 10% of the workforce) where staff (regulators) can no longer freely advise patients or pupils on how to behave in order to AVOID deleterious consequences of their emitted behaviour (e.g. further self-harm and/or poor academic performance) because doing so is experienced by some as OFFENSIVE or has been made "Politically Incorrect" as an infringement of their freedom to choose.

    In a nutshell. that's RIGHT-WING Libertarian Britain, USA and Europe TODAY. If you want to know why there is so much decadence everywhere, there's your answer.. It's modus operandi is not obvious as it is the means whereby there will be a decline in the quality of services provided by the Public Sector workers......

    Trying to save the economy, for some, is literally against their "House Rules".

  • Comment number 78.

    68. At 10:26 4th Dec 2011, Sasha Clarkson
    Use a reliable source!


    In media monopolistic terms, I'd be keen to discover where that might be.

    Personally I'd try a spread and hope to find something resembling non-tribal advocacy inbetween them.

    If only because one poster's reliable source maybe another's uniquely-funded propaganda tool.

    Speaking of non-tribal posters...

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/apr/06/political-poster-election-parody

    (hoping the use of the Graun will see this get waved thru)

  • Comment number 79.

    Draw a circle, and put another inside that one which is just 20% (1/5) the size of the larger circle. Then draw a line to split that smaller circle in half. That half is those working in health and education trying to patch people up or show them what hey might be able to do with their natural talents. The other half are police, and other public service providers.

    How can the Public Sector be "half the economy"? The money distributed from pensions and social security is indeed part of the economy but the Public Sector workers just dish t he money out according to the laws they work to, they don't own the money.

    What is going to happen when more of these people just give up trying to do their jobs against all odd given that the Government and General Public keep hampering them with politically correct (Libertarian) legislation like the HRA and FOIA which ONLY APPLY TO THE PUBLIC SECTOR?

    To see the inevitable bleak consequences of further deregulation look across the world where such "totalitarian" (large Public Sector) governments have been eroded in the past. What one ends up with is lots of venal behaviour unchecked by the police as it has been eroded like the rest of the Public Sector.

    Most people are not careful enough about what they campaign for, they're like kids, too short-term (limited experience), no vision for consequences

  • Comment number 80.

    Nautonier wrote "Which comes back to my opinion that TU barons are not really interested in the welfare of their members - as their main activities are politicised & not are welfare based or even based on the merits of 'issues'.

    Here is some simple, but important history for you.

    http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Social_Democratic_Labour_Party

    Take on board that up to the early 1980s the British Labour Party was very like the Leninist Russian Labour Party. It was opposed to the equivalent of the old Russian non Leninist Labour Party (Militant Tendency were Trotskyites). Think of the New Labour Party as being this non-Leninist Labour Party and bear in mind what Thatcher's Libertarian Government did to the unions in the 1980s and how this was continued under New Labour.

    You will then start to understand why (New Left) Ed Miliband and his 32 year old Shadow Secretary to the Treasury did not support the recent Public Sector strike.

    These are New Left (Social Democrats) - not Old Labour. The Liberal-Democrats started out as the Social Democratic party, which was a splinter group from Old Labour plus a small Liberal Party. These were pro USA. Old Labour types are not popular with the USA and you can see this as the USA has been to war against these types (Vietnam, Cambodia, Korea, and today it is threatening Syria and Iran by proxy). Do you think it would allow Old Labour in Britain or Europe? This is what the Marshall Plan and EU Project, and plans for a 27 state EU Constitution superstate was designed to keep at bay - think the opposition, the CIS/SCO. This is what the current EU crisis is all about. It is about furthering Libertarianism (anarchism) and rolling back the state.

  • Comment number 81.

    POLITICAL MESSAGES THAT TELL (#link)

    I stood for election in 2005 under "SPOIL-PARTY-GAMES". This was before the public began to awaken. It only resonated with the few.

    In 2010, I did not stand, but coined: "POLITICS: THE ART OF SELF DECEPTION WRAPPED IN THE CRAFT OF DECEIVING OTHERS - FOR THEIR OWN GOOD"

    In recent time I have noted the UNIQUELY ENGLISH WORD "DEMOCRACY" embraces D for Dunce - MOCK and CRASS for Westminster Rule - Y? for

    Y DO WE ALLOW THE CONTINUANCE OF THIS DEGRADING TYRANNY?

    Nuff sed

  • Comment number 82.

    Going back to our the retail and banking (financial services) based economy, just think of this as "Social Democrats" eager to grow the consumer market by whatever means they can, i.e caring not what race, colour or creed buys dresses, trainers, booze, food etc so long as they max-out their credit cards.

    What they DON'T want any red-tape wielding "regulators" telling them (or anyone else) what to do, as that almost certainly means a reduction in what consumers will spend and thus a reduction in returns for them and their "shareholders"..They lobby for de-regulation, which includes union basing as the unions threaten to regulate them, limiting their opportunities and thus profits, many of which don't even stay in this national economy.

  • Comment number 83.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2069572/Murder-hunt-teenager-chased-gang-youths-stabbed-death-street.html

    it doesn't take much to guess who the perps were in this killing. You always get to read it at the last few lines of the report anyway.

  • Comment number 84.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-16022001
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/dec/04/public-sector-pension-reforms-rocks

    The continuing challenges to the Public Sector by New Labour's Hutton appear to part of a continuing, systematic, campaign to distract as many people's attention from where the real problem has been in recent times, and for which his New Labour party and its predecessors were responsible, namely the unregulated expansion of the Private Sector and specifically, the rapacious behaviour of the financial service and business sectors which is still where most of the debt is. They understandably want an end to the state (well, all sovereign states across Europe) as that will open up their markets for even more of the same. Once they get rid of sovereign states who will be able to stop them, as even the Lisbon Treaty just required a majority for powers to become binding on all. Remember how powerless our SFO and FSA were?

  • Comment number 85.

    Eurozone debt crisis: it's fiscal union or bust, says Pimco
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/8933250/Eurozone-debt-crisis-its-fiscal-union-or-bust-says-Pimco.html

    "European governments must rapidly commit to fiscal union or a partial break-up of the euro to prevent a "fundamental erosion" in demand for the region's debt, Pimco, the world's biggest bond investor, has warned."

    A warning, or a threat?

  • Comment number 86.

    JUST GO BACK TO LIVING WITHIN THE LIE

    If the Power Elite KNEW about the big money lie, and the serfs were blissfully ignorant, why not lull the serfs back to sleep, and carry on as if nothing had happened? FUNDAMENTALLY nothing has changed - except belief.

    The power elite 'pulled' (hi Larry) the 9/11 stunt, and the sleepers slept even more soundly. With media led by the nose, just tell the billions it is suddenly OK (like smoking and drinking in the face of MASSIVE proof otherwise) and we can get back to wrecking the planet, while consuming and viewing.

    Imaginary money can go up as well as down.

  • Comment number 87.

    MuseV "A warning, or a threat?"

    It's always hard to tell with the identity (personality) disordered.

    True to form, this one (born in 1999), is just reaching puberty..I blame the parents.

  • Comment number 88.

    barriesingleton wrote: "If the Power Elite KNEW about the big money lie, and the serfs were blissfully ignorant, why not lull the serfs back to sleep, and carry on as if nothing had happened? FUNDAMENTALLY nothing has changed - except belief"

    This is because cognitive ability (intelligence) is, like so many biological phenotypes, fundamentally genetic, the therefore, Normally
    (Gaussian) Distributed. Those who keep pushing equality.and "everyone-who-wants-to-get-on-can-if-they-try-regardless-of-their-startin
    g-position" try to hide the truth of the above, even though it is obvious to science given a) that we can't improve ability through education and b) we have evidence all about us of inequality.

    There are books and courses everywhere promising to deliver what there's no evidence for, i.e raise this that ability, like the far more obvious scams. There is no evidence at all that this can be done, just selection of those who turn out that way in the treatment groups in the first place regardless of the alleged "special input". But one finds people spending money on promises throughout our consumer society which is free to fork out on "cosmetics" as a consequence of persuasive advertising, and self-loathing which is often peddled by much the same merchants.

    The alternative is to recognise diversity and to protect people from predators via regulation, but for that to ever be viable, people have to be encouraged to accurately recognise and acknowledge their natural limitations in the first place, and not pretend that they are something which they are not.

    The basic behaviour which is ruthlessly exploited, and which is sadly incorrigible, is human vanity/pride.

  • Comment number 89.

    To add to the blizzard...another Peston prog peddling lies on tonight about the credit crunch.

    Author and journalist interviewed the most so far - Gideon Rachman

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

    (Rachman...we know of another Rachman from the past - and just what was he well known for?)

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

    Our NN allocation is obviously not enough.

    Andy Haldane of the BoE has not come over well in the programme either. The bare faced cheek of these people who presided over this finacial catastrophe are now cosily giving fire-side chats about how it all went wrong during their watch.

  • Comment number 90.

  • Comment number 91.

    'OUR' (Caucasian) JESUS SAID: "LET HER WHO IS WITHOUT SIN CAST THE FIRST STONE" (#90)

    Hi Lizzy. Brain scanning will soon become cheap, easy and portable. When it does (as I have posted before) we can insist that 'our betters' who wish to condemn those who crack under 'PRESSURE OF OTHER', are checked for CLOAKED PREJUDICE - common to all.

    Caucasian Jesus (we wouldn't be so keen on a Jewish one - would we) also said: JUDGE NOT LEST YE BE JUDGED. But maybe we are no longer a 'Christian' country?

    Nuff sed

  • Comment number 92.

    ecolizzy wrote: "The comments don't seem to agree with the journalist"

    What do you think would happen if the working aged population of England halved in 30 years, and 30 years later, halved again? Bear in mind those living outside the working age growing, and that most of the small numbers being born were not very smart too. Just think.

    Think about what the problem REALLY is, and how what you want, however popular it might be, could only make matters WORSE.

    This, I suggest, is the political dilemma, and it's made worse by the fact that our politicians are Libertarians meaning that can't command much if anything..

  • Comment number 93.

    1. Would you trust the government and pharmaceutical industry to protect your medical data from wrong use or immoral/shady purposes?

    2. When was the last time you heard a cure found/discovered for any major illness/condition as apposed to the application of long-term 'treatments' that seek to control/medicate rather than cure?

    3. Is finding cures for any medical illness really in drug company interests as opposed to often long-term/life long drug/medical treatments that only seek to manage/control medical conditions with the drugs they produce?

  • Comment number 94.

    I USED TO DO INDUSTRIAL CHEMISTRY NOW I DO PHYSIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY.

    As an R&D chemist, I experimented, and made a living, out of correct deduction and application. Now, at 74, I eat no special diet, take no 'maintenance' drugs, have seen off several (non lethal) conditions, medically termed incurable, and have a working hypothesis for human nutrition that seems to - work!

    Why do 'experts' assume nutrition is adequate for most people? I hold the view that few if any of the 6 billion get optimum nutrition FROM BEFORE BIRTH - less so when ill - less so when old and less so when on the outer reaches of the nutritional bell curve of requirement/uptake.

    It was said long ago that we have a SICKNESS SERVICE. #93 relates directly.
    Of course: in The Age of Perversity, a HEALTH SERVICE is unthinkable.

    Lansley: SEE ME

  • Comment number 95.

    94.
    At 09:23 5th Dec 2011, barriesingleton wrote:


    I USED TO DO INDUSTRIAL CHEMISTRY NOW I DO PHYSIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY.

    ++

    I had an overnight stay in hospital in the summer - the food trolley 'forgot me' & so I went chasing it down the corridor & I caught the blighter trying to sneak away with my grub. However, I did better than one poor fella who got what looked like and apparently tasted like last week's cheese sandwich about 11pm as he had been unable to 'chase the trolley'.

    When I got back to my bed the 90 + year old guy in the next bed was unable to feed himself & so I helped with his paltry rations.

    The next day I had a lecture from a Zambian Dr telling another patient about British war + other crimes in Zambia & how much he hated the British Empire. I'm glad he wasn't treating me as I did not like his attitude, one little bit.

    I don't want to see NHS & its spending protected - I want to see it get reformed & get the basics right as it is too expensive & is not delivering.

  • Comment number 96.

    ALL SHALL HAVE PRIZES

    There is something Bizarre about this Bonn-Fest, with a 1000 delegates, where Angela has thanked the Americans for doing good.

    Is it me?

  • Comment number 97.

    '90. At 23:25 4th Dec 2011, ecolizzy wrote:
    The comments don't seem to agree with the journalist


    Can happen. Wrong kind of people being spoken for on the line (tram humour:)?

    Then there are the varieties folk not being listened to, either.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/dec/05/anger-police-fuelled-riots-study

    It's Guardian/LSE research so obviously of the highest order, sociologically.

    And by not being listened to, if endless opportunities to offer vox pops to the reporter mics that seem on occasion to outnumber those so 'angry' can be so deemed, much is served. Especially irony.

    Some things don't even get to the last line of certain reports. It's for our own good. Apparently. Not peddling lies. That would be naughty. But avoiding truths. That.. is where the edit suite comes into its own.

    Then there are the solutions. I clicked on this presuming a further hole-digging take by a complicit addict in the game on the nature of our media in state, but it was actually a rather odd commentary on economic growth:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/borisjohnson/8934835/The-gospel-of-Clarkson-puts-bread-on-the-tables-of-Britain.html

    Personally, I get ever more confused by the mixed messaging and actions of our non-income-generating 'leadership' classes. 'We' must not spend more than gets made, yet savers are slammed, and consumer spending on the never-never is promoted at any opportunity. John Lewis has flogged more LCDs than any other retailer, so gets free rein in the studios of the UK...yay!

    Meanwhile I also see the parents of long-term treatment kids are being reduced to Wonga.com, QuickQuid, etc this Xmas just to afford some prezzies. Maybe the best present would be low-cost loans set aside for such folk to prevent such dilemmas/hardship?

  • Comment number 98.

    LET'S GET SOME HUMAN RIGHTS INTO MEDICAL PRACTICE (#95)

    I declare it self-evident that I have the right to be treated by practitioners who share a minimum of 80% of my 'characteristics', foibles, humour, preference in nurses, and prejudices. Oh - and in a male heterosexual ward . . .

    Lansley: SEE ME

  • Comment number 99.

    98. At 10:24 5th Dec 2011, barriesingleton

    Personally, having experienced, witnessed while doing so, and wishing to avoid (if fate intervenes again) something near identical to the situation described by nautonier, if qualified, competent, caring and committed, I'd be quite content to accept incarceration in a ward surrounded by Portia Rossi's, being cared for by a Richard Chamberlainesque medics in pink sequined tights.

    But just to add the obligatory foreword as a ps lest there be folk saying any sharing experience-based negatives are wrong/misguided/Daily Mail readers: ... but I am sure most NHS staff are wonderful, and indeed have had the pleasure of benefitting from many such folk's skills and vocational input. As most of my business ventures' clients did from my less vocation-oriented staff. Oddly, when a few erred or could not deliver, they were soon history. Yet when vocational, the HR responses seem altogether different.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/social-care-network/2011/dec/02/care-quality-commission-struggle?

  • Comment number 100.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16018215

    'The BBC's Newsnight programme has had exclusive access to the results of the LSE-Guardian study.'

    Which was nice.

    Bets on topics and 'guests' tonight?

 

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