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Friday 3 February 2012

Verity Murphy | 14:10 UK time, Friday, 3 February 2012

Tonight we lead on Chris Huhne's decision to resign as energy secretary after learning he was to be charged with perverting the course of justice over a 2003 speeding case.

Mr Huhne said he was innocent of the charge, but would stand down to "avoid distraction".

Tonight we examine where the decision to quit leaves Mr Huhne, how damaging it is for the Liberal Democrats to have a second member forced out of the cabinet, and the impact on the coalition.

Also, bankers have been in the political crosshairs this week with RBS boss Stephen Hester waiving a £963,000 share-only bonus following widespread anger over the award, and his predecessor, Fred Goodwin, being stripped of his knighthood.

Today Labour leader Ed Miliband called for an overhaul of banking culture, saying that the sector was at a "crossroads" and adding that Labour will press for a vote on bonuses in Parliament next week.

Tonight our Economics editor Paul Mason reports on whether this is just a case of politicians taking aim at an easy quarry with little prospect of long term change, or whether reforming capitalism will be the lasting legacy of the economic crisis.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    'Tonight we examine .. how damaging it is..

    One trick ponies much?

  • Comment number 2.

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

  • Comment number 3.

    I REMEMBER HAZEL WAVING HER EXPENSES (THE RE-PAYMENT CHEQUE)

    They wave and waive, but they never drown.

    Nuff sed?

  • Comment number 4.

    Speaking of quarries, aim and ease, I wonder who is quoted as saying, recently, "I have left. There are better places not far away"?

    I just ask as for some, while leaving may be allowed (whether to better places another story), one still has to pay for the last place no matter what. It's an interesting economic model, especially when one tries to rationalise the whole reward for service thing.

  • Comment number 5.

    SO MANY CROSSROADS - DO THEY ALL LINK UP TO MAKE A CIRCUIT?

    They always seem to end up in the same mess, applying the same deceit (aka governance) to escape consequences.

    Ed'll fix it.

  • Comment number 6.

    @5 It's always plus ça change Barrie: here's an unpublished Peanuts cartoon from the '50s:

    http://foolfactory.com/haus/new/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/uncoveredPEANUTS.jpg

  • Comment number 7.

    "Today Labour leader Ed Miliband called for an overhaul of banking culture, saying that the sector was at a "crossroads" and adding that Labour will press for a vote on bonuses in Parliament next week.

    Tonight our Economics editor Paul Mason reports on whether this is just a case of politicians taking aim at an easy quarry with little prospect of long term change, or whether reforming capitalism will be the lasting legacy of the economic crisis."


    To me this looks typically like Ed just politiking for the sake of scoring cheap short term victories over the coalition.

    If he was really interested in reforming capitalism then surely he would propose some financial reform policies. However that would run counter to New Labour's (post clause IV) deregulatory libertarianism which his brother commented on against earlier in the week (i.e. his pouring scorn on a return to Old Labour policies).

    If Ed was really out for regulatory reform surely he would be proposing the likes of the Glass-Steagall act/law the was implemented in the US in the aftermath of the 1930's depression era in the US.

  • Comment number 8.

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

  • Comment number 9.

  • Comment number 10.

  • Comment number 11.

    @8 Ha - I like the Python parrot analogy Barrie!

    And speaking of signatures, both Lib-Dem election promises and the Coalition agreement have proved to be worth as much as those on the piece of paper "with his signature on it as well as mine", which Neville Chamberlain brought back from Munich.

    Karma!

  • Comment number 12.

    @11 soory - slight misquote: "...here is the paper which bears his name upon it as well as mine..."

  • Comment number 13.

    Hapless Huhne's departure leaves the Orange Book Cabal decidely running out of people to insert into its quota of ministerial placemen.

    The Orange Book Coup was possible only because of the hung parliament election result, which opened the door to ditching most of the social liberal official LibDem manifesto to insert the neolibertarian agenda of the Orange Book.

    Huhne's background in becoming a rich man through his work in the City for a ratings agency (?!) places him firmly on the side of free market, laissez faire neoclassical right wing of his party, although he has played the maverick, green card with some success running Clamity Clegg a very close second for the leadership.

    I'd say that his departure takes away a degree of charisma from the LibDem front bench - Alexander is a PR disaster with his gloom & doom admissions of austerity for the foreseeable future - Cable is a busted flush who talks big and does very little, whilst Clegg himself is now an electoral liability to his Party - the other LibDem ministers are nonentities.

    Barriesingleton is right - this is a late parrot.

    There can be only one strategy in mind in the Cabal - to cross the floor to the Tories and watch the Good Ship LibDem slide beneath the waves at the next election.

    To quote Dylan Thomas, the question social liberals need to address is whether they will "go gently into that goodnight", or will they "rage, rage against the dying of the light?"

    With Huhne out of the way, the time is rapidly coming for a serious attempt to dispatch the Orange Book Cabal - but is there anyone left in the LibDems with the balls to do it?

    Paddy Pantsdown, maybe?

  • Comment number 14.

    I think they should appoint judge Judy to try Mr Huhne and his ex-missus. We could all watch it during that lull at tea time just before the news quiz on Radio 4. Can you imagine Judge Judy saying in that inimitable American raised voice;

    "Mr Huhne, don't you think that before you unzipped your zipper you should have thought about what your ex-wife might be able to bubble you for in the future"?

    "And you Ms Prye, people get married, some have affairs, some break up"...."Ged over it"!...."put your hand down I'm talking"...."I said I'M TALKING"! "Now what part of that did you not understand...."?

  • Comment number 15.

    "Tonight we lead on Chris Huhne's decision to resign as energy secretary"

    +
    Perhaps you could also ask was he any good at all or was he next to or was he actually useless - just like the predecessor energy secretary - who's name escapes me and who was also next to or was actually useless with rampant climate change spin & costs, botched energy regulation, no real price competition, spivving foreign supply chain control and escalating fuel prices - talking of which, last year; wholesale bulk energy prices were actually falling - retail prices have fallen this year but not as much as the retail increases through LAST SUMMER/AUTUMN running at 15-20 pa%?

    GOOD RIDDANCE HUHNE we need an energy secretary who can make energy out of poo & not get points on a driving licence as is carbon unfriendly and dangerous to hedgehogs and butterflies - we don't need you as wot we need is a 'methane magician' who is able to do wonderful things with 'poo'

  • Comment number 16.

  • Comment number 17.

    "Tonight our Economics editor Paul Mason reports on whether this is just a case of politicians taking aim at an easy quarry"

    YAWN!

    Where o where is Susan Watts? Someone take aim with the telescope please?
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-16856812

  • Comment number 18.

  • Comment number 19.

    Just taking into consideration the damage to our sustainable manufacturing economy under Huhne's rule of Climate Change and the 25% projected increase in business energy costs going forward. It would appear that the UK has already lost the Thameslink rolling stock contract due to Huhne religiously following the provisions of the 2008 Climate Change Act, it looks as though we will soon lose our aluminium smelting industry, and probably the India Typhoon contract as well. All in all not a bad record if you subscribe to a theoretical stock market inspired plan to close down and asset strip the entire UK economy and turn the UK into some kind of eco / historical theme park for wealthy tourists and tax exiles ?

  • Comment number 20.

    Further #19

    I believe that Huhne's replacement Ed Davey has already claimed that he will carry on with Huhne's policies, but he is already implicated with a potentially serious conflict of interest as his brother allegedly works for lawyers specialising in representing eco business. Perhaps the coalition think he can get away with it given the precedent of Tim nice but dim's alleged green business conflicts of interest relating to his position as chair of the Climate Change select committee !?!

  • Comment number 21.

    AND BEHIND IT ALL, THIS PARLIAMENT IS ILLEGITIMATE BY STOLEN ELECTION (#13)

    I recently asked the top five parties "WHAT IS YOUR STATUS UNDER LAW". Only the Conservatives (a Warsi cipher) replied - quaintly - and without addressing my simple question. I asked again and now wait . . . The rest are tellingly silent. (The Greens were out.)

    A wide range of Westminster offices and officers have treated my allegation to sullen, indolent, silence. Just one MP (whom I shall not name) phoned me to affirm my stance, WISHING ME SUCCESS! As for media, NOT EVEN PRIVATE EYE WILL ENGAGE; neither do they reply!

    But I have FREE SPEECH, IN A DEMOCRACY! HOW CAN I FAIL?

    THIS IS THE AGE OF PERVERSITY - BRITAIN IS "PERVERSITY CENTRAL".

  • Comment number 22.

    As it was mentioned on NN tonight, I thought I'd read David Milibands piece in the New Statesman online.

    I came across this ... "and combined with strategic insight into the deep questions of identity and belonging that now face Britain and notably the people of England."

    Here is a Westminster politician acknowledging that the people of England are suffering from a lack of political identity and are not properly represented in their own right, i.e. have their own Parliament.

    David Milband is clearly a 'Brit' though and not politically English, as further on, he characterises Scottish independence as a 'threat' whereas a English patriot would view it as a gift from heaven.

    Furthermore, in the piece, David Miliband cannot bring himself to state that a primary reason why people voted against New Labour in 2010 was that Brown and Balls had run up an additional £400Bn tab on the National Debt, which was in effect pointed out by the pollster Kellner on NN tonight when he pointed out that Cameron/Osborne was trusted more on the economy that E.Miliband and Balls.

  • Comment number 23.

    MILLIAND D IS A QUINTESSENTIAL WESTMINSTER CREATURE (#22)

    Those of us who still 'read' individuals, instinctively, have surely read David as deeply needy, like "PM" coveters, past. You can FEEL the burning drive to be 'topp' (chis chis). Huhne, of course, fits the mould also.

    Until the muddled masses wake up and smell the 'Machiavellian Blend', and set to work dismantling Westminster, and installing integrity, ousting the needy from political posts, we are advisedly doomed.

    Let us hope that, although you can wait centuries for a threatening asteroid, three are now coming along at once, and the third will see us off. It seems all we have.

  • Comment number 24.

    Superficially, David Milbands New Statesman piece supports his brother but the subtext is very different indeed, being nothing less than a complete rebuttal of Neil Kinnocks exaltation "We've got our Party back", when Ed Milband was elected as leader.

    It must be a complete nightmare for Ma Milband at Christmas, when her two boys turn up with their warring wives.

    Still, lets not intrude on private grief, eh, Barrie.

  • Comment number 25.

    Interesting week-end topic on which I have often pondered
    Do the living outnumber the dead?
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-16870579

    It ends with the question:
    “Could we imagine a carrying capacity of the Earth of 100-150 billion? I find that quite unimaginable”

    Those who believe in an afterlife in Heaven had better get used to the idea that it will be a lot more crowded than even UK - though I believe it has more acreage? I’m still in Philippines countryside, but plan a week or two in the middle of Manila to condition myself for a return to our over-crowded isle.

  • Comment number 26.

    http://www.makanipower.com/2010/06/airborne-wind-turbine/

    ‘The energy density of the wind is proportional to the cube of the wind speed, and hence the energy increases rapidly with wind speed. The combination of these two advantages enables the Makani AWT to deliver about twice the energy of an equivalently rated conventional wind turbine.’ Not a lot of people know that: do our wind turbine loonies?

  • Comment number 27.

    YOU MENTIONED GRIEF JOHN (#24)

    For 21 months I have been assailing the Westminster Citadel with documented, irrefutable, TRUTH that the 2010 General Election was void in consequence of a Conservative False Instrument (Liar Flyer) being deployed.

    More recently I (and thousands of others) was ENTRAPPED by West Berkshire ineptitude, into passing over a bridge that had become a bus lane, with a camera on it. After being exposed in their inability to "run a Newbury in a West Berkshire", desk-jockeys first blustered about abiding by the law, and then backed off a little, BUT STILL CLAIM THEY MAY KEEP FINES RECEIVED. They can’t. But, so far, I can find no one who will engage with the TRUTH of the matter.

    In the two anecdotes above, the key word is TRUTH. Has TRUTH been, de facto, ‘redefined’ by Dynastic Westminster, over recent decades? Perhaps the Westminster Creatures were ALWAYS chosen for TRUTH BLINDNESS?

    West Berks have picked on the wrong man - I have considerable expertise accrued in tilting at central government. But I AM a bit hampered by having to 'step over' Good Men doing nothing, on my way the theatre of war.

    So be it.

    PS As I ponder all this, the terrible reality comes home: in England 2012, TRUTH BLINDNESS is endemic. Whither?

  • Comment number 28.

    WHITHER ? (#27)

    The sinew of integrity is strained
    in Britain’s GM-green unpleasant land.
    Britannia’s righteous wheel is spoked by doubt,
    while waves she ruled defer to other law.
    Our God, perplexed, now spurns this Sceptred Isle,
    fouled – rudderless – set in a leaden sea.
    Noblesse no obligation dignifies
    and ‘Great’ of Britain’s boast contrives to grate.
    Where once True Heroes’ feet strode legend hills,
    false idols rise, precursed by Mammon’s gold
    and though no booted foe made Britons yield
    yet, soft subversive step now trips our land.
    With black of psyche’s deep, life’s flame we fuel,
    as light of honour fades from Arthur’s Jewel.

  • Comment number 29.

    #24

    "Superficially, David Milbands New Statesman piece supports his brother but the subtext is very different indeed, being nothing less than a complete rebuttal of Neil Kinnocks exaltation "We've got our Party back", when Ed Milband was elected as leader."


    The subtext of Mrs Clinton's toy boy in the New Statesman piece was his attack on the state. He is a libertarian that Hayek would have been proud of.

    Like Finkelstein and Harris (and Esler) on NN last night, the deviousness of their concerted attacks on the state cannot be underestimated. And more importantly their ulterior motives for doing so. International Socialists are anti statist.

  • Comment number 30.

    Despite the Westminster 'Brits', England is still a fantastic country.

    In yesterdays Times T2 was a wonderful piece by journalist Robert Crampton about Mr. Allam, an Egyptian who came to Hull some forty years ago, penniless, and has built a business empire here in England.

    Mr. Allam says "I chose to come to England, I wanted England to choose to have me".

    He had left Egypt after being tortured for opposing Nasser, and says that he has never encountered any discrimation at all in England and that even when he had nothing, English people helped him to succeed.

    That is what makes England one of the best countries in the world - still.

  • Comment number 31.

    MY BUSINESS HAD A LOT OF VITAL LUCK ALSO (#30)

    What's that old saying, John (not being rhetorical - dredging memory) something about correlation not being causality?

    Nationally and locally, in England, the 'wrong stuff' is being elevated to power, BY US, and then behaving badly. My post 27 is STARK FACTS.

    Do you know how to make Westminster or West Berks FACE THEIR WRONGDOING? You can find me through the web. I need all the help I can get.

  • Comment number 32.

    barriesingleton @ 31

    You say that "... in England, the 'wrong stuff' is being elevated to power.".

    Well, it is a fact that the national 'political market' in this country is broadly rigged because often the overall outcome of a General Election turns on around 30,000 floating voters spread across a handful of marginal constituencies.

    As it happens the last General Election was something of an anomaly in terms of the results from the past few decades, in that no clear 'winner' was produced and therefore a coalition had to be created.

    Nevertheless, a 'safe' constitutency should always be viewed as evidence of a rigged political system, as there really should be no such thing in a properly functioning democracy.

    Diverging slightly, the notion that 'the market' is some sort of automatically self-correcting mechanism is, in my humble opinion, not something that really stands up to scrutiny.

    I have mentioned that the 'political market' in this country is effectively rigged and if you care to look at other 'markets', e.g. commodities such as oil, gold, silver, property, energy, the stock market, the 'money' markets - they are all being distorted and manipulated to some extent.

    So, with respect to the 'political market', it will continue as is in our England until the English people themselves realise that the choices being offered to them by the Labour, Tory and Lib-Dem Parties are not the only choices they can make, as there are plenty of alternatives e.g. English Democrats, Greens, UKIP and independents.

    Beware of rigged markets.

  • Comment number 33.

  • Comment number 34.

    From a preceeding post:

    'Last night we broke the news that the Student Loans Company's chief executive Ed Lester received his £182,000 pay package without deductions for tax or National Insurance.'

    +
    Question - How many at the BBC are operating this tax avoidance measure to their substantial & personal, financial advantage; probably most if not all of the so called 'celebs' + questions concerning Thompson et al?

    What about the Sunday morning, biased, 'breakfast bore'?

    I can understand this rankling with some at Newsnight as getting thumped with tax; as, meanwhile, watching others merrily avoiding same levels of taxation?

    Licence payers have a 'right to know', here

  • Comment number 35.

    nautonier @ 34

    The tax avoidance story must have been a tricky one for some of the NN presenters.

    A cursory scan around the web throws up various linkages between some of 'the stars of our show', Limited Companies and Limited Liability Partnerships, all common devices for tax avoidance/efficiency.

    Nevertheless, acting dumb seems to have won the day.

  • Comment number 36.

    35.
    At 15:09 4th Feb 2012, JohnConstable wrote:


    nautonier @ 34

    The tax avoidance story must have been a tricky one for some of the NN presenters.

    +
    Yes indeed - and the BBC is also full of 'freelancers' - What I'm wondering is when a 'free-lancing appointment' becomes a tax scam?

    Is is 'outrageous', (IMHO)

  • Comment number 37.

  • Comment number 38.

    "THEY LOVE ME" EXCLAIMED THE TYRANT "WESTMINSTER" - AND THE (selected) CROWD CHEERED (#32)

    Delete 'Westminster' insert: Putin - Mugabe - Gadaffi - Hitler - Mao etc. It is all smoke and mirrors, bread and circuses. But for how much longer?

  • Comment number 39.

    BLAIR IS REPORTED TO HAVE SAID: "EVERY PM NEEDS A WAR " (#33 link)

    Destiny Dave is PM until I can prove his (through party proxy) actions, in the 2010 election, were unlawful (Representation of the People Act 1983/115).

    Go back to your bunkers and prepare for inept government.

  • Comment number 40.

    nautonier @ 36

    As I've mentioned before on this forum, the Government is not at all keen on working people being freelancers, well, certainly not significant numbers of people, as it would severely crimp the Governments regular incomes streams of NI and Income Tax via the PAYE system.

    Thus the Government directly interferes with, and distorts the 'labour market' by imposing various obstacles in the way of people who wish to choose the way they want to interact with the labour marketplace.

    Yet another rigged market.

  • Comment number 41.

    @26 This is not science, it's an advert!

    "The energy density of the wind is proportional to the cube of the wind speed, and hence the energy increases rapidly with wind speed. The combination of these two advantages enables the Makani AWT to deliver about twice the energy of an equivalently rated conventional wind turbine.

    ..... Not a lot of people know that: do our wind turbine loonies?"

    Err it's physics: the energy is ½mv², per molecule in the air, and the number of molecules passing is a constant x v, where v is the velocity of the wind. So I would imagine anybody who's done A level physics would know it for a start.

    However, that "law" is the same for all wind turbines. So your advert is either deliberately misleading or badly written. And the energy of a spinning wind turbine only increases as the square of the speed of rotation, but there again it is also proportional to the mass of the turbine. Stability is related to angular momentum, which is also proportional to mass. So a lighter turbine may not be such an advantage. The other variable, dependent upon the design of the turbine are the rates of energy conversion between the wind and the rotor blades, and between the rotor blades and electricity.

    Your link uses scientific language , but presents no actual science to support it's claims. Hence it's pre PR. It doesn't require too much thought to realise that the illustrated system is rather flimsy. I wouldn't like to be nearby if the tether broke. Also, there would have to be a very low density of units compared with fixed turbines. So, in short, though I would be willing to be convinced otherwise, I would imagine that, if viable at all, the system would only be useful in VERY sparsely populated areas far from human habitation.

    Unlike some fanatical haters, I've nothing in principle against wind turbines of any type as part of a broader strategy of renewable energy. (I can see some from my window as I look towards Pendine sands.) However, with any type of energy generation, proper cost-benefit analyses must be made. One must beware of positive and negative propaganda, masquerading as science, from opposing vested interests.

  • Comment number 42.

    The BBC gets a wee mention in this, well they would, on account its about the green zealots:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2096277/Global-warming-James-Delingpole-claims-green-zealots-destroying-planet.html

    The Daily Mail. A quality newspaper that should be shoved down the throats -metaphorially speaking- of all the self loathing sanctimonious egocentric Guardian readers...all 36 of them. Sorry, 37..Chris Huhne is also a reader.

  • Comment number 43.

    @42 Throat? We're all entitled to our opinion Kev. I prefer definitions 2 and 4 in the link below:

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=daily%20mail
    ;-D.

  • Comment number 44.

    @42 - Seriously, your link shows

    1) why the Daily Mail is bad for your mental health .... it certainly seems to make you aggressive.

    2) There is not even an attempt to use temperate language, or present "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth".

    One amongst several examples of why this article is excrement, is the ignorant and unjustified attack upon Rachel Carson. The damage that DDT did, and is still doing to the environment is immense.

    Ironically, DDT was NEVER going to eradicate malaria, but nor has its use against malaria been stopped, as the article suggested. Small short-lived organisms like mosquitos are far more likely to acquire resistance than more advanced organisms like birds of prey and, allegedly, us.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DDT#Mosquito_resistance

    In short, if you want to base your worldview on shoddy journalism, untruths and misinformation, read the Daily Mail. It is still the same paper which supported Hitler and Mussolini and never apologised. It is still owned by the same family. The newspaper promotes xenophobic patriotism, but the proprietor is non-dom for tax purposes.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Harmsworth,_4th_Viscount_Rothermere#Professional_life

  • Comment number 45.

    '35. At 15:09 4th Feb 2012, JohnConstable -
    Nevertheless, acting dumb seems to have won the day'


    Certainly hasn't hurt the progression of some 'market rate talents', especially in financial terms.

    Seems knowing what not to ask is often more lucrative than the tricky one of asking the right questions, or even all of them.

    Maybe it's not so much a matter of definition, but what image you choose to look at in the first place.

    For instance, I don't pay for either the Daily Mail or The Guardian, but do read some of what both offer online, thanks to it being free. Then I assess on the merits, or otherwise, of the content.

    Prejudices of and about the respective readerships (often strongly held by each, about each other)... not so much.

    I apply the same to near all other sources of education and information.

    Some, of course, to carry a cost, whether I like it, and what they have decided to share, or not.

    Funny how variables in standards can become almost unique in this way. If not always for the best. Sanctimony can often prove selective as a consequence, and turn an opportunity to spin a right from a wrong into simply another one. If one so prefers.

    Pity.

  • Comment number 46.

    'worldview on shoddy journalism, untruths and misinformation'

    Frankly applicable to any medium (or, for that matter any resource that is editable by those who 'know' stuff, and better) purporting to cover 'news' when these days governed more by ratings, agenda or both, and most especially those who feel compelled to say how trusted and impartial they are. All the time.

    Hence critiques of one, or peans of praise for another, are quaint, especially if opting to focus on specific aspects, be they national support, 'interesting' if hypocritical financial arrangements, etc.

    Seriously. So much valid to engage with, yet so blinkered in doing so. If two vehicles choose a single track tunnel to play chicken down, the result is foregone.

  • Comment number 47.

    Even the Guardian acknowledge the 'tax efficiency' of 'Freelancers' at the BBC

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/03/bbc-pay-talent-stars-accounts

    How many 'Freelancers' at the Guardian & other newspapers - allowed to make improper use of 'tax loopholes' by HMRC?

    Personal advisors to politicians etc?

    A lot of money being 'loop-hole avoided' here - billions & billions of of £'s when many ordinary people losing their jobs, homes and the rest.

    This used to be called 'sleaze' until the BBC were found to be involved?

  • Comment number 48.

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

  • Comment number 49.

    Since the CERN and NASA data in the late summer perhaps anyone who still pushes CO2 global warming is a potential criminal !

  • Comment number 50.

    All of us, sometimes, enjoy reading things which pander to our prejudices - I certainly do, I confess. Most intelligent people, sometimes, are knowingly unreasonable.

    My late mother once deliberately cast a spanner into a conversation about food which had become a bit mystical:

    "Organic vegetables? Hah! We all know what they put on those - give me nice clean chemicals any day!"

  • Comment number 51.

    I see China & Russia have vetoed the UN resolution to invade Syria. Good for them!

  • Comment number 52.

    WE STILL HAVE IRAN 76 - AND THE MALVINAS (#51)

    And never lose sight that we might have to invade the most dangerous rogue state of all - USA, to rescue its people from tyranny. China and Russia – no problem. YES WE CAN.

    #49 - Show me someone, in a position of authority, who isn't a potential criminal Nolly.

    We have 650 of them in Westminster, and a fair few on West Berks Council.

    FOR EVIL TO TRIUMPH ALL THAT IS REQUIRED IS FOR GOOD MEN TO DO NOTHING.

  • Comment number 53.

    @ Barrie #52 - If anything does happen with Iran, we aren't going to be involved - the USA can take care of it! The Falklands/Malvinas - that's different. There are thousands of British people who lived there and have done so for centuries. If they are harmed, then (IMHO) it is the duty of the British government to protect them.

    Aid to India?
    "Pranab Mukherjee and other Indian ministers tried to terminate Britain’s aid to their booming country last year - but relented after the British begged them to keep taking the money."
    Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/india/9061844/India-tells-Britain-We-dont-want-your-aid.html

  • Comment number 54.

    WHERE DO YOU GO TO 76? (#53)

    In the 2000s, Tiny Tony wanted to be Bluebottle to Dubya's Neddy Seagoon, so we went to war in the face of massive, popular outcry and a Westminster rebellion well over 100. (That numpty IDS saved Tony.)

    Now we have Dave who wants HIS war, just as much as any other kid wants what he wants. If Dave wants to be Bluebottle to Obama's Neddy, YOU and WE WILL GET WAR WITH IRAN. That's how juvenile politics works.

    http://www.thegoonshow.net/characters.asp

  • Comment number 55.

    SYRIA: Who is Behind The Protest Movement? Fabricating a Pretext for a US-NATO "Humanitarian Intervention"

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=24591


    "There is certainly cause for social unrest and mass protest in Syria: unemployment has increased in recent year, social conditions have deteriorated, particularly since the adoption in 2006 of sweeping economic reforms under IMF guidance. The IMF's "economic medicine" includes austerity measures, a freeze on wages, the deregulation of the financial system, trade reform and privatization. (See IMF Syrian Arab Republic — IMF Article IV Consultation Mission's Concluding Statement, http://www.imf.org/external/np/ms/2006/051406.htm 2006)"

  • Comment number 56.

    OH 76 (#53)

    UK government tried to give GIBRALTA to Spain, quite recently. If Dave decides to do 'clearances' (it is what toffs do) instead of war, he will not let a small thing like the Brits of the Falklands stand in his way. I know the Chagossians are just Johnnie Foreigners on a distant rock (can think themselves lucky we didn't bomb them, before we deported them) but think of that as a practice run.

    Or elevated are neither rational nor nice.

  • Comment number 57.

    As I am on a 'markets' gig today, I might as well complete the set by pointing out that the markets for education and health services in England are massivley distorted by Government policies, such that they are effectively monopolies, an enforced 'choice' imposed by Government on on all except for the wealthy.

    I see that the LIBOR money market players (banks) are now under investigation for ... possibly rigging the LIBOR market.

    Sometimes a market is so distorted it is no longer permitted to function, as has just happened with the sale-and-leaseback of houses in England and that market has now been shut down.

    Yes Sir, there are plenty of invisible and not-so-invisible hands at work in every market.

  • Comment number 58.

    Maybe they should place some windmills around the HoP.


    100 Tories revolt over wind farms

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9061997/100-Tories-revolt-over-wind-farms.html

  • Comment number 59.

    As it is Saturday night and Match of the Day, the market for football pundits is ... well, I am sure you get the idea.

  • Comment number 60.

    @JC various: has there ever been such a thing as a "free" market? In general, size means more power to rig the market in your favour. Then some things, like sewage disposal, are not a market at all for most of us. In such matters (in my view) it's far better to have social provision with democratic accountability.

    However, R A Radford's famous (and fascinating) study of the economics of a POW camp, does illustrate an example of a thriving free-ish market in unusual circumstances. Perversely, the basic distribution of goods there was more egalitarian than in any socialist society that we've seen.

    http://mindhacks.com/2008/07/06/the-economics-of-a-prisoner-of-war-camp/

    The first pdf link to the full article on this page doesn't work any more, but the second does.

  • Comment number 61.

    SOON THE FEMA CAMPS WILL BEGIN TO FILL BUT WHERE WILL DAVE PUT US? (#60)

    As has been linked: the events due this year will provide an easy excuse to apply 'rule by edict' - with 'democracy suspended'. I have a feeling this is the destiny that 'Destiny Dave' will revel in. He has that unassailable arrogance, often declared as "knowing right from wrong", that helps the despot sleep soundly. Having a magistrate mum helps.

    I keep calling for "no more needy boys as PMs" but have a bad feeling this is the End Game - Dave might be the last. The whole world is juvenile and unstable. To start from here, and stabilise food, water, enmity, energy etc, needs a level of wisdom and integrity way beyond the collective mind of mankind today.

    Nuff sed

  • Comment number 62.

    '47. At 18:55 4th Feb 2012, nautonier wrote:
    Even the Guardian acknowledge the 'tax efficiency' of 'Freelancers' at the BBC
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/03/bbc-pay-talent-stars-accounts
    This used to be called 'sleaze' until the BBC were found to be involved?'


    At which point it becomes 'unique', and hence tickedy boo.

    Of course, as most BBC staff twitter accounts aver, 'dis is my theory; it is my own'.

  • Comment number 63.

    It's from the Daily Mail, so can't be true, or quoted, or something...

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2096110/Romanias-population-falls-12-million-flock-richer-European-countries.html#ixzz1lQZr0ALw

    But I thought of note as unlikely to be shared on the BBC media estate for some reason.

    At least market forces may dictate competition along high streets may mean discounting on Big Issue sales to help ease matters for the more charitable.

    Blimmin' Romanian census readers... what can they know?

    What we need is a BBC/Graun/LSE-commissioned poll to set things back on a trusted path. Plus the next week's running order.

  • Comment number 64.

    #41 Sasha Clarkson wrote:
    ‘@26 This is not science, it's an advert! I would imagine anybody who's done A level physics would know it for a start. One must beware of positive and negative propaganda, masquerading as science, from opposing vested interests.’

    Pardon my ignorance of physics – my area of expertise lay in a different sphere. However the makani designer is a mechanical engineer with a PhD from Stanford, so I expect he has a clue (and as I was into wind surfing and hang gliding I am rather bias).

    As for it being merely an advert, other energy sites inform that Google has invested US15 million in it and I prefer that sort of funding than the huge increase in energy cost we will be paying for the 4,500 wind turbines (plus a further 5,000 planned) that have already been found seriously wanting.

    Since you state that you would be willing to be convinced otherwise, why not take up the issue with other experts who are giving publicity to this concept, e.g :-
    http://www.energynow.com/video/2011/11/14/makani-airborne-wind-turbine

    I believe they told Leonardo 'it will never fly'

  • Comment number 65.

    '64. At 09:56 5th Feb 2012, indignantindegene -

    As for it being merely an advert'


    Kind of applicable to a lot that is mere PR that becomes, often with no more than a swish of a mouse cut and pasting... 'news'.

    Like so much, what is objective news, or propagandistic PR, especially that enhanced by complicit editorial staff, must fall under the realms of 'but that's different' depending on the tribal foundation of the observer. Often, maybe, 'unique'.

    Only today I am reliably informed that my evening tipple has devised a new way that it...'could' kill me, thanks to information and education happily passed on verbatim by my most trusted broadcaster, via A TV advertising campaign.

    All postings considered, ironically.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-16869618

    And the best part it, we get to pay for that which we pay for being advertised. No 'could' about it.

    Be afraid... be very afraid. And in other news...

  • Comment number 66.

    India tells Britain: We don't want your aid
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/india/9061844/India-tells-Britain-We-dont-want-your-aid.html

    Pranab Mukherjee and other Indian ministers tried to terminate Britain’s aid to their booming country last year - but relented after the British begged them to keep taking the money, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal.
    Last week India rejected the British-built Typhoon jet as preferred candidate for a £6.3 billion warplane deal, despite the Development Secretary, Andrew Mitchell, saying that Britain’s aid to Delhi was partly “about seeking to sell Typhoon.”

  • Comment number 67.

    Roy Hattersley: Why Labour chose Ed not David Miliband
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/feb/03/labour-chose-ed-not-david-miliband

    David Miliband rejects my pro-state policy ideas as 'Reassurance Labour'. That's why he's not leader.

  • Comment number 68.

  • Comment number 69.

    TIDAL STREAM - MOON POWER: LEONARDO WOULD HAVE LOVED IT! (#64 link)

    The tethered wing is elegant IDG2 (though no mention of worst case scenario: debris/damage/death).

    PS: I wonder if those 'inventors' know it's been done under water?

    In passing: Huhne will be a hard DECEIT to follow.

    Interesting times.

  • Comment number 70.

    IT'S LOGICAL STEP - ON THE WAY TO OBLIVION NOLLY. IS IT THE ASSEMBLY POINT FOR THE 'B ARK'? (#68)

    Douglas Adams was a consummate Seer.

    Nuff sed

  • Comment number 71.

    62.
    At 09:38 5th Feb 2012, JunkkMale wrote:


    '47. At 18:55 4th Feb 2012, nautonier wrote:
    Even the Guardian acknowledge the 'tax efficiency' of 'Freelancers' at the BBC
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/jul/03/bbc-pay-talent-stars-accounts
    This used to be called 'sleaze' until the BBC were found to be involved?'

    At which point it becomes 'unique', and hence tickedy boo.

    Of course, as most BBC staff twitter accounts aver, 'dis is my theory; it is my own'.
    ++

    Tax sleaze by 'freelancers' is one story that most media will be extremely reluctant to investigate as the 'sleaze' is fairly widespread, IMHO - & as including many in the private corporate general business sector also.

    I'm also just wondering how many 'bankers' are exploiting this & other 'loopholes' to avoid paying the top level bank salary rates also?

    Many businesses now insist that their recruitment is done on a self employed basis as allowing lower salary levels to be paid & without the 'freelancer' acquiring employment rights etc - many agency workers pouring into UK from overseas now employed on same basis.

    IMHO - it is a national disgrace as sanctioned by all political parties, govt., HMRC and Whitehall and their major vested interests, friends, family & associates.

    Just another reason why UK is 'going down the pan' - for all but the 10-20% of the 'working population' able to take advantage of this kind of scam & exploitation - while the rest get hammered with their taxes.

  • Comment number 72.

    THE TEMPLATE IS MONARCHY-LINCHPIN CULTURE, SUSTAINED BY THE WESTMINSTER ETHOS aka STEALTH-DESPOTISM (#71)

    Nuff sed except:

    "FOR EVIL TO TRIUMPH ALL THAT IS REQUIRED IS FOR GOOD MEN TO DO NOTHING."

  • Comment number 73.

  • Comment number 74.

    72. At 13:04 5th Feb 2012, barriesingleton wrote:

    ... and for bad men & women to do something?

    The story is not new:-

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1218131/How-BBCs-stars-dodge-50-tax.html

    Just shows 'B'-'B'-cRat rank hypocrisy - thought they had a good left wing story attacking Condem govt over a tax dodge - when same tax scam is blatantly practised by NN presenters?

  • Comment number 75.

    http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2012/02/02/theres-one-rule-for-the-rich-and-another-for-everyone-else/comment-page-1/#comment-611053

    The 'expert analysis' - if the relationship is one of 'master/ servant relationship' - then the law is - the 'servant' MUST pay PAYE at source - some of us 'unfortunates' have been clobbered with & have had these arguments with HMRC?

    This is how many enter UK to steal our jobs & accept lower pay and still not pay hardly any tax - this is what is happening to many of you /US - right now!

  • Comment number 76.

    A truly sad tale...

    Doreens Story
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OA9t61PuiDc

  • Comment number 77.

  • Comment number 78.

    Armed Groups Inside Syria: Prelude to a US-NATO Intervention?
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=29074

    US Ambassador Robert Stephen Ford, who arrived in Damascus in January 2011, played a central role in setting the stage for an armed insurrection in Syria. As "Number Two" at the US embassy in Baghdad (2004-2005) under the helm of Ambassador John D. Negroponte, Ford played a key role in implementing the Pentagon's "Iraq Salvador Option". The latter consisted in supporting Iraqi death squadrons and paramilitary forces modelled on the experience of Central America in the early 1980s.
    Ford's mandate in Damascus is to replicate the "Salvador Option" in Syria, by promoting covertly the development of an armed insurrection. In this context, the killings of civilians perpetrated by armed gangs (supported covertly by the Western military alliance) are casually blamed on the Syrian government, thereby upholding the US-NATO mandate to intervene on "humanitarian grounds".

  • Comment number 79.

    DO WE ALL RECALL "LUMP LABOUR" - IT WAS OUTLAWED BUT (#74)

    THIS IS THE AGE OF PERVERSITY

  • Comment number 80.

    "APPROACHING A BASTILLE MOMENT" (#75 link)

    Nice!

    The next time the stupidly-presumed 'Great Unsmacked' turn out, Dave will be dismayed at how far up the class-structure they emerge from, AND JUST HOW MANY THERE WILL BE.

  • Comment number 81.

    79 & 80

    The 'better off' simply do not wish to discuss this as will probably include e.g. many employed in newspapers, political advisors, those 'employed' by MP's etc?

    This is a major issue - a bigger issue than even the 'MP's expenses'?

    'Bastille Day' is coming!

  • Comment number 82.

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

  • Comment number 83.

    #'s 80 & 81


    " 'Bastille Day' is coming! "

    In your dreams...we would need a foreign covert power to supply limitless small arms and rounds with copious amounts of bribery cash to provoke an insurection, and yet be big and powerful enough to get away with it (think China in 10-20 years time).

    As I read somewhere else earlier, the reason capitalism prevailed over Stalinist socialism is because capitalism was more successful in making more efficient killing machines.

    The Chinese are not so naive...

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/05/dong-feng-21d-chinese-mis_n_672166.html

  • Comment number 84.

    #75 nautonier wrote:

    "http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2012/02/02/theres-one-rule-for-the-rich-and-another-for-everyone-else/comment-page-1/#comment-611053

    The 'expert analysis' - if the relationship is one of 'master/servant relationship' - then the law is - the 'servant' MUST pay PAYE at source - some of us 'unfortunates' have been clobbered with & have had these arguments with HMRC?

    This is how many enter the UK to steal our jobs & accept lower pay and still not pay hardly any tax - this is what is happening to many of you /US - right now!"


    BY JOVE, I THINK HE'S GOT IT!

  • Comment number 85.

    THE POTENTIAL FOR FURY VARIES WIDELY IN MAN - I SUSPECT 'LOW' CANNOT CONCEIVE OF 'HIGH' (#83)

    All my life I have met injustice with fury V. And there are others more fired-up than I! Might you be a viscerally quiescent man V? Would it be reasonable to expect it mediates some judgements?

    If only those wired for fury turn out for Bastille II, they might still stem the tide of perversity - even without being called Jesus, Buddha or Mohammed.

  • Comment number 86.

    Those of you who have followed the posts on here for the last couple of years now will be well aware of the wealth of evidence which more than amply demonstrates that alleged man made global warming as driven by CO2 is a scientific fraud. It is perhaps therefore no coincidence that last week the key UK political figurehead of those promoting policy to theoretically prevent / control CO2 driven run away global warming has himself been charged with what is basically fraud, although be it only technically in some peoples eyes. Perhaps any politicians of any party who cling to the CO2 warming theory are themselves accomplices in " perverting the course of justice ", the social justice which expects the poor to be able to maintain the basic fundamental rights to be warm / dry / and have a full belly !

  • Comment number 87.

    #86

    Do you seriously expect politicians to understand science? (I admit that they are highly likely to use convenient, unproven, misunderstood data for their own ends.)

    Do you understand science?

    A great example of someone not understanding science and someone that does are encapsulted in post #'s 26 and 41 above respectively.

  • Comment number 88.

    83.
    At 19:04 5th Feb 2012, museV wrote:

    #'s 80 & 81

    " 'Bastille Day' is coming! "

    In your dreams...
    ++

    That is the only reason it doesn't happen!

  • Comment number 89.

    I understand 'science' as well as Bastille Day 2

    We need less wind from ('wind-farms') and more 'wind' (methane?) from 'poo' as producing 'wind' on 'farms'. Of course, no one understands this in govt. as is why we're in a 'poo-less' mess.

    That should mean that our energy bills do not increase by 15-20% pa?

    Could have saved you all the trouble!

  • Comment number 90.

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

  • Comment number 91.

    #89 Nautioner

    I believe that even 20 years ago there were actually pilot projects to generate methane gas from human sewage, one near Keithley next to the new by-pass. However, production of methane from " poo " as you suggest could probably only produce the equivalent of a " wee " in swimming pool !

  • Comment number 92.

    91.
    At 21:55 5th Feb 2012, NollyPrott wrote:


    #89 Nautioner

    I believe that even 20 years ago there were actually pilot projects to generate methane gas from human sewage, one near Keithley next to the new by-pass.

    ++

    Metaphorically, you seem to be 'splitting *****' there?

    We need much more gas fuel to be produced in the UK; as can also be used to make electricity?

    A good job creator/generator also

  • Comment number 93.

    Alex Salmond is in trouble!
    http://www.dailystar.co.uk/latestnews/view/233824/Salmond-condemned-over-BBC-comment/
    :p no more invites then.....

  • Comment number 94.

    #87museV wrote:
    ‘#86 Do you seriously expect politicians to understand science?’

    Nobody can be expected to understand every branch of science, least of all politicians, who have to satisfy no stated qualifications or criteria (other than perhaps greed and charisma) to get elected to power.
    All policies, particularly those involving science and huge expenditures would, in the past, have been subject to referral to appropriate departments staffed by impartial civil service scientist and universities. Now they seem to be prompted by market forces and lobbyists and referred only to fellow travellers and financial supporters.

  • Comment number 95.

    THAT SALMOND EH 76? - PARANOID (#93)

    How can Salmond be so rude? The BBC have been scrupulously non-partisan over 9/11, 7/7, Dr Kelly's death, Diana's death, Robin Cook's death, Einstein and Hubble's absolute truths, indirect remuneration of ‘talent’ (and documented proof of a stolen 2010 General Election).

    The Scots bounder.

  • Comment number 96.

    '91. At 21:55 5th Feb 2012, NollyPrott - could probably only produce the equivalent of a " wee " in swimming pool !'

    Sounds then a prefect complement to the rest of the renewable basket (case) of resources currently being promoted by our coalition, as nippiness stops twirliness, with the new climate minister carrying on the great work of Mr. Huhne and Mr. Miliband before him.

    Speaking of lots of words not as such matching with deeds...

    http://order-order.com/2012/02/05/78570/

    Think any persons of the people will be swapping FaceTime on this with the PR team of the #Occupy squad?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15199917

    "I took an iPad (for reading books on my Kindle App); my iPhone (for recording an impromptu story for Broadcasting House and getting my e-mail on); and my MacBook Pro, which has all the work I have done since the day Lehman Brothers fell stored on it. Ah yes, and a 160gb iPod."

    Guessing... that's a possibly not, then. There's a mention on the other aspects of consumer lifestyle that creates acceptable rich folk, but that does not seem to have translated much into an ethical stance. Or consistency on other rich folk.

  • Comment number 97.

    for forty years the USA vetoed any move regarding Israel at the UN....resolution 242 and all that...... and now the Russians and Chinese veto any help for the Syrian people who are dying in their thousands....it is called international diplomacy...I call it payback! Both are absolutely shameful......

 

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