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Tuesday 20 March 2012

Verity Murphy | 18:55 UK time, Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Tonight we look ahead to tomorrow's Budget asking how much room for manoeuvre the chancellor has and what we are likely to see.

Susan Watts has a report on fracking, a controversial method for extracting natural gas, and concerns that the regulation meant to ensure its safety are not fit for purpose.

And Stephen Smith has been to meet American musician Jack White, best known for being one half of the White Stripes, but now going solo.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    (1) Why bother when we will all know the budget contents tomorrow?
    (2) Just read the lead article and other comments from 'experts';
    (3) I'm sure this is of vital interest to all!
    In any case it's time to abandon NN, based on the bloggers' comments - and JP's inability to present represent a balanced view to the British public.

  • Comment number 2.

    “Toulouse shooter MAY have filmed attack to post on internet
    The serial killer at the centre of France's biggest ever man-hunt cold-bloodedly executed all his victims with a shot to the head and MAY even have filmed his racist killing spree with a view to posting it on the internet.” - My emphasis

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/9156501/Toulouse-shooter-may-have-filmed-attack-to-post-on-internet.html


    Can you spot the sensationalised style of reporting? What is fact and what is pure conjecture?

    Do we know if the 8 Afghani children shot by Sgt. Bale (et al?) in cold blood 10 days ago were ACTUALLY shot in the head? No!

    Politics and propaganda are dirty, disgusting businesses.

  • Comment number 3.

    There is a strange mood about. Apart from the debate in the House about the NHS there is little life in current discussion and a sense that no one knows which road to take. Without recourse to economists many could see that the way we had evolved socially was not sustainable and certainly not satisfying except on a very basic material level. Constant competition is wearing and destructive both to ourselves and the planet, our only home. What a shame.

  • Comment number 4.

    STRANGE MOOD (#30)

    Indeed. Not just the ape Confused by Language, but the PLANET ITSELF is in a strange mood. Might both be a consequence of a 'mood change' in the local cosmos? We are close to a paradigm shift in cosmology - as above so below. "It is the Thunderbolt that drives the Universe." http://www.holoscience.com/synopsis.php

    Interesting times.

  • Comment number 5.

    The NHS bill has just been passed.

    Tory & Liberal Democrat MPs have voted it through.

    The LibDems need to know that the progressive left will never forgive them for this.

    We will never vote tactically for them ever again, we will never cooperate with them and we will play every trick we can to prevent any LibDem from gaining anything, even at our own expense.

    The era of "liberal tolerance" by the left is over.

    LibDem electoral extinction is the only possible outcome now.

    In anti Labour areas we will buttress and support the Greens - hell, we'll even vote UKIP to make sure LibDems don't get in ever again in at any election.

    The electoral price to be paid by the LibDems is now unaffordable - oblivion beckons.

    This betrayal can never be forgiven.

    Don't bother even trying to engage the left anymore - you have committed the unforgivable crime.

  • Comment number 6.

    Who is supposed to finance the services that. like mothers in the past, made sure the services for the 'family' ran as smoothly as possible?

  • Comment number 7.

    :p Lord Myners keeps calling Jeremy James! Time for those pills........

  • Comment number 8.

  • Comment number 9.

    :p so gas prices will go down by 50% and we'll all get poisoned instead. Lovely.

  • Comment number 10.

    "You want to have a wash but you're on fire" - Jeremy on fracking

  • Comment number 11.

    #5 richard bunning

    How naive can you get?

    Surely you still don't fall for this Left vs Right charade.

    The Lib dems are merely yellow coloured free-market anarchists as opposed (or more accurately "aligned") to the blue and a red coloured free-market anarchists. All are opposed to true (national) socialism and see socialism (old Labour) as anathema to libertarian politics. They are all for the privatisation of the state. Only some of them are more open about this ideology than the others.

    Wake up!

  • Comment number 12.

    STERILE

    Cutting edge understanding of human motivation, today recognises the key factors as Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose. What do you get on NewsyNighty? Economy, mechanisms, growth, profit, jobs. WRONG CENTURY GUYS.

  • Comment number 13.

    NEXT TIME PUT WATTS IN A "TITANIC" WHITE DRESS NEWSYNIGHTY

    How incongruous can you get? Tumescent musack to long shots (helicopter???) of Susan going nowhere (that bit relevant). Who does this stuff serve? Not the science-savvy that's for sure. Then you let Lucas play the Joker - CO2!!! Hello?

    In passing: is Susan aware MIT do cold fusion as a sideshow? Edgy is not cutting edge.

    http://world.std.com/~mica/cft.html

    THE MUSACK WAS INTRUSIVE, BANAL, AND MUST WASTE MONEY.

  • Comment number 14.

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

  • Comment number 15.

    OUTSTANDING JEREMY BUT IN WHAT MANNER?

    Jeremy to Caroline Lucas, leader of the IDEOLOGICAL Green party: "Oh, that's an ideological point."

    Outstanding.

  • Comment number 16.

    11.

    There was a time when there used to be a dialogue between the left and the LibDem activists.

    There used to be time when there was a form of progressive concensus around the role of public services, civil rights and internationism.

    There used to be a time when there was the hope of an anti-tory alliance that held out the hope of keeping the worst excessives of libertarian anarchy at bay.

    That time is gone.

    Clegg has done the left a huge favour - he has swept away the myth that there is a third way, a compromise where the energy of the market could be harnessed and controlled to deliver a workable society with an acceptable level of social justice.

    If the coalition fails spectacularly and destroys any credibility for neoclassical economics, then the electorate and for that matter the Labour leadership will have only one place to go - a society and economy based on public policy rather than globalisation.

    Labour will finally be able to clease itself of libertarian ideology - the ghost of Thatcherism can finally be laid - and New Labour consigned to the abyss.

    Naive?

    No -IMHO, hopeful.

  • Comment number 17.

    THE UNFORGIVEN (#5)

    Nick is irredeemable and LibDems consigned to outer darkness. I have just had one of those weasely flyers from my local LibDems. I have responded by sending the usual proof that this Parliament is illegitimate and they are allied to Election Law breakers. What chance of a reply? D MOCK CRASS Y.

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

  • Comment number 18.

    FOR SUSAN

    "Meanwhile Cern is holding a colloquium on LENR, scheduled for 22 March. This will be available live via webcast, and will be given by Francesco Celani from the Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics. .... MIT, which played a key role in discrediting the original cold fusion studies in 1989, might also be shifting its position a little. This January for the first time there was a short course called "Cold Fusion 101. ... Defkalion has confirmed that the tests will start on 24 February. .... the rest of us will also await test results with interest."

    More since at MIT. See my link @ post 13.

    Nuff sed

  • Comment number 19.

    I FEEL THIS BACKS YOUR POST RICHARD - HOPE YOU DO TOO (#16)

    http://blog.merjis.com/2010/06/13/rsanimation-drive-motivation-lecture-on-youtube/

    Anyone who found that inspiring, try the whole page

    https://www.google.co.uk/#hl=en&sugexp=frgbld&gs_nf=1&cp=14&gs_id=1f&xhr=t&q=rsa+animation+youtube&pf=p&sclient=psy-ab&oq=rsa+animation+&aq=0&aqi=g4&aql=&gs_sm=&gs_upl=&gs_l=&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=dd7ed5a302ba6fca&biw=1067&bih=476

    There really IS hope, but a serious surge in The Force will be required; the current crop of narcissist despots will lead us nowhere.

  • Comment number 20.

    Yes, one can see how, of all pressing topics, Mr. White's solo is in the top three.

    That said, looking at this morning's 'news' thus far, on promoting his difficult multiple messages the deliberate child-murderer is certainly getting all the MSM message coverage he could wish for in justification.

    I think I have heard so far, once, a pundit concede that, just maybe, Israeli warplanes don't deliberately target children when aiming for Katushka launch sites, amongst a sea of concern he may not get his day in co... on the pulpit.

    Maybe this geezer and our Anders could get Simon Cowell and Danny Cohen to set up a Pyscho-factor vs. The Nutter, with actual red and green corners, and the BBC and ITV can run them at the same time on Saturday night... as it is nothing to do with ratings. Apparently.

    Meanwhile, in other news... via the BBC's news BFF twitter... sort of...

    http://order-order.com/2012/03/21/peston-bbc-blithering-budget-special/

  • Comment number 21.

    '10. At 23:05 20th Mar 2012, Mistress76uk wrote:
    "You want to have a wash but you're on fire" - Jeremy on fracking


    He really said that?

    I wonder where he gets his education and information?

    I recall our objective national broadcaster running for a while with the video of taps spewing flame, but that seems to have stopped now, perhaps because it was based less on science, but more on PR they had been told was science.

    Maybe our market rate talent anchor has not caught up?

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

    I have some concerns actually, but prefer them to be answered by accuracy and not hyperbole, especially from only one side.

    I hope Ms. Watts' report was more comprehensive in input and hence conclusions.

  • Comment number 22.

    NEVER MIND THE POLITICAL STUFF - MOVE TO CULTURED ENTERTAINMENT (#20)

    Another trend Junkk. Marr now does a big "meet the artiste" slot, with a rock ending. .

    'He' could have done a "behind the arras" slot, incorporating philosophical enquiry into why we have Westminster D MOCK CRASS Y rather than mature democracy; or why the rule of law - ISN'T.

    Ho hum

  • Comment number 23.

    Thanks Barry - interesting...

  • Comment number 24.

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

  • Comment number 25.

  • Comment number 26.

  • Comment number 27.

    Any hostage must be praying that those who are intent on harm, the maximum publicity and the best intel to prolong their 15mins of fame... don't have access to a TV or the internet these days.

    It's like some bizarre pantomime. I half expect, if any stealth attempt is made by authorities, to find it will be met by a collective e-clamour from the 'public has a right to drive our ratings' media: 'He's behind you!'.

    Only once they have positioned for the best shot (camera), mind.

  • Comment number 28.

    Isn't it interesting how the media played-out the white supremacist line regarding the french murders. A quick glance is all you need to spot a well managed govt operation via a useful idiot. There was a time when they got away with it but we are well versed in recognising the dark arts of govts. The swift ballistics report was the tin opener.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2118052/Toulouse-siege-Police-surround-flat-Islamic-warrior-suspected-serial-killer.html

  • Comment number 29.

    Mediocracy: How It Works:- The idea seems to have long been to shape/corral all three main parties towards the centre so that nothing much is ever done to impede the interests of business, and the electorate (consumers) becomes so disenchanted with politics that they effectively give up in despair or just ennui. Any statist parties in the meantime are vilified, that's how the corraling works. There are activists everywhere to do just that. This effectively leaves politicians answerable to those who fund them, i.e business. Legislation is then debated and enacted which facilitates their interests at the expense of the public/consumers. Whatever happens, you see less as less Governance, i.e less and less Public Sector/Services. This inane talk about differences between parties is just the cynical process of wearing the public down.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/newsnight/fromthewebteam/2010/04/friday_9_april_2010.html?postId=94696356#comment_94696356

  • Comment number 30.

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

  • Comment number 31.

    Recession? What recession?

    so millionaire landowners not only get 4 billion a year subsidy they now will pay less tax. Its nice at the top innit?

    Regulation

    we seem to have the idea in our heads that this involves experts with the skill to uncover camoflaged wrong doing going out checking things and taking samples rather than some clerk at a desk checking boxes have been ticked on the forms sent by companies.

  • Comment number 32.

    what a bunch of charletans...ditch the 50p tax after all it doesn't generate much in revenue, doesn't it? We only have the Tories word for that after all if it doesn't generate much, then why are they in such haste to get rid of it? The same with the at risk bill in the NHS review. why not publish it? They already know it is so toxic they would never publish in a million years so there we have it a national institution, the envy of the world sacrificed on the altar of a quick buck, how are grandchildren will come to loathe them....

  • Comment number 33.

    The 2012 Budget seems good so far
    Booze - stays the same and more £ being invested in jobs/enterprise zones and lots of people will stop having to pay tax altogether and even corporation tax is down.

  • Comment number 34.

    Twitter really has decided me to steer clear of any budget 'analysis' from any quarter until the dust settles, as in-theory objective professionals punt out daft hashtag tweetbites to suit their tribal prejudices alone. Especially MSM heavies who really should know better.

    And speaking of our utterly compromised 4th estate, another bit of fun was started by a Graun journo bemoaning all the awful PR they have to endure before choosing which one best suits their world view to re-headline.

    I simply ponder the only calls so far received about a forthcoming green expo (Vince Cable is coming to tell us we're all doing very well) have been from ad sales trying to flog space as opposed to editorial asking about what my company does.

    Apparently you don't get talked about unless you pay. Or, at best... fit the mould.

    This may explain my views on the value of UK news media.

  • Comment number 35.

    VITAL THAT 'BOOZE STAYS THE SAME' (#33)


    The state-sponsored imbibing of industrial solvent, generates a wide range of employment including medical, policing, courts, mortuaries, family support and leisure.

    Were alcohol squeezed out of cultural nihilism, by pulling the price lever, vast numbers would be thrown out of work while, at the same time, running the risk of becoming healthy. Clearly this is undesirable as

    THIS IS THE AGE OF PERVERSITY

  • Comment number 36.

    BLOODY HELL!

    The way Danny Alexander and Rachel Reeves were looking into each others eyes at the head of the programme, one could be forgiven they were deeply in love!

  • Comment number 37.

    JEREMY PAXMAN: "Do you find in morally repugnant that a public figure uses a private limited company to reduce their tax bill?"

    Hyprocrisy at its best!

  • Comment number 38.

    Twitter + Newsnight = way more fun!
    Best of the day "is it nugatory or pathetic?" Jeremy to Danny Alexander.
    "you find tax avoidance morally repugnent?" Jeremy to Rachel Reeves
    So what of Labour's Ken Livingstone then???? Pot kettle black :p

  • Comment number 39.

    Excellent choice with Lionel Barber as a guest

  • Comment number 40.

    Most coherent of the night were the Editors with Jeremy

  • Comment number 41.

    I normally have a great deal of respect for Paxman. However when Jeremy made a comment for Caroline Lucas to 'Come into the 'real' world', he came across as not only patronising towards her but in the context of judging economic 'reality' as being more real than the 'real' world . . . . unbelievably crass.
    On a planet littered with physical, human and emotional debris, the collateral damage of a 'free market economy', egoism is not intelligent, nor useful.
    It only serves in one becoming a caricature of oneself.

  • Comment number 42.

    I enjoyed this evenings Newsnight, good guests etc. Did the Labour MP woman once do a stint on Eastenders?

    Your forgiven for ignoring the French story due to the budget...but only just.
    I wonder how you'll report on it tomorrow? Something tells me its gonna be another Fort Hood shooting: another soon to be buried and forgotton story by the media considering the perps affiliations. There is a lot more to this story but it'll be hands off from the socialist media complex. It's gonna be dropped like a hot potato... but not in France.

  • Comment number 43.

    On NN last night, there was a very brief comment from an SNP MP about the budget and his amazement that, in his admittedly biased opinion, 'Scots would view this negatively and wonder why they bother with Westminster, or words to that effect.

    IMHO, the Wesminster Brits seem to give the impression that they really have not got any coherent strategy for keeping Scotland within the Union.

    I think that we English will wake up one day and find that England is England again.

    In other words, as typical for us English, in our politically apethetic way, we are sleep-walking towards English independence.

    I should have guessed it would turn out that way, we English are so lazy, in the political sense, we need the Scottish cuckoo to eject us from the Union nest.

  • Comment number 44.

    I'll miss Wednesdays.

    '38. At 23:31 21st Mar 2012, Mistress76uk
    Twitter + Newsnight = way more fun!'


    Indeed, as a few MSM employees unscramble their views from their news.

    I liked this tweet from yesterday...

    @Alex Pennington ‏
    "Views are my own" and "tweets in a personal capacity" are 99% accurate indicators of idiocy.

    Doesn't seem to stop 'em though, even when a possible new DGette pleads, with all the authority such a role demands at market rates, that staff stop making fools of themselves and the employer they represent, despite weasels claiming otherwise under affiliation claims and URLs that suggest just the opposite.

    '42. At 00:32 22nd Mar 2012, kevseywevsey - another soon to be buried and forgotten story'

    I still await from powers that be (if don't like being held to account) what guides 'watertight oversight' in our nationally treasured edit suites.

    One person's moral equivalence is another's excuse to censor. You just need the keys to the office with the knobs.

  • Comment number 45.

    Re: budget, tentative baby steps towards more honest Government via (one of many) 'consultations' on merging Income Tax and NI, which would correct a blatant dishonesty, in that finally the people would begin to understand just how much tax is being extracted from them at source.

    Then the proposal to send each taxpayer a breakdown of where the revenues are spent.

    As it happens, already each year, at budget time, HMG publish two little pie charts which shows in very simple terms, where the revenue is collected and where it is spent. You can pick this up in doctors surgeries, libraries and is somewhere on HMG's website (sorry - I don't have time to find it just now).

    Nevertheless, from memory, the Government Income pie-chart shows that around 50% of Government income is extracted from PAYE tax-payers and about 20% comes from business.

    Are you really working for your employer, when you actually spend half-of-the-year actualy working for the Government?

    A clear conflict of interest.

  • Comment number 46.

    IT'S THE PRIMARY "P" STUPID!

    George Osborn discusses lives as units of economy - doing for getting; BEING skills do not feature.

    George is surrounded by PPE graduates, but Westminster is no place for philosophical awareness. If Westminster had the ability to 'self-examine', it would spontaneously DISMANTLE itself.

    Britons are CULTURALLY MANAGED BY THE SOCIALLY ILLITERATE. Things can only get worse.

    PS: I presume the GSK announcement will reap a quid pro quo downstream?

    THIS IS THE AGE OF PERVERSITY

  • Comment number 47.

    Nowt like getting you news from twitter:

    @bbcnickrobinson - One big reason #granny tax backlash might last is contrast between rich getting tax cut whilst old get tax rise.

    @BBCBreakfast - Shadow Chancllr Ed Balls - "Big tax cuts for millionaires paid for by millions of people...pensioners and families are losing" #budget 2012

    I was going to give 'The UK's favourite morning news programme' credit for not jumping on what might be seen as a rather 'contrived' if popular hashtag as embraced round and about by others, but...

    @BBCBreakfast - #budget2012 George Osborne -#grannytax we're increasing basic state pension=£5 a week, we've simplified tax allowance http://bbc.in/GE4lRi

    Interestingly...

    http://mashable.com/2012/03/01/the-most-viral-news-sources-on-twitter-and-facebook-infographic/

    Being that twitter is less than noted for its factual coherence at best, the top two are hardly a surprise in a world of shared opinion over accuracy, but the top one is a worry given the clear commitment to pursuing this route.

  • Comment number 48.

    #41 Dolce

    Well said!

  • Comment number 49.

    Within minutes it seemed that this wasn’t going to be an intelligent forensic discussion about the levers, mechanisms and pulleys that had been put into place with the aim of getting the economy moving.
    Instead the stage had been set for four ill-mannered oafs to mount an attack on Danny Alexander as a way of prodding various contented sections of society into feeling badly done by. Knowing Newsnight’s reputation for moronic slanging matches I decided to switch off.
    To paraphrase Nick Robinson, this Budget has been a PR disaster for the BBC and you are hoping that constant repetition of your narrow interpretation of events will be believed by the public. (If Nick Robinson can make baseless allegations so can I)
    Your version of the Budget is another manifestation of “we’re all going to die of bird flu and it’ll be the Tory’s fault” and “we’re going to have a double dip recession and its all the Tory’s fault” and “there’s no money left and it’s all the fault of the banks”.
    And while you’re crying crocodile tears over the ‘granny tax’ perhaps you could interview pensioners who will really be affected - Mark Byford with his £800,000 a year; John Humphries; Alan Rusbridger; Mark Thompson - or even Jeremy Paxman.

  • Comment number 50.

    Did anyone else hear George Osborne on R4 Today this morning?

    Evan Davies set him up like a kipper during his introduction of GO this morning. He even got him so flumexed that at the start of the interview GO was admitting that "it wasn't a good budget for me".

    It's worth a listen...

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9707000/9707952.stm

  • Comment number 51.

    But seriously, I enjoyed last night's guests (bar Sorrell & Morrisey), particularly Danny Finkelstein. What happened to Olly Grender & Peter Hyman? However, the most hillarious of the night had to be Rachel Reeves (falling to pieces) and Danny Alexander.

    and also:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/7415082/French-bread-spiked-with-LSD-in-CIA-experiment.html
    :p

  • Comment number 52.

    Earlier, I mentioned some simple little pie charts showing HMG income and expediture and I have found a link to 2010 here http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/budget2010_graphics.htm

    You would think that simply changing the date in the url above to 2011 or 2012 would bring us up-to-date, but the Treasury has the finest brains in the country, culled from Oxbridge, so no such luck, but anyway, my point about the extraction of Income Tax and NI is proved by the Government income chart.

    Yesterday in Parliament was surely Ed Milibrands finest hour, there is something very repellant about a bunch of multi-millionaires being given even more via the tax system and as Milibrand made his point, they did indeed sit there with Botoxed faces, utterly unable to defend the indefensible.

    That is the grotesque feature of our democracy in England, the system is heavily rigged to suit the so-called mainstream parties, so that this time around, we have ended up with a bunch of multi-millionaire Ministers pushing the rest of us about.

    Let us English call it what it is - a perverted democracy.

  • Comment number 53.

  • Comment number 54.

    The usual hoo-ha following a budget and certain facts become obscured such as a National Debt which is over one trillion pounds right now and will be around one-and-a-half trillion in just a few years time.

    A deficit (the difference between Government income and expenditure) that is expected to be one hundred and twenty billion pounds this coming year and will not be balanced for a few more years.

    Just as well that there is a magic money tree at the BoE, because we can practically guarantee, given the above, that it will be heavily shaken i.e. a massive dose of inflation injected into the system, if economic growth remains weak.

  • Comment number 55.

    Savers = Suckers.

  • Comment number 56.

    52. I'm sure the millionaires Ed Miliband, Harriet Harman, Ed Balls, Peter Hain, Liam Byrne, and the rest of the Labour front bench feel just the way you do and are even now repaying to the Treasury every penny they think they have gained by yesterday's Budget. Tony Blair might even be moved to give up his labyrinthine tax avoidance schemes.

  • Comment number 57.

    what was that media prize for we get reminded with every night? it wasn't for keeping the blog up to date was it?

  • Comment number 58.

    57. At 11:42 22nd Mar 2012, jauntycyclist

    'more or less anything else that takes our fancy'

    Guessing the erring is more on the latter, I fancy.

  • Comment number 59.

    MaggieL @ 56

    I doubt and hope very much that the Labour front bench people you mention do NOT feel precisely like me, having been told recently that I might have a life-threatening disease.

    True, these Labour people are millionaires, indeed it is in the public domain that the Miliband family made some astute financial moves to preserve significant property assets in London.

    I was merely pointing out that that Dave (who can now afford his own horse) and Co. are a multi-millionaire elite who will always, naturally look after their own cohort first, followed by the political cohort, who will look after its own e.g. luxurious pensions and serverance payments, and finally, any crumbs left over are for Joe the English public.

    Fundamentally, for us English, it is our own fault, we don't take enough interest in politics and therefore it is the fate of those who do not (the origin of the ancient Greek word for 'idiots'), to be manipulated by those who do.

  • Comment number 60.

    59.
    I think it is absolutely insane, not to say insulting, to suggest that the Chancellor of the Exchequer does not take his responsibilities seriously and instead of caring about the success and prosperity of the country simply devotes his time to feathering his own nest.

    I'm sorry to learn that you're not well. I hope you live in an area that voted Labour during the last 13 years. They have fabulous hospitals and health services. Unfortunately Conservative voting areas lost out due to the post-code lottery applied by Gordon Brown and his Treasury cohorts Ed Balls and Ed Miliband

  • Comment number 61.

    #53, Mistress76uk wrote:

    "The French killer is dead"


    I wonder what they will do with the body to prevent his grave becoming a Jihadist shrine - bury it at sea?

  • Comment number 62.

    MaggieL @ 60

    I am comforted by the fact that George Osborne has a 15% share of the family firm Osborne & Little, and therefore, is somewhat grounded in the reality of business. In fact, the firm is not doing very well presently and if nothing else, that should ensure that Osborne tries to alleviate the burdens on SME's.

    Various commentators on NN last night stated that Osborne was 'boxed in' with very little room to maneouvre, either economically or politically and that in the circumstances, he had made a reasonable fist of it.

    Maybe, by conventional measures, that is the case.

    Personally, I think that unconventional/radical measures are what is required for our England but maybe the situation has to become more desparate before these politicians throw off their caution and do the truly needful for England.

    PS. I am indeed, a lad insane ala David Bowie.

  • Comment number 63.

    PERVERTED DEMOCRACY - WESTMINSTER PERVERSION - D MOCK CRASS Y (#52)

    We are constantly told that social networking will set us free (not unlike Arbeit).
    I tweet not neither do I facebook; can anyone tell me if the network-sphere has a handle on the Westminster Malaise aka D MOCK CRASS Y? Or are they all 'facing' and 'twattering' about second, and third, order SYMPTOMS (as NewsyNighty does) while the root-sickness of this nation goes unexamined?

    CUT WESTMINSTER'S TUMOUR FROM THE NATION'S HEART- WELLBEING NOT WEALTH

  • Comment number 64.

  • Comment number 65.

    EMPIRE - A CRUMBLING MONUMENT TO DEMON-DRIVEN NEED OF CHRISTIAN MEN (#64)

    "But what good came of it at last?"
    Quoth little Peterkin.
    "Why that I cannot tell," said he,
    "But 'twas a famous victory."

    Those are the final lines of "After Blenheim". The forgettable GOOD and memorable glory, resonates all too strongly with 'Empire'.

    The illusion is preserved while the monarcho-Westminster axis of drivel endures.

    All part of The Age of Perversity.

  • Comment number 66.

    More than anybody else in Government, a Chancellor can sit at his desk, sign off some measure and say to himself, I have just done something that really impacts on millions of peoples lives.

    A normal human being would probably feel very uncomfortable about being in this position but whatever it is that drives politicians, they are definately unusual people who thrive on being in such positions of power over ordinary lives.

    A person in English society who considers themselves to be intrinsically 'free' might try to shape their life to be somewhat beyond the vicissitudes of these politicians, if at all possible. The conventional route to this destination is via great wealth or alternatively one could simply 'drop-out', however the vast majority choose to stay in PAYE serfdom and there it is.

  • Comment number 67.

    I say the vast majority choose to stay in PAYE serfdom but on reflection, it is a bit more subtle than that.

    Government needs its cashflow so the system is orientated towards corraling the people into the PAYE system as conventional employees and make it awkward for people to work in any other way.

    The Government simply does not want millions of people to be self-employed or running their own mom-and-pop type of business, it would be disasterous for HMG's short term finances.

    Also, the self-employed and business people tend to be very independently minded and that is not helpful for professional politicans who need to spend time and effort 'shaping their public'.

  • Comment number 68.

    watch out for the French guy becoming a martyr, websites are full of it already, a child killer who should be villified and loathed for killing children will assume hero status in some quarters, he says children are dying everyday in Gaza at the hands of Israelis, this poison is out there but how do we stop it?

  • Comment number 69.

    ALL THE WAY TO THE QUINTESSENTIAL "UNUSUAL" TOP (#66)

    MPs are way past 'unusual' by virtue of the Machiavellian filtering that precedes implantation in the Westminster growth medium. How’s this for a statement (just received) from Dave, via his PPS? View original:

    http://spoilpartygames.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/dave-defends-liar-flyer-logic.html

    Verbatim:

    "The law places strict restrictions on any campaign material used by political parties and as such, any campaign literature you might have received during the 2010 campaign will have had to comply with these requirements."

    Feel free to mark the above for syntax, logic and circular reasoning. While doing so, remember this purports to come from our Dear Leader Dave. NewsyNighty: feel free to ignore such a damning document.

    WE GOT OURSELVES ANOTHER ONE.

  • Comment number 70.

    HOW DO WE STOP IT? DISMANTLE WESTMINSTER! (#68)

    The clue is in my post #69 AND MANY MANY BEFORE IT. Sanity begins at home.

  • Comment number 71.

    stevie @ 68

    Some people will be assured that the 'French guy' is a martyr and is right now pleasuring himself with seventy plus virgins.

    Yes, significant numbers of people actually believe this and as it cannot be disproved, then who are we to argue otherwise?

    It might well be true that, due to indirect action by the Israelis, children are dying every day in Gaza. We do not know exactly because events in Gaza are not particularly well reported. The media caravan left that place some time ago and is now parked in Syria where children are definately dying every day.

    Broadly speaking, we bear witness to the forces of light and darkness grappling all of the time.

    Pity really as it is a wonderful planet and there really is no need for all the grief.

    Let there be light.

  • Comment number 72.

    Budget; how do you lose what you don't have?

    One issue zealotry has finally conquered the weltanschauung of the British; pensioners complaining that they will not get the improved tax allowance any more; nothing will be taken away from them, allowances will be frozen. This is not a difficult concept to understand.

    A bit of a gamble with the 50 to 45 reduction for people like me; I did not make plans to avoid the increase to 50p as the media folk seem to assume everyone in my position did; now I plan to give the windfall to local charities, including volunteer transport for - pensioners.

    I am a pensioner too, or rather, in receipt of a pension as part of my income, but I still work and invest in shares, bonds and property, both private and commercial, here and in Europe.

    It really is all about whether you see the world through a limiting prism, ergo one issue zealotry, or appreciate the bigger picture.

    Whilst I fully understand how Family Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit and Child Benefit work, I don't see why people cannot either be paid a reasonable salary or be taxed at a lower or zero rate in the first instance; these schemes are too complicated, therefore too costly to administer and mistakes will inevitably be made.

    Why do the recipients of such taxes/credits put up with it? Do they lack the will to stand up for themselves- or does that way lie one issue zealotry?

  • Comment number 73.

    #68 stevie wrote:

    "watch out for the French guy becoming a martyr, websites are full of it already, a child killer who should be villified and loathed for killing children will assume hero status in some quarters, he says children are dying everyday in Gaza at the hands of Israelis, this poison is out there but how do we stop it?"



    errr... by stopping Israeli indiscriminate attacks on Gaza's civilian population with jet fighter planes and missiles might be a good start.

    IDF strikes Gaza overnight
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/three-rockets-fired-at-be-er-sheva-on-seventh-day-of-israel-gaza-violence-1.418798

  • Comment number 74.

    73. At 20:19 22nd Mar 2012, museV - stopping Israeli indiscriminate attacks on Gaza's civilian population with jet fighter planes and missiles might be a good start.
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/three-rockets-fired-at-be-er-sheva-on-seventh-day-of-israel-gaza-violence-1.418798

    All a bit two wrongs I'd concede, but these rockets that get fired, how 'discriminating' are they? About the only deliberate surgical targeting I can discern from this merry bunch usually seems to be big lads holding up kids' heads to slot 'em.

 

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