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Eddie Mair | 12:15 UK time, Friday, 27 July 2007

which I'm told HAS been edited to avoid the editor sounding "silly".



  1. At 12:21 PM on 27 Jul 2007, Jason Good wrote:

    What about Ed Balls' comment on ASBOs being a failure...

    He has sadly missed the point of them. They weren't designed to reduce offending behaviour, they were designed to enable the criminal justice system to successfully prosecute the anti-social. That is why the police get parole conditions added when offenders are released - they know that most will break the conditions and it enables them to put them back inside.

    Children have become swept up in this and instead of providing the majority who could be helped with support and guidance they are all being tarred with the brush that should be reserved for the "un-helpable".

    What Mr Balls has realised is the affect an effective measure has on crime statistics and how bad it makes the system at rehabilitation. It is a classic example of conflicting priorities, targets and wants.

  2. At 12:45 PM on 27 Jul 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Thanks Jasper and Fiona - Fiona has a lovely voice doesn't she - I think she'd make an ideal stand in for Carolyn or Carrie. Have to say that Evan is also doing a wonderful job on 'Today'

    This urinating in a bowser business. It just sickens me - not the mere fact of what the person has done but why? These people are in our midst - walking up and down in the High streets!

    One question though.

    Why are these bowsers not secure from contamination.

    A special locking lid at the filling point should be a minimum surely.

    Anyone could introduce any number of toxic life threatening chemicals to poison the public otherwise - clearly a possibility if people are sick enough to use them as urinals.

  3. At 12:53 PM on 27 Jul 2007, Charlie wrote:

    I rather suspect, the meaning of "edited" may mean different things to different people...

    I, Rupert, Will Not... That is, Until I do


    Reads like it could be PM's Rupert, but it isn't. Probably his Dad...

  4. At 01:44 PM on 27 Jul 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Why is it that whenever something fun pops up - it's banned?

    Mittfh, Anne, witchiwoman, Helen, Ed etc..., we better watch out :-(


  5. At 02:02 PM on 27 Jul 2007, Val P wrote:

    Jonnie - no, I shan't say what came to mind when I read your post (4)! However I shall reiterate that this week my Work insisted I stop what I was doing and "registered with Faceb**K". So does that make them a fun company?
    Sadly, I haven't had half a minute to investigate it further, but I am registered, for what it's worth. Oh yes I've just checked and one of the bosses has thrown an ice-cream cone at me. Hmmm, clearly I'm working too hard and have lost my sense of humour :o(

  6. At 02:08 PM on 27 Jul 2007, DI Wyman wrote:

    ...Scouting is 100 years old.....

    ....Robert Baden-Powell's on the character of bees:

    "They are a quite a model community for they respect their Queen and kill their unemployed."

    ........nice one Bob!!!

    How standards have slipped since 1908!


  7. At 02:26 PM on 27 Jul 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    Jonnie (4) & Val (5)

    This morning I got an RSS feed that drew my attention to the discovery of over 29,000 sex offenders on said site.

    I have not actually had to attend a bowser yet, as our taps (in our part of Gloucester) are still flowing, but it looks as if they are filled from the bottom. They are made of plastic, though, so perhaps the lids can be prised open.

  8. At 02:34 PM on 27 Jul 2007, Fearless Fred wrote:

    I'm sorry, but the title of Baden-Powell's book shouldn't be allowed: "Scouting for Boys" is just a little too close to the bone nowadays...

  9. At 02:41 PM on 27 Jul 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    Jonnie - I couldn't read it seriously given the lead reporters name...

  10. At 02:41 PM on 27 Jul 2007, jonnie wrote:

    29,000 sex offenders on Facebook! Gosh - well if the Sunday Tabloids wanted to expose any of them they'd know where to start looking.

    Talking of sex -

    nikki noodle has a garden and several of his friends have given him flowers etc - it's rather beautiful actually.

    Anyway he only had one rabbit so I've given him another one. Being a bit of a tinker I'm hoping that they may breed and looking forward to seeing the consequences.

  11. At 03:02 PM on 27 Jul 2007, tony ferney wrote:

    Jonnie, I quite agree about Fiona's voice. Between you and me (sic) I think I'm in love.

    All in all a very good PM preview. The timing is impeccable and the throwaway lines remind me of what was once called "review".

  12. At 03:03 PM on 27 Jul 2007, Neal Champion wrote:

    Just a quick comment on how the voracious rolling news agenda moves on once each story is 24 hours old. Surely the fact that a third of a million people in the Gloucestershire are still without running water, and are told it could go on for another two weeks, is news. We live in a prosperous industrialised nation, and yet the failure of one piece of infrastructure has reduced a county to third world water supplies. But, this is no longer news, it seems.

  13. At 03:41 PM on 27 Jul 2007, DI Wyman wrote:

    FF (8)

    re 'Scouting for Boys'.....

    .....perhaps 'Snorting for Boys'.....Graeme Garden in an early episode of I'M SORRY I HAVEN'T A CLUE....


  14. At 03:42 PM on 27 Jul 2007, Jason Good wrote:

    Neal (11): I don't want to quibble, but bowsers and policemen stood on street corners handing out T£$€o-branded bottled water (as shown on the BBC news last night) is hardly "third world".

    Now if the residents were having to dig a well and then walk 4 miles carrying buckets you would have a point.

    One problem is we have become so centralised in everything we do, especially delivering water and energy to homes, that a localised incident can have such a vast effect.

    The "economies of scale" arguments that held before microelectronics do not neccessarily hold now that we have the means to create a small, very efficient water purification plant in everyone's home. We could pump "light grey" water about and let households purify their own for cooking and drinking purposes.

    Admittedly incidents currently experienced would require more upstream filtration but it would not leave us in the current, ridiculous postions of going from bathing in drinking water and flushing our toilets with it to having no drinking water at all.

  15. At 04:01 PM on 27 Jul 2007, Neal Champion wrote:

    Jason (14): You're right, of course, I was being somewhat emotive. Washing in 1/2 a litre of water does that to one :-)

    Your argument makes a lot of sense - I too have always thought it ridiculous that we flush our toilets with water safe enough to drink.

    But, my original point remains - I understand that such a significant weather event can interrupt water supplies, but how can it that they cannot be restored for 2 or more weeks? Surely that is news?

  16. At 01:09 AM on 28 Jul 2007, mac under a pseudonym wrote:

    I sent the post below to you yesterday. Today the Beeb has an explanation for the falls. (Must be serious - even Friday was down. See below.

    I sent this to Working Lunch today. Do you think it fair?
    B.b.b.b.b.but. you ain't seen nothing yet!
    The BBC Pension Fund benefits from (the atmosphere created by) stock market gains and got hugely in the red during the dotcom bubble burst.
    So, classically wrt to information theory, there are massive principal - agent problems when the BBC reports the stock exchange.
    I think noticeably the BBC under reports huge losses and over reports gains.
    The net effect (and I suspect, intended consequence) of this asymmetric treatment is to encourage viewer (and listener) entry into the market and to preserve their share holding.
    The effect is that spending power (as bottomless as a widow's cruse) is generated by those who have and their pensions grow pleasantly.
    As for us have nots the increase in private spending deters government from raising government spending (for fear of inflation) and so my state pension suffers accordingly as do those on tax credit.
    As for public facilities in the NHS etc they are sacrificed for a few yachts in the Solent and second homes in Tuscany.
    So it was no surprise when last week in the face of falls you (Working Lunch) got in an 'expert' to tell us that things would not go below 6,500 on the stock exchange. Wasn't that cunning?
    Very protective of your pensions and your spending power.
    For those who trust you would have been discouraged from selling given how high they were told the safety net was.
    And as the index crashed 3 percentage points below the 'safety net' today those following you would be reluctant to bale out 'cos a bounce back might be round the corner and realising the loss would be a shock as well as costly.
    Personally I think the way the Beeb in general and you in particular (but you are not the worst offenders) report the overall index changes would result in you all in clink if the name of the BBC was Enron. But then I think if the Enron judgements were made universal the whole financial services industry would be being run from Alcatraz and Newgate.
    Isn't how the Beeb reports the FTSE a story in itself - particularly in newscasts and on BBC24 Business News and on morning radio and TV?
    And PM I add.
    And isn't how come private spending power creation is cushty although hugely unfairly distributed, whilst equitable government spending is frowned, upon also a story in itself?

    Now we have the pro - capitalist explanation for the crash.

    The markets are down becuase the banks won't give those marvellous private equity firms (PEFs) any more credit.

    Why? Because they've rememebered risk lovers must be losers in the long run? No. Because they can't sell debt on to.... It sounds so circular its like a Enron scam.

    They're short of base? Maybe. Apparently 'cos poor mortagage risks are reneging.

    But in any sane society that would just mean mortgage relief for those pressed so.

    But under the present arrangements the banks refuse further cred to the PEFs and the market collapses 'cos there aint going to be any more 'efficiency gains' form that quarter.

    So unknown future efficiency effects by PEFs account for 500 points?

    The system is in crazy mode as usual. The banks need more base to extend more credit to mortagage defaulters or the govt. creates base to help them.

    But the interest rates have gone up not down and base is expensive to buy. So the banks have a short term incentive to cripple themselves long term. And they're taking it.

    As the financial whizz kids take a cut in pay (commission dealing is marge and butter, the real money is in stock market booms) expect the London housing markets (then those elsewhere) to take a huge hit.

    negative equity, pension shortfalls, bankruptcy.

    We'll all be praying Brown is Old Labour, spending his way out of a slump.

    Not even BBC spin can reverse this fall. Maybe to protect their pensions they'll hire Keynsian economics correspondents. Goodbye Stephanie.

  17. At 02:38 AM on 28 Jul 2007, mac under a pseudonym</A wrote:

    Hey, Ed, how do I set up a link? My attempts woon't work

  18. At 02:42 AM on 28 Jul 2007, mac under a pseudonym</A wrote:

    Hey, Ed, how do I set up a link? My attempts woon't work

  19. At 10:45 AM on 28 Jul 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:


    Another take on the debt business. (and at my name)

    And, by the way, open market interest rates have been inexplicably falling for a couple of weeks. I suspect it's a 'flight to quality' as hedgers sell the dodgy stuff and buy more respectable stuff, e.g. Government-backed securities, thus driving their prices up (and yields down).

    Anyway, open market yields are now below 5%, having topped 5.3% a fortnight ago. Gold is slightly up, and oil is near record highs and rising....


  20. At 11:09 AM on 28 Jul 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:


  21. At 11:25 AM on 28 Jul 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    US 30 year 'long' bond for the last month

  22. At 12:15 PM on 28 Jul 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Maq (and anyone interested)

    This week's wry take on market action.
    Part of our continuing service...

  23. At 10:27 AM on 29 Jul 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    THIS just in!


  24. At 12:16 PM on 29 Jul 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Ed @ 23, I think it was Robert Heinlein, a few years back now, who pointed out (using a fictional character to do so) that lending money and requiring interest on the loan is called usury and is pretty-much against the rules of the Christian religion, and enquired when the last time a banker was refused holy communion on the grounds that he was a usurer and thus in a state of sin miight have been?

    No idea whether it's valid theology but it's an amusing question to consider.

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