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Eddie Mair | 16:19 UK time, Monday, 22 September 2008

Sorry that this disappeared earlier...here's a lovely new fresh one.


Be your own radio critic! Tell us here, frankly, what you thought of tonight's programme. In the PM office we meet every night at 1800 in the Glass Box you see above. Add your comment here.


  • 1. At 4:49pm on 22 Sep 2008, H wrote:

    Nationalisation is a bogey word.

    Why not use another description: recovery of the nation's wealth?

    Oil and gas are gone, with a regime of profligacy that, no doubt, we now regret. Take a look at Norway.

    Privatisation of railways, water supply and the supply of energy gave the excuse for disposing of huge property interests and other supremely valuable national assets.

    I think we should recover the national wealth.

    Firstly water; not just the water that fills the nation's reservoirs, but the huge property interests, too. The nation's reservoirs, rivers and canals are too precious a possession not to have in the nation's ownership and control.

    Likewise coal, and likewise energy generation.

    Where would private capital be allowed in?

    Running trains on the nation's priceless resource, its railways.
    Mining another of the nation's natural gifts, its coal, and selling it.
    Distributing electricity, with ultimate control and ownership of that essential facilitator, electricity generation, deemed to be too important to be prised from the guardians of the nation's wealth - us.

    Distribution of the nation's overwhelmingly important asset, its water.

    So capital gets a bite at the wealth by distributing it and billing for its delivery, but ownership of the nation's wealth reverts to the nation.

    Costly to recover our nation's wealth? Could be, but what if our nation's wealth becomes, say, the French nation's wealth?

    There's no counter argument, really, is there?

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  • 2. At 4:57pm on 22 Sep 2008, U11204129 wrote:

    Yet again, when markets demonstrate how USELESS they are as mechanisms for dsitributing our income nad our wealth, unlikely scapegoats are found.

    It usually turns out that a few dastardly criminals (Enron etc) are the cause of all our troubles - for behaving exactly like everyone else in the markets does.

    This time, it is FAULTY MECHANISMS.

    That 'explanation' is offered notwithstanding that profitability, using those mechanisms, is only possible if there are a few clever clogs and everyone else (in the markets) are fools.

    As a chirpy letter in the Guardian has it, are those (fabled) willing to lend to short sellers whilst the markets tumble, and as I say here, are those who, in the myth, believe the completely unsubstantiated rumours put about by dishonest dealers, even half way competent?

    The fault lies not in mechanisms at use in markets, but in markets themselves.

    First we get 'optimism', then 'pessimism' and so on.

    The questions are 'How?' and 'Why?'

    How? By those most powerfully and influentially placed in the markets being of one mind. They exhibit what all those fresh-to-the-fray Marxists will recognise as CLASS CONSCIOUSNESS.

    They see the same 'dangers' - India, China, oil Islam, the non-election of McCain, the flickr of socialism in a Labour government - and so.... act in concert, one with another.

    Why? 'Cos their analysis means that they have to inflict pain (slumps) etc as well as pleasure (booms etc).

    They are now seeking to put the 'villeins' (how times have changed!), India etc, in their place.

    The current relief from their attacks will last as long as it helps McCain.

    Obama has a good argument against such credit crunch strategies - they are unnecessary!!

    Saving the sub prime borrowers directly would have housed them and avoided the credit problems. Instead Bush chose 'national socialism' by saving the banks.

    Don't listen to that anti-Clinton guff we get on PM. Clinton was right to help the poor as he did.

    Equally don't ask an academic EXPERT about all this. They are born to confuse us. Think how clear we all were, and how DIFFICULT everything about it seems, now Mary Warnock has mesmerised us on euthanasia.

    The expert's job is to leave us feeling 'Should it be this, should it be that?'

    The interviewer's job is to show utter ruthlessness, even if the experts have impeccable 'credentials'

    As speaker after speaker at the Labour conference is showing, leaving school at 16, Eddie, makes one wiser by far, than any professor of economics you can name. (In England or America, I hasten to add!)

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  • 3. At 5:01pm on 22 Sep 2008, U11204129 wrote:


    Hear, hear!

    Let's raise the scarlet banner high.

    As capitalists dither as to whether to create or realise surplus value, let US take all their capital into public ownership and allocate it justly.

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  • 4. At 5:07pm on 22 Sep 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    Hyporparaboloid 1, Snot is also a bogey word.

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  • 5. At 5:23pm on 22 Sep 2008, mittfh wrote:

    @1: Some of those assets you mention are already effectively nationalised...

    All canals and some rivers are 'owned' by British Waterways, so are effectively nationalised. The majority of other rivers are 'owned' by the Environment Agency. Although reservoirs are owned by the water companies, it was those same water companies that constructed the reservoirs, and it's in their best interests to keep the reservoirs in optimum condition - especially as they're regional entities so we can't pick and choose our water company.

    All rail track is owned by Network Rail. Although it's officially a private sector organisation, its debts are underwritten by the government, and it is funded by the government...

    Motorways and trunk routes are the responsibility of the Highways Agency, so are effectively nationalised (although confusingly there are several patches which are owned by private sector companies e.g. part of the M40).

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  • 6. At 5:31pm on 22 Sep 2008, Joe Walker wrote:

    Talking of AIG...

    I wonder what US tax-payers make of funding AIG-sponsored Manchester Utd.

    What a joke! Along with Newcastle, that's now two State-funded Premiership football teams.

    When is PM going to track down and discuss the many similar comical, but outrageous new situations that must have been thrown up by this wholesale collapse of capitalist dogmas?

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  • 7. At 5:44pm on 22 Sep 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    JW 6, And West Ham football team was sponsored by failed XL airline. Should they go shirtless?

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  • 8. At 5:53pm on 22 Sep 2008, Joe Walker wrote:

    DMcNickle (7)

    Er well, evidently not if the Government fancies stepping in.

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  • 9. At 5:56pm on 22 Sep 2008, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    That Scilly Soap was quite incredibly grammatical judging by the snippet we got!

    Nice wee item.

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  • 10. At 6:25pm on 22 Sep 2008, coolpolitealex wrote:

    i am livid about the report you had on that IRAQ man ,i think mithal or similar .
    i listened to his story about going to ISRAEL and of how he was treated.
    firstly you mentioned the death`s of his son`s which you said were more than likely meant for him ,for christ` sake over the last 5 years or so 90% of all family`s in IRAQ have had their families murdered either purposely or by accident and so to allude to the deaths of his son`s like that is not the kind of journalism we expect from the BBC.
    We would punish anyone who went to SOUTH AFRICA in the sort of political way he was doing so for his parliment to react the way they did is perfectly reasonable given the part of the worlld he lives .
    But the crucial fact that was left out was " was he jewish ? if so then that lends the story a complete diffirent slant than your editor was giving the story .,if he was`nt then the political force in IRAQ is nothing out of the ordinary for that part of the world .
    To allow this story to go out in the way it did was to me a complete and utter crap in every way ,to use a story to put cheap politiical point`s is downright dishonest .
    As a SCOT i can`t except such BIAS in a story ,it`s an offence to the profession of journalism ,especially from our beloved BBC

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  • 11. At 6:37pm on 22 Sep 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    Glad to see the Glass Box has finally re-emerged, but cleansed of the earlier comments and with the correct date.

    What a day it has been, Eddie? Time for a song, surely!

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  • 12. At 6:45pm on 22 Sep 2008, coolpolitealex wrote:

    As an added point ,(i was to angry writing that and i had to cool down)
    but anyone visiting the state of ISRAEL ,where ordinary people have been murdered on a regular basis (many of them journalists )and give them any legitimacy is a crime in it`self.

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  • 13. At 7:56pm on 22 Sep 2008, avidnews2 wrote:

    Why is it no longer possible to ring PM? for those with sight problems and listeners without access to a computer the BBC has made it difficult for this sector of the population to make their views easily known?

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  • 14. At 9:46pm on 22 Sep 2008, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    coolpolitealex @ 10, I don't think that many countries would propose a death penalty on someone for visiting another country however abhorrent, unless they were in an actual state of war with the country visited. For example nobody in this country suggested that such would be an appropriate penalty on someone from here visiting South Africa under the apartheid regime.

    Interesting, and not mentioned, is that Iraq's absolute opposition to Israel seems somewhat at odds with America's support for Israel, though.

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  • 15. At 11:13am on 23 Sep 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    SSC 9, Didn't sound real to me either. (It most certainly did not sound very real to me, either.)

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  • 16. At 1:10pm on 23 Sep 2008, PeterBottomley wrote:

    David Hesletine: Overheard?

    Do you remember the story of the person in the large organisation, say the BBC, asked for an honest opinion of say the then director general?
    The questioner was asked to step out of the office, then down and out to the street, then to the underground station on a journey to perhaps Stratford.
    On the platform there the respondent said: "Now we are alone and no-one can hear me, I will tell you. I quite like and admire him."

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