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The AM Glass Box

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Eddie Mair | 06:23 UK time, Monday, 16 November 2009

glasssunrise1.JPG You may have read your morning paper and listened to the radio, and have some ideas you want to hear on PM tonight.

Perhaps a question about something in the news you would like answered - or better still, direct experience of something topical. Or maybe there's an aspect to a big story you haven't heard explored that you would like to hear.

The PM team will meet in a real glass box at 11am. Why not be part of the meeting by sharing your thoughts in this virtual glass box?

Comments

  • 1. At 07:55am on 16 Nov 2009, steelpulse wrote:

    FiveLive asks about experiences of those who whilst children lost touch with Dad. Hmm. I will pass - I just heard (the Today programme) how people - Ok poets - compensated for past hurts by writing "nonesense" Well seeming nonsense. Hmm I will pass.
    Can I just say Martin Johnson has lost his Martin or Johnno tag? Rugby - England won but not well enough seemingly. I love that "What is wrong with England?" headline in one - er - "newspaper". That old saw about an open goal came to mind. I left the ball on the penalty spot.
    That Dark sky in the Scottish park sounds nice. Is that a METeor? lol
    SUBJECT: THEY SOMETIMES FILL OUT - AND THE FIRST OUTSIDE AMERICA
    ANAGRAM: SF HELOT - SMILEY TIMEOUT - STRATIFICATIONS EE DRUMHEAD

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  • 2. At 09:04am on 16 Nov 2009, Looternite wrote:

    For all you insomniacs a young inventor, Kate Evans 25, has invented a device.

    Read all about it here
    I have noticed bloggers posting in the early hours.

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  • 3. At 09:06am on 16 Nov 2009, mstime4tea wrote:

    The Prime Minister is expected to add his apology to that of the Australian Prime Minister, to the child migrants who were abused after being removed from this country, rightly so. Perhaps he would also like to consider an apology to the children of migrants and asylum seekers who his Government today abuse by locking them up in detention centres, often for periods in excess of that allowed for terrorist suspects. See the pilot study, 'The mental and physical health difficulties of children held within a British immigration detention center'. Since the end of September over 2,000 people have signed a petition on the Number 10 website calling on the Government to end this practice immediately.

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  • 4. At 09:09am on 16 Nov 2009, Looternite wrote:

    A research scientist has revealed that during her PHd she worked as a prostitute.
    story here
    Should it matter what her past was?

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  • 5. At 09:15am on 16 Nov 2009, Looternite wrote:

    Just noticed this:
    Spelling mistake

    Interesting to see if the BBC makes as much fuss over this. Suspect not as it isn't anti Brown and not featured by Murdoch's rag.

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  • 6. At 09:17am on 16 Nov 2009, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    We now have 200 billion of Quantitative Easing.


    Could ALL of it go into inflating the usual asset bubble on the stock market?

    One interesting point is that the true economic value of the firms in the Ftse 100 does not change at all, whilst the stock market index itself gyrates wildly.

    Thus the total value of the 100’s ‘quoted’ shares is still 1.2 trillion (ie 1200 billion)

    The Quantitative Easing began when the index was at 3,700 (or thereabouts).
    The last bubble there burst at 7,600.

    Since the true valuation of the 100 Ftse firms has remained the same, why are we wasting billions merely changing the index values?

    To see how inflationary the bubbles are, a stock index movement from 3,700 to 7,600 more than halves the value of each Ftse index point. The ultimate absurdity is that this devaluation in each index point puts 200 million of unearned spending power (via ‘price’) into the pockets of the richest among us – a minority who benefit exclusively in what is supposed to be a majority decision making democracy. In consequence that very majority suffer, because government, it is held, must make cuts – to make way for the private spending of the affluent minority.



    The input of 200 billion is ‘high powered money’, meaning simply it is not ‘Peter to Paul’ money within the banking system but new red meat for bankers. They can use it to create m times as much money overall (in overdrafts etc).
    m has fallen recently (because of QE!) to about 11.

    But even if that alone, is the 'full effect' of the QE money and only half of the final money caused by QE were to go into share inflation, we’d get half of 200 times 11 pumping up the bubble.

    But that’s 1.1 trillion, which is over 90 per cent of the existing value of the 100 Ftse firms
    One way of absorbing the chaotic anti-logic of markets here is to contrast the real value of the Ftse 100 firms with this extra spending pump money. Heuristically, one may argue that at 3,700 the Ftse 100 are supported by ‘demand’ for their shares to the tune of 1.2 trillion.
    Almost doubling the real and virtual money supporting that 1.2 trillion evaluation, again, heuristically, should raise the Ftse index (not the real value of the companies which remains constant through this shindig) by 90 per cent – to above 7,000.

    Given the maldistribution of income and wealth and the thoroughly uneconomic treatment of the value of our industries and enterprises that our current market system is causing, what is the point of the expenditure of a single penny of the 200 billion in QE except to keep, in the usual illicit luxury the usual collection of bankers, market makers mathematical economists and BoE officials (usually whizz kids who never could admit the errors of their ways)?


    Heuristic as the above is (it flagrantly and deliberately (con)fuses stocks and flows in demand), it seems to come up with a plausible value for the top of this Ftse bubble by the middle of next year.
    The demand the 200 billion creates is in effect 1.1 trillion, then, given away to those who least need it in this country whilst those most in need will see the support their government gives them, crash, and with it the means to employment and income.
    In another context, as the man said

    http://www.owen.org/blog/326

    Where would the other half of the money go? Why, into notional house price rises, which may look completely ersatz if buying and selling grind to a halt in the face of fantasy Tokyo 1980's house prices.
    Then, who knows, ALL the money could go into stocks giving an outcome of 10 or even 14 thousand on the Ftse.

    All we know is that our system is wholly unstable and only US-UK bluff and military sabre rattling and exhibition slaughtering of Moslem scapegoats is stopping the world letting it crash and bringing us to account.


    As it is right now, the Chaneel 4 Teletext 500 site has the Ftse UP over 4,000 - an increase it says of over 900 per cent!! Are they prescient, or just acknowledging how catastrophic our system is?

    So, in brief, Nils, what's the effect of the QE money on asset inflation, please, now and by, say, the middle of next year? I think we should be told!!

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  • 7. At 09:21am on 16 Nov 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Afghanistan: Pop the myths

    I heard that later today Gordon Brown is – yet again - going to make the case for our troops being in Afghanistan. It will be the usual ‘scare-scenarios’ wrapped up vague terms designed to trigger fear. Why doesn’t PM prog. start to challenge these fallacious notions? The most regular claim is:

    Three-quarters of all terror plots on the streets of Britain are prepared in terrorist training camps in Afghanistan.

    What possible training can go on at a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan which can’t be done in Britain? Are we supposed to believe that in the mountainsides of Afghanistan, they work out our train time-tables, the layout of financial buildings in the city, the airport security systems at Glasgow? It’s nonsense. You can buy bomb making materials from stores here - the information is on the internet. You don’t learn how to dress and blend in with the crowd, or how to apply for a Lloyds TSB bank account from the Taliban. 9/11 was planned in Germany, 7/7 was planned in Yorkshire, the Glasgow airport attack was planned in Glasgow. None of it was planded in Helmand province. The fact is, the longer we are there, the more we motivate people to give us a dose of our own ‘terror’ medicine. Terrorism is inspired BY Afghanistan, not IN Afghanistan.

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  • 8. At 09:28am on 16 Nov 2009, steelpulse wrote:

    Poster Number 5 - I saw that spelling error story in two Internet papers so far but already made one mistake myself today - so am steering clear of the alleged "outrage"! That was last weeks news in my view. I had forgotten another "newspaper" celebrating a birthday seemingly was formed out of the Herald I used to delivery as a kid.
    The mistake? Bread and goose fat dripping. For breakfast. It was wonderful despite a radio trail for healthy eating playing - low cholesterol? lol - whilst the stuff was being guiltily swallowed. I was a kid again. But it is so rich and my older persons stomach I think (if it could) would have a look of disapproval somewhere aimed at me.
    Subject: ten easy ways to beat cancer
    Anagram: A sweet canto - try abeyances
    Try abeyances? Now they tell me!

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  • 9. At 09:37am on 16 Nov 2009, DoctorDolots wrote:

    2 Looternite - oh dear,
    'Young inventor dreams up a gadget to see of insomnia'





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  • 10. At 09:40am on 16 Nov 2009, Sid wrote:


    Afghanistan again

    Amount spent on the war so far, divided by the number of children in Afghanistan: £50000 (approx)

    Amount available for each Afghan child's education this year: £30 (approx)

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  • 11. At 09:46am on 16 Nov 2009, GiulioNapolitani wrote:

    Following the cannabis debacle, it's out with the scientists and in with...

    [John] Denham [the Communities Secretary] revealed that a new panel of religious experts has been set up to advise the Government on making public policy decisions... Mr Denham argued that Christians and Muslims can contribute significant insights on key issues, such as the economy, parenting and tackling climate change.

    Story here (Telegraph)

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  • 12. At 09:46am on 16 Nov 2009, DoctorDolots wrote:

    7. Richard_SM - well said. We hadn't had any terrorist crimes before we attacked Afghanistan and Iraq, yet these wars were supposedly to make us safe. But you're expecting a lot of the media, perhaps too much.

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  • 13. At 09:48am on 16 Nov 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Afghanistan: Pop the myths

    I’ve just googled for the false impressions we’re every time they seek to justify the war. Here’s another, it’s actually from David Cameron, but it could just have easily have come from a government minister:

    If we pulled out tomorrow the Taliban would take over, if not the whole country a good part of it. And they would probably take over a good part of Pakistan, which has nuclear weapons.

    Whilst the Taliban are able to cause disruption through suicide bombings, they simply do not have the numbers to defeat the Pakistan Military Forces, the sixth largest armed force in the world, with all its might and weaponry. They don’t have tanks, military vehicles or an air force. They strike in small numbers with the aim of getting newspaper headlines. A face-to-face showdown would be no contest, which is why the Taliban have to resort to tactics from the shadows, often ‘one-man’ suicide attcks.
    Besides, Pakistan Taliban followers lived within Pakistan previously; it wasn’t until U.S. started cross-border air-strikes and forced the Pakistan army to go after them that a real problem arose. The Pakistan Taliban have already declared to the Pakistan government, paraphrased, ‘Get U.S. out of Pakistan, stop attacking us, and we’ll stop the suicide bombings.’

    It's military action against them that is causing the violent reaction.

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  • 14. At 09:49am on 16 Nov 2009, DoctorDolots wrote:

    11. GiulioNapolitani - oh god!

    What's a religious expert? Someone who's had direct experience of a miracle? Someone with a direct line to the creator of the known universe? Oh, yes, they all claim that one.

    I blame lead in petrol.

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  • 15. At 09:54am on 16 Nov 2009, Looternite wrote:

    #12. DoctorDolots
    Don't you remember plane highjacking?
    Hostage taking?

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  • 16. At 09:55am on 16 Nov 2009, DoctorDolots wrote:

    Item on the news this morning about theUK being prepared for a harsh winter with fleets of new vehicles to spray salt, vast reserves of salt, and now brine to add to it to make it more 'effective'in keeping the traffic flowing. PM will doubtless cover it as usual.

    Anyone in the media asking what impact this amount of salt is likely to have on the environment? Freshwater fish and plants can't cope with salination of streams and rivers any more than other plants can cope with salt in the soil as any gardener will tell you. Yet we are told millions of tons are going to be sprayed on the roads, just to ensure the traffic jams can continue.

    No joined up thinking still; the highways agency is only concerned with highways, what happens as a result of their actions is of no concern. Until farmers start complaining and then MAFF will get involved.



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  • 17. At 09:58am on 16 Nov 2009, Looternite wrote:

    #11. GiulioNapolitani
    Thanks for the link.
    I noticed that the "faith" panel will not include Atheists.
    Therefore failing to be inclusive or multi-faith.

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  • 18. At 09:58am on 16 Nov 2009, DoctorDolots wrote:

    15. Looternite - your point being we should declare war on any country from which any criminal guilty of a plane hijack originates? Hmm. What if they were born in Bradford or Leeds? Presumably bomb those cities.

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  • 19. At 10:00am on 16 Nov 2009, davmcn wrote:

    EtE 6, Ever notice that Quantitative Easing could be substituted for Fascinating Rhythm? The rest of your post is not so fascinating.

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  • 20. At 10:02am on 16 Nov 2009, Looternite wrote:

    #18. DoctorDolots
    That's not what I said as well as you know.

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  • 21. At 10:02am on 16 Nov 2009, Sid wrote:

    DoctorDolots @ 12

    One small problem with your post:

    Sept 11th 2001 - al-Qaeda attack twin towers

    Oct 7th 2001 - US launches Operation Enduring Freedom

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  • 22. At 10:04am on 16 Nov 2009, Looternite wrote:

    Re my #15.
    Sorry DoctorDolots for my spelling, I know it annoys you.

    I meant Hijacking.

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  • 23. At 10:06am on 16 Nov 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Afghanistan: Pop the myths

    Gordon Brown: "Our troops will come home when the Afghanistan army are able to do the job for themselves."

    US/NATO aren't doing the job either: violence is up, opium production is up, corruption is up. By whatever measure, things are worse, not better.

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  • 24. At 10:15am on 16 Nov 2009, T8-eh-T8 wrote:

    East Coast

    Like many today I took my morning train, on the East Coast Main Line, to be greeted with the poster campaign for East Coast, assuring us that it was Business As Usual, given that the government organisation had taken over operations of the EastCoast Main Line Service from National Express.

    I was first struck by the terminology used. 'Business' as usual. Surely as a Government Operation this is now a service and not a business? Anyway, perhaps it's simply semantics. But I did note that they were keeping the same fare structure as National Express, which is good business indeed when you don't have the hamstringing of the franchise fees which did for GNER and National Express as a commercial enterprises.

    So that doesn't seem fair really. A government run organisation, which we pay for presumably, using the same revenue stream and profit structure as the previous operating businesses, yet without the financial burdens which made them unprofitable, and with no additional draw on their resources from the previous businesses as they operate the same service.

    But wait.

    What is this on yesterdays Grainuad site?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/nov/15/national-express-east-coast-fares

    They are actually putting up some fares by 5%? How can that be justified when they are already paid for, and have less operational costs? Surely we would expect to see a marked decrease in fares?

    To be [ahem] fair, the increases were planned by National Express and are simply being carried through by the government.

    Elaine Holt, chairman of East Coast, said: "These fares were set by National Express some time ago. This is a commercial operation and there are many good value-for-money fares available."

    So not semantics then. It is a commercial operation. Only with the financial liabilities removed, and the profit generating mechanisms increased.

    It may be business after all. But it doesn't seem like an ethical one. Certainly no private business enterprise would be able to set these conditions of operation.

    There is one simple way to redress this balance: dramatically reduce fares for East Coast trains on the basis that they are government run, so are already paid for, and do not have the same profit restrictions that the previous franchise bidders were crippled by.

    Or re-invest the increased profits generated to pay for improvements in stock and services.

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  • 25. At 10:16am on 16 Nov 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    DoctorDolots,

    Your point is correct. Way before 9/11, Clinton was slamming cruise missiles into villages on the hillsides in Afghanistan in 1998. Convenient, as it was around the time he was facing national embarassment over his activities with young girls.

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  • 26. At 10:19am on 16 Nov 2009, Sid wrote:


    Richard_SM @ 7

    '9/11 was planned in Germany' - a slight over-simplification, surely?

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  • 27. At 10:19am on 16 Nov 2009, Looternite wrote:

    #25. Richard_SM
    Sorry mate but the plane hijacking and hostage taking I am referring to was in the 60's, 70's and 80's a long time before Clinton.

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  • 28. At 10:24am on 16 Nov 2009, Sid wrote:

    We seem to have some problems with chronology round here.

    "Clinton was slamming cruise missiles into villages on the hillsides in Afghanistan in 1998" - in response to bomb attacks on US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

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  • 29. At 10:28am on 16 Nov 2009, DoctorDolots wrote:

    21. Sid - you appear to conflate the US and UK. I was talking about the UK, you are talking about the US, which for decades had been interfering in other countries' affairs round the globe. 9/11 was what they had stored up for themselves in bad karma. I don't personally accept any special relationship, especially when you consider that we only finished paying off our 'debt' to the US for the 'aid' they sold us during WW2, while they kept themselves to themselves and sold a lot of arms, growing richer as we grew poorer.

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  • 30. At 10:29am on 16 Nov 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    25: I think the term 'young girls' give a highly misleading impression. I'm assuming you're referring to Ms Lewinsky who was, I believe, about 22 years old at the time of the 'affair' - more young woman than young girl.

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  • 31. At 10:31am on 16 Nov 2009, DoctorDolots wrote:

    22. Looternite - your spelling doesn't annoy me at all, no need for apologies, I also make mistakes when posting, no time to check back, typos are not a crime. I do think Mirror headline writers should pay more attention though.

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  • 32. At 10:31am on 16 Nov 2009, davmcn wrote:

    Sid 28, I read in a letter to the editor that if Americans stopped eating sooooo much meat, the starving of the world could be fed by the grain grown instead. Yeah, like nobody else in the world eats meat. I heard that if all 1.3 billion of the Chinese jumped up and down together it would cause an earthquake. I, therefore, blame the Chinese for all the recent earthquakes. Gotta teach them to walk out of step.

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  • 33. At 10:33am on 16 Nov 2009, Sid wrote:

    DoctorDolots - I do hope you're going to rap Richard's knuckles as well - he obviously thinks you're talking about the US as well.

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  • 34. At 10:35am on 16 Nov 2009, Sid wrote:

    D McN @ 32

    I haven't the faintest idea why you direct these comments to me.

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  • 35. At 10:36am on 16 Nov 2009, gossipmistress wrote:

    Child Benefit
    I've often wondered why they don't limit this to means-tested families (could be higher than just those receiving benefits, but to eliminate those who don't need it) and/or limit it to 2 children per family. Probably just too unpopular but surely quite sensible?

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  • 36. At 10:37am on 16 Nov 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    #15. Looternite,

    "Don't you remember plane highjacking?
    Hostage taking?"


    I don't recall any plane hi-jacking by the Taliban. I don't recall any plane hi-jacking by al Qaeda before 9/11, which came after US attacks on Afghanistan. Are you thinking of the PLO? That isn't Afghanistan.

    There were terrorist attacks committed by the IRA. That didn't mean we invaded the Republic of Ireland. Neither did we send the RAF to aerial bomb Belfast.

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  • 37. At 10:44am on 16 Nov 2009, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    Let sleeping dogs lie, I suppose, but....

    ...my post on 4th Nov Glass Box AM (numero 14) which explores the difference bewteen a society and a community (which I first came across in Collingwood's New Leviathan) is still at Mod Detention Center.

    (Incidentally, I can't link you directly to the crime scene, 'cos Source, now, (in IE) is no-show and clicking on an actual time posting doesn't do anything, now, either. PF should be told (he doesn't read my stuff)

    I'm sorry it's stilll in limbo 'cos it adds to the demands for greater income equality there from fJd and BS, by, standardly, doubting that there can ever be any reason why there should ever be any inequality whatsoever.
    And it applies the claim to equality in the distribution of manual work and wealth as well as income.

    There are clear senses of the word 'community' which suggest the very notion is inimicable to any inequalities at all.

    Equally (sorry!), it is only when a community has found the self organising methods of majority voting and rights that it endows itself with the powers to eliminate inequalities - in short when it becomes a society. (Which Collingwood was saying if I have him right. It's a good read, if a little heavy on how good Oxbridge colleges are to my taste)

    'Equal societies are happier', 'no inequality is necessary', even calls for 'greater' equality, never seem to get covered on PM. What about it, Nils? Even absurd banksters bonuses are apparently still ok if 'genuinely earned' (Whatever that means, as the Prince said to the Princess)

    PS Can blog and social network communities become societies, then, or are they already?

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  • 38. At 10:46am on 16 Nov 2009, davmcn wrote:

    Sid 34, Because you read The Indy as well, and use flowery language about the US slamming cruise missiles into villages. I suppose other countries just lob a few harmless bombs.

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  • 39. At 10:49am on 16 Nov 2009, Sid wrote:

    EtE - so good to have you back. Hope you enjoyed yours hols/imprisonment/operation.

    re 37 - PM is essentially a news/current affairs programme, with occasional whimsical diversions. Discussions about whether 'Equal societies are happier' don't really fit into that format, as anyone with any sense will see. Perhaps 'Philosophy Now'? 'The Moral Maze'?

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  • 40. At 10:50am on 16 Nov 2009, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    http://www.cnn.com/US/9808/20/us.strikes.01/

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  • 41. At 10:52am on 16 Nov 2009, Sid wrote:

    D McN @ 38

    'slamming cruise missiles into villages' was a quote from Richard_SM. I would not have said that.

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  • 42. At 10:56am on 16 Nov 2009, davmcn wrote:

    Sid 41, Your 28 didn't say so. I'm not a mind reader.

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  • 43. At 10:57am on 16 Nov 2009, davmcn wrote:

    Sid 41, Does sound like R_SM though...

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  • 44. At 11:04am on 16 Nov 2009, DoctorDolots wrote:

    33. Sid - not rapping knuckles, just clarrifying.
    When I write we, I mean the UK, not the US. Can't answer for anyone else though.

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  • 45. At 11:06am on 16 Nov 2009, Looternite wrote:

    Oh dear Richard #36, my #15 was in response to DoctorDolots assertion in his #12 where it was stated that "We hadn't had any terrorist crimes before we attacked Afghanistan and Iraq".
    Hence my reply.

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  • 46. At 11:10am on 16 Nov 2009, DoctorDolots wrote:

    45. Looternite - might have known it would be my fault! ;-)

    I should have written WE hadn't had any terrorist ...etc.

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  • 47. At 11:27am on 16 Nov 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Afghanistan: Popping the myths

    I see BBC has details of the speech Gordon Brown intends making this evening:

    BBC: The group (Al Qaeda) continues to operate "an extensive recruitment network across Africa, the Middle East, western Europe and in the UK", he will warn.

    If that's the case, we're achieving nothing by being in Afghanistan. They can plan their attacks from Africa, the Middle East, western Europe or UK. The justification for being in Afghanistan is nonsense.

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  • 48. At 11:32am on 16 Nov 2009, Anne P wrote:

    DrD (29) I don't think the country which invented the British Empire has much right to castigate others for "interfering in other countries' affairs round the globe" - at least not from any point of moral superiority, only perhaps with the humility of experience.

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  • 49. At 11:32am on 16 Nov 2009, lucien desgai wrote:

    32 dav
    America feeds the world

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  • 50. At 11:38am on 16 Nov 2009, U14138029 wrote:

    ExpectingtheEnd (37) - Wrong on several points, I'm afraid.
    - I do sometimes glance at your stuff. I didn't go beyond the 4th paragraph on this one though.
    - Numero 14 on 4th November AM Glass box is not yours, but rather a post from Big Sis.
    - Referencing by time does work. You just haven't figured it out and/or didn't pay attention last time it was explained to you.

    If you click here you go directly to Numero 14 on 4th November AM Glass. (10:02am)

    If you then click here you go directly to Numero 6, which might be the one you meant. (09:24 am)


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  • 51. At 11:48am on 16 Nov 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Afghanistan. Here's an Exit Strategy:

    STEP 1. Announce unilateral US/NATO ceasefire effective 1st January 2010. Troops go onto to guarding duties only; no more pursuits, no more drones, no more aerial bombing. Announce 12 month withdrawal plan. Declare amnesty for Taliban. Pakistan do same. US and Europe announce will start to use pressure/sanctions on Israel to seriously engage in peace talks. Set timeframe. Get China, Brazil, or Norway to chair.

    STEP 2. April to December, phased withdrawal of NATO, replaced with Muslim peace-keeper force from Pakistan, Iran, Syria, Jordan, Turkey, etc.

    STEP 3. Establish interim governmental body made up of Afghan politicos, Taliban representatives, religious leaders, ethnic leaders. Throw out US imposed constitution, draft Afghan constitution. Hold referendum and/or elections Spring/Summer 2011.

    STEP 4. Economic: buy up this year’s opium crop for use in medical products. Implement five year agricultural subsidy system. Commence re-building of basic civic infrastructure.

    It's not difficult, IF they want to do it.

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  • 52. At 11:52am on 16 Nov 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    mstime4tea@3: had no idea about this. Thanks for raising it. Will be interested to see if PM follow up. The children going to Australia story seems to have been exhaustively covered. I learned recently that children from orphanages were taken into 'care' by the farming community here in Ireland at around the same time. They were known as 'Home Boys' and were used as free labour on farms, often only being given somewhere in a hayshed to sleep. This must have been common practice in the 1950s, which doesn't excuse it but goes some way to explaining the psychology of the time.

    gossipmistress@35: good point and one I tried to raise earlier this year when PM ran the 'Question for the Nation Poll' (whatever it was called) to ask whether people thought Child Benefit should be means tested. Agree with you that it should be. Some families badly need the added cash and some others merely hand it over to their children as pocket money. I am sure that the money would be saved if it were means tested could be channeled into something worthwhile.

    Anne@48: another good point and most tactfully put.

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  • 53. At 12:02pm on 16 Nov 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    #48. Anne-P,

    I don't think the country which invented the British Empire has much right to castigate others for "interfering in other countries' affairs round the globe" - at least not from any point of moral superiority, only perhaps with the humility of experience.

    Iraq? Kuwait?

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  • 54. At 12:07pm on 16 Nov 2009, lucien desgai wrote:

    51 RSM
    I believe that we also have a responsibility to Afghan women which we shouldn't shirk ... not to wage war for their rights (the Karzai regime is hardly a respecter of the rights of women) but at least to provide an escape from their oppression which would likely become even more monstrous under taliban rule.

    I'd propose a STEP 5 whereby asylum would be automatically granted in a western country to any Afghan woman (plus their male offspring up to the age of 12) who requests it.

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  • 55. At 12:15pm on 16 Nov 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    #30. Big Sister,

    Delete "young" if it makes you feel better.

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  • 56. At 12:19pm on 16 Nov 2009, lucien desgai wrote:

    55 RSM
    Perhaps you might also replace 'girls' with 'a white house intern'.

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  • 57. At 12:24pm on 16 Nov 2009, steelpulse wrote:

    It made fascinating reading for me today. This article.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/yasmin-alibhai-brown/yasmin--alibhaibrown-how-libel-laws-silence-our-democracy-1821273.html
    Libel laws and how they may be used and may be allegedly mis-used. I am intrigued what we cannot know about, as you know but I will adapt.
    So when I started chuckling on the bus it was not at the serious matter of the media headline being read over someones shoulder but the headline itself. Something was missing. Reading more on the subject just now I realised it was just the one word but there in lies my constant puzzlement at the variable ways rights can be casually infringed by allegedly lazy journalism. It was the one word "suspect" that was missing!
    Can I give that word to a "newspaper" as a birthday present? Feel free to use it anytime.
    So hey! Eddie Mair is a movie star? Well his voice is. I wont name the movie but it has a lot of swearing and politics in it. A lot of swearing? Yeah. You know what I am saying! lol

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  • 58. At 12:31pm on 16 Nov 2009, DoctorDolots wrote:

    48. At 11:32am on 16 Nov 2009, Anne-P wrote:

    DrD (29) 'I don't think the country which invented the British Empire has much right to castigate others for "interfering in other countries' affairs round the globe" - at least not from any point of moral superiority, only perhaps with the humility of experience.'

    You appear to be conflating me with the British Empire, interesting. So is your point that no one who is British can criticise the US because way back the politicians of Britain created an empire? An interesting attitude, though not one which has a great deal of logic.

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  • 59. At 12:43pm on 16 Nov 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Richard and DocD re. Anne's comment: I think you have both rather missed the point.

    Perhaps it comes from being 'conflated'?

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  • 60. At 1:11pm on 16 Nov 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Richard (55) My point is that using the term 'young girl' implies that the ex President had criminal tendencies - and I'm quite sure you understood what I meant. Whatever his fault, BC, as far as I am aware, was not a paedophile.

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  • 61. At 1:16pm on 16 Nov 2009, Lord Nathan wrote:

    Sid,

    • "Amount available for each Afghan child's education this year: £30 (approx)"


    Actually, it's pretty cheap to provide education for Afghani kids

    Salaam/Shalom/Shanthi/Peace


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  • 62. At 1:25pm on 16 Nov 2009, Lord Nathan wrote:

    Looter,

    • "Don't you remember plane highjacking?"


    Surely I'm not the only one here old enough to remember the advent of plane hijacking? As I recall, it arose because a dispossessed people's legitimate grievances were being completely ignored.

    Sadly, even though those grievances gained a higher profile, no substantive improvement has resulted fifty years later...

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  • 63. At 1:32pm on 16 Nov 2009, Looternite wrote:

    Oh dear Lord Nathan #62, my #15 was in response to DoctorDolots assertion in his #12 where it was stated that "We hadn't had any terrorist crimes before we attacked Afghanistan and Iraq".
    Hence my reply.

    So efficient "copy and paste".

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  • 64. At 1:33pm on 16 Nov 2009, lucien desgai wrote:

    55 / 60
    And I was suggesting that to use the term 'young girls' to refer to a twenty-two year old woman is sexist.

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  • 65. At 1:34pm on 16 Nov 2009, vainly_here wrote:

    RSM (51)

    STEP 1. Declare amnesty for Taliban. Pakistan do same. How do you think "We" could force Pakistan to do this?
    US and Europe announce will start to use pressure/sanctions on Israel to seriously engage in peace talks. It's got nothing to do with Israel, but you might like to read Netanyahu's reacent address to the UN for some salient facts.
    Get China, Brazil, or Norway to chair. Norway chaired before. Arabs continually ignore agreement. UN turns a blind eye.
    STEP 2. April to December, phased withdrawal of NATO, replaced with Muslim peace-keeper force I'm beginning to wonder if such could exist.

    STEP 3. Establish interim governmental body made up of Afghan politicos, Taliban representatives, religious leaders, ethnic leaders. Throw out US imposed constitution, draft Afghan constitution. Hold referendum and/or elections Spring/Summer 2011. Exactly who has enough power to do this? Do Afghans know what a referendum is? In thelight of their experience of Car's Eye would they bother?

    STEP 4. Economic: buy up this year’s opium crop for use in medical products. Implement five year agricultural subsidy system Like the EU. Sounds ideal. Commence re-building of basic civic infrastructure. That's what the British Army went there to do; unfortunately, the Taliban decided to frustrate their efforts, so they found themselves fighting instead of fixing.

    It's not difficult, IF they want to do it.

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  • 66. At 1:41pm on 16 Nov 2009, Lord Nathan wrote:

    Looter,

    • "Oh dear Lord Nathan #62, my #15 was in response to DoctorDolots assertion in his #12 where it was stated that "We hadn't had any terrorist crimes before we attacked Afghanistan and Iraq".
      Hence my reply."

    Indeed, and hence mine, since DD's statement was inherently true, AND my point was in support of the FACT that any 'terrorist' act has ROOTS, and that, just possibly, it might be wiser to investigate and deal with those instead of constantly dealing with the symptoms.

    Those with grievances believe they are real.

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  • 67. At 1:48pm on 16 Nov 2009, Lord Nathan wrote:

    VH,

    • "How do you think "We" could force Pakistan to do this?"


    Why do you assume "force" would be needed?
    • "It's got nothing to do with Israel"


    It does, though, you know, as does "communal violence" on the sub-continent. All aspects of the leftover legacies of unfinished Empire business.

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  • 68. At 1:52pm on 16 Nov 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    64 - That's a very valid point, and one that was also at the back of my mind - A bit of a double whammy, eh? ;o)

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  • 69. At 2:27pm on 16 Nov 2009, vainly_here wrote:

    Ed (67)

    I don't "Know" that events in Afghanistan have anything to do with Israel, except insofar that Israel is the only bastion we have in the Middle East against terrorism and ultimately Islamisation. Please clarify "Communal violence on the sub-continent." I don't know what you are talking about (as the suspect said to the policeman).

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  • 70. At 2:28pm on 16 Nov 2009, vainly_here wrote:

    Sorry, I forgot about Pakistan. You think they don't want to resist the Taliban in their own right? They want more little boys pushing barrowloads of explosives?

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  • 71. At 2:31pm on 16 Nov 2009, vainly_here wrote:

    Today's PM Newsletter:
    "...assaults on elderly people in south-east London over 17 years..."
    That must make me ancient, possibly even psycho-geriatric. Don't comment, anyone.

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  • 72. At 2:39pm on 16 Nov 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Further to Afghanistan posts, I see the Afghan MP Malalai Joya was interviewed by Canadian press (the Straight) a few days ago, in which she said:

    “Eight years ago, the U.S. and NATO—under the banner of women's rights, human rights, and democracy—occupied my country and pushed us from the frying pan into the fire.”

    “It is better that they leave my country; my people are that fed up. Occupation will never bring liberation, and it is impossible to bring democracy by war.”


    From the frying pan into the fire!

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  • 73. At 2:42pm on 16 Nov 2009, Lord Nathan wrote:

    VH,

    • "Israel is the only bastion we have in the Middle East against terrorism and ultimately Islamisation."


    Israel is the chief cause of terrorism in the Middle-East, and in case you hadn't noticed, the Middle-East had already been "Islamised" long before the advent of the Zionist adventure.
    • "Sorry, I forgot about Pakistan. You think they don't want to resist the Taliban in their own right? They want more little boys pushing barrowloads of explosives?"

    It was you who suggested they'd need forcing.

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  • 74. At 2:49pm on 16 Nov 2009, lucien desgai wrote:

    66 Lord Nathan
    Terrorist acts may or may not always have roots, but it can be the case that the roots are as evil as the symptoms (the acts of terrorism themselves).

    Much of the al-qaeda terrorism in Iraq, and some taliban bombings in Pakistan, are targeted against shia muslims, because they follow the shia understanding of islam. The Glasgow airport bombers in the UK began their campaign (unsuccessfully) targetting a London nightclub. To many islamists the vice of women choosing their mode of dress and fraternising with unrelated men is a valid root-cause of terrorism.
    White supremacists in the American south and the AWB in the old South Africa believe that their cause warrants and justifies the use of violence, as do extremists within the Israeli settler movement.

    Political complaints should be 'dealt with' according to their justice and validity, not the willingness of their proponents to use and threaten violence.

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  • 75. At 2:55pm on 16 Nov 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    #60. Big Sister,

    - and I'm quite sure you understood what I meant.

    And BC? Don't you mean WC?




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  • 76. At 2:57pm on 16 Nov 2009, vainly_here wrote:

    LN (73) I think you are living in cloudcuckooland. If you goggle netanyahu UN you can see the truth. And I referred to forcing Pakistan to stop fighting the Taliban. Maybe you misunderstood what I wrote.

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  • 77. At 3:00pm on 16 Nov 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    #65. Vyle Hernia,

    How do you think "We" could force Pakistan to do this?

    Where did I say “force.”? But I don’t think they’d need much encouragement – they were unwilling to attack the Taliban in the first place.

    It's got nothing to do with Israel,

    Khalid Sheik Mohammed disagrees. He openly said on al Jazeerah. The US say he is the “mastermind” behind 9/11, and US went into Afghanistan after 9/11.

    Norway chaired before. Arabs continually ignore agreement. UN turns a blind eye.

    China or Brazil if you don’t want Norway to have another go. And who is ignoring the US, UN and EU requests to stop illegal settlements?

    [Muslim peace-keeper force]: I'm beginning to wonder if such could exist.

    Not “could exist,” does exist. Pakistan provides one of the largest peace-keeping forces to UN – didn’t you know?

    Exactly who has enough power to do this?

    Power? You’ve lost me.

    [Re-build infrastructure] That's what the British Army went there to do;

    No. They invaded Afghanistan as an ally of US in search of criminal suspects. US bombardment doesn’t really help the infrastructure.


    What’s your proposal as a matter of interest?

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  • 78. At 3:01pm on 16 Nov 2009, Lord Nathan wrote:

    Lucien,

    • "Political complaints should be 'dealt with' according to their justice and validity, not the willingness of their proponents to use and threaten violence."

    I've never argued otherwise. I'm sure you'll agree though, that treating symptoms rather than causes is not the wisest or most efficacious approach.

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  • 79. At 3:04pm on 16 Nov 2009, lucien desgai wrote:

    75 RSM
    And what did you mean when you said 'delete young' (#55) from the term 'young girls' (#25). Is it that you consider it acceptable to refer to adult women as 'girls'?

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  • 80. At 3:11pm on 16 Nov 2009, lucien desgai wrote:

    78 Lord Nathan
    But how would you apply that to an unjust cause. Rather than just deal with the symptoms, do you think we should compromise with white supremacists, anti-abortion, anti gay rights, anti-women extremists?
    Terrorism has been justified by sincere believers in all of these positions.

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  • 81. At 3:18pm on 16 Nov 2009, Hawk wrote:

    Saw this http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/arts_and_culture/8362676.stm
    About some tree roots that have been brought all the way from Ghana as an exhibition to highlight climate change and deforestation. They will spend some time in Trafalger Square before being moved on to Denmark to go on display there.
    Has anyone asked what the CO2 cost is of moving these large roots around? How much more damage has been caused to the environment in transporting these around the world? It seems to be a bit contradictory to me.

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  • 82. At 3:18pm on 16 Nov 2009, DoctorDolots wrote:

    59. Lady Sue - really?

    'I don't think the country which invented the British Empire has much right to castigate others for "interfering in other countries' affairs round the globe" - at least not from any point of moral superiority, only perhaps with the humility of experience.'

    What'point' did I miss here? I am not a country, I had nothing to do with the British Empire, and my ancestors were as much victims of it as those who were colonised. I am not the country I found myself born in. Having never interfered in even my neighbours affairs, let alone those of people in other continents, I have no need for humility when attacking or criticising the meddling the US has done in pretty well every other country on the planet. Purely to suit its own ends you understand.

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  • 83. At 3:22pm on 16 Nov 2009, vainly_here wrote:

    Just because unelected Khalid Sheik Mohammed tries to justify his position by blaming a peace-seeking democratic nation miles from New York and Afghanistan, that doesn't mean he is correct.

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  • 84. At 3:23pm on 16 Nov 2009, DoctorDolots wrote:

    81. leohawk - I certainly asked.

    The self-styled 'artist' responsible for this stunt obviously wasn't capable of understanding anything more complex to do with the environment than 'symbolic of deforestation'. If it were serious, it would be patronising - non artists can only understand when an artist has shown them a symbol. But I suspect it's just another excuse for not getting a real job.

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  • 85. At 3:25pm on 16 Nov 2009, vainly_here wrote:

    I have heard that the Israeli authorities have not rigorously enforced planning laws when some Arabs have built illegally.

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  • 86. At 3:25pm on 16 Nov 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    #59. Lady Sue,

    Richard ... Anne's comment: I think you have both rather missed the point.

    No - it linked back to my original post. Perhaps Anne wasn't following the thread.

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  • 87. At 3:31pm on 16 Nov 2009, DoctorDolots wrote:

    85. Vyle Hernia - you're joking of course?

    Some Arabs have built illegally? What, contravening Israeli 'laws' that were intended to curtail their rights and enclose them in ghettoes?

    Let's not mention all the illegal [according to the UN] Israeli settlements shall we.

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  • 88. At 3:32pm on 16 Nov 2009, vainly_here wrote:

    Richard (77) I like the way you compare "Illegal Building" with rocket attacks. You believe the latter are more acceptable?
    I see you meant a UN peacekeeping force, not a Muslim one.
    You seemed earlier to imply that your 5 steps could be achieved without any person or agency actually supervising them. I believe that course of actions would require considerable power to be achieved. And I don't just mean rocket power.

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  • 89. At 3:32pm on 16 Nov 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    #83. Vyle Hernia,

    It answers your question.

    Back to my overall proposal, if you don't like it, what’s yours?

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  • 90. At 3:36pm on 16 Nov 2009, DoctorDolots wrote:

    88. Vyle Hernia - I like the way you [and other Israelis] compare pathetic whoosh bang rocket attacks which rarely even injure anyone to systematic bombardments that kill thousands. When the fascist state of Israel refuses to acknowledge that the UN has any right to even criticise them, there's little hope the UN can supply peacekeepers who won't be targeted as they have been in the past.

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  • 91. At 3:40pm on 16 Nov 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    #88. Vyle Hernia,

    Richard (77) I like the way you compare "Illegal Building" with rocket attacks.

    I didn't - your post #88 is the first mention of rocket attacks.

    But back to my overall proposal, if you don't like it, what’s yours?

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  • 92. At 3:47pm on 16 Nov 2009, vainly_here wrote:

    Richard_SM (89) What answers which question? I didn't ask one about Israel.
    I have not formulated a proposal, but if I did it would not involve a completely unrelated topic like Israel.
    DD (90) I am not an Israeli, but next time you are the recipient of a pathetic whoosh bang rocket attack, let me know how enjoyable it was. If you think Israel is fascist, you might not want to be confused by facts.

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  • 93. At 4:03pm on 16 Nov 2009, Lord Nathan wrote:

    Lucien,

    • "But how would you apply that to an unjust cause. Rather than just deal with the symptoms, do you think we should compromise with white supremacists, anti-abortion, anti gay rights, anti-women extremists?
      Terrorism has been justified by sincere believers in all of these positions."

    Indeed. I was not suggesting compromises with evil (though Lord knows we have done that often enough). Rather simply noting that cure should be sought rather than symptomatic "relief". There is also the possibility of two of the possible meanings of 'cause' becoming confused here, so I will refer to 'causative roots' in future.

    I don't know the causative roots behind the 'movements' you list, but suspect deeply seated insecurities may be a part thereof.

    I do, however know the causative roots behind the Palestinians' lament, and I'm sure you do as well.

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  • 94. At 4:12pm on 16 Nov 2009, Lord Nathan wrote:

    VH,

    • "Please clarify "Communal violence on the sub-continent.""

    Partition was the 'big idea' following WWII, and was suggested and applied against the local will both in Palestine and on the subcontinent, with predictable results - considerable bloodshed. I have heard the term "communal violence" used on the BBC and elsewhere to refer to violence between memberts of different ethnoreligious 'communities' on the subcontinent. Perhaps "inter-communal" would be better.

    Two Thirds of the population of Palestine rejected partition, but their wishes were ignored by the "superior" minds driving the process.

    It continues.

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  • 95. At 4:14pm on 16 Nov 2009, Lord Nathan wrote:

    • "If you goggle netanyahu UN you can see the truth."


    ******alarm****** Terms "netanyahu" and "truth" incompatible!

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  • 96. At 4:18pm on 16 Nov 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    #92. Vyle Hernia,

    "I have not formulated a proposal,"

    Nor had I until around 11.30 this morning. Looking forward to seeing yours soon. When can we expect it?

    "...but if I did it would not involve a completely unrelated topic like Israel."

    I can think of many jewish and Israeli academics who would disagree with you.

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  • 97. At 4:19pm on 16 Nov 2009, Lord Nathan wrote:

    Leo,

    • "Has anyone asked what the CO2 cost is of moving these large roots around? How much more damage has been caused to the environment in transporting these around the world? It seems to be a bit contradictory to me."

    Almost every week I receive notice of some conference in some exotic location where jet-travelled delegates can sit around tables of exotic hardwood eating and drinking jet-travelled comestibles while they discuss amelioration of climate change in air-conditioned comfort.

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  • 98. At 4:21pm on 16 Nov 2009, lucien desgai wrote:

    93 Lord Nathan
    Of course I do, and though I wouldn't condone any such use of violence I find it a little easier to understand why, for example, a Palestinian or Afghan who has lived under occupation and maybe lost loved-ones would commit a terrorist attack than I would a Saudi millionnaire or British care-worker.

    The problem is that you cannot argue that we should deal with the roots (or causes, or causal roots) of a British muslim committing terrorism (eg bombing a nightclub) but not those of an American christian (eg bombing an abortion clinic).

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  • 99. At 4:21pm on 16 Nov 2009, davmcn wrote:

    VH 92, It's OK to fire whosh bang rockets because the technology is so rubbish that they hardly ever hit anybody. There, you've been told. Isreal should downgrade their missiles to make it fair. Personally, I blame the US.

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  • 100. At 4:27pm on 16 Nov 2009, davmcn wrote:

    R_SM 72, Everybody can find somebody that they agree with if they Google long enough. When do you find time to do anything else?

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  • 101. At 4:28pm on 16 Nov 2009, Looternite wrote:

    I dont know who started this "partion argument" but Pakistan was set up because the Muslim League insisted. They were not prepared to live under Democratic Hindu rule. How do I know this; well the owners (Indian) of my local corner shop will tell you that. The elderly Indian who lives over the road, he as child was forced to flee with his parents and only what they could carry, from a muslim mob because they were Hindu and Pakistan was to be muslim.
    It was not what the majority of Indians wanted at the time but it was what the majority of muslims wanted in what is now Pakistan.

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  • 102. At 4:30pm on 16 Nov 2009, Lord Nathan wrote:

    Lucien,

    • "The problem is that you cannot argue that we should deal with the roots (or causes, or causal roots) of a British muslim committing terrorism (eg bombing a nightclub) but not those of an American christian (eg bombing an abortion clinic)."

    This seems a red herring to me. I did not suggest (or argue) any form of 'one and not the other'

    Where we can ascertain the roots of grievance, we should attempt to address them. This may involve correcting a wrong or educating the misguided or relieving the causes of insecurity, but I suggest that 'bombing them back to the stone age' is not the best approach.

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  • 103. At 4:34pm on 16 Nov 2009, davmcn wrote:

    l_d 49, You think I'm watching anything that long, you've got another think coming.

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  • 104. At 4:37pm on 16 Nov 2009, lucien desgai wrote:

    103 dav
    I'll have no more thinks until at least the new year.

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  • 105. At 4:38pm on 16 Nov 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    75: In fact, I didn't. When you said 'young girls' I did not think you meant 'young women', but then that is, perhaps, due to a different mindset when it comes to women. I was seriously puzzled, then, on reflection, realised that you appear to think it alright to patronise women.

    Let's suppose it had been a female politician and they had had an affair with a man of 22. If I then referred to that politician having had sex with young boys, I think you would also have been confused. Oh, and as a man, you might also have been offended.

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  • 106. At 4:39pm on 16 Nov 2009, Lord Nathan wrote:

    Looternite,

    • "It was not what the majority of Indians wanted at the time but it was what the majority of muslims wanted in what is now Pakistan."

    Indeed, and the wishes of the overall majority were ignored, as were the warnings of many who foresaw the result. Not to forget that the partition was drawn up by someone totally unfamiliar with the ground, and was gerrymandered such that it resulted in West and East Pakistans, and the need for further violence to establish Bengladesh...

    A Parable

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  • 107. At 4:53pm on 16 Nov 2009, davmcn wrote:

    l_d 104, Are you alloted only so many thinks a year? What about leap year?

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  • 108. At 4:57pm on 16 Nov 2009, lucien desgai wrote:

    102 Lord Nathan
    My point all along has been that sometimes the causes behind the violence are valid and sometimes they are not ... you have argued that we should always deal with the root cause and not the symptoms.

    I have simply tried to argue that in some instances (eg white supremacism, religious extremism) we should deal with the symptoms (police action in the British domestic context, not 'bombing anyone back to the stone age') and not allow ourselves to be bullied by violence into engaging with hateful and reactionary causes.
    I simply question your assertion that we should always deal with causes, not symptoms.

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  • 109. At 5:02pm on 16 Nov 2009, Lord Nathan wrote:

    Lucien,

    • "I simply question your assertion that we should always deal with causes, not symptoms."

    I'm pretty sure I never made such an assertion in those terms.

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  • 110. At 5:05pm on 16 Nov 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    I've been beaten up by two ex-girlfriends. Who do I inform?

    How can we track serial violent, unpleasant types when our schools seem to turn out thousands of gangs that see nothing wrong with terrorising householders in their own homes?

    Surely there's some comparison there?

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  • 111. At 5:09pm on 16 Nov 2009, lucien desgai wrote:

    109 Lord Nathan
    I understood some of your earlier posts (#66 in particular) to suggest that no terrorist acts without a cause and that we should deal with the cause rather than the act. If your view is in fact more nuanced than my original interpretation of it then perhaps we agree more than we disagree.

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  • 112. At 5:09pm on 16 Nov 2009, davmcn wrote:

    Ln, Off topic but, see, I go to the beach, ask a few questions, make a couple of points, and get completely ignored. Welcome, indeed!

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  • 113. At 5:10pm on 16 Nov 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    Remember Our Tune on the Simon Bates show?

    Many women seemed to have a bit of fixation for men that beat them and abused them?

    I was discussing this with a female colleague a couple of weeks ago. A nice woman that we both know paid for her waster male partner to move out. I asked the female colleague why many women seemed to go for men that were obviously nasty men? She replied that she liked some happy medium, between being someone that would do anything for her, and a really unpleasant person.

    The last woman I was entangled with once said 'You never stand up to me'.

    Well I wasn't seeing her to have rows all the time. I often see a woman and think 'Cor, I'd really love to a really nasty argument with her.'

    Women? They're a bit all of the place aren't they?

    Perhaps I just get involved with the barking ones?

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  • 114. At 5:16pm on 16 Nov 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    Shouldn't the police ensure that they're using existing laws and doing all they can with the tasks they already have before taking on any extra responsibilities?

    It's a bit like this government appearing sometimes like a fifth former avoiding revision by doing anything else but revise, be it ironing, cleaning cars or mowing the grass.

    Haven't the police and Councils and Social Services already failed to take action when they've known who the baddies are?

    It's all very well having the data but if you don't use it, action it what use is it?

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  • 115. At 5:18pm on 16 Nov 2009, Lord Nathan wrote:

    My #66

    • "my point was in support of the FACT that any 'terrorist' act has ROOTS, and that, just possibly, it might be wiser to investigate and deal with those instead of constantly dealing with the symptoms."

    Looks at least a bit "nuanced" to me, but then I wrote it...

    Clearly many a headache is reduced by a drug, but isn't it better to seek the cause? Especially when the 'root cause' is patently obvious, but little is being done to address it, or (as in present practice) much is being done to aggravate it.

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  • 116. At 5:19pm on 16 Nov 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    How many teenage ne'erdowells roaming the streets committing crime are the result of teens having kids just so they can get Council flats?

    Getting pregnant and having a kid isn't a career option if you're male is it?

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  • 117. At 5:27pm on 16 Nov 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    #105. Big Sister wrote:

    "Let's suppose it had been a female politician and they had had an affair with a man of 22."

    Do you mean if she was older and he was called a toy boy?

    And would the female politician be called his girlfriend - or womanfriend?

    And after they broke up, would she say she was going to have 'a night out with the girls,' whilst he took his sports car out. Is that what is meant by boys-and-their-toys?

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  • 118. At 5:32pm on 16 Nov 2009, nikki noodle wrote:

    @108 Lucien: I think you're allowed one more go, and then the carousel has gone full circle on this one.
    As for me, I'm with you on this one, for what its worth.

    Where would we be with Civil Partnershops, etc if education was all that was on offer? Or 'relieving the causes of insecurities' of those that feel them (@102), which is largely meaningless to me.

    Unless of course, it means that Nelson Mandela should have attempted to relieve the cause of insecurities of some of the Government of South Africa at that time....

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  • 119. At 5:35pm on 16 Nov 2009, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    PF. Yeah, thanks. Indeed 6. And I should have right clicked, so thanks again.
    And right clicking on the vestigal strip that IE provides under 'Source', under 'View' and then left clicking on 'Maximise' restores the source code too. In Firefox the equivalent works fine, straightforwardly.

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  • 120. At 5:37pm on 16 Nov 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    Bombing people back the Middle Ages?

    Haven't the Banksters wrecked far more lives than the terrorists that once went to Afghanistan on Holiday?

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  • 121. At 5:38pm on 16 Nov 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Richard@117: I think they're called 'Cougars'.

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  • 122. At 5:43pm on 16 Nov 2009, Lord Nathan wrote:

    NN,

    • "Unless of course, it means that Nelson Mandela should have attempted to relieve the cause of insecurities of some of the Government of South Africa at that time...."

    Didn't he? And wasn't that a large part of what led to proress towards a better SA?

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  • 123. At 5:44pm on 16 Nov 2009, Lord Nathan wrote:

    here's the missing 'g'

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  • 124. At 5:45pm on 16 Nov 2009, lucien desgai wrote:

    BigSis
    RSM (117) has a point ... I can't think what you were getting your pretty little head all hot and bothered about. Don't you have some flowers to press?
    ;o)

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  • 125. At 5:54pm on 16 Nov 2009, Sid wrote:

    LN - A better sag?

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  • 126. At 6:04pm on 16 Nov 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    I'll go back to my knitting, Lucien ;o)

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  • 127. At 6:09pm on 16 Nov 2009, lucien desgai wrote:

    Good idea, Big Sis, I could do with a new hat.

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  • 128. At 6:18pm on 16 Nov 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    The point of a database of serial woman bashers?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/edinburgh_and_east/8362127.stm

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/tayside_and_central/8362238.stm

    Don't we need to also, or instead find out why our education system seems to consist of factories of hate?

    Have parents abdicated parenting to the state? Why do people breed if they have no will or capacity to nurture and raise kids properly?

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  • 129. At 6:23pm on 16 Nov 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    I'd quite like a scarf.

    Oh DocD@82: Anne P is well able to defend her own posts and doesn't need me to step in on her behalf but, Anne, if I may? - DocD said above "Looternite - your spelling doesn't annoy me at all, no need for apologies, I also make mistakes when posting, no time to check back..." and yet you were terribly pedantic about Anne P's comment regarding being a national of a country, rather than 'a country'.

    We all knew what she meant and her comment was astute and tactful. Unlike yours, sadly.

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  • 130. At 6:25pm on 16 Nov 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Lucien, my hats look like tea cosies - Are you fussy?

    Lady Sue - Only short scarves, I'm afraid. Too busy. ;o)

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  • 131. At 6:30pm on 16 Nov 2009, lucien desgai wrote:

    I hope you're not calling me a teapot, BigSis.
    ;o)

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  • 132. At 9:02pm on 16 Nov 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    http://www.thisisexeter.co.uk/news/Exeter-man-injured-street-attack/article-1516614-detail/article.html

    A database of women beaters?

    Perhaps we should all be issued with the names and photofits of all teenagers within a 10 mile radius?

    Shouldn't the police be speaking the The Sun about their Gary Newlove campaign?

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  • 133. At 9:19pm on 16 Nov 2009, lucien desgai wrote:

    132 Lepus
    Beating women is criminal and despicable. Being a teenager is neither.

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  • 134. At 10:02pm on 16 Nov 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    I'm not defending women beaters, but it does seem like a minor issue compared to the number of teens wreaking violent havoc on our streets on a daily basis.

    I'm wondering if women that fall for obvious wrong uns, or manipulative abusers are anymore deserving of those of us that are at risk of good pummeling from groups of teenagers?

    As I know someone that was withdrawn from school for being the victim of bullying from kids 2 years up when they joined secondary school at 11 I am wondering if these packs of kids indulging in violent bullying on our streets are just conforming, continuing behaviour that they've picked up in school.

    When I was a teen I didn't roam the streets looking for smaller groups of kids to bash or lone adults to assault.

    If you're in a relationship with someone you've got some grasp or angle on that person's traits and behaviour. That's a luxury householders don't have when telling inconsiderate groups of teens to take it somehwere else.

    How about a database of feckless parents so the rest of us can make an effort to avoid their offspring?

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  • 135. At 10:21pm on 16 Nov 2009, lucien desgai wrote:

    134 Lepus
    When I was a teenager (the 1980s) I didn't go around committing violent crime either. We went out on the streets (far more than current day kids I suspect), probably made some noise and maybe even a nuisance of ourselves. One of my friends even got into trouble for shoplifting. If you'd believed the tabloids of the time there was a national epidemic of violet youths viciously mugging old ladies as they left the post office with their pensions.

    The generation before mine (punks) terrified their elders, as did the mods and rockers of my parents' day. You can look back as far as you like.
    These things don't change with the times, they change with some people; the people who, as they drift further from their own teenage, become ever more fearful, bigoted and cantankerous.

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  • 136. At 02:12am on 17 Nov 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    Sorry Lucien, I've had two police cars outside my house at 2AM on a Tuesday morning after I chased a friend of the neighbours daughter off of my car. I was quite pleased they stayed as he turned up about 15 minutes later in the back of a car with two other young men in the front. We've also had needless vandalism from associates of the girls that live on the other side too.

    I was taught not to dirty my own doorstep. What are kids taught today?

    I'm not sure we can laugh at the tabloids and The Sun given the way the government operates by spin such as the '45 minute warning' scam.

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  • 137. At 02:13am on 17 Nov 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    This database of women bashers, or gay partners. So no women ever give their male partners a good hiding then?

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  • 138. At 08:55am on 17 Nov 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Richard: What exactly was your point at 53 that "linked back" to your original post? It's a bit obtuse.

    lepus@134 "... not defending women beaters, but it does seem like a minor issue to the number of teens wreaking violent havoc on our streets on a daily basis."

    I note from your later posts that this is something that is effecting you and I am sorry to hear it. Perhaps it is because you are having this awful experience that you feel "women beaters" are a minor issue. I don't know how the statistics compare with teenage muggings/resultant murders but I do know that every year a lot of women are seriously injured or murdered as a result of violence in a domestic situation. It's a major issue. It is also something that is happening in the home - normally considered a place of refuge and safety - not out in the streets.

    I do tire of hearing the retort that some women beat/abuse their husbands - again I do not have a statistic to hand but know the percentage is tiny by comparison.

    Lucien@135: there is the most wonderful quote from classical antiquity - Plato? Socrates? can't remember off hand - about the "youth of today" and how awful and disrespectful they are by comparison to the youth of the speaker's day. Does anyone know it?

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  • 139. At 09:03am on 17 Nov 2009, lucien desgai wrote:

    The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, tyrannise their teachers and sit on car bonnets.

    Socrates (as reported by Plato).

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  • 140. At 09:16am on 17 Nov 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    lucien! You clever chap. Another clever blogger (Big Sis) found these for me via another medium:

    Try to guess the author and time-period of the following three quotes about young people.

    1. "The children love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority, show disrespect for elders, and love to chatter in place of exercise."

    2. "Our youth have an insatiable desire for wealth; and atrocious customs regarding dressing and their hair."

    3. "The world is passing through troublesome times. The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. They talk as if they know everything."

    1. Socrates, 5th Century BCE

    2. Plato, 4th Century BCE

    3. Matthew Paris, 13th Century CE

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  • 141. At 09:19am on 17 Nov 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    lucien! I've only just read the last sentence of your post. Something tells me you might have amended the original? Or was it added in translation?

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  • 142. At 09:20am on 17 Nov 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    That's bizarre - I posted something before Lady Sue as a comment on Lucien's addition, but the post disappeared ....

    But, I agree, very funny additional material. :o)

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  • 143. At 09:23am on 17 Nov 2009, Sid wrote:

    The original, of course, says 'Easter bonnets'.

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