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Eddie Mair | 05:04 UK time, Monday, 8 February 2010

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?


  • 1. At 07:34am on 08 Feb 2010, JAlexW wrote:

    And the Oscar for best performance in feigning emotion goes to ....... Alastair Campbell ....

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  • 2. At 07:54am on 08 Feb 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    #1 And he was using the interview to plug his new book! Plug mi book, but mi daughter is fed up of us being famous its all because you people ask such awkward questions...oh woe is me! The tings people will do for money eh!

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  • 3. At 08:17am on 08 Feb 2010, gossipmistress wrote:

    Was trying to post on the previous 'Tomorrow's World' thread but there's nowhere to post! Love those old titles, and sadly, I remember them!

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  • 4. At 08:24am on 08 Feb 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    I have estimated that there are 20 million+ people who live in council homes. It is accepted that these are some of the most marginalised and poorest people in the country. Perhaps the majority of workers living in council accommodation will be earning the minimum wage. The vast majority of these people will have little or no aspiration to try and own their own property or do what is called 'bettering themselves' as, they realise there are too many historical Glass ceilings and class barriers that it is believed to be a bit of a folly to try and bother. There has also been this myth about education, training and qualifications. The myth being, get these things (in effect becoming middle class) and you to can aspire to great things. This has little, in my opinion, to do with being idle or lack of aspiration, its due, in my opinion, to mountain set before you at birth and subsequent experience of what used to be the working class.

    My question is, which of the parties likely to be in with a shout at the election best represents the interests of these people? Or is the reality, Like in so many other areas of life, there is no representation. Or is it beleived, as long as you throw these people a few crumbs from the table now and again and the odd brown envelope (a bit of tax credit and meagre benefits), It can be ignored if, or not, such people have any political and social aspirations? Cause on the face of it, this is what the situation looks like to me!

    Could PM ask them which of the parties would be best to vote for?

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  • 5. At 08:52am on 08 Feb 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    According to a ruling by the European court of human rights, the next British general election could be challenged as being null and void if prisoners are not allowed to vote?

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  • 6. At 10:10am on 08 Feb 2010, Lady_Sue wrote:

    funnyJoe: "The vast majority of these people will have little or no aspiration to try and own their own property or do what is called 'bettering themselves' "

    I have never understood this obsession with owning property and think it is a bit banal to equate it with "bettering" oneself. In various parts of Europe, Italy and France in particular and, further afield in Australia, renting property is perfectly acceptable and not considered a "second rate option". The French spend their money on other pursuits to further their elegance and style and the Ozzies probably on enjoying their outdoor lifestyle. There's a scene in Woody Allen's 'Annie Hall' where a couple present for inspection a small mound of earth, which they have proudly purchased and later in the film, they have built a tiny house on it. Pretty well sums it up.

    As for "...its due, in my opinion, to mountain set before you at birth and subsequent experience of what used to be the working class." Absolute rubbish!

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  • 7. At 10:11am on 08 Feb 2010, Lady_Sue wrote:

    I should have added that, if you have aspiration, being born so called 'working class' isn't going to hold you back.

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  • 8. At 10:23am on 08 Feb 2010, tug wrote:

    How about some coverage of the Superb Owl show that took place in the US last night? I was hoping for a piece on the Today program but they were too busy talking about some American Football match.

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  • 9. At 10:25am on 08 Feb 2010, GeeDeeSea wrote:

    @funnyJoedunn #5

    Should prisoners be allowed to vote? And if the general election is declared illegal, what happens then?

    IMHO I think prisoners should be allowed to vote – it’s a small way of giving them some stake in their future.

    But where would they be registered to vote - in their last known address constituency – or in the constituency in which the prison is based? Could be messy – and would it lead to parliamentary candidates campaigning in prisons? A captive audience, so to speak, but one where voter turnout may well be 100%.


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  • 10. At 10:26am on 08 Feb 2010, Crataegus Monogyna wrote:


    • "if you have aspiration, being born so called 'working class' isn't going to hold you back."

    A bit of temporal difficulty with that construct? Or a belief in reincarnation?

    Being born 'working class' might conceivably predispose against 'aspiration', and I think that's what Joe is suggesting as worthy of investigation.


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  • 11. At 10:31am on 08 Feb 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    CM: Agreed. Furthermore, it is much harder to climb the mountain when you lack, perhaps, supporting parents and friends who can help advise (and maybe know a person or two who can help the process). And then, of course, there is the education issue ....

    Of course, we all know of individuals who have bucked the trend - but they did just that: bucked a trend.

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  • 12. At 10:34am on 08 Feb 2010, Ellis P Otter wrote:

    I think the biggest problem for all the major parties this year is going to be persuading us, the proletariat, to engage with them in the process.

    The impression I am getting is that none of the leaders believe they have any control over the economy. How often have I heard recently phrases like "we have to wait for the economy to recover"? This abdication of resposibility over the one thing we would like our politicians to have some control over is appalling and leaves me wondering what their purpose is at all.

    If our economy is to be left in the hands of corporate leaders and the bankers perhaps we should democratically elect the executives in the FTSE 500 companies each five years instead.

    Then we can let local authorities (with elected councillors) run health, education, transport etcetera and retain a small group of politicos for foreign policy and defence.

    I know I have not thought this through very well but I am sure wiser minds than mine could come up with a plan.

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  • 13. At 10:35am on 08 Feb 2010, GeeDeeSea wrote:

    Now with new powers under the Lisbon Treaty to veto international agreements, our MEPs have an important opportunity to block an agreement which allows US access to banking transaction details in Europe.

    US started secretly accessing our banking data after 9/11, but it wasn’t discovered until 2006. The European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee has recommended MEPs use their new powers when they vote this Thursday and ensure proper privacy safeguards for European citizens.

    US National Security Advisor James Jones has urged the parliament to allow continued US access. The MEP Civil Liberties Committee say ‘No.’

    So - how about some comments from some British MEPs on how they intend to vote this Thursday?


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  • 14. At 10:36am on 08 Feb 2010, Crataegus Monogyna wrote:


    and then has trouble braking?

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  • 15. At 10:42am on 08 Feb 2010, Crataegus Monogyna wrote:


    • "...none of the leaders believe they have any control over the economy."

    Who can control a Diety?
    • "Though I can see no way to defend the economy, I recognize the need to be concerned for the suffering that would be produced by its failure. But I ask if it is necessary for it to fail in order to change: I am assuming that if it does not change it must sooner or later fail, and that a great deal that is more valuable will fail with it. As a deity the economy is a sort of egotistical French monarch, for it apparently can see no alternative to itself except chaos, and perhaps that is its chief weakness. For, of course, chaos is not the only alternative to it. A better alternative is a better economy. But we will not conceive the possibility of a better economy, and therefore will not begin to change, until we quit deifying the present one."Wise words...

    Oh, and you forgot to capitalise - The Economy - give Godhead it's due...

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  • 16. At 10:51am on 08 Feb 2010, Crataegus Monogyna wrote:

    Out and about

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  • 17. At 10:53am on 08 Feb 2010, GeeDeeSea wrote:

    We’ve been assured us many times in recent years that we don’t face power shortages in the next ten years, but OFGEM now say we do.

    OFGEM now say there is "reasonable doubt" whether the energy market will be able to deliver in the coming decade.


    Time to buy some candles…

    …and don’t forget the matches.

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  • 18. At 10:57am on 08 Feb 2010, Ellis P Otter wrote:

    15 - Crataegus, although you meant your point ironically, it's true that politicians do see the Economy as some form of uncontrollable deity.

    That worries me.

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  • 19. At 11:04am on 08 Feb 2010, Crataegus Monogyna wrote:

    Not only politicians.
    And, being American, I'm incapable of irony.

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  • 20. At 11:21am on 08 Feb 2010, Crataegus Monogyna wrote:

    I believe it is true that many, if not most of us, are concerned at the damage being wreaked upon the Earth's life-support systems by over-consumption, overpopulation, pollution, and the generally profligate lifestyle practised in the "developed" world and aspired to by many in the "developing" world.

    I also believe that most of us want to see measures taken which would aim to ameliorate this damage, if only such measures don't threaten The Economy.

    This seems to me to be erroneous thinking in that it is logically clear that The Economy is a human construct within The Environment, and not the reverse, as we seem to believe.

    In other words, the question is not whether nThe Economy can afford the cost of saving The Environment, but whether The Environment can afford our sort of Economy.

    I believe not.

    Discuss - ;-)

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  • 21. At 11:29am on 08 Feb 2010, GeeDeeSea wrote:

    @Crataegus # 20
    I raised a similar point a few weeks ago. The Economy, much of which is depends on raw materials and living systems, is subsidiary to the larger Environment.

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  • 22. At 11:37am on 08 Feb 2010, Ellis P Otter wrote:

    21 - GDC, which makes me wonder why politicians believe they can do something about the Environment but nothing about the Economy.

    The lunacy is palpable - take policy. For years we have been told to stop smoking, cut down on booze, eat healthy foods and take exercise. So we do and the politicos suddenly realise that we're all going to live to 120 and we can't afford to pay our pensions so we will have to work till we are ninety in jobs that prevent youngsters joining the workforce and so contributing to our pensions and the oldsters pay the youngsters benefits instead.

    Things that make you go hmmm...

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  • 23. At 11:39am on 08 Feb 2010, GeeDeeSea wrote:

    Hmmm. Hmmm. Hmmm. And ahem.

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  • 24. At 11:43am on 08 Feb 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Elliespotter (12): Are you suggesting some kind of nationalisation of the FTSE 500 by the back door? ;o)

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  • 25. At 11:46am on 08 Feb 2010, GeeDeeSea wrote:

    Hans Blix says Jack Straw 'gave incorrect answers' to Iraq inquiry.

    Has Hans Blix been called to give evidence?

    Has George Galloway been called to give evidence?
    He must have been one of the last 'westerners' to meet with Saddam Hussein.

    Has Tariq Aziz been called to give evidence? I bet he has an interesting version to tell.

    Has Andrew Gillighan been called to give evidence?

    It seems the witnesses being called are all from one side.


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  • 26. At 11:50am on 08 Feb 2010, GeeDeeSea wrote:

    Has the top UN lawyer been called to give evidence? A UN legal view is, I would have thought, essential.

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  • 27. At 11:56am on 08 Feb 2010, GeeDeeSea wrote:

    Has anyone else noticed there's been a slow but steady stream of negative news about Nigeria since Christmas?

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  • 28. At 12:00pm on 08 Feb 2010, Ellis P Otter wrote:

    24 - Big Sister, Are you suggesting some kind of nationalisation of the FTSE 500 by the back door?

    Not at all, but since the major shareholders at present are banks, pension funds, insurance companies and so forth who hold our money but not our welfare at heart, perhaps we should assert our rights as investors?

    After all, it's our money they're playing with.

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  • 29. At 12:02pm on 08 Feb 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    I didn't really think you meant that, elliespotte (hence the winkey), but the net product of doing what you suggest might ultimately lead to nationalisation by the back door, don't you think? Or at least have a similar effect. I agree, though, it would be nice to have them answerable to the electorate.

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  • 30. At 12:13pm on 08 Feb 2010, Crataegus Monogyna wrote:


    • "banks, pension funds, insurance companies and so forth who hold our money but not our welfare at heart,"

    a similar thought from my favourite financial column:
    • "He chides academics in particular as so badly wanting their theories, notably including the Efficient Market Hypothesis, to be right that they assume them to be so, despite the absence of any concrete proof.
      "They assume," he observes, "not only that market participants are efficient and well-informed, but also they are good and worthy citizens." In fact, he sighs, "they're all self-serving and many are slightly wicked." "

      Up and Down Wall Street

    Love it!

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  • 31. At 12:16pm on 08 Feb 2010, GeeDeeSea wrote:

    Talking of possible power cuts in the future (which I was at #17) I see Mark Mardell, BBC's North American editor, says he has now suffered 38 hours without power at his home in Washington. (see his latest blog this morning - link above right)

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  • 32. At 12:19pm on 08 Feb 2010, Ellis P Otter wrote:

    "War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength" May I recommend THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF OLIGARCHICAL COLLECTIVISM by Emmanuel Goldstein, which explains our current political environment quite well.

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  • 33. At 12:26pm on 08 Feb 2010, Lady_Sue wrote:

    CratMon, "Being born 'working class' might conceivably predispose against 'aspiration',"


    Big Sis: "it is much harder to climb the mountain when you lack, perhaps, supporting parents and friends who can help advise"

    I disagree with both of these assertions. There are people who, instead of acknowledging that their lack of "success" is due their IQ, or having the drive to aspire to things other than "their lot", simply blame the circumstance of their birth. The 'downtrodden proletariat' is a myth conveniently trotted out in arguments such as these. There are far more than merely "a few individuals" who have "bucked the trend". It has nothing to do with being "born working class" but rather more to do with the ability and aspiration of the individual.

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  • 34. At 12:28pm on 08 Feb 2010, Crataegus Monogyna wrote:

    Ellie and Sis,

    The 'nationalisation' (d3emocratisation?) of the assets representing 'our money' could be seen as a recognition of (and corrective for) the original 'appropriation'.

    It may be worthwhile examining the nature of "property" (c/f appropriation', ex-propriation, etc.) and the oft-repeated, "All property is theft!"

    John Locke is illuminating,

    • " "But the chief matter of property being now not the fruits of the earth and the beasts that subsist on it, but the earth itself, as that which takes in and carries with it all the rest, I think it is plain that property in that too is acquired as the former. As much land as a man tills, plants, improves, cultivates, and can use the product of, so much is his property."
      --Second Treatise on Government, 1690

    but less so on the matter of money.
    • "We are often cautioned that we must live in the 'real world' by folk who mean 'money', a concept more abstract than theoretical physics."

    To appropriate, means to take, to claim as one's own, etc.

    Food for thought; I'll just take this apple....

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  • 35. At 12:37pm on 08 Feb 2010, Crataegus Monogyna wrote:

    Milady, you'll enjoy this Irishman's take:

    • "People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are.
      I don't believe in circumstances.
      The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look
      for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them,
      make them. "
      -- George Bernard Shaw

    But I stand by my statement. Poverty and malnutrition can clearly affect initiative, aspiration, and IQ. These disadvantages can sometimes be overcome, and can also be seen as the fire which toughens, but in many cases (perhaps most), they are debilitating.

    Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them... you are a mile away AND you have their shoes.

    -- Anon

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  • 36. At 1:01pm on 08 Feb 2010, Crataegus Monogyna wrote:

    More Locke:

    • "30. It will, perhaps, be objected to this, that if gathering the acorns or other fruits of the earth, etc., makes a right to them, then any one may engross as much as he will. To which I answer, Not so. The same law of Nature that does by this means give us property, does also bound that property too. "God has given us all things richly." Is the voice of reason confirmed by inspiration? But how far has He given it us- "to enjoy"? As much as any one can make use of to any advantage of life before it spoils, so much he may by his labour fix a property in. Whatever is beyond this is more than his share, and belongs to others. Nothing was made by God for man to spoil or destroy. And thus considering the plenty of natural provisions there was a long time in the world, and the few spenders, and to how small a part of that provision the industry of one man could extend itself and engross it to the prejudice of others, especially keeping within the bounds set by reason of what might serve for his use, there could be then little room for quarrels or contentions about property so established."

    Why do the words banker and bonus spring to mind...?

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  • 37. At 1:16pm on 08 Feb 2010, Crataegus Monogyna wrote:

    And then there was John Muir:

    • "Brought into right relationships with the wilderness, man would see that his appropriation of Earth's resources beyond his personal needs would only bring imbalance and beget ultimate loss and poverty by all".

      -- John Muir


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  • 38. At 1:21pm on 08 Feb 2010, Patrick Too wrote:

    6: Lady Sue. Well said. Our problem is (also) that we will not properly regulate the rental market - as they do in Germany or Holland. Properly done - and if we hadn't sold off all the council houses, then the market might be more equal today (and prices cheaper). A family privately renting a property will be paying out more per month than the equivalent family who own a house with a mortgage. Yet the renting family will a zero 'credit rating' and no financial standing as far as the banks are concerned! Make renting rates and mortgage rates compete against each other and you have a fair housing market. Get rid of the get rich quick by-to-let-ers too. Make people view houses as 'homes' and not cash cows.

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  • 39. At 1:38pm on 08 Feb 2010, bright-eyedwendym wrote:

    I wonder how many of you heard Simon Johnston on The World this Weekend yesterday. He was chief economist at the IMF I think. During an interview about the problem in the Eurozona countries he said that the UK should be added to any list of countries whose debts greatly worried the international community. I heard this twice yesterday but it does not seem to have been reported since. Why not?

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  • 40. At 1:41pm on 08 Feb 2010, Crataegus Monogyna wrote:

    • India forms new climate change body

      "The Indian government has established its own body to monitor the effects of global warming because it “cannot rely” on the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the group headed by its own leading scientist Dr R.K Pachauri."


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  • 41. At 1:42pm on 08 Feb 2010, Crataegus Monogyna wrote:



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  • 42. At 1:50pm on 08 Feb 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Lady Sue (6)"I have never understood this obsession with owning property and think it is a bit banal to equate it with "bettering" oneself".

    Nor have I! But successive governments have since Thatcher...whatever side of the face they have been. As for the rented market in the rest of Europe, I would suggest they are better regulated as far as tenants are concerned, and tenants are treated properly, unlike this country where the media push and perpetuate the attitude of, oh well if your only going to rent out a property, a lick of paint and wipe over will do. On the other hand, if your buying to sell on...new bathroom, kitchen, heating system. etc. etc. Ain't that what those programs tell us. If you don't buy, its ok to treat you as a second class citizen regardless?

    As for your assertion about something I said being a load of rubbish...I didn't expect any less from you.

    Patrick too (38) Since the big sell off no government since has made any meaningful attempt to replenish government housing stock. We hear fine words and all sorts of excuses why not but, it is my opinion it is probably unspoken deliberate policy that it is this way. You will need someone who wouldn't get bored trying to explain why it is this way as, I would! Its a bit like when government ministers say, "we keep these things under constant review". A statement that usually means nothin!

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  • 43. At 1:52pm on 08 Feb 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    CM (10) Thanks for the understanding. ;-)

    Big Sis (11) You too ;-)


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  • 44. At 1:55pm on 08 Feb 2010, Patrick Too wrote:

    funnyJoedunn I always had a built in cynicism that the whole thing has been 'convenient' for Government. They claim credit for the 'prosperity' produced by rising house prices then go very quiet when folk are being repossessed! We are all pawns in their little game of Monopoly.

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  • 45. At 1:56pm on 08 Feb 2010, Ellis P Otter wrote:

    39 - Wendy, whenever I hear an American economist threatening us with downgrading our credit status or sugesting that we're going to hell in a handbasket, I always thank them for clearing the path for us and point them to http://www.usdebtclock.org/ .

    We maybe doomed but we're doomed together :-)

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  • 46. At 1:59pm on 08 Feb 2010, Patrick Too wrote:

    Here's a bit of good news folks! (For beer lovers anyway)

    "Beer is a rich source of a nutrient that can help prevent weak bones – but it depends what type you drink, claim researchers at University of California, Davis, today.

    As one of the nation's favourite tipples, beer is a rich source of dietary silicon, which can help cut the chance of developing diseases like osteoporosis, they conclude."


    If you'll excuse me, I'm just off out to strengthen me bones!

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  • 47. At 2:06pm on 08 Feb 2010, Crataegus Monogyna wrote:

    You're most welcome, Joe.

    • "Its a bit like when government ministers say, "we keep these things under constant review". A statement that usually means nothin!"

    Or when the UN resolves to remain "seized of the situation"...?


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  • 48. At 2:12pm on 08 Feb 2010, vainly_here wrote:

    FJD (4) et al
    1. 20 million? That's nearly 1/3 of the population. Is it really that many?
    2. Not long ago house builders were advertising that you could buy more cheaply than rent; and why pay all that money to a landlord (usually perceived as rich)with nothing to show at the end of it? It may be attractive if the State is going to help pay your rent, of course. Mrs. Thatcher encouraged tenants to buy their Council houses and made them available at drastic discounts. She did not make the same terms available to the tenants of private landlords - I wonder why.
    3. Incentives to "Better yourself?" My wife's aunt lives in a Council flat; her income and outgoings were assessed to determine whether she could attend a Day Centre FOC. With her pension, and all the various allowances, she had too much spare cash to qualify; moreover, she had more spare cash than 1/2 what my wife and I have, and my salary is well above the national average.

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  • 49. At 2:19pm on 08 Feb 2010, Crataegus Monogyna wrote:


    • "We maybe doomed but we're doomed together :-)"

    Perhaps our best hope lies in total collapse of The Economy?

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  • 50. At 2:55pm on 08 Feb 2010, Crataegus Monogyna wrote:

    London flat, New york down 3/4% after 20 minutes trading...Mon Feb 8 09:54:51 EST 2010

    Shhhh! Don't frighten the horses!

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  • 51. At 3:06pm on 08 Feb 2010, Ellis P Otter wrote:

    And now to my second point (which PM also won't pick up on but I believe is important).

    Why is any major party campaigning to win power in the present difficult time?

    Would any completely sane and rational person want the responsibility of sorting our military and economic entaglements over the next four or five years?

    Could it be that there are other reasons that motivate politicos than the success and wellbeing of the United Kingdom and its citizens?

    Just wondering...

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  • 52. At 3:36pm on 08 Feb 2010, GeeDeeSea wrote:

    While Alastair Campbell was giving a performance worthy of an Oscar on the Andrew Marr show - Tony Blair was giving an interview to Fox News in America - and laughing at the 'British' Chilcott Inquiry.

    Blair said that a British quest for a 'conspiracy' is behind Iraq Inquiry.

    During the interview on Fox about his appearance as a witness at the inquiry, a smiling Blair explained to the American audience, “There’s always got to be a scandal as to why you hold your view. There’s got to be some conspiracy behind it. Some great, you know, deceit that’s gone on..."

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  • 53. At 3:48pm on 08 Feb 2010, Crataegus Monogyna wrote:


    To keep our sanity, we have to believe some element of true altruistic vocation actually exists in some who seek office. Sadly, the evidence is that the higher up one gets, the more eroded this becomes, both through the corrupting influence of power and the (necessary) self-protective skin-thickening developed...

    I still have some hope for Obama, but I may just be being naïve.

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  • 54. At 4:03pm on 08 Feb 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    #1, As an actor Campbell isn't a patch on Blair is he?

    'We don't do religion'?

    But you do do illegal wars.

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  • 55. At 4:05pm on 08 Feb 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    Blair is an honourable man and believes in god?

    Anybody else reminded of Blair's religious leanings when the news played that piece from Iran about them making more enriched Uranium, that started with 'god willing'?

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  • 56. At 4:10pm on 08 Feb 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    Is Ali Dizaei's deceit a helpful hole in the justification for Brown's police state retention of DNA from anybody for the slightest excuse including Damien Green MP?

    How many MPs would trust Ali Dizaei with their DNA?

    How many serving police officers would trust Ali Dizaei with their DNA?

    Shouldn't we DNA swab all MPs before they escape at the next election so then we can identify the relatives of MPs that failed to stop Blair's illegal invasion of Iraq?

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  • 57. At 4:19pm on 08 Feb 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    If Damien Green MP had his office raided and his DNA taking for telling the truth about uncontrolled immigration and the possible terrorist threat from immigrants we don't know from Adam working as Security Guards then surely the MPs caught fiddling their expenses should be busted.

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  • 58. At 5:00pm on 08 Feb 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    They mentioned Hans Blicks was mentioned on the World Service last night saying that Saddam was being compliant with UN Arms Inspectors.

    That would seem far more of a news item than the Sikh knife non-story. It brightened my day listening to Today this morning thinking it sounded like a Chris Morris comedy.

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  • 59. At 5:02pm on 08 Feb 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    We need to stop picking up Blair because he has god?

    You lot stop need to start treating me a lot nicer. It's not my fault both my parents were Cornish.

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  • 60. At 5:13pm on 08 Feb 2010, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Crat Mon@35: the GBS is most appropriate and your other quote (about the shoes) most amusing.

    I doubt very much there are "20 million+ people who live in council homes" (funnyJoe@4) all suffering from "poverty and malnutrition". There are a lot of under achievers who blame the circumstances of their birth rather than facing the reality that they didn't have either the IQ or the wherewithal to realise the potential they thought they had.

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  • 61. At 5:15pm on 08 Feb 2010, DoctorDolots wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 62. At 5:16pm on 08 Feb 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    So his downfall was arguing about a £600 bill for his own website?

    Perhaps he should be put in charge of getting our money back from the blinkered, inept banskters?

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  • 63. At 5:19pm on 08 Feb 2010, DoctorDolots wrote:

    6. Sue, isn't a low IQ part of the 'circumstances of their birth'? People don't choose to be a bit thick any more than they choose to be born into a poverty stricken underachieving family. Surely privilege is what's wrong, the assumption that because people are born with certain advantages; be it wealth or intelligence or creativity, they should live full and rewarding lives without worry about money.

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  • 64. At 5:26pm on 08 Feb 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    Jack Straw another MP proving that you or I could do that job!

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  • 65. At 5:30pm on 08 Feb 2010, Ellis P Otter wrote:

    There's that phrase "soft power" again.

    Can someone please elucidate me? When did this come into the language and wha exactly does it mean?

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  • 66. At 5:32pm on 08 Feb 2010, Joe Walker wrote:

    In the absence of The PM Glass Box, I'll have to post this here.

    What is it with the BBC and the Metropolitan Police? The reporting of Dizaei's conviction might have well have been written by the Met's PR Dept. It's been like listening to some third-rate pantomime. With the shiny good guys on one side and the baddies on the other. Absolutely everyone who knows anything about the Met knows they have a long history of corruption, racism, sexism and general brutality.

    It seems to me Dizaei, (awful man that he may well be), is being used by the Met. in two ways - first to demonstrate what a spotless force they really are (despite the constant stream of incidents and allegations that regularly demonstrate the contrary) and second (with the willing participation of the BBC and perhaps more significantly their journalists to be very publicly hung out to dry and humiliated before he is put away. I suspect as far as the police are concerned his real crime was not corruption, but treading on too many toes and breaking too many unwritten rules within the hallowed and secretive institution of the Met.

    Why is it a listener who has to make this point?

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  • 67. At 5:34pm on 08 Feb 2010, alanparker wrote:

    So, to clarify:

    The racist "no whites allowed" Black Police Association complains that the racist Ali "Dizaei" Rascal has been the victim of a racist witch hunt.

    Fair summary? Still, good to see no-one played the race card then.

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  • 68. At 5:34pm on 08 Feb 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    # 60

    I don't mind genuine debate, but when someone deliberately strings words together, as in your post, pertaining to give the impression that this is a direct quote of mine or at least my intended meaning by adding words of your own or another poster onto something I did say is yet more evidence a lost argument from a bitter person!

    As regards the figure of 20 million+ council home dwellers, give me some evidence against? You might have to make a freedom of information request.

    If you continue to disrespect my posts with your cut and paste animosity, I will continue to ignore you. I will also issue a written complaint to the moderator.

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  • 69. At 5:35pm on 08 Feb 2010, Crataegus Monogyna wrote:

    I keep getting emails promising a cure for soft power...

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  • 70. At 5:36pm on 08 Feb 2010, Crataegus Monogyna wrote:

    Spot on, Joseph! Why indeed?

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  • 71. At 5:43pm on 08 Feb 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    JW (66) Well said.

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  • 72. At 5:45pm on 08 Feb 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    I liked that R4 programme on how British Indians can't quite have their pick of Indian brides like they used to due to the crashing British economy and the rising standards of living in India.

    Would seem to sit well with Good Gracious Me and Bellamy's People.

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  • 73. At 5:49pm on 08 Feb 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    Older writers?

    Does the Dodgy Dossier meet the over 50s requirement?

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  • 74. At 5:52pm on 08 Feb 2010, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Glass Box:

    The numbers sounded delicious tonight's thanks to Kathy's elegant enunciation. Thanks for delaying them long enough for me to get home and hear them.

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  • 75. At 5:53pm on 08 Feb 2010, Crataegus Monogyna wrote:

    A year in the life of The Global Dow


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  • 76. At 5:56pm on 08 Feb 2010, bright-eyedwendym wrote:

    45. This Simon Johnston is Anglo/ American He was at Manchester, Oxford, MIT, Duke etc etc.In other words probably pretty well qualified. What honestly gets to me is the paucity of reporting of these opinions. It was the same with the investor - I believe he is the world's biggest investor- who warned that British debt was toxic. If anyone mentions these things here they get the 'talking down Britain' lecture usually from Mandelson.

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  • 77. At 5:59pm on 08 Feb 2010, Crataegus Monogyna wrote:

    Shhhhh! Not in front of the spenders!

    Britain is better placed to recover than almost all other conomies. El Gordo told me so.

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  • 78. At 6:08pm on 08 Feb 2010, Ellis P Otter wrote:

    76 - Hi Wendy, I wasn't accusing you or anyone of talking down Britain more of Johnston ignoring the US issue. Warren Buffet (the world's biggest investor) is also shorting America just now.

    I was only pointing out that the UK is not alone in being in trouble and certain foreign owned organisations like S&P and Moody's have no right to judge our credit rating when they made such a complete pig's ear of assessing the credit rating of the toxic debt vehicles that brought us here in the first place.

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  • 79. At 6:11pm on 08 Feb 2010, Joe Walker wrote:

    I suggest people watching BBC TV news tonight should watch out for the top of the news ten-minute display of completely unchallenged Metropolitan Police propaganda with pictures. Very educative.

    I'm now listening to the R.4 6.00 News the barrage still hasn't let up! It's as if the BBC are as angry with him as the Met. are.

    I wonder if the next time the Met murder someone, the BBC will give it a similar style of treatment.

    I'm glad others feel similarly about this.

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  • 80. At 6:14pm on 08 Feb 2010, Crataegus Monogyna wrote:

    Ellie & Wendy,

    I believe it was the "Big Bang" de-regulation of the UK financial system which placed the UK banks briefly "ahead" of their US counterparts in the race to total unsupervised greed. This was followed (as any observant person knows) by many US banks setting up (or buying into) UK banks and financial institutions to take advantage of the gold rush mentality....

    I blame Reagan and Maggie. And, of course, human greed.

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  • 81. At 6:20pm on 08 Feb 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    Next we embark on an illegal war perhaps we should ask Jordan eh Mr Straw?

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  • 82. At 6:31pm on 08 Feb 2010, Lady_Sue wrote:

    funnyJoe@42 "As for your assertion about something I said being a load of rubbish...I didn't expect any less from you."

    The "something you said" being "...its due, in my opinion, to mountain set before you at birth and subsequent experience of what used to be the working class."

    Would you expect more from me if I had been born into the working class, in a horribly deprived council estate area, grown up a "latch-key kid", having to take on the mantle of household chores for an entire family from age eight, in a place that had little or nothing by way of schools or education?

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  • 83. At 6:32pm on 08 Feb 2010, Patrick Too wrote:

    Mattel announces launch of Alistair Campbell doll - With real tears and "very upset" expression. Buy now and get free "Je ne regrette" Tony Doll! Says "It was not my belief that I did any wrong" in four different tones of arrogance.

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  • 84. At 6:38pm on 08 Feb 2010, bright-eyedwendym wrote:

    Sorry I hadn't made myself clear. I actually meant Bill Gross of Pimco fame by the world's biggest investor- he's the one who said UK debt was resting on a bed of nitro clycerine or words to that effect. Nor would I EVER accuse the bloggers here of trying to invoke Mandy's 'talking Britain down' mantra.We're not daft enough to go down his line, I hope.I think we're in a weird place when any mention of how desperate it looks for the UK economy is waved away as negative or some sort of Tory plot- no doubt thought up by Maggie.

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  • 85. At 10:17pm on 08 Feb 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    # (82) I have nothing to say or to add to your stereotyping images except to say, I had a picture of Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders half cut on a bottle of gin spouting out the words to each other over that infamous kitchen table. I have nothing more to say to you. thank you.

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  • 86. At 00:05am on 09 Feb 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Lady Sue (33): I have to say I'm flummoxed that you don't recognise that difficulty. As a teacher in the state sector, in schools where circumstance ranged from council estate to affluent middle class and all points in between, I can assure you that my point was entirely valid. I'm rather surprised that you don't see this point, at least as things stand in the UK.

    Incidentally, you have misquoted me: I did not say "a few individuals" from the most marginalised and poorest communities have bucked the trend. I know it is more than "a few" - and you misrepresent my point by trying to put that phrase into my mouth. But those individuals from such communities who DO buck the trend will probably have done so by being more strong willed, capable, or lucky (in the sense of chancing upon opportunity) than their peers, while by contrast children from more affluent backgrounds are more likely to succeed without being as exceptional.

    Anyway, I sense that I'm unlikely to change your mind on this matter.

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  • 87. At 00:06am on 09 Feb 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    83: What a wonderful image, Patrick! I want one - Now!

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  • 88. At 6:55pm on 10 Feb 2010, Lady_Sue wrote:

    funnyJoe@83: "I have nothing to say or to add to your stereotyping images" - how funny. It wasn't meant to be a stereotype, it was a valid question.

    Big Sis@86: I don't recognise it is a difficulty. I must apologise for misquoting you - it was not intended and came instead from trying to paraphrase what had been said. You are correct in that you wont change my mind but I am, as ever, interested in your experience and your opinion.

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