Talk about Newsnight

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Friday, 2 November, 2007

  • Newsnight
  • 2 Nov 07, 05:52 PM

Tonight's presenter is Emily Maitlis:


blair_men_203.jpgThe moment opposition politicians start using phrases like “frankly untenable” you know someone's job is on the line. The Met Commissioner, Sir Ian Blair is confidently sticking to script, insisting he can and will stay in the post after the guilty verdict on the De Menezes shooting. But what's going on behind the scenes? Are there forces - no pun intended - at work to make him change his mind? And more importantly, perhaps, just how will this verdict affect the way this country is policed in future? The Mayor of London fears we could end up with a force so bogged down in health and safety regulations it loses the ability to act in our best interest.

Northern Rock

Each British taxpayer has essentially had to stump up £730 a head - through Bank of England loans - to keep this business going. On top of that, the treasury has also indemnified a further £20 billion of deposits. The burden of responsibility this places on the Chancellor is huge. Is it a price worth paying if it saves the system from collapse? For how long can it realistically continue? What are the alternatives for the Bank of England and the Chancellor?


The immigration picture in this country is pretty baffling. Not least, it's emerged this week, to the Home Office. But tonight, we examine how this country looks from the other side. If you're an immigrant is it an easy, attractive, welcoming place to live? We ask those who've come to live in Britain from Poland, Afghanistan, Iraq and Nigeria.

Thanks very much for all the suggestions on the blog, some of which we've managed to reflect.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 07:10 PM on 02 Nov 2007,
  • wappaho wrote:

we are facing infrastructure collapse (literally the falling tower) because soooo many people CHOOSE to come here and our most intelligent forum for debate comes up with the brilliant idea of spending public money asking these people if they like it here, are you mad or just divorced from reality?

perhaps the bbc plans to restrict user generation in future to those with a 'homeland'?

  • 2.
  • At 07:52 PM on 02 Nov 2007,
  • TP wrote:

How about looking at Minister's Pensions.

We have an ex Lord Chancellor who's disputing his and an ex PM who's enlarging his with a book.

Should the tax payer have an interest in the memoirs of public officials?

  • 3.
  • At 08:11 PM on 02 Nov 2007,
  • 800,000 would not dare wrote:

800,000 would not dare to write about the fears of their local Police ...

The public of all ages, health, educations, and employment experience are expected to get on with people..

Security classes seem prepared for Action Station Battle Orders at every moment...earning through risk assessment and criminological scenario rehearsal every day...

They have been degenerated by education out of the duties expected and they often put everyone at risk as a way of life and economic sport content ...

Anyone can be set up...even the queen...and the forward thinking approaches are not believed in by the agreeable helpful public idle in their beliefs and unenabled to activate their counter intelligent IQ...

Does anyone want to die because of conflicts of justice with an economic program designed to fit up and discriminate against those who represent economic threats and earning issues insecurity??....

Blair has employed strategic ethnic cleansing paramilitaries who think it is British to kill people and English to behave as criminals would...

Their deterrence policy has successfully distressed the public and distorted the economic possibilities as was obviously enforce a modern Britain where liberal democratic communism obedience compliance and criminal behaviour are valued and worthwhile.. but those qualities of attraction forward thinking opportunism optimisation and free discussion are requalified as provocations for vengent-life defeatism...

Duty of care was in the grain of every muscle of a capitalist Briton
...but excuse irresponsibility and evasion are the physique economic entitlement and press of a newly established Englishness...where police defend their concept that other people do not matter...

TLC advised by the Party Of Protection ...

  • 4.
  • At 08:19 PM on 02 Nov 2007,
  • S Barraclough wrote:

What should the Chancellor do about the Northern Rock situation? First, shut up! Second, call in all interested parties [including declared take-over-ees]to an otherwise secret meeting and head-bang them until there is a working plan put in place. Then let the still inteested parties declare what they should [under company law] and let us shareholders, depositors and tax-payers know what the hell is going on. Oh yes, then sack the company directors, both in N.R. and BoE, who got us into this mess!

  • 5.
  • At 08:55 PM on 02 Nov 2007,
  • Coombs wrote:

What actually constitutes a Brit?
I as an ex pat,and family from UK since 1640 proven
believe that those who fought for us in all our wars
should automatically be accepted as citizens and have the rights.. it must be proven beyond question!!

Please be kind on the Polish people, they were so brave
and defended inmany theaters our war effort, please
read WSC, the greatest man last cent:.. those who helped
us, can never be forgotten..

We must never become" money mad to nightingales "

  • 6.
  • At 09:08 PM on 02 Nov 2007,
  • Liam Coughlan wrote:

Its either a case of guarantee deposits, or aggressively regulate the banking industry, prosecuting and imposing extremely severe penalties for fraud, negligence, incompetence or dishonesty. The public do not trust UK banks for a reason. The "buyer beware" (caveat emptor) philosophy is flawed, as it pits the financially unaware general public against the best legal and finance minds in the Industry, these being the architects of the small print. The market economy needs regulation in the public interest. Time and time again, self-regulation has been shown to fail, as the various industry groups who are supposed to police themselves fail to address anybody's concerns but their own.

  • 7.
  • At 09:09 PM on 02 Nov 2007,
  • Coombs wrote:

Bye the bye you should do an aticle on "ex pats"
there's thousands of us who immigrated after eden and the Suez crisis in 1956, all holding the flag and ex
servicemen.. and I mean real Brit's.

yes the world know is choatic but, look at our history!!

Have a pint on me CC


Remember the Stepney Skinhead's "Cricket Test" to sort out where allegiances really lie? I have no doubt that when the next recession hits (and even wunderkind James Gordon Brown can't prevent that) there will be a RECESSION TEST. The present truce will be tested by recession. Mayhem will ensue as the old addage "overpaid and over here" is applied, by out-of-work indigenes, to employed incomers with visible disposable income. We have to accept that those who enter politics are strangely motivated and not very bright; an answer is not in sight while we accept the current approach to governance.

  • 9.
  • At 11:19 PM on 02 Nov 2007,
  • Dominic Murphy wrote:

The programme's coverage of the issue of whether Blair should resign over the De Menezes shooting was disgraceful. For example, Crick in his report referred to De Menezes being 'accidentally shot', when in fact he was deliberately shot because he was wrongly suspected. I think he was shot seven times in the head at close range. Nothing accidental about it.

And Maitlis in the discussion afterwards persisited in smokescreening the issue involved with phrases such as officers' 'gut reaction' etc, completely misrepresenting the actual issue, which was about mismanagement leading to a catalogue of errors. Gut reaction is nothing to do with it. The point is, the situation which arose should not have done so, but it did so because of a great deal of incompetence.

Newsnight almost seemes to be trying to becloud the actual pertinent issue. Fortunately, the person in discussion, cannot recall his name, the author to Maitlis' left, very ably refused to allow the pertinent issue to be smothered by red herrings. Well done him. Can he be offered a job reporting for or presenting Newsnight, please. The programme desparately needs someone who can, and is prepared to, utilise their critical faculties.

Disgraceful, Newsnight. How can you be satisfied serving up such self-indulgent, misleading propaganda?

Why did Michael Crick refer to it as "the accidental shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes"?

I thought that Newsnight was supposed to report the news and provide accurate reporting?

It was a deliberate shooting.

They may have mistaken him for a suspected terrorist. Nevertheless, to target someone deliberately and pump 7 bullets into his head cannot by any stretch of the imagination be classed as an accidental shooting.

If the BBC cannot get its facts straight perhaps there should be some resignations at Newsnight?

  • 11.
  • At 11:34 PM on 02 Nov 2007,
  • John wrote:

I am concerned about the reporting of the Northern Rock situation. Your reporter does not seem to understand the financial structure of banking institutions. The Lib Dem guy seemed to have evenv less of an idea. The BBC have increased the drama and continue to stoke the flames of crisis. You are abusing your position. Newsnight is my most trusted news source and I feel you may engineer more problems by your badly advised reporting. People trust you. You totally ignored the expert tonight. I feel disappointed.

  • 12.
  • At 11:38 PM on 02 Nov 2007,
  • wappaho wrote:

what is very scary is that the majority opinion seems to think that throwing honest officials out of office to assuage innocent bystanders is going to lead to a fairer society than would defending our procedures and those who follow them

the whole incident seems only to appear in the media because the family have made a great effort to put it there and yet strangely the media has not turned on them as they have turned on others who have sought publicity in a time of grief lately

there is no doubt in my mind that no amount of fuss by the family would have promopted an inquiry if this had been a chav shot accidently

and i consider the news today about the bearded brothers to be another step in the dismantling of british culture

if anyone tells me that they are british asian then i assume they are asian with british passport

an extrapolation of britain in this new climate of hacking away at british institutions and values is sean bean's new film outlaw - some interstijg lessons to be learned about valuing honest officials

  • 13.
  • At 12:05 AM on 03 Nov 2007,
  • Adrienne wrote:

Newsnight Team: Are you sure you've spun this the right way tonight?

Your depiction of Stalinisation appears to have been misguidedly inspired by an earlier Mr Blair's 180 degree caricature portrayed in '1984'.

Stalinization was one of the updisputed miracles of C20th economics, as was Hitler's 1930s 'New Deal' for Germany. Both went sour though post war propaganda and the Soviet revisionism which began in 1956. It has been vilified by free-marketeers ever since (see your NGO inspired piece on Cotton in Uzbekistan). Present both sides and let your viewers decide, please.

Perhaps the spin doctors are not Stalinists (think of the traditional British Civil Service elite, which was doing fine before the early 80s). Think of Trotskyite entryists who labour, along with Hayekites, Friedmanites and Neo-cons (ex-Schactmanites) to vilify democratic centralism and command economic welfare statism because they see such regulation as a bulwark against anarcho-capitalism - aka the free market.

In brief, knock 'Stalinism' and you pull down the British Civil Service, the welfare state/public sector, and note ....the BBC. You undermine what was once great about GB.

  • 14.
  • At 01:46 AM on 03 Nov 2007,
  • Confiteor wrote:

No.11: are you for real? The "expert" was an oddly emotional wreck, who seemed willing to put complete faith in the latest audit report. Has he never heard of Arthur Andersen/Enron? Look at Northern Rock's website fer chrissakes. It BOASTS about dealing in sub-prime loans. This was bubble economics at its seedy worst, and the bubble has burst. If you agree with Mr Congdon that "everything is fine", God help you.

  • 15.
  • At 01:58 AM on 03 Nov 2007,
  • Confiteor wrote:

Re: post 11

Here's another interesting titbit. The BBC either never bothered to check, or couldn't be bothered to tell us, that Tim Congdon is a Northern Rock shareholder! His desperate attempts to convince Financial Times readers that NR is "making money for the tax payer" at least came with full disclosure of his vested interest. Such subtleties don't seem to matter at the BBC. I suppose being forced to get by on a licence fee grant of £3.5bn a year means they can't afford a researcher to do a 10-second search on Google. Shameful stuff all round.

  • 16.
  • At 04:07 AM on 03 Nov 2007,
  • the cookis ducker wrote:

A deliberate shooting or an accidental shooting; take your pick depending on your perspective. Personally speaking here, i blame the terrorist who adhear to a religion which demands its followers to act violently with paradise and unimaginal rewards offered. The july 7th bombing and the hightened threat of other potential terrorist attacks had our police on high alert to the point of extream twitchiness...well hey, they are human, and can, like the rest of us, make mistakes-and that is the top and bottom of it. and its beyond most peoples comprehension, that we had to fill the pockets of lawyers with money while they put our forces on the rack,(yet again) and moralise from their sactimonious false and/or misguided high horses.
I can't imagine many applicants for the unfilled post within the anti- terrorist squad- nor even for a job as a police constable these days when you consider what hoops they have to constantly jump through; hoops held up by the useless, the self-serving and the gormless, with the greedy hack lawyers rubbing their hands in the shadows, for yet another ego driven session.

  • 17.
  • At 07:16 AM on 03 Nov 2007,
  • wappaho wrote:

i do not believe that 'people' are calling for this resignation. even the media are now looking shaken by the agression of those public figures still calling for a resignation

policy is now being dictated by lobbying - that makes us no different from a developing country - lobbying is the basis of all cultures except those that adopt enlightenment reasoning and standard procedures

nobody involved in the recent hospital bug catastrophe (several deaths not just one) was asked to resign

the intelligentsia are too hung up on minutiae these days (how long after the shooting the press interview was etc.) and have lost the bigger picture -

the number one element of britishness is duty and we seem to be losing that and i really resent the word british being co-opted for a different culture, call it something different please, blair's britain or nu-british or more realistically, the uk - the insignificant and universally despised relic of a once great empire

  • 18.
  • At 09:21 AM on 03 Nov 2007,
  • John wrote:

No.14 & 15

I am sorry you also fail to grasp the difference between fraud (Enron) and Finance. Northern Rock need the money to fund their loan book. They have expended too fast and have a cash flow issue. The US and EU both use the central bank to inject funds into money markets. I imagine you were one of the people who withdrew savings.

You do not trust the FSA or the independent accountants / auditors but you instead conduct your research on google ?

Where do people think the money from Banks come from ? They have to buy it on the money markets. There was no money too buy due to the US credit crunch. It has nothing todo with Northern Rock business model.

They are a solid business making profit. If it was a car manufacturer in the north and losing millions the government would be out with the wallet in no time.

Northern Rock have one of the most restrictive lending policies in the UK due to the high LTV offering on on the Together range. They do a small amount of non-conforming lending but the LTV is kept down.

The issue is they expanded too fast and struggled to finance the demand for new business.

All those who want to take part in a Stalinist economic miracle say 'Aye'.

  • 20.
  • At 07:16 PM on 03 Nov 2007,
  • Chris Gregory wrote:

Saturday. 3rd November.
It is so sad the way we are attacking The Chief Commissionier, regarding this one very sad incident, I am sorry for the family who have lost a son.
But it was an extrordanary time for all Police Personel.
I am sure that there are very many incidents we could be told about, were
the public have been SAVED from attacks. But due to necessary protection of the Public, this has been withheld, justifibly. Why do we aattack the Commissonery, and not aallowed the get on with the working of a VERY demanding job.

  • 21.
  • At 08:27 PM on 03 Nov 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

Is Britain an easy, attractive, welcoming place to live? Why not ask some of those 400,000 French economic migrants Sarkozy wanted to lure back? (I know I'm to blame, Well ain't that a shame, Bill Bailey retournez chez-vous (SVP)) I'll bet they'd say it's not much and the food stinks but there are jobs. Something must be keeping them there. It certainly isn't the weather.

  • 22.
  • At 12:10 AM on 04 Nov 2007,
  • Harry K wrote:

Sigh, another shouty Review show. Please stop inviting critics who have no intention of listening to anyone else's opinion.

  • 23.
  • At 05:04 PM on 04 Nov 2007,
  • Adrienne wrote:

#19 Not *all* of the horror stories about Stalin or Hitler are true, but most of the stories served (and for some still serve) as excellent propaganda and have had people too scared to vote 'authoritarian' for decades. The UK has 80,000 in prison at any one time + 220,000 under community sentences (is any of that 'slave labour'? The US now has over 2 million in prison, and maybe 7 million under some kind of sentence, even their military is now having to set up civilian labour camps. Still, who's counting?:

#21 Ignoring Africa and S Asia, the Middle East etc, there are 26 other EU states (10 East European & 16 others), but again, who's counting anymore? We've become Social Internationalists, and if we don't like it, that's just tough as it's irreversible:

  • 24.
  • At 09:14 AM on 05 Nov 2007,
  • M Lee wrote:


Your comment on Stalin and Hitler's barbarous regimes is deliberately provocative, and shameful.

  • 25.
  • At 12:56 PM on 05 Nov 2007,
  • Adrienne wrote:

#24 There is nothing shameful about provoking critical analysis of what one reads and hears. What's shameful is the contrary to the extent that it sustains and reinforces political propaganda surely?. If one look back to the Tehran Conference 1943 minutes and the subsequent (only partially implemented) Morgenthau Plan, *some* of what was exhibited at Nuremberg (but now discredited evidence, e.g. human soap, objects allegedly made from human skins etc), had propaganda value in the de-nazification of Germany and possibly much more, in that it shaped the political landscape of Western Europe in the post war decades. Did Europe not shift it to the liberal left with the help of its communists?

If one looks through the 54 articles of the Fundamental Charter of Human Rights which is now central to the EU Reform Treaty, does it not effectively render anything BUT liberal democratic socialism unconstitutional and thereby give almost free reign to anarcho-capitalism? The Charter's preamble states that "Enjoyment of these rights entails responsibilities and duties with regard to other persons, to the human community and to future generations.". The end of the Charter (articles 51-54) cover its scope:

To see how insidious an uncritical acceptance of history and propaganda can be, take a critical look at what's been happening to those who have dared question what's taken to be established fact in the interest of what they (rightly or wrongly) believe to be 'pursuit of truth' for its own sake (James Watson's treatment for his recent remarks are just the most recent of many such instances). Regardless of what the empirical truth of the matter, in some EU states there are laws which proscribe such verbal behaviours, and recently, Germany tried (but failed) to make those laws EU wide legislation:

I ask any one who considers critical analysis 'shameful' to take a long critical look at the above, as well as the history of Germany's SPD (and other members of the SI):

The EU Reform Treaty, far from guaranteeing multi-party democracy, may in practice be proscribing all but Social/Liberal Democratic politics, which, as I see it, is basically Trotskyite/anarcho-capitalist. That would be fine, so long as the EU electorate really does have an alternative if it so wishes.

Queen's speech - please, not another speculation piece. After maybe, not before.

  • 27.
  • At 02:14 PM on 05 Nov 2007,
  • M Lee wrote:


You wrote: "Stalinization was one of the updisputed miracles of C20th economics, as was Hitler's 1930s 'New Deal' for Germany. Both went sour though post war propaganda and the Soviet revisionism which began in 1956."

To suggest that these 'undisputed miracles' are separable from their human costs is merely another type of propaganda. You suggest that inhumane regimes 'went sour' partly because of false claims made about them, without once mentioning the millions of human lives that were lost. To me, that is shameful.

No reputable historian could agree with such a partial analysis.

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

  • 28.
  • At 06:04 PM on 05 Nov 2007,
  • Adrienne wrote:

Before one can see anything, one has to open one's eyes.,_Sr.

  • 29.
  • At 03:09 PM on 06 Nov 2007,
  • Adrian Hughes wrote:

Britain needs to be shook from the root to wake it up - The 'immigration' issue is killing the nation. Industry and government naively envision a short term benefit from the import of cheap foreign labor, immorally overlooking the damage to Britain’s social and its cultural infrastructure.
Please wake to the fact that Britain's are living in fear, and that many (including myself) are voting with the feet.

The vision made in Enoch Powell s 'Rivers of Blood' speech were more poignant and accurate than people wish to admit - Wake up Britain

Si vis pacem, para bellum

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