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Wednesday 22 October 2008

Len Freeman | 17:45 UK time, Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Here is today's output editor Dan Kelly with a look ahead to tonight's programme. Our presenter is Jeremy Paxman.


Today the Prime Minister followed up last night's admission from the Governor of the Bank of England. He conceded that Britain might well already be in recession. Is it possible that the emerging economies could be the key to ensuring that the downturn is not prolonged, and not worldwide? Tonight we investigate how the emerging powerhouse economies of Brazil, India and China are coping with the global downturn, and whether their fate could seal ours.


"If you sleep with dogs, you will get fleas", was Lord Tebbit's response to the claims that Shadow Chancellor George Osborne discussed the possibility of a donation from a Russian oligarch. It's not quite the image David Cameron wanted to portray. We'll ask another Lord - Lord Heseltine - whether the sight of Tories "palling around" with the super rich may damage the meritocratic modern Tory brand.

US elections

And we have the third in our series from the Newsnight Editors in America. Every night they have been giving their considered take on what post- Bush America might look like. Tonight our Political Editor, Michael Crick, considers whether Obama or McCain can ever really change Washington, as both of them have promised.


  • Comment number 1.

    I hope you're going to provide some evidence for your statement that George Osborne 'discussed the possibility of a donation from a Russian oligarch". If you have proof perhaps you can find out who initiated the conversation. And when Osborne, his wife and his children accepted the invitation to stay at Rothschild's villa was he aware that he was going to be propositioned on behalf of a foreign crook?

  • Comment number 2.

    Tebbit's twopence is a reminder of why the Tories had to reform.

  • Comment number 3.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 4.


    'It would make me sick to my stomick to talk with terrorists!' said that worthy, while behind the scenes others did his talking and he went home to Norma. Then he signed us up to that paragon of monetary propriety - the EU.

    Plus ca change. Deja vu.

    Do you think - perhaps - politicians are not quite straight with us?

  • Comment number 5.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 6.

    Haven't heard from Tebbit for ages. As usual he makes friends and influences people. "Sleeping with dogs" - nobody, so far as I know, says he did anything. So far as I know he is not like Berezovsky. Russians as friends or enemies. Why not try friends?

    I hope Vince Cable is asked at some point if he understands how the Government did not see this economic crisis coming. It needs a public inquiry but Brown will probably just commission a statue of him and Alistair for Parliament Square.

    On the US what happens to the Republicans if or when they lose?

    Bush is destroyed and discredited. McCain is too old and has no apparent successor. Palin does not cut the mustard.

    They will fall prey to the big business element? Become more ideological, nastier and even more ne-Con?

    I assume Michael Crick will discover not much can change in the long term as the two parties cannot be replaced and probably the post civil-war sympathies would not allow it.

    Two parties that cannot be replaced no matter how badly they perform ..... seems so familiar.

  • Comment number 7.

    As Hezza is a former defence secretary and Tebbit used to
    be a spokesperson for airline
    pilots, I hope you will get a
    comment from them about
    the Hercules story tonight:

  • Comment number 8.

    Oh Dear, looks like a programme to miss tonight. Only 1 topic of any interest, US Election - a real yawn, Conservatives - a non-story peddled only by the BBC in order to appease your masters, the Government. That only leaves the Economy, well, an early night then.

  • Comment number 9.

    "No! it is a Mandalson/Brown/BBC 'bedfellows' stink! Here follows my complaint to Today programme:
    "John (humphreys), are you all gagged for reasons of licence fee/WMD etc ?
    The real story is what was the unelected 'Lord' (sic) Mandalson doing on that yacht with that billionaire? Let's hear why Mandy gave the Oligarch a nice EU £200,000,000 deal re aluminium etc?
    If Mandy is not corrupt why was he on the yacht? What is the relationship between them? Do I have to rely on the Daily Mail now that the BBC has clearly been got at? Shamefu"!

  • Comment number 10.

    there are almost 2000 posts on Have YOur Say board re Mandalson/bbc/brown bedfellows, saying similar to me yet mine has not appeared here... Why?

  • Comment number 11.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 12.

    My favourite of the night was Jeremy with Michael Heseltine - sheer brilliance! i was stunned to hear that the Russian billionaire is so dogdy that he's not allowed to enter the USA!!!!!
    Much more please :-)

  • Comment number 13.


    May I never be protected by an ageing Hezza. What a silly old conservative!

  • Comment number 14.

    The introduction to the programme was a bit elitist and insular.

    Referring to no one knows where the recession is going.

    Some of us do, even if you don't.

    Don't include us all in your lack of knowledge of the future.

  • Comment number 15.

    I thought that was an excellent studio discussion with Bhagwati, Paxman, the Chinese economist and David Owen .... would that
    the 'yacht' discussions in Corfu
    were on similar important topics.

    Did I mishear or did Bhagwati say at one point 'serious people -like Osborne' were making some of the same points about IMF
    and World Bank? I hope so ....

    David Owen's insights on Russia also tended to work in support of top politicians seizing chances to interract a bit more with all the key players in that country. And
    Osborne must have believed in Corfu - as did Mandelson - that
    they might learn something at
    Oleg's tea party? As for issues
    of 'judgement' at least Osborne
    made sure he had the CEO of
    his party with him just in case
    he needed someone in support.

    As Jeremy says: a 'kerfuffle' - and one that was apparently not mentioned today on doorsteps in Glenrothes or at the hustings if
    the reports from the battlefield
    from The Herald's Tom Gordon
    and The Guardian's Kirsty Scott were right. Their analysis was very, very interesting ...........

    Available on the i-player as
    Gordon Brewer said after an
    interlude on political spouses
    which was clearly designed
    for You Tube! Play it again!

  • Comment number 16.

    "i was stunned to hear that the Russian billionaire is so dogdy that he's not allowed to enter the USA!!!!!"

    That could of course be cos he gives an honest answer at the
    US immigration desk when they
    ask the standard question: 'Are you or your friend communists?'

  • Comment number 17.

    Mandelsons re-entry into British politics is the bigger story but the BBC almost ignored this whilst going mentalist-gloating over a non-story. Next time Osborne needs any pointers in the dark arts, he can talk to Mandy, he might even help ozzy with a loan...Mandy's got friends in high places don't you know
    I learnt through this non-story that the Rothchilds are still in operation. Hows about a story on this family dynasty eh! The well documented family dynasty responible for more wars and mass killings over the centuries than all the despots combined could achieve.."ooops! theres a despot lets fund him".. they play word financial politics like its a game of chess but dress themselves up as respectable international bankers but always out of the limelight...rarely seen or heard, well until just recently that is...and rarely commented on by our establised media, i wonder why that is?

    I do hope Dennis skinner is okey , i thought for one moment he was gonna blow a gasket when ranting in the house today. Its good to know that the labour benches can still allow a non-productive hard-faced socialist to sit amongst them..skinner must feel at home.. ah thats demoracy for you... they put a red rosette on and the herd will vote even an idiot into the house...time after time after time. Can somebody save us please, a well meaning dictator will do...funded by the Rothchilds or even a not fussy.
    Does anybody have mandy's number?

    To echo one poster on here:
    I am sure the good people at newsnight work hard ect, but at times i do feel like i am watching an old John Cravens newsround report. I am a harsh critic i know but am sure once you hire a decent script writer/editor you might just get back on form. Sorry, the truth hurts but it needs to be said.

  • Comment number 18.

    I am with the cookieducker on this...
    First let me make clear, I am no Tory and always previously voted labour - never again...! I just wish the lib dems and the Greens would hook up so that both don't split the vote under our 'democratic' (sic) system and let in the Torys.

    But, Hezza WAS brilliant and dignified at deflecting Jeremy's preposterous indignant 'act' (watch it again). Jeremy, demanding in his a faux, highhanded way "what tories were doing prancing around on yachts" etc...

    It is clear that licence payers are feeling done over. Just look at yesterday's 2000 plus comments on this subject on 'Have Your Say ' board before 'powers that be' take it down. It seems viewers want to know ( the BBC being gagged won't report on it) what the heck was Mandalson doing on that yacht as a 'guest' of someone he'd just helped out in the EU with a £200, 000,000 tarrif deal? (potentially our money remember)? Jeremy, after your staged performance on Hezza (Mandalson prancing on yachts was 'the elephant in the room' REAL STORY that you clearly had been stopped from raising) I have lost faith in Newsnight and BBC independence.

  • Comment number 19.

    LOST FAITH (#18)

    Melvyn did Dante's Inferno this morning. The builders are in, preparing for The BBC.

  • Comment number 20.


    So, Oleg did very well out of Jeffrey Sachs' 'Shock Theapy', and allegedly 'Cameron stands encircled by zealous Anglo-neocons' with Osborne allegedly being teased by Cameron for his zeal. Deja vu. Perish the thought.

    Who or what gets wrecked next?

  • Comment number 21.

    Nobody is going to fall for the "splitting the anti-Tory vote" these days.

    Its a chauvinistic and arrogant throwback to the days when Labour supporters sported little badges and quoted Clause IV every other minute.

    They did at least believe what they said and they did stand up for the poor.

    These days even Labour don't know what they stand for. 10p?

    Labour are as cosmetic as the name "New" Labour.

    Now with Mandelson back its "old" New Labour.

    But wait with the economic crisis and New Labour as per Blair questioning the FSA as to why on earth they would want to closely regulate perfectly respectable companies like banks perhaps they need to modify their approach? They need distance from the past!

    NEW old New Labour?

    With spin meisters like Campbell and Mandelson back in the fold what can go wrong?

  • Comment number 22.

    Having just watched Heseltine on last night's Newsnight, he was a model of restraint when confronted by Paxman's faux indignation. How Osborne's lack of judgement can possibly be considered more worthy of comment than that of a former EU Trade Commissioner and now member of the cabinet requires some explanation from the BBC. I have only the lowest regard for George Osborne, but Paxman seems to be striving to sink lower still. Maybe there's some room on CBBC for Paxman.

  • Comment number 23.

    Heard Paxman say to Heseltine that, before this Mandelson/yacht thing, Osborne had been a good shadow chancellor, and that even his opponents would agree. I don't recall anyone saying that before. Most of us got quite the opposite impression from Newsnight. Confusing. Bit like someone battering down a door, and then saying, "Oh, now I come to think of it, I quite liked that door"...

  • Comment number 24.

    My personal views and opinions, as ever.

    Alleged Lack of Judgement by Osborne -

    Really , he was wise enough to take along a witness to these events, that showed he was thinking he needed backup.

    You imagine what could have happened if Mr Osborne had gone on that boat by himself, what defence would he have had against such allegations ?
    Now that would have been a lack of Judgement !

    What witness did Mr Mandelson have while he stayed on the boat ?
    Did he show a lack of political Judgement maybe ?

    I don't know what these masters of the universe (Billionaires and Multi Multi millionaires) group motives or intentions were, but I would personal presume they have alot of business interests around the EU and the wider world in general.

    BBC and Media in General -

    The whole "Lack of Judgement" attack is what the media does when its retreating from a story that did not live up to the finish they thought it was going to be only a few days before.
    They play it big to cover there previous over hyping of it !

  • Comment number 25.

    I've got to admit the faux righeous indignation shown by Paxman was funny, Hezza (and probably the Tories) had realised that there wasn't much to go on regard to donation and frequenting with Bondstyled Ruskis was a no go as Mandy was a was nearly as funny as when Jezza was talking to Milliband - Milli was on all serious talking about something - Jezza was checking what was stuck on his shoe.

    Keep up the good work ...

    ..oh and if you could get the polster with the dodgy barnet that would be great as you could go for a comedy award.

  • Comment number 26.


    Then the gang's all here - and WHAT a gang. These guys are way beyond knives and guns, and that damage they do, to lives around the globe, dwarfs our crime stats. As for Gordon - dead man walking.


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