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Tuesday, 18 November, 2008

Sarah McDermott | 17:12 UK time, Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Jeremy presents tonight; Kavita Puri is programme producer. Here's her outline of what's on the programme:

Spending plans
"It used to be you could not insert a Rizla paper between the two parties on tax and spend. But the credit crunch and the recession have blown a chasm between them."

That was our economics editor Paul Mason's analysis of the effect on British politics of the Tories ditching their pledge to match Labour's spending from 2010. So the gloves are off. We now have a clear dividing line between the main parties in British politics. It'll be the battleground of the next election.

Pirates
The Saudi Foreign Minister said the Somali pirates who hijacked an oil tanker were akin to "terrorists". Yet another ship was hijacked in the Gulf of Aden today. So should there be a comprehensive law of the seas? We were hoping to bring you a pirate in our discussion, but instead we'll be talking to a company that hires private security guards for boats in the Gulf. And we will also be speaking to a managing director whose ship has been hijacked and is currently negotiating with pirates over the ransom.

Congo
"Never again" was uttered after Rwanda. Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced in Congo after the last few weeks of fighting. Today the French called for 3,000 extra UN troops. Allan Little, who has travelled extensively in Congo, reports tonight. We have also spoken to Lord Malloch Brown who, wearing his green wristband inscribed with the words "Never Again", says sending British troops has not been ruled out.

Nabokov
Our culture correspondent Steve Smith has been given an exclusive preview of a missing book by Vladimir Nabokov, author of the scandalous 'Lolita'. The new title "The Original of Laura" is set to be a sensation when it's published in 2009.

Do join Jeremy at 22.30.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    WISDOM IS SURELY CONVERGENT?

    Party politics requires that 'we are right and they are fools' - this wins elections.

    So a chasm has opened between Labour and Con? This can only mean:
    (1) One or both don't know what they are talking about.
    (2) One or both has worked hard to create AN ARTIFICIAL CHASM to gain purchase on the throat of their rivals.

    What a wonderful spectacle to behold as we go down the pan. There is no wisdom here.

    SPOIL PARTY GAMES.


  • Comment number 2.

    SPENDING PLANS
    "It used to be you could not insert a Rizla paper between the two
    parties on tax and spend. But the credit crunch and the recession have
    blown a chasm between them."

    That was our economics editor Paul Mason's analysis of the effect on
    British politics of the Tories ditching their pledge to match Labour's
    spending from 2010. So the gloves are off. We now have a clear dividing
    line between the main parties in British politics. It'll be the
    battleground of the next election.

    SO DOES THAT MEAN IF THE TORIES HAD BEEN IN GOVERNMENT THEY TOO WOULD HAVE DESTROYED EVERYTHING THE PEOPLE HELPED TO CREATE AND CARE FOR? THE POLITICIANS IN BRITAIN ARE IRRESPONSIBLE IDIOTS.

  • Comment number 3.

    when the financial expert brought in to explain to the public on five 5 didn't know what time of day Libor was announced it shows the depth of financial illiteracy?

    Listening to Y Cooper 'explain' makes ones toes curl as to the depth of ignorance and misrepresentation churned out to the public.

    Gordon is being economical with the truth and seems only to be doing what he is doing not for the good of the country but just to make the 'tories' look bad. Which fits in with his previous policy decisions.

    The govt isn't about right policy it is about fooling the public with a max out all the credit cards scam.

    The govt use two points.
    1. Everyone else is doing the tax thing- they fail to point out not everyone is doing the unfunded tax thing. e.g Australia is doing it from reserves they built up. which is different from borrowing to do it.

    2. we are here because of what happened in usa housing market and so nothing to do with the govt- the gloabl crisis only affected the uk because of a lack of regulation and oversight WITHIN the UK. If the uk regulators had not been asleep and even admitting they were 'afraid' of what people might say if they did regulate then the uk would have avoided the bank melt downs.

    The tories have got it half right. unfunded taxes cuts are not the answer. If they can be funded so be it. The part no one is saying is the job creation through things like a feed in tariff.

    incredibly Gordon 'we are doing everything' Brown is blocking a feed in tariff which has proven to create hundreds of thousands of jobs. Why? Because it threatens nuclear?

    Gordon is not doing the right things. Which is why we are here in the first place.

    Without jobs in new industry how will this smog of debt ever be lifted from the UK?

    the govt are still playing politics not economics.

  • Comment number 4.

    I suggest you interview John S. Burnett, author of "Dangerous Waters: Modern Piracy and Terror on the High Seas", published in 2002. Burnett discusses in depth the threat of piracy and its potential disruption to international shipping lanes.

  • Comment number 5.

    Why is cutting interest rates a good thing? At best it is a tool that becomes excessively crude as you approach the lower numbers ie 1 % cut on 3% is in reality a 33 1/3% cut from existing position. This kind of action punishes those who are 'prudent' and skimp and save, in order to try and earn a little interest in a bank account.
    What kind of 'quality' industry requires borrowing at such low rates to be viable?
    Markup is always in the 10's of percent; apart from the somewhat unique position of supermarkets which can operate at such low margins because Mr Heinz doesn't get paid until after the customer has paid for, and probably eaten the baked beans.
    Why should this govt be encouraging the population to spend more, when the average household debt is still above where it should be. Does this govt wish for everyone to be permanantly in hock to others?
    I think a recession will be good for everyone in the future, and good for the environment too.
    Let's get rid of all these financial service co's and restart quality 'Sheffield Steel', type of industries, where we are not the cheapest in the world, but produce the best quality.
    Teach people to save up for the goods they long for. Slow self financed expansion for industry will make it relatively bullet proof, and able to withstand cyclic drops in demand without instant redundancies.

    Finally how much carbondioxide has been saved by this global recession so far, and does anyone have future projections? Roads here in Glos. are definitely less busy in recent weeks.

  • Comment number 6.

    What about a story on the collapse of International shipping and letters of credit?

  • Comment number 7.

    #3 bookhimdano

    I so agree with all that you have said.

  • Comment number 8.

    On Congo much as I hate the thought of more violent bloodshed somebody has got to be kidding if they think our forces can handle yet another conflict.

    It is somebody else's turn.

    The forces are overstretched and our focus should be on the conflicts we are in - not on a few extra votes and improving image internationally.



  • Comment number 9.

    #5

    "Teach people to save up for the goods they long for."

    Seriously misguided. If some people save, others MUST borrow. When you save in (eg) a bank it pays interest only because it lends the money to borrowers. If we all save under our mattresses instead of lending to banks by saving, we shall cause a worse recession*. Eventually we cannot save because we have low incomes, so it isn't possible to save in that way; we have to lend to borrowers.

    *because if we save like that, shops sell less--> buy less from their suppliers--> suppliers employ less people--> less wages--> can't save.

    (Wiki the "fallacy of composition". Many people regularly fall foul of it. In this case the fallacy is the "Paradox of Thrift", explained at the Wiki).

    Rob Slack

  • Comment number 10.

    #3

    "Australia is doing it from reserves they built up"

    Can anyone explain the idea of a country building up reserves (of its own currency)? If the Govt holds reserves of money as an asset it equally has a liability to itself(because that is what money is). Clearly the two cancel. It is like writing IOU's to yourself!

    Countries can build up reserves of foreign currencies and gold. Things which foreigners will accept as payment.

  • Comment number 11.

    #1

    ---"So a chasm has opened between Labour and Con? This can only mean:
    (1) One or both don't know what they are talking about.
    (2) One or both has worked hard to create AN ARTIFICIAL CHASM to gain purchase on the throat of their rivals. "---

    Or possibly they have different views on the proper role of government? Different views on desired ends? Different views on the means to achieve even the same desired ends?

    And look on the bright side. If the chasm opens wide enough they might all fall in!

    Rob Slack

  • Comment number 12.

    #1

    "So a chasm has opened between Labour and Con? This can only mean:
    (1) One or both don't know what they are talking about.
    (2) One or both has worked hard to create AN ARTIFICIAL CHASM to gain purchase on the throat of their rivals. "

    Or possibly they have different views on the proper role of government? Different views on desired ends? Different views on the means to achieve even the same desired ends?

    And look on the bright side. If the chasm opens wide enough they might all fall in!

    Rob Slack

  • Comment number 13.

    Dear 13th Man,
    I'm not suggesting save all earnings, just more. If we save so much that there are fewer borrowers, then so be it. No reason why banks can't lend money out to industry that is actually adding value to something tangible. The savers can buy that. Restrict mortgages to the conventional 3ish times salary... That would have helped to limit house prices. If shops selling widescreen TV's go down the pan then so what. Widescreen was a classic rip off, paying more for less. Widescreen only appropriate for the big screeen at cinema, otherwise it's like peering out of a letterbox. Notice how Jockeys on horseback are all built like Odd Job from J Bond? For another example of where we are wasting energy and knowledge; take the rubbish cars being built today:
    A 'Smart' car can carry next to nothing and only gets 45 to 50mpg. My VW Passat is 21 next year, is an estate and as a turbo diesel gets 60mpg. It has outlasted 4 cars at 5 years per car. An electric/petro car has a battery that lasts about 3 years and then costs thousands to replace.
    Why is there a fear of producing items that can be passed on to your children?

    Perhaps we should save for luxurys and borrow [if at all] for essentials.

  • Comment number 14.

    Are you (the beeb) going to take Paxo to task about his treatment of the spending plan discussion? - he barracked and interupted the Tory - while allowing the Labour MP a free run.
    Failing to mention Brown's failure to keep to his own rules - just a passing reference to prudence - nothing about the end to boom and bust - or pressing Kelly on how Labour intend for us to pay for their plan.

    Not to mention the £30Bn fiscal stimulus that the OECD thinks is necessary?

    I generally like it when Paxo give these politicians everything they deserve - but this time he totally failed to remain fair.

  • Comment number 15.

    THE GREAT BROWN GIVE-AWAY

    No, nothing to do with money - I refer to that grin (or should I say grim) that comes and goes in a flash, telling any observer of nous that it is (a) false and (b) done deliberately BY A COMPLETE FAKER; what is more AN INCOMPETENT FAKER. It put in an appearance again today - as is usual, at an utterly inappropriate moment, bearing no relation to what he was saying. It is SO embarrassing that Britain's Prime Minister is as inept as America's. If he must make cringe worthy gaffes, surely he might have the good grace to emulate Phillip or Boris?
    The naff gaffe, shows a lack of breeding, not normally found in the British. Perhaps it's a Scottish thing?

  • Comment number 16.

    PARLIAMENT ALSO PUZZLED (#3)

    Hi Bookhim! Feed-in tariff came up on 'Today in Parliament'. Your oft-posted view, on here, endorsed and your suspicions confirmed. What a fecally smeared country we live in! Westminster is forever running some hidden agenda to suit, chums in devious places. Never mind - the Tories have (almost) promised to tell the truth when they get power. Hurrah!

  • Comment number 17.

    Well, at least now there's a tangible difference between the two major parties. Even if it is one wants to cut taxes through borrowing and the other through spending cuts (okay, that's a very general statement).
    As for the pirates, isn't there a dedicated NATO force in the region? Therefore, wouldn't their resources be better spent on escorting vulnerable ships or providing their security personnel? Or maybe this would infringe someone's 'rights' or damage the income of private contractors...

  • Comment number 18.

    #13

    "No reason why banks can't lend money out to industry that is actually adding value to something tangible."

    There is a reason, if industry does not wish to borrow it. If people save more than industry wishes to borrow then industry will not sell all its output (unless either the government or foreigners take up the slack by borrowing the excess savings to purchase the excess output; that is arithmetic, not opinion). If industry cannot sell all its output it will not wish to borrow to invest. I know many people have an aversion to a credit based economy. Some countries have avoided it. The people still live in trees. (Not because they are backward, because it is impossible to develop without a credit based economy. Credit allows people greater control over their lifetime consumption patterns; borrow when you are young to buy a house and contents. Pay later and then save for retirement (by lending to younger people).

    I fully agree with much of what you say about modern goods. I would add nail bars, "beauty " treatments, the fashion industry, advertising, 90% of the stuff sold by Toys'R'Notworthit and about the same % for the junk served up by the BBC. (Newsnight excepted!!)

  • Comment number 19.

    Bit depressing was Newsnight.
    Nobody had a clue what to do with the economy except revert to political type;

    not a clue what to do with the Pirates except posture around the sea in expensive Navy ships; QE2 is heading that way perhaps that may bring some action or protection?

    and the Congo, another clueless performance from all that spoke which will continue as long as the useless UN is involved.

    In the meantime we get on with dealing with our lives as best we can.

    "I couldn't give a damm--but tomorrow is another day" I've not Gone with the Wind but the Fairies. Another Bad Day at Black Rock. Perhaps I need a Newsnight respite??

    Will comfort myself tomorrow reading all the postings from those who obviously know the answer especially if it lies with another 18 years of Toryism. I spent most of my trade union life seeing what they did to jobs, the export of our industry and their privatisation of everything else.

  • Comment number 20.

    #10
    Rob

    "Countries can build up reserves of foreign currencies and gold. Things which foreigners will accept as payment."

    You forgot to mention foreign Governments debts or Gilts , an assured steady return in foreign currency, earning high interest,which you can sell on when you need to cash it in.

    Just like China's stake in holding some of the Americans $10 trillion debt.

    I wonder which foreign powers economic stimulus packages the UK taxpayers are currently paying for ?

  • Comment number 21.

    #13 Markonee1

    Thanks for the sense.

    I have a B reg Opel Manta GTE Coupe I bought for £150.

    As an engineer, have done some work on it.

    It does *** mph, at a steady ** mph on the motorway it does well over 40 mph. (Smart car)

    It's running Koni sport shocks, Terrassport springs, Supaflex bushes, slotted and drilled discs, EBC pads, new calipers etc etc.

    A Trans Auto Sport exhaust and KN filter with a reworked fuel injection system.

    Ha Ha when £30,000 plus of modern exotica try it on. It was the WRC of '83 so the Impreza and Evo boys do realise to treat it with respect. Esp with the 21st century technology underneath. There again it is rear wheel drive and a double wish bone suspension was standard when built.

    And it is beautiful!

    As a deep ecologist, you have to divide the original manufacturing resource costs by the number of years on the road, then add the running costs per mile.

    A modern hybrid with batteries, electric motors (two engines!) is an ecological liability. The Government policy on CO2 emissions and vehicle tax is nothing more than a money raising hoax.

    Once a car is built you keep it on the road as long as possible. YOU DO NOT BUY A NEW CAR. If you respect the environment and run a car, do not do what political parties tell you to do.

    Let's all do what the politicians tell us and get electric cars. BANG- the sound of the national grid melting down when we all plug them in at night. And where does the electricity come from. Power Stations fueled by oil, gas, coal and nuclear. The CO2 just comes out of a chimney instead of a exhaust

    Why don't the media cover environmental audits and ecological issues accurately?

    Why do they repeat the rubbish the Government feeds them.

    Lazy environmental editors?

    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 22.

    #19 Bill

    Once the media/political strangle hold starts to break down, then we can build a better world.

    You cannot even put constructive alternatives on these blogs, because they get moderated.

    Yet politicians are given full coverage to talk rubbish night after night.

    Censorship of the non political perspective. The politicians as you say destroyed our industry.

    Perhaps it is time for engineers to rise up and take the initiative. Engineers do, politicians just talk.

    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 23.

    KingCelticLion (#22)

    Good post.


  • Comment number 24.

    Nabokov piece really appreciated - thanks.

    Very good to see John Banville (no doubt because he is a master stylist as Nabokov was and perhaps the piece might have mentioned that).

    And I thought Nabokov's son Dimitri fascinating as well.

    Whole edition usual high standard.

  • Comment number 25.

    Thanks Celtic Lion, *22 -you cheered me up a little.
    As I am just off to work today, out of retirement for how long, depends on funding, so I will read all your comments on my return.
    Many people haven't a job or won't in the future so I should be thankful.

  • Comment number 26.

    CELTIC LION absolutely! The same ignorance is common regarding the hideously inefficient wind turbine electricity generation whose costs exceed any possible benefit. As for cars I have a 1985 Saab 900 Turbo with a 225bhp engine special suspension and Jetex exhaust, 2.3 9000 clutch and head, Ford Motorsport injectors and from a standing start to 40 it is like a lame camel, but from 40 - 150 WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
    I too am recycling my cars.

  • Comment number 27.

    16

    ...Feed-in tariff came up on 'Today in Parliament'....

    good.

    there is no economic case against it as it creates huge numbers of jobs, redistributes wealth and democratises energy.

    so blocking it is purely political. why would gordon do that? who benefits? not the nation.

  • Comment number 28.

    PETROLHEAD QUERY

    Hey you boy-racers, what do you do with all the bits you swap for other bits, on these amazing motors? And does 'burning rubber' emit CO2? (:o)

    I am averaging 60mpg (can coax 70 in the summer) and my noise pollution is tiny.
    AND I hate myself as I drive - how green is that?

  • Comment number 29.

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

  • Comment number 30.

    Grrr - my dvd keeps sticking, so unable to watch all of yesteday's Newsnight. However, when I turned to BBCi Player - both on my Virgin cable and online, it just isn't playing properly!Arrrrgggghhhh.

  • Comment number 31.

    #28 Barrie

    A Petrolhead Writes:

    If you mean wheel spinning by 'burning rubber' I don't.

    The fastest way to accelerate is with only 10% of wheel spin. So it is hardly worth breaking traction for any extra gain.

    Hard acceleration in first puts excessive strain on the transmission system. So for a long term stewardship approach to vehicle owning. The wheel spin from the lights is best avoided.

    I like a car set up for mid range umph, a nice wide torque spread. As Too Hard to Log In suggests.

    All the modifications are consumables on the car, they wear out anyway. So it is just appropriate replacement.

    Some of the parts such as calipers and steering racks involve a 'trade in'. Old for new so they can be re-engineered. Others parts go to the metal recycling at the tip. Or dropped off at a friendly garage, as they will weigh in all their scrap every now and again. So it is extra money for them. Albeit small.

    A stewardship approach to car ownership keeps local and small businesses in employment. Component manufacturers, body shops, garages, engineering work shops, tool suppliers etc.

    The process also keeps a practical skill base in the community related to science and engineering areas. As Bill pointed out we have lost our 'industry and become a service economy.

    Keeping cars 'alive' is the equivalent of the books in fahrenheit 451, what a coincidence Bill!

    Many jobs now are call centres, burger flipping. I would also include things like law in that. Well what practical use are those. What actual skill, problem solving etc is involved. The ability to make things that work. To be able to repair things instead of just throwing them away. The knowledge of science, techniques and skills involved in maintaining a car.

    The mpg and CO2 figures produced by manufacturers in line with the strict guidelines are 'fudged'.

    Very often a car is made to be efficient at those specific datums of speed etc. To the detriment of overall range efficiency.

    By changing exhaust, filter reworking the ECU of the injection/ engine management etc, very often you make the car more efficient over it's entire usage range, not just at those specific datums laid down for comparison.

    What you do with a car is important in a full environmental audit.

    All resources come from the ecosystem. What benefit does for example a football agent return to the stability of the planetary ecosystem in driving around as the output from their work?

    I did a technician engineering apprenticeship, old school mechanical skills, now no longer required by society. But when I needed work I managed to get employment as a shuttering joiner.

    This would mean travelling many miles to different sites. What I did was only take work on waste water treatment plants, railways etc. So my resource expenditure in working, contributed to reducing pollution etc, ie stabilising the biosphere or at least reducing damage.

    No airports, shopping malls etc. So my driving audit was related to the greater stability audit.

    Unlike eg a sales rep specialising in plastic plants for offices.

    I walk, cycle or go by bus or coach. But when I go by car I go by car.

    Also my car makes me go yabba dabba do.


    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 32.

    Celtic Lion #22 Toohardtologin #26

    NOW we're talking! The world was built by and can be salvaged by engineers. Take the power back from the 'verbal' politicians and give it to the 'spacial' doers.

    We are still faced with the same old problem though, the only ones who put themselves up for election to power are by definition the ones who must not be allowed to have it. So we need a benevolent government to organise said engineers. Any ideas? (Anyone remember the 70s TV series 'Survivors'?)

    I've struggled not to write the next bit but the loose screw continues to rattle and there is no cure for it. My chosen method of transport can take me from 0-60 in under 4 seconds, I have been 'trapped' at 162.4 mph on the Brabham Straight at Brands. And yet (if I am careful) I can get 50 mpg from it. It is, of course, a bike and I reckon it is far greener than anything on four wheels and a heck of a lot more fun.

  • Comment number 33.

    #32 NewFazer

    I knew you had a bike, anything to do with the name?

    I have had 25 years of bikes. Only got a car when a dog started following me.

    Seriously many bikers ended up with Opel Mantas. Rear wheel drive?

    I was so used to controlling powerslides from motorbikes, I felt unsafe with front wheel drive cars.

    Can't fault you on anything you've written though.

    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 34.

    Sargeant off Strictly, questions should be asked....get Jeremy on it as he represented old farts everywhere, I do hope the Beeb hasn't caved in again to the PC brigade as we need to champion the 'normal' people in our society...

  • Comment number 35.

    Celtic Lion #32

    Ah, I am undone! It's all in the name.

    It is now becoming embarrassing when re-insuring that I have to confess to holding a full motorcycle licence for 46 years.

    Yes, rear wheel drive is best for getting hot but I think that front drive is adequate and generally safer for 'normal' everyday driving. My A3 is quite accomplished in road holding terms and is for the drudgery traveling - a 1.9TDi, very boring.

    I was glad to read earlier that you have a proper regard for dogs. I too give mine proper burials, on their own couches, facing the rising sun and with all their trophies round them. Then I plant 100 daffodils above them, that way I can visit them all each spring and be with each of them again for a short while.

    Oh dear, I am off-thread again.

  • Comment number 36.

    On Newsnight on Tuesday or Monday, Paul Mason referred to Gordon Brown's bank bailout as "having worked".

    I'd be interested to know Paul's criteria for coming to this conclusion. It's very difficult to identify any: bank share values continue to fall, banks are still not lending to businesses, and various aspects of the bail out itself continue to unravel.

    I'd refer you to today's Telegraph piece by Jeff Randall, an altogether more robust commentator than anyone currently working on Newsnight:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/jeffrandall/3480078/Barclays-expensive-independence-is-better-than-government-interference.html

  • Comment number 37.

    #34 leftoddbod

    Sargeant

    I don't understand the situation. But have to admit I haven't seen any of this year's programmes.

    Have to ask though why if the programme makers asked a 65 years old, non sporting etc person to be on it.

    Why do they seem to be annoyed that he itsn't doing triple salkos with half pikes or what ever the terms are?

    Perhaps the demographic for Strictly is older viewers. Perhaps then they might vote on the basis, "he is doing well for someone of my age".

    Though light entertainment it does raise issues about democracy, and ageism plus all the other isms.

    If the producers don't want old people on becuase they can't dance as good as young people, then don't have them on in the first place.

    Are the BBC now going to refund the money to all those who voted for Sargeant up to now.

    I feel a storm a brewin'.

    Thanks to
    New Fazer, JJ, Too hard to Log In, Bill etc. Sometimes truth is so obvious they are overlooked.

    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 38.

    Apparently Nick Griffin says he
    "welcomed the new media interest in the party as a result of the leak because it challenged the idea that the average member of the BNP "was a skinhead oik". "

    But nobody cares whether they are skinheads. Many on the far right are sub-normal like the Baby P batterer and the paedophile nail bomber jailed recently but they also have many pseudo intellectuals in their ranks like Irving.

    It's the sick racism nobody likes.

    But it must have been novel for Jacqui Smith to NOT be the party that lost data. I think its been at least three weeks since the government lost anything which is something we could brag about at the next G20 meeting.

  • Comment number 39.

    thegangofone (#38) "It's the sick racism nobody likes."

    So, to the extent that they are guilty of this, they're not going to get very far with the electorate are they?

    Furthermore, if they have racist policies, they are contrary to our (e.g. the RRAA) laws and they will be sanctioned legally.

    So there's no need to worry surely?

    Mind you, maybe all this fuss is a part of surreptitious strategy to push a largely unwitting electorate towards the other political pole?

  • Comment number 40.

    Exaggerating for effect, I do rather miss having a tad more than 3 minutes before the evening's programme to see a new thread for the day to post on.

    And now, at risk of incurring the wrath of some 'if you are not with us...' pigeon-holing camps (many roaming today, sadly, like those nice upgraded versions of humanity in 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers'), I again have cause to ruminate on this funny old democracy thing....

    Abuse all sorts of things in all sorts of ways on the BBC; slap wrist; do collect your £200/m.

    Preside over an 8 year long child care system that has yet to learn a lesson; no problem.

    Belong to a political party that, last time I looked, was/is allowed to operate in this country...

    Employers warn staff on BNP list face dismissal
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/nov/19/thefarright-freedomofinformation

    So long as 'values' are shared, or even just claimed to be, who cares what else actually happens?

    I actually belong (might have to review a curious nature in this brave new world) to a few organisations (not the BNP, it is almost mandatory to add) I happen to disagree with, as I get information from them that helps me maintain a balanced level of awareness not always possible from bathing in the warm glow of fellow group-thinkers.

    You know what might be funny? Include in a future list such as this a few who might be mortified that they were on there... and then have it nicked and broadcast for the waiting mob to really worry about accuracy before 'responding'.

    And imagine the powers that be trying to unravel whether being on a list means you actually wanted to be on the list, much less sharing the views of fellow listees to the same extent... if at all.

    But I am sure if 'proper procedure is followed' then while a few innocents might suffer the overall stats will be good. Now, where have I heard that before recently?

    Gotta love the Animal Farmian mindset that can often be selectively applied by some. Who says we can't still do great irony in this country?

  • Comment number 41.

    Dear Bookhim---

    "there is no economic case against it as it creates huge numbers of jobs, redistributes wealth and democratises energy.

    so blocking it is purely political. "

    But the points you raise (jobs, redistribution, democracy) are all POLITICAL, not economic.

    Rob Slack

    (Job CREATION is political if it is not for economic benefit. And it the slippery slope to the sick man of Europe role we held for so long, when large numbers of people were on payrolls but didn't have real jobs.)

  • Comment number 42.

    37. At 1:53pm on 19 Nov 2008, KingCelticLion
    I don't understand the situation.


    Poor old Aunty.

    Can't even do bread and circuses without meddling... fouling up... and making their position even more precarious.

    What is needed now is for Dear Leader to take a reading from acolytes in the the bunker, get the public mood wrong, and make this the key issue of the next few days.

    Closely followed by the rest of the Westminster Useful Idiot Village.

    Like usual.

  • Comment number 43.

    DENYING THE OBVIOUS

    thegangofone (#38) Please substantiate your assertion about racism. I have looked for evidence of racist polices at the BNP site and haven't been able to identify any.

    As I have said above, such policies would be illegal. They do ask some very pertinent questions though. Do you have any rational answers?

    The was this worked in the C20th was that one particular special interest group (which tended to be anarchistic politically) encouraged mass immigration and vilified anyone or any group which tried to curb it.

  • Comment number 44.

    PMQs BUT NEVER PMAs. (Might Newsnight take this up?)

    Now that world-saviour Brown's arrogance leads him to blatantly ignore virtually all questions at PMQs, and Mr Speaker is (as I understand him to have said) not concerned with such non-answering, it would appear that gunpowder is the only cure.

    Do school children come to Westminster and observe this spectacle?

    What are your thoughts when you witness it? (Not enough to cling to the belief that 'a change of government cures all.')

    Have you done anything to improve matters?

    Do you plan to?

  • Comment number 45.

    May I commend this for 'Optimistic Punt of the Month':

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7736794.stm

    Are you a member of the BNP? Were your details published online? Contact us using the form below. Your contact details will not be published.

    Well, not again... er... assuming we don't have the same issues other government agencies have...er...

    Best to stick with...

    Your comments [and personal details] may be published on any BBC media worldwide [and/or left in pubs, trains, car seats...]

    ... for safety.

    Ah, truly a country with the finest market rate talents money can buy.


  • Comment number 46.

    As we're into entertaining diversions from the big issues in the real world:

    From my Aunty... in Singapore.

    How did these comedians see it coming when financial reporters did not?

    http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/187.html

    Interesting how others see us.

    A bunch of clowns. At least we're still good at that.

    I have commended to her the ongoing observational series that is Silly Money.

    http://www.channel4.com/video/brandless-catchup.jsp?vodBrand=bremner-bird-and-fortune-silly-money

  • Comment number 47.

    Or, what we could do is.... break out Brucie!

    Sparkly. I wonder if Sir Phillip Green would think this is as good a use of stakeholders' money as I do?

    Thank heavens that's not a business John Humphrys et al want, or need to be in.

    'Interpreting' stuff others say (in a manner acceptable to certain guiding principles one presumes... plus the odd splash of agenda, possibly?) is... apparently.

    But... er... that's all we have time for, as a skateboarding turtle story awaits.

 

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