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Wednesday, 19 November, 2008

Ian Lacey | 17:16 UK time, Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Jeremy steps out for tonight's all-singing, all-dancing Newsnight. Here's programme producer Robert Morgan with what to expect.

LIBERATA
Tonight Newsnight hears from a whistle-blower who tells us the inside story of Liberata - the huge outsourcing company which has today been sacked by the government after it failed to provide grants for sixth-formers. He tells us that the company was told a year in advance that "they couldn't deliver the service" but they didn't tell the government or the Learning and Skills Council. College principals are outraged and tell us the Liberata team should be "shot at dawn". What's more the whistle-blower tells us Liberata also had problems with local council work. He says they failed to produce council tax bills in time for the deadline so sent out thousands of empty envelopes to taxpayers in the hope the council would never find out.

BNP
After the full membership list of the British National Party was leaked online, political geographers at least have been rubbing their hands at a chance to pour over the demographic profile of one of the nations most secretive political parties. Who are the BNP? Michael Crick finds out.

STRICTLY
John Sergeant has pulled out of Strictly Come Dancing, saying there is a real danger he might win. The former BBC Chief Political Correspondent had created controversy because the judges have ridiculed his dancing skills, but his popularity with viewers has kept him in the contest. He says it would be a "joke too far" if he had won the competition. We sent Jeremy along to the hastily convened press conference at TV centre to add some solemnity to the occasion and ask the difficult questions.

TURKEY
Eighty people are accused of conspiring in an ultra-nationalist plot to overthrow the government of Turkey. For decades reformers have suspected the existence of an anti-democratic network buried deep in Turkey's military and other state organisations. Now there might be some real answers in the offing. The trial could also shed light on the death of Hrant Dink, the dissident writer who was assassinated last year after he was convicted of insulting Turkishness. We have a special report from Turkey. Read reporter Sarah Rainsford's article here.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    I cannot believe all the hoo haa about John Sergeant resigning, ( or perhaps being kicked out) of come dancing. Although I think he's a lovely bloke, perhaps he ought to go back to reporting on politics. It's absolute drivel and I never watch the Saturday night rubbish on the BBC

    Has this been done to cover up the net increase in immigration figures which I notice the BBC has barely mentioned! Our country is being inundated with people and yet there is no discussion of it, particularly on the BBC. You keep quoting the population of around 61 million, it must be at least 65 as you keep reporting that we have had 3 million immigrants in the last five years. Why won't anyone have a serious debate about this? The House of Lords has just declared that there is no advantage to our economy from all these extra people, just that we are becoming more overcrowded and all our services are suffering, and yet the BBC didn't even mention that report! Not when I was listening anyway, I read it in the papers.

  • Comment number 2.

    SO MAD I POSTED TWICE (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 go to Westminster and observe this spectacle? Learning Britishness from the Donkey's mouth!

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

    Has even one MP done anything to improve matters?

    Is there a plan anywhere?

  • Comment number 3.

    I hope people will pore over the BNP files; to pour over them must mean that they're more exciting than we thought.
    John.

  • Comment number 4.

    Sergeant

    I was being slightly ironic #37 18th Tuesday, but I suppose "many a true word spoke in jest".

    Its on the 6 O'clock, now I find Newsnight.

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

    And the BBC will refund money. 4000 complaints already. Brand/Ross only got 2 on the day.

    What was that idle comment at 1.53pm?

    "I feel a storm a brewin'."

    "34. At 1:29pm on 19 Nov 2008, leftieoddbod wrote:
    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..."

    leftieoddbod, what have you started?

    Newsnight blogs ahead of the curve. Anyone got the lottery numbers for Saturday?

    Celtic Lion




  • Comment number 5.

    STRICTLY COME DANCING

    If the public are going to go around voting for the 'wrong' candidate then the 'wrong' candidate must obviously be persuaded to remove himself from the fray. What do people think this is? A democracy?

  • Comment number 6.

    If the Beeb has the list are any of the emails connected to posters on this blog? I have seen the self-admitted, the probables and possibles.

    There is clearly a flawed strategy to impress the world with their intelligence. Its just not going to fly.

    Will you give us numbers? Perhaps its not feasible in the time scales.

    Are many pretentiously claiming to be genetic scientists doubling up as philosophers doubling up as social scientists? World experts on race and IQ? They might have used snake-oil salespeople as an employment title instead I suppose.

    There is a lot of double-speak and intimation but it is stomach turning at times when you know what they are about. They aren't holocaust deniers they just don't accept "the major claims" about it. Of course what is disputed is never specified.

    Still I suppose that when many get the sack they will be "martyred" but then I wouldn't want to work with them.

    I do hope nobody is killed or seriously injured but after that I have no sympathy for them at all.

    Are they all going to meet up in a field like they usually do and then march on Westminster? Probably not.

    I shall SO enjoy this piece from Michael Crick.

    As a parting shot one poster who is not apparently a BNP propagandist said:

    "Hitler, Mussolini and Roosevelt did what they did in the 1930s (essentially running planned economies) because of the catastrophic financial mess which had been brought about by anarcho-capitalist 'democratic' deregulators peddling the merits of 'freedom'. Yet you and others of your ilk are still naively arguing for precisely this."

    I am not actually a deregulator but I am an enthusiastic proponent of democracy and I quite like freedom.

    My point is that this is somebody who is not even BNP allegedly. Possibly a non-denial denial but who cares.







  • Comment number 7.

    Will the Government now be sacking The British Council over their delays in paying
    European Union 'Erasmus' grants to UK
    students studying overseas?

    http://dblackie.blogs.com/the_language_business/2008/11/sitting-on-students-money.html

  • Comment number 8.

    The BBC gets worse . We have the news channel blocked by Big Brother nonsense and other chaff over the years. Now it is Strictly Come Dancing. Is that really so important it should take so much time? Surely, in a country of 60 million, there must be at least one old lady with a boil on her bum the BBC could report on.

  • Comment number 9.

    democracy is OK as long as you don't complicate it by voting for the 'wrong' candidate be it Hamas or John Sergeant, we can all learn something from all this....

  • Comment number 10.

    nortongriffiths - come now, that question must surely have been answered after Ireland voted 'NO' to the Lisbon Treaty but which is trundling on with even more 'steamrolling' power than the kindly Mr Sergeant...

  • Comment number 11.

    Strictly come dancing

    I watched It Takes Two, this evening and, while I was rather expecting something like it, I can only gasp at the arrogance and hypocrisy of the comments from Arlene Phillips, Len Goodman and Craig Revel Horwood.

    All of them have been saying openly every Saturday and Sunday night that they wanted him out. And now that they've managed to drive him out, they seem belatedly to recognise that they - and they alone - have compromised the integrity of the programme and jeopardised its future - as well as the ultimate achievement of whatever financial target Strictly Come Dancing had been set to contribute to Children In Need.

    So.......Arlene Phillips and Len Goodman are sad, are they? I should think "guilty" would be a more apposite adjective for what they should be feeling.

    For the fact is that they have never recognised that the audience, by continuously voting for John Sargeant , has been expressing its contempt for the judges as much as its admiration for John Sargeant.

    Congratulations, judges. I hope you're satisfied with yourselves. I, for one, won't be watching Strictly Come Dancing any longer.


  • Comment number 12.

    ARE YOU NOW OR HAVE YOU EVER BEEN . . .

    Isn't Crazy Jaqui's 'guilty till proved guilty' (all men are bastards) initiative, a more Newsnightworthy item than the S and M Ball fiasco? (Strictly - geddit?)

    What is it about politicians that permits them to mouth bizarre ideas AND NOT KNOW? So a bloke might spend a year researching his local professional woman, and be given a signed declaration that she is free of proscribed 'association', only to find the Spanish Inquisition (for it is they) leap from the wardrobe and denounce him regardless. It really is Monty Python at his best. Where next? Unknowingly passing counterfeit money? There is a lot of good stuff in circulation, I'm told. YOU'RE NICKED SUNSHINE. I would suggest Jacqui should go back to cleavage flashing - but I would be arrested for assumed 'voyeurism by TV'.

    Thought Police - here we come.

  • Comment number 13.

    #11

    "Arlene Phillips, Len Goodman and Craig Revel Horwood....

    ....and they alone - have compromised the integrity of the programme and jeopardised its future"

    So there is something good to say about them!

    Rob Slack

  • Comment number 14.

    #13 Barrie

    ....Yes And I Still Have the Scars

    If you haven't been through the justice system, everyone is guilty. If they aren't they are made to be.

    Justice is only in Kavannagh QC or Judge John Deeds. Whatever is discussed or passed in the 'House' has no relevance on the streets. It is a brutal word of statistics, mind games, threats and intimidation.

    Solicitors work with the police everyday. When the police give someone a 'kicking' or decide to make 'something up' for the numbers game that night.

    Ask yourself this with whom does a solicitors loyalties lie. With someone they have never met before or police officers they have seen everyday for the last 15 years?

    Innocent people have to be prosecuted and convicted to support the criminal justice industry.

    Torture, beatings and breaches of not just human rights but basic humanity and morality happen all the time. It is just in Britain we are better at hiding and covering them up. These things would not happen within our justice system.

    Can you think of another place where they might find employment?

  • Comment number 15.

    GREASED LIGHTNING (#14)

    Yo Celtic Lion! After reading the (implied) stats on your hot-rod, I don't doubt you tangled with the traffic police. Is it black (highest predictor for wild men) or red (slightly suspect)? They get very upset when you fail to crash while (not actually) being pursued. You only have yourself to blame - ask Jacqui. Men!

  • Comment number 16.

    EMPLOYMENT LAW, HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE LISBON TREATY

    thegangofone (#6) Some effort needs to be made to get more people to understand the difference between 'racism' and reporting and operating on group individual differences.

    Do you have any rational responses to the questions put here and here ?

    What's highly relevant here is the passage of the current Employment Bill through the two Houses as it illustrates potential conflict between the individual's right of association vs say a Trade Union's or Employer's right to exclude or expell an individual for conduct or membership of a party. The current Bill has made amendments to the 1992 legislation which was made it illegal to expell or exclude on the grounds of political affiliation and this was considered by some to limit the power of unons. Here e have an istance of EU law (article 11 of EC Human Rights) vs UK law (the 1992 Act and the current Employment Bill). For those who have not been following it, whilst sensible heads have so far prevailed (see Third Reading), it has been revealing to follow how much effort has been put into this campaign.

    There have been several efforts to amend Section 19 (in the past Section 18) of the current Employment Bill.

    Try not to reduce it to sheep in fields etc. Give it a bit of thought instead. This is about politicization of the workplace.

  • Comment number 17.

    Further context. What the Opposition had to say was very interesting.

  • Comment number 18.

    Re the BNP story.

    Being a member of one of the three "mainstream" UK political parties, I am naturally not particularly bothered if the BNP finds itself in a political difficulties. However, I'm really not very comfortable at the thought of someone's membership of the BNP being deemed incompatiable with their job by the PC brigade.

    I know the arguments that are put forward for such bans (such as the incompatibility of BNP views with certain jobs) and I have a degree of sympathy with them. My problem is, who decides what views and parties are unacceptable, and on what authority to they make their decision? If we aren't careful, this could be a very slippery slope.

  • Comment number 19.

    SupremeChancellor (#18) Hence the link off (#17). It was a long session, but some good points were made.

  • Comment number 20.

    If the time comes that we must think and do only what this government say we can. it will mean we are nothing but their slaves with our liberty taken from us.
    I thought every one had the right to belong to a legitimate political party in the UK. Without fear or persecution. If they try to take that right away. It marks the very end of freedom and democracy.
    IF this is a democracy and the government ignore the concerns of the public people are entitled to vote for a political party who will address the issues. Their web site is more popular than the all three main parties added together. Go and see. They do have the support of white collar workers, many people are afraid to join but hundreds of thousands have decided to vote BNP.
    So what does that say?

  • Comment number 21.

    #1 Ecolizzy

    Immigration

    I don't know what the Government know, what they want to disclose or what they want to keep hidden.

    In Paul Mason's blog I posted a report from the Pentagon to the US President on climate change.

    I know Barrie read it. If the models and predictions the US military are looking at (and what I agree with at present) are correct, we do have an immigration problem.

    In the next few years southern Europe and North Africa will get so hot, they will be unlivable.

    If the North Atlantic Drift (Gulf Stream) shuts down due to increasing freshwater input from the melting Arctic ice cap shuts down. Then against the heating of the rest of the planet, Scandinavia will cool down.

    This means Southern Europe, North Africa and Scandinavia will become uninhabitable.

    Don't believe Governments. They couldn't even understand or predict something as simple as an economic system, let alone a global planetary ecological system.

    What we have is a situation where the UK might become the only livable locus for 400-500 million people. These people will try to get here.

    The present immigration situation will be ********etc (insert your own adjective) compared to what we face.

    400 plus million trying to get here or they die.

    I maintain, check my posts, that Gordon Brown has made completely the wrong call the on the economic situation.

    His strategy of increasing consumption will destabilize the planetary ecological system. We will have half a billion trying to get here as a result and we will have global warfare.

    Potentially the immigration figures you have access to are nothing compared to what the Government are going to commit us to.

    All out war against 400-500 million trying to get here.

    There is an alternative option. But I am only an engineer and ecologist and only contributed to 2 Nobel Prizes last year.


    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 22.

    Correction: three hours in.

  • Comment number 23.

    "You can't tell the voters what to do" Pretty rich coming from Hazel Blears, a member of the most authoritarian Government in living memory. Mind you she doesn't need to. New Labour denied the people the chance of even having a vote as promised on the EU Treaty. Rather like Brown who didn't have to face a vote to get his job as Prime Minister. Nauseating.

  • Comment number 24.

    FITNESS FOR PURPOSE

    Poignancy is in the air - yet again.
    As I have posted in some detail previously, it is very apparent that those who rise to leadership in the UK (and manifestly in America, with Dubya) are dangerously flawed. Almost as I type, Brown is hammering 'fair', and its derivatives, into every utterance, in clear belief it is a Harry Potter 'word of power'. He is still deploying that 'smile' (bearing more than a passing resemblance to Sergeant's 'dancing') suggesting a degree of autism in his failure to realise we are 'on to it'. The bitten finger nails and the "mi mi mi mi mi Mr Speaker" start to each (non) answer, at PMQs, further indicators to damaged goods - as overt as a leaking parcel.
    If the leader of a government is in denial (or in oblivion) about his own truncated ability, presiding over, and indulging in, deceit and failure of every kind, is it any wonder that duff companies will be chosen for vital work, and that they will fudge, fiddle and fail like their Labour masters? Perhaps (see 2nd para of my post 2) the executives of these companies, sit in the gallery of The House - AND TAKE NOTES ON 'HOW TO'!
    The lunatics have taken over the asylum. They demonstrate a degree of banal ineptitude that would make an axe murderer weak from laughing; and our only redress lies 'in the ballot box' UNTIL WESTMINSTER is shut down for the corrupt, self serving brothel full of political tarts (he she and don'tknow) that it is.

    Gordon says where people fail they should be held accountable. Yeah - right.

  • Comment number 25.

    John Sargent - I thought he was exceptionally good entertainment value of the Bob Hope genre, a sheepishly smiling, baby-faced older man with two left feet and an absolutely stunning woman on his arm - who danced for both of them. I think the judges have not realised that techincal perfection is not the only form of excellence especially since the dancing couples are teams and John's team was well worth watching.

    But... it is a little worrying that the political community seems to spend so much time scrutinising the BBC these days. I think we should leave the Beeb alone; it's a supporting wall of this house we call home, there are less structurally important institutions that we could knock through - such as Social Services - they don't seem to know what a 'society' is comprised of if toddler-bashing is considered, 'okay if you value everyone's belief system, if you know what I mean'.

    BNP - we should have an open debate and decide once and for all whether the party is legitimate, in which case employers should not prohibit staff being members, or not legitimate and disband it.

    Prostitutes and celebrity chefs - women's rights are being continuously eroded. What's with this drive to get women out of the bedroom and back into the kitchen? Are men losing their libido in favour of their stomachs?

    Goodnight x

  • Comment number 26.

    When one's livelihood is dependent upon on what political party you belong to, we are on a slippery slope. The BNP has replaced the odium of being a member of the Communist Party in the past. Which party membership next?

    As a Labour party member I could exclude anyone who votes Tory and Vice Versa. To misquote Life of Brian, I hate the "Popular Tory Front" more than the "Front of Popular Toryism". Whatever have the Tories done for us? No doubt after you Tory supporters give me a long list (viniculture excluded) I will still say "yes, but what ever have they done for us?

    Party membership should have nothing to do with how one does their job and only when one breaches the Contractual Nature of their work could one be liable for dismissal and I write as a Trade Unionist who has defended many in Tribunals and dismissal procedures. I thought free assocation was one on the cornerstones of our democracy. I do not agree with the BNP and like all parties they attract "extremists" and those with their own agendas and ideas how the "Party" should go. That is life. You want to attend some Labour Party Group meetings to see this!!!

    In fact I sit on a Trust Board with an ex retired Dr. who I am led to believe is a member of BNP and, if not a member, supports them. However I find his contribution to the work we do invaluable and in no way have I suspected his "politics" have coloured his judgement nor probably his medicine.

    I often find some of the "posters" on Newsnight's blog extreme and on which I am in total disagreement but they are entitled to their opinion and sometimes they make me think again about an issue that I had previously thought as being stupid. Sometimes I agree with Barrie, Jaded, (posting *16 was excellent) Celtic, Neil (over Scotland) et al but sometimes they are raving lunatics as they may regard me especially supporting Labour and Brown.

    When I become Supreme Leader I will ban all parties and imprison/execute anyone who disagrees with me but until then I can live with the democratic process (some posters would challenge Democratic) of this country.

  • Comment number 27.

    IS FREEDOM ANARCHISM?

    shrinkingviole (#20) What it says is that some people want most people to vote for any one of the three main parties (given that all three have similar policies) but that they don't want any form of nationalsm, be that BNP or Old (Stalinist) Labour. So we've seen a relentless campaign against statism for decades, with predictable anarchistic (free-market 'libertarian') consequences for both the economy and our demographics.

    Who engineers/benefits from this? To answer that, trust statistics. That is follow the money (change in properity over the last century) and look for disproportional representation. Look for deviations from what one would expect by chance if equality were indeed the case.

    It's just basic science.

  • Comment number 28.

    My favourite of the night was the debate on John Sargeant leaving Strictly.

    "John are you a man or a mouse?"

    I personally voted for him - and he did dance very well. He wouldn't be gettting that many votes if the public didn't like him. If he had carried on he probably would have won, and it is a great pity he did leave. I suspect people will be switching off Strictly!

    Best suggestion of the night by Jeremy: Hazel Blears team up with Peter Mandelson on Strictly! Ha ha ha.

  • Comment number 29.

    #15 Barrie

    Yes it is black, But someone phoned me up and I didn't know it was black.

    It wasn't the traffic police I tangled with when I got whacked, or anything to do with the car.

    Yes I have had a do with the traffic police, but they handled it diplomatically.

    I had built the car, So in theory knew what it would do. But had never done it as you have to break in Koni shocks and Terrasport springs. The best tyres would have been Yokohama 530s, but being an anorak and knowing how to read the tech spec on side walls I found another brand (Falkens) that should do the same. Tyres have to be broken in before taking them to the edge.

    From the first mile after putting it on the road the boy racers in the Fiesta 1000 etc had been pushing me for a race. I declined waiting for everything to bed in.

    A car come right up behind me one night. I mean right up my chuff. Lights full in my mirrors. I was approaching a roundabout. We had done 500 miles. So now was the time to show the boy racer what it should do. At this point it was all theory. Things like the ball joints had been replaced. These I found had eccentric settings so I could decide the camber angles of the suspension.

    The roundabout was right on top of me. I resisted the urge to hit the brakes.

    Theory to the test. The car went round it like a Apollo space craft coming out of lunar orbit. No body roll, no tyre squeal just pure total cornering.

    Wow I thought as I came out of the roundabout. I checked the rear view to check what idiot thought they were going to even attempt living with that.

    Side on a T5 Volvo police motor patrol was only just entering the roundabout. I felt physically sick. I was above the speed limit in a straight line. I was doing it going round a roundabout. I never even bothered braking.

    I approached the next roundabout to filter right waiting for the flashing blues. The police car indicated left and never bothered with me.

    I think traffic police sometimes judge differently. I assume the driver came up behind me, said to the passenger something like. "A Manta, they were hell of a car in their time".

    Then I pulled my stunt. He would have realised looking at the speed, the total lack of body roll, the lack of tyre squeal, The complete 'presence' of the car on the road, this was something special.

    Imagine a creme de la creme police driver, in his breathed upon new T5 being completely and totally destroyed on a corner by a 20 plus year old car. The Manta wasn't even near it's potential, I knew how to catch it if the back end let go. It was no where near.

    There are rules and laws of the road. But I do believe sometimes professional police drivers allow respect to transcend other considerations.

    Here lies the the danger of the Manta. It is pulling massive G in corners without a hint of stress. The unknown is when it does let go, how progressive, how much warning will it give? The theory is it will over steer and turn in to the corner.

    But how quickly, how much warning. At present I am doing the clutch, then a few other jobs. Then it is to take it to Knockhill on a track day. Get a touring car driver to have a go, then keep pushing it to and beyond the limit. If it is suddenly going to change ends the place to find out when and how is best done on a track with wide run off areas.

    Which brings us to the analogy of the the economic mess. The Government(s) of the world kept pushing the economic system without knowing when it would fail, how it would fail. And how to correct it. I wouldn't take a car to the raggedy edge unless it was safe.

    Why have politicians been allowed to do it with a global economy without a safe run off area. Where are the traffic police when you need them?

    Celtic Lion


  • Comment number 30.

    I have to say a not-so-pleasant side of my character has found the outrage of the BNP quite amusing.

    It appears some of their members have had nasty phone calls. This would be the equivalent of the BNP activist who threatened me on my own doorstep some years ago because I pointed out that my first girlfriend was Jewish.

    I could not resist a vist to the BNPs online forum home at Stormfront - [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    This is where the supporters hang out and reveal their real racist and anti-Semitic views. Put it this way, the UK forum moderator uses the old National Front logo as his Avatar.

    And boy, are they upset on there!

    I am fascinated to know who is the person who has bought an internet domain specifically for re-publishing the list.

    I really feel that for once, the nation is hitting back at this obnoxious organisation

  • Comment number 31.

    'Are you, or have you ever been...?'

    26. At 11:53pm on 19 Nov 2008, I hate the "Popular Tory Front" more than the "Front of Popular Toryism".

    As I have found myself in agreement with most of the rest (might have stumbled over 'execute' even if in jest) of what you have written (and, need it be said, your right to say it), but I even though just making a point I would wish you had not used this particular word here in such context.

    While it has been devalued in many ways, and now includes Broccoli, I have tried to persuade my kids that 'hate' is something to be reserved for, and applied to only truly exceptional circumstances, if at all.

    A difficult job when the visceral manifestations of this extreme sentiment is on display daily, and at/from the the highest levels, and easily picked up on and amplified by various tribal groups in need of targets to unite them.

    I was once, I think, member of some Local entity with the word 'Conservative' in it (Hence enough enough for me to be described 'You Tory voter' in some minds, no matter how misguided). Why did I join? Well, they held monthly business breakfasts and hence seemed a nifty way to network (not so much as it turns out, so I have long forgone the £15 full-English and 6am wake-up).

    Will I have cause to rue this 'lapse' with the new world order we are heading towards? Hard to imagine a while ago, but not as I listen to Breakfast News intone its near daily raft of 'new measures announced by the government', most barely or simply ill-thought out, and almost every-one pure 'catch-all' but 'do-nothing to the quality of justice but make it easy to fine all others' in nature.

  • Comment number 32.

    JunkkMale, *31
    Yes you are right, "execute" is too extreme but I wrote it with those in my mind who in the past (and some in the present) who did go to this extreme such as Stalin and Hitler. "Supreme Leaders" have a habit of going down this road.

    As to my politics I was one who canvassed on behalf of the Tory party in the early '70's in the most left wing part of Wigan maj. then of 35,000 plus for Labour.

    I left when I saw what happened in a selection meeting for an MEP of some chinless wonder, son of a Laird, who had no idea of what an industrial area was. As I said at the time, if the selection procedure had been run under "Jockey Club Rules" there would have been a stewards' inquiry.

    And just for the record, as a Union Official, I was one that supported Thatcher's balloting of members which put the control of my union back to the members. Didn't like the rest of her T.U. legislation, but that is another story to where I am not going or we would be blogging all month.

  • Comment number 33.

    #21 KCL Thank you for your very interesting comments. Could I ask you a question? I have read that we will also experience another "ice age" if the Gulf Stream moves away from us, is that right? Do you think that will be another reason for people to come here or move away, goodness knows where to!

  • Comment number 34.

    #33 Ecolizzy

    The "Abrupt Climate Change Scenario" is the reference you require.

    I can't say whether it is right or not. You can decide or at least consider it.What do you think?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/newsnight/paulmason/2008/10/new_world_financial_order_what.html

    Bottom link

    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 35.

    My personal views -

    LIBERATA

    Not too clear on his , a Government appointed quango took the contract away from a private firm who were fulfilling their contractual obligations and gave it to a private firm who didn't or couldn't fulfil it's contractual obligations ?

    And the Government are saying that's nothing to do with me mate.

    Laugh,I nearly popped a lung !

    BNP

    Political association of a legal political party has long been held a right in this country, now we hear a group of people might be hounded out of their jobs for this, it's a very disturbing development.

    After all we were told the only way to bring Sinn Féin in from the cold was to engage with them, I don't recall the then Government of the day removing Union protection from their members, like Labour and her Unions seem set to do.

    Completely missed by News Night, more concerned about the make up of their members than the bigger question it raises.

    STRICTLY

    A BBC damage limitation exercise.

    Turkey

    The EU Empire and the so called Liberal Elites will indeed pick a fight with the nationalists and other anti EU forces, they want a showdown on a subject matter of their choosing and the Armenian issue is just one of them.

  • Comment number 36.

    #33 Ecolizzy

    Thanks for you interest in migration and climate change. Once you start digging it does get more involved.

    This partly relates to the North Atlantic Drift (Gulf Stream). Scottish Conservatives had the document 3 weeks before Cameron took his dog sleigh trip in Norway. See Northern Tundra Alliance.

    It has been placed in Paul Mason's blog already, but I'll put the link here also.

    http://thecelticlion.blogspot.com/2007/12/development-strategy-for-scotland.html

    It is from 2006. I already knew that the present global economic crash would occur. This was a solution to create large scale jobs in the Scottish/UK economy by resolving the problems of climate change and planetary ecological collapse before they manifest.

    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 37.

    farce and fiasco.

    democracy..wasn't someone in a monkey suit elected mayor?

    now, by wanting banks to lend willy nilly, the govt are bringing in politically correct lending.

  • Comment number 38.

    #1 Ecolizy
    Perhaps Newsnight didn't want to do a report on the 2nd highest levels of immigration on record incase there was a conflict of interest with it's presenters. Paxman is known for using Romanian servants in his big house in the country, so he can't be regarded as being impartial on immigration. Kirsty Wark likes to go on holiday with members of the Labour party, so people wouldn't be able to trust her to be impartial when questioning Labour's immigration policy either.

    The way that the BBC focused on the lower figure of net migration in their headlines, rather than the higher figure of half a million for gross immigration, made it look like the BBC are trying to downplay the scale of immigration.

  • Comment number 39.

    UNSUSTAINABLE SURVIVAL? (Celtic and Eco-L)

    When half-a-billion boat-people turn up in the UK, after ecological collapse, would it not be a good idea for Scotland to look uninviting rather than The Place to Be?
    I would turn all the lights out and let the thistles grow very tall - until they have moved on.

    (Hope this passes the 'lunatic test' Bill!)

  • Comment number 40.

    EMPLOYMENT ACT 2008 THE RIGHT OF ASSOCIATION AND DIRTY POLITICS

    The Employment Bill received Royal Assent on 13th November 2008. I'd like to see how and where the BNP is openly racist as if it were, it would be subject to prosecution. In the absence of this, does the BNP not exist to fail, i.e. to be used as a political whipping stool or 'sink-group' whereby the electability of diametrically opposed political movements is increased. This would include any members of the three main 'libeal-democratic' libertarian parties, but not, I suspect, members of statist Old Labour (which I suspect is what's always really the target).

    Here's the transcript of the debate at the Third Reading. I've linked to a page within the transcript which provides a representative taste of the debate. Some of the open hostility directed towards the BNP and efforts of others to curb their enthusiasm, highlighting the legislative and (and therefore executive) pitfalls of unduly focusing on the BNP, can be found in earlier pages.

    'Are you, or have you ever..' wasn't called a witch-hunt for nothing. But who were the 'rats' and 'polecats' and today, do they use entryism to ensure that naked free-market neocon anarcho-capitalism prevails?

  • Comment number 41.

    "will there be an election in 2009? "

    Of course there will.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Parliament_election,_2009

  • Comment number 42.

    Jeez. I swear I'd not seen any Newsnight for weeks. But I flick channels during an ad break elsewhere and what do I find? Kelvin M opining on some dance show. Is Newsnight really just the video branch of the Sun? And what the hell was Blears doing there? Does this mean that all problems with housing, sustainable development, homelessness etc have been solved? Or is she an attention-seeking lightweight with no interest in the job she's paid (a lot of our taxes) to do?

    Clue to Newsnight - you're not the PR department of the BBC. And leave the GMTV-type stuff to, umm, GMTV?

    Anyway, lots of good stories around today - I hope you're doing something on the government pulling the plug on Granite Master Trust, the biggest mortgage securitisation vehicle in the UK. Massive story that.

  • Comment number 43.

    #39 Barrie

    Re: Unsustainable Survival

    Just you remember where the nukes are based.

    Celtic

  • Comment number 44.

    THE PUBLIC-PRIVATE PENDULUM

    LIBERATA - like rather a lot of outsourced services in recent times, they appear to have been having a peculiarly hard time delivering what's expected of them (cf. ETS(Europe) and the stream of data 'losers'). This is surely enough to make some think that the promised efficiencies of PPP, PFI, Market Testing, The Third Sector, and even the 'libertarian' free-market, isn't quite the panacea it was promised to be....

    Who might have a vested interest in encouraging the electorate to believe any of that? Why do all these 'inefficiencies' appear to have accelerated since Gordon Brown's leadership?

    Is the LSC, QCA etc blameless? Was the Home Office blameless for the IND debacle? When public services are devolved via outsourcing, who is ultimately responsible when it all goes wrong? Those who don't/can't deliver the services or those who contract (devolve) the services? Once outsourced, where to the contractors get their staff? Are they competent? Is everyone equal? Who decides?

  • Comment number 45.

    FORCE MAJEUR (#43)

    Nice one KCL! (:o) Will Obama tell you the secret numbers?

  • Comment number 46.

    THE ANSWER IS #42 (above) BUT DO NEWSNIGHT UNDERSTAND THE QUESTION?

    Stop_it_Aggers has nailed the whole charade; Good-Ship-Lollypop Blears an' all.

    Anyone know what 'Jacqui of Cleaves' is offering today? Marital-bed (including civil partneral-bed) "no means no" legislation? With a return of 'Conjugal Rights' just to make the whole thing unworkable? Neighbours will be tasked with the 'duty of knowing' - not knowing due to living next door - no excuse.

  • Comment number 47.

    #38 Thanks for these links, I hadn't seen them. Paxo has sunk completely down in my estimation, incredible money this man earns and he employs immigrants on such a low wage!!!! He could afford to pay someone local from the village and pay them £30 an hour and he'd barely notice! How do these people sleep at night!

    Several others have left me links, but I'm so busy at the moment I haven't had time to read them. I'll get round to it though, thanks : )

  • Comment number 48.

    Celtic Lion #29

    I must put in a word for our boys in blue with whom I have never had a problem. Particularly the traffic cops (sadly a dying breed now as MCN's survey a bit back revealed) with whom I have had much to do in the last 8 years. I have done both IAM and RoSPA tests with their help and can say that the ones I have met through all this training have, to a man, been highly professional, dedicated to keeping us all alive and good company. Days out with them has given me many a good tale to tell.

    However, a pal of mine did to his 1985 BMW 535 roughly what you did to your Manta. He upped the power to something astonishing and matched it with an appropriate increase in road holding. As he ruefully admits now - it was still a 20 year old car. With a 20 year old bodyshell workhardened in high stress areas, particularly around the suspension. He found the car's limit rather suddenly one day when a fairly vital bit of suspension lost contact with the nearby bodyshell. The result was unexpected, sudden and uncontrollable. Ending in a write-off. Do be careful CL!

    Back to your analogy - any minute now our glorious leaders will probably discover the workhardened bit of the economy they have been over stressing for so long and we will all find ourselves in the ditch rather suddenly.

    PS. Your car makes you go Yubba Dubba Doo? Quite right too, grin factor is a vital part of any vehicle spec.

  • Comment number 49.

    #45 Barrie

    He don't need to. I am sure they are in the Kabbalah by now. Over to JJ.

    Celtic

  • Comment number 50.

    MY TEXT FOR THIS EVENING (#49)

    Not being 'goodbookist' are you KCL?
    Jacqui of Cleaves might have a law about that!

    Hope nobody missed Yvette (barrel of laughs) Cooper, out-Hazelling Hazel today, in the vacuous tosh arena.
    Apparently the government are CLEAR and that is the RIGHT THING TO DO when facing global turbulence that is nothing to do with Gordon. Pope and bears all performing well -thanks to fiscal stimulation.

  • Comment number 51.

    #48 New Fazer

    First thanks for the comments about my dog. I appreciate you remembering that as it was only a small throw away. He was the best friend I ever had.

    Had motorbikes then when he appeared thought about getting a car. Because of my age insurance was cheap on anything even with a provisional. But as many couldn't afford insurance on sporty things, I got this van as my first car called a Cavalier MK 2 hatchback SRi. Glacier white and gunmetal grey.

    Now never having driven a car before I was 'very' impressed. Wow.

    I took it in for a service after 6 months at a specialist engine builders. I think there might be another poster on site who works for a competition engine builder. This one was in Crewe.

    The yard is full of Cossies, Porsches etc, so I was abit intimidated with me Vauxhall. He found out I was a metallurgist so ended up doing some design work for him.

    When I picked my car up, he went "bloody hell your cars fast". He told me he didn't now what had been done to it, as that would involve stripping the engine. But whoever had done the work knew what they were doing.

    I researched the history of the car and found the original owner was a police pursuit instructor from Warrington. I had the car another month did loads of work on it. Was stationary at a pelican crossing and an estate agent ran in the back at about 60-70 and totalled it.

    Ruskin invented a new game. He would sleep until 55, then wake up. Jump in the back with the seat down and the sport of speed surfing was invented.

    With 100% concentration he would watch the road through the front. Matching his body position for acceleration, rocking as we went up the gears. Banking over to extreme angles in bends, transferring his weight under braking. One of my most enduring memories is the two eyes in the rear view mirror as he surfed his way in the 1000s of miles we did together.

    Thanks for the advice on the bodyshell. The mounting points are perfect. There was corrosion in the floor pan etc. But I cut the whole lot out and replaced it with heavy gauge. Also rebuilt chassis members etc. I have found some corrosion on the rear swinging arm mount so that is a job.

    I haven't upgraded the anti roll bars them selves, but the bushes have been upgraded so it is fairly solid in it's geometry on the road. I was aware the forces would be transferred to the chassis so have tried to match the distribution with plated upgrades.

    I haven't uprated the engine apart from making it more efficient. As a racer once said to me. Can you drive the car maxed out around any bend, if you can't you work on the suspension etc before engine. It has got a Blyderstein sticker in the boot so don't know if it has been gasflowed etc. I wouldn't think it was more than 150bhp, but it is the way it puts the power down which is pleasant.

    You are pretty close with your analogy of metal structure and economies. Some economists do models based on metals.

    I did work on dislocation movement in the metal lattice, it is surprising how much can be predicted about economies from basic metallurgical principles. Crack initiation, propagation and then component failure etc.


    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 52.

    #50 Barrie

    Not sure about this fiscal stimulation thing. I am pretty sure Julian Clarey got banned from TV after saying that about another Chancellor.

    Celtic

  • Comment number 53.

    I would not give the BNP the time of day but I am a bit surprised that nobody has mentioned Senator Joe McCarthy. Remember? If you were associated with e Communist patry in the 50's his HUAC did its level and often successful best to put you out of a job. That is not how a liberal democracy works and I am staggered that none of the BBC professional kommentariat has said as much. Do we have to wait for some rozzer who has been forced out of his job to go to a so-called human rights lawyer to get it back with damages? Perhaps the best policy is for certain public servants to be banned from all political activism. Comeon Nick you can do better than keep shtum!

  • Comment number 54.

    KingCelticLion (#51) Ummmmmmmmm......

  • Comment number 55.

    #40

    Thanks for that Hansard link Jean.
    I am glad some MP's also had concerns about that legislation.

  • Comment number 56.

    hallatrow (#53) What are #16 and #43 about?

  • Comment number 57.

    #38 How I agree with this....

    The way that the BBC focused on the lower figure of net migration in their headlines, rather than the higher figure of half a million for gross immigration, made it look like the BBC are trying to downplay the scale of immigration.

  • Comment number 58.

    Hhhhmmm Celtic Lion you gave me just a little bit to read there and inwardly digest! It's a lot to think about! I think some of it goes over my head I'm afraid, but I've been saying for donkeys years we all live in an unsustainable way, and there's far too many of us!!! ; )

    I think the scenario seems quite plausable, and as the article states is it mans influence or a natural cycle, I find that difficult to fathom. My husband and I would like to move away from the South east, it's so crowded these days and uncomfortable, we keep thinking of moving to the borders. : ) I don't mind the cold.

  • Comment number 59.

    Steve-London (#55) You're welcome. The video of the debate is still available via one of the links, it starts about three hours in. It's all clearly a mine-field. I think there are just concerns that there will now be a lot of work for lawyers over this.

    What it highlights is how EU law is forcing changes to UK law despite the 'red-lines' which we were assured would prevent this, and despite Miliband asserting that there was nothing new in the treaty which we were not already a party to.

    Still, it's a fait accompli unless Ireland has its way, or one or more of the others fail to ratify.

  • Comment number 60.

    #58 Ecolizzy

    Lizzy...South East....My husband and I..

    My apologies Ma'am. I didn't realise.

    One thing that is never covered in the media is the man or natural cycle. They have the debates about climate change and the man made climate change deniers.

    It doesn't matter what causes it, we have to deal with it. The whole climate mess is largely my fault. We had just had still born twins and it was the build up to the Gulf war, I was angry about a couple of clowns thinking it was clever to drop bombs and kill more children.

    I had already had a massive work load that week. I was at the DTI in London on the 13th December 2002 to set up the new generation of UK climate models. There was about 299 of the worlds top climate scientists and me. So we were guarded by gun totting anti terrorist police.

    I thought it a strange juxtaposition we were there to save the world, yet we were being guarded. I had also been asked to take part in a UN report for the Government.

    That's when I came up with climate change and Africa as the focus for UK foreign policy and the risk assessment that climate change was a greater threat than terrorism.

    http://www.mp2.worldfriend.com/sustainable_development_forum.htm

    I had written an anti Iraq war submission. Which of course became the agenda of the 2005 G8. Bush and Blair wouldn't have known climate change if it had burnt them on the backside.

    One of the biggest political hoaxes and jokes of the 21st century was Bush and Blair discussing an anti war agenda, without even realising it.

    If you read the source you can see it was a protest against the Iraq war. Bush and Blair never knew.


    The Government's Chief Scientist gave my climate change/ terrorism risk assessment global publicity and the media ran with and misinformed a planet.

    It was only one of about 200 pieces of work I had done that year to get the Government to pay more attention to the environment and ecologically based methods of guiding development.

    I only wanted climate change as an example, not the be all and end all of environmentalism. I might be the most quoted person on the planet but as I am not a 'celebrity' the media aren't interested.

    The only thing I can suggest to everyone who has a concern for their own, their families or the planets future is to completely ignore everything you are told about climate change. Any politician who talks about climate change being a problem, ignore them. Climate change is a symptom not a problem.

    Politicians profess to be experts on the economy, this is supposed to be their area of knowledge. They couldn't, can't and never will be able to get that right.

    Does anyone expect them to be able to even understand the working of the ecology of a planet. Your life is in there hands.

    We must identify the problem then deal with the cause. Whether it is the ecology of the planet or the economy.

    Fiscal stimulation, another two word soundbite, like climate change. If only it was so simple. Politicians are trying to get us to believe the future of our society and planet can be assured by the constant repeating of 4 words.

    There has been a DEC appeal for refugees in the Congo, some figures put deaths in the war since 1998 as 5.4 million. Then there is the deaths of wildlife and the destruction of the ecology.

    For the Tantalum, in the capacitors in your mobile phone. No mention of climate change. Of course to stabilize our economy we need more consumption, more deaths and more appeals. The cycle goes on.

    I am really pleased you read the Abrupt Climate Change scenario. The more people who are aware of the real situation of the planet the better. Once we have a consensus we have a problem, only then can we resolve it. Constantly repeating fiscal stimulus is no solution.

    The planet is in peril, there is nowhere to run. Whether in the South East or the Borders, or South America, Australia or anywhere. We are all on the same planet. Without it we are as much use as a bag of tools floating in space.


    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 61.

    KingCelticLion (#60) This post appears to me to be hypomanic/psychotic. This is not abusive.

  • Comment number 62.

    #61 JJ

    You have constantly posted on scientific integrity and methodology.

    Through the platform of the media including BBC news the UK Government's Chief Scientist gave global publicity to the risk assessment that climate change was a greater threat than terrorism.

    When asked by interviewers how he came up with the assessment he was vague and evasive.

    This one climate change/ terrorism soundbite did more than any other to popularise climate change and bring it into popular culture.

    Now we have generated a climate change industry. As some of the engineers and 'petrol heads' on the blog have been posting this week. Much of what we are told by the political/media elite is wrong.

    When the Chief Scientist was confronted by a direct question by interviewers, he did not follow scientific etiquette and cite the original source.

    In 2004 I contacted BBC News planning. Though they agreed I was the original author and not the Chief Scientist and that I was more informed on the risks and underlying assessment. They considered news was about ratings and the Chief Scientist was a celebrity and media personality, so would continue to run with him as the original author, even though they knew he wasn't.

    I intended to say climate change was more important than terrorism rather than a war on Iraq.

    Climate change was only an example, not the be all and end all of appropriate planetary management.

    Collapse of the ecological life support systems of the planet, of which climate change is, in my opinion, only a related symptom, is the clear, present and immediate danger.

    You are the one that writes about scientific integrity. If climate change is the biggest threat to to planet:

    1) Should you not be criticising the Chief Scientist for not following accepted practice and citing source.

    2) Should you not be asking the BBC why they knowingly and wrongly mislead viewers on such an important subject.

    3) Should you not then also consider in what other important subjects the BBC is deliberately misleading it's audience for the cult of celebrity and ratings chasing.

    Personally knowing the degree in which the BBC will distort the truth, I now never believe what the BBC puts out. I know that it has potentially no factual integrity.

    Climate change is not the problem and the way it is being addressed could result in the deaths of billions.

    The BBC does not seem to consider this a priority over celebrity ratings chasing.

    Small events can trigger large implication and outcomes of systems. One small phrase misinterpreted has changed the world over recent years. How many times is climate change now discussed, how much does it impinge on our lives.

    No one was interested until it became associated with the T word.

    Unfortunately how scientific etiquette was not observed and how the medias obsession with oily rags and not engineers has put many lives in danger.

    That is not psychotic that is practically realistic.

    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 63.

    Ha,ha, #60 KCL I laughed out loud when I read that this morning, thank you!

    I used to be very trusting of the BBC and the serious newspapers, but having read so many ordinary peoples blogs from around the world, I now don't believe a word the media spouts!

    I can't stand the dumbing down of everything and the celebrity culture, and the erosion of different countries identities. We seem to all want to live as first world countries and that is not possible, we don't have enough resources to do that, although we keep heading in the same old direction!

    Don't you think a mass extermination of us human types might be the saving of the ecology of the world? We are too effecient at breeding and surviving, mass birth control would be a wonderful thing. It would give us a window to stop and think, do we really need so many people.

    As here we are told repeatedly we need all these millions of new immigrant people, we managed ok before, even when we only had 55 million of us. What happens when all these new people refuse to do all the manual jobs (we are told we won't do), they are supposed to be highly educated with degrees etc., once they have sorted themselves out they will leave the factories and fields in droves and take away all the white collar jobs as well. The work for the indigenous people, and by that I include our original immigrants, will be zero.

    And what happens when all these new immigrants get old and need care, will we bring another few million new immigrants to care for them, this could go on ad infinitum. As the human race is excellent at procreation, and we would end up with the whole of britain built on, and nowhere to grow our own food.

  • Comment number 64.

    #63 Ma'am

    Thank you, starting the day with a laugh helps.

    Your post has made me smile, it is just commonsense. Why do we need to write such things.

    Lots of the problems in the world could be solved by common sense, if people were correctly informed on which to base sense on.

    So many of our leaders seem to want to convince us their ideas which go against common sense, are the way forward.

    Then when they don't work find something else to blame their failure on.

    Unfortunately there is a growing view beginning to believe extermination of the human race is inevitable. Me, I think we have 4 years in which to turn it round as long as we have a global reevaluation of what our goals and responsibilities are. Then act on them.

    If the entire world was a better place we wouldn't have a problem with immigration as people would be happy to stay where they are.

    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 65.

    SELF-GENOCIDE?

    ecolizzy (#63) "As the human race is excellent at procreation, and we would end up with the whole of britain built on, and nowhere to grow our own food."

    Not in the Liberal-democracies and especialy Eastern Europe they ar not. They are well below replacement level TFR. We have a birth dearth and that's why we are importing so many. The problem is, they breed at above replacement level, and before too long they will outnumber the indigenous as they will in the USA by 2050. This is very serious problem for Russia whose population is in serious decline. A TFR of 1.3 means a population halves in 60 years.

    Who will support the lower 'skilled' immigrants indeed, can they support infrastructure themselves back in their home-countries? Can we raise ability via education? The answer is no.

    People like Jeffrey Sachs mislead in The Reith Lectures, but then the likes of him helped destroy the USSR. See what Coleman says here. It's serious stuff. What we are collectively doing to ourselves is a disaster all round.

 

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