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Thursday, 29 January, 2009

Sarah McDermott | 17:05 UK time, Thursday, 29 January 2009

With a look ahead to this evening's Newsnight, here's Emily Maitlis:

If you are French you are probably hampered in your efforts to find out about today's strikes by the fact that your national TV station is, erm, on strike. Luckily, we have a live point in Paris and the pictures we are getting from there on the day they're now calling Black Thursday are pretty dramatic. France's biggest union claims there are a million protesters on the streets. Their causes are disparate and their goals are complex, but their huge presence on the streets confirms emotions are heated, and their anger is mostly directed towards their government's handling of the economy. As I write, protests on a much smaller scale have been kicking of in this country at an oil refinery in Lincolnshire. They're demonstrating against the use of migrant labour there.

Our Economics Editor Paul Mason admits his credit crunch sonar is bleeping with all kinds of worrying dots and they're mainly concentrated on the edges of Europe. So tonight we compare what is happening in France with what happened in Greece before Christmas and ask, inevitably, if the same could happen here. Is it special to the Eurozone? Is it to do with economics or attitudes? And have the unions in this country been emasculated by legislation in the past decades, to the point where this kind of militancy is a thing of the past in Britain? We'll debate all that here.

Also tonight, the future of Digital Britain. Conservatives are calling the Government's plans unambitious. Do we have the cash to aim higher? We hope to talk to the man at the very forefront of this industry in the US, Clay Shirky.

And Andrew North has an amazing film from Iraq, as he looks forward to Saturday's election and asks Iraqis themselves what they make of their new 'democracy.'

Join us at 2230.


  • Comment number 1.

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

  • Comment number 2.

    What a miserable little bunch we're turning into; while the French are doing their thing across La Patrie, in their millions, some good Lincolnshire folk are protesting about "immigrant" labour.

    Thatcher emasculated the unions, destroyed/pacified mining, coal and steel and a generation have been raised "frightened of granny". And where are the British student protests - in the LRC?

    Munchkin capitalism rules in Britain; too busy buying on credit to see the big picture.

    Can we change it? Yes we can - even if all we do is model the course the US will take on a broad range of issues, foreign and domestic.

    Off now to lob some bricks at the Town Hall.

  • Comment number 3.

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

  • Comment number 4.


    One question I never hear asked about modern communications is what do we REALLY get out of it?

    Our use of power has increased vastly as more and more electronic devices are added to our homes and offices.

    Business air miles have gone up rather than down. (wasn't the internet going to mean we didn't need to travel?)

    Communication has come full circle - we are abandoning complicated texts and going back to .... Voice. Bit like a phone really.

    Families are stuck in an endless loop of expensive computer and software upgrades which they are forced into as the schools say our children will miss out. And yet we say that children are LESS well educated than their parents.

    And Digital television? Have you noticed how poor quality it is? See a shot of fog and you see terrible grading across the screen. When the signal is poor we don't lose just a bit of quality, you lose the entire picture - it becomes unwhatchable.

    And then there are the endless repeats - I dont believe more programmes are produced than 10 years ago. We just have far more repeats, bought in progs from the US and ancient archive material.

    Computer technology is not bad. But before the government shove it down out throats at massive expense, the serious question has to be asked - are we being forced into relying on something we don't actually need?


    Just a short note. John Martyn was a musician that influenced me and many other performers, budding amateurs, professionals, songwriters and other over many many years. He died today aged 60. I have taken a moment to write my obituary:

  • Comment number 5.

    In respect to the European coverage, that 'Entropa' art installation is looking less like a satirical joke, and more like a prescient warning about starting to fall back into 'beggar my neighbour' protectionism now that the economic storm clouds are approaching..

  • Comment number 6.

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

  • Comment number 7.


    Cracking article JJ! And written in 1994!

    Unfortunately science that 'lives within the lie' would appear to be the norm. It certainly applies to cosmology and medicine, as well as sociology.

    I suggest - ad nauseam - that this is a predictable consequence of immaturity in mankind - which is progressive.

    In my view (contrary to that of the author) it is not tightening of scientific rigor that is required, but attention to the nurturing of human individuals to optimum maturity. A mature scientist is an honest scientist.

  • Comment number 8.

    Has anyone tried to use a complaints link? ( I keep getting a mail returned message.)

    If you did, did it work please?

    #1, for example, is not obviously (to me at this moment in time**) related to tonights NN topics. Should it be allowed?

    Perhaps I am missing the point. Perhaps it is intenTional opacity that confuses me.

    ** I wonder will that bring forth scorn?


  • Comment number 9.

    OFF MESSAGE (#8)

    Hi 13th. I think I am off-message too (#3). In the days when the header piece was labelled : STRICTLY BBC EYES ONLY (or similar) it also said: 'or what have you' in good old Exchange and Mart style. I reckon, if a post is relevant to the general collapse of Britain as a viable entity (and the causes of same) it is news?

  • Comment number 10.

    I have many 'happy' childhood memories of, as Blackadder would say, having several shades of excrement kicked out of me in Wales in the 1970s because I was the son of a Polish soldier, because I had a Polish name and was therefore considered 'different' by my ‘open-minded’ classmates. It didn’t matter at all that my Mum’s family had lived in West Wales for hundreds of years nor that my Father had fought in World War Two alongside the tens of thousands of ‘Free Poles’ who subsequently settled in this country.

    One of my daily tasks in school was having 4 or 5 boys, and occasionally entire classrooms, kick the daylights out of me simply because I did not fit in with all the Jones's, Evans's and Davies's. Even now I can remember the day down the local park when about 20 school ‘friends’ literally stoned me whilst calling me insults based around my Polish background and the Teachers, including one whom to this very day I consider to have been a sadist, who just smiled... or laughed... or who told a 7 or 8 year old to “be a man” when I sought their help. Ah, but that was the 1970s – Britain is different today… isn’t it?

    Years later I made a television documentary about the ‘Free Poles’ who had settled in Wales at the end of World War Two. I talked with Polish Doctors, Lawyers, Teachers and Writers who, post-1945 found themselves unable to pursue their chosen careers in this country and who ended up working, for example, as labourers on building sites or deck-hands on trawlers because they were simply ‘not wanted’ and barred from pursuing their Polish professions in this country. I was told of unions who threatened to call out their workers on strike if “a Pole” was hired in the 1940s to 1960s. Surprisingly, the Poles took it with good grace never showing any sign of bitterness to their adopted country. Most were simply glad to be alive and to be free.

    In recent years the rise of anti-foreigner feeling in the UK has been especially evident to me. Perhaps I am simply more sensitive to it or perhaps I have seen and experienced it before. It is subtle – you notice the change in a person’s expression or the tone of their voice when they hear your name. Or, as happened to myself, you have a nasty experience in A&E when you overhear nurses talking, wrongly, about another Pole getting free health-care at a time when you are ill and feeling most vulnerable. Racists, bigots, the insular and the small-minded are not always open and loud. The worst kind are subtle, quiet and indirect. It is growing in this country and, frankly, it worries me. History teaches us that the down-trodden and pathetic have a need within themselves to find, and pick on, those to whom they can feel superior. As the son of a Pole I am very aware, historically, of this.

    As for Digital Britain, well, speaking as someone who worked both in Broadcast Television here in the UK and in Silicon Valley on IPTV, it saddens me that there is such a lack of vision and imagination when it comes to Internet Technologies in this country. The potential is simply enormous. I cannot emphasize enough what potential there is now growth and revenue. There is no reason why it cannot be a growth industry right now for this country that not only empowers us all here in Great Britain but also generates for us literally billions of Pounds in foreign income. I just worry that our Politicians, and for that matter many senior executives in the UK Broadcasters, do not have either the vision or the technical know-how to drive this forward.

    The rewards are potentially unlimited but it will require a leap of the imagination. Do the men and women invited to Downing Street today truly have what is needed? One can only hope - we might not get a second chance.

  • Comment number 11.

    Hi 13th man @ [8]

    I used the complaints link a couple of times last year to complain about posts comparing some pressing issue of the day or other to the Holocaust and attributing fascist and Nazi tendencies to various present day personalities. The link worked okay and the complaint was allowed once and rejected the other time.

    Regarding nuisance posts (and so I do certainly regard them) from the very few who must need blow the same old trumpets days in day out I've so far refrained from hitting the complaint button.

    I'm not sure if these posts do break house rules but that they are a nuisance and swamp our own efforts and should be discouraged I don't doubt.

    Now why should I at this immediate juncture of time pour scorn on your idiom though I can well imagine a certain you-know-who might well have if he could work IQ into somehow ... :-{


  • Comment number 12.

    barrie (#7) "In my view (contrary to that of the author) it is not tightening of scientific rigor that is required, but attention to the nurturing of human individuals to optimum maturity. A mature scientist is an honest scientist."

    The only thing we disagree on is here that IF ability is largely genetic, nurting doesn't make an awful lot of difference providing they are not damaged physically, but breeding ENOUGH of the required types does matter. I say again that this is where it has all gone wrong, i.e. too many low in numeracy and literacy and not enough able people to run the infrastruture. It's been a process of bringing fast breeding Third World countries to these shores which has inflated an already swollen underclass whilst shrinking the elite through expanding female education and lowering their birthrate. It's as simple as that. We can't turn sow's ears ito silk purses by talking to them any more than we can make cows give more milk that way. But that is what was assumed and by some posting here (who clearly don't see the relevance - cf. 13thMan above), it still is. Even ETS and Leitch believe that - but no promised White Paper from ETS 2 years on!)

  • Comment number 13.

    Please replace Emily Maitlis. She is an embarrassment. I like watching Newsnight not the Emily "look at me I am so wonderful" Show. Leon Brittan, for whom I have little little made a monkey out of her tonight.

  • Comment number 14.

    Just switched for a minute to Question Time to see the public comments on the House of Lords current problems. As usual politicians are condemned etc with loud applause ensuing. A young woman suggested there was a general lack of standards throughout society. Not one piece of applause followed. It said more about us as a populace. We are becoming bullies without self-awareness and far too many broadcast programmes have kicking someone out as the basis.

  • Comment number 15.

    Sarah (in lieu: Emily Maitlis)

    It is part of French culture about striking when things are not going in accordance to the way of French society...

    It is going to be part of the society for an extended period of time.

    ~Dennis Junior~

  • Comment number 16.

    Sarah (Emily)

    I think that it is going to happen soon....

    ~Dennis Junior~

  • Comment number 17.

    Sarah (Emily)

    And Andrew North has an amazing film from Iraq, as he looks forward to Saturday's election and asks Iraqis themselves what they make of their new 'democracy.'....

    That is very good news, And, I hope that NEWSNIGHT will offered a URL for the film...

    ~Dennis Junior~

  • Comment number 18.

    Further my [11] and in response to 13thMan's [8] I did check with House Rules at and alighted on these two criteria for failing a post

    # Are considered to be ‘spam’, that is posts containing the same. or similar, message posted multiple times
    # Are considered to be off-topic for the particular message board

    and I think either or both are adequate to see off the posts I personally take objection to.

    Since I personally (and no complain my idiom because it's just so part of me m8ies even if Jeremey Bowens does think it's the mother of all tautologies) did take time and trouble to post objection along a spectrum from polite request through gentle and not so gentle irony to finally detailed argument was eventually met with simple invective I shall make a complaint in these terms the next time I'm troubled in this way.

    I do this especially and only because I rather enjoy reading other people's comments, no limp asparagus thus moi. I look in just occasionally when I'm doing Newsnight and do enjoy pot-luck from whoever's posting and I don't see why I should be bullied by multiple posts from the same poster on essentially the same (so I surmise) monomanic themes and which serve only to swamp all our other much more interesting (and certainly entertaining) efforts.

    @ [13] please *don't* replace Emily. Her angst slays me to the depth of my Being and I love her profoundly so there. Shoot Lord Brittan by all means if necessary but lay off Emily. Also she's as ineluctable whatever the word is as any of the rest of them if it's her IQ you're on about as well.

  • Comment number 19.


    Lord Winston, by inference a man of some 'functionality', was on 'This Week' being almost reverential to the Commons (as opposed to the Lords) because it is the 'elected house'.
    Does he not know the turnout %, the party-pre-selected 'rosette stand' status of most MPs, the 'forgone conclusion' result in many constituencies, the vast sums poured into the few constituencies that 'matter' to BUY a result, and the VERY small number of voters who ultimately install a governing party to power in the Mother of Parliaments?
    Might he be yet another pillar of British propriety who is living within our particular lie and who helps to convince the unthinking masses that they are wonderfully free, in a democratic society?

  • Comment number 20.

    rinpoche1 (#18) Here are the facts of the matter as I see them:

    1) We are currently facing one of the worst sociio-economic crises since The Great Depression. The last time we faced this conjunction of problems it led to political unrest and a swing towards Statism (in Europe and the USA). The drivers last time are with us again today.

    2) It it notable that you, 13thMan, kashibeyaz, thegangofone and several others who all behave in very much the same way, have not only denied well established scientific facts repeatedly, but have persisted in doing so long after material has been provided which would have induced any rational person to retract what they had said and cease trying to have what is said censored.

    3) Your collective behaviour seen in this blog, is, in my view, characteristic of behaviour in society at large which accounts for the mess which we now find ourselves in.

    That you do not, or will, not see this (or the rest that you irrationally deny), doesn't render any of it untrue. You don't rationally address any of what's been said, you just try to silence it. Whether wittingly or not, your type of censorsial behaviour is precisely why so many people are lulled into believing much which is false, ultimately at great cost to us all.

    doctormisswest - the fact that we have a) high 'low skilled' immigration to compensate for low TFR, that we have b) high differential fertility through higher levels of female higher education means that mean national intelligence can not possibly be rising. That there are people out there who say otherwise is nothing new, there were plenty of people saying that the economy was robust a couple of years ago.

    If anyone should be censored, I think it should be those who continue to repeat lies once they have been shown that their assertions are false.

  • Comment number 21.


    There is something disturbing about the discussion of 'digital' - how much and what kind - when the physical and emotional (psychological) life of the planet is in turmoil.
    JJ has one way of addressing it and I have another - no doubt there are more yet to be tapped. I cannot help feeling that if Newsnight had had a reporter on the Titanic, we would have been treated to a finely honed piece on deckchairs, sprinkled with wry humour (nothing wrong with wry!) and a buttonholed, wide eyed Captain's pressganged opinion, even as his socks soaked sea.
    The approach of the world's movers and shakers (e.g. Al Gore) to a range of threats, from overpopulation to the time-bomb of mixed 'difference', with a host of other destabilizers (e.g. Oliver James' 'Affluenza') in between, while not news, should be NEWS hence should be of concern to NEWSNIGHT. As TV sets get ever-larger, the big picture continues to be ignored.

  • Comment number 22.

    Gurubear #4


    I think the anticipated effects of IT might filter through when some of what has been promised is delivered. As recently as 2004 I was berating my local MP over Blair's unfulfilled promise that all of UK (apart from one or two isolated areas) would have broadband by 2005. I held that SE England was not particularly isolated and that "by 2005" meant before the end of December 2004 but apparently it really meant sometime during 2005. I have recently moved office and am now within 1Km of the exchange which I am assured is 'fiber optic'. And still I cannot get better than 2Mb. The voice-over of the current TV commercial for Virgin (?) broadband speaking of "up to 50Mb" rankles as a bad joke. I recently had cause to open the junction box on the outside of this building and noted that the physical connection to the pole was made with a single pair out of a 3 pair cable of the sort normally used for internal connection. Ie, BT's installation had been below their own spec. When asked if an upgrade to correct spec was likely I was told that it would be at my expense. I could go on. I apologise for the anecdotal nature of this but I think it illustrates the point that the reason modern comms has not yet had the desired effect on commerce (or private lifestyles) is because the infrastructure is simply not up to scratch. It doesn't do what it says on the tin. The idea of the nation changing its habits to watching squillions of TV channels over BT's antiquated, Heath Robinson contraptions is absurd.


    Yes, a one-off gifted musician and a sad loss. We can only be grateful that his working life was so prolific. We have so much to remember him by.

  • Comment number 23.

    barrie (#21) Pretty much how see it too, but this is the entertainment industry, what presents as serious is rarely that I fear. If one looks across as Stephanie Flanders' blog there are two in particular which I think are revealing. The first is where she gives a potted history of her background (I rather cuttingly pointed out that she has followed her father's footsteps, although I'm sure she takes herself very seriously), helping to writing speeches for Summers is something to be noted, and the second was the thread on the failure of those allegedly with their ears to the ground not seeing what was on the horizon. Is it fair to be severely critical under the circumstances? The consensus view would be probably not as she puts on a good show as does Peston.

    This may seem harsh, but what we have seen over the past three decades is hordes of Press Officers move into Public Services and out again, most of them helping in the process of organised chaos otherwise known as deregulation.

  • Comment number 24.


    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator] Remarkable behaviour both there and afterwards. Here is the BBC coverage As you read what Peres said about there not being a siege, ask what rational person would not be incensed? It is remarkably akin to the gang chutzpah one finds posted to this blog, i.e. bare faced denial of facts and emotional rhetoric.

  • Comment number 25.

    Some of the posters above reference genetics and are referring to the fact that mainstream scientists "who are all Jews" (actually not) know that genetic variation is greater within a race than between races. There is no scientific basis for their race "realism" and hence they resort to a barrage of pseudo-scientific propaganda aimed at NON-scientists because they know they would get ripped otherwise.

    If you are a first timer Hitler did "good things and bad things" and they aren't sure the Holocaust happened but do like infantile statistics that they suggest means too many Jews survived from the 1930's.

    People like me are "anarchists and Trotskyites" (actually I vote Lib Dem) because I "paint Hitler in the darkest possible light".

    The strange thing is they seem to honestly believe if they bang on with the same rubbish every day it makes it credible. Perhaps they believe their own propaganda.

    Oh they are not Nazi's or the BNP.

  • Comment number 26.

    #13 13thMan

    If the Beeb won't do anything, as the goose steppers obliquely reference racial hatred, think about emailing your MP - probably an "anarchist and Trotskyite" as nobody votes for the goose steppers.

    I have moved to pressing for Holocaust Denial to be a crime as in Germany and Austria having read some of the garbage from these cowardly and evil people.

  • Comment number 27.

    #10; you were indeed unfortunate to be brought up in Wales; in my experience, it is probably the most inward looking part of the UK, evidenced by the emphasis placed on the Welsh language.

    I spent some time in Germany, in a geography very similar to south Wales, with north - south valleys and high ridges in between; there, the population in one valley were equally resentful of those in the other, and downright aggressive to "Auslander", i.e. foreigners.

    Scotland puts on a good show of welcoming foreigners; they've always been a bit arrogant about their lack of racism with regard to Asians; look at how Hardeep Singh Kohli is more Scots than the "Scots". It's a bit different if you are Irish or of Irish descent, though.

    A friend of mine tells the story of being one of only two people in the bar of the Hilton Hotel, Nairobi; the other guy heard his accent and engaged a "fellow Scot" in conversation, which flowed until the other guy asked my friend what school he had gone to- when my friend answered "Saint --- 's Academy", his drinking pal made his apologies and left abruptly.

    In general, I find towns and cities more welcoming, wherever they are; the smaller the place, the smaller the outlook, unfortunately.

    My understanding of this current eruption seems to be revolving around Gordi's fateful "British jobs for British workers"; who let him say that? What specious piffle from the man who wants international solutions to the banking meltdown.
    International/ global solutions; only when the audience are appropriate.

    Finally and leading on from the above; what contempt our politicians, elected and unelected, have for us "little people"- "the hard working families", the "ordinary". And coupled with the contempt is the condescending attitude from the senior managers of our public sevices, notably the two Thom(p)sons at the BBC.

    In 2010 we must all use our vote wisely and produce a hung parliament; let's have Claire Short on the programme to discuss how we achieve just that.

  • Comment number 28.

    Environment Secretary Hilary Benn said the angry British workers were "entitled to an answer". - on the Refinery strike.

    New Labour are showing worrying signs of panic as they are sending out knee jerk responses.

    I am no fan of oil companies but Total carried out an entirely legal tendering process and are being scapegoated from where I stand.

    That said there needs to be an employment initiative for those who won't get jobs similar to the ones they lost (e.g. Corus). What about a Green initiative to insulate old peoples homes using vetted and controlled people. Put mini windmills up. Wetland and wildlife friendly projects. Build cycle lanes.

    At the moment its all talk.

  • Comment number 29.


    thegangofone (#25) On the basis of what you write here, your appalling logic, your tendency to fabricate, your distortions of what has been posted and your refusal to follow or even acknowledge the material in links which refutes what you assert, it should be clear to any rational reader that there is nothing to be gained by trying to further correct you. Your behaviour here is illustrative of the increasing irrationality which is such a sad sign of our times.

  • Comment number 30.


    Dennis Junior,

    Here is the URL for Andrew North's film about the forthcoming Iraq election:

  • Comment number 31.

    JJ @ [20]

    I went to some time and trouble a fortnight or so again asking you in the first place merely to moderate your posting so as not to swamp the rest of us.

    In the end you replied with invective and I said I would not notice you again.

    Looking quickly at the first paragraph of [20] I see you appeal to the ongoing financial crisis as justification for your interminable posting.

    It was however the financial crisis which brought me to start watching Newsnight again from time to time commencing around midsummer 2005. I scarcely ever watch television otherwise.

    On several occasions during that time I posted requests for coverage of such things as the banking crisis and the CDS (Credit Default Swap) markets. You on then other hand continued posting singlemindedly on your fascination with eugenics and the like.

    I have been away for a while since addressing you a fortnight ago and you have not attempted in the least bit to moderate your postings.

    I therefore intend to complain to the moderators about each and every post I notice from you which is off-topic or otherwise breaks House Rules and in particular your postings about eugenics and the like until such time they ever briefly become on-topic, for example because Newsnight happens to be doing a piece about them.

  • Comment number 32.

    I don't think anyone here has denied the holocaust happened, just that the figures are inaccurate. I have no idea I wasn't there at the time.

    If you are talking about Holocaust Denial perhaps you ought to start with the Pope re-instating a British bishop Richard Williamson.

    I don't think any of it matters anymore, Europeans are outnumbered 5 to 1 in the world, and we'll all soon be mixed, and Europeans disappear.

  • Comment number 33.

    rinpoche1 (#31) "In the end you replied with invective and I said I would not notice you again."

    Which shows that you can not be taken at your word. I have explained to you that eugenics is about birth-control (population management) as compensation for a natural dysgenic process. The predatory lending which led to this recent economic crisis is premised on demographics which is critical to marketing. The perpetrators knew what they were doing, they just hoped to get away withit. People were lured into buying on credit at low ARM rates which were scheduled to rise at later dates. The risk was well known by those who brokered the deals, but it was securitized and dumped on an unsuspected (largely off-shore) money market because of colluding credit rating agencies. If you can't see how the current 'contraction' and unemployment is a direct consequence of the freezing of loans to those who were getting cheap money to a) speculate on the markets, b) expand productivity to produce consumer goods premised on easy/risky credit, and that the whole fiasco has been premised on an increase in number with low IQ (i.e arrested development where like kids, they can not delay gratification) brought about through differential fertility through ' education, education, education', PC equalities policies and high levels of immigration, go ahead and complain. Some peole need to wake up to what is still being engineered, including yourself. Others here, like theganofone and yourself, ignore the truth of the matter and hope that invective and nefarious rhetoric, pseudo-statements about being offended will stop others pointing out how extensive and pervasive this problem is. It won't. Look to other blogs and count how many posts there are - e.g. Pestons'. Nothing stops you posting. As I see it, you just have nothing to say.

  • Comment number 34.

    thegangophone @ [25]

    With you on [25] and I have complained to the moderators about JJ's offensive (and incidentally ridiculous) reply [29].

    I ask all like-minded posters to notice my [31] and ask you to join me in taking back our forum as a place of light, love, enlightenment and laughter as we would wish it.

  • Comment number 35.

    Re the oil refineries protests: It was obvious to those of us with a few brain cells that this would happen sooner or later. You cannot enforce 'equality' across umpteen EU countries against peoples wishes! All this happy-clappy stuff might be tolerable when times are good, but when jobs are scarce and the mortgage is due, the indiginous people of *any* country feel they must be first in the queue befoe foreigners.

  • Comment number 36.


    One of my reasons for blogging is to learn more about the 'thinking classes' as I am deeply engaged by the question: "Why can't mankind get a grip". The Newsnight Blog has a wide range of input from personalities that, clearly, run the gamut in both emotional and intellectual terms The SUBSTANCE of posts is, in itself, stimulating, but the manner of presentation is also thought provoking.

    Now that BBC news is (literally) wall to wall showbiz and personality (including rudeness and attack) surely this blog might reflect it, until such time as NN itself reforms!

    The invective-laced fights, that break out from time to time are revealing, and the spurious stuff should be 'read' as 'commentary' on the views of respective bloggers. From my observation, the non-combatant contributors are, in the main more than capable of handling whatever might be asserted or espoused here.

    I am still unsure (a) if I am a goose-stepper and (b) what I have to espouse, for that soubriquet. I persevere - bloggedly.

  • Comment number 37.

    "The strange thing is they seem to honestly believe if they bang on with the same rubbish every day it makes it credible. Perhaps they believe their own propaganda."

    This is a very accurate observation. Neatly summing up the behaviour of such as thegangofone, 13thman and rinpoche1. With such predictable repetition of an off topic it should really be removed as 'spam .

  • Comment number 38.

    Ecolizzy #32

    Bless you and your good sense. You are quite right, us western europeans are dying out for reasons previously stated. Due to my age I will be spared seeing that demise but I grieve for my children and their children who will have to weather the beginnings of that 'perfect' storm.

  • Comment number 39.

    ecolizzy (#32) "I don't think anyone here has denied the holocaust happened, just that the figures are inaccurate."

    I think the issue is more about the extent to which events between the late 1930s and 1940s were used politically to further political agendas once the Cold War began (the USSR supporting the Arabs states, the USA Isael). My point has always been that we in the West have been unwittingly shaped to embrace deregulation through painting Statism in any guise as oppressive and evil. National Socialist Germany and Stalinist USSR were vilified for this purpose (so is N Korea, and recently Iraq). Much of this has been propaganda of one sort or another (some just, some not). What matters today, I suggest, is how that propaganda makes us vote and how it shapes our attitudes topwards domestic polices from equalities to family-planning etc, who we regard as our 'enemies' in the world etc. I fear it's all just about money.

  • Comment number 40.

    rinpoche1 (#34 It will be interesting to see whether the moderators and other readers/posters of the Newsnight blog accomodate with your concerns, or see through what to me at least is better described as a mendacious, yet all too transparent subterfuge. For those who don't see this for what it is, here's a clue. These people's mendacity gets bolder the less they're *factually* challenged. Their appeals are always emotional, i.e to something beyond reason. They are easily 'offended' and it is not uncommon for them to invent the offences.

  • Comment number 41.

    My personal views -

    Digital Britain

    From the report I am not sure what the Governments plans are ,maybe that's the point , not even the Government knows ?

    I heard Universal and Social mentioned a lot , is that their only policy on it ?

    Of course everyone should have access to it (if they want to), from the remotest places in Britain to the population centres , that surly can not be in dispute, can it ?

    If the government is setting a minimum level of service (2Mbit) for the UK , I think in the next 10 years that will be as bad as someone on a 56k analog service now, unusable for modern day internet media content.

    It really is time we had a national plan for hi-speed internet in this country (100Mbit+ over the next 10 years).

    Private companies can be ISP's , but our nations hi-speed data backbone is a whole different story this will need Government involvement , I would suggest a French enterprise solution 51% Gov 49% private companies.

    Data connections (last mile) from the Backbone hubs will need thinking about , these will pass under our towns main and side road to the customers (the residents for example).Therefore I would suggest local councils take the lead in this part of the network and either lay the fiber optic cable themselves and rent it to private companies (ISP's) or if funds are short dig the holes and rent out the cable space for ISP's to lay there own cables in the holes.
    This will create income to the councils and allow them to dictate to the private companies there voters wishes (social needs as an example), but still allow private enterprise to operate and turn a profit.

    I think wireless for broad usage is a red herring, the costs of updating every access point with the latest speed or security update would be sizeable in the long term compared to long term costs of a fiber optic network.

    In my area we have had broadband service since 2000 , recently the cable company has started offering 50Mbit connections for £50'ish a month (too much I think), 20 Mbit is affordable at £19 a month.

    Can I also suggest any planning needs to take into account cyber war scenarios and how to defend ourselves against an attack.

    We need to plan for the future and that takes long term investment , you either accept that or your just after the PR for the short termism political gain.


    The French enjoy it , it's a social cohesion exercise , not a bad thing as long as it doesn't have a serious negative effect on the economy as a whole.


    Simple answer , No Thanks !

  • Comment number 42.

    JJ @ [33]

    When I said I would not notice you again I meant of course I would not engage you again.

    You say you explained a whole lot of stuff to me when we exchanged posts.

    You did not. Our dialogue is to be found 7th January 2009. In your [34] you sign off with a link to my personal web site and then one to a YouTube clip about the narcissist personality disorder.

    Previously you merely justified yourself in terms of the volume you posted (you posted at least half a dozen times prior to me taking you up that day).

    Your [33] is thus essentially more spam and I am asking the moderators to strike it.

    I will not read your further posts addressed to me and ask you not to address me again. If you do I will ask the moderators to strike it as well.

    Thank you.

  • Comment number 43.

    #38 and #39 How do you know what I said? I've vanished!!! ; )

    Dunno what I did wrong, perhaps I shouldn't have mentioned the Pope!

  • Comment number 44.

    rinpoche1 (#42) This is public forum. If you make public statements you should expect others to make public responses, especially if you directly address them and make contentious, threatening, statements.

  • Comment number 45.

    NewFazer @ [37]

    You mention me.

    But I rarely post in this forum. That I happen to several times today is because I have decided to take on JJ and some others on their multiple posts day in and day out - spam.

    I do not seek to stifle them but merely ask that they moderate their posting so as not to swamp you, me and the rest of us.

    It matters not whether they post about eugenics, cosmology or Madonna - the effect is the same and that is what I compain of and today I merely give notice that in future I will complain to the moderators since posting objection has no effect other than eventually to attract invective and other undesirable effects - for example posting a link to my personal website containing my private address.

    It's not me spamming - it's them.

    In addition I very occasionally complain to the moderators about other posts (twice in 2007, once upheld and once not, and as it happens also today).

  • Comment number 46.

    rinpoche1 (#45) Did you not provide the link to your web-page? Perhaps you could remind us the link which you say I provided and its context? If you do not want your address on your web-page I suggest that you remove it. If you do not want people to access your web-page I also suggest that you do not provide links to it.

  • Comment number 47.

    Emily was more than a match for Leon Brittan, he represented all that is wrong with this capitalist system. he scoffs at the protests all over Europe, he laughs at the French and the Greeks, pours scorn on the efforts of the French left to rekindle the spirit of 68. What a pity those visionaries succumbed to the Leon Brittan's of this world who, along with his torturer in chief Thatcher snuffed out any hope of a more equal society which resulted in the chaos of today....

  • Comment number 48.

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

  • Comment number 49.

    #38 NewFazer "Bless you and your good sense. You are quite right, us western europeans are dying out for reasons previously stated. Due to my age I will be spared seeing that demise but I grieve for my children and their children who will have to weather the beginnings of that 'perfect' storm."

  • Comment number 50.

    leftieoddbod @ [47]

    Yes with you on that though not quite as leftie as you, more like postmodernist round the bend moi (admirer of Douglas Kellner).

    But yes I thought Emily handled Lord B just fine. I do actually have a soft spot for the old pro but he is awfully very awful and Emily quite up to the mark I thought.

    Oh dear oh dear all that Lord B confiding to us that the French do like to riot a lot ... losing it just a bit I fancy.

    Just warring this evening but do appreciate your defence of Emily - my heart lights up when I notice she's presenting (might have let him have his say on Iceland though Em - I was quite interested).

  • Comment number 51.


    Just think: if Britain had lost WWII, we would never have had Thatcher, Major, Blair, Brown (mustn't forget EU-Grocer Heath) and the wonders of our current angst-ridden society.

    If we all became Muslims, would it be so bad? After all, in our godless state (read that twice) we still have our extremes. Christian Blair was not opposed to the removal of limbs from 'on high' and our speciality of callousness to the young and old is a cultural norm.

    I think the trick is to get everyone to believe the same thing - then it hardly matters what is actually believed. By way of practical illustration, round here dog mess is on the increase again, but we still walk into other people's houses (and our churches, on occasion) with our shoes on.

    I reckon we are due another religion any time now. It will be cyber-generis and logging on will be an act of worship. If anyone tries to become a high priest, they will be 'nailed' by other ever-vigilant adherents (not unlike NN blogging!) All other faiths and observance will be swept away.

    I'll do me penance.

  • Comment number 52.

    Ecolizzy @ [43]

    I complained to the moderators about your post [32] but my complaint was not upheld by the moderators: of three such complaints I have made over the past couple of years only one was upheld - they are all documented on my personal website which I'm not permitted to link in my own posts but which is to be found linked in JadedJean's [34] 7 January 2009.

    It remains for me as a courtesy to explain why I complained about your post.

    I did so because I believe you were plainly trying to minimise the Holocaust and that is both offensive and dangerous I believe.

    You begin by questioning the numbers involved and then remark you don't know because you weren't around at the time.

    But even if you had been around at the time in Nazi Germany, indeed anywhere else, you would not have known.

    And do you only hold opinions about events if you are there to 'witness' them? For example do you have no opinion about the casualty figures in Stalin's purges because you weren't 'there'?

    You continue by providing a link to a piece about Bishop Williamson's restoration to the Catholic church and the controversy over his own efforts to minimise the Holocaust but provide your reader with no opinion about the matter. You leave it as ambiguous, 'perhaps', and thus leave yourself open to interpretation as one who supports Bishop Williamson and as I'm sure some readers will indeed read you.

    You finish by making a remark about racial mixing that I expect many would find offensive, president Obamam for one I suggest, but most significantly you commence that observation with the thought you don't think 'it', the Holocaust, matters any more and that is why I complained to the moderators.

    Because of course it does matter. The Holocaust was a uniquely evil event and uniquely so because of the industrial scale of its evil. Amongst the Auschwitz memorials is to be found George Santayana's observation 'a people that forgets its past is condemned to repeat it'.

    I don't want a repeat of the Holocaust and that is why I complained to the moderators.

    Finally I note that JadedJean seizes on your post @ [39]. I don't understand what he's trying to say, to deep for me I'm sure, and I repeat once more (wearily) that my quarrel with him is not his thought but the relentlessness with which he posts his thought, however I can say his assertion that Stalin was vilified at the time is quite wrong: he was a valued and trusted ally dubbed affectionately 'Uncle Joe' and made it to 'Man of the Year' in Time magazine.

    Course I wasn't there mind.

    Nor was I there, to play your numbers game, when he famously asserted that once you have killed one man you might as well go on to kill a million.

  • Comment number 53.

    ecolizzy (#43) What many will not appreciate is that amounts to 1/8 under 4's being Muslim NATIONALLY. When it comes to areas like London it is higher. In Tower Hamlets for instance, less than 25% of 7 year olds are White. The problem is that despite great efforts to shift mean attainment by group, this has not happened, and the differential fertility rate and group values mean that this demographic trend will continue (although that is an inductive statement). At the same time, the white underclass is also swelling it has to be said, and the crime rate there is higher than in the Muslim community (although nowhere like the Black community which is largely non-Muslim). This will swell the ranks of those with low literacy and numeracy, bringing the very conditions many immigrants once fled from, to these shores (see Black Caribbean crime now). Those who complain about racism miss the important point, as this really has nothing to do with race per se, it's really all about gene barriers, abilities/skills, and the economic and social consequences of ntioal a fall in human capital. Some who object are merely well meaning do-gooders, others are politically motivated, using imigration and demographics to undermine the present power structures/politics The well-meaning doo-gooders can be educated, the subversives are incorrigible as they have a political/hegemonic agenda driven by mendacity. Knowing which type one is dealing with is very difficult, one can only generally tell by their responses to rational challenge, and even then it's not always reliable if those challenge are not very bright or personality disordered.

  • Comment number 54.

    "I can say his assertion that Stalin was vilified at the time is quite wrong: he was a valued and trusted ally dubbed affectionately 'Uncle Joe' and made it to 'Man of the Year' in Time magazine."

    I do wish people like you would learn to read and quote properly. I think you will find that the USSR and Stalin were not valued as a trusted ally during the Cold War. In fact the USSR was later dubbed 'The Evil Empire' just as Islamic Fundamentalist states were recently dubbed Islamofascists. Once the old (disproportionately Jewish) leadership of the USSR was purged in the 1930s, and after the USSR had done its part against another Command Economy (Germany) the USSR got short shrift for its Socialism in One Country (National Socialism) and the one time 'communists' in the West, morphed into Trotskyite (largely Jewish) Neoconservative state-busting Hayekians (cf. Thatcher/Reagan), as this served their hegemonic agenda just as well.

  • Comment number 55.


    If a beady-eyed, sharp-toothed, moderator is a 'Blogdog, might a blunt instrument of suppression be a 'BLOGLOG'?

    The news of the World used to have the slogan: "All Human Life is There". I think it is all, now, on the NN blog - and then some!

    As a self-styled 'intellectual artisan', I could not be better served; and, after all, it's all about me, eh JJ? (:o)

  • Comment number 56.

    #52 Rinpoche1, that'll teach me to quip then!

    No I don't deny the holocaust at all, but I have read that the number of dead is perhaps less than first claimed. Unfortunately still in the millions, but not quite so many. I don't think anybody has said here that it didn't happen. I would never minimise the holocaust.

    My stance on the Popes re-instatement of the Bishops, I disappove of the Bishops being forgiven. Personally I'm an atheist. And also I don't have a political leaning.

    I wasn't talking about the holocaust, history now seems irrelevant, as we are all moving on so fast, and have forgotten the past. Or chose to ignore it. My point on racial mixing, I didn't say I disapproved, I pointed out that it is a therotical question. We WILL all be mixed very shortly, Europeans will obviously be in the minority, because racially we are now. I do take on Jeans point that intelligence is declining, I'm not sure why, but I find Jeans arguements compelling. I'm not a scientist or a statistician, so I don't know if it's true.

  • Comment number 57.

    #51 I would never want to be a Muslim barrie, I don't think it does us women any favours!

  • Comment number 58.


    Hi Lizzie! Not sure i want to be at all!


    Clever, clever man;
    more clever, even, than clever woman;
    in spite of all your nihilistic drives
    YET you advance, in unrestrained know-how.
    Wretched, wretched man!
    You created your gods, freed your women
    but never, ever, discovered ‘wise-how’!
    Now interred – body and mind
    in a grave of your own digging
    where the corpse of The Feminine
    hourly tramples on your head
    you lie, pondering your lack, for all eternity
    while Woman, free from base attention
    and the drone of your pheromones
    cleverer by the day
    usurps your plot.

  • Comment number 59.

    #53 "ntioal" skip this.

    Barrie (#55) Well, that's what the free-market gurus were having almost everyone believing. It certainly seems to have been embraced by many of those reaching adulthood in the 80s and after, their sense of arrogance and 'entitlement' is astounding. Interestingly (in a very disturbing sense) this coincided with a breakdown of the nuclear family, female liberation and many other 'post-modern' anarchistic ideas... I think, looking at the trend data, Thatcher and Reagan did far more to lay the seeds of the destruction of Western civilization than 'The Evil Empire' ever did.

    What do you think?

  • Comment number 60.


    Reading between the lines is what (I like to think) I do, JJ, so skipping the odd rogue text comes easily.

    I don't think we have BEGUN to address our malaise FROM OUTSIDE as it were. Lizzie's post is apposite. I will leave the political constructs (destructs!) to you, I look more to the psychological. In broad terms: instead of CLEAVING to nature (wisdom) we have LEVERED ourselves free of the natural, using male CLEVERNESS.

    I have made - here and there - a prediction that TV amounts to the 'alpha' being in 'the group', feeding 'permissions' and cultural 'memes' deep into the 'animal brain' of unsuspecting humans. (I believe this will be demonstrated with brain scanning before long.) Now that the 'TV-suckled' cohort are running TV output, we have positive (!) feedback and a rush from nature like never before.

    Now the nihilistic female is taking off (violence, graffiti, crime) as maleness in all things becomes the prized goal.
    Hence my reply to Lizzie - 'not to be' is no longer the question.

    All the above, clearly, feeds into the problems of national/global stability and management addressed at the top of this thread. In the final analysis, it is the individual mind that dictates outcomes, either through the group or - more desperately, when you get one of the big names of negative history, chucking his toys around.

  • Comment number 61.


    rinpoche1 (#52) " The Holocaust was a uniquely evil event and uniquely so because of the industrial scale of its evil."

    Perhaps it was, but perhaps not in the way that many people think? You must try to appreciate the significance of the fact that that it was the Soviet Union which furnished most of the IMT evidence about these Eastern camps and that there were some very draconian politics afoot after the Tehran Conference of late 1943. Much of that 'evidence' was, like the fabricated evidence the USSR provided about Katyn, more than a little suspect (in fact our FCO says it was lies). It may well have been designed to horrify, but does that mean that all of those horrors occured as described? We know that many of the holocaust exhibits were fabricated (lampshades, shrunken heads etc), but how many people still cite these as authentic, and how many treat images from Belsen as part of the holocaust? You must also appreciate that some of the Soviet legal team were also critically responsible for the 1930s show trials in Moscow. I'm afraid people tell terrible lies in life rinpoche1, some people are criminals/corrupt others will say anything to further their political cause.

    Some write novels which others take to be works of fact. Some make movies whch distort the truth. Others doctor photos for dramatic effect.

    This, in case you did not know, was the current president of Palestine's PhD supervisor.

    Does any of the above not make you think twice about complaining about people who ask questions because what they have been told does not stand up to close, intelligent scrutiny? Or are you a self-appointed guardian of the truth? If so, how do you know that what you believe is true and who appointed you? Do you consider yourself 'special'?

  • Comment number 62.

    #52 Rinpoche1 Sorry I answered all your questions at #56 but I must have said the wrong thing again for the mods!

  • Comment number 63.

    ecolizzy (#62) Isn't it strange that whilst Brand, Ross and others not only get to say pretty much what they like on the BBC, they get paid a fortune for doing so, but some of the rest of us risk being censored for just telling truths which may offend anonymous others who most likely profit from mendacity and self-delusion whilst feigning 'offence'?

  • Comment number 64.

    #63 Ha,ha, spot on Jean! I must be worse than Ross or Brand.

    I wondered if my #57 post would be deleted, but my #56 was a reasoned explanation to Rinp. Perhaps the mods deleted the wrong one! : )

    But I did mention the Pope again, and perhaps someone objected.

  • Comment number 65.


    ecolizzy (#64) It appears you have been released on licence.

    As to the Pope - he is bound by Vatican II to promote and maintain peace and reconciliation with the Jews.

    Throughout these exchanges, it's only fair to point out that whilst all efforts should be made not to encourage conflict between groups of different faiths, the key issues facing secular Western society today are evidence driven, and the focus should be on evidence. See Coleman on demographics, Lynn, Rushton, Jensen and Herrnstein and Murray on Intelligence, Jones on eugenics, Dawkins on science/rationality - and when you do, ask why all these people say there is a political war against rationality and why Jews apear to figure disproportionately in the opposition. The lastest person to become incensed by the double-standards is the PM of Turkey. Equivocation appears to be the name of this egregious game, and equivocation is anathema to Pursuit of Truth. This concern for truth goes way back:

    "Because you are unable to hear what I say, you belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire! He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him! When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies! Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason that you do not hear is that you do not belong to God."

    New Testament: John 8:43-47

    In the end, perhaps one must ask: is Pursuit of Truth anti-semitic?

  • Comment number 66.

    JadedJean @ [46]

    I did not provide you with a link to my website. Why should I have done?

    The context was our exchange on Jan 7th 2009. Nowhere did I mention my website. Your closing post was as follows:

    "rinpoche1 (#33) I'm honoured

    Here is a heads-up for anyone thinking of purging, as this behaviour has been widely reinforced by some in recent decades.

    Think 'The Apprentice'."

    The word 'honoured' is linked to a page entitled 'Blogs that didn't make it' on my website and the last entry [10] was a failed Newsnight post 7 August 2008 on the Perseid meteor shower due then in a few days and which I had more than good reason to believe would probably usher in some sort of new world order heralded by a Shining Presence and which did happen to mention you (not very courteously I'm afraid) and thus your 'honoured' I expect.

    'Thumbs up' was linked to a YouTube video about the narcissistic personality for whatever reason and I didn't understand your reference to "The Apprentice" - something on TV I expect.

    BTW what did you mean by 'purging' - that does sound menacing.

    I didn't notice this post until I checked back today. I had signed off all I had wished to contribute at [33].

    I'm not frankly terribly troubled that you link the site - the more the merrier - but I am slightly miffed that whereas I'm not allowed to link my own site by the moderators you apparently are allowed to do so (the entry [3] on the webpage I mention lists a Newsnight post [9] on 20 May 2008 with an ironic reference to the site but it was removed).

    I'm not sure how you came by my site. A few people look at it, mainly gangsters in Russia, the odd Chancellor of the Exchequer or two perhaps and a very few mathematicians in my speciality use it to keep in touch and share, c'est tout.

    Perhaps it was you who had the 20 May 2008 reference removed and kept a note?

    At any rate note that I accurately forecast the current financial crisis, as I said I did, months ahead of the crisis unfolding (but not the banking collapse which no-one did although I did warn against the October 2008 market crash in timely fashion).

    It was not in your gift to link my site without my permission and I'm naturally not a little perturbed as to what it might imply.

    Finally young man (I assume both) we really do surely now have nothing further to say to each other.

  • Comment number 67.

    Ecolizzy @ [56]

    Thank you for responding and for your sensible observations.

    You say history now seems irrelevant but that is precisely the point of George Santayana's warning is it not?

    Regarding JadedJean I've made it abundantly clear that my quarrel is not with his thought, but rather his spamming of it, and I will not engage him on it.

    It's an old debate stretching back decades. I briefly engaged it myself in the late sixties last century drawing on the work of Liam Hudson. Wikipedia has a page on it at

    Why do you find JadedJean's thought on the matter compelling given that you accept you don't have the expertise (and neither do I any longer) to evaluate it? I'm interested because I am currently attacking what I see as a return to technocratic barbarism (the same as produced the Holocaust, a 'triumph of Enlightenment' in the opinion of the philospher Jurgen Habermas) - thus my page 'D for dawk' on my personal website I am not allowed to link but which JadedJean has 'honoured' me at [34] 7 Jan 2009.

    I shall be looking into the forum regularly over the next month or so and will willingly debate it with you (courteously - honest!) should you care to contribute. The methodology I suggest is that when JadedJean does post his thought you post a reply explaining why (the science stripped out) you found it compelling and I will happily respond if I feel I have anything to offer.

    I take it that by choosing the monniker 'ecolizzy' you signal an afinity with the ecology movement. I hope you took it on board thus that of the three objections to posts I have made over the past two years, documented on my site, the only one that succeeded was to a post characterising the movement as 'ecofascist'. I did that partly because I am an admirer of the philosopher and animal rights activist Dr. Steven Best (banned from entering this country on anti-terror legislation grounds) but also to protect the interests of the common man, you and me.

    JadedJean by contrast, or the camp-followers he implies he possesses in their hundreds, routinely has my posts removed. I have even had to rewrite this evening my reply to a post of his concerning his linking my website!

    Thank you again and if you do choose to debate with me that would be much appreciated.

  • Comment number 68.

    Jurgen Habermas - a post-modern neo-Marxist tainted by the largely Jewish Frankfurt School renowned for peddling nonsense to a confused post-war generation - best avoided unless you have a nostalgia for a lost generation of bemused sociology students which went on to befuddle so many with what we endure today as the blight of 'political correctness'.

  • Comment number 69.

    rinpoche1 (#67) Much of what you post to this blog is fabricated (you may well believe what you post, but that does not make any of it is any more true than the material posted by thegangofone). Some people think that the very act of their affirming a proposition suffices to establish it as true, it does not - but that's the tragedy of the idioms of propositional attitude, i.e. folk psychology is not truth-functional.

    Unwary blog readers would be wise to look closely at the sentence structure (and explicit or implict intensional verbs of propositional attitude) posted by rinpoche1, thegangofone and others of the same ilk, as none of these people appear to have grasped the treacherous nature of the intensional, nor have they grasped the extensional nature of the pursuit of truth (science). If there is support for what I post it is because statistics from a number of official and research sources endorse the statements that I make. That is, they describe matters of fact.

    On a technical point, in the old blog, clicking on a user's blog name optionally took one to a web-page of the user's own choice. It would appear that rinpoche1 chose (unwittingly?) to link to his own web-page.

  • Comment number 70.

    JJ [68], [69]

    Habermas is not a postmodernist philosopher - very far from it. It's quite impossible that anyone even slightly read in modern letters could make a mistake like that - I invite the reader to form their own conclusions.

    Regarding your assertion about clicking on the user-name that merely, and for as long as I have been posting, brings up a log of all posts one has made.

    I should think my personal details probably does include my website but that's not the point. The point is that you linked it in one of your posts and that was very discourteous and given the context and general strangeness of your post a very threatening one on your part.

    In my post [59] 30 Jan 2009 I challenge you to identify yourself and provide your scientific credentials. You cannot claim privacy because you are so careless of it in others.

  • Comment number 71.

    #67 Rin
    "I take it that by choosing the monniker 'ecolizzy' you signal an afinity with the ecology movement. "

    Yes I'm very interested in the environment, but I don't belong to any group, I'm a one off. : )

    I'm not against animal testing, I think it is a necessary procedure. We can't advance science without experimentation. I would say I'm pleased that it has been reduced a lot, and other methods of testing found. I also think we have very high standards of animal care in this country, if these experiments were conducted in a lot of other countries the animal welfare would be an awful lot worse.

    I do think it's peoples right to protest peacefully and bring to others attention of how these animals are treated. Then the public would have a reasonably balanced view and could make their own judgements and vote accordingly. I don't think animal extremists should take the law into their own hands, and terrorise individuals and companies.

    I am very opposed to Halal meat, I think that does engender cruelty. But I don't notice many animal rights protesters complaining about that. I wouldn't want to be around as a cow slowly bled to death, which I'm told takes five minutes, as the heart keeps pumping blood to the brain.

    I do think there are far too many people in the world, and nature is very unbalanced. We are so good at saving lives now, that the world will not be able to support all these people. But I've no idea what can be done about that, I'm not suggesting mass slaughter, perhaps more birth control.

  • Comment number 72.

    rinpoche1 (#70) You can 'challenge' as much as you like. Truth does not depend on who says it. It's 'out there'. That you still fail to grasp the nature of extensionality is very revealing.

    Your sense of entitlement and irrationality becomes more apparent with each successive post.

    You are incorrigible. Give that assessment a little time to sink in.

  • Comment number 73.

    JJ @ [73]

    I wasn't challenging you. Just pointing out a ludicrous mistake on your part in characterising Habermas as a postmodern philosopher and inviting the reader to draw their conclusions.

    I'm familiar thank you with the concepts of intensionality and extensionality. They date from Wittgenstein and the logical positivism of the Vienna school and they were also taken up by the Austrian logician (curiously a Platonist) Kurt Godel and not from you as I suspect you wished to imply in your post .

    I might add they were somewhat influential in the formulations of the postmodern tradition of philosopy you deride (but apparently without being the least bit familiar with any of it).

    I just didn't read your remarks, your opening remark in the first place being sufficient to persuade me that it probably wouldn't be very profitable but mainly because, as I do not cease to stress, I'm not interested in engaging your thought but rather that you stop abusing this forum by posting it multiple times each day.

    I might also add that it would be gracious of you to stop being quite so aggressive given the time we do have to spend on you stopping you.

  • Comment number 74.

    Ecolizzy @ [71]

    Hi Lizzy. Thanks for the post and I don't take exception to any of it although I don't share your pessimism about the overpopulation of the world though it's certainly a concern we need to continue addressing.

    You make a very good point about Halal meat. In fact there were protests from the 'green' (for lack of a better characterisation) movement about Halal slaughter techniques in the mid '70s last century. As secretary at Samye-Ling, a Buddhist retreat centre in Scotland, at the time I remember us receiving a letter from the Edinburgh branch of Greenpeace asking us to support a campaign against Halal and with that letter came quite a handsome donation to our funds.

    The expectation was I suppose that as a Buddhist centre we would support their cause but this was not the view of the administrator and teacher at the centre Akong Tulku who instructed me to reply with a letter thanking them for the donation and declining to take sides on the issue because the Buddhist view was that any slaughter of animals, Halal or otherwise, was unskilful.

    But right you don't see campaigns against Halal these days and presumably because we are more conscious of the sensibilities of the Muslim community.

    I find I don't have time to look into the forum every day as I had wished and in fact often don't for weeks, even months, on end, so it will be 'pot-luck' should you care to address me again - perhaps we shall have occasion anyway to exchange views because in 'the properly dedicated life there are no coincidences' - a deep thought of my very own incidentally.

  • Comment number 75.

    Message for rinpoche1

    Sorry it's the Sunday Express!!!!

    I wonder if our government will follow the EU on this


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