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Tuesday, 3 February, 2009

Ian Lacey | 17:45 UK time, Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Here's Mark Urban on what's planned for tonight's programme.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and British Foreign Secretary David Miliband"Watching David Miliband at the end of his meeting with Hillary Clinton, we are watching for signs of how Britain will engage with the new administration, and how warm or otherwise the diplomatic relationship might be.

British politicians like to talk about the special relationship but in recent years, US officials, anxious not to offend all sorts of other allies have called it a special relationship.

That indeed is what Secretary Clinton Clinton did today - until she turned to leave, when with her final words of the short press conference she referred to, "the special relationship".

One could almost hear the champagne corks popping at the British embassy!

An issue of semantics? British diplomats insist not, and that the health of US/UK relations has always been judged by such fine grading of phraseology. What is clear though is that the US Secretary of State, who had extensive contacts with the great and good of Britain in her years as First Lady, is one of the most Anglophile members of the Obama Administration.

Others are not quite so friendly."

Also tonight - controversy over the President Obama's "Buy America" clause that some European officials have criticised as the "worst possible signal the new US administration could send out." We hope to speak to John Bruton, the European Union's Ambassador to Washington. And we'll reporting on Sri Lanka and the saga over Carol Thatcher and the use of the word "golliwog".

Don't forget you can watch highlights from yesterday's Newsnight and comment on the programme here, and there's much more on the website.

Here's Mark Urban's 'special' report:

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  • Comment number 1.

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

  • Comment number 2.


    Her mother sold tobacco, her brother sold arms and the BBC want to focus on dotty Carol coming out with the Robertson word.

    What is the matter with you people. Don't you watch television? It is dominated by crass, thoughtless, gratuitous, oppressive, degrading, unpleasant, foul, negative, shallow, violent, omniphobic/all embracing, indefensible content, upon which scale, 'Robertson's' does not even register!

    Did your parent never - even during quality time - tell you: 'Leave that alone dear'? The BBC psyche would seem to be beyond therapy, or psychoactive drugs - you are utterly adrift from reality.

    Carol WON 'I'm a Banana - Pay no Attention'. She is CAROL THATCHER. Now act accordingly.

  • Comment number 3.

    Whether it's "a" or "the", I don't think PRESIDENT Obama is fussed about the UK and will treat us like any other foreign country, viz. his quote in his inaugural address regarding events from the American War of Independence.

    Hillary will be given the task of making us feel special -and we'll lap it up like Mark says. We really must keep in mind that we are no big deal in the world any more - let's accept that and re-group, eg develop the contacts Jack Straw has made over the years with the regime in Iran.

    Buy America - remember "Buy British"? - very difficult these days - there's more mileage in re-kindling British industry than "British jobs for British workers", though.

    Did Carol Thatcher call her dear old mum a "gollywog"? Ah, bless! But what on earth does it have to do with Newsnight??

    54# Monday; we have different experiences, risky to generalise from one experience or the other eg "they[kids/goats/children] never settle.." BIG generalisation.

    48# Monday; it's a mistaken view that everybody speaks English around the world - the vast majority speak International American, and usually only in business situations, talking to the BBC on Match of the Day or a vox pop in a Parisian Boulevard, when we should be mortified at the "mec dans la rue"'s fluency.

    When working and living overseas it's essential, even just plain polite, to be able to converse reasonably well in the native language; in some countries, for example Turkey, the use of the simplest phrases can break down lots of barriers almost immediately - and open the raki bottle.

    56# Monday; "education is really schooling" - nope. Education is not confined to schools, though in schools with good teaching practices children learn that education is fundamental to learning, development, growth and, dare I say it - civilisation.

  • Comment number 4.

    The 'special relationship' that has seen countless British jobs in their 'foreign' factories lost to China and Eastern Europe over the past twenty years?

  • Comment number 5.

    given the olympics is advertising jobs abroad it looks like the State is still in pre crunch mindset? Perhaps cushioned from the real world they think nothing has happened and it'll all be alright in 6 months so why think about where to advertise jobs?

    what is the point of borrowing billions that will cripple the country for a generation if that money is not circulated wherever possible within the uk?

    we need an election. The decisions taken now are so huge whoever does it needs a mandate and a focus.

    these 18 months are decisive and cannot be wasted because a govt frittered them away designing policies in electioneering mode?

    time for an election to clear the air.

  • Comment number 6.


    Brown said "British jobs for British workers." We now realise, from a range of Labour sources, this meant 'British workers to be trained for British jobs - if not already filled'.

    Meanwhile, in America, Obama said: "We WILL extend a hand IF you are willing to unclench your fist." But by the time it reached Hillary's lips (gazed on lovingly by Miliband D) it had changed. Hillary declared: "As President Obama said: WE ARE REACHING OUT A HAND but the fist has to unclench."

    It's all in the semantic wrist. I registered, as Obama spoke his inaugural address, the churlishness of a 'conditional handshake'. It seems those who lurk in the shadows writing speeches, made the same, belated, adjustment. Hillary got it right.

    In passing, Miliband D still has to learn that if your are 'beaten to the pat' with your back to the cameras, a 'reciprocal pat' does not recover your demotion. He reciprocated and they - briefly - looked like a courting couple. The world is safe.

  • Comment number 7.

    most impressed with our foreign secretary, didn't mention the war and in true FO tradition didn't rock the boat with embarrassments like Gaza, the Lebanon last year and Iraq, Afghanistan and all the other distinquished special relationship triumphs of our cosy relationship. On retreat into the oval office I wondered if either party said to each other 'Gee, how do we keep getting away with this shit all the time'

  • Comment number 8.

    I can see what good it does to British politicians to have a special relationship with America, but I cannot see what good it does the country.

    Many American values are heavily influenced by British non-conformist thinking. Though Britain does not have a constitution the American constitution was influenced by British radicals like Thomas Paine.

    Our history grants us special constitutional ties, but I'm frankly embarrassed by the fawning behaviour of British politicians towards America, and sometimes I think they are.

    The jump off a cliff and we'll follow mentality of British politicians, makes us look like fools.

    In fact, I'm rather reminded of American Oliver Hardy saying to the British Stan Laurel, "Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten me into."

  • Comment number 9.

    Apparently there are now certain words that cannot even be said in private within the walls of the BBC......... Stalin would have been envious of their current approach to such issues if this story is anything to go by.......

    ...... the place has gone to pot!

    Carol Thatcher will no longer work on The One Show after being reported for making a racist remark, the BBC has announced.
    The former prime minister's daughter referred to a tennis player as a "golliwog" backstage during filming of the BBC One programme.......
    "Carol never intended any racist comment,"......
    "She made a light aside about this tennis player and his similarity to the golliwog on the jam pot when she was growing up.
    "There's no way, obviously, that she would condone any racist comment - we would refute that entirely. It would not be in her nature to do anything like that.
    "It is disgusting that we've had a leak of private conversations in the green room - the BBC has more leaks than Thames Water.
    "Carol is mortified that anyone should take offence at a silly joke. She has summarily apologised."

    I'm not a great fan of C. Thatcher. However, this seems a nonsensical furore to me and reminds me of the "yes/no interlude" in the old Take Your Pick programme:

    Chiles: "Did you see that match today? What great tennis - who was the guy who got knocked out again?"
    Thatcher: "Didn't see it - what did he look like?"
    Chiles: "He was the dark chap with rather frizzy hair"
    Thatcher: "The one who looked a bit like a gollywog?"
    Sorry Carol - I'm afraid you've said the word "gollywog" - we'd like you to issue a grovelling apology for that racist slur or you'll be chucked off the programme!! Yes I know we didn't tell you that rule before you started this conversation but, you know, the BBC must be seen to be....err....whiter than white!

    Next it'll become a hanging offence to compare Alistair Darling's eyebrow and hair colour mismatch to a skunk......

    ....and all this from the BBC who shoved the much-loved Moira Stewart out of its doors for reasons that (obviously....???) had nothing to do with her skin colour, age or hairstyle!

    What a bunch of nitwitted hypocrites!

  • Comment number 10.

    Being the first servant of the biggest bully is indeed a very special relationship. How many envy the UK for it is a different story.

  • Comment number 11.

    No election can save us.

    Fundamentally the people with economic power, the capitalists, are only interested in money, their money.
    Politicians are interested in us only in as much as they need to be elected but their real objective is to get on to the dinner party lists of the capitalists.
    Only a resurgence of protestantism or some like-minded ideology could restore an ethic to capitalism.

    Capitalism is on the point of replacing the notion of culture with marketing. Instead of artefacts we have brands. Instead of customs we have compliance. As Sean Lock rightly points out, when things go wrong there is every need to swear!!

  • Comment number 12.

    ..No election can save us...

    saving is for messiahs...

    what it will do

    it will allow whoever is in power to think long term. at the moment whatever the govt does is weighed as to how many votes it will get.

    it will allow a debate about direction.

    it will focus political minds and show who is still in the pre crunch mindset and so set in their ways they cannot change.

    it will clear the air and so the uk can avoid the more 'direct' action seen in other parts of the world.

    the decision to sink the country in debt for a generation is so huge there should be a mandate for it.

  • Comment number 13.

    #12; Gordi will not call an election, no never, no more.

    Gordi will wait until the last possible moment because he knows the best he can do is be a minority in a hung Commons - let's just take a moment there.

    The only factor in an election happening earlier will be Lord Vader convincing Gordi that HE has seen the green shoots of recovery. But will Gordi see Vader's advice as a ruse to provoke a leadership election after a "green shoots" national one?

    It won't matter, 'cos Vader will have the Cabinet lined up to tell him so.

    2010, last possible moment; then prepare for "coalition government" - even more about pork barrels than ever before.

  • Comment number 14.

    #11; although there is much truth in what you say, we must not be fatalistic about elections; people over the centuries worked hard, protested, fought and died to prise universal suffrage from the claws of the landowners.

    We must not treat their struggles with a contempt they patently do not deserve; use your vote wisely; vote when the time comes; as they say in Zimbabwe - vote early, vote often.


  • Comment number 15.

    Could our desire for cheaper and cheaper goods be the special relationship that helps jobs go elsewhere? It appears the Pound shop and Primark do very well while other retailers disappear? Recent comments that the recently deceased high street Woolworth's was too expensive (Woolworth's?) and the news that there is pilfering from charity shops suggests that we will never be satisfied
    until everything is made more cheaply somewhere else and we have no jobs to buy anything at any price.
    We're all at it in some measure whether it's lower taxes but better services or massive lottery wins. When the penny drops we'll probably want it back but that's when it goes into the machine to make something happen.

  • Comment number 16.

    Re Carol Thatcher. This was said off-air, and to someone of Carol's generation (mine too) a gollywog does not represent a black person, a slave or indeed any oppressed minoroty. IT'S A DOLL, for Heaven's sake, a child's toy! I had a golly when I was a nipper and so dis lots of children. Some people need to take a long hard look at themselves and consider why they are over-sensitive to the point of barminess.

  • Comment number 17.

    More on Carol Thatcher. The report claimed she used 'gollywog' as a racist insult. Since when did the name of this childrens' toy become a 'racist insult'? Who says? And her comment was made in private - I wonder if the black lady who felt so insulted would like a listening device installed in her home to see if she ever says anthing a bit off-colour?

  • Comment number 18.

    The interview with the Sri Lankan high commissioner was revealing.
    He said that Sri Lanka hadn't bombed hospitals. Sri Lanka was killing 'terrorists' who refused peace. (Not the full story, is it?) Jeremy pressed him about the refusal to allow journalists in to cover the story and mentioned that journalists had been shot. Israel did this and more in Gaza, yet we didn't see Jeremy press any Israeli spokesman with such vigour. Why not?

  • Comment number 19.

    There is no way that a form of language can be concocted which precludes the possibility of ANYONE being offended. Second guessing the hearers' sensitivities is bound to cause more trouble than it cures. If, in spite of care or because of carelessness, someone offends then surely an apology to those affected is enough. The only sure remedy is complete silence. However, knowing modern publicity methods, it is tempting to wonder.......

  • Comment number 20.

    Re: Sri-Lanka

    The Sri-Lankan government’s assurances about protecting civilians in the conflict areas are an utter nonsense. Anyone who criticizes the government is silenced using terror. At least nine journalists have been killed in Sri Lanka in the past three years – plus several opposition politicians and countless number of civilians.

    It is a well-known fact that the Sri-Lankan Govt is one of the worst violators of human rights in the world. It is on par with Burma, North Korea and Sudan.

    If the Govt has nothing to hide, why take journalists in a tightly-controlled tour of selected areas? Let the journalists go wherever they want to go and let the aid organizations do their work freely!

    International aid organisations and journalists are working in war zones, such as Afghanistan, Congo, Gaza, etc. Therefore, they should be able to work in Sri-Lanka as well.

    The reason the Sri-Lankan government is able to kill innocent civilians and get away with it is because there is very little pressure from the international community.

    What most of the countries have done is to shed crocodile tears over civilians’ deaths and injuries in SL and turned a blind eye to the serious human rights violations.

    The international community is either unable or unwilling to stop the killing of innocent civilians. Expressing concerns for human rights violations is easy!

    If the SL Govt is serious in solving the political problem, it should have produced a credible political solution by now.

  • Comment number 21.

    If the Special Relationship is so important, why is it's birthplace ( Bletchley Park Trust ) being allowed to rot. See @bletchleypark on Twitter for detail & solution.

  • Comment number 22.


    But don't expect a Sanityclause.

    Hi Kashi - have you been going to rhetoric classes? I was up and marching before I remembered: NO WE CAN'T.
    Where is the value in universal suffrage when all information is distorted, half the voters don't, most of the rest have no influence on the outcome and the few that do have, are knocked bandy with targeted propaganda, bought with enormous war chests derived from vested interests?

    The right to vote should be based on ability to reason and to resist coercion; just as the right to drive a car or fly a plane depends on relevant proven ability. Why else would universal suffrage, driving and flying, exclude the young?

    Poignantly: prisoners are also excluded from voting, yet they probably understand more of governance and politicians than any of us! They are a mix of mad and bad.

    Hear me Britain! I call on all the gullible and impressionable, who think they understand what is going on - hence which party can save us from whatever - to rise up and realise you have no idea (any more than I have). Demand universal lessons in chicanery, dissembling, cant, hypocrisy and brown envelopes. You have nothing to lose - that isn't already lost. Thank you.

  • Comment number 23.


    Did anyone see this strange statement covered in the news?

    Speaking of strange things said - why was this said:

    ""See our present condition---the country engaged in war! Our White men cutting one another's throats! And then consider what we know to be the truth. But for your race among us there could not be war, although many men engaged on either side do not care for you one way or another. Why should the people of your race be colonized, and where? Why should they leave this country? This is, perhaps, the first question for proper consideration. You and we are different races. We have between us a broader difference than exists between almost any other two races. Whether it is right or wrong I need not discuss, but this physical difference is a great disadvantage to us both, as I think your race suffer very greatly, many of them by living among us, while ours suffer from your presence. In a word, we suffer on each side. If this be admitted, it affords a reason at least why we should be separated. It is better for both, therefore, to be separated."

    Spoken at the White House to a group of black community leaders, August 14th, 1862, from COLLECTED WORKS OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Vol. 5, page 371.

  • Comment number 24.

    Bruton's a hypocrite - he asks what would happen if other countries asked people to buy the product of their own countries and not others. Well, what about Guaranteed Irish - - the long-running kite mark on Irish products to encourage people to buy them instead of imports.

  • Comment number 25.

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

  • Comment number 26.

    Yes we do need to vote early and wisely - if the candidates are there to vote for. I'm merely pointing out that in the western world we are seeing a sharp decline in freedoms and rising exploitation of the working class. It amuses me to hear how shocked the business sector is with the population staying at home because of the snow - perhaps if the work environment was less exploitative they would not have stayed home. Globalisation could have gone one of two ways - either the rest of the world share the benefits of liberal democracy or the liberal democracies of the west adopt the exploitatiive strategies of non-liberal democracies. It seems clear which way we have gone.

  • Comment number 27.

    There are peole on BBC Nwes comparing the post conviction treatment of child offenders (used to be called Youth Custody, but that doesn't make them sound young enough) in the UK vs Finland

  • Comment number 28.


    There are people on BBC News comparing the post conviction treatment of child offenders in the UK vs Finland. This used to be called Youth Custody, but that didn't make them sound young enough so the Penal Consortium liberals (essentially Trots, now talk about children all the time, knowing full well that the crime rate peaks in the late teens, and that legally a child offender is any offender under 18).

    A few things worth noting is that a) Finland is very Northern b) Finnish is quite difficult c) it is hard to get a work permt d) They are largely white e) they come top in the PISA tests f) they have a population of about 5 million g) as they didn't colonise large parts of the Third World, they don't have the disproportionate crime rate seen in some ethnic groups.

    There was a colourfully dressed person on TV implying that crime and reconviction rates might be reduced through better social work/care of children. Oddly, there wasn't anyone on (maybe from the PPO Unit could have been invited?) to balance the view and say "popyycock - criminogenic risk runs in families/genes - to reduce crime, we need to slow down dysgenic fertility'.

    Is that oversight not just a little bit odd given that the BBC prides itself in being so balanced?

  • Comment number 29.

    #23 The missing statement

    Note, the primary purpose of all this is to highlight, for those unaware of it, how a devious group political agenda often masquerades as the plight of an oppressed/persecuted underdog. Such movements have historically abused other groups, usually far less cognitively able than themselves, in their fight against a rival ruling class (in the early 1900s - The Tzar). The objective - hegemony, sold as something more far more noble sounding like freedom and equality. Stalin purged the party of the original 'non Russian' Bolsheviks in the 1930s once he realised what was going on.

    Barrie (#22) - see Angela Merkel's history, and Stalin on Social Fascism, which becomes more integral to our sad way of life by the day. She'd have had an EU wide law against Holocaust Denial if she could.

    In the end, this is just politics, another useful vehicle like the anarchists' Global Warming - as back in the 70s when Tatcher started this ball rlling (see Nigel Lawson on this) fossil fuel used to be coal...which of course required miners...who were, in those days, statists, i.e. Old Labour Webbian Stalinists.

    Note: This is not a cue for our entusiastic NN bloggers to turn to Agitprop and incite local pogroms against themselves across the country (as was probably done in the Pale in the late 1800s - one FO official pointed out that the pogroms tended to be along major rail lines - next stop was London and NYC as 'political asylum' seekers - and then back again as revolutionaries!).

  • Comment number 30.

    I think the remarks from that Canadian Chap working in the steel industry in the United States are rather short sighted. America is Canada’s biggest trading partner. To claim that Obama’s ‘Buy America policy’ won’t impose negative effects on the Canadian economy is naïve at best. Since the onset of US recession, the Canadian economy, especially the manufacturing sector, has slowed substantially due to sharp falls in orders coming from the U.S. (Check where the loonies are trading against its US counterparts if you don’t believe me!) Canada has no sub prime mortgage problem, and yet, housing market is stalling and economy is fully expected to be in recession this year despite the government’s large stimulus package. The fact of the matter is US economy is too big to have zero impact on any of its trading partners.

    Secondly, I am very concerned that the Obama administration seems to be heading down the same route as US government did in the 1930s. The argument that a big government spending plan in addition to protectionism policies will produce different results this time round, is just as fallible as saying the financial bailout didn’t work during the 1930s because it wasn’t big enough, or that the solution to a recession caused by credit squeeze is to borrow more. Boy, one has to be amazed at the kind of garbage that politicians and central bankers are feeding us nowadays.

  • Comment number 31.

  • Comment number 32.


    HI Lizzie. Not my field, but I followed your link.

    Stephanie supports her analysis by reference to Bernanke, but wasn't he supposed to have cocked-up 'bigtime stateside'?

    I'll get me comforter.

  • Comment number 33.


    ecolizzy (#31)

    Protectionism is being used as a euphemism for nationalism (especially National Socialism/Socialism in One Country) - it's what the entryist Socialist Internationalists most fear as the vulgarity of unsustainable shark-like Chicago/Austrian School anarcho-capitalism grinds to a halt and thrashes about.

    The more I read of Stephanie's stuff, the more I come to appreciate that her true vocation was in speech writing/spin for the protagonists of the free-market (e.g. Larry Summers).

    Stephanie needs to look at the real drivers of modern economic behaviour - it's behavioural, it's a function of changing demographics, and most important of all, it's largely genetic. What she should not do is selectively interview those who endorse Liberal-Democratic (environmentalist) preconceptions (as she did when interviewing Flynn and Mackintosh for Newsnight, but not those who really dominate this field - see article 5)

    She'd be surprised how many of the experts who have been working in this area believe this, but that surprise would come from her having not paid sufficient attention in the past, and believing what's false to be true, after all, the present crisis was the result of non action, i.e. of de-regulation, where legislation was passed (or repealed) so that government and economic advisors didn't have much if any control!!

    Nice work if one can get it.

  • Comment number 34.


    - Ms Merkel demanded that the Pope make it "absolutely clear" that there could be no Holocaust denial and that there "must be positive dealings with the Jews". -

    No doubt she would wish to qualify that, but the reality is that this is precisely what has been going on for decades. It has been spread to affirmative action for other minority groups (women and other ethnic minorities) but the really clever bit has been that the major beneficiary has been a largey secular, materialistic, white group, which already had an advantage in high verbal intelligence. What that amounts to is a licence to get away with all sorts otherwise socially dubious if not unjust and non-democratic behaviour through legislation.Legal, but definitely venal. Sadly, venal doesn't matter anymore.

    As I have said elsewhere, this is just party/group politics (but a party with very restricted rights of membership and one which is uniquely racial and yet, internationalist). One should not let anyone persuade one that it's anything else - is it venal? Is it even legal?

  • Comment number 35.

    the licence fee is a form of protectionism. protecting the bbc from risk.

    lots of things could not exist without protectionism like nhs, schools, labour laws, minimum wage, every charity gets some protection [from tax etc] etc. even the banking system is now 'protected' from risk.

    so protectionism from risk is at the heart of much of govt policy.

    so its not a case of protectionism is bad its how much of it there is. a balance between two forces of stability and risk to achieve a desired end. both are needed. to champion only protectionism is as daft as championing only risk.

    so, where necessary, one could draft policies that are 50-50 protectionism and risk. that would be the middle road.

  • Comment number 36.

    Thoroughly outstanding debate by Jeremy with Ken Neumann & John Bruton about Obama's "Buy American" clause. History shows that protectionism does NOT work - as shown clearly in Peter's report. Excellent points raised by Jeremy and what a likely outcome the EU and China etc would do if a settlement isn't reached and a possible collapse of the entire world trade system.
    And ha ha ha @ Newsnight's Green Room being like a septic tank! :p

  • Comment number 37.


    Lesson 1 Oedipus wanted to have sex with Jocasta but not his mother. Oedipus did want to have sex with his mother, he just didn't know that.

    Lesson 2 Natural Languages are intensional.

    Lesson 3Substitutivity of identicals salva veritate (keeping truth) and existential quantifcation in do not fail in extensional languages. That is why the sciences create such languages.

    Lesson 4 The intensional can not be translated into the extensional and vice-versa, and the intenional is not a reliable tool for dealing with reality. It is a language game closed unto itself. It is just a modus vivendi, a language of make-believe, superstitition and magic (much loved by novelists, politicians, economists, educationalists, cognitivists and sociologists because it is indeterminate/inscrutible - it is eschewed by Behaviour Analysts except to heuristically illustrate what's fundamentally logically wrong with it.

    Lesson 5 The mark of the intensional is the psychological verb.

  • Comment number 38.


    Stephanie has a blog that carries her CV, INCLUDING SPEECHWRITING.

    I posted accordingly as below:


    When I realised (after decades) that Kennedy's 'Ask not' was not his 'to ask', then discovered Martin Luther King was having a speech-writers dream - not his own - it meant that I was not surprised to read of Obama's little helpers.

    Personally, I have never written for a job or sent a love letter, or posted on a blog anything that was not all my own work - and errors - even Freudian slips. By my utterance, shall ye know me.

    I have learned now not to 'listen' in the deeper sense to speechwriter proxy oratory and I urge others to do the same. When some worthy is giving forth, remember to shout, as the climax is reached: WHO WROTE THAT THEN!"

    I was taken down for 'irrelevance' even though I addressed Stephanomics directly!

  • Comment number 39.


    It's an absolute disgrace on Srilankan High Commissioner and the Government of Srilanka to twist and manipulate the reality of the real situation in the north of srilanka. As Jeremy mentioned and if they are doing every thing by books why not take international media and boast about their achievements and get some feed back from the innocent civilians.

    I am sure it will never happen in Srilanka, and until the western media only listens to the one side's story and it will always be an untold epic.

    The world has not realized the carnage caused by Srilankan Government to the people who are willing to stay where they are now. They are bombarded from the air with chemical weapons, cluster bombs, shelled from artillery every minute, claymore attacks on ambulance carrying injured regardless children or elders, no medicine or food, no shelters, have to live in jungles with no sanitation, had to cope with natural disasters such as torrential rain and flooding which fills the bunkers which they depend to save their life when the government forces engage in indiscriminate shelling and bombing and the list goes on...

    The High Commissioner mentioned about a Cease-Fire wich was only for 48 hrs. But the question from Jeremy was about complete halt to the actions indefinitely referring to the joint statement by both UK/USA foreign sectaries.

    And one final note. The GoSL asked the civilians to come into the government controlled area. But the SKY news reporter revealed the condition in the so called relief camps. Once the people enter the camp they have no access to the out side world, no access to the media to speak to the people inside, unlawful arrests from the camp by both security forces and un-named group who work along the GoSL to experience torture and rape.

    So the big question is why should the suffering Tamils should trust the current government.?

  • Comment number 40.

    DOIN' MY ED IN (#37)

    Oh JJ - if I didn't know you to be deadly serious, I would think you are avin' a laugh.

    I have to ask if the missing crucial letter in that o-so-crucial word (lesson 4 line 2) is intentional (sic) - Is the proof being left to the pupil, as text books say?

    But really, I am curious to know to whom your 'lessons' are directed at #37.

  • Comment number 41.

    I wanted to add that I LOVE the new programme highlights for EACH show. Excellent :o)

  • Comment number 42.

    I watched PMQS today on the Daily Politics; what a rum bunch our MPs are; bouncing up and down like someone ran a shock through their seats ; and then Gordi used the "D" word and nobody picked him up; they weren't all asleep, were they? Or bored senseless? Or - they knew it was a Depression all along, but didn't think it wise to frighten the munchkins; we might all don fluorescent blousons and head for Lincolnshire - ooh, Betty!

    Big Andy showed Tessa Jowell,- "I'd throw myself under a bus for Tony "-up for the shallow creep she is; no surprise that Gordi has kept her as Olympics Minister - there will be a reckoning.

    Looking forward to tonight's programmed item on Iran very much.

  • Comment number 43.

    The Vatican has ordered an ultra-traditionalist bishop to publicly recant his views denying the Holocaust.

    Anybody who has been exposed to the race "reality" of the goose steppers as above (Jaded_Jean with more International Jewish Conspiracy rubbish) must be moving in the direction of taking on legal penalties as in Germany and Austria.

    Otherwise Bishop Richard Williamson will just obliquely reference the subject in the way that the cowardly goose steppers above do.

    I doubt that he could be as pretentious as them but I know little about him.

    Hitler thought the masses more likely to believe the big lie than the little lie. Hence the unsustainable rubbish that is presented here by the goose steppers.

    Genetic variation is greater within races than between races. There is no scientific rational for racism and only the deranged think that there is.

    People should think about emailing their M.P.s as the infringement on free speech is merited by the fact that its not free speech for the racists its the opportunity to try and spread "big lies".

    But ultimately these are failed ideas from failed people . No doubt they will start whining about the "scientists" who have been dismissed for their incompetence, racism and in all probability their desire to mass murder in the name of a twisted political ideology.

  • Comment number 44.

    barrie (#40) It could have been, I mean it might have been, but those three are intensional, and I'm not really sure what intentional means anymore. Best stick to is and isn't and does and doesn't i.e. behaviour.

    PS. It's supposed to do one's head in, the 'idea' is that 'mind' needs to be purged - i.e. we need a 'holocaust' of the mental ;-) Quine used the word 'exorcism'. Perhaps a 'fumigation' would do?

  • Comment number 45. whom your 'lessons' ..

    it isn't in the socratic style?

    its more the dogma dictatorial?

  • Comment number 46.


    You are in great form Kashi - a positively punchy post (PPP).

    I have an alternative take on 'depression' uttered by Brown. Might it be a Freudian 'slip in', revealing his current state? His dreams must be filled with the Blair grin now - if he gets to sleep at all.

    As a rider: is James G Brown ALLOWED to just train Brits for those jobs? Or does EU law require him to train all comers? Otherwise it woud be discrimination surely?

  • Comment number 47.


    Just as topical example of how this works.

    And yet most who will take note of this, will let it go, which is precisely how and why it works. Note the economy with the truth in the press.

  • Comment number 48.


    Consider me fumigated JJ! (:o)

  • Comment number 49.


    thegangofone (#43) Should they attach a copy of this paper along with this one to their MPs, just to illustrate how how confused they are perhaps?

    Try to understand the above papers before posting again, and try to understand that the reason why some people want Holocaust Denial made illegal is so they can give a boost electorally to Liberal-Democratic, hands off, 'light-touch', laisez-faire, anarcho-capitalism (cf Friedman, Hayek etc).

    Making out that there are no important (Gaussian distributed) mean biological/behavioural/genetic differences between races and the sexes is part of an implicit anarchistic business agenda as it makes it easier for marketing to aspirational consumers if individual differences can be put down to individual choice and lack of opportunity, it means businesses can peddle snake oil to redress all that (except snake-oil never works).

  • Comment number 50.

    bookhimdano (#45) I can dogmatically assure you that in the few serious subjects still taught in our universities, its the dogmatic method which is most appreciated by brighter students - i.e. they are after the facts, and facts and rules which are reliable. It's today's filler subjects which prize 'argument' and which encourage 'thinking for oneself' (whatever that means as in the sciences there are emprical facts and rules of application). These tend to be favoured more by highly verbal females (and feminised males?) looking at the HESA data. Tend to be quite bolshy!

  • Comment number 51.

    43. thegangofone

    "People should think about emailing their M.P.s as the infringement on free speech is merited by the fact that its not free speech for the racists its the opportunity to try and spread "big lies"."

    The problem with banning the likes of JJ is that it would ruin the new version of "bullshit bingo" we're playing at work, courtesy of postings on here.

    Seriously, I don't think the likes of JJ are a problem. After all, the market they're appealling to won't understand 90% of the words. And it's a market that despises intellect, respect for which is clearly a deep inner craving of JJ's.

    I think the people you should be looking to keep off the airwaves are populists who borrow the result of pseudo-scientific racism and add a populist twist. So, for instance, anyone who takes JJ's thesis of white European male supremacy, uses it to argue that white British males are obviously best suited, say, to undertake certain types of work, and expresses this through an easy-to-remember sound bite, eg "Bristish jobs for British workers", is probably the target you should be aiming at.

    Incidentally, what chance do you think we've got of keeping the goose steppers off the airwaves, considering a couple of recent race-related stories? First we had Harry Wales calling a friend "Paki". Leaving aside that he said it three years ago, why was it a story anyway? Then, of course, we had the whole ethical dilemma for the BBC of whether or not to allow bloggers to use the word anyway. There was no clear editorial line: some posts got blocked, others didn't. Now we have "golliwog-gate". Have you noticed how every BBC journalist reporting on this has ensured they get to use the word "golliwog"?

    Now both words are generally unacceptable, I agree. But I just can't see Harry Wales and/or Carol Thatcher as leaders of some crypto-right wing plot to re-establish the true British identity.

    So, the problem you have with complaining to the BBC about giving airtime to the people we really need to worry about, is it's a bit uncomfortable for them. I mean it requires them to take a stand and display some spine. Much easier to soothe their collective PC conscience by attacking a couple of people who cannot fight back: Harry Wales because of his position (as an Army officer), and Carol Thatcher because she just isn't bright enough.

    And at the same time, Gordon Brown is free to continue his recruitment campaign for the BNP, ably supported by his party's biggest contributor, Unite.

  • Comment number 52.


    #49 To spell ut out, liberate females and they will indeed go into higher education (but dramatically less so the hard sciences) and workplace, and two things then happen a) with their additional independent incomes it was much easier to sell more merchandise, as women do most of the shopping, it also increased property prices b) it reduced the birthrate in the brighter half of the population dumbing down the population producing relatively more impulsive consumers.

    By making out there are no racial differences in intelligence and that individual differences are all down to educatinal opportunity not genes, it was much easier to lure the unwary into ARMs and other forms of predatory lending as the brokers could just say the client didn't need to follow the small print, say property prices would always increase, etc etc, i.e con the client. The more immigrants the better, as that meant more consumers or clients for their cons etc. The risk was securitized and spread like manure around the world as toxic fillers. It was easy to promise the naive the earth via education, all the governments had to do was lower standards so more could go to college, which made it appear that education was improving ability (to the undiscerning).

    All sorts of people who should have known better, and who should have spoken out didn't for the dsame reason those in the fnancial sector ect didn't, they knew they would be moved aside. Some did, they got sidelined, most were swept up in a euphoric fantasy where education could work magic and everyone could live on unearned credit. It's was just venal, naked capitalism at work, and there are still those who will do anything to get their wizards back behind the curtains.

  • Comment number 53.

    JayPee28bpr (#51) "Seriously, I don't think the likes of JJ are a problem. After all, the market they're appealling to won't understand 90% of the words. And it's a market that despises intellect"

    Perhaps you should reflect on that a little as you may find that Newsnight viewers/readers are far smarter than you give them credit for. What you may not have adequately done to date is ask why so many of the points which I have raised are in fact so alien to so many bright people.

  • Comment number 54.


    "So, the problem you have with complaining to the BBC about giving airtime to the people we really need to worry about . . ."

    'The people we need to worry about' are ourselves, JP.
    (1) We spend far to much time here (being narcissistic?)
    (2) We neglect the Mote and Beam parable.
    (3) Er - that's it.

    Don't you have a go at me - that's ageist.

  • Comment number 55.


    EXCELLENT post JJ. Stick that one on your headstone.

    PS If anyone missed the 'Moral Maze', Sally Godard Blythe made a lot of sense.

  • Comment number 56.

    53. JadedJean


    Diappointed by your last response to me. You earned me precisely "nul points" on my BB card. Never mind, I won't let it influence me.

    I quite agree Newsnight viewers/bloggers are intelligent. The evidence to support your view is the simple fact that there is so little support for your "theories" on here. But as we both know, the Newsnight demographic is not the one targeted by those who put a more populist twist on your ideas.

    As for why bright people find your ideas "alien", perhaps the choice of word says it all? I don't know. Personally I just think you're totally bonkers, and harmless because you're approach is far too academic. That's an observation, by the way, not a criticism. Academics don't get the masses seething. Brain dead idiots like Brown are the problem for the safety of liberal democratic anarcho whatever-it-is-we-ares like me.

  • Comment number 57.

    My nickname is Golly!
    I went swimming and caught cold. Does this make me a gollywog?
    I am also black,play tennis and have spiky hair.
    Am I therefor offensive.
    Get real you sad PC people.

  • Comment number 58.

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


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