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Friday, 6 March, 2009

Sarah McDermott | 16:25 UK time, Friday, 6 March 2009

Here's Gavin with a look ahead to tonight's programme:

"You made some comments about my deputy, and I have to say that I won't hear a word against him - I think he's fast on his way to becoming a national treasure."

Leader of the Commons Harriet Harman on her deputy Chris Bryant MP.

Is the Prime Minister on his way to National Treasure-dom? It's been a week in which he has taken huge risks, backing the Bank of England's decision to pump up to £150bn into the economy, and made a big speech to the US Congress. He has also met Barack Obama and begun laying the groundwork for next months G20 summit in London.

So, can Gordon Brown rebuild his premiership, along with the economy?

Or is he, as some commentators believe, inevitably doomed? We'll debate.

Plus we'll have more on the data protection issues raised amid allegations of a "blacklist" of construction workers. Peter Mandelson and some green custard could also make an appearance...

That's Newsnight tonight at 10.30pm.

Gavin

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    I saw on the BBC this morning the wife of some foreign pol we just can't seem to get enough off was doling out 'soup' this morning... or was it... custard?

    Just askin'

  • Comment number 2.

    NN turning into a Comedy of Errors/Failures

    gordon a Knational treasure are you sure
    The wind up of the Cent uary (if we had any thanks to brown we have nada/zilch/nothing/not a been/difficient in the funding dept)
    April the first? not yet, Comedic Release weak perhaps. gordon will Kill a mans giro
    Not/never his own though.

    There may be Trouble Ahead
    but where theres gordon and moonlighting/moodlightning There will be,
    Take it as red

  • Comment number 3.

    Please, if you are compiling a Top Ten of what I suppose we are now compelled to call 'sliming' incidents, do NOT let Tony Blair off the hook - he had rotten tomatoes thrown at him in Bristol years back, and this has sadly been airbrushed from the historic coverage today.

    One could argue that such a thing is a rite of passage, nay even an 'initiation' for a modern politician...

    Of course, you could invite the fragrant Leila on the show, and ask her to help out on Newsnight Review and thereby kill two stones with one bird..

    [sorry..]

  • Comment number 4.

    'The Messina bridge, whose centre span of 3.3km (two miles) would make it the longest in the world, has been a pet project of Italy's Silvio Berlusconi'

    In Italy public construction projects like this are usually seen as a "payoff" to the Mafia, I think.

    Is that still the case and how does the war with the Mafia and Cammora go?

    Is there an election in the offing?

  • Comment number 5.

    The Wrong PIE/PYE

    I like Custard
    Marmalade I like Marmalade (syco Break the Fast)

    Given the Choice of Pie These Days 1 of,
    I would have chosen A Big BIG Porky Pie
    Frozen Hard/Thrown Hard

    The type of pie mandy long nose all ab/out

  • Comment number 6.

    If anyone needs a giggle to cheer themselves, try this. Some bits are hilarious.



    http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/28045,features,world-leaders-episode-6-youre-a-big-titted-liar

  • Comment number 7.

    Whilst I generally loathe eco-fascists they do have a valid point about the proposal for a third runway at Heathrow. It would appear that the new ( short ) runway is being built in the interest of Corporate Nazi stock market celebrities in order that they can gain quick access to first class commercial intercontinental flights via their helicopters and private jets. They are all good mates with Mandelson and others who visit yachts etc, so no wonder he was at the front of those wishing to put it through cabinet.

    The Corporate Nazi eco-fascists expect their puppet government to tax the poor to give up their often modest carbon footprint in order that they can preserve their often lavish lifestyles.

    As for alleged " blacklists " its probable that the practice has been going on at least since Thatcher came to power in 1979. I remember in the last year at tech 1982 we all did a test ( for fun ) to find out where on the political spectrum we came. The forms were collected at the end and allegedly destroyed but who is to say that they were not passed on to a third party. I was classified as a " communist " ( even though I voted Tory in 1979 ) and despite my excellent qualifications found that I never had any success with job applications to big companies.

  • Comment number 8.

    I'm surprised by the blocking of #6. It refers to "The First Post" and discusses "World Leaders".

    First Post is a reputable magazine.

    World Leaders is a suitable topic for this blog.

  • Comment number 9.

    "As for alleged " blacklists " its probable that the practice has been going on at least since Thatcher came to power in 1979. I remember in the last year at tech 1982 we all did a test ( for fun ) to find out where on the political spectrum we came. The forms were collected at the end and allegedly destroyed but who is to say that they were not passed on to a third party. I was classified as a " communist " ( even though I voted Tory in 1979 ) and despite my excellent qualifications found that I never had any success with job applications to big companies."

    Yeah it looks like a whole can of worms could be opened and only going to get worse with the internet.

    Us lot who blog on NN are probably down on the Aunty Beeb serious loony toon list.

  • Comment number 10.

    Did the government take out a good bank (Lloyds) to save a bad bank (HBOS without risk management via the FSA) for Scottish jobs and the 2010 referendum?

  • Comment number 11.

    There is a good case to be made for reducing the amount of air traffic to help with global warming. There is also a case to be made against the third runway at Heathrow in terms of the local environment. What confuses me is how the two might be linked.

    Without any reduction of overall air traffic , which seems to be independent of local landing rights, all that will happen without the third runway is that the traffic will be diverted; and that might prove less efficient - and actually create more CO2! There does not seem to be any strong evidence that it might reduce CO2.

    Indeed it seems that the combination of the two campaigns is a marriage of some convenience. The greens find it useful publicity for their case against air traffic. The local activists more directly benefit for extra support for their (NIMBY?) local campaign.

    Why then do they get such support in the media?

  • Comment number 12.

    I sometimes wonder which PM you people are looking at. I'm a Scot, a teacher at a comprehensive school in Glasgow and I suppose a natural Labour voter. But this man is a joke and an embarrassment. Did you watch what happened in the US? He was cringe making. Trying to pretend an intimacy with Barack Obama, using his first name while the President carefully referred to 'the Prime Minister'.The American media barely registered him except to comment on how much trouble he was in at home and how obvious it was that Obama was NOT signing up for any 'new deal'.
    His speech to Congress was another exercise in fawning admiration except where he tentatively mentioned protectionism and there was a deathly silence.Please, BBC, get a grip.

  • Comment number 13.

    #11 mercerdavids

    You can't really class the 700 local residents about to be effectively " ethnically cleansed " from their long term homes to make way for the new third runway at Heathrow " NIMBY's " The cutting distance of long haul air traffic argument is a red herring, its landing and taking off where the bulk of fuel is used. The third runway is likely to increase the number of flights by less fuel efficient small planes over even shorter distances.

  • Comment number 14.

    I cannot disagree with the sentiments. He certainly wants burying preferably at the next leection

  • Comment number 15.

    The SEARGENT

    Quick lads up ye get
    The DEIL dOES NAE 4get
    Be Quick NOO dinna mind the LOO an dinna wor/war aboot the SHU
    Follo me noo an near forget
    HER Duty calls n Duty BE
    The song for Ye n ME
    THE Song it A Rises but mare than that it do/du/dus/dun/can surprise us
    FOR the Song


    IS the Song, my DEAR Sergant

  • Comment number 16.

    Sorry I meant election

  • Comment number 17.

    THE CORPSE A RALLY/corporal
    STOP THE BUS/STOP THE PLANit/STOP ME NOO IF YE CAN FORGET/IT tit oot

  • Comment number 18.

    NEVER MIND THE ISSUE, FEEL THE PERSON. (#12)

    You made my day bright-eyedwendym.
    So often do politicians try to insinuate the idea that 'personalising' is improper, and only issues should be addressed. I feel it is no coincidence that a long-term trumpeter of such, is the very bizarre Tony (Wedgie) Benn, whose personality does not bear too much inspection.

    But the MP who conceives, shapes, promotes and (in the case of Blair) deviously pilots policies to acceptance, IS the making or breaking of this country; the policy (often crass) is secondary. All the more so when the electorate votes for a manifesto-backed rosette but gets a peculiar PERSON who can rise to extreme power.

    My MP is a very unappealing individual who is hurtling up the greasy pole of party acceptance. He was first elected 2005 and is already a junior whip. I recently raised the option of 'Quantifiable Abstention' at general election (aka 'none of the above') and was told, disingenuously, of things that abstention had 'never achieved' including kids no longer up chimneys! This is the class of juvenile wannabe who thrives in Brown's Westminster, where Speaker (Batman) Martin presides with such dynamic aplomb over banality that passeth all understanding.

    Brown is, indeed a joke; a bad one - and it's on us.

  • Comment number 19.

    THE PRIVATE..THE TOM............THE TAM.
    HE IS THE......................THEE...MAN.
    TE HELL/HEAL/HEEL/ WEE YOU/YEE TAE/TWA YE GO.
    I PUT MT TRUST IN THEE/THO
    NAE REPLACE THE TRUSTED BE
    FOR U WOOD SUFFER GLADLEE, OR I HOPE FOR THEE

    NAE AS MUCH AS WE 3 OR MAIR
    4 ONLY THOSE WHO DARE 2 DARE
    TWICE AND TWICE MAIR
    DARE 2 DARE

  • Comment number 20.

    THE PRIVATE..THE TOM............THE TAM.
    HE IS THE......................THEE...MAN.
    TE HELL/HEAL/HEEL/ WEE YOU/YEE TAE/TWA YE GO.
    I PUT MT TRUST IN THEE/THO
    NAE REPLACE THE TRUSTED BE
    FOR U WOOD SUFFER GLADLEE, OR I HOPE FOR THEE

    NAE AS MUCH AS WE 3 OR MAIR
    4 ONLY THOSE WHO DARE 2 DARE
    TWICE AND TWICE MAIR
    DARE 2 DARE 4 YE AND mE AND mAIR

  • Comment number 21.

    POST ONE NIEN

    A POST IS A POST 4 A/ALL/AULD/OLD/ THAT.

  • Comment number 22.

    The 'morality in banking' drive.

    If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?

    funny how gordon [and tony?], after 10 years, thinks its important [to have 'morality'] now? Why the change of mind? were the last 10 years wrong?

    'moral' finance would not buy govt debt because it uses it in in wars and on arms? So trying to link 'morality' and finance together shows nothing has been understood by those in government.

    Morality goes with ethics. economics goes with finance. It would make more sense to say finance needs to respect the laws of economics.

    rather than 'morality' why not just have effective rules and make sure they are enforced?

    we need an election. or an all party economic war cabinet.

  • Comment number 23.

    No doubt Gordon wants to hold on to his premiership for as long as he can, people in powerful position always do. If his predecessor didn’t insist on standing for a third term, Gordon may well have received a proper mandate from the country to become the prime minister and his position wouldn’t look so untenable now.

  • Comment number 24.

    bookhimdano (#2) "rather than 'morality' why not just have effective rules and make sure they are enforced?"

    Hmmm...Is it because "The Twickenham Green murderer holds similar views ..... As does the wannabe nail bomber paedophile jailed last year. As does the baby P batterer. As does the wannabe "SS" Lowestoft bomber etc etc."?

  • Comment number 25.

    BlogDog (#24) - some people (for their own good), really do need to contemplate the (possibly pernicious, maybe unwitting, and conceivably even well intentioned) consequences of their nefarious rhetoric.

  • Comment number 26.

    So this quantitative easing is really just a good old enema up the bum of bankers and we all get to receive the waste contents via The Bank of England.

    Were going to be paid with poomoney?

    Crikey I'm off - everyone's gone stark raving mad.

  • Comment number 27.

    SEMANTIC SENSE (#22)

    Nice one bookhim. I haven't checked, but I would expect integrity to relates to wholeness. Neither attribute shines out in Westminster.

    The mock and crass of British democracy were never more apparent, and all we can do is stand and watch it happen - then do it over again.

  • Comment number 28.

    27 Keep the Faith Barrie.

    There are Loads we can do and or Not do.

    A fig leaf from others.

    3000 + nu NulabOurs? Laws? in ten sion al

    Ignore them and dont give them any money they will only Lose Waste or Keep it for themselved.

    If the clowns have no money= no damage

    Gord the brown has borrowed our/my? Grandchildrens money. (my grandkids arnt born yet)
    WHO gave him the right
    Who voted him as prime twit
    Not ever/never me
    I will not be paying for my money back with or without Interest.
    Its a 2 way strasse
    I dont by/bi/bye/buy PAY for Rubbish
    only an idiot would
    guilty as charged NOT Evermore

  • Comment number 29.

    Here's one for you Barrie correct me if i'm wrong (I often am but I learn from it once bitten 2 times shy)

    The latest wheeze by a man? from abroad is to come over here and defile for gain.
    The gain being at H.M. Pleasure for a couple of years food, board, wages, provided and the main gain is for it to learn the English Language, At 40 grand + a year to keep him + liars fee, useless judge fee etc, I for the life of me cant see the gain.

    A Far far far better Idea would be to give him to me/us, I/we would put him to a far far far better use.

  • Comment number 30.

    You are still catching the drift ant beeb

    How wonderfull/usefull to push up the Poppy the Rose, the Thistle, the Daffodil/Leek, the 4 leafed Clover, The ShamROCK or any other Fruit/Vegitable/Plant/Tree, The DasIEy EH

    yer Feart Auntie, of what?
    Its ALL been Dun Before
    and WILL/Can be again

    DAMAGE LTD InCorps air ated

  • Comment number 31.

    Well Dun Auntie

    I'm off 2 the PUB
    Has the brown left any open?
    The Kirk on Sunday has the brown left any o them open. (what a clown I could cry inta ma beer but it wud water it doon)

    MEMO to the Planks cheep booze in tit pub deer beer in the supers

    Fill The KIRKS and lift the roofs

    PUFO oot

  • Comment number 32.

    brown reminds me of the kid who hung on to the school bully and suffered all the humiliations going just to be with the big kids and laughed at Obama's jokes before he got to the punch line... talk about squirm

  • Comment number 33.

    GOTCHA!

    dALLAN169 is none other than Alex "the Arc" Salmond, high on tumshies, attempting to impersonate Rab C. Nesbitt while displaying the wordplay of McGonagle, and I claim my 20 groats.

    Just back from Istanbul and have consciously avoided the NN blog, but looks like the authorities are at last having a crackdown on the crackpots, thankfully.

    A friend told me real people made an appearance this week in an article about money lenders, legal and illegal.

    Good for you, Newsnight, more real people please.

  • Comment number 34.

    ALL The NOT KNOT THREES

    Your ltd knowlege of real is ltd

    Wilst one on ur travails did u perchance visit THE STREET OF A THOUSAND YOOS ?

  • Comment number 35.

    kashibeyaz (#33) "A friend told me real people made an appearance this week in an article about money lenders, legal and illegal."

    People lending money legally, and the consequences of possibly too many real people in the USA and here to lend it to.

    I'm sure you'll be familiar with HMG's Equality Act and Commission. In the interest of encouraging Social Inclusion, one might have expected you to be more welcoming/tolerant, if not strictly opposed to authoritarian crackdowns.

    Clearly you have been misjudged. Expect a missive from thegangofone about scared sheep in muddy fields up North (and Turkey), imminently.

  • Comment number 36.

    Gordi Brown
    Came to town
    With his poll scores pointing down.
    Made a speech
    Tried to preach
    Not quite got Obama's reach?

    Moral schmoral; read the Riot Act to the banks to lend responsibly and tell the people what the post bubble UK will look like with a return of a Labour government at the next election.

    Hectoring Harriet must NOT become leader; ten years plus of Lord Snooty and his platoon of Eton Rifles is scarcely worth contemplating.

    Head for the hills - of Cappadocia.

  • Comment number 37.

    HOW CAN YOU TELL? (#33)

    When the presentation is surreal, how can you tell if the people are real or not? So many superimposed, swirling images, semi-obscured shots by ace camera-person Ray Ling, and round-the-corner, or through the cafe window, audio delights - 'real' becomes a relative term.

    But that 'Innovation Night' for you. Never knowingly underpinned

  • Comment number 38.

    36 D dunce
    no men?tion of the groat/throat
    no mention of the STRASSE
    u really are talkin oot yer .... Again

  • Comment number 39.

    Why does barriesingleton sound like a Gloucestershire blue veined cheese?

    "Oh, and a pound of barriesingleton, please."

    "There's just over a pound there, sir."

    "Yes, that's fine, thank you."

    See what I mean.

    No offence, barriesingleton; my name in English means "white eyebrow"; how many of THEM do you get to the pound?

  • Comment number 40.

    Turdy 9 " 2 Many


    BLUE VEIN I have a FEW of them u dont

    PUFO
    The Coaches have arrived

  • Comment number 41.

    Cash bi ee yahoo glue, stuck init again (but not the REAL Stuff u no oo)

    Can I possablee borrow one of ur many Nappies ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

  • Comment number 42.

    NONE TAKEN - OF EITHER; offence or cheese. (#39)

    Ho Kashi (assonance with wacky?) you are spot on with the blue veins! But I do try not to be cheesy.

    When counting eyebrows to the pound
    In a blink of an eye they confound
    Gravitationally
    They defer to QE
    And the numbers collapse to a blur.

    Did you bring that stuff through customs?

    (:o)

  • Comment number 43.

    NO offence?

    what is a Fence

    I am sorry You dont have a clue
    and neither do you

  • Comment number 44.

    And why doesn't Newsnight do an in depth analysis of this....

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1160143/SUE-REID-The-great-Olympics-jobs-lie-Foreigners-classed-locals-thousands-places-promised-British-workers.html

    ...why leave it all to the tabloids?

    I would love to hear Jeremy questioning Tessa about this fine mess she's got us into!

    I remember all the hype about what a wonderful thing it would be for London to get the Olympic games especially for job creation. Didn't realise it would be for any other b**ger than the british!

  • Comment number 45.

    barrie/kashibeyaz

    It all started going wrong when they began sticking cranberries and bits of lemon zest into White Stilton I reckon. But for The Credit Crunch etc, I was expecting to see Welsh organic horse-cheddar with Alba White truffles appearing on the cheese counter.
    .

  • Comment number 46.

    FOUR for
    Balance the view I allways try 2
    Express your self, but do not Mail, (chain or orther wise)
    Freddie Forsythe and LEO are the men for Me, and others you will see, but dont listen to me.
    What do I see
    Plentee and sum times not/ but I and u should not FORget, what has come and will allways be, WILL BE Like it or NOUGHT

  • Comment number 47.

    I should really be in the Pub

    Hey Brains (the lacky lacking of)
    Is the Pub Open Yet (twit... stick as many A's in there as U CAN) nu lab can tit ee be dun?
    CAN NOT YE BE DUN anything



    doh no (i am atwit with an A)

  • Comment number 48.

    JJ all posts if I were 2 say 2 you that you are the Salt of the Mother Earth, How would you take it?

  • Comment number 49.

    THE UNKNOWN SOILDIER

  • Comment number 50.

    The link at 44 is truly shocking. I suspect Tessa is just very naive about immigration networks (and how the construction industry operates) and had the wool pulled over her eyes early on when developers/construction companies realised that they could get round the wording of the restrictions by undertaking the necessary bureaucracy themselves so that immigrant workers ony had to provide an address - not difficult with information highways as they are. Networking to use British regulations to advantage goes on at every level, from staff canteen, to solicitor's office, to yacht. You can't blame anyone really, for the past decade or so Britain (England - something like 97% of all immigrants although that figure may be lower now) has been a honey pot with its lid off to the many bees around the world who are, were, worse off than the British. That situation really does seem to be changing dramatically, speedily and irreversibly.

    I think the green movement should take this opportunity to focus more on sustaining communities within this country instead of harping on about sustaining the planet and, should start to take positive action for the future instead of pulling childish stunts to gain negative publicity. Just how do we sustain our communities? Shouldn't some of the high minded environmentalists start getting down with working class communities? With all these skills going to waste, and that would include white collar in the dirty linen basket now too, surely the green movement could start, well, moving. Maybe it's protectionist but if we don't protect we are not going to survive in anything other than broken down, under resourced communties. I should have thought that environmentalists could search out some loop holes or such to find ways and means to start redeveloping communities ecologically - if there are surplus tradesmen around it shouldn 't be too difficult to build economically; white collar types could organise institutionally, set up a few clubs to soak up the despair - combining the knowledge of ecology, organisation and trades. But not necessarily harking back to rural idylls; modern urban communities too. The Tories are not going to be able to reverse damage done even if they want to and I doubt that they do really. To those with money it matters very little who breaks their back for them, although clearly the level of control being exercised over the workers is not in keeping with English work environments and would not be welcomed by English workers - an additional factor in the strategy perhaps.

  • Comment number 51.

    dAllan169 (#48) "JJ all posts if I were 2 say 2 you that you are the Salt of the Mother Earth, How would you take it?"

    From the Bible, (King James Version):

    "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men." Matthew 5:13

    That depends on how it's used - little grows in salted earth, but it is a flavour enhancer, and it can prevent some things from going off.

    It depends how it's used.

  • Comment number 52.

    ecolizzy (#44), doctormisswest (#50) from your link "'The harsh fact is that Newham residents look set to have their hopes dashed, although this is an area with an endemic problem of low skills and educational under-achievement, says Mr Craig."

    I suspect most people still don't appreciate the full picture of what's been happening in London (look to NYC in the past for a better appreciation of the full demographic picture - see #5). The problem, surely, is that it's very hard to know what British national means in these areas (or anywhere else) anymore - hence the pressure for ID cards. For years British Whites (which, rightly or wrongly is the way people used to think about being British) in the above East End boroughs have been heading towards becoming a minority group such that at primary school age they comprise no more than 1/4 pupils. This has made it much harder to tell who's a genuine British S.Asian from an illegal non-British S. Asian. As MigrationWatch has repeatedly pointed out, it's been high levels of S. Asian and African immigration which has been 'the problem' (note the high birth rate, which produces consumers/money pumps where the money comes from state welfare payments because of low-skills/educability and S. Asian females breeding not working). For years, locals have felt discriminated against but made to feel politically incorrect 'racists' as they spoke out, as it is impossible, by law, for Public Sector employees to discriminate on grounds of race. I suspect the anger has more to do with confusion and erosion of communities as big employers have favoured cheap labour and a bolstered sub-prime market in pursuit of profit.

    At the same time there's been massive media reinforced pressure to secularise Muslims for what should be obvious reasons given their religious proscription of usury etc.

    This, I have repeatedly suggested, is what people should be critically analysing and discussing. If I'm wrong, so be it, that will come out in rational discussion so long as that's evidence driven.

    People tend to pick up on macro-level changes but they can't quite put their finger on what it is. Look at the demographics and relational measures at the macro level (e.g educability, TFR, SES and GDP). Forget political correctness, we are supposed to have laws which protect people against unfair treatment - they are being abused.

  • Comment number 53.

    SUBTERFUGE & FRONT

    With all due respect to barrie's good intentions, from my perspective, only a Tory would bankroll such an anarchistic idea surely?

    As a rough guide to Liberal-Democratic politics: Conservativism=anarchism=anti-statism=Trotskyism=Neo-Liberal.

    See page 391-392 of 'The Venona Secrets' for an insight into how class membership subterfuge has been deceitfully played in the past to political advantage (a quick change of hats like names can be most seductive/beguiling). Think of the absolute size of New Labour Party membership as/if you read this. Think back to the struggle between entryist Militant Tendency (Trotskyites) and Old Labour in the 1980s. Where did Militant and their fans go other than New Labour?

    PS. On The AM Show: ignorant discussion about 40% of kids with Free-School-Meals have no GCEs - but look at the distribution of intelligence and SATs, as it's Normal/Gaussian what does one expect if cognitive ability is 80% genetic and the other 20% down to non-shared environment (i.e not education)? Some people are shorter than others too, are they going to get Procrustean beds on benefit?

    Pakistan's Lahore attack - Pakistan now a failed state? When London Underground was targeted in 2005, did Britain become a failed state? Did people say Blair had no control? Blair was busy making sure that he had no control through deregulative anarchism was he not? Commander Harriet was arguing with The Opposition last week as to who had dregulated the most, i.e. who had been the greatest anarchists!

    They know not what they do, truly.

  • Comment number 54.

    SOAKING UP THE DESPAIR. (#50)

    With genuine respect, I think you might be underestimating the juvenile state of 'British mentality', whatever the collar colour, doc.

    I was one of those kids who, if I could not keep up, STOPPED, and moaned. I just wanted someone else to 'make it better'.
    Britain, like USA and - less acutely - the world, is now so childish, as a result of decades of governance devoid of integrity, that I doubt any potential mover and shakers can get a purchase on the mess. (Even though Sir Paul seems to have hacked into my brain.)

    Don't you get the feeling we are just standing still and miserably hoping?

  • Comment number 55.

    THE ROAD TO HELL (#53)

    Just a quick thank you for spelling-out my quaintness with a 't' and not an 's' JJ.

    Where does 'integrity' stand in Skinnero-Quinean motivation and reward? (Keep the language simple please).

  • Comment number 56.

    "... as it's Normal/Gaussian what does one expect if cognitive ability is 80% genetic and the other 20% down to non-shared environment (i.e not education)? Some people are shorter than others too, are they going to get Procrustean beds on benefit?

    It's precisely because so many people today talk the way that they do on programmes like The AM Show (thismorning, and it's everywhere) i.e that it truly appalls them that x% of the population have no qualifications or that Y% is illiterate and Z% innumerate, that I've been repeately saying that we are now living in dangerouslydeluded times (over 20% have IQs of less than 85 by normative definition).

    Such alchemical/Lysenkoist ideas (that we can do anything about this) were only promulgated by Marxist subversives and 'useful idiots' during the Cold War era (who also promoted Civil Liberties for the same egregious purposes), yet today, they appear to be de rigueur and uniquitous amd if anyone points out the absurdity of this, it's they who are treated as the pariahs.

  • Comment number 57.

    barrie (#55) "Where does 'integrity' stand in Skinnero-Quinean motivation and reward? (Keep the language simple please).

    I'll try.

    It was Quine who gave currency to the term transparency (in contrast to (intensional) opacity. He was given some help...;-).

    Extensionalism is just the method, scope and language, of science, i.e Pursuit of Truth (both Quine and Skinner dispensed with meaning as mentalistic/intensional, i.e as not grounded in reality and therefore, whether we like it or not, does not in fact physically/materially impinge upon or affect what we do - it's illusion/confusion. Integrity therefore means grounded pragmatically in terms of what works not in linguistic gymnastics. It means accountability and responsibility - allo-centrism rather than ego-centrisim. They thought a good way of achieving this was not to use intensional terms in explanatory positions.

    The likes of Peter Mandelson would not agree/understand if even they wanted to.

  • Comment number 58.

    'Lord Mandelson admitted banking regulation should have been stronger, and change was now needed globally.'

    But its not convenient to apologise to the public, who are presumably unperturbed and will vote for them in even larger numbers at the next election.

  • Comment number 59.

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

  • Comment number 60.

    thegangofone (#58) 'Lord Mandelson admitted banking regulation should have been stronger, and change was now needed globally.'

    "But its not convenient to apologise to the public, who are presumably unperturbed and will vote for them in even larger numbers at the next election."


    Sadly true.

    He, more than anyone, says all the right things and yet leaves one thinking that one can't believe a word he says.

    Why?

    The reason lies in his sentence structure, i.e. his choice of verbs and use of Natural Language quantifiers (place holders).

    You should listen more. It might be to your advantage?

  • Comment number 61.

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

  • Comment number 62.

    My #59 has been removed for obscure reasons as I believe I simply pointed out to

    #56 Jaded_jean

    "if anyone points out the absurdity of this, it's they who are treated as the pariahs."

    People who promote planned economies Hitler style; race "realism"; are hazy about the Holocaust; like eugenics etc get treated as pariahs.

    You IQ/race ideas are based on non science as genetic variation within a race is greater then between races and there is therefore no basis for your race "realism".

    Mainstream scientists are not "all Jews" as you have said before.

  • Comment number 63.

    #56 erratum "over 20% have IQs of less than 85 by normative definition)."

    That's wrong, it should have been over 15%, as about 34% of a population (with mean 100) falls between that mean and -1SD (15 points). Still, if our population truly is dumbing down....

    The problem is that whenever a new test is standardised, 100 is made the mean a priori. Today, tests suffer from 'teaching to the test' and wider public availability )as is now the case with SATs material which is similarly standardised) than in the past when access was restricted to professionals to prevent such abuse.

  • Comment number 64.

    INTEGRITY

    Barrie (#55) Have a look at this exchange (especially the links) as it illustrates what I mean by the pragmatic (socio-economic) impact. The operant (Skinnerian/Herrnsteinian) approach is descriptive not 'theoretical' (The Matching Law and related phenomena (melioration/hyperbolic discounting etc) are best read as summaries of empirical observations of behaviour). The work began accomodating Individual Differences (diversity) with Herrnstein's other work in the 70s, see 'The Bell Curve' (1994). I have said how age and cognitive ability can be usefully 'titrated'.

    Very few people seem to grasp the full implications of this demographically/economically, which is quite strange - but then most economists and politicians talk as if they have a uniform distributional conception of human capital, not a Gaussian one (and one which varies as a function of gene barriers - originally oceans, mountains etc to boot).

    Do they lack integrity or is it just opaque to them? If the latter, how does one get through to them?

  • Comment number 65.

    THE AGE OF CHANGE LOOKS FAMILIAR

    Nick Clegg says we should 'take a leap of faith' - oh gawd, it has come to that!
    He thinks a coat of yellow, over the old red and blue of Westminster, will call down the New Jerusalem. Nope.

    Meanwhile Sir Paul is inviting individuals who WANNABE MPs to sign up for subsequent approval.
    It would appear he has not registered that THESE are the ones to rule out. I have always held the view that we need to identify DONTWANNABES among us who have the integrity, nevertheless, to be open to coercion by those around them, who know their qualities.

    The problem with wannnabes is they are masked gottabes; Blair and Brown being excellent examples. Blair was approved because he had discovered the power of charisma; Brown because he had (god knows how) inveigled a reputation for something-or-other.

  • Comment number 66.

    JJ 51 Thankyou for that, Something similar has been spinning round the old noggin.

  • Comment number 67.

    Being an ex-fireman one would expect that Jim Fitzpatrick would understand that speed is not the most potentially dangerous factor in road accidents. However, it would appear that he has plans to reduce the National Speed Limit to only 50 Mph blanket. Local authorities would be allowed to set the limit at 60 Mph if deemed appropriate and justified, not much chance of that.

    These Corporate Nazi New Labour bastards are intent on turning currently law abiding citizens into criminals, they intend to enforce said speed limits with cash cow average speed cameras. Of course the stock market parasites will make a fortune on selling the probably imported electronics. The technology can also be used for future nationwide road pricing by stealth, despite mass public opposition in the Manchester vote and having failed to win the argument on toll roads.

    Like all other alleged " safety " policy, its all about promoting false economic growth in our economy which increases the divide between rich and poor.

    If you really want to show these incompetent Corporate Nazi politicians " where to stick it " do what they most fear and vote BNP at the forthcoming EU elections. If you are anti EU anyway forget UKIP, they have been proven to be just a corrupt as the rest of them.

  • Comment number 68.

    The ENGLISH GrammE.R. School Boy/Man/boy what A MAN.

    My Mate He Guard the Gate
    Eye For Him Guard The Grait/great/GIT/
    and him aswell aye for he aswell
    Knows WELL enough HOW 2 SPELL/smell a/the rat
    The RAT Abound as well a hasbeen, has Bean FOUND
    HE/IT The RAT is NO Worth A Pound
    DO AYE NAE SOUND as sound as The Pound.

    dinna in haste you/ye go 2 waste
    but rather ye be/give them a taste

    The Taste it Be Sweet but never bee
    the Taste O Raw Meat/meet

    Simple Cause anne Simple be The Cause
    as ALLways be The Cause for YE and me

  • Comment number 69.

    Auntie BEEB do I Begin/in 2 sound like a TV Slop Jock ay
    The Hope is aye du/dun/can/dhu not

    Dog Turd in Tonic withoot tonic Will if it Pleases you WILL DO 4 Me but knot YOU





    eh

  • Comment number 70.

    Tum,de,tum,de tum, more analysis from Migration Watch...

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/4957813/Record-migration-into-Britain-is-result-of-Government-policy-failings.html

    And should I watch this tonight?!

    http://newsvote.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7928880.stm

    I've now put my estimate of our population up to 70 million, what was I talking about when I said 65 million!!!!

    Why do the government keep saying they are dealing with the problem, and are inforcing strict immigration rules, when I know damn well there not.....

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/newsnight/fromthewebteam/2009/01/wednesday_21_january_2009.html

  • Comment number 71.

    brossen99 #67

    The problem with speed limits, restricted junctions, et al is that it is pointless piling in the new regs as nobody, with a few exceptions, takes any notice of them. As someone who has spent an obsessive amount of time on advanced training, I adhere to the 30 & 40 limits without question as they are there for very good reasons, (again with a few exceptions). I've been taught to use my head and my discretion with regard to higher limits and can still enjoy my bike's capabilities so I don't perceive it as kill-joy. (I don't need a speed camera detector as I have eyes.) Keeping a critical eye on surrounding traffic behaviour it is plain that with the lack of proper police patrols (cutbacks y'know) people do more or less what they feel like at any particular time. When I get to a 30 limit, the area most likely to develop a hazard is the area of road immediately behind me - people simply don't believe I will have slowed to 30 by the time I pass the sign and I am always ready to take action to avoid being rear-ended.

    JJ's repeated warnings about disgenesis ring very clear on our roads today. Too many people are too stupid to understand the possible consequences of their actions - or even to consider them. The standard of driving in this country is steadily worsening.

    Ride safe - Have fun - Stay alive.

  • Comment number 72.

    VERBAL BEHAVIOUR (NOT WHAT IT SEEMS)

    Jane Hill (BBC NEWS lunchtime today) concluded her interview with Bob Geldof by remarking that he was in a "very noisy environment". If they were all talking like Bob, that was quite an understatement. When criticised some people are prone to say 'and WHAT is wrong with what I ****ing say!?' What is one to say to such people? Such people are surely signalling that they don't really want to know! If one doesn't agree, one gets sweared at (or worse). Social-desirability = celebritism.

    It's all a matter of breeding.

  • Comment number 73.

    RIOTING AS A UNIFYING FORCE (#70)

    It's going to be alright! When all sections of the rioting classes reach flash-point, after a few preliminary niceties (nastities) they/we will all join, in common purpose, to fight the riot police. This will be the greatest coming-together since Chigley and Trumpton.

    Panorama: Of course you should watch it Lizzie - you can play 'Spot the Whitey'. (:o)

    I'll get me ASBO.

  • Comment number 74.

    IS NARCISSISM ON THE RISE TOO?

    NewFazer (#71) "JJ's repeated warnings about disgenesis ring very clear on our roads today. Too many people are too stupid to understand the possible consequences of their actions"

    I guess we all have some difficulty appreciating the consequences of our actions, but in my book, insufficient attention/memory/time/discrimination is given to the diversity which is clearly manifest in how much we focus on the feedback from our actions (including verbal) and their consequences. Far too many appear to hold whatever they believe/do/say is true/correct, despite their awareness that they often disagree with others!

    We appear to live in an ever more feminized culture, so perhaps that's only to be expected - (if one thinks about it, that is)?

  • Comment number 75.

    WE ARE TRULY B-ARK DESCENDENTS.

    Bob and Bono - Blair and Brown, all mark the pathetically immature state of Britons. Douglas Adams was the seer of seers.

    The soft-brained denizens of Earth, succumb to showiness and charisma (an incidental animal attribute) and hand over both money and life.

    Perhaps the Bees are dying as a warning?

  • Comment number 76.

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

  • Comment number 77.

    #73 Thanks Barrie you always make me chuckle! : )

    I don't know if I will watch, I find it extremely depressing. I cannot understand why we do nothing about this huge mass immigration, it's beyond me! It is purely down to economics, cheap workers, the numbers of genuine asylum seekers seem quite low. We have approximately 5 million unemployed, isn't it strange that we've also had over that number of immigrants. But then this government never could do the math.

    I never go to London these days, I don't feel I belong, or have any connection with the place. I lived there for a while, and always went out a lot there, but not anymore, and it's not just 'cos I'm old! I feel totaly disenfranchised, it's not just the white working class male that feels that.

    I think this woman.. Dambisa Moyo who's in Jeans link is accurate in her comments. The African worker has given up like ours, their charity culture is just like our benefit culture, perhaps the free market is correct after all.

    And the main thing everyone ignores, we can only feed properly 18 million people in this country. If world food growing collapses, 50 million will starve here, it doesn't only happen in poverty stricken countries.

  • Comment number 78.

    In the last year we had the paedophile wannabe nail bomber and the Lowestoft "SS Manual" wannabe bomber and you could argue the Twickenham Green murderer had a "religious/political" aspect to his activities.

    In a democracy the far right will be unable to make an impression and they don't hold key positions so they won't be able to burn down Parliament and blame the anarchists. They can't even hold conferences except in fields.

    So its quite likely I would have thought that they will hit a "critical mass" and then start agitating violently.

    Is the political establishment prepared - Hain made a speech the other day and Huhne is well aware of the problems. People with a low IQ in an economic depression may get sucked in for a while. The far right can't win but then they tend to be blinkered obsessive fanatics.

    The security services are probably overstretched as it is with religious extremists and potentially Northern Ireland with the Real IRA.

    Hope they are keeping their eyes open.

  • Comment number 79.

    Morgan Tsvangirai impresses me more with every difficult obstacle he hurdles.

    Could now be a good time to update on the state of affairs in Zimbabwe.

  • Comment number 80.

    How is that there seemed to be data being lost almost every day, especially at the Home Office sieve, but the memory stick lost by Edinburgh police was the first for a couple of months?

    Was it underreported before and then there was a catch-up? Perhaps I suppose its just sporadic.

    The government realises now that you can't spin security - you either are or you aren't. Then again "The Regulator" Brown tries to portray himself as the saviour of the global economy - but people are wising up.

    On ID cards - still policy but probably never going to happen - you don't have to work too hard to see how if you had a Philby or a Burgess embedded in the security apparatus a national database including the innocents would be a goldmine for our enemies.

    You also don't have to look too far up the page to see people whose mindset is probably deeply attracted to state power of that kind.

  • Comment number 81.

    #77 ecolizzy

    "I never go to London these days, I don't feel I belong, or have any connection with the place."

    They will wail in the streets and beat their breasts and dress in sackcloth and cover their skin in ashes!

    Oh Woe!

    This may be a boon for property prices in London!

  • Comment number 82.

    thegangofone (#80) "You also don't have to look too far up the page to see people whose mindset is probably deeply attracted to state power of that kind."

    Are you absolutely sure you really know what you are talking about (referring to) when you are denigrate those who assert that erosion of state-power is what's brought so much misery/confusion to so many people?

    You don't appear to know what you're endorsing, or what you're attacking.

    Perhaps you just like being abusive? I guess it takes all sorts?

  • Comment number 83.

    NewFrazer #71

    I realise that the average ten bob fat has been so educated in the " speed kills " quasi-religion that their head is often right up their Corporate Nazi arse. Every day HGV drivers work to a tolerance of six inches on the wing mirrors at a closing speed of up to 100 Mph. HGV's have very few accidents per mile run compared to other road users despite the fact that 90% of them ignore the HGV speed limit.

    But safety is all about calculated risks, perhaps the average ten bob fat cat do not have the required brain power ( probably full of crap ), but it is possible to learn a route down to the last minor detail.

    For instance which car turns right where at what time. Route learning allows you to select a safe speed irrespective of the posted limit, its a bit like driving through an endless tunnel mapped out in four dimensions. If I don't know a road I rely on sensible speed limits and things like hazard lines, at 5am in fog on the A59 ( before the improvements ) all you need to keep your full attention on is lights in the distance, and travel at speed where you can easily slow down for such. Very remote chance of anything without lights being in the way.

    When I was driving HGV's all the police new me and I only once got stopped for speeding, it was mid afternoon on the good B road from the A59 at Skipton up towards Grassington. I had accelerated up to and averaged 60Mph and touched 70 on Scalehouse straight when I was held up by several cars doing 50, checked my mirror and found that I had a traffic plod almost on my tail, I continued to follow the said cars and he started to flash me to stop on the bends coming into Craeco. ( the HGV limit is 40 )

    I failed to stop immediately ( put the left hand indicator on ) but stopped dead in the middle of the following long straight, plod got out and came up to the cab asking to look at my tachograph. He said " have you been doing a lot of motorway work today " I replied with the lie that I had been running between Blackburn and Burnley on the M65, in actual fact I had been on A roads for most of the day. He paused for thought, then said " just keep it a bit nearer 40 in future, we have had a lot of complaints " and let me on my way without a producer or anything.

    What allowed me to get away with it was that at no time did I ever stray out of my lane across the centre line or clip the curb. my golden rule, also sticking within the limits of Newton's laws of Motion. Speed limits are set low because most of the people on the roads haven't got the first clue about driving. On the railway you are not allowed to drive a train anywhere until you have completed route learning, and perhaps the same should apply to HGV drivers, but this almost impossible in these days of agency working.

    Incidentally in 1991 I took an insurance test to drive buses for Ribble. The on the point of retirement company examiner remarked that I was the best driver he had had for three years, despite the fact that I had not driven anything on the road bigger than a Metro for three months. ( old bus with crash box no power steering )

  • Comment number 84.

    Gang of one

    What do you propose as a immigration policy ?
    What do you propose as a migrant worker policy ?

    Do you even consider that there should be a sustainable limit to the population on these islands ?

    Pray tell me ,and others on here what your views are on these issues ?

    Or do you think it should not be talked about at all in public or by the voters in this country ?


    PS. I don't think today would be a good day to focus on Zim , Why ?
    It's Commonwealth Day (60th anniversary) , maybe NewsNight could show that the vast majority of member countries are positive, progressing, democratic nations today, instead of focusing just on a negative story from one or six (out of 53) commonwealth countries.
    After all there is the rest of the week to focus on Zim and the negative stories.

  • Comment number 85.

    THOSE WHO CAN'T DO, AND THOSE WHO COULD DO A LOT BETTER, STAY OUT OF IT.

    There is a book just out that refers to brain activity imaging, in connection with decision-taking.

    I have no doubt that, if complex living is not extinguished shortly, there will soon be an imaging helmet that will allow us to watch Prime Ministers Questions, Daily Politics, Newsnight and The Politics Show (et al) while noting the brain areas triggered by political chicanery.

    We have, right in our homes, the PROOF that our leaders are Mendacious Puppets (MPs) even the PM being an MP, leading with his backside, and dancing to his infant, string-pulling angst. YET WE LIVE PASSIVELY WITHIN THE LIE. Thus, ultimately, the problem is in ourselves. Perhaps - just perhaps - when we see those brain areas (denial, subservience, displacement, apathy, charismatism, etc) light up, enlightened behaviour might follow.

    But you can be locked up a very long time for homicide . . .

  • Comment number 86.

    barrie (#85) "YET WE LIVE PASSIVELY WITHIN THE LIE."

    Essentially because we have no control over any of it. 'We' gave them a 5 year mandate. Ultimately, they are unaccountable in the short to medium-term. They know this. So do we :-(

  • Comment number 87.

    Barrie #85

    "But you can be locked up a very long time for homicide . . ."

    Not necessarily. Perhaps this is the time for us oldies to come forward. You can't lock someone up for 20 years if they have only a year or so left. We are (almost) untouchable. Add a dash of patriotism and the average oldie would walk into the valley of death if he thought it would do any good. I doubt that I could get close enough to a worthwhile target, my Remington is a little more self evident than a cup of custard. (Supposing that had been custard made with Vitriol?) However, as we become gradually more desperate to rid ourselves of the ills that are Westminster we might just see one or two taking precipitous action.

    Is this sedition? ;-)

  • Comment number 88.

    SORTING THE OLD MEN FROM THE BOYS. (#87)

    Good thinking NF. The idea is planted . . .

  • Comment number 89.

    Brossen99 #83

    "Speed limits are set low because most of the people on the roads haven't got the first clue about driving."

    It's certainly getting that way, but my point was that speed limits have no effect if there is no enforcement. We have enough already anyway.

    Something else to consider is that a particular 30 limit might not make a great deal of sense for a road user ("perfectly safe to do 40 here") but its purpose might be to make life slightly quieter and less stressful for those living on that road.

    The 'Speed Kills' lobby is sounding a bit hollow with road deaths falling below 3000 last year. Better spending the money on improving cancer research I'd say.

  • Comment number 90.

    Sarah:

    So, can Gordon Brown rebuild his premiership, along with the economy?

    Or is he, as some commentators believe, inevitably doomed? We'll debate.


    I think Gordon Brown could rebuild his premiership and the economy...But the overarching question..How much more time will he need....

    ~Dennis Junior~

  • Comment number 91.

    Sarah:

    Plus we'll have more on the data protection issues raised amid allegations of a "blacklist" of construction workers. Peter Mandelson and some green custard could also make an appearance...

    A) "Blacklist" story: It is not acceptable to have companies, keeping records on the employees that are working for them...

    B)I think that the person who threw the green custard at Peter Mandelson...Needs to have charges filed against her...

    ~Dennis Junior~

 

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