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Tuesday, 24 March, 2009

Sarah McDermott | 16:49 UK time, Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Here's Paul Mason, who's on his Euro-Crash tour, with a look ahead to what's happening tonight on Newsnight:

"$16bn with the promise of double that to come. That is what is at stake in the stand-off between the IMF and the government of Ukraine. This country of 50m people, already a geo-political faultline and riven by ethnic unease, calmly took the IMF's promise of a bailout and then reneged on the strict conditions. Hence the bailout money is suspended and Ukraine is on the brink of bankruptcy. If you wanted to lend Ukraine £10m, you would have to take out insurance costing £5m upfront, that is how certain the markets are that it is on the road to default. Last week the government reversed its decision to impose a unilateral 13% import tax; but not on cars, which make up for 10% of its economy. So the stand off continues, and the Ukrainian people suffer. Many cannot even get their money out of their own bank accounts. Watch my report tonight and follow my progress through Latvia, Ukraine and Slovakia on my blog."

Also tonight:

David Grossman on the difficulties for Gordon Brown caused by Mervyn King's cautious message on fiscal stimulus, Richard Watson on the Government's anti-terror strategy and Matthew Price on the Mexican border with the US on the drugs war.

Join Jeremy at 10.30pm.


  • Comment number 1.

    Trust you will be covering Brown's EU tour..

  • Comment number 2.

    cheeky china wants to dump dollar as reserve currency?

    given china's growth and reserves it should be the strongest currency in the world right now. yet it is weaker than the pound where the uk has massive debt and recession.

    which is down to currency manipulation by china to gain a competitive advantage.

    before blathering on what others should do maybe china should let their currency float and then we shall see changes in the world economy. it will be much fairer for a start.

    so currency manipulation is a tool of maintaining chinese wealth supremacy which also gives them political advantages such as on silencing and watering down opposition on topics like Tibet.

  • Comment number 3.

    Will the BBC be broadcasting this?

    One of the best political speeches I have ever heard.

  • Comment number 4.

    A LITTLE HOME GROWN TERROR ("Be alert" says Jacqui.)

    Imagine this young man, let's call him Tony (not his real name). Tony is a confused young man, growing up under the influence of fundamental religious precepts; he is looking for something (anything) to give his life meaning.

    Ultimately, Tony falls under the spell of the persuasive leader of a militant cult, whose members believe they are saving the world from primitive barbarism. They are willing to commit total destruction of life, dwelling and infrastructure, planet-wide, to achieve their god-approved end.

    Needy Tony is easily seduced by cult propaganda, he is radicalised and exhibits the characteristic craving for the attention of, and contact with, the cult leader, whom he is desperate to please. Tony goes on to on to apply his blind zeal in killing and maiming of untold numbers of civilians - 'suddenly and without warning'.

    "Do not leave a Tony unchallenged" says Home Secretary Jacqui Smith. "Make your dissent known to him, while there is still time." She is 'very clear' and WE should be also. Even if it takes a million people, calling to him from the streets of London (excuse the hyperbole) every Tony should be persuaded of his error.

    If we fail in our civic duty to turn the Tonies of this world away from delusion-based mass killing - using nuclear, chemical and 'orthodox' weaponry of utter obscenity -we shall be sorry. Our Home Secretary has made it quite clear there must be no more home-grown Tonies.

    Amen to that.

  • Comment number 5.

    More from Brown's tour not shown on the BBC.

  • Comment number 6.

    Angela Eagle just refused to answer Jeremy's question, and kept talking over him, finally leading him to give up! Why bother coming onto Newsnight at all if you refuse to answer any questons? May as well have a tub of lard in place (like an old episode of Have I Got News For You).

    As for the Daud Abdullah interview, he endorses violence and wonders why it is opposed? Loved the fact that upon questioning by Jeremy, Abdullah admitted that the British taxpayer HAD given money to the MCB.


    Enjoyed Paul's report from the Ukraine & loved David's report too :o)

  • Comment number 7.

    3. At 8:11pm on 24 Mar 2009, secondmugwump :

    It is a matter of some concern to me that, no matter how much 'they' might not agree with what is said, the majority of the MSM has seen fit, so far, to not cover something that has captured the public's imagination.

    I seem to recall such as the BBC, when caught out in the past, usually sniff that such things are 'not newsworthy'.

    Can't wait for Newswatch. What's the betting it will be an in-depth defence of the Jade coverage?

  • Comment number 8.

    Mistress76uk (#6) "Why bother coming onto Newsnight at all if you refuse to answer any questons?"

    Is it because Newsnight serves as a useful platform to deliver a prepared party political statement?

    As to Daud Abdullah endorsing violence, so do the leaders of Israel (recall the incumbent PM on Newsnight during the Gaza events).

    Some people (including Daud Abdullah one must presume) oppose that too and some want retribution against Israel and its backers. A bit like the 9/11 terror event.

    Complex (and undesirable)...
    isn't it? I suspect most Israelis would like it t stop too.

  • Comment number 9.

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

  • Comment number 10.

    Well looks as though I'm going to get admonished again.

    So Jean here is my reply to your last post.

  • Comment number 11.


    ecolizzy (#10) "she had to hide her career from her husband's family, because many people in Afghanistan link acting with immorality. Women who act can find themselves accused of prostitution."

    From your link.

    Where on earth do these people get their outrageous ideas about women from? Do you think they might watch 'Mistresses by satellite or ipalyer?

    I wonder if these 'archaic' notions may have anything to do with women being able to get pregnant and always being sure that they have, at least, passed on their own genes?

    Men are... untrusting and oppressive don't you think? ;-)

    One for thegangofone.

  • Comment number 12.

    #11 Ha,ha, thanks Jean I needed your pithy comment this morning, lifes pretty sh**ty for us women! : (

  • Comment number 13.


    Can anyone help?

    Having watched Mervyn King before the Treasury Select Committee, recalling bank CEOs appearing in the recent past, and naturally taking
    an interest in priors/reinforcement histories and how these might shape behaviour in the context of these bank bail-outs, fiscal stimuli and advice to 'spend, spend, spendin the interest of the economy', I thought I'd ask if this is what people refer to as malware and whether there's anything I might download to deal with it which is a) reliable shareware, b) won't cost me my life-savings/pension, and c) is eco-friendly, i.e won't turn out to help fund dropping DPICMs on 'unfriendlies'.

  • Comment number 14.

    where does vaz stand on his leader being a patron of the jnf? does he think it right to support an organisation whose polices would be illegal in the uk because they discriminate by race?

    no definition of shared values.

    its more neocon tub thumping.

    which is why it won't work.

    rather than harmonise uk society this sort of of blatant bias is designed to divide it. who benefits from promoting such a divisive policy?

  • Comment number 15.

    #8 JadedJean et al

    Given you always say you are not a Nazi or the BNP - but then obliquely infer you are - its trite to admonish others on their party utterances.

    But as people know you don't even want democracy preferring Hitler style planned economies; you like eugenics; dislike multi-culturalism; you are hazy about the Holocaust etc etc its not hard to see where your loyalties are ("when YOU bombed Dresden").

    If I recall previous comments from the far right posters you have "passed on your genes" and thankfully they did not want to grow up to be storm troopers for your cause.

    I can't say I believe anything that you do say to be frank so who knows.

    As ever I only post to make sure people know what you cheery souls would be capable of if you ever got the chance.

  • Comment number 16.

    The piece on Mexico was interesting last night and it does remind me of the wisdom, possibly perceived, that was derived from the Cuba missile crisis.

    Basically, if I recall correctly, the view was that governments could only concentrate on one and possibly two major crises at the same time. Decision-making quality also deteriorated quickly.

    So where we have al Qaeda/Iraq/Afghanistan and Iran plus the economic catastrophe it must be conceivable that there is the danger of underestimating the importance of the Mexico crisis.

    Then again if Obama is using the phrase "failed state" the facts are not lost on him and I suppose that priorities will shift with events in the next few months.

    But it must make strategic planning an absolute nightmare when you are trying to cost solutions.

  • Comment number 17.

    I thought the Paul Mason piece on Ukraine was interesting.

    Is he going to do Georgia?

    I wonder if the economic issues are going to impact on the government and then on the Russia/Nato tensions.

    Thankfully the problems seem to be subsiding under Obama.

  • Comment number 18.

    60,000 shop workers are apparently going to get 3 hours of anti-terrorist training.

    The facts aren't fully out I suppose but this sounds like some ridiculous exercise as in the 50's where you "ducked and covered" in the event of a nuclear bomb.

    I can see how if somebody came in to buy 500kg of hydrogen peroxide you might want a number to call.

    But then didn't some chap do just that and helped alert the security services to a terrorist threat.

    Wouldn't a leaflet drop have done and been far cheaper?

    Labour are "tick box" politicians and spinning to their very end.

  • Comment number 19.

    Keith Vaz is a disgrace.

    The Fanatical Islamic horse bolted years ago and this Useless Govt is only starting to consider buying a lock for the gate.. what a waste of time this Govt is. No more money must be given to religious groups to aid and help them intergrate. The only money that should be spent is the taxi fare to the nearest airport. "got your passport?...good seeya!" a hardliner.

  • Comment number 20.

    Go1 #15

    Would you care to re-post that in English so the rest of us know what you are babbling about?

  • Comment number 21.

    On the Iraq War:

    'The Conservatives say there is no "reasonable impediment" to an immediate inquiry into the war and its aftermath.

    Foreign secretary David Miliband said ministers were committed to holding a "comprehensive" inquiry but was not prepared to give any details of when this would happen'

    When they have axed Gordon and Straw and could try to claim it was all the previous management?

    By the way is Obama going to try to shift Blair out of the Middle East process?

  • Comment number 22.

    #14 bookhimdano

    Not the far right thankfully as they are utterly irrelevant.

  • Comment number 23.

    Eagle makes a habit of not answering questions, the producers at NN should not invite her on again as she insults the viewers intelligence and gets up Jeremy's nose but I do like it when he dismisses her out of hand and just turns to the other guest leaving her floundering in the 'aren't I good at prevarication mode' when all she does is look ridiculous..... NUlabour ministers are past masters at not answering questions

  • Comment number 24.

    Noticed on the Guardian:

    "Efforts to rescue the UK economy were plunged into fresh uncertainty this morning after the government failed to find a buyer for some of its debt, the first such failure in seven years."

    I am disappointed the Beeb don't seem to have mentioned this in the context of Browns being able to afford a new stimulus.

    "City dealers blamed Mervyn King, the Bank of England's governor, for sowing confusion after he warned earlier this week that the UK could not afford another stimulus package.

    The UK debt management office said it attracted just £1.62bn of bids for a sale of £1.75bn of 40-year gilts. Normally, such auctions of government debt are oversubscribed. This was the first failure of an auction since 2002."

  • Comment number 25.

    Now I've seen it all....

    No government wants children to study history they might learn something. God forbid, they might work out what's been being done to them by government! Thatcher started this rant against knowing what happened in the past, it's as though we make history up as we go along.

  • Comment number 26.

    thegangofopne (#22) "Not the far right thankfully as they are utterly irrelevant."

    Are we having to suffer the consequences of your having been refused membership, perchance?

  • Comment number 27.


    "Speaking in Washington, Mr Geithner said such new regulation - both in the US and globally - would help to prevent a repeat of the credit crisis."

    This is akin to the Home Office saying that the way to prevent crime is to pass more laws, the NHS saying the way to prevent illness is to tell people to be more healthy, or the DWP saying 'get a job!'.

    Sadly, the way that we appear to have dealt with dysgenic fertility throughout history s to have periodic spells of brutality......

  • Comment number 28.

    Gangphone (that's how I read your tag, sorry, but it amuses me!)

    seriously, read the posts, you are mistaking the content of some in particular

    what does the BNP oppose?

  • Comment number 29.

    I can see how if somebody came in to buy 500kg of hydrogen peroxide you might want a number to call.

    tee hee

  • Comment number 30.

    the cost of public/private schooling for one pupil/child, for one year, is roughly equivalent to the annual wage/salary of many people

    the cost of public/private schooling for three children from 8 to 18 is roughly equivalent to the annual bonus of not so many, but neither not so few, people

    that's what broke britain

    would reducing tax, paradoxically, force down the excessive remuneration in some sectors or simply make matters worse?

    does the answer lie only in ideological constraints?

    what happened to that prof at LSE who wanted to create a wealth tax, is he still around? (and what happened to the LSE? i only heard a snippet, but i digress)

    poor fred, he's a bit like jade - bearing an entire zeitgeist on his public image

  • Comment number 31.

    ecolizzy (#25) Now it's led by Christine Gilbert.

  • Comment number 32.

    doctormisswest (#28) "Gangphone (that's how I read your tag, sorry, but it amuses me!)"

    Dare one thank Natural Selection for there only being one of them or will that set off yet another frothy tirade?

  • Comment number 33.


    yes the far right. but they might not be the far right of this country?

  • Comment number 34.

    doctormisswest (#28) "what does the BNP oppose?"

    We don't know for sure, as they're not invited onto Newsnight!

    Long ago, in their incarnation back in 1920s (e.g. Cable Street) they had a daft conspiracy theory that Jewish anarchists/bolsheviks had come to Britain in order to wreck the economy by opening up Tescos, Sainsburys, M&S. Lttlewoods, Top Shops, Burtons, Ratners and stuff like that all over the place, thereby turning us all into sex and celebrity-crazed, obese, drunk dysgenic debt-slaves.

    Obviously nutters!

    Thank goodness we have the likes of thegangofone to keep a vigilent eye out for them!

  • Comment number 35.

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

  • Comment number 36.


    Keith Vaz is one reason why physiognomy will never be taught in schools. Lollypop Blears is another - I was watching her during PMQs. McNulty struggles and then there is Charlie Clarke. The list goes on.

    If only the voters read faces instead of being blinded by the rosette, few of these jokers would stand a chance.


  • Comment number 37.

    #31 Thanks for the info Jean

    "Cronyism? Christine Gilbert is the wife of Home Office minister Tony McNulty"

    Now what a lovely couple, with their extra £60,000 sitting in the bank. No wonder she doesn't want history studied. ; )

  • Comment number 38.


    Broadening Jacqui's initiative, might we apply the 'Harass your local hothead' approach to MPs? Harass you MP; ask them if they have a bogus second home, a Philippina in the coal shed, an arranged job waiting when they leave politics, a bit of 'Back to Basics' on the side, a nice little earner on the quiet, a serious delusional personality, illusions of grandeur, messianic tendencies, etc.

    We know from experience, that MPs are needy, vulnerable individuals, desperately trying to fill empty lives with imagined status. They are easily 'turned' by the strange practices of Westminster. Cult-rituals, whipping, speaking in tongues (forked) and intake of the gateway drug 'alcohol' in 19 bars.

    I call on the voting public to look behind the suspect rosette; study the face, listen to the utterances (ask who wrote the speech)
    challenge the actual person! You might just save us from another Brown; another Blair; another Major; another Thatcher. Then again . . .

  • Comment number 39.


    ecolizzy (#37) Worth reading, a blast from [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]2003 although not what it seemed at all (back then 5 x A-Cs could be 4 x 1 Arts GCSEs and something else). Today, it's the fastest growing borough in London because of its majority Muslim population.... Perhaps it's not the BNP which East Londoners should be taking note of, but George Galloway's 'Stalinists'?

  • Comment number 40.

    ecolizzy, if interested, look up 'Towering Success' - an article in The Guardian in 2003 about Tower Hamlets and education. Tower Hamlets was New Labour's flagship. Ironic given what I have been saying about education as a covert WMD.

    I suspect most of our gobby poiliticans really don't appreciate the consequences of their policies. Their advisors are no better. People should be driven by empirical consequences not by what seem like good ideas.

    BlogDog - do you always know why you censor?

  • Comment number 41.

    #40 I've just read the article Jean, and how is Tower Hamlets fairing these days, do you know?

    I wish we had as much as £4000 per child around here, I think it may be about half that.

  • Comment number 42.

    ecolizzy (#41) Once the government was pressured to insist that Maths and English were at least two of the 5 A-Cs it became obvious that miracles don't happen.

    I've said in one of Wednesday's comments that this duplicity is endemic. I fear its a sign of dysenesis and I fear that leads to wars.

  • Comment number 43.

    unfortunately gordon hasn't realised that the protestant spirit is thin on the ground these days, and so if you give bankers money without placing conditions upon its use, it finds its way into a back pocket.

    i was actually looking for reference to tristram's call for more study of history - 17th century to be precise, a century of fundamental importance to understanding why many british institutions should be protected not quashed - and the need for hisotry to return to a more sequential and less cross-cutting approach (biology could benefit by the same since i don't believe many in their working lives concern themselves both with animal and plant cells so why confuse A level students by carving the curriculum up in this way?).

    changes in secondary school are not reflected by moves in higher ed to get back to sensible, logical, programmes of study

    rip postmodern word salads

  • Comment number 44.

    seeing as the secular project is failing dramatically, would it not be better if all schools were faith schools and then at least we would have some indicator of where people's views stem from. at the moment we have such widely disparate ideologies masquerading as 'diverse' aspects of the same thing, when in fact several ideologies are contradictory, that it is virtually impossible to pin down an argument with any sense of logic whatsoever, and hence things like this happen

    of course those wanting to be non-religious could choose a humanist or other such school


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