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Tuesday 16 June 2009

Verity Murphy | 18:12 UK time, Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Here's what is coming up on tonight's programme:

Iran's powerful Guardian Council has said it is ready to recount disputed votes from Friday's presidential poll in which President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared the winner.

The decision follows massive rallies in Iran's major cities in support of Mir Hossein Mousavi and other candidates.

Seven people are reported to have died in a Tehran rally on Monday, but despite this, witnesses have told the BBC that thousands of Mousavi supporters are out on the capital's streets again this evening.

Tonight, we will be looking at the strength of their opposition in the wake of the bloody police and militia clampdown.

The photographs emerging from Tehran may be reminiscent of images from the 1979 revolution, but do they really have the power to shake the Islamic regime?

Or will they peter out like the street clashes which erupted in Tehran in July 1999 and June 2003?

Plus, we have the first part of Paul Mason's journey across northern China assessing the effects of the global financial crisis on what is the third biggest economy in the world.

Our Economics editor gets off the beaten track in the arid Helan Shan mountains, and enjoys a surprising meeting with some Chinese bikers.

Also tonight, the digital revolution.

The government has published its Digital Britain report which includes a levy on all fixed telephone lines to establish a national fund for next generation broadband and a call for the BBC to be stripped of some of its licence fee money to fund local news provided by other organisations.

Tonight we will take a closer look at the proposals and ask if we should all have to pay the price to turn Britain's broadband not-spots into hot-spots, and whether the plan is likely to turn Britain into the "digital capital" the government claims.

We speak to the author of the report, Lord Carter.


  • Comment number 1.

    "The photographs emerging from Tehran may be reminiscent of images from the 1979 revolution, but do they really have the power to shake the Islamic regime?"

    I can't tell if these images and reports are genuine or have been compiled/doctored by Israel or her supporters. Can the BBC? is the BBC allowed to be even handed? It should have put up a scrolling banner saying 'Zionist!' when it had Dan Senor on to give his views. ;-)

    Is this not why the Iranian government has tried to limit foreign press coverage?

  • Comment number 2.

    internet tax-

    landowners etc already get 4 billion a year to feed the squirrels. why should we be taxed more to fund their lifestyle and give them broadband.


    we don't have a public service broadcaster in the uk. we have an organisation that thinks it is 'competing' against non funded broadcasters so goes for trashy ratings and thinks it has a duty to broadcast to the world for free. the licence fee could be halved and the online stuff put behind a login screen so only fee payers can watch it.

  • Comment number 3.

    On a general point about this blog, there used to be a link to it on the daily email. Is there any reason why it's vanished since last week?

  • Comment number 4.

    On the Digital Britain stuff, I don't think I mind paying an extra 50p a month on my landline bill to expand digital services, provided that I actually get some benefit from it. Otherwise, it will end up being like so much of the other government "investment" where those of us who work to pay for everything seem to get very little back for our trouble!

  • Comment number 5.

    More FO Placemen?

    John Sawers, the new head of MI6, has left quite an internet trail. His documents tend to get leaked to the media? like British embassy memos on talking to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood [and so sabotaging it?]. That Sawers had told Tony Blair that Iraq was an unbelievable mess? Creating a strategy including war for dealing with the Iran problem at the UN thats been leaked to the Times etc?

    so a hardliner on iran that tried to railroad in a military solution and who was the source that iran had 'confessed' openly to attacking british troops , who buys into the neocon language of terrorism, who believes in liberal interventionism and in a speech [below] talks up Tony's Chicago speech is to join the funny bunnies at the FO?

    to paraphrase his Clint Eastwood quote in the speech below. There are two kinds of people. Those who work for the interests of the UK State and those who want to use the Uk state for theirs?

    from the recent appointments it looks pretty clear who has the upper hand?

    Foreign Policy Association 90th Anniversary: Sir John Sawer's Speech

  • Comment number 6.

    bookhimdano (#5) "to paraphrase his Clint Eastwood quote in the speech below. There are two kinds of people. Those who work for the interests of the UK State and those who want to use the Uk state for theirs?"

    Does that mean that if he was head of MI5 he'd be making a case for locking up all of the architects of New Labour for sedition (and probably those behind the other parties too)?

    In Spooks, MI6 generally seems to be in cahoots with the opposition!

    Who are the enemy these days?

    Or is it just rare people like me - i.e. statists? ;-)

  • Comment number 7.

    post 6 JJ Politicians are the NME, mag 2 grid get rid of them and we have cracked it. All they do is Sponge.

    check my last on the previous page

  • Comment number 8.

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

  • Comment number 9.

    #1 JJ

    I did watch some of the footage on the 6 o'clock news very closely. The BBC appeared to show a group of people setting fire to someone else's car.


    I'm confused

    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 10.

    Ahmadinejad in Russia and a comment on it here....

  • Comment number 11.

    Meanwhile "China's Foreign Ministry said Tuesday Beijing respects the choice of the Iranian people in the election and hopes Iran can maintain stability and solidarity."

    Voice of America

  • Comment number 12.

    Perhaps hardly surprising that the Corporate Nazi's have floated the idea of a " Private Tax " on land lines to fund the expansion of high speed broad band. As usual the corporate multinational cartel members will be the main beneficiaries. Perhaps part of a sneaky plan to introduce the infrastructure for Average Speed Cameras in often not that remote rural areas.

    There has probably been lots of squealing from the ten bob fat cats who priced the indigenous population out of their homes. Pay a fortune to " Escape to the Country " only to find that broad band is not available and perhaps the property speculators have a hand in the proposed policy.

    If rural people actually want high speed broad band they should club together and form local small companies to provide the infrastructure. It was done with local cable TV in the 1960s but now the wireless possibilities are endless. Perhaps the Galileo satellite project should be primarily about improving Europe wide broad band access, not just Corporate Nazi toll roads.

    Like everything else our corrupt government comes up with its all a part of the trend towards the economic cleansing of " rural " and other select areas to forward financial apartheid in the UK.

  • Comment number 13.

    Watch the 2007 ETS video in conjunction with what was said at the SCO bearing in mind that the SCO is the Eastern answer to NATO.

  • Comment number 14.

    PM Gordon Brown
    "but if there are serious questions that are now being asked about the conduct of the elections, they have got to be answered"

    That'll be the election they had? How does he keep a straight face?

    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 15.

    Is there any reason that fascists use the phrase "Corporate Nazis" when they themselves are enthusiastic about Hitler and national socialism - though they frequently deny it, and especially on campaign literature?

    Do they seek to portray everybody else as evil and loathsome Hitler-lovers?

  • Comment number 16.

    An interesting piece by Paul Mason a constructive criticism - and one he could hardly answer in such a piece in all reason - is that I would like to have known whether China is "hanging together". Are there centrifugal forces of economic crash, no welfare state and an authoritarian government likely to cause disruptive dissent or constructive change?

  • Comment number 17.

    #6 Jaded_Jean

    "In Spooks, MI6 generally seems to be in cahoots with the opposition!

    Who are the enemy these days?

    Or is it just rare people like me - i.e. statists?"

    As for enemies Von Bruun, who contributed to the American Friends of the BNP, shot up a Holocaust memorial in the US and has very similar views to you.

    A far right activist was arrested recently with a jar of ricin. Who doesn't keep a jar of Ricin on their shelf - oh actually almost nobody.

    Given your views on race "realism", the Holocaust, eugenics and Hitler style economics I sincerely somebody does have an eye on you.

    But don't watch too much telly.

  • Comment number 18.

    #6 Jaded_Jean

    'In Spooks, MI6 generally seems to be in cahoots with the opposition!

    Who are the enemy these days?

    Or is it just rare people like me - i.e. statists?'

    Yes I can see you have been spending a lot of time conversing with King Celtic Lion - the other week he was engaged in top secret work and having his mother answer calls from Nobel prize winners he kidded us not.

    There was no Holocaust, there is no climate change and people on the far right hardly ever froth at the mouth and chew carpet - as they said Hitler did.

    You are a fan of Hitler aren't you.

    Best that people know that.

  • Comment number 19.

    #5 bookhimdano

    "Those who work for the interests of the UK State and those who want to use the Uk state for theirs?"

    There are those who work for the interests of the BNP and those who consider Hitler a great mind.

    What a loathsome bunch eh?

  • Comment number 20.

    Is Gordon Brown going to send the House Of Commons Committee a bullet proof vest, a fish, and a photograph of McBride or will he ever contribute to that committee?

  • Comment number 21.


    I think I know who Banksy might be, but I won't spoil it for you

    all the best

  • Comment number 22.

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

  • Comment number 23.

    Stick Stiring Swill bucket funded TV could get cash from the Licence fee payer! Can i suggest the commercially driven TV companies cut their wage cost if they are experiencing financial difficulties. The idea that they may get a splice of cash from the BBC tax is mental. If channel 4 ever gets one penny of my money, I swear to God I will hit the roof!!!!!! ITVs Ant and Dec should receive no more than 500 quid a week.. also kill off regional news...problem solved and it did not take a yr to produce my report - 3 minutes actually.

    Where's my cheque and do i get a Lordship?!

  • Comment number 24.


    On the original Star Ship Enterprise (a hymn to mankind's technological mastery) were a bunch of misfits, barely evolved beyond the ape. They ran the gamut from lust to spite, while posturing piously to cosmic 'inferiors'. Today, as I watch pathetic politicians, dazzled by technology, rush to apply 'Broadband' as some sort of curative plaster to the open sore that is British culture, it is all too apparent that we are the living prequel to the Star Trek disaster. Until we prize competence and quiescence - individually and socially - as the greatest prize in a civilised nation, we will surely turn Spaceship Earth into a giant Enterprise in human failure.

    I canna hold her Captain - she's breaking up.

  • Comment number 25.

    Lord Carter? Never heard of him. Another tax hungry unelected Minister. Why did he look so guilty when questioned about what he's going to do when he quits his unelected Government job? I thought he was going to swallow his adam's apple when Jeremy Paxman posed the question. No doubt he'll show up in some outfit that is getting part of the £6 phone tax money to supposedly "bring Broadband to the masses".

    The whole thing stinks from the idea of ripping us off for another £6 to the notion that Government or one of their hangers on could implement the plan.

    Just looked up Carter, he was Chief Operating Officer at NTL when it went bust. Why didn't Paxman make that known during the interview?

  • Comment number 26.

    #5 Book Him Dano

    My favourite from Eastwood is from The Outlaw Josie Wales. The scene where he meets the Indians.

    Ten Bears: These things you say we will have, we already have.

    Josey Wales: That's true. I ain't promising you nothing extra. I'm just giving you life and you're giving me life. And I'm saying that men can live together without butchering one another.

    Ten Bears: It's sad that governments are chiefed by the double tongues. There is iron in your words of death for all Comanche to see, and so there is iron in your words of life. No signed paper can hold the iron. It must come from men. The words of Ten Bears carries the same iron of life and death. It is good that warriors such as we meet in the struggle of life... or death. It shall be life.

    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 27.

    #18 Go1

    It was 1980 when I did the work not last week. Just to get the facts accurate. Thanks for taking notice of what I write. It is appreciated. XXXX

    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 28.

    The health fascists are once again trying to ban smoking in cars yet Corporate Nazi puppet Panda says that there is no need for further regulations on fraudulent banks and their stock market parasites. Typical of this Corporate Nazi government, just like the German Nazi's lots of petty regulations to implement in the interest of restricting true human rights for the masses whilst allowing corrupt big business to virtually write its own rule book.

  • Comment number 29.


    Our impressive overlords have prohibited driving with all manner of substances in the blood, because of their effect on the brain. They have totally FAILED to register that the ABSENCE of nicotine, in the brain of an addict, can induce aberrant behaviour - perhaps ROAD RAGE?

    'Honey I smoked the kids' is surely secondary to 'honey I ran out of fags and killed them, driving like a madman'?

    Mind altering chemicals in the brain CAN GO UP - AND DOWN. Where is Clarkson when you need him. There is a jolly hour of TV just waiting to be shown. We have had at least two demonstrations of the drink-drive effect; time to watch deprived smokers going berserk with traffic cones hilariously bunged up their wheel-arches in lieu of innocent road-users.

    It's a no-brainer (sic).

  • Comment number 30.


    JS doesn't talk about tony speech in the vid. it must have been one of the other lectures. apologies for that.

    interesting the bbc profile seems to think the most important quality for chief spook is being 'an excellent dancer'? not someone whose prepared to blackmail, bear false witness, trick, lie, bully, intimidate and deceive?

    in the usa one of the training grounds for agents was door to door selling where people had to learn all sorts of nasty tricks to sell confused old grannies, mentally ill and naive trusting people things they don't need in order to achieve targets. Apparently the objective was to strip away any normal moral standards.

    doesn't sound too romantic a job to me.

  • Comment number 31.

    thegangofone (#18) "You are a fan of Hitler aren't you."

    As I have said many times, I think Hitler and the National Socialists did great things for Germany in the 1930s as did Stalin for the USSR. One of the greatest mistakes Britain ever made was declaring war on Germany in 1939 (I don't fully understand why Germany and the USSR went to war in June 1941). The constant vilification of National Socialism since the end of the war has, in my view, only served to weaken the prospects for socialism in the UK whilst facilitating the rise of anarcho-capitalism which is now destroying this country and the USA. These problems are precisely what led to Germany's troubles in the 1920s and 1930s as well as to Stalin's purges of the Comintern in the 1930s.

    I suggest you watch the clip of Ahmadinejad at the SCO and learn a little about what it comprises. India, Pakistan and Iran are not members of NATO.

  • Comment number 32.

    Simon_987 (#25) "Lord Carter? Never heard of him."

    On the basis of his performance last night, he's a grown up 'terrible-two'.

  • Comment number 33.

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

  • Comment number 34.

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

  • Comment number 35.

    Well unemployment has gone up yet again Does any department keep figures of all those unemployed that can't claim any benefits. I know of several that do not appear in these figures.

  • Comment number 36.

    Absolutely loved Paul's film from China - I was surprised to learn that China does NOT have a welfare system. Paul seemed to be enjoying his Chinese Guinness and kebabs out in the desert :p. While we might moan about pollution/tackling it, China really does have a problem - the fact that we saw thick walls of chlorine (?) gas in a residential area was disturbing.

    Also loved Jeremy's interview with Lord Carter - he just did not have a clue and got a peerage. Enough said. The best part was where he asked and answered his own questions!!!!!!

  • Comment number 37.

    NewFazer (#56) "I apologise for any typos I might have missed, but I am bloody cross!"

    If the cost of an excellent post is a few missed typos, I urge you not to fear making typos!

    dAllan169 - that is not an endorsement of condensed word-salad. You are doing so much better!

    barrie (#24) Bring back the Borg!

    KingCelticLion (#38) Good post. The Iranian Government has called in the British Ambassador. The BBC's coverage of the SCO was a) thin and b) spiteful.

  • Comment number 38.

    latest on the 134 billion bonds seized on the swiss border

  • Comment number 39.


    "I was surprised to learn that China does NOT have a welfare system."

    He evidently misled viewers. Look into this and think about it. China is socialist. China is a socialist country. Read its constitution and don't take Liberal-Democratic anarchistic propaganda so seriously. The West is anti-statist.

    Did you see the coverage of the SCO? China and the SCO was said to have 'dictators' in its midst. The implication being that Ahmadinejad is a dictator too.

    Brown and Obama are not dictators of course.

  • Comment number 40.

    #37 JJ

    Drew attention to the specific line in question in #14 above. I did it in a comedic satirical cynical way but the meat was in the sandwich. (as it is not a McCartney climate change/veggie day)

    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 41.

    Racists attack Romanian women and children - including a five day old baby.

    Such courage.

    I'll bet they even do weights.

    I hope the police and courts throw the book at them if they catch them.

  • Comment number 42.

    #31 Jaded_Jean

    I know you are the "high end" of far right thinking but if you say you are not a Nazi then why do you say:

    "The constant vilification of National Socialism since the end of the war etc. "

    You were expecting the Holocaust and fifty million war dead to really impress people?

    I would never read anything you recommend as I think your views are evil lies.

  • Comment number 43.

    bookhimdao (#38) "Its odd, though, that its not garnering more media attention." (from the article) I followed your first link on this, and, like the Bloomberg journalist, thought the same as everyone else.

    It is a bit worrying though given Japan getting twitchy about N Korea's warning not to mess with it, Ahmadinejad's welcome at the SCO and the way the SCO gets so little coverage given what it is. Then again, maybe its not surprising.....

  • Comment number 44.

    thegangofone (#42) "I know you are the "high end" of far right thinking but if you say you are not a Nazi then why do you say:

    "The constant vilification of National Socialism since the end of the war etc. "

    The far-right are libertarians.

    I have explained this many times. To answer you question yet again: - because it serves (through fear-mongering) to promote the anarchistic free-market and all of the socio-economic problems which we are now experiencing.

    "I would never read anything you recommend as I think your views are evil lies."

    Have you considered the possibility that this may be why you had to ask that question, and why you keep getting so much wrong?

    What if I am right?

  • Comment number 45.


    When the BBC shows its latest images from Iran (one set supplied by Reuters) even the newsreaders look a mite embarassed by the quality. They seem to be either hopelessly out of focus or heavily pixelated! What are they trying to hide ;-) Meanwhile we are led to believe by spokespersons like William Hague telling us that of course we can't interfere.

    So, that means there can't possibly be any Western backed NGOs, or CIA, MOSSAD or MI6 operating in iran to help them quiet things down a bit?

  • Comment number 46.

    'Mr Darling has said that the current regulatory system is not to blame for the credit crunch, blaming instead the bosses of financial institutions.'

    So is that consistent with the G20 conclusions, the demands of the French and Germans and does it preserve us from the use of instruments (like CDS) that managers don't seem to have understood in the past?

    Is the HBOS instance of risk management failure likely to recur?

    If there are bank boardroom failures in the future it is acceptable that we have to spend trillions on baling them out?

    Is this just cosmetic change to avoid clearly drawing blame and they will leave the real change to the next government?

  • Comment number 47.

    Why don't you allow Jeremy Paxman his own blog?

  • Comment number 48.


    Nice 'alleged' quote. I though Lords were there to help legislate?

    After watching the very interesting behaviour on Digital Britain last night, I'm not sure I will be taking the report very seriously. Not that I take a lot of what's asserted about the IT revolution's merits that seriously anyway. It wasn't just the DOT.COM bubble, the endless white elephant IT systems, the false assertion that ICT improves education rather than plagiarism and lets them play games at school, it's that I know what people are like, and where the population is heading in terms of genetic ability/skills.

    If true, New Labour is an insult to Stalin's memory, but then perhaps that's basically what all this anarchism is about anyway - killing of any revival of Old Labour and its socialism?

  • Comment number 49.

    thegangofone (#46) "Is this just cosmetic change to avoid clearly drawing blame and they will leave the real change to the next government?"

    What sort of governmnet would you like? Surely not a group of 'vile' regulators like the BNP or some other left-wing group of statists?

    You are an eccentric Liberal-Democrat. Liberal-Democrats are all for de-regulation, i.e. they're libertarians, i.e anarchists. They are very close to the Conservatives (see Clegg cosy up to Cameron recently?). They like the free-market and want it to regulate itself. No Hitler or Stalin regulating types wanted in the Liberal-Democrat party. The reason why they are the most obvious party of do-nothings even before the Conservatives and New Labour is because they are just hopeless at 'politics'.

  • Comment number 50.

    Hhhhmmm just what I thought analysis of the unemployment figures would show. [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    Will you be discussing this with all the major parties on Newsnight tonight?

  • Comment number 51.

    Northern Ireland, Lisburn: Twenty families oomprising over 100 people, described as Romanian, being re-housed after an 'anti-racist' rally/demonstration leading to conflict with another group. It's difficult, reading the press reports, to work out exactly what was going on. Is that the idea?

  • Comment number 52.

    I'm still fuming so I'll post it again on the grounds that nobody much will have seen it on yesterdays edition...

    Following on from the 'digital Britain' thought. I think the question should again be "Who gains?".

    I live at the bottom of the Wish Valley. Analogue TV reception is acceptable but I don't watch very much so I'm not particularly bothered. In three years from now analogue in this region will be switched off. Ok, so it's digital terrestrial - except that it needs a better signal than I can get here, so that's a non starter. Fine, let's do satellite. Why should I have to pay for all the 'commercial' channels I never watch? Freesat then, except in a couple of years time when the (TPO) oaks across the road have grown a little higher I won't be able to do that either (the dish is already attached to the highest point of the building). Broadband? Don't make me laugh - download speed is usually around 1/2meg here. BT say I should get 7meg but the problem might be (only might be) their overhead line from the pole to my house, they would replace this but it would cost me £400 to do it. So no TV for me in digital Britain.

    Announced yesterday analogue radio is also for the chop - RADIO! Here we go again, it has at last been admitted that DAB is a failure, the expected take-up isn't happening. Why? Because it doesn't work except in ideal conditions, I have one room upstairs in this house where reception is possible, everywhere else it sounds like Donald Duck gargling. WiFi then - see above. The government seems to have failed to understand radio. It's the thing in your car, the thing in your pocket, the thing in the bathroom. The REAL people's voice in this country (sorry NN, it ain't TV). It's everywhere; informing, educating, amusing. And we are going to lose it.

    I don't live in some out of the way cave half way up a mountain near Fort William, this is a busy, thriving village in the 'privileged' south east!

    If all these 'improvements' are so obviously to the disadvantage of the consumer why is it being pressed ahead with against all advice? Because someone is making money. They are making money out of selling off the vacant frequencies, out of all the new transmitters and all the new receivers.

    Oh yes, and then there's an extra six quid a year on all the pensioners' telephone bills for the land line they depend upon for contact and help in emergencies.

    Now I ask again - WHO GAINS?

    (Hopefully I've got all the typos this time but I am still bloody cross!)

  • Comment number 53.

    #50 Just in case anybody's interested in the unemployed here, go to Migration Watch, and see their figures.

  • Comment number 54.

    Ecolizzy #53

    Never actually looked round that site before. Interesting.

    Also interesting (JJ #51) is that the FT describes the Northern Ireland families as Roma gypsies rather than 'Romanians'.

  • Comment number 55.

    Also a lovely turn of 'phrase' on Migration watch :-)

    "No results found, please try to simplifier your search phrase"

  • Comment number 56.

    51. At 5:21pm on 17 Jun 2009, JadedJean
    It's difficult, reading the press reports, to work out exactly what was going on. Is that the idea?

    Nah, I'm sure it's just worked out that way through incompetence.

    If not, I would be interested in any alternative explanation, especially from professional, objective, investigative reporters.

  • Comment number 57.

    I think the 'redacting' is pretty understandable. Ministers began the censorship long before the "Daily Telegraph" revelations surfaced and, rather than start again and change a habit of a lifetime, thought, 'sod it', and carried on regardless. At least they have principles.

    "Climate Change"
    'Combating Climate Change' - 'The three Cs' is a much more snappy title and is my gift to the eco-nutters - is the most futile thing man has ever attempted. I don't think there will ever be a more extreme example of a 'King Canute' psychosis. Psychiatrists have been secured a mountain of work for the foreseeable future.

    The Met Office is the most discredited scientific organisation in the Western world and I certainly won't be subjecting myself to a life of lentils and windmills on their say-so and, by the look of the rest of the country, neither will anyone else.

    "Better Late than Never"
    If the 'phone line' tax will only generate £150 million, what's the bet this matches, to the penny, the additional cost of Ofcom's new role? It could happen.

    Why does it always take American guests to inject a bit of rational common sense in to the debate? Why is the default position of Britain's broadcast journalists to report what they want the truth to be and not what it is? Shame is a foreign land to our journalists, but they clutch amateurism to their hearts.


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