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Thursday 3 September 2009

Sarah McDermott | 17:58 UK time, Thursday, 3 September 2009


On the eve of the G20 finance ministers' talks that Chancellor Alistair Darling is hosting in London, we'll be examining how close countries really are to reaching any kind of agreement.

Two young brothers have admitted to luring two boys to a ravine before brutally torturing them in South Yorkshire. Liz McKean has spent the day in Edlington - and we hope to bring you some new details on the story.

Should a formal apology and posthumous pardon be awarded to the wartime code-breaker Alan Turing? He was chemically castrated for admitting to his homosexuality and written out of history. More than 26,000 signatories have been gathered on the petition to the prime minister. Our Science Editor Susan Watts has been speaking to some of Turing's relatives.

And on the 70th anniversary of Britain declaring war on Germany we explore WWII's enduring role in national mythology.

Do join Jeremy Paxman at 10.30pm on BBC Two.


Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    IS IT ANY WONDER THAT IMPRESSIONABLE MINDS TURN TO TORTURING?

    I surely don't need to spell this out. Young children have access to the British media (if not world) which presents 'mans inhumanity to man' in war reports, 'news', vivid video fiction, and in game-show ENTERTAINMENT. A clear demonstration of the willingness of kids to learn!

  • Comment number 2.

    Sarah:

    Two young brothers have admitted to luring two boys to a ravine before brutally torturing them in South Yorkshire. Liz McKean has spent the day in Edlington - and we hope to bring you some new details on the story.

    What is the story, that is being talked about; Since, I haven't followed it....

    =Dennis Junior=

  • Comment number 3.

    THE APOLOGY CULTURE IS ALIVE AND WELL

    Should we not do the HARD apologising first? That is, apologising for our OWN mistakes, made recently? Far be it from me to invoke the name of Tony Blair in this connection, but . . .

    We did so much indefensible stuff in the recorded past, we will need the computer equivalent of a prayer-wheel to deal with the apology (no doubt Turing could have fixed that for us). There is something very 'now' about a computerised apology - even edgy. Make it so.

  • Comment number 4.

    [Turing]... "...written out of history."?

    Was he? How was that done then? By whom? Who are these censors?

    He certainly wasn't written out of the history of mathematical logic and computing, which (along with Post, Church and Godel) was all far more important than what he did with his computer in the war.

  • Comment number 5.

    Sarah:

    On the eve of the G20 finance ministers' talks that Chancellor Alistair Darling is hosting in London, we'll be examining how close countries really are to reaching any kind of agreement.

    That is excellent news, that the G20 Finance Ministers will have a heart-to-heart decision....But, I have my doubts about reaching any kind of agreements......

    =Dennis Junior=

  • Comment number 6.

    Sarah:

    Should a formal apology and posthumous pardon be awarded to the wartime code-breaker Alan Turing?

    I think that a formal apology and pardon in the form of a Posthumous should be awarded to Alan Turing....

    =Dennis Junior=

  • Comment number 7.

    When will HMG apologise for their part in the First Crusade and the Opium Wars, which seem to have left a more lasting legacy?

  • Comment number 8.

    @ #1 Barrie - you're right. Since children are so used to playing violent computer games/ violent films/ tv etc, it has become "normal" for them to act it out in real life. They just see violence as a game.

  • Comment number 9.




    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1208716/Half-GPs-refuse-swine-flu-vaccine-testing-fears.html

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2009/aug/24/doctors-refuse-swine-flu-vaccine

    Question -If half the GPs in the UK are too frightened to have the untested flu vaccine why should any of the rest of us risk it?


    Newsnight - please could you investigate the following –

    Please could you interview George Annas and Dr Keiji Fukuda



    http://www.examiner.com/x-12517-Miami-Holistic-Health-Examiner%7Ey2009m8d15-UK-officials-warn-doctors-of-deadly-swine-flu-vaccine-danger

    http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/health/Untested-swine-flu-vaccine-could.5495018.jp



    Dr Keiji Fukuda, the World Health Organisations' flu chief, has warned about the potential dangers of untested vaccines, although he stopped short of criticising Europe's approach outright.

    "I can't see any possible excuse to not test it for safety before it's given to anyone," said George Annas, a bioethics expert at Boston University. The warnings came as it was revealed the UK government had been forced to accept legal liability for the swine flu vaccine in case it triggered side effects.



    Ministers have taken on all the risk for the 60 million doses they have ordered from GlaxoSmithKline and the Baxter group, after both firms said they would refuse to produce it unless legally protected, The Scotsman's sister paper Scotland on Sunday revealed.








    .

  • Comment number 10.

    HOPEFULLY, NOT TOO 'HIGH-END'

    "on the 70th anniversary of Britain declaring war on Germany we explore WWII's enduring role in national mythology."

    Jolly good.

    So, are we now going to rehabilitate National Socialist Germany (which examiend closely was remarkably like Old Labour, and Stalinist USSR) for having tried, with the help of the likes of Arthur Neville Chamberlain, a member of the British 'better breeding society' (and PM up to peaceful 1940 when that other bloke took over), to halt expansion of early Credit Crunching anarchists/Bolsheviks/Neocons, from destroying Europe in the name of the Socialist International? (see Margret Thatcher, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and friends - e.g. try Irwin Stelzer's 'The Neocon Reader')

    Or are we going to have to endure myths peddled by somewhat paranoid, narcisstic, anarchistic, self-interested, trouble-making, 'freedom' peddlers, even longer?

  • Comment number 11.

    #39 & #40
    There is a purpose to this 'madness', i.e. I have my reasons to live at present as transparent a life as is possible but it is better not to disclose the reasons for it too transparently. But thank you for the warning.
    Re: ecolizzy
    Well, ecolizzy very kindly browsed through my flickr photostream and let me know about it in a rather nice way. I don't expect others to completely agree with me on everything and she claims, anyway, that she is not a BNP supporter and I have no reasons not to believe her. Whether she blogs with jj or not is none of my business.
    Re: immigration. I might as well use this opportunity to say a few words on the subject. No country can accept too many people who would like to migrate to it and this is obviously a huge and very difficult problem to deal with. However, those who are already here in the UK as legalised citizens,wherever they are from, should be treated on absolutely equal terms and with respect as those who can trace their British roots to King Canute or even further.
    Going back to ecolizzy's comments: it looks like she may be an even greater fan of Jeremy's than she is of jj's, if in fact she is a fan of jj's at all. I am a proclaimed fan of Jeremy's, many people know it anyway so I may as well be as frank about it as I see fit.

  • Comment number 12.

    Chemical castration? Now there's an idea!!! It would get rid of all the kiddie fiddlers.

  • Comment number 13.

    SWEET MIM - HOW LITTLE YOU KNOW OF MEN, MIM (#11)

    "legalised citizens,wherever they are from, should be treated on absolutely equal terms and with respect "

    OK Mim - here goes: Any group of men is driven, internally, to COMPETE FOR POSITION IN THE PECKING ORDER OF THE GROUP.
    This, of course, improves their chances of impregnating choice crumpet - the primary imperative of the male. (See JJ about the genetics.)

    If you pay attention to competing men, you will observe they do it by latching onto, and denigrating (often without justification) DIFFERENCE. This is what I have termed 'DIFFERENCISM' in previous posts, as it subsumes a wide range of lesser 'isms'. But the trouble with individuals from 'elsewhere' is they tend to have a variety of OVERT DIFFERENCES about them, differences that basic bloke will pick on, as is his wont. Blokes don't treat ANY BLOKE on equal terms. They need to know who is 'up' and who is 'down' and will put a lot of effort into the business of 'going up'. This is why importation of large numbers of 'people of difference' is dumb.

    PS Wasn't Canute a foreigner?

  • Comment number 14.

    THE SHIP WOULD APPEAR TO BE SINKING

    I always had Eric Joyce pegged as a safe pair of prongs (on a forked tongue) utterly reliable in the defence of the indefensible. Suddenly he declares the indefensible IS indefensible! Will he pop up, out of another hole, in the Gastric Miliband camp? Poor Jimmie Broon - all he can do is cry 'Et tu Joyce'.

    What puzzles me is: if Blair was so magical, why have Labour not asked him back to save the day? He would only need to put in a couple of days a month - the Middle East would still be sorted. And he could do the faith thing in Britain also; it's very good apparently.

  • Comment number 15.

    IN PRAISE OF PAXMAN STUFFING

    For once the infamous Paxo contempt was laudable, and his 'overt masking' of it masterful. Give that man an award. When he announced the crass 'photo initiative', just for once, I felt his behaviour appropriate.

  • Comment number 16.

    I feel disappointed about the way the two brothers that committed the terrible assault on boys their own age were portrayed in the tonight's Newsnight story. My impression was that the brothers were shown simplistically, as 'evil kids', troublemakers 'known to the police', who have commited several such ill-deeds. That, to me seems a one-dimensional and a rather superficial view of their character and behaviour.

    I understand the rage of the family whose boys were attacked, indeed of the victims themselves. But I also feel angry that the two brothers are being villified, for what is - essentially a result of a poor upbringing and lack of family values in their community, and - if you like - no fault of their own.

    I wonder, am I the only one to see the cry for help of these young lads, who have been 1. let down by their parents, 2. let down by the social system and 3. confused and scared about being put in a foster home and probably hurting very badly, deep down due to the illtreatment they themselves received as young vulnerable children. My dare assumne that they already have a very low self esteem to put it mildly and that to help them, we need to do more then just put them up for judgement. Yes, they must take responsibility for their future actions, but I believe, the way to teach them that is to approach them with compassion and interest in their feelings, not by contempt.

    Anna Nikolovska, Guildford

  • Comment number 17.

    #13
    Mr Singleton
    I am not sweet. I can bite and I can spit. Though have never done so, I can also kick in the right place. So, please do not confuse my idea of justice and race and male/female equality with crumpeting. I wouldn't have you pat me on the shoulder even, after this. As for jj, he may have crumpetted many a woman but he is not crumpetting me, I can assure you of that. He does not carry a good enough supply of genes as far as I am concerned. As a matter of fact, neither in his brain nor in his soul. If I even considered having a list of male candidates for you know what, neither you nor him would even find a place at the end of it.

  • Comment number 18.

    Thorougly brilliant Jeremy tonight :o)
    I was shocked to learn that someone as great as Turing was chemically castrated simply for being gay, and ultimately lead to his suicide. If it wasn't for him, well I dread to think!
    Loved the debate between Michael & Jeremy on Eric Joyce's resignation - Jeremy had fond memories of interviewing him!!!
    Excellent report by Susan. Also loved the debate by Jeremy with Sir Max Hastings and Professor Hoskin on WW2.

  • Comment number 19.

    from mimpromptu:
    A quote from Polish press:
    Apparently, Poland, as partner to Nazi Germany, was keen to send the Polish Jews to Madagascar. At least that’s what’s being claimed by the Russian Foreign Minister, Mr Sergei Lavrov in his new book. This (musical) score to World War II, entitled ‘Who and When Started the War?’ has been published in cooperation between a Russian committee, set up against manipulation of historical facts which might be detrimental to Russia, and the Russian President.
    One of the reactions re: the above states that the book thesis cannot even be discussed in a rational way as it is complete science fiction, at times seeming even more brutal than the Stalinist propaganda itself.
    I wonder whether any of the 'British' national socialists had anything to do with it?

  • Comment number 20.

    #20 continuation from mimpromptu
    Nothing like a teddy bear getting together with a busy bee or Mandy, the maid!

  • Comment number 21.


    and from mimpromptu again, for desserts:

    abusive offenders – a profession in need of reform

    There is this doctor called Campbell
    who doesn't know how to be humble.
    A miserable, offensive, old git
    of whom some patients would gladly be rid.

    There are other psychiatrists like he
    who simply don't know how to be.
    Many a patient by now I have met
    who should never have gone into their net

    Based on some gossip they tried to get me
    which one day may yet cost them a fee.
    My position is somewhat unique, I know,
    just as well I'm able to glow.

    Repelling charlatans of many a prat
    to stew with misery in their own dirty spat
    I may have a talent for one thing or two
    but ain't a member of just anyone's crew.

    It's not a bad today in London, so please do enjoy it!

  • Comment number 22.

    14. At 10:30pm on 03 Sep 2009, barriesingleton wrote:
    THE SHIP WOULD APPEAR TO BE SINKING


    Yet still Yamato Brown blunders on

    On his solo, symbolic suicide mission to satisfy Emperor Hubris with few on board save a 'loyal' senior GOAT herd of senior officers who really have no place else to go.

    Plus, unfortunately, the press-ganged crew of the rest of the country who the guys upstairs in the driving seat have barely given a second's thought to as they aim for final pay offs, directorships and cushy lecture circuit fees.

  • Comment number 23.

    #16 Hi Anna, you make some very good points, but you have to understand how england has degraded over the last 30 years. Thatcher started this trend by making unemployment acceptable, the workers were seen as dispensable, not important. Get on yer bike and find work elsewhere, which led to the break up of family structure. People here had got used to a steady job, their family around them, much as the rest of europe had. But Maggie decided everything had to have a price, all our utilities were sold off, we as a nation now own nothing. I had children during this period, the child benefit system was very low, it actually shrunk in real terms, but I still managed to bring my children up to work hard.

    But because it was now ok to not work, and you could blame it on the '80s recession and Thatcher a whole load of people gave up, feeling totally undermined. Where on earth does a coal miner work after half a life in the pits? Sitting in a call centre, I don't think so! So it led to a lot of despondoncy, family life has broken down here. Then there is the english attitude of it's someone elses fault, we had lived quite comfortably since the '50s, but Thatcher and Blair threw all that away. It was all about money, people don't count, they are just fodder for jobs, which leads me onto the biggest upset of life here, massive immigration, again fodder for cheap jobs.

    We had an average fairly high standard of living, but as you might have read the difference between the haves and the haves not is now massive, the highest it's ever been, and everybody knocks the english.

    How do you think that undermines the confidence of the working man here. They all know that an immigrant will do the job cheaper, and is probably more intelligent than them, so probably more driven and quicker at picking things up. Blair Brown and Thatcher despise the working man here, they don't give a damn. Blair wanted to be the big I am and back the Americans in going to war with middle east countries, why, for oil, nothing else. They will keep quoting terror at you, but it's all about the oil, we only have, I believe 40 years worth left, and that will get even less as India and China beef up their industry and cars.

    So to get back to my point, the english now feel useless, denegrated, live life to the full on what you've got, bury your head in the sand, just live for today, smoke and drink and drug it to death. A lot of the new immigrants would encourage that and supply you with the drugs, they also like bumping us off. One in five murders now committed by an immigrant. All the time our government keeps telling us it's good for us and our economy. Yes it's good for the rich, big business, and ruddy restuarants, but it is destroying the working class here, they have to live next door to them, not in a gated community. And do the immigrants associate with us, they can't even speak english. The english are the ones struggerling to find work, a home, how does anyone here raise a family on the minimum wage without all the help given to foreign workers. JJ would say it's all in the breeding, and might be right, in fact probably is, but it's made the working man give up and live like a celebrity on borrowed money. All the media does here is promote falseness, and fairytale, no real life here is ever talked about on our news, only foreign affairs that our stupid government has got itself deep into!

  • Comment number 24.

    BOYS AND GIRLS

    1) Note how the BBC coverage of the 10-11 year old boys was, as usual in our culture, presented from an environmental/parenting point of view - despite the evidence. The evidence suggests that behaviour does run in families, but the important point to note, and neglected by the media in general, is is that genes run in families. Most people don't want to face up to this because they prefer to think that if it was environment, social workers, educators etc could fix this. If genetic, on the other hand, it is far bleaker. As a consequence peole ignore dysgenesis, which is bad for the economy and social stability.

    2) Human females have to attract mates. They therefore, often unwittingly, spend much of their lives attracting attention to themselves. This is the norm. Again, it's probably genetic. It manifests in many ways. Males do this to a much lesser extent. If one feminizes society by increasing the frequency of females in salient positions, one is likely to bias society in this (narcissistic) direction. According to Robert Hare's research, pathological (clinical) narcissists and psychopaths share half their statistical FACTOR structure.....The pathological Personality Disorders (Axis II, Cluster B of the US DSM-IV) may be seen as extremes of normal personality.

    3) A glimmer of balance/reality at the end of the programme?... What matters in history are actions and outcomes, not imagined mental states.

  • Comment number 25.

    Postscript (#24) Remmber, sex is not strictly dimorphic - see the Prader Scale for a clue. It is not just genitalia either. Brain-gender is a physical thing too. Males can be can be somewhat brain-feminized and females can be brain-androgenied. It's a continnum thing, and the probabilistic distribution is not simple either. This is what makes talk of sex-differences very difficult. What does one do the classification on? See the topical Semenya case. Taken at the population level there are marked differences between the sexes, specially at the tails of the distribution. One thing they are not, any more than racial group are, is 'equal', if that is taken to mean 'the same'....

  • Comment number 26.

    #23; to quote the English national motto; "Mustn't grumble!"

    This isolationist/insular view of the world through English coloured glasses really needs to stop if this country is to make any progress.

    One of my abiding criticisms of the English is their political sloth; one the one hand, we moan ad nauseam, bleat that "they're all the same" and then do nothing.

    For once I must concur with the Gene Genie in #24; what matters is action and outcomes, not bleating and moaning - I also think that this was the point Tebbit was trying to make back in the day, albeit rather crudely expressed.

    Let's see more of how our continental neighbours deal with some of the issues ecolizzy lists; maybe we could learn something, rather than continue to look down our noses at the foreign Johnnies. Healthcare, unemployment, immigration, taxation, youth development, crime.... let's have a wider perspective and learn and do something, anything to stop this whingeing fatalistic inertia.

    Enough with the cynicism; more healthy scepticism, a curiosity and search for knowledge, leading to learning and action.

    It's not difficult and is less energy sapping and spirit draining than the cynical view that prevails at the moment.

  • Comment number 27.

    #26 from mimpromptu
    kashibeyaz
    where i go i do not detect anything of what some of you moan about
    jj constantly talks of action but when he acts it is more than ridiculous /not to be confused with funny/
    As much as I appreciate Lord Tebbit, he didn't always say things i would agree with. One of them was his insistence on anybody receiving the British nationality forget their roots and turn their backs on the countries they were born in. My preferred option rather is to create a dialogue between the countries involved, which in my case, I am absolutely delighted to say, I have the opportunity of participating in at present.

  • Comment number 28.

    Afghanistan

    uk troops are fighting for rights that we don't have here. we can't elect the head of state. suppose afghanistan had a 'national' oath defending the rights of one family to be head of state forever and the 'national' song was a monarchist sing song?

    if the govt wants top spread democracy then start with the uk.

    Bankers.

    the govt still believes in market fundamentalism.

    codebreak

    no need to spend millions on another building 'shrine'. the best 'shrine' is to spend money on people skilled in cryptography. the uk is plagued by building worshippers yet won't spend any money on people with skills that made the buildings famous.

    1st Sept.

    without the soviet nazi pact germany would never have invaded poland. The russian part of the german invasion plan was crucial to german success. the germans knew they only had to take half the country and that the russians would wipe out the polish reserves [20,000 officers murdered] forming in the east. Without the russian part of the invasion the germans who depend upon blitzkrieg that needs good weather and hard ground would have had to wait till may as september is too close to winter to take on poland as a whole unit. They also would have needed more troops and equipment to occupy and hold the whole country and so less for France etc.

    the big mystery is why war was not declared on russia in 1939.
    for those countries in the east the war did not end till 1989.

  • Comment number 29.

    afghanistan is not 'crucial' to uk defence. Acts done by mainly uk citizens in the uk is not a war unless its a civil war. its a bogus narrative.

    like iraq that started with wmd then democracy then whatever it is now afghanistan that has constantly sifting agendas. basically this is an ideological war that has hijacked uk foreign policy and people are just thrashing around finding a new excuse every year to perpetuate the wasting of british blood and gold. now they even want to change the makeup of the uk military to keep fighting these vexacious wars. Which is sabotage.

    the uk is under ideological occupation. that is the real threat to the uk. the ideologues have got more uk killed than the 'terrorists' have.

  • Comment number 30.

    #26 This isolationist/insular view of the world through English coloured glasses really needs to stop if this country is to make any progress.

    I can never see this point of view, us as isolationist and insular, I believe we conquered, or put politely colonised a lot of the world. When I was young the map had an awful lot of pink on! I believe 15 million of us live abroad, so we're pretty good at being immigrants as well. But what happens to the pool of people left behind, as JJ says it must be the thicko ones. So what with about 150 different races represented here and us thickos we have completeley lost our way. And as for progress until the banks put us in the doo,doo, I think we were one of the richest countries in the world, but only the top 10 per cent benefitted.

    Yes we whinge I would agree, the Australians always call us "Whinging Pomms", the trouble is with us is we always want to see all points of view, and allow everybody to live as they want here, but then moan about it!

    Yes again I agree continental europe has a much better way of living than us, but remember we worship the USA we follow the US, we have a special relationship with the US, that's where our main influence is, not from europe.

    Enough with the cynicism; more healthy scepticism, a curiosity and search for knowledge, leading to learning and action.

    Yes the middle classes do follow that idea, but there's an awful lot of working class people (by the way I hate all this class definition!) that don't. Somehow being a pleb is thought the ideal these days, and is encouraged by all media.

    Being cynical is probably being realist, that'll get Go1 going!

  • Comment number 31.

    #30 ecolizzy

    "So what with about 150 different races represented here and us thickos we have completeley lost our way. And as for progress until the banks put us in the doo,doo, I think we were one of the richest countries in the world, but only the top 10 per cent benefitted."

    You are warm. The "thickos" are clearly the far right like the BNP who cannot grasp that there is no difference between the races in genetic terms and therefore not only contribute to the economy but broaden our culture as well. People like you who have, for instance, claimed that they could not connect to London due to the racial mix, skew any mature debate on immigration.

    Secondly you have previously said that you are not the BNP but have visited the BNP website. Its also worth mentioning that you are a fan of Jaded_Jean who frequently "explicates" that Hitler was a peace lover, National Socialism should replace democracy and is "agnostic" on the Holocaust. So to mention how successful this liberal democracy is seems strange when you would replace its economic heart with a planned economy well suited to war and little else.

    Moreover in the ideological babble of Jaded_Jean you probably would not care who benefited in a tyranny as you would be a selfless martyr for the state. The state in Nazi Germany was Hitler and his inner circle. So even the "thickos" could work out 10% (your figure) of the state is a lot better than a few individuals.

    National Socialism is just a replacement aristocracy and is no more than a cuckoo's amoral collection of policies to legitimize the replacement aristocrat. Probably why Nick Griffin of the BNP was so keen to attend the Buckingham Palace garden party.

  • Comment number 32.

    #24 Jaded_Jean

    "The evidence suggests that behaviour does run in families, but the important point to note, and neglected by the media in general, is is that genes run in families. Most people don't want to face up to this because they prefer to think that if it was environment, social workers, educators etc could fix this. If genetic, on the other hand, it is far bleaker. As a consequence peole ignore dysgenesis, which is bad for the economy and social stability."

    If readers are not familiar with the pseudo intellectual rants of Jaded_Jean home in on the word "genetic" then dysgenesis. Then think about eugenics and you may proboke him/her to reveal the race "realism" and then you soon find out about Hitler being a peace lover. Holocaust "agnosticism" soon surfaces.

    What this intellectual charlatan does not grasp is that genetic variation is greater within a race than between races. Therefore as most genetic differences are adaptations to environment there is incredibly little difference between the races. This is probably because we are all descended from a very few individuals who walked out of Africa. Even within Africa there is still very little variation from the rest of the world.

    But then until you have read the futile contortions on the "agnosticism" on the Holocaust you don't know what a bad liar is.

    The Holocaust was made up to put people off "statists" (Stalinist/Nazis) and those that died "did so from disease" that did not affect the guards and the rest of Germany. Those violently killed were killed by the Russians. Who were Stalinists and therefore also "statists".

  • Comment number 33.

    GOLITSYN'S LEGACY

    bookhimdano (#28) "the big mystery is why war was not declared on russia in 1939."

    Might it be because Russia had it's own 'civil war' at the time, namely Stalinists vs Trotskites (at home and abroad)?

    The Germans and Axis Powers had earlier effectively declared a pact against Bolshevism (Old Jewish Bolsheviks/The Comintern and their backers) not against Stalinism per se (the latter effectively being National Socialism i.e. Socialism in One Country). Stalin had been purging the Red Army of Old Bolsheviks in the 1930s. Note - the Axis Powers were bound together by The Anti-Comintern Pact (Communist International).

    The possibility of Stalin's Russia joining that Pact was very as I read the history. To me the 1939 Non-Aggression Pact was part of that. It certainly frightened International Jewry. That's a historical fact. What followed was enigmatic... No doubt, if it is known, it is classified. As it is, I suspect ther is more to this than we know.

    Stalin could have been voted out or even arrested. He wasn't a dictator, despite what people in the West want the electorate to believe. Nor is the leader of the PRC today. The PRC is also 'Stalinist' (Democratic-Centralist). It is 5x the size that the USSR ever was....

    What really changed in 1989? We have become far more anarchisic and the UK has been Balkanized. To what end? ;-)

  • Comment number 34.

    #19 mimpromptu

    "Russian Foreign Minister, Mr Sergei Lavrov in his new book."

    I am pretty horrified by what you have said as he seemed pretty reasonable.

    But as for British National Socialists being involved I doubt it as as I mention above they are usually trying to use the Katyn massacre as a way of deflecting Holocaust responsibility onto the Russians. Its equally not a viable argument for more than a few seconds. They will usually decry the Russians but praise Stalin, even though twenty five million Russians died and the Russians shot Nazis with relish.

    The British far right are head bangers and those who associate with them with more guile come from Italy like Roberto Fiore who spoke at the BNP conference. He was once indicted, I believe, over the Bologna train station bombing.




  • Comment number 35.

    WIN A WAR - ADVANCE FIVE SPACES (#29)

    I still see it as 'Globopoly', the board game for pathetic panjandrums, that deploys hapless countries as 'pieces'. Ultimately, nothing to do with reality - just a game. Didn't Blair say something to the effect that every PM needs a war?
    What he meant was: every desperate wannabe who becomes a PM then WANTS a war, where 'want' is used in the sense of a child's wants.




  • Comment number 36.

    #10 Jaded_Jean

    "So, are we now going to rehabilitate National Socialist Germany"

    Sometimes its hard not to laugh. Why would there be a rehabilitation when there is so much evidence as to what happened.

    "Or are we going to have to endure myths peddled by somewhat paranoid, narcisstic, anarchistic, self-interested, trouble-making, 'freedom' peddlers, even longer?"

    As ever zero evidence and when you try your Holocaust "Agnostic" Jewish survival statistics (or bunk) you will fail to find a reason for not providing them to the Djemjanuk trial or why Irving lost on trial in Austria with similar arguments.

    I like freedom and democracy and and will cheerfully oppose tyranny and evil till my last breath.

  • Comment number 37.

    On Turing I can see how the authorities would have been as paranoid as hell about him, though ironically this was whilst Guy Burgess laid waste to UK intelligence.

    But then that only shows how wrong we were and why we should apologise.

  • Comment number 38.

    NOT ALL IT SEEMS: SEE AUTHORS' RACES

    thegangofone (#32) "Therefore as most genetic differences are adaptations to environment there is incredibly little difference between the races."

    Is there incredibly little difference between breeds of dogs?

    If there is incredibly little difference between people prone to breast cancer and those not? How about those at risk of other disorders?

    What does 'incredibly little difference' mean? Of course humans are very similar, but genetic differences matter. Although we have the same genes, those genes come in different forms. This is what the term polymorphism means. We are not all identical... Learn some genetics.

    What's The Human Genome Diversity Project and HAPMAP?

    Finally, try not to be misled by political flat-earthers...They can have an egregious agenda. If a group with high prevalence of certain disorders through endogamy (inbreeding) can make out we're all the same, they can potentially get many out group members (especially if their group is relatively small) to donate to causes which selectively or disproportionately benefit them. Think of the differences in group prevalence of breast cancer as a consequence of BRCA1 and BRCA2, or of NCAH and polymorphisms of CYP21 on C6p21. Sometimes, making out there is no difference between groups can be abused to secure resources at the expense of others. Especially if people do not look at the facts of the matter very closely ......... out of misplaced guilt.

  • Comment number 39.

    thegangofone (#36) "Why would there be a rehabilitation when there is so much evidence as to what happened."

    For someone with two science Masters you don't seem to be taking much of the evidence in.

    The demographics for the liberal democracies show that they have below replacement level fertility, and that they may well be dysgenic to boot. Eugenics began in Britain as an effort to reverse this. This means the Liberal-Democracies are heading for extinction, some faster than others. Below replacement level fertility is what we call biological unfitness.

    Those who deny this a) don't know the evidence or b) want this to happen.

    Germany's breeding program was about building up its population from below replacement level. Not only Chamberlain, but Keynes were members of the Eugenics Society. It's membership included the fathers of statistical testing (e.g. Fisher, Pearson etc).

    You appear not to know any of this? How is this possible for someone with two science Masters?

  • Comment number 40.

    JJ What really changed in 1989?


    the ending of the false belief that equality backed by state terrorism is the highest idea of the mind.

    the fact that market fundamentalism is also shown as a false belief could only happen when they couldn't hide behind the 'fighting against the commies' act.

    neither of them had any statistical backing for their beliefs yet people blindly go along with them. would they do that with a medicine?

    so the current religion is 'bringing democracy'. something we don't have. suppose we made afghanistan in the uk image. A hereditary head of state, a 'national' oath that is not about the nation but enshrining the privileges of one family as head of state, a national anthem which is not about the nation but a hymn to protect that family, treason laws that do not protect the public good but suppress debate that anyone else should be head of state, a second legal chamber of hereditaries and appointments, an awards system tied into the word 'empire' [as if it was a 'good' thing] etc. People would be outraged. yet that is not the system we are told 'they must have' because it is 'good'.

    so once again there is no statistical comparison between the various systems of 'democracy'. For if it was proved one was better than the other should not all rational humans choose the better?

    So we are peddled 'beliefs' not rationality. British troops are dying for something with no statistical proof that it is good or better or desirable. further it is not a system we have ourselves. which means either we think our system is better and closer the good and do not think they should have it or that their system is better and it must be denied to the uk population.



    If someone says their medicine is better we would expect 'proof' it works or call them quacks and laugh them out. Only a fool would believe them or risk their life or child's life on it. yet in the world of ideas this is exactly what we do.

  • Comment number 41.

    bookhimdano (#40) "JJ 'What really changed in 1989?'
    -
    the ending of the false belief that equality backed by state terrorism is the highest idea of the mind."


    Leaving aside the 'state terrorism' bit out (which the People's Republic of China would not agree with) you appear to have missed my point? Even in the PRC, with its riots in 1989, the riots were by the people protesting over Deng's introduction of elements of the free-market (as in the USSR) which were seen to be corrupting society.

    My point before was that the PRC is 5x the size of the USSR, is still going strong, and in fact has the USA by the economic short and curlies both in terms of capturing its manufacturing base and having them in debt! As I see that, it's prima facie evidence of them winning via economic warfare. Remember, democratic-centralism is basically what Old Labour was engineering albeit via reform rather than revolution. Is it justly described as 'state terrorism'? That's how the SWP talks (kissing cousin of Militant Tendency) - they are Trotskyites/anarchists....(closet free-marketeers/Neocons)..

    I have a nagging fear that some folk reading here may not be fully understanding my posts ;-)

  • Comment number 42.

    41...fact has the USA by the economic short and curlies both in terms of capturing its manufacturing base and having them in debt! As I see that, it's prima facie evidence of them winning via economic warfare....


    china communist?

    economic warfare is right. china's currency should be the strongest in the world. against trade rules the rest of us obey they keep it weaker than gbp. a policy that directly leeches jobs and wealth to china away from the 'democracies' including the uk. They have a huge economic spy system that literally steals products that might have needed millions to invent. Cloning and counterfeit goods are rife in china.

    for china to deny the state terrorism would be to deny the facts?

    so in the same way one might look at the local crime lord's house and car and lifestyle and say 'isn't he doing well? his system must be superior' then one might say 'isn't tyranny doing well'?

    tyranny 'looks attractive'. tyranny looks like it 'delivers'. should we not adopt tyranny? but every tyranny is founded on an army of slaves.

    economics is not the highest idea of the mind.

  • Comment number 43.

    HUMBLE GLASSHOPPER ONLY GOOD FOR GLASS-HOPPING (#41)

    Self-nag no more JJ! I (for one) have long since admitted to non-understanding of at lease parts of what you post. But then I frequently don't understand the (supposed/purported) informational content of the printed word. Perhaps my IQ is simply not up to it, or might it be that I have a specific blind-spot in that one facility? Mind you, I don't know my Trotsky from my Sulky - which doesn't help. And a perverse streak is also a handicap.

  • Comment number 44.

    the appearance of Eric Joyce is usually my 'foot through the telly' moment but here he is agreeing with me.....I am totally confused...has he confused Jeremy too?

  • Comment number 45.

    JANUS MOMENT (#44)

    Joyce has, perhaps unintentionally, thrown clear light on the 'mercenary hero'. He opines that the 'the public' will balk at too many more dead heroes, consequent to fighting for a vague idea, and seems not to realise that extreme paintballer mercenaries are 'doing the job they LOVE'(as has been stated over and over). That would mean they don't want an end wouldn't it? Is it possible that extreme paintballers - de facto - might THEMSELVES see the loss of life as 'a price worth paying'; a risk that lends a frisson - like no other - to the job they love? Is Joyce just continuing in being a disingenuous, two-faced politician?

  • Comment number 46.

    bookhimdano (#42) "china communist?

    It's worth reading the beginning of the constitution on that.

    Others might also read this at the same time (well, one after the other might do) as nationalizing (i.e putting into public aka state ownership) the means of production and communication etc is the gist of soviet/Chinese socialism, whilst privatising it is the opposite.

    Propaganda is a devilish thing...

    Sidney and Beatrice Webb (Fabians) wrote a good book on the Soviet system as the new civilization in the 30s and 40s. The Stalinist system was just the Old Labour system implemenetd in the USSR..

  • Comment number 47.

    Further to Sir Max Hastings comment about WWII and the Americans.

    It was only in the last few years that we finally paid off
    the bill which we received from the Americans.

    All of their hardware did not come without cost.
    They charged us for it.

    ---------------

 

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