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Wednesday 30 September 2009

Sarah McDermott | 17:55 UK time, Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Tonight, David Grossman has been examining some of the public service spending commitments that the Prime Minister announced yesterday in his big speech at the Labour Party conference - do the figures really add up?

In the latest installment of Sacred Cows or Prime Cuts, our Political Editor Michael Crick has unleashed his fuzzy felt on Brighton and has been asking conference delegates what areas of government spending should be saved and which should be cut.

An independent report into who started last year's conflict between Russia and Georgia has been seized on by both sides as vindication of their position. Russia said the EU-sponsored report recognised that Georgia had started the war. Georgian officials said it blamed Russia for escalating tensions. Tim Whewell will be bringing us the latest on the story, but before then you can watch his award-winning 2008 film, What really happened in South Ossetia? in which he discovered evidence that Georgia may have committed war crimes in its attack on the breakaway region in August 2008.

And following the announcement that Professor Stephen Hawking is taking up a new post as Director of Research at Cambridge University, we have a short essay by the eminent scientiston the quantum creation of the universe, motor neurone disease, and why his scientific research is better than sex.

Do join Emily in London and Jeremy in Brighton at 10.30pm on BBC Two.


  • Comment number 1.


    Winners write the history and over-elevated scientists over-certificate the current paradigm. When Hawkin, finally, taps into the 'mind of God' he is in for a shock.

  • Comment number 2.


    Or would that be too near home - as it were.


  • Comment number 3.

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

  • Comment number 4.

    #from mimpromptu
    Streetphotobeing, I'm now at home
    Having some soup both tasty and warm
    It's made of tomatoes, carrots and beetroot
    I did some sitspins on my stronger right foot

    Before proceeding to do some stitching
    With a nice lady with whom we were chatting
    While listening as well to news on the wireless
    She worked as fast as speedy Gonzales.

  • Comment number 5.

    barrie (#1) True. In my experience, good scientists don't make good celebrities, and those eager to be celebrities have in fact been very bad for science and society in general.

  • Comment number 6.


    Postscript (#5) The constant reference to his disability is a) an ad hominem (celebritism here) and b) a non sequitur

  • Comment number 7.


    An eye opener for teh few who will look?

  • Comment number 8.

    So after dithering around for a while Andy Burnham finally managed to pledge an end to hospital car parking charges, well at least for the families of inpatients. Getting rid of hospital car park charges is now complicated by the fact that they are now often a private tax paid to the PFI company. Many people may have forgotten, but this potential Corporate Nazi appease the eco-fascists policy was originally introduced by the Tories in the mid 1990s. Nottingham Council is now attempting to appease the eco-fascists with advanced plans to introduce a tax on private workplace parking.

  • Comment number 9.

    Nos 4

    Sounds like things are together mim.

    I been musing on my ideal camera - completely round sensor 9 captures a second with no mirror or shutter noise, about 25 mega pixels and no view finder. People should be forced not to look through a view finder but see with their being, on the edge of themselves.

    You know this new Canon 7D has a digital leveling device - silly.
    The only way to do it is with round sensor - lens makes round image
    circle which you can fully rotate without image loss to correct verticals
    and you don't have to think about it which means fast shooting. The other
    plane can be corrected with software as well, but bit it of image loss.

    Nikon make loud shutters, bulky cameras with a million options - why ?

    Leica make stuff with 1, 2 and 3 captures a second - far too slow at
    high cost - why ?

    All the politics is boring at the moment. Were at the end of more of the same.

  • Comment number 10.

    I don't know about you, but I'm off to contact Norman Lamb to see if I can also become a member of the 'Claire Short' fanclub.

  • Comment number 11.

    streetphotobeing (#9) Why not just send each other e-mails? Are you two exhibitionists? ;-)

  • Comment number 12.


    The silliness of politics has gone right off the scale, with the auto-elevation of Mandy to godheadhood. And why did he narrow those eyes? To tell us - with GREAT conviction (oh please let's have a conviction) that the Tories WANT cuts (whereas Labour just DO cuts). The Tories, you know, get HIGH on cuts. The Tories meet in a cave underneath a country church, and CUT ONE ANOTHER, while cackling. Good grief Mandy - is that your best shot? You are turning out to be the Prince of Light Grey Shadows - not DARKNESS!

    But wait - what's this? Is Eddie Izzard a subliminal message - of CHANGE? Oh the pain of it all.

    New Labour: haven for squeezy-eyed failed-devils and (squeezy?) uncertain blokes. Are we REALLY still a great nation? I sense a Tory landslide.

  • Comment number 13.

    Outstanding Jeremy with Lord Mandelson tonight - from the epic line about the "biggest hole in the public finances since Noah took out his mortgage," to how he pointed out how mistakes had been made regarding 24 hour drinking, identity cards and banking regulations.

    Excellent :o)

  • Comment number 14.

    #12 Barrie, you ask Q: WHAT'S WORSE THAN MANDELSON?

    Answer should be Son of Mandelson, but at least we will be spared that!

    Let's hope he buys a decent Halloween mask later this month (it's now just past the witching hour)or a really dark pair of sunglasses.
    The audience thought his speach sublime but I agree, he's subliminal.

  • Comment number 15.


    'The Black and Asian Community' (Harman)
    Is there such a thing? Perhaps like the 'Cricketing and Bowls Community'?
    Or the 'Lego and Plasticine Community'. Or might we be dodging 'non-white' to avoid giving offence or precipitating feelings of inferiority?

    Ed - music of the spheres - Balls, declared that Labour had taken the DEMORALISED TEACHERS of the Tories, and brought them out of that state. Are you sure of that Ed?

    That Andy Burnham eh? At least he is not called Ed. A man who can swagger STANDING STILL! He has given DIRECTION to prioritiy! Under Labour, a priority can be found 'going forward' (no doubt reported by the BBC as going forward 'where you are'.

    Westminster softens the brain.

    PS Newsnight. Might we have a National Debt counter, at the bottom of the screen, scrolling towards infinity?

  • Comment number 16.

    Another Motor Industry Eco-Con in the Media

    The other early evening peak time I was listening to a Radio 2 programme where the high profile celebrity DJ posed the question as to " how long should it be before you switch off your engine whilst waiting in traffic " allegedly sent in by a listener. Radio 2 had contacted Land-Rover who's engineer suggested that you should turn off your engine almost immediately you stopped and quoted some figure from the top of his head about how much ( a lot of ) money it could theoretically save you.

    I was once in a two hour discussion with a very senior Rolls-Royce aero engine engineer ( at a model railway exhibition ) on the engineering of heat engines comparing notes on our experiences. He stressed that the ultimate reliability and lifespan of any heat engine is directly related to the number of temperature cycles it goes through throughout its service life. It is therefore clear that stopping your engine and allowing it to cool from optimum working temperature frequently is not a good idea.

    Like a jet engine, this applies particularly to the service life of a turbocharger, all ERF Rolls-Royce Eagle turbocharged engine vehicles had a clear warning notice not to stop the engine unless it had been idling for at least five minutes. This is pretty simple to explain, when you stop your turbo engine the oil flow to the turbocharger bearings is immediately suspended. The heat of the turbo will then carbonize any residual oil left over, which if repeated over time will prevent the turbine blades spinning at optimum speed thus reducing engine efficiency. I have personally seen cases where turbochargers have been damaged due to an engine being stopped immediately after hard work, leading to the production of excess black smoke.

    If you foolishly follow the Radio 2 advice you could be hit with an extremely large repair bill to pass the MoT, far in excess of the cost of any fuel you theoretically saved. Of course this is just what the motor manufacturers want, you might even decide to buy a new Land-Rover Turbo diesel. I just wish that I had followed said engineers advice and bought loads of Rolls-Royce shares at that time, even after the recent stock market crash I could have been sitting on a fortune.

  • Comment number 17.

    Jeremy Paxman made the same mistake several times tonight - someone should have told him about normal working practices. Everyone makes mistakes all the time - look at the world champions in sport - who would Jeremy suggest should replace Tiger Woods when he puts a ball in the bunker? How should we be told to react when he missses the cut?
    No - the best players in government as in sport are the percentage players - those who get it right most often.
    I am not a Labour supporter, but it seems as though Gordon Brown has been right more often in the last year than anyone except Vince Cable, and Brown has been material in achieving significant international agreements. He deserves some credit for that - as was acknowledged by an award at the G20.

  • Comment number 18.

    from mimpromptu
    I think, Streetphotobeing, you are my mind reader. A right type of camera is very high on my shopping list should my financial situation change for the better. If it does, I'll contact you for more info on the matter.
    With regard to politics I also seem to be on a much more interesting plane these days though there are still some political moments that catch: my eyes, social/international awareness and sensibility, and I'm looking forward to Jeremy reporting from Manchester next week.
    Yes, let's hope the difference will be fundamental and deeply sensed /or, in fact, outsensitised in my case/.
    Looking forward to further blogging exchanges with you in the following few days, Streetphotobeing

  • Comment number 19.

    All the media gurus say how much the public dislike Gordon Brown and how unpopular he is in his party. Is is true or is it just the current media convention that has decided to be anti-Brown.

    When he died John Smith's reported character underwent an overnight revision according to the press - from dour stodgy dullard to brilliant raconteur and stimulating amusing companion. When will we actually hear the truth about Gordon Brown?

  • Comment number 20.

    from mimpromptu
    I thought Newsnight was rather good throughout tonight!

  • Comment number 21.

    and again from mimpromptu
    It really was so nice of Jayne Torvill & Christopher Dean to come and say hello to Zoia and I today on ice. It's only a shame that Sue, my other instructor, wasn't there. I'm not sure whether Jayne and Chris know Sue as well as they know Zoia so it would have been lovely to tell them that she's also playing a great part in the evolution of my technical abilities on ice.
    - I used to meet Jayne & Chris at Richmond when I was about 24/25.
    - apologies for the spelling mistakes in their names in one of my posts earlier today

  • Comment number 22.

    To commemorate the Poetry Society’s Centenary, National Poetry Day & BBC’s Poetry Season Madam Mim forwards her translation of the last few lines of a poem by a Polish poet, playwright and painter, Stanislaw Wyspianski which he addresses to Poetry itself:
    Poetry – you are but a moment, you are eternal;
    You are in charge of the moment, you are alive;
    Though but a moment and word nonsensical,
    Your strength and your power in the human soul thrive
    That neither are a moment nor an epoch passing
    You are the heart, a feeling – you’re a human being.

  • Comment number 23.

    from mimpromptu

    'The sun shines on the wicked’, a friend of mine said
    When the good news with him I shared,
    Ready on my bike to push off
    Around the streets of London the wicked to further fob off.

    It looks like there will be some sunny spells in the sky today which I hope you will enjoy

  • Comment number 24.

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

  • Comment number 25.


    Some more on Mr Brown and his strategy for 'handling' anti-social behaviour. It's worth bearing this material in mind, as if one is categorically against 'eugenics' (as birth control/family planing as most of us naturally are) as a means to better manage this (it appears to run in families and is therefore largely genetic as so much else), what is the consequence going to be as the numbers increase?

    Note, these behaviours also find their way into high places as risk takers....which many females find very attractive as power. It's even more destructive when the behaviour is accompanied by good intelligence. At least the not so bright ones are easier to catch and isolate. The brighter ones are in fact handsomely rewarded! As a reminder, see the Monty Slater debacle and its crowd here :-(

    This is a growing problem, in every sense of the word.

  • Comment number 26.


    I am in little doubt that Brown is 'split' - this is the only way to make sense of the observed, and the reported. There have been pyromaniac fire-fighters who were probably fearless and proficient in the latter skill, but . . .

    The selection, and elevation, of those who gain high office, is about as faulty as it can be. We need stability and integrity in our leaders. The place to start - I suggest - is to


  • Comment number 27.

    About Harriet Harman's speech. Here is some interesting information I have found on the blogosphere:

    In her speech to the Labour conference Harriet Harman announced:

    "And there is a very sinister development which we are determined to stop. You know trip advisor – a website where guests put their comments on line for others to see. There is now a website, like that, where pimps put women on sale for sex and then men who’ve had sex with them put their comments on line. It is ‘Punternet’ and fuels the demand for prostitutes. It is truly degrading and puts women at risk.

    Punternet has pages and pages of women for sale in London. But Punternet is based in California so I’ve raised it with the US Ambassador to London and I’ve called on California’s governor Arnie Schwarzenegger to close it down. Surely it can’t be too difficult for the Terminator to terminate Punternet and that’s what I am demanding that he does.

    And I’ve got news for him: if he doesn’t, I’ll be back."

    Actually, according to its front-page PunterNet has been going for more than ten years. There are no pimps in sight - though women working in the sex trade are active in the site's forum pages. Several have left messages today mocking Harriet's hopelessly naive comments. There's a lively thread here. One of the contributors claims that PunterNet is actually based in Ohio!

    On the site today was an open letter from the site's proprietor, who goes by the name of Galahad:

    "Dear Mrs. Harman,

    I have a few points to make regarding your recent remarks regarding my website and your fantastic demand that the Governor of California close it down.

    Firstly, PunterNet is not violating any laws. If it were, then surely the many websites catering to the US prostitution scene (where sex for pay is almost completely illegal) would already have been closed down.

    In the USA, there is a concept called "freedom of speech" which is considered the most important personal right guaranteed by the Constitution. It exists specifically to prevent the sort of abuse of power that you are attempting. The Governor (indeed, even the President) has no authority with which to shut down a perfectly lawful enterprise such as PunterNet.

    PunterNet was not the first, and is certainly not the only, website in the UK with the same subject matter. Rather than creating the demand for commercial sex, sites like PunterNet are a response to that demand, which has existed since the dawn of mankind and certainly long before the advent of the Internet!

    One of the missions of PunterNet is education - to provide information and guidance in hopes that the commercial sex scene is limited to consenting adults and those who choose of their own free will to engage in it.

    If sites like this one did not exist, and if prostitution were outlawed, then it would effectively be handed to organised crime on a platter - just as happened with liquor during Prohibition. If, on the other hand, sex-work is recognised as a legitimate, honourable profession, then there will be no market for the criminal elements, and the truly despicable aspects of the scene such as sex slavery and trafficking will die out. Surely that is a far more desirable goal than driving it back underground where it will then consist only of criminals and victims?

    In closing, I would like to thank you for the huge influx of traffic to my website which your actions have caused. I am sure that the ladies who are a part of the PunterNet community thank you as well, as they will no doubt benefit financially from the many new clients who might otherwise never have found them."

    I thought that I'd post this on here as large sections of the media seem to have completely over looked how Harriet's peculiar brand of puritanical paternalism is utterly intolerant of individual freedom and personal responsibility.

    It is surely very good news that neither Harriet or her government are likely to remain in power very long and one can only be hopeful that it will remain that way.

  • Comment number 28.

    #25 from jj's first link:
    "Although a high percentage of prisoners in England and Wales were shown in one survey to fulfill the criteria for a dissocial personality, since the diagnosis of dissocial personality includes a disregard for social rules and norms, it is not surprising that the same individuals commit crimes."

    The growing number of us experiencing 'a disregard for social rules and norms' may explain some of the growth in anti-social behaviour and what is now deemed as 'crime'. Social rules and norms have taken a downhill spiral during my lifetime and I often think 'the law is an ass' or as the public has not been democratically consulted I feel free to ignore.

    My disregard for today's 'norms' range from the the disconnect between reward and achievement (e.g. sports 'personalities' earning obscene remuneration and knighthoods, bankers pocketing my humble cash savings as their bonus) to the empowerment and equalisation of the less-deserving illiterate and ignorant.

    Up to 10% of car drivers are said to be on the roads uninsured, in some cases perhaps a response to motorists being the prime target for rip-off fines. When waiting in a single-lane traffic queue I may disregard bus lanes on a highway that I am paying for, that provide priority for transport now operated for private profit. Generally, the sort of behaviour that many (including youths) see on TV establishes their norms. Violence and personal gain seem to predominate, just as in nature.

    Hence I plead guilty to a dissocial personality, whilst regretting that mitigating circumstances e.g. a good record as a citizen is no longer taken into account by the new rules e.g 'opportunity to pay a fixed penalty' doubled if you dare challenge it.

  • Comment number 29.

    shome mistake?

    as policy is creative invention then at announcement level its not so much mistakes as the beta or the Mk1 Mk2 Mk3 etc.

    mistakes are things like dossiers, knobbling the fsa to fighten it from regulating, blocking a feed in tariff for no good reason, turning a blind eye to corruption or in another case fixing tv phone ins?

    if anything upsets the Sun then it must be doing something right. If the sun now dosen't like labour then it probably means its begun to do the right thing and should be supported? the sun has got its hat on and its looking very silly.

  • Comment number 30.

    Listened for 2 mins to the defence? minister, Puked in2 the Sick Bag.

    How easily nulabour/old labour Forget the Seventys, I DONT.

    Their FAKE Admiration for The Armed Forces is FAKE. (just like them)

    How many Military Funerals have they Attended ? EH....mmm..........NONE

  • Comment number 31.

    On Afghanistan I keep seeing things in the media about pulling out and its like Vietnam.

    But I still maintain "Is it like Vietnam?".

    If you pull out and go home what happens to Pakistan and those nuclear weapons in the long run?

  • Comment number 32.

    On Ireland I assume if they say "Yes" then Brown will promote Blair as the UK candidate for the Presidency.

    Does Cameron have to accept that candidate if the UK general election is before any acceptance by the EU of a candidate?

    Should we have a candidate who might have to answer questions on torture and who may be criticised by the Iraq inquiry once it gets going?

  • Comment number 33.

    indignantindegene (#28) "Hence I plead guilty to a dissocial personality"

    No, unlikely. Please don't read psychiatric definitions out of context. This is a technical psychiatric diagnosis (ICD-10 and DSM-IV). Most of the offenders (in the CJS) just don't care about other people's rights at all. Other people are just a source of assets for them - sound familair? It is striking when you see it. It is not just a descripton of the odd bit of rudeness or a misdemeanour. One has to look at the whole definition of a PD first and then at the chancteristics for the sub-types (which are just extremes of normal human behaviour). Like most judgements, one needs experience with a range of behaviour to get the assessment right. That is what it takes to be a professional, experience - i.e sampling.

  • Comment number 34.

    #25 Jaded_jean

    "It's worth bearing this material in mind, as if one is categorically against 'eugenics' (as birth control/family planing as most of us naturally are) as a means to better manage this (it appears to run in families and is therefore largely genetic as so much else), what is the consequence going to be as the numbers increase?"

    1. When you talk about eugenics then there are the 1930's to consider and there is the implication of euthanasia, sterilisation and of course the Holocaust - that you believe was "made up to put people off "statists".

    Thats a tad beyond family planning.

    2. You also believe in race "realism" and don't accept the findings of the largest global genetic study of DNA that confirms there are very few differences between the races. Newfazer, who has very similar views to you, believes that "The Incredible Human Journey" - based on that study - "fooled" the public but offered no reasons to believe that view.

    3. Given your take on "The Last Nazis" was that it was "all spin and propaganda" and you have in the past described me as " an anarchist and Trotskyite" for "painting Hitler as darkly as possible" some may conclude that you would be unlikely to persuade a multicultural society to accept such views.

    4. There will be those that say the people are not happy with a multicultural society. Yet the general elections will show again that the huge majority vote for the democratic parties that do accept the benefits of multiculturalism.

    5. The BNP are the only party that I would describe as non-democratic. But then they "are not a Nazi party" and therefore must be "anarchists and Trotskyites" as they are Nationalists and not National Socialists.

  • Comment number 35.


    It's how we've been sold 'em - (as sinecures).

    What's the betting that BAE prosecution, like regulation and the K&P inveestigation, is not in the Public Interest or interest of national security?

  • Comment number 36.

    The other day I commented on the BNP London Assembly Member who was forced to accept an ethics curse having brought the council and London Assembly into disrepute by referring to three local murders that never happened.

    He attributed this aberration to a combination of dyslexia and church bells ringing. He did not intend to lie.

    Dyslexia is a genuine condition but I have never heard of such an outcome from apparently unrelated factors.

    The moderators pulled my query yet I wonder if they are trying to take fairness to the point that the BNP are in fact protected from legitimate democratic scrutiny?

    Is such a story usual?
    Does it explain why the police get people wasting their time with false complaints?
    If the bells had rung for longer or there had been a pneumatic drill would there have been more "local murders"?
    What will prevent the BNP London Assembly Member from having a recurrence of the problem at a later date?
    Has Question Time checked whether Nick Griffin is dyslexic and whether there are any local churches or roadworks that may impact on factual accuracy when he appears on the programme?

    Gordon Brown has always been open about how he lost his eye - in a rugby accident.

    Will we find out whether Griffin did lose his eye to a shotgun cartridge in a fire?

  • Comment number 37.

    #15 barriesingleton

    "'The Black and Asian Community' (Harman)
    Is there such a thing? Perhaps like the 'Cricketing and Bowls Community'?
    Or the 'Lego and Plasticine Community'. Or might we be dodging 'non-white' to avoid giving offence or precipitating feelings of inferiority?"

    Given there are no significant differences between races why does the colour matter in the first place and why should equality engender feelings of inferiority?

  • Comment number 38.

    On Harmans attack on the Sun for not being renowned for equality but for page three - isn't it a bit late in the day for a "Blair Babe" to start on the equality for women path when most of society has moved onto equality for all?

  • Comment number 39.


    Accorisxng to Mr Milband, 'we' (under 9000 troops against how many Taliban?) are in Afghanistan to prevent another 9/11 (which happened in NYC where the dominant white group is, in fact, Jewish, according to the statistics). But as 9/11 was probbaly the result of 'our' being in Iraq in the early 90s, it's all a bit difficult to tell what leads to what, especially given that 7/7 in London was home grown and probably the result of 'our' being in Iraq for a second time. It doesn't take much to inspire not very smart young males to do very stupid, criminal, acts for a cause, alas. Afghanistan is to the East of Iran, just as Iraq is to its West....

    Iran is a bit critical of Israel. Too critical given its own WMDs and resistance to letting the IAEA have a peek...

  • Comment number 40.

    thegangofone (#34) "Thats a tad beyond family planning."

    This is something you keep imagining. It is not what I am talking about.

    Eugenics just means good breeding. It was coined by Sir Francis Galton to deve;op policies which offset the problem of dysgenesis. if one does not offset dysgenesis, cultures/civilizations collapse. It is an entropic process. In most applications, eugencics refers to family planning, populaton management, etc. In some cases it can be abused.

    For the wider context of this issue, see the abortionists vs pronatalists, right-to-die capaginers, the arguments for genetic screening etc.

    If you sell bottles, some people will break them and use them to cut people's faces open. You really do have to learn to think and write more rationally, or people like myself will tell you that you are irrational.

  • Comment number 41.

    thegangofone (#38) "38. At 1:27pm on 01 Oct 2009, thegangofone wrote:
    On Harmans attack on the Sun for not being renowned for equality but for page three - isn't it a bit late in the day for a "Blair Babe" to start on the equality for women path when most of society has moved onto equality for all?"

    I suspect, given this material, she must know this. There are things which she does not seem to know, but this is surely not one of them? Can you see why?

  • Comment number 42.

    I YIELD (#37)

    Oh Gango - Gango - Gango. For goodness sake do an 'irony course'. I was hoisting Harperson with her own Petard @15. All this subtlety - and I get YOU reading it.

    Incidentally, when Sweet (swing low) Harriet was acting PM, she wore a pair of high heels that put her knees 'over-centre' such that rising from the bench was difficult. Bit of a cop-out, what?

  • Comment number 43.


    On the odd occasion I am confronted (!) by Page 3, I am in no doubt who is manipulated by whom. Sorry Harriet, somehow you don't have the same effect - even in the heels. Perhaps that is why you are so irritable.
    Incidentally, your voice is too high - shrill even - ever to orate effectively. Leave that to the men.

  • Comment number 44.


    Has anyone commented that Paxo had his man pinned on contentious subject 'A' (forget what) so Mandy 'drew analogy' with contentious subject 'B' (that he clearly felt he could weasel to his advantage) and successfully got Paxo of-message. One does begin to wonder . . .

  • Comment number 45.

    mimpromptu here

    I have slightly changed my stanza on wickidness and am also sendiing an update on my whereabouts:
    'The Sun shines on the wicked', a friend said to me
    And what will be the outcome? Let's just wait and see.

    I'm by the Law Courts in Parliament Square
    Real life views with pics to compare
    It looks very good the way it's designed
    The cafe's still closed to drinkers of wine
    I wonder how in future it's going to fare.

  • Comment number 46.

    thegangofone (#37) "Given there are no significant differences between races why does the colour matter in the first place and why should equality engender feelings of inferiority?"

    Can you see any difference in height between people? Are the sexes the same height? Are they all equal in your eyes? As you look across the world, do you see all the people of the world as 'the same' as 'equal'.

    Do yiu know why intelligence tests make discrimination so central? It's because it is basic to telling what is the same and what is different. We have equivalence in logic and maths, but it's quite a tricky oprator/ Is only one of the logical connectives. Others are AND, OR, NOT, IF-THEN, SOME, ALL. Greater Than and Less Than are useful too. Superior and inferior if you like. Is 2 inferior or superior to 7?

    You appear to be missing out on a little. Well, for someone with two science masters, quite a lot actually...

    Try to be more discriminating, it will make you appear much smarter.

  • Comment number 47.

    Postscript (#46) Is all blood equal? Are all livers, kidneys equal? Whatever you are working on at night, I hope it isn't in a hopsital or lab. Your grasp of these matters is not very good. In fact, it's dangerous.

  • Comment number 48.


    "Mr Hague said: “David Miliband has just insulted the Latvian government, most of whose member parties have attended the commemoration of Latvia's war dead.

    “Just because Latvia is a small country does not give the Foreign Secretary the right to put cheap party spin before the national interest."

    Don't they know that 'Nazis' are leftists? ;-)

    More much ado about nothing to keep the electorate confused.

  • Comment number 49.

    Having spent all day watching journalists continually interrupting and generally being rude to the Prime Minister, was a real joy to see Jeremy Paxman actually conduct a probing interview with Lord Mandelson last night in which the Business Secretary was actually allowed to speak and answer the questions!


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