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Wednesday 14 October 2009

Len Freeman | 16:36 UK time, Wednesday, 14 October 2009

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


Tonight, Newsnight hopes to bring you breaking news on the Afghan Conflict. Our Diplomatic Editor is squirreled away, firming things up, so forgive me if, for obvious reasons, I don't go into more detail right now. It should all make sense at 10.30pm.

What we can spell out - indeed what the PM himself spelled out to the Commons this afternoon - was that another 500 British troops would be sent to Afghanistan. He imposed certain conditions - namely that Afghanistan itself would have to train more soldiers and NATO would have to commit more troops and, curiously, that the UK service personnel would have to be properly equipped - a condition presumably, well within his grasp.

The announcement came after one of the most sombre PMQs I can remember - dominated not by future troops, but by those who had lost their lives in Afghanistan during the summer recess. The roll call of the dead - 37, since Parliament last met - took a full two minutes to read out and left its shadow on all the House proceedings thereafter. Tonight, we'll be asking not just about strategy in Afghanistan but about purpose.

Also tonight, we put the Greens on Trial:

Would the cause for climate change be more widely accepted - and acted upon - if their proposal had involved fewer hair shirts and a less cloying scent of burning martyr?
Or - to switch that round - is it possible to be properly green and carry on living our rather carbon-extravagant lives?

The mainstream politicians would tell you that you can - is it only the Greens who are honest enough to tell us sacrifice is essential? Our studio panel of radicals will include Zac Goldsmith and Caroline Lucas.

Read Justin Rowlatt's blog

Also you might recall last night Jeremy promised we'd be throwing a couple of MPs to the lions. Well, you can find out what they made of that one. In the spirit of the Green debate, it might be enough to turn even a lion vegan.

Join me tonight at 10.30pm on BBC Two.



  • Comment number 1.


    We are to increase our contribution towards NATO forces in Afghanistan by 500 to 9500 if we can find the necessary kit. Apparently, the joke out there, is that ISAF really stands for 'I see Americans Fighting'. Why, given the threat the terrorist threat (which the Taliban allegedly pose) is to the world, isn't the SCO (i.e China and Russia mainly) or Indonesia or India, Burma, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Thailand etc also fighting the Taliban?

    Is it because the forces in Afghanistan and Iraq are really there to put pressure on Iran on Israel's behalf? Is that why the IDF are not helping out US and UK forces? Are gentile US and UK citizens helping out their Jewish populations? Can anyone suggest why that is not the case?

  • Comment number 2.

    'Mrs Ellerbeck died after a 55-minute struggle with her husband that left her with 45 external injuries.'

    Eight years for this ? crikey he shouldn't be let out.

    Israel will probably hit Iran's nuke facilities. The Pak situation via Afgan is more of a worry. The truth is if a people cant control their own and its deemed necessary to do by outside force, it has to be extreme - force majeure . So far in history no one has done it in Afgan, its this plus Pak nukes which makes it very worriesome.

  • Comment number 3.

    ¥58 from mimpromptu


    Why worry about others? People can, in fact, be quite unobtrusive, I find. A nod here, a smile there, even from the policemen and passers by around the Parliament, that's what I get normally.
    You could just pop in to Queen's, choose a tune from my mostly exciting collection which I could glide and twirl to for you and then we could go snapping around the streets of London. I have by now bolt quite a collection snapping away with my Kodak and iPhone cameras.

    Re: the situation in the Middle East is worrying which I suspect is being intensified by some crackpots in Europe.


  • Comment number 4.

    The Media, the Nu Cons and it’s supporters, and some myopic members of the GBP have tried for some time to convince that the most incompetent person in the UK lives at N0 10 Downing Street! ( Why does the maxim ... If you say it enough, people will believe it ... come to mind.) I have to say that I can find absolutely no reason to agree with the anti Brown proposition.

    However .........

    A potential contender for the Honour sic could well be the person citing a - well rehearsed? - defence of the HMP’s upset at the expenses scandal at 08.10 on today’s Today! sic.

    Is this person real? Can she ever answer a question, assuming she even listens to the question? Whom does she represent? The GBP that elected her, seemingly not! Certainly, as Deputy Leader of the Labour Party she does not openly profess to want the the party to follow it’s leader’s proper example.

    Perhaps it is just a case that someone has been promoted beyond their capacity and capability?

    Motto suggestion for this individual ......

    Hurry up harming.

  • Comment number 5.

    basically the govt hasn't the courage to admit they are pursuing a false narrative. so others are dying to keep their false beliefs alive.

    apparently only the 'threat that training camps might become established' is enough to perpetuate, now an 8 year, war in afghanistan but not somalia, sudan, yemen etc? Given the uk bombers were british why are we not bombing our own cities with the same shinning eyed conviction then? after all could there not be training camps in the uk? if british citizens are going out to fight in iraq and afghanistan then is not the uk a breeding ground for 'terrorists'? should we not be invaded, regime changed and 'brought democracy'?

    there is no end game to that logic because there is no end to where 'terrorists' might have support systems.

    why did we not invade ireland or the usa even though the ira had support systems there? why have we suddenly thought that is a good idea to invade any country that has support system among a small proportion of the population?

    some say the financial crisis is divine punishment for this set of false beliefs that makes perpetual war with no end.

  • Comment number 6.

    I rather get the impression that due to the BBC's rather cozy arrangement with the eco-fascists over recent years tonight's " greens on trial " will be a complete and utter whitewash.

    Take the eco-fascist position on Traffic Calming, lower speed limits generally and blanket 20 Mph speed limits in towns.

    I believe that the latest statistics are 82% extra CO2, 37% extra NOX, The pollution problem is compounded by drivers driving over humps in too high a gear which means that the potentially toxic unburnt hydrocarbon pollutants linked to lung disease are probably doubled. A 20 Mph Zone allegedly increases CO2 by a " less pregnant " than humps at least 10%, but the potentially toxic unburnt hydrocarbon pollutants linked to lung disease problem remains. When I was waiting at a local village I observed cars coming up the steep hill and going around the corner. Many ( including petrol cars ) emitted black smoke due to being in too high a gear as taught by useless driving instructors to pass the quasi-religious driving test. It could be said that traffic calming is a greater risk to public health than latent asbestos or passive smoking ?

    It would appear that traffic calming has become a TB infested sacred cow for the eco-fascist leaning groups who were originally and still campaign for its introduction. It would appear that the eco-fascists cling to traffic calming in the belief that divers will be " irritated " out of their cars and use the train, at least a few anyway. If anyone had deliberately set out to design death traps for cyclists its doubtful whether they could have made a better job of it than traffic calming. I believe the Green Party have now opted for the " less pregnant " option of 20 Mph speed limits but still fail to admit their original mistake.

    FoE have known about this since I wrote to them in the mid 1990s, I never received a reply so rang them at head office only to be given loads of abuse by one of their then senior members.

    Take the greens position on reducing speed limits, a recent government study found that by taking measures to ensure everyone stuck to the current speed limits would increase CO2 emissions by 3%. The 40 Mph National Speed Limit the greens were pushing would not only lead to extra pollution but cripple the rural economy by putting transport back into the 1930s. Since the 1930s and up to 1974 local councils wisely spent a fortune bringing many stretches of rural roads up to a standard where they were safe to travel at up to the then limit of 70. Fair enough you could theoretically save fuel enforcing the motorway speed limit, but cutting the rural speed limit will give the Corporate Nazi's running the Post Office the excuse they need for more rural post office closures. Of course any green party supporters will claim unintended consequences when their whole outlook is based on flawed science and quasi-religion.

    It doesn't end there, the current prospect of the lights going out due to power cuts is due to alleged environmentalists preventing private companies from investing in any new coal or nuclear power stations over the last 20 years. Even to think about it would have hit power companies with massive legal bills from parasitic lawyers keen to jump on any bandwagon for a false profit.

    The result has been loads of new gas fired power stations which have wasted our once ample north sea gas reserves when the gas would have been far more useful for direct more efficient domestic use. Again, the eco-fascists organized local campaigns against underground gas storage projects, so they never got built yet the lawyers made a fortune and how much has the taxpayer forked out on public enquires due to the eco-fascists. Household gas prices must be far higher than they would have been if ample storage capacity existed.

    No chance of getting energy from waste off the ground, Severn Barrage etc, both of which could have reduced energy prices in the UK. The result of 20 years of the government appeasing the eco-fascists is that everything costs far more than it needed to have done. The eco-fascists stock market parasite private individual funders are laughing all the way to collecting their next fat false economic growth bonus. Everyone is forced to emit more carbon just to maintain their existing standard of living.

    If the eco-fascists grew up and actually took notice of the evidence they could cut road transport emissions by up to 10% and actually make road transport cheaper. Perhaps its ironic that high road fuel taxes actually diminish the scope for economically viable recycling, take this pre oil crisis example. It won't cost a fortune to remove all the idiotic safety inspired small diameter roundabouts which have littered our trunk roads over the past 20 years and replace them with " smart " part time traffic lights. I don't know just how much carbon it equates to off the top of my head, but a HGV traversing one of said roundabouts will consume up to a litre of extra fuel.

    Its not really new to be environmentally friendly by conserving resources but back in the 1920s the Southern Railway were recycling the oil from engine cleaning cloths for use in wagon axleboxes. The key to environmental efficiency is cheap transport, which really ended in the 70's. Back in the 1970s the company I worked for did all the main transport for Serfco at Darwen. Their main job was recycling cast iron borings from the heavy engineering industry, customers included British Leyland Coventry engine plant, Vickers at Barrow and a couple of places up in central Scotland. They regularly supplied products to locations as far apart as Larbert and Dover, with Mexborough in South Yorkshire and Kilmarnock. That's how I got right into the heart of Ravenscraig steel works, the cast iron borings were heated and pressed into " piglets " about the size of an egg. You can't put cast iron borings straight into a furnace, they wont melt and just float on the top, piglets solved that problem. They also supplied Manganese and Silicon in brick form, likewise Fleish blocks, cast iron borings glued together with various elements.

    Even before the ultimate demise of the foundry industry Serfco went bust due to a ship containing an export order to Turkey being held up outside port for months due to paperwork. The site at Darwen closed and they set up again on a smaller scale somewhere near Birmingham. I suspect that they are no longer trading. Since the introduction of the Road Fuel Tax Escalator, once environmentally friendly industry like the paper recycling mill at Settle have all gone by the wayside. Perhaps if Hitler had sent " fifth columnists " to sabotage the UK manufacturing economy he could not have done better than alleged environmental groups.

  • Comment number 7.


    I have my own views on this but as part of the feature on whether the Greens are harming their own cause, could you ask if there is any evidence that those opposing these causes ever infiltrate such movements and encourage counter productive actions ,

    would the Oil companies for example do such a thing, or in some instances the State,

    during the Miners strike leaders of the Miners such as Joe Gormley where actually informing on their own people, such people running such actions could conceivably take actions (or do not take them) that harmed their own cause?

    in terms of the motivations of such people how is it that so many start on the left and end on the right, or is it just BAAAAAAAA-humbug -sorry for the little joke here, is this relevant to the story tonight?

  • Comment number 8.

  • Comment number 9.

    from mimpromptu
    I just thought that if you have any children you could bring them down to London with you at the weekend, Sunday is usually better at around 2 pm, I could skate with them for a bit and then we could go off snapping the sights of London together. Just a thought, though.

  • Comment number 10.

    from mimpromptu
    I do not think that the Westminster representatives of the British public understand the seriousness involved in the 'game'. If they leave it too late, it may get too late and the UK will be embroiled in even more wars and international conflicts with a high price both financially and from the human lives point of view.
    To start off it would be enough for at least one of them to say the word of denunciation, as Mr Barrie Singleton puts. I should imagine the others would then follow suite. So it's a question of rising to the occasion and not being too afraid of one's own personal apprehensions. It would be, in fact, a sort of heroism to do this.
    Tonight's Newsnight looks like a good case study in this respect but unfortunately I'm not able to watch it tonight.

  • Comment number 11.

    In the Green discussion about nuclear power, no mention has been made of the byproducts of nuclear fission - some of which will continue to be radioactive for thousands of years. The problem of safe disposal of these byproducts really does have no solution, fifty years after scientists have tried to find one. No material that they could be stored in will outlive the half-life of some of these radioactive isotopes - eventually they will seep out into the oceans or the water table. This is the fundamental reason why nuclear technology is not a solution.

  • Comment number 12.

    Al gore was given a nobel Prize. Did they not award Kissinger a Nobel prize for peace? Climate change and the new refrain that we have only six yrs to save the planet is starting to really annoy me. I have a solution: gather up all the greens and lock them into a big hanger, let them waffel - like they do - and the hot air produced could be tapped and used to heat the swimming pools of southern England...well at least its a start.

    Seriously, man ain't warming the planet...its the ******* sun.
    And Zak is wasted on this issue.

  • Comment number 13.

    Green feature a complete whitewash, only scratched the surface leaving the field wide open for the Corporate Nazi's to exploit. Do presenters never read the blogs or are they just too blinkered to examine all the evidence. Stock market went ballistic today ( mostly mining stocks ) on the prospect of more troops in Afghanistan, like all wars throughout modern history its just a virtual welfare state for the stock market parasites.

  • Comment number 14.

    Franny Armstrong was on Newsnight a few weeks ago broadcasting from America where she was launching her film. She could have emailed the film to the US and arranged a video conference to promote it but chose to fly over there instead.

    If she believed that the world really was going to end she wouldn't have done that.

  • Comment number 15.

    How disappointing that yet again, nobody mentioned the elephant in the climate changing room. The human race is breeding too much, and that is the biggest threat of all.

    ( For respectable detail, see the Optimum Population Trust site, the increased population clock whirring round, and their list of organisers including David Attenborough)

    With up to half of today's babies expected to be on earth for a hundred years, we must regard producing a baby as an extravagant and antisocial luxury.

    The Chinese one child plan transformed the prospects of their country and of their citizens

    We need to challenge the notion that fiddling around with low energy light bulbs, and everything else currently popular with p.c. greenery, is mere deckchairs on the Titanic. It is not acceptable for serious discussions to allow this matter to be unmentioned.

  • Comment number 16.

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

  • Comment number 17.

    I urge everybody to scroll back to #8 and follow the link to the interview of James Lovelock by Simon Sacher. I was blown away by it. It takes the green debate to a completely different level. Many thanks brossen99.

  • Comment number 18.


    Do I recall that Emily has more accomplishments than you can shake a red stiletto at? Why then does she suffer her efforts to be backed by the crass Video-Wall? Today it excelled. Behind the head of Zac G, a barrage balloon IN REVERSE, strolled into view from the right, reappearing time-and-again. Also, the wind turbines - desperately lethargic in some sort of sympathy - WERE ROTATING BACKWARDS. No wonder detractors complain about the output!

    THEN THERE WERE THE LECTERNS! What were they 'saying' to the soft-brained viewer? (Cue JJ.) Was the subliminal message 'preach' or 'dogmatic' or just 'bored producer thrashing about for EDGINESS'? Why do the ninnies allow themselves to be so manipulated? I can understand Ms Lucas - she of the manipulated (surely not low-energy) eyebrows - being unmoved, but ALL THREE? Oh Newsnight! Will you soon put your ninny-interviewees on unicycles and make them juggle? Or perhaps you will get really 'now' and gunge them, in mid spiel?

    All in all, I reckon I must rush out and place a bet on your imminent winning of some media award for - er - for . . .

    Point of order. As stated before: we are an island, and the constant moon is still in place. Ergo: tides will continue round our shores. Off-shore tidal turbines give guaranteed output, day and night. There are some recent improvements in this field, but they have no 'waste' to make bombs out of and they are a serious threat to oil - unlike wind turbines. Our best minds should be extracting this energy at its highest efficiency, but little is heard of it. (Cue JJ.)

  • Comment number 19.

    Well as nothing much was happening here I popped off to read Mark Eastons blog...

    The comments there make very interesting reading, and ring very, very true!

  • Comment number 20.

    Point of order. As stated before: we are an island, and the constant moon is still in place. Ergo: tides will continue round our shores. Off-shore tidal turbines give guaranteed output, day and night. There are some recent improvements in this field, but they have no 'waste' to make bombs out of and they are a serious threat to oil - unlike wind turbines. Our best minds should be extracting this energy at its highest efficiency, but little is heard of it. (Cue JJ.)

    Very good point Barrie, one I often think about, but no ones bothering are they? Although I think a while back I did see this long drum like thing that someone was experimenting with.

  • Comment number 21.


    Lots more on the web. Why is sea power the poor relation in our (supposed) drive for clean power? Might it be the ususal corruption that Britian does so much more insidiously than the simple foreigner?

  • Comment number 22.

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

  • Comment number 23.

    from mimpromptu
    I misread the name of nancyblake and thought it was nancybloke. As I’ve already made up a ditty with nancybloke in it, I might as well post it:
    The nancybloke has been reborn
    Speaking of nukes for all to know
    And how much damage they potentially could do
    Were they released without ado.

  • Comment number 24.

    from mimpromptu to Barrie Singleton
    Barrie, you do have the gift of the pen. Do you have the gift of the gab like Barack as well?

  • Comment number 25.

    from mimpromptu
    There are rumours hovering around about innovative ways of expressing love.
    I wonder whether you too believe in the pin and puncture dental love?
    If you're not asleep yet, may I wish you a good night? As for myself, I'm off to hit the pillow in a few moments.

  • Comment number 26.

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

  • Comment number 27.

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

  • Comment number 28.

    from mimpromptu
    I've just read a 'fascinating' piece of news on one of the Polish websites.
    Apparently for a short period of time in 1917 Benito Mussolini worked as an agent for the M15 earning a lot of money which he mostly spent on sexual entertainment. In the magazine that he owned at the time he would not only publish pro-war articles but also claimed that he had the power to employ war veterans to beat up peace demonstrators.
    Plus, there is an interesting piece of information on today's BBC Homepage in the bottom left corner bloggers. You may just want to have a look.

  • Comment number 29.

    from mimpromptu
    I understand that serious troubles are brewing up in the Russian Parliament with several deputies walking out in protest against Putin yesterday. It is claimed that this is a sign that there is a fierce battle going on right at the top of Russian politics.

  • Comment number 30.

    from mimpromptu probably the final piece of news emerging from Poland this morning.
    Apparently in Maria children's home run by Fransiscan nuns in a small Polish city kids suffering from severe brain disease, autism and Down's Syndrome were being beaten up and tortured. The scandal was uncovered by a tourist who had heard and seen the poor kids crying and maltreated by the nuns and who recorded the events with his own camera. Although not every sister was involved, those who weren't were afraid to speak up.

  • Comment number 31.

    DISLOYAL TOAST (let's make them)

    I woke to the ringing, impassioned cry: "THEY ARE NOT CROOKS" (Today Program).

    No Madame - they are WESTMINSTER MPs, a very special subset of HomSap, not one of whom denounced or decried the bizarre configuration, and farcical function of that folly filled folly. Westminster, with it party games, is the ruination of Britain, in many more ways than - thus far - uncovered.


  • Comment number 32.

    I'm not sure I can add anything to the excellent posts above but here's my twopenneth.

    first, I come from a so-called 'professional' background and married into the trades class, that's where my perspective comes from. I was part of the naive middle-class that put Blair in power thinking that I was supporting the working class.

    1. council housing was/is not 'something for nothing' - it supplemented the very low wages in the manual sector, just as tax credits supplemented the low wages that corporations currently pay

    2. the working class was encouraged to be passive through the council house system and NHS because it suited the professional class to take control of 'thinking' and thereby reassure themselves how much superior they were, in order to justify their disproportionate salaries

    3. many people who've worked hard have been rewarded for their achievements by seeing their pensions collapse

    4. working class culture is wholly unrecognised by Middle class culture but was actually a fine culture with extensive support networks firstly dismantled through moving communities to modernist skyscrapers - the early ones of which attempted to emulate the sociable working class street environment. working class communties were further disrupted by the collapse of industries

    5. films of Braford in the 1970s show 'English' Pakistanis - the return to traditional Pakistani culture began with the closure of the industries

    6. The Middle class is not multi-cultural it is multi-racial - the Middle class - polite society, call it what you will - has strict rules of behaviour and you will not get in unless you follow them whatever colour you are. For example, head scarves were quickly abandoned in the law courts (even though they seem set to survive in medicine and politics).

    7. The political class has ignored the many benefits that immigrants, for the most part deriving from extended families with strong familial obligations, get through their (culturally/racially exclusive) networks in this country and with their homeland.

    8. As well as networks, relative affluence has been mentioned - indigenous peoples have no cheap sources of goods/services from other countries nor can they save to buy property in another homeland at vastly reduced cost to over here

    9. Indigenous communities may not want to move from an area - compare what is going on socially with ideas such as 'terroir' in the food movement - some people want to stay in the area where they grew up

    10. speaking of terroir - many immigrants are not bound by any sense of loyalty to this nation - an eyeopener recently was working in a famous fast food restaurant where english as a first language was about 30%. The staff room Manglish was all about how to get benefits, how to get citizenship, how best to use dual nationality, which countries are 'good' to go to etc.

    11. we are in danger of seeing this problem as white only - it is not, it relates also to immigrants who did integrate into the working class (as opposed to integrating into the professional class, which as said previously, is compulsory)

    12. the fragmentation of society is wholly in-line with documented EU policy to create 'autonomous communities' throughout the EU - there will be immigrant communties, wwc communities and wmc communities - I someitmes think that genetic analysis would show that the wwc and wmc are statistically different celt-norse-germanic hybrids.

    13. it is pitiful to hear my working class friends supporting the false rationale for the war in afghanistan that they have been fed, but they have to or otherwise how do they cope with the loss of their sons and brothers?

    14. I'm no witch so I'm just going to repeat that the professional class has ALWAYS despised the working class - think of all the derogatory words you hear day in day out about builders, hoodies, kids hanging outside the shops etc. etc. - but these are people with an oral, sociable culture whose descendants have built the fabric of this country with their bare hands and for very little remuneration

    Don't Vote! it is the only thing (great word from a great heritage - actually means debate not object) that will scare the westminster village because they like to believe that they are doing a good job.

  • Comment number 33.

    woops! so sorry - I followed Lizzie's link and posted to the wrong blog. :)

  • Comment number 34.

    ah, mods, please don't suppress me, that took ages and i don't have a copy

  • Comment number 35.

    #21 Yes Barrie that's the one I saw on telly a while back, whatever happened to it. Is there more money to be made in wind generation? This wave one seemed so simple and efficient and reliable, now we couldn't have that could we?!!!

  • Comment number 36.

    from mimpromptu
    As you know, every day I browse through a couple of Polish websites but I also regularly look into Krystyna Janda's /English pronunciation Yanda/ because:
    There is a lovely lady called Janda
    Who played in some films made by Wajda
    Wonderful humour she has
    Warmth and humanity, whereas
    My middle name, would you believe, is Magda.

    P.S. The English pronunciation of the /Oscar winning/ Polish film director's name is: Vayda.
    Do you think, Streetphotobeing, that this particular ditty could be considered a limerick?
    Hope you have a good day

  • Comment number 37.

    Hey #32 wappaho, please post this in full on Mark Eastons blog, it is so appropriate.

  • Comment number 38.

    Last night's "Trial of the Greens" must be the most inbalanced programme ever broadcast on the BBC. How can you have a trial without a competent prosecutor. What we saw was a rather hapless Maitliss mildly bowling underarm for SIX defendants to hit to the boundary,they also appeared to be looking at notes on the podiums. Why was the format of the moral maze not used, where four interview an individual. It was quiteevident that the programme did not really want to expose the weaknesses in the Greens'case eg.
    1. The world is getting colder not warmer and according to the Met Office this may well carry on for decades even though the trend is probably upward over the century. Models have not forecasted this coling since they are simplistic and undeveloped at present.
    2. Arctic ice has recovered this year, historically the N W Passage has been open in the recent geological past.
    3. Living standards worldwide are getting better not worse for an increasing proportion of the population.
    4. The recent Yamal bristlecone tree ring controversy has shown the incredible shenanigans of the IPCC in corrupting data.
    5. Huge oli finds recently in Brazil ergo - no energy crisis.
    6. There is no shortage of uranium since it reacts to market forces - Romain Garcier - Geography, Autumn 2009.
    7. This morning's pronouncements on the Catlin Expedition based on data where the electronic data collection had failed, and they did not get within 400 Kms of the Pole. Yet the press release had presumably already been written.

    Etc, etc.

    As a former parliamentary candidate ( not Conservative I may add) I would have been immediately disciplined for straying off the party line as Zac Goldsmith did last night - I hope David Cameron was watching!!

  • Comment number 39.

    I watched James Lovelock - very interesting. How amazing for 90! I don't like SS, he's too aggressive for my liking and he's stuck in classical language that sometimes spoils the interview, like talking in double negatives to ESL diplomats etc., who simply get confused.

    Anyway - things are never what they seem are they?

    Eco-politics is premised on misunderstood science, yet again - wind farms DON'T work, nuclear energy IS a solution, MAN's stupidity does not create climate change nor his intelligence cure it.

    Uncontrolled immigration is inevitable, 8bn must go (after we've reached 9bn).

    But there is an irony to a man, even a great and logical man, spouting forth on the uselessness of wind farms and welcoming the coming 'rebirth' through uncontrolled immigration, of a new urban culture - whilst sitting outside his idyllic old country house beside a meandering river flanked by twittering and twitching grassy banks. Wind in the willows?

  • Comment number 40.

    #32 from mimpromptu
    I've only browsed through your post but have picked up a few points with which I don't agree. There are all sorts of people, families, groups in each class, be they the Royalty, the aristocrats, the professionals, the arty ones, the middle/lower ones or the workers. Some have shed or are prepared to shed their prejudices, whichever group they belong to, while others will never do because, while I don't really know wny. Maybe because they are stuck up little people, or something like that.

  • Comment number 41.

    I do wish the BBC would take a more balanced view ib the Climate warming issue instead of presenting it as a doctrine of faith from which around which all related issues can be debated.

    There is more than sufficient evidence to suggest that the world is not getting any warmer at the moment, and sufficient doubt to suggest that man's role in influencing the climate is vastly over stated. It would be good to see more discussion on these issues and allow the Greens to answer these challenges.

    There real danger is that by pursuing these vain attempts to control emissions we damage and undermine the basis of our economy and quality of life without making the slightest impact on the climate. We will also be denying millions - if not billions of peopl;e in developing countries the opportunity to aspire to the standards of living that we enjoy. I see this as a much greater threat to mankind.

  • Comment number 42.

    Re. Lizzie's link to Mark Easton's blog - I think there's a literary catharsis going on. 44, 45, 47 (I wish I'd written that one), 48.

  • Comment number 43.

    #35 from mimpromptu
    Are you referring to the waving Madam Mim in this post by any chance?
    I'd be most interested to know.

  • Comment number 44.

    from mimpromptu
    Did you watch Newsnight in full? I haven't but am wondering whether the piece about the nude people was exciting at all. How about the other viewers, what do you think?
    I'd be much obliged for honest answers.

  • Comment number 45.


    Rubbish. Climate change is a soundbite that is easy to use. Discussing climate change is like only focusing on the tyres of a car for an MoT. Ignore the brakes and you are most likely to run in to the back of a bus the next day no matter how good the tyres.

    If the trajectory of development of the planet (the whole planetary system, not just some sub system called climate) is not altered. Global ecological life support systems will crash in 40 months. Take that under the precautionary principle.

    Don't let all this nonsense of 6 years, 8 years or 2050 lull you into some false sense of security or complacency.


    Never got what Barrie goes on about re Kirsty until last week. Had to go the hospital for a check up. The lady at reception said wtn r n.

    I knew what see meant but I had to ask her again with jaw dropping trembling anticipation. WTN R N.

    Yes I finally got it. Waiting Area One. The vowels are removed but the secret is to make up new consonant sounds. See N we already pronounce it with an eN sound, all that is required is to modify the sound somewhere between e and u to give e-uN and you get one.

    R is already aR or Rer. So only a slight modification is required to do away with the vowels aea in area. Only a modified consonant r is required.

    W T N waiting!

    By Jove I've finally got it.

    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 46.

    mim - I think it just goes back to the macro-micro argument. Of course there are all sorts...

    [and that's part of my point anyway - low income people or manual workers get terribly criticised for being amoral in various ways, dishonest, lush etc., but in my experience there's a fair bit of that in universities too]

    ...but if you never make generalisations you end up where we are now, not be able to criticise, even constructively. Young people nowadays believe that it is their Human Right to 'Have an Opinion' but don't believe that it is a Human Right for the Recipient of the opinion to be given valid reasons why they should consider it - and corporations encourage that, they like their workers to go to the canteen, get all their Opinions off their chests, nobody takes any notice of anyone else's, and then bounce back to work refreshed (because they Had an Opinion during the coffee break).

    The reason why I enjoy JJ's references is because I have personal experiences that have always intrigued me and a few years ago I tried to discuss them on blogs but they were censored. JJs references were not censored because they were based on more acceptable evidence than one person's anecdote. That is why we need to generalise. But of course, once we have generalised then we can discuss the generalisation, which is what I try to do with JJ but of course she's having none of it, and nor are you! So, I just sit like a little pig in the middle - happy skating! who are you anyway - do you really converse daily with JP, AdB ?? :)

  • Comment number 47.

    i remember my professor saying it was too late to 'save the world' back in 83.

    the main reason no one saves energy is because the govt opposes it. which is why they have blocked a feed in tariff.

    does anyone think the international energy companies are going to give up billions of easy cash flow? will they let any govt do something that benefits the people and hurts them? this govt hasn't stood up for the people. which one ever would?

  • Comment number 48.

    The Skid MARK in the colour of Brown has spoken I aint Listening.
    believe hymn believe anything

  • Comment number 49.

    #1 jaded_Jean

    "Are gentile US and UK citizens helping out their Jewish populations? Can anyone suggest why that is not the case?"

    Yes its not true because its barking mad. We are in Afghanistan because of the 9/11 and 7/7 and potential destabilisation of Pakistan - a nuclear power though given your ignorance that may be news.

  • Comment number 50.

    On the green debate I felt that carbon emissions also relates to population size and growth and that there needs to be a global debate on how best to achieve a sustainable population size and/or growth.

    For instance there will be a carbon market taken up by companies to try and make the 10/10 commitments and pull down carbon levels quickly.

    But this week also saw Digby Jones praising the benefits of immigration (and they do exist) but if you have a continuously growing population unless you have zero carbon emissions its still going to be a long term problem.

    Climate change coupled with resource shortage could lead to chaos.

    Nobody knows what the perfect answers are but it would surely be wise to have people considering all governmental decision-making activities so that we get the proactive joined-up policymaking that will ensure stability and security in the future.

  • Comment number 51.

    #31 barriesingelton

    "Westminster, with it party games, is the ruination of Britain, in many more ways than - thus far - uncovered.


    But what would you propose in its stead? Anarchy? Are you seeking the National Socialism of Jaded_Jean and dictatorship instead? Hitler was a "peace lover" and eugenics would be fine?

    I think that come the next general election most people will stick with democracy as it self corrects over time via free elections whilst tyranny does not.

  • Comment number 52.

    So Kingcelticlion believes the world is going to end in three and a half years when the worlds global systems crash! I do not know where he gets his information from, but I would suspect that the world is far more resilient than he imagines. We have seen so many 'end of the world' scenario's in the past that I think this forecast can be treated with healthy scepticism.

  • Comment number 53.

    'BNP leader Nick Griffin agrees to ask his party to amend its constitution so it does not discriminate on grounds of race'

    Gosh its not hard to see why the BNP are a confused bunch of people. They are "not a Nazi party" - its just Griffin and the party members who revere Hitler and National Socialism.

    Now they will be a party defined by their racial outlook with a constitution that forbids the very discrimination that they want to put into practice.

    'Richard Barnbrook, the party's representative on the London Assembly, said he believed BNP members would vote in favour of a reformed constitution.

    "The first reason being that trying to fight this court case would bankrupt the party and we have more important issues to deal with, including elections." '

    So is there any member more confused than Richard Barnbrook? The poor chap has dyslexia, a genuine condition, but in his case when it is combined with church bells he tends to refer to local murders that never happened as was reported when he was pulled up for bringing the council into disrepute.

    Griffin himself apparently lost his eye to a shotgun cartridge that he put into a fire.

    You can see why he would do that.

    Really you can.

  • Comment number 54.

    #6 brossen99

    "FoE have known about this since I wrote to them in the mid 1990s, I never received a reply so rang them at head office only to be given loads of abuse by one of their then senior members."

    Yip, yip, yip!

    'Perhaps if Hitler had sent " fifth columnists " to sabotage the UK manufacturing economy he could not have done better than alleged environmental groups.'

    So the science is all ecofascist lies and there is no human impact on climate change requiring urgent action? There are no positive industrial benefits from implementing the changes needed to mitigate human impact?

    Increase your medication.

  • Comment number 55.

    #32 wappaho

    "Don't Vote! it is the only thing (great word from a great heritage - actually means debate not object) that will scare the westminster village because they like to believe that they are doing a good job."

    The thing is that there are those who try to resurrect class divisions because they see themselves as the beneficiaries. They will claim to be left wing as though that makes them the most viable "next stop" for a protest vote - though in fact their values don't tally at all with any party of the left or centre left.

    They will try to create divisions on race as well.

    The far right BNP for instance don't want to see a high turn out as that will favour them and will - in their view - increase the likelihood of people being prepared to swap democracy for tyranny.

    People should vote so that they can express their democratic will. By voting for other parties they will achieve an impact.

    Most of the parties - barring the BNP - are quite open about their intentions and policies.

    But of course the BNP are likely to be caught out in the long run as they have always been terrible liars.

    Take Barnbrook and the three local murders that never happened.

    People should get out there and vote.

  • Comment number 56.

    thegagofone (#49) "We are in Afghanistan because of the 9/11 and 7/7"

    And why did 9/11 (and 7/7) happen?

    A NYC demographics refresher #5.

  • Comment number 57.

    #18 barriesingelton

    "Our best minds should be extracting this energy at its highest efficiency, but little is heard of it. (Cue JJ.)"

    Few would say that one of "our best minds" would:

    1. Believe Hitler was a peace lover
    2. Believe in race "realism" and eugenics
    3. Be "agnostic" on the Holocaust
    4. Want to replace democracy with National Socialist tyranny

    I could throw in the bunk that I have read about the attempt to turn the 9/11 third tower tragedy into an opportunity to blame Jews "the internal political and economic enemy" and so on.

    But the point would be that there is an amoral outlook by the far right posters who try to create an impression of acceptability for ideas that have already been condemned as the most evil in recent history.

    The only real difficulty is understanding where the lies that the far right tell end and genuine belief starts.

    Thats the reason that I tend to see them more as a cult than a political movement.

    Latter day Lord Haw Haws who reiterate that same old evil from their quasi-religious hero Hitler like a stuck record.

  • Comment number 58.

    On Pakistan there was an excellent piece the other week on the North West frontier.

    I know that the objective of the conflict is not to kill as many Taliban as possible but to bring about long term stability.

    But in that piece we saw the Taliban adopting al Qaeda style Tora Bora caves and dug outs.

    We are losing troops and worse killing civilians in fire fights in Afghanistan and that feeds the resentment that in turn feeds the Talibs.

    Its fair to say that anybody who is in those shelters is en route to try try and kill allied troops.

    I can't see why Pakistan can't bomb them there or allow US bunker busters to do the job for them as there is no real infringement of sovereignty. They are allies.

    Surely the advantage is that if you can choke off the supply from the training bases you in effect remove a lot of fuel from the fire.

  • Comment number 59.

    #46 wappaho from mimpromptu
    When I communicate with Jeremy and Alain I usually report the fact on these pages one way or another, nothing is done secretly.
    I'm afraid, wappaho, I don't think for a moment that jj is a lady and i'm not one bit keen on generalisations, especially his.
    You carry on communicating with jj, none of my business to be honest.

  • Comment number 60.

    Does Mark Urban have a take on whether the current spate of Taliban attacks in Lahore represent a desperate Taliban braced for defeat in Waziristan?

    If that is so I assume al Qaeda will stand out like sore thumbs and so would be trying to relocate.

    Also how good was their intelligence for these strikes as they are certainly audacious but do they have inside information?

  • Comment number 61.


    Looks like Taz is up.

    Could this be it?

  • Comment number 62.

    GO1 #54

    I am probably wasting my time as its clear you never read posts in the whole context, just nit pick on certain aspects perhaps due to dyslexia or some other unspecified mental disorder. It may have escaped your primitive radar but all NGO's and alleged " Charities " would appear to exist solely to swell the bank accounts of their executive officers. FoE and other green groups do not really care about our environment, their only aim is to attract funding of their corporate organization from a gullible public. Lots of complete fools out there willing to volunteer their services and punters like yourself who appear to believe what a good job they are doing costing everyone an unnecessary fortune on the cost of living. It pretty clear that people like you have got more money than common sense, perhaps a long spell on JSA would bring you to your senses.

  • Comment number 63.

    #43 Mim I'm referring to Barries link

    I'd be superwoman if I could see you waving! ; )

  • Comment number 64.

    #63 from mimpromptu
    I was only joking, ecolizzy.
    Besides, we can't have too many superpeople, can we?

  • Comment number 65.

    JJ has deserted us for Stephanomics. We are ineducable! Shame, I was just getting the hang of the old anarchist/stalinist thing - the green panel on last night, they're anarchists, right? and Emily is an anarchist too, right? and corporations are anarchist too? and so are governments but they pretend not to be? is it only the unions that are stalinist?

  • Comment number 66.

    'Leona Lewis is "shocked" but "OK" after an alleged assault at a book signing in London on Wednesday.'

    Was this a racist attack? There seems to be something of a far right focus on the "One Show" I note - she was due to appear on that show later before the cowardly attack occurred.

  • Comment number 67.

    #62 brossen99

    "I am probably wasting my time as its clear you never read posts in the whole context, just nit pick on certain aspects perhaps due to dyslexia or some other unspecified mental disorder."

    You mean like paying heed when 99% of scientists in a field concur on the importance of handling the human impact on climate change?

    "It may have escaped your primitive radar but all NGO's and alleged " Charities " would appear to exist solely to swell the bank accounts of their executive officers."

    There actually would appear to be no basis in that at all as I would guess that they would earn far more in industry. You offer no evidence to support your fevered view.

    "Lots of complete fools out there willing to volunteer their services and punters like yourself who appear to believe what a good job they are doing costing everyone an unnecessary fortune on the cost of living."

    When you talk about mental disorders you could note that you almost never utter a sentence without emotive twaddle like "corporate Nazis" and "parasites" that cover over the extensive fact that you try to avoid.

    There is abundant evidence that there is climate change due to human impact and it is likely to have a severe impact in the next thirty years.

    So I could listen to the cool logic of scientists or some crazed head banger on the web who, like many of the far right posters that pollute this page, offers plenty of emotion and unrelated facts but dodges the big issue.

    There is climate change due to human impact via CO2.

    Try to get a life.

  • Comment number 68.

    mimpromptu (#59) "You carry on communicating with jj, none of my business to be honest."

    More evidence of deficient self-perception. You make it you business every day!

    To be less odd, one has to build a more accurate self-image. That requires one to observe one's own behaviour and refer to it accurately. It usually helps to factor in feedback from others too (and not just from the ones who tell one what one wants to hear).

    wappaho (#65) Taz and Mim are ineducable...perhaps. The comprise the vocal minority.

  • Comment number 69.

    wappaho (#65) "is it only the unions that are stalinist?"

    Depends what country and era one is refering to. It used to be the case that most Civil Servants and Public Sector workers were Stalinists. Now it's largely an age thing here. The British Public Sector workers used work for the British GOSPLAN if you think about it.

  • Comment number 70.

    HHHmmmm I think the EHRC might live to regret this harrasment!

    If the BNP do vote to let everyone in, won't that make them even more legitimate? Won't there be an awful lot of British people of all colours and creeds who will think right, they're not rascist, and I'm fed up with having my job taken by an immigrant, and fighting illegal wars by the labour government. And I do want the money spent on schools and hospitals in my home country. The EHRC could have opened a can of worms.

  • Comment number 71.

    #thegangofone. You appear to be suffering from intellectual schizophrenia. On the one hand you agonise over man made climate change and other you postulate the benefits of dropping increasingly large amounts of munitions on Afghanistan.

    Thak you for letting me know that we are in Afghanistan because of 9/11 and 7/7. I was under the impression that 17 of the 19 individuals concerned with 9/11 were Saudi nationals and that those responsible for 7/7 originated from Leeds and Aylesbury. Perhaps you may derive benefit from perusing a map.

  • Comment number 72.


    brossen99 (#62) "It may have escaped your primitive radar but all NGOs and alleged " Charities " would appear to exist solely to swell the bank accounts of their executive officers."

    Yep, Ed Miliband and his Third Third Way boldly championing the Third Sector (more economic anarchism) where no person with any integrity would have ever ventured before. The new Charities Act (2006) is a traversty as one could conceivably run a number of dodgy outfits under the new Section 2(2) I fear. The regulator won't stand a chance I predict.

  • Comment number 73.

    #52 dpchapman

    I've just spent a day with some of the UKs other top scientists on the subject showing them how the 2007 UK floods was predicted to within 4 days over 15 years and how they were deliberately allowed to happen.

    Now if modelling and prediction systems are that accurate and tested, why should they be any less efficient at understanding global ecological collapse.

    You are doing what other posters here do and others correct them on, not reading the post. I never said the world would end-you did. I said collapse of ecological life support systems.

    We the human race have become a parasite on the host the planet's ecological systems, destabilizing them. The response as defined by Odum and Odum, pioneers of systems ecology is ecological backlash.

    By collapsing the systems get rid of us, the parasites, in evolutionary time a 100 million years is nothing. Then just starts again. Yes the world is resilient, that's why we will be got rid of.

    I am writing here to do you a favour, your friends and family. It gives you a warning and the option of taking action with others and protecting your life and others. Instead of burying your head waiting to die.

    The precautionary principle was stated. In that in view of at the present no other supporting evidence, the risk is so great you take that as fact and act on it. Therefore you do not treat my post with 'healthy scepticism'.

    Not that I expect you or anyone else to have my understanding of planetary systems. So when I post something here that is to your advantage, don't dismiss it, take the precautionary principle.

    What are these nonsense words you use, "imagines, suspect, I do not know". Highly scientific and fact and research based aren't they? If you 'don't know' and the best you can come up with is 'suspect and imagine' then pay more attention to those with a little bit more solid behind them.

    For your own sake and others who might wrongly 'believe' you have any understanding of the situation.

    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 74.


    Jon Sopel has just interviewed a spokesman for the BNP on BBC NEWS on the decision of the BNP to put a motion to the vote to allow non-White members. Sopel was quite aggressive in his inquisitorial questioning, and though perfectly logical, may prompt some backlash, as a) Sopel is Jewish, and b) he kept pressing the Jewish line even after having been told that there is at least on Jewish BNP councillor, and c) because this has got to be the thin end of the wedge, as presumably, the next issue which will be challenged will be Jewish (only) groups, and then BME groups? (although the Race Relations Act 1974 is peculiar on the coverage of Jews as it's unclear if this is a race at all rather than a long-term anomalous confusion). The interviewee could of course have asked Sopel how Israel handles this problem. No doubt Sopel could have just said he was talking about Britain not Israel ;-) ? Logic eh, it has its boundaries.

    In the end the choice will be a welfare state or open immigration given the size of the Third World, their TFRs and Britain's TFRs. The HCR is, if examined in terms of outcomes of the legislation it promotes, working to destroy the British state, as some have repeatedly pointed out, as without respect for curbs on immigration (and if it is a Points System, this will discriminate against some BME groups because of non uniform distribution of IQ and dwindling numbers in Europe) and it will favour East Asians. The UK could become swamped with East Asians or Indians etc as the TFRs of India, Bangladesh, Pakistan dwarf Britain's even though those country's mean IQs are lower. This has nothing to do with skin colour though. Complex eh?

  • Comment number 75.

    ecolizzy (#70) "The EHRC could have opened a can of worms."

    I think you're right. Well said.

  • Comment number 76.


    #58 GANGO, I love you. Your leap from ocean-power to Hitler, was so inspiring, the invention of the 'Swastika Rotor' - yielding 110% conversion of tide/wave energy, sprang fully designed from my head.

    JADED JEAN, Your inspired identification of Gango Fone as none other than Taz (one of my heroes) has put all his posts into perspective. This Little Black Duck thanks you from the bottom of his bravado.

    #70 ECOLIZZIE, The Great BNP paradox: I did the self-same 'ponder' when I heard the news. Oh the perverse joy of it!


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