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Friday 22 January 2010

Verity Murphy | 12:57 UK time, Friday, 22 January 2010

UPDATE - MORE DETAILS ON TONIGHT'S PROGRAMME:
Here in the Newsnight office we are busily preparing to mark our 30th anniversary with a special programme on Saturday evening at 8pm on BBC Two - there are lots of great features and archive up on the website.

But before then we have a programme tonight and here is what we have planned.

First up we have Caroline Hawley and Meirion Jones' startling investigation into a so-called "bomb detector", thousands of which have been sold to Iraq by a British company. The devices simply do not work. There are concerns that the detectors have failed to stop bomb attacks that have killed hundreds of people.

The government has just announced a ban on the export of this equipment to Iraq and Afghanistan following our investigation. Read more about that story here.

Liz MacKean is in Doncaster to bring us the latest on the story of the two brothers who tortured two boys in a "sadistic" attack in Edlington. They were sentenced today at Sheffield Crown Court to an indefinite period of detention, and told that they will serve a minimum of five years.

Gavin Esler will be speaking to the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, Ed Balls.

And though Newsnight Review is no more, Kirsty Wark has sent this message about a new cultural offering whose first programme broadcasts tonight at 11pm on BBC Two:

"Hello from the set of the all-new Review Show, where we are putting the final editorial, pictorial and design pieces in place for tonight's first show - an hour long special looking at the cultural impact on the US of Barack Obama's first year in The White House.

He won on the prospectus of closing the old divides and fostering a new spirit. "The time has come to put away childish things" he said. But how has the self-styled "skinny kid with the funny name" fared?

Live in the studio will be four people who collectively have thought and written a lot about Obama - novelist Hari Kunzru who lives in New York and whose latest subject is Middle America, the youngest ever NY Times op-ed writer, and film critic, Ross Douthat who has called the president an "ideologue and pragmatist all at once", Bonnie Greer, who wrote Obama Music, and American academic, Sarah Churchwell. We are delighted too that Natalie Merchant will also be on set, singing for us live."

Click here for more details on The Review Show.

Join Gavin Esler at 10.30pm on BBC Two for Newsnight.

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ENTRY FROM 12:57 GMT
Two brothers who tortured two young boys in an attack in South Yorkshire have been detained indefinitely.

Sheffield Crown Court heard how the pair, then aged 10 and 11, threatened to kill their nine-year-old and 11-year-old victims in Edlington.

The brothers, who admitted causing grievous bodily harm, were told they would serve a minimum five years.

Liz MacKean, who had an exclusive report on Monday into failings and missed opportunities behind the case, is in Doncaster for Newsnight.

More details later.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    On Edlington is there a psychological connection between two brothers with serious issues "feeding" of each other and creating a motive force for violence and mayhem?

    So far as I know the two brothers in the Baby P case went through care before going on to baby battering, baby rape and torturing granny. I am sure the effects of National Socialism and Hitler must have played a part but with Edlington we also see two brothers with seriously abnormal behaviour.

    In essence is there any reason to separate brothers in care where ongoing violent behaviour is established.

  • Comment number 2.

    On US banking proposals:

    'Asked whether the UK measures were as tough, Lord Myners said: "There are particular circumstances in the United States around the sheer scale of their very largest banks compared with the rest of the banking industry so that is why the issue of size has become a factor in the president's thinking.

    "On the issue of the scope of banking, we are addressing the riskier activities by requiring banks to have much more capital and also having 'living wills' which would allow the failed part of a bank to be isolated and separated from the remainder of the bank.'

    Surely the fact is that the situation in the UK demands similar action because the sector as a whole is a greater proportion of our GDP and our large complex banks are therefore proportionately riskier.

    Given that the effect of derivatives like CDS is that the ratio of real money to instruments is disproportionate would capital levels be any more than window dressing?

    Not only should the size and scale of banks be addressed but also the instruments used as well as full on regulation.

    Personally I would also wonder whether some of the acts of bankers that led to the act should have been criminal offences along the lines of fraud.

    As for living wills if a bank became virtually worthless overnight all that helps is to save a few jobs and gathered expertise but would not save the economy as I see it.

  • Comment number 3.

    With regard to the Iraq inquiry and with an election due in the coming months are the democratic politicians to be pressed to explain whether they thought the procedures that led to war were valid and desirable in a democracy and what they would do constitutionally to ensure that this debacle could not happen again?

    I say democratic politicians as clearly there is no point asking the far right head cases who can't even establish where they are a National Socialist party or not.

    I am also intrigued as to whether Iraq is going to still be a voting issue or whether Labour have successfully allowed time to dull the senses and the "clever" Brownite strategy of not personally associating himself with the war beyond bland HoC statements.

    I suppose that all depends on the ferocious grilling of the Chilcott Inquiry that has already led to one or two interviewee's spilling their tea.


  • Comment number 4.

    ANOTHER EXTREME INDICATOR OF MAN'S INABILITY TO COPE AS CONFIGURED.

    If government feels permitted slaughter swathes of innocents, across the world (because a leader is delusional) and then lie in their teeth about motives, where is the judgemental legitimacy here?

  • Comment number 5.

    IT MUST BE IN THE JEANS!

    If JadedJean was still around, she'd have a field day over this one...

    'Labour MP may lose pay-off over expenses'
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8474446.stm

    This story's not covered much today...s'pose anything would be after Obama's bombshell...must have been a good day to bury bad news.

  • Comment number 6.

    #5 JJ would also have a field day with the Edlington two, he would tell us just which Axis they had a default on. It's all in the genes! ; )

    As BYT said why haven't the parents been brought to court as well, surely they are as guilty as the boys. And can these boys be cured, JJ would know that as well.

    And is there more failed children in this family, I haven't read of any yet, but have missed some of the case.

  • Comment number 7.

    ALL CLUSTERS ARE IN GOD'S IMAGE BUT SOME ARE MORE THAN OTHERS (#6)

    Do you think certain of us, posting on this blog, might constitute a Cluster of Evil Lizzy? I do hope so - and that I am included.

    You can actually warm your hands on thoughts of what JJ would have felt moved to say to Muslimah. (She has not contacted me by email.)

  • Comment number 8.

    First and foremost the responsibility for these horrendous crimes must rest with the parents and in order for the fullest understanding to be gained the FULL Serious Case Review (SCR) MUST be published with appropriate safeguards built in. Certainly all relevant professional agencies should receive copies throughout the UK.

    Secondly, there must be a full review of why these parents have not been prosecuted previously (if they haven't) - the father for clear Domestic Violence and the mother for administering illegal substances to the children - and both for 'Wilful Neglect' as a minimum.

    Thirdly, responsible practioners and their Managers in all agencies over the lifetimes of these boys need to have their work carefully scrutinised for any evidence of poor practice / failure to protect. Equally Elected Members need to have their roles scrutinised to ensure that they were taking all reasonable steps to be assured that relevant agencies (especially Police, Education and Social Services) were being effectively monitored and supported politically.

    Finally, there needs to be a clear recognition that Social Work is a struggling profession and despite the recent TaskForce recommendations there has to be a 'root and branch' overhaul of what social work should be all about, how to resource it adequately and how to free up staff to properly carry out their responsibilities with a move from Performace Indicator driven work to that which is Needs Led.

  • Comment number 9.

    #6

    Lizzy

    ".... And can these boys be cured, JJ would know that as well."

    I assume you mean 'have an opinion on.................'?

    ".....failed children "

    Potentially 5 others from what I hear. Where are they I wonder? Hopefully nowehere near Doncaster. Or ANY natural relatives.



    Sounds to me like JJ is or was the New Messiah. Therefore a very dangerous individual. How many days has it been since the crucifiction? Or did he/she escape into a vast cave complex somewhere? Very biblical.

  • Comment number 10.

    Apologies, but I feel it justified to copy from yesterdays blog


    CAN WE FIX THEM?

    Referring back to some comments earlier (last night) about penal system, internees and staffing and the sentencing of ‘ the Edlington Two’.

    I wonder what the chances of effective healing and rehabilitation may be open to the other victims?

    What chance of meeting with the love and support so lacking every day of their young lives?

    What punishment to those who MADE THEM thus - to their parents???

    What to the services who for whatever reason LET this happen? Who were powerless, leaderless, gutless and lacking in support themselves?

    What to our society who look away UNTIL such savagery surfaces, then scream FOUL whilst returning to our own safer, sounder, softer worlds, anesthetised by our choices or poison?

    How many will Bay for blood?

    How many will scoff at any thought of the perpetrators as victims, deserving of our compassion, whilst acknowledging the need for punishment and protection?

    How many would be prepared to people ‘family repair units’ – Inviting damaged families (YES WHOLE FAMILIES) to live in supported community where generations of cyclical damage can BEGIN to be mended? Where better practices can be learned and shared.

    Didn’t Dr Tanya Brier do that with parents unable to control their children? Mostly about eating and sleeping problems. Could it work on bigger more entrenched issues? Do we have the WILL to actually get our hands dirty, rather than just exercise our mouths on the subject?

  • Comment number 11.

    #9 BYT look back and see if you can find any of JJs old posts. Go back to the summer months, you might come across some. He was fearsome, had a brilliant way of writing, made some very good points, but could be a bit too edgy, the blogdogs appear to have banned him. Highly intelligent I would think and seemed to know something about everything, especially statistics and genes. Posted more times than mim, but I miss him, he really made you think, and look at things from different angles. And an odd form of humour, missed by a lot I feel.

  • Comment number 12.

    SOCIAL WORK IS ONE OF THE 'INTERFERING PROFESSIONS' (#8)

    Those who earn their living by direct impingement on the daily lives of others, run the gamut from angelic care to barking; I of course include politicians in that statement. Eight months of my life were, recently, severely jaundiced by commercial care, and a bizarre social worker played a major part. I made no formal complaint. The fact that this individual was 'in post' spoke of the futility.

    It is a very big mountain.

  • Comment number 13.

    ITS A FAIR COP!!!!!!!!!

    Just heard that there is to be a police investigation into the leak of the FULL Serious Case Review.

    WHY OH WHY OH WHY OH WHY.......... (this my polite/printable response – expletives deleted)

    WHY is it NOT possible for any individual or organisation To take punishment when punishment do and determine to spend further time and money on putting right or preventing further wrong doing, rather than on trying to hang out to dry the instrument of their downfall.

    OH GOD. WHAT use is throwing more money, through police and other agencies in INVESTIGATING a RIGHT.

    It happened. It probably SHOULD have happened. The BBC have not to my understanding released in the PUBLIC domain any personal details that may harm other individuals.

    Just think how any money spent (these things often run into millions) could be spent on Social services, child care, prevention of abuse and much more.

    When will these ‘agencies’ get a grip and realise what is important and stop trying to just justify their own being.

    STOP THE WORLD ----------------- I WANT TO THROW SOMEONE OFF!

    Also, current reporting states “Two brothers told they would be detained for 5 years.” Do you suppose they understand what that means?

    Perhaps to them it means safety (parents are meant to protect their children – sometimes rather unpopular), shelter, warmth, decent food (I understand prison food is better than that in schools and hospitals) clean surroundings....
    Could it include LOVE?

    MY heart goes out to the ‘other’ victims and their parents/families but hopefully, they have and have long had these as norms in their lives.

  • Comment number 14.

    #5 MPs falling on the (green)sward
    Take that..and that....that'll learn 'em to cheat the taxpayer!!

    "Given the seriousness of the breach, the committee is recommending that he be stripped of the "resettlement" allowance paid to MPs who stand down between elections - which, in his case, would amount to about £65,000".

    No wonder several other cheating MPs will be falling over themselves, 'standing down' before May. More like feather-bedding down.

  • Comment number 15.

    #11

    I will Lizzy, though I did see some of his/her?? posts in my early reading and contributing to the blog days. Perhaps it was not a good period but I saw only a one way street and anyone who thinks they have nothing left to learn from others or who resorts to name calling or who appears to have ‘disciples’ always appear rather dangerous to me.

    Hopefully you realise I am not digging at you particularly - just taking issue with certain points and debating.

    You say..... ".....seemed to know something about everything,"

    I think something about quite a few things. And am not shy in sharing my thoughts. That’s all I admit to.

    I enjoy reading ( and responding to) those who make me think (and I think there are still a handful o here from time to time – your good self included) but I have a child like quality (that’s a debatable phrase!) which is to see someone proclaims as a truth and start to tear it to shreds –asking Why, How, Why, Why.......... until I am sent to room with no supper!

    I am entirely unclear exactly what EVER constitutes and irrefutable fact.

    Have a good evening.

  • Comment number 16.

    #10 bya
    Time to think the unthinkable?

    "How many will scoff at any thought of the perpetrators as victims, deserving of our compassion, whilst acknowledging the need for punishment and protection?"

    Many of my colleagues with compassion for their wives and society got 'the snip'; painless and with the possibility of reversal.
    Disfunctional fathers (often the source of disfunctional families) should be 'persuaded' that this form of protection is in everybody's best interest.

  • Comment number 17.

    brightyangthing @ 9
    Following on from ecolizzy @ 11 and as some-one who lurks more than he posts.
    JJ came across as very bright and highly informed but far too sure of his position. There were definitely situations where it was more informative to watch him interact with others than it was to interact with him yourself, particularly when defending his position which he'd do fiercely; you were unlikely to go a voyage of mutual learning to a position neither of you held to start with.
    His position was roughly that genes explained everything about us, and so all differences can be put down to genes (that's probably overblowing it but that's definitely how he could come across). Science is rarely that sure about things and our understanding of nature-nurture-environment and how all inform each other isn't that developed. I'd say he is fighting against the standard position of the day though.
    As such he could clash with others.
    I always felt that his position had been reached through his own investigation rather than being the adoption of an ideology; and he seemed more interested in describing & comprehending the world rather than advocating action - he seemed like an aged academic to me. But there are clearly those whose view of him would be dominated by him holding the same position as some rather unsavoury politicans. So I can understand why thegangofone, amongst others, would have a problem with him.


    Barrie @ 12
    I remember from when doing my postgrad, that those on the Social Work course seemed to have higher than usual odds of having been damaged themselves some how. Having had problems yourself you feel the need to help others. I'm not convinced that necessarily makes you a good candidate.
    I think that in some situations Social Services have a ridiculous job - are they there to help or make judgements? who are they supposed to be helping? how are they supposed to remain impartial?
    In the Edlington it doesn't seem easy to work all that out.
    Clearly the parents could have done with a massive amount of support right from the start of their parenting. There must have come a point where the children really needed some-one to take action for them to divert them from the path they've ended up on. I can envisage a situation where you need different people (that is social services bods) who are involved to argue a case from the position of every client's (I'd rather use a different word) position, and I think that needs some-one separate co-ordinating the discussion and decision.
    Social Services has a role to help and a responsibility to make difficult decisions. I'd imagine that having that joint role makes a number of clients standoffish. At the moment we seem to have a situation where people have to magically understand how to help themselves and view those that might help them with suspicion.

  • Comment number 18.

    #15 Brighty read the Counts post #17 a very good description of JJ. And yes he seemed like an academic to me, I can just imagine him lecturing a hall.

    Ha,ha, I'm rather like you then I like to ask questions, but then have so many thoughts I can't decide which is the best or right one! I'm getting dithery, must be my age. Too many western choices I suppose!

    That was very sad about the 17 lad you know, I meant to have commented on it at the time, I keep doing that, I read, but don't have time to post. How devastating for the family, life going one way and then suddenly another. (JJ would definitely object to anyone mentioning their personal life!!!)

    Good evening to you to, by the way I hope Roger's ok, he hasn't posted for ages!

  • Comment number 19.

    If the Police were aware of Domestic Violence then so were Health, Education & Social Services in all probability as information is quite widely shared. ALSO, Domestic Violence is now a legal ground for Care Proceedings so we need to know if those took place without undue delay. Also, were these brothers in 'Care' through Court Orders or 'voluntary' agreement with the parents?

    It seems from what has been publicly disclosed that the parents were almost unbelieveably irresponsible and I wonder what has happened to their other children as clearly none ought to be left in their care.

    A FULL and INDEPENDENT ENQUIRY ('Public Enquiry') must be held as Serious Case Reviews are all too often inadequate and lack total independence as often Local Authorities will 'use' people known to them who will not be too critical (otherwise they may not get more work put their way!).

    I do not, however, support the call to name the perpetrators as public outrage is often not well thought out or rational.

    I am a Registered Social Worker with a post-qualification award in Child Abuse and over 35 years experience - I have also retired as I have had enough of the parlous state of the profession and the Performance Indicator (PI) culture at the expense of 'Needs-Led' interventions and 'Outcomes-based' / quality evaluations. Social Workers must be enabled to get away from their computers and back into local communities.

  • Comment number 20.

    YES AND NO - PARADOX (#17)

    In the early years of Jungian therapy, practitioners were to undergo 'depth analysis' (root canal treatment for the mind) before putting up the plaque. This meant that being drawn from the ranks of the psychologically assailed, was no bad thing, if it was all 'dealt-with'. However, Root canals often retain some infection or toxin - nothing is absolute. . .

    Nevertheless, I am of the view that ALL members of the 'interfering professions' should really be 'depth analysed', particularly as those professions are a magnet to the one-eyed, hoping for status in the Kingdom of the Blind.

    So much we know, and might apply to good effect, but the lunatics do not sleep and have far greater motivation than the unafflicted. As I have said so often: I think HomSap is a failed branch of the tree.

  • Comment number 21.

    #7

    Mr Barrie Singleton

    Haven't you by any chance adopted J Jean as you found her so attractive? She may not have contacted you by e-mail as such but perhaps bodily, so to speak.

  • Comment number 22.

    #9

    Brightyangthing

    I think I know what you mean and I would agree with Lizzy that JJ was/is probably an academic. I shall rest silent as to the rest and am thinking, in fact, of cutting down on posting on these pages, one of the reasons being that I need to spend more time on other things.

    mim

    Life does not begin and stop on Newsnight's blogging pages.

    May I just add a note on a very touching gesture made towards me by a lovely young lady who must have realised I needed a little support when I got on the train by immediately standing up and offering me her seat. I was, in fact, coming back from a few days in hospital.

  • Comment number 23.

    #17 The Count

    Thanks. Useful insight.

  • Comment number 24.

    DO I LOOK BOVVERED????

    #18

    Thanks Lizzy

    Have done. Very useful.

    ".....(JJ would definitely object to anyone mentioning their personal life!!!)"

    Yes. I had in a short time noted that. And I generally agree that blogs/mb's such as this should not descend into basic chat rooms. But there are times when various personal anecdotes and insights might add some value and depth. After all, we are largely the product (in my view at least), not only what we are born with but what happens to us and how we deal with it.

    I believe that environment can impact for better or for worse on our genetic make up. Change begins with understanding and confronting.

    And I also thrive on challenge and sometimes living dangerously.

    Wonder what he'd think if we had flowery emoticons. Would I ((wink)) here?

    Shall I get my coat? I think I passed my parachutes on!

  • Comment number 25.

    NOW I'M REALLY CONFUSED

    Muslimah, on a previous thread, made it plain the Quran required her not to 'revleal her 'adornments' (meaning 'charms' so to speak). I have now watched the Muslim lady from yesterday's Newsnight, and unless my trusty bloke-eyes have lost their ability to check out a pretty face (shame about the voice) she had enhanced (adorned?) her eyes with make-up.

    Where does that leave the argument? Muslimah? A little help?

  • Comment number 26.

    The Edlington boys sentence was exactly right. I would hope that the same criminal standards are now applied to the torture carried out by or with the collusion of our Intelligence Services.

  • Comment number 27.

    Brightyangthing

    In one of your posts you talk about a hobby horse and something or someone, or both as the case may be, being ignored.

    That post, BYT, provoked an immediate reflection in the memory of my mind of having numerous conversations with other 'foreigners'' joys of being ignored by the English. They feel that this kind of attitude leaves them space and independence, etc.

    As an example they would quote a travel on the underground whereby they could wear, let's say, a most strange hat on their head with flowers coming out of their ears and umbrealla straws out of their nostrils and the English would just sit there, perhaps having a quick look, but basically ignoring them. They think it is absolutely great. Poke faces, no finger pointing and no outbursts of laughter as if nothing at all was happening. Everybody minding their own buisness, etc. Well, that's what they imagine and that's what they seem to think. However, .....

    mim

  • Comment number 28.

    #62 & #78 from previous page

    Ecolizzy & Brightyangthing

    Well expressed, as far as I am concerned

    mim

  • Comment number 29.

    57. At 12:33pm on 22 Jan 2010, Muslimah wrote:

    Just to ensure that you, Muslimah, do not inadvertantly miss the following just posted by me on yesterday’s blog comments..... I post again as I would like to hear your response particularly if you feel that Sharia Law should apply to all?


    A lengthy post but I have to ask ....

    Your point is .....?

    You make your own choice, as within the law so do we all, your personal choice has no relevance to society as a whole unless your preferred option curtails the freedom of any other. And most decidedly your individual choice to accept the writings of another time applies only to you.

    The book with which you choose to dictate your life also states that it is a muslim’s duty to abide by the laws within which he or she lives.

    If statutes are introduced in this country to counter any of the abhorrence, as in my posts above (no’s 23 & 26.) , I would be obliged to abide or use the legal system to effect change. They are the options unless, of course, I choose to move to another country that applies laws that accept my personal beliefs.

    Women have fought long and hard, and fully deserve, the freedoms that this country gives through it’s legal system.

    And those laws apply to all ..... period.

    If religious belief discriminates, isolates, cajoles, oppresses or threatens any individual - however much another individual accepts that those religious doctrines for their self - then the majority that is society needs to decide if the benefit to the majority is more important than the religious beliefs of an individual.

    Because ....

    Any religion is - solely - the choice of the individual .... alone.

    And if any individual does not approve of the will of the majority ..... ?

    I hear North Africa has all round sunshine .... pretty much.

    Shimples ......

  • Comment number 30.

    WHAT'S YOUR REVIEW?

    Another BBC attack of the 'Edgy' presentation.

    The new Review Show has Kirsty (poor diction/shouty) Wark) doing the preview over her guests chatting (on mic) in the background.

    Oh, and Background MUSAK too? Wunderbar!

    Cool and Hip?

    Or rude and unprofessional?

  • Comment number 31.

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

  • Comment number 32.

    My once girlfriend's estranged quite elderly father was one of the top NSPCC men in a northern mill town. My girlfriend had loads of anecdotes of how in the early 1970s he had consistently and regularly beat her up for even minor misdemeanors, in the end she left to live with her divorced mum. I am also informed that the police were aware of the circumstances at the time, yet they still sent her home to her dad.

    Perhaps you just can't trust charities ?

  • Comment number 33.

    VILIFICATION AS PART OF BRITISH JUSTICE? HOW SAY YOU M'LUD?

    When the Law has run its course, why would a judge wish to beat two captive boys with the words: "You got a sadistic kick out of hurting them"? What purpose is served?

    When it comes to sadistic kickings: is there a greater similarity between judges and 'feral youth', that might at first be apparent?

  • Comment number 34.

    what a dismal NN, been dodging that atrocious story all day and NN still flogging it to death...enough sadism already...give us a break..

  • Comment number 35.

    #4

    barriesingleton

    You're the third person tonight talking about TEETH.

    The first one said in the form of a question to a nurse 'If you believe in a tooth fairy?' to which she replied 'My daughter does!'

    mim

  • Comment number 36.

    #24

    I couldn't agree with you more about respect for privacy as long as all parties respected the principle.

    mim

  • Comment number 37.

    #35

    May I just add that the first interlocutor was a white male but I'll spare you further descriptions..

  • Comment number 38.

    On bomb detectors that are based om dousing it stuns me that these people made it past the army. Can you imagine a few soldiers trying to weave their way past probable IED's with sticks. The guy should get life.

    On the Iraq Inquiry if Chilcott believes his investigation is "serious" and above "party politics" (clearly not what you want in a democracy) then why not just ask the Labour cabinet members whether they actually would do anything different and whether anything was wrong in the build up to the war.

    All they do is allow people to avoid the big questions.


  • Comment number 39.

    #11 ecolizzy

    "Highly intelligent I would think and seemed to know something about everything, especially statistics and genes. Posted more times than mim, but I miss him, he really made you think, and look at things from different angles. And an odd form of humour, missed by a lot I feel"

    You mean the person that thought the Holocaust was made up to "put people off statists" and was organised by "statists" Stalin and Roosevelt. The statistical "proofs" described have yet to be offered up to any trial such as that of the alleged Nazi war criminal Djemjanjuk?

    You mean the person who believed in race "realism" in the face of the genuine (non-internet fantasy world) science as conveyed in "The Incredible Human Journey" and Channel 4's excellent "Race and Intelligence" presented by Rageh Omah?

    The person qho thought Hitler did a lot of good things?

    I suppose those that like the BNP and the English Defence League may have liked the despicable postings of Jaded_jean but most people would not if they enjoy democracy as opposed to the idea of National Socialism.

  • Comment number 40.

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

  • Comment number 41.

    #17 The count

    "I'd say he is fighting against the standard position of the day though.
    As such he could clash with others.
    I always felt that his position had been reached through his own investigation rather than being the adoption of an ideology; and he seemed more interested in describing & comprehending the world rather than advocating action - he seemed like an aged academic to me."

    Jaded_jean is and was delusional as the proposition that there is no scientific basis for their being any significant basis for differences between the races. Try "The Incredible Human Journey" or Rageh Omahs "Race and Intelligence". So you are utterly wrong there.

    " rather than being the adoption of an ideology"

    That would be why the person who thought Hitler had some good ideas advocated replacing democracy with National Socialism? Then again I always argue that National Socialism was just a fake ideology that allowed some abnormal individuals to become replacement aristocrats as Bertrand Russell suggested.



  • Comment number 42.

    On the odious BNP MEP's in Europe I don't think the Newsnight viewers are really interested in them but I assume that the company that they keep is recorded.

    They are in league with the Hungarian far right and their sweet little flags and so on that's all very "SA" but they must feel the odd ones out. No flags, the English Defence League is nothing to do with them and they "are not a National Socialist party" they are "modern and progressive".

    So I guess if they fall out with their comrades their comrades won't be telling a different story over the coming months will they.

  • Comment number 43.

    The so-called 'bomb detecter' was an extraordinary story - not only in the revelation of a bogus product - but on the level of the manufacturer's ability to get away with what he is alleged to have done. How can it be that charges of manslaughter or fraud, at the very least, cannot be brought in this country? There must be legal ways of pursuing someone who missold a product, deceived its purchasers and thus aided in the loss of hundreds of lives. If health and safety legislation can be used to justify stopping children from playing with conkers without protective goggles, then surely the manufacturer of phoney bomb detecting devices can be prosecuted.

    An unrelated point: Now that Newsnight Review is no more, where can I comment on the Review Show? I don't do 'Twitter'! I looked in vain for a site similar to this one, which there used to be for Newsnight Review, and couldn't find it. So I will say here that I thought 'the cultural impact of Obama' was a far too complacent discussion on the whole. Many Americans felt that the need for change and hence Obama to take office was urgent - that the times were reminiscent of the Depression era that brought in Franklin Roosevelt and dramatic change. The conversations seemed to deal merely with whether or not Obama disappointed expectations and whether that was realistic and, unfortunately, never touched on the danger of a mediocre American President in these times...

  • Comment number 44.

    :o) Can't wait to see tonight's 30th Anniversary Newsnight Special

  • Comment number 45.

    I'm not so impressed with Newsnight claiming the bomb detector expose as being due to it's own investigation. This has been in the public domain for months. How about some credit for the Guardian and Ben Goldacre? http://www.badscience.net/2009/11/wtf/ way back last year.

  • Comment number 46.

    THE GULLIBILITY OF MANKIND - HOW ELSE COULD UK GOVERNANCE 'FUNCTION' (#45)

    It also explains the continuance of multiple religions when, manifestly, only Christianity is true, because Jesus (son of god) came to earth and said so.

    The planet desperately needs wise leadership, but it is hardly a grawth area.

  • Comment number 47.

    #59(22Jan) byt desiderata - by max ehrmann

    Thanks for the link. I had lost my copy, but try to live by it; viz-

    "Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit."
    So DISCRIMINATION is still OK.

    "..for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself."
    And enforced EQUALITY wont work.

    "Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery" So Max Ehrmann was the true Prophet

    "Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection."
    Go easy on the TOLERANCE

    "You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here". Would-be Immigrants please note, this applies to The Universe, UK is not specified.

    " And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should" So climate change is natural and normal.

    "Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul." A good New Year Resolution for all.

    He left out Spoil Party Games!



    With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

    Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

    Max Ehrmann c.1920


  • Comment number 48.

    NOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL WISDOM! (#47)

    I have read it a few times IDG2, and NEVER realised the subliminal messages!

    PS: It has just been announced we have a 'Dementia Czar'. AT LAST I AM CLOSE TO ROYALTY.

  • Comment number 49.

    fear detector

    unscrupulous people use fear to exploit people? Surely not.

    upping security

    today i overheard a group of grandmothers in a coffee shop.They were openly talking about that there is going to be a civil war in the uk with the muslims. When topics like that get to become a clear as day topic for a grandmothers group then one should take warning about the 'trend' in the current social model?

  • Comment number 50.

    THE WORLD'S GREATEST RULES IS ............. 12 INCHES LONG AND FLEXIBLE!

    #47

    Well said II

    What do you make of this. May need a few extra (early) verses perhaps?

    http://www.selfometer.org/poems/poems_by_title.asp?id=Children%20Learn%20What%20They%20Live



    #48

    Would not that be a DemenTED Czar?

    Has the position been filled?

  • Comment number 51.

    #50 Correction

    THE WORLD'S GREATEST RULES IS ............. 12 INCHES LONG AND FLEXIBLE!

    should read

    THE WORLD'S GREATEST RULER IS ............. 12 INCHES LONG AND FLEXIBLE!

  • Comment number 52.

    IT'S ALL TRUE (#50)

    My kids lived with me and they are as nutty as I am.

  • Comment number 53.

    ALTERNATIVE STRATEGY (#49)

    "one should take warning about the 'trend' in the current social model?"

    Nah Jaunty - just stay away from grannies in coffee shops! (:o)

    Anyway - we are on purple alert - it was bound to get them out on the streets.

  • Comment number 54.

    DEMENTED CZAR? (#50)

    That's you - that is.

  • Comment number 55.

    #51 byt My greatest teacher was a ruler!

    The ruler wielded by Miss Eglin, my teacher in Junior School, was 18 inches long and most inflexible boxwood. It taught me to pay attention.

    Nowadays, teachers cannot even chastise without being reported or suffering verbal or physical abuse. I'm inclined toward the 'spare the rod and spoil the child' school of my upbringing.

    The first dozen couplets in the poem are negative experiences which children should not have to 'live with' but perhaps experience, rather than enter the adult world ill-prepared. e.g.suitably modified:-

    present couplet proposed amendment

    If children live with shame, children who experience shame
    they learn to feel guilty. will understand guilt

    As for the remaining couplets from never-never land, I would modify:-

    If children live with tolerance, they will vote Liberal like their
    they learn patience. parents and become prime targets
    for immigrants taking over their
    country and jobs, and all manner of
    devious punters.

    I admite it doesn't scan so well, but neither does real life.(University of Hard Knocks)

  • Comment number 56.

    gettin wiv da yoof

    why is it the those with a brief to be serious news programmes feel the need to invite gangsta style people as spokespersons for what the yoof think? Both NN and This Week parade such people as the only 'model' of today's young? Are there no other models a young person might consider? One might ask is one not yoof if one is not a 1xtra [often mock] gangsta speaking hommie? Are not those constant examples on TV we see of mocksta as bizarre as McClaren speaking 'dutch english'?

    surely not all yoof are hoodie bling wearing Ali Gs and where exactly in the uk is this 'ghetto' they all sing about and apparently live in? Neasden might be hard but is it a ghetto?

    or are we being treated for what the bbc think is the model the young should have and those who don't are not worth talking to?

  • Comment number 57.

    brightyangthing @ 30
    On the whole they neglected to review anything.
    I want it back to when it was like this.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IDdyGXnaxQ&feature=PlayList&p=0E4886F13FA86806&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=24



    thegangofone @ 41
    Have you had much experience of academics?
    Some of them take up far out positions, and will continue to hold them against the orthodoxy.
    Acamedics don't just fall in-line. Consdier climate change skeptics.
    "The Incredible Human Journey" and Rageh Omah's "Race and Intelligence" are the orthodox paradigm, which he was positioned at odds to.
    He had a ridiculous array of references and I don't recall his position being about race (it was a lot more complicated than that).
    Your second point doesn't change what I was saying about him. I was saying he'd got to his position by himself - as opposed to adopting an ideology and then reading up about it. Co-inciding with others or thinking their ideas have some merit doesn't change that.

    Personally I think that a lot of the times where his opinions related to political/social policy the social science rather than the science was more important, but that rarely seemed a consideration in his position.

    To me you come across in a similar fashion (i.e. you can be tough to interact with as you are so set in your position) although you come across as a youngish activist whereas he came across as an ancient theorist - you have the same myopic focus - although clearly diometrically opposed philosophically. You clearly have a stronger social science focus than he did as well. It's nice to have your contributions on subjects that aren't your hobbyhorse, as we've been getting recently.

  • Comment number 58.

    #56
    Blimey Jaunty

    Neasden. That's a blast from my (Very distant) past! I woz brunged up pre bruvverhud in 'arlesden - London's original murder mile (then Wembley)! Where the only gang violence I ever saw was between two immigrant tribes.

    I fink we's must be past it innit bruv?

    I is got two yoof off me. Dey am so opposed man. One him likes to give it large wiv baggy raggy jeans, hoodie and beanie hat. Da uvver is well smart geezer.

    But neever speak like wot I do. And they darn't diss me neever.

    I'd rather walk out with the latter, but pay for the former!

  • Comment number 59.

    SCHOOL AND HARD-KNOCKS BELONG TOGETHER AS 'INSTITUTIONALISATION' (#55)

    "The ruler wielded by Miss Eglin, my teacher in Junior School, was 18 inches long and most inflexible boxwood. It taught me to pay attention."

    If there were a way for children to learn without being hurt (physically or psychologically + residing trauma - hopefully not physical) would you shift from the Wackford Squeers position?

    My view is that it is only because we heard (school) children into unnatural groups, for the purpose of Mammonising, that disruption from within the group becomes a threat, and is suppressed with violence.

    I suggest Transactional Analysis throws a clear light on this. *BYT.

  • Comment number 60.

    one wonders if there is no ghetto in the uk should the govt not create one so the mockstas do not feel deprived? Or is playing Grand Theft Auto enough?

  • Comment number 61.

    jaunty at 49 wrote:
    "today i overheard a group of grandmothers in a coffee shop.They were openly talking about that there is going to be a civil war in the uk with the Muslims. When topics like that get to become a clear as day topic for a grandmothers group then one should take warning about the 'trend' in the current social model?"

    Political correctness (cowardness) kept those sentiments aired by the grannies in the coffee shop, spoken in hushed tones for years, thanks in most part to the stupidity of idealistic socialism, but today they are becoming freely expressed; strong emotions cannot be locked up indefinitely. And talking of 'civil war' I've just watched on BBC2 the beheading of Charles 1st via the epic flick Cromwell. The grannies were wrong in their assertion that there will be a civil war...it will be a cultural religionist conflict. We need a new model army, and the grannies can join. You know who you need to vote for at the next general election if you have concerns about the direction this country is going. As for who shall be beheaded or hung for high treason...we have many to choose from. I have a dream: "Jack Straw, you have been found guilty of the charge of high treason". I see the future.

  • Comment number 62.

    #59 barrie

    "If there were a way for children to learn without being hurt (physically or psychologically + residing trauma - hopefully not physical) would you shift from the Wackford Squeers position?"

    Is that one in the Karma Sutra?

    "I suggest Transactional Analysis throws a clear light on this."

    I read all that adult/child/parent stuff (in the 70's?).
    National Service and Dale Carnegie cured most of my hangups - and please don't smile as you say my name unless sincerely amused.

  • Comment number 63.

    #50 & #51

    Thats a lovely poem, Brightyangthing

    12 inces equals approximately 30 cm

    mim

  • Comment number 64.

    #58,60
    "one wonders if there is no ghetto in the uk should the govt not create one so the mockstas do not feel deprived?"

    The gov't created the first one in Brixton many years ago and I remember taking my Zambian girlfriend there with her uncle. They were both very impressed, particularly when a white guy approached us and asked her Uncle "can you spare me the price of a coffee guv?" They were used to blacks begging from whites back home!

    Voluntary separation of dissimilar cultures is surely better than the failed attempt to create a melting pot in many English towns.

  • Comment number 65.

    #50 & #51 addendum

    BYT

    And the greatest roller gets them out in the streets but none of them get a ride unless they are deluded thieves though those who are not there to steal get a smile or something to this effect

    mim

  • Comment number 66.

    BYT

    It looks like the discussion today is getting closer to the heart of the matter

    mim

  • Comment number 67.

    #65

    BYT

    To put things on record, while the thieves are out in the streets the thief of thieves, i.e the 'messiah' is waiting for an opportunity to get a ride with the national treasure while in the meantime amassing funds all the way into a bank grinning away and dreaming of going on a world tour with a piece of meat. The whole operation must be such a thrill, wouldn't you say?

    mim

  • Comment number 68.

    iraq inquiry

    friday 2nd session.

    so far the iraq war has cost 8 billion [excluding health care for soldiers etc]

    the iraq war budget was labelled as 'counter terrorism' and war on terror. The official could not give a coherent explanation for that. [who thought of iraq as war on terrorism? ].

  • Comment number 69.

    61

    i don't have concerns myself i just thought it interesting that is what one might say 'ordinary people' think is a now reasonable discussion topic.

    my concern are the false idols people worship in their philosophy. the pathalogos of society or if you like the misnaming of the Good.

    The greatest religion in the uk is house worship. Which is why the National Trust is so big. Why anyone would want to worship the stones of 18th landed gentry houses that represent exploitation including slavery and repression of human rights is beyond me.

  • Comment number 70.

    BYT

    Having not dittied for a while, I thought I might take up this activity again as most other things leave me disinterested and untouching.

    A satirical ditty to a non-celeb planning to become one having already proclaimed himself the messiah:

    The messiah is planning to go on a world tour
    Insisting he is the one who is the main player
    Scheming and weaving delusional projects
    With a piece of meat as the Romeo’s object
    Of glory and power and self-satisfaction
    Of driving the talent to near destruction
    Have a good trip, said the piece of meat.

    mim

  • Comment number 71.

    #69 jc

    Could say the same about public interest (not worship) of many other symbols of oppression, the pyramids, Tower of London, Taj Mahal (builder allegedly 'disarmed' to prevent further rival buildings)and Dubai's Palm Island development, built by Pakistani labour (virtual slaves).

    Nearly all NT members viewing our heritage are indigenes or Americans. NT are trying hard to encourage ethnic minority membership by offering them free visits. Which group is guilty of discrimination?

  • Comment number 72.

    Prevarication of politicians in the run-up to the election

    It's fairly evident that this election is going to be dominated with public spending cuts. So far questioning about this has been mainly along the lines of 'what are you going to cut and when' and apart from some peripheral stuff this approach hasn't revealed much. I think that politicians may finder it harder to obfuscate if they are are asked questions such as 'supposing cuts result in 250,000 redundancies in the public sector and support services in the private sector what percentage of the savings would in fact be lost because of redundancy payments, claiming of benefit entitlements and loss of tax revenue'. Politicians would either have to deny that there would be aloss of 250,000 jobs or actually answer the question - either way we might be getting somewhere!

  • Comment number 73.

  • Comment number 74.

    Ooops...
    time for a poem. I think this should be called the 'two messiahs' or one celeb messiah and the other one not:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNThOQIzWSM&feature=related

  • Comment number 75.

    How do you reckon, BYT,
    Are there 2? Messiahs vying for the piece of meat?
    Or, is it that one is simply a man
    Who happens to be a celeb?
    While the other’s dreaming of the world tour
    Carrying on pretending he is the main player?
    Or maybe he hopes to share the world tour
    With the man who is real
    Who happens not to be poor?
    And how are they going to travel
    With the piece of meat, I marvel?

    mim

  • Comment number 76.

    #75 continuation

    And anyway, what does the Messiah stand for?
    And is the piece of meat a partner
    Of a Messiah weaving and scheming
    While dreaming as well as self-deluding?
    Thinking that everybody will bow to his tail?
    One of his nicknames is David Bowtell.
    That’s how we’re getting close to the truth
    About the Messiah or Devil uncouth
    Who didn’t know how to keep his own tail in check
    Making himself in the process a wretched sick wreck?
    And counting his pennies right to the end?

    mim

  • Comment number 77.

    #76 continuation

    This is a story of 2 academics
    Who decided to dabble in great politics
    In order to arouse a celeb piece of meat
    Discarding the rest as if it didn’t matter
    Both as good as each other.
    Which one’s the worst
    The first or the latter?
    One of them used to like to sit on the fence
    While the other was full of pretence
    tbc

    mim

  • Comment number 78.

    For the time being I shall make a geberal comment on last night's 30th Anniversary of Newsnight with so much having been said or implicated as the case may be that it would, and might, take me quite a long time to analyse. But whatever my conclusions, may I say that it was great in its richness of both the items and details contained in them, as well as Jeremy's handling of the interlocutors and the whole situation.

    Now, Neil Kinnock started quite well by admitting that politicians have tended to squeeze all colour out of whoever and that what was needed was a return to some basic human principles. As far as I remember both Mr Kinnock and Mr Patten avoided to use party slogans but rather concentrated on the biggest issues at stake which I found rather commendable, especially with the election looming in the near future.

    One other point that stuck out, as far as I am concerned, was the message that apparently the MI6 receives all info through the MI5 but I am just wondering whether this is in fact the case.

    mim

  • Comment number 79.

    I’ll suspend the story of the 2 academics for the time being
    And consider an option of 2 Messiahs ‘ruling’ the world.
    But what does it mean to be a Messiah
    And hope that the one non-celeb is going to say
    Of how he sees the future and his place in the world
    Globetrottering the continents and particularly Australia
    And is he planning to pass by Westfalia?

    mim

  • Comment number 80.

  • Comment number 81.

    #78 continuation

    I wouldn't agree with Neil Kinnock's view on spin doctoring having a desirable effect on the voters by constant repetition of the same old tune, over and over again, over and over again. It's like a broken record left unattended running hooelessly in vicious circles.

    Surely the voters get sick of this type of spin doctors in no time at all, including the spin doctor himself. I'm not making any judgements but it is just possible that Alistair Campbell has suffered from episodes of severe depression exactly for this reason. Perhaps artifice with no human values works for some but what a sad life this must be.

    Although nature does repeat itself in relatively regular pattern, no flower is exactly the same as the one from last year and it's even more true of the human beings. We do not stay sill. We all get older with time but with some of us becoming more mature while others senile or demented, etc.

    mim

  • Comment number 82.

    #81 continuation

    I've found A S Byatt's contribution about passion and manipulation most interesting.

    #81 continuation

    I've found A S Byatt's contribution about passion and manipulation most interesting.

    Manipulation started by a politician and 2 acadmicians
    Spreading right across the board with no escape for the time being
    With 'everybody' vying for a position and that's not just the adults but also the kids
    Waiting for a reaction of this or that fashion
    A S Byatt's right - there is place for passion but there's also compassion
    And I enjoyed looking at her facial expression

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A._S._Byatt

    It's well worth the read what the author has to say about how she sees the role of fantasy in one's life as well as on love versus, as she puts it, 'making things'.

    Now I would like to read all her books but can't for the time being, alas.

  • Comment number 83.

    MILIBAND D: "IT IS ALWAYS TOUGH TO WIN A FOURTH TERM"

    Only if you have cocked up the first three, such that we have had time to find you out Dave. If you had done a great job, we would be right behind you (without the knives) would we not?

    Definition of a Chilcott: An appropriate place for the deeply immature to catch a cold.

  • Comment number 84.

    #80

    brossen99

    A bit scary, as described in the introduction, the prospect of the Earth being hit by the asteroid. I'm not poking fun at you here. Now, that the Russians are, in fact, known to have quite good communication with the USA and especially Barack Obama, as testified by both Putin and Medvediev, I should imagine they will wish to engage the Americans in developing strategies to avoid such a catastrophe.

    Do you work for the Russians or with the Russians and what is your nationality, brossen99?

    mim

  • Comment number 85.

    #84 addendum

    Perhaps I ought to know the answer by now anyway. I seem to remember somebody mentioning a privately sponsored company working on a scientific project that has been so exhaustively talked about, etc

    mim

  • Comment number 86.

    ANIMAL MAGIC!

    #57 The Count.

    That clip. Pure Dead Briwwiant!

  • Comment number 87.

    Osama bin Laden has released a new tape praising the Xmas Day failure and the bomber as a hero. No doubt this is partially in the hope it will encourage the bomber, probably only basically trained in anti-interrogation, to keep quiet. I doubt that a zealot will keep quiet for long.

    But in it he links al Qaeda to Israel and here is the thing.

    If 9/11 was indeed psychologically linked to the Battle of Vienna 1683 where Islamic extremists were trying to open the gateway to Europe then it is about religious theology only. Muslims in Pakistan or elsewhere who are not of the right hue are just as likely to be murdered. Christmas Day is clearly a Christian day and it is hardly an accidental choice.

    So Israel is only a popular symbol and the fact that it is used rather than a declaration of ideological and religious purity with the intent of ultimately removing anybody opposed to their views.

    After all of these years (nearly a third of Newsnight's life) is it not worth examining the inconsistency between their stated position and their genuine position and how Pakistan see that.

    If we are to win in Afghanistan I would have thought it only possible by the democratic forces of Pakistan winning first in their own sovereign homeland.

  • Comment number 88.

    Oh the laughable BNP/far right types when they are not promoting "unaligned" English Defence League riots where policeman are injured they cite the wisdom of grannies as a social icon they can hide behind.

    Hitler used to rant on about the evil of Jews - but you never really had any facts and figures that justified those imbalanced rants that led to mass murder. Some of the old posters on this page used to try their dire internet-fantasy-statistics to show a Jewish hegemony - but they have never been aired in a court or an academic review just as similar fantasia statistics on the Holocaust having been "made up" have never been used at a war crimes trial such as the current one for alleged war criminal Djemjanjuk.

    In fact the far right have numbered more bombers in the last decade than al Qaeda. Lewington was done recently for his incompetent tennis ball bombs and an ex-BNP member got eleven years for possessing bombs and guns. We still have the ricin-possession guy in the North East to come in this batch I believe. In the past Griffin of the BNP's response to a gay pub bombing was to condemn their sexuality.

    So how many grannies are going to be behind these people?

    As for trying to hang Jack Straw I forget the chaps name but some old BNP associate tried to hire a hit man in Liverpool to kill a cabinet member. They didn't actually give him that many years as they probably felt sorry for the mental incompetent, but they should have been tougher.

    They did hang Nazis at Nuremburg but they did so with full legal due process - not via polemics and innuendo.

    As for wars with Islam the al Qaeda elements are just as likely to kill Muslims as non-Muslims and in fact they are the front line as the Quiller Foundation and so on show.

    You can always tell the far right are around as they make evil baseless assertions and are incapable of challenging their own malevolent attitudes even when they know all of the facts are against them.



  • Comment number 89.

    #57 the count

    "You clearly have a stronger social science focus than he did as well. It's nice to have your contributions on subjects that aren't your hobbyhorse, as we've been getting recently."

    Well gosh thanks.

    When "he" and others try to write off the Holocaust as "made up" and to "take people on a journey" towards National Socialist racial doctrines then I think you are clutching at straws if you think I will not fully utilize all of my rights and opportunities to speak.

    The BNP for instance try to portray themselves as mild "modern and progressive" people with an "intellectual" rationale.

    What you get when you rattle their cage is not surprisingly closer to the kind of monsters who have made the news recently like Lewington and other would be bombers at the one end and the "youth wing" the allegedly unrelated English Defence League at the other.

    "He had a ridiculous array of references and I don't recall his position being about race (it was a lot more complicated than that)"

    So when he ranted on about genes and race "realism" (suggesting there is a genetic difference between the races) and the Jewish hegemony you missed that then and also the positive references to Hitler? Some may say that was a clue.

    In fact I doubt that that poster did arrive at that hideous position alone and probably came from a far right family and was indoctrinated.

    But ultimately if the far right clear off to their field in Derbyshire, where the BNP hold their conferences, and play Nazis out of the public eye who cares?

  • Comment number 90.

    #86

    Brightyangthing

    I have meant myself to respond to the Count who says at #57 that they failed to review anything and that he wanted the past to come back alas this is not how it works and is akin to the proverbial river flow, an issue which I also touched on earlier today.

    By the way, what did you think of last night's Newsnight programme if you actually watched it, that is?

    mim

  • Comment number 91.

    If Kinnock believes that an unelected spin doctor is needed and should have come to be considered "the second most powerful man in the land" and maintains that even after the clear impact of "sofa politics" and cliques on issues such as the Iraq War then the man is a buffoon who does not get what the democratic process is all about and why Parliament is important.

    He does not get why there is such disillusionment with politicians and its not just the expenses.

    A good piece for Newsnight would be to ask the Tories whether they will allow the Cameron spin doctor such unconstitutional freedom and whether sofa politics will allow Murdoch to change things?

    How ate they positioning themselves over the Sky 17% share of ITV for instance?

  • Comment number 92.

    Re: “Bomb detectors”
    Thank you for uncovering this highly unsavoury fraud. I first came across these devices when filming ranger patrols in Kenya last year. The rangers proudly told me they were able to detect ivory, which helped them in their fight against poaching. I was astonished at the idea and asked to see these detectors. They showed me a flimsy plastic gismo in which a card was inserted. One card for ivory, another for drugs, another for explosives and so on. I was horrified, as much because I just didn’t know how on earth I was going to tell them that they had spent a VAST sum of money on a con, on a modern equivalent of a hazel twig divining rod. There was no POSSIBILITY that such a thing could work, but for me to tell these men, incredibly brave fighters against heavily armed gangs, that they had been conned, would have been to humiliate them. This is a huge part of the wickedness of this deceit, the exploitation of sensitive officials from the developing world who would instantly feel more than a hint of post-colonial patronisation and superiority in our insistence that they had been made fools of. Considering how much these rangers (a special breed who actually go into the bush and join poaching gangs undercover) risk and sacrifice every year on a small budget, it is hard to find words sufficiently strong for the cynical, cruel and monstrous fraud that has been perpetrated on them.

    Stephen Fry

  • Comment number 93.

    BYT

    Having said what I said about the past the present and the future and the continuum mobile, there of course situations where one would wish for some aspects of one's life to be at least similar to how they were before. Like recovering after an illness or being able to go back to work, for example, though in my case I couldn't possibly return to any of my previous jobs.

    mim

  • Comment number 94.

    DECEPTION (#92)

    Did you ever consider telling them that the god we 'sold' them, all those years ago, is as ineffective as the gismo?

    Had they known we can not be trusted, much good might have accrued.

  • Comment number 95.

    go1 wrote:

    "But ultimately if the far right clear off to their field in Derbyshire, where the BNP hold their conferences, and play Nazis out of the public eye who cares?"

    Your seem to care. I was just wondering, how would you deal with a BNP win at the next general election - Nick Griffin or one of his clones celebrating winning a seat in parliment? Who is responsible for the far-rights rise in British politics? The BNP and its rise can be traced back to the lefts delusional belief that different cultures and religions can cohabit. Every belief that the liberial has is counterintuitive to logic and reality with examples from history or just walking in our cities and communities. Why do people of different races and religions gather around only their own? Why do they like to be around their own kind? The problem with the nut jobs at searchlight and the far lefties is they spent too much time around their lefty wefty parents... the indoctrination process that you seem familiar with but are short in realising your own indoctrinated mind. The horrors of Hitler(6m) you make are valid but you seem to skip the horrors of Pol pot(1-3m) Mao se tung(60-70m) or stalin (35-40m). Why is that? its because everything they believed in is your own indoctrinated mindset. You can't challenge the good socialists can you, oh no! Stalin had to do what he did in order to bring about the socialist ideas to fruition. No mention of the 35+plus dead, no hollywood productions for that nugget of history. Chairman Mao: what about his style of socialism, the socialism that you revere. Do you avert your eyes to the death camps when you read that history. Since the fall of the Berlin wall, you lot at the searchlight institute of madness have lost the last reason to fly your red flag but you insist on sticking it where you can. But never once realising that the birth of Nick Griffins BNP was your creation. You are to blame GO1..YOU!

    cookieduck

  • Comment number 96.

    #92

    Stephen Fry

    That's a very sensitive and considerate post.

    I've stopped watching your programmes because I found personnelly that you were mocking the wrong people and thus falling into the trap as per barriesingleton.

    I understand you are currently on a 'sabbatical' from programme making in order to write a book and hope that this time will be a time for reflection and reprioritising your mocking subjects as well as, perhaps, time for transformation of cheap jokes into more subtle satire. There is a difference between the two, isn't there?

    My.name is Monika

    Best wishes, especially because I know that you are struggling with your own demons

  • Comment number 97.

    Oh I've forgot to mention Go1, I've missed you buddy, where have you been?

  • Comment number 98.

    HEY! THAT WENT WELL KEV! (#95)

    I definitely reserve the right for you to expound that opinion (OR ANY OTHER) just as long as you do it with such style. (:o)

    Your logic is unassailable: "Why do people of different races and religions gather around only their own? Why do they like to be around their own kind?"

    Oh I forgot: I also reserve your right to be totally ignored.(:o)

    Did you watch The Big Questions Pt3? 'Did God do a Douglas Adams with Haiti?' Not a lot of hope for mankind or logic there. Even the logical ones had not worked out the futility of being on TBQ!

  • Comment number 99.

    What! Mr Fry on here! The folks at Newsnight will be made up with him posting on here. If I was gay i think i'd marry him, if he was straight, and i was a woman i would want his babies. Sadly I'm a straight man and he's gay so thats that thought out the window. Anyhow our politics would make us incompatible anyway. Fry is todays Oscar wilde and noel coward rolled into one. If he had the comedy of Hicks/Manning...he would be a new religion, i would go to that church. Never understood why Kelvin Mcenzie slagged him off the other week in the Sun. He's the best talent -by far - the BBC has.

  • Comment number 100.

    @ Mim #90 - I LOVED last night's Newsnight Special :o)
    From the Late Great Charles Wheeler complaining of Ian Smithc coming in his ear (it was innocent :p) to "clairvoyant" Jeremy prediciting 20 years ago that " in the year 2010 sexual intercourse will have taken place 500 million times, making it the most practised and least witnessed joint activity in Britain" to Lord Patten stating that Blair wanted to be Jeeves in the Whitehouse. Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

    Also loved Jeremy's classic interviews with Michael Howard ("did you threaten to overrule him?")/Blair (accepting money from Desmond)/Asking David Cameron if he knew what a pink pussy was (a drink)/Asking Lamont if he would miss being Chancellor.

    However, I was amazed to see that people in 1983 were actually ashamed to be single mothers - the film showing the girls with their backs to the cameras because they did not want to be seen.

 

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