BBC BLOGS - Newsnight: From the web team
« Previous | Main | Next »

Friday 8 January 2010 - the plan so far

Sarah McDermott | 12:11 UK time, Friday, 8 January 2010

Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson is coming under increased political pressure over allegations about his wife's financial affairs. Tonight we'll consider if Iris Robinson - who obtained £50,000 from two property developers to help her young lover start a business - should resign, and if she might bring down the political career of her husband with her. We'll be seeking out opinion from Northern Ireland and from Westminster, and examining whether it is vital for the power-sharing Executive that Mr Robinson survives.

And at the end of an eventful week Michael Crick will be assessing where Gordon Brown stands after the failed coup. Incidentally Michael was blogging yesterday about whether Mr Brown was now safe and reports that Justice Secretary Jack Straw was enraged by Nick Robinson's report on the plot - you can read that here.

More later.


  • Comment number 1.


    I doubt the coiner of that adage applied good scientific enquiry to arrive at his certainty. But misbehaviour of the powerful is all around - not just in Ireland. I have suggested it is to do with the PSYCHOLGY of those who seek it, but Westminster doesn't care a damn, it loves aberration and espouses the aberrant. On Daily Politics there was talk of a massive 'new intake' with promise of change. Huh! New wine in old bottles. If I might mix my metaphors: Westminster is a rotten barrel; no matter how shiny the new apples - the rot remains.

  • Comment number 2.


    It's not just Westminster, Barrie. You don't even have to move away from your own computer - look around you and at your blogging friends...

  • Comment number 3.

    #2 meant to refer to #1

  • Comment number 4.

    #50 from previous page


    I'm glad to hear that you do not have problems with your family

    Regards to your parents and father-in-law


  • Comment number 5.

    wind farms

    gordon is addicted to the most expensive version of renewables. the engines for these will come from the usa.

    we have millions of acres of factory roof space and industrial estate lying idle. this is has been proved in europe as the best model.

  • Comment number 6.


    Don't we have to put such a large order out to tender, in all EU countries? British wind turbines for EU workers?

    I bet a few get nicked. They could use those shaped Thermate charges that brought the 9/11 towers down. Pop a Thermate collar on and some water-activated flotation bags. . .

  • Comment number 7.


    I see you are very knowledgabe on conspiracy equipment - both thermal and aquatic

  • Comment number 8.


    I have pondered before a breakdown of Westminster's finest, by previous bent. Lawyers seem very well represented. Law does not concern itself with morality; the link is obvious.
    They say: "Those who can, do, while those who can't - teach". With lawyers, does the second half become: "Those who can't, become MPs"? They also say: "Tears are the last refuge of a scoundrel". Might I coin: "Fury is just another ploy for a lawyer"?

    I remember Straw doing righteous fury when on the Question Time panel with Nick Griffin. It was a little too holy. I watch him during PMQs, doing that odd trick with his tongue: forcing it slowly through his lips. It looks like some 'comforting ritual' to me, and I wonder what currents run beneath that - otherwise placid - surface.

    Might the redoubtable Mr Crick draw up a list of MPs by previous bent? I think it would be quite illuminating. Factor-in, misdemeanours, and it should light up like a Christmas tree!

  • Comment number 9.

    iraq inquiry

    General Sir Peter Wall and Jon Day evidence

    the uk has no model of organisation or ability to create a police force in iraq.

    the british military were neither structured nor resourced to deal with two enduring operations.

    so basically tony's ego was writing checks the military nor the uk could cash?

  • Comment number 10.

    # Barrie

    Approximately 14 months ago one man licked and you all seem to be at it. Do you remember my ditty on licking and ticking?

  • Comment number 11.

    The last coup resulted in Brown's ambitions for Ed Balls being curbed. Since then there has been a slow recovery by Ed Balls; and of the values he persuades the PM to follow. Is it being too paranoid to wonder if the latest 'coup' was designed to halt that drift?

    I guess the choices we have, in terms of the key players, are:

    Brown Balls
    Darling Mandelson

    or Cameron Osborne

    The one which sounds most unattractive, by a long way, is Brown Balls; but that seems the way Labour will go.

    Does Clegg Cable start to sound attractive?

  • Comment number 12.

    TONY'S EGO (#9)

    As Melvyn Bragg would say: "Let's unpack that".

    If we look at the Anthony Lynton Blair of today, he is clearly launched from reality - flying in a firmament of his own imagining. He is both God's servant and the Devil's Disciple, yet is accepted in a variety of elevated places, by many who should know better, and who pay inordinate fees. By no stretch of rationality, can he be viewed as balanced, or an asset to the World.

    There have been others. Individual men who started from ordinary beginnings, but rose to mad heights of self-aggrandisement. Empires, Church-denominations, massacres and oppression usually accrue.
    A common pattern, in the individual, seems to be a burning need to be 'somebody', coupled with the animal-gift we term 'charisma'. Charisma alone gives us conmen and seducers; NEED alone, yields drunks and drug addicts. The two together gave us Tony.

    When the wannabe discovers their charisma 'works', laziness is entrenched. Tony was noted for not wanting to bother much, hence his gravitation to the natural home of such feckless ones - Westminster. Ham-acting and crass blagging became the norm. Dark artists were drawn to his side, and the word went out: "He is a great communicator." Yeah - right. Print out a speech and try to work out what it is 'communicating'. Blair simply communicated 'I am Tony, in whom you are well pleased'. At a dumb animal level (much of humanity) THAT IS ENOUGH.

    Much is made of the merits of democracy - we claim not to go to war - mutually. But America, a democracy by repute, gave the world Dubya, and Britain gave US Tony. Clearly, democracies elevate the very individuals I have delineated above AND DO IT ROUTINELY. That is the simple answer to why there is so much war in the world. It follows, we should seek, urgently, the wisdom to inspect our political system more minutely than an airline search. Leave no orifice un-probed. Currently we have Brown - a 'worthy', needy, wannabe, delusional successor to Anthony Lynton Blair. He has no concept of the true nature of our decay, and continues to 'do sums' to save the world. Dave and Nick are simple variations on the theme; success in Westminster defines them. Help!


  • Comment number 13.


    Isn't it precisely trying to be somebody, barrie, while pontificating on the ills of all and soundry?

  • Comment number 14.

    democracy?...don't make me laugh, two million people march against an armed invasion with no legitimacy, not sanctioned by the UN and a liar takes no notice and goes ahead on a flawed prospectus and we can call that democratic justice, a hundred thousand deaths later and he is still kidding the troops and making a mint.....

  • Comment number 15.

    Today I did a lot of stuff for elderly people who live near me - shopping and what not. The thing that is causing worry for these people is the GAS supply and not much else.

  • Comment number 16.

    @ Stevie,

    Two million do not represent the total views of the country. How could they?

    Whatever people think about Afghanistan there has not been a bomb on the London Tube recently.

    Some in the military believe you are better taking the fight to them rather than sit here and fight an insurgency war in the UK.

    I lived in London during the IRA bombings. It wasn't easy walking down streets wondering if any of the parked cars would explode.

    Yet even in those days, the Brits being Brits, would moan.
    I was on a train heading for Bournemouth. At Woking the train was evacuated
    because of a bomb scare. We were all taken into the station car park and away from the train.

    Thirty or forty minutes later the moans started.
    "Why did we have to get off the train?", ".. they should let us back on ...".

    I asked one of them, "would you prefer to arrive in Bournemouth ninety minutes late or in a bin liner?". No rely was forthcoming.

  • Comment number 17.

    No reply was forthcoming.

  • Comment number 18.


    the difference is we did not invade ireland nor boston usa to clear up 'the training camps'.

    RAND and an ex head of SIS etc say the strategy is wrong. there is no war. these are crimes to be dealt with through the law and counter terrorism not invasions.

    if we invade everywhere where 'training' or fund raising might be going on then we will set the world on fire. which might suit those who have a mindset that wishes to 'provoke' the second coming.

  • Comment number 19.

    No music at the end of NN, Emily waring all black - has something happened?

  • Comment number 20.

  • Comment number 21.

    DECISIONS DECISIONS (Fixing Cameron's fat face)

    How to decide if the Cons, under Dave, are more pathetic in CONCEIVING OF fixing his fat face, or in THINKING THAT WE WON'T NOTICE they have fixed his fat face. Surely, this alone (without Brown and his barmy cohorts) is sufficient to bring down Westminster and all its works?

    Search: "david cameron poster"

  • Comment number 22.

    to Ron Taylor, you are an Afghan, you are skint, no home except for a mudhut, and all these white guys with guns jump out of helicopters start pushing you around and then kill one hundred thousand of your countrymen, you did not invite them in, no UN sanction but a few of your totally corrupt leaders 'took a drink' and sold their souls to the 'invaders' for the 'right' to legitimise their invasion and you want them to 'go away' Like my Dad did in 1939/40 on the south coast as Hitler was 22 miles away. I was that Afghan, I was that Iraqui but I could tell you this for a million years and you still wouldn't understand you Mr Taylor? That is why millions marched with many marched with you...RON

  • Comment number 23.


    That man is SOOO like Magic Obama. When he assures, you just KNOW it is going to be OK. I mean: would a son of the Manse, deceive or dissemble? Would a man termed 'honourable' risk a fall from grace, for some paltry gain in approval? Could a man with a Moral Compass (magnetised to point 'True Worth', at the solenoid-knees of his parents) ever stray from the path of righteousness?

    YEAH - DAMNED RIGHT HE COULD - JUST WATCH HIS STYLE. Then it's Fathead Dave's turn, unless we


  • Comment number 24.

    23. At 9:12pm on 09 Jan 2010, barriesingleton wrote:

    Oh, great.


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.