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Monday 4 January 2010 - the plan so far

Sarah McDermott | 10:59 UK time, Monday, 4 January 2010

The new year brings with it the promise of an election which must be held by the start of June, but which is being widely tipped to happen on 6 May. Conservative and Labour pre-election campaigning is already under way. Draft election manifestos have been published, a massive billboard campaign is being unveiled, and at a news conference earlier today the chancellor, Alistair Darling, pointed out a £34bn credibility gap in the opposition's policies.

Tonight David Grossman will be bringing us the latest on the election campaigning kick off.

Plus our Political editor Michael Crick will be looking ahead to what else lies in store for politics in 2010.

And following the Christmas Day bomb plot, Richard Watson is investigating if the bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was radicalised in the UK.

More later.


  • Comment number 1.

    I look forward to the first of this year's Newsnight returning to our screens :o)

  • Comment number 2.


    Camilla Batmanghelidjh, taking to Andrew Marr, seemed to concur. She said the public are waiting for MORALLY BRAVE (endowed with integrity?) politicians, who will deal in RAW TRUTH.


    But the conniving ciphers currently in post, or waiting in the party-dominated wings, will simply fill the gap left by the SYMPTOMATIC expenses/allowances fiasco, through the votes of the living-dead who still attend polling stations, unaware the degree to which our democracy is a sham. (Anyone who would challenge me: check out the differential votes to gain a seat for each of the three main parties, then tell me this is democracy. And please don't quote Churchill - I gather he connived too?)

    We have now had two Prime Ministers who make much of their God-given integrity. One lied us into a war and the other is so caught up in multiple duplicities, he needs his own adjective: 'multiplicitous'.


    It is not some nebulous threat from over there we must 'dismantle' and neutralise, it is the TERRIBLE threat of further deranged, megalomaniac, Messiahs, floating to the top of the Westminster swamp.
    Let our watchword be "RAW TRUTH". The first step is to:


  • Comment number 3.

    surprised no one reported the slanging off Sir Richard Dearlove KCMG OBE, Master of Pembroke College Cambridge and former head of the British Secret Intelligence Service gave for the 'war on terror' rhetoric in his gresham college talk?

    he defines 'new terrorism'
    that pakistan still see india more of a threat than the taliban.
    he says AQ has no political aims, is nihilistic and occupies a non negotiable space.
    he says what went on after 9/11 in the usa made clear thinking, balanced and sensible discussion about the problem more difficult. Some of the Bush administration acts inhibited counter terrorist activities.
    the detail of usa policy remains aggressive and hardline under Obama. even more so than under Bush.
    Nation states cannot take them on their own. Forcing relationships with countries through necessity rather than choice.

    Every Uk conspiracy leads back to Pakistan. He says AQ's focus on Pakistan and iraq was a strategic mistake. Pakistan's stability [nuclear] is his concern.

    he says AQ getting weapons of mass effect rather than mass destruction is more accurate description of the problem.

    that modern communications allow small groups a global platform to attract followers which did not happen in the past. We constantly live 'close to the edge' although the chance of being a victim is remote and that the 24hr media lacks proportionate and is attuned to playing on anxieties while nation states have less ability to keep order. The greatest example of this is climate change.

    he says because we cannot explain why we are in afghanistan he recommends that there be
    1. a national security council with power to take control
    2. a national security advisor [a lite version of the usa model]
    3.A security staff college that would prevent the practice of unqualified government advisers being parachuted into vital security roles.
    this college should remain uk national as in his experience EU security institutions do not deliver the results expected.

  • Comment number 4.

    Plane Stupoid

    the neocon crusade without end goes on. Yemen then somalia? The guy came from Nigeria so it'll be there next...?

    given gordon's answer to every problem is a tax will there be a special 'war on terror' tax?

    locking down the west means they win?

  • Comment number 5.


    Plus our Political editor Michael Crick will be looking ahead to what else lies in store for politics in 2010.

    The year in Politics will be very interesting and informative in 2010....

    =Dennis Junior=

  • Comment number 6.


    Why not fit a fanatic with a false (explosive) liver-lobe or kidney? Al-Q can work out the rest.

    However, why bother about success? A crass failed attempt, clearly, has us all demented, and while we are all chasing shadows at airports - there are a lot of tunnels . . .

    It might be a lot simpler (and less scary) if we were to stop putting others right, worldwide, and apply the parable of Mote and Beam.
    And can someone STOP Brown compounding Blair's error - banging on about "PERVERTED ISLAAM"? Verily, there is more perversion in British Christianity, as practised by Blair and Brown, than in a terrorist manual of a thousand pages. . .

  • Comment number 7.

    Happy New Year, everyone.

    I look forward to a year of serious, pertinent and searching questions, answered truthfully and leading to serious, informed and balanced debate.

    (Gotta have a dream - if ya don't have a dream, how ya gonna have a dream come true?)

  • Comment number 8.

    Happy New Year, can we have the panel on every week on how the election is going, I mean we have to endure five months of this so we may as well be informed and Jeremy is on good form when he takes the piss.....


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