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Friday 5 February 2010

Verity Murphy | 14:16 UK time, Friday, 5 February 2010

UPDATE - MORE DETAILS ON TONIGHT'S PROGRAMME

"As a captain with the team, John Terry has displayed extremely positive behaviour. However, I have to take into account other considerations and what is best for all of the England squad. What is best for all of the England team has inspired my choice." - England boss Fabio Capello.

John Terry has been stripped of the England captaincy following allegations about his private life.

Tonight we will be discussing whether it was the right decision.

Also, the UK's biggest manufacturer and one of the world's biggest defence companies, BAE Systems has reached agreement with fraud investigators on both sides of the Atlantic.

The company will pay the US government a total of a quarter of a billion pounds for conspiring to make false statements.

BAE has admitted to one charge of inadequate accounting in the UK... the fine here is £30m.

Peter Marshall, who has been covering the BAE story for many years for Newsnight, will be reporting live from Washington DC.

And, three Labour MPs and one Tory peer will face criminal charges over their expenses, the Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer has said.

MPs Elliot Morley, Jim Devine, David Chaytor and Lord Hanningfield will be charged under the Theft Act.

All four have said they deny any charges and would defend their positions robustly.

What impact will this dark day in British politics have on the upcoming election and public opinion?

Join Gavin Esler at 10.30pm on BBC Two.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ENTRY FROM 1416GMT

Here are the things we are looking at for tonight's programme:

We are focussing on the news that the Crown Prosecution Service has said that three Labour MPs and one Conservative peer will face criminal charges over their expenses.

We are also across the power-sharing deal in Northern Ireland.

A deal between NI's biggest parties, the DUP and Sinn Fein, could see policing and justice powers devolved to Northern Ireland on 12 April.

More details later.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    I hope you get your technical gremlins sorted out soon. Any ideas why last night's episode isn't available on iPlayer?

  • Comment number 2.

    Didn't someone once point out in this blog that England is now a group of Regional Development Agencies about the size of Scotland, and that power had been devolved to these, like London and Wales? This being so, and given that we are now pretty much answerable to Brussels legally, how long before Ireland itself is unified and the UK and GB cease to exist?

    Surely the Unionists have nothing to be unifield with? Except Eire.... and Europe?

  • Comment number 3.

    'What impact will this dark day in British politics have on the upcoming election and public opinion?

    Given the much bigger issues - the ravaging by plutocrats and the associated Foreign policy travesties, not a lot I hope/suspect.

    Such petty 'offerings' just shouldn't/won't work.

  • Comment number 4.

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

  • Comment number 5.

    Earlier today my #59 post was cancelled which I assume was due to me mentioning the name of a particular supermarket. I appreciate that it may be off topic but at the same time it is to do with live networking, i.e. direct communication with people who I imagine also watch the BBC. I have now readjusted the text which goes as follows:

  • Comment number 6.

    #5 apologies, forgot to include the ditty. Here it is:

    I had a ride to the shops and back
    And saw all shelves very well stacked.
    Had also a couple of chats
    As well as exchanging a glance
    With quite a few people per chance.

    mim

  • Comment number 7.

    John Terry

    Recently heard on a light hearted piece (doubtless in the can a few weeks) on Nelson (paraphrased)

    "It's a good job the best admiral/leader in English naval history wasn't judged on his morality and standards in his personal life"

    I DOoooooooooo so hope that Capello's closet is devoid of skeletons.

    I wish even more that NN were not bothering with this non story. We've heard it all already. Therefore it is NOT news


    MP's expenses.
    Nor will further revelations on MP's expenses be.

  • Comment number 8.

    Dear Dan Damon;
    I always listen with interest to your show BBC World Update. This morning you brought to us the story of the young Muslim girl who was being pressured into being a suicide bomber. Truly a sad and anger causing case. But the U.S. uses drone aircraft to do the same. But leaving that asside we need to look at the mid-east situation from a system poing of view which is rarely done if at all and never in the media. Just why are we having trouble in the Mid-east? Western countries believe they have a right to do business any where in the world. The wealthy believe it is there inalienable human right to become wealthier no matter how they do it. They send there buisness emmisaries all over the world looking for the greediest men they can find give them more money and help them become more powerful in there communities. Where they make more wage slaves. Creating a viscious circle, wages impoverish by removing people from there birth-right, the land, and because they are not able to rase there children properly teaching them how to live on the land and with there neighbors society breaks down. Whitness all the violence in the ghettos of America it's a systems failure. Or the inforced poverty of the Brittish working class.
    What is happening in the mid-east is desprate people trying to hang onto a shred of pride and autonomy in the face of over whelming force of power and religion coming down on them. And they are a very proud people.
    Our schools are manipulated by the wealthy if not directly controled and they believe that is there god given right to take all the wealth available. America's military is out there just killing and dying to make these rich men richer by inforcing this god given right putting forth this extreemely emotional appeal by the Moslim child is demogogery. I expect better from the BBC and am continually disapointed.
    What do we do we leave every one else alone or do business on there terms when we are in there countrys. We learn to live with in our means on the land we live on. Taking form others is wrong no matter how we do it.
    I lived on a ship for 4 years educating myself as to living on a ship which extends to the whole earth. The earth is our ship. On the Navy ship we didn't fight over the resources though there was some thevery of personal effects due to the poverty of the sailors from previous lives. The BBC's failure to teach systems analysis to there listeners does a tremendous disservice to the world. In that we cannot escape the system in which we have become an extremely negative player it will destroy us global warming in is the warning.

  • Comment number 9.

    WISDOM COMES TO NEWNIGHT (#8)

    Quietly, yet powerfully, 'spoken' kopnitsk. You will most certainly be ignored.

  • Comment number 10.

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

  • Comment number 11.

    CRAWLING FROM THE WRECKAGE

    ".....What impact will this dark day in British politics have on the upcoming election and public opinion?

    The phrases 'Stable Door' and Horses Bolting' spring to mind here.

  • Comment number 12.

    9. barriesingleton 'You will most certainly be ignored.'

    Or 'appropriated' if not ignored?

    Still, as kopnitsk asserts 'global warming in is the warning', and as Susan Watts is in pursuit of truth, here's something which may not be worth ignoring.

  • Comment number 13.

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

  • Comment number 14.

    NN asks:

    " What impact will this dark day in British politics have on the upcoming election and public opinion?"

    Good question but whilst we ponder that, can we not hang the buggers. I've heard that some MPs who are to be prosecuted have invoked a little known law from the 17th century that gives them immunity from pain of the Law. Get the Parliments achivist to dig up that other little known law, that any MP who are found wanting in the honesty dept.
    are drawn, hung and quartered. Can this be arranged? preferably just before the election.

  • Comment number 15.


    GOOD QUESTIONS - DAMNED GOOD QUESTIONS - AND KEVSEYWEVSEY! (#79)

    "Good question but whist we ponder that, can we not hang the buggers."

    There goes the hernia again Kev. What a knack you have of cutting through the carp. Nub R you.

    Bravo!

  • Comment number 16.

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

  • Comment number 17.

    Verity Murphy .

    "BAE has admitted to one charge of inadequate accounting in the UK... the fine here is £30m."

    in other words, about 20% of what they paid out in bribes.

    cheap, considering..

  • Comment number 18.

    17. At 07:09am on 06 Feb 2010, jr4412 wrote:
    in other words, about 20% of what they paid out in bribes.


    It's the new maffs.

    Cost of inquiry > fines imposed (and doubtless soon to be waived anyway)= RESULT!

  • Comment number 19.

    #18

    JunkkMale

    Are you being honest about dishonesty? If so, it's very touching, so to speak.

    Should say 'bravo!'?

    mim

    By the way, 20% of what sum?

  • Comment number 20.

    mimpromptu #19.

    "By the way, 20% of what sum?"

    £145m (approx), Robert Peston's blog.

  • Comment number 21.

    17. jr4412 'in other words, about 20% of what they paid out in bribes.

    cheap, considering..'

    Well said.

    We appear to be living in times when stating what's sensible is frowned upon as 'cynicism', 'being depressing' or 'politically incorrect', i.e. times when straight, intelligent, thought and talk is punished as threateningly inconvenient to those who profit from subterfuge and mendacity.

  • Comment number 22.

    Statist #21.

    "We appear to be living in times ... when straight, intelligent, thought and talk is punished as threateningly inconvenient to those who profit from subterfuge and mendacity."

    could it be denial?

  • Comment number 23.

    JunkkMale #18.

    "Cost of inquiry > fines imposed (and doubtless soon to be waived anyway)= RESULT!"

    like the Legg Inquiry? recovered: £1.12m, cost: £1.16m. LOL

  • Comment number 24.

    22. jr4412 Nice link and suggestion.

    It fits the infantilization and dumbing down.

  • Comment number 25.

    NEW MAFFS (#18)

    With unemployment looming, does crime pay? Prison building, staffing and supplying. Probation service and ancillaries. Extra police. Courts plus all the trimmings. Financial institutions' 'services to theft and fraud'. Customs and Excise staffing and related port officers.


  • Comment number 26.

    MEANWHILE ARCHER IS STILL A LORD

    If those Europeans weren't so embarrassed by their Hookey Parliament, they would be helpless with laughter at ours. Over here, we are 'putting our House(s) in order' while ARCHER REMAINS A LORD.

    What a bloody charade!

  • Comment number 27.

    barriesingleton #26.

    no worries man, we are ROTFL, regardless. (because we don't like to discriminate)

  • Comment number 28.

    Fill Yer Boots.

    Politics in Afghanistan, Africa and the UK all have something in common?

    i have no problem with MP's getting paid 100k etc. Then they would not have to take the money in kind from organisations that are thinly veiled fronts for other countries foreign ministries and their interests.

    Tony [whose expenses were 'accidentally' shredded] is the one who got away?

    BAE

    i remember writing about this years ago. There was no law about bribing foreign nationals in the uk or abroad. They were doing nothing illegal under the rules [like the MPs].

    why blame BAE for the corruption of foreign nationals who buy goods they don't need.

    SIS seeds its retirees into such companies. Who would have just been doing what they were used to?

    the usa is just defending its own industry.

    'Culture TV thinks important'
    does anyone watch review? does it have its own blog?

  • Comment number 29.

    'Tonight we will be discussing whether it was the right decision.'

    Pardon the pun, but is it any of your business?

    These are private sector enterprises are they not?

    It's just more pseudo social conscience theatrics like the petty ACA 'investigations'. It's all a distraction from the major issue of the day, namely the mega plutocratic pilfering at the public's expense.

    See yesterday's blog (those who don't like chewing on old bones needn't bother).

  • Comment number 30.

    LORD GOLDSMITH - TWO OUT OF TWO - ANOTHER BETTER VIEW.

    "Justice has been done" (BAE Systems). And SEEN to be done my Lord?

    Goldie has Tony's certainty doesn't he. No wonder they 'got on'.

  • Comment number 31.

  • Comment number 32.

    31. kevseywevsey - with respect to the first link, are you absolutely sure that this, (like the Iraq and Afghanistan and heaven forbid, Iran conflict), isn't a domestic contrivance designed to bring liberal minded Europeans into the Middle-East conflict in support of one side, whilst serving the interests of those who support the free-market? Right wing Conservatives, they aren't all that they seem perhaps?

  • Comment number 33.

    Everyone loves a man who cries?

    Blimey, between SKY and the BBC today I am served a smorgasbord of new age males showing their soft side...

    Alastair Campbell having 'a moment' on Andrew Marr...

    Gordon not bringing his family, sniff, into politics... again...

    Some media bloke who met him ('...and he has grandchildren..') empathising with a distressed Dr. Jones, ex of CRU.

    Where is some hard-edge harpie when you need her to get on with the business of governing effectively and not worrying about how she feels about it?

    Though it is quaint that some seem to feel that being asking questions about questionable activities is being mean and really not something decent sorts should do lest the target get upset.

  • Comment number 34.

    UNDER UK LAW A SPOUSE IS NOT COMPELLED TO INCRIMINATE (#33)

    Alastair's UNCONDITIONAL love for Tony was ALWAYS apparent (beyond doubt). For Marr to press him, as he did, was a disgrace.

  • Comment number 35.

    #33

    I don't know, all this mysterious communication and messages passed on without the use of proper names, etc.

    If not some unprecised 'wordsmith' who might come to regret writing the way they do, then we now have a 'harpie' supposedly expected to 'govern' without worrying about 'her' own feelings, ??, as per JunkkMale.

    I've been in this country for thirty one and a half years and am still at a loss who wants what and how to decipher all this verbal and symbolic non-transparency.

    mim

  • Comment number 36.

    34. At 10:02am on 07 Feb 2010, barriesingleton

    Actually, the main thing I recall from Mr. Marr's 'show' today was the succession of odd folk walking backwards and forwards outside like extras in a cheap production trying to 'suggest' a crowd. Quite distracted me from anything actually said which, if the intention, was sneaky but showed a true appreciation of the dark arts.

    Sadly, I recall what most others came out with, when pressed, if delicately, quite well.

  • Comment number 37.

    WHAT'S YOUR ATTENTION SPAN JUNKK? (#36) (I don't want to lose my crown.)

    That was the Mekon interview that featured happy wanderers behind him. Did you register the excellent direction, when the lady-extra hung back, and peered into the window? There's an award in that.

    But Alastair - "Tony is an honourable man" - Campbell, was the star performer. Utterly revealing: both of his adoration for Tony AND his increasing difficulty in maintaining that untenable belief.

    The centre cannot hold, but will the slumbering British electorate go 'once more to the breach' or allow the Westminster Citadel to fill the gap with brain-dead voters?

    SPOIL PARTY GAMES.

  • Comment number 38.

    3. At 16:33 pm on 7 Feb 2010, JunkkMale wrote:
    37. At 11:41am on 07 Feb 2010, barriesingleton wrote:
    WHAT'S YOUR ATTENTION SPAN JUNKK?

    Well, it IS Sunday, so slack could, and perhaps should be cut.

    But like so many things, from the pronouncements of those who feel they are born to lead to the shenanigans of those in media they play with, both needing the other equally, one tends to pay attention and, on occasion, engage only if it's interesting, strikes a chord and seems worth it. Otherwise, I can be as gnat-like as most.

    A bit like with some on these pages, on occasion, I guess.

    Mainly what was broadcast seemed to be what focus groups (seeking votes, or ratings, depending, though these are of course not mutually exclusive) seem to think the majority want to hear. All I heard was a cosy, if vague, white noise, but it ended up like that 'mosquito' device designed to drive teenagers away.

    Oddly, I have noticed I am getting on better with mine. I was even moved to risk commenting on the improvement.

    'Dad,' they patronised, 'you seem to be trying to talk with us more and tell us what to do less. Plus, sometimes, it's funny and makes sense'. I can work with that.

    I thought they were not paying attention. Seems I was not spanning the gap to properly engage.

    But then, I don't have books, or dodgy pols (and their equally 'flexible' policies) to sell.

    Just read a 'tweet' from Ch4 on how all WUVIs are 'shocked' that such powerful men as Messrs Campbell and Brown are moved to tears in the public domain. Can't say that, with either, that was my first stomach wrenching reaction.

    Though I did recall that old Private Eye phrase, what was it... 'tired and emotional'. Sympathetic, possibly, if real. Empathetic even, if shared with sincerity. Simply pathetic if just another tool to try and spin a few more supporters attracted to sensitivity. And possibly not gong to cut it with the Cadres or various world leaders with flocks who kinda follow for other reasons than their ability to 'emote'.

    No 10 seems to brew some interesting cocktails. Great for soap operas and WAG/footy fallouts. Not sure that's how I fancy my seat of governance operating, mind.

  • Comment number 39.

    38. JunkkMale 'Just read a 'tweet' from Ch4 on how all WUVIs are 'shocked' that such powerful men as Messrs Campbell and Brown are moved to tears in the public domain. Can't say that, with either, that was my first stomach wrenching reaction.'

    You can't put a ----- head on ----- shoulders (blanks not indicative of character count). Women and 'children' first.

    I really do hate to sound cynical when I'm being straight, but the PR advice has clearly worked on the target demographic (the guru has evidently been doing a seminar), but you're just not a member of that demographic, i.e (like me), you just don't matter, you're an outlier.

    Remember Draper's second career? In this high stakes game they pull out all the theatrical stops.

  • Comment number 40.

    QUITE (#38)

    "No 10 seems to brew some interesting cocktails."

    If our Prime Ministers are the 'refined spirit' distilled from that mash of MPs elected to Westminster, the carp left behind must be repellant - even toxic. Ah!

  • Comment number 41.

    Watching Campbell on the Marr show this morning just made my stomach turn.

    In one breath he as much admitted that he's just been advising Brown to show more emotion, in order to connect better with the people....and low and behold when he was pressed by Marr during the TV interview (that was supposed to be only about his new novel), about the Iraq affair, his face turned ashen....and the emotion 'came-a-flooding'.

    Maybe he should take up acting...as opposed to just writing garbage!

  • Comment number 42.

    Hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands.... get blown to bits in wars from Iraq, Afghanistan to closer to home (and it's still happening) in part engineered/facilitated by these people, and we're supposed to go 'ahhhhh' when they get emotional over attachments and integrity?

    H. Clinton greets D. Miliband (like a manic, stary-eyed, long-lost girlfriend, and we're supposed to believe it's sincere?

    This is Hollywood/Elstree.... they're just not very good students - surely that's why the yanks go for people like Ronnie and Arnie?

    Advisors now clearly think the average viewer very dumb (and that's taken years of engineering).

  • Comment number 43.

    FWIW, in my experience, people who have 'nervous breakdowns' just aren't (and never have been) very pleasant people. At some point their behaviour just gets too much for them, and for everyone else!

  • Comment number 44.

    OVERSEDUCTIVE AND OVER THERE?

    Remember the Straw Man's odd behaviour round 'Condi' Rice? Well, now we know what Miliband got his 'D' for - 'dupe'. Hillary even went public with synthetic hots for him. Who says we should turn a blind eye to the 'attachments' of public figures? Thank goodness Michelle is so tall - Dave is in no danger, even if he could match the photo-shopped posters and stop looking like a chubby-cheeked schoolboy.

  • Comment number 45.

    43

    i disagree. anyone can be made to break given the right conditions.

    you can give anyone a nervous breakdown with 20 weeks through over work. the soviet gulags had it worked out to a science in terms of work quota-ing people to death. they even measured roads construction in deaths per mile.

    you can drive people insane through noise in less time. people kill over noise pollution. which is why noise is used as torture. noise pollution that disturbs the peace should be a criminal act.

    the human body and mind are fragile things. go into the red zone and don't get enough rest or sleep and anyone will crack.

    i think what we are seeing is that those who thought they got away with a crime of aggression now realise in the court of public opinion they haven't and because its on tv [unlike other enquiries] they cannot deny the overwhelming evidence against them.

  • Comment number 46.

    45. jauntycyclist 'the soviet gulags had it worked out to a science in terms of work quota-ing people to death. they even measured roads construction in deaths per mile.'

    That was published in Pravda, yes?

    Don't you think it's heroic how those socialists worked/tortured their own innocent people to death and told the world all about to ensure that nobody else adopted their evil, inhumane, political system? They were clearly as bad as the Germans.

    We're so lucky we're free, and busily privatising.

  • Comment number 47.

    the cracks are showing across the board in the neo-con 'Game'. The attempt to create a permanent war on Islam, the attempt to blame immigrants for the social ills created by underinvestment in social services, the attempt to restart the NI 'Troubles' by preventing the transfer of policing and constantly building up the 'catholic insurgency', the attempt to sell of all our national assets (either for ideological reasons or just straight corruption - or indeed, both), the attempt to restart the 'war on Islam' over Xmas by ignoring the warnings over the Xmas day bombing and using it to attack Muslims in the West generally, the attempt to create a tory v NuLabour 'debate' over non issues in the media to distract from the more vibrant smaller parties, the attempt to cling onto power, any power, at any cost. All are failing under Public grasp of the issues, and willingness to enter the political debate.


    at least they are no longer banging on about swine-flu, and how 20million Britons will die within 5mins of being within 100miles of an infected person.

    look for the hysterics, it is a dead give-away that they are being politically motivated to 'spin a line'. Usually.

    thankfully, if our politicians and 'Leaders' *were* actors, the UK and US would not be winning any Oscars any-time soon... :)

  • Comment number 48.

    statist: the West didn't even bother to keep count of its own death-count in its Imperial systems.

    notably, when is the last time you heard the official BMA death-total for the Muslim nations we are currently militarily occupying on the News? Only vague mentions of the Official Pravda totals. How many Iraqi lives is it worth to 'nation-build'? How many Afghans?

    Is there an acceptable number per 'brick'? Perhaps we should know this amount, what do you think? Perhaps we should even hear from normal Afghans what acceptable body count it is to protect them from the Taliban? And even more interesting, what are Afghan normal citizens opinions on the Strategy of this war to "free" them? Why can 100s of our soldiers die to secure them free speech, yet we apparently can't hear it?

    on the topic of which, may i make a suggestion? PLEASE use subtitles when people speak strange native tongues, so we can still hear the original. Not only so the voice can be heard, not only because it is interesting to hear actual other languages, but also because sometimes translators make errors, simplifications, and speakers of that language can write in to correct or amplify. You sometimes do it, but it would be nice to have it as a general policy. But i will probably be shouted down now by Little-Englanders and illiterates.

    statist: "We're so lucky we're free, and busily privatising."
    wouldn't mind that, if profitable and efficient services were sold to the workforces, such as the Post Office, Cadburys, Rover. Better it owned by the workforce, then sold to foreign corporate raiders, back-hand Govt deals, or under constant threat of being sold off to corporate raiders (ie State owned).

  • Comment number 49.

    MY KNEES ARE DIM MY EYES ARE BENT (#46)

    Have mercy Statist. I have a feeling there is a lot of irony in your post. But I grew up in the war, when they cut down all the irony to make non-stick Spitfires; I'm not used to it.

    Please explain whether Russia saw lives as 'cheap' with regard to manual labour.
    How do the Germans fit in? Were they not selective?
    As for Britain, don't we keep EVERYONE alive: hopeless births, living-dead aged, killers, the insane, the massively maimed, and those who just would choose to be dead?

  • Comment number 50.

    sorry - meant Royal Mail, not the PO. Although the PO turned into a mutual society equivalent fits the bill as well.

  • Comment number 51.

    48. gnuneo 'wouldn't mind that, if profitable and efficient services were sold to the workforces, such as the Post Office, Cadburys, Rover. Better it owned by the workforce, then sold to foreign corporate raiders, back-hand Govt deals, or under constant threat of being sold off to corporate raiders...'

    It seems to me that such talk (or even thinking) is progressively being rendered more and more socially unacceptable through being termed 'nationalist' or 'protectionist', i.e via sinister associations with Europe's past, or a disreputable 'axis of evil' hell bent on sponsoring 'international terrorism' (aka nation statism).

    Maybe it's my age, but to me, this is comic-book Orwellian politics. The sad thing is, most people seem to have fallen for it, and month by month we appear to be losing more and more of our personal and national identity to predatory internationalist entrepreneurs who appear to have no agenda other than short-term financial self-interest.

    The trouble is, most of the so-called socialists that one finds in the UK today are usually as misguided as the people they claim to oppose.

  • Comment number 52.

    46

    anyone who adopts anything other than the good as the highest idea of the mind is, logically, in the end, going to do bad.

    socialists believe words like equality or state are highest idea of the mind in whose name they allow themselves to use terror on those who do not.which is why their system always create gulags.

    all those words have good in them [which is why people are attracted to them] but they are fools gold. In the name of 'equality' some people in the nhs were forbidden life saving drugs because not everyone could have them. which is an example of the perversity of those false idols. they result in human sacrifices, no different to ancient cultures, that such false idol words cause.

    to find people's idols look at those things in whose name people are prepared to kill. Tony's war of aggression used words like 'fear of wmd and terrorism' which means the highest idea in that mindset is fear which as yoda says 'fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to the dark side'.

    the call from darth vader to luke is to use his anger, use his hate. which is what the neocons keep saying.

    Even now, as long as thunder and lightening rumbles over the neocon castle that is the foreign office everytime the word iran is mentioned, the govt will continue down the path of darkside. Like someone drowning [not in water but in this fear they keep talking about] they will try to drag everyone else down with them?

    feel the fear installed by those idols they worship and the very real human sacrifices they demand.

    and moderns dismiss philosophy as irrelevant when it is at the heart of everything we do. get philosophy wrong and injustice breeds unchecked and people die.

  • Comment number 53.

    49. barriesingleton 'I have a feeling there is a lot of irony in your post.'

    You should trust those feelings - you are clearly an experienced person.

    But forgive me, weren't the Russians our allies in the war? And weren't the creative minds who started breaking up the UK after Thatcher came to power very unpopular immediately after the war, i.e. when Britain's welfare/nanny state was being built?

  • Comment number 54.

    In fact, looking back at most of the 50s, 60s and 70s, I can see how the USA and USSR may have been at loggerheads, but surely Britain was very like the USSR, or at least, trying to be?

  • Comment number 55.

    Statist:
    "It seems to me that such talk (or even thinking) is progressively being rendered more and more socially unacceptable through being termed 'nationalist' or 'protectionist',"

    that does seem to be the general drive of the corporate media and their paid talking heads. Reminds me strongly of the arguments 'our' corporations used to hang, draw and quarter post-colonies, to strip all assets, and drive the Govts into permanent debt to the banks. With the occasion artificially created 'slump' to force entry for the IMF and Washington Consensus style budget cuts on basic services to the People.

    however, there would have been nothing "Nationalistic" about selling Rover to the workforce, any-more than it is "Nationalistic" for Infinity Foods to be a cooperative. It is just simple common sense that a company's profits should go to the people creating them. And if that prevents hostile foreign take-overs and asset-stripping, al la Cadburys, well surely so much the better?

    I would wager a worker-owned Cadburys would have been a tougher target for Kraft to take over. So a British asset would have been saved, profits from Cadburys would have stayed in Britain, expansion, if possible, would more likely have remained in the UK, Quality would not be under risk from lower standards by a parent company, the company set up by Quakers would also be following in Quaker traditions by becoming a democracy, jobs and investment would be secure, and a British iconic Trade-Mark would have remained British.

    the hideous irony of this whole deal, as Meddlesome must have known when he was on TV, is that the reason Kraft could afford such a high sum for Cadburys is that the UK and US tax-payer has put multi-$Tns into the financial sector - the money was cheap for Kraft to borrow. Sickening, no?

    "Maybe it's my age, but to me, this is comic-book Orwellian politics. The sad thing is, most people seem to have fallen for it, and month by month we appear to be losing more and more of our personal and national identity to predatory internationalist entrepreneurs who appear to have no agenda other than short-term financial self-interest. "

    "comic-book". Is that worse or better than "caricatural"?

    actually, for the first time in possibly decades, there has been a renewal of the notion it seems, with Brown making one of his occasional forays into good policies by mentioning it positively recently. Nice one Gordy. :)

    "The trouble is, most of the so-called socialists that one finds in the UK today are usually as misguided as the people they claim to oppose."

    have you ever read Aldous Huxley's 'Eyeless in Gaza'? I did, and its a huge pity more young student hot-heads don't.



    ---did i just admit i was a "young student hot-head"? Gosh durn, and who would have guessed!? Its a very good book though, - well, the story itself is a *bit* lame, but his interspersed comments are extremely insightful.

  • Comment number 56.

    statis: "In fact, looking back at most of the 50s, 60s and 70s, I can see how the USA and USSR may have been at loggerheads, but surely Britain was very like the USSR, or at least, trying to be?"

    more like the paternalism of Scandinavia in that period, than the naked authoritarianism of the USSR. Both Left and Right, Labour and Tories, believed that the best method of growth was to involve everyone as widely as possible. The unions were strong, because so many of their members had just literally risked their lives for this country, and wanted a better deal for themselves and their children - a decent share of the tremendous wealth this country has and creates. This broke down when the Thatcherite *Revolution* occurred, and it would be very interesting to see a graph of 'share of wealth' covering the period from around the 1900s, and how once again the wealth gap has increased so much there is "not enough money" for services to the normal citizens.

    in other words, during that period policies were followed of social cohesion, and popular policies based upon improving the lives of the majority ensured political stability. Whereas the USSR was behaving very similarly to the Czarist regime it replaced - but with a lot more investment in infrastructure and social structure as well.

  • Comment number 57.

    55

    the most nationalistic polices are being carried out by 'communist' china. their currency should be the strongest in the world but they keep it cheaper than the pound. if the currency is the value of an economy then they are saying a state with trillions in reserves [china] is weaker than one with a trillion in debt [uk].

    the effect of their nationalism is to bankrupt the uk economy by leaching investment and jobs away and requiring the uk to take on ever more debt just to stand still. at some point the uk house of debt cards has to collapse under the sheer economic logic of their currency nationalism.

    no other country allows it strategic services to be owned by foreign multinationals [usually masks for foreign states] unless they are dominated colonies. there is nothing wrong with strategic industry having the john lewis model which would be better for them and us than both privatisation or state mis-run.

  • Comment number 58.

    GUMBY BOB SAYS WE CAN'T GO KILLING JOHNNIE FOREIGNER UNSCATHED.

    NOW I understand why he got the job as 'Secretary for Crass Invasions'. The man is a genius. Had he not had the good sense to speak out, how many Brits would appreciate that our squaddies risk death or worse?



  • Comment number 59.

    Campbells interview with Marr.

    I think Campbell had a panic attack, the gasping and heavy breathing, and the look of anxiety on his face. He couldn't stand to see poor Tony being slagged off yet again, and was overwhelmed and had to express his admiration of TB.

    That or his a very good actor

    Or it's the new face of the caring, sharing, I understand, I'm with you labour party

  • Comment number 60.

    jaunty: have you ever watched the video to Jarvis Cocker's "Running the World"? Yes, China has policies that benefit its own economy. I know, shocking, isn't it?

    what i find perhaps more interesting, is the behaviour of 'western' corporations. For istance Wall-Mart, every store that opened competed with local pharmaceutical providers, who bought from local manufacturers in the US. Wall-Mart opened its own factories in China, importing the products cheap enough to drive competitors to the wall. So it *personally* made vast amounts of money is indisputable - look at its growth record. But all of those Wall-Marts closed small local outlets, and american industries supplying them. The effect is to massively bankrupt the US, to close manufacturing, to worsen the trade deficit, and to the growth of a new, inefficient, de facto monopoly.

    this directly *harms* the US as a viable economy! Yet these policies apparently had the blessing of Washington, even *more* astounding!

    "no other country allows it strategic services to be owned by foreign multinationals [usually masks for foreign states] unless they are dominated colonies. there is nothing wrong with strategic industry having the john lewis model which would be better for them and us than both privatisation or state mis-run."

    viola!!

  • Comment number 61.

    58

    have they used the 'blood price' language yet?

  • Comment number 62.

    60

    ..the blessing of Washington..

    market fundamentalism dominated in the usa which is why we got the greenspan credit crunch.

    walmart and everyone else were behaving as china intended in their rigged market. the market fundamentalists 'believe' there should be no blocks on the outcomes of 'the free market' because they say it is the best arbiter of affairs. So of course they got the blessing of what they believe is a free market. However we do not have a free market we have a rigged market. which is why there should be blocks on it. Taxing all goods from china to make it up to the real currency exchange rate would be currency justice.

    you only need to tip the bowl a bit for all the water to come to one end. china are tipping the bowl.

  • Comment number 63.

    LMAO - you really believe that China, with its piddling economy and military compared to the Great USA, could control decisions in Washington? :D :D :D

    the 'puppet-men' in Washington (we see them occasionally on NN) have deliberately manipulated US policy towards favouring the corporations short-term profits rather than long-term development of the US as a viable, stable, sustainable economy. The claim of "free markets" (by them) is no more than a cover for international corporate monopoly - which is the exact opposite condition to the definition of "Free Market" as laid down by Adam Smith.

    sorry about banging on myself about this, but suppose those companies in China were also worker-owned? If UK companies were too? And transport? Cutting out the enormous costs - and tax evasion - of the Corporate bodies themselves, could either increase incomes for the workers in China, so that they can start to afford British made goods, or...

    [an aide leans in and whispers]

    oh OK - well, if we get a Green Govt* and start to actually make things again they will be able to buy British goods anyway.

    :/

    ...or else reduce prices to consumers as the free market is also supposed to do, or, indeed, both measures simultaneously.

    this may be hard to grasp, but the result we see is the intended result of deliberate policies. The Corporations have made incredible fortunes from the current structure, and due to the lack of limits upon the size of donations to candidates in US politics, - well, perhaps best to say that sometimes the ideological worship of money can be easily transferred to the worship of that which most closely satisfies that original worship? :D

    although, actually, that's nothing to smile about.


    *or any Govt that *honestly* believes in regeneration through investing - and NOT distort that into code for further support for the financial sector.

  • Comment number 64.

    ps - sorry for laughing, i meant no offence. Am i forgiven?? :(

  • Comment number 65.

    CONDENSING CAMPBELL.

    #59
    Lizzy
    I thought it looked like a 'Hot Flush'.

    Bet he wished he had the 'hormone' excuse.

  • Comment number 66.

    #65

    Shush, BYT, it's his great 'secret weapon'.
    Well, im fact, it has already become a state, and consequently international, affair.

    mim

  • Comment number 67.

    #66 addendum

    The result of the efficacy of the 'secret weapon' was even mentioned on Europe1 by one of the listeners, a private radio station, which I'm hoping to follow a bit again. In the past I couldn't live without it until the echo of the British state secrets resounded in just about every programme which peeved me off.

    I've also seen similar 'messages' on the Polish websites which have been intensifying recently.

    mim

  • Comment number 68.

    CAMPBELL - HOT FLUSH OR PANIC ATTACK? (#59 & 65)

    Might I add a third possibility ladies? Campbell's demon is INFANTILE FURY. He has had therapy, but probably needs more. My take (just an intuition) was of a man using a (learned?) strategy, to avoid tearing off Marr's head, and eating it.

  • Comment number 69.

    England/France or France/England.......fight

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1249194/Dover-symbol-British-sovereignty-sold-French-help-reduce-debt.html

    I suppose this goes along with Pas-de-Calais becoming English so it can be involved with the olympic games.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1246098/Frances-Pas-Calais-rebrands-Britain-cash-Olympic-triumph.html

    oh dear, I'm becoming a Daily Mail ranter! ; )

  • Comment number 70.

    57. jauntycyclist 'the effect of their nationalism is to bankrupt the uk economy by leaching investment and jobs away and requiring the uk to take on ever more debt just to stand still. at some point the uk house of debt cards has to collapse under the sheer economic logic of their currency nationalism.'

    Yes, it's a clever, inscrutable, strategy to turn their enemy's strength against themselves. Meanwhile, Europe has made 'protectionism' all but impossible, and one of the EU Articles, made the right to run a business next to godliness, which is ultimately anti-nationalist. When there were 27 or so states, there was, I guess, always the chance that some might have gone rogue protectionist (like Germany and Italy etc in the 30s) - now that's pretty inconceivable. It's been a stich up, or coup if one is sypathetic to the cause of those who benefit.

    New Labour's novelty was, I suggest, akin to the BNP having the gall to rebrand as 'The Multicultural Party'.

  • Comment number 71.

    #69

    aka a 'Daily Wailer' Lizzy - You've gotta laugh!

  • Comment number 72.

    68. barriesingleton 'Might I add a third possibility ladies? Campbell's demon is INFANTILE FURY. He has had therapy, but probably needs more. My take (just an intuition) was of a man using a (learned?) strategy, to avoid tearing off Marr's head, and eating it.'

    You know, I think you may be right! Did you watch the documentary 'Defamation'? His behaviour reminded me of that.

  • Comment number 73.

    @ #69 - Ecolizzy - I LOVE the Daily Mail - even Jeremy & Emily have written columns for them!

    I almost thought it was April Fool's Day that Dover was being sold off to the French until I checked the date. I just wonder what else will be sold off.......

  • Comment number 74.

    ‘NO TEARS’ CAMPBELL

    This interesting article may help toexplain…
    'Medicine: Crying Without Tears'
    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,806890,00.html

    Gradually, Pediatrician Conrad Riley and a team of other specialists at Babies Hospital (part of the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center) collected a handful of other cases showing most of Miriam's symptoms. The one that appeared invariably was the absence or extreme scarcity of tears while crying. Another thing the doctors noted: all the children so afflicted were of Jewish parentage. (The first proved exception, a Quaker child, was reported only last week.)

    Painstakingly, Dr. Riley and his colleagues sought for causes and cures of what they named dysautonomia (disorder of the automatic nervous system). From operations on the living and autopsies on children who died of infections, they ruled out adrenal tumors or physical damage to the brain. So far, they have found no cause, but there is no doubt that the disease runs in families, and susceptibility may be transmitted by both parents through a recessive gene.

    ---------------------------

    There you go!...Campbell must be a Quaker child!!!

  • Comment number 75.

    #68

    HEADS YOU LOSE?


    "....My take (just an intuition) was of a man using a (learned?) strategy, to avoid tearing off Marr's head, and eating it.

    Oh, but that would have made SUCH good television!!!

    I have just picked myself up of the floor from laughing - what an image. Perhaps life sized Jelly babies could replace the sacharin coated interviewers - should save some dosh. About the same 'wibble' rating.



    #73

    "....the Daily Mail - even Jeremy & Emily have written columns for them!"

    Just goes to show the things SOME people will do for money!


  • Comment number 76.

    69. ecolizzy - Regarding sell-offs/sell-outs, if you think about it, the attacks on MPs and their ACA; the anti-elitism; the hordes of English illiterate students, and much else besides, all fit the national sell-off strategy rather well (as does barriesingleton's 'SPOIL PARTY GAMES' I fear. as we need groups to work together).

    What's notably absent in vmy view is any community/nation building ......except in the crude, destructive sense of PFI projects, be these for NHS shrinkage via polyclinics etc or selling off schools. These projects seem to involve SIVs/SPVs, i.e the very pacts which brought us the economic troubles - lots of dreams built on fantasies. Sure we can all imagine we're equal, but is imagination enough outside of Hollywood?

  • Comment number 77.

    GONG AWAY???

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8500712.stm

    There are far too many contradicting issues in this story.

    Someone choosing to wear a soft turban rather than a protective helmet is their choice, prooviding they sign a disclaimer not to sue for personal injury.

    But being allowed to carry (and display) something suited to use as a weapon is surely a different issue. And is divisive since christian crosses are banned in many schools/workplaces for example.

    Personally I think it is all PC gone mad (a stiletto can inflict a serious wound used the right way, as can a bunch of heavy keys), but then law being amended or bent to accomodate minorities for no other reason than to allow them to follow a cultural practice away from the home of that culture does seem to play right into the hands of those seeking protectionism and closed borders.

    Now, where's my Skean Dhu??

  • Comment number 78.

    74. freemarketanarchy - fascinating stuff. Thanks.

    I looked this up having noted the date of the Time article was 1954 and recalling some mention of something like this elsewhere. This disorder seems to be down to a gene on chromosome 9. The other one, remarkably with almost exactly the same frequency, is a function of a mild problem with the adrenal glands, but that other one is due to a problem gene on chromosome 6.

    So that's two disorders which affact the expression of emotional behaviour. Such problems must also be found in other groups, yes?

  • Comment number 79.

    #71 BYT aka a 'Daily Wailer' Lizzy - You've gotta laugh!

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1249335/Bus-delayed-Muslim-driver-pulls-pray-aisle.html?ITO=1708&referrer=yahoo

    You certainly have Brighty!

  • Comment number 80.

    63 ..you really believe that China, with its piddling economy and military compared to the Great USA, could control decisions in Washington?...

    the currency market is the climate for decision making. control the currency market and you can direct the decisions.

    currently the exchange rate is £1 for 10 yuan. which means the uk economy currency is a factor of 10 greater than the chinese economy. Now if the currency was at its correct level eg 10 pounds to 1 yuan or even 1 to 1 you will see a whole different set of economic decisions will be made. where would it be cheaper to do business? which way will the investment flow? how will decisions be affected in washington, moscow, berlin and mumbai?

    the currency market humbles governments as was shown by the day the uk had to leave the ERM.

    bend currency markets to your advantage and economic decisions from around the world will naturally follow as people try to make more money by cutting costs etc. it has nothing to do with the size of military or certain economic indicators that are usually fabricated anyway.

  • Comment number 81.

    THE CRASH HELMET AS AN ASSAULT WEAPON. (#77)

    Not so fast BYT. I feel sure, if you trawl the archives of the Daily Mail, you will find the crash helmet labelled 'An affront to Civil Civility' or similar, having been used as a battering implement at some time. Whereas, you will find nothing against the humble turban - only against its wearer.

  • Comment number 82.

    SPOIL PARTY GAMES (#76)

    Is it me Statist?

    You use the phrase: 'if you think about it' and say: "we need groups to work together".

    If you think about it, our political groups (aka PARTIES) are FAILING to work together. Indeed, our media show how most 'political time' is consumed in the 'lost motion' of petty inter-party strife (aka PARTY GAMES). The primary cause has to be the PARTIES THEMSELVES.

    If Britain cannot devise and apply a mechanism to gather a representative group of individuals, to competently MANAGE this country, in the interest of its populace, we should put ourselves into administration with someone who can. While we still have quasi-independent 'breath', we can defeat at least the IMMEDIATE malaise, if we SPOIL PARTY GAMES by injecting a critical mass of INDEPENDENTS into Westminster.

  • Comment number 83.

    #75

    BYT

    'Just goes to show the things SOME people will do for money!' - the horror of horrors, for Daily Mail?, I never.

    It's amazing, isn't it? Is there money involved in playing polo?

    mim

  • Comment number 84.

    A wonderfully concise article on Campbell following his 'performance' yesterday (by the Telegraph's David Hughes)

    It's time Alastair Campbell piped down
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/davidhughes/100025393/its-time-alastair-campbell-piped-down/

    ‘Being lectured on truth by Campbell is a bit like being lectured on good taste by Peter Andre.’

  • Comment number 85.

    82

    one analogy that strikes me is that the uk is like a premiership football club. In massive debt, owned by foreigners and whose players and managers are mainly foreigners. some successful. some like portsmouth in a negative spiral. All we do in 'our game' is pay high priced entrance.

  • Comment number 86.

    82. barriesingleton 'we can defeat at least the IMMEDIATE malaise, if we SPOIL PARTY GAMES by injecting a critical mass of INDEPENDENTS into Westminster.'

    You write a lot of sense Mr Singleton, but here I just don't follow you at all. How long would it be before they aggregated into parties? Didn't that happen during the Interregnum and didn't The Levellers go about trying to abolish Christmas etc? A few years later and we were back with a monarchy and its trappings.

    All I see today is wanton destruction. I t6hink it's better to build. I miss the 50s, 60s and early 70s - austere they may have been, but who needs all the dazzling lights etc - a frequnt copmplaint of yours about Newsnight. Back in the old days there was a sense of belonging and community (is that nationalism?). Personally, I think the USSR was much maligned, and was really just trying to be like Labour Britain!

    Listening to some of what Cameron was saying in his speech today (e.g. about how powerless Parliament now is in the face of Europe), I couldn't help but think 'yes, but your lot started this destructive trend back in 1979 - no such thing as society indeed...

  • Comment number 87.

    THE GUANTANAMO FACTOR (#69)

    Might France be intent on creating a 'nowhere land' in which to store and 'process' all their undesirables? A Fench Guantanamo? What should they name it? How about: 'Camp Cheese-eating-surrender-monkey'?

    Anyone know enough French to name it properly?

  • Comment number 88.

    HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL WHEN YOU KNOW NO HISTORY. (#86)

    Call me Barrie Statist. Wisdom, as in 'WISE UP THE YOUNG', is the other half of the cure. Wisdom yields integrity - integrity does not permit cliques, pressure groups, PARTIES to re-form.

    We emerge in the mists of time to suit a totally different world where we were isolated in our 'difference groups'. Anomalous climate and human cleverness has created myriad changes to which we have, so far, failed to adapt. We have the skills, but perversely we PRIZE all the wrong things.
    Had we remained an island (a miracle in itself) with an appropriate identity we might jut have created something sustainable, with 60 million. The 'impossible' of taming 6 billion, might 'take a little longer'.

  • Comment number 89.

    87. barriesingleton wrote 'Might France be intent on creating a 'nowhere land' in which to store and 'process' all their undesirables? A Fench Guantanamo? What should they name it?'

    Angleterre?

  • Comment number 90.

    IN VIEW OF THE CURRENT BEHAVIOUR OF BROWN AND CAMERON (#89)

    Petty Angleterre!

  • Comment number 91.

    #78 Statist wrote:

    So that's two disorders which affact the expression of emotional behaviour. Such problems must also be found in other groups, yes?

    -----------------------------------

    I'm afraid this subject is way outside my field, I'm only an engineer by profession. I only posted #74 as bit of joke at Mr Campbell's expense.

    I must admit though that I have found your posts more fascinating.

    On a different subject...I happened to have the 1971 film 'Nicholas and Alexandra' on the TV yesterday afternoon, you know, the film about the last days of Russia's last royal family the Romanovs; which of course covered the period of the Russian Revolution.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067483/fullcredits


    There was a very brief clip in the film where a Russian establishment/official figure (can't remember which character it was) was talking to Lenin...and I'm sure, in the brief clip, the official accused Lenin of being sent by the Kaiser to undermine the Russian state!

    Now I know it was only a dramatised film of this period...but that one line (I will need to watch that clip of the film again as I wasn't paying 100% attention at the time) seems to agree what you have previously stated on these blogs about the bolsheviks being sent by Germany to Russia in order to undermine Russia's war effort i.e. to remove Russia from Germany's eastern front by de-stabilising the country from within.

    One assumes a significant amount of research was made for the film, as well as input from prominent historians of the time.

  • Comment number 92.

    91. freemarketanarchy - I think you'll find that was Winston Churchill citing Ludendorff, and that it isn't controversial. Lloyd-George said something similar was done to the Turks by the British (in Palestine).

  • Comment number 93.

    KNAVES AND FOOLS AT THE CHILCOT

    The Chilcot enquiry continues to spotlight the 'poor in spirit' character of the highest in British government.

    Sadly, whilst the knave, Blair, has been debagged, I see no intent on Chilcot's part to call the fool: Iain Duncan Smith who, dazzled by the Master's charisma, gifted him his war.

 

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