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Wednesday 10 February 2010

Verity Murphy | 11:29 UK time, Wednesday, 10 February 2010


Hello from Gavin Esler:

In tonight's programme we have the latest on Binyam Mohammed, including a live interview with the Foreign Secretary David Miliband.

Tomorrow the Eurozone economies will meet in Brussels to decider whether - or how - to bail out the Greek economy.

Our economics editor Paul Mason is in Athens, and will report on the protests by public sector workers against austerity measures there.

Our political editor Michael Crick is in Westminster North looking at the bizarre story of the "is she or isn't she" prospective Conservative party candidate Joanne Cash.

Remember the Turnip Taliban in Norfolk who caused such problems for David Cameron's attempts to modernise the party - or, if you will, to impose candidates from Central Office on reluctant constituencies?

We also have a special report from Sue Lloyd-Roberts in Zimbabwe one year after the power-sharing agreement between Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai.

See you later, Gavin


Sue Lloyd-Roberts has been on an official reporting trip to Zimbabwe, ahead of tomorrow's one year anniversary of power-sharing between Zanu PF and the MDC. In a powerful film she looks at the yawning gap between rich and poor.

Paul Mason is in Greece on the day public sector workers have launched a nationwide strike in protest at government measures to tackle the budget deficit.

We are across the Binyam Mohamed story, after Foreign Secretary David Miliband lost an Appeal Court bid to stop the disclosure of secret information relating to his alleged torture.

And we are looking at Alan Johnson's upcoming immigration speech and the Joanne Cash Twitter resignation row story.

More details later


  • Comment number 1.

    In a powerful film she looks at the yawning gap between rich and poor. So Sue is talking about living here then?

    public sector workers have launched a nationwide strike in protest at government measures to tackle the budget deficit. And Paul is talking about something that would never happen here then?

    And we are looking at Alan Johnson's upcoming immigration speech Ah so you're looking at something that doesn't happen here then? i.e. Talking about mass immigration.

    As for Binyam Mohammed, can we please stop talking about this British man, he is foreign in outlock, religion, and attitude. I don't know whether he was tortured, I don't suppose I ever will, but a damn stupid idea if he was, anyone will say anything for the cruelty to stop.

  • Comment number 2.

    Don't know if I'm allowed to post this...

    If it gets through please read about this campaign, and perhaps if you agree sign their petition. Our birds that migrate here are being slaughtered in their thousands, by roughly 12,000 "hunters" in Malta, how brave to shoot a swallow out of the sky. And what annoys me most, these birds fly from Africa, you could understand an African killing them for food, but these "hunters" do it for fun. :(

  • Comment number 3.

    Sue Lloyd-Roberts has been on an official reporting trip to Zimbabwe, ahead of tomorrow's one year anniversary of power-sharing between Zanu PF and the MDC. In a powerful film she looks at the yawning gap between rich and poor.'

    Is that perhaps because people aren't all the same, i.e equal?

    I am still surprised (a bit) that so many journalists haven't grasped what diversity really refers to. It refer to the fact that abilities are distributed in a random way, and that this follows a mathematical distribution like height, few very short people, most in the middle and few very tall people with all sorts in between. Having a system of government which strives (under difficult conditions in Zimbabwe) to cater for all sorts, doesn't mean that everyone ends up the same, or should, it just means that the state has to provide and be in control rather than the markets. In Zimbabwe, the Chinese are behind Zanu-PF and the Western liberal democracies and the free-market mantra is behind the MDC. Now, some people in Zimbabwe, Zanu-PF are just a mite wary of the Western free-markets, and a quick look at the Vulture debt buyers might explain why. Lots of bad things happen in Third World nations, but then, lots of bad things happen in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Middle-East etc, and the West allegedly has got a hand in all that.

    Come on Newsnight, a bit of sense please, less of the heavy-handed emotional bully tactics of 'let's bash the commies as they all exploit their people'. If you want to take that line, please turn your pop guns on China and see how well that works out for you....

    Or will we be surpised by the even-handed balance in the footage tonight?

  • Comment number 4.


    To be 'across' a story, though clearly cutting edge(y), must surely be far less informative than to be 'along' 'inside' 'resonant with' 'attendant to' that story? I mean - like - whatevah.

  • Comment number 5.


    I reckon 'Mitigated Unfairness' is the best one can hope for, in reality. But only a wise nation might achieve this.


  • Comment number 6.

    BIRD KILLING ON MALTA (Ecolizzy #2)

    The correct link is

    All part of the service . . .

  • Comment number 7.

    5. barriesingleton 5. 'WISE UP THE YOUNG.'

    Were you an alchemist?

  • Comment number 8.


    Ecolizzy's link at #2 is right, but you have to paste it in. Likewise my link needs pasting because the blog is dropping the number suffix (of both). My link takes you to a page with a further link at the bottom.

    Phew. Isn't modern technolgy wearing.

  • Comment number 9.

    Will NN be asking Alan Johnson about this tonight? And is it treason, as I said earlier?

    Seems Ed West is suspicious, and why won't NN have Andrew Green on more often, he speaks in a very moderate way, and the public are not allowed to speak at all, I don't think we're polite, just muzzled.

  • Comment number 10.

    IT'S WORSE THAN THAT (#9 links)

    True the public have known (we were being 'swamped'). Blunket, and others, came close to being hanged from a lamp post. But political correctness (sown deliberately?) was part of the mix. I suggest that when people are not permitted to be nasty to those they would QUITE NATURALLY be nasty to (i.e. 'people of difference', from ginger to Jewish) they turn on themselves. What have we got? A rash or nasty TV shows and general bullying and nihilism.

    This is a cockup way beyond the ken of the typical politician. What is more, for the next few months they care only about tricking the few remaining ninnies who think voting is a CHOICE, into voting for this or that party, TO GRANT THEM POWER. The stability, sanity and sustainability, of the people they 'serve', can bloody go hang - as it surely will.


  • Comment number 11.

    The thread of Alan Johnson's repies to questions on the J. Vine programme at mid day was to say " Mass migration is a world wide feature of modern society. Everyone must play their part, and accept their share".

    Good tactic to open up the question so large as to be unanswerable. So if questions are to be put by NN, can we have something along the lines of :-

    Accepting the probability of some 3 million immigrants the majority of whom will be non-English speaking as a first language, and from social and cultural backgrounds substantially different to those prevalent in UK at the time, what visible measures did the government put/have in place 12 years ago to absorb this number seamlessly into British society?

  • Comment number 12.

    9. ecolizzy You'll find that over the past 12 years or so, New Labour has widely consulted with stakeholders in the electorate, and done so with both openness and transparency (which was the right thing to do). It's just that a very large percentage of the electorate didn't actually say things which made a lot of sense to them, and as they had a mandate to pretty much do what they pleased so long as it was within the law (open borders were obligatory by EU law and discrimination was strictly unacceptable). You should stop complaining immediately or ban yourself. Alternatively you will be ignored.

    High immigration is very good for some people and their pockets - i.e good for the financial service sector, silly (what are you, some kind of protectionist/nationalist?) - join the fun, rip your clothes off and hug someone you've never met before, don't want to, and don't like. It's great for dealing with xenophobia. Consider sodomy too!

  • Comment number 13.


    How did we stand by and elevate these clowns? Miliband was well rehearsed. He avoided HIS association with, and knowledge of, torture and wanted to 'stand grand' and statesmanlike, in the learning of lessons.

    The Westminster stench just gets worse.

  • Comment number 14.

    13. barriesingleton 'How did we stand by and elevate these clowns?'

    By voting for them, in a landslide apparently!

    That was down to massive arrogance and stupidity on the part of large parts of the electorate. That and apathy. Will they be told now? I doubt it. They still think this was Labour to start with, even today, though it got rid of its Clause 4 well before it was elected! How stupid is that?

    The electorate got what it deserved, and it will do next time too.

  • Comment number 15.


    Left to themselves, the Westminster Mob will now descend into cringeworthy mouthing of lies, deceit, coercion, bribery, cunning, false promises etc, in the interest of raw power.

    They will not give us an 'abstain' box (or equivalent) on the voting slip, so perhaps we should abstain anyway - just not turn out. How low does the turnout have to be before these undeserving impostors get the message? Do our masters at the EU have anything to say on elections voided by virtue of low turnout? Or will just one voter do?

  • Comment number 16.

    'Our political editor Michael Crick is in Westminster North looking at the bizarre story of the "is she or isn't she" prospective Conservative party candidate Joanne Cash.'

    Step up, Step up.

    'Mind Gym' and, from the looks of it, prone to clashes and hissy-fits. I can't wait. Didn't something like this (family affair) get a roasting on Newsnight a while back, or was that Brain Gym? It's not something a credible politician-to-be would get involved in, methinks - but what do I know? I must learn to think positively, like the Greeks maybe?

  • Comment number 17.


    While watching PMQs, I was struck by the way the camera that looks (appropriately) down on the person at the despatch box, is at the perfect angle to maximise the hamster-like pouches that perform as Dave's cheeks. How unwise, then, in the 'We Can't Go On Like This' poster, to have 'attended to' his cheeks as a major project (along with the lengthened chin). The contrast is so great, than anyone can spot it.

    Either get the angle changed, Tory Spinmeisters, of have Dave surgically enhanced to match the poster.

  • Comment number 18.

    Isn't it amazing how the news network reports in this country, all day long on the BBC and now Channel4 I've only heard only one name, that of the Ethopian Binyam Mohamed.

    We have a much larger problem with the Labour (New) government in this country, who've forced mass immigration upon us, almost amounting to invasion, and possibly treason.

    As Hugh Oldman at 11 quoted Johnson " Mass migration is a world wide feature of modern society. Everyone must play their part, and accept their share" what a very good cop out, it's happening everywhere, just like the recession was a world wide problem. Except that most of the world is now out of recession, just us remaining very low with our 0.1 percent growth! So how big an extra share of the worlds population does he want us to have, 20 million 30 million a 100 million, the man is nuts.

    There's one thing Johnson ommits to say, we are a very small island country, in total, that's everywhere, highlands and all, 93,000 square miles, with a population of 65 million, how is he going to fit us all in.

    I've noticed many job losses in just the past week, so unemployment will go up further still. And yet we still let people pour into the country, is there any limit?

    We hear today that pensioners will have to pay an "insurance sum" for care in old age, they've already paid!!!! And now they must pay again for all the immigrants health, education, housing, benefits, and pensions. We cannot afford to keep the worlds poor, when will the labour government understand that!

  • Comment number 19.

    18. ecolizzy Do you know how to put tootpaste back in a tube?

    I fear this is why so many people in the UK are in denial/seem a bit nuts.

  • Comment number 20.

    Baz@10".. Blunket, and others, came close to being hanged from a lamp post..." Barry, this is my dream, a reoccurring dream. The only difference is that they do get hanged.

    I believe there will be a committee for un-British activities after the next general election. They will look into the disgraceful Labour policy of open borders; the engineered immigration policy that was recently exposed as Labour wanting to "rub the Tories nose's in it"; to wind up the political right whilst building up its supporter base. Straw, Blunkett, Harman et al may think they will just get on with their lives outside politics, but I know this is how it will pan-out for these tyrants, they will be hounded into the darkest reaches of Hell. It will be a Pinochet-chile ending for these people - they will 'go missing'.

    I see the future...sometimes its a curse, othertimes it makes me very happy:)

  • Comment number 21.


    You must have fed the Blogdog something very tastey. Oh no - not Tony!

  • Comment number 22.

    20. kevseywevsey - Until more people can see what it is, precisely, which is the wrong behaviour and it has been explicated in these blogs, it will just keep happening.

    That is, others will just keep doing it. Whether they do it by omission or commission doesn't matter. Whether they know that they are doing it doesn't matter either. It's the behaviour which needs to be prevented.

  • Comment number 23.


    Barry, I'll tell you a secret, don't be telling anyone this: Mind Manipulation. I know how to play with peoples heads, its a simple technique..I've got the blogdog eating out of me hand.

    Blog dog..keep up the good work, your doing very well!

  • Comment number 24.

    'Austerity Measures':- what will happen to the remaining UK public services after the General Election?

  • Comment number 25.

    20. It isn't just us who follow the Iraq Inquiry, Walt's on to Tony too. The problem is, the major players outside UK are not subject to the ICC, they've made sure of that.

  • Comment number 26.

    Jewish tunnels v. Palestinian tunnels

    The incidence of tunnels in a ghetto tends to be indicative of state sponsored genocide!

  • Comment number 27.

    Perhaps Mr. Athens dustbin man was not that far wide of the truth when he said that Greece was probably being used as a guinea pig for other countries in the EU. It would appear that the Corporate Nazi stock market parasites are trying their level best to ferment an EU wide civil war ( including in the UK ). Perhaps the " markets " can't wait until policies driven by the Climate Change Scam ( the lights going out due to reliance on wind farms ) create enough anarchy to precipitate the suspension of basic human rights in the UK. Perhaps its ironic but it is governments who have given the hedge funds the liquidity to target individual nations. Significant regulation of global finance can't come soon enough to save what remains of our alleged civilisation. End Panda's ( nee Darling ) New Labour's G20 welfare state for the stock market parasites ASAP if this is how the Corporate Nazi's intend to repay our citizens.

  • Comment number 28.

    '"We're the national version of Enron," says Liana Kanelli, a Greek communist MP, as we shelter under the portico of the parliament building from the rain.'

    As I commented in Paul Mason's blog, she appears a little 'dramatic'. In the clip shown on Newsnight last night she made out that she was outraged at the notion that Greece was a member of the PIGS, even though it's clearly just a nice acronym for Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain whilst also being a neat allusion to Animal Farm's internecine struggles of socialism served up by anarchist George Orwell.

    However, to be fair, the Greek people, like many who took on more debt than they ever should in the poorer parts of the USA and UK, are presumably angry because they naively trusted that there was indeed such a thing as a 'free lunch'? They are presumably angry because they feel that they have had their trust abused. Have they not? People get very angry about paedophiles for precisely this reason, why not this? It's very similar in principle.

    How was Russia bankrupted by free-market gurus in the 90s?

  • Comment number 29.

    26. FaustaianPact - Maybe you're just jealous/resentful that you aren't a member of a small, actively networking, successful social community, which looks after each other? Maybe the true message of sinister hoodies like this, is that we should be doing more nation/group building, and be far less fond of our incited, divisive independence and 'rights' in favour of duties?

  • Comment number 30.

    I can't believe I'm posting an article by Tebbit

    Read some of the comments, people are really angry here, what did someone post about the government planning for riots, I think it could be possible.

    And still no mention of this rigging on the BEEB!

  • Comment number 31.

  • Comment number 32.

    23. Will (enough of us) ever learn?

    We can read today how Iran is now celebrating unranium enrichment to 20% - but how many people know that one needs 80-90% enrichment for weapon grade uranium, and that 20% is perfectly legal?

    Here's a piece from Asian Times back in 2008 which pretty much says it all.

    One must ask why there are no clmours for sanctions against Israel for threatening Iran, and no demands that Israel open itself up for inspection. The answer of course is as it didn't sign the voluntary NPT it doesn't have to (unlike Iran).

    Who is likely to sign up to the NPT in the future given this treatment by the 'international community' which Israel doe snot belong to by choice when it suits? Is it any wonder the UN and ICC have credibility problems, or are seen by some as cynical tools of liberal-democracies and their predatory economic interests?

  • Comment number 33.

    ecolizzy - see Mark Easton's blog for additional context.

  • Comment number 34.

    I am writing about the coverage on the so-called indigenisation programme in Zimbabwe, which featured businessman Phillip Chiyangwa. He tried to give the impression that he is a self made man. You rightly mentioned that he is related to Mugabe. I am from Zimbabwe and he is well known to have close corrupt "businesss" links with members of the government, since the 1980s. It was through those means that he became wealthy and this is not a new achievement - he has been wealthy for nearly 3 decades! I felt aghast at his statment of having made his wealth in Zimbabwe, through his own resourcefulness and for his wife to say that all the cars and wealth is by God's blessing! It is all by the blessing of supremo Mugabe and other govt offials on whose behalf he is proxy. That display of wealth is so distasteful and anyone willing to display that the world (however achieved) also displays a level of ignorance. I was disghusted. There are Zimbabwe businessmen who have done well, through their resourcesfulness unlike Chiyangwa whose only real resource is association with Mugabe.

  • Comment number 35.


    We have the same level of corruption here Jena - interwoven with government. Ours goes back, at least, to 1066.

    We probably gave Zimbabwe a 'Masterclass' during our colonial strutting.
    We certainly 'blessed' you with the higher hypocrisy of Christianity.

    The corruption you have is 'in your face' and might yet be confronted; ours is woven so deep into our culture, if we pulled out all its threads, the country would collapse. Might we look to Zimbabwe for aid should that happen?

  • Comment number 36.

    34. Jena - The same happened in UK (and USA and post Soviet USSR). Blair and his supporters promoted it. They encouraged the divide between the rich and poor. Blair is very religious too.

    So......... what are you complaining about? Do you want a Stalinist state or something.....?


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