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Friday 16 April 2010

Sarah McDermott | 12:00 UK time, Friday, 16 April 2010

Here's Emily with more details about this evening's programme:

On the train back from Manchester this morning I didn't meet one person who had watched the TV debate. But I met several people who told me Nick Clegg had won. And so, the story has been written. Twitter now has its own hashtag stolen from the Gordon Brown repetition #iagreewithnick.

Tonight we will be asking how the emergence of Nick Clegg as the debating frontrunner could change the electoral landscape and change the parties' tactics when it comes to campaigning.

Will the Tories alter their attack in the Lib Dem marginals of the South West? Will Europe suddenly enter the campaign as a subject to, well, literally, put clear blue water between them?

And what about Labour - is a strong Lib Dem presence a help or a hindrance?

Michael Crick is in the 3-way marginal of Bristol North West, in a golf club no less. Expect lots of swing metaphors there then.

Last night history was also made in the Labour marginal of Crawley, where people living close to Gatwick airport finally got a good night's sleep. Psephologists are working, as I write, to assess how many other airports lie in Labour marginals where voters are perhaps feeling better disposed to the government after an 8 hour, noise-free kip.

Here on Newsnight, however, we're taking a rather more scientific approach. Susan Watts will assess what the impact of all that ash could be for the economy, the environment and our health.

So join us at 10.30pm on BBC 2 tonight for all that.

And don't forget to join Jeremy on Saturday evening at 7.50pm on the same side for a special weekend Newsnight.

He'll be joined by Ed Vasey, Tessa Jowell and Chris Huhne to discuss the events of the day. Comedian Mark Watson, Rebecca Front of The Thick of It, and Jesse Armstrong the co-writer of In The Loop will also be there.

And they'll have a special report from Buckingham where UKIP candidate Nigel Farage is hoping to unseat John Bercow, the Commons Speaker, at the general election.

From earlier today:

Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg have faced each other in the UK's first ever TV prime ministerial debate. The three leaders clashed over spending cuts, tax and political reform in the 90 minute programme, the first of three debates before the election. Most of the snap post-debate polls scored Nick Clegg as the winner on the night. So what could this mean for the electoral landscape?

Michael Crick is in Bristol Northwest for us tonight. The seat has been represented by 9 MPs since 1950, and they have all been members of the winning party in each general election.

We'll also be speaking to Ed Balls.

And our Science editor Susan Watts will be bringing us the latest on the volcanic eruption in the southwestern part of Iceland's Eyjafjallajoekull glacier that has released a significant volume of ash into the air. Flights across the UK are to remain grounded for a second day as the volcanic ash drifts across Europe.

More later.


Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

  • Comment number 2.

    "So what could this mean for the electoral landscape?"

    What's an "electoral landscape"? Where did you people learn to think and write like this? It certainly wasn't at a British university or from any experience in government! It's all theatrics.

    You are all living/working in a fantasy world which is totally unrelated to physical and political/economic reality. You're moving fantasy pieces about in your fantasy world of words.

    No wonder we're in such a mess! Your political presenters and commentators are far more suited to covering Oscars and BAFTAs.

    None of them know anything about real government.

  • Comment number 3.

    I thought Clegg did well, Cameron was OK and Brown knows the only way is down.

    To my surprise I think, personally, that the lack of participation by the audience did help and allowed everybody to stay on the examination of the candidates rather than go into tribal reactions.

    The analysis after did show the usual innate arrogance as the Lib Dems were described rather like a precocious child allowed to eat with the grown ups as opposed to a large segment of society whose vote is not properly heard due to the electoral system.

    So the old salesman stunt of offering two products and telling the customer that they can have one or the other may be dead. As the Independent says the two way election system is dead.

    I am prejudiced against Labour but I did not even see the Campbell humour that fell flat with Brown so I think he does come across as somebody who has been in his bunker for a long time and has just been told that the Russians are a couple of hundred metres down the road.

    I think he will do OK in the second debate but I think it is curtains in the third and he may crack under pressure.

    I suppose Labour could counter the debate impact by unleashing St Blair of Iraq to go amongst the sick in the NHS to the tune "Things can only get better" but perhaps they will just go quietly now.

  • Comment number 4.

    On the Ed Balls front I can't really afford champagne but he is that sort of apparatchik who expects to inherit the fiefdom and so I think there may be a lot of glee if he loses his seat.

    As I dislike Labour I would also thoroughly enjoy seeing Phil Woolas lose Oldham to the Lib Dems though perhaps that is unlikely now if the Crick report the other day blows up.

  • Comment number 5.

    If I sound angry, it's because I am. Watching NN last night David Grossman at least covered the point that the three speakers were busy ticking off their carefully rehearsed sound-bites. But what wasn't covered was just how silly it all was. Numbers were bandied about which made no sense at all. Every Home Secretary has been told for decades why the crime rate and reconviction rate won't change. Citing programmes where the high risk cases are excluded doesn't count either. As remarked elsewhere, cancer rates vary dramatically throughout the world because risk varies as a function of genes and hundreds of thousands of years of selection/adaption to environments - think sun and skin cancer.

    You could go through all the questions and answers this way, showing how silly it all is. I just can't be bothered.

    I can just imagine some silly, no doubt young and ignorant, researchers coming up with what they think are good sounding lines for their masters, whilst dismissing the realities because: 'yeah, well, most people won't know that'.....

    It's insulting, and it's stupid. It makes this country look idiotic, just like the USA in fact. Is this an environment which any sensible person would wish to bring children into? Don't bother answering that.

  • Comment number 6.

    If Obama regulates the derivatives like CDS I am assuming that the banks can't just use another new suicide chit via the back door.

    But it also occurs to me that if CDS become regulated, and to my knowledge we still don't know who has what toxic debt, then I assume that it may all come to light.

    In fixing the problem - which I applaud - could it be that a few more banks may go down as they have to acknowledge a few zillion pounds of bad debt?

    Perhaps this is something Paul Mason is aware of?

  • Comment number 7.

    Haver the Tories made any sort of commitment that in reducing the number of MPs they won't simply use "their turn" to fix the new boundaries so that they can get an MP for 35,000 votes and other parties will need more like 44,000?

    Myself I think the number of MP's is a red herring and real constitutional change and electoral change is the only realistic way to reengage the voters.

  • Comment number 8.

    Gove of the Tories is reported as saying in the Independent:

    'He highlighted Lib Dem plans to join the euro, scrap the Trident nuclear deterrent and offer an amnesty to illegal immigrants. '

    I am against the first, but the second proposal does not show that the Lid Dems are NOT talking about giving up nuclear deterrence but are seeking a more cost effective and proportionate response. The bland amnesty quote also deliberately misunderstands what the Lib Dems are proposing - and I think one Boris Johnson actually goes further than them but I am not sure off the top of my head.

    Still good to see that they are worried.

  • Comment number 9.

    I know it is for fun and that this won't all pan out quite like this but as Sparrow says in the Guardian:

    'Just for fun, I put the latest figures in to the UK Polling Report seat calculator. It says this would give the Tories 287 seats, Labour 186 seats and the Lib Dems 144 seats. Parliament would be hung with Cameron 39 seats short of a majority.'

    Hand stand time for those that want to see a more genuine democracy where the two main parties can't just put up a donkey with connections in safe seats and expect to win!

  • Comment number 10.

    #2 math ap mathonwy

    "You are all living/working in a fantasy world which is totally unrelated to physical and political/economic reality. You're moving fantasy pieces about in your fantasy world of words.

    No wonder we're in such a mess! Your political presenters and commentators are far more suited to covering Oscars and BAFTAs.

    None of them know anything about real government. "

    What do you actually know about "real government" math ap mathonwy?

    Yesterday you were rattling on about the US ending the British Empire - did you find about "real government" then?

    Perhaps fighting the Nazis?

    If you want to know about fantasy read some of the far right posters who "explicate" their views on this very page.

    Many know the routine well but its basically a cosmetic touch up of National Socialism with Hitler as a monarchic neo-deity. Its a cult of latter day Haw Haws lost in a fantasy world based on the thirties and forties of the last century.

  • Comment number 11.

    I can't agree with the Johann Hari Guardian view that the Afghanistan war is a waste of time despite the Karzai comments - though if he can obstruct the war against the Talibs and against drugs then my view would change.

    It also requires commitment from the Pakistanis - but despite highly complex fault lines in their society they do lose an awful lot more people than us I believe.

    Whilst the region could be de-stabilised to the point that al Qaeda may get a nuclear device of sorts via an ISI faction perhaps then we need to be there.

    "The Counter Improvised Explosive Device task force is to march through Didcot in Oxfordshire ahead of a medal presentation ceremony later on Friday.

    The 200 soldiers lost seven colleagues during a six-month tour. "

    I can't even imagine such danger and courage and I don't think those lives were lost in vain.

  • Comment number 12.

    #5 math ap mathonwy

    "Is this an environment which any sensible person would wish to bring children into? "

    Would you prefer a world of eugenics and euthanasia and the kind of racial policies put forward by Hitler?

    Do you mean "sensible" people like the BNP?

    When you say the debate makes this country look idiotic "like the USA" thats quite a sweeping statement. Previously you have blamed them for ending our empire but today most would be happy it was gone. You didn't like the Marshall Plan that helped to "de-nazify" Europe.

    Are you sure that you don't agree with the KKK and those like Von Bruun the one time American Friend of the BNP who killed a security guard at a US Holocaust Memorial?

    You seem kinda familiar.

  • Comment number 13.

  • Comment number 14.


    Are you sure? It always comes over as 'speaking at' Balls. Then the flywheel begins to revolve and words fly, ever faster, in all diections. And it can't be stopped!

  • Comment number 15.

    Go1 @ #6

    I'm not convinced either of your assumptions will be correct.

    No doubt they'll attempt to cover off all foreseeable unregulated markets but something will eventually spring up and bloosom that they haven't thought of. It'll take the mindset to remain as it is now - or the correct pinpointing of what is truly the cause of this house of cards that can be replicated in other areas and cause similar problems.

    The approach they take in the regulation will then dictate whether or not current positions are brought to light. Regulation could just be based on the declaring of new agreements rather than the declaration of all currently held.

    CDS aren't bad debt - you may be confusing them with CDOs. Please accept my apologies if you aren't.
    CDOs (credit default obligations) were at the heart of the financial meltdown being the bundling up of debt, mainly mortgages, into a saleable financial commodity. Some institutions were then bundling their CDOs together to create new CDOs and selling them on, and so on and so forth. That got so complicated that when load of people in Detroit and other fine US states started defaulting on their mortgages it wasn't and still isn't clear which CDOs were impacted.
    CDS (credit default swaps) were initially set up as a kind of insurance (although they explicitly aren't insurance) between companies to lessen their exposure (I pay you £30 a month for three years and in exchange you agree to pay me £500 should my wife unexpected by a new pair of Jimmy Choos) where company A pays company B a small amount a month in order to get a big payout should company X go bust. Initially the company As in this set-up were actually exposed to the activies of company X - i.e. they had reasonable cause for the protection - but eventually any old tom, dick or harry started taking-out CDSs with the likes of AIG as they thought the likelihood of companies like Lehman Brothers going bust made the money they paid out for the protection a good bet with the likley return they'd get. With AIG selling more Lehman Brothers going bust lottery tickets than was sensible, when they did go bust AIG needed handouts to survive. Given that the exposure to CDSs of the likes of AIG is dependent on the risk of default of the company Xs - it is debateable how exposed they are as the risk of deafult is by no means certain. Regulating the market won't make companies bust but it'd highlight those who would have serious problems should certain company Xs go bust. If you were to insist that those providing the CDS should definitely be able to cover all the positions they have sold as if they will go bad then it would limit the market to none existance; it's not how insurance companies work - they don't have reserves set aside on the off-chance everyone in the country crashes their car at once.
    There seem to be three key issues with CDS to me. The first should be eliminated some how and its being able to take a position on companies that you are not exposed to. It's like me taking out insurance on you crashing your car just because I think you're likley to do so - it's pure gambling and it shouldn't be mixed up in something that is trying to be an insurance market - it takes something that aims to bring more stability and turns it into some that could make things less stable. The second is harder to gain a good understanding of and stems from the nature of what a CDS is trying to do. Some companies are reliant on the success and failure of each other it's what a CDS is trying to protect against, but it means that when one company goes bust another might, so the exposure that companies who sell the protection have is the compound of multiple companies rather than individual companies and so working out the risk of collapse is rather complicated. Thirdly the companies who sell the protection are generally covering off their positions with other investments and the chance of them getting slightly out of kilter with all their different probability predictions isn't all that high - so their could be problems with the company Bs of this world paying out. If the legislation that is put in place to make that more secure strinks the market for CDS it needs to do so in a way that cause induce any of the problems it is trying to protect against.

    I've gone on a bit, sorry.

  • Comment number 16.

    Why is no-one on Newsnight capable of delivering a forensic analysis of what the three contenders said last night to establish whether any of them were telling the truth about anything?

  • Comment number 17.


    everyone shorting goldman. how sad. it must be god's work.

  • Comment number 18.


    the implications of the goldman case could be massive on the markets if proven.

    ..Goldman wrongly permitted a client that was betting against the mortgage market to heavily influence which mortgage securities to include in an investment portfolio, while telling other investors that the securities were selected by an independent, objective third party," said Robert Khuzami, director of the SEC's division of enforcement, according to a statement.

    Goldman said the SEC's charges "are completely unfounded in law and fact."

    the implication on others

  • Comment number 19.

    Clegg only put forward his main headline narrow focus policies last night but if had been forced to get into all the nasty eco-fascist Lib-Demmic ideas like " spy in the sky " road charging, or onto lunacy like saying NO to nuclear power or any new coal fired power stations perhaps the outcome would have been very different ?

  • Comment number 20.

    Robert Reich 30th March -

    "The Securities and Exchange Commission announced Monday that it had begun an inquiry into two dozen financial companies to determine whether they followed accounting practices similar to those recently disclosed in an investigation of Lehman Brothers."

    More shorting due no doubt

    Ref :

  • Comment number 21.


    This TV charade, was no more than political party leaders COMPETING WITHIN THE LIE. Westminster is a 'set-up' - of the parties, by the parties, for the parties. MPs are ciphers: by the parties, for party interests. WE THE VOTERS COME A VERY POOR THIRD. And NOW we have subordination to Europe, to further emasculate us. Does anyone actually tell us the ULTIMATE power of 'Lisbon'?

    When the three fell to arguing about immigration, the above was borne out. Back and forth they bandied numbers and strategies, with tacit agreement that no one would mention the EU-billions, who can come here broke, homeless, sick, pregnant or even explosive! AND WHO OFTEN CAN'T SPEAK THE LANGUAGE EITHER.

    I can think of no analogy bizarre enough to encapsulate the place Westminster, in all its self-serving dereliction, has taken us to. And while we atrophy, the BBC, in the splendid ever-regenerating Newsnight, with always more edgy gimmicks, runs politicians and pundits in 'Skinner Mazes' - as a spectacle. Worse is hard to imagine.

    Weep Britain.

  • Comment number 22.


    the idea the mortgage crisis that led to the credit crunch was some kind of understandable accident has never satisfied the believability test?

    maybe people thought they were not just too big to fail but 'too big to get found out'?

  • Comment number 23.

    Whats in store for the banks -
    Sarbanes–Oxley Act

    Born out of the Enron, Worldcom and Tyco scandals

    Then we have the precious metals 'alleged' rigging and leverage - ground zero at the London Bullion Market just to add a little spice to the down draft.

    We need new banks and banking ala pronto !!!

  • Comment number 24.

    "I think the number of MP's is a red herring and real institutional change and electoral change is the only realistic way to reengage the voters."

    For once I agree with you, although for rather different motives?

    I agree with the unfairness you express that more votes were required (in 2005)to elect each Lib-Dem MP (96,482)than were required for each Labour MP (26,860) and Tory MP (44,306). But how about the unfairnesses amongst the minor parties and independents?

    In the 2005 General Election a Respect MP was elected with 68,094 votes (0.3% of total) yet the following parties failed to get an MP elected with far more votes:-
    BNP 192,746 votes(0.7%); Green Party 257,758 (1.0%); UKIP 603,298 (2.2%)

    Apart from effect of unequal populations within constituencies, there is no doubt that the Respect MP gained from the fact that 'birds of a feather flock together' to avoid any mention of race or ghetos: it was more to do with common religious belief and customs in that case.

    One could argue that this is a distortion of overall public rights (equality)based on the fact that some (ethnic/religious) communities fight harder to achieve their objectives than the 'indigenous' tolerant English voters. Also, as minor parties (and independents) can less afford the costs and risks of fielding candidates in other than 'safe' seats, many voters are restricted in their choice of a candidate that shares their values and priorities.

    Those opposed to proportional representation, on the basis that an MP must 'represent' a constituency, should reflect on how the above examples will lead to distortion of our laws and values over time. Better to go for less MPs at Westminster elected by a form of PR (regional as for EU election?) and to devolve more powers of a community nature to Local Government, where the community have the opportunity to exercise more control over local councillors, perhaps with the addition of an elected Mayor.

    Previous governments have shown that big majorities lead to big egos, with most MPs being loyal to the party rather than to the electors.

    A 'hung' parliament should not be allowed to collapse but should be made to work with co-operation rather than confrontation. All 3 of the wanabe PMs seemed to agree on that as one of the major reforms. It would be more likely to result if the MPs elected more truly represented the total votes cast.

  • Comment number 25.


    Did banking have to be saved to keep the 'Master Lie' inflated? Are we in danger of collapsing our entire reality myth? That would sit nicely with The End of Days would it not? It should do wonders for Jehovah Witness numbers.

    Perhaps it never occurred to the Smart but Evil schemers behind all this stuff, that most of us a SO INCREDIBLY DUMB that we could not buy into the story, for sheer want of synapses? They invented 'Terror' for us to fear, but 'WE DON'T DO ABSTRACT'. They set Big Al on us with his Inconvenient Truth, but all we did was drive down to the recycle yard with a few bits. And then the 'scientists' started squabbling. I think they had better come up with a Black Death, or it isn't going to work.

  • Comment number 26.

    IN A NUTSHELL (24)

    I have no idea how many decades ALL THREE PARTIES have allowed the iniquitous voter:MP ratio to endure, but it shrieks UNFAIR (not to mention undemocratic).

    Now what sort of individuals connive at such a situation? What do they tell their children? THERE IS THE WESTMINSTER MALAISE writ large, but, being one prop of the LIE we all live in, it cannot be inspected, let alone corrected. A CHILD CAN SEE THE TRUTH OF IT. We keep voting these conniving, party game playing, ciphers into Parliament - why? THE DICE ARE LOADED AND INSCRIBED 'LOADED DICE' YET STILL THE CIPHERS WANT TO PLAY. What in the name of Rationality is going on?

    However - does it matter? Is not 'Lisbon' the ring to bring us all, and in the darkness bind us?

  • Comment number 27.

    clegg will support the tories, he's made that *quite* clear. Not least in his behaviour in the 'Great Leader Debate'.

    a hung parliament, due to people voting for LibDems, is for all purposes a tory victory.

    bearing in mind that NuLabour are also tories in fact, we then have a choice of 3 Tory parties to choose between. Clegg wouldn't even support PR, which has been the core LibDem policy since it has existed.

    the Greens are the only Party who offer REAL change, little wonder the Fuhrers were completely opposed to any expansion of this laughable debate to other Leaders. All we heard last night was a well written script of professional electioneers telling the Public what they thought the Public wanted to hear.

    what is *really* interesting, is how trustworthy they are - just how much can we trust these 'Leaders', considering on every single issue they have lagged far behind the Public, until now just before the election, when their professional pollsters are telling them EXACTLY what to say.

  • Comment number 28.

    Tories: cut now.

    NuLabour: cut next year.

    Clegg: "Savage cuts are necessary".

    its SO nice to have a real choice. lol.

  • Comment number 29.


    While we all discuss the politics of 1% of the earth's population, this planet has put on a small demonstration of 'Climate Change' - not to mention 'Industrial Revolution Change' (planes that can't fly).

    It is well attested that large volcanic dust ejections, in the past, have caused crop failures across the globe. Little is accepted, in Susan Watts' science, that cataclysm dominates this planet, but the Sun is on the blink and the electro-magnetic configuration of the solar system must change in sympathy. There is more to volcanism that we yet know - electricity is implicated. Climate change may yet make politics small beer - and brewing a waste of scarce nutriment.

    Watch the skies.

  • Comment number 30.


    Obama has sealed his one term presidency, with the Goldman Sachs challenge on his watch. What was he thinking?

  • Comment number 31.

    I had this thought that Lady Em was a free thinking, inciteful, independent women.

    (Excellent chairing of the three mousketeers in discussion tonight incidentally, just a shame they weren’t plugged in! ( With due apologies to Mr Dawson!) )

    Solid proof that a working Mum stroke woman could think, talk, question, dress to impress, look feminine stroke good and feerlessly operate at the highest level with big boys!

    (No, after less than less than a nano-second of thought, I will NOT defer to the PC Inquisition!!!)

    And yes .... add a bit of glam!

    Then .... Behold ....

    From a couple of papers that seemingly seem to be obsessed with swimsuited celebrities and the latest bikini fashion accessories we get ....

    A few expense account laden bladders - whom desparately need to fill column inches - complain about ‘a bit of thigh’ and ‘Bang!” along comes the conformity - so it would appear - of ....

    ..... imitation trousers!

    Has Lady Em succumbed to pressure, fear (or modesty?) or is she still an ‘independent woman’?

    Is the idea of the editors that the ‘Gravitas-ometer’ decidedly must rise and that the programme has no alternative but to come across as....

    .... suitably ‘serious’ ?

    There was a time when a glimpse of Os calcis was looked on being a bit tarty but ....

    Tempus has actually fugit-ted!

    Apologies for the previous two lines but copyright law is a notoriuos minefield!

  • Comment number 32.

    I loved the Channel 4 News coverage of the BNP "launch" outside the Home Office in Croyden.

    About a dozen to twenty people who tried to look mean and protested to the reporters that Collett (BNP publicity officer) being arrested for threatening to kill Griffin (BNP leader) was not a big deal and things were going pretty well for them.

    The fact that members of a party's elite are actually threatening to KILL each other would therefore seem quite acceptable to them.

    So as is usual with the far right they are losing councilors and members who are disillusioned with the behind the scenes Nazi agenda and the associated Holocaust Denial.

    Naturally Collett was shown in tapes to applaud Aids for killing blacks, gays and drug addicts.

    Such charming, charming people - why won't people take them seriously.

  • Comment number 33.

    #24 indignantindegene

    "For once I agree with you, although for rather different motives?"

    The question mark is un-needed as I would never agree with you in a million years.

    You mentioned the BNP - no matter who gets the votes of the public they have to be respected in that light but I would hope that democratic parties would make far more effort and not be so complacent in handling the lies and evil of the far right.

  • Comment number 34.

    #29 barriesingleton

    "Little is accepted, in Susan Watts' science, that cataclysm dominates this planet, but the Sun is on the blink and the electro-magnetic configuration of the solar system must change in sympathy."

    In Barriesingleton science there is science with no data to back up the usual wild assertions .... hmmmm.

    Hey weren't you the guy who was wobbling on about the third tower being due to sabotage and offered no evidence for that.

    Could this be a pattern?

  • Comment number 35.

    On reflection I have noted that the general media response to Clegg winning the debate (generally seen that way barring the Labour spinners) does not really project ahead to how the disillusioned public will react if this electoral system saw Labour win in seats but be third in the popular vote.

    They aren't exactly flavour of the month now.

    Similarly a Tory minority government that was seen to rest on a distorted vote would mean that the succeeding general election would be extremely difficult.

    In other words I would have thought that Labour and the Tories would be under real pressure to stop considering party interest and consider the national interest and change this foolish voting system.

  • Comment number 36.

    #26 barriesingelton

    "I have no idea how many decades ALL THREE PARTIES have allowed the iniquitous voter:MP ratio to endure, but it shrieks UNFAIR (not to mention undemocratic)."

    1. The Lib Dems are for PR so as usual you are talking nonsense. Most of the minor parties want it also. Even the odious BNP.

    2. I seem to recall your endorsement of jaded_jean/statist on all matters genetic. That poster used to cite Hitler as a peace lover and National Socialistic tyranny as a desirable replacement for democracy. So that's not you endorsing it but ...

    3. Unfair? In a fuhrer-state I would hope most voters would see that unfairness might be a tad increased rather than decreased as the Holocaust and seventy million dead in WWII indicate.

  • Comment number 37.

    #21 barriesingelton

    "And while we atrophy, the BBC, in the splendid ever-regenerating Newsnight, with always more edgy gimmicks, runs politicians and pundits in 'Skinner Mazes' - as a spectacle."

    Ah your brain has been atrophying these past years and that's why you used to endorse the duff non-science that pretends that climate change is not real (three different major studies say different); that your old pal jaded_jean/statist notion of racial differences with intelligence (Incredible Human Journey/ Race and Intelligence refutes that); and the third 9/11 tower was sabotaged.

  • Comment number 38.

    #15 the count

    Thanks but I am not sure as I can't find the article I read but I think they said CDS and maybe they meant CDO or possibly both.

    But either way as Kuhnhenn and Werner report in the Huffpost:

    'President Barack Obama declared Friday that he would veto the bill if it doesn't regulate the freewheeling derivatives market. "We can't afford another AIG," the president said, referring to the giant insurance conglomerate that relied heavily on the complex, sometimes exotic investment instruments.'

    Therefore I would hope that all instruments would get regulated appropriately.

    But if they are regulating something when there are still apparently toxic derivatives still in play then that does not seem logical as you could get taken down by the old trades that have not matured.

    Perhaps though they are going to join up the regulation with accountancy changes to handle the Repo 105 stuff and prevent creative accounting practices.

    By the way when you say

    "it's not how insurance companies work - they don't have reserves set aside on the off-chance everyone in the country crashes their car at once."

    I am sure that's right but if they line up a situation where they didn't
    expect say a series of banks to become bust at the same time and the ratio of paper to real money is hundreds to one then we are still playing Russian Roulette.

    But perhaps the Goldman Sachs prosecution may deter maverick behaviour that undermines the maths - they are going to get at a minimum high pressure and I doubt they would let the prosecution start unless they were pretty confident of a result of sorts.

  • Comment number 39.

    Think there has been some misunderstanding of terms CDO and CDS on here. Janet Tavakoli video may help. Well just looking at her helps.

    Janet Tavakoli - 'printing money to save banks - a galactically bad idea.'

    with elegance and grace she explains - incentivised destruction.

    I don't see any other future than inflation - its now quite scary. If Clegg continues to gain in support hung parliament = run on pound; gold and silver problem shows up big time; everyone wants their gold and not cash settlement; more banks get charged with fraud; the result of printing money big time shows up; Israel hits Iran in the coming years.

    Back in pain - rebound from hospital drug so cant go back and get doped up just have to be in pain for another 7 hours.

  • Comment number 40.

    Look at the take down of gold Friday 16th -

    The Obama/Goldman love-in thing -

    Ref :

    Also -

    "If you are a precious metals investor, you should no longer be surprised by these routine manipulations. Instead, you should view them as a gift and opportunity to purchase gold, silver and quality mining stocks at a steep discount to where they were trading a few days prior and where they will likely be trading a few days after the event."

    And to back it up they have part of Andrew Maguire's emails describing the manipulations made public. How long can all this go on for - its obviously now not a free market ?

  • Comment number 41.


    Excuse me, flicks, why do you assume you can speak for 'everyone'? I'm not after gold, it's the last thing on my mind, while you're obviously obsessed with it. On and on, money, money, money.

  • Comment number 42.

    Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending from what and whose perspective one speaks, if David Cameron doesn't agree to be 'grilled' by Jeremy, with Brown now agreeing to undergo the 'experience', he will be considered a short changed coward. Pure and simple.

    It's a myth that Jeremy is a 'prima donna'. He is not only perfectly capable to see things from very many perspectives, he seems to be going out of his way to do so. More often than not his 'impertinent' questions lead either to the truth or are proved to be correct. He does sometimes, on very rare occasions, seem to lose his 'cool' a bit but it's not surprising considering the frustrations, deceptions, outright lies and so on that the politicians 'dish out' to the public quite regularly /not always though, it must be said/,


  • Comment number 43.

    Apparently yet another mass grave with thousands of Stalin's victims, this time those of Russian themselves, has been found in Vladivostok. It looks like they were starved to death by the stocky moustachio.

  • Comment number 44.

    Regulators Approve Movie Box Office Futures Market -

    "The bill would also prevent a bailout of Wall Street firms who engage in risky derivatives trading and is set to be debated in a committee next week."

    What is it with the Americans ?
    Gold and Silver directly affects the value of paper money and hence finance of daily life for everyone.

  • Comment number 45.

    I know matters of policy and fact are so last week in politics, but I read yesterday that: ”The Liberal Democrat Leader has promised to repeal the controversial Digital Economy Act should his party be involved in the next government.’

    Now, as a topic dear to my heart (if but one of many), that is a matter of interest to me. One I might ask his PPC about if she knocks on my door, not that anything the poor woman thinks is apparently meant to matter to me as a local voter any more, now a TV show about 3 blokes has 'blown the doors off the election' (as least as the WUVI brigade are concerned)... hence the polls that track what people think they have been told.

    Anyway, as I presume that, for this promise to be honoured, whomsoever he is involved with would need to agree.

    If so, who is that?

  • Comment number 46.

    LUCKY OLD TEMPUS.............

    #31 JA PERSON

    About the only thing flying anywhere at the moment!

  • Comment number 47.


    Check your iPlayer for Antiques Roadshow 'opening edgy', and you will see why Emily felt moved to 'delineate her limbs'. I understand she can say: "In your face, trollop", in several languages?

    (I am clearly in need of something more worthwhile to do.)

  • Comment number 48.


    Thanks for confirmation, BYT, that's been my impression.

    But flying where?


  • Comment number 49.

  • Comment number 50.


    stalin treated everyone 'equally' regardless of nationality, race or creed. so it was a fair society. He is the model of fairness.

    if everyone in a group is put into a mass grave then that shows a society based on fairness, equality and justice.

    which is why it is superior and more rational to chose a society based on the good. where one has to ask it is good to have mass executions? rather than finding a fair way of doing it.

    fairness requires human sacrifice. like with the nhs case of people being discriminated against [through denial of medicines] just so it was 'fair'.

    if a criminal robs everyone then he is being fair, non discriminatory, multicultural, without any bias etc. So fairness relates doing the same thing to everyone regardless of how much good is in it.

    which is why the fairness model all the parties are crowing about demands human sacrifice. They say they want fairness not goodness. Big difference. stalin was into 'equality' [without goodness]. but who wants that? The uk parties want fairness [without any consideration of goodness].To unlink goodness from a society [a goodnessectomy] is a defective model, a road lined with the statutes to injustice, human sacrifices and crimes against humanity.

  • Comment number 51.


    As the flight grounding situation gets worse, and we reflect on earthquakes, tsunami's, volcanic eruptions and nature at her most powerful, what are the wider implications of the current situation?

    Since it's the weekend (I know we have a weekend NN) would bloggers care to think about beyond someone's holidays being curtailed.

    For example:
    - Access to fresh/perishable foods - can we g;row our own'?
    - What of the fragile economies of Chile or Kenya, where we import vast amounts of fresh/perishable by plane?
    - What if you are booked for a critical operation and your surgeon went to the Seychelles for Easter?

    What else?

    #48 - Mim

    NOWHERE MAN!!!!!!

    No flying nowhere much.
    My husband got back from Rotterdam on last flight into Aberdeen on Wednesday. My son and girlfriend are trying to book train/ferry/train back from Southern Ireland. Many friends here work offshore and Thursday is the usual 'demob' day for rigs. Makes Aberdeen heliport the busiest in the world I think. Many of them are marooned, though some personnel carrying is being done by offshore supply and service vessels. Some 'shipping' regulations (re passenger carrying) are being relaxed in the north sea sector from my information.

    We need a Dunkirk operation. Calling all small boats and turbo props.

  • Comment number 52.

    More to come because -

    'Massive widespread malfeasance'

    I worry about Janet


    Planes on the ground for more than a week = more trouble
    Anyone trust a weather forcast ?

  • Comment number 53.

  • Comment number 54.


    I don"t think all politicians lack goodness which is anyway a relative concept. What, let's say, one tuned on 'flyer' might think is good for me, may profoundly disagree with my wellbeing.

  • Comment number 55.


    No, I didn't think it was you, Brightyangthing, attempting to fly this morning.


  • Comment number 56.


    Oh how MUCH is carried in those words!

    Here in the UK, the Westminster Citadel wall has a small breach in it. It is an opportunity to bring an end to endemic governmental malfeasance. BUT IT HAS TO BE DONE RIGHT.

    The denizens of Westminster, are multi-distilled in their amorality. Even Wunderkind Clegg has not denounced that place except judiciously, and for personal advancement. THIS HAS TO BE DONE RIGHT.

    Westminster is beloved of parties, for them - THE GAME'S THE THING. Management of Britain, and the contentment of her people, comes a poor second, if not third.

    Until individuals of integrity - in sufficient number - are squeezed through that crack, tasked with SPOILING PARTY GAMES, Britain's decline IN HUMAN TERMS will continue.

    As one perceptive blogger has posted before: VOTE RADICAL.

  • Comment number 57.


    Oh how MUCH is carried in those words!

    Here in the UK, the Westminster Citadel wall has a small breach in it. It is an opportunity to bring an end to endemic governmental malfeasance. BUT IT HAS TO BE DONE RIGHT.

    The denizens of Westminster, are multi-distilled in their amorality. Even Wunderkind Clegg has not denounced that place except judiciously, and for personal advancement. THIS HAS TO BE DONE RIGHT.

    Westminster is beloved of parties, for them - THE GAME'S THE THING. Management of Britain, and the contentment of her people, comes a poor second, if not third.

    Until individuals of integrity - in sufficient number - are squeezed through that crack, tasked with DISRUPTING THE CURRENT ETHOS, Britain's decline IN HUMAN TERMS will continue.

    As one perceptive blogger has posted before: VOTE RADICAL.

  • Comment number 58.

    #51. 2nd part

    Do you mean, BYT, the small boats, or a small boat as the case may be, acting as facilitators/a facilitator for a Kenyan or a Chilean? To add to the treasures?


  • Comment number 59.

    #59. addendum

    I can think of a much better and natural solution than resorting to small boats/a small boat. There's no other way left.


  • Comment number 60.

    So when is a amnesty not an amnesty ?

    In September 2007 Nick Clegg spelt out LibDem policy for illegal immigrants and workers. Now we see a LibDem spokesman on Fridays NN denying their policy can be called or defined as a amnesty for illegals, but the criteria seems to be the same as back in 2007 ?

    So now, what would the lib dems like to call this policy ?

  • Comment number 61.

    #1 minuend

    Out of the 8 questions asked in the debate, only 4 would effect Scotland and Northern Ireland , and 5 would effect Wales , because of devolution.

    This I suggest is a side effect of what is known as the "West Lothian Question", it has yet to be answered to most peoples satisfaction here in England too.

    I would have liked the question to have been raised in the debate, but, sadly not.

    I personally favour the idea of having a Grand Committee of England for laws which now only effect England, and yes having separate appointed leaders (between the English MPs) of that committee so devolved issues are not raised during UK wide general elections.

    I believe before devolution in 2000 there was a Grand Committee for laws that only Scotland (made up of Scottish MPs), I guess because of the differences between English, Welsh and NI laws which are either based on or predominately based on English common law principles, and Scottish law which is based on Scot law principles.

    The West Lothian Question was first posed in 1977 , I suspect there will need to be a lot more debate on the issue before most people are satisfied with a solution.

  • Comment number 62.

    Obama talking a whole heap of sense :-

    But will it happen before or after things get much worse or at all.

    Surprising how many men cant tie a tie as well as that.

  • Comment number 63.

    @ Flicks # 62 - I would replace the word "sense" for something else ;o)
    Men look far sexier without ties - look at Jeremy tonight.
    Fantastic to see audience participation in the discussion and a welcoming and refreshing change to see Nigel Farage being interviewed by Jeremy on his policies. I never knew £45million was taken DAILY FROM the UK and given to the EU. Where does it all go?

  • Comment number 64.

    #63 - Well you would know wouldn't you

  • Comment number 65.

  • Comment number 66.


    Money is not only power - it buys guns and the best assassins.

    Jack Kennedy made an enemy of the powerful. . .

  • Comment number 67.


    Peeked because he had failed to ruffle Farage over his name (sheer, gratuitous, rudeness in itself) Paxo fired a lame shot: "so your a garage". Does this over-paid, 'ace interviewer', not know that Farage will have been fielding every possible variation, on his name, SINCE KINDERGARTEN (where Paxo clearly is still at home)?

    Something seems to be eating His Holiness these days - and turning his hair white, at a rate of knots. But he should not be permitted to take it out on his subjects.

  • Comment number 68.


    For 'peeked' read 'piqued'. Doh!

  • Comment number 69.

    Ted Butler interview :-

    Listen to what he has to say about The London Bullion Market with reference to James Rickards experience of trying to obtain a contract. Then ask yourself where is the FSA (Financial Services Authority) in all of this ?

  • Comment number 70.


    Do you hold it against him, Ecolizzy?

    As if both of them chose who they were born to.

    What's worse in your view: their education, the rich background or their accent? Or are they all condemnablle?


  • Comment number 71.

  • Comment number 72.

    Adrian Douglas from Gata (Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee) on the gold market :

    What you gonna do Vince ?

  • Comment number 73.

    thegangofone [#10] "What do you actually know about "real government" math ap mathonwy?"

    What I have to say (on many issues) is based upon years of personal, practical and professional experience in the development/implemention of government policy.

    I can see that much that you post isn't based upon any evidence or any practical experience. Much that you post is irritating and abusive.

    You should not assume that other posters are like yourself.

  • Comment number 74.

  • Comment number 75.

    barriesingleton [#21] "This TV charade, was no more than political party leaders COMPETING WITHIN THE LIE."

    The big lie is that people have been massively misled (by well meaning people usually) into believing all are born equal and can be moulded by teachers and the like, into something potentially wonderful. This isn't so. It is the biggest lie ever. Much else flows from this. It needs to be exposed for the falsehood that it is. A tall order.

    "And while we atrophy, the BBC, in the splendid ever-regenerating Newsnight, with always more edgy gimmicks, runs politicians and pundits in 'Skinner Mazes' - as a spectacle. Worse is hard to imagine."

    A minor technical point, but a very important one I think you may find. Skinner and colleagues didn't and still don't (usually) run animals in mazes, that was a completely different group of (largely misguided in Skinner's view) 'learning theorists'. Skinner had rats pressing levers or pigeons pecking keys, in controlled environments, namely boxes or 'operant chambers'. This was just like physicists running experiments in simplified, controlled, environments, i.e. to better study key variables.

    Goldman Sachs. Hey ho. This is one of the greatest beneficiaries of the 'big lie.

  • Comment number 76.

    flicks [#74] "You have anything to do with this"

    Let me ask you a more important question.

    After the recent announcement from the SEC, do you better appreciate just how much control Wall Street banks may have had over European economies for decades? Do you now realise how this may have shaped politics over the past century? Do you better understand how averse they are to regulators, and how much they may have invested in making regulators appear as 'oppressors' or 'persecutors'?

    Might the irrational fears created in people such as yourself have actually facilitated economic/political misery for millions whilst creating massive wealth for those investing in such fear-mongering?

    Can you imagine how that might have worked? If you can't, why is that?

  • Comment number 77.

    Crikey I laughed at this :

    Just take a look at my link at #74 to know why

    Math ap Mathonwy yes looking at your posts seems gango is right again - you look very much like jaded_jean/statist

  • Comment number 78.

    #76 yep def jaded_jean/statist

  • Comment number 79.

    'Might the irrational fears created in people such as yourself'

    I like to give myslef a little thrill - it helps with the terrible pain I have to go through when I mess up with the suppliments and god knows what else my head is affected by.

  • Comment number 80.

    flicks [#77] I read your link but couldn't understand what you found funny. Can you explain please?

  • Comment number 81.


    Brown's words would haunt him, were he not so split, that Jekyll-Brown can believe he is a Compass Bearing Manseman, who learned to tell ONLY the truth at Scottish Presbyterian knees, of unsurpassed nobility and knobbliness. (Meanwhile Hyde-Brown clutches raw iniquity to his black bosom, and leers from the shadows.)

    "So a new trust between business and government is possible" said Brown, either as a total fool - believing it to be true - or, more probably, as a knave of immeasurable evil, who led us to a position of utmost vulnerability, there to await the collapse of global money.

    And STILL he is viewed as a valid contender. i can only conclude that,if Tony decided to come back and run for high office, the dummies who measure Brown, as if he is a normal human being, would once again be bowled over by charisma and rhetoric.

    We really do get the 'leaders' we deserve.

  • Comment number 82.

    flicks - I suggest you look up what Clinton said in 1999 as he signed the Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act as this goes way back. The question one has to ask, I suggest, is how they collectively could not known how the combination of this legislation plus reforms to the Community Reinvestment Actwouldn't have had the economic impact which it did in 2007/8 given what was known about the changing USA population brought about by changes to the population. The 'big lie' to which barrie refers, is all about this. It also applies to Europe.

    Many people have explained how this was going to happen, because many know that it has been done before.

    Clinton and Brown should not be allowed to play the innocents.

  • Comment number 83.

    YOU CAN NOT BE SERIOUS MAN! (#77 link)

    QUOTE: Mr Brown said that the issue underlined the need for further reform of the international banking system. "I am shocked at this moral bankruptcy. This is probably one of the worst cases that we have seen," he said.

    Good grief flicks - can there be any doubt that my points @81 regarding the split James Gordon Brown* are valid? You may laugh - I hope it was hollow!

    Can we be suffering from moral bankruptcy James? YES WE CAN!

    * Does any one know how James came to prefer being Gordon? Might they be at odds in there?

  • Comment number 84.

    #79 & #80


    I think he's in pain too from messing around


  • Comment number 85.

    At this time Huff post have Julie Mehretu's 5 million Goldman Sachs painting splashed all over the front - is Arianna looking to shame the unregulated art world as well ? Go for it Arianna.

    #80 - the problem with that is all yours, sweetie.

  • Comment number 86.

    #82 yeah I'm familiar with that, but will say no more cus gango will be on my case.

  • Comment number 87.

    #84 The loved one wants to know - how do you mean mesing around ?

  • Comment number 88.

    barriesingleton [#83] "Good grief flicks - can there be any doubt that my points @81 regarding the split James Gordon Brown* are valid? You may laugh - I hope it was hollow!"

    All of us are bundles of contradictions. It's a consequence of how we're physically made. We are modular in design. Expecting any human being not to be, is, therefore, irrational.

    Therefore, one has to look beyond this.

  • Comment number 89.


    The other day you entitled one of your posts CRUEL TO BE KIND. Any chance you could explain what you meant by that?

    From my experience, I also find it a useful practice, especially when long term big issues are concerned.

    Who needs cheap, deceitful and nasty small boats when one has at one's disposal all it takes?


  • Comment number 90.

    flicks [#85] "the problem with that is all yours, sweetie."

    I don't understand that either (any more that I understand most of the posts from mimpromptu or thegangofone). You seem to be prone to talk about yourself, but as nobody knows who any you are, and as most people won't care (and shouldn't), it's all very silly.

    What most people reading this blog will care about is what people have to say about what goes on in the world, something we can all share. Do you understand the difference? People here don't want to know about your personal life, feelings, medical problems etc. It isn't that sort of forum,

  • Comment number 91.

    flicks - Here's how it works. What some folk do is make out that they are always being got at by evil minded others. In fact, it's they themselves who cause other people problems. It's just that they can't see their own behaviour and its consequences, so they only see other people's reactions to their behaviour. It's a well known problem, sadly, almost impossible to treat. These people cause others no end of misery and used to be isolated from communities in everyone's best interests. They can be identified by their obvious hostility to others plus their inability to benefit from others' help. They are very self-centred. I know this, because it's by business to know this.

  • Comment number 92.

    I strongly suspect flicks is just another one of those 'useful idiots'.

    ...though they could be one of those on the kosher side, whose narcissistic tendancy makes them desperate for recognition!

    Thanks for breaking the Goldmans/Gold market manipulation stories early on this blogsite though.

  • Comment number 93.

    #89 addendum

    I do refer to real life, BYT. Even if the truth turns out to be 'cruel to be kind'. It's not being sure which is the problem. Mentoring and appreciation as per the other day are obviously most appreciated /does it work the other way? methinks yes/.

    Everything else is CARP and worse! But then, once CARP always CARP!!


  • Comment number 94.

    The weather or not

    "The sun is currently blank of sunspots for the fourth day in a row, however that could change within the next week."

    There you go - useful idiot on toast

    #91 - 'used to be isolated from communities' and they isolated you instead ? But you have been a lesson to me with regards to one.

  • Comment number 95.

  • Comment number 96.

    One for Math

    'After finishing a PhD in political philosophy at the University of Chicago 10 years ago, having already done a degree and an MA, I managed to stay on with a one-year postdoctoral fellowship at the university’s Committee on Social Thought...

  • Comment number 97.


    One for Math

    Forget the PhD and become a mechanic

    'After finishing a PhD in political philosophy at the University of Chicago 10 years ago, having already done a degree and an MA, I managed to stay on with a one-year postdoctoral fellowship at the university’s Committee on Social Thought.

    ...Then in the spring I landed a job as executive director of a policy organisation in Washington. This felt like a coup. But certain perversities became apparent as I settled into the job. It sometimes required me to reason backwards, from desired conclusion to suitable premise. I was making arguments I didn’t fully buy myself. This was demoralising.

    Further, my boss seemed intent on retraining me according to a certain cognitive style — that of the corporate world, from which he had recently come. This style demanded I project an image of rationality but not indulge too much in actual reasoning. I had landed the job because I had a prestigious education in the liberal arts, but the job itself felt illiberal. As I sat dejectedly in my office, Fred’s life as an independent mechanic tradesman gave me an image of liberality that I kept coming back to. Here was someone who really knew what he was doing, losing himself in work that was genuinely useful and had a certain integrity to it. He also seemed to be having fun.'

  • Comment number 98.

    Anybody read this....

    It just shows how our present system is open to complete collapse. Food is going to be a major problem in this country, we import millions of tons unsustainably, because water shortage. Note; Kenya is stuck with 500 tons of flowers a day, (great water users) because the planes are grounded, because of ash from Iceland.

    But we also keep importing millions of people, when are people going to wake up to the shortage of land here, and the growing population. Nick certainly doesn't, he wants everybody to come here, and make a bigger economy. But we will starve in the process, and have water rationing.

  • Comment number 99.

  • Comment number 100.


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