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Friday 30 April 2010

Sarah McDermott | 11:40 UK time, Friday, 30 April 2010

He has been prime minister since 2007, through the financial crisis and the MP expenses scandal, and now he wants your vote to carry on.

Tonight, Gordon Brown faces Jeremy Paxman, who will be asking Mr Brown what he wants to do with five more years in power.

The interview will be broadcast at 2030 on BBC One and we'll have highlights at 2230 on BBC Two.

And Michael Crick is in Morley and Outwood, for our final Friday Night at the Marginals.

The area's traditional industries, such as textiles in Morley and mining in Outwood, have all but vanished, though the constituency has made a good recovery, buoyed by a diversified economy and proximity to the booming city of Leeds.

But can Ed Balls hold on to his seat here in the face of a strong challenge from Antony Calvert of the Conservatives? And what impact has Cleggmania had on Labour's chances of holding on to this seat and others like it?

More details later.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Please get Paxman to ask him what he intends to do if Labour are heavily defeated in next week's GE.

    If he won't anser that one then ask him would he ever consider working in the private sector after being PM (he can't be PM forever)...and specifically would he consider working for a bank.

    We need to know the answer to these questions.

    Paxo...don't let him off the hook.

  • Comment number 2.

    So Alistair "the rabbit" Campbell thinks Labour have had it and St Blair of Iraq has gone amongst the people and broken bread with them and spaken and sayeth Labour can still win.

    The flying pigs seem to be getting plenty of practice these days.

    Perhaps Blair will go on to comment about the benefits of light touch regulation and whether the FSA should have been encouraged more - not less - to investigate the "perfectly respectable banks".

    Will finding Labour votes next week be like searching for WMD in Iraq?

  • Comment number 3.

    Meanwhile in the Independent:

    "A teenage white supremacist was convicted today of three counts of possessing terror documents" whilst daddy had produced viable ricin for the Aryan Strike Force.

    "The US Centre for Disease Control suggested that as little as 500mg - about half a grain of rice - could be lethal if injected or inhaled, and it has no known antidote. "

    "The court heard the group planned to fight against what they called the Zionist Occupied Government and believed the state had been taken over by Jews. "

    Whether Labour come third and hang on to power or whether the Tories form a minority or majority government people need to start getting tough with the far right propagandists and groups.

    Are the lone wolves as lone as they are portrayed?

    How many times on this very page have there been ludicrous far right propaganda posts about the alleged "Jewish hegemony" and the Holocaust being "made up" and of course the racial origins of immigrants.

    That is not to say there should not be a mature debate on immigration by the way.

    In fact is it the Muslims who have provided the most bombers in this country or is it the far right? al Qaeda probably kill more Muslims than they do Westerners.

    The far right are not harmless eccentrics.

  • Comment number 4.

    Another issue that was not discussed in the debates was drugs.

    Is the war on drugs being won, lost or drawn and where are the new ideas about how to tackle it?

    Are they going to take more notice or less of scientific advice and with the financial services arrangements in flux will they strengthen or ignore the potential to tighten right up on money laundering and so on?

  • Comment number 5.

    I vote Lib Dem but I have to say that if I thought the Lib Dems could not win Ed Balls seat I might just think about not voting - but then I don't live there and I don't know what the local issues are.

    I will be thrilled to see the sour Phil Woolas lose should that happen to the Lib Dems.

    But most importantly as things stand the days of British politics being two wolves and a lamb deciding what to have for lunch are gone.

    The "wolves" can't rely on the votes of people who do not agree with their policies and the third party squeeze can't be sustained.

    Failing parties can be replaced though the process will be much more harmonious if there is PR that allows the genuine aspirations of the British people to be expressed.

    Strong leadership gave us the Poll Tax, light touch regulation, Iraq, 10p and so on and so on.

    Balanced leadership that takes the people with you and does not ignore their concerns is better.

  • Comment number 6.

    Has Cameron been asked what he will do if there is a hung Parliament and he cannot muster the support he needs from the Lib Dems as he won't accept PR?

    Will he allow second elections to be called and what then if it is hung a second time?

  • Comment number 7.

    :o) Can't wait to see Jeremy's showdown with Gordon Brown!

  • Comment number 8.

    In the Guardian:

    "2.05pm: Earlier this week my colleague Oliver Burkeman wrote about the American statistics expert Nate Silver who is predicting a Labour meltdown.

    Silver, who writes for FiveThirtyEight.com, has guru status in the UK because he predicted the results of the 2008 presidential race with great accuracy. Silver and his colleagues have now updated their UK forecasting model. Their latest prediction is that the Tories will win 299 seats (with 34.4% of the vote), Labour 199 seats (with 27% of the vote) and the Lib Dems 120 seats (with 29.5%) of the vote."

    Just a thought but when you stick those figures into the BBC seat calculator you get:

    Tories 274
    Labour 251
    Lib Dems 96
    others 29

    Perhaps they take account of seat balances of power and likely tactical voting but that's a radical difference.

    Just fun though I suppose.

    Myself I was really hoping for Labour on 25-27% and the Lib Dems coming in around 30%.

    I suppose though that the turnout that I was expecting to be high will make a difference for Labour and the weather.

  • Comment number 9.

    As a staunch supporter of the BBC -it was particularly painful to watch the News at 10/Newsnight last night. It had all the production and editorial values of a Public School end-of-term talent(less) show. The stand-up routine being performed by none other than Head Boy Nick Robinson. As for the rest of the cast, Stephanie Flanders reverted to her turn as an illusionist - the one that involves 'Economics' as being somehow divorced from 'Politics'. As a result, sitting on the fence appeared to be both very tricky and painful, judging by her expression for the most part. And good old Newsnight had Michael - 'who knows what he'll say' - not-even he - Crick talking about how the football was more interesting on the TV than the debate. To top it all off, there was the new, rising talent Justin Rowlatt and his worms, tweets and slap-stick...all good stuff for a kiddie's party. And then, when my sides hadn't stopped splitting, we had the Wannabe stand-up guy in the Motorway Services - whose name I try not to remember.

  • Comment number 10.

    ANY CHANCE WE CAN GET BLAIR AND IDS TOGETHER TO EXPLAIN THE WAR?

    The Godly and the Cuddly were responsible for the Iraq war. Lets have dual roasting.

  • Comment number 11.

    PERHAPS PAXMAN COULD POINT OUT THE 'MANGLISH FACTOR' TO BROWN?

    Despicable Brown; with his 'one in one out' mantra, in response to Mrs D's immigration concern. Never a word or thought regarding the swapping of English speakers for Manglish ones (and a host of alien cultural 'enrichment' as a bonus).

    I could not help a wry smile at the sprinkling of Manglish speakers in the audience of Question Time. One guy was as hard to understand as Kirsty!

    In passing: I notice that, when killing Johnnie Foreigner, out squaddies do a lot of shouting, with great urgency, apparently to warn comrades of imminent danger. How does Manglish shouting fit in there? Sorry, did you say "duck scares a pullet, running?"

  • Comment number 12.

    #3Go1 Ludicrous - or Scandalous?
    “How many times on this very page have there been ludicrous far right propaganda posts about the alleged "Jewish hegemony" and the Holocaust being "made up" and of course the racial origins of immigrants.”

    At#96(previous blog) you quoted my #82: ‘Look at the proportion of immigrants from the overpopulated third world’s poorest countries and compare their TFRs with the indigenes.’ and responded with:

    “Surely the issue for you is immigration numbers and not race? Fertility rates will depend a lot on culture and education and as has been identified by science on the genetic front there is virtually no difference between the races?”

    Which of us is it that keeps referring to ‘the racial origins of immigrants??

    My statement was that “many immigrants are too alien in cultural upbringing to ever assimilate to an English culture, which has already been changed beyond recognition.“

    Differences in Total Fertility Rates are a fact of life, though (like race) seem to be a taboo subject; the reasons for the huge increase in ethnic populations may be genetic, religious, cultural (‘a women’s place is at home’) or maybe just habit, boredom or a favourite pastime as far as I am concerned.

    I prefer raising veggies in my garden, so haven’t spent long searching for recent statistics, so this will have to do to confirm my fears:-

    “Forty two per cent of London’s population were non-White British. A third of all Londoners were born outside the UK, compared with 12 per cent of the population of the UK. The region had nearly 40 per cent of all foreign-born residents in the UK.” (ONS) or

    Http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1556901.stm

    ‘Britain's ethnic minorities are growing at 15 times the rate of the white population, newly-published research shows. Population growth: Black(Mixed)49%; Black(African)37%; Bangladeshi 30%;
    Pakistani 13%; Chinese 5%; Indian 4%; White 1%; Black (Caribbean) 0%
    Source: ONS’
    ONS and other organisations are currently under pressure from EHRC to improve their reporting - in order to ensure that there is no negative impacts on ethnic minorities - so the overwhelmed English society may benefit from this thoughtful measure?

  • Comment number 13.

    Caught a bit of Emily in the spin room on News 24 before the debate and thought her pleasantly relaxed - enjoyed her remark comparing the atmosphere of tense anticipation to her old school discos as the lights dimmed and was interested later to hear her describing how all attention to the debate itself ceased in the spin room some twenty minutes before the end when Lord Mandelson entered (me I had nodded off).

    Still finding it hard to reconcile myself to Kirsty's team doing it standing up. Suspect Kirsty of allowing herself an ironic smile when Gordon bared one of his own peculiar attempts at them at the end of his spiel - naughty ...

    I thought the panel tonight just degenerated into tedious partisan squabbling about the parties.

  • Comment number 14.

    Let's get to work!

    The decline of UK's industrial, manufacturing heartlands is well documented but I hear none of the parties articulating what their plans are to resurrect manufacturing.

    Nulabour are openly dismissive of the mere thought of any effort to revive the corpse; Ted Tweedleband said only the other day he "didn't care" and Gordi seems to think that British jobs for British workers means a new government grant aided factory for Siemens and Mitsubishi.

    Lord Snooty stays well clear of dirty hands businesses, more amenable to soft furnishings, supermarkets and babywear; we hear vague exhortations about small and medium sized businesses, but bijou glassware websites won't help folk in Morley.

    And Cleggie? Well I forget if he ever said anything on the subject, apart from stating that his constituency location in Sheffield used to be the home of steel; used to be; what did Cleggie do to stop it being a "used to be"?

  • Comment number 15.

    FINGERS CROSSED, GORDON GETS BURNED A BIT

    mim

  • Comment number 16.

    rofl@#2 :D

    gangy: nice comments. :)

    re balls seats etc, isn't it a shame that LORD Meddlesome is not being forced to get the public to vote for his continued political career? Or Lord Ashcroft?

    funny the Big 3£ are not discussing allowing the public to recall various 'Lords' who disgrace this Country. Isn't it?

  • Comment number 17.

    Dear Mr Paxman

    You've already won me £10, as my husband bet that Brown wouldn't appear in an interview with you.

    He's now upped the stakes and bet £50 that you wouldn't be able to get him to say `cut' in relation to Labour's spending plans.

    As I need a new pair of running shoes priced £60 I'd rather like to win the bet.

    It would be even better if you could get Brown to stop bragging about keeping employment down, and admit a debt of gratitude to those of us working in the private sector, who have accepted 0% pay rises last year and this year, to keep our companies afloat, and have agreed shorter working hours, whilst in reality working just as hard, if not harder, than before. This without protest, striking or throwing tear gas, in spite of his very significant contribution to the recession, due to reckless spending way above the ability of the taxpayer to fund said spending.

    Good luck!

  • Comment number 18.

    The biggest casualty of this election is the standard of journalism exhibited by researchers and front men/women. None of them are up to the job of catching the slippery eels we have in politics. Paxman got minced the other night by Plaid Cymru, and Vine was equally minced by GB .

    No doubt to - night we will get the same old format. Poitician uses time to say what message he has been primed with, and interviewer will repeat the same question endlessly, trying to get a slip up points score, but contributing nothing to public understanding.

    In the vain hope that these columns may have any effect, for heavens sake, it's not rocket science.

    Our leaders have debated endlessly the past and current situations. Most of us know already what that is. We also know that we have been given tit bits of the cuts required, and non of the leaders are going to expand on what they have given. Any question on detail will result in the usual blab speak.

    So here's a tip Jeremy. Simple question --Yes or No ---- Do we need to reduuce debt ? What is the time scale essential to reduce the debt? Assuming the programme requires further borrowing, where does Mr Brown expect to obtain the entire borrowing, not just the drop in the ocean the he has outlined already, and has he established that borrowing is available to meet his plans.

    If he has the answers, we can let him get on with it. If not he is talking rubbish.

  • Comment number 19.

    JEREMY : ASK GORDON BROWN WHY HE SOLD GOLD BULLION AT JUST OVER £250 AN OUNCE WHEN IT IS NOW OVER £1100/OUNCE? HE LOST THE COUNTRY OVER 6 BILLION. [ A FIGURE THAT HE IS TRYING TO PIN ON THE TORIES AS REPRESENTING CUTS IN THE CURRENT FINANCIAL YEAR]!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 20.

    INTENSIVE TRAINING SUGGESTED FOR THE BLIND - AS GYNAECOLOGISTS

    This follows concern for animal sensitivity emanating from the University of East Anglia, after their triumph in the field of climate change.

  • Comment number 21.

    I CAN'T TELL BLAIR FROM ARCHER.

    Is it me, or do Blair and Archer share that faux, in-yer-face irrepressibility, of the man who has to keep bouncing, or the truth will catch up with him?

    They also share a total lack of appreciation of appropriate behaviour for those who have been rumbled. Quite why Blair has the right to swan into a medical establishment, and waste their time (like a regular MP) has yet to be revealed.

    Britain has more than her share of elevated, poseur charlatans. Let's see Paxman debag a few of them. Isn't that what we pay him silly money for?

  • Comment number 22.

    Great quote from the Prime Minister when interviewed by Jeremy Paxman tonight: "We’ve got a lower proportion of non-British citizens in our country than America...Australia...Canada...or other countries." Now there's something none of us knew!

  • Comment number 23.

    #22 America...Australia...Canada

    And in those above countries the indigenous people were killed off in the main, who by, US and the rest of Europe. So we know what's going to happen to us now! ; )

  • Comment number 24.

    #22

    Shame only he didn't think about the density of inhabitants per square mile.

    On the world scale the comparison goes as follows:

    The UK 51
    USA 178
    Canada 228
    Australia 233

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_and_dependencies_by_population_density

  • Comment number 25.

    PAXO CHICKENED!

    Did Jeremy suddenly remember a 'passing mention', by Brown, of some sort of honour? He went down like a punctured space-hopper, in the last part of the interview. He let Brown filibuster all over him.

    Specifically, Brown got away with:
    Hospitals, schools etc now built so we don't need to fund them again. PFI payments Jeremy?
    Brown well understood the threat of global money collapse, years ago. Yet he allowed UK debt and the house bubble to rip Jeremy?
    Brown said his war was to topple Sadam, who had flouted 14 UN resolutions.
    Regime change legality Jeremy? Israel's tally of floutings Jeremy?

    Arise Sir Paxo.

  • Comment number 26.

    Brown ( as Paxo so amply put it over biggotgate ) has definitely got the " wrong end of the stick ) when it comes down to the Climate Change Scam !

    The trouble is that Cameron and Clegg are both similarly afflicted with the green quasi-religion.

  • Comment number 27.

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

  • Comment number 28.

    NOW SEEN SOME MORE OF GREAT TONY - WHAT IS GOING ON?

    Blair had the manner of someone who has just nipped upstairs, and now can't remember why. He was always vacuous, but did all that oratorical charisma malarkey, so that it didn't show - to most people. Now he gives the impression 'anything will do'. Is he so magnificent, in his own mind, that it is, literally, true? Ah - think I answered my own question there.

    Good grief, people of Britain, can you not SEE what THREE TIMES ELECTED Tony says about Westminster, about the voters, about Labour? And can you not see what his 'recall' says about Brown, Campbell and Mandelson?

    This is Lord of the Rings stuff - 'Boom Doom went the drum in the deep'.

  • Comment number 29.

    @3 He had a copy of The Anarchist Cookbook, which is sold quite legally in the UK, it is interesting that not one book store has had any directors / owners arrested for supplying such material yet possession is used to convict individuals, so if you want to be a terrorist remember to do it as company and not an individual and you are perfectly safe, of course any serious terrorist would not bother with those sorts of manuals, real terrorists read books on Structured Finance and commit trillions in securities fraud with the nod of the government, Bank of England, the FSA and every fraud squad in this country, I wonder how many peoples pensions have been destroyed by them, how many will die because they cannot afford heating in the winter, how many will die in the chaos that will follow the final collapse? 100,000? 1,000,000? Now that is serious terrorism.

    @19 The Bullion was sold off cheap to save Rothchilds bank see -

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/did-gordon-brown-sell-uks-gold-keep-aig-and-rothschild-solvent-more-disclosures-how-ny-fed-m


    @21

    Archer is a convicted criminal, Blair an uninvestigated one, but then when you are responsible for the death of a million people so you can profit through companies like UI Oil the 'authorities' look the other way because they are all complicit in the crimes, it's like comparing a mugger with Stalin.

    In economic news, it looks like The Economist is first of the mainstream media to wake up to the collapse-

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/economist-ftw

    $2 trillion is needed to bail out Europe

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/2-trillion-3-year-funding-needs-piigs-imf-helpless-do-anything-sit-back-and-watch

    And Britain isn't far behind

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/uk-preparing-follow-piigs-abyss

    And the US will follow

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/willem-buiter-issues-his-most-dire-prediction-yet-sees-unprecedented-fiscal-crises-rampant-u

  • Comment number 30.

    Paxman was overly rude and aggressive, yet failed to appropriately highlight Brown's stonewalling of information, this time on the ONS immigration information presented, the "14 rule" on immigration and the Liberal's policy are broadly similar, Brown's defense of the war (he has now decided) in Iraq was to uphold International Law, yet Israel and other countries are left alone when they fail to meet resolutions?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_Nations_resolutions_concerning_Israel

    The global financial crisis is misleading. Australia, Canada and China were all largely unaffected and their banks are making record profits due to the financial regulations of their states'. The government was partly responsible for the scale of the UK Plc's financial downfall.

    Brown's 11'th hour commitment to referendum and changes, honestly! Brown fails to listen, and he has sadly failed the Labour Party. His stubbornness and blanket claims that all the other parties policies are 'not serious' does not give his rivals the respect they deserve in a democracy.

    Paxo turned into Piers Morgan with his final question, Gordon Brown is still our prime minister after all, give him some respect as the hearse of his political ambitions passes by.

  • Comment number 31.

    Some reaches, singie and climate claimants, are unaccessible to you and never will be. Chicken can't fly.

  • Comment number 32.

    BROWN TELLS PAXMAN "I THOUGHT SHE WANTED TO EXPEL FOREIGN STUDENTS"

    I was reduced to shouting "LIAR" at the screen. I have raised two boys - I know when a little boy is lying. This child should not be allowed a box of matches, let alone a country and 60+ million lives to play with. Paxman just let it go, yet there is NOTHING in what Mrs Duffy said that could remotely be so construed.

    How long must this go on?

  • Comment number 33.

    NOW THERE'S A THING (#29)

    It has never rung true that Yankophile Brown, holidaying routinely in America, had no idea what was going down. I mused recently, on the blog, that if he has a nice little dollar-lined retirement nest, it could explain his neglect of City control, and British vulnerability to global collapse, through debt. Cherchez Rothschilds - it would seem.

    He has, today, demonstrated the truth that the needle on his Moral Compass is PAINTED ON, pointing always to 'I'm a good little boy'. He doesn't do scruples, any more than Tony did.

  • Comment number 34.

    #32

    BROWN TELLS PAXMAN "I THOUGHT SHE WANTED TO EXPEL FOREIGN STUDENTS"

    Labour drones have come up at last with the spin on that one then Barrie! ; )

  • Comment number 35.

  • Comment number 36.

    GB in GS car park just fine tonight. Appreciated.

  • Comment number 37.

    :o) Just watched Jeremy's interview with Gordon Brown - from quizzing him on why, since he knew about the predicted financial meltdown, he had failed to do anything about it to his comments on Mrs. Duffy (he'd misheard!) to immigration and future tax rises - Jeremy excelled. Is it any wonder he was too scared to appear before Jeremy? Gordon Brown was well and truly SLAUGHTERED.

  • Comment number 38.

    #30

    On the contrary, in my view. I thought Jeremy had it just right, both venally and in tone. There may not be one truth, as per Emanuel Kant's antipodes, for example, but Prime Minister or not, especially a chronic liar, it's a journalist's job to voice concerns shared by most of the UK voters.

    Brown doesn't seem to be liked either by his colleagues or by a high proportion of the electorate and Jeremy quite rightly pointed it out.

  • Comment number 39.

    #33

    Unscrupulous and a liar are the words, singie, I agree with you about that.

    mim

  • Comment number 40.

    There is at least one blogger, although seemingly under different names and guises, imagines himself to be the spokesman for the leaders of all the main parties. That's probably just in case. If Brown falls, he thinks that David Cameron will be his 'promoter' and protector. For 'good measure' Nick Clegg also may be 'useful'..

    I call it a headless chicken.

  • Comment number 41.

    #40

    Perhaps I should have said headless chickening.

  • Comment number 42.

    #38

    I meant to say 'verbally' rather than 'venally' but the mistake seems to be a perfect one.

    GB = UNSCRUPULOUS VENAL LIAR

  • Comment number 43.

    For those curious the 1998 Harvard speech referred to by Gordon Brown in his interview with Jeremy can be found here.

    The relevant paragraph referred to appears to be this

    "And because today's financial markets are global, we need not only proper national supervision but also a second fundamental reform - global financial regulation. That is why Britain has proposed bringing together the IMF, the World Bank and key regulatory authorities: a new permanent standing committee for global financial regulation charged with delivering the global objective of a stable financial system."

    He reiterated these ideas at the Labour Party 2008 conference, rubbished for example by Janet Daley here although the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy was scarcely a fortnight old. We now know of course that the weakness of Lehman Brothers at the time had been glossed by an accounting gimmick courtesy the London firm of Ernst and Young.

    At the same time AIG was going belly-up and it too had to be bailed out. We now know that the potential $500 billion (that's not a typing error) shortfall it was suffering from had been underwritten by a London based subsidiary.

    All it McBroon's fault of course.

  • Comment number 44.

    It's the International Workers' Day today. I wonder how many silly willies will be marching today and to what anthem.

  • Comment number 45.

    #37 - 'Gordon Brown was well and truly SLAUGHTERED.'

    Err nope Jeremy failed to engage him effectively on the financial situation - breaking up banks and out-lawing crazy derivatives also he had the opportunity to refer to this:-

    http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/better_regulation_action_plan.htm

    And quote this at him directly :-

    "A risk based approach helps move us a million miles away from the old assumption - the assumption since the first legislation of Victorian times - that business, unregulated, will invariably act irresponsibly. The better view is that businesses want to act responsibly. Reputation with customers and investors is more important to behaviour than regulation, and transparency - backed up by the light touch - can be more effective than the heavy hand. "

    Mr Brown is in terrible denial over what he did in creating this culture at the FSA Instead he puffed himself up with boasting about creating the authority. Well they didn't do very much for a long time - take a look at their press releases up until a few years ago. And I'm still waiting to see if the big boys get 'attention'. The ones who are alleged to 'work' market on behalf of US and UK Govt to control the value of the dollar and pound. Ive looked through the press releases and not seen anything on JP Morgan and just one fine for HSBC in ten years. Wonder why?

  • Comment number 46.

    Jay Taylor getting at the situation :-

    http://watch.bnn.ca/

  • Comment number 47.

    Apparently there was an article the other day in 'The Telegraph' advertising a 'free' London house currently under construction to be offered to a youngish male prepared to be installed as the UK Prime Minister. Did the author/authors mean a 'useful idiot'?

    The article also states that Tony Blair benefitted from a similar scheme and that's how he has become a multimillionaire.

    I wonder what the ultimate goal is, apart from a holiday and big bucks? Hanky panky perhaps?

  • Comment number 48.

    32. At 11:10pm on 30 Apr 2010, barriesingleton wrote:
    BROWN TELLS PAXMAN "I THOUGHT SHE WANTED TO EXPEL FOREIGN STUDENTS"

    Paxman just let it go, yet there is NOTHING in what Mrs Duffy said that could remotely be so construed.


    Maybe he felt sorry for HIM, as he seems to be feeling sorry for HIMself, after all the damage what others have done has imposed on HIM.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/election-2010/7660668/General-Election-2010-I-have-paid-a-heavy-price-for-bigot-comment-says-Gordon-Brown.html

    Of course, some of us remain unconvinced that you can keep mishearing, mis-speaking and missing the patently obvious much longer. And that also includes the so-called 'leaders' that get reported upon.

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/harrymount/100037188/the-voters-of-rochdale-understand-how-odd-gordon-brown-is/comment-page-1/

    Or fail to hold it to account. Though those in the MSM so afflicted is a rapidly reducing flock.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/newsnight/michaelcrick/2010/04/great_agonies_at_the_guardian.html (couldn't find anything more recent via the BBC search but one feels the(ir) pain)


  • Comment number 49.

    Yesterday when I opened one of the Polish websites, right in the middle of the screen there was a photo of Hitler all gooey with a little girl. Today on one of them there was a ridiculous fat bloke with a moustache on one and on the other Putin. Exactly in the same position. Are they all 'dreaming' hints?

    If so, dream away, nobody can't stop you but 'rest' assured you're not getting it.

  • Comment number 50.

    I firmly believe that there are those who, even after erring, know how to look towards the light when they see it, while there are some whose destiny is to either rot in black holes or to 'live' their lives in permanent delusion.

    mim

  • Comment number 51.

    I would very much like to be informed before I cast my vote.
    Being in Australia, it would be nice to review the interviews by Mr Paxman of the party leaders, however for some reason it would appear the BBC do not wish to stream these outside of the U.K.
    I endure the imbedded advertising, the promotional third party videos every time I screen a clip from the BBC, and yet, I am not allowed to view Newsnight on-line.
    Still, there is always Channel 4 news with Peter Snow, equally worthy of a watch saving one exception, they have not been granted an audience with the main men in this election.
    The BBC should be ashamed of themselves. Clearly commercialisation of the corporation has mutated the once mighty and respected institution into a money grabbers enterprise.
    Not impressed.

  • Comment number 52.

    CONFUSING PERSONAL HEROISM WITH PUBLIC REPRESENTATION (#48 link)

    Some years back, a TV program called 'The Right Stuff' investigated the 'fighter-pilot' mentality, as being unsuitable for airliners, in a crisis.

    Westminster Party Politics elevates 'fighter pilot' personalities: cool under fire, focused, quick to react etc. and just look what we get - it isn't democratic governance.

    Back to the airliner. With hundreds of passengers at risk, the HERO is alone, in his head, being heroic, detached from any useful input from those around him. All too often the plane did not survive.

    While parties pre-select the people WE get to vote for, we will only have a choice within THE WRONG STUFF. People are BEGUILED by the wrong stuff, and then WE CRASH - AGAIN.

    We have to find A WAY ROUND the continuing Westminster Ethos. We need a governing body made up of dedicated, selfless, competent individuals of INTEGRITY i.e. the right stuff of DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE. Charismatic, orating fighter pilots, will get us all killed. But they will feel GREAT!

  • Comment number 53.

    FINAL PARAGRAPH (#52)

    Brown is stoic at the controls. Heroic as he spirals down, defiantly emptying his guns on his way to stupid oblivion. So much better if he were able to bail out, and admit he is THE WRONG STUFF.

    In passing: IDS was the wrong stuff - we still have a war to prove it.

  • Comment number 54.

    Five more days of Gordon Brown!

    A very good, sensitive and professional interview by Mr Paxman - back to form - and Brown had a very fair chance to redeem himself and achieve a modicum of credibility by finding some real humility and honesty but once again ... failed miserably

    Why does Brown now try to hide behind his spin doctors and try and make out that Mrs Duffy spoke improperly to him - in some ways this is worse than what he said in the car over the mic.

    For Brown - For goodness sake - Accept responsibility for what you said - we've all heard what you said over and over again - there is no doubt what Mrs Duffy said and what you have said

    Issue a full new apology and make it unequivocal.

    Brown once and for all - please please please just sack all of that flock of those spin doctors and silence them all for ever - they have actually brought you down - crime does not pay!

    A 'flocking disaster'!

    I do feel sorry for Mrs Duffy who has also become an innocent victim in all of this - and hopefully the 'Labour compensation party' will do the decent thing and pay her some decent compensation out of their gigantic bloated union funds.

  • Comment number 55.

    DOUBLE STANDARDS ?

    In a reply on TV, during the J Paxman interview last night, G Brown said he would still have supported the Iraq invasion to topple Saddam - even knowing what we know now i.e. that there was no evidence of weapons of mass destruction.

    His argument was more or less ... How else could we deal with someone who continued to flout and ignore United Nations authority, resolutions and requests ?

    Did Mr Paxman miss a trick ?

    Should he have asked. " In which case would you support the immediate invasion of Israel, who has done exactly the same ?

  • Comment number 56.

    WHERE, OTHER THAN IN POLITICS, IS UNIVERSAL SUFFRAGE APPLIED?

    See what I mean? As I have posted before: Politics is the art of self-delusion wrapped in the craft of DECEIVING OTHERS (ostensibly) for their own good. It follows that universal suffrage exists because, at the time of its introduction, the party in power saw some advantage to themselves. Since that time we see the voting age being steadily lowered. And so it should be, for once universal suffrage, itself, is accepted, a lower age limit is impossible to argue, logically.

    It follows that our governing-minds either see nefarious advantage in a dumb electorate, fully enfranchised, or they are too incompetent to see it is no way to install governments. Either way, we are stuck with Mad Hatter turkeys, maintaining an eternal Un-Christmas Party of Westminster games.

  • Comment number 57.

    51

    this could be solved by having all bbc content behind a login screen linked to the licence fee number. then those who have paid for it could get it wherever they are.


    it is the only fair way of distributing paid for content. as it is it sees itself as some global media company who just happens to be funded by uk payers. which is anti competitive and unjust to those who [are forced] to pay for it.

    the evidence is the bbc at its core is unjust and unfair [to those who pay for it] in its distribution of content on the net for 'free'.

  • Comment number 58.

    if we are using the nihilist 'fairness model' of society then if there is a 'worker's day' should there not also be a 'boss's day' and a 'benefit claimants day' and 'the economically inactive day'? How can it be fair to celebrate only one section of the economic structure? isn't that bias an institutional unfairness?

  • Comment number 59.

    3

    Hegemony is the political, economic, ideological or cultural power exerted by a dominant group over other groups,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hegemony

    as you keep bringing it up lets examine it to see where hegemonies exist?

    if we assume each class will have a hegemony or leadership by a group we could say the hegemony found in rugby football, the nhs or architecture is different from that found in the foreign office middle east desk or in party political funding or in banking?

    so there is no universal hegemony by a group across all classes but that does not mean hegemony does not exist in particular classes? so there are jewish hegemonies in the uk as there are non jewish ones.

    so [as you say] on one hand it is misleading to say there is a universal hegemony [by a particular group] in the uk but also misleading to say there are no identifiable hegemonies in particular classes either.

    One might also discuss if a particular hegemony is of benefit or corrupting to the uk but that is another topic.

  • Comment number 60.

    FAIR STOOD THE WIND (#58)

    An excellent post Jaunty. As I rarely know what day it is, and my fellow travellers increase daily in number, I want to see a day dedicated to people like us. This is a task that Brown has shown himself ideally suited to. In recent performance, he has made himself unassailable as Patron Saint of DKWDIS folk.

    In no time at all, Britain could be world leader in DKWDIS studies with all sorts of spin-offs such as: the non-stick blanket, and prosthetic Buckyballs.

  • Comment number 61.

    The US Justice Department acknowledges Ted Butlers concerns
    on silver market manipulation :-

    http://kingworldnews.com/kingworldnews/Broadcast_Gold+/Entries/2010/5/1_Ted_Butler_on_the_Metals_Market.html

    Takes a while for the sound file to download, but well worth a listen.

    Silver at the moment is some what lower in price than it should be in relation to gold.

  • Comment number 62.

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

  • Comment number 63.

    gordon came across ok on some of his economic analysis. i think housing should have a state aspect because the market will never deliver the type of social housing the uk needs. yuppie flats suit yuppies.

    cricks puns tends to lead the unwilling viewer into a fetish dungeon? it doesn't seem to highlighted that balls isn't in the labour party at all but the co op party?

    the independent has become a strange paper since the takeover.

    nice to see chinese display of wealth funded by currency manipulation that diverts resources from the uk and the west to them. let us all clap their successful 'capitalism'.

  • Comment number 64.

    hello silly willies

    going on a bike ride, catch me if you can and don't forget to send the motorbikes, their sound is ever so exciting

    the doll

  • Comment number 65.

    Jim Rickards analysis on the US Justice Department email corrispondence and Goldman Sachs:-

    http://kingworldnews.com/kingworldnews/Broadcast/Entries/2010/5/1_Jim_Rickards.html

    He gets at how the social interaction and the Goldman issue could bring it down - kinda affinity fraud in reverse.

  • Comment number 66.

  • Comment number 67.

    Duck and dive say alive

    supposed 2 go 2 tha army v navy 2 day
    babysitty in 2 night wy is it not on telly

    very much enjoying the snooker

  • Comment number 68.

    net non-EU immigrant workers total: MINUS!! 8000 people. Bet that gets headlines in today's tabloids...

    liking the 'reality checks' section. Paxman on form, and Crick has discovered his personal Heaven. :D

  • Comment number 69.

    mim, a recent comment by you helped me remember these notes from weds 21/4/10 that i hadn't posted:


    "mim, i have written and replied to you long ago, i would hope you could see that this is someone imitating my stylisms for 'indepth analysis', for some game of their own.

    please look back over some of my older posts, there is NO WAY i could write opinions like that u3478xxxx poster, or his other aliases. :)"

    it is also noticeable he has disappeared since i returned, is MI5 afraid to directly clash wits? Do they only work through shadows, cowards and whisperers?


    back to weds 27th:

    "tonights NN, my comments:

    clarke: what exactly did *HE* do for manufacturing during his time as chancellor??


    how about a Govt that reflects the wishes of the People? Why should 'the markets' (awash with *our money*, and clearly desperately hoping for the Tories to get in!) get to choose who we vote for?


    trident is a retaliation weapon after a devastating first strike on us - Iran, even considering it is at least 5-10 years away from even *one* warhead, is REALLY not a threat that requires trident at all. The *real* question is, and the first that has ever vexed me regarding UK nuclear weapons, is that it is to prevent a first strike upon us from a superpower, whether that is the US or USSR/Russia. Also Israel is on the list of nations that has the ability to launch WMD to hit major UK cities within minutes. But how likely WAS such a threat? And how likely is it to be in the future, and from what quarter? And would it actually be possible to launch at the attacker?

    here is the irony that catches me now - as the UK could become more independent, taking control of its own manufacturing, and recreating a honest, transparent and clean-sheet financial sector, ending the flow of wealth out of the UK - in other words, a Green govt that had the interests of BRITAIN at heart, we could even be threatened directly by the USA, as well as Russia. We might then be glad we could prevent a catastrophic first strike by either during 'negotiations'. But then of course, the existing Trident will last another 30years, and if the Human Race has not solved its political/military/energy problems by then, it is likely because the few survivors are hiding in caves.

    and it saves a lot of money that could go into creating new jobs in industries here in the UK that do *not* aim for global self-destruction."

  • Comment number 70.

    I was going to use the exact quote but the blog dog used it as an excuse to bounce the whole article last week, but here goes !

    Many of those who actively promote the " Corporate Nazi " ideology's apparent guru Milton Freidman allegedly wrote something like that the one and only one social responsibility of any business is to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase profits. ( Just so long as it stays within the theoretical moral rules, that is to say it uses free competition and avoids any potential deception or fraud ? )

    The only problem with the above is that large corporations have consistently lobbied government ( particularly in the UK ) to change or ignore any rules. The rot probably first set in after Dennis Healey took out the IMF loan in the mid 1970s. Ever since pure science and engineering has been increasingly infiltrated by corporate politics and been misrepresented in order to produce the most profitable outcome from research in order to generate false economic growth on the stock market.

    My personal business ideology was formed as I was brought up in a village corner shop which made its own ice cream. Also before leaving school I worked part time at a local small haulage contractor, despite being one of the top performing students on the technical side I dropped out of tech in the final year when they tried to indoctrinate me with corporate business theory, but stayed long enough to get the general idea.

    My first real exposure to the corporate world was whilst working as a HGV driver delivering metal pressings to Ford plants in the mid 1980s. I was on friendly terms with the owner of said engineering business who would openly admit that he would make far more money if he had his capital investment in a building society. His main problem was getting paid on time by Ford, they owed him for several months work but he couldn't take any action to get paid as they would have instantly cancelled his contract. He had to buy all the steel from Ford at their price ( they could probably justify this on quality control grounds ) but when one really bad quality batch of Ford Cargo cab back panels went rusty as soon as they were pressed, he had to pay to try to clean them up. Said engineering company arranged all their transport but then Ford demanded that they use Ford's own corporate haulage sub contractor at extra expense and inconvenience. We lost the haulage job but it was said about a couple of years later that Ford had sent in a team of managers to run said engineering works which then soon went into administration. Although we technically lost our jobs due to Ford transport policy our union ( T&G ) did nothing to help us even though our replacements were in foreign built vehicles and consistently breaking the drivers hours regulations.

    In between hauling metal pressings we did muti drop chemicals throughout the UK. You could tell how a company treated its workforce by the way they dealt with you as far as getting quickly unloaded. It was always a pleasure to visit ICI sites, but that was in the days before most of the company was sold off and then virtually asset stripped for instant profit. Large companies like ICI always managed to retain their share price whilst providing decent working conditions and terms for their workforce, at least until the 1987 stock market crash. I can't remember whether the following is in strict chronological order, but I was informed first hand that when Guinness took over Distillers ( in a dodgy deal ) the rent of small arable farmers in west Lancashire was doubled overnight, a pattern which was to become all too familiar in the 1990s.

    On the politics side, it would appear that Thatcher would not play their false economic growth to plug the black hole in the stock market game and so they tricked her into introducing the Poll Tax after which she was compelled to resign. Just as soon as Major got elected in his own right the false economic growth regulations were trotted out regularly. As far as personal experience was concerned we were hit by new sheeting regulations at the quarries, Tilcon must have know it was in the pipeline as they had sold the majority of their road haulage sector to Fewston, a company set up by the banks and profit based on sub letting haulage work to smaller haulage contractors. Tilcon had always bought several new British built Foden eight-wheelers every year but Fewston switched to Swedish Scania, the haulage rates never went up to cover the costs of sheeting, many experienced drivers left due to the health implications ( including myself with back problems ). The net result was the Sowerby Bridge Disaster in which several people lost their lives after a Fewston wagon ran away down the steep hill, given the evidence almost certainly caused by an inexperienced incompetent ex-police ( just recently passed HGV test driver ) " pumping " the air brakes after they " faded " on the long hill down into Halifax. Of course Tilcon escaped any vicarious liability at the time but the ministry of transport came in and got the haulage rates increased, after which Tilcon was subsequently taken over. All to prevent a bit of harmless dust getting onto the ten bob fat cat yuppies who had moved into the Dales new BMW's.

    Then came Traffic Calming, and it in not simple coincidence that Hyndburn ( the first local authority to introduce widespread traffic calming ) was one of the first local authorities forced to sell its corporation bus fleet. One first rate coachbuilder I knew left ( Stagecoach ) Ribble Blackburn depot to become top man at Hyndburn Transport, only to leave after a couple of weeks later because the urgent repair workload ( due to running over traffic calmed streets ) was impossible to keep up with, he was such a good man that Ribble instantly gave him his old job back. Corporate Stagecoach picked up Hyndburn Transport on the cheap in a bent deal arranged with the bent Labour leader of the council who pushed the traffic calming in the first place, the first class engineering depot ( on a prime site ) was asset striped and sold. Other corporation transport operations have fallen to the corporates since due to being unable to even break even, and not being able to access new investment for more modern vehicles.

    Another false economic growth investment scam was " disabled access to public transport ", the corporates were all for it after sorting a bent deal with the minister in charge who's son was employed in a top management position by one of them. Just for the extra interest payments alone it would have been possible to provide a 24/7 dial up free taxi service to anywhere in the UK for anybody claiming DLA. Perhaps this prime example of politically correct lunacy is the main reason why its far cheaper per mile to run your car than use public transport because the fares are so high now in many areas. We have now reached a point where local authorities are forced to subsidise the majority of bus services using the council tax, the corporate bus operators taking the angle that if they can't turn a fat profit they wont run the service. Thatcher's bus privatisation plan has been amply proven an abject failure, short of total re-nationalisation the way forward now is efficient regulation with the bus operators turned into virtual road haulage contractors to the local council, who would collect all the fares and organise all the timetables.

    Both the above false economic growth generating scams come via the EU but more recently motor industry funded alleged charities have been set up to demand legislation on the grounds of " road safety ", but their impact has been nothing compared to the influence of environmental NGO's on government policy. Perhaps their first major victory was when Ken Clarke introduced the Road Fuel Tax Escalator, of course big business said nothing perhaps because they were prepared to run with anything which could prevent the top rate of income tax being increased and the resultant drop in funds to their " stock market parasites ", ( hedge funds and the like ). It didn't have any real impact at first but Labour was favourite to win the 1997 election and if there was a working brain between them they must have realised the RFTE made particularly northern manufacturing industry uncompetitive. However, Brown just carried on with it and by 1998 I can recall that hundreds of once well secure job for life " household name " manufacturing jobs were being lost every week. This continued until the Farmers For Action fuel protests and ending of the RTFE in 2000, but by this time the " stock market parasites " had got it into their DNA that asset stripping British industry was far more profitable in the short term than actually trying to run it efficiently. By this time global big business had organised itself into a virtual Corporate Multinational Cartel ( CMC ) which prevented any real competition in an alleged " free market ", with direct services to the public contracted out to franchise holders in many cases. I suspect that the general public have no idea what the vast majority of FTSE listed companies actually do anymore, and therefore it is impossible for members of the public to take any direct " consumer action " against them by withholding their trade. Take the toxic waste dumping in Africa more recently, it is impossible to decipher which major company was actually responsible, almost everyone in the chain escapes vicarious liability with the investment in the " shell company " which probably goes bust to pay the fines being insured by credit default swaps etc. The sting in the tail is that if it was not for alleged environmental groups bleating about non existent toxic pollution from waste incinerators with the latest technology we could have created well paid sustainable jobs in the UK.

    That neatly brings us onto the next eco scam, household / industrial waste incineration or lack of it as far as the UK is concerned. Eco groups have bleated so loud over the last 20 years about toxic emission that most brain dead politicians ( at least where engineering or science is concerned ) have done everything they can to appease them. Many councils are now contracted to mega expensive " waste treatment plants ", which probably cause anyone local far more noxious smell than any incinerator could ever do. The most logical way to dispose of waste is to incinerate and generate electricity, in rural areas where the potential smell is well away from residential areas but also to allow the construction of glasshouses in order to use any waste heat in order to grow the exotic fruit and vegetables currently imported by environmentally damaging air freight. Of course the UK is not allowed to do this because it hits the CMC in two areas, the energy sector ( electricity from incineration could reduce market prices ) and the airlines which indirectly hits the oil section of the cartel. Environmentalists have made a big noise about disposable carrier bags and other alleged excess packaging but if they were burnt to generate electricity we could reduce demand on other fuels. The UK has 300 years supply of good quality coal in the ground yet the environmentalists say we should not use it because there would appear to be doubts about the practicality of the most expensive option for capture of CO2. CO2 emissions from fossil fuel plants can be significantly reduced growing Chlorella, a fast growing Chinese pond slime which itself can be used as fuel, yet no UK research as I believe Shell hold the rights and they would prefer investment in gas ?

    Despite all the environmentalist's rhetoric about standing up against big business it would appear that most of the policy they promote is in actual fact increasing the influence of the CMC over the UK economy, oil companies want an alleged low carbon economy in order to force up the market price of gas. Similarly the alleged environmentalists pushed for the introduction of traffic calming in towns which probably increases road transport pollution emissions by at least 10% on a national basis. The main question is how have the alleged environmentalists managed to get Carbon Dioxide classed as a pollutant in the first instance, the man made global warming theory is based on dubious science to say the least, but like most science I expect that research is skewed to reflect the interest of the CMC. Meanwhile its likely that implementing the Climate Change Act will result in the mass asset stripping of UK manufacturing industry on a scale not seen since the RFTE before 2000, it doesn't help that foreign aid money is allegedly being used to buy up mothballed UK machine tools on the cheap for export via third world countries.

    Meanwhile UK citizen stakeholders are being sold short by the politicians for the benefit of the " stock market parasites " and false economic growth which continually increases the " financial apartheid " between rich and poor. Within the next 10 years the energy industry will fall to the same fate as Railtrack after the Hatfield crash in 2000, wind farms are a pointless waste of scarce investment. Evidence from Denmark and Germany shows that they have not closed a single fossil fuel plant, in fact Germany has had to open new fossil fuel plants to prevent power cuts. ( probably not helped by the fact that Germany also backs up Denmark ) The main thrust of the wind farm scam is probably designed to inflate the world price of copper, its probable that you need far more copper per unit of energy produced in wind farms rather than fossil or nuclear power plants. Copper related mining shares appear to have been the main driver of the current recovery in the FTSE index, I suspect that all the hedge funds are in there borrowing up to the hilt to speculate in mining shares and thus denying scarce investment to real productive UK companies.

    The UK faces the real possibility of regular power cuts which could precipitate total anarchy in our larger towns and cities, the situation is not helped by the fact that if anyone dare open a new power station or gas storage facility the alleged environmentalists are round there quick sharp with a fleet of corporate lawyers demanding a public enquiry. It would appear that the primary focus of mainstream alleged environmental groups has nothing to do with protecting the overall ecology of our planet ( export pollution to China and India ) and everything to do with inflating the cost of living in the UK, false economic growth which can be expressed as an increasing number on stock market indices. The UK can simply not afford to continue on the same false economic growth policy of the politicians always opting for the most inefficient and expensive option of achieving anything vital for the continued success and relative prosperity ( and now that its been left to go on for so long perhaps the survival ? ) of our nation and its citizens.

  • Comment number 71.

    ..He describes how people are going door to door asking Britons to blindly sign proxy forms for the upcoming elections, allowing someone else in the UK to vote on their behalf.

    "They said I didn't have to fill in any details, just to sign my name at the bottom of the form," he says, smiling. "So I signed two."

    He laughed as he told me he had no idea who was going to vote on his behalf, and whom they were going to vote for.

    "I personally know 25 other people who did the same thing, lots of people just on this street, but everybody does it."

    Many others, among the contingent of thousands of British citizens thought to be here, have admitted signing proxy forms in this way. ...

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/election_2010/8655697.stm

    it make the uk elections a farce. as mugabe said last time maybe the uk needs international monitors?

  • Comment number 72.

    #69

    Not in the mood. gnu, I have some washing up to do, then possibly another bike ride into the unknown as yet, followed by some more vigorous exercises to keep silly willies at bay

    It's up to the elected and paid up politicians to work out what's going on and help Britain out of the crisis, I have much more immediate and personal concerns to be attending to so I'm afraid, and no apologies for that, I shall not be going through your old posts.

  • Comment number 73.

    We just need to realize that after Thatcher and Blair, our social and industrial fabric is threadbare; we need to unpick what they did and start over; only some form of coalition/national government has a hope of achieving it, given firstly the disillusionment with the political class and secondly the state of the national finances.

    The voting system needs to be changed; the House of Lords needs to be a fully elected chamber of no more than 100, the house of Commons no more than 400 and we change the names; Senate, Assembly, whatever - maybe even have a referendum on it!

    Once and for all explain clearly to the electorate the, overall, advantage it is to be a member of the EU, and no longer a semi- detched observer.

    Join the Euro when the time is right and punch above our weight in Europe, rather than in ill thought out wars in the Levant.

  • Comment number 74.

    Paxman vs Brown

    Erm, why did you let Mr Brown get away with saying this recession was not caused by inflation ?

    House price inflation

    1999-2009 123%
    2009-2010 10.5%

    Maybe you might have asked him if changing the BofE inflation indicator back in 2003 was a mistake ?

  • Comment number 75.

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

  • Comment number 76.

    Fingers and legs crossed, it may have been a useful and an explanatory programme from my point of view.

    As per Simon Sebag Montefiore the 'regime' is falling apart. The reason, as I see it, is that there is a silly willy out there who's trying to 'fire' from all sides.

    mim

  • Comment number 77.

  • Comment number 78.

    Lively Jeremy tonight :o) in the studio, and also loved the animation segment and the comedy slot at the end. Let's face it, Andy Parsons gave the most sensible answer to THAT question.......

  • Comment number 79.

    #71 That is truely horrifying JC, just who is voting in our elections. I think we should go back to just the ballot box only, if people don't vote they don't, hard luck! I read in a newspaper someone who said his wife was postal voting, the day she sent her vote off, she also received another form to vote again. I wonder how many times that happens, and if it can be checked on.

  • Comment number 80.

    #72: mim, i would be very happy if you could also cycle to remove some of my "silly willies", today seems full of them. No worries on looking through old posts, of course, just wanted to say there is no way i am a "multi" - i have only the one account at the beeb, and i see no need for another. Hope your "Dreamer" has good dreams, we need them more than ever before. xx

    #70: brossen, good article. I don't agree Thatcher was 'hoodwinked', the corporate monopolisation was part-and-parcel of her neo-liberal ideology. Also, as i said earlier, although some of the Green ideas have been deliberately co-opted or blatantly subverted, i do not think the vast majority have anything except the possibility of a better future for them and their children being desired. CCS is a possible useful technology, but it needs far more research and test-beds before we start relying on them and building more coal stations in the hope they work. The anti-corporate message in it was spot-on, we agree on that at least.

    have you heard of Desertec yet? What are your thoughts on it?

  • Comment number 81.

    #22 ivegotacomment
    Gordo’s interview by Paxo: "We’ve got a lower proportion of non-British citizens in our country than America...Australia...Canada...or other countries." Now there's something none of us knew!"
    Cos not a lot of people could verify that.

    Don’t know where Gordo gets his stats from as it is notoriously difficult to quantify the 'impact' of immigration from a range of presentations; perhaps that's intended?

    However, one aspect is that of births to foreign-born women in UK.

    The 2001 Census in England and Wales showed that the TFR for UK born women was 1.6 children, compared with 4.7 children for women born in Pakistan and 3.9 children for those born in Bangladesh, and between 2001 and 2007 the number of births to foreign born women living in UK increased by 65.0% and only 6.4% to UK born women, due to more immigrants and their higher birth rates.

    Between 2004-07 the fertility rates for UK-born women increased, but there would be some component there for changing age structures and the increasing number of UK-born mothers born of foreign-born mothers.

    The 10 top countries of birth being Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Somalia, Republic of Ireland, Germany and South Africa and Ghana, with Poland moving to 2nd place (13,333 births) in 2007.

    The number of births in the UK to women born in all A8 countries has also increased considerably since EU expansion, reaching 19,570 in 2007, with India, Bangladesh and Pakistan born women contributing 39,639 births.

    So when Gordo implies a small proportion of non-British citizens, remember his rate of handing out British Citizenship, and the contribution of immigrants, include their 66% contribution to the rise in UK births since 2001.

    #24mimtendo
    "Shame only he didn't think about the density of inhabitants per square mile. On the world scale the comparison goes as follows:
    UK 51; USA 178; Canada 228; Australia 233"

    Are we on a different wavelength mim? I make the Densities(Popltns/sq mile):
    UK 660; USA 83; Canada 8.8; Australia 7.5; World Av’ge 119 persons/sq mile; and Poland is 316, more than twice the space for twirling than in the UK sardine can!

  • Comment number 82.

    gnu #90

    check out my earlier posts from March

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/newsnight/fromthewebteam/2010/03/monday_01_march_2010.html #16 25

    also

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/newsnight/fromthewebteam/2010/03/tuesday_2_march_2010.html #25

    Don't have much faith in Desertech, light roughly the same time as us and too early in the morning, what do you do on winter evenings for instance. Anyway solar is not fully developed and a breakthrough could be just around the corner and think of the pollution caused by refining the copper etc for new international power lines ? ( another green investment scam ? )

  • Comment number 83.

    YOUNG NICK PLEASE NOTE:

    I have just watched a ragged-edge Darling, declare Brown 'a man of substance'. Not any substance I would want to get on my shoe.

    While party politics DEMANDS such dissembling from its creatures, we shall make no advance in democratic governance.

  • Comment number 84.

    Gnu #80 not 90 like my last post alleged

    Forgot to mention post 31 from Monday 1st March, but it just goes to show that alleged environmental groups cannot be trusted when it comes to exploring all the true perhaps lower cost options for reducing out overall emissions and any potential toxic pollution. I wrote to my MP about Chlorella and reducing power station emissions and all he managed to get out of Lord Hunt was a load of crap about investing in technology to produce oil from algae. Only in the footnote was the possibility of carbon capture mentioned, a technology probably available now and already proven to work as opposed to " pie in the sky " at present. Far better to have a bird in the hand than two in the bush. Perhaps alleged environmental groups are just as morally corrupt as the multinational corporations they allege to oppose ?

  • Comment number 85.

    Anyone else remember this one from university days?...

    The The - 'Uncertain Smile'

    Jools Holland on the piano is sublime...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dz50N2_tCCg

  • Comment number 86.

    #80

    More 'dreamers' to add to the coffers?

  • Comment number 87.

    hi brossen, #82 & 84:

    your links are all to another Project, that of using biotech? I would have no innate objection to that - AS LONG AS *opponents* of the program had control over the safety elements of making sure the Project is environmentally secure. Anything is worth a try. :)

    as to your objections to desertec, i feel you have not understood a vital element. The technology is not "solar", it is thermal. They are not photovoltaic cells, it is only mirrors focussing sunlight onto water to boil it and use the steam.

    this not only generates electricity from sunlight, it also creates clean water, that can be used for agriculture, top-soil stability, and hygiene.

    yes, the long distance low-loss highly efficient cables may use more copper (to be honest i haven't checked, it would be nice if a proper engineer can come and explain? :/), but considering they would save 30% or more even if just installed in the UK network, effectively expanding electrical supply by 30% and giving us capacity to either cut current production or invest in new, sustainable forms, then surely any worries about copper are secondary?

    so not why try both, with proper safeguards?

    no, i cannot accept that Environmentalists are all corrupt - nor does your analysis stand up to scrutiny. Environmentalists are the ones who have been warning about agricultural pollution and basic degradation of the land, Environmentalists have been warning us of the reliance on oil as the basic energy source for our civilisation for a century or more, Environmentalists have argued for the introduction of mandatory cycle lanes, and well invested public transport, like buses and trains. Environmentalists have argued for more recycling, so that less waste goes under our ground for future generations to HAVE to clean up, Environmentalists have warned about the power and influence of Corporations for decades.

    it is the environmentalists who have generated the worry about the pollutions we spew, that has made your friend's algae patent a viable one. Think about that.

    biotech should be working *with* the environmentalists - not "For Profit", but the good of everyone. And certainly not insulting them.

  • Comment number 88.

    gnu #87

    Sorry to intrude on your neat little eco ideology bubble but I have personal first hand experience of what alleged environmental groups are actually like. As long ago as 1995 I wrote the basis of the following link ( note date ) and duly sent it to various environmental groups including Friends of the Earth. None of them had the common courtesy to reply, but I actually phoned up the FoE main office to inquire whether they had received it. The alleged top man answered and when I enquired as to why they hadn't bothered to reply or change policy on traffic calming I was greeted with a shower of abuse. I have since written to various environmental groups on the subject of traffic calming etc increasing pollution yet only Greenpeace have ever given me a reply. Their excuse is that " traffic calming could irritate drivers out of their cars and make them use the trains ", a pretty limp excuse when you consider just how much oil has been wasted over the past 16 years. I gave you the truth about the police fiddling the injury stats just the other night but you failed to respond, perhaps like many that follow the green quasi-religion you just ignore any evidence of the truth. What is everybody worrying about anyway, the world is skint an nobody can afford mega investment schemes in anything.

    http://www.drivers.com/article/130/

    see also

    http://www.drivers.com/article/1102/

  • Comment number 89.

    #87
    "only mirrors focussing sunlight onto water to boil it and use the steam."

    I really like this, the idea is simple, the water has to be pumped and is there glass covering the mirror's to be cleaned ? how would that be done? Air jets on moving wipers maybe? But so long as there is direct sun-light most of the time it will work very well.

    Then you have to store or move the electricity to the UK. A problem ?

    Maybe we all go live on the edge of a desert ?

    You have to understand that this is the land of the far right (of which I am not) However there are problems with the whole environmental situation (dodgy science) and making us all pay.

  • Comment number 90.

    Goldman shorted Gulf of Mexico 'one day before the sinking of an oil rig' :-

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andy-borowitz/goldman-sachs-reveals-it_b_558774.html

  • Comment number 91.

  • Comment number 92.

  • Comment number 93.

    flicks #90

    Given your information I cant help speculating that perhaps Goldman Sachs by some devious means actually arranged for said BP oil rig in the Gulf to be blown up deliberately. Given Goldman Sachs current predicament perhaps they would resort to industrial terrorism in desperation, perhaps far more likely than the theory that the North Koreans torpedoed said rig being floated around ?

  • Comment number 94.

    FAME?

    Now, am I famous or am I not?
    If this is the case what is it for
    Apart from having been ‘turned’ into a ‘doll’?
    Dosh spinning and mountains of gold?
    And do I care? Obviously not!
    But if it’s happened, assuming so,
    I need to work out where I should go
    Never forgetting I am a Pole.
    Not up the North nor the black hole –
    They are the reasons I’m on the dole.
    Behaviour changes with being famous
    Methinks I’ll stick with other famous
    Who’ve already made it out of their own merit
    This is assuming that I survive it.

    mim

  • Comment number 95.

    TIMES SQUARE CAR BOMB? IS THAT 'TIMELY' FOR OBAMA?

    I wonder if 'they' have done a better job of making the car bomb look like a bona fide 'Terror' event than they did with 9/11?

    Do I recall that both Shiney-Boy Dave and Jimmie 'The Gaffer' Brown, have 'Obama Men' advising their cock-up campaigns? Oh boy. Can I still get good odds on the car having been hired with a CIA credit card?

  • Comment number 96.

    #95

    And what if it's something to do with the MI5 or alternatively the 'Russian/Chinese' gang? 'Signals' tell me probably the latter.

  • Comment number 97.

    #97

    The 'gang' and co comprises a david and a jg. Quite right, singie, but shouldn't think it's the other two.

  • Comment number 98.

    #88: no, i read the links, but its just that i regard it as a very small issue. Its certainly not something i would consider voting Tory/NuLabour/Clegg over, even if they had the 'right' policies for. There are more relevant issues, such as getting GBLtd back onto its feet.

    #89: good points! To transmit the electricity back, a few years ago technicians designed a low-loss long-distance electricity cable, and the technology is just sitting around, because our privatised utilities are making more money from wasting 30% or more of ALL electricity produced in the UK, than they would by putting in the extra investment to make our electricity supply more efficient.

    [on this topic, i - and i suspect many others - would find a report that detailed how much the utilities were sold for (and their real estimated value), how much "investment" has been put in by the new owners over the years, compared to how much profit removed over the years. The privatisation was sold to us on the grounds that private, profit-making firms would invest the capital to upgrade the infrastructure - it would be VERY interesting now to discover exactly WHAT has been achieved on those grounds.

    perhaps i'm just pessimistic, more might call it 'realistic', but i do find myself suspecting that more money has been removed out than put in. Which, obviously, couldn't happen if they were either State enterprises, or owned by the local community/workforces.]

    back on topic, here is a link for the cable:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-voltage_direct_current

    and here is a link to the desertec concept:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desertec


    "However there are problems with the whole environmental situation (dodgy science) and making us all pay. "

    it is not "dodgy science" that warns of the environmental costs of land-fills polluting ground-water, or nitrogen run-offs from agriculture destroying streams and rivers. It is not dodgy science that warned of lead in fuel, nor is it dodgy science that is warning about Peak Oil. Nor is it dodgy science to rebuild the UKs economy.

    but yes, we DO have to pay to clean up land-fills - why should it be our children that do so? And we DO have to pay to move to permaculture agriculture, because otherwise in a very few years, we will both have completely destroyed our natural farmland's productivity AND still be relying upon oil to produce virtually all our foods. And we will have to invest to create jobs. Yes, all this is true, investment is necessary to clean up the stupidities and short-termness of the last century, sorry about that. Or we can leave it to our children, already facing a future that is in many ways worse than what the 'Cold War generations' faced.

    what the REAL question is, is upon who these NECESSARY costs are going to fall onto? The ultra-wealthy, who have £Bns in the banks, and only want more no matter the cost to others, or the poorest through VAT rises? And would we trust any of the Big 3£ to actually do it properly, and annoy their investors from tax-havens and boardrooms?

    #90: according to one source, guess which company built the concrete cap for BP on that rig? Halliburton.

    Still surprised there seems to be shenanigans in the air?

    #91: something that revolves returns to its starting point. Despite all the 'Revolutions' that Russia has had, it is probable that peasants from the time of the Czars would not feel entirely unfamiliar with Russia today.

    apart from the fact of People marching to protest! :D


  • Comment number 99.

    "BUT THAT'S NOT IMPORTANT RIGHT NOW"

    Did the times Square 'bomb' succeed in blowing the oil-rig leak off the front pages IN USA?

  • Comment number 100.

    #95: we can be thankful that the UK election issues are such that there is no easy benefit from 'our' security agencies planting another bomb to guide our choices with the help of the reactionary media spouting fear and xenophobia.

 

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