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Tuesday 13 April 2010

Verity Murphy | 12:25 UK time, Tuesday, 13 April 2010

UPDATE - MORE DETAIL ON THE PROGRAMME

First things first - if you live in a marginal seat we want to hear from you... Not because we're standing for election, but because if you live in a marginal and there's a public hustings between the candidates coming up we'd like to know so we can send a Newsnight team to record the event for posterity.

Tell us when and where it is, and if there's a good local spat going on between the parties - or a divisive local issue - or allegations of dirty tricks - any of the things which make an election more fun and lead to a rowdy hustings.

Put HUSTINGS in the e-mail subject heading, and send it to newsnight@bbc.co.uk

Right, on to tonight's programme - here's what is coming up:

Invoking the spirit of JFK at the Conservative manifesto launch today David Cameron quoted the US president's famous call to action: "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."

Mr Cameron said that the manifesto was "the biggest call to arms this country has seen in a generation", insisting that government should be the "partner of the big society, not its boss" and urging "everyone to get involved".

Tonight, David Grossman will be assessing what kind of change the Conservatives are offering, and just how radical their plans are.

A key pledge is helping people to set up their own schools - we will be talking to shadow education secretary Michael Gove.

And Michael Crick is in the Tory target seat of Keighley, Yorkshire, gauging reaction to the measures and asking whether people are likely to heed Mr Cameron's "Invitation to join the Government of Britain".

Plus we have the next instalment of Motorway Man in which we see Newsnight correspondent Stephen Smith "embedded" in Donington Park - a motorway service station and key election battleground.

Join Jeremy at 10.30pm.

ENTRY FROM 1225BST:

Today Conservative leader David Cameron is launching his party's manifesto urging voters to help him build a "better future". Speaking in south London he said he wanted it to be the "biggest call to arms" for a generation.

Tonight, David Grossman will be assessing the plans, what change they offer and how radical they are.

And Michael Crick is in West Yorkshire, gauging reaction and asking whether people are likely to heed Mr Cameron's clarion call.

A key pledge is helping people to set up their own schools - we will be talking to shadow education secretary Michael Gove.

And we have the next instalment of Motorway Man in which we see Newsnight correspondent Stephen Smith "embedded" in Donington Park - a motorway service station and key election battleground.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    ‘Two former Northern Rock directors have been fined by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and banned from working for a regulated financial firm again.
    The City regulator fined former deputy chief executive David Baker £504,000 for misreporting mortgage arrears data.
    Former credit director Richard Barclay was fined £140,000 for failing to ensure accurate financial information.’

    This would certainly seem to be a serious action.

    But I have raised in the past the issue of how we balance crimes proportionately to the damage that they inflict. Should there be a prison sentence for those whose acts could contribute to some future “unqiue global economic phenomenon” that pans out just like the Wall St Crash?

    That said Northern Rock was not central to the problems but typified them and Labour’s buy-to-let did not help.

    But as I understand it Repo 105 could still legitimately be used to disguise bad debts.

    Is that right and what are the politicians going to do about it?

  • Comment number 2.

    On the Obama nuclear summit:
    ‘ "The problem is that nuclear material and radioactive material are not well protected and member states need to better protect these materials against the theft or smuggling," he told the BBC.
    "On average every two days we receive one new information on an incident involving theft or smuggling of nuclear material."
    .....
    A senior American counter-terrorism expert, John Brennan, warned that al-Qaeda had been seeking material for a nuclear bomb for more than 15 years.

    "There have been numerous reports over the past eight or nine years of attempts to obtain various types of purported material," he told reporters.

    "We know al-Qaeda has been involved a number of times. We know they have been scammed a number of times."

    -------------------------------------
    Nobody wants a war in Afghanistan for the sake of it but there are self evident reasons why we have to be proactive in our response to al Qaeda and the instability in that region.

    I respect those like Robert Fisk who see this threat as overblown but I am a cautious person and I like a safety first policy.

    Personally I think it does need to be in the public eye so that they can judge that progress is being made and that the threats are real.

    Obama continues to make good progress across a wide range of issues. That said getting a coherent understanding with the ISI still seems to be some way off if it is true that they let some Talib leaders go - but then do we have the whole story?

  • Comment number 3.

    On Labours recall notion – would that work for a lobbying situation and leading on from that who would decide what was a “financial scandal” and what is a malicious attempt to unseat an opponent?

    This all seems like another "AV" mirage that will never materialize or if it does will be the expression of knee jerk political reaction into bad law.

  • Comment number 4.

    Is Blair Plus a replacement for mephedrone or an oversight of the great light touch regulator who chastised the FSA (so hard at work these days) for wanting to investigate perfectly responsible banks?

    Was it not the Blair sidekicks Byers, Hewitt and Hoon who were mixed up in the shoddy lobbying scandal so many .... weeks ago?

    St Blair of Iraq?

    I wonder why Ed Balls was so suprised by the Mandelson phrase?

    Meanwhile I debate whether I can afford to have champagne available in case Ed Balls loses his seat.

  • Comment number 5.

    Cameron has integrity and he is liked by the public but the Gove schools idea sounds very woolly to me and I thought it had been shot to pieces some time ago.

    I am also not hearing anything about how he would regulate the banks and the worry is that if he got into power and took the wrong advice then this is something that would slip off the agenda as the banks perhaps started to generate "real growth" or possibly another New Labour fools paradise.

    If there is a second election I wonder whether he has thought through his parties view on PR and whether this is a point in time where fair voting has to be implemented? An electoral deal with the Lib Dems would see off Labour on a large scale I would have thought.

  • Comment number 6.

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

  • Comment number 7.

    "And Michael Crick is in West Yorkshire, gauging reaction and asking whether people are likely to heed Mr Cameron's clarion call."

    Is it me or would they all rather hear about job stability and job creation and why the economic crash won't happen again?

    Why is Cameron not really associating himself with positive economic acts - and the public do want the truth about negative acts like cuts in my world.

  • Comment number 8.

    As I'm not sure what the etiquette is here, so I thought I'd better ask. Looking at some of the comments above, is one just supposed to state one's personal/subjective opinions, and if so, is there really any point in disagreeing with anyone or anything?

  • Comment number 9.

    STILL STRUGGLING WITH CLEGG-SPEAK

    Today, Nick Clegg characterised something as 'morally obscene'. Does that make sense - in English? Agreed, if something is obscene, there is a, de facto, moral lapse on the part of anyone engaging in/with it. But do those two words actually sit well together?

    I have to admit, I always find 'moral hazard' (a recent political coinage) a bit weird. Is that something to do with looking in Ann Summers window?

    I had better not pursue this line. The Blogdog has taken exception to my frequent sign-off, declaring it PROFANE! A bit strong I thought, for three words exhorting readers to DISRUPT POLITICAL PLAYING!

  • Comment number 10.

    THE PARTY OF CHAOS PROMOTES ITSELF

    The Labour party said yesterday 'how they would not increase taxes' and 'where they would spend public monies'- but virtually nothing is said by Labour regarding strategies that they would action in order to maintain and enhance the competitiveness of existing UK and UK-based industries and to create new, profitable UK economic sectors and wealth generating companies...

    Even less was said yesterday- if that's possible- regarding what Labour would do in order to create jobs and to enable existing UK and UK-based firms to produce goods and provide services that can be successfully marketed overseas
    - in order to pay for the public services that are at risk: due to the UK's Labour-govt caused budget deficit...
    -----------
    -----------

    Through their half-baked, incompetent devolution programme, Labour has wrecked the UK's constitution... and imperilled the country...

    To suggest that they would be a party capable of facilitating workable- let alone constructive- UK constitutional reform is laughable...
    -------------
    -------------

    UK ECONOMY STRIPPED OUT OF INDIGENOUS FIRMS UNDER LABOUR

    Rover, British Energy, Rolls-Royce motor cars, Cadbury and a gigantic raft of high tech and defence related UK companies were bought out by foreign firms during the last 13-years of Labour party engineered 'bad luck'!!

    Rather than acting to enable a level playing field for existing, successful UK industry sectors and indiginous UK research and development capabilities and put obstacles in the way of takeovers by partially-state owned and/or controlled overseas' firms- Labour did nothing...

    It ought to be remembered that in 2006- under heavy pressure from a UK govt wanting to generate a few quick pounds for application to public services- and against its Board of directors and Senior Management's recommendations- British Nuclear Fuels was forced to sell its Westinghouse nuclear power unit to Toshiba of Japan...

    http://www.bnfl.com/content.php?pageID=69&newsID=248

    Westinghouse was and still is one of the world's biggest, most technologically capable and successful nuclear power and energy companies... set to reap many billions of pounds in profits over the next 2 decades from burgeoning nuclear power contracts in China, India, the United States, Continental Europe and elsewhere...

    Several years later, the UK's British Energy is sold to France's part state owned EDF, which promptly gains approval from the UK Labour govt for rights to facilitate the building of and operating many nuclear power plants across the UK...

    Plants that Toshiba's Westinghouse will play a lead role in building...


    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]
    -----------------
    -----------------

    The Labour party's claims that they would facilitate open, transparent govt are absurd when contrasted against their unsavory and hugely improper efforts during the last Parliament to block the release of MP's expense claims details:

    Even the (Labour party) Speaker of the Commons worked against the release of MP's expense claims details- despite his position demanding strict impartiality...
    --------------------
    --------------------
    The Labour party have sold the UK out for petty short term interests:

    wrecked the economy and its military; trashed its impeccable reputation by under-resourcing & bungling the Iraq & Afghanistan operations; devastated its Defence high-tech ship-building industries AND destroyed its constitution...

    For complete chaos- vote Labour...


    Roderick V. Louis,
    Vancouver, BC, Canada

  • Comment number 11.

    Labour will never be forgiven for 13yrs of uncontrolled immigration.
    And I see no solution from the two main parties..not even from the libs.

    For my mate GO1.

    Muslim Demographics:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-3X5hIFXYU&feature=player_embedded

  • Comment number 12.

    Could you get Michael Crick to do a quick poll some how on how many of the labour MP have read either the Tory or LibDems' manifestos?
    Ta

  • Comment number 13.





    8. At 5:29pm on 13 Apr 2010, Math ap Mathonwy wrote:

    By way of response, a personal, but somewhat cynical, view .....




    (My) Suggested guidelines ....


    You can rant endlessly about a single subject and not bother to consider anything that might be said by others by way of alternate opinion.

    You can spend all day writing something to post, perhaps even on a single issue, believing that no one else can possibly be as ‘informed’ as you.

    You can get on and off your high horse as often as you like.
    (Subject to a full risk assessment of course!)

    You can cut’n’paste endlessly.

    You can organise your social life.

    You can even post poetry .....



    but if you expect to be heard or listened to ......

    Just make sure you are a poet, a celebrity, a columnist, glitterati, literati - or seemingly any other ‘ati’ - or one of the Notting Hill elite ....

    ..... and not just a member of the Great British Public with something to say!


    OK! So I am pretty cynical!


  • Comment number 14.

    MrRoderickLouis [#10] That seems to be a reasonable summary, but didn't the Conservatives sell UK assets off before them, and would the Liberal-Democrats do any different given where they came from (SDP) and their raison d'etre? The problem for most Britons today is a dilemma:

    Why vote for politicians who essentially don't do government?

    It seems to be a most cleverly contrived dilemma to boot.

  • Comment number 15.

    Get well soon Jeremy Paxman

  • Comment number 16.

    I can't take Gove seriously since he dumped his specs and went for contact lenses, ( or is he just blundering around half blind for the sake of vanity ? )

  • Comment number 17.

    Math ap Mathonwy (#14):

    Free market principles are ideal where all of the players play by the same rules....

    Unfortunately, the UK's adherence to FMP's is far more robust and consistent than many other powerful, developed world countries...

    In particular, govt's of countries (with comparatively huge economies) in the UK's immediate neighbourhood- such as France and Germany- take regular aggressive and interventionist steps to support and provide explicit strategic directions to their indigenous companies and industry sectors ... greatly disadvantaging the UK....

    Compounding this competative imbalance: France, Germany and other EU member nations that have interventionist-philosophy governments and cultures benefit from their privileged access to the UK's economy- due to being EU member nations...

    WHILE A 'LIGHT TOUCH REGULATION AND LOW TAX ENVIRONMENT' OUGHT TO BE STRIVEN FOR IN THE UK: THE UK GOVT, WORKING WITH LEADING UK BUSINESS INTERESTS COULD GREATLY AMPLIFY THE BENEFITS OF SUCH AN ENVIRONMENT BY ESTABLISHING AND EMPOWERING AN 'INDUSTRY DIRECTION SETTING COMMISSION' OR SIMILAR BODY...

    Besides strengthening existing UK businesses and enhancing their respective areas of expertise, an objective of such an 'industry direction setting' body could be developing new products and services for eventual export...

    A good example could be products and services related to public and business-related transport...

    With the many billions upon billions of pounds being allocated as UK economic stimulus by the current govt, it could only make constructive sense for some of this money to be put towards the establishment of a rail transport R & D technology centre/campus in the UK... if necessary with the UK govt as a temporary minor shareholder in the venture....

    Such a centre/campus comprising significant representation from a world-class rail technology leader such as Hitatchi, along with a top-drawer UK firm that has cutting-edge complimentary technology expertise, such as Rolls-Royce, would be one way of providing the new centre/campus with automatic positive world-recognition...

    Properly done, upgrading the United Kingdom's rail & people/goods transport-related infrastructure could lead to new UK industrial competencies: in areas of high-speed trains, track, undersea tunnels, clean-technology buses/lorries & related technologies...

    Making the UK- including ALL ITS COMPONENTS, IE: Scotland, Wales & N Ireland- the best rail-networked country within the EU ought to be an unequivocally delineated policy of whatever party is in govt....

    Linking the UK mainland with N Ireland via an (in need of building) undersea high-speed rail tunnel or 2 is long overdue!!

    Improving the movement of goods & people both within the UK & to/from other EU countries could only benefit UK trade as well as strengthening the binding of Scotland (& Wales) into the Union...

    As part of whatever party forms govt's long-term economic plans & dealing with the current economic difficulties, competent UK companies with rail-transport equipment related technological expertise ought to be enabled to innovate & diversify & if practical- to set up joint ventures with &/or acquire complementary overseas firms...

    Rolls-Royce is a good example...

    Rolls could be a leader in many fields other than jet engines & turbines...

    Japan's Hitachi, Toshiba & other companies that produce leading-edge technology high-speed train systems->> that could be made compatible with those in EU countries; nuclear reactors & the like & that want a greater presence in western markets could be brought into alliances with- or might allow (parts of) themselves to be bought by Rolls- but not without considerable UK govt funding & negotiating efforts applied to these objectives.

    A highly capable UK company such as a Rolls-Royce, GKN or VT paired with an industry-peer like 1 of Japan's high-speed train manufacturers, could use their joint & complementary expertise to co-develop & market designs that would be legitimate world beaters: competitors to France & Germany's established part-state-owned/tax-payer-subsidized companies...

    A little state aligning of corporate relationships is needed...

    Rolls-Royce partnered with a high-speed train manufacturer such as Hitachi could- using Rolls' internationally esteemed & invaluable 'brand' along with its extensive high technology & power generation expertise- become a legitimate world-class high-speed as well as other types of rail transport competitor...

    ... entering markets that can only expand substantially & reliably for the long-term... both in EU member nations & developing countries like Brazil, India, China,& in East Asia.

    In a similar transport-industry-related theme, Rolls partnering with companies that specialize in bus & or mass-transit technologies to produce reliable, high-quality Rolls-Royce buses &/or other types of people-movers could only become an internationally competitive player...

    Canada's Westport Innovations:

    http://www.westport.com/

    produces kit that converts diesel fueled engines into (natural) gas driven types...

    Westport partnered with a prestigious, highly capable company like Rolls-Royce in the production of 'clean' gas-powered (diesel-design) engines could only make inroads to bus & similar types of vehicles... which are a 'coming market'... in both the EU & developing world countries...

    While state intervention into industry is usually undesirable, the state setting or assisting in establishing a general corporate or specific industry direction can have positive outcomes...

    If one takes a look at France or Germany & their very well known nuclear-power companies & other successful banking, energy, software, automobiles & high-speed-train manufacturing 'state-assisted' firms... it is undeniable that state-involvement- at least in the areas of indigenous-industry direction-setting and facilitating the mergers/amalgamation of comparatively small firms into big/mega-firms capable of competing globally- has had substantial positive outcomes...


    With sufficient funding & a little creative govt negotiation assistance, UK companies such as Roll-Royce, GKN, VT and others could be producing world-beating high-speed and other types of people and business-moving trains and supporting infrastructure; nuclear power plants & environmentally friendly public transport systems, such as gas-powered buses...

    The massive borrowing now planned by Labour over the next decade ought to be put to more than just financing UK residents to 'shop till they drop', while govt relies on lazez fare economics to fix UK plc....

    A long-term UK industrial & economic development strategy needs to be clearly laid out before any increases in borrowing occur...

    Thinking big!! by politicians & bureaucrats is needed!!

    High speed and high technology urban rail for the United Kingdom ought to be accompanied by the establishment of a liberally funded multi-national-membership 'world centre for rail-transport and public-transportation research and development facility'... with the primary objective: developing exportable rail transportation products...

    While a low tax, light regulation industry environment should be an optimal objective for whatever party forms govt- there is no reason why- working with industry sector leaders- govt/state 'direction setting' could not compliment this...


    Roderick V. Louis,
    Vancouver, BC,
    Canada

  • Comment number 18.

    I don't particularly care how the conservative manifesto is received, but please stop showing us such ridiculously uninformed 'ordinary people' opinions as shown in tonight's Michael Crick report.

    Bugging uninformed people on a train does not make for good journalism.

  • Comment number 19.

    16 brossen99

    I had not realised Gove had recently switched to contacts. I don't suppose I should've really.

    The last time I commented on him on here, I accused him of looking like he was on steroids.....he looked like popeye!

    Maybe he was just still getting used to the contacts!

  • Comment number 20.

    Crick was sporting one helluva a comb-over though!

  • Comment number 21.

    brossen99 [#16] 'I can't take Gove seriously since he dumped his specs and went for contact lenses'

    I've not been able to take him seriously since reading one blogger here saying he scared his cat!

    Then again, it could have been when Gove appeared on Newsnight fervently denying that there was anything wrong with the Swedish model of run your own school (for profit), even though the chap responsible for education in Sweden had just been saying that these don't in fact work (it's down to intake), and a teacher in the studio was accurately pointing out that his examination of the research showed that the US Charter schools don't work either (they just dump their duffers to make their figures look better).

    Still, maybe he's just been having problems adjusting to contact lenses?

  • Comment number 22.

    Mr R Louis # 17

    We had the best truck manufacturer in the world ( ERF ) and greedy owner Peter Foden sold it out to MAN !

  • Comment number 23.

    I wish Jeremy a very speedy recovery - poor thing has a cold :o(
    Excellent interview with Michael Gove tonight, pointing out how difficult it would be to have 43 different county laws running at the same time giving the example of varying leniency with cannabis.

    Interesting analysis of the Labour & Conservative Party manifestos :p laughed at the comparison of The Teletubbies and Labour's manifesto cover...

    Great to see Rory Bremner back on air with Stephen.

  • Comment number 24.

    A MATTER OF DEGREE

    Do Tory women make an unseemly rush to sit behind Shiny-Boy Dave, or do his aides drive them, like ewes, in an unseemly selectivity, to sit where they are told? Whichever it is, the result is that with the camera 90 degrees to Cameron, over 50% women appear in shot, but as soon as an oblique camera-angle is applied, the usual gutty gargoyles (eg Our Ken) and a dearth of women, back Sniny-Boy Dave, and the impact is eye-watering.

    It is born in on me, that the 'plots' of this election are so predictable, thin and unreal, what we are left with a soap to rank with 'The Archers' (whatever happened to him?) and 'East Enders'.

    DISRUPT PARTISAN PASSTIMES

  • Comment number 25.

    18 Nik Hindson

    I thought it particularly poor form that Crick interviewed that poor train guard whilst he was sitting on the loo! (the guard sitting on the loo I mean).

  • Comment number 26.

    #11 I think the link you put up Kev is the most depressing I've ever seen on this site! : (

    Why is it the ordinary media never pick up on those astonishing figures?! : (

    The only person I've ever read that talks about our falling TFR is Statist! But it looks as though we are far beyond hope. : (

  • Comment number 27.

    I thought Gove put up a good performance, about the best I've seen from a Tory so far. You could imagine him walking into a government office and sacking a few thousand jobsworths on the spot which is exactly what is needed if we are going to get big government off our backs. Let's hope the first to be sacked are the ones who have behaved particularly odiously in their high handed treatment of us as they enforce their petty rules and regulations.

  • Comment number 28.

    NN you do put on some drivvle! Why do you do these ridiculous interviews with people on a train, who haven't a clue what Crick was on about. How would you like a manifesto shoved in your face, you can't read it because the presenter is holding it, so how can anyone give a coherent answer?!

    And as for Motorway Man, cut the crap, and just go out and do some straightforward interviewing of many men in the street, instead of making a mini film series of dubious quality!

    Most of tonights programme was rubbish, and very juvenile.

  • Comment number 29.

    It would appear that statist was too close to the truth for the comfort of some in the establishment...again!

    :o(

  • Comment number 30.

    The discussion comparing the Labour and Tory manifestos seemed rather anaemic and sterile. One thing that I thought was wrong was the man from Demos suggesting that no one had been stopped from initiating community action over the last 12 years. Try telling that to anyone who, by being a good citizen, has tried to apprehend someone probably breaking the law when the government prefers you to ring '999' and spend 20 minutes being challenged about the veracity of your emergency call while the lawbreaker escapes. What about the government attitude to 'whistleblowers'?

    Many, many people are put off from volunteering their time when they are faced with endless bureaucratic form-filling, declaring one's detailed life-history, to demonstrate how low-risk they are. What about the recent case of families of police workers not being able to mind one another's children to overcome the problems arising from shiftworking? Or single parents in the armed forces being put on report for not reporting for duty when their child is ill?

    The Tory manifesto, in proposing a return of some level of powers to the public, seems to be pointing in the direction of commonsense something that since 1997 has been increasingly regulated against. Commonsense suggests that it is impossible to successfully micro-manage local activity from central government, something that Labour, particularly Gordon Brown, has been trying to do for 12 years and with fairly catastrophic results.

    Big Brother Brown doesn't always know best as most of the thousand's of new laws, regulations and orders in council can demonstrate in terms of lack of effectiveness. One example. To what extent has a law banning use of a non-handsfree mobile phone stopped those intent on using one from doing so and what are the odds of being stopped by the police? 10,000:1? 100,000:1? Unenforceable laws of themselves help some people to hold all law and order in contempt which in turn helps towards disintegration of local communities. 20 years ago Neighbourhood Watch was alive and well. Today it is barely breathing, reduced to notices rather than community action and initiative. Still ASBOs will solve the problem - not!

  • Comment number 31.

    #26

    No, no hope, Ecolizzy

    #28

    Well, Michael Crick did actually quote to the train passengers and people in the streets the relevant passages. Although, like me, the passenger by the window didn't have a clue what the quoted passage regarding something to do with the state was about, it was a way of bringing the manifesto propositions closer to the voters. Apart from in the media, most of us never actually see any party manifestos, never mind reading them.

    However, some interviewees did know what Michael was asking them about and did have answers to his questions.

    I'm not sure about all the propositions of the Tory manifesto and am still trying to clear out with them some very contentious issues by direct contact, but on the whole I'm in agreement with their idea that people should have greater opportunities and powers in making decisions about how to run their own lives.

    During the Solidarity movement one of the potent slogans was that the state shouldn't concern itself with selling parsley.

    mim

  • Comment number 32.

    #31 addendum

    I also thought that Michael Crick's analysis was very good as well as Jeremy's interview with Michael Gove.

    Stephen Smith's piece? - yes, silly. The teddy bear on the cushion at the beginning of the programme was enough for me to switch off and ponder on the other bits and so I may have missed out on some things that were actually worthwhile paying attention to.

    mim

  • Comment number 33.

    THE AGE OF CHANGE. ONE INSUBSTANTIAL DOGMA TO BE REPLACED BY ANOTHER?

    Do not lose sight of the fact that Islaam is a religion of warmer climes. The 'Alcohol Gradient' rises more steeply as you go North and colder. If it comes to a fight between Islaam and Alcohol IN THESE LATTITUDES, my money is on Alcohol.

    Basic bloke is all too easily seduced - Cracklin' Rose will get him in the end - whatever his dogma. The irony is that in Britain, Alcohol is TODAY abusing and killing girls, as a result of 'dishonourable conduct', just as surely as male Muslims kill their female kin for conduct deemed similarly reprehensible.

    It all boils down to the innate dysfunction of humanity. Only small communities, isolated, and ring-fenced by taboos, ever stay on an even keel for long. Let off the taboo-leash, and given an easy climate, we just lose the plot. The Muslims will follow us into decline and, Apocalypse permitting, some Messiah will say he has a message for mankind - and off we go again: silly rituals, silly hats, genital mutilation and funny buildings. It might, of course, restore the birth rate, and in the end they will turn white for the sake of Vitamin D! Problem solved. (:o)

    Their form of religion is anyone's guess.

  • Comment number 34.

    "Muslim Demographics: "
    that video has been quite authoritatively been debunked, but of course those whose agenda is anti muslim anti islam dont care about such small facts.

    "I thought Gove put up a good performance, about the best I've seen from a Tory so far."
    isnt he the media pundit before he became a mp who propagated most forcefully the deceit of the blairs case for war in iraq and wmds?

    "Why is it the ordinary media never pick up on those astonishing figures?! : ("
    because they are lies.

    is mark urban doing comedy routines now on nn?

  • Comment number 35.

    BYT, do you know what David Cameron means when saying: 'We are all in it together?' In what?

    mim

  • Comment number 36.

  • Comment number 37.

    #33 BS
    Great Post!

    #35 Mim

    At a guess, CARP!


    NN - Purile. Get a Grip or re-schedule for 10:30 a.m. on CBEEBIES.

    Poor Jeremy......
    Should be tucked up in his bed with a Night Nurse! Application forms available from..........?


  • Comment number 38.

    barriesingleton [#33] "..just as surely as male Muslims kill their female kin for conduct deemed similarly reprehensible."

    Muslims and Catholic priests, the things they do are reprehensible.

    It gives one bad thoughts, doesn't it? Who'd want to sign up either system? What sort of people?

  • Comment number 39.

    #31 Perhaps I'm being a little harsh on Mr Crick mim! But it must be very difficult if you're going about your daily business, haven't heard or read any news, and suddenly someone is asking you about some manifesto or other. Most people never read it, and just to get quotes out of all context is difficult to reply intelligently to! Why don't the media leave it a few days for some of these manifestos to sink in, before jumping onto the public.

    Why are NN so keen to run around like this when they could just visit towns all over britain, and ask questions. A very simple procedure, but I suppose old fashioned, and not edgy! ; )

    I think the teddy bear must be to encourage younger voters! ; )

  • Comment number 40.

    #33 Yup Barrie we always have the secret weapon of the demon drink!

    I think it will help with the aging population scenario as well. Most drinkers won't reach old age, so it solves that problem of paying old age pensions. ; )

  • Comment number 41.

    Interview with Jim Rickards :

    http://kingworldnews.com/kingworldnews/Broadcast/Entries/2010/4/14_Jim_Rickards.html

    You have to wait for it to download and be prepared to listen for a while.
    Note his experience with the London Bullion Market and his view on the US having to go back to the gold standard.

  • Comment number 42.

    Wendyman, you wrote:

    "Muslim Demographics: "
    that video has been quite authoritatively been debunked, but of course those whose agenda is anti muslim anti islam dont care about such small facts.

    You could be right. Maybe its propaganda. A bit like Al Gores film, 'The inconvenient truth' or the propaganda spun out from the Labour Govt that multicultural/multi-ethnic societies are a benefit to the UK. A bit like that new advert for women trainers, you know the one, they keep the womans bum in good shape. Yep, as Alf Garnet used to say.."propaganda innit!"


    P:S Mr Paxman. I won't do a joke about specsavers - there old and tired know - but your specs really don't work in the style dept. I'm sure most of your work buddys have told you different but they're just been polite. Go ask a non-sychophant straight talking camera man. Trust me on this one...just trust me.

  • Comment number 43.

    Round glasses are absolutely fine the problem visually via the TV is with thick rims and the dark frame, that can be solved by choosing a lighter colour rim or just thinner frames. But the shape is fine. We tend to be very affected by what everyone else is waring and hence at the time we didn't realise that in the seventies we pretty much looked a bit silly. The vogue for very slim rectangular glasses is along the same lines but not as pronounced.

  • Comment number 44.

    #42

    His specs are just fine

  • Comment number 45.

    #39

    No, Ecolizzy, the spread out teddies are to do with silly willies, as illustrated on my flickr

    mim

  • Comment number 46.

    MrRoderickLouis [#17] "Free market principles are ideal where all of the players play by the same rules...."

    Which is rather like saying that referee and linesmen free football is ideal where all of the players play by the same rules is it not?

    It's a bit like saying that people would breathe under water if they were fish.

    A lot of modern politics appears to be like this these days. I fear they must learn to talk this way on via all these new fangled liberal arts and politics courses in our expanded Higher Education system. Or do these courses just attract them like fly paper does flies?

    It's no good trying to point out the absurdity of what they say either you know. They just get upset and start talking even faster and in even higher tones. I suspect they think that makes it harder for others to point out their neglect of logic and evidence.

    Best view Newsnight like a thinking person's Jeremy Kyle Show, it's therapeutic, and sadly, there isn't much else.

  • Comment number 47.

    'THE THINKING PERSON'S JEREMY KYLE SHOW' (#46)

    An astute observation MaM. Could it be an affliction carried on the Jeremy gene? (As blurred diction is on the Kirsty?)

    It is INDEED for the thinking man, but only one who stares in disbelief and thinks nightly: 1/ "Why do I watch this/" 2/ Why do they pay these narcissistic anomalies so much?" 3/ "Now the World Service is doing bad jokes and 'Radio 5 links', where does the thinking man go?"

  • Comment number 48.

    #37

    What, fish?

    Perhaps it could apply some TLC?

    mim

  • Comment number 49.

    A thought about all the opinion polls that are published.

    We appear to be preparing for a hung parliament, but are people telling the truth when asked their voting intentions.

    Will a lot of people vote for a minority party, but are not telling the interviewers that. From comments I read people are very angry about a lot of things, and they say I'm going to vote for X minority party. So how are people going to vote. Are they too scared to say who they actually will vote for to these interviewers.

  • Comment number 50.

    BROWN FOLLOWS MORE DAMAGING ADVICE FROM HIS LOYAL ADVISORS!

    Two things are now very clear: Brown has an 'autistic' lack of understanding, that leaves him vulnerable to 'good advice' from Campbell/Mandelson/Blair - and they are out to destroy him.

    Brown's Achilles' heel, in the Global Money mess, is his long-term American association, plus his repeated claim that HE SAW A NEED FOR GLOBAL REGULATION. If we take his claim at face value, he should have known how vulnerable Britain was with 'house-n-cards' debt and a reliance on dodgy City trading. That being so, he and he alone, was in a position to strengthen us against a possible crash. McCavity didn't hide, he just allowed the truth to stay hidden.

    Dead man walking.

  • Comment number 51.

  • Comment number 52.

  • Comment number 53.

    barriesingleton [#50] "Brown's Achilles' heel, in the Global Money mess, is his long-term American association, plus his repeated claim that HE SAW A NEED FOR GLOBAL REGULATION."

    Oh dear, where have we heard THAT before?

    Wasn't this the argument between bitterly opposed factions of communism?

    Didn't one group assert that it would never work unless communist regulation went international, whilst the other said it had to be done at home to show the world that it could work? They really did fall out over this. In the end, the latter threw the former out and declared them enemies.

    Oh dear, where did they go?

  • Comment number 54.

    WHAT A SHOWER

    Ref #28, 31 and others

    What worries me most over and above the purile, juveline Media treat of edgy, wacky presenting and interviewing, is that the people they are interviewing, regardless of teh information they have been given, are actually allowed to vote.

    Even worse, having watched some of the Alderhay programme yesterday, anyone who is over 18, despite thinking that smoking in front of kids is a good thing; that letting 6 year olds have access to several bottles of wine; that feeding children almost undiluted sugar constantly won't harm their teeth........ are able to vote.

    My only hope is that most of them won't bother. Maybe that sounds harsh, but I am confused by claims, counter claims and trying to figure out what will be good (if painful) in the long run, for our society - NOT just a return to I'm alright Jack Economic Growth.



    #48 Mim

    Re My #37

    Don't know if one is allowed to use unladylike language on here, so CARP is an anagram as is TISH.

  • Comment number 55.

    I had some problems with one of my posts getting past the moderator so I will try to reword it:

    "I know that the far right posters who pollute this page from time to time love to see me slate the BNP who can't take on new members until they comply with the EHRC ruling. They have been unable to provide a substantial defence to the law as there is no science or fact behind their views.

    They have more than one faction - or a very poor idea of PR - as their publicity officer Collett has been recently arrested by Humberside police over threats to Griffin their leader.

    The names and addresses of their members were leaked last year and that must have made people very happy and provided the factions with intelligence on the other factions.

    Those that would consider voting for them as a protest probably see them as harmless eccentrics - who are obsessed with the alleged "Jewish hegemony" and Holocaust denial."

    The BNP won't be allowed to use an SA/SS to enforce its will - and there are many eyes on the English Defence League to make sure it does not go down that road.

    Similarly there must be attention to the "lone wolf bombers" who have been BNP members like Lewington to be sure that they are "lone".

  • Comment number 56.

    #42 kevseywevsey

    "or the propaganda spun out from the Labour Govt that multicultural/multi-ethnic societies are a benefit to the UK."

    If you show that something is baseless propaganda by exposing it to truth then you are making a point rather than futile noise.

    For instance there are those who talk about differences in IQ between the races as a way of showing that the races are different - like the BNP.

    But science shows that we all came out of Africa (Incredible Human Journey BBC) and we are very closely related genetically. The differences in IQ that do exist are due to environmental factors like educational availability and attitudes to it (Race and Intelligence Ch 4).

    There is no convincing science for there being any difference between the races.

    There are costs to society in terms of strain on services and planning disruption.

    But the migrants do also provide an economic good in terms of particular skills and investment and so on.

    Personally I think immigration should be constrained due to issues of sustainability and because too little attention is paid to re-skilling our workforce.

    Its not a Labour thing - though the numbers they have allowed in have been far too high and have failed to really admit that.

  • Comment number 57.

    #49 ecolizzy

    "Will a lot of people vote for a minority party, but are not telling the interviewers that. From comments I read people are very angry about a lot of things, and they say I'm going to vote for X minority party. So how are people going to vote. Are they too scared to say who they actually will vote for to these interviews"

    Well lets think of the BNP who have a website that "gets more hits than all of the other parties combined".

    If you think of it like that then if they are actually in the majority then why would they be afraid?

    Its possible that issues of internal factions (Collett v Griffin) are a factor but I doubt it.

  • Comment number 58.

    #21 math ap mathonwy

    "brossen99 [#16] 'I can't take Gove seriously since he dumped his specs and went for contact lenses'

    I've not been able to take him seriously since reading one blogger here saying he scared his cat!"

    That's all a tad subjective isn't it according to your weighty post above ...

    If you know about previous bloggers then you would probably know what the etiquette is - there are sane democratic posters with broad interests and then the far right who will rant on about race and immigrants every day.

    You will never see them for instance justify their comments about a Jewish "hegemony" because there is no evidence.

    Occasionally you see one poster try citing how well NYC Jews are doing but that is totally ridiculous, unscientific.

    Some of the far right endorse the views of the BNP - probably meaning these days both the Griffin faction and the Collett faction (the former having gone to the police about the latter over threats to kill).

    Perhaps you will be able to pick them out though today isn't the best day for that.

  • Comment number 59.

    THE CASE OF THE GLASSES THAT DIDN'T BARK IN THE NIGHT (#54)

    Oh BYT! We really are in the tish, and no mistake. Above, is the exchange about Jeremy's glasses, and the telling comment by flicks #43:
    "We tend to be very affected by what everyone else is wearing".

    MOST voters fall into the category defined by flicks - glasses are MORE ABOUT THE FRAMES THAN THE LENSES! Dwell on that! Imagine Statist is standing over you in your infant's-school desk, wielding a ruler, and demanding that you address the significance1. WE ARE SOOOOOOO INCOMPETENT JUST AT BEING HUMAN.

    Wise up the young. Raise the voting age to 60 - minimum - and have them sit a test. Meanwhile allow people like me to 'exit' on demand.

  • Comment number 60.

    GO1 WROTE:

    But science shows that we all came out of Africa (Incredible Human Journey BBC)

    Oh well, I stand corrected. I mean, who can argue against a BBC production. I did'nt know the science was in. All races - and cultures are equal. I better vote Labour then eh!

  • Comment number 61.

    thegangofone [#58] Thanks for your contribution. People should always be allowed a fair hearing don't you think? Furthermore, people should, wherever possible, be encouraged to speak for themselves.

    As another example of unintended consequences, Vince Cable has been in the media today saying how, on the one hand, he feels vindicated by Brown now acknowledging that he was mistaken over not better regulating the banks, but that as he had advised about the imminent dangers long before they actually happened, an apology just isn't enough given the consequences.

    Throughout my professional life I have found that many people do destructive things whilst genuinely meaning well. What matters is whether they learn from their mistakes. If they can not, or will not, I think they have to be moved out of positions where they can harm others, regardless of what they say their intentions are.

  • Comment number 62.

    BYT - aren't some of the parties seeking to reduce the voting age to 16? Is this really about improving democracy or a cynical ploy by those parties which believe they are more popular with "the youth". My view (based on my revent exprience of 16 and 17 year old relatives) is that reducing the voting age is not a good idea.

    I was interested in Mim's comments at 31. At one time I would have agreed with her comments about parsley without question but, at the risk of being labelled an elitist (or, even worse, as one of the right wing nutters), I'm not so sure. Regulation has its place. A couple of examples:

    on-line gaming - is this really a good idea? Would banning it seriously erode our freedom or just protect the vulnerable (particularly professional footballers)?

    Credit - after watching the recent Dispatches programmes on primary school education and, in particular, seeing how poor many adults are at maths, can many adults really fully understand financial products? You just need to look at sub-prime mortgages. Would more regulation here not be beneficial?

    Porn - we now have scantily clad women on free view channels at all times of day and night. (The BBC should note that one of these channels which broadcasts into the early morning is on a free view channel which is not too many pushes of the remote control button from the CBBC channel as one of my young children recently discovered). Is this really setting a good example for our society?

    The question for me is how far should we go to protect the vulnerable at the expense of the freedom of everyone else.

  • Comment number 63.

    #62 Nedafo

    Your examples are good. I seem to have come to similar conclusions for similar reasons. People are NOT very good at resisting the sweeties if the box is left open in front of them.

    And 'grown ups' are not very good at protecting or teaching their young either. The Primark bikini story today is a prime example. Pray tell me, how does a 7 year old girl get hold of push up bra's, high heels, make up, cropped tops etc. Oh yeah, her mummy will buy it for her . Doh!

    Unless or until there is more personal control exercised, more wisdom evident in greater numbers, and less 'I'm alright Jack' attitude, MOST people, just like small children actually CRAVE boundaries and rules. They are just TOO OLD to LIKE the freedoms they will need to give up in order to feel safe, comfortable and well.

 

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