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Friday 7 May 2010

Sarah McDermott | 12:45 UK time, Friday, 7 May 2010

In view of the extraordinary election result and current lack of clarity about how the drama is going to unfold, tonight's edition of Newsnight has been extended - the programme will begin at 10.30pm as usual, but we will be on air until 11.40pm.

Right now the team are working hard to ensure that we have the best line-up of politicians and pundits who can throw light on the all-important question of what happens next.

Nick Clegg has already made a speech in which he said the Tories had the first right to seek to govern, and David Cameron is lined up to make a speech at 2.30pm in which he is expected to say he plans to govern "in the national interest".

Our Political editor Michael Crick is looking at whether David Cameron can form a minority government, David Grossman is looking at whether Labour could cling to power.

We will be getting a constitutional expert's view on what should happen under the official rules.

Paul Mason will be looking at the economic impact of the result, as well as bringing us the latest on the Euro crisis.

Liz MacKean is in Belfast, where David Cameron's Ulster Unionist allies have failed to pick up a single seat.

And Tim Whewell is looking at the issue of voters being turned away from polling stations last night.

However, nothing is set in stone, as events change, so could the programme, so we will update you with more details later.


The Conservatives have won the most MPs in the UK general election but fallen short of a majority, leading to the first hung parliament in 36 years. At the time of writing the Tories have gained 92 seats, Labour have lost 86 and the Lib Dems six, despite hopes of a breakthrough for the third party. Their leader Nick Clegg has said he sticks to his view that the party with most votes and seats - the Conservatives - should seek to form a government.

Counting continues and results are still coming in, but we'll bring you more details of what's coming up in tonight's programme here shortly.


  • Comment number 1.

    Best quote of the day:
    "no living journalist can in good conscience miss an opportunity to see Jeremy Paxman, the Shakespeare of the short-form television interview, in action."


  • Comment number 2.

    lib dems got 6.5m votes and labour 8.4m. yet labour got 5 times as many mps?

    how does that fit in with the 'fairness model' of society?

  • Comment number 3.

    It seems to me, though I may be wrong, that David Cameron and Nick Clegg are on the right track. If only the fine element out of the amalgamate understood it.

    It's a make or break day.


    P.S. Long live FINE DIPLOMACY!!!!

  • Comment number 4.

    #3 addendum

    The lock out continues whatever it takes!!!!

  • Comment number 5.

    1 ward with massive queues while the one around the corner is empty. who planned this fiasco?

  • Comment number 6.


    A higher priority than balancing the country's budget and eliminating its debt- for whatever party gets elected to form govt- ought to be setting several internationally high-profile, mega-project-type national-objectives or programmes...

    Objectives/projects intended to instill pride and purpose within the electorate & businesses 'in return' for their economizing and 'putting up with' cut-backs in certain areas of govt expenditure and paying higher taxes...

    1) 'Made in the UK' high-speed train lines on a mega-scale through the whole of the UK- starting with an expedited line or lines from London to N Ireland and on to Dublin via an undersea tunnel linking N England or Scotland with N Ireland;

    2) Development of a world-class high-speed and urban-rail transport research centre in the UK in which successful international companies with expertise in high-speed and urban rail as well as other types of commuter & business-goods transport are participants;

    3) World-beating high-speed Internet connections to every home and business in the UK;

    4) an Internet router, storage and broadband data-delivery research centre- in which successful international high-technology companies participate and play integral roles;

    5) A Royal Navy with 'legitimate' aircraft carriers- instead of the grievously under-equipped, devoid of ship self-defence weapons & dangerously economized ones Labour has directed the construction of;

    6) Upgrading the Royal Navy's capabilities to a functionally responsible level* by actioning a compressed build programme for operationally-sufficient numbers of new 'FULLY EQUIPPED', surface and subsurface combatants as well as support vessels for the RN and RFA…

    * IE: the objective- a Royal Navy that is capable of projecting constructive British presence world-wide and with capacities to deal with known and to-be-expected threats from both state and non-state actors...

    "Argentina gets first Russian defense deal", 26_04-2010:

    "The deal also comes amid designs by Russia and Argentina to bolster relations in nuclear power development...

    "... and share use of the Russian Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS)...

    (in case the US ever cuts off Argentina access to the GPS system?????)


    (Can the UK's politicians say with certainty that Argentina's nuclear weapons programme will NEVER be re-started??)

    “Medvedev's visit to Argentina: more than 10 agreements signed", 15_04-2020:

    Russian company Novator's Anti-ship Cruise Missile (ASCM) products are being marketed at international arms expos as store-able, transportable and launch-able from converted standard-sized shipping-containers, aircraft, subs and small coastal patrol boats...

    "Russia's Novator Experimental Design Bureau has developed a containerized version of its Club family of anti-ship and land-attack cruise missiles.

    "...The new variant, the Club-K Container Missile System (CMS), is perhaps the ultimate concealed weapon as the entire system is housed, transported and fired using a standard 40 ft shipping container...

    "Soviet/Russian Cruise Missiles":

    "The Cruise Missile Challenge: Designing a Defense Against Asymmetric Threats", May-2007:

    "Falklands' war tested modernized Super Etendard in Argentine Navy's agenda", 21_02-2010:

    "... The possible transfer to Argentina of a refurbished model of the French manufactured fighter-bomber Super Etendard, which had an outstanding performance during the 1982 Falkland Islands conflict, is under consideration by the French Ministry of Defence..".

    Add the Russia trade agreements with Argentina of the last 2-weeks to requests by Argentina to France from late February-2010 for the sale of advanced-capabilities fighter aircraft (currently being considered by France) and what does this demand from the UK after the coming election- total ignorance and the continued gutting and weakening of the RN- or prudent upgrading of RN capabilities???

    Roderick V. Louis,
    Vancouver, BC, Canada

  • Comment number 7.


    It's plain that one of the biggest challenges for members of the UK's Libdem & Labour political parties is acknowledging mainland-Europe's cultural and historical realities as they are, not willfully blindly seeing mainland-Europe, and by extension- the EU- as they would like it to be....

    This would require an honest acknowledgment by prospective Libdem politicians, party members and others of:

    1) What 'Europe's countries' peoples' unequivocally demonstrated for 800-years worst propensities are*; and are evidenced contemporarily**

    2) The fact that the 'good Europe' (EU) of today COULD CHANGE TO A BAD EUROPE OVERNIGHT;

    3) The fact that the likelihood and potential of today's 'good Europe' turning into a bad Europe increases with the greater integration and amalgamation of EU member nations into each other and within a 'superstate EU';

    4) The fact that if EU member nations such as the UK lose their sovereignty and become part of a superstate EU, opposing the dominant culture (or maybe 2 cultures) that eventually control the majority of EU structures, bureaucratic and political posts, etc- and hence set the superstate's 'internal and/or foreign-policies and international MILITARY OBJECTIVES will not be possible...;

    5) The fact that should the EU- as a 'superstate' of 600 million people- turn bad while the UK was irretrievably bound into it- the UK, its peoples and its politicians would have no effective recourse to oppose UK military and materiel resources being, in effect, hijacked for improper purposes...;

    The US/UK 'special relationship', while not perfect, is at least a relationship between two sovereign states, with each country free to make its own decisions and set its own objectives on the world stage as it sees fit...

    While it is true that closely bound histories along with common mercantile, legal, trade, democratic and global political principles and philosophies have often acted to encourage constructive alignment of UK and US endeavors world-wide since the end of WW II, the UK has always had a "national choice" of whether or not to participate in US geo-political objectives...

    Although criticized by many, the recent Iraq and Afghanistan operations are good examples of the 'superstate' that is the US initiating international endeavors in which the UK participated- only after freely making a democratic decision to do so...

    Should the UK be subsumed into a superstate EU, no such "free choice" would be available to the UK as to whether or not to participate in a superstate EU's global 'projects', endeavors and/or military fracas's...

    The UK can best be enabled to continue doing good around the world- and to further its own reasonable interests- militarily or otherwise- as an independent nation continuing to work closely with the United States, British Commonwealth countries, the U.N., and NATO...

    These objectives are not conflicted by the UK as a member of a multi-speed, non-superstate EU (IE: an aligned-to-varying degrees economically, politically and in internal legal & social-policy ways group of nations)...

    But removing all one's (the UK's) chips from an 'international bank' (UK sovereignty on the world stage) that has served one- the UK- well for centuries and putting these chips into a "very troubled history 'bank'" (European Continent) which has a centuries-long, uncontradicted track record of internal malfeasance and board-room bust ups- would only be recommended by the most intellectually dishonest and dangerously naive...

    * Ego driven militarism; religious intolerance; persecution of minorities; never-ending wars; overseas land & property theft and subjugation of overseas peoples for the benefit of 'Europe's' country's peoples...

    ** Think the Balkans early 1990's- 2010

    Roderick V. Louis,
    Vancouver, BC, Canada

  • Comment number 8.

    The BNP blown away like headless chicken's HA HA HA
    UKIP leader - taken out by an errant aeroplane - oh dear

    And now the market will attack as three parties squabble.

    Derivatives in place with no regulation =
    UK will discover what incentivised destruction is.

  • Comment number 9.

  • Comment number 10.



    I wasn't aware that Shakespeare's 'incarnation' was 'alive', walking the spaces of the Colisseum and that Jeremy was 'friends' with 'him'.

    Have you seen any plays or sonnets that 'he''s written?

    P.S. And is Emily pushing the buttons on 'his' behalf?


  • Comment number 11.

    Re: Crime, Deception, Falsification, Punishment

    Gnu the other day talked about certain crimes and abuses committed by 'state representatives', and virtually joking about them, in fact still 'laughing' this morning, never getting 'detected' and going unpunished.

    It took the Russians approximately 70 years to admit to the Katyn crime committed by Stalin but finally the truth is out as declared by Dimitri Medvedev earlier today. Not only that, he also says that those who took part in and are still alive today need to be punished.


  • Comment number 12.

    I wondered, while watching the election coverage on BBC what this was all about....

    Then I decided it was a load of luvvies, thumbing their noses at the money problems in Britain, whilst us licence payers paid up.

  • Comment number 13.

    Hhhhmmm any gambling shops taking bets on when the next general election will be? Six months, a year or 18 months time, can't last long as it has turned out.

    What a shambles, but just what I expected. Disgusting that people couldn't vote or ran out of voting papers. But then why didn't they stay in the queues or vote earlier. If the electoral officers had seen the que, they might have thought, I'll have to ask for an extension, but as it was it was a complete mess.

  • Comment number 14.

    I may have forgotten the link to go with #11. If I have, here it is:


  • Comment number 15.

    GB should stay in power, until these proxy vote and polling stations 'mishaps' have been investigated, and re-runs held if necessary.

    what a SHOCK that Clegg has almost immediately come out to support a Tory Govt.

  • Comment number 16.

    just watched camoron informing the LibDems that HE is in favour of electoral reform - we should have constituencies the "same size".

    wow, radical. What exactly does he think we have NOW!?! The lies and spin simply never stop with the Tories, where was all that wannabe-Churchillian "we will never make deals" BS he has been spouting to scare voters away from the LibDems?

    these people have absolutely NO shame, and they are drooling at the thought of completely destroying the UKs advanced Welfare System, and go back to Victorian poor-houses, and forcing the most helpless to work for blood-sucking corporations like Tescos.

    they make me sick.

    --If the Tories get in, i would expect that Question Time audiences will have to be searched for eggs (etc) before the shows - but i am sure Murdoch will send some of his goons to help with that, they can come along with the new managers when Sky buys the Beeb from us at the undoubted 'knock-down' price the Tories will offer for all the Murdochracy help in the election.

    if Gordon Brown NOW goes to the LibDems, with a concrete proposal to have multi-member constituency, weak-party list Proportional Representation, to be put in a referendum to the Public within 2 weeks, he will be able to hold off the Tories and their insane and destructive cuts - any crap about APV and he is just wringing his own neck.

    if he *does* go and let the Tories in, he might start thinking of emigrating - when the unnecessary cuts start being made, and Public rage starts hitting the streets (and MPs homes and cars), he might find himself wishing he was going to be alongside B'liar in the ICC dock.

    in fact, he might still be anyway. Do this one last thing for your Country Gordon, be remembered as the Prime Minister who in his last weeks in office REALLY caused "Change" in the UK, and gave us FINALLY an electoral system for the 21st Century, and kept the mad tory dogs from our door.

    you gave some of us hope over the last few days there, that you were actually sincere about caring for the People of the UK instead of just the mega-rich, please, PLEASE show us it wasn't just words.

    clegg may want to support the Tories all he wants - but the vast majority of his Party will disobey him to keep Brown in power long enough to achieve PR, if it is only a couple of more weeks.

  • Comment number 17.

    #11: laughter can hide tears.

    i would have thought *you* would have understood that, mim.

    will those who have tried to rig our electoral system be punished? Not according to the Electoral Quango woman last night. They've just been "naughty" - and after all, in a one-Party-3-wings Govt, what actual difference does it make WHICH of the jokers will be in front of the cameras?

    we now have a chance for PR, if Clegg throws that away his Party have to *immediately* ask themselves if he is the right person to lead the LibDems.

  • Comment number 18.


    I turned on just as Brillo 'went below' (an apt term) to where poor Joan Collins was blowing a gasket, trying to be noticed. (And dahling - THAT VOICE.)

    I could not make head nor tail of it. Well done Beeb - stay away from reality - it will kill you (of shame).

  • Comment number 19.


    For the denizens of the Great Westminster Iniquity, what happened during polling, is just a passing blip. For the voters, a disgraceful charade.

    But then the latter two words perfectly describe our de mock crass y.

    Nuff sed.

  • Comment number 20.

    #14: the velvet glove of Russia.

    Maybe a rebirth of good relations between Poland and them?

  • Comment number 21.


    Hague used to put on a good show of jokey affability, but the real Hague has now stood up.

    He declares two things to be CLEAR;
    1/ "The electorate didn't cast their vote for proportional representation" inferring, QUITE IMPROPERLY, that they had no desire to cast such a vote.
    2/ The Cons are the "most popular party".

    Both statements rely on a denial of polls that show LibDems (home of PR) would gain the most votes, IF ONLY VOTES COUNTED AS THEY SHOULD.

    Now that these Westminster Weasels have mostly stopped twisting us - we can at least 'enjoy' the spectacle of them twisting each other. But what a way to run (neglect to run) a country!

  • Comment number 22.

    it is really quite odd all this blither from the Tory camp about "strong stable Govt", when in actual fact it would be Proportional Representation that would remove the tribalism and constant chopping and changing of One Party Dictatorial Rule.

    how can we as a Nation plan more than 5 years into the future, when due to a very small change in voting patterns the ENTIRE Govt, and civil service plans, have to be scrapped to make way for new strutting peacocks who have not the slightest idea of how to govern?

    having balanced parliaments, would give the Country the long-term stability in order to plan and invest for the future, as well as accurately reflecting the desires of the People. It is a complete Illumination of the Tories, that with around or less than 30% of the total electorate coming out to vote for them, they believe they have an Absolute Mandate to start dismantling and destroying the Welfare State that our Grandparents and Parents sweated and bled to achieve, and all the while cutting taxes on the wealthiest.

    --it is an absolute indictment of our Society that the power of the Media Barons has managed to convince so many people that it is far better to cut their own wages, jobs, services and social-safety-net, let alone schools, hospitals, police and fire-men, than it is to get the wealthy to stump up even at the same rate of tax as the poorest do.

    in a dark way, you have to admire that level of social control, even whilst working to reduce/prevent such terrifying anti-democratic forces.

  • Comment number 23.

    #12/13 eco

    We keep funding less developed countries to teach them how to become democracies and put a stop to activities such as:-

    Extravagant spending of the public's money on the few; making a complete shambles of their elections with long queues; disenfranchising the electors by failing to provide adequate facilities for the voting public; and allowing large-scale voting fraud! What sort of example are we setting? Mugabe and others will not fail to report on our shambles.

    Was it JJ who claimed that we will become like the cultures we import?

  • Comment number 24.

    "risk is way out of proportion to any public benefits."

    I don't believe for a second that it was down to computer error.

  • Comment number 25.


    Er - how did that go then? I suppose, against the 'founding corruption' of the European Union Scam, we look pretty damn good!

    Oh it's all going awfully well.

  • Comment number 26.

    #23 indignatindegene

    "Was it JJ who claimed that we will become like the cultures we import?"

    Well as an alleged UKIP voter you must have been aware that jaded_jean used to rant on about what a good chap Hitler was and what a waste of time democracy was and that National Socialism was the thing. Used to complain about the "denazification" of Europe all the time.

    Those tenets does not belong to an "indigenous" culture just as the nonsensical notions on race and in particular Jews have no science behind them nor any morality.

    You only have to look at how feeble the BNP attititude to their racial membership rules were to see that deep down even advocates such as Griffin know that.

  • Comment number 27.

  • Comment number 28.

    Well as ever sadly the electoral system perverted the voting intentions we saw leading up to the election as the first past the post skewed the "wasted" votes and kept the Lib Dems share well down on what I was hoping for.

    Worse the "rabbit" Alistair Campbell was gloating eralier and it may be in the National interest and the Lib Dems interests to do a deal with them provided PR is on the table.

    It was nice to know the BNP generally got well beaten but its clear there still needs to be a coordinated ongoing effort to throw light on their continuous Nazi lies.

    Little Lord Fauntleroy Cameron looked miffed as you would expect and I get the feeling that internal party tensions over strategy may spill over.

    I think the internal party attitudes in the Lib Dems would also inhibit a stable relationship with the two.

    If only Cameron had started to bring their party around to electoral reform some time back ....

  • Comment number 29.

    #15 gnuneo

    "what a SHOCK that Clegg has almost immediately come out to support a Tory Govt."

    Duh he just said he would talk tp them in the National interest.

  • Comment number 30.

    I assume that now the election is over it will become clear whether the alleged Collett threat to kill Griffin (both BNP) was an own goal publicity stunt or whether it does indeed reflect on their true nature and internal cohesion.

    As the Independent reported some time back:

    'Collett's role as leader of the Young BNP was thwarted by an undercover documentary in 2002, in which he spoke of his admiration for Adolf Hitler and the UDA terrorist Johnny Adair. He was recorded saying that Aids was a "friendly disease, because blacks and drug users and gays have it". ' But Rohm was gay and Hitler only had him shot as he tried to plot a coup against him .....

    Still I suppose that those who find playing with house bricks stimulating and strutting around secretly in uniforms will admire Collett so maybe the BNP will split.

  • Comment number 31.

    I wonder whether the less savoury MP's who are more interested in themselves than their parties will start thinking of defecting to other parties?

    I suppose that may not happen until the details of any inter-party deals are worked out.

    What happens if there is another election and still no clear winner?

    I would have hoped the parties would cooperate and create a National Government for two years.

    Then if first past the post was seen by all to be totally discredited perhaps it could be consigned to the bin - as most of the world has already done - and AV Plus taken up to make all votes count.

    I suppose that the easiest way to keep out the far right in such circumstances would be to ensure they can't spread their toxic little lies any more.

  • Comment number 32.

    Ah Ha!

    So Top Con has made Uno Lib Dim an offer that all know has to be refused.

    Gee! That’s the zenith of high level politics! Come in with a low bid so that you have plenty to negotiate ‘up’? (Or is this a ‘one and only final offer design to force the scenario of” I’ve got the mandate for ‘going it alone’ “)

    Is Top Con now .... Cool Dude?

    Or - still - ” “Top Con: Aspiring”

    Megaphoning that he, Top Con, is putting the interest of the country first by making such a generous offer ( Of course there is no regal deference to grass-root serfs or paymasters .... Just what exactly are you thinking? Fool!) one can only hope that the man whom has for so long craved a state coronation at Westminster will meet his glass ceiling as Prince in waiting?

    Sadly the - much heralded - kingmaker has chosen a duvet with the wrong Tog Rating!

    Whatever secret handshakes take place by Monday morning ....

    We will suffer!

    Unless, of course, you’re friends of an ex pat of pretty small island in the middle of some ocean somewhere?

  • Comment number 33.


    I have just watched Ming the Meaningless trot out that old mantra: "forget personalities, it's about policies".

    Why do they talk this rubbish? Was it not Maggie's PERSONALITY that drove the Poll Tax POLICY through Parliament, against the greater understanding of the rest of government - and half the country? Was it not Major's PERSONALITY that gave us the POLICY of the Cones Hot Line (and a bit of nonsense called Maastrict?) Was it not Blair's delusional PERSONALITY that gave us the POLICY of War Without End? The list goes on.

    Policies emerge from personalities - weird policies from the weird. WHY DOES MING NOT KNOW? Worse, WHY WOULD HE PRETEND NOT TO KNOW?

    There is something about Westminster that seems to make the daft delusional, the rational raving and the competent cuckoo. Does anyone know why Ming - AND SO MANY OTHERS - come out with this manifestly stupid mantra? I know they never listen to us, but DO THEY NEVER HEAR THEMSELVES?

    Is it Ming's PERSONALITY that drives him to this bizarre performance OR IS IT A POLICY??????????????????

  • Comment number 34.

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

  • Comment number 35.

    An initial discussion has just finished.

    It has to beg the question ......

    Is Uno Lib Dim really a ‘Lib Dim’ at all?

    Why would he even countenance such an amalgam?

    Think “The Big Con Lib Dim Alliance”!

    Surely the ultimate oxymoron?

    Can Uno not see this?

    Will he remain Uno L.D. if he pushes too hard?

    Which - really - prevails .... Power, policy or principle?

  • Comment number 36.

    Lawmakers Short the Market:-

    And we thought our lot were bad with the expenses.

  • Comment number 37.


    And, as posted before, power and money are different forms of the same thing (like matter and energy). Money can buy off your enemy, corrupt his opponents or equip armed forces.

    Power/money opens the way to choosing policy (policy that adds more power).

    Principles are just a pain in the bum. Ask Alistair.

  • Comment number 38.

    I didn't vote for my " first rate constituency MP " yesterday to give enviro-deluded Cameron a mandate to climb into bed with the eco-fascist Lib-Demmics and expand the current Climate Change Scam. Perhaps its high time for enviro-realist Tories to come out of their closet, perhaps if they had all come clean on the Climate Change Scam earlier they would have easily won the overall majority they needed ?

    Brown is a complete fool to try and cling onto power, he should have quit ASAP to allow Cameron to form a minority government. Whoever get in now is facing economic meltdown and perhaps people would be glad to see the Labour party ( however imperfect ) back in power at any probable election within 12 months ?

  • Comment number 39.


    I am a bit behind on recent developments and discussions but was listening to radio in middle of day. Of all the various permutations possible, regardless of the colour of the politics and personal choices I found myself thinking about the value afforded to adding a number of balancing elements to the existing depleted mix.

    There must be something to be said for some continuity and experience to keep departments running.

    The problem in any event of a complete change of colour is the propensity to throw out the baby with the bathwater and rebuild from foundations (dodgy) up. It takes one full term to re-balance the policy changes before you can get any growth, otherwise it’s just change for the sake of it.

    It takes 1 term to eradicate the effects of the previous incumbent; 1 term to BEGIN to make progress, 1 term to completely hack of the electorate due to lack of promise fulfilment and progress. Sound familiar?

  • Comment number 40.


    Wow Kirsty

    I think I would have got a couple of hours kip instead of spending it at the hairdressers!

    Love the way the Bill and Ben are both BROWN nosing Nick. They KNOW where the true (Kingmaker) power lies. How sad.

    Where are the despots when you need them. I must dig out my A level Essay "How far did enlightened despotism improve the lot of the common people?"

    Oh, now I remember the conclusion. You're gonna like this. NOT A LOT!

  • Comment number 41.

    gangophone #various

    Perhaps enthusiastic supporters of the BNP have much in common with those who enthusiastically follow the green quasi-religion. Spend weeks campaigning and allege huge popular support, then only get 400 votes to come fourth in the local elections and claim victory. How many lost deposits did the combined greens and BNP have in the general election, the exception which proves the rule being Caroline Lucas. Perhaps the typical eco-fascist claiming to be acting in the interest of the common man, the cute cuddly Polar Bear indoctrinated emotion, when in reality any Polar Bear would rip your head off and eat you given half the chance. As far as I can recall the only serious industry in Brighton was Flexer Sacks, made custom bin liners for local authorities along with the regular 25kg paper sacks. It was right on the sea front, might have relocated now or been closed due to being rendered worth more dead than alive by property developers.

    One thing at least the Green party are relatively peaceful at the moment, save for a few eco-fascist on specific eco protests. There are rumors floating around that certain BNP factions are planning serious civil unrest in most of our major cities in the coming months, I just hope that the relevant authorities will do something to stop it before its sets off. Perhaps the Police and MI5 etc wont bother, perhaps any excuse to introduce Marshall law and clamp down on civil liberties for everyone in the UK ?

  • Comment number 42.

    Watching Newsnight tonight - please can Kirsty allow people to speak before butting in with her views? We want to listen to the politician's views not those of the presenter.

  • Comment number 43.



    Are we talking about misfired obsessions?


  • Comment number 44.

    #43 addendum

    Enlighten the despots? As if.. But throwing light on them in their 'full splendour' would be fun. It's probably being done as I write - silly willies.


    P.S. Shame only it's the common people who pay for all this through their noses, but what has to be done has to be done.

  • Comment number 45.

    #37 Oh dear, Oh dear, Oh dear, MONEY, MONEY, MONEY

    Hhhmmm I think you've got a good point there Barrie.

    I found the very relaxed Hedge Fund manager quite frightening tonight. I think he actually was "saying it like it is". MONEY is the only thing that is important, he said the electorate were living in cloud cuckoo land, and we will have another election within the year. We the GBP do not understand what we've done, we think it's good, and he said it's not. So is this man right? Is it only MONEY that matters?

  • Comment number 46.

    The Conservatives got the most votes and most seats, the Lib Dems should not be allowed to demand proportional representation if the electorate prefer the first past the post. We are supposed to be democracy and while electoral reform maybe necessary it does not have to be P.R., the electors opinions should be taken into account. I like to know who I am voting for. We have P.R. for our M.E.Ps where we just vote for a party not the person.
    I agreed with David Cameron's view that each constituency should be of equal size.

  • Comment number 47.

    The ambulance sirens have just been 'blowing their horns' - somebody must be either very sick or dying.

  • Comment number 48.

    Hugh Hendry was good except for one point he said "the banking system will become insolvent again" it is already insolvent, only held together with "mark to model" valuation of assets AKA accounting fraud, remember Haldane at the BOE came out and said the bank losses are between £1.8TN-£7.4TN, the banking system is insolvent and the government that stands behind it will also be insolvent, the question is when it all fails will we become Argentina or Afghanistan?

  • Comment number 49.

    Funniest of the day - Jeremy and Boris and the chipolata v cumberland sausage debate!

  • Comment number 50.

    I wonder what kiind of 'fub masking tears' is going to be 'dished out' tomorrow on the special edition of Newsnight?

  • Comment number 51.



    money money money vs Polka #4

  • Comment number 52.

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

  • Comment number 53.



    It was quite funny the way they did it, with differences in sausage size and quality having a huge difference, but I heard the joke when I first started my Russian studies in 1985 after a Monday pm talk.

    One of the tutors, indentifying himself as 52, 'cracked' the joke while they were serving the mini sausages, while another tutor, jg, in total 'frustration' called a female tutor 'a bitch'.

    Then I learned that the 'sausage' tutor used to take the 'bitch' out while the other seemed to be suspiciously close to a male student.

    It looks like they are still trying to attract my attention hoping Gordon will stay in power so they do not get cut off.

    Gnu has been 'explaining' everything.


  • Comment number 54.

    #51 addendum/correction

    I meant to say Polka x 4 but Polka #4 is equally appropriate

  • Comment number 55.

    Remember what I said about gold? well if it takes you and everyone else listening to a hudgefund manager and not the likes of me then so be it. THE debate is about what value is; paper money was backed by something of value - Janet Tavakoli explains it very well here :-

    The backing has long been removed and were in delusion mode instigated and played by 'world leaders' banks and hedge-funds - in other words the super rich. The problem is to reverse it in the safest way ie no hyper-inflation. A massive question mark is on that.

  • Comment number 56.

    #4 addendum

    As permanent lock out would be too damaging, rape takes place but it remains as rape and shall be judged as such. It's all on record. I just wonder what satisfaction is obtained if it's not mutual??

  • Comment number 57.

    All I can do is to remain defiant making sure the truth is known, at whatever cost. Money without happiness is meaningless.

  • Comment number 58.

    For those who are interested in this stuff before its too late :-

  • Comment number 59.

    I followed the election on the BBC news website 10 pm Thursday to Friday 3 pm and I don't pay a penny in license fees because I don't watch TV ...

    Well I'm very grateful to the BBC and regarding DT columnist Charles Moore mentioned in the course of the night as due a visit the magistrates next week to explain his curious philosophy involving Matthew Arnold and not stumping up the license fee I do hope he's thorougly roasted and comprehensively fined (a fine incidentally generously factoring in that luncheon he got off the license payers courtesy Mark Thompson).

    Wasn't going to mention but logging in to toss in my farthing's worth I come across a very fetching photo of dearest Emily on the site but why then did we not once get a close-up of her while she was managing the swingometer thingy on the night? It did eventually become positively irritating listening to the thus oddly disembodied voice of hers huge fan though one is.

    Tonight's edition fine (just a touch too strident I thought from Kirsty battling Ken but granted he is a tough old bruiser okay never tougher when sober) and really interesting to listen to Tim Montgomerie in the flesh.

    I ask again that Newsnight present a careful account of our difficulty with the deficit in comparision with (say) Portugual, Spain and Greece in the news. Presently there is a touch of hysteria about this it seems to me. I happen to agree rather with hedge fund manager Hugh Hendry tonight that we face another catastrophe in the banking system over the Euro crisis but I was disturbed by the intensity of his observations and I'm not at all sure he wasn't talking the crisis up. I have to say I don't think Newsnight should be doing fund managers for that reason.

    In general I would say that Newsnight is usually behind the curve on developments in the financial markets, notwithstanding the excellent Paul Mason and his predecessor Stephanie Flanders. I do think it needs to up its game on that.

  • Comment number 60.

    I wonder when Gordon, Mandy, Campbell, Balls, etc., are going to catch up with the rest of the world who seem to be aware of what's going on?

    They are totally discredited.

  • Comment number 61.

    During the election broadcast David Dimbleby spoke of extraordinary theatre taking place. I must say it was more of a classic drama side than comedy as far as I was concerned but my hope it may have had/will have some 'purifying' elements to it in the long run.

    I remember precisely who used the term for the first time but he still spoke of 'equality' on both sides. Obama also seemed to have implied something to this effect the other day but it seems to me they have now changed their mind.


  • Comment number 62.


    As I have listed before: HONOUR - INTEGRITY - VIRTUE - WISDOM - ALTRUISM - TRUST - HUMILITY - DIGNITY (not exhaustive) when implanted deep in a culture (and often reinforced by taboo) prevent the 'runaway degradation' that assails us (and the rest of the planet by association).

    The one MAN MADE (i.e. not FUDAMENTAL) 'intangible' is MODERN NOTIONAL MONEY aka wealth. While money had value OF ITSELF, it had a degree of stability; but it was always on borrowed time. It has been shown, all too clearly that, with culture moribund, notional money now holds sway - it has emerged the most powerful of ALL the intangibles.

    Man removed (and is removing) the trees from this globe, demonstrating his unwisdom. He has since done an impressive job of physical pollution and moved on to going steadily mad. But his epitaph will record his most damning 'triumph' as: 'MONEY'.

    Westminster has made a good pretence of expelling the money-obsessed. But remembering that money=power, and that Westminster is ALL ABOUT POWER, until we defeat the Westminster Ethos, we have CHANGED nothing.

  • Comment number 63.


    Clegg has a look of (poorly) suppressed TRIUMPH on his face - well, he would have, wouldn't he!

    A more 'real' person (one who could not live or breathe within Westminster) would have a VERY different look.

    Meanwhile, all talk is of inter-party CONTRACTUAL agreement. IT DOESN'T BEAR THINKING ABOUT. Have you ever hired a car, bought an extended warranty, taken out travel insurance? YOU AIN'T SEEN NOTHIN' YET.

    Beware of 'honourable' men (and woe-men) signing contracts.

    Oh - it's all going awfully well.

  • Comment number 64.


    As Electoral Reform looks to be a major stumbling block in the attempted ‘alliance’ between the major parties, I applied straight PropRep to the BBC tally of votes per party, with the following results; MP seats by PR v (MP seats actual by FPTP)

    Con 234(306); Lab 188 (258); LibDem 149(57); UKIP 20(0); BNP 12(0); SNP 11(6) Green 7(1); DUP 4(8); SinnFein 4(5); PlaidCymru 4(3);SDLP 3(3) UCU 2(0); Alliance 1(1); English Democrats 1(0); Respect,UV,Christian ICHC, TUSC, SSC all less than 1(0) Others 7(1)
    (The BBC list was as at 649 declared and based on their % calculations of votes cast)

    It is clear why Lib-Dems favour PR and others do not. Apart from the arguments of overall 'fairness' the major concern is whether MPs should be voted for by the local community, or from a list of party candidates as under PR (and EU elections).

    There are of course other systems that could be adopted, or adapted, to keep the constituency approach (or regional as EU). An explanation on some of these is at:

    This link starts by setting out the problems associated with attempting to construct a public referendum to choose a system. The best approach might be to have a public information paper prepared showing the effect of various alternatives. It is not possible to apply the various systems to the current crisis as there is no record of voters’ second or subsequent choice of candidates. However, a look at the number of MPs elected in most wards DESPITE the majority of votes being cast for other candidates suggest that our 'Victorian' system needs reviewing.

    A cynic might suggest that, since we seemed unable to conduct a simple First-Past-The-Post election, further complication would be beyond us. However, it should not be beyond the scope of computerisation, with added security to prevent fraud. To continue with the present FPTP system will lock us into the Big 3, or even just the Big 2 as voters will cease to vote for minor parties, such as Greens and Others.

  • Comment number 65.

    will the referendum for PR be decided by a first past the post system? :)

    wouldn't it be 'fair' to let those who want to vote by 1stPTP to vote that way and those who want PR to vote that way? Or does the logic of the fairness model result in absurdities?

    so why did the libdems lose? the view down the dog and duck was migrant amnesty and europe.

    keep showing the charts paul.

    labour has 40 mps who always vote against their own party so they would need more to form a govt?

    stone age voting
    was iraq and afghanistan watching how to do democracy? who shall we invade next to bring this wonderful british way?

    no one want PR?

    look at how many votes the parties got not the MPs and you see a different picture?

  • Comment number 66.


    It sounds almost as if PERSONALITIES have clashed! Should we pay more attention to the FUNDAMENTAL QUALITIES of our MPs rather than charisma. oratory, flair and 'party-message'?

    Perish the thought - it's the POLICY stupid.

  • Comment number 67.

    if the conservatives and lib dems form a coalition does that mean we will be CON-DEM'd?

  • Comment number 68.


    She just told Andrew Neill, in terms, "WE MPs ARE ALL ELECTED AS INDIVIDUALS".

    What a monster load of carp! Take the ROSETTE off Harriet, AND SEE HOW MANY VOTES YOU GET.

    Fools and knaves are alive and well, and living in Westminster politics.

  • Comment number 69.


    There are times and leaders who surpass their selfish need for power and do whatever they can to rise to the occasion for the sake of the people who elected them and who they represent and it seems to me that the two 43-year olds currently in negotiations are attempting to do just that. As David Cameron said, one of the things they have in common is respect of civil liberties, thus implying, it seems to me, a sense of justice. They are both very lucky to have formidable women for wives, i.e. Sam and Miriam, as is Barack Obama with Michele.

    There are millions of couples where it doesn't work out so happily to the point of no return but many of them manage somehow to come to a mutual understanding, especially if kids are involved. I'm not talking about myself here as I live on my own and do not have any children.


    P.S. Madness and insanity are the words!!

  • Comment number 70.


    Excellent post IDG2. Thanks for doing the work.

    I ask again - what happened to the 'invigilator' bloke from Sweden/Denmark or wherever?

    Why don't we hire Norway (or similar) to run our elections?

  • Comment number 71.


    That's an excellent way of putting it, jaunty.

  • Comment number 72.


    I've been taking quite a bit of interest in a person who seems to be experiencing occasional problems recognising how fine, talented and sophisticated they really are and probably struggling at times to cope with their moods and emotions.

    Personally, being used to endless failures in most fields, while recognising nevertheless uncommon 'skills' that I seem to have, I've achieved a kind of 'nirvana' and find it quite easy to 'serpentine' between my own moods and emotions which come particularly to the fore on ice. I'll glide and I'll twirl, then go for a coffee and a cigarette followed, let's say by shopping, and I do not feel at all special but simply as one of the fellow human beings going about their own business.


  • Comment number 73.

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

  • Comment number 74.

    Liverpool have just booted out a Lib Dem council after ten years and councils throughout the country have returned Labour councils...just imagine if they had got rid of Brown last January... a mjority in Parliament?

  • Comment number 75.

    #45 Ecolizzy

    It's negative entropy, which is the opposite of Chaos.

    Found this story written in support of a pet beareavment support line, but it does seem to have other applications related to your comment #45

  • Comment number 76.

    “will the referendum for PR be decided by a first past the post system? :)”

    The link at #64 discussed this predicament: I believe that a sound analysis by qualified and impartial experts, followed by a public discussion paper giving clear worked examples of all options, would lead to a referendum recommending one specific system versus ‘no change’.

    “wouldn't it be 'fair' to let those who want to vote by 1stPTP to vote that way and those who want PR to vote that way? Or does the logic of the fairness model result in absurdities?”

    To provide multiple options and fit in with the public’s taste for ‘fairness to all’ one solution would be to give all voters (say) 10 points to allocate as they wish on the ballot – all 10 points to one name or distributed over several names. Analysis would be simple if designed for computer scoring.

    “so why did the libdems lose? the view down the dog and duck was migrant amnesty and europe.” They must have read my blog #112 on 7thMay:

    “The ‘unexpected’ failure of Lib-Dems to break through, after his first Leadership Debate, was due to the disclosure that he had advocated amnesty for illegal immigrants, and the (surprisingly) continued support for Labour in many areas due partly to the ‘grateful’ votes of the hundreds of thousands granted settlement and British Citizenship, and the hundreds of thousands enjoying a non-working lifestyle, courtesy of a costly benefits system. Why would any of these grateful voters seek change?”

    Always happy to keep repeating my main whinges!

  • Comment number 77.

    Following on my comment #59 and begging the indulgence of the forum can I ask Newsnight editors to glance at this piece Why the UK is no Greece" by Jim O'Neill (health warning - Goldman Sachs!) in today's 'Sunday Telegraph' and perhaps even consider having him onto the program as a corrective to the current deficit hysteria which I'm rather afraid Newsnight has allowed itself to get caught up in.

    Thank you.


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