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Monday 24 May 2010

Verity Murphy | 11:31 UK time, Monday, 24 May 2010

More details on tonight's programme:

Today, Chancellor George Osborne got out the scalpel and cut government spending to the tune of $6.2bn.

The measures announced by Mr Osborne included an end to Child Trust Funds, and cuts to quangos, spending on consultancy, big IT projects and a civil service recruitment freeze.

Treasury Secretary David Laws, who was at the chancellor's side as he outlined details of his plan, said the measures were designed to send a "shockwave" through government departments and discourage waste.

But painful though $6.2bn of cuts may be, today could be a mere trimming of the fat when compared expected much deeper incisions aimed at paying down the £156bn deficit.

Our Economics editor Paul Mason was at the chancellor's press conference this morning and will be taking us through the details tonight, asking how far the cuts will go in rectifying our dire public finances and what the impact on the economy will be.

Jackie Long is in Sheffield to find out what a move to "austerity Britain" will mean for front line services and people and businesses on the ground.

David Grossman will be examining the political tension created by today's announcement - a huge challenge for a still-untested coalition - and looking forward to tomorrow's Queen's Speech.

And in the studio a panel of expert commentators will be discussing what effect a switch from a time of plenty to a time of austerity, with a reduction in the size of the state, will have on society.

Plus we have a moving film from Afghanistan by Lyse Doucet, looking at the plight of the tens of thousands of children forced to work on the streets of Kabul - often as the sole breadwinner for a whole family. Read more on that story here.
--------------------------------------------------------------
Here is what we are planning for tonight's programme:

Chancellor George Osborne has outlined plans for £6.2bn in spending cuts, saying "urgent action" was necessary to address the budget deficit.

He said there would be a civil service recruitment freeze, as well as cuts to IT programmes, property and quangos.

Our Economics editor Paul Mason was at the chancellor's press conference this morning and will be taking us through the details tonight.

Michael Crick will be taking us through the politics of the announcement and looking forward to tomorrow's Queen's Speech.

And Jackie Long is in Sheffield to find out what a move to "austerity Britain" will mean for businesses and people on the ground.

Plus we have a moving film from Afghanistan by Lyse Doucet, looking at the plight of the tens of thousands of children forced to work on the streets of Kabul - often as the sole breadwinner for a whole family.

More details later.


Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Look forward to Jeremy & Co's analysis of the £6.2bn spending cuts and what they will mean for us, and also to Lyce Doucet's report.

  • Comment number 2.

    can Jeremy ask the question of the Bullingdon two who have personal fortunes of around sixty mill, how they dare to lecture us and impose savage cuts on the most vulnerable groups in our society how they have the brass neck to tell anyone about fiscal restraint!!! Now I know, Jeremy you may have to tone the narrative down a bit...but you get my drift....Bolshy Scouser

  • Comment number 3.

    how can it be - not a word about israels nuclear proliferation / dealings with apartheid south africa and it being an irresponsible nuclear state?

    not a word so far in the above trail about israels nuke arsenal being reconfirmed by recently released documents?

    not a demand for it open its doors to npt and iaea?

    so what is liam fox and willie hague going to do about it - apart from being members of the friends of israel lobby?

    ahh wait ... iran.pakistan.afghanistan. but not the continued collective punishment of the gazans ..

    to take a line out of 'four lions', the logic of the uk government and media approach appears to be one of -

    "Sometimes you got to do the wrong thing in order to do the right thing!" .. "Sometimes the wrong thing's more right than the right thing!"





  • Comment number 4.

    "Look forward to Jeremy & Co's analysis of the £6.2bn spending cuts and what they will mean for us, and also to Lyce Doucet's report."

    £6 billion is the cost for our illegal war in afghanistan this year.

    £120 billion a year is not being collected from those very rich who abuse the tax system.

    appears that for the bankers who continue to profit and for politicians whose coffers a filled by generous donations have no interest other than squeeze the poor on behalf of the wealthy and wrongdoers.

  • Comment number 5.

    since the open secret is now merely open and no secret anymore, what will the usa/uk do?

    israel has nuclear weapons and had offered to sell them to an abhorrent regime.

    iran does not and has not.

    does that mean that the usa uk and co. will impose more stringent sanctions of israel and demand that it open its nuclear weapons and other sites to international inspections?

    will newsnight put hague and fox on the spot and get credible answers - awaiting the double standards and prevarications ..

  • Comment number 6.

    #1

    Mistress76uk

    On Newsnight Jeremy tends to ask questions rather than analyse though I have no shred of doubt that he processes everything he hears and witnesses with his eyes coming up with his own views which, as a BBC journalist, he is not supposed to openly proclaim.

    mim

  • Comment number 7.

    I'm thinking of 00-sevening again!!!!!!!

    M

  • Comment number 8.

    So the child catcher,sorry chancellor now wants to take money from the hands of newborn children,AKA the child trust fund. So what happened to protecting the most vulnerable in our society. Hypocrite and coward comes to mind.It was a tory plan to start cutting now Libdems/Labour wanted to wait.The torys only got 36% of the vote We voted by 64% to reject the tory plan!!!!!.When are we going to get to vote on the ConDem "manifesto"?
    Not to mention we are being saddled with Libdem policies who only got 23% of the vote meaning 77% of us rejected them. Are you sure you want to get rid of FIRST PAST THE POST Mr Clegg as has given your minority party power and you the job of Deputy PM how democratic is that???

  • Comment number 9.

    Please could you ask the Condem why they even want a note on AV voting
    considering the following:
    The following is a copy of text from the Electoral Reform Society.

    Arguments used against AV

    It can be less proportional than First-Past-the-Post.
    It does very little to improve the voice of traditionally under-represented groups in parliament, strengthening the dominance of the 'central' viewpoint.
    There is no transfer of power from party authority to the voters.
    It is prone to a certain amount of 'Donkey voting', where voters rank candidates randomly, not knowing enough about all of them to make an informed decision.
    Under certain circumstances, a shrewd voter can get a better result by lying. If, for example, it is known that the contest will be fought between two strong candidates, supporters of one might rank third parties above the other, even if the other is technically their second choice. See Wikipedia's worked example.
    In a broadly three-way race, where there are two strong parties who actively dislike each other and a third 'compromise' candidate sitting in between, the compromise candidate is likely to be defeated in the first round, despite the fact that they could well be the most universally acceptable option.
    "The Electoral Reform Society regards AV as the best voting system when a single position is being elected. However, as AV is not a proportional system, the Society does not regard it as ideal for the election of a representative body, e.g. a parliament, council, committees, etc."

    This is an extract from Institute of Public Policy Research report issued this week on voting systems

    "The core problem is that AV is not proportional; it includes no mechanism to ensure that the
    allocation of parliamentary seats is inproportion to the number of votes cast for each party.
    Itsimply allows for more of the voters’intentions to be taken into account in deciding the
    result in a single constituency.Moreover,it can produce results which are even more
    distorted than those under FPTP."

  • Comment number 10.

    I've just watched a taster of Lyce's incredibly moving report on the child workers of Afghanistan. The girl in the report, Nargis, has been working (begging) since she was 6 years old, for her entire family, yet she has so much hope and strength.

  • Comment number 11.

    3. no no no. the passport fakers are strategic friends and allies for some of the political class. they are the 'good' nuclear proliferation uber right wing nationalists who have demonstrated they take no notice of international law or national sovereignty.

    4. 4 billion is given to millionaire landowners merely for owning land. have a few thousand in savings you lose benefits. have a few thousand acres you get them. This 'fairness' handout will be ring fenced. Equestrian class back slapping all round. 60 million people are forced to live on 10% of the land because a few can horde land through sponging off the public. no wonder it seems crowded.

  • Comment number 12.

    markdpryan #8

    I can't really get my head around why you are bleating so loud about the end of the child trust fund. After all it was only part of the welfare state for the stock market parasites progressively introduced by Brown over the years, and it would appear that said " stock market parasites " have very cleverly lost almost half of the original capital anyway in most cases.

  • Comment number 13.

    HEY HO COME TO THE FAIR (#11)

    Clegg'll fix it Jaunty. Even now he will be meeting the 'Haves' and explaining about FAIRNESS, and how it will take lots of what they currently have away from them, so that they become 'Have Nots in Fairness'!

    Oh - it's all going terribly well!

  • Comment number 14.

    NOT SURE THE VOTE RATIO IS THE WHOLE STORY (#8)

    The Tory, in Newbury, got a big boost to his majority against the Lib/Dem (only contender). This was on the back of a blatant porky (already posted) that I am investigating, regarding legality.

    Broadly I have discovered that, while we have all sorts of bodies to stop the sale of slimming pills and wrinkle creams, THERE IS NO BODY CONCERNED WITH POLITICAL LIES. Now how could that be? It is almost as if CORRUPTION is built into our political system (like the EU). But that would be UNFAIR.

    Nick'll fix it!

  • Comment number 15.

    FAIRNESS FREEDOM RESPONSIBILITY (#14 additional)

    It seems the RESPONSIBILITY falls to me (one of the few to take open exception to the use of blatant lying for political advantage) to exercise my FREEDOM to expose political deceit, in the pursuit of FAIRNESS.

    That lying is built into our politics yet elicits no outrage, is a terrible indictment on our political culture - a culture rooted in the feudal ethos of the Westminster Palace, with all its self-serving constructs.

  • Comment number 16.

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

  • Comment number 17.

    'Nick Griffin is to step down as leader of the British National Party by the end of 2013, a party statement says.'

    So does that mean Collett is not going away for threatening to murder him and Griffin has done a deal?

    "The party said it also wanted to "revolutionise" the way it fought elections"

    So they don't have heavy armour and I can't see honesty breaking out in their ranks. They can't really saying they are a National Socialist party as people will immediately click that they are Nazi's so they have to say they are Nationalists and then be as vague and general as possible.

    The way they usually win seats from what I can gather is by claiming all kinds of murders and race rapes that never happened as they did in Barking where they lost all of their seats.

    Griffin also said:

    ""It will be time to make way for a younger person who does not have any baggage which can be used against the party,"

    Baggage like the "Jewish hegemony" and Holocaust Denial and the desire to dump democracy for National Socialist tyranny and its racial nonsense so far removed from science and ethics?

  • Comment number 18.

    If the coalition claims that they found £6.2 billion in a week and they are going after more are true and these are genuine efficiency savings and not cuts in services then I would think the Labour record on the economy is going to take a long time to get back.

    That's before we get detail of whether Labour were trying a scorched earth policy with spending and added onto the fact that they set up the regulatory light touch system that let the financial sector fail so badly.

  • Comment number 19.

    #8 markdrypan

    "Are you sure you want to get rid of FIRST PAST THE POST Mr Clegg as has given your minority party power and you the job of Deputy PM how democratic is that???"

    Well actually you make it sound like a favour.

    The Lib Dems had 26% and Labour 29% yet Labour end up with hundreds of seats and the Lib Dems just a handful.

    Labour had also set up te boundaries so that the Tories needed roughly 44,000 votes per seat and Labour 35,000.

    How democratic is that?

  • Comment number 20.

    In the US the Fox/Tea Party/GOP morass seems to be getting more bizarre by the day.

    Given Obama could lose the next election as he inherited epically large problems from the Republicans and his Gulf oil spill response is questionable and the financial reforms may not go far enough is it worth reflecting on what Europe might be dealing with?

    Its not so much Boston Tea Party principles as The Crucible where hysteria takes on a momentum of its own as saw when they debated their health care bill.

    The most worrying thing is that when people like Rand Paul become embroiled in arguments over the Civil Rights Act there aren't any heavyweights to calm their supporters.

  • Comment number 21.

    'The doctor who first suggested a link between MMR vaccinations and autism is to be struck off the medical register.'

    Is it time to reflect on whether the GMC is up to its job as people get struck off and then sneak back into work some years later when you would have expected that safety considerations would have barred them?

  • Comment number 22.

    'Colonel Bob Seddon stood down as principal ammunition technical officer of the Royal Logistics Corps after telling the BBC's Panorama programme he needed more people on the ground and raising fears over the job's psychological impact.'

    What has Liam Fox had to say about this as though the problems were laid in on the Labour watch they will need fairly quick feet to get this fixed as the allies need to be seen to be making clear headway this year.

    I am less worried about the Bagram and Khandahar ground attacks as I assume they reflect bravado and some desperation from the Taliban.

  • Comment number 23.

    #13 barriesingleton

    "Clegg'll fix it Jaunty. Even now he will be meeting the 'Haves' and explaining about FAIRNESS, and how it will take lots of what they currently have away from them, so that they become 'Have Nots in Fairness'!"

    So what would you propose in response to the debt crisis that Labour ran up through excessive credit and poor regulation?

    Usually you suggest "end party games".

    Would individual MP's make any significantly different decisions and if so what would they be?

  • Comment number 24.

    'IF THERE'S A WRONG WAY TO DO - NOBODY DOES IT LIKE US' (#23)

    It is a matter of fundamental culture Gango. Even the trial that just finished, at the Old Bailey, is symptomatic of British cultural ineptitude - if not perversity.

    That aside - this country puts DOING above BEING. While that continues, we shall continue on a path of PC-bullying, degrading 'entertainment', crass celebrity and obscene wealth/poverty.

    One way to solve a money shortage is to stop wanting it so much.

    I have no idea what is the right solution to the money mess, but I am IN NO DOUBT that if and when it is corrected, the average Briton will be no more content.

    RESTORE THE FEMININE PRINCIPLE

  • Comment number 25.

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

  • Comment number 26.

    COORDINATED BRITISH COMMONWEALTH & G20 COUNTRIES' EFFORTS- FOLLOWING AN AGREED 'COUNTRY DEVELOPMENT' PLAN- NEEDED IN AFGHANISTAN

    Having already reviewed- earlier today what seems to be the full length version of Ms Doucet's film about the plight of tens of thousands of children in Kabul, Afghanistan (on "BBC World News"' "Impact Asia" programme) and having reviewed last weekend (on BBC World News' "Reporters'" programme) the 5 and a half minute TV/video story from northern Afghanistan regarding the damage wrought by opium addiction to people there:"Drug addiction takes its toll on Afghanistan", by BBC reporter Mr. Ian Pannel, May 17-2010, (possibly accessible here:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/world_news_america/8688554.stm

    radio version here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8687734.stm )...

    and reviewing, listening to and reading similar themed stories about Afghanistan from the BBC and other credible news and documentary producers/broadcasters 2007-2010,

    (such as: "Battling drug addiction in Afghanistan", 23_06-2008: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7439340.stm

    ... it becomes obvious that the world urgently needs to make up its mind about Afghanistan....

    However well intentioned, altruistic and laudable the US's efforts there are and have been since 2002- the Americans can not 'fix' Afghanistan alone...

    "British Commonwealth" countries could and ought to be approaching Afghanistan and its security + development issues as a coordinated, mutually supporting 'group'...

    Other G20 countries- for logistical purposes- could perhaps be divided up into "occupying force" blocks or groups, with each 'group of G20 countries' made responsible for a specifically delineated area of Afghanistan and tasked with agreed among-all-occupying countries' objectives...

    The US, Russia and perhaps India could provide over arching support to the entire Afghanistan occupying and reconstruction mission, in addition to their own individual responsibilities within Afghanistan...


    ________________
    Roderick V. Louis
    Vancouver, BC, Canada

  • Comment number 27.






    Once upon a time ....

    The boys’n’girls that woz part of ‘iz gang needed to be ‘delt wiv’! They don’t like the way he was running the gang and were causing him a som edakes. He knew the ‘Big Boyz’ whom lived somewhere down in t’street were busy making bovver for a load of ‘uvvers that were dissin’ the hood by havin’ not givin full s’port recent like, so day woun’t stick dere ‘ooter in.

    Wiv outa dout Lil’ Bill just always knew he was truly in for a Wapping time!

    The End.



    And ....

    Really - and I do really mean “Really” ....

    Just exactly - and I really do mean “Exactly” ....

    .... where is the ‘public interest’ best being served by allowing and giving such extraordinary coverage to the tragic court case that came to an end today.

    Ten, ten and eight!

    The salacious hypocrisy of p.c. brigade, and the press, is truly staggering!

    Surely the ‘authorities’ could have found a better way of dealing with it?

    And now we will undoubtedly get oodles of the ‘experts’, philosophers, laureates, poets and hacks all trying to find out where it all went wrong

    (‘Live on air’ .... Of course!)

    But none will have answers ....

    Just words!

  • Comment number 28.

    COORDINATED BRITISH COMMONWEALTH & G20 COUNTRIES' EFFORTS- FOLLOWING AN AGREED 'COUNTRY DEVELOPMENT' PLAN- NEEDED IN AFGHANISTAN

    ADDENDUM:


    Above paragraph: "The US, Russia and perhaps India could provide over arching support to the entire Afghanistan occupying and reconstruction mission, in addition to their own individual responsibilities within Afghanistan..." ought to have included China

    Considering China's enormous high-technology and other industrial production capacities; and considering ITS HUGE STANDING ARMY/MILITARY; and considering China's aspirations for 'admired' status world-wide; AND
    considering the west's objectives to ensure that China becomes a force for 'good' in the world; and considering that the outcome of Afghanistan will effect 'world-security', trade, human-rights, illicit drug use and related issues for decades into the future; and considering that China is a permanent member of the U.N.'s Security Council's permanent 5 group... WHY ISN'T CHINA BEING BROUGHT INTO THE AFGHANISTAN OCCUPATION MISSION??...


    ________________
    Roderick V. Louis
    Vancouver, BC, Canada

  • Comment number 29.

    #27

    Once upon a time there was a sausage..

  • Comment number 30.

    #27

    'Jay'

    I've just tramsmitted further info for the court case which may eventually go to The Court of Justice in Parliament Square or be played out in public with full knowledge of The Queen and the Palace of Westminster, whatever some of its members get up to.

    If I were them, I would watch out

    M

  • Comment number 31.

    Mistress76uk

    Methinks gnu is 'anal/ising' just now

  • Comment number 32.

    #31

    It's normally a sign of anger but may be some perverse form of pleasure as well

  • Comment number 33.

    I did 00-sevening & Parry's tune about the green and pleasant land of England, as well as all kinds of other pieces, both rather vigorous and serene, but those were more of a private kind of thing.

    By the way, I've just opened a photo that the President of the USA has sent me. In it he's making a phone call about the BP oil spill.

    mim and M

  • Comment number 34.

    Ponder this.....

    Ministers to walk etc rather than have ministerial cars.

    So what happens to the drivers...they lose their jobs...they have to sign on as things are looking bad jobwise which costs the state.....they now can pay no taxes....which costs the state...they can't buy the higher quantity/quality of things they used to or use various services they used to be able to pay for.....therefore reducing demand of those items thus putting others out of work......they lose their house not being able to pay the mortgage......they have to claim housing benefit...costing the state etc etc. On top of this what happens when a minister has to get somewhere quickly - he takes taxis/agency cars/drivers? which in turn over the long run would cost more than the intial driver and car........get my point.....this is just a simple illustration of how these cuts could cause more problems and hence more costs. Now expand and think on a bigger scale - i.e public service job losses etc etc and start to panic???????

  • Comment number 35.

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

  • Comment number 36.

    Just watched cuts report and Vince Cable interview - so the one bit of good news Vince tells us is that they are creating 50,000 apprenticeships - OK so far so good - but again ponder this... where are these apprentices going to be employed - read my previous post and you can see where I'm coming from - the domino effect from a number of initial job losses etc will have a far more devastating impact overall than they realise - also he says that the public quite like the idea of their coalition govt with parties working together - says who - I haven't met one person yet who thinks this - the majority think that they didn't get what they voted for and with various new laws being passed - 55 per cent issue.... these cuts announced without consulting parliament etc etc a lot of people feel this is more like a dictatorship than a reformed more democratic system - why isn't all this being questioned more ? One poignant slip that George Osborne made in his speech was when he nearly said spectre instead of sector ........wasn't that the organisation associated with a certain Mr Blofeld.....is there some sort of connection going on here....watch out for the sharks/pirhana fish....

  • Comment number 37.





    At last ....

    Confirmation of what we all know about british politics ....

    The Politician’s Creed.

    Say what you like before the election, as long as you think the electorate just might believe it!

    And don’t worry too much if you feel that they just might not believe it.

    Because if you get in power ....

    You can do what you like ....

    Because ultimately the public can’t change it!

    ‘Coz ....

    We are better than them .... Gunga Din.



    And ....

    Comment and Further thoughts on ....

    34. At 9:52pm on 24 May 2010, lightacandle

    A clear and concise explanation of what any sensible person already knows, but then we aren’t politicians. (Whom, of course, only act in the best possible ‘national interest’ sic)

    No one seems to be mentioning all the necessary redundancy payments that will be due when all the quangos close? (Unless of course, they are all redeployed to ....?)

    How much is a golden parachute these days?

  • Comment number 38.

    @ Mim #35 - You are very vulgar.

  • Comment number 39.

    Lyce Doucet's film was not only moving, but incredibly sobering too. Children in this country have so many opportunities given to them, yet they squander it all away, whereas the children in Afghanistan want to learn and help their family economically too. Even living in a country ravaged by war, they still aspire to become something in life, such as a doctor/teacher/engineer. As both Redmond and O'Donnell pointed out in their discussion with Jeremy about the latest government cuts, it is not all doom and gloom.

  • Comment number 40.

    #38

    Mistress76uk

    It was only a jokingly rhetoridal question in your direction but believe me there is a 'don juan' corresponding on these pages who thinks electrical and aquatic equipment is very 'sexy'. He's written quite extensively about it all here, as well as about 'medico-scientific' experiments and spying equipment.

    I sometimes wonder whether he doesn't actually use you to put some of your messages across.

    mim

  • Comment number 41.

    #39

    Do all children in this country squander all away? How about all the British journalists, politicians, lawyers, accountants, the professions you've mentioned, admin staff, builders, etc, etc, etc, etc?

    Of course, my heart was with the little girl and all the kids around the world in similarly tragic circumstances but let's not exaggerate about all Western children being spoiled brats.

    mim

  • Comment number 42.

    I shall not be able to watch the State Opening of Parliament as I have a lesson in fine stepping on ice today after which, however, my plans are to honour the occasion with the Heroes of the Coldstream Guards and the hymn 'God Save the Queen'.

    mim

  • Comment number 43.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1280925/Red-faces-Cambridge-University-Latin-inscription-1-3m-building-wrong-spelling.html

    I had this problem as a child.

    Sigma - Σίγμα - Σ
    Lower case - σ
    At the end of a word - ς
    -----------------------
    Now Ive decided that the best way to use Epson salts (magnesium sulphate) for migraine is to soak your feet in warm water with the salts dissolved, so that when you put your feet in it sends a shiver through your body.

  • Comment number 44.

    Yesterday I spoke about a GMC registered medic who I think might be responsible for what's being done to me but there is also a politician who's equally responsible.

    M

  • Comment number 45.

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

  • Comment number 46.

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

  • Comment number 47.

    #36 lightacandle

    "these cuts announced without consulting parliament etc etc a lot of people feel this is more like a dictatorship than a reformed more democratic system - why isn't all this being questioned more ?"

    They are legitimately doing what they have agreed in the Queens Speech and beforehand and I think you will find the opposition only get a veto if they win a vote and they can't as they are the duffers who got us into this mess and have far fewer MP's as a result.

  • Comment number 48.

    #24 barriesingelton

    "While that continues, we shall continue on a path of PC-bullying, degrading 'entertainment', crass celebrity and obscene wealth/poverty."

    PC-bullying may to some be a legitimate way of making sure that some elements of society don't use innuendo and blatant lies to persecute innocent members of society.

    Think back to your old pal jaded_jean who you used to interact with when that odious poster used to rant nonsense about race and IQ!

    That poster suggested Africans were stupid plus the inevitable "Jewish hegemony" stuff and Holocaust Denial.

    Some may say that we are too lenient and allow poisonous elements of society to use free speech as a freedom to lie.

    I think on balance we currently have it about right though I would like us to join Germany and make Holocaust Denial a criminal offence unless they could provide credible evidence for their views.

    A lot of internet hatred is based on "mountains of evidence" that have never shown up in any court and that's why when you consider the BNP they are not going to provide any evidence to support there views as expressed in their old membership rules that the EHRC required them to change due to the law.

    As for the rest I think that as UK politics becomes less tribal we may see gaps between rich and poor narrow.

  • Comment number 49.

    Kabulababble

    is this the best the propaganda psy ops unit could come up with? now we are there to put bread in the mouths of street beggars? talk about scrapping the barrel. Every month we get a new 'reason' and now they are being recycled and repeated

    what the british is not told is that we have a new defacto policy in afghanistan called churchills choice. Its about working through tribal structures, creating local militias that rob and murder [see c4 report posted the other day] and letting them sort out their cultural and political problems. So every town will have a mini saddam? A strong man warlord who keeps the peace as long as no questions are asked and the money keeps flowing?

    the have no nation building science that works in the uk never mind abroad for different cultures. Democracy is about as welcome to them as someone trying to establish the totally alien maoism or a caliphate in the uk?

    at some point someone will have to kill the blair/neocon hallucination that is driving this foreign imperialist claptrap. then the troops we come home. will the political class have the same courage the troops have who have to face being shot at 5 times a day on pointless missions that achieve nothing.

  • Comment number 50.

    why does no one use the phrase 'bankers debt' when cuts are mentioned. if it was just the public debt there wouldn't be a problem. the bankers debt should not be bundled with the public debt and classed as 'one and the same'. they should be kept separate and different accounting and rules applied. Also the nation should be told how much the bankers debt is being repaid.

  • Comment number 51.

    #45 - An innocent Nick Leeson interview.

    Oh dear

  • Comment number 52.

    I watched Mrs Doucet child workers in Afghanistan. It is so moving and so touching to see so much courage from a 10 years old girl. She certainly gives us a lesson. I would like to give money to the organisation that helps for the children's education. But how?

  • Comment number 53.

    DAMIAN DAY - ACE WORLD REPORTER (Drop The Dead Donkey)

    I have no doubt we have messed up the lives of Afghanis just as most of the rest of the world. But watching the footage, and keeping in mind the girl is being followed by a camera, neither her body language not the behaviour of bystanders looked right.

    Damien Day did a report on an 'orphan' as I remember. I just do not trust media - everything is now showbiz.

  • Comment number 54.

    on Sunday morning Liam Fox let the cat out of the bag in relation to the war in Afghanistan....said what we all think....then after a 'word' from Tory central office he did an about turn and back to the same old same old policy of staus quo and no hope...be brave Liam and say it again....

  • Comment number 55.

    David Laws - Insulting or Naive? Either way this scandal does not invoke sympthay or confidence from the public. What kind of man hides behind his sexual persuasion to claim on the one hand, that he didn't think his partner should be treated like a spouse since they had separate bank accounts and separate lives?! Yet in the next moment admits he re-mortgaged in order to lend money to his partner to purchase property?!!
    Incredibly dumb of him to think we would swallow that one! Sexual persuasion SHOULD NOT be a matter in this debate OR ANY OTHER; the facts stand alone - he was SERIOUSLY WRONG to do what he did. One camp or the other Laws - you are not a LAW UNTO YOURSELF! Out you go and let the axe fall properly for this Government - start as Cameron claimed they would go on - have upstanding members and clean MP's. This flys in the face of acceptable practice. The audacity after the recent MP's expense scandal? How can he advise Treasury?! It is a joke to the public and to the World.

  • Comment number 56.

    Becauseucare

    You've posted your comment on the wrong date - this page was for Monday 24th May if you go to Fridays page the current comments for yesterday and today are there. Go for it!

 

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