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Saturday 8 May 2010

Verity Murphy | 12:42 UK time, Saturday, 8 May 2010

Throughout the general election Jeremy Paxman has been presenting a series of special Newsnight programmes on Saturdays, and tonight at 6.30pm we have our final edition.

We will get the latest news on how the Conservative-Liberal Democrat negotiations are progressing from our Political editor Michael Crick, and will be talking to senior politicians from the three main parties.

And we will be putting this hung parliament into context with a look back at previous hung parliaments in Britain.

Jeremy will be discussing the outcome of this extraordinary election with historians Simon Schama and David Kynaston, and British Vogue magazine editor Alexandra Shulman.

For a wry look at the drama of the last few days he will be joined by the comedians Steve Punt, Rebecca Front and Richard Herring.

And we will be hearing what our studio audience makes of the result, and finding out what they think should happen now.

We also have the final election animation made specifically for Newsnight by Apple Daily - the Taiwanese TV team whose past political films have become an online sensation.
What will they make of a hung parliament?

And ending the show with a bang, we have a live performance from the band behind 2009's most critically acclaimed album, the xx.


  • Comment number 1.

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

  • Comment number 2.

    "And we will be hearing what our studio audience makes of the result, and finding out what they think should happen now." Does NN never turn to the NN public bloggers for opinions?
    More on 'Fairness'
    Further to my #64 on previous blog, and (#65)jc, it occurs to me that perhaps the various systems of voting could be tried out on something of more interest to the general public (judging by response rate) such as viewer voting for 'Come Dancing' 'Britain's Got Talent' etc. I rarely watch any of these, but the same feelings of 'unfairness' are expressed by my family and others.

    We understand that the current election was characterised by last-minute decisions by many voters, and even more who did not bother to vote because of the 'wasted vote' syndrome. Having a choice of indicating two (or more) candidates, preferably with a weighting factor, would be felt-fair by many, should help with the indecision, and maybe achieve a higher turnout in the name of democracy.

    However, unlike choosing the best singer or ice-skater, there should be other criteria for voting at elections: minimum length of residence and contribution to taxes might be more 'fair'. And, just to goad Go1, we should add the criteria of IQ - as this is not discriminating by race, right?

  • Comment number 3.

    I feel sorry for Clegg and the Lib Dems who deserved better and at least this time the polls where voting intentions were considered showed them doing really well - but in a first past the post system I suppose there was always going to be a big dip in the real vote.

    I can't see the Tory proposals being stable over time.

    I don't think they could accept Labour proposals whilst Iraq war figures were on the loose and Brown would have to go - but they should get PR pushed through.

    Would the public accept Labour staying in power?

    New elections could cause market panic but may provide a more stable platform in the long run.

    A National Government does not seem to me to be out of the question for a fixed two year period - but it would need PR passed through.

  • Comment number 4.

    Newsnight does the Times Square suspect Faisal Shahzad show that the AfPak strategy is indeed merited?

    Does it also show that al Qaeda and the Pakistani Taliban are enmeshed and does that change the view of the Mumbai attacks by Lashkar-e-Taiba?

    Is there anything that the US end of the Mumbai attack in the form of David Headley and his alleged links to Lashkar-e-taiba and al Qaeda - and the CIA though probably as a double agent?

  • Comment number 5.



    For my part, it's all to do with keeping a sense of perspective, proportion, timing and balance with occasional 'excursions' into 'wild' spontaneity, and acceptance that all eventually comes to an end.

    This way, virtually each moment can be lived and enjoyed/appreciated for what it is.


  • Comment number 6.

    #5 addendum

    It's also a question of choosing the right friends, accepting help when appropriate but avoiding giving in to/giving up on mad 'zealots' pretending to act on one's behalf.

  • Comment number 7.

    In the Huffpost:

    'NEW YORK — Regulators and Wall Street officials scoured millions of trades one by one Friday and canceled thousands as they sought to explain a record plunge in the stock market, undo the damage and keep it from happening again.

    It wasn't clear how long the laborious process would take or if it would even solve the mystery behind Thursday's harrowing trading session that saw the Dow Jones industrial average fall hundreds of points and then recover, all in a matter of minutes. The chaotic slide – some stocks briefly fell to near zero – brought back memories of the darkest days of the financial crisis.'

    Does that provide some relief to the hung Parliament negotiations that market "reactions" to the talks in the UK must have been affected by the US bounce to a greater or lesser extent?

    Do we need nervous high frequency traders right now?

  • Comment number 8.

    #2 indignantindegene

    "And, just to goad Go1, we should add the criteria of IQ - as this is not discriminating by race, right? "

    Wrong of course as were there any evidence of race and IQ that was scientifically sustainable (as opposed to wild internet allegations and "facts") then the BNP would have been running to court with the EHRC.

    They didn't because they know their mantra about racial purity as per Hitlers obsessed rantings are rubbish.

    Just this week they found (scientists not whacko far right loonies) that the human genome looks to contain 1-4% of Neanderthal geneflow. So as with multi-racial effects today we will probably find that there is a positive effect. There never was a time of "racial purity". There never was any evidence to substantiate the whacky "Jewish hegemony" nonsense that the far right propagates.

    Thats not to say the majority of the UK public don't want to see strongly controlled immigration today.

    But they don't want to start having nasty people in gaudy uniforms banging on about Hitler.

    I am always happy to trash the extremist racial views of any poster.

  • Comment number 9.

    I was pondering about the comments of an English Nationalist the other day who boasted of his throwing bottles at the "British" army as a child.

    Can you imagine a far right homecoming from these patriots for the brave military who have endured the extreme dangers of Afghanistan?

    "Cop this Tizer bottle squaddie!"

    They won't let the "patriots" of the far right such as the BNP into the army.

    Gosh its hard to see why .....

  • Comment number 10.

    OK things are looking terrible at this time. While people rant and rave about proportional representation and the parties start to unravel the markets will descend like vultures next week, if very soon things don't start to firm up. Its a mess of the first order.

  • Comment number 11.

    Feds Probe JP Morgan’s Silver Trades:-

    For those interested watch out for tomorrows New York Post Sunday Business section.

  • Comment number 12.

    I voted for the Lib Dems NOT to be sold out to the Conservatives or Labour. Most of us voted to keep the latter 2 OUT !

  • Comment number 13.

    when did paxman turn into richard littlejohn? asking stupid questions repeatedly then getting all huffily indignant at the lack of answers does NOT count as a political interview!

    And could ALL BBC journos remember that just because the Tories got 36% of the vote doesn't give them a right to rule, the group with the largest vote has the right and if the toffs (and count the ex-bankers amongst them!) can't work a deal with the Lib Dems then tough tootie. It sounds as though the BBC think Cameron could walk into number 10 even without Lib Dem support. He can't. Cameron'll just go to Labour - perfectly legitimately. Proportional Representation for the win!

  • Comment number 14.

    Two points: I see the election result as a direct consequence of devolution and the vested interest of Scotland Wales and N Ireland. The Conservatives resoundingly won England but the other countries see this fragmentation to their advantage and to avoid being run by Westminster despite draining it of money!

    Second point: All this focus on PR is deflecting from the primary need to deal with the economic disaster lesft by 13 years of Labours profligate spending and failure to understand that wealth for social progress comes from an effective and stimulated private sector

    These two issues are certainly taking the Great out of Great Britain

  • Comment number 15.

    Jerermy Paxman is a talented journalist, whom I´ve been watching for at least 20 yeast from my living in Brussels.

    However, by the time, he gets more and more impolite and interrupts his victims all the time, which ends up that none of us, the audience, the person interviewed, cannot hear and take part of what´s going on. I think he has put on an arrogant style which doesn´t contribute to to the the good reputation of BBC.

    Somebody in charged should give him a reprimand and maybe he will change, because he has a capability to do a good work.

    Ulf Hellbacken

  • Comment number 16.

    Jeremy made a very good point about 'prostution' when talking to Simon Hughes. Hopefully, it's nothing to do with 'that' /and what Simon Sharma called the poker game/ but a REAL DETERMINATION on the part of David Cameron and Nick Clegg to first urgently establish a strong and stable government in order to prevent a total financial collapse of the country and then, while agreeing in principle on the other issues, continue further negotiations after that.

    If I had a fortune, I would happily offer them my support. I may not have been born in this country, but I care about its future.


  • Comment number 17.


    Well said Linda Roberts. Time and again, during the election the party mouthpiece would refuse to offer POLICY regarding deals with other parties. Is there anything in the manifestoes?

    In an honourable world, we would have another election - better still, a referendum on WHAT KIND OF VOTING SYSTEM then an election. But there is no honour - no - not in Westminster.

    Would Clegg walk away rather than sell his soul? Ah now . . . We all have a price. We cannot know what that price is until we accept it. I hope I am never offered mine.

  • Comment number 18.

    I watched Saturday evening's Newsnight and would like to complain about Mr Paxman's rude behaviour towards John Redwood when he brought up Brown's 'bigot gate' moment as being both an election campaign highlight & lowlight as it showed Brown for what he is. It was obvious that to bring this up is verbotten at the BBC and Paxman , mindful of who his paymasters are, slapped Mr Redwood down.

    Mr Paxman was asking the 'comedian celebs' what their highlights were; you would have thought at leat one of them would have commented on thee only highlight in an incredibly dull campaign - that of Brown's total gaffe with Mrs Duffy , his appearance on the Jeremy Vine show and all that happened thereafter. Surely this would be food and drink to 3 top comedians. But no, not a word. Maybe they were advised not to bring it up?

    Paxman then directed the question to Mr Redwood. Mr Redwood answered honestly and his reason for doing so. Why was Paxman so rude to Mr Redwood?

  • Comment number 19.

    Oh. common on, singie. I wouldn't call it a soul sell out but rather evolution dictated by necessity or if one looked at it from a philosophical point of view, Immanuel Kant's development of antipodal ideas of thesis followed by antithesis resulting in synthesis which in turn becomes subject to antithesis, and so on. I consider his theory of reasoning applicable in/to all areas where our grey cells are on a solution searching 'trip'.

    Compromise does not necessarily mean prostittion: 'Kant believed himself to be creating a compromise between the empiricists and the rationalists'.

    The country cannot survive on ideas alone. It's thoughtful practical solutions that are needed now ASAP.


  • Comment number 20.


    Marlon Brando - 'we gotta hear from everyone'

  • Comment number 21.

    TOLL ROADS BY STEALTH ? ( screw our environment )

    There is undoubtedly far more chance of Average Speed Cameras being " rolled out " if the Lib-Demmics get into bed with the Tories in government.

    The following may be difficult to comprehend by the majority of the general public with a poor overall science / engineering education. At least 25 years of green / safety-fascist propaganda probably hasn't helped either, but the basic facts remain.

    Earlier last year the safety-fascist / investment scammers were proposing a satellite based automatic speed limiting system ( ISA ) for all roads, the following is admittedly a selected quote from the government report.

    " In the two modeled urban networks, increasing ISA penetration had a small detrimental effect on both CO2 emissions and fuel consumption, increasing both by up to 3%. The detrimental effect is stronger at levels of ISA penetration above 20%. This is because cars tend to operate most efficiently at speeds above 30 mph. "

    Fair enough you could probably save fuel limiting the motorway speed limit to 70 Mph, but on the current rules that means 79 on the 10% + 2 criteria used by plod. That means that you can legally do indicated 80 considering that most car speedometers read 10% fast anyway. Most of the few cars travelling faster than indicated 80 are probably potentially more efficient at high speed anyway.

    Average Speed Cameras are most likely to have a greater impact on increasing emissions than any ISA system, satellite or ground based. Everyone must be aware of the fact that many drivers quite significantly slow below the posted speed limit when passing current fixed speed cameras. Traffic movement on any roads fitted with Average Speed Cameras is likely to be significantly slower than the posted limit, therefore increasing the chance of congestion.

    At the end of the day Average Speed Cameras ( at 150k a pair ) are just another " Corporate Nazi " inspired vehicle to promote false economic growth which in turn increases the financial apartheid between the rich and relative poor. They are also a vehicle to introduce the technology for ground based road pricing by stealth, there must be far more important things for our taxes to fund, rather than to be squandered on Average Speed Cameras anyway.

    Road pricing was soundly rejected four to one when put to a referendum on the Manchester proposals. Similarly 1.8 million signed the Downing Street petition against any form of road pricing. There must be ways to invigorate our economy without even considering ideas which could put our relative basic human rights back into the 18th century. At the end of the day having to constantly take your concentration off the road ahead to keep a check on your speed is not a " safe " thing to have to do.

  • Comment number 22.


    Interesting you saying that, I didn't notice Jeremy being actually rude to John Redwood or even Simon Hughes but rather putting on a kind of act in order to focus their attention on the validity of the compromise which British politicians normally apply only, though not entirely exclusively, in times of the country being at war with an enemy. Nor did I notice any of them, Simon Hughes, John Redwood or Ben Bradshaw being upset or angry by his questioning.

  • Comment number 23.

    anyone else get the feeling labour are secretly happy to 'come home' to opposition where they can have trot fits?

    if the tories are in then it might release a creative energy in the arts like it did last time e.g comedy?

  • Comment number 24.

    Pakistan tests 2 missiles :-

    "the Islamic nation's leader urged the world to recognize it as a legitimate nuclear power."

    As you do
    by firing missiles capable of carrying nukes

  • Comment number 25.

  • Comment number 26.

    Fire it and forget it. Move 2 a new locacat
    otherwise something or somebody will
    have your. Head/ heed

  • Comment number 27.

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

  • Comment number 28.

    Those 2 comedians didn't do anything for me, i.e. they didn't make me laugh and, anyway, what they were saying and how they behaved reminded me of the 2 Russian tutors I've been talking about. db and jg.

    With Jeremy off for a week, at least according to Radio Times, I'm looking forward to a break from the TV prostitution.


  • Comment number 29.

    About a week ago I accepted yet another failure which are always difficult to cope with but I've survived it so far. I feel nvertheless, there is still a glimmer of hope on the horizon to help me through these extremely difficult times.

    Di I need to say more?

  • Comment number 30.

    For those who understand and can stomach the financial speak -

    "malignant mortgage loans, including built-to-fail mezzanine CDOs"

    tasty or what

    Janet Tavakoli gets at the 'Triple-A' business:-

  • Comment number 31.

    This guy - Jim O'Neill from Goldman Sachs lol

    Can someone find out what bets GS have on the GBP ?

    You get the feeling Gordon is going to need quite a few stiff words before he gets it and goes. Those with the stiff words you need to do it today !

  • Comment number 32.

    @ kmonaghan #18 - I've just watched Saturday's edition, and nowhere have I found Jeremy being rude to John Redwood. Jeremy merely pointed out that even though "Bigotgate" had taken place in Rochdale, Labour STILL got re-elected there, so it hadn't made that much of an impact. Where is the rudeness in that?

    Loved Alexandra Shulman, Editor of Vogue (UK, on the show too (we've had an overload of Harriet Harpersonisms) who said what the vast majority of women really do think. We don't care if it is a male or female MP in the House of Commons! Many words of wisdom from Simon Schama too :o)

    Also loved Punt/Front/Herring (the comedians) discussing the election and they certainly made me laugh.

    And ha ha ha@ the computer animated cartoon of the election - particularly the shots where the animated Nick Clegg is being pulled into bed by Brown & Cameron, only to runaway.

    Excellent stuff.

  • Comment number 33.

    Not surprised Jeremy's off for the week! It's his 60th Birthday on Tuesday :o) so he will be off celebrating....Happy Birthday Jeremy.

  • Comment number 34.



    From what I remember, Jeremy quite often works on his Birthday. I think, more than anything, he needs a well deserved break from being used as the focus of attention in the game I, and many others, have written or spoken about though I doubt it he'll be indulging in lazing around.


  • Comment number 35.

    Just leggit Gordon

    Nobody wants u

    the wonns that do are stupid

  • Comment number 36.

  • Comment number 37.

    'British soldiers have marched in Red Square in Moscow for the first time to mark the 65th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany on Sunday.


    "It really was as dramatic as it looked, the band was incredibly audible and it was a phenomenal crowd, a huge amount of support, a very dramatic scene, so yeah, it was truly monumental to be perfectly frank."

    So no English "Nationalists" traveled over to lob bottles at the "British" Army and sing songs about them.

    Meanwhile 65 years after the defeat of Nazi Germany the Latter Day Haw Haws who sometimes pollute this page can't muster any credible reasoning to substantiate their crank ideas.

  • Comment number 38.

    Why doesn't Cameron simply call for new elections as he believes in first past the post and he could vote down any Lib-Dem + Labour grouping via the DUP?

    Also the Tories strirred up Sir Richard Dearlove to say that the Lib Dems could not be trusted?

    Clegg as Home Secretary then?

    Go back to your constituencies and prepare for .... new elections.

    The Lib Dems may do worse but then they have nothing to lose and maybe those that didn't vote for them due to first past the post will do so again so it will be an election minus recent tactical voting.

    Then we see how credible the Tories are.

    Meanwhile if Labour ditched Brown and Campbell and put Alan Johnson in and offered an electoral deal with the Lib Dems for PR the kaleidoscope changes again .....

  • Comment number 39.

    I have to agree the cartoons were not good in my view till Saturday but then it was pretty funny.

  • Comment number 40.

    When I wrote about the 'Emperor' the other day, it was more to do with the heart, freedom, respect of civil rights, the Commonwealth and re-establishment of fiinancial and diplomatic strength of Great Britain rather than some fortune that may or may not be available for personal and purely selfish benefit.

    And so, today on ice, in the hope that there will be a new government with David Cameron as the Prime Minister working towards the above goals, I skated among a few other pieces to 'God Save The Queen' and 'Rule Britania'.


  • Comment number 41.

    Oh for heaven's sakes! Can you belive some moaning minnies had nothing better to do on Saturday evening than to complain about the word "b******s" being used? PATHETIC!


  • Comment number 42.

    I'm sure that personality wise Nick Clegg would get on much better with David Cameron than Gordon Brown who, once displeased, would probably not only tell him off in uncertain terms but also get up to all kinds of dirty tricks.

    I can assure you all, I know something about it.


  • Comment number 43.

    I understand that in the spirit of co-operation Michael Gove would be prepared to give up his potential post as the Minister of Education to the LibDems.


  • Comment number 44.

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

  • Comment number 45.

    So the Nazies didn't win a seat. UKIP floundered and the greens were in the monstor raving loony league -a voting aberration in Brighton gave Green leader Lucas its only seat, and that result can only have ever happened in a place like Brighton- so the penny's dropped regarding the man-made-global-warming lie. Reading one serial poster on here (go1) you'd have thought the swastika would have adorned Parliament and death camps would have been quickly erected in Hull. What is GO1 gonna do now I wonder? his only purpose in life has fallen to the way side, he could always take his skateboard out for a spin whilst listening to Billy Bragg on his MP3 player.
    Well lets hope the Cleggster gets his PR wish, then at the next election maybe we'll have 1 monster raver, 3 Greens, and a Dozen BNP MPS...that should keep GO1 busy; an oversight i think he and the Libs haven't given much thought about when they bang on about the need for proportional representation. As for the celebrations in red square and the inclusion of British solders. When the Nazies were defeated in the 2ND WW, the Germans ran for their lives to get to the British lines because the Russians...well the Russians operated under the command and tyranny of a mass murderer OF 35m, so the Germans figured they would be treated better by the British. GO1 always mentions Hitler and the holocaust, but totally ignores the premiership leader of tyranny: Stalin, why is that I wonder.

    I think its time GO1 should be introduced to a brotherhood, a secret society if you will, he may be of some use, because he has all the necessary personality traits...they're always looking out for a potential patsy.
    Talking of secret societies. The term 'Jewish Hegemony' didn't really ever factor within my thinking, discusions or debates, until I noticed GO1 always going on about it. The Freemasons - the foot solders of the global elitists - consist mainly of Jews (60%). A little factiod for my mate GO1 to chew over. I already new about the Bush family funding the Nazies in the 30s with the help of Jewish and business and banking families, and research that I've conducted recently would suggest that
    the claims of GO1; that Jews operate the financial institutions, create wars, and mess about with market manipulation would appear to be correct.

  • Comment number 46.

    Has the brown clown gone yet

  • Comment number 47.

    Under usual circumstances I would say , lets go for another election.

    But sadly we need something convincing to tell the markets sooner rather than later. Remember it is the markets who are currently lending us enough money to keep the NHS open and enabling pensioners to still draw their state pensions.

    Like the economic reality or not, as a nation we are borrowing and spending more than we earn and something has to be done to reverse this trend or the markets will tire of our excuses and impose a blunt financial squeeze on us.

    It will be interesting to see if this "new politics" can work in practise rather than just being a "good on paper theory" that people like to talk about over a cup of coffee.

  • Comment number 48.


    no, not yet

  • Comment number 49.

    Image scan of New York Post story on silver trade investigation:-

  • Comment number 50.

    Mother's Day & Female Inspiration of Kids

    Referring to my #69 from the previous page, in #44 I said that being on the White House list I'd had an e-mail from Michelle Obama in which she speaks about how much she owes to her Mother, about being Mother herself, the supportive role she plays to her husband, as well as about the importance of equality between men and women, boys and girls and that Barack Obama signed an Executive Order creating the first-ever White House Council on Women and Girls to ensure that all Federal agencies take women and girls into account in their daily work and to ensure that our daughters have the same opportunities as our sons.

    She finishes the e-mail by extending her and the President's wishes to all women, including the childless ones, who have inspired a child, which I think is really lovely of them.

    If a woman is single and childless, she is liable to be an 'easy' target for all kinds of abuse, etc., so it feels quite rewarding to be appreciated from times to times for what one is about and in my case all the effort and pleasure at the same time I take in inspiring young people, on and off the ice.



  • Comment number 51.

    #45 kev
    ”-a voting aberration in Brighton gave Green leader Lucas its only seat, and that result can only have ever happened in a place like Brighton”

    Young man, you’ve got more ‘front’ than Brighton, and for a moment I stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Go1 (which may be a vertically challenged thing of indeterminate sex and IQ for all I know) but I cannot let my hometown be mocked without first clarifying my position on PR, starting with an evaluation of the present ‘Victorian’ First-Past-the-Post system, which results in:-

    • MPs who have more votes AGAINST them than FOR them;
    • Party power that bears no resemblance to the overall votes cast;
    • Distortion of voting due to public fear of a ‘wasted vote’;
    • Perpetuation of the Big 3 (or2) being the only options available;
    • Discouragement of voting, due to any or all of the above.

    FPTP cannot therefore be a model for democracy, and has been dumped by several more enlightened countries.

    The usual arguments against Proportional Representation are that it:-
    • May allow many minor parties, allegedly leading to instable government;
    • Does not allow for MPs to be elected in and by individual constituencies.

    There are various systems that address all of the above criticisms. They should be examined by an impartial body and clear examples provided to the public prior to any referendum.

    No voting system will yield results that suit everybody, but the present system obviously favours some parties and discriminates against others. It is thus UNFAIR and we have been promised CHANGE and FAIRNESS by all parties.

    When our choice of candidate does not win (or we suspect stands no chance) we are naturally disappointed and many are discouraged from exercising their right to vote. A system that gives more than one choice will obviously reduce this.

    My pragmatic solution is a points system that gives a number of points to each voter, who may then allocate these points to one candidate or over several, depending on the perceived merits or manifestos. Thereby we can ‘hedge our bets’ and will not feel that we have ‘wasted’ our vote(s) and the final tally of MPs elected will better fit the voting of the public.

    A few Individual or minor party MPs at Westminster will favour cooperation; and even ‘radical’ MPs should not be discriminated against in a free and fair society if they win sufficient votes. They should have their SAY but not their WAY as they would not be in sufficient strength in a democratic society.

  • Comment number 52.

    GIZ A JOB?


    Interesting analysis IDG2

    ".....Does not allow for MPs to be elected in and by individual constituencies."

    Through all of this I keep coming back to the basic question - Is local reps elected (on what values/policies/skills?) to National Governance a a good system.

    If so, for whom?

    If Not, then what?

    Entirely separate national governance, individuals with particular skills and abilities from all walks of life


    A separate high level local representatives election who do what it says on the tin. Represent and manage LOCAL issues on behalf of the electorate.

    Would do away with high expenses and second homes funded by public purse.

    Can't help but feel for some of those (a few on tv this morning) who had a job on Thursday but nothing today. I think it is too easy, amidst all the vitriol and mistrust to forget that MP's are human and frail and that it IS their job.

  • Comment number 53.


    I take it back, Brighton's brilliant. Not as good as Bournemouth though, that's a quality place. Brighton's certainly better than Blackpool..a concise 'travels of coastal towns with kevsner' soon to be printed in pocket-size using paper from sustainable forests...distributed using big coal burning planes:)

    Here's a link from the Guardian about something or other:

  • Comment number 54.

    Who cares about Proportional Representation? I certainly don't. What we need is for a government (Con-Lib pact) to get rid of the financial disaster we are in. A view which is echoed by Lord Lawson in today's Daily Telegraph.


  • Comment number 55.

    “Through all of this I keep coming back to the basic question - Is local reps elected (on what values/policies/skills?) to National Governance a good system.”

    I agree this is NOT what we need and have posted many times on the philosophy that more powers should be transferred to Local Government to decide on ‘home’ issues and thus provide:-

    • the scope for citizens to relocate to areas of ‘common core values’; and
    • the facility for citizens to have a stronger voice in those issues - including sacking local councillors (and Mayors) who do not fulfil local expectations.

    As you imply, National Government requires a better grasp of national and international issues that affect the nation, and requires people with a broader background and knowledge, not a mix of Trident and parish pump stuff as at present.

    #53kev from your link:

    " If the thought of what electoral reform could do for Greens makes you salivate, then the thought of what it could do for the far-right should make you soil your pants.”

    The writer also refers to the ephemeral nature of minor parties, quoting Respect, which lost it’s one MP from the previous General Election. That highlights the difference between Local and National issues, as Respect clearly won on the basis of a substantial difference in population and culture in that electorate, not in the nation's interest!

    As I indicated yesterday, UKIP would have got 20 MPs and BNP 12 MPs – on straight PR. A points system, or something that allows a second choice to be indicated in voting would result in less people (often out of sheer anger and frustration) giving their entire vote to ‘extremists’. In any event, those people, if citizens, are entitled to their opinion on what was (grudgingly) admitted as a major national issue.

    In your proposed coastal directory, please observe that there are many facets to Brighton, from ‘Hove actually’ to ‘gay’ Kemptown. A visit to ‘Brighton Festival’ this month would indicate a wide range of interests and activities. I mingled with the Glyndbourne types yesterday, and may see the ‘Ladyboys of Thailand’ next!


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