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Tuesday 27 July 2010

Sarah McDermott | 12:05 UK time, Tuesday, 27 July 2010

After record losses announced today and a change of CEO, BP might be hoping to move on after their problems in the Gulf of Mexico.

But a special Newsnight report from Louisiana suggests the oil giant could be about to face an even bigger reckoning - billions in compensation payouts and a criminal investigation.

Peter Marshall is in Louisiana where he's been meeting people affected by the devastating oil spill and the sky-diving lawyer trying to help them get decent payouts from BP.

Justin Rowlatt will be explaining the argument that is raging around the rights and wrongs of the WikiLeaks release of over 75,000 secret US military reports covering the war in Afghanistan.

He'll be profiling the whistle blowing website and the man behind it.

Our Science editor Susan Watts will be watching Energy Secretary Chris Huhne's keynote Commons statement on Britain's energy shortfall in which he'll announce help for renewables but no public subsidy for new nuclear plants. So how are we going to plug the energy gap?

And we'll be joined by poet and modern day troubadour, Simon Armitage, who yesterday completed a 264-mile walk along the Pennine Way funded entirely by donations, food and accommodation given in return for nightly poetry readings in the village halls, homes and pubs he passed along the way.

We'll be asking him if poetry really does pay.

It's an Olympics free zone tonight - join Kirsty at 10.30pm on BBC Two.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
From earlier today:

Tonight Peter Marshall will be reporting on the problems BP are facing in Louisiana.

We'll be looking at the release by WikiLeaks of over 75,000 secret US military reports covering the war in Afghanistan. They say it is the most significant archive about the reality of war ever to have been released during the course of a war.

And we'll be across Energy Secretary Chris Huhne's keynote Commons statement on renewables.

In a bid to avert a future power crisis, Mr Huhne is expected to say that while nuclear power will remain a part of the UK's energy portfolio there will be no government money to subsidise new plants. So how does he propose to plug this energy gap?

More details later.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    On BP and the cleanup I note that they have increased the amount of money set aside and presume that is because they know there is more damage there than they have admitted but do think that is more or less it. That's because of the timing of Haywards departure and they think this is the home strait.

    But is that necessarily so as nobody has ever experienced a leak at that depth and I assume that therefore the eco-system impacts may well be considerably different to previous spills like the Exon Valdez?

    I also have queries about the industry as a whole and deep water drilling. Does the cap now mean that any deep water disaster can now be fixed quickly or was this a particular solution to a particular problem?

  • Comment number 2.

    On the Wikileaks front do cyber highways change the nature not only of war reporting but domestic security?

    Litvinenko made me laugh when he cleared off with 24 kilos of FSB documents but I would assume that is absolutely nothing to the volume of secrets - of a particular type and realm in fairness - released by some army intelligence analyst by the sounds.

    So if somebody for whatever reason goes "off the reservation" even for a few days they could actually shed an awful lot of secrets into the world and the news that the Pentagon "are now looking" for the culprit suggests the audit trail of access, knowledge and disposition means that there are considerable numbers of people under scrutiny and it will take some time. On the other hand they may know and not want.

    But for myself the contents don't really surprise me as we are all, to some extent, reading between the lines when we know that the information we get about the war is partially controlled and doctored.

    Karzai's comments about civilian casualties alongside those of McChrystal some little while before his grave error of judgement were strong indicators that a modern occupying force pitched against an insurgency in difficult terrain was not a cake walk.

    Personally I don't think its likely war crimes have been committed in the sense of calculated executions. It may be, for instance, unprofessional to shoot a civilian at a check point where there is doubt about whether or not they are suicide bombers but I would have thought issues like translater availability and self interest and so on would show the civilian deaths are not intentional.

    So my support for the war is unchanged though they are still trawling the documents.

    On a related note I was thinking about a Lyse Doucet report when she touched on the Russians.

    I am in favour of improved relations with Russia but there must be people in the GRU and suchlike who look back on the US role in supplying the Mujahadeen with Stingers that may be motivated by that experience.

    Is there any sign that Russia is also pursuing its "interests" in the region alongside Pakistan and the other regional neighbours India and Iran?

  • Comment number 3.

    WE ALREADY HAVE A POWER CRISIS - IT'S CALLED DAVE.

    "In a bid to avert a future power crisis, Mr Huhne is expected to say . . ."

    It certainly isn't called 'Nick'. Dave goes from strength to strength in righteous anger, while when poor Nick had a go at it, regarding some 'illegal war' or other, he was told to wash his mouth out with soap. Has no one told Nick that Dave voted for the war, SO IT HAS TO BE OK? Does the boy know NOTHING of politics?

    Oh - it's all going awfully well.

  • Comment number 4.

    OK on the future power crisis I am a declared Lib Dem voter - not beholden to anybody - but when I read "Mr Huhne is expected to say that while nuclear power will remain a part of the UK's energy portfolio there will be no government money to subsidise new plants" I get annoyed as I believe that is what Labour were saying themselves.

    Leave aside £80m that should have been a commercial loan for Forgemasters.

    Lets also remember that I seem to recall Miliband Minor stressing that the Labour nuclear plans would have to be approved after review.

    So Newsnight itself identified early on that the entire history of building nuclear plants was one of delay - and the citation of the delays for a similar plant type in Finland rang true. Nobody thinks nuclear will arrive on time and most will probably doubt whether the state could still get stuck for some cleanup bill at a later date.

    Therefore a few weeks in to a new government Huhne cannot wave his magic wand and make up for a shortfall that is the result of complacency and inaction under Labour who made lots of noises about renewables but never backed it up with aggressive action.

    I assume though that he won't want to frighten off potential investors in the country by identifying shortfalls in our energy infrastructure but then he also has to identify the problem is he is to fight for the kind of resource needed.

    Myself I would like to see a national spine of renewable energy that provided a recharging spine for transport along the motorways that would not only boost our industry and cut our carbon reliance but may also inject green jobs into the economy and help with the rebalancing of our current finance dependency.

  • Comment number 5.

    Its noteworthy that some of those who post on here used to happily endorse the views of an avowed National Socialist never dissent from the those views and all of the racial attitudes you would expect.

    So when you read posts suggesting an end to Westminster consider what they are really proposing in its stead.

    When you read about immigration and "cultural" differences consider whether or not it really is race that preoccupies them and whether eugenics would be right around the corner if they had their way. That said of course immigration per se is a legitimate area of concern but when you see references to the indigenous people being "bred out" it is not culture that they are talking about.

    On specific racial attitudes posts about Jews running the world are self explanatory and reflect the cult like attitudes of the proponents.

    There is no "debate" on the Holocaust just as it is not "open minded" to debate whether or not there was a world war II - or were we misled?

    When push comes to shove these people will try to drop their poison into any available ears but the fact that they never take their "evidence" off to court or scientific academies and so on to prove their views to the world tells you all.

  • Comment number 6.

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

  • Comment number 7.

    Cameron said "A European Union without Turkey at its heart was not stronger but weaker... not more secure but less... not richer but poorer" but I have not heard any assurances that should Iraq break up in due course they would not plough into any Kurdistan created on their border.

    Can the application be smiled upon whilst that doubt exists?

  • Comment number 8.

  • Comment number 9.


    What? No Newsnight story about David Cameron's ridiculous speech this morning?

    David Cameron visits Washington and has a meeting with President Obama. In true poodle fashion he then visits Turkey and (ignoring its appalling human rights record and issues such as the Armenian genocide, Cyprus and the Kurds) makes a ridiculously grandiose statement about how he fully supports Turkish integration into the EU.

    David Cameron criticised those who see the world as a ‘clash of civilisations’ and said: “They see no difference between real Islam and the distorted version of the extremists.”

    I doubt that David Cameron has the faintest idea what “real” Islam is anymore than many Muslims. This is because there is no central authority in Islam – just many interpretations of the same brain-dead, Dark Age, man-made myths of an illiterate, pig-ignorant goat-herder.

    He went on to say “They think the values of Islam can never be compatible with the values of other religions, societies or cultures.”

    The “values” of the Islam are codified in Sharia Law that treats Women as second class chattel; endorse the stoning to death of homosexuals and adulterers; and states that the penalty for apostasy (for the “crime” of changing your mind and becoming a non-believer or converting to another faith) is death.

    If David Cameron is in any doubt about any of those Islamic “values” then he only has to talk to any Muslim to confirm that this is the case. Many Muslims I have spoken to live in fear of their own “communities” (here in the UK) because of the penalty for apostasy.

    This is why Islam, like any theocracy that seeks to enforce religious law on all, can never ever be compatible with living in a secular Western democracy.

    Most patronising of all he then went on to say that "All these arguments are just plain wrong. I want us to be at the forefront of an international effort to defeat them."

    Apart from the fact that he hasn’t advanced any arguments as to why he believes those arguments to be wrong, he is in plain denial of the vast mountain of evidence that clearly demonstrate that Islam is directly at odds with any democracy – least of all in Turkey itself.

    The only international effort that is required is for the UK, France, Germany, Austria and other EU countries to stand up to US pressure and tell them that who the EU chooses to accept as a member is a matter for the EU alone and has nothing to do with the US.

    Before making any speeches of how we should let Turkey in to the EU perhaps Mr. Cameron would be democratic enough to actually consult with the people in the UK who will be directly affected by it.

  • Comment number 10.

    #8 Very well spotted Barrie! It pays to know your ocean currents! So as you say coming to a beach near you.

  • Comment number 11.

    NEVER MIND THE WALLITY FEEL THE TWIT (#9)

    I am sure 'Certainty Dave' was using his extra-posh voice. I think he is 'growing into the job' and will soon be in no doubt he is a 'Giant in the land'.

    Have we got ourselves another one?

    Nick can't fix it.

  • Comment number 12.

    #5 gango said:

    “When you read about immigration and "cultural" differences consider whether or not it really is race that preoccupies them and whether eugenics would be right around the corner if they had their way. That said of course immigration per se is a legitimate area of concern but when you see references to the indigenous people being "bred out" it is not culture that they are talking about.”

    Your usual oblique comment about....who and what exactly?
    How about giving us your own comments on the tolerance of alien cultures that were mentioned – FGM and the physical, mental and sexual abuse of child ‘witches’?


    #43 Mindy (pevious blog) said:

    “not to say these things are not worth investigating and reporting, but do you honestly think the tone of the articles would be the same if it was rich white people living in mansions who has the same beliefs about FGM, or "witch-children"??”

    The above is a pathetic response to an issue that us indigenous people really feel aggrieved at through uncontrolled immigration and ‘we welcome diversity’ multiculturalism. You have sounded off at gango’s blogs, but your post is little better, trivialising an issue that is important to many of us non-racist English folk

  • Comment number 13.

    barrie #8

    Your link tends to reinforce my suspicion that the Gulf oil leak has been kept going as long as politically possible in order to prop up world oil prices. Furthermore, Obama's political posturing and the ban on deep water drilling has given the oil cartel just the perhaps convenient excuse they needed to avoid new investment in any " more difficult " potential new oil fields, once again supporting the current and future price of crude.

    Unfortunately I missed Chris Huhne's climate change scam energy policy statement, caught some of the questions though. Most of them were MP's of all shades squealing about whether their particular favourite local investment scam was going to have its funding cut. More pressure over the cancelled Forgemasters loan, but the killer was the one about progress on the Severn Barrage, perhaps the only worthwhile " renewable " energy project on the table which was not specifically mentioned. However, it would appear that most of the policy mentioned is dependent on the financial review later in the year.

    The BBC would appear to be operating a total news blackout on Huhnes proposals, nothing mentioned on New24 or the teletext service, not yet available on Democracy Live. Hardly surprising when you consider that the alleged target of an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050 is unachievable without the UK being totally destroyed in a nuclear war and going back into the stone age. Perhaps Susan Watts will have to tread very carefully in her report tonight, as, as I pointed out in my link the other day the BBC terminates your contract if you are not prepared to lie about the Climate Scam ?

  • Comment number 14.

    OH COME ON IDG2 (#12)

    I have already pointed out that we notionally eat the body of the son of our god - and drink his blood. THEN WE ARGUE ABOUT THE FINER POINTS OF TRANS-SUBSTANTIATION.

    Only because we have become effete do we fail to ritually burn meat and smear blood all over the place. Primitive is as primitive THINKS - 'does' is secondary.

    Touch wood - I'm right.

  • Comment number 15.

    Looks like the mods also get their contract terminated if they allow the publication of anything which questions the Climate Change Scam or the Oil cartel riding on the back of it ?

  • Comment number 16.

    try again ?

    barrie #8

    Your link tends to reinforce my suspicion that the Gulf oil leak has been kept going as long as politically possible in order to prop up world oil prices. Furthermore, Obama's political posturing and the ban on deep water drilling has given the oil cartel just the perhaps convenient excuse they needed to avoid new investment in any " more difficult " potential new oil fields, once again supporting the current and future price of crude.

    Unfortunately I missed Chris Huhne's climate change scam energy policy statement, caught some of the questions though. Most of them were MP's of all shades squealing about whether their particular favourite local investment scam was going to have its funding cut. More pressure over the cancelled Forgemasters loan, but the killer was the one about progress on the Severn Barrage, perhaps the only worthwhile " renewable " energy project on the table which was not specifically mentioned. However, it would appear that most of the policy mentioned is dependent on the financial review later in the year.

    The BBC would appear to be operating a total news blackout on Huhnes proposals, nothing mentioned on New24 or the teletext service, not yet available on Democracy Live. Hardly surprising when you consider that the alleged target of an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050 is unachievable without the UK being totally destroyed in a nuclear war and going back into the stone age.

  • Comment number 17.

    OH NO - NOT THE STONE AGE! (#16)

    Didn't they do canniblism and stuff? That is a nibble too far.

  • Comment number 18.

    Huhne's commons statement not even mentioned on the generally eco-fascist leaning Ch4 News, perhaps the media gloss is wearing off CO2 alleged environmentalism to reveal the rotten fascist core ?

  • Comment number 19.

    Germany and France will blog the application from Turkey for EU membership also they fear the religious fanatics even though it is a secular state. The UK want them in though it is the US pulling the strings and everyone knows it so it will be twenty years of lobbying......

  • Comment number 20.

    6 Billion gone adrift at the MOD.

    One woman takes the taxpaying numptys for 3 Million quid

    No wonder we're skint
    just 2 examples of public income patient/public servants

    you cant get the staff

    fake britain? No its Far worse than that

    if you cant beat them join them

  • Comment number 21.

    NO NO d (#20)

    If you can't beat them, you are in the wrong cellar.

  • Comment number 22.

    I have just read Huhne's full speech and it would appear that " supporting the carbon price " was on the agenda, Corporate Nazi spin meaning a Carbon TAX. A disaster for the rural poor with only a coal fire to rely on for heat ( of course more potential consumers for heating oil, or that mega expensive bottled gas ). The perfect Lib-Demmic ( alleged unintended result )corporate ethnic cleansing plan ( price poor people out of their ancestral homes ) Just what the Oil Cartel ordered, in order that they can make more profit from the gas they currently flare off, exactly what Corporate Nazi Obama is about to do if the US people are stupid enough to vote democrat at the forthcoming elections. With his idiotic yapping in Turkey this morning its becoming increasingly apparent that despite a good start, perhaps Cameron is turning out to be ( like Blair and Brown ) yet another glove-puppet Corporate Nazi Poodle ?

  • Comment number 23.

    Admiral Allen Says Gas Seep is from the Rigel Gas Field ... Did BP Accidentally Tap Into the Rigel Gas Field?

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/admiral-allen-says-gas-seep-rigel-gas-field-did-bp-accidentally-tap-rigel-gas-field

  • Comment number 24.

    #12:

    “not to say these things are not worth investigating and reporting, but do you honestly think the tone of the articles would be the same if it was rich white people living in mansions who has the same beliefs about FGM, or "witch-children"??”

    The above is a pathetic response to an issue that us indigenous people really feel aggrieved at through uncontrolled immigration and ‘we welcome diversity’ multiculturalism. You have sounded off at gango’s blogs, but your post is little better, trivialising an issue that is important to many of us non-racist English folk"

    i ...see. You *REALLY REALLY CARE* about poor people practising stupid customs, but not say about the stupid INDIGENOUS cultural practise of some people being extraordinarily rich, whilst most others scratch in the dirt, figuratively speaking? So FGM gets your goat up, but not the treatment of INDIGENOUS CHILDREN in care homes and the like? Or banged up in prison?


    you remind me nothing so much as that whole cattle-yard of bleaters demanding we "ban the veil", on the basis of "Rights for Muslimk Wimmin Innit", yet those same people make NOT ONE SOLITARY PUBLIC PROTEST ABOUT THE CONDITIONS OF LIFE FOR MUSLIM WOMEN IN COUNTRIES LIKE AFGHANISTAN OR IRAQ, UNDER WESTERN MILITARY CONTROL.

    what's that word again...?? Oh yes, Hyper-Crassy.


    #8: !!!


    ChaosMagick: you contradict yourself, How can it be that Islam "is entirely incompatible with the UK", when YOU KNOW so many Muslims who want to change those particular aspects of Islam? (That being "honour-killing", and "Apostasy" - the two main sticking points for accepting Islam.).

    Without the 'War on Islam' that has raged since the yanks decided they needed a war to boost their military sales in 2001, it is very likely indeed that Western Islam would have become the de facto standard of Islam - surely you haven't missed that the only Islamic factions that have benefited from this 'WoI' are the Fundamentalists - not surprisingly, most of the Bush Regime were also fanatical Fundamentalists of one shade or another.

    if England came under sever hostile attack, do you think the 'happy skippy fluffy' elements of Engishness would be the ones to come to the front?

  • Comment number 25.

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

  • Comment number 26.

    Wall Street's death wish: Venus vs. Alpha-males
    Commentary: Unless women take control of Wall Street and America, 'The End' is near
    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/wall-street-armageddon-alpha-male-vs-venus-2010-07-27

    I'm sure someone will have a view on this analysis!

  • Comment number 27.

    on the power companies/sustainables - it would have been infinitely better to have local control over the companies (as it used to be before Thatcher sold them all off to private For-Profit Corporations), as then not only would the local populations have a say in it, but also - CRITICALLY - any profits from the higher charges would either go back to invest in new production, or back into local people's pockets (either through the worker-ownership, or else local councils incomes, depending upon how the companies would be owned.)

    the UK is supposedly broke - so why are we STILL coughing up £Bns for these Trans-Nat Corporate-Vampyres to take in profits to tax-haven bank-accounts?

    could this Govt take the step of changing the ownership of the utilities companies back to what it was before the '1979 Revolution'?

  • Comment number 28.

    Stupid ten bob fat cat union traitors to their working people, prepared to sell their members out for a fat pension ?

    http://www.thegwpf.org/news/1308-climate-change-policies-threaten-the-future-of-the-energy-intensive-sector.html

  • Comment number 29.

    Well,well,well brossen99 has been right all along! : )

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/7913610/Energy-revolution-could-put-bills-up-by-a-third.html

    I wonder how the eight million without work, who could be working, are going to pay the now highly inflated bills.

  • Comment number 30.

    wiki-leaks. Be careful in the next few months, expect deliberate misinformation to discredit you when it gets published. Keep up the awesome work!!

  • Comment number 31.

    *EVERY OTHER COUNTRY THAT DEVELOPED STRATEGIC INDUSTRIES DID IT THROUGH GOVT DIRECT INTERVENTION AND SUPPORT.*

    there are NO examples of any industry becoming developed in ANY Nation without State support, in the Modern world.

    this "no support" for the nukes - does that ALSO include denying "financial underwriting" for the Nuke companies? Because if writing a blank cheque for the Nuclear Lobby is not "support" for Nuclear power, i don't know what would be.



  • Comment number 32.

    THE PROBLEM WITH 'WOMEN' (#26)

    In the days women were what men were drawn to, as surely as magnetic N and S poles attract, there was a good chance that men behaving badly, got told to 'pack it in or else'. That is how the Feminine Principle functions - obliquely. But Britain has gone perverse - we insist a woman is defined by absence of inter-leg encumbrance, rather than by intra-cranial forbearance and subtlety. Thus, any 'absentee' militant (nominal female) is termed a 'woman' and welcomed into positions of power and influence WHERE THEY PERFORM LIKE MIMMIC-MEN.

    I have no doubt that impingement of the Feminine on extreme male aberrance, such as banking, would edge it back to wholesomeness - BUT HARPIES JUST MAKE THINGS WORSE.

    Woman is defined by womanliness - Harpies by unhappiness.

  • Comment number 33.


    " The Government said moves to cut carbon emissions could lead to an 18 per cent increase in gas prices and a 33 per cent rise in electricity prices for domestic customers. However, increased energy production from renewable sources and energy-efficiency measures in homes would limit the overall increase in bills to one per cent over the next decade. Energy costs for businesses would rise by 26 per cent."

    And pigs might fly, how do you insulate a house with solid stone walls without building expensive false interior wall and reducing your living space, likewise old rural style properties with no true loft space. Save on energy but end up paying more than your potential saving on interest on a loan or loosing the potential interest on the money you no longer have in the bank. Where do they get this alleged average energy bill from anyway unless most people surveyed live in small 1 bed flats ?

  • Comment number 34.

  • Comment number 35.

    comments from Mon's NN (i wanted to watch it again first):


    on the sheffield steel-works: - find out what the steelworks could change to, if it was the only way to survive by doing so.

    then find a product that the Nation needs, that can use the steel or products from the steelworks.

    we do not need to support Nuclear, there are other options, both for energy creation, and also the important employment in this Sheffield company.


    what would be the financial difference given that the working company *and* paid employees would pay tax as well as the loan repayment, and that if the workers become unemployed then benefits will have to be paid to them? Surely if that difference is small (and any sensible economic analysis must be taking those factors into account), then it makes more sense to keep such a company afloat - as long as it can be retooled to build something there is a need for.


    could it be that ALL of those who are incessantly arguing for "making banks lend again" are completely unaware that they are arguing for MORE indebtedness to the banks by small and medium sized companies?? I would have thought it had become obvious by now that running an economy on debt is the PROBLEM, rather than a SOLUTION??


    in the ''PMs Laugh-A-Minute-Debates", ALL the parties supported cuts - the ONLY party that campaigned upon investment to produce growth to pay back the deficit, was the Greens.

    this debate was kept out of the 'Mejja Circus' by removing the newer parties from the debate through exclusion from the TV debates.

    a direct example of a 'controlled media debate'.


    according to Gordon Birtwistle, the UK is currently paying £37,000,000,000 a year in interest payments alone. It would be very interesting to learn how much of that is new Govt debt, created to "bail-out the banks"?

    he also said each PFI-built school eventually repays a return of at least 1000% for the Private Corporation that the Govt "did a deal with" to build the school.

    that's *each* school - or "Academy".

    right THERE is where all the funds in education are going, and where much that supposed "extra" went under nuLabour Education budgets, - and that's pretty shocking, although some might remember that this is EXACTLY what we were warned PFI schemes would be even before they were used as a policy*.

    [*needs link, sorry, but i remember reports at the time pointing out the inevitable financial problems were the PFI policy to go ahead by nuLabour]

    what is even MORE shocking, despite all the evidence that this is destroying the entire Public Sector in Education, is that the Tories are actually ramping it up, with the inevitable consequences of their particular brand of "free schools", with the newest Academies also to be beholden to multi-national Corporations for funding, ownership and control, being to quite literally, before our eyes, privatise as much of the State sector as possible, and drive down conditions in what is left. And all the while paying vast sums on profit to those Multi-Nats, for running for-profit services that today do not charge profit onto the costs. I mean the State sector schools.

    the Tories are openly privatising everything in sight, they have gone [bleep] mad, there's really no other explanation.


    grad tax is the best method - it does not prevent the intelligent poor, as the cost comes later, what it *might* do is turn off the very rich - aww, poor them, *THEY'RE still going to be able to go, if they *want* to. Putting charges up-front as fees prevents the poorest attending university.

    and the woman in the audience was right. She pointed out that graduates, who cost £20bn to educate, later returned £60Bn+ to the economy. (presumably she was quoting some Treasury figures, as none of the Treasury people there disagreed with the numbers). She then said that this demonstrates that instead of all the burden being upon the students (US model? Is it really that bad?), the State SHOULD bear the cost of the students education.

    because it is a true investment, rather than *financially speculative*.

    -however, due to the apparent shortage of funds, why should there NOT be an extra element of Income Tax for graduates? Those who earn ludicrous bonuses can share some of that bounty back as a percentage of what they earn, rather than regressive taxes like direct charges and VAT. And those who get low-paid vocational jobs will pay proportionally lower - and there could be a minimum floor that they have to earn above before the Graduate tax kicks in.

    ...and those of you in the boom generations, who not only had completely free education but ALSO had free grants to live on from the State - you should be ashamed of yourselves, for opposing this method of funding the education for the current and next generations. What will the effects of denying smart youngsters from poorer backgrounds the possibility to go into higher education be in the long term?


    pantsdown: so you think Dave and Nick are zaphod beeblebrox? - i think i shared Arthur's view about the character Zaphod. I wonder if Nick and Dave enjoy that simile given to the Public? ^_^


    the man in the audience of NN, i think most of us agree with him about 'Tebbit and the Fig Leaf'.


    for those of us that knew the late 80s/90s, just HOW different is this "coalition"'s problems internally any worse than between the "Wets" and the "Thatcherites" in Thatcher's Cabinet?

    just as in *that* Cabinet, they are largely in agreement with each other over most policies.


    whew, long-one, sorry. Still, easy to skip over then eh? ;)

  • Comment number 36.

    lol lol @ Juggler #26:

    a good notion based upon a load of codswallop. Frankly.

    firstly, most activities are equally performable by both genders, and it is usually beneficial to an enterprise when both genders are included equally in the decision making. That's just a statement of fact.

    however secondly, the notion of DEATH!!!! being the fear that consumes everything is incorrect, nor does the Heroic Impulse necessarily come from the fear of Death. It is a sad state of this writer that they could even imagine that that is ALL the "Hero" is.

    ""the root of all humanly caused evil ... is our need to gain self-esteem, deny mortality, and achieve a heroic self-image." "

    what absolute poppycock. Self esteem is essential, it certainly is not "evil" - what in the name of FlySpagMon kind of twisted philosophy IS this?

    and many people are "heroic" every day, in many many ways, sometimes little ways, sometimes big ways - being "Heroic" does not mean you have to trample everyone else down, again, what kind of destructive message is this??

    a good ending though, sums up the main points well.

    there are truly *horrible* belief patterns buried in there though.


    ooooh!! I went looking around the site to see who he was (i presumed at first a comment from a Journal), and this is *very* interesting from that page:

    ..."Farrell was an investment banker with Morgan Stanley".


    gosh wow, i guess i might annoy him with this when i post it then. I wonder what his Religious views are?? :o

  • Comment number 37.

    regarding post #25: you removed my compliment to the PM over his Israel/Gaza comment?!

  • Comment number 38.

  • Comment number 39.

    A VERY POLISH ANNIVERSARY OF A VIRTUALLU BLOODLESS, REVERBERATING REVOLUTION:

    The Solidarity Movement, the actions of which have had unquestionably worldwide historical implications and consequences , was officially established in Polamd in September 1980:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solidarity_%28Polish_trade_union%29

    Let's hope it is deservedly celebrated round the globe by freedom loving human beings, including world political and intellectual, whatever might be their actual profession, leaders.

    mim

  • Comment number 40.

    #32 Very well put Barrie, nail on the head. Women don't act like women, they are all mini men, note the suits.

    I believe someone posted here that half the Spanish government were women, fine example of how to collapse a country!

    If women still retained their feminine brain and didn't try to ape men we might actually succeed with new and different ideas. Even Germaine says women have it all wrong, they copy men, instead of being themselves.

  • Comment number 41.

    Stone made to eat his words?

    Oliver Stone apologises over anti-Semitic remarks
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/7913765/Oliver-Stone-apologises-over-anti-Semitic-remarks.html


    Sunday:

    Stone reportedly said U.S. public opinion was focused on the Holocaust as a result of the "Jewish domination of the media," adding that an upcoming film of him aims to put Adolf Hitler and Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin "in context."
    "There's a major lobby in the United States," Stone said, adding that "they are hard workers. They stay on top of every comment, the most powerful lobby in Washington."

    Tuesday:

    "Jews obviously do not control media or any other industry."


    Has he been got at?

  • Comment number 42.

    #35 we do not need to support Nuclear, there are other options, both for energy creation

    Oh we do support nuclear MH, especially for India, we are selling them technology to improve their systems.

    he also said each PFI-built school eventually repays a return of at least 1000% for the Private Corporation that the Govt "did a deal with" to build the school

    Crumbs didn't you know that MH? I've known for years, look at all our wonderful PFI hospitals, will cost us billions, all going to big corporations from around the world, in particular the USA.

    ...and those of you in the boom generations, who not only had completely free education but ALSO had free grants to live on from the State - you should be ashamed of yourselves, for opposing this method of funding the education for the current and next generations. What will the effects of denying smart youngsters from poorer backgrounds the possibility to go into higher education be in the long term?

    'Er 'em, I left school at 15 MH and I'm an early boomer, in my day only the very top 20% went to Uni, they were highly intelligent way above one's head individuals. So us boomers all went to work, and worked bloody hard and saved and didn't expect anything, we'd all had rationing so knew the value of money.

    Of course you are generalising, most boomers do not object to spending money on education, if you think about it, it would be denying our own children and grandchildren an education. Why do you think boomers have no interest in the next generations? It's the same as all those young people moaning about boomers, but quietly rubbing their hands together as they know one day they will inherit money and houses, most of us don't p**s it up the wall.

    A little plea, could you please try to split your posts into smaller bites, perhaps per subject, they get so confusing, thanks. ; )








  • Comment number 43.

    GLOBOPOLY AND THE 'STATE PROGRESS' CARD

    Part of the Globopoly game is to collect 'State Progress Cards'. The more cards a leader has, when he goes prancing abroad, the greater the entourage he is allowed to trail. Dave has been doing well at Globopoly (Calling Obama 'Barack' scored well) hence his massive train of business, sport, financial and political acolytes, following in his unfillable footsteps.

    What a circus. The 'paperless office' had nothing on this. How do you mount a Victorian safari in a Global Village? So much more could be accomplished with applied acumen and modern technology, but Dave would not get the high profile Global photo-ops that his Ego needs. Have we got another one? YOU BET WE HAVE.

    Time we had an 'Office for Constraining Dave' (OCD)

    Oh - it's all going expensively well.

  • Comment number 44.

  • Comment number 45.

    LITTLE BOXES LITTLE BOXES (#42)

    YO LIZZY!!!!!! I am now ready for the day. Your post uplifting. '42' indeed!

    LEARNING is inexorable (as inexorable as the Top Gear Lads looking at short skirts - and the odd inverted burka - when they should be watching the road.)

    EDUCATION is a mixed blessing. You can't get chocolate out of a machine where the chocolate bay is empty. Best to go for a sandwich - money well spent.

    SCHOOL was instituted with the Henry Ford approach - the idea was to make ticky-tacky: all just the same. Unfortunately dumb politicians still can't see that a partition occurs: while the 'ticky' tick obediently to Mammon's rhythm, the 'tacky' get stuck, go nowhere, and ultimately succumb to gravity in a smear of decline.

    How poignant (nay droll) that my antisocial personality SAVED ME FROM INSTITUTIONALISATION! They could not get me into a little box - I refused to be part of 'all the same'.

    I suspect I have failed more exams than I have passed. I venture that constitutes a telling comment but more on education's malfunction than on mine.

    My only claim to boomership is - like Clancy - I lower it, judiciously, on occasion.

    I fought Education and Education lost.

  • Comment number 46.

    "ALPHA WOMAN"? (#40)

    Christina Odone just referred to 'career first' women as 'ALPHA'.

    Now there's a debate going begging. What is Mothr natures view? (You don't hear it on Woman's Hour.)

  • Comment number 47.

    Family found dead in Hampshire home were deeply in debt
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/jul/27/debt-problems-family-killed-hampshire

    John Underhill, the managing director at the firm where Case worked, described them as a beautiful couple.
    "Like so many others in this day and age, they fought against the pressures of modern society to maintain a happy, respectable and responsible family life.
    "Andy was a model employee, hard working, personable and well liked."



    Money lenders and politicians...sleep well tonight.

  • Comment number 48.

    Julie Burchill: The trouble with politicians is the older they get, the more they act like teenagers
    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/columnists/julie-burchill/julie-burchill-the-trouble-with-politicians-is-the-older-they-get-the-more-they-act-like-teenagers-2036982.html

    What is it about politicians that makes them act like they've never grown up? I think it's because, contrarily, they grow up earlier than the rest of us; when we were hanging out with cider in a graveyard, they were yomping on the stump or taking minutes in draughty meetings. They put their heads down and trudge on drudgingly for a decade or two and then – WHAM! – they finally get elected and it's like all their Christmases have come at once.

  • Comment number 49.

    Guess what, there's a new war coming up!
    http://www.debka.com/article/8932/

  • Comment number 50.

    Speaking of truth and veracity and plugs: http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/how-i-tried-to-save-the-world-ndash-from-the-comfort-of-my-desk-2036974.html

    Ladies, Gentlemen; fire up your calculators and 'design' our energy policy.

    It's a tool. Here's hoping it's a good, honest one, and gets used, and promoted in rigourous, objective ways.

  • Comment number 51.

    #46 Ah yes Barrie, I caught the Alpha woman story as well. I kept pondering on what one was. And then thought it's a very lonely old woman in her eighties with litarely nothing but money, no friends, they die or desert one, no children, nieces and nephews have their own parents to worry about. I've watched loads of lonely old people without children, it's really surprising how most of them wish they'd had children, and see it as a massive regret at the end of their life. (Although I would add, some old people never see their children anyway!)

  • Comment number 52.

    #45 Ah Barrie you're a Pete fan then?!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AN3rN59GlWw

  • Comment number 53.

    #49 Yup could be on the cards Mistress, especially now Scameron is sucking up to the Turks. That's what it's all about, haven't we learnt what problems were heaped on our heads with the other two wars we've jumped into lately?!

  • Comment number 54.

    Post 20/21

    I try 2 Beat all Sellers from all Cellars

    The Sellers/believers from/in The EU, Have You managed 2 Balance The Books yet

    No I didn't thinks so

    Tax paying Numptys Take Note or chuck your money down A Cellar/BOTTOMless Pit or You could try A SeCure FireProof.. Mattress

  • Comment number 55.

    CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR (#48)

    My take on politicians (as I might have posted ;) is that they are some of our LEAST MATURE. This is where that all-consuming drive comes from. They 'KNOW', from their beginnings, that they are nobodies, so strive to be somebodies.

    The one service Blair has done us is to demonstrate that he is a desperately needy (over-compensating) NOBODY - in his own head. But even as he Globally attempts to out-Jesus Jesus, the potato-couched masses do not learn his lesson.

    HomSap does not mature, so ill suited is he to the current 'climate'. He has espoused cleverness, in the service of Mammon, rather than wisdom, in reverence of Mother Nature.

    Oh - it's all going awfully well.

    PS Not sure Julie Burchill is where I would go for guidance.

  • Comment number 56.

    JUST A WORDS FAN (#52)

    I have to admit I had forgotten Pete Seager sang it Lizzy. Playing it took me back . . . Another take on little boxes below:

    DESPERATION

    Oh no! I’m conceived
    where’s the free will in that?
    Multiply - then go forth
    to hormonal diktat.
    Have no say in gestation
    little voice at the birth
    if my family tree’s blighted
    inherit no earth.
    Tame my limbs and my bow-els
    learn language as well
    while storing confusion -
    my own Private Hell.
    (I may go there later
    if this gets too tough
    I’ll be called schizophrenic
    and do crazy stuff.)
    Be shipped out to school
    to learn Mammonnish lore
    be groomed for high income
    yet always want more.
    Get a life - get a wife
    and if no one cries halt
    in the fullness of time
    have a child by default.

  • Comment number 57.

    HOW MANY MORE ADDICTIONS CAN CIVILISATION MANAGE? (#47)

    GAMBLING Available on the highstreet and STATE-GAMBLING in shops.

    ALCOHOL You are never more than a short stagger from some more.

    TOBACCO Never more than a long coughing fit from a death warning.

    SEX More or less in yer face.

    DEBT Now a compulsory subject at Uni, and the basis of civilisation.

    Might government have been failing us all these years? Never mind, from what I heard from Theresa May, the Coalition have found a WHOLE NEW WAY of doing just about everything.

    You are never more than ten feet from a crass politician.

    Oh - it's all going awfully well.

 

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