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Thursday 2 September 2010

Lucy Rodgers | 12:04 UK time, Thursday, 2 September 2010

Here's what we have planned for tonight's programme:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has told Israeli and Palestinian leaders they have the "opportunity to end" the Middle East conflict as a new round of direct talks get under way between Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.

But the push for a deal comes amid fresh violence in the West Bank and Diplomatic editor Mark Urban will be asking what the two sides can really achieve with Hamas not involved. He will also be analysing what the talks mean for Mr Obama ahead of mid-term elections in November. We will be speaking to Hamas, among others, about the talks.

Back in Britain, we will have the latest on Foreign Secretary William Hague, who has received "100%" support from Downing Street following speculation about his private life. And we'll be asking whether Professor Stephen Hawking is right to conclude that there is no place for God in theories of the creation of the Universe. He had previously argued belief in a creator was not incompatible with science, but in his new book, The Grand Design, he concludes the Big Bang was simply an inevitable consequence of the laws of physics.

Finally, Gavin Esler interviews one of Israel's most celebrated authors, David Grossman, who will be talking about his new book To the End of the Land - a portrayal of modern Israeli life.

Join Gavin tonight at 10.30pm on BBC Two.


  • Comment number 1.

    I would like to make some comments regarding Hilary Andersson's piece on 'Newsnight', on the Glenn Beck Rally held on 28th August at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC...

    What has not been said is that a large part, maybe 50% of the presentation, was in fact in honour and celebration of Dr Martin Luther King Jr. I think many people would be amazed to find that several of the key speakers at this event were in fact African-Americans, most notably perhaps Dr Alveda King (niece of Dr Martin Luther King Jr), who's speech on unity and 'content of character' was recieved with loud applause. Several African-American singers appeared onstage at various points, including R & B singer Angelica Tucker, who sang a song called 'Rebuild', and the Vernessa Mitchell harmony group sang of 'Unity' -later on everbody sang 'Amazing Grace'.

    link for Alveda King's speech...

    Those who may be curious can examine the event in detail, as I did, by using the following link...

    Contrary to the report, although the crowd were predominantly white, they were not 'all-white' -you can plainly see many African-American faces present in the crowd, responding enthusiastically -they do not look like they are protesting.

    By the way Glenn Beck often has African-American guests speaking on his TV program, and in fact has devoted several 'specials' to honouring 'Black Founders' -showing how Black leaders have been removed from American history books.

    The title of the rally was 'Restoring Honor', with the main theme, seemingly, that we all should all look at ourselves honestly in our day-to-day lives, and strive to become better people -that was the theme to which they repeatedly returned -nobody said anything horrible against anybody -in fact the atmosphere was warm and friendly throughout.

    I think really that the Newsnight piece was most unfair and misleading, and actually quite insulting to all the African-Americans who took part.

  • Comment number 2.

    We have a similar problem with the BBC in the UK. It has the inside track on the Labour Party and can provide some insightful reporting (a lot of people ex BBC people are (or have been) in the Labour Party).

    When the pendulum swings more to the right and reporters find themselves in unfamiliar territory the ‘BBC learns…’ stories are rarer. The insight is not there and misunderstandings lead to mistakes or even plain bias.

  • Comment number 3.

    More proof of predatory commercial salesmen taking advantage of the old and more vulnerable people in society (even on their doorsteps).

    Four energy companies face mis-selling probe

    The tariifs are made so complicated (deliberately so), so as to bamboozle even average intelligence consumers.

    All Ofgem need demand is that the energy companies quote energy prices in pence per kWhr or BTU. It's the only way to compare 'eggs-with-eggs'. This is how industry (what's left of it that is) buys it's energy from the energy companies. Purchasing professionals just wouldn't have it priced any other way.

    Now why wouldn't the regulator insist on this one simple solution?

    Who exactly are the regulators supposed to be protecting in our 'free-market' economy?

  • Comment number 4.


    While 'civilised' man still cannot grasp that religion is a NEED not a TRUTH and that difference ALWAYS fuels violence in man, we can whistle for a 'Two State Solution'. As for Blair - look at the state he left us in! What a statesman.

    The apologists tell us that the Abrahamic faiths have but one god, known by various names and shored up by diverse narratives. If that is so, why did He urge each sect to beat the expletive-deleted out of EACH OTHER? MAKE NO MISTAKE (Obama) something has been 'lost in translation'. Lets abandon the books (all written by deluded men - sound familiar?) and instil some common sense into leadership.

    But don't look to Tony - he is a believer who only ever leaves everything IN A STATE.

  • Comment number 5.

    I've read a few write-ups about Blair's book and it seems that quite a few journalists are almost up-i'n-arms regarding.his not-usually done revelations about his conversations with The Queen and family events with The Royalty. In fact They come across rather well and seem even more appealing on the humane level.


  • Comment number 6.

    #5 addendum

    It seems to me that i'n some the best type of change. Somebody does something slightly out of ordinary and here we are, new ways open up, as was the case as well with Michelle Obama embracing The Queen. Not that just anybody should follow suit.


  • Comment number 7.

    1. israeli political class cannot deliver the settlers. another dead end.

    2. 25 year old special advisers? how much can they really know or advise?

  • Comment number 8.

    the Americans commitment to peace in the middle east is as honest as the tories commitment to representative democracy - and see how the tories are so cleverly and cunningly preventing discussion of PR as an electoral system, trying to misdirect attention onto AV.

    it would seem one of the biggest obstacles to peace is the Israeli State's enormous deliberate 'islamaphobia' through programming in school, to the messages shown in Israeli media about the Palestinians. Many Israelis seem incapable of understanding that Palestinians are people too, and have the same access to rights as Israelis do. Why should Israel have more right to 'security' than the Palestinians? Why is it OK for Israelis to ethnically cleanse Palestinian areas, such as the West Bank, and East Jerusalem?

    how can there possibly be a "two state solution" when the land is being ethnically cleansed and appended to the aggressor occupying Nation?

    how can the US present itself as an "honest unbiased broker of Peace" when it IS the US that has been arming and supplying Israel in its aims for decades?

    when the US holds Israel to the same standards, when the US demands Israel respect International Laws and UN Resolutions, when the US stops arming Israel to the teeth and even when it knows that Israel is committing war crimes against civilians - THEN the US can claim to have any moral legitimacy in this situation.

    until then this is just window dressing whilst behind the scenes the US is *fully complicit* in grave breaches of International Law by Israel.

  • Comment number 9.

    #5: Tony Blair became the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, the top of the entire political food chain. Please don't make the mistake of thinking he is *stupid*. He knows full well the effects of *every* sentence in that book - and there are spinners behind the scenes to make sure the 'right' controversies come out at the 'right' time, and with the 'right' following discussions in the media.

    these are not boy-scouts aiming for more badges, these are serious, powerful men in a highly organised, highly controlled gladiatorial atmosphere, and their main 'enemy' (or target) is the general Public, and its access to accurate information.

    do no imagine for a second that Tony B'Liar's 'Revelations' were not okayed at the highest level of the UK Establishment.

  • Comment number 10.


    Do youconsider yourself a powerful gladiator on 'top' of being a 'globocop',, 'housey'?

  • Comment number 11.

    #10. addendum

    Funnily enough, I'm at a police station right now. Shall I ask them whether they are aware of your existence and whether they 'love' you for what you are up to

  • Comment number 12.


    Good points well made Mork. Especially the 'AV to bury PR' trick.

    Did you hear the cock crow as Nick denied the umbilical link between LibDemery and PR? He is pretending to be unaware. They are all Westminster Creatures first - party politics comes second, and we proles a very poor last.

  • Comment number 13.

    What do Israel and Iraq[ under Saddam Hussein] (or even the Afghan Taliban when the country was being pacified by the Russians) have in common? Far far too much!

    All are paid by the USA to do its dirty deeds. All have got out of hand and now the puppet is controlling the USA. Saddam Hussein fought a surrogate war against Iran using chemical weapons from the USA - unfortunately for the CIA he used them all so had no WMD left! The Afghan Taliban were armed and supported and more than likely created by the USA via Pakistan.

    What does this have to do with the Middle East tragedy - everything!

    Israel has to be brought to book by the USA, just like Saddam Hussein or nothing will change - the crisis is entirely USA made and perpetuated and only they have the power to change matters - the parties can not (quite apart from Hamas not being in the talks!) The fact that the USA is impotent shows that it has ceased to be a super power.

    Only when the World makes Israel understand that it must behave in a civilised manner will matters change - it will be a tragedy if this requires a multilateral use of force against Israel but it may come to that, just like Iran and North Korea. These are all pariah states and the cause of misery and injustice. The Israelis must be made to understand this one way or another or the injustice and violence will continue.

  • Comment number 14.

    #7. jauntycyclist wrote:

    "2. 25 year old special advisers? how much can they really know or advise?"

    Probably rather more than career politicians! (DC, GO, WH etc...)

  • Comment number 15.

    carry on fools..carry on..don't include Hamas..just build ypourself a cosy little cave where you can discuss to your hearts content a middle east solution that does not include one of the main protagonists...Hamas, we have had the road map...sabotaged by unreasonable demands by Bush...we had Clinotn making Yasser Arafat and Simon Perez shake hands by the West Bank...all failures...and now the Israelis after building thousands and thousands of settler homes on Palestinian land that was stolen and has been recognised by the UN as 'stolen' so the great injustices carry on with American might and muscle saying what will go on and what won't we have stalemate but let's try and convince a fed up world we have a chance of 'peace' when we know we have not a cat in hells chance of 'peace' I optomistic? No...I am realistic....

  • Comment number 16.


    Judeao-America sort of half knows that the Jews are God's Chosen People. They 'know' Jews get Nobel Prizes and Israel is a 'democracy'. But they think 'Arabs' are dirty savages who the Bible says can be exterminated on a whim.

    Sadam and the Taliban qualify as 'Arabs'. Spot the biblical extermination?

    Two state solution? Not even over a great many dead bodies.

  • Comment number 17.

    Gavin Esler is doing an interview with the author David Grossman tonight. Good that Gavin is doing it, and not Newsnight's David Grossman - that would be just too confusing.

  • Comment number 18.

    "US President Barack Obama has urged Israeli and Palestinian leaders not to let the chance of a permanent peace deal "slip away" ahead of a new round of direct talks between Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas."

    Meanwhile, elsewhere, a clear message is being sent that apparently, Muslims just don't play cricket?

    "2. At 1:30pm on 02 Sep 2010, KennethM wrote:
    We have a similar problem with the BBC in the UK. "

    The BBC is a public sector broadcast service, so inevitably it can appear to have more sympathy for Old Labour principles than Conservative. But that's just appearances as it can't help but appear public service 'biased' given that it's not a private company. That's all. In recent times, some seem to have forgotten this essentially analytic truth, to the cost of the BBC probably.

    3. At 2:24pm on 02 Sep 2010, DebtJuggler wrote:

    "More proof of predatory commercial salesmen taking advantage of the old and more vulnerable people in society (even on their doorsteps)."

    The problem is that many people doing wrong really don't know that they are doing it. You'll see Stalin grappling wit this point in a document from the 1930s entitled 'Mastering Bolshevism' (which has a more florid title in Russian). Similarly, in the first half of the twentieth century, there was discrimination against females and other groups in some areas of academia and this was relaxed in the 1960s in the wake of Civil Rights movement which is much celebrated in our society today.

    The problem is the consequences. Those who behave in ways which lead to trouble rarely do it maliciously. They just don't see the harm that they are doing, and so, when confronted with the consequences, they deny that they are responsible, and they are in fact being truthful, for they just are not aware of the consequences of their actions.

    This is a major problem still in search of a humane solution.
    Unfortunately, time is not on our side, and whilst people may weep and protest in Washington etc, longing for the old days, the sad thing is that they never look all that close to home, and no education seems to be able to rectify that.

  • Comment number 19.

    4. At 3:30pm on 02 Sep 2010, barriesingleton wrote:

    "The apologists tell us that the Abrahamic faiths have but one god, known by various names and shored up by diverse narratives. If that is so, why did He urge each sect to beat the expletive-deleted out of EACH OTHER?"

    Darwinian evolution and human tribal infiltration/naivety but just don't mention the common gene(s)? Who was Blair's non rich tennis friend? Some ants farm, some ants fight, some ants are cosmopolitan. These days, it's cool not to discriminate - it's cool to be dumb.

    All hail the bimbo?

  • Comment number 20.

    13. At 7:18pm on 02 Sep 2010, John_from_Hendon wrote:

    "Only when the World makes Israel understand that it must behave in a civilised manner will matters change"

    True. But here's the challenge: major efforts have been made over the centuries to teach groups of extremely paranoid, self-centred, holier than thou, special people how to behave in a more civilised manner, but nobody knows how to do it!

    So - we're all ears. Except one or two here perhaps? Just who do you have in mind to do it?.

  • Comment number 21.

    #10: Krishna was a warrior. Am i Krishna as well as globocop mim?

    #11: please please do. And tell us the results!

    barry, ty! We do what we can, amidst the confusion and chaos. You're pretty on the ball yourself, i think Orson muttered last night!

  • Comment number 22.

    DOING WHAT I CAN (#210

    Cheers Mork. In my effort to get the Tory 'Liar Flyer' (alleged false instrument - criminal offence) taken seriously, I have approached all the usual public offices, TV and Radio and a range of MPs. As reported here, they just will not engage. I have recently added the Committee on Standards in Public Life to the list. THEY actually INVITE approaches and their credo (including 'The Seven Principles' - go there for a laugh) clearly covers my issue. Some pillock replied (2nd email) to say it is not their bag. All this in the Age of Fairness!

  • Comment number 23.

    #19 tn01

    You are very naughty with that careful now!

    Re Blair's tennis friend...I laughed out loud when I read this bit on his wiki page...

    'The music producer Pete Waterman described him as "the greatest salesman I have ever met. He would be able to sell sand to the Arabs."'

  • Comment number 24.

    Why is it that the media would now appear to think you are gay if you share a hotel room with another man. Of course if there are two single beds its no different to an army dormitory, and nobody is suggesting all the forces are gay. Even if it was a double bed, that is not to say that any kind of sexual contact went on, perhaps males in their late forties are just not allowed to have younger male friends. Perhaps the whole thing is a kite put up by the hotel industry to force everyone to pay for two rooms plus single supplement if they are both of the same sex. Similarly it could just be a symptom of the Corporate Nazi ideology which dictates that everyone is compelled to take the most expensive option available ?

  • Comment number 25.


    During the period of 'saturation Tony', might you spare us Alastair Campbell's crass input? For Campbell (whose love for Blair was repellent) to label others as 'low life' and to denigrate 'modern media', is so far beyond satire as to travel the entire Universe and catch sight of it's own backside.

    And while I'm in the area: must we have Max Clifford's OK wisdom? Hello?

  • Comment number 26.

    "And we'll be asking whether Professor Stephen Hawking is right to conclude that there is no place for God in theories of the creation of the Universe"

    Newsnight, 1616AD-

    "And we'll be asking whether Galileo Galilei is right to conclude that the Earth revolves around the Sun"

    As for the "Master race", sorry, I mean "Chosen people", can you imagine Hitler proposing a two state solution to Britain, the British being herded into the Shetlands, while Germans get the rest of the country? No, me neither.

    As for William Hague, I can reveal tonight the nature of his relationship with his special adviser, from a leaked transcript obtained by WikiSatire-

    William Hague- So how do you download an A-P-P again.
    Special Adviser- For pitys sake, for the fifth time, it's an 'app' and look you just press...(garbled)

  • Comment number 27.

    Max Clifford just said on newsnight that everybody is talking about William Hagues sexuality
    Well no ~ not in this house we don't - but what I will say is that you dont have to be a genius to guess what part of a horses anatomy best described greedy, grapsing, publicity junkies like Clifford as well as the rest of the Britich media.
    But hang on a mo _~ thats not fair; the British press produes some of the finest papers in the world and when we run out of toilet paper we'll buy one

  • Comment number 28.

    #20. tabblenabble01 wrote:

    "Just who do you have in mind to do it [Only when the World makes Israel understand that it must behave in a civilised manner will matters change]?".

    I hoped that I made it clear that in the end 'shock and awe' may be needed if everything else fails - just as with Iran and North Korea military options should remain on the table. Juts because a state claims to be a democracy does not mean that it is free to carry out barbaric acts!

  • Comment number 29.


    "Ultimately, the United States cannot impose a solution." To put it another way: "No we can't."


    "It is so tough being Jewish. Nowhere feels like home. We have to fight all the time. We are always under threat. And all we ever did was to know ourselves a cut above any host nation, and refuse to 'marry out'. So that's a crime already?"

  • Comment number 30.


    Does the Silly Season last all year now?

    Only because Hawking is 'conscious' is he able to conclude there is no God. But as Hawking cannot define consciousness, without invoking the universe - of which he is a part, and to some degree, 'aware' - ALL his conclusions are circular and threaten to disappear up his own black hole.

    Bring on Dawkins (notice that - Hawking/Dawkins - there IS a God) and let's all have a REALLY silly season!

    Happy Silly Season everybody. (:o)

  • Comment number 31.


    That zombie photo of 'waning Blair' on the cover of 'A Journey' - only Posh Spice thinks such a look has appeal. Did Mandy switch the artwork?

    If it was the Editors choice, what is the message? "Look what I have done to myself in the service of mankind." That'll do nicely.

  • Comment number 32.

    hawkins/physics - so much to say, can't be arsed. Physics/Science /= valueless. Explaining the Universe - or Multiverse - without reference to consciousness, or values, is patently a leap of faith, into the religiously fundamentalist Church of Materialism.

    before making any statement about the existence/non-existence of something, a scientist must first define what that something *is*. I failed to hear that during the report, is it in Hawkins book? I refer of course to how he is defining "God". Does he?

    there is no requirement for a 'causative consciousness' at the beginning of time/the universe, even for a theist, this has been philosophically, and theologically, known for many centuries.

    so i fail entirely to see the basis for Hawkins statement, but having said that i haven't read the book, nor read his definitions of the terms he is using (and on NN tonight) - ASSUMING he hasn't thrown away his scientific rigour by not defining the terms he is using properly in his work that is, so perhaps it would be best if i do not comment upon matters, due to lack of study of the materials.

    its a shame that Hawkins and Dawkins do not do the same for these theological attacks.

    oh, and BTW NewsNight - there are FAAAAR more 'Religious Positions' than those of mainstream Christians - not only around the world, but even here in the UK. Would have been nice, Gavin, if you had pointed that out to your otherwise quite wise and pleasant to listen to guest.

    Christianity is not the only religion out there that would have an opinion upon Hawkins' statements.



    i'm sorry NN, but despite your more compassionate report on Hague, obviously in contrast to MOST of the UK's media, i have a criticism.

    your editor, IMHO, should have only reported upon the important discussions that Hague was in with his European counterparts. By setting the example, and opening a discussion/report upon the matters being addressed by adults, could have made the rest of the media wake up to its childishness.

    the footage of that report, where our Foreign Secretary, after important talks with foreign officials at the highest level of Europe, then facing questions resembled little so much as having a professor give a lecture to 8yr old students, who spend the entire time giggling to themselves and demanding to know if he was gay.

    "R u gay? R u gay? R u gay?"

    that was how it looked. It was excruciatingly embarrassing to listen to and watch. This is supposed to be our premier 'Free Press', interviewing our Foreign Secretary, after an important meeting, where the other countries press all asked serious questions about the policies and discussions.

    ours were giggling infants.

    SO *WHAT* **IF** Hague is bisexual? How is this any kind of a serious question for the public to ponder? Are we now so PUERILE, so Americanised, that such a question becomes political currency?

    "R u gay? R u gay? R u gay?"

    i am even led to wonder if this is deliberate smokescreen, to cover up what discussions those were about, because the Tory voters might not approve of what was agreed in those meetings? I have no idea.

    "R u gay? R u gay? R u gay?"

    but it is profoundly embarrassing to have a media that thinks THIS is what is worthy of it.

  • Comment number 33.

    Muslims are praying in the streets of France.

    This story has been ignored by the lamestream news.
    watch video from this link.

  • Comment number 34.


    You'll be hearing from them in due course, 'krishna'

  • Comment number 35.


    identical twins are born from the same, impregnated by the same 'seed', but split egg

    no wonder there are so many similarities between such individuals

  • Comment number 36.

    #34: It is Ramadan. There are not enough mosques in Paris for Muslims to pray in, due to (Shock Horror Scandal) - the islamaphobia and racism of France.

    that was a vile, biased and hate-mongering report, and i only watched the 1st minute. I can imagine where it was going.

    we already know from watching last night's report on the tea-partyers, that islamaphobia is being deliberately whipped up in the US by the media, and here we just saw exactly one such report.

    i presume *that* was why you showed us this report, kevsey, and not because you are terrified the streets of York are going to be jammed full of praying people?

    - or would it be OK if it was any other group except Muslims?

  • Comment number 37.

    withces may not be good for the economy but angels might

  • Comment number 38.



    I shall write to Mr Mason and ask him whether the abusers of the most fundamental human and civil rights are good for the economy are good for the economy.

  • Comment number 39.

    Mindys_housemate wrote at 36:

    "...and i only watched the 1st minute. I can imagine where it was going."

    classic response from a lib, if you don't mind me saying so. Averting ones eyes from something that may challenge everything your socialist teacher put into your head is always a difficult one eh. I challenge the Guardian newspaper regular, but not until i've read the paper, I don't look at the front page and then rant about it contents.

  • Comment number 40.

    right. You find the sight of people peacefully praying, when they have no nearby place of worship, to be ***REALLY SCARY***.

    have you heard of the Right to freely worship a religion of your own choosing? These are french citizens expressing a human right enshrined in their Nation's Constitution and Bill of Rights. The police do not interfere because ITS PEOPLE PRAYING PEACEFULLY. With the increase in racial/religious attacks in France in recent years, it is not surprising that they provide some security of their own - who were there clearly only to defend, not to provocate in any way.

    the increasing hysteria made me turn off after that.

    i have traveled in Muslim lands, and stayed in Muslim homes. Islam IS a very peaceful religion, if followed with the heart as well as the mind. I could not live under Islamic rule, it is too restrictive for my tastes (many Christians would like it however), but i respected the peace i found in the Islamic countries i traveled in.

    this media blitz hysteria is not only so indicative of media where Rupert Murdoch controls a lot of the media and drives the direction, it is also entirely reminiscent of every blitz preceding an attack on Islam in some way.

    tonight's NewsNight was a blast of hope that any such thing can be avoided.

    i have seen enough hatred and jingoism to know when something is not going to improve, and i am aware of the drift of US meedja malipulation of the population. I had a lesson recently with the 'justifications' in he mainstream media regarding the planned and ongoing invasion of Iraq.

    i did not rant, i stated what i deduced from what i had seen already.

  • Comment number 41.


    Maybe on that occasion you did not rant, 'housey'/jj, but you do, 'painfully' so

  • Comment number 42.


    I just wonder whether the BBC's DG and No 10 talked about the 'witch-hunt'? Anyone here has any info on the subject? Some time ago I did e-mail the now PM about jj's ranting, the 'prostitution project' and so on.


  • Comment number 43.

    28. At 11:11pm on 02 Sep 2010, John_from_Hendon wrote:

    "I hoped that I made it clear that in the end 'shock and awe' may be needed if everything else fails - just as with Iran and North Korea military options should remain on the table. Juts because a state claims to be a democracy does not mean that it is free to carry out barbaric acts!"

    That' covers the what, but who would deliver it? To the best of my knowledge, Israel and the USA are behind the threats to Iran and N Korea (these being described as state sponsors of unacceptable economic systems), so who would deliver the shock and awe was my question?

    Time-Warp: 1940

    Germany: "You're Anti-Teutonic, and under section 6 of the new addition to the Anti-Comintern Pact:

    we've collectively decided that your anarchistic shop-keeping practices are such a threat to global economic stability in the future that we're coming over to remove your financial weapons of self-destruction and teach you how to run an economy in a civilized manner."

    Britain: But we never signed the Anti-Comintern Pact!

    Germany "Look, even Stalin's signing it given the rubbish Russia had to put up with in the 1920s! You've become very annoying, and what we're going to do is for your own long term best interests. If we don't do it now, you'll bring the rest of Europe and the USA to its knees within 60 years or so" (see ch.22 for further instalments):

  • Comment number 44.

    #33 That's a very interesting report Kev. Coming to a street near you?

    #40have you heard of the Right to freely worship a religion of your own choosing? If you'd bothered to watch all the report you would have heard that under french secular law you are free to follow any religion and worship it, in your home, mosque, synagoge or church, not on the street.

    I think this was a blatent declaration of I'm muslim and different, and I'm not french, don't you think?

  • Comment number 45.

  • Comment number 46.

    'And we'll be asking whether Professor Stephen Hawking is right to conclude...'

    Just wondering, was/is that 'right' in coming to a conclusion, or 'right' in the conclusion arrived at?

    If the latter, good luck with that.

    If the former, an interesting presumption, as is who gets designated to be the qualified 'we'.

  • Comment number 47.


    Thanks Liz. While Blair was till blazing across the firmament, I was printing out his speeches (spoken by him - written/edited by?) and proving them to be un-parsable claptrap, with occasional Freudian slips.

    I reported such, here. But at that time, the media were 'living within the lie' - more fun to pretend that he was a real Prime Minister.

    But STILL the BBC will not register AS A SEVICE TO THE PUBLIC that the entire WESTMINSTER ETHOS defeats democracy and invites Blair-crassy. Brown was no different, and in Dave WE HAVE GOT OURSELVES ANOTHER ONE.

    Before our identity, as a finite state, is degraded completely, we could YET pull ourselves together (literally) and begin the business of putting contentment before commerce and competence before cash - care before carp.

    Drunken Blair now reels round the world, high status, high profile, high as a kite on imaginary worth, DEMONSTRATING JUST WHAT KIND OF MAN THE WESTMINSTER ETHOS ELEVATES.

    Put the cameras on him Beeb. THOSE WHO HAVE EYES TO SEE, LET THEM SEE.

    "WE CAN'T GO ON LIKE THIS". Dave Cameron.

  • Comment number 48.


    How about giving us your own opinion, Ecolizzy? Have you read the book yourself? Or have you any comments to make about particular issues that Blair talks about in 'The Journey' from the quotes given by the journalists?


  • Comment number 49.

    #48 Ah no mim I haven't read the book myself, and don't intend to, I've had all the propoganda I want from Blair.

    I put the link up because people here might read the book, and like to have another persons appraisal of it.

    I think Blair is one of the most hypocritical men around.

  • Comment number 50.

    Some may be interested in this piece by The Independent's excellent Robert Fisk...

    Robert Fisk: Blair should take responsibility for Iraq. But he won't. He can't

    “Sometimes, Blair sounded like the Israeli foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman.”

  • Comment number 51.


    You may not drink, singie, perhaps you have a weak head for it and it does not 'agree' with you but you're living within the lie yourself though hats off, or on when you come out into the streets, to you for not hiding your identity. You're just about the only one here, apart from myself and Roger, who can be clearly and with no shred of a doubt identifiable.


  • Comment number 52.

    #47 Yes Barrie all politics is now about personality and the leaders charisma. When it should be about asking the people want they want, and following policies, not personalities, which is all it's about these days, and I have to agree "we have got ourselves another one"!

  • Comment number 53.

    Ah, the religion of peace....

  • Comment number 54.

    Oh, and how to beat your Muslim wife...

  • Comment number 55.


    I have just watched a TV commercial on Channel 5 by a company called 'WONGA.COM' advertising loans with a 'TYPICAL APR OF 2689%'

    (during the adverts of the programme 'The Wright Stuff' who might be the target audience for that show?)

    Don't believe it?....check out their website for yourself...

    After all that has happened, have we learned nothing?

    Someone, somewhere has to start doing something about this predatory behaviour that deliberately targets the more vulnerable in our society...and start doing something soon!

  • Comment number 56.


    I have a science background. Ethyl Alcohol (Ethanol) is not a food nor substitute for water. It is a product of the DECAY of vegetable matter.

    When you shop for fruit, do you choose the decaying items?

    Ethanol is poorly metabolised - it lingers in the body DOING HARM.

    The Ape Confounded by Cleverness has woven alcohol into his cultures and found many ways to produce and CONCENTRATE it. More fool Ape.

    Alcohol MISUSE is living on borrowed time. It doesn't kill you easily, but you can be sick a LONG TIME before you die. It is a drug (like all the others) and a poison by standard definition. To swallow it DELIBERATELY is as dumb as breathing smoke. AND WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD DO THAT?

  • Comment number 57.


    drugs [including alcohol] are for people who are ill. misuse for personal pleasuring is natures way of weeding out those stuck in defective philosophies.

    state acceptance of misuse of drugs doesn't mean it is good. the govt doesn't work on the basis of the good as the highest idea of the mind.

  • Comment number 58.

    Might this perhaps be worthy of a Newsnight panel?

    dizzy_thinks RT @wesstreeting Where are my bloody ballot papers. I get about 4 or 5 but haven't received one yet!! - multi-vote democracy in action.

    Preferably not solely involving the extensive and exclusive thoughts of Lord Creosote and that pervasive blonde lady whose affiliations are of no concern, fresh on secondment from The Today programme?

    Is Mr. Crick still on school hols. It's something I, at least, would be interesting in hearing more about.

    Over say, subjective, oddly well-informed, but still salaciously-shared opinions on how 'comfortable' two men 'seemed' in each other's company. Before the thread closes promptly.

  • Comment number 59.

    palestine is the other country that is in constant fear of disappearing?

    the israeli war for a greater israel is a war of choice? should the saxons have felt sorry for the normans as they ethnically cleansed their way through the uk setting up castles [roadblocks/checkpoints] and a cultural holocaust in order to pacify the country for foreign settlers? norman castles are not romantic as the bbc tried to show in the lastest bit of pro norman monarchy propaganda but are symbols of a military occupation of an occupier. The more castles the more stiff the resistance and the more brutal the suppression. Of course today the uninformed people worship norman castles but would they worship israeli checkpoints that serve the same function?

    if the usa stopped funding israel with billions a year in loans and credits there would be peace in a year. occupation is very expensive and it would bankrupt the israeli state. maybe an empty wallet might focus their minds a bit more on what is real?

  • Comment number 60.


    the uk politcal class doesn't have a society building science never mind one built on the good as the highest idea of the mind. so waiting for somone to do something might be a long wait?

  • Comment number 61.

    Theology and Metaphysics.

    if you take the word God as the highest term certain things follow such as use of names like holy, divine,lord etc. that is called theology.

    If you take the word Good or One as the highest term then certain words follow like goodness, whole, complete etc. That is metaphysics [a bad term because the current use of the word physics implies a different thing to what it originally meant].

    usually people who attack the term God imagine it as meaning as an old man in the sky not helped that many who use the term in their discussions also think that. Both are defective in their understanding of theology.

    hawking might be good at physics but he is lacking in his understanding of metaphysics and theology and what the difference is. so no wonder he mixes up different highest terms like someone mixing up cricket and football terms with comic effect.[bowler scores a goal etc]

  • Comment number 62.


    Having watched and even participated in wine making, I don't think it's decaying fruit that's used but rather fruit going through a lengthy process of fermentation and so on.

    Can't help it, singie, I like a drop of this or a drop of that tipple though I never overdo it these days. Besides:


  • Comment number 63.


    My guess is there will be a loan tax before long - our greatest predator is always government. Remember Brown's stealth taxes.

    Thatcher used cheap houses to addict potential strikers and 'put them beyond use' by unions. More recently, student debt is that first fix, pushed upon the young - again by government.

    The debt-drug gives you a purchasing high, but when you 'come down' there is no going back. You just have to borrow for another.

    That is Britain under the Westminster Ethos. It stinks. No wonder so many try to blot it out.

  • Comment number 64.

    #49: can't be bothered either, Lizzy. I'll wait for it to hit the charity shops. week.

  • Comment number 65.


    Great posting Jaunty.

    I have tried to point out the 600odd year, comparative 'youth' of Islaam, and the almost identical violence of Christianity 600 years back. (Though WE had a thing about burning alive. Nice.)

    Simple rationality just does not get through - even to the simple.

  • Comment number 66.

    #43. abblenabble01 wrote:

    "#28.John_from_Hendon... so who would deliver the shock and awe was my question?"

    The USA - it has a long history of eventually turning on its puppets!

  • Comment number 67.


    Cooking with natural gas Jaunty. You have, at least, one reader.

  • Comment number 68.

    "44. At 08:31am on 03 Sep 2010, ecolizzy wrote:

    #33 That's a very interesting report Kev. Coming to a street near you?

    #40have you heard of the Right to freely worship a religion of your own choosing? If you'd bothered to watch all the report you would have heard that under french secular law you are free to follow any religion and worship it, in your home, mosque, synagoge or church, not on the street.

    I think this was a blatent declaration of I'm muslim and different, and I'm not french, don't you think?"

    not at all. I remember the old 'free parties' of the 90s, where young citizens organised parties AGAINST THE LAWS BROUGHT IN BY THATCHER, because we wanted to party, and the State decided partying was a "subversive activity".

    did we feel we were renouncing our Citizenship by this act, rebelling against 'Englishness'? No, in fact we regarded the intolerance and fascism of the Thatcher Govt to be the problem, because of its desire to enforce a monoculture upon a diverse culture.

    the same is true of France now - the french Muslims would almost certainly prefer to worship in mosques, just as Christians prefer their churches. The State has prevented that. So normal citizens are congregating, and worshiping publicly - just as we (i consumed) put on free parties for the Public, against the wishes of the State, and the more orthodox and intolerant parts of the UK public.

    the Muslims are not saying "I am different", they are saying "I have the same rights as everyone else". It is the stupid, reactionary, racist and thug-like French State that has caused this problem, by its deliberate inflammatory intolerance.

    how would the few Christians like it if the UK State decreed that they could only worship in their homes or churches, and then locked all the churches at Christmas? And then the media attacked any public Christmas revellers as being "enemies of the State, and unpatriotic"?

    as a general rule of thumb, i try to change the variables in a report, to see if it has the same emotional impact if it is about other groups or situations, this is often a good way to avoid being caught up in deliberate emotional manipulation by professional agent-provocateurs.

  • Comment number 69.


    What would be the dish that you 2 are 'hoping to cook' using the natural gas? Are you planning to share it and are expecting it to be tasty?

  • Comment number 70.

    #53 mistress: and how exactly is that any different from american children wanting to "kill commies" from an early age?

    now, here's a stat or two to look up:

    how many Muslims have Western society killed, either through direc intervention, supporting dictators, economic sanctions, and terrorist attacks in the last 100 years, and how many Westerners have been killed using the same standard or measurement during the same period?

    i have no such stats to hand, but i think with a list like:

    Indonesia, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, Algeria, Abyssinia, Bosnia, Pakistan - this list is hardly exhaustive, and is already well into the 10s of millions of deaths.

    Iraq alone, counting the effects of sanctions and both wars, has almost certainly lost well over 5 million souls to Western actions in the last 20 years alone.

    is it good that such small children are being trained in hatred? Of course not - but do you REALLY believe that that is how all Muslim children are raised? Don't be utterly ridiculous, you must have seen countless UK Muslims on our TVs who were clearly balanced, rational and peace-loving Citizens - often far more than the two-faced lying psychos who rule this Land!

  • Comment number 71.

    Here's an outrageous and naive suggestion, would never happen but might resolve a lot of problems in the middle east. How about if the Israelis and Palestinians both did some giving.

    The Palestinians give up that awful strip of land Gaza which appears to be an appalling place to live.

    AND the Israelis GIVE the Palestinians an equivalant strip of land towards the sea from the West Bank, so that they can have a port.

    At a stroke Hamas would be out on it's ear and peace could reign.

    Nah, I thought it couldn't happen either, what would they fight about then?

  • Comment number 72.

    "53. At 10:14am on 03 Sep 2010, Mistress76uk wrote:"

    Just in the interest of fairness, could you provide us with some links to images of Israeli children signing cluster shells etc? This is the BBC after all.

    The use of WE is indeed to little unexamined. Ecolizzy, be careful not to be recruited. Whose interests might Islamophobia serve? Besides the obvious, think of their strong views on usury.

    Furthermore, why have so many cultures been so harsh on females over the centuries, and why, given that all the research shows that males actually show higher ability in all subjects relevant to the sciences and engineering upon which our industry and economy really depends, do we find that those subjects are now dwindling in our universities in just part of the world (not in China note), whilst our females now dominate in education, through studying subjects which are not conducive to economic production in the world markets? Might it be subversion?

  • Comment number 73.

    "56. At 10:42am on 03 Sep 2010, barriesingleton wrote:

    I have a science background. Ethyl Alcohol (Ethanol) is not a food nor substitute for water. It is a product of the DECAY of vegetable matter."

    I respectfully refer you to the website which published the recent GCE and GCSE results. Have a look at the numbers/sexes sitting the science subjects and ask you to think.

    Are they being discriminated against or are they discriminating against the subjects? As you look through other subjects chosen, ask yourself what they are good for in our troubled economy, and why is this not the pattern in China?

    Note: I really am asking you to think about this carefully, and not to just dash off a speedy reply in order to look good as the childlike urge to look good, rather than to do good, is largely why we have all of these problems I suggest. Alcohol, like loans at high interest, exploits the child in us, the impulsive. Whose economy is that good for?

  • Comment number 74.

    55. At 10:39am on 03 Sep 2010, DebtJuggler wrote:

    "After all that has happened, have we learned nothing?

    Someone, somewhere has to start doing something about this predatory behaviour that deliberately targets the more vulnerable in our society...and start doing something soon!"

    But who?

    If one voted for any one of the CON-THEM parties, one essentially voted for this as one voted for further deregulation.

    It was under Thatcher's government that usury laws were relaxed, and that gave the illusion of growth-as-debt, and at the same time, all the talk of equality and freedom was ratcheted up so predators could take advantage of the cognitively vulnerable (the worst of it was "freedom for women" as all it did was cut them loose to spend spend spend and fend for themselves with no security. This was all in aid of getting money out of more people, that's all. It's been the same with celebritism, which just preys upon childlike vanity. There's almost no respect for truth anymore as education has become business, baubles being given out to almost all. Nearly 50% who sat biology GCSE got an A or above and about 75% got a B or above. There has clearly been a shift from Norm to Criterion Referencing, and with that, a change/drop in standards, which means one can no longer comparable today's results with those of 30 years ago. It's all changed. But why? To hide what?

  • Comment number 75.

    59. At 11:28am on 03 Sep 2010, jauntycyclist wrote:

    "if the usa stopped funding israel with billions a year in loans and credits there would be peace in a year."

    But why would the USA ever do that given that the USA created Israel and many of it's citizens migrated there? The USA was originally settled
    (colonized) by people who were fanatical English/European revolutionaries and who were fanatical about the Israelites. These were the Puritans

    I think you may be confusing nation building with colonization.
    Colonization is an international, imperialist, pursuit. Countries like China are busy nation building, but elsewhere you suggest that China is not civilized. The Soviet Union did a fair bit of nation building too, Britain tried it domestically after the war, but the USA made that very difficult.

    Education is not about LOOKING good you know, it's about trying to get matters right.

  • Comment number 76.


    hamas is a creature of the greater israel ambition. end that and you end hamas.

    the israel settlers have shown they will kill anyone who gets in their way. Sharon complained he had to increase the size of his bodyguard because his own people were trying to kill him for giving up settlements.

    unless the israeli govt is under settler siege then we can assume the settlers are happy that nothing meaningful will happen and that this is just more buying time while they can make more 'facts on the ground'.

    if squatters had taken over your house would you be too interested if the squatters squabbled over the 'concession' of allowing you [the 'terrorist' who wants his house back] to sleep in your own garden shed?

    the standard idf joke is of a palestinian complaining of people cutting down trees on his land and being told by the police "what do you mean 'your' land?"

  • Comment number 77.

    "the standard idf joke is of a palestinian complaining of people cutting down trees on his land and being told by the police "what do you mean 'your' land?""

    Do you think maybe Israel was created to show the world why there were mass migrations from the Ukraine etc at the end of the nineteenth century (and elsewhere before that)? Is it possible that some of these people are just nasty?

    Where's tawse57 and his psychology when you need him?

  • Comment number 78.


    My emerging awareness in 1940 was that Germans and germs seemed to be equally disliked and dangerous. Later it was all 'Hun' and 'Naazies' from Churchill. No mention of innocent masses who wanted nothing to do with war; who worshipped the same god, and didn't deserve to be burned alive or starved to death.

    HomSap does not mature, he therefore succumbs to those desperate to be leaders, who are by nature driven and ruthless. All there is left to say is: WE HAVE GOT OURSELVES ANOTHR ONE.

  • Comment number 79.

    #77: Rabbinical Judaism is historically pacifistic. Zionism became deliberately atheist to reduce this pacifism. Zionism transferred the fear of Jews in Europe from Christian atrocities to fear of potential Muslim atrocities - scapegoating the Muslims for previous, especially 'catholic' and 'orthodox' *Christian* murderous obscenities.

    Jews, like most groups that transfer and invest wealth within their own communities (eg some immigrant groups, Freemasons, the aristocracies etc), tend to do better than the surrounding 'gentiles'. Due to certain self-congratulatory idiocies in their own 'Holy Scribblings', they, more than many other groups, tend to be more showy and snobbish with this success. Oddly, this tends to create resentment, so when the 'gentile' rulers needed a scapegoat, usually because their own thievery, corruption, and general incompetence has gotten out of hand, guess whose heads are put on the block. Historically speaking.

    there is nothing in particular "nasty" about Jews, nor of the People's they lived amongst. Just bad education, and corruption at the highest levels, in both State and Religion.

    if you want REAL "nasty", look to the catholic leadersip, and the clear psycho-pathological nature of this organisation throughout the millenia since it unlawfully usurped the wealth and power of the Roman Empire.

    not that the Roman Empire was anything except a model for this supposed 'church' to copy-paste.

    what is your game, rabblenabble? First you attempt to link "witchcraft" with anti-semitism, and then "bad economics" (!). And now you seem to be trying to claim that the Jews in the Ukraine and elsewhere 'had it coming'.

    answer me this: are you a Jesuit, or Jesuit trained?

    oh, and whilst you're at it, DO you have a link that shows that pedophilia and child-abuse are lower in the catholic church than in the wider society?


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