BBC BLOGS - Newsnight: From the web team
« Previous | Main | Next »

Friday 19 November 2010

Verity Murphy | 11:25 UK time, Friday, 19 November 2010

David Cameron's enterprise adviser Lord Young has stepped down following Tory embarrassment over his claim that most Britons "had never had it so good," and that many people have gained from low interest rates during this "so-called recession".

The PM dubbed the remarks "unacceptable", and Lord Young has apologised for them, but did he in fact have a point?

Tonight, we will be crunching through the economic data to find out.

Mark Urban reports from the Nato summit in Lisbon, where Afghanistan is dominating the agenda as the alliance tries to work out an exit route from combat operations. Is the new plan realistic?

Surveying the state of their economy and the humiliation of IMF and European Union officials negotiating the terms of a bail out in Dublin, an Irish Times editorial asked this week, "Was it for this (that) the men of 1916 died for?"

Tonight we will examine Irish soul searching and angst with writers Edna O'Brien and Ruth Dudley Edwards.

That and more at 10.30pm on BBC Two.


  • Comment number 1.

  • Comment number 2.

  • Comment number 3.

    nato summit in Lisbon...anyone thought of inviting the Russians?

  • Comment number 4.

    #48 addendum

    The complicity, I'm afraid, will extend to the current government unless something is done pronto.

  • Comment number 5.

    the multi-millionaire 'marie antionette' tells poor they never had it so good attitude

    Now IEA says the same as the hayekist Young?

    Clearly we are not all in it 'together'? Psychologically or economically? The poor pips might be squeaking but the inner empire says 'im alright jack'? Given millionaire landowners get 4 billion a year public tax money merely for owning land then they probably are alright?

    Lord Young has exposed the unbridgeable gap between an inner empire untouched by recession or protected through govt subsidy to the banking system and the british people paying for it with money and jobs? Where does Lord Young think his massive share portfolio would be without the huge public support of the finance system?

    Cake anyone?

  • Comment number 6.

    ..Israel's military today condemned the publication of the names and photographs of 200 Israeli soldiers on a website that labelled them war criminals.

    The information was put online this week by anonymous activists in Britain...The website said the information came from an anonymous source who was "presumably" serving in the Israeli military.

    actually the list we should know is the names of all british citizens who have served in the idf so they can be prosecuted for swearing allegiance to another state? When will Cameron [a patron of the JNF] ask the israeli govt to provide a list of the names? Or is that not in his DNA?

  • Comment number 7.

    ..There were no grounds for fining Google, Mr Smith told the BBC.

    Mr Smith admitted that the UK had conducted a much more basic investigation.

    "We spent less time searching than others did. If we had searched for days and days we would have found more," Mr Smith said...

    goodness we wouldn't want an investigator searching for 'days and days' would we? Because it would reveal evidence and then what? Deputy information commissioner David Smith hardly come across as a 'tiger' in the defence of the privacy of brtish people?

    Maybe NN should grill Google's head of public relations?

  • Comment number 8.


    I've just had a blueberry muffin, jaunty. Delicious!!!! And i' m going to follow it with a taste the difference mango & and passion fruit yoghurt, not bought at Tesco's I hasten to add.

  • Comment number 9.


    As if you, yourself jaunty, was respectful of privacy.

  • Comment number 10.


    Cake indeed Jaunty. They are caked in the proverbial, but still think they smell of roses. At risk of repeating myself (moi?) Westminster is a Rotten Barrel. It attracts rotten apples, and the few sound ones who wander in SOON GO ROTTEN.

    AV is a ploy to make us think we have got somewhere. (Another climb-down by Nimble Nick.) The allowances 'clean-up' was similar. Unless voters have the sense and courage to drive a crowbar (collective noun) of INDEPENDENTS into the Citadel of Westminster, we shall remain in the spread-finger grasp of 'Have it All Dave'.


  • Comment number 11.

  • Comment number 12.



    Still bearing false witness? Still trolling?

    i'm sure you won't explain your made up fantasy?

  • Comment number 13.

    #8 addendum

    The taste the difference yoghurt has also quite a bit of papaya.

    Pa Pa Pa Pa

    I should imagine you know what it means from the linguistic point of although semantically you might have a problem accepting the true meaning of it ****

  • Comment number 14.

    Grandee’s arrogance on his ‘perception’ the ‘real’ circumstance of the GBP. Toff sneering and out-of-touch? How many more of his ilk inhabit the W-illage?

    Just how much is a pint of milk, Guys?

    (Notably this follows on from the photography and ciné - box-office - flops from 21st Century Con Productions, but what about Queen Con’s Personal Assistant? Any redundancy payment due there yet? And what about the Lawd from Bleeze? )

    Back to topic ........

    Sacking was the very last thing that was going to happen, and it was never ever going to be King Con’s decision, he’s not senior enough. The decision to offer the reprobate his sword and suggest sic that he should fall on it pronto was almost certainly made by the back-room peers of the - now ex - advisor i.e. the True Con Old Guard, (This two-tier ideological divide between all True Cons will be with us for some considerable time but it will be inevitably and increasingly ‘hidden’ as it will never rhyme with the Big Con - public - rhetoric!)

    And .... Oh yes ....

    Observations regarding ......

    32. At 10:28am on 18 Nov 2010, ecolizzy :

    Following ‘links’ from the provided links may offer up some further explanation as to why the birth rate is rising so rapidly amongst the UK’s incoming immigrant population i.e. Judging by the comments from the UK Border Authority it is virtually impossible to remove unlawful migrants that have children born in this country.

    Possible solution perhaps .....

    If it is the case that new migrants are now required to be fluent in English Language to GCSE level perhaps they should then also be required to pass a GCSE in Effective Contraception?

    But wait! .... That classrooms would already be full with large numbers of the indigenous population! .... Wouldn’t it?

    And .... Oh yes ....

    More ‘honorables’ ‘honoured’ including an ex-mayoral candidate strangely rejected for that ‘competition’ but deemed to be good enough for the ‘upper house’ ! So is that an obtuse rejection of the will of the ‘people’ or do ‘they’ know something we don’t e.g. Is there some special attribute directly applicable to this individual that isn’t immediately obvious? Just what exactly has she done to warrant such ‘elevation’?

    And why are the Big Cons intending to cut back on elected representatives of the GBP yet at the same time increasing the ranks of those whom are unelected? It’s hard, sometimes, to remember that this is still a Democracy! (Isn’t it?)

    And .... Oh yes ....

    Six Lib Dims Local Authority Councillors ( aka LAC-kies.) resign ..... natural justice for the betrayal of the lib dim foot-fallers ... or ...the first cracks ... or ... the beginning of the end ... or .....?

    Wait .... ! May 2015 is a long, long way off!

    And .... Oh yes ....

    Page Three .....

    Good to see that the editorial team didn’t kowtow to the possible “Disgusted from Dagenham” e-mail! ( Just exactly why are they so unhappy with where they live?)

    That said .....

    Haven’t seen it for years - It is solely the choice of the individual and I can’t see that it does any harm except perhaps deluding an awful lot of young men and women whom will hopefully one day wise up? [ Perhaps a topic for another day?] - much more appreciative of women that veer toward the approach stated by LC2 at No 41 yesterday. That said - one step beyond - better to look into the eyes, much more likely to get a true understanding of what’s really on offer.

    Strange the number of women that go topless sic when holidaying overseas. Particularly confusing are those celebrities that go to far flung places, plead poverty - so poor they can’t afford the other half of the Bikini ( Ah! Sad ‘innit?) - then sue for ‘invasion of privacy’! Oh well, -potential hypocrisy on their part aside - perhaps “Any publicity is good publicity.”

    And what about the fuss of a ‘certain’ presenter having thighs! ..... Shock, Horror!

    Interesting to wonder though, following the piece yesterday, that the Junior Big Con Newbie would not probably ever believe that her career ‘options’ weren’t ‘enhanced’ by her appearance ... Doesn’t happen, does it? Nah!

    Perhaps she might feel more at home wearing a Burqa.

    And, in view of the comment as to the importance of the eyes, one must only think .....

    Phwoar !!!!

  • Comment number 15.

    Lord Young of Graffham writes in his autobiography of the late Baroness Carnegy of Lour in Scotland who was
    carried up Lour Hill to her final resting place yesterday on a bogie pulled by a tractor - escorted by Girl Guides
    and a hundred or so mourners prepared to follow Nicholas Soames MP and other mourners though the mud -
    "She proved to be a tower of strength and common sense within the Manpower Services Commission, even if
    she did not guard her words too carefully at all times." Bet he's now wishing he'd come to the funeral instead of having lunch with The Daily Telegraph and doing his impression of Harold Macmillan! He might still have a job!

  • Comment number 16.

  • Comment number 17.

    does he have a point

    the 'point' of the cuts the hayekists do not like to mention is that they are off a banking crisis caused by their no rules ideology.

    do the hayekists believe there should be no rules on the motorways or in air traffic control or on who becomes a doctor? Yet they think finance is best with no rules with self interest as the only 'regulator'.

    Lord Young shows this tory cuts is just a fetish. a dogma they would have done anyway. Today the masked slipped. They believe anarchy for the masses is best while the inner empire benefits from state subsidies like the 4 billion a year for landowners [ its ringfenced]. Which is why hayekism that Lord Young loves led to riots last time and has done again this time.

  • Comment number 18.

    Of course, Lord Young (AKA the destroyer) is factually correct when he points out the arithmetically correct gigantic transfer of wealth that is taking place between creditors and debtors (the prudent to the imprudent) which is taking place directly as a result of Mervyn King's daft interest rate policy.

    The problem for the Government is that this obvious effect of policy is deemed to be unspeakable! You must not the peasants know the truth!

  • Comment number 19.

    Yet another " Welfare State " for the Stock Market Parasites ?

  • Comment number 20.

    Fascinating nonsense from David Mellor tonight. Is he wearing a syrup, or has he modelled his 'hairstyle' on an impending landslide?

  • Comment number 21.

    RETRO MELLOR (#20)

    Isn't that style called 'The Fop'?

    He and the Eagle chic, not fully fledged, were so very clearly from the political class.

  • Comment number 22.


    Or the flop. It's like he's been stored in a cupboard for years and suddenly they've tipped him out for a bit of support. Angela Eagle, now she makes a Dalek seem friendly.

  • Comment number 23.

    At #8 on 18 November the couplet should read:

    It is most sad that good people of heart
    Got themselves entwined in the trap.

    When I type my rhymes on my iPhone sitting on either a chair by some cafe or other, or on one of the street walls in the dark, I can't always see that the machine's default changes some of the words as I type. So, instead of 'proletariat' it should be 'people' which includes some of the people in high, or even very high, places. To avoid embarrassment, I shall skip naming the particular people I do have in mind. There's no hope for those who do not realise that it might be them that I'm referring to, if they care about going down in history as honourable human beings.
    'History, what kind of a bitch are you?', as goes one of the lines in a song by Agnieszka Osiecka, 'Orszaki, Dworaki' /’Corteges, Courtiers’/, written by this wonderful Polish poetess in a moment of anger.


  • Comment number 24.

    Mr Esler, Mr Crick, Mr Urban and the Newsnight Team

    I've just watched last night's programme in its entirety and, to put it plainly, I thought it was very good.

    With regard to my earlier requests, whatever way they were passed on, they seemed to have got through so thank you if you've helped in this respect.

    I'm not really expecting for things to improve straight away although who knows, it might happen from one moment to the other.


  • Comment number 25.

    #24 addendum

    I haven't made any comments on what was actually said, as what is quite often the case, I see different points of view having virtually equal value which particularly applies to the conversation between Mr Esler, David Mellor and Angela Eagle apart from the fact that my former MP was 100% right that it was Gordon Brown's government who mismanaged the UK economy spending lavishly right, left and centre without any thoughtful concern for the future of the British citizens. It's no good for Labour MPs or Labour supporters to blame it on the global recession. In fact, I sometimes wonder whether the world recession wasn't caused to a large extent by the previous government who seemed to be at the beck and call of some of their deceitful cronies who now seem to be attempting to manipulate the current government. My hope is that it will be the UK, as well as journalists, writers, diplomats and even artists from around the globe, to get to the bottom of the truth.

  • Comment number 26.

    7. At 3:00pm on 19 Nov 2010, jauntycyclist wrote:
    Maybe NN should grill Google's head of public relations?

    It's a nifty twist. Fairly clear who's quids in, but who, if not Paul, is being robbed in the process?

  • Comment number 27.


    Are you enjoying being 'in', junk, and is dosh ringing in your ears making you all elated?

  • Comment number 28.

    Regarding imagination

    I've just found out that more than 40 years ago a Polish economist under a pseudonym wrote a book called 'Imagineskopia' in which he invented a methodological scientific theory of how to expand one's imagination with the hero's name being Jeremiasz Apollon Hytz. It all started, apparently, after a group of young people, while in the Polish mountains, set up a fictitious organisation called 'An International Office for Expanding Imagination', with the first task being a competition for the slowest skier to slide down a mountain slope.

    To prove that it's not my own imagination getting out of hand, here's the link:

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    Although it's in Polish, I'm sure an English translation, however bad, can be made via the internet.

  • Comment number 29.


    Just listening to the politicians on 'Any Questions' TOTALLY FAILING to realise the degree to which they are INSTITUTIONALISED into belief in EDUCATION FOR AMBITION - at any price to humanity.

    Weep Britain.

  • Comment number 30.


    I know a Mammon, or somebody who's desperately trying to become one, singie, but he is neither a politician, and I have met quite a few of them face to face, nor a journalist, quite a few of whom I've also had the pleasure to meet live and have a chat with.


  • Comment number 31.

    #30 addendum

    The bloke I'm talking about has something to do with some of the digits behind David Mellor and from a few camera angles behind Gavin Esler. I thought I'd write to you about it as it was either you or one of your mates talking here about a sale /love for sale or love for purchase??/.

    'Funnily' enough, I did see a number plate yesterday with those digits which was preceded by LVE.

  • Comment number 32.

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

  • Comment number 33.


    Mother & Daughter

    As my post above is not likely to be shown, I might as well simply mention that it was to do with the fact that I had the privilege of working in a bistro in Putney where Dame Vera Lynn and her daughter, Virginia, used to pop in every now and then, and that my own birthday falls on the same day in the calendar as Dame Vera's though not in the same year.

    As usual, I'd be most obliged if my best wishes to both ladies could be passed on as I should imagine that Virginia in particular remembers me from the bistro.


  • Comment number 34.


    You like to write in rhymes and about the cat and mice game, so I thought well, I might as well respond in kind:

    When the cat’s away, the bloggers begin to play,
    Which is a shame and a most shameful game.
    And which may leave them quite severely maimed.
    Oh, what a shame, Oh what a shame!!
    It doesn’t make any difference
    Whether they’re Muslim or Christians
    Or whatever religious preference
    And whether they’re English or Russian,
    American, Polish or Latvian
    Or whatever their country’s by name,
    The game does seem international.

    Melodrama come comedy come tragedy springs here to mind
    And please open the links which I have just found:
    The Theatre of the Absurd also spread on a wide scale
    With authors like Beckett, Stoppard and Havel,
    And one of the most notable plays – the ‘Endgame’,
    Which is not quite a reflection of the currently played game
    But nevertheless there are some echoes discernible there
    Written by Beckett who loved playing chess.


  • Comment number 35.


    Andrew Marr encapsulated the Gove sycophancy and the Dave narcissism by capping Gove's '200 Head Masters clapped Cameron at No10' with: "That sounds a little North Korean."

    Balls said he 'does not get invited'. Someone kind should tell him that the Dubya-style 'intrusive smirk' (much in evidence today) probably doesn't help.

    Definitely time to SPOILPARTYGAMES

  • Comment number 36.


    Have you noticed that this only seems to prevail in politics and show-biz? The conclusion is self evident.

    Will Blair institute the 'Tony Award' for blagging excellence?

  • Comment number 37.

    why haven't you reacted to my rhymes above, singie? I'm feeling very sad now and might have a weep in a second or two

  • Comment number 38.

    #38 a quick update on some news
    That's part of the truth

    In fact, singie, I did weep this morning
    But I'm not ashamed of my tears
    As they were plainly justified
    And were to do with a determinedly unrelating mad guy

  • Comment number 39.


    This is the ConDem mantra tripping from the butterless lips of Clegg, Cable and Cameron.

    When Nick and Dave met to go coalition route, did either say: "we can only proceed HONOURABLY if NO PLEDGES ARE BROKEN"?

    These knaves are treating us as fools, and perhaps we are?


  • Comment number 40.


    You are, singie & co, but for a completely different reason.
    Has not one of you spoken of poison?

  • Comment number 41.

    #40 addendum

    Poison and treason as a matter of fact
    But who the treason was apportioned to
    I shall not mention here and now because
    It's more than absurd a 'pro'
    Though I have heard it before
    At a meeting with a brother of somedyy I used to know.

  • Comment number 42.

    It must be a joke or something:

    Mandy as a 'great uncle', why not as a great great uncle? Perhaps I ought to suggest to that 'grandee' to do some experiments on my Grandma's Brother, Dionizy Zuberbier, scalpels and all, on a Russian yacht, with George Osborne present, following which they can have a gaga party.


    P.S. As a reminder, Dionizy Zuberbier, ENT Surgeon and most caring person curing the poor for nothing /there was no NHS type system anywhere in the world at the time/, who was doing REAL research on cancer with the help of a discovery of Marie Curie Sklodowwka for which she got a Nobel Science Prize, was brutally shot in the head by Stalinists in Katyn at the beginning of World War II.

  • Comment number 43.

    Although I have no proof that the guy I used to know and Nicholas Budgen who made a speech at the meeting I'm referring to in #42, I'm not lying about what I heard that morning, following which I joined David and Judy Mellor for a concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank. At the time, I was still politically naive, but as nobody was prepared to talk to me about some of my political concerns, I had to cope on my own trying at the say time to stay loyal to the course I'd chosen, which is still, in fact, the case.

    If NB was DB's brother, it doesn't necessarily mean that they were of identical political opinions though if they were, I can spot certain similarities between them.

  • Comment number 44.

    Being cheeky, still, at the age of 56

    Here’s a story of another couple of brothers,
    The A and J, William’s sons, the Lloyd Webbers
    Of whom I first heard chez ‘Gavin’s’
    The bistro in Putney.

    One of the owners called Glenda who taught me the catering business,
    Including serving and cooking, making Pavlovas, trifles and cakes,
    Was then an avid listener of Andrew’s creations and Sarah’s performances
    Ending up going up to their house cooking them lunches and dinners.

    As far as I do remember correctly, Mr William Lloyd Webber came to the bistro one day
    And sat on the right from the entry
    While earlier today on the right from the bar
    I bumped into Andrew’s young brother,
    The famous cellist working on music with a beer in one of his hands.
    That was in one of South Kensington’s pubs called the Anglesea Arms.

    Having been quite sure who he actually was
    I walked right up to the cellist and asked him what was his name
    To which he politely replied
    Though he didn’t have time with me to chat too much.

    As I was leaving I showed him the image of
    Sarah and Andrea Bocelli walking together holding hands sweetly
    Which I’ve saved into my iPhone4 iPod
    To show up whenever they sing
    Canto della Terra at full voice accompanied by strings.

    The song was written by Luciano Quarantotto and Francesco Sartori
    Who’ve written other songs for the great Andrea Bocelli,
    Among them ‘A Thousand Moons, A Thousand Waves’ as well as ‘Immenso’.

  • Comment number 45.

    #38 correction

    Instead of 'unrelating' it should be 'unrelenting'
    Of which tb takes 'great pride',
    Such is the guy in his treatment
    Of the moon and the sun loving cow.

  • Comment number 46.

    A couple of interesting programmes this evening

    I wonder if the moderates will succeed in controlling these situations.

  • Comment number 47.


    They do sound interesting, Ecolizzy, though I'm not sure whether I'd be able to keep my eyes open since I woke up about 2.30 am this morning and don't feel like staying at home today. Hopefully, however, I'll be awake enough to watch Newsnight tonight.


  • Comment number 48.

    Not being known for hiding many secrets, especially those related to politics and ethics which do seem to cross all kinds of boundaries, here's an e-mail I've just sent via Bob Geldof's 'Snow' to Peter Mandelson:

    Just to let you know, Lord Mandelson, that you're not getting away with it. No, I'm not planning to kill you or send anybody to do it on my behalf, you've seen to it yourself that your reputation is in complete shatters, or worse.
    I'd be more than happy to provide further details of my whereabouts but I think you probably know them anyway but please do send me any questions should you wish to ask me anything and I promise to answer them directly and in plain language.

    Monika Magdalena Burbo

  • Comment number 49.

    I keep getting my blog 'failed by the profanity filter'however I amend it and there never was any profanity of any sort in my comment. Is anyone else having this experience, or am I being 'got at'?

  • Comment number 50.


    No, personally I've never felt 'got at' by the Mods , as you put it, although I haven't always understood why some of my posts have been deemed unsuitable to either remain on this website, or to never appear in the first place. It seems though that most of them do appear these days. So, it's either me who's got better at writing, or the Mods have become more relaxed about what I send.

  • Comment number 51.


    Poetry night Lizzy - I shall take those programmes in later.

    Whenever we British are moved to look at another country in 'ain't it awful mode' (Eric Berne) I cannot help but wonder how they look at us. I have not seen a documentary made about Britain, by Johnnie Foreigner, on British TV.

    In similar vein, it is easy to see the error of allowing JF schools on our soil. But, to my mind, there is a damn great schooling-beam in our collective eye, that prevents us from seeing the INSTITUTIONALISING (arrested development) effect of schooling ITSELF. (I might have mentioned?)

    The tendency for politicians to be drawn from the TOTALLY INSTITUTIONALISED 'classes', should not go unremarked.

    Oh what a tangled web we weave, institutionalising to self-deceive.

    HO NEWSNIGHT! Lets have an un-retouched, authentic package from Johnnie Foreigner, about how Britain 'presents' abroad.

  • Comment number 52.

  • Comment number 53.


    Have a chat with care-home staff 76. I doubt this has much to do with PC - except as 'Pounds Collected'.

  • Comment number 54.


    Anything the Blogdog doesn't like - profane or mundane - he clamps his jaws on. How many boxes are found in the average box room?

    If I write SPOILPARTYGAMES as SPOILspacePARTYspaceGAMES, I get an attack of the profanities.


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.