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Monday 8 November 2010

Verity Murphy | 11:44 UK time, Monday, 8 November 2010

More detail on tonight's programme:

Does the 21st Century really belong to China?

If the size of the trade delegation he is leading to Beijing this week - comprising of four senior ministers, 50 business leaders, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, who is already there - is anything to go by, David Cameron seems to think so.

Tonight, Paul Mason reports on the Chinese threat to US global hegemony and we will be joined in the studio by a supporter of China as an economic powerhouse, and another who is much less of a fan.

From today the plans of each government department will be available online, in what Mr Cameron promises is a move towards greater transparency in Whitehall, and part of a radical "power shift" giving people the information to hold government to account.

"We will be the first government in a generation to leave office with much less power in Whitehall than we started with. We are going to take power from government and hand it to people, families and communities," Mr Cameron said as he launched the transparency website.

Tonight, we report on what the website offers, what the government expects it to deliver, and where it fits in to Mr Cameron's Big Society aspirations.

Susan Watts reports on Rolls-Royce's investigation into the cause of engine problems on the Airbus A380 - we'll discuss the reputational damage sustained by the failure of the "Rolls-Royce" of jet engines.

We're also joined by the Bishop of Fulham who has just left the Anglican Church to become a Catholic.

And we have Sue Lloyd-Roberts' second report from Burma. In this film she reports from the border between Eastern Burma and Thailand on how the Burmese generals are dealing with the ongoing resistance from Burma's ethnic minorities and making money at the same time.


  • Comment number 1.


    What might the Chagossian view be on that? (The indigenes deported from Diego Garcia, by Britain for America)?

    Might Sue visit Mauritius and the Seychelles to get informed opinion, regarding the sort of government that just uproots and abandons people?

    Perhaps the Chinese will bring it up with Doughty Dave from the Land of Human Self-righteousness?

    Oh - it's all just so unbearably hypocritical.

  • Comment number 2.

  • Comment number 3.

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

  • Comment number 4.

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

  • Comment number 5.

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

  • Comment number 6.

    "In this film Sue reports from the border between Eastern Burma and Thailand on how the Burmese generals are dealing with the ongoing resistance from Burma's ethnic minorities and making money at the same time.

    Ethnic Karen people talk about entire villages being razed to make way for the junta's money making schemes - oil and gas pipelines, jade mines and large scale logging."

    Isn't this called planning and managing an economy? The sort of thing which was done during Roosevelt's period in office to try to get the USA out of trouble after the last big crash? The sort of thing which Old Labour did for Britain after the war (and which is now in fast reverse), or which Germany did in the 30s, the USSR in the 30s through 50s, and which China does today? That's where Burma is looking. What many here don't like is that this prevents private business interests (what they call imperialism) moving in and take their resources (we call in foreign aid). Of course Sue will find dissenters as everyone has dissenters (many haven't a clue what's going on of course) - so why doesn't Sue just stick to interviewing people in Europe, Britain even? That would improve our image abroad, and probably salvage some of the BBC's rapidly deteriorating reputation for fairness and objective reporting too.

    As it is, this appears to be just another one of those 'hit jobs' on statism like earlier ones on Uzbekistan, N Korea, and with less brashness as it's bigger and has more economic and military clout, China. Burma is a socialist state where businesses are co owned by the state.

    "Chinese influence has been phenomenal. China has moved into Burma in a way that has upset India considerably. Burma received $US1.4 billion worth of arms from China as soon as SLORC came in, and China supported SLORC in 1988. India then hired Un Nu's daughter to run the Burma Service for All India Radio in opposition to the Burmese government. So under Rajiv Gandhi, Indian policy was anti-SLORC. Then Pakistan began to supply small arms to Burma because India was against it. As the advisor to the Thai Prime Minister said, Thailand was very concerned about China's role. I had lunch with a Chinese military attache in Asia and although we talked a lot about North Korea, I said I don't like China's policy in Burma. He said Burma is in China's geopolitical interest. I asked, 'What would you do if there was a coup against the SLORC?' He said China would support SLORC. I asked what China would do if there were a popular uprising against the SLORC. He said that this would be more difficult but China would still support SLORC."

    Asia Times 1999

  • Comment number 7.


    How endearing. The BBC is just like a child that thinks it is hiding effectively - bottom in full view.

    The only agent who ever announced his name to all and sundry was - surely - Bond, James Bond? Result - serial attempts on his life . . .

    Ah well - "half a loaf" as they say in Burmah.

  • Comment number 8.

    :p There are journalists from all over the world in Burma! Even Al-Jazeera has reporters out there.......

  • Comment number 9.

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

  • Comment number 10.

    "7. At 4:45pm on 08 Nov 2010, barriesingleton wrote:

    How endearing. The BBC is just like a child that thinks it is hiding effectively - bottom in full view."

    Yes, it's an infantile disorder, and, girls mature earlier than boys.
    But, what many don't understand, is that this is another way of saying that they stop developing at an earlier age than boys. Boys are later developers, some into their 20s. One of the characteristics of the earlier maturity of girls is that they remain more self-centred like children. It makes them look at themselves more, brush-up better, i.e groom better. It's probably part of the attraction game. The downside is that they don't see as far objectively, i.e they are not as safe a pair of hands. This innocence can be abused for socially i.e politically subversive/destructive purposes, alas. We have been seeing the consequences.

  • Comment number 11.


    Well, I never, how very observant of you. The only addition, if I may being a girl, is that you should have said 'seeing and feeling', etc.

  • Comment number 12.

    The media - in it’s contemporary ‘guise’ - reports what is happening tomorrow, assesses, speculates and opines as to what might be happening next year and hypothesizes as to what the latest leaked sic document might mean if it actually had any foundation - at all - in fact or reality.

    And then it - the media - moves on ....

    But where is the rest of the story?

    Whom actually decides?

    And why?


    A story reported last week - one paragraph - in a national broadsheet .....

    A man was jailed for two years for falsely claiming £250,000 in benefits since 2005. He had several bank accounts with “several” thousand pounds deposited. He had received £50,000 per annum in personal benefits, housing costs and education fees.

    The benefits came from state funds allocated for “destitute asylum seekers” .

    Did anyone pick up on the obvious disparity between benefits available to an individual and the - future - ‘handout’ limit to a family?

    And .... Oh yes ....

    It seem that it is quickly, and easily, forgotten .....

    The hypocrisy of a political party in power.

    Mr Conmoron is to have a state funded ‘film-maker’ (Hammer style perhaps?) and a state funded Photographer. ‘is Misses is to have a a state funded ‘personal assistant’ (Does she get a a state funded dress allowance as well?)

    Regarding the “Photographer’ .... It has been suggested that he be allowed to ‘sell’ his work and thereby the state would not have to fund the ‘ego massage’.

    As a ‘sales outlet’ one may suggest that the appropriate venue could be a car boot sale!

    And .... Oh yes ....

    Napoleon the Third is credited with kick-starting the phenomenon of having “one’s portrait photographed” instead of ‘painted’ et al. The US President has had a photographer on ‘staff’ for decades. Mr Conmoron proposes that his tenure be documented for the ‘record’ that we believe sic is ‘history’ sic.

    Will this start a ‘trend’?

    i.e. people at the ‘top of their tree’ hiring ....

    .... ‘Personal piccy (for posterity’) takers ?

    If so ....

    Consider this post my application to be ....

    Personal ‘snapper’ to Mr Crick!

  • Comment number 13.

    Is there possibly a functional relationship between socialist China having bright science trained males planning and running their economy whilst we have bright humanities trained males and females ruining ours?
    It was the same in the USSR when it became a superpower. Look at the UK and USA today and look at their histories. What do you notice?

  • Comment number 14.

    Does the 21st Century really belong to China?

    The C21st will belong to those who put more store by science and logic than by narrative when running their economies.

    It's certainly unlikely to belong to those who crave populism or this self-serving nonsense which passes as profundity these days:

    "On his travels, Hurwicz had studied under both Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek, who was at the London School of Economics as Hurwicz began his PhD studies there in 1938. Von Mises and Hayek argued that a centrally planned economy was doomed to collapse: because every individual knew his own needs and capabilities best, government planners could never hope to piece it all together and make sensible decisions.

    Other economists, such as Oskar Lange, disagreed.

    A burgeoning economic theory of competitive markets, and bitter experience of the failings of socialist economies, led many to conclude that von Mises and Hayek were right."

    Harford on Hurwicz See Mason's blog for more on arcane Twittering and ranting/tweeting from those bringing about the demise of civilization as some of us once knew it.

  • Comment number 15.

    Re: Rolls-Royce (and BP, and Toyota and ...)

    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled."

    Richard Feynman, "Report to the Space Shuttle Challenger Inquiry" 1986.

    Was anyone listening to him?

  • Comment number 16.


    Those who are simply moved to do good by their fellow being, get on with it, and depart gracefully.

    It is vital that the latter mentality be installed in high office - the Westminster Ethos works EXACTLY IN REVERSE. It is not impossible to achieve, but I would not start from here because, already,


  • Comment number 17.

    The Burma piece was only interesting because you could replace villagers with Iraqis, Junta with Coalition Forces and multiply the numbers displaced by four to get a much more newsworthy story, frankly I'm surprised the Burmese government is not wagging its finger at our government for being at least four times worse then them.

  • Comment number 18.

    Very interesting debate by Jeremy on China with Fu/Hendry/Shenker tonight....China is getting stronger and stronger.....
    :p as for the debate on the faulty Rolls Royce engines - will it really boil over within time, or will airliners refuse to have A380s with Rolls Royce engines or will people boycott A380s?

  • Comment number 19.


    For the sake of my sanity, Newsnight, did Sue have a Winnebago following like Dave on his bike? Look at the blouse, the hair, the well-slept countenance.

    You can keep the video wall, the saturated colour and the blobs and swirls - just don't do Hollywood in the expletive rain forest.

    Kate Adie (the dangling man's crumpet in arenas of war) never looked like that. Indeed, I suspect she would not have wanted to.

  • Comment number 20.

    Ha ha ha @ Turbojerry #17 - you're giving them ideas ;o)

    Does anyone really care if the Bishop of Fulham leaves the CoE to become a Catholic? Zzzzzzzzzzzz

  • Comment number 21.


    The Arch of Cant, with all his 'book learning' should be way past factional belief, and - on a good day - able to realise that (by Occam's Razor if nothing else) a god is an unnecessary complication to our reality.

    Man's conception of God is - de facto - a blasphemy. Douglas Adams had it sorted. Against that truth, what some under-Bishop does is of no account.

  • Comment number 22.


    Of course, they care. It's a question not only of the 'image' of the Church of England but also one of faith and principles. Personally, although raised largely as a Catholic, quite a faithful although having doubts at the back of my mind what they were going on about even as a child, principle and practicality wise, I feel closer to the CoE,mainly because priests are allowed to marry and accepting 'ovaries', as Jeremy put it tonight, into the ranks of all levels of priesthood, even those of Bishops.

  • Comment number 23.

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

  • Comment number 24.

    Hugh Hendry seemed somewhat stressed tonight, looking a little unkempt and not as confident and exuberant as he used to be. I think I know why but perhaps you, NN bloggers, are able to supply us with more details?

  • Comment number 25.

    Hi Mods

    Thank you for returning my post at #23 so quickly which you've obviously found either offensive or inappropriate. I wonder, however, why do you let most offensive, only if by implication, 'advertising immorality', etc, so many posts by tabblenabble and Barrie Singleton?

    Once again, I realise I shall not get the answer in this case either and have to leave it as only a rhetorical question.

  • Comment number 26.

    Mim24: yeah, your question. I would hazard a guess Huge was tired.

    NN was somewhat better than usual this evening, especially the Paul Mason segment. Never thought I'd hear 'New world order' mentioned on the BBC..and twice from some US unknown - well i'd never heard of him, should I?
    Once you start getting someone to throw around terms such as the 'Bilderbergers' or 'engineered financial meltdown'..well, you might just increase your viewering figures. And let Paxman or Mason have a little rant or two, you know, like 'network'..."I'm mad as hell, and i aint taking it any more"..I'd watch that.

    As for Huge Hendry. I watched him recently on Question Time. He somewhat bombed, but was still interesting. He comes out from left field; a bit wacky but I like the guy. He reminds me of me, but without the aid of prescription drugs. Huge don't BS, so have him on more often, he's got two fingers on an important pulse.

  • Comment number 27.

    That's the spirit!!!! That's what I like to hear, especially from the public respectful lady!!!!

    In the newly established tradition, can somebody please pass on the abovce to Ann Widdicombe?



  • Comment number 28.


    Oh, is the hen huge? I didn'to know? I do know that Mr Hendry simply loves making big bucks out of countries in trouble, but is he as a man/person huge? I shouldn't think so.

    I don't mind if you pass on the message to him either. Even if he gets upset a little, he'll still have his huge bucks to console him and to regain balance he can afford to travel to distant corners, go swimming on a beautiful beach, fly helicopters over mountain peaks, you name it, I'm sure he can afford all those things so as to regain his spiritual balance, if he cares about anything anyway to the point of feeling stressed and upset by what girls like myself might think.

  • Comment number 29.

    Re: my last post - addendum

    On top of the above, Mr Hendry can also afford go be consoled i'n the arms of beatiful young things loving, like him, huge bucks.

  • Comment number 30.


    apologies for the mistypes but to none of the current NN bloggers. Should you care about what I think, you better radically change your ways although some of the things you've been up to are not forgivable under no circumstances whatever anybody else in the world might think or say. In this respect, my ears shall remain deaf, my eyes blind.

  • Comment number 31.

    "20. At 11:42pm on 08 Nov 2010, Mistress76uk wrote:
    Ha ha ha @ Turbojerry #17 - you're giving them ideas ;o)

    Does anyone really care if the Bishop of Fulham leaves the CoE to become a Catholic? Zzzzzzzzzzzz"

    You'd be surprised. Many see this as just part of a bigger lamentable decline in rationality whereby females have been unwittingly abused to collapse their own state.

  • Comment number 32.

    @ Mim - Kevseywevsey just made a typo. It's HUGH Hendry, not Huge Hendry :p

  • Comment number 33.


    Dubya has his bookywooky out.
    Might Newsnight ask Huge Hendry (or any political American they choose) about Dubya's complicity in 9/11?

    It is bad enough that the BBC do not 'go after' Blair for us, the disempowered masses, but to let his chum-in-infamy, Dubya, off the hook also, is dereliction of a high order.

  • Comment number 34.

    On their bills British Gas have said the gas price is only 50% of the bill. So why if the wholesale price goes up by 20% the bill goes up by 20%?

    the energy market is not working in the interests of uk consumers. The foreign multinationals love it which is why they are all eager to get a slice of the action.

  • Comment number 35.

    who will miss the Bishop of Fulham if he goes over to the 'other' side?

  • Comment number 36.

    The China 'Don't Worry If You Get Poor While They Get Rich' Mantra.

    The usual 'don't worry' stuff. People justifying why the exchange rate should not rise while China make facts on the ground. China has been saying it wants to let the rate rise but in their own time for years for years. Exactly how poor must we get before they do that? what figure?

    In a zero sum game we all can't get growth of 9%. For china to get rich we must get poor.

    Paul made out China to be some 'victim'? Rather than pointing out they have an aggressive espionage policy, ignore intellectual property rights, environmental rights, workers rights etc which they choose to ignore as legitimate 'tools' of the State to be used against the capitalists. How much money does the chinese economy owe microsoft?

    The chinese state is after money. yours. wake up. stop making excuses for them.

  • Comment number 37.

    THE MATRIX (#34)

    We are all in the Matrix of British corruption Jaunty aka 'Living Within the Lie' (Havel).

    Like madness: when the majority of life is corrupt, in the broadest sense, the uncorrupted are clearly aberrant.

    I would like a phone landline, at a price related to its provision. It makes sense as a national utility against emergencies - if nothing else.
    I have to have added bells and whistles, and to (notionally) pay for them even though unused.

    How nice it would be if the BBC could step outside the lie. I might even forgive all the fripperies.

  • Comment number 38.

    Mistress@32 Thanks for pointing that out. Me and my typos, spelling and grammer eh, I'm never going to make it as a journo, my teenage dream of writing for the Washington Post never really materialised. As strangers laugh and throw things in my direction, i ask my self..when did it all go wrong.

  • Comment number 39.


    Bells and whistles, for which mrs?

  • Comment number 40.


    I'll tell you where it all went wrong. 1. You too much enamoured with you being an academic come 'scientist/ doctor. 2. You take yourself far too seriously. 3. You identify yourself with far too many outstanding and really bad individuals. 3. You take almost everything literally. 4. Deep down you are selfish and greedy. 5. You seem to be spurned on by very very unhealthy jealousy. 6. You're unhealthily obsessed with 6.

  • Comment number 41.

    mim @40

    There you go again with your compliments.. me an academic! I'm blushing already.

    Mim, I think your confusing me with someone else.

  • Comment number 42.


    One can't get everything all the time, can one? Do you think you can, keV?

  • Comment number 43.

    "32. At 09:29am on 09 Nov 2010, Mistress76uk wrote:
    @ Mim - Kevseywevsey just made a typo. It's HUGH Hendry, not Huge Hendry :p"

    Here's something for you to read and think about. After you have done so, ask what the author is explaining in this article What does it have to do with the power shift form West to East discussed on Newsnight last night, and what did the author predict about the USA in his 2001 book "Eugenics: A Reassessment"? What did he publish with Tatu Vanhanen (the father of the PM of Finland) and why doesn't Newsnight cover any of that?

    "34. At 11:00am on 09 Nov 2010, jauntycyclist wrote:
    the energy market is not working in the interests of uk consumers. The foreign multinationals love it which is why they are all eager to get a slice of the action."

    Yes, but most of the electorate voted for one of the Liberal-Democrat parties and all three endorse libertarianism. This gave the Con-Dems led by Mr Conmoron (as JA Person astutely calls him) a mandate so there's very little that you or I can do about this now. Even now, I fear, you'll be tempted to vilify China or to argue with the likes of me, and in doing so, you will just effectively seal your own fate.

    Can you hypothetically see how that could be the case, and can you objectively discuss that? That's what counterfactuals are really for you know. They are for rational discussion of situations which you know do not currently prevail. That's the province of what we call 'mind'. But these intensional conditionals have to be constrained by empirical evidence, or else language/communication degenerates into metaphysical squabbling. Can you see how and why?

  • Comment number 44.


    the only reason why there is no good in a situation is because the good has not been taken as the highest idea of the mind. The seed leads to the fruit. If you sow wheat why expect grapes?

  • Comment number 45.

    "44. At 6:49pm on 09 Nov 2010, jauntycyclist wrote:

    the only reason why there is no good in a situation is because the good has not been taken as the highest idea of the mind. The seed leads to the fruit. If you sow wheat why expect grapes? "

    By writing in such an obscure way, with nothing but a metaphysical abstraction from goods as the referent, the problem is that what you say will in fact be read in many different ways by many different people and come to nothing. That was the insight at the end of the C19th in philosophy and why metaphysics was banished as meaningless talk. It was because it was finally seen why it was impenetrable. You don't see this yet because you have not studied philosophy formally. Trust me, I am telling you something useful here. Metaphysics is a kind of clever people's madness.


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