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

Monday 7 February 2011

Sarah McDermott | 10:21 UK time, Monday, 7 February 2011

The previous UK government did "all it could" to facilitate the release of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, a report on the case has said. Sir Gus O'Donnell concluded that it was made clear to Libya that the final decision was up to Scottish ministers, and there was no evidence of UK pressure on the Holyrood government.

Our Political editor Michael Crick will bring us the latest tonight.

Then Jackie Long will be considering if the government's "big society" idea can ever work, after the head of a leading charity today said their spending cuts are destroying volunteering and undermining its vision for a big society.

And we have a sneak preview of Justin Rowlatt's two-part BBC documentary investigating the spread of Chinese influence and asking what the world will be like if China overtakes the US as the world's economic superpower.

Join Jeremy at 10.30pm on BBC Two for all that and more.


  • Comment number 1.

    China has already overtaken the US as the world economic superpower in real terms.

    The warped valuations of financial markets have yet to catch up with the ever more apparent reality of the situation on the ground.

  • Comment number 2.


    Hands up anyone who is surprised that Dave has ‘misjudged’. What particular skills, and experience, does he bring to nurturing 60M+ people?

    Before Dave, we had Tony. His judgement is legendary.

    Will we EVER, collectively, wake up to the fact that party politics, under the Westminster Ethos, will always deliver us ANOTHER ONE?

    If we are to break the continuum of needy, megalomaniac leaders, we must:


  • Comment number 3.


    Having sat through the excruciating stumble of Jack Straw's third appearance (Sir Rod was magnificent) I thought you might like this example of how Newspeak is alive and well.

    With regard to Iraq, Chortling Jack (the chuckle was never far away) employed the term 'COERCIVE DIPLOMACY' as one pre-invasion option. It translates as 'Threatening Behaviour' (bullying?) the sort of thing we civilised folk, living democratically, under the Rule of Law, would only ever do to some Johnnie Foreigner - and then only in his own arena, with a massive armed force at our back.

    With marauding cowards like us in the world, why should it worry about terrorists?

  • Comment number 4.

    Putting aside Obama has done the opposite of everything he said he was gonna do when running for office. Putting aside he is surrounded by all the banksters, some whom are directly responsble for the collapse of banks and the raiding of tax payers money -and no one knowing where the money went. Putting aside Obama is a stooge of Soros and Co and has indebted the country to the tune of many trillions -a country that might not be of his birth. The Chicargo activist third rate socialist pan leninist front-of-shop training wheel president, and with the help of his 'advisors' does this:

    I always knew this special relationship was false when Obama personally removed the busk of Churchill from the oval office.
    If this dirty handed deed had been done by a republican president, the goons in the media would've been all over this story...and that includes the BBC

  • Comment number 5.

    Well, according to today's Sun, here's one area cuts could be made

    A family of 14 (yes 14!) gypsies get a £1.2million council house in Muswell Hill and then wreck it. Does anyone NEED to have 14 children? When will Britain finally get that we need population control?

  • Comment number 6.

    In the wake of the Penlee Lifeboat Disaster and the fabulous sums of money donated by the public, Margaret Thatcher changed Charity Law. The result was that charity became all about cash rather than charity. Volunteers who has hitherto given their time and fundraising energies freely were pushed out with the excuse that they were 'do gooders' and 'unprofessional'. They were replaced by people who only worked for charity in return for payment and once their salaries, travel expenses, offices, accomodation, computers, carpets, west end offices was accounted for there wasn't much left for charitable causes. They spend vast sums of money on 'research' to justify their continued existence while only spending a tiny fraction of their assets on the supposed reason for their existence. They are very fond of foreign travel and so contrive to spend most of their funds abroad in sunny climes rather than address the desperate needs in this country.
    Charities who receive cash from the government are not charities, they are branches of the civil service and should be cut like the dead wood in other parts of the public sector.

  • Comment number 7.

    Here's a couple of concrete provincial examples why Elizabeth Hoodless is right:

    In the run up to the olympics and in the light of the growing problem of obesity, competitive community sport is something the government supports and funds as promised in our Olympic bid.

    There are hundreds of young people involved in sunday league football doing just that, but today Exeter City Council is proposing to close virtually all the sports grounds it runs to save £2.5M, so sounding the death amateur competitive football in the City.

    Another example:

    voluntary organisations are about to get involved in mentoring the long term unemployed back into work as part of the Work Programme, but to participate in counselling, training, work experience and placements people will need to travel - and in rural Devon the County Council are about to make massive cuts in the subsidy they pay bus operators who are planning to axe large numbers services and hike fares on those that remain - so without public transport the Work Programme won't happen - and with ther ending of Educational Maintenance Allowance as well, large numbers of teenagers won't be able to afford to travel to college anymore, so swelling the ranks of the unqualified, untrained unemployed.

    The result of all this will be HUGELY WASTEFUL and MASSIVELY COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE, as well as a big step back into creating a new generation of unfit, untrained and unemployable young people in a county about to make 500 police staff redundant - sounds like an explosive mixture to me....

  • Comment number 8.

    Richard Bunning - There are 180,000 registered charities as well as another 500,000 affiliated charities. If the population of Devon have become so hopelessly dependent and unable to function without help why don't they apply to one of these charities with combined incomes of £50billion+ and combined assets of £77billion+. They will of course be reluctant to part with their cash but perhaps you can complain to them instead of complaining to the taxpayer via the government.

  • Comment number 9.


    I wonder if anyone has summed the commuter hours compared to exercise hours?

    I have a sneaking suspicion that we have implanted a 'meme' IN THE WORKER-PSYCHE, to the effect that 'distance travelled is directly proportional to status of job'. Yet another mark of immaturity.

    POLITICIANS CAN ONLY DO POLITICS. If they 'come into public life to make a difference', why not gather APPROPRIATE skills, rather than those that suit the party cipher? It is the UNCHANGING nature of Westminster politics that has, once again, ensured: WE HAVE GOT OURSELVES ANOTHER ONE. And he is keen on high speed rail.

  • Comment number 10.

    even Dave's bother in law think it's wacky so how long before the cabinet start to run for it.....?

  • Comment number 11.

    The BIG Society explained:

    #5: ‘A family of 14 (yes 14!) gypsies get a £1.2million council house in Muswell Hill’; #7: ‘.. the growing problem of obesity… Exeter City Council is proposing to close virtually all the sports grounds …… large numbers of teenagers ….. swelling the ranks of the unqualified, untrained unemployed’ … continued inability to control immigration, or repatriate illegals and criminals, and the increased fertility of certain non-indiginous groups and ‘health tourists, and

  • Comment number 12.


    Cowed Cabinets and whipped party-ciphers (MPs) characterise the Westminster Ethos. This (yet again) was clear from the Straw Man's recent Chilcotting.

    Blair cowed, and IDS whipped, and we all went to war on an abstract noun. (Where was 'education X3' then?)

    Democracy and the Rule of Law eh?


  • Comment number 13.

    #5 mistress: [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    wow, so the 'Sun' is now attacking gypsies? Shock.

    what's next, young people who "listen to repetitive beats"? Or multi-$Bnaire media-owners who hire corrupt accountants to avoid paying UK tax on their UK income?

    China versus the US economy? Seems to me the only thing the UK can buy from the US these days is WMD (Trident), and outfitting the new aircraft carriers with its ludicrously expensive fighters.

    China invested in new civilian production, and created both industries and jobs for its people.

    ..America has been lead as shamefully by its rulers as the UK has.


    ""They confirm that Scottish ministers followed the due process of Scots law and practice throughout the entire period, without regard to foreign policy, economic or any other considerations," the Scottish government said."

    whereas the Big-Con Party would have bent over backwards to do anything Washington wanted.


    #8: why MaggieL! You sound like revolutionaries of former years, who usually wanted to strip the 'Churches' of their Charity status and accumulated wealth, and give the assets back to the People! I never would have expected such radical demands from you.

    you're totally right in #6 though.

  • Comment number 14.


    I'm suspicious of charities too, but this does sound a bit too good to be true... billions in charities not being spent that the poor old taxpayer should not have to find?

    Your argument sounds a tad Daily Mailish to me - is this their new angle? Having got the Tories in on a "roll back the state" agenda, now that the wheels are coming off I suppose the only people left to blame for uncharitable Britain will be the charities themselves...

    I'd go along with rewriting the law to force them to support those in need - but IMHO you either fund services or ensure the vulnerable have sufficient income to fend for themselves.

  • Comment number 15.

    3 "Do you know who I am?"

    if you want superiority complex millibnd talked of bring countries 'to heel'. which makes them out to be 'dogs'?

  • Comment number 16.


    Check the voting numbers. Subtract Tory support and add their number to the vote 'against'. DEFEAT. What a different world this might now be. Not only an illegal, stupid war-without-end, but the Coalition carries collective guilt, masked by disingenuous declarations of steadfastness, over that whipped vote. That fact limits the stance of many a Tory cipher going forward. Nick, not only nullified his signature, he 'signed up' to war mongers!

    Why was Iain Duncan Smith not called?

    DID HIS 'OLD BOY' CONNECTEDNESS SAVE HIM? You might say that . . .

  • Comment number 17.

  • Comment number 18.


    You will notice the article says: 'fruits, nuts and berries' it also says producers have noticed no drop in yield.

    I am fortunate to live in Berkshire, at the Wiltshire end. Last year we had much blossom ACROSS MANY PLANT TYPES and a good harvest. This year, NATURE WENT COMPLETELY MAD. Everything from daisies to pear trees bloomed like there was no tomorrow AND THE YIELD (aka fertilisation %) WAS BEYOND ANYTHING I HAVE EVER EXPERIENCED. Yet hive bees are, effectively, absent here. (However, OTHER winged insects - not bees - have exploded in numbers.)

    Oh - Einstein probably got his cosmology and gravitational theory wrong too! (:o)

  • Comment number 19.

    i and many others. like dame elisabeth hoodless head of the charity
    community service volinteers [csv] who is resigning,would like to know
    what is meant by the big society. it would seem to me to be a safety
    net full of holes,to make up for the massive cuts that lie ahead.and
    the general public are to organise and addministrate the goverments
    opaque vision of the big society,perhaps by donations at cash points
    and rounding cash to the nearest pound on certain purchases which has
    been proposed. on the synical side they could call it the self
    preservation society,[spc] it would also provide a ready made theme song
    from the film the italian job.

  • Comment number 20.


    Every time he pronounces - I laugh. First he couldn't allow Chilcot to release the Tony-Dubya love notes. Now he has seen Justice 'to be done' in the Lockerbie stitch-up.

    Ay - 'ere's one . . .

  • Comment number 21.

    #17 mistress: "China has its own problems. Pesticides used in pear orchards wiped out bees in parts of Sichuan in the 1980s. Crops are now pollinated by hand using feather brushes, a laborious process as one bee colony can pollinate up to 300m flowers a day.

    Einstein was not always wrong. "

    many bee-keepers are now simply allowing the bees to keep all their produced honey, because the honey is a natural anti-bacterial agent, and many industrial bee-keepers were taking too much, leaving the bees vulnerable to disease. The benefit to a farmer of bee pollination can outweigh the benefits of selling the honey. It is hoped by some that this move can reduce bee-loss.

    but it all ties into the way we view the natural world, and the way we abuse it.

  • Comment number 22.

    #19 rouser, yeah. Its all very well for the chatterers, but what about those who NEED the services?

  • Comment number 23.

    the big society has been going for years in africa. in effect it means rather than the elected representative you now need to go beg the bishop or local richman if you want services.


    did you see what private eye said about civil service mandarins and paid freebies and how they tried to suppress it?

  • Comment number 24.

    I look forward to you leading on Labour MPs making fun of a disabled Tory MP like you did when some bloke wrote a letter to a Tory councilor and you made a big deal about it. Unless of course you want to look inconsistent.

  • Comment number 25.

    I've just been watching Justine Greening attempting to spin the treasury out of abandoning the proposed fuel tax escalator rise in April. The SNP put forward a competent case for a total suspension in fuel duty rise plus the introduction of a " fuel duty stabiliser ". However, perhaps now is not the time to introduce such a measure given the evidence ( in my Max Keiser links on #60 Friday's blog ) that oil prices could fall back to between 50 and 60 dollars a barrel when the speculative froth blows off.

    The SNP and others look likely to be easily bought off with a rural reduction as in place in other EU countries, Labour simply doesn't care, even though its been caught attempting to practice a policy of corporate ethnic cleansing on rural areas to appease the eco-fascists. Greening was spinning the reductions in " corporation tax " as beneficial to our economy despite the fact ( and this was amply pointed out ) that the small business we need to encourage our economy to grow don't pay it anyway. Earlier Conmoron was bleating about attracting large corporations to the UK to construct offshore wind farms, yet such jobs will only last as long as the associated investment scams.

    If we are to sustainably grow our economy for the future its no use relying on the multinationals, we need to grow our own indigenous small business. This can never happen in a high fuel tax economy, and all is lost if the lunatic Westminster politicians allow the introduction of further carbon taxes and the UK is permanently sunk economically. It is pretty clear that if Osborne does not a least permanently abandon Labour's latest RFTE the Corporate Nazi ( nee eco-fascist ) arch plan to asset strip the UK and turn it into some kind of eco-tourist historical theme park safe for the global super rich to inhabit is still on track ?

  • Comment number 26.

    the Coalition Invasion of Iraq: a very powerful, greedy and narcissistic group convinced a corrupt elected leader to strong-arm a slightly nicer bunch into joining in with this destruction of an entire society, with the privatisation of all (National) Iraqi assets and the destruction of civil society, over the strong objections of the people affected. The 'People's Voices' were entirely ignored, despite claims to "democracy".

    the Coalition Govt of the United Kingdom: ...

  • Comment number 27.

    #25;"If we are to sustainably grow our economy for the future it's no use relying on multinationals, we need to grow our own indigenous small business."

    Absolutely correct. It was encouraging today to read about the increasing number of apprenticeships offered in UK; these young apprentices could be the start of a new generation of plumbers, electricians, joiners, mechanics and tradesmen which this country so desperately needs.

    It was interesting to watch "nudge" economics at work last week.
    First, in the BBC programme, "Who gets all the best jobs?" working class parents expressed their concerns about their children going to university and being saddled with debt; second, the Russell Group stated that academic subjects at A-level, as opposed to "soft" subjects such as design or cinematics, were a prerequisite for entry consideration; they also insisted that an A-level in Law was not necessary to study Law.

    So maybe the Coalition's trebling of tuition fees was just the nudge we needed to get us out of this Blairite rut of "50% must go to University" and restore the Unis' reputation for academic, critical rigour.

    Just because Blair was a waster at Fettes and Uni doesn't mean everyone has to be.

    We might just reach the level of apprentice-based business development that Germany did in the mid Seventies. Hasn't done them much harm.

  • Comment number 28.

    kash: if plumbers, mechanics, builders and other 'skilled manual labourers' were given as much "incentive" as the crooks running the financial markets and banks, we would have a great deal more of them.

    when manual labour is not seen as a Class-war to justify low wages for those from the 'wrong backgrounds', the UK might start getting somewhere.

    academic success should not be used as a method of the already wealthy and powerful to maintain their grip on power.

    meritocracy, and funding for students to study, and a decent and UNCORRUPT tax regime on the large companies to pay for it, are all in our best interests. 50% aiming to get into uni isn't a bad thing, other North European countries achieve much higher than that.

    personally, i'd consider applying the whole "apprentices also studying academical course part-time" concept the other way as well - perhaps getting those PPE ivory-towers hands dirty in machine-shops, or learning how to plumb, would not be a bad thing at all. They might even meet people not of their own, rather exclusive and privileged, backgrounds.

    making some of the wealthier MPs live on social benefits for a year would also be somewhat beneficial, if far harder to achieve.

  • Comment number 29.

    Wow!...if you're not watching 'Dispatches' tonight about the phone hacking scandal, you should be!

  • Comment number 30.

    All those numpties who voted for "change" because they were fed-up with Brown believed the hate press and thought they could live forever on 3 credit cards buy a second house as an investment its your bed you should sleep in it. Dont be upset when the trolly comes off the rails and the riots fill the streets

    under the cobblestone...

  • Comment number 31.

  • Comment number 32.

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

  • Comment number 33.

    Mod. I've cleaned it up..will this be alright for yer?
    Brossen99 @31
    I've been watching this story for a while. I wonder if Al Gore can create some kinda tax out of this thing..well Algorleone and his green investment syndicate buddies have already helped create a tax from Carbon dioxide emissions -a natural gas that has been given the weird status of a poison by some payed-up scientists and the fools in the media- so its something that they might consider; magnets will get the blame for the pole shift and will therefore be taxed. Maybe Gore can make another documentary and take it on the road and peddle more nonsense..hollywood can then give him another gong or win another Nobel prize.
    As for Prison Planet/Alex jones:
    Alex Jones is making some headway in the US. He's recently upset the Govt to the point they have challenged some of Jones's assertions on their own Whitehouse website..that's a first. I've noticed a change with US TV over the last few years. The once regarded conspiracy kooks are know becoming -albeit slowly - part of some of the mainstream media programming. And that is a good thing.

  • Comment number 34.

    Lockerbie bomber:
    The Obama Admin were furious with Megrahi getting released. And The Labour Govt was always behind this decision. Not much of a revelation is it really.
    Maybe the British nuclear secrets given to the Russians from the Obama mob was a tit-for-tat thing. I'm guessing on that, but you never know eh.

  • Comment number 35.

    Megrahi didn't do it anyway, they only released him to avoid his impending appeal which would have cleared him, it was all a CIA set up.

  • Comment number 36.

    Who's the very large person dressed up as Ali Bongo on NN tonight?

  • Comment number 37.

    Blimey, I'm anti-coalition and anti-cuts to deserving causes, but how Francis Maude managed to keep a straight face through that interview was truly outstanding!

    Cherry-on-the-cake indeed!

  • Comment number 38.

    Maude and his cronies do not seem to have a clue about how to develop the big society, I work for a homeless Charity working with young people which risks losing up to £1m of its £3m turnover in April . We have tried hard to engage with the Big society but the pace of government cuts means the councils are left with no choice but to withdraw funding.

    Stoke-on-Trent is a poor area with a low level of philanthropy and huge social problems that short term decisions to cut funding will in time cost the state more assuming there will be a state left when these people who do not use it have finished with it .

  • Comment number 39.

    :o) Jeremy ALWAYS has a classic interview with Alex Salmond - and tonight was no exception. Sheer excellence.

    The "cherry on the cake" made me laugh too. However, Camila B did have a point.

  • Comment number 40.


    We seem to like creating posts in which ONE MAN is above reproach, and has Papal infallibility. Another aspect of the Westminster Malaise I suppose.

    Iraq war, Lockerbie, BAE, cash for honours, etc.

    I seem to recall that Tony's greatest self-belief was in the field of PERSUASION.

    Nuff sed.

  • Comment number 41.

    lets see some investigation NN or should you simply plug tomorrows telly

    the horror the yellow peril stealing the dark continent where's Nayland Smith when you need him?

  • Comment number 42.


    Westminster is the enemy; party politics the pretence of democracy; 'Prime Minister' a euphemism for PRESIDENT. To repeat my post #12:


    Stop voting for a rosette held up by a cipher. Vote for a real person of integrity. Come to think of it: WE DON'T NEED TO WAIT FOR THE RIGHT OF RECALL - WE HAVE IT BY VIRTUE OF VOTES GIVEN. Recall your MP and wrench their allegiance from the party whip. How can they refuse - and survive?

  • Comment number 43.

    HISTORY REPEATS (#41 link)

    The Chinese are asset-stripping Africa - we taught them well.
    The Muslim extremists are brutal - Christianity taught them well.
    The sun never sets on global corruption - our empire's gift.

    Then, we knew no better; now, we simply don't care. Destiny Dave, heir to Blair, Son of Thatcher is HELL BENT.


  • Comment number 44.

    The Daily Mail a few days ago:

    America is to give the Russians details of Britain's Trident missiles under a new treaty, according to the latest WikiLeaks revelations.

    The BBC hasn't touched this story what so ever!.. but if it had been a republican administration regarding this underhanded move, the BBC would've been all over it like a virus.. and for weeks. Has the BBC got a blind spot for Obama I wonder? Because I can't find anything.. ANYTHING!!! from the BBC on this story. You can't expect to rely only on Guardian readers -which amounts to about half a dozen readers, not including the insane and students - and the lefty wefties. I think the BBC should have an alternative News channel that ain't connected to the left..even objective news would be better than the usual slanted stuff you knock out. We get stabbed in the back by this leftist administration and you lot say nothing. Shame on you NN..shame on you!

  • Comment number 45.

    #31: strangely unbiased article in the main, brossen. The polar shifts have been known for a while, in fact Einstein chose between the study that led to relativity or this topic of pole-shift.

    when i first heard about it, was 20 years ago, and was an early attempt at fin-de-siècle hysteria. (WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE ON THE MILLENNIUM!!!! ZOMGSSS!!!!), later overtaken by the Y2K Millennium bug.

    although i haven't done any research upon this, and it seems very likely that it would cause environmental changes, i am unaware of any serious link so far encountered between periods of pole-shift, and mass die-offs. But there will certainly be effects from this, if it is happening, and those effects will also then probably be used as a media-football between AGM and AGW-deniers, ensuring nothing ACTUALLY gets done that might need doing, - as you say brossen.

    #33 kevsesy:

    "I've noticed a change with US TV over the last few years. The once regarded conspiracy kooks are know becoming -albeit slowly - part of some of the mainstream media programming. And that is a good thing."

    here's a new conspiracy for you. Post 9/11, the Bush Regime spent some $Bns setting up a Pentagon Public Briefing Office, that openly said its role was to promote disinformation to the Public. Do you believe this?

    now, what *i* noticed that after 9/11 and this Office was set up, was than either completely new conspiracies were dreamed up, or old ones given new twists, and that there was a new breed of KKKonspiracists that was deliberately undermining long-established attempts to get truth to light. Although many of these at first appeared to be completely hostile to the KKKorporate world and its pin-ups in Washington, it often did not take long for those KKKonspirators to gravitate into the centres of power.

    interestingly, the environmental movement went from 'conspiring' to get its message across from the 1950s - 1990s, with many environmental scientists losing careers because they spoke out publicly about their worries, to that quick year when they finally succeeded in the mid 2000s, to being the new supposed figureheads of a KKKorporate plot to make Al Gore wealthier just a few months later.

    in other words, the 'spooks' infiltrated 'conspiracy' networks, and twisted them to their own ends. You can bet, its still happening today.

    how do you tell the truth? You cannot. All you can judge on is how honest the speakers seem - and constantly cross-reference across the Net when given 'facts'.

    in short, its not that the US media is becoming part of the mainstream - its that KKKorporate extremist mainstream US media put these people out there, and are now pulling them in - as the US Public becomes ever more detached from Reality, due to this bombardment. "Obama is a Muslim!!", "The Health Care reforms are Communism!!", "Govt can never do anything right!!", "All Muslims are savages, and we should bomb them back to the Stone Age!!", "Iran is a threat to the World!!", "Al Qaeda is everywhere, and we must give up our rights for security!!".

    all frankly lunatic ideas, - yet every single one is given serious airspace by the US KKKorporate media.

    whilst there are STILL no answers that can be relied upon, in the attacks on 9/11, or even the Kennedy case! It is not so much that conspiracy ideas are now accepted by the mainstream it is that extremist groups deliberately planted false-flag conspiracies, and those extremist groups have links to US KKKorporate media groups, and they are now being used openly to manipulate Public opinion.

    its an old trick (its how various historical and current pogroms are organised), what is new today is the sheer scale of it, and how slick it is being achieved.

    francis maude: when he was speaking, i could only think of:

    the children's charity woman was superb, and made the essential points eloquently. Govt has a role in providing the superstructure that charities can work within - and are an essential source of funding. How can they possibly expand in 'The Big Society' when this Govt is cutting charity funding? It is despicable, that in Britain today, we have bankers and ilk raking in millions, if not £Bns in untaxed 'earnings', yet we are to rely upon underfunded Charities to provide the social services our very poorest and neediest require to lead even semi-decent lives.

    insead of just repeating tired old mantras about it being "Labour's inheritance", instead of tired old mantras about "cuts being necessary", WHY won't ministers tackle the problem of tax-avoidance at the highest end of the income scale?

    that money lost in KKKoorporate tax-evasion, over the 5 years, would entirely remove the supposed "need" for cuts, yet these Tories would rather cut their own legs off than make themselves and their friends pay a decent amount of tax. Even the amount of tax they are *supposed* to be paying!!

    They have no shame. They really, truly, have no shame.

    #37: he has had long practice. He also worked under Thatcher, and had to justify HER policies to a highly sceptical Public.

    1. avoid questions if possible.
    2. use tabloid mantras as much as possible.
    3. appeal to the Public's natural sense that actually "they are trying to do their best by us".
    4. blame it on somebody else - anybody!
    5. claim there are no other choices.

    and if all else fails, lie till you're blue in the face.

    because as Thatcher and NuLabour showed - the worst that happens to *THEM* is they lose office - it is the rest of us that lose averything from not preventing their policies. And most of them end up with nice executive directorships from the KKKorporates that pick up the now privatised 'contracts'.

    the UK is an "elected dictatorship", even most Political Science text-books will explain that directly. Once they're in, no matter how much they lied to get there, we can't get rid of them. And in our one-Party-two-wings State, even if we DID get rid of them, we'd just get the other wing, NuLabour back again.

    why do you think they are going ahead, even despite the massive Public opposition? Because they don't think we have any real say in the matter. That we can't change anything.

    they are sneering at us every time they talk about "cuts".

    salmond, as ever, almost unflappable in his knowledge of having done the Right Thing. Why don't *we* get politicians like him??

  • Comment number 46.

    #41: the truth is out there. And that article is full of it. Cheers for posting, Uncle Muncle.

    china in africa: white peril, yellow peril - when will the black peril finally get some decent help that lets them develop themselves, without foreign, kkkorporate or class control?

    the same time as us?

  • Comment number 47.


    Am I referring to arrogant two-finger towers or an arrogant orating world leader?

    The 9/11 myth simply cannot endure. More than once, Obama insisted that 9/11 should NOT BE QUESTIONED. Shades (dark shades) of Dubya's "you are either with us or with the terrorists". Yet again, we are in fool or knave territory.

    The 9/11 myth will explode, as surely as the towers did. Fools and knaves will be so thick on the ground, it will be like a mass grave - a mass grave of truth, integrity, trust, honour and bogus democracy.

    They are ALL implicated.

  • Comment number 48.

    #44: because it doesn't really matter, and was essential knowledge the Russians and Americans needed in order to achieve their arms-reductions agreements together.

    we are not REALLY independent, you know? Nor would we be if we waste more 10s of £Bns buying new WMD off America.

    biometric ID databases.
    erosions of civil liberties.
    proportional representation.
    investments in growth education, and job creation.
    cleaning up politics, making MPs private incomes fully public, along with membership and incomes of the powerful Quangos.
    energy security.

    all these things were made much of during the election campaign, but once elected - we never heard of them again from any Govt spokesperson.

    ohh, the ID cards have been shelved - but the database is still there, it only needs the cards issuing and Police ordered to check everyone.
    There has been a mild move to weakening some of the more corrosive parts of tWoT's security Acts, and an obvious nod to the nuclear industry the Govy will underwrite everything.

    but apart from these ridiculously mild moves, all this Govt has done is focus its attention on how to avoid tax by the rich, and how to get us to pay ever more, whilst cutting the jobs and services that keep this country running.

    it hasn't fulfilled a single pledge *either* of its 2 leaders made in those 'debates' (fully scripted lying competitions), and it hopes we are all too asleep or drunk on the latest tabloid 'scandal' to notice.

    i wonder how many would have voted Tory/Liberal if they could have looked ahead in time a few months?

  • Comment number 49.


    No cigar Mork.

    It is now necessary to suspect YOU! Shame. Obama said 'don't question' you say 'no point as "how do you tell the truth? You cannot". Not so.

    Ignore every word said, or written, ignore planes - simply watch the videos of 'fallings' and view the stills of debris. This was not a David Copperfield Illusion. Three towers fell and smashed four more while damaging others. And it is all recorded. Tower seven is a classic demolition. Towers one and two were JOINTLY AND SEVERALLY UNIQUE - like identical twins!!! 'Jointly and severally unique' is a deliberate non sequitur on my part. The chances are beyond possibility - hence no cigar. Some very skilled people did this, on the back of some very Machiavellian facilitation.

    Just keep watching two towers explode and one tower symmetrically descend - over and over. When the penny drops, cigars will be the last thing on your mind.

  • Comment number 50.

    well *this* was a find from a random link!

    "Earlier, Turkey declared that a second UN resolution would be required before it could permit US troops to use its bases.

    British position

    UK Prime Minister Tony Blair - America's closest public ally on the issue - has made clear he would like a second resolution explicitly authorising the use of force against Iraq.

    Facing deep public hostility at home over his support for war, Downing Street officials hope that a resolution sanctioned by the UN would win over doubters. "

    in other words, Blair wanted a second UN resolution (that never came), to cover his ass in case GWB *was* a complete nutter, that the 'End of Times' and the 'Rapture' didn't come on the supposed schedule, just in case Blair might end up facing the ICC as he might very well be doing sometime soon.

    the sheer duplicity and bullying of the Americans is revealed fully in this article.

  • Comment number 51.

    #49: barrie, ROTFLMAO - of COURSE you have to suspect me! I suspect you, i suspect everyone - occasionally including myself, just to be holistic about it.

    its not a very pleasant place and way to live, but its what happens when your country becomes a Police State.

    what reason do you have to trust Jeremy Paxman? Only the same as for me - the quality and accuracy of the information we bring to the table.

    and what have i asked i return? I have no agenda, i am not even a Green Party member, in which direction i suggest people vote. I do not have a factory producing wind-turbines, i do not even get paid for the hours i spend looking up articles. No media group pays me, i have no 'Executive Directorships', and most people in close proximity seem to think i am wasting my time unproductively, rather than being supportive. On top of which, i have more propagandists and 'intelligence' operatives working against me than Bin Bloody Laden.

    i already had a pretty good idea of what/who was behind the 9/11 attacks only a few days after the event, and public pronouncements and events since have only made me more convinced upon that. I followed the invasion and rape of Iraq, the torture scandals, and the attempt to turn the UK into a 3rd world country supplying mercenaries to an American Fourth Reich. I do not need to watch "the towers" fall yet again, and again, and again, any more than i need to watch paint dry.

    in Science, you question *everything*. In Physics, everything becomes a matter of probability, not certainty. I apply both approaches to Political Science - and what is happening around us.

    i do not ask you to "trust" me, i only ask that you question, and use the information that i offer wisely.

    who you choose to trust is up to you.

    and btw, cigars are revolting. Yuck.

  • Comment number 52.

    HISTORY REPEATS (#41 link)

    The Muslim extremists are brutal - Christianity taught them well.

    I can't agree that Arabs learned their brutality from Christians. The term slavery comes from the very early slaving of 'Slavs' by Arabs. And in recent times, for the south Sudenese, Christianity has been a way to gather strength to oppose the brutality and slavery inflicted on them by the north Sudenese.

    I do agree that Arab/Muslim and Europ/Christian histories are inseparable. The light of western civilisation has passed from Sumerians to Greeks to Arabs to Normans and now back again to Arabs.

    Watching Russian TV coverage of Egypt suggests that there will be a new Caliphate, the mightiest the world has ever seen - potentially stretching round the Med from Morocco to Turkey and up into the Balkans, north to North Asia, and southeast to South and South East Asia.

    And I say good luck to the Arabs, Afrabs, and Asiabs. They are proud of their ethnicity and proud of their ideology. I just wish that I had the freedom to speak openly about my ethnicity and ideology in the same way that Arab/Muslims do.

    I also say good luck to the north Europeans who are also standing proud of their ideology and their ethnicity. I've been watching The Killing and I've been gripped since it started, not only because it is a dam good whodunnit but because I see myself reflected in the characters, I can identify with the culture, unlike when I watch the constant bombardment of images from the Middle-East/Asia, and the Middle-Easternisation of our own culture - we're all bartering now, of course the Brits don't have the 'guts' for it but we are being trained. (Prots have never been any good with money, as soon as we have any we start buidling parks, libraries and swimming pools.)

  • Comment number 53.

    barrie, sorry, didn't mean to sound snappish at you.

  • Comment number 54.

    In Physics, everything becomes a matter of probability, not certainty.

    True in theory, but the probability that a glass falling onto a concrete floor will break, is quite predictably high, don't you think?

    We don't actually live in a quantum world, postmodernists just want us to think we do because it allows for relativistic morality... recently taught to us by some nice American on Justice.

    Very interesting viewing. Two American academics both arguing for utilitarianism, one German academic arguing for Kantiism, and two Greek academics arguing for Aristotelianism. After the German's contribution we were treated to images from the Holocaust, and after the Greek interview, with images from recent rioting; a nice piece of de-bunking using negative association. The programme was then followed by an audience-based discussion to fully ram home the tenets of utilitarianism for those who weren't brainwashed by the negative imagery in the preceding programme.

  • Comment number 55.

    #52 and 54

    Interesting posts, I would not single out any one culture, we are all as bad as each other when looking backwards.

    There is one you missed though, probably the most progressive culture at the moment is China, they are sucessfully (albeit a predictable bumpy road) in the process of fusing selected aspects of the west with the east (Dengs Caged bird concept which works on many levels - not just democracy).

    What is more they are (in line with that culture) doing it with very little fuss or chest beating beyond thier borders so most people are not even noticing that it is already past the tipping point where there power base influence has gone beyond that of the west.

    Any revival of northern Europen culture as you term it would be no more than a skirmish in a backwater now in terms of global significance.

    As for the quantum world v the real world...well yes and no (pun intended !) .

    You have to turn your argument around and look for the things that work on a quantum level which DO influence the predictable probabalistic physical world, lots of interesting things start to happen when you do that which explains the irrationality you see / rage against (I presume you are JJ), heck it may even tie into 'observer' status.

    When I have worked it all out I will let you know :)

  • Comment number 56.


    Yo Mork! Suspect man!

    Before I began to post on the NewsyNighty blog, I routinely 'set down' my thoughts (to remain in my computer). I suspect such practice shifts the way the brain processes, thereby helping to illuminate insupportable tenets.

    Now I do exactly the same here, just occasionally getting feedback. Leaving aside Herr Hominem, ALL comment is thought-provoking, concerning my validity and, indeed, my presentation (often disgraceful!)

    So - no apology needed (though appreciated) and I look forward to delighting you further with my output.

  • Comment number 57.

    #28; the model described is in fact the way Germany developed from the early seventies; I do not understand why we in UK feel this constant need to re-invent the wheel; the "not invented here" syndrome equally applies.

    Find out what happens in other places; does it work? does it satisfy our own needs - then copy it quick!

    This continual talk of class war is debilitating the effort to improve; is there just the merest glint of the little green eyed god when people discuss the bankers' bonuses?

    Whoever blew up the Twin Towers and why is irrelevant; what is highly relevant are the consequences.

    Politicians continually attempt to master events - irrelevant and impossible; it leads inevitably to running the country's government like a daily tabloid; vide nulabour and Campbell.

    The best way to predict the future is to create it, someone once said; shape the consequences, not the events.

    I hear the sound of one hand clapping so bye.

  • Comment number 58.


    Given the arrogance of the 'New American Century', and the plethora of indicators to the 9/11 falsehood, the obvious conclusion is that the perpetrators had no concern in that area.

    They effected The New Pearl Harbour, and installed the doctrine of Pre-emptive Defence. That is a hell of a big genie. The word went out: 'NEW RULES'. (God bless Tony.)

    "9/11 was a scam? Oh you're not still on about that are you?" As we used to say in the 40s: "DON'T YOU KNOW THERE'S A WAR ON?"

  • Comment number 59.

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

  • Comment number 60.


    If that stands up to scrutiny (not qualified to comment but seems to hang together) it is absolutely disgusting and NN should be all over it like a rash.

  • Comment number 61.


    According to Max Keiser, the serious global manipulators have moved on from money (done that) by using the gains of the recent crash to heavily buy into commodities - particularly food. On the same programme (2.00 am today) he 'exposed' our government's move to relieve casino banks of tax in some stealthy manner. That appears to confirm your point DJ.

    Doesn't look so well hidden does it! And it will surely nullify the levy hike.

    We truly ARE held in contempt. When they hide stuff so badly (see my #59) they clearly have no respect, or concern.


  • Comment number 62.

    The sensitivity award for last night's NN has to go to Justin Rowlatt.

    Rowlatt was discussing the effect of Chinese chicken farmers in Uganda with an African/Ugandan chicken farmer and whether the Chinese were taking over. The African farmer was complaining to Justin that the Chinese were somehow inflating the size of their chickens artificially... to which Justin quipped 'Are you saying that the Chinese are producing blow-up chickens!' and Rowlatt promptly laughed at his own joke right in the face of the African farmer.

    The African farmer did not see the funny side.

  • Comment number 63.

    Was 9/11 an inside job? er yeah. Are the banksters robbing money from under our nose? er yeah! is the global financial world operated by a small number of elite families and power brokers who view what they do as a game for the "betterment of mankind" with programmes such as population control under the guise of vaccination etc and the creating of crisis and starting wars? er yeah. A Roman fella once said something on the lines of: give them bread and circus and we'll be able to tax them to the death, they'll never notice.. 70 million watched the superbowl last weekend, millions watched liverpool and Man United and Man City(a massive club) and all the other games played last weekend. Millions are glued to the TV watching the endless weekend talent shows and celebrity skating on ice and then these millions then flick over the channel to watch furthur coverage of this stuff to get more insight of the show in the xtra highlights. Our heads are down viewing text or fiddling about with the lastest app on or phones. Bejesus! is it no wonder they take liberties with liberties.
    Has Camaron and Osborne become members of Bohemien Grove yet? that, I don't know. But it wouldn't surprise me.

  • Comment number 64.

    I have to agree with #58 barrie re 9/11

    Remember, the wars throughout the entire c20th (and this one too) were not about nationalist Britain vs Germany or the US vs Japan etc. Although they were spun that way.

    They were all about ANARCHISTS (aka CAPITALISTS) vs STATISTS

    The Neocons: An Illustrated Progression

    The Road to Serfdom

    Note the reference to the 'Project for A New American Century' in the first link.

    As someone else has on here has commented before...the libertarian politics that we see on our TV screens are the poltics for the occupation of the middle of an M....M for Misleading.

  • Comment number 65.

    #39 Mistress76uk wrote:

    :o) Jeremy ALWAYS has a classic interview with Alex Salmond - and tonight was no exception. Sheer excellence.


    Oh Mistress!...please don't tell me that you were taken in by that little piece of pantomime.

    Salmond was 'in' on the decision to release al-Megrahi right from the start. Just as he was 'in' on the ensuing cover up.

  • Comment number 66.

    -This continual talk of class war is debilitating the effort to improve; is there just the merest glint of the little green eyed god when people discuss the bankers' bonuses?-

    I disagree. Understanding the English class system is fundamental to understanding where we are now.

    In post-war Britain, the working class were made an offer they couldn't refuse: "Keep quiet, work hard for low wages, and we'll give you pensions, free medicine and housing".

    What developed in the 50s and 60s were cohesive communities - arguably more cohesive than the bourgeoisie, who's glue is political, rather than social, capital.

    Then the working class infrastructure, the terraced housing, was removed.
    Then the working class started striking for more pay (big mistake that has ultimately cost us the gains made through centuries of slow and steady social reform).
    Then the Unions were crushed.
    Then social housing was removed.
    Then there was a new mantra. Instead of 'Work hard and stay put', it became, 'Run around the country like headless chickens and compete like mad for your jobs'.
    Then the pensions were removed.

    Admittedly, in the process, many working class youth rose up through the private sector and are now today's highly-paid 'Modern Professionals'.

    But many got left behind and they have been joined by rejects from the bourgeoisie who didn't match up to the new corporate terms of engagement.

    So, there is quite a valid sense of a deal having been reneged on.

    Plus, it is crucial to recognise that before the other cultures arrived, there were already two quite separate cultures in the country. Politicians have failed time and again to understand that multiple cultures have only ever existed in the working class. The State is run by the bourgeoise and the State can impose its own terms of engagement in a way that St George's flag-wavers cannot - it is working class culture that has been eroded and not that of the politicians.

    So, not only has the economic deal been reneged on, but people are also spiritually deflated.


    Supply chains are poor at one end and rich at the other, because whoever is closest to the customer's money will be able to absorb profits not passed down to suppliers.

    So, you may say, the retailers are at the rich end of the chain. But, where do retailers get their finance? Exactly; retailers are the customers of banks.

    Now, that is a fairly 'value-free', if unfair, phenomenon.

    Add to this scenario some values.

    In the 19th century, wealthy industrialists were a) visible i.e. known to, and arguably subject to the opinions of, their labour force; and b) driven by some strange need to build both a better infrastructure and a better quality of life for their country.

    Globalisation has taken away national boundaries. So, bankers' bonuses simply leak (jet-spray?) out of the system that was the country - the money goes to off-shore accounts. The myth of wealth creation is that the wealth that is created, for the most-part, leaves the country, and only a small micro percentage remains behind in low wages. But there are no compensatory public works (due to the invisibility of bankers, and the veritable stigma attached to national pride). On the contrary, the financial crash has meant that the previous provision of infrastructure, schools, libraries and swimming pools, is closing.

    Working people are pretty good at seeing how a system works; not least because so many rely on practical intelligence to do their jobs.

    Far from being green-eyed, I think the majority of people have absolutely no aspirations to excessive luxury, and the neuroses that it can cause.

    But, we are sufficiently savvy to understand that the bonuses have been paid for with, not just some highly attractive bricks and mortar, but the shared public life that those buildings housed.


    Today's dominant culture is 'Love your family, Love money'. Some may put money first. Six months ago I got caught short without coins for the bus. A complete stranger gave me £2. Yes, £2. And that's why I love the public spirit as much as my family. And, if I loved money, I wouldn't be sitting here tapping away, I'd be browsing comparison sites, switching my utlities, opening up new accounts and leaving a trail of empty accounts with introductory bonuses past their sell-by date.

    Thus, until somebody puts their finger in the dyke, those who love money will continue to cream-off the surplus that previously built infrastructure, and give it to their families.

    All comments welcome.

  • Comment number 67.

    No, I'm not JJ but I think I might know who she is.

    Skirmish? Yes, indeed! The Palestinians could tell you a thing or too about seemingly hopeless causes. Seriously, what were the British thinking? You leave a piece of land and then 2000 years later you say 'Actually that's ours'. Back in the day, I knew a few people who inherited houses simply by living in them for 12 years!

    I haven't studied Eastern civilisation hence I don't comment on it. Chinese civilisation is the longest continual civilisation I believe. I should think that we will have to pay for the Opium Wars but I think China will Romanise rather than Normanise.

  • Comment number 68.

    Daily Politics "clicktavists/hacktavists" on the rise and a call for Cyberwar rules of engagement
    I wonder if they're related

  • Comment number 69.

    Maybe I should have renamed my #59


  • Comment number 70.

    Ed Balls accuses government of delivering 'tax cuts for the banks'

  • Comment number 71.


    Liking your posts, re opium wars, we are already paying.

    Just substitute opium for mass produced electronic belly button fluff removers and other such gizmos which provide a satisfying pleasurable (but short lived) 'high' in the purchaser in return for some pieces of silver. The pieces of silver can be re-invested in something more useful by the vendor e.g. like buying a copper rich mountain or two in Peru or farmland in africa along with infrastructure and organisation to make it work.

    The victims have not forgotten the lessons of the opium wars but the instigators have.

    Unlike the instigators though the victims seem to be going about their business in a largely non violent way although, as with any change, there is a lot of collateral damage (e.g. Darfur and the like), but one can hardly blame them for taking a leaf out of the west's 'How to get on in the world' handbook circa 1750 to 1914.

    That would just not be Cricket.

  • Comment number 72.

    ste..."wappaho", #66 is excellent, almost entirely accurate.

    the one thing you missed is in economics - the large multi-nats have not only gone for "horizontal expansion" - capturing the entire market for a product, they have also gone for "Vertical integration" - expanding up and down the manufacturing/supply/transport/retail chain.

    for instance Tescos own vast amounts of highly fertile land in South Africa. They pay the South Africans the absolute minimum they can possibly do that doesn't leave the workers and pickers dead. They own the shipping (or are part of the same combine), during which tax-avoidance measures the price of the product shoots up dramatically, before it reaches the UK. The product is then sold in the UK with very little reported profit for Tescos, which means along with all the other tax-dodges and outright avoidance that Tescos pays [bleep] all tax. Perhaps that can be seen as a good thing - except the small local shops, the smaller chains, cannot possibly compete, Tescos can simply outspend them due to their greater wealth. The smaller shops go bust, Tescos gets ever more market share. The same is true of the other KKKorporate supermarkets as well. And those missing taxes are what pays for schools and hospitals.

    you should also be aware that many of these larger KKKorporate chains also run their own banks, under the aegis of deregulation of the last 30 years.

    "Then the working class started striking for more pay (big mistake that has ultimately cost us the gains made through centuries of slow and steady social reform)."

    well, no. The strikes began when the owners started taking ever greater share of the profits, when the ruling classes decided to steal ever more money and profit from their labour. The strikes were a response. Btw, those gains, as you said, came through waves of social and political pressure from the People - it is not for one generation of corrupt politicians to take them away. Human Rights are not there to be taken away at will by despots - they are not *given* by despots. They are our natural right as people.

    "Far from being green-eyed, I think the majority of people have absolutely no aspirations to excessive luxury, and the neuroses that it can cause.

    "But, we are sufficiently savvy to understand that the bonuses have been paid for with, not just some highly attractive bricks and mortar, but the shared public life that those buildings housed."

    yes. Just, yes.

    "A complete stranger gave me £2. Yes, £2. And that's why I love the public spirit as much as my family."

    people are awesome.

    #62 DJ: Rowland apparently was unaware of how an African would describe the use of antibiotics and steroids if they had never heard the names.

    although i'm not saying the Chinese are using them, just that is what he described.

    #64 DJ: an interesting diagram. Not disputing the connection of the neo-cons to Trotsky. But the ideological battle of WW2 was about *inheritable power*. The Bolshies broke that, they did not see that power should pass from father-2-son, they also killed the Czar and his close family. To the rulers of the West, this scared the bejesus out of them. For although political power had become more meritocratic, economic power was still very much inheritable. Privilege was still in place.

    The Nazis were supposed to sort Russia out, and reimpose inheritability, but instead attacked France first. Thus the UK and later the US smacked them down - ironically enough, in 'alliance' with the very country that had been originally planned to receive the German military machine in its entirety. Which Stalin of course knew. Not that Stalin was at all a nice person, the Russians were extremely unlucky in which tyrant came to power in their Revolution. Now of course, with Putin and the 'Modernisation' (Privatisation) program, inheritability is back in control in Russia.

    nothing to do with "Statism", or "right-wing libertarianism", or very little anyway. Both usually lead to the same place, a small minority owning and controlling everything. Either through the State, or through KKKorporates. These are just terms that are used to detract attention from the accumulation of power in unaccountable places.

    and NEITHER of the two groups were "anarchists" in any meaningful sense. Hayek was Margaret Thatchers "economic guru" - not a place i would look for ways to get out of this mess, considering he had such a hand in creating it.

    #67 jim: hopefully China will 'Mondragonize':

    and more hopefully we do too. Living standards, and Quality-of-Life for ALL rise up when exploitation is taken out of the economy.

    #71 Jeri: and if the Chinese in their turn do not grasp basic economics and human aspirations, then any future Empire of theirs will crash also. Their former Imperial structures are utterly inadequate, and only lasted because they had no bordering civilisations.

    and how long *can* Empires last now? Even in Africa, the Internet is making headway, and will bring the sheer weight of knowledge, discussion and awareness to African youngsters - perhaps not the 60%+ living in absolute, mind-bending poverty, but slowly the Internet Evolution is growing even there.

    i wonder what it is like for educated Africans, to hear from White Europeans and Americans how terrible it is that "OOhhh, the Chinese are taking over your Continent!!" - do they just want to punch us? Talk about unbelievable hypocrisy!

    jim: such a Caliphate would be utterly different to any previous - THIS time it is a completely democratic movement, with full transparency, and full accountability - if it succeeds. At the moment Western Govts are frantically doing everything they can to reduce Citizen-participation in the Islamic nations, as indeed they are also doing to *us*.

    we are not ruled by good, or even particularly nice people.

    thankfully, the light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel is glimmering a little now, a future without exploitation, with democratic politics and economics, with concern for the environment and each other. And with an electronic democracy that keeps our chosen leaders to account, and a well-educated Citizenry, and a Citizens-Media that reveals and shreds any dishonesty or ill-dealing.

    its all there, just on the horizon. I hope we make it.

  • Comment number 73.


    I so hope you are right, its the process to get there that worries me as does the sheer depth of the depravity which needs to be overcome (see links to the Guardian article on Paul masons Blog).


  • Comment number 74.


    Not many years since our battery chickens were swollen with phosphate solution - if memory serves Mork. I think that's your best candidate.

    Not much that 'resourceful' Britain didn't pioneer.


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.