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Wednesday 27 April 2011

Len Freeman | 11:14 UK time, Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Tonight we are leading on the economy which grew by 0.5% in the first three months of the year. The chancellor welcomed the return to growth, which followed a contraction of 0.5% at the end of 2010. Labour said the economy was flat and the recovery had been "choked off".

Our Economics Editor Paul Mason will give his take on what is really happening and we'll have an interview with the Business Secretary Vince Cable. In the studio we will have some top people from the world of business - the former CEO of Asda Andy Bond, the fund manager Nicola Horlick and the former financial services secretary in the last Labour government, Lord Myners.

Refugees from Tunisia and Libya are arriving in France. Jackie Long is in Paris to talk to some of them. The French estimate there are 26,000 Arab refugees in or on their way to France - a number reportedly want to come to Britain. French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Italy's Silvio Berlusconi held talks yesterday on re-introducing border controls in the Schengen zone. Is this the start of a new immigration crisis?

And on the day that President Obama published his birth certificate we'll be asking just why he did it.

Do join Gavin at 10.30pm.

From earlier:

Britain's economy made only a feeble recovery in the first quarter of this year. Growth has been essentially flat for the past half year, just as austerity measures kick in. Our Economics Editor Paul Mason will give us his take. He will be also keeping an eye on the US interest rates announcement this evening. We are also fixing up a strong panel to give us their take on where the economy is going.

We also have the third film from Catrin Nye on the Oldham school experiment in which two schools, one largely white and the other mostly Asian, are being brought together.

Jackie Long is going to Paris to talk to Arab refugees who have travelled there through Italy and in many cases appear to want to come to Britain. The French estimate there are 26,000 Arab refugees in or on their way to France. French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Italy's Silvio Berlusconi held talks yesterday on reintroducing border controls in the Schengen zone to cope with the fall-out from uprisings across North Africa and the Middle East.


  • Comment number 1.

    On The Economy

    The problem begins with Fractional Reserve Banking and moves to Derivatives and High Frequency Trading, any discussion about this subject without addressing this addresses very little . Nothing can be done unless FRB - money as debt and bets on the future (derivatives) are removed and HFT correctly regulated. To do this you have to either remove the hierarchy of a feudal kleptocracy or the system implodes on its own insanity and monumental greed - the later seems to be more feasible at the moment with massive fraud going un-challenged and all in authority captured - legal system; msm; politicians; regulators etc. So we will not be having a realistic discussion on The Economy on Newsnight unless you invite people like: Bill Black; Janet Tavakoli; Michael Hudson and Max Keiser who will tell the truth of the matter.

    " Then the Great Depression hit, giving the Nazi party more discontent with which to work. Then Chancellor Brüning slashed and burned what remained of the German economy with austerity programs. In theory, austerity was meant to deal with the financial problems of debt and the Great Depression while avoiding a return to inflation. But it was those austerity efforts and their side effects that collapsed the Weimar Republic and the launched Germany into fascism. "

    Ref :

  • Comment number 2.

    Anarchist turns into National Socialist...and doesn't think it's funny!

  • Comment number 3.

    'We are also fixing up a strong panel to give us their take on where the economy is going.'

    Would that panel include Irwin Stelzer...he who is made-from-the-milk-of-human-kindness?

  • Comment number 4.

    The whole Economic discussion in the UK is still around Left / Right wing politics - this is a vast mistake - its doesn't matter - the concept of a democracy is cover for a kleptocracy implemented by the banks and The State captured sanctioned (it wants to be captured) - Its a stupid to continue the left / right debate. The only way forward is to remove the banks because they will not be sufficiently reformed. They have to be taken down and replaced with safe true democratic systems which are totally transparent not locked away in a bank safe room for no one to see which was how the; trust / lie / exploit horror started. And do we really need 'quants' with all the stuff that no one but them understands ? I think not.

  • Comment number 5.

    all these unfortunates from the 'Arab Spring' are they all bound for blighty? I have a horrible feeling.....

  • Comment number 6.

    #5 Relax stevie...just think of them as extra consumers, they'll be great for the economy!

  • Comment number 7.

    Gosh its amazing how much stuff has been 'referred for further consideration' from Tuesday - umm some democracy we live in - planet BBC

  • Comment number 8.

    Women dressed like this is a common sight where I live and has been for very many years. On this occasion I was some what mesmerized by the graceful lines and quality of cloth to engage with camera. Ive never been in the least bit bothered by it.

  • Comment number 9.

    #7 Flicks

    It looks to me very much as if someone has pressed the complain button (and been upheld) on every post that strays from the starter thread topics of 'what's coming tonight'.

    How sad. Another nail in the coffin - and another reason I seldom bother with this blog anymore. What a wasted resource.

    You watch - this will disappear too soon enough.

  • Comment number 10.

    Ellen Brown - Deficits Dont Matter -

    Ellen thinks Fractional Reserve Banking should be in the hands of the people with people owned banks . Sorry it should be in the hands of nobody ! Is the world real or is it made up from nothing ? No that's right the world doesn't not make anything from nothing. Delusion only exists in our minds.

  • Comment number 11.

  • Comment number 12.

    Max has posted this again and I posted it on here about a year ago . Its worth posting again because more people now know what Credit Default Swaps are and maybe will take note of the significance . But the song remains the same. Rickards explains why 'bail outs' are a stupid and why CDS's should be banned. They are not even regulated a year later as far as I know. So the kleptocratic banks and hang-on hedge funds get to ride the destruction train and delude themselves and us.

    Oh and the Greeks secret weapon - 100 tonnes of gold

  • Comment number 13.

    Re: the economy

    Would someone please explain to me why the Osborne Deficit Reduction Plan is deemed to be so wonderful that it will never require any amendment to take account of reality unfolding?

    1. Recession last Qtr - flatline this Qtr.
    2. Oil price spike is HUGE and massively recessionary.
    3. Inflation has rocketed way above OBR forecasts.
    4. Japanese earthquake has throttled trade in many sectors - NB cars.
    5. PIIGS debt crisis has got a lot worse - the UK is exposed.
    6. Unemployment is projected to grow as public sector workers lose their jobs.
    7. Major sectors like construction and retail report a negative trend.
    8. The banks still aren't lending on home loans or to small businesses.
    9. The international financial system is creaking .
    10. The OBR's forecast that the "Budget for Growth" is that it won't produce any measurable impact.
    11. Real living standards are falling rapidly and the cost of living is rising.
    12. The UK's balance of payments is deteriorating.

    Any reasonable assessment of these factors would indicate the need to revise the plan and revise the forecasts - OK the OBR has revised its growth forecast down a bit, but I simply don't understand why George Osborne thinks that a plan he put in place a year ago or more is so wonderful that there is never any need to modify it in the light of these substantial issues and events.

    IMHO we're looking @ 500,000 construction jobs going, 250,000 public sector jobs lost, then add in retail retrenchment plus defence manufacturer's cuts and the shake out in banking, it's likely there will be 5,000,000 unemployed before the next election - a lot less tax coming in and a lot more welfare payments going out - and a lot more government borrowing to pay for it, not less.

    The nub of the issue is the real effect on aggregate demand of £110 Bn being taken out of the economy in tax rises and spending cuts. The size of the multiplier we should use to work this out is widely disputed - some say zero - some say 2, 4, 6 or even 10.

    A multiplier of 10 would equate to taking £1 Tn of aggregate demand out of the economy at a time of domestic weakness and international fragility - Osborne described the Irish economy pre-bust as a "glowing example" - despite the fact that the Eire economy is now a complete basket case, GO seems determined to repeat their mistakes in the UK - "there is no alternative" is all we hear - no Plan B - the outlook can get as bad as it likes - the colours are nailed to the mast, the wheel of the ship of state is lashed down - there will be no change of course regardless of what happens, regardless of how many icebergs are spotted on the horizon ahead.

    This is not pragmatic government responding to the evidence of its own eyes and ears in the interests of its people - its a dogmatic doctrinal fanaticism determined to inflict a political ideology on the country at all costs.

    A simply question for Mr Osborne - what sort of event would cause you to revise your economic policy ? Given what's happening already, clearly it would need to be catastrophic.

  • Comment number 14.

  • Comment number 15.

    Hearing the ‘extended’ trailer on today’s PM regarding the segregated Oldham School
    ( More like ‘community’ really ....!!!! )

    Three things - at the very least - need to be said .....

    The PC Brigade got it wrong. (Oops! No one saw that coming! .... Not! )

    The PC Brigade are now faced with lengthy, and expensive, attempts at getting it right. ( With due emphasis on “lengthy, and expensive” of course! )

    And ....

    Welcome to Britain in the 21st Century!

    And regarding the Tunisian refugees sic .... it would seem that the inevitable ‘end-game’ is surely .....

    “Welcome to Britain in the 21st Century”

    (Printed in Tunisian of course!)


  • Comment number 16.

    how come many of the posts have been referred on tues blog? needs some explaining. or is it all getting a bit syrian around here?

  • Comment number 17.

  • Comment number 18.

    will there be figures for inter marriages between asian and white 'proving the success of the pig philosphy? thought not.

  • Comment number 19.

    shhh don't mention andrew marr.

    if a super injunction results in financial benefit is it still a 'private matter'?

  • Comment number 20.

    @11 Don't forget this:

    Some people will never be convinced of what they don't want to believe. Also, there is no depth to which some on the US right will not sink. They know it's ordure, but they fan the flames of hatred and ignorance anyway.

    Personally, I think that all who enter politics should be required to have a detailed psychological analysis and certificate of sanity.

  • Comment number 21.

  • Comment number 22.

    @2 Quite an amusing link - but you are still being VERY naughty, in that you persist in trying to redefine the word "anarchist" to suit your own agenda. This is a form of newspeakism! I really don't think the Tory councillor referred to in the link, Mike Beech would appreciate the label. I fail to see any resemblance between him and Kropotkin, Bakunin, Proudhon etc - or even Max Stirner.

    BTW there are even Hitler smileys, but they are rarely amused! //:=|

  • Comment number 23.

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

  • Comment number 24.

    @23 I agree that Obama is almost useless - or worse because he has engendered false hope. But I very much doubt whether they would have gone to the trouble of falsifying a birth certificate, and maintaining a false story. Why bother? There must have been thousands of potential puppets who did not need any such dishonesty to put in place.

    Obama might have been a better president, if it weren't for this and many other smear campaigns whose strategy has been to wear him down and neuter him. They have largely succeeded.

  • Comment number 25.

    Sasha #23

    I would say that Obama has been worse than useless, at least the American public at large put an end to his eco-fascist ambitions although he is trying the dictator stunt introducing stuff via the EPA and the back door. Then there was health care, and all that he could manage was a welfare state for the private insurance companies which doesn't benefit any of the US population in general and in fact costs most people more whether they can afford it or not. He has wasted trillions providing a welfare state for the Banks and their stock market parasites to a point where even the US could end up requesting an IMF rescue package.

  • Comment number 26.

    This is now a RED alert for the $ . We are in a serious situation right now !

  • Comment number 27.

    The $ is getting killed

  • Comment number 28.


    Might our disingenuous politicians be as careless in measuring growth, as they are with truth? Is that why it's called 'THE ECONOMY' (stupid)?

  • Comment number 29.

    Will Andy Marr be claiming back the £80k he gave in child maintenance?

    Is the BBC the media arm of a certain religious terror group? (as reported today)

    And who exactly forged a certain birth certificate?

  • Comment number 30.


    Your psychological profile of politicians only allowed if I get my Certificat of Voting Competence.

    In passing: Obama did not 'engender false hope' (understatement) he made like the Messiah and announced the New Jerusalem, while raising Teleprompter shares through the roof.

  • Comment number 31.


    When they did that demolition job, one of them dropped a spare Mohammed Ata passport . . .

  • Comment number 32.

    superb #13.

    what is the point of asking most of Labour anything?

    they presided over the further regulation of the banks (in apparent global consultation with the US and most of the EU), the non-taxing of the large and international Corporates, and the fall in incomes with the increase in cheap credit to make up for it. They also intended to have cuts, they also privatised our services and industries.

    why is there no growth in the UK? Because of the Condemn(ed) Parties.

    and they are all agreed the non-prosperity of the UK should continue - they only disagree how quickly it should proceed, with the impact of the cuts they propose. Because in fact, the cuts are not a *solution* to the economic/financial crisis, they are a continuation of the same policies that led us here.

    There is no way either Party is going to admit that.

    or corrupt business/banks. Pity we don't have a knowledgeable union or UK-Uncut on the panels.?

    for *actual* balance.

    on the newly mixed school - i wonder at the different pedagogy used by the two sets of teachers. Has such an experiment ever been tried with a private Christian school and a State school? It would be excellent to see the same process between an elite 'Public' (ultra-private) School, and a normal comprehensive State school. I'm sure we would also see some grave integration problems with those scenarios as well. However such events should not be done as 'experiments', but seen as an attempt to make the best future possible education for the students, and communities. After all, we ALL benefit if it works.

    And i have my own opinions about the future of UK Education. ;)

    #5 & #6: we armed their dictators. For years. And supported them in suppressing their populations. 'We' got jobs for doing that. And a few British people got very wealthy.

    if the revolutions succeed, and these countries start to rapidly and peacefully develop, these refugees, and possibly some earlier immigrants, would leave to help rebuild those countries, and cooperative economies. And they will (many of them) remember the UK fondly, and trade with our cooperatives for goods. This is what peace brings, as opposed to building weapons of war and civil-control, and selling them to foreign dictators. Yes, there are refugees from North Africa, and the Middle East. WHAT are they refugees FROM?

  • Comment number 33.

    Barrie @31
    "Documents are a CIA sideline"

    I thought that considering their form but why the big long wait. When questions were raised of his birthplace, instead of producing the birth certificate, Obama decided to spend millions of dollars in trying to kill any questions on his birthplace....why?

    Vinny Cable should not be taken seriously, he knows little to nothing of economics..he's a Liberal, and so by default, is mentally flawed and therefore couldn't manage a lemonade stand, let alone an economy.

  • Comment number 34.

    @flicks3 - You absolutely nailed it with your first paragraph on the first post above. Interviewing middle-of-the-road squabblers and Keynesian apologists keeps the debate nice and uncontroversial, but instead of gentle banter in the first class lounge of the Titanic, we need to wrest the controls from the drunken captain before we hit the iceberg.

    Newsnight, please get the names flicks mentioned, or other clear-headed thinkers such as Jim Rickards, Charles Hugh Smith and Steve Keen.

  • Comment number 35.


    The royal wedding will include a lot of military pomp, but how many will register the indoctrination of our young into the association of War and Greatness? All that military display (even Vogon-like shouting) will pass before the eyes of the people, the import going as unnoticed as a Vogon destructor-fleet vessel.

    We are feudal, we are theistically primitive, we are bellicose and getting more immature by the birth.


  • Comment number 36.

    Dear Miss Jackie Long,

    For sure, Sarkozy is an imbecile, but wanting to control immigration does not - repeat: not - mark you out as an extremist.

    For how much longer will you and your Newsnight buddies treat the British people with contempt?

  • Comment number 37.

  • Comment number 38.

    If you want border control, the BBC have you down as a right wing extremist.
    If you question the legitimacy of an American president,
    the BBC will call you a right wing extremists.
    Classic BBC. I think George warned us about you.

    When was the last time Gavin sat in a hotel room in any American state and watched TV news for any length of time? If he thinks this Obama Birth cert story has "been put to bed", he's living in Alice in wonderland -AKA the BBC bubble.
    They'll be pouring over this one for quite some time.

  • Comment number 39.

    NUB (#36)

    Westminster is contemptuous of us: the BBC follows. Westminster deceives us: banks follow. Westminster manipulates us: advertisers follow. Westminster cannot be challenged: the NO campaign follows. Westminster is without honour: Britain follows.

  • Comment number 40.

    what a load of bellicose twaddle. And no, i'm not talking about newsnight.

    Obama's history wasn't closely scrutinised before he was even asked to run as President? I think not. The issue is only of 'interest' to nuts who want to scream and hide when they look at the *true* state of the world. AKA "right wingnuts".

    flicks3: in ~1 you appear to be arguing that the banks should be split up, and the 'casino arm' of the banks completely dis-attached from the high st banks. Well, yes, as long as the parts the State has bought are not the ones saddled with the enormous debt! Further into the future, i would also recommend recreating/funding the growth of the mutual savings sector, which has a far higher record of keeping its investors money safe.

    as for moving to gold, as you have been posting a lot on, its very worth remembering that the movement that is pushing 'the new Gold rush' is also benefiting from others joining in later. It is a commodity, and as Paul explained last week, greater demand for the commodity is creating a bubble. Its price is somewhat artificial. But it also has to be borne in mind that the excess funds in the financial system (created by QE and other banking "bail-out" measures) is also pushing the prices of other commodities up - so gold is still a good bet, compared to other things - even land and housing.

    the one thing that does still beat gold is ownership of forest land in the UK, which is apparently inheritance tax-free as well. And those natural resources are achieving far higher-than-inflation increase in value. Wondering still why the Tories wanted to move large parts of the forests into 'private' hands? No more. Thankfully they were prevented from this by mass action by the Public!

    back to the point however, 'fiat currencies' are by and large extremely useful economic tools, they allow large amounts of money to change hands without carting loads of gold, silver and copper around, and evolved from banks issuing cheques based upon their holdings of wealth. Paper currencies are a perfectly valid means of exchange, and as stable as any other, certainly *potentially* more than gold. Food for thought: the local currency in the town of Lewis has not had the same problem with devaluation through overprinting.

    get it?

    and yes, the German 'Austerity Measures' helped bring the far-right to power, because of the devastating effect they had upon the living standards of normal Germans. A lesson perhaps not overlooked by our Grandee Rulers.

    btw, i don't actually have ANY influence, and certainly not control, over any part of the 'black bloc', so whatever happens Friday is entirely up to them.

    regarding my earlier comment #32, may i revise it and say that the 3 were actually very concise and grasped the main points and even urgency very well in their debate. People are aware that Plan A: 'the cutting strategy' is a failure, and it is good to be able to see that *before* it is too late to do anything about it. Hopefully Cameron..

    #36: it does however mark you out as a heartless [bleep]ard.

    "If you want border control, the BBC have you down as a right wing extremist.
    If you question the legitimacy of an American president,
    the BBC will call you a right wing extremists. "

    or, here's a thought, you ARE a "right-wing extremist". Gee, that's a thought.

  • Comment number 41.

    ...maybe yesterday's blog got hit by a "super-injunction"? :D

  • Comment number 42.

    As said many times before - its isn't about gold - that name is just the canary in the coal mine of the $.

  • Comment number 43.

    Language is a window on ideology.

    From the front page: "In a bold attempt to bridge the racial divide between white people and Asians".

    The political class will not be able to bridge the racial divide until it revises its language because the divide is created by their language i.e. one group is conferred an Ethnicity, the other group just disappears into an amorphous concept that destroys sense of identity and self-esteem. Badly done, Newsnight.

  • Comment number 44.


    I fully agree about the forest sell-off, but beware of "In paper we trust".

    Here are a few links that might help to understand the rationale behind Flicks3 references to the Gold price:

    "[central bankers] incite investment banks and other willing parties to bet against a rise in the prices of gold, oil, base metals, soft commodities or anything else that might be deemed an indicator of inherent value. Their objective is to deprive the independent observer of any reliable benchmark against which to measure the eroding value, not only of the US dollar, but of all fiat currencies."

  • Comment number 45.

    Remember Gold (and other commodities) are what enable you to value fiat currency, not the other way round! So how can gold be a bubble when the amount of it is finite and the commodity is tangible. It is far easier to blow bubbles with fiat currencies.

    But why would anyone want to do this?

    "The US will very soon lose world reserve currency status (along with monopoly pricing of oil in dollars too). And this will be a profound change to the world order. Only a small number of people understand or appreciate this, and they are plundering the public purse in nervous anticipation....
    ....Those in the know then will likely acquire land, resources and physical precious metals (such as Gold & Silver) whilst the fiat valuation is heavily supressed. A legalised land grab right under our noses."

  • Comment number 46.

    "Ultimately, every penny of every debt must be paid — if not by the borrower, then by the lender.. Inflationists and deflationists implicitly agree on this point… we differ only on the question of who, borrower or lender, will take the hit.. someone will pay. But there is a third option that is missing…the hit can be socialized."

    The hit is getting socialised guys.

    So in the old joke about outrunning the bear, how confident are you that you're ahead of the herd?

  • Comment number 47.

  • Comment number 48.

    Windy_miller wrote at 40:

    "Obama's history wasn't closely scrutinised before he was even asked to run as President? I think not. The issue is only of 'interest' to nuts who want to scream and hide when they look at the *true* state of the world. AKA "right wingnuts".

    Just for the record Mindy, it was Hilary Clinton who first uttered the birth certificate mystery. I'm not sure if you know this Mindy but in western democracies the historical records of anybody who enters political office is in the public domain..did you know this Mindy windy? Did you know in western democracies anybody who enters political office their education records are on display for all to see, what they wrote, their political beliefs etc etc...did you know this Mindy windy?
    What people wanted to know was why Obamas past (a Leninist Marxist by the way) was sealed away from any public scrutiny; people threatened with jail for making inquirys, millions spent on keeping his past sealed. Why was(is) his past remained locked up. When they let anybody have the finger on any powerful western button, their past is public. did you know this Mindy_windy?

  • Comment number 49.

    Mindy_windy _miller wrote:

    "If you want border control, the BBC have you down as a right wing extremist.
    If you question the legitimacy of an American president,
    the BBC will call you a right wing extremists. "

    or, here's a thought, you ARE a "right-wing extremist". Gee, that's a thought"

    Where do you get your info from..the Guardian perhaps?
    Do you hang on to every word that is presented to you by the hacks at the BBC?
    Do you think Journalism is a high-end and honourable profession? Have you spent any time in and around journalist lately or in the last 20years?
    Do young minds not yet formed -such as your own - tend to be Liberal and parrot such views, until such time they enter the real world of work.
    Is Liberalism an illness - especially when one is over the age of 30 - and should be treated as such?

  • Comment number 50.

    ALL OF A PIECE (#47)

    So many glaring 'clues' - same MO as 9/11.

    Meanwhile: in UK we had lies+bogey-man for the 2010 Conservative election strategy, and now lies+bogey-man for Conservative (NO) referendum strategy. AND IT IS ALL OUT IN THE OPEN.

    'Democracy' is still comprised of 'mock' and 'crass', on both sides of the Atlantic. We are puppets, and the puppet-masters are becoming more arrogant daily.

  • Comment number 51.

    was the menu multicultural or halal only by default?

    what kind of multi culture needs risk assessment?

    NN not helpful with its 'focus'? haha

    kids don't need to be forced to mix in. its the adults with their multiculture agenda [enforcing differences] that are the problem.

  • Comment number 52.

    Tony started vexacious wars and Brown brought the country to its knees. why should the role gamers want them spoiling their role gaming?

  • Comment number 53.

    arab spring

    where are the women? why is it only young men? why are they not making their country better rather than asking for handouts?


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