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Monday 18 July 2011

Sarah McDermott | 12:26 UK time, Monday, 18 July 2011

The fallout from the phone hacking scandal continues and tonight we'll have the very latest on the events of the day.

Met Police Assistant Commissioner John Yates has quit amid growing pressure - we'll examine why he had to go and ask if public and political confidence in the police is now at an all-time low.

David Cameron is cutting short his trip to Africa to return to the UK and he's announced that the Commons will be recalled on Wednesday to debate the latest developments. How damaged is the PM? And is there now a scenario that could lead to Cameron losing his job?

All that and a look ahead to tomorrow's crucial culture select committee hearing with Rebekah Brooks, and James and Rupert Murdoch.

Do join us at 2230 on BBC Two.


  • Comment number 1.

    the police have been FAR lower. Brixton, Miners's Strike (Thatcher period), the attacks upon the Free Party scene in the 90s, to name but a few instances.

    astute readers will note that those events happened DURING the time Murdoch and News KKKorp were buying into the UK with the help of Thatcher and the Tories.

    coincidence, obviously. lol.

    "bring cameron down" - osborne has been the architect, i wonder if he is expecting to take over, or be the Meddlesome of the 'New Tories', and continue behind the scenes with his disastrous advice.

    dave, i used to have a "friend" like him, constantly giving advice that got *others* into hot water whilst he quietly snuck away smirking. In politics, such people are lethal.

  • Comment number 2.

    Wot, no Jeremy?

  • Comment number 3.


    So am I. When the Conservative Party resorted to undue influence, in their vote-panic prior to the 2010 General Election, not even Dave was troubled. In consequence, they widely delivered a "False Instrument" (Liar Flyer) in blatant contravention of the Representation of The People Act 1983.

    You might think that such a righteous party as the Conservatives, more especially a diligent Home Secretary of that party, might be troubled by their OWN law-breaking. But this is the Age of Perversity - aka governance under the Westminster Ethos. Thus a whole year of challenge, to Conservative law-breaking, has gone unacknowledged and uninvestigated. No joke being in law-enforcement under such people, eh?

    Oh well - we can still bomb Johnnie Foreigner. That's ALWAYS legal.

  • Comment number 4.


    What if Dave does lose his job.


    Nuff sed

  • Comment number 5.

    'How damaged is the PM? And is there now a scenario that could lead to Cameron losing his job?'

    Interesting structure.

    One imagines there are plenty of scenarios for what 'could' happen on all sorts of counts.

    And once everyone has been purged by those who like to create self-fulfilling prophecies for those on the 'get' A-list, one wonders if it all stops there, or is it envisaged that things only extend as far and wide as they need?

    Or is there a 'unique' cut-off, like the extent Mr. Miliband wanted anything to go back, that most hyperactive MSM types suddenly seemed so phlegmatic about, being such champions of troof 'n justice 'n all.

    Not sure what we're getting is much different than before. New boss, same as the old boss... only without that silly voting stuff in the way.

  • Comment number 6.

    JP be off for his 12 week hols?


    i see the bbc website is doing ordinary links on hacking direct to live tv without warning people that is where the links are going and about the licence implications. which is entrapment. is this deliberate bbc policy? who authorised it?

  • Comment number 7.

    Manic Monday! ....

    And not likely to be the last in the foreseeable future!

    Today’s - sort of - random thoughts .......

    Regarding today’s Today.....

    It’s quite amazing at just how adept some are at ‘talking out’ - and let’s not forget the ‘squirming through’ - the allocated editorial time with really saying anything that can be ‘pinned down’. Amazing skills really but just whom is responsible for letting these ‘media savvy pro’s’ get away with it? Maybe it’s something to do with ‘over there’s ‘ fifth amendment, or maybe it’s just another part of the “Politician’s Code’? Should it be allowed to happen? And, let’s be honest, if the corporation is paying out thirty five quid for the ‘privilege’ of an ‘appearance‘ ( Are we all not truly grateful for the appearance of a truly iconic person? ) surely it, the corporation, deserves to get (any) value for money?

    Hmmm .....

    During a rather important person’s press conference ( You can read that as ‘During a press conference from a person too full of self-importance’ if you wish ... I couldn’t possibly comment! ) in the southern hemisphere there were some quite timely, and profound, peels each time he spoke . Two thoughts (‘should’ .... perhaps? ) cross the mind .....

    “The Bells! ..... The Bells! “

    .... and - perhaps - more appropriately ...

    “For whom the bell tolls? It tolls for thee!”

    Hmmm ....

    Elect-Ed decided to go for - a sort of penultimate - ‘broke’ in his speech today. He rightly chose not to call for the eviction (Execution? Suicide ( Oh yeah! Right!) ) of someone whom is currently out of town. No ‘casting’ of stones here then, an admirable move. Yet surprisingly he had not read the musings of that big guy in that other place and wouldn’t be drawn to make a “Go for broke” comment on the subject of immigration.

    Before he finalises any policy perhaps he should read some of the posts on the Nn site to see what future voters are saying?

    Hmmm ....

    Subconscious or subliminal?

    Re: ‘Hacked’ hack. Before becoming ‘unemployed’ sic media usage of images was - let’s say - complimentary (?) Yet since being added to the ‘economically inactive’ statistics the ‘imagery’ used has been somewhat - shall we say - different? What’s that word doing the rounds? ....


    Hmmm ....

    Stheno, Euryale and Medusa must be destroyed!

    “Annihilate! Annihilate!”

    P.P. (That’s “Post Hmmm ....” in case you didn’t know!)

    There are still three - contemporary - Gorgons!

    Not two!

    Come on Nn!

    Follow the money!


  • Comment number 8.

    Very important, but another one issue NN. Berlusconi's days seem to be numbered too.

    Though there seems to have been some (official) phone hacking in this case.,1518,775092,00.html

    In the meantime, this story from Bahrain highlights our leader's amd media's double standards. Had it been Libya we wouldn't have needed aljazeera.

  • Comment number 9.

  • Comment number 10.

    Just noted LORD Blair (former Met chief for the avoidance of confusion)has offered these words of wisdom on this.

    '''Lord Blair, who was replaced by Sir Paul Stephenson, asks whether two resignations from the job in just two-and-a-half years "indicates that something is gravely wrong with the political oversight and governance of the Met". ''

    Really Mr whiter than white sat in the house of lords now no less !!!

    Hmmmm is this a case of throw up a smoke screen...perhaps he got some advice on that .. who knows.. maybe he feels exposed too for some reason..?

    I do recall the extraordinary co-incidence that on the then Sir Ian Blair's last day in the job just happened to co-incide with a raid on a conservative MP office without a warrant.

    I seem to remember Sir Ian was having abit of trouble with conservative politicians at the time. Extraordinary timing of that particular episode dont you think, it was his last act as met chief essentially.

    Possibly worthy of investigation me thinks.

  • Comment number 11.

    While the moderators are chewing on my post 10 (a side note on the former met chief Lord Blair).

    Does anyone expect Rebekah to say much tomorrow, if one were being cynical (heaven forbid) to quit, get arrested, then plead innocence is a kind of clever defence against either perjuring yourself or being forced to reveal more than you want to.

    Of course it is just a theory.

  • Comment number 12.

    According to the police, Mr Hoare's death is "unexplained but not suspicious"???????????????

    I expect that, like Dr David Kelly, his character will be posthumously assassinated in some quarters.

    I remember the end of the Private Eye spoof of the Hutton report into the latter death: "I have no hesitation in declaring Dr Shipman to be totally innocent."

  • Comment number 13.

  • Comment number 14.


    The Westminster Ethos - supported through the medium of party politics - in turn, maintained by charado-democratic elections, is an 'incredibly' foul, self-serving, SELF-PROTECTING, game-playing, irrelevance to decent, wholesome life and living.

    WESTMINSTER IS THE LIE we all live within, where Emperors all wear new clothes, and Prime Ministers are noble, worthy individuals (who love war).

    Only severe social breakdown will wake the dreamers - and they will awake to mayhem. Frying pan to fire.

    The dead will be the lucky ones. (Long John Silver.)

  • Comment number 15.

    Just when you need an anchorman presenter with nouse as usual you trot out Gavin Esler, I wonder whether Susan can get her head around this link ?

  • Comment number 16.

    The hacks at the Sun are a bit behind on what really goes on:

    7/7 and inside job ? yeah..its a classic, and easy to spot...a bit like 9/11 was an inside job.

    Has there been any deaths involved with the phone hacking scandle? - other than maybe the recent death of a NOTW journo.

    Meanwhile we are still messing about in Afgan, Iraq and the latest war, a 3 month old war in Libya -also known as a "Kinetic operation"..a humanitarian operation.

    Anyhow, one in six police officers is a freemason -allegedly..go figure.

  • Comment number 17.

    Well, after the disrespectful attitudes of BBC presenters and correspondents today and this evening, it is now clear that the BBC have given up all pretence at balance. They will clearly not be happy until they have achieved their goal of the resignation of David Cameron. I hope they don't imagine that this will bring about the election of their darling Ed Miliband, ably assisted by his friend and ally Tom Baldwin, whose hand is detectable here. I don't think the British public will like two back-stabbings in twelve months.

  • Comment number 18.

    It would be nice to see Murdoch do a George Galloway on the corrupt, expense fiddling MP's. I think the whole country would be cheering at the sight of Vaz etc getting a good drubbing.

  • Comment number 19.

    Nick the Tory who harangued Harriet the fascist leftist was a breath of fresh air...have him on regular please.

  • Comment number 20.

    Incredible bias shown by Gavin Esler tonight. He didn't chair a debate, he simply joined Harriet Harman in rubbishing David Cameron. He didn't ask her one single question about the Labour party position, nor did he take up the questions posed by the Conservative spokesman. He simply let her run the show and did not provide a balanced programme for viewers. Ed Milliband was 100% okay and David Cameron 100% bad. We expect better from Newsnight.

  • Comment number 21.


    Gavin is doing a v good job tonight I think as is NN in general, Cricks line of questioning was v good.

    Got to keep the pressure up, who knows, it may be shown in the future that people are being killed now in a desperate attempt to 'hold the line'.

    We may not get another chance to shine a light as fiercly into the crevices of power as the opportunity before us now with an unexpected temporary fault line now present in the media / politics / law enforcement axis. The chance must be taken, it absolutely must be taken, lets see if we can illuminate what they are all about.

    If there is nothing hidden in the crevices of power they have nothing ultimately to fear except an uncomfortable few weeks.

  • Comment number 22.

    Amazing isn't it, Labour going on about special advisors. How about Damian McBride and Charlie Wheelan? Did Gordon Brown resign when they were forced out? Of course he didn't.

    Strange isn't it that Mrs Balls attacks Cameron in Parliament, now whose her husband? Yes it's Ed the arch manipulator is Gordon Brown's back office? The same Gordon Brown who incidentally made claims in Parliament that he hasn't substantiated but cuddled up to the Murdoch media.
    Come on, this is nothing more than Labour hypocrisy, now where's my sick bag.

  • Comment number 23.

    Blimey, the conservative blog spammers are out in force tonight on here.. they must be worried...

    You can always spot them.. the posts have a kind of 'cut and paste' feel about them.

  • Comment number 24.

    I watch very little TV and tonights Newsnight piece with Harman and Boles reminded me why that was.

    Your presenter was unable to control these politicians and the whole thing descended into an unseemly shouting match.

    Appalling. I actually switched off before the end so maybe the conclusion was Death Match 2011 with these characters.

    This whole hacking business has just taken on a monsterous life of its own now, devouring everything in its path.

    Whilst I was watching, Boles did try to point out that there were actually more important items coming up, like an EU economic meltdown but that point just got submerged in the general ranting, which he, Boles also succumbed to.

    Normal people, that is, us the general public, are mere by-standers yet again, as these journalists, politicians and the police swim around in a cess-pit of their own making.

  • Comment number 25.


    These were PM and Deputy PM, respectively, for ten years. Now what does that tell you of Westminster governance?

    Blair was NEVER elected as Blair - Sedgefield voted his rosette into office on party lines. The PARTY pinned Blair onto their rosette, the PARTY elevated Blair to leader, and a Labour win further elevated him to PM. In turn, Blair elevated Prescott. Surely you can see the flaw? Blair was a shallow political animal, desirable PRIMARILY to the political mind.

    We not only GOT ANOTHER ONE (OR 2) but he was pre-selected for characteristics beloved of politicians (falsehood, deception, evasiveness, and damnable charisma). Would you wish your daughter to bring home such a man? Would anyone like to attempt to falsify my assertion?

    This is why I keep emphasising:


  • Comment number 26.

    That's what I mean about bias. The BBC never mentions Charlie Whelan or Damian Macbride or the other conspirators who worked for Gordon Brown. The BBC never mentions Sarah Brown's assiduous courting of Rebekah Brooks and Elisabeth Murdoch - something Samantha Cameron has never resorted to. The BBC doesn't mention Brown's execrable performance in the House last week - the only time he could be bother to come to Parliament being to settle old grudges. The Labour party has learnt nothing and it is hard to see why the BBC is so enamoured of them. And can somebody explain the Beeb's love affair with Jacqui Smith? She was on Radio 4 on Sunday, then on Radio 2 this morning, hypocritically sounding off about parliamentary standards in public life! I would have thought that even the BBC would have thought this was a step too far but apparently not. They have completely lost the plot over this hacking stuff and are just salivating.

  • Comment number 27.


    However this ends I am pretty sure it will show that they are all as bad as each other, DC will just be the unlucky one sat in the drivers seat when the wheels of the whole machine fell off.

    It could have been GB or TB or MT for that matter but it seems DC is the one fated to be the one without a chair when the music stopped.

  • Comment number 28.


    He is a true believer, Christian. They tend to call psychopathy, evil/satanic - it goes with the territory. (They can also see some mental states as possession.)

    If assessed sensibly, he makes a case. However, character-assassination is a primary tool of power elites, so Tony Farrel's fundamentalism is a gift.

    David Shayler is now claiming to be Jesus - perhaps he was 'reverse engineered' to the same effect?

    In passing: 9/11 as false flag, is not in doubt; 7/7 is oddly resonant of that scam. One thing is sure: we have plenty of men in government who will kill with impunity - just ask Johnnie Foreigner (a live one of course).

  • Comment number 29.

    Am no fan of Harriet Harman but Nick Boles' performance displayed shocking arrogance and stupidity, surely "blowing hot air" has to count as a gaffe? Had to laugh when he fell back on the old "Gordon Brown" chestnut, as much as Labour did bad things to this country the Tories tactic of constantly referring to past errors instead of even making a pretense of acknowledging the issues affecting this country is really starting to grate. Boles pulled off a performance that Cameron would have been proud of, disdainfully dismissing any question put to him that did not suit him, achieving the seemingly impossible and making Harman seem like a reasonable human being. Accusations of bias against Cameron are quite ridiculous when one of the key issues of this whole story is his appointment of Coulson, it is right to push questions about his judgment in this matter.

  • Comment number 30.

    Blimey, the Labour blog spammers are out in force tonight on here.. they must be worried...

    You can always spot them.. the posts have a kind of 'cut and paste' feel about them.

  • Comment number 31.


    I am in full agreement with Simon (#18). That the Conservatives came to power using a False Instrument, renders the Coalition illegitimate - void. (How bizarre that I cannot appeal to the monarch, with evidence, when it was she who INVITED LIAR-FLYER-CONNIVER CAMERON to form a government.

    Doubly poignant when legitimacy and integrity are the currency du jour.

    I have endeavoured to prime Murdoch to the illegal status of his inquisitors. Perhaps Vaz and his ilk might yet get theirs.

  • Comment number 32.

    This Englishman has always been deeply suspicious of these powerful vested interest groups, particularly politicians, the police and possibly the worst of them all - judges.

    Now, in the ultra-competitive world of commerce, in a shrinking area of commerce, namely newsprint - the desparate struggle to stay one step ahead of the competition has resulted in what may turn out to be an institutionalised pattern of, at best, deeply unethical behaviour.

    Only the naive could possibly believe that News International was alone in this, almost certainly the rivals such as DMGT also scrapped the bottom of the barrel.

    The BBC has the luxury of being aloof from these desparate commercial stuggles by virtue (or vice) of its huge guranteed income via the license fee tax, otherwise they too might have found themselves bottom-fishing.

    Yes, let he who has not sinned cast the first stone.

  • Comment number 33.

    Barrie @28.
    When I heard Farrell had stong Christian Beliefs, I knew he'd be easily ridiculed when he trotted that out (I do it often enough when I bump into Christians - in a nice way though)...I think Farrell only recently stumbled onto the truth. Its just interesting how someone of his professional background has happily blurted out what he knows. The usual smear campaign ain't gonna shut this fella up.

  • Comment number 34.


    I seem to remember 'they' decided Dr Kelly's death was 'not suspicious'.

    OK - but it was INCREDIBLY convenient.

    One convenient death might be considered fortunate; two, looks like 'judicious killing'. And as I pointed out above: politics is not short of judicious killers.

  • Comment number 35.



    Not me though, I despise them both equally. There is a natural tendancy for the incumbents to attract more flack than the opposition from a neutral perspective as they have the power, which is why posts attacking labour stand out a bit... from a neutrals perspective as being partisan.

    Rest assured I was equally disdainful of labour when it won the westminster 5 yearly kindergarden peeing contest 3 times in a row.....

    See what I mean ?

  • Comment number 36.

    So, lets get this right - Rupert Murdoch is the anti-Christ and therefore anybody who works, or has ever worked for him is the devils disciple.

    You may think that but I see an international businessman who has taken some enormous punts here in England (Wapping, Sky) and has generally been very successful in business.

    These politicians e.g. Blair, Brown, Cameron et al, wanted to use Murdoch, through his media, as the conduit to reach us, the public and now Murdoch has some adversity through the hacking issue, these politicians turn on a sixpence and its Rupert who?

    Less hysteria would be most welcome at this juncture from 'those jackals' (in this case, you can decide who the jackals are).

  • Comment number 37.

    FARRELL (#33)

    From memory, Farrel was late to tap in. But what a hoot that he was top of the THREAT ASSESSMENT profession!!!!!!!! That is a big plate of Crow.

    The 'End Time' may be a fanciful notion, but if I see the Lion and the Lamb lying together, no surprise will register. And the manifest fact that Blair of Jerusalem HAS LOST HIS SELF BELIEF, just HAS to be a sign.

    Westminster - one bolt of Mega Lightning should do it. . .

  • Comment number 38.


    You wait (almost) an eternity, and then an incredible number come along at once.

    I'll get me virgin.

  • Comment number 39.

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

  • Comment number 40.

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

  • Comment number 41.

    The issue at the moment is not what sins lie in Labour's past, but the fact that the Prime Minister of the day who is charged with running the country is mired in controversy.

    He does need to answer some important questions of personal judgement, because his judgement to make the right call is vital to the everyday workings of the UK. This issue needs to be resolved

    As for Labour, no doubt there is some quaking in the camp even now. The tentacles run deep.

    With politicians, you have a much clearer perspective of the truth if at first you doubt everything they say.

    And why are the Metropolitan Police investigating the Metropolitan Police? On that basis, why doesn't anyone suspected of wrongdoing just investigate themselves? What a world of innocents we would be.

  • Comment number 42.

    am i able to post anymore mods?

  • Comment number 43.

    repost #39:


    Monday 18 July 2011


    --the forum seems to have changed?? Or is it just my browser...?

    who was that Fox-Trained-Journalist interviewed alongside Harriet Harmen? What an [amazing human being]. That is the kind of 'politician' who give the rest a [good] name. Same with journalists. He seemed to get all his 'debating skills' not from Oxbridge - not necessarily a bad thing, i didn't either -, but from "Bill O'Reilly", the FauxNews [soft, honest, warm and cuddly Leftist] lead opinionator.

    As Tringul wrote, #29:
    "Boles pulled off a performance that Cameron would have been proud of, disdainfully dismissing any question put to him that did not suit him, achieving the seemingly impossible and making Harman seem like a reasonable human being."

    couldn't have said it better, although in truth Harriet has done sterling work recently, far outperforming her supposed 'Leader'.



    off-topic: TW spoiler alert!!!!!

    good to see Cap'n Jack back on the warpath, he's not 'the Doctor', but he's pretty cool anyway! ;D

    but was it my imagination, or was this Torchwood a little less well organised? The 'running away in a jeep whilst a combat helicopter is attacking' seemed a little stupid, and i'm amazed that by the time they had got to the beach they wouldn't already have had the guns out firing - after all, they had a yank with them... ;)

    admittedly though, i've only seen some of the 1st series, and one of the 3rd, so i can't stand as a great fan. I do hope the americanisation of this BBC series isn't indicative of the future direction of all BBC sci-fi however.... O.o


    back on serious topics though (sorry!), interestingly the link from #16 has gone down - as appears to have the entire Sun newspaper website?

    as i doubt this is "Anonymous", i wonder who IS attacking it with Ddos? Or is it simply the biggest global scoop the Sun has ever run with, and the web-site went down?? :o

    if the issues in the rest of the world were not so serious, i'd hunker down with a gallon sized bag of popcorn to watch the fun. ;)

    i missed two very good opportunities this weekend, one at 'ThePeople' on fri, and one at 'TheDukes' on sat. I regret both. Just mentioning.

    #27: it didn't have to be this way, Cameron CHOSE Osborne and that package that went with him. If he had not, none of this would have touched him. Osborne and "the cuts" have been Cameron's undoing, and he knows this full well - or he should, anyway. Even now, if he changes team and course, he could still come out of this (well, i think anyway) with his position intact. I have to admit, that IS unlikely though. What a shame he never came to ME and asked for advice.

    funny thing is, as a student the course i most wanted to go to at uni was the one he did, PPE. I wonder how his old professor would have compared us?

  • Comment number 44.

    #40 repost:


    #37: oh dear barry:
    "The 'End Time' may be a fanciful notion, but if I see the Lion and the Lamb lying together, no surprise will register. And the manifest fact that Blair of Jerusalem HAS LOST HIS SELF BELIEF, just HAS to be a sign."

    did you know this already? It was recorded last decade.

    actually apparently it isn't that uncommon - the stories of children raised by wolves is factual, and other such cross-species parenting, whilst unusual, is not "miraculous".

    "Westminster - one bolt of Mega Lightning should do it. . ."

    ---OM[B]G - was RUPERT MURDOCH "V" ALL ALONG!?!?!?!? :O :O

    btw, one of the rare movie endings where i loved the film, the ending was a big explosion - and i HATED it!!! The beautiful Palace of Westminster, exploding. Terrible thought. Getting rid of some of the [honourable members] in it not so bad though. ;)

    #38: knew this was going to get all religious at some point, and now common sense and reason are going to go out of the window for a while.

    JUST at the time we most need them! The Human Race, always creating its own worst enemies from itself.

    "I'll get me virgin."

    you have a virgin? I've been hoping for a respectable, experienced harlot-in-bed myself... :P

  • Comment number 45.

    thanks mods. So - *completely* clean from now on??

    takes half the fun out. :'(


    can someone tell me why a UK PM hiring a senior editor implicated in hacking, with some involvement with senior Met officers, is an "End of the World" sign?? Jeez almighty*, give me Taoism/Buddhism ANY day of the week rather than this infantile, hysterical version of Christianity.

    *pun intended.


    oh, i see theSun has indeed been hacked! :D

    gorramit, why AREN'T there Popcorn-Deliveries!!?!?! X(

    lolz ;)

  • Comment number 46.

    #36 johnconstable: i never imagined i'd *ever* defend Murdoch, but you are entirely correct.

    it IS amusing though, after all it is precisely this blend of hysterical dogmatism and evangelical hypocrisy (along with - we now know - widespread pressure on the edge of open blackmail) that he has carefully nurtured wherever he has been allowed to operate, that is now coming back to bite him. People should be aware though, hatred breeds hatred, and "not all 'enemies of my enemy' are my friend".

    there is real tragedy happening across the world, and whilst this is a VERY important topic, i don't think it should drive other topics off the news. Yeah, i know, i said the opposite last week.

    ..."A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds". ;)

  • Comment number 47.

    O.o Everyone else asleep?!

    a saner, calmer view of the USs budget/debt ceiling problems, by one of America's leading writers:

    "Calling Bluff on the Debt Ceiling "Carpocalypse"
    Here in Southern California we just survived the "carpocalypse" - when fevered pundits proclaimed that one stretch of closed LA freeway might wreak gridlock all the way to the Mexican border. It didn't happen, because people sensibly heeded warnings. As during the so-called "Y2K Crisis," headlines blared: World Fails to End!

    Nor will the United States of America collapse, if it slips into an August of No Borrowing.

    Oh, the political fight in Washington, over the raising of the debt ceiling, is serious, all right. There's plenty at stake and the rare adults in that town are trying hard to negotiate solutions. Here I plan to lay out some of the parameters - a few of which you surely haven't seen mentioned in big-media. I will also appraise some of the crazier polemical tricks.

    But first, let me reiterate a key starting point: despite chicken-little proclamations pouring from all sides, America won't tumble into hell if there's no budget deal by August 2."

    he makes, unsurprisingly, very well thought out and balanced points.

    (oh, and i guess it *was* my browser doing strange things!!)

  • Comment number 48.

    With 73% of people getting their news from television and the BBC having a 70% slice of that and, consequently, calls for the BBC to be referred to the Competition Commission becoming louder, Gavin appeared a little more probing of the numerous Labour interviewees, tonight, but still had to be pushed to challenge Harriet's verbal diarrhoea - pushing that didn't quite work.

    What could make Gavin overcome his mental block and breach that 'inquisition' wall he regularly hits?

    Ofcom's media statistics, for 2009:

    "'Drone' Strikes":

    Maybe the U.S.'s categorical denial stems from its desire not to move to the Leftie beat of the mainstream media, where the grazing of a Muslim child's leg, is not only of greater importance, but the only event worthy of reporting, in an operation that has sent dozens of rather nasty people to their heaven. I exaggerate, but the point is valid.

    [cont. below]

  • Comment number 49.

    one last read for the night, to keep the sleepy mods awake:

    a timely reminder that there is a bigger picture out there, and whilst i do not entirely share the view of the Enlightenment, i don't deny the obvious benefits.

    i also think this picture, this Dream he draws, is a far more pleasant one than the one offered by the religious fanatics, or the feudalist monsters. I'd like to see the young grow up in a free world, - even with the chance to leave Earth and head to the Stars.

    and there is absolutely no reason we cannot achieve it.

  • Comment number 50.


    Who'd have thought that even the MSM's dream U.S. president wouldn't be able to shift Lefties' ingrained anti-Americanism? Remember, folks: the denials happened on Obama's watch.

    Lyse Doucet's 11th May report illustrates what those of a different (a rational-thinking one) political bent are up against.

    Brossen99, #9:

    Apparently a Brussels 'services' directive is in the offing and the P.M. likes his chances of negotiating something in our favour. Consequently, he has to demonstrate his 'good European' credentials and, rightly or wrongly, believes he cannot/should not scrap the bid process. Obviously, our partners laugh at E.U. rules and can see another British mug a mile off.

  • Comment number 51.


    Dave to urge Africans: "Demand more say in governance!"

    A referendum perhaps?

  • Comment number 52.

    The cautions, and joys of online...

    '48. At 04:12 19th Jul 2011, Strugglingtostaycalm:
    With 73% of people getting their news from television and the BBC having a 70% slice of that

    50. At 15:12 17th Jul 2011, Mindys_Housemate:
    the BBC's budget is vastly smaller than the combined budgets of the "private" media groups, yet it is claimed it is "developing a monopoly".

    Now, where to find some objective analysis to discover what's what?

    In Newsnight fashion, I will simply suggest this as a 'think tank', and let the viewers try and guess any affiliations..

    42. At 01:42 19th Jul 2011, Mindys_Housemate wrote:
    am i able to post anymore mods?

    Of course. It's a free country. Well... 'ish.

    Babies, and bathwater, remember.

  • Comment number 53.


    As reported, ad nauseam, the Conservative party broke election law in 2010.

    Dave connived at law-breaking (it is never ACTUALLY his doing) in pursuit of power - DOES THAT SOUND FAMILIAR?

    If you wrote the above, and I read it, I would be slow to believe you. However, Westminster (in all its facets) has never declared me wrong - they just refuse to engage. Media (a wide spectrum of affiliation) also never engages (including NewsyNighty).

    I assert: the COMBINED SILENCE speaks volumes of covert collusion. DOES THAT SOUND FAMILIAR?

    In passing: the police are formally aprised of the Liar Flyer. But . . .

  • Comment number 54.

    Watching the playground antics between Harman and Boles filled me with utter dispair. Here we have quite a serious situation, and all our politicians seem to be able to do is act like 5-year-olds and concentrate solely on attacking their opponent, rather than addressing the issues. I think Gavin should have made them go and sit on the naughty step until they could behave like grown-ups.

    Serious question, though: I thought Harman came across as slightly more immature and aggressive than Boles (although it was a close thing), and wondered whether maybe she'd had a couple of drinks before she came on air. Did anyone else wonder about that or can politicians really behave like that when sober?

  • Comment number 55.

    53.At 08:51 19th Jul 2011, You wrote:

    As reported, ad nauseam, the Conservative party broke election law in 2010.

    Dave connived at law-breaking (it is never ACTUALLY his doing) in pursuit of power - DOES THAT SOUND FAMILIAR?

    If you wrote the above, and I read it, I would be slow to believe you. However, Westminster (in all its facets) has never declared me wrong - they just refuse to engage. Media (a wide spectrum of affiliation) also never engages (including NewsyNighty).

    I assert: the COMBINED SILENCE speaks volumes of covert collusion. DOES THAT SOUND FAMILIAR?

    In passing: the police are formally aprised of the Liar Flyer. But . . .

  • Comment number 56.


    My eternal point, well illustrated, DoM.


  • Comment number 57.

    This government, the last government and the one before were supported by Rupert Murdoch. "It was the Sun wot won it". Murdoch didn't invent the gutter press, but he made it worse. Maxwell's journalists, like Alastair Campbell were just as bad, and there has been a revolving door between the tabloids. Murdoch has expected leaders of UK and Aussie governments "kiss his ring"* as if he were their superior.

    He is not the first, but he is the latest in a series of press barons who have sought what Stanley Baldwin called "power without responsibility" Baldwin and Kipling's analysis is only outdated in one respect: today it is the politicians who are the "harlots".

    Not all politicians, but too many from both main parties have been prepared to sell themselves, this country's future and honest political conduct to the interests of a power hungry foreign businessman.

    Has Murdoch personally killed anyone? Perhaps not, though his papers have destroyed lives. However, in the US and the UK, he was not only a backer but a promoter of the Iraq war, and the lies which attempted to justify it. Blair might have stood up to Bush, but wasn't prepared to buck Murdoch. The war was ill-conceived, badly planned, cost far too many British and other lives and in the end made the world (and western oil supply) if anything less secure than it was before.

    Never mind the false left right divisions, because they are largely bogus in Parliament. Are you in favour of Britain being the colony of a ruthless foreign business empire, or not?

    *an ecclestiastical term mods:

  • Comment number 58.

    54. At 08:57 19th Jul 2011, DisgustedOfMitcham2 - can politicians really behave like that when sober?

    Distinct possibility. But MP'ing whilst under the influence is not really a surprise. It's not like anything will happen. Especially if they are in charge of anything dangerous (car or country).

  • Comment number 59.


    Clegg is proud of the LibDem record. Nick kept HIS sell-out within the Westminster family - and sold out to Cameron.

  • Comment number 60.

    Blimey !!!

    What took the BBc and the EU so long?

    Many learned unleveraged types have been shouting this as loud as unlevergaed types are allowed to for YEARS on paul masons Blog and elsewhere.

    Why is it, I wonder, that the ruling elite only start to look at things as they really are when they have no choice?

  • Comment number 61.

    On the plus side, this little blog beacon of discussive hope prevails, for now.

    Enabling me to post this:

    ...and highlight this (in italics)...:

    'a lesson that was – once again – thumped home to poor old Ken Livingstone on Monday’s Newsnight.'



    'No-one from the BBC, or the Guardian, or anyone else, came along and said, there’s more to this than meets the eye.'

    Now, in a new era when 'questions are being asked', it becomes interesting which are, and are not.

    Such as...

    'Little-known fact about Matthew Freud’s “most successful bid:” according to PR Week magazine, none of the normal roster of PR agencies used by the GLA (the Forster Company, Fishburn Hedges, GCI, Good Relations, QBO Bell Pottinger and Trimedia Communications) was even allowed to pitch for the China deal.

    Which is why I like the internet.

    Don't trust it any more than anything else, but it is less prone to losses in the edit suite. And is mostly free.

  • Comment number 62.


    Interesting how the term 'ring', and rings themselves, are associated with both binding power and criminality. One might well imagine that Tolkien's 'Ring of Power' is handed down from PM to PM, destined to destroy every last one of them.

    Then there is kissing, another area of mixed blessing.

    Poor Dave. He only has to look at 'Blair of Jerusalem' who 'held the ring' for ten years (too long to survive) to be shown his best course is RUN! But once possessed (and possessing) the post of British Prime Minister is a binding curse on the holder and the beholden.


  • Comment number 63.

    Oh well, the Murdoch trial is on live from 2:30pm on Sky News!

  • Comment number 64.

    It was grating having to listen to Harriet Harman trying to make political capital for Milliband from this sorry affair - a sorry affair which exposes the nation's worst inclinations; be it politics or newspapers they're all at, the shameless corruption of morals, intellect and responsibility.

    While Boles and the Conservatives may not be squeaky clean themselves, it was ne vertheless truly nails-on-the-blackboard stuff to have to listen to Harman "pumping air" (an accurate term from Boles) into the sad, fatigued and stretched Labour balloon. In their opportunism to bring Cameron down for his employment of the ex NotW editor, the Labour front bench are seen for what they are - no better than the journalists they are pretending to deplore.

    I wish some dignity and statesmanship would return to British politics.

  • Comment number 65.

    I am still of an opinion that interested parties are trying to make this a court of public opinion issue rather than awaiting the conclusions of the police investigations and the judicial enquiry.

    I personally would like to see a competition commission fully investigate the media market, broadcast and written types , with a automatic remit to do so every ten years. IE. Stopping a Minister having to make a specific referral, as I understand it to be case now.

    I still believe that proper diversity of media is vitally important for a democracy to flourish. One or two media srcs can be manipulated , eight or ten srcs a lot less so.

    I can not see why the Guardian , The Times , the Express, the Telegraph ,FT or anyone else for that matter could not start their own tv channels.

    Freewill and choice should not be seen as a bad thing in a free democratic country.

  • Comment number 66.

    #60, jericoa link:

    "Some say there is a choice. Europe could take a giant leap towards integration and so all debt would become European debt. It could only do this with fiscal union - and that almost certainly would need the backing of political union.

    "Whatever happens German voters will have to be persuaded that it is in their interest to give more money to Greece. It will be a tough call. There is huge resistance in Germany to the idea of joint eurozone bonds - eurobonds. Jens Weidmann, the head of the German central bank (Bundesbank), said would be unfair to Europe's taxpayers.

    "...Some are now openly advocating political union as the solution to the crisis. The former EU Commissioner Emma Bonino was refreshingly candid when I met her in Rome last week. She believes that a United States of Europe is the answer. She accepted that political union would have to be put to the voters."

    - looking at the US's problems, i think its fair to see that creating a "fed" is hardly the 'magic wand' that will save the day. In many ways, this is like dealing with the Tabloid Crisis by merging them all into one, huge, very powerful Tabloid.

    the problem is the Banksters, and their penetration of the political corridors of power, along with unbelievably corrupt practices.

    i'm glad that at least Merckel has realised pain must also fall upon the banksters who lent these vast sums (and they KNEW FULL WELL that these Nations could not repay them, having an advantage of the true figures denied the actual Publics in these countries), if the London Govt had had the same approach, perhaps the City wouldn't have aspired to "business as usual as quickly as possible".

    now, instead of a "haircut", it is very possible we are looking at a necessary guillotine - for the worst of the kkkorporate banks anyway?

    and i very much doubt European populations are going to vote for full integration, mainly to create the funds to bail out the €Bnaire banksters. Who, in any event, will cause the same thing soon enough anyway, due to their never-ending greed, and access to corrupt politicians and media.

    "Or: Greece is shown the door, offering it a sabbatical from the eurozone, allowing it the flexibility to default and devalue. A couple of other countries may have to follow too, but the core of the eurozone would be protected, and ringfenced. All of these countries could rejoin the single currency later. Nobody pretends it would be easy, but it might be preferable to risking the single currency.

    "...It could just be - with imaginative leaders - that a more flexible European emerges from the eurozone crisis. So much conflict and argument revolves around those seeking closer integration and those resisting."

    - now here's a question: if Greece leaves the Eurozone, what happens to its debt demarcated in €? How much debt would the New-Drachma take with it?

    for if it takes the lot, then Greece will STILL create contagion in the other PIIG economies, and would STILL be a tinder-spark of political revolution on the north side of the Mediterranean.

    and it will STILL be unable to repay the Northern banksters.

    so either way, the logic is undeniable: those who lent colossal sums and hid it from the Public/taxpayer in the hope it could be leveraged into total political power (do not mistake the long-term desire of the Banksters!) over entire Nations - even Continents! - must have that very power removed lock stock and barrel, and true democracy (or at least a better representative one), with proper safeguards, regulations and transparency put at the heart of the necessary banking sector.

    in other words, local mutual societies, credit unions, and other non-kkkorporate financial sector bank equivalents.

    "too big to fail."?

    More like "too big to trust."!

    time and past to change that. I'm not holding my breath though, just like Murdoch and his ilk, the banksters hae extraordinary amounts of power and influence behind the scenes.

  • Comment number 67.

    @62 HA! I hadn't thought of that one Barrie, but it's very appropriate! "A person wearing the Ring would enter a shadowy world revealing the physical world from a different aspect......"

    "Ash nazg durbatulûk ....." Oops I'll stop there: the mods can be a bit iffy about non-English in comments, and I doubt that the Black Speech of Mordor will be different!

    "One ring to rule them all.
    One ring to find them.
    One ring to bring them all,
    and in the Darkness bind them.
    ..... in the land of Murdoch, where the shadows LIE. "

    For "ring" substitute "will" and it's about right.

    The new Private Eye cover is a cracker, if somewhat premature:

    PS I have often thought about the RC hierarchy in quasi Jungian terms. They make the bargain of the Rheingold, forsaking love in exchange for power: but in the end the bargain is destructive, sterile and self-defeating.

  • Comment number 68.

    As a further plus, after his 'outing' via Vanessa Feltz earlier, we may be spared any further moral guidance from Mr. Alistair 'Buy my book' Campbell.

    Unless the Newsnight invitee list really is that limited.

    Maybe Mr. Kinnock?

    His views on pols and media and how best to 'run' stuff seem suitably narrow to get a solo slot to pontificate.

    Developing on the 'speaking for the country' meme so loved by many... some... er... the twittocracy, I share these few fun offerings from the morning surf so far... - putting twitter in context, as a means of gaining news, creating it, and then spinning the consequent heft as mainstream - The Westminster bubble investigates its own navel and still finds 'sources say' serves well.

    Speaking of which...

    And let's not forget...

    Meanwhile, for those who think it is entirely right and proper that a minority elite control opinion, based mainly on citing each other...

    Now, I am not saying the others are any better, but from where I stand (in the middle, simply wanting objective facts upon which to base my own opinions), it seems the country is being run, and its policies decided, by about a dozen folk on twitter, recycled up via blogs to a 'national voice' on the top of the hour news by a media monopoly system I don't happen to feel represents me at all.

    That... is a concern.

  • Comment number 69.

    '65. At 11:26 19th Jul 2011, Steve-London -
    Freewill and choice should not be seen as a bad thing in a free democratic country


  • Comment number 70.

    I don't know why I'm bothering, so unspeakably stupid is the level of comment on this blog, but while we're on about BBC bias, can somebody remind me when Newsnight informed us that Mr Bowles writes for a Murdoch paper at £5,000 a pop? Just thought that might be relevant.

  • Comment number 71.

    #65 S-L: "I can not see why the Guardian , The Times , the Express, the Telegraph ,FT or anyone else for that matter could not start their own tv channels."

    perhaps because Murdoch controlled the cable company (BSkyB), 30%+ shares in the company, and his son as Chairman?

    possibly? Add on that ownership of the actual cable networks, and a pricing structure that prevents (or makes very prohibitively expensive) home broadcasting. --For anyone wondering what i mean by that, the media-player VLC has built into it the ability to stream video out from your own PC. Users of the program can access TV streams by looking in the options and enabling it, in the "playlist" section of options.--

    here was the intended Mach 3 effect for News Corp, which as NewsNight pointed out was within days of being passed without opposition. They intended to end "net neutrality" to both prevent pubs viewing live sport from other providers, and also to cut short the potentials for citizen-broadcasting. The monopoly control over cable would have ultimately allowed them to drive all other competing media to the wall - and all done with the connivance, and not-so-secret support from both main Parties. Before long, the BBC would have been emasculated and sold-off (and the money given to the Banksters!!), and the UK would indeed have come to resemble Oz, with theSun as the intended level of political debate by the kkkorporation that would choose our political Leaders, and control the direction of debates, as does Fox in the US.

    we were within DAYS!! of such a future, my blood still runs cold thinking about it. And it would have been almost irreversible.

  • Comment number 72.

    Unregulated "Freedom of Choice" means domination by the biggest business, the race to the bottom in dumbing down and sensationalism, and kowtowing to wealthy and powerful advertisers, something the BBC does not have to do.

    I agree that more choice is desirable. In the present market this will only be achieved by breaking up BSkyB, and in particular its near monopoly on pay-sports coverage.

  • Comment number 73.


    What can one say about last night’s programme? (Question: Should I have used a ‘question’ or an ‘exclamation mark’ there? Oh well! Move on!)

    Seems Nn is starting to take note of my - very own personal - mantra! i.e. ‘Follow the money.’

    But is this because Nn is getting fed up with me? Is this because the Gorgons ‘must’ be destroyed? Is this because there is an increasing tidal wave of negative public concern? Is it because Nn is trying to get visual ‘sound sic bites‘ to flog on to News24?

    Or is it because this is exactly what a highly professional, well skilled, well paid (!), publicly responsible, well led team of well trained journalists working as an editorial team for a highly regarded late night news analysis programme should - are expected to - do?*

    Only time will tell!

    Don’t drop the baton Nn!

    Follow the money!

    (*Some posters - interesting and IMO valid comment in No 23 above - on here might take exception/object to some of - all of? - the description I’ve proffered on the Nn ‘platoon’ but , Hey!, I’m a facilitator and sometimes it’s necessary to remind people as to what they are instead of letting them remain as ‘what they have become’. If this has gotten past the moderators and you are reading this ( Is not part of the ‘function’ of this site to allow comment about the programme and it’s content? ) perhaps posters might offer further/other thoughts on how ‘thorough’ the ‘investigative’ aspect of the programme should be? e.g. Is Nn a ‘leader’ or - is it’s role to be that of - follower? To use the corporation’s own ‘maxim’ “Have your say.” (Is that copyrighted? Do I need to pay a fee? If so., the cheque is in the post.) But please remember that - sort of - free speech must be contained within 400 words. (Drat! This surely ‘aint gonna get fru’! Why do I bovva? Why do dey let us b’leeve we c’n be bovvered! Godit! ..... Itza dim-o-crazy!) )

    Back to last night’s programme ...... (If only!) .....

    The one on ‘Big G’s left - whom, incidentally, I’ve never had any time for - had something to say - but ‘power’ got in the way! The one on her right - pun decidedly intended - reminded me of the old saying “A dying dog bites it’s own wounds!”

    Or was it ......

    “Perhaps he doth protest-eth too much.”

    And so to ....


  • Comment number 74.

    Quite some time ago, this blogger read journalist Andrew Neil's autobiography and some may recall that he was a key Murdoch man in the Wapping and early Sky days.

    I cannot recall Neil ever complaining in that biog that Rupert Murdoch ever exercised an influence at all over his (Neils) editorial control.

    However, as is the way of business-people, if Murdoch 'switched' his titles to supporting one or other of the politcial parties, and that party gained power, then it might be assumed that the Murdoch's would at least, not expect that party to stand in the way of their business objectives e.g. in the bid for full control of BSkyB.

    Politicians 'horse-trade' with each other all the time so one might expect them to do similar with business-people, where the overall interests are aligned.

    Nevertheless, these particular business-people, the Murdochs, are finding out that politicians can be an exceptionally treacherous breed.

  • Comment number 75.

    #74 JC: murdoch is no fool, no-one climbs to his position of power and influence easily. As was said about Cameron last night, how could someone who has become PM be so unbelievably naive about the media, and what goes on? Preposterous notion.

    so of course Murdoch allowed his more intelligent and respected journalists to practice their trade more or less freely - but imagine what would have happened had Andrew Neill run stories on the Murdochs, or against a major advertiser. He would have discovered pretty quickly the heavy weight of the hand-on-the-shoulder.

    and this may seem very cynical, but having an illusion of opposition can legitimate the reality of unitary dictatorship. For example the DemoPublicans in the US, or the NuLabServatives currently in the UK.

    if the people in Eastern Europe in the 1930s could have voted between Hitler or Stalin, would it have legitimised what happened to them, being "a democratic process"??

    "Nevertheless, these particular business-people, the Murdochs, are finding out that politicians can be an exceptionally treacherous breed."

    as you say yourself, they are all much-of-a-muchness together:

    "However, as is the way of business-people, if Murdoch 'switched' his titles to supporting one or other of the political parties"

    no doubt oft seen as "treachery" by those who allowed incredible intrusion into political and personal lives to gain that very support, so casually taken away.

    apparently also, (Ed) has not come out so vastly in the public's perception of events as the Westminster Village appears to expect, perhaps the UK Public are no longer so impressed by open political opportunism anymore? Or perhaps he is just so obvious about it it makes people retch.

    first time in a long time the LibDims came out on top, terribly unfortunate for D-PM Clogged that whilst the true liberal fire-brands are openly fighting for an independent media, HE has to support the ailing, openly pro-Murdoch/BSkyB Camoron with public pronouncements that no-one cares about.

    still, no Tory front-bencher is so doing, so Clogged comes over as "Clean and Loyal", like an Andrex puppy chasing a toilet roll through a sewer...

    heh, if i ever DO go into politics, i can easily imagine the kind of commentary i will get back from these years of taunts, and i suspect even Murdoch Himself might feel a twinge of sympathy!! ;) :o

  • Comment number 76.


    Men who STAMP their authority, remind me of little boys who stamp their lack of it.

    Regarding the Inquisition format: I count a ratio of 13:1. Who decided this was apposite? Surely it is intended to intimidate? Not Cricket ol' man.

    It is all VERY Westminster.


  • Comment number 77.

    Mindys_Housemate @ 75

    Although Gordon Brown is obviously very bitter about how things have turned out, to the impartial observer, it must have been obvious that Labour were not going to be re-elected at the last General Election, with or without the Murdoch empire's support.

    Murdoch switched his titles support to Cameron because it would, in theory, smooth the path to the BSKyB takeover, by assuming that the Tories would be there or thereabouts after the election - as it turned out, hence Rupert's arrival at the back door of Number 10 the very next day post-election - which in retrospect was too blatant a show of hand and must haunt Cameron now, along with the other skeletons he has already acquired.

    Successful business people have to back winners and dump losers - all you 'Apprentice' fans must have noticed that, although the show itself is really a pastiche of business and not remotely like the apprenticeship this blogger served in the late 1960's.

  • Comment number 78.

    JUXTAPOSITION (#76 and 77)

    Sugar is another one.

  • Comment number 79.

    '76. At 13:26 19th Jul 2011, barriesingleton wrote:

    Au contraire.

    One is sure, like so much else, one of the champions in defence of our nation's moral compass has been well chosen.

    Is he doing the rounds later?

  • Comment number 80.

    #76 - an apt comparison, although hard to quantify.

    some politicians turn Statesmen/women, most remain (or lower themselves) into base servitude of powerful forces.

    powerful forces largely control the political arena, lasting longer than the mere politicians. Yet it is opposition to these forces that build character, occasionally leading to Statespersonhoodness.

    some you can tell, many you cannot. Perhaps the trials of recent years for the political class will turn out many inspiring Statespeoples, - hopefully, for it is very likely we shall need them.

    but yeah, i also find something 'hidden' Vaz, just like in Archer. Still, if you don't pull the pig-tail, then you don't get a return kick. And in later years, you don't get the wonderful kisses.*

    *honestly not sure how that relates, probably something to do with QuestionTime.

  • Comment number 81.

    #78: indeed. But i was assured once by someone who claimed to know him that how he behaves as DM on the show is very different to how he run his own business empire. Personally, i have no idea, but i *do* know that *i* wouldn't employ many of the grasping, backstabbing future kkkorporate wannabes that go on the show.

    the terrible thing is, as the Yanks learned first, potential trainees watch these shows and copy the methods, believing them authentic. It has turned entire generations of American policemen into gung-ho copies of the worst of TV-Cop shows, and its soldiers into soulless FPS clones.

    media HAS an impact, you don't have to be as tarded as Mary Whitehouse, or some stuck-up President's-wife to know that. But its not the Marilyn Mansons, or the South Parks that do most of the "corrupting" - it is usually the subtle, subconscious messages of the mainstream kkkorporate programmes (such a key word!!) that do the damage.

    still, its hardly ALL Alan's fault, is it? KKKorporates, and kkkorporate behaviour, were around LONG before he was, and unfortunately look set to continue into the future. Well, hopefully not!

  • Comment number 82.

    Alan Sugar's single stoke of genius was to put together and sell an integrated package of computer, printer and word-processing sofware at a very reasonable price before anybody else.

    After that, everything he did in computers/electronics was a disaster until in desparation, as his Amstrad brand became tarnished by the subsequent failures, he bought the respected computer manufacturer Viglen, which also had some juicy Government/Schools contracts to boot.

    The profits from the business were ploughed into the boringly conventional property world, he now owns swathes of North London, and is the basis of Sugar's wealth.

    The moral of the story is that one good idea can be enough if properly executed.

  • Comment number 83.

    Accidental Death of a Whistleblower

    Prime witness commits suicide even though a couple of days ago he said he was going to reveal more? Its a bit Dr Kelly?

  • Comment number 84.

    Nick the tall Tory was a disgrace, Harman was a model of sobriety and good grace and should not have descended into the bear pit that wanton unbridled Toryism. A good referee would have been nice rather than the ineffectual Essler, we need Jeremy for nights like these where pit bulls are on the rampage agin women of taste.....

  • Comment number 85.

    #83: does seem amazingly coincidental, and by most reports he was a genuinely nice guy. Presumably, if that was the case, he had already refused large payments, or threats, to stay quiet - speculatively thinking.

    many true Journalists around the world have been targeted for assassination in the last 10 years, apart for the war-zones and military occupations, i think the most have been in Russia, in the Mafia Oligarchs-wars between each other, and acting combined against the People and accurate, honest information for them. I doubt the Kremlin had anything to do with THIS death though.

    make a list of who could have been. A sobering thought.


    #80: you don't get flashbacks from being age 7? Only me? Your loss. :(

    Lord Spencer was excellent tonight, in every way.


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