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Wednesday 28 September 2011

Sarah McDermott | 12:12 UK time, Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Europe in crisis

On tonight's Newsnight Paul Mason will be asking whether Europe and the world banking system is on the edge of catastrophe. He'll look at fears that the so-called rescue plan for the eurozone is already in trouble and will consider what would happen if the euro ultimately broke up.

We'll be joined by the European Commission, Johanna Kyrklund from Shroders, economist and former DG of the CBI Sir Richard Lambert, and Peter Oborne from the Daily Telegraph to debate if the euro project is worth saving.

We have a film about social breakdown amid austerity in Greece, and we'll hear from our correspondent Peter Marshall in Berlin - where Chancellor Angela Merkel faces a vote tomorrow that threatens to weaken her politically and undermine her ability to manage the debt crisis.

Plus we'll have an interview with Labour leader Ed Miliband.

Do join Jeremy for all that and more at 2230 on BBC Two.


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  • Comment number 1.

    When I saw this "financial pundit" on the Beeb announce that the US Dollar was a safe bet, I Knew the man was a mentalists. Clearly it don't take much to put oneself forward as an expert in any given field for the BBC to give you airtime.

  • Comment number 2.

    Surely you need to bring in Irwin Stelzer and Janet Daley and Lord Lamont as well,for a bit of "balance"?

  • Comment number 3.

  • Comment number 4.

    I guess if you can't discredit the message, discredit the messenger:

    But how will this "warning" to the masses get media-massaged?

    "Either the YesMen have infiltrated Italy's biggest, and most undercapitalied, bank, or the stress of constant, repeated lying and prevarication has finally gotten to the very people who know their livelihoods hang by a thread, and the second the great ponzi is unwound their jobs, careers, and entire way of life will be gone."

  • Comment number 5.

    @3 Good old Farage,it`s wonderful stuff. So wonderful that I wish he could come to Westminster or go to the UN or the US legislature and do a similar hatchet job on them.

    But Farage would not dare do that unless Wall Street or his real constituency in the City of London wanted him to do it.

    There`s the rub!

    The capitalist media and their political cronies are very good at pointing out defects in societies that aren`t doing things the capitalist neo-liberal way,but suspiciously quiet about all the repressive regimes they tolerate or have installed across the world.

    Can you imagine Farage standing up and poking holes in China or Russia or Georgia or Egypt or Israel or a host of other parts of the American Empire? Nor can I !.

  • Comment number 6.


    Could anyone tell me what ZeroHedge`s last paragraph means? It`s supposed to be "the Medicine" but it seems like snake oil to me!

    The Americans are beginning to realise that if they were not running global organised crime and the CIA and the NATO military the rest of us might not give a hoot for their crooked so called free market economy!

    Where would the USA rank in an honest civilised social democratic world, if one existed?

  • Comment number 7.


    "Snake oil ! Are you sayin' that Uncle Sam's Chicago Boys abeen peddlin Snake Oil these last 30-40 years??"

    Are you "qualified" to make such an outrageous statement?? ;-)

    P.S. here's a ranking which might interest you:

  • Comment number 8.

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

  • Comment number 9.

    Social breakdown in Greece?

    Labour conference: Len McCluskey in police cuts warning -By Brian Wheeler

    Political reporter, BBC News, in Liverpool


    What about McCluskey's veiled threats of violence on Britian's streets - isn't it time that these union trouble & strife, strike & riot co-ordinators were dealt with through the criminal & civil courts with appropriate damage claims against TU coffers & bank accounts

    British TU's IMO have done some very good work for their members - and at their worst they cause massive economic & other damage, violence & have made the UK the laughing stock of the world with the strike & riot torn image of the UK overseas.

    Time for a day of reckoning for their Guardian reading, bigot anarchist trouble makers.

  • Comment number 10.


    DE MOCK CRASS Y under the RULE OF LAW - how not to be topp.

  • Comment number 11.

    5.At 15:29 28th Sep 2011, Cardinalsinecure wrote:
    @3 Good old Farage,it`s wonderful stuff.

    Can you imagine Farage standing up and poking holes in China or Russia or Georgia or Egypt or Israel or a host of other parts of the American Empire? Nor can I !.


    Let's hope he doesn't upset a certain 'pink eyed ferret' from ??? (You know who from you know where) otherwise we'll all be paying the price of that

  • Comment number 12.

  • Comment number 13.

    5.At 15:29 28th Sep 2011, Cardinalsinecure wrote:
    @3 Good old Farage,it`s wonderful stuff. So wonderful that I wish he could come to Westminster or go to the UN or the US legislature and do a similar hatchet job on them.

    Unfortunately exactly my sentiments, but given Farage's background he is highly unlikely to say anything about the real threat to our freedom and democracy namely the Stock Market Parasites. It is patently apparent that Farage will do nothing to curb the " Celebrity " stock market parasites and the Corporate Nazi ideology they inflict on the UK via their puppet mainstream politicians. Perhaps if UKIP intend to stand for a real change at general elections in UK politics they need to ditch there current leader in favour of someone with no proven links to the City of London and capable of giving British democracy a clean start for the future ?

  • Comment number 14.

  • Comment number 15.

    Some quite encouraging noises coming out of Ed Miliband this week but it would appear he is still the prisoner of the Corporate Nazi's and the keystone in their " Arch Plan " namely the Climate Scam. During tonight's conference question time he was bleating about how his children would thank him for his role in promoting the CO2 Climate Scam. Later someone asked him about energy prices and people being forced with the choice of whether to eat or heat, never even mentioned the Climate Scam but Ed immediately went onto the defensive that it was not his fault or that of his 2008 Climate Change Act. He would appear to subscribe to the exact same theory as Huhne, that energy costs will rise more in the long run if we don't do everything the eco-fascists tell us.

  • Comment number 16.


    The main factor that energy prices will increase, and particularly the market price of gas will increase if coal is effectively ruled out as a fuel, or taxed to any extent. Just what the oil companies ordered, after all Shell and BP were backing Brown at Copenhagen, will make a fortune selling the gas they currently flare off to support the price.

  • Comment number 17.


    As if to prove the point: that poor woman whose family want to honour her wish not to be a plaything of 'life preservers' has been ruled "ineligible for death", under the Rule of Law, interpreted by an unimpeachable British Judge.

    It makes one proud. Just the one - Dave is his name.

    Johnnie Foreigner is expendable - a price worth paying for posthumous DE MOCK CRASS Y.

  • Comment number 18.


    No Hawkeye I am not well versed in the dark art of financial jiggery-pokery,and thanks for the secrecy index.

    Why is our relative opacity rating so low while our secretiveness is so high. Could it be that we mean well but our American masters use the City as a conduit to palm their losses onto us British mugs while protecting themselves and channelling all the profits back to Wall Street?

    Or does that give me a cynicism and transparency conflictedness index that makes me too honest to survive?

  • Comment number 19.

    Liverpool was eco-fascist city yesterday morning during the Environment debate including a call from the floor to ban the use of plastic carrier bags, which prompted some waffle about how they had reduced it when they were in government. They were not going to take any notice of those nasty " Denier's " whatsoever, but the sad fact is that most of the alleged sceptics Newsnight is likely to ask on the programme are all puppets of the Gas lobby. I suppose that the eco-fascists could attempt to portray that their policy is superior in that " no miners will die " if we abandon coal as a very useful fuel in a home produced energy mix. ( Open Cast not allowed ! )

  • Comment number 20.

    I can't help speculating as to whether the climate scam in general tends to inflate energy prices in itself, and manifesting itself as false economic growth in our economy. I suppose that the oil companies will love road fuel duty, as its them who probably get to invest the tax they collect on the short money markets to boost corporate profits. This factor may explain why the UK coal industry has not complained too much about the forthcoming " carbon floor price ", as its unlikely to cut their profit bacase they will be passing all costs on to the consumer anyway.

  • Comment number 21.


    I reckon a lot of miners went into the forces when Hezza closed the pits before Breakfast, and without warning. I have no idea which egotistical, JF killing, adventure our prime Minister was on at the time, but the death rate of (ex) miners probably went up.

  • Comment number 22.

    Oil Heading for Biggest Quarterly Drop Since 2008

    shhh energy companies hope no one like the will notice and make then drop bills. however if energy went up by 20% they of course will put bills up.

  • Comment number 23.

    In a thoughtfully planned energy economy I suspect that we could reduce the consumption of diesel by reverting to coal fired steam locomotives for some rail services. With the latest insulation materials they are quite efficient, in fact the Swiss built a light oil fired stem loco which they said was comparable in running cost to a diesel back in the 1990s. They would also cost less in first cost if built in large enough numbers, the only problem is the quality of coal available and supply of skilled enough men to operate them. Its not so physically demanding on the fireman as history attempts to portray, preserved specials often have firemen in their sixties and manage to keep time if everything is set right. Unfortunately within the next ten years the practical skills we need for our sustainable future will probably die out, and that doesn't just apply to steam locomotives.

  • Comment number 24.

  • Comment number 25.

    @9 wrote:
    "British TU's IMO have done some very good work for their members - and at their worst they cause massive economic & other damage, violence & have made the UK the laughing stock of the world with the strike & riot torn image of the UK overseas.
    Time for a day of reckoning for their Guardian reading, bigot anarchist trouble makers"

    I'd charge them with sedition ...and then lock them up. The more prominent loud-mouths would be "disappeared"...I'm a hardliner. You can't pussy foot around with some of these Union head bangers.
    As for those self-rightious Guardian readers...I'd shift them all to live in Manchesters Moss Side district and Wythenshawe. I'd ensure Polly Toynbee would be on the first coach up to Manchester. And the Labours party media arm -the BBC folk -sent to Salford. Oh thats already happening. Crying like big babies so they are. Diddums!

  • Comment number 26.

    :D Finally, someone tells it like it is! Peter Obourne is a legend!

  • Comment number 27.

    @23 "In a thoughtfully planned energy economy..."

    If only. It will be forced upon us eventually of course.

    The skills aren't gone yet - think of the Tornado - look at the load of carriages it pulls too!!

  • Comment number 28.

    #25 kev

    No big surprise the Guardian are in with the key warmists on the Corporate Nazi Climate Scam Then !

  • Comment number 29.

    Please do not invite the telegraph journalist to Newsnight anymore. I would be glad. that is the Italian way of doing it, offensive with prejudice; this is one of the few instances I do not like English journalism (maybe the only example I can think of). I love English journalism! But this is not acceptable I think; no, not in England, not at the BBC, not at Newsnight. Mr. What-his-name may be invited by Mr. Berlusconi to work for his networks, so he can get a job over there, and maybe enjoy some Bunga Bunga too.

  • Comment number 30.


    They were forced to build Tornado's boiler in East Germany, couldn't fully trust the only UK player to do it ! ( BTW it fitted perfectly )

  • Comment number 31.

    Peter Oborne is a disgrace and shouldn't be on Newsnight again. I have heard teenagers make more coherent arguments without being so gratuitously offensive. I didn't for one minute agree with the European politician but I don't blame him for walking out.

    And Oborne's reaction?

    To snigger like a schoolboy.

  • Comment number 32.

    Peter kinda guy.

    I was having a book clear-out a while back. I came across Oborne's book " the rise of political lying" that didn't get thown into the box for charity..thats still on the shelf.

    Anyhow, the only mistake Oborne made was to repeat the word 'idiot'. As a disparaging follow-up..'Fool and maybe 'clown' would've sufficed.

    Can we have Pete Oborne on Newsnight more often please.

  • Comment number 33.

    @ Kevsey #32 I agree, we should have Peter Oborne on more often!

  • Comment number 34.

    kevseywevsey : english jouralist talk and make points, that is great about them. Peter Oborne, apart from the word idiot, did not say anything to make a point..... in italy is like that, he is an itlaian jouranist at heart.... Jeremy PAxman, R.Peston, Miss Flanders etc etc are great journalist. Mr Oborne is NOT, what did he say to prove something?

  • Comment number 35.

    It is beyond belief that the BBC has allowed a Daily Telegraph's representative to call someone names, not once, but three times. Bravo.

  • Comment number 36.

    Thank's Newsnight and Peter Obourne, I've not laughed so much in ages, especially when Paxo used the I word !

  • Comment number 37.

  • Comment number 38.

    Britain has never been a friend of Greece; biggest proof its role in the Asia Minor catastrophe. This programme has taught me a lesson: history is repeated. Unfortunately, none of the speakers has shown the least sympathy for Greece's crisis, and such apathy should not be considered objective and politically correct attitude. Times change, and what goes around, comes around. Thank you.

  • Comment number 39.

    '26. At 22:47 28th Sep 2011, Mistress76uk wrote:
    :D Finally, someone tells it like it is! Peter Obourne is a legend!

    Sounds like the iPlayer may be worth firing up tomorrow.

    Especially given some 'responses'.

    Chords, and nerves, struck.

    Given the substance free calibre of declaiming thus far, it will doubtless prove a (rare) eye-opener.

  • Comment number 40.


    From memory, Kirsty interviewing Ed went something like this:
    Ed: "People must have the right attitude to work".
    Kirsty: "But what if they have no work?"
    Ed: "You have to take that into account."

    Using the "burning building, with no doors, analogy" I can imagine:
    Kirsty: "Ed - the building is on fire and there are no doors!"
    Ed: (disarming smile spreading) "Well of course Kirsty, we must take that into account."


  • Comment number 41.

    Agh. The same old tired formula. Invite a pig, hosted by an oaf, insult those who want to hear a decent argument. Time to switch off. Will try again on a year. Hopefully the programme won't be around.

  • Comment number 42.


    It doesn't improve the quality, but the pain is dulled.

  • Comment number 43.

    Hmmm.... four posters tonight who are, apparently, completely new to the BBC blogosphere. At least one with an unconvincing "foreign" accent (in print).

    It's perfectly possible of course, but I do wonder how many different IP addresses? I suspect two - one mobile and one landline.

    Who's the king of the Trolls?

  • Comment number 44.

    If you did not see Oborne on Monday night's Ch 4 Dispatches programme, then take some time to watch it. Your time won't be wasted.

    Tony Blair's job in jeopardy as Palestinians accuse him of bias

  • Comment number 45.


    What a shrewd fellow you are Sasha! I must try to stay focused.

  • Comment number 46.


    Cometh the age - cometh the man.

    I see the Mum of the star turn at the Labour CONference, said she always thought he would go into acting. Well well. Perhaps Tony (we are such stuff as nightmares are made of) will give him a few pointers?


    In passing: I always get the feeling of contempt, radiating from Netanyahu, when around Tony. Is it me?

  • Comment number 47.

    What happened on tonight's show should make Peter Rippon think twice about the kind of guests who get invited. Either NN is becoming too desperate for ratings or the team has lost track of what they stood for all these years. We have been watching this show for years for its accurate, passive-aggresive critical journalism. Tonight's unacceptable behaviour seriously questions those values.
    The invited speaker who got insulted three times in a row was not a politician. He was a spokesperson doing his job, communicating the official position of the institution he works for. Some may entirely disagree with his views but it does not give them the right to behave in this way.
    Paxman yet again gave a stellar performance of total EU ignorance when it comes to analysing Brussels (can someone bring John Sopel back to host the show especially when it addresses European affairs. He is far more up to date and aware of what's on the other side of the tunnel). Paul Mason's piece was spot on as usual offering insight to what we may be witnessing in Greek society. It's a real pity that his piece was aired after this dreadful incidence.

  • Comment number 48.

    At Sasha: the point of the comment was not to convince anyone; it was just a statement, and painfully true on behalf of Greece i.e. history. In a namely "pluralistic" society like British, I thought accents (foreign and local) would be treated with respect and not with irony by a blog gestapo.

  • Comment number 49.

    Brilliant performance by Peter Oborne on Newsnight. Let's have more of him to bring some balance and clarity to other debates on this programme.

  • Comment number 50.

    #47 well said!

    I've said for long time now that Paxman is obviously far too comfortable with the largesse of his old political friends. He clearly hasn't got his fingers on the buttons anymore and gets further and further out of tough. The fact that he sniggered at Peter Oborne's idiocy on air in front of millions of people nationwide and did not stop him until the third set of insults - at which time I'm sure that the control room was screaming in his ear - does him no credit at all and just makes him look like the playground bully that he so often does so well emulating. He partly admired Oborne's childishness - that was clear.

    This is no time for the BBC to lose the plot on one of its flagship political programmes, but it might be time for Mr Rippon to have a close look at the kind of programme that he is putting his name to every night nowadays.

  • Comment number 51.

    Sounds like I missed a doozy, my preference yesterday was to sit outside in a balmy (barmy) 21 degrees looking at the stars and listening to the wind in the trees, feel much better, cleaner and well balanced for it too in preference to observing the bizare political antics of humans.

    Anyway, personal balance restored and with sleeves rolled up I went looking for any potential broader publicity of this incident on the web.

    I only found this.


  • Comment number 52.

    If you missed Peter Oborne, he's here on

  • Comment number 53.

    @44 Blair accused of "bias"?

    A man who appointed Lord Levy as his honest broker "Middle East Envoy" and spent his time as PM expanding America`s European Union for Wall Street to asset strip?

    A man who gave away our gold and expanded PFI and privatisation and immigration and became a hero of the CIA and MIM?

    A man who turned Labour into something "electable" by turning us into a banana republic and making Thatcher look left wing?

    Blair should be buried with full honours in the Mount of Olives next to that other hero of British socialism who got a state funeral in Israel, Sir Robert Maxwell.

    Come on! Smell the Americano coffee!

  • Comment number 54.

    @47 Aris.

    Please forgive our American/British arrogance and rudeness. The BBC and the rest of the British Establishment think that by slavishly worshipping our sneering public school elite, and everything American, they can turn Britain into an undead imperial power and prolong our era as world leaders.

    In fact the USA and Israel have a different fate awaiting us alongside other erstwhile imperial powers like Spain and France. We will serve under the Germany we were bankrupted "beating" in two world wars, until the BRICS sweep America off the world stage.

  • Comment number 55.

    '43. At 23:58 28th Sep 2011, Sasha Clarkson -
    four posters tonight who are, apparently, completely new to the BBC blogosphere.

    And well versed in hierarchy name-checks. But totally welcome in light of the power of 'argument' (decency relative) deployed. Can't wait for further pearls.

    '48. At 00:28 29th Sep 2011, Me
    the point of the comment was not to convince anyone


    '52. At 06:25 29th Sep 2011, Mistress76uk wrote:
    If you missed Peter Oborne, he's here on'

    Oo. Have to say, that was 'robust'.

    But perhaps not overdue as being sold pap by a well-oily machine over and over has not served truth or debate very well to date, with interviewers allowing overpaid & pensioned weasels waffle until 'that's all there is time for'... and move on, leaving no one any the wiser and no hint of anything changing to rock a rotten to the core old boy network, 'talking like' that FT bloke prefers to keep in his sorry little comfort zone.

    However, Mr. Oborne blew a great opportunity to really score by the gratuitous ad homs, though it did of course propel things into much greater awareness. And Jeremy was remiss to leave moderating so long. Maybe an easing we might see here on blog too? No...? OK.

    I draw attention to a much more refined way of doing the same thing (with a familiar source of idiocy)from Australia:

    Note the quality of rebuttal in commentary. Seem familiar? I also note, only today, a follow-up of relevance, free speech wise: )

    Hard to see the 'sense' in much emanating from our 'leadership', so maybe being called on it in terms that score in the ratings addicted media does have a place.

    Meanwhile, it seems the issue of bias is often being upset less on what is, and more on when it is counter to what one thinks things should be..

    44. At 00:00 29th Sep 2011, museV -
    Tony Blair's job in jeopardy as Palestinians accuse him of bias

    There are interesting precedents to be considered from how that falls out.

  • Comment number 56.

    @53 MIM should have been MIC. Another senior cyber-moment before the coffee kicked in!

  • Comment number 57.

    Their greed knows no bounds...(This is why Blair was booed at the Labour Party conference Lord Falconer)

    Cherie Blair "stands to gain from NHS privitisation"

    "Among several jobs, the former prime minister has a £20million-a-year role at JPMorgan, the US investment bank. It was disclosed by The Sunday Telegraph this month that he visited Col Muammar Gaddafi in Libya in 2008 and 2009. The Daily Telegraph has quoted a senior source in Libya saying Mr Blair used the visits to lobby for business for J P Morgan, for which he is a paid adviser."

  • Comment number 58.

    I was appalled by the performance of Mr Osborne who REPEATEDLY called one participant "that idiot in Brussels" and of Mr Paxman who was apparently enjoying this circus performance and made only one lame attempt to call Mr Osborne to order. One gets the impression that there is no interest in an actual discussion, certainly not with anyone not from outside the UK. The Greek debt problem is treated as a welcome platform to spout boilerplates and fixed ideas about the European Union. The sooner the UK leaves the Union, the better.

  • Comment number 59.

    @57 Just think of them as our answer to the Marcos regime Muse!

  • Comment number 60.

    Now, if the Palestinians had accused Mr. Blair of a bunch of other stuff they might well get the result (temporarily) they are seeking, if that is rid of a bloke not evidently totally of their views.

    There is a fair smorgasbord of double-dealing and hypocrisy and abuse to choose from, indeed.

    However, this certainly seems apposite:

    'Why was he given the job in the first place? especially being a patron of the Labour Friends of Israel group.'

    Back to precedents again. Where few in politics or media will come out well if such things get applied as they should. Glass houses 'n all.

  • Comment number 61.

    Should be Oborne, of course, not Osborne (I rarely read the Daily Telegraph and I do have a foreign accent in print).

  • Comment number 62.

    'The New Labour project has always been defined in an Anglo-American context.'

    Ed Miliband, like his father Ralph, is a Trotskyist, and Trotskyists ARE Libertarians (see the history of the Neocon movement). Ed is simply taking over the reins from the likes of Blair, Mandelson and Brown who are also Libertarians.

    Ed Miliband's function, along with New Labour generally over the past 13 years, is (and has been) to bury Old Labour as a statist party, and to facilitate grass-roots democracy (Trotskyism/anarchism/Neo-conservativism) instead. The New Left always has been Trotskyite not Stalinist. The state must wither away. Stalin modelled socialist Russia on the Fabian concept of socialism (Fabianism - see the Webbs' on Russia) and Wall Street and the USA regards Fabianism as anathema to free-market Libertarianism, aka consumerism.

  • Comment number 63.

    Judge the New Left/Labour by what has actually happened to see what is true and what was spin/rhetoric/propaganda. Student anarchism in the 1960s and 70s was all Trotskyist, and was used to undermine the status quo (Keynesian statism). This served those behind Thatcher, then New Labour and now the Con-DEMs - i.e. the free market deregulators. That is what they think freedom is, i.e. it's consumerism free of regulators/watchdogs. THAT IS OPEN PREDATION. Equalitarianism and Social Justice has been abused so the unscrupulous can more easily prey upon the weak from behind a 'veil of ignorance'. These people have simply exploited human self-centredness, which is child-like. Beware, as the young are idealists and thus extremely vulnerable (and were useful in a baby boom too).

    New Labour is the result of decades of US state sponsored entryist subversion.

  • Comment number 64.

    Personally, I would not have used the "I" word, at least not more than once. It meant that the insult deflected attention from the point of the discussion. However, I might have used the "L" word. The "unfortunate gentleman from Brussels" was sent to dissemble. It's obviously part of his job to mix half truths and untruths in what Private Eye calls "EUphemisms": statements which obscure and contradict reality. I say "unfortunate" because he was completely out of his depth when not treated with deference.

    Let us take the untruth: "The Euro is a shield that has protected many of our economies and is a factor of stability and prosperity." In the good times, the economic differences in the eurozone encouraged the unsustainable booms in the periphery which are now causing so many problems in Ireland, Spain and Portugal as well as Greece. The Euro is not protecting these economies, it is destroying them. Prior to that statement Mr Brussels said "It is not about being outside or inside the euro area, for instance the UK in 2010 had a deficit which was exactly the same than Greece". In fact, the opposite of this is true. The fact is that we are not in the Greek position precisely because we are NOT in the Euro.

    So, we are faced with a choice. Either Mr Brussels does not know what he is talking about, and lives in a fantasy world where facts don't matter. In which case, Mr Oborne's epithet is justified, if impolite. OR Mr Brussels was deliberately saying things which were not true, in which case he probably departed the studio in a such hurry because his pants were on fire!

  • Comment number 65.

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

  • Comment number 66.

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

  • Comment number 67.


    A classic post Sasha. Antidote to NewsyNighty.

  • Comment number 68.

    Peter Oborne was just being smug because he can see the Euro on the ropes.

    (By reverting to name calling he undermined any hope of genuine debate. Alas Newsnight consistently tolerates / encourages this playground bullying.)

    What he and many other people in journalism, politics or wider society don't realise is that it is the dollar as world reserve currency that is actually on the ropes. The Euro is just in the front line at the moment. The pound and the dollar are not strong at the moment, they are just not getting picked on right now as the markets smell easier pickings elsewhere.

    The Petrodollar standard won't go down without a fight though, and if it has to take down Europe to cling on, then well down we'll go (and choosing to side the pound with the US isn't neccessairly a better survival plan either, Mr Oborne).

    See this for the bigger picture (and the comments towards the end):

  • Comment number 69.

    #18 CS

    I think your assumption is supported by Nicholas Shaxson's "Treasure Islands". Recommended reading for anyone who wants to understand the conflictedness between rhetoric and reality in the murky world of finance.

  • Comment number 70.

    One economy which is undoubtedly helped by the Euro is Germany's. The Euro gives it an exchange-rate advantage which it would not otherwise have. Without the Euro, the German currency would be appreciating significantly, and stifling it's export trade. The only way that an independent Bundesbank would be able to stop this would be by printing marks to flood the world market: effectively subsidising customers.

    There is deep resistance in Germany to a "transfer union", partly because of ancestral memories of the 1920s inflation. However, it would be both in Germany's interest, and also just.

    Why just? The one thing clear from the economic history of Capitalism is that "size matters". Large organisations will always have an advantage over small ones. Farms can't compete with factories. This is why there needs to be some form of agricultural subsidy, to protect the agricultural surplus upon which we all depend. A largely industrial economy like Germany will always be able to dominate the agriculture based economies of southern Europe. If the Germans want their citrus, olives and villas in the sun, they need to pay a fair price, one way or another.

  • Comment number 71.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 72.



  • Comment number 73.

    Hi Mods I can see the I word has become super sensitive

    Amended Reply to (9)
    The people of Manchester do not deserve - dare I say it - those best described by a word beginning with an ... 'I'

    I hope that is bland enough for the BBC

  • Comment number 74.



  • Comment number 75.

    Addendum to #68

    Most of mainstream TV is just bread and circuses. If you want to study what is really happening in the world, then you need to be brave enough to venture out into blog land. There is a lot of turgid rubbish out there, but also some gems:

    "We discussed last week how China's oh-so-generous offer of help to Europe was merely a veiled threat playing US against Europe in a game of who-gets-the-funding. Well, tonight, it seems, they are making good on some of those threats. "

    "It seems that China did not get the answer they wanted from the Europeans and just as we said last week, swung back in favor of the US - TSYs as opposed to stocks. China 3 - Europe 0 - US 1 is the approximate score in this first round perhaps."

    So, who is REALLY fighting who in this covert international trade war / currency war?

  • Comment number 76.

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

  • Comment number 77.

    67. At 09:59 29th Sep 2011, barriesingleton wrote:
    A classic post Sasha. Antidote to NewsyNighty.

    Seconded. I felt Mr. O was actually gunning for the result he got, and seemed surprised it was only 3rd time lucky.

    In agreeing with all, at least on both Mr. Oborne's rudeness and Mr. Paxman's lack chairing, on the rest, I merely call to mind a favourite scene from a favourite movie.

  • Comment number 78.

    76 in a post about rhetoric i'd be interested to know which one


    The use of name calling in rhetoric is device as old as the hills.

    It is the basis of the playground chant of 'i'm the king of the castle and you're the dirty rascal'. Notice the structure of that sentence. First there is a claim to a superiority as in king that dwells 'in a castle' and the other person is not only a rascal but a dirty one which is a character slur.
    So its device that turns around deriding character, a claim to superiority of status and a 'castle' of some kind.

    So by using the word idiot someone is claiming superiority in intelligence in the castle of the mind. it is a device to change the discussion away from a topic to people's character. Why would a rhetorician do that unless they had a motive or were unskilled?

    If the topic now turns upon character then we should look at that. If the highest manifestation in social character is to be gentleman then to be less than that is to be inferior. Someone without manners is not a gentleman and not to be a gentleman means to be nothing. So name calling leads to a conclusion about the name caller. That they have no manners and thus are not a gentleman and so inferior?

  • Comment number 79.


    agree. After they cut away to another video, when they cut back to the studio Oborne was gone. So at least some common sense prevailed. This crisis is perpetually seen as failed, and 'only a matter of time.' There is never any insightful analysis of the *European political point of view.* It will take a lot in Europe to agree to the break up of the eurozone, and indeed the EU. The only reason I believe it is so difficult, from the UK, to see that going back to 27 separate European nation states is a *very* big step is because they don't want air how strongly the EU is felt in the European psyche.

    It's part of the politics, with 'bad' policies blamed on Europe and otherwise local politicians taking credit for the 'good' policies. But the institutions have now led to a complex mesh of other cross-border integration that it will take a lot to untangle these. How many people live in one state and work in another, for example?

    It would be good for NN to give us the European view of Europe and not the Anglo-American view of Europe; we get enough of that via the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail.

  • Comment number 80.

    Hope 'gullible' is not rude, but this, from a poster, resonated, with others...

    I occasionally have a kickabout in the park, but I'm not a real footballer.

    If the BBC interviewed me, as a representative of professional footballers, about my opinions on Tevez not wanting to come on for Man City, they would be rightfully pilloried.

    And if, despite the fact that it later turned out that I can do half a keepy-uppy at best, you agreed with my comments and thought they were a useful indicator of anything, that would make you rather gullible - wouldn't it?

  • Comment number 81.

    #80 JM

    Focus on the message, not the messenger (see #4). Is our attention directed towards critiquing him, or his claims?

    Might it appear that Mr Rastani is somewhat the victim of a PR Fatwa?

  • Comment number 82.

    Peter Oborne.

    This is what it states in his Wiki page...

    "Again in collaboration with James Jones, Oborne penned the pamphlet, THE PRO-ISRAEL LOBBY IN BRITAIN, which outlined the influence enjoyed by pro-Israeli lobbyists on media and politics in the United Kingdom. The article asserts that while the lobbying efforts of groups such as Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI), Labour Friends of Israel, and the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM) are not illegal, their funding is untraceable, their operations are not transparent, and media seldom declare the influence of junkets arranged by these pro-Israeli entities on the tenor of their writing. Oborne and Jones conclude that changes are needed "because politics in a democracy should never take place behind closed doors. It should be out in the open and there for all to see." He also presented the Channel 4 Programme Dispatches ‘Inside Britain's Israel Lobby’."

  • Comment number 83.

    ANOTHER 'I' WORD (#78)

    My MP carries the prefix 'honourable' which might reasonably imply a gentleman. However, he as flown in the face of the false assertions in the Liar Flyer, and declared me ILLOGICAL, based on his, far superior, illogic.

    "I'm fuzzy about the whole good-bad thing." (Ghost Busters)

    #77 One of my favourites also. And when Dickless gets buried in marshmallow!


  • Comment number 84.

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

  • Comment number 85.

    78 et al

    The word 'idiot' has four definitions in my dictionary - and can be used to describe a fool or foolishness as well as having more historically been used to connote an impression of e.g. mental retardation.

    So before we condemn Peter Oborne or anyone else for their having a superior command of the English language, may I suggest that some including many of the foreigners & other fools now running the BBC should equip themselves with a superior dictionary as concerning the real English Language.

    Just fooling around as usual - minding my own business - almost

  • Comment number 86.

    Krugman is on good form at the moment, and sums up the Euro-crisis in a Venn diagram:

    The question is: why is effective action not considered to be politically feasible?

    Part of the answer is that we live in a society where it does not pay for politicians too tell the truth, or even look for it too hard. Firstly there are the powerful interest groups. Secondly, politicians are prisoners of their collective past rhetoric and also of national myths.

    One might think that the aim of political discussion is to win an argument. Actually, it's far more sinister than that; its to use lies and emotional bullying to make different modes of thought literally unthinkable. This is achieved partly by Newspeak style linguistic manipulation, partly by emotional blackmail, and partly by Goebbels-like repetition of untruths.

    So, for example, printing money by governments is/was so unthinkable, that for many years nobody noticed that private banks were doing it on an enormous scale. But that is only one example. We are conditioned from childhood to live within a tissue of lies. Even when we recognise them for what they are, we tend to think they don't matter.

    A few weeks ago I switched on the TV during an ad, and heard the following statement: "The more exciting life gets, the more tired and dull your skin looks." Now obviously, it depends upon what some individual might find exciting, but it was certainly not "the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth". In my case, it failed all three. In other words, it was an outrageous lie, concocted by the ad agency, designed to frighten vulnerable people in order to sell skin-care products.

    Our politicians use these same ad agencies to scare their potential market and sell political snake oil instead. Is it surprising that our political culture is so dire?

    I don't agree with Peter Oborne on many things, but his analysis of our present political culture is spot on, though he may view the past with rose-tinted spectacles.

    He is an angry man. His rudeness might not have been justified last night. But I found the blatant untruths from the mouth of Mr Brussels to be FAR more offensive.

  • Comment number 87.

    Krugman is not telling us anything that we don't already know

    Politicians on European continent can look at the UK & see how G. Brown took the cowardly way out of the UK banking crisis i.e. by rescuing the banks at the British mainly English taxpayers' expense & has saddled us & our children & grandchildren with immense debts & liabilities.

    EU politicians are trying to delay doing this as they saw Brown ridiculed & removed from office & the European eurocrat politician debt mess is in an almost impossible position ... because ... most of them do not know what they are doing ... they have constructed financial & political institutions that they do not know how to control, amend or dismantle when things go wrong.

    The EU politicians are being proved wrong ... they are out of their depth ... and hoping to spin & manouvre themselves out of trouble.

    US & Chinese taxpayers are not going to bail out the Eurozone - if the problem is not sorted soon - the markets will attack the Euro & bring it down as a European mess to be cleared up & paid for in Europe

    The next warning signs - the ROW frantically trying to disengage itself financially from the EU

  • Comment number 88.

    I'm gonna have to take back some of the comments I made earlier about the financial pundit/dealer who recently made an appearence on the BBC:

    I do like Alex Jones take on the matter:

    I would like to mention that the Warkster has been doing a fine job in her questions fired at the political heads at Labour conference. Douglas Alexandra and Ed the Leninist-Marxist...and lets not forget Trotsky -Miliband, were taken to task by Kirsty, Stirling work I reckon but then I'm biased..this woman can't do any wrong in my eyes as she's the best looking mid 50s woman the BBC have...leave it Barrie, leave it.

  • Comment number 89.

    “We need to complete our monetary union with an economic union. It was an illusion to think that we could have a common currency and single market with national approaches to economic and budgetary policy. Let’s avoid another illusion that we could have a common currency and single market with an inter-governmental approach.” , said Barroso.

    These warnings had been repeatedly stated over the past twenty years by the Euro detractors , but were constantly denied by the Euro supporters who were trying to sell these illusions to our public.
    The pro Euro supporters constantly denied what joining the Euro would mean , a single EU government, because they knew the British public would tell them to get stuffed.
    Personally I can only conclude that these people wanted to end the right of the people of Britain to govern themselves , but were too scared to say it publicly, so resorted to subterfuge and smears.

    So Mr Oborne's title for his book , “The Guilty Men”, in my opinion, hits the nail on the head perfectly.

    The “Idiot” from the Commission.

    Again Mr Oborne was correct. The Commission guy never explained what the effects of what the EU elite are planning, so let me spell some out.

    Germany will lose its triple Aaa rating if the Commission decides to leverage against the EFSF, which it will need to do.

    After 2013 the EU will launch Euro bonds (Stability Bonds haha nice spin). We , the UK, will be forced into buying up to 200 billion worth of these Euro bonds in the name of EU Solidarity.

    So the man from the Commission was an idiot for thinking we are idiots.

    The quicker we can have a informed , balanced , referendum on EU membership the better in my opinion.

    As for Greece , they did have a referendum to join the Euro I believe, which is more than the Germans were offered on the question of joining the Euro.

  • Comment number 90.

    At 55 (junkkmale)

    I'm sorry if it hurts. By Britain I meant the British foreign policy and not the people.

  • Comment number 91.

    '90. At 12:42 29th Sep 2011, Me wrote:
    At 55 (junkkmale)
    I'm sorry if it hurts.'

    Wasn't feeling too hurt, but OK. No pain; no gain.

  • Comment number 92.

    @87 US ...... taxpayers are not going to bail out the Eurozone.

    The US isn't in a position to bail anyone out. It has huge trade gap and relies on reserve currency status not to pay its way. In 2010 the trade gap was approximately $670 million - approximately the same as its military expenditure btw.

    By contrast, the Eurozone as a whole has a small trade surplus. The problem in Europe is far more a political one: that of being honest about reality, and doing something about it: if necessary sacrificing some banks along the way.

    Throughout history, debt crises have have been solve by a combination of debt-forgiveness/bankruptcy (ie write-down), inflation, and expropriation and murder of creditors, eg the proscriptions of ancient Rome, or the mediaeval campaigns against the Jews. If we want to avoid murder, we should be looking urgently at the other two options.

  • Comment number 93.

    Peter Oborne is a HERO

    When I read some of these comments, the usual psuedo-intellectual drivel from the usual suspects, I realised just how much he had wounded them.

    The man should have been a sniper!!

  • Comment number 94.

    As for the ratings agencies, there's a very good cartoon in the new Private Eye, but it's somewhat rude. I doubt I'd be allowed to link to it, but perhaps I could link to a link? Click on "Older->" on the link below:

  • Comment number 95.

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

  • Comment number 96.

    :D Last night's Peter Oborne has headlined in practically every news publication, from The Spectator to The Guardian to The Express to The Economist and even The Huffington Post. WE WANT PETER OBORNE BACK ON NEWSNIGHT.

  • Comment number 97.

    Sorry, NOT The Spectator, it was The Newstatesman!!!!!

  • Comment number 98.

    If producer Peter Rippon wants to turn NewsNight into a variant of the Jeremy Kyle Show, by inviting guests such as Obourne on, then that is his prerogative.

    I listen and watch closely when Paul Mason or Mark Urban do their pieces, the rest is much lower grade stuff.

    Last night was not NewsNight's finest hour - by a long chalk.

  • Comment number 99.


    I too must adjust my position Kev.

    SUDDENLY I can hear every word Kirsty utters! Yet my hearing is declining. What is more, I found your Warkster cogent and incisive, in her questioning. Although she let Ed use tricks like: "Well of course we must take that into account", when a hole was punched in his assertions.


  • Comment number 100.

    The "idiot" incident turns on Newsnight's lazy journalism ( Newsnight could not secure anyone more senior than this mid-ranking spokesman of Olli Rehn, one of the 27 Commissioners, whose portfolio covers the single currency. This spokesman is a civil servant, not a politician, and from the European Commission to boot, who have been more or less reduced to a bystander in this crisis, because it is the national governments of the eurozone, not the Commissioners, who are being called to fix it. Why did they not get someone from the Council, or the Eurogroup, if they could not get the head of the European Central Bank, or the head of government from a smaller eurozone country, or the finance minister from a key player like Germany, let alone Merkel or Sarkozy, to whom they should have put these questions?

    It was already pretty idiotic, to use current Newsnight terminology, that Mr Paxman ask this Commission spokesman "Would you like to apologise, Mr Altafaj Tardio, for the lack of European leadership in this crisis?" Was this just for cheap effects or does Newsnight really not know who the players are?


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