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

Friday 28 October 2011

Len Freeman | 11:36 UK time, Friday, 28 October 2011

Update:

As attempts are made to persuade China to assist in the eurozone debt crisis, Mark Urban will take a look at the power relations at play.

Plus, how does the news that pay for the directors of the UK's top businesses rose 50% over the past year square with our age of austerity? Is there an economic case for cutting it and is there a moral case? We'll debate.

And as British succession laws are changed to allow daughters equal rights to the throne as sons, we'll consider if this change makes the Monarchy more relevant, and why the same principle isn't being applied to other hereditary titles.

Join Gavin at 2230 on BBC Two.

------------------------------------------------------
From earlier:

The head of the eurozone's bailout fund is beginning attempts to persuade China to invest in a scheme to help rescue member countries facing the debt crises.

After meeting Chinese leaders, Klaus Regling said there were no formal negotiations and would be no deal now. It is thought China may pay about 70bn euros.

We'll have the latest.

Plus pay for the directors of the UK's top businesses rose 50% over the past year.

Incomes Data Services said this took the average pay for a director of a FTSE 100 company to just short of £2.7m.

How does that square with our age of austerity?

Do join Gavin at 10.30 on BBC Two

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    I rather suspect the European leaders will be pushing against an open door when it comes to Chinese help.

    No doubt such help will come with a certain 'understanding' as well.

    Actually, as alluded to on the previous thread, this is much much bigger than the raw facts initially suggest.

    It is symbolic of a sea change in geopolitics, Europe, in effect, is hitching its wagon to China to save the Eurozone, this leave the USA and its dwindling allies suddenly dangerously and visibly exposed economically and challenges their ability to dictate the narrative as well.

    This is a huge moment.

  • Comment number 2.

    CASSANDRA (#59 Thursday thread)

    In 1995 I approached Rowntree with a detailed proposal for halting decline. It said in part:

    “I believe that the “Developed World” suffers from a serious and progressive imbalance, which we have exported to all parts of the globe. Our view of what is worthwhile and the ways in which we measure success and value, have destroyed what tenuous stability there was, and the sum-total of competence (particularly parenting) declines with each birth. This is now an epidemic out of control.”

    Rowntree were not interested.

    Nuff sed

  • Comment number 3.

    So, the average pay for a Footsie company director is around £2.7M pa.

    NewsNight poses the question as to how does that square with our age of austerity?

    Patently it does not, and then again, why should it?

    Those people who have climbed to the giddy heights of their respective businesses will be paid whatever, according to the terms and conditions of their employment.

    The age of austerity patently applies to us, the people on the plains, not those at the top of the mountain.

    However "There's room at the top, they are telling you still ..."

  • Comment number 4.

    WHEN IN TROUBLE AT HOME - START A WAR ABROAD (#1)

    It is to be hoped that China has sufficient of the 'ancient wisdom' left, not to exacerbate America's diminution. I don't think it would take much to get Obama cranking up the American War Machine. Personal popularity - nation-wide solidarity and industrial invigoration, at a stroke; YES HE CAN!

  • Comment number 5.

    Your still missing the bigger point NN.

    China is ready to spend trillions of $ in buying up publicly owned assets of these EZ member states.
    These EZ member states , who have bankrupted themselves in the name of EU solidarity, are going to be stripped of their public assets over the coming years, not just by Chinese sovereign funds, but by many other investors too.

    And no , it is not going to be these EZ members assemblies that will drive this economic “restructuring” , they are too weak and the EU is certainly to shrill (PR sensitive) to be seen as being responsible for it. The vehicle will be another super national body called the IMF.

    And as I have said before , the Germans will not accept a Anglo Saxon model for their currency, so the ECB is not going to be a guarantor of these EZ members debts. So we should stop interfering.

    These EZ members had made their choice , however ill informed their populations were at the time of that choice is pretty much irrelevant now.


    And if you want to discuss the UK future relationship with the EU, why not have some opposing view to the much discredited europhile viewpoint.

    I really do despair sometimes.

  • Comment number 6.

    Just found an incredibly scary website, far more information on here than just the headline figures.

    http://www.usdebtclock.org/

    As someone put it on another blog, global population 7 billion, us debt 15 trillion, which amounts to over 2,000 dollars for everyone on the planet.


    Global debt is 40 trillion

  • Comment number 7.

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

  • Comment number 8.

    MONARCHS TO SUCCEED IN BIRTH ORDER - WELL OF COURSE?

    Of three siblings in the Singleton family, the first was a high (but narrow) function Asperger - mathematician/semi recluse. The second rose to head teacher, in the state system. The third is a caustic, misanthrope.

    Is it me? (:o)

  • Comment number 9.

    Jerico:
    That US debt of 15 trillion is wrong. You can double that then add some.

    I've got the goball debt at 67 trillion 15 shillings and tuppence. Some of that old money my mother used to use has been factored in there. When your dealing with big money sums you can't mess about rounding things off you know..and using that vince cable calculator wont help with your sums either.

  • Comment number 10.

    Me bounced at 7:
    Mod has me doing the bear dance and loop jumps again whilst balancing plates with my little fingers. I'm not sure I can do all that you know.

    I'll be concise:

    Al Gore

    *****

    Justin Rowlatt

    Kirsty Wark...who looks 10 years younger than her years.

    The bailout wont work.

    there you go Moddy..hope that meets with your approval and those BBC guide lines of standards and practice you have to adhear to.

  • Comment number 11.

    Another consequence of a flawed system, if no better seems evident, is of course the matter of remuneration.

    I have no truck with paying for mediocrity, and especially for failure, but this does appear now not so much prevalent, but almost mandatory in almost any sector, public or private.

    Thing is, in private it really is rather between those running the thing and those paying them to do so. If the money is there, and the latter are content with how the former have rigged it all, then that's kinda between them (different in areas such as banking, where the taxpayer gets to pick up the tab for less than stellar performances, with - well paid, perked and pensioned, despite performance - government (of the day) connivance).

    'The media', especially some in certain sectors whose excitability on such things seems matched only by their selectivity, have of course gone to town on this.

    @BBCr4today #Executivepay set by “a closed little club, setting pay for each other” High Pay Commission.

    Granted as being a bit 'two wrongs...' but how again are media 'market rates' 'set'? Which is how I come to wonder why the remuneration of commentators, luvvies, media & footyballists seem given pass by critics?

    Interesting the comment 'most picked' by The Editors here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15487866

    '376. ravenmorpheus2k
    3 HOURS AGO
    Utterly disgusting. But what will and can my fellow Britons do about it?

    Will we organise a revolution - no. Too many people simply don't care. And even if they did as soon as we started to organise via the most effective means - social media and mobile phones you can guarantee the government would have it shut down post haste.

    Sit hear and moan by all means but take some action also!


    Legitimate frustration and a valid sense of outrage (if trying to get such a job never seems to be an option, doubtless only for ethical reasons), but are the BBC really meant to be in the business of fomenting 'action' like this?

  • Comment number 12.

  • Comment number 13.

    Whatever age it is, in England it is certainly the age of leniency.

    I refer to the Jo Yeats murder, the tariff has been set at a minimum of 20 years.

    The killer will be 53 when possibly released and therefore fit enough to do it all over again.

    The tariff should be a minimum of 40 years.

  • Comment number 14.

    ONE DISHONEST DECEITFUL FANTASIST GOES TO PRISON . . .

    We all know where there are many more, who also prey on the lives of ordinary people. The tiny few who go to prison, get out very quickly. Those who embroil us in useless wars, go on to greatness.

    It might be more useful to investigate the possible/probable forces on the Tabak mentality, that caused him to take the course he did. Unfortunately, courts belong with media in the matter of high drama and edginess. Law is much more fun than Justice.

    On Radio 4 recently, we heard of a judge who granted bail a serial rapist of a woman who had finally shopped him. The rapist killed her.

    Might a closer look at the 'judge mentality' be rewarding? Remember Judge Pickles?

    This is a subject I find very unfunny.

  • Comment number 15.

    Perhaps the CEOs deserve this pay rise, because they have actually pulled off a miracle. We have declining real wages (i.e. inflation at about 4-5%, yet wages rising only 2-3%) yet roughly stabilised unemployment and steady consumption.

    You they can now sell goods at 4-5% higher each year without supressing demand, and consequently keep a major part of their cost base (i.e. staff wages) rising at only 2-3% without creating a revolt!

    The reality is of course that thanks to the curious economic climate we have whereby it is still our patriot duty to consume, then companies have a guaranteed automatic subsidy of about 2% on their gross margins!

    So borrowing is artificially cheap, and profit is artificially enhanced. Any old numpty could make a profit in these conditions (where 2% of our income is stolen from our pockets and put into company profits).

    The excessive CEO pay is only really justified because of their cunning in keeping the trick hidden from the public!

  • Comment number 16.

    20 years ago I heard a joke: someone asking the late Chou-En-Lai "What will Britain's position be in the mid-21st century?" The answer was "A small island off the west coast of China."

    The West and China have been playing different games over the last few decades. The greed of our business leaders means that China has managed to wreck our industry, and make us dependent upon them in many key areas. They have also managed to carve out an economic empire, including significant parts of Africa giving them control of some key raw materials.

    What do they need us for now? I suspect that the Middle Kingdom empire is self-sufficient. They need not declare war to destroy us, all they would need to do is stop exporting. And in the meantime our Captains of "Industry", on both sides of the Atlantic, are rewarding themselves handsomely for selling us down the river; no doubt throwing a few bags of silver (30 pieces) in the direction of the politicians who helped smooth the way.

    Please tell me I am wrong; (and why!)

  • Comment number 17.

    Meanwhile, Spiegel asks "Has America Become an Oligarchy?"

    "In 1980, American CEOs earned 42 times more than the average employee. Today, that figure has skyrocketed to more than 300 times. Last year, 25 of the country's highest-paid CEOs earned more than their companies paid in taxes."

    By way of comparison, top executives at the 30 blue-chip companies making up Germany's DAX stock market index rarely earn over 100 times the salaries of their low-level employees, and that figure is often around 30 or 40 times.

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/0,1518,793896,00.html

    How far is the UK down the same road as the US?

  • Comment number 18.

    SORRY SASHA - CAN'T HELP YOU (#16)

    My entire brain capacity is still locked since Divine Dave declared the "logic of the First Born".

    Why should the first-born - regardless of gender - be SPECIAL IN ANY WAY?

    If Jesus had been preceded by a sister . . .

    Nuff sed

  • Comment number 19.

    DO THE MATURE AND WISE MEASURE THEIR ATTAINMENT IN STATUS AND MONEY? (#17)

    So what kind of person is elevated under 'Western' culture?

    Are we just going to let this continue??

    FOR EVIL TO TRIUMPH ALL THAT IS REQUIRED IS FOR GOOD MEN TO DO NOTHING.

  • Comment number 20.

    THIS MONARCHY THING - AGE OF PERVERSITY OR WHAT?

    I have just realised Dave is dispensing with the gender discrimination only to leave AGE DISCRIMINATION in place!

    I suggest the royal siblings should have to do some 'Crypton Factor' type of selection for the eligibility to ascend the throne. Or just toss a coin - HEADS WINS!

    I'll get me come uppance.

  • Comment number 21.

    How did the Eurosceptics suddenly get so popular with Newsnight staff? The Euro isn't broken, it's still there, with lower inflation than the UK, higher growth, lower unemployment, less debt - yes LESS debt - and a smaller budget deficit.

    Judging the whole by the parts that hit the news headlines is more to do with wishful thinking than reality. Of course, saying that your neighbour's house needs repainting does stop passers by from looking at the hole in your own roof. If you want to judge the state of the EU or the Eurozone by a small country, take The Netherlands instead of Greece; to compare a large country, take Germany rather than France. Just don't look at the UK.

    Newsnight of course is to blame for a lot of this; guests are picked not for how well they understand the situation, but for how extreme or inflammatory their views are. BBC journalism has changed from being a search for the truth to a search for an argument as in the Jeremy Kyle show.

    I do hope the discussion tonight on the harm executive pay structures are doing to the West is more productive and not a slanging match.

  • Comment number 22.

    @19 Barrie: So what kind of person is elevated under 'Western' culture?

    One of my favourite Kipling stories as a young teen (influenced somewhat by Quakerism) was 'The Miracle of Purun Bhagat' from Kipling's "Second Jungle Book"

    http://www.kipling.org.uk/rg_purun1.htm

    According to one analyst "(The) tory, written while he was living in Vermont, Kipling was to a degree influenced by his experience of America:

    Rudyard writes approvingly of the enlightened Sir Purun Dass's priorities: he has worked and tried to improve the world, before seeing to his religious duties. Rudyard's observation of American society helped bring about this change of perspective: his revulsion against the excesses of raw capitalism encouraged a new-found respect for India's ways - but only if mitigated with a British sense of values. "

    Now I am not going to defend all of Kipling's values in the modern world: it is only meaningful to judge people in the context of their own time. However Kipling and others of his and the next generation did believe, perhaps delusionally, that 'to rule is is to serve'.

    Undoubtedly Kipling's romanticism affected his perception of reality. And yet, to quote Terry Pratchett's Death: "Humans have to believe in some lies in order that they might become."

    Discuss! ;-)

  • Comment number 23.

    #16 and 17

    We became complacent and drunk on our success, we started to believe our own press while all the good things that got us there were being steadily eroded, compromised or simply sold to the highest bidder.

    China has, in parallel, surely, steadily, filled the vacuum left behind by that.

    Much of what it has done and continues to do is not pretty but the overall direction of movement has been positive I would say, and overwhelmingly so when put in the context of the west's increasingly clumsy violent attempts at influence based on military intervention and quite possibly, the stage management of terrorist attacks against its own people.

    When looked at objectively there is less to fear from China than there is from the USA, the USA is increasingly the 'loose cannon' on the deck of the world I would say and china is the moderate stabilising influence looking at the bigger picture, planning decades ahead rather than twisting in the wind towards whatever direction looks like will have $$$ attached to it.

    There is still a chance of redemption and harmony here if sufficient people wake up in time in the US and elsewhere to effect a deep change on the scale of the last illumination.

    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times etc.

  • Comment number 24.

    @21 "A Tale Of Two Jeremies" lol!

    An interesting thought - comparing the manners of Kyle and Paxo. (Somehow I suspect that Mistress will not be amused!)

  • Comment number 25.

    On pay differences, how much of the problem is executives getting paid too much, and how much of it is to do with the rest of us not getting paid enough?

    Back in the 1970s the discussion was all about the rise of the East and how it would displace the West. The UK and Germany both looked at how to increase productivity. Margaret Thatcher's view was to compete by cutting wages and manufacturing and moving into services; Germany's method was to compete by increasing skills. Guess who exports most to China now.

    In the 1970s the Pound was worth USD 4 and in 1980 a Pound could buy you CHF 4. Since then the Pound has fallen 60% against the Dollar, and fallen 65% against the Swiss Franc. You now need two full time incomes to buy a house, whereas it used to take just one. Our exports are cheaper, but nobody wants them because our skill base is still too low to make things as well as the Germans do. On the other hand our imports are more expensive so that Food and Fuel prices have gone through the roof.

    Executive pay blossomed as they exported our jobs and our economic future to the East; they took higher risks and borrowed more to 'leverage' profits; they moved away from sustainable growth and continue to starve training budgets or long term projects and R&D of sufficient funds to succeed. Everything has to be made cheaper, with less quality and less conscience, while ordinary people must work more and more for less and less.

  • Comment number 26.

    WHO WOULD 'LIVE' IN A HOUSE LIKE THIS?

    When you pass the house with the dead car, the broken fence, the hay-crop lawn and the sound of disaffected yelling emerging on the fag-smoke breeze, it is not difficult to form a mental image of the family.

    When you watch channel 81 (Parliament) - see the half dozen playing 'debate' and then see the crammed benches playing howl, sneer, pointy finger and wavy paper, you are left in little doubt of the sort of people who CHOOSE to be there.

    Would you choose that arena, assuming you wanted to uplift this country for the betterment of its people?

    WHO CAN LIVE IN A HOUSE LIKE THAT?

  • Comment number 27.

    Hawkeye_Pierce wrote: "So borrowing is artificially cheap, and profit is artificially enhanced. Any old numpty could make a profit in these conditions (where 2% of our income is stolen from our pockets and put into company profits).

    The excessive CEO pay is only really justified because of their cunning in keeping the trick hidden from the public!"

    Thanks for that analysis.

    It fits the somewhat bleak observation that our Libertarian economic system is served by genetically dumbing down the population not improving it. It appears to be a process which remains opaque because another way of stating it is that it becomes more child-like, more feminised, and more self-centred as time goes by. That most will not see what is being done is down to vanity.

    It's difficult to envisage what can be done to stop this if recognition of the process driving it is proscribed (transparency being anathema to those who profit from the system's opacity). Vanity seems to be the key problem.. These days, half the population has a degree. What they don't see is that this is only the case because standards have been cynically reduced, which has made vanity an even greater social problem. It used to be the case that one couldn't tell *some* people anything. Now it's a lot more.

  • Comment number 28.

    I can't help speculating that if the Chinese effectively bail out the EU's ( probably including British ) banks it just gives the stock market parasites the excuse they need to asset strip our economy and sell all the tools we need to secure our future. The Chinese could end up with us in the position that they can plunge us back into into the stone age and simply walk in and take control of the UK.

    We are not quite there yet but the 2008 Climate Change Act looks like it will get rid of the aluminium industry here in the UK leaving us incapable of recycling our own used drinks cans. It will make more work for the empty ISO containers going back to China, thus subsidising Chinese imports to the UK, just like all current overseas alleged recycling of anything. Its a drip, drip process, but if we act now its probably not to late to save what industry we really need, basic stuff like bricks and tiles for building the houses we need are on the line due to the proposed " carbon floor price ".

  • Comment number 29.

    Its only last week that the eco-fascist leaning BBC science / environment web page were triumphally reporting that China had said that it will never allow its per capita CO2 emissions to reach those of the US. No mention that China is now one of the most toxic places on the planet, and if the alleged environmentalist were genuine ecologists they would be protesting against that. Forget the fact that more CO2 in the atmosphere aids and promotes plant growth and gives us a far better chance of producing the food needs of 7 billion. Of course the eco-fascists demand a reduced population so why worry about just how toxic parts of China have become to the benefit of alleged green technology. Its typical NYMBY syndrome, they probably all thing like good little Corporate Nazi ten bob fat cats that destroying our industry could increase their property prices and then they can extend their personal credit limit again.

  • Comment number 30.

  • Comment number 31.

    The joint stock company is owned by its shareholders, public or private. But today as most shares are either held by pension funds or exist in the fantasyland of high volume trading, there is now no effective shareholder control - "Broken Britain" writ large. Managers fill their boots - there is no accountability. We need the German Tripartite system which clearly works.

  • Comment number 32.

    Keep on hearing how it costs these mega millions in pay and bonuses to engage the best people for the top jobs, to run the national/international corporates. And that without these fabulous amounts we wouldn't attract the best people for the job.

    Well I suppose it wouldn't be that these vast sums have to be paid out because the bar for their remuneration has been set so ludicrously high in the first place, possibly by themselves.

    And that they manage to achieve business success with very little input by their workforce, who obviously deserve small reward for their obviously pathetic efforts by comparison.

    Bit by bit, we are returning to the 18th century. Perhaps we're already in the Big Crunch.

  • Comment number 33.

    BBC LABOURING THE TABAK VERDICT - SO I THOUGHT I WOULD TOO:

    If he is as clever, calculating, controlled and crafty as the court, in its laborious wisdom, concluded, how did he come to CHOOSE TO MURDER A NEIGHBOUR? It seems to me there must have been a strong element of LOST control.

    In passing: the midnight news repeated the purported presence of relevant violent images on his computer, but 'neglected' to point out they were reported (earlier) to have been viewed AFTER the murder. This further suggests a deranged mind rather than a cold controlled one. Indeed, it is reported that he had COMPUTER EXPERTISE - again suggesting 'out of control', as he left damning evidence on his PC!

    None of this absolves Tabak, but it (once again) causes me to look askance at, much vaunted, British Justice. Courts seem inclined to 'lock on' to an 'acceptable' narrative, building it up, ignoring anything that does not fit. Indeed, this is exactly the 'Court MO' that has repeatedly put the innocent in jail.

    Not enough said.

  • Comment number 34.

    IF INTERNET CONTENT INFLUENCES - WHAT OF THE PITS OF OUR TV OUTPUT?

    The court that convicted Tabak, seems in no doubt that his mind was full of perverted material from the internet. UK-source TV is not short of violence, murder, and perversions of every kind - some wrapped with varying degrees of cunning, but all capable of influence, via the 'mind-cannula' of TV.

    One for 'Right-n-Wrong' Dave?

  • Comment number 35.

    A MEDAL FOR ALTRUISM? WHAT IS IT ABOUT DISCONNECTED DAVE?

    Radio 4 reports that Dave is to resurrect the British Empire Medal to reward 'hard working volunteers'. Clearly: DAVE DOESN'T GET IT.


    CARROT STICKS

    Good folk need motivation
    Be it tough or be it gentle
    True genius combines the two
    To something elemental.

    Henceforth to drive them ever on
    This mantra we shall parrot:
    "If they will not respond to stick
    We’ll beat them with a carrot."

  • Comment number 36.

    'Newsnight of course is to blame for a lot of this; guests are picked not for how well they understand the situation, but for how extreme or inflammatory their views are. '

    It is an bit of a concern.

    That educate and inform thing sort of got lost in the wash a while ago.

    Personally, I blame market ratings talents.

    Ones in the public as much as private sector.

  • Comment number 37.

    Here's an astounding figure (courtesy of aljazeera)

    "China's official foreign reserves are increasing at a rate of about $1bn per business day, almost all of which is used to buy US Treasury bonds and other international assets that carry a minimal rate of return"

    http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/10/20111022114018242293.html

  • Comment number 38.

    "Plus, how does the news that pay for the directors of the UK's top businesses rose 50% over the past year square with our age of austerity? Is there an economic case for cutting it and is there a moral case? We'll debate."

    Perhaps before you debate it, you could find out whether its true or not.

  • Comment number 39.

    '38. At 12:24 29th Oct 2011, MaggieL -
    Perhaps before you debate it, you could find out whether its true or not.


    If it's via a favoured source citing a favoured source via twitter, which now seems to be a cheaper 'newsy' gathering alternative as the cuts* make £4Bpa no where near enough to manage, it must be... probably... true... ish. You can't buy trust like that. Not hard to squander it, mind.

    The BBC's 'guest' and 'expert' list for vox pops and 'debate' is proving for some easy to join without question (so long as a few basic criteria are met) whilst also being highly selective. No mean feat.

    Wikipedia is also a top source, too, on folk who say stuff.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incomes_Data_Services

    I loved this (optional) field: 'I am highly knowledgeable about this topic

    Reckon that hot air balloon flight cert from the honeymoon gets me in: "'The source of my knowledge is not listed here

    *Maybe China could chip in?

  • Comment number 40.

    Tabak
    Bottom line should be ...
    Victims family want the death penalty - as would be appropriate for the crime

    We should support them.

  • Comment number 41.

    A REFERENDUM WOULD SUPPORT YOU (#40)

    I was pretty murderous in my young days nautonier.

    I'll hand meself in.

    In passing: what is your view on 'Storage unto death' of the old, living-dead? Is it cruel and inhuman treatment? What would appropriate punishment for perpetrators be? e.g. The judge who recently would not give permission for a loving family to pop a member off?

  • Comment number 42.

    41.At 16:32 29th Oct 2011, barriesingleton wrote:
    A REFERENDUM WOULD SUPPORT YOU (#40)

    A referendum would be interesting otherwise is no joke

    'Nuff sed

  • Comment number 43.

  • Comment number 44.

    MAKE DO AND MEND - WASTE NOT WANT NOT - BEWARE THE SQUANDER BUG (#43)

    Poor Dave has got all the war-time measures to peddle, BUT NO WAR! It is at times like this, that we are forced to face up to the impoverished nature of Westminster Creatures. They were not (pre) selected for high-level competence, in times of real threat; they belong in easy times of bogus, self-invented threat. And still the party games continue, with Ed Balls popping up to carp, opportunistically, like a Punch and Judy puppet.

    "LEND A HAND DOWN POUNDLAND."

  • Comment number 45.

    MaggieL wrote "Perhaps before you debate it, you could find out whether its true or not."

    Have you noted how the Libertarian system now has almost everyone "debating"? That's a guarantee that nothing can ever be done as there's such diverse "opinion".

    Few stand back and observe that factual matters only minimally ever have anything at all to do with "debate" and "opinion". Psychological matters on the other hand, being essentially matters of taste, are all up for argument and debate, simply because they don't really matter.

    If more people woke up to this, they'd soon realise that the deregulation and anarchism which is slowly destroying us all, is being sold as inclusive rather than the divisive poison which it really is.

  • Comment number 46.

  • Comment number 47.

  • Comment number 48.

    ecolizzy wrote: "St. Bliar still thinks he's right..."

    I guess one has to try to envisage what MAY have happened to the UK economy (which has been heavily weighted for financial services, property and retail etc for a long time) if we HAD maintained our borders over the last few decades (especially)..

    With such a low birth rate, and ageing population, we would have been short of pupils in schools, and so more schools would have closed down, creating more unemployment. We would have had a shrinking workforce too, including that in the Public Sector. Property values would have fallen through lack of demand, so even less money would have been available to lend out for growth of the economy.

    We have a problem either way. So in one way Blair was right, and his Government was just doing what had been advised and implemented in earlier decades, but in a MUCH bigger way. Was he right to do so? For SOME who made a fast buck out of all these imported people, no doubt.

    But will they still be here if and when it all comes crashing down? I suspect not, but those imported will be. I guess it all depends on who you think Blair is talking about when he says it was good OUR economy.

    Some part of t he country are no long England as John Cleese observed.
    Is that a problem? Only if you think the places in the world where the people migrated FROM have a problem I guess..

    Bottom line is it's really all our own doing through our not doing, so to speak.

  • Comment number 49.

    Just spotted this poster being caried by an oldish woman on an Occupy America YouTube video which probably wont get through the blog dog due to a shot at the end !

    CLASS GENOCIDE
    the only thing they
    care about is
    GREEN

    search DarcPrynce

  • Comment number 50.

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

  • Comment number 51.

  • Comment number 52.

    @35 Barrie - I like the poem :-)

    Coincidentally, an ex-student of mine posted this video on Facebook: well worth 11 minutes

    "RSA Animate - Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc

  • Comment number 53.

    LET'S TAKE BLAIR'S UNSUITABILITY FOR HIGH OFFICE AS A 'GIVEN' AND PONDER (#46)

    Tony Blair's defended delusion must now be apparent to all (except Alastair Campbell).
    But St Blair of Jerusalem is just ANOTHER ONE WE GOT OURSELVES. Let's not focus on Blair - let's focus on THE CAUSES OF BLAIR, BEFORE WE GET OURSELVES YET ANOTHER!

    The primary cause of Blair, was party politics. Parties PRE-CHOOSE candidates for their WESTMINSTER CREATURENESS - the ability to cheat, lie, obfuscate and deceive, and for their eschewal of honour, integrity altruism and virtue. Blair was placed in a SAFE SEAT where most votes he collected were FOR HIS ROSETTE. Being a consummate WESTMINSTER CREATURE, he rose up the ranks, so fast, he hardly held any office before he was elevated to PRIME MINISTER.

    Perverse party politics raised Prime Minister Blair, and Westminster is the home of party politics. The pernicious charade of Westminster governance is a breeding ground for the archetypal MP: devious, contemptuous and self-serving. While Westminster endures, we shall always GET OURSELVES ANOTHER ONE. Witness James Brown (he that is called Gordon) and David Cameron (he that should be called to book for the Liar Flyer).

    POLITICS: THE ART OF SELF-DECEPTION, WRAPPED IN THE CRAFT OF DECEIVING OTHERS - FOR 'THEIR OWN GOOD'.

    Nuff sed

  • Comment number 54.

    DOES IT PRODUCE BETTER PEOPLE OR TURN PEOPLE INTO BETTER PRODUCERS? (#52 link)

    That is a truly impressive video report Sasha. I was swept along until I began to wonder if women would still think they wanted to be men rather than mothers?

    I also would love to know if, based on such research, giving people a medal for altruism increases of decreases volunteering etc (as Dopy Dave seems to believe).

    Great post.

  • Comment number 55.

    @46 Lizzie. Blair is an easy target, as he's widely disliked, even despised, and for good reasons. The Mail article however is a textbook case of shoddy and dishonest journalism. You're an intelligent person, read it again and guess how I'm going to pull it apart. :-D

  • Comment number 56.

    '45. At 19:47 29th Oct 2011, brown-dog -
    Have you noted how the Libertarian system now has almost everyone "debating"? That's a guarantee that nothing can ever be done as there's such diverse "opinion".


    Still tend to err in favour of jaw-jaw over the apparent alternative.

    So long as it's on a level playing field, especially in how reported...

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/7349793/executive-pay-dont-believe-the-headlines.thtml

    Interesting first comment.

    Anyway, one sure that, in due course, it will all balance out...

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/8857511/NHS-fatcats-take-pay-offs-then-come-back-for-more.html

    Yes, one is sure...

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/bbc/8857621/Hansen-scores-1.5-million-a-year-...-even-on-the-bench.html

    'How does that square with our age of austerity?'

    Some things possibly too 'unique' to even... 'debate'?

  • Comment number 57.

    gavin said europe is the richest continent. In what way is a continent in trillions in debt richer than china that has trillions in surplus?

    the reason china's economy powers ahead is because of what? An artificial exchange rate of 10 yuan = £1? A mercantile imperialist strategy where strategic acquisition and position is more important than immediate profit?

    if power is money then when people say power is moving east what they mean is the money is moving east.

    Gavin who keeps promoting the mantra that countries with trillions in debt are rich is laughable and an exercise in self deception?

    politicians will bankrupt everyone to keep the stupid euro afloat.

  • Comment number 58.

    WE GOT OURSELVES ANOTHER ONE

    Just watched (and listened CAREFULLY to) Dave, 'politicking' at Andrew Marr.

    Nuff sed

  • Comment number 59.

    Toe Knee Bliar had an agenda for change in 1997, but
    e.g
    House of Lords - still not reformed
    Flooded UK with migrants - 'to change the fabric of Britain'

    Then we had Serbia, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Libya as all a 'problem'.

    Education reforms - botched

    Progress on NHS but issues like e.g. MRSA, Stafford Hospital etc.

    Right under Bliar's nose were the problems of the City of London vested interests as buying power & influence from the political classes and the issue of the funding of the Labour Party - what did Bliar do about these major dfeiccinecies in our eco-political systems apart from watching them get worse?

    All this has left the UK with rotten choices in terms of the two main political parties and the way that each of them operates.

    Bliar, overall, was an abject failure, IMO - the rotten Westminster politics we still have now, is partly due to his overall failure as PM.

    NB
    Mods - I have taken out the bit about foreign doctors - Say no more, Guv - Nudge! Nudge! - Even though one of their 'mis-diagnoses' almost killed me last year!

  • Comment number 60.

    #58 barriesingleton wrote:
    ‘WE GOT OURSELVES ANOTHER ONE’
    (re Dave, 'politicking' at Andrew Marr)

    Interesting programme (after dwelling on the royal visit), and it does seem like ‘we have got ourselves another one’ in the Commonwealth, with the President (non-elect?) of Rwanda. I visualised him almost morphing into another Mugabe. And how come the ‘Commonwealth’ can now accept countries that were never part of the British Empire? Can anyone join?

    Maybe we should strengthen our connections with our ‘common wealth’ and return to Empire Preference as our main trading policy in readiness for weakening our total control from EU? I was once quite proud to work for Commonwealth Secretariat in the delivery of aid-funded projects in Africa and elsewhere prior to the collapse of the communist bloc, which involved turning a blind eye to the abuse of funds and HR by dictators for fear that they would seek aid-trade with USSR. Whilst the Queen remains the uncrowned, unelected Head of the Commonwealth (nearly lost it to Idi Amin) we should return to a focus of asserting influence with a third of the world’s population and trade through returning to Empire Preference.

    But I do not support the view that we should become like EU in trying to change some of the firmly held differences in beliefs, cultures and traditions of the member states (e.g. homosexuality and homogenisation). We seem ever keen to sweep away Christian beliefs and teachings, whilst cringingly accepting medieval practices by certain other religious faiths.

    Conversely, can we really sell concepts of democracy and equality to a third of the world whilst we maintain our own outmoded principles of monarchy, noble lords and right honourables?

  • Comment number 61.

    Cancer patient died after being attacked by illegal immigrant in next bed

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2055178/Cancer-patient-died-attacked-illegal-immigrant-bed.html

  • Comment number 62.

    China's sovereign wealth fund WILL INVEST in Europe once Europe presents clear solution to debt crisis, reforms its financial system. With concerns about excessive debt threatening to bankrupt Italy & Spain, destabilizing banks across the continent, European leaders have promised to offer proposals that will calm investors. It's not a matter of calming; its a matter of toxic debt, nefarious financial products, hi-speed trading, and all this garbage that has seeped in like poison from the west.. More simply the call is for: clean the books, bad debts, write-offs & stop carrying stinking derivatives as assets when they are not!
    Though there have been some suggestions that Europe needs money from wealthy emerging economies, like China, many have said Europe has enough money to solve its own problems. Does it? What does this mean - dumping bailout after bailout so that big banks too big to fail can clear their toxic debt with new money? Why are we doing this, instead of taking sources to Court for unleashing nefarious products onto the EU markets?
    WE'RE DEALING WITH 1.4 QUADRILLION IN DERIVATIVES - where did they come from? Where are they now? Has forensic accounting ruled them legal? The CIC has about $100 billion at its disposal to spend abroad, but this does not include throwing money at derivative bonfires.
    Jin was unusually candid about what ails Europe and urged leaders to have the "guts" to make significant reforms — as Asian leaders did when faced with their crisis in the late 1990s. Many have argued that, during boom times, European governments funded their prosperity with deficit spending, while not sufficiently investing in growth. As the global economy has slowed, European countries have struggled to repay those debts. Why? That's the question: and the Chinese need to hear the answer. Europe itself needs to establish the answer. We need to clean the sovereign houses.
    China cautioned against looking to the CIC to solve Europe's problems, noting that the fund's resources pale in comparison to the continent's. The CIC has about $100 billion at its disposal to spend abroad. Where is the financial stranglehold in the EU?

  • Comment number 63.

    Pay for the directors of the UK's top businesses rose 50% over the past year.
    Incomes Data Services said this took the average pay for a director of a FTSE 100 company to just short of £2.7m. How does that square with our age of austerity?
    The elites get richer while the poor get poorer? Is there an economic case for cutting it? Yes, if it is being made via hi-speed trading, nefarious financial products, gambling, speculation etc. No, if the companies made legitimate profit. How do we audit this? Only forensic-type auditing can say yea or nay.
    As British succession laws are changed to allow daughters equal rights to the throne as sons, this has been a long time coming, and should be generalized to all hereditary positions.

  • Comment number 64.

    58
    do you mean marr or cameron? i refuse to watch anything with marr in it. why is he still at the bbc? what credibility can he have?

  • Comment number 65.

    64.At 14:16 30th Oct 2011, jauntycyclist wrote:

    Someone gave me a 2nd hand copy of Marr's book 'A History of Modern Britain' - I found it to be biased in its tone & content. I certainly wouldn't have paid for it myself.

    So, I had a ceremonial burning of the book with my garden bonfire - it was most enjoyable & uplifting & I can definitely recommend the book as a damn good burn.

  • Comment number 66.

    Credibility. Best served in doubles. As with standards.

    I found this quite eye-watering on the whole 'age of austerity thing...

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2055203/BBC-boss-bias-row-takes-second-job-advising-Labour.html

    Presuming the DM has its facts correct (as few media seem to these days, or care if caught out), £77,005 to work two-and-a-half days a week seems... generous.

    Maybe it's 'mates' rates', as there do seem... other factors. Keeping it in the family-wise.

    Meanwhile, on matters footyballist, the twitterati seem to have decided that the public finding out what they are paying for punditry has opened the doors to the poor gent being abused. One presumes this is why FoI requests flow and get bounced around Aunty alllll the time.

    Though... same folk did not earlier appear to have quite the reservations about private company directors being outed. Or, as I recall, rather well remunerated askers of certain questions (but not others) if dealing vs. fielding.

    Funny old world.

    Some might even say... in places... unique.

  • Comment number 67.

    monarchist apartheid narrative

    given the role gamering mindset is so discriminating why is it at the heart of modern state given it would be illegal if anyone else did it?

    suppose the law was only that a certain heir could be a judge or police officer?

  • Comment number 68.

    crab torture? we are all so laughing yar. does the rspca think it funny?

  • Comment number 69.

    barriesingleton wrote: ""Perverse party politics raised Prime Minister Blair, and Westminster is the home of party politics. The pernicious charade of Westminster governance is a breeding ground for the archetypal MP: devious, contemptuous and self-serving. While Westminster endures, we shall always GET OURSELVES ANOTHER ONE."

    Every day you are criticising Liberal-Democracy AS A SYSTEM of governance. You just don't appear to see this, and you never suggest an alternative. China elects independents, from the same party..If you don't have a one party state, you inevitably get parties. Surely you can see the logic of that? Spoiling party games is surely a tacit demand for a one party (totalitarian) system?

    Many people inevitably go into politics (and teaching) as an opportunity to perform on a stage, but with authority, a personality type which courts supply. Many teachers, like many politicians and actors perform for an audience and do so disingenuously. Many mislead their audiences.

    To see the point here one has to think of occupations which do not have audiences. Sometimes where the job-holder remains anonymous.

    One should ask what sort of people are attracted to audience focused occupations? To see the point here one has to accept the premise that people are largely born the way they are, do not change except through growth, damage and ageing (i.e are NOT mouldable by the environment), i.e that their behaviours are selected by the environment,. There is a subtle point here but it's a powerful one, and yet it's one which many teachers and politicians in our Libertarian system conveniently do not understand (which is inevitable as this makes them good agents to sustain the status quo). Once one sees this, one can better appreciate the destructive or anarchistic nature of many attracted to politics, teaching and the acting (PR) professions. That is not to say that they see this or that they deserve to be punished, as one has to accept that they too are made the way they are. They know no better because they are largely unaware of the adverse consequences of their behaviour. They just court narcissistic supply and look little further than looking good, making money, being consumers, paying their bills etc..

    The current Chinese political party system, and that of the former USSR, made criticism and 'purges' integral to the political party system. I'm not sure it worked, but the idea was to weed out the wrong sorts, the SELF (ego) interested rather than the OTHER (allo) orientated.

    http://www.nmr.mgh.harvard.edu/mkozhevnlab/?page_id=308

    There is a lot of work going back many decades on there being two basic biological reference systems. One based on older parts of the brain (in phylogenetic terms), one relatively new phlogenetically. One is more proximal (self-referenced), including e-motion, one is more distal (other-referenced) and includes fine motion - think engineering. One is more female (think nurturing/protecting/grooming), one is more male (think hunting and building). It is a matter of tilt and continuum, not of absolute dichotomy, not even as sex differences..

  • Comment number 70.

    JunkkMale wrote: "
    '45. At 19:47 29th Oct 2011, brown-dog - Have you noted how the Libertarian system now has almost everyone "debating"? That's a guarantee that nothing can ever be done as there's such diverse "opinion".

    Still tend to err in favour of jaw-jaw over the apparent alternative."

    The alternative, surely, is just doing as one is told? Look to what happens with specialist services. If one goes to a doctor or dentist one is, today, likely to be asked for one's preferences even though one probably has not spent x years training like the alleged expert. How MANY people know enough about their hospitals in the area to know which one to go to? Note, SOME may, but most will not. Ability is not uniform in distribution. That's an important point to understand. The opposite is assumed.

    This is more about diffusing (deregulating) responsibility and protection against charges of professional incompetence which becomes ever more likely with declining numbers (low birth-rate) in these sectors of the population, I fear.

    We are generally reducing standards of care and due diligence, and many
    (most?) people do not see the modus operandi. The choice mantra appeals to VANITY and with it, naivety.

  • Comment number 71.

    indignantindegene wrote: "Conversely, can we really sell concepts of democracy and equality to a third of the world whilst we maintain our own outmoded principles of monarchy, noble lords and right honourables?"

    Whilst our Foreign Office and its NGOs (like the US State Department) promotes LIBERAL democracy, other countries promote non Liberal democracy. So one surely must ask what distinguishes one type of democracy from another? The Chinese Government gets rather annoyed about the way that the West denigrates what China holds to be true representative democracy, i.e Democratic-Centralism. Do they have a point worth looking into?

    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/opinion/2011-06/13/content_12684889.htm

    There's so much spin everywhere that one should be wary of how words are abused to mislead. Look into the Chinese system, the Syrian system, and do so critically. You may be surprised.

  • Comment number 72.

  • Comment number 73.

    BluesBerry wrote: ""Though there have been some suggestions that Europe needs money from wealthy emerging economies, like China, many have said Europe has enough money to solve its own problems. Does it?"

    What is Europe if not its population?

    If its population is imperceptibly decreasing through below replacement level fertility (masked by ageing and immigration, i.e it can only substitute for the above driver by importing non Europeans which it then tries to secularise i.e make behave LIKE Europeans), what MUST happen to its economic productivity (which is competitive) and its PROPERTY VALUES as assets? They buildings remain when this biological neutron bomb goes off, which it has already done. Long ago.

    I'll leave that to sink in. It never does as all we are seeing flows from this given that in our economic system land and property is collateral for debt.

    This has been the elephant in the room which almost nobody noticed, until a few years back I suggest..............it is not new, but it was ignored, if not punished.

  • Comment number 74.

    There is a parallel world going on here - a two speed Europe of Euro nations + the others rapidly becoming marginalised - whilst in the UK there is a two nation system of those linked to the City & business with their huge bonuses and 50% salary increases, whilst the rest of us are seeing our living standards plummet.

    The EU wants to clamp down on the execesses of the banks, whilst the Bankers' Party opposes this for obvious reasons - Dave says he'll oppose this - LOL.

    The Tories ARE the Bankers' Party - their money comes from the City, its a revolving door for Tory MPs & their families to get well paid jobs and clearly their interests are at one.

    The rest of us are the cattle they milk to extract their profits, big bailouts and its our communities that have been asset stripped - we'd all be better off if Brussels did put the screws on the City in the long run.

    The anti-capitalism protestors should support the EU Commission and call for much tighter regulation - that would polarise the argument and reveal Cameron for the self-serving toff that he is.

  • Comment number 75.

    I SUSPECT A DUMB SICK SOCIETY CAN YIELD THE SAME LEVELS OF EMPLOYMENT AND TAX AS A SMART HEALTHY ONE (#74)

    And as Westminster governance is a game, played with money generated by us, as we run nowhere in our rat-wheel, 'they' do not care whether we are sick/dumb or smart healthy.
    But that is only regarding tax-take. Where CONTROL is concerned: THEY PREFER US SICK AND DUMB.

    Westminster is peopled by very unpleasant 'Westminster Creatures'. Politics is a ruthless, heartless, soulless, unethical GAME, played with our lives, at our expense.

    D MOCK CRASS Y? WHY DO WE LET IT CONTINUE?

  • Comment number 76.

    '70. At 15:16 30th Oct 2011, brown-dog -

    The alternative, surely, is just doing as one is told?'


    Well, it's an alternative, to be sure. Just not necessarily the, or only one.

    I merely caution against the resort to some others adopted, which have poor historical precedents. But I think you knew that and were just teasing to encourage clarification.

    Of course, in the jaw-jaw stakes I err on supporting, one does have to rely on the various mechanisms of information being deployed to be honest and trustworthy.

    Until I am forced to raise my game, my focus is first of all on these.

    Check back a few posts, even just here, to see where I feel that the cause of rational debate, which can resolve so much, is hardly being served well when what one is too often served is either inaccurate or shaped by agenda.

    Before I act I like to ensure my intel is good. And it can be vexing if compelled to fund any one feels is compromised.

    It's a fearful angel thing, tread patten-wise. Can't recall what the alternative stance is referred to right away, but becoming cannon fodder launched by inflammatory or carefully edited siren whispers from off to one side seems... impetuous.

    Happens a lot, and usually gets a twitter has#tag to spin it up with worrying ease. There are a lot of folk doing what they are told. Just.. I wonder how many realise that is how they are responding, but simply to the tune of other aspiring bosses no different to those they are frustrated with. Orwell was a smart cookie, IMHO.

  • Comment number 77.

    richard bunning wrote: ""The anti-capitalism protestors should support the EU Commission and call for much tighter regulation - that would polarise the argument and reveal Cameron for the self-serving toff that he is."

    Except, the EU Commission is Libertarian, i.e anti-statist. Enshrined in the Lisbon Treaty are anarchistic principles which protect the free-market FROM Big Government (regulation).

    This is the paradox which many don't see or refuse to see..

    The EU/OECD Project was, and still is a Post WWII anti Soviet/Warsaw Pact project, overseen by the USA's NGOs located either on Wall Street or Washington DC (the World Bank and IMF). The only regulations which the EU Commission facilitate are ones which prevent EU member states from independently regulating in their own people's sovereign self-interest, interests which might threaten Libertarianism i.e American hegemony.

    Your call to EU Commissioners would just call the bluff of "muppets". We know what happens when anyone does that. EU member states are instructed to think again, or punished with austerity measures (cf. PIGS) surely?

  • Comment number 78.

    #69 brown-dog wrote:

    "There is a subtle point here but it's a powerful one, and yet it's one which many teachers and politicians in our Libertarian system conveniently do not understand (which is inevitable as this makes them good agents to sustain the status quo). Once one sees this, one can better appreciate the destructive or anarchistic nature of many attracted to politics, teaching and the acting (PR) professions."


    And the perfect demonstration of the teaching profession being one of an audience craving personality, on BBC2 just now was the Person Teaching Awards programme, which has only just finished. It looked a lavish affair at the Palace Theatre in London and was fronted by Lenny Henry and Dame Vivienne Westwood, Minnie Driver, David Morrissey, Sir Trevor Nunn and Al Murray. It was an evening dress event for the audience that was mainly female.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b016xjqv

    One of the award prize recipients said 'this is just like the Oscars' and then went on to give an assured acceptance speech.

  • Comment number 79.

    See what they are contriving?

    "It has belatedly been accepted that a single currency cannot work without a unified fiscal policy – that is, a pan-European budget on public spending, taxation and government borrowing.
    The announcement from last week’s Brussels summit contained the kernel of that single fiscal policy."

    http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-2055109/SIMON-WATKINS-The-euro-s-assault-democracy-member-states.html

  • Comment number 80.

    #79 brown-dog

    Yes!...the strategy IS obvious.

    What you wrote on Tuesday 25 October 2011 blog @ 12:19pm on 26 Oct 2011 got me thinking...

    "It's almost as if we are seeing a lot of non free-market, i.e "fascist"
    or corporatist jiggery-pokery to try to establish fiscal union across Europe through fear. This is led by the USA's main European proxy, Germany, which seems to be at behest of the Wall Street NGOs. Is this because the USA couldn't get this political/military union agreed "democratically" by France and Holland in 2005?"

    I remember that Valéry Giscard d'Estaing was one of the principal architects of the 'European project'. Looking into his background and past, you can see where and how the EU constitution was achieved.

    "Although the Constitution was rejected by French voters in May 2005, Giscard continued to actively lobby for its passage in other European Union states. Speaking at the London School of Economics on 28 February 2006, he said that, "The rejection of the Constitutional treaty by voters in France was a mistake that should be corrected.""

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Val%C3%A9ry_Giscard_d%27Estaing

    His site also says...

    "In 1975, he invited the heads of government from West Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States to a summit in Rambouillet, to form the Group of Six (now the G8, including Canada and Russia) major economic powers."

    "In 1982, along with his friend Gerald Ford, he co-founded the annual AEI World Forum."

    "He has also served on the Trilateral Commission after being president, writing papers with Henry Kissinger."

    "Following his defeat in the regional elections of March 2004, he decided to leave partisan politics and to take his seat in the Constitutional Council as a former president of the Republic. Some of his actions there, such as his campaign in favour of the Treaty establishing the European Constitution, were criticised as unbecoming to a member of this council, which should embody nonpartisanship and should not appear to favour one political option over the other."


    All this happened even though he started out as a Gaullist. It's as though they've all been 'got-at' in one way or another.

  • Comment number 81.

    JunkkMale wrote: "Orwell was a smart cookie, IMHO."

    Orwell was a Trotskyite/Anarchist. Think of him as an earlier Margaret Thatcher, with someone like Keith Joseph pulling the strings. Like Thatcher, Orwell helped a young generation stupidly pull the right from under its own feet.

    museV wrote: "All this happened even though he started out as a Gaullist. It's as though they've all been 'got-at' in one way or another."

    As in the photo with Kennedy on the right in your link no doubt.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Val%C3%A9ry_Giscard_d%27Estaing

    It should really come as no surprise given the origin of the EU Project/OECD after WIII, nor should we be surprised by what we now see happening.

    What is (a little) surprising (despite all the science from behavioural genetics, and decades of solid demographic data across the US facilitated Libertarian-Democracies both East and West, is that so many people living and working in these countries still (rather ironically) naively assume a discredited 'naive' Lysenkoism

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysenkoism

    rather than the evidence-based nature of human behavioural diversity.
    What I am referring to here is the tacit dogma of environmentalism both in parenting, in education and our politics..People are born the way they are, what we can do about that is minimal. We can select behaviours and we can protect from harm, but we can not change people. I really wish more people would spend a lot more time trying to grasp the implication of that, as our politicians and their media, assumes and peddles very much the opposite..

    Our education and political system is premised on a major myth. Seeing that is the case, is the sine qua non for any substantive change.

  • Comment number 82.

    WHY ARE POLITICIANS OBSESSED WITH HISTORY? NO PRIZES . . .

    Now Numpty Nick is at it. He says that we have always been great in the world, so it MATTERS that we should go on being great in the world. I can't follow his 'logic'.

    Indeed: our' greatness' messed up much of the world. And it, and we, are still paying a high price.

    Nuff sed

  • Comment number 83.

    DAVE IS DOING A TONY - "HIGH PROFILE INITIATIVES WITH MY NAME ON"

    Today it is adoption.

    We used to believe babies were broadly unaware. NOW WE KNOW THEY ARE MORE SWITCHED ON THAN EVER AGAIN, IN THEIR LIFE. I am persuaded that a new brain, focused on faces of one colour, yet waving limbs of another, and having no sense of 'mirror-self' until around 15 months, is confronted with confusions, that Mother Nature has not contemplated - let alone prepared them for.

    Does Dave have any idea of such? Or is it just politics to him - like Mothering.

  • Comment number 84.

  • Comment number 85.

    Rather than focus on the huge pay that directors of a few very large businesses accrue, why not rue the opportunities, that a supposedly 'Labour' Government over the past decade-and-half, missed to empower workers by promoting co-operative style businesses.

    I suppose that their failure to do this meant that Labour were not really Labour after all.

  • Comment number 86.

    OH PAXO! GUILTINESS SHOULD BEGIN 'AT HOME' (#84)

    Write about the sins of the 'Media Talent' (for they are legion) starting with one Jeremy Paxman, before doing a broad brush obfuscation.

    See me.

  • Comment number 87.

    '84. At 09:45 31st Oct 2011, Mistress76uk -
    Jeremy's brand new article in today's Daily Mail :o)
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2055497/JEREMY-PAXMAN-Baby-Boomers-selfish-generation-history.html


    Looking at the comments gleaned in response so far, how's that gone for you, Jeremy?

    Perhaps the 'we' bit in the headline, including all lumped in the guilt trip of a gilded career path media luvvie multi-millionaire, has not resonated as much as might have been thought (even considering the medium sought) with those less inclined to preach from on high?

    Having worked hard, got on my bike when required, employed more than a few and with luck injected more into the system than I have and will take out, I have to say breast-beating inclusive lectures from the parasite classes, especially in this tax bracket, are not always certain to inspire empathy.

    '81. At 08:27 31st Oct 2011, brown-dog -
    Orwell was a Trotskyite/Anarchist.


    Never been one for labels, or pigeon holes. Though they do seem the only currency for many of a box-ticking bent.

    I also disagree with much Mr. Orwell said and did.

    Doesn't make him any less smart, especially with what he wrote. Some of which resonates today, perhaps even more powerfully.

    Rampant hypocrisy, especially from entities who claim to know better but really only being those showing an ability to know all when even that is in doubt, being pretty high on the list.

    More so when they have the keys to the megaphone and know folk who can divert or block any small voices that may wish to respond. 'Authority' comes in many forms, and it takes a special kind of blinkers to not see when being in part responsible for a most trusted establishment entity becoming no longer any such thing, is a mirror worth looking into first.

    See above.

  • Comment number 88.

    Mistress at 84 regarding your link.

    What a scathing and cracking artical by the Newsnight great one. Paxmans insightful deconstruction of the baby boomer generation and its unpleasant and expensive fallout for those born later. A full on broad stroke attack from the reckless spending to the madness of inflated house prices all helped along from the generation that 'never had it so good'. It was speech worthy ..and worthy of printing off and putting up on the wall. Credit to the Paxman. A 1

  • Comment number 89.

    I watched a bit of NewsNight on Friday and it was odd to say the least, to see multi-millionaire Luke Johnson and a multi-millionaire fund manager discussing the very high salaries handed out to some managers of the UK's top businesses and the commensurate unfairness, given the current rate of inflation, of what are effectively pay cuts for many of the workers.

    Can't NewsNight find a single member of the working public to come on the programme and debate these issues, rather than have a cosy and sterile chat amongst the wealthy?

  • Comment number 90.

    THAT WAY LIES GRAVITAS (#89)

    I sampled all branches of state school - at best a mediocre outcome, academically. (Evacuated one year.) Was out of work for a year. Founded and steered a company for 35 years, to judicious dissolution. Married 35 years, two boys, divorced. What could meeja learn from me, and those like me?

    Newsynighty should stick to 'Professional Wrestling' - reality would spoil the atmos. And poor Jeremy might get more that he bargained for.

  • Comment number 91.

    JohnConstable wrote: "I suppose that their failure to do this meant that Labour were not really Labour after all."

    Indeed. When Labour re-branded, it should really have been up-front and called itself The Capital Party.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/the-thirtysomething-brothers-behind-the-luxury-property-boom-444643.html

    Then there were the Tchenguiz brothers.

    This all fed upon a child-like obsession with ostentation, i.e. vulgar display of wealth. This is non-Saxon. It is feminized (arrested development.).

    How can any culture advance (let alone survive) if it becomes so child-like? So feminised, cosmetic and celebrity obsessed? That just guarantees its decadence, its demise. All of that ostentation was built on other people's money - credit - debt.

    Who falls for that?. Who is taken in my appearances?

  • Comment number 92.

    JunkkMale wrote: "Never been one for labels, or pigeon holes. Though they do seem the only currency for many of a box-ticking bent."

    First, that statement just shows the anarchists have gotten to you in the past, for how can one refer to anything at all, or discriminate between what is out there in the public domain (e.g. chalk vs cheese) without using labels? It's how we communicate with nouns as names of classes is it not?

    As to "box ticking" - that's just accounting (and science), and whilst there may be no accounting for taste (where it's psychological and not in the public domain as behaviour), there is for just about everything that matters. Box-ticking is required for any effective management and accountability. Again, watch our for the insidious influence of anarchists/deregulators, as they box-tick for themselves, whilst discouraging it in others.

  • Comment number 93.

    kevseywevsey wrote: "What a scathing and cracking artical by the Newsnight great one. Paxmans insightful deconstruction of the baby boomer generation and its unpleasant and expensive fallout for those born later. A full on broad stroke attack from the reckless spending to the madness of inflated house prices all helped along from the generation that 'never had it so good'. It was speech worthy ..and worthy of printing off and putting up on the wall. Credit to the Paxman. A 1"

    Insightful? Do you not see how such accolades just serves to feed their demand for narcissistic supply, and sustain everything that's wrong?

    Until more people DO see the cycle, they'll just keep sustaining everything that's wrong, because that's what the Libertarian system both feeds, and feeds upon.

    A reminder:- journalists get paid to report. Why are you praising them?
    Especially when what they write is nothing that they originate? When did they became highly paid performers/entertainers?

    When did reporting the news become a "show"?

  • Comment number 94.

  • Comment number 95.

    92. At 14:18 31st Oct 2011, brown-dog - Again, watch our for the insidious influence of anarchists/deregulators, as they box-tick for themselves, whilst discouraging it in others.

    Now, as I nod also at #94, there is something to that last sentiment which seems a fine complement, as there appears to be a meeting of minds, albeit possibly arriving at the same place from a variety of directions.

    History, and context, both have value in assessing now and the future. But surely the best we can do is listen to a person's words and evaluate their (proposed) actions if we are to see merit in them and join. Or not.

    The tricky part comes when the words don't match the deeds and the deeds don't even tally... especially when there is a filter in place to try and make them 'fit', or avoid showing anything at all if it could be... awkward.

    There are only so many fronts one can tackle at once. My current interest is that of hearts and minds. And how they are swayed. Using a lot of money.

    As to being 'got at', may I humbly suggest there is a difference between what a person says and does, and the value of the words or deeds in question in isolation, than the tribal flag that has been planted on that person as a whole to try and boost or taint depending on one's disposition. Orwell could have been a Vogon poet by job title or history's judgement; I don't think this in any way affects the value of many of Animal Farm or 1984' s messages.

    I agree it is tricky sometimes not to pigeon hole in offering descriptions, but it can be distracting and unduly influential, especially when personal sympathies creep in. As in 'just shows...'. To you, maybe. But to any others in the way you are convinced by?

    This is especially true of guests or organisations brought in ostensibly to comment on media stories, but who often seem simply offered platforms for propaganda with a national treasure stamp of approval.

  • Comment number 96.

    PROGRAM ON BRUTAL-DICTATOR DEATHS JUST FINISHED (Radio 4)

    Now we need a program on Zimabardo's STAMFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT which showed the latent brutal dictator resides in many 'civilised men'. We have had some notable candidates, and we always

    GET OURSELVES ANOTHER ONE.

  • Comment number 97.

    DAVE AT HIS MOST DAVE

    "We should be thinking not just what is good for putting money in people's pockets but what is good for putting joy in people's hearts "

    "BUT PRIMARILY - WHAT WILL PUT ME ON A PEDESTAL AND TAX IN THE TREASURY."

  • Comment number 98.

    WHY IS 'ADVISOR EXTRAORDINAIRE' DAVID HALPERN SO COY RE QUALIFICATIONS?

    PM Dave's Nudge Unit is run by ex policy advisor to Tony: David Halpern. Grief! Tony's 'success' in creating a 'nation at ease with itself' is legendary. What a prospect! Try this for a laugh:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/happiness_formula/4809828.stm

    I'll get me coffin.

  • Comment number 99.

    DONATIONS FROM UNSCRUPULOUS VENDORS FUND POLITICAL PARTIES - NO HOPE FOR CONTROLS (#98 additional)

    What a charade - Dave's clever-crowd advising how to protect children, and childlike adults, from predatory, rampant commerce. Pull the other one Dave - it's got tax on it.

    Cigarette? Drink?

  • Comment number 100.

    85.At 09:56 31st Oct 2011, JohnConstable wrote:
    Rather than focus on the huge pay that directors of a few very large businesses accrue, why not rue the opportunities, that a supposedly 'Labour' Government over the past decade-and-half, missed to empower workers by promoting co-operative style businesses.

    ++
    Twas what the continentals were good at until something called the EU came along with CAP & food mountains etc

 

Page 1 of 2

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.