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Thursday 8 December 2011

ADMIN USE ONLY | 15:25 UK time, Thursday, 8 December 2011

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has warned that there is a risk of Europe "disintegrating" if a solution is not found to the eurozone debt crisis at a crucial summit in Brussels tonight.

The key proposal on the agenda of the gathering is how to enforce budgetary discipline with automatic penalties for those eurozone nations that overspend.

Germany and France are pushing for new European Union treaties, saying stricter fiscal rules should be enshrined there, but Prime Minister David Cameron has said that he will block a new European Union treaty if it does not protect UK interests.

So will an agreement be reached that will save the euro and stave off economic collapse, and if so at what cost?

Mark Urban will be reporting live from Brussels and in the studio we will have full analysis from Paul Mason and guests including former ECB member Marie Diron.

Peter Marshall reports on the havoc in Scotland and parts of England, Wales and Northern Ireland being caused by storms and high winds.

Plus, as the Durban summit on climate change predictably struggles to make headway we ask why do democracies feel so comfortable ignoring this issue and why have electorates apparently lost interest in it?

Susan Watts reports and we will be talking to John Prescott here in the studio and from the summit Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change, Gregory Barker.

And Stephen Smith has filmed a rare interview with Geoffrey Hill, thought to be one of the greatest living poets - a man who says his idol is Ken Dodd.


  • Comment number 1.

    Ein Euro
    Ein Reich
    Ein Chancellor

    Good luck with that

  • Comment number 2.

    I think you should open tonight's programme with the band Europe singing 'The Final Countdown'.

    My invoice for creative talent will be in the post in the morning.

  • Comment number 3.

    So yet again the faecal matter is about to hit the air circulating aid!

    And No! I’m not posting about the inanimate, ignored and unwelcome PR Deity postulating that he must, can and will hold back the tides, I’m writing about the current whirlpool in the education system!

    Having worked in three of the ‘great’ public services in my time NHS and RM it’s easy IMO to label the schooling sector as the most delusional, deluded and derelict of the three.

    It would be foolish for too many to believe that the revelations sic of today are anything other than a very small iceberg. Any ‘thing‘ - living, institutional or corporate - will protect itself if it can but the Edsyst will go to extraordinary lengths to avoid being ‘found out’!

    Having spent nearly ten years in the ‘game‘ - Mods please note; “in the ‘game‘ not ‘on the …’ - and three different schools (One ‘revered’, one in the middle of the local leagtabs and one currently approaching the same resting place as the Titanic!) it is staggering as to what lengths institutions will go to to avoid the public gaze. Sadly the higher the status, and the more cash available, the greater the inevitable deceit. When you are in the situation where where a HoD/HoC is actually doing the coursework (Yes I know! “doing” is far too succinct but what can you do with 400 words?) and instructing others to do the same then you know mand (Rearrange please for accuracy.) well that somewhere along the line the student is going to be the one ending up paying the price e.g.’ ‘remedial work at unicollege, rated as inadequate in employment.

    And all the while learning attainment slides.

    Sadly Master Go Very fast doesn’t seem overly concerned about the masses!

    But then ….

    What really should one expect?

    Post Post thought:

    28. At 10:13 7th Dec 2011, Sasha Clarkson wrote:

    Agree with most of what you say regarding subject of my earlier post (that day) barr …

    I have to hope - as I believe you might do - that someone, somewhere possibly has the answers and may get the chance to do something about it!

    I - must - live in hope!


  • Comment number 4.

    Note how The City's interests have been cleverly morphed into the general UK's interests in the MSM today.

    Unless you work in the City, this is of no use to you or I.

    Figures such as the City generates 10 to 12% of UK GDP have been bandied about today (nothing like accuracy) and that 2 million people rely on the financial services "industry" here.

    What a load of codswallop.

    Refer back to Karl Marx.

    The paper pushers in the City do not generate any wealth....think of them as simple skimmers. They ONLY make money out of other people's endeavours.

    In order to generate real wealth, we have to make real products/things and sell the (or export them, think Germany/China) i.e. you have to put WORK into a real commodity and sell it for an honest profit.

    Think about this when you hear about David Cameron fighting for "US" tonight and tomorrow.

  • Comment number 5.

    we are all Germans now, now I know how the DDR felt!

  • Comment number 6.

    Britain Suffers as a Bystander to the Euro’s Crisis

    No matter what happens at the European summit meeting on the euro in Brussels that begins Thursday, Britain is sure to lose.

  • Comment number 7.

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

  • Comment number 8.

    Re #7 censored.....obviously National Socialism is a sensitive subject on this blog site then!

  • Comment number 9.

    Anyone else notice fat pig (socialist?) Presocott's £3000 Rado Swiss watch on tonight?

  • Comment number 10.

    I am in a dilemma - I don't whether I just turned off NN because Prescott came on or because NN began discussing - HUGE YAWN - 'green issues'.

  • Comment number 11.

    How many "useful idiots" did you count on QT tonight?

    Clue: The odd one out was sat centre stage.

  • Comment number 12.

    On QT tonight an audience member asked if it would be prudent if older persons in the workforce who were beyond retirement age would be helpful if they retired asap.

    J Dimbleby'e response on QT....ermm, next question please....

  • Comment number 13.

    I am elsewhere in England tonight and consequently was able to watch the whole programe.

    Richard Corbett of the EU was most impressive, as he was the last time he appeared on NN, I think it is his calm logic and very rational manner which appeals, as opposed to some of the often hysterical figures who are on NN.

    The time to converge is now and that is focussing the Eurozone leaders and one would expect that tomorrow will see some fiscal unity agreed within the Eurozone members such that the ECB is then empowered to take a more active role in directly supporting sovereigns, rather than indirectly via second line banks.

    It is clear that the Eurozone has to focus on its own stability and as a secondary task reassure those 'outs' who are planning to join the euro according to the roadmap.

    As for the other 'outs' ... they had better ensure that they independently have the wherewithall to swim against the euro tide as I suspect that the Eurozone members will have long memories of this crisis and will remember who was helpful and who was obstructive.

    Enjoyed the poet, Geoffrey Hill, and having seen Ken Dodd myself, agree that Ken is comedy genius with fantastic material, often derived, as the example given, from the most common-garden situations. The jury in the Dodd tax case must have had one helluva experience as Ken and his straight man George Carmen QC, gave the the performance of a lifetime, which they actually had to do to save Ken from going down. They were so good that it was said afterwards that no jury on this planet would have convicted Ken.

    There will be tears when Ken moves on.

  • Comment number 14.

    Mother is lucky enough to live in one of Englands most pleasant villages and today she told me a story which I am going to relay.

    A few days ago, there was a knock on the door and she opened it to find a young lad standing there. She said he looked a bit like a character from one of Dickens novels, pale, pinched and thin, aged about seventeen or so, she guessed.

    He was selling bric-a-brac and had some 'accreditation' on his person and when he spoke Mother recognised a Northern accent and he politely told her that he was from South Shields, which was a few hundred miles away from here.

    So, Mother said, why are you so far from home?

    He rpelied that there was 'nothing' up there, no work, no hope and so they had to come down south to find something to do.

    Mother bought some bits and pieces, mainly because she felt so sorry for him and was quite upset when she relayed this story to myself.

    I tend to take these little stories and in my mind push them up to the macro level and ponder as to why Westminster politicians have allowed our England to became so economically unbalanced with respect to the regions, which has resulted in some very precarious local economies.

    I think we English need an English Parliament, which would naturally just focus on getting England working.

  • Comment number 15.


    Britain's Neo Graduate Cohort, excels in the generation of buzz-phrases, in and of themselves, in the banality-space, going forward.

    Recently minted: "The Patient Journey", easing the patient through the NHS-space, looking for the Escape Experience.

    Watch this vacuous-space.

  • Comment number 16.

    Questions for all the teachers that post here.

    Why is there several exam boards?

    When did this happen, or has it always been thus?

    Why isn't there just one exam board for each subject?

    And I have heard that some exam boards are not so rigerous as others, is that true in your experience?

    Are the exam boards privately run as profit making enterprises?

    Do Grammar schools have completely different exam boards to say a secondary or acadamy? Coming from Kent, we still have selective education.

  • Comment number 17.

    At least there will plenty of children around to teach! ; )

  • Comment number 18.

    'we will be talking to John Prescott here in the studio'

    Cometh the hour, cometh (well, he seems more embedded in the Newsnightie green room ready to be reactivated at a moment's notice)... the rappoteuring John Prescott.

    On a topic such as this - being actually being interested in green issues - yet we get presented with a person whose environmental hypocrisy PR taint flies, first class, ahead of him like a a Lear jet waving a green flag.

    NN, you excel yourselves. Maybe Ms. Watts could rejig anything he says in the edit suite so it actually makes sense?

    ps: Any 'reports' around at the mo' that the UK public should not be aware of?

  • Comment number 19.

  • Comment number 20.


    "The 2010 projections assume an extra 0.5 million births and an additional net gain of 0.3 million migrants."

    "The increase in fertility is in itself partly a consequence of the higher level of net migration assumed in the 2010 projection: 200,000 a year compared with 180,000 a year in the 2008 projection."

    They seem to have changed from HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS to mere decimal points, since 2008. One might wonder why . . .

  • Comment number 21.

    19. At 10:17 9th Dec 2011, Mistress76uk wrote:


    With 'gusts of 165mph', that a huge circular sail sewn to not much blows by seems unsurprising, frankly

  • Comment number 22.


    At the Mad Euro's Tea Party, King Dave talks of what 'I' can't agree to, and: 'My Parliament'. How long before we get: "We are a GrandSaviour"? (A cross between Tony and Maggie.)

    THIS is what Dave came into politics for - strutting and posturing - not to improve the lot of 'them' (aka US).


  • Comment number 23.

    Baton down the hatches?

    a month ago the met office with their supercomputers were claiming this winter would be mild 1c above 'normal'. Those who look at solar events said there would be snow and extreme events. Although to be fair they said it would affect the whole of the uk instead of half of it. So who should we listen to? The Met office that was 100% wrong and useless for extreme event planning or those who got it 50% right and who gave at least a months notice of this extreme weather so planning could have taken place?

    bbc still uncritically pumping out the co2 narrative?

  • Comment number 24.

    23. At 13:17 9th Dec 2011, jauntycyclist -
    bbc still uncritically pumping out..

    I could possibly live with that were it the case, however it's when the critical mass gets reached in selective ways that I start to crank an eyebrow.

    Just watched a Lib Dem on SKY go ballistic that his vast national representation was not prevailing currently on matters EUcalyspe, and 'something needs to be done' about the wrong kind of leadership on the line. One presumes he's not a big democracy fan either.

    Imagine if a £4Bpa PR monolith 'took a view' on political matters in a similar way, and decided to pump out a purely critical message on anything or anyone not conforming?

    The SKY peroxide sink simply changed gear and got excited about the ratings gold of cabinet splits.

    A quick gander on the speaking for the nation website was interesting...

    Especially what was liked, not liked and what was pickable by those Editors.

    I predict a closing, followed by a 'what the UK is saying headline', possibly more based on another quick poll.

    It can all be handled in post.

  • Comment number 25.

    'The SKY peroxide sink simply changed gear and got excited about the ratings gold of cabinet splits.'

    As the initial path of resistance has proven rather barren, it seems Aunty has caught up. If perhaps for different ideological reasons.


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