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Tuesday 13 December

Verity Murphy | 13:30 UK time, Tuesday, 13 December 2011

The fallout from David Cameron's decision to use his veto continues, with the head of the European Commission saying the UK's demands for special treatment for financial services would have risked the single market.

Jose Manuel Barroso told the European Parliament the UK's stance had made compromise impossible at last week's EU summit on economic integration.

Tonight, we ask what are the long-term ramifications for relations between the UK and Europe following the backlash against Britain's stance.

The news that researchers at Cern had found signs of the Higgs boson particle was reported by Newsnight's Science editor Susan Watts last week.

Today, the official announcement was made that this most coveted prize in particle physics may have been glimpsed by scientists using the Large Hadron Collider. Susan Watts will be live from Geneva.

Also on tonight's programme, as part of our series of films looking back across the year, we'll be reviewing the most important science stories from the last 12 months.

Plus, we asked top economists to each select a graph which they considered key to the economic story of 2011. Ann Pettifor, director of Prime Economics, Louise Cooper from BGC Partners and the Financial Times' Gillian Tett will be looking at the results.

All that with Emily Maitlis at 2230 on BBC Two.


  • Comment number 1.

    As the BBC continues to find 'signs' of what 'may', or may not actually be happening, especially in the sciency world, in the interim we get..

    'The fallout from David Cameron's decision...'

    'Fallout', even in a non-nuclear sense, not being good, one presumes? Hence as far as the authors are concerned, all is woe, woe and thrice woe.

    Me, I nowadays hit the most liked comments first...

    'From the sounds of the BBC evening news, Jon Snow on Channel 4, and now Paxman on Newsnight - clearly the Europhiles have reached the point of hysteria.'

    Seems effective on most BBC blogs, too.

    I wonder if that latest glorious multi-culti integration thing ongoing across the continent will get an airing too?

    I guess it depends on what 'results' get 'looked at', at what not.

  • Comment number 2.

    "Tonight, we ask what are the long-term ramifications for relations between the UK and Europe following the backlash against Britain's stance."

    Regime change?

  • Comment number 3.

    Tonight, we ask what are the long-term ramifications for relations between the UK and Europe following the backlash against Britain's stance.

    EU position is discriminatory & is illegally allowing the '26' to use EU institutions to the detriment of the single market.

    Barusso speaking out of turn & UK has a cast iron de-facto position as EU 2nd largest net financial contributor - to with-hold a reasonable amount of UK contributions as counter-claim to EU mismanagement as includes failing to apply Maastrict Treaty to EZ members as being a major issue in current Euro solvency crisis.

    Perhaps the BBC can address these issues instead of using its Guardian connections to try & undermine the UK Coalition govt at a time of national emergency as UK stands on the abyss of bankruptcy?

    Also, we know the UK is isolated from Europe - we're on what's called an 'island' - Perhaps a note can be sent around to all BBC depts to make them aware of this sensational fact?

  • Comment number 4.


    The EU, being a melding of variously corrupt states, is institutionally corrupt (vis serially 'qualified' accounts) ruled by unelected panjandrums.

    Not a club Groucho would have joined, I suspect. So just what kind of individual DOES want to be in it - let alone, RUN IT?

    Nuff sed

  • Comment number 5.

    "Plus, we asked top economists to each select a graph which they considered key to the economic story of 2011, Paul Mason will be looking at the results."

    IMO, Key chart is on EU is Roger Bootle's graph showing German unit production costs as lowest in EU - but why not include UK?

    Explains why Germany at heart of & as leading EU - low units costs does not necessarily mean low profits or low standards of living.

    The key to growth & survival - low unit costs but these don't matter if a country does not have much production & is reason why companies not investing in UK & banks not lending enough to SME's in UK

    UK unit production costs still far too high

    UK over-taxed on personal taxation as squeezing spending; so reduced business profit margins

    This is key graph for UK going forward as explaining why UK has no growth & will have no growth (other than from QE), for years to come unless we have a radical structural & constitutional business shake up as including EU.

  • Comment number 6.

    Surely it's time to have Peter Oborne back on NN tonight?

  • Comment number 7.

    How will we benefit from confirming the existence of the Higgs bosen particle?

    (considering it cost around £2 billion to do so)

  • Comment number 8.


    That is worth £2 billion of anyone's money.

    You don't think the cash-strapped NewsyNighty would spend out on a return ticket, affording face-time and dialoguing, at the cutting-edge, unless the matter was, in and of itself, deeply relevant to Boson Man, in the hadron-space going forward - do you?

    Frame of reference is all.

  • Comment number 9.

    As if you needed reminding, humanity was not created to serve markets, markets were created to serve humankind.*

    So, continuing in that vein, the ECB should threaten to bring the Panzerfaust to bear on the bond markets and thus face down the untrammelled greed of those in the City and elsewhere who attempt to profit from other people's (read EU nations) misery.

    * Acknowledgements due to Chief Rabbi Jonathon Sacks (for a profound piece in yesterdays Times).

  • Comment number 10.

    At 16:32 13th Dec 2011, museV wrote:

    How will we benefit from confirming the existence of the Higgs bosen particle?


    When UK/we're buying 'stuff' from the Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, USA & ROW using technology/products developed from understanding of the HBP - in other words when others have the developed things from UK element of the science & when EU allows us to have/use it (and assuming that we can afford to buy the 'stuff' in the UK; as we will be on the most expensive end of supply chain?)

  • Comment number 11.

    Front page BBC - - Dying highstreets

    Front page elsewhere - - a worse high street scenario

    I wonder if folk will turn out to 'have been killed' by the 'attacker' once the red pen brigade get to refine the message, eventually.

    Also hope he didn't once email anyone the BBC thinks needs (dis)associating with him.

    No one seems to know at present, so who, I wonder, will be wheeled in to guess anyway? If at all.

  • Comment number 12.

    Paul has seen the books, it might be argued later that he was being misleadingly optimistic, in concert with the entire media coverage post 2008.
    The press appears to be bought and paid for.

  • Comment number 13.

    Helpful and interesting as the economists' choices of graphs are - they are in the main devoid of the scale descriptors along the axes!

    Where these graphs are in daily use, putting only numerical values on the axes allowed a bigger representation in a limited space, and is meaningful for the regular user. Typical for dealing rooms and their data, related to their origins in lower screen resolutions and smaller computer servers in the past.

    However it is not much use to the average Newsnight viewer when these are flashed on the studio video wall, devoid of the axes scale descriptions. This cannot be necessary now on TV at current video standards. But for internet access it is lamentable - making the information more difficult to follow than it should be.

    Occasionally it even seems that a graphic designer might have excluded the axes descriptor detail. It has happened in the past where I have compared the TV view with the original publication. That would be a fail in any public examination that included graphs and charts.

  • Comment number 14.

    no idea why its the uk in the doghouse when its the euro project which is detached from reality.

    clearly it seems some in europe would go to war over the euro? which defeats the object of the eu project?

  • Comment number 15.

    save the high st.

    close the supermarkets and their blocking landbanks! no more tesco towns.

  • Comment number 16.

    why the pallaver about a bear in a cave or a zoo? This ground breaking world class series has everyone talking about it and a few studio shots in a zoo or whatever does not detract from the overall brilliance of what we witnessed. Full marks to the BBC for putting on a series that we will be talking about years down the line, well worth the license fee....

  • Comment number 17.


    They shold have done a bogus shot of Bear Grylls (DID) wrestling a Panda with his Bare hands. THEN it would have been EDGY, and have endured a thousand years.

  • Comment number 18.


    so that we can travel back in time, and get DC to undo the veto I guess.

  • Comment number 19.

    We may possibly have found a clue to the possibility that there might be a Higgs boson and we may possibly with the help of innumerable economists have found a clue to the mystery of earthly finance.
    A bunch of little old ladies or men could have told that no good would come of all that debt - and it didn't - so it goes.
    The Higgs probably is the transition between the visible and spiritual in the way viruses are between inanimate matter and living organisms - or not. It probably makes as much sense as the economic assessments have.

  • Comment number 20.

    It's the LIBOR rate graph we need to watch closely (re a second credit crunch)...

    Also the Baltic Dry Index is another early warning barometer of any impending recession/depression turmoil...

    Both charts look OK, for now.

  • Comment number 21.


    I realise NOW that the financial crisis is all a consequence of digital snow and backing musack. Who were those people in the studio? They seemed irrelevant.

  • Comment number 22.

    Susan Watts' report on the Higgs boson was great.
    The narrative was well developed, the flashbacks to previous reports back from September worked well and the enthusiasm of scientists was engaging. Just when Watts was getting ready to answer the crucial question, the sound went off adding more suspense to the story.

    Also congratulations for the panel of female economists discussing the credit crunch. Well done! It was a refreshing change from the city boy analysts! Let's see if you can set a trend.

  • Comment number 23.

    As I watched Tuesday night's edition of Newsnight, I started to wonder if I had accidentally tuned into Woman's Hour. The programme was fronted by the lovely Emily Maitlis and there was a major contribution from Newsnight's Science editor Susan Watts. So far so good, but, with a detailed appraisal of the crisis in the EU, the analysis of some complex economic models and an in-depth look at particle physics, one would have thought the BBC could have dredged up one male of the species to contribute to the studio discussions. It's no wonder that many men are beginning to feel emasculated.

  • Comment number 24.

    The economists' graophs tonight (Tuesday) were very interesting. If you take Vicky Pryce's graph and plot the ten year interest rates at the present time (far right of the graph) versus the populations of the countries, you get a virtual straight line relationship showing that countries with 100 million people pay virtually no interest and those with virtually no people pay 13%. What would this mean?

  • Comment number 25.

    21. barriesingleton wrote:

    "Who were those people in the studio? They seemed irrelevant."

    Have the same feeling often about newsnight VIPs. Opinions, opinions, opinions, signifying nothing. If they're all so smart why did they let us get into this mess in the first place? Always wise after the event of course.

    As for Cameron, don't know if he vetoed knowingly for the right reasons but it's shown up the rage and true colours of the europhiles, or perhaps the 'do as we say or else' brigade.

    The threats, warnings and doom scenarios emanating from them would put a fire and brimstone preacher to shame.

    Would have thought to all but those who don't want to see, that the eurozone will crumple bit by bit and that in fact doing business with a country with a strong currency is preferable to doing business with countries that have an unstable currency. Basic law of economics.

    Sarkozy and Merkel know it, and are having kittens about it, annoyed that Britain has politely refused the offer to go down fiscally with them.

  • Comment number 26.

    Hope the Large Hadron Collider at CERN has discovered the 'god particle', because I'd really like to know if he does have a beard or not.

  • Comment number 27.

    Enjoyed (and gripped by) tonight's graphs.

    What I am missing from news coverage of the British veto is whether the Coalition (essentially I mean of course David Cameron and Nick Clegg) agreed that it might be invoked if our negotiating position was rejected. I would have expected Jeremy Paxton to have posed that quite agressively to Paddy Ashdown but it wasn't. It seems to me that there is a constitutional involved here, or that at least there is an issue involved as wieghty as the one David Cameron invoked concerning the Eurozone using EU institutions to negotiate their treaty. Cameron invoked the veto on behalf of his governent, which is a Coalition government. Had it been agreed by that government, presumably at cabinet level, that he might do so? My impression and suspicion is that it was not, everyone being so jolly surprised by it to the point that Mr. Clegg himself seemingly still can't make up his mind what to think of it.

    It is perhaps too much to expect our frivolous or hopelessly partisan press to examine it, but actually I think this is exactly the sort of thing the BBC above all ought to investiagate and I ask Newsnight to consider giving the matter some attention.

    Thank you.

  • Comment number 28.

    My mate recons that the Higgs Boson is nothing more than a self fulfilling neutrino that left a distant star 60 billionths of a second ago but arrived too soon to have left in the first place, thus only adding to Greek debt. However, if the Higgs can be found, it is beleived that this may go some way in explaining the mystery relationship between bankers bonuses and the collapse of western capitalism. Yo, go Brian Cox...and your trendy jackets.

  • Comment number 29.

    Speaking of fallout, and vetos that may not, as such, be vetos...
    (best rated comment, currently, a hoot)
    (Godwin, start your engines! Best rated there too, a hoot, esp. on the public support of oft cited media vs. how often they get quoted)
    (Ok, there we have it. The EU provides the loathing. Who then, provides the fear? Hunter S. meets Orwell)

    12. At 17:32 13th Dec 2011, BABELrevisited wrote:
    Paul has seen the books

    Speaking of Mr. Mason, given the ongoing, active nature of the BBC blogosphere, any reason his latest 'closed' at 25? Maybe someone didn't like what they were seeing?

    '16. At 19:56 13th Dec 2011, stevie wrote:
    why the pallaver about a bear in a cave or a zoo? '

    Speaking of a palaver, I wonder why the DG decided to re-ignite it all, especially in such a way:

    Especially given the tabloid making the running was the Daily Mirror. Kevin Maguire off the Xmas card list (and out the Green Room for a while?).

    And speaking of the DG...

    Lest this seem a bit Telly-heavy, I do note the 'trend' in media to boosting the headline, whereby 'MPs' seems more to be one MP, with a bit of an agenda.

    Still, the 'defence' is well laid out:
    (Takes a treasure to know one, I guess. Shame Carole Thatcher did not qualify, for what she said, that was offensive, in private, that got her fired in a heartbeat)

    Oh, and speaking of our media, and modding, this is worth a scope:
    (Check the best rated thread to see what a state this country's MSM debate is in)

  • Comment number 30.

    Much better from Newsnight on graphs etc - but I got the impression that Paul Mason was going to review the graphs in more detail & put his own take on what is or is not happening for the UK?

    Much of the discussion last night was globalised and did not relate directly to the UK.

    If politicians can be educated from the process in terms of their not being able to hide from the public behind cliches and rhetoric - Surely newsnight needs to make the graphs show where UK is on all of the graphs (have proper detailed axes as someone mentioned above) and how this relates to UK govt & EU policies?)

    Sticking this on the end of the programme is not enough as needs more discussion time?

  • Comment number 31.

    how to boost the economy. best salesman ever

  • Comment number 32.

    Tuesday's Newsnight was one of the best I have seen, and I suspect a landmark
    broadcast for more than one reason. Absolutely brilliant.

  • Comment number 33.

    Anticipating the BBC will suddenly like public opinion again, about... now...

    RT @Good_Energy: YouGov poll finds 56% of people want more wind turbines & 74% think solar capacity shd be increased

  • Comment number 34.

    'The news that researchers at Cern had found signs of the Higgs boson particle was reported by Newsnight's Science editor Susan Watts last week.'

    Great stuff from Cern although it might be dwarfed (dwarved?) by the discovery of faster than light (if it turns out to be true). If both are proved it would make 2011 a truly momentous year in physics.

    Will Susan be doing a blog about it ? Oh thats right, Susan's blog got bumped in the upgrade.

  • Comment number 35.

    "Tonight, we ask what are the long-term ramifications for relations between the UK and Europe following the backlash against Britain's stance."

    Did I miss that bit? Was looking forward to some deep enlightenment. Got a bit bored by the three female contributors who seemed to be expressing an opinion, as seen from their perspective, but must have dozed off before the in depth analysis came on.

    Oh and pleeeeeze ask Emily NOT to keep waving her hands at the guests, it is distracting and somehow seems a little impolite.

  • Comment number 36.

    Well, it might have been a novelty but well done on Emily and the team for putting together the what one contributor has already called the "Woman's Hour" Newsnight. It was very, very good. Not just because the subjects were interesting but I actually learnt something from the what Emily called "...three wise women...".

    I want more of this kind of insightful and educational and interesting political show. Emily chaired a pretty decent hour all 'round - even the politicians that she had on gave us a different insight into the Cameron vs Europe debacle of the last week.

    Well done Newsnight and well done Emily. More please - you can tell Paxman that his tired old huffing, puffing and token rudeness isn't intelligent, isn't interesting and doesn't do the job. When he can be bothered to fight a cause he's one of the best anchors in the world I believe but most of the time he's far too bothered being pissed off to make a decent difference.

    ...last night's show really made the difference by showing the difference. Thank you..!

  • Comment number 37.

    #20 museV

    I look at those from time to time, another one is A.P. Moller - Maersk reports as they ship physical goods (amongst other things) around the world.

    'super slow steaming' is the forecast.

  • Comment number 38.

    Another view, possibly tribal (not sure if the Speccie is covered under the 'media the BBC is here to save us from' notion)..

    In case it doesn't make it to any pages hereabouts.

  • Comment number 39.

    #37 BobRocket

    An interesting report especially considering that Maersk are also into oil and gas exploration/production as well as shipping.

    And yes, things do seem to be slowing down again somewhat.

    Thanks for the link.

  • Comment number 40.


    Dave has still not absorbed the prime imperative of soldiering: TO STAY ALIVE. Hence he still labels the dead: THE BEST OF THE BEST - a slight on those dedicated mercenaries, who pay close attention to training and apply their learned skills effectively.

    But perhaps Dave is to be forgiven. 'Honour' comes easy to the new MP, and they are not required to have any real skills - just fawning and dissembling.
    Most poignantly: in politics, reward for failure is de rigueur.

    Nuff sed

  • Comment number 41.

    curious for the bbc to big up an anti uk line? but then again maybe not.

    Regulation is not 'anglo saxon' is it?

    the idea a 'treaty' will solve the euro problem is delusional.

    in what way is the second largest net contributor to the eu selfish?

    it is the failed euro model which is selfish.

  • Comment number 42.

    We are stuffed... if this is the calibre of opposition holding our government to account.

    And I don't mean Ed Miliband on PMQs, but Ed Balls on SKY just now.

    I have never heard such waffle and logic-free nonsense around what they would... er... may... er.. don't want to address substantively on the EU, in my life.

    Then on employment, for the life of me I can't grasp the equating of figures from decades ago, ignoring the population rise in the interim. It's like comparing coastal deaths from Krakatoa vs. the Boxing Day tsunami, rather forgetting the numbers of Nordic tourists knocking around on beaches cleared from Mangrove swaps, in a very different world to 1883.

    And then public sector losses vs. private sector gains, without at least a nod to when, and to what extent, the public sector was boosted, perhaps with jobs on terms that are now less easily compensated for from private sector income generation, as everyone keeps living longer.

    Can't say the current crew inspire much, but looking at the alternative... Mr. Balls needs to get on Andrew Marr pronto to answer 'how bad is it due to those Tory Toffs quaffing champagne (He did actually trot that one out)' questions to a more empathetic ear.

  • Comment number 43.

    given how happy clappy people got about the co2 fantasy one wonders how much hype there is for this given there are funding issues coming up?

  • Comment number 44.


    While we vote "rosette" we will always get black fly - and BLIGHT.

    To hear Dave et al qualify "immigration" with the glib words "non EU" - regarding control or not, or reduction, or abdication - without any howl of derision, shows the Westminster Malaise at its worst.

    We need management qualified by experience, not cipher-pansy-rosettes, qualified by subservience.


  • Comment number 45.

    Euro zone Fiscal Union (EZFU abbreviated)

    There are reports that the EZFU intergovernmental treaty may not be such a fete accompli after all.

    I expect about six non eurozone nations will be unable to join it in the end (March 2012).

    As for the threats from EU federalist MEPs , I would just say they seem to have lost their grasp on reality, which conversely demonstrates why the UK needs to protect its financial sector from such people. Our financial sector, which is a global business, pays enough tax in the UK to fund half the NHS budget annually.
    At the same time as these MEPs are making threats to the UK economic well being , they are now expecting Britain to contribute a further 30 billion to the IMF fund to help bail out the eurozone. Brass-necks or what ?

    I think NN should put a dose of reality in their discussions with such bellicose MEPs, by simply asking, when do they expect the new seven year EU budget to be agreed by ?

    You could follow it up by asking them why they need a summer and a winter parliament buildings to perform their duties in ?

    Just a few suggestions which may help bring back a dose of reality to those that have clearly lost it.

    Economics 2011

    I liked the economics talk. Emily only had to remind her economist guests twice for not answering ideological in their answers. Makes a change.


    Good news. Like the Cloud experiment, Cern seems to be doing some good science.
    I am very much looking forward to any future discovers concerning dark matter.

  • Comment number 46.

    #41 jauntycyclist wrote:

    "Regulation is not 'anglo saxon' is it?"

    On the contrary (and as brown-dog et al have consistently pointed out), regulation IS a key ANGLO-SAXON characteristic. The use of that description/label for free-market anarchistic (Western?) laissez-faire capitalism is a misnomer.

    As b-d has often commented, this is curiously overlooked by many due to a lack of descrimination of meanings and labels. Look up the ethnic background of the majority of those in Wall St and many on Capitol Hill. They are also grossly over represented in The City and Westminster (and on NN). Look at the frequencies of these people in positions of power relative to their base population rates (i.e. as a percentage of the population as a whole).

    Think about WHEN the rise in the power of Wall St and The City occured through the adoption of laissez-faire, anarchistic practices via the free-markets. Who were the immigrants to these cities from Eastern European countries in the early part of the c20th?

    The incorrect description of 'Anglo-Saxon' deregulation being the cause of the current financial problems (currently coming from the EU) has been a cleverly utilised by this group.

  • Comment number 47.

    #45 steve-london wrote:

    "Our financial sector, which is a global business, pays enough tax in the UK to fund half the NHS budget annually."

    Angela (Knight) that you?

    Or are you just another Tory troll that comes on here to peddle untruths?

    As all British taxpayers know by now, securing the future of 'The City' has wound up costing us around £45bn and that's just for the rescue of RBS. Finance actually contributes less to Britain than manufacturing.

    The taxes paid by the finance sector between 2002 and 2008, the six years in which the City was having an almighty boom, totalled £193bn, which is still only getting on for half the £378bn paid by manufacturing (what's left of it). It would be more accurate to say that the widget-makers of the Midlands paid for Tony Blair's welfarism that the City. But that would be a much less emotive description on your part.

    Even in the best of times, the finance sector hasn't paid anything like as much to the state as the state has had to pay for them since the great crash. According to the IMF, British taxpayers have shelled out £289bn in "direct upfront financing" to prop up the banks since 2008. Add in the various government loans and underwriting, and taxpayers are on the hook for £1.19tn. Seen that way the City looks less like a goose that lays golden eggs, and more like a vampire squid sucking the blood out of the rest of the ecnomy.

    The City has been sucking at the teat of the state for far too long now. It's been socialism for the City/Rich and dog-eat-dog rigged-market capitalism for teh rest of us.

    Brass-necked indeed.

  • Comment number 48.

    47. At 15:08 14th Dec 2011, museV -
    Or are you just another Tory troll that comes on here to peddle untruths?

    Trolling and untruth peddling being the sole preserve of..?

  • Comment number 49.


    The figures in my post #47 came from this source...

    Maybe post #45 could quote their source.

  • Comment number 50.

    '49. At 21:46 14th Dec 2011, museV

    Doesn't answer my question, but thank you.

    And as these blog pages testify, the use of sources (or a source) on a topic around which views are entrenched to a tribal degree, is perhaps a start rather than an end these days. More usually a fudge with no conclusion.

    I merely wonder if tribal accusations and inaccurate ad hom terminology helps or hinders.

  • Comment number 51.

    #47 - #49 ref 45

    I normally don't respond on here , but seen as you used the word “untruth” in your unsolicited reply, I feel I ought too.

    I presume your query is the figure use to based the following sentence on -

    “Our financial sector, which is a global business, pays enough tax in the UK to fund half the NHS budget annually.”

    It was from a Price Waterhouse Cooper's time series report called Total Tax no.3 (publish Dec 2010), pwc was commissioned by the City of London Corporation to do the research.

    You can get the report from this link or you can read it from the online pdf viewer link here.

    Do I need to post a link to 2010 PESA to prove that the NHS cost the taxpayer £110 billion during the reports time period ?


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