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

Thursday 19 January 2012

Verity Murphy | 13:11 UK time, Thursday, 19 January 2012

UPDATE AT 1800GMT: We are now no longer doing the hacking story, and are instead turning our attentions to the news that a committee of civil servants will consider whether Sir Fred Goodwin, the former boss of Royal Bank of Scotland, should be stripped of his knighthood.


David Cameron has been setting out his vision for what he calls a "fairer" version of capitalism.

The prime minister said the government has to do more than just get through the current downturn, and he wanted to build a "better economy".

Our Economics editor Paul Mason was at Mr Cameron's speech and asked him if he was advocating state interference in the markets. To which the short answer was "yes, to an extent".

So what are the initiatives and rules that would form the PM's vision of a "popular capitalism"? We'll be examining the proposals and speaking to the noted Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm.

Also on tonight's programme, a number of high-profile figures have received payouts over phone hacking by the News of the World.

Jude Law, his ex-wife Sadie Frost, Ashley Cole and Lord Prescott have all settled, the High Court was told.

The payments are part of an apology from News International, which accepted that there was no justification for hacking celebrities' phones.

So is that an end to the matter, and have News of the World journalists and editors avoided appearing in the witness box? We'll be asking what now for those claimants who have not settled and are pressing ahead for a trial.


  • Comment number 1.

    'So is that an end to the matter..

    Self evidently, for some, not.. 'We'll be asking what now..

    Some itches just need to be scratched.

    I wonder what Lord Prescott will be doing with his £40k compo, for the awful abuse he suffered. Maybe a box of chox at least for Tracey Temple?

  • Comment number 2.

    'Our Economics editor Paul Mason was at Mr Cameron's speech and asked him if he was advocating state interference..'

    Interference being a bad thing, one presumes, as when a state broadcast editor describes the actions of the national government as 'throwing its toys out of the pram' when the majority of the country supported the actions taken.

    Or is that different, uniquely?

  • Comment number 3.

    "So is that an end to the matter, and have News of the World journalists and editors avoided appearing in the witness box?"

    No mention of the most important issue as is being 'swept under the carpet' - phone hacking requires a 'bent copper' in the process or it doesn't happen?

    Phone hacking requires an approach by the police to get 'access' for hacking?

    True or False?

    It is quite simple in that aspect?

  • Comment number 4.

    Pay executives in banks and plcs out of 'net' profits/loss as a special end of process adjustment and not in the rubbish gross profit fiasco of corporate accounts?

    Is transparent and is performance pay?

    Change the law - keep it simple! Let shareholders see the figures before payments made.

  • Comment number 5.

    Perhaps Lard Prescott of Hull would like to donate his 40K to help pay off the debt he and his lefty cronies ran up over the last 13 years.

  • Comment number 6.

    Why is it the BBC never asks why the Guardian (Amelia Hill) can admit to getting inside information from the Police (such as Coulson's arrest) and there is no investigation by the BBC.

  • Comment number 7.

  • Comment number 8.

    badger murder

    so will farmers be banned from bed and breakfasting cattle moving them around across the country for short periods of time? thought not. should not tb cattle areas be in quarantine to stop the spread? should infected cattle not be incinerated rather than buried?

    they say killing the badgers may reduce tb by 16%. its a guess. Mao and the sparrows anyone?

  • Comment number 9.

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

  • Comment number 10.

    #8 jaunty

    They had a mass badger cull in the late 1950s and it almost wiped out TB in cattle, objection to the cull is just the environmentalists ploy to use as an excuse to make small livestock farms uneconomic. Its all part of the wider establishment plan to economically cleanse rural areas of lower income people, so the super wealthy can move onto old farms and pretend to be green whilst trading stocks on the fast broadband politicians are promoting. Their Lordships do OK because they can rent out the farm house for far more than the whole farm brings in at the moment, also get money to let the corporates to run sheep on the land, just keep a few slaves handy for menial tasks !

  • Comment number 11.

    @BBCNewsnight BBC Newsnight
    David Cameron told @paulmasonnews that he doesn't watch #Newsnight. Strange, it used to be a staple his child rearing

    Not perhaps so strange now when the Economic Editor of an impartial, professional national medium refers to prime ministerial actions on behalf of a supportive country as 'throwing toys from a pram' (still no feedback on what was meant by that as yet, BTW).

    Also, from my hearing, I was unsure if Mr. C did say he watched at all. Rather used it to subdue a 3 month old. Make of that what you will.

    But stay classy, Newsnynightie... twitter has claimed scalps already.

    Becoming the opposition is not really the BBC's remit, much as the current crop's efforts will frustrate those exercised by not getting their point across as desired.

  • Comment number 12.


    Duplicitous Dave says RBS bonuses to be no more than £2K. With that line, can he fool ANY OF THE PEOPLE - ANY OF THE TIME? (Apart from Robert Peston - I gather - who said on radio, with a straight face: "Anything less and the directors might resign!"

    Are they ALL BARKING? Is it me??

  • Comment number 13.

    Wasn't Fred the Shred given a knighthood under the Blair/Brown administration? I say no more.

  • Comment number 14.


    Nuff said

  • Comment number 15.

    “David Cameron has been setting out his vision for what he calls a "fairer" version of capitalism”

    Not sure where all this bluster is going really? For once, Ed, despite his otherwise vacuous (doesn’t have a clue about business) ramblings, has actually made the best point; legislating against hostile takeovers. Especially considering that it is usually British companies that are sold to foreigners for a quick buck rather than vice versa. Quite how he intends to do this though is another matter.

    For now, it looks like another ‘fox hunting ban’ diversionary tactic, but he has (at least for the moment) succeeded in getting Cameron to scurry around chasing his tail.

  • Comment number 16.


    I floated this decades ago in the Trade Press (Engineer Magazine).

    Simply: prohibit any agreement express, implied or de facto, to 'trading terms' above, (say) 14 days, unless allowed by whatever controlling body, for clearly defined reasons.

    This would 1) expose those trading insolvent 2) make businesses more liquid and less at the mercy of banks. (See the latter, for why governments won't touch this.) 3) remove tendency to 'buy on terms' instead of on quality and service.

    Just another indicator of how culturally corrupt this country is.

    Shall I write to Fair Trade Dave? He's not the bankers' friend - is he?

  • Comment number 17.


    The epitome of Westminster Creatures.

  • Comment number 18.

    West Lancashire Borough Council (Tory) have managed to completely ignore the fact that around about 20% of their landmass is likely to disappear underwater by 2015. This will happen under Environment Agency plans to turn off two pumping stations and allow once-reclaimed but now rich horticultural land to return to unfarmable marsh. This would cost thousands of jobs in the horticulture industry, and disrupt thousands of lives. Despite having had an official representative on the Environment Agency steering group, the councillors apparently haven’t noticed that a large part of their borough is due to be permanently flooded.

  • Comment number 19.

  • Comment number 20.

    Just one small point to add to this regarding the water setting on fire allegations, does anybody remember the Abbeystead disaster, back in the 1980s. A party of villagers from St Michael's on Wyre ( Nr Fleetwood ) were on a trip to visit the water board installations as part of a public relations exercise regarding flooding. The party visited some underground water storage chambers and whilst inside there was an explosion due to a build up of ( once dissolved in the water ) methane gas. Several people were killed, including the husband of Pat Seed, the 1 in a Million badge cancer charity campaigner and sufferer.

  • Comment number 21.

    Paul's hair looks dark today!

  • Comment number 22.

    On the question of fair tax and socially responsible capitalism, honours should only be awarded to citizens who pay their income tax in the UK. How many of our "Sirs" and "Lords" actually contribute of their private vast fortune to the country's economy? Your Majesty, Mr Cameron, do the right thing and after Sir Fred Goodwin, please strip all the tax exiles off their titles.

  • Comment number 23.

    Good heavens!Did no one tell the Marxists/Communists that it DOESN'T work?
    Hobsbawm & Jeremy - why? He'd prefer to go back to caveman times without technology......sounds like wahhabism WITHOUT the religious aspect :p
    "You're just a communist clutching at straws aren't you?"
    Totally pointless.
    Danny Finkelstein is spot on!

  • Comment number 24.

    Finkelstein's anti statist fanaticist views are on full display tonight. Hayek would be proud of him.

  • Comment number 25.

    Did you note Finkelstein's personal and quite vindictive ad hominems directed at Dr Tristram Hunt during the discussion on NN tonight?

  • Comment number 26.

    The problem with Marxism..and in a nutshell: 100 million dead in the last century.

    There you go. And I ain't no professor, just cold hard stats.

  • Comment number 27.

    "Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it." Mark Twain

  • Comment number 28.

    How awful, that Oloko tried to whistleblow dodgy companies, and instead got identified by the people who he'd confided in, harassed and threatened with death.

  • Comment number 29.

    @ Kevsey #26 - spot on!!!!

  • Comment number 30.

    Interruptions when someone is speaking aid neither those agreeing nor those disagreeing with the speaker. Arguments in a discussion should be heard clearly or the discussion is pointless. Given the current financial situation in the west and the political and commercial interest involved, the voters, many of whom have not been in the business of running up debt, require a great deal of reliable information for placing a considered vote if for nothing else.

  • Comment number 31.

    Benjamin Zephaniah is a legend! Excellent debate by Jeremy,Zephaniah & Hancock on Fred the Shred's knighthood.

  • Comment number 32.

    It's such a shame that the quality of the debate around reforming capitalism is so poor. Yes it's clear a free market is the most efficient system we know, yes it's clear that poorly regulated it doesn't reflect the interests of society, so why hasn't the debate moved on to why the regulation isn't capable of keeping capitalism in check?

    Centralized regulation is inefficient and incapable of holding a free market in check. Yes there's a need for a small executive but it's about time they realised that a self regulating system needs to be implemented. As far as I can see that's only feasible by making sure corporations are regulated by society as well as those who own the capital of society (who to a degree have been disenfranchised by the market itself). In other words, as workers are a representative portion of society and hold a significant portion of the capital in the form of pensions and savings (the management of which they have become dissociated from), as well as the fact that they have the interest of the corporation they work for at heart, changing our corporate governance structure to give them more authority may hold the solution to our problem.

    For the avoidance of doubt, that doesn't mean give them a voice on remuneration committees (where they'd be drowned out by the other members) it means give the 50% of the votes at the shareholder meetings (not the shares, they stay as a tradeable commodity). That should result in a stable, self regulating, equitable commercial environment that will start to let us solve some of the other problems of society as well

  • Comment number 33.


    Question Time tonight featured Co-Chair of the Conservative Party - Sayeeda Warsi - supporting my call for removal of perverse party factions from governance.

    She even declared her AWARENESS of the 'country at large' not wanting Westminster to PLAY PARTY POLITICS. She said, specifically, that the financial mess we are in is too important to PLAY PARTY POLITICS with.

    Well Baroness: you don't answer my letters on the subject, but I look to you to


  • Comment number 34.


    I would not alter my face to gain approval; I would not gratuitously vilify a colleague with falsehoods; I would not print and distribute a False Instrument to gain a position of power. Furthermore: after such behaviour, I would not claim any affiliation with Christianity and would shy away from any pretence that I care a jot about fairness.

    Nuff sed?

  • Comment number 35.

    The flavour of the month is co-operatives, something this blogger has been keen on for a very long time, if run professionally along the lines of the John Lewis model. I think that is why this blogger viewed the takeover of Cadbury's by Kraft with such distaste.

    Although Cadbury's had in reality moved quite a long way from its paternalistic roots, it was still upsetting to see the company devoured by the 'raw' capitalistic Kraft, whose executives 'earn' telephone numbers, with salaries and bonuses of ratios running into the thousands compared to Krafts/Cadbury's ordinary workers. Anyway, I won't eat any of their products now now on principle.

    Moving on to 'honours' - in less than two years, Sir George Simpson destroyed the blue-chip engineering company GEC.

    Yet there has never been a single call for him to be stripped of his knighthood despite thousands of engineers in England losing their jobs through his incompetence.

    Fred Goodwin has become a somewhat convienent lighting rod as we languish in what might be a very long time in the economic doldrums, partly due to a broad failure of capitalism in one specific sector - banking, but also due to gross mismanagement and misallocation of resources by Government. Of course, politicians would rather that you do not dwell on that aspect, which the lady entrepreneur alluded to in the discussion on NN.

    Moving on again - recently I heard first hand from a very senior executive who had been working for a major oil company in Nigeria. He had to leave very suddenly - for a common reason in that country, refusing to grease some high level palms and subsequently receiving death threats.

    One might reasonably ask why the UK Government is donating any money whatsoever to Nigeria but would you get a reasonable answer?

    And finally, Kodak is now under bankruptcy protection but how many people realise that the UK Government is effectively in the same position vis-a-vis the credit rating agencies?

    Yes Sir, they too are on borrowed time.

  • Comment number 36.

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

  • Comment number 37.

    Finkelstein kept mentioning property rights. Well OK, but exactly what does he mean? Does he know? The financier (sorry forget her name) went on about the tax she pays but didn't acknowledge that the inflated incomes in the finance sector come from the "turn" on the fantastic money creation privilege that is ceded to private banks (albeit unknowingly) by the community. What's more when they mess up they get more as we've seen. The labour guy - can we please forget Marx - he's not the only person to have spotted the flaws just the best read (or at least discussed) in the most fashionable places. His remedies, such as they were, are known not to work, his analysis was incomplete. And, why wheel out Hobsbawm, although everything he said was reasonable he had no ideas only observations.

    Henry George (Progress and Poverty), and

    Discuss these.

  • Comment number 38.

    Newsnight continues BBC's support of capitalism,Reith would be proud, and prevents the alternative to capitalism,the case put since 1904 within the Impossibilist tradition,global free-access democratic socialism, without wages,prices,markets, being explored.
    By only producing supporters of it, with a lone ex-state-capitalist supporter,Hobsbawm as a supposed exemplar of Marxism,they are unable to consider the real alternative case,as they are only exploring within the parameters of right and left wings of the capitalist bird. It is disinformative to say the least.
    Real socialism/communism will proceed from the people themselves, who will not need political numpties like Tristran Hunt to pretend nationalisation had anything to do with socialism.It will be the end of politics with decisions made locally ,regionally,globally by the people,using recallable delegates where necessary and will proceed with the organising tenet,of "From each according to their ability ,to each according to their needs", in a free access society of equal access,without social classes priveleged or other.

  • Comment number 39.


    #36 redacted.

    I would not alter my face to gain approval; I would not gratuitously vilify a colleague with falsehoods; I would not print and distribute a False Instrument to gain a position of power. Furthermore: after such behaviour, I would not claim any affiliation with Christianity and would shy away from any pretence that I care a jot about xxxxxxxx.

    Nuff sed?

  • Comment number 40.

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

  • Comment number 41.

    androo @ 37

    The lady entrepreneur (yes, I've forgotten her name too, although she has been on NN before) did mutter something about 62% tax.

    That would be 50% Income Tax plus 12% employees NI.

    If she is, as I imagine also an employer, then we need to also add 13% employers NI which brings us up to 75% tax. Is anybody surprised these people look for ways to offset that level of taxation?

    Hobsbawn did say, if I heard it correctly, say that capitalism could work in a more 'beneficial' way for society providing that 'the market' was regulated such that the excesses were carefully controlled.

    By that, I imagine he means that a system such as well have at present in England (and the USA) where stupendous losses in the financial sector are socialised whilst any profits remain solely privatised is completely unacceptable to society at large i.e. 'the 99%'.

    PS. Don't tangle with Finkelstein unless you are absolutely certain of your facts, he is extremely intelligent.

  • Comment number 42.

    A key point made by Hobsbawm in the Paxman interview was that capitalism would eat itself.

    Ok, he did'nt exactly say those words but implied that part of the capitalistic process demanded ever greater efficiencies to produce greater profits, which meant that fewer jobs were required. And in fact this has been going on ever since the Jacquard loom was invented a few hundred years ago.

    Now automation is squeezing those jobs and the displaced workers are finding that they are on dead end street with nothing to do.

    For example, back in 2002, I met a team leader whose team of twelve people was spread across the globe i.e. England, US, India and Hong Kong.

    Last week, she found herself a team leader of one person, namely herself, because in the intervening period, all of the rest of her teams jobs have been automated.

    I think we will be forced to rethink how we organise our society.

  • Comment number 43.

    Stripping knighthood will not do much except perhaps a 5 minute public humiliation for Sir Fred Goodwin. It doesn't change the fact that people's retirement savings are wiped out by RBS' decisions to go on an acquisition spree and stuff their balance sheet with toxic subprime mortgage debt. It doesn't change the fact that all those executives who were let go had received golden parachute severance packages, when the shareholders had been left penniless. There is nothing wrong with the idea of capitalism; the problem is a lack of accountability. Nobody is responsible for what happened in 08 and when the Ponzi scheme eventually collapsed, our politicians simply printed money or imposed austerity plans to pay for it. There was no legislation change; no banking reform; things that the world badly need. In the US, they don't even report Occupy Wall Street movements on television anymore – the protests have been portrayed as a group of dumb people who had nothing better to do than camp outside in the cold. In the meantime, you have the frontrunner in the Republican Party who made his fortune by buying businesses and then selling them in parts, pays 15% tax on his billion dollar wealth, and wait for it, running for the president; a job that is meant to improve the lives of the ordinary people. Am I mad or is there some sick irony going on here?

  • Comment number 44.

    It will be interesting how Newsynightie 'analyses' this and/or who is brought in to 'discuss' who did what, with what in mind, and who is doing precious little still.

    One is guessing representatives from the last government may be less keen to explain their part, so we may yet be spared the 'insights' of the enobled EU climate rapporteur a while longer as this may keep him back in the Green room.

  • Comment number 45.

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

  • Comment number 46.

    #44 Hee,hee, Junkk you're havin a larf....

    NN will never discuss such a topic, where do you think the beeb staff get all their cleaners and cooks from, immigration is good for us is the bbc mantra! Diversity is all, tell that to the family of the recently murdered couple.

  • Comment number 47.

    Honours should be reserved for those people who carry out exceptional acts of courage, endurance, and self sacrifice. Not to rich, well connected people for doing a job they get extortionate pay for.

  • Comment number 48.

    In fact, no one should get a state honour for just doing a job or being part of an entertainments industry. I don't go along with the idea of 'Sir Pudsey bear'.

  • Comment number 49.

    I've noticed the different nuances when government ministers speak about topics. For instance, this morning Chris Grayling on the today program talked of revealing the number of imigrants, visitors, workers from overseas, etc who are claiming benefits was to reassure people and to give confidence that benefits are going to the right people. In effect was he was saying that imigration is not that big a problem? On the other hand, people who can trace their origin back to the Norman invasion, will they still remain benefit scroungers? I don't suppose there is any government self interest in Grayling's approach and nuanced words in the fact that migrant labour is cheaper, doing the most menial jobs and still are much better off than the situation they left? Do you?

  • Comment number 50.

    Me at (49)

    I forgot to add that the CEO of the largest cleaning firm in the country this week stated that the main reason for his workforce being over 80% eastern European was that they were more 'subservient'.

  • Comment number 51.

    "RETHINK HOW WE REORGANISE OUR SOCIETY" (#42 - appropriate!)

    Well: yes-and-no JC. Westminster Creatures - in a deliberately confrontational regime - cannot be 'forced'; they just push back.

    The only way up, as far as I can see, is to SUBTLY OPTIMISE INDIVIDUALS in awareness and wisdom. One might say: "To bring about reorganisation of the cultural mind of the individual." But that will have to be done as a 'subversive' exercise. It is what New World Order governance FEARS MOST! Or:


  • Comment number 52.


    The top layer of our corrupt culture is the honours system, and its linchpin is monarchy. The second layer down is governance, church and military. Now commerce and banking have joined the happy band, and the whole lot is a fetid mess.


  • Comment number 53.

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

    Phone hacking ... bent coppers ... BBC - all taboo it seems and cancelled programme content?

    Wow - a real mystery for conspiracy theorists

  • Comment number 54.


    Resistance is useless nautonier.

  • Comment number 55.

    Rules, those meant to be broken, and whose house it is. Not those who live there; rather those who pay the rent.

    A lot to mull on there*. I like this one:

    With moderation, only police where we have to; trust our users where we don’t

    Not sure how you moderate a tweet, and it seems pretty clear BBC staff are allowed to say what they wish unrestrained, so maybe a whole new set of standards there too. Unique.

    *I'd paste the URL, but there is a problem there, ironically.

  • Comment number 56.

    Check out these two pieces in juxtaposition to see just how the West's captured MSM manipulates their countries populations in preparation for war...

    China begins to turn against Iran

    Beware of US game over Iran

  • Comment number 57.

    Media Cover-up: Ron Paul’s Standing Not Discussed in Iowa Vote Reshuffle

    From the comments section

    "a_salty_dog says:
    January 19, 2012 at 1:06 pm
    Interestingly, this same story was reported by the BBC earlier today in the UK on their News 24 channel, whilst reporting that Rick Perry had left the stage; once again there was no mention of Ron Paul during the Iowa vote, where he was meant to have finished second. All the other candidates in the vote were mentioned in the BBC news story.

    I pointed this out to a colleague and asked him to guess who was not being mentioned, to which he replied ‘is it that old fella’, where I asked him the ‘old fella’s’ name, to which he could not answer.

    Globalist MSM indeed."

    It was the same story on R4 this morning...not a single mention of Ron Paul.

  • Comment number 58.

    Check out how many times Ron Paul's name is mentioned in this recent Reuters piece...

    Sharp clashes at Republican debate ahead of vote

  • Comment number 59.

    Who Wants War With Iran?
    By Patrick J. Buchanan on January 19, 2012 at 6:56pm

  • Comment number 60.

    Note to barrie re liar flyers

    Have you written to the maverick (read off message) MP Dr Sarah Wollaston?
    (she’s the only “rogue” MP who has entered the HoP outside of the control of the party political machines)

    How committed is the government to holding US-style open primaries for Westminster seats? The residents of Totnes in Devon made a piece of political history in 2009 when they held an "open primary" vote to choose a Conservative candidate for the 2010 general election. The Today programme's Justin Webb returned to Totnes to find out how it worked out.

  • Comment number 61.


    Between October 2010 and April 2011, I emailed Dr Wollaston 7 times, prompted by warm words of others, and her own media utterances. I have no record of ANY reply.

    Westminster Creatures are all of a kind it seems. One might ask what is the common factor that draws an individual to be both GP and then MP? QED?

    Dr Wollsaton was elected in a safe seat. I presume she wore a TORY ROSETTE?

    Caring (like miracles) is performed daily, integrity (like the impossible) takes a little longer.

    Nuff sed

  • Comment number 62.

    Capitalism In Crisis ?

    What definition of capitalism subjects taxpayers to a private company losses ?

    Are you really implying that Mrs T would have bailout insolvent banks ?

    OK, maybe that was an erroneous comparison, as I doubt Mrs T would have ever kept using neo-Keynesian polices to keep stimulating an overheated economy (2000 to 2007), instead she would have embraced a “reset” of prices (recession) possibly back in 2000 , but most certainly in 2004-5, ensuring a quick return to growth.

    Maybe asking if Adam Smith would have advocated such a bailing out of a private bank with taxpayer money ?
    I would say any talk of “Too Big To Fail” would have left him dumb struck. Because he would have known that one mans loss is another mans gain.

    So it is not just your premise of your debate I find incomprehensible , but the whole boom bust of the last fifteen years doesn't quite add up to me.

    BTW , How's Iceland doing ?

  • Comment number 63.


    Think mountaineering Steve.

    I suggest globalism roped us together, but no - one knew (or cared) anything about mountain-climbing.

    Was Adam Smith the man with an eponymous wooden leg?

    Anyone got the Mint Cake?

  • Comment number 64.

    what a gifted interviewer Jeremy is, he was very patient with Eric Hobspawn and I did wonder was he being restrained because of the subjects age or because he liked the guy and what he stood for. When you think of the men of straw like Ed Milliband, Ed Balls and their betrayal of the working class by sanctioning the savage cuts by the Tory coalition with hardly a mention of the gluttony of the banks and the City he must despair, but no, a man of optomism like Marx a hundred and fifty years before. I despair for the betrayals down the years by Labour leaders, from Kinnock lecturing the unions over wage restraint to Blair and his adventures in the middle east and his fifteen million pound fortune, just think of it.......' a Labour leader, a Labour leader scurrying round in taxis to banks with more money......Hobspawn may laugh, I just cry....

  • Comment number 65.

    Charles Ponzi may have died in poverty back in '49 but really his name liveth forever more as Governments around the world keep his schemes going, because unlike Ponzi, they really do have a magic money tree nestling in their central banks.

    Maybe inflation should be renamed Ponzi in his honour.

  • Comment number 66.

    stevie @ 64

    The Paxman interview with 94 year-old Hobsbawm was very interesting and one wished it could have continued, further exploring his ideas.

    But as journalist and TV critic AA Gill often says, the 'Tristrams' who run these programmes seem to think that the viewers have the attention span of a goldfish so no interview must run for more than a few minutes.

    Sadly, they may both be right.

  • Comment number 67.

  • Comment number 68.

    Wrong page !

  • Comment number 69.


    Hobsbawm is Jewish

    Congenital preconditioning means that he is most probably a Trotskyite, neoliberal anarchist.

    Think Bolsevik revolutionary.

    Who were the Bolsheviks...and what happened to them in Stalinist/Socialist Russia?

    Any one heard about Ron Paul today?

  • Comment number 70.

    '69. At 22:21 20th Jan 2012, museV wrote:
    Hobsbawm is Jewish
    Congenital preconditioning means that he is most probably..'

    No matter the context or satirical framing, historical precedent suggests this could prove interesting, especially the limits or, more, rule stretching of the house.

  • Comment number 71.

    more Hobsbawm please...with Jeremy of course...


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.