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Tuesday 24 January 2012

Verity Murphy | 18:11 UK time, Tuesday, 24 January 2012

The International Monetary Fund has today issued a warning that the world's economy is "deeply into the danger zone" because of risks from the eurozone, predicting a reduced rate of growth in 2012 of 3.25%, down from 4%.

The growth forecast for the UK economy has been cut to 0.6% from 1.6%.

Tonight we'll be assessing just how bad the state of the economy is in, both in the short and long term and if there is any light at the end of the tunnel.

David Grossman examines the credibility of claims that an independent Scotland would be economically stronger than one under the Union and Jeremy has an interview with Alex Salmond.

Plus we have Jeremy's second film from China, this time looking at democracy and freedom against a backdrop of economic ascendancy.

And animated graphics exponent Hans Rosling takes us through his projections for the economic trajectory of both China and the UK.


  • Comment number 1.

  • Comment number 2.

  • Comment number 3.

    Jeremy v Alex Salmond should be fun tonight! Also looking forward to Jeremy's 2nd report from China too.

  • Comment number 4.


    Nuff sed

  • Comment number 5.

    Israel jails Palestinian parliament speaker without trial?

    so much more civilised than iran aren't they? heard one MP on 5 live say the UK must make war on iran. The neocons at the FO seem 'up for it'? even though there is no threat of invasion of any kind.

  • Comment number 6.

    Remember, Iran has a lot of oil. If invaded, we (and anyone else involved) gets to keep the oil ;)

  • Comment number 7.

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

  • Comment number 8.

    6 unlikely anyone could keep the peace in iran. look at what happened and is happening in iraq. In terms of ferocity of holy war Iraq would look like a minor event? AQ would love it.

    only people who would get iran's oil is china. Look at north africa. we spend money killing people while the chinese just went in and hoovered up all the contracts.

  • Comment number 9.

    Drowning in Hypocrisy

    By Paul Craig Roberts

  • Comment number 10.

    Verity Newsnighty wrote the following:

    "Tonight we'll be assessing just how bad the state of the economy is in, both in the short and long term and if there is any light at the end of the tunnel"

    Reeeeeeeaaaallllly! the economy is knackard is it!

    Your behind the curve on this story arn't you! Well I suppose thats what happens when you report from inside a bubble. Can I suggest preston, Flanders et al know nothing. And to think they pick up a handsome pay cheque!

  • Comment number 11.

    Excellent debate by Jeremy with Profs Mazzucato & Pissarides
    "Moses, sorry Alex Salmond" ROFLMAO! :o) Roll on the interview!!!!!

  • Comment number 12.

    @5 The UK and US have "done" regime change before, ignoring intelligence warning of adverse consequences - which continue to this day.

    This is the origin of the term "blowback" in the context of covert operations:

    If there were a Hell, those involved should be rotting there!

  • Comment number 13.

    It would also be broke, wouldn't it? [An independent Scotland]
    "We have £1Trillion of debt in the UK. How much would you take?"
    "You know what the level of public spending is?"
    "£62billion spending in Scotland"
    "£14billion gap" (Spending v Revenue)
    310 tonnes gold [in the UK] "What share do you want?"
    [about 8%] "you still want it?"
    "is there going to be an armoured train?" as opposed to leaving in the BoE
    "Robert Mugabe said something similar about Zimbabwe."
    Yes Mugabe = Salmond :p
    "Will you be paying the licence fee?"
    "Oh as the Irish, they don't pay"
    "Is this some sort of charity?"

    THE BEST!!!!!! JEREMY Rules :o)

  • Comment number 14.

    So some Britons will get a referendum. But it's for voting on breaking up our Country, instead of the referendum everyone wants and needs. The eu has cost Britain financially, and cost her in so many other ways. Is the Union of this Country really bad, no. Can the union help make Scotland stronger and richer in the future, it should do. Has the North East of England been ruined (more so than any other area) partly by politicians in London, yes, do they get a referendum, no (forget about common history customs, different legal system, which shows the union has not taken away Scotland's identity), as the North East of England is every bit as different as the south (of the state/province/old kingdom). Although I feel if the banks were to be bailed out, it was not up to Scotland, or just the people of Scotland to bail out RBS HBOS and dunfermline businesses, and I feel the oil resource should benefit Scotland more, you cannot help compare the two. Banks a UK thing, but oil, a Scotland thing. But what would happen to these banks, if Scotland had the resposibility of them? Can we just have a fairer united Britain, a balanced normal union like other multi state Countries have. Why are the British being manipulated by these politicians? Why are we ashamed and embarrassed about Britain, or been dumbed down about this Country, or the Country dumbed down, especially by labour. I find it heartbreaking.

  • Comment number 15.

    Loved Jeremy's 2nd report from China, and also excellent debate with Prof Rosling :o)

  • Comment number 16.

    On Newsnight 24 January, Jeremy Paxman surpassed himself managing to trivialise the Scottish independence debate and in equal measure to play the ignorant and arrogant colonialist. He did not attempt to listen to Alex Salmond's responses, preferring to respond with pre-prepared and stilted soundbites. A complete waste of taxpayers' money! Comparing Alex Salmond to Mugabe is unacceptable in what purports to be a serious news programme.
    I am not a supporter of the SNP, however the media and politicians in England are failing to present a balanced case or even according the SNP a fair hearing.

  • Comment number 17.

    Paxman doesn’t seem able to speak at all these days without a patronising sneer,
    but tonight’s interview with Salmond was truly appalling. He barely let the First Minister answer a question, then threw in his outrageous comparison to Robert Mugabe! Salmond as Mugabe and Scotland as Zimbabwe ….

    Does the BBC really tolerate that kind of thing from it “balanced”
    political interviewers? Paxman should , at the very least, be instructed to apologise.

  • Comment number 18.


    Time to realise PARTIES ARE THE PROBLEM! He could write a book . . .

    What have parties ever done for us? EVERYTHING a party leader decides is FIRST AND FOREMOST a party-political ploy. Can anyone name a major enterprise in which the management has decided it would function better IF IT SPLIT INTO TWO OPPOSING DOGMAS?

    Pay attention Paxman.


  • Comment number 19.



    Nuff sed

  • Comment number 20.

    #14 Sma, a certain person on this blog, no names no JJ, kept repeating we are being broken down into regional groups, say around 6 million, in a divide and rule way. Scotland is around that figure, and London a bit more so, but I bet they could quite easily break us all into roughly 6 million groups. Divide and Rule 'eh?!!!

    London and the South East are another country these days, nothing to do with greater britain, unfortunately.

  • Comment number 21.


    Were you looking for GRAVITAS Writers-block?


  • Comment number 22.

    Blimey, someone from the church actually criticising bishops!

    I know one young woman, with 4 kids by 4 fathers, one baby only 10 weeks old who's been getting £25,000pa in benefits for years, the new baby will increase her income.

  • Comment number 23.


    We all know who decides MP pay - don't we! If Dave backed oiks to oversee fat-cat pay, SOMEONE MIGHT JUST SAY: "SAUCE FOR THE GANDER!" Doh!

  • Comment number 24.

    Whilst I'm the last person to begrudge Jeremy the chance to get out and about,are his reports really adding much to Paul Mason's amazing series on the China dichotomy some months ago?

  • Comment number 25.

    "We have £1Trillion of debt in the UK. How much would you take?"

    The thing that both MistressUK and Paxman don't seem to grasp is that Scotland as part of the UK ALREADY has to shoulder its share of the debt piled up by the geniuses in Westminster. We also have to pay for their lunatic illegal wars and their handouts to the USA for Trident.
    The English seem to like being ruled by a clique of Old Etonian millionaires. Is it really surprising that the Scots don't.

  • Comment number 26.


    Hi Lizzy. In the Age of Perversity the paradox of a DELIBERATELY DIVIDED ruling body of Britain, is taken by all - even 'brain the size of a planet' Paxman, as A GIVEN GOOD.

    WHY? (see #18)

    Nuff sed.

  • Comment number 27.

    Not very green is it Mr Huhne? Owning 8 houses?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Must use up an awful lot of energy, when us plebs can usually only manage 1 house, that you are making us pay the earth for in energy bills.

  • Comment number 28.

    By the time this English blogger got around to viewing NN this evening, Paxman was part of the way through the interview with Salmond.

    Some of Paxmans questions were very silly and Salmond handled them with a chuckle, which was an appropriate response to something so asinine.

    It is right that Salmond should suffer difficult questions as to how Scotland should fund itself post-independence, but that really is a matter for the Scots themselves to concern themselves with and determine, not the Brits at Westminster and its associated media.

    Happily, according to a recent survey, more people living in our England are begining to think of themselves as primarily English, which is extremely convienent for Salmond and the SNP.

    IMHO, the Brits are on the way out and we English too may soon enjoy some independence and the ability to shape our England. Incidentally, I believe that an independent England would soon tire of the Tories and they would not have a lock on England for very long.

    Anyway, taxi for the Brits!

    PS. Whoever did the lighting for the Salmond interview did a very poor job i.e. there were lots of distracting shadows around Salmond. I do hope this was not the dirty tricks department.

  • Comment number 29.


    Were you looking for gravitas on NewsyNighty JC? Oh - sorry - I did that one above at #21.

    Cut-backs - what cut-backs?

  • Comment number 30.

    #20. Yes, you are right and have a point, but I would say England would be London (separate within) and the home counties, and that's about it. The rest of the Country (Highlands, Central lowlands and Southern Scotland, West Country, Yorkshire, North East and West of England North and South of Wales and so on) has more in common with each other, than most people realise and it's one reason why we should be united.

    Would Illinois California, or Georgia be better off out of the US, or Provence better off out of France, Bavaria better out of the German Union, or West German split from East Germany (out or breaking up, as is the case with Britain). Are they issues for these Countries, is it down to economics that they are only united for? These Countries are in many cases far more different and diverse in their areas than the UK is. They are succeeding where we are failing. It's shameful, and sad.

  • Comment number 31.

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

  • Comment number 32.

    @6 "Remember, Iran has a lot of oil. If invaded, we (and anyone else involved) gets to keep the oil ;) "

    Mistress - that is the moral equivalent of mugging someone in the street to steal their wallet! Or even worse, as you yourself wouldn't be risking your life or getting your hands dirty.

    Re the Paxman-Salmond interview. Paxman's sneering rudeness is now on a par with that of Robin Day, and a liability to the BBC. There is no point in having an incisive interviewer, if his manner is so bullying that it creates sympathy for his victims.

    Writers-block @16 is dead right. I dislike Salmond, but he has never been a guerilla leader, or murdered anyone, or used intimidation to steal elections. So, the comparison with Mugabe is spurious and dishonest: basically an emotionally loaded SMEAR. The whole tone of the interview will go down badly in Scotland, and help the SNP and potential sympathisers. Of course, southern English Scot haters will love it, but is that what the BBC is about?

    I'm sorry JohnConstable, but Simplemovingaverage @14 has it right too. As he says, "the North East of England is every bit as different as the south (of the state/province/old kingdom)". There are very different, and imho more positive, attitudes to social relations, industry, education etc. For a start, comprehensive education WORKED in the North, because communities were prepared to invest in it, as they were in the old tripartite system of the RA Butler 1944 act.

    The North-East rejected half baked devolution under Blair, but faced with permanent Tory rule from south-east England, it won't be devolution on the agenda, it will be separatism and a deal with Scotland, and maybe Wales too. The trouble is John, that your view of England and English separatism is a very Southern English view.

    The genie of British Balkanisation is out of the bottle. Nationalists are demanding new loyalities, but actually creating new divisions.

    Beware of what you wish for!

  • Comment number 33.

    'David Grossman examines the credibility of claims'

    The credibility of such examination might be enhanced were one not less than convinced that the claims of featured 'independent' one-degree-of-separation saying-what-the-BBC-wishes-it-could entities such as The Resolution Foundation are rather getting trotted out at best without context as to their agendas, or worse, as sole commentators because of them.

  • Comment number 34.

    @32 addendum. I've worked in a number of successful comprehensive schools. IMHO those who want to bring back grammar schools really want to bring back secondary moderns for their social inferiors. What has wrecked british education is the introduction of GCSE, league tables, the semi-commercialisation of exam boards and the consequent exam grade inflation which has led to a sort of educational Gresham's Law applying.

  • Comment number 35.

    As the BBC seems to like conflating pay issues across the spectrum to make points that suit. May I offer ratings gold...

    Presumably a reward for failure of no concern to the public, as no one is dipping into their pockets to fund this non-working, non-benefit-qualified, if poor oppressed visitor to our generous, welcoming shores?

    Must count the pile of standards building up behind certain over-flogged horses.

  • Comment number 36.

    Oh, and I am wondering what the real agenda on Iran is?

    "Sanctions Benefit Iran's Revolutionary Guards" according to Spiegel.,1518,811125,00.html

    It is clear that sanctions won't work in any way. Assuming (a big assumption) that our leaders aren't stupid enough to invade, what is the point of aggressively pursuing a failing policy?

    "I can't help speculating" (© Brossens) that it is a deliberate strategy to (1) increase the profits of the oil industry by pushing up the price (2) further wreck any economic recovery and give more strength to the (spurious) arguments that "austerity is the only way".

    Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you!

  • Comment number 37.


    I admit to not being standard school fodder, but I attended BOTH Secondary Modern (Central) school and Grammar. From the standpoint of INDIVIDUALS like me, your analysis is faulty Sasha (and that of those who think the DIVISION at 11+ was success/failure - IT WAS NOT!)

    Far too big a subject to do justice here. But, that aside, let's never forget: SCHOOL, OF ANY KIND, IS FOR FISH - NOT WHAT NATURE WOULD CHOOSE TO DO TO HUMAN CHILDREN. It INSTITUTIONALISES them in the narrow interest of MAMMONRY and its masters.

    Nuff sed

  • Comment number 38.

    @ Sasha#32:

    "Mistress - that is the moral equivalent of mugging someone in the street to steal their wallet! Or even worse, as you yourself wouldn't be risking your life or getting your hands dirty." It's what has happened in Iraq, so would Iran really be any different?

    " Paxman's sneering rudeness is now on a par with that of Robin Day, and a liability to the BBC." Utter tosh! You've never been in a court whilst a cross examination has taken place have you? If you ever do get to sit through one, you'd probably need the smelling salts. The Late Sir Robin Day (former Barrister) was one of Britain's finest journalists. Have a look on youtube for his interviews. As for Jeremy, he is one of the world's top journalists. :p

    Sasha, you've got too used to sofa journalism on breakfast tv.....

  • Comment number 39.

    Barrie @37

    I agree about the institutionalisation (look at the second Rosen link.) I was lucky enough to be in the first cohort in Middlesbrough after the 11th plus was abolished, and went to a rather interesting experimental school which, though far from perfect, was successful in conventional terms whilst nurturing a considerable amount of individuality. The first thing the Head did on arriving at the school was abolish the prefect system, because it encouraged bullying.

    As you say, it's a complex subject. Schools can be very cruel places, but they are often the only places where some kids get any kindness or understanding. Whatever the teaching system, I have seen that social mixing in form groups fosters social solidarity and friendships which last a lifetime (well decades anyway). This would not happen in a system which is de-facto about social segregation.

  • Comment number 40.

    @38 You clearly have no idea about my life experiences Mistress, and i don't watch breakfast TV.

    You clearly like your alpha males - but I suspect you're in a minority on this blog. (Kevsey likes Kirsty Wark of course.) If one isn't reduced to a quivering jelly of admiration, rude aggressive interviewers like Day and Paxman foster division and alienation. When, as is/was the case with both of these, their own egotism makes THEM the story, they become not fit for purpose. Paxo is similarly unpleasant on University Challenge, which is why I stopped watching it.

  • Comment number 41.

    WHAT HE SAID! (#40)

    76 - your drooling over Paxman (even ANTICIPATORY drooling) and excessive use of superlatives, does you no credit.

  • Comment number 42.

  • Comment number 43.

    Georgie Porgie....

    'There will be riots on streets of America': George Soros predicts class war in U.S. as euro triggers collapse of global economy

    There must be a dime in it somewhere for him.

  • Comment number 44.

    The United States appears to be using a strategy in Syria that it has perfected over the years, having succeeded most recently in Libya: arming small paramilitary groups loyal to U.S. interests that claim to speak for the local population; these militants then attack the targeted government the U.S. would like to see overthrown — including terrorist bombings — and when the attacked government defends itself, the U.S. cries "genocide" or "mass murder,” while calling for foreign military intervention.

  • Comment number 45.

    Aint George one of those minions of the global elite, their little errand boy?

    I think he is. He's been throwing spanners into economies for years.

    Ain't it funny how the lamestream media never go after him, they'll report what he has to say -like he's some financial sage or something - but they'll never mention his Satans club card.

    Those 3 economist newsnighty had on last night. Shocking! Do they give out nobel prizes to anybody? Thats the only thing I got from the discussion.

  • Comment number 46.


    They could then declare a state of emergency, suspend everything (including individual suspects) and get Haliburton to build 'FEMA' camps.

    Oh - it's all going awfully well . . .

  • Comment number 47.

    '44. At 12:53 25th Jan 2012, museV -
    The United States appears to be using a strategy in Syria that it has perfected over the years,'

    Harking back to Afghanistan in the 70's, I must reassess the term 'perfected'.

  • Comment number 48.

    "David Grossman examines the credibility of claims that an independent Scotland would be economically stronger than one under the Union and Jeremy has an interview with Alex Salmond."


    No analysis of whether Scotland would be better off (medium /long term) as outside of EU if "Independent" re: taking control of Scottish fisheries and maritime interests - for which Scotland needs an Independent Navy?

  • Comment number 49.

    40. At 12:18 25th Jan 2012, Sasha Clarkson

    The 'heat over light' approach, and also when deployed (and when not) remain concerns of mine.

    I am currently having some fun with some senior types at 'Complaints' who kicked off with hectoring and have now become rather subdued as I calmly proffer facts, often using BBC URLs and archive in counter to their beliefs and rhetoric.

    Mr. Paxman is a rich seam.

    I have in fact just cited his sneering dismissal of a hapless Mr. Cable in trying to suggest something he said was in jest. It appears that the BBC thinks no others can or should be allowed moments of levity on matters of news or interview, but when one of their own 'pushes the envelope' (Mr. Mason's inaccurate use of 'throwing the toys out of the pram' is deemed a non-negative colloquial term, apparently) all is forgiven.

    I am also commiserating with another who has been banned from complaining (novel as a licence fee-paying UK citizen) any more, or at least getting a reply, as persisting in seeking coherent answers eventually gets deemed 'bad faith'.

    I have suggested that they send back the clip of Mr. Paxman 'interviewing' Mr. Howard, along with their cancelled DD, to ask what the difference is, other than the overly unique entity the BBC appears to think it is.

    So many standards, so little excuse.

  • Comment number 50.

    best hope for uk is if china gets democracy then they will have a system as incompetent and short sighted as ours.

  • Comment number 51.


    Nuff sed

  • Comment number 52.


    So the IMF made projections for 2012 and 2013 that the UK economy will grow not just faster than the whole Eurozone , but also faster than France and Germany individually.

    Explaining the IMF WEO report Mr Blanchard, the IMF’s Economic Counsellor, said for advanced non -Eurozone economies in Europe -
    “the key policy requirements are to address medium-term fiscal imbalances and to repair and reform financial systems, while sustaining the recovery.”

    I suppose “while sustaining the recovery” will give our politicians months worth of meaningless debate. Something to look forward too, no doubt.

    Putting the UK aside for a minute , the whole IMF report sounds a bit like special pleading for everyone to help out in the euro-zone bailout. Strange considering the IMF is not suppose to help bail out currencies , but the way I read the report that is what they seem to be indirectly implying.

    Personally I would prefer the IMF to help Euro-zone countries who want to leave the Euro.
    The Euro-zone inner core are quite wealthy enough to bail themselves out.

    I see Mr Fischer has been in the Republic of Ireland, bigging it up for the new Euro-zone treaty. This bit caught my eye -

    “Asked later to define deeper union, he said it had to mean a move towards a “United States of Europe”.”

    Gee , that's another EU myth busted then.

    Mr Salmond Interview

    The BBC broadcasts to most of western Europe free of charge now , why not the Scots as well ?

    I noticed that the SNP are still mulling over if the devo-max option should be included on any referendum.

    I also note a new keenness with our political elites to answer the West Lothian question . After all someone will have claim to speak on behalf of the bloody English in any renegotiation.

    Oh the webs we weave !

    GDP Preliminary Estimate - Q4 2011 Released

    I believe these preliminary estimates are calculated on less than the 3rd data.

    As for the construction decline stats, I find this hard to believe. There are at least 4 or maybe even five major construction projects happening in my local area, all of which have huge permanent cranes on site. Most of which seem to be building flats , hundreds if not thousands of them. I suppose this is better than converting family homes into two or three flats, which has been the modus operandi for developers in my area over the past decade or more.

    So from my local observation of construction activity,I don't see how construction could be any more active.
    Actually I would like it to stop, its not only changing the character of my area (might be my age), but I suspect the sewage , water systems ,roads , public services will not be able to cope, but I suppose that is another opportunity for more construction projects. I would say god knows whose going to pay for all this , but its going to be present and future taxpayers isn't it ?

  • Comment number 53.


    We messed up much of the world 'first time round' Your plan to infect China with D MOCK CRASS Y is a sound one (signifying nothing - of course).

  • Comment number 54.

    Mistress #38 said:

    "Paxman's sneering rudeness is now .... a liability to the BBC." Utter tosh! You've never been in a court whilst a cross examination has taken place have you?"

    She obviously enjoys supercilious sneering, but Newsnight is NOT a court room. It is a news programme. The point is that it should be the intervewees who are of interest to to the audience. We want to hear their opinions not the posturing of bumped up million a year (on our money) celebrity interviewers,. In the Salmond case Paxman typically would ask a question cut off Salmond's reply, then answer it himself Who does he think he is? Aren't the viewers entitled to hear what the First Minister has to say? And, of course, the nasty Mugabe smear was unforgiveable. It insults Salmond and all of those who elected him.

    The BBC apparently has to find a £6m saving ... they could start by retiring Jeremy.

  • Comment number 55.

    I've never understood why British and Britain is seen as something less than say German and Germany, or American and America. Indeed, the British have failed and this is passed on to other Countries who use the term Scotland or England when it should be Britain, for a British matter. Britain and the British are a more natural entity and real race as opposed to Germany or America, which makes it even more gaulling. Some of the comments here reflect the failings and maybe show that we are not a great people anymore compared to Germany or America. All self inflicted.

    As for taxi for the British. It's pretty off to be saying something like this, as it's inferring I'm not welcome in my own Country anymore. Tragic. I don't like/want my identity taken away from me, or my Country.

  • Comment number 56.


    Moderator , you either understood my sarcasm (well done you) or you need to read some pre Norman history of England to understand where such sarcasm originates from.


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