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Wednesday 29 February 2012

Verity Murphy | 13:37 UK time, Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Tonight's programme is dedicated to the government's controversial overhaul of the NHS.

The Health and Social Care Bill has completed its Commons stages but is having a difficult passage through the House of Lords, which has tabled a number of amendments, and is being opposed by many groups representing medical professionals.

If passed, the bill would give GPs control of much of the NHS budget and opens up the health service to greater competition from the private and voluntary sector.

Our Political editor Allegra Stratton will be joining Health Secretary Andrew Lansley at a 'listening event', where he will be putting his proposals to the professionals involved. Mr Lansley will also be interviewed by Jeremy.

In the studio, health minister Simon Burns will be joined by a number of medical professionals to discuss the measures and the impact on the health system.

We'll also have the latest reaction to James Murdoch stepping down as executive chairman of News International, the UK newspaper business that owns the Sun and the Times titles.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Quick question, on listening (but not necessarily wanting to hear) events, but if we post, on topic, here, any estimate on the odds that the powers that be will be happy to get any input from those they are so keen to speak for, and to?

    Might one also enquire what the selection process was to derive those at:

    a) 'a 'listening event', where he will be putting his proposals to the professionals involved.'

    b) 'a number of medical professionals to discuss the measures and the impact on the health system.'

    Are we talking Newsnight Producer twofer from the iPhone 'A' list, a QT 'random sample', or what?

    I am simply keen on context.

    Especially having read this...

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-17197931

    But only having elsewhere had pointed out, as the BBC seemed to feel was irrelevant, that the cited author was not exactly an impartial biographer, which may have added to the value of the 'report'.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Megrahi-You-Jury-Lockerbie-Evidence/dp/1780270151

    Being a TV Producer and Researcher not always being guarantee of objectivity at all times.

    Editorial is not meant always to be out or by omission.

  • Comment number 2.

    Simon Burns the Health secretary's ADC, he smiles as he destroys a cherished institution, watch him when he's on the ropes...only he is never on the ropes, Jeremy may unlock his secret with his style of interrogation but the man is a master.......

  • Comment number 3.

    Cockney Rebel over the credits last night was nice touch...just wish it had gone on longer also we could have done ten minutes on the whole eviction thing as NN had championed their cause since October, most people agreed with them but not many 'supported' in kind...hence we are back to the avarice and greed of the multi-banks with no redress, no conscience and hardly any religious input not that we had much over the last unpleasantness give or take a couple of senior resignations, their place in heaven is assured only their salary is diminished.......

  • Comment number 4.

    OFF TOPIC ON OLYMPIC GAMES

    Is anyone fooled that the Olympics are STILL run to the highest ideals of mankind, any more than Football is still 'beautiful' and Cricket played by Gentlemen?

    The sheeples will flock, and the crook-ed shepherds will attach all manner of falsehoods, but the underlying ethos will be vast sums expended in far-distant 'honing camps', to bring 1000th of a second success to this or that SPONSORING BRANCH OF MAMMON (and a Coke at £10). As for Westminster’s opportunistic annexation - to quote Dave - IT MAKES ME SICK.

  • Comment number 5.

    Re the NHS

    Ony one - "Cuba"

    “Cuba has one of the highest life expectancy rates in the region, with the average citizen living to 77.7 years old[3] (in comparison to the United States' 77.4 years[5]).”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuban_healthcare

    When Hugo Chavez recently need healthcare for cancer, he went to Cuba for treatment.

    Nuff said.

  • Comment number 6.

    goes to show olympics is just a middle class obession hobby while the working class would rather focus on things that are real for them?

  • Comment number 7.

    The only sensible NHS reform is to scrap the whole useless thing.

  • Comment number 8.

    Musev:

    I think Hugo chav had his treatment elsewhere as well as ongoing treatment in cuba. What I've heard was he had standard western medical treatment, which is why he won't live long. He accuses the USA Govt - via cover means - for his cancer, which does sound mental but on closer inspection, was probably the case. The passing of cancer cells is actually very easy, and is also very easy to induce...oh, and by the way, of those 100s of known cancer types that kill people every day but keep cancer doctors (they call them specialists) and big pharma in business..nearly all a curable..even in those cases that western medicine classes as 'the last stages/the final weeks'.

  • Comment number 9.

    It would appear that Newsnight has given itself a perhaps convenient excuse not to cover the key story as far as UK basic human rights are concerned, namely Workfare. The government has today imploded on its mandatory work or lose benefit for youth unemployment, but the fact remains that the chronically sick and disabled can still be forced to work or lose benefit, perhaps the most objectionable aspect for many people. If anyone is interested I post the links below !

    http://socialwelfareadvocacy.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/open-letter-we-are-not-far-left-extremists-or-militant-campaigners-for-opposing-workfare-protestletter/

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/blog/2012/feb/17/disabled-unpaid-work-benefit-cuts-documents?CMP=twt_gu

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2108255/Yes-need-country-working-Sadly-Workfare-going-it.html

    http://www.latentexistence.me.uk/sanctions-removed-from-work-experience-but-only-a-small-victory/

    https://submissions.epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/30406

  • Comment number 10.

    The claim that the Lansley Bill is de-layering NHS management by scrapping thousands of posts in PCTs to save billions is NEVER CHALLENGED.

    The truth is that the new GP consortia are hoovering up the PCT managers by the bushel, and because where there was one PCT there will now be many consortia all with their own staffs, there may well be MANY MORE managers than there were before because economy of scale has been lost and the cost will rise, not fall.

    Ask Simon Burns to give a thumbnail sketch of a typical new GP consortium - its functions, staffing level and how the consortia covering the area compares with the PCT they are replacing.

    He surely cannot claim not to know this, as there has been plenty of time to consult on the proposals, there are shadow consortia in place and detailed business plans filed by them.

    I'd put money on the level of new management resources being put in place are equal or higher than those the PCT had - and/or that the loss in patient-contact time caused by GPs becoming resource managers means that the overall cost of managing the system will rise, even if this is masked by a lot of it being done by GPs, so more doctors will be needed overall who are paid a load more than PCT managers.

    If this is the case, one of the key planks in the Bill - cutting management levels & costs - will be shown to be a sham - and IMHO this will seal Lansley's fate because the Tory backbenchers & LibDems will demand his head and the Bill will fail to pass.

    Cameron's judgement also goingt to be irrepairably damaged, after Coulson, Fox & the other disaster areas.

  • Comment number 11.

    Lets hope the health reform debate questions the role of the G.P. Here there is a conflict of interest between the financial interest of the G.P. who will respond even more to the need to ration expenditure to fill the practice coffers to the detriment of patient need. ( This was demonstrated on file on 4 re. diabetic care ) G.P. incomes are completely secret and their contractual terms are not in the public domain. In 2011 two the top ten highest paid public servants were G.P.s earning just short of K500 including payments for commissioning roles.
    The idea these reforms will empower and give patients more power is nonsense.

  • Comment number 12.

    THE CAMERON JUDGEMENT (#10)

    The arrogant do not feel the need for judgement - they are just RIGHT.

    Nuff sed

  • Comment number 13.

    I wonder who'll be giving their views on James Murdoch stepping down? Let me think. John Prescott? Chris Bryant? Tom Watson? Lewis the Showbiz Lawyer? Alastair Campbell? Yawnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

  • Comment number 14.

  • Comment number 15.

    Sir Mervyn King accuses banks of profiting at taxpayers' expense by rigging lending

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/9114395/Sir-Mervyn-King-accuses-banks-of-profiting-at-taxpayers-expense-by-rigging-lending.html

    The Governor of the Bank of England, Sir Mervyn King, has accused Britain's banks of trying to profit at the taxpayer's expense by rigging the Treasury's attempts to boost small business lending.

  • Comment number 16.

    As a lifelong Conservative voter I am extremely distressed by the mendacity, incompetence and sheer denial that the Government is showing in its handling of this awful Health and Social Care Bill. It is grossly insulting to the electorate and the medical progression to talk terms of vested interests and people simply failing to understand it.

    I read the synopsis in the Telegraph yesterday and I was appalled. Is the Telegraph a vested interest wanting to preserve the power of Unions?

    Mr Cameron`s inability to name an organisation of any significance that supports his Bill is truly damning.

    The Tory party will not get my vote again.

  • Comment number 17.

    If something works well for the public and they are pleased and if it is less expensive than comparable services elsewhere that means it must be 'reformed'. The logic is difficult to grasp.

  • Comment number 18.

    Anybody ever used this site

    http://www.patientopinion.org.uk/

  • Comment number 19.

    @1 Junkk: Impartial? "On my left, the speaker argues that two plus two make four; on my right the speaker argues that two plus two make six. Let us be moderate nd agree that two plus two make five". (Robert Thouless 'Straight And Crooked Thinking')

    Private Eye raised doubts about the official Lockerbie narrative many years ago.

    http://www.private-eye.co.uk/sections.php?section_link=in_the_back&article=122

    A recent alJazeera programme reinforced the doubts, without stirring up the Syria/Iran question.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/2012/02/20122286572242641.html

    As I have said before, I believe that al Megrahi was a pawn in a much bigger game. Some of the Lockerbie victims' families think the same.

    http://www.scotsman.com/news/lockerbie_al_megrahi_release_welcomed_by_victims_relatives_1_470587

  • Comment number 20.

    Re James Murdoch, I would like to say good riddance, but it may well be just a tactical withdrawal.

    News Corp isn't a state, but it's undoubtedly a foreign power. Agents of a foreign power shouldn't be allowed to control British news media and interfere in our democracy.

    Most recently the 'Scottish Sun' has been supporting Alex Salmond, allegedly to show Murdoch's disenchantment with Mr Cameron. Most of those to whom this might be welcome news would be outraged if the support were the other way. Those of us who live on these islands should be able to negotiate our own future relationships amongst ourselves without the meddling of foreign puppet masters. Expat Actors living in Hollywood are often as bad: they interfere in domestic politics, but don't have to live with the consequences!

  • Comment number 21.

    WITH A HEAVY HEART (#16)

    I assert your pain comes, not from a party, but from Westminster PARTY POLITICS. MPs are all Westminster Creatures, PRE-CHOSEN in the same manner, for the same distasteful attributes; thriving in an 'atmosphere' toxic to decent folk. They play games with our lives, and why not? Small beer compared to terminating the life of Johnnie Foreigner, on a whim.

    DISMANTLE WESTMINSTER - INSTALL INTEGRITY - CHOOSE AN INDEPENDENT

  • Comment number 22.

    Years ago there was no health service and that bothered us.

    So we asked people to put a little aside each time they got paid so that they would know they would be cared for if they ever became ill.

    Today we are one of the biggest emplyers in the world offering a first class service.

    Soon due a 'Blooper' taking over your health care we'll be creaming off the profits and the lucrative patients in the interests of our share holders and medicine men, who make more money working for us out of your taxes.

    Go on make a Blooper and choose us.

  • Comment number 23.

    I can't help speculating which one of the current corporate political ilusions is going to blow wide open first, all the top UK politicians tow the corporate line on Lockerbie and any firm new evidence that confirms Megrahi's line all along that itwasneme is potential dynamite. All the other scams could follow perhaps starting with the Climate Scam, which is looking very shaky now since the German publications, Cameron prattling on about cutting the subsidy to wind farms, first step to abolition. The corporate scams could fall like dominoes, road safety is yet another quasi-religion most sensible people have seen through now, the internet has broken the corporate political propaganda machine !

  • Comment number 24.

    Who'd have thought it. A small group of rag tag Trotochists changing gov policy...pull the other one

  • Comment number 25.

    I'd like Lansley/Burns asked why his plans are SO attractive to US private equity?

    And why we should not call flogging off 49% of the NHS as privatisation?

    In

    http://www.powerbase.info/images/f/fe/Apax_Healthcare_conference_2010.pdf

    you will find this:

    KPMG’s Global Head of Health, Mark Britnell: “In future, the NHS will be a state insurance provider not a state deliverer.” In future ‘any willing provider’ from the private sector will be able to sell goods and services to the system. Britnell comments: “The NHS will be shown no mercy and the best time to take advantage of this will be in the next couple of years.”

    The incoming health minister has embarked on radical decentralisation in order to take power away from the managerial class ... and place it firmly in the hands of General Practitioners (GPs).

    “GPs will have to aggregate purchasing power,” continued Britnell, “and there will be a big opportunity for those companies that can facilitate this process.”

    Any mention in the Cameron manifesto would have been good too ... but that would be a bit democratic and, of course, would have lost him the election.

  • Comment number 26.

    OR THE ELECTORATE MIGHT REALISE 'D MOCK CRASS Y' IS NOT DEMOCRACY? (#23)

    An interesting Hare you have set running there Nolly. In the wake of the West Berks Council entrapping thousands of drivers in a 'Bus Only Street', yielding vast sums, I am becoming aware that this situation is duplicated in towns across the country. Yet again we are confronted with 'fool or knave'! Do Councillors network, like jailed crims?
    What if this became general knowledge, and a lot of similar stuff?

    We hear much of the way commerce manipulates us through shelf stacking and packaging, lulling us with the right music etc. But what if the FULL extent of manipulation by Westminster Creatures, both individually, and in cabals, was to impact on the general public. I would not want to be an MP cornered by the mob . . .

  • Comment number 27.

    WE GOT OURSELVES ANOTHER ONE

    Our Prime Minister routinely declares LOVE for the "National Health Service" and is often seen (wasting its time) wandering hospital corridors. The same PM, presides over government that does little to change a culture of alcohol and tobacco (which are gateway drugs to others, more immediately toxic). Clearly he does not love the people, who are damaged by the effects of state condoned poisons, WITH THE SAME VEHEMENCE. Indeed, it is clear that the mending of state-damaged individuals, in a National Repair Service - supported by TAXED industry and TAXED Big Pharma, while generating TAXED employment, is what really excites our PM. this could be because it is these taxes that fund his military; proclaimed "the best of the best" when PARADOXICALLY, his mercenaries are funded by the above death-cheating, to go consummately killing abroad. Just a small sample of

    THE AGE OF PERVERSITY.

  • Comment number 28.

    barrie #26

    The UK people have just as much rights as the Palestinians in the Israeli occupied west bank in our perhaps now ever so apparently Corporate/fascist dictatorship ?

  • Comment number 29.

    TWO ROGUE STATES DO A DEAL - DID NOSTRADAMUS COVER THAT - THE END IS NIGH

    The thought of USA and N Korea signing an agreement, brings Nick Clegg floating before my eyes. The CLEGG PROTOCOL is established - it can be invoked at any time.

    Nuff sed

  • Comment number 30.

    BUT IF WE UNITED AGAINST WESTMINSTER CORRUPTION, WE WOULD NOT BE TORTURED, OR KILLED BY MILITARY ACTION - NOT IN A DEMOCRACY. DOH! (#28)

    That is the great advantage of living under the rule of law. Doh! Doh!

  • Comment number 31.

    @20 typo: for democracy read "democracy".

  • Comment number 32.

    Has anyone else experienced the sense of being in a Picasso picture? Guernica comes to mind.

  • Comment number 33.

    They dig the hole ever deeper for themselves...

    Cat Got Your Tonge Nick?
    Tory MP Robert Halfon Writes to LibDem Leader
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

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


    LibDems Call for Clegg to Remove Whip From Jihad Jenny
    Weak Clegg Wriggles
    The Chairman of the Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel, Gavin Stollar, is not very happy with Jenny:
    http://order-order.com/2012/02/29/libdems-call-for-clegg-to-remove-whip-from-jihad-jenny/?tw_p=twt

    LibDem Peer Says Israel “Will Not Be There For Ever”
    http://order-order.com/2012/02/29/libdem-peer-says-israel-will-not-be-there-forever/?tw_p=twt

  • Comment number 34.

    Why do people say the NHS is not perfect? People are ALL imperfect and so are the systems they set up. Meanwhile competition in anything leads to lots for some and crumbs for the rest. There are always winners but also losers. Ask anyone who backs the wrong horse.

  • Comment number 35.

    Tonge is Out
    Jihad Jenny Jumps Before Pushed from LibDems
    http://order-order.com/2012/02/29/tonge-is-out-jihad-jenny-quits-the-libdems/?tw_p=twt

  • Comment number 36.

    'We'll also have the latest reaction'

    By what is now weary experience, knees and jerks pop into mind. Not necessarily conjoined. No reason.

    '19. At 20:45 29th Feb 2012, Sasha Clarkson wrote:
    @1 Junkk: Impartial?'


    For some, it is genetic.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2010/09/impartiality_is_in_our_genes.html

    Don't mention Mendel. Or mutation.

    I find popping things in quotes makes things much more obscure. Or not. Depending.

    '21. At 21:00 29th Feb 2012, barriesingleton wrote:
    WITH A HEAVY HEART


    As a lifelong national treasure viewer I am also extremely distressed by the mendacity, incompetence and sheer denial that is often complemented by rather quaint attempts at Trojan horses to sway even blog exchanges.

    I'd like to say that they will not get my DD again, but sadly I have no choice.

    At least in politics I can distrust and remove mandate from all of them.

  • Comment number 37.

    IT'S THE SMELL STUPID - CORRUPTION IS NEWS - REMEMBER CASH FOR Ps AND Ks?

    That was the top of government - Yates of The Yard came calling . . .

    Consider: Government interfaces with law (not always properly). Law/government links to Police. Police and Media are cahoots. Government and media are enmeshed. Police 'police' law enforcement. It is a matrix within which many outcomes can be 'arranged', like bribing arms buyers and getting your war. A few moments thought are enough to conclude CORRUPTION.

  • Comment number 38.

    BRILLIANT NEWSYNIGHTY TONITE

    Choice of backing track sublime; incredible visuals.

    Outstanding Jeremy - of course. (for 76)

  • Comment number 39.

    THE HEALTH BILL CANNOT FAIL

    Lansley said that he, Nick and Dave designed it. Expertise of that level will surely yield huge success, going forward.

  • Comment number 40.

    My sympathies go out to Paxman for having to endure half an our in the same studio with those overpaid and self important NHS medical quacks. The one who was from the BMA was without doubt the worst of all the quacks that were gathered tonight in the Newsnight studio. There resistance to the NHS reforms is all about self preservation and wanting to maintain the lifestyle that they have been familiar with. Its a pity Lansley can't introduce on to the reform bill the teachings and benefits of nutrition within our medical schools, as a couple of days on the importance of nutrition/diet thats taught within the seven years a med student is taught is just not enough. Think of it, more healthy people = less doctors = massive savings. I could go on ..

  • Comment number 41.

    #37 bs

    But remember that Abu Qatada had MORE rights than this particuler 'arms buyer' / 'dealer'...

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/abu-qatada-has-more-rights-than-me-742810

  • Comment number 42.

    Military Hysteria: America's Neverending Get-Rich Wars
    Paul Craig Roberts
    http://tv.globalresearch.ca/2012/02/military-hysteria-americas-neverending-get-rich-wars


    This guy sounds like a complete nut to me!

  • Comment number 43.

  • Comment number 44.

    Well Stevie, Steve Bell couldn't resist, though IMO it wasn't one of his better cartoons:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cartoon/2012/feb/28/steve-bell-leveson-rupert-murdoch

    This one on the other hand is brilliant:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cartoon/2012/feb/29/emma-harrison-a4e-back-to-work

  • Comment number 45.

  • Comment number 46.

    'Tonight's programme is dedicated to the government's controversial overhaul of the NHS.

    Questions will be asked. Critics will be saying.

    But... who will be asking them? What critics? Why?

    Ah, controversy...

    http://order-order.com/2012/03/01/beeb-doing-their-bit-for-lansley/

    Repeat after me..: 'Educate and inform...'

    'Re-educate and..'

    Questions won't be answered.

  • Comment number 47.

    Health bill

    Managing health service is a tricky business as it almost always yields one of the two following outcomes:

    Nationalise it – state runs out of money
    Privatise it – people run out of money

    It is pretty clear why the majority of the public is against this bill. They are worried about privatisation, especially the prospect of having to pay for their own medical costs through either private medical insurance offered by employers (very popular in a recession by the way, not), or the old fashioned way of pay as you go (many rural areas in China have this latter arrangement and let's just say it is not cool). If Andrew Lansley and the Conservative party were to survive this bill without literally causing ‘vote haemorrhage’ in the next election, they will have to do a better job on reassuring the country that this is not going to be the case, and that the NHS will remain largely a state-funded system.

    To be fair to Mr Lansley, now is a difficult time for any ministers to push reforms in the NHS, bad communicator or not. We all know that NHS is over-stretched and more resources are badly needed to sustain rising demand. Consequently, any sort of reforms introduced can be easily perceived as a back door tactic to cut spending on the NHS. If money is the issue, I can offer one solution: the government can introduce a monthly premium payable by all UK residents including any immigrants on work and student visas, with the premiums waived for families on low income (e.g. under 10,000 pounds a year). This way, we can use the extra funding to provide more care to the patients in need. By the way, I am not impressed by the position Labour is taking on this issue. It is a bit rich promising increased spending and more care to the community, when its former treasury secretary openly confessed not long ago that ‘there is no money left’.

    P.S. Where is Mistress76 these days? Her comments often have a way of riling up the chicks and ducks on this NN cage, oh sorry NN blog. It is fun! Sour grapes for Barrie as usual ^^

  • Comment number 48.

    The problem with the NHS is its been an untouchable bloated state monolith for years, and whenever there is any talk of reform, the shrill mentalists come out of the wood work screaming "kitten killers!" -usually a union rep, dressed up as an old dear, we saw it the other day when Bob Crow confronted Lansley.

    There may be many good doctors and nurses that work at the NHS but all too often they employ the likes of this women:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXY_5sBePAE

  • Comment number 49.

    SUPPLY AND DEMAND ALWAYS HAS TWO ENDS

    Modern life consumes ENERGY at an ever-increasing rate – likewise, the load on the SICKCARE GRID (NHS) increases continuously.

    No one doubts that REDUCTION IN DEMAND for energy, is a smart way forward but, as I posted above, a major demand on the SICKCARE GRID is caused by CULTURAL LIFESTYLE (Alcohol and Tobacco et al). Another cultural stupidity is the nihilistic 'value' put on the ‘living dead’. So let’s see a table of calls on the SICKCARE GRID, listed by consumption, and consider adjusting our cultural perversities accordingly.

    OR MIGHT IT JUST SUIT CORRUPT WESTMINSTER TO PRESIDE OVER PERVERSITY?

  • Comment number 50.

    "OLD DEAR" (#48)

    Oh Kev! What a master of the Sub-Aether channels you and Junkk are. You both move through the crude detector fields of NewsyNighty-kind undetected; even now, hanging around exactly like bricks don't.

  • Comment number 51.

    Ah, Barrie... such sweet wine trips from you pen vs. the bitter brew that can get stamped out.

    Of course, it's a taste thing, and I may of course be biased. There's much of it about.

  • Comment number 52.

    NN should send Mark Urban down to Quatar pronto to find out how they are managing to punch way, way above their weight in world affairs.

    It has been very impressive so far and puts the chinless wonders of the Foreign Office (Hague excepted) totally in the shade.

  • Comment number 53.

    NHS Reform

    I consider the campaign against reform is more to do with retaining the modern day Guilds preference in the public services than in the reform principal itself.

    Murdoch Intro
    CtW Investment Group seems to be affiliated with Change to Win. So much so that their domain name seems registered to the exact same address in the USA.

    You were not alone in quoting CtW Investment Group without explaining who they were affiliated to, the Guardian also quoted them.

    I would like to know if Mr Tom Watson MP is a member of Unite or should I say Workers Uniting the global union ?

    The other interview , with the ex Times gentleman was interesting , he did declare his interests, he raised the issue of “politicians” and "media moguls", or words with such effect.
    When are we going to get a inquiry into that aspect of all this , as such things, I believe, can not be explained away as some sort of Parliamentry priviledge (Parliamentry process) ?

    Also , if, as we are led to believe, phone message security was so easily circumvented , why didn't the media or the phone companies themselves say or do something to change that when it became well known or wasn't it well known at the time ?

    More questions I'am affraid !

  • Comment number 54.

  • Comment number 55.

    AUDACIOUS! THE BLOGDOG HAS ABOLISHED WEDNESDAYS TO ECONOMISE!

    Nuff sed

  • Comment number 56.

    #55^ Barrie I think you'll find it's Thursday today, and this is Wednesdays blog. ; ) I thought I saw it up earlier, now I'm going mad, or is it witchcraft! ; )

  • Comment number 57.

    I WILL CERTAINLY BUY A TICKET FOR AARONOVITCH LIZ (#54)

    But in reality, we are now in such a mess, brought on by perverse decision after perverse decision, that the level of wisdom, courage, tenacity and competence, required in governance, IS NOT PRESENT EVEN AT 1% LEVEL.

    My old English master proclaimed that a TRAGEDY was a clash of right with right - a 'nice' definition. What WE have is a collusion of wrong with wrong, over several Parliaments; I have no idea what name it deservers. We are way past tragedy - certainly infamy; how about CALAMITY? It begins with 'C' just like Clegg and Cameron. I shall resist the obvious extension.

  • Comment number 58.

    THOSE WHOM THE GODS WISH TO DESTROY THEY FIRST MAKE MAD (#56)


    I'll get myself booked into one of those nice don'tcare homes immediately Liz. Maybe Friday will go next week - and so on?

  • Comment number 59.

    #58 You'll do Barrie, you still make me laugh, you have to laugh or we'd be sobbing.

    Witchcraft;

    Isn't this an african problem, not a christianity issue.

  • Comment number 60.

    WHEN TOP SCIENTISTS BELIEVE IN A COSMIC GOD WHO WANTS OUR WORSHIP (#59)

    small wonder that some of the least cerebrally endowed believe in witchcraft.

    We are The Ape Confused by Language; without language, none of this complex group behaviour would occur. No blaggers could found religions or write holy books, no men of letters could get all worked up about the blaggers and write books denying their religion, and no nerds could expound "proof" that everything we know, started when a bit of nothing became a lot of something, because maths said it could. On balance: I reckon the witchcraft has probably done less harm than religion, maths and science!

    Oh no - now I've got a boil on my nose. I bet Dawkins did that.

  • Comment number 61.

    '56. At 23:47 1st Mar 2012, ecolizzy wrote: #55

    Speaking of things not adding up...

    Just left SKY's report on Maths in the UK.

    Seems that, for the last 8 years it has been stuffed and on a death slide.

    http://news.sky.com/home/video/uk-news/video/16180777
    (love the 'A*... to C grade' way of phrasing, mind)

    This, one presumes, despite the best efforts of the noble public sector teaching profession and the bazillions they have had lobbed at them.

    Now I am not that great myself, but as a trend that seems to be heading in a very odd direction. More and more munny... fewer and fewer positive results. One is sure top economics editors (once over 60's boy band member bereavements) can explain how that is a good deal, especially if more money is thrown, given the causal link. Throw enough and every Pilgrim and their personal media PR manager will be unable to righ their expense claims by 2013.

    One presumes this is one pervasive charity's (a new one... can never have enough) bit of research that may not be quite as top of the hour as usual?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-17224600

    Nope, that 8 year figure (taking us back to...?) doesn't seem in there. This is... 'high level maths skills in England were declining'. Clever. It's Tory cuts,, Cuts, CUTSSSS!! Only, it isn't.

    Here is what appears less germane, and not needed to include in the BBC 'report'...

    http://www.nationalnumeracy.org.uk/news/9/index.htmlindex.html

    'The figure has increased by nearly two million over the last eight years (from 47% to 49%)' - Line 2.

    Ain't control of the edit a neat power that can't be held to account... uniquely... by some?

  • Comment number 62.

    '59. At 00:01 2nd Mar 2012, ecolizzy -
    Isn't this an african problem, not a christianity issue.


    Indeed, and to be treated carefully.

    I just watched Lord (how is this title acquired?) po-faced claim on this (serious) topic that no fingers must be pointed and things need to be taken slow and carefully, and then move on to another (nowhere near as serious) where he was pointing every digit he had demanding crackdowns.

    Is lack of irony a mandatory in luvvie reviewers?

  • Comment number 63.

    'it's Thursday today, and this is Wednesdays blog'

    It's one of those improvements they keep telling us are better all round.

    Meanwhile, isn't this awful..

    http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/1139020--stranded-cruise-ship-passengers-ready-to-abandon-ship-after-fire-broke-out?bn=1

    I mean, it's like brand new, yet you get taken for a ride and it breaks down all the time. It's like a Guardian angel has left.

    No names, no pack drill.

  • Comment number 64.

    TYRANNY BEGINS AT HOME - DOES BARONESS TONGE NOT KNOW?

    Britain has no moral authority over any other nation while Westminster presides over D MOCK CRASS Y - indeed, to try to impose such bogus authority, points up Westminster's crass mockery of honour and integrity.

    Is the Baroness behaving like an angry goose that pecks the ground, rather than pecking the object of annoyance ('redirection')? Or does she just not KNOW the true state of this country - that we have had a series of Despot PMs and that now

    WE HAVE GOT OURSELVES ANOTHER ONE?

  • Comment number 65.

    @Barrie #38 - :p :p :p :p :p

    @ mademoiselle_h #47 - I've been away on a fruitful business trip (sadly only BBC World was on)... Looks like I've missed quite a bit!

    PS A huge congrats to the Newsnight Crew for winning the RTS News Programme of the Year.

  • Comment number 66.

    AGE OF PERVERSITY (#65)

    Have you seen any prize-winning art or read any prize-winning poetry? It is all of a congealed lump.

    Nuff sed

  • Comment number 67.

    'congrats to the Newsnight Crew for winning the RTS News Programme of the Year.'

    Was it the 'We can't believe it might, or might not, be Friday' Editorial Omissions category?

    Is that a shelf I hear heaving (with award, of course)?

  • Comment number 68.

    I THINK IT WAS ME (HEAVING) JUNKK (#67)

    That lady copper said curruption was everywhere . . .

  • Comment number 69.

    For a ‘comms’ co they aren’t sayin’ much, are they!

    If it’s all down to staffing problems (?) workfare might be able to provide some help!


    Is it really ‘Farewell Nn’?


    DP ‘viewer’s comments’ has gone up the Swannee ….. Nn to follow?


    Puff of smoke on the grassy knoll?

    Or have we ….

    Got ourselves a convoy?



    If this is the end my friend (?) then let’s keep ….. ?




    (Suggestions via faustbook or titter only please!)

  • Comment number 70.

    '69. At 14:48 2nd Mar 2012, JAperson wrote:
    DP ‘viewer’s comments’ has gone up the Swannee ….. Nn to follow?


    Maybe it's a trend? If I were good at Maffs I'd be able to tell.

    Without those darned viewers, and especially their comments, all would be well.

    It must have been so much better when it was only broadcast and no comebacks.

    I have a current complaint rejection to treasure where I have been told the tweet and the headline its URL linked to 'are the same'. When what they included rather proved my point that they, in fact, were not (and rather different to a crucial degree). 'Look Horatio... a bunch of ships!'.... 'Nope, no ships as far as I can see!'

    Not banned yet, but working on it.

  • Comment number 71.

    DAVE OF RECKONING

    Cameron is now sounding grand (or is it pompous) in foretelling a Syrian "Day of Reckoning". He really has NO IDEA HOW THE CAPRICIOUS GODS FUNCTION!

    Be careful what you wish for . . .

  • Comment number 72.

    Child Murder Case

    I don't understand how children can pass through our borders and not be noticed.
    If a child enters Britain with someone claiming to be their parent( not uncle or brother etc), then it should be expected when that alleged parent leaves Britain they take that child with them.

    We know who gets booked-in on flights , a simple database cross reference would pick up how many travelers there should be. If someone tried to leave the country without their child, then the border police should stop and question that adult and if needs be , detain them.

    I have no idea how Eurostar travel works , never been on it , but there should be immigration controls there too, if there already isn't such border controls.

    As for councils and schools and hospitals questioning peoples immigration status ?
    Would that be by a member of staffs perception of immigration status ?
    Why would anyone leave themselves open to false claims of racism , because, it is possible that the staff member who raised such a concern is eventually proved wrong.

    BBC News At Ten on Monday and Tuesday (I think) showed illegals sleeping in sheds and under bridges in London, with the country of origin refusing to allow them to return because the illegals destroyed their passports and the illegals continued to refuse to give authorities a name or address of their family in their country of origin to prove their identity and citizenship.

    A few weeks ago I nearly inadvertently kicked someone in the head crossing a side road on a cold night, because the individual was trying to keep warm by lying under a recently parked car by its exhaust system.

    The situation is appalling. Yet we have the usual people not even raising the issue of proper border controls because they are scared of being called racist or any of the other things that get a few very excited.

    Having effective border controls is not racist , in fact it would probably save a lot of people suffering destitution, being exploited or worse in one of the most expensive countries in which to live.

    I have been told Hollywood has a nick name of “La La Land” , but really I think the UK far exceeds the criteria for such a title at times.


    IMF Euro Bailout -

    Sorry but how are the people of the southern countries suppose to be as productive as the cooler northern countries ?

    The last time I had the pleasure to go to Greece I found the summer temperatures oppressive. I could barely move from my air-con hotel room to the pool. Evening and night time was the only time I did stuff without air-con or a pool being involved.

    The same goes for southern Italy and southern Spain.

    Until there is some Euro solution to this problem, we should not waste money we don't have in bailing them out. We should be telling them to get real or go to Hollywood (LaLa Land).

    But as has been said before , the Euro project is a political project rather than a economic project.

  • Comment number 73.

    '72. At 17:23 2nd Mar 2012, Steve-London - a simple database cross reference would pick up'

    You'd think. Then again, I can get busted for doing 78mph on an empty motorway by remote, yet my car insurance keeps going up because of all those folk driving without tax or insurance but with, one presumes, numberplates.

    Easy money vs. 'difficult' customers.

    I once was required, in doing up the crumbling pile, to effect changes to the roofline that added another few grand. On asking why, I was told it was to ensure all was in keeping with the natural beauty of the area.

    On asking if I should revise further to reflect the rusty corrugated iron roofing motif of the (illegal) non-domestic traveller's site next door, I was told I was not 'being helpful'. I was told off by the police when I called to ask if burning tyres was really the best thing for the neighbourhood kids to be breathing in.

    'La-la-la... can't hear you!!!!!!'

    They may deserve each other, but we don't deserve the state systems we have imposed on us.

  • Comment number 74.

    THROUGH THE SQUARE WINDOW . . .

    What's the day?

  • Comment number 75.

    WELL OUR GOVERNMENT IS UNLAWFUL JUNKK AND WEST BERKS HAS RESORTED TO AUTOMATED ENTRAPMENT WITH AN EXPENSIVE CAMERA.

    As the female police-person of non-colour indicated to Leveson: corruption is everywhere. If I might copy another poster, I will say: "I seem to remember a poster on here commenting to that effect, ad nauseam, in the past."

    Incidentally, a stone's throw from the West Berks, (Newbury) Entrapment for cash, is Victoria Park, which is home to a playschool. The grass close-by is routinely used to empty one or more dogs. NO FLASHLESS, LOW-LIGHT, STEALTH-CAMERA THERE! It is all a matter of priorities.

    Something smells.

  • Comment number 76.

    '74. At 17:52 2nd Mar 2012, barriesingleton -
    What's the day?'


    It was Friday, it was 5 o'clock (4.52pm by all accounts, but I must have missed it) but it will be a Cracker, Jack! (RIP: Frank Carson. One wonders which BBC Editor will pen the Eulogy)

  • Comment number 77.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/news/9119456/Nearly-four-per-cent-of-drivers-uninsured.html

    Like so much, it's not more laws we need. Simply more enforcing of the ones that exist. Evenly. Like that's going to happen. Or get 'analysed'.

    Meanwhile, what we do get is.. 'I once knew a girl who once rode with a man who rode with an ex-Editor on a horse once owned by...'

  • Comment number 78.

    #76

    JunkkMale,

    Is this what you seek?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/ni/2012/02/being_frank.html

  • Comment number 79.

  • Comment number 80.

    I thank you (see what I did there?), Scotch, though it all still seems to lack the heft and relevance that can only be added by, say, a Newsnight Economics Editor.

    There's a lot of it about (and there, I did it again).

 

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