Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/04/a_guttenplan_for_britain.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/04/a_guttenplan_for_britain.html en-gb 30 Mon 22 Sep 2014 04:56:27 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/04/a_guttenplan_for_britain.html SteveH http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/04/a_guttenplan_for_britain.html?page=97#comment35 its dave here wrote:I think if you asked most users, I think they'd prefer to get their drugs without other people having to entail the horrors that you are referring to.Yes, Fairtrade drugs please Sat 17 Apr 2010 20:13:49 GMT+1 itsdavehere http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/04/a_guttenplan_for_britain.html?page=94#comment34 Neal C wrote:Recreational drug users, especially of cocaine, should have a long hard look at everything going on around the supply chain bringing the drug to them. Are they comfortable supporting the horrors and atrocities en route. Would they tolerate this with other commodities they purchase.-------------------------------------------------------------------------I'm not a Coke user but it's down to the old "supply and demand" chestnut.If this is the only way people can get their drugs, then that's where they'll get them from, regardless of who gets hurt along the way, though I think if you asked most users, I think they'd prefer to get their drugs without other people having to entail the horrors that you are referring to. Thu 15 Apr 2010 12:53:27 GMT+1 aristotles23 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/04/a_guttenplan_for_britain.html?page=91#comment33 The people who run the banking industry worldwide,have robbed us twice,once by the subterfuge of the toxic credit collapse and once by the "bailout" initiated throughout the western hemisphere..The economic elephant in the room is,WHO got the money,WHO had to pay and WHAT'S next? The next time someone asks,why is the country broke? Just say,Credit without collateral,fractional reserve banking and the fact that the bankers robbed us twice in the one go..Chairman Brown is just as complicit in the vast deception that was the "credit crunch",followed swiftly by the"bailout",such a huge amount of "ordinary" people's cash,"mismanaged" by unscrupulous parties...As complicit as the bankers themselves and their other political lackeys.So,when we are asked,where did the money go?we do not say,I do not know,we say,Goods and services,bought on unsupported credit,coupled with manipulation of the figures from the very start...Clever old bankers,eh?..The classic,double sting..Set up the "crunch"and set up the "bailout",Paid twice for the same "job"...ah well,hard times anyone?......... Wed 14 Apr 2010 17:21:21 GMT+1 Mark Walter http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/04/a_guttenplan_for_britain.html?page=88#comment32 23. At 2:16pm on 07 Apr 2010, Peter Galbavy wrote:.. I honestly can't tell the difference between the two main parties and the LibDems are only different because they can afford to be reported as the odd one out by you and your colleagues. If they grow further in size they will also have to conform to the middle-ground that gives them the least trouble in the press ...--Regardless, that the Lib Dems are able to somewhat approach honesty and directness in their pledges, deserves some kind of credit.It frustrates me when I hear someone compliment the Lib Dems, and then say "but there's no point voting for them". If sensible people are ready to censure themselves in this manner then any notion of progressive politics is beyond resuscitation.I'm sure there is an appetite for more constructive politics, but we're only going to get it if the public are prepared to actively support politicians who attempt to practice that principle. Wed 14 Apr 2010 15:30:32 GMT+1 Mark Walter http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/04/a_guttenplan_for_britain.html?page=86#comment31 Coming to this blog post relatively late:I think Mark articulates my frustration with our political system quite well here:"But it is possible that the campaign will be fought almost exclusively in a small shared comfort zone which ignores the issues which require unpopular solutions."It does seem to me that politicians are terrified of mentioning policies that may seem radical but also offer genuine improvement, and I don't just mean in terms of drug policy, although that is one of the most obvious areas.I would not describe myself as cynical, but I'm rapidly becoming disinterested in politics. It seems as if the government is this vastly remote thing, which may - if we are lucky - respond with all the agility of a large oil tanker to our opinions, which we express only once every 4 years, and which seem to be diluted to the point of near worthlessness by our electoral system, unless you happen to be in a swing constituency. And even then, when the government fails to keep to it's manifesto, it seems they are not held to account.About the only positive thing about this situation is that it encourages me to become involved in progressive local community initiatives, which actually have a tangible benefit to the World around me. Wed 14 Apr 2010 15:19:07 GMT+1 peter http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/04/a_guttenplan_for_britain.html?page=83#comment30 Its going to be painful for all taxpayers,and we are going to have to pay for the mess of this governments creation. So make it sharp and as short as possible. VAT to 20%, No state pensions for people with pensions in excess of £50,000 pa, £2 on a pack of 20 cigs, cut government waste, massively reduce overseas aid ( we gave £120 million to China last year, they must be laughing their socks off) Eliminate Quangos,Stop all road building and repair what we have, a 5% across the board cut in government staffing levels,people on the dole if they are capable of work then stop the payments after three months if they do not get work. Pull out of Afganistan and Iraq in two months, we can not afford it.Winter fuel payments only for the needy, Reduce admin staff by 5% in local government by natural wasteage. its a start Wed 14 Apr 2010 08:06:02 GMT+1 peter http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/04/a_guttenplan_for_britain.html?page=80#comment29 I suspect Mr Guttenpan is going to go a very long way to go in this world an impressive young man . Wed 14 Apr 2010 07:55:38 GMT+1 MrWonderfulReality http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/04/a_guttenplan_for_britain.html?page=77#comment28 I just wish people would get together and very cheaply annilate the 3 main partys by creating a "NONE of the above" voting option in EVERY constituencey.It would cost just £500.00 in each constituency to pay for another voting choice, which for an average of 25,000 voters per constituency equates to just 0.2p for each voter.I think this is especially vital to force a change to our democracy so that those being elected have to provide FULL and CONSISE information regarding their policys, cuts etc.A provisional and singular set of government accounting figures which must be used by all partys to show and prove their statements of intent.It is so simple to set out a basic business plan with 3 or 4 variants depending on future economic outcomes. I think it should be a standard practice to set out such a basic plan, including financial breakdown of various departments and how expenditure budgets will be changed, increased/cut, or maintained. If any particular item is regarded as unnecessary or parts can be saved, waste reduced, then this must be and should be clearly stated.Our present system allows and provides the ability for political partys to dream up numbers from thin air and present them in deceitful ways which bear no factual or realistic relativity to truth, honesty and factual reality.Until I am informed of consise policy detail by any given party, I do NOT and will NOT recognise the legitimacy of any such elected party to govern me and see it as my moral human obligation to avoid and ignore any legislation or regulation demands that such partys attempt to dictate without open and honest full and frank election mandate.If you are NOT provided with information, then HOW can you agree to it.If you vote out of ignorance then you will remain in ignorance and also most likeley be treated as some low life ignoramous of no more importance to your existance than as to that of the green foilage tops of carrots.Hopefully and before it is too late, the people of this nation will come to realise what complete muppets they are for allowing such renegade deceitful dictatorial political partys to continuously inflict social and economic hardship and constantly declining long term sustainability of our nation upon the people within these islands of ours for and on the pretext of short termism to gain election and power of governance. Sun 11 Apr 2010 12:02:15 GMT+1 KeithRodgers http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/04/a_guttenplan_for_britain.html?page=75#comment27 The big questions politicians will never answer because they are a vote losers and these problems are arkward for them to address are :1) House prices being forced down to sensible levels and curbing the number of houses that can be purchased by one individual (tackling landlord pimps & speculators).2) Regulation and splitting up of the banking sector.3) Regulation controlling the boasts made when selling products, particulalry financial products, forcing the salesmen to declare commissions paid by the company.4) Funding the old age pension and keeping it a state pension not farming it off to the sharks in the city!5) Compulsory identity cards to control ID theft and benefit fraud, introducing that and making everybody join to save billions of pounds!6) Preventing company pension schemes being controlled by the company you work for!, better still keep them out of it by forcing them to put the cash in a state pension pot! Sat 10 Apr 2010 22:02:08 GMT+1 KeithRodgers http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/04/a_guttenplan_for_britain.html?page=72#comment26 Thought for today, the job of councillor or politician is the only job left requiring little or no knowledge of balancing budgets or for that matter formal business qualifications!Once in charge you are in charge of hundreds of people in various departments and control millions of pounds worth of expenditure.Yet you have no formal training or better still experience of running a business operation.Then we wonder why UK Plc is in such a mess!At least he had the nerve to say I don`t know and not waffle! Sat 10 Apr 2010 21:52:21 GMT+1 Roy http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/04/a_guttenplan_for_britain.html?page=69#comment25 Nice article, although it is disappointing that after you draw attention to the significance of the first 'unanswerable' question regarding house prices, you drop the issue immediately.The absence of any real debate of this, and particularly the reluctance of the BBC and the media as a whole to broach the issue (no doubt due to its reliance on property programming), is a shame. Now, it seems, the matter is only given the status of an acid test requiring no follow through.At least the other questions you pose are receiving some discussion - the question on house prices appears as much a case of being of 'unaskable' as it is 'unanswerable'. Fri 09 Apr 2010 07:40:01 GMT+1 telecasterdave http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/04/a_guttenplan_for_britain.html?page=66#comment24 It comes down to who you want on your team.Would you want Brown, Mandleson, Darling, Harman, Balls, Byrne, Cooper et al.These people have had their chance and ruined our country. They have to go!We need change and quickly. Thu 08 Apr 2010 11:59:34 GMT+1 EuroSider http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/04/a_guttenplan_for_britain.html?page=63#comment23 Mark,An interesting argument.In this election, probably more so than in any in living memory, politicians are going to be scutinised, discussed, debated, analised and generally given a hard time.Why?Because the country in an economic mess.No poltician wants to admit that the country is broke; it cannot afford the welfare state and that something has to be done about it.They will all avoid this, but inevitably they are going to have to answer a fundamental question: "Where are the cuts in public services going to fall?"The tax-payer has already paid to save the banking industry - "Where has that money gone?" There have to be cuts - "Why are tax-payers having to pay for this as well?"The economy is effectively stagnant - "Why?"There is mass unemployment - "Why?"The answer "I don't know" - is simply not good enough! Wed 07 Apr 2010 13:46:09 GMT+1 Peter Galbavy http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/04/a_guttenplan_for_britain.html?page=61#comment22 A good article Mark. Yes, it would be great if sometimes politicians either told the truth of what they really believe or a simple "I don't know" but then you and your colleagues in the media - and not really their own politicals rivals - will jump on this uncertainty like a pack of hyaenas looking for a wounded animal. If media reporting were also more honest and straight-forward then perhaps our democracy would move forward again ?I honestly can't tell the difference between the two main parties and the LibDems are only different because they can afford to be reported as the odd one out by you and your colleagues. If they grow further in size they will also have to conform to the middle-ground that gives them the least trouble in the press. Oh, if only we could go back even 20 years to when the reds were left wing and the blue were right wing, but no such luck. Now it's all dinner parties and aspirational values. Sigh. Wed 07 Apr 2010 13:16:39 GMT+1 Paulypaulypaul http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/04/a_guttenplan_for_britain.html?page=58#comment21 12. At 11:21pm on 06 Apr 2010, Neal C wrote:Recreational drug users, especially of cocaine, should have a long hard look at everything going on around the supply chain bringing the drug to them. Are they comfortable supporting the horrors and atrocities en route. Would they tolerate this with other commodities they purchase.Very amusing Neil, should I presume you avoid using petrol, palm oil or buying coke and Nestle products Wed 07 Apr 2010 11:41:59 GMT+1 Megan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/04/a_guttenplan_for_britain.html?page=55#comment20 Would whoever referred my post to the moderators please explain how they felt it broke the House Rules... it merely expressed disappointment at finding yet another politics story when I'd been hoping for a spot of real world discussion to alleviate the bombardment from all directions of nothing other than politics. Wed 07 Apr 2010 11:06:35 GMT+1 FedupwithGovt http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/04/a_guttenplan_for_britain.html?page=52#comment19 It's all smoke and mirrors. Politicians are incapable of giving a straight answer to a question. It's all popularity and a sickening scramble for power. If you think about it a lot of it is down to us. We get what we deserve. As a nation we don't question and demand more from the people who govern us. We allow them to get away murder (literally). How many of us moan and gripe without doing anything about. How many of us has written to our MP over an issue. I know many people who don't even know who their MP is. This election is an ideal opportunity to tell the 3 main parties that enough is enough. Vote for any party other than the main 3, that will give the powers that be a kick in pants they won't forget for a long time. Wed 07 Apr 2010 10:05:31 GMT+1 watriler http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/04/a_guttenplan_for_britain.html?page=50#comment18 And what ever happened to the elephantine climate change issue that potentially could overwhelm the 'debates' on these other issues. It does not even figure in Brown's five pledges. Perhaps we will get a real debate if there is a hung Parliament? - nah! Wed 07 Apr 2010 09:32:50 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/04/a_guttenplan_for_britain.html?page=47#comment17 http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/2921289/Jails-put-lags-back-on-drugs-retoxification.htmlWe have a job to do lol protect sociaty from drugs lol. Wed 07 Apr 2010 09:21:23 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/04/a_guttenplan_for_britain.html?page=44#comment16 http://www.southwalesguardian.co.uk/uk_national_news/7987539.Government_drug_strategy__failure_/The Home Office does not know whether a £1.2 billion-a-year strategy to tackle problem drug users reduced the costs of associated crime, a senior committee of MPs said. Wed 07 Apr 2010 09:19:35 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/04/a_guttenplan_for_britain.html?page=41#comment15 Neil C everyone should look at were their products come from we all support poverty child labour. I wont buy many brands of clothing because of were they are made. but hay there only cloths.Enjoy your oil products take a close look at how the poeople whos land is explotied live.For all the hype around the drug markets and the death and destruction in countrys of origin.. why are we not the same over the other products we use?As I said its time to talk about these things not brush them under the carptet. Wed 07 Apr 2010 09:17:06 GMT+1 Huaimek http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/04/a_guttenplan_for_britain.html?page=38#comment14 #3 CarlWell Said Carl !It is my guess that all three main parties will avoid discussing Britain membership of the European Union , the repatriation of powers from Brussels to Westminster , or having a referendum to ask the people whether they wish to remain in the EU or leave .I believe the civil service greatly increased in number under Tony Blair's New Labour , that could be reduced to former numbers . Wed 07 Apr 2010 06:35:17 GMT+1 aristotles23 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/04/a_guttenplan_for_britain.html?page=36#comment13 Its not going to boost good feeling,but,the truth is that politicians are not the ones who can improve our lives.They ALL employ advisers,for speech writing,for policy formulation,voice coaching,PR,etc.Its actually these faceless wonders whose hands we are in.On top of that,the only others to play a significant role are technicians,inventors,thinkers,workers and scientists.These are the real movers and shakers,the people who actually do things,who invent and manufacture the stuff we need to live in relative ease and comfort,who make things that make our jobs easier,that come up with genuinely good ideas,good hardware,software and methodologies that actually make a difference.When we ask,who should I vote for to improve my life?The answer really should be,none of the above,none of the above will make your life better,none of the above cares about you,none of the above even knows you exist..So why do we vote?..We vote for the party who seem most able to ADMINISTRATE all the work done by technicians,bureaucrats,lawyers,scientists and ordinary workers..we vote for the party we think are the least incompetent and the most generous(to us)..ALL of the party leaders employ people to think up policy ideas,PR etc.The "leaders" are just the faces of the parties they represent,those chosen to speak for the parties,a focus for the minds of the electorate,they,in themselves,are not important in the least..They are just the image of the party,manifest as an individual,a face and a voice we will remember,or not,when it comes time to mark a piece of paper with an x.Remember this is a representative democracy,not a participative democracy,we vote for them under the delusion that they somehow represent us.What they have always,and will always represent is,vested interests...business,in the form of the military industrial complex,where the real power lies.This is why the politicians are always so eager to preserve the "swinging door" between politics and business..They do compete to come up with ideas to sell an election,but realise this;They only trumpet "ideas",when there is an election looming,ever wondered why? Well,now you know...just to sell their party to the electorate as the one with the best ideas.Just to get into office.Wealth and power,these are the driving force behind any political leaders "passion"They are actors on the political stage,fakes,rouges and charlatans.Remember the old adage...Careful what you ask for..you might get it...They do not have "the answers",but they will do their very best to have you believe that they do..I know it seems like I'm saying that there is no point in voting,but I'm still going to vote,because even a small difference is a difference... Tue 06 Apr 2010 22:57:15 GMT+1 Tom http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/04/a_guttenplan_for_britain.html?page=33#comment12 So the problem seems to be as much with the people as it is with the politicians for avoiding the tough questions. I'm not sure what the solution to this is though.Maybe the public needs to be better educated, to understand the wider picture for society and consider the pros and cons of the solution to one issue, even if they will personally experience just the pro or con.Or maybe the tabloid media needs to start writing more balanced articles, so politicians are not afraid to tell the whole truth.Or maybe, like natural selection, the politicians who avoid the tough questions get voted in a little more often than those who are more open and honest, and over time they become more prevalent. Maybe journalists need to start holding politicians to greater account, so we, the people, can make a more informed choice and can consider the big picture. The state of the tabloids though leaves me in doubt that this can be achieved for those who read them. Tue 06 Apr 2010 22:51:58 GMT+1 Neal C http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/04/a_guttenplan_for_britain.html?page=30#comment11 Recreational drug users, especially of cocaine, should have a long hard look at everything going on around the supply chain bringing the drug to them. Are they comfortable supporting the horrors and atrocities en route. Would they tolerate this with other commodities they purchase. Tue 06 Apr 2010 22:21:20 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/04/a_guttenplan_for_britain.html?page=27#comment10 High house prices causes crime and social breakdown!!why because to few home owners to take responsibility for a civic country. Create a problem and move on.We need very cheap well built affordable houses to slow down the rented chaos that is the UK. Tue 06 Apr 2010 18:40:19 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/04/a_guttenplan_for_britain.html?page=25#comment9 Tomorrow, a Commons committee is expected to say it is "unacceptable" that we don't know whether the billions spent on dealing with drug abuse is actually having any significant effect. It seems unlikely that we will see the difficult questions about Britain's drugs strategy raised during the campaign.Well im here I like difficult questions at election time:)Ive already asked Nick Clegg this one. :)Sent: 30 September 2009 11:58:25 To: nickcleggatsheffieldhallamdotorg.uk; libdemleaderatparliamentdotuk Good Afternoon I have a few issues that i would like to make you aware of regarding the reclassification of cannabis to class B and its estimated impact upon the cannabis market in the UK.As a cannabis user of over 5 years now for medical reasons because the pharmaceutical drugs made life intolerable I have a great concern over the sudden and sharp rise in price of cannabis during 2007 the cannabis market was worth arounf the £4 billion mark with the average country wide price on the street of an ounce of cannabis settling at the £90 mark with only very small variance in the price.Now we have entered the Class B phase of cannabis the same street value has just passed £200 for an ounce were i live and I hear many reports of it reaching the £250 mark in Liverpool Birmingham and other cities around the country. This I expect to add 5 billion to the value of the cannabis market by the end of 2010, This 5 billion as in my case will come from recreational spending ie meals out cinema new dvds as I struggle to pay the £50 a quarter of an ounce from £25 for the same quarter of an ounce in 2007/2008.what i fail to understand is the lack of foresight in this matter especially as we are still recovering from what is deemed as a very bad social economic period.While i understand the aim of the mad cows decision to ignore the recommendations to leave it class C to try and reduce harm all that has happened is a huge profit shift and a fast rise in the home-grower as this market has now become so lucrative.I hope you take the time out to look at this matter and see if my predictions are right for a 9 billion market by the end of 2010 that's a lot of class A drugs!Good luck in the upcoming elections and you have my vote ill never tick labour again at any ballot box.Highest regardsJohn EllisMaybe i should just ask them to control drugs setup safe supplies and imprison anyone caught selling for the rest of there natural lives outside the legal framework :) Tue 06 Apr 2010 18:19:08 GMT+1 Flavio Zanchi http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/04/a_guttenplan_for_britain.html?page=22#comment8 The sad answer is that politicians are geared to win the election, not to provide answers. They are still after "power"... We'll only get rid of the political rat-race when we start electing administrators instead of politicians.Elected politicians do nothing, they rely entirely on civil servants to carry out policies. Should we not be electing the civil servants instead, cutting out the "top men"? Civil servants have no problem saying "I don't know". It would seem that is what one hears most often from them... Tue 06 Apr 2010 18:02:10 GMT+1 Dave http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/04/a_guttenplan_for_britain.html?page=19#comment7 Another little political analogy could be made about Mr Gutenplan's style - note how, during the bonus questions, he rarely looked at his team-mates when asking them for their answers/opinions, instead fixing his gaze ahead while taking in their contributions.Of course, this meant that when he actually gave the answer, it looked for all the world like he was the one who'd thought of it independently.From a political point of view, VERY clever indeed. Tue 06 Apr 2010 17:56:14 GMT+1 Daisy Chained http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/04/a_guttenplan_for_britain.html?page=16#comment6 "I recently sent this question to Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties: Would it be better for Britain for house prices to rise or fall?"It is good to know that there is consistency amongst the three main parties in that they are struck dumb by a question that cannot be wriggled out of. It also demonstrates there is little point in having an election without parties that are prepared to answer this question. Over valuation caused the economic abyss to open up and swallow and, until some stupid person stopped the one thing that deserved to be dissolved in a stomach full of acid from going down, we may have all been saved. As it is, thanks to the imbeciles that pass for politicians, the yo-yo will go up and down until the next crunch. Give it about thirty months, perhaps less. Tue 06 Apr 2010 17:46:26 GMT+1 SSnotbanned http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/04/a_guttenplan_for_britain.html?page=13#comment5 Humans can explore the universe and discovery many weird and wonderful things. Travel to the moon, photopgraph the stars and ponder the moments just after the Big Bang. Yet(if we are honest) we do not know what the human being sitting next to us on the bus is thinking. So,if we are curious, we can ask.It would be nice to think that politician's will give us answers that will inspire us to ponder the great political problems of our times, and to arm ourselves, the voting public, with the information that we require to do this. Tue 06 Apr 2010 17:19:31 GMT+1 Flybymike http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/04/a_guttenplan_for_britain.html?page=11#comment4 Sadly Mark, I think you have probably made the most valid point about the whole election. However I am not sure if that says more about politicians or voters. Certainly whole rafts of laws, rules and regulations have been brought in justified by one off or infrequent situations.However I suspect most voters prefer half answers. A simple example being law and order. I suspect a quick poll would give a majority of people saying sentences were too lenient and getting more so. Not sure how that reconciles with an ever growing prison population. If I could pass 1 law it would be to make headlines balanced and for for much greater effort on the part of media and the authorities to educate instead of sensationalising. The flaw in that is I am not sure how it could be legislated. The other issue is that very little media debate seems to encourage joined up thinking. All welfare recipients are either feckless scroungers or desperate people eking out life on a pittance. Common sense suggests most recipients fall into a scale between the 2. As a result sensible debate about how to make it work better helping and providing support whilst helping people back onto the feet whilst deterring the scroungers and fraudsters is almost non existent. I could make similar comments regarding immigration, health care, the death penalty and pretty every other major topic of the day. I don't know what the solution is but until some one comes up with one we will never actually solve a lot of the ongoing problems. Tue 06 Apr 2010 16:13:19 GMT+1 Megan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/04/a_guttenplan_for_britain.html?page=8#comment3 This post has been Removed Tue 06 Apr 2010 16:12:59 GMT+1 Carl http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/04/a_guttenplan_for_britain.html?page=5#comment2 Great points Mark.The single most infuriating thing listening to politicians talk is that they never ever give a straight answer to a straight question. If it's a question they don't like they even invent a question to avoid it (the old 'I think what you really should be asking is...").I'm pretty much ignoring what they say they stand for this year and voting for whichever chancellor I feel is the most capable of holding the economy together on the way to recovery.I'd really like to see a new party that was made up of experts in their respective fields rather than professional career politicians but that's never going to happen.It's a shame the idea of being a servant to the country (as in serving the country's best interests for the majority) has all but evaporated in the eyes of the politicians and it's about being 'leaders' now and playing the game of one-upmanship.They're all so busy saving face and avoiding making tough decisions or having frank debates about contentious issues that the current politicians/parties lack any real relevance in my humble opinion. They talk a vast amount but say very little and despite their abdication of responsibility the country struggles on just about working but with cracks getting more and more dangerous to it's overall cohesion and strength with every passing period of mismanagement.It's very sad and a shame it's so difficult (financially and due to the voting system) to put together a viable alternative to the current parties on offer. A straight-talking, no-nonsense party is just what the country could do with right now - sadly we have a bunch of charlatans to choose from. Tue 06 Apr 2010 15:51:26 GMT+1 MaggieL http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/04/a_guttenplan_for_britain.html?page=2#comment1 I think the person who dreamt up "pin-up Einstein" is probably the same one who came up with "domestic goddess" for Nigella Lawson , "greatest living artist" for Lucien Freud and something equally ridiculous for Anish Kapoor. If you're taken in so easily by PR campaigns I don't see how anyone can take your news reporting seriously. Tue 06 Apr 2010 15:14:50 GMT+1 LippyLippo http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/04/a_guttenplan_for_britain.html?page=0#comment0 Oh if only!! I would love it if the three leaders all agreed to respond in just this way on the televised 'debate' just to annoy all the 'media people' who will be trying to provoke a fight. Tue 06 Apr 2010 14:41:41 GMT+1