BBC.co.uk

Talk about Newsnight

Latest programme

Friday, 21 September, 2007

  • Newsnight
  • 21 Sep 07, 05:12 PM

Richard Dannatt
General Sir Richard DannattDo we actually appreciate the work our soldiers are doing in Iraq? Never one to fear the outspoken word, the head of the army, General Sir Richard Dannatt has voiced his concern about the growing gulf between serving soldiers and the rest of the population. His worry is that men and women returning from war find the public increasingly dismissive or indifferent. Or just don’t understand the cause for which they've been offering their lives.

Newsnight has looked extensively at the covenant between soldier and public in recent weeks (watch here). But this is the first time a top military leader has explicitly shown his fear of this dislocation. And implicitly, perhaps, criticism of the mission itself?
Army chief's concern over public
Watch more Newsnight Iraq reports

Back in Business
If Gordon Brown ne Prudence was worried the past week of Northern Rockiness would have cost him his reputation as the Iron Chancellor, his mind may be put at rest after the results of this poll. Newsnight has found Labour comfortably ahead of the other parties when voters are asked whom they would trust to best run the economy. The ICM poll indicated a high level of confidence among the public about the economic climate, and surprisingly perhaps, even their own financial prospects. So armed with this knowledge and a possible spring in his step, is Gordon more likely to announce a snap election next week? We'll discuss the political fallout from Northern Rock and the Labour conference ahead.
BBC News party conference coverage

Lack of Respect?
Is the Respect party - built upon a coalition of anti-war feeling, fronted by Big Brother inmate and MP for Bethnal Green and Bow George Galloway - on the point of collapse? Michael Crick has the story.

NEWSNIGHT REVIEW
George ClooneyRosie Boycott, John O'Farrell and Sarfraz Manzoor join Martha for this week's look at film, art and tv.

Up for debate and dsicussion this week: Michael Clayton - George Clooney stars in a corporate law thriller; Billie Piper returns to the small screen as a high-class prostitute with a notorious blog in ITV2 drama Secret Diary of a Call Girl; a major retrospective of the work of German painter Georg Baselitz at the Royal Academy; and Ken Loach's film It's a Free World - a story of the exploitation of the thousands of immigrants who come to Britain each year seeking work.
Read more about all the items featured this week, on the Newsnight Review website.

Comments  Post your comment

BLAIR'S WARS

Britain is an island nation. Modern threats are ICBMs and "terrorists" (home grown and infiltrated). Invading Afghanistan and Iraq had no effect on the former and multiplied the latter. Money spent on Blair's Wars would have provided a lot of border control and counter-terrorism in these islands. Unfortunately soldiers cannot sign up, exclusively, for wars that protect Britain. They sign up to do as they are told and die if required by whatever deluded regime or leader is in charge. In consequence our armed forces are fighting, being mutilated and dying because Tony Blair (currently AWOL, looking for greater glory) found the idea appealing - well, for a while. Let Blair return to these islands and be here to welcome returning military. He can also attend funerals, push wheelchairs and comfort the bereaved. It is no surprise the British are unable to engage with the idea of “being saved” or a “just war”. Only Blair has that pleasure – though, strangely, he seems more indifferent than most.

  • 2.
  • At 06:58 PM on 21 Sep 2007,
  • D Allan wrote:

How Now Brown Cow/how noo broon COO
Is it Time to Clean Out The Smelly Faulty Tower. 10 years late but better late than Never.
Gimme a Shout Anytime.

  • 3.
  • At 07:36 PM on 21 Sep 2007,
  • csharp wrote:

In a land where every town has a 100 languages what nation is he on about? Is that belief of one nation now a myth of a bygone age?

That aside we are back to the fact that fighting for something is much more powerful and unifying psychologically than fighting against something.

No one knows what we are fighting for? If we say Justice then people will say why did the Govt not go through the UN, accept the advice of Blix and even Goldsmith before he changed , as if struck by lighting, his legal advice on the war. We would have stood aside like Germany and France and been content to take the neocon name calling.
So we cannot say we are fighting for Justice or any of its allied concepts. So what are we fighting for? Anti justice?

The public instinctively pick up on this. Telling the public what they are fighting against is a way to deceive them as to what they are really fighting for which is manifestly some neocon vision of the middle east.

  • 4.
  • At 07:39 PM on 21 Sep 2007,
  • D Allan wrote:

Back In The Brown Busines.
Thought for the Day, Make that Day the Sabbath depending on whatever day that is for You.

The ENGLISH Lords Prayer.
Forgive Us our Tresspasser's As We Forgive those who Tresspass against Us(GOrD take note)
Forgive me O brown one its been a while, Far too busy Paying for more and MORE of YOUR Jackboots.

The Scottish Lords Prayer
Forgive us our Debters As We Forgive those who Debt against us.
The Above is Not A Joke their is no Law of Tresspass in Scotland at least not when I was a Brat.

Ask any Scottish Minister of the KIRK IF
It is considered Bad to get oneself into A position of Debt in Scotland.

What then would the Same Minister say if the Debt you are in is ALL down to our Prime Minister.

1.3 to 2 Trillion Pounds Sterling in 10 wonderfull years. The Highest Amount of UK Debt EVER. Source F.F.
How does the brown lord Square that one through his round thingy as he sits on his throne.
Any Brown A*** Wipers perhaps when, the next time they BOW to the great brown one Should If they have the Courage ask him to WIPE out the uk debt completly. He did it for the African Continent with a 9 billion quid bonus. I am sure he could wipe our debt off. we are such a tiny group of Islands after all. He would get ONE Vote out of me for that one.
He also was/is prepared to give our dosh away to the Northern Wreck.
Such a Wonderfull and GENourus uncle joe.

  • 5.
  • At 08:41 PM on 21 Sep 2007,
  • Brian J Dickenson wrote:

I don't think it's a case of the public not caring about the army, it's more the fact that they think that we should not be in Iraq.
The army is there as an invading force under false pretences.
It''s a repeat of the American war in Vietnam.
Let Brown prove that he is far different to Bushes poodle Blair, and
bring our forces home.

  • 6.
  • At 08:51 PM on 21 Sep 2007,
  • D Allan wrote:

Brian dont be under the ALUSION that brown has NOTHING to DO with Iraq he was Bliar and Cambeels boyfriend at the time, or have you been on the moon with wallace n gromit searching for sum cheese.
The GUV (vomit) of the day sent our people there on a big fat porker/LIE. BLAME can NOT be placed on them. blame the idiot chasing a sinking lordship along with the boyfriends BBC + a few others
NOTE bbc bliar brown cambeel

Kind Regards

  • 7.
  • At 09:08 PM on 21 Sep 2007,
  • steve wrote:

Sir, You cannot be serious. We shouldn't be there Mr Dannet. You Army types do not getit. The British public regard you as an embarrassment as this war is illegal. It has not been given the sanction of a UN mandate. My father was away for four years in WW2 and he defended this country from Hitler who was in Calais and 22 miles from Dover, now that was an legitimate war (if any war is) but at least it a defence of our country, not like this Bush/Blair adventure that is dispicable in it's lying preamble excuse that didn't fool anyone. Yet, you want people to put out the bunting and welcome our 'boys' home. No- we are disgusted by the body bags and the broken families that are the result of you Army types needing to prove yourselves all the time. It won't wash, General and deep down you know it. Sincerely, Steve.

  • 8.
  • At 09:41 PM on 21 Sep 2007,
  • D Allan wrote:

Steve Dark Room keep taking the Tablets.
Kind Regards

  • 9.
  • At 10:38 PM on 21 Sep 2007,
  • JB wrote:

Typical BBC! The only time you dare to mention Respect AT ALL is when you are frothing at the mouth in delight at the prospect of its imminent collapse.

Some things never change - god bless the 'impartial' and 'balanced' BBC!

  • 10.
  • At 10:43 PM on 21 Sep 2007,
  • John wrote:

What are the forces doing in Iraq and Afghanistan?

They're there because they're there because they're there.

The ongoing wars, in Afghanistan and Iraq, are totally dissimilar to WWI and WWII lacking any supporting component of patriotism amongst the public because (i) patriotism has become a pejorative word under the weight of political correctness; (ii) there can be no overt victory over an unidentified enemy (war on terrorism); and (iii) who but a very small percentage of citizens would now lay down their lives 'for Queen and Country'?

Incidentally since during the past decade there has been so much effort to ensure 'equal opportunity' and proportional ethnicity in everything from employment, honours, newsreaders, police numbers, etc., etc., could we be told the analysis of the fighting services by ethnicity and sex?
Since current conflicts involve the defence and rebuilding of mainly Islamic countries shouldn't we re-introduce a form of National Service to ensure proportional representation? Apart from achieving a better commitment by immigrants than the meaningless Brit ceremony, it should also teach discipline to all the degenerate members of our society.

  • 12.
  • At 10:50 PM on 21 Sep 2007,
  • Ian Couch wrote:

PC idiots
What happened to freedom of speech

Ian Couch

Well done to the BBC for once again proving that it is right wing, glad to see my money is wasted to help ring wing politics.

  • 14.
  • At 11:34 PM on 21 Sep 2007,
  • Charlotte wrote:

I work as a high class escort, and believe me Rosie Boycott's view of the top 5% of working girls is totally wrong. It is a very liberating career for those who know what they are doing. I have 2 degrees, and work in another profession too.

From the little we were shown of the new drama 'Secret Diary of a Call Girl', it is just how it is. It looked very well researched to me.

There are escorts who are very happy, confident women who enjoy what they do. The men are often very good looking and always polite and respectful.

It is true that manys high class working girls, who are very well educated have made this a career choice.

I think it would have been better to actaully have had a high class working girl on the show to review this drama.

  • 15.
  • At 11:59 PM on 21 Sep 2007,
  • David Nettleton wrote:

Michael Crick's report on Respect correctly stated that George Galloway's victory in 2005 was the first for a left-of-Labour Parliamentary candidate for 60 years.

He was referring to the general election of 1945, where two Communist candidates, Willie Gallagher (West Fife) and Phil Piratin (Mile End) won seats in Parliament.

As a small boy, I met both men between 1950 and 1953. I couldn't understand Mr Gallagher's broad Scottish accent and recall that Mr Piratin smiled a lot.

The Communist Party slogan for the 1945 election was 'Vote as left as possible'.

  • 16.
  • At 12:37 AM on 22 Sep 2007,
  • Andrew Cranston wrote:

At last a review covering an exhibition rather than the usual text-based book/film/play which usually makes up the whole of newsnight review. A shame however that there were no guest reviewers with an 'eye' for the nouances of painting or a gut feeling for art that communicates VISUALLY.The inane comments on the great George Baselitz is indicative of the total visual illiteracy that is displayed most weeks by the guests on Newsnight review. It is clear none of them have the faintest idea of how to approach visual art other than referring to literature, history, etc, and not visual art on its own terms.Baselitz has produced some of the most important painting of the last 50 years. He's a true radical who initially rejected the pop art othodoxy of the 60's, and carved out his own position that influenced generations after. His art is brutal but always with a great aesthetic.....
No doubt next week the programme will be back on more comfortable ground- Shakespeare, Pinter, etc

  • 17.
  • At 12:37 AM on 22 Sep 2007,
  • Chris Cotton wrote:

Michael Crick's report about Respect was a bit lame. I usually enjoy his 'exposes' but tonight's felt like a non-story.

Oona King's hardly impartial and the bloke from the CPGB was so idelogically pure I'm surprised he even agreed to appear.

As for the 'shock' letter - "not going well, must do better, unsure about others"

Wow, revealing stuff...

Must do better.

  • 18.
  • At 12:56 AM on 22 Sep 2007,
  • walter buchanan wrote:

Gen Dannat can not be serious. Its just as well for the army and UK government there IS this lack of understanding about what the army is there for.

The most notable thing BY FAR the general said has been overlooked!

He said:

“…our opponents in the main are Iraqi nationalists, and are most concerned with their own needs – jobs, money, security, hope – and the majority therefore I suggest are not bad people.”

Not mentioned in BBC link. Newsnight missed it too.

Iraqis not bad people? And I thought our boys were fighting murderous terrorists. Fancy that. Does this not blow the case for the war and occupation SKY HIGH?

  • 19.
  • At 01:55 AM on 22 Sep 2007,
  • harry k wrote:

Safraz was a cut above the other two tonight on Review, actually analyzing things, as opposed to Rosie and Mr. Website Promoter who were content to go over details of the plot and very little else.

Also, Andrew is right that their opinions on Baselitz were laughable ("I didn't see anything beautiful" said Rosie at one point).

Martha is still a much better host than Kirsty as well.

So, to clarify, a good show includes: Martha, THREE from Kermode / Safraz / Paulin / Greer / Morley, and as little focus as possible on things that are only available to Londoners.

  • 20.
  • At 07:02 AM on 22 Sep 2007,
  • wappaho wrote:


As for our boys in the army - give me a date and I will be in Trafalgar square to sing whatever song they choose, because we are trating them terribly. Just as young asian women are left to bear the brunt of ill thought out immigration policy so too are young working class men left to bear the brunt of ill thought out foreign policy. honour killings and forced marriages on the one hand death, disfigurement and social exclusion on the other.

three cheers for all young soliders who have served their queen and all young asian women who have fought for their freedom.

three boos to the political class who have sold asian women and working class men down the pan in the last decade.

and you could say that ill thought out eu expansion policies have sold east european young women into slavery too. we would have been better off enlarging on the basis of ideology than geography, in which case lebanon and turkey would have been admitted before some of the east european block countries and we would have acheived stability in the middle east diplomatically before now. instead we alienate those who look to the west for their cultural progress and make friends with those who clearly want to disrupt our way of life.

re. NNR - a life spent hanging on greer's every word has ended in embarrassment at the sight of her on NNR - where is she when there is serious gender politics to discuss in this country?

  • 21.
  • At 10:06 AM on 22 Sep 2007,
  • TerenceW wrote:

This has nothing to do with Blair or Iraq. I served in the RAF for nine years between 1990-99 and it was pretty much the same then, before current events. People are indifferent about what we do and the fact that we served our country. In fact people laughed out loud when I spoke in this fashion, it was as if people just saw it as a career path, a job and nothing more. After I left I moved to the USA and people's attitudes towards me when they heard I served in the military was huge, with lots of respect. I think there is a cynicism in the UK about the whole idea of the armed forces.

  • 22.
  • At 01:16 PM on 22 Sep 2007,
  • Dylan Carr-Michael wrote:

The BBC have inexplicably missed out the most interesting statement made by Sir Richard Dannatt yesterday:

'Our opponents in the main are Iraqi Nationalists and are most concerned with their own needs: jobs, money, security, hope. And the majority therefore, I would suggest, are not bad people.'

Any reason for failing to report this crucial bit?

  • 23.
  • At 01:58 PM on 22 Sep 2007,
  • Athena Murphy wrote:

Interesting that you have ignored my message!

  • 24.
  • At 04:37 PM on 22 Sep 2007,
  • Hussein al Masri wrote:

would somebody be so kind as to explain why George Galloways RESPECT Party, through their involvement in the Stop the War Coalition allowed the foreign affairs speaker for Muqtada Al-Sadrs Mehdi Army to speak on their platform last year.

The Mehdi Army have been responsible for ethnic cleansing in Iraq, the mass murder of Iraqi Christians, displacing Palestinians, many of whom have lived in Iraq since the 1940's and have also attacked and killed British Troops.

Yet they were given a free and open platform to speak, much to the anger and opposition of Iraqi's (not British based Muslims) in the UK and abroad, though the protests were ignored by the anti-war crew and the British media.

The RESPECT Coalition has never denounced the actions of the Mehdi Army but infact last year celebrated their presence in Britain in an edition of Socialist Worker.

So do we cheer the British Troops on their return to the UK, or do we glorify the Mehdi Army Death Squads on platforms around Britain?

I'll let you chose

  • 25.
  • At 10:18 PM on 22 Sep 2007,
  • D Allan wrote:

Wappahoe
I Hear what you say, Politicians among others are so UP themselves. Themselves = brown smelly stuff I include greer. A London Copper REP of a Sikh or Pujabi family reported that upward of 100 asian women DISAPEAR/GREER A WEEK in London alone. Multiply by weeks times years and you begin to get a picture. Sara cox the wunderbar radio 1 dj NOT, is quick to Protect asian men/taxi drivers and slag off JD unaware of her wonderfull red dozy coloured glasses, she would do well to shut her gob. Even though she is a voice behind the speaker she reveals much. ie the two front teeth resemble two short planks mainly in the brain dept or lack of. She I suspect likes a red ken type slap somewhere for her pc comments. Its a man's world, if it is it is extremely stupid. The Sikh or Punjabi/ Hindu I do admire having seen the odd gang of them from time to time 60 years old +, All of them with 8+ medals on their chests as a result of WW11, these Gentlemen settled here some 30+ years ago with no trouble (or little compared with now divede and rule the brown/shiet way) at all what has altered the balance. BBC Bliar Brown Cambeel. What is Right does not matter anymore or does it. Only people like you and maybe me can shove the brown stuff back down their throats or up the other. GOOD LUCK MATE

  • 26.
  • At 10:19 PM on 22 Sep 2007,
  • D Allan wrote:

Hussien oh Yes
wonderfull george supports people who hang children from lamposts in basrha from whatever religen. george the magnificent, CENT being the word/worth in my eyes and yours of him in his eyes of them.

  • 27.
  • At 10:33 PM on 22 Sep 2007,
  • D Allan wrote:

What ho auntie beeb I didnt think any of u were awake on a sat night I lounge corrected

  • 28.
  • At 10:41 PM on 22 Sep 2007,
  • D Allan wrote:

Now that your UP n About Auntie beeb is george gall an untouchable. In which way? because he smells of brown stuff/or? PC bbc reasons.
I do support H 04:37 in this

  • 29.
  • At 11:10 PM on 22 Sep 2007,
  • D Allan wrote:

Sleepee times Auntie beeb
Before ye go (old whiskey ad)

IS the brown thing Guilty of Trespass
TWICE. Bearing in mind there is NO Law of Trespass in SCOTLAND.
Northern Ireland could REF.

  • 30.
  • At 11:40 PM on 22 Sep 2007,
  • D Allan wrote:

BBC Radio Four today.
The Clever Mark Thomas in the math dept.
Was it one or Two.

  • 31.
  • At 01:08 PM on 23 Sep 2007,
  • pippop wrote:

ITV2 drama Secret Diary of a Call Girl.

Haven't you guys got enough one handed material to keep you occupied for a few more decades? I hope this isn't going to leave the women viewers sitting like gooseberries on the sofa while you embrace the screen with enthusiasm.

On the principle of "If you can't beat 'em join 'em." And, "What's good for the gander ought to be served up for the goose." I will be expecting a vast number of lingering shots of erections.

Don't let me down. Don't let them down either ;-)

(Censorship laws, don't give me that pathetic excuse they were just made to protect men form comparisons.)

  • 32.
  • At 06:36 PM on 23 Sep 2007,
  • William Camden wrote:

I fear Chris Cotton is a little naive when he asks why the bloke from the CPGB (Mark Fischer) seemed so ideologically pure it was surprising he agreed to go on the programme.

Smaller left-wing outfits always delight in putting the boot into larger ones, predicting their imminent downfall and hoping that they will profit in some way from the larger group's troubles or demise. So he was probably delighted to gain access to the mass media to have a pop at Respect. Also, by going on TV he promoted his group's existence to a few thousand more people than the Usual Suspects on Britain's left.

  • 33.
  • At 08:21 PM on 23 Sep 2007,
  • D Allan wrote:

Glad to see martin james has some MONEY. ALL of my money goes on more n more n more N MORE for/on brown's jackboots. DO We need all these jacboots brown in colour. i feel i have never ever had a need to wear jackboots, I do recognise the need for differant/n rave smelly foot wear but JACBOOTS?

  • 34.
  • At 08:41 PM on 23 Sep 2007,
  • pippop wrote:

Mind the Credibility Gap and Smell the Kufi.

It's quite breathtaking to find an org. that is so anti fascist but quite unable to spot gender fascism when it's nose is firmly rubbed into it.

The SWP's relationship with Respect I find incredible.

  • 35.
  • At 12:55 AM on 24 Sep 2007,
  • Dave Langcake wrote:

I disagree with the good General about the public not appreciating what effort our troops are exerting in the MidEast, whatever the reason he has stated should be disregarded, remember those in hot spot areas have families plus the fact of playing another 'Away Game' binds all Service's together, a comment like the General made should be kept to himself, it takes courage and HM Forces have got what it takes, its the MOD and Government who should be backing up these troops with limitless support not feeding an ever growing group population of parasites living off the state claiming 'Political Asylum's etc. I think it should be highlighted that the tax payer is tired of been laboured with the Human Rights lobby running things, feed the Troops not the leeches, get the priorities right. History is littered with conflicts that Politicians begin and cannot end, Dialogue is fruitless, they then expect the Military to level the score again getting the Politicians off the hook.

  • 36.
  • At 02:04 PM on 01 Oct 2007,
  • Angela Phillips wrote:

Review works much better with three pannelists, not four.

Whatever happened to John Harris and Johann Hari, my favourite pannelists? I sometimes get them confused because they have basically the same name in different languages and look so similar, but they are both excellent! Don't ever have them on the same programme though it will make me think my TV is on the blink.

This post is closed to new comments.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites