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Tuesday, 16 October, 2007

  • Newsnight
  • 16 Oct 07, 05:18 PM

milliband203100.jpg
EUROPE
As European leaders prepare for their summit in Portugal later this week pressure is increasing on Gordon Brown as he tries to deflect calls for a referendum on the European Reform Treaty. His ability to maintain this position depends on the so called "red lines" or opt outs Britain has negotiated. But how red and how thick are those lines? The Foreign Secretary is appearing before the ominous sounding EU Scrutiny Select Committee. Which, as the title suggests have been looking in detail at exactly what has been agreed. If David Miliband doesn't succeed in convincing the committee that the opt outs are legally robust, where does this leave the calls for a referendum?

LIBERAL DEMOCRATS
After Menzies Campbell's sudden resignation as leader of the Liberal Democrats last night he's said today he feels "irritated and frustrated" at not being able to lead his party into a General Election. The challenge now for the Liberal Democrats, as leadership contenders take soundings from supporters, is how it can carve out a distinct identity when Gordon Brown and David Cameron are also concentrating on the centre ground. We'll be talking to two key Liberal Democrats from different strands of the party on which direction the Lib Dems need to take to reverse its fortunes. Join the debate on our Big Fat Politics Website.

GOING DIGITAL
Cumbria is moving into the digital age as it becomes the first place in the UK to lose the analogue TV signal. We on this programme have a special interest since BBC Two will be first to go in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The remaining analogue channels will be switched off on 14 November. Our Culture correspondent, Steve Smith is in the town of Whitehaven to assess how prepared the people there are.

BOOKER
Shortly before we go on air the winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction will be announced with Ian McEwan and Lloyd Jones the front-runners. We'll bring you an interview with the winner.

CHINESE CHILDREN TRY DEMOCRACY
In the second of our special reports from China we go to Wuhan, a city in central China about the size of London. It is here that director Weijun Chen has conducted an experiment. A grade 3 class at Evergreen Primary School have their first encounter with the democracy when they are asked to hold an election to select a Class Monitor. Eight-year olds compete against each other for the coveted position, abetted and egged on by teachers and doting parents. Tonight's film Please Vote for Me is a portrait of a society and a town through a school, its children and its families.

Join us at 10.30 pm BBC 2

Comments  Post your comment

The Reform Treaty is the same rejected EU Constitution and the opt-outs and red lines are carrot sticks with which Blair thought he might fool the people.

I guess Brown thinks the British are as gullible as the Americans... or are they?

  • 2.
  • At 07:33 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Adrienne wrote:

This is where this *could* go:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/newsnight/2007/10/friday_5_october_2007.html

(and later comments).

Watchinh the the European Scrutiny Committee evidence session today it was clear that it's far from happy about the secrecy and the way that Parliament seems to being marginalised.

Leaving aside whether this secrecy and marginalisation is just because negotiations have been sensitive too legally complex (opaque) to discuss it with MPs, and that the Lisbon meeting is still imminent, it seemed clear from watching the evidence session that the Committee wasn't reassured by Miliband, but was helpless to do much about it other than let us know precisely that.

In other words, the message seems to be that as we voted for New Labour, they have a mandate and so they'll do whatever they please and think is best for the country, which, as we saw viz Iraq, can mean just about anything.

https://politics.guardian.co.uk/eu/story/0,,2192393,00.html

So much for Miliband and his grass roots (Trotskyite?) democracy:

https://society.guardian.co.uk/localgovt/comment/0,,1715252,00.html

Is it all spin, or do I do him a great injustice?

  • 3.
  • At 07:40 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Bob Goodall wrote:

Dear Newsnight

all this eu stuff leaves me boggle-eyed, it makes little sense to me, how are ordinary to understand this sufficient to be able to make a decision? Opposing sides put a completely different interpretation on it. perhaps an independent body needs to give us an impartial view of all this, so people can decide? The Electoral Commission?

Bob

  • 4.
  • At 08:05 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Adrienne wrote:

If and when (our peculiarly unique) 'red lines' are challenged (and over-ruled) by the European court, what will happen if/when 26 other EU states (and there are more waiting in the wings) decide that they're equally qualified to teach etc over here given they have the equivalent of the minimum standard of English (ie. a KS3 level 5 or a C at KS4)? What's the betting that there will be countless challenges under Titles II, III and IV of the Fundamental Charter of Human Rights (which of course won't apply here, and according to Jim Murphy doesn't introduce anything new anyway...).

Note how often the word ANY is used....

"Article [II-81] Non-discrimination 1. Any discrimination based on any ground such as sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation shall be prohibited."

HEART OF EUROPE

Ever since I first addressed the “Britain in Europe” question, I have been sure the answer is “it can’t be done”. (Did I hear, the other day, that De Gaulle said the same thing in the days of “the six”?)
To me, all this discussion of red lines, constitution, amending treaty etc is like the old “angels on a pin” discussion. We are an ISLAND. It follows that we are gut-insular – so let’s be bloody good at it! There has been talk of “Spanish Practices” (Post Office) lately. Bring back Dutch courage, French leave, and even German measles. Try suggesting to a Manxman he belongs at the heart of England! I have no idea what motivates politicians – it isn’t emotional intelligence, that’s for sure. I seem to remember some Victorian educational dictum: “An island is a piece of land entirely surrounded by water” I can only add (in our instance): “and run by nutters”.

  • 6.
  • At 09:40 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Richard Lewdon wrote:

Maybe you could invite Labour MP Gisela Stuart onto Newsnight to put her point of view on the EU, Gordon Brown and the red lines?

  • 7.
  • At 09:56 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Liam Coughlan wrote:

The EU represents a beacon of hope for aspirant member states such as Balkans countries and others, who used to see themselves as allies of the old USSR. The EU has brought benefits to its citizens, not least freedom of movement, a single currency and a reasonably single market. The pity is that UK politicians have proven useless at delivering EU benefits to Britons, who now see the EU as a massive gravy train with little benefits, only costs. Labour's record in Europe has been disastrous for Britain.

  • 8.
  • At 10:54 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • p mcdonald wrote:

jeremy paxman bottled it on tues night.anyone from the government advocating everything is ok with the euro treaty is a LIAR.WE WANT A REFERENDUM.

  • 9.
  • At 10:55 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • p mcdonald wrote:

jeremy paxman bottled it on tues night.anyone from the government advocating everything is ok with the euro treaty is a LIAR.WE WANT A REFERENDUM.

  • 10.
  • At 11:51 PM on 16 Oct 2007,
  • Krishn Shah wrote:

I think whatever your position on Europe when a Labour MP shows concerns we all should sit up and take note.

  • 11.
  • At 12:08 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

I read the Red Line agreement, at least as much as I could stand of it. So this is what is going to protect Britain's sovereignty, its right to make certain decisions for itself. In reading it the first thing I noticed was how vague the language is. Not merely arcane legalese but probably open to a wide latitude of interpretation and dispute. It also makes many references to specific articles and provisions of the basic EU treaty itself so that if you don't have the treaty to refer to or if you don't understand it, you can't know what this treaty means either. It's also clear that the Red Lines only apply for a "transition period" of 5 years at the end of which the UK is under the jurisdiction of the EU treaty in those provisions in the Red Lines unless it advises the EU otherwise. Article 10 paragraph 4 (and similar provisions elsewhere) seems particularly ominous in regards to the possible consequences if the UK retains the Red Lines. There is also no clear cut specificity of who has the final say if there is a dispute between the British courts and the EU Court of Justice over whether or not the provisions of the Red Lines apply. In such a case, whose ruling would supervene? Now how is the average British citizen supposed to make sense out of any of this? Of course the Prime Minister doesn't want a referendum on it, anyone with common sense would realize that approval would be granting a blank check for something they don't understand themselves except insofar as it is explained to them by those favoring or opposing it. It would be interesting to interview MPs who say they support it and give them a surprise pop quiz during the interview asking them to explain in plain English what each provision means reading it to them word for word if necessary. You have to wonder how many of them do not have a clue as to what it actually means and would also vote a blank check on something they don't understand. Let's hope the lawyers on their staff can explain it to them. So this is democracy in action UK style.

  • 12.
  • At 12:34 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Silkstone wrote:

There must be extremely few ‘rank and file’ British politicians who have anything approaching a ‘real’ understanding of the full, the myriad, the enormously complex, and by design, deceit-laden ploys that have been fed into the constantly evolving Europroject since the idea for a European Supranational Government germinated in the minds of Arthur Salter and Jean Monnet in the 1920’s.

Proof has long existed to show beyond any doubt that both ‘founders’ together with their many (some yet to be born) disciples were determined that no matter how long it took to reach the stage where the thing became unstoppable, the ultimate success of their dream depended totally on the fundamental tenet that millions of Europe’s masses, including National Governments, politicians et-al, must never get the slightest whiff that the ultimate goal was the eradication of National sovereignty and for national governments to become subordinated to a Supranational power. In other words, so as not to give the game away too early, everything should be allowed to remain in place for as long as it mattered, but slowly, and by stealth, all political power, or to use the new word, ‘competence’ would be ceded to an unelected elite – the Government of Europe.

The influence of such people as Paul Henri Spaak, Alterio Spinelli, Aristide Briande and through nine decades a whole host of others, served to develop and fine-tune the theme of deceiving all the Sovereign Nations of Europe into believing that what was being done was in the peoples’ best interests. The views of the populace just wouldn’t be considered.

That the Monnet objective has been achieved goes without saying. The number of British Prime Ministers and senior politicians taken to the cleaners during the past fifty years (some willingly - on record) is risible; and particularly so re the chicanery prior to, during and after, the signing of the Rome, Maastricht and Nice Treaties.

Macmillan for example thought he’d achieved Utopia regarding the USA’s approval of Great Britain signing up to the then EEC, without even knowing that Monnet had pressured a tame fan of his, George Ball, Under Secretary to President Kennedy, who in turn was influenced by Ball and gave MacMillan the thumbs up sign of approval.

Heath was so double-dyed as to be unworthy of mention!

Tonight’s interviews were in a word - lopsided. Just a handful of words from the first interviewee, confirming that the Treaty and the Constitution are ostensibly one and the same thing.

Murphy on the other hand was a perfect example of the ultimate Monnet disciple and JP didn’t press him anywhere near hard enough.

The Chairman of the EU Scrutiny Select Committee was obviously ‘on message’ from Brown, Miliband & Co, simply in terms of how he structured his responses; this despite what he actually said.

The side-tracking tactic to steer commentators, and through them public opinion, to focus solely on the so called red lines is becoming more evident by the day. What is desperately needed is for a very loud voice to emerge that focuses on the red lines drawn by the Electorate.

Remember - the two most important words for the Country at the moment are – AQUIS COMMUNAUTAIRE, meaning that once a power, or as JP quoted, a competence, has been ceded it is irredemable and can NEVER be claimed back - EVER!


  • 13.
  • At 12:37 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Silkstone wrote:

There must be extremely few ‘rank and file’ British politicians who have anything approaching a ‘real’ understanding of the full, the myriad, the enormously complex, and by design, deceit-laden ploys that have been fed into the constantly evolving Europroject since the idea for a European Supranational Government germinated in the minds of Arthur Salter and Jean Monnet in the 1920’s.

Proof has long existed to show beyond any doubt that both ‘founders’ together with their many (some yet to be born) disciples were determined that no matter how long it took to reach the stage where the thing became unstoppable, the ultimate success of their dream depended totally on the fundamental tenet that millions of Europe’s masses, including National Governments, politicians et-al, must never get the slightest whiff that the ultimate goal was the eradication of National sovereignty and for national governments to become subordinated to a Supranational power. In other words, so as not to give the game away too early, everything should be allowed to remain in place for as long as it mattered, but slowly, and by stealth, all political power, or to use the new word, ‘competence’ would be ceded to an unelected elite – the Government of Europe.

The influence of such people as Paul Henri Spaak, Alterio Spinelli, Aristide Briande and through nine decades a whole host of others, served to develop and fine-tune the theme of deceiving all the Sovereign Nations of Europe into believing that what was being done was in the peoples’ best interests. The views of the populace just wouldn’t be considered.

That the Monnet objective has been achieved goes without saying. The number of British Prime Ministers and senior politicians taken to the cleaners during the past fifty years (some willingly - on record) is risible; and particularly so re the chicanery prior to, during and after, the signing of the Rome, Maastricht and Nice Treaties.

Macmillan for example thought he’d achieved Utopia regarding the USA’s approval of Great Britain signing up to the then EEC, without even knowing that Monnet had pressured a tame fan of his, George Ball, Under Secretary to President Kennedy, who in turn was influenced by Ball and gave MacMillan the thumbs up sign of approval.

Heath was so double-dyed as to be unworthy of mention!

Tonight’s interviews were in a word - lopsided. A handful of words from one man, stating that the Treaty and the Constitution are ostensibly one and the same thing

Tonight’s interviews were in a word - lopsided. Just a handful of words from the first interviewee, confirming that the Treaty and the Constitution are ostensibly one and the same thing.

Murphy on the other hand was a perfect example of the ultimate Monnet disciple and JP didn’t press him anywhere near hard enough.

The Chairman of the EU Scrutiny Select Committee was obviously ‘on message’ from Brown, Miliband & Co, simply in terms of how he structured his responses; this despite what he actually said.

The side-tracking tactic to steer commentators, and through them public opinion, to focus solely on the so called red lines is becoming more evident by the day. What is desperately needed is for a very loud voice to emerge that focuses on the red lines drawn by the Electorate.

Remember - the two most important words for the Country at the moment are – AQUIS COMMUNAUTAIRE, meaning that once a power, or as JP quoted, a competence, has been ceded it is irredemable and can NEVER be claimed back - EVER!


  • 14.
  • At 12:39 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Michael Brewer wrote:

Going Digital
Steve Smith didn't find anyone who didn't know we were going digital - not surprisingly , given that about ten million pounds has been spent on conveying this nugget of news . Even small children knew - the target audience , presumably , given the prominence of Digit Al . If he's around again , Steve Smith should ask if anyone knows very much more than that . For instance ,the kids look forward to 'lots of channels' - could more than 1% of their parents tell you what those channels are ? The information has changed constantly , and the official websites are still not up-to-date (none of them include BBC Radios 1 to 4 ; yet the BBC moved those about ten days from Mux A to MuxB , which will become MUXPSB3 on changeover - and we shall be getting the three PSB multiplexes ; something confirmed for me by the BBC directly) . Many of us don't know yet whether we'll get a decent signal - tomorrow morning will give us some idea . If we don't , we'll have to go and buy a new aerial and cables - we're officially advised to buy a wideband aerial , which seems nonsense ; we only have one available relay transmitter , it's band CD now and will remain so after changeover , and there's no reason to anticipate any change in transmission channels in the future .Even when we've bought a new aerial , there's no guarantee it's going to work . If not , that's money down the drain , and we've got to look for an alternative : freesat , we're glibly told . But the BBC/ITV freesat ,which would be a genuine alternative , is still only a gleam in the planners' eyes; if you've already got sky , they won't provide freesat as well ; if you want different channels via Sky in various rooms , that's £10 per room per month plus a satellite box in each room . The problem is , most of us have three or four tvs and a couple of VCRs , maybe a DVDR ; we want to achieve the same functionality without remortgaging the house . It would help to achieve this if we had a clear guide as to what equipment can be connected to what , and in which ways , and why ;
instead , they assume Digital Al is all we can manage to cope with ; there is one simple connection guide on the website , and it's wrong .
I won't go on - but there are more problems for Steve Smith to look at than he may have realised .

Mike

  • 15.
  • At 12:46 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Silkstone wrote:

There must be extremely few ‘rank and file’ British politicians who have anything approaching a ‘real’ understanding of the full, the myriad, the enormously complex, and by design, deceit-laden ploys that have been fed into the constantly evolving Europroject since the idea for a European Supranational Government germinated in the minds of Arthur Salter and Jean Monnet in the 1920’s.

Proof has long existed to show beyond any doubt that both ‘founders’ together with their many (some yet to be born) disciples were determined that no matter how long it took to reach the stage where the thing became unstoppable, the ultimate success of their dream depended totally on the fundamental tenet that millions of Europe’s masses, including National Governments, politicians et-al, must never get the slightest whiff that the ultimate goal was the eradication of National sovereignty and for national governments to become subordinated to a Supranational power. In other words, so as not to give the game away too early, everything should be allowed to remain in place for as long as it mattered, but slowly, and by stealth, all political power, or to use the new word, ‘competence’ would be ceded to an unelected elite – the Government of Europe.

The influence of such people as Paul Henri Spaak, Alterio Spinelli, Aristide Briande and through nine decades a whole host of others, served to develop and fine-tune the theme of deceiving all the Sovereign Nations of Europe into believing that what was being done was in the peoples’ best interests. The views of the populace just wouldn’t be considered.

That the Monnet objective has been achieved goes without saying. The number of British Prime Ministers and senior politicians taken to the cleaners during the past fifty years (some willingly - on record) is risible; and particularly so re the chicanery prior to, during and after, the signing of the Rome, Maastricht and Nice Treaties.

Macmillan for example thought he’d achieved Utopia regarding the USA’s approval of Great Britain signing up to the then EEC, without even knowing that Monnet had pressured a tame fan of his, George Ball, Under Secretary to President Kennedy, who in turn was influenced by Ball and gave MacMillan the thumbs up sign of approval.

Heath was so double-dyed as to be unworthy of mention!

Tonight’s interviews were in a word - lopsided. A handful of words from one man, stating that the Treaty and the Constitution are ostensibly one and the same thing

Tonight’s interviews were in a word - lopsided. Just a handful of words from the first interviewee, confirming that the Treaty and the Constitution are ostensibly one and the same thing.

Murphy on the other hand was a perfect example of the ultimate Monnet disciple and JP didn’t press him anywhere near hard enough.

The Chairman of the EU Scrutiny Select Committee was obviously ‘on message’ from Brown, Miliband & Co, simply in terms of how he structured his responses; this despite what he actually said.

The side-tracking tactic to steer commentators, and through them public opinion, to focus solely on the so called red lines is becoming more evident by the day. What is desperately needed is for a very loud voice to emerge that focuses on the red lines drawn by the Electorate.

Remember - the two most important words for the Country at the moment are – AQUIS COMMUNAUTAIRE, meaning that once a power, or as JP quoted, a competence, has been ceded it is irredemable and can NEVER be claimed back - EVER!


Superb Jeremy tonight (34/10).Excellent interview with Michael Connarty and Jim Murphy on the “red lines” of the EU Treaty. However tonight’s interview with Jeremy Browne & Steve Webb on Menzies Campbell’s departure was priceless! The best was when Jeremy asked if they had thought of changing their name back to The Liberals. Jeremy Browne replied he had never heard anyone say that apart from him (referring to Jeremy P), to which Jeremy P replied “ You’re out of the loop!” Ha ha ha ha ha. I absolutely loved the film “Vote for Me” in China on a class of 8 year olds. Fantastic. :- )

  • 17.
  • At 04:42 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Steve wrote:

My thoughts on the EU Reform Treaty

1) Any Contract thats not Easy To Read or Understand is hiding something !

2) UK Sovereignty is not Parliaments to give away ! It belongs to the UK Subjects/Citizens.Therefor a Referendum is required As it was when we joined in the first place.

3) If Parliament does act beyond its remit and only allows MP's to vote on a Yes or No . Is it going to be a FREE VOTE ? or are the Parties going to use the WHIP to get their own ways ?

4) If as I understand the Treaty is written in French and translated into English surly any treaty the UK decides to sign should be the English version of the treaty not a French text version that can lead to translation errors !

I am no multi linguistic lawyer but I am sure contracts can be written in plain language and not double speak as this Treaty seems to have been written in.

News Night we need some discussions on this in front of a Citizens Jury. Is this a Good Treaty Or Not.

  • 18.
  • At 04:52 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Steve wrote:

My thoughts on the EU Reform Treaty

1) Any Contract thats not Easy To Read or Understand is hiding something !

2) UK Sovereignty is not Parliaments to give away ! It belongs to the UK Subjects/Citizens.Therefor a Referendum is required As it was when we joined in the first place.

3) If Parliament does act beyond its remit and only allows MP's to vote on a Yes or No . Is it going to be a FREE VOTE ? or are the Parties going to use the WHIP to get their own ways ?

4) If as I understand the Treaty is written in French and translated into English surly any treaty the UK decides to sign should be the English version of the treaty not a French text version that can lead to translation errors !

I am no multi linguistic lawyer but I am sure contracts can be written in plain language and not double speak as this Treaty seems to have been written in.

News Night we need some discussions on this in front of a Citizens Jury. Is this a Good Treaty Or Not.

  • 19.
  • At 09:57 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • silentgreen wrote:

adrienne - your posts are v. informative - how then (Article) does the political class manage to get away with insulting the lifestyle, culture and beliefs of the working class every other time they open their mouths?

  • 20.
  • At 10:29 AM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • silentgreen wrote:

adrienne - your posts are v. informative - how then (Article) does the political class manage to get away with insulting the lifestyle, culture and beliefs of the working class every other time they open their mouths?

MARK No 11 - WELL SAID

I bought a copy of the draft treaty in the early days of all this. It was virtually incomprehensible. It might just as well have been typed by an infinite number of monkeys taking time off from Shakespeare. But not only that, it had unbelievably simplistic statements and grammatically cock-eyed ramblings dotted about. This was never commented on in the press or by politicians. Then it was killed off, so comeuppance was averted.
I am in accord with Mark. I have not read the latest epic but I don't think many of our politicians understand it from personal reading. They, and any voters in a referendum, will all be dependent upon skewed "help" from devious others. We seem to be living in a mix of Brave New World, Alice in Wonderland and 1984/Animal Farm. And none of the people holding office have an ounce of proven ability in getting anything right!

  • 22.
  • At 01:42 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Adrienne wrote:

#20 - Many professionals (especially those working in inner cities at the blunt end of multiculturalism, e.g in schools) have seen how it's the derivative (i.e. nuisance) challenges which wear them down through tribunals etc. Since MacPherson, *perceived* discrimination suffices to justify a case being brought, the Fundamental Charter can only make this worse, and we are signing up to it as far as I can make out. Surely people can see that this amounts to civil subversion through Lysenkoist legislation/reform? That is, it strives to do the impossible (perhaps with the best intentions, ill informed though they are), and yet holds those who 'fail' to comply, accountable. What behaviours does one think that selects and reinforces? This, surely, is illustrative of what can go seriously wrong when well meaning people reason quite rationally, but from demonstrably false empirical assumptions?

In passing - was that great satire for eight year olds at the end last night? A propaganda coup for China?

Returning to the substantive point made above and elsewhere regarding the EU Fundamental Charter and equality, dignity etc:

https://news.independent.co.uk/sci_tech/article3067222.ece
https://news.independent.co.uk/sci_tech/article3067223.ece

There may be fury, but what does that reflect other than ignorance and thwarted Lysenkoism? I reiterate that the research on Individual Differences (an entire field of behavioural science which is over a century old) has nothing to do with skin colour per se, but with frequencies and gene barriers marked probabilistically by phenotype such as skin colour etc. This, to many *is* a subtle point, and it's one which will be lost on many who claim 'parent power' etc as they just won't have the reading/verbal ability to understand it.

The facts are that the ordinal pattern:

Chinese > Indian > White British > Black African > Pakistani > Bangladeshi > Black Caribbean > Travellers/Gypsies

has shown up *every year* in *all* of our Key Stage school results, at the population level (560,000 pupils and the smaller of the minorities (excl. Travellers) i.e the Chinese is somewhere about 2,000 which is about the size of the English Jewish cohort each year), and probably reflects a) genetic differences in mean cognitive ability and other measures of central tendency b) the selective migration of sub-populations (e.g. progeny of lured past able Indian migrants from India and East Africa, and able Black Africans fleeing Africa vs rural Pakistanis from Mirpur and rural Bangladeshis from Sylhet, plus decendents of forced migrants to the Caribbean centuries ago).

I reiterate, this is a matter of frequencies of membership of classes and logical/probabilistic quantifiers ranging over those classes (i.e SOME=NOT(ALL) and ALL=NOT(SOME)) as such it says very little about individuals and it says next to nothing about skin colour etc.

But what do we hear:

"Keith Vaz, the Labour chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, said: "It is sad to see a scientist of such achievement making such baseless, unscientific and extremely offensive comments. I am sure the scientific community will roundly reject what appear to be Dr Watson's
personal prejudices.

"These comments serve as a reminder of the attitudes which can still exists at the highest professional levels."

Now surely that's remarkable irony (or is he just being provocative)?

'Personal prejudices'?

This is precisely why so much of the work in education and Offender Management has been doomed for years, and in my view has actually been making matters worse not better.

We have heard lots about evidence based and evidence driven practice since New Labour came to power 10 years ago, but prima facie (one has to be cautions with politicians) in the wake of the Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee this is just rhetoric/spin.

See some of the comments here to see how anti-discrimination legislation and affirmative action *can* get out of control and end up breeding the very resentment which it's designed to mitigate:

https://timesonline.typepad.com/comment/2007/10/dawkins-on-the-.html?cid=86432820
https://timesonline.typepad.com/comment/2007/10/a-little-over-a.html?cid=86589318

Those who point out the solid empirical evidence on diversity and cognitive ability are often treated much the same way that so-called 'Holocaust Deniers' are treated in Europe. This is counter-productive and ultimately subversive I suggest as it literally inhibits people from thinking clearly and otherwise acting critically/productively as diversity is inevitable as reflected by height. The frequent lamentation that about 20% of our children leave school with poor reading ability is just inevitable given the nature of diversity and the properties of the Gaussian distribution as it refers to about -1SD below the mean.

  • 23.
  • At 02:06 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Adrienne wrote:

#20 - Many professionals (especially those working in inner cities at the blunt end of multiculturalism, e.g in schools) have seen how it's the derivative (i.e. nuisance) challenges which wear them down through tribunals etc. Since MacPherson, *perceived* discrimination suffices to justify a case being brought, the Fundamental Charter can only make this worse, and we are signing up to it as far as I can make out. Surely people can see that this amounts to civil subversion through Lysenkoist legislation/reform? That is, it strives to do the impossible (perhaps with the best intentions, ill informed though they are), and yet holds those who 'fail' to comply, accountable. What behaviours does one think that selects and reinforces? This, surely, is illustrative of what can go seriously wrong when well meaning people reason quite rationally, but from demonstrably false empirical assumptions?

In passing - was that great satire for eight year olds at the end last night? A propaganda coup for China?

Returning to the substantive point made above and elsewhere regarding the EU Fundamental Charter and equality, dignity etc:

https://news.independent.co.uk/sci_tech/article3067222.ece
https://news.independent.co.uk/sci_tech/article3067223.ece

There may be fury, but what does that reflect other than ignorance and thwarted Lysenkoism? I reiterate that the research on Individual Differences (an entire field of behavioural science which is over a century old) has nothing to do with skin colour per se, but with frequencies and gene barriers marked probabilistically by phenotype such as skin colour etc. This, to many *is* a subtle point, and it's one which will be lost on many who claim 'parent power' etc as they just won't have the reading/verbal ability to understand it.

The facts are that the ordinal pattern:

Chinese > Indian > White British > Black African > Pakistani > Bangladeshi > Black Caribbean > Travellers/Gypsies

has shown up *every year* in *all* of our Key Stage school results, at the population level (560,000 pupils and the smaller of the minorities (excl. Travellers) i.e the Chinese is somewhere about 2,000 which is about the size of the English Jewish cohort each year), and probably reflects a) genetic differences in mean cognitive ability and other measures of central tendency b) the selective migration of sub-populations (e.g. progeny of lured past able Indian migrants from India and East Africa, and able Black Africans fleeing Africa vs rural Pakistanis from Mirpur and rural Bangladeshis from Sylhet, plus decendents of forced migrants to the Caribbean centuries ago).

I reiterate, this is a matter of frequencies of membership of classes and logical/probabilistic quantifiers ranging over those classes (i.e SOME=NOT(ALL) and ALL=NOT(SOME)) as such it says very little about individuals and it says next to nothing about skin colour etc. The reason why so much emphasis is put on the African measure is because the mean is so low, meaning the *frequency* at the upper end of the distribution is very small relative to groups with much higher mean attainment.

But what do we hear:

"Keith Vaz, the Labour chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, said: "It is sad to see a scientist of such achievement making such baseless, unscientific and extremely offensive comments. I am sure the scientific community will roundly reject what appear to be Dr Watson's
personal prejudices.

"These comments serve as a reminder of the attitudes which can still exists at the highest professional levels."

Now surely that's remarkable irony (or is he just being provocative)?

'Personal prejudices'?

This is precisely why so much of the work in education and Offender Management has been doomed for years, and in my view has actually been making matters worse not better.

We have heard lots about evidence based and evidence driven practice since New Labour came to power 10 years ago, but prima facie (one has to be cautions with politicians) in the wake of the Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee this is just rhetoric/spin.

See some of the comments here to see how anti-discrimination legislation and affirmative action *can* get out of control and end up breeding the very resentment which it's designed to mitigate:

https://timesonline.typepad.com/comment/2007/10/dawkins-on-the-.html?cid=86432820
https://timesonline.typepad.com/comment/2007/10/a-little-over-a.html?cid=86589318

Those who point out the solid empirical evidence on diversity and cognitive ability are often treated much the same way that so-called 'Holocaust Deniers' are treated in Europe. This is counter-productive and ultimately subversive I suggest as it literally inhibits people from thinking clearly and otherwise acting critically/productively as diversity is inevitable as reflected by height. The frequent lamentation that about 20% of our children leave school with poor reading ability is just inevitable given the nature of diversity and the properties of the Gaussian distribution as it refers to about -1SD below the mean.

  • 24.
  • At 02:36 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

Going digital.

I'd like to take newsnight up on a few issues on this. It was very curious that newsnight just reported that the digital dividend would be flogged off (this is in practice what WILL happen) when the BBCs position is that it wants it to be used for high definition.

Secondly about HD on freeview. A consulation has been out on this very matter. Newsnight should look at this before reporting highly disputed things. One of the options was to have a BBC HD channel in the small hours ASAP on freeview by doing fiddles - cutting back fairly useless repeats on BBCFour, BBC Parliament etc 2am-6am. Ofcom suddenly have started blabbering on about using a new standard for Digital Terestrial Television (freeview is a subset of this). There simply isn't the space for multiple HD channels on freeview at the moment without something changing (MPEG-2 to MPEG-4, getting rid of other channels etc). Also very few will be able to get these HD channels in all likelyhood if they ever did emerge. People have done calculations on how many freeview HD channels we could have and how much of the population they would reach and they don't agree with Ofcom's fiddles.

Thirdly Isle Howling of freeview commented about there wasn't a space issue as you could squeeze more and more on. This is true but and this is the realy important bit you cannot get more without switching standards, that means changing to new equipment in new circumstances. That freeview should go to MPEG-4 has been talked to death by enthusiasts for ages but all of a sudden Ofcom announced recently that we should consider going DVB-T2. That means everyone has to buy a new set top box all over again!!! I'm the first person to welcome new technologies and I'd say if DVB-T didn't exist already we should switch to DVB-T2 but DVB-T is well established. To talk about switching standards twice whilst we are going through switchover is folly. You tell people to go out and buy new boxes because the old are obsolete every 2-3 years, it's crazy. I wish some people would scrutinize the things Ofcom or people like Isle Howling say.

As it happens when I write this Ofcom put out information about this the last couple of days. Mr Richards of Ofcom says that we should migrate to MPEG-4 and DVB-T2 by 2009 and Ofcom are to publish a timescale on this soon. It's pure fantasy.

I haven't put any of this succintly but these consultations and Ofcom's ramblings are out there.

  • 25.
  • At 02:43 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

Going digital.

I'd like to take newsnight up on a few issues on this. It was very curious that newsnight just reported that the digital dividend would be flogged off (this is in practice what WILL happen) when the BBCs position is that it wants it to be used for high definition.

Secondly about HD on freeview. A consulation has been out on this very matter. Newsnight should look at this before reporting highly disputed things. One of the options was to have a BBC HD channel in the small hours ASAP on freeview by doing fiddles - cutting back fairly useless repeats on BBCFour, BBC Parliament etc 2am-6am. Ofcom suddenly have started blabbering on about using a new standard for Digital Terestrial Television (freeview is a subset of this). There simply isn't the space for multiple HD channels on freeview at the moment without something changing (MPEG-2 to MPEG-4, getting rid of other channels etc). Also very few will be able to get these HD channels in all likelyhood if they ever did emerge. People have done calculations on how many freeview HD channels we could have and how much of the population they would reach and they don't agree with Ofcom's fiddles.

Thirdly Isle Howling of freeview commented about there wasn't a space issue as you could squeeze more and more on. This is true but and this is the realy important bit you cannot get more without switching standards, that means changing to new equipment in new circumstances. That freeview should go to MPEG-4 has been talked to death by enthusiasts for ages but all of a sudden Ofcom announced recently that we should consider going DVB-T2. That means everyone has to buy a new set top box all over again!!! I'm the first person to welcome new technologies and I'd say if DVB-T didn't exist already we should switch to DVB-T2 but DVB-T is well established. To talk about switching standards twice whilst we are going through switchover is folly. You tell people to go out and buy new boxes because the old are obsolete every 2-3 years, it's crazy. I wish some people would scrutinize the things Ofcom or people like Isle Howling say.

As it happens when I write this Ofcom put out information about this the last couple of days. Mr Richards of Ofcom says that we should migrate to MPEG-4 and DVB-T2 by 2009 and Ofcom are to publish a timescale on this soon. It's pure fantasy.

I haven't put any of this succintly but these consultations and Ofcom's ramblings are out there.

  • 26.
  • At 09:38 PM on 17 Oct 2007,
  • Adrienne wrote:

I suggest interested parties look up the UK Human Rights Act (1998) and compare it to the Fundamental CHARTER of Human Rights (FCHR) in the Reform Treaty as whilst it may be true that there is nothing NEW in the FCHR which is not already in other treaties in EU legislation (see the European CONVENTION on Human Rights (ECHR) and other legislation which I have referenced elsewhere), and whilst the FCHR doesn't CREATE any rights and does just record existing ones, those exist in the EXISTING EU treaties, and unless I am very much mistaken, the way that the UK implemented Human Rights in 1998 was NOT as inclusive, i.e. not the same as, the existing EU Articles.

So, as I see it, once we sign up to the Reform Treaty, we will be under pressure from the EU to legislate for Human Rights which ARE consistent with the Articles which currently make up the (more inclusive) FCHR, as we will have signed up to them as part of the signing of the Reform Treaty. We will be pressured because otherwise EU workers' rights would change as they crossed the non-existent borders!

Watching and listening to Mr Miliband and Mr Thomas (see especially about 40 minutes in) I came away thinking that lawyers and politicians not only delude *themselves* over their grasp of the apparent 'effectivity' (extensionality) of natural language as a medium for all of this (it is not truth functional in logical terms), and which in Tuesday's session was almost 'Talmudic' at times (which makes it very open to interpretation), but also seem to be arrogantly oblivious to the fact that others may understand the logic of human verbal behaviour and its constraints somewhat better than they do.

The European Scrutiny Committee is therefore right to be ringing alarm bells is it not?

https://www.parliamentlive.tv/Player/index.aspx?Encoding=7439

  • 27.
  • At 08:15 AM on 18 Oct 2007,
  • Silkstone wrote:

Public ‘debate’ about the real as opposed to the purported purpose of the Reform Treaty and the rest of the saga of the ‘europroject’ is meaningless and will remain so unless and until the peoples of Europe are fully informed and completely understand why the EU’s organisational structure was, and still is, based on a Commission – a Parliament – a Council of Ministers and a Court of Justice.
Equally important is the need to understand why France and Germany are determined to totally dominate and thereby subordinate the rest of the Continent – which obviously includes Great Britain.

Points/contradictions on which the ‘don’t knows’ amongst us might like to ponder:

1. Quote (Mark Leonard, Centre for European reform, 2005)…. “By creating common standards that are implemented through national institutions, Europe can TAKE OVER countries without necessarily becoming a target for hostility”


2. Quote (Guy Verhofstadt, Belgian Prime Minister June, 2004)….“The Constitution is the capstone of a European Federal State”
3. Quote (Arthur Salter in ‘The United States of Europe’ 1931)….”The United States of Europe must be a political reality or it cannot be an economic one”.

4. The 1919 Treaty of Versailles imposed draconian punishments on Germany, due mainly to French pressure, which led to Professor Schevill, Chair in modern European History in Chicago asserting that…. “France… is the spoiled child of Europe; privileged to indulge her most capricious desire….Since 1919 France has therefore had her way. She alone has made the pacification of Europe impossible”.

5. Coudenhove’s 1922 book ‘Pan Europa’ which visualised a way to permanent peace in Europe by merging the German coal and French steel industries into a single ‘pan-European’ industry, set the euro-rot in place by default as it were, in that it attracted droves of left wing intellectuals, many of whom were diametrically opposed to Coudenhove’s emphatic stipulation that the purpose of his federation would NOT be to eradicate national identity and sovereignty.


6. Quote (Alteriio Spinelli – the Venetone manifesto 1941)…”The problem which must first be solved is the abolition of the division of Europe into sovereign national states. Without this, any progress will be appearance only”….. One of the principal EU buildings in Brussels is now named after this man!

7. Quote (Winston Churchill 13th Feb 1930)….”The mass of Europe once united, once federalised or partly federalised, once continentally self-conscious, would constitute an organism beyond compare”….Churchill certainly saw no place in this for Britain and its Empire because he then went on to say….“We are with Europe but not of it. We are linked but not comprised. We are interested and associated but not absorbed. We must build a kind of United States of Europe. Great Britain, the British Commonwealth of Nations, mighty America must be FRIENDS and SPONSORS of the new Europe”….These words are constantly misrepresented by Europhiles seeking to portray Churchill as a staunch supporter of Eurofederalism.

8. What evolved in 1950 as the Schuman Plan for a Franco-German union to be the first step towards a federal Europe was engineered totally by Jean Monnet…. Robert Schuman, although French Foreign Minister, was merely Monnet’s convenient puppet.


9. What was the significance for Britain of the Macmillan/Monnet close alliance?
10. And why did Macmillan say of the Schuman Plan… “Not just a piece of convenient machinery. It is a revolutionary and almost mystical conception”?


11. Why did Hitler dismiss Coudenhove as “everybody’s bastard”?

12. Quote (Monnet) “Our Community is not a coal and steel producers association. It is the beginning of Europe”

13. Quote (Francois Duchene)….”Nobody after the first two years of Monnet’s presidency of the High Authority would again talk of it or its equivalents as a ‘European Government’…the idea of a Europe in some sense above the nations was no longer stated in the open”

14. Quote (Tom Benyon MP 2003) …”.In 1973 I campaigned for a yes vote in the referendum that kept us in the EC. In retrospect it is abundantly clear that I campaigned on a prospectus that was sufficiently false to ensure that, if the issue had been a public offer in securities, I would face prosecution under the provisions of the Companies At and I would lose”.

15. Quote (Douglas Hurd re Maastricht) “Now we’ve signed it I suppose we’d better read it”.

16. Quote (Lord Denning) “No longer is European law an incoming tide flowing up the estuaries of England. It is now like a tidal wave bringing down our sea walls and flowing inland over our fields and houses”.

17. The opening words of the Constitution for Europe were… ‘Reflecting the will of the citizens of Europe’… misleading is barely the right word for such arrogance.

There are thousands of other quotes and contradictions which would fill a book, ‘The Great Deception’ by Booker and North is worth every penny.

An editorial in The Times on 28 August 2002 summed up Blair & Co’s response to the (then) Constitutional Treaty thus: ‘It is at first denied that any radical new plan exists; it is then conceded that it exists but ministers swear blind that it is not even on the political agenda; it is then noted that it might well be on the agenda but is not a serious proposition; it is later conceded that it is a serious proposition, but that it will never be implemented; after that it is acknowledged that it will be implemented but in such a diluted form that it could make no difference to the lives of ordinary people; and at some point it is finally recognised that it has made such a difference, but it was always known that it would and voters were told so from the outset’.

Brown continues to deceive from where Blair left off!

  • 28.
  • At 04:17 PM on 18 Oct 2007,
  • Adrienne wrote:

Has everyone noticed how the recent rekindling of public discussion about immigration, anti-Semitism,

https://timesonline.typepad.com/comment/2007/10/dawkins-on-the-.html
https://timesonline.typepad.com/comment/2007/10/a-little-over-a.html

Holocaust Denial, and 'The War on Terror" all neatly coincide with efforts to get the EU Constitution ratified as the Reform Treaty? Has this all (including the deporting and locking up of Holocaust Deniers in Germany) just been for publicity purposes?

Whilst the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights comprises 18 Articles (and 14 Protocols) and our 1998 Human Rights Act comprises 18 Articles, but as most will know, Articles 1, 13 and 15 of the ECHR are NOT in our 1998 Human Rights Act.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Convention_on_Human_Rights
https://www.opsi.gov.uk/ACTS/acts1998/plain/ukpga_19980042_en

"Article 13 - right to an effective remedy
Article 13 provides for the right for an effective remedy before national authorities for violations of rights under the Convention. The inability to obtain a remedy before a national court for an infringement of a Convention right is thus a free-standing and separately actionable infringement of the Convention."

But as I understand it, one can't directly appeal before the UK national authority (court), one has to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, and up until 2005, our "War on Terror" made success unlikely as we derogated (although Article 15 on derogation is not in our HRA 1998).

Surely, so long as the UK can justify it's 'War on Terror' it can derogate? From 2005 onwards we continued to have peculiarly isolated terrorist acts which justified the 'War on Terror'. Recently, 'The War on Terror' seems to have died a death much like Bird Flu........

Now consider the fact that there aren't 15, or even 18, Articles in the 2007 Reform Treaty's Fundamental Charter of Human Rights, there are in fact 53 Articles, many of which have been put into this document, we are told, in order to tidy up a lot of interlocking legislation in the existing EU treaties, one of which is the Rome Statute of The International Criminal Court:

https://www.un.org/law/icc/statute/99_corr/cstatute.htm

But looking at Article 6 and its purposes, and comparing it with Article 3 which is now in the 53 Article FCHR (2007):

https://www.eucharter.org/home.php?page_id=10

The International Criminal Court is there to deal with War Crimes is it not? I've raised this before:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/newsnight/2007/10/friday_5_october_2007.html

but it pays to make this clear: Whilst there may be nothing NEW in the FCHR, one has to ask what one means by 'new' and by 'same' (two very tricky words in the philosophy of language)? The way that the above Article is introduced into the FCHR *is* new, as it's not in our current legislation as far as I can see, and if it is elsewhere, does anyone know where? See para 23 below:

https://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200405/cmselect/cmsctech/7/704.htm

Human Rights litigation looks like it's going to continue to be a boom industry.

  • 29.
  • At 05:13 PM on 18 Oct 2007,
  • Adrienne wrote:
  • 30.
  • At 06:18 PM on 18 Oct 2007,
  • Adrienne wrote:

Other topically relevant material:

https://www.newstatesman.com/200710090001
https://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/law/columnists/article2685361.ece

Although, once again, I contrast this, drawing attention to, the geo-political and socio-economic implications of Chinese 1995 'eugenics' legislation referred to and referenced in earlier comments, and to the likely continuation of dysgenesis in Europe to the extent that it adheres strictly to Article 3 of the Fundamental Charter of Human Rights, doesn't do something about its birth rates, and continues to pursue the prima facie laudable, but upon closer analysis probably misguided policy of 'Education, Education, Education' as a socio-economic panacea.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

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