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Thursday, 3 January, 2008

  • Newsnight
  • 3 Jan 08, 05:10 PM


kenya_protests203x100.jpgNewsnight's Paul Mason is in Nairobi and he'll bring us the latest developments and we'll be looking more widely at how the political stalemate can be resolved and at what the implications are for the "war on terror".


David Grossman is in Iowa as the first test of American public opinion in the 2008 elections - the Iowa caucuses - gets underway. With gatherings in homes and small meeting halls across the state, this is as close as a modern democracy gets to Athenian democracy of more than 2,000 years ago. Obama? Clinton? And what of the Republicans?

Politics in 2008

Is it possible to predict what the big political stories are going to be in 2008? Michael Crick will look ahead at the challenges for the three main leaders in the coming year and our political panel will join me in the studio.


George Macdonald Fraser, author of the Flashman books has died. The character he created fought, drank and womanised his way around the British Empire, so what do people see in Brigadier General Sir Harry Paget Flashman?

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 06:55 PM on 03 Jan 2008,
  • Bob Goodall wrote:

Dear Newsnight

maybe a common thread, we have one life how do we propose to use it?

best wishes

  • 2.
  • At 10:38 PM on 03 Jan 2008,
  • john wrote:

Webcast no worky again.

  • 3.
  • At 11:03 PM on 03 Jan 2008,
  • George wrote:

Dear Newsnight,

In your coverage about conflict in Kenya, you mentioned that Kenya is surrounded by troubled countries. In your list you included Tanzania.

Please check your facts. In fact Tanzania is the most stable and peaceful country in East Africa.



  • 4.
  • At 11:27 PM on 03 Jan 2008,
  • Nick Thornsby wrote:

I hope Michael Crick paid for those two newspapers he just plucked from a newsagent's shop and wandered off with while recording a TV report!

  • 5.
  • At 07:45 AM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • wappaho wrote:

why is the main issue for black people, whether or not a black person gets into power? is it true that only 9% of the US is black? so why the constant talk about colour - are Condaleesa and Colin not testament to the end of the colour bar? i say that in the West we bring an end to this constant vying for position of colour and creed and get back to the modernist democratic and meritocratic project that we all share - focus on progress not difference

  • 6.
  • At 04:28 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • Bob Goodall wrote:

Hi Newsnight

i noticed the moment Michael Crick plucked the newspapers off the stand, cant remember if it was live but was thinking say the staff had changed since they paid for the papers...

thought the earlier broadcast with David Grossman in the freezing cold did demonstrate pretty well what the iowa circaus has to overcome,

brought it home a bit, but was he too comfortable last night?

best wishes

  • 7.
  • At 05:56 PM on 04 Jan 2008,
  • gordon Neil wrote:

I thought last night's Paul Mason piece on Kenya was journalism at its best. Thoughtful, analytical and challenging. Nice to see analysis focusing on the bigger picture and trying to get behind the immediate violence. I was particularly struck by an ,albeit all too short, contribution of one whom I think was an African correspondent from the World Service. I thought he had more to say and deserved more airtime. His points about the major influences contributing to the situation, particularly the religious influences involved, was rather left hanging. Hope there is more to come on this.

  • 8.
  • At 02:26 AM on 05 Jan 2008,
  • M.Lin wrote:

Re: Benazir Bhutto & the ISI

When is Newsnight going to feel it is safe enough to take a real and proper (contextual) look at the complexities of the Pakistani ISI? Much of what has been common knowledge on this subject on the Indian Sub-Continent and elsewhere (like, possibly, Algeria, for example) for decades, seems to have been be avoided by us here.

Can't claim to any authoritative view on the matter myself but I do know it's all highly complex - more complex than you seem able to present.

No doubt a careful rather than 'gung-ho' approach might be necessary, if this work is to be truly useful in very broad terms rather than for the sake of 'a Story'. The latter would no doubt be reckless.

With respect, and of course, thanks, as always.

  • 9.
  • At 09:59 AM on 06 Jan 2008,
  • Adrienne wrote:

#5 Because they're still tribal?

Some Jews tend to be the same. How could it be any other way given that their sense of identity is tribal/endogamous?

Enclaves/tribes are exclusive classes which refuse to acknowledge their racism as they benefit from it through nepotism (networking/cronyism), and even pointing this out it likely to earn one the title a 'racist' persecutor of a (in the UK) RRA protected group, which just serves to reinforce the exclusive identity.

Protected groups just protect those behaving in a 'racist' ways, and this should be pointed out with confidence as the legislation appears to be designed to provoke hostility and confer special advantage on the few. Provoking inter-famility/group/tribe conflict just serves to reinforce group identity. In the late C19th some of our Foreign Office staff in Eastern Europe/Russia did report that the pogroms appeared to have been incited by activists, the suggestion being that that this was used as an excuse for mass emmigration from the Pale of Settlement to the more liberal UK.

Any UK citizen eligible for foreign citizenship by birthright should, perhaps, be stripped of their UK citizenship, and the right to be domiciled elsewhere (e.g. Israel) for tax reasons should be made illegal. What's allowed today is clearly divisive and racist. Judaism is not a relgion, birth confers hereditary membership of an enclave. If hereditary peerages have been abolished, why not the Right of Return conferred by Jewish identity (something which the UN would have to insist Israel itself abandons - oddly the UN resolutions which might have seen this happen one day were revoked in teh 1990s).

One can look to Kenya and the rest of Africa (or Pakistan) to see the trouble which this causes. Or here:

Perhaps Russia in the C19th and Germany in the 1930s were right to pass laws against such abuses, and we today should be wary of all of the horror stories which we've been fed since the 1940s. Many of those stories were created (by the USSR) and allied propaganda units for high level political reasons at the end of WWII. They served only to protect/preserve if not create the interests of a nepotistic group whilst fuelling conflict in the Middle East and 'The War on Terror' today. Race relations, Equalities/Civil Rights/Human Rights legislation is prima facie supposed to reduce conflict but if one looks closely at the past 4 decades, one can see that they've just reinforced self-interest based on family ties. How else can one explain such prominence from a group which comprises less than half a percent of the UK population?

If anyone finds any of these remarks offensive, I'd love to hear why.

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