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Prospects for Tuesday,18 March

  • Newsnight
  • 18 Mar 08, 10:57 AM

Carol Rubra is tonight's programme producer. Here's her early email to the team.

Good morning,

Let's talk about what we should do on the economy and how we can make it look and feel fresh and different. I've been talking to Hugh Pym about looking at historical comparisons with the Great Depression. Let's have a think about treatments and guests.

National Security Strategy - the government is announcing this tomorrow - should we preview it?

Barak Obama is making a speech about race.

Teachers are discussing whether homework should be abolished for primary school children at their conference today.

And the Supreme Court is looking at US gun laws.

Slough - a tribunal is expected to find electoral fraud in last year's local elections - Michael Crick is looking in to it.

10 Days to War - the parliamentary vote. This is the story of two backbench MPs facing the decision over whether to back their party or vote for what they believe is right.

Let’s talk about these and any other ideas at the meeting.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 12:32 PM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

"How do we make the economy look fresh and different?" What a load of superficial tosh! Why don't you decorate it with fairy lights and put an angel on the top of it? That should make it look different, if not fresh.

Personally I'd like to be told the real story. Why don't you have Niall Ferguson on--he was on BBC WS only the other day with an interesting perspective on the ongoing dollar devaluation?

  • 2.
  • At 02:47 PM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • Bill Bradbury wrote:

Chris, the "real story" has not yet surfaced. I'll give you a clue. Diesel is about to hit £1.20/litre,-- probably has down South? (ask the wholesalers what they are currently being asked on the Rotterdam "spot market"). Supermarkets are currently subsidising the price. People need their cars to get to work. From where are people finding this money? i.e. on what are they making savings or cuts? If they are buying less of one commodity, watch unemployment rise. What will be the tipping point for petrol £1.50/litre?

It will only take one glitch in the fuel supply industry then the only thing that Blair said he was worried about (not Iraq) was the fuel protest.
You can take it from me there is no spare capacity in the system. Ask Manchester Fuel Terminal if they have had any supply problems from the Immingham pipeline this week?

  • 3.
  • At 03:18 PM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • John wrote:

"National Security Strategy - the government is announcing this tomorrow - should we preview it?"

No, how about reporting on it tomorrow rather than previewing it? Journalists putting the cart before the horse!

As for the economy: could you explain how the Fed Reserve works in terms of printing currency, setting interest rates & why they are propping up lenders rather than depositors.

If you have some spare time, fix your website!

  • 4.
  • At 03:51 PM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • Bedd Gelert wrote:

Please please find time to cover this asinine proposal to remove homework from primary school. This is scandalous !!

Children are already leaving primary school with limited skills in reading and writing - this can only exacerbate this shocking situation.

There is talk about children being pressured. This is absolute nonsense. Children will be pressured if they cannot read and write properly when they get to secondary school.

Working class white boys in particular have been failed badly by the last 10 years of Labour govt. and its failed pledge on 'Education Education Education'.

Obsessive testing without a focus on real learning has already blighted the life chances of many children, because teachers are now hamstrung from doing any teaching because they have one hand tied behind their backs when it comes to discipline. And on the other hand are weighed down by a ridiculous obsession with testing and targets - not to mention an inability to tell kids that are not performing or behaving about the unacceptability of their conduct.

This is not helped by the fact that the teaching unions have made it all but impossible to fire crap teachers and lever up standards in literacy and numeracy. This is a national disgrace and merits panel discussion on Newsnight as much as the economy - the children are our only hope to keep that on its feet in the years to come, and if they cannot compete with the standards in Europe and Asia, we have no hope as a nation.

F n D

Oh dear – that “fresh and different” comment does speak for itself doesn’t it?
Might it be possible for Chris (Currently No 1) to interview Carol Rubra on the show, while I (and all those BBC viewers who just cannot fathom the mind-set behind “fresh and different”) look on? I am deadly serious here – as I am sure, is Chris.
Something has gone wildly out of line in the business of news and current affairs; it is all “imitating art”. If we exclude the possibility that you are all working for “Terror” and trying to expunge from our brains any perspicacity or attention-span, it must be that you think this approach (fresh, different, fuzzy, wobbly, musacked, etc) actually advances the business of imparting data. IT DOESN’T. So let’s have that interview.

  • 6.
  • At 05:25 PM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • Paul wrote:

Theres two ways they can make the economy fresh and different. And I dont know why no one is talking about this, although I'm sure it will be in the news before too long. Firstly, they can wait til we are all in a depression and beg to the international banks for an international economy, secondly we could start backing the money in gold that we print so we dont have to rely on international banking support. This way WE control our own money. I prefer the latter, but its all set out for the first choice. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!

F n D

Oh dear – that “fresh and different” comment does speak for itself doesn’t it?
Might it be possible for Chris (Currently No 1) to interview Carol Rubra on the show, while I (and all those BBC viewers who just cannot fathom the mind-set behind “fresh and different”) look on? I am deadly serious here – as I am sure, is Chris.
Something has gone wildly out of line in the business of news and current affairs; it is all “imitating art”. If we exclude the possibility that you are all working for “Terror” and trying to expunge from our brains any perspicacity or attention-span, it must be that you think this approach (fresh, different, fuzzy, wobbly, musacked, etc) actually advances the business of imparting data. IT DOESN’T. So let’s have that interview.

  • 8.
  • At 06:28 PM on 18 Mar 2008,
  • Anne Murphy wrote:

If you want an idea for a "crisis economy" item which is ahead of the curve consider doing something on how Gordon and Ed will shortly be dusting off the euro convergency tests. One of their biggest (and given their fuss over Black Wednesday, most embarrassing) headaches in coming days will be the collapsing pound. It will import inflation and so force interest rates to remain high at a time when policy makers need to be cutting rates to deal with what looks like becoming a vote losing collapsing housing market. With the Lisbon treaty now water under the bridge, an anouncement that the UK was again going to look at whether the famous five tests have been met could be portrayed as a bold step by Gordo towards becoming Good Europeans, and market signal not to push sterling too hard. It might be possible to use the prospect of British membership as a negotiating tool with other Euro members to relax the current rules which would mean a two year probation before joining. Something that again could be claimed as a UK victory - especially if accompanied by some form of co-ordinated central bank support for the pound.

Obama speaks:
https://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2008/03/18/text-of-obamas-speech-a-more-perfect-union/

With the single exception of the remarks on Israel, I concur. Too bad he see the middle East in such 'black and white' terms.

"But the remarks that have caused this recent firestorm weren’t simply controversial. They weren’t simply a religious leader’s effort to speak out against perceived injustice. Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country – a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America; a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam."

Salaam/Shalom/Shanthi/Dorood/Peace
Namaste -ed

Obama speaks:
https://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2008/03/18/text-of-obamas-speech-a-more-perfect-union/

With the single exception of the remarks on Israel, I concur. Too bad he see the middle East in such 'black and white' terms.

"But the remarks that have caused this recent firestorm weren’t simply controversial. They weren’t simply a religious leader’s effort to speak out against perceived injustice. Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country – a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America; a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam."

Salaam/Shalom/Shanthi/Dorood/Peace
Namaste -ed

Obama speaks:
https://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2008/03/18/text-of-obamas-speech-a-more-perfect-union/

With the single exception of the remarks on Israel, I concur. Too bad he see the middle East in such 'black and white' terms.

"But the remarks that have caused this recent firestorm weren’t simply controversial. They weren’t simply a religious leader’s effort to speak out against perceived injustice. Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country – a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America; a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam."

Salaam/Shalom/Shanthi/Dorood/Peace
Namaste -ed

  • 12.
  • At 12:15 AM on 19 Mar 2008,
  • david harty wrote:

No 6 .Not `Ron` Paul are you.....!


Buddy can you spare a dollar.

I concur and its the one issue that BBC and its guests prefer not to consider.

Tonight ,the man from Berkley,perhaps to save our blushes reminded viewers of a property boom in the 20`s (i think this was the Floriad land grab) while omitting that that interest rates were held down by secret agreement between Benjamin Strong of the fed and Montague Norman of the Bank Of England. This was to enable the strenghtening of the £ which at that time was still the worlds` reserve currency. The net effect of this was to create a speculative boom based on cheap leveraged money that created the boom and crash of `29.

Though not the main cause of the depression the 29 crash heralded it.

Back then the growth of money supply was limited by gold reserves of which the US had the major part of global resources having supplied the allies with war materiel. No such disciplinet exists today so for as long as helicopter Ben drops dollars on the US- mainly to Wall Street of course not the common people- then the buck will fall against real money (gold) and commodities.

The growth of the money supply ie. the M3 number is not released by the fed to deceive the people as well as understated inflation figures which consumers know by their grocery bills are also bogus.

There is also a media campaign directed at monetary reformist senator Ron Paul who has been telling
the world for two years about the danger of the falling dollar. Additionally, for two evenings running a guest from the venerable sounding `Hudson Institute` has appeared on Newsnight. This is the european end of the far right neo cons linked to and supportive of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC). Viewers should be told this.

So gently steering an interview away from questions of dollar decline and oil prices can be expected from certain interviewees.

The inflation problem is a `sickness` of money due to its over supply. The US administration dare not deliver the correct medicine ie. higher interest rates until debt is purged from the system. It only fights recession with more inflation.The UK will experience even greater pain than the US due to our higher house price bubble and indebtedness. The time for lenders to insist on higher deposits and interest rates from home buyers was several years ago-it is now too late.

We can expect a bubble in the US stockmarket this summer as the fed cuts rates to pump up McCain. A pull back in the autumn/winter and possible stagflation which could lead to an inflationary recession or depression 2009/10 for the new president to deal with.No amount of talking up the dollar by neo cons and the fed will save itthe currency of history`s greatest debtor nation.

As Niall Ferguson so well documents the British empire was a creditor nation with sound money- the American empire has neither the gold standard ,a sound monetary policy nor a foreign policy fit for the challenging problems facing the
world. Its time is up.

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