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Wednesday, 26 March, 2008

  • Newsnight
  • 26 Mar 08, 05:32 PM


sarkozy203x100.jpgIn his first state visit to Britain, President Sarkozy has certainly turned on all his charm, praising British dynamism and wooing Eurosceptics with flattery over how Europe needs Britain. He says he hopes his state visit to Britain will mark a new era in Franco-British relations. Gordon Brown has also hailed a new era of closer relations between France and the UK, but behind all the hyperbole, what does it all really mean? Michael Crick assesses what both men have to gain from this love-in.

And we'll be discussing what a Sarkozy - Brown alliance will mean with a former French minister, a writer and an academic.


mason203x100.jpgChinese workers have traditionally had few rights to speak out, but a country where strikes are illegal is now becoming the strike centre of the world. In the first of two special films from China, Paul Mason reports on the new Chinese workforce - the 300 million people whose cheap labour provides the life force of the economy - and how some are beginning to fight for their employment rights and are being physically attacked in the process.


On the eve of elections in Zimbabwe, why has the British government suddenly decided it’s safe to end its moratorium and send failed asylum seekers back to the country? Robin Denselow has been investigating.

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Today's Newsletter says: "Chinese workers ... are beginning to fight for their employment rights and are being physically attacked in the process."

During the long process of a country's modernisation and industrialisation, these terrible things do happen. Even in England people got killed in the Nineteenth Century, at in the Peterloo Massacre. (See URL).

When will Mankind become civilised?

  • 2.
  • At 06:18 PM on 26 Mar 2008,
  • Alain wrote:

The paradox doesn't end there, Iraq's heated violence is up and the government is deciding to send back failed Iraqi asylum seekers while bringing some Iraqi refugees ( collaborators) to settle in the UK.
One would have hoped that the government would do the same with Zimbabweans but well... there's no petrol there and... all potential collaborators are White British and...are already here. ha! ha! ha! Cynicism at his best

  • 3.
  • At 06:28 PM on 26 Mar 2008,
  • neil robertson wrote:

Will a Sarkozy-Brown alliance glow in the dark if they do go nuclear?

Amazing, too, isn't it that Labour is jumping into bed with the Right.

Vive l'écosse libre! Vive Mai '68!


Being one of the lied-to masses, I have no way of knowing the mental health of France but I do know the state of mind of British people. The numbers in prison; dependence on alcohol; viewing numbers for angry, bullying, degrading and humiliating TV programs; the calibre of those purporting to manage the country; a gratuitous war because our PM was a “soldier for God”, and the unhappy state of many ordinary citizens, all speak of a sad, sick country. So what are we to make of Sarkozy’s glowing approval of Madhouse Britain? It is Fool or Knave time (yet) again – is it not?
Either this President of France is as shallow a delusional as the de-facto “president” who recently fled these shores, or he is up to something. Why would Sarko suck up to Britain? No prizes, but somebody smart just tell me. Is he out to annoy the Germans?
Anyway, should members of the wonderful European Union, by which he sets so much store, form cliques? Isn’t that dishonourable? Or have I misunderstood the meaning of “honourable” – again . . .

  • 5.
  • At 07:04 PM on 26 Mar 2008,
  • neil robertson wrote:

On the day that Tata takes over both Jaguar and Land Rover why is British
Council denying access to the Indian
Revenue officials that The High Court in Kerala has ordered to go
and check out the contents of the British Library in Trivandrum that The British Council is still trying
to close in the face of a readership
campaign? Having been kicked out of Russia, it seems Britain's culture
quango now wants to lose us India?

  • 6.
  • At 10:23 PM on 26 Mar 2008,
  • Montaigne wrote:

Zut alors! Eet eez so seemple wah Sarko come ere. D'abord; le premier ministre Brun he mek aineewon look presidentale mais au fond Sarko want to sell you rosbifs beaucoup beaucoup d'expertise nucleaire, so you will all be safe from ze cold when les Russes turn off ze gaz.

Bonne nuit tout le monde!

  • 7.
  • At 11:02 PM on 26 Mar 2008,
  • jghounam wrote:

The standard of reporting with regard to China is not consistent with the facts.. In all honesty the BBc should revise its policy on reporting as China is on a scale that does not reflect European standards and China prioratises equity among all citizens including other nations that have been seriously neglected by the markets of Europe.. Beautiful,, bountiful hypocracy... ..? ching

  • 8.
  • At 11:12 PM on 26 Mar 2008,
  • Andrew Walkington wrote:

Tonight's commentary on the worker's situation in China painted an uneven picture.

Firstly Shenzen and Dong Guan represent a miniscule proportion of China.

Secondly stating the "10% of workers did not return, they are voting with their feet" is hugely mis-leading. It is not unusual for 5% of workers not to return and the exceptionally bad weather with massive snow fall and huge transport disruptions meant workers could not return whether they wish to or not.

Undoubtedly the China authorities need to be tougher on factory owners though they know exports are making them a true world power and soverign assets in developed countries are being bought bynthe Chinese to keep some form of balance of trade.

Who is to blame - WE ARE. Oil prices have increased 50%, Shipping prices 85%, metal price three fold increases in recent years and yet we all insist on a bargain and all believe this ridiculous statement of 2% inflation. So the Chinese workers so we can buy a toaster for £5.

WAKE UP ! ! ! ! ! ! !

  • 9.
  • At 11:21 PM on 26 Mar 2008,
  • jghounam wrote:

And zim produced bread for the Eu at great cost to Africans who suffered famine on a vast scale.. Reform produces real food for real Africans,,,

  • 10.
  • At 12:25 AM on 27 Mar 2008,
  • paul miller wrote:

nothing ever happens to the so called asylum seekers sent back to zimbabwe. compare the wests silence on uganda where multi party democracy is banned.

  • 11.
  • At 01:12 AM on 27 Mar 2008,
  • Liam Coughlan wrote:

The philosophy of new Labour is not unidentical of that in China, except China are achiecing far greater economic growth and development with it. Treating citizens as if they require orders, instructions, threats, punishments and fines and telling them nothing, in case they revolt, complain or vote the other way next time - that's britain. The EU referendum? No public vote as they would stupidly reject it. The Government acts as if voters could be classified by what newspapers they read.

Brilliant Jeremy tonight - particularly with the trio of Lenoir/Cash/Zaldene :-)!!!
And hats off to Paul Mason's film from China - it was well worth the 5 year wait. Look forward to tomorrow night's report too.

  • 13.
  • At 03:42 AM on 27 Mar 2008,
  • the cookie ducker wrote:

The evolution of a a nation: china.

The poor put-upon workers who don't get a good deal from their task masters in china and the human rights abuses are shocking, also they kill prisoners willy nilly, sounds a bit like that great industrial age we once went through. Thank God we've got the likes of Bob Crow to look after our welfare these Why does the BBC and Newsnight really feel the need to report such stories about an already fast growing global economy with its treatment of its workers, it happens, read your history, get enlightened, get over it and move on if you can and it would help if you understood that man like any animal will put upon another for profit, gain ect, thats just the way life is. Alturism is the preserve of the religiously good, Guardian readers and as we all know, the heads at the BBC.

What was that other item you had on tonights episode? oh thats right, the planned deportation of Zimbabweans back to their homelands when it may be dangerous for them.... can you guess where i am gonna take this? can you? well first off, lets just say there will be some genuine cases of hardship and real fear for some but when one is fleeing a country there is a tendency to cross a border; not a dozen borders with the aid of a plane or two and end up in the UK. I do hope that the lunatic Mugabe is toppled some time soon but lets remember that Zimbabwe got its independence some 20+ yrs ago and i would like to think that the african continent has enough countries to accommodate refuges fleeing persecution or starvation but no! the BBC has to tell us all we (the UK govt) are the persecutors for sending these Zimbabweans back to their homeland with talking heads all from the spectrum of the left, trotting out the same old lines.

Newsnight, you may wonder why your viewing figures are not too good... is it not any wonder.

P:S you may need a change of editor, Peter Baron may have to go..

To quote an old Tory MP "I can already hear the chorus of execration"

is that me banned then?

  • 14.
  • At 09:08 AM on 27 Mar 2008,
  • Fazer wrote:

Barrie (4)


Check out the man's origins...

  • 15.
  • At 10:22 AM on 27 Mar 2008,
  • neil robertson wrote:

Paul Mason's China film was indeed excellent - and Scotland then cut
to an interesting interview with
Alex Salmond which you might like
to borrow from Newsnight Scotland
and post up for the cheese-eating surrender monkeys who broke bread
with Sarko, Carla and Gordon Brun.

There are political alternatives!

  • 16.
  • At 10:36 AM on 27 Mar 2008,
  • steve wrote:

that nice man from France pays us a few compliments and we go paranoid....we are so used to dishing it to the French, Agincourt, Waterloo and all that 1940 on the beach stuff they are right to be pissed at us but under this new president he likes to be closer to the Yanks so being close to us might get him an in at the White House. He should do his homework and get back to his Gallic roots as the dollar is on the slide, the pound is rubbish against the Euro and we have the nightmare of Iraq to contend with. He should be well out of it but because he likes to strut he is going to get mired like we were. The French were right to say Non to the Iraq mess they were right over membership of the Euro and they were right over NATO forty years ago, but who listened? Not us.

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