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Jeremy Paxman's Manchester missive

Verity Murphy | 17:15 UK time, Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Here is Jeremy with what is coming up in tonight's programme:

I confess. I have not been loyally sitting through session after session here in the Manchester conference centre on your behalf.

This morning, I bunked off and went to City Art Gallery. There's a rather interesting exhibition of women surrealists there.

I shall resist cheap jokes, but will disclose that I was a long way short of being the only refugee from the conference there. They included one of the nation's most distinguished commentators, who seemed positively thrilled to have escaped.

So I missed Kelly Holmes talking to the Tories. Yes, that's Kelly Holmes the Olympic gold medallist. Didn't know she was a politician? Nor me. She followed in the steps of James Dyson and Kevin McCloud.

It's some sign of the times that the Conservatives can get people like that to turn up: it only seems yesterday that the best they could manage was Jim Davidson or Patti Boulaye.

There was no suggestion of either of them joining the government, although I suppose Lord Davidson of Billericay has a certain ring to it.

Maybe in the new era, it'll be Lady Emin of (Unmade) Bedfordshire. And a string of obscure baronetcies for Everyone She Has Ever Slept With.

It turns out that half the nation has been having these inconsequential fantasies. Including a bloke who called a Radio Five phone-in this morning and wondered whether Sir Richard Dannatt, the recently retired head of the Army, might like a place in the House of Lords. And then it turned out that David Cameron had been having precisely the same thought. How weird is that?

So, Sir Richard - or as he will doubtless soon be - Lord Dannatt of Dungeneralling - looks set to be joining the Tory ministerial team, if they win the next election.

Well, goody for Cameron. But if Dannatt did take a job with the Tories, wouldn't that mean that all the poisonous whispering from Labour ministers was essentially true? That when he complained about the government not giving the boys in Afghanistan the support they needed he wasn't speaking up for the poor bloody Tommy but plotting a tactical advance for the Opposition?

We'll be chewing that over with former officers now aligned with each big party.

We'll also be interrogating the shadow chancellor, George Osborne, about his Plan to Save The World. You'll recall that he's already told over four million people they'll be worse off if the Conservatives win, so that seems worth a good 10 minutes or so...

And we also have a piece from Mary Jane Baxter, a woman who used to be a journalist, decided to improve herself, and went into millinery.

She's exploring the new age of frugality which is said to have overtaken us. The spirit of make-do-and-mend is supposed to have taken a deep hold.

I rather wish someone had imbibed or dispensed a bit of it last week, when it proved impossible to send a report from Brighton to London. Hold on to your hats.

That's quite enough for now. Lots more at 10.30.

Jeremy Paxman


  • Comment number 1.


    Wandering around in the haunts of women surrealists, sounds a bit risky for a histrionic grand dame of Shock and Awe.

  • Comment number 2.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 3.



    The facts are:

    1) surface ships of all countries' navy's are, without modern-technology defences, extremely vulnerable to current anti-ship airborne weapons...;

    2) potent, easy to transport and hide, anti-ship weapons such as the SS-N-27 class of missiles can- in addtion to being launchable from aircraft hundreds of miles from target warship(s), also be launched from shore, surface vessels and submarines and have been widely marketed during the last decade....;

    3) Royal Navy 'picket vessels' such as the brand-new Type-45 Destroyers, that have 'some capabilities' to defend against SS-N-27 type anti-ship missiles, can not defend themselves from sub surface threats- due to their Labour-dictated weapons system build-deficiencies(motivated by Labour's grievously irresponsible cost-cutting strategies);

    4) Due to this, and Type-45's absurdly puny abilities to stock anti-ship missiles (again, a result of Labour's defence-budget short-sightedness), Type-45's would not be in a position to defend any aircraft carriers in their battle group.... for very long... if up against a moderately smart, and medium technology-equipped foe...

    5) The speed at which up to date airborne anti-ship weapons travel- and close on targets when in 'terminal mode'- obviates any possible argument that might have existed, pre-1970, for aircraft carriers to not possess their own airborne threat defences...

    6) In the 21st century, all 1st world nations with carrier forces- except the UK- recognize the above and are providing their aircraft carriers with both outer layer and inner layer anti airborne threat defences...

    7) Failure by the UK to do this as well- for its existing and any new carriers that may be provided to the Royal Navy- is inviting disaster- and ridicule worldwide....

    In the near future, the RN and other UK armed forces branches don't just require reasonable increases in annualized funding- they also need objectively-set, responsible capability benchmarks to aim at (and updated at a minimum every 2-years)... both of which have not been provided and/or facilitated by the Labour govt during the last 12-years!!

    Today, in addition to its new Type-45 Destroyers being equipped- at commissioning- with the weapons and defensive systems required so that they can legitimately function as 'multi-mission/multi-role' Destroyers- the RN urgently requires the expedited construction of at least 12- 14 of these warships- not 6 as Labour has begrudgingly agreed to....

    Additionally, the RN needs- at the minimum- either:

    1) its 2 operational aircraft carriers' weapons and defensive systems updated to 21st century standards- starting immediately!!;


    2) the immediate lend-lease of 2 or 3 up-to-date, fully equipped-with aircraft/weaponry/etc replacement carriers from the US...

    These ships' serving in the RN at least until the UK commissions- with a full compliment of fixed-wing and other aircraft- UK-built aircraft carriers*...

    (* designed with 21st century military-capabilities as a first priority, instead of cost effectiveness and 'make-work-project' political objectives dominating design decisions...)

    Roderick V. Louis,
    Vancouver, BC, Canada

  • Comment number 4.


    PART 2:

    Any political party governing a country that historically has had and presently purports to have a blue water navy- but neglects to make sure that, at the bare minimum, the country's front line warships' defences and weapons systems are updated regularly to the extent that they are capable of dealing with known threats- is inviting disaster....

    The fact is that, after 12-years of Labour, ALL in-service (commissioned) Royal Navy warships- and especially its 2 aircraft carriers- Ark Royal and Illustrious- are sitting ducks to recently developed supersonic anti-ship missiles, such as the Russian 'Sizzler' SS-N-27...

    Other than the upgraded US Navy Aegis/ESSM/Standard Missile system, only the UK/France/Italy joint PAAMS/Aster system is thought to be able to counter this type of missile... but neither of these systems have been fitted to any of the Royal Navy's in-service Aircraft Carriers, Frigates or Destroyers.

    Due to astonishingly irresponsible cost-cutting in 2004/2005 both Ark Royal and Lusty had their outer layer 'Sea Dart' anti airborne threat defence systems removed (due to obsolescence) BUT SEA DART WAS NOT REPLACED WITH AN UP-TO-DATE ANTI AIRBORNE THREAT SYSTEM, SUCH AS AEGIS/ESSM/STANDARD MISSILE OR PAAMS/ASTER!!!

    The same process was inflicted upon all of the the RN's remaining Type-42 Destroyers 3-years later...

    Any country that purports to have a blue water navy- but neglects to make sure that at least its front line warships’ defenses and weapons systems are updated regularly to the extent that they are capable of dealing with known threats- is courting massive catastrophe...

    Something that the French and Americans very plainly recognize:

    Both the US Navy’s Nimitz class supercarriers and France’s aircraft carriers (Charles De Gaulle) have been retro-fitted with both an inner layer, goalkeeper-like CIWS defensive system as well as an outer layer defensive missile system: PAAMS/ASTER or AEGIS/ESSW/STANDARD MISSILE …. not because these countries’ govt’s like to waste money on unnecessarily redundant armament systems for their warships, but because they recognize the enormous threat represented to their navy’s and their national interests by current anti-ship threats like the SS-N-27...

    1) -

    Note the text:

    "... Dec 12/08: Weapons upgrade.... Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems in Portsmouth, RI receives an $11.8 million modification to a previously awarded contract (N00024-06-C-5422), exercising the FY 2009 NATO SEASPARROW (anti airborne threat missile system- RVL) Program Office’s FY 2009 options..."

    "... Under this order, the USS Theodore Roosevelt will receive 2 MK29 MOD 4 ESSM ORDALT Kits, and 4 Solid State Transmitter (SSTX) MK73 MOD 3 ORDALT Kits. ORDnance ALTeration kits allow ships to swap out their older RIM-7 Sea Sparrow air defense missile systems for the RIM-162 ESSM, which is designed to deal with modern anti-ship missiles...."

    "... This particular order also includes 2 more MK29 MOD 4 ESSM ORDALT Kits for use on LHD ships*..."

    (* the US Navy's 'medium-sized', 43,000-48,000 tonne aircraft carriers:


    4) - RVL)...."

    "... This modification is a follow-on effort, which was previously performed under contract N00024-02-C-5421. Work will be performed in Portsmouth, RI and is expected to be complete by October 2010. The NATO SEASPARROW consortium... includes the United States and 12 other countries...."

    5) -

    Note under Armament:

    2 × Mk 29 ESSM launcher &
    2 × RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile

    6) -

    Note the text:

    "... Weapons

    "... The carrier will be armed with the Raytheon evolved Sea Sparrow missile (ESSM), which defends against high-speed, highly manoeuvrable anti-ship missiles. The close-in weapon system is the rolling airframe missile (RAM) from Raytheon and Ramsys GmbH...."

    7) -

    Note the text under Armament:

    "•Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile
    •Rolling Airframe Missile
    •CIWS ..."

    If the French can retrofit their aircraft carriers- Charles Degaulle- with new, cutting edge anti airborne threat missile systems- PAAMS/Aster 15 and 30 missiles- why can't the UK?

    The Ark Royal and Illustrious have been, in effect, out of service for most of the last 1/2 decade due to their fixed wing aircraft being stationed in Afghanistan...

    During this time, both ships could easily have been fitted with an Aegis/ESSM/Standard Missile or PAAMS/ASTER outer layer airborne threat defence system; crew trained; and protocols established....

    This was not done- it appears- out of deliberate Labour govt ignorance to the extreme risks presented to these ships, serving personnel and to the UK's international interests generally...

    How responsible is it to leave this situation for another 3/4 of a decade or more- until the planned new aircraft carriers are built, commissioned- and provided with aircraft?

    What if, during this period, some hostile country/group takes the view that the UK is so weak in naval military terms, that the hostile country/group would be likely to score a win easily- by hitting at the RN at its weakest points??

    After such an event, if 1/3 or 1/2 of the operational fleet is sunk- along with one or two carriers- the UK would have no retaliatory options and would be decades away from, if ever, regaining any sort of naval power capabilities...

    Even if 'only' 1 or 2 of the UK's carriers were sunk- what sort of retaliatory strategy- that required naval resources- could the UK prosecute against a foe equipped with up-to-date hardware?

    What happens to UK trade then?

    What happens to the UK's over 6-decade-old places on the world's most influential and powerful military, economic and political structures after such an event??

    What if the 2 planned new aircraft carriers are not built?

    And, even if they are built- the planned new carriers are currently planned to be as absurdly under armed (defence systems wise) as the Ark Royal and Illustrious: due to the Labour govt's forcing a 1/2 baked planning and building process of these vessels, both new carriers are not intended to be capable of being fitted with any outer layer defences!!

    If the presently underway, heavily botched Type-45 Destroyer build programme is anything to go by, their inner layer defence system will end up being CIWS's cannibalized from decommissioned Type-42 Destroyers or Type-22 or 23 Frigates.... useless against 21st century airborne anti-ship threats....

    So the new carriers, if built, will be just as vulnerable to SS-N-27 type threats as today's carriers- but the SS-N-27 and similar anti-ship weapons will have evolved and become even more difficult to counter...

    Why should the UK operate aircraft carriers- or any warships other than tiny coastal patrol boats- and especially, why task these vessels with 'world role' missions/tasks- if the UK is not going to ensure that they are kept sufficiently up to date, weapons and defensive systems wise, to perform capably against known-to-exist types of threats??

    Immediate govt actions to upgrade the Royal Navy's shrunken, dangerously handicapped capabilities are needed... not false-logic avoidance of reality...

    Roderick V. Louis,
    Vancouver, BC, Canada

  • Comment number 5.

    "Maybe in the new era, it'll be Lady Emin of (Unmade) Bedfordshire. And a string of obscure baronetcies for Everyone She Has Ever Slept With."

    Funny you should say that. You should invite Kevin MacDonald on to the programme for a chat perhaps?

    The scale of this market-forces determines value scam is extensive and has been devastating.

  • Comment number 6.

    I have not been loyally sitting through session after session here in the Manchester conference centre on your behalf.
    This morning, I bunked off

    Nice to see our national broadcaster operating at full value, if only in the honesty stakes. I'm sure if anything happens/d, it can be 'fairly represented' up in the edit suite.

    I must ask my boss if I can pop off on the company tab and catch a movie tomorrow afternoon. But he might feel we need to work hard to generate income to be taxed to pay for all those essential workers from the public sector with secret salaries and pensions to maintain.

    They included one of the nation's most distinguished commentators, who seemed positively thrilled to have escaped.

    Any chance of factual support? Or are we to rely solely on opinion. I am sure it is, also, 'a fair representation' of events in the way interpreted. Without the footage, I guess we who pay for it won't know.

    I shall resist cheap jokes

    Glad to hear... oh...

    Maybe in the new era, it'll be Lady Emin of (Unmade) Bedfordshire. And a string of obscure baronetcies for Everyone She Has Ever Slept With.

    Darn it, if they could have just got JK Rowling. Or the leader's missus. But then, they might have. Who'd know as it seems our uniquely, and well funded media reps have 'bunked off' on the being there, facts confirming stakes.

    a woman who used to be a journalist, decided to improve herself

    Ne'er a truer word said in cheap jest.

    An able follow-up to Ethical Man, one is sure, and one lives in hope of discovering practical, useful ways to assist pocket and planet for Friday-Tescos Fiesta Family as well as the air-flown Fairtrade Hybrid set.

    Though... 'said to' and 'supposed to' are hardly the most definite, encouraging intros to set the scene for the lady's adventure. Odd for one usually so certain and definitive about just about anything to seem so circumspect.

    Maybe unconvention-al facts and counter-arguments from uncooperative quarters are proving some conventions are not the easy sport they were promised to be? In the good old days of broadcast only, anyway.

    Anyway, enough of all this tittle-tattle for now. Quite:)

  • Comment number 7.

    from mimpromptu
    Another word that gets thrown at me on a regular basis is 'everyone' and surely enough it happened again this morning when I was at the British Library.
    Well, it could have been almost 'everyone' if not for the illegal /criminal/ perpetrators. I've learned how to be selective, even with those who are not cruel as such but either rigid in their views or simply stupid.

  • Comment number 8.



    "…It was initially planned to develop the PA2 (aircraft carrier) based on the design of UK Royal Navy future aircraft carriers (CVF). The memorandum of understanding on the Anglo-French future aircraft carrier was signed on 6 March 2006.

    "…However, in June 2008, French President Nicolas Sarkozy suspended cooperation with Britain in this regard. The decision to equip the French Navy with new aircraft carriers will be taken between 2011 and 2012.


    "…PA2 is a 75,000t, 283m-long variant of the CVF. The French version's deck carries a CATOBAR (catapult-assisted take-off but arrested recovery) design.

    "The carrier was designed to carry the Dassault Rafale, the E-2C Hawkeye and the NH-90.

    "The initial design carried a conventional propulsion system, but the option of nuclear propulsion and Azimuth thrusters are also being considered.

    "The French Government issued orders to conduct studies on new architecture and design in February 2009.


    "Initially, it was announced that the PA2 would be powered by a conventional propulsion system. The conventional electric propulsion system was based on two Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbines and pods.

    "In September 2006, the French Navy decided to choose different machinery and propulsion system to increase the PA2's speed from 26kt to the originally required 29kt. Aker Yards, DCN Propulsion and Alstom in association with General Electric have developed a new design, in which the propulsion is based on four LM2500+G4 gas turbines. The engine will power a centre shaft and two propulsion pods…."


    The Labour-handicapped design-decisions regarding the planned new aircraft carriers for the Royal Navy are- if the project proceeds- going to result in 2 warships that would barely be suitable to fight a mid-twentieth century type conflict, and certainly not 21st century ones...

    The UK's aircraft carrier project is accurately described a 'two-nation project'- involving for over 7-years the UK & France...

    Unlike France's plans for its 'French version' (PA2) of these warships- which are being designed and were to-be-constructed simultaneously- the UK's new aircraft carriers:

    - won't be built with catapults;

    - won't be nuclear powered; and

    - won't be capable of carrying or deploying tactical nuclear weapons, such as depth charges, anti-surface-target, anti-ship ordinance, etc:

    Why does this matter??

    - Lack of fixed-wing aircraft launch catapults:

    Catapults are necessary for Aircraft Carriers to be able to embark, launch & recover a variety of the most versatile & capable types of fixed-wing aircraft, such as Airborne Early Warning & Control (AWACS) types:

    E-2D Hawkeye: The (U.S.) Navy’s New AWACS-

    The RN's new carriers will be restricted to Harrier type (short/vertical take off & land ) fixed-wing aircraft & helicopters- that can not duplicate even remotely the function of modern, fixed-wing AWACS...

    Without AWACS planes flying high above the respective carrier & its battle group- scanning OVER THE HORIZON for potential threats & theatre data- carriers & their support/escort ships are enormously vulnerable to low-flying (sea-skimming) incoming airborne threats such as supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles & aircraft...

    - The UK’s new aircraft carriers won’t be nuclear powered:

    meaning these ships- if built- will be unable to generate sufficient power for fitting them with coming on stream/under-development 21st century armaments such as Directed Energy Weapons (DEWS) & will be significantly range/endurance-limited due to their fossil-fuel engines- & their aircraft- requiring constant refills of fuel from supply ships- particularly problematic if, during a conflict, the carrier's supply ships get sunk....

    Until they make a decision when to initialize construction of their version(s) of the UK/France aircraft carrier project, France benefits greatly from the design work that the UK is putting into its 'half' of the project... (even with the UK Labour govt's counterproductive cost-cutting design interference)...

    - UK Royal Navy’s future abilities to deploy tactical/other types of nuclear weapons at risk:

    Due to their 'on-the-cheap' design, the RN's planned new aircraft carriers- unlike France’s version(s) of these warships, won't be able to stock & use tactical nuclear weapons...

    Thereby eliminating these ships' usefulness in a legitimate hot-war- a situation that only the very most willfully ignorant/tunnel visioned would say can be ruled out during the projected 30- 50 year operational life of these "central to the RN's function" ships...

    - Current plans for the UK's new aircraft carriers put them, once built, at about 65,000 tonnes vs a projected 75,000 tonnes for the French version(s):

    The United States is in the middle of designing and beginning production of replacements for its 'Nimitz' class nuclear powered 'supercarriers'...

    The G Ford class aircraft carriers- when built- will be everything that the UK's Labour-interfered-with planned new carriers will not:

    - nuclear powered (next generation type at that!);

    - equipped with catapults and a broad variety of fixed-wing aircraft;

    - fitted to accommodate and use tactical nuclear weapons;

    - possessing ultra-low (for their type-of-ship) radar signature superstructures;

    - having multiple anti-airborne threat defenses... such as

    a) 'outer layer' anti-airborne threat missile batteries;

    b) technologically up-to-date, 'inner layer' anti-airborne threat 'Close In Weapons Systems' (CIWS's) for use when the 'outer layer' defensive system's missiles miss their targets- or the ship runs out of these missiles...;

    - having 'Co-operative Engagement Capability' (CEC): CEC is a sensor data distribution and plot fusion system that provides a huge enhancement to the situational awareness of naval forces/squadrons and their ability to protect themselves against the 'widely acknowledged within the MoD' significant threats posed by technologically current military aircraft and ant-ship missiles.

    Without CEC, the UK's proposed new aircraft carriers will- similar to the under construction Type-45 Destroyers which also won't be fitted with CEC- be severely handicapped when faced with any sort of conflict (one off or ongoing) situation involving adversaries with even moderately up-to-date weaponry...

    Foreign countries' (politicians/bureaucrats/corporate executives/corporations) that are potential military hardware customers of the UK)) witnessing the crass and irresponsible sacrifice of UK future national foreign-policy interests to 'make-work-project re-election objectives' of a small few Labour Scottish politicians can be expected to not even consider the UK and instead go to France, Spain and Germany for future naval military hardware/warships/submarines/support/training/etc...

    In summary:

    The UK's half-baked Aircraft Carrier project ought to be put on hold until the Strategic Defence Review (SDR) is at least finished its first stage...

    As part of the SDR the carrier project ought to be examined in-depth to at the least determine:

    - What country(s) is the most industrially appropriate and most likely to be constructive in terms of the resulting warships' capabilities, quality and functionality- for the UK in the design and building of its new aircraft carriers- a country with no internationally recognized expertise or world-leadership in building aircraft carriers- like France- or a country like the United States with its nearly half a century of peerless aircraft carrier capabilities leadership and world-leading aircraft carrier technologies' development...??

    - should the UK be designing and building its new aircraft carriers in partnership with the US??

    - what is the optimal propulsion method for these warships, and which method of propulsion will- during their 40-50 year operational lives- best serve to enable mission-competence for these warships, their accompanying escorts, and the Royal Navy generally? (nuclear vs conventional?);

    - considering the unpredictability's of international relationships/world events- and looking 40-50 years ahead: should the UK's new carriers be built so that they can accommodate and deploy tactical/other types of nuclear weapons?

    - should the UK's new carriers be constructed with catapult-launch-of-fixed-wing-aircraft capabilities? AND if no- WHY ??

    - should the new carriers be constructed with the sensors, radars and communication suites required for 'Co-operative Engagement Capability' (CEC)??

    - should the new carriers be constructed with outer layer anti-airborne threat ship self-defense system(s)?

    - should the new carriers be constructed with "NEW", technologically up-to-date, inner layer Close In Weapons Systems (CIWS's), rather than being fitted with recycled 25-year old CIWS’s from scrapped Type-42 Destroyers (as is currently being directed by Labour)??

    Why should the UK operate aircraft carriers- or any warships other than tiny coastal patrol boats- and especially, why task these vessels with 'world role' missions- if the UK is not going to ensure that they are kept sufficiently up to date, weapons and defensive systems wise, to perform capably against known-to-exist types of threats??

    Immediate govt actions to upgrade the Royal Navy's grievously degenerated, dangerously inadaquate capabilities are needed... not more false-logic avoidance of reality...

    Roderick V. Louis,
    [Personal details removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 9.

    How much do we pay you Jeremy?

  • Comment number 10.

    Once again, how much do we pay you Jeremy?

  • Comment number 11.

    I put it to you that we don't know how much we pay you. Why not? How much do we pay you?

  • Comment number 12.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 13.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 14.

    #6 from mimpromptu
    A journalist's job never stops so Jeremy's bunking off to an art gallery is neither here nor there. Who knows, maybe he's preparing another BBC programme on female art, for example. I should imagine that would be eye catching for a male like yourself!?

  • Comment number 15.

    Paxo's comments in relation to "the poisonous whispering of Labour ministers" in relation to Dannatt seem to come perilously close to an endorsement of the play the man and smear tactics seemingly so beloved by this government. Such tactics go back, of course, to the days of Nixon and before and embody the corroding effect of the arrogance, deceit and intolerance of criticism so consistently displayed throught the course of both Blair and Brown's leadership.

    We all have to take the rough with the smooth in political discourse but I found the comments made by Dannatt in his interview eminently sincere in their concern for the welfare of the troops on the frontline and dignified.

  • Comment number 16.

    from mimpromptu
    Another thing that caught my eye when at one of the cafe tables on the British Library grounds was an Asian looking young man with a copy of the 'Big Issue' and an orange drink. Any associations?
    Oh, and at another table there was a lady with a small bottle of water with a lilac colour top who tried to attract my attention as well. (?)
    Moore troops needed in London?

  • Comment number 17.

    @#14 - Mim - actually Jeremy's going to start filming a new series on "The Empire" later this year :o)

  • Comment number 18.

    Roderick V. Louis (#4,#8) I fear many people will take as little interest in our navy as they do the rest of our armed forces. They've been scared silly over the economy.... Global Warming and Bird Flu etc didn't work....

  • Comment number 19.

    Surely English not like turkeys, voting for Christmas eg Tories obsession with paying of debt immediately. Billions of pounds taken out of economy to pay debt = Massive unemployment spiral to deeper recession, unemployment not price worth paying like Torries said the last time English had last turkey flash of genius and voted on mass for them

    Labour Policy of investing in British people millions of people are working because of tax credits, child tax credits and minimum wage.

    Torries are not the party for the majority, of the people so we are not in anything together with them their creed is personal Greed.

  • Comment number 20.

    How about showing us the whole of Jeremy's interview with Boris?

  • Comment number 21.

    I think we should send Jeremy to Tate Modern to report on THAT exhibition.

    I'm sure he could sum it up rather well...

  • Comment number 22.


    Is it true that it rains a lot in Manchester?

    re your comments Mr Paxman about General Dannatt, the Political Editor on C4 has made similar remarks, how it doesnt really add up,

    have the Conservatives become politically naive? also Why was Mr Grayling not in the loop on this?, is it policy among the cons not to tell even their key people what is happening, is Mr Grayling outside of this core group, if so who's in and who's out?

    looking at Mr Graylings comments, I don't think they read nearly as badly as made out, though I'm not a con supporter

    the only person I really have any regard or trust for in this is General Dannatt-

    best wishes and PS to one of our new posters -we dont need any aircraft carriers, I cant see the reasoning for carriers whatever world we faced in the future. If we faced a major power no convoy would ever get thru, and by the way no oilfield would exist after the first day-

  • Comment number 23.

  • Comment number 24.

    #17 from mimpromptu
    Thank you for that, Mistress76uk

  • Comment number 25.

    the honours system shows how far the uk falls behind the democratic principle it requires of places like afghanistan. suppose we were fighting to set up a hereditary karazi and that half the legislators will be either hereditary or appointed? would we not say it was outrageous to inflict such a pestilence upon the people?

    we are fighting for a democratic principle in other parts of the world we do not have here.

  • Comment number 26.

    from mimpromptu
    I’m waiting for a selfless hero.
    Who is it going to be?
    Or is each Englishman a zero,
    A coward with Madam Mim, who is me?

    ‘We are all in it together?’
    What, prey, does it mean?
    Will I be used forever
    An inspirational me?

    This week I’m expecting an answer
    Who is it going to be?

  • Comment number 27.

    from mimpromptu
    Methinks Jeremy was right about Richard Dannatt having something to do with tea.

  • Comment number 28.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 29.


    The house rules are as follows:
    Comments posted to BBC blogs will be removed if they are considered likely to provoke, attack or offend others; are racist, sexist, homophobic, sexually explicit, abusive or otherwise objectionable; are considered to have been posted with an intention to disrupt; contain swear words (including abbreviations or alternative spellings) or other language likely to offend.

    Not really a lot of room for grown up debate there, eh? Now suppose we call to mind the Paxman - Million Pound Man - inquisitorial style? PROVOKE, ATTACK OR OFFEND - are you thinking what I'm thinking?

    At #2 above, the Blogdog saw fit to eat my handiwork. I am pretty sure it was on the grounds that I had DONE A PAXMAN, as defined in those three words (I was nowhere near the disgraceful stuff that follows the semi-colon). Something is rotten in the state of Newsnight. Hel-lo! The honourable thing would be to reinstate my #2 - I'll waive the apology.

  • Comment number 30.


    MIM WROTE: "This week I’m expecting an answer
    Who is it going to be?"

    Report to the Blogdog for a serious chewing Mim - you are trying to provoke; not allowed under house rules.

    Blogdog: report to yourself and chew your own tail off.

  • Comment number 31.

    Paxo's 'Darn socks!'

  • Comment number 32.

    Yet again, Jeremy was on top form tonight - particularly with George Osbourne, who dismally failed to convince anyone, let alone himself, of how he would be able to restore the economy which had a £90billion debt by making a budget which only saved £5billion......

    Excellent debate with Phil Woolas & Co too.

    I know I'd bunk off if I had to face a morning of conferences like that, although I'd probably call it research ;o)

  • Comment number 33.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 34.

    How much of a toff are you Paxman? How much do we pay you?

  • Comment number 35.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 36.

    from mimpromptu
    ‘No sex, no food’, one creep once signalled to me
    While buzzing around in despair pretending a bee to be.
    Teddy bears are also on the agenda by secret services sponsored,
    The creep seemingly hoping to act as Madam Mim’s bearly consort.

    So what do we get as a consequence logical
    Psychiatrically mad, creepily psychological?

    We get a teddy bear dreaming of becoming the king
    Hoping on a bright star to swing.
    We get a honeybee drone dreaming of being the king
    Hoping on a bright star to swing.
    There are lots of other examples Madam Mim could easily quote
    Of what happens to creeps whose minds have gone to pot.

  • Comment number 37.

    from mimpromptu
    As I mentioned yesterday, I'm posting all the rhythm & rhymes I'm working on this week, whether they be my own, translations or spoofs.
    Here's one of this morning spoofs based on William Shakespeare's Sonnett no. 18:

    Shall I compare you to a teddy bear?
    Thou art less lovely and less temperate.
    Rough winds do shake the darling bees of May,
    And summer’s lease hath all too short a fate.
    Sometime too cold the eye of heaven whines,
    And often is his white complexion dimmed;
    And every bear to bear sometimes declines,
    By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimmed.
    But thy eternal coldness shall not fade
    Though lose possession of that bear thou ow’st’;
    For shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade,
    When in eternal links to time thou go’st,
    So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
    So long dies this, and this gives death to thee.

  • Comment number 38.

    from mimpromptu

    Madame Mim is not what she seems
    Madame Mim is as closed as can be
    And it would be a rare event indeed
    For Madame Mim satisfaction to give.

    Madame Mim is open to affection
    Happy to provide some protection
    To those she considers worthwhile
    Be they adult, teenager or child.

    Madame Mim is not Mother Theresa
    Who abandoned all for the sick
    But she’s neither a pip hole Floresa
    Happy to tickle the weak.

  • Comment number 39.

    #38 error in the penultimate line of the last stanza which should read:
    But neither is she a peephole Floresa

  • Comment number 40.

    Found this, this morning and found it interesting.

    The question that I ponder, is not the carbon footprint, but where are all the raw materials going to come from? Oil will shortly be declining, and there won't be enough food and water, so how are all these people going to live?

    Unless having read this, we will all be going backwards to live as in the middle ages.

  • Comment number 41.

    from mimpromptu
    I start chewing a gum packed in a lilac box
    And jj becomes bubblegumtriffid taking himself for a fox.
    I have run out of colours for me safely to wear
    If it’s not the ‘boy’ who them copies then it’s bound to be the ‘bear’.

  • Comment number 42.

    mimpromptu - I hope Steven Smith reads this blog, you may get some coverage. If not, you could always be 'poet in residence' for Tory Bear - slogan 'No Bull, Just Bear..' *

    * - Actually, there is quite a lot of bull on his blog, but we'll let that pass - he is just feeling inadequate because he never quite made it to the echelons of the Bullingdon and now has to make do with being a Guido Gawkes [sic] wannabe..

  • Comment number 43.


    barrie (#30) Yes, but it's their blog, so they can do what they want - so there! ;-)

    As you have a penchant for poetry, would you care to classify/appraise Madam Mim's poetry for us please? Is it modern art? Is it of the same 'genre' as that of Damian Hurst and Tracy Emin? I haven't a clue, I'm just a bit wary of the intensional as black art. I am a little intrigued by the obscure images in her her work, and as Newsnight Review has covered this genre of material in the past, I presume there is 'a market' for it? Is her art (and its ilk) Newsnight Review material? Does Newsnight Review stimulate/reinforce/encourage the production of such modern art, verbal, graphic and 'whatever-the-name-is-for-the-Emin/Hurst' kind?

    In our troubled economic times, is the tide changing. See the Polanski case and the wider cultural of critique context.

    Blogdog, careful with that tea etc ;-)

  • Comment number 44.

    Wow... ladies night! So many hearts aflutter that their beau is being taken to task.

    14. At 6:28pm on 07 Oct 2009, mimpromptu wrote:
    A journalist's job never stops so Jeremy's bunking off to an art gallery is neither here nor there. Who knows, maybe he's preparing another BBC programme on female art, for example.

    In which case, it's hardly 'bunking off', is it? It's 'doing some research in my free time', or 'off on another project to make the most of the opportunity'. Why did the author choose to call it 'bunking off', and indeed suggest many (unspecified) others were doing the same? I am sure the BBC pages are littered with references to equally thrilled, distinguished (so you know they must be worth aping/paying attention to, whoever they are, you mere mortals) discovered in Brighton facilities, engaged in performance art reflective of their opinion as to what the Labour Party has come up with to date, and proposes.

    What I read was a clear attempt at offering some opinion, ably mirrored here:

    32. At 11:31pm on 07 Oct 2009, Mistress76uk
    I know I'd bunk off if I had to face a morning of conferences like that, although I'd probably call it research

    But I thought, with the national broadcaster at least, the watchword was supposed to be 'objectivity'.

    At least Mistress76uk has more sense on top of her honesty in terms of accountability to one's employers (Maybe not a major concern in certain quarters, as many of our national, uniquely-funded 'treasures', from Mr. Fry sideways, seem to feel invincible in now making personal points apparently official BBC policy by cheerfully admitting/encouraging practices that do get mere mortals fired in a non public sector environment. And getting plastered doing so across the broadcast spectrum to assist their message getting 'out'). But had Mr. Paxman used the research 'excuse', he wouldn't have got his little dig in then, would he?

    Oh, and when claiming 'anyone' (a cute complement to the faithfully read-out PR of pols' "I have spoken to the people and what they tell me is...', or Sian's morning 'Kevin from Hendon says you smell posh' email selections), your basis for including some here who I suspect might not feel they fall under your catch all is...?

    Didn't see it myself, but looking at your sentence it seems.. quaint to be more concerned about the relative impact of any attempt by an opposition party to dig us out of this hole left by the politico/media governing regime of the last decade or more, yet be blissfully unconcerned as to how Mr. Osbourne's opposite numbers got us to this pretty pass, seem to have nothing to show for it... and seldom get asked much that is challenging (by the BBC at least) on their role or credible intentions.

    So it's OK to blow £90B so long as you don't try and admit it and/or try to sort it out, but you're fair game if you do look to the future and try your best with what you know and think you will have to work with?

  • Comment number 45.

    ecolizzy (#40) From your fist link: "Take Uganda. 50% of Uganda’s population of 33 million is aged below 15. Population is growing at 3.2%. Average fertility is around 6.5 children per woman. On a business-as-usual projection, Uganda’s population will be around 100 million by 2050. (These figures are from the Population Reference Bureau.)"

    The messages about 'anthropogenic global warming' will disproportionately be taken up by those who can read complex sentences and analyse (regardless of the sentence's empirical truth). That is, brighter females, ergo, it will serve to drive the population down where it is already below replacement level. Which group is most likely, ceteris paribus, to benefit from that in terms of hegemony other than an small minority elite sub-group which has a mild fertility issue through the highest prevalence of NCAH known to man?

  • Comment number 46.

    #42 lord whoever
    What are you talking about?
    Madam Mim is far above any animals. Madame Mim is only keen on real men. You know what I mean? - upright, walking and thinking creations of the universe endowed with male chromosomes - alive and lively. Full stop. In fact she's currently keen on only one of them for closer contact.

  • Comment number 47.

    #46 - continuation of from mimpromptu
    Otherwise, it is Madame Mim's expressed wish to be left alone.
    Madame Mim is not for taking.

  • Comment number 48.


    mimpromptu (#46) "Madam Mim is far above any animals."

    Is that a burst of narcissistic grandiosity/entitlement? ;-)

    You're an animal ;-)

  • Comment number 49.

    "the view from the summit will be worth it."

    its usually cloudy misty up top? so there might be no view up there?

    We are all in it together.

    so far we have

    inheritance tax
    fox hunting vote
    continued billions of subsidies for millionaire landowners.

    If EON are 'responding to the global economic situation' then why haven't the energy companies lowered prices off the back of the collapse in energy?

    the only thing energy multinationals are responding to is profit?

  • Comment number 50.

    #45 jaded_Jean

    Where do you start where there is smoke to hide a mirage to hide a base lie.

    People are of course free to read your posts but to save many the time and effort who don't know:

    Jaded_Jean believes Hitler had a lot to offer and National Socialism would be a better system than democracy.

    Jaded_Jean does not understand that there are no significant racial differences between races as was evidenced by the largest global DNA study popularised in "The Incredible Human Journey". Hence that poster believes in race "realism", eugenics, euthanasia and so on.

    I assume the constant references to women and intelligence reflects Hitlers view that an intelligent man should have a stupid female as a partner. A cynic would say that in Geli Raubal it was more a replacement
    mother that he sought.

    I can't be bother to decipher the obscure ranting at the end of the post but bear in mind that that poster is "agnostic" on the Holocaust and Jews are allegedly all part of the "Jewish Communist International" by virtue of their race rather than any intellectual disposition.

  • Comment number 51.

    #29 barriesingleton

    Posts don't get removed if they talk around mass murder, racism, subversion, scientific fraud, historical untruth so far right posters still get too much of a chance to offend.

    In my world it is still incitement to racial hatred as one directly racist statement is surely the same as twenty indirect racist statements.

  • Comment number 52.

    The fact that the Tory conference has so far been a damp squib does show that whilst the public are not at all happy with Labour they are not enthralled by the Tory alternative.

    If either of these parties had the interests of the nation at heart they would look at the electoral system as a means of ensuring that should both of the current main parties are unelectable over a period of time it is possible to have a smooth transition to another democratic party.

    The old complaint that PR is a road to compromise is farcical as if it better reflects the aspirations of the public and allows broader consideration of issues it is a positive.

    The country's with PR usually have a higher turnout as their votes count in a fairer system.

  • Comment number 53.


    Unfortunately JJ, the root of 'poetry' is more-or-less 'a gathering together' and I think Madame Mim does that to perfection.

    I heard the droning Laureate on 'Today', giving forth of 'Atlas' - her latest work. The usual, turgid, shopping lists - sadly. I am off to print it out and look for anything that appeals.

    One day we shall all NOT be poets for 15 minutes. Hold on JJ, Mim's 15 might just be coming up! (:o)

  • Comment number 54.

    'There is a "significant risk" that global production of conventional oil could "peak" and decline by 2020, a report has warned.

    The UK Energy Research Centre study says there is a consensus that the era of cheap oil is at an end. '

    What can any government do now in a ten year span? There is an environmental need to speed the flight from carbon in any event.

    It would be something to try and get more charge points for battery power and to have some kind of contingency plan should you hit the scenario of there being fuel shortages.

    With people living so far from work these days many will use private transport to get to the public transport systems.

    If people can't get to work because the public transport systems can't cope with demand then we lose a lot of money/business and big companies start to relocate to countries with a more viable infrastructure.

    Surely this is a a very major and underestimated issue.

  • Comment number 55.

    Osboure was clearly nervous, he actually looked like he was at his very first job interview and I thought Jeremy could have been a little tougher with him. Did you feel sorry for him Jeremy?

  • Comment number 56.

    Thought Paxman v GBH okayish but I missed on the hairy shirt we were promised and given that the previous night Irwin Stelzer had got to the crux of the thing with what the Conservatives plan to do about stimulating growth in the ecomomy I was disappointed JP went no further than express mild sceptism about the efficacy of £7 billion cuts to put right a structural deficit estimated by the Treasury at £90 billion.

    Much as we focussed endlessly on interest rates in the run-up to the banking collapse we are in danger again of focussing on only one small part of the solution.

    Plus we'e not really any the wiser what really went on in the changing rooms at Eton.

  • Comment number 57.

    Go1 #54

    "There is an environmental need to speed the flight from carbon in any event.

    It would be something to try and get more charge points for battery power and to have some kind of contingency plan should you hit the scenario of there being fuel shortages."

    How do you imagine electricity is produced?

  • Comment number 58.

    Barrie #53

    "I heard the droning Laureate on 'Today', giving forth of 'Atlas' - her latest work. The usual, turgid, shopping lists - sadly. I am off to print it out and look for anything that appeals.

    Doubt you'll find anything. They missed a trick this time by not appointing Benjamin Zachariah as the new Poet Laureate. I have an idea he would have done a splendid job. For the appointing committee I'm sure a 'black' would have scored as many points as a 'lesbian' did. He's also a better poet. And much funnier. Benjamin Zachariah is a great talent not yet properly recognised. Just my opinion of course.

  • Comment number 59.

    thegangofone (#50) "Jaded_Jean believes Hitler had a lot to offer and National Socialism would be a better system than democracy."

    You really do need to learn something about politics and history. In times of crisis, governments across the world suspend/abandon Liberal-Democracy (essentially anarchism) and declare a State of Emergency or Martial Law - think of Pakistan to see why. Germany was in a mess in the 1920s and 30s, so was the USSR after the 1917 anarchistic revolution (a tool of Germany you may note, just as Balfour was a tool of Britain). The USA was in a mess in the 1930s, look up the NRA under Roosevelt in the 1030s (unconstitutional), but look at how the West also admired Hitler and Mussolini in the 1930s as great statesmen. What really happened to change that assesment after what they achieved?

    You must look at history in context, just as you have to look at what people write in context.

    You appear to get your kicks by being aggressive and unpleasant. There are better ways. ;-)

  • Comment number 60.

    Errata #58

    The correct spelling is of course Benjamin Zephaniah. My apologies.

  • Comment number 61.

    # 54 - we will struggle to replace our reliance on hydrocarbons with other energy sources full stop let alone within the next 10 years. UK oil and gas production is declining and over the next 10 years or so, the best case scenario is that we will to produce around half of UK demand - that is extremely optimistic and assumes massive investment (starting now) in the UKCS. There is a real risk that in ten or so years time, we will be producing only around 10% of the UK's needs. Where will the wealth come from to pay for the importation of the balance? I have in the past been a proponent of peak oil theory but I am now moving towards the "Two Cardigan Theory", i.e., we won't be able to afford to switch on that extra bar on the elctric fire and will have to put a second cardigan to keep warm.

  • Comment number 62.


    Like Osborne, Cameron demonstrably lacks gravitas, and most of all, credibility and vision given what they were saying before the Credit Crunch. In his speech he blames the problems on Big Government. But the problems happened in NYC and London as a consequence of a hands off approach - New Labour was doing what the US was ding, and they effectiely had a Conservative (Republican) Government!

    Britain's problem is that it is being offered a false choice: Blue Anarchism, Red Anarchism, or Yellow-Orange Anarchism.

  • Comment number 63.


    stanilic (#104 in SF's blog) "In politics facts can be arguable because despite Fabian claims to the contrary there cannot be a political science."

    Science has moved on. We now have behaviour science which includes behavior genetics. When one does the numbers based on the evidence it creates its own politics. Mark those words.

    "This is how we have acquired spin because some people think the way of delivering the message is more important than the message itself. They delude themselves as all they achieve is to bewilder and confuse. This is another reason for the common disaffection from politics: people do not understand and so naturally feel excluded."

    That may well be true, but back in 1900 the British population was about 41 million, the USA about 76 million, and Russia 136 million. By 1910 these had increased to 45m, the USA 97m and Russia 160m. Before the universal franchise in Britain in the early part of the C20th, he electorate comprised about 7 million people (male). This was selective, it was largely people who understood what they were voting for. Extending the franchise dumbed down the electorate, literally, and in time, genetically too.

    "I doubt very much if Milliband agrees with the proposition that all are created equal. He did not get where he is today without being the son of a famous leftie politics professor, did he? The Labour Party is the party of the middle-class apparat who have never had the moral courage to go out and make a living for themselves. What use is a political or social theory if you have not gone out into the wider world and put it into practice?"

    What he believes is irrelevant. He said it was the starting point of their politics and this is in fact reflected in our schools, perniciously. We hear of 'underachievers' and 'failing schools'.

    "Consequently I no longer have a need for academic theorising. I accept I would not have got where I am without determining a theory or two but after a while theories and authorities are just not enough."

    Translation - you have stopped updating what you know.

    "They have to stay seated on the bookcase whilst you have to get your hands dirty with the grime of real life."

    That's an excuse to remain bigoted. I doubt you have the education to make sense of what you have been told from the questions you asked in the past about heredity.

    "My libertarian values derive in part from an intellectual appreciation of the ideas, in part from moral instruction from a young age, in part from being close from childhood to many articulate libertarians of both Left (Orwell) and Right (Hayek) and in part from setting up and running organisations within industry and commerce based on the same ethical standard. My theories are no longer theories; they work and they work well."

    They are all anarchists, all the names you mention are anarchists. That is very politics which brought about the economic crisis which we are now enduring the consequence of. You will contribute nothing useful so long as you ignore what you are told. Theories are, to some (bigoted) people, everything which is not their own personal, necessarily limited, experience!

    "I would recommend to any political, social and economic theorist that they go out into the world and set out to try and change just a little bit of it according to their stated principles."

    How do you know those that you give your recommendations to are not more world-wise than you?

    "By struggling with reality, moderating or strengthening aspects of belief, recognising that you won't get it all but you can get most, you can get there and make an enduring mark. If you don't then what are you? Just a fantasist, at the end of the day."

    It may well be a description of you if you don't update what you know!

    "The problem with the schools is simple: it is not money, it is not the teachers, it is not the pupils. It is that nobody actually runs them except some bureaucratic entity. Consequently nobody is responsible. To my mind empowering the teachers is the place to start as without teachers there can be no school."

    It's the intake. The gene-pool. We know it's the intake. It's why the CVA regression model used by the government is heavily weighted for prior attainment, which is predicted by CATs etc. We know that intelligence is genetic. Got that?

  • Comment number 64.

    57. At 1:54pm on 08 Oct 2009, NewFazer:

    How do you imagine electricity is produced?

    In the same way, according to some, more uniquely positioned to comment, as their future pensions are supposed to be funded?

    Pixie dust!

  • Comment number 65.

    from mimpromptu


    I'm on the Back Side again
    Watching the to's and the fr's
    Wondering how it did go
    On the Mancunian terrain.

  • Comment number 66.


    Hey Fazer ma main man! Has the revolution started? Why wasn't I told? Is it OK now to use: slap-head, four-eyes and fungus-face? My little mate Lofty, says the filth (used on Radio 4 Blogdog) still come round if you call a Welshman Paddy or an Irishman Taffy.

    Meanwhile, next time I take my 'stricken' brother into A and E, I shall do my 'Dave' impersonation and expect not to end up in gloomy alcoves for the odd hour+, while 'Manglish' speaking functionaries come and go, asking identical questions.

  • Comment number 67.


    barrie (#66) while 'Manglish' speaking functionaries come and go, asking identical questions."

    Lots of money has been poured into the NHS as we all know, money makes everything better.

    Oddly, if you say it isn't money that does this, it's staff IQ and their skills which is all genetic, that's a taboo, a real nn-no as you can't get the staff easily in a dysgenic society - saying so is serious blogdog stuff. However, money is a 'secondary reinforcer', and as such is an example of 'stimulus control' i.e environmental control. This is like teachers or teaching in schools. If pupils don't learn, it's bad teaching (i.e. envionment).

    Pity this is all wrong eh?

  • Comment number 68.


    I have no problems with you escaping the Party Conference
    for Art and culture...

    I hope you enjoy it...

    ~Dennis Junior~

  • Comment number 69.




    The paragraph in my comment from 5:36pm on 07 Oct 2009, above, that reads:

    "... 4) Due to this, and Type-45's absurdly puny abilities to stock anti-ship missiles (again, a result of Labour's defence-budget short-sightedness), Type-45's would not be in a position to defend any aircraft carriers in their battle group.... for very long... if up against a moderately smart, and medium technology-equipped foe..."

    ought to have read:

    "... 4) Due to this, and Type-45's:

    "- not being fitted at commissioning with 'Cooperative Engagement Capability' (CEC) sensors/equipment*; and

    "- their absurdly puny abilities to stock ANTI AIRBORNE THREAT missiles*, Type-45's would not be in a position to defend any aircraft carriers in their battle group... for very long (if at all)... if up against a moderately smart, and medium technology-equipped foe...

    "(* due to the Labour govt's highly innapropriate cost-cutting interference in the Type-45 programme's design/build processes)

    "Comparable class Destroyers from other 1st world nations' navy's- such as the US's, South Korean and Japan's (Burke, KDX III and Kongo classes)- each have a capacity to stock over 360 'outer layer' anti airborne threat missiles, whereas a Type-45's maximum capacity is only 48 'outer layer' anti airborne threat missiles...

    "Burke's, KDX III's and Kongo class Destroyers are, upon commissioning- also fitted with 'inner layer' anti airborne threat systems, whereas Type-45's are not.

    "Although, there are plans to fit a 25-year old inner layer defence system to the few Type-45's that the Labour govt has committed to fund the construction of- once these inner layer defence systems become available for cannibalization from retired/decommissioned Type-42 Destroyers..."

    Roderick V. Louis,
    Vancouver, BC, Canada


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