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Thursday 15 October 2009

Verity Murphy | 16:25 UK time, Thursday, 15 October 2009

Here is Gavin with what is coming up on the programme:

Today's Quote for the Day:

"You know, Gordon, I should not like you. You are Scottish, we have nothing in common and you are an economist. But somehow Gordon, I love you. But not in a sexual way" - French President Nicolas Sarkozy conversing with the prime minister.

In tonight's programme:

We have an exclusive story on the Royal Mail dispute - we hope. We're working hard on it as I write this. We hope to break the story at 10.30pm.

Plus: the death of the Dollar as the world reserve currency? What would it mean?

We'll also be looking at the damning review into defence procurement.

And how the media has changed thanks to the internet, mobile phones and digital technology in the noughties decade.

All that on BBC2 at 10.30pm. Must be worth a watch. Gavin.


  • Comment number 1.

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

  • Comment number 2.


    the death of the Dollar as the world reserve currency? (that would be major problems)

    What would it mean? (it could led to a major run on other currency, e.g. Euro and Yen...)

    ~Dennis Junior~

  • Comment number 3.

    Females are shorter than males largely because of the effects of estrogen inhibiting bone growth. Therefore, any genetic polymorphism which increases the amount of estrogen in males can lead to reducton in stature. There may be other cognitive-behavioural consequences of such a hormone tilt.

  • Comment number 4.


    REAL blokes shave with aplomb, and impunity, as women are attracted to men who look a bit girly. But 'suspect blokes' grow massive beards to try to boost their male credentials, against the nagging feeling that they are full of estrogen! (:o) Any decent god would have settled for parthenogenesis, with a bit of DNA transfer during wild kissing. Jehovah, sadly, did not grasp this opportunity, AND mixed up elimination with procreation! Is a dyslexic god possible?

  • Comment number 5.

    It would appear that the latent unrest amongst postal workers which has led to the proposed strikes was originally precipitated when management forced front line posties to start at least an hour later in the morning. Anyone with any intelligence who has ever worked in front line distribution knows full well that an hour in the morning is worth two in the afternoon as far a productivity is concerned. Perhaps management were too feckless to get up early in the morning, or perhaps they wanted the extra hour in bed to recover from their previous nights heavy drinking.

    One manager at our local semi-rural sorting office was recently caught red handed opening mail and stealing valuables running into thousands of pounds. It took some first class surveillance to catch him, it had been going on for ages and perhaps the front line posties were originally in the frame. It always the same when large organizations parachute in university trained alleged logistics experts, when the true method to train efficient management is to start everyone at the bottom and cultivate those with aptitude for the job.

    All too often in recent British industrial history those promoted to management have often been those no use at doing the practical jobs. This causes resentment and I can well imagine university trained management using satellite navigation systems to decide routes when the best way to get round the job has been established by long experience.

    Perhaps the fact that our postal service was better in the 1930's using steam trains speaks volumes for the effectiveness of the current management of our postal services.

  • Comment number 6.

    from mimpromptu
    How about leaving it up to the ladies themselves which men they consider as real?

  • Comment number 7.

    mimpromptu (#6) Need you ask?

  • Comment number 8.


    I'm just watching a fim
    Which I don't particularly like
    And would rather be dittying
    Or be on my bike.

    The actress who is playing the main female role is a very talented young lady.

  • Comment number 9.


    a few 'men' from my distant past have been at it again all day trying to prove something but I'm not entirely sure what


  • Comment number 10.

    mimpromptu (#9) Why do you think that BBC Newsnight blog readers wish to kept abreast of your personal life?

  • Comment number 11.

    As a postal worker I have seen first hand the decline in the postal service. It's time the Government intervened, or is there some master plan by Peter Mandelson to bring the postal service and it's union down on it's knees in retribution for not getting his own way over the privatisation of Royal Mail?

  • Comment number 12.

    As a postal worker for the last 23 years i have seen a lot of change in the business,( for the worse i might add). this latest bout of national strike action has only been instigated by a bullying arrogant and out of touch so-called management, i say so-called because 90% of them are either college graduates who have never done a delivery in their lives or postal workers who have no managerial skills and simply applied for the job.
    In fact one Glasgow mail centre manager was recently heard saying WE WILL STARVE WORKERS BACK IF THEY GO ON NATIONAL STRIKE.
    That lets you see the kind of relations between management and staff.

    My take home pay is £255 per week, not enough to get by on in this day and age, so i hope that you all understand a strike is the last thing postal workers need.
    Management on the other hand help themselves to £430 per week take home pay at the lowest end of their pay scale, and have recently awarded themselves a £9000 bonus. (no joke).
    My comments are only the tip of the iceberg on what it is like to work for royal mail nowadays, I am sure if anyone who is working with any employer would not put up with half the things postal workers need to put up with on a daily basis.
    For anyone who thinks we are lazy, try getting up at 4.30am, fill up 6 bags with 16kg of mail and deliver them to 800 calls. That’s what I do just now, so you can imagine it gets a bit annoying when you get asked to take on more work with no more pay,(part of the reason why we have voted yes for a national strike).

    I am not looking for sympathy, and I have always been thankfull for having a job in the first place, but it does get a bit annoying when you hear usually from penpushers who do as much excersise in a month as we do in a day ask us to stop whinging and get back to work.

    So just a little understanding would be nice.

    John Wood

    i am surprised Alan Johnston has not made comment about the forthcoming national postal strike, considering he was the branch secratery for the postal union cwu for 10 years before joining the labour party.

  • Comment number 13.

    As a postal worker I have seen first hand the decline in the postal service. It's time the Government intervened, or is there some master plan by Peter Mandelson to bring the postal service and it's union down on it's knees in retribution for not getting his own way over the privatisation of Royal Mail? Maybe then we’ll see him come riding in on his white charger to save the day, just in time for the general election!

  • Comment number 14.

    from mimpromptu

    I'm at the Blue Moon
    Drinking a glass of Pinot Noir
    Hoping the pain will go soon


  • Comment number 15.


    What's going on...? Wouldn't that be more worthy of coverage NN?

  • Comment number 16.

    i am surprised Alan Johnston has not made comment about the forthcoming national postal strike, considering he was the branch secratery for the postal union cwu for 10 years before joining the labour party.

  • Comment number 17.


    He will be all statesman and no 'trousers' from now on.

  • Comment number 18.

    i have been convinced for many years as project after project collapses that there has been systemic sabotage of uk military procurement for decades. as was demonstrated in the mi6 case with philby no service has 20 years of 'bad luck' and if they do then start looking for the 'philby'?

  • Comment number 19.

    I notice you failed to post my two messages, yesterday.

    As the second posting removed anything you could have deemed offensive, I guess all I can offer you is pity.

    Re-reading what I wrote (as I keep copies, for just this kind of situation), I think my first post must have been too near to the bone, referencing the travesty of what passes for BBC journalism these days. "Greens on Trial" really was a farce and Emily Maitlis didn't do the programme many favours. To be honest, I quickly pressed the 'mute' button, so I don't know for sure how bad the 'grilling' was. It does appear, though, that all bets are off when 'Combating Climate Change' is the topic.

    I had a little idea as to how we, the Licence payers, could determine the BBC's policy on 'freedom of speech': perhaps someone could allow Newsnight's blocked messages to be posted elsewhere, so their 'offence' can be examined. After all, the "House Rules" are so breathtakingly all-encompassing, that anything can be blocked for any reason.

    Maybe this could be a research exercise for university students.

    A new word, tonight: "de-recognise"?

  • Comment number 20.


    Yesterday, you queried the relative cost of wind power. With respect, I don't think government cares about its cost, or viability. I believe wind turbines are analogous to tobacco constraints. Neither is intended to achieve it's apparent aim. As said before, the oil and nuclear ramifications are too great to be gone against, so an easily discredited source of power is promoted - to fail. The same with tobacco: the primary aim is clearly to keep the revenue stream coming in, AT ANY COST TO THE USER. Meanwhile, a decades-long REARGUARD ACTION BY GOVERNMENT(S) continues. What better proof that 'they' are callous, and without scruple, than the return of ex Drug Baron (and Health Minister!) Ken, to Mount Olympus? It makes me sick - but, unlike the smokers - I shan't die - slowly.

    Pragmatism cannot hope to beat the mycelium of corruption that suffuses all Britain's enterprise. The green energy scam is just one visible fruiting-body of that cultural rot. And it is, assuredly, a 'toadstool'.

  • Comment number 21.

    from mimpromptu
    Last night I was in fact at the French Institute watching a film called 'Karnaval' together with the other students of a French Cinema course which I have now been attending for a few years. As I said in my ditty, I didn't particularly like the film apart from the acting by a couple of young actors who were in it and I had a much greater to pleasure to be dittying you from my iphone rather than watching them 'mate'.
    I just thought you might find this piece of information interesting and it is not all that irrelevant to what Newsnight is about which seems to be constantly projecting somebody's obsession with sex and nudity. Wasn't it only the previous night when they had a piece about nude people?
    Last year Jeremy Paxman was called the sexiest man around and a bit of this sort of excitement doesn't go amiss but in my view that's different to the programming of Newsnight's items being manipulated by outside 'forces' obsessed with sex and power.
    I'm not sure whether I'm expressing myself here all that clearly but will send it off as it is having quite a few other things to do this morning.

  • Comment number 22.

    from mimpromptu
    The last phrase should read 'as I have quite a few other things to do this morning'.
    In fact, the words 'mating'and 'mate' seem to have been 'pushed down my throat' recently, including last night as I was unlocking my bike to go to the French Institute. I have used this word in my ditty 'Evolution' /which I haven't shown to anybody yet/ but it is supposed to mean 'friend' rather than having anything to do with sex. Mate rhymes with fate, that's why it is there and it does not have anything to do with procreation, etc.
    While I'm at it, I might as well add that contrary to Freud's theory about the 'power' of phallic objects on female psyche, I have never found them 'exciting' or a 'turn on' and I don't experience sexual pleasure while eating bananas, for example.
    Sex is only meaningful to me when coupled with love, Streetphotobeing.

  • Comment number 23.

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

  • Comment number 24.

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

  • Comment number 25.

    from mimpromptu
    It looks like Newsnight needs to undergo a total overhaul so that it becomes a proper inquisitive journalistic programme again. From my perspective a lot of the items are almost unwatchable, even when Jeremy Paxman is on. That's what happens when primitive obsessive maniacs are let loose on the game. It really is the time to stop them.
    Have a good day

  • Comment number 26.

    from mimpromptu
    Just one more this morning, Streetphotobeing:

    The Queen and Prince Philip – incognito on a theatre visit

    The Queen and her Prince a play went to see
    And chose in the theatre discreet to be,
    Excusing themselves while finding their seats
    With the play being 'War Horse' at New London, NT.

    It is Michael Morpurgo who's written the play
    And it's him, in person, who reads it on stage.
    It's a moving story of two brothers-in-arms
    During a long night in World War the First.

    The others turned out to be quite unobtrusive
    Paying to the play their usual attention.
    But at the end chose recognition to give
    Applauding the couple with a standing ovation.

  • Comment number 27.

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

  • Comment number 28.


    Something odd has been going on for many years. Here are some possible explanations. Any other, informed comments as to the likely genesis? The hissy fits to pointing out that 'water is wet' (ceteris paribus), are alas not just common, but remarkable when one observes the frequency and intensity of such denials!

  • Comment number 29.

    #12 jakelwood I read your comment with interest, I had no idea how much a postman was paid. I think the beginning of the end for the Royal Mail, was when, I believe this government, allowed in open competition. Except that it wasn't, they gave away all the highly profitable parts, and left you with mainly posting the letters. Often to outlandish places and all for the same price. I'm sorry but I can't see the Post Office being saved, it will eventually be sold off, and prices will rocket, so that it makes huge profits, and we will be told, that's better management. I also agree with a comment I read somewhere, there's nothing like starting at the bottom of an organisation, than coming in as a supposedly high flyer graduate to manage!

  • Comment number 30.

    mimoromptu #25


  • Comment number 31.

    mimpromptu #21

    "constantly projecting somebody's obsession with sex"

    Reading back over far too many posts in recent weeks it seems to me that the poster on this blog who keeps banging on about sex is yourself.

    Other readers really don't want to know details of your personal life, please save all that for Facebook.

  • Comment number 32.

    Jackelwood #12

    I'm with you all the way. The Post Office has long been, rightly, a source of national pride. But in these days where 'national pride' is perceived as 'nationalism' and is thus abhorrent, I fear like Ecolizzy that Royal Mail is doomed. It'll get 'privatised' like all the other chunks of our infrastructure that have been sold off to foreign buyers. "Selling England by the pound." Shameful.

  • Comment number 33.

    everyone is saying the worlds currency markets are in a dangerous imbalance and this boils down to one word. China. The chinese currency should be the strongest in the world yet it is pegged to the dollar which means its weaker than the pound.
    As the dollar sinks the chinese print money to match it its weakness.

    given the state of the uk economy why is the yuan cheaper than the pound? is this not a form of economic warfare to enrich china at the expense of anyone else dumb enough to believe the 'free market' principle works?

    Anyone who does not abide by the same rules can exploit those who do and so enrich themselves?

  • Comment number 34.

    NewFazer (#32) ""Selling England by the pound." Shameful."

    Agreed, but that's in pursuit of us all being EUropeans now, which post Lisbon is as far as the Socialist Internationalists can take us in their efforts to establish a Worker's Democracy (People's Choice/Power i.e Trotskyism aka economic anarchism/libertarianism aka Neoconservativsm). The one thing it isn't is statism/socialism - hence the loss of Royal Mail in favour of EU Mail?) and much else besides? Others tools are low-skilled immigration and equalities, charities, the The Third Sector, Privatisation/Market Testing, bad recruitment/retention in the Public Sector. Permanent Revolution via promotion of The Internet etc (see the peculiar talk from media experts on NN last night).

    Sigh... Sadly, many can not see that this is anarchism with a makeover and it's been gathering pace for decades. It's Germany/Russia of the 1920s....

  • Comment number 35.

    There is an interesting post on John Redwood on how Newsnight phoned him yesterday saying they had achieved a major scoop by getting a hardline paper from the Post Office management & asking him to defend it. He apparently smelt a rat & declined to support the line the BBC were trying to force on him. The BBC then decided not to invite him on the programme.

    I must admit I did not see Newsnight last night & it is possible that much of the programme was handed over to discussion of this, presumably very important, scoop. Indeed if the BBC were not engaged in a blatant piece of party politics attempting to entrap a Tory politician on behalf of Labour they must have done so.

  • Comment number 36.

    royal mail

    knowing the local postworkers i know what management are trying to do. they are trying to implement a scheme that no one would find acceptable.

    Mandy is a market fundamentalist who believes the market is the best determiner of resources as in adam smith

    ...He advanced the idea that a market economy would produce a satisfactory outcome for both buyers and sellers, and would optimally allocate society's resources.....

    the royal mail has been starved of investment as govts just took the profits and spent it.
    the royal mail management are incompetent.

  • Comment number 37.


    Does Political Correctness, and especially anti-racism, serve to make de-nationalisation (EUropeanization/internationalism/globalization) easier? Note the BBC's world education coverage at the moment, along with all the rest of the world event coverage at the expense of uplifting/ecouraging national news.

    It doesn't happen in France or even the USA! The media encourages fragmentation, Balkanization in my view. It's cleverly done.

  • Comment number 38.

    if NN was 'with it' it would stop showing the headlines of a legacy delivery [newspapers] and show the headlines of news websites?

    what media fashion victims NN must be if they continue with the politics pen....nis?

    and talking of the need for glaswegan translators...

  • Comment number 39.

    lISTENED/WATCHED the prime Toe Ragg read out the Names of The Fallen

    Question= How many were killed bye bye british born muppets

    and the Idiot wants me 2 pay tax Flying Pigs

  • Comment number 40.

    bookhimdano (#38) "if NN was 'with it' it would stop showing the headlines of a legacy delivery [newspapers] and show the headlines of news websites?"

    They appear to be unwittingly trying to kill off Newsnight and discredit the BBC by following their peers and populism. I don't mean that this is their policy, but their behaviour amounts to this. They will argue, but then, we see many verbally adept people 'arguing' inane nonsense on these blogs all the time don't we? All they have which others don't is more than their fair share of chutzpah and a weaker grasp of reality in my view. :-(

    Elsewhere, daily BBC NEWS reports a) people dying and b) soldiers dying.

    Heads ups BBC,

    a) with a population of about 60 million, and about 600,000 births a year, you get at least 600,000 deaths too or else the population rises (aside from immigration). That works out at well over 1000 deaths a day.

    b) Soldiers at war get hurt. This is not news.

    Any intelligent person watching the news today is likely to be very bemused and start fearing it's produced by hordes of people with ADHD and other disorders.

  • Comment number 41.

    it is always sad when a man who rode to glory on the backs of his trade union colleagues now rats on them for the sake of high office which will only earn him the hatred of the workforce and a lot of the public as well. Royal Mail is one of the best organisations in the UK today and is the envy of the world, everywhere else the postal rate is in excess of what we pay here, the delivery from lands end to john o'groats is something a privatised industry could never match in a million years and yet TNT and all the other Macswellian type freeloaders try and 'use' the PO to do the footslog to maximise profits has not escaped the publics notice. If these 'privatised' mini PO's let us know the 'real' costs of their delivery this argument could be settled in five minutes but with the smokescreen being put up by Mandelson to try and rush in for city mates a 'privatised' PO will be the last nail in NuLabours coffin...

  • Comment number 42.

    leftieoddbod (#41) "but with the smokescreen being put up by Mandelson to try and rush in for city mates a 'privatised' PO will be the last nail in NuLabours coffin..."

    Why should he care? He and his chums created another Consrvative Party in the 1990s. They duped a naive, desperate, public into thinking they were Labour. Where are the Labour policies? They got rid of those! New Labour is a made over anarchistic, Conservative Party - NeoCons. Come the election the dumbed down public will just vote in another group of the same. It's all spin. Look at outcomes not stated policies. They have been extremely economical with the truth over the years, but the public is too dumbed down to fully see how.

  • Comment number 43.

    How is the BNP new Membership Dept going to cope with the large intake of non-whites? there gonna be a large Black and Asian wing of the BNP now that Trevour (the unelected quangorat who still plays on white colonialist guilt) philips, and his merry gang have forced them to change their constitution? What exactly was the point of all this tax payer funded charade. Even Nick Griffin looks peeved. I would regard this as a 'no biggy' if i was Griffin: Okey chaps, we need to tweak the constitution a little, an amendment, We are a racist party... but Blacks and Asians can join.

    I never New the BNP had a constitution...well i do now! And there was me thinking they were just havin a laugh at election time.
    Are the establisment really that afraid of them?

  • Comment number 44.


    I did not mean to call Ken a 'Drug Baron' I intended 'Tobacco Baron'!
    Tobacco IS of course a drug - a very nasty, intensively addictive and destructive one, but I find that, technically, 'barons' only profit from ILLEGAL drugs, and in this British Paradise, tobacco is legal (unless you are three - apparently).

    So: Bravo Blogdog! A finely judged decision. We are a long way from wind turbines but right on course for a Woodbine. (:o)

  • Comment number 45.

    bookhimdano at 33:

    One thing newsnight failed to mention about china and the dollar. China has invested/acquired heavily into Gold. Have you seen the price of Gold? its a given that Gold is always favoured over anything when markets/currencies are unstable.

  • Comment number 46.

  • Comment number 47.


    thecookieducker (#45) The Chinese have always been very fond of gold and silver, but tell me, where do they keep it? Surely not under the bed, just think of the insurance premiums. If it's kept in banks, whilst strictly a liability, do banks have to hold all of it, or just some of it? Do they not lend it (or paper) on to other people for a return?

    Gold (and silver) - the root of all evil/cognitivism.

  • Comment number 48.

    #45 thecookieducker yup and in his wisdom our wonderful Prime Minister GB when Chancellor almost gave it away! : ( Ah, but I forgot he's prudent, not! : (

  • Comment number 49.

    #34 & 42 JJ Well the good news is, although I don't know that many people, is that they don't know who to vote for! No one is going to vote Labour, but they're not keen on the Conservatives either. I keep being told oh BNP or UKIP or Greens or SNP or some odd little man, oh that's right an independent. So goodness knows who will get in next election, 'cos sure is eggs is eggs, no one likes the so called three main parties! ; ) But I suppose one of 'em will slip in by the back door on a very split vote. : (

  • Comment number 50.

    from mimpromptu

    The tables of the Blue Moon I'm at again.
    Do I need to explain?
    It's a lovely place to drink coffee or beer
    After having potatoes at the 'Cine Lumiere'.

    The Sun? It is shining at the flowers and trees,
    Making it even pleasanter for me.


  • Comment number 51.


    'Those who do the most good are seldom noticed.' Dig out that little old man (or his significant ox ass or partner, if my reader is PC obsessed)) and tell him to stand for the good of his locality.

  • Comment number 52.

    @ Mim #21&25 - Jeremy STILL is the sexiest man around :o)
    What do you mean you find some items on Newsnight unwatchable? I really love the structure of Newsnight and the way it focuses its attention on areas which aren't headliners in the red tops (eg. Katie Price aka Jordan and her new guy Alex, or the latest scoop on some X-Factor contestant). I find Newsnight both informative and entertaining at the same time and I wouldn't want it any other way.


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