BBC BLOGS - Newsnight: From the web team
« Previous | Main | Next »

Friday 24th June 2011

Verity Murphy | 13:08 UK time, Friday, 24 June 2011

Tonight, we have an exclusive with hacking collective LulzSec, who have been explaining their agenda to Susan Watts.

And off the back of that piece we will be talking to former US head of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff and James Lyne - a computer expert who hacks for security companies to test their security.

Tim Whewell has an update on our story this week that Syrians protesting against the Assad regime in London say they have been intimidated by officials from their home country.

Plus, what does the news that home furnishings retailer Habitat has gone into administration, with only three British stores assured of survival, say about Britain's sense of style today? We will be speaking to designer and Habitat's former style director Tom Dixon and the Editor of Elle Decoration Magazine, Michelle Ogundehin.

And Michael Crick is still in Brussels where European Union leaders have gathered for a second day of summit talks dominated by the Greek debt crisis, which is threatening the stability of the 17-nation eurozone.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron said today that he had received assurances that Britain would not be called upon to contribute to EU financial support for Greece.

Tonight Michael will ask if this is the moment that Britain should redefine its relationship with Brussels and the Union.


  • Comment number 1.


    Deity Dave has SO MUCH STYLE there is none left for the community at large. If you want style, just go the feet of the Magus.

    I mean - HAVE YOU SEEN DAVE'S U-TURN? Ideal for storing soft toys in a child's bedroom - or photos of fallen heroes.

  • Comment number 2.

    I've recently come across Prof. Steve Keen's blog on the deb crisis:

    In it he says:

    "Neoclassical economists ignore the level of private debt, on the basis of the a priori argument that “one man’s liability is another man’s asset”, so that the aggregate level of debt has no macroeconomic impact. They reason that the increase in the debtor’s spending power is offset by the fall in the lender’s spending power, and there is therefore no change to aggregate demand.

    They are profoundly wrong on this point because neoclassical economists do not understand how money is created by the private banking system—despite decades of empirical research to the contrary, they continue to cling to the textbook vision of banks as mere intermediaries between savers and borrowers.

    This is bizarre, since as long as 4 decades ago, the actual situation was put very simply by the then Senior Vice President, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Alan Holmes. Holmes explained why the then faddish Monetarist policy of controlling inflation by controlling the growth of Base Money had failed, saying that it suffered from “a naive assumption” that: the banking system only expands loans after the [Federal Reserve] System (or market factors) have put reserves in the banking system. In the real world, banks extend credit, creating deposits in the process, and look for the reserves later. The question then becomes one of whether and how the Federal Reserve will accommodate the demand for reserves. In the very short run, the Federal Reserve has little or no choice about accommodating that demand; over time, its influence can obviously be felt."


    This is ther core of the delusion that is driving the mad rush into austerity - it is PRIVATE DEBT that is th problem and until it is reduced there is no way out - indeed as Keen said on Russia Today, blaming public spending is like blaming the torquet stopping someone who has lost their limb from bleeding to death for the effects of the injury.

  • Comment number 3.

  • Comment number 4.


    A telling post Richard. One has to ask the 'fool or knave' question, as usual. Do those who choose the neo-classicist stance do so nefariously or out of ignorance?

    In this Age of Perversity, I would guess the former.

  • Comment number 5.

    Saw Michael today. Liked his cheeky style. Cameron is pretty slick at getting the message across as long as you don't believe everything you hear. He's got a rival in Moussa Abrahim. Propaganda aside and that's from both sides I find him rather impressive.

  • Comment number 6.

  • Comment number 7.


    The entrance through the sliding doors, mid-spiel' was mind blowing - you should put credits on-screen when such brilliant presentation is enacted.

    Michael is better than 'cheeky' - his slow morphing into The Penguin, is almost imperceptible. It is all so stunning, I come-to at the end, and have no idea what his subject matter was! How edgy is that?

  • Comment number 8.

  • Comment number 9.

    Confusion and Perhaps Even Misleading.

    NN used a quote from Churchill's 1946 Zurich University speech on Thursday night Part1Part2, in which he calls for a United States of Europe, this, as he later explained in Parliament (1953) , was not to include the UK.
    “Then there is France. As I have urged for several years, there is no hope for the safety and freedom of Western Europe except by the laying aside forever of the ancient feud between the Teuton and the Gaul. It is seven years since, at Zurich, I appealed to France to take Germany by the hand and lead her back into the European family. We have made great progress since then. Some of it has been due no doubt to the spur to resist the enormous military strength of Soviet Russia, but much is also due to the inspiring and unconquerable cause of United Europe. We have Strasbourg and all that it stands for, and it is our duty to fortify its vitality and authority tirelessly as the years roll on.”

    “Where do we stand? We are not members of the European Defence Community, nor do we intend to be merged in a Federal European system. We feel we have a special relation to both. This can be expressed by prepositions, by the preposition "with" but not "of" - We are with them, but not of them.

    This was consistent with his pre WW2 views (1930). Quote

    "We see nothing but good and hope in a richer,freer, more contented European commonality. But we have our own dream and our own task. We are with Europe, but not of it. We are linked but not compromised. We are interested and associated but not absorbed by it.”

    Churchill saw the UK roll in the European Family via the Council of Europe (Not part of the EU) , a intergovernmental organisation made up of 47 sovereign states, some of whom are not members of the EU. It was created in 1949 by the Treaty of London and runs the ECHR (not a EU court) in Strasbourg, a parliament (not EU) and looks after European peace and security (nothing to do with the EU).

    My own views -
    We should have never joined the EU (EEC) , as it was never intended for us, president De Gaulle was right when he objected to the UK joining the EEC. Instead we should have stayed with other European sovereign nations in the European Free Trade Association , trade yes , cooperation yes, peace and security yes (via CoE and NATO), United States of Europe NO.

    So when I hear the phrase “Two speed Europe” used, I say that was always its intention. One size does not fit all, because it was never suppose to fit all.

    Hope I am not being to pedantic.

  • Comment number 10.

    'intimidated by officials from their home country'

    And they say the BBC doesn't do great comedy (well...satire.. well.. irony)

    Having just watched this...

    ... intrigued at the level of checking (or, it seems, absence of) that one can expect to be able to trust the BBC's factual basis, given fewer resources being deployed across ever greater platforms.

    Then for more laughs, hit...

    I've had links to BBC URLs modded before as 'unsuitable', which just adds to the fun.

    'this is the moment that Britain should redefine its relationship'

    And, maybe, when the British could also do so with once great, but very tainted institutions? Given the option.

  • Comment number 11.

    Maybe Habitat made the mistake of having a 'creative' bonus structure for a private business?

  • Comment number 12.


    I guess Churchill had noticed the 'island mentality'.

    Generations of self-serving party politics, played out under the Westminster Ethos, has distilled a toxic perversity into the most influential cabal in the land. Our Prime Ministers are narcissistic and delusional - unconcerned with the competence and contentedness of the mass of Britons (except to minimise it) motivated only by power, status and global self-aggrandisement.

    Nuff sed.

  • Comment number 13.

  • Comment number 14.

  • Comment number 15.

  • Comment number 16.

  • Comment number 17.

  • Comment number 18.


    I understand that they have got Indian call centres selling this alleged government sponsored " to create green jobs " home insulation scam and are offering loans to do it, paid to the energy company which does it through your energy bills for the next 25 years. If you sell your house the supplement on the extra bill passes on to the new owner, I suspect that some bent property developers will be going round buying houses to insulate and then pass on to idiots at a vast profit.

  • Comment number 19.

  • Comment number 20.

    how can you take a place seriously when their cats have no tails and three legs!!

  • Comment number 21.

    @4 Barrie - both: it's wilful self-serving ignorance.

    @9 Churchill was half American, and his world view was shaped by that. Also, can you say "with them but not of them", when your heads of state are largely German? Of course Brenda is half British, but Brian (the crown prince) is largely a rebranded German: the real surname should be something like Braunschweig-Lüneberg--Saxe-Coburg-Gotha--Battenberg-Glücksberg-Oldenburg. And that's not mentioning the other German genetic contributions: Saxe-Gotha, Brandenburg-Ansbach, Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Saxe-Coburg-Saalefeld, Glücksburg-Oldenburg, and Teck. (You may notice that some strands appear more than once - and that understates the case!)

  • Comment number 22.


    A currency, with our leading woe-men, is the phrase - featured routinely on radio and TV - "women who take time out to raise a family".

    If that were the basis for an exam question, how many brainwashed, indigenous kids could now see anything amiss?

    Time out from what?

    Nuff sed.

  • Comment number 23.

    Oooops :p

    "it is important to win strong viewing figures to justify the licence-fee – and that it was pointless to make shows that are poorly-watched."

  • Comment number 24.


    What a hilariously depressing link 76. It entertains, informs and educates with regard to the wacky state of the 'BBC mind', that leads to its bizarre output.

    Too many examples to choose from, but "AN OBLIGATION TO ENTERTAIN", though nominally related to the Charter, has a 'cold war USSR' resonance.

    Cohen's concern not to broadcast "programmes that people don't listen to" would be telling - if he could hear himself. It is NOT a reason to dumb down - more a reason to insert a HOOK for the dumb. 'That's Life' showed how to do it, for years on end. (I am prepared to advise him, FOC.)

    The concept of the REWARDED programme recipient, still has my brain knotted!

    And we PAY for this stuff.

  • Comment number 25.

    24. At 09:02 26th Jun 2011, barriesingleton wrote:
    And we PAY for this stuff.

    I was going to say 'at least they ask nicely', but they don't... ask... or nicely.


    It's going well here, too, on the quality front...

    Those market rates don't happen in the public sector without setting the bar high. Preferably using public money.

  • Comment number 26.

    EDGY (#25)

    Hi Junkk. This being the Age of Perversity, wherein Evildoers semi-openly ADVERTISE their involvement in acts such as 9/11 (if one looks behind the arras) I have pondered the term 'EDGY'.

    All is revealed: 'Egregious Degrading Gratuitous Yahoos' - yet another group conspiring, through meeja, against the common man!

    Not sure I want to know what ILLUMINATI yields, when taken as an acronym!

  • Comment number 27.

    Teachers reluctant to discuss 9/11

    Alison Kitson, referenced in the story as director of education for the 9/11 London Project, a charity devoted to teaching "a proper understanding of what happened", told the Times Education Supplement that teachers needed to "grasp the nettle".

    Note: Ms Kitson has previously worked for the World Bank.

    She went on to say...

    "But children themselves were keen to avoid stereotypes when talking about the issue, and dealt with it in a much more mature way than teachers would give them credit for."

    My kids think 9/11 was an ‘Inside Job’...their Muslim classmates told them so.

  • Comment number 28.


    If we have any teachers of cerebral competence, they will be WELL AWARE by now that 9/11 is nothing to do with religion, ethnicity etc; just good ol' power-madness, that holds human life and misery as naught.

  • Comment number 29.

  • Comment number 30.

    See, Jeremy is the BEST! He gets the HIGHEST viewing figures.

  • Comment number 31.


    I believe there is some truth in your observations. But I am tempted to go a little further.

  • Comment number 32.

    Habitat goes down - and NN decides to cover the story by.... questioning our sense of design style?????

    The reality is that there is an absoute SLAUGHTER sweeping our high street which will kill a nmber of town centres stone dead, cost hundreds of thousands of jobs and leaving a lot of people without cars stuffed with nowhere to shop, unless they live close to a supermarket.

    Just to help this decimation along, the chancellor is hitting the consumer hard when they're down already under a tidal wave of inflation and falling incomes with a massive cut in aggregate demand by taking up to £1 Tn out of the economy through tax hikes and spending cuts.

    There are a hell of a lot of jobs in retailing - many are at risk outside the big supermarkets - even chanis like Comet, HMV and other hosehild names are about to massively retrench. Elsewhere the constructon industry is about to go over a cliff, judging by the collapse in orders for construction steel which have dried up - a useful lead indicator for 6 months' time. We all know whats about to happen in the public sector.

    Osborne is driving the UK economy over the same cliff as his political allies in Eire did - rapid and deep spending cuts in the current economic climate is suicidal - coming to high street near you shortly....

  • Comment number 33.


    Make it big enough and the centre cannot hold. But immature Man is always awed by size. Doom is built into growth.

    In the Age of Perversity, we delight in doing just what Nature would not do, at every turn. No wonder the Earth is cracking - it is a metaphor for mankind.

    #29 Cathartic Bro.

  • Comment number 34.


    How can anyone be convinced by such a self-conscious, gauche, swaggering, ham performance, as given by Messianic Blair, in this clip?

    If we met Blair's equivalent (and there are plenty of them - he is nothing special) in the pub, or the sports centre, we would make every effort to distance ourselves. That he got to PM, and moved on to Global Guru, is a howling indictment of our political system.


  • Comment number 35.


    Correct link


  • Comment number 36.

    could Michael Crick ask the question as to why 'ordinary' people should be the root cause of this financial problem (as they seem to be the one's being harshly penalised) when the bankers (who did cause it) get off scot free? In all his pieces to camera he has never posed that question but then again he want's to keep his job as well....see what it does to us.....makes serfs of us all......


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.