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Thursday 25 August 2011

Sarah McDermott | 17:42 UK time, Thursday, 25 August 2011

"I was buzzing me, just smashing windows and police cars and stuff... a big massive buzz."

Tonight we have a film from Donal MacIntyre who has been meeting some of the young men who took part in the recent Manchester riots. He finds them revelling in the memories of the time when they overturned the rule of law and made the streets their own.

To discuss the film Kirsty be joined by a shopkeeper who was trapped in his store during the riots and had to be rescued by police, someone who knows the looters, and a politician.

Meanwhile... another confusing day in Libya. The hunt for Col Gaddafi continues, although reports he was trapped in a building in Tripoli came to nothing. It is certainly clear that the Transitional Council are desperate for money.

Tim Whewell is in Benghazi for us tonight and Kirsty will be speaking to the Foreign Secretary William Hague.

And Madeleine Morris has been looking into new figures which suggest that net migration rose by 21% last year, with 239,000 more people arriving in the UK than those leaving.

Join us at the slightly later time than usual of 10.40pm on BBC Two.


  • Comment number 1.

    "Meanwhile... another confusing day in Libya. " This is a real - and nasty - civil war. It can't be choreographed for the news-porn schedules, or the needs of egotistical attention seeking politicians to make sound-bites.

    PS, Barrie - here's one example of too much of a good thing. Kids need roots - and wings!

  • Comment number 2.

    NN “talks to young men who took part in the recent Manchester riots and finds them revelling in the time when they overturned the rule of law and made the streets their own”

    I too revel (nostalgically) in the time when the streets were our own, but two successive governments have made it otherwise. The ‘rule of law’ now means EU rule of law, resulting in our puppet parliament and token UK Border Control and a population now thought to have swelled to over 70 million.

    Following earlier blogs on the attempt by some MPs to add a clause asserting the sovereignty of Parliament over EU law in a British Bill of Rights, I read the entire Hansard transcript of the debate of 11th January. Although both Tory and Labour manifestos had promised a bill of rights to redress the dominance of EU control, the sovereignty of Parliament clause was rejected by all Lib MPs and by nearly all Tory MPs – slavishly following the party whips and ignoring the views of their electors.
    Various weak arguments were used to overthrow the amending clause, based on the usual 'law-speak', where myopic study and interpretation of words takes precedence over pragmatism and any real desire for change.

    Result - another half-a-million immigrants and a further rise in UK unemployment.

    If this is what our government calls democracy I wonder how long it will be before the rule of EU law will become a matter for determination on our streets.

  • Comment number 3.

    I chatted with some of my kid's friends - currently @ university - they paint a picture of their generation as being totally distrustful of government, politicians, the media and the financial system. They view companies as only out to take as much money off them as possible and they see those in power as cynical, self-interested people who don't have their best interests at heart.

    Most don't read a newspaper and get their news online from a wide range of sources - bloggers, social media etc. Those who are on the escalator to a job and a career are pretty damning about youff culture - the Chav generation - of reality TV, obssessed with celebs and football.

    They fully expect the financial system to collapse sooner or later and seem to relish this possibility so that they can fundamentally remould society when it does - more just, less polluting, less violent seems to be the aim.

    If they are representative of the coming generation, then the main three political parties are seriously out of step with them - they see the Tories as an enemy, they view the LibDems as traitors over fees etc and they think Labour are too right wing, with the legacy of Blair's romance with the banks and the Iraq War.

    The couple of Scots students I spoke to pointed out that north of the border the SNP is simply hoovering up the youth vote and they wonder where a fourth party with the sort of policies the SNP has might emerge in England...

    Ask them about the rioters and they don't claim some high political motivate at work at all - they see the riots as a side effect of everything else that's wrong with society - rioting is simply opportunism by kids to grab what they can't afford and hit back against authority that they despise - and enjoy "the crack", as the Irish say.

    I asked them what they thought caused the riots - they pointed to the huge number of kids stilll in secondary schools and colleges who went on the education marches against the fee increases and abolishing EMA - that apparently brought a lot of kids together into contact with each other, made them deeply resentful of the way the government is treating them and politicised some of them, as well as having their first taste of rioting.

    As one of them pointed out to me, the cost of the riots will be many times higher than the money cut from EMA - as will the cost of loads of kids becoming NEETS because they & thier families can't afford to stay on in education.

  • Comment number 4.

    #3 "I chatted with some of my kid's friends - currently @ university - they paint a picture of their generation as being totally distrustful of government, politicians, the media and the financial system. They view companies as only out to take as much money off them as possible and they see those in power as cynical, self-interested people who don't have their best interests at heart."

    I'm pleased to read that young people agree with most comments written on this blog, and already understand the rotteness in this country.

    Perhaps they can change things, here's hoping anyway.

  • Comment number 5.


    Surely - whatever the numbers - the bottom line is what Ecolizzy has flagged up: the locust-immigrant lives cheap and minimalist, while here, AND SHIPS OUT MOST OF THEIR EARNINGS. This would appear to negate MuseV's 'useful immigrant' (dim but fecund) stance - unless he is addressing only the ones who stay.

    Will BBC address the net monetary loss to UK? Or might this be like 9/11 and Sport Alcohol: "See no evil".

  • Comment number 6.

    ANOTHER CRANK OF THE HANDLE (various posts above)

    Westminster is a perverse club that selects only those who would (unlike Groucho) willingly be a member. These are then adorned with meaningless rosettes (giving another illusion of choice to the dumb voters) and then the polls close SHUTTING US OUT!

    Inside their impregnable Citadel of Westminster, the strangely motivated sub-set of 'MP minds', play a variety of feudal games. A complicit media connives at the idea of 'governance', even though any analysis of OUTCOMES (nod to MuseV) will demonstrate that costly failure (and costly cover-ups) are the main work of Westminster.

    The sheeples just let the illusion of governance (state management) wash over them; NewsyNighty, Any Questions et al, connive with endless discussion of apparent political engagement with 'issues' - never querying the nakedness of the Westminster Emperor.

    Our governance is a PERVERSE CHARADE enacted by a self-selected, deviously defended, bunch of delusional cipher-ninnies.

    The next time our PRIME MINISTER (the best of the bunch?) steps up to the cameras, REALLY LISTEN to what he says, and ask yourself: "What manner of man would think THAT worth saying" - is he a fool or a knave? Might we not do better for stewardship of this nation?


  • Comment number 7.


    Blokes of a feather flock together?

  • Comment number 8.


    I note that Billy the Spud has a PPE degree.

    I doubt we shall hear ONE PHILOSOPHICAL WORD from him; I doubt Kirsty will be asking philosophical questions; philosophy is not edgy.

  • Comment number 9.

    Whoever produced this alleged news needs their contract terminating and the muppet presenters given a huge salary cut, but then perhaps that's what BBC news is all about today, alleged top presenters just take the money and keep the lies going !

  • Comment number 10.

  • Comment number 11.

    #3 I too have talked with my son's university friends who reflect very similar sentiments. They have nothing but contempt for the Establishment who they see as corrupt and self serving.

    One other thing they mentioned was that they think that a flash point may arise should the government attempt to censor the internet. They see any attempt at censorship as something which could unite young people and make them take to the streets.

    It is quite encouraging to listen to them.

  • Comment number 12.


    She says the 'Revolution will be Digital'. I have not read it yet, but in an interview, HB said she felt it could go either way . . .

  • Comment number 13.

    I always find it difficult to feel that Newsnight is little more illuminating than the normal diet of Bread and Circuses. Tonight's running order is a case in point. Dominated by old news (the Riots) or foreign news (Libya) and the as the and 'finally' immigration

    Once in a while it would be nice to see a more questioning take on the news - and I do not mean hectoring which is so often taken to be questioning by both Newsnight and R4 Today. I refer to the agenda - that acceptance of the status quo and the general mores that the Establishment must be right. Where is the historical analysis of Great Britain? Where is the international perspective of the country and above all where is the political analysis?

    There is a false dichotomy at the heart of politics a view that the parties are different, which serves all parties - they are not - and they have increasing become Tweedledum and Tweedledee. The British people are being betrayed by the media and the politicians. This might have been OK when the economy was running well but we are entering a severe Depression and this simply will not do!

  • Comment number 14.

    Potentially interesting programme tonight!

    But what’s the chance of Nn ‘wimping out’ on at least one - more like two - of the subjects.

    Be very interesting to see how much ‘participation’ there is from the Great British Public and what level of ‘moderation’ they get! i.e. editing to support the Nn premise rather than a serious attempt at examining the ‘story’!

    Of course none of the above applies to the ‘piece’ with the HMG mouthpiece whom will have dutifully read his (‘authored’ elsewhere) briefing notes that he has done the rounds with today .... and probably memorised before his first interview so as not to be a ‘victim’ at the cabinet re-shuffle!

    (So, so sad! I can feel a cardiac heamorrhage coming on. )

    Here’s hoping that it’s gonna be a ‘good one’ ‘coz ....

    It’s getting harder to justify the cost of the extra electricity having the ’box’ on late at night!

    Lead .....

    Please .........

    Don’t follow!

    Post post .

    Potentially - I’ll explain - good ‘piece’ about the lack of women in Libya last night.

    (Somewhat co-incidental that I raised the self same concern not so long ago in one of my posts [ Does this indicate that the Nn production team actually read these ‘points of view here? Hmmmm!] )

    As to why .....


    It would only really have ‘lasting value’ if it was seriously followed up some months hence!

    I wonder!


  • Comment number 15.

    Tuned in tonight to watch the news and there is some rubbish item leading the programme on the riots of a few weeks back.


    The news is in Libya not Salford.

  • Comment number 16.

    Why is the media surprised that these riots happened? The central idea of David Cameron's Big Society was that people should get together to help themselves. And they did...

  • Comment number 17.

    Interesting to see the ‘birdsong’ sic hash-tag on-screen at the beginning of the programme.

    Don’t recall seeing a similar ‘advert’ for the website(?) .....

    But then reading a hundred and something characters is - presumably - far less intellectually taxing than reading a ‘reasoned’ point of view of - less than - 400 words!

    My point ? ....

    Somewhat strange that the ‘discussion’ over the recent Starkey (Controversy? .... Not! ) piece was covered substantially more elsewhere than it was on the Nn site!

    Tonight’s programme so far ......

    Manchester piece ...... First rate!

    But then you give airtime to Ms Abbott!



  • Comment number 18.


    Billy the Spud (PPE) not only spoke no philosophical word, he even failed to spot the irony of sending our clever dicks to Libya TO SHOW THEM HOW TO RUN A COUNTRY.

    Diane Abbott made a stab at philosophy but Kirsty saw it off with a Wark kiss.

    All a bit NewsyNighty really.

  • Comment number 19.

    POST #16


  • Comment number 20.


    ''This is a real - and nasty - civil war. It can't be choreographed for the news-porn schedules, or the needs of egotistical attention seeking politicians to make sound-bites.''

    So well said Sasha, good to know some others are still awake out there.

    So important that 'news' does not become just something else we watch while munching popcorn, if the 'news' does not grab us enough while we surf the channels we just switch to watching a titilating movie instead with no shift in internal empathy to reflect the status of those very different inputs.

    I have to catch myself from falling into that trap myself sometimes.

    How awful it is.

    I miss the days when we only had three channels and they all closed at around midnight.

    I miss it because often I dont have the self discipline stop myself watching crap sometimes despite recognising it as crap.

    What have we done?

    Can it be undone by our own hand?

    I have my doubts, it would be like trying to put the smoke back into a fire now, it has spread so far.

    The fire will have to be left to burn itself out before anything can be done.

    That is what is deeply troubling about all of this, what if that process is just beginning now?

    Are we all now condemned to wait

  • Comment number 21.

    THRICE WOE (#20)

    When our Ape acquired language, the way was open to high-order wisdom and cleverness. But cleverness is more attractive to the immature mind than wisdom, and we reach distracting puberty long before maturity.

    I reckon it is possible to chart decline in all but a few 'primitive' societies that, inexplicably, applied taboos of stasis. These we are systematically seeking out, and contaminating.
    (Watch for the Kogi film later this year.)

  • Comment number 22.

    #3 & 11
    But will the chairs and tables too soon be empty?

    I can 'third' your observations even from a fee free Scotland. Some are still in the system, others through and gainfully employed - so it's not just about tuition fees and job opportunities (or lack of). It's not 'just' about anything.

    A week or two back there was a well written series of posts looking at the powder keg/spark scenario behind the recent riots. These were largely opportunistic outbreaks, but if better educated, ambitious, disenchanted graduates found a way to organise themselves (I understand blackberries, face book and the likes may play a part) perhaps an occidental uprising is on the cards.

    I'm not a big fan of revolution. I remember Paris June 1832 (Well, I have seen Les Mis a few times) and too many more.

    When our military might is turned inwards on our own flesh and blood on our own green and pleasant land perhaps we will wake up. Those who 'have' will do almost anything in their power to cling to every last ounce.

    Rock, meet hard place. Hard place, meet rock.

  • Comment number 23.

    POST #22



    Nuff sed

  • Comment number 24.

    The evidence against those entrusted to 'manage' our nation is mounting! More and more the human mind is being assaulted by revelation, that undermines 'beliefs', and shakes the foundations! More are realising the truth, more are withdrawing their sanction - More are beginning to grasp the nature of their slavery to a morally perverse elite!

    More are realising the revolution is in ourselves.

  • Comment number 25.


    Stirring stuff MuseV. But our cancerous (internally self-generated) invaders have taken over media already. Is not one Goebbels, on our screens, worth a million tweets? I have pointed out before the 'cannula to the deep mind' that is the living room TV.

    Sheeples are sheeples and Manipulators are having a ball.


  • Comment number 26.

    European Firms Hoping for Big Business in Libya,1518,782359,00.html

    Veni vidi ..... vomit!

  • Comment number 27.


    “Our new government has a particular and historic responsibility: to rebuild
    confidence in our political system. After the scandals of recent years, people have
    lost faith in politics and politicians. It is our duty to restore their trust. It is not enough simply to make a difference. We must be different.

    We have promised the people a coalition government united behind the key
    principles of freedom, fairness and responsibility. Every day of this government we must make good on that promise, acting in a way that reflects these principles.

    In everything we do – the policies we develop and how we implement them, the
    speeches we give, the meetings we hold – we must remember that we are NOT MASTERS BUT SERVANTS. (My emphasis.) Though the British people have been disappointed in their politicians, they still expect the highest standards of conduct. We must not let them down.

    We must be different in how we think and how we behave. We must be different from what has gone before us. Careful with public money. Transparent about what we do and how we do it. Determined to act in the national interest, ABOVE IMPROPER INFLUENCE (My emphasis.). Mindful of our duty. Above all, grateful for our chance to change our country.”


    If the plan was so high-minded, what part was Andy Coulson to play in it?

    Are you getting that Tony Blair feeling?

    Might Dave speak with forked tongue? HAVE WE GOT OURSELVES ANOTHER ONE?

  • Comment number 28.


    Decent Dave issued a 'contract' before the 2010 election - it is now absent from various official sites. However, Finchley dozed off

    This extract is interesting:

    "We will change politics
    Our political system needs to change. Politicians must be made more accountable, and we must take power away from Westminster and put it in the hands of people – individuals, families and neighbourhoods.

    If you elect a Conservative government on 6 May, we will:
    1. Give you the right to sack your MP, so you don’t have to wait for an election to get rid of politicians who are guilty of misconduct.
    2. Cut the number of MPs by ten per cent, and cut the subsidies and perks for politicians.
    3. Cut ministers’ pay by five per cent, and freeze it for five years.
    4. Give local communities the power to take charge of the local planning system and vote on excessive council tax rises.
    5. Make government transparent, publishing every item of government spending over £25,000, all government contracts, and all local council spending over £500."

    I suppose coalition nullified all that - eh Dave?

  • Comment number 29.


    I hear the SAS do a 4 week course run by investment banking and petroleum companies as part of their basic training nowadays entitled 'existing investments and future opportunities in existing and proposed conflict zones'

  • Comment number 30.

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

  • Comment number 31.


    The next big thing...

    There was another anarchist libertarain on Radio 4's Today programme this morning...

    The father of Private Equity - Sir Ronald Cohen

    The state's few remaining assets must shine like gold to them and now, in these times of great financial hardship are ripe for the taking.

    Look at how he couches his arguments to make them sound as though social finance only has the well being of the social system as its focus. It deviousnous and venality of the highest order.

    The BBC's iplayer facility won't allow replay of what he said this morning on Radio 4's Today programme this morning.

    Keep an eye on this one, he's got big ideas for (and big intentions on) the UK social system.

  • Comment number 32.

    Re my #30

    It would appear that you cannot mention the BBC's "correspondent" in Tripoli, John Simpson in any light.

  • Comment number 33.


    I pointed out in a recent post that Westminster has a string of failed initiatives to its name FOR WHICH IT NEVER TAKES RESPONSIBILITY. (Westminster points to bad parenting but never bad governing.)

    Cohen says wealthy philanthropists and charitable institutions will invest in the gamble, WITH A VIEW TO FUTURE PROFIT. I am in no doubt they will only invest if FAILUE is funded by the tax-payer, and a minimum (high) return is guaranteed. I predict 'success' will be a very elastically defined.

  • Comment number 34.

    richard bunting...talking to young people about University, how your experience matches my own, they see governments as almost to be despised and can anyone rational person blame them. I attended my local university as a mature student and all I witnessed was a crumbling infrastructure, stressed out and constantly late tutors and a lot of disilusioned students and a lot of apathy. The whole thing will explode in about five years...

  • Comment number 35.


    (Though not infrequently, another poster has repeated the content on the same thread, so the operation is futile!)

    Who is 'in charge'?

  • Comment number 36.

    #35 Yup Barrie, but from way back in April, still can't see what's wrong with them. It was a bad day for posters as I recall.

  • Comment number 37.

    "WHAT IS DEFAMATION" (From the House Rules.)

    "It is a law created to protect individuals or organisations from unwarranted, mistaken or untruthful attacks on their reputation. This means the publication of any statement which:

    •Exposes them to hatred, ridicule or contempt
    •Causes them to be shunned or avoided
    •Discredits them in their trade, business or profession
    •Generally lowers them in the eyes of right thinking members of society
    Posting a defamatory statement on an internet message board or community area is the same as publishing it in a newspaper or magazine and can result in a court case if a formal complaint is made. Both the publisher (in this case the BBC) and the author (you) risk being sued for making a defamatory statement. And there is no Legal Aid for defamation."

    It is now common knowledge that our MPs treat us with contempt, lie to us, and manipulate us - often with our own money. This being so, the word 'ATTACKS' gratuitously used above, is pejorative as 'CONFRONTATION' of MPs, with their serial misdemeanours, is not an attack, but REQUIRED ACTION OF ALL GOOD MEN if evil is not to (continue to) triumph. Also note that the second paragraph repeats DEFAMATORY twice, but having dropped the modifiers: ‘UNWARRENTED/MISTAKEN/UNTRUTHFUL’. Nuff sed.

    I suggest the law of Defamation has been written with the same Weasel Pen used to protect Westminster chicanery, generally (in which I am now something of an expert).


  • Comment number 38.

    #29 Jeri


  • Comment number 39.

    the so called 'yobs' that took to the streets have provided the dry run for the intelligentia when they take to the streets after it kicks in that a lot of their 9grand passport to utopia are just fantasies and another con by all the three main parties. The hatred and loathing that a lot of youth feel towards their 'betters' or anyone with their snouts in the trough have earned derision on a colossal scale and once the smart alecs kick off it won't just be Footlocker that's turned over but the whole establishment. They have nothing to lose as there are no jobs and today's youth have no sense of fear unlike ours.....

  • Comment number 40.

    like Paul fronting show only can BBC wardrobe (do they still have one)? dress him up a bit more 'modern' as he looks like a deputy headmaster who doesn't want to be there..


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