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Tuesday 16 August 2011

Verity Murphy | 13:56 UK time, Tuesday, 16 August 2011

MPs have today released a letter from a journalist jailed for phone hacking, former News of the World royal editor Clive Goodman, alleging senior figures at the newspaper knew what was going on and struck a deal to stop him implicating the paper at trial.

David Grossman will have all of the latest news on that story and we will be speaking to former deputy prime minister and hacking victim John Prescott, and former newspaper editor Paul Connew.

Amid news that two men charged with inciting disorder via social networking site Facebook have each been jailed for four years we ask whether the courts are being too draconian in sentencing people connected to last week's riots, or whether this kind of sentencing is right and in fact overdue.

Plus, across the world, slums are home to a billion people. The rich elite want the shanty towns cleared, but residents are surprisingly determined not to leave. Paul Mason has been to Estero de San Miguel, a slum in the Philippines capital Manila, to find out why.


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  • Comment number 3.

    #73 Sasha, from your very interesting link:
    The figures quoted on Youth Unemployment - Spain 44%; Greece 38%; UK 20%

    One could take an optimist’s view that we must be doing something better? or
    A pessimist’s view that any improvements arising from Dave’s proposed new initiatives (just words at present) will result in even more EU citizens exercising their right to come here looking for work until equilibrium is reached across the whole of Europe?

    The optimist will say that won’t happen as immigrant labour will not be able to find accommodation?

    The pessimist will refute this, quoting (as some already state) that many immigrants accept (shall we say) higher occupancy rates (e.g. beds and sheds)?

    To the pragmatist this would suggest that all calls for more and more housing should be rejected? Also, would all EU visitors be entitled to join Dave’s proposed new National Service initiative? Perhaps it should be mandatory?

    More questions than answers.

  • Comment number 4.

    San Miguel, Philippines.

    I suppose we are going to be taken on another tour of smokey mountain garbage tip and other such sites. Why do we get mention of only the seedy sites and events in Philippines? Try this link instead, its a really exciting development; out teenage daughter spends every holiday at their resorts and we shall be joining them again this English winter. Try to give a balanced picture.

  • Comment number 5.

    Is Cameron using the carrot or the stick with his 120,000 families?

    And how exactly will "rocket boosters" help?

    Many years ago we analysed the client database of a west London social services department and categorised the root cause of the reason why these families received the ministrations of social workers.

    Yes - there were peple with intractible problems like severely disabilities and those suffering from mental illnesses, etc but when you honestly boiled it down, the two things that would have taken them off the council's books were a decent income and the capability to spend it sensibly.

    And when you added in the disproportionate costs of other agencies involved in coping with dysfunctional families like the NHS, police, fire brigade, benefits, housing, justice system, education etc etc etc, it's not long until you realise that the cost to the society of keeping people without proper jobs paying decent wages and "policed" in the most general terms was - and probably still is - absolutely HUGE.

    The reason we go on doing this is twofold - firstly because we judge a society by how it treats its most vulnerable people, so we do not feel able to stand by and allow families to slide down the abyss completely, but secondly because we seem to think that it is not for society to look to its private businesses and expect them to create jobs in this country for them at decent incomes.

    So we have a situation where companies have offshored jobs by the million, then import goods and services into the UK, whilst leaving vast numbers of people out of work at huge expense to society generally, not to mention racking up the UK's personal, corporate and government debt.

    If we don't want "make work" public sector jobs, then it's up to the private sector to create them, and if the balance of incentives and penalties to do this isn't right, then we need to use bigger sticks and bigger carrots.

    I'm sorry but the idea that companies can manufacture in dreadfully polluting, near-slave labour wage economies, then import things into the UK and sell them at huge markups is unsustainable - exchange rate movements based on trade balances are supposed to rectify gross trade imbalances, but they don't because the markets are rigged - e.g. the Chinese exchange rate, so IMHO we need to tell manufacturers and retailers that unless they start producing far more in the UK, substantial import tarriffs will be phased in over 3-5 years and used to restore competitiveness of UK production. Our trade deficits with China and some%

  • Comment number 6.

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

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    Oooooh. Someone's written a letter that contains "allegations". That's at least an hour's worth of speculation and claims to fill up your programme. Let's see. I suggest you get on John Prescott, Alastair Campbell, Tom Watson and that publicity-seeking media lawyer. I'm sure they'll have something new and interesting to say that we've never heard before. Or you could just rerun one of the many other programmes you've got on phone-hacking. I doubt if anyone would notice the difference.

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    He declared the 'Social Fight Back', a day or two ago; now he fits rocket boosters to it. It makes sense to a kid, and feels great.

    Weep Britain.

  • Comment number 11.

    expenses riot

    as looters got swept up in the mayhem did not the mps do the same?

    given the mps were saying 'everyone was doing it' regarding expenses is that not analogous to taking advantage of a situation against the taxpayer? with regard to expenses were the MPS not in the same riots and shoplifting mode and felt ok to do it because 'everyone was'?

    if so why did they not get similar 4 year terms the rioters got ?

  • Comment number 12.


    The streets follow the elite example, but only the street-looter is prosecuted.

    Is the extra loading, of current penalties, the guilt-loading of the state?

    Weep Britain.

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  • Comment number 14.



    Britain is in the hands of an unscrupulous elite, who have rigged politics, law, policing and banking. AND WE CAN DO NOTHING.

    Have you heard the one about 'having your answer in the ballot box?' I went to put my voting slip in, but it was full of immigrants. (For you Lizzy)

    Weep Britain.

  • Comment number 15.

    How is it in this country that young people are getting the book thrown at them for bad behaviour and yet these people get away with it all the time. Why is our justice system so picky about who it persues, fear?

  • Comment number 16.

    #14 "Britain is in the hands of an unscrupulous elite, who have rigged politics, law, policing and banking. AND WE CAN DO NOTHING."

    And yes we can do nothing about it Barrie, even voting doesn't change a thing!

    Cheeky! ; )

  • Comment number 17.

    Always hear the cry from journalists 'the freedom of the press' when they're under fire. Do they mean the freedom of the press exclusively, or does that encompass the rest of us oiks out here. Mind you if they said 'the freedom of the people' they'd be singled out as Marxists.

    All these noble cliches which, when analysed are all a bit muddled in definition. But they sound good. And that's the main event. Us oiks are happy with that. Grand speeches, waffle and slaps on the back for being jolly good chaps and chapesses.

    We have freedom and a free press. We don't live under a Mugabe regime. Ours is a democracy. Consoled with that thought, we can all happily go to sleep and dream.

  • Comment number 18.


    The gap in the evil Westminster Citadel wall, opened by the LOOTING resonance 'from the streets, to the elites', is further vulnerable to Murdoch leverage. We will only get one chance.


  • Comment number 19.


    How we are soothed with 'ballot boxes', 'checks and balances', 'independent offices of oversight', 'separation of judiciary and state' and a host of other carefully crafted sleights of tongue and pen.

    But anyone who dedicates their god-given awareness to probing the depths of Westminster subterfuge (as Heather Brooke did) finds only smoke, mirrors, deception, obfuscation, lies, damned lies, and politics.

    The recent riots seem sent to awaken us all. They showed ONE WAY in which looting can take place under the guise of something else. This is what we normally accept as GOVERNANCE!


    Ask your MP why, if STREET looters are to be hit with 'the full force of law' were looting MPs NOT FACED WITH THE RELEVANT ACT, FRAMED TO MEET THIS MISCONDUCDUCT?
    “MISCONDUCT IN PUBLIC OFFICE”,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=a7bf878ad22bdd19&biw=1280&bih=552

    Nuff sed.

  • Comment number 20.

    Yup and we're one of the smallest land areas! It's usually only England that ends up with all these bodies.

    Ah well, as JJ used to say they are all new consumers aren't they?!!

  • Comment number 21.

    One billion a year for the next twenty five years, (just on housing) for the british to spend on the new immigrants to our shores. Were the labour government completely mad, and it looks as though the tories are following in their footsteps.

    Hhhhmmmm I wonder how that will affect our economy, I can see more riots!

  • Comment number 22.

    @3 "The figures quoted on Youth Unemployment - Spain 44%; Greece 38%; UK 20%

    One could take an optimist’s view that we must be doing something better?"

    Hmm. In the 50s and 60s, Spain and Portugal were barely industrialised and poverty ridden dictatorships. Britain had almost full employment and a strong manufacturing base. However, even then there was chronic underinvestment compared with Germany, Japan and the Nordic countries. We should be comparing ourselves with the latter and not with the Mediterranean ex-dictatorships.

  • Comment number 23.

    This article from Spiegel is brutal - but I can't disagree.,1518,780537,00.html

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    44% unemployment...but not for the Bullingdon school leavers........

  • Comment number 26.


    But he never called for ALL MPs who opportunistically fiddled money, to be prosecuted under the most stringent law, that of "MISCONDUCT IN PUBLIC OFFICE"!

    What populist PR posturing. Not a grain of integrity to be found. We are run by the wrong people. Cameron epitomises; he never ceases to act dishonourably.


  • Comment number 27.


    Like some mindless oik, in the public gallery, with a primitive view of right and wrong?

    I can't be alone in feeling that Dodgy Dave has, shamelessly (as night overcomes day) politicised the courts, to his own agenda.

    As if we did not suffer enough at the foibles of tyrant Blair - must we endure this one man's interpretation of reality and good, for several more years?


  • Comment number 28.


    Incitement to riot is a serious offence. In 1986 the common law offence was overlaid (in effect replaced) by statute law. I believe the current maximum sentence of such an offence is ten years in jail plus fines.
    So four years, out in three, could be seen as a light sentence.
    So even if a person appeals , given the seriousness of the offence , I doubt any mitigating circumstances will make much of a dent in the sentences which have been handed out. Of course I could be wrong.

    Eurozone meeting -

    I would have thought NN would have mentioned the conclusions of such a meeting.

    I would also have expected NN to inform that France had zero GDP growth in Q2 and Germany had 0.1% GDP growth in Q2, which kinda makes the UKs GDP growth , at 0.2% for Q2, look good.


    Barrie , I would like to comment on that , but I do not have the time currently, given its complexities.


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