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

Friday 24 February 2012

Verity Murphy | 16:14 UK time, Friday, 24 February 2012

Tonight we have the latest on the protest surrounding the government's work experience scheme for the unemployed, which Employment Minister Chris Grayling has defended today, saying that half of those who joined it after the launch 11 weeks ago had now found a job, and that of the 100 organisations involved in the scheme and not one had pulled out.

We look at what the attempt to find a solution to the Syrian crisis at a major conference in Tunisia.

Our Political editor Allegra Stratton examines possible changes to community sentencing, whether it will have any effect on reducing prisoner numbers and whether the government is on the wrong side of public opinion.

Plus we have a report on the overnight disturbances at a Rochdale takeaway allegedly linked to a child sex trial.


  • Comment number 1.

    Could you please ask Mr Grayling If this work experience scheme is (and to use his words) 'ENTIRELY VOLUNTARY' would someone three weeks into this scheme, they felt it was not for them be able to Voluntarily leave without benefit sanctions (I'm not talking about bad behaviour, time keeping or getting the sack for some other thing). Or will they have to continue to participate against their will? As in my book this does not define it as 'ENTIRELY' voluntary.

    What has happened to receiving a proper wage packet as part of work experience. Surely this should be a core part of the work ethos...unless your a slave that is. And what has happened to the 52% who haven't found any work through this scheme?

  • Comment number 2.

    Mr Grayling says none of the participating bussiness have pulled out of the 'entirely voluntary' work experience scheme. however, job centers continue to contact unsuspecting charity shops and other organisations in the hope of them participating probably unaware of what this means for the 'entirely voluntary' individuals involved if they leave. The national charity I support (MIND) is currently undertaking an audit of all its country wide shops and branches. If it finds anyone participating in this scheme at any of it's outlets of around 150 shops it will immediately end its relationship with it. So says Paul Farmer CEO MIND. I should imagine there are many more charities lined up alongside him.

  • Comment number 3.

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

  • Comment number 4.

    ...And wherever a man is against his will to him that is a prison.


  • Comment number 5.

    Yes, my post at #3 broke the rules on just about every level you can imagine, with references to:

    a) A4e
    b) Punchup in the HoC Strangers Bar
    c) Alleged underage sex oop North

    Rules are meant to be broken.

  • Comment number 6.

    Loyalty cuts both ways.

    British judges say the US has lawfully sought retired businessman Christopher Tappin's extradition under the terms of UK-US Extradition Treaty between the two countries.

    So that it what it means to be British as far as the Brits at Westminster are concerned.

    It is almost impossible to imagine an English Parliament ever agreeing to such a treaty so roll on the day when England is England again.

  • Comment number 7.

    Whether or not an attempt to find a solution to the Syrian crisis is successful, I must say that William Hague has stepped up to the plate.

    When he started this job, Hague seemed to be more interested in finding a ranch in the US to retire to, but over time he has grown into the role of Foreign Secretary and the big bet that he (and Cameron) took over Libya paid off, saving thousands of Libyan lives.

    It would be very churlish and mean-spirited to always take politicians to task, so when they really perform well they should get credit for it - and right now Hague deserves the plaudits.

  • Comment number 8.

    'Russian diplomacy' is almost an oxymoron now, given the mis-steps over Iran, Libya and now Syria.

    It is a clear pointer that Vladimir Putin has now become an impediment to Russia's future development, as Mikhail Gorbachev has recently noted.

    Russians should recognise that Putin is addicted to power, as he himself warned and vote accordingly.

    Off to the Gulag, JohnConstable.

  • Comment number 9.


    Caring Cameron has pronounced regarding 120,000 'troubled families', situated within the bounds of this nation; a nation whose institutions and residents have long been PRESIDED OVER, MENTORED and SHAPED by Westminster policies. By my analysis: Westminster is manifestly a dysfunctional House, damaging, and not to be trusted with the WELLBEING of vulnerable citizens.

    My solution is to put mature, competent facilitators into that House, on a 24 hour rota, so that dangerous behaviours can be nipped in the bud, and guidance given. Had a trained ADULT been on-hand recently, the unseemly, and potentially dangerous brawling, would probably not have taken place. Other unconducive behaviours would also decline.

    I hold the view that Westminster is a bad influence on THE WHOLE "NEIGHBOURHOOD".
    If we can eliminate dysfunction - abuse of honour, truth and integrity - in Westminster, the advantages to every man woman and child on the infamous "UK ESTATE", will be immeasurable. Once Westminster is functioning benignly, we can start on the lesser dysfunction in ordinary homes.


  • Comment number 10.


    It looks like Globopoly to me John. Hague always wanted to strut a stage. He is having a ball now, but if it all goes pearshaped - what then? Tony bagsied 'Interfaith' after his debacle; what's left for Billy the spud? 'Interveg'?

  • Comment number 11.

    I hope the USA is proud of it's stance supporting Israel at the UN these past forty years against the wishes of the Palestinian people for a homeland, resolution 242 lies in a dusty filing cabinet at the UN and they wonder why the stubborn stance of the Russian and Chines delegations will not give it's support over the beleagured Syrian oppressed, maybe if they looked a little more closely at their own disastrous foreign policy in the middle east we might get somewhere....

  • Comment number 12.

    barriesingleton @ 10

    William Hague is a career politician but certainly as a high profile politician, especially as Foreign Secretary, his life will definately be very much at risk, particularly when travelling abroad.

    It seems to me that a very big 'downside' of an individual having a public profile can mean all sorts of strange people come out of the woodwork and can cause massive problems for the person in the public eye, running the gamut from stalking to full-blown assassination attempts.

    You might recall that the very docile MP Steven Timms, was attacked and almost killled just for doing his job.

    Maybe we could just cut some slack to these people for once.

  • Comment number 13.

    It’s a serious issue….

    I e-mailed ‘Today‘ today …. It wasn’t asked ….. Probably my fault, late sending the e-mail ...

    I e-mailed the ‘Daily Politics‘ a rejigged version of the same question sent to 'Today'.... the rejigged question follows ….


    Re: Employment schemes.

    "Fifty per cent have come off benefits or found employment/work."

    Has become a standard answer from "Mr Is Failing" at the moment!

    Please ask him for a detailed explanation, and breakdown, of the stats, and exactly what this 'mantra' means?

    And if - Surprise, surprise! - he doesn't know them, have them to hand, "They are being revised/reviewed et al", can't explain, dodges the question - for the third time! - etc etc ; Ask will he come back and inform us all rather than giving us a meaningless 'sound-bite?

    (After all, we do pay his wages? Don't we?)


    One suspects that  "Fifty per cent have come off benefits or found employment/ work." .... 

    ..... hides a multitude of 'sins'!


    But Mr Failing had withdrawn (?) from his agreed (?) interview!

    (Apologies if I mis-heard about his ‘failure to appear’ on the DP programme! However he does seem to have gone to ground since this morning!)

    So Nn …..

    Third time lucky?

  • Comment number 14.

    stevie @ 11

    You say that it has been wrong of the USA to support Israel against the Palestinians these past forty years and suggest that is why Russia and China will not support the opposition in Syria.

    You are ascribing a moral equivalence which does not exist i.e. Israel has not presently or in the past, deliberately slaughtered thousands of Palestinians as the Assad regime did to its own citizens in Homs in the 1980s and again currently.

    Russia has made heavy political, military and economic investments in Syria, which are all in danger if the current Assad regime falls, therefore Russias current position is to tacitly support the regime until a tipping point has been reached.

    China does not generally support the 'democratic' model and therefore is inclined to step away from any moves towards democracy, especially in countries that it has occupied e.g. Tibet.

    The USA are broadly, in very simplistic geo-political terms, the 'good guys' but do have tin-ears in some areas, particularly the cultural mores of the countries that they are supporting e.g. allowing somebody to incinerate the Koran at Bagram AFB.

  • Comment number 15.


    The hypocrisy of America, as enunciated via Ms Clinton, makes me almost as sick as Dave is about snobs. Apparently killing innocent Johnnie foreigner IS WRONG!

    Are we going to stop?

  • Comment number 16.

    TIN EAR (#14)

    My understanding is that when Israel was first installed, persecution was of a high order, not unlike our slaughter of antipodean indigenes.

    But then - who can know the truth?

  • Comment number 17.


    John. I really DO have, in my possession, a False Instrument, produced by the Conservative Party, and used by at least 9 SITTING MPs to (attempt to) gain votes. This REALLY DOES break election law. I have contacted every office of Westminster and of Election probity with no engagement, and countless MPs with mostly silence and some wriggling. I also notified the police who behaved strangely. Media do not engage either.

    JUST ONE MP PHONED (no trace) and said of the False Instrument; "Of course it's all lies, but I can't do anything."

    How do YOU define 'corruption'? Have you ever challenged the Westminster Citadel?

    Nuff sed

  • Comment number 18.

    It is not true to say these jobs are not paid. A4e appears to have been very well paid. If that is added to the unemployment benefit and the benefit the firm gets the taxpayer is paying rather a lot and reports suggest that some of the money is not well spent.
    Apart from that, many jobs went out of the country taking possible taxpaying with them as well as the end of much heavy industry. That may be the result of competition (which Mrs Thatcher said drives down standards) but not of potential employees. Nor is it the fault of employees that high streets have become gap-toothed. The FTSE doesn't seem to have suffered.
    While some people earn stratospheric sums and distort markets - especially the housing market - it is asking a lot for ordinary people to work for no reward related to what they do. Even a low wage topped up with benefits would ask the employer to recognise the efforts. Good that some firms have backed off whether from principle or as a result of protests. Never mind politics. It's psychology.

  • Comment number 19.

    barriesingleton @ 17

    To clarify, I was suggesting that we cut some individual MP's some slack, not the cohort as a whole.

    I recall speaking to the journalist and one term independent MP Martin Bell a few years ago and he stated that in his opinion, Westminster/Whitehall was totally corrupt and that he deeply regretted not kicking up more of a fuss when Elizabeth Filkin was forced out of her job as Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards (Filkin was starting to dig deep into MP's expenses).

    When one considers the outstanding track record of independent MP's such as Bell then one has to reluctantly conclude that a brain-washed English electorate is mostly just voting unquestionably for the three so-called mainstream political brands in our England, and thus must suffer the consequences.

    And we English surely do, paying the heaviest political price for unthinking apathy.

    At least the Scots are showing us English that there is another way.

  • Comment number 20.

    "IT'S PSYCHOLOGY" (#18)

    In those two words w2s, you sum up the alpha and omega of post-industrial malaise.

    Clever man is now trapped in a perversely mad culture, and lacks the wisdom (especially in politicians) to escape.

    Paradoxically, a new move to teach philosophy (giving rise to wisdom) to SCHOOL children looks promising. UNTIL ONE REALISES THAT EDUCATION X 3 IS INIMICAL TO WISE CHILDREN. Tony wanted us all dumb, and Westminster will see to it we stay that way - unless we DISMANTLE it.

  • Comment number 21.

    THAT'S FAIR (#19)

    OK John: The Liar Flyer can be found at SPOIL PARTY-GAMES. If you know ONE MP who is honourable and has integrity, please forward it, and wait for them to ACT . . .


  • Comment number 22.

    Usually this blogger does not have any problem churning out blog entries, I pump them out very quickly but for some reason, whenever I try to write something about the late Marie Colvin, the words just dry up.

    I have read Colvin's reports in the ST for years as she spoke the truth to power in the worlds war zones and was amazed by her bravery, which was of the very highest order.

    Now the evil ones have terminated her life and she joins a long list of war correspondents, including Anna Politkovskaya, who have paid the ultimate price.

    Newsnights own Mark Urban has also gone into some very dangerous places to report what is happening.

    Our respect for these journalists should be absolute.

  • Comment number 23.

    Ronnie James Dio explains the song is about how every individual has "heaven and hell" inside him or herself, as well as the ability and the choice whether to choose good or evil.

    Which is as good as any other explanation as to why the planet is as it is.

  • Comment number 24.


    Lord Lucan 'may be alive after fleeing to Africa', says brother after 38 years of silence

    Did anyone else hear Michael Portillo state with absolute assurance and certainty that "Lord Lucan is DEFINITELY dead" (my emphasis) on Thursday's edition of The Politics Show with Andrew Neil?

  • Comment number 25.


    I have watched Portillo maturing from demon-driven child (MP) to a greater level of awareness - even self awareness - which he puts to good use. However, like us all, he has 'some way to go'.

    Does Lucan matter? Against America's Boadicea, Hillary Clinton, he hardly registers on my anathemometer.

  • Comment number 26.

    The last thing anyone needs to do is send arms to the rebels/opposition/freedom fighters in Syria; Iran is itching for a brawl and Israel is as usual highly trigger happy; everyone needs to clam down.

    It's strange how the sight of children apparently wounded by apparently Government troops on what are unverified Youtube clips can whip people up into hysteria; I remember the Seventies when British children were ripped to bits by bombs in their own country and people were determined to win through with a determination and stoicism which were creditable; has it all got a bit too emotional these days?

  • Comment number 27.

  • Comment number 28.


    Those who read my posts will know that West Berkshire Council is behaving like a clamping gang. They took Westminster's dog's-breakfast of road signage 'guidance', interpreted it so that signs had LEAST impact on motorists, 'signed off' the installation with half the signs unlit, and other defects present thereby entrapping thousands of motorists (over several months) and pocketing fines, UP UNTIL CHALLENGED. This has been duplicated in other towns across this un-great country.


    In passing: if Dave's family-therapy is to be devolved to Councils, expect to see 'house-sized' clamps on problem homes - it is all they know.

  • Comment number 29.

    I suspect that many of the more computer savy newsnight viewers find themselves unable to take Newsnight seriously anymore after Friday night's programme and the alleged in depth report on the #Workfare controvosy. It was perhaps the most blatent example of government propaganda in the interest of damage limitation seen on TV ever, made ever so obvious by the fact that the programme examined the twitter feed for #welfaretowork when all the real action on #workfare. Comments on #workfare were broadly 90% against the government position, and Newsnight caused an instant storm of posts with tags like #idiots, people are really waking up and when you can't trust a programme that just won a big award the public will soon come to their senses about alleged experts.

    Total news blackout on todays #workfare protests but I understand that the original plan was to close the main McDonalds on Oxford street but that was thwarted by the provision of " hundreds of police " Not to be outdone the protesters moved down the street to successfully close a smaler McD, then a HMV shop and a further McD. A significant event to cover in the main news but the GP's stepped in to save the government embarasment with a ballot for industrial action moaning about cuts to their fat cat pensions. All pretty convenient when you consider that there is firm new evidence that the DWP has been ammending documents on it web site which proved that ministers are being intellectually dishonest about the term " Mandatory " !

  • Comment number 30.


    Bizarre eh Nolly! We are a rogue state, run by a covert tyranny, headed by a despot in Emperor's Clothing, complicit in the terrorism of UN, USA and bankery, and still our disgracefully behaved PM, and his Spudmeister Supreme, lecture parts of the world that are intrinsically FAR LESS CORRUPT than we are.

    1984 needs an update.

  • Comment number 31.

    @24 I read the article, and checked the date, but no it wasn't from the August no-news "silly season". It's interesting that the article offered no evidence, and just quoted a family member who said he didn't know what happened to his brother.

    In fact, I can reveal that Lord Lucan and Elvis have set up a ménage à trois with the space alien who escaped from area 51. Intelligence sources at GCHQ have reliable information that they are living happily in Outer Mongolia guarded by warrior monks who are sworn to protect their persons and the secrecy of their location. These sources have an unrivalled track record: their most recent success was providing the evidence to Tony Blair that Saddam Hussein did indeed have weapons of mass destruction.

    PS can I have a job with the Daily Express?

  • Comment number 32.

    kayshibayez @ 26

    Young Matthew Parris, writing in todays Times, suggests from his comfy armchair, that it is not helpful to view the world through the prism of good versus evil, saints versus sinners, monsters versus heroes, democracy versus tyranny.

    He then goes on to say that we should be patient, even as we watch thousands being slaughtered (in Syria) today.

    To be fair to Parris, he sets his argument in the context of history, where the whole Middle East region has been a basketcase since the Byzantine era collapsed, and 'outside' interference e.g. the Crusades, has not been helpful to say the least.

    However, modern military technology has changed the game considerably and it is now possible, if so desired, to surgically cut off the head of the snake.

    Totalitarian regimes are extremely heirarchical and therefore most amenable to 'head-cutting'. It just needs the political will to make it happen.

    That might sound brutal but initially around 3,000 civilians in Syria have died because they thought that peaceful protest would result in a transition to a more democratic regime. Instead they became corpses.

  • Comment number 33.


    They are called 'unitary' because the entrance exam requires you to count up to one.

  • Comment number 34.


    We know of at least one snake whose head might roll to advantage. And a wannabe failed snake who whipped his ciphers into the yes lobby, to grant the aforesaid his Iraq war.

    Come to think of it - gunpowder would be more poignant. Not only the Guy Fawkes connection, but the experience of dying slowly, BURIED IN RUBBLE, as so many ordinary Iraqis did.

    The Westminster Ethos has not changed. Strife is good for arms sales. Arm the rebels!

    Thank goodness we only kill Johnnie Foreigner - and then only in his home-land. Killing your own people is despicable.

  • Comment number 35.

    I am always pleased to see a proper use of the mathematical term "unit" (Barrie @33) :-)

    It's common in several European cultures for city types to make fun of farmers by describing their counting system as "one, two many", (eg "en, to, mange") in Jutland Danish.)

    Unfortunately, this counting system seems to have degenerated into "one too many" in the bars of the Palace of Westminster!

  • Comment number 36.

  • Comment number 37.

    @34 I thought this was funny Barrie until I played with it, and then I was ashamed.

    I tried it out on SW1A 0AA, and I did NOT enjoy it: I felt sick to the bottom of my stomach. But it certainly makes you think!

  • Comment number 38.

    barriesingleton @ 34

    A sense of perspective is always useful and so whilst we probably have our fair share of snake-oil salesmen in Westminster, I do not think we should be sending a Hellfire missile into that place to remove a few 'snakes'.

    On the contrary, I, for example, am free to preach freedom for the English people by virtue of the establishment of an English Parliament, which is effectively treason, in terms of the United Kingdom, but I am most unlikely to be 'disappeared' in the interim; which is a basic parameter of a mature democratic system.

    We are all members of the human race and it is incumbent upon us to assist fellow humans, no matter where they live on the planet, to be able to live their lives in accordance with basic human rights (as formally defined in UN Charters).

    That really is the bottom line.

  • Comment number 39.


    WESTMINSTER POLITICS: The art of self-deception, wrapped in the craft of deceiving others - for their own good. I'll have none of it.

    PS Speak freely - no one is listening.

    Does 'assisting' involve judicious bombing? Bottom indeed.

  • Comment number 40.

    '29. At 19:39 25th Feb 2012, NollyPrott - I suspect that many of the more computer-savvy newsnight viewers find themselves unable to take Newsnight seriously anymore after Friday night's programme and the alleged in-depth report on the #Workfare controversy.'

    It is proving tricky to get to what IS going on, when so many seem involved in ensuring that viewers, or readers, are presented with what some think they need to think is going on...

    'Just as the BBC described June Hautot, who set upon Andrew Lansley in a headline-grabbing encounter, as a “pensioner” (instead of a union activist and organiser of the “Keep Our NHS Public” campaign)'

    I guess you pays yer money (or in some unique cases, have it taken no matter what), and makes yer choice.

  • Comment number 41.

    Here's an interesting link: Allegedly, there's a $23.39 of "speculative premium" in every barrel of oil. (about 20% of the current price of US light crude).

  • Comment number 42.


    Did Tony's "EDUCATION X 3" complete the evisceration of the people? Are there now too few left, with potential awareness and competence, EVEN IF AWAKENED TO REALITY, to have any weight of numbers against the Westminster Tyranny?


  • Comment number 43.

    #36 ecolizzy: your link on Gendercide

    No comments yet Liz from other NN bloggers; mainly Male? But the comments on that webpage are of interest, covering a wide range of opinions on the issue.

    For what it’s worth I am ambiguous on this subject, as on many others. My first wife aborted what would have been our 3rd child (sex unknown) partly as it was 1960s, before the mass introduction of anti-contraceptive pills and partly wishing to continue working, before maternity /paternity leave were introduced. As it happens, the Chief Medical Officer was at that time covertly advising and fitting birth-control devices to young national mothers of that overseas country. My ex also persuaded me to have the snip (belt and braces!) which I choose to blame for my subsequent promiscuous lifestyle – the removal of a sanction, just as in the death of my Christian belief in a day of judgement? (Now re-connected with my manhood, but not the belief system!)

    With my hatred toward overpopulation (both in England and worldwide) and the over-sensitivity to religious belief on the issue of birth control I have to welcome the choice of abortion. Although disliking the ‘playing God’ and ‘barren branches’ resulting from the radical policy of the Chinese government towards birth control, I have to welcome the ‘saving’ of many millions of additional births that resulted (Attenborough quoted a figure, which I forget, but it was mind-boggling).

    On the other hand I continue to rage against the ‘we welcome Diversity’ that has resulted in gender-selection becoming yet another alien feature of multiculturalism, although many will claim that this practice arises from the general decline in society mores, the rise of feminism, dual wage-earners, the worship of celebs, and many other ‘developments’ in our society. Also, can’t help noticing from the blogs on that link that this subject and eugenics have once again been associated with the Nazis, so are now beyond sensible discussion and debate.

  • Comment number 44.


    Thanks IDG2 (#43) I had meant to check EcoLizzy's link but forgot.

    Remember Douglas Adams? The greatest sage/seer of recent times? He pointed out that HomSap thought digital watches were neat, and happiness depended on little bits of green paper being pushed about. Nuff sed!

    But, to my knowledge, Adams did not spot that LANGUAGE is the scourge of our ape. There is only so much harm an aberrant ape can do WITHOUT LANGUAGE. Give the fool words, and in no time you have: oratory (snake oil sales) God's word (second hand) and CULTURE (increasingly aberrant with each generational transmission). And here we are.

    On The Big Questions today, they discussed (in words) the demon drink. One spoke of its "innocent pleasure". To quote another sage: Mandy Rice Davies, "He would say that, wouldn't he?" We live INSIDE our given cultures, rarely inspecting them. Those who do (e.g. EcoLizzy) can find themselves ostracised.

    If I were religious, I would be in no doubt that the Devil implanted language in God's MUTE self-image: Mankind. Eve used words to damn the world, Tony used words to tie us in to Dubya's Iraq folly, and the idea of killing girl-children is transmitted by cultural word. (I got there.)

    It's going to take a hell of a lot of fixing, short of cosmic intervention.

  • Comment number 45.

    '43. At 17:35 26th Feb 2012, indignantindegene wrote:
    #36 ecolizzy: your link on Gendercide
    No comments yet Liz from other NN bloggers; mainly Male?'

    Not in favour, like most things that end in 'cide', especially newer, culturally enriching ones inflicted upon our country by a select band, for the few in spite the many.

    Ones which, for sure, the spokesmedium for the country will find many able representatives to 'anlayse' and 'discuss' for us tonight.

    Though guessing any from high ABC media will again be absent, possibly along with pols such as Priti Patel.

    But I am sure our new Protests Editor can scare up a few sages from iArmoury to share their wisdom.

  • Comment number 46.


    That's a quote from Hillary Clinton - yelling at China and Russia for not joining the next Johnnie Foreigner Killfest.

    Nuff ced

  • Comment number 47.

    Well time to get back to NN blog! My father lay on the ground for four hours with a broken femur luckily I visited him!

    Abortion; as such I'm not against it, and in a lot of cases for it, but it strikes me as very sick to abort female babies, or males come to that for being the "wrong" sex, apart from a gender afflicting disease.

    Although in a sick way it keeps populations down as with less women, there will be less babies, and the world is getting a very crowded place indeed.

    Another thought we have many thousands of young male immigrants coming into the country, and obviously not enough women to go around, is that the reason for the abuse (alledgely) trial going on in Liverpool at the moment?

    In China they have the problem of 50 million unmarried men, there are not enough women for each of them to have a wife, because of sex selection abortion. Although I understand a lot of kidnapping, and buying of wives from other countries is occurin'.

    Nature is quite amazing, until man interferes, it somehow managed to provide equal amounts of male and female offspring, perhaps slightly more male by 1%, but that would account for the death of male babies being slightly weaker, in the womb and as babies. And also covered the fact that men take more risks.

    Now nature worked all that out through evolution, but a certain religion, and a good many cultures favour male far above female beings. They are idiots, Barries quote of "what would nature do" is so apt in many fields, nature kills off the weak and useless and keeps everything in balance, man doesn't he interferes at his peril. Sometimes it's very successful, but others it's not.

    I come from a large family, where people have had many children or none, I know the heartbreak for women not able to have children, and I know the burden of too many children, and disablility, and losing them from illness. I haven't enquired if any have had abortion, that is between the parents and their personal decision in my view.

    There are far too many people in the world, if women could be assured of keeping a couple or three children alive and well until adulthood, I'm sure they'd prefer that than having dozens and them dying.

  • Comment number 48.

    @47 - One of your best posts Lizzy. :-)

    Contraception of course is far better and less traumatic than abortion. However, even that is coming under attack by the "Christian Ayatollah" religious fanatics in the US. The Roman Church hierarchy of course has long been opposed, I suspect because they secretly want to outbreed the opposition. The behaviour of the laity seems to suggest that, in general, they hold a different opinion.

    Not everyone in the US is nuts though:

    "Never mind the presidency: Santorum should run for Ayatollah of America.."

  • Comment number 49.

    #47 ecolizzy
    I agree with most of what you say, with a couple of amendments:-

    Barrie’s phrase ‘what would nature do?’ has always been my mantra in many life decisions, but I believe it should now be changed to ‘What WILL nature do?’ as I perceive that nature will make whatever adjustments are necessary to maintain an evolving ecology, including compensating for the excesses of humans. If the male-female balance gets too far out then perhaps we can expect more wars and specific illnesses that will restore the balance.

    With regard to “if women could be assured of keeping a couple or three children alive and well until adulthood, I'm sure they'd prefer that than having dozens and them dying.” Unfortunately, this ignores the dominant male lust factor.
    Perhaps HIV came along to combat the uncontrolled increase of this incidence and our decadence, and there are signs that male fertility (sperm) rates are falling - is this what nature does?

    Our selfish Human Rights declaration should be framed within an Earth’s Rights charter that would include controls on homsaps’ procreation and consumption. A start, for this country, would be to drop the child benefit paid to more than ‘replacement births’ per family, and provide overseas aid based on a clear indication that any receiving nation must introduced robust population control measures.
    It won’t happen, so we shall just have to see What Nature Does.

  • Comment number 50.


    But 'HMS Great Britain' has one of those narcissistic, poseur captains, who will sink us all. His head in the clouds, and feet of clay: Westminster Dave is ill-fitted for charting a WISE course.


    Look on what we have done, in a few decades - and weep.

  • Comment number 51.


    We are governed by a Corrupt Westminster which connives at (and gives tacit 'permission' for) corruption in every walk of national life.

    The gutless ciphers WE have elevated to government, do not have the qualities required to call a spade a spade and DISMANTLE WESTMINSTER.

  • Comment number 52.

    #48 'Cor praised indeed from you Sash! ; ) Thank you : )

    Population and demographics interest me a lot, and not from a racial point of view, from an over population one.

  • Comment number 53.

    #49 Very interestingly Indi, I think nature is already working on it. My children are at an age when they and their friends are all breedingly happily. Number one thing I've noticed is they are keen to have several, which surprised me, and number two the amount of girls being born is astounding, only the odd boy comes along now and again.

    Is nature making up for the lost girls amongst women in the west?!

    Or as you mention elsewhere is it mens low sperm count, or feminisation as has been suggested by scientists, hormones in the water etc. Unfortunately (for me) all my kids only want one, they already acknowledge overcrowding, and future lack of resources, and cost of proper child upbringing, and no I don't mean childcare or private school fees.

    Being female I don't altogether understand the male lust factor, I'm one of those women who is a caring soul, I tend to look after those around me, perhaps an enabler, so in that sense I would be looked upon as a more non western woman. Although as you can see I don't keep my mouth shut, a very strong trait in my victorian era born grandmother.

    I've also wondered long and hard over HIV, and a little part of me still wonders if it was invented!!! But it could very obviously be what nature intended, and without casting any stones, it aimed it at the wrong people if homosexuals first acquired it. But then did they, it might have been around for a longer time but not recognised.

    Completely agree with your last paragraph, but then would that be state control?!

    I often think your young daughter must have some interesting thoughts on life in general having experienced a wide range of lifestyles. Do you talk to her about such matters?

  • Comment number 54.


  • Comment number 55.

    NUFF SED MUSE-V (#54)

    Of course, the blameless Hillary knows nothing of 9/11 reality. (repost)

  • Comment number 56.

    #53. ecolizzy wrote:
    ‘Is nature making up for the lost girls amongst women in the west?!’

    As an ex-statistician I still believe in the strange outcomes of probability law. My son’s wife had 3 boys and when one sadly died in childbirth she soon gave birth – again to another boy. Strange but still within the law of probability, though some would claim it the work of the Lord, others Gaia, or just nature.

    “Being female I don't altogether understand the male lust factor”

    It’s in most species, and plays a large role in evolution although IMHO (and as a resident of Brighton) I have to say that it is by no means exclusive to heterosexual males. With regard to HIV, again all of the above have been blamed/credited. The BSE outbreak occurred while I was working in Africa and I mentioned to some medical experts that those symptoms had been observed in a remote tribe in Papua New Guinea that practiced a form of cannibalism. Their response was “Impossible - diseases cannot cross from species to humans.” When I challenged that ‘HIV had originated in monkeys’ the response was ‘No, that was introduced by CIA!’

    So you takes yer pick, based on upbringing and real experience.

    ‘… your young daughter must have some interesting thoughts on life in general Do you talk to her about such matters?’ Being mixed race and studying Law, Economics, Psychology and Biology she has more questions than answers, and I have a job trying to ‘help’ with her studies. Best I can do is ignore her institutionalised textbooks and give answers based on experiences, whilst not cramping her original thoughts and ideas. By the same token Liz I always welcome your inputs and links as we share the priority of interest in home affairs - and our longer-term experience of what used to be.

  • Comment number 57.


    They come pre-corrupted and need no induction.

    Will Leveson follow the smell of dirty money ALL THE WAY?

    Yeah right.

  • Comment number 58.


    In the case of Dr Kelly: were death, AND THE CAUSES OF DEATH, properly investigated - without inquest?

    The list is longer - and growing.

    D MOCK CRASS Y under the "Rule of Law".


  • Comment number 59.

    #57 "They come pre-corrupted and need no induction."

    Barrie that must be one of your funiest lines ever! I'm roaring.

    Anyone watch Empire? I thought Jez looked wobbeley, has he a bad back or hips, he looked stiff and uncomfortable when walking.

  • Comment number 60.

    Strange coincidence Indignantindegene?

    And after watching the apologetic reporting of the poor illegal immigrants and their situation....

    Third world here england comes..............


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.