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End-of-year interviews: John Maynard Keynes

Paul Mason | 11:14 UK time, Wednesday, 29 December 2010

I didn't recognise him at first because of the jumper: it was more like a duffle coat knitted with red-gold-and-green wool. But you couldn't mistake that wide smile, that febrile top lip, those limpid eyes.

He'd been wandering around Bloomsbury for days unchallenged, popping into the occupations at UCL, the Slade, King's and the LSE to deliver impromptu "teach-ins". Some people later claimed to me that they'd recognised him, but put it down to ketamine and sleeplessness: "Dude, that guy looks just like Keynes, no?"

But it really was him and - after a lot of "no really I mustn't" and muttering at the floor and checking his watch he consented to the interview. I dragged him to a quiet table at the back of Wright's Bar on Houghton Street. The voice recording is deleted now so you'll just have to imagine the soft "r" and the Cambridge drawl:

Are we out of the crisis? I begin.

"Good lord my dear boy we are hardly into it. We have no view into the future in the afterlife but I think it's pretty much following the same path as before, though obviously with the caveat that the forces of globalisation place a major brake, or perhaps more like a restraining leash, on the course its taking."

So if it's following the same path, what year are we in? 1931, '32?

"Its actually remarkably on schedule. You've had the panic phase, then the phase of 'it's going to be alright' and now you're getting the phase where countries try to offload the cost onto each other. We're not yet at the Credit Anstalt moment but you could read the Irish banking bailout as that if you wanted. As I say, it's all mediated by the state throwing a fire blanket, as it were, across the flames. The state has proved remarkably useful."

I notice a tone, signalling disinterest:

You don't sound like your majorly focused on this, Lord Keynes?

"Yes," he sighs: "Economics is a poor business. Dismal does not describe the half of it, don't you think? I mean - bear in mind that, for myself, I've had to watch my entire theory becoming a kind of handbook for bureaucracy in the mid-20th century, then become vilified, and now revived as a kind of emergency defibrillating device by people who thought heart attacks had become impossible..."

"So you buy the Hutton thesis: that the Keynesian revolution didn't happen, that Samuelson..."

"Oh, please, don't get me going on Samuelson... I mean, really, thermodynamics?"

And he waves his hand and makes a pleading grimace and I stop, beginning again after he has ordered a bacon sandwich.

If it's a crisis of freemarket economics, surely some form of Keynesianism should be in the ascendant? I ask:

"If this really were 1931 and we really were playing it all through the first time I might say yes. But actually you've now got the crisis of Keynesianism as well. Nothing's really working - for the West at least, and yet for the East everything is working. So they've got to think it through. The battle is with the head, not the fists, as I said in the 1920s.

"You don't yet have a fully formed solution so put on your thinking cap. They need to sit down and envisage the world as it should be when the crisis abates: to think gigantic and ambitious thoughts about a world system that can contain and encompass fiat currencies and global finance. It's doable but it will take time."

Any comments on modern Liberalism? I venture.

"It's basically Asquith versus Lloyd-George all over again and in reverse - only this time there is no Lloyd-George. Mr Cable - who cuts a fine figure in that fedora don't you think? - was not a whole-hearted stand-in and is in any case now, as it says in the papers, toast. And when I say in reverse I mean they are progressing from the social liberalism of our Yellow Book days back to a kind of pre-Beveridge, almost quintessentially Asquithian view of the state. Doesn't it seem that way to you?"

I make a mental note read up on Asquthianism when I get time.

So who would you say are the great Keynesians of today?

"Hu Jin-Tao, for definite. Lula, obviously. Mervyn King - unlikely contender but a superb practitioner of undeclared currency manipulation and monetary stimulus - and Goh Chok Tong of course..."

I look blank.

"Central bank boss of Singapore, ran the country in the nineties. Quite liberal on gay rights. You know," he looks around Wright's furtively, "the whole of London is one big happy hunting ground for Singapore right now: science boffin only has to pop up with some kind of research and, there, instead of some lamentable English venture capitalist, in the front row, quietly writing out a blank cheque, will be some fellow from the Singapore technology fund. Now that really is Keynesianism. They even have an Arts Council."

So the future's in state capitalism and the emerging markets?

He goes sotto voce:

"If I were not merely an ethereal presence, but able to invest actual pounds and pence, that is where my money would be going," he taps his nose, "however..."

- following a dramatic pause -

"...the real issue is human freedom. That is a need they cannot currently satisfy and where the West retains its advantage. It's what's drawn me here..."

He makes an expansive wave at the outside world: Houghton Street thronged with students, Bush House in the pre-Christmas gloom, a poster of Robert Lindsay starring in Onassis at the Novello.

"These young people, misguided though they may be as to fiscal reality, and crude in method, are actually attempting to live the kind of life we Bloomsbury Group-ers tried to live: but technology and permissiveness allows them to succeed, dear boy, and if you know where to look - quite spectacularly."

You've discovered the London nightlife?

"Thanks to my new friends I am what they call 'gay disco royalty'; my twitterfeed is heavily subscribed; I have become, unlike you, expert in distinguishing Grime music from Dubstep and I am also heavily involved with the writers of the Nomadic Hive Manifesto - of which I can see from your expression you have not heard. It is entitled 'Beeing and Nothingness' and begins..."

"You mean you're taking this bunch of hipsters seriously?" I explode.

"They've done what every generation since the 1930s tried to do: sideline the socialists and rediscover 19th century liberalism!"

"'Bee tolerant, Bee deterritorialised' as the Hive manifesto declares. The space of the individual has expanded, the space of the collective diminished. That is the real economic revolution of your time and its entirely determined by technology and the rapidity of human development. As to the rest, they will grow out of it..."

So what's your current project?

"It's difficult to have long term projects when you're ethereal old chap but if you remember we ran Charleston Farmhouse as a kind of liberal commune, Duncan and Vanessa, Virginia and Leonard... et al." His eyebrows leap impishly; "Something along those lines would, um, er, appeal."

A liberated space on the Sussex downs. It would be almost mainstream now, I chuckle, but how would you fund it?

His gimlet eyes light up and his brows beetle; he lasers me with a look of cruel certainty:

"A massive leveraged one way bet on commodities, dear chap, out by the end of August 2011 when the bubble bursts - plus a side-bet on Euro-Dollar parity by 2012."

The Master has, albeit briefly, returned.


  • Comment number 1.

    Cracking idea Paul....shame he never got to tackle the Soroses and Madoffs who came out on top ...not because they won the argument but by hitching themselves to the cnical unstable rotten system that he tried so hard to dismantle!

  • Comment number 2.

    Have you actually read any Keynes?

    Mervyn King a follower of Keynes because of monetary expansion, when expectations have collapsed in the recession? Liquidity trap, anyone?

    Woefully poor economics.

    I strongly suggest Paul Mason sits down & reads Keynes' General Theory properly this time - or at all.

  • Comment number 3.

    Mary please scroll to the top right corner of my blog and see the box.

  • Comment number 4.

    I don't see why your column can't be funny *and acurate* at the same time.

    Or is the notion of Keynes commending Mervyn King's conversion to "pushing on a string" meant to be some sort of post-modernist ironic in-joke?

    You could have made this piece a lot more satirical end entertaining if you'd really tried.

    "Could do better".

  • Comment number 5.

    Mary...why not have a go yourself?....we are agog with excited expectation!

  • Comment number 6.

    Must be getting on now....

  • Comment number 7.

    Why don't you put your BBC salary into metals Paul and promise not to bail until August 2011? Most on the financial blogosphere appear to be prepared to ride the bull until June and then jump off.

    2011 could be fantastic returns for the brave but you will need to be brave - very brave. Bullish sentiment is at the highest it has been for many years and when people are so bullish the markets have a tendency to shock. Since 2009 you could have made truly fabulous gains but to do so you would have had to fully understood what QE was about - who did? - or have been more of a gambler than a speculator.

    That is even truer now as we go into 2011.

    QE II may keep the markets rising for as long as there is QEII money on the table... but retail investors - Joe Public - have bailed out of the markets in droves in recent months.

    The markets - equities, metals, etc - are looking increasingly like a bubble sustained by nothing more than air. Alas, that is what people were saying at the beginning, middle and end of 2009. Since then many people have seen 30, 40, 50 and even 100 percent returns on their share investments.

    Will we see such returns in 2011? Or will we see the same percentages but this times in a shock and awe crash. Might even be next week.

    Right... Aquarius... 2011 will be a year when...

  • Comment number 8.

    A Second Coming of Keynes? You will be telling us it is Christmas next with shepherds washing their socks and all that stuff.

    Methinks with the expectation for US dollar/Euro parity it is more 1976 than 1931. Reminds me of two old buffers rabbitting at a bus stop in Hendon Central who told anyone who cared to listen and many who did not that `they' would allow the sterling to drop to parity against two US dollars. They were wrong: it went further. Who are `they' anyway? Nobody as usual or might it be the dear old invisible hand?

    The difference between the Thirties and now was that there was an alternative. Today there are none. Perhaps it is wise to believe in supernatural reincarnations of long-dead economists. Nothing else makes much sense......perhaps we just need faith and the power of prayer.

  • Comment number 9.

    Yes the blog is to be interpreted as entertainment because there is no Lord Keynes or General Theory that was developed in relation to our current position. If Mervyn King is a closet Keynesian - so what. The world and economics is very different to that at the time of Keynes and the real mistake of history is to adopt unquestioningly the conventional wisdom of the so-called lessons of history. Keynes would be shocked though not only by the failure of the post WWII economies to deliver rising living standards across the board for the population since the Seventies when productivity and technology have advanced markedly but also the inexorable rise in the 'normal' level of unemployment.

  • Comment number 10.

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

  • Comment number 11.

    The problem with the people who believe that Keynesian economics is now the solution is that they have not yet twigged that Keynes was not the solution before.

    It is the same with 'Helicopter Ben' - he has so much Ego, status and reputation invested in being the man who knows all about the 1929 Crash, the following years and what was supposedly done wrong... that he cannot see that what he is doing now is making things worse and worse... and creating asset bubbles in stocks, in commodities, in gold... which will all go pop sooner than later.

    But because he is supposedly 'the expert' few have the knowledge and clout, and no one has the courage, to stick their hand up and say "Hang on, you are making things worse!".

    (I suppose there were some junior French officers in 1939 thinking similar things about the mindset of their betters whilst sitting in the Maginot Line defences.)

    The only way that 'Helicopter Ben's' policies will work in 2011 will be by collapsing the Chinese economy - which, admittedly, might have been his plan all along... but that is a dangerous road to go down... But perhaps a road that the US will wish to travel down sooner than later?

  • Comment number 12.


    "His gimlet eyes light up and his brows beetle; he lasers me with a look of cruel certainty"

    I'll have what he's having . . .

  • Comment number 13.

    Paul Mason, you are a philistine.

    'The voice recording is deleted now...'

    That voice recording should have been tossed in a cardbox box along with the other inconsequential (at the time) stuff that for some reason or another (it might come in handy is usually my excuse) you decide to keep.

    There it can lie until it is discovered in a clearout of junk well after both JMK and yourself are long gone.

    That's history you destroyed there and I would never have believed you capable of doing such a thing.

    If the recording was digital and you haven't recorded over it then I can probably get it back (so it can be lost in the box), if you have recorded over it then I might be able to get some of it back.

    Either way, I'm appauled.

    Good article though :)

  • Comment number 14.

    Let's remind ourselves how we got to Keynes.

    At the beginning of the 19th century the classical economists, Ricardo in particular, were rather embarassingly demonstrating that all profit comes from unpaid labour.

    The marginalists came to the rescue with their marginal utility theory & each factor of production getting its just return.

    The problem with marginalist theory though was crises were impossible.
    The currency school explained them away as a result of wrong monetary policy - the solution was to ensure the amount of token money issued was in line with gold (Bank Act 1844).
    But each time a crisis occured in the 19th century the Bank Act was suspended to prevent a decrease in the money supply.
    The other target was organised labour distorting wage levels & so creating unemployment.

    But come the 1930's the idea that crises were the result of loose monetary policy &/or overpaid workers was not very convincing.

    Keynes, a pupil of Alfred Marshall & very much part of the establishment, came to the rescue.
    Capitalism was indeed prone to crises - animal spirits & stickiness of wages & prices,he ventured.
    But through correct government intervention the crises could be eradicated & capitalism could continue.

    With oil providing much opportunity to increase the rate of exploitation, Keynesian fiscal stimulus could borrow from the future & justly claim to be able to suspend boom & bust.

    But today where will the increases in the rate of exploitation come from?

    For those of you not familiar with the rate of exploitation, it is simply the amount of the working day that a worker works to add enough value to pay his wages compared to the rest of the day where his labour power creates the value that is realised as profit.

    With rapid advances in labour productivity in the 20th century, workers in the advanced economies had a material improvement in their lives whilst simultaneously the amount of the day they needed to work to pay for their wages was decreasing, & so enabling higher profits.
    Today cheap energy is history & the rate of exploitation is probably decreasing, i.e. a larger proportion of the day is required to provide the value to pay for the worker's wage.

    All of this is incomprehensible to Keynesians because their economics is still based upon the ideology of marginalism.
    In otherwords, their concept of value is subjective.

    Keynes cannot save capitalism this time.

  • Comment number 15.

    I doubt that any living person would recognize John Maynard Keyes (1883-1946).
    But it really was him you say!
    Should have kept that tape, dude. Would be worth a fortune!"
    John: "We have no view into the future in the afterlife":
    I don't think it matters because what is happening in the world has very little to do with economics; and therefore, the effects of any of them on the future.
    September 29, 2008 collapse of Wall Street. Paper money vanishes into thin air, or maybe its appropriated by institutional speculators.
    John, did you happen to see this money?
    Remember the panic: the market would crumble if the proposed 700B dollar bailout were to be rejected. Powerful financial people with PRIOR knowledge (access to privileged information) made billions in speculative trade on Black Monday when the market crumbled. And then on Tuesday, they made billions MORE when the market rebounded.
    Let's go back to so-called Black Monday - the bell sounded, trading begins; the bell spounded, trading ends = 7.5 frantic hours later, $1.2 trillion had VANISHED FROM THE US stock market.
    Okay, money does not vanish; so, where so it go?
    First it was ripped oit of the pockets of people who had invested (perhaps their entire savings) in the stock market; then, the Wall-Street double dippers re-took the money from the people calling this theft - bailout.
    Any short-lived “recovery” is just allowing enoigh time to pass in order to HIT again. Just look at the market sequence - one-day collapse followed by one-day surge, followed by one-day collapse...This pattern is not ECONOMIC; this pattern is MANIPULATION.
    The effect of these market sequences = WINDFALL, on-going profiteering by “institutional speculators”, especially hedge funds.
    In other words, the financial meltdown was never about economics, fair markets, etc. It was about a complex process of financial manipulation, which included speculative trade in derivatives. The resultant instability in market transactions becomes cumulative, leading to an overall slide in market values.
    Cheating is part of the process: high-level political connections, foreknowledge of key policy announcements, etc. These financial-corporate cheats know exactly when to place their bets; as a result, they reap billions of dollars in windfall gains both on the market upturns and downturns...Is this economics? Is this supply and demand, or even Keynesian demand?
    (Did you know that the CIA has its own financial institutions on Wall Street?)
    Links between US intelligence, the Pentagon, the CIA, & Homeland Security are crucial for speculation. This allows the speculators to predict events (prior knowledge) re foreign policy and/or national security. FOR EXAMPLE: they purchased “put options” on airline stocks in the days preceding the 9/11 attacks. That's right: The words that you read were:
    they purchased “put options” on airline stocks in the days PRECEDING the 9/11 attacks.
    Yes, John Maynard: Someone with a brilliant and beautiful mind needs to "envisage the world as it should be when the crisis abates..." to envision fairness, justice, the importance of human beings, the happiness and equality among human beings...and make the theft of persons' life savings a crime deserving of ostracizing.

  • Comment number 16.

    Blimey...the great ouija board of economics is out again ...and we huddle around it shouting the odds as the invisible hand (and it`s very tired wrist!) tremble with uncertainty ......are you there JMK....knock once for boom or twice for bust or thrice for another end to boom and bust?
    No wonder folk have given up on party politics and returned to hard religious faith or consumerism.....!

  • Comment number 17.


    "That's right: The words that you read were: they purchased “put options” on airline stocks in the days PRECEDING the 9/11 attacks."

    Indeed, it is reported that they purchased put options on airlines SPECIFIC TO THE ATTACKS.

    Does Chilcot know? Would he rather not know. Will he CHOOSE not to know?
    We have seen so much political 'Rule of Law' EXERCISED IN UK, in recent years, (currently loudly denigrated, by UK and USA, in those terrible Russians).

    9/ll is now proved bogus, even more than carbon-based climate, but it is still Holy Writ. Obama 'hears no falsehood' and 'sees no falsehood' - while speaking the evil of: "Do not question 9/11".

    In such a world, what's a little monetary confusion/manipulation? Under the new theology, in the Church of Obama, we should be debating how many nano-thermate particles will fit on the head of a pin.

  • Comment number 18.

    ..Friedrich von Hayek had formed the Mont Pelerin Society in 1947, with the explicit intention of nurturing intellectual currents to one day displace Keynesianism and other collectivist influences.

    Hayek[94] felt that application of Keynes's policies would give too much power to the state and would lead to socialism....

    which is a nice ironic twist in that hayekism has lead to the defacto nationalisation of the economic system

  • Comment number 19.

    18...Would it be more accurate to say that it`s led to the "socialisation of risk" and the dumping of toxic and other bad investments on taxpayers by one means or another?
    From where I stand it`s the poor as takes the hit...while them upstairs continue to walk on financial water!

  • Comment number 20.

    I'm a Keynes man....good company was FDR....fed up now, too much festive whatever..back to normal please...back to NN...back to Paul and Jeremy..only thing sustaining me is Charlie Brooker....

  • Comment number 21.


    you mean you don't believe we are in it together? I must confess i have wondered about the definition of 'we'. there must be several.

    cameron seems politically able to cut child benefit but not the 4 billion a year subsidy to millionaire landowners merely for owning land. Never mind put in a land tax and compulsory registry.

    the monarch seems out of touch? Lets all have a game of cricket than a pint at the dog and duck? I can think of several groups to whom that would not appeal or even be forbidden on pain of death. The commonality is not sport. its wealth. which in a zero sum game means taking it from the poor. a society designed to extract wealth from the many and give it [sometimes with a blatant public subsidy] to an inner empire that Cameron represents. In a zero sum game to make yourself rich you have to make others poor. Which is why the apartheid language of the monarchy comes in handy so people 'know their place' and become habituated to being robbed.

  • Comment number 22.


    Excellent turn of phrase Jaunty. But I think it might be worse than that. We may well be habituated to being habituated.

    I just heard new Con MP - Sarah Wollaston, ex GP - sounding very caring and altruistic. So I have sent her the 'liar flyer' asking how to read its Conservative claim as true. Will she reply? None has yet met the challenge, head on.

    Life is weird. The Ape Confused by Language is just no good at growing to maturity, and reflexively succouring its fellow Ape, in a viable community. Voter-Apes pick the least capable (most desperate) to run the show, and then watch - supine - while MP Apes prosper, regardless of ineptitude. What a carp species.

    But, as it's Christmas, I should point out in fairness - Jesus solved nothing.

  • Comment number 23.

    What would happen if Keynesian ideas were introduced now .... could the UK do that unilaterally or would we be obliged to build a consensus with other countries for it to possible?
    we still end up contributing to the IMF and Ireland so might we just as well join the Eurozone or scrap the pound and use dollars as our currency?

  • Comment number 24.


    actually i think its a form of 'stockholm syndrome' where one is not just habituated to being robbed but even expect it and think nothing can be done about it and can only hope they won't rob us too much and be grateful that they left us just enough to pay the bills :)

    quotes from magnificent seven

    Calvera: If God didn't want them sheared, he would not have made them sheep.

    Calvera: Generosity... that was my first mistake. I leave these people a little bit extra, and then they hire these men to make trouble. It shows you, sooner or later, you must answer for every good deed.

    and as for Calvera Cameron 'lets make every give in charity' it reminds me

    Calvera: Last month we were in San Juan. Rich town. Sit down. Rich town, much blessed by God. Big church. Not like here - little church, priest comes twice a year. BIG one. You'd think we'd find gold candlesticks. Poor box filled to overflowing. Do you know what we found? Brass candlesticks. Almost nothing in the poor box.
    Sidekick: But we took it anyway.
    Calvera: I KNOW we took it anyway. I'm trying to show him how little religion some people now have.

    so the ordinary don't have much cameron religion then?

    one might of thought the millionaire landowners might give the 4 billion a year subsidy back? or are they so hard up they need taxpayers money?

  • Comment number 25.


    Here's a thought. Bringing down Building 7, was a commonplace business. Similar structures had been commercially 'imploded' many times, over the years of their existence. Thus it was that we saw a 'classic' demolition. But the Twin Towers were something else.

    No demolition experience for such structures. No chance of a trial run. No margin for error. And it had to work, perfectly, TWICE IN ONE DAY!

    Much has been said of the shredded, pulverised, annihilated condition of everything but the steel (and even that was suitably reduced to 'short' lengths). In a word: OVERKILL.

    So, whereas Charlie Croker's pathetic 'explosives expert' (The Italian Job) used too much, in error, my conclusion is that the 'Twin Towers Mob' employed a phenomenal excess, such that not one door survived the holocaust of destruction.

    I read that Chilcot is resisting including 9/11 in his enquiry, even though Blair included it in his 'Calculus of Risk'. Very telling. Surely politics is not to impinge on the Rule of Law AGAIN?

  • Comment number 26.

    "Oh, please, don't get me going on Samuelson... I mean, really, thermodynamics?"

    It seems that Samuelson himself was more than a little confused about the importance of thermodynamics:

    The tragedy of the 20th Century is that from Keynes to Samuelson, and Hayek to Friedman, the notion of true economic wealth creation was cunningly circumvented.

    Whether by exploitation of labour (#14 above "unpaid labour") or natural resources (#14 again "cheap energy"), the ignorance of thermodynamic principles will be the Western World's greatest intellectual failure:

    "The laws that express the relation between matter and energy [thermodynamic laws], govern the rise and fall of political systems, the freedom or bondage of societies, the movements of commerce and industries, the origin of wealth and poverty, and the general physical welfare of a people."


  • Comment number 27.

    Buy Metals ? or Short Bonds ?

  • Comment number 28.

    Why not buy some long metal and make something that someone will buy ....and free the "bonds" that tie you to a daft extremist global financial mafia .....that leaves the future of humanity at the mercy of disorganised criminals and the spin of a roulette wheel that we don`t own?

  • Comment number 29.

    politicians*, they're whores to business groups agendas, taking corrupted bribes

  • Comment number 30.

    If JMK is the Ghost of Christmas Past, who are the Ghosts of Christmas Present and Christmas Yet to Come ?

    (I assume we're Bob Cratchit)

  • Comment number 31.


    Blair is a strong candidate for 'Christmas Present': utterly insubstantial, with a haunted look - turning up everywhere.

    The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, is a 'Big Pharma' who gave his life to engineering the ultimate Turkey.

  • Comment number 32.

    Troubling thoughts about our collective delusions.
    While in dispute (about Obama`s record) with an American Ebeneezer Scrooge on Mark Mardell`s blog I ventured the thought that American and British people can`t be living in democracies under their collective control because the spread of "money" and "free markets" in everything we thought we owned ....means that anyone anywhere with more money can simply "buy" up everything we imagined was "ours"...... homes,jobs,politicians,media,government,academics,religious leaders etc., from under our feet and redistribute the possession of them at will....and said Scroogist capitalist said "that`s right buster"...."who do you think you are?"

    He went on about his "right" to hire and fire me and if I didn`t "get off my arse and get a job or work harder at my present one then he would find someone prepared to do it.

    Take the example of those Russian oligarchs....are they examples of a new British aristocracy here in London? They may be quite civilised neighbours but what if they aren`t? What if British "voters" want to curb their influence over our lives? How would we go about it?

    And what if "we" preferred to hear Tariq Ali or Tony Benn or even Nick Griffin on Newsnight interpreting the financial crisis to us rather than the inevitable Janet Daley or Irwin Stirzer ....or even our risible "Labour" politicians?

  • Comment number 33.


    Blimey Jim - you are doing a magnificent job of 'holding the line' against the agent of The Rogue Empire, over there. Pathetic use of 'conspiracy theorist' - on a par with 'anti Semite' misuse. (Melvyn Bragg even apologised for referring to 'class', today, yet he was discussing the 1800s!)

    You make a chilling point about everything being for sale. Remember when the government sold the TSB - that was not theirs to sell? Who is to stop them selling (the rest) of Britain to - say - China? China could then use us as a penal colony. I believe there is a precedent? Doh!

    Did we save face by only LENDING the Chagos Islands to America? I know we deported the Chagossians to a 'better life', but it would SURELY be improper to actually SELL their homeland, while they are out. Definitely not Cricket - ball tampering?

    Perhaps the smart thing to do, regarding UK, is to have the Arch of Cant declare that God has PROMISED these islands to the Church. That should REALLY confuse the issue – and there is precedent again! A few retrospective prophesies ought to fix it.

  • Comment number 34.

    Thanks for your support Barrie...the ultimate incongruity is Guantanamo Bay being on CUBAN soil!But no one even mentions it!

  • Comment number 35.


    It must have been - he is man of his word. THAT will be why we hear nothing. Were you suggesting media is controlled? Sounds like a conspiracy theory to me. You will be saying the Twin Towers were DEMOLISHED WITH EXPLOSIVES next, when there are photos to show they were hit by planes and then fell straight down in accordance with Gravity (which also goes straight down).

    Last I heard, Guantanamo was a free health hydro for (slightly) disadvantaged children.

  • Comment number 36.

    35...Husshhhaaayah mouth Singleton....Blair Cameron and Flywheel may not "do torture" (ho ho ho!).... but they answer to folk who say.... "yes we can"!
    And if you think Heathrow is bad just imagine what the steerage class journey to Poland or Georgia or Cuba could be like....not to mention the reception awaiting you in the "hospital(ity) suite!
    Vote you way out of that!

  • Comment number 37.

    forget WWOD (what would obama do) and go for yours

  • Comment number 38.

    the interesting thing about e.p. heidners 9/11 theory about thousands of failed trades washing through the settlement system on 9/11, is I produced a report to identify failed trades washing through the system immediately after.. and they told us it was russian mafia money being laundered in a spin cycle

  • Comment number 39.


    For all that means to me CBM+W, I could be listening to Kirsty. Do you feel like putting it into Clapham Omnibusese? Being a bit of a visualiser, I am in some danger.

  • Comment number 40.

    @single barry
    how 9/11 was done
    you will have to google moogly around for prt1

    p.s. ~(go to e-harmony to find someone with same the interests as you)

  • Comment number 41.

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  • Comment number 42.

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  • Comment number 43.


    I used to dance there (and the Streatham Locarno). But that's not important right now.

    I am only a virtual chum of Jim. I now nothing of anything that might or might not be germane to anyting referred to however obliquely.

    Thanks for link to heavy political finance C-Bob. I think I see where you are coming from. I will check e-harmony, though not out of need for chums of any stripe (however sad I might seem here).

  • Comment number 44.

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  • Comment number 45.


    You can be very hurtful CBM+W. If I hadn't done my 10 years of dating, and made a bunch of wonderful, lasting friendships, I'd probably 'get out my mobility scooter'. (:o)

  • Comment number 46.

    Just when I thought the world had turned into a nasty place and we were almost back the impression magnified by my currently reading 'Mozart and the Nazis' 2010 Levi...I switch on my pc and check out the BBC blogs.

    And I am almost back to the 30s again.

    I think Mr Mason, Sir, that Lord K was gently pulling your leg about disco music when he said he could distinguish between Grime and Dubstep : you probably were not told that he has joined up with the grand poet Milton to form a CLASSICAL dancing school fifty odd miles north of London (see internet reference)

    This is of course a radical change for him. Some of your bloggers may agree.

    PS Would not JMK have read L'Etre et Le Neant in French ?

    Thank you for your entertaining Scrawl through the year. Happy New Year to you and Mr Peston and Ms Flanders.

  • Comment number 47.

    I think a living Keynes would have been very angry about the intellectual weakness/cowardice of the liberal left. The General Theory was a textbook, written in a rather detached and understated tone. But JMK wrote polemic too: see Essays in Persuasion for the kind of stuff he would be writing now.


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