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Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Rob Atkins

I can see why you are unhappy. I also took offence on behalf of all the cows having their manure unfairly compared with the dishonorable M'Lord Mandelson. They deserve to be protected from that outrageous slur.

Rob Atkins

I felt my last post lacked some intellectual rigour, so I thought I should explain myself.
I was very much persuaded by Peter Mandelson, as one of its principal architects, that New Labour was no longer partisan, but instead represented a wholly new centre ground in politics.
I have been concerned that since returning to Government, he has, like Gordon Brown, seemed to be using the more traditional divisive language of Old Labour. I have been trying to form a judgement : Is Peter Mandelson at heart New Labour nor Old Labour ?
There are too many inconsistencies to enable him to fit comfortably into either camp.
Finally, I believe I have found a conclusion that fits the facts : perhaps he is neither New or Old Labour. Perhaps he is simply a grasping opportunist with no principles who unscrupulously uses whatever language meets the needs of the day, to secure and hold on to power. What do you think ?

Stan Rosenthal

Your first comment certainly did lack a degree of intellectual vigour, Rob, as did your second.

Politics being the art of the possible, the mark of an outstanding politician, like Peter Mandelson, is to be able to move with the times and not be hidebound by allegiance to just one part of the political spectrum or to one version of what the Labour Party is all about.

In this case, current circumstances demand a move to the left to get us out of the mess that we're in as past circumstances required a move to the right. I see this as sensible navigation rather than unprincipled opportunism and am glad that someone like Peter is with those at the helm at this time.

You are,of course, quite entitled to liken Mr Mandelson to something worse than a heap of manure. However the point of my piece is that a prominent BBC commentator is not so entitled, bearing in mind the BBC rules about offensiveness and impartiality, and should accordingly be called to account when he uses language of this nature in relation to a leading politician..


Thats so true once a labour, then New labour what next a Tory

Roderick V. Louis


Whether budget & tax cuts or budget & tax increases- or a variation of these, upcoming UK spending plans need to be oriented around explicitly understood objectives (& an articulated 'plan') for the United Kingdom's long term 'role in the world'.

The invaluable BBC and its possible future purposes/levels & types of services fit into this formula...

The UK govt buying UK domestic peace with drastic tax cuts & borrowed-money spending increases is a false equation- without an accompanying explicit national-economic-strategy- that deliniates tangible objectives, it can only temporarily purchase time.

The fundamentals of the UK's economy & industry need to be maintained & improved...

Considering that London (& the City) is the defacto world capital of international finance & related industries, the UK govt & business leaders ought to be taking steps to ensure the country retains this position.

One could be the establishment of a UK-based 24-hour business TV channel broadcasting from London & perhaps with satellite studios in other major world financial centre's such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Mumbai, New York, Chicago, etc.

What constructive sense is there in letting the USA continue to monopolize this important component of the world's economic system??

The BBC with its "BBC World News" 24-hour TV channel (available in most world regions) does do some very excellent business reporting- periodically- throughout the day.

But this channel doesn't broadcast enough business-related news/programmes to compete with US-based companies' that offer 24-hour business-news/programmes channels.

US-based companies like Bloomberg, CNBC, MSNBC (and others) with their 24-hour TV business channels ought to be challenged with a UK variant.

In addition to (indirectly but) significantly advancing UK business interests, this could only benefit the world financial system generally.

The effort and possible risks inherent in the creation of, say, a "'Financial Times' 24-hour business TV channel" would be substantially outweighed by the potential benefits accruing from the facilitation of such a project...

Any public financing used to set up a UK-based 24-hour world business channel could be committed to be payed back after a set period of time.

Stakes in a 24-hour UK-based world-business channel that the UK govt obtained on start-up could be relinquished after a few years once the channel was on its feet...

The BBC with its demonstrated extensive business-issue reporting expertise & its first-rate production facilities could, perhaps, be brought in as a temporary partner with the Financial Times while a 24-hour Financial Times world-business TV channel was established & brought to profitability...

The potential constructive uses and roles that the BBC can- albeit indirectly- carry out for the UK in its future roles in the world can not be overstated...

The UK needs to continue 'looking outward' towards the world as it always has done throughout history...

There is no denying that the BBC committing a major incursion into the UK's local-news media markets would have been folly and counterproductive from all perspectives... (as was recently proposed)

The BBC- like the UK in business-issues & generally- can be most effective and successful if it continues to structure its objectives with the 'wider world & its issues' as a first priority...

Roderick V. Louis,
Vancouver, Canada,

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