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Page last updated at 11:16 GMT, Friday, 10 October 2008 12:16 UK

Cracks in the financial foundations

Jon Sopel
Jon Sopel
Presenter
The Politics Show

Hello again...

British bank notes in a pocket
How does the "pound in your pocket" feel to you today?

I was sent by the BBC News Channel, on Wednesday, to present from the City.

I left home on my scooter (not ever-so cool, but the best way to get around London) for the 25 minute journey from North London to Mansion House, from where we were broadcasting.

In the time it took me to take off my crash helmet, interest rates had come down in London, Europe and the Unites States by half a percent.

It was a surreal day. Pure Alice in Wonderland.

Earlier that day, the Labour Government was busy nationalising (well, partially) the banks - and the Tories were braying: "go further", "stop those city fat-cats getting their bonuses" - you couldn't make it up.

And so much for financial austerity.

Nick Clegg
How would the Lib Dems deal with these troubled times?

They've emptied their pockets and been down the back of the sofa... and found a fair few billion they can apparently spare!

This week an explosion of cash has been blasted into the British banking system.

The square mile's been rocked to its core.

August banking houses shaken to their foundations, underpinned by a massive new governmental PPP...

And from under the debris, shaking the dust from their lapels, and wiping the chicken jalfrezi from their lips, Alastair Darling and Gordon Brown have emerged blinking into the sunlight.

For, paradoxically, the sun does seem finally to be shining - albeit weakly - on our embattled prime minister.

Alex Salmond
How is Scotland's First Minister dealing with the financial crisis?

No more talk of coups, no more backroom sniping... There's nothing like a global financial meltdown to rally the troops.

Feeling the pinch

But what does it all mean for the future - for our jobs, our mortgages?

I'll be talking to the First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond. With 9% of Scottish jobs in the financial services industry, how will Scotland weather the storm?

The leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg, will also be joining me live in the studio. Is the party of tax cuts still in an axe-swinging mood?

A little local difficulty

BNP Rally
Are clouds amassing over Stoke?

When Stoke-on-Trent decided, in a referendum, to trade the position of council leader for that of an elected mayor, there were high hopes for its effects on local democracy.

But just six years later, the council's riven with infighting, the far-right BNP has taken nine council seats, and the people of Stoke are being asked to choose again. And to choose wisely.

We sent Stoke's finest, Gillian Hargreaves, back to her hometown to find out more.

Politics Max

And when is a ship not a ship? When it's a support vessel. Confused?

Thousands of merchant sailors certainly are.

Particularly as the distinction could cost them thousands of pounds off their pay packets.

Several wrote in to Max Cotton for help¿ Ever ready, Max donned his safety harness and was winched out to sea to investigate.

It's a packed programme on Sunday. Let's hope I can still muster up the bus fare to make it to Television Centre...

See you on BBC One at midday.



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