Monday 22 June 2009
Here's Emily Maitlis with news of what's happening on tonight's Newsnight:
SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE
If a Martian landed in the Commons this afternoon to listen to hustings for Speaker of the House (and was not immediately expelled under anti-terror legislation) he would have heard one candidate arguing she'd be great for the job because she wouldn't be in it for long. And another seeking to reassure voters he was not too mentally agile, and another re-iterating he was the perfect choice because he'd once played rugby against the Springboks. It has been, in essence, a curious afternoon and as I write, it is far from over. But by the time we go on air we hope to have a new Speaker of the House and we will be asking them what will actually change now.
And don't forget to watch David Grossman's latest Village People film. This week he traces the seismic shifts of Speakership candidate John Bercow's career.
Also, the foreign office is evacuating families of staff based in Iran amid continued violence. Our own bureau there is down to one man - following the ejection of our Tehran correspondent at the weekend. Despite that, we will endeavour to put together a flavour of what is actually going on there and who is in charge - and we will be speaking to John Simpson in the studio - fresh back from the streets of Iran.
Plus, when your new bedfellows are called things like PIS and ODS you may have some explaining to do to the electorate. Nonetheless, the Tories have followed through their pledge to take the Conservatives out of the federalist EPP grouping of the European Parliament. They now have a new party consisting of 55 MEPs from eight countries. But do they hold any real power in Europe? And what makes them so different now to the Eurosceptic grouping in which UKIP sits? We'll be asking Shadow Europe minister Mark Francois and Nigel Farage of UKIP.
This is (the words of my producer) a "rip off of Dragons' Den". Just for anyone who didn't pick that up from the name. We've been asking four luminaries - Greg Dyke amongst them - to listen to policies on taxation and spending cuts and judge which of them could actually work. Thus, Newsnight boldly goes where politicians have so far refused to step. Watch a sneak preview of tonight's film in which Day of the Jackal author Frederick Forsyth faces our political animals to make the case for scrapping the national ID card scheme.
Do join us at 10:30pm tonight on BBC2.