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An odd

Eddie Mair | 19:46 UK time, Thursday, 21 December 2006

sort of programme tonight. An internet phone connection failed - we think in future we should use them only for recorded interviews...and an ISDN line from Italy failed. What almost never fails (except when it involves the US) is a trusty phone line. We try to avoid using phone lines - preferring the "quality" sound of guests in BBC studios. They often travel far at our request to help bring that clearer sound. One of our guests tonight was on a phone line because there was a mix up over which BBC studio he was to go to. Another guest was on the phone because our radio car broke down en route.

We are, as I think I said, blaming the fog.


  1. At 08:13 PM on 21 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    When my phone went wrong it was my filters. Have you thought of changing your filters Eddie?


  2. At 08:13 PM on 21 Dec 2006, Belinda wrote:

    I think you handled tonight's problems wonderfull well, Eddie.
    Technology is utterly frustrating, particularly when under pressure to perform live (you can tell it was invented by men - just kidding!) but I'm glad the old phone lines didn't let you down.

    I would much rather have a slight diminishing sound quality and actually be able to hear a report or interview all the way through. I'm all for new technology if it actually fills in a purpose, but to use new-fangled technology for technology's sake doesn't make sense to me (rather like digital TV: Why should analogue be switched off? It has worked perfectly well for 60 years, why is it not good enough all of a sudden?).

  3. At 08:17 PM on 21 Dec 2006, Judith wrote:

    I thought the VOIP guest sounded odd (before he was cut off).

    He sounded like he was on a cheap, tinny mic and I was waiting for an engineer to twiddle something technical and sort out the quality of the sound ...... which is, I suppose, what did happen!

  4. At 08:50 PM on 21 Dec 2006, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Ah well, Eddie, blame it on the fog, the gremlins, who cares... We know you all there in PMland always cope with it :-)

  5. At 09:08 PM on 21 Dec 2006, Jason Good wrote:

    Very brave to attempt VOIP on live radio. But as ever it was well handled.

    I wonder how long it will be before The Weather Channel opens a UK franchise.

  6. At 09:27 PM on 21 Dec 2006, Doris Moritz wrote:

    What the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster did not mention was ,that the Christian Population in Bethlehem is leaving because the are constantly harassed by the muslim population. Women cannot wear what they wish, there must be no liason between Christians and Muslims, etc,

  7. At 09:55 PM on 21 Dec 2006, June Brown wrote:

    Once again the BBC demonstrates its anti-Israel anti-Jewish stance by the report on this evening's programme by the RC Archbishop of Westminster. Anyone who takes the trouble to access unbiased reporting knows the truth about the situation in Bethlehem namely that Arab Christians are being driven out by Muslim persecution. Below is a link to an article on Melanie Phillps' website which tells the truth. Why don't you invite Tony Pearce to speak on your programme on these sorts of issues? He is well informed and articulate and would give the balance that the BBC claims to espouse but in reality rarely practises.

  8. At 10:14 PM on 21 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    Breaking news, Ipswich, the guy from Trimley is on bail, the second guy has been charged.


  9. At 10:37 PM on 21 Dec 2006, Helen Sparkles wrote:

    Eddie, the phone line sounded fine actually, it is great to have people in studios, but new technology adds to your stress & we don't need that!

    June Brown (8) I have never heard Melanie Phillips say anything that verges on 'truth' so I hope you will excuse me for not taking up your invitation. To you & Doris (7) I would add that it is a great shame that, what used to be a thriving multi-cultural town, now houses tensions instead of harmony. But, I think it might be over-sensitive to blame the Archbishop for doing anything other seeking a peaceful solution to the conflict & it is only right that the BBC should report this.

    In reference to my own feelings, & my family is Jewish, I see the barrier as an abuse of human rights &, as I have said elsewhere on this blog, I am continutally bewildered that persecution can be perpetrated by a people who were persecuted themselves.

    It is not either anti-semitism, or a pro-Palestinian stance, or anything other than condemnation of the suicide bombers, to pray for peace.

  10. At 10:51 PM on 21 Dec 2006, Karl Handy wrote:

    I'm loving the fog.

    One of the best PM newsletters...
    A scapegoat for technology's foibles...
    Eddie Mair & Daniel Corbett in extended conversation.

    Fog? Bring it on!

  11. At 11:07 PM on 21 Dec 2006, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Helen, I'd like to support what you say in (10). Melanie Philips' views are well known to many. Her thoughts that any political critisism of Israeli policy must therefore be anti-semitism shows a lack of analytical clarity. As I have said before on the blog, I perceive her to be cut from the same cloth as other right-wing idealogues such as Ann Coulter, Rush Limaugh, etc. Why is it, I wonder, that those on the right talk of the "far left", while those on the left say "right wing" for most general comments about those with differing views (I'm discounting the BNP here, as it seems all hues of political life see them as extremists. Notice the difference in terms. the left as portrayed as far away from the centre ground, while the right are not. In reality,the majority of voters in the last election voted somewhere centre to centre-left, but the political labels don't reflect this...

    As a comment (and I'm sure I'll get flamed for this...), you say you are bewildered that persecution can be perpetrated by a people who were themselves persecuted. I see it akin to the child who i bullied/abused, who then grows up to be a bully/abuser themselves.

  12. At 11:25 PM on 21 Dec 2006, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Helen and Ffred,

    You know I'm with you.

    I and the public know
    What all schoolchildren learn,
    Those to whom evil is done
    Do Evil in return.

    W.H. AUDEN, "September 1, 1939"


    Why do folk not travel to Bethlehem? Because it's Dangerous!

  13. At 11:26 PM on 21 Dec 2006, Helen Sparkles wrote:

    FF, actually, knowing a little of that propensity, I won't be flaming anything & it is perfectly possible. I shall be spending a little thought on it until I say any more, but it is something nobody has ever said to me before, and very worthwhile food for thought. I completely agree with your accurate summation of Melanie Phillips & it is brilliantly put.

  14. At 11:53 PM on 21 Dec 2006, jonnie wrote:

    Hello everyone.

    I'm sorry, Eddie, that a few bits and bobs let you down. I'll be honest and confess that I didn't manage to listen tonight. I managed to do all my Christmas shopping and had a listen to Peter Allen on Five live between 4 and 5 in the traffic -- they also had a few probs here and there.

    BTW Helen -- your post regarding the Suffolk killings and the blog was removed -- just trying to catch up on other threads.

    Re; Last night and the great light switch on. Finally got to bed at 4-30. Lots of broken glass around - far too many people came back- . Little Rupert (Our mini Schnauzer) was (is) traumatised. He won't leave us alone today :-(

  15. At 12:04 AM on 22 Dec 2006, Aperitif wrote:

    Oh nice strapline Frances! Same to you!

    That's what I'd like please Mary: A Mair-y Christmas!

  16. At 12:12 AM on 22 Dec 2006, Big Sister wrote:

    FrancesO - Great strap for Christmas!

    Eddie - Great newsletter, when you work your way through the fog ....

    Great heavens! Is that the time? Off to bed.

  17. At 01:26 AM on 22 Dec 2006, old fallopian wrote:

    Just finished making the Christmas cards: have only got to write them and send them now ( a new meaning to "post Christmas cards", perhaps?)

  18. At 04:58 AM on 22 Dec 2006, Roberto Carlos Alvarez-Galloso,CPUR wrote:

    Actually, I celebrate Christmas until 7th of January 2007.

  19. At 07:51 AM on 22 Dec 2006, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Oops, in the cold light (or should I say grey mist) of the morning, I've just re-read my (12). I've just noticed that there's a spelling mistake in the last sentence. What I meant to say was: "I see it akin to the child who IS bullied/abused, who then grows up to be a bully/abuser themselves." I did not mean to say that I had bullied someone. That's something that I have never done, and I find bullying in all its' forms abhorrent. It was just a simple typo. Apologies for any confusion...


  20. At 08:27 AM on 22 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    It's inconceivable that you FF should ever bully anyone!

    Love the Strapline!

    Mary (Christmas?)

  21. At 08:38 AM on 22 Dec 2006, Frances O wrote:

    Don't blame the frog!

  22. At 08:59 AM on 22 Dec 2006, Belinda wrote:

    Today's Today:

    Paraphrasing of an interview with the Central Trains man about the upcoming strikes/general crappiness of the travel situation:

    Spokesman: Yes, but we do not have any industrial action before the Christmas break.

    Presenter: Forgive me, but I thought that the first action was on Christmas Eve.

    Spokesman: Well yeah, but it is LATE christmas eve...

  23. At 06:42 PM on 22 Dec 2006, barrie singleton wrote:

    Phone line clarity? You care? You cannot be serious man! The BBC now routinely puts music behind everything, EVERYTHING! I can hear speech on a bad line but (with 69 year old ears) I cannot hear against added music. No chance - what with the licence deficit an' all - you will sack all the musack masters I suppose?

  24. At 01:45 AM on 23 Dec 2006, Aperitif wrote:

    Barrie (24), How old is the rest of you? Is your name really Barrie then?

  25. At 02:31 PM on 23 Dec 2006, Helen Sparkles wrote:

    Johnnie (15) "BTW Helen -- your post regarding the Suffolk killings and the blog was removed -- just trying to catch up on other threads." me? what did I say?

    FF, I understood you perfectly, & knew you not to be a bully but insightful instead!

    Anyone else feel like crying listening to those supporters of the BNP on Any Answers today?

  26. At 07:45 PM on 23 Dec 2006, madmary wrote:

    Helen, bring 'em on that's what I say. They rather proved that speaker's point, allow them airespace - in my words give people enough rope!


  27. At 06:57 PM on 24 Dec 2006, pippop wrote:

    It's possible that fog got in the way of clear thinking over the vaccination of 12yr old girls in the hope of protecting them from cervical cancer. Rather than fantasising about them all turning to sex after an injection, wouldn't it have been more rational to point out that this is useless unless the boys are vaccinated too.

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