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Been putting some thought

Eddie Mair | 12:22 UK time, Tuesday, 6 March 2007

to people's comments on the idea of a Glass Box - a place here on the blog for people to comment on the programme. I think it would be a great idea. We're working on ways of making it happen. I think it might be fun for us all. As it happens, once again tonight I'll be dashing off after 1800 to do another documentary interview. So now I think of it, if you have a comment on the programme - please use the comment column below. We can think of this as a kind of prototype.

Will be interviewing Mr and Mrs Gay shortly, who were cleared last week of killing the toddler they wanted to adopt. Have just spoken to a man about a new movie - in the piece you'll hear his voice will be intercut with bits of the movie. It will be as if I never existed. He was very good - the movie, Amazing Grace, he was less keen on.

It's gone 12.30 and aside from a slightly rowdy 11.00 meeting I feel a bit disengaged from the programme. Finger will be pulled out and work will be done. Having said that, Jeremy and Amanda (tonight's deputy and editor respectively) are looking at Amanda's holiday snaps on the web. Might have a peek.

Comments

  1. At 12:39 PM on 06 Mar 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Ahem. Mr. Mair. May I remind you of the Mandarin? The one you're going to share with us? Can we have a segment, if you've time between Amanda's snaps?

    Could you also ask Amanda what would be the best format for cuttings in the glasshouse?

    Thanks, Fairly Energetic Eddie Mair.

  2. At 12:44 PM on 06 Mar 2007, Penny Ashton wrote:

    Am I the only person who is annoyed by the use of 'remote'. I always thought that this referred to a degree of distance, and should be used with 'from'.

    I keep being told that the Eritrean border is 'very remote' and on yesterday's programme, Amber (?) said that it was the most remote place in the world. Surely London is about as remote as you can get - if you happen to be in Sydney or Beijing.

    What does anyone else think - am I being to pernickety?

  3. At 12:59 PM on 06 Mar 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Re: Penny, No, I believe you are correct and not pernickety.

    Amanda, (Editor) can you post the link to your holiday snaps on the web? I think we all deserve a look now Eddie has mentioned it.

  4. At 01:07 PM on 06 Mar 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Eric, re Finger will be pulled out... Can you refrain from using this expression please? It's not nice.

    Thank you.


    Penny, yep, I find London remote from where I live -- and that's nowhere near as far from it as Sydney.

  5. At 01:11 PM on 06 Mar 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Newsletter received 13.11 thanks. Why's it all running so smoothly today?

  6. At 01:14 PM on 06 Mar 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    Glad the Blog Glassbox (Blassbox, Frogbox??) idea has been well received. Will have to start making notes as my memory is shot and I'm guessing comments like 'I smiled several times' or 'snorted in derision once' are not entirely helpful.

    In all seriousness I'd quite like to hear a follow up piece to the Indian Onion story; its really stuck in my mind.

  7. At 01:23 PM on 06 Mar 2007, Val P wrote:

    Appy - not only running smoothly, but posts appearing within living memory of when they are made too :o). What's around the corner then? Or is this to do with the March Improvements??
    Could these improvements be extended to include Lurgy Removal from Froggers as well as the Frog please. I don't have a laptop, or I'd be posting from bed - maybe I should take a tip from Marc and try using my phone?

  8. At 01:27 PM on 06 Mar 2007, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Penny, I wholeheartedly agree:-) Remoteness is always relative to a location. Pedantry is always welcome here...

  9. At 01:36 PM on 06 Mar 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Re: Val & Appy, I think the smooth running of the blog could be due to the odd eruption from Eddie?

  10. At 01:37 PM on 06 Mar 2007, Fearless Fred wrote:

    May I suggest the William Hardcastle Greenhouse as the name for the glass box? I think it only right & proper...

  11. At 01:38 PM on 06 Mar 2007, HelenSparkles wrote:

    Checked my inbox too late to ask the Gay's questions, but anyway am much more interested in the children who thought they had found a family. Angela Canning was on R3 recently telling us that her family was still broken, these children had already lost their primary attachments, how damaging must it have been for Christian's siblings to have been removed from prospective adopters care.

    There wasn't a choice, and given that most children are harmed by those they know, we need to find a system of taking child protection measures without always separating families. Dame Bulter-Sloss has even said (in The Guardian) that sexual abuse needn’t always lead to the perpetrator being removed from the family home.

    Whilst we can’t abandon a child at risk, we are desperate for people to adopt, and the care system is state neglect which wouldn’t measure up to the state’s own criteria.

  12. At 01:39 PM on 06 Mar 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    Val P -
    AT least we've all stopped dreaming about politicians

  13. At 01:54 PM on 06 Mar 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    Ooh - something odd just happened. Had gone out of the blog, clicked on the favourites icon thing to go back in to the PM homepage, clicked on the blog link and ended up in September 2006.....was it just me?? I thought all yesterdays weirdness had dissipated!

  14. At 01:57 PM on 06 Mar 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    ValP: When I tried using my phone, all I got was "The number you have dialled has not been recognised. Please hang up and try again."

    Hope you feel better soon. :o)

  15. At 02:03 PM on 06 Mar 2007, whisky-joe wrote:

    Danger Man at Work.

  16. At 02:03 PM on 06 Mar 2007, Val P wrote:

    Thanks Big Sis - Let the Healing Begin....

  17. At 02:07 PM on 06 Mar 2007, gossipmistress wrote:

    I'm not sure I'd like someone analysing my day's work! :-) You must be very brave.... or something!

  18. At 02:09 PM on 06 Mar 2007, gossipmistress wrote:

    PS Shouldn't it be a Vivarium if it's a glassbox containing frogs?

  19. At 02:15 PM on 06 Mar 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Whisky-Joe - Danger Man at work? You? Eddie? ??

  20. At 03:29 PM on 06 Mar 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Brilliant Gossipmistress! It could even become a strapline: "The Beach, The Furrowed Brow or The Vivarium? Where do you want to go today?" (Channelling old Bill Gates, of course...)

  21. At 03:38 PM on 06 Mar 2007, Amanda Lewis wrote:

    I'll be duty editor today's PM and look forward to reading any comments you may have for our debrief meeting after the show.

    Jonnie - I've tried sending a snap taken on my weekend break to Swanage to blogmeister Marc so that he can load it onto this site. Watch this space.

  22. At 04:39 PM on 06 Mar 2007, Fiona wrote:

    Hi Witchi, No, the same thing happened to me! I clicked on my usual link and - zap - I was back in Sept 2006. It was like being in an episode of Dr Who! Or not..........

    Anyway, for what it's worth, the highlight of last night's excellent show for me personally was Eddie saying Tiggiewinkle (it was SO cute :)). Is that the sort of helpful/insightful/intellectual feedback that you are looking for?? Well hope it helps anyway.

  23. At 04:59 PM on 06 Mar 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    Fiona - it was quite bizarre for a moment, if only Christioher Eccleston had turned up!

    Amanda - notes will be made and anything coherent passed on!!

  24. At 05:40 PM on 06 Mar 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Feedback on the Gay interview:

    Mr. and Mrs. Gay: I listened to this with great interest. It was clearly going to be a difficult interview for the couple concerned. Mrs. Gay had clearly prepared herself carefully, probably with help. Her description of her time in prison was pretty harrowing for anybody with any empathy, particularly when Eddie asked her how she had coped. It was a good angle for Eddie to take to lead them onto discussing how people feel who have been wrongly convicted. Eddie’s use of the contrasting experiences of their days in court was a good device to help them to express the changes in their fortunes. There is a lot that could be said about this interview, but in summary I would say it was very well constructed and carried out.

    I may not have time to contribute further feedback on the programme, but up to now it has all sounded competent and interesting.

  25. At 05:59 PM on 06 Mar 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    Feedback:

    Missed first half of programme tonight. Suspect that I've probably missed the news that would have really interested me (Cash for honours,etc). Now listening to interview with the Gays (Mr. and Mrs., for Roberto's information).

    Gently dealt with, that's fine. I might have preferred a little more probing around the circumstances of the original trial. After all they were found guilty originally, and only cleared because of uncertainty, i.e. the evidence was no longer beyond ALL reasonable doubt. The deceased child MAY have suffered from a medical deficiency so rare it is almost unknown.

    I wonder how they might have fared if the burden of proof were lower?

    Did the usual sneaky interviewer thing of interrogating (DPP in this case) on one topic, then slipping in questions on the more embarrassing topic at the end. I like that.

    Grotesque story of the stolen body parts. No problems with questioning, fairly straight story really. No problems with topic either, although it never fails to amaze me the depths that some people will sink to. Now the chat with the chap who recieved such an operation.

    Diana inquest: delayed again. You'd think after all the fuss that Fayed has made (N.B. not AL-Fayed, he added the honorific himself) he'd be ready to go by now. He claims to have all the evidence that he needs to prove murder. Yet the coroner claims to have seen no real evidence at all. All highly confusing. I feel sorry for him really. His son died in a tragic accident, because the driver (his employee) was medicated and drunk. He can't come to terms with it so he has to lash out at someone and the Royals are a useful target, because they never comment. One can't help feeling that he probably blames Phillip and Charles for his being refused a British passport.

    Scooter Libby: Machinations in high political office. Well there's a shock!

    Weather: Can we replace Mr. Fawkes with someone who'll bring us good weather?

    Didn't crash the bongs.

    Si.

  26. At 06:34 PM on 06 Mar 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Just a quick PS to my earlier posting:

    A general point about the programme generally(!). I think PM does well with the crisp intros and exits. There is a paciness which distinguishes it from other news programmes on the Beeb, and which is very appropriate for the time of day.

    It's always very apparent when - very very rarely - Eddie struggles, because it is so unusual. No struggling tonight.

    Another general point: It is clear that the news programmes vie with one another for their lead stories. It cannot be easy being the third major news programme on Radio 4 of each day because so many bones have already been picked out by Today and WatO. I mention this because there will inevitably be days when the programme may appear a little 'flatter' than others because it has had its thunder stolen earlier in the day.

  27. At 07:12 PM on 06 Mar 2007, Frances O wrote:

    People who post in glass houses...

  28. At 07:17 PM on 06 Mar 2007, Frances O wrote:

    Oh, Val, have you got this foul lurgy, too? Mine has lasted about 3 weeks. Not to depress you; if you take care of yourself it'll be shorter. They say. I still feel utterly knackered by 5 pm, and I'm not always home to get my envigorating fix of Eric.

    I was hard pushed not to fall asleep on the tube today, even though I was reading an interesting article. It went all swimmy and then the world went fuzzy and then...

    but no! Got to 704p9735qq28p2p

    oh, help. house guest's dog has just added a comment.

  29. At 07:32 PM on 06 Mar 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Si (25), I think "Innocent until proven guilty" also applies when a guilty verdict has been overturned. Your "no smoke without fire"-type insinuation is the kind of thing that will prolong this couple's suffering. I'm sure you'll say that's not what you said, but I believe you've said enough to be cruel. I would have been upset if Eddie had done "a little more probing around the circumstances of the original trial" -- I recall that was done at the time. In fact, as well as upset, I would have been very surprised -- he just isn't that kind of journalist. I really wish you hadn't posted that, because I don't want to argue this one with you and I know you can say some constructive and postive things, as well as wind some of us up for fun, but I can't keep my feeling of disppointment to myself -- it would feel cowardly.

  30. At 08:01 PM on 06 Mar 2007, RJD wrote:

    Ap (29) - Thanks for posting that. You obviously have more integrity than me. I read Si's posting and thought exactly the same as you but said to myself "I couldn't be arsed replying to that." I know now that I should have.

  31. At 08:20 PM on 06 Mar 2007, madmary wrote:

    Si "only cleared because of uncertainty" is the test for not guilty verdicts. I suspect that the original conviction was due to "expert" evidence which is extremely persuasive for a jury. At that stage there may not have been evidence to contradict the expert, hence no reasonable doubt.

    I agree with Aperitif.

    Mary

  32. At 08:51 PM on 06 Mar 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Well I think you have all done very well! (to be read in a 'Young Mr Grace style - are you being served)

    I only caught the last part of the programme due to arrivals, but will 'listen again'

    Re: Frances (27) Amusing.. I was laughing.

    Re: Frances (28) This thread will work better without the 'beach' chit chat.

    Re: Appy (29) As above, I don't recall the word 'debate' being mentioned ;-) in Eddies pre-amble

    Re; BigSis: and an excerpt from your last paragraph -- 'it has all sounded competent and interesting'.
    ... Well that's encouraging!

    I'll listen now and report back.

  33. At 10:03 PM on 06 Mar 2007, Humph wrote:

    Amanda (21) Hmm. If the best pic of your holiday at Swanage is a view of a groyne, you should have a chat with Hugh the Hack about photo-journalism for the Frog.

    H.

    PS I hope that is not Appy sniggering in the background!

  34. At 10:28 PM on 06 Mar 2007, Val P wrote:

    Frances O - I shan't answer your kind 28 here, keep the chitchat to the beach, girl - do keep up!

  35. At 10:29 PM on 06 Mar 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Goodness what a news packed programme - and a breaking news story to boot!
    No criticisms as regards to Amanda’s lead story. In fact hardly any negative comments whatsoever about the programme. J
    ust the odd one or two:-
    The tight editing on the Lieutenant Colonel Angela Billings piece was a little jarring, let’s always remember the ‘breath’.
    The “Scooter Libby” interview with James was informative, however again suffered with a strange mix of pre-recorded audio and live, understandable in the circumstances.
    Nice roundup of the contaminated fuel story, winding up with a spokesperson from somewhere?

    Oh! I missed who it was, Eddie will back announce it at the end.
    Alas just her name and then one of ‘those voices’ – this time from Dan Damon’ telling us that there will be a round-up of listeners comments on Friday.

    In a fast moving news programme it would have been more suitable for Eddie to have finished the item with a nice concise back announcement followed by a station identification or time check, along the lines of: ‘Michelle Shambrooke from Consumer Direct. You’re listening to BBC Radio 4 it’s 27 minutes past five. Now here’s some information about Friday’s PM programme. ...... (

    Tell them, tell them again, and then again – esp. in a fast News programme

    Apart from that everything was excellent.

    Well - It is a glass box, and no one is allowed to comment on my view :-)


  36. At 11:13 PM on 06 Mar 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    Appy (29);
    Like it or not this trial, and others of equally emotive subject, has also been conducted in the court of public opinion. The Gays defence team have found a medical expert willing to state that there was an alternative explanation. This has degraded the case against them and they have rightly been found 'Not Guilty'. I don't have a problem with that. It would be better that a hundred guilty people were found Not Guilty than one innocent person be deprived of their liberty.

    But I'll bet you that quite a number of the people who heard the result from the court and cared one way or the other weren't *entirely* convinced. The stigma will stay with them all their lives. No verdict of Not Guilty will ever wash the publicity away. The verdict is different, but the outcome was largely the same, they just aren't incarcerated any more. They even said themselves that they will never be allowed to foster or adopt again because of the suspicion that clings to them.

    The Gays will suffer for the rest of their lives for the death of that child, even though they didn't do it. Nothing that I or anyone else says will add one iota to that suffering. Trying to push the line on me that I've added to that is pure emotional blackmail. And I don't buy it.

    I am in a quandary over certain things happening in the courts right now. The standard of proof required has been raised so high that the conviction rate must surely decline in cases where there is a matter of conflicting opinions and evidence. All one has to do is find one voice to have an explanation why this or that happened and the 'All reasonable doubt' test cannot be passed.

    This was a case in point. Hwow many out there at the time of the first trial would have staked their money on a miscarriage? We can all be wise after the event. Who had ever heard of the malady this little boy suffered from until this case came back to court? There have only been three or four recorded cases in history. And it cannot be confirmed with any degree of certainty that he did, indeed, have this condition. There doesn't seem to be any real agreement that it even exists. It's only conjecture and speculation. The original trial was open-and-shut. It was basically a case of Occam's Razor, remove all the unlikely causes and what you have left must be the truth.

    So now all you have to do in any case is find a friendly expert with a useful line in conjecture to muddy the waters and Bob's your uncle. One might ask: How many other people are still serving time simply because the rare condition that their alleged victim was suffering from hasn't yet been diagnosed, or because they couldn't find the right expert to quash their conviction.

    For example; The most obvious, and far more widespread, area where one might suspect that miscarriage is rife is in the trial of rape cases. Many never make it to court, because the evidence doesn't stack up to the satisfaction of the CPS. Those which do have an appalling conviction rate, because all the accused has to do is say 'She consented' and be convincing. Case collapses. We should all be concerned.

    And incidentally I disagree with you about our individual perceptions of Eddie. He is the most subtle interviewer I can think of right now. The nearest analogy I can think of is a Judo practitioner, which is hardly helpful. He is an expert at moving the subject and the interviewee around, probing their argument for the weak spot before carefully throwing them to the floor with a beautifully timed question or comment that exposes the flaws in their position. I would think there are quite a few barristers out there who are glad that he chose journalism.

    RJD (30);
    It takes just as much integrity when you feel that something is wrong and everyone is following the majority opinion, to stand up and be different. Maybe more. It would be easy to go along with the crowd and 'Feel their pain'. But I don't do that, I never have and I never will. I speak my mind as I find it.

    You do not have any less integrity than Appy. You simply thought my comments unworthy of an answer.

    Madmary (31);
    But it was an 'Expert' who got them cleared! And he offered no proof, only speculation and conjecture.

    I still wonder what the outcome might have been in a civil court where the balance of proof is the standard required, not all reasonable doubt?

    Si.

  37. At 12:16 AM on 07 Mar 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Re: Val (34)

    Now who's job should I take on then? Eddie's or the moderators. Well I have to have a little say in it now!

    So I'm going to keep an eye on this thread, no larking around! This is reserved for serious production feedback only!

    Joking aside, I'd love to be Mark Damazer, Oooh the changes I'd make!

    What Network in their right minds would confess to having a programme called 'Womans Hour' if they were starting from scratch eh! -- It's been running as 'Womans hour' since 1946 and doesn't the programme title just sound a 'little dated'

    Nothing wrong with the content - but isn't it a bit of a turn-off! not just for the males?

    There must be so many more original titles! -

    The 'female perspective'
    Naggers retreat
    Stronger sex unite ..
    even:- Jenni Murray and guests
    ,though I know she isn't the sole presenter.

    I thought of loads earlier

    Shame that I've put a stop on anyone feeding back really :-(

    And here's me doing exactly that!

  38. At 12:41 AM on 07 Mar 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Re: Val (34)

    Now who's job should I take on then? Eddie's or the moderators. Well I have to have a little say in it now!

    So I'm going to keep an eye on this thread, no larking around! This is reserved for serious production feedback only!

    Joking aside, I'd love to be Mark Damazer, Oooh the changes I'd make!

    What Network in their right minds would confess to having a programme called 'Womans Hour' if they were starting from scratch eh! -- It's been running as 'Womans hour' since 1946 and doesn't the programme title just sound a 'little dated'

    Nothing wrong with the content - but isn't it a bit of a turn-off! not just for the males?

    There must be so many more original titles! -

    The 'female perspective'
    Naggers retreat
    Stronger sex unite ..
    even:- Jenni Murray and guests
    ,though I know she isn't the sole presenter.

    I thought of loads earlier

    Shame that I've put a stop on anyone feeding back really :-(

    And here's me doing exactly that!

  39. At 01:04 AM on 07 Mar 2007, Gossipmistress wrote:

    Si (25)

    I might have preferred a little more probing around the circumstances of the original trial

    If Eddie had done this he might as well have said that he didn't believe the 'not guilty' verdict. I would have asked them why they didn't have a more robust defence the first time around.

    and (36)

    So now all you have to do in any case is find a friendly expert with a useful line in conjecture to muddy the waters and Bob's your uncle.

    I really don't agree that you can apply that to this case at all. Just because this child may have suffered from an extremely rare condition, you would assume that it was unlikely to be the case and that therefore the probablilty was that they were guilty?

    Medic friends I've talked to tell me that it's not uncommon to not know an exact cause of death
    even when a post-mortem is carried out. And it must be especially difficult to come to any conclusion when the vital evidence - how the child regulated his sodium balance - is gone. You can't do physiological tests post-mortem.

    Also, think about the practicalities of this couple actually feeding the child salt. We used to force dogs to eat it in order to make them vomit if they'd been poisoned. They absolutely hated it, and it does make them vomit pretty quickley. Now imagine trying to feed a child enough to kill him. Sounds extremely unlikely to me.

    BTW I've only managed to listen again to the first half of tonight's programme but I thought the interview with the Gays was extremely well done and sensitively handled while still getting a lot of information across.

    And was the man from Tesco talking about dodgy fuel really called Mr Datsun???!

  40. At 01:22 AM on 07 Mar 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Re: Simon,

    Apologies for my two (Room 502's above)

    You always put your side of the story with such clarity and forethought. It's hard to disagree with anything youv'e said.

    On a simple, black and white level, it is a simple case of 'proved guilty, then 'proved innocent'

    As Mrs Gay said in Eddies interview, she did not hold anything against the jury, as it was the evidence put infront of the jury that was so conclusive (or misleading)

    As Appy and RJD have pointed out, we are persuing a debate that has already concluded with a judgement. Although we, as individuals, can question the factors that resulted in the outcome, is it not time to accept and trust that the correct decision was made?

    All transfer to the Furrowed Brow to continue!

    Time Gentlemen Please!

  41. At 09:36 AM on 07 Mar 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    A bit late on teh feedback but thought I'd add my two penn'orth (however thats spelt...)

    The Gays - sensitive, subtle, yet asked the questions that I feel most of us would liked to have asked but not been brave enough. Interesting to hear Mrs Gays response re the jury, in fact and interesting piece all round. Part of me would have preferred something a little longer but, in these days of media saturation on some stories, I feel the piece was well judged both in content and length.

    I'm not going to comment on Si W as am trying to keep comments to the Glass Box mandate (but there are some interesting points but I'm afraid I can't agree).

    Diana Inquest - again, with the ridiculous amount of coverage this has been given style and length were refreshing (and, at the risk of raising hackles, does any really care anymore? it was a dreadful accident...surely Let the Healing Begin has never been so apt?)

    Nice round up at the end and no bong crashage; I even stayed tuned during the weather just to hear that section (no reflection on the forecaster but my ears do tend to tune that bit out, again there seems to be weather left, rigt and centre, and theres way too much of it on the walk home from work for me at the moment).

    GM - re force feeding salt (I know, not strictly GB), glad you raised that as its puzzled me too!

  42. At 09:43 AM on 07 Mar 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    well, the GB idea is all well and good but I was 502'd and lost, IMHO, a fantatsic post.....I may bother about tonights show, I may not....

    But, in the PM spirit I feel I should say that I thought the Gay interview was sensitive, subtle and asked questions that I feel we'd all want to ask but maybe wouldn't.

    Si W - not sure I agree, but am keeping this as GB as poss (though glad GM brought up the force feeding issue, it puzzled me immensely).

    Like the way Inquest palaver was handled - brief, to the point but with a light tone (frankly I've had enough of the whole thing, it was an accident, lets all move on eh?) (didn't mean that to sound quite so callous)

    No bong crashage; I even endured the forecast to hear it. No reflection on the weather guy but theres forecasts left, right and centre and more than enough to deal with outside!

    Right - I think that sums it up; if my original pops up then focus on that one! This is a poor imitation (theres a strapline in there somewhere!)

  43. At 10:17 AM on 07 Mar 2007, Fiona wrote:

    WW (41) so glad you raised the subject of the Diana inquest - was going to throw that one in myself. Does it sound totally disrespectful to say that I have simply had enough of hearing about it? If so I apologise - am not trying to be disrespectful but as you say it was a dreadful tragic accident. As a mother myself I know I would also do what ever I possibly could to make sure I found out the truth had it been my child involved. However I would like to think I would also have the ability and strength to move on and let go - Let the healing begin indeed. There has not been one piece of evidence shown in all the 10 years since that indicates that it was nothing more than a tragic accident - and nothing well ever bring either of them back so please can we let them finally rest in peace?

    As for the Gays interview - some very interesting points raised by all. I hear what you say Si and it is a valid point but in this specific case, my mind is completely made up. I also found the idea of force feeding salt ludicrous and highly unlikely. I thought the interview was very sensitively handled and it brought a tear to my eye listening to them both.

  44. At 02:13 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Appy, RJD, Simon:

    I think probably all of this should be going on elsewhere, perhaps the Furrowed Brow, but as the postings referred to are here, I'll follow your lead.

    Looking carefully at Simon's original posting, I have to agree that he revealed personal scepticism with the outcome. I can understand that this could cause offence. However, I think that flushing him out into further elaboration may have been unfair. And now he is in even more trouble with you, Appy. He's been placed in a position which I don't think he actually wanted to be. And, in explaining his thinking, may be causing even more offence. (Simon, you'll probably shoot me down in flames for saying that - but think before you do!)

    I understand. Appy, that you would have preferred him to withdraw what you (and I, incidentally) feel he insinuated, but, just as to you it would have felt cowardly not to comment on what he said, it is likely that he would have felt cowardly not to say it in the first place.

    I don't think his original posting was outrageous - possibly insensitive, but not outrageous.

    I realise that Mr. and Mrs. Gay, if they read these postings, may well feel very hurt. I hope they don't. They've had a lot to contend with since the original case was first brought to court. They've been found innocent, having been imprisoned. It was natural and proper that the outcome of the retrial should be broadcast and a chance given to them to put their own side of things, but now they should be allowed to get on with putting their lives back together.

  45. At 06:20 PM on 07 Mar 2007, Gossipmistress wrote:

    OK - I've been listening carefully tonight!

    Patricia Tabrum & her pot plants - quite interesting but it went on a bit, especially when she was waxing lyrical.

    Indonesian Air Crash - Allessandro Bertelotti was a little difficult to understand at times but amazingly cool about it. Good questions.

    Ministers not attending european meetings - Sarah Ludford managed to quote her statistics in 3 different forms - 4 in 10/2 in 11, then one third, then 80%! (Not PM's fault I know!). Dennis McShane got the bit between his teeth a bit towards the end.

    The 'Yellow Pimpernel' - (filler alert! filler alert!)was this put in solely to allow the 'pot' joke at the end????!!

    Iranian women's rights - could have done with a bit longer on them, interesting. Excellent interviewee.

    Ernest Gallo - would he have got so much time on another day?

    Gordon Brown's root canal - the story came from The Sun, and should have stayed there :-P)

    Sorry I'm sounding very critical aren't I?
    Maybe I was prejudiced by being told in advance it was a slack news day!

  46. At 06:37 PM on 08 Mar 2007, The New Blog Prince aka Marc wrote:

    Hi all

    Simon W's comments have been reposted. I'm trying to establish what happened.

    Marc

  47. At 10:17 PM on 08 Mar 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Blog Prince Marc, my reply to Si's 36 has now disappeared. Is there a poltergeist on this thread?

  48. At 10:41 PM on 08 Mar 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Thanks Marc, if Simon's post broke any BBC guidelines then I can understand the situation.

    I don't believe it did - so probably best to put it down to the organic nature of our 'sometimes' erratic blog.

  49. At 11:02 PM on 08 Mar 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Re; Aperitif (47)

    It could have been me (nearly a song title there!)

    I can be a bit of a monkey - not sure about poltergeist though

    however during the afternoon I did click the 'complain about this comment' button to your comment, my comment and any comments relating to simon's 'non-existent comment. Surely that's only fair for Simon's sake.
    I could have rephrased this better but I was curious to see if the number of times I mentioned the word comments could measure up to the number of Eddie's 'Bastards'.

    It was actually quite fun as I've never clicked it before. Rest assured I explained the reasons.

    Should we fill in the missing gaps now ?

  50. At 06:53 PM on 09 Mar 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Jonnie, you're a tinker! Re above, Marc, now that Si's 36 is back could you put my response to it back again please?

  51. At 12:32 AM on 10 Mar 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Well Appy, I'm glad you were so
    , let's say 'open' as patricia Elliot might say, about my tinkering :-)

  52. At 12:56 AM on 11 Mar 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Jonnie :-)

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