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The Glass Box for Thursday

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Eddie Mair | 16:37 UK time, Thursday, 31 May 2007

The Glass Box is the place where you can comment on what you heard on PM, interact with other listeners and get responses from the people who make the programme.

Just click on the "comment" link.

The Glass Box is named after the booth outside the PM studio where we all discuss the programme at 18.00 every weeknight. We try to be honest and constructive. Sometimes there is criticism, and the criticised get a chance to explain themselves.

The people who make PM will read the comments posted, and will sometimes respond. Unless it's Roger Sawyer editing. He's completely hopeless. Please feel free to post your thoughts. There is a link to previous Glass Boxes on the right.

Also on the right, you'll find lots of other links you might like. The Furrowed Brow for example is the venue where you can start talking about anything serious of your choice: The Beach is a fun place, and there are links to Blog entries with photos, audio and links. And if you want to see us drone on about awards, you can do that too.


  1. At 05:14 PM on 31 May 2007, DI Wyman wrote:

    ...cough....cough....cough...smokescreen...global warming....'rsenal

    ...nice one Eddie....but perhaps you should have gone for the coup de grâce and asked what measures the USA intends to adopt to reduce climate change / pollution...

    ....perhaps...a trade war?

  2. At 05:22 PM on 31 May 2007, David Traynier wrote:

    I couldn't help but be amused just now during your package on the IAEA.

    In your discussion on Iran and the 'murky origins' of its nuclear programme, you didn't see fit to mention that, from 1953 until the 70s, it was the US who were helping Iran develop a nuclear energy infrastructure (the 'Atoms for Peace' Programme). This included a deal to sell the former Shah several light water reactors that was only prevented, if I recall correctly, by the Revolution in 79.

    This should also be brought up every time American officials ask rhetorically why Iran should want nuclear power when they're sitting on all that oil. Quite simply, Iran doesn't want to be dependant on oil -a very sensible policy and one approved by the US for decades.

  3. At 05:23 PM on 31 May 2007, anth wrote:

    This Rob Broomby report from Iran.

    Just how much of this will overlap with the programme tonight at 8pm? How much was this a news item of relivence today, how much of it a news item at all, and how much was it (as we were discussing in yesterday's Glass Box), a trail? As I type this, the item continues, and I'll bet EM makes reference to the "Inside the IAEA" programme at the end of the item.

    Ah, item just ended....and EM did.

  4. At 05:28 PM on 31 May 2007, Nini wrote:

    Splendid interview with that US ambassador to the EU. Eddie's tone I thought had the right balance of (did you just say that!) incredulity and fact-establishing questioning.

    The americans (George Bush and his soon-to-be defunct white house) are fooling no-one with this latest approach!!!!

  5. At 05:29 PM on 31 May 2007, DI Wyman wrote:

    .......Dear Mrs Windsor I did my duty for yer Dad u.....let me in please...so i can get better...doff cap, bow, scrape..etc....OK then...stuff yer VC

  6. At 05:31 PM on 31 May 2007, DI Wyman wrote:

    .......Dear Mrs Windsor I did my duty for yer Dad .....let me in please...so i can get better...doff cap, bow, scrape..etc...................OK then...stuff yer VC

  7. At 05:39 PM on 31 May 2007, brava mujer wrote:

    Is anyone going to ask a woman what she thinks about abortion? I have heard various men [of the cloth,mainly] pontificating about abortion on the radio today. I think the BBC's reportage is skewed by this practice. Please interview some women so that the people who actually bear the brunt of the result of unprotected sex or failed contraception. I am heartily sick of hearing from men, some of whom just skip away if a woman becomes pregnant [and that includes christians]

  8. At 05:43 PM on 31 May 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Glad to hear Wee Eck and to hear his sense of humour. Good work too from Annabel Goldie.


  9. At 05:45 PM on 31 May 2007, Anil Vadgama wrote:

    Alexander Litvinenko was traitor. Simple

    What if there was British traitor working openly in Moscow and selling our state secrets. I bet you SAS will knock him off

    How much tax and NI contributions did Alexander Litvinenko pay? Very little. Yet he got the best treatment. There are real British Citizens more deserving than him

  10. At 05:45 PM on 31 May 2007, Hilary Myers wrote:

    I am not well versed in Catholic theology but if abortion is murder then is miscarriage suicide?

    Both notions strike me as ludicrous.

  11. At 05:46 PM on 31 May 2007, spearchuker wrote:

    I wonder what the Catholic church's attiude is towards the spontaneous abortions which far outnumber the abortions carried out by doctors.

    It is time we put the Catholic Church in its place as a peddlar of unfounded dogmas. Let its adherents do what they like about the dictats of their church but to leave the rest of us to make up our own minds.

    All MPs should declare their rel;igious affiliations on their "declarations of interest" register

  12. At 05:53 PM on 31 May 2007, jane mckeand wrote:

    I am from a forces family, with members currently serving in HM forces.
    I feel shame for our treatment of many of our servicemen, past and current, but the news today of the way we are treating this VC holder is beyond everything. Where is our pride, our gratitude and our humanity?

  13. At 05:53 PM on 31 May 2007, Daphne Turner wrote:

    If fighting for this country and carrying out a task above and beyond the call on duty in time of war does not show a strong tie then I fail to see what else anybody could do to demonstrate this. This yet another occasion on which I feel ashamed to be a citizen of a country with such low moral values.

  14. At 05:53 PM on 31 May 2007, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    So "hormones" make football a dangerous sport for girls? Pubescent boys too rough maybe?

    Has your correspondent never seen girls' hockey?

    I admit I have very little knowledge of football and less interest, but maybe Eddie could have pushed the question of "anything goes" a little further because I'm still wondering why females can't play football with at whatever age. (Apart from the fact that most women seem to have more sense.)

    And *surprise* a motoring organisation wants people to stick with oil-driven cars. What next? "Pope urges followers to remain Catholic"?

    My plan - which is mine and belongs to me - for a hydrogen infrasturcture:
    Build offshore windfarms and tidal powerplants, and use them to power:
    1) desalinisation plants and pump the fresh water to the water-starved areas of on-shore Britain, and
    2) crack seawater into oxygen and hydrogen and pump these to shore-line storage facilities for delivery to your friendly, neighbourhood filling station.

    The powerplants which some people find ugly are then largely out of site, the hydrogen fuel is produced by sustainable means and there's plenty of water for water companies to leak all over then place as is their wont. Problem solved.

    Next insoluble problem solved: how to prevent trails spoiling your favourite news magazine programme...

  15. At 05:56 PM on 31 May 2007, Big Shay wrote:

    Poacher turned gamekeeper? Shouldn't that be spreader turned shoveller?

  16. At 05:56 PM on 31 May 2007, DI Wyman wrote:

    troozers off....troozers off.....kit yer kit off for the lads Dave......OH MY GOODNESS.......

  17. At 05:58 PM on 31 May 2007, Penrose Feast wrote:

    [8] brava mujer

    Here here...

  18. At 06:02 PM on 31 May 2007, Kate Starkey wrote:

    I am crying with fury and shame over your report on Mr Pun, I don't care what the law is or whether Mr Pun has paid NI (Alan Jeffers response) or knows a single soul living in Britain, there can be no stronger tie to this country than the willingness to lay down your life for it. It is immoral to refuse him entry, for the sake of all of us who want to sleep at night please let him in.

  19. At 06:14 PM on 31 May 2007, Mrs Elaine Mead wrote:

    This country owes a great deal to this VC holder and we as a country should go out of our way to help him. After all we seem to help a lot of other countries citizens that have not given anything to this country. I think giving ones youth in service to a country that was many miles away has shown ties enough - it is shame and a disgrace not to help him

  20. At 06:17 PM on 31 May 2007, David Impey wrote:

    The comments made reagrding the use of hydrogen to power cars correctly stated that conventional means of hydrolysing water (or using chemical cycles) to obtain the hydrogen consume high amounts of energy. Unless... we use nuclear power to provide the necessary energy for the process.

    The ultimate dream would be for fusion power (also hydrogen based) to provide this energy rather than fission but a journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step.

    As a side issue, everybody could act a bit more green by having fewer kids.....

  21. At 06:20 PM on 31 May 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Alan Jeffers (@ 7?)

    Oh for goodness' sake, how many living holders of the Victoria Cross exist? I think this country could probably afford to give every one of them any medical treatment he or she needed without having to close any hospitals or God forbid pay a little less to MEPs and MPs for their expenses! It seems a shame that we feel obliged to be such loathesome ingrates when dealing with this hero.

  22. At 06:30 PM on 31 May 2007, Anil Vadgama wrote:

    The murder charges are a stitch up

    Why would Andrei Lugovoi use BA flights? He would use Aerofloat flights and Russians could have de-contaminated the planes leaving no radioactive trail

  23. At 06:45 PM on 31 May 2007, Jonathan Hearle wrote:

    I was astonished to hear the reason for not granting a visa to the ex Gurgha. i.e. he dosen't have enough contact with Great Britain. Apart from the fact he;
    Contact 1; offered to take up arms for the crown willingly accepted.
    Contact 2; He went to war for the crown. Prepared to lay down his life. (To allow our beaurocracy to refuse a visa).
    Contact 3; He performed with such valour that the crown awarded him the highest award possible.
    Contact 4; The crown by way of its service men from private to General are expected to salute him.

    I'm ashamed and so is my dad who also served.
    PS The blogger on NI contributions. I doubt the funding will be a issue.

  24. At 06:46 PM on 31 May 2007, andrew byrne wrote:

    Thank you for your piece on Cardinal O'Brien and abortion. The Catholic Church has always taught that abortion is a crime, right back to the first century with the Didache and the Letter to Diognetus. Jews go back a lot further to Moses and the 10 Commandments: "Thou shalt not kill." What is odd is that a MP should claim to be a Catholic and reject this key point of Christian doctrine. If in conscience he disagrees, the obvious thing is to say he is no longer a Catholic. A quite different thing is how a politician deals with abortion: the Church recognises that there are all sorts of ways. Some people would want an outright ban right now; others would work for a reduction in numbers.

  25. At 06:47 PM on 31 May 2007, Gossipmistress wrote:

    Haven't we had 'Adverse Camber' before?
    Do you need some new newsletter 'sign offs' as well as straplines? ;-)

  26. At 07:02 PM on 31 May 2007, Brian V Peck wrote:

    Well done Eddie.. re the Yanks and climate change...in essence when did the Rich and Powerful ever tell the Truth....about anything?

    Brian V Peck

  27. At 07:17 PM on 31 May 2007, admin annie wrote:

    well said Kate Starkey and others. The gurkhas have been badly let down by successive post war british governments, and in particular they have been very shabbily treated in the matter of pensions.

    Anyone who would like to know more about this might like to go to the website of the Gurkha Welfare Trust. I very rarely parade my charitable affiliations, feeling that they are a private matter; however on this occasion I am willing to nail my colours to the mast and point others in the right direction if they want to know more.

  28. At 07:19 PM on 31 May 2007, DI Wyman wrote:

    Daphne (15) and Kate (20)..

    ..well.... now you know how this country can treat its ex servicemen...

    G8013319....Jones CH....

  29. At 07:30 PM on 31 May 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Anil Vadgama (@ a couple of places)

    I particularly like a defence that goes "It was nothing to do with me, I know nothing about it, it was all done by British security forces and I'll give you the evidence I have that proves it was them."

    The man was a traitor. Ah, yes. To whom? If not Britain, why would the British security forces have any particular interest in killing him?

    The word "unconvinced" floats across my consciousness. Combine that motive, or lack of it, with the complete lack of any need for arcane means if all we had to do to get rid of him would have been to send him back, and I'm afraid I think you may be being just a tiny bit disingenuous.

  30. At 07:42 PM on 31 May 2007, nigel saunders wrote:

    Please do not give Winston the oxygen of publicity he craves.If you have to can you get his lines read by an actor
    By the way your piece almost made Ian Craft appear sane.
    Kind regards

  31. At 07:54 PM on 31 May 2007, Ian Baldwin wrote:


    With Mr Pun VC and all the Gurkhas the government shows itself to be far worse than a "gangmaster" . A gangmaster treats all his employees who do the same job in the same manner. The government is blatantly racist by treating Gurkhas differently from UK troops. The government is setting an example that it's OK to treat ethnic minorities as less worthy.

    Furthermore why is the government happy to allow in extremists who are now in jail (at a cost to the taxpayer of at least £25000 per year) but not heroes who have fought for this country ?

  32. At 08:29 PM on 31 May 2007, sue wrote:

    Why would we fail to help someone who fought so heroically for this country in the War while we seem to provide so much for those who are sufficiently able-bodied to make their way here illegally? I'm afraid I really don't understand the logic behind governmental decisions like this!

  33. At 08:42 PM on 31 May 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:


    The whole 'American President suddenly notices climate change' Damascene conversion bit is pretty icky, and does need to be mentioned as being so at intervals.

    How about 'we will now stop making SUVs' as a step in the right direction? Or 'we will now ban any vehicle for private individuals' use that does less than 20 miles to the gallon'?

    It'ld be a start, and it wouldn't need to involve any international summits at all, so it would save all those air miles too.

  34. At 08:44 PM on 31 May 2007, anth wrote:

    Alan Jeffers #7,

    Perhaps you should ask the men who, but for this Gurkha's (sorry, forgot the name) "gallentry" in taking the machine gun post and then giving covering fire from it, would have died about his current situation.

    This country owes a huge debt of gratitude to large numbers of people we now forget; like the Indian Army in the Sahara in WW2, even now the Gurkhas...

    I cannot believe that even the NHS would be overwhelmed by a flood of VC holders living overseas needing medical attention.

    This is an award, don't forget, that even our enemies of the time have, on occasion, nominated, they were that impressed.

  35. At 09:37 PM on 31 May 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    David Traynier;
    Iran has a deal with Russia to build reactors for power and supply fuel rods for them. So why does it need to develop a nuclear programme from scratch at great expense to itself?

    Don't overlook the timing either. 'By the end of next year'. Oh would you look at that. It's when the next US Prsidential election is due to be held! What a co-incidence....

    Alan Jeffers;
    It's the (unspoken, unwritten) compact that society has with the Forces, both Armed and Civilian. They go out there and risk their lives and health for us. We take care of them. And lest we forget, this man won his VC in the most just war ever fought, which brought about the end of the 3rd Reich. He has been there, done it and won the highest award we can grant. He deserves our enduring gratitude.

    Anil V.;
    No-one, even Litvinenko, deserves to be murdered. Especially in state-sanctioned and horrific fashion. If he was a traitor to Russia, then perhaps you should consider the nature of the regime he ran from and told the world about.

    RE; the Cardinal and his comments;
    I would thnk that when Alex Salmond has the temerity to don the Cardinal's mitre and surplice, climb into his pulpit and deliver a sermon to his flock, then the Cardinal can meddle in politics. Until then he should keep well out.

    David Impey;
    We could all be greener by becoming vegetarian and slaughtering the national flocks of livestock, which produce the vast bulk of our national methane (22 x the value of CO2 as a greenhouse gas). But then the animal rights crowd would be on our backs. Strangely enough the people most likely to be vegetarian themselves....

    John Hearle;
    A VC holder automatically assumes the status of the person he is talking to in the Commonwealth, even the Sovereign, to whom he is uniquely not obliged to bow. He is also entitled by right on entering a military establishment to a full 64-man guard, military band and colours flying. And so on.

    But the one I've met (many years ago) was the most unassuming man I've ever met. Tommy Gould won his for crawling under his submarines casing in the Med to remove an unexploded bomb which was stuck there after they were attacked by the Italian Air Force. The boat could have been forced to crash dive at any moment, had the Italians returned, condemning him and another man to certain drowning. Then they found the second one.... which started fizzing as they moved it overboard. They both earned theirs.

    At least, he was unassuming until you looked into his eyes and saw the hidden steel beneath. A remarkable man.


  36. At 09:48 PM on 31 May 2007, Peter Davis wrote:

    The treatment of the Gurkas, in general, has been and is a disgrace. In the case of Mr.Pun VC it is appaling.
    We have our senior politicians scattering money around the world to people who are not connected to this country in any way; but when it comes to helping those who have served us faithfully and well no one in authority wants to know. I implore all who read this to get hold of their MP and tell them to do something about Mr.Pun NOW. He cannot wait for the pleasure of the F.O..

  37. At 09:49 PM on 31 May 2007, Jaboh wrote:

    Alan Jeffers: Post 7

    If it bothers you that much, I'll offer you a deal...

    Rifleman Pun VC can have my NI entitlement (he's done more for this country than I have) if you promise to write to your MP in support of his cause.

    This gentleman is worth ten of us!

  38. At 09:54 PM on 31 May 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Wholehearted agreement with Brava Mujer (8) and Chris Ghoti (22).

  39. At 11:05 PM on 31 May 2007, Esther wrote:

    I am so glad that the cardinal had the courage to raise the issue of abortion agian. Someone has got to keep on speaking up for all those children being killed because they are inconvenient. I am not catholic and fully "pro choice". Women have the choice over which contraception they use, but once conceived, the defenseless child needs a choice to live. Why does no-one ever discuss adoption as an option any more? Any glance into the adoption issue will show that there are long lists of families already vetted and approved by social services, desparate to adopt a baby. I would be delighted to have the choice to vote for an MP who would look for holistic ways to support women through unwanted pregnancies and facilitate adoption as one of the humane solutions to abortion.

  40. At 11:33 PM on 31 May 2007, admin annie wrote:

    I have been browsing some of the service message boards with reference to the Gurkha VC story. There is a lot of support out there for this man, which is heartwarming after the crass decision which was made to keep him out of the country. Lots of people out there are lobbying as many people as they can think of and I have contacted both my MSP and MP asking for them to support any moves to get this decision quickly reviewed and reversed. If anyone else would like to do the same, or indeed contact their MP about anything else you can do it via a site called 'theyworkforyou.com'. You put in your postcode and it turns up your MP together with a facility to e-mail them and quite a lot of useful info too about the sort of things they speak on inhte House etc

  41. At 01:14 AM on 01 Jun 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Enjoyed tonights programme. Missed who was editing - whoever it was - and after readingthe above comments - well done you!

    Fiurther debating on that hideous BBC2 trail can be found here - yesterdays Glassbox:


    Please add anymore comments!

    I'm seeking an answer.

  42. At 02:27 AM on 01 Jun 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    What if Bush (a busted flush if there ever was one) called a conference and nobody came?

    I'm dismayed that our esteemed busted flush of a prime minister is triumphantly touring while the
    American orifice is mouthing such excrfement.

    Who do these idiots think they are?


    And now an unquestionably brave man is denied his just due! It shames us all

  43. At 02:41 AM on 01 Jun 2007, eric wrote:

    OK we all know it, but it's none the worse for that:

    Rudyard Kipling


    I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o'beer,
    The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
    The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
    I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:

    O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
    But it's ``Thank you, Mister Atkins,'' when the band begins to play,
    The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
    O it's ``Thank you, Mr. Atkins,'' when the band begins to play.

    I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
    They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
    They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
    But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!

    For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
    But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
    The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
    O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

    Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
    Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
    An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
    Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.

    Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy how's yer soul?"
    But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
    The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
    O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.

    We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
    But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
    An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints:
    Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;

    While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind,"
    But it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind,
    There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
    O it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind.

    You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires an' all:
    We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
    Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
    The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.

    For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
    But it's "Saviour of 'is country," when the guns begin to shoot;
    An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
    But Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees!


    A Victoria Cross fetches £1,000,000 at auction, Mr Pun loaned his to his regimental museum.
    Pride, loyalty and dedication are amongst the things that Mastercard can't buy.
    If for no other reason, ministerial self-interest must surely provoke a positive response.

    Excellent work, Eddie. The VC hero website was overwhelmed.

  44. At 08:16 AM on 01 Jun 2007, David Traynier wrote:

    Simon Worrall:

    regarding Russia and Iran. The answer to your question is quite simple, I suspect.

    Specifically, the US has put a lot of pressure on Russia to end its involvement with the Iranian Bushehr reactor and its other nuclear cooperation. With the US throwing its weight around and pressuring/bribing countries to ostracize Iran, the relationship with Russia is not certain.

    More generally, why would a country want to be dependent upon another country for a crucial component of its nuclear infrastructure when a domestic capability is feasible? Thirdly, why shouldn't the Iranians enrich their own uranium when (and this is something we seldom hear in the media) it is their legal right?

  45. At 09:48 AM on 01 Jun 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    The discussion about abortion (on the NHS, of course) and then one on fertility treatment (on the NHS, of course) were neatly included in the same programme. Well done.

    With regard to [brava mujer wrote:] Is anyone going to ask a woman what she thinks about abortion?

    Unfortunately, none of the women who have been aborted are available for comment. Nor, for that matter, are the men.

  46. At 10:17 AM on 01 Jun 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    David T.;
    Like the Russians do what the USA wants!

    No longer. Russia is flexing it's muscles, with it's weight in international affairs much increased because of the power of its oil economy.

    Russia's attitude is uncertain solely because of Russia, not because of the USA.

    But you are correct in pointing out that developing power technology is their right. So why have they bolted the doors to the IAEA? What do they have to hide?


  47. At 12:02 PM on 01 Jun 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    David & Si,

    Some of us have long been going on about how one of the solutions to the inequities of globalism is to locally add as much value to one's natural resources.

    This seems to be against the 'rules' for Iran. Of course, anything which doesn't kowtow to the Lords of the West is against their rules.

    P.S. Of course, Iran could also build a few refineries so she didn't have to import petrol...but maybe we won't sell her the technology for that, or would bomb it at the slightest pretence?

  48. At 01:21 PM on 01 Jun 2007, mattmo74 wrote:

    At 05:38 PM on 31 May 2007, Alan Jeffers wrote: I don't see why someone who hasn't lived here for years, nor presumably paid the NI contributions, should suddenly be allowed to fetch up when they want some free medical treatment. Where do you draw the line around "services rendered in the distant past"?

    My take on this is Mr Jeffers is; If it hadn't been for people like Mr Pun VC, people like you wouldn't be allowed to hold a point of view like yours.

    I'm absolutly bloody seething

  49. At 01:23 PM on 01 Jun 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    But Ed;
    Why doesn't Iran spend that money developing and building refineries instead? Be a damn sight cheaper than a nuclear programme.



  50. At 01:49 PM on 01 Jun 2007, Phil Coghlan wrote:

    Our country's treatment of Tul Bahadur Pun VC is an utter disgrace. That someone should give his all to us to then be abandoned in his hour of need shames us all.

    In response to Alan Jeffers, the contribution he made in WWII is far greater than any contribution you or I will ever make through our NI payments.

    We owe all our Gurkhas far better than this.

  51. At 01:56 PM on 01 Jun 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    Si (50)

    I think there is some national pride involved. Anyway, Iran is a sovereign state and just as entitled to nuclear energy as we are. I have even written and told President DJ what I think on that matter (among others).

  52. At 01:59 PM on 01 Jun 2007, C_S wrote:

    To Mr Jeffers (no 7)

    I am honestly ashamed that you could post such a mean-spirited, penny pinching and crass comment.

    This man has done more to preserve your right to whine on the internet in safety than you or I can even imagine. We owe him, and his comrades an immense moral debt.

    He has damn well earned the right to come here, to be treated well, and to if necessary end his days in peace and dignity. He deserves no less, and a lot more.

  53. At 02:41 PM on 01 Jun 2007, David Traynier wrote:

    To Simon Worall,

    what do you mean by 'bolting doors to the IAEA'? According to the latest IAEA report 'Pursuant to its NPT Safeguards Agreement, Iran has been providing the Agency with access to declared nuclear material and facilities, and has provided the required nuclear material accountancy reports in connection with such material and facilities.'

    Moreover, 'The Agency is able to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran.'

    There are some outstanding issues concerning the past development of the programme as well as an Additonal Protocol but these have to be viewed in the proper context.

    That context is that the US, via the Security Council, has been attempting to use the IAEA to apply pressure to Iran, arguably in an effort to provoke a conflict. That is why the Resolution was passed demanding that Iran cease enriching -despite the fact that this right is enshrined in international law. This also explains, I suspect, Mohammed Elbaradei's increasingly vocal warnings against an armed conflict. He surely knows that the US is trying to use the IAEA in much the same manner it used UNMOVIC during the run up to the invasion of Iraq. Going back a little further, Iran is doubtless aware of US subversion of UNSCOM during the 1990s -a body that US officials later admitted they had used to plant CIA spies in Iraq. The Iranian government are not stupid.

    Indeed, although there is no evidence for it, I would not rule out the possibility that Iran may be attempting to develop a modest nuclear deterrant. Frankly, why wouldn't they since the US has all but openly declared that any country that does not is open to attack? Witness the case of Iraq -known to be defenceless long before the invasion- compared with N. Korea.

    Finally, regarding oil refinaries, part of Iranian strategy is to be less dependent on its oil reserves for domestic power generation. By doing this, they divert more oil for export. They will also likely be taking the long view that oil will eventually run out. Diversity of energy supply is an entirely common sense policy.

  54. At 02:46 PM on 01 Jun 2007, Aunt Dahlia wrote:

    AdminA -Thank you for the contacts - I shall be on to them as soon as I get home. If we all contacted our MPs it might make just a little difference.....

  55. At 04:09 PM on 01 Jun 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Si (49),

    That was my point, and the failure to develop home refining capacity is the strongest indication that the nuke programme may have other objectives than simply energy. Personally, as you might guess, I don't think there is any credible way we can object to Iran developing nuke weapons while we turned a blind eye (and covertly helped) Israel do so.
    Houb Salaam
    01/06/2007 at 16:09:58 GMT

  56. At 04:42 PM on 01 Jun 2007, David Traynier wrote:


    particularly since the US is developing lower yield 'tactical' nuclear weapons and is deliberately trying to lower both the threshold for their use and their distinction from conventional weapons (2001 Nuclear Posture Review and the Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations).

    The US is also helping other countries to develop more N. weapons. For example, the US is negotiating with India to supply them with nuclear material for the civilian power programme with the clear knowledge that this will allow India to divert its own enrichment efforts to weaponisation. This then rattles Pakistan, creating the potential for a regional arms race. The US is also encouraging Japan to militarize, in order to 'contain' China. Meanwhile, the US has recently had the nerve to criticise China for its military spending and development of anti satellite weapons, despite themselves being responsible for almost 48% of global arms spending compared with China's less than 5%.

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