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The Glass Box for Tuesday

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Eddie Mair | 16:37 UK time, Tuesday, 10 July 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.

If you want to post a comment about something that is on your mind but was not on the programme - use the link on the right to The Furrowed Brow. Also on the right, you'll find FAQ: try it. And why not visit The Beach?


  1. At 05:16 PM on 10 Jul 2007, Fifi wrote:

    Once again, I must protest:

    PM is scheduled at the wrong time again!

    I've just taken 3 phone calls on the trot, none of which could be put off, and all of which were interrupting some other serious work I'm trying to get done.

    Please ensure that PM goes on at 6pm or later from now on.

    Fifi ;o)

  2. At 05:20 PM on 10 Jul 2007, JPA wrote:

    Who writes Brian's scripts?

    (Simon W- I can give you more time this evening. As a lightweight, I must refer to those more versed).

  3. At 05:42 PM on 10 Jul 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:


    Great questions for the maths teaching interview.
    Yours Aye,
    Malicious, of course!

  4. At 05:44 PM on 10 Jul 2007, Caroline Kimber wrote:

    How can we expect our children to get a 'fire in thier belly' about sport when schools are so anti competetive? With team games only on sports days and individual races banned so the less sporty don't get upset??? Wanting to win is frowned upon and egging your child on is seen as being a pushy parent.

  5. At 05:44 PM on 10 Jul 2007, Peter Bolt wrote:

    I reckon your interview with Lord Adonis was a minor masterpiece.

  6. At 05:47 PM on 10 Jul 2007, Dr Hackenbush wrote:

    Despite what I wrote yesterday, I note today that Perkins mentioned about defendants who ‘denied the charges’. If the charges have been brought, surely they cannot be denied - these defendants presumably denied being guilty of said charges. They could have disputed the charges, perhaps. Any pedants to my rescue?

  7. At 05:47 PM on 10 Jul 2007, admin annie wrote:

    right so you're not allowed to say which school the child from care is at. but you told us the name of the headmaster and it took about 30 seconds on Google to find out exactly which school he is head of.
    egg on someone's face then!

  8. At 05:55 PM on 10 Jul 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:


    I'm surprised it took that long!

  9. At 05:55 PM on 10 Jul 2007, Edward wrote:

    Re the British Horse Society's concern about the new Highway Code, cyclists face the same problem.

    The "advice" (which is actually legally enforceable) says cyclists should use cycle lanes, etc, "whenever possible". Not "whenever it's safer" - but even when it's plainly not.

    Anyone who's ever seen some of our cycle "facilities" close up will know this is madness. Some of them are good, but half of them make a journey downright dangerous.

  10. At 05:55 PM on 10 Jul 2007, Corinne wrote:

    Great to know Ed Balls is introducing another investigation into primary maths teaching. Just as we are struggling to come to terms with the nightmare that is the interactive online planning tool and renewed Primary Maths/ Literacy framework. How much did that lot cost?

  11. At 05:57 PM on 10 Jul 2007, Karen wrote:

    Can you NOT do the horse riders do it better in pairs thing when I've got a mouthful of tea!

    Loved the interview with Lord Adonis. Was waiting for something along the lines of "1 in 5, that's nearly a third," but it never came.

    Wasn't there an experiment in the 60's or 70's with ILEA sending children to Woolverstone Hall in Suffolk? If so did this inform the initiative? And did these kids benefit in the long term?

  12. At 06:02 PM on 10 Jul 2007, jennie robbins wrote:

    I feel some serious neck wringing is in order! What is the matter with these eminent politicians?
    After extolling the need for us Brits to look after our neglected children much more than we do, they are now trying to make lone parents neglect them even more by forcing them to work!
    The separation of parents is one of the most deeply traumatic experiences a child can undergo and now that only one parent is present int he daily rythm of a child, well, Lets just deprive that child of the one thta's left!
    If you are lucky enough to find a job that coincides with school hours maybe, if not it's the chilren that pay the price again.
    As a lone mother who has brought up 5 children I am sick and tired of being stigmatised by politicians. Lone parent does not neccessarily mean lone child!
    We lone parents are not all sponging off society, nor do we necseearily have the worst kids!
    2 of my children are teachers, 1 is doing a masters in commercial law, 1 is at uni and the youngest wants to be a social worker!
    I would ask these wise men if they would be prepared to work 30 hours, come home to cleanig, homework, transport for musical or sport/leisure activities etc and still have enough energy for quality time with their children!
    Another big secret! the majority of lone parents are not so out of choice! Not much you can do when your partener dies or walks out on you!
    So please enough of this guilt mongering!
    Do married couples on income support have to go out to work when theis kids are 5? Or do they get the brownie points by hand-knitting woolen swimwear for their children and following Mrs Beaton's recipes???
    Wake up politics this is not the 1950s!!
    A ring on your finger doesn't make you a good parent or believe me the jewellry industry would be ecstatic!

  13. At 06:09 PM on 10 Jul 2007, jennie robbins wrote:

    Hi I just sent you a rant about lone parents but it seems to have disappeared! can you help?

  14. At 06:18 PM on 10 Jul 2007, Paul Honton wrote:

    For a small minority Muslims completely dominate the press in the UK. As a democracy why do we allow this? I am fed up with hearing about their medieval religion and their extreme beliefs. And; how dare they tell us who we can give honours to!

  15. At 06:19 PM on 10 Jul 2007, Electric Dragon wrote:

    Dr H:
    de·ny (dĭ-nī')
    tr.v., -nied, -ny·ing, -nies.
    1. To declare untrue; contradict.
    2. To refuse to believe; reject.
    3. To refuse to recognize or acknowledge; disavow.

    4. a. To decline to grant or allow; refuse: deny the student's request; denied the prisoner food or water.
    b. To give a refusal to; turn down or away: The protesters were determined not to be denied.
    c. To restrain (oneself) especially from indulgence in pleasures.

    Clearly one can deny charges as in sense 1. One is saying that the charges are untrue.

  16. At 06:32 PM on 10 Jul 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Paul Honton (13),

    "For a small minority Muslims completely dominate the press in the UK."

    Careful, Jews are a minority one tenth the size!


  17. At 06:44 PM on 10 Jul 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Jennie (13),

    Welcome to the dysfunctional blog! Actually, your message appeared moderately quickly by normal standards. I found your points well made.


  18. At 06:55 PM on 10 Jul 2007, Dr Hackenbush wrote:


  19. At 07:24 PM on 10 Jul 2007, admin annie wrote:

    I don't care what the new HIghway code says about horse riders as long as it says in huge block printed capital letters on the front


  20. At 07:30 PM on 10 Jul 2007, Rachel G wrote:

    I appreciated your Relate woman talking some much needed common sense about Cameron's new wheeze to reward married couples irrespective of need. She answered many of the questions that I posted in my rant on your earlier strand. Marriage in itself does not make couples stay together and no amount of tax incentive will do so either. It is, as she said, merely gesture politics preaching the same old moralistic stuff. And it simply shows that Cameron and his party still haven't learned that functional families come in all shapes and sizes.

  21. At 07:31 PM on 10 Jul 2007, Dr Hackenbush wrote:


    That would certainly confuse them

    On the highway code, I wish more motorists would understand that they are obliged to signal for the benefit of pedestrians, too.

  22. At 07:54 PM on 10 Jul 2007, Rachel G wrote:

    Eddie - what were you twittering about that would upset the glass box so? Adonis? Trails? Middle East? What else gets us in a tizzy...

    Could the Blog Prince update the recent entries list so that it points us to the Tuesday box, rather than Monday. I nearly got my boxers in a twist.

  23. At 08:02 PM on 10 Jul 2007, Peter Johansen wrote:

    Listening to PM on Tuesday 10/07/2007, I couldn’t help thinking how useful it could have been to have kept Lord Adonis on for the next item about trying to giving children from problem homes a boarding school education, and the problems they faced being amongst “toffs” when it was tried. From 1974 to 1981 Andrew Adonis attended a private boarding school where “toffs” stuck out amongst a majority of pupils from problem homes. For example, ten years earlier, one boy found that his transistor radio had been stolen. He got no sympathy from the others, who thought it served him right for being rich enough to afford one. If your parents are separated, and changing jobs and homes regularly, and you find yourself going to different places each holiday, you need a school that can provide the stability that your home can’t. It seemed so obvious to us that most other boarding schools were full of children who didn’t need to be there

    Most pupils were supported by a combination of the school’s own funds and funding by their local councils. The problem is that while most public schools started out as genuine charities with funding for poor scholars, you can’t spend the interest on the basic fund and also keep pace with inflation. By the 1960s the grants from local councils had become essential for most pupils, but the councils became fixated with the idea that boarding schools were for the upper class, and used this as an excuse to reduce support to pupils. The school still exists, but depends more and more on full fee-paying pupils to subsidise those who need to get away from problem homes. In 1976, while researching a dissertation on the case for state boarding schools, I visited the last two examples of these, which did a similar job, but have since closed down, as far as I understand.

    Most single parents can find some way of looking after their children during school holidays, but not 365 days a year. Rather than weighing up the disadvantages of inserting children from problem homes into upper-class bastions, councils should consider working together to concentrate children into boarding schools where having problems at home is the norm and taken for granted, but also good behaviour, study, and all the positive things that a good boarding school can provide.

  24. At 08:15 PM on 10 Jul 2007, Dr Hackenbush wrote:


    I have invited debate on this at The Furrowed Brow place.

  25. At 09:03 PM on 10 Jul 2007, Peter Johansen wrote:


    1. In the Old Days, Radio Newsreel was on at 7pm - just after the Archers.

    2. Phones always ring when you're busy. It's like someone barging through the door and wanting to talk NOW. Now we have e-mail, anyone who wants a telephone meeting should first e-mail to book a time.

  26. At 10:35 PM on 10 Jul 2007, Christina Tyree wrote:

    Fifi you need to get tuned into "Listen Again" I had missed PM and was listening to it 9-10pm today. There is plenty of help too on how to set it up, the only thing is you will need to download "real player" which if you don't have broadband as I don't it can take a long time but its really worth it.

    Young boys tend to want to follow their peer group so if left in "bog standard comp" Terry will play up with his mates there, its not cool to study etc.. he'd need to look tough,wear the clothes etc. when he's in a different environment where his peers are studying.playing rubgy,doing their prep or whatever they do he'll do it too, I'd love to know how the other boys treat him and if he has friends there.

    I am fed up with politicians going on and on about how wonderful marriage is, no-one is going to get married for £20 any more than the binge drinkers will go teetotal because of a 20p increase in cost of booze. If this was the answers we'd have no more smokers or drinkers after each budget.

    Where are all these men who want to settle down and take on responcibility ? There are plenty of single women out there who would choose a secure relationship if it were on offer. There is no need for men to find a "wife" as in our parents' day as men can get most of what they need without marriage. The lady on "Today" this morning when interviewed by John Humprhys said she and partner were not married because they couldn't afford a big wedding. This is a good excuse from men who want the cake and eat it but no commitment. Sadly no-ne ever seems to suggest trying to talk to young boys about treating girls/young women with some respect and trying to work towards a relationship. Its amazing after all the "Women's Lib" of the generation who taught me at school that young men have the attitude to females that they do.

  27. At 09:17 AM on 11 Jul 2007, Peter Rippon PM Editor wrote:

    Thanks for the comments. In the real Glassbox we were frustrated about the programme. Well.. er... I was anyway. It was mainly the lead story about the lessons from the 21/7 trial for the Government. We were confident that the Home Office would put up a minister the answer the criticisms from Interpol and the Tories. In the end they could not do it and we had spent quite a lot of time working an interview that never was. Frustrating.

  28. At 11:29 AM on 11 Jul 2007, JPA wrote:

    Thanks Editor.
    Who writes Brian's and the other readers scripts? Is it you, or the producer, or who? Forgive my ignorance.

  29. At 11:32 AM on 11 Jul 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    Paul (14)

    I tried to get the correct words from Uncle* Osama's sidekick, but it was impossible. First, on PM, he was said to have referred to the "Islamic World". Elsewhere he was quoted as referrring to the "Muslim World" and then "The world's Muslims".

    This last expression could be correct, though the cleric won't have checked, and as a Muslim Rushdie will thus have insulted himself. In reality there is one world and it is not Muslim or Islamic. References to "The Islamic World" are inaccurate and inappropriate.

    *In the 1930s there was a "Nice Uncle Adolf, so fond of the little ones."

  30. At 12:18 PM on 11 Jul 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:


    Arabic is a wonderfully poetic language, capable of much ambiguity. I am among the Ajam (those who are 'dumb' to Arabic), but possibly he used the term, "Ummah", which is often translated as 'the Muslim world', or the whole community of Muslims, etc.

    Your third form is probably the nearest to the intended meaning.

    Of course, we of the Ajam are only able to read what translators (each with an agenda) provides, and attempt to make as much sense of it as we are able.

    A favourite pastime of mine is to read the Tao Te Ching with three or more English translations in front of me. It's a good way to get a personal 'sense' of the work.


  31. At 12:53 PM on 11 Jul 2007, MARTIN SHIPLEY wrote:

    I listened to Gordon Brown's response to Conservative proposals regarding the family and society.
    I agree it would be wrong for him to judge others.
    But what is being discussed here is not the judging of others,but possible solutions to problems in Society.
    What are his suggested solutions after 10 years in Government?

  32. At 04:56 PM on 11 Jul 2007, Gill wrote:


    Disagree about men getting all they want outside of marriage. Having a husband and son, admittedly not a large sample group, it seems to me that food rather than sex is the real turn on for males.

    Here's betting that all mothers of sons would admit that directly after visiting the loo their sons open the fridge door.

    Marriage gives the male the security that he requires: for women it is irrelevant, she can easily organise her own needs.

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