Archives for February 2008

Talking tonight about February 29 and

Eddie Mair | 15:45 UK time, Friday, 29 February 2008

Comments

calendars and the like...(just recorded an interview for the programme) reminded me of that recent lunar eclipse.

Prince Harry.

Eddie Mair | 12:36 UK time, Friday, 29 February 2008

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Tonight on the programme, we'll trace the origins of the story. harryaaaa.jpg
This is the original version of what ran on the website of New Idea, an Australian magazine. Here is a later version. Now there is only a Harry biog.

In The Australian today - this article about how New Idea views things.

1530 UPDATE: And we've tracked down the paper that said last May that Harry was going to Afghanistan. And it's British.

The Glass Box for Friday

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Eddie Mair | 12:32 UK time, Friday, 29 February 2008

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Be your own radio critic! Tell us here, frankly, what you thought of tonight's programme. In the PM office we meet every night at 1800 in this Glass Box:

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We talk about the content of the programme and try to give an honest assessment of what worked and what didn't...the things we missed and the places where our ambitions were not met. THIS virtual glass box you are looking at is where you are invited - indeed encouraged - to be your own critic. Comment on our hour by clicking on the comment link. Members of the production team will read the comments, and the editor should comment too. Click on The Glass Box link on the right of the page to read previous entries.

February 29th, 2008.

Eddie Mair | 06:54 UK time, Friday, 29 February 2008

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A special day.

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What will YOU do?

I will try to lean to pronounce the name of the new Russian President, which I've been getting wrong most of the time....1420 UPDATE: And I think I've managed.

You might try some of the stuff suggested here. This article wonders why we don't get the extra day in summer...and has some handy tips for things to do in, er, New York.

BBC News has been having a think, and who among us can honestly say they don't still miss Pierre? I know I do.

1400 UPDATE: On the programme tonight: the Head of Science and Education at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, Rob Edwards.

The Beach

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Eddie Mair | 05:35 UK time, Friday, 29 February 2008

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What is the Beach?

beacha.JPG

It's a place to go when the stresses of your real life need relieving. Sometimes it is fairly quiet and you might feel like you are the only one around, but you can leave your footprints for others to find later on. Othertimes it is the home for a real party, with constant gossip, leg-pulling, rumour, innuendo, chit-chat and weirdness.

If this were a forum (and it sort of is because we post responses to each other, not just to Eddie, hence our term for ourselves 'Froggers', a combination of forum and blogger) then the beach would be the off-topic area.
It's a tropical location, no matter the time of year it's always warm and pleasant there.

Sunrises and sunsets are spectacular, the evenings balmy. It has a number of different locations; the Nick Clarke waterfront bar; the smokers corner; Fido's Run for the dog-walkers; the Naughty Step and many others.
How do you find your way around? There is no direct answer to the question.

The beach is a moveable feast, literally. It will be renewed by our Lord and master Mr. Edward de Mair each Friday morning. This is because we have found in the past that when the number of posts exceeds about 600 the entire thing becomes unwieldy and unstable. A case of the beach turning to quicksand.

Froggers often leave bottles / glasses / trays of their favourite tipple on the bar for others to sample, not to mention big / small eats.

There is a herd of camels who frequent the sands, which froggers are very fond of. There are sun-loungers, so you can take it easy and catch some rays. Quite often the late-night attendees will have a barbie.
It's a fun place, with only one real rule; Be nice to each other; we are ALL chums here. New Froggers are ALWAYS welcome.

The real debate happens on the other threads. The beach is a place for banter, whimsy, relaxation and friendship, where jarring comments are not particularly welcome. There are certain very mild protocols, which you tend to pick up as you go along. So slip your shoes off, feel the sand between your toes, relax and enjoy yourself.

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Prince Harry.

Eddie Mair | 17:39 UK time, Thursday, 28 February 2008

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Your thoughts?

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Events in Jersey

Eddie Mair | 15:32 UK time, Thursday, 28 February 2008

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will be on the programme tonight, and they're explained in some depth here.

Discussing population.

Eddie Mair | 12:28 UK time, Thursday, 28 February 2008

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In the programme tonight, having had reports on population from India and China this week (click on the population link on the right) we're going to focus on the population of the UK.

In debate, Sir Crispin Tickell: he is Chancellor of Kent University, Director of the Policy Foresight Programme at the James Martin Institute, and was the UK Permanent Representative on the United Nations Security Council. He helped Margaret Thatcher write a speech on global climate change, he chaired John Major's Panel on Sustainable Development (94-00) and was a member of two Government task forces for Labour. Probably most relevant to his appearance tonight is his role as Patron of the Optimum Population Trust.

Also: Austin Williams. He is director of the Future Cities Project. He is an architect and project manager, he also writes for Daily Telegraph, contributes to Spiked.com, has written for Times Literary Supplement, New Humanist and Design publications amongst others. He's a humanist.

The Glass Box for Thursday

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Eddie Mair | 12:23 UK time, Thursday, 28 February 2008

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Be your own radio critic! Tell us here, frankly, what you thought of tonight's programme. In the PM office we meet every night at 1800 in this Glass Box:

glassboxd.jpg

We talk about the content of the programme and try to give an honest assessment of what worked and what didn't...the things we missed and the places where our ambitions were not met. THIS virtual glass box you are looking at is where you are invited - indeed encouraged - to be your own critic. Comment on our hour by clicking on the comment link. Members of the production team will read the comments, and the editor should comment too. Click on The Glass Box link on the right of the page to read previous entries.

If you're from Al-Qaeda please, I implore you, don't read this, or listen back to last night's PM...

Eddie Mair | 10:14 UK time, Thursday, 28 February 2008

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...because, and this never occured to us until we got this call to the "Listener Log", this will allow you to blow up Parliament, and it would all be PM's fault.

"Eddie Mair mentioned that the plans for the House of Commons are available on the internet. I don't think the BBC should be reporting this information to potential terrorists."

Those Westminster floor plans in full...

Eddie Mair | 17:47 UK time, Wednesday, 27 February 2008

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well, not really...but several people have sent us this link

Population/overpopulation.

Eddie Mair | 16:28 UK time, Wednesday, 27 February 2008

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All this week we've been reporting on overpopulation. The United Nations predicts that by 2050, the world's population will be 50 per cent higher than it is today - nine thousand million people.

On Monday Nils Blythe reported from India, where the population is booming and last night he was in one of the world's biggest cities Mumbai.

Tonight, we heard from a country which in contrast to India, strictly controls its population: China.

In 1979 it introduced its one-child policy - now those first children born under the policy are grown up. Our Beijing correspondent James Reynolds told the story of the one child policy.

You can hear all THREE reports here:


TOMORROW night on PM we're going to debate population/overpopulation. Got a question or a point of view you want to express? Add your comment here.

The Glass Box for Wednesday

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Eddie Mair | 13:18 UK time, Wednesday, 27 February 2008

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Be your own radio critic! Tell us here, frankly, what you thought of tonight's programme. In the PM office we meet every night at 1800 in this Glass Box:

glassa.jpg

We talk about the content of the programme and try to give an honest assessment of what worked and what didn't...the things we missed and the places where our ambitions were not met. THIS virtual glass box you are looking at is where you are invited - indeed encouraged - to be your own critic. Comment on our hour by clicking on the comment link. Members of the production team will read the comments, and the editor should comment too. Click on The Glass Box link on the right of the page to read previous entries.

Last night,

Eddie Mair | 11:45 UK time, Wednesday, 27 February 2008

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dining with a former editor (who taught me much of what I know, although I've forgotten a lot of it), I promised to post a photo of this on the Blog.

Is it too blurry?

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Chris

Eddie Mair | 08:57 UK time, Wednesday, 27 February 2008

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reported on PM last night about social networking sites and the press. He has much more for you here where you can hear the piece and find lots of useful links.

Did the earth move for you?

Eddie Mair | 06:40 UK time, Wednesday, 27 February 2008

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quake.gif

1025 UPDATE:

British earthquakes. We're not even trying.


Nils and overpopulation.

Eddie Mair | 16:39 UK time, Tuesday, 26 February 2008

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He continues his series tonight, and look - here's a pic!

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The Glass Box for Tuesday.

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Eddie Mair | 16:37 UK time, Tuesday, 26 February 2008

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In the PM office we meet every night after the programme in this Glass Box:

glassboxh.JPG

We talk about the content of the programme and try to give an honest assessment of what worked and what didn't...the things we missed and the places where our ambitions were not met. THIS virtual glass box you are looking at is where you are invited - indeed encouraged - to be honest about our hour. Members of the production team will read it, and the editor should comment too. Click on The Glass Box link on the right of the page to read previous entries.

Depressed?

Eddie Mair | 11:32 UK time, Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Comments

We're keen to hear if you have any experience in this area.

1530 UPDATE: On the programme tonight we're hearing from the man behind this blog.

Should Britain stay in the EU or get out?

Eddie Mair | 16:41 UK time, Monday, 25 February 2008

Comments

In the programme: live debate between Charles Kennedy and Nigel Farage.

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What do YOU think?

The PM OSCAR 2009 PREVIEW STARTS HERE.

Eddie Mair | 15:56 UK time, Monday, 25 February 2008

Comments

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sorry there really is nothing to say at this stage.

The Glass Box for Monday.

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Eddie Mair | 15:20 UK time, Monday, 25 February 2008

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In the PM office we meet every night after the programme in this Glass Box:

glassboxherd.JPG

We talk about the content of the programme and try to give an honest assessment of what worked and what didn't...the things we missed and the places where our ambitions were not met. THIS virtual glass box you are looking at is where you are invited - indeed encouraged - to be honest about our hour. Members of the production team will read it, and the editor should comment too. Click on The Glass Box link on the right of the page to read previous entries.

Hugh has returned

Eddie Mair | 11:58 UK time, Monday, 25 February 2008

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from afar, with some confectionery. He assures us it is all lovely, and not at all associated with the buffalo story. We have not opened it yet. This is a photo of tonight's editor, Jeremy, holding the item.

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DiY

Eddie Mair | 11:51 UK time, Monday, 25 February 2008

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sends greetings to "Eddie and Froggers. I am working in London, spot the landmark! Can you see my Speedos drying in the breeze?"

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The Furrowed Brow.

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Eddie Mair | 06:33 UK time, Monday, 25 February 2008

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The place to talk seriously about serious things on your mind.

Repeatedly,

Eddie Mair | 06:54 UK time, Saturday, 23 February 2008

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in the extensive surveying, research and polling carried out by the marketing people - and of course the expensive outside consultants - one theme comes up again and again in relation to the BBC's Blogs. People want more pictures of buffalo.

And so today we give you what you clearly want. As well as a link to our old buffalo caption "competition", Hugh says:

"Here are some photographs from the buffalo farm featured on PM on Friday.

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There is a pilot plant at the farm, to convert buffalo manure into gas for generating electricity - with organic fertiliser as a by-product. Shaukat Mukhtar, joint secretary of the Karachi Dairy Farmers Association and Robert Orr, international development director of the British biogas company Hirad at Mr. Mukhtar's farm in Landhi, near Karachi. They are standing in fornt of the pilot manure-processing plant.


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Shaukat Mukhtar with one of his 450 buffalo.


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Anarchic outflow from a Landhi buffalo farm. There are four hundred thousand buffalo in Landhi.


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Landhi children on a bridge over a stream of buffalo waste. At Mr. Mukhtar's farm, the ratio is forty buffalo to each farm worker, who has to milk them by hand twice a day.

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These are battery buffalo, who have never seen a blade of live grass in their lives. They eat dry feed, from concrete troughs to which they are chained.

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Lorries deliver the feed. They return empty. If the project is successful, the lorries could return to the grasslands carrying much needed organic fertiliser, one of the by-products of extracting methane from the buffalo manure.


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Buffalo in the 'exercise yard'."


If you have been affected by any of the issues raised by these photos of buffalo, call the Radio 4 Action Line.

Brucie at 80. In PM tonight, a celebration.

Eddie Mair | 15:37 UK time, Friday, 22 February 2008

Comments

brucea.jpg bruceb.jpg brucec.jpgJack and Vera yesterday

The Glass Box for Friday.

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Eddie Mair | 15:21 UK time, Friday, 22 February 2008

Comments

In the PM office we meet every night after the programme in this Glass Box:

glassa.jpg

We talk about the content of the programme and try to give an honest assessment of what worked and what didn't...the things we missed and the places where our ambitions were not met. THIS virtual glass box you are looking at is where you are invited - indeed encouraged - to be honest about our hour. Members of the production team will read it, and the editor should comment too. Click on The Glass Box link on the right of the page to read previous entries.

The Beach

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Eddie Mair | 07:30 UK time, Friday, 22 February 2008

Comments

What is the Beach?

beacha.JPG

It's a place to go when the stresses of your real life need relieving. Sometimes it is fairly quiet and you might feel like you are the only one around, but you can leave your footprints for others to find later on. Othertimes it is the home for a real party, with constant gossip, leg-pulling, rumour, innuendo, chit-chat and weirdness.

If this were a forum (and it sort of is because we post responses to each other, not just to Eddie, hence our term for ourselves 'Froggers', a combination of forum and blogger) then the beach would be the off-topic area.
It's a tropical location, no matter the time of year it's always warm and pleasant there.

Sunrises and sunsets are spectacular, the evenings balmy. It has a number of different locations; the Nick Clarke waterfront bar; the smokers corner; Fido's Run for the dog-walkers; the Naughty Step and many others.
How do you find your way around? There is no direct answer to the question.

The beach is a moveable feast, literally. It will be renewed by our Lord and master Mr. Edward de Mair each Friday morning. This is because we have found in the past that when the number of posts exceeds about 600 the entire thing becomes unwieldy and unstable. A case of the beach turning to quicksand.

Froggers often leave bottles / glasses / trays of their favourite tipple on the bar for others to sample, not to mention big / small eats.

There is a herd of camels who frequent the sands, which froggers are very fond of. There are sun-loungers, so you can take it easy and catch some rays. Quite often the late-night attendees will have a barbie.
It's a fun place, with only one real rule; Be nice to each other; we are ALL chums here. New Froggers are ALWAYS welcome.

The real debate happens on the other threads. The beach is a place for banter, whimsy, relaxation and friendship, where jarring comments are not particularly welcome. There are certain very mild protocols, which you tend to pick up as you go along. So slip your shoes off, feel the sand between your toes, relax and enjoy yourself.

beachb.JPG

Over 50 and booming and blooming?

Eddie Mair | 15:29 UK time, Thursday, 21 February 2008

Comments

Research today suggests people over 50 are cheerfully starting new careers - sometimes doing the sorts of things they've always wanted to do.

rice.jpg

There's more about the research here. Tonight on the programme we'll hear from one man who's "living the dream" and from someone else who says the good times will probably not come for people who're currently in their 20s, 30s or 40s

The Glass Box for Thursday

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Eddie Mair | 15:27 UK time, Thursday, 21 February 2008

Comments

In the PM office we meet every night after the programme in this Glass Box:

glassboxd.jpg

We talk about the content of the programme and try to give an honest assessment of what worked and what didn't...the things we missed and the places where our ambitions were not met. THIS virtual glass box you are looking at is where you are invited - indeed encouraged - to be honest about our hour. Members of the production team will read it, and the editor should comment too. Click on The Glass Box link on the right of the page to read previous entries.

Is it a bird....?

Eddie Mair | 09:52 UK time, Thursday, 21 February 2008

Comments


planeaa.jpg

Plans to move flight paths in and out of major British airports away from built up areas have been launched by the firm that manages UK air traffic. You can read more about it here.

Jennifer, of iPM fame (back on your radio in April but always there on the blog) has found this handy gadget. Enter your postcode and see if there's likely to be a plane overhead.

Caption competition.

Eddie Mair | 06:58 UK time, Thursday, 21 February 2008

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Yes, this is Hugh in Pakistan. It IS for a piece you'll hear. But what caption best suits? There is no prize, as we can't be faffed wading through the new BBC rules on competitions. But there is ounces of fun to be had.

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Suicide.

Eddie Mair | 17:38 UK time, Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Comments

If you've been affected by anything you've heard, and would like to speak to somebody in confidence for further sources of information and support, you can call the Radio 4 Actionline on 0800 044 044.

The Government's plans for citizenship.

Eddie Mair | 17:10 UK time, Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Comments

What do you think? There's more information here.

The Glass Box for Wednesday

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Eddie Mair | 16:14 UK time, Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Comments

In the PM office we meet every night after the programme in this Glass Box:

glassboxc.jpg
Jack and Vera yesterday

We talk about the content of the programme and try to give an honest assessment of what worked and what didn't...the things we missed and the places where our ambitions were not met. THIS virtual glass box you are looking at is where you are invited - indeed encouraged - to be honest about our hour. Members of the production team will read it, and the editor should comment too. Click on The Glass Box link on the right of the page to read previous entries.

Hugh sends

Eddie Mair | 12:26 UK time, Wednesday, 20 February 2008

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(over a terrible internet connection that takes him ages) ..."some Pakistan photos from the day after the election:


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Historic.

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Dancing.

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Drumming.

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Benazir's last book.

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Graffiti. Sorry, graffito.

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He hasn't gone away, you know.

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Irrelevant. "

From Roberto in Miami..

Eddie Mair | 10:55 UK time, Wednesday, 20 February 2008

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"photos taken at Versailles Restaurant followed by Castro's Resignation"

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The Glass Box for Tuesday.

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Eddie Mair | 16:07 UK time, Tuesday, 19 February 2008

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In the PM office we meet every night after the programme in this Glass Box:

glassboxca.JPG

We talk about the content of the programme and try to give an honest assessment of what worked and what didn't...the things we missed and the places where our ambitions were not met. THIS virtual glass box you are looking at is where you are invited - indeed encouraged - to be honest about our hour. Members of the production team will read it, and the editor should comment too. Click on The Glass Box link on the right of the page to read previous entries.

Cuba.

Eddie Mair | 15:59 UK time, Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Comments

In the programme tonight we'll hear from a man who took part in the Bay of Pigs invasion. If you'd like to read more about Cuba - try this.

castro.jpg
A picture of Fidel castro hugging comedy legend Don "Mr Warmth" Rickles.

They're cutting off tree branches

Eddie Mair | 12:31 UK time, Tuesday, 19 February 2008

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across the road from our office.

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Jack and Vera yesterday

Peter emails (after the newsletter): "Is there a problem with trees?????????? No, the problem is with councils."

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Anne and Pia.

Eddie Mair | 10:16 UK time, Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Comments

Last night on the programme, we reported on preparations for a stage production in Madrid - a musical about the life of Anne Frank.

Mark Armstrong wrote in: "Anne Frank the musical, will it join the list of other successful stage biopic musicals. 'Winnie', (Winston Churchill!), Bernadette, Billy Bunter, etc? A previous stage production of Anne Frank in New York (funded by a wealthy Italian) was reduced to farce on the press night when indifferent acting by Pia Zadora (model, actress and 'friend' of Italian angel) prompted the front row of New York reviewers at the beginning of act two, to chorus 'She's behind the wardrobe' as german stormtroopers entered stage left!"

....I thought I'd heard that story and wondered on air whether or not it was true. PM listeners have been in touch!

Jane Hall wrote: " I seem to remember a dramatised version of the story written by Bernard Kops - The Dreams of Anne Frank - first performed by Polka theatre company aimed at a young audience. It included some music, if I remember correctly & some rather bizarre moments where characters burst into song."

Andrew Pring wrote: "So there is now a musical about Anne Frank and some Jews are outraged at this. Why the silence and lack of outrage when the racist Baron Sacha Cohen ridicules a whole Muslim nation and makes a fortune doing so? Why is there total silence when a musical is performed making light of Hitler when Hitler in Springtime - a 'joke' from the Producers went onto the stage? Why was everyone so quiet, and unwilling to question Mel Brooks when he was profiting from Nazism and the holocaust?"

Joe Lambert had heard the same story as Mark: "Her on-stage performance as Anne Frank was so bad that when the Gestapo marched on stage looking for her, the audience shouted out "She's in the cupboard". "

Alan Bunting heard a different punchline: "Her performance was evidently so dire that when the Gestapo appeared to search the house where she was in hiding, a member of the audience shouted 'She's in the attic!' "

And what about this from Dennis Stuart: "I own a CD (purchased in Germany some 12 years ago) of the opera "The Diary of Anne Frank," composed by Grigori FRIED and sung in Russian by the Israeli soprano Eva BEN-ZVI, accompanied by the Orchestra of the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. According to the insert notes, it was first performed on 18th May 1972 in Moscow, but has been performed in other Russian cities as well as in Rotterdam and in the United States (Syracuse and Indianapolis). The work is described as a mono-drama, as only one character (Anne Frank) appears on stage."

James Whitbourn thought we "may be interested to know of this earlier musical setting of the Diary of Anne Frank. Unlike the musical, Annelies is a musical setting of words taken directly from the diary, and its premiere in April 2005 at London's Cadogan Hall (with the Royal Philharmonic under Leonard Slatkin) was attended by Buddy Elias, Anne Frank's cousin, who introduced the work and has supported it personally ever since. Annelies received its US premiere in April 2007 in Princeton, New Jersey. The next performance of Annelies takes place in Blackburn Cathedral on Bank Holiday Monday, May 5th 2008.

But it seems the Pia story is not all it appears. Jon in Norway and Jeremy Sams sent us this .

Pakistan votes.

Eddie Mair | 07:45 UK time, Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Comments

The BBC News online coverage is here.

Hugh Sykes brought us coverage last night (he'll be back tonight) - here are some of his photos and words on Pakistan's election day. He writes:

"Here are some snaps of Islamabad on election day, and of a food queue the day before....


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Most people didn't vote. A lot of people played cricket.

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Returning officer and voters in an Islamabad polling station.


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Well-off Islamabadis chilling at The Monal - a restaurant in the Margalla Hills, looking down at Islamabad. Through the haze.


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Queue for cooking oil on election eve. Thirty women in their line, and ....


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.....seventy men in theirs. The oil here - subsidised by the government - is half its price in the market.


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After a two hour wait, this woman gets her ration of four litres.

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But the mood is mostly cheerful - this little boy demanded to be photographed.

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Elsewhere, this is a school bus in Karachi.


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And - frequent power cuts plague everyone's lives here now. And make editing stuff for PM a challenge."

The Glass Box for Monday

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Eddie Mair | 17:04 UK time, Monday, 18 February 2008

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comment here!

MACCA UPDATE....MACCA UPDATE...MACCA UPDATE...

Eddie Mair | 15:52 UK time, Monday, 18 February 2008

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paul.jpg
heather.jpg

No agreement.

Dossiers.

Eddie Mair | 12:43 UK time, Monday, 18 February 2008

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We got this written statement from the Foreign Secretary a little while ago. It says:

"In accordance with the Information Tribunal's decision of 22 January 2008, I have today released what has been descibed as John Williams' draft of the September 2002 Iraq Weapons of Mass Destruction dossier.

The document produced by John Williams, then head of the FCO's Press Office, was not commissioned as part of the formal drafting process and was not used as the basis for the dossier the Government subsequently published, which was produced by the Joint Intelligence Committee.

The document was originally withheld under section 36 of the Freedom of Information Act on the important point of principle that for the effective conduct of public affairs the space which Ministers and officials have to consider and discuss ideas should be protected. Officials and others who draft policy documents should not feel constrained in presenting free and frank advice through fear that their ideas will be made public. This must continue to be an important principle for the effective conduct of government."

Want to read it?

PM: News without Personality. Tonight at 5.

Eddie Mair | 09:53 UK time, Monday, 18 February 2008

Comments

In order to bring you the best possible programme tonight, we are bringing forward our 11.00 meeting to 10.30. Oh yes.

The Furrowed Brow.

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Eddie Mair | 06:44 UK time, Monday, 18 February 2008

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FYI the Furrowed Brow has been nationalised (temporarily).

Well, my copy of Friday's PM newsletter

Eddie Mair | 06:48 UK time, Saturday, 16 February 2008

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arrived at 01.07 this morning. Yours?

From Pakistan, Hugh sends more photos

Eddie Mair | 19:58 UK time, Friday, 15 February 2008

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to accompany his piece tonight.

He says:

Hugha.jpg
"The Badshahi mosque


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Washing an auto-rickshaw by a Lahore canal


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Frantic Lahore traffic


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Side-saddle


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Milk delivery


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Farrukh Khan, at LUMS - the Lahore University of Management Sciences


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A plaque at Charing Cross, Lahore"

Supermarkets and the Competition Commission.

Eddie Mair | 16:43 UK time, Friday, 15 February 2008

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We expected their report at 16.30 and hoped to post it here. Still no sign I'm afraid. When it comes, it will be on this site.

1645: Some details now being reported by PA: "An independent ombudsman should be set up to oversee UK supermarkets, the Competition Commission recommended today." Still no sign on the site.

Captain James Philippson

Eddie Mair | 15:01 UK time, Friday, 15 February 2008

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was killed in action in Afghanistan.

captjim.jpg

Andrew Walker, assistant coroner for Oxfordshire, said: "They were defeated not by the terrorists but by the lack of basic equipment. To send soldiers into a combat zone without basic equipment is unforgivable, inexcusable and a breach of trust between the soldiers and those who govern them."

Tonight we'll talk to James' father, who also appears on this website set up by James' family.

What would happen if you turned troops into teachers?

Eddie Mair | 14:06 UK time, Friday, 15 February 2008

Comments

We're going to talk about that idea tonight. Here is the page on the Centre for Policy Studies website which contains the link to the full report.

When it's all over

Eddie Mair | 12:42 UK time, Friday, 15 February 2008

Comments

paul.jpg
heather.jpgJack and Vera yesterday

and we all hope it's soon - what should the PM headline be? Obviously it will be our lead story, no matter what else is going on in the world. Lucy Mangan in The Guardian yesterday had a pop at newspapers for their punning Beatles headlines (today The Sun went with Stress Today). We don't want anything tasteless obviously.

So in the event of a McCartney "victory" or a Mills "victory" or a draw - what headline should we choose? Suggestions please.

The truth is of course, no-one really wins in a divorce. That's why I am standing by, ready to help in any way I can.

We're just hearing that...

Eddie Mair | 12:32 UK time, Friday, 15 February 2008

Comments

paul.jpg
heather.jpg
..."there is now little hope of any agreed settlement in the Sir Paul McCartney divorce battle with his estranged wife Heather Mills. It emerged today that Court 34 has been booked for Monday to continue the bitter war of words".

We will have extensive coverage tonight. We'll talk to friends of the couple, people who know those friends, and people who know what people are thinking based on their facial expressions.

I remain ready to help this troubled couple in any way I can.

The Glass Box for Friday.

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Eddie Mair | 10:08 UK time, Friday, 15 February 2008

Comments

I know this is early but we were sent the photo below last night and I've been itching to post it.

Your editor today is Jasper, assisted by Julia. Liz is on my left hand, as it were, making Letters sing.

In the PM office we meet every night after the programme in this Glass Box:

glassboxca.JPG

We talk about the content of the programme and try to give an honest assessment of what worked and what didn't...the things we missed and the places where our ambitions were not met. THIS virtual glass box you are looking at is where you are invited - indeed encouraged - to be honest about our hour. Members of the production team will read it, and the editor should comment too. Click on The Glass Box link on the right of the page to read previous entries.

The Beach

Post categories:

Eddie Mair | 06:12 UK time, Friday, 15 February 2008

Comments

What is the Beach?

beacha.JPG

It's a place to go when the stresses of your real life need relieving. Sometimes it is fairly quiet and you might feel like you are the only one around, but you can leave your footprints for others to find later on. Othertimes it is the home for a real party, with constant gossip, leg-pulling, rumour, innuendo, chit-chat and weirdness.

If this were a forum (and it sort of is because we post responses to each other, not just to Eddie, hence our term for ourselves 'Froggers', a combination of forum and blogger) then the beach would be the off-topic area.
It's a tropical location, no matter the time of year it's always warm and pleasant there.

Sunrises and sunsets are spectacular, the evenings balmy. It has a number of different locations; the Nick Clarke waterfront bar; the smokers corner; Fido's Run for the dog-walkers; the Naughty Step and many others.
How do you find your way around? There is no direct answer to the question.

The beach is a moveable feast, literally. It will be renewed by our Lord and master Mr. Edward de Mair each Friday morning. This is because we have found in the past that when the number of posts exceeds about 600 the entire thing becomes unwieldy and unstable. A case of the beach turning to quicksand.

Froggers often leave bottles / glasses / trays of their favourite tipple on the bar for others to sample, not to mention big / small eats.

There is a herd of camels who frequent the sands, which froggers are very fond of. There are sun-loungers, so you can take it easy and catch some rays. Quite often the late-night attendees will have a barbie.
It's a fun place, with only one real rule; Be nice to each other; we are ALL chums here. New Froggers are ALWAYS welcome.

The real debate happens on the other threads. The beach is a place for banter, whimsy, relaxation and friendship, where jarring comments are not particularly welcome. There are certain very mild protocols, which you tend to pick up as you go along. So slip your shoes off, feel the sand between your toes, relax and enjoy yourself.

beachb.JPG

Pakistan.

Eddie Mair | 15:04 UK time, Thursday, 14 February 2008

Comments

There are just four days to go before Pakistan goes to the polls, in the parliamentary elections postponed after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto just after Christmas.

A BBC poll out today suggests a substantial majority believe stability and security in Pakistan would improve if President Pervez Musharraf resigned, and that support for Mr Musharraf has fallen dramatically.

He seized power in a military coup in 1999 - he has promised fair and 'transparent' elections.

Our correspondent Hugh Sykes is in Pakistan again for PM - he will report live from Lahore. He's just emailed to say he will also send snaps for the Blog "if this hotels' internet holds up...it has een crashed most of da day."

hughaaaa.jpg

He's a worse speller than Brian Williams. Honestly.

1715 UPDATE: Hugh says:

laha.jpg
"1: Sunset on Clifton beach, Karachi


lahb.jpg
2: Clifton beach is like Blackpool, with camels instead of donkeys


lahc.jpg
3: Snacks on the beach

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4: The beach is floodlit at night.

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5: Arif Hasan, Karachi architect and expert on Karachi poverty.


lahf.jpg
6: Negotiating Karachi traffic in an auto-rickshaw

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7: It's been a long day.

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8: Waris Ali with his Valentine balloons in Lahore.


lahi.JPG
9: Mustafa with his Valentine flower arrangement in Lahore.

lahj.JPG
10: Book now for Feb 14th dinner in Lahore.

lahk.JPG
11: That's enough balloons, ed. "

The Glass Box for Thursday.

Post categories:

Eddie Mair | 15:03 UK time, Thursday, 14 February 2008

Comments

In the PM office we meet every night after the programme in this Glass Box:

glassboxc.jpg
Jack and Vera yesterday

We talk about the content of the programme and try to give an honest assessment of what worked and what didn't...the things we missed and the places where our ambitions were not met. THIS virtual glass box you are looking at is where you are invited - indeed encouraged - to be honest about our hour. Members of the production team will read it, and the editor should comment too. Click on The Glass Box link on the right of the page to read previous entries.

As someone

Eddie Mair | 11:56 UK time, Thursday, 14 February 2008

Comments

whose newsletters and blog posts are riddled with spelling and grammatical errors, I only have sympathy for the person at NBC news responsible for the graphic for a story about the Australian government's apology to Aborigines. It was only on screen for a few moments as someone realised the error.

apol.jpg

The man in the picture is of course, Brian Williams, anchor of the "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams". He's the American Eddie Mair.

Call to prayer.

Eddie Mair | 11:46 UK time, Thursday, 14 February 2008

Comments

There is, as you may know, something of a row in Oxford about the call to prayer here:

oxford.JPG

Christopher Landau (for it is he) has something for you this evening - INCLUDING the view of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Oh yes.

Roberto

Eddie Mair | 10:09 UK time, Thursday, 14 February 2008

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in Miami sends us all Valentine love.

heart.JPG

Right back atcha, big guy.

Once again this year,

Eddie Mair | 07:43 UK time, Thursday, 14 February 2008

Comments

for Valentine's Day, we have received some beautiful chocs.

val.jpg

Of course I will give one to the PM team to share between them.

Whoever you are - thank you.

Direct Debits and cash

Eddie Mair | 17:27 UK time, Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Comments

What do YOU think?

1740 UPDATE:

Apologies that we have a problem at the moment. We're trying to fix it.

1750: We think it's fixed!

THURSDAY 1145 UPDATE: We plan to do more on this story in the programme tonight.

The Glass Box for Wednesday

Post categories:

Eddie Mair | 16:08 UK time, Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Comments

In the PM office we meet every night after the programme in this Glass Box:

glassaa.jpg
Jack and Vera yesterday

We talk about the content of the programme and try to give an honest assessment of what worked and what didn't...the things we missed and the places where our ambitions were not met. THIS virtual glass box you are looking at is where you are invited - indeed encouraged - to be honest about our hour. Members of the production team will read it, and the editor should comment too. Click on The Glass Box link on the right of the page to read previous entries.

Responding to today's newsletter, a listener writes of the McCartney/Mills thing:

Eddie Mair | 13:54 UK time, Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Comments

"Is it your business or ours? Is not this just tabloid radio? How would you (or we) like our personal emotional struggles discussed and poured over by curious and nosey strangers?

Get a proper agenda..."

Moderation.

Eddie Mair | 13:34 UK time, Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Comments

In some of the Archbishop strands in recent days - and in the Mills/McCartney strand yesterday, there were recurring questions about moderation of comments.

We haven't been ignoring them. We wanted to put together something by way of explanation, and information for everyone (and I have been in this boat on occasion) who finds comments that apaprently moderate comments have been moderated. There is stuff under FAQ but Jennifer - of iPM fame - has been working hard on something more substantial.

I hope you find her work of use. Let us know what you think...and whether any of what's below should perhaps be incorporated into FAQs.

Here's what Jennifer has written:

"Moderation on the PM blog
Hi, I work on the iPM programme and blog and am a new(ish) member of the PM team. I've noticed that people are getting frustrated about why some of their comments 'suddenly disappear' and as I've been talking to the mods about using this comments system on the iPM blog, I thought it might be helpful to explain how it works.

A group in the BBC called The Central Communities Team moderate all the BBC blogs and messageboards including the PM blog. They moderate new people that sign up, check the comments when someone complains and answer our, the PM editorial team's, blog-queries - more on what they do.

They're not a part of the PM programme team which is good because it often means fresh-eyes and no pre-conceived ideas on the content of comments or their author, and not so good as they're not necessarily across what we’re doing on the programme and so can be moderating comments outwith any context.

As I understand it, as soon as someone makes a complaint the post is automatically removed - the moderators look it over and see if the complaint should be upheld - if there are no grounds, they re-instate the post.

If it's upheld, you'll get a standard email explaining that it's been removed and a general idea of why (general because I think they chose from the list of house rules which one it has broken) the official stuff on complaints.

I think you can also email back and ask why, though some of the comments from another thread suggest this isn't the case - Gillianian, Ed Iglehart and Chris_Ghoti - I've noted your comments and will see what they say.

I think the mods try and view these posts fairly quickly so they can reinstate asap if they think the complaint unjustified. Though they sometimes have to refer to other BBC staff or even lawyers to check post ok so may take a bit longer.

You can read more about how the comments system works in an earlier FAQ post on the PM blog.

If you do want to contact the moderators - you can get in touch via their feedback form

And if you want to complain about how the PM blog is moderated, you can do it via the BBC Complaints website

Hope that's helpful
Jen"

I would want to emphasise Jen's point about the moderation not having anything to do with anyone at PM. I, for example, have no idea who they are, any of their names or even which building they work out of. I think from YOUR point of view that's good. It means, for example, that Glass Box comments that criticise the programme makers cannot be moderated BY the programme makers. It also means that the accusations of censorship levelled at us, over the Archbishop comments and others, cannot fairly be directed at the PM programme team or any of our editorial bosses. The process is separate. I concede that doesn't make it fair - it just means it's not down to us!

Kosovo flags:

Eddie Mair | 10:55 UK time, Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Comments

PM listeners are nothing if not inventive. After our item last night we got this from Giles Rocholl:

kosa.JPG

and then there was this from Kevin McCarthy who wrote that we "seemed keen to receive non-nationalistic suggestions (i.e. those that avoided the Albanian Eagle) that might yet be accepted by the multi-national Kosavan citizens. Since small nations are always keen to show the world that they can indeed play a significant role, especially within their own continent, then perhaps a flag along the lines of the following might be one option…"

kosb.jpg

THURSDAY UPDATE: This arrives from Lewis Kerr:

"I don't think they'll buy this, but how about:

The conjoined Albanian eagle separated down the middle, one talon, representing the EU and America, the other representing Serbia and Russia, tearing the map of Kosovo in two. The emerging gap reveals the national pastime, a Kosovar twirling a cigarette pack while drinking strong coffee.

P.S twirling a cigarette pack is more difficult than you would think, but you become expert when you have time to spare."

Re: Brucie, Liza and Me.

Eddie Mair | 19:26 UK time, Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Comments

The scene tonight at TV Centre:

brucie.jpg

Darwin!

Eddie Mair | 17:25 UK time, Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Comments

It's all on iPM. Click here

The Glass Box for Tuesday

Post categories:

Eddie Mair | 15:55 UK time, Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Comments

In the PM office we meet every night after the programme in this Glass Box:

glassboxh.JPG

We talk about the content of the programme and try to give an honest assessment of what worked and what didn't...the things we missed and the places where our ambitions were not met. THIS virtual glass box you are looking at is where you are invited - indeed encouraged - to be honest about our hour. Members of the production team will read it, and the editor should comment too. Click on The Glass Box link on the right of the page to read previous entries.

To be honest I'm finding it hard to concentrate today.

Eddie Mair | 14:08 UK time, Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Comments

I mean, you know. We're doing all these trivial stories on the programme tonight, when really there's only one important thing on all our minds.


paul.jpg

heather.jpg


I just don't think this great country of ours will ever be truly at peace...I mean TRULY at peace with itself, until these two can sort this out. I am willing to do whatever I can to help. Let the healing begin.

I understand that

Eddie Mair | 10:46 UK time, Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Comments

yesterday, just along the corridor from our office, Liza Minnelli was at work. I should have popped along to say hello. I am told she was recording something for Brucie's 80th TV special. It's a TV special for his 80th birthday - he may well have done more than 80 TV specials. Everything he does on television is special. The same applies, of course, to Liza. And this allows me to wheel out this old montage again.

Hugh is in Pakistan.

Eddie Mair | 10:38 UK time, Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Comments

The postponed Pakistan elections are a week away, on February 18th. We're expecting his first report on Thursday - meanwhile, he's sent these snaps from Karachi:

"Pakistan has a poor press. But there are many other sides to this confusing country, as I hope these pictures show:

kara.jpg
1: The first building you see when you emerge from Jinnah International Airport, Karachi.


karb.jpg
2: Freshly squeezed orange juice from fruit carts like these in the city centre. 25 Rupees a glass (about 20p). Delicious.


karc.jpg
3: Fancy boutique in Zamzama, a district of Karachi full of cafes and upmarket shops.


kard.jpg
4: Hot nuts for sale, also in Zamzama - where the stores are smart but the streets are dusty and broken.


kare.jpg
5: Forum shopping mall, Karachi.


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6: Eagles soar in huge numbers, almost all the time here.


karg.jpg
7: Holy Trinity cathedral.


karh.jpg
8: I couldn't resist this. "

As if torn from today's headlines

Eddie Mair | 10:33 UK time, Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Comments

Annasee sends this email:

"An American thief in Paris planned to steal some paintings from The Louvre. After careful planning, he got past security, stole the paintings and made it safely to his van. However, he was captured only two blocks away when his van ran out of gas (petrol). When asked how he could mastermind such a crime and then make such an obvious error, he replied,

'Monsieur, this is the reason I stole the paintings:

one.jpg

I had no Monet..

two.jpg

to buy Degas

three.jpg

to make the Van Gogh

foura.jpg

See if you have De Gaulle to send this on to someone else.

fivea.jpg

I sent it to you because I figured I had nothing Toulouse."

A Motto/Statement of Values for the UK

Eddie Mair | 17:42 UK time, Monday, 11 February 2008

Comments

Come on then. What do you reckon?

All that Jazz

Eddie Mair | 17:18 UK time, Monday, 11 February 2008

Comments

what do YOU think?

The Glass Box for Monday

Post categories:

Eddie Mair | 16:53 UK time, Monday, 11 February 2008

Comments

In the PM office we meet every night after the programme in this Glass Box:

glassboxc.jpg
Jack and Vera yesterday

We talk about the content of the programme and try to give an honest assessment of what worked and what didn't...the things we missed and the places where our ambitions were not met. THIS virtual glass box you are looking at is where you are invited - indeed encouraged - to be honest about our hour. Members of the production team will read it, and the editor should comment too. Click on The Glass Box link on the right of the page to read previous entries.

Ooops

Eddie Mair | 15:30 UK time, Monday, 11 February 2008

Comments

it looks to me as though there are lots of odd things happening to some of the threads here. Will investigate. By which I mean I'll get someone who knows what they are doing to investigate.

DAB

Eddie Mair | 13:15 UK time, Monday, 11 February 2008

Comments

is something Martha's talking about now on The World At One.

If you like the old birdsong - it's here.

Is Radio 4 off the air right now?

Eddie Mair | 10:09 UK time, Monday, 11 February 2008

Comments

10.11 update: Woman's Hour now back on after several minutes of music.

Not sure the music they used was middle class enough

Saturday's birthday boy

Eddie Mair | 10:08 UK time, Monday, 11 February 2008

Comments

sends this snap of Jack and Vera, yesterday.

nellie.JPG


The Furrowed Brow

Post categories:

Eddie Mair | 06:37 UK time, Monday, 11 February 2008

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Seriously now.

Porridge

Eddie Mair | 04:50 UK time, Saturday, 9 February 2008

Comments

In response to a request on The Beach...

porridge.jpg

The Glass Box for Friday

Eddie Mair | 15:48 UK time, Friday, 8 February 2008

Comments

In the PM office we meet every night after the programme in this Glass Box:

glassboxh.JPG

We talk about the content of the programme and try to give an honest assessment of what worked and what didn't...the things we missed and the places where our ambitions were not met. THIS virtual glass box you are looking at is where you are invited - indeed encouraged - to be honest about our hour. Members of the production team will read it, and the editor should comment too. Click on The Glass Box link on the right of the page to read previous entries.

Freak show?

Eddie Mair | 12:46 UK time, Friday, 8 February 2008

Comments

The Guardian reports on a row about "The Last American Freak Show". We may cover this tonight.

This is a trailer for the film. Please do not click on it if you are easily offended.

Education.

Eddie Mair | 12:40 UK time, Friday, 8 February 2008

Comments

PA reports: "Children who are taught at home or in "alternative" schools achieve far better results than pupils in state education, research found today. Pupils in Steiner schools, home education, and the "democratic schools" movement spend less time in front of a computer or television and more time reading.

The study for the Cambridge-based Primary Review found these alternatives were becoming increasingly popular among parents who are unhappy with state education. The study, by James Conroy, Moira Hulme and Ian Menter from the University of Glasgow, forms part of the biggest inquiry into primary schooling for decades.

It said: "What appears to characterise virtually all alternatives is that children's academic success in them is markedly better than in mainstream schooling. When the results are examined, these better than average performances are not simply explained by economic advantage."

The most famous "democratic school" is Summerhill, a controversial establishment where children famously choose whether to attend lessons.

In Steiner schools, young pupils learn through play and creative activities - they tend not to start formal academic studies until the age of seven."

There is a link here where you can read more. And we'll discuss it tonight.

True: Mitt Romney has a son named

Eddie Mair | 10:07 UK time, Friday, 8 February 2008

Comments

Matt.

The Beach

Post categories:

Eddie Mair | 06:07 UK time, Friday, 8 February 2008

Comments

What is the Beach?

beacha.JPG

It's a place to go when the stresses of your real life need relieving. Sometimes it is fairly quiet and you might feel like you are the only one around, but you can leave your footprints for others to find later on. Othertimes it is the home for a real party, with constant gossip, leg-pulling, rumour, innuendo, chit-chat and weirdness.

If this were a forum (and it sort of is because we post responses to each other, not just to Eddie, hence our term for ourselves 'Froggers', a combination of forum and blogger) then the beach would be the off-topic area.
It's a tropical location, no matter the time of year it's always warm and pleasant there.

Sunrises and sunsets are spectacular, the evenings balmy. It has a number of different locations; the Nick Clarke waterfront bar; the smokers corner; Fido's Run for the dog-walkers; the Naughty Step and many others.
How do you find your way around? There is no direct answer to the question.

The beach is a moveable feast, literally. It will be renewed by our Lord and master Mr. Edward de Mair each Friday morning. This is because we have found in the past that when the number of posts exceeds about 600 the entire thing becomes unwieldy and unstable. A case of the beach turning to quicksand.

Froggers often leave bottles / glasses / trays of their favourite tipple on the bar for others to sample, not to mention big / small eats.

There is a herd of camels who frequent the sands, which froggers are very fond of. There are sun-loungers, so you can take it easy and catch some rays. Quite often the late-night attendees will have a barbie.
It's a fun place, with only one real rule; Be nice to each other; we are ALL chums here. New Froggers are ALWAYS welcome.

The real debate happens on the other threads. The beach is a place for banter, whimsy, relaxation and friendship, where jarring comments are not particularly welcome. There are certain very mild protocols, which you tend to pick up as you go along. So slip your shoes off, feel the sand between your toes, relax and enjoy yourself.

beachb.JPG

The Archbishop of Canterbury and Sharia Law.

Eddie Mair | 13:18 UK time, Thursday, 7 February 2008

Comments

archbishop.jpg

This will be a talking point in our programme tonight, after this interview the Archbishop gave to Christopher Landau on BBC Radio 4's "The World at One":


This is what bbc.co.uk has to say about Sharia Law.

Here in full detail is what the European Court of Human Rights said about Sharia Law in 2004. In essence the Court found that sharia was incompatible with the fundamental principles of democracy as set forth in the Convention.

The Glass Box for Thursday

Post categories:

Eddie Mair | 13:13 UK time, Thursday, 7 February 2008

Comments

In the PM office we meet every night after the programme in this Glass Box:

glassboxh.JPG

We talk about the content of the programme and try to give an honest assessment of what worked and what didn't...the things we missed and the places where our ambitions were not met. THIS virtual glass box you are looking at is where you are invited - indeed encouraged - to be honest about our hour. Members of the production team will read it, and the editor should comment too. Click on The Glass Box link on the right of the page to read previous entries.

'evening all*

Eddie Mair | 12:42 UK time, Thursday, 7 February 2008

Comments

*in England and Wales.

Sir Ronnie Flanagan has published his report on policing. You can read it here...and comment in the usual way. The BBC News story on it is here.

If on the other hand it's all rather much, here is a reassuring photo:

dixon.jpg

Jack and Vera yesterday

Live in England?

Eddie Mair | 10:45 UK time, Thursday, 7 February 2008

Comments

A bit bored? Want something FUN to click on?

You've come to the right place.

The Audit Commission has come up with its report on how local government is doing. Want to know how YOUR council is doing? Click here to find out your council's score. Click here to learn how your council stacks up.

Don't live in England and want something FUN to click on?

You've come to the right place. Click below:

Re: Happy New Year...

Eddie Mair | 10:27 UK time, Thursday, 7 February 2008

Comments

just to clarify, Amanda WAS talking to a Chinese person when she said that. My fault.

As it happens I was in town this morning and snapped this. Happy New Year!

china.jpg

The Glass Box for Wednesday

Post categories:

Eddie Mair | 16:14 UK time, Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Comments

In the PM office we meet every night after the programme in this Glass Box:

glassboxc.jpg
Jack and Vera yesterday

We talk about the content of the programme and try to give an honest assessment of what worked and what didn't...the things we missed and the places where our ambitions were not met. THIS virtual glass box you are looking at is where you are invited - indeed encouraged - to be honest about our hour. Members of the production team will read it, and the editor should comment too. Click on The Glass Box link on the right of the page to read previous entries.

Grange Hill

Eddie Mair | 15:42 UK time, Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Comments

will soon be no more.

Do you remember it?

grange.jpg

PA says: "The BBC is to axe Grange Hill after 30 years, it was announced today. The schoolgates will close for the last time later this year. Phil Redmond devised the series in 1978 and it went on to become a national institution.
But it no longer reflects the lives of schoolchildren in contemporary Britain, according to the BBC. CBBC controller Anne Gilchrist said: "Part of CBBC's reputation for reflecting contemporary Britain back to UK children has been built upon Phil Redmond's brilliantly realised idea and of course it's sad to say goodbye to such a much-loved institution.
"The lives of children have changed a great deal since Grange Hill began and we owe it to our audience to reflect this. "We're actively seeking out new and exciting ways of bringing social realism to the CBBC audience through drama and other genres." These include two Newsround specials tackling divorce and knife crime. Jon East, head of CBBC Drama, said: "For 30 years, Grange Hill has become a byword for realistic and contemporary children's drama. It's now time to apply what we've learned over the years to some of the new ideas we're exploring.""

Buildings and crime.

Eddie Mair | 15:00 UK time, Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Comments

When the home secretary, Jacqui Smith, admitted to not feeling safe walking alone at night in some parts of London, the debate about no-go areas and fear of crime intensified. But how much can the design of the places we live affect how safe we feel, and how safe we actually are? Christopher Landau reports for us tonight: these two photos should act as a useful visual guide.

chrisa.JPG
chrisb.JPG
Jack and Vera yesterday

John McCain

Eddie Mair | 14:07 UK time, Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Comments

did rather well yesterday. Reading a piece about him in today's New York Times, I looked out this ad, mentioned in the article.

Up the Trossachs writes:

Eddie Mair | 12:20 UK time, Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Comments

"What a great day to be alive!

I left for work this morning much later than usual and was able to enjoy the journey in daylight. Attached are some snaps I took along my route.

view.JPG
The view up Main Street this morning shows Ben Ledi with a covering of snow. My route takes me over the Hill of Row road, just off this road is the David Stirling Memorial. The text on the plaque reads:

viewa.JPG
" In remembrance of all those members of the Special Air Services Regiment who have died in the service of their country and have given their lives to uphold the principles of freedom and justice".

viewb.JPG
I think you'll agree that David Stirling's statue enjoys a wonderful view, the two mountains in the picture are

viewc.JPG
Stuc a Chroin (on the left) and Ben Vorlich.

Happy New Year!

Eddie Mair | 10:32 UK time, Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Comments

This is not a Chinese thing. Today's editor - Amanda - just said Happy New Year to someone on the phone. It's February 6th. Is this the latest sighting of a Happy New Year ever?

Fluoride

Eddie Mair | 17:45 UK time, Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Comments

What do you think?

The Glass Box for Tuesday

Post categories:

Eddie Mair | 16:40 UK time, Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Comments

In the PM office we meet every night after the programme in this Glass Box:

glassbox.jpg
(this was how it looked when the new floor was being put down)

We talk about the content of the programme and try to give an honest assessment of what worked and what didn't...the things we missed and the places where our ambitions were not met. THIS virtual glass box you are looking at is where you are invited - indeed encouraged - to be honest about our hour. Members of the production team will read it, and the editor should comment too. Click on The Glass Box link on the right of the page to read previous entries.

I was

Eddie Mair | 16:38 UK time, Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Comments

busy recording interviews for our lead story around 16.30 so the trail was not broadcast. Here is what I would have said...handy for your cut out and keep trail collection..


"A verdict of unlawful killing has been recorded after the death of a woman shortly after she gave birth. She was the victim of a hospital blunder.

Also in the programme, new plans to tighten up Mps' expenses.

The Government is putting up the money to fund putting fluoride in water in England - we'll debate that, and report on Super Tuesday.

Plus a possible side effect of a trawler running aground - did some rats leave the sinking ship to threaten a world heritage site?"

The US elections.

Eddie Mair | 11:44 UK time, Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Comments

More here.

Tom and Ann Inglis

Eddie Mair | 10:52 UK time, Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Comments

send this - they're "not working but on a visit to our son's house in Thailand. Tha parrots are not real; they also had monkeys."

parrots.JPG

The Glass Box for Monday.

Post categories:

Eddie Mair | 16:16 UK time, Monday, 4 February 2008

Comments

In the PM office we meet every night after the programme in this Glass Box:

glassboxh.JPG

We talk about the content of the programme and try to give an honest assessment of what worked and what didn't...the things we missed and the places where our ambitions were not met. THIS virtual glass box you are looking at is where you are invited - indeed encouraged - to be honest about our hour. Members of the production team will read it, and the editor should comment too. Click on The Glass Box link on the right of the page to read previous entries.

Lewis Hamilton's

Eddie Mair | 14:30 UK time, Monday, 4 February 2008

Comments

experience in Barcelona will be a talking point in the programme.

lewis.jpg

There's more on the story here.

We'll hear from the woman who took this photograph - Joanna Burnett.

lewisa.jpg

So

Eddie Mair | 11:57 UK time, Monday, 4 February 2008

Comments

as I boarded a train yesterday, who should be sitting there minding his own business but the Liverpool footballer Stephen Gerrard.

He was in my carriage at the other end, so I was able to look on as person after person bothered him for autographs. There was endless signing, posing with people for snatched mobile phone shots, and handshaking and smiling. No-one was turned away, and as people left him, you could see the excitement that meeting their hero had generated. Maybe he was completely fed up being approached but he didn't convey that.

Footballers - sometimes justifiably - get a bad press. And there will be those who say that for the money he is on he should bloody well sign as many autographs as the public want. But I admired him for doing it for so long and without a word of complaint. Of course I approached him to ask if he wanted my autograph, and then I was escorted from the train.

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This is not Jack and Vera.

Cauliflower update...

Eddie Mair | 11:50 UK time, Monday, 4 February 2008

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...
"Hi Eddie,

Last night we had the cauliflower and watercress salad recipe from the blog last week. Lovely!

Have a good Monday,

Jennifer"

DIY sends

Eddie Mair | 10:31 UK time, Monday, 4 February 2008

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this view of "where I am working this week! Little Switzerland (Church Stretton) in Shropshire. Not a bad view as I drive into work over the Long Mynd, beats the Northern Line hands down!"

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(sorry for the delay.)

If you're working somewhere prettier, DO send a snap: pm@bbc.co.uk.

Later, my Stephen Gerrard story.

1145 UPDATE:

John Wilson says: "I work at home. This is whatt I see out of my workroom window. I think it's quite pretty :)

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Jack and Vera yesterday

1233 UPDATE.

Big Sis says: ... "for interesting photos today, I thought you might like to see these, hot off the press, illustrating the activity today in our garden, namely the erection of a traditional timber frame building. Isn't it exciting ?!"

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The Furrowed Brow

Post categories:

Eddie Mair | 06:01 UK time, Monday, 4 February 2008

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is the place to raise serious topics of your choice..

Tonight

Eddie Mair | 16:38 UK time, Friday, 1 February 2008

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we welcome to the PM newsreading chair for the first time (it's not really a special chair) Mr Zeb Soanes. Be nice.

The Glass Box for Friday

Post categories:

Eddie Mair | 16:00 UK time, Friday, 1 February 2008

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In the PM office we meet every night after the programme in this Glass Box:

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Jack and Vera yesterday

We talk about the content of the programme and try to give an honest assessment of what worked and what didn't...the things we missed and the places where our ambitions were not met. THIS virtual glass box you are looking at is where you are invited - indeed encouraged - to be honest about our hour. Members of the production team will read it, and the editor should comment too. Click on The Glass Box link on the right of the page to read previous entries.

Is it STILL Friday?

Eddie Mair | 15:11 UK time, Friday, 1 February 2008

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I mean REALLY?????

Michael Buchanan in Colombia

Eddie Mair | 11:47 UK time, Friday, 1 February 2008

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has sent these pictures, to go with his report from last night.

They're from from San Jose del Guaviare. Michael says...

"...producing cocaine in Colombia is remarkably simply and of course hugely lucrative. First,

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burn away a section of the rainforest. This was the largest of several fires I could see when I went for a helicopter ride with the Colombian National Police.

In the ensuing clearance, plant coca leaves.

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Most of the planters are peasant farmers, given the seeds by one of several drug cartels that operate in this area, who then come and collect the raw produce. The area we flew over was the Macerena National Park, so this crop cannot by law by fumigated by air. Instead, starting in April, the government will employ other peasant farmers to pull the crop up by hand. Its more effective than aerial fumigation, but hugely dangerous and the eradicators are often attacked.

The Guaviare river is the centre of life in the town.
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By far the most convenient source of transport, these boats carry loads all the way to Venezuela. The remote of the region is of course perfect for the drug traffickers.

On the outskirts of San Jose I met this young boy,
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one of several dozen members of the Nukak Maku tribe. Nomads, they were only discovered by the outside world in 1988. Today they find themselves caught up in Colombia's internal conflict, forced to leave their jungle homes, to try assimiliate. Their leader committed suicide 2 years ago over his failure to secure supplies and a home for his people.

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As you can see their shelters are basic, but they do provide some shade."

I will probably get into trouble

Eddie Mair | 10:14 UK time, Friday, 1 February 2008

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for pointing you towards another broadcaster's stuff...but I saw this on CBS, and was struck by the story. The page I'll point you to carries most of the detail in the video. The video had quite an effect on me, and I think you might on you too by going straight to it and watching it, without reading any of the copy.

In any case, please watch and/or read.

Here is the page with the video and copy.

The Beach

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Eddie Mair | 06:39 UK time, Friday, 1 February 2008

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What is the Beach?

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It's a place to go when the stresses of your real life need relieving. Sometimes it is fairly quiet and you might feel like you are the only one around, but you can leave your footprints for others to find later on. Othertimes it is the home for a real party, with constant gossip, leg-pulling, rumour, innuendo, chit-chat and weirdness.

If this were a forum (and it sort of is because we post responses to each other, not just to Eddie, hence our term for ourselves 'Froggers', a combination of forum and blogger) then the beach would be the off-topic area.
It's a tropical location, no matter the time of year it's always warm and pleasant there.

Sunrises and sunsets are spectacular, the evenings balmy. It has a number of different locations; the Nick Clarke waterfront bar; the smokers corner; Fido's Run for the dog-walkers; the Naughty Step and many others.
How do you find your way around? There is no direct answer to the question.

The beach is a moveable feast, literally. It will be renewed by our Lord and master Mr. Edward de Mair each Friday morning. This is because we have found in the past that when the number of posts exceeds about 600 the entire thing becomes unwieldy and unstable. A case of the beach turning to quicksand.

Froggers often leave bottles / glasses / trays of their favourite tipple on the bar for others to sample, not to mention big / small eats.

There is a herd of camels who frequent the sands, which froggers are very fond of. There are sun-loungers, so you can take it easy and catch some rays. Quite often the late-night attendees will have a barbie.
It's a fun place, with only one real rule; Be nice to each other; we are ALL chums here. New Froggers are ALWAYS welcome.

The real debate happens on the other threads. The beach is a place for banter, whimsy, relaxation and friendship, where jarring comments are not particularly welcome. There are certain very mild protocols, which you tend to pick up as you go along. So slip your shoes off, feel the sand between your toes, relax and enjoy yourself.

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