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The Glass Box.

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Eddie Mair | 17:00 UK time, Thursday, 11 December 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 the Glass Box you see above. Add your comment here.

Comments

  • 1. At 5:24pm on 11 Dec 2008, Joe Walker wrote:

    The Glass Box - what's it for?

    On yesterday's Glass Box someone at last made the point that the Glass Box was not being used for the purpose for which it was intended. I'd like to say how much I agree and also to suggest the possibility that at this rate I wouldn't be surprised if it was closed. At least to listeners.

    It seems to me PM has made a genuine and imaginative effort to accommodate the needs of us listeners and the opportunity is being squandered by people who either only want to mess around or just add their opinions to debates and stories that are (please don't forget!) entirely chosen, mediated and begun by PM.

    Surely The Glass Box is intended to be an opportunity for licence-paying listeners to PM to suggest other ways of approaching a story or constructing a debate. By offering this forum PM is acknowledging that there is more than one way to cover a topic and that the conventional journalistic and, well, 'BBC approach' is at least being offered up for criticism and scrutiny.

    I reckon PM should be applauded for this, even if it remains to be seen how genuine it is and how responsive the programme really can be.

    I feel that when the surprisingly tiny handful of people who use The Glass Box properly and attempt to challenge or indeed praise PM's approach, which I think is often lazy, careless and - particularly on some of the really divisive issues of the day - superficial, unimaginative and, frankly, cowardly, we frequently feel our comments get lost in a barrage of voices that, while they might be interesting, are not relevant to this forum and would be better off being heard somewhere else.

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  • 2. At 5:45pm on 11 Dec 2008, Joe Walker wrote:

    I see the Woolies "Closing Down Sale" announced with all but a trumpet fanfare on PM last night - and in those words - resulted in their biggest single trading day ever.

    All very messy. Directors cunningly announce a "closing down sale" at half five last night and it is dutifully reported by journalists minutes later. Naturally enough the spree begins first thing the following morning.

    But surprise, surprise, the bargains turn out to be few and far between. Not only did PM play it's part in getting the shoppers in, but they also even had a tiny role in ripping them off!


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  • 3. At 5:49pm on 11 Dec 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    JW 2, Apparently, the prices weren't much different from yesterdays.

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  • 4. At 5:49pm on 11 Dec 2008, fredxkay wrote:

    up shares, down shares

    The reason given for the drop of the pound was the recession.

    We are constantly being told that we are in a better position to withstand the recession than the rest of Europe so why the drop against the euro? Or is it possible we being misled?

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  • 5. At 5:50pm on 11 Dec 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    Mmm, Barry White as Don John? A novel approach!

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  • 6. At 5:54pm on 11 Dec 2008, steelpulse wrote:

    Quote "I feel that when the surprisingly tiny handful of people who use The Glass Box properly...." Unquote

    I love this first letter above - Post One. Someone seemingly deciding what is in the National interest not to be seen on The Glass Box?

    I hope I am occasionally among said handful and am commenting on todays show. Albeit three quarters done.

    Did I understand that properly? That is David Davis's and others in the Conservative Party - allegedly - suggesting they (the Tories) are vetting already leaked to them Government documents for potential National Security problems if leaked further? lol

    My interest is piqued now, Mister Davis.

    How does one come to such a decision - without perhaps other references?

    And this is MPs - only doing their jobs? lol

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  • 7. At 5:55pm on 11 Dec 2008, Happyhomeworker wrote:

    Thanks PM for covering the story about the miners. I applaud the MP who pursued this issue to help his constituents - this is what I would want to see from my MP ( in my dreams!). Thanks for covering this and can I ask you do more like this - some MPs really do good things but we don't always hear about them.

    A lot less from Yvette Cooper et al wouldn't go amiss either...

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  • 8. At 5:55pm on 11 Dec 2008, Joe Walker wrote:

    D.McNickle (3)

    Quite...

    But a brilliant instant (and completely free) national add nonetheless.

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  • 9. At 5:59pm on 11 Dec 2008, pithywriter wrote:

    Hi Eddie , why don't you use your influence and ring up Monoprix in Paris and get them to take on woolies.

    Monoprix is France's woolies but 100 times better and always fully stocked with nice stuff!

    In contrast it seems that woolies run itself down. Our store in camden High Street, until five or 10 years ago, was so well stocked. Since then, the stocking was never up to date with at least half the shelve slots always empty. Also, they deliberately reduced their stock ...The gardening and decorating etc was shrunk. why? Who was the CEO during this 'run down'? Can you ask.

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  • 10. At 6:05pm on 11 Dec 2008, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    JW@1

    What do you mean? Practical example please!

    You say "people are adding their opininons to debates". Er... just how does debate work then?

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  • 11. At 6:06pm on 11 Dec 2008, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Joseph Walker @ 8, but #3 isn't a comment on the programme, it is a comment on one of the stories that was on the programme, and thus should not, if post #1 is serious, appear on the Glass Box, surely?

    Meanwhile, isn't it reassuring when someone doing the weather forecast for the UK starts by saying that he will deal with the UK weather, and then in case we still didn't know where this weather forecast was to be about, that this is weather that is moving across the UK? And there I had been thinking I was in Tasmania...

    (Is that programme-related enough to be allowed here?)

    I suppose this Glass Box ought to be confined to comments on the programme rather than about the stories that were in it, ones that go 'I think that was a well-ballanced programme' and 'I thought the programme ought to have covered the story about Irish yak-farming', but wouldn't that be just a tiny bit dull?

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  • 12. At 6:09pm on 11 Dec 2008, Joe Walker wrote:

    steelpulse (6)

    "Someone seemingly deciding what is in the National interest not to be seen on The Glass Box"

    I'm not "deciding" anything at all - I can't. I'm simply applying the criteria PM have already applied and pointing out only a few people are sticking to it.

    This suggests "The Glass Box" is not working and may therefore be pulled, which I think will be a shame and I've said why.




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  • 13. At 6:10pm on 11 Dec 2008, U12196018 wrote:

    Joseph Walker (1 and 2) - I was the one who made the point about the use of the Glass Box yesterday. Whilst not agreeing with your estimation of the PM approach, I certainly concur with your definition of the original intent of the Glass Box.

    steelpulse (6) - You demonstrate the point exactly. You have commented on a story on the programme, rather than giving a critique of how the story was or should have been handled or a suggestion as to whether something else should have been given more prominence. There is nothing wrong in what you have said - it is just not what the Glass Box was instigated for, in my opinion.

    It is also noticeable that feedback from the editor/production staff is becoming rarer. I suspect that they are finding comment on PM itself hard to locate and respond to.

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  • 14. At 6:28pm on 11 Dec 2008, Joe Walker wrote:

    FJD (10)

    I never said anything of the sort! Good grief - and in quotes too!

    A brief scan through any Glass Box forum will find very little actual comment on presentation, choice of guest (i.e. opinion). Most of the comments simply build on the debate.

    That's great, but it's not what this forum was set up for. There are others available for this.

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  • 15. At 6:31pm on 11 Dec 2008, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    HH @ 7

    I totally agree. It is good to hear stories about MP's who actually have grasped the nettle on behalf of their constituents in a real way. Perhaps, some kind of PM award could be created for the MP/MP's who have best represented their constituency from time to time?

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  • 16. At 6:35pm on 11 Dec 2008, steelpulse wrote:

    12 and 13. I take your points - but I listen to the programme and not as a possible future Producer. Eddie will tell you I am sure. I am not the least bit self opinionated!

    And endless suggestions of how things can be improved or given more prominence would bore us all after a while. Especially as yours would ALL be wrong and my suggestions faultless. lol

    Like get THAT David Davis back here and explain hisself on my point in Post 6!

    The Glass Box can be used for both suggestions and comment on content.

    An hour of Miles Davies - instead of that Eddie Mair? Now there is a suggestion.

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  • 17. At 6:37pm on 11 Dec 2008, Joe Walker wrote:

    CG @11

    Well, strictly speaking yes... But the exchange began with my reference to PM's grand announcement of Woolies' "Closing Down Sale".

    And post no.1 was completely serious for goodness sake!

    Mind you, I'm reading it again and I can see what you mean...

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  • 18. At 6:37pm on 11 Dec 2008, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    JW 14,

    Got yer! A thousand apologies. I agree. But please check line four paragraph two @ 1.

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  • 19. At 6:49pm on 11 Dec 2008, Joe Walker wrote:

    FJD 18

    You're right! I did say that! A thousand apologies to you too.

    How weird. I only wrote it a couple of hours ago.

    As I say, contributing to the debate is fine, but that's not what this forum was set up for.

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  • 20. At 6:52pm on 11 Dec 2008, YiamCross wrote:

    This is my first time here, I was actually looking for the PM blog but for some reason keep ending up here. Maybe that's why people are discussing stories rather than the way they've been handled.
    But I found Joseph Walkers comments interesting. The photo at the top of the page says it all- it should be a webcam and we should see people there being debriefed on the show and some debate between the show's producers and the listeners who post here. Instead it's an empty room and I think this represents the BBC's attitude to it's audience- take it or leave it, we've gone home because we don't really care what you think. We just have to find a way of showing we do without actually having to do anything.
    It set me thinking about what PM is and I can't really come up with an answer. I have listened to it for years and the only thing I can think of which differentiates it from being an often rambling extension of the news are occasional ironic or even sarcastic comments by the presenters. What is PM supposed to be, is it just an extended news programme or is it supposed to deliver some more in-depth analysis; to dig deeper into the stories in the news? As far as I'm concerned, the period from 5pm to 6:30 pm is just one long news bulletin with the same stories being warmed over, rehashed and spread thinly to fill a lot of space without spending too much money because class acts like Jonathon Ross have banked the budget.
    This is not to say it's all bad and it does a job but I just wonder if those who are producing it know what that job is.
    My main reason for registering for the PM blog was to comment on the news about the lawyers who have been struck off for the way they delt with miners' compensation claims so I shall say what I have to say even though this may not be the place to say it. I just have no idea how to find the place to say it, which in itself is a comment on the PM show and the on line content which is supposed to go with it.
    Why anyone is surprised that lawyers mislead people with the express intention of lining their own pockets is a mystery to me. I have not been greatly involved with the law except in so far as I have bought and sold property and been involved with a neighbour dispute and problems with a computer I purchased but I can only say I am frankly appalled at the lazyness, ignorance and downright arrogance of every lawyer I have ever delt with. I can put my hand on my heart and say I have never felt confident that the advice I have been given was accurate, useful or represented decent value for money. Just listening to the way the MP who was fighting for decent treatment of many of these people who've been blatently ripped off had to deal with threats and intimidation by the legal profession makes me wonder why a program like PM doesn't take up the cudgel and expose the way the law is abused in this country.
    I remember having spent literally thousands with various firms of solicitors in a property dispute as we followed the person who was dealing with it from firm to firm until we found out how useless he was when he was sacked from his last firm within 6 weeks. It didn't stop them presenting us with a bill for not far short of a thousand pounds although they'd done absolutely nothing. I found that parking across their car park entrance and sitting in reception commenting loudly to anyone there or who came in about how terrible their service was produced better results than any number of phone calls and letters had done. Their threats of calling the police were welcomed and I even offered to call the local press to report the story but in the end they decided to hand back our files if we would sign a disclaimer saying they were not admitting to any misconduct by doing so.
    If you don't have serious money (or none at all) you have no chance of getting fair or decent treatment from our legal system. You might just as well agree to flip a coin unless of course you do have deep pockets when you can be sure the coin will be the same on both sides and you'll get first call.

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  • 21. At 6:53pm on 11 Dec 2008, Lady_Sue wrote:

    May I make a 'seasonal' suggestion?

    Would it be possible to have some Christmas decorations in the picture of The Glass Box, or at least to 'Christmassy' it up a bit?

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  • 22. At 6:58pm on 11 Dec 2008, Joe Walker wrote:

    QL (13) - Last paragraph

    Good point.

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  • 23. At 7:09pm on 11 Dec 2008, Lady_Sue wrote:

    At the risk of being hugely controversial:

    1. The 'Pig Issue' in Ireland

    Local butchers tell me they will be selling Irish pork from Friday. They say they could not sell the pork they already had in store because it was slaughtered last week. So... why is it that the pigs that were fed the same food (presumably) as those slaughtered last week are safe to be sold this week?

    2. The Lisbon Treaty

    Oh please. We voted once. No means no. Why are they dressing it up again? As I'm sure I've mentioned, all we were voting on here in Ireland was one paragraph to do with people not being born here having some right to Irish citizenship. The whole thing is a nonsense. Please, some clever young journalist, get onto this and expose for the nonsense it is!

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  • 24. At 8:10pm on 11 Dec 2008, U13717586 wrote:

    Oh, why didn't you play Milestones?

    Someone could have said it sounds like Frere Jacque, and THEN Luy Khar (Kahar Bozorg to you non-Pashtuns) could have corrected their pronunciation.

    'Make someone happy,
    Just one person happy', I say, and it would have made Luy Khar VERY happy.


    Today in Woolies, I bought a Large Sitting Bear who had an ear tag that said s/he was £20 but now was half price.

    The check out receipt records giving me a further £2 reduction.


    I bought two birthday cards, both originally each £2.09, for each of which I paid £1.05.

    Had I boasted at the Glass Box before the PM started, that I'd got a 60 percent reduction, that might have helped the programme.


    A blog posting gives others the chance to say 'Well I bl**dy well didn't' or 'I did, too'. A confidential email to Edgie, doesn't.

    If there isn't a dedicated thread on a piece of news you think PM should cover that day, suggesting it on GB seems a reasonable thing to do, to me.

    Posting early on the Glass Box could help the programme.

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  • 25. At 8:32pm on 11 Dec 2008, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Lady_Sue @ 21, at risk of not being properly Glass, or perhaps improperly Box:

    1] well, if the safety level is set at so low that it has nothing to do with any danger, having 200 x that safety level in the pork probably doesn't mean it is dangeous. They cry wolf so much that it has no meaning any more anyhow.

    2] it's all your own faults for not giving them the answer that they wanted the first time. If you don't get it right this time they will try again, you know. And again. And again until you stop being so obstinate and vote as they want.

    If you lived on Sark, they might take away your job for being so stubborn, so it could be worse...

    if I sound fed up, and cynical and stuff, maybe that is because I am. This sort of codswallop is what modern government is about, only they have to lie by pretending they listen to what we want, rather than just telling us what we want. In Sark, it may have been more honest: 'do what we want or we will chuck a third of you out of work' has the merit of being straightforward, at least.

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  • 26. At 9:33pm on 11 Dec 2008, annasee wrote:

    Lady Sue - I asked for Christmas decorations in the Glass Box recently, and got shouted at "because it isn't even Advent" (whatever that is... :-))

    However I presume that since all our Christian friends with children have started opening their Advent calendars that it must be thoroughly "Advent" now, so perhaps it will be safe for someone to put up a few decorations in the Glass Box? How are your photoshopping skills?

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  • 27. At 9:38pm on 11 Dec 2008, justfloating wrote:

    (1) - Am I missing something? Have the PM team complained about the noise from the rabble outside the stage door?

    Here we are chewing the cud waiting for the show. It is hardly expected for us to stand to attention and be silent.

    Also I doubt the PM team needs to be told when they have accidently left the mike open or tripped up.

    To me PM is a bit irreverent, slightly humorous and generally goes off on interesting tangents that separate it from the news. For me it is the only program I can listen to without the risk of damage to the radio by flying objects.

    To expect the glass box to be strict and regimented consisting of direct criticism only, is absurd. The original announcement did say it is to "engage" with the team. Even in the short time I have been around I have heard enough program changes that reflect the views from the glass box. It also importantly contains the words "and with each other".

    But maybe I am just deluded, but I could not imagine anyone doing PM without real feedback. You could end up acting like modern news paper editors that just impose their expected views. Even in marketing we used to get panels in, just to try out new ideas. We did not stifle their input and allowed them to talk freely. It was amazing what people give away while they are relaxed! We learnt more in the drinks and food time than in any structured section.

    Peter Rippon: "The Glass Box will give listeners a regular opportunity to comment, praise and criticise what you hear on the programme, and engage with programme makers and with each other in a public forum."

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  • 28. At 11:32pm on 11 Dec 2008, U13717586 wrote:

    The Germans have thing about market economics on the one hand and Keynesianism on the other?

    Reject communism, democratic (as Merkel does) or otherwise, (as Merkel does) and the only thing left is something that, if I mention it, would make the unwary think 'Ah,'Godwin's Law''

    Except that the suggestion here is no metaphor.

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  • 29. At 09:52am on 12 Dec 2008, steelpulse wrote:

    Number 28. Ah, Godwin's Law. lol

    That piece today about postmen and womens speed of walking and "going postal" come to mind.

    "Back to the Future" is recommended as an Xmas film for a couple of allegedly "reclusive" siblings too. Stars a guy - surname Fox doesn't it? And a Lloyd. Bankable stars both. No offence big institution.

    "After the Fox" too then perhaps! lol

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  • 30. At 09:54am on 12 Dec 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    YC 20, To make a long story short, which you obviously couldn't, PM (5-6:00) is news and comment, (6-6:30) is news.

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  • 31. At 12:54pm on 12 Dec 2008, U13717586 wrote:

    Went down Woolies
    With a pocket fulla tin
    Came back home
    With ma hat caved in


    Update: Shelves exactly as half empty as yesterday.

    Now a notice up saying good can no longer be exchanged or money refunded.


    Edgie can warn about that tonight...........
    ...........but that would be for a GB contribution on a PM yet to happen.......
    ............oh, it's OK, 'cos Mare thought 'returns' were kosher in last nights...............


    So if I'd said that on today's GB before 5...........






    I still think the real problem is Edgie wanting not to broadcast about important stuff..................

    ....(Blanchflower resigning,
    a new Deputy BoE governor,
    the Germans on Keynes, markets and communism in the 1930s)...........

    ......at (what might appear to be) the prodding of some lowly blogger(s).......

    ...(He seeks star quality)....


    Otherwise, with an early GB post, the 11 am meetings would already have bloggers ideas available, and the thread would run like a Reuters wire by bloggers, during the afternoon.

    If the iPM propaganda is to be taken seriously, listeners have quelques choses de bons to contribute about small things.

    Why not about politics?

    Think of Stephanie Flanders admitting a year ago she knew sweet nuttin' about Keynes 'cos of her dreadful Thatcherite economics education. (Or worse still, imagine being taught by Peston's dad. Try applying the 'unimportance of monetary aggregates' and 'the importance of RE theory' to the present crash)

    Listeners can take a longer and a shorter view than your correspondents and (real) GB advisers.

    (Ask 'em what they thought of derivative trading a year ago, how many thought Thatcher right to privatise, and their attitudes to equality. They're in a 80s PPE educated time warp, I should think).



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  • 32. At 3:41pm on 12 Dec 2008, Lady_Sue wrote:

    (25) Chris: good comments! Agree entirely.

    (26) Annasee: perhaps they will decorate the glass box if enough of us request it.

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  • 33. At 3:46pm on 12 Dec 2008, Big Sister wrote:

    Lady Sue, I submitted a humble offering to Eddie last night after reading your posts. It may not meet his high standards, however.

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  • 34. At 5:00pm on 12 Dec 2008, David_McNickle wrote:

    Is Ball Ding a game?

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