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The Glass Box.

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Eddie Mair | 11:58 UK time, Thursday, 26 March 2009

The Glass Box is where the PM team meets in at 18.00 every weeknight to discuss the content of the programme.

We try to be honest with each other, but not hurtful, as we talk about what worked and what didn't...what met our expectations and what fell short.

This virtual glass box is where you're encouraged to take part in the same spirit. Tonight's editorial team will read your comments and may well add their own.


  • 1. At 1:02pm on 26 Mar 2009, DI_Wyman wrote:

    What! There have been no comments made here yet.!

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  • 2. At 1:07pm on 26 Mar 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    DIY, you need to get out more.

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  • 3. At 1:51pm on 26 Mar 2009, Happyhomeworker wrote:

    I see PM and BBC News has belatedly caught up with the Dan Hannan story.

    This is the reason an increasing number of us get a lot of news from other outlets on the web, rather than rely on the restricted diet we are fed by the mainstream media.

    Can anyone explain why, despite the BBC covering Gordon's 'save the world' tour, this superbly critical speech to Gordon's face was omitted from all news until now?

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  • 4. At 2:11pm on 26 Mar 2009, U13879388 wrote:

    Yesterday's Guardian was talking about revising the primary age syllabuses again.

    Twittering and blogging, with one or two ex-primary teachers from here as role models?

    WW2 and Victoria not necessary, now, apparently, in the history syllabus.

    All very necessary freeing up of syllabuses, I am certain.

    But why aren't we revising the degree level syllabuses?

    Obviously the mathematical financial economics courses need a serious examination.

    As does modern history.

    Standard economics courses seem trapped in the Thatcher era, with little understanding of the alternatives to market systems.

    The theory of democracy needs serious reexamination too.

    Of course the great and the good flunked their Marxist studies whilst students (PM Wilson used to boast he'd given up Capital after 10 pages)
    but I am not recommending the return of dusty scholarship.

    But modern economics graduates often know nothing of Nuti, Garagnani, Kaldor et al or even of Keynes.

    They clearly have no background in any work on economic crises.

    Two persistent problems with the stream of people coming out of the Universities heading for greatness and goodness are
    1. they seem weak on simple moral arguments.
    2. they think markets must have SOMETHING to do with best practice.

    Why are governments so reluctant to look at these undergraduate courses?

    We all suffer as a result.

    Eddie would be good for looking at this. He was wise enough to escape the three years of Thatcher mind bending which was university education in the 80s and 90s.

    Time to change things in the groves of the academe, officially.

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  • 5. At 2:14pm on 26 Mar 2009, U13879388 wrote:


    Because there's a silly contradiction in what he says.

    Governments can loan themselves up to the hilt to support banks, but one penny on unemployment benefit and the bloke goes ape.

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  • 6. At 2:26pm on 26 Mar 2009, U13879388 wrote:

    It's Bargain Hunt time!

    The Reds (Marxists like me) and the Blues (Mervyn and Cameron) have been given three trillion quid to spend how they want.

    Well, the results are in, The Blues have bought broken banks and made huge losses and not spent a penny on schools, hospitals, or health.

    The Reds have nationalised the banks. It didn't cost them a penny,
    but have spent it all on green energy development, schools, social housing and health.
    They say the only good thing the Darling-Browns did was spend a lot over the last decade, thus keeping unemployment low.

    As for the tax payers funding all this, well, they're hoping something in the middle,between these two extremes, works out.

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  • 7. At 3:30pm on 26 Mar 2009, U12196018 wrote:

    TRW (6) - You! - a Marxist??!!

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  • 8. At 3:38pm on 26 Mar 2009, steelpulse wrote:

    I try to look (and hear) everything I am watching on TV and was chortling just now. A main item on PM no doubt Carolyn will be a decision made today by Baroness Scotland.

    I will skirt pass that and await finer minds than mine to comment on it.

    But it was the comment from someone from a national newspaper who just spoke on BBCs News Channel about 20 minutes ago.

    Said newspaper gentleman - allegedly - still wants to know exactly what Binyam Mohamed "was up to" not to be overlooked in this rush to insepct the fluff in our naval.

    Alleged "false passports" etc. Fine I thought. Me too. And I doubt it is being over looked.

    But then I thought what has that got to
    do with anything? Now, I mean? In regard to today's decision?

    Exactly how LONG was Binyam Mohamed "held" for just such a purpose, newspaper guy?

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  • 9. At 3:38pm on 26 Mar 2009, Sid wrote:

    TIH - you may have misunderstood. TRW said Marxists like him. I think that's rather sweet.

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  • 10. At 3:55pm on 26 Mar 2009, philtblog wrote:

    TRW - where does the money in your 'Reds' economy come from? You've got lots of public services listed but no manufacturing and no other way of making money so where does the three trillion come from? Perhaps a fairer way to look at the argument would be to add in a description of this and also describe how taxes run in the two economies.

    That is assuming your presenting a rational argument and not just popping in sound bites and hoping we'll all just buy what you say as gospel.

    Why do people bother to work in your economy? For the love of work? For the good of society? What about those people who don't love work or care about society and what about those who would work harder/better if they were rewarded for it?

    Oh, and by the way, do we get to vote for the government that's going to spend the 3 trillion. I realise it's only a small point, but very left wing governments haven't tended to be too hot on things like free and fair election, freedom of speech (and the press) and political opposition in the past. Can we expect these aspects, neccessary to keep an unhappy population subjugated, to make an appearance in the Red corner?

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  • 11. At 3:56pm on 26 Mar 2009, philtblog wrote:

    Og no, I'm Rachel from friends! Your should be you're - sorry everyone. Now, i'm off for a shower.

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  • 12. At 4:09pm on 26 Mar 2009, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    I think I may be missing something, but I am wondering...

    A bloke in South London has been found giuilty of 28 coiunts of assault and rape on women, and the police reckon he may actually have committed seventy or more assaults during his career of crime.

    I am glad he has been caught and all like that, but why is it that every time he is mentioned, it is also mentioned that he "refereed children's football matches"? what on earth has that to do with anything? He wasn't a paedophile, the crimes were not commited against children, so they are presumably nothing whatever to do with the children he refereed.

    Is having anything at all to do with children nowadays regarded as suspicious in its own right unless someone is a teacher?

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  • 13. At 4:24pm on 26 Mar 2009, Thunderbird wrote:

    Happy (3) I understand that Dan's speech was one of the most watched items on You/T yesterday. The man is a god!

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  • 14. At 4:37pm on 26 Mar 2009, U12196018 wrote:

    Headline - "Conservative MEP makes a speech attacking Labour Prime Minister"

    Can in be fitted in between
    "Driver Caught Speeding" and
    "Dog Bites Man" ?

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  • 15. At 4:52pm on 26 Mar 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Horse (14) Dan the man?

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  • 16. At 4:57pm on 26 Mar 2009, U13879388 wrote:


    You free market people usually complain about governments having sole right of issue.

    Food production, house building, bus, tram and train production, ......

    ......What goods can't be produced in the public sector, do you think?........

    .......Did you read this:


    ..he wrote it specially for you.

    There's stuff about voting there too.

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  • 17. At 5:28pm on 26 Mar 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    C_G 12, I was going through my very extensive coin collection today (it is in a bank vault in case anybody gets any ideas)(OK, it's not, and not very extensive either), (Where was I.....) Anyhow, your post reminded me that when I was a kid the man next door used to let me come down into his basement to help build his HO trains and play with his....racing cars. He also had some rather daring naturist magazines (volleyball, tennis, etc) in B&W (after all, this was the early 1950s) that I peeked at when he went upstairs. To make a short story long, he gave me a roll of fifty, 1943 steel pennies which are still in the collection. He would probably be arrested for being a paedophile now.

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  • 18. At 5:28pm on 26 Mar 2009, Brian Tomkinson wrote:

    What are you going to do to find jobs for the other 2million unemployed?

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  • 19. At 5:37pm on 26 Mar 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    b 18, They ain't getting my steel pennies, I can tell you that!

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  • 20. At 5:47pm on 26 Mar 2009, Colin McAuley wrote:

    Fox News? Fox News? Now that is a contradiction in terms!

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  • 21. At 5:54pm on 26 Mar 2009, U13879388 wrote:

    'You can't spend your way out of a recession (obviously false) and you can't borrow your way out of debt (also false - 'cos companies can borrow further to make further investments)'

    This bloke is a one person justification for seriously revising the university syllabuses.

    If this is the level of opposition to Brown he must have been scribbling the guest list for his 2010 General Election victory party.

    Personally I should think Hannan hates having gone viral.

    Too many people listening to it n times and realising what empty stuff it is.

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  • 22. At 5:58pm on 26 Mar 2009, dan_han wrote:

    good on PM to be one of the first progs on bbc network to report the youtube video from Mr Hannan

    However, shame on you that it took 48 hours to get reported on radio 4 , is it because Mr Brown didnt want it broadcast?

    Who are you serving BBC - Mr Brown and the labour govt - or the nation?

    Overall, the piece was well presented, just could have been a bit quicker to report it - take a leaf out of the amercian broadcasters maybe...

    Not everyone has access to youtube - this is why it is important to reflect what is out there- for everyone's benefit

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  • 23. At 6:09pm on 26 Mar 2009, CairnTerrier wrote:

    Only half listening but - is St Helens in the Southport constituency? If not why is the Southport MP sticking his oar in over their public art?

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  • 24. At 6:10pm on 26 Mar 2009, CairnTerrier wrote:

    This was on 6 O'clock news

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  • 25. At 6:10pm on 26 Mar 2009, Peter Bolt wrote:

    I am getting a bit tired of "Senior Police Officers" making such sweeping statements as "I know rape is grossly under reported etc...."
    Next time you interview such a spokesperson can you ask them for proof.
    Who says rape is under reported ?
    Persumably it cannot be the victim,because ipso facto it would be then be recorded.
    Perhaps it is the rapist himself
    In fact rape reporting stats have soared. It is the conviction rate that has plunged.
    To continue in the same vein :
    It would be interesting to find from the interviewee just exactly how many such rape cases he or she have actually investigated themselves
    Most Police Officers go thro` their entire service without dealing with a rape still less giving evidence in Court in a rape trial.

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  • 26. At 6:12pm on 26 Mar 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    David Cameron quote;

    "We must get to the bottom of this and I'm still not sure if it can be done through the attorney general or the police". End quote. Or something like this.

    What an earth could he mean anyone?

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  • 27. At 6:22pm on 26 Mar 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    If you are two people under the age of sixteen participating in sexual activity is this against the law?

    If it is, what is the point of this law if it is not intended to be enforced?

    I say this in the light of the decision to advertise condom use to children as young as eleven. However, I have seen no evidence to inform that they will breaking the law if they indulge in sexual activity?

    Please enlighten.

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  • 28. At 6:42pm on 26 Mar 2009, steelpulse wrote:

    That wonderful story of the doomed man who handed his family a flask of warm milk in their lifeboat - before climbing back aboard the sinking Titanic?

    We put things like that - and the widow's letters - up for auction?

    This country should have snapped it up and put it on display somewhere.

    It is worth more than the allegedly toxix assets we as a nation are being encouraged to cough up for.

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  • 29. At 10:41pm on 26 Mar 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Me (26)

    I have now got some enlightenment on this. I understand what he meant.

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  • 30. At 11:13pm on 26 Mar 2009, Sid wrote:

    peterbolt - the proof you require probably comes from the British Crime Survey, which doesn't rely on crimes having been reported to the police.

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  • 31. At 01:01am on 27 Mar 2009, U13879388 wrote:

    A. Just heard Christine Hamilton on sleaze.

    'They don't get it, do they.'

    They keep on about 'it' being within the rules.

    For our legislators to think 'Oh it's morally wrong but within the rules so it's OK' is a trifle worrying.

    B. This crisis we are in. It seems to me to be the first crisis in my lifetime which is DEFINITELY a crisis of our establishment - right across public life both in the political and private sectors.

    It is a crisis in which 'immigrants' 'single parents' 'gays' 'trades unionists' 'workers' 'benefit scroungers' are NOT TO BLAME - not even in the pages of the Daily Mail.

    Capitalism and its apologists, its fellow travellers, its sages, its landed gentry allies, its financiers, its 'clever' people, its ethics****, all in crisis.

    All ready to be swept into the Tiber, if we only have the courage, comrades.

    Of course the crisis is deep because two great socialist states, India and China, are main targets of the policy. Thus the sepsis here, which would leave us vulnerable to moral attack by those socialist societies, is cauterised by capitalism, during the 'crisis' to avoid that vulnerability.
    The cauterisation is necessarily dishonest, otherwise it would kill capitalism rather than patch it up.

    For the cauterisation will involve criticising (illegal) dishonesties and (preposterous) inequalities. If honestly applied, the red hot heat would destroy all capitalism because all capitalism is (legally) dishonest and depends (preposterously) on intolerable inequalities.

    Our task is clear. The situation demands transitional demands.
    Ex post equality would suffice.

    Can PM look at the programme socialists are developing in response to the crisis? They represent perhaps 45 per cent of the electorate but are disenfranchised because they are led by a Labour Party that thinks they have nowhere else to go.

    ****Soros made 4 billion betting on falling bank shares and a falling dollar.
    How is that clever or ethical? It puts 4 billion in hands that will do no good with it whatsoever, 4 billion the duly elected Amercan (Obama) government could really use.
    Goodness me, pmLeader and mac used to predict THOSE changes accurately, as any other fool could have and did.

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  • 32. At 01:35am on 27 Mar 2009, Hesiodos wrote:

    Soros is having a very good crisis


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  • 33. At 09:42am on 27 Mar 2009, philtblog wrote:

    TRW 16 - thanks, I read that post when you first put it up and I have read it again. Still not sure where the money for your economy comes from though. You don't produce anything to sell to anyone except food. Seems a bit circular. But since no one will have any disposable income anyway I guess it doesn't matter that they can't afford anything.

    Does the state provide cars and Tvs and things? Who pays for them? Is that tax receipts or do you cut out he middle man, not pay anyone anything and simply ration resources out to people?

    Your post doesn't adress the problem of a history of totalitarian regimes either. What allows us to believe that your Red utopia is going to be any better and less totalitarian than any of the previous examples? I am afraid none of your posts has ever answered these questions to my satisfaction. If you just want to keep saying stuff without advancing the debate, that's fine, I 'lljust skip over your posts in the future. But if you want to convince me (and perhaps others) this is an opportunity.

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  • 34. At 09:46am on 27 Mar 2009, philtblog wrote:

    CG 12 and DM 17 - good points both. It worries me that being involved with children leave syou open to the risk of false allegation and that a terrified public will respond quickly to an irresponsible press.

    Making these probably fatuous links as with this man seems to bring into disrepute the notion of refereeing footballs matches between children and the like and is utterly irresponsible and driven by the desire to sensationalise and imply without providing evidence. this is sloppy, lazy, selfish and thoughtless journalism and is exactly what brings discredit on the profession.

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  • 35. At 11:20am on 27 Mar 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    pb 34, But then, my neighbor never got married...

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  • 36. At 12:06pm on 27 Mar 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    And he used to take me for rides in his convertible. Chrysler, then Thunderbird.

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  • 37. At 1:20pm on 27 Mar 2009, vainly_here wrote:

    (32) what makes me think (without looking) you might be Ed I?

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  • 38. At 6:43pm on 27 Mar 2009, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Vyle @ 37, why does Homer make you think that?

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  • 39. At 7:41pm on 27 Mar 2009, Hesiodos wrote:

    Homer was an upstart!

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  • 40. At 10:55am on 28 Mar 2009, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Hesiodos @ 39, nah, Homer were upstarts.

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  • 41. At 03:10am on 29 Mar 2009, U13879388 wrote:


    You are way behind the times, fella.

    These days, it's US and UK academics who doubt the value of majority voting not Marxists like me.

    Check the Wikipedia entry for the Arrow Impossibility Theorem.

    Some account of it's uses by US and UK imperialism and why it rests on a philosophical mistake is to be found in the Discussion pages.

    Why these resolutions of the Impossibility Theorems are only partially to be found in the hegemonic US-UK social science literature is because of their use:-
    -attacking democracies 'we' don't like
    -praising dictatorships 'we' do like.
    -and 'coming good' against socialism here, just like Hayek et al's market theorising 'came good' under Thatcher
    (but thought arcane esoteric theorising only 10 years earlier).

    These days, its Marxists like me who are the majoritarians.

    Why do you think state owned enterprises couldn't run TV and car factories (if we must have the latter).

    Most of the major product innovations
    and start ups over the last 100 years were state inspired and backed, from televisions (for radar in the 1930s) to fibre optic cable to the microchip and the internet.
    Check Renault's history.

    Our problem has always been a mania for wanting individuals like Bill Gates and Richard Branson to get the cream off the top.

    I say 'Marxists like me' because I'm a revisionist by orthodox standards.
    I can't accept the 'from each and to each according to their ability' dictum of Critique of the Gotha Progamme'. It sounds like Thatcherism.
    I think we can have equality now!!!

    And in terms of cultural criticism I'm a barbarian. After bourgeois literature has been properly 'located' I don't want to say of it 'It's brill!', like Marxists like Eagleton. I see that claim to see 'quality' in such products as mystification.

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  • 42. At 03:35am on 29 Mar 2009, U13879388 wrote:

    Soros et al.

    It's Ponzi.

    You lose a million, so you borrow two and bet that.

    (There are other reports of these people also losing other monies this time round)

    But then all of financial capitalism is Ponzi.

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  • 43. At 11:10pm on 29 Mar 2009, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    TRW at length all over the blog, the trouble with marxism is that when it is tried, it is so horribly unsuccessful that one is fair put off it. Which state did you say was an example of marxist communism being an examplary success, again? Cambodia, was it? Or the USSR? Ethiopia, maybe?

    Now, let me just go and look up how many hundreds of thousands, or millions, of ordinary people in those societies were slaughtered for not being properly and grovellingly proletariat, or not agreeing swiftly enough with the people in power, or living in the wrong bit of the country and being deliberately starved to death, or having spectacles or fillings in their teeth, or (in a satellite state of the USSR, and this is something that really did happen) expressing a preference for china tea when China was being The Enemy and doubleplus ungood...

    Get away with you; isms are wasms.

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