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The AM Glass Box.

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Eddie Mair | 05:00 UK time, Monday, 4 May 2009


Welcome to the AM Glass Box - your chance to help shape tonight's PM.

You may have read your morning paper and listened to the radio, and have some ideas you want to hear on PM tonight.

Perhaps a question about something in the news you would like answered - or better still, direct experience of something topical. Or maybe there's an aspect to a big story you haven't heard explored that you would like to hear.

Just as the PM Glass Box emulates the meeting we have AFTER the show, the AM Glass Box will be like the real meeting we have every day at 11.00, in that all ideas are welcome.

Just like the real meeting, most ideas that are suggested will not make it on air. But we would like to try this to see how it works. It's best that you make your suggestion before 10am.


  • 1. At 08:24am on 04 May 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Hazel Blears.

    If she is 'distraught' about the effect of her article, why did she write it?

    Is she lying (i.e. the fallout was intentional), or does she lack good judgment? Or - what? She has come onto programmes over the past few weeks talking up the Labour Party, so why has she now acted in a manner which was bound to add to the problems of the PM? How did this help the PM to 'relax', as others have exorted him to do over the Bank Holiday?

    I think we should be told .....

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  • 2. At 09:08am on 04 May 2009, Blogarooney wrote:

    Dear Eddie

    You say this AM thing is designed to forward plan on matters of importance to us listeners. Well what I want to know from my BBC is who the hell am I am supposed to be voting for in what Harriet Harman calls these really important elections on June 4th? (Clue something to do with Europe). Whereas we received wall to wall election coverage for over none months for people across the pond that we could not vote for, here we are one month from the Euro elections and I haven't a clue about who is standing/standing down and whether or not it matters? Over 300 million Europeans are voting and not a whisper from the BBC. I have not received a single leaflet through my letterbox. Perhaps I don't have a vote this time? Come on BBC why the wall of silence?

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  • 3. At 09:09am on 04 May 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    I've just heard Andrew Marr state;

    The Internet has become a particle excelerator for all kinds of garbage.

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  • 4. At 09:15am on 04 May 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Blogarooney (2)

    Excellent comment.

    Eddie please could you take this one up. I have received a polling card informing me of my vote in the euro elections. But, like blogarooney, I have received no national or local information about who is standing and what their policies are. It might help change my mind and vote this time.

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  • 5. At 09:18am on 04 May 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Big Sis,

    Hazel bleary;

    Do you think her 'Men in Black' costume is unzipping? or is she really an X-man mutant?

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  • 6. At 09:20am on 04 May 2009, needsanewnickname wrote:

    I like the Euro elections idea. Most people in the UK are, I'd guess, apathetic about the EU.

    If we knew more about

    1. it

    2. What the main issues are and

    3. What the candidates stand for,

    it might create onterest, debate and even understanding... even voter turnout.

    PS: re Hazel Blears, I think I heard on the Today programme that someone thought up the "YouTube if you want to" line and, well, so it had yo be used...

    Does this mean that it wasn't Hazel Blears' idea to write the piece? Did she, indeed, write it all by herself?

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  • 7. At 09:21am on 04 May 2009, needsanewnickname wrote:

    Or even 'interest'. Typing at speed to get in before 1000 (my excuse and I'm sticking to it)

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  • 8. At 09:22am on 04 May 2009, Blogarooney wrote:

    There you are then. I have not received a voting card. Is the Yorkshire and Humberside region, of which I am a resident, in Europe or not? Or is it that the Euro MPs for this region are not standing down?

    Note. I ought to know who my Euro MP is but he/she hasn't exactly busted a gut to make themselves known to me.

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  • 9. At 09:27am on 04 May 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Good morning, Joe (and I hope you found a lovely garden or two to visit, btw - I'm visiting a few today ;)).

    Ms Bleary? Not sure. I think she may be more of a Wolfwoman (in sheep's clothing, of course).

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  • 10. At 09:38am on 04 May 2009, needsanewnickname wrote:

    Oh, Big Sis! Have a marvellous day, and pop into the Beach to tell us about it, please!

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  • 11. At 09:43am on 04 May 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Good morning Sis,

    Sorry about the weather, hope you find somewhere nice to visit. Its persisting down here in the east midlands.

    Yeah its weird that someone writes things and then seems to intend the opposite? I didn't read the article (did I need to with the radio)?. However, Ms Bleary has always struck me as a person who wheres the same false expression whatever she is talking about, (sorry if you might have been a fan).

    Maybe Frances o has a point when she implies that maybe these things are kind of the shelf and not too vetted by the person who is supposed to right them? Then again, you would have thought with something as important, she should have known better. So I guess, yes, the question still remains, why did she allow its publication?

    Excuse the word count froggers.

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  • 12. At 09:45am on 04 May 2009, U13928940 wrote:

    I definitely back up the idea about covering the European elections in more depth. I got my poll card. Before that, I can't remember when I last heard anything about the forthcoming elections apart from the occasional "beware the BNP" comments that are always floating in the ether. If people are expected to be more involved in politics, then we need more in depth coverage of the issues, the parties (and their European parliamentary groupings) that are involved, and the issues. How about doing a 5 minute slot each day for a week, covering the major points?

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  • 13. At 09:48am on 04 May 2009, needsanewnickname wrote:

    I like Jim's idea of a short bit of info; digestible.

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  • 14. At 09:52am on 04 May 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Joe: No, I'm not a fan, though I don't dislike Ms Blears - she's a cheery soul and, though I can find her very irritating, there is something, oh, I don't know, rather sweet, too. But I have had my suspicions about her protestations for some time, and am quite certain that, behind the bubbles, there is a very ambitious woman. Hence my wolfwoman in sheep's clothing analogy.

    The weather down here has been lovely. I would have gone to the gardens yesterday, but SO and I were busy fencebuilding. He knows I'm 'doing the gardens' today - as he doesn't know a paeony* from a poppy, he's not fussed.

    I was considering taking the camera with me. If I do, and if they're worth it, I may send a couple to Eddie. I did send him a lovely photo of Powis Castle last week, complete with dancing statues, to cheer up a gloomy week - but it was ignored. Perhaps he'll be more magnanimous this week?

    (*I've had one of my paeonies flowering for over a week already - I don't recall ever seeing them so early! Does anyone else have any early flower stories ..... OOOh, I've just thought .......)

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  • 15. At 09:54am on 04 May 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Eddie. Perhaps a nicer - and more 'Bank Holiday' - idea for today.

    My paeonies are already in full flower. I've never seen them flower, well, in late April/early May. The floral world is very advanced this year. Could we have an item on this? It would chime very nicely with a day when people will be enjoying their gardens.

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  • 16. At 09:58am on 04 May 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Hey Sis,

    I think we might have to beg Eddie for another thread for gardeners. I love visiting gardens and studied horticulture at college. Best stop now.

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  • 17. At 10:00am on 04 May 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    I see where I am being referred all over the place again by someone who has lost their gruntles.

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  • 18. At 10:03am on 04 May 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Joe: Can you be our resident Gardeners' Questiontime panellist? ;)

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  • 19. At 10:10am on 04 May 2009, needsanewnickname wrote:

    Big Sis - I love that idea about gardens! Very Bank Holidayish. Hope the team saw it before 1000 strikes and Cinderella's coach turns into a pumpkin.

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  • 20. At 10:45am on 04 May 2009, ValeryP wrote:

    That's a good point - there's been zip communication through my letter box, and nary a mention that I've noticed in The Scotsperson. Perhaps Scotland's not in the EU?

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  • 21. At 10:49am on 04 May 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Big Sis, (18)

    Well, don't how good I'd be at it but I'd give it a go.

    BTW, if you moved your paeonies in recent years, it might be that are feeling more established, hence the flowering. they can take at least a 2/3 years to feel established again. They don't really like being moved. Without more info, can't say.

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  • 22. At 11:09am on 04 May 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Joe, the paeonies were moved last autumn - Yes, I already knew about moving paeonies, they're a favourite of mine, so I'm well 'up' on them. Actually, I did the RHS Certificate a few years back - I love plants and have an enquiring mind. But a real horticulturist like you is a different creature altogether.

    My point remains about the paeonies, however - I've never seen paeonies flowering so early as they are this year. Usually it's more late May/early June ....

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  • 23. At 11:11am on 04 May 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Oh, and PS to your comment. Another problem people have with planting/moving paeonies is that they plant them too deep. It's important not to plant them below the level at which they were before. Because I did this when I moved my paeonies, I don't think they noticed the difference.

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  • 24. At 11:47am on 04 May 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:


    I would say, it has definitely got something to do with the fact that you moved them last Autumn. Over the years I have come to understand that much of horticulture is by 'rule of thumb'. Although 'rule of thumb' would say your Paeonies should not really be doing what they are, it could be that they have been shocked into flowering early by the move. The plant will take the earliest opportunity to reproduce itself due to shock to ensure species survival.

    Or it could be that you've just copped really lucky and they really like what has happened and really love the place you've put them. However, I suspect the former.

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  • 25. At 11:49am on 04 May 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:


    Whatever, Just enjoy them and be grateful. See what happens next year!

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  • 26. At 11:58am on 04 May 2009, Sid wrote:

    I must send a photo of my Bowl of Beauty when it comes out - our bog standard red* peonies are coming out now, and BoB will be here in a week or two.

    *red - doesn't really do justice to the colour, I always think.

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  • 27. At 12:31pm on 04 May 2009, needsanewnickname wrote:

    I love p[a]eonies. They're exuberant.

    btw, Big Sis, you don't often see the 'a' in that flower name. How do you spell mediaeval?

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  • 28. At 1:25pm on 04 May 2009, needsanewnickname wrote:

    Well, WatO has 'done' Blears, so perhaps PM won't need to...

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  • 29. At 2:52pm on 04 May 2009, Blogarooney wrote:

    OK Eddie
    Can we please have a slot on the euro elections each day (bite size so as not to frighten the horses) and a garden slot. By the way I have a small tree peony and it has 7 massive flowers just about to burst forth. I do have other flowers but don't want to hog the blog.

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  • 30. At 3:05pm on 04 May 2009, Charlie wrote:

    Until I read this article, I had no idea of the electricity consumption required to power the www.

    Frightening and, unsustainable..?


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  • 31. At 3:13pm on 04 May 2009, Bina Cossar wrote:

    Aiming for polotics-free-zone is like watching paint dry. I wish you luck and I have often thought about the idea.

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  • 32. At 4:52pm on 04 May 2009, Blogarooney wrote:

    Anyway (back from day trip to Bakewell) I have done some surfing and discovered that the deadline for finalising Euro party statements is not until May 7th 2009.

    Leeds City Council is the lead for the Yorkshire and Humbebrside region covering these councils:
    Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council
    City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council
    Calderdale Council
    Craven District Council
    Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council
    East Riding of Yorkshire Council
    Hambleton District Council
    Harrogate Borough Council
    Hull City Council
    Kirklees Council
    North East Lincolnshire Council
    North Lincolnshire Council
    Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
    Ryedale District Council
    Richmondshire District Council
    Scarborough Borough Council
    Selby District Council
    Sheffield City Council
    City of Wakefield Metropolitan District Council
    City of York Council.

    Look forward to some BBC coverage for my region on May 8th!

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  • 33. At 6:03pm on 04 May 2009, Sid wrote:

    It was 30 years ago today ...

    'And I would just like to remember some words of St. Francis of Assisi which I think are really just particularly apt at the moment. Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope'

    Ah yes - can you remember the harmony? the truth? the faith? the hope?

    Nor me neither ...

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  • 34. At 6:40pm on 04 May 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Sid (33)

    Did you hear the diatribe on the Today program about Mrs Thatch by some ranting strange bloke call Saatchi?

    No ever seems to credit those words to Francis of Assisi whenever She says them. I think she was probably just one big insult to him!

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  • 35. At 7:02pm on 04 May 2009, Sid wrote:

    No, fjd , I didn't - Today is bad for my blood pressure.

    But yes - I've always been fascinated by the contrast between her use of those words and the disaster that followed.

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  • 36. At 7:03pm on 04 May 2009, Cossackgirl wrote:

    I have been growing tree peonies for years and paint them, too.
    I wish somebody would explain to me how to upload a photo into my post, then I could show you...

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  • 37. At 7:58pm on 04 May 2009, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Cossackgirl @ 36, I know what you meant, but somehow painting tree peonies does bring to mind a picture out of "Alice", with the unfortunate playing-card soldiers using brushes and pots of paint in the rose-garden!

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  • 38. At 8:39pm on 04 May 2009, Cossackgirl wrote:

    37. Chris, you guessed my methods, how clever of you!
    By the way, I have already had occasion to compare Hazel Blears to Dolores Umbridge as played by Imelda Staunton in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Enough said...

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  • 39. At 10:39am on 05 May 2009, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Cossackgirl, you really do have a team of playing cards to do the gardening? Now *that* is *classy*! :-)

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  • 40. At 1:58pm on 05 May 2009, Simon wrote:

    Cossackgirl (38);
    And the Private Eye has been referring to one of Ms. Blears' colleagues as 'Rosa Klebb' for years.


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  • 41. At 7:42pm on 05 May 2009, Cossackgirl wrote:

    I know the film character you are referring to only too well, and not only from Bond movies - they were plentiful on the ground in the ex-workers' paradise, well, Moscow, anyway.
    But for the life of me I cannot fathom whom Ian marked as "Rosa" among those who rule our lives here and now.
    I am intrigued, but mustn't tempt you to name names and possibly get into trouble with the mods (as an old ex-Soviet hand I know the feeling of being watched by unseen eyes, all for our own good, of course)...

    39. Oh, Chris, you are way ahead of me there and I cannot lay claim to such an ingenuous follow-on! I was minded to confess to creeping out with paint and turning my creamy paeonies blood-red, but your version is much more classy, indeed!

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