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The AM Glass Box.

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Eddie Mair | 05:37 UK time, Monday, 20 July 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 05:50am on 20 Jul 2009, dennisjunior1 wrote:

    Good Morning Eddie and the PM Team (and Everyone else)....

    Ideas for show:

    1*Another day of the Swine Flu and the techniques regarding how to deal with it....

    ~Dennis Junior~

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  • 2. At 07:19am on 20 Jul 2009, Fearless Fred wrote:

    I think I'd pass on that item, Dennis.....

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  • 3. At 09:22am on 20 Jul 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Eddie and team,
    Perhaps an interview?

    Lois Austin (a kettled protester) and her legal team are to take the British government to the European court of human rights over police procedure at the G20 protests. She has said she was imprisoned for up to 8 hours without food, water and toilet facilities. She also said she was unable to leave the demonstration to pick up her child from child care. Her legal team say this is a breach of her human rights. No warning was given that this was going to take place and was a arbituary in its effect by the police. Ian Tomlinson (47) who died whilst trying to make is way home from work was also caught up in this police action.

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  • 4. At 09:33am on 20 Jul 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Pig flu;

    Wash yer hands regular (especially after being on that nasty London underground tube) and sneeze into your armpit. The blow back will take yer head off. But, yer won't have to worry about catching swine flu....and now the weather...why don't yer just look out of the window.

    Seroiusly folks, why get all paranoid up about it...be sensible!

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  • 5. At 10:00am on 20 Jul 2009, Looternite wrote:

    This morning on Today the typical BBC, lets find the tiniest difference in advice from different bodies and then grill some one from the government, attitude was in full swing. My simple advice "is use your .... common sense". Why is it now that the BBC thinks that the people need to be told how to live. Of course Eddy is no different as he has taken a master class from the carping duo of Humphrys and Naughtie. The biggest section in the BBC Radio 4 news manual must be the "mountains out of mole hills". Followed by "nitpicking" and "angels on pin heads". For gods sake BBC stop assuming the listeners are stupid and need to be told exactly how to live, pregnant or otherwise.

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  • 6. At 10:03am on 20 Jul 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

    Eddie and Team,

    Constitutional Reform Bill published today

    Against a background of an unelected chamber, patronage, 'Crown' powers, MP's expenses, to what extent does this Bill take our democracy forward?

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  • 7. At 10:04am on 20 Jul 2009, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    fJd @ 4, I think I can guess why they are playing this one up.

    They have stockpiled 30 million doses for Tamiflu, and that stuff has a "use-by" date. If they got it in for the Bird Flu that in the end didn't happen, it is probably near the end of its shelf-life.

    And they have had to pay for it: that stuff isn't free, and I doubt if it is even cheap. So they might as well use it. Before October, I think was when they are planning to bring in some different thing that is at least as effective against a non-serious flu as keeping warm and drinking lots would be.

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  • 8. At 10:05am on 20 Jul 2009, Looternite wrote:

    My daughter asked, "did the media go on about flu the last time we had a pandemic?". I had to answer not to my memory as there were more important things going on.

    Yes #4 FJD I agree, wash your hands and use a tissue. If you don't you not only risk catching the flu but you increase the spread, also you are are a dirty git.

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  • 9. At 10:08am on 20 Jul 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

    Media madness: Swine Flu

    There's more than enough news to cover. Will BBC please stop trying to 'create' a story out of nothing. The coverage given to 'confusion over health advice' is pedantic, irresponsible and condescending.

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  • 10. At 10:30am on 20 Jul 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    DJ 1, One Flu Over the Cuckoo's Nest?

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  • 11. At 10:31am on 20 Jul 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    CG (7)

    The cynic in me has also allowed this thought to cross my mind; I wouldn't put it past the pharmaceutical industry to dream up such things to boost profits...Remember, this tamiflu dosen't claim to actually cure anything...it just relieves symptoms. This seems to be industry normal practice. When you think about it...it is against drug industry interests to actually find a cure for anything. I suspect this is why the vast majority of treatments (drugs) only relieve, contain, but not cure. It seems, gone are the pioneering days of eradication of anything. We now get comfort medicines, aids to your own sensible action. we are inundated with a plethora of choice on the chemist shelf. Perhaps a good analogy might be, years ago all that was available for cleansing was carbolic soap. Today we have all sorts of potions to spray on your bath, sink, floor, work surfaces and the like to get rid of those nasty things we have been told are bad. Yet, I would bet that none of them are any better at it than the old carbolic. The difference being...its now billions pound industry. This is why there is so much hype and product. I would like some evidence to show me this isn't the case with seasonal flu scares.

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  • 12. At 12:08pm on 20 Jul 2009, Dryopithecus wrote:

    I have what I believe is a non-trivial question re. Swine Flu (or any such pandemic):
    We are told that the first wave of virus is of a less virulent strain. This seems logical, since a strain that incapacitates its victims will also immobilise them, thus reducing its rate of spread.
    We are also led to believe that this first wave will be followed by a more virulent strain.
    Is this true?
    Is it also true that infection by one strain will confer immunity against other strains of the same type?
    If so, then would it not be propitious for us to do our best to get infected now, while the virus is less virulent? If enough people became infected by the strain now current, would this not hamper the spread of any more virulent strains that come along?
    Why, then, are we being advised on measures to avoid infection?

    By the way, I agree with funnyJoe that a strong disinfectant is as good as anything else for washing hands, toilet handles etc to combat contact infections. I use a solution of 1 part domestic bleach to (about) 10 parts water.

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  • 13. At 12:22pm on 20 Jul 2009, Charlie wrote:

    Presumably, this led to phrases such as : "It's Duff". I've been sold a Duff" etc...


    "Correspondence between senior civil servants recounts a tense meeting in September 1940 between the premier and Patrick Duff, permanent secretary at the Office of Works, in which Churchill accused the bureaucrat of misleading him.
    The letter, written by Duff to Sir Edward Bridges, secretary to the Cabinet, features in a new exhibition marking the 70th anniversary of the start of the Second World War, and describes how they discussed the underground site of wartime Cabinet operations.
    Churchill claimed that Duff had "sold him a pup" by "letting him think that this place is a real bomb-proof shelter"."

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  • 14. At 12:33pm on 20 Jul 2009, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    fJd @ 11, funny you should mention the multiplicity of cleansing products in relation to the flu pandemic shock horror drama.

    I am given to understand by a health-service source that carbolic soap is one of the very best and most efficient things to use for cleaning hands, far superior to most of the potions and lotions presented as alternatives, and that many hospitals are going back to that, bleach and gentian violet instead of the modern substitutes.

    RxKaren might be able to confirm or deny this?

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  • 15. At 12:52pm on 20 Jul 2009, steelpulse wrote:

    115 runs? The margin of victory?


    Sorted. I feel sort of placated now.

    So I can feel pleased for the USA and there celebrating the 1969 business.

    And gainsayers - it did happen. Think of the permutations if it was a hoax a la the "Capricorn One" film - directed by a Brit was it? peter Hyams?

    Subject: bent trooper - tory plan to sanitise bank
    Anagram: Y kin - barrister banal too - test opponent

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  • 16. At 1:44pm on 20 Jul 2009, T8-eh-T8 wrote:

    I have a handy tip.

    I got a pen sized alcohol spray from the pound shop, can't remember how much it cost.

    But when I have to visit that London, or am picking up the dogs leavings etc., I use it as a handy hand cleaner.

    Perhaps doctors, nurses and auxilliaries could be issued with them?

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  • 17. At 2:09pm on 20 Jul 2009, Anne P. wrote:

    I don't think I would be unduly cynical in suggesting the part of the problem with media hype around swine flu is the presence on 24 hour news broadcasting of large numbers of journalists too young ever to have experienced a flu epidemic (swine or otherwise). Somehow since the advent of antibiotics the western world has grown to assume that everyone can and should always be made better by the doctors from whatever illness they may suffer. Less than a century ago every family experienced or knew at close hand families that lost loved ones to a wide range of infectious illness. Then almost the only defence was carbolic and good nursing care.

    Ironically perhaps, our very preparedness for this pandemic is probably feeding the media desire for drama, by providing the minutiae of daily monitoring. In countries less well prepared people are probably getting ill and recovering or dying as they always have done.

    But we will be learning valuable lessons about how pandemic flu behaves, so I'd suggest we don't dis the scientists just because some journalists want a quick dramatic headline.

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  • 18. At 3:10pm on 20 Jul 2009, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Anne P @ 17, yes, let us by all means not dis the scientists, but for goodness' sake let's stop joggling their elbows and wittering about this pandemic.

    By the time it becomes a serious threat to the nation, if it does, the media will have cried "wolf" so often that nobody will be paying any attention whatever.

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  • 19. At 3:13pm on 20 Jul 2009, Looternite wrote:

    Re: #17 Anne P.

    I agree the hype is media generated. Not only are the journos young but have media studies or arts degrees and their "gifts" are in finding the headline or soundbite within the dull scientific paper. Many years ago I was repairing equipment in a well known university lab. The scientist told me that he had been "done over" by the local TV company. The brash up and coming reporter had to be coached over and again regarding pronunciation of the scientific terms and the importance of the break through. What should have been a quick half hour took best part of an afternoon. Needless to say the item was edited down to fit the slot and the reporter looked so professional and the scientist had most of his er's and um's left in making the scientist look dodgy. From now on the scientist declared no one from our department will ever agree to interview by the media again. That's a job for the PR department he said.

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  • 20. At 5:34pm on 20 Jul 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    T8 16, What happens if the police catch you with it?

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  • 21. At 6:54pm on 20 Jul 2009, dennisjunior1 wrote:

    @ 2

    The PM Staff put up a thread regarding the Swine Flu...

    ~Dennis Junior~

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  • 22. At 7:35pm on 21 Jul 2009, msBellarose wrote:

    I took part in Tower Hamlets' You Decide event last March - which is their version of participatory budgeting. There is much to learn about the process on both sides, but essentially those communities that want to get anything out of it need to be very organised; those involved in this process ensured that they got the things that they wanted and it is unclear how many of these things benefit the wider community. Then again, many of the things that were 'bought' were already being funded.

    As your programme discussed it was unclear why the police, for example, were bidding for monies from the council, when their funds usually come from elsewhere. However as the morning went on, it was clear nothing from the police was ever going to be 'bought' by this 'community.'

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