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Eddie Mair | 05:52 UK time, Friday, 24 July 2009


Good morning.

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.

It's best to post before 10.00, so we can work ideas into our 11.00 meeting.


  • 1. At 07:36am on 24 Jul 2009, NicoleG015 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 2. At 07:48am on 24 Jul 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Would like to hear PM cobble some MPs about "watering down" the legislation governing their expenses and taking off for a lengthy summer vacation instead of giving the Bill due attention.

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  • 3. At 08:31am on 24 Jul 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

    Radio Blooper

    Did you miss the humour in the Border Agency piece on last night's prog?

    Phased implementation of new system at Heathrow: people on incoming flights checked against police databases, to see if 'wanted' for crimes in UK. Describing progress, Head of the Border Force said, "During our pilot phase 25 have been arrested for murder, 84 arrested for serious sex offences."

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  • 4. At 08:34am on 24 Jul 2009, PuffinBillie wrote:

    The government's justification of using 'Green' issues in order to justify increasing taxes is not something I am taken in by. I accept that the government needs to raise money, but then mixes up this with a witches brew to attempt to hoodwink the public into believing that this is done for the sake of the environmnent.

    Increasing taxes bears unfairly on the less well off. Those with money will justify their car use with words to the effect 'I am paying for it so it does not matter that I am polluting the atmosphere'. And however you tax, the result is the same.

    If the government really wants to cut congestion it should provide a large radical package. First, ration petrol. That way only the most economic cars would be able to make longer journeys. It would cut speeding and revving up at traffic lights. Those that continued with this behaviour would not be able to go as far.

    Secondly, make public transport more convenient and less expensive. Increase the length of trains and take away this stupidity of having to book three years in advance and stand on one leg to get the cheapest ticket.

    Thirdly, provide some incentive both for employers to employ those who live closer to the business, and employees to apply for jobs closer to where they live. Most congestion occurs because of work related journeys. How many people actually live within two miles of where they work. I myself travel 25miles round trip to work, and other people who live where I work make the opposite journey. (This is only because where I work is the only place who would offer me employment after many years searching for work). So sponsor some sort of job-swap scheme and give monetary incentives for the employers and employees to get employment nearer to home. Many more journeys to work could then be on foot or cycle, people would be fitter, it would cut obesity as well as traffic congestion.

    There is a distinct lack of real commitment, and I strongly suspect it is because the government of whatever colour is just after the easy way out to raise money and use any topical excuse as a reason to increase taxes.

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  • 5. At 08:39am on 24 Jul 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

    Norwich By-Election

    Independent candidates start-off with a huge disadvantage in these elections, a problem which is likley to continue into the General Election. They don't have 'big campaign money,' nor do they have the organisational back-up. Party political broadcasts follow, overshadowing any progress made by a foot-slogging independent candidate. Then they find the Regional BBC won't even allow them onto the 'meet-the-candidates' programme, preferring to cover the national party candidates only.

    So - should the 'rules' on party political broadcasts be changed so that independent candidates are not disadvantaged by big party money and back-up?

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  • 6. At 08:42am on 24 Jul 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Will those living in 20 years time (2029) look back and ask, "Why didn't we stop climate change when we had the chance?"

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  • 7. At 09:41am on 24 Jul 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    I would like to second post # 1.

    On Radio 4 earlier in the week, there was a broadcast by Becky Milligan called 'Expenses the MPs story" In this broadcast, there were interviews with the Child of an MP who began sobbing (turned on the waterworks) insinuating that she wished her parent would stop being an MP...it wasn't worth the public backlash and flack. There was another interview with someone who insinuated that there had been private discussions about suicides in the commons...shock horror...we were meant to retort. The interviews and program was all done in 'past tense format. That is to say the interviewer asked the questions in a retrospective manner and the interviewees were encouraged and answered in the same way.

    E.g, " I guess it was a very worrying and stress full time for you all, did you think that there was a possiblity that it wouldn't get any better at the time"? "Yes for a short while, we thought things were going to become quite bad it was relentless".

    Thats right, blame everything but their own behaviour and the system that needs nuking into oblivion once and for all. Although not exact to the script, you get the jist....past tense...dealt with...done...finito

    This program was a pathetic attempt on the day MPs were debating their own expenses to court public opinion. It was crass in my opinion and can't understand how Milligan thought she might pull the wool without it being seen. Well the Expenses scandal hasn't gone away and it seems the BBC have now began to 'not get it'...there still not getting it. It all got watered down didn't it?

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  • 8. At 09:48am on 24 Jul 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Joe (7): I've no idea what you're seconding as post number 1 disappeared before I came here - but I think you might be seconding the second post (if you get my drift!) and I would like to second (or third) that, too. :o)

    Just been listening to David Mitchell on Desert Island Discs and I think I'm in love. What a nice man - and so honest, yet so funny. I wish I'd been in Ms Young's chair.

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  • 9. At 10:04am on 24 Jul 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

    Huge FBI Raid in New Jersey

    Wow! What's going on in New Jersey? 200 raided: Politicians, Rabbis, Mayors, money laundering, kidney sales, corruption ring.

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  • 10. At 10:33am on 24 Jul 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    BS 8, Was that the first Desert Island Discs or the repeat? I suppose I could listen on iPlayer if it is there.

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  • 11. At 10:35am on 24 Jul 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    BS 8, I'd third FjD's second, if I knew what 1 was.

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  • 12. At 10:35am on 24 Jul 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Big Sis (8)

    Good morning.

    Thanks for pointing that out. Yes, I obviously meant # 2.

    I started lisenting to D I D but had to turn it off to concentrate on writing my post. Glad you fell in love. Perhaps catch it on Sunday.

    Joe (]:0}

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  • 13. At 10:50am on 24 Jul 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    FJd 12, You could listen to DID on iPlayer....except that it is unavailable at this time. And probably not at all on your Sinclair C5.

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  • 14. At 10:58am on 24 Jul 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Unfortuantely, you can't listen again to Desert Island Discs, due to copyright restrictions. It's been a bone of contention for a very long time.

    But DM was, well, interesting. Extremly self-deprecating. An unexceptional life, but a personality that will chime will thousands of others who don't want to be 'hip' and have felt under pressure to be something they aren't. I think he described himself as being 'tweed inside'. Lots of lovely quotes like that - and seemed to be a genuinely nice guy. I hadn't 'got' him before seeing him hosting HIGNFY, when I began to realise that not only is he very funny - and quickwitted - but also that he doesn't seem to be putting on an act. DID today confirmed that in spades, and I was torn between laughing and squirming for the embarrassment he clearly feels about certain situations.

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  • 15. At 10:58am on 24 Jul 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

    Five Roman Shipwrecks Found

    An archaelogical team have put up news (and pics) on their website of five Roman shipwrecks they've discovered, in excellent condition, off the coast of Ventotene, between Rome and Naples. The trading ships have on board wine, fish sauce and ingots. Seems they've got a lot more to do - but a significant find.

    Aurora Trust Home page


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  • 16. At 11:03am on 24 Jul 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    BS 14, He is also on TV on Mitchell and Webb.

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  • 17. At 11:03am on 24 Jul 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    But I don't think JunnyFoeDunn has a TV. At least not color.

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  • 18. At 11:09am on 24 Jul 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Yes, I don't watch Mitchell and Webb. And I'm sure Joe does have a TV - I think it's Chris Ghoti who is box-free (though I may be wrong).

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  • 19. At 11:14am on 24 Jul 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Bring back recent comments!

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  • 20. At 11:15am on 24 Jul 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Drat! Blog clock is one minute slow according to Bill Gates ...
    Bring back recent comments!

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  • 21. At 11:18am on 24 Jul 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    BS 18, Chris and Joe both have Sinclair C5 computers.

    BS 19, I seconded that somewhere.

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  • 22. At 11:19am on 24 Jul 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    21: I very much doubt that. They'd have been run over by now.

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  • 23. At 11:19am on 24 Jul 2009, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Big Sister (14):

    I only know DM from the excellent "Think the Unthinkable" on Radio 4 where he plays the obnoxious IT expert, Owen. That was a rare sitcom where *all* the main cast were fantastic.

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  • 24. At 11:23am on 24 Jul 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Big Sis (14)

    So his talent really is a parody of himself. I think it is interesting what you say. It is often opposite to the screen image.

    David...I can still pick up rediffusion on my box. And Gilligan's Island!

    Sorry about you class box.

    I think your right about my C5 though. Do you get motability then?

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  • 25. At 11:23am on 24 Jul 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Isn't the Smart car just a C5 with a hood?

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  • 26. At 11:24am on 24 Jul 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Cat: I must try to listen to that - Do you know when it's usually on?

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  • 27. At 11:25am on 24 Jul 2009, T8-eh-T8 wrote:

    Regarding MPs expense issue.

    I think there is a real danger that the media views this as yesterdays news, for sure that would appear to be Westminsters aim.

    There are some really big questions which have remained unaddressed.

    Who approved these expense claims?

    Was it in line with Expense Procedure?

    If so has this procedure been amended?

    We seem to be focussed on personalities rather than process here.Sure some MP's played the system. But surely there is a regime of checks and balances which should have been followed? If it was, then it is flawed and needs to be fixed, if it wasn't then who was responsible?

    I do not mean to diminish the responsibilitis of the MP's who were playing the system, but the system itself has to be the culprit.

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  • 28. At 11:50am on 24 Jul 2009, T8-eh-T8 wrote:

    Oh and I love David Mitchell, particularly on Mock The Week. He is a great foil for the ascerbic Frankie Boyle, although can be a more than a little cutting when riled.

    There is an old episode where he is commenting on John Prescot taking part in a school sports day race, and subsequently spraining an ankle, where DM seems to genuinely lose it, enraged by the sheer stupidity of Prescot and his advisers.


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  • 29. At 11:52am on 24 Jul 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    T8 (27)

    Yes, I'm sure you are right. However, don't you get the feeling that the establishment along with MPs only want to suffer just enough change (as they practice in so many other things) so as to cynicaly placate the public. This would not necessarily mean putting things morally right!

    Secondly, don't you also feel that there is also a danger of substituting a corrupt and immoral system by rewarding MPs with more money that might be even easier to claim as a reward for giving up...corruption! You might say, well they need to have proper pay. But, don't you think that the rapid pay back of expenses by caught out MPs indicates that they probably didn't need the expenses cash in the first place? Do you think this paying back is really hurting their lifestyles? Perhaps having to find the kids school fees from their savings instead? And where are all these majority of MPs that we have been led to believe were not part of the expenses river?

    I think you are also right about the system that allowed this to go on. The fees office signed the checks however, no one seems to have been held to any account in that dept. And if we are going to start comparing MPs income with other outside incomes...what would be wrong with everybody comparing their income with other people favorably as a bargaining ploy for better pay? Lets see what a bin man gets in...Sweden for instance?

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  • 30. At 12:03pm on 24 Jul 2009, Anne P. wrote:

    Bring back recent comments, please!

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  • 31. At 12:11pm on 24 Jul 2009, Anne P. wrote:

    I see another creator of iconic children's books, Peter Ryan has died. Can we have something about him tonight please? A much loved feature of my children's childhood.

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  • 32. At 12:18pm on 24 Jul 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Big Sis,

    Ive left you a reply on yesterday's PM glass box.

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  • 33. At 12:18pm on 24 Jul 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Bring back recent comments!

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  • 34. At 12:30pm on 24 Jul 2009, The Wrath Is Come wrote:



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  • 35. At 12:41pm on 24 Jul 2009, tug wrote:

    The flu web site debacle:

    This is the page which tells you where to pick up the tamiflu


    1/ many counties have no pick up points at all

    2/ the person who put this together seems to have poor typing skills "Glocertertshire"

    3/ the person who put this together has an even shakier grasp of geography Goole, Grimsby and Hull are apparently in Gloucestershire

    This is a disgrace

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  • 36. At 12:51pm on 24 Jul 2009, Anne P. wrote:

    oops - sorry that should have been 'John' Ryan.

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  • 37. At 12:56pm on 24 Jul 2009, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Big Sis (26):

    It ran from 2001 to 2005 (4 series) but it turns up from time to time as repeats. I think BBC7 is the best bet to watch out for.

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  • 38. At 2:21pm on 24 Jul 2009, mittfh wrote:

    @35: Here in Warwickshire, staff have been encouraged to volunteer to run "Anti-Viral Collection Points" in the libraries of major population centres. The idea, apparently, is that people fill in a form before they catch H1N1 listing five friends / relatives / neighbours in the area who'd act as "Flu Buddies" - i.e. would be willing to volunteer to collect stocks of antivirals for their ill friends / relatives / neighbours (presumably leaving them on the doorstep and ringing the bell before scarpering!)

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  • 39. At 3:06pm on 24 Jul 2009, Anne P. wrote:

    Interesting that news seems to be seeping out that
    a. Tamiflu is not suitable for everyone/ not needed by everyone with flu b. Tamiflu has side effects (what drug does not) such as nausea.
    and c. that for most healthy people all Tamiflu does is reduce the duration of the attack by a day or two.

    Perhaps this information is being used to discourage people from getting Tamiflu when they don't need it.

    I seem to remember that when Relenza (inhaled alternative to Tamiflu from a different Pharma) came out one of the problems in marketing it was that you couldn't be certain someone had flu without testing them and in any case for most people it only reduced the attack by a day or two.

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  • 40. At 4:50pm on 24 Jul 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    Stop the Recent Comments comments!

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  • 41. At 4:53pm on 24 Jul 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    BS 25, Hoods don't drive Smart cars. Usually Ford Escorts.

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  • 42. At 5:43pm on 24 Jul 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    37: Thanks for that, Cat, I'll watch the schedules.

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  • 43. At 5:43pm on 24 Jul 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    42: I thought hoods drove Buicks?

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  • 44. At 5:44pm on 24 Jul 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Sorry, for 42 read 41 in my 43.


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  • 45. At 5:54pm on 24 Jul 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    BS 43, I meant hoodies.

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  • 46. At 6:06pm on 24 Jul 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Thanks, David, you may be right.

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  • 47. At 10:42pm on 24 Jul 2009, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Big Sister @ 18, you are quite right, I do not have a haunted goldfish-bowl.

    DMcN @ 21, you are quite wrong, I do not have a Sinclair C5 computer.


    FREE THE BBC 7421!

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  • 48. At 11:20pm on 24 Jul 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Bring back recent comments!

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  • 49. At 08:34am on 25 Jul 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    DMNC (41)

    (Ford Escorts), I think you need to jump forward a generation...and also, leave my C5 alone.

    The Ford Escort won the 1968 Mexico Rally. That was the height of its fame for a few years after. It was though always one of fords best sellers. No longer produced of course.

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  • 50. At 08:39am on 25 Jul 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:


    (except D. McNickle's)

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  • 51. At 08:41am on 25 Jul 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Joe, sneak a look at The Beach - Eddie's on the case for us! :o)

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  • 52. At 5:51pm on 25 Jul 2009, David_McNickle wrote:


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  • 53. At 7:32pm on 25 Jul 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    David you are a dork.

    It was you who said you didn't want recent comments coming back so I democratically excluded you in my post at fifty..alluding to your wishes.

    I on the other hand wish all recent comments (including my own) to return..Looks like we might have a chance too. Fingers crossed big sis.

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  • 54. At 11:31am on 26 Jul 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    I was the first (1st, count it) person to second BS in her wish to bring back the Recent Comments. (Think I can get you referred for calling me a dork?)(And you forgot the comma after my name. Can I refer you for poor grammar?)(Also after 'back'.)(Possibly others.) (Lucky it's Sunday...)(Off to the pub for lunch....soon.)

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