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Eddie Mair | 05:36 UK time, Wednesday, 29 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 07:59am on 29 Jul 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

    US Envoy Holbrooke says there is a serious refugee crisis in Pakistan, and calls for more EU money.

    If evacuating 2 million people from their homes to facilitate a 'war on terror' doesn't create more terrorists, I don't know what does.

    "This is more than a humanitarian crisis," he said. "This is a strategic issue as well, because those refugees are in the exact area where al Qaeda and the Taliban are and it's right up against the Afghan border."

    I'm speechless. If there's anybody who speaks any sense, could you get them on your show? Please. My sanity is at stake.

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  • 2. At 08:04am on 29 Jul 2009, Looternite wrote:

    Dear Eddy,
    I live in Luton South and since Esther Rantzen wishes to stand for election in the forthcoming election maybe you can have a "design an election logo for Esther" competition. I'm thinking funny shaped vegetable. Maybe between us we can sugest something else.
    Does Esther realise that she will have get herself a Vauxhall and learn to pronounce Luton correctly as per the locals.

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  • 3. At 08:18am on 29 Jul 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

    More from Richard Holbrooke speaking from Brussels, seeking European financial support

    "We hope that the amount of support will increase as time goes forward because we are all in this together and every country represented in the coalition is a potential target, not the least of which is the city that houses the NATO headquarters," he said in reference to the Belgian capital.

    They weren't "potential targets" until you dragged them into the coalition.

    (Reuters has the story, but please don't get Holbrooke on your prog. Get somebody more sensible - Alan Carr, one of the BB housemates, Ian Beale?)

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  • 4. At 08:47am on 29 Jul 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

    Re: Esther Rantzen/Independent MP's

    BBC interviewers have questioned whether 'celebrities' should stand for parliament. What makes them suitable? Are they at an unfair advantage? But then we look at what happened in the recent Norwich by-election: no BBC coverage of independent candidates.

    Prediction: Luton South will get lots of BBC coverage.

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  • 5. At 09:28am on 29 Jul 2009, rozelfadder wrote:

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

  • 6. At 09:35am on 29 Jul 2009, annasee wrote:

    What about the 90+ years lady in Scotland who's borrowed something like 25,000 books from her local library in Scotland over the last 60 years. She must be worth talking to. (At least make sure she's really reading them, and not just using them to prop up a wonky table...)

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  • 7. At 09:57am on 29 Jul 2009, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    While the death of hostages in Iraq is certainly sad, if talking about that, can you make sure that if mercenaries are being mentioned can you be sure to call them mercenaries and not some vague euphemism like "security consultants".

    Richard (4):

    Good point. Why is being a lawyer a more appropriate background for standing as an MP than appearing on the telly? Which one is better able to represent say, a plumber in their constituency?

    Annasee (6):

    I agree that the book-lady would be interesting to hear from. I remember when my mum was getting 12 books a week from the library, though six of them were for me. (I'd cleared the childrens' section out of the good stuff and protested loudly about having to plough through the Famous Five and the Hardy Boys stuff just for something to read.) Sadly, I can't bear to go into my local library now, it looks like an open-plan office with garish carpets, computers and a handful of books.

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  • 8. At 10:50am on 29 Jul 2009, U14056677 wrote:

    Cooksey for Kingman.

    Fear at first on the exchanges - the new incumbent knows a thing or two. He might benefit the government.

    But today they rest assured. His first concern will be for Britain's largest industry, the fat cats in the City.
    He will play the market with our shares and money to the benefit of the Square Mile

    (FTSE down yesterday, up today)

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  • 9. At 10:59am on 29 Jul 2009, U14056677 wrote:

    Isle of Lewis tornado.

    York Cathedral thunderbolt.

    My God, what IS happening?

    In the last three days I found a penny, a washer and a small adjustable spanner, all in the road.

    Yesterday, but for the penny, I'd have been a penny short for the newspaper snd the washer exactly fitted the sink plug for which the old one went at lunch time. This morning I assembled our new flat pack table. Only my lost and found spanner was small enough to tighten a finnickity nut.

    God is a Borrower.

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  • 10. At 11:42am on 29 Jul 2009, U14056677 wrote:


    One commentator says:

    Talking to moderate Taliban seems absent from Holbrooke's plan altogether. Instead, there will be renewed efforts in having Afghans give up their arms against the coalition and join the process.

    As said above, particularly R-SM, the effect of US-UK-Pakistan 'talking' is two million refuges. (Beware coalitions bearing gifts)


    reports his emphasis on war, war and more war.

    The 'refugee problem' is a problem of Taliban recruitment and a threat to Brussels!!! 'More than' a humanitarian tragedy, and not directly related to the Swat Valley scorched earth tactics that the Coalition used, of course.

    Holbrooke's Vietnam training seems to be 'coming good'. A 'Rural pacification program' (check Wikipedia for an account which somehow blames the S. Vietnam government for relying on the Americans too much!!!!) That's what we need!

    Holbrooke offers the Taliban death or dishonour, the Pashtun dishonour or destruction.

    Miliband 'talking' is the Trojan Horse and the poor heroic people of Helmand know it.

    What do the people of Helmand think, Eddie?
    Do they want our troops out? Is the 'policing operation' of the Nato forces and the incoming Afghani Army (expected to be) extremely brutal?

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  • 11. At 3:13pm on 29 Jul 2009, Charlie wrote:

    TR 09

    Reads to me as though the God you refer to is a supplier...

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  • 12. At 6:44pm on 29 Jul 2009, bulekingfisher wrote:

    Hello PM glass box

    To help bring reality to the ARCHERS/ HOME FARM I would like to introduce a commuinty of disabled people I have started this story on the radio 4 web site it is called the PERSITANT ONE it is very sucessful story it started near the villiage hall and I think it would blend in with the radio show very well

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