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The AM Glass Box

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Eddie Mair | 06:24 UK time, Thursday, 3 September 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 08:47am on 03 Sep 2009, steelpulse wrote:

    Lest we forget? Ok. I hope we do not. 70 years since 1939 and the start of a war. Today.

    Yesterday - I fear I rather enjoyed my mostly radio-less day. Listening to Simon Bates just now - on another Channel - None Shall Sleep took on a whole new meaning. People who allegedly talk to much I mean - sorry Simo - and YES - Black/pot/kettles. Or is it kettled?

    My bookmakers mentioned yesterday. I always get stuck behind the verbally verbose - what is this or that bet I mean?

    But in my opinion - it is too too verbose if you know what I mean?

    All our MoPs spokespersons. It is like my punting friends do not want to let me lose money by placing a bet - ever again!

    Or MoPs want so much verbage hurled at the viwere or listener - we do not know what the original question put by Eddie or John "don't be pompous" Humphrys was about.

    Don't be pompous? I think it was the fragrant Ms Montague addressed but they made it up - thank goodness.

    I have never tweeted either, Sarah and John. And as for my betting pals - I just patiently freeze and consider the Lilies of The Field.

    They - the lilies I mean - cannot run any worse than the racehorses I actual choose.

    Lest we forget with all my verbage - 70 years people.

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  • 2. At 08:55am on 03 Sep 2009, erindoors wrote:

    Does the Lockerbie coverage help anyone but the terrorists? Without any expense or risk on their part the following has been achieved: 1. destabilising the UK Govt. 2. wrecking the US/UK alliance 3. causing untold pain to survivors and families who had been healing as best they could. Did it do any good (apart from to the egos of journalists and the profits of media companies), does anyone think?
    My own view is that if Hitler had had 24-hour rolling news Churchill wouldn't have lasted a week.

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  • 3. At 09:44am on 03 Sep 2009, duhbuh wrote:

    I'm disappointed (but not all that surprised) to see that the BBC hasn't covered the ruling by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal declaring its hate speech law unconstitutional.

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  • 4. At 09:59am on 03 Sep 2009, CarolineOfBrunswick wrote:

    Are you going to Altrincham or Eccles while the tram is free?

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  • 5. At 10:00am on 03 Sep 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    I was listening to a discussion by three people about the economy (one a well-known beekeeper) on WatO recently and one person said 'quantitative easing', another 'quantitive easing', and the third said both. If they can't get that right, how can we believe anything else they say? The first time I ever heard it said, I thought that it sounded a bit like Fascinating Rhythm (as I do), so I settle for 'quantitative easing'.

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  • 6. At 11:13am on 03 Sep 2009, jonnie wrote:

    I need to vent off some steam. It seems that on Radio 4 news all I ever seem to hear about is Scotland. Alex Salmond this!, Kenny McAskill that! --

    Is there a Radio England that I can tune in to? Perhaps that caters more specifically for the 50 odd million inhabitants - rather than the 5 million north of the border?

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  • 7. At 11:16am on 03 Sep 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Hi, Good morning everybody, how you doin'?

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  • 8. At 11:31am on 03 Sep 2009, SproutGhost wrote:

    Well said jonnie!

    A lot of people I know, me icluded!, have now switched from R4 to local radio for that very reason!
    R4 no longer seems to reflect 'middle England' anymore but just a medocre and bland 'fits all' PC correct attitude!

    Let us not forget as Englismen that we upon this charge we Cry 'God for Harry, England, and Saint George!'

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  • 9. At 11:35am on 03 Sep 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Jonnie, you vent all you want. Perhaps your alter ego will also vent for you? Mind you, on Eddie's show, I suppose a little Scottish bias is allowable...

    There will be letters, you know!

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  • 10. At 11:51am on 03 Sep 2009, lordBeddGelert wrote:

    "R4 no longer seems to reflect 'middle England' anymore..."

    Thank goodness for that !! If you want something that reflects 'middle england' [wherever that is...] go and read the Daily Mail. The idea that the UK is composed purely of white middle-aged, middle class mediocrity [as Janet Street-Porter might put it] is totally outdated. And most people are in a minority of one sort or another. So the idea that Radio 4 should reflect a particular social stratification when there are working class people who want to listen to intelligent speech radio is rather vacuous. If anything there is too much pandering to middle england with tosh like the Archers [NO ONE in the countryside is like any of the characters in that dreadful series] or 'You and Yours'.

    On a lighter note, what about Teflon Tel's diatribe against news readers?

    Who are these self-important people ? Name and Shame !!

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  • 11. At 11:53am on 03 Sep 2009, lordBeddGelert wrote:

    Sir Terry's book plug, sorry 'rant'..


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  • 12. At 12:13pm on 03 Sep 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    I'll bet Sir Terry didn't have to blog, like Eddie, does. ;o)

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  • 13. At 12:38pm on 03 Sep 2009, steelpulse wrote:

    Well Number 9. There will be letters etc! Why note? Two birds - one stone.

    There was a picture of Princess Diana on the front of one newspaper today - and a new theory - guess which newspaper? - and the insensitive strapline - sort of - "a War being declared" too.

    A war on mortgages - Ok - but does anyone think these thing through?

    But the new Japanese First Lady sounds like fun. "I have been abducted by aliens"? Allegedly?

    In my newspaper this time.

    Which reminds me - that parked in a Park spaceship of mine is due its Intergalatic M.O.T soon. I am leaving soon I heard. lol

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  • 14. At 1:02pm on 03 Sep 2009, duhbuh wrote:

    Still no reports about the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal's hate speech verdict (my comment above), and yet the BBC Americas page has space for yet more fluffy Obama PR. Sad.

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  • 15. At 1:13pm on 03 Sep 2009, walkermum wrote:

    You know how there aren't any university places left this year? How come even today you can go on a University website and find places for dozens of courses? Because these are places for international students only! Surely after initial offers what should be left is only places - not places for UK only or international only students. The courses presumably 'save' places for international students and then run with reduced numbers when they are not forthcoming. Why aren't these places available to UK students, at this point in the process? Eddie - Please investigate.

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  • 16. At 1:52pm on 03 Sep 2009, Looternite wrote:

    #6 jonnie
    It is also this Pro-Scottish, anti-English bias at the BBC that there is no discussion of the rights of the English to have an English Parliament.

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  • 17. At 3:22pm on 03 Sep 2009, Anne P. wrote:

    walkermum (15) I suspect the answer is that the government fixes how many students any given university is allowed to take, and of what kind. If they exceed the numbers of home students they get penalised financially, whereas international students pay full fees and so are not included.

    Can't help feeling more of a free market would make more sense - if an institution can attract students then they should get the amount per head regardless of how many. Aha perhaps that's the problem - if they were too successful it would cost the government.

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  • 18. At 3:43pm on 03 Sep 2009, LionHeartedLion wrote:

    Adair's conversion to Revolutionary Marxism proceeds apace. From True Blue to Red. This man's market positions, from CBI market driven head honcho to tax and spender, are impeccable.

    This man's views are always fashionable.

    A thought. Could some of the Tobin Tax money be used to make the State OAP something better than the sub-subsistence pittance envisaged by the then fashionable Pensions Report of last year, written by......why, Adair of course.

    How about him proposing taking the whole finance industry, banks, hedge funds - all the irresponsible private money -into public ownership?

    I double Adair you to suggest it to him.

    Is iPM still extant?
    For, talking of Turners: Back from the Beach into Leominster to find an exquisite temporary traffic lights system, with permanent red both ways. The 24 hour surveillance camera presumably provides the video for the Turner Prize exhibit which this installation must surely be set up for.

    Is iPM still extant?
    My grandaughter, who lives for school, has found out that she must go back a day later than planned. Because 'the builders accidnetally sawed her class room table in half' As they do.

    Listeners with matching and better road works, builders and excuses stories?

    Wikipedia is now saying that speculative bubbles have a great deal in common with Madoff and Ponzi scams!

    Incidentally, for those interested the following:


    very usefully, gives interest rates in Japan .

    Note the interest rate hike in 1989 and 1990 which precipitated the Hokkai, the crisis decade.

    Something Greenspan just didn’t know about when he precipitated the interest rate hikes in 2006 in America!!

    that's given here:


    The interest rates doubled in the run up to the sub prime crisis and crash.

    So is there space now on PM for the view that credit crunches abd crashes are policy instruments deliberately caused - by people with a survival of the fittest view of how life must be?

    Is finance capital now more or less concentrated than before the credit crash and crunch?

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  • 19. At 3:44pm on 03 Sep 2009, LionHeartedLion wrote:


    Catch you later.

    V. busy at the mo'

    PM's PM

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  • 20. At 3:48pm on 03 Sep 2009, LionHeartedLion wrote:

    PS Where's that 5000 Eloise said Nils was preparing a big item for?

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  • 21. At 4:13pm on 03 Sep 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    SG 8, Saint George wasn't even born in what is now GB.

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  • 22. At 4:20pm on 03 Sep 2009, Looternite wrote:

    #21 DMcN
    So what, and your point is?
    Saint Tolkein also wasn't born in England.
    St Andrew was not born in Scotland and St Patrick wasn't born in Ireland.

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  • 23. At 4:27pm on 03 Sep 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    Ln 22, But, as you should know, St Alban was. He should be the patron Saint of England.

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  • 24. At 4:40pm on 03 Sep 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    Ln 22, And before you start saying so was so and so, Alban was the first British martyr. Aaaand, hot cross buns were 'invented' by the monks of St Albans Abbey. Aaaaand, our organ now has a cymbalstern. Beat that!

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  • 25. At 4:54pm on 03 Sep 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    22, 23 - I now visualise the pair of you as Statler and Waldorf. Keep up the good work! ;o)

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  • 26. At 4:59pm on 03 Sep 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    BS 25, I make a good Waldorf salad. I wonder if Ln can make a Statler salad.

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  • 27. At 5:02pm on 03 Sep 2009, eddiemair wrote:

    dunno where the glass box is. It SHOULD be there. Sorry.

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  • 28. At 5:06pm on 03 Sep 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    Eddie, If it was mine, you'd better find it!

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  • 29. At 5:08pm on 03 Sep 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    Eddie, PS I haven't forgot about the one I sent of a Glass Box sitting on a scanner...

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  • 30. At 5:08pm on 03 Sep 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    I once had the great pleasure of having Jim Henson sitting next to me on a flight from London to San Francisco. He was absolutely lovely. In fact, at the time, I hadn't heard of him - it was back in 1976, and I think Sesame Street was not really known over here at the time. He talked to me about what he was doing, and it was only later - much later - that I put two and two together and realised that he had been in the UK talking to Lew Grade about filming the Muppets.

    If I'd only known how wonderful his work was at the time, I'd probably been overcome at meeting him, but as it was, I found myself spending several hours in the company of a very nice man chatting about puppets!

    I can do a mean impression of Miss Piggy, by the way, with which I used to entertain my students when I was teaching.

    Pretentious? Moi?

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  • 31. At 5:09pm on 03 Sep 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Eddie, I blame William Shatner ;o)

    "Beam me up, Scotty"

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  • 32. At 5:10pm on 03 Sep 2009, David_McNickle wrote:

    Too late, Ed, time for the Bairy Hikers.

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  • 33. At 5:16pm on 03 Sep 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Eddie, Did you remember to put some petrol in the Blog Fuel Tank? I seem to recall that you like to experiment ....

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  • 34. At 5:17pm on 03 Sep 2009, mittfh wrote:

    Does anyone else think it's strange that when the Scottish government was considering releasing the Libyan chap, most news organisations carried pro-release views as well as anti-release views.

    Now he has been released, all we hear are anti-release views (unless you count the rather ambiguous language of New Labour). Reading Wikipedia's articles on "Pan Am Flight 103", "...Bombing Trial" and "Investigation into the Bombing of..." (incidentally, none of the three articles are either flagged for NPOV or are edit protected) is quite enlightening - the case appeared to hinge on a single item of circumstantial evidence.

    It's also interesting that a condition of the release was the cancellation of the second appeal. If he hadn't been released and the appeal started, would it necessarily have been halted on his death, or would the appeal have carried on to conclusion?

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  • 35. At 5:23pm on 03 Sep 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    mittfh: My understanding is (and you might think I'm splitting hairs here, but I think it's an important point) that he could not be considered for any kind of release while there was any kind of legal action pending because he would have had to remain in Scotland to make his case. This wasn't a 'condition', as such, but simply a point in law, or protocol, or whatever the correct term might be.

    Yes, about the evidence upon which he was convicted, there certainly was much that needed to be revisited, enough to have convinced Dr. Swire that the wrong man was behind bars.

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  • 36. At 5:29pm on 03 Sep 2009, mittfh wrote:

    On another subject entirely, this case could be worth a discussion:


    Apart from the March incident, did the boys responsible have previous 'form'?
    What are the conditions required to place children in secure accommodation?
    What should be the age of criminal responsibility?
    Even if children are found to be criminally liable, should they be tried in a separate manner to over 18s (other than accessibility adaptations to a 'normal' court)?

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  • 37. At 5:47pm on 03 Sep 2009, Looternite wrote:

    #23 David_McNickle
    Yes I know all about St Alban, but did you know my son sang at your abbey. Hang on I will be reported to the authorities if I carry on this dialogue.

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  • 38. At 5:52pm on 03 Sep 2009, Looternite wrote:

    #34 mittfh and 35 Big Sister
    Give it a rest. There is no more to be said of this subject surely.
    That odious Alex Salmond has had his moment on the world stage.

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  • 39. At 5:54pm on 03 Sep 2009, Looternite wrote:

    #25. Big Sister
    Thanks I had forgot the other ones name.

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