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Eddie Mair | 06:10 UK time, Wednesday, 30 December 2009


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.

The PM team will meet in a real glass box at 11am. Why not be part of the meeting by sharing your thoughts in this virtual glass box?


  • 1. At 07:21am on 30 Dec 2009, steelpulse wrote:

    Put it in your family album? Tommy Steele. Was it the Threepenny Opera - sort of I thought? Half a Sixpence? Who cares. I think sometimes - that was almost clever steelpulse but only after much thought. It is never meant - wordsmithing I mean. But I was being Modest yesterday Carolyn or is it Mr Mair? JMW Turner and the Masters in London. Not JMM Turner then? Mmm. On another blog - fickle me.
    But it was a post of irritation and today listening to two footballers on the Today programme. How many chances for redemption should be aloud I wondered unkindly? Not the Guest Editor mind - good on you, Mr Adams - I am a big fan of your football game - but we are due another alleged whinged how "it will never happen again" - self destructing in public was it by a still practicing player.
    I wanted to in the Tate yesterday - self destruct - make a personal exhibition of myself and controlled my reactions.
    I came home to listen to PM - a recall of the American First Lady's visit to an Islington school earlier this year. It had to be Islington didn't it and I laughed hollowly.
    Exant. What a lovely word for survivor. Ex tan perhaps.
    Subject: To swing the axe – outside their homes – throughout next year – you are cherished – throughout next year
    Anagram: our Messi – he hot – edit – Extant (shoe) wig – Aunty rethought or Ex Sorry Ace Hide Hue – Ex Tory a tough hunter
    And thirty year old papers released for Ms Kearney to comment on I heard. My Pickwick Papers are 60 years old PM.

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  • 2. At 10:05am on 30 Dec 2009, davmcn wrote:

    DD, etc, The French poet Gerard de Nerval took his pet lobster for walks. Something like this:


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  • 3. At 10:20am on 30 Dec 2009, davmcn wrote:

    Gotta go take a photo. Later...

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  • 4. At 11:26am on 30 Dec 2009, newlach wrote:

    A poster wrote last night that a ban on smoking in a prison on the Isle of Man has helped greatly reduce crime on the island. Could the PM helicopter make a flyover, if its rotor blades are not frozen! Also an alarming story about the number of mobile phones getting into prisons. Interesting story on Today this morning about the police in San Hose now having to wear mini cameras connected to their ears.

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  • 5. At 12:21pm on 30 Dec 2009, DoctorDolots wrote:

    2. davmcn - how Romantic of him.

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  • 6. At 12:40pm on 30 Dec 2009, Happyhomeworker wrote:

    I know this is a bit late, but just read the newsletter and see we are going to have more about Akmal Sheikh. Why? It's a sad story, but I am finding the over-reaction to this rather strange. I'm not sure if any medical evidence was presented at the trial, but it is odd that he was arrested a long time ago and all the fuss is very recent. While mental illness can be a mitigating factor, can it excuse a crime completely? The government is being very hypocritical on this, while protesting against this issue they are extraditing Gary McKinnon who is said to have a mental disability, I believe. So someone who smuggles drugs should be excused the punishment required by the local government, but someone who hacks into computers should be subject to the laws of the affected government even when he doesn't live there? Am I alone in thinking this doesn't add up? Perhaps we could have less of the hand-wringing and more rational discussion of underlying issues?

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  • 7. At 12:58pm on 30 Dec 2009, Sindy wrote:


    (a) the recency of the 'fuss' about Akmal Sheikh is probably due to the fact that his final appeal failed on December 21st, 2009. I'm not sure that anyone is arguing that 'mental illness can ... excuse a crime completely' - most people I have talked to simply wanted it taken into account. It might have reduced the severity of his sentence.

    (b) I believe the Home Secretary's decision re Gary McKinnon is subject to judicial review at present. If this fails, there will be a new appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

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  • 8. At 1:00pm on 30 Dec 2009, GeeDeeSea wrote:

    The series of denials to the allegation by an Afghan politician that foreign forces raided a house in West Afghanistan on Boxing Day and shot ten occupants, nine of which were children, are following the usual pattern:
    First they denied there were any foreign forces in the area at the time.
    Then it was said that American Special Forces were in the area but didn’t engage in any action.
    Then it was announced they have no reports of civilian casualties.
    Later it was admitted Special Forces did undertake a raid on Boxing Day in this area, and that guns were recovered.

    Now, recriminations seem to be flying around – that Afghan troops were with the US Special Forces as well - that the intelligence was faulty, etc, etc, etc, – as if any of it mitigates shooting civilians and mostly children, if the reports are to be believed. I await the 1.00pm news for the latest excuses.

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  • 9. At 1:52pm on 30 Dec 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Happy and Sindy (sounds like two of the seven!): I understand the British government made 27 applications to the Chinese over the past two years, so there was activity, we just didn't hear about it.

    Weather conditions in Ireland are treacherous - worst winter for decades, or so it is being reported on news here. Serious complications for those of us cut off in rural areas, yet the forecast before Christmas was not to "expect a white one".

    If the forecast had been more accurate it would have enabled people to stock up on essentials, not only food items but salt/grit for roads. Thousands of homes without water, blizzards and more freezing temperatures (minus 13C Christmas Eve) on the way.

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  • 10. At 2:00pm on 30 Dec 2009, GeeDeeSea wrote:

    The recriminations for the terrorist attack back on 11th September 2001 have gone completely over the top. In the days that followed, Washington said it was going to take military action against the al-Qaida bases in Afghanistan and the Taliban government harbouring them. After a fierce bombing and guided missile campaign, the Taliban regime was overthrown and the al-Qaida havens obliterated. US and British troops were deployed on the ground to hunt down the remnants of al Qaida and Taliban forces, assisted by the Northern Alliance – while an international peacekeeping was introduced to provide stability. A new Afghan government was established with pledges of aid to support it. Tony Blair said, “military action in Afghanistan would involve precision targeting of al-Qaida bases,” and, “there would be careful avoidance of civilian deaths.” One minister suggested it might all be over without a single shot being fired.

    Eight years later and we continue to kill their children. What happened to the “precision targeting?”

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  • 11. At 2:06pm on 30 Dec 2009, DoctorDolots wrote:

    9. Lady Sue - it could be the Atlantic conveyer [or Meridional Overturning Circulation] slowdown as explained here http://www.nerc.ac.uk/research/issues/climatechange/rapid.asp, and if so, it could mean winters in future will be increasingly severe. Paradoxically, this is due to global warming - putting massively increased volumes of cold fresh water from arctic melt into the North Atlantic, diluting the warmer sea water and slowing the conveyer. In the last decade it's slowed by 30% according to measurements, a massive change which, if continued will mean there is no conveyer in about ten years time and our climate [Western Europe's] will have reverted to its 'natural' state sans conveyer, the same as Nowfoundland. Start stocking up!

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  • 12. At 2:08pm on 30 Dec 2009, DoctorDolots wrote:

    That's Newfoundland of course.

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  • 13. At 2:26pm on 30 Dec 2009, Anne P wrote:

    Lady Sue, glad to see you've still got power and internet at least! Keep warm!

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  • 14. At 3:13pm on 30 Dec 2009, Happyhomeworker wrote:

    9. Lady Sue

    I've long since stopped paying any attention to the Met Office forecasts, I now follow Joe Bastardi on Accuweather.com who is far more accurate. He forecast the cold weather in late September/early October very accurately, just as he did last year while the Met Office was telling us we would have a mild winter. More cold to come, he says, but a warmer summer to look forward to!

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  • 15. At 3:35pm on 30 Dec 2009, Sindy wrote:

    Lady Sue - yes, I know ... I should have written "(a) the 'recency' of the 'fuss' about Akmal Sheikh ...", with quotes round recency. I know it wasn't recent.

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  • 16. At 4:18pm on 30 Dec 2009, davmcn wrote:

    DD 5, I don't know if the story is true or not.

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  • 17. At 4:22pm on 30 Dec 2009, davmcn wrote:

    LS 9, -13? That's not even zero where I come from.

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  • 18. At 4:24pm on 30 Dec 2009, davmcn wrote:

    DD 11, Puh-leezzzzze, don't get her going again.

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  • 19. At 4:39pm on 30 Dec 2009, redwalt wrote:

    Nothing to do with the foregoing, but did you know that tomorrow night there will be a Blue Moon? Apologies if someone has already mentioned it.

    Cue song.......

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  • 20. At 5:00pm on 30 Dec 2009, davmcn wrote:

    rw 19, Full?

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  • 21. At 5:04pm on 30 Dec 2009, davmcn wrote:

    FLASH: Man moons in sub-zero temperature.

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  • 22. At 5:04pm on 30 Dec 2009, redwalt wrote:

    davcm - yes, an extra full moon.

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  • 23. At 5:07pm on 30 Dec 2009, davmcn wrote:

    rw 22, Don't worry, there are some silly rules here for new posters.

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  • 24. At 5:46pm on 30 Dec 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    Atlantic Conveyor?

    Those Harriers from RAF Cotesmore? They can't be used in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden to sort out the pirates?

    Haven't they seen True Lies?

    You'd think a few Harriers and making the place a training ground for Submarine Commanders would reduce the piracy a bit? As well as restricting the communications between the pirates and organised criminals and/or bankers in Europe?

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  • 25. At 6:02pm on 30 Dec 2009, GeeDeeSea wrote:

    @Lady Sue #9.
    "If the forecast had been more accurate it would have enabled people to stock up on essentials,"

    Rubbish. We had three days advance warning.

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  • 26. At 00:02am on 31 Dec 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    The Harriers from RAF Cottesmore can sort out the Somali pirates and the Jihadists in the Yemen?

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  • 27. At 07:33am on 31 Dec 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    DocD@11: thanks for the info. Slightly confused because hitherto, every time the weather was mentioned in conjunction with 'climate change' it was shouted down as being two entirely different things.

    Happy: I'll take a look at that site, thankyou.

    Sindy: my comment wasn't meant as a correction or criticism of yours, which I had thought explained the situation rather well. Just wanted to point out that there had been quite a lot of activity.

    GDS: we did not have three days of advance warning. There was nothing to indicate the severity of the conditions we subsequently experienced. On the contrary, as I pointed out above, we were being repeatedly told not to expect a white Christmas. Interesting to note that now there is a 'blizzard' warning.

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