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Eddie Mair | 14:13 UK time, Friday, 8 January 2010

In a glass box every evening at 18.00, the PM production team meets to discuss the programme that's just finished. You're encouraged to do so here in this virtual glass box. Tonight's editor Roger "I'm back" Sawyer will read your comments and may well add one of his own.


  • 1. At 4:31pm on 08 Jan 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Is this symbolic of Mr. Ross getting the chop, Eddie?

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  • 2. At 4:39pm on 08 Jan 2010, The Intermittent Horse wrote:

    Big Sis - I suspect that it is ValP trying to log on.

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  • 3. At 4:40pm on 08 Jan 2010, GiulioNapolitani wrote:

    Ha! You beat me to it.

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  • 4. At 4:51pm on 08 Jan 2010, Walrus wrote:

    Offshore wind farms. Why not bar trawlers from getting into them. Then we have a marine reserve and fish stocks might rise in the North sea etc.

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  • 5. At 4:51pm on 08 Jan 2010, GiulioNapolitani wrote:

    I hate it when that happens.

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  • 6. At 5:01pm on 08 Jan 2010, davmcn wrote:

    Eddie, She's singing, so she must be fat.

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  • 7. At 5:02pm on 08 Jan 2010, davmcn wrote:

    BS 1, Glad you axed.

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  • 8. At 5:20pm on 08 Jan 2010, bright-eyedwendym wrote:

    How typical of this government that the latest announcement - this time on renewables- turns out to be overstated financially as well as every other way, not to start for 4 years etc etc. and so it goes on.I am so so sick of this.

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  • 9. At 5:21pm on 08 Jan 2010, capn wrote:

    "He's a numberphile, they can't touch you for it" !

    nice one Eddie, I laughed out loud!

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  • 10. At 5:32pm on 08 Jan 2010, newlach wrote:

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

  • 11. At 5:32pm on 08 Jan 2010, needsanewnickname wrote:

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

  • 12. At 5:33pm on 08 Jan 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    Weather forecasting.

    1st Dec 2009.

    What, then, was the distribution of predictions of temperatures by the Met Office for 1st Jan 2010?

    How likely was the actual outcome?

    How Bayesian is the model? For the same pre-conditions what now is the probability of this actual outcome, when re-running the model?

    What is the distribution for next week?

    What is the distribution for temperatures this year, nationally and globally?

    Old Adam says that this sort of cold snap ends with heavy snow from incoming water-laden warm air. The warm air keeps coming and eventually we all get warmer. He says it'll be all over bar the flooding by Wednesday. Is he right?

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  • 13. At 5:36pm on 08 Jan 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Dear Mr reffozellie,

    Its not over till the fat lady sings!

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  • 14. At 5:37pm on 08 Jan 2010, needsanewnickname wrote:

    I've modded myself.

    New version:

    So -it ain't over till the skinny teenage girl sings?

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  • 15. At 5:37pm on 08 Jan 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    David (7)

    Did I axe you?

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  • 16. At 5:38pm on 08 Jan 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    Why are so many TV political pundits male, old and so ugly?

    Is it because they are good at defending themselves against sexist, ageist and lookist attacks?

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  • 17. At 5:39pm on 08 Jan 2010, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Liked the Elvis upshares...than u vay merch

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  • 18. At 5:42pm on 08 Jan 2010, davmcn wrote:

    fJd 15, If you did, I'm not bovvered.

    EtE 16, Names?

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  • 19. At 5:42pm on 08 Jan 2010, Redheylin wrote:

    What a load.... I mean; the operatic issues are not being clearly considered. It starts off with "too fat?" and ends up "too old?"

    I heard it said that "great things can be done with costume and make-up". There were dire warnings of miming supermodels.

    Nobody said the other thing: great things can be done with microphones. We do not actually need belcanto singers warbling and bellowing any more. The standard of excellence need not be measured in decibels.

    So we can have Katherine Jenkins.

    But when they mentioned Mimi and chocolates, I just thought; "conspicious consumption"......

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  • 20. At 5:44pm on 08 Jan 2010, concerned_uk_citizen wrote:

    Exams – what is the expected proportion of people that will not be able to take their exams due to bad weather – if 20% or above then the whole thing should be postponed for a month. This would be inconvenient to a lot of people however the organising body should be capable of doing this if not sack them! I can’t stand people in authority saying “we can’t do . . ” when they mean “we have no intention of doing. . “ and if the weather is just as bad in a month postpone it again. Was the excuse that they could not get the invidulators? – with the unemployment level we have, pull the other one.

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  • 21. At 5:46pm on 08 Jan 2010, david wrote:

    I was concerned about an Elvis Impersonator to sing the Upstairs / Downstairs theme tune. In fact I am concerned about this music full stop. To introduce an item about shares, economy, money with music that personifies the class divide in this country (Victorian, Edwardian or otherwise) and then to say as an aside that Elvis would be spinning is in very bad taste. The over friendly, buddy/buddy relationship between Eddie Mair and Nils Blythe is not conducive to easy listening in the first place. Come on the BBC, could you formalise your affairs please!

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  • 22. At 5:48pm on 08 Jan 2010, davmcn wrote:

    Nice chopper...

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  • 23. At 5:53pm on 08 Jan 2010, DoctorDolots wrote:

    20. Are you responsible for this?


    the only people using the invidulator variation of invigilator seem to be teens on Facebook!

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  • 24. At 5:56pm on 08 Jan 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    Goodness me, Republican dissidents are like Patricia Hewitt and Geoff Hoon with real life explosives.

    That M. Mogadon and Hoon are crypto - Tories is obvious enougth, and if mainland so-called Marxist revolutionary groups are anything to go by, Republican dissident groups are overv 90 per cent MI6 and agents provocateurs.

    If these self obsessed ostriches watched the news occassionally, we would all live in a safer, less plot prone world

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  • 25. At 6:00pm on 08 Jan 2010, david wrote:

    Was it that controversial?

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  • 26. At 6:07pm on 08 Jan 2010, concerned_uk_citizen wrote:

    #23 DD
    No sorry – not me on Facebook – But I was following Ofqual’s lead - http://www.ofqual.gov.uk/1549.aspx

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  • 27. At 6:17pm on 08 Jan 2010, steelpulse wrote:

    I heard Lord Mandelson again - supposedly answer a question on whether the Prime Minster had had to make concessions to continue in Number Ten Downing Street. But then I examined it - the answer. Like that snowball that fits in a normal fist - the answer - it was allegedly made up of a million snow flakes (Drive - FiveLive - Peter Allen refers.
    One day - can someone just ask Peter Mandelson what his given name and surname is please. If he says Peter and Mandelson - I may almost be surprised.

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  • 28. At 6:19pm on 08 Jan 2010, needsanewnickname wrote:

    'Invidulator' - yikes! Is this a real word or a spelling mistake?

    That ofqual page is a bit dodgy, innit?

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  • 29. At 6:30pm on 08 Jan 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    I'd much rather have that Stats chap from More or Less than celebrity gossip.

    Can we have the chap from Home Planet on as a guest too? The one that correctly said that temperatures are cooling but fully expects it to start getting warm again soon.

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  • 30. At 6:31pm on 08 Jan 2010, evr wrote:

    Well done EM, once again you had a nation listening with baited breath to hear....in this case Elvis spinning. The admonishment to us all to be quiet for Neil Armstrong's missing word still rates as one of my favourite listening moments. EM for PM I say!

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  • 31. At 6:36pm on 08 Jan 2010, DoctorDolots wrote:

    26. concerned_uk_citizen - oh dear oh dear, a sorry state we've come to. If that's an official site, the person who wrote that should be sacked [they used quotes, why?]. It's a spelling mistake of the worst kind, invigilator doesn't even sound like invidulator unless spoken by a drunk. Case of the ignorant teaching the ignorant then.

    It's an age thing from when teaching spelling went out of fashion - inhibited their creativity or some such new age garbage - most media presenters under thirty seem to think things are deteriating, rather than deteriorating, and there are many other examples. Reminds me of Flowers for Algernon...

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  • 32. At 6:40pm on 08 Jan 2010, DoctorDolots wrote:

    29. Lepus_Madidus - he was lying, this has been the hottest decade on record. You are misinformed.

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  • 33. At 6:45pm on 08 Jan 2010, Lady_Sue wrote:

    david@21: lighten up!

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  • 34. At 7:06pm on 08 Jan 2010, The Intermittent Horse wrote:

    David (21) - I also have it on good authority that neither Eddie nor Nils wear a dinner suit during the programme!

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  • 35. At 7:21pm on 08 Jan 2010, Fearless Fred wrote:

    TIH(34) No Dinner Jacket?!? That's outrageous! I demand that they immediately hie themselves to Saville Row and, from their own pocket, rectify this situation, and provide us with proof that Monday's broadcast is performed as Lord Reith would have approved of....

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  • 36. At 7:27pm on 08 Jan 2010, Redheylin wrote:

    28 Certainly "invidulator" is a real word. It is a machine for making you jealous. In Latin it refers to "one who takes a little look in" (ie a Roman peeping Tom), and it is often also encountered as an abbreviation for "in videos of Ulan Bator".

    "Vigil" is a character in "Thunderbirds".

    The "Pervidulum Veneris" is a famous late Roman poem, famed for its refrain; "Cras amet qui nunquam amavit". "Pervidulum" refers to the worship of sexual deviance. "Veneris" refers to the result.

    The poem was made famous in translation by Dean Martin as "Veneris are made of this".

    In vid you later.

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  • 37. At 7:49pm on 08 Jan 2010, ValeryP wrote:

    Horse - 2 - nope, not guilty, our chopping block is deep in snow, not icing sugar.

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  • 38. At 8:01pm on 08 Jan 2010, needsanewnickname wrote:

    ... but I'm not made envious by this neologism...

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  • 39. At 8:05pm on 08 Jan 2010, Lady_Sue wrote:

    I thought Virgil was the T'bird character. Or did he write a few verses 'once upon a time'?

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  • 40. At 8:54pm on 08 Jan 2010, Redheylin wrote:

    No, you are thinking of Pugil, quite a different Roman poet, who wrote the poem "The Enid", later made famous in English as "The Secret Seven against Thebes". He was immortalised in the late lyric "Pugilium Veneris", with its celebrated catch-phrase "Cras pugnet qui nunquam pugnavit". He also wrote a successful soap-opera called "The Georgians".

    Homer did not in fact exist, he was really another person called Homer, who later appeared in "The Simpsons". That's probably what made you think of Thunderbirds, who were Chris Farlowe's backing band.

    It's not the word that makes you envious, it is the machine itself. The symbol is not the thing, tra-la, except to the extent that the medium is the message. I hope this is clear, because I think I have been reading too much wikipedia.

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  • 41. At 8:57pm on 08 Jan 2010, Redheylin wrote:

    NB - Captain Scarlet did not write poetry. He is a character in "cluedo".

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  • 42. At 8:58pm on 08 Jan 2010, Redheylin wrote:

    Ovid you later

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  • 43. At 10:14pm on 08 Jan 2010, Looternite wrote:

    Since you are such a scholar, redheylin, did Diogenes have Arthritis and need walking sticks.

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  • 44. At 11:01pm on 08 Jan 2010, needsanewnickname wrote:

    You cynic! He was a bit tubby, though.

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  • 45. At 08:38am on 09 Jan 2010, Redheylin wrote:

    Looternite, I had never heard that. The only time I know Diogenes asked for a stick was to beat the dogs off when he was dead. According to the accounts I've heard of his capture by pirates, he walked into the slave market so proudly that people thought the pirates were HIS slaves.

    Couldn't be Diogenes Laertius? I'm a Heracleitos fan. And then again, not.

    On the other hand, "invidulator" might be seen as a coded saying of the roulette addict, for it is the reverses of "rota ludi v(e)ni", "come, o wheel of the game".

    The Roulettes were Adam Faith's backing band.

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  • 46. At 09:46am on 09 Jan 2010, needsanewnickname wrote:

    No. Laertes was a character in a play.

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  • 47. At 09:46am on 09 Jan 2010, davmcn wrote:

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

  • 48. At 10:31am on 09 Jan 2010, lucien desgai wrote:

    47 Three Sheds
    Leave the poor man alone!

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  • 49. At 10:48am on 09 Jan 2010, Roger Sawyer wrote:

    Hey Everyone...

    Thanks for taking the time to comment. All pretty straightforward, I think. There was a bit of a wait for developments on the DUP story, but I thought Newton Emerson's contribution in the potential fallout was excellent.

    I also enjoyed the Opera/tubby divas discussion... went slightly off-piste, but Eddie handled it well and it was quite lively. And Tim Harford's number crunching was fun too.


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  • 50. At 10:50am on 09 Jan 2010, Redheylin wrote:

    47. Ah - was he the one that got stabbed in the arras? Or was that the Polish guy? All I remember is that Rosenkreutz and Goldenstein are dead. (and it suits 'em). Or was it Eisenstein? I just remember this seven-hour film with this ten-minute shot of a bloke riding a horse. It was written by Bacon you know, that's why he called it Hamlet. And Bach wrote the music, as you know.

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  • 51. At 12:05pm on 09 Jan 2010, Looternite wrote:

    #45. redheylin

    Its just that I heard he was the Greek with dodgy knees.

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  • 52. At 2:10pm on 09 Jan 2010, davmcn wrote:

    Re 47: Ah yes, the old mod sense of humor defecit.

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  • 53. At 2:11pm on 09 Jan 2010, davmcn wrote:

    Desilu 48, See my 52.

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  • 54. At 2:27pm on 09 Jan 2010, lucien desgai wrote:

    52 MsMcN
    Was that a deliberate spelling error?

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  • 55. At 2:48pm on 09 Jan 2010, Redheylin wrote:

    51. Doh.

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  • 56. At 4:30pm on 09 Jan 2010, davmcn wrote:

    ludo 54, Yes, I usually spell it Re.

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  • 57. At 5:10pm on 09 Jan 2010, davmcn wrote:

    rh 50, Possibly, but Bacon died from a chill after trying to beat Birdseye to making frozen food by stuffing a chicken with snow in winter to preserve it.

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  • 58. At 10:48am on 11 Jan 2010, davmcn wrote:

    rh 55, Nothing over-serious about that...

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  • 59. At 3:05pm on 11 Jan 2010, Jenny Jones wrote:

    WOW what a muddle over teenage drinking. My experience of living with and understanding alcohol abuse stretches back nearly 25 years. I have 2 degrees and careers to go with them in unrelated but professional subjects. I already have enough money, property and prestige without needing to add to them or plug a book. To deal with this subject I would need a programme all to myself. The problem of teenage drinking is indeed a huge issue as is the issue of kids who are not acting up but are having their lives messed up by their parents drinking. So lets deal with a few points regarding teen age drinking. Alchohol is a selectively addictive drug. It selects its victims genetically, there are two ways this happens either it travels directly from parent to child or it dodges around missing generations or appearing in uncles ect. Anybody can damage their liver thru excessive drinking the mark of a problem drinker is that they donot stop when this happens. The younger generation does have access to cheap booze so they try it out. The fortunate majority can be relied upon to use their good sense and stop as soon as the warning signs come up. Education will work for those without the dodgy gene. Those with the dogdy gene will continue to drink until they decide to throw in the towel for themselves, some will drink themselves to death or die in accidents. I came from one of those careful middle class homes and I married a problem drinker. My father had done all the things that James had done to protect me and he still had to get in his car and drive across England to rescue me from my drunken husband. The medical proffession were absolutely useless, they had no information or knowledge and no real interest in learning anything. After that it took me it took me 6 weeks to locate the information I required some was unearthed by a freind of mine in the Economist whilst more was supplied by a recovering alcholic who happened to be a DR consultant. Twenty years ago in both Scandanavia and the States all this information was availible. I know women from many different countries affected by this the problem of teen age drinking is universal the only variable factor being the way society responds to the problem or not. The UK is woefully behind in this area and even further behind in helping the teen agers whose lives are being messed up by their drunken parents. The medical proffession continues to use the evidence based argument, I wonder where they get their evidence from. I met Professor Donaldson at a conference and concluded that it was pointless trying to explain something to somebody who doesnt know what he doesnt know. jenny

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  • 60. At 3:48pm on 11 Jan 2010, Jenny Jones wrote:

    On rereading my previous post I think it is important to make the point that I am NOT a problem drinker I married one. Jenny

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  • 61. At 5:27pm on 11 Jan 2010, davmcn wrote:

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

  • 62. At 6:08pm on 11 Jan 2010, Jenny Jones wrote:

    i was so appalled by the effect that alcohol abuse had on my husbandi havent had a drink for 20 years.JJ

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  • 63. At 6:21pm on 11 Jan 2010, Ellis P Otter wrote:

    I was just wondering whether anyone has told Iris Robinson that "Jesus loves you more than you will know - ho ho ho"?

    I can barely remember the movie but it did involve a similar indiscretion did it not?

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