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Sequin | 06:00 UK time, Wednesday, 3 March 2010


Good morning,
We welcome your views on what you think should be in the programme, so why not drop your ideas in here, and we can include them in our discussion at our morning meeting at 11am. Many thanks,



  • 1. At 08:47am on 03 Mar 2010, Anne P wrote:

    How about investigating this story about a city council that will use tax payers money to fight itself after having on the one hand signed a contract with a waste handling company and on the other hand having refused planning permission for the incinerator that was part of the contract. They signed the contract, which apparently includes the promise to fund 90% of the costs of any planning appeal, before the planning committee turned it down.

    I sometimes think I live in a complete madhouse.


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  • 2. At 08:49am on 03 Mar 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Would that be for newly weds, or all weds - and what about the singletons, Sequin? :o)

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  • 3. At 09:11am on 03 Mar 2010, Looternite wrote:

    BBC cuts:
    What was the BBC doing seting up a race based radio station anyway. Never listened to Radio 6 and as the advertising for it was not aimed at me I assume it was not for me.

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  • 4. At 09:19am on 03 Mar 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Looternite: Perhaps it was because there is, at best limited, and at worst nil, provision for Asian interests on the mainstream stations. I think, perhaps, it is more 'culture' than 'race' based. Can Asian truly be defined as a race, I'm wondering? A group of races, perhaps? An area of origin? - I'm not trying to take issue with you on that point, Looternite, but I've never thought that Asian describes a 'race'. You've certainly got me thinking there, and looking at Wikipedia (as a quick, if not entirely accurate, resource) I can see it is a highly debated issue.


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  • 5. At 09:32am on 03 Mar 2010, Looternite wrote:

    4. Big Sister
    I know what you are saying, as I hestitated regarding the term race. However, I do know several people whose origins are from south asia. The Indians always distance themselves from pakistanis and the Bangla Deshis. None of the south asians wanted to be classified with black people and so it became difficult for the liberal chattering classes to identify them.
    The BBC should be a unifying force not a means for segregation.

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  • 6. At 09:41am on 03 Mar 2010, Looternite wrote:

    Sorry posted on wrong AM Glassbox
    108. At 09:39am on 03 Mar 2010, Looternite wrote:
    Dear Team PM,

    Here is some positive news for a change: http://www.epdonthenet.net/article.aspx?ArticleID=31869
    From the article:
    " In fact many of those CEMs exhibiting, of which there were quite a few, were positively buoyant about prospects. Most had retained all, or at least most, of their staff through the difficulties of 2009 and were now able to offer immediate capacity for their dormant customers."

    However there is now a shortage of components.

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  • 7. At 10:07am on 03 Mar 2010, Alan_N wrote:

    Perhaps a little less self obsession? The fate of the world does not hang on the outcome of the review of how the beeb spends my licence fee.

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  • 8. At 10:10am on 03 Mar 2010, Galahad wrote:

    I think most definitions of "race" are arbitrary and culturally based, despite the tendency to "hang" perceived differences on observable aspects such as skin colour.


    In this country Celts, Saxons, Angles, Picts, etc. would all at one time have been seen as individual 'races'. To an outsider, however, differences between these groups would have appeared minimal. In the same way, whether asians are considered a homogenous group or are made up of many wildly differing 'races' could be considered a matter of perspective.
    Focusing upon and emphasising any differences between groups in our society serves only to encourage tribal and inernecine conflicts. In this light, setting up a specific asian network rather than encouraging asian listeners to join the 'mainstream' may have been an error.

    Looternite's argument that the BBC should be a unifying force is a powerful one, and should underpin all BBC policies and procedures. It is one of the many areas in which the BBC is 'special' and should be protected from encroachment by mthe private sector.

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  • 9. At 10:10am on 03 Mar 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    5: I agree that the Beeb should unite - but there is an issue, surely, with the fact that mainstream BBC output (at least on the radio side) may not reflect Asian (and, for that matter, other minority) interests. But, of course, if it did, there might be an outcry from those who say that the BBC exists for those of Anglo Saxon origins, and a different row would erupt. I think the BBC had a difficult problem, and assume that, after consultation, they decided that establishing an Asian Network was the least worst solution to create provision for Asian culture. And, of course, as it isn't only people of Anglo Saxon origins (however one may define that - and I suggest it would be with some difficulty) who pay the licence fee, there is a very strong case for those who aren't of such origins to also have provison on the network.

    It seems, now, that it will be the commercial sector who exclusively cater for minority interests,. I have to say that I have a good deal of sympathy with someone who was commenting on this yesterday who seemed to have a problem with listening to stations whose output carries such a large amount of on air advertising.

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  • 10. At 10:40am on 03 Mar 2010, nikki noodle wrote:

    Hi All,

    Just as a conundrum: do you think the BBC should stop providing special programmes aimed for the disabled too?

    Is that wahat Big Sister meant when she wrote: "It seems, now, that it will be the commercial sector who exclusively cater for minority interests"

    would be interested to learn your views.

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  • 11. At 10:40am on 03 Mar 2010, Galahad wrote:

    In reporting the planned visit of South African President Jacob Zuma to the UK, I wonder why the BBC considered it relevant to include the following sentence:

    "BBC world affairs correspondent Peter Biles said Mr Zuma - a polygamist who has married at least five times - is renowned for his charm and informality."


    Many people in southern Africa and throughout Asia practice polygamy, which is an accepted part of their culture and religions. I'm unable to work out it's relevance to the news of his visit. By mentioning it, is the BBC trying to make a moral judgement? Or is it included in order to create some sense of the 'otherness' of 'these foreigners'?

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  • 12. At 10:46am on 03 Mar 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    10: That's a very interesting point - and John Humphrys in quizzing Michael Lyons this morning raised the fact that the axing of both radio stations might be the thin end of the wedge, which is something that I also fear.

    A question that perhaps Carolyn - or someone - could ask is how the BBC now actively seek to provide for all its listeners, whatever their circumstances, and how far they are prepared to go to meet what is, essentially, an aspect of the BBC Charter. To cut stations, or programmes, on the basis of how many listeners may need to be challenged. Perhaps, instead, they need to be looking at why listener numbers are low - Is it due to lack of promotion of the stations/programmes? Is there a fear that promoting minority provision might provoke a backlash from other quarters?

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  • 13. At 10:47am on 03 Mar 2010, Galahad wrote:

    10 nikki noodle -
    The BBC should definitely continue to provide programming for the disabled and (ideally) for all minority and 'special interest' groups. The important thing, however, is that all of that provision should be included within the mainstream channels. I would certainly vote against the setting up of a seperate 'disabled channel' which could only result in people with disabilities being further marginalised - seeing themselves and being seen by others as divorced from the rest of society.

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  • 14. At 11:02am on 03 Mar 2010, Big Jim wrote:

    Agree with Galahad. The BBC should cover all aspects within the 'mainstream' channels. Please note that commercial stations may exist in the urban areas and may well deliver valuable content for minority interests, but in the rural areas they're notable by their absence, and such as are available are totally rubbish.

    Rural people are a minority too!

    Big Jim

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  • 15. At 11:15am on 03 Mar 2010, Looternite wrote:

    9. Big Sister
    I don't know the numbers but there are a lot of gays in this country and the BBC did not think it neccessary to have a whole network devoted to gays.
    Anyway I thought that BBC Radio 4 was becoming part of the Asian network, as so much of Radio 4 seems to be about India or other South Asians. For instance the programme on now.

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  • 16. At 11:17am on 03 Mar 2010, Looternite wrote:

    10. nikki noodle
    I think that Disability should be part of "mainstream" programming anyway with some specialised programs like "In Touch".

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  • 17. At 11:26am on 03 Mar 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    While I've been away from my screen (and, yes, listening to the New Global Indians on R4) I've been thinking further about the issue of output for minority groups.

    With regard to the 'gay' issue, Looternite, there are programmes on both TV and radio that relate directly to gay issues, just as there are programmes, from time to time, about Asian issues, the one being broadcast now being a prime example. But it is more the cultural matters which I think are lacking, and by that I include music and the arts.

    If Asian Network is going to be closed, as looks likely, I would ask the BBC how it is going to integrate its output into mainstream output. I think, just as there is in other areas of the public sector, the BBC should be made to address provision to minority groups in a methodical way. If a community service, let's say podiatry as an example, is cut back, the providers are always asked the question "How will you make sure that your clients do not suffer?"

    I'm sure this question will be asked by those who have benefitted from the Asian Network, and I hope they will put it forcefully during the consultation period. Similarly the many fervent advocates for Radio 6. It may well be that the BBC is acting prudently and logically in proposing to cut these stations, but they need to explain how they will ensure that their output is incorporated into other areas of the network.

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  • 18. At 11:34am on 03 Mar 2010, Looternite wrote:

    17. Big Sister
    The problem with "culture" is that each minority group cannot be catered for. There is no Asian culture as each grouping has their own culture.
    A friend of mine is a biker and his culture is not recognised by the BBC his music has to be got from commercial stations.
    Oh...look another Indian programme on Radio 4. This time a comedy?

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  • 19. At 11:42am on 03 Mar 2010, Looternite wrote:

    Ashcrofts money:
    Another letter from the Tories. Anyone would think Luton South was a seat the Tories are targeting!

    This time the topic is crime.
    Now I need time to think of appropiate answers and of course use the Freepost envelope.

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  • 20. At 12:30pm on 03 Mar 2010, newlach wrote:

    How much have taxpayers paid and are still paying to look after that pair of murderers who killed James Bulger?

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  • 21. At 12:45pm on 03 Mar 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Looternite: Perhaps we'll find an Asian backlash, with thousands refusing to pay their licence fee? ;o)

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  • 22. At 12:55pm on 03 Mar 2010, davmcn wrote:

    Assuming that our blog Lib Dem supporter, who won't hear anything negative said about the party, watched PMQ today, he will have heard Vince Cable being shouted down by Conservative MPs about Michael Brown's donation to the Lib Dems when he brought up Lord Ashdown's donations to the Conservatives. This isn't going to go away by people like the blog supporter burying his head in the sand (on the beach?) and not giving us his opinion about it.

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  • 23. At 12:56pm on 03 Mar 2010, vainly_here wrote:

    Radio 6 isn't available on a normal radio. Is that why its listeners are few? I heard someone say that 6 nurtures new talent. Isn't that what John Peel used to do? Anyway, I still maintain that one thing the Beeb should not do is overlay speech in news and documentary programmes with music (usually pop music). It's no service to the public.

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  • 24. At 1:01pm on 03 Mar 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Truly sad to hear of the death of Michael Foot, who was a great man in many ways.

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  • 25. At 1:03pm on 03 Mar 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    The great debate will be like Parliament without ever taking a decison.
    Like a hung Parliament in fact.

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  • 26. At 1:05pm on 03 Mar 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    Footnote of histroy.

    This is a lesson to us.

    Please, please, keep Thatcher alive until after the election.

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  • 27. At 1:24pm on 03 Mar 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:


    Sounds like a quote from McGonagall.

    Chris Ghoti does good pastiche too.

    (:-), don't worry, I know he is someone anyone with a sense of socialism cares for.

    I remember him in Trafalgar Square in 1953 at the end of an Aldermaston March

    A Tory 6th former from my school prodded me away from the front with his umbrella.

    'A bit of a demagogue isn't he?'

    No mate, he was the most exquisitely eloquent of men.

    Good music, walks on Hamstead Heath, writing books, making great speeches, a great journalist, a great lfe. RIP, Comrade.

    Did you ever hear Kinnock tell his joke about the old Welsh miner dying, and on his death bed converting to Toryism.

    'What are you doing?' his family asked.

    'I know I'm dying and I'd rather one of them die than one of us'

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  • 28. At 1:27pm on 03 Mar 2010, DoctorDolots wrote:

    4 & 9 Big Sister - what ARE Asian interests, and how do they differ from the interests of other Britons?

    And further why is it that 'minority groups' need special provision? If that means 'in their own language' then the sooner they learn English the better, then they can enjoy everything our society has to offer.

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  • 29. At 1:29pm on 03 Mar 2010, DoctorDolots wrote:

    Do all psychiatrists believe psychopaths can be 'cured' or 'rehabilitated'? A psychopath lacks normal human emotions and cannot feel empathy for another, which is why they so often kill. How do you teach someone empathy?

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  • 30. At 1:36pm on 03 Mar 2010, Looternite wrote:

    21. Big Sister
    Perhaps that will coincide with a "Indigenous White Working class" backlash against the BBC's insulting portrayal of working class people and life (Eastenders and The Archers to name but 2)

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  • 31. At 1:38pm on 03 Mar 2010, Looternite wrote:

    Passing of an era with the death of Michael Foot, still he reached a grand age.

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  • 32. At 1:40pm on 03 Mar 2010, Looternite wrote:

    Further to my #30
    I should have said for balance other negative portryals of the "White Working class" are available on other channels.

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  • 33. At 1:46pm on 03 Mar 2010, Gillianian wrote:

    Looternite (30) I don't think so, judging by the audience figures. They can't feel that insulted if they carry on tuning in!

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  • 34. At 2:12pm on 03 Mar 2010, Helena-Handbasket wrote:

    Politicians today could do worse than to emulate Michael Foot's frank and open honesty, stirring oration and being of substance, as opposed to fretting about appearances (and yes, I *do* remember THAT coat) and schoolyard namecalling across the House of Commons.

    RIP Michael Foot - He was a living leg end.

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  • 35. At 2:27pm on 03 Mar 2010, Bob Carey wrote:

    Michael Foote. A passionate politician and a decent man who cared about the underdog in our society. A fighter for justice, equality and fairness.

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  • 36. At 3:12pm on 03 Mar 2010, Looternite wrote:

    33. Gillianian
    Yes a bit of a mystery, I can't explain it as I am not qualified in that area.
    However, EtE may have something to say on this matter.

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  • 37. At 3:39pm on 03 Mar 2010, Big Jim wrote:

    Big Jim says "Farewell Michael, and very well done!" A truly fine human being, and we shall not see his like again.

    A toast to absent friends
    Dos Vidanya

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  • 38. At 4:07pm on 03 Mar 2010, CJ wrote:

    Why did the Director General focus his ideas for spending reductions and output restriction on Radio? Surely BBCTV is the most bloated and costly part of the corporation? He struggled yesterday to defend the continuation of BBC3 and BBC4.
    Haven't we just had a public report lamenting the lack of british made childrens / young persons broadcasting, possibly resulting in an "infection" of our young peoples culture by americana?
    What happens next? BBC propose to cut childrens output. You couldn't make it up!

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  • 39. At 5:10pm on 03 Mar 2010, davmcn wrote:

    DD 29, We could use a few more of those cycle paths around here.

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  • 40. At 5:13pm on 03 Mar 2010, Gillianian wrote:

    dav(39) We could certainly do with a bit more empathy.

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  • 41. At 5:14pm on 03 Mar 2010, davmcn wrote:


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  • 42. At 5:14pm on 03 Mar 2010, cherrytree wrote:

    In his otherwise excellent tribute to Michael Foot, Ross Hawkins was another journalist who pronounced "nuclear" as "nucular". Is it really too much to expect a journalist on a flagship programme on a flagship radio station to pronounce a basic word properly? Didn't he do any science at school?

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  • 43. At 5:26pm on 03 Mar 2010, IMOORE wrote:

    Is Michael Foot getting these gushing homilies because he was a politician of the left? May be he personally was a nice man, but as a politician he was dangerous, for if he had got power he would have condemned this country to the economic wilderness, and would have stripped us of our defence against the most unpleasant totalitarian state, fortunately the British people had more sense then to let any where near power.

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  • 44. At 5:40pm on 03 Mar 2010, newlach wrote:

    Could Jon Venables have tried to murder again? The lawyer who represented Venables' co-murderer indicated that torture which results in a person's death within 1 day isn't that serious compared to torture which results in the death of a person after 30 days! James Bulger was tortured and murdered and I would like to know why the pair who killed him were never sent to prison for their heinous crime and why Venables is now behind bars.

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  • 45. At 5:44pm on 03 Mar 2010, Looternite wrote:

    42. cherrytreeagain
    I don't give a monkeys what someones accent is or how they pronounce certain words.
    Its what they say that matters not how they say it. Or are you someone who judges people by their accent.

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  • 46. At 5:50pm on 03 Mar 2010, newlach wrote:

    People when considering a leader look at: "The integrity, the wholeness of the person. Can I trust this person?"

    What about your leader, Archbishop Nichols? He knew more about the extent and nature of sex abuse in the Catholic Church than anyone else before he became Pope. And what did he do about it?

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  • 47. At 6:01pm on 03 Mar 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    'We want to know what the tory stance is on fox hunting' said Hilary Benn. What was Tony Benn thinking taking one of his kids to work with him?

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  • 48. At 6:03pm on 03 Mar 2010, Sindy wrote:

    newlach: "Could Jon Venables have tried to murder again?"

    Nobody knows - so let's make it up, eh?

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  • 49. At 6:24pm on 03 Mar 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    41, I thought it was for singletons :)

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  • 50. At 6:29pm on 03 Mar 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    'We banned fox hunting'

    'Awesome job'

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  • 51. At 7:09pm on 03 Mar 2010, cherrytree wrote:

    As I live in the far north I certainly don't judge people by their accents at all. I however do expect a certain amount of knowkedge of basic pronunciation on such an important programme as PM. I know that it was an excellent report on a hugely important political figure, which its possibly why I got so irritated as it diverted me from listening properly. Nuclear isn't at all difficult to say.

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  • 52. At 7:39pm on 03 Mar 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:


    I'll be on the case as soon as the old enemy permits.

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  • 53. At 8:21pm on 03 Mar 2010, Gillianian wrote:

    cherry (51) A slip of the finger has let you down, and you have unwittingly opened yourself up to the same sort of criticism as you have doled out.
    As Looternite (45) says, it's what you say that matters......!

    Pronounce it noo-clear, new-clear or nucular - I'll know exactly what you mean, so just use what comes naturally to you ;o)

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  • 54. At 11:25pm on 03 Mar 2010, Sindy wrote:

    A slip of the finker?

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