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Prospects for Tuesday, 22 April

  • Newsnight
  • 22 Apr 08, 11:09 AM

Liz Gibbons is today's programme producer - here's her early email to the team.

What do you fancy doing today?

There is masses around - but which would produce the best journalism and the best interviews?

Is there more to be done on 10p tax? Report on cost of Olympics? BAA report? RBS? Lap-dancing?

Two things in train already - Robin and Warwick are off to the launch of the Quilliam Foundation (formed of ex members of Hizbut Tahrir) and Peter Marshall and Ben have been to Chicago to investigate some of the murkier allegations about Obama, dating back to his days as a city politician. We can get the latest from Pennsylvania off the back.



  • Comment number 1.

    How about a more considered view of the housing market not today but next week? many people in the market (I am as a developer) think that the media is adding to the problem. Here is a statistic thst you might like to ponder. Ity comes from the 'Live tables on the Communities and Local Government web site. In 1990 mortgage payments as a percentage of income for all buyers rose to 27% for all buyers and to 28% for first time buyers. This compared with long term stable figures of around 17% and 18% respectively. In 2007, the last figure on the table, the figures were 21% and 23% respectively. This does not suggest that prices are massively overvalued. By my calculation if prices drop 10% and incomes rise 5% over a year then the figures would move from 21% to 18.5% and 20% respectively. A further year of income rises or a further 5% fall in house prices would restore the relationship to long term averages. In my experience prices have already dropped 10% so arguably the worst is now behind us. More importnatly how do thise that suggest bigger drops are yet to come support this view? If thet can't is n't it time for the media to provide some long term perspective? After all it is n't that long since you reported the government's call for additional housing numbers and the planning, local government's and developers' problems in raising the pace of supply. If they can't then demand will further outstrip supply. it is hard to see how demand can reduce significanltly over the long term (it needs less immigration, more emigration and households to disappear or not form). Hope you find this of interest as an idea.

  • Comment number 2.

    Dear Ms Gibbons

    could I ask some questions through your show?

    Q-What is the current real rate of tax paid by the better off after 'advice' on how not to do so from the tax avoidance industry?

    -ie If the better off are more adept than ever before at not paying the tax expected of them does this mean that the tax bill will fall more heavily and disproportionally on those not in a position to pay for such 'advice' hence things like the 10p tax outrage on the poorest workers?

    Q- re the huge amount being pumped into the banking sector by the Government, is our economy now so weak and lacking proper balance is the actually no choice for the Government in this?

    Q-Does knowledge and money give some groups in society too much power over the Government and the law and at the expense of less powerful groups?

    best wishes hope you might be able to explore some of these possible angles?


  • Comment number 3.


    While David Miliband is exercised regarding votes-and-outcomes under dodgy regimes, would he like to comment on these figures from a well known banana, off-shore, non-dom domicile?

    Votes % Votes Seats % Seats

    9,566,618 35.2 356 55.1

    8,785,941 32.4 198 30.7

    5,985,414 22.0 62 9.6

  • Comment number 4.

    A new line in bog paper has hit the streets called prezza, does it come with a free sick bag? same sort of crap that blair brown and cambell have recently touted. who on eath would want to read a book about vomit.

  • Comment number 5.

    MILIBANWAGON (repeated for clarity)

    While David Miliband is exercised regarding votes-and-outcomes under dodgy regimes, would he like to comment on these figures from a well known banana, off-shore, non-dom domicile?


    9,566,618…… 35.2…...356…….55.1



  • Comment number 6.

    Hi Bob (2)
    Thanks for your message. We're not planning to look at taxation and the state of the economy in detail on tonight's show.
    I'm sure we'll return to both themes very soon though.

    Liz Gibbons

  • Comment number 7.


    The Olympic five-ring-circus, aligns with war, aid and disaster relief as the sort of thing senior politicians espouse so that they can strut the world stage with a bit of kudos. Now that athletics is big business, with athletes living far from their home country to train, and the pathetic tallying of medals won by each competing country, there is little (if any) of the original spirit of The Games left. As we watch the inevitable politicising – which Britain will be sure to take to the next level - the Olympics fall into the same tawdry arena as The National Lottery, 24 hour licensing and super casinos. Makes you proud to be British.

  • Comment number 8.


    And - has lap dancing become socially acceptable? (Your words - not mine.)
    What are you using as a yard-stick for "socially acceptable"? Political chicanery?
    War cos God said so? Being dominated by Europe? The alcohol culture? The tobacco rearguard? Prisons as mental homes? Cock-eyed courts? Dysfunctional monarchy? mass immigration? Dental Caries - free at the point of pain? Yeah - lap dancing's OK.


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