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Thursday, 26 June, 2008

Brian Thornton | 18:31 UK time, Thursday, 26 June 2008

Just who knew what about the use of torture at Guantanamo Bay?
This long running, often asked question is gathering steam as I write.
There is a congressional probe going on in Washington right now - Dick Cheney's Chief of staff has been made to testify. It's long been assumed that those at the bottom got away with certain illegitimate practices because those at the top turned a blind eye. But what if the orders actually came from the top? Will anyone be naming names? We'll have the latest from Washington

We have some important new revelations about the Conservative Party Chair, Caroline Spelman, and her former nanny. The Parliamentary Commissioner for standards is currently investigating whether Ms Spelman broke any rules in paying her nanny - who she insists also worked as her secretary - from parliamentary allowances. You'll have to wait until tonight to see Michael Crick's report.

Communication Problems?
By tomorrow Gordon Brown will have been in power for a whole year, and as we mark the anniversary in the second of our special reports, we'll be discussing the Prime Minister's communications skills. Just how does he come across to the voters that he so desperately needs to talk to.

Leonard Cohen's at Glastonbury, the Beach Boys' lead man is playing London. Perhaps all great things have their time again. Yes, even Pentangle the cult heroes of 1960s folk-jazz have stopped running restaurants in Minorca and gone back to music. They're back in fashion. And we feel duty bound to remind you why.


  • Comment number 1.

    I really don't know why you are prioritising a
    standards enquiry into Caroline Spelman -
    rather than covering the considerably more
    serious (?) finding yesteray that The Labour
    Party Leader in Scotland BROKE THE LAW -
    and is to be kicked out of Holyrood for a day.

    I suggest you put your Spelman story to one side and go for the Scottish jugular!

  • Comment number 2.

    Poor Emily, what a load of irrelevant rubbish in tonight's programme when you consider the main story of the day which will directly effect the UK population. Gordon Brown's eco-lunatic 100 bn scheme to increase wind power must be today's top story for any serious UK news organization. How does he expect the economy to pay for it in the current credit crunch. I suspect that the money will be raised in the form of a extra private tax on energy bills, we are already paying 7% extra for the privilege of the wind farms currently operating however inefficiently.

    It is said that for the same capital outlay we could build 37 new nuclear power stations which could provide a far larger proportion of our energy 24/7 365 days a year. Wind farms can only offer intermittent power at best and it is likely that we will need either fossil fuel or nuclear as a backup or put the country back into the 18th century. As with most schemes apparently backed by the Corporate Nazi elite it will cost the population twice as much as it needs to for less overall benefit. I suspect that the majority of high cost wind farm technology will need to be imported, so plenty of money for the stock market parasites to change.

    This policy demonstrates how bereft of scientific and engineering education government departments and politicians in general have become. Perhaps it will be easy to sell to a ten bob fat cat electorate dazed by years of quasi-religious campaigning by eco-fascist groups and biased media presenters. Time is running out and we can't afford to get things wrong on energy policy just to conform to political correctness.

    I will probably be watching Question Time.

  • Comment number 3.

    The Beach Boys had their memorable revival
    on 4th July 1981 when they played The Mall in Washington DC after a request from Mrs
    Nancy Reagan. (Frank was busy in Vegas!)

  • Comment number 4.

    Yawn about tonight, not spellman again, You've got balls ......and his wife.
    I will still tune in for Pentangle.

  • Comment number 5.

    I like Mr Crick in his Jeffrey Archer suit check out Jeffrey's web-site he's in the same suit
    Flattery and Imitation !!

  • Comment number 6.

    Everything I write below is my personal views -

    A strange list of stories tonight given the Gov has announced its intension to legalize discrimination in the name of Equality today.

    Also the Justice Minister announcing emergency legislation to stop a undisclosed number of appeals from convicted criminals given that they might have been denied a fair trial under Common Law.

    With currently running trials being suspended till this emergency legislation is on the books , is this action another breach of Common Law rules , no retrospective laws .

    Will criminals be able to claim compensation for the years they might have served in prison illegally ?

    Remember , there can not be retrospective laws to rectify this .

    Why didn't the Gov's legal advisor's see this coming , or even bother to see how other Common Law countries around the world deal with this issue ?

    Who was responsible for this , not only does it lower still further the legal system in peoples eyes but also could cost tens of millions in compensation and scrapped trials.

    Just my personal views on what I think are the big issues of the day !

  • Comment number 7.

    Not sure if I am repeating myself as my post didn't seem to make it.

    1.Kind millionaires I need a ticket for Mandela's concert and/or Glastonbury because Leonard Cohen is there. I will say thanks but it will be kind of mumbled. I want planes, accommodation, food and beer because I am on Jobseekers allowance.

    2. Love the torture topic as it's HUGELY important. People should pay for what they have done.

    3. Grumpy-Jons advice to Gordon earlier in the day is to be ignored. Nuremburg rallies would not suit Gordon and he is "plump" so LeiderHosen would not suit. Be yourself.

  • Comment number 8.

    Like A Bird On The Wire
    Like a Drunk In A Midnight Choir
    I Have Tried In My Way
    To Be Free

  • Comment number 9.

    #2 brossen99

    Buddy 2020 is supposed to be the carbon shortfall time. If they get their bums into action - and I suspect they won't - then we will be short. So we need that wind power. NOW.

    On the nuclear power front what are you going to do with the waste. We lucky citizens can bid for storing it. Are you going to?

    So when can we expect to see Gordon Browns' constituency put in a bid. By the way do we actually know HOW to store it totally safely? NO! But what could go wrong.

    I leave all of the sane people to use their imagination.

    When you say Corporate Nazi elites are behind wind farms I can only suggest that you need to get out more. Good luck on Question Time viewing. If you think Dimbleby is more even handed than Newsnight apply for help soon.

    Best wishes.

  • Comment number 10.

    I suppose the plot is to keep flogging away at the Spelman case to avoid any further scrutiny and discussion of the many 'honourable' members who have used taxpayers money to buy their notional second homes, TV sets, food and goodness knows what else under their lax 'expenses' procedures.

    Clearly, it wouldn't do to discuss this issue (together with their generous self-determined pay rise) whilst the majority of taxpayers are trying to decide whether to cut back on expenditure or support their trade unions' threats to take industrial action.

  • Comment number 11.


    Wind power sounds good , but I got a question or two about it -

    How many kilojoules of heat does each turbine produce when working ,as there must be friction and therefor heat ?

    What is used to cool the hot turbine , it is our atmosphere ?

    These are some unanswered questions I have about wind farms.

  • Comment number 12.

    #9 The gango phone

    They can come and plonk nuclear waste in my back yard as much as they like, just so long as it sustains the local rural economy for the indigenous population. We already have nuclear waste, adding to it in not really a problem, just like you can't uninvent the wheel. All the evidence suggests that it hasn't killed everybody at who decided to stay near Chernobyl yet, and the wildlife is unaffected also. So much for the eco-fascist myth that everything would suffer from birth defects.

  • Comment number 13.

    #12 brossen99

    Wow , let me guess where you live the sky is purple!

    "We already have nuclear waste". Yes. Its in barrels and nobody knows what to do with it. Thats why Gordon is trying to make it sound like a giggle to get rid of it. If you put it deep in the ground and there is seismic activity then it could affect water supplies etc.

    Chernobyl was a release of contamination, so read up on it. It wasn't the nuclear waste. The VERY brave people who helped seal up that leak all died I believe.

    I don't think anybody lives near there to this day.

    The wildlife does seem to have recovered better than expected but how much of that is due to unaffected animals migrating in from outside? Is it well understood?

    Do you refer to your neighbours as the "local indigenous population"? I am sure they will queue up to vote for the waste and thats why the Brown strategy will be such a resounding success... Not.

    #9 Steve-London
    I don't know how many KJ they produce - but its renewable energy. I would try say Friends of the Earth.

    When you take into account the cost of sorting out the waste that brossen99 does not want nuclear becomes vastly inefficient cost wise compared to renewables.

    The bottom line is if nuclear waste is not what you want near you then nuclear power is not the solution. If like brossen99 you would store it under the bed to prove the eco-fascists wrong then go for it.

    I'll watch.

  • Comment number 14.

    Re #7
    You're rambling again dear boy plus chanting the hitler-centric tosh that's been pushed at you most of your life.
    I didn't offer any advice to Greedy Gordon, but if you feel he needs some, "Gordon pretend that you're ill and resign sharpish. The establishment will turn up a donish slot at somewhere like St. Andrew's to get you out of the heat that you're clearly not up to handling."
    My daughter and her friends are at Glasto in a nice cosy caravan. I'm sure she can turn you up a ticket. I take it you're gagging about the Jobseekers, but if not, she's got plenty of my hard-earned with her. Contact me Friday, if you can get down there. I'll put you in touch.

  • Comment number 15.

    # 13

    Hi thegangofone

    I do not believe in the current global warming theory thats going around (so please forgive me for that), but energy security for our country I do believe in.

    I am not keen on nuclear as we would still have a security issue with the fuel supply.

    Whats the solution , not sure.

    But more Gov backed research into other ways to make energy would be a good start.

    We have some very bright talented people in this country and I think if given the resources they could make a real difference to resolving this problem.

    Sorry for the cheap anti global warming jest at wind farms , but all turbines do produce a lot of heat.

    I am not in the research business or have any shares (that I know about) in any energy company !

  • Comment number 16.

    Caroline Spelman again!

  • Comment number 17.

    Charlie Rose interviewed a New York Times reporter the other night who covers the torture issue and is clearly against it. However, he had to admit that there is good evidence that the technique worked to extract much useful information from the terrorits in GITMO and elsewhere where they were detained that prevented some very real plots and gave insight into the working of the minds of Islamic terrorists. I for one think that in a world of WMDs, it is insanity to discard this useful tool when it is used carefully for the ends of protecting the security of the American people. Does the ends justify the means? IMO in this case the answer is an unqualified yes. The framers of the US Constitution could never have imagined circumstances where a small group of people could by themselves destroy a city of millions. We should not risk the survival of our civilization on the fact that they could not have planned for contingencies they could not have possibly foreseen.

  • Comment number 18.

    I don't mind NN banging on about Spelman, as this has a lot of legs especially with Dave saying it is all peace and light in his new sanitized party so let Michael run with this. I welcome an equally thorough investigation into man/wife members of the cabinet who really seem to have apot of gold. The getout is of course, 'it is all within the rules, Dear Boy,' well, those rules need changing and fast. Conway, cash for peerages, the Wintertons what a tawdry shamefull bunch of hypocrits, and yet they lecture us on the merits of belt tightening. As Michael Carmichael said in Private's Progress...'what a shower'

  • Comment number 19.

    Well, well, it seems that Spelman employs a proper little Mary Poppins. Not only did this paragon take responsibility for the sprogs, but she also acted as Spelman's secretary. Perhaps she also undertook duties more suitable for a Shadow Minister. No wonder the empire was built on the laps of the good old British nanny!


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