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Thursday 10 December 2009 - in more detail

Verity Murphy | 17:34 UK time, Thursday, 10 December 2009

Here's Emily Maitlis with what is coming up on tonight's programme:

Tiger's Birdies:

Forget all that you've heard about Tiger Woods' sponsorship deals running out. A brand new one came in just today. It's from Paddy Power, Ireland's largest bookie and it is offering the beleaguered golfer a million dollars.

The catch? Well, the endorsement is of a new product they're calling Tiger's Birdies. And, as you correctly surmise, it's a bet based on predictions of the number of birdies holed by Tiger over four days of a golf tournament.

Well that is what you were thinking, isn't it?

We'll be talking about Tiger, sponsorship, modern infidelity and its cost a little later on the programme.


MPs' expenses. It takes a serious claim to knock the duck house from its poll position of numero uno expense gaffe. But today, Quentin Davies is revealed to be vying for the award. He tried to claim for repairs to his bell tower.

Doncha just hate it when your bell tower starts leaking? No-one should have to tolerate that in modern-day Britain.

We'll be looking at this new lot of expenses and we'll debate what the revelations say about MPs and what they've learnt.


Newsnight's trawl through the last decade comes to a close tonight when we land on fashion in the Noughties.

It was the decade when fashion got fast - and, arguably, democratic. The turnaround from the catwalk to the high street became obscenely quick.

The focus, like never before, was on the dressing of the celebrity - the rest of us were then shown how to get the same look at a hundredth of the price. What has that done for the way we view celebrity and the way we dress ourselves?

Here's a sneak preview of the film:

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Tonight, we'll be talking to one of the most thought-provoking designers in the business - Hussein Chalayan - who once proved so brilliantly that a skirt didn't just have to be a skirt, it could also be a table.

Confused? All will be explained later. Join us at 10.30pm on BBC Two.



  • Comment number 1.


    if the content of tonight's programme and the way it's introduced is fit for a respected newws transmission, then I'm William Shakespeare.


  • Comment number 2.

    From this blog 28th November

    Not O/T now.

    NN blogs ahead of the news.

  • Comment number 3.

    Population Growth.

    One of the differences I had with JJ was their concern about Anglo Saxon or whatever definition populations not increasing their growth at the same rate as other population groups.

    My view was two wrongs don't make a right. It is overall birthrates that needed to be brought down to the level of western societies.

    Population is a major problem, but unfortunately it needs long tern planning to resolve. It has been left too late.

    Every time I here about climate tipping points I have to say, no! These are climate only models that say things need to be done in 20 years or 10 years.

    Climate models are a simplified abstraction from reality. Imagine taking your car for an MoT and they only check the tyres. You are told they are fine and will last another 20,000 miles. The next day you drive into the back of a bus. Because they didn't check the brakes, and they were shot.

    Climate models are as they say on the tin, climate only models and predictions. They are as the name says, restricted in scope. The danger is whole planetary ecological system collapse which will happen sooner than the climate only scenarios.

    We need a strategy on 3 factors.

    Reduced birthrates now to ensure reduced consumption in long term 40-50 years.

    Resolve the climate issue so we know what it is doing and it relationship with ecological systems. Carbon trading will not be successful if there is a relationship between CO2 and increasing temperature and/or extreme weather. This is the 8-20 year scenario.

    The most important is the ecological system collapse. All decisions of the G20 must be reversed. Consumption must decrease to preserve the ecological life support systems. Those who are old enough remember the Apollo 13 mission. When the life support systems malfunctioned, they shut down all none essential systems to reduce the demand on what remained of the capsules life support system.

    Planets are the same just a bigger scale. And we have no other home or oasis to reach. We have to shut down demand on Earth's systems now. Then restore the functioning up to preexisting levels. It is not just about carbon emissions. The planet is losing the ability to absorb carbon due to damage to ecosystems. Same with pollution etc.

    Demand on ecological systems must be reduced immediately, otherwise recommendations on climate change or population control will be meaningless. As we as a planet will not get to the point in time when such policies have any beneficial affect.

    Ecological, climate and population systems all need to be addressed. But if we don't act now immediately on ecological collapse. Anything we do on climate or population will never have any benefit. The system will have collapsed long before, and us with it.

    Celtic Lion

  • Comment number 4.

    the 'science' is being used as a tin opener to get at the money.

    all this reminds me of the delusion about the iraq war and their 'dossier'

    its all sexed up.

    to get at the easy billions.

  • Comment number 5.

    "This kind of ambush might be great fun, but it doesn't do anything for the reputation of politicians..."

    ...or journalists.

  • Comment number 6.

    Celtic #3

    Is it not the case that we need to take pressure of the ecological system as far as is reasonably practical. A basic national grid for water could take pressure off rivers etc in the south east irrespective of whether drought conditions existed.

    This could comprise one pump free main aqueduct from Kielder to London, secondary from the Lake District intersecting in Yorkshire. ( both Yorkshire and the south east have experienced water shortage in the last 15 years ) It could be done without sucking in imports and would benefit companies like JCB and the truck manufacturers ( haulage contracts only given to companies using UK built vehicles )

    On the reducing carbon emissions aspect build the planned full scale Severn Barrage to generate electricity and reduce energy costs to benefit UK industry as a whole. Similarly a Morecambe Bay barrage which apart from generating cheap electric could regenerate Barrow in Furness by bringing it back into the wider Lancashire economy where it traditionally belongs.

    Even if public spending was required to subsidize the above projects the government would get most of the initial investment back in current aggregate and fuel taxes. All the above projects could stimulate the UK economy and reduce our total ecological impact on the environment.

  • Comment number 7.

    Surely wave power should be taken more seriously,

  • Comment number 8.

    ecolizzy #7

    Although it undoubtedly has a part to play, the eco-fascists are using wave power etc as an excuse not to build proven to work barrages. I believe that the allegedly most promising wave power project has smashed itself to pieces in short order. Even wave power can be becalmed, like wind power it needs mega inefficient to provide fossil fuel backup and is therefore not really a realistic alternative power source.

  • Comment number 9.

  • Comment number 10.

    "'This Week in shock watchable moment' shock."

    The BBC inadvertently allows a balanced debate on some key issues of 'climate change' and the response to it. Wow! Two of a questioning disposition versus two who believe the science and what must be done are settled gently spar with each other.

    If you listen carefully, you may still be able to hear echoes of the programme producer's rant of incredulity at how this happened.

    You can be sure that someone's head will be for the chop, if it hasn't already rolled.

    Click for Thursday’s monumental event

  • Comment number 11.


    Never-ending references to primary cost is the wrong approach. Pay-back time has some relevance, when looking for private funding, but ultimately, reliability and maintenance costs are the key, as the energy itself IS free.

    When all is said and wrangled, the question to ask is: "IS THE APPROACH ELEGANT". Nuclear is about as inelegant as it gets - I don't need to rehearse all the factors. Even hydro 'bends' nature to a fair degree - with consequences. Direct solar hot water is neat - photo-voltaics less so, but the technology is advancing daily - pity about the latitude . . .

    Low-tech harvesting of kinetic energy from tidal flows, transferred ashore as hydraulic power using seawater as the hydraulic medium, strikes me as as good as it (currently) gets. By 'low tech' I mean rotors with a 'JCB' mind-set behind them: low cost - robust - easily maintained - long life and service-interval.

    When I was active in the chemical industry, I solved many problems related to fluids, and devised and built a lot of pieces of kit. We competed thereby with the 'big boys'. Oh how I would love to be in on this one.

    As I have said before: WE ARE AN ISLAND. (Though, no doubt, the EU would declare a standard price for energy, and levy the difference, on any vassal state who got below it.)

  • Comment number 12.



    William Shakespeare here, backed by his friend, Gregory Peck - the money is no longer available.

    We would say 'sorry' but you don't deserve even this.

  • Comment number 13.

    #12 from previous page

    But barriesingleton, Newsnight is not always like that.
    Ducks and tigers don't always have full access to the making of their programmes and thank goodness for that.

  • Comment number 14.


    How can he possibly come out with that word (a favourite of his, along with 'historic') and STILL ACCEPT THE PRIZE? A quite, graceful declining would be the act of a TRULY HUMBLE man (or consummate con-man of course).

    I have just started reading the transcript of his (long) speech. but it will have to wait.

    While he does not know that 'humble is as humble does' - and that WE will decide - he demonstrates WE HAVE GOT OURSELVES 'ANOTHER ONE'. Now it becomes clear why '90K Tony' was his first visitor.

    It is all so 'wrong side of history'.

    Weep world.

  • Comment number 15.

    #12 continuation

    Coming to think about it, jauntycyclist, the other thing is no longer available neither.

    A full claim to possession has been made on both.

  • Comment number 16.

    Below is the beginning of a ditty on the female painter, Seraphine Louis. Once I've finished it, I shall post it again in full, tomorrow morning.

    I’ve sung all day long, Lol,
    And am still singing now
    First it was out loud
    And now deep in my soul.


    I did earlier on go to see a film
    About a female painter of name Séraphine.
    What a talent she was, absolutely amazing,
    Still widely unknown, attention deserving.


  • Comment number 17.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 18.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 19.

    Even now, jj, as I'm writing. You are being surveilled.

    You are probably visible to whoever it might be and your 'activities' are being heard.

    Don't you have any sense whatsoever? Are you sure you want to insist on adding more and more items to the list of accusations?

  • Comment number 20.

    i think the mods know what to do.

  • Comment number 21.


    Do not think I'm one bit upset. The removed posts are doing just fine both in my document called 'Don Quixot and Pearls in Search of the Truth' and on my very expressive iPhone. Besides, as I said last night, it all is being gathered as part of the evidence which has now started to come out officially both at Westminster and in the media, as per #10 for example. The Forces are at work!

  • Comment number 22.

    As per #16, here's the full version of my ditty on Seraphine /Louis/ de Senlis:

    I did earlier on go to see a film
    About a female painter of name Séraphine.
    What a talent she was, absolutely amazing,
    Still widely unknown, attention deserving.

    Séraphine de Senils was born in 1864
    Discovered by W Uhde who was a collector
    Of art. He was kind to her, whenever he could,
    Promoting her work and helping her through.

    First when she was still working as a domestic
    And after the war by buying her work.
    During depression, however, things did go wrong
    With her ending up ill & on a psychiatric ward.

    Nevertheless, he even tried then to make her life easier
    Continuing his help for her to be looked after.
    At the same time he exhibited her work
    Throughout the years till well after her death.

    Séraphine’s art is intensely colourful and rich
    With floral arrangements in most fantastic patterns.
    It's what they call primitive and yet not at all kitsch.
    The film's still being shown at Ciné Lumière.

    In the film she is being played by Yolande Moreau
    Who herself started late once her children were grown.
    Self-taught but driven by passion
    With her now becoming an actress in fashion.

    And here are a couple of links:


  • Comment number 23.

    I've just found the following piece of news on the BBC front news page:

    which is a testimony to the acceptance of diversity, in this case of different styles of the Spanish language, rather than an imposition of rules and regulations by some kind of linguistic dictator. Life and natural laws have a tendency to shine through the worst of conditions and even cataclysms, etc

  • Comment number 24.

    Having had recent doubts or even having been openly critical of some of the Newsnight lady presenters, all in all intelligent women, it will be interesting to see what angle Martha Kearney is going to assume tonight when she presents both the news part of Newsnight and the Review.

    If I remember correctly, it was Martha who presented the Review when the panel spoke about Sacha Cohen looking all jolly and amused by his 'sense of humour', etc. and we now know what might be in stall for him, never mind the world wide humiliation on the ethical front.

  • Comment number 25.

    #8 Thanks brossen99 I didn't know there had been this problem with wave machines being smashed. And yes I do agree it will be intermitant at times, but not quite as much as wind power!

    Speaking of which, look at the disasterous one off Whitstable

    As Barrie said the problems with maintenance. I believe each gearbox cost around a million quid, and obviously the machine is out of action for weeks. Virtually all these windmills have had the box replaced twice, so it can't be cost efficient at all.

    They are building the biggest one in Britain at the moment out in what they call the Thames estuary, but which is more like the North Sea. But to get the electricity into shore they have built on an SSSI, shows just how green the power is, and how the SSSI counts for nothing, when it comes to making money!

  • Comment number 26.

    Hey, guess what, we and France are going to give 1.5 billion away to poor countries for climate change. Just WHERE are we going to get the money from? Borrow it? Tax us? I thought we were 176 billion in debt, anybody heard of Micawber?!!!!

  • Comment number 27.

    I have now watched some of last night's Newsnight and found Emily in a more intelligent mode than her introduction which smacked of sensationalism of a 'sexy tiger enjoying his birds', etc. I couldn't believe when I first read it that it could come straight from Emily as that it would almost implicate her as considering herself as 'a bird', etc

    Personally I couldn't care less how many women Tiger Woods slept with, so it is a non-story for me.

    I don't care about fashion neither although if it fits my own taste or let's say my figure, I'm quite happy to look what they say 'fashionable'. I quite often wear frilly Asian scarfs and apparently a young skater once said that I did look fashionable. Those scarfs cost me only £1 each.

    Although I think people, including the young ones, may be a bit too much obsessed with fashion at the expense of other interesting things they could be spending their money on, I do love seeing some of the dressed in colourful clothes or simply looking 'cool' rather than look with no thought or care taken about their appearance.

    I particularly enjoyed Emily talking to the MPs about the expenses scandal and how things are looking to be resolved in the future with one of them saying that rather than looking constantly into the past, things will have changed when the new Parliament comes into existence, whenever that might be.

    As mentioned, I never really thought that the MPs were there only for the money. Some of them may be there to promote themselves ps personalities, etc, but I still believe that most of them start with the need to take part in the political life while wanting at the same time contribute something back to either their local communities or further afield.

    The other day I had a discussion with a friend on how most people, one way or another, abuse the state or the place of work by taking for instance pens or paper home from their offices although I am sure there are plenty of others who wouldn't even dream of it but then may have done something else in life that is not 100% honest, etc

  • Comment number 28.

    Good to see Obama has flown a 747 to Oslo to pick up his Nobel Prize. Now he has now flown back to the US in his 747. Next week he flies his 747 to the Copenhagen to stress the importance of reducing carbon emissions, then fly back to the US in his 747.

    Am I not getting something?

    How the fates conspire to affect the US negotiating position.

  • Comment number 29.


    I am not sure, Roger, what you're trying to tell us by the link apart from the fact that perhaps global warming has not taken full hold of atmospheric conditions on Earth though if the global Poles, not the citizens of Poland, have been melting away then overall conclusion must be that some changes are happening.

    With regard to this year's Nobel Peace Prize Winner and his flights, if you had such responsibilities for your country and in some ways for the world, then you couldn't afford too much time away from your office. That's why, I assume, Barack Obama has chosen to fly back and then to come back to Europe. As far as I'm concerned, it's circumstantial.

    None of the engagements seem to me like pure pleasure holiday trips though in some ways, although probably feeling somewhat of a burden by having received the Prize, he and Michelle must be feeling quite chaffed.

  • Comment number 30.


    I'm enjoying your posts on the power of waving waves!


  • Comment number 31.

    #26 & #30

    And now I know who Micawber is, Ecolizzy.


  • Comment number 32.

    #29 Mim

    "he and Michelle must be feeling quite chaffed."

    Is it any of our business how he and Michelle celebrate? Though Barack was on the front of Golf Digest admittig he had taken some tips from Tiger.

  • Comment number 33.

    house flipping

    is the more important one because it looks like devious gaming?

    Tobin tosh

    Tobin a 'strategic punishment' for their failure? er it was the politicians who didn't think rules were important. gordon and blair shouted down the FSA every time they suggested it. What should the strategic punishment be for the politicians?

    this crash will happen again because Darling doesn't want to is still legal to crash the uk economy. so it doesn't matter how much money it raises.its just a trot fit.

    gordon's only answer to anything be it climate change, finance etc is tax? Labour is a one trick pony.

    there should be a tax on profits not on mere trading [that may result in a loss] that provides liquidity.

    again its not about what is right but using the financial crash designed by politicans as a trojan horse to get at money.

    if the answer to everything is tax then should not politicians be taxed at 70% until the debt is paid off?




    ladies who lunch stuff- even the cameraperson got bored and started moving around.

    troops going to fight in amsterdam?

    you might not be wrong emily.

  • Comment number 34.



    I have reasons to concern myself with such supposedly 'trivial' issues like how the Obamas are doing and how they are feeling. They are a rare couple who are prepared to listen to and to take note of what we say here on these pages.

    Even before taking up office, I think it was, the current President of the USA said that he was prepared to place himself on a learning curve and it looks like he's keeping this promise alive, unlike some politicians who always claim to be right but in fact find themselves being swerved into u-turns with unbelievable frequency.

    Plus, I don't know whether you realise that the Whitehouse is following our blogging conversations here, including posts that have been deleted.

    Sometimes I send controversial posts on purpose when I feel I need to share this or that important point, with the full realisaton that they may be in fact deleted and yet read by those who know the difference between the basic rights and wrongs.

  • Comment number 35.

    What's that old saying about "Divide and Rule"?!

    Unbelievable that we now have two law systems apparently in this country, I feel sorry for muslim women. I notice there are already 5 Muslim Courts in England, they kept that quiet didn't they?! And don't tell me about arbitration only, can you imagine a muslim women winning?!!!!

  • Comment number 36.


    That would be an interesting subject for Newsnight, for example, to investigate.

    I'll see whether I can find out anything about it at Queensway.


  • Comment number 37.

    34 mimpromptu

    What utter tosh you write......

    "Plus, I don't know whether you realise that the Whitehouse is following our blogging conversations here, including posts that have been deleted"

    You have lost touch with reality

  • Comment number 38.

    Nos 37

    Red eye to my eye
    soft touch tosh united here
    reality lost blinded thou red eye
    deluded of the eyed up
    him to mim its a win

  • Comment number 39.

    Streetphotobeing are you mimpromptu cheerleader? She has problems and needs to deal with them AWAY from the NN blogs, thats all im saying.

  • Comment number 40.

    10. At 00:41am on 11 Dec 2009, Strugglingtostaycalm wrote:
    "'This Week in shock watchable moment' shock."
    The BBC inadvertently allows a balanced debate on some key issues of 'climate change' and the response to it. Wow! Two of a questioning disposition versus two who believe the science and what must be done are settled gently spar with each other."

    Interesting for such rarity value, and as damning.

    It would seem that having questions on where large amounts of money are going and what measures are in place to ensure they are spent both wisely and well are soon to be deemed near treason by some.

    Which, as one who truly cares about his kids' futures, and applies rigourous measures of enviROI to try and asses what is green, just looks it or is just what someone wishes it was (but won't tell you as they don't know or it doesn't suit), is a bit of a worry.

  • Comment number 41.

    Nos 39

    That sounds more reasonable. I believe in inclusion and not the loony bin. The mods can take care of anything 'problematic'.

  • Comment number 42.

    #40 JunkkMale

    Everything you are being told by the media and politicians is mostly wrong.

    The government had all the answers. What you are witnessing is called an ass covering campaign.

    If NN can find anyone who knows more about how a planet works then myself. Then get them in a studio in a one to one with myself.

  • Comment number 43.

    Just watched Madeline's report on fashion in the noughties - absolutely loved it - and she looked stunning as a WAG, particularly her hair :o)
    Also loved Emily's discussion with Hussein Chalayan & Paula Reed too.

    :p I'm fed up of the climate stuff & fed up of Obama.

  • Comment number 44.

    43. At 11:08am on 12 Dec 2009, Mistress76uk wrote:
    Just watched Madeline's report on fashion in the noughties - absolutely loved it
    :p I'm fed up of the climate stuff & fed up of Obama.

    Well, I do believe one of the few remaining serious news programmes is in the process of addressing your concerns. Quantitatively at least, if not qualitatively.


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