BBC BLOGS - Newsnight: From the web team
« Previous | Main | Next »

Wednesday 13 October 2010

Sarah McDermott | 17:54 UK time, Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Here's what is coming up tonight at 2230 on BBC Two:

Sixteen of the 33 miners trapped underground for more than two months in northern Chile have been winched to the surface amid scenes of jubilation.

Tonight we'll discuss the pressures of captivity and isolation and how then to deal with intense media pressure with John McCarthy, kidnapped by Islamic Jihad terrorists in Lebanon in 1986 and held hostage for more than five years.

Then Michael Crick will be gauging opinion from the backbenches on Ed Miliband's debut at Prime Minister's Questions today. Mr Miliband clashed with David Cameron over proposed cuts to child benefits, accusing the PM of breaking promises to protect them and urging him to "think again" over the move.

Danny Finkelstein and John McTernan - two former political advisers to prime ministers - will join Jeremy to give their takes on Ed Miliband's performance.

And we have another US film from our Economics editor Paul Mason, tonight from Georgia where he finds cultural division looming over next month's US mid-term election and the ideology that drove millions of people into expensive lifestyles on low pay and easy credit broken.

Read more on Paul's blog here.

Do join Jeremy at 10.30pm on BBC Two.


  • Comment number 1.

    ..we'll discuss the pressures of captivity and isolation..

    i would have thought Palestinians would be the expert on that?

  • Comment number 2.

    Since 83% of people polled in The Sun agreed with the PM on getting rid of child benefit for higher rate tax payers, Ed Miliband's debut on the subject was pointless..... :p

  • Comment number 3.

    Nn opens today’s e-letter with the following ....

    “Sixteen of the 33 miners trapped underground for more than two months in northern Chile have been winched to the surface amid scenes of jubilation.”

    Putting aside the issue of the importance of the ‘event’ to the Chilean peoples, and the fact that UK broadcasters appear to be - en masse - changing their titles to “Chilean Rescue 24” .....

    Is it not in any way possible for Nn to attempt to ‘achieve greatness’ by covering other stories that perhaps might have - ‘in the nation’s interest’ of course - been surreptitiously buried?

    If nothing else Nn won’t win any ‘gongs’ for something that 1500 other ‘News’ sic channel have covered!

    That said ....

    Mr Mason’s piece last night was pretty informative but don’t ‘they’ say ....

    What happens in America eventually happens here!

    And ...

    Oh yes!

    Just had the chance - At last! - to re-listen to Mr Phillips, of the EHRC, on Monday’s ‘Today’ via iPlayer. (08.10am on 11.10.10.)

    He appears to be saying that some communities, that perhaps ‘suffer’ from social and moral disadvantage, should be supported by wider society so as to give equality of ‘opportunity’.

    Would he then accept that this ‘third-party’ involvement be may not be quite as intensively necessary in some communities - as is currently the case - if ‘absent fathers’ accepted their ‘life-long’ responsibilities instead of just having the ‘fun and frolic’?

    And ...

    Oh yes!

    Interesting to hear that someone on the Nn production team got it wrong. Not exactly a groveling apology - more chuckling embarrassment really - but .....

    ‘fessin’ up’ is still ‘fessin’ up’ and honesty matters! (Ask any politician!)

    Two interesting things come from the debacle .... One is that only one out of “a million” viewers spotted the error. The other is that 999,999 -ish didn’t!

    These two issues beget more interesting thoughts ....

    999,999 -ish viewers may not - I would suggest, are not - interested in Nn for it’s Operatic content. This premise might indicate that some of the Nn production team may well be out of touch with what the audience actually watch Nn for!

    Which brings us back to console addicted producer!

    He didn’t check his facts (OK! He may be stressed, computer games can be very tough!) and, more importantly, he may be one of those that doesn’t understand the needs of ‘his’ audience!

    Which begs one question .....

    Can you please send the relevant application pack for the up-coming job vacancy to my home address?

  • Comment number 4.

    ". At 6:24pm on 13 Oct 2010, jauntycyclist wrote:
    ..we'll discuss the pressures of captivity and isolation..

    i would have thought Palestinians would be the expert on that?"

    if they covered that, there would probably then be a Richard Watson report on a new major terrorist threat!

  • Comment number 5.


    When the meeja keep calling it a tunnel.

    In view of the mechanical constraints on speed of ascent, was the mention of 'bends' prevention (earlier in the week) relevant?

    And the 'two days in a darkened room'? That isn't going to get anyone used to light is it! A little technical accuracy please.

    Did Disaster Dave send a lot of OUR money in HIS name? That gets you a free move on the Globopoly board. It is known as the 'Brown Gambit'.

    I have every sympathy for trapped miners, but still find bombed women and children, SLOWLY DYING under Johnnie Foreigner rubble, more harrowing to contemplate. They never get a mention at PMQs.

    Oh - it's all going disgracefully well.

  • Comment number 6.

  • Comment number 7.

  • Comment number 8.


    As a SYMPTOM only, of the wider malaise in science, which echoes politics, commerce, finance, armaments and the rest of global the calamity, one might think Susan would be on to it with investigative zeal.

    We shall just have to settle for Crikey seeking out a climate scientist who wears odd socks.

  • Comment number 9.

    . At 7:31pm on 13 Oct 2010, barriesingleton wrote:

    Sadly, you still appear to speak Menglish. The media now primarily broadcasts in Fenglese. This is a fusion of feminine English (where technical points are strictly verboten because they're considered incomprehensible or 'smutty'), and a version of Chinese where words like ma, ma, ma and ma can mean mother, linen, horse or to swear depending on tone and context. Only females fully understand Fenglese, which is designed to be very confusing and irritating to most males as it's mainly for emoting and bonding (which should never be confused with sex, and hence any mention of shafts is most definitely verboten)!

  • Comment number 10.

    The really important question - what is that piece of music that was used in Crick's piece?

  • Comment number 11.


    Far more important is why does Newsnight add 'son et lumiere' to anything and everything, at the drop of a principle? Don't they know there's a war on? The Squanderbug seems to live at the Beeb.

  • Comment number 12.

    :p Can't believe the Lib Dem guy started agreeing with Danny on Ed Miliband's debut performance - ha ha ha! Funniest of the night was the paper review :p loved the cartoon of the "rubber man" and "the panda." Great to see a screen writer on the show too :o)

  • Comment number 13.

    what was the "opera" reference all about at the end? a joke by the producer? a riposte to Jeremy's patronizing comments last night?

  • Comment number 14.

    @ Jimmy #10 - the song was "We No Speak Americano" by Yolanda Be Cool & DCUP. It was number one here and all over Europe this summer :o)

  • Comment number 15.

    #14 Many thanks. The embarrassment of not knowing a UK No1. Wouldn't have happened forty years ago, I'll tell you!

  • Comment number 16.

    It's amazing how one, if one's eyes and ears are open, can learn something new every day, like that opera at the end, for example. I'm just not sure about the singer's name. Was it Jessie Norman?

  • Comment number 17.

    While last night's programme was somewhat monotone concentrating on mainly two stories, tonight's one was great. What a variety of subjects, opinions, tones and shapes. Brilliant!!!!


  • Comment number 18.


    Didn't cabaret thrive during World War II?

  • Comment number 19.

  • Comment number 20.


    It has come home to me very clearly recently that the biggest error ALL politicians make, especially those campaigning, is to use words like ‘promise’ and ‘pledge’.

    Whether they do so because the public (or more likely the media) demand it and would berate them verbally at every opportunity thereafter, or because they truly and naively believe they can deliver I know not. I do know that that like Isadora Duncan’s scarf, a promise rashly made can all too often be the instrument of one’s own demise.

    Just ask any parent. The promise to go swimming, to the park, to Disneyland etc so often followed swiftly by a broken limb, a broken car, chicken pox, redundancy.......

    It’s a matter of mature language and understanding isn’t it? Can they not reduce the ammunition from the commentators and opposition by offering their ‘best endeavours’ in spite of, as far as possible, what happens to the best laid plans......

    Or would they be asked 12 times or more to 'nail their colour' and their vital organs to the mast?

  • Comment number 21.

  • Comment number 22.

    ^An irony to my #21 post. In the last 4 or so years, I've known two people working in the public sector, who were working on projects involving school pupil numbers. One came to the conclusion that there were too many school places, the other was actually closing small schools with low pupil numbers. Neither of them were looking at the bigger picture, to one of them I even mentioned the fact that the amount of immigrants scewing the birthrate, and the increase in the future of a massive increase in pupils, they didn't even seem aware of this fact.

    So mass immigration, not mentioned anywhere on the Beeb as a problem, is now costing billions as the House of Lords paper predicted. And the benefits to british people are cut and cut and cut, and the taxes go up and up and up.

    And the governments do NOTHING TO CONTROL MASS IMMIGRATION! DOH!!!

  • Comment number 23.

    By its inaction, Israel permits Iran's annexation of Lebanon

  • Comment number 24.

    China's Doctrine of War ..

    [Unrestricted Warfare, Chinese colonels Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui outlined a new warfighting doctrine that would allow the PRC to exploit the weaknesses of opponents. its a PDF so no link. ]

    ..If we acknowledge that the new principles of war are no longer "using armed force to compel the enemy to submit to one's will," but rather are "using all means, including armed force or nonarmed force, military and non-military, and lethal and non-lethal means to compel the enemy to accept one's interests."

    "all friendship is in flux; self-interest is the only constant."

    "Where is the battlefield?" The answer would be: "Everywhere."

    "Can using financial instruments to destroy a country's economy be seen as a battle? "

    financial war has become a "hyperstrategic" weapon that is attracting the attention of the world....

    they give guidance as to how to structure the military which maybe relevant to the uk defence review when they say "These two sentences, "fight the fight that fits one's weapons" and "build the weapons to fit the fight" show the clear demarcation line between traditional warfare and future warfare," which begs the question about the carriers. what fight is that good for? And what weapons do we need to build to fit the current 'fight'?

    they give a prophetic description of afghanistan when they say 'On the battlefields of the future, the digitized forces may very possibly be like a great cook who is good at cooking lobsters sprinkled with butter, when faced with guerrillas who resolutely gnaw corncobs, they can only sigh in despair.'

    perhaps the most interesting is that these chinese military quote Byron, Kipling, Homer that displays a level of wide education and culture that would probably put us to shame. How many quotes of chinese poets do our military know?

    Their views on the uk

    'Then there is the war that the English launched against the Qing monarchy for the sake of the opium trade. This was national drug trafficking activity on probably the grandest scale in recorded history' ...

    From start to finish, the British reacted enthusiastically to President Bush's every move, in order to repay Uncle Sam for the trouble he took on their behalf in the Malvinas Islands War...

    [notice the use of the word Malvinas]

    They bring up Mao's 'every citizen a soldier' which explains the high level of success of chinese espionage? especially in the uk given the vestal vigin hysteria over 'profiling'. Indeed if one did consider every chinese citizen a potential soldier and acted that way excluding them from areas of sensitive information etc one might end in in prison for breaking race laws? we need to judge them by their beliefs not ours?

  • Comment number 25.


    That needed saying LC2. The 'breakable promise' of electioneering, dovetails neatly with 'political lie' (not true, but hey) that I am still pursuing, with little response from the 'honourable' world of politics.

    You have dislodged this from my brain: When campaigning, the hostages to fortune (promises, pledges, SIGNATURES) are scattered like soldiers lives, but in normal Westminster practice, every utterance is so finessed, nuanced and guarded, as to allow no point of purchase for the opposing faction. Clearly: with all to play for risks are allowed, but thereafter the weasels revert to type.

    Ironically, Dodgy Dave signed a contract, during the election. It was his promise to us that we could vote him out in five years time. No hostage taken there then!

    Oh - it's all going honourably well.

  • Comment number 26.



    It's quite that you've had some sort of plans for quite a long time although they seem to have changed, haven't they? And what if, none of them work out? No one can predict the future, you know. Please do not forget this.

  • Comment number 27.

    the 2nd edition of the Jihadi Inspire web magazine is out with all the usual 'jihad porn'. However the attempts to block it have only made it 'more desirable' to its target audience?

    its so bonkers everyone should read it and so demonstrate and prove to themselves how mad it all is and thus negate its effect?

    Spycatcher became an undeserved bestseller after it was banned?

  • Comment number 28.


    And the whole charade is wrapped in The Lie. (Vaclav Havel)

    Politicians who attain high office (writ large in our megalomaniac/messianic Prime Ministers) STAND ON BRITAIN (trample us) to posture the world in terms of Trident, GDP, Educational 'Excellence', Medical Magnificence, Military Might, and - on a particularly aberrant day - to SUCCOUR TO THE WORLD.

    Yes, I keep writing the same thing - the zoo animal paces up and down it's cage.

    The dream is of an independent BBC who stand against this National Falsehood. The reality is that the BBC are cosy INSIDE THE LIE, playing with news, manipulating images and using increasingly banal English.
    Do any of the, perceptive, erudite, cogent BBC bloggers here KNOW this? What is the plan - retire and write 'The Book'?

    Weep Britain.

  • Comment number 29.


    Are you writing a book on spies, jaunty, giving nothing but the truth and the whole truth and hoping it will become a bestseller too?

  • Comment number 30.


    It seems to me, singie, that not only one book is going to be written about the zoo, the cages, the lies and the truth. Funnily enough, I think you might feature in some of them.

    As far as megalomania is concerned, I do not think you yourself are completely devoid of this not all that uncommon human characteristic but as I've indicated to you before, hats off to you for not hiding your identity even if you seem to be helping some of those who do.


  • Comment number 31.

    23. At 09:42am on 14 Oct 2010, Mistress76uk wrote:
    By its inaction, Israel permits Iran's annexation of Lebanon "

    Are you eligible for Israeli citizenship? If so, and you took it up, would you swear an oath of allegiance to Israel and no other?

    What about the UK and it's ex Commonwealth (Islamic) citizens. Does this country owe them and the Commonwealth any allegiance?

  • Comment number 32.

    '8. At 10:34pm on 13 Oct 2010, barriesingleton wrote:


    There is, of course, knowing, and then deciding what to pass on (that does have a double meaning, 'ediorial by ommission'-wise).

    Maybe worth asking Mr. Jordan?

  • Comment number 33.

    Barrie wrote:

    "The dream is of an independent BBC who stand against this National Falsehood. The reality is that the BBC are cosy INSIDE THE LIE, playing with news, manipulating images and using increasingly banal English.
    Do any of the, perceptive, erudite, cogent BBC bloggers here KNOW this?"

    I ain't erudite and I'm not sure what 'cogent' is(or does, is it a washing powder?) but in answer to your question ...yes.

    Very well put Mr Barrie. You do well with these brilliant musings - they are always eloquently made - considering you always have the "nutter on the bus" sat next to you.

  • Comment number 34.

    Cut the Debt

    Well I suppose this is one way to keep benefits down, if we didn't have all those old people who receive pensions, and get all these allowances we could pay for all the schools needed by the new immigrants. Without keeping warm, old people just die, last winter around 35,000 extra deaths.

  • Comment number 35.


    So you you prefer to be treated as trite rather than erudite
    Sitting on buses next to binge hating singie
    Looking after your hinges?

  • Comment number 36.


    I understand, Ecolizzy, your worry about too big an infux of the immigrants into the UK but are you sure they are to be blamed for all the deaths of old people last year rather than the previous government for the mismanagement of the economy and permission of the nutty manipulative i'n the running of the country who are at pains to undermine the very fabric of the Society and Britishness?


  • Comment number 37.


    I live in hope that our money-obsessed politicians will ease in the departure-on-demand option, as a money-saver, before my exit parameters are all to apparent. I am in no doubt they are pondering the savings to the exchequer, from a cull of the Living Dead. But if they find that resultant unemployment and reduced industry (hoists, tubes, pads and pills etc) amounts to a net loss, they will get all noble about the sanctity of 'life'. Let's hope the sums say: "cull". I am most definitely cullpable. (:o)

    'DNR' will not serve. I carry this card:

    "Do Not Resuscitate"
    Implies an indefinite wait.
    When it's my turn to go
    I want simply 'B O'
    BUMP OFF - it's the waiting I hate.

  • Comment number 38.


    Do you travel on buses, singie, or do you drive a car?

  • Comment number 39.

    27. At 09:57am on 14 Oct 2010, jauntycyclist wrote:

    "its so bonkers everyone should read it and so demonstrate and prove to themselves how mad it all is and thus negate its effect?"

    Bonkers you say? Is it run by Israelis? They go in for bonkers big-time, as many were Americans you know. They are very into make-overs, image, and recruiting or setting up foot-soldiers from other groups to fight their battles or serve as patsies etc..

  • Comment number 40.


    it the usual british 'biased fairness' perversity that the israeli oath poses no problem in law for uk citizens wishing to fight for the IDF in protecting an illegal occupation or committing war crimes. The same courtesy is not extended to british muslims who would get sent to Belmarsh if they went to fight with Palestinians against other british citizens in the idf.

    uk treason laws are for protecting the position of the monarchy as head of state. Nothing to do with defending the british people. So an oath to israel doesn't mean treason in the uk if they have no plans to challenge the monarchy role gamers as head of state [the only criteria for treason]. The UK is still under norman monarchy model occupation.


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.