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Monday 29 November 2010

Verity Murphy | 13:01 UK time, Monday, 29 November 2010

Tonight we have the latest instalment in our Emmy-award winning White Horse Village series, following China's attempts to transform its interior from an agrarian hinterland of subsistence farmers eking out a living in small plots of land, to a 21st Century powerhouse of cities and industry.

You can read more about this extraordinary project here and see a picture gallery about remarkable the transformation of White Horse Village here.

But we'll be leading tonight's programme on the release by the controversial whistle-blowing site Wikileaks of a cache of secret messages sent by US diplomatic staff.

We'll have the latest revelations just out, will be considering what the diplomatic fall out will be. and will assess the impact this most recent release will have around the world with senior diplomats and politicians.

Join Jeremy at 10.30pm on BBC Two for all that.

Before then you can watch his full interview with author and journalist Christopher Hitchens - in which he talks about his cancer, life, politics + writing - at 7.30pm on BBC2.


  • Comment number 1.

    The Wiki releases are just libertarian media manipulation.

    Wiki-releases planned in advance: Iran‎

  • Comment number 2.

    I look forward to watching Jeremy's FULL interview with Chris Hitchens tonight at 7:30pm & also to the latest from White Horse Village :o)

    Some of the Wikileaks aren't so shocking - things like Saudi Arabia wanting to have Iran bombed or Sarkozy being described as a "naked emperor"(deary me!) or even US diplomats leading a spying campaign. What was disgusting (so far) was the fact that the US criticised Prince Andrew for telling the truth. PATHETIC!

  • Comment number 3.

    it was much easier when we had the old scramble phone and the carrier pidgeon....those were the days, Carruthers....

  • Comment number 4.


    I can only find reference to ground nuts (1951) on the web, but I feel sure chicken farming was tried too. China's efforts to 'drop in' New Jerusalems from the sky, should be doomed to similar failure I suspect.

    Referring to Paul's thread - perhaps China elevates the barmy to leadership JUST LIKE US! Cultural unity is closer than we thought.

  • Comment number 5.

    Wonder what Clare Short is saying about the US spying on the UN Secretary General? She reckoned that Britain was doing that too as I remember?

  • Comment number 6.

    Wikileaks out to hide this ?

  • Comment number 7.

  • Comment number 8.

  • Comment number 9.

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

  • Comment number 10.

    Wasted programme when the real news was on Panorama tonight, not allowed to comment on it apparently, the Corporate Nazis must be really upset with the BBC despite putting it out when most of the people it applies to will be watching elsewhere ?

  • Comment number 11.

    Tonight’s main ‘item’ ......

    Does anyone with half an intellect - or perceivably even less - really believe that this type of thing doesn’t go on. One can be pretty sure that most governments around the world are analysing other nations ‘senior and junior leaders’ et al. And it fairly predictable that same ‘government sponsored thinkers’ are just as likely sitting there hypothesising as to what other countries ‘thinkers’ are conjuring up about their own leaders!

    It seems a real shame that Nn feels that it has no option but to go with the ‘flow’ - i.e. every other facet of the media is charging ahead with this as if nothing else is happening anywhere in the world - instead of looking for something that just might give Nn a bit of an advantage ... perhaps, dare one suggest, again - even ‘kudos’!

    Here’s a suggestion ....

    Numero Uno Lib Dim is starting to get flustered about the GBP’s reaction to student fees, there’s talk - lot’s of it - about a ’selected few’ being given ‘permission’ to abstain in the forthcoming vote. A cohort of a hundred ‘failed-to-get-elected’ - during the last general election - Lesser Lib Dims are also pleading for abstentions from those Lib Dims that didn’t ‘fail to get elected’ .

    (Yes, those are the ones with the actual ‘real’ dilemma! i.e. Do they vote in favour of the legislation at the same time as praying for mass memory loss by the time of the next election? Or do they vote against and blow all chance of ever getting a ministerial post? Or - possible worst outcome - do they go against their ‘commitment’ sic to the electorate, get hung out to dry in 2015 and have to find a real job amongst employers whom are all too aware of the lack of ‘integrity’ of the potential applicant! Thought .... The Square Mile always on the lookout for capable staff! )

    Or how about .....

    Lib Dim Dalek stated earlier that he is proud to be part of the team that is ‘sorting out’ the UK’s problems. Later he states that - despite the improvement in the economy - he sees no need to modify the stringent policies in the pipeline.

    So ... Sadism? .... Or Masochism? ....... Genocide? .... Or suicide?

    Oops! There’s that ‘city’ thought again!

    Or how about .....

    Is a commitment as good as a promise and does an abstention cancel out all responsibility for a blatant act of hypocrisy?

    Or how about .....

    In a ‘first past the post’ electoral system does ‘not winning’ a majority give a mandate to do anything?

    Or everything?

    Or how about .....

    Is the Nn “From the web team” page going down the tubes because ...

    a. There is no news worth commenting on tonight?

    b. The site get’s no on-air ‘promotion’?

    c. A Broctzystan ‘hit team’ is killing off all the posters?

    d. BBC cutbacks?

    e. Nn just covers the same ol' stories as everyone else?


  • Comment number 12.

  • Comment number 13.

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

  • Comment number 14.


    Have I got this right? According to the professor: if we turn the heating down the temperature won't go up? Is there an alternative approach in there somewhere?

    How reminscent of Blair-logic (as beautifully pointed up by Peter Hitchens). Blair is all for 'faith', because it helps cure the ills brought on by - faith.

    With such minds in science and politics, making policy, the Golden Age will be along any day now.

  • Comment number 15.


    When I could no longer stand the Ming-ing musack splurged all over the Tales from China, I muted the sound and put subtitles on, only to find I had TWO SETS mostly in conflict.

    Beyond comment.

  • Comment number 16.

    :p Who cares about boring FIFA bribery allegations on Panorama....

    Highly sensitive interview by Jeremy with Chris Hitchens at 7:30pm :o)
    The biggest story are the WikiLeaks - be it on Al-Jazeera or Fox News or Sky News. Excellent debate by Jeremy with Stephens et al on the leaks and also with HRH Prince Hussein of Jordan. Eye-opening report on White Horse Village (now a city) too.

    Of course, we could have had the story about 271 never seen before Picasso works (send Stephen out!) or more on the snow (snoreworthy) or even optimism about the economy

    or doom + gloom on the latest tube strike/upcoming student strike/BA cabin crew strike....

  • Comment number 17.

    Outstanding (and highly sensitive) interview by Jeremy with Chris Hitchens earlier in the evening :o)

    Excellent debate by Jeremy with Stephens et al on the Wikileaks and also with Prince Hussein of Jordan too. Yet again an excellent piece on White Horse Village.

  • Comment number 18.

    Paxman interviewing Hitchens was magnificent, but what absolute bloody fool of a continuity announcer introduced the programme twice by saying it was Peter Hitchens? Disgraceful and lazy.

  • Comment number 19.


    How I agree - on both counts. Seems like the BBC is]doing it's duty by employing work experience yoofs on continuity these days. Standards are slipping everywhere - wrong link, no sound, poor diction, plain wrong, too fast delivery (gibberish) unfunny links and spoilers. Where do I apply?

  • Comment number 20.


    Newsnight seems to spend all its money on expensive Ming-ware and has nothing left for training, or quality staffing, where it tells.


  • Comment number 21.

    'house price keep going up' [white horse village]

    where have we heard that before? Given china's boom is funded by extracting wealth from us [through currency manipulation - aided by suicidal western consumerism] now with our poverty where are they going to get the money to continue that boom [the same kind of property boom that happened in Japan when they devalued their currency to have a competitive edge]?

    All those villagers who hang on too long to property in the belief it only ever goes 'up' will lose their money. China is not immune to global finance. It is a two way game. As Japan found out. some day those at the big china party will sober up too.

  • Comment number 22.

    21 jauntycyclist

    'house prices keep going up'

    Having followed the saga of White Horse Village it is hard to believe that the only thing the Chinese seemed to have learned from the west is that you have to be a property developer to make the real money.

    To see those poor ignorant people being conned out of their hard earned savings on the promise they would become rich if they bought property was enough to make a grown man or woman weep.

    It is clear to see that the Chinese model isn't the long term answer either.

  • Comment number 23.

    #21 & 22

    Hang on a minute!... let's have some perspective here.

    Most of those from the White Horse Village were moving out from what can at best be described as shacks (better described as hovels) into modern apartments/houses with electricity, running water, drainage and all other mod cons.

    I dont' think the old man (in the new 3 bed flat) in the piece was only in it to get-rich-quick. Also, the single mother that was renting out her property to building contractors was shown shopping in a modern supermarket, whereas 4 years before she picking her food out of paddy fields.

    Sure there will be Chinese profiteering from property speculation, but for most of the Chinese thay are stepping out of the c16th and into the c21st just by moving into a new property.

    'China is not immune to global finance.'

    It's rather more immune than most! Their finance and banking segments are heavily regulated with the aid of capital punishment. How bankers in the US are stiing in Death Row?

    'To see those poor ignorant people being conned out of their hard earned savings on the promise they would become rich if they bought property was enough to make a grown man or woman weep.'

    I'm beginning to wonder if I saw the same programme. I did not see anybody being conned. I did not see any angry people complaining in the piece to the local communist party representative. The only person I saw upset was the woman recalling that her house extension was knocked down because she did not have planning permission.

    The country that has advanced the most over the last 20 years. I don't think 'those poor ignorant people' want your pity!

  • Comment number 24.


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