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Friday 8 April 2011

Sarah McDermott | 11:59 UK time, Friday, 8 April 2011

The News of the World's owner has said sorry over the phone hacking scandal and is to set up a compensation fund. News International says, in some cases, it will apologise and admit liability. The BBC understands it hopes to pay out less than £20m in total to victims including actress Sienna Miller.

Richard Watson will bring us the latest on this remarkable story this evening and we'll be joined in debate by guests including former deputy PM John Prescot who believes he may have been a victim of phone hacking.

Liz Mackean has just returned from Northern Ireland where preparations are under way for next month's election. Dissident republicans there are continuing to target police officers, despite the widespread condemnation of the murder of Ronan Kerr last weekend in Omagh. So how have those recent events affected the election campaign?

A full list of the candidates standing in the election can be found here.

And as a court rules that the government cannot be held legally liable for abuses during the Mau Mau rebellion against British colonial rule in Kenya, we'll debate if we should apologise for past events with historian and Conservative MP Tristram Hunt and playwright Bonnie Greer

Join Gavin at 10.30pm on BBC Two.

From earlier:

We're keeping an eye on events in the States, where talks aimed at avoiding a shutdown of the US government have broken up with no deal, leaving negotiators just hours to agree a budget compromise.

Our Diplomatic editor Mark Urban is in Libya where Nato has refused to apologise for a "friendly fire" attack on rebel tanks in eastern Libya that killed at least four people.

And as a court rules that the government cannot be held legally liable for abuses during the Mau Mau rebellion against British colonial rule in Kenya, we'll debate if we should apologise for past events.


  • Comment number 1.

    the israeli shelling of densely packed city by naval warships is proportionate and targeted?

  • Comment number 2.

    If you're anywhere near Ely Cathedral on Thursday 8th September 2011, then meet Jeremy as he will be unveiling his new book about the British Empire!

  • Comment number 3.


    anyone making a doc on the british empire would get to see the world for free :)

  • Comment number 4.

    ..A whistleblower said staff at his jobcentre were given targets of three people a week to refer for sanctions, where benefits are removed for up to six months.

    He said people with poor English skills were often targeted in his office. "For example, an African man who had managed to get part-time work and was studying English. His jobsearch was far more adequate than most, but managers specifically spent time going through it and comparing it to his agreement to see where they could trip him up. It was deemed inadequate and he was sanctioned. It's easy to sanction these people because he didn't know what was going on."...

    is it because they are common?

    how about targets for millionaire landowners who get billions a year for merely owning land? why are millionaires living off benefits merely for owning an asset?

  • Comment number 5.

  • Comment number 6.


    But rules and laws are for the meek - it's what they inherit, bless 'em (Biblical small-print again).

    The rich, arrogant, and public-school educated (plus some 'special pleaders') get a waiver.

    Oh - did I mention - UK political parties can break the law about lying for votes. It's all covered in the Clegg Protocol.

  • Comment number 7.

    Starting to think the time is right for an 'Apology Editor'.

    There seems to be one for near enough everything else, and many boxes can be ticked.

    With no qualifications of relevance, the person in question can via this title pontificate from a position of great authority.

    Better yet, depending of what stance is taken as to who needs to apologise, who needs to be apologised to, and what needs to be apologised for, all manner of folk can be set up in advance to be tasked with the challenge of apologising... by the editor in their suite.

    It even offers opportunity for job creation. There can be immediate apologies and historical ones. Hence at least two editors, with an editor-in-chief.

    There's rich pickings aplenty. Even from unusual sources. Crikey, if the role existed one could have scampered with a microphone to Stanstead and got a great follow-up from the PM... who actually volunteered one.

    But really the best for all concerned is the doorstepping 'Are [you] going to apologise to [offence taker du jour] for [possible offence, often created in-house first with willing takers easily sourced]'.

    As to the public, I am not sure it is quite such a great deal. Sure, it pops the a protagonist on the spot, and gets the media all a flutter, especially with a curt refusal (maybe with reason, if full facts are not yet known), but even if you get one, you know they probably don't mean it, as they would probably have got around to saying they were sorry in their own time as it was just the right or decent thing to do.

    But, boy, does one suspect that, in certain quarters, that job of an apology is coveted.

  • Comment number 8.

    Meanwhile, one has to give credit where due.

    I was having a surf around the news/political blogs in the RHS Nav bar, as you do, and found a few pieces worthy of note:

    Sadly, in the blink of an eye, my empathising LOL was denied, because, well you know.... best to post and run for the hols, but be sure to turn the gas off.

    So over, to another. Ah....

    Given the headline, no better irony.

    I am sure not much of note will happen over Easter to trouble our £3.2Bpa unique news treasure, and all the market rates at the top who sail with her.

    For mere mortals at least, there is still here. Mods of the web team, I salute you.

  • Comment number 9.

    JUNKKMALE (#7)


  • Comment number 10.

    Isn't Tristram Hunt a Labour MP?

  • Comment number 11.


    'former deputy PM John Prescot who believes he may have been a victim of phone hacking.'

    Belief in 'may' is enough to set the producer's iPhone atinkling. But you have the man's actual value in all this nailed to a 't' (well, almost enough).

    Maybe an apology is in order? Barrie understands:) The Easter hols are upon us.

  • Comment number 12.

    “To the victor go the spoils.”

    If one can accept the premise of the adage ....

    .... then one must logically - and legitimately - ask the question .....

    Would the political affiliations of the ex ‘Honourable Member’s of Parliament’ now enjoying ‘Her Majesty’s Pleasure’ be any different were there to be different political parties in government?

    And .... Oh yes!

    Is it pure coincidence that ‘Honourable Member’s of Parliament’, ‘Her Majesty’s Pleasure’ and “Her Majesty’s Prisons’ can all have the same abbreviation?

    Could this lead eventually to some confusion?

    Or not?

    And .... Oh yes!

    Something seriously needs to be done !

    Some possible proclamations ......

    All fast food joints need to close forthwith!

    Language use other than english to be criminalised. By rote learning of Shakespeare’s complete works as punishment!

    All immigration to stop immediately!

    Mobile ‘phones to be outlawed in public places.


    On the bus today ......

    17 passengers . of which .....

    .... only two were not overweight, ....

    three were not ethnic minorities ....

    and english, even though not being spoken, ....

    would have been drowned out by the blaring cacophony of ....

    Ring tones!

    But wait ..... maybe most of these travelers ....

    should be applauded - at least - for their .....

    ‘green credentials’!

    Oh well!

    Swings and roundabouts!

    And .... Oh yes!

    Are the great british public ever going to get it into their heads that ....

    (Listen! For your children’s sake, listen!)

    Schools Inspection Reports are virtually not worth the paper they’re printed on!!!!

    And .... Oh yes!

    As a dedicated follower of fashion one must surely ask ......

    Does anyone know how claim compensation from Italy ....

    .... for the Roman invasion of Britain?

    And .... Oh yes!

    ( Last one today! .... Honest!)

    Questions: Did Deity Conmoron know? And what did he do about it?

    Answer: He thought about it and he called son whom did know!


  • Comment number 13.


    Goodie! Let's all go to see Jeremy, and have a "re-union" party for regular visitors on this blog.

    P.S. "Tickets £8/7 with £8/7 off Out of Empire" - what does that mean? Is "Out of Empire" the title of the book?

  • Comment number 14.

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

  • Comment number 15.

    Great art broke the house rules - Oh dear

    I find this women Kathrin Manz she's having the potential:-

  • Comment number 16.

    Beware the Liberial reporter demanding the dropping of bombs on foreign soil.

    Because the liberial media are generally supporting the rebels with the current military intervention in Libya - especially from those salivating warmongering fruitcakes at MSNBC, I find myself supporting the Gadaffi regime. Not a position I ever thought I would find myself in..but there you go.

  • Comment number 17.

    POOR GADDAFI (#16)

    Dave was right when he said we had harmed a lot of people round the world. Gaddafi's life would have been so much simpler, without our greed for oil, lust for arms sales, and barmy, huggy, war-mongering, con-man leaders.


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