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Eddie Mair | 19:48 UK time, Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Breaking news (hence the upper case headline...) PM has JUST been nominated for a Sony Award for best interactive programme. This is down to you, and a little bit to us. So please, trebles all round and our grateful thanks.

The Sony Awards are seen as the radio industry Oscars so to be nominated for the Blog is a great honour. Plus, the programme has been nominated as Best Speech Programme.

Good news too for our Friday chum Paddy - BH's jam spoon competition has been nominated for a Sony too.

But look - back to you. Thank you.


  1. At 08:03 PM on 27 Mar 2007, RJD wrote:

    Will we have to make an acceptance speech if we win?

  2. At 08:03 PM on 27 Mar 2007, eddie mair wrote:

    Well I reckon we should use this space to make an acceptance speech ANYWAY. At these awards you're always up against strong competition...so let's celebrate this nomination. Remember your speech cannot be too long or the band will strike up.

  3. At 08:05 PM on 27 Mar 2007, Lissa-with-an-A wrote:

    Hurrah - do I get to come to the awards dinner? I behaved so well last year.

    Thank you for posting the Lundy photo. Rather bizarrely Sting and Trudi Styler were staying on the island at the same time as us.

    And thank you for asking - we're very well indeed. The sun has been shining in Chinley though there were snow flurries and hail storms at the beginning of last week.

    love to all


  4. At 08:20 PM on 27 Mar 2007, Anne P. wrote:

    Not only the best, but apparently psychic too, since Eddie answered the question at the same moment that RJD asked it!

  5. At 08:27 PM on 27 Mar 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Oh, gosh, what stunning news!

    But, Eddie, a lot of this is down to you and the team, most definitely. It's you and your way of doing things that draws around the Blog a particular type of person.

    Whatever that may mean. A minutes silence for reflection.


    Yes, well, as I was saying, it draws around it a particular type of person. I think we can leave that pause for others to fill in.

    And, for what it's worth, I'd have been rather surprised if the programme - or you - hadn't been nominated, Eddie. Not that we all know you've a gong or two in your cupboard.

  6. At 08:39 PM on 27 Mar 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Okay, so is this competition time, Eddie?

  7. At 08:40 PM on 27 Mar 2007, Gillian wrote:

    I'd like to thank Eddie ''Eeyore'' Mair for keeping our feet on the ground, our bottoms on our seats and our hands primly folded in our laps.
    Instead of the wild, champagne -fuelled, conga-dancing celebration I had envisaged on the beach, I will now provide Grape juice (red and white) and some salmon-spread sandwiches. After all we'll need to conserve our energy........for when we WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Oh ye of little faith!

  8. At 09:28 PM on 27 Mar 2007, Fifi wrote:

    How many spare seats around the Sony Awards table, Eddie?

    Any chance some of us can come...?

    PM: the only Blog that helps listeners deal with a poorly feral cat AND records songs in its spare time!

    Fifi :oD

  9. At 09:29 PM on 27 Mar 2007, Karen wrote:

    That's really cheered me up!!!

    Big Sis - have you got a poem on the go to mark this great occasion?

  10. At 09:55 PM on 27 Mar 2007, Graeme Hall wrote:

    Dear Edie

    I heard MR Mark Urban on PM saying the British is a soft target and putting other spins on the capture o 15 British sailors. Can I remind Mr Urban that HMS Cornwall would have opened fire, to protect the sailors, if the Iranians were in Iraqi’s waters. That is the whole reason for HMS Cornwall presence there since March 12 to protect Iraqi’s watrs. Why it did not do that? I can only deduce the sailors were not in Iraqi’s waters and were in a recognisance mission. I believe the whole incident was pre-planned, since the HMS Cornwall arrived on 12 March, to coincide with the most important holiday time in Iran. This is a deliberate creation of a crisis to enable us to show Iranians in yet another bad light and “manage that perception”. The next stage, when this event is over, is to stage a “false flag” event and the step beyond that is a full scale war.
    I hope I am wrong but I believe we will be witnessing them one-by-one. Tell Mark "come
    on tell us the truth".

  11. At 10:16 PM on 27 Mar 2007, Annasee wrote:

    Oh how exciting! Is that double-treble-quadruple lattes all round for the office, Eddie? And since you mentioned latte today, does that mean you're trying to cut down on the espresso count? Probably a good idea now that the nomination excitement has kicked in. I mean, you do still want to be alive for the actual awards ceremony, don't you?

    How can I bear to leave the home of the PM blog? Especially now if it's going to be an award -winning blog! The estate agent came today & seemed a darned sight too positive that she could sell our house for us in next to no time. Himself has decreed Australia will have the honour of our residence. I think that's because at the moment they have to let us in,as New Zealanders, & he's worried if we wait too long, they'll shut the doors. Rather like England with economic migrants. I've spent 2 days cleaning, & that's before anyone has been to view. This could prove very exhausting...

  12. At 10:22 PM on 27 Mar 2007, madmary wrote:

    This is wonderful news! Can Aperitif and I escort you to the awards ceremony, pretty please Eric!

    Will there be oodles of champagne?

    Do we get a Golden Joystick?

    Where shall we put it?

    So many questions.


  13. At 10:34 PM on 27 Mar 2007, Perky wrote:

    But (sob) we're ALL winners, really, aren't we?

    Serious congratulations in order to everyone in the PM office who keeps this blog running (if occasionally a little out of breath) along, and for everyone on the lilypad for such a fabulous, diverse and entertaining community. It's an honour just to lurk.

    I can't help it, I need to go off and have a Halle Berry moment........

  14. At 10:42 PM on 27 Mar 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Wow! Congratulations! Just imagine playing the new froggers' song at the ceremony!!! That should clinch it :-)

    Eric, I think you should run a blog competition to be your date to the awards dinner! Oh there's method in my madness, everyone knows it :-D

  15. At 10:59 PM on 27 Mar 2007, Deepthought (John W) wrote:

    Graeme Hall (10),


    I too had wondered why HMS Sitting Duck ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^ Cornwall had stood by doing nothing. Something the MoD certainly have not explained. They're there to prevent piracy, and what's this (in their view) but piracy?

    However, for the Iranians to have reacted (if their view is correct) so quickly rather suggests they were either expecting something, or else they're creating a crisis for their own ends (the 5 captured by the Americans?).

    To cover a topic two threads ago, I had the sun roof of my car open all afternoon, and the sky over London had a distinct summer haze look to it as I drove back. But normally I'm good at spotting the day that marks the *end* of summer, when the light has changed and you realise no more hot days that year.

    And on the rest of today: hi there Lissa; and the question is, if PM wins the award, will Eddie make the acceptance speech ("I'd like to thank my producer, my cat, my astrologer..."). BTW, you know that a BH spoon has gone into some kind of time capsule, why not anything from PM - or has that been kept quiet?

  16. At 11:02 PM on 27 Mar 2007, Anne P. wrote:

    Annasee, don't go. Or if you must, do keep in touch, even if it means being time shifted and using 'Listen Again'. Place wouldn't be the same without you.

  17. At 11:06 PM on 27 Mar 2007, Annasee wrote:

    Aperitif - don't give him any ideas. He'll be auctioning off the opportunity to be his date to the awards dinner next. Or demanding that the competition entries come with a £100 cheque attached. Sigh... we've seen it all before...

  18. At 11:17 PM on 27 Mar 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Graeme Hall (@10) -- I have to take your comments one by one. Leads to a long post, which may show whether one-liners or screeds get through better.

    'HMS Cornwall would have opened fire, to protect the sailors, if the Iranians were in Iraqi�*�s waters.'

    Probably not, actually; opening fire would have been an act of war, quite apart from almost certainly causing the deaths of the Cornwall�s fifteen personnel either from her own fire or from Iranian bullets.

    'That is the whole reason for HMS Cornwall presence there since March 12 to protect Iraqi�*�s watrs.'

    She�s there to stop people smuggling arms and drugs into Iraq, which was what they were doing on their routine stop-and-search of a cargo ship heading in towards the Iraqi coast.

    'Why it did not do that? I can only deduce the sailors were not in Iraqi�*�s waters and were in a recognisance mission.'

    There is no way they were on a reconnaissance mission. They had just finished searching a vessel for goods that Iraq doesn�t want imported: the captain of that vessel has said as much. Two boats in broad daylight stopping a cargo ship and going aboard isn�t a covert mission!

    'I believe the whole incident was pre-planned, since the HMS Cornwall arrived on 12 March, to coincide with the most important holiday time in Iran.'

    Come off it: we�ve had a ship doing that job ever since the mess in Iraq started. That�s how HMS Chatham came to be in the area and in a good position to go straight to help the Sri Lankan tsunami victims a couple of years ago -- she was doing the job Cornwall is now doing. (That was at Christmas: isn�t it lucky that the Royal Navy don�t stop work for ten days over public holidays?) Cornwall relieved another Royal Naval vessel in an absolutely routine way.

    'This is a deliberate creation of a crisis to enable us to show Iranians in yet another bad light and �*�manage that perception�**.'

    I�d say that if anyone created this crisis it was the Revolutionary Guard, on the whole. They chose the timing, to coincide with their public holiday and their government mostly not being at their desks; the Royal Navy has been in that area any time this past year doing exactly the same things day in day out as they were doing on the day in question. The Revolutionary Guard took people captive at gunpoint. If nothing else, it�s appalling bad manners....

    'The next stage, when this event is over, is to stage a �*�false flag�** event and the step beyond that is a full scale war.'

    As it was last time the Iranians grabbed some members of the British armed forces?

    'I hope I am wrong but I believe we will be witnessing them one-by-one.'

    I too hope that you are wrong. Those fifteen people are not expendable ciphers to the rest of their ship�s company. It must be a particularly horrible ordeal for the one woman who has been abducted, and who is apparently being kept in solitary confinement.

    'Tell Mark "come on tell us the truth".'

    Would you know it if you heard it? Because I think you may have had it already, from HMS Cornwall's commanding officer, if you wanted to hear him.

  19. At 11:25 PM on 27 Mar 2007, Humph wrote:

    Are, but Appy (14), there is no madness in your method. ;-)

    Proposed acceptance speech for Mr. Mayor if, I mean when, required:


    Short and to the point; like the PM programme.


  20. At 11:30 PM on 27 Mar 2007, Val P wrote:

    Wonderful News and Sad News on the same thread? and I'm too tired to be inventive.

    Annasee - first things first! but the wonderfulness of the Blog (and part of why it's up for it) is that it doesn't matter where you live. Up a tree (Ed I), on an outflung island (admin annie), Miami (Roberto), parallel universe (Whisht) :-), Derbyshire (too many to mention), Singapore, San Fransisco. you see you won't be leaving at all! You may well have to get up in the middle of the night, but we're worth it.

    Eddie - well done you and all the gang, you for keeping the pot boiling with your wit and whimsy, and the gang for trying to foil you at every turn!

    Must dash - still have 18 balloons to blow up before midnight, good job I'm full of hot air :o)

  21. At 11:54 PM on 27 Mar 2007, Gossipmistress wrote:

    I bet radio 3 weren't nominated for theirs?!

    Hurrah for the Frog! Well done Eddie & the team who keep it all going. I hope Eddie will be sporting a frog at the ceremony... eg tie/bow tie.....cufflinks..... (Oh dear - he'll be innundated now!!)

  22. At 12:01 AM on 28 Mar 2007, admin annie wrote:

    Annasee I am going slowly green - the colour I always turn when hearing of people emigrating to Australia. You are a lucky lucky woman - from my perspective. Australia is a great place and if I were single and eligible under their tortuous rules I would move there tomorrow. Not that my far flung isle isn't wonderful too. But it always came in a poor second to Oz for me.

  23. At 12:17 AM on 28 Mar 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Hm. I see Mr. Humphrys and the Today prog are doing rather well on the nominations front. Could it be retirement year for the Welsh Terrier?

    It'll be your year again next year, Eddie (not for retirement, of course. So much coffee, so little time .....)

  24. At 12:31 AM on 28 Mar 2007, B Carbery wrote:

    Is this an excuse to splash out on a decent frock?Would we be dressing for beach or furrowed brow?

  25. At 08:38 AM on 28 Mar 2007, RJD wrote:

    Anne P (4) - I didn't notice that at first. How'd he do that?

    Maybe he picked up the message when I was on my way back from September. This place is getting spooky.

  26. At 08:39 AM on 28 Mar 2007, Karen wrote:


    Ever since I saw what a dose of pure caffeine can do to a load of brine shrimp I've worried about Eric overcaffeinating himself....

  27. At 08:47 AM on 28 Mar 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    What a great start to the day!! Congrats to everyone you're end - there would be no interactivity (?) without you; it is the most amazing blog - humour, intelligent debate, whimsy, surrealism. And it never descends into personal nastiness (I haven't had any caffeine yet so bear with me).

    It truly enhances my day!!

    Val P - hows it all going?? did the cake turn out ok?

  28. At 09:01 AM on 28 Mar 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Lissa-with-an-A :

    You should definitely be there at the Awards Ceremony, imho! along with Marc, of course .....

    Your tireless and friendly support during the early days helped keep the Frog on track. The success of the experiment lay with key individuals, amongst them Eddie, you/Marc, and Richard. I'm sure it's been at some cost to good temper at time, but the additional hours that must have been invested in, e.g., ensuring WoyW was all downloaded, ironing out the bloggages, keeping the froggers as sweet as possible during the hitches, all contributed to making it work.

    At the end of the day, like most successes, it was team work wot done it!

    Btw, have you got a flickr page? It allows people to keep in touch with you at arms length and can be useful sometimes. Just a thought.

    Give that Mr. Tibbs a sardine from me! and keep well, all of you.

  29. At 09:04 AM on 28 Mar 2007, silver-fox wrote:

    On this joyous occasion, please allow me to call upon all the nations of the world to support our nomination.

  30. At 09:22 AM on 28 Mar 2007, Gillian wrote:

    How lucky we are to have this AWARD-NOMINATED blog!
    I already knew about the over-controlled Radio 3 message board, but now I've heard this morning that the Today message board has opening hours - it doesn't open til 9am!

    Thank you to all the unsung heroes behind the scenes who have made this nomination possible......the moderators. Thanks also go to Lissa-with-an-A, New Blog Prince Marc, Jem Stone and the rest of the technical team. Finally, thanks go to all the Insomniacs who give us ''early-to-bedders'' something to cheer us up the following morning. Cheers!

  31. At 09:27 AM on 28 Mar 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Now Fifi, Aperitif, and others,

    How could we possibly expect the Lord Mair and his company to take froggers with him to the ceremony? There'd be blood on the Frog, you may be sure, as we'd all want to be there.

    So, a different suggestion, and one for Eddie and the PM team to consider. If the interactive award does go to PM, perhaps they'd like to have a PM open event, or something similar, for froggers so that regulars can meet the producers, Eddie, Marc, Lissa (if she'll come), etc. Low - or even no - cost, a bit of effort (yes, but aren't we worth it?), and a heap of goodwill.

    That would be really interactive, wouldn't it?

  32. At 09:50 AM on 28 Mar 2007, F.T. Fong, Kuala Lumpa, Malaysia wrote:

    Val P (20)

    Kuala Lumpa.

  33. At 09:55 AM on 28 Mar 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    On the occasion of the celebration of the PM Nomination for interactivity, a song :

    Young Eric would a wooing go
    Young Eric would a wooing go
    Whether his auntie let him go or no,

    He pondered awhile to make his plans
    He ponder awhile to make his plans
    “A newsletter will please my fans”

    He sat him down and wrote some words
    He sat him down and wrote some words
    And emailed them to bees and birds

    His editors were well surprised
    His editors were well surprised
    The compliments came from far and wide

    A conference they did adjourn
    A conference they did adjourn
    “From newsletters we all can learn”

    “Now Eric, here’s another thing
    “Now Eric, here’s another thing
    The internet still more can bring”

    “If we a blog to PM bring
    “If we a blog to PM bring
    Of Radio 4 you’ll be the king!”

    So Eric pondered overnight
    So Eric pondered overnight
    For technology poor him did fright

    The following day he came to work
    The following day he came to work
    To tell the crew he would not shirk

    He emailed right to Mark Damazer
    He emailed right to Mark Damazer
    Said he “A blog, will you concur?”

    Said Mark “Yes, Eric, I agree
    Said Mark “Yes, Eric, I agree
    A blog to raise int’ractivity”

    (to be continued by Big Sis later today)

  34. At 10:12 AM on 28 Mar 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    Graeme Hall (10);
    Chris at (18) has pretty much summed it up as to why you're so wrong about this. But to add a few pence worth;

    All British military personnel have to operate within what are known as the 'Rules of Engagement'. This limits their ability to open fire. We're not Americans, who shoot first and ask questions later. Their guiding principle, enunciated by Colin Powell (and known as the Powell Doctrine) when he was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is 'Force Protection' which demands overwhelming firepower be brought to bear quickly to protect the lives of US personnel. This is why they are so poor at winning the peace, their first concern is their own lives, not that of the local population.

    By contrast, the guiding principle which all British naval and military personnel (been there, got the T-shirt) have drummed into them is that of 'minimum force'. It is likely (although M.o.D. will never disclose it) that the existing rules of engagement only permit engagement if there is a distinct and immediate threat to life and limb.

    The fact that we don't offer fire immediately is what makes our forces a soft target in the first place.

    We don't know how far away HMS Cornwall was at the time. Her armaments include a 4.5" gun, anti-aircraft missiles, a helicopter and Harpoon anti-shipping missiles (designed to sink big ships, not gunboats). In a situation where the threat is adjacent to her own people none of these are much use. Cornwall was designed principally as an anti-submarine platform for the North Atlantic during the Cold War, with auxiliary armaments for self-protection and a limited anti-shipping role. Early versions of that ship class had no 4.5" gun and only the more limited Exocet missile.

    Chris is right about her current role being to conduct stop-and-search operations against smugglers, not territorial protection (and not anti-piracy DeepJohn, sorry). A 5000 ton big grey ship is not ideal for a reconnaisance mission. It's far too visible. It's also too big to go alongside a small dhow for boarding operations, which is why they use the ships boats or helicopters for that job.

    I really don't think that full-scale war is on the agenda. The Yanks have bitten off far more than they can chew in Iraq and their military is choking as a result. Even the most powerful military nation has finite limits to its ability to conduct operations. The US Army is probably beyond that limit already. Taking on another such conflict would almost certainly lead to a diplomatic rupture between Washington and London which would see the withdrawal of British Forces from joint operations, the destruction of the US Army and the diminishment of Western-style liberal democracy around the globe.

    It is almost certainly the knowledge of this which emboldens the current convoluted Iranian regime, with its Byzantine internal politics.

    Oh, and spellling / grammar: 1/10. See me after class. Given the rhythms and cadences of your sentence construction and your peculiar use of singular and plural forms I could almost believe that you are not a native English speaker?

    In other news; Congratulations to Eddie and the entire team on their Sony nominations. As far as I'm concerned the name is already etched onto the trophy. It would be invidious to name names, but Eddie you've got to take a couple of Frogging reps to the awards night with you. There are one or two amongst our community who we all hold in very high regard, and who do a lot behind the scenes to keep us all motivated and interested. Give them a night on the town!

    BigSis (28);
    Mr. Enos Knibbs, surely?


  35. At 10:20 AM on 28 Mar 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Oh, Simon, you're soooo right!

    Lissa - Give Mr. Knibbs TWO sardines from me for misnaming him!

  36. At 10:26 AM on 28 Mar 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    Well done, Eddie and all. I'd like to say you must be "T*ckl*d pink", but when I tried to to tell Appy that was my condition on another thread, it never materialised. I guess the m*d*r*t*rs are unfamiliar with this innocent expression.

    Good to hear from/see LissA, too.

  37. At 10:27 AM on 28 Mar 2007, Otter wrote:

    Congratulations to all concerned.

  38. At 10:31 AM on 28 Mar 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Oh dear, Vyle, was it that bad? Sorry!

  39. At 10:34 AM on 28 Mar 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    Big Sis (33)

    Must you continue it? I'm in tears already...

  40. At 10:44 AM on 28 Mar 2007, Val P wrote:

    Big Sis - now I want to hear Fifi's recording of that one!

    F.T.Fong - indeed.

    Witchi - I'm just about to ice it. As usual I must apologise for my hysteria about the baking of it. Any tiny step out of my comfort zone turns me into a gibbering idiot :o) Today's biggest problem is trying to keep the 18 balloons out of the way of the dog. He thinks they're all footballs - EEEK.

  41. At 10:46 AM on 28 Mar 2007, A listener. wrote:

    Graeme Hall (10)

    The timing of the recent incident in which 15 British sailors were arrested by Iran at the mouth of the Shatt al-Arabwaterway for purportedly entering Iranian waters couldn’t have been more provocative if it had been planned that way. And perhaps it was. The question is, however, who did the planning? It happened on the eve of a vote in the UN Security Council to impose stricter sanctions on Iran and in the wake of escalating rhetoric from U.S. government officials blaming Iran for anti-occupation activity in Iraq. On top of that, recent events include the kidnapping of Iranian consular officials in Irbil, Kurdistan, by U.S. forces, reports of covert U.S. support for terrorist attacks inside Iran, the “disappearance” of a major Iranian military figure in the elite Revolutionary Guards unit, and suspicions that the Mossad may have had a hand in killing a renowned Iranian nuclear scientist. Add it all up, and there seems little doubt as to who carried out what seems like a brazen provocation.

    Go here for the semiofficial British version of the confrontation: according to this account, we are supposed to believe that the Iranians entered Iraqi waters to “ambush” the British, who were engaged in what is described as a “routine” patrol of the disputed waterway in search of suspected smugglers. Car smugglers were offloading their merchandise onto a barge when they were approached by the British patrol and fled into Iranian waters – but not before “irking” the British crew: “The suspected smugglers complied with the British orders and the crew returned to its rigid hull inflatable boats (rhibs) to continue its patrol, only to turn around and see the traders laughing in its direction.”

    Laughing at Her Majesty’s sailors, who were guarding the civilized world from the pernicious plots of car smugglers, was surely an act of war. After all, isn’t a car a “weapon of mass destruction” in present-day Iraq? The British weren’t going to let the Iranians off the hook quite so easily, and the next day they returned to the same waters to find the same smugglers plying their trade. The British patrol made a beeline for the smugglers, but this time the smugglers didn’t run – and the poor naïve Brits walked right into the trap. No sooner had they boarded the vessel than they were surrounded on all sides by Iranian gunboats. Last anybody heard of their fate, they were in Tehran and the Iranians were talking about putting them on trial for espionage. The Iraqi commander in charge of guarding Iraq’s territorial waters, Brig. Gen. Hakim Jassim, has a different story to tell, as reported here

    “The Iraqi military commander of the country’s territorial waters cast doubt on claims the Britons were in Iraqi waters. ‘We were informed by Iraqi fishermen after they had returned from sea that there were British gunboats in an area that is out of Iraqi control. We don’t know why they were there.’”

    Ah, but I suppose it depends on which fisherman you ask. At any rate, no fisherman in the area will be interviewed by anyone in the Western news media any time soon, because, as the UK Independentnotes, all reporters have been “ordered away” by coalition forces. The Brits are hedging their bets: even while Tony Blair denies Iranian charges of “blatant aggression” and openly threatens Tehran,

    “Lord Triesman, a Foreign Office undersecretary who had held talks with Iran’s ambassador on Saturday, told Sky News there was good evidence the men were in Iraqi waters, but that the issue of whether the sailors had strayed into Iranian waters was only a technical one. ‘I’ve been very clear throughout that the British forces do not ever intentionally enter into Iranian waters,’ he said. ‘There’s no reason for them to do so, we don’t intend to do so, and I think people should accept there’s good faith in those assertions.’”

    Although the Iranians claim the captured recording devices provide solid evidence that the Brits knew they were in Iranian waters, Iranian officials have so far declined to release the precise coordinates where the interception took place. One awaits further evidence, as opposed to the straight reporting of the British government’s explanation as if it were fact. In any event, you’ll note that various descriptions of the Shatt al-Arab waterway are often preceded by the word “disputed” – due to the fact that nobody really knows what defines the exact boundary between Iran and Iraq along this crucial oil route. Which is precisely why this area is such a perfect staging ground for the War Party’s next adventure in “regime change.”

    Both Ron Paul and Antiwar.com columnist Philip Giraldi have warned about the likelihood of a Gulf of Tonkin-style incident in the Persian Gulf, and their predictions have, sadly, proved all too accurate. That it involves the British, not the Americans, is a double victory for the on-to-Tehran crowd: the war-weary Brits, who recently announced the withdrawal of their troops from southern Iraq, will presumably be dragged along in the wake of the coming U.S. military assault as their sailors are paraded before the cameras in Tehran. Once again, “coalition” forces are about to take down a Middle Eastern government, and they are already on the move.

    The War Party’s propaganda campaign has gone into high gear as a result of this incident, evoking memories of yet another “hostage crisis” and characterizing the incident as an Iranian provocation designed to set up a prisoner exchange, in which the Iranians would hand over their captive Brits for Iranians recently detained in Iraq – the latter supposedly numbering in the “hundreds.”

    As part of the general propaganda offensive, U.S. News is reporting yet another incident, this time involving the Americans and Iraqi troops, who were allegedly surrounded by Iranian Revolutionary Guards well inside Iraq. This supposedly occurred in September of last year – yet we’re only learning about it now.

    On the ground in the Middle East, the forces that will engage in a mighty clash of civilizations are gathering – while, on the home front, the Israel Lobby is preparing the ground by softening up any possible opposition. This means zeroing in on the Democratic Party, lining up the major presidential candidates in support of a strike against Tehran, and smearing any and all war opponents as anti-Semitic enablers of the nuclear-armed, Holocaust-denying Iranian regime.

    Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recently-passed “antiwar” legislation – funding the conflict while giving the president plenty of room to evade a conditional withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq by sometime in 2008 – is being hailed as a great achievement by the Huffington Post’s David Sirota and other party-lining apologists for the DNC, but what these people somehow fail to mention is the stripping out of a provision that would have forced Bush to go to Congress before launching an attack on Iran.

    No one should be surprised by this open invitation to the president to commence the bombing at his convenience. After all, Democrats have been more belligerent than the Bush administration when it comes to Iran. Hillary Clinton has accused the Bushies of mollycoddling Tehran, and Democratic Party national chairman Howard Dean opined to Chris Matthews that the tragedy of our wrongheaded intervention in Iraq was that it diverted attention away from the “real threat” – Iran. Asked by Matthews if we ought to go to war with Iran, Dean – like the big-time Democratic presidential wannabes – refused to take it off the table.

    The Democrats, to their dismay, may soon find that it is being put on the table by George W. Bush – and how they react will determine whether they go down in history as opponents of this war-crazed administration, or its craven enablers. I’d be willing to bet the farm on the latter, and, in this context, rumors of a U.S. attack on Iran scheduled for April seem more credible by the hour.

    I would note, in passing, and purely as a speculative matter that oil prices are already spiking in response to rumors of war in the Gulf, and perhaps this is the key to understanding the Democrats’ capitulation. After all, the political atmosphere would certainly change – to the Democrats’ advantage – if the price of oil were to truly skyrocket, say, to $200 a barrel. This would virtually ensure a Democratic victory in ‘08. That another side effect would be to trigger a worldwide economic collapse is just a minor matter, and perhaps as good an opportunity as any to institute some real New Deal-style “reforms” of the American economic system. Statist liberals have been complaining ever since 9/11 that George W. Bush has never really asked us to make “sacrifices” in pursuit of victory in the “war on terrorism,” bemoaning the lack of a tax hike and disdaining the president’s call for the nation to “go shopping” in response to the biggest terrorist attack in our history. Having caused a major economic as well as geopolitical catastrophe as a result of making war on Iran, our pro-sacrifice liberals – especially those in Congress who initially signed on to the attack on Iraq – may believe an attack on Iran is a small price to pay for power.

    We keep hearing that the U.S. will never attack Iran because we don’t have the troops or the military reserves. Lawrence O’Donnell, for one, keeps saying this on The McLaughlin Group, but I don’t believe it for a minute. The Lobby is pushing hard on this one, and, politically, the War Party has lined up the leadership of both the Democrats and the Republicans, as Pelosi’s capitulation on the Iran proviso makes all too clear. As long as domestic political support for an attack spans both parties and includes the key element of “liberal” Democrats like Pelosi and Chairman Dean, all systems are “go” for war with Iran.

    God may forgive them: I will not.

  42. At 11:09 AM on 28 Mar 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    Val P (39) -
    I'm sure it will be a joyous thing once its finished. Hope the elbows are syrup free this morning and that the Birthday Bod (and you!) have a lovely day! x

  43. At 11:14 AM on 28 Mar 2007, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Si (34) thanks for the post. I was going to say something along the same lines, but having been a Civvie my entire life, I was concerned that some of my posts would've been innaccurate. I also think you're on to something about Graeme not being a native English speaker, given the syntax and grammer being used. I would posit that this is someone with an agenda to push...

    As for the frogtastic news, that's wonderful, Eric :-) We're all proud of you, Lissa, Marc, and the mods...

  44. At 11:24 AM on 28 Mar 2007, Fiona wrote:

    Wow! Congratulations indeed - a well deserved nomination and if there is any justice in the world it must be in the bag already! Who are we up against incidentally?

    What a great idea Big Sis (31). And please may I be included in that? I know I am not as regular a frogger as some - but its not through lack of desire, its just lack of time! Job, children and house keep me fully occupied! I would love to have got involved in the song for example but just couldn't. However I do visit all the time so would love to take part in some sort of open event.

    Annasee - as the others have said, don't go! (virtually I mean, not physically - of course you can move to Oz, you don't need my permission for that :0) ) That is the beauty of the web - it doesn't matter where you are in the world you can still join in.

  45. At 11:44 AM on 28 Mar 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Now, how did that happen? Vyle and I have been transposed (see 38 and 39 as I write). My posting (currently 38) was in reply to Vyle's posting (currently 39).


    Hello Marc, where are you?

  46. At 12:04 PM on 28 Mar 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    FFred (43)l
    Speaking of 'agendas to push'; Check out 'A Listener' at (41).

    If ever proof were needed that monstrous posts, and not just one-liners DO get through then 'A listener.' just provided it....

    And s/he seems remarkably well-informed, even if just as remarkably one-sided. Very 'Damn the USA' isn't it? And dreadfully cynical too.

    I refuse to believe that 15 British service personnel have been sacrificed to give the entire US Government a pretext for war.

    I also don't believe that Pelosi and co. now running the legislature will give the White House unlimited free rein against Iran. Although I'd concede that the Democrats have probably never forgiven the mullahs for the Iran hostage crisis that finished Jimmy Carter off and ushered Reagan into power.

    Following the 'Dodgy Dossier' Blair has conceded the right of the British Parliament, before any future wars are conducted, to vote on a resolution authorising war. If anyone thinks that this Parliament will vote for war against Iran they have gravely misjudged it. It would certainly lead to a falling out with the USA unprecedented since 1939. The strain on NATO and other Western alliances would be intolerable. Many international political relationships and treaties which have served to form the world we live in might be shaken or sundered.

    Given all the possible negative implications for global politics it might not be stretching too far to suggest that the relative geopolitical unity of the western-inclined liberal democracies may well hang on a decision by the USA not to get involved in Iran. You might well imagine that if I can think like that, then so can the Iranians. They may well decide that we are bluffing and they will call it.

    There is a real trap here for our Governments. If we aren't bluffing then it ends in a divisive conflict which will split the relative unity of the West. If we are bluffing and we back down then we are diminished in any case. A lose/lose opportunity.

    Who'd be a national leader right now, offered unpalatable choices like these?


  47. At 12:20 PM on 28 Mar 2007, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Agreed, Si (45) "A Listeners"s post hadn't made it up there when I frogged earlier. Very Anti-western (a distinct difference to Pro-Iranian, I hasten to add). Whilst the Democratic party may have no love for the Iranian regime that helped the fall of Carter, they have seen the fallout from Iraq, and I can't believe they would risk it all again for such selfish reasond as "A Listener" has posited.

    I don't always agree with you, Si, but I'm 100% with you on this one

  48. At 12:44 PM on 28 Mar 2007, Jamie wrote:

    Perhaps Iran is telling the truth... perhaps these "sailors" were really Special Forces planning to infiltrate..?

  49. At 12:53 PM on 28 Mar 2007, David Kaye wrote:

    When did we become so utterly spineless? Our sailors are imprisoned by a foreign power, outside of that power's jurisdiction, and we shy away even from "extreme diplomatic action".This is what happens when a society is overrun by political correctness and left-wing ideology. Like Milliband the spine suddenly disappears.

    God help the West.

  50. At 01:04 PM on 28 Mar 2007, admin annie wrote:

    do you think the Iraqui/Iranian discussion could be moved the the Furrowed Brow as that seems a more appropriate place for this discussion? Seems silly to have serious discussion here on a 'normal' thread when we have a special place put aside for it.

  51. At 01:06 PM on 28 Mar 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    It's all getting a bit Furrowed Brow in here...

    On a liighter note its obvious, if a little sad, that we froggers couldn't all attend. But how about a Sony themed 'Window on your World' where we all get poshed up at the appointed date/time and send in pics of the results?

  52. At 01:14 PM on 28 Mar 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    Big Sister (currently 45)

    As a result of the transposition, I thought your "That bad" was referring to the tickle saga.

    The song wasn't bad. It had me in tears of laughter - embarrassing with all those workers around me...

    There seems to be more speculation here about the Iran incident than there was about the murder of Pakistan's coach. I had to smile when I heard that the female prisoner has complete privacy; what a lovely euphemism for Solitary Confinement.

  53. At 01:34 PM on 28 Mar 2007, Fearless Fred wrote:

    witchiwoman (51) what a wonderful idea! I love the idea of a posh WOYW :))

  54. At 01:53 PM on 28 Mar 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    FF (53)

    But I haven't got a thing to wear.

  55. At 02:01 PM on 28 Mar 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    FF (53) - thanks! I think theres huge scope!

    AND, Eddie if you/we (!) do win can I suggest going to accept the award to the Froggers Anthem (if thats ok with Fifi!)

  56. At 02:23 PM on 28 Mar 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    Jamie (48);
    Or perhaps they were on a ‘Run Ashore’ and having a ‘Banyan’ on the local beach when they went to find the ‘Golden Camel’ for some extra fluid intake and a bag of crisps and got lost in their befuddled state?

    David K (49);
    Spineless? Left-wing? Political Correctness?

    I’m the last person around here to whom any of those titles apply, as Aperitif and the other regulars will tell you. None of those things have anything to do with this current situation at all. You’d hardly call Blair left-wing, even his own party would have some doubts about that. So your language is pointlessly inflammatory.

    Our sailors are indeed imprisoned. But we don’t know where, so we can’t mount a rescue job, even if we had a mind to do so. And rescues in Iran don’t work. Remember ‘Desert One’ and the post-revolutionary embassy hostage crisis?

    And those people are in someone’s jurisdiction. The problem is the complexity of counter-acting interests by different groups, all of whom have some access to the levers of power.

    The age of gunboat diplomacy and sabre-rattling died in 1914. You don’t just shout louder if someone ignores you. It achieves nothing. They are certainly within the power of a hostile, if not exactly enemy, regime. That regime is using them as pawns in a political game. It cares not one jot for us in the West. Indeed the more extreme religious elements regard us as contemptible, atheistic, Godless heathens and infidels. We need them much more than they need us.

    But you seem to be holding back. You obviously have strong opinions on what we should be doing now? Please enlighten us all with your thinking on the matter. What ‘extreme diplomatic action’ do you propose? What threats might you issue when they spurn your diplomatic advances? How will you back your tub-thumping rhetoric with credible action that won’t see them taken out and shot the moment that you move?

    Yes, God help the West. See the tail-end of my post (46) above for why we could walk headlong into a trap.

    Admin Annie’s right. Any responses or further discussions please post onto the current incarnation of the ‘Furrowed Brow’. It’s the weekly thread where ongoing long-term discussion and debate happens. Check in the links on the right of the page to find your way there.


  57. At 02:38 PM on 28 Mar 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Si and Listener and Graeme,

    We just don't know, but I'm afraid my cynicism, well hardened by experience puts me on the side of 'conspiracy' and a drumming up of war fever on the part of 'our' leaders. Sad isn't it? I wish history didn't serve so well to confirm such a viewpoint.
    Houb Salaam
    28/03/2007 at 14:38:43 GMT

  58. At 02:43 PM on 28 Mar 2007, Anne P. wrote:

    witchiwoman (51) agree with others that it's a great idea - but I'll have to get something new to wear - or have I got time to knit?

    The awards ceremony is 30th April at the Grosvenor House Hotel.

    According to The Indy the 25 shortlisted for the new award of 'broadcasters' broadcaster' (both living and dead) are :
    Danny Baker
    Zoe Ball
    Tony Blackburn
    Alistair Cooke
    Noel Edmonds
    Chris Evans
    Kenny Everett
    Neil Fox
    Alan 'Fluff' Freeman
    Paul Gambaccini
    John Humphreys
    Sue MacGregor
    Chris Moyles
    Annie Nightingale
    Christian O'Connell
    John Peel
    Anna Raeburn
    Jonathan Ross
    Les Ross
    Roger Scott
    Chris Tarrant
    Johnnie Walker
    Terry Wogan
    Steve Wright

  59. At 03:00 PM on 28 Mar 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    If you're a journalist, you can vote for Eddie (or whoever) on the Sony Awards website.

  60. At 03:09 PM on 28 Mar 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Haven't had time to read this whole thread since my last post near the start -- just skimmed through and it's quite a mix of serious and silly (which I love, by the way), but I just have to say: Whoever accused Si of being left-wing (ref his post at 56), are you mad?!

    Si, I have risen to the bait on the Furrowed Brow, but called time out and left you a beer on the beach. :-)

  61. At 03:12 PM on 28 Mar 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    Anne P - not really directed at you but Zoe Ball?? Nice girl etc but Broadcasters Broadcaster??

    I'm sure a Needle Weilder like yourself could knock soemthing up no probs at all! I'm sure we can apply a Froggers spin to the notion of 'poshing-up' as well :)

  62. At 04:09 PM on 28 Mar 2007, vyle hernia wrote:

    Is the broadcaster's broadcaster elected by other broadcasters? If so, some of the ones on the list may have difficulty getting their votes through; they may also suffer the additional 'disadvantage' of never having heard some of the other nominees. I, however, suffer from the disadvantage of having actually heard some of the other nominees. Not mentioning any names, but there is one in particular who should be paying his/her employer to allow him/her to broadcast, not receiving a compensation package.

  63. At 04:13 PM on 28 Mar 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    Ah Appy (60;
    They weren't accusing me, but our national policy re: Iran and the hostages they are holding. The chap in question seems to think that we're back in the days of appeasement and that somehow the means adopted by the Government to get these unfortunate people back is typically left-wing.

    Can't see the connection between state ownership and redistribution of wealth and this myself. Maybe I've missed something.


  64. At 04:16 PM on 28 Mar 2007, Gillian wrote:

    Anne P (58) Just a thought, Anne, but in the unimaginable event of either E.M. or P.M. coming home empty-handed from the ceremony, how about knitting them a consolation prize? I'm thinking perhaps a gold sparkly star that they could hang up in the studio, for instance?

  65. At 04:18 PM on 28 Mar 2007, admin annie wrote:

    some of those names are seriously suspect as The Broadcasters Broadcaster I'd have thought. But anyway it has to be a shoe in for John Peel who will win it because a tide of sentimentality on the part of hacks who are normally as cynical as they come, will carry all, including his name as winner, before it.

  66. At 04:38 PM on 28 Mar 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    OK, OK, I've been right through it now and taken in as much as I can.

    Serious stuff first: Graeme (10), I considered and felt unconvinced by your conspiracy theory -- and I don't ever dismiss such things out of hand. I find what Chris Fish (18), Fearless (47) and Si (34) say highly convincing, and, I should say here, that Si and I seldom agree about anything (except that debate is good). I bow to his much greater knowledge on this subject and, even whilst trying to take in all that A. Listener (41) has to say, with much to support his/her theory, I still feel that you theorise too far. If you all do contiune this discussion -- here or in the Furrowed Brow -- I will be interested to read on as I do feel I'm learning something from all of your views.

    Next: Serious, but more frog-centric:

    Annasee (11), how could I have missed this earlier?!?! Don't go!!! You must continue to frog from overseas -- as many have said -- it is not hard at all! But good luck with the move :-)

    Right, fun stuff!

    Annasee again (17), yes, quite right -- I like Mary's straightfoward request much better...

    Mary (12), thank you for including me in that request. What a caring, sharing lady you are. I am ashamed now that I didn't do the same, although, to be fair, I didn't ask for myself either (see my 14).

    Vyle (36), Perhaps the moderators prefer a firm red or blue? The back to front conversation between you and Big Sis at 38 and 39 had me confused too, until I read on... this blog is definitely getting even weirder!

    Right, stuff to do in the actual world. :-)

  67. At 04:55 PM on 28 Mar 2007, Fiona wrote:

    Yes ww (61), I'm with you on that one.......Zoe Ball? I would not have thought she was best known for having an outstanding radio broadcasting career!! Have to say if our Eddie doesn't get it then I hope it goes to John Peel - and not just for sentimental reasons, simply that he would be among the few that I would say truly deserve it. And as for Chris Moyle.....please NO!

    As for the special dressing up WOYW idea - I love it!!! We should do it!

  68. At 05:23 PM on 28 Mar 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Si (63), Yeah, realised that when I read back -- I thought from your post that you were defending yourself against a charge (compliment) of left wingedness, and I rushed to your defence!... or was it to the defence of the left... ;-)

  69. At 07:10 PM on 28 Mar 2007, Frances O wrote:

    Val P (20) and there's Stephen on Pluto, remember? Got your red spotty shoes?

  70. At 07:18 PM on 28 Mar 2007, Frances O wrote:

    Big Sis (31)- great idea.

  71. At 07:28 PM on 28 Mar 2007, Frances O wrote:

    I'm adding my belated congratulations to Eddie, Marc, Lissa, Richard et al for the well-deserved nominations.


    I had a hunch a while ago that the frog would get some kind of nomination.

    I love the idea of a get-together, as I've said. Even if the frog doesn't win.

  72. At 08:21 PM on 28 Mar 2007, Annasee wrote:

    Thank you for the kind comments about our departure. I must say it's most complimentary. I wonder if I'll have to be some sort of antipodean creature if I frog from Oz. The nearest would be a cane toad, but they're so horrible & universally disliked I don't think that would be any good for my self esteem... I will certainly try to keep in touch. But it won't be the same, 5 pm without Eddie on the radio to keep me amused during the dinner cooking. Will we have to eat dinner at 5 am instead if I do Listen Again? hmmm.

    I like the idea of Anne P knitting a consolation prize in the unthinkable event of PM not carrying all before them at the Sonys. Perhaps a gold star with a vaguely frog-shaped green lump attached? We will want photos!

  73. At 10:54 PM on 28 Mar 2007, whisht wrote:

    Annasee - you're going to Aus! congratulations and good luck!! apologies but I missed where in Aus exactly.

    And of course you can keep frogging from there. I mean, it ain't Pluto.

    or a "parrallel universe" - (Val????(20) whadididoo??!!??)

    And its hardly like people here don't frog at ungodly hours (Eddie!)
    As I've said many times I like the way this blog meanders between serious and fun and this thread is not a bad example. I know I'm learning/ thinking because of it (and I'm with Si and others on this one).
    As for the frog winning an award... here's what the prize is for:
    "This category seeks to recognise on-air interaction where the listener is significantly involved in providing the editorial content to a radio programme."

    Well, I think the blog generates most of its own content....

    ... with a bit of help from Eddie and the Moderators.

    Ohmygod - I've invented a band.

    ah, now I see Val's point...


  74. At 11:25 PM on 28 Mar 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Oh Whisht, you are the cat's pyjamas!

  75. At 01:11 AM on 29 Mar 2007, Frances O wrote:

    Shouldn't that be the frog's legs?

  76. At 08:45 AM on 29 Mar 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    AnnaS (72) - I'd like to think you'd be a tree frog; quite sweet but pleasantly vocal during the balmy evenings (at least in some parts!)

  77. At 09:35 AM on 29 Mar 2007, Molly wrote:

    Well, I go to Lisbon for a 21st treat, only to miss, again, all the eexcitement on the Sony front. How brilliant is THAT!!!!
    Belated congrats to everyone who takes the time (and it does take time!) to contribute -only wish I were as clever as some of you!


  78. At 09:58 AM on 29 Mar 2007, Molly wrote:

    Forgot to say how I hope you DO manage to...
    etc etc- always enjoy your 'slant' on things!


  79. At 12:50 PM on 29 Mar 2007, Roberto Carlos Alvarez-Galloso,CPUR wrote:

    CONGRADULATIONS!!!!! I am sending you a photo to comemorate.

  80. At 02:12 PM on 29 Mar 2007, Aunt Dahlia wrote:

    Has Jim Naughtie ever had a prize? Why not, he's the only thing that makes the Today programme bearable.
    I demand a recount!

  81. At 02:35 PM on 29 Mar 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    Auntie D (80);
    Jim Naughtie? NO!!

    As someone once remarked of Geoffrey Howe, it's like being savaged by a dead sheep. Come to think of it that also applies to Ed Stourton.

    Interminable questions usually followed by one-syllable answers. I've always got the impression that JN is in love with his own intelligence and the sound of his own voice.

    What about our own Sequin? She's a frequent visitor to 'Today'.


  82. At 02:40 PM on 29 Mar 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    Aunt D - yes!! Truly agree! I think my idea of radio heaven would be Mr N and our dear Sir E de Mair on the same programme, PM in tone/style of course, over maybe a two hour slot...and if we could work Johnny Depp in there somewhere....I think I'd better head to the Beach!

  83. At 04:30 PM on 29 Mar 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Ah Witchi (82) Thank you for that last little thought :-)

  84. At 10:49 PM on 29 Mar 2007, Val P wrote:

    Ah Whisht, dear one - I knew you'd know what I meant :o}x

    Frances O - how did I forget Stephen Leader, btw RJD found your spotty red shoes the morning after the Froggers' Reunion in my dream at his place the other night. I think he has them on the beach.

    Hmm, or is it I who am perhaps inhabiting the Parallel Universe.......

    Molly - a 21st treat? Do tell?

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