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The Glass Box for Friday

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Eddie Mair | 16:37 UK time, Friday, 25 May 2007

The Glass Box is the place where you can comment on what you heard on PM, interact with other listeners and get responses from the people who make the programme. Just click on the "comment" link.

But please also have a look further down the page at the faces of the young people in Michael Buchanan's report.


  1. At 05:16 PM on 25 May 2007, Markham Weavill wrote:

    McCann - Once again a report full of innuendo and gossip. Enough. If there are no further facts coming from the Portugese police then don't run a piece.

  2. At 05:21 PM on 25 May 2007, Jacqueline Chnéour wrote:

    Re. GPs

    The surgery I go to is supposed to have three GPSs. BUT two of them are only part time: one is there two days a week; the other one is on duty in the mornings on four days, plus on one whole day; only the most junior doctor is there five days a week.

    As well as at weekends the surgery is closed on Thursday afternoons. Why?

  3. At 05:32 PM on 25 May 2007, john wrote:

    Without realising it is missing children day, I was today thinking of a teenaged nephew last seen 10 years ago; he was a child then, no longer. All attempts to trace him have failed. I like to think he found a better world away from an unkind and potentially abusive family situation. He is not forgotten.

  4. At 05:35 PM on 25 May 2007, Peej wrote:

    I disagree with Markham (1). I thought it was very fair: we heard from Marat's mother and from Madeleine's parents, which made it different. The gripping bit was the staggering statistic of 70,000 children going missing each year, so one well done for giving a voice to some of the other people similarly affected, and another one for revealing the scale of the problem. It was certainly news to me and I suspect most others.

  5. At 05:38 PM on 25 May 2007, Frances O wrote:

    I'm glad to hear that Vaughan Savidge hs been saved for the nation

  6. At 05:40 PM on 25 May 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Too much Blears!

  7. At 05:56 PM on 25 May 2007, Wendy Benson wrote:

    Just listened to the article on the chap that broke the record for staying awake. It strikes me that for this chaps assertions about being able to function without sleep a larger number of people need to take part in the exercise. After all, people are supposed to be either night or morning people.

    I have worked nights in the past and know just how difficult I found it to stay awake!

  8. At 05:59 PM on 25 May 2007, patrick bond wrote:

    my wife is a gp a nd now does no on call. previously she was involved in all night calls at least twice a week. many of those calls were completely trite including " im off on holiday tomorrow, please come and do my injections" - this at midnight,and reguarly visiting a family who cheerfuly admitted they couldn't be bothered with queuing so just called in the evenings instead. Those who exepct their gps to be on call 24 /7 should try and imagine doing this themselves.

    The government may also like to explain what happened to the national records computer which was supposed to allow any doctor to access records anywhere 24 /7. Billions of ££s of taxes have disappear into that scheme with nothging to show for it

  9. At 06:50 PM on 25 May 2007, m wrote:

    I am a criminal defence lawyer and am expected to be on call for the local scheme and also my office needs to run an out of hours system. We are effectively publically funded, but not to the extent that I could opt out of any scheme. In fact my business survives by providing this cover.

    Being on call is awful especially if you have been at work all day and will have to be at work the following day. I have on many occasions had little or no sleep due to this need to have 24/7 cover.

    It his dangerous in my view for people to have to be on call after a normal working day. Notwithstanding someone who has broken some record for surviving without sleep, nobody functions properly without a good break, and if you have to drive for the job which I guess doctors would as well as solicitors then it is even more dangerous.

    I have to say however, that I could only dream of £100,000 a year. There is no possibility of me earning that amount at all. Still no amount of money compensates for a disrupted social and home life or the detrimental effects on personal health and welfare that working excessive hours inevitably means.

    The answer is to have people employed to do out of hours work with proper time off and rota systems. Of course this would cost too much money - but what is too much when life and liberty are at stake?


  10. At 06:50 PM on 25 May 2007, L Darling wrote:

    Re: John Reid as neo-dictator

    Although it was not a PM feature story but just part of the news, I wanted to express my strong concern about the notion that the Home Office wants further power to use "secret" evidence to hold people to an extent that the UK must opt-out of EU human rights rules. Isn't there something wrong with this picture: a nation that claims to be a bastion of liberty saying it cannot operate and respect human rights? If these are such bad actors, a I am sure a court will be more than accommodating to the Home Office.

    Take a lesson from the mistakes made by the United States--don't let the government use the "war on terror" excuse to get away with being lazy, secretive and undemocratic.

  11. At 08:56 PM on 25 May 2007, Jasper Corbett wrote:

    I edited this evening's programme. Thanks for your comments. After the programme one of the things we discussed was whether we learned anything new from the piece we ran from Portugal. Perhaps you're right it was just more innuendo and gossip but it was the first time we had spoken to Robert Murat's mother on tape and that had something to do with the reason we ran it. On the other hand I think Michael Buchanan's report on how some families cope with the disappearance of teenage children was indisputably powerful and important to run on day like today.

    On other matters -- Ed (1), can you ever have too much Hazel Blears?
    Seriously though, I thought it was a good interview Eddie did with Ms Blears taking issue into interesting areas. Too often bullying, not just at school but in the workplace too, goes unreported. Also, I think it's a good question whether, given what we know about how modern politics works, politicians make useful role models when it comes to bullying....

  12. At 09:00 PM on 25 May 2007, tony ferney wrote:

    70,000 missing children is a misleading statistic. Of those, I believe that a large percentage are found or return within a relatively short time. We need to know how many have not been traced after, say, 3 or 4 months in order to have a more balanced view of the problem.

  13. At 12:56 AM on 26 May 2007, admin annie wrote:

    L Darling, it is a sad fact that our 'new labour' government has turned out to be more right wing that a barrel full of Oswald Moseleys, with a consequent reduction of our liberties in all sorts of ways. We may think we are a bastion of liberty but we're not.

  14. At 06:47 AM on 26 May 2007, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    L. Darling (10):

    I think it was a mistake to acept the human rights laws when we did. It seems to have led to e.g. an inability to smack naughty children who then go on to become wild teenagers and then anti-social adults.

    I fully support all aspects of the Human Rights Act, I just don't think we, as a society, were ready for it. We're not polite enough, or well-behaved enough, basically not *mature* enough to discipline each other without corporal punishment.

    I was in the iddle of Secondary school when the belt was banned in Scotland. Behaviour went bad very quickly because many of the kids had been brought up to get away with whatever they could - an attitude that was prevalent across society then - this being the mid-1980's - instead of knowing that they had a *responsibility* to behave.

    These days, the teenagers who rampage through the council estate I live in know to the letter their "rights" under the Act, and any householder attempting to clip someone round the ear for egging their door or setting fire to their garden will quickly find themselves in the police station.

    I think we should put the Human Rights Act on hold, and introduce a Human Responsibility Act along the lines of the following:

    Article 2) (Previously The Right To Life)
    Everyone has the responsibility to avoid taking the life of another.

    Article 3) Inhuman Treatment
    No one should subject another to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment.


    Basically the same thing, but changes the onus in what would be a very positive way.

    (Sorry, that might have been better in the Furrowed Brow...)

  15. At 11:43 AM on 26 May 2007, the third woman wrote:

    Did I miss something, what happened to Paddy O'Connell.

  16. At 01:10 PM on 26 May 2007, Anne P. wrote:

    Never believe Eddie when he tells you someone has been sacked. Paddy is probably pregnant - Figlover was when Eddie told tales about her departure.

  17. At 02:02 PM on 26 May 2007, DI Wyman wrote:

    admin annie (13)...spot on.

    thats all i have got to say.....nail, head, hit, the right on....

  18. At 08:43 PM on 26 May 2007, anth wrote:

    Stainless Steel Cat #14

    Hear hear!

    The trouble I have for my widowed mother and the not-so-understanding neighbours (whose kids run riot). She's retreated into not opening the door at all until she's sure it's (a) friendly and (b) an adult ringing the bell. I've even found myself barred (she not removing the chain) from getting in when I have a set of keys...

    I am rabidly against the surveillance state that the UK is rapid becoming, but then think that CCTV viewing mother's front door would be a good idea...

    Looks as if I got regress into my old f*rt mode tonight - sorry.

  19. At 11:59 PM on 26 May 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    70,000 missing children:

    Definition of "child"? Anyone under 18? Under 16?

    Definition of "missing"? Run away from an abusive home/"care" establishment, what one might call "wilful missing"? Is this cases reported to the police?

    Definition of "per year"? How many per year get *found* again?

    I hate this sort of statistic. It is utterly without meaning unless it is broken down further, into ages, reasons for absence (if known), and so on.

  20. At 09:47 AM on 27 May 2007, Anne P. wrote:


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