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The Glass Box for Tuesday

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Eddie Mair | 16:38 UK time, Tuesday, 15 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. This is proving to be a useful tool for us, and we hope, for you.

Just click on the "comment" link.

Don't worry either if you didn't catch the whole programme, or were busy doing other things and not giving us your full attention. If there was something that "caught your ear" we want to hear about it.

The Glass Box is named after the booth outside the PM studio where we all discuss the programme at 18.00 every weeknight. We try to be honest and constructive. Sometimes there is criticism, and the criticised get a chance to explain themselves.

The people who make PM will read the comments posted, and will sometimes respond. Unless it's Roger Sawyer editing. He's completely hopeless.

Please feel free to post your thoughts. There is a link to previous Glass Boxes on the right.
Also on the right, you'll find lots of other links you might like. The Furrowed Brow for example is the venue where you can start talking about anything serious: The Beach is a fun place, and there are links to Blog entries with photos, audio and links. And if you want to see us drone on about awards, you can do that too.


  1. At 05:04 PM on 15 May 2007, Fifi wrote:

    Gosh it's foggy in here. Has Antony Gormley been steaming up the windows again?


  2. At 05:34 PM on 15 May 2007, Jane wrote:

    Pre-emptively: Junior doctors are not getting there way! Round One is still a shambols, cancelling MTAS for round two wasn't a decision, the system JUST DOESN'T WORK. Our way would be fair and just interviews and free, open applications.

  3. At 05:34 PM on 15 May 2007, John Cooper wrote:

    Most impressed. Eddie referred to David Cameron as David Green in the piece on Housing packs. Does this mean that his months of spin have got through?

    Thoroughly enjoying the interview with the doctors jobs person, a nice mix of serious with reactions (from Eddie) that you shout at the radio. Whilst you cannot be completely laid back it aids it by countering obvious media trained puff.


  4. At 05:36 PM on 15 May 2007, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    "No you didn't."

    Nice one Eddie. Shame that even that didn't shift Lord Hunt off his scripted responses.

  5. At 05:38 PM on 15 May 2007, Jane wrote:

    Stress still being caused to junior doctors! My interview results were originally due on 19th April, now FORECAST for 8th June. My consultants warn me not to expect them that day, they anticipate further delays

  6. At 05:41 PM on 15 May 2007, Jane wrote:

    Pre-emptively: Junior doctors are not getting there way! Round One is still a shambols, cancelling MTAS for round two wasn't a decision, the system JUST DOESN'T WORK. Our way would be fair and just interviews and free, open applications.

  7. At 05:42 PM on 15 May 2007, Diane Morris wrote:

    Has anyone else noticed how "you know" has become standard New Labour speak?
    The rep regarding H.I.P.s was 'you know' really annoying .
    Even David Cameron is in on it. They really are interchangeable

  8. At 05:51 PM on 15 May 2007, Andy Williamson wrote:

    Non sequiturs

    Isn't it about time that you abandoned the farce of posing questions to politicians and their spokespeople? It's clear that they will rarely address the salient points of the question, instead just spouting some line which they've rehearsed. It's a deeply frustrating listening experience. Today's spokesperson about the junior doctors' fiasco was a good example of this.

    In such situations, I'd much rather hear the interviewer (perhaps prompted by a producer?) pointing out that that is what has happened, ie that the interviewee refused to answer - then perhaps giving them an opportunity to explain why it's impossible to answer that question as put.

  9. At 05:58 PM on 15 May 2007, Gillian wrote:

    I'm really upset about the tosh just being spouted about the power of prayer, and how insensitive it was to broadcast that item straight after hearing about the Make Poverty History campaign. Perhaps the poor and hungry haven't ben praying hard enough? or maybe they just forgot to pray for the grace to accept their lot with good grace?

  10. At 06:04 PM on 15 May 2007, Annasee wrote:

    Excellent prog tonight. Even SO forbore to witter on in usual fashion, being glued to the radio during the interview about the H I Ps. Since we've put the house on the market we do have an interest in them!

    You know that £5 you won, Eddie? If you've still got it, maybe you should wander off to the nearest betting shop & place a bet on the HIP's NOT coming into force on June 1st. Given the information revealed in your interview, surely they can't? And she didn't actually give you a promise they would, either. At least, that was how I heard it, but then there was plenty of room left to interpret in her answer!

  11. At 06:06 PM on 15 May 2007, simonthepilgrim wrote:

    Praying for victory in football?

    Wicked, imo. Every prayer for [i]my[/i] team to win is actually a prayer for someone else's team to lose.

    Not the Christianity I want to give any sort of credibility to.

    It's nothing more than credulous superstition. Medieval nonsense and nothing whatsoever to do with any sort of authentic Christian faith.

    I'm sorry that the interviewer didn't make the point!

  12. At 06:13 PM on 15 May 2007, Karen wrote:

    I spoke to a consultant today at work. He despairs of what is going to turn up in August to join his team. He told me that MTAS means he has no clue what level the candidates are operating at and therefore what training they will need.

    He's booked a foreign holiday for the first fortnight in August.

  13. At 06:13 PM on 15 May 2007, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Oh no, not more on Diana's death! When will Mr Fayed realise that he has persuaded himself of something that the facts just don't support. Until he learns to accept the findings of all the inquiries and investigations so far, all of which have come to the same conclusion, then he will continue to become a pitiable figure...

  14. At 06:14 PM on 15 May 2007, Joolsfw wrote:

    H.I.P s have NOTHING to do with any environmental issues at all. The inspectors have very little training( two day course) and no secuirity checks. They are NOT surveyors.They simply won't be able to distinquish a cavity wall from their elbow.

    None of this will speed up the conveyancing proceesss: in fact, it may stall it altogether, with disasterous consequences for the economy.

    The whole exercise is simply a tax raising device for this goverment who will levy VAT on the packs.

    Yvette Cooper:goodness.......

  15. At 06:30 PM on 15 May 2007, Rupert Allman wrote:

    I should put a word in for part of the team who don't often get a mention. It's the commissioning team - they look after not just PM, but also WATO, BH and the World This Weekend. The ideas for large chunks of the programmes come from this part of the empire. I did it for a while and was - well very average. Amanda too ran the commissioning desk. She was brilliant. As is Mark who is currently in charge.

    So tonight. Very strong reax to the intv with Yvette Cooper on HIPs. Perhaps, I should have led with it? Not everyone liked the story about Portsmouth FC and the role of the Almighty in their recent success. On bank charges, our guest was loud but I hope it didn't get in the way of a story that we've touched on in the past - and has also been featured on other parts of the R4 schedule. And Peter Hunt went on a bit too long from the High Court. He's now banned from the programme.

  16. At 06:42 PM on 15 May 2007, rachel wrote:

    What do you think about maths in primary schools?

    Aparently teachers have to teach ALL methods of doing sums!

    It is totally confusing.

    I have been wondering what the point of this is and whether any child that has been taught by this method has reached school leaving age yet, and weather private schools follow this method.

    No wonder kids are confused and need one to one help.

    A subject I feel sure is worth investigating.

  17. At 07:10 PM on 15 May 2007, Duncan Lowther wrote:

    Heard the little loudmouth going on about people being ripped off by banks if they have unauthorised overdrafts. Poor dears! He forgets that those with unauthorised overdrafts are spending other people's money! As near theft as I can imagine. The banks are merely enforcing a freely entered into contract.I have no connection with, or special brief for, banks,....but fair's fair.

  18. At 07:55 PM on 15 May 2007, Humph wrote:

    Re simonthepilgrim (11)

    Praying for victory in football?

    Errmmm, no, actually. I thought that the interviewees in the piece made it clear that was one of the things that they did not pray for. I must say, though, that whilst listening to this piece I kept being struck by the fact that the main rivals for Portsmouth FC are nick-named "The Saints". Who says that God does not have a sense of humour?

    a) atheists.
    b) fundamentalists.


  19. At 07:57 PM on 15 May 2007, al wrote:

    Oh no, it's another Eurovision thing.

    It was obvious, watching Eurovision on Saturday, that the all Eastern European votes were all massively biased, and so the voting system needs examined.

    So today, I looked at the votes cast by each country on saturday, then took the obvious step of removing all the votes cast by countries which were ineligble to vote back in the good old days (1996 to be precise, when we came second as usual).

    Then I added all the scores up, to find out what the result SHOULD have been.

    It turned out the result was, to all intents and purposes, the same.
    Serbia won, Ukraine came 2nd. The UK flew like a flag...wrapped around a big stone.

  20. At 08:31 PM on 15 May 2007, John Cooper wrote:

    gillian (9) - Make Poverty History stemmed from a church based initiative therefore the two differing things were linked.

    I would disagree with your synopsis of the possible linkage, but can see why you came to that conclusion. I thought it was a nice mixture really.


  21. At 09:20 PM on 15 May 2007, Gillian wrote:

    Rupert (15) So glad you did not lead with HIPs! Any news of Madeleine is far more important than that. And thanks for sticking to the news on that issue. It was very helpful to hear from the lawyer, explaining the procedure.
    Maths item was interesting from the point of view that it gave an insight into what Maths education should be about....not just coaching in order to pass tests.
    Al Fayed....too much detail for something so unimportant. We didn't need to have the script read out.
    And you know what I thought of the Football prayers!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    A great mix, though, and an excellent prog again

  22. At 11:27 PM on 15 May 2007, Izzy T'Me wrote:


    I am looking forward to the time I can listen to the full hour without feeling I should be revising (three weeks and counting)!

    Heard about 10 minutes which was fine , IMHO - but it's not very often I have reason to complain about the programme - often what people say, but not the putting together of it.

    The bit that I found useful was the explanation of the "formal suspect" in the abducted child case. I think that's very telling - it may be that the person is connected, but also it may not (for reasons we are not allowed to be made aware of). We should not indulge in another case of trial by media.

    Of course, we are all horrified that Madeline has been taken, but firstly any prosecution of any suspect should not be put in jeopardy and secondly, any innocent person should not be persecuted.

    What a very difficult time this is for everyone involved - my heart goes out to her family and friends, and I wish them the very best of news about Madeline. I cannot imagine their feelings at every twist and turn of events.

    I sincerely hope she is found safe and well, as I'm sure all froggers do.

  23. At 11:36 PM on 15 May 2007, anth wrote:

    Rupert #15,

    Despite having been hit with the overdraft/non-payment charges on occasion, I support them. In my case, being neglectful in paying credit card on time. Yes, I had to pay up, because I had not fulfilled my part of the agreement - which I read.

    So I have no sympathy with your contributor who ranted on and on about this. I cannot imagine what those who run up thousands of pounds in fees are doing - and why should those who are more-or-less prudent subsidise their care-less spending?

  24. At 09:15 AM on 16 May 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    I loved the bit about junior doctors and especially the 'interview' with Milord Hunt, which had me shouting at the radio at his determination not to go off-message and off-script. A great piece of interviewing Eddie. Giving him the rope and watching him hang himself.

    Diane M;
    It's 'yoof' culture 'yer know'. Listen to any teenager these days and their conversation is dotted with 'you know'. It seems that the rules of the English language now include a mandatory 'you know' in every sentence. Oh God, even I'm doing it now, you know.

    Andy W;
    It was ever thus, but hear, hear anyway.

    I'm surprised that the Portsmouth players are putting their success down to God. After all, if you've been to Portsmouth you'll know that the Lord has turned his back on it as being beyond redemption!

    I'll back you on that one.

    HIP's. £300+ cost to get one. £200 fine for selling without one. No-brainer really.

    Hmmm, the financial bloke was too loud and too over the top for my liking. Somewhat of a turn-off, even though his message could have some relevance for me.

    You didn't mention Lord Hunt though and the whole medical package. Best part of the programme. Worth promoting to before 17:30.


  25. At 11:20 AM on 16 May 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    Well done, Simon, for such a comprehensive post.

    WRT HIPs, it is patent nonsense to suggest that a house's energy rating will affect a purchasing decision. An email read out on the programme put it perfectly. In any case, you can have a loverly (sic) green house (my own greenhouse is quite pleasant, actually) and then fill it with wasteful appliances and gadgets.

    On the other hand, if searches and the like were gathered by the vendor (and trusted by the purchaser) it would save all that duplication that sometimes occurs.

    I generally agree with the view that bank customers deserve little sympathy, but in some cases they are ripped-off or deliberately "Caught out". My son opened an account and was offered an overdraft facility which he refused. Later, when he saw a need for an O/D facility, they said it would take weeks to arrange (by which time it was too late). This was a bank that boasted of being able to give you a mortgage decision in 15 minutes.

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