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The Glass Box. For your comments on Tuesday's programme.

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Eddie Mair | 16:29 UK time, Tuesday, 8 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. If you've never commented on the Blog before - don't worry. There's a simple registration process you only have to go through once.

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. And sometimes it smells.

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 (there's one just below this entry) is a fun place, and there are links to Blog entries with photos, audio and links.


  1. At 05:14 PM on 08 May 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Now I mentioned this around three weeks ago on the glassbox - and it's *STILL* happening.

    On FM the RDS display is telling me to e-mail PM at POTW@BBC.CO.UK.

    I'm not sure who to e-mail about it so perhaps Eddie, Rupert or Jeremy or Marc could fire off an e-mail to correct the problem.

    DAB is texting out the correct e-mail.

  2. At 05:26 PM on 08 May 2007, Joe Walker wrote:

    Well there's a relief! Speaking as a devout follower of Tony Blair, until this day - possibly a matter of just days before his departure from office, I thought his reputation was irreconcilably wrecked by an illegal act of war which has cost the lives of tens and possibly hundreds of thousands of civilians. What a glorious coincidence and a triumph of news management for which everyone involved should be roundly congratulated!

  3. At 05:30 PM on 08 May 2007, The New Blog Prince aka Marc wrote:


    Thanks for letting me know about this (even if it *is* the second time....)

    I'll investigate and start the wheels to correct it.

    Remember that I can be contacted about issues through pmblogprice at hot mail dot com if you're concerned that posting comments here might not always get to me

  4. At 05:32 PM on 08 May 2007, Frances O wrote:

    Disgraceful! The first 25 or so minutes of the programme devoted to Northern Ireland and Scotland! Typical anti-London bias of PM strikes again. This is PC gone mad!!!!!

    (the above written in green ink would be preferable)

    (Winky smiley thing)

  5. At 05:42 PM on 08 May 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    I was moved to tears during the first few minutes tonight. Had that footage played anywhere, it would have had the same effect. However, just letting it happen without too much comment (v. much a PM style) was just so, so right.

    The Innocent Man spoke with real passion - I like that - even admitting he'd had a burger. You tested him, Eddie, but he ultimately (almost) won through.

    On the Portuguese abduction, I think he could have been pushed a bit more on the initial response from their police force. Accepted that, in a rural area of a poor country, things wouldn't be as rapid as perhaps over here, there does seem to have been some complacency in the crucial first 24 hours.

  6. At 05:46 PM on 08 May 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Frances O @4

    You missed out the "why oh why oh why?!"


  7. At 05:47 PM on 08 May 2007, Frances O wrote:

    Aha! Proof! Just after I posted the above (currently 4), Eddie mentions putting London's nose out of joint, or words to that effect.

    Ha!Knew it!

  8. At 05:50 PM on 08 May 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Re the Paisley Mc Guinness show:

    Well, Mr. Blair (wide eyes, clasped hands, big smile to the cameras) I suppose this will be the bit of your legacy that you'll lovingly polish in your retirement. And, to be fair, you deserve praise today of all days.

    Such a shame that you didn't choose your friends so well in the international playground.

  9. At 05:55 PM on 08 May 2007, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Eddie & the rest of the Scooby Gang...

    As a helpless bibliophile and a finance researcher I *loved* the piece about the collection of old finance books.

    Sadly, I can't afford to buy them, anyone got some spare change?

    On the same topic, this is my favourite Mark Twain quote on investing:

    “October. This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August and February.”

  10. At 06:09 PM on 08 May 2007, R.Whiting wrote:

    Every time, at the end of Any Questions, a cheer goes up in this house when we are told that next week's chair will be Eddie (the cheer was even louder when it was much missed Nick Clarke).
    Unlike Dimblebore, these are men who know the meaning of "to chair a meeting". It is not a personal chance to grill the panel members, to patronise the questioners and to drown out opposition with an annoying public school braying.

  11. At 06:12 PM on 08 May 2007, peter wrote:

    I listened to the item (advert?) for innocent smoothies and Mcdonalds food with increasing irritation why does the BBC think that the thoughts of internet users are so important, why does the BBC present itself as a champion of green issues when it is a profligate user of pointless air and road transport. why are they so rude about Mc donalds which we are free to pay to use as we wish and whose charitable work is humbling if youve ever had to use Ronald Mc Donalds house you know what I mean.

  12. At 06:16 PM on 08 May 2007, admin annie wrote:

    I suppose I'll be really unpopular if I say I think you overdid the Northern Ireland thing; is Tony going tomorrow before the arguments break out in Stormont, leaving the mess for Gordon.

    I'd have liked more on the girl rescued from a forced marriage personally.

  13. At 06:23 PM on 08 May 2007, Matt K. wrote:

    Portugal, police, press and pc.

    The modern way of (h)allowing public purience and from it press profit, is not connected to any liberal notion of political correctness. It is lazy thinking to use the label PC as a stick to beat ideas, that one diagree with in an attempt to gain a spurious concensus.

  14. At 06:26 PM on 08 May 2007, Rupert Allman wrote:

    Barf - the Glass Box really does stink. As a result the post prog debrief was - well brief. Glad you enjoyed the smoothie man - we did too. Rumblings here that the Turner Prize judge was a bit flat and others not too bothered with the King Herod's tomb story. But for me Hugh Sykes was again a class act. You probably know how good he is - and this afternoon was another brilliant piece of story telling. Elsewhere, thought Eric did a good job with the man from the Scottish Office and we were also pleased to hear from Portugal's former Foreign Secretary and his views on how the British media needs constant feeding. Making the point that ( from a police point of view ) that's not always in the best interests of the people involved.

    Nils got me thinking about my old books. Think I've got an old Rupert The Bear Annual from the sixties somewhere in the attic. I grant you it's a long way from an original Defoe. Anyway must dash, got a Banana & Honey Smoothie in the fridge.

  15. At 06:38 PM on 08 May 2007, Michael Clibbon wrote:

    Politicians of the British Isles are not to be congratulated for the new era of cooperation being born in Northern Ireland.

    This happy state of affairs is entirely due to the fact that IRA fund-raising in the USA became next to impossible after 9-11. People there suddenly realised it was wrong to support terrorism.

    Politicians taking the credit is cynical opportunism but why am I not surprised? Mr Blair certainly needs some kudos to redress the imbalance in his "Nobel Peace Prize Account"

  16. At 06:47 PM on 08 May 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Matt (13),

    I like "(h)allowing public prurience"!

  17. At 07:05 PM on 08 May 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    For those interested, there's further discussion on the Scottish election here:


  18. At 08:23 PM on 08 May 2007, Fearless Fred wrote:

    I had a feeling that Eric was trying to "do a Paxman" by asking the man from the Scottish office the same question over and over again to see if he could get a clear & consise answer. Has anyone counted how many times Ericasked if Douglas Alexander had read the report?

  19. At 08:35 PM on 08 May 2007, Andy wrote:

    If the Innocent Smoothies guy wants to get fruit (ie their product) in front of children - why not donate (or sell at a lower price) their product to schools to accompany the healthy food promoted by Jamie Oliver - rather than via McDonalds?

  20. At 10:56 PM on 08 May 2007, Deepthought (John W) wrote:

    Was there a new newsreader - Kathy someone or other - on this evening? No-one else has commented on that. If so, welcome Kathy.

    R Whiting (10), regarding Any Questions, ditto here and I know for certain at Colleague's house. It's obviously early days for EM in a new format, which he only does occasionally, but it certainly sounds good so far. The only thing I like when JD is on is when someone calls him "David".

    "Innocent" smoothies. There are other manufacturers of the stuff, as well as supermarket own brands! Since the last time I ate at McD was in 1990 in Japan, there has been a lot of hype but not much visible change in their restaurants, as a recent reccie (for loo reasons) revealled. Bad food is still bad even if ethically sourced, just as good food unsustainably sourced is bad. I think this is not a good idea by Innocent; but rather more surprised that McD did not launch their own McSmoothie range. Is this just in the UK? I was unaware McD would have third party products in their stores (but then, I'm hardly a regular).

  21. At 11:55 PM on 08 May 2007, Deepthought (John W) wrote:

    Kathy Cluckston, I believe (reading the midnight news).

  22. At 12:07 AM on 09 May 2007, Deepthought (John W) wrote:

    In pedantry mode,

    Does the strapline mean you will hit the spuds with hammers from the towers of churches to announce the hours? (Sorry Nikki Noodle).

    *Peel*. Peal is what EM crashes into after one minute to six, and which I noticed Sequin managed oh so well again on PM Monday (after Sunday's Westminster Hour, and then Tuesday's Today.

    Should we not start a campaign for a holiday for Sequin? Or will BBC news fall apart if she takes one?

  23. At 12:22 AM on 09 May 2007, Deepthought (John W) wrote:

    I made this comment on the previous thread as well,

    But in the strap line for 09/05, it should be *peel*, not *peal*, the latter is what EM crashes into within one minute to six on occasion, the former what you do to spuds when cooking them.

  24. At 12:44 AM on 09 May 2007, Frances O wrote:

    Chris (6), just for you:

    Why oh why oh why

  25. At 01:15 AM on 09 May 2007, Simon H wrote:

    I think the point that should have been raised with the "Good Guys" aka Innocent, is that the "Bad Guys" are the ones who are struggling to shrug off a generally bad press about the nutrition value of their Junk offerings. McObfuscators are now leading an all out crusade to promote Healthy eating? Dream on.

    It ought to be pretty obvious that necking a Double cheeseburger is still not going to do you much good, even if you wash it down with a (forest-friendly paper) carton of Vegetable slurry.

    Might make you feel better about yourself......

    Even worse, you might even expose your precious offspring to this guff.

  26. At 07:56 AM on 09 May 2007, jan manessi wrote:

    I listened to the interview with the Portugese Minister regarding the disappearance of Madeleine with great interest.
    His comments mirrored my own views entirely- UK seems willing to be governed by the media.
    What good does it do to feed the medias appetite for sensationalism and the public's desire to be voyeurs to parade grieving parents, and conduct an extremely delicate search in the public gaze? The puiblic does NOT need to be informed of every step- this is real life not an episode of The Bill!
    I read that it was the reports in the media revealing the the net was closing which possibly made Ian Huntly kills Holly and Jessica. How much better to keep all moves secret until (hopefully) there is a result.
    Press reports damning the police efforts do nothing but cause unnecessary friction and show once again the extremely unattractive xenophobia in the UK.

  27. At 08:16 AM on 09 May 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    Hugh IS a class act. His previous work from China and Kazakhstan was well received by Blog contributors, along with the photos that went with them. He did nothing to alter that view last night.

    The Turner bloke wasn't just flat. He was trotting out the same old tired gobbledegook about the selected artists work, which we are expected to pretend we understand. I wrote on the appropriate thread yesterday that I'd like to see some of this idiot language challenged by the interviewer to see whether the judge actually understands what he is saying and can explain it in plain English. Or whether it really is just verbal diarrhoea.

    The Herod story; I guess the interest in archaeology is that it informs us in the modern day about history. Eddie did ask about what we can learn from this discovery (if it can be verified) but there wasn't any real answer. So it was a non-story really.

    I loved to hear the under-secretary skewered by Eddie on whether his boss had actually read the report or not. Such a crucial matter for the quality of democracy in Scotland and it became pretty apparent that the bloke at the top hadn't even seen the report. Eddie was right to 'do a Paxman' on him, but right to drop it once the answer was abvious.

    I thought that the Portuguese gentleman had a valid point about letting the police get on with their job and not playing to the press gallery. But the truth probably lies somewhere between two extremes. The public can be of tremendous help to a police investigation, but the police should not play to the crowd.

    Nice one from Nils, makes a change from dealing with big companies, billions of dollars in profits and the like. Another class act, I rated him highly during his time on News24 as someone who knew his complicated brief but could also explain it to laymen like me.

    I hope that you declared that smoothie in the gifts register, to avoid accusations of a clash of interests?


  28. At 08:55 AM on 09 May 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    Really enjoyed the programme last night. Teh Innocent chappy was pretty much how I thought he'd be but his passion, enthusiasm and honesty was great (and a nice counterpoint to Policticians!)

    The Turner price piece was a tad dull - sorry - nothing to do with a visual medium on the radio but all to do with the Chair/Head judge (he was equally uninspiring on tv news as well).

    Concur that it would have been good to have a bit more on the forced marriages piece. And only caught a bit of the Scottish debacle but liked Eddies's style.

    And good bongs :)

  29. At 11:23 AM on 09 May 2007, Deepthought (John W) wrote:

    Ah, strap line has been corrected.

    Sorry for the double posting, chaps, it was due to the delay in them appearing, and I thought I had put the first on in the stink thread then thought - the place for such a comment is the glass box!

  30. At 12:04 PM on 09 May 2007, DI Wyman wrote:

    I miss out on the first half hour of PM because the whistle here doesn't sound until 5.30 and then its race hell for leather to the car and get the radio on!

    So I was very relieved not to have missed the interview with that awful(y) nice Turner chap you interviewed. What on earth was he dribbling on about, pretentious twaddle; there is nothing to with ART in this year’s short list at all, just a load of dumb pseudo political statements.

  31. At 02:49 PM on 09 May 2007, Fiona wrote:

    I missed the first 20 mins last night but I did enjoy hearing the Innocent guy - very passionate and committed. And I do think McD's get a bit of a hard time of it. At the end of the day - as far as children are concerned - it is down to the parents to regulate what they eat/drink/watch on tv etc. There is too much of a "blame everyone else" culture going on. And at least they are offering more healthy options so it can only be a step in the right direction - everything in moderation (well nearly everything!) is fine. Personally we don't go there very often - except when in France and I love their grilled chicken ranch salad! Here we prefer the other chicken restaurant who's name sounds like bandos and which originates in the place where your police gentleman was talking about...... Which is a nice seamless link don't you think? I thought he made absolute perfect sense. Our insatiable need for endless gory details of every enquiry is bizarre and can only be counter productive to a delicate investigation.

    Oh and you can keep your Turner prize piece thank you very much, dull, dull, dull..

  32. At 06:12 PM on 09 May 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Frances O (@24)

    Thank you! Too kind, too kind....

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