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The Glass Box for Tuesday

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Sequin | 16:58 UK time, Tuesday, 19 June 2007

The Glass Box Tuesday
Sequin 18 Jun 07, 05:28 PM
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.
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.

Comments

  1. At 05:06 PM on 19 Jun 2007, Alain Biro-Verte wrote:

    Graham Chapman had the best advice for reducing the Prison Population...reduce the number off offences.

  2. At 05:37 PM on 19 Jun 2007, Peter wrote:

    Early releases/crowded Prisons:
    It has always seemed wrong to me that prisoners should be released early, even on licence. Most of those sentenced to a term of imprisonment are released after serving half - or less - of their sentence.
    Magistrates and Judges send people to prison only as a very last resort, and the terms they impose are decided upon after careful consideration of each case, its aggravating and mitigating features, and with regard to the national sentencing guidelines. I cannot understand how civil servants can be allowed to overrule those sentencing decisions.

  3. At 05:53 PM on 19 Jun 2007, George wrote:

    1)
    I quite agree, Alain!

    Get it out in the open- I know I have!

  4. At 05:58 PM on 19 Jun 2007, Frances O wrote:

    Interesting piece from the round-Britain walkers today. Shame you had to cut it short - I'd have loved to know which part of Wales they found particularly difficult.

    Now if only they were doing a blog!

  5. At 06:11 PM on 19 Jun 2007, Roberto Carlos Alvarez-Galloso,CPUR wrote:

    There should be more about Alan Johnston.

  6. At 06:19 PM on 19 Jun 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Sequin & colleagues,

    Good programme all round, no real high points, though. Liked (loathed) GWB and his anti-democratic silver lining. The man's apparent shallow density still amazes me.

    What is it in us that we choose such folk to lead us? Blair was a little more plausible, but not much. I'm so glad Scotland seems to be finding her own feet, but I would say that, wouldn't I?

    Salaam/Shalom
    ed

  7. At 06:27 PM on 19 Jun 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Just thinking

    Why is it that we find ourselves with so many of our citizens incarcerated? This is a mostly peaceful, secure and quiet country by global standards.

    Is the solution to build more prisons or to get tough on the causes of crime, or has someone already suggested that?

    Perhaps we should get tough on the causes of misery in Palestine, but no, we insist on treating the symptoms.

    XXII. The key to peaceableness is continuous practice. It is wrong to suppose that we can exploit and impoverish the poorer countries, while arming them and instructing them in the newest means of war, and then reasonably expect them to be peaceable.

    XXIII. We must not again allow public emotion or the public media to caricature our enemies. If our enemies are now to be some nations of Islam, then we should undertake to know those enemies. Our schools should begin to teach the histories, cultures, arts, and language of the Islamic nations. And our leaders should have the humility and the wisdom to ask the reasons some of those people have for hating us.

    XXIV. Starting with the economies of food and farming, we should promote at home, and encourage abroad, the ideal of local self-sufficiency. We should recognize that this is the surest, the safest, and the cheapest way for the world to live. We should not countenance the loss or destruction of any local capacity to produce necessary goods

    XXV. We should reconsider and renew and extend our efforts to protect the natural foundations of the human economy: soil, water, and air. We should protect every intact ecosystem and watershed that we have left, and begin restoration of those that have been damaged.

    XXVI. The complexity of our present trouble suggests as never before that we need to change our present concept of education. Education is not properly an industry, and its proper use is not to serve industries, either by job-training or by industry-subsidized research. It's proper use is to enable citizens to live lives that are economically, politically, socially, and culturally responsible. This cannot be done by gathering or "accessing" what we now call "information" - which is to say facts without context and therefore without priority. A proper education enables young people to put their lives in order, which means knowing what things are more important than other things; it means putting first things first.

    XXVII. The first thing we must begin to teach our children (and learn ourselves) is that we cannot spend and consume endlessly. We have got to learn to save and conserve. We do need a "new economy", but one that is founded on thrift and care, on saving and conserving, not on excess and waste. An economy based on waste is inherently and hopelessly violent, and war is its inevitable by-product. We need a peaceable economy.
    Wendell Berry

    I'll second that!
    xx
    ed
  8. At 07:24 PM on 19 Jun 2007, Rupert Allman wrote:

    Me again in the Editor's chair. They've tried taking away my BBC pass a number of times - but they haven't caught me yet. CQ on top form I thought - and some meaty issues to get into - be it prisoner release, sailors and the media and whether the British Minister for Europe was planning to go to this week's treaty-fest.

    Special mention to Sarah Ransome - our reporter in Dorset who worked long and hard to bring in the prison ship story on time for us. Anne Owers - the chief prisons inspector pull few punches and delivered a few nifty metaphors too.

    Finally, you should know about something we call "The Opt" the last story on PM. It is the one part of the programme where we must hit it on time ( for it is at 17.53 that LW peels off for the Shipping Forecast giving listeners on FM three minutes free for a final story before LW listeners come back for the weather forecast - make sense? ) Anyhoo - when the cricket is on - there is no opt - Aggers, Blowers and other people with names ending in "ers" burble on about silly mid off and they look after the intro for the Shipping Forecast. Tonight, the cricket finished about 17.45..and I couldn't honestly tell you if the TMS team kept on broadcasting or wrapped up and handed it all back to FM. The upshot of the rather long and boring detail is that although we did hit the opt on time - our excited walker went on a bit and stuffed up the timings before the bongs. So less a timings crash - more a light skirmish. So because we didn't have time for the closer here it is in full..

    "On PM tonight, an early release of prisoners, some early learning of phonics and a late call to legalise divorce in Malta." Honestly, I'm wasted here.

  9. At 07:30 PM on 19 Jun 2007, Frances O wrote:

    Ed: forgive my ignorance, but who is Wendell Berry? I know I could click on the link, but I'd value your comment.

    What you quote seems sensible...

    (Cripes! Triply malicious! A record for me)

  10. At 08:01 PM on 19 Jun 2007, Vin wrote:

    The best way to teach children to read is by combining phonics with the Sentence Method and Look And Say.

    'Want' can't be built so you look at it, learn it as a whole word and say it.
    'Come here Paul' learn as a sentence and repeat using different nouns.

    Nick Gibb needs to find out how to say the letter sounds. CAT cannot be built the way he was doing itI.
    It is important that the sounds are pronounced correctly so that they can be blended to make a word.

    I taught infants for 35 years and never had a non reader.

    The trouble now is that the college lecturers don't know how to train teachers in teaching. reading. The skill was lost on the 70s.

  11. At 10:53 PM on 19 Jun 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Nice story - thanks for sharing that Rupert.

    Enjoyed the programme - but like Frances, the rambling man could have rambled on more.

  12. At 11:38 PM on 19 Jun 2007, Florence wrote:

    That Wendell Berry keeps saying interesting things over the months. We, around here, being simple folk, say "Think global, Drink local".

    Peace xx

  13. At 01:03 AM on 20 Jun 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Frances,

    Wendell Berry is a silly man who still ploughs (plows) with a horse and questions the values of modern culture, including the deification of The Global Economy.

    I admit to a condition of near hero-worship for the man. Many of his essays can be found in the pages of Resurgence or, as in the case of the quoted "Thoughts in the Presence of Fear", also in Orion Magazine. Both organs owe much to the thinking of E F Schumacher (Small is Beautiful), , who was taken from us far too soon, and in turn to Sir Alfred Howard. A link to some further work may be found at my name above, and elsewhere by those who enquire of the giggling stream.

    The first characteristic of a plan is that it won't work. The bigger the plan and the more far-reaching and "futuristic" it is, the less likely it is to work. www.envirolink.org/enviroarts/interviews_and_conversations/WendellBerry.html
    "It is extremely difficult to exalt the usefulness of any productive discipline as such in a society that is at once highly stratified and highly mobile. Both the stratification and the mobility are based upon notions of prestige, which are in turn based upon these reliquary social fashions."
    -- Wendell Berry “The Unsettling of America” 1976

    xx
    ed
    (Bows head, placing hands in praying fashion, a la Hindu)
    ;-)


  14. At 01:54 AM on 20 Jun 2007, Frances O wrote:

    Rupert, no explanation needed. Opts, pips and bongs wait for no man, nor woman neither. But kind of you to fill us in.

    "Wasted here"? Tempted to make silly Glasto-stylee remark, but nahh. You're appreciated. And I enjoyed the FM stuff.

  15. At 08:45 AM on 20 Jun 2007, Judith wrote:

    Rupert (8)

    How do you brief the interviewee in The Opt? Do you explain the time constraints?

    I am often frustrated, as a listener, when people are cut off in the middle of a sentence when it is quite obvious that there was never going to be enough time to discuss the subject properly.

    It must be very difficult, in a telephone interview, for the interviewee to pick up on the interviewer's attempts to end the conversation but it seems very rude just to chop them off ..... especially when it's only so you can fit in another advert just before the bongs!

  16. At 08:50 AM on 20 Jun 2007, Judith wrote:

    Rupert (8)

    How do you brief the interviewee in The Opt? Do you explain the time constraints?

    I am often frustrated, as a listener, when people are cut off in the middle of a sentence when it is quite obvious that there was never going to be enough time to discuss the subject properly.

    It must be very difficult, in a telephone interview, for the interviewee to pick up on the interviewer's attempts to end the conversation but it seems very rude just to chop them off ..... especially when it's only so you can fit in another advert just before the bongs!

  17. At 09:21 AM on 20 Jun 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Florence,

    And, of course, grow local, smoke local. ;-)
    xx
    ed
    First of the day, first malicious warning! Typical!

  18. At 09:26 AM on 20 Jun 2007, Gillian wrote:

    With regard to the teaching of reading - Here we go again.....another politician teaching grandmothers to suck eggs.
    I was an early years teacher for 20 years, and worked in Primary Schools in England and Scotland. All of them were extremely successful in teaching children to read, mainly because the skilled and experienced teachers recognised that children learn in different ways, and that ''one size fits all'' is never a satisfactory methodology in any classroom. Phonics has always been used in every early-years classroom I have been in, and is a fun way of introducing letter sounds in nursery classes, but has been broadened and supplemented by other methods where it has been demonstrated to be necessary.
    The ''tragedy'' your interviewee referred to is not that children have been failed by poor teaching methods, but that a politician such as himself has denigrated the excellent work that has been done in most schools and has failed to recognise the expertise of the teachers involved. They are the experts - he is not. They have been using phonics for donkeys years, way before it was packaged in a glossy box and sold as the next new miracle cure.

  19. At 10:45 AM on 20 Jun 2007, David G wrote:

    European constitution / treaty

    Can anyone explain to me why all politicians of all colours feel that we (the people) cannot be trusted with a referendum?

    Maybe it’s because the only people that really benefit from the endless treaties are the politicians themselves?

    Rant over, thanks for your time.

  20. At 11:02 AM on 20 Jun 2007, Stewart M wrote:

    Being married to a teacher and a child of a teacher I am perhaps biased but reading and learning has to begin at home. I do get the impression that the parents who expect school to teach everything are quite numerous.

    But reading has to have a mixed approach, some techniques work well with some kids. Phonics is only part of the answer.

  21. At 12:21 PM on 20 Jun 2007, Andy Ince wrote:

    European constitution/treaty

    Good question David G. Makes you wonder how many politicians understand the REAL purpose of a government.

  22. At 12:40 PM on 20 Jun 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Andy (21),

    "SOME writers have so confounded society with government,
    as to leave little or no distinction between them;
    whereas they are not only different, but have different origins.

    Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness;
    the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections,
    the latter negatively by restraining our vices.
    The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions.
    The first is a patron, the last a punisher....

    Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence;
    the palaces of kings are built on the ruins of the bowers of paradise.
    For were the impulses of conscience clear, uniform, and irresistibly obeyed,
    man would need no other lawgiver;"
    -- Thomas Paine, On the Origins of Government...1776
    (http://libertyonline.hypermall.com/Paine/CS-Body.html#ORIGIN)

  23. At 02:17 PM on 20 Jun 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    Where to post this? I don't normally watch the online stuff (no speakers at work) but have just watched the News 24 stream of the vigils for Alan. Very moving. My heart goes out to his family, friends and colleagues; may he come home safe and well very soon.

  24. At 03:33 PM on 20 Jun 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    David (19) Can anyone explain to me why all politicians of all colours feel that we (the people) cannot be trusted with a referendum?

    Possibly because rather a lot of "the people" treat votes in referenda in the same way as those in elections, and take too much notice of the mass media and what is fashionable and easy, rather than finding out about the issues and making an informed judgement. There is no satisfactory solution to this, after all, one person cannot legtimately judge whether another's vote is worthy, but I won't pretend that it doesn't happen. Not nice, but I'm sure it is a major factor.

  25. At 04:01 PM on 20 Jun 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    The short answer to 'why don't they trust the people with a referendum?' is surely 'because the people can't be trusted to vote the way they are supposed to.'

    it is such a bore to keep on having to hold referenda over and over again until at last you get one to produce the 'right' answer....

    Wot? Cynical? *Moi*?

  26. At 09:05 PM on 20 Jun 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    I posted about this more than three hours ago but my comment hasn't appeared, so I think I shall assume it's gone for ever and try again.

    David (19) 'Can anyone explain to me why all politicians of all colours feel that we (the people) cannot be trusted with a referendum?'

    The simple answer is that we cannot be trusted to vote as they want us to, and it's so expensive and boring for them having to hold referenda again and again until we get it right. And rigging the result involves buying the computers and making sure they have been given the right result, which is easy enough to do but does run up the bills something rotten making sure that the people who know about it keep quiet.

    Wot, cynical? *Moi*?

  27. At 10:16 PM on 20 Jun 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Chris (26),
    "and it's so expensive and boring for them having to hold referenda again and again until we get it right."

    reminds me of somewhere else, now where was that.....Oh yeah! Palestine.

    xx
    ed

  28. At 10:51 PM on 20 Jun 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Ed @27 -- yeah well, '...they have to be protected, all their rights respected, 'til someone we like can be elected...' doesn't apply any more. Tom Lehrer wrote that in a marginally more innocent age. The last bit does hold good, but the other two are long gone.

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