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The Glass Box for Friday

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Eddie Mair | 16:40 UK time, Friday, 27 July 2007

The Glass Box is the place where you can comment on what you heard on PM. Did we get the right lead story?

Were the interviews terrible, or the reporting bad? Or was it all great?

Just click on the "comment" link.

If you want to post a comment about something that is on your mind but was not on the programme - use the link on the right to The Furrowed Brow. Also on the right, you'll find FAQ: try it. And why not visit The Beach?


  1. At 05:19 PM on 27 Jul 2007, Fifi wrote:

    At lunchtime today I received a PM Newsletter.

    It's taken me till twenty past five to recover from the shock.

    Jolly well done, the BBC!

    Fifi ;o)

  2. At 05:19 PM on 27 Jul 2007, alice hudson wrote:

    Can someone please explain to me why there are photos of children being abused on the web? Is it for reasons of freedom of speach? This makes no sense. I'm all for that, but I'm more in favour of children not being exploited this way. To make this comment I must sign in and if I spew abuse my comment will not be printed, and yet anyone can post these horriffic images of children, anonymously.

  3. At 05:30 PM on 27 Jul 2007, JimmyGiro wrote:

    Regarding Chris Langham and paedophilia; if downloading and watching child sexual abuse is equivalent to the act, then would not watching action movies or dramatic news items make us guilty of murder or genocide for example?

    The problem seems to be the lack of clear distinctions between the act, voyeurism, and mere observation. They could all technically be described as 'paedophilia' by a professional barrister to an amature jury.

  4. At 05:35 PM on 27 Jul 2007, Fifi wrote:

    Did I just hear correctly on the 5.30 news?

    "The Prince of Wales and Prince Anne visited flood victims...."?

    The man must be dronk!

    Fifi xx

  5. At 06:07 PM on 27 Jul 2007, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Fifi (1):

    Re: the newsletter...

    Plus, should Jeff Randall get a knighthood?

    I didn't manage to catch the programme tonight, so I don't know if this has been answered, but I say:

    Yes, he should. After all, he's had to put up with his ghostly partner, Marty Hopkirk since the late 1960's!

  6. At 07:00 PM on 27 Jul 2007, Brian V Peck wrote:

    Can we have more cartoons of the 'upper classes' around the globe doing what they normal do...not a lot....and hoping that every PM listerner has been listening to the brilliant 'Now Show' after the 6pm news...especially the last 2 weeks and if they have we could suggest that perhaps Bertrand Russell was not always correct when he wrote according to Richard Dawkins: 'many people would sooner die than think. In fact they do'..p, 306 The God Delusion....


  7. At 08:58 PM on 27 Jul 2007, Anil wrote:

    As a Hindu how do I offend Hindus??????????????

    Shambo should have been shot dead point blank

    The religious fruitcakes were an way out of order. I say damn them

    Get another Bull and get on with your lives in Skanda vale. Period

  8. At 09:22 PM on 27 Jul 2007, Paul wrote:

    Jimmy Giro (3)

    Are children who are sexually abused on film in a position to give their consent?

    Recent research shows that the psychological effect of sexual abuse on children is far worse than PTSD. It creates life long psychological problems.

    Are children who are sexually abused on film given counselling or support after filming?

    Paedaphillia exists and ought to be debated fully, but there's no justification at all for seeking such material this creates the market.

  9. At 10:28 PM on 27 Jul 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    alice hudson @ 2:

    "To make this comment I must sign in and if I spew abuse my comment will not be printed, and yet anyone can post these horriffic images of children, anonymously."

    This is a moderated blog; I rather assume that if anyone posted here with a link to a child-pornography site, the moderator would immediately remove the post, and report the matter to the police or whoever is the appropriate authority for such reports. If the moderator didn't spot it, I hope that the first person to click on that link would email the moderator about it.

    On a non-moderated site it might be more difficult. If I clicked to a link that turned out, to my horror, to contain child pornograpy, point [a], to whom should I report it? and point [b], if I did report it, would I be able to prove that I had not downloaded the images deliberately? they would be in by computer, unless I took the time first to destroy it with a sledge-hammer and reduce it to little bits. As I understand the way the law stands at the moment, this is an area in which the onus is on the individual to prove innocence, rather than on the prosecution to prove guilt. At the very least I would put myself at risk of police investigation, and of confiscation of all computers on my premises for an indefinite time... So I wouldn't do it. Sorry to be a wimp, but I wouldn't take the risk.

    The only way to prevent such images from being posted, and for obvious reasons posted either anonymously or from ephemeral eddresses, would be for every single posting to any part of the internet to be checked by somebody before it was allowed to be viewed by others, and that would require so much manpower that it would be utterly impossible to do, or else making it so difficult to get access to the internet that it would be effectively destroyed. Limiting public access to the internet would probably please various people very much -- the Chinese government springs to mind, as does the US intelligence services: both have shown a desire to control what people are allowed to express in this medium. It wouldn't necessarily be to the benefit of the vast majority of people using the internet, most of whom probably have no interest in child porn whatever but *do* want to be at liberty to criticise eg the government of the USA or of China. We may not all actually want to *say* "drat that President Bush!" all the time, but we want to be *able* to say it sometimes.

    It has been said, I don't know with how much accuracy, that a very high percentage of the deeply offensive pornographic material on the internet was put up in the first place by law enforcement agencies in entrapment exercises, and they only realised too late that once the images had been published it was well-nigh impossible to remove them because they had been copied too widely to be traced to everywhere they now were. I can't find a reliable source for this, but it has come back to me from several places over quite a few years, and I'm not sure that I find it entirely implausible. Does anyone happen to have good information on this possibility?

  10. At 12:16 AM on 28 Jul 2007, JimmyGiro wrote:

    Paul (8):

    If such a debate was arranged, would you risk researching for it on the web?

    And would a plea of "searching for truth" be a sufficient mitigation IF BELIEVED by the jury at your subsequent trial?

  11. At 07:14 AM on 28 Jul 2007, Paul wrote:

    Jimmy Giro (11)

    "If such a debate was arranged, would you risk researching for it on the web?"

    Yes, I would research it on the web in terms of psychological effects of child sexual abuse, history, sexual orientation, in fact I would research many aspects of paedophilia and child sexual abuse however, I would not feel it necessary to 'research' the viewing of children being sexually abused. Do I need to see the act to know what is happening to the child or the paedephile? No, categorically no, I do not.

    I'm afraid to argue that 'research' is a credible excuse for viewing child pornogrophy is not sustainable.

    To be a paedophile it in my opinion to be in a very unenvieable position regarding sexual gratification, the things that bring pleasure are simply not socially acceptable. However, the protection of children is paramount.

  12. At 10:04 AM on 28 Jul 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Paul (12),

    "Paedaphillia exists and ought to be debated fully, but there's no justification at all for seeking such material this creates the market."

    I agree that it apparently exists, but I have no evidence. I agree that seeking out the material at least supports the 'market'. However I also feel it cannot be 'understood' without researching the primary evidence. Fortunately I have little wish to understand, though I would hope that those 'needing' such material can be given appropriate 'help', and that those simply seeking to profit can be caught and castrated.

    "I would not feel it necessary to 'research' the viewing of children being sexually abused. Do I need to see the act to know what is happening to the child or the paedephile? No,..."

    Sadly, this is the EVIDENCE. Everything else is 'hearsay'.


    First of the day, and paedolicious! Thrice!

  13. At 11:37 AM on 28 Jul 2007, Paul wrote:

    Yes viewing is the evidence for the appropriate authorities. That's evident.

  14. At 11:53 AM on 28 Jul 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    And nothing can be "debated fully" without examining the evidence. A conundrum.


  15. At 04:56 PM on 28 Jul 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    US Set to Offer Huge Arms Deal to Saudi Arabia
    By David S. Cloud
    The New York Times
    Saturday 28 July 2007

    Washington - The Bush administration is preparing to ask Congress to approve an arms sale package for Saudi Arabia and its neighbors that is expected to eventually total $20 billion at a time when some United States officials contend that the Saudis are playing a counterproductive role in Iraq.

    The proposed package of advanced weaponry for Saudi Arabia, which includes advanced satellite-guided bombs, upgrades to its fighters and new naval vessels, has made Israel and some of its supporters in Congress nervous. Senior officials who described the package on Friday said they believed that the administration had resolved those concerns, in part by promising Israel $30.4 billion in military aid over the next decade, a significant increase over what Israel has received in the past 10 years.

    Will they/we ever learn?

  16. At 05:21 PM on 28 Jul 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Ed, I don't think that your argument is entirely coherent here. (Ie it doesn't hold together, quite.)

    The evidence for the existence of paedophilia is the testimony of those who, suffering this condition, admit to it and seek help to stop, and of those older children who are able to give an account of what was done to them. It is not necessary to view images of the events to accept the testimony of a man who is ashamed of what he did and is confessing it. In many cases there are no images of the events anyway.

    As to needing to view such images in order for them to be evidence, yes, sure, the police may have this distasteful task, the person making a decision as to whether prosecution is appropriate may have to see what the case is based upon, and the jury may have to view the film in order to decide whether in their opinion this is pornography or just photos of a child having fun in a bath. Nobody not involved in an actual trial can claim that he or she needs to see this evidence, any more than we all need to see the hammer that was used to beat a murder victim's head in, or personally conduct the tests that demonstrate the blood-group and DNA match of what is on the hammer to the victim's remains.

    If it were necessary in my research for a book or a television script for me to view the things a character I was writing might choose to view, and I knew that viewing them was illegal, I would not embark on this research without informing some reliable authority, or at the very least lodging a signed and dated letter of intent to do so with eg a solicitor or my bank; in fact I might well go to the police and ask for their help in conducting my research. It must be possible to view this material in an authorised manner, as it were, or the people whose business it is to try to provide help to the repentant paedophiles would be working in the dark and would be less effective.

    To go out looking for that at which it is illegal to look, and after being found looking at it to say "oh but I was doing it as part of some research" seems a rather poor defence. (I have a back-of-the-mind feeling that in this particular case going on at the moment it may actually be true, but gosh what a twerp!) It's as silly as the old detective story defence: "I went around buying arsenic from chemists to prove how easy it was, so that I could use my experience in my book." Yes, madam, and in that case you should have told your friends beforehand what you were planning to do, and you should have handed the arsenic over to the police, or returned it to the chemist, since you had no further use for it once you'd proved to yourself you could buy it.

    And somehow we manage here in the Frog to debate the rights and wrongs of for example vivisection or the Iraq war, without having pictures or film of either in front of us as we do so; surely the same can be done on the subject of child pornography or of paedophilia in general?

    So, to move the debate along, I will mention that one of the things that bothers me about this whole business is how broad the definition of 'paedophile' or 'sex offender' seems to have become of late. It seems to me that the more people are put into the category when they really aren't particularly dangerous to children, the less weight is going to be given to someone being on the 'sex offenders register'. If having slept with his fifteen year old girlfriend when he was sixteen is going to get a man branded for life as unfit to be near children, it starts to look silly, and I think that it not being taken seriously is a very dangerous thing.

  17. At 05:50 PM on 28 Jul 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:


    I concede.

  18. At 06:49 PM on 28 Jul 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    A shameful Silence (Friday 27 July 2007):

    JOHN PILGER examines how our media and cultural elites banish atrocities down the memory hole:

    ONE of the leaders of demonstrations in Gaza calling for the release of BBC reporter Alan Johnston was Palestinian news cameraman Imad Ghanem.

    On July 5, he was shot by Israeli soldiers as he filmed them invading Gaza. A Reuters video shows bullets hitting his body as he lay on the ground. An ambulance trying to reach him was also attacked. The Israelis described him as a "legitimate target."

    The International Federation of Journalists called the shooting "a vicious and brutal example of deliberate targeting of a journalist." At the age of 21, he has had both legs amputated.

    Dr David Halpin, a British trauma surgeon who works with Palestinian children, emailed BBC Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen. "The BBC should report the alleged details about the shooting," he wrote. "It should honour Alan Johnston as a journalist by reporting the facts, uncomfortable as they might be to Israel." He received no reply.

    The atrocity was reported in two sentences on the BBC online. Along with 11 Palestinian civilians killed by the Israelis on the same day, Johnston's now legless champion slipped into what George Orwell in Nineteen Eighty-Four called the memory hole. (It was Winston Smith's job at the Ministry of Truth to make disappear all facts embarrassing to Big Brother.)

    While Johnston was being held, I was asked by the BBC World Service if I would say a few words of support for him. I readily agreed and suggested that I also mention the thousands of Palestinians abducted and held hostage.

    The answer was a polite no and all the other hostages remained in the memory hole. Or, as Harold Pinter wrote of such unmentionables: "It never happened. Nothing ever happened. It didn't matter. It was of no interest."


  19. At 10:09 AM on 29 Jul 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Hi Anil,

    It just makes me wionder if there's an Israeli somewhere getting a piece of the thrity billion going that way, or is that waived because it's 'aid' to replenish the cost of destroying Lebanon?

    In any event, payment will be on favourable terms, as usual.


  20. At 01:57 PM on 29 Jul 2007, Anil wrote:

    Israelis are still playing victims of the holocaust.
    The $30.4 billion will be handy. About $10.4 Billion will replenish the ordnance they off loaded spitefully to vandalise Lebanon.

    Rest to get more arms to vandalise Syria and Nuke plants in Iran. Some dollars will be used to hunt Nazis in Argentina, Chile, building more ghettos and more walls on the West Bank etc. They are quids in. We need the popcorn concession!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Lets do some more math. In the Holocaust 2,400 Jews died per hour if compared pro-rata some 7,000 Rwandans died per hour. Compensation $0.00.

    It would be nice if the Israelis give say half a Billion Dollars to the Rwandans as a sign of good will. Very unlikely. Chances are actually zero. Zilch

    So there you are

  21. At 02:36 PM on 29 Jul 2007, Anil wrote:

    Correction. In the Holocaust 2,400 Jews died per day if compared pro-rata some 7,000 Rwandans died per day.

    Sorry mate its all telephone numbers.
    Bloody calculator!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. At 03:43 PM on 29 Jul 2007, Roberto Carlos Alvarez-Galloso,CPUR wrote:

    In the Middle East, Iran is considering signing Free Trade Agreement with Senegal and Syria.

  23. At 03:45 PM on 29 Jul 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    21/22, Hang on, Anil and calculator: when are you saying was the Holocaust? I mean, what dates for it starting and finishing? Not just 1939-45, because the killing in Germany started before that and I think Stalin killed a few people after the official end of WWII as well: do the latter count?

    (I'm not disputing your point, just making sure we are talking about the same timespan, as it were.)

  24. At 04:15 PM on 29 Jul 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Let's just say six million in seven years (1938-45):6,000,000/2555= 2348 per day.

    Krystallnacht was pretty much the beginning in nNovember 1938, and by November 1945, it was all over. i don't know the Rwandan timescale.


  25. At 04:38 PM on 29 Jul 2007, Anil wrote:

    Ed Iglehart


  26. At 04:48 PM on 29 Jul 2007, Anil wrote:

    Rwanda time scale 700,000 in 100 days. bingo

  27. At 04:51 PM on 29 Jul 2007, Anil wrote:

    Roberto Carlos Alvarez-Galloso

    Good. Does the Free Trade Agreement with Senegal and Syria include a popcorn concession? We need one

  28. At 04:52 PM on 29 Jul 2007, Anil wrote:


    Do you think we should the figures to the Jewish Board of Deputies just to put things into perspective like who suffered more pro-rata?

  29. At 06:46 PM on 29 Jul 2007, Anil wrote:

    Stalin killed a few people after the official end of WWII as well: do the latter count? can't tell!!!!

    I need to speak to his family members. The bastards are very secretive

  30. At 12:16 AM on 30 Jul 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    The numbers are irrelevant, really. It's all horrific, and we seem never to learn.

    I and the public know
    What all schoolchildren learn,
    Those to whom evil is done
    Do Evil in return.

    W.H. AUDEN, "September 1, 1939"


  31. At 12:17 AM on 30 Jul 2007, Anil wrote:

    Rwanda "holocaust" time scale - it is said some 700,000 died in 100 days. This is a conservative estimate. Some people say it was million depending which river the bodies were thrown in!!!!! so the figure could be 10, 000 per day!!!!!!!!

    Sorry is the word "holocaust" trade marked by the Jews or can it be used in a generic sence. I hope I am not infringing the trademark.

  32. At 01:06 AM on 30 Jul 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Agh! Do we have to have Monday again???

  33. At 07:29 AM on 30 Jul 2007, ian wrote:


    Did you run a news piece concerning a trial into replacement big toes, for us idiots that have managed to loss one,

    If so where could i find out more details?


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