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The Glass Box for Wednesday

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Eddie Mair | 16:42 UK time, Wednesday, 11 July 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.

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.

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 05:27 PM on 11 Jul 2007, Frances O wrote:

    Re the Alnwick poison garden:

    'Manic' heroin addicts? I thought the effect was the opposite.

    But it sounds like a clever way to alert children to the horrors of drug abuse.

  2. At 05:32 PM on 11 Jul 2007, Bill Brightman wrote:

    Hi All,

    As I am all nosey, prone to anorak wearing and a touch sad, where can I read the full credits of the team that is needed to produce the PM programme?

    Thank you.

  3. At 05:34 PM on 11 Jul 2007, richard davis wrote:

    Housebuilders fall foul of the planning system. The horrible time it takes to get permission is a direct consequence of Gordon's target culture. In order to meet the 8 week target planners find it easier to refuse or get the applicant to withdraw. This happens in 20-30% of cases (2% before Gordon stuck his oar in) When they do say yes, they put loads of conditions on becasue they did not have time to consider the issues properly - this takes months to resolve. But as Gordon says, the targets worked and now things have changed it's time to move on. Do I smell BS?
    Also what about Gordon's contribution to housing shortage? He destroyed the pensions business and forced people to go into property instead - no wonder many others can't afford houses.

  4. At 05:46 PM on 11 Jul 2007, Dave Johnson wrote:

    The article on 'the poison garden' and the actors pretending to be drug users just highlights the standard problem with people's understanding of what goes with recreational drug use.

    The actors were portraying the users that get noticed.

    Those are the ones who can't handle the use, and whose behaviours are altered radically by that use. These users tend to be antisocial and a nusiance.

    However what no one ever points out is that the users who use, enjoy, and come to little (if any) harm *don't* get noticed and so the universal assumption is that all use leads to antisocial behaviour. No one notices those who use, enjoy, and get on with their lives whilst earning enough of a living to pay for that usage. I know numerous users of the various recreational drugs that are less harmful than tobacco or alcohol and some users of those that are more so (crack cocaine for example).

    That's user of every drug, from cannabis to heroin, 3/4ths or so of those are in work and none of them get into sort of trouble other than the standard police persecution because of their drug choices. I don't bother with the minority who can't handle their drug. Why would I? They're a nuisance in the same way as an out of control alcoholic is a nuisance.

    This biased portrayal really annoys me every time I see it because I think of my circle of friends (web designers, programmers, computer geeks of various sorts, a couple of dole-ites, some of them rave goers, most of them coke lovers, many of them pot smokers, one heroin addict, a couple of unfortunate alcoholics) and I think of the way that their biggest problem is the necessity for concealment of their choice of recreational substance. They are anything but examples of the stereotypical drug victims mentioned in the program. It's like pointing to the homeless alcoholic on the street corner and saying 'one drink will turn you into that'.

    What a ridiculous way to educate children, I mean, what a good thing to implant, that any use of anything except alcohol and tobacco leads inevitably to antisocial behaviour, incoherency and unemployment. Has anyone ever heard the phrase 'self fulfilling prophecy' ?

    Dave Johnson.

  5. At 05:57 PM on 11 Jul 2007, Simon Le Vaudois wrote:

    While I am delighted to hear the new about the justified sentences for the 4 terrorists, I find it difficult to swallow that taxpayers will be paying the bill to keep the people idle for 40 years....also, what guarantees can we get that they will not "radicalise" others in prison? (& thus multiply the issue!)

  6. At 06:01 PM on 11 Jul 2007, Gossipmistress wrote:

    Enjoyed Hugh's excellent report, he's so listenable-to and always sounds like he's just speaking to me/you personally. He manages to be empathetic but still clear, factual & objective.

    Unfortunately either Pallab nor the dodgy photos could get me excited about the dawn of time.

    The 'still-able-to-smoke-because-of-a-tenuous- loophole' item seemed to go on for a bit too long, but then I'm a non smoker.

    Chips hohoho! What a wag you are Eric!

  7. At 06:03 PM on 11 Jul 2007, Brian Christley wrote:

    Eddie - Can we now celebrate the fact that we get a PM letters slot at 6:50 every evening, like the good old days?

  8. At 06:04 PM on 11 Jul 2007, jonnie wrote:

    So what was the most important story tonight?

    Super Casino's -- smoking in Stoke-on-Trent or the last story that was run. The last one squeezed in after all the blog comments and plugging - just as well that vcs behaved!

    The one that Eddie said put other stories in perspective.

    I know Peter Rippon and Eddie always give so much thought to the subjective priority the stories get on PM.

    Mmmmm Elouise?


  9. At 06:08 PM on 11 Jul 2007, Edward Crooks wrote:

    The comments from the middle east reminded me of a recent suggestion I sent to the Prime Minister. In the light of your item I would like to share my thoughts with you.

    You will not be surprised to learn that I have had no response from the PM's office.

    Two state Solution
    The current proposals for a two state solution will embed the conflict between Jews and other Semites, because Israel is an apartheid-based country, namely a “Jewish” state. A Palestine state would become an “Arab” or “Islamic” counter and a potentially continuous enemy of Israel. This would be no way lead to de-escalate the risk of war, but would be a very real cause of growing danger as Israel continued to demand strategic dominance over the fledgling Arab/Islamic state.

    This new Arab/Islamic state would provide a focus for both fear and hatred on the part of the Jews and probably with some justification. In addition, the new state would be too weak to gain proper control over security in all its territories and thereby allow criminals to attack Israel, provoking reprisals in the manner seen in southern Lebanon. Because there would be two anti-Israel states in existence in close proximity, there would be an even greater risk of an all out war of “defence” mounted by Israel to pre-empt any likelihood of attack by its neighbours.

    Single State Solution
    If a single state covering the whole area were established with a constitution that gives equal democratic rights to all people living within its boundaries with no race or religious basis, it would soon become seen as a potential neutral entity within the region. Needless to say, internal tensions would exist and at first would need to be mollified by international support for the fledgling state and its democratic base. Early elections allowing all parties to participate would encourage the feeling of inclusivity for all within its borders. If this state were to come into existence, it would have to its north a state striving to become a democratic country also. It would bring strong support to democratic movements in Jordon and Egypt.

    Iran already has elements of democracy that would find encouragement from what would be happening in this new state and Lebanon to encourage them to push the democratic agenda in their country.

    The enemies to democratic government in Iraq would see their support melt as those citizens of the fledgling democracies in the region begin to see the economic and social benefits flowing from their new form of government.

    Syria would begin to back off from Lebanon when it becomes obvious that there is a growing groundswell of support for democracy in the Middle East, mainly because the apartheid nature of the Jewish state was no more and its now inclusive nature held no more animas for other Semites. The need to confront Israel would melt away and peace would become a real possibility at last in the Middle East.

    All this presupposes that a proper democratic impulse exists at the moment in both Israel and Palestine that can be built upon without the fear of future attempts to evict anyone from where they live or to try to gain any kind of primacy over them.

    The new state would eventually become strong enough to encourage the return of exiled Semites from their refugee camps around the region and settle them back in their own areas. Support would be given from the international community, via the new government, to ensure everyone could be fully engaged with the economy of the country, their local communities and their national government.

    Edward Crooks

  10. At 07:06 PM on 11 Jul 2007, Charlie wrote:

    Frances O @ 1

    I wonder, were the gardens the inspiration of, or inspired by: Ian Flemings, "You Only Live Twice"?

  11. At 08:09 PM on 11 Jul 2007, Rachel wrote:

    I loved the end of the universe story, and your science correspondent's childish enthusiasm for it all. Hugh was, as ever, a master of his craft. The political stuff was up to standard but even on a night where you seemed to have a lot of time on your hands the Stoke on Trent story was felt like a waste of time.

  12. At 09:04 PM on 11 Jul 2007, stewart m (for two nights only in birmingham) wrote:

    The poison garden at Alnwick castle is very interesting without the actors!

  13. At 10:48 PM on 11 Jul 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Blimey Dave Johnson (4), You wanna get yourself some new friends!

  14. At 11:35 PM on 11 Jul 2007, admin annie wrote:

    The poison garden at Alnwick is indeed ace, and I don't say that because I know the person who designed it.*

    *although I do.

  15. At 12:08 AM on 12 Jul 2007, jonnie (from Sunny Bournemouth) wrote:

    Okay - I've given up smoking and my friends, partner, Mother tell me I'm a nightmare to live with - at least our own Frances O has pointed at the reason :-) BUT ...

    Is it me or does scrolling down to Eddie's last 11 pictures uploaded to this blog (MS Logo included) tell me that the PM Blog may as well be handed over to the World Service?

    Hugh and Nils - this isn't a dig at you - and thanks to both of you (esp Hugh) for the great photographic contributions.

    Can we have some happy British (preferably English as we are the majority by far) pics on the blog?

    Where were the smokers in Smoke-in-Trent? On News 24 yes!

    And finally - this Twitter thing of Eddie's. Well it Twitters up in 2 hour delay. - or that's what I've been witnessing. If you log in as I do, you get the latest twitters from Eddie but the one that we see on the blog seems very slow in updating.

    As for changing the blog forever?

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

    Eddie Mair is the best presenter EVER.
    Thank you.


  17. At 01:01 AM on 12 Jul 2007, jonnie (from Sunny Bournemouth) wrote:

    Re: ( jjeffreymacginnis) 16

    jjeffrey - would you care to quantify your statement?

    You can hardly waltz in and expect (and I dare say you do) an on- air check on Friday at 05:50ish!)

    Honestly! The cheek of these - probably far too young - upstarts!

    Probably only seventeen! - Isn't that why they have Radio one and the extra tag along?

    To keep the air space free from jjeffreymacginnis and his like!


  18. At 01:05 AM on 12 Jul 2007, jonnie (from Sunny Bournemouth) wrote:

    Has he gone - ....... - - .... ?

  19. At 08:21 AM on 12 Jul 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    Wot? No more nipping around the back for a quiet pull on your pipe?

    Ooh, isn't he bold!

    More seriously, keep it up (the abstinence from nicotinous products, that is). A couple of mates, 60 and 40 a day smokers, simply quit a few years back. No patches, gum or whatever else you have. Just quit and did the cold turkey thing. I cannot tell you how much I respect those two. And you KNOW the difficulties they had staying away from it. Now they are the most rabid anti-smokers I know.

    SO went out for dinner with some friends last night to a pub near us. Commented to me as soon as she got home just how pleasant it was that there was no tobacco smoke in the atmosphere there. A place that she has known for years and her enjoyment of it was transformed, vastly for the better, by the smoking ban.


  20. At 09:06 AM on 12 Jul 2007, Lou Cowt wrote:


    Re: Graham Stringer MP (Manchester Blackley) mentioned on PM Wednesday 11th of July 2007.

    The Blackley part is pronounced BLAKE-LY.

    That's all. ;-)

  21. At 09:30 AM on 12 Jul 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    No casino in Manchester?

    How about using the space for some of that much-vaunted affordable housing, then?

    And while they're at it, how about some other buildings to reduce the need for the inhabitants to travel far away for their needs?

  22. At 09:36 AM on 12 Jul 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    Dave Johnson (4):

    "...my circle of friends (web designers, programmers, computer geeks of various sorts, a couple of dole-ites, some of them rave goers, most of them coke lovers, many of them pot smokers, one heroin addict, a couple of unfortunate alcoholics)..."

    I think you have explained why we see so many problems with computers.

  23. At 09:37 AM on 12 Jul 2007, jonnie (from Sunny Bournemouth) wrote:

    Re; Si

    Thanks for the support. Yesterday was a bad day, though I didn't cave in to the cravings.

    I decided to go 'cold turkey' with the advice of Paul McKenna's give up smoking book. - Pipe is in the bin and it's now been 10 days. I am certainly more short tempered and also eating more but I'm trying to deal with both of these less harmful side effects.

  24. At 10:27 AM on 12 Jul 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    Hugh - splendid as ever.

    V interesting posion garden piece; children obviously shocked and it seemed very effective (though how will this work in teh future if its widely known about or was it just a one off).

  25. At 10:31 AM on 12 Jul 2007, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Vyle (21):

    Good idea. I also think that when the inhabitants of England get irritated enough by the West Lothian Question and demand their own Parliament, it should be located in Manchester. It's much more central than London and the presence of EMPs (MEPs? MPEs?) would do wonders for the local economy, at least in terms of expensive pubs and restaurants...

  26. At 11:30 AM on 12 Jul 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:


    Am I the only one to "come out" in support of Dave Johnson? If so, so be it.

    Well said, that man! I do have to admit, though, that among your friends, my experience tells me one should never trust a junkie, ex or otherwise, with anything important.


  27. At 12:14 PM on 12 Jul 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    As an inhabitant of the southern Manchester suburbs I'd advise anyone not to move there. It's grim.

    Amazing to think that Cheadle is the most affluent parliamentary constituency outside of Greater London and the Home Counties. Just up the road are Levenshulme, Longsight, Rusholme and Moss Side. On the other side are Alderley Edge, Wilmslow, Knutsford, Prestbury and Poynton. Amazing affluence and desperate awfulness parted by the M60. I never go into the city centre, except to take in a concert at Bridgewater Hall.

    The Northern Quarter and now Salford Quays are on the up and have been for more or less ten years. The remaining 75% needs demolishing and rebuilding from the ground up. And we can re-use the rubble to rebuild Hadrians Wall along the current border. Double bonus....

    Basically a large part of the city needs a massive injection of cash, which doesn't exist.

    I'd also challenge the whole 'Regeneration' idea. We got the 2012 Olympics partly because it will 'Regenerate' that run-down part of London. How? Someone will spend a record amount of money and build some first-class sports facilities and the Olympic Village. After the Games are done what is the ongoing benefit to Newham and West Ham? Sure the buildings will still be there, although the seating capacity of the stadium will be slashed (Why?). But what else will there be? Where is the industry, the jobs?

    Regeneration seems to be the latest buzzword in high political circles. It's like 'Green', 'Natural', 'Organic'. Stick one of these into your speech and everyone thinks that what you're doing is great. Reality can be suspended until it bites hard.


  28. At 12:48 PM on 12 Jul 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    Well said, Simon (currently 27). Degeneration is often the result of government action. This time we are about to go into another recession, but the Bank of England will have to take responsibility. Oh, how I hate buzzwords. Even "Global warming" turns me off right away. It's time to reclaim the streets - for the Motor Car.

  29. At 01:38 PM on 12 Jul 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    Well said, Simon (currently 27). Degeneration is often the result of government action. This time we are about to go into another recession, but the Bank of England will have to take responsibility. Oh, how I hate buzzwords. Even "Global warming" turns me off right away. It's time to reclaim the streets - for the Motor Car.

  30. At 02:00 PM on 12 Jul 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    The 'regeneration' from the olympics will destroy hundreds of allotments and some valuable biodiverse 'wastelands'. Rich folk and corporations will be the overwhelming beneficiaries as well as the political parties in receipt of donations therefrom.


    (glad to see the back of the supercasino idea, though - about B****y time!)

  31. At 04:11 PM on 12 Jul 2007, Eloise Twisk (edited Weds PM) wrote:

    Thanks again for the comments on last night's show. It would have been lovely to lead on the discovery of some new stars in space (jonnie - 8)...if only.

  32. At 11:56 PM on 13 Jul 2007, james wrote:

    Jonnie. Well done for giving up the tabs. Don't worry about the over-eating. People like to see a man who enjoys his food.

  33. At 03:37 PM on 18 Jul 2007, Pete Password wrote:

    So the anally-retentive, humourless control freak Brown thinks we should get on the roundabout yet again and rehash [!] the law on drugs, and move cannabis back to class B again. Duh, what is it about people who think they have the right to micromanage our behaviour. Who do they think they are?

  34. At 04:40 PM on 18 Jul 2007, John Anagram wrote:

    Pete Password (33)

    Well for some reason he thinks he's the Prime Minister - elected by his Party, who were returned by a majority in the last election. Who voted for you?

    btw - language like "anally-retentive, humourless control freak" sort of negates any interest I might have had of your opinion.

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