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The Glass Box for Friday

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Eddie Mair | 16:48 UK time, Friday, 24 August 2007

is the place to talk about the programme's contents.

If you want to talk about other things - try the handy guide in FAQ on the right which explains that your own topics have a thread of their own...and there's another thread where barely a serious word is aired. Have a read.

If your comment is about a previous PM - click on the Glass Box link on the right and find the right day.


  1. At 05:16 PM on 24 Aug 2007, Dr Hackenbush wrote:

    How can soldiers’ deaths be described as ‘collateral damage’?
    _ _


    Thanks for the free gift, Eddie.

  2. At 05:24 PM on 24 Aug 2007, squirrel wrote:

    If American bombs are killing British troups (again!) is that not an act of war? I never have understood why we always let them get away with it! Maybe if we went to war with the USA, we could end up bringing some of the states back into our union..

    (it's a joke people!)

  3. At 05:27 PM on 24 Aug 2007, Gillian wrote:

    Dr Hackenbush(1) Mine too, Eddie. Thanks.

  4. At 05:30 PM on 24 Aug 2007, Kevin wrote:

    In talking about guns entering the illegal economy, I'm surprised nobody mentioned smuggling.

    Travelling by ferry, there are none of the embarkation controls and security checks that we take for granted on airlines.

    Our borders aren't just porous, they're like a Swiss cheese.

  5. At 05:36 PM on 24 Aug 2007, Femi Obembe wrote:

    If we are to overcome the spate of gun crime and other violence in the UK, one thing that clearry needs to be done is to slow down the pace of life. At the moment a lot of families(parents) are running around 24/7 giving little or no time to spend and to bring up youngsters properly.

    Do you realise that most families only spend one day together in a year? - which is XMAS day. I would sugest that we return to those days when all shops are closed on sundays. this way, most people would be forced to be together at least once a week. This suggestion is one of the many things that needs to be done if we are to achieve a responsible community/society/family life.


  6. At 05:38 PM on 24 Aug 2007, JimmyGiro wrote:

    Oh the irony... C4 is to dump Big Brother owing to 'thought crimes', citing 'newspeak' "creative renewal" as the deus ex machina.

    Bread and circuses!!!

  7. At 06:00 PM on 24 Aug 2007, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    A lot of grim news today, leavened by some great news that had previously passed my by; I hadn't realised that the intensely irritating Ian McCartney was now out of government. That's fair cheered me up.

    Thanks for that Eddie & Team!

    It wasn't really worth interrupting the astronaut story for the police comment, was it? I suppose there was no clue it was going to be that short, but that close to the end of the programme wouldn't it have been better to leave it for the six o'clock news to cover anyway?

    (Oh and about the subject line of the newsletter; has Eddie tried thinking where he had it last? Maybe it's fallen into that hole in the Universe.)

  8. At 06:02 PM on 24 Aug 2007, ALAN.CROSLEY wrote:

    I am amazed at the question raised by the police re source of firearms into this country.
    Is it simply coincidental that the Balkans have been at war for years, african states continue to wage civil war, pakistan is a world market for arms. As a previous comment stated our border controls are non existing and all and sundry are invited in by this government despite no houses limited resources etc.

  9. At 06:10 PM on 24 Aug 2007, Dr Hackenbush wrote:

    How nice of you to quote some of my comments on the air this evening. It’s a shame not to receive any credit, though. (Perhaps I understand why.)

    Good programme, etc.

  10. At 06:12 PM on 24 Aug 2007, Charles Clarke wrote:

    In order to "get guns off our streets", perhaps we should look at the bigger picture and stop holding arms fairs[1], and cease the manufacture and supply of weapons on a corporate to international level - I wonder if our economy could support such a move?[2]

    refs: [1] http://www.caat.org.uk/armsfairs/ukfairs.php
    [2] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3084718.stm

  11. At 07:24 PM on 24 Aug 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Charles Clarke (10),

    Well noted!

    The industry's biggest customer is the British government, which last year placed orders worth about £13bn.

    But the UK is also the world's second biggest arms exporter, behind the United States, with a market share of about 20%.

    It claims to directly employ 350,000, spread over 11,000 firms, with as many as 1.2 million people relying on it for a living.

    But the industry's opponents, such as the Campaign Against the Arms Trade, take a different view.

    They say its economic significance has been overplayed for political reasons, and it actually employs about 120,000.

    They also point to the fact that the defence industry only accounts for about 3% of UK manufacturing exports.

    Thanks for the links

  12. At 08:30 PM on 24 Aug 2007, Ann Tarrant wrote:

    On the 7th August we drove from a Speedferries vessel, through Dover to the A2, passports in hand, with not a security person in sight.
    On our return, on the 20th, we were stopped, to see if we had any meat! (3 packs sossidges & a huge pack of bacon from a butcher in Deal... We'd heard nothing during our 2-week stay in the UK about foot & mouth & had no idea there were restrictions.. it was the waste that most upset me) As the empty coolbox went back in the vehicle we were asked casually if we had any guns, then we got on the ferry. Straight off in Bolougne, no-one the slightest bit interested in our carrying guns, or sausages...
    Restrictions were lifted today, about time 'they' were a little tougher about guns.

  13. At 08:37 PM on 24 Aug 2007, orange pekoe wrote:

    Missed most of PM today but heard the 'huge hole in space' thing. DID Eddie really preface his interview with a dryly cheeky use of a quote from the guy concerned, something like "we never expected to find a hole this big...or this size"

    Tee hee! (Cheeky as in made him sound a teeny bit silly, not being schoolboy sniggery)

    Either way, because it's just the sort of thing Eddie may well do, it encouraged me to listen to the rest of the interview, rather than mentally switch off cos it's cosmology - for a while anyway...

  14. At 09:19 PM on 24 Aug 2007, sacrebleu wrote:

    Was this Scottish Day on PM? So many accents from north of the border and that dreadful one from Ian McCartney. I'm with you, Stainless Steel Cat (7). The appalling diction of the man. How did he ever make it into the cabinet by pronouncing words like Guvvimint (only he missed out the T). As a Scot myself, I cringed on hearing him. Now if only he spoke like our Eddie, with those polished tones.

    Mind you, I have to say there are those south of the border with poor diction, n'est-ce pas?

  15. At 10:10 PM on 24 Aug 2007, Clegg wrote:

    Anil (11) er sorry I mean Ed, er sorry I mean Anil. Sorry I mean AnilEd.

  16. At 11:27 PM on 24 Aug 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:


    Not so.

  17. At 12:13 AM on 25 Aug 2007, Dr Hackenbush wrote:

    The worst diction that I hear on the radio is from one of the Today presenters. Can you guess who I mean? (Why don’t they have that individual sort this out?)

  18. At 01:27 AM on 25 Aug 2007, jonnie wrote:

    I listened - and enjoyed but missed the letters spot! Damn!

    Listen again!

    I've just replied to Val P on the sounds of summer for Thursday. It makes the blog aspect so worthwhile when these little coincedences happen!

    Therefore - I'm just popping in on the Glassbox (another successful idea I had) ;-) to remind you that before we know where we are the bongs will be mended ... and we will have to endure the timely - and oh so predictable - bongs - along with the Revend Greens humour!



    It's so easy! - unless we really like the Pmoms repeats?

    Get a microphone - even a cassette recorder, record whatever you perceive a 'sound of summer' to be and record it.

    If it is an audio casette, or you record it on a camcorder using the DV tapes , and unsure how to convert it - please click on my name above, pop it in the post and I'll email it to Eddie, but I can't guarantee of getting the tapes back.

    Please all try and contribute though - I love hearing them - my fave is the early morning water on the loch - and then the bandstand in Eastbourne.

    Perhaps if I have a little word with Amanda they may even be in stereo! It *IS* the BC and it's what they do!


  19. At 08:48 AM on 25 Aug 2007, Roger Sawyer wrote:

    Howdi do everyone,

    Many thanks for your postings.

    I was i/c last night. No sense of it being August yesterday - some rather depressing stuff around.

    I thought the police officer whose job it will be to try to track guns around the country was an interesting listen. And I loved the space story, though I can't get my head round it - or any other space story for that matter.

    Sacrebleu (15), spot on about the proliferation of Scots - especially in the opening headlines... Des Browne, Ian McCartney, Eric Muir himself. Only Phil Neville and Charlotte Green batting for the rest of the UK.

    And Stainless Steel Cat (7), you are quite right that on this particular occasion the switch to the live police comment did not work. It was a bit unfortunate that it was the World Record shortest live police statement, but that's the risk I took.

    We talked about it in the real GB afterwards and everyone agreed (to my surprise) that it had been the right thing to do. I think the ambition to bring you significant events as they happen is the right one and there have been plenty of examples in the past where we have missed some very good stuff, because we have been too locked in to our running orders and unwilling to lob items out to bring you some breaking news.

    It is about spur of the moment decisions, because we only had about three minutes notice on this one. I am happy to put my hands up and admit I got it wrong this time.

    But I'll do it again!

    Now you all have good weekends... it's sunny, at least it is where I am (typical, London-centric BBC), so switch off those computers and take a turn outside (unless you have sun allergies or are vampires). I'm a-headin' out now for breakfast with the nippers.

    Toodle Pip


  20. At 11:46 AM on 25 Aug 2007, Anvil wrote:

    Jeremy Paxmans likens BBC to Stalin's Russia.

    Yep, I can see where he's coming from.

  21. At 12:29 PM on 26 Aug 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Doc (17), No, I can't . Care to enlighten me?

    Roger (19), Have you gone a bit wahey??? You've been working wth that Eric bloke for too long, I suspect.

  22. At 04:58 PM on 26 Aug 2007, Hella Gamper wrote:

    Eddie, please can I have your FULL attention.!..Right, here I go...On Friday,when you aired some of your listener's views, I understood that someone suggested killing slugs with scissors. I was incensed,outraged.What is the matter with people--why do they breed so much violence & hatred and fail to live in harmony with everyone and everything around them?!Is it any wonder that our youngsters go off the rails when they have no decent role models? Adults teaching them how to kill other sentient beings is a sure sign to perdition.
    Yes, slugs can be annoying and a nuisance--so are many humans but we don't go round stabbing them with scissors,do we?!When it comes to gardening and in this particular case slugs,we need to plan ahead and outwit them. Humans always pretend to be so clever & resourceful--let's see a bit more of it!
    Anyhow, my partner runs a largish organic garden and protects his seedlings/plants successfully.One of his methods is to raise beds,put collars round them (either cardboard or plastic) and he keeps the grass/weeds down.
    Now ...I hope you are still paying attention! :-)
    this really is the little or rather "big gem" of this post--should any kind & caring listeners want further info. on how to grow lovely veg. without killing slugs (good for the body, good for the soul,) then my partner is more than happy to oblige via email.
    PLEASE will you promise to read this out-after all, isn't radio 4 supposed to be informative and educational ?! Time will tell....

    P.S. Can I finish off with a bit of food for thought...
    "unless man extends the circle of compassion to all living things,he himself will never find peace" ..Dr. Albert Schweitzer

    pps....see what I mean....

  23. At 05:29 PM on 26 Aug 2007, Val P wrote:

    Hella - all sounds good and keen to know more here. How is your partner going to email the info though? Not keen to post email addresses on the blog as I've had quite enough unsolicited offers of help in the past few weeks.
    In fact they are getting wilder and wilder, is that because they know that I just delete them? Now if I could get a hold of the senders of said emails, I'd be more than tempted to stab them, scissors or otherwise.

  24. At 07:23 PM on 26 Aug 2007, Dr Hackenbush wrote:

    (21) - You strike me as already enlightened.

  25. At 07:54 PM on 26 Aug 2007, Hella Gamper wrote:

    hello Val P.,
    yes,you are quite right,it's not a good idea to post your em.addr. on the blog--there are too many unsavioury characters out there!Perhaps you could post your queries on this blog & I will get my partner to answer them?
    Lovely to have found one kind & caring person already!

  26. At 08:43 PM on 26 Aug 2007, Dr Hackenbush wrote:

    Unsavoury characters are sweet?

  27. At 10:37 AM on 27 Aug 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Dr. H:

    As ever, your finger is on the pulse.

    Oh, and did you get an email I sent via Flickr today? Flywheel is on tonight at 5.30 p.m. on BBC& - The Lost Rembrandt.

    And since this is my first posting since my return from holidays, hello my fellow froggers. Hope you liked the sheep, and I loved my postcard from the Lord Mair. I have something to send him, too, but he will have to wait a little longer.

    Did I get the impression he was off on hols this week?

  28. At 10:41 AM on 27 Aug 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Sorry, Doc - That should read BBC7.

    Very sleepy this morning due to little sleep ...... Is that a tautology I wonder?

  29. At 12:35 PM on 27 Aug 2007, Dr Hackenbush wrote:

    Thank you - yes, e-mail received. And I will reply properly soon. This episode is one of the official ones.

  30. At 09:57 PM on 27 Aug 2007, Gossipmistress wrote:

    In the absence of a monday glass box, nice to hear Paddy standing in this evening!

  31. At 11:27 AM on 28 Aug 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    The NT sells a book called "50 ways to kill a Slug."

    I would feel a bit uncomfortable with scissors - so close. I prefer to keep a respectable distance and use shears.

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