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Hello again...

Eddie Mair | 06:46 UK time, Wednesday, 10 October 2007

as they say in Commercial Radio.

Here's some good news: Angus Crawford has won an award. Angus used to work solely in our department, and still appears regularly on PM. He is very very good - and I'm glad to tell you he has won first prize at the Bayeux-Calvados Awards for War Reporting. The awards attract entries from around the world, and Angus came out on top for a piece he did for Broadcasting House on the plight of members of the Mandean religion in Iraq. I'm hoping to post it here for you later.

He kindly brought in a cake to the office yesterday to celebrate. I'm not sure whether he bought the cake as a treat or whether the Bayeux-Calvados people give cakes as awards. But who cares?

Here you see yesterday's PM editor Jasper about to scoff some, and then there's the hand of George (he who kindly appeared in a previous Blog posting shaking my hand) cutting another slice.



There was only a tiny bit left at the end of the day so I surprised Robin Lustig by smearing it into his beard. He'll be picking out bits of chocolate for weeks.


  1. At 08:17 AM on 10 Oct 2007, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Congratulations indeed to Angus. There's a drink waiting for him on the NCMB on the beach if he gets the chance :)

  2. At 08:27 AM on 10 Oct 2007, Chris Davis wrote:

    What is happening at the BBC?
    Impartial and objective reporting has been overwhelmed by a flood of tabloid sensationalism.
    In recent days, editors and presenters seem to have totally swallowed the Tory spin on story after story.
    Why constantly repeat the Tory mantra that Gordon Brown “dithered” or “bottled” the election decision rather than that he took a reasoned and sensible decision, having wisely listened to and carefully considered the options. Had he called an election, he could certainly have been accused of opportunism or even stupidity.
    Why hammer Alistair Darling for taking and improving ideas from other parties? (Not that I believe he did!) A Government of all the talents, working in the best interests of ALL its people should and must be willing to take good ideas from whatever source.
    The BBC used to be our refuge from the worst excesses of tabloid journalism. No longer it seems.
    Chris Davis

  3. At 08:32 AM on 10 Oct 2007, jonnie wrote:

    Hello again indeed - and talking of commercial radio -

    Can anyone tell me what a 'blocked closure is' ?

    It was on a local traffic report I recently heard.

    Doesn't sound nice does it.

  4. At 08:48 AM on 10 Oct 2007, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Jonnie (3):

    Are you sure it wasn't a "blogged closure"? ie a comment about the recent suspension of this Frog?

    08:55, No 502, yesterday's strapline.

  5. At 08:58 AM on 10 Oct 2007, Fearless Fred wrote:

    Does sound painful, Jonnie(3)!

  6. At 09:01 AM on 10 Oct 2007, Sid Cumberland wrote:

    Chris Davis (2)

    Couldn't agree more. If it's a good idea, it doesn't really matter who implements it, does it?

    The childish 'I thought of it first'/'No you didn't' is just the way to turn people off politics.


  7. At 09:25 AM on 10 Oct 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    I know this is more a glass box comment but my ears pricked up when I heard the name Jane Loveday as I have had dealings with this woman.

    I was shocked by what I heard, though not entirely surprised given what I know of her. I can't help but feel that getting 'struck off' seems a bit of a light punishment given what these women have been through. Although the offending surgeon has died can they not still pursue redress? The NHS trust is still ultimately responsible or is it the case that due to Ms Lovedays actions that the issue can not be pursued any further?

  8. At 10:16 AM on 10 Oct 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Hearty congratulations to Angus but ...... Are you sure you picked up the right cake? Was Paul the runner up, and did he take the two-tiered chocolate special? Or does the patiessier christen each of his/her cakes?

    A very confused, but pleasantly surprised,* Big Sister.

    *surprised by joy, Mr. Mair, at the reemergence of the Blog.

  9. At 10:29 AM on 10 Oct 2007, DI Wyman wrote:

    well done Angus........and no I am not refering to how I want my steak cooked.

  10. At 10:43 AM on 10 Oct 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Jonnie (3): Isn't it a variation of a blocked passage? ;o)

  11. At 10:44 AM on 10 Oct 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    Oh yes - congrats! Was swept away with the joy of a functioning blog. Look forward to experiencing the winning piece.

  12. At 10:47 AM on 10 Oct 2007, Rachel G wrote:

    Excellent. Cake looks gorgeous.

    Ok, deep breath, fingers crossed and...submit!


  13. At 11:06 AM on 10 Oct 2007, Simon Worrall wrote:

    where did Jane Loveday get a mention?


  14. At 11:12 AM on 10 Oct 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Yes, congrats Angus.

    Interesting point Chris (2). I'm afriad I've come to expect sensationalism now so sometimes don't even notice it, despite my best efforts to remain alert. I reiterate: the news media have an interest in advancing the conservative agenda. Again, the small "C" is deliberate.

  15. At 11:20 AM on 10 Oct 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    SiW (13) yesterdays prog, must have been about twenty to 6 I think, definitely last half of the programme.

  16. At 11:26 AM on 10 Oct 2007, Fifi wrote:

    I am with Chris and Appy on this one: political reporting, especially during/just after Conference Season, has become lazy to the point of insulting the audience.

    It's always a bad sign when the lead question on a radio story is: what do you say to accusations of XYZ in the newspaper headlines?

    Silly Season seems to be stretching to 6 months nowadays...


  17. At 11:31 AM on 10 Oct 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Congratulations to Angus!

    Chris @ 2 and Sid @ 6, this 'Government of all the talents' business: point [a], the accronym is 'Goat', which is unfortunate, and [b] the precedent for the name is unfortunate as well.

  18. At 12:36 PM on 10 Oct 2007, Dr Hackenbush wrote:

    (14) Perhaps the iPM experiment will allow listeners to direct (or influence) the news media towards coverage of a different agenda, or indeed more than one. I would personally suggest that news does not always have to include anything from the world of politics, or should I say party politics.

  19. At 03:23 PM on 10 Oct 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Doc (18), I hope so: it would be very refreshing. (And I think "party politics", btw -- after all, everything is "politics".) :-)

  20. At 03:37 PM on 10 Oct 2007, mac wrote:

    so the great and the good get real cake (if only crumbs) whilst we on the Beach must just pretend like David Bowie in a prisoner of war camp.

    still, in our virtual world the prize would have been a bottle of Calvados each and the Iraq War would have been one in the eye (geddit?) for george bush.

    a pedant (using a full set of capitals) writes:

    In the Bayeux tapistry it's the Normans who are invading. However the israelis do have arrows (geddit?) and the Eyeless in Gaza .....blah blah, blah....
    Lastly the point that the tapistry was probably a slowly produced PM - style coverage of the War is not lost on me, but Harold didn't see that at all (geddit?).

  21. At 03:55 PM on 10 Oct 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:


    Speaking of conservative agendas, does that include the destruction of the Royal Mail?

    I guess that's "Radical", and thus appropriate for NuLabour.

    If you are afraid of loneliness, don't marry.
    -- Anton Chekhov
    Wed Oct 10 15:55:38 BST 2007

  22. At 04:51 PM on 10 Oct 2007, Dr Hackenbush wrote:

    I think the (spoken) media have destroyed Royal Mail - they’ve turned it into the Rawl Mell...

    (19) I am pleased to see Aperitif around here again. You are right, of course, which is why I did add the word ‘party’. If silence is a rhythm, too, then of course writing on a blog, for example, is political. Etc.

    (But is ‘party’ the right word for a political organisation that puts itself forward, in the form of a group of individuals, for election? Eddie will offer prizes to anyone who can coin a better term.)

  23. At 04:51 PM on 10 Oct 2007, Big Sister wrote:

    Oh my word! Mac has just reminded me of a favourite film. Though possibly for different reasons.

    "Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence!"

  24. At 05:21 PM on 10 Oct 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Possibly Ed (21), but I'm a sceptic rather than a cynic.

  25. At 05:26 PM on 10 Oct 2007, Gossipmistress wrote:

    Ah! You can't beat a nice bit of chocolate cake and the Daily Mi**or in the morning!

  26. At 05:30 PM on 10 Oct 2007, Natural Blonde wrote:

    Ugh, that's so unfair because I'm on day three of my diet and it's hell. I've had to just sit through a meeting with a colleague who took a whole hour to eat a cherry flapjack!! Grrr!

    Well done, Angus.

  27. At 05:33 PM on 10 Oct 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:


    As noted between the furrows of the brow, I think parties, (or whatever you wish to call them) are a severe impediment to truly representative democracy, for reasons set out here.

    In Scotland at present, we are witnessing one of the most interesting periods of politics in my long experience. We have a minority government which must make it's arrangements with at least two other political groupings (parties) in order to pass legislation, but is empowered to administer using the permanent civil service.

    It is close to my ideal situation, and is surprising many former doubters. Without proportional representation, it would never have happened.

    Salaam, etc.

    Conscience doth make cowards of us all.
    -- Shakespeare
    Wed Oct 10 17:34:16 BST 2007

  28. At 05:58 PM on 10 Oct 2007, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Ed (26):

    Hear, hear! I long for the day that we have no-party politics, when ideas will stand on their own merit, not because of bulldozing whips or tradition, and when an MP can truly represent the views of his/her constituents on matters instead of the Party.

  29. At 07:13 PM on 10 Oct 2007, Dr Hackenbush wrote:

    Perhaps voters are turned off by a narrow view of what each of the main parties is about, and therefore quite possibly the more independent candidates there are, with identifiable views on local issues, the better?

  30. At 11:57 PM on 10 Oct 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:


    "quite possibly the more independent candidates there are, with identifiable views on local issues, the better?"

    My point, precisely! But we need something besides first-past-the-post for it to have a chance. Also very tightly controlled and low limits on expenditure.

    Namaste -ed

    Cleanliness is next to impossible.
    Wed Oct 10 23:57:44 BST 2007

  31. At 05:28 PM on 11 Oct 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    In my experience independent candidates are simply people who side with the opposition in that area and know that they would never be elected if they came out with their true colours, save one or two single-issue candidates who generally are ill-informed with regard to other issues. I would that this weren't so, however.

  32. At 05:40 PM on 11 Oct 2007, Sid Cumberland wrote:

    Ed (27): you say that parties impede truly representative democracy. You then say that the situation in Scotland is near to your ideal - thanks to proportional representation. So, why don't we just try PR?


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