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The Glass Box for Monday

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Sequin | 16:28 UK time, Monday, 22 October 2007

Please, tell us what you thought about tonight's programme. And how we treated the stories we chose to feature.


  1. At 04:39 PM on 22 Oct 2007, silver-fox wrote:

    Test 04:29

  2. At 04:50 PM on 22 Oct 2007, Bedd Gelert wrote:

    Please please please please puuuhhleeeazee can we have Eddie Mair back NOW ?????

    Carolyn, If you want to do 'Animals do the craziest things', go and work for ITV. Yes I know someone has died at the hands of a monkey, but war is about to break out in Turkey !!!!!!

    PM is starting to appear like a Chris Morris spoof of a 'news' programme, or worse, something that would appear on Five Live [or Slive as I believe it is now annoyingly called].

    This is Radio Four, and we expect better than this vacuous asinine garbage, thank you very much.

  3. At 05:18 PM on 22 Oct 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    First story, Bedd, is about badgers....

    I want to know: if badgers spread bovine TB to cattle, and cattle spread bovine TB to cattle, do cattle spread bovine TB to badgers? Has anyone asked how the badgers get it in the first place?

    I like Richard wossit suggesting that perhaps the place to tackle this disease is among the cattle.

  4. At 05:44 PM on 22 Oct 2007, Frances O wrote:

    I'm with fishy Chris. I've wondered for a while why they don't tackle the disease via the cattle. After all, they're more accessible than badgers.

    OK, 502 here I come. 1733

  5. At 05:55 PM on 22 Oct 2007, eeore wrote:

    Is the BBC involved in the disappearnce of Anorak News?

    Yesterday it repeated a story in the Daily Mail about a 'star' of the BBC and now it is gone.

    What is happening to free speech in Britian?

  6. At 06:01 PM on 22 Oct 2007, Andy Macfarlane wrote:

    Re: Magistrate and gay adoption

    Of course the magistrate should be expected to leave his Christian beliefs at the door if they conflict with his primary duty to implement the law. If he does not, he is not able to provide an independent and unbiased judgement, and guilty of giving priority to his prejudices.

  7. At 06:07 PM on 22 Oct 2007, Kirsty Rohanna wrote:

    The people arguing to cull badgers appall me. We have very few of our native mammals left and this is one in need of urgent further protection to help it survive. If humans take over and despoil the natural habitat of a species (by farming for example) it is their duty to ensure their activities interfere as little as possible with that species, not wipe them out. We are supposed to be an intelligent species ourselves, surely it is not beyond our imagination to find a solution to any problems that the badgers cause farmers that does not involve wholsesale slaughter purely for financial benefit? When this happens in other countries with, say, gorillas or tigers we are quite rightly horrified.

  8. At 06:14 PM on 22 Oct 2007, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Chris (3):

    That point was brought up on Farming Today some months ago: if badgers should be culled because they infect cattle, shouldn't cattle be culled because they infect badgers?

    Sadly, it was very early in the morning and I've listened to so many "kill-all-the-badgers" / "That's-really-not-going-to-help" discussions on FT that they all blend together, so I can't remember what the farmers' response was. Most probably "Kill all the badgers".

    I missed most of the badger item on PM, but the bit I heard didn't seem to go into more depth as to why the previous thinking has been reversed. I'll listen again when it appears on Listen Again.

  9. At 06:30 PM on 22 Oct 2007, Sid Cumberland wrote:

    Bedd - I'm guessing that it's the monkey story that you object to - or is it the badgers?

    Anyway - India is the second largest country in the world (by population), and the way they deal with the monkey problem tells us a lot about Indians' religious and cultural background. Worth learning about, I'd have thought.

    Just as they'd be interested in how we deal with our badger problem, I suppose.

    In any case - Turkey was dealt with, as was Europe. And corruption in Africa.

    I'd better stop there - this won't get through anyway.


  10. At 06:46 PM on 22 Oct 2007, Paul wrote:

    Why am I not surprised to hear a Church of England Bishop support the legal view of Parliament and offer nothing of a prophetic Christian voice on the question of religious values in a secular society.
    You are not the Church to the country, you merely discern popular opinion and then bless it. What corageous leadership.

  11. At 07:10 PM on 22 Oct 2007, R. Whiting wrote:

    Ref Andy(6)
    I agree.
    I am tired of religionists complaining about discrimination. They should try being an atheist for a while.

  12. At 07:15 PM on 22 Oct 2007, nikki noodle wrote:

    One thing that always puzzled me about the badgers/cattle TB, is whether rabbits are involved.

    I know its called bovine, but that's about all i do know.


  13. At 07:21 PM on 22 Oct 2007, DI Wyman wrote:

    Badgers.....Apes.....wots this....wildlife on Radio 4 then?

  14. At 07:54 PM on 22 Oct 2007, Markham wrote:

    Bedd - I could not agree more. Ms Quinn is only passable as a presenter when at her best which she hasn't been during the last six days. Her inability to ask a question even lead to the Chief Scientist reminding her of a questioners duty. Her inability to close down a debate when time is running out is embarrassing to listen to.

    I'm no great advocate for Eddie Mair (I do not like his style) but he's a thousand times better than Quinn.

    By the way I blame the producer for all the "cuddly" animal stories not the presenters. The only good thing about tonight is that we didn't get ten minutes of Nigel's "cultural studies".

  15. At 08:14 PM on 22 Oct 2007, Anne P. wrote:

    It would appear that the lady speaking on behalf of the magistrate unwittingly put her finger on the problem when she said that when he had trained eighteen years ago things were different.

    If a magistrate is not prepared to keep up with changes in the law then I'm sorry, but he should not be allowed to preside over decisions. Allowing for exceptions would open the floodgates for anyone to object to having to maintain laws they dislike. By all means let him campaign against a law if he considers it to be a bad one, but he should not be allowed to manipulate it for the convenience of his conscience.

  16. At 08:16 PM on 22 Oct 2007, Bedd Gelert wrote:

    Sid, I take your point - the programme wasn't quite as animal infested as I was fearing. Although I have no time for these people who get all sloppy and sentimental over 'Billy Badger' but then couldn't give a monkey's about the fact that the less furry, but still rather important, cattle get ill. Grow up !

    Although I suppose 'Turkey' is an animal of sorts.. [sorry..]

    DI Wyman - Shouldn't you be on finding those top priority criminals, the cat-nappers so that drug addicts can go about their semi-lawful business relatively undisturbed ?

  17. At 09:59 AM on 23 Oct 2007, vyle hernia wrote:

    R Whiting (12)

    "I am tired of religionists complaining about discrimination. They should try being an atheist for a while."

    Most religionists have already tried atheism. That is why they are now what you call religionists.


  18. At 10:25 AM on 23 Oct 2007, DI Wyman wrote:

    BedD (16)

    Its DI Wyman as in Diy, not as in Inspecter Knacker of the Yard...

  19. At 10:57 AM on 23 Oct 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Sequin, thanks for allowing one of the people you were interviewing to point out that although individual bits of law have changed in eighteen years, a magistrate has the same right that he or she has always done to say 'I don't want to be involved in judgement of this case because I have a personal involvement in it'; the same right that a juror has, in effect.

    I cannot see why the individual who has been asked to stop being a magistrate couldn't simply have been allowed to state this and not be involved in the cases about which he felt strong conscientious worries. There can't be *that* many children he was being expected to allot to couples in a way that made him severely upset. There must be more to this story than 'you're a particular sort of Christian so you can't be a magistrate', surely?

  20. At 11:03 AM on 23 Oct 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    I've just noticed that my 9th attempt has got through. Sorry to bore you if the other 15 attempts also succeed.

    Now, what on earth was it I wanted to say? Oh, yes, something about Sequin being wonderful because she works so hard.

  21. At 11:04 AM on 23 Oct 2007, Lee Vitout wrote:

    Oi, Markham @ 18 & 19 or 19 & 18

    Carolyn ROCKS! ok.

  22. At 11:05 AM on 23 Oct 2007, vyle hernia wrote:

    R Whiting (12)

    "I am tired of religionists complaining about discrimination. They should try being an atheist for a while."

    Most religionists have already tried atheism. That is why they are now what you call religionists.


    Internet Access
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  23. At 11:13 AM on 23 Oct 2007, Gonzo wrote:

    Paul (11):

    They are Church to the country, that is what established church means.

    courageous (note spelling) leadership is going against thousands of years of discrimination by the church to say that these people are all human beings no matter what their sexuality is...

  24. At 11:46 AM on 23 Oct 2007, Roger Sawyer wrote:

    Hello All,

    Many thanks for your comments. With relation to the choice of story, Markham is right... whether it is Eddie or Carolyn in the chair, the decisions about which stories get on are made by the editors. So blame me, not Carolyn. Even if Eddie had been here, you'd still have got monkeys and badgers.

    BADGERS: cuddly animal story? Suggest that to farmers or conservationists... the issue was that there was a marked change in direction in relation to whether to cull badgers in England. A previous report had said limited culling could make the spread of Bovine TB worse. We had the author of that report on the programme as well as the Chief Scientist, who said there should now be a cull.

    MONKEYS: cuddly animal story... or a serious and interesting cultural problem for the people of Delhi? The wild monkeys rampaging the streets cause a lot of damage and fear, but culling is not an option because of religious sensibilities. I find that pretty interesting.

    The point about putting stories like the Delhi Monkeys in the programme is that they vary the texture... otherwise the whole hour would just be too high fibre.

    I had to drop one story from the programme, which we could have broadcast instead of the monkeys. It was about business leaders, Capital Gains Tax and the abolition of Taper Relief. Or was it Tapir Relief?

    All the best,


  25. At 12:17 PM on 23 Oct 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    You know what my problem is?

    When I get a (502) I try sending again, but often add a bit at the end. Eventually the message is twice as long as before. Perhaps I should do as Mac does and build up a time-constrained pamphlet first..?

  26. At 12:29 PM on 23 Oct 2007, whisky-joe wrote:

    Hey Rog (23)

    When did you last see a Water vole...?

  27. At 12:32 PM on 23 Oct 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    Gonzo (20)

    You are trying to use misinformation to make your point.

    "They are Church to the country, that is what established church means.
    courageous (note spelling) leadership is going against thousands of years of discrimination by the church to say that these people are all human beings no matter what their sexuality is..."

    The Church does not say that people who practise certain acts are not human. That is your own idea. Some time ago Jonnie posted a whole list of the insults to which people who call themselves gay and lesbian had been subjected (in 1997 - 30 years after legalisation). However, those insults were not coming from the Church, but from the unchurched majority.

    I would say there is no good reason for the Church to go against thousands of years of wisdom, rather than of discrimination. The Church (and society at large) may be less comfortable with some sins than with others, but we are all sinners.

    WRT adoption, the service provided by adopters is to the child, whose lifestyle after puberty is rarely known when they are very young.

    The magistrate had asked to be excused from cases with which he would be uncomfortable in order to ensure that his own bias did not come into effect. They call it "Declaring an interest" in some fields.

  28. At 01:03 AM on 24 Oct 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Well said, Vyle.


    A manager asked a programmer how long it would take him to finish the program on which he was working. "I will be finished tomorrow," the programmer promptly replied.
    "I think you are being unrealistic," said the manager. "Truthfully, how long will it take?"
    The programmer thought for a moment. "I have some features that I wish to add. This will take at least two weeks," he finally said.
    "Even that is too much to expect," insisted the manager, "I will be satisfied if you simply tell me when the program is complete."
    The programmer agreed to this.
    Several years later, the manager retired. On the way to his retirement lunch, he discovered the programmer asleep at his terminal.
    He had been programming all night.
    -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"
    Wed Oct 24 00:53:57 BST 2007

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