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The Glass Box for Wednesday

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Eddie Mair | 14:34 UK time, Wednesday, 5 December 2007

In the PM office we meet ever night after the programme in this Glass Box:


We talk about the content of the programme and try to give an honest assessment of what worked and what didn't...the things we missed and the places where our ambitions were not met. THIS virtual glass box you are looking at is where you are invited - indeed encouraged - to be honest about our hour. Members of the production team will read it, and the editor should comment too. Click on The Glass Box link on the right of the page to read previous entries.


  1. At 02:45 PM on 05 Dec 2007, Miss Effingham wrote:

    Eddie - Dont use furniture polish on that floor it makes it slippery to lethal levels.

  2. At 02:51 PM on 05 Dec 2007, Brian Christley wrote:

    As the essential part of this so-called democratic country we should demand a moratorium on all government proposed laws and regulations until all Labour party Ministers, MPs and officials agree to comply with the existing ones

  3. At 03:02 PM on 05 Dec 2007, Charlie wrote:


    Your comment in today's Newsletter...

    "I have forgotten everything that has happened today"

    ...may well explain why the Newsletter was sent out twice today..?

    Anyway, hopefully, you'll remember to turn up for the programme this evening otherwise, this "Glass Box" page is redundant

    I'm assuming your memory problem's transient and trivial. The following medical case-note example may help you decide...

    A man in his early 40’s goes to see his Doctor.

    “Doctor, I think I’m going senile. I keep forgetting to zip-up”.

    “That’s not senility... “ replied the Doctor
    “... senility’s when you forget to zip-down...”

  4. At 03:26 PM on 05 Dec 2007, Daisy, Windermere wrote:

    For laminate, it's best just to stick with the basics - a damp mop, a vacuum, and regular cleaning.

  5. At 03:31 PM on 05 Dec 2007, Martin. wrote:

    Could PM please ask Peter Hain to explain the following -

    1. Why the policy of centralising (more properly described as 'delocalising') benefit centres has resulted in applications for Incapacity Benefit being unduly delayed in some parts of the country?

    2. Why those applicants for Incapacity Benefit whose applications are being delayed aren't being put onto Income Support instead, even on an interim basis? It could be done, because an Incapacity Benefit applicant has to apply for Income Support as part of the Incap application.

    3. Why applicants for Incapacity Benefit whose applications are being delayed, and who aren't being awarded Income Support, and who go into JobCentres for help in the form of crisis loans, are being directed to phone a helpline, instead of being able to receive help on the spot?

    4. Why can't they get through to this helpline? The Scottish one apparently being based in Inverness?

    5. Are these helplines' service level agreements being adhered to?

    6. Is it the government's intention to still insist that so-called 'crisis loans' disbursed in these circumstances be repaid from later benefits by people who are, by the very fact they have successfully been awarded Incapacity Benefit, unable to work? 'Loans' which have only required to be made because of government's delocalisation of the benefit system?

    I mean, this wouldn't be some weird bastard child of Public Choice Economics - would it? Making the applicants show they're determined to make claims? Would it?

  6. At 03:32 PM on 05 Dec 2007, Christopher of Shropshire wrote:

    Oh dear - an amensiac Eddie. Well doesn't that sort of leave PM up a creek without a paddle - in a canoe perhaps?

    But seriously - did you see the front page of the Thunder this morning. All about Abortions being undertaken by GPs.

    Set aside the rights or wrongs of the proposal but consider the implications. Assume that a Practice is willing to undertake this and begins to do so.

    How long before the Anti-Abortion camaigners begin to demonstrate outside the practices. Just imagine the intimidating scenes. Is that pregnant woman going in for a consultation or an abortion?

    Imagine the intimidating atmosphere? Scary Huh

    Does nobody ever think of unintended consequences


  7. At 03:47 PM on 05 Dec 2007, Eddie Mair wrote:

    I am not taking the blame for the double send. But perhaps someone will in this space later....

  8. At 04:12 PM on 05 Dec 2007, Christine Cook wrote:

    Eddie, My day is not complete without you, though I must say Caroline does come 2nd, she's really okay. I can't wait for your newsletter, it always (or nearly) makes me chuckle) Especially todays what a hoot. My partner and I never miss P.M. as we don't have T.V. radio 4 is most important. As for the glass box, very modern love the blue, hate the coffee tables, it does look too new, mess it up a little, then
    we can imagine you all sitting around having a jolly good chinwag, from a radio 4 devotee C.Cook from
    good old Somerset..........................

  9. At 04:16 PM on 05 Dec 2007, Bernie R wrote:

    I do hope we'll have an opportunity this evening to listen to the marvellous Stephen Green in relation to his thoroughly deserved and most welcome defeat in his deluded blasphemy case against the Beeb.

    It's heartwarming to see people like him putting in so much effort to make Christians of all denominations look like idiots.

  10. At 04:28 PM on 05 Dec 2007, Snowstorm K wrote:

    Any chance somebody could correct the caption to the Glass Box,

    “In the PM office we meet EVERY night after the programme in this Glass Box:”

    cos it’s driving me nuts !

  11. At 04:34 PM on 05 Dec 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    Christopher (6)

    It might seem very nice and convenient to have an abortion in your doctor's surgery, but I can imagine a woman thinking in later years something like, "I had a baby terminated there. It makes me feel queasy to think of going to see my doctor again in that place."

  12. At 04:44 PM on 05 Dec 2007, Fifi wrote:

    Eddie (7): I have been receiving double newsletters ever since I realised that everyone but me was receiving them again. So, I re-registered as if I were a new subscriber.

    Lo and behold, two servings a day!

    So, I'm wondering why I received ONLY 2 newsletters today. Where's the other two?

    ;o) Fifi

  13. At 05:14 PM on 05 Dec 2007, Eloise Twisk (edited Weds PM) wrote:

    It was me, I confess to sendng the newsletter twice. Sorry for clogging up people's in boxes. I forgot I'd just sent it. Eloise

  14. At 05:17 PM on 05 Dec 2007, Angie Brown wrote:

    Re. Snowstorm K (10):

    Well, I DID point it out also, yesterday, but it seems they DON'T read our comments. It looks so tacky/amateurish, doesn't it?!

  15. At 05:19 PM on 05 Dec 2007, Stephen KING wrote:

    I missed what foo0l wants immigrants to take an English test, but i was bom in Lodon, have lived in Paris 25 years and Spain for 3 - no-one forced ME to take tests in either country.
    Only when I enrolled for a Master's degree, did I need French before enrolling

  16. At 05:26 PM on 05 Dec 2007, Eloise Twisk (edited Weds PM) wrote:

    It was me I confess to sending the newsletter twice. Sorry for clogging up people's in-boxes. I forgot I'd just sent it. Eloise

  17. At 05:29 PM on 05 Dec 2007, JimmyGiro wrote:

    Well if we have 40% lower crime rates (compared to ?), then an increase in prisoners suggests the 'Ministry of Love' is working overtime.

    I want a new government, can we genetically revive Harold Wilson?

  18. At 05:38 PM on 05 Dec 2007, hil wrote:

    If you had to wait for a GP appointment for your abortion you could be 9 months pregnant!
    And what about getting past the receptionist?

  19. At 05:46 PM on 05 Dec 2007, Mark Mc Nally wrote:


    I'm a big fan of the programme and your self. However, I agree with the Conservative MP that you approached the Abortion in GP Surgeries item from an incorrect angle.The first speaker (two abortions!!) was handled very sensitively and was given ample opportunity to promote the extension of this practice. Fortunately, the MP corrected the convenient consensus that you seemed be complying with and presented a more stark/realistic view of this practice. Quite frankly, the majority of the population are being coerced into accepting a convenient view of a serious moral question. In summary your handling of the first interviewee gave the impressionn of a convenient consesus between the two of you.

  20. At 05:47 PM on 05 Dec 2007, katie o wrote:

    Re: the termination in GP surgeries discussion

    I appreciate that this issue is a difficult one for many people. However we do need to think about the reality of life. Whilst older women who know how the NHS works or who can afford private care may have the maturity to consider their options more widely this often does not apply to teenagers, especially those who have not had the forsight to practise protective sex. They may well require a number of different approaches to help them cope, either with a baby or with a termination, whichever path they choose to take. If they do require termination, some may prefer to consult with their family GP, others with their local clinic and others with their local charitable termination provider. Please do not condemn these girls - remember instead what it was like to be 15 or 16 or 17, with a body full of hormones.

  21. At 05:53 PM on 05 Dec 2007, Lilian Gill wrote:

    re the abortion debate, I am concerned that more should go through the clinics mentioned by your first speaker where counselling was available.
    The Morning After Pill has already become freely available without any medical input or counselling and yet we do not know the long term affects of its use without supervision.
    The MP made a good point that handing out medicine that would leave someone to have an abortion at home alone is not helpful for anyone of any age.I feel that this whole prceess needs a seven day cooling off period to allow the mother to fully absorb all the implications and recieve counselling.
    Before a person has fully come to terms with being pregnant, they have the effects on an abortion as well.
    There is evidence that abortions seriously affect the emotional and physical health of the mother so the argument that no one is not harmed does not stand. (apart from the child - why not let them live to be adopted and loved?)

  22. At 05:53 PM on 05 Dec 2007, Steve Johnson wrote:


    Rotherham AND Dolly Parton - surely that town ain't big enough for the both of 'em.

    Steve J

  23. At 05:57 PM on 05 Dec 2007, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Eloise (13 & 16):

    Bwahahahah! You did that deliberately, admit it! :o)

    I'm amazed to hear about a computer scientist who actually gets kissed! I shall have to hie me to France immediately!

    (Or I could just stop using the word "hie"... that would probably help.)

  24. At 06:13 PM on 05 Dec 2007, orange pekoe wrote:

    Hardly heard any of the programme tonight, but loved the "did she have a canoe?" question!

  25. At 06:15 PM on 05 Dec 2007, Stephen Ford wrote:

    The Glass House isn't kind to people trapped in the corner as they have to get up to pick up/put down their coffee-cups. I'd suggest they pass their cups to the person next to them and ask them to place the cups on the table, or get the cups for them, whatever. Pretty soon, there will be soft-cornered triangular table substitutes which will be more effective in that space.

  26. At 06:54 PM on 05 Dec 2007, Blog Moniker Supervisor wrote:

    FreeThinkingLiberal (25) - Are you sure you are?

  27. At 06:55 PM on 05 Dec 2007, FreeThinkingLiberal wrote:

    On abortion.

    Women who ask their doctor for an abortion include the category of women who have considered (either alone or with a friend, their doctor, the father, etc.) the prospect of bringing a child into the world, and they have then decided that it would not be prudent. Some may find this logical process tantamount to pre-meditated and cold-blooded murder, others may regard it as reasonable to a degree. Either way, it may be argued that continuing with pregnancy was at the very least given due consideration, and it seems to imply that the well-being of the child was part of that consideration.

    Compare this with the socially disadvantaged sectors of society who seem to revel in collecting babies. Abortion is not on their radar. If only young, ignorant, uneducated, impoverished and often homeless girls could give abortion the same due consideration. Children born under these circumstances don’t stand a chance in hell of getting a decent life.

    Class-distinction pops up in this debate, as it does in most discussions surrounding the social ills of our land. Let there be no doubt that war pigs will continue to harvest the young of our socially disadvantaged. If you need proof, just look at the recent no-brainer recruitment drive for squaddies.

  28. At 07:44 PM on 05 Dec 2007, Blog Moniker Supervisor wrote:

    Wow! - he's back with another view at (27). Will this one be allowed to stay?

  29. At 08:03 PM on 05 Dec 2007, Frances O wrote:

    People in glass boxes shouldn't stow thrones.

    Glad you haven't got any hidden away in there, Eddie and Eloise

    PS: Can I call you Eloise Twice-k?


  30. At 08:14 PM on 05 Dec 2007, Gossipmistress wrote:

    Does Mrs Darwin have a canoe indeed. Hahahahaha!!! You are naughty Eddie!!

  31. At 12:51 AM on 06 Dec 2007, Dr Hackenbush wrote:

    Do tell if I am the only person getting the newsletters two or three days late. If I got one on Wednesday, it was from last Friday...

  32. At 02:21 AM on 06 Dec 2007, Bored from London wrote:

    I am not taking the blame for the double send. But perhaps someone will in this space later....

  33. At 11:14 AM on 06 Dec 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    Gossipmistress (30) Hear, hear!

  34. At 11:58 AM on 06 Dec 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    Gossipmistress (30) Hear, hear!

    And I do believe I've been 502'd

    And again

    And again.

  35. At 12:09 PM on 06 Dec 2007, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    Gossipmistress (30) Hear, hear!

    And I do believe I've been 502'd.

    And again.

    And again.

    And again.

  36. At 05:53 PM on 06 Dec 2007, mac wrote:

    26, 28

    I found part of 27 downright unpleasant but some of it genuinely challenging.

    What happened to the original 25 then?

    Doesn't this highlight again the problem with a few bloggers complqining about a post?

    How can the poster appeal? How can those who read it and moved on or arrived too late to read it in the first place and idin't want it removed express a view?

    Isn't this justice by private treaty and dictat, Rupert?

  37. At 10:55 PM on 06 Dec 2007, Blog Moniker Supervisor wrote:

    Cor! Mac I thought he sounded as lucid as you!

  38. At 01:32 PM on 08 Dec 2007, FreeThinkingLiberal wrote:

    Who's the creep behind the mask "Blog Moniker Supervisor"? Puerile one-liners, is that all you're made of?

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