Archives for January 2009

Bill Frindall has died. He was 69.

Eddie Mair | 15:49 UK time, Friday, 30 January 2009

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The cricket scorer and statistician, Bill Frindall, has died . A stalwart of the Test Match Special team, he also wrote books on cricket records and contributed to Wisden. Our Sport Correspondent, Kevin Gearey, looks back at his unique contribution to the sport he loved:

Read the rest of this entry

Which objects sum up Britain..and why? Broadcasting House's Paddy wonders...

Eddie Mair | 14:27 UK time, Friday, 30 January 2009

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Paddy writes: "We've read that Radio Four is to launch a series telling the history of the world through one hundred objects in the British Museum. BH this Sunday wants to steal the idea. Here are some suggestions of people who take the BH newsletter....

The Statue to Lord Grey - architect of the Great Reform Bill 1832 - in Grey Street Newcastle. From David Turner.

How about Nelson's Uniform in Greenwich. From Simon Dancer.

My ex-wife used to work at the British museum. Now she's history. From Dave.

The advanced passenger train. Remember that? From Andy McDougall

Please do include the bicycle. From Ann Robson.

Postage stamp. From Alan Gaskell.

Homemade marmelade. From Betsy Barker."

You heard the man - what object do YOU think sums up Britain, and why? Click on comments!

In PM tonight - Robert Peston in Davos.

Eddie Mair | 11:35 UK time, Friday, 30 January 2009

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Robert's blog is here.

1225 CORRECTION:

Sorry. Davros/Davos mix-up. Here is the correct photo to go with tonight's item:

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The Glass Box for Friday.

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Eddie Mair | 10:46 UK time, Friday, 30 January 2009

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glassa.jpgThis is the Glass Box the PM team meets in at 18.00 every weeknight to discuss the content of the programme.

We try to be honest with each other, but not hurtful, as we talk about what worked and what didn't...what met our expectations and what fell short.

This virtual glass box is where you're encouraged to take part in the same spirit. The editor of the day, Roger Sawyer and his deputy Steven Wright (no relation), will read your comments and may well add their own.

The changing weather.

Eddie Mair | 10:18 UK time, Friday, 30 January 2009

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They're changing the online weather. We might talk about it tonight on the programme.

Got news about you?

Eddie Mair | 08:43 UK time, Friday, 30 January 2009

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If so, send it, in one sentence please, to ipm@bbc.co.uk...and you could be in tomorrow morning's Your News.

Previous examples include:

"I'm finding life really tough at the moment trying to juggle a job, voluntary community work and the tireless battle to get elected as a politician."

"I watched the final (inauguration) episode of 'The West Wing' on DVD: even better than the real thing."

"I have just taken a day out from privately publishing a book of memoirs about West Africa to see at last one of my personal musical icons of my early twenties, Judy Collins, in concert in London - to see her performing live after 40 years with her glorious voice still intact, now I can die a happy man!"

"It's raspberry pink & cream with a Victoria Bekham style neckline and I'm absolutely chuffed with it."

The Beach.

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Eddie Mair | 05:39 UK time, Friday, 30 January 2009

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Everyone should have a Beach to go to, chill out, meet their friends and relax.
In other words it's the off-topic area of the Blog, renewed every week on a Friday, to keep it to a manageable length. Bad attitudes not welcome. No bridges for Trolls to hide under. Just warm sun, sand and virtual sangria. Plus the odd (make that very odd) camel wandering around.

'

Eddie Mair | 16:53 UK time, Thursday, 29 January 2009

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What do you think?

FRIDAY UPDATE: The Times reports the story here.

The Glass Box for Thursday.

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Eddie Mair | 16:27 UK time, Thursday, 29 January 2009

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glassa.jpgThis is the Glass Box the PM team meets in at 18.00 every weeknight to discuss the content of the programme.

We try to be honest with each other, but not hurtful, as we talk about what worked and what didn't...what met our expectations and what fell short.

This virtual glass box is where you're encouraged to take part in the same spirit. The editor of the day, Eloise Twisk and her deputy Sarah Wadeson, will read your comments and may well add their own.

OPEN BLOG SPECIAL! TELL US WHY YOU BLOG!

Eddie Mair | 15:30 UK time, Thursday, 29 January 2009

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After almost no consideration (and a shocking lack of attempts at bribing me) I have chosen this from the many emails we received - from Suzanne Willis. Thanks to everyone who emailed. Suzanne writes:

"Tell us, why do YOU Blog..?

We'd love to know. What are your Blogging habits? Do you, for example Blog on more than one site?

Do you comment on "Posts" of particular interest, or on all "Posts"? Do you care about any comments your Blogs attract?

Do you consider yourself addicted to Blogging?

Oh, and in case of a Police enquiry, just how many aliases are you known by..?"

Digital Britain

Eddie Mair | 12:41 UK time, Thursday, 29 January 2009

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digital.JPGwill feature on the programme tonight. You can read the full report here.

As you can readily see,

Eddie Mair | 12:29 UK time, Thursday, 29 January 2009

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I haven't posted a single thing on the Blog so far today.

This is not because I have decided to do 25% less. It's because I don't have anything to say at the moment. And as I said way back at the start of the blog, I'll try not to write if I've nothing to say. I realise there are thousands of my posts which most juries would agree prove the opposite, but that's not the point.

The point is this. I'm inviting YOU to be a special guest poster.

You choose the topic, you write the words and I'll put it up here in its own posting on your behalf.

I can only choose one person's suggestion, and my decision is final. And of course I can be bribed.

Just email your suggested post to: pm@bbc.co.uk, putting BLOG in the subject line.

Mixed-sex wards.

Eddie Mair | 17:00 UK time, Wednesday, 28 January 2009

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England's health secretary Alan Johnson has announced that hospitals that continue to treat patients in mixed-sex accommodation will not be paid for their care. There's more on the story here .

I'm wondering what your experience of this is...as a patient or a health professional. Please leave a comment by clicking Comments.

The Glass Box for Wednesday.

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Eddie Mair | 16:55 UK time, Wednesday, 28 January 2009

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glassa.jpgThis is the Glass Box the PM team meets in at 18.00 every weeknight to discuss the content of the programme.

We try to be honest with each other, but not hurtful, as we talk about what worked and what didn't...what met our expectations and what fell short.

This virtual glass box is where you're encouraged to take part in the same spirit. The editor of the day, Eloise Twisk and her deputy Briony Harris, will read your comments and may well add their own.

If the BBC would just cheer up the recession might not be so bad.....discuss.

Eddie Mair | 10:37 UK time, Wednesday, 28 January 2009

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Our political correspondent Paul Rowley writes

"An MP is criticising the BBC's coverage of the recession, accusing the corporation of "dramatising, accentuating and underlining" Britain's economic woes. The Liberal Democrats Treasury spokesman John Pugh has tabled a Commons motion, warning that the "confidence, jobs and livelihoods of real people" are affected by the way events are covered. He's calling for academic research into the reporting of the downturn, and its effect on what he calls "the fragile psychology of the City"."

We'll speak to Mr Pugh about Mr Pugh's comments on the programme tonight. What do YOU think?

If you want to read his motion, click the link below

Read the rest of this entry

Zoo update: Chimp.

Eddie Mair | 10:09 UK time, Wednesday, 28 January 2009

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Karen Howlett emails: "Not a Chester chimp but very cute nevertheless. This is a baby picture hence the fact that her ears look like satellite dishes.

My renewal came through for her and my penguin just after Christmas and it did make me wonder how the downturn has affected sponsorships of animals in zoos and rescue centres. It is seen as something of an eccentricity by my friends and colleagues - I've visited Eddi at Monkey World twice but never seen my penguin at Living Coasts. I didn't hesitate to renew this year despite all the financial doom and gloom."

We're talking about the standards of social care in England tonight.

Eddie Mair | 16:56 UK time, Tuesday, 27 January 2009

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This is the report that got us started.

The Glass Box for Tuesday.

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Eddie Mair | 16:55 UK time, Tuesday, 27 January 2009

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glassa.jpgThis is the Glass Box the PM team meets in at 18.00 every weeknight to discuss the content of the programme.

We try to be honest with each other, but not hurtful, as we talk about what worked and what didn't...what met our expectations and what fell short.

This virtual glass box is where you're encouraged to take part in the same spirit. The editor of the day, Amanda Lewis and her deputy Mark Frankel, will read your comments and may well add their own.

Zoos.

Eddie Mair | 12:38 UK time, Tuesday, 27 January 2009

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Can they be good? We're talking about this new project in the programme tonight. In the meantime I'm off to look for a cute photo to illustrate this post.

1245 UPDATE. Found one. It's a gazelle.

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Cancer. Share what you know....

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Eddie Mair | 17:00 UK time, Monday, 26 January 2009

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...by clicking HERE please.

Nils Blythe writes for the Blog:

Eddie Mair | 16:55 UK time, Monday, 26 January 2009

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When businesses run into trouble there is a surprisingly wide range of responses from government. If it's a bank, it gets rescued with taxpayers money. If it's a retailer, there's not the faintest chance of it being bailed out, even if like Woolworths it has around 30,000 employees. But steel makers and car companies occupy an uneasy middle ground. The main argument for treating them differently to retailers, is that they are major exporters. Britain has had an annual trade deficit for years. During the long credit boom that was often brushed aside, as foreign money flowed into Britain and helped us pay for all those nice imported goods. Now, boosting exports will have to be a priority. And manufacturing - although a small part of the economy - still produces goods we can sell abroad. The steel company, Corus, is asking the British government to do what the Dutch do and help pay the wages of temporarily laid off workers. The car companies want help with providing loans for would-be car buyers. And there will certainly be other calls for help in the coming months. And the picture is complicated because many of the big manufacturing companies in Britain are foreign owned. For example - both Corus and Jaguar Land Rover belong to the same Indian-based group. But the arguments for maintaining a manufacturing base in Britain are strong. Even if it's all very hard on redundant shopworkers.

The Glass Box for Monday.

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Eddie Mair | 16:45 UK time, Monday, 26 January 2009

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glassa.jpgThis is the Glass Box the PM team meets in at 18.00 every weeknight to discuss the content of the programme.

We try to be honest with each other, but not hurtful, as we talk about what worked and what didn't...what met our expectations and what fell short.

This virtual glass box is where you're encouraged to take part in the same spirit. The editor of the day, Roger Sawyer and his deputy Mark Frankel, will read your comments and may well add their own.

The BBC and the DEC.

Eddie Mair | 10:30 UK time, Monday, 26 January 2009

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What do you think? Sky has declined to show the appeal, but other broadcasters will.

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The BBC DG Mark Thompson has sent the following email to everyone in the BBC:

"Dear all

I am writing to you to explain some of the background to our decision not to broadcast an appeal by the Disasters Emergency Committee about the humanitarian problems in Gaza. It's a decision which is being widely debated outside the BBC and I know will be of interest to many of you as well.

Read the rest of this entry

Burns' Day....and a poem arrives.

Eddie Mair | 06:00 UK time, Sunday, 25 January 2009

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One Wee Scottish Farty (Tae A Fart)


Oh what a sleekit horrible beastie,
Lurks in yer bellie efter a feastie,
Just as ye sit doon among yer kin
There starts to stir an enormous wind.

The neeps and tatties and mushy peas
Start working like a gentle breeze
But soon the pudding wi' the sauncie face
Will hae ye blawin' a' ower the place

Nae matter whit the hell ye dae
a'body's gonnae hae tae pay
Even if ye try tae stifle
it's like a bullet oot a rifle

Hawd yer bum ticht tae the chair
Tae try tae stop the leakin' air
Shift yersel fae cheek tae cheek
Pray tae god it disnae reek

But a' the efforts go asunder
Oot it comes like a clap o' thunder
Ricochets arrond the room
Michty me! a sonic boom

God almighty it fairly reeks
A' hope a' huvnae sh*t ma breeks
Tae the bog a' better scurry
Whit the hell, it's no ma worry

A'body roon aboot me choakin'
One or two are nearly boakin'
I'll feel better for a while
Cannae help but raise a smile

It wis him! I shout and glower
Alas too late, he's just keeled ower
Ye dirty bugger! They shout and stare
I'm no that welcome any mair

Where e're ye go let yer wind gang free
That sounds jist the joab fir me
Whit a fuss at Rabbie's party
Ower the sake o' one wee farty

(author unknown)

Nils Blythe writes for the Blog!

Eddie Mair | 17:03 UK time, Friday, 23 January 2009

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nilsaaaa.JPG"Recession - it's official. The 64 trillion dollar question (as we always seem to talk trillions now!) is how long will it last. Of course, I don't know. But one useful thing to do is to look at the lessons of history. According to Capital Economics the average for a post-war recession is 6 quarters or 18 months. The last one, in 1990-92 lasted two years, but by historic standards it was not very deep. The total fall in output from the peak to the trough was 2.5%. The previous recession, from 1979 to 1981 was worse with a fall in output of 6.1 per cent.

But history can only take you so far. Many previous recessions have been the consequences of an inflationary boom. This time we had a nasty bout of inflation last year. But the real cause has been the banking crisis. And to have the banks in such a weak condition at the start of a recession poses many new problems. The other great danger is that this recession has hit almost all the world's most developed economies at more or less the same time. So there is little chance of being pulled out of recession by strong growth elsewhere.

So what shape will the recession have? People often talk about a U-shape, or a V-shape or even an L-shape. The early 1990s was probably a flattened U. Sadly, V's seldom happen because the blow to confidence from the fall is so severe that it does not come back quickly. An L is too pessimistic. Lots of things have gone wrong. Lots of mistakes have been made. But the mistakes can - eventually - be put right. I think the shape might be a bit like a tick from a rather bored teacher marking the homework - a sharp down down followed by a gradual rise.

But as I said hinted at the the beginning, anyone who thinks they know for sure probably does not know very much."

The Glass Box for Friday.

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Eddie Mair | 16:31 UK time, Friday, 23 January 2009

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glassa.jpgThis is the Glass Box the PM team meets in at 18.00 every weeknight to discuss the content of the programme.

We try to be honest with each other, but not hurtful, as we talk about what worked and what didn't...what met our expectations and what fell short.

This virtual glass box is where you're encouraged to take part in the same spirit. The editor of the day, Mark Frankel and his deputy Richard Lawson, will read your comments and may well add their own.

We're in recession: official.

Eddie Mair | 09:30 UK time, Friday, 23 January 2009

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BBC News coverage is here. Nils will have much more in Upshares Downshares at 5.30.

1255 UPDATE: BLOG EXCLUSIVE....NILS WILL BE WRITING FOR THE BLOG. MORE TO COME....

The Burns 250 Beach.

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Eddie Mair | 05:21 UK time, Friday, 23 January 2009

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Oh most beautiful Beach of the programme PM,
Where the Froggers congregate even though you can't see them,
With camels and surf and castles of sand,
As a refuge from woes and seriousness it was planned,
With a bar in memory of a presenter most grand,
And imag'nery sun to get most safely tanned,
Renewed by our host, most every Friday,
Visitor, relax and enjoy, and please keep it tidy.

Beryl Bainbridge and the Liverpool accent.

Eddie Mair | 17:20 UK time, Thursday, 22 January 2009

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What do you think of what she said? If you missed it, click on the play symbol above.

Upshares Downshares: the Gas Graph.

Eddie Mair | 16:44 UK time, Thursday, 22 January 2009

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Graph by Bloomberg. Wholesale gas price (1 month ahead)

"The graph indicates the price that companies like British Gas have been paying for gas over the past year. In January 2008 a unit of gas cost about 55p and the average annual British Gas bill was £568

Then the wholesale price soared to 83p a unit, and British Gas responded by increasing prices by 15% and then 35%

Today gas is back down to 55p a unit - the same as a year ago, but even after today's 10% cut the average bill will still be £794 - some 40% higher than a year ago.

A lot of numbers - but that pretty much sums up the average gas bill."

The Glass Box for Thursday's PM. The programme was edited by Eloise Twisk, and her deputy was Marilyn Rust.

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Eddie Mair | 16:31 UK time, Thursday, 22 January 2009

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glassa.jpgThis is the Glass Box the PM team meets in at 18.00 every weeknight to discuss the content of the programme.

We try to be honest with each other, but not hurtful, as we talk about what worked and what didn't...what met our expectations and what fell short.

This virtual glass box is where you're encouraged to take part in the same spirit. The editor of the day reads your comments and may well add her/his own.

Your best view of the Oscars

Eddie Mair | 13:35 UK time, Thursday, 22 January 2009

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isn't here.

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(This shot was taken from my tv feed of the ceremony that's about to start.)

Maybe it's here.

A listener writes...

Eddie Mair | 13:04 UK time, Thursday, 22 January 2009

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Have you seen Ruby the Rhode Island Red?

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Eddie Mair | 12:22 UK time, Thursday, 22 January 2009

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She's gone missing. That's Jane Sendall's news in one sentence. Jane blames stoats.
Winston Plowes sent his week's news in the form of a haiku....

"On the lonely moors, the wind cuts into my face. Stranded, far from home."

These and other sentences will feature on iPM's "Your News" slot this Saturday. If you want to share your news with Your News, send your news via email - clearly marked 'Your News' - to the Your News team at ipm at bbc.co.uk.

Hugh in America.

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Eddie Mair | 10:25 UK time, Thursday, 22 January 2009

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Hugh sent these last night:

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"Today's papers.


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Newstand special.


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Silent reminder in the snow."

Hugh in America.

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Eddie Mair | 10:15 UK time, Thursday, 22 January 2009

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Hugh sent these on Monday night:

"Hugh went to Washington, but it was full. So he's now in New York, to gather opinions about the 44th President of the USA in the city that was attacked in September 2001:

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Kichelle (4 months) and her mum, Michelle: "I voted for who won".

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He won. Flashback to November 5th.

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Hope is in the air.


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Put out more flags.


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A bus in NYC.


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Stars, stripes and sleep on the Washington Metro.


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Poignant reminder in a Washington shop window. The words spoken by Martin Luther King in Memphis the night before he was assassinated in April 1968.

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Poignant reminder of the main event in the Bush era - the hole in the sky where the twin towers of the World Trade Center used to be.


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Cynical.


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The silence of snow, in New York."

Roberto Alvarez-Galloso

Eddie Mair | 10:10 UK time, Thursday, 22 January 2009

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sent these from Miami....

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The Glass Box.

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Eddie Mair | 16:50 UK time, Wednesday, 21 January 2009

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glassa.jpgThis is the Glass Box the PM team meets in at 18.00 every weeknight to discuss the content of the programme.

We try to be honest with each other, but not hurtful, as we talk about what worked and what didn't...what met our expectations and what fell short.

This virtual glass box is where you're encouraged to take part in the same spirit. The editor of the day reads your comments and may well add her/his own.

No offence...

Sequin | 09:46 UK time, Wednesday, 21 January 2009

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To those of you sweet enough to confess that you watched TV rather than listening to PM last night - honestly, no offence. Don't know what Eddie will have to say when he comes back tomorrow though.....

Anyway, yes, we did have one nerve-wracking moment when the timings in Washington slipped in the run up to the oath - but we managed to get back to it just in time to hear it in full.

What do you think is going through Obama's mind this morning? I guess Michelle Obama won't face a "Cherie Blair moment" having to answer the front door with just-slept-in-hair to a flower deliverer. Shame.

The Glass Box.

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Eddie Mair | 16:00 UK time, Tuesday, 20 January 2009

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glassa.jpgThis is the Glass Box the PM team meets in at 18.00 every weeknight to discuss the content of the programme.

We try to be honest with each other, but not hurtful, as we talk about what worked and what didn't...what met our expectations and what fell short.

This virtual glass box is where you're encouraged to take part in the same spirit. The editor of the day reads your comments and may well add her/his own.

If you gotta go.....

Sequin | 11:48 UK time, Tuesday, 20 January 2009

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What happens during the handover from Bush to Obama? I've just read this interesting piece on the BBC site - thought you might like to see it....

FDR

Sequin | 10:51 UK time, Tuesday, 20 January 2009

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Ian Buchanan writes:

If you haven't already done so, you should read all of Franklin D. Roosevelt's Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933 "Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself". Click on the photo to be taken to the speech.

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Dreams, audacity, hope, despair...

Sequin | 09:28 UK time, Tuesday, 20 January 2009

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Morning,

And hello from me, filling in while Ed's away for two days.

Get the popcorn and hot chocolate out - it's going to be quite a programme. Couldn't be better. Not only does the precise point of inauguration and Obama's speech come at 5pm - but we'll also be on air from 4.30pm with Jim Naughtie in Washington and Hugh Sykes in New York.

What's the despair you may ask? We'll be getting the view from the Republicans, many of them leaving town today to lick their wounds, as they set about reassessing the future for the Right.

Obama says he never sweats. Do you think he will today?

cq

From Miami, regular blogger Roberto Carlos Alvarez-Galloso sends these:

Eddie Mair | 06:00 UK time, Tuesday, 20 January 2009

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Eating Giraffe.

Eddie Mair | 17:05 UK time, Monday, 19 January 2009

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Hugh Fearnley-Wittingstall talks about eating giraffe on PM tonight...and in this Daily Mail article.

What do you think?

The Glass Box.

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Eddie Mair | 16:45 UK time, Monday, 19 January 2009

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glassa.jpgThis is the Glass Box the PM team meets in at 18.00 every weeknight to discuss the content of the programme.

We try to be honest with each other, but not hurtful, as we talk about what worked and what didn't...what met our expectations and what fell short.

This virtual glass box is where you're encouraged to take part in the same spirit. The editor of the day reads your comments and may well add her/his own.

Just confirmed for tonight's programme...

Eddie Mair | 15:19 UK time, Monday, 19 January 2009

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Mr Clarke appears in this paper, from one of the leading academics on political dissent, Philip Cowley.

Oi! You! Thief! Yes you! THIEF! THIEF!

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Eddie Mair | 14:28 UK time, Monday, 19 January 2009

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Click HERE.

(Obviously if you are not a thief please do not click on the link).

The global financial meltdowncrisisdownturncrisis crisis.

Eddie Mair | 11:42 UK time, Monday, 19 January 2009

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Nils is with us every night at 5.30 making sense of the downturn/meltdown/recession.

But even Nils can't make everything clear in the time we give him.

Do you have a nagging question about the whole sorry mess? Where all the money is coming from...how it started?

If there's a question YOU would like answered, Nils will try to answer it on PM tonight in an Upshares Downshares special. It won't be about personal finance - we hope to look at the global banking crisis...how it came about...causes...effects...solutions. If parts of it have left you flummoxed, then we'll try to help on tonight's PM.

You can post your question on the blog by clicking Comments...or send an email to pm@bbc.co.uk...please put NILS in the subject line.

The BBC News online meltdowncrisisdownturncrisisrecession coverage is here

How the plane went down in the Hudson....

Eddie Mair | 06:09 UK time, Sunday, 18 January 2009

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...from today's New York Times.

The Hudson features on our programme tonight. Subtly, in the Upshares theme, and more directly in our lead story. But would you also consider these words from Paddy O'Connell?

Eddie Mair | 16:49 UK time, Friday, 16 January 2009

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"As PM goes to air, they'll be finishing their News Conference on the New York plane crash. There's everything miraculous about it, and something awesome in the skill and bravery of the humans fighting an ailing machine. You know that people will have said "have you heard about the plane crash in New York ..." open-mouthed at the details. But I wondered if there's space on the blog to chalk up a word for the river itself?

There's a spot on the banks of the Hudson where you can see where the Titanic survivors eventually reached dry land. They were taken to the St Vincent's hospital a few blocks away. On the morning of 9/11, medics stood in the street appealing for public blood donations, as emergency vehicles headed downtown. So it's worth taking a moment to linger longer at the banks.

The passengers landed upstream of the totems of America. The Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island, all a short ferry ride from Wall Street and the World Trade Centre. The plane ditched somewhere off W48th street, and it seems that in a city that was expecting the worse a sense of relief just swept over people. Named after an Englishman, its native American name also means "the river that flows both ways." It also earned the name America's Rhine.

The plane hit the water miles downstream of West Point, and of FDR's mansion. He's meant to have said, "All that is within me cries out to go back to my home on the Hudson river."

So this long rant might not be news to readers of your blog, but would you agree that this news of the plane and its deliverance on the Hudson proves why the history of a city is something best told by its river?"

The Glass Box.

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Eddie Mair | 16:45 UK time, Friday, 16 January 2009

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glassa.jpgThis is the Glass Box the PM team meets in at 18.00 every weeknight to discuss the content of the programme.

We try to be honest with each other, but not hurtful, as we talk about what worked and what didn't...what met our expectations and what fell short.

This virtual glass box is where you're encouraged to take part in the same spirit. The editor of the day reads your comments and may well add her/his own.

From the obituary of Ricardo Montalban

Eddie Mair | 14:47 UK time, Friday, 16 January 2009

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in The Guardian...

"In 1980, Montalban wrote an autobiography, Reflections: A Life in Two Worlds, justifiably claiming to have bridged the gap between the Hispanic world and Hollywood. He also became known for a witty anecdote, his five stages of Hollywood: 1 Who is Ricardo Montalban?; 2 Get me Ricardo Montalban; 3 Get me a Ricardo Montalban type; 4 Get me a young Ricardo Montalban; 5 Who is Ricardo Montalban?"

You can read the full piece by Ronald Bergan here.

In the event of an emergency on board this flight

Eddie Mair | 13:00 UK time, Friday, 16 January 2009

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click HERE.

John Mortimer has died.

Eddie Mair | 12:03 UK time, Friday, 16 January 2009

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"The playwright and novelist John Mortimer has died peacefully this morning (05.30) after a long illness. Members of his family were with him. He was 85.

For more than thirty years he combined writing with his work as a barrister. He famously appeared for the defence in the trials on charges of obscenity of "Lady Chatterley's Lover". His most famous literary creation was Rumpole of the Bailey. He also adapted his own best-selling novel "Summer's Lease" for television and wrote screenplays for "Brideshead Revisited" and "I Claudius".

Alison Hindell, Head of BBC Radio Drama said: "It's a great loss for the huge circle of his admirers, fans and friends who will always carry Rumpole and the other wonderful works he wrote, in their hearts." "

There's BBC News coverage here .

The Beach.

Post categories:

Eddie Mair | 05:21 UK time, Friday, 16 January 2009

Comments

Welcome to the Beach. The off topic place for froggers and peeps to be frivolous, have fun or just to chill out.

The weather is always perfect, the sea is never cold and the breeze always warm and gentle, ideal for blowing away the woes of RL and flying kites.

The company is always engaging and there is usually a something going on at 'The Nick Clarke' bar where tipples and nibbles can also be had. There are hammocks to laze in, a dog walking area and even a naughty step for those that want to self administer mild punishment!

Whether it is a herd of camels wandering by, parties or semi organised beach games and activities there is always something to watch or join in with, so why not come and join us?

All we ask is that you be nice to everyone.

The Glass Box.

Post categories:

Eddie Mair | 16:48 UK time, Thursday, 15 January 2009

Comments

glassa.jpgThis is the Glass Box the PM team meets in at 18.00 every weeknight to discuss the content of the programme.

We try to be honest with each other, but not hurtful, as we talk about what worked and what didn't...what met our expectations and what fell short.

This virtual glass box is where you're encouraged to take part in the same spirit. The editor of the day reads your comments and may well add her/his own.

Heathrow is to get a third runway...if the government gets its way.

Eddie Mair | 12:37 UK time, Thursday, 15 January 2009

Comments

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Jack and Vera yesterday.

BBC News coverage is here. What do you think?

"Dyslexia is a myth"

Eddie Mair | 17:45 UK time, Wednesday, 14 January 2009

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grahamstringer.JPGsays Graham Stringer, the MP for Blackley. Read his thoughts in full here, and feel free to comment below. We plan to talk more about this on the programme tonight.

1410 UPDATE: Mr Stringer is on the phone to us now and we've confirmed him for an interview. What would you like me to ask him?

Look closely at art.

Eddie Mair | 17:40 UK time, Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Comments

Really closely. We're talking about this tonight. The Guardian writes about it here.

Going nuclear.

Eddie Mair | 17:30 UK time, Wednesday, 14 January 2009

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Andrew Bomford writes: "We're running a story tonight, looking ahead to a big court case beginning next Wednesday at the High Court in which hundreds of veterans of the British nuclear tests in Australia and the Pacific in the 1950's and 60's are suing the government for the health effects they believe were caused by exposure to radiation. Many servicemen died at young ages, and others have suffered from a variety of cancers and other illnesses. There is also a high incidence of birth defects in children of those involved. On the programme we're hearing from two veterans. Brian Marshall was on board HMS Diana, which was deliberately sailed into the radioactive fall-out of two nuclear weapons exploded at Monte Bello, off the western coast of Australia in 1956. Barry Underdown was at Christmas Island in 1958, where a number of nuclear tests were carried out.

You can see Brian Marshall above. He's holding a photo of the ship's company of HMS Diana taken at Aden during the Suez crisis, which followed soon after the nuclear tests. Apologies for the poor quality of the photo of the photo of HMS Diana.

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Brian Marshall has also written an unpublished book about his experiences on board HMS Diana. He's kindly given us permission to publish an extract from his book:"

Read the rest of this entry

The Glass Box.

Post categories:

Eddie Mair | 17:21 UK time, Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Comments

glassa.jpgThis is the Glass Box the PM team meets in at 18.00 every weeknight to discuss the content of the programme.

We try to be honest with each other, but not hurtful, as we talk about what worked and what didn't...what met our expectations and what fell short.

This virtual glass box is where you're encouraged to take part in the same spirit. The editor of the day reads your comments and may well add her/his own.

Your life, and James Alexander Gordon.

Eddie Mair | 13:37 UK time, Wednesday, 14 January 2009

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This week, the legendary James Alexander Gordon could be telling the nation what YOU'VE been up to.

Every week on iPM, we ask listeners to send in one sentence of their news. We take the best of them to create Your News...which this week will be read by the great James.

So please send YOUR news in a sentence to ipm@bbc.co.uk.

Oh and if you're wondering what else James is doing for us this Saturday...click here .

The Glass Box.

Post categories:

Eddie Mair | 16:55 UK time, Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Comments

glassa.jpgThis is the Glass Box the PM team meets in at 18.00 every weeknight to discuss the content of the programme.

We try to be honest with each other, but not hurtful, as we talk about what worked and what didn't...what met our expectations and what fell short.

This virtual glass box is where you're encouraged to take part in the same spirit. The editor of the day reads your comments and may well add her/his own.

The Apprentice. Ever been one?

Post categories:

Eddie Mair | 13:53 UK time, Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Comments

apprentice.JPG

No, not this lot: HERE.

Gosh

Eddie Mair | 10:56 UK time, Tuesday, 13 January 2009

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...and there's a word I don't use much...the emails during and after last night's programme have taken a very long time to get through.

Fiona leads the team tonight...Sarah is on her right hand. Well, she is as I look at them.

We may do a piece on how, for some of our listeners, the end of last night;s show didn't happen.

The Glass Box.

Post categories:

Eddie Mair | 16:45 UK time, Monday, 12 January 2009

Comments

glasse.jpg

Above is the Glass Box the PM team meets in at 18.00 every weeknight to discuss the content of the programme.

We try to be honest with each other, but not hurtful, as we talk about what worked and what didn't...what met our expectations and what fell short.

This virtual glass box is where you're encouraged to take part in the same spirit. The editor of the day reads your comments and may well add her/his own.

Closing Guantanamo Bay...

Post categories:

Eddie Mair | 15:30 UK time, Monday, 12 January 2009

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...not that easy, writes Michael Buchanan:

"On tonight's programme, the extraordinary story of Adel Hakimjan. He's a Chinese Uighir man who has spent much of the past decade travelling the world against his wishes.

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Having fled persecution in China - accused by the authorities of plotting against Chinese rule of his homeland - he was arrested in Pakistan in late 2001 by bounty hunters who handed him to the Americans, claiming he was a foreign terrorist. Having spent 6 months in a detention facility in Afghanistan, he was flown to Guantanamo Bay where he spent almost 4 years. There he was cleared of being a threat to the US - or indeed much of a threat to anyone - but had to remain in custody while a safe haven was found for him. Adel, like all the 22 Uighirs detained at Guantanamo Bay, feared persecution if they returned to China. Eventually Albania said they'd take him but, frightened that the Chinese would "pay someone to harm us without being directly involved itself," he managed to get to Sweden where his sister, Kauser, lives:

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The Swedes have so far refused him permission to stay there but he's appealing and his lawyer is hopeful. But his plight shows that closing Guantanamo Bay will not be as easy as Barack Obama - and indeed most of the world - would like it to be. "

"Our little Paki friend"

Eddie Mair | 13:15 UK time, Monday, 12 January 2009

Comments

In the programme tonight, we'll talk about whether the term Paki is offensive.

There's BBC News coverage of Prince Harry here , and one of our guests tonight, Murad Ahmed is of the view that the word IS offensive, and writes about it in The Times.

Is the term offensive?

The Glass Box.

Post categories:

Eddie Mair | 16:35 UK time, Friday, 9 January 2009

Comments

glasse.jpg

Above is the Glass Box the PM team meets in at 18.00 every weeknight to discuss the content of the programme.

We try to be honest with each other, but not hurtful, as we talk about what worked and what didn't...what met our expectations and what fell short.

This virtual glass box is where you're encouraged to take part in the same spirit. The editor of the day reads your comments and may well add her/his own.

The Beach.

Post categories:

Eddie Mair | 05:57 UK time, Friday, 9 January 2009

Comments

New to the PM Blog? Wondering what on earth a beach is doing here?

"The PM Blog Beach is whatever you want it to be - a place to hang out with other bloggers, and be completely off topic. Over time it has developed its own identity, complete with camels, sand dunes, and a permanently stocked bar, but fundamentally it is a place to relax and have fun."

The Glass Box.

Post categories:

Eddie Mair | 16:45 UK time, Thursday, 8 January 2009

Comments

glasse.jpg

Above is the Glass Box the PM team meets in at 18.00 every weeknight to discuss the content of the programme.

We try to be honest with each other, but not hurtful, as we talk about what worked and what didn't...what met our expectations and what fell short.

This virtual glass box is where you're encouraged to take part in the same spirit. The editor of the day reads your comments and may well add her/his own.

Light bulbs!

Eddie Mair | 10:26 UK time, Thursday, 8 January 2009

Comments

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Blog gremlins prevented me from posting this last night. So if there's something you want to say in the light of our debate - let rip by clicking Comments.

Autism.

Eddie Mair | 10:02 UK time, Thursday, 8 January 2009

Comments

We heard in the programme last night from Charlotte Moore.

If you have a comment, please click on Comments.

The Bush Years.

Eddie Mair | 09:39 UK time, Thursday, 8 January 2009

Comments

georgebush.JPG

After our piece last night about the Five Presidents' meeting, this Oliver Burkeman piece in the Guardian has some choice quotes on the Bush era..

Here is a different look back.

And now

Eddie Mair | 04:52 UK time, Thursday, 8 January 2009

Comments

the weather, with Liam Dutton.

Among the calls to the Log about last night's programme:

Eddie Mair | 10:34 UK time, Wednesday, 7 January 2009

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Re. Middle East: Unhappy that a spokesperson from Syria was on the programme. "This is an anti-Israeli propaganda. We don't want to hear from them. It's not acceptable."


Re. Middle East: Felt the report on PM was pro-Israeli. "The BBC does not hear
and understand the other point of view."

Not at all sure

Eddie Mair | 10:29 UK time, Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Comments

whether this blog (and others) are still sick. We don't really get told anything. I imagine if the radio transmitters went off someone would call, but the Blog has been bloggered for days and we sit in blissful ignorance.

We have called of course, and they "are aware".

So sorry I haven't posted much of late. If it shows itself to be working we'll give it a go, shall we?

This trumpet

Post categories:

Eddie Mair | 17:00 UK time, Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Comments

...features on the programme tonight.

trumpet1.JPG

Nigel Wrench writes:
"On a shelf at Denstone College in Staffordshire, belonging to a member of the National Youth Orchestra, there to rehearse with the Russian conductor Semyon Bychkov. The Orchestra has taken over the neo-gothic boarding school for a week. There are tell-tale signs.

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Mr Bychkov didn't want to be photographed. He did show me ("No-one else has seen this") his copy of the score of Luciano Berio's Sinfonia (1968), which you can hear parts of on PM this evening, as rehearsed by the young musicians.

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Signed, and playfully dedicated by Berio, who became a close friend, as Mr Bychkov told the orchestra after their rehearsal.

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The school was considered, it's said, as a setting for the Harry Potter films. Here's another (cold) snap."

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The Glass Box.

Post categories:

Eddie Mair | 16:50 UK time, Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Comments

glasse.jpg

Above is the Glass Box the PM team meets in at 18.00 every weeknight to discuss the content of the programme.

We try to be honest with each other, but not hurtful, as we talk about what worked and what didn't...what met our expectations and what fell short.

This virtual glass box is where you're encouraged to take part in the same spirit. The editor of the day reads your comments and may well add her/his own.

Testing

Eddie Mair | 13:25 UK time, Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Comments

testing

It's SO cold....

Eddie Mair | 11:59 UK time, Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Comments

...that we're asking you to finish that sentence for us.

For example: It's so cold....people are turning up PM just to get more of the hot air.

It's so cold...Gordon Brown and David Cameron are hugging each other just for the warmth.

It's so cold...Iceland branches have opened all their front doors...
itssocold.JPG

Stand by for winter photos direct from Stourhead..

Eddie Mair | 10:59 UK time, Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Comments

Here is the first, from our old friend, Alan Power, who is Head Gardener, Stourhead.

He took and sent them yesterday: "my first day back to work following flu and Christmas." Sorry to hear that Alan, but thank you for the pics.

stourhead1.JPG

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stourhead3.JPG

stourhead4.JPG

The Glass Box.

Post categories:

Eddie Mair | 16:50 UK time, Monday, 5 January 2009

Comments

glasse.jpg

Above is the Glass Box the PM team meets in at 18.00 every weeknight to discuss the content of the programme.

We try to be honest with each other, but not hurtful, as we talk about what worked and what didn't...what met our expectations and what fell short.

This virtual glass box is where you're encouraged to take part in the same spirit. The editor of the day reads your comments and may well add her/his own.

(n × r) + (x × h) + (x × t) + ny (h + t) + wz (p - n)

Eddie Mair | 14:18 UK time, Monday, 5 January 2009

Comments

You may well ask.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development is urging bosses to consider the true cost of redundancy before laying off staff during the economic downturn. It says sacking someone can cost more than sixteen thousand pounds in redundancy payouts and recruiting a replacement when business improves. I've just recorded an interview with the CIPD's chief economist John Philpott which you can hear tonight. Here's the information you need:

n = number of people made redundant

r = redundancy payments

x = number of people subsequently hired

h = hiring costs

y = percentage quitting post redundancy

t = induction/training cost

y = percentage quitting post redundancy

w= average monthly staff salary

z = percentage reduction in output per worker caused by lower morale

p = number of people employed prior to redundancies ....

....all of

Tomorrow at 5.30:

Eddie Mair | 17:48 UK time, Friday, 2 January 2009

Comments

iPM and the iPM New Year's Honours.

Join us if you can.

The Glass Box.

Post categories:

Eddie Mair | 16:50 UK time, Friday, 2 January 2009

Comments

glassbox.jpg

Above is a Glass Box with a hen inside, sitting next to Brian Cant, in 1974.

It's got almost nothing to do with the Glass Box the PM team meets in at 18.00 every weeknight to discuss the content of the programme.

We try to be honest with each other, but not hurtful, as we talk about what worked and what didn't...what met our expectations and what fell short.

This virtual glass box is where you're encouraged to take part in the same spirit. The editor of the day reads your comments and may well add her/his own. Please do not allow hens into this virtual glass box.

Doctor Who news!

Eddie Mair | 15:45 UK time, Friday, 2 January 2009

Comments

tardis.JPG

Shaun Ley will join us on the programme tonight to talk about this:

"The BBC has confirmed it will reveal the identity of the Eleventh Doctor as part of a special edition of Doctor Who Confidential to be aired on BBC ONE tomorrow, Saturday January 3rd at 17.35hrs.

With a new creative team in place for the new series led by Executive Producers Steven Moffat and Piers Wenger, the casting of the new Doctor was job number one to be completed before scripts could be finalised and shooting could begin in summer 2009.

In the Doctor Who special, to be aired tomorrow at 17.35hrs, the actor playing the new Doctor will be giving his or her initial reaction to being the new, eleventh incarnation of one of television's most loved characters.

Head Of Drama BBC Wales Piers Wenger said "We are so pleased to have been able to cast this person as the new Doctor. We believe the actor is going to bring something very special to the role and will make it absolutely their own - I just can't wait to tell everyone who it is - it has been a nail biting Christmas trying to keep this under wraps!"."

Black and White.

Post categories:

Eddie Mair | 11:51 UK time, Friday, 2 January 2009

Comments

Michael Buchanan reports on this tonight, and writes for the Blog:

"Forget your plasmas, interactivity, even your remote controls. Instead revel in the pleasure of watching television in black and white. Matthew Stevens is one of only 30,000 people in the UK who have a black and white tv licence.

tv1.JPG

He doesn't watch TV at this angle though he lives in a small flat which is one of the reasons he has this set, which he dug out of his mother's loft. (Doesn't Anne Robinson look even more scary in black and white?) He says the TV makes everything look more classy - even the rubbish. Clearly he's never watched I'm a Celebrity...

Even smaller than Matthew's screen is this one,

tv2.JPG

which belongs to Kirsten Hearn:

tv3.JPG

Its almost invisible in her London flat. And though she says it can be a total pain to have to tune it, Kirsten's perfectly happy with it as she's blind and merely listens to the TV. And being blind she pays only half the £47 licence fee."

(I appreciate this posting may look a little familiar...)

Who's right? Paddy? Or me? There's only one way to find out. FIGHT!

Eddie Mair | 15:33 UK time, Thursday, 1 January 2009

Comments

But since we're civilised people we're going to argue the toss right here on the Blog.

Paddy O' Connell got a parking ticket and he's NOT happy.

He writes here about his experience...and I reply underneath that. Feel free to add YOUR comment when you've read them both.

PADDY WRITES:

"In the middle of December, I got a parking ticket, which I want to dispute. Here in the office, colleagues disagree, telling me to pay up and shut up. Please give your advice on what you'd do a/. As the person who received the ticket and b/. As the person who received a letter from me asking for clemency.

Here are the facts, m'lud:

In December, I rode my motorbike to a London Borough for a BH interview at a primary school. (I wasn't looking for a classroom place.) The street was empty, and I paid for one hour at a pay and display machine. As I left, a teacher remarked if I had time I should take a look at the unusual building next door. When I got there, I found it had a café, and a volunteer who had a few minutes to spare offered to show me around.

I got back to my bike, finding that I'd been ticketed five minutes after the expiration of my ticket. This is my personal responsibility, and not the BBC. But I want to write a letter saying this.

Dear Head of Parking Services:

I was lucky to attend a Primary School in your borough for work. I was meeting teachers and children in your Borough on a pre-arranged meeting as part of my professional duties. On leaving, I was urged to take a look at the unusual church next door. On the spur of the moment I went for a quick look round. By luck a volunteer said although it was closed, he had ten minutes and could give me a quick tour. I also had a cup of coffee. When I emerged, I'd been given a parking ticket.

I don't dispute the vehicle is registered to me, nor that I had over-run the stay. But the ticket was issued in a totally empty street, five minutes after my time had expired.

Will you waive the fine, on the grounds that whilst curiosity killed the cat, it shouldn't to kill the spontaneous urge to see the sights of your Borough. You could also allow greater discretion in the empty streets to allow more time before issuing penalty notices.

Yours faithfully."

EDDIE WRITES:

"If I was the person at the Council I would tell Paddy to get lost. In another Borough. Would it have killed Paddy to feed the meter or move his bike? I'm sure the borough is full of wonderful places but its money from parking meters which will help pay for them. It's annoying, of course, but should the good people of the borough be denied the income that's rightfully there's theirs (!) just because Paddy was being nice and is a borderline national treasure?

I didn't even try to dispute a ticket when I'd accidentally double parked having taken three heavily pregnant women to hospital after I'd spotted them in labour as I was delivering meals on wheels. There's a time and a place, Paddy. I'm SURE the public will side with me."

Stand by for one of the greatest controversial debates of our time.

Eddie Mair | 15:07 UK time, Thursday, 1 January 2009

Comments

Right here, only on the PM blog.

The thing to have on TV with the sound down while PM is on tonight:

Eddie Mair | 12:33 UK time, Thursday, 1 January 2009

Comments

The Spy Who Loved Me. ITV1, 4.25pm.

thenamesroger.jpg

The New Year's Day Glass Box.

Post categories:

Eddie Mair | 12:02 UK time, Thursday, 1 January 2009

Comments

glassbox.jpg

Above is a Glass Box with a hen inside, sitting next to Brian Cant, in 1974.

It's got almost nothing to do with the Glass Box the PM team meets in at 18.00 every weeknight to discuss the content of the programme.

We try to be honest with each other, but not hurtful, as we talk about what worked and what didn't...what met our expectations and what fell short.

This virtual glass box is where you're encouraged to take part in the same spirit. The editor of the day reads your comments and may well add her/his own. Please do not allow hens into this virtual glass box.

Welcome to 2009.

Eddie Mair | 09:20 UK time, Thursday, 1 January 2009

Comments

A select group of people is here in the office to bring you today's The World at One, and PM. An even smaller team is here to work on Saturday's iPM.

One of the team is on antibiotics, another is nursing a very heavy cold and another appears to be coughing his last. But they are soldiering on like the complete professionals they are.

It's like a doctor's waiting room, apart from the newspapers and magazines which are all up to date.

0930 UPDATE:

A doctor has arrived and is operating on Amanda's brain.

doctorwho.jpg

The New Year's Beach

Post categories:

Eddie Mair | 06:00 UK time, Thursday, 1 January 2009

Comments

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Happy New Year!

Eddie Mair | 00:01 UK time, Thursday, 1 January 2009

Comments

fireworks.jpg

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