Is the war in Afghanistan actually winnable? Will ten new nuclear power plants in Britain save us from global warming or put the world in peril? And is it wrong to joke about wounded soldiers? Presented by Susan Hulme.

As Britain commemorated her war-dead this week, those who have died in the war in Afghanistan were certainly not forgotten. One angry mother, who had recently lost her son in Afghanistan, blamed the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, for a lack of essential equipment, such as helicopters, which she felt had contributed directly to her son's death.
Paddy Ashdown was the UN's High Representative in Bosnia, and was at one point considered a candidate to co-ordinate the effort in Afghanistan. He tells us the soldiers' families are right to be angry with their political leaders.

The Conservative MP, Peter Viggers, is standing down from Parliament and his party need to find a new candidate for his constituency of Gosport, on the south coast of England. They're keen to find a way of reconnecting with the public after the row over MPs' expenses, and have decided to hold an American-style "open primary" to select the candidate. Voters in Gosport will have the chance to decide, from a pre-selected list of people, who will be the Conservative candidate.
Newsweek magazine's London bureau chief, Stryker McGuire - a veteran of many a US primary - explains the system.

Although there has long been some very vocal opposition to nuclear energy in Britain, the government has recently decided that ten new nuclear power plants should be built in England and Wales. Ministers argue that, with many existing power stations due to be decommissioned over the next few years, there will be an energy shortfall unless new power stations are built - and that using nuclear instead of fossil fuels will significantly reduce the nation's carbon emissions.
Simon Bullock, from the environmental group Friends of the Earth, and the Conservative party's Greg Clark, discuss whether the British public has finally come round to the idea of nuclear.
Professor Dieter Helm, of Oxford University, explains why politicians in Britain have had what seems to be a change of heart on nuclear.

The British comedian, Jimmy Carr, caused controversy when he told a joke about servicemen who'd lost limbs in Afghanistan, saying that at least it meant Britain would have a fantastic team for the 2012 Paralympic Games. The Defence Secretary was said to be furious. The Prime Minister's Office issued a statement.
William Cook, the Guardian newspaper's comedy critic, and Clive Anderson, a comedian and broadcaster, discuss whether Jimmy Carr's joke was indeed offensive or actually quite funny.

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28 minutes

Last on

Sat 14 Nov 2009 04:32 GMT

BBC World Service Archive

BBC World Service Archive

This programme was restored as part of the World Service archive project