Talk about Newsnight

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What's in a speech?

  • Martha Kearney
  • 27 Sep 06, 07:53 PM

clinton_203.jpgOnce, politicians used to practise their speeches by filling their mouths full of pebbles to practise voice projection. Things have changed a bit since Demosthenes' time.

Nowadays politicians practise on autocue the night before in the conference hall. One year we all got a preview of Iain Duncan Smith's speech which was accidentally broadcast on our ringmain. The quiet man had cranked up the volume by mistake.

So as a form of political communication have speeches dated a bit over two and half thousand years? An old fashioned tub thumping style doesn't work well on television. Neil Kinnock who was one of the country's best orators in a hall was often disastrous on TV. His delivery was once compared to a tortoise trying to reach orgasm. And you must remember the Sheffield rally.

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Bed Bugs and brass bands

  • Martha Kearney
  • 27 Sep 06, 05:26 PM

trumpet_203.jpgDay Three in the Big Conference House and the strains are already beginning to show.

You may know that there is a certain amount of condition between ourselves and the Today programme.

On Monday (as Jeremy wrote) they were bombed by pigeon droppings. Now in a spirit of oneupmanship we've been hit by bed bugs.

Our cameraperson Julie - veteran of many war zones - was a bit surprised to be attacked by bedbugs in Salford. Morale was further lowered when the team arrived at work this morning slightly jaded after intense late night political analysis in the Midland Hotel bar to find a brass band practising loudly in our newsroom.

See how we suffer for you.

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Wednesday, 27 September, 2006

  • Newsnight
  • 27 Sep 06, 05:09 PM

musharraf_203.jpgWe talk to Pakistan’s President Musharraf about the so-called “war on terror”; how police have been using legal loopholes to avoid speeding convictions; and Martha Kearney reports from Manchester on Bill Clinton’s speech at the Labour Party conference.

Comment on Wednesday’s programme here.

In the Line of Fire - Pervez Musharraf

  • Newsnight
  • 27 Sep 06, 05:02 PM

musharraf203.jpgHeads of state usually hold off publishing memoirs until they have left office behind and are unfettered by diplomatic niceties. But Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf has chosen to publish an account of his experiences as premier - including details of events surrounding the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington - while still in office. His claim that one US official used threats to secure Pakistan's cooperation in the so-called war on terror has caused much controversy.

On Wednesday's programme we speak to President Musharraf about his book, the war on terror and much else besides.

Watch Newsnight's report and interview here.

Read an extract from In the Line of Fire here and leave your comments and reviews below.

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