Talk about Newsnight

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Monday, 18 September, 2006

  • Newsnight
  • 18 Sep 06, 05:18 PM

darfur_203.jpgRwanda’s president discusses his fears for Darfur; bungs and balls – we ask the Chief Executive of UEFA about self-regulation in football; Warren Blackwell talks about the conviction that was quashed last week; Iran’s President Ahmadinejad’s ongoing defiance; and the latest from the Lib Dem conference.

Discuss Monday’s programme here.

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  • 1.
  • At 11:38 PM on 18 Sep 2006,
  • Mark Johnson wrote:

How can this 'Miss A' be allowed to keep her anoynimity when it is now proven that she lied about the attack. I hope she is proscuted for purjury.
Mr. Blackwell can be sent to prison for a crime he didn't commit, 'Miss A' can walk free after breaking the law. Im sorry, I'm not seeing the justice here!!

Tonight's programme (18/09/06) was more my kind of Newsnight: serious, focussed and unsilly. Though there was a fly in the ointment.

Darfur is a disaster. Let's face it: the UN (= Kofi Malloch-Brown and his cohorts) has proved useless. The African Union (a flush of monitors) has proved useless. Peter Marshall did his best. So Did Paul Kagame - though he was singularly unconvincing. The poor chap is an intellectual, a thin cerebral man. Has he grasped the shitten existence of the fearing hordes in inadequate tents? Lord Treacle was utterly pitiful. Jerry: "Why are you dancing attendance to the Sudan government?" (mumbled reply). "Will British troops be sent to Sudan?" (mumbled reply). "Will we offer money?" (more mumbles).

Filching off Panorama
Yes, I've just been flattering Newsnight, but hold on a minute. Here is the fly. Isn't Panorama a totally separate programme? Hasn't their reportage over the last few months stuck to the old pattern of serious investigation, while Newsnight has imported Stephen Smith's romp around the arts, and Justin Rowlatt's middle-class temporary cycling sacrifice - plus the Gordaq? Canute the Corruption Slayer has done a good job, but I do not at all like the way that the provenance of this stinky football report has been muddied. Was it Newsnight or was it Panorama that did the donkey work? Come clean. The funny Swede from UEFA was hilarious. Funny, by the way that there was no discussion on your programme of the Conservative win in that country.

BBC prudisheness
A ludicrous BBC activity, indulged in no doubt by power-hungry Aunties, is the pathetic and embarrassing censorship of rude words (Auntie's contribution to the Western civilisation Old Ratty talked about in Ratisbon, no doubt.) In the Canute spot you could hear the obscenities and swearwords, but if you were deaf, and relying on the subtitles, Auntie would preserve your verbal virginity for you.

A rather smug Grossman skated a bit over Ming, then disappeared into the wings.

Iranian press
Good bit on the strangling of the Iranian press. Hope we have more before Tim Whewell is arrested and sentenced to 30 years for working for Newsnight.

Warren Blackwell
Looks like another pitiful miscarriage of justice. Three years sharing a cell with the real thing sounds awful.

Decadent British art
"A hatstand with no hooks." Say no more. Stephen Smith will, no doubt.

No thank-you.

  • 3.
  • At 12:42 AM on 19 Sep 2006,
  • Manjit wrote:

Excellent show tonight. Thou would have been interesting to see the Lib Dem conference get more coverage I'm sure the Labour and Tory conferences will get wall to wall coverage in the next two weeks by Newsnight. The Lib Dems have a rather interesting tax policy that would have been worth exploring. One could argue it will be far more interesting than anything that is debated by the Tory and Labour conferences in terms of policy. But it does seem all the mainstream media are very anti-Lib Dem these days, have they done something to offend? Even the good old Guardian seems to have gone of the Lib Dems and seems to offer more support to Cameron.

Also is it time for the Newsnight Editor to remove the light blue box for 'Collected Eric' comments?

  • 4.
  • At 10:17 AM on 19 Sep 2006,
  • Brian Kelly wrote:

Thought their conference lacked co-ordination!! in certain respects... but, there you go, we can all make mistakes can't we Ming.?& don't you hold/have a Scottish constituency?(+GB)...hmm! a Hung Parliament at the next GE ,& you are both still in charge... this could prove unacceptable? English Voters.

  • 5.
  • At 11:20 AM on 19 Sep 2006,
  • Jennifer Watts wrote:

Hi, Jeremey Paxman. Did my review get through to Newsnight? It just simply disappered, and I obyeyed all the lessons of no abuse, no swearing, no undue,only correct critism. It also took a long time to write, as I self-edit. I put it through to preview, which did not work, but I did not manage to Post it, because it was gone. Please could you confirm you received it. Kind regards Jennifer W.


The proposed new policy is interesting, not least because it puts teeth on their environmental policies; something David Cameron is unwilling to do. But it begs the question as to what tax policies should be overall.

It would be enlightening if there was a model somewhere which brought all taxes together and explained what they each – and in combination – were intended to do. We, and more important the ministers who pull the various levers, would be able to see exactly what was happening. It might also act as an incentive to simplify the many different taxes which have grown up – with little rhyme or reason except that they are hidden from view - over the years.

In practice, of course, that is the last thing governments would want to see. Their approach to taxes has, almost universally been, to try and find the taxes which raise the most money but are least obvious to the electorate; hence the reason that fuel tax has remained unchanged for so long even though the government has made a great noise about the need for carbon taxes.

Perhaps the Liberals should construct such a model. To they and we can see what they intend; and, to their great advantage no doubt, what the other parties are hiding!

  • 7.
  • At 01:05 PM on 19 Sep 2006,
  • Rosie Brocklehurst wrote:

Excellent Newsnight on Darfur, the football bungs, but in particular the case of Warren Blackwell. Jeremy Paxman was sensitive. It felt that Warren Blackwell was holding back a lot of emotion. This was an example of appalling injustice, and focuses at last on cases where men have been falsely accused or sexual assualt, where it seems that the presumption of guilt exists simply because of the male gender. Whatever her psychological state, the accuser was not a victim of male sexual assault in this case, nor it seems in other cases, and anonymity should not prevail. So many women who are victims fail to come forward because they feel they will not be heard or treated sensitively by courts or the police, and because of deeper trauma and fear - and the consequence is that cases where men have been falsely accused hardly get any exposure. The injustice to Mr Blackwell and the impact on his family has been huge. I believe compensation is capped now for such cases of injustice -so I hope Newsnight will monitor the case and keep viewers informed. He deserves high financial compensation because nothign can replace the years in prison and the reputational damage he has suffered. Mr Blackwell was dignified, and Paxman, as ever, masterful.

  • 8.
  • At 01:31 PM on 19 Sep 2006,
  • Jennifer Watts wrote:

Hi Newsnight, Producer & Jeremey Paxman.
Obviously something went wrong and you did not get my comment on last night's programme, or it would have been shown, or a comment made that is was disallowed. My congratulations sere to you Jeremy on an excellent programme,as usual, but I am certainly not writing it out again, as it came off the top of my head and all the fresness would disappear. 'Too bad' (french ranslation 'tant pis' with no sound on the last 2 letters as you well know) for both of us. Regards, Jennifer.

  • 9.
  • At 03:27 PM on 19 Sep 2006,
  • JPseudonym wrote:

Regarding Dafur, it has been in the news for several years now, and I'm still no clearer about the root cause of the conflict.

Can someone explain it?

I'm given to understand that the people of Dafur are Black Muslims, and that their oppressors are Arab Muslims. Is this not a case of racism on a grand scale? Why does the anti-racism brigade have no comment to make about it?

And why are Muslims in general so quiet about the horrors taking place? Surely they should be at the forefront of peace talks. But no. Once again it is the 'evil West' who tries to prick the World's conscience.

As mentioned on another Newsnight discussion, on Sunday afternoon at Speaker's Corner I heard an Arab Muslim say to a black person who had the temerity to take issue with his presentation of the joys of Islam: "You should be our slave." I was appalled, among other things, at the way none of the numerous hearers from an Arab background breathed a word of rebuke to the speaker. Rather there seemed to be amusement at a very public humiliation of a fellow member of the human race, quite likely a fellow subject of the Queen in our sometimes-United Kingdom.

Such extreme racism expressed in such ugly words - towards black or Arab - would of course send a white UK man to court and perhaps to jail. But from one segment of our multi-cultural melting pot such terrible verbal abuses seem all too common.

This explains I fear why we're not hearing more about the outrage in Darfur from the well-oiled Muslim victimist lobby. After all, this kind of victim, this kind of cutting-edge Islamaphobia, reducing perhaps the black Muslim population of the world by a million or more in a few months, unless the UN intervenes very promptly and effectively, isn't of much interest. Perhaps because it's so hard to blame it all on George Bush and Tony Blair. Unless they do intervene, of course, as Paxman was rightly stessing to our Africa minister was the only consistent course given the past commitments of the PM.

But that confident internationalist idealism was before Iraq went into such terror. And before the massive escalation of victimist propaganda by those UK Muslims who seem to care as little for their brothers yesterday who were victims of Saddam's torture chambers as for the casualties tomorrow of the evil rampages of Sudanese militia.

Thus the combination of very vocal western Islamic pseudo-grievances with silent disdain for brothers suffering in the wrong place or with the wrong colour of skin looked set until this weekend to consign millions of unknown innocents in Darfur to a ghastly extinction.

But, thank God, the worldwide prayer and vigils on Sunday, including many Jews and Christians and a few Muslims, mostly it seems exiles from Darfur itself, have had a deep impact in bringing Sudan's hidden suffering into the spotlight.

Well done to Newsnight for the forthrightness of its own contribution the following day.

  • 11.
  • At 06:25 PM on 20 Sep 2006,
  • Jennifer Watts wrote:

Hi, Jeremy Paxman,I really do not know, which of your programmes I have watched - Darfur - comments later, plus an anglomeration of Jeremy's programmes, re Kurdish soldiers being trained by Israel. I will say now, finished you presentation; shame, you should give some peronal vies, no matter how censored, before the finish of Newsnight,to show your basic, no more views. You produced some excellent parts of the various problems, acosting us,which I admit left me in a haze. One reason for not a forum. One wants to hear the interogator speak and listen to answers or excuses. A mere coalition before a debate will not suceed,re my earlier message. Your interview with Rwanada was positive, except one explanlimary error, when you said "what do you expect us to do". A typical imperial error, we Briton have no more influence in Africa - it is for them to make their errors and considerations afterwards,'read the Scramble for Africa by Pakenham (not a favourite author of mine) and now we tried, all nations to conquer this continent of different races and religions, and failed absolutely. Africa is for Africa to evolve. Yes UN peacekeepers, or Europeans,supporting African Unity may save Dafur, otherwise they have to go through what we had to in Europe many centuries ago, and it will be a long, hard struggle, with interference from the Russians and Chinese, and to their own African Identity, our interference in aid and UN forces, it will surely bring about it will make an African States of Independence. If we can be calm, it will be to our own security.
This will have to make me short on the training of Kurdish troops by the Israelis, who need an ally in the ME, other than to ask where their armanents come from, Israel, America or France. One of my cousin the first Gulf War,a Royal Engineer, said to me, when hostilities are finished, the French will be the first in to sell arms... Excellent reportinf, Regards, Jennifer W.

  • 12.
  • At 04:16 PM on 22 Sep 2006,
  • D S wrote:

I would like to point out to the BBC and all the other tv braodcasting channels in the UK that they are following in the footsteps of their western brothers and sisters of systematic and political coverage of the plight of all the innocent victims caught up in the Dafur war; this being one of racism.

This I say, as the war in Dafur has been going on for over twnety five years now, however, it's only on till now that the uk media stations sees fit to give it the odd audience.

However, the war on Hesbola by the Israelies was giving by the SECOND COVERAGE... .

Can you at the BBC and uk tv stations honestly comment on this stack racist stance taking by yourselves.

Would be very interesting tp hear your defence.


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