Talk about Newsnight

Latest programme

Friday, 10 November, 2006

  • Newsnight
  • 10 Nov 06, 09:40 PM

The head of MI5 warns us of the potential terrorists in our midst. We examine Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller's claim that young men are radicalised and ask why MI5 made these announcements now. An internal investigation into the abuse of prisoners at Wormwood Scrubs prison from 1995 to 2000 has just been made public. We have the shocking findings. And Lord Sainsbury is to quit as Science Minister. Michael Crick looks at his ministerial career.

And on Newsnight Review, the panel discuss the Victorian-era magic of the film The Prestige, Porgy and Bess the musical, BBC One comedy Jam and Jerusalem from the pen of Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Newsom's new album.

Join Kirsty at 22.30GMT on BBC Two and live on the Newsnight website and at 2300GMT for Review (watch it back on the website from Saturday).

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 12:27 AM on 11 Nov 2006,
  • David Bateman wrote:

Come on now, DON'T more than one person speak at a time! The ladies all had washed their hair beautifully, but the artistic divining rod was almost totally missing from most contributions, despite animatedly expressed opinions. In addition the over short extracts gave an insufficient taste of each item from which to understand those views that one could distinguish. So a poor edition overall, as it mostly is nowdays.I didn't think I'd miss Mark Lawson, but he did keep sufficient order for viewers to remain clear about most of the programme's content.

  • 2.
  • At 12:56 AM on 11 Nov 2006,
  • Brian Kelly wrote:

Todays revelations by MI5 & the government stated Islamic fanatics are numerous ,active & increasing in numbers.
This news is not exactly new NEWS, numbers & groupings have been announced...but that is merely formating the situation!The trio discussion headed by Kirsty was following the same old mantra of trying to convince the viewer that this started(Blair said) a decade ago & will last a DENIAL yet again that the wars in Afghanistan & Iraq were not the recruitment for much of the radicalisation.One of your guests explained todays situation as it is,but again until the politicians recognise this unpalatal fact it cannot begin to be successfully curbed & defeated!
If MI5 are aware of these 30 active cells, why not arrest them now?..similarly arrest the other 1000 or so..or confine them as in a wartime situation.
This fanaticism cannot keep being compared to the terrorism IRA style for their political motives. These fanatics reportedly love death more than life , so we have no bargaining powers.
If what we are being told by our politicians is the whole truth, methods of countering it must be absolute & robust...its Homeland WAR!

  • 3.
  • At 01:41 AM on 11 Nov 2006,
  • Ivan Martin wrote:

The case against the Two BNP members only served to put their views of Islam, and some remarks suggesting that followers of Islam return home, into the public domain. Had they not acted like MI5 with their surveillance cameras the views expressed would not have been available to millions of the population in this country and elsewhwere, thereby causing the possibility of yet more friction: so well done the Government lackeys! With certain factions of Muslims being under surveillance due to their possible intention of causing death and destruction to the people of our country,-which is not as a result of the BNP expressing their democratic right to their views-I think the BBC's time would be better spent helping MI5 with attempting to infiltrate the people who are a real threat to our safety and democracy, and stop sucking up to those who wish us ill.

  • 4.
  • At 09:57 AM on 11 Nov 2006,
  • Jenny Weaver wrote:

What on earth was going on in the studio last night? Kirsty seemed distracted by some kind of kerfuffle elsewhere in the studio - I thought maybe there had been an invasion reminiscent of newsreader Sue Lawley and the invading lesbian protesters. All very distracting from the important discussion on Islamic radicalism and terrorism, but handled with customary aplomb by Kirsty. Then when Newsnight Review started it was one guest short. Where was Michael Gove? Please enlighten us. Hope he's OK.

  • 5.
  • At 10:59 AM on 11 Nov 2006,
  • Felicity wrote:

Who were the musicians who sang and played in the studio at the end of of the programme last night (Fri)? I missed hearing what they were called and there is no mention that I can find on the website. Thank you in advance to anyone who knows.

  • 6.
  • At 01:18 PM on 11 Nov 2006,
  • Anne-Marie Martin wrote:

We've just logged in to also find out about the band at the end of newsnight review. They were fab and we want to know who they are....

  • 7.
  • At 01:21 PM on 11 Nov 2006,
  • mary wrote:

Hay I made a special effort to watch last night to hear Sarah Churchwell cause I thought she might be on. Where was she? I love her feedback.
Can we have her on soon please.
yours Mary from Kent

  • 8.
  • At 01:22 PM on 11 Nov 2006,
  • Pamela wrote:

The musicians are freshlyground a South African band and their CD Nomvula is available in UK and at amazon uk

  • 9.
  • At 05:40 PM on 11 Nov 2006,
  • Eileen Peck wrote:

Whatever happened to Newsnight on Friday - I think it reached an all time low in spreading a mood of fear and misery throughout the nation. We had the M15 news about terrorism in our midst, the story suggesting corruption in the government and then the brutality going on in our prisons. Not exactly a good diet on which to go to bed!
Whatever happened to the good news of the week - that a Republican Environmental Committee Chairman in the US has been replaced by a Democrat who believes that climate change is the biggest threat facing the planet. What we need to know is 'How is this going to effect the US attitude to action on climate change, on Kyoto and on the talks in Nairobi?' Come on Newsnight help us to keep some sanity and optimism - give us the good news when it happens

  • 10.
  • At 05:54 PM on 11 Nov 2006,
  • vikingar wrote:


Only watched the first part tonight enjoyed what I watched, but like after a good starter, wanted main course … which failed to appear *

* why was today's court case ref BNP not explored/referenced esp given other ruling this week ref extremism & given calls for changes to religious & races laws off the back of this judgement - presume something is coming next week - fyi - Lees Jasper who was on Newsnight earlier in the week was also on Channel 4 News Fri11Nov06 7 o'clock ref BNP judgement

Feel that Fridays Newsnight always a casualty of 'end of week' syndrome for viewers, guests & staff alike - still heading out to White City on a Friday is no ones idea of fun :)

7/10 Abdul Haqq Baker - Chairman Brixton Mosque (moderate view)
7/10 Maajid Nawaz - Hizb ut-Tahrir (radical view)
8/10 Kirsty Walk (Presenter)
8/10 Mike Urban (Diplomatic Editor)
8/10 Richard Watson (Correspondent) *

* Investigation to be aired Radio 4 - File on Four Tuesday 14NOV06 [5]


Some background interview info:

- Abdul Haqq Baker [1a -1g]
- Brixton Mosque [2a - 2g]

- Maajid Nawaz * [3a - 3f]
- Hizb ut-Tahrir [4a - 4h]

* rather colourful background, a competent spokesman - though more rattled on other video interview with BBC HardTalk [3d] - successfully promoted a single issue 'iraq' & was not unfortunately challenged more about Hizb ut-Tahrir dubious policies & beliefs on tonight's programme (see below)


"Founded in 1953, Hizb ut Tahrir has been banned in nearly every Arab state, Germany, Russia and the Muslim states of Central Asia — Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan — where it has been active since the dissolution of the Soviet Union" [7a]

Q. is British government still planning to ban this organisation, if not what's changed? [7b]

Aware that British National Union of Students have banned Hizb ut-Tahrir from British University Campuses [7c] & also MPAC [7d] Al Muhajiroun [7e] [7f] who incidentally Richard Watson has also interviewed [7g]

"A report published last year by Professor Anthony Glees, director of Brunel University's centre for intelligence and security studies, warned that "extremist and/or terror groups" have been operating in more than 30 universities across the country, posing a threat to national security. Glees suggested that Islamist groups including Hizb ut-Tahrir and al-Muhajiroun are active on many campuses, but often operate under different names" [8a] [8b]

"2003 - But Newsnight has discovered that Hizb ut-Tahrir website promotes racism and anti-Semitic hatred, calls suicide bombers martyrs, and urges Muslims to kill Jewish people" [4i]

Q. why did not Kirsty press their 2006 representative about these issues to see if Hizb ut-Tahrir had changed their minds or just polished up their act?

Felt Newsnight presumed that their audience new a lot about 'Hizb ut-Tahrir' if they are going to have these minority radical pressure groups on, a short piece beforehand would inform the audience, otherwise many will only relate to what's discussed, rather than being able to put what's said on the day into context about what the organisation has said/has done up to that point. I mean even Alqaeda could come off well with a decent spokesman whose not asked the tricky questions.


Ref today's UK Islamic terrorist update from Dame Eliza Manningham Buller (Head of Mi5)

Understood the importance of the story, but where were the other voices (government, opposition, security) during the debate?

Took the figures from Channel 4 Fri10Nov 06 1900 [9a]

- 2001 there were 200 suspect extremists
- 2004 there were 500 suspect extremists
- 2005 there were 800 suspect extremists
- 2006 there were 1600 suspect extremists **

** interesting comparison to Newsnight Mi5 figures as recruitment process ongoing means at present more suspects than actual number of front line Mi5 officers - which given actual attacks, planned attacks & thwarted attacks (several in court) has to make this the biggest terrorist threat the UK has ever known, biggest domestic threat, period.

One presumes that 1,600 Islamic suspect extremists do not live in the same house or a single community.

But would guess in 1,600 families, dispersed across Britain's Muslim communities, numbering approx 1.6 million.

Q. so how many other people face contamination from exposure too such extremist beliefs in those potential 1,600 family units?

Though recent polls do give something of an indication of opinion [9b] [9c]

Either way, that's potentially one extremist per British mosque (1,600 in UK) [6a]

Thought the two guests gave interesting commentary & replies, thought 'Hizb ut-Tahrir' were somewhat let off, esp ref their 'Iraq justification for extremism in UK angle' & the causality figures in Iraq references (given bulk are as a result of Islamic Infracticide / sectarianism & foreign Muslim terrorist involvement).

If both interviewees insist that they cannot answer the more difficult questions *** their answers need to be clarified by religious interpretations, can Newsnight wheel some Islamic scholars out next time and/or source some quotes the interviewees will recognise?

*** nice one Kirsty ref 'voting is a sin' question [10a] [10b] [10c] esp after behaviour of members of Hizb ut-Tahrir at recent election [10d]


Still left with the distinct feeling that Newsnight in seeking to engage does not wish to scare certain 'Islamic Horses' (e.g. Taliban or Radical groups) & in no way chooses to engage certain Muslim interviewees in the same robust way that other people are on equally contentious issues.

In my book, treating such like Special Needs, when such groups demand to be regarded as being different & want their Different Needs met regardless, ensures/reinforcing view that mainstream society will see them as Special Needs & as ever distanced from the same society we all have to live in - a bit of Beeb interviewing 'tough love' is merited & called for.




  • 11.
  • At 11:21 AM on 14 Nov 2006,
  • Bob Goodall wrote:

Dear Newsnight

Normally as you know I am a great fan of your show but I was a bit troubled by two things in it tonight.

I’ve just re-read what I have written and its seems a little hard. Its very late so perhaps my humour has gone to sleep before I have but perhaps you can pick up the two criticism I make and not take it too personally.

Your guests tonight from the Muslim world filled me with hope. They appeared quite reasonable and represent most of their community who respect the value of life like most of us. Excepting some on the extreme violent side of our own community who bomb civilians etc –unfortunately unlike the fringe of the Muslim world these extremists in the White community are running our Government. At the moment.

I think Mr Nawaz dealt with Kirsty Warks repeated questions that because he had suggested that Muslims do not vote he was against the democratic system with great patience and tact. It is not a passive act not to vote. At lot of bullying going on, and mentions of the last war, I can hear the buzz of the spitfires overhead as a reason one must vote or in some way you are on the side of Rommel and the Wehrmacht if you don’t . I don’t believe this, what we really need and this is relevant to another TV presenters question about wearing the poppy, the underlying issue common to both is that the health, wellbeing and freedoms of our society depend on people thinking for themselves not allowing others to think for them.

We spend billions educating people to think and people are better educated and informed than ever before, so I want people to use the freedom of choice this brings, and if it means sometimes not doing the easy thing and voting to get the canvassers off your back, so be it.

After all Lemmings end up in the sea.

If they do not feel that a politician represents what they believe in do we really want them to cast an insincere vote and provide a mandate to a politician that doesn’t exist. Where does that take us? Its bad enough the way politicians do as they wish once elected but I do not wish them to be able to point to levels of support in the country, and region which in truth doesn’t exist.

If three monkeys stood for a Parliamentary seat are we seriously meant to vote for one of them. But sometimes in some constituencies or local elections the choice doesn’t seem much better.

And because the Government has refused to implement the Electoral Commission recommendations to scrap the £500 deposit to stand for Parliament many people are deterred from standing. It of course favours the wealthy or big parties with donors. The alternative system would actually make it harder for the more unusual candidates to stand who can usually stump up the money but might find it harder to find a large number than 10 voters to sing their nomination papers.

The big parties would not like to see more Independents or perhaps people representing the Muslim world standing or they would scrap the deposit as recommended.

So its harder to stand for Parliament and its harder to stand for local elections because most people do not wish to neglect their families and careers, and we are stuck generally with those who will, are unemployed or retired. Some paid councillors would help this but generally most people cannot stand at present.

Ms Wark persisted in this line of questioning –why did you suggest not voting, but as Mr Naway pointed out there are many ways to participate in our democratic process and he appears to be quite active in this. He cannot possibly be personally responsible for every Muslim in this country, just as we cannot be responsible for what say someone in the BNP says, and some in both groups may act against our society, and is true that the invasion of Iraq has stirred things up.

Having a pop at him isn’t going to help in any way.

Again what came across was the sheer reasonableness of the two guests and perhaps the answer will be in listening to what people like them say. I think in the end it will be the Muslim community that will see off the extremists in their midst just as the White community will drive out its extremists.

But perhaps suggesting that the only way they can do this is by participating in a Westernised electoral process that is still stacked against them is a flawed argument.

Just to illustrate how out of touch some of our politicians are and how far removed the system is from the one we want, a month or two ago we heard the outrageous bizarre comments being broadcast in quite an organised way by senior labour politicians who were seriously worried about what people wear for goodness sake!!!!!!!!!!! I couldn’t care tuppence what people wear, what they look like, their sexuality, nothing like that the only thing that counts is them as people and how they treat others.

By the way the ignorance they demonstrated in their comments in terms of the background to the pressures on the women concerned and the tight knit communities in which they lived, and the naivety or evidence of even the most basic understanding about how changes do take place over time, where pressure is most definitely counterproductive in this process, well is was all quite breathtaking. It was very worrying indeed to see a Government Minister coming out with such stuff given that they have responsibility for a lot of major decisions that affect all of us.

But it was another example to show that our current exclusive over privileged public school world of British politics in action, a place we know already excludes one way or the other 99% of white people -------------------let alone people from different cultures, and is so not yet a place that the Muslim world can perhaps operate as it should be able to.

Added to which is the recent demonstration how our fabled democracy operated, given that is meant to be a system where the views of the people count most of all. But what happened? The Government took us to war –(without a vote in Parliament), it was clearly against the wishes of the country, and against the advice of advisers like the security services.

So perhaps because our democracy is so flawed and excludes so many people from ethnic groups, other types of groups and the people as a whole is hardly surprising that until this radically changes groups like the Muslim community will be forced to operate -largely outside of it.

So with this in mind the main thrust of questioning tonight was….

Why do you suggests not voting in elections – it was I suggest a question that betrayed very much the cultural background and education and perspectives and (not deliberate) bias of the questioner more than anything.

If he did it would make little –sorry no difference until our democracy is reformed.

It would have made no difference to the decision to attack Iraq and rain high explosive from miles in the sky on Women and Children the issues that has led directly to an increase in terror in our country , as parliament was NOT consulted about the Invasion.

It would have perhaps being better spent looking at how the Muslim community feels it can tackle the problem and on all levels from this programme to out Government it involves…..

To answer Kirsty Wark’s final question

What do we do to tackle this problem

May I suggest that we start seriously listening to people like your two guests rather than putting any blame on them for what is happening, because fundamentally they share our values . we need to listen to them and their suggestions how to tackle this problem. I firmly believe that the Muslim community hold the key to this and can see off the extremists in their midst. We in the White community must do the same to the extremists in our community.

2nd criticism - Lord Sainsbury

May I suggest that you have not had enough time to find out for sure if this person has resigned for personnel reasons. It might be genuine, Lord Sainsbury may have something to deal with that you have no idea about, and there is no reason at all why he should have to tell you something that might be very personnel.

The story was based on supposition and you have taken a big chance broadcasting this. Guessing what the reasons were is not enough to run a story. I think this is bad journalism sorry. What you have run tonight could be right or could be very cruel. You have no way to know for sure either way and I suggest the story was a mistake.

Best wishes

Bob Goodall

  • 12.
  • At 04:56 PM on 14 Nov 2006,
  • Stranded in Babylon wrote:

Responding to message 14, by Bob Goodall:

Where were you on 18 March, 2003?

Concerning your evaluation of the two Muslim interviewees, I agree with you about one, Abdul Haqq Baker, the Chairman of the Brixton Mosque, but the other, Maajid Nawaz, of Hizb ut Tahrir, certainly did not "fill me with hope". Despite saying "violence is not the way forward", his repeated rather excited protestations, such as "the illegal occupation and murder of people in Iraq in the hundreds of thousands; that needs to be addressed, Kirsty", did little to convince me that "violence is not the way forward" is the message which would come across.

He seems to have overlooked that the coalition presence in Iraq is both mandated by the UN, and at the request of the Iraqi government. And who does he think is murdering Iraqis in these large numbers? It's certainly not coalition troops.

I think Kirsty's line of questioning was a reasonable one to adopt: there *is* an incongruity in telling people "the way forward is political action" yet also telling them not to vote.

Are you really saying it's reasonable to think that *no* person who could represent his viewpoint would be prepared to stand for election?

  • 13.
  • At 06:44 PM on 14 Nov 2006,
  • Patrick wrote:

If our serucity services are aware of this threat, then surely the intellegence they are recieving should point them, if it has not already pointed then in the direction of where this new threat is coming from. What is the use of frightening the general public and causing fear amongst the populus? Should they not be doing their job of protecting us the general public who are more concerned with our daily goings on? Or is is it just a case of frightening us into supporting them when they take untoward action which over the past three years has come to light as being unjust. How can they expect us to believe anything that they are telling us now when it has tranpired that Iraq who they unequivically said had weapons of mass behind them had no such weapons. We supported them then and there was no basis for for it.

When it comes to radicalisation, as far as I can remember there where no radials (publically known of) prior to the invasions. Is it not fair for an ordinary citizen to conclude that the invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan are the sole cause of past and future attacks on our country? And that the situation is just giving the Terrorists free advertisment for recruiting the impressionable youths, including those who are citizens of this country?

There has been a blatant refusal to negotiate or to hold any discussions with these so call terror camps. How then can we find out what they want? Is it not reasonable to think that if discussions where held with these groups that we would have a better understanding of what they want? If if our Government spoke to these people who pose a threat to our national security that we would be able to formulate a better plan to protect our citizens from future threats rather than guessing and trying to convince the population that these groups are only after causing chaos?

As humans are we not all programmed at a very basic level to protect our beliefs and fight for causes that we believe are just ( right or wrong whatever the case may be)?

We need to enter into dialogue with all that are involved so that we can truely find out what they want. The time for making assumptions is past.

For anyone who might think that I have sympathy for terrorist, rest assured that I do not. I have not time nor inclination for war and terror. I would like to think that in this day and age we would have learnt from history's past lessons and we would on the basis of what we know eradicat wars and strive to live together in peace and harmony respecting life and working toward ridding this would of poverty and desease. Do we not have enough problems in the world that we opt to fight each other.

We all need to wakeup now (terrorist or not) to the fact that if we carry on at this rate we will plunge the whole world into war.

  • 14.
  • At 06:09 PM on 15 Nov 2006,
  • Rick B wrote:

MI5 actually issued a warning (prior to the invasion) that invading Iraq would increase the threat of terrorism towards the UK. I would've preferred if Blair had listened to them then instead of rushing into this ideologically-based war. It's not our job to go around toppling dictator's at the cost of our own security.

  • 15.
  • At 10:28 PM on 15 Nov 2006,
  • Hazel wrote:

Thank you so much Pamela, I am yet another person who was desperate to find out the name of the band who played at the end of the programme.
I turned on the TV thinking I was watching "Later" so I was extremely confused! I thought they were were fantastic and the website seemed to be telling me they were Joanna Newsom (which I knew couldn't be right)Thanks again

  • 16.
  • At 10:16 PM on 16 Nov 2006,
  • Michael Jackson wrote:

Why isnt there a seperate blog for that Newsnight Review? Please try and sort this out Newsnight.

  • 17.
  • At 08:39 AM on 18 Nov 2006,
  • Cindy wrote:

I never actually made it to the end of the review.When that terrible high pitched new-age music came on my dog promptly hid behind the sofa and not even the magical word "walkies" would lure her out.

Hazel (15) the band in the studio was Freshly Ground.


New google surprise!
durabrand 6x9 car stereo speakers reviews
car stereo speaker review
big car speakers
polk car stereo speakers

Click adsense and win new car speakers !

This post is closed to new comments.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites