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Tuesday, 7 November, 2006

  • Newsnight
  • 7 Nov 06, 05:51 PM

bush203100.jpgAmerica votes - we have extensive coverage from Washington on the US mid-term elections. Read and comment on Gavin Esler's mid-term blog. Back in Britain, Paul Mason reports on the City Academy where refurbishment plans have gone awry leaving kids studying in a temporary school that was strewn with rubbish and graffiti at the start of term. We speak to the Polish President desperate to stop his country's workforce emigrating. And Steve Smith gets his head out of the science books to meet the newly reformed Genesis.

Join Gavin and Kirsty at 10.30 on BBC Two and live on the Newsnight website and leave us your thoughts below.

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  • 1.
  • At 09:14 PM on 07 Nov 2006,
  • Mr William Watson wrote:

I phoned today to Phil Reece : you wanted to talk to me in April this year, about prisons and PROBATION, when the murder of Mr Monckton by a man recently released from prison was in the news : I suggest the problems of supervision of ex-prisoners is now hitting the news again, and is a very important subject, which the Government is getting wrong, and blaming the Probation service ! at the same time they are abolishing the Probation Service ! I am not afraid to speak out about this, after 30 years on the front line of being a Probation Officer. You need to hear from me or my colleagues in NAPO [like Mike Guilfoyle] because we have not sold out to the crazy Home Office's idea of sticking the Probation Service in with the prisons, which our managers have been forced to give in to.
The offenders are suffering from lack of proper help from Probation Officers, and are offending again and again, and so the public is being unnecessarily hurt. Try to get John Reid and us and Jeremy Paxman...

6-XI-2006: America Teve TV Host Oscar Haza invited the Republican Candidate for Governor Crist and the Democratic Candidate for Governor Davis to an interview. Crist snubbed Haza. Linn and other Independents wre NEVER invited to his show,

7-XI-2006@7:30AM:I have just finished voting. I voted Reform Party Candidate for Governor Max Linn. All others, I voted Libertarian. I did see the Republicans and Democrats use public transportation to transport their supporters to the polls. Otherwise, everything was uneventful.

7-XI-2006@3:00PM I just finished turning over photos I took of Election Day 2006 in Miami Florida to the BBC Bureau in Miami Florida.

On the way, there were few people voting and at the same time, more signs for Linn [The Reform Party Candidate for Florida Governor] appeared in some of the streets in Miami.

Last but not least, people who saw the TV interview with Davis [Democratic Candidate for Governor] by Oscar Haza were witness to hearing Oscar Haza asking questions about Crist's Sexual Orientation. Davis answered that he did not go into people's personal lives.

  • 3.
  • At 11:32 PM on 07 Nov 2006,
  • luc wrote:

Asked about gay rights in Poland, its President said that a gay culture should not be permitted in Europe because it would supplant the existing heterosexual culture.

Aside from its obvious absurdity, the remark was highly offensive and controversial.

Why was there no follow-up question to challenge the President's remarks?

  • 4.
  • At 12:36 AM on 08 Nov 2006,
  • Hamid wrote:

Ho ho ho, Steve Smith's report was just SO original and funny, wasn't it? I've never seen a journalist mock Genesis and Phil Collins before! That must be a first! So good to see that Newsnight don't follow the sheep mentality of music critics by mocking a band that's achieved more in 30 years than idiots like Oasis can ever hope of accomplishing. Talking of Oasis, funny how it's so hip it hurts when Liam Gallagher prances around at the Brits shouting to the audience "I'm rich and you're not" but Phil's comment that the tour isn't for money is worthy of sarcastic comments.

  • 5.
  • At 12:42 AM on 08 Nov 2006,
  • Liam Coughlan wrote:

I watched the same program as luc, and I did not hear the Polish president say this. I believe he said that he was opposed to gay culture being promoted as an equally acceptable alternative to heterosexual culture in Poland. This is a legitimate point of view, and not in the least offensive. Poland is now a member of the EU in which discrimination against persons on the basis of their sexual orientation is outlawed. Poland has joined the EU because of its success in reforming its systems and laws and accepting the EU's human rights values which are far superior to what prevailed in the past. Just look at Russia for brutal examples of xenophobia, racism, homophobia and anti semetism, and realise how far Poland has come under its current political leadership. The interview was fair and balanced, and the President's past action of banning a gay march in Warsaw when he was the Mayor was actually raised twice, the second time after he did not address it the first time.

  • 6.
  • At 12:49 AM on 08 Nov 2006,
  • Dave Connolly wrote:

As as Brit expat living in the USA, I have over the last few weeks experienced the American style election campaign. What a difference to England. Every candidate was slagging to opposition. Not once have I heard a candidate say what they WOULD do if elected. I must admit if I had got a vote over here, I would have been totally confused on who to vote for.
And then there is the voting procedure, with a voter having to elect just about everyone in any official office, I did wonder if the street sweepers job was up for grabs.
It seem to me to be very complicated with every area using a different method of voting. No wonder there are so many errors in the US election counts

Do we dare reflecting or is the reality beyond redemption? Who would ever have thought that religious extremists could decide the destiny of the political system in the most powerful country in the world in the 21st Century? Who would have ever thought that religion would come back worldwide to take centre stage in an increasingly tensed and unstable world? America faces its demons through a scandalous mixture of economy and spirituality. Does money buy religion or does religion buy politics and consequently take control over economy? Who is more powerful, the dollar or the guardians of God whose name is printed on it? Whatever the result of the election would be, only the blood stains would decorate the flag and cover the stripes and the stars. Whoever declares victory, they have to face reality which only history can determine its cruelty because we have lost our vision and our jugement in the present. The wounds of the world will not be healed tomorrow by the declaration of a victorious Democrats or triumphant Republicans.
After centuries of what so called democracy, who would protect the world from being an agenda for the political election in one single nation? Who would be able to face the giant with a moment of truth which could shake his thrones? Where is the system or mechanism which can protect the vulnerable countries in the world from being cards to play with in the hand of one man fighting for his chair? The war alphabet is writing this chapter of the history of humanity. Millions are drinking from the same cup of violence, suffering, pain and death. What else can we do in the name of religion to tare each other apart and in the name of the same God of peace and love we destroy the work of divine creativity through human hands and minds in our civilizations?
Probably as religion, in its ugliest face, works at present desperately to manipulate the election in the United States, religion, in its most glorious face, would bring people around the globe to their knees to pray and pour out their heart for peace, harmony and love.

  • 8.
  • At 09:14 AM on 08 Nov 2006,
  • Brian Kelly wrote:

The USA has spoken!This hopefully accelerates the end of the Bush domination of abnormal un-american policies , especially the neo-cons & their shock & awe, axis of evil foreign views... we can learn to love America again.
On the homeland front & the shenanigans with sleaze the moves are gathering pace & the whatever the outcome... positive or neutral, will ineivitably signal an end of NL cabinet style politics.

Would expect the the hot line across the pond is very, very hot this morning!

  • 9.
  • At 03:09 PM on 08 Nov 2006,
  • luc wrote:

"If a gay culture were to be an accepted alternative it could mean, especially here in Europe, that our heterosexual culture would disappear"

Liam, that's what the President of Poland said in the interview which I watched (and just re-watched!).

Absurd, controversial and offensive, the President's assertion should have been challenged by Newsnight.


  • 10.
  • At 07:34 PM on 08 Nov 2006,
  • Cloe Fribourg wrote:

Well... I was going to write a fairly nasty comment about various statements of the Polish president (his gay-culture remarks were by no means the only offensive, unchallenged ones). I was also going to ask what safeguards, if any, government/local authorities impose on those who are responsible for providing infrastructure and services under PFI and other such schemes and why these were not/barely mentioned in the report. Finally, I was also going to challenge the Editor's decision to do a piece about Genesis revival tour (along the lines of 'who-cares' etc) but the Austrian radio presenter made me laugh so much that I am now rather glad Mr Barron put this one on: I forgot just how bad continental European taste in pop music actually is. Thanks for reminding me... ;-)

I feel like a complete blank, but I don't care. Pfft. I've pretty much been doing nothing worth mentioning.

I haven't been up to much these days. Today was a loss. Nothing seems important. I've just been letting everything happen without me these days.

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