Talk about Newsnight

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Wednesday, 13 June, 2007

  • Newsnight
  • 13 Jun 07, 04:36 PM

Presented by Emily Maitlis

We mark an important centenary this evening; the 100th birthday of the caravan park.
You will no doubt be thinking of Margaret Beckett at this point. So let me bring this full circle and start with Foreign Affairs in a part of the world that is looking increasingly volatile tonight:

gaz_203.gifWhen the Palestinian President himself throws up his hands and cries 'This is madness!' you know things aren't going too well in Gaza. Mahmood Abbas really isn't mincing his words. He's said that without a ceasefire the situation will collapse.

Today, gunfire was turned on thousands of unarmed Palestinian civilians demonstrating against violence on both sides - and policemen loyal to Fatah fled across the border to Egypt to escape Hamas militants. So did the West have a role to play in helping to create this chaos - or is this internal wrangling which the West should stay out of? And what can be done to solve the crisis?

As ever in the Middle East, it doesn't stop there.

A car bomb has exploded in Beirut killing an MP and five others. The legislator - Walid Eido - was well known for his anti-Syrian views - and the method of assassination appears to be the same as that used in the past to assassinate Syria's opponents. It's almost exactly a year since the war between Hezbollah and Israel was played out on the streets of Lebanon. Tonight we ask if the battles between radical groups in the Middle East are gaining momentum.

In the latest in his series on how Blair changed Britain, Jeremy Paxman spends a day in rural England talking to people, some of whom feel they are Britain's most ignored minority group. What do you think? Join the debate here.

Which brings us back, rather nicely, to aforementioned caravans, and Steve Smith's celebrations thereof. Ever made a 100th birthday cake on a camp fire?

Blair's Britain: the countryside

  • Newsnight
  • 13 Jun 07, 12:45 PM

Northumberland countrysideOn Wednesday's Newsnight Jeremy Paxman continues his series on Blair's Britain (watch the previous films: Northern Ireland and The Economy). He's taken the train to Northumberland, close to where the foot and mouth epidemic began, to see how rural life has changed during the last decade and finds some people are still reeling from what happened then.

One former farmer told him she believes that "country people are the most ignored minority group there is". What do you think of the way Blair has handled the countryside? If you live or work in the countryside we'd also like to know your views. Join the debate below and watch Jeremy tonight.

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