Talk about Newsnight

A blog and forum.

Monday, 18 June, 2007

  • Newsnight
  • 18 Jun 07, 05:49 PM

From Gavin Esler, Newsnight presenter

Salman RushdieSalman Rushdie
The government of Pakistan has demanded that Britain withdraw the honour of a knighthood awarded to author Salman Rushdie. In the heated atmosphere the knighthood has caused, Pakistan's religious affairs minister appears to use the award as a justification for suicide bombing.

David Cameron and the Battle for Britain
The Conservative leader has made a speech rallying his troops against what he sees as the "old" politics of Gordon Brown. We'll be hearing from a senior member of the Shadow Cabinet about whether this is an attempt by Mr Cameron to get back on track after a very shaky couple of weeks.
And you can tell us what you think of his plan for government - Join the debate here.

Israel and the Palestinians
The schism between Gaza and the West Bank leaves Israel with the unpalatable possibility of a kind of "three state" solution" - two hostile Palestinian entities on its borders. With Prime Minister Olmert visiting the United States, we'll hear from a top Israeli about what the Olmert government sees as the next moves on Gaza.

Bernard Manning
The comedian Bernard Manning died today. Steve Smith will be assessing what he did for British comedy.

Power to the people?

  • Newsnight
  • 18 Jun 07, 01:26 PM

David CameronAt a speech in Tooting (home of Citizen Smith of course) David Cameron told us today what his big idea is for government - to do much less of it.

He wants people to make many more decisions at a local level, and take much more control over running their communities - harnessing the philosophy of the "wiki-generation".

"Every time we see a problem, we don't just ask what government can do. We ask what people can do, what society can do. That's the big difference between us and Gordon Brown, " he said.

Is it right to devolve power in this way or should we leave it to the politicians we elect to make decisions on our behalf? Is it achievable? Is it something politicians find easy to promise in opposition, but harder to deliver on in government? Is it a new idea, or is it one that is fundamental to the idea of Conservatism anyway?

Tell us what you think.

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