Talk about Newsnight

A blog and forum.

Thursday, 19 July, 2007

  • Newsnight
  • 19 Jul 07, 04:58 PM

By tonight’s presenter, Emily Maitlis:

No Rushn
russian_fm_203.jpgWe waited. We waited. And we waited. When the response from Russia finally came, it looked rather like the one we'd expected from day one. Putin has expelled four UK diplomats from Russia: An exact tit-for-tat retaliation for the expulsions Britain announced on Monday. So will this escalate the diplomatic tensions between Britain and Russia? And what exactly do they mean by threatening to withdraw support from the “war on terror”?

One theory suggests Russia was checking out the international reaction to Britain's moves before it responded. With a certain irony, today will mark Tony Blair's first day in the job as Middle East Envoy. One of his bosses, so to speak, in The Quartet will be Putin, no less. We’ll be examining the way foreign policy is shifting under a Brown government as Foreign Secretary David Miliband launches what he's calling a “new diplomacy”.
Russia expels four UK diplomats

It's a funny old thing, cannabis. One day politicians can't deny their drug taking adamantly enough. The next, they're all leaping on the bandwagon of admission in a “me too” spirit. Jacqui Smith, our Home Secretary, admitted she smoked it at university. Now the Chancellor Alistair Darling - once labelled the most boring man in politics - has forced us to let our minds run wild imagining him, spliff tightly rolled, little finger lightly lifted, taking a good ole drag.
So tonight we're asking, does anyone really care any more? Would you admit past demeanours if you were now in a job of substance? Which euphemism would you employ to come clean? We'll talk to Tim Yeo from the Conservatives who refreshingly admitted he took it and enjoyed it.
Top ministers admit cannabis use

We'll have the latest from Michael Crick at the hotly-contested Ealing Southall by-election, and from the count in Sedgefield - both are key tests for all three main parties.
By-election voters head to polls

Cage fighting
And... fear not. We are onto the fastest growing sport - allegedly - in the world. It involves two men and a cage. And it looks fairly brutal. One practitioner we talk to is a preacher. Maybe the prayers come in handy. And in the spirit of Newsnight, our Culture Correspondent Steve Smith widens the niche market to ask Steven Berkoff why he's so attracted to the pastime of punching another's lights out. He claims Ian McKellan, Michael Gambon and other stalwarts of the stage are limbering up to join him. He's joking. We think.

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