Talk about Newsnight

A blog and forum.

Monday, 13 August, 2007

  • Newsnight
  • 13 Aug 07, 07:27 PM

Rove to go
President Bush is waving farewell to the man who, arguably more than any other propelled him into the White House not once but twice. The departure of Karl Rove, Bush's Chief political adviser to spend more time with his family leaves just Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice from the original praetorian guard. The end of the Administration is in sight and it could be that Karl Rove sees little more for a man of a hawklike disposition to do. Rove's fingerprints are on every big Bush decision, in domestic as well as foreign policy, and on much more we didn't witness. His role behind the scenes in political manoeuvres has been described as The Mark of Rove and as an article in the New Yorker once put it, Democrats use "Rove" as shorthand for the Bush administration,as in " Is Rove going to invade Syria?" such was his power. Standing on The White House lawn today with Presdient Bush he said he would remain a fierce and committted advocate on the outside. Tonight we'll offer up two very different views of Karl Rove . We'll be talking to a leading Republican politician and Democratic strategist, Sidney Blumenthal.

Which is the greatest threat, terror or climate change? BAA is accusing the protestors mounting a week of action at Heathrow over the airports expanision plans, of being irresponsible and unlawful. Mark Bullock , the managing director of BAA said, " With the current terrorism threat, keeping Heathrow safe and secure is a very serious business." But at the Camp for Climate Action where the protestors are expecting 1500 people to congregate over the week, a spokeswoman Sophie Stevens said the police were " flexing their muscles." The Met say all officers are being briefed to use their powers "robustly." Tonight we'll be debating protest in a free society, and whether the recent terror attacks - including the one at glasgow airport change the rules.

"A tax cut by any other name," is how John Redwood head of one of David Cameron's policy review groups described Conservative plans to cut £14 billion in red tape and regulation for UK businesses per year. But will easing regulation such as data protection laws, scrapping Home Information Packs, relaxing rules on hours and health and safety regimes be better or worse for business, and would it put a Conservative government on a collision course wih Europe and open up a damaging split again. Speaking to the Financial Times, the Shadow Chancellor George Osborne said a Conservative government would " pick a fight" with Brussels to achieve cuts in red tape. John Redwood, one of the most senior politicians on the right of David Cameron's Conservative party will be live in the studio.

Tomorrow promises to be a wild wet and windy day with the threat of more floods in England and Wales, and flash floods to boot. Can our sewers and drainage systems cope? Luckily for Newsnight our Culture correspondent Steve Smith knows all about underground Britain - not the counterculture but diabolical drains, and he's even written a book on the subject. He has been investigating the best and worst of our subterranean structures. He'll be sharing it with us tonight.

Guess Gordon's Election Date

  • Newsnight
  • 13 Aug 07, 10:14 AM

Gordon's Election Date CalenderGordon Brown's refusal to rule out a snap election means the guessing game will continue - until his conference speech at least. And while the poll dance goes on, so all the parties must pretend they're ready and up for the campaign fight whenever it starts.

Newsnight is offering to help the Prime Minister make up his mind. We'll be taking our giant calendar (see right) to the Labour Party conference in Bournemouth and inviting MPs, activists and pundits to play Guess Gordon's Election Date.

And you can play online too. Simply tell us which day you think Gordon should go to the country - and, assuming you didn't just pick randomly, how you came to your conclusion.

The first possible date for a general election would be October 18. The latest would be mid-June 2010 - that's if the Prime Minister delays asking permission from the Queen until exactly five years after the last national vote. We've only put Thursdays on our calendar - every post-war vote has been on a Thursday - but there's no law against other days.

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