Talk about Newsnight

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Monday, 20th August, 2007

  • Newsnight
  • 20 Aug 07, 05:29 PM

basra1203pg.jpg"The British have realised this is not a war they should be fighting, or one they can win."

"There is now a clear recognition that the objectives of their mission cannot be achieved"

The first quote is from the radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, from an interview in today's Independent newspaper, and the second is contained in a letter from the Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell to the Prime Minister calling for the British forces to leave Iraq. Meanwhile British forces in Basra are vulnerable to increasing rocket attacks from insurgent s in the desert on their encampment, apparently as many as ten a week. Tonight we'll be assessing whether the British military has "lost" Basra, and, if we have, are we staying there because of transatlantic pressure?

The tents and the banners are coming down and the campfires are cold. Was the week long protest - fest at Heathrow over global warming and airport expansion a damp squib? Is there climate change fatigue - the leading article in the new edition of Ecologist magazine seems to suggest there is. But is that because companies and local authorities have responded to pressure and adopted climate friendlier policies? Is there a lack of leadership from politicians, who once told us that global warming was the biggest threat facing the planet? Or is it because the pollution threat from China and India is so grave, it seems futile for individuals to make tough lifestyle choices which have a miniscule impact.

The Reverend Jesse Jackson is in London to launch Equanomics, an organisation dedicated to the promotion of black leaders in business politics and industry. He was the founder of Operation Push in the states in the early eighties which became the Rainbow Push coalition, and I'll be asking him why he thinks Britain seems resistant to black power.

From Elton John to Roman Abramovitch - owning a football club is a prestigious and expensive business, and not for the faint-hearted, but the new proprietor of Manchester City is perhaps the most controversial yet. The former Prime Minister of Thailand, Thaksin Shinawatra is spending millions on the club, but back home in Thailand, the country he fled after being ousted in a military coup, he's being prosecuted for corruption, and human rights groups say his record on human rights alone should bar him from owning a football club. We have a profile of a man who is, at least, popular in parts of Manchester.

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