Talk about Newsnight

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Wednesday, 8 August, 2007

  • Kirsty Wark
  • 8 Aug 07, 05:50 PM

British troops in BasraIraq
Tonight we open with an exclusive investigation by our Diplomatic Editor into Iranian involvement in, and leadership of, attacks on British and US forces in Iraq. Mark Urban has high level intelligence pointing to the use of bombs designed with Iranian technology - one of which killed a British soldier. Add to that accusations that large numbers of Iraqi insurgents have been trained in Iran and one question for tonight is whether these actions are sanctioned by the Iranian government.
This comes as The Washington Post reports a senior US Intelligence figure as saying British forces have been beaten in Basra - where the Iranians are said to be active in fuelling the increasing violence. I'll be asking John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the UN and the Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, how the West should be dealing with Iran .

Foot and mouth
Tests have been carried out on all the drains at the Pirbright site, encompassing both the Institute of Animal Health and the Merial Laboratory, in an effort to discover the source of the outbreak of Foot and Mouth, and they are being sent to the government tonight. In developments today, the Chief Vet confirmed she is ordering the culling of cattle on an adjacent farm in Surrey - though it appears to be a precautionary measure rather than the response to any sign of the disease. She also announced a relaxation on of the ban on the movement of livestock in England and Wales, following the relaxation in Scotland. We'll bring you the latest on the tests.

Undercover mosque
In the latest episode in the TV "fakery" saga - the editing of a Channel Four programme Undercover Mosque has led to a formal complaint to Ofcom by West Midlands Police. The commissioning editor of the series Kevin Sutcliffe defended the programme saying he believed 'the comments made in this film speak for themselves - several speakers were clearly shown making abhorrent and extreme comments." However Abu Usamah, one of the preachers featured in the programme, said "to try and demonise the efforts of these people by taking their comments out of context was shocking." Who is right? Tonight we hope to bring together a leading member of the mosque in question with Kevin Sutcliffe of Channel Four.

And could corn become the fuel of the future? Ethanol, the fuel made from corn, is being touted in the US as a domestic alternative to oil from the Middle East. We've been to Iowa, to find out how American corn farmers are becoming an increasingly important lobby in the presidential race.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 08:20 PM on 08 Aug 2007,
  • Amy Davies wrote:

.....Um, the Chief Vet in England, Debby Reynolds, cannot announce a relaxation of animal movements in Wales; she may have said it, but only the Chief Vet in Wales, Dr Chistianne Glossop has the authority to do's called devolution.

  • 2.
  • At 08:48 PM on 08 Aug 2007,
  • csharp wrote:

>>I'll be asking John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the UN how the West should be dealing with Iran .<<

i can write the script now....

  • 3.
  • At 11:00 PM on 08 Aug 2007,
  • steve wrote:

I feel John Bolton is constantly harrassed unfairly. He is right we should attack Iran with no evidence available, if we had not attacked Iraq think what state the world would be in now,and the links with the taleban and iran even though they hate each other is there for all to see. We should also consider attacking venezula bolivia and the uae, because i reckon they may be against us aswell, and for that matter scottish nationalists.

  • 4.
  • At 11:07 PM on 08 Aug 2007,
  • Simon Cooke wrote:

IRAN/IRAQ - I can't even tell!
Sigh! Here we go again...First, you get a report in the Washington Post an American newspaper. Then, you want to ask John Bolton a FORMER US ambassador to UN & a Democratic presidential candidate about how the West should respond to Iran? Neither of the 2 gentlemen have anything to do with the UK. Why didn't you ask a British politician? Is that because you refused to pay them? Or did they simply refuse, in which case, maybe the item was without merit? Can you please stop using my TV tax money to interview American politicians & diplomats? PLEASE STOP DOING THIS !

  • 5.
  • At 11:14 PM on 08 Aug 2007,
  • Hamid wrote:

Does Newsnight have some kind of contract with John Bolton? He seems to be on every couple of weeks. Why does Newsnight insist on giving this reprehensible Neo-Con so much exposure? He was one of the foremost advocates of the invasion of Iraq and has spun lies and propaganda ever since. He always gets an easy ride from whoever's hosting, getting asked soft questions to which he reels of his standard answers. I understand the need for balance in terms of getting opinions from the right in debates such as this but there ARE other people out there. It's not like Bolton is an intellectual or has impressive credentials to warrant always going to him for the right-wing view on international issues. He's a grubby, objectionable, ultra right-wing Republican who makes Nixon look like Tony Benn.

  • 6.
  • At 11:19 PM on 08 Aug 2007,
  • Bryan27 wrote:

Isn't it time Newsnight stopped using John Bolton? He was sacked last year & no longer represents the US administration. His views are predictable, & his style offensive. Putting him on the programme turns it into Punch & Judy, not a balanced presentation of news & comment.

  • 7.
  • At 11:27 PM on 08 Aug 2007,
  • David Bateman wrote:

You really shouldn't -after her disgraceful cut-off of Alex Salmond, let Kirsty Wark get away with yet another blocking out; this time of Dennis Kucinech's response to John Bolton's final snide remark. It makes really unsatisfactory viewing, especially when taking into account the great importance of the subject of Iran/US relations and intentions.

  • 8.
  • At 12:09 AM on 09 Aug 2007,
  • Charles wrote:

BOLTON! Does Newsnight think that we buy this sabre rattling crap again? A once great program has delivered more evidence of it demise. Hutton really did place the BBC into a coma.

  • 9.
  • At 12:10 AM on 09 Aug 2007,
  • ChrisA wrote:

Please review the balance of the interview concerning the Channel 4 Dispatches programme: The CPS's conclusion as to the honesty of that programme is grave and alarming and must have taken some consideration before publication; the channel 4 deputy head of commissioning for current affairs (for whom I suppose it is possible that the interviewer may one day want to make a programme) was allowed to dismiss those comments as the equivalent of TV criticism and to ignore even the possibility of misinterpretation creaping into a 1 hour programme made from 56 hours of footage; the Muslim Council member appeared to be "verballed" by the interviewer into regretting words which firstly the CPS said had been distorted and secondly for which he could have no responsibility for, other than the fact they were associated with people who claim to share the same religion as him.

  • 10.
  • At 12:39 AM on 09 Aug 2007,
  • Mike - Northumberland wrote:

Here we go again the words of the Clerics were taken out of context, just like every reference an infidel makes about versus in the Koran.

As for Iraq - yep let the USA and the Former UK get out of Iraq and Afghanistan and defend Israel!

  • 11.
  • At 02:07 AM on 09 Aug 2007,
  • vikingar wrote:

Undercover mosque?

Oh dear, could it be the old liberal lefty sections of the media are going to fall out of their 'love-in' of convenience with certain sections of Britain's Muslim communities.

The latter obviously not playing the game of not biting the hand that assists, esp when the media closes ranks.

Looks like West Midlands Police 'Press & Media' department will be rather busy at present. [1]

Personally, open minded here, but having the police in effect taking the side of radicals & extremists, is like PC Plod inadvertently siding with the Nazi Party because their Anti Semitism has been misrepresented.

That’s not an issue of fairness, that’s stupidity in this very real pseudo-war, because in order to make that judgement, you have to look at the proven tracek history of said protractors, not soley interprett the cutting room footage, their own words & actions condem them thousand fold (just look at their productions on youtube)

Either way, far too many in Britain Muslims communities will take solace in the police action & take what they want from it (as they are overly thin skinned & only too willing to believe any conspiracy theory, rather than address & acknowledge the significant failings in their faith & their communities). We play into the hands of those who clearly have agenda & say different things to different audiences & for who such media spotlight is a win win, because those vulnerable to their pimping of Islam & prostitution of The Prophet Mohammed, unfortunately do not know any better.

Like to know far more about the investigation, whose inovolved, motivations, qualifications etc.


Ref motivations here:

- are the West Midlands Police just doing their job? (without fear or favour)

- are Islamic radicals being unjustly represented? (given the plethora of evidence over 10+ years)

- have Channels 4 unduly manipulated the material? (beyond that of normal editing)

The Evening Standard states the 'Ofcom - received 350 complaints about Undercover Mosque, which aired in January this year' [2]

Q.1 who where the 350 complainers (background, religion, politics, nationality) ?

Q.2 what influence did these complaints play in the change of direction of the original West Midlands Police investigation?

Q.3 where West Midlands Police looking for a result, period?

Q.4 are the West Midlands Police adequately qualified & resourced to comment on issues of this type, emanating from media programs & have access to all said materials etc to make a judgement?

Q.5 who are the players & agencies related to the West Midlands Police behind these developments?

Other relevant West Midlands Police story [3]


For the government & its agencies, they ought to be incredibly mindful that the majority who make up British Society (regardless of faith, origin, politics) will only tolerate a disingenuous minority for only so long. Efforts to accommodate are one thing, a dual system that suppressing/ignoring indigenous cultural norms & practice in order to accommodate the non indigenous practices of a dysfunctional Islamic sub society within the United Kingdom, will not be tolerated in the long run, it will not work.

Also those radicals & extremists in Britain's Muslims communities, unless totally stupid, should be mindful of toying with values & pushing the host society across a line - how do they expect British Society to respond? This is not just the issue of radicals twisting the notions of free speech etc, but where the very notion of citizenship becomes a compelling question & possible withdrawal / suspension becomes a reality , in the national interests, supported by the vast majority of British Society. The latter will not loose sleep over this, but undoubtedly the liberal left will, tormented that yet again another plank in their dreams of societual engineering has utterly failed. As for these radicals & extremists, surely they will feel rather at home on a dusty floor in some god forsaken part of the world, free to practice their intolerance & oppression based on an interpretation of Islam, with others of the same faith …. a real case of 'ET GO HOME' (extremists & terrorists)

As to this media case, more than willing to extend benefit of the doubt (tongue stuck firmly in cheek) but wholly unwilling to extend leeway to religious fascists, who are just playing the system, a system they hold in contempt & would wish to replace by any method. But lets await follow on legal actions & investigation from all the parties involved :)

As for Channel 4 & Dispatches, great programs, keep them coming.




  • 12.
  • At 12:13 PM on 09 Aug 2007,
  • the cookie ducker wrote:

Well channel 4 reruns that controversial 'undercover mosque' doc. What are the police playing at here with this one, comments taken out of context... really...let me have a another look.. er no. There is not an editor in the world, sat in a editing suite with all the sophisticated gear needed, could have made the comments look benign and cosy, how have the police who were originally investigating this film to see if they could make any charges, end up with the conclusion that the editing was suspect and comments were taken out of context, have tho police attended that many diversity courses, they are now blind to the bloody obvious. I sometimes think someone is having a laugh with us on this, it is a real test of patience for many of us and the usual denial( also known as lying in some quarters) of which we yet again witnessed on newsnight from the usual suspects seems to have no boundary "well the words were taken out of context"..please don't insult us with that reply from Kirsty's fair question.

The BBC made a little documentary on the BNP which had members from that party and the leader himself Nick Griffin caught on camera saying what appeared unsaviour comments, the police wasted no time in charging Griffin and a cohort for incitment to racial hatred. One therefore has to ask the question, what are the West Midlands police playing at, i can hazard a guess but am going to save that for my act.

  • 13.
  • At 01:02 PM on 10 Aug 2007,
  • Alistair Shaw wrote:

Mark Urbans reports on so-called evidence from government officials that's passed off as 'proof' of Iranian operations. Have we learned nothing from the dodgy dossier episode? Where in history are we shown that government "officials" are to be trusted as the source of objective information? It's the strategic national interest, stoopid. And John Bolton? Do me a favour. This was shoddy, shoddy, shoddy journalism. Please start thinking for yourselves.

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