Talk about Newsnight

A blog and forum.

Thursday, 13 September, 2007

  • Emily Maitlis
  • 13 Sep 07, 05:58 PM

A very big tent
Gordon Brown and Lady ThatcherIt was, quite simply, one of those moments where you stop whatever you're doing to stare at the telly: retrieving your jaw, temporarily, from the edge of the desk.

Earlier today a car drew up outside the Prime Minister's residence. From it emerged a former tenant of 10 Downing Street: one Lady Thatcher, dressed in the most formidable pink. Gordon Brown then extended a warm welcome and a protracted greeting ahead of their private chat. So what was this Presbyterian Socialist doing in a sustained photo op with the living embodiment of Conservatism?

Is this the ultimate Big Tent gesture by Gordon Brown? Is there the glint of mischief in the Baroness's eye? And what was David Cameron making of all this behind the scenes?
Brown welcomes Thatcher to No 10

The unseen Zimbabwe
Inflation is at 8000%, food and water is scarce, electricity is erratic and government intimidation is widespread. The description of Zimbabwe is familiar, but the picture is one we very rarely get to see. BBC News has been banned from reporting from the country but our correspondent Sue Lloyd-Roberts got in, undercover, to make this remarkable film. She asks one question - brutal in its simplicity: how do those living there survive?
Inside Mugabe's Zimbabwe

It's taken twenty drafts so far - the White House has revealed - to write the President's 15 minute address on Iraq. It may well take another 20 - instability being what it is in that part of the world.

Today, an influential Sunni leader - and American ally - was killed in a bomb attack there. In one way, the timing works in George Bush's favour. He's pleading patience with the American people, as he attempts to pacify with the announcement of a partial troop withdrawal by the middle of next year. We'll cross to Washington for the latest analysis from Mark Urban.
Bush 'to announce Iraq troop cut'

Formula One
It's got the intrigue of a Willy Wonka factory heist but at stake, not chocolate recipes, but the secrets of the heady world of Formula One. The World Motor Sport Council is hearing evidence against the McLaren team over allegations they spied on their main rival, Ferrari. If McLaren is found guilty of exploiting sensitive technical information it could be fined, or even expelled from this year's championship.

Where would this leave the remarkable victories of Lewis Hamilton and the surge of patriotic interest he's inspired in the sport? And how damaging has this whole episode been for the Formula One brand?
McLaren hit with constuctors' ban

Newsnight Special: Sir Menzies Campbell

  • Newsnight
  • 13 Sep 07, 02:04 PM

Sir Menzies CampbellSir Menzies Campbell and the Liberal Democrats have had a tough few months since Gordon Brown took over as Prime Minister.

Next week, in a Newsnight special, Sir Menzies Campbell will be quizzed by our correspondents about his leadership and what he proposes for Britain. We want to know what you would like us to ask. Let us know here and we'll try and include some of your questions in the programme.

Why Newsnight's interview with former HT member is essential viewing

  • Richard Watson
  • 13 Sep 07, 11:52 AM

Maajid NawazFor anyone interested in radical Islam in Britain, our recent film airing the views of a former member of Hizb-ut Tahrir’s leadership is essential viewing. Maajid Nawaz – who was recently tipped to lead the organisation - explained in detail why he has resigned after 12 years – and why he wants other members to follow him.

When last year a more junior supporter of Hizb-ut Tahrir told us how Hizb-ut Tahrir had taught him to hate British society, the leadership angrily denied the charge. But on Tuesday's Newsnight Maajid Nawaz admitted that he taught new members that “they should revile being British”.

watchmaajidnarwaz.jpgHe explained: “We polarized the relationships between the Muslims and the non-Muslims…there are many things that I propagated to young people that I’m now, I regret thoroughly. That includes telling them that they’re not British but they’re Muslim first.”

Hizb-ut Tahrir’s stated aim is to create an Islamic super-state ruled by Shariah law. Publicly it stresses this will be achieved “without resorting to violence” and “following an exclusively political method.”

But this image was shattered in our interview when Maajid Nawaz confirmed that the organisation secretly believes that killing millions of innocent people to expand the Caliphate would be justified.

“They are prepared to, once they’ve established the State, to fight other countries and to kill people in the pursuit of unifying this state into one state. And what I’d like to emphasize is that such a policy is not agreed upon within Islamic theology.”

Mr Nawaz referred to a book which is highly respected by Hizb-ut Tahrir. “According to Hizb ut-Tahrir’s literature, according to a book written by their second global leader, it’s a state that they are prepared to kill millions of people to expand.”

He warned: “they’ve laid down the foundations for a theory that can then be used by jihadists and developed upon by jihadists, and that’s where there’s a danger.”

Hizb-ut Tahrir declined to be interviewed for last night’s programme. They issued a statement which did not address their former colleague’s concerns but said: “Opinion poll after opinion poll indicate that the Muslim world today rejects colonialism - whether manifested through occupation or western backed dictators - and is firmly behind Islamic political parties like Hizb ut-Tahrir, who call for the Caliphate - a ruling system that reflects Islam's political and moral standards. The increasing propaganda against the Caliphate is a last ditch attempt by Western governments to prop up these ailing dictators. We are happy to say that such attempts will inevitably fail.”

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