Talk about Newsnight

A blog and forum.

Thursday, 20 September, 2007

  • Newsnight
  • 20 Sep 07, 05:03 PM

Shouting fire in a crowded cinema
KingThis is how John McFall MP described the effect of the governor of the Bank of England's intervention as lender of last resort to Northern Rock last week.

Mervyn King, was being grilled by MPs at the Treasury Select Committee over his handling of the banking crisis in recent weeks. The Governor forthrightly defended his actions but worryingly stated that current legislation prevented him from taking the action he felt necessary - covertly supporting Northern Rock.

In effect he is saying the current system does not work. So why, some are asking, has it taken him so long to realise this?
Bank chief defends role in crisis

Liberal Democrats
Michael Crick has been watching Menzies Campbell's speech down in Brighton. The audience seemed happy but behind the scenes has it silenced the whisperings of discontent about his leadership?
I'm not too old, says Sir Menzies

Voting on climate change
When US Pollster Frank Luntz asked our focus group of "sceptics" and "believers" what climate change meant to them he couldn't shut them up.

We asked him to find out how important environmental policies are to a group of British voters. If the strength of the response from them is anything to go by, politicians still have a lot of work to do to convince people that their actions would make any difference.
Climate change: in-depth

Sue Lloyd Roberts' exclusive film for Newsnight last week provided first hand evidence for many of just how serious the humanitarian crisis is in Zimababwe at the moment. Now Gordon Brown has reacted in an article today.

He has said that he will not attend the forthcoming EU-Africa Summit in Portugal if Robert Mugabe goes but the Portuguese government doesn't agree. It says he should be invited because other African leaders want him to attend.

How is Zimbabwe reacting to the Prime Minister's intervention? We will be talking to the Zimbabwean ambassador to the UN live on the programme.
Brown threatening Mugabe boycott

Naming the dog
And, we've had a huge response to our "name the dog" competition. The results are here.

Give a dog a bad name

  • Peter Barron
  • 20 Sep 07, 04:14 PM

AwoogaThanks to everyone who took part in our competition to name Newsnight's imaginary dog.

It's been a cautionary lesson in the dangers of inviting the viewer into the pet-naming process. A few of you came up with droll suggestions - I liked "Mervyn. Chasing his tail", "Warkies" and "Did you threaten to overrule him? maybe Diddy for short" - but I'm sorry to say the early leader didn't show a great deal of imagination on your part.

Last night it seemed certain the winner would be "Paxo", and frankly I thought we might have to overrule you. But then, like the Today programme before us, we fell victim to what was clearly a write-in campaign aimed at distorting the outcome of the vote.

From nowhere the name "Awooga" appeared and quickly gathered steam. By our deadline of 3pm today "Paxo" or variations thereof had 54 votes and "Awooga" had stormed up on the rails to...exactly the same number - 54. What to do?

In the current climate of budgetary restraint we thought it wouldn't be appropriate to have two imaginary dogs, so we've given ourselves the casting vote. On the grounds that "Awooga" was a pure-bred, if coordinated, suggestion whereas "Paxo" came in several mongrel variations, we hereby name the Newsnight dog "Awooga".

Having checked our urban slang dictionary we don't think it's a rude word, but perhaps you, the viewer, know better?

Do politicians have the answers to climate change?

  • Newsnight
  • 20 Sep 07, 03:57 PM

EarthTonight on Newsnight we have convened a focus group to look at how politicians from the leading parties perform on environmental issues.

US pollster, Frank Luntz asked a group of sceptics and believers how important policies on the environment were to them. We'd like to know what you think.

Are you willing to pay more in green taxes? Will environmental policies influence the way you vote in a general election?

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