Tuesday, 16 October, 2007
- 16 Oct 07, 05:18 PM
As European leaders prepare for their summit in Portugal later this week pressure is increasing on Gordon Brown as he tries to deflect calls for a referendum on the European Reform Treaty. His ability to maintain this position depends on the so called "red lines" or opt outs Britain has negotiated. But how red and how thick are those lines? The Foreign Secretary is appearing before the ominous sounding EU Scrutiny Select Committee. Which, as the title suggests have been looking in detail at exactly what has been agreed. If David Miliband doesn't succeed in convincing the committee that the opt outs are legally robust, where does this leave the calls for a referendum?
After Menzies Campbell's sudden resignation as leader of the Liberal Democrats last night he's said today he feels "irritated and frustrated" at not being able to lead his party into a General Election. The challenge now for the Liberal Democrats, as leadership contenders take soundings from supporters, is how it can carve out a distinct identity when Gordon Brown and David Cameron are also concentrating on the centre ground. We'll be talking to two key Liberal Democrats from different strands of the party on which direction the Lib Dems need to take to reverse its fortunes. Join the debate on our Big Fat Politics Website.
Cumbria is moving into the digital age as it becomes the first place in the UK to lose the analogue TV signal. We on this programme have a special interest since BBC Two will be first to go in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The remaining analogue channels will be switched off on 14 November. Our Culture correspondent, Steve Smith is in the town of Whitehaven to assess how prepared the people there are.
Shortly before we go on air the winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction will be announced with Ian McEwan and Lloyd Jones the front-runners. We'll bring you an interview with the winner.
CHINESE CHILDREN TRY DEMOCRACY
In the second of our special reports from China we go to Wuhan, a city in central China about the size of London. It is here that director Weijun Chen has conducted an experiment. A grade 3 class at Evergreen Primary School have their first encounter with the democracy when they are asked to hold an election to select a Class Monitor. Eight-year olds compete against each other for the coveted position, abetted and egged on by teachers and doting parents. Tonight's film Please Vote for Me is a portrait of a society and a town through a school, its children and its families.
Join us at 10.30 pm BBC 2