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What do you want in Wednesday's programme?

  • Newsnight
  • 31 Oct 07, 10:37 AM

You can tell our editor’s just returned from a blogging conference. Fresh faced and with fists clenched, he’s pushing another Newsnight experiment in audience participation. It’s quite simple – opening up the Newsnight running order to the people who watch us.

runningorder.jpgBefore each morning meeting the programme’s producers are sent an e-mail suggesting the stories we might like to think about before getting together, with plenty of scope to bring new ideas to the meeting.

How about we share that morning e-mail, and open up our blog for your ideas as to what we should seek to include in the programme?

Let us know if you think this is useful – or if you think it’s a desperate attempt to appear engaged with our audience. We can take the criticism!

The experiment begins today: here’s the e-mail from today’s output editor, Dan...

Good Morning.

Election 2007
Had Brown gone ahead with calling an election earlier this month, today would be the eve of polling with frenetic last minute appeals to voters. Let's just imagine a parallel universe where an election had been called, would Labour now be struggling to keep their majority? Would Cameron's changed stance on immigration, tax and Europe have dramatically altered the campaign, and would the Lib Dem's have recovered simply because of the greater coverage given to their party, or could they only have recovered without Ming? It's a good chance to see how dramatically the British political scene has changed in the last three weeks. We can disco with our wise panel of political grandees or do you have better suggestions for guests?

Child Labour and Cotton
We're very keen to follow up last night's extraordinary film by Simon Ostrovsky into the cotton industry in Uzbekistan. The film showed child labour picking cotton for very little money. Some of the cotton is eventually used in clothing sold by major retail outlets in the UK. Today we ask them for their response to our report, and what they are going to do about it.

A restored version of the classic Hammer film Dracula is out in time for Halloween. Steve Smith looks at the film that dramatically changed British cinema and the horror movie, and considers how the genre has changed since those innocent days.

Other stories to watch are the Fed decision on US rates this evening, reports of a new monks protest in Burma and the Competition Commission report into supermarkets.
Any other stories you'd like us to cover? Suggested treatments? Guests?

Comments  Post your comment

How about covering the 'creativity' in education report from the Commons education committee. I find it astonishing that creativity isn't an integral part of a child's school and college experience.

  • 2.
  • At 12:09 PM on 31 Oct 2007,
  • csharp wrote:

there was a debate in the lords on mon on child labour in the uk that higlighted '607 children were injured at work in 2004-05, yet the law on children who work consists of 200 pieces of legislation and is very confusing?' So one might interview any of the speakers [see hansard] on the state of child labour in the uk and why perhaps the laws are so strict people don't want to employ children anymore in any capacity.

this weeks hansard gives lots of ideas of topics and an easy list of speakers and their possible counterparts?

the election hypothetical just sounds desperate.

Please could you fix the URL for Newsnight? Last night you said it was:

But this gives a 403 FORBIDDEN access problem! It did this last night and is doing it today.


Hi Andrew (3) - there's no problem with the main URL that I can see. The shortest and sweetest address to use is simply

Let me know if you have any further problems.


  • 5.
  • At 12:59 PM on 31 Oct 2007,
  • Doza wrote:

I think you should cover the WCRF report on lifestyle / cancer risk.

I especially like the direct comments about reducing red meat and cutting out processed meat entirely (BACON!?): surely the meat industry have something to say about this?

  • 6.
  • At 01:40 PM on 31 Oct 2007,
  • Benedict Davey..A Value v Cost comparison wrote:

Medical Parasites Experiment on British Youth....the Value v Cost Comparison....

What is the value of agreeing with the establishment? compared to the cost of not being yourself...

Most people find they are most productive knowledgeable and contributive as themselves because they are motivated to a greater or lesser extent by what they naturally care about investing their own time in a multiclass way that classically by what they have done before sets up the brain...

The cost of recovering brain losses caused by establishment incentivised medical experiment may be life long and very damaging...simply to perpetuate their nepotistic anti capitalist economic of defeatist anti opportunism...that they believe is goodness???


  • 7.
  • At 01:47 PM on 31 Oct 2007,
  • Damon Kingshott wrote:

A report on Gordon Brown's first 100 days? Go hunting for any Tory policies? The follow-up to Benazir Bhutto?

  • 8.
  • At 02:31 PM on 31 Oct 2007,
  • john webb wrote:

how about seting the record straight on the issue of Mixed martial arts (cage fighting) concentrate on the facts rather than the fiction and knee jerk fearfull reaction this time please, this may appear to you like a bunch of jocks (sportsman)getting upset about people badmouthing their sport but it is the fastest growing "new" sport in the world and it has bona fida olympic heratige being one of the few surviving originl ancient olyimpic events under the name "pankration" it also boasts one of the best saftey records of any sport combat contact or otherwise...many thanks

Thanks for your comments.

Since my last blog, it looks like we have been given the go-ahead tonight for a fascinating investigation into allegations of voting fraud - quite literally cash being offered for votes - by Zaiba Malik. Watch this space for more details later today.

Thanks for the suggestions. In particular the World Cancer Research Fund report on the links between lifestyle and cancer has attracted lots of interest. Their recommendations seem pretty harsh - try not to gain weight as an adult, avoid sugary drinks, alcohol and bacon. Are they serious? Do these reports do any good or do people just switch off? It would be good to cover this tonight if possible. What do you think?


  • 10.
  • At 03:54 PM on 31 Oct 2007,
  • Doza wrote:

The WCRF report is really interesting because it's not a 'new study' - lots of comments on the main story are saying "enough with the new, conflicting advice" - but instead this report brings together all the advice over 50 years and comes up with some pretty stark conclusions. And they're deadly serious!

Whether people have had enough of being drip fed seemingly conflicting advice is another important issue.

  • 11.
  • At 04:08 PM on 31 Oct 2007,
  • Bob Goodall wrote:

Dear Newsnight

Thank you for this opportunity to suggest some possible storylines, would you be interested in any of the following:

• Re the Underground consider a mirror image bus service to take the pressure off the Underground. (suggested years ago to the Mayors office, no meaningful reply).

• When I worked as a rent arrears officer the first thing I was told was to apply for direct housing benefit payments where the tenant was in more than 8 weeks rent arrears. I did not evict a single tenant for rent arrears (one only was eviction because of their behaviour). It amazes me that social housing providers evict anyone for arrears.

Evicting people because of rent arrears is either maladministration on the part of housing departments or that of local housing benefit departments. Might it be possible to ask the Government if it could stop the eviction of often vulnerable people and look at the performance of these two local government departments instead?

Do you think there might be areas where increasing public funding can lead to long term savings?

Just one example

• When I was a rent setting officer for a national housing association I attended a briefing by the Joseph Rowntree foundation that suggested that reverting to 100% start up grants for housing associations might lead to an overall saving in Government expenditure through lower housing benefit bills because of lower rents. (plus increasing the incentive and practicalities of returning to work, creating more role models in the process).

Social housing is moving towards so called market rents, which is increasing the housing benefit bill.

• The Conservatives phased out rent controls in 1989 and the housing benefit bill has quadrupled since to over £12 billion a year.

One of a number reasons for bringing back rent controls?

Re Prison overcrowding

I wrote to the Home Office to suggest reserving prison sentences as a deterrent to violence in crime and dealing with non violent offenders in other ways. I received no reply, later a survey group contacted me to see what I thought of the response from the Home Office to my enquiry. I emailed this organisation both the original suggestion and a suggestion how organisations might process the huge amount of information they are sent to take out the relevant bits, again sadly no reply.

There’s more, ring me if you wish, you know where I am

Best wishes

  • 12.
  • At 04:40 PM on 31 Oct 2007,
  • harriet hamster wrote:

Well given so much news in the political arena
The Newsnight" Big Fat Politics" page looks starved ...
Last up-dated 19th October

  • 13.
  • At 05:05 PM on 31 Oct 2007,
  • tom ormmiston wrote:

who,s harry shooting at now

You know that script I sent you. The one about how biometrics aren't reliable enough. Not reliable enough to make the National Identity Scheme work. Not reliable enough to make eBorders work. Not reliable enough to make transformational government work. I'm happy to come into the studio to read it for you if that would help.

Best wishes

  • 15.
  • At 05:25 PM on 31 Oct 2007,
  • Adrienne wrote:

What do you I on Wednesday?

How about more even handed treatment on eveything that you produce?

Having spent a lifetime in science, I would like to see “mainstream” scientific opinion given a little less deference, and more reporting of well founded alternative schools.
For example: the classic black hole view of the universe becomes less tenable by the day while the “Electric Universe” theory (underwritten by Nobel Laureates, should you need such endorsement)
consolidates; but few know of it.

Check it out

  • 17.
  • At 06:29 PM on 31 Oct 2007,
  • Bob Bobson wrote:

It’s not just plumbers and factory workers being affected by excessive legal and illegal migrant workers.

I'm a final year student doctor.
All of my UK cohort are currently drafting 1000 word application forms for junior doctor jobs starting next year. These forms are essential as there are no interviews.

We were informed last week that due to 'unforeseen numbers of non-uk trained applicants' (that they are EU legislation bound to consider) it's likely that the previously assured 2 year jobs for us UK trained students will no longer exist. We'll get a first year training job but after that no promises.

A few insights:

Students are spending a disproportionate time on application forms and worrying about their future rather than studying in their final year.

This will be repeated again next year meaning we'll then be focussing on gaining experiences that enhance an application form rather than focussing on patient care.

UK trained doctors may not have jobs in their second post-graduate year through sheer competition of numbers. Caused by a potential un-restricted increase in the number of non-UK doctors working in the NHS.

A continuing impact on the experience of patients. Care in wards, staffed by a majority of people who speak English as a second language and do not share their culture at such a vital time when the need for clarity and comfort is paramount.

The BMA seem to want to perpetuate this situation as per their press release last week calling for the protection of overseas trained doctors working here at the moment. They've so far failed to comment on this current application debacle.

We each cost £250 000 to train. We have a covenant with the government and the British public. You support us and we will study hard and strive for excellence in education and our skills. We will work long hours, for not especially high pay, in difficult circumstances, to care for you. For the rest of our working lives.

Like so many other parts of British institutional life it seems these covenants are becoming a non-sense in favour of political correctness and constrictive European law.

When will national self interest be acknowledged as legitimate and necessary?

  • 18.
  • At 06:55 PM on 31 Oct 2007,
  • Elaine Hill wrote:

Given the news today that we are not at liberty to deport people who are criminals and not UK citizens I have to ask where will it end? I am sick of hearing about the individual human rights of people without any mention of their responsibility.

These people have abused our people and country and as such should not have any right to remain. They have by there actions forfeited any rights they may have had.

The Human Rights legislation is appalling in it's inability to put victims rights and the rights of ordinary citizens before those of serious offenders.

It is time that this pathetic government redresses the balance and asserts it's authority as to who should remain in this country.

If that means revisiting the decision to back EU Human Rights Law then so be it. Gordon it would be a vote winner - you could maybe go to the polls in May on the back of it!

Wow! We have an interactive Newsnight. There are so many channels that let the viewer decide what they want to see, but it's the first time I've seen it done for a news programme, and I love it. What I'd really like to see is Jeremy grilling Gordon Brown on his latest fiasco - the numbers of migrants in the UK! Failing that GB could talk about his upcoming role in The Simpsons :-)

  • 20.
  • At 07:38 PM on 31 Oct 2007,
  • KL wrote:

I agree with Penguin that the Commons education committee report on creativity in schools should get some coverage. When inventors and entrepreneurs like James Dyson are sponsoring academies, maybe orchestras and libraries should follow suit. Creativity is the key to successful teaching and learning in any subject.

I also agree with all those who think that this is a welcome development for Newsnight. Some very interesting comments.

POST 17 (Bob Bobson) wrote:

Care in wards, staffed by a majority of people who speak English as a second language and do not share their culture at such a vital time when the need for clarity and comfort is paramount.

THIS IS SO PERTINENT. I was witness to a charade that Monty Python would have given his fangs for. If I tried to give details, you might not post, but how about 1st-language-English medical staff for FRIGHTENED English patients Gordon?

Many heartfelt thanks Bob. May you prosper in the face of stupidity.

  • 22.
  • At 09:11 PM on 31 Oct 2007,
  • elizabeth Dempster wrote:

We have deliberately spent the evening away from home in order to avoid "trick or treaters".

I spent my childhood in Scotland where the traditional halloween involved visiting the houses of people one knew, dressed in fancy dress, and carrying pumpkin (or turnip) lanterns.

We were required to perform a "party piece" ( a song or a piece of poetry) before we were given toffee apples, sweets or fruit - never money!

Now all over the country, people are being held to ransom by these halloween revellers. Even the police attend "halloween training" to help them to deal with problems.

Has the world gone mad? Please discuss!

Thanks for all the suggestions today - I'm not sure what you make of this experiment but we were pleased, and have included the cancer story in tonight's programme as a result. Today we did it for those regulars who seek out the website of a morning, tomorrow we plan to email our morning prospects to the 60,000 or so who subscribe to the Newsnight email. (Do let us know if you'd rather not receive this email at around 10am). We assume those who subscribe are diehard viewers so it seems entirely appropriate that we should ask them what they'd like to see us tackle. We won't always be able to oblige - tomorrow for example we have a long film from Mark Urban in Pakistan whether you like it or not - but there's no doubt that what you tell us will help us form our thoughts. If you'd rather leave it to us that's fine, if you're worried that what others say is unrepresentative get on here and lobby for what you'd like to see us do. Like David (14) - one day, David, we will.


  • 24.
  • At 09:15 PM on 31 Oct 2007,
  • Adrienne wrote:

#17, The New Left are international socialists Bob, not national socialists (they hate Stalinists and other 'nazis', and have about as much liking for covenants, long term plans and anything remotely like that as vampires have for wooden stakes and garlic).

What do you expect from a bunch of Trotskyites in suits other than domestic anarchism as they demolish the (Stalinist) welfare state and go about establishing their Third Sector NGOs and international free-market for their backers?

If you keep talking/thinking the way you are now, they'll put all sorts of things down on your file and even try to send you to the GULAG for breach of Articles in the EU Reform Treaty's Fundamental Charter of Human Rights which will soon dictate what all of us can think, say and do.

See Jim Watson's treatment.

Anyone over 50 years of age can remember that we allways ate fresh meat and two veg when we were younger, there was not many people dieing with cancer in those days. Unfortunatly over the years the Famers have used all kinds of chemicals to make our crops grow faster and bigger, they used chemicals etc in the foodstuff for animals that we end up eating.
i am sick and tired of these nutritionist's and other experts telling us what we can and cannot eat, why don't they put their efforts to getting farmers to give us decent food that we can eat, like we had years ago.
I am wondering that if I died of cancer then would my Family be able to sue these farmers for killing me with all these chemicals that they are putting into our foodchain.
I do not see why organic food should be so very expensive as this is all we had years ago before farmers got greedy and started using these chemicals and whatever.

  • 26.
  • At 10:17 PM on 31 Oct 2007,
  • A bunch of Trotskyites wrote:

Suits! Never. Smart but casual.

  • 27.
  • At 11:48 PM on 31 Oct 2007,
  • Lesley Boatwright wrote:

Shall look forward to the morning e-mail.
I rather missed the boat today about the food alarms, but would dearly love in the future for some iconoclast to list all the scares in this area over the last twenty years or so and show us what is left that we may eat (steamed fish, and mounds of veg without salt, butter or oil?)

"Wendy's stealing clothes from unlocked cars (Mark's and Sparks)
And Freddy's got spots from ripping off the stars from his face
A funky little boat race..."


News Galoose. Live random news generator. Perhaps a bit too far out (mmaaannn).

"The television man is crazy
Saying we're juvenile delinquent wrecks
Man, I need a T.V. when I've got T-Rex
Hey, brother, you guessed"

Arguing Arena. Have two guests who disagree with a topic (just for the fun of it).

"I'm a dude

All the young dudes
Carry the news
Booga-loo, dudes
Carry the news...

...And my brother's back at home with his Beatles and his Stones
We never got it off on that revolution stuff
What a drag, too many snags"

Turning Points.

Start with news event that is not terribly good but seems headline grabbing (as usual) then counter balance it with similar subject matter but with positive outlook, or look for a counter positive turnout item. Example, a hypothetical news item focuses on psychology of depression. Turn this over later in time/programme to focus on psychology of happiness with good example.

"Well, I drunk a lot of wine and I'm feeling fine
Gonna race some cat to bed
Is this concrete all around, or is it in my head?
Oh, brother, you guessed

I'm a dude"

Yeah well.

"All the young dudes
Carry the news
Booga-loo, dudes
Carry the news..."

Ref to quotes by David Bowie - All The Young Dudes Lyrics, Mott The Hoople


  • 29.
  • At 11:26 AM on 01 Nov 2007,
  • Mark Knoop wrote:

Further to comments 3 and 4, still does not work (403 error); does work. This should be rather embarrassing for the BBC website staff, but they don't seem to care...

  • 30.
  • At 01:57 PM on 01 Nov 2007,
  • Smeddum wrote:

RATS...not the hot ones, but, the real furry scampering variety. I work in Sheffield and live in Derbyshire. My office is close to the city centre but I have a twenty minute walk, through under passes, alongside the river then through an old made into parkland by the city council to where I pick up my lift home. I see at least a rat a week en route. This morning, my Derbyshire neighbour told me she had seen and chased a rat from the bird feeder table in her back garden. I've notified the local authority. Is there a growing rat population and is there a need to be concerned / take action against a potential health hazard?


  • 31.
  • At 03:21 PM on 01 Nov 2007,
  • James Fleming wrote:

Please include hospital infection as a news topic, I am a newly-retired nurse, 61 and alas now fighting cancer of the pancreas, and I have strong feelings about the subject. I feel we need to explore more the following areas:

-the role of privatisation of cleaning services

-the undignified conveyor belt haste of patients through inpatient or day care with inadequate staff

-the need to look at my fellow nurses closely and how handwashing seems less important than 'getting the work done' and the over reliance on those damned alcohol gels. Soap and water is best.

-the loss of clinical expertise there seems to be in senior nurse managers who used to have the advantage over lay managers because they had practical and theoretical experience to guide them in managing. 'Modern matrons' is a rubbish term, they are being appointed like confetti but lacking the experience and gravitas of older nurses who knew what they are talking about. There should only be one matron, with perhaps a deputy or assistants, with the authority to deal directly with a problem and not have to drown in paperwork to so do.

-nurse managers should also remember that their lines of communication with top management are two-way system, not one way, where policy is decided by those least able to, ie the usual careering types whose targets are mainly building up their CV's than being patients' advocates as nurses.

James Fleming, SRN, RMN, RNT, OND.

  • 32.
  • At 03:48 PM on 01 Nov 2007,
  • Michael Stead wrote:

Re email for proposed running order.

excellent idea, would welcome opportunity to suggest order.


Michael Stead

  • 33.
  • At 06:55 PM on 02 Nov 2007,
  • tony from Birmingham wrote:

I see that Liam Byrne M.P.has paid a penalty for using a mobile phone whilst driving his car.

I see that nobody yet has taken him to task for his disgraciful performance on Newsnight a few months ago.

He found the subject of immigration so funny and giggled his way through so that even Jeremy Paxman seemed concerned.

I suggest that although he was not using his mobile during this interview perhaps he should have been breathalysed anyway for finding "immigration" such a humorous subject.

I can find no record of this particular interview, not even on You-tube.
Perhaps like his driving whilst talking he is ashamed of it.

Please do not mention name or city.
The powers that be have amazing powers to re-inforce correctness.

  • 34.
  • At 11:42 PM on 05 Nov 2007,
  • ronnie waugh wrote:

Regarding new labour whinging about lord Ashcroft. What about the starvation of potential funds for minor parties of the left from the unions? there is potential for a real challenge at either local or general elections if new labour would set the unions free of the threat of expulsion from affiliation if they wish to fund other left parties at election time . A prime example of this restriction is the case of the RMT being expelled for supporting the Scottish socialst party. I cannot approach my union for financial support I have stood for parliament twice , because it is for the socialst labour party my union cannot consider any request for funding.

Ron Waugh , GMB executive member( personal capacity )

  • 35.
  • At 03:48 AM on 06 Nov 2007,
  • Anthea Gent wrote:

The NHS is always strapped for cash.
Breakthrough medicines are increasingly expensive and NICE are left making their name an anafema [damn this doesn't spell check!]

I am currently trying a new drug treatment for my MS
- but there's been no clinical trial. It isn't claimed to fix MS - nothing has since the goat serum they trialled in 2003 - yes the same Goat Serum Newsnight highlighted being hyped as a cure to HIVAids in Swaisiland [spelling again!].

I'm not asking Newsnight to do a 'new myrical drug' story, I'd like you to highlight that clinical trials are funded by e.g. the MS Society and this treatment is TOO CHEAP for their Pharmaceutical funders to support the MS Society backing.

That's how trials are funded - by disease/condition socities' boards - that are dominated by major funders - who are the Pharmaceuticals!!!

This new drug I hope will prevent disease progression - like Betainterferon does for 1 in 3 MS sufferers (yes the drug that was a postcode lottery, then was the first 'no' decision from NICE... till they changed their minds.)
Betainterferon costs about £12,000 a year
Low Dose Naltraxone costs under £250 a year.
If it worked for all people with MS in the UK, the state would save £750m a year on druug costs!!!

I'd be really happy if you wanted longer to investigatge this - should there be some 'cheap drug' trial funding from the government? I could put you in touch with the UK GP who's prescribed to over 300 patients (it is all legal) and been thwarted in funding for trials? But really it's a question of how we evolve in the corporate ecconomy.

Send me an e-mail or google me for previous BBC contact.

Please More news on Credit Crunch and problems of our own in UK.

No we do not need a Housing Valuation crash, we need more affordable homes built to help population but all we get is talk from Mr Brown and no cash forthcoming (A few more Council homes for rent Not private).

It's about time charity started at home.----Barbara L

  • 37.
  • At 02:46 PM on 06 Nov 2007,
  • docnic wrote:

World Cancer Research Fund
While links between lifestyle and cancer are generally accepted what is not accepted is the degree ie the amount of alcohol, red meat, over-eating and exercise. It is therefore wrong for a reputable organisation to declare a risk without stating the degree of risk with the degree of abuse. In many cases these links are tentative at best but are often publicised openly without delaring the tentative nature of the link. This only serves to confuse and worry the public such that they become alienated from the very people who could persuade them to change their lifestyle.

This topic will now be a permanent part of the public debate and therefore the actions taken and progress made by the government should be made a lot more clear

  • 38.
  • At 03:29 PM on 06 Nov 2007,
  • Colin Davies wrote:

How is Lord Digby Jones of Birmingham getting on with the business of Government. Does he find it more difficult than running the CBI ?

  • 39.
  • At 06:04 PM on 06 Nov 2007,
  • Chris Murray wrote:

When are the powers that be, going to admit that when Ofsted brand a school as poor performing . The school is the building , the poor performance is from the half hearted ,i'm in this job for the holiday entitlement , Teachers of today .
If a teaching 'establishment' is below par , stay behind . Open for the Holidays . There is no excuse for any student or pupil to leave a British school wanting .
If the teachers wanted everyone to suceed , then they should make dam sure and put the effort in . Yes out of hours if required ,we all have to

Re: 'Joke fit for an eleven year old'

Surely, in view of today's news, the best joke is the joke of supposed 'democracy', where in such democratic countries as England, the elderly can be killed in their beds, with the full use of the NHS - doctors, nurses, drugs?

Or perhaps that joke is not fit for an eleven year old?

  • 41.
  • At 12:15 AM on 03 Apr 2008,
  • parto from dublin wrote:

What I would really and truly like to see on Newsnight is Jeremy Paxman,being less arrogant towards his guests.It would be so much more democratic to be able to form our own opinions on what is being said,rather than dear Jeremy's biased ones. Or is it that he is simply a voice for the BBC bosses......So please will you oblige.Yours,truly grateful,in anticipation........
Or if that is not possible,here is an idea for a new program,how about a,Jim'll Fix It series......
Dear Jim,
Can you please fix it for Jeremy Paxman to be less arrogant towards his guests,otherwise I am going to have to give up one of my favourite programs.......

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