Talk about Newsnight

A blog and forum.

Friday, 30 November, 2007

  • Newsnight
  • 30 Nov 07, 05:33 PM

Dodgy donations
alexander_harman.jpgNow Paul Green, the Jersey based businessman who helped fund Wendy Alexander's uncontested election campaign to lead the Scottish Labour party has released a letter from Ms Alexander.
In it she thanks him for his donation. Given that she addressed the letter to Jersey it casts doubt on her assertion that she thought the money had come via a Glasgow based firm connected with Mr Green.
If she knew the donation came from "offshore" then surely she knew it was an illegal donation? Can she continue as Labour leader in Scotland and was either her brother Douglas Alexander, or the Prime Minister, in the loop on this one?

Meanwhile Harriet Harman, who's due to have a fundraiser, next week in Leicester Square to help with her election campaign debts, is on the rack. The Electoral Commission has contacted Harriet Harman's office to seek clarification of how she funded her election campaign. As David Grossman reported last night on Newsnight, only one loan, an overdraft facility for £10,000 taken out in October last year has so far been reported. Is she having such a bash simply to pay back that loan? Michael Crick and Paul Mason are digging deep.
Brown denies war over donations

Imagine living in a town surrounded by hundreds of square miles of frozen forest, which used to serve principally as a place of exile for political dissidents. Khanty-Mansiisk 1,400 east of Moscow has a population of just 60,000 people but now it's Vladimir Putin's show town. It's been allowed to keep the majority of its vast oil revenues and it's a boom town with a state-of-the-art hospital, university, performing arts school and many shiny new buildings, and a birth rate of twice the national average. People are flocking there even though the temperature can drop in this Siberian province to -40. Tim Whewell went there to witness the boom times for himself, in advance of this weekend's Russian elections which Putin is almost certain to win.
Read Tim's article here - and watch him try out the local hospital's cryotherapy chamber here.

Newsnight Review

Brad Pitt as Jesse JamesJoining Martha Kearney on Review this week are Paul Morley, Michael Gove and Rowan Pelling.

Up for discussion: Brad Pitt in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford - a lengthy title for a lengthy film; the BBC documentary series dogged by controversy before it was even screened - The Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work; Dame Vivienne Westwood's cultural manifesto; and the Wellcome Collection's exhibition on Sleeping and Dreaming.

Join Martha and co on the sofa after Newsnight and read about the above and more on the Newsnight Review website.

Friday's prospects

  • Newsnight
  • 30 Nov 07, 11:48 AM

Liz Gibbons is Friday's programme producer - here's her early email to the team. What else do you think we should pursue today?

Labour logoDonations - How can we move the story on even further today?

We have a fascinating film from Sibera scheduled to run - pegged to the Russian elections.
Read Tim's Whewell's article on the Siberian oil boom here.

What else would you like to do? There's a key Iran meeting in London and it's world AIDS day tomorrow….

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