Friday, 23 November, 2007
- 23 Nov 07, 06:32 PM
The Gordon Brown Stuff
His was meant to be the boring but competent government. The administration that would break away from the spin of previous years, do no serious wrong, excite us little. But the events of the past few days have shown us a government that has been far from boring. And indeed, you could argue, far from competent. Perhaps you wouldn’t even need to argue that at all. Tonight we ask how much the fiascos of the past weeks have been specifically of Gordon Brown's own making.
Have the moves he made at the Treasury now come back to haunt him? Do all these cock ups - from missing data, the handling of Northern Rock and Qinetiq - through to the dealings with Britain’s top generals - have his fingerprints all over them? We'll discuss that good and hard.
Oxfordshire is rarely thought of as a den of sweatshop drudgery. But our report this evening looks at one small business there that stands accused of exploiting migrant labour. Long hours, dangerous conditions with people who are so desperately grateful to find any sort of work they are loath to complain. This is no third world factory, this is a little corner of England. So why has no one clamped down before now?
The price of privacy
We may get outraged when the government loses details of our bank accounts and our children's names in the post. But how much are we exposing ourselves anyway in the things we sign up to on a daily basis. Whether they're supermarket club cards, social networking sites or webpage services we part with information pretty readily these days. It's all big bucks for the businesses involved. But what's the actual cost to us? Our Economics Editor Stephanie Flanders will be taking a look.
John Wilson is joined by Tom Paulin, Tony Parsons and Julie Myerson to discuss not one but two new Kenneth Branagh films - Sleuth and The Magic Flute. A new novel by king of small town Americana Garrison Keillor, Channel 4's drama Boy A and the Led Zeppelin revival complete the line up.
Read more on all those over on the Newsnight Review website.