Talk about Newsnight

A blog and forum.

Richard Watson’s comment on the Policy Exchange row

  • Newsnight
  • 14 Dec 07, 06:07 PM

Our recent film about Policy Exchange’s report “The Hijacking of British Islam” certainly has provoked an angry response from this influential think-tank. Policy Exchange is accusing us of bad faith and of concentrating on what they seem to be suggesting is the trifling matter of some of the documentary evidence used to underpin their findings. They say we’ve missed the main point, that extremist books were recovered in any case.

A quick reminder: In what Policy Exchange billed as the most comprehensive academic study of its kind, four teams of two researchers, not on Policy Exchange’s staff but working on their behalf, had visited 100 mosques and found that in a quarter of the locations they were able to buy or acquire extremist literature. Their report can be read here.

Continue reading "Richard Watson’s comment on the Policy Exchange row"

Friday, 14 December, 2007

  • Newsnight
  • 14 Dec 07, 05:26 PM

Climate Change

“The climate in the climate conference is good,” Germany's environment minister told reporters in Bali, with typical Germanic wit.

But we think things may be hotting up there imminently. We're expecting a deal tonight and hoping it might be finalised by the time we go to air.

The sticking point at the summit so far has been the refusal by America and Canada to sign up to firm numerical targets to cut greenhouse gases. They say they merely operate in a different way - exceeding their own expectations instead of setting targets which they fail to meet.

So does that mean that no deal is possible? We'll be live in Bali, and will talk to the US state department to figure out where things go from here.


Any day soon British troops are due to hand over control of Basra to Iraqi forces - what have they achieved there?

We have an exclusive Newsnight poll showing what the people of Basra themselves feel about the British troops and their record over the last four years. An overwhelming majority say their presence has had a negative effect on the province.

We'll be talking to the pollster himself and asking how you gauge opinion in such a challenging environment. And we'll ask whether the British military has been a force for good in Southern Iraq.

Click here to view the full poll results (PDF file)


If the global central banks thought that a one-off cash injection of 50 billion pounds was going to ease the credit crunch, they may be a little disappointed. The markets have failed to perk up. Does that mean they need the same again, or that they're recognizing - from the size of the gesture - just how serious the situation is?

bee_203.jpgAnd in Newsnight Review

Kirsty Wark is joined by John Harris, Natalie Haynes and Sarfraz Manzoor to discuss:

Erotic espionage in the film Lust, Caution; Channel 4’s new series Make Me a Muslim; Stephen Fry’s Cinderella at the Old Vic; and the animated film Bee Movie.

Click here for more details

Newsnight response to Policy Exchange statement

  • Newsnight
  • 14 Dec 07, 02:54 PM

Policy Exchange's statement is misleading in many ways and doesn't answer the simple question raised by Newsnight's film. Given that the Policy Exchange report was based on the testimony of the researchers who gathered the receipts, do they believe all the receipts are genuine?

Click here to read Richard Watson's comments on the Policy Exchange row

Click here to read the Policy Exchange statement on their website

Click here to read Peter Barron's blog entry, "Disastrous misjudgement?"



Prospects for Friday, 14 December

  • Newsnight
  • 14 Dec 07, 10:49 AM

Today’s output editor is Dan Kelly – here’s his morning e-mail to the production team:

Road to Nowhere?
balidemo_203.jpgThe Bali conference was supposed to produce a "Road Map" towards a global deal to cut greenhouse gases. A document is expected to be produced by tonight, but how effective will it be, and why is the American delegation so determined not to sign up to binding targets on cutting emissions for developed countries? Susan Watts and Roger Harrabin are on the case, and we have an interview planned with the State Department.
Climate talks 'heading to deal'

The handover of Basra province is due any day soon, and certainly before Christmas. Newsnight has an exclusive poll of the people of Basra - what do they think the British have achieved there, and what do they think the future holds? We need a strong interview/discussion off the back of this.
Basra handover to Iraq on Sunday

Other stories to look at include the drugs in US sport report, drugs in the army and the latest on Northern Rock.

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