Talk about Newsnight

A blog and forum.

Thursday, 20 December, 2007

  • Newsnight
  • 20 Dec 07, 05:50 PM


musa203x100.jpgWe have the first television pictures from the battle for Musa Qala. I've been talking to the British ambassador in Kabul and we 'll also be asking International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander about the other battle in Afghanistan - the one for hearts and minds.


In October Susan Watts reported on the growing doubts about one type of forensic evidence - it was called Low Copy Number DNA. Today the man accused of the Omagh bombing was found not guilty and in part that was because the judge did not find this evidence convincing. Should this type of evidence ever be used? We'll debate.


Should men who pay for sex be targeted for prosecution? Everyone agrees the idea of women being forced into prostitution is despicable, the sex trade from abroad into Britain is a key target for the police and for the government. But today Harriet Harman talked of targeting the men who pay for sex - would doing that be a good idea? And if it is a good idea, would it really have much of an impact on the trade in women forced into prostitution?

Plastic Bags

For me one of the most inspiring stories of the year is that of the BBC photographer who made a documentary about plastic pollution in Hawaii. If you saw Rebecca Hosking's documentary Hawaii: Message in the Waves you will have been appalled by the impact plastic has had on the lives of albatrosses, dolphins and other sea creatures. But when Rebecca returned home she talked to neighbours and friends in her small village in Devon ... and the result was a grassroots movement to do away with plastic bags as much as possible. Rebecca is one of our Newsnight End of the Year interviews.


Have attitudes to sex changed?

  • Newsnight
  • 20 Dec 07, 12:11 PM

Have British attitudes towards paying for sex changed?

sex203x100.jpgThis morning the leader of the commons Harriet Harman called for sex payments to be made illegal.

She's worried about the increase in the international trafficking of women.

But is outlawing paying for sex the best way of tackling this problem and is there a wider attitude towards sex and money that need to change? We want to hear your views.

Prospects for Thursday, 20 December

  • Newsnight
  • 20 Dec 07, 10:19 AM

Simon Enright is today's programme producer - here is his early email to the team.

Morning All,

Shake off those post-party foggy heads we've got work to do.

We hope to run a film of the battle for Musa Qala. Stephen Grey is flying back from Kandahar and we have the footage. Who should we talk to off the back?

We know today we'll get the verdict on the Omagh case. Remember Susan Watts film which looked at the evidence based on Low Copy Number DNA and asked whether this kind of evidence was good enough? Can we have a Justice minister on to defend it OR someone from the legal profession - against the Omagh defence lawyer.

Today's end of year interview is with Rebecca Hoskings who changed our perspective on plastic bags.

And then what else should we do?

Should we outlaw paying for sex - Harriet Harman calls for change in the law.

Should we not follow up on Zuma and the possible corruption charges he might face? Remember this was all first brought up in Peter Marshall's film.

There is gossip that Japan may give up hunting hump-backed whales - they are allowed to hunt some under their quota. What should we do?

What is the deal with the government and women pensioners? Should we explain?

The Red Cross are offering us their boss to talk about the Tsunami. Last year he came on the programme to admit that they'd only built 16 of the 2000 houses they'd promised. Have they now managed to spend all our money?


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites