Talk about Newsnight

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Tuesday, 5 February, 2008

  • Newsnight
  • 5 Feb 08, 05:38 PM

gavin203x100.jpgHello to viewers. We open tonight with Gavin in New York and David Grossman watching the political drama unfold - in what one US journalist called Super complicated Tuesday. It's a key date in the American Presidential contest. Republicans and Democrats in 24 states - almost half the country, are choosing their candidates in the race for the White House. Eventually, it could mean the United States getting either its first woman President, its first black President, or its oldest incoming President. The story will be unfolding while we're on air and we will be there live.

Then on this side of the Atlantic, is surveillance growing unchecked, and without us really having any idea who is authorising bugging and intercepts, and therefore operating with little or no accountability? Is it a frightening or reassuring prospect that someone may be watching us, and is the threat of terror a legitimate reason for surveillance or an excuse for breaching our human rights? The bugging of the civil rights lawyer, MP and now government minister Sadiq Khan on visits to his constituent and client Babar Ahmad in Woodhill Prison has become a major political and security row. Tonight we'll be exploring the limits of freedom, and the role of the State.

Also tonight, is kite flying a sound political tool, a legitimate vehicle of gauging public opinion or a cheap way of scoring political points? Today in her first speech as Housing Minister Caroline Flint suggested that in order to qualify for council housing people would have to show a willingness to work. She was immediately condemned by some charities for suggesting “a return to the workhouse". This follows David Cameron's uncosted idea that all new mothers should have a home nurse for a baby’s first week. We explore the modern history of political kite flying - some of the soaring successes and plummeting failures.

Prospects for Tuesday, 5 February

  • Newsnight
  • 5 Feb 08, 10:29 AM

Robert Morgan is today's programme producer. Here's his early email to the production team.
Good morning everyone,

It's Super Duper Tuesday. Gavin, Liz and Lucy are in New York. David and Ben are in LA. We'll be doing a co-pres with Kirsty here. A lot of the production work will need to be done here. I'll explain more in the meeting. Other stories include new lines in the extraordinary bugging story, Northern Rock, housing, and Prince Andrew. Do come to the meeting with ideas on how to do these stories and any others you like.


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