Talk about Newsnight

A blog and forum.

Wednesday, 27 February, 2008

  • Newsnight
  • 27 Feb 08, 06:11 PM


beveridge203x100.jpgThe Welfare State was established in 1948 to tackle William Beveridge's "Giant Evils" of Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness. A key part of that reform was the abolition of the Poor Law and its replacement with a version of the Social Security and Benefits system we have today. But 60 years on, is the benefits system still fit for purpose? On the eve of the government's announcement of its own proposals on Welfare Reform we'll be talking to the Work and Pensions Secretary and asking key thinkers if it is time for a root-and-branch change?


As Russia prepares to elect a new president this weekend, there are signs it's reinstating its military might. In the last few months strategic nuclear bombers have been brought out of 15 years of hibernation and intercepted off the coast of Scotland. While they say these are simply exercises, few doubt that its growing presence in the skies has a political dimension. We have exclusive access inside one of Russia's strategic bomber bases.


We'll have the latest from Jersey on the police investigation into allegations of child abuse at Haut de la Garenne, and have some astonishing revelations about the Jersey authorities' attitude to previous cases of child sexual abuse.


The biggest earthquake in Britain for nearly 25 years was felt across large parts of Britain this morning. The epicentre measured 5.2 on the Richter scale near Market Rasen in Lincolnshire but people across Newcastle, Yorkshire, London, Cumbria, the Midlands, Norfolk and also parts of Wales all felt it. We'll take a look through the images from throughout the day.

Is it time to rethink Welfare?

  • Newsnight
  • 27 Feb 08, 01:51 PM

The Welfare State was created to tackle William Beveridge's "Giant Evils" of Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness.

But 60 years on, is it still fit for purpose?

On the eve of a government announcement about plans to overhaul the benefits system, Newsnight asks is it time for root-and-branch change?

Let us know what you think?

Prospects for Wednesday, 27 February

  • Newsnight
  • 27 Feb 08, 11:08 AM

Today's programme producer is Carol Rubra - here is her early email to the team.

Good morning,

There's no obvious lead today but I'm interested in looking at Welfare reform ahead of James Purnell's announcement tomorrow. Do we need a new Welfare State for the 21st Century? Have social attitudes to the benefits system changed as society has become less homogenous? Please come to the meeting with ideas for guests for a big discussion, treatments and angles.

Which other stories interest you?
Heathrow protesters on the roof of parliament, more chip and pin, EU expenses, DNA case, the Obama/ Clinton debate, pro referendum lobby of parliament.

We have a film from Rupert Wingfield Hayes from the Volga on Russia reviving its strategic nuclear bomber force.

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