Talk about Newsnight

A blog and forum.

Wednesday, 26 March, 2008

  • Newsnight
  • 26 Mar 08, 05:32 PM


sarkozy203x100.jpgIn his first state visit to Britain, President Sarkozy has certainly turned on all his charm, praising British dynamism and wooing Eurosceptics with flattery over how Europe needs Britain. He says he hopes his state visit to Britain will mark a new era in Franco-British relations. Gordon Brown has also hailed a new era of closer relations between France and the UK, but behind all the hyperbole, what does it all really mean? Michael Crick assesses what both men have to gain from this love-in.

And we'll be discussing what a Sarkozy - Brown alliance will mean with a former French minister, a writer and an academic.


mason203x100.jpgChinese workers have traditionally had few rights to speak out, but a country where strikes are illegal is now becoming the strike centre of the world. In the first of two special films from China, Paul Mason reports on the new Chinese workforce - the 300 million people whose cheap labour provides the life force of the economy - and how some are beginning to fight for their employment rights and are being physically attacked in the process.


On the eve of elections in Zimbabwe, why has the British government suddenly decided it’s safe to end its moratorium and send failed asylum seekers back to the country? Robin Denselow has been investigating.

Confessions of a Newsnight insider

  • Newsnight
  • 26 Mar 08, 12:52 PM

On our uppers

insider203x152.jpgThere are two drugs of choice in the Newsnight office.

Both are strong stimulants which are widely available in the world of the media. They induce a sense of heightened reality and aliveness, but in excess can give rise to irritability, palpitations and even panic.

You may know them as caffeine and adrenaline.

Coffee central
coffee203x100.jpgVisitors to Television Centre are often amazed by the number of coffee concessions we have here. One reason, I think, is that journalists (among others) frequently work more than 12 hours on the trot; another main driver is smoking - or lack of.

Now that nicotine consumption here is reduced to a furtive minority activity miles away by the canteen waste, what else is there to do at break time? It’s said that addicts frequently replace one addiction with another; the journey from nicotine to caffeine is well traversed.

Adrenaline has the advantage over caffeine of being free - plus, there’s no queue. If only you could get adrenaline loyalty cards.

Gym nauseam
As if a building-wide smoking ban wasn’t enough, an area on the fourth floor where hirsute broadcast engineers used to swill real ale and swap stories about creative cabling solutions is now given over to a gym. A GYM?? Are we going soft..?!

Give it a couple of years and we’ll all be drinking fresh carrot juice with ginseng, hooked up to a heart monitor.

Passing the (Star)buck
Perhaps we should be tough on the causes of caffeine. If only we didn’t have that 50 minute appointment with you each weekday night from 10.30, none of this would happen.

It’s your fault we’re all stimulant junkies. ;-)

Prospects for Wednesday, 26 March

  • Newsnight
  • 26 Mar 08, 10:21 AM

Carol Rubra is tonight's programme producer. Here's her early email to the team.

Good morning,

Tonight we have the first of Paul Mason's films from his recent trip to China and apart from that the programme is wide open so let's discuss what else we should put in it and how we should do the stories.


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