Talk about Newsnight

Latest programme

Monday, 3 March, 2008

  • Newsnight
  • 3 Mar 08, 06:17 PM

24-Hour Drinking
WineWe were told it could lead to a café culture, sensible drinking and a decline in drink-related violence, but has it? Newsnight has conducted its own review of the 24-hour licensing laws, ahead of the Government's official publication, expected tomorrow. What has been the real impact of liberalising the law? (Remember Boozenight?)

Hamas declared "victory" this morning after Israeli troops pulled out of the Gaza Strip after days of fighting in which more than 100 people have died - but the Israeli Prime Minister said military action would continue. So what are the prospects for peace? Mark Urban reports from Israel and we speak to senior Israeli and Hamas politicians.

Obama's Foreign Policy
So how would Barack Obama have handled this weeks events in Gaza, Russia or Iraq and would we have even noticed the difference? We'll be speaking to his senior foreign policy adviser, Samantha Power.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 07:32 PM on 03 Mar 2008,
  • David hart wrote:

Spring Spin Offensive??

The delightful Samantha is unlikely to reveal the full nature of an Obama defence policy which will be greatly influenced by the industrial military contracts existing in Iraq.

Will Newsnight press for answers on the following?

Will the huge US Bagdad `embassy` be retained?( Like the Tehran compound embassy this is really a massive CIA station for ruling the middle east and strangely the CIA who had overthrown the elected government of Iran in the first place objected to its capture and incarceration of their agents and staff.) Why should the Iraqis accept this station given that the US invaded to `liberate` the country.

What is the size of military force to be retained in Iraq to protect embassy personnel?

Will Bagdad airport be held for US military?

Will private defence (mercenary) contractors be retained?In what numbers?

Will Obama seek to enforce US demands to overfly the country of Iraq and launch military offensive against neighbours at will?(Yes thats part of Bushlaw.)

Last week Obama is said to have changed his position on Blackwater
and their immunity from prosecution according to the author of the Blackwater book-will Samantha avoid this issue or will Newsnight even ask?

How many commandos to be retained to strike so called al quaida (who of course are mainly those resisting invasion) and how many support mercenaries?

What of the oil contract.Will Obama support a national oil company like nearly all sovereign states have? Will Obama honour the pledge made by Blair/Bush that Iraqi oil is for the Iraqi people? (I doubt this will be asked- the FO is in favour of an oil grab).

Samantha will dodge these questions and probably give the spin on mil litary withdrawal while understating the huge numbers to stay behind.
Just as Clinton followed on with Bush 1 imperial bombing policies Obama will probably do the same.

And what plans for dealing with a hyper inflationary recession which could lead to a depression?

  • 2.
  • At 07:35 PM on 03 Mar 2008,
  • Fulla wrote:

How many people, amongst the 100, Israel killed? I wonder!!
I was listening to BBC radio when two children were killed by Israeli army but the reporter said two people mentioning their age, I wonder if those two children are killed by Hamas, what words the reporter would select. Unfortunatley, lots of people are being killed openly and unjustly many of them are children by the Israeli army and the killer is made by some selected words to be the victim! I know that my words will not appear but they are a deep cry for justice if somebody can hear!!!

  • 3.
  • At 08:57 PM on 03 Mar 2008,
  • S. Barraclough wrote:

A puzzle wrapped in an enigma or something like that? The Israelis are always excusing thier use of excessive retaliations by claiming to 'defend their country and citizens. They would like the world to forget that they stole that very country from the Palestinian Arabs and are still expropriating land, and have been condemned for doing so. But only on paper.

  • 4.
  • At 09:17 PM on 03 Mar 2008,
  • David hart wrote:

Gaza gore

112 dead in last 5 days.On Saturday 60 dead. (Demnow)

At least one third children (Al Jaz.)

Body parts splattered about and smell of burnt flesh.

The bombing continues and tanks stand ready.

65% Israelis opposed. Israel is not a democracy-all news is heavily censored.

Hamas leader,Sumi Abu Zhuri accuses Israel of "war of elimination".


Whose land do these home made rockets land on and do the occupants have good title?

  • 5.
  • At 09:44 PM on 03 Mar 2008,
  • John wrote:

Yes, I remember 'booze night' so why are you flogging this dead horse again? Alcohol consumption is declining, so don't you think Newsnight is being a bit Daily Mail with it's focus on hype above substance?

  • 6.
  • At 09:54 PM on 03 Mar 2008,
  • Bob Goodall wrote:

Hi changed my mind about posting,

all sorts of strange bells and whistles on the phoneline tonight, before I pop out for a late night drink

could I suggest a related storyline?

Are Government officials in the US changing tact ahead of the change of Presidency and does their change in emphasis mirror what they anticipate will be policy changes the new American president will want?

Indeed are they already talking to the 'new' president before the old one has put his boots up?

just a thought

best wishes

  • 7.
  • At 10:40 PM on 03 Mar 2008,
  • Michael wrote:

Living in Belgium, the answer seems obvious. The big difference between bars here and in the UK is the fact that in the UK bars put capacity as premium. By having fewer chairs, people are forced to stand, by standing people hold their drinks and therefore drink quicker. In Belgium most bars close at around 2am, beer is strong at 8% alcohol, but problems are few and far between. It's not rocket science, force bars to have smaller standing areas and more seats, people will drink that little bit slower and people will get used to this way of behaviour. It will never be perfect but it's a simple contribution to reducing binge drinking...

  • 8.
  • At 10:43 PM on 03 Mar 2008,
  • David D. wrote:

Why is "continental" always France or Italy? Realistically, we'd be better looking at Germany or Holland or Czechoslovakia - big drinking cultures but which have problems with alcohol, but which don't have the same drink-and-violence problems on quite the same scale.

  • 9.
  • At 11:07 PM on 03 Mar 2008,
  • Jim B wrote:

The governments answer to all our woes would appear to be to raise taxes.

I'm in my late 30's. I don't go to night clubs or bars as it's too expensive and, to be completely honest it's not my scene.

Why should I be penalised for having a drink at home with friends?

I'd be happy if the money the government gained from raising tax on drink was ring fenced solely towards assisting the police and partnership agencies involved to manage and reduce antisocial behavior.

The reality of the situation is that any monies they raise through raising taxes will disappear into some other ill conceived scheme (probably to do with MP's expense claims or such).

  • 10.
  • At 11:08 PM on 03 Mar 2008,
  • Bill Hill wrote:

The removal of permitted hours has not brought our licensing laws in line with Europe, where most countries, even the tolerant Dutch, have some restrictions on when alcohol can be sold in licensed premises. They just aren't that obvious because there isn't a free for all at closing time.

The government will never admit that it got it wrong on this one but it needs to come up with a better idea that just increasing taxes. All that would do is hurt those who drink sensibly while the element that causes the trouble would carry on regardless. Where is the evidence that the high prices charged in night-clubs deters excessive drinking? Indeed, where is the evidence that increasing taxes on cigarettes deters youngsters from smoking? - That is the one area of society where it is on the increase. Money isn't a problem for the binge drinkers.

I agree that the problem stems from the unsupervised consumption of alcohol bought at knock-down prices in supermarkets.

  • 11.
  • At 11:24 PM on 03 Mar 2008,
  • Lee Bryant wrote:

Samantha Power was just awesome! Really impressive.

  • 12.
  • At 11:34 PM on 03 Mar 2008,
  • Bill Bradbury wrote:

Real Ale drinkers are responsible drinkers. Tax Alcopops, the "shots" culture and off-sales strong lager and cider. (not the real thing, even too strong for our "yuth".)

  • 13.
  • At 11:34 PM on 03 Mar 2008,
  • Ronald Maclean wrote:

On drink laws - no explanation at start that these are laws and changes applying to England and Wales only (indirect reference later). Scotland liberalised along time ago - no comparison made.

Gaza - Mark Urban discusses possible developments entirely in terms of what Hamas may concede. No mention of actions Israelis could take like end of blockade, cessation of incursions, overtures to Hamas. The problem was presented as 'the problem with the Palestinians'.

  • 14.
  • At 12:12 AM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • David hart wrote:

A veil of deception

Samantha casually refers to the Intelligence base in bagdad as an embassy but its from here that the American war machine will continue its imperial reach over the oilfields of the Middle East having been outed from Saudi.(There is a CIA map showing how the Americans want to redraw the Middle East on the internet-no need to wait for a Sykes-Picot moment!)

No reference to the US permanent bases,the airport (second only to Heathrow),private mercenaries,immunity from prosecution,US rights to use Iraqi land for offensives against neighbours or the US oil which lies under the deserts of Iraq.

No mention of democratic structure, whether Iraq actually exists anymore or whether Mesopotamia has now been deconstructed in accordance with talmudic ambitions.

In other words nothing to suggest to the corporations whose support Obama will need to be an effective leader will not be prevented from continued exploitation of a sovereign state and its citizens whom they regard as `un people`.(Chomsky-PressTV).

On Iran -no mention of Cheney (husband of Fabian Lynne) and his visit to Turkey who has stopped their incursion of N Iraq just in time. The purpose -to divide & rule between Iran and Syria and to ensure military routes for Iran invasion.
On Uranium enrichment which is still being worked up by Bush regardless of the reality-no mention of US building a base on Irans`s Northern border or the presence of 95 nuclear warheads in a US base in South Eastern Turkey.

If American citizens object to the continuous war plans well they just be RFID chipped and held in those lovely new detention centres under construction by Holy Halliburton (who else).

It will be war as usual.Barak will make no difference unless he is keeping his agenda hidden.

Don`t hold your breath.(Buy gold & oil shares)

  • 15.
  • At 12:57 AM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • John wrote:

I urged Newsnight to examine the progress made since Annapolis last week as 3 months had passed. Settlements have continued to grow and checkpoints that the Palestinians must pass through have become more numerous. If this context is not provided, then it's all too easy for the Israeli Ambassador to claim that his country are a partner for peace with a straight face. Of course Sadat and King Hussein could be accommodated because they did not stand between in the way of the Greater Israel project. Once Egypt & Jordan were compliant it allowed Israel to make Swiss cheese of the West Bank, leaving densely populated Arab population centres surrounded by Jewish only real estate. These are not the actions which will lead to a successful two state solution.

Is an in depth examine of these issues taboo at the BBC, because I fail to find them anywhere, even on the flagship news programme?

Outstanding interview by Jeremy with Ahmed Yousef, the Hamas spokesman tonight, as well as the Samantha Power interview too!

  • 17.
  • At 11:18 AM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Jon Whitehead wrote:

Fantastic interview with Samantha Power last night. It's reassuring that if Obama becomes president, he has intelligent and informed foreign policy advisor's behind him.

Was also good for Jeremy to have someone of equal intellect on. I think he quite enjoyed it / admired her for more than just her intelligence.

  • 18.
  • At 01:03 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • John Milsom wrote:

So once again we have an interview with a representative of the Israeli governement (last night, their ambassador to the UK), and once again the interviewer has ducked asking the crucial question, which is "if Hamas has to renounce violence and recognise Israel BEFORE it can enter into negotiations, what else is there to negotiate?" Hamas (and the PA as well) have very weak hands. Peace and recognition are about the only things that they can give that Israel wants. Why should they be expected to give those for free, without any corresponding concessions from the Israeli side?

  • 19.
  • At 01:43 PM on 04 Mar 2008,
  • Davie Bosche wrote:

It will take a generation before any difference can be measured as far as binge-drinking is concerned. Firstly, you can't change a cultural behavior over a period of a couple of years. Secondly, very few places have taken advantage of the extended drinking laws so at this rate things wont change anyway because the situation isn't much different from what it was several years ago.

This post is closed to new comments.

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