Talk about Newsnight

A blog and forum.

Friday, 18 April, 2008

  • Newsnight
  • 18 Apr 08, 06:14 PM

Brown in the US

'Who's That Man?' cries the Drudge report website - pasting a picture of Gordon Brown against a stars and stripes background.
Tonight, the prime minister means to answer it. Emboldened by successful meetings yesterday with each of the presidential candidates, he has given a speech about Global Challenges in Boston. The world stage may be a scary place. But it's infinitely preferable, in many ways, to what he faces at home. The 10p tax revolt seems to be gathering steam. He may have stopped one if his MPs, Angela Smith, from resigning yesterday. But there are more emerging from the woodwork as we speak. We'll ask just how comfortable Gordon Brown is looking within his own party.


Royal Bank of Scotland is about to stage the biggest rights issue in UK corporate history, asking shareholders for some £10bn to shore up its financial position. It will be part of an effort to write down its exposure to US sub prime - and any other skeletons still lurking in the cupboard. And in doing so, it marks a recognition - that all has not been well but can now get better. The move has been compared by some to a confessional, others to a ruthless spring clean.
How many other banks will follow suit once the taboo is broken? And does this signal that the worst is now over?

Gwyneth Dunwoody

Also tonight we pay tribute to Gwyneth Dunwoody who has died aged 77. In the words of one parliamentarian and friend, she was the essential 'debunker of humbug'. She will be remembered for her stubbornly principled stance, her commitment to the Labour Party, and for her formidable chairmanship of the transport select committee. A woman, who shone through an age of spin to tirelessly speak her mind.

Blogging - a new era

  • Newsnight
  • 18 Apr 08, 05:49 PM

blog203.jpgAs many of you who've used the BBC's blogs will know, it has for some months been a deeply frustrating experience, not just for you but for us too.

The point of blogging about our programmes is to have a swift and informal conversation with our viewers. That's impossible if it takes hours to get your comment or our response through.

I'm relieved to say that as of yesterday we have a new system which should be much more robust and which I hope will usher in a new era of blogging for Newsnight.

One change is that in order to comment you'll need to register by filling in a simple form.
Once signed up, you'll be able to comment on any BBC blog using the same login.

Many of you have already commented on how it's working and one or two have suggested it's designed to introduce more censorship.

That's certainly not our intention. The aim is to encourage much more open discussion about the programme and much more interaction with the programme-makers. I'm sure it isn't perfect and that you'll let us know how it could be improved.

Thanks very much to all those contributors - the Bob Goodalls, Barrie Singletons, Mistress76UKs and many others - who have persevered through all the blog problems. Apologies for all the Error 502s, and welcome to the new era.

Prospects for Friday, 18 April

  • Newsnight
  • 18 Apr 08, 10:32 AM

Robert Morgan is today's programme producer - here's his early email to the team.

Good morning everyone,

Lots of stories around today. Brown's foreign affairs speech in Boston, RBS, the arms shipment heading for Zimbabwe, Indian cricket. Let's debate what the best stories and treatments are for today.


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