Talk about Newsnight

A blog and forum.

Wednesday, 28 May, 2008

  • Newsnight
  • 28 May 08, 05:25 PM

From tonight's presenter, Gavin Esler:

Nuclear Power

pylons_203152.jpgGordon Brown suggests it might be part of the answer to our energy problems. That was all after a big push to stop the "third oil shock" this morning from the PM. But will this solve the energy gap or is it an example of bad policy being made on-the-hoof?

Mary not so Contrary

Mary Whitehouse campaigned at what she saw as the smut and violence on television from the 1960s on. Newsnight tonight follows a play about her life, and we'll debate whether the doughty campaigner was in fact right. How far are the roots of today's violence and social problems to be found in the kind of television Mrs Whitehouse loathed?

Did Mary Whitehouse have a point?

The 1968 Protests

Protests around the world in 1968 seemed to be demanding a change in the global order. The student clashes in Britain seemed nothing in comparison to those in Paris and the US. But 40 years on Paul Mason has got hold of the secret police files which show just how worried the establishment were.

Read Paul Mason's blog

Beryl Cook

She was described by Victoria Wood as "Ruben's with Jokes". One of Britain's most popular painters Beryl Cook has died aged 81. We'll mark her work.

Did Mary Whitehouse have a point?

  • Newsnight
  • 28 May 08, 12:24 PM

whitehouse1_203300.jpgDid Mary Whitehouse have a point? Has British society coarsened as a result of the media and has that really changed our culture?

Tonight - after the documentary drama about her life - we'll debate what impact, if any, sex and violence on TV and in the media has had on Britain. And whether it is right to blame any of society's current ills on what it watches and reads.

Leave your comments below.

And speaking of Mary Whitehouse, find out why she was writing to Special Branch in 1968 about the arrival in the UK of Jim Morrison and The Doors. Paul Mason has the story here...

Prospects for Wednesday, 28 May, 2008

  • Newsnight
  • 28 May 08, 10:15 AM

Today's output editor is Simon Enright - here's his morning e-mail to the production team:

Hello All,

Lots of stories around but what should be our take?

Why were there power cuts yesterday? Is there a problem with energy that we are missing? And what do Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling hope to achieve by meeting some oil representatives... Anything?

Peter Marshall is pursuing story about Binyam Mohammed - the British resident in Guantanamo who is about to go on trial for his life before a military commission. But the British Government has allegations that the only evidence against him was both false and based on torture.

Nepal is about to end nearly 250 years of Royal rule and become a republic. Should we cover OR should we do Lebanon where a new administration is about to come to power hopefully ending the Hezbollah inspired instability in the country.

And Paul Mason takes a look at what the protests of May 68 were really about. And who did Mary Whitehouse think was the international threat to the British system?

Or is there something else we should do?

Let me know what you think and come with ideas to the 1030 meeting.

All the best


1968: "The Doors" mistaken for political extremists

  • Paul Mason
  • 28 May 08, 08:39 AM

doors_203152.jpgThe anti-Vietnam war demonstration of March 1968 was a turning point in post-war politics: it turned violent right in front of the world's media; the police were shown throwing punches into the faces of already arrested students, and in general losing control. The police files from that event are considered too sensitive to release. But Newsnight has obtained, under Freedom of Information, a stack of police files relating to the much bigger anti-war demonstration of October that year. Watch tonight: they tell a story of rising panic in the establishment: the creation of Britain's first bomb squad; an intelligence feedback loop between Special Branchand the press that ramped up the tension; and, farcically, the rock group The Doors being mistaken for a group of foreign revolutionaries...

Continue reading "1968: "The Doors" mistaken for political extremists"

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