Talk about Newsnight

A blog and forum.

Monday, 2 June, 2008

  • Newsnight
  • 2 Jun 08, 04:33 PM

From tonight's presenter, Gavin Esler:

Today's Quote for the Day comes from Gordon Brown: "I am determined that we stick to our principles."

gord2_203100.jpgThe prime minister was speaking about government plans to allow the police to detain terror suspects for up to 42 days without charge. In taking such a stand, just what kind of risk is the prime minister running? Is there an electoral strategy behind it? Michael Crick investigates and we'll be talking to the government.

Banks in bother?

More bad news for the banking industry. Bradford and Bingley shares fell sharply today after news that it made a loss and it's blaming problems with the buy-to-let market. Could other banks be in similar trouble? And is the announcement that it has sold more than 20 per cent of the bank to an American private equity group a sign that banks are at the bottom of the market - and now is the time to buy on the cheap?

US election

Hillary Clinton keeps clocking up wins in the primaries but the mathematics still mean it is Barack Obama who will secure the Democratic nomination for president. We've a report from Peter Marshall in Washington, and I've been talking to Sandy Berger, Bill Clinton's former National Security Adviser and long-term friend of the Clinton family. Mr Berger tells me that these are the most dangerous times for a new US president since Franklin Roosevelt first took power in 1933 - faced with Mussolini, Stalin, the Rise of Hitler, and the Great Depression. What's his plan for the next president to follow?

Yves and Bo

And finally we were torn on whether to mark the death of Yves Saint Laurent or of guitar legend Bo Diddley. In the end we decided to do both. We have an interview with Yves Saint Laurent's friend and top shoe designer, Manolo Blahnik. And we'll end the show with Bo.

The Ronaldo Of Westminster?

  • Michael Crick
  • 2 Jun 08, 03:58 PM

oaten_ronaldo_203.jpgIs Mark Oaten trying to do a Ronaldo? One wouldn't normally compare the Lib Dem MP for Winchester with the world's greatest footballer. OK, they've both been embarrassed by the British tabloids over their private lives, but one would hardly expect the former Lib Dem leadership contender to score one goal a season, let alone 42.

No, I speak of the strange noises coming from Mr Oaten over the weekend to the effect that he may have to stand down from Parliament before the next election. He originally planned to retire from the Commons at the next election, and is currently negotiating with potential future employers. He now says his new bosses may require him to step down ahead of time.

Continue reading "The Ronaldo Of Westminster?"

Gordon, the Government and Everything

  • Newsnight
  • 2 Jun 08, 12:55 PM

gord2_203100.jpgNot since the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has the number 42 caused so much discussion and confusion. But rather than being the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything, Gordon Brown is hoping it will be one of the answers to two issues: combating terrorism, and getting his leadership back on track.

Writing in the Times today, he argues that extending the number of days that terror suspects can be detained without charge from 28 to 42 days is the "right way to protect national security". The proposal is backed by the police.

The vote, which is part of the Counter-Terrorism bill, takes place next week, and the prime minister hopes he will have persuaded enough potential rebels - and made sufficient compromises - to avoid defeat.

But as the whole issue of terror detention has generally been debated via the prism of Westminster, have ministers lost touch with the views of the country? Are the majority of voters actually quite comfortable with 42 days as a measure to help tackle terrorism in the UK? Or should opponents of the figure, concerned about potential infringements of our civil liberties, remain defiant in the face of Gordon Brown's resolve to stick to his principles and "do the right thing"?

Our political editor Michael Crick is at Westminster with his ear to the ground - he'll be blogging for us later this afternoon and reporting for tonight's programme.

Stay up to date with his blog, and let us know your thoughts on 42 days and whether this could be the last throw of the dice for Gordon Brown.

Prospects for Monday, 2 June, 2008

  • Newsnight
  • 2 Jun 08, 10:06 AM

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

Hello All,

Which story will be the most important at 10.30 tonight and which one can we move forward?

MPs are back from their half-term holiday and the PLP meets this evening to discuss 42 days. Gordon Brown is offering concessions but is clearly determined to face defeat if necessary on this issue. Just how damaging could this be for him?

Bradford and Bingley have made a loss in the first few months of the year. Their share price has tumbled. But they've found an American buyer for 20% of their stock. So does that mean it is bad but this is the bottom?

We've also got an interview with Sandy Berger - former Bill Clinton advisor - ahead of the final two primaries. He's some interesting advice to give to the next US President on foreign policy.

And Madeleine Holt will do Yves Saint Laurent.

But what interviews should we do? Is there a playout? Is there a story we're missing? Mugabe? Olmert?

All the best and see you at 10.30.


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