Talk about Newsnight

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Friday, 6 June, 2008

  • Newsnight
  • 6 Jun 08, 05:19 PM

Eco Towns:
flint203.jpgTomorrow night the village of Ford, in Sussex will hold a protest meeting to fight the imposition of an eco town on its doorstep. The government is planning ten such developments around the country, which they believe offer a sustainable strategy to solve a lack of housing. It's not just the celebrity dads who are up in arms - although the presence of Tim Henman's father has pushed the cause into new leagues of visibility. The award winning architect Richard Rogers says they would be 'one of the biggest mistakes the government could make'. And even the Green Brigade say that, of course, the truly eco solution is not to build them at all. We'll be talking to the Housing Minister Caroline Flint. Is this all Nimbyism? And is anything actually wrong with Nimbyism if it is?

Race and Gender:
The New Hampshire heckler who confronted Hillary Clinton with the banner saying 'iron my shirt' raised early questions about how much misogyny she would encounter on the campaign trail. It is hard to imagine how a hypothetical Obama heckler with a sign saying 'polish my shoes' would have been let off so lightly by either the media or indeed the law. Was the Democratic nomination lost to Hillary because of sexism? Probably not. Is race now less of an issue in America than gender? Again, probably not. But tonight, we hammer out the issue that has been ever present on this extraordinary and unprecedented campaign with feminist novelist and Clinton supporter - Erica Jong, and Jamal Simmons, Democrat strategist, Obama campaigner and yes, black man.

Assassination Plots:
bobby203.jpgIt may seem a rather inopportune moment to re-examine the circumstances surrounding the death of a man who'd just won the Democratic presidential primary. But bear with us. Bobby Kennedy was shot dead in 1968, at the Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles. That moment has been revisited and reinterpreted ad nauseam. Two years ago, the documentary film-maker Shane O'Sullivan made the case on Newsnight that CIA agents were present at the shooting. It turns out the story is rather different......

Join us for that, and more, at 10.30 on BBC 2


Newsnight Review, 6 June, 2008

  • Newsnight
  • 6 Jun 08, 02:08 PM

On Review tonight:

We'll take a look at the BBC Four drama about Margaret Thatcher's attempts to be adopted as a Tory candidate: The Long Walk to Finchley. It'll be interesting to see what our panellist - the MP Michael Gove - makes of the way the young Maggie's relationship with the young Ted Heath has been depicted - there's something of a "frisson" there, to say the least. Carol Thatcher is reported to have objected to that aspect of the drama.

'Gone Baby Gone' is Ben Affleck's directorial debut about the disappearance of a four-year-old girl - its UK release was delayed because of the Madeleine McCann case. There's certainly an eerie similarity between her and the young actress. But will our panel think it was overly sensitive to delay it?

Novelist Nick Harkaway secured a £300,000 deal for his first novel - 'The Gone Away World'. He's the son of John Le Carre - but don't expect a cold-war espionage thriller - this is altogether different. It'll be interesting to see if the panel thinks it lives up to the hype.

And - in her own words - "She's not the Dalai Lama...she's just a 'backwoods Barbie' in a push-up bra and heels". Really? It'll be fascinating to get Germaine Greer's take on Dolly Parton's latest album.

What issues should we raise with our guests? Have you read, seen or heard any of the items we're reviewing or do you suggest something else for us to review?

Let us know.

Prospects for Friday, 6 June

  • Newsnight
  • 6 Jun 08, 10:17 AM

Today's programme producer is Shaminder Nahal. Here's her morning e-mail to the production team:

Hello everyone,

Is there anything that particularly interests you today? Zimbabwe? Free swimming. (Can you really call that an Olympic legacy?)

Paul Mason is looking at eco-towns. The government wants 10 of them by 2020. But is it all just eco spin? Tomorrow a protest is being held at one of the proposed sites. Is it the start of a summer of discontent in Middle England?

Or is it a summer of strikes over public sector pay? Let's see what Unison says at lunch-time about the government's pay deal.

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have held a private meeting ahead of her concession speech tomorrow. The bitter fight for the Democratic nomination opened up deep fault lines on race and gender. Discussion?

And an item already underway from yesterday - on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the assassination of RFK we look again at the theory that CIA agents were present in the hotel the night he died.


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