Thursday 13 November 2008
Here is Emily with details of tonight's programme.
"Thank you for welcoming me back on board, as we say in Corfu."
The words of award-winner Peter Mandelson, as he received his prize from none other than George Osborne, at the Spectator's Parliamentarian of the Year lunch. Photo ops don't come much better than that. We hope to bring you a taste of a thoroughly golden moment a little later in the programme.
First though, tonight:
Recession in the suburbs:
BT announced today that they're cutting 10,000 jobs. Virgin Media and Yell.com already announced redundancies in their thousands earlier this week. These jobs are going in the very sectors we used to think of as above the danger zone - financial services, telecommunications and new technology. This time around it's not just manufacturing. So is this the beginning of the first real white collar recession? We'll be talking to heads of industry in the studio and asking what impact this will have on our cities and our society.
We'll also be bringing you the story of white collar recession from the suburbs of Washington - Rockville to be precise. David Grossman looks at what happens when the engine of the world - the American consumer - simply stops spending.
And we'll be talking to a key member of Barack Obama's transition team, financial advisor Robert Shapiro, who worked as Under Secretary of Commerce for Bill Clinton.
Does this country have a problem with the way it protects its children? It may be a strange question to ask in the week that we've heard about the brief life and tragic death of 17-month-old "Baby P" and on a day when two more tiny children have been found stabbed to death in their home in Manchester. But tonight, we attempt to get the facts straight - what is the British record on child protection and child abuse, and are we in danger of drawing the wrong lessons from these very tragic, but very exceptional cases?
On the day two Royal Marines have been killed it is hard to find any voice - diplomatic, political, military or local - that will say Afghanistan is a success story at present. An opinion poll - commissioned by the BBC - suggests that two-thirds of people think British troops should leave Afghanistan. The country has seen violent incidents rise ten-fold in the last year, 50 per cent of the economy is once again coming from the opium trade, nearly half of the country is viewed by the UN as an "uncontrolled hostile environment" and the man in charge is seen as weak, indecisive and unable to clamp down on the corruption in his own government. The BBC has secured an interview with President Hamid Karzai. We'll be asking if he is still the right man for the job and how this mission has to change if it is to succeed.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell has died at the relatively unrock-legend age of 62. He's the last of the three to go. And we will have a tribute to him - them - and, hey, to rock itself on the programme tonight with our Culture correspondent Steve Smith.