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BBC TwoNewsnight
Last Updated: Friday, 2 December 2005, 17:11 GMT
Friday, 2 December, 2005

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Gavin Esler's biography


From programme producer Kate McAndrew

With the result of the Conservative leadership race in a few days, the whole complexion of British politics may be about to change. And the prospects for David Cameron appear encouraging: the website Politicalbetting.com puts the odds of a win for him at 1/100, so for every pound you bet, you only get a penny back.

If he does win, Mr Cameron's celebrations may be a sober affair as 24 hours later he'll be facing Tony Blair at Prime Minister's Questions.

But what kind of politics will it be? Mr Cameron says he wants an end to "Punch and Judy" style politics, to win the battle of ideas and not make policy by headline.

But doesn't it all sound very familiar? Didn't Margaret Thatcher promise to bring harmony where there had been discord, and whatever happened to Tony Blair's big tent?

David Grossman looks back at the long history of "new politics".


We'll have the latest on Tony Blair's efforts to find the answer to Europe's financial woes, as he tries to persuade the "Visegrad 4" - Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia - to do a deal with him.


And, as the 1000th person is executed in the US, since 1976, we have a report from California about Stanley "Tookie" Williams.

He's been nominated five times for the Nobel peace prize and, in August of this year, received a President's Call to Service award commending his work reforming teenage gang members, complete with a letter from President Bush praising him for demonstrating the "outstanding character of America".

The trouble is, he's due to be executed on 13th December for murdering four people in 1979.

Only Governor Schwarzenegger can save him. Will he?

Hope you can join us at 10.30pm.

Kate McA

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