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BBC TwoNewsnight
Last Updated: Thursday, 13 April 2006, 16:45 GMT 17:45 UK
Thursday, 13 April, 2006
By Gavin Esler
Producer, BBC Newsnight

Houses of Parliament
The sun has not set on the cash for honours row
Presented by Gavin Esler

Cash for Honours?

The arrest of one of the government's former education advisers, Des Smith, has re-opened one of the nastiest political wounds at Westminster.

Mr Smith was detained by the Specialist Crime Directorate in connection with inquiries into possible offences under the 1925 Honours (Prevention of Abuses Act.)

Earlier this year Mr Smith was taped by a newspaper apparently suggesting that wealthy donors to Tony Blair's flagship City Academy programme could expect OBEs, CBEs, a knighthood or a peerage for "service to education."

City Academies? Cash for Honours? We'll have the story.

Conscience and the Military

The RAF doctor who refused to serve in Iraq and who likened the US invasion to a Nazi war crime has been found guilty by a court martial of disobeying orders.

We'll explore how far conscience and military service are, can or should be in conflict, including an interview with a former member of the SAS whose decision to publicly air his views already irritates the Ministry of Defence.

Ethical Man

One of my concerns about our ethical man, Justin Rowlatt - very nice chap by the way - is that setting him the task of "living ethically" in a world in which around a billion people a day find it difficult to live or eat at all, might be seen as missing the point.

Wasn't, in other words, the whole concept of "Ethical Living" a preoccupation of middle class well-to-do folk with too much money and time on their hands and not enough real stuff to worry about?

Well, tonight Justin is going to get a bit of advice about ethical living from someone who offers a strong corrective to any notion that it's some kind of preoccupation of the well-to-do.

Educashun

It's Easter - the time of the year when Christian thoughts turn to Jesus and the Cross, plus there are bunnies and Easter eggs and the usual holiday weekend fun. Like teachers' union conferences.

While driving to work today I heard a very serious report about violence and bad behaviour in schools.

Since I happen to know a lot of teachers this is something - like most parents - that I care about.

But then I heard a representative of a teacher's union talking about disruptive behaviour - from a three year old.

Hello? Hello? A three year old?

It got us thinking. So many teachers dedicate their lives to a wonderful profession - a profession which enables me to write this and you to read it.

But why do the teaching unions week after week make teaching children seem such a miserable choice of career? Do they whinge to much? Discuss.

SEE ALSO:
School head held in honours probe
13 Apr 06 |  UK Politics



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