What do you think of the stories we have covered? Do you have anything to say about the programme or the issues of the day? You can read and send us your views from this page.
Harold Pinter on Newsnight Review
Arsenal - FA inquiry
Crisis at Customs
Ann Coulter interview
Salmonella risk in egg imports
Malawi's tobacco growers
Crick in Germany
Cameron's hip hop concerns
Write to us
The e-mails published reflect the balance of opinion received.
A belated message regarding Jeremy's request for comments by people who listen to the podcast. I'm one of those who don't pay the license fee, although I did for the close to two years I lived in England. And yes, I would pay some form of fee to access content. I really enjoy accessing BBC radio and Newsnight, either live, on-demand or via podcast. While you are on summer time in the UK, and we on standard time in Sydney, I can usually listen to the first 20-30 minutes of Newsnight live before going to work. I wake up in the morning, head down to the ocean baths for my morning swim and return home for breakfast and Newsnight. A brilliant way to start the day!
David Goldstein, Sydney, Australia
Dear Jools, I'm a big fan of Later with... but what I miss are Dutch bands and singers. I do know lots of perfect artists/bands in our country who could/should play in Later with. For example: Caesar-Johan-Kane-Anouk-GEM-Solo- Trijntje Oosterhuis (one of the best female singers in Europe). Perhaps an idea for a programme called "Later with Jools Holland meets Holland".
Johan Elfering, Netherlands
Thanks Johan - great idea, but the Later... site can be found at bbc.co.uk/later
I was very disappointed with the item on mathematics teaching in last night's Newsnight. Featuring a darts player and a nightclub owner totally trivialised the discussion. They both had interesting points to make, but having allowed them to make these points, you should have gone on to discuss the real issue: how do we improve the currently woeful state of mathematics learning and teaching in this country? A discussion of this between Jonny Ball and a professional mathematician (e.g. Adrian Smith) would have been far more useful. See yesterday's Education Guardian for a model of how to treat this issue seriously.
Gareth Jones, Southampton
I would of course agree with Johnny Ball that a life that appreciates maths is far more fulfilling than one that doesn't, but since that won't sway the Theo Paphitises of the world it should also be pointed out that:
i) All of the subjects Jeremy asked about are extremely important. Algebra gets kids used to using symbols rather than words, which they need for any problem beyond simple arithmetic. Geometry and trigonometry are essential if you want a hope of navigating or doing classical mechanics, and by extension all of engineering. Without calculus, you can do almost no physics after Isaac Newton in the 17th century. You don't have to understand any of the world around so long as the buttons on your remote are all clearly labelled, but you can't say it isn't useful.
ii) Maths graduates have the best career prospects of all subjects. It also offers surely the greatest breadth: finance, science, technology, philosophy, warfare. Practically anyone can find a use for a mathematician. Jeremy should have asked Theo how many mathematicians he employs.
It was also claimed that childrens' minds could be stretched in more useful ways, and that maths is no longer relevant. Name me one thing at once as beautiful and as practical as maths, and explain how we don¿t need maths more in our lives now than we ever did before.
Do as Ball says and teach small children what fun things rely on practical maths, but when they're a bit older, show them how pure maths compares to philosophy and the arts. If we accept that all they have to look forward to is darts or owning a bunch of companies then what's the point in teaching them anything at all?
Ashley Ballard (having just finished his first year studying maths at Cambidge), Lancaster
Harold Pinter on Newsnight Review [Friday 23 June]
The interview with Harold Pinter was a tremendous scoop. It was so enjoyable to hear what he had to say and that small piece at the end, divine comedy. Thank you so much.
Annie Kind, Oadby, Leicester
Arsenal - FA inquiry
Newsnight's response to the FA statement clearing Arsenal Football Club was typical of your whole sorry coverage of a non-story. There was little clarity about the so-called allegations, or what rules the club was supposed to have breached. It now seems you want the FA or FIFA to carry on investigating when your journalist has obviously failed in the task. Stick to politics!
I've always enjoyed and respected Newsnight, but I fear its obsession with Arsenal's relationship with Beveren is going to leave it with egg on its face. The Belgian authorities have closed their investigation; the FA have drawn a blank because Arsenal have not broken any rules; FIFA don't even know what it is they're supposed to be investigating, but feel compelled to act as a result of Newsnight's coverage, so they have simply passed the buck to the FA. It seems everyone - the FA, FIFA, fans, analysts, Belgian police, lawyers, commentators, other news organisations - see this story as a storm in a teacup (and one of Newsnight's making). Why is the BBC persisting with this story and risking its journalistic credibility?
Marcus Robinson, Bristol
So much for the Arsenal "corruption" story. Spectacular non-story. Newsnight will have to go back to reporting on minor issues like Iraq, global warming, etc.
Wine tasting [Thursday 22 June]
The hastily assembled wine tasting was rushed and nothing to do with the item. Kirsty Wark rushing the contributors to some sort of conclusion just so there was enough time left for a lengthy fluff for tomorrow's programme was awful. If Malcolm Gluck had spat the wine over Ms Wark, as he looked likely to do, it might have at least been a comic moment.
Martin Holland, Horley
Regarding excess wine production: I understand some of the excess wine is being turned into biofuel. Great idea! We need more sources of less-polluting fuels. So what is the industry as a whole going to do (with help from the EU)? Err... grub up the vineyards and destroy a potentially valuable source of biofuels. D'oh!
Ruari McCallion, Shaftesbury
Parking [Thursday 22 June]
What everyone is missing about parking is that a yellow line, be it single or double, means NO PARKING. As an ex-traffic officer I have issued thousands of tickets only to those that will NOT obey the laws of parliament. If motorists did not park on a yellow line they would NOT get a ticket. It is as simple as that.
Don Williams, Hailsham
In your report on parking regulations your reporter, Justin Rowlatt put money in a parking meter. Given that he gave up his own car some months ago for the Ethical Man feature, whose car was he buying parking time for?
Neil Saffer, London
Crisis at Customs [Thursday 22 June]
I travel with a shotgun twice a year every year. I usually return to the UK via Heathrow. I have never found anyone at the Red Channel. With a shotgun it is obligatory to see a customs officer. I have never waited less than 30 minutes to see an officer after calling on the red phone. The Customs official interviewed tonight implied that it was not usual for the Red Channel to be unattended. In my considerable experience it is always unattended.
Simon Collard, London
Why oh why oh why must you investigative journo types draw attention to the fact there's no customs officers in the airports just before the whole country heads abroad and then tries to smuggle a extra litre or two of vodka back from the Caribbean (etc)? The resultant bluster from a junior government minister and hurried deployment of staff at airports is only to the detriment of the returning sunburnt hordes.
Chris Campbell, Glasgow
Longest day [Wednesday 21 June]
Did I hear Paxman say last night that yesterday was the longest day because it was the day that we were nearest the sun? Yesterday was the longest daylight in the northern hemisphere and the shortest daylight in the southern hemisphere because of the earth's tilt as it orbits the sun. Nothing to do with the earth's distance from the sun. Yesterday was also the longest day (complete single rotation of the earth on its axis) in both hemispheres (that is the slowest rotation on the earth's axis) because the earth's orbit of the sun is elliptical and yesterday the earth was at its FURTHEST from the sun.
The earth is closest to the sun about December 22 when days in both hemispheres are at the shortest and the northern hemisphere experiences winter.
Peter de la Wyche, Wilmslow, Cheshire
"Today was the summer solstice, our closest contact with the sun this year and so the longest day." How can anyone believe the "real" news stories when such statements are made by the presenter? We are actually almost as far as we can get from the sun (we are furthest this year on 3 July) and our closest approach to the sun was in January. Our distance to the sun has nothing whatever to do with our seasons, nor with length of day. For heaven's sake consult a child's science book next time you try to explain simple facts about the sky!
Paul White, Shropshire
I'm surprised Jeremy Paxman, with his wealth of knowledge, stated that at the summer solstice we are as close to sun as we are going to get. We are in fact further from the sun. (95.5 million miles in June and only 91.5 million in December). Tut tut!
Tony Pearce, Salisbury
Jeremy tonight at the end of the programme seemed to think that today was the longest day in the year because we were closest to the sun. In fact we are almost at the furthest. Length of day is due to the angle of the earth's rotational axis to its plane of rotation around the sun, not to proximity.
We stand corrected.
China's urbanisation [Wednesday 21 June]
Thought tonight's piece on China was superb. Really made me think. The Chinese are now destroying their heritage/rural roots to be more like us - civilised? Educated? Wealthy? God help us all. Does everyone on the planet want to be beer swilling, sport obsessed, celebrity seeking morons - we're all doomed! Congrats to all who made tonight's package - thought it was superb - TV at its best.
David McClean, Ballymena, N Ireland
What a first class report Carrie Gracie delivered from China. Such a change to see a journalist interview a foreign national and translate in front of the camera. Fascinating insight too. Well done, Carrie.
Ian Griffiths, Fordingbridge
I'd like to congratulate Carrie Gracie on her excellent report on White Horse Village on 21st June. What the BBC does best!
Joseph Thomson, Canterbury
Newsnight has done it again! Including Taiwan into China. I saw Carrie Gracie's report on China's village. Fine. But in the beginning, the report was making the same mistake that a similar report from this programme last summer did, including Taiwan into China. The democratic Taiwan is not included in the authoritarian China. Including the island into that big monster is a blatant insult to all the people of Taiwan. So please don't make the same mistake again!
Sam Huang, Leeds (formerly Taipei, Taiwan)
We appreciate that the map used in our graphics suggested that Taiwan is a part of China, for which we apologise. We'll take care to see the error isn't repeated.
Tonight, your correspondent, Carrie Gracie, uttered the hideous phrase "the older you get, the harder it is to adjust to change". It is extremely difficult to contain my anger and frustration at such a preposterously false, damagingly stereotypical and age bigoted proposition being broadcast on the last bastion of thinking daily news in Britain. Is even Newsnight now a casualty? This is not even close to being good enough! Age bigotry is fast becoming a major issue. It's not good for Newsnight to be caught so red handed! For those reading this complaint that don't get it, you personally now have the interesting perspective of being bigots without comprehending that fact. Enjoy. Try and learn from it.
Martyn Cox, Hungerford
Could someone ask, or at least make clear to people like me, why it's OK for us and the Americans to have ballistic missiles that can hit anywhere on the globe, but others can't? Is there no principle of reciprocity? If GB doesn't want the Koreans to have them isn't it incumbent upon him to set the example and start by ridding the world of ballistic missiles, by destroying some of those that the Americans have. Please help to enlighten a poor confused soul.
Mike Fenwick, Sproughton, Ipswich
Ann Coulter interview [Tuesday 20 June]
As a licence payer I must object to Jeremy Paxman's interview of the American polemicist Ann Coulter. Her extreme opinions are obviously for effect with the primary intention of increasing the sales of her books. Why is Newsnight seeking to increase the publicity for this extremist? Why is Ann Coulter at all newsworthy for Britain? I left the United States and became a naturalised citizen of the United Kingdom partly to get away from people like Miss Coulter.
Stephen Kelley, Chatham, Kent
I was astonished at what a nervous, inarticulate wreck Ann Coulter is. Why are American liberals so scared of her, and fascinated by her? All she came up with were a few tired clichés about Darwinism being "just a theory" and a stupid anecdote about a child and his lunchbox, but she had clearly never been challenged about her views before, and JP's sceptical but polite questions simply reduced her to a lump of jelly. Well done, Jeremy, but she's no more than a rather dim and uninteresting pussycat.
Michael Rank, London
I was absolutely disgusted you actually broadcast one of the most bigoted, disgusting individuals to exist in the US. Ann Coulter deserves to be arrested for her despicable views. As a gay man who has read all about this woman and watches Newsnight I find it astounding that the BBC would allow such a person to air her hatred - I am very disappointed in the BBC for allowing her to air her views.
Adam, St Albans
Jeremy Paxman's interview with Ann Coulter was a total waste of time. Anyone who's even vaguely familiar with Coulter will know that there is little point in simply asking her whether she stands by what she's said: of course she does. Coulter even advised Paxman of this during the interview, yet he didn't seem well prepared enough to change tack and do anything other than simply screw his face up and recite her most extreme arguments in a sarcastic voice. Why didn't he engage with any of her views?
Steven Morris, Manchester
Once again Paxman fails to live up to his own hype. Regardless of what he thinks, Coulter is an effective and articulate representative of a significant section of the US intellectual/political community. By adopting the "crazy Yank" approach to his interview all that Paxman achieved was to give Coulter the opportunity to score points - which she did. If he was genuinely respectful of sceptical enquiry, Paxman would never underestimate his adversary in debate nor would he make such inane and lazy assumptions. Time and again do we see US fundamentalists appear rational when we fail properly to engage with their rhetoric. It is essential that we do so if we are to prevent dogma taking the place of debate. They are wrong, surely, but this does not mean we do not have to show them to be wrong.
Kevin Greer, Cardiff
What the hell was that? That Ann Coulter woman spouts utterly irrational rubbish. This is clear for anyone reading her work or listening to her speak: Darwinism has no scientific evidence? Hegemony of liberalism in American media? The inaccuracy of these statements is very obvious to all viewers of Newsnight. What I expected you to do, Paxman, was to prove to her that her views were irrational - not just point out that you think they are!
Toby Hill, Hexham
Salmonella risk in egg imports [Wednesday 14 June]
I'd be interested to learn why you highlight Spanish eggs as representing a salmonella hazard. Years ago, remarks by Edwina Currie about salmonella in British eggs halted sales of British eggs overnight. These were quickly replaced by Dutch eggs that had an even higher risk of salmonella. British consumers are constantly being provided with low priced foodstuffs - or rather foodstuffs on which the major supermarkets can generate most margin, regardless of risk.
David Williams, Leamington Spa
I write to congratulate Jeremy Paxman for his robust and impressive questioning this evening on the issues of contaminated foreign eggs and the early release from prison of serious offenders. There are times when TV presenters seem more interested in being critical and clever than in finding out the true facts. On this occasion, Jeremy was determined, in the public interest, to uncover them. We are grateful.
Rev Alex Muir, Inverness
The story brings to the consumer's attention the need to check the origin of their eggs and that this can be done by simply looking at the code printed on the eggs. The code for country of origin is public information. However, are you aware that the rest of the code which can identify the farm is for Defra eyes only?
Roy Benford, St Neots, Cambs
Spy planes [Wednesday 14 June]
When I was living in West Wycombe in Buckinghamshire I photographed what appeared to be "donuts on a rope" - the exhaust from a scram jet aircraft. I also heard the "sky being torn" sound which had sent me outside to see what was going on. At the moment I'm in Cornwall, and believe I heard the same tearing sky sound late last year. I'm reasonably convinced that aurora or another hypersonic aircraft is very real and flying our airspace.
Matt Hill, Launceston, Cornwall
Malawi's tobacco growers [Tuesday 13 June]
First off, congratulations on the great Malawi tobacco cartel story yesterday. Using your journalistic name and resources to shine a light on what is a hidden, difficult to uncover story but one which, simply by covering it, has the potential to effect real changes in the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. More please!
Michael Deane, London
Of course, it was an unfortunate and traumatising experience for the community at Forest Gate. This is an obvious fact, and we can and should sympathise with the two brothers and what they have experienced. But why has there been no coverage regarding the false leads fed to the intelligence services and the police? Is it possible that the deception was deliberate? What organisations would benefit from ratcheting up tensions between the police and the Muslim community?
Peter Kettle, Hellingly East Sussex
Crick in Germany
Daniel Pearl, Deputy Editor, responds to your comments - click here
What is the point of the Michael Crick's coverage in Germany? There is wall to wall football on every other news programme and channel (which is great!), and Crick's report gave us exactly the same only with a dodgy camera. It looks too much like a junket (I had a similar feeling about the Newsnight helicopter). Spend the money on more Malawi stories.
Michael Deane, London
Why the low quality videophone from Germany? I know you are trying to get across the point that its some kind of "web video chat" - but we just about accept poor technical quality from, say, Iraq, but not from Germany. On the same night, the 10pm news (not your area, I appreciate) was carrying a story about how internet advertising has overtaken print advertising, and they "turned down the quality" on their video (and placed within what looked like a paper) - probably to try to get across it's an Internet related story. It all seems a bit pointless (not the stories but the way they are presented technically).
This evening I was stunned to see a piece from Germany on the world cup obviously recorded on a mobile phone. The quality was as bad as anything I have ever seen on television. Obviously this "by any available means" style of news reporting would be necessary at the scene of a bomb blast or a plane crash but a summing up of an evening's football strikes me as an event one could prepare for. Does this mean that this evening's broken pictures and stuttering sound are now considered good enough for broadcast?
C McManus, London
What is the reason for reporters using video link out of synch film/audio - Michael Crick for example from Germany each evening? You can watch the football and BBC pundits in the studio as if they were in the room with you, yet we are subjected to some primitive type report. It's like something from the 1950s.
John Cadman, Cheshire
DANIEL PEARL, DEPUTY EDITOR RESPONDS
A number of people have written in to complain about the technical quality of Michael Crick's live reports from the World Cup in Germany. The primary purpose of Michael's trip to Germany is to provide a series of films on subjects not being covered by the rest of the media. So, for example, Michael has already investigated a major ticket "facilitator", he has tracked down and cross-examined British MPs in Germany on freebies, he met Iranian supporters in Nuremberg and tonight will be looking at the phenomenon of German nationalism. While Michael is in Germany we would also like him to report on a daily basis on interesting developments during the tournament. However it can cost around £25 per minute on a traditional satellite link (which is simply not a viable financial option for us) whereas using 3G technology we can broadcast for just under 25 pence per minute. Also, using mobile phones and laptops allows Michael to broadcast live from almost anywhere in Germany, rather than only where there is a satellite truck. Having said all this, I totally accept that the sound and pictures on Michael's broadcast are still far from perfect and I agree that we shouldn't overuse the technology.
Cameron's hip hop concerns [Monday 12 June]
David Cameron is talking nonsense about Hip-Hop/Rap music. This culture is simply our underclass people talking about what goes on in there neighbourhoods and the rest is just entertainment, like what you see in violent movies and TV. Lets be honest, this is just another senseless attack for more media coverage. If he wants to help he should be drawing up policies to cut crime, toughen weapon legislation, and improve education. Our youth are smart enough not to follow music and if they are carrying weapons it is more likely that they are being bullied or are scared of being mugged. Let's look at ways to bring more people in to our society and not alienate them.
What on earth was Michael Gove on about this evening? Although his opponent made little impact, it's a fact that both Gove and Cameron should get out more, preferably to the pictures to see some real violence. It's been going on graphically, from all angles, in slo-mo and extreme close up in cinemas for some time now. Does that not have the same if not more effect on those who watch it and then get down to some serious street crime, or wouldn't the new Tory leader and his friends feel like taking on the suits that run the major studios that produce this stuff?
John Bailey, London
I was sorely disappointed by the performances of both parties in the "debate" between the Conservative politician and Lethal B's manager. Both were narrow in their perspective, both used weak examples and neither communicated much of import in their comments. I, for one, as an individual with a strong interest in both hip-hop culture and politics but little time for either Lethal B or Mr Cameron, would welcome a broadening of this discussion in a wider, more representative forum and would very much relish the opportunity to take part in such a forum. This debate needs to jump from the pages of the broadsheets into real life (or as all parties keep stating, free of all irony, "the streets").
Derek Oakley, London
With regards to David Cameron's foolish comments condemning "street and urban" music as promoting violence, drug abuse and sexism, the MP is clearly treading on eggshells. Music is an expression of self, true, but listening to music does not make you a murderer; murderers listen to music. Has the MP got such high expectations of the young generation as to expect us to become brainwashed with this so called propaganda? I fear that Mr Cameron may well have too much time on his hands picking fights with whatever and whoever he doesn't understand - is THIS what we want our MPs, the very people who control our everyday lives, to be doing, spoiling what we enjoy? This certainly isn't what I want.
Jake, 19 years old, Preston
Not Gove AGAIN! Pontificating from another planet! Doesn't he realise all youngsters are out to shock the grown-ups?
Prentis Hancock, London
Paxo, you old sceptic, of course people are listening. It's a shame that the podcast is not just an audio version of every night's episode. Living in Singapare, the media is dire and the extremely rapid evolution of podcasts has made a big impact on the daily lives of me and my colleagues. NN now forms part of an excellent portfolio of critical media dragged and pasted from around the world - you're part of a very significant advance in the "knowledge economy" of today, so less cynicism please.
I have recently discovered the Newsnight Podcast and am hooked. For those of us who live abroad, it is a welcome reminder that quality reporting is still the hallmark of the BBC and that the Newsnight team are the cream of the crop. The same cannot be said for too many of the other global news providers we are all-too-often subjected to, in countries around the world, which pump out biased propaganda 24 hours a day. To Jeremy Paxman's question about paying the licence, I AM paying to get BBC World on my cable-TV: Does that count? Otherwise, I am happy to send Jeremy a cheque, directly, to buy his silence on this matter.
Name withheld on request, Tokyo, Japan
Arsenal [1 June 06]
Would it not be ironic if after the Spurs 'food-poisoning' problem which led to Arsenal's admission to the Champions League, that Spurs gained entry after all due to a £1m payment to a Belgian club contravening FIFA regulations?
Dr Paul Hudson, Melbourne, Australia
In future it would be great if you stayed on track dealt with important issues and stopped wasting money sending reporters to hang around in football bars in Belgium breaking "sensational" stories about sporting code infringements.
David Higgins, St Albans
I have to draw the conclusion that this was a bit of a non-starter and was beefed up by a non-Arsenal fan (Tottenham by any chance who would gain a Champions League placing if Arsenal were kicked out of Europe). Newsnight as a whole is an entertaining and balanced programme but sometimes (as with all journalistic mediums) an agenda is blinkered and trumped up for the wrong reasons. I suspect this is the case here and I hope that whoever made this item has not damaged the BBC's relationship with Arsenal football club due to bias born from supporting Tottenham Hotspur FC.
Dean Prangnell, Staines, Middx
Throw Arsenal out of the Champions League - what an excellent idea. Thank you Newsnight.
Dave Johnson, Columbus, USA
Thank you so much for wasting licence payers money on a non-story about Arsenal. An ill-researched, poorly executed and shoddy piece of journalism that let you and the BBC down. For the record I am not an Arsenal fan.
Mike David, london
Congratulations on your piece on the alleged dealings at Arsenal.
I fear that the largely Arsenal friendly media will bury or deflect this story. I think you will have a job getting this story in the public eye, despite the many revelations your excellent report revealed.
Jeff Lovestone, Norwich
Top story on "considered" and "in depth" news programme on TV channel funded by compulsory public payment; a football club lent some money (enough to buy a very nice house with a pool) to a smaller foreign football club to help them out. The latter have promising players from another continent who may one day be good enough to graduate to the former. The ruling body of the game must decide whether or not contravention of the rules regarding this arrangement (known as a feeder system and employed by several other of the larger teams) has occurred. Minor stories following this lengthy segment included the possible massacre of innocent civilians in a vicious war...
Coto Paxi, Lakenheath
I'm a big Man U fan and I also believe that football is rife with corruption, so I sat down to watch the Arsenal story with great interest. But having watched it, I have to ask "where is the story?" Arsenal seem to have made use of legal loopholes and there is no doubt that they have flouted the spirit of Fifa's regulations (though you didn't come up with very strong evidence they had actually flouted the letter of the law) and I certainly think they deserve to be hauled up for it, but is this really the biggest corruption story in football? Sadly I think not. A wasted opportunity.
Firstly, I think Newsnight were right to make the revelations, however there was a touch of sensationalism about the feature in Belgium. Flares? White fans, Black team? I thought that was irresponsible. What I loved was the debate between Kirsty Wark and David Mellor. Whether or not Arsenal should have helped the club financially? Not sure. But I am sure it'll make a city law firm very wealthy. What Mr Mellor said about Arsenal helping growth of football in Ivory Coast was very commendable.
Muhammed Lawal, London
I think David Mellor is completely out of order to patronise Kirsty in the way he did during his interview with her tonight, telling her "I know you're doing your best, but you really don't know anything about football". Then later during the same interview telling her "stop turning away from me while I'm speaking to you". It would be nice to think he apologised to Kirsty after the programme but he's so bombastic and full of himself I don't suppose he even realised what he had said.
Martin Hadley, London
To have an Arsenal possible bung story above American soldiers Iraq shows some interesting scheduling. I think David Mellor put it best when he pointed out no one had died.
Hats off to Kirsty for not falling to the level David Mellor had to stoop to when being interviewed. He had to bring sex into the interview saying Kirsty didn't understand the game of football because she is a WOMAN. Well Mr Mellor we women understand the game as much as you men.
Krishna Madhar (Ms)- A Wolverhampton Wanderers supporter, Bilston