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BBC TwoNewsnight Review
Page last updated at 14:54 GMT, Thursday, 30 April 2009 15:54 UK

Newsnight Review: 1 May 2009

This week's Newsnight Review is all about the power of the written word.

The panel will discuss the new Poet Laureate, the bestselling modern interpretation of the teachings of Confucius, and examine the power of blogging.

POETRY | Poet Laureate

We discuss the work and the role of Carol Ann Duffy, the new Poet Laureate.

The panel discuss Carol Ann Duffy's appointment as Poet Laureate

Duffy was appointed by the government, and becomes the official poet of the monarch - the first time a woman has held the post.

Bookmakers closed bets earlier this week after Duffy's name was leaked as the likely successor.

Duffy was reported to have been considered by Tony Blair 10 years ago, but there were concerns her sexuality would be unacceptable to Middle England. Andrew Motion eventually took up the post.

The position used to be a lifetime role, but Duffy will - like Motion - hold it for 10 years.

Motion, who has said he is "relieved" to be stepping down, joins our panel on Friday's programme to discuss the role.

BLOGGING | Nightjack

The policing of the G20 protests in London earlier this month has brought the relationship between the police and the public into sharper focus, with accusations of officers being heavy-handed towards protesters.

The panel discuss the NightJack blog

Last week a serving officer who has been writing under the pseudonym Jack Night, won the Orwell Prize for political writing for his blog about the reality of policing in Britain.

A detective constable with 15 years experience, his blog NightJack - An English Detective offers an honest and compelling insight into the everyday life of the police and what he considers to be the failures of the criminal justice system.

This week's programme will be looking at the power of blogging and what NightJack can tell us about criminal justice.

PHILOSOPHY | Confucius from the Heart

The Chinese philosopher Confucius was unofficially banned during China's Cultural Revolution.

The panel discuss Confucius from the Heart


But the country's recent economic boom has seen a resurgence of interest in his teachings on how to live a moral and centred life and how to use that as a basis to run society and government.

Now, a Beijing academic, Professor Yu Dan, has written a modern interpretation of the teachings of Confucius which has become a runaway bestseller.

Confucius from the Heart began as a series of television lectures which took China by storm and since publication has sold 10 million copies. It's now being published in English for the first time.

We'll be discussing the enduring influence of Confucius and what relevance his teachings have to Western society.

Confucius from the Heart is published by Macmillan on 1 May 2009. The English translation is by Esther Tyldesley.



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