Friday, December 12, 2008

Tonight on Newsnight and Newsnight Review

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It was the worst outcome for the Metropolitan Police. The jury at the inquest into the death of the Brazilian, Jean Charles de Menezes, did not believe the police version of events. So did the police lie? The jury returned an open verdict after they had been forbidden by the coroner Michael Wright from returning a verdict of unlawful killing. But the jurors challenged police claims, specifically that of a firearms officer that he shouted "armed police" before opening fire on Menezes. Tonight we'll be asking what impact the verdict has on confidence in the Met, and the likelihood of the CPS granting the wish of the family of Jean Charles to re-examine the case to see if a criminal prosecution can be brought.

The American auto industry is on it knees, but Congress last night knocked back a bail-out plan. Republicans demanded workers take a wage cut but fearful of the impact on millions of people's lives, now President Bush is considering a handout. But would that simply postpone the day when the uncompetitive and overstocked US automotive industry has to restructure and, inevitably, reform wages?

Join us at 10.30pm.

Scroll down for details of Newsnight Review at 11pm
newsnight review
Does the prospect of impending economic disaster make you yearn for frothy musicals and feel good comedy? Or do you want searing political theatre, Dickensian novels depicting the newly poor, satires on those masters of the universe? Tonight we have a Newsnight Review special on the "culture crunch".

In the past, recessions have brought forth masterpieces of social realism and the most baroque of escapist films. We will be asking whether writers and artists will seek inspiration from the tumult of the past year and the despair to come.

Our starting panel is comprised of the Turner Prize winner Mark Leckey, the journalist John Harris, Munira Mirza who advises the London Mayor on culture and the playwright David Edgar.

How will the arts weather the storm financially if government and private business are strapped for cash? Veteran of the arts world and a man who can remember more than one recession Sir John Tusa joins that discussion.

What will audiences want to see? The comedian Andy Zaltzman, who's written a funny book about the credit crunch, has a few thoughts on that.

And we will end with musicians who are positively thriving on being thrifty - the Lost and Found Orchestra whose normal instruments include drainpipes and saws. Tonight, however, they are playing cello cases. Obviously.

How can you miss all that?

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