Fiona Cracks it…

Our Fiona (and even though she doesn’t work on WHYS she’ll always be “our” Fiona) ran the London Marathon yesterday in a shade under 5 hours. This was just 18 months after she’d been diagnosed with Leukaemia and had 5 days to live. To say we’re proud of her is a bit of an understatement…

As for what we might discuss tonight, i’m guessing that Fiona’s bravery won’t make it on to the mainstream agenda but maybe some of these stories will –  

Some strong words from Rajendra Pachauri here as he tells rich countries to set an example on carbon emissions. :

“In several developing countries you get the feeling …… that these guys (rich countries) are going to shove the whole burden on to our shoulders. That’s why it’s necessary for the developed world to establish a certain credibility.” Is he right ?

China’s ambassador here has some strong words of her own , warning of a “backlash” against the west because of the media’s “demonisation” of her country. We’ve discussed whether the media does a fair job with China – Fu Ying clearly feels we get it wrong…

And yes, more ….er…strong words from the head of the World Bank warning that rising food prices could push a hundred million people in poor countries deeper in debt…

We discussed food prices last week- and will again, (it is , ATOW, the most e-mailed story on the BBC site)I is today the right day to return to the subject ?

Thanks to Brett and Lubna’s excellent moderating over the weekend- who’s up for doing the next one ? Apart from the high standard of debate (i’d expect nothing less from the WHYS community), it also struck me how courteous you are with each other- which is also to be admired.  Thanks again.





20 Responses to “Fiona Cracks it…”

  1. 1 Ros Atkins
    April 14, 2008 at 12:46

    Hello there,

    I would like to make this suggestion or make BBC ask people around the world how they are affected by this global crisis of food shortage

    I mean ordinary people are facing lots difficulties in buying basic commodities like bread, rice, cooking oil, fish, savon, meat, milk, sugar, salt just to name a few…I am very sure that many families in Cameroon eat once a day…I have forgotten things like wine, break-fast (milk, sugar, eggs, coffee).

    Arnaud Ntirenganya Emmanuel

    Rwandan in Cameroon

  2. 2 Ros Atkins
    April 14, 2008 at 12:46

    Hi Ros,
    Hope all is well. Hope everyone is fine. Hi to everyone.
    I would like to suggest two questions for possible discussion.
    I heard there was a religious forum organised for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
    Obama was asked whether God created the world in six literal days. He responded by saying he beleievs in evolution.
    The Bible states that the world was created in six days. God created the world and that God is a spirit being who lives in eternity( eternity simply talks about a dimension in which the future and past meet in the present- hope you get my concept). What that means is that, if God spiritually finished creating the world in six days, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the world was physically formed in time within six literal days. This is where evolution comes in. So even though God created all things spiritually in six days, all things did not manifest physically in six days.
    I would be glad if you could ask this question so that i can get people take on it- Was the world created in six literal days?
    Secondly, Hilary was also asked why God makes people suffer. She frankly said she did not know.
    Well, God does not make people suffer. More often than not, people suffer becuase of the choices they make. I know people will then ask why some were born poor, why the floods, earthquakes and natural disasters. Let me try and make the case for God- i may sound a bit judgemental but that is my take. I believe disasters happen because God keeps this earth by his own power. However, when we try to run this world on our own without him, he keeps his power so that we can try and see whether without him, we can overcome and subdue nature. Rememeber, nature also has an inherent ability to speak; and she speaks through her actions especially when we are abusing her.
    I will be happy if you asked the question; “does God make people suffer?” so i can get people’s take on it.
    Hope to hear from you soon. Ciao

    Accra, Ghana.

  3. April 14, 2008 at 12:56

    China’s ambassador here has some strong words of her own , warning of a “backlash” against the west because of the media’s “demonisation” of her country.

    I have mentioned this on other postings and would love to hear everyones opinion about such a backlash and the severity of it; Also what effect it would have on the countries involved.
    The worse the demonisation gets, the worse the backlash will be. Whether it is simply stronger anti-western sentiment in the population, or stronger anti-western policy, I guess only time will tell.

    Brett ~ Richmond, Va.

  4. 4 gary
    April 14, 2008 at 13:31

    Hey Fiona,
    Excellent show!

  5. 5 George USA
    April 14, 2008 at 14:05

    Passing gas- Carbon

    Pachrauri- keep our feet to the fire, you cannot be disputed

    If you call us bullies we will beat the snot out of you-

    China’s threat of backlash verifies the correctness of demonstrations against their leaders policies.

    Thug practices inside China cannot be protested but the rest of the world is not so constrained.

    Until China’s leadership mends their ways on policy and practices they will continue to be “demonized”

    with good cause.

    There is another way, it costs nothing more than a change of heart and practice by China’s leadership.

    Come, let us pretend together.

    “We have to put our money where our mouth is now so that we can put food into hungry mouths,” Mr Zoellick said. “It’s as stark as that.”

    Fuel prices are food prices.

    Speculation and manipulation of the price of a barrel of oil increases food prices.

    The call to toss a few shekels into the pot for the poor

    without addressing the orgasmic obscene oil price manipulation for profit and personal gain

    is a pretense beyond hypocrisy- it contributes to the problem, shifting focus from the cause.

    World Bank you are running true to form- Boo!


    I did not know of your serious illness.

    Congratulations on your marathon: you are a real hero in a world of wanna bees.

    Best of health to you.

  6. 6 George USA
    April 14, 2008 at 15:01


    The worse the demonisation gets, the worse the backlash will be.


    That is the same as saying-

    The more you call me a bully the more I am going to beat you up after school.

    Confronting bullies stops the after school beatings.

    Don’t worry about “backlash”.

    That is only intimidation, threat, trying to bully.

  7. 7 Ana Milena, Colombia
    April 14, 2008 at 15:24

    Hi, Mark, Ros, Fiona & Everyone!

    Hey, Fiona!
    You’re brilliant, brave and special. congratulations!

    Well, I agree s China’s been somehow attacked as a nation, only because of the decisions and procedures of its government and companies. Linking it to the credibility issues, of course they’re trying their best to change the world’s perception about them. Warning on a backlash, however, doesn’t only frustrate this attempt only, but also confirms the first point: china’s government is totally wrong!


  8. 8 nicholas kariuki muthaara frm embu/kenya
    April 14, 2008 at 16:49

    special congrats to fiona from me.u r a great hero or is it she hero.

  9. April 14, 2008 at 17:06


  10. April 14, 2008 at 18:23

    Confronting bullies stops the after school beatings.

    Don’t worry about “backlash”.

    That is only intimidation, threat, trying to bully.

    Great point, but what happens when that confrontation becomes counter-productive? That is what I am primarily concerned with; Opening a new can of worms or creating an unwillingness (or further the unwillingness) of China to engage with the Western World.

    FYI: I’m not against pressuring China to change some of their ways, I’m all for it. I’m just trying to explore the pros and cons of the way things are going and where they will go.

    Brett ~ Richmond, Va.

  11. 11 viola anderson
    April 14, 2008 at 20:38

    A serious question:What kind of backlash can be expected if China believes it is being unfairly judged by the rest of the world? Less trade? More countries invaded, conquered and subjugated as Tibet was? A propaganda war? What? How is she prepared to exercise her power?

  12. 12 viola anderson
    April 14, 2008 at 20:47

    Congratulations, Fiona, on both of your big victories. Truly wonderful.

  13. 13 selena
    April 14, 2008 at 22:35

    My thoughts are with you Fiona. Congratulations!

  14. 14 Will Rhodes
    April 15, 2008 at 00:42

    Brett – personally I think that China is blustering. They know that they need the west to keep their economy going, what will they do, say they are not going to supply the west with Barbi dolls?

    India would gladly take China’s mantle as the best emerging world economy. China have set themselves on a path that they don’t know where it is going to end. Now, as a nation, they have to grow up because there is going to be a backlash on them if they don’t level the playing field – that is what they are more worried about.

  15. 15 Sandra Patricia, Colombia
    April 15, 2008 at 03:22

    Hi, WHYS team and listeners! 🙂

    What a day of strong words! Sorry to say this, but I agree somehow with China’s ambassador and the media’s “demonisation” of her country. I think a “backlash” against the west is necessary, however. Instead, this government should try to solve the situation and the mistakes it has done, and do what it takes to bring peace inn its own territory – at least for thier own reputation. A backlash, well… would it change the current situation?

    Conversely, and though some things are not going right in China, media’s reaction is not helping, either. What should be media’s role in that situation? to report? To denounce? To critisize? Is it helping somehow to improve human rights’ state? Or is it just another strategy to bring more power to other entities? Why not to reconcile, instead? And is China the only country with that kind of problems? I don’t think so… This world is going backwards!

    Still, it’s good to know that there are positive stories to show. Thanks, Fiona: people like you and Phil make of this world a better place. May God bless you both and your families! Courageous people like you prove that even the hardest fights can be won with love and determination. I’m sure that many people will get inspired by your great achievement!

    If you, dear WHYS listeners, want to know more about Fiona and Phil’s work – and you can support them -, please check this link: http://www.justgiving.com/. More stories like this should be told everyday! 🙂

  16. 16 Sandra Patricia, Colombia
    April 15, 2008 at 07:53

    Hi, WHYS team and listeners! 🙂

    What a day of strong words! 😛 I think China’s ambassador overreacted to the current situation. A backlash is not necessary at all! However, Media should reconsider the role they’re playing in all this situation. China has serious problems that need to be reported, but are media contributing to solve the problem? I don’t think so. I think that all these wonderful means of communication we have today should be used for discussion and moderation, even looking for conciliation. China is not the only country with the kind of problems reported, so it’s not fair to blame only this country. I feel that sometimes western media exagerates the situation. 😦

    Conversely, Fiona’s story is one of those inspiring stories that make of this world a much better place to live. Thanks, Fiona, because you’ve proved the world that we can fight the hardest fights with love and determination. May god bless you, Phil and your families! I’m sure your fight is going to change many people’s life for good, and you’ll inspire many people to go ahead in a world where usually only bad news are told… This kind of stories should be told everyday!

  17. 17 pendkar
    April 15, 2008 at 13:58

    I think China and the rest of the world should agree to disagree and carry on.

    Most of us know that Tibet has been clearly and horribly wronged. It was clearly a seperate country with its own culture and geographic boundaries and had ruled itself. China decided to use its muscle power and grab whatever territories it fancied. It used some flimsy excuse – that some Tibetan leader paid tributes to the more powerful ruler in China in medieval times(from what I can remember of that episode).

    Most of us also know that no one is actually going to be able to free Tibet and restore its status as an independent country. But the rest of the world has a right to murmer their protests, specially in the Olympic season. China has no choice but to bear with it. It should learn that it cannot shut the world up with its aggressive stance.It should learn that the tactics it uses with its own people and the people of countries like Tibet which it has occupied cannot be applied to the rest of the world.Whether or not it agrees with it, whether or not it likes it,people are free to say that China has occupied Tibet using force.It has to live with the accusation.

    It is also true that it is in nobody’s interest to push China into hard belligerence, with confrontations. For better or worse (I suppose,better, atleast for its vast population) China has emerged into a global power, and it is in the interest of the world that it emerges into a responsible, secure and benovelent power.It is not good to thwart China’s aspirations by totally scuttling the Olympics. Let the games go on. Let the protesters be to free to protest, too. I am glad that the Indian government has finally made a statement to China, saying China should not expect India to crush the protests on its behalf.

  18. 18 pendkar
    April 15, 2008 at 14:17

    More about China and media’s ‘demonization’.

    If China doesnt like the way the media depicts it, why does it not address the problem directly, instead of issuing diktats (“thou shall not demonize”) and threats of backlash (of what? Is it going to attack because the press criticises it? stop trading? ).

    If it does not like the depiction, let it engage in a long, reasonable dialog and correct the picture. China should get rid of the communist hangover. Issuing treats and diktats are crude actions typical of the communist, totalitarian culture.

    Let it draw upon its ancient reserves of culture and wisdom. Let it allow its citizens to engage in constructive debates with the rest of the world. Let them be the ambassadors. Let it learn to look beyond economic and military power.

  19. 19 pendkar
    April 15, 2008 at 14:21

    special congratulations to Fiona Crack (and yes, I have always felt amused by your last name)

  20. 20 Dennis
    May 12, 2008 at 16:50



    Dennis from Madrid, U.S.A.

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