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London Tonight Tonight Monday 1st December 2008

Good afternoon.

Catholics have a curious attitude to death - and I speak with the experience of having been raised by a Catholic father, with muted protests from a Baptist mother who had to sign a document saying any children she bore my father would be raised in the One True Faith. "Catholic" means universal and they take it very seriously. Anyway, if, like Charles II, you confess all on your death bed, even years of apparent Protestantism and serial adultery, you can still get to Heaven. If you die in a state of mortal sin, suffice to say that heating bills will not be a problem for you for all eternity. If you die in a state of venial, rather than mortal, sin, the next stop on the last train for you is purgatory. Time will pass and so will your soul, eventually, to "a better place".
If a child dies, unbaptised, a cruel state called limbo befalls him or her - neither Heaven nor Hell and no promise of resolution. I cannot believe that was a loving God's game-plan and have always been convinced it was a notion hatched by a Church, anxious for baptism fees - but who knows.
In my view, few would doubt that Baby P is now in "a better place". Here, on God's tortured and troubled earth, others now face a less clear future. Ed Balls has passed judgment on those in Haringey charged with looking after the little soul whilst he, all too briefly, lived among us. Ed's judgment has been swift and pretty comprehensive. The full details from us and we will then seek your judgment and share some of your thoughts back with you.

Whether the guilty ones will be forced to wear day-glow jackets has yet to be decided but a little like the "sack-cloth and ashes" of the middle ages, petty offenders will have to dress in that "can't miss 'em" mode and Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, joined by Justice Secretary Jack Straw, went to Slough to announce it. At the same time there was an explosion at a factory in Slough and further doubts were raised about Ms Smith's role in the arrest of Damian Green MP. Now I am not seeking to draw any conclusions here and I am quite certain neither Cabinet Minister will be found to have had anything to do with the explosion; but the search of the offices of Mr Green may yet see Ms Smith examining her autumn wardrobe and day-glow might just be the new black! Lewis Vaughan Jones plays Georgio Armani to the entirely innocent Ms Smith.

Too soon to know who was innocent and who was guilty in Guildford at the weekend but a man was shot dead by Police, and the Independent Police Complaints Commission are looking into the facts as they do, automatically, in such cases. Phil has also been examining the facts and has a really moving interview with the Bishop of Guildford on whose manor it happened.
Faye, like a wasp wrapped up against the cold in an old movie (black, white and grey dress, black boots and grey cardigan), says two scenes from The Omen were filmed there. I think it is the ugliest Cathedral in the Kingdom. Neither of these facts are important but we are in a sharing mode this Monday so consider yourself shared with.

Sharing her genius on all things property is Kirstie who will consider if RBS-NatWest are being helpful, patient or taking the mickey by delaying repossessions by three months. Lending's down but, against that backdrop, it is hardly surprising, is it?

What is surprising is that Harris has been to Glasgow - Scots joke that everyone likes Edinburgh but Glasgow is an acquired taste. Anyway he's there to report on their experiment with mobiles on the metro. Given the Glasgow accent, I am not sure if Harris (London - West Country) will have a clue what they think of it but we can always put a translation at the bottom of the screen if you think it will help.

No papers tonight - we are resolved to save Brazil and her rainforests or, perhaps, we've failed to pay the newsagent: I am investigating.
Weather, currently very Glaswegian if not a little Aberdonian - Chrissie wraps up and wraps it up.
And a warming tale from the genius that is the Great Ormond Street Hospital collective.
You see, we start with bad stuff and children but we end with good stuff and children. There is a God and He or She is in His or Her Heaven... and not alone.

See you at 6.

Alastair and Alex...