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London Tonight Tonight

Good afternoon.

There has always been a close connection between property and politics. A hundred and fifty years ago, unless you were part of the property owning classes, you didn't even get a vote. Some places, like University towns, had two MPs and but a handful of electors. The masses looked on aghast from the days of the Levellers right up to the Suffragettes and wondered what this democracy thing was all about. It is better now and apart from felons, lunatics and Irish peers, everyone over 18 can vote. But the magnetic charm of property remains a bit of toxicity, as rampant among our rulers as a dodgy mortgage in a bank's balance sheet. And so we find Harris, in sunglasses, straw hat and swimming shorts, on investigative duties on the Cote D'Azur. In Cannes, specifically: a fabulous town famous for it's film festival and as a playground of billionaires. Here, among celluloid's glitteratti and the high-rollers for whom the credit crunch is something "poor people" endure, he has found a band of your democratically elected representatives, led by Bozza but willingly supported by an entourage of Councillors, Chairs and not a few Special Advisors. They are attending a property market conference. Their theme is inward investment; their purpose to keep all that foreign dosh heading London's way; our concern - is this the best way to spend your hard-earned Council Taxes? Harris rattles their consciences and mutters " recession, what recession?" at them.

Roman Abromavich, who likes Cannes, but has to moor his yacht at sea because it won't fit in the harbour, has seen his fortune slide. But he still counts it in the billions - just a few fewer than a year ago. But his Chelsea FC goes from strength to strength, and tonight they take on Juventus in the Champions League. He buys and sacks managers as if he were addicted to the sport ( of sacking, not soccer) but Gus Huddink is doing well and may last until we go on air at 6. Ned joins us to read the tea leaves and mulls over Arsenal's less savoury appointment in the Eternal City that is Rome, tomorrow night. It was bloody mayhem last time.

Dog fighting is always bloody mayhem which is why it has been illegal for some time. That ban is widely ignored in the countryside and increasingly so in our inner cities. Nasty "sport" attracts nasty "types" and tonight we have the strongest evidence of just how nasty those "types" are - when one dog didn't live up to their hopes it didn't live much longer. It's death did not come in the jaws of another angry canine, but at the bottom of a six storey fall, lobbed, mindlessly to its demise by a gang of disappointed yobs. Marcus has the horrid details.

Odd, on a day that Northern Ireland mourns the death of a murdered policeman in the wake of the two soldiers gunned down at the weekend, to remember the IRA attack on Guildford in October 1974. That's 34 years ago. Guildford, today, conjures up images of leafy suburbs, an attractive albeit crumbling medieval castle and a wonderful county show ground. But it also boasts a firearms training centre and such are the fears of the Surrey constabulary at the rising level of real and "repro'" gun-crime that the place has never been busier. Glen dons his ear-mufflers, and steps up to the plate to learn what the Boys in Blue are taught to make some of you safer.

As I re-read that little lot I am minded to bring some beauty and levity to your lives and so, hey-presto - Ms Julia Roberts. She of Notting Hill and Pretty Woman fame is in town to promote her latest offering - Duplicity - and threatens to honour the red carpet. Lovely Lucy has been warned off by JR's publicity people for risk of our belle out-shinning their's... So we are sending Nick. He may run into difficulties, however. If he runs into Clive Owen, on similar grounds, so he's gunning for an interview with just JR. If someone yells, from the crowd "Who shot JR?" I hope our cameraman will say "I did". Fingers crossed.

I am yet to see a copy of any of London's papers so will hang in expectation with you for that glimpse of the front pages, but I fear Northern Ireland may still be clouding our collective horizons.
Chrissie is our meteorological gloom-lifter tonight.

The Oz has finally managed to order her new bed but she is not clear what an Allen Key is. I told her she should have gone to Liberty's but she is so mindful of how tough it is out there, and believes that concerns about the economy outweigh her ignorance of assembly tools.
She's heading for make-up now so I think I'll get away with that.

See you at 6 unless I am wrong and she blackens my eyes - in which case, enjoy her company and I'll see you tomorrow.

Alastair and Alex