Outside the marginals

a commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010 & 2015 elections

Andrew Neil and the reputation of Politics

Just been watching Andrew Neil bludgeoning another politician. (Daily Politics BBC2 7 June 2013)  It does not make good viewing to hear him talking over a politician who is trying to answer his previous question.  He knows full well that most questions are not straight forward “yes” / “no” questions.  We all know that if a politician deviates even slightly from “the party line” he will jump in, so politicians will try not to offer hostages to fortune.

Such interviews damage the reputation of politics and are unenlightening.

If the BBC is only booking people who have something interesting to say they should allow them some room to say it.  If the BBC is not booking people who have something interesting to say and only – for instance – taking spokesmen put up by the parties, let them ramble for one answer and then explain that as they have answered a reasonable question with nothing more than the party line and as this fails to educate or inform – or even entertain – the interview is being terminated.

There will be a row at first and some parties will stop putting up spokesman, but they will soon learn that the BBC is not to be used as a party political announcement service.  Then the BBC should give them the courtesy of not talking over them.

We may then get some interesting examination of the issues.


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