Friday, March 27, 2015
Both leaders had obviously been heavily coached before the event, and you could see them almost bursting to get to their prepared sound bytes via a question vaguely related, or sometimes not related at all, to the point they'd rehearsed. They faced Jeremy Paxman across a weird object that may have been a bar table left over from Star Wars, or a fishtank that had fallen over. It may have been designed to keep them from doing a Clarkson on Paxman, but it led to them shouting answers at a bloke several yards away.
The expected line of questioning emerged; "So, Mr Cameron, you're a posh bloke with posh friends who are a bit dodgy aren't you" and "So Mr Miliband, you're a bit weird with a smarter brother, eh?" Both Ed and David handled things pretty well, with Ed clearly having been given a note that said "Show a bit of passion" and David having been advised to lean back and say "Let me explain..." as if someone was trying to stop him.
But what did we learn about the bid for number ten? Er..not much. Expectations were fairly low, and they weren't exceeded by much. In my assesment, Ed Miliband performed slightly better, and seemed to wrong-foot Paxman when he simply admitted that Labour had made mistakes. Cameron wasn't as strong as he might have been on the economy, but didn't do himself any real harm.
Overall, will it influence the result of the General Election? No.
Picture Credit: Creative Commons License
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Thursday, March 19, 2015
Apple watch; Big Brother remains; We Want Plates; Starbucks and race; Joining me on the platform tonight; Ten Media No-Nos; The largest amplifier in the world; An interview with Julie Creffield; Music from The Lost Hollow Band
Thursday, March 12, 2015
A slip of the tongue; Eurovision Song Contest; Terry Pratchett; Jeremy Clarkson; Ten perfect pitching tips; Inspired by true events; Message first, social network second; An interview with Kimberly Davis; Music from Mary Hopkin
Thursday, March 05, 2015
The election begins; Hall and Oates; Leonard Nimoy; “Spock” your banknotes; A little less rabbit; Be Reliable- Be an Expert; E M Forster and LinkedIn; An interview with Wayne Morris of Guidebook; Music from the 1957 Tail-Fin Fiasco
Friday, February 27, 2015
Thursday, February 19, 2015
Friday, February 13, 2015
Friday, February 06, 2015
As it turned out, much of the programme consisted of audience members shouting at Mr Galloway, and his responses often being drowned out by further interruptions. David Dimbleby called for order on several occasions, and finally managed to quiet the crowd when he called for individual comments, though he managed to select two who opposed Mr Galloway, and one in favour.
I've worked with Mr Galloway on radio phone-ins (I took the photo attached to this piece), and though I don't know him well or agree with all his views, I believe he has a perfect right to express them. That's what freedom of speech is about.
The question that caused the row was about the unprecedented rise in anti-Semitic attacks in the UK. It was: “Why is antisemitism rising in the UK and does a certain member of the panel bear some responsibility?”.
In response, Mr Galloway said: "Antisemitism is a foul form of racism that in the 1930s led to the Holocaust. If I had been born then I would have been the first in the line in the recruitment office to fight fascism. Everything that has been said here with melancholy about the shadow cast by the rise in Antisemitism could be said many fold about the Islamophobia and fear of Muslims in Britain and attacks on Muslim property. Why can’t we all oppose Antisemitism and Islamophobia? Why not oppose the attacks not only on kosher, but halal?”. That sounds a fair response to me, but audience members kept up their barracking.
I believe the BBC made an error in setting up the show as it did, and the events were inevitable. Question Time is about comments on major news stories, and one of the most prominent, the Government takeover of Rotherham Council after a child abuse enquiry, wasn't even mentioned. Even Nicky Morgan, the Education Secretary had an easy ride, after trying to argue that "flat cash" funding for schools was "Not a cut, since the money stays the same". She clearly hasn't heard of the concept of inflation.
No-one wants to watch a boring debate. However, setting up a situation where one panellist is subjected to abuse by a hostile audience is a shameful editorial act. I'm a huge supporter of the BBC when they get it right. This time they got it wrong.
Picture Credit : Alan Stevens
Thursday, February 05, 2015
The power of propaganda; Last chance to win; Like a Girl; Brian wan’t there; How to be Original; The first time you meet a reporter; Novak Djokovic’s social media; An interview with Joe Vitale; Music from Ainsley Diaz Stevens
Thursday, January 29, 2015
Benedict Cumberbatch; Oscar speech competition; Auschwitz survivors stories; Sarah Palin; How many of you are individuals?; Who are you again?; Recommend, Refer, Promote; An interview with Tony Hawks; Music from Henrik
Friday, January 23, 2015
Back from Bulgaria; Oscar speech competition; Jon Stewart; The drugs don’t work; Are you suffering from TMI?: Can I make my point?; The great pretenders; An interview with Blake Snyder. Music from the 1957 tail-fin fiasco.
Thursday, January 15, 2015
David Cameron says no; High-level speaker coaching; Push-button cocktails; Steven Emerson; Don’t be a tease; Give me news now; The ten rules of anti-social media; An interview with Nick Bradley; Music from The 1957 Tail-Fin Fiasco
Friday, January 09, 2015
A dark week for journalism; Virtual Speaking; Speaker Coaching; Charlie Hebdo; Fox News; Storyboarding your speech; Not being there; Who do you know who knows something?; An interview with Judson Laipply; Music from Geoff Gibbons