Competence

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DSC_0292I admit to a love and hate relationship with Jeremy Paxman, presenter of the BBC’s Newsnight program. I love his integrity and the fact that his Newsnight program is the only BBC TV news program worth its salt. Jeremy is of course also famous for his unique interview style, in which he insists on an answer to a question, trying not to let the person on the interview get away with evasive replies. His bulldog style often leads to an annoying shouting match with a cornered interviewee, and any news obtained thus is not at all different from obtaining a confession by water boarding. A terrible style, and his smug grin almost always deserves a punch in the face.

But, did you see the Chloe Smith interview? [click to watch]

She sounds like she won every debating club competition, uttering lots of words without ever saying anything. I would have been infuriated, where Jeremy only shock his head and smiled, obviously not taking her serious. She keeps repeating the same government slogan again and again like a broken record, refusing to answer when the latest fuel duty decision was taken. I am not sure if she answered any question at all. I don’t want this! I want a government with politicians, not spin-doctors and self-promoting weasels. A government that feels responsible and stands by decisions taken or withdrawn, rather than trying several proposals and withdrawing them when they transpire to be unpopular, while sending a junior parrot to Jeremy Paxman. I long for politicians who attend an interview in order to answer questions and explain or defend decisions taken, rather than broadcasting advertising slogans. People with intelligence and experience, spine and the balls to communicate good messages as well as bad ones, hopefully even the quality to confront a bully like Paxman.

I loved Jeremy’s last question though: Do you ever think you’re incompetent?

Chloe certainly wasn’t competent enough to even answer that question. A simple No would have been enough, but maybe she wanted to stick to the truth while on live television. You never know. Maybe she just chose not to reveal the area of her competence in this interview.

You might want to watch the Aung San Suu Kyi interview by Kirsty Wark to recover from the Chloe Smith shock [click to watch]. What a difference. 8 minutes well spent.

 

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