BBC Complaints: The link you need!

Sunday, 20 September 2009


The Andrew Marr Show came from the Liberal Democrat conference today, and - as you would expect - was dominated by Lib Dems.
Charles Kennedy was on the paper review (with Amanda Platell), Baroness Shirley Williams was interviewed at length about her life and the state of politics now, and the big interview was with Nick Clegg. Together, they got a few seconds under 30 minutes of interview time on the show.
Fair enough, of course. I only mention all this as a marker, because next week it will the Labour and Gordon Brown then, in a fortnight's time, the Conservatives and David Cameron. We will see if Labour and the Conservatives get about 30 minutes too, if and if they also get three guests.

The interview with Nick Clegg scored a fairly high I.C. of 1.3, with 18 interruptions (many of them a repeated question about whether the education budget would be cut by the Lib Dems, which Clegg was not willing to answer). Again, we'll see if a similar score is achieved when Mr Marr interviews Brown and Cameron.

What intrigued me about the Marr/Clegg interview was the ideological stance from which the questions came, which would be a left-of-centre one. We had questions about how close the Lib Dems are to the Tories (bad thing), whether tuition fees will be maintained after all (bad thing), whether the rich pay should pay more tax (good thing), whether there will be a redistributive element to taxation (good thing) and whether education budgets be spared the axe (good thing). Marr even lapsed into a little Labour-love with his comment that Ed Balls was being "clear and candid". Ed Balls is, surely, never clear and candid - especially both at the same time! Still, at least he challenged Nick Clegg, which is something.

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