Two of Radio 4's Sunday presenters have been out and about this week -with very different results.
The World This Weekend's main story came from Macklesfield (which, for any Southern readers, is in Cheshire). Shaun Ley went there in hot pursuit of an embarrassing story for the Labour Party...no, sorry, I got that wrong...for the Conservative Party. The Conservatives have been experimenting with 'open primaries', but the rush to replace Sir Nicholas Winterton in a particularly safe seat has generated anger and Tory splits. Cue Shaun Ley: "What happens when the constituency association and the national party don't agree over who should be on the shortlist?", he asked. "Bad feelings and accusations of interference from London linger, leaving some with the sense this process may have been less than democratic". How embarrassing for the Conservative Party! Job done Shaun.
In contrast Paddy O'Connell on Broadcasting House presented what virtually amounted to an audio election-leaflet for Jack Straw. His report from Blackburn (in the fine county of Lancashire) featured lengthy excerpts from one of Jack's public meetings, where he mounts a soapbox and answers questions from all comers. This is admirable, and Paddy wasn't above saying so to Jack's face. 3 out of 4 of the chosen vox-pops agreed, describing Mr Straw's meetings as 'brilliant' and 'fantastic', and saying that it was 'splendid that he comes' and that he's 'a different brand to other politicians'. I have to say the answers I heard didn't sound very different from the usual answers politicians tend to give, but at least he stood there ready to take the flak. (You see, I'm falling for it too!!) There was also a gentle interview (I.C. of 0) with Jack Straw.
Paddy ended by giving a promise: "We'll follow other parties in the coming months". As Paddy is probably vain enough to google up this blog, let me say that I'll be listening to see that you live up to that pledge - and that you are just as kind to your other chosen politicians.
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