The 'politics panel' on last night's Westminster Hour featured Green leader Caroline Lucas, Labour's Tom Harris and Mark Field for the Conservatives. Proceedings were chaired by Carolyn Quinn.
Let the statistics speak for themselves:
Interviewee***Number of interruptions***I.C.
Mark Field*** 3*** 0.6
Tom Harris*** 1*** 0.3
Caroline Lucas*** 1*** 0.2
*The topics covered were:
The Copenhagen climate change conference
David Cameron, all-women shortlists and Liz Truss (trouble for the Tories)
That opinion poll again that showed the Tory lead over Labour narrowing (more trouble for the Tories)
The interruptions of both Tom Harris and Caroline Lucas were hardly interruptions at all, but the first against Mark Field was prompted by his attack on the Labour prime minister's 'delay and dithering' over Copenhagen. Carolyn interrupted him with a mock-exasperated "Oh come on!" and proceeded to defend Gordon Brown's actions ("Gordon Brown has written to the Danish prime minister (etc)...). Later (in a question to Tom Harris) she also praised Ed Miliband: "We've seen Ed Miliband working hard at measures like the energy bill and streamlining planning rules".
Later in the programme came a long, strikingly sympathetic interview between Carolyn Quinn and the politician she twice called 'Dr Tony Wright'. If the double-use of that title suggests a reverential tone on Carolyn's part, the suggestion was more than fully realised by the interview itself. Over 8 minutes long, with no interruptions, it was as unchallenging as the sort of chat you might have with, say, the father of one of your favourite work colleagues - oh, of course, that's exactly what the father of BBC political correspondent Ben Wright is to Carolyn Quinn! *