Monday, September 22, 2008

Yet again Radio 4's Today lets Labour off the hook

On waking up this morning I was listening to Radio 5 Live's interview of Alistair Darling. The question of national debt came up and Darling tried to blow smoke in the eyes of the interviewer by excluding Gordon Brown's various off balance sheet tricks from Debt ( and Northern Crock naturally ). R5L's man responded quickly by questioning this directly and citing other estimates in the press today which are considerably at variance with the Chancellors words.

Now Darling just refused to accept that, and may possible have said something he shouldn't have on PFI ( someone needs to check those words). But the question was asked.

Over at the Radio 4 Labour Supporters Club know as the Today programme ( where only Conservative politicians have their answers interrupted ) the same Chancellor, who must have just walked up or downstairs to the new studio, the same question but a completely supine response from Today's interviewer.

On being questioned on Debt Alistair Darling saw the danger of the follow on question and went for standard New Labour punishment of the interviewer mode. You know the one where the answer goes on long enough that you've forgotten what day of the week it is by the time he's finished, let alone what the question was. If interruption ( always so gentle and polite for Labour ministers ) then the "I think this is important" " you need to know" or such are used. And the answer is always finished with a change of subject to avoid that follow on question.

So the Today prog completely failed to ask about the staggering levels of debt in the economy that Labour have built up - because they are just no good at their jobs or its naked political bias. If they want to know how it should be done then they should tune into Radio 5 Live.

Update: For an example of alternative debt calcs see Trevor Kavanagh in the Sun who says:

    He kept billions off the books by using costly and badly negotiated “Private Finance Initiatives” to build hospitals and schools.

    That piled an extra £150BILLION on to State borrowing — taking the total to 45 per cent of national earnings.

    And add on another £1,300billion in unfunded public sector borrowing — and £1,000billion in private borrowing for mortgages, credit cards and overdrafts.

    That lot works out at around £2,500billion — or £40,000 of debt for every man, woman and child in Britain, now and for years to come.

No such challeneg on the Labour loving BBC Today prog.

Update: Guido reports (and summarises) the BBC's Robert Preston who takes the easy ride Brown was given by Marr (again) to task, and makes some key points on debt. See Guido here and Preston here. The BBC left wing machine will now move to punish Preston no doubt ...

    Preston says:

    As a biographer of Gordon Brown and a former FT political editor, I have kept a fairly close eye on our prime minister and on HM Treasury for many years. So, for me, there were a number of jaw dropping moments in his BBC interview yesterday with Andrew Marr.....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That amount of debt isn't necessarily a bad thing. Have a read of:

Course, it was written a year ago when this credit crunch wasn't happening, but its main point still stands even now.