Political editors interview the Prime Minister in quick succession

I’ve been meaning to write about this for days. Just busy with other stuff.

Earlier this week the Prime Minister addressed Parliament about his draft deal with the EU. Following this he was quizzed about it in interviews with senior political editors – Laura Kuenssberg – BBC News, Robert Peston – ITV News, and Faisal Islam – Sky News.

In each of the interviews David Cameron’s demeanour didn’t change – very impressive. The things I noticed about the interviews were not, particularly, the questions or answers, but these,

  • Robert Pestonit was a new interview location in my view, though still somewhere most probably in No.10 Downing Street.
  • the interview location apparently seemed to be a poky corner, although well lit. It positioned the political editors and David Cameron in very close proximity, unusually so in my view again.
  • the location and closeness must surely have been designed by the No 10 communications team. It’d be interesting to know of their thinking and the perceived advantage accruing to the PM of the location and setting.
  • now to the three interviews by the political editors. It was coincidence that meant me seeing the three interviews in quick succession.
  • all the political editors sat back in their chairs, while Cameron leaned forward. Now Cameron’s forward lean indicated a positive interest in the questions. And yet, I think I observed Cameron lean further forward to Laura Kuenssberg, which is a sign of aggression. At one point in Laura’s questioning she pressed Cameron, who leaned even further forward saying, ‘well, that’s the answer you’re going to get’.
  • Laura Kuenssberg was the sharpest questioner,
  • Faisal Islam tried hard, with no more success than Kuenssberg
  • Robert Peston’s interview wasn’t to my liking, his questioning being laborious, verging on the irritating. Cameron impressively showed not the slightest irritation, and I looked hard at his expression.
  • I didn’t see Channel 4 political editor Gary Gibbon’s interview, and it’s not online, although his blog post is HERE.

Result: Cameron and his comms team would be well satisfied with his performance. I wonder if we’ll see the same location used again. Perhaps not, as I think the political editors were under pressure to get an interview with the PM. On other occasions they’ll not be so pliant, methinks.

I wonder if the conversation with Samantha Cameron later that evening wouldn’t be about how the day went but more about Ed Balls’ performance on Celebrity Great British Bake Off.

I leave it to you to judge on the relative performance of the three political editors. I only listened to short parts of each interview. Well done to you if you saw through all three.

Praising Britain: 1-Opening Speech

It’s tough finding the right title for a series of positive articles on Britain. I considered Boosting Britain,  Bigging-up Britain, and even the boring phrase Britain Matters. I’ve settled on Praising Britain, because that’s what the articles will be about. Praising people and organisations who help the economy grow.

Stable economic growth is what the nation needs. Growth to reduce our debts, and more than anything, we need it to come from private investment, not government spending.

Enough. Here’s what’s prompted this series, it’s the Prime Minister, David Cameron’s impromptu statement, at the recent G20 meeting in Russia, in response to Russia’s put down that Britain is a “a small island no one listens to”.

Britain may be a small island, but I would challenge anyone to find a country with a prouder history, a bigger heart or greater resilience.

Britain is an island that has helped to clear the European continent of fascism – and was resolute in doing that throughout World War Two.

Britain is an island that helped to abolish slavery, that has invented most of the things worth inventing, including every sport currently played around the world, that still today is responsible for art, literature and music that delights the entire world.

We are very proud of everything we do as a small island – a small island that has the sixth-largest economy, the fourth best-funded military, some of the most effective diplomats, the proudest history, one of the best records for art and literature and contribution to philosophy and world civilisation.

For the people who live in Northern Ireland, I should say we are not just an island, we are a collection of islands. I don’t want anyone in Shetland or Orkney to feel left out by this. 

I’m thinking of setting this to music…

The Spectator helpfully offer a series of musical choices to play along with Cameron’s short speech. Guido Fawkes has the video of the speech, to which they’ve added their musical choice.

Yep, he nailed it

Managed to see all of David Cameron’s speech on TV just before I had to dash off to a Council Leisure and Environment Committee chairman’s briefing.

I thought he nailed it. Unshowy, relaxed, plenty of gravitas, faultless delivery, and ticked many of the boxes on defence, NHS, broken society and more.

Commentators will be bound to say that it was all clever politics. But, you know, at some point everyone has to make their mind up about Cameron. Me. I think he showed seriousness, defining in a ‘broad brush’ way where he and the Conservative party stand on the important issues facing our country.

Not sure what more we should expect from him.