I wasn’t one of those impressed by Andrew Marr’s question about Gordon and drugs last week. The tone was gentle, and when Gordon replied incoherently “neagh” to the question, and went on immediately to talk about his eyesight instead, Marr did not bring him back to the point.
Cameron, meanwhile, was continually attacked by Marr in the segments of today’s interview that I have seen. Cameron was accused of misleading people even when he began to itemize his assets and their relative worth to him. This was Marr’s “personal question”, and contra his attitude to Brown he was a rottweiller who wasn’t giving up his locked jaws around Cameron’s ankle.
Worse though was Marr’s haranguing over the potential cuts the Tories might make in Government. He utterly ignored the imperative question of the deficit. He hemmed the question in to the narrow one of which of his statist fellows Cameron was going to sack. He didn’t even admit the question of the jobs that would be lost by higher interest rates, raised taxes or the other ills that may follow from failure to rein in the deficit caused by out of control public spending. “but you can’t!”, exploded Marr, “you can’t possibly avoid job losses!!!” Marr almost combusted.
Then there was Europe, where Marr quite brazenly affected not to understand the Cameron positon. It’s quite clear if you bother to inform yourself about the unfinished business in the Czech Republic and Poland. It’s also clear that we, the UK, have ratified the treaty, thanks to the broken promise of the Labour Government. When it becomes law throughout the EU it becomes law here. That will be a different position to work from, should it happen. Marr made out that it was inevitable, to create a straw man argument with which to make Cameron look evasive. It’s far from inevitable as Vaclav Klaus basically will have the last say, and st. Vaclav is a sceptic.
But the BBC have been busy bunnies, for those who assume that the Treaty is all but passed- they are trying to imply double standards from Cameron as he is said to have written to Klaus to make clear that he favours a UK referendum. The BBC have been beavering around trying to find dissonant voices on the eve of the Conservative conference. It’s a hatchet job alright- it’s absolutely clear the BBC have been using their media muscle to winkle out as much scandal as they can with which to spoil the coming conference.
As for Marr- the browbeating he delivered against Cameron was extraordinary. Again and again, right to the end, Marr swung ironic swipes at Cameron’s latest pledge to be direct with the public. Do you recall anything like that concerning Tony Blair’s infamous (because monumentally, historically provably hollow) “pretty straight sort of guy”? Me neither. There is clearly a kind of loathing in Marr’s heart against the Conservatives. He is a shocking ideological roadblock on the Sunday morning BBC schedule.