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Forum => News and Current Affairs. => Topic started by: NeuralgicNeurotic on 12 Sep 2015 07:07AM

Title: Senior Tory ministers 'avoiding live interviews to rely on statements and scipts
Post by: NeuralgicNeurotic on 12 Sep 2015 07:07AM
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/senior-tory-ministers-are-avoiding-live-interviews-to-rely-on-statements-and-scripts-10496906.html

Quote

Tory ministers are avoiding live interviews as they increasingly rely on carefully scripted statements and speeches, a journalist has claimed.

Chris Hemmings, who works at London radio station LBC, said that despite the prominence of the refugee crisis, one of his colleagues had not been able to interview a Home Office minister since May’s general election.

The lack of senior Conservatives willing to appear on Sky News has reportedly been raised as a concern at a news meeting, he said, and a Channel 4 correspondent complained that ministers only agreed to an interview if they have a “policy drum to beat”.

As the refugee crisis continues to dominate the news agenda, Theresa May has given few interviews on Britain's immigration policy

“It’s not just Home Office ministers avoiding interviews; they’re almost all becoming mysteriously ‘unavailable’ to broadcasters in an increasingly worrying trend,” he wrote for The Independent Voices.

“It seems that, unless you’re Andrew Marr or a Today Programme presenter, your access to ministers has been greatly restricted.”



Quote
But even the BBC appears to be having issues. Nick Sutton, the prominent editor of Radio 4’s World at One wrote on Twitter: “We've asked to [interview] a Minister from Home Office, DFID or FCO on Syrian refugees. Just been told none available.”

Meanwhile, Labour’s focus has been dominated by the leadership election, which will see a new Leader of the Opposition elected on Saturday.

Mr Hemmings argued that when politicians become “unavailable” for questioning, they are unaccountable.

A backbench Conservative MP told him it was a "f***ing disgrace" that his senior colleagues were declining interviews.

“We’re only left with carefully worded statements, on [the politicians’] terms…each phrase is carefully selected by a team of strategists,” he added.

“There is no replacement for live one-to-one broadcast interviews.”

When The Independent asked the Conservative Party for an explanation, a spokesperson said: “We don’t comment on process stories.”

Can't say I'm surprised by this, but it's worrying nevertheless.
Title: Re: Senior Tory ministers 'avoiding live interviews to rely on statements and scipts
Post by: Monic1511 on 12 Sep 2015 11:44AM
The worrying thing is that the government have been busy mucking about busily while hiding behind the labour leader election.  I am glad Jeremy Corbin has been elected and now we need to make sure the party toes the line and doesn't self implode
Title: Re: Senior Tory ministers 'avoiding live interviews to rely on statements and scipts
Post by: neurochick on 12 Sep 2015 04:57PM
Unfortunately, I don't think that the Labour Party under its new leadership is going to be much use as an opposition.  Personally I think that particular leadership choice will ultimately prove to be a disaster.  I hope I am wrong... 

Not to mention that the Labour Party are the ones responsible for the whole shambolic disaster that is ESA.  Its only been tinkered with round the edges since Labour first introduced it.  They have a lot to answer for.  I suspect the current government will continue to make the regime even more draconian but it is Labour who kindly put it all in place for them to start with.   
Title: Re: Senior Tory ministers 'avoiding live interviews to rely on statements and scipts
Post by: oldtone27 on 12 Sep 2015 05:20PM
I'm with neurochick on the Labour leadership issue. Furthermore I don't se the British electorate voting for Corbyn in sufficient numbers. On the whole the British voters are not inclined to left wing governments. They frighten them.

The British voter is largely a social democrat/ Tory lite by inclination. The left has too strong a tendency to impose its opinion on the people rather than let them do their own thing. Nanny knows best. Both Labour and the Lib Dems have often tended to create this impression and it puts the voter off, by my observation.

The problem with the Tories is their austerity at all costs fixation and to hell with anyone it may hurt. They need to adopt a more measured approach.
Title: Re: Senior Tory ministers 'avoiding live interviews to rely on statements and scipts
Post by: neurochick on 12 Sep 2015 06:50PM
Certainly if the public couldn't see Ed Miliband as a viable Prime Minister, Corbyn has no chance.  I think his election as party leader has made the Labour party un-electable.  Certainly many of their own MP's seem to think they have no hope of election with him as leader.  To some extent that is irrelevant because we now have fixed term Parliaments but I struggle to see Labour uniting as an effective opposition under him.  That matters much more because they now need to perform that role for the next 5 years. 
Title: Re: Senior Tory ministers 'avoiding live interviews to rely on statements and scipts
Post by: Monic1511 on 12 Sep 2015 07:02PM
I don't like the fact that the press have so much power, the press tells everyone that Corbyn is unelectable and many people believe it, his constituents obviously don't agree.

The party need to get a decent set of policies together but to move from the Labour Party under Blair to UKIP is stupid, my view is that the Tories are national socialist's, UKIP are right of them, the current Labour Party are too right wing, lib dems are non existent.  SNP are socialist but only if your Scottish.  Corbyn has 2 years to get decent policies together and to woo the press, who are scared of him probably because he has no interest in sucking up to them.

Title: Re: Senior Tory ministers 'avoiding live interviews to rely on statements and scipts
Post by: Dic Penderyn on 12 Sep 2015 07:34PM
I voted along with over 240,000 others voted for Jeremy Corbyn I actually believe in what were the ideals of the historic Labour party I also believe if a party has to turn it's back on its principles and ideals in order to just get elected then they do not deserve to be elected.
Title: Re: Senior Tory ministers 'avoiding live interviews to rely on statements and scipts
Post by: oldtone27 on 12 Sep 2015 07:46PM
It's all very well holding on to ones principles but a party needs to get elected to implement them. That means that pragmatism wins.
Title: Re: Senior Tory ministers 'avoiding live interviews to rely on statements and scipts
Post by: Dic Penderyn on 12 Sep 2015 07:53PM
Well now which of those principle and ideals were implemented by those new labour pragmatists ah yes welfare reforms, the Atos contract and a war or two in the middle east yes we were so much better off under Blair's Thatcherite policies.

Quote
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has described Baroness Thatcher as "a towering political figure" whose legacy will be felt worldwide.
Mr Blair said Lady Thatcher had always been "immensely kind" to him.
He added: "I always thought my job was to build on some of the things she had done rather than reverse them.
"Many of the things she said, even though they pained people like me on the left... had a certain creditability."

Should wash his mouth out with soap and water.
Title: Re: Senior Tory ministers 'avoiding live interviews to rely on statements and scipts
Post by: JLR2 on 13 Sep 2015 07:50AM
''Certainly many of their own MP's seem to think they have no hope of election with him as leader''

Aye, thinking only of themselves and their own future, something I felt that was written all over the face of Tristham (sp?) Hunt following the election of Corbyn,  they couldn't care less about those voting for them so long as they are elected. It's the I'm a MP at the dinner table for many of those looking for their two minutes in the headlines as moving to the back benches. I just wonder how many would be quitting the shadow cabinet were they compelled by the Party to face re-selection in their constituencies for failing to support fully the political party their voters supported in selecting them in the first place?

''Should wash his mouth out with soap and water''

You're being too kind, caustic soda and a wire brush, purely as a prelim to cleaning out his head with a .357 magnum.

''That means that pragmatism wins''

I feel that lying to the electorate wins, in other words say and do anything so long as the result is you win the seat you are looking to get elected to represent. After victory is secured you can ignore those who elected you for 4.5 years whereupon you begin lying again.

Are the Tories National Socialists? 100% to the bone.

Corbyn has spoken of changing the PMQs set up I would like to see him change it in one particular area this being when he or any other opposition MP askes a question of the PM they do not settle for the regular glib remarks uttered forth by a PM, and I'm meaning by this and all future PMs, instead the MP asking the question remains standing and is allowed to repeatedly ask the question till the PM has answered the question asked. Likewise the idea the opposition leader has 6 questions, end this, let the opposition leader ask as many questions or repeat his/her questions till they too have been answered fully by the sitting PM.
Title: Re: Senior Tory ministers 'avoiding live interviews to rely on statements and scipts
Post by: Dic Penderyn on 13 Sep 2015 12:55PM
Just received an E Mail from Jeremy asking what questions we would like him to ask David Cameron on Wednesday's PMQs any ideas?
Title: Re: Senior Tory ministers 'avoiding live interviews to rely on statements and scipts
Post by: oldtone27 on 13 Sep 2015 01:41PM
New Labour were pragmatic in as much as they adopted neo Tory policies to get elected, but I don't think their actions in government were pragmatic.

ATOS was a crude attempt to get to grips with the increasingly unaffordable benefits bill. Just that they did not spend enough time getting to properly understand the problem or find equitable solutions.

IMO the various wars were simply ego boosting adventures by Tony to try to be loved by George Bush. He was always seeking approval somewhere - anywhere.

The problem as always is once someone reaches a position of power they become corrupted, morally if not legally. Its basic human nature. We are not a particularly gracious species.
Title: Re: Senior Tory ministers 'avoiding live interviews to rely on statements and scipts
Post by: oldtone27 on 13 Sep 2015 01:45PM
A question for Dave?

How about: "Can the Prime Minister confirm that the government will fully assist the United Nation's investigation into the alleged breaches of the human rights of disabled people due to its disability benefits policies.?"
Title: Re: Senior Tory ministers 'avoiding live interviews to rely on statements and scipts
Post by: JLR2 on 13 Sep 2015 05:30PM
A question for Dave?, Will he repay every penny he claimed in DLA on behalf of his disabled son?  If not why not?  Morally the man is bankrupt.
Title: Re: Senior Tory ministers 'avoiding live interviews to rely on statements and scipts
Post by: Monic1511 on 13 Sep 2015 08:15PM
JLR2 why should he, the child was disabled and has the legitimate care needs, and DLA isn't means tested so I have no argument with the award.

That would be contrary to the treat everyone the same theory that labour want to pursue
Title: Re: Senior Tory ministers 'avoiding live interviews to rely on statements and scipts
Post by: Dic Penderyn on 13 Sep 2015 08:43PM
Well the neo-Tory pragmatists just lost two elections to the non pragmatic real Tories so lets see how a man of principle fares.

JLR I dont think PMQs would be a suitable occasion for a personal attack on the PM's private family life. As much as I despise him. 
Title: Re: Senior Tory ministers 'avoiding live interviews to rely on statements and scipts
Post by: NeuralgicNeurotic on 15 Sep 2015 06:47AM
For anyone who is interested, here is the full list of Shadow Cabinet appointments:

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/blog/live/2015/sep/14/corbyn-appoints-labour-shadow-cabinet-with-john-mcdonnell-as-shadow-chancellor-reaction-politics-live

Quote

Here is the full list of Jeremy Corbyn’s new shadow cabinet. Labour points out that 16 of the members are women, and 15 are men.

The wording, and the order of appointment, are exactly as they appear in the Labour press release.

Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Labour Party

Jeremy Corbyn MP

Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Party Chair and Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office

Tom Watson MP

Shadow First Secretary of State, Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

Angela Eagle MP

Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer

John McDonnell MP

Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury

Seema Malhotra MP

Shadow Home Secretary

Andy Burnham MP

Shadow Foreign Secretary

Hilary Benn MP

Opposition Chief Whip

Rosie Winterton MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Health

Heidi Alexander MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Education

Lucy Powell MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Owen Smith MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Defence

Maria Eagle MP

Shadow Lord Chancellor, Shadow Secretary of State for Justice

Lord Falconer of Thoroton

Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Shadow Minister for the Constitutional Convention

Jon Trickett MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change

Lisa Nandy MP

Shadow Leader of the House of Commons

Chris Bryant MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Transport

Lilian Greenwood MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland

Vernon Coaker MP

Shadow Secretary of State for International Development

Diane Abbott MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland

Ian Murray MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Wales

Nia Griffith MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Kerry McCarthy MP

Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities

Kate Green MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

Michael Dugher MP

Shadow Minister for Young People and Voter Registration

Gloria De Piero MP

Shadow Minister for Mental Health

Luciana Berger MP

Shadow Leader of the House of Lords

Baroness Smith of Basildon

Lords Chief Whip

Lord Bassam of Brighton

Shadow Attorney General

Catherine McKinnell MP

Shadow Minister without Portfolio

Jonathan Ashworth MP

Shadow Minister for Housing and Planning

John Healey MP

Other Announcements:

Yvette Cooper will continue her work on bringing together councils, faith groups, and community groups to respond to the refugee crisis. She will chair Labour’s task force on refugees.

All of that looks pretty good, aside from John McDonnell who as far as I'm concerned is a prat.

It's also strange that while a new shadow minister for mental health has been created (excellent), there's no mention of a disability minister (not so good).
Title: Re: Senior Tory ministers 'avoiding live interviews to rely on statements and scipts
Post by: lankou on 15 Sep 2015 07:16AM

All of that looks pretty good, aside from John McDonnell who as far as I'm concerned is a prat.



Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Owen Smith MP inspires me with no confidence at all.
Title: Re: Senior Tory ministers 'avoiding live interviews to rely on statements and scipts
Post by: NeuralgicNeurotic on 15 Sep 2015 10:07AM

Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Owen Smith MP inspires me with no confidence at all.


He's not an MP I'm that familiar with. Why do you find him less than confidence-inspiring?
Title: Re: Senior Tory ministers 'avoiding live interviews to rely on statements and scipts
Post by: lankou on 15 Sep 2015 10:14AM

Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Owen Smith MP inspires me with no confidence at all.


He's not an MP I'm that familiar with. Why do you find him less than confidence-inspiring?


http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/24797/owen_smith/pontypridd/votes

How Owen Smith voted on Welfare and Benefits #
Almost always voted against reducing housing benefit for social tenants deemed to have excess bedrooms (which Labour describe as the "bedroom tax") Show votes
We don’t have enough information to calculate Owen Smith’s position on raising welfare benefits at least in line with prices. Show votes
We don’t have enough information to calculate Owen Smith’s position on paying higher benefits over longer periods for those unable to work due to illness or disability. Show votes
We don’t have enough information to calculate Owen Smith’s position on making local councils responsible for helping those in financial need afford their council tax and reducing the amount spent on such support. Show votes
Generally voted against a reduction in spending on welfare benefits Show votes
Almost always voted for spending public money to create guaranteed jobs for young people who have spent a long time unemployed

Title: Re: Senior Tory ministers 'avoiding live interviews to rely on statements and scipts
Post by: Offworld on 15 Sep 2015 11:25AM
Quote
new shadow minister for mental health has been created .... .no mention of a disability minister

  >erm-thinking<    But that would be entirely consistent with Unum doctrine.
Title: Re: Senior Tory ministers 'avoiding live interviews to rely on statements and scipts
Post by: NeuralgicNeurotic on 15 Sep 2015 06:55PM
http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/24797/owen_smith/pontypridd/votes

How Owen Smith voted on Welfare and Benefits #
Almost always voted against reducing housing benefit for social tenants deemed to have excess bedrooms (which Labour describe as the "bedroom tax") Show votes
We don’t have enough information to calculate Owen Smith’s position on raising welfare benefits at least in line with prices. Show votes
We don’t have enough information to calculate Owen Smith’s position on paying higher benefits over longer periods for those unable to work due to illness or disability. Show votes
We don’t have enough information to calculate Owen Smith’s position on making local councils responsible for helping those in financial need afford their council tax and reducing the amount spent on such support. Show votes
Generally voted against a reduction in spending on welfare benefits Show votes
Almost always voted for spending public money to create guaranteed jobs for young people who have spent a long time unemployed




I see what you mean.

He showed up on Daily Politics earlier:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b06chkfh/daily-politics-15092015

Item begins at 18mins 30 seconds, and I should warn you that it also features Kenneth Baker  >feeling-sick<

Available until 14th October.
Title: Re: Senior Tory ministers 'avoiding live interviews to rely on statements and scipts
Post by: neurochick on 17 Sep 2015 01:08AM
Well, so far I've not seen anything from the new Labour leadership that would lead me to feel that they are going to form an effective opposition any time soon (or even not-so-soon).  So far the whole picture is one of complete and utter shambles.  At this rate there will be endless months of yet more internal 'navel-gazing' and absolutely nothing useful going on.  I don't see this shadow cabinet rabble becoming a powerful, solid, credible force which is capable of protecting and advancing the civil rights of people with disabilities.  At least our Scottish Parliamentary elections are certainly going to be very interesting. 
Title: Re: Senior Tory ministers 'avoiding live interviews to rely on statements and scipts
Post by: NeuralgicNeurotic on 17 Sep 2015 08:55PM
Quote
Well, so far I've not seen anything from the new Labour leadership that would lead me to feel that they are going to form an effective opposition any time soon (or even not-so-soon).  So far the whole picture is one of complete and utter shambles.  At this rate there will be endless months of yet more internal 'navel-gazing' and absolutely nothing useful going on.  I don't see this shadow cabinet rabble becoming a powerful, solid, credible force which is capable of protecting and advancing the civil rights of people with disabilities.

Agreed, albeit reluctantly. Caught up with PMQ's earlier. Jez came across as a good man who is sadly out of his depth.  :-(
Title: Re: Senior Tory ministers 'avoiding live interviews to rely on statements and scipts
Post by: Dic Penderyn on 17 Sep 2015 09:09PM
Only time will tell it's only been a week.
Title: Re: Senior Tory ministers 'avoiding live interviews to rely on statements and scipts
Post by: NeuralgicNeurotic on 18 Sep 2015 10:50AM
I'll be very happy to be proved wrong, Dic. I didn't vote in the leadership election - Labour don't stand in Northern Ireland so it didn't feel right to do so - but I like Corbyn a great deal. Hopefully he'll change his mind about a media strategy, as he has some good ideas, but they're not being heard. 


>Editing to add fair play to McDonnell for apologising about that bloody stupid remark he made in 2003.