Senior Tory ministers 'avoiding live interviews to rely on statements and scipts

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NeuralgicNeurotic

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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/senior-tory-ministers-are-avoiding-live-interviews-to-rely-on-statements-and-scripts-10496906.html

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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.”



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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.

Monic1511

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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

neurochick

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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.   

oldtone27

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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.

neurochick

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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. 

Monic1511

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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.


Dic Penderyn

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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.
Be careful in what you wish for, God has a sense of humour

oldtone27

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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.

Dic Penderyn

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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.
« Last Edit: 12 Sep 2015 08:04PM by Dic Penderyn »
Be careful in what you wish for, God has a sense of humour

JLR2

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''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.
« Last Edit: 13 Sep 2015 07:52AM by JLR2 »

Dic Penderyn

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Just received an E Mail from Jeremy asking what questions we would like him to ask David Cameron on Wednesday's PMQs any ideas?
Be careful in what you wish for, God has a sense of humour

oldtone27

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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.

oldtone27

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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.?"

JLR2

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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.

Monic1511

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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