BBC Newsnight is a bit of a game. The presenters, most notably Jeremy Paxman, try to catch politicians out with a good line of questioning. Meanwhile, the politicians try to avoid answering questions all together, usually repeating the lines they have pre-prepared at every opportunity.
However, every once in a while, the presenters will hit on questions where the politician hasn’t been briefed on the right answers. We all remember Michael Howard being asked the same question over and over. And no doubt we all have a top 3 skewerings that we still talk about when we get together with other political geeks.
But last night will take some beating. From 6 minutes and 15 seconds in, Chloe Smith MP gets mauled by Paxman as she attempts to defend Government policy she’s clearly barely aware of. The danger of the last minute u-turn and having a boss not brave enough to take on his own critics.
Have a look and decide for yourself. It really is a lesson in how not to do it.
Oh, and if you’re curious about whether it’s Paxman’s rapier-like skills or Smith just being a bit useless handling questions on live tv, then you should watch this clip too. Well worth 3 minutes of your time.
- U-turn on fuel duty? Osborne sends in a woman to take the Paxman flak | Anne Perkins (guardian.co.uk)
- George Osborne branded a coward after Tory minister’s Newsnight disaster (guardian.co.uk)