I wasn’t too impressed with Newsnight’s four on one interview with David Cameron last night. Both Political Editor, Michael Crick, and Economics Editor, Stephanie Flanders, were particularly hectoring.
I salute Cameron for his bravery. Macavity Brown only does soft pre-recorded one on one interviews with Andrew Marr.
What really struck me was Stephanie Flanders using the opportunity to bring her personal circumstances into the interview.
I’m not married, I have a small child, are you saying the Conservative Party would like me to be married?
I don’t know about the Conservative Party but I think that with her Oxford and Harvard education she is probably bright enough to work out that her child’s development will on average be blighted without a man in her life and one that sticks around, er, like a husband. Having a go at Ian Duncan Smith’s proposals to incentivise marriage she asked:
Have you ever met anybody who would get married for £20 per week?
I suspect Cameron has met loads of people who think £20 a week is a lot. I don’t suppose that either Cameron or Flanders personally KNOWS many people who do. But, as Economics Editor for Newsnight clearly Flanders is not familiar with the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) provided by National Statistics. If she was she would know that last year median (ie middle of the range) earnings were £23,244 for full-time employees. She should also know that 90% of full-time employees earn less than £46,072 per annum. I am sure that Flanders is in the top 10% of earners and can afford any help she wants to further her gilded career. For the rest of us £1K a year in our pockets is a big incentive.
The other thing that struck me was the lighting. Who put a down light on Cameron so that the shadow of his nose formed a Hitler moustache on his top lip and made his eyes look sunken? The Newsnight four were not lit like that.
Did Newsnight do it on purpose? Didn’t Cameron’s minders notice?