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Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Pax a punch

Last night the British bulldog that is Jeremy Paxman took another Conservative scalp, and did so with relative ease.
Scourge of politicians, regardless of their leanings he may be, but when he came up against the youngest minister that Cameron has – Chloe Smith - he must have thought for a second that if he turned the heat up a bit he might be accused of child abuse.
Here she was all doe eyed and girly, trying to strike a balance between femininity and authority, while Paxman, and his audience were looking for something a little more akin to honesty.
Within seconds the two worlds collided.
Any consideration for her inexperience, age and gender vanished as she displayed ignorance and arrogance in equal measure
Her inability - paired with an apparent unwillingness - to answer the most basic question worked like a red rag, and whether he wanted to or not Paxman reverted to type.
His bullish tenacity came to the fore, and without raising the questioning to the heights of illustrious debate the simple repetitive nature of his interview style seen Chloe Smith take on the persona of a smiling, but empty headed, rabbit in the headlights.
One who could only utter responses in the style of a POW providing name, rank and number.
It's entirely possible that her preparation for the interview took ten minutes.
Nine to apply lip gloss and one to nod vacuously at George Osborne as he told her that there was nothing to worry about just as long as she sat there and looked pretty.
Now please don't accuse me of sexism as I couldn't care less what Chloe Smith looks like.
Or what age she is for that matter.
I suspect that a pr spin team engineered this debacle, and it's they who decided that rolling out what they considered was a pretty face on a young woman would be to their advantage, and it was Chloe herself who went along with it.
They, and she, can reap what they have sown.
Let's be brutally honest here and ask why she was even on the show.
When word came in that 'the pax' wanted to discuss Osborne's u-turn on fuel duty is it possible that Chloe Smith was considered as the sacrificial lamb, and then happily went to the slaughter in the misguided belief that she was taking one for the team.
If that is the case then she is dimmer than I thought as this is not a government that respects loyalty
Let's take a step back for a second though..
What did we really see here?
A young politician out of her depth?
Or was it more?
I would say more.
What we seen, in my opinion, was a minister who was floundering because she has no idea of what is going on.
A minister who is completely out of the loop and was cast to the lions.
Albeit voluntarily.
She isn't the first minister to stumble into the spotlight and shakily expand on a void of information, and I doubt she will be the last.
It seems obvious that she possessed just as many facts as Paxman's research team had managed to dredge up from a press release and a few headlines, and no more than that.
It's also entirely possible that the reason that she doesn't have the information to hand is because it changes on the hour.
Now that's worrying.
Is she the underling to headless chickens who have a great deal of self belief, loads of personal cash, a sense of entitlement and a fundamentalist attitude to slash and burn policies that are designed to maintain the positions of those at the top, and nothing else?
Now that's a scary thought, and one that I don't think is far from the truth.
I sway between holding the position that the Conservatives know exactly what they are doing, and then the illogical nature of it pushes me towards thinking that polices are hammered out after a Bullingdon Club lunch when they are all pissed and think that mooning diners in a cafe and cutting funding to a hospital are both jolly wheezes.
I keep thinking that someone has to jump in from the wings and say to the nation that we are all on candid camera.
What we seen in Newsnight lends itself to us considering that this could all be a joke, and Chloe Smith is simply an actress who failed to read her script.
Who really knows?
The bottom line is that we as a nation are doing very little to question what is going on, and we should.
Watch the footage yourself.
Keep in mind that Chloe Smith is a minister in a government that is supposed to be representing our interests, and then ask yourself if you have any faith in her.
In fact ask yourself if you would let her house sit for twenty minutes while you pop out to the supermarket.
If this unfunny comedy sketch of an interview isn't enough to concern you then check out the double act of tweedle dumb and tweedle dumber that is May and Gove, and then come back to me and tell me that your unconcerned and everything will work out fine.
If you can do then then I honestly think that there's no hope for us all. 

1 comment:

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