Saturday, 16 January 2010

Election debates

It seems to me that television in some ways does less well for us on politics than than it used to. The parties have agreed to a televised debate between the leaders before the General Election, and the consensus is that it will an over-prepared and over-controlled affair from which we’ll learn little that’s new and which will bore us.

But I remember that there regularly (was it monthly?) used to be a programme, perhaps on Sunday evening, called (I think) Meet the Press. Harold Wilson, I recall, was grilled for a decent length of time -- it couldn’t have been an hour, could it? -- by three or four senior journalists. I think I remember Callaghan, too, and perhaps Barbara Castle, and it was really interesting.

Certainly there’s still good interviewing on tv, certainly on Channel Four News and BBC Newsight, but the dynamic with a panel of interviewers makes for quite a different sort of event.

So Messrs Brown, Cameron and Clegg (you’ve kept quiet about it but don’t pretend you don’t read my blog), look into Meet the Press, please, and bring it back.

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