Assumptions01 June 2017
I often fall into the trap of assuming people know more than they do about the things I’m interested in. I should be paid for it, along with my ignorance I’d make an absolute fortune!
I’ve just recovered from watching the car-crash television interview of Tim Farron, UK Liberal Democrat political party leader. Interviewer Andrew Neil came across as being spectacularly ill-tempered, intolerant and ultimately ill-informed.
Part-way through it devolved into a shouting match, a wholehearted removal of any pretence of mutual respect.
From the brief article accompanying the video clip, this: “In heated exchanges where Andrew Neil told his interviewee not to “heckle” him…”
I haven’t seen his preceding interviews of the other 2 main party leaders, I wasn’t interested. It seems though that modern interview technique mandates that interviewers must show how ‘tough’ they are by constantly interrupting the interviewee then accusing them of not answering the question. Do politicians deserve respect? The reasonable answer fits somewhere within the range from ‘No’ to ‘It depends’, of course it does.
But part-way through Andrew Neil made the same mistake I’ve heard from him before, offering Mr Farron the blunt assertion that “we all already know that.”
Mr Neil might be very surprised indeed how little a lot of people outside his political bubble know about the realities of modern politics, and modern life in general. The failure of British people to engage on anything but a superficial level with politics, and Brexit in particular, ensures people are either spectacularly uninformed or spectacularly ill-informed. What better time than now to give the party leaders a voice?
But no, the terms of the modern interview mean they’ve got to be shouted down and called names before they get the chance, and be judged on those terms.
Tim Farron proved himself to be human this evening.
But we’re not voting for a party leader are we, despite the Conservative party leader’s wish we were. No, we’re voting for a party’s policies and its ability to present a coherent front. A Labour vote is ultimately a wasted vote, it’s a party that’ll fall apart as soon as the temporary, fragile cessation of internal hostilities the election imposes finally breaks.
All of this is why I’ll still be voting Liberal Democrat.