I just had one of those heart stopping moments. I went in to Sky News to do live piece on the Conservative health, er, campaign, but was bumped because Dubya droned on for too long. in the event I did a pre-record with a Sky News journalist. I gave some reasonably coherent answers about what had happened and then he moved on to the Brown bounce.
I said that David Cameron now had to hit the ground running after his holiday and reinvigorate the party. My interviewer instantly retorted: 'so what you are saying is that David Davis would have made a better leader'... I then opened my mouth like a goldfish and said 'yes, er, no, but...' and then saw him collapsing with laugher. He was just teasing...
Just to show that journalists are fallible too, the Sky presenter Colin Brazier was referring to Henry Bellingham as a Shadow Secretary of State. He'd better not apologise. He might have to retract it.
Just on the subject of Henry Bellingham, he apparently apologised to his local hospital that he hadn't told them about them being on the list in advance. The hospital in King's Lynn should indeed have been included, since the Stragetic Health Authority has said that any hospital with fewer than 3,000 births a year is 'not viable'. So therefore, it has to be regarded as under threat. or am I living in a parallel universe? Don't answer that.
The fact of the matter is that although this health campaign has been presented badly, it is one which ought to resonate with people 'on the ground'. People know that cuts are being made to their local services and that A&E and maternity services are being centralised in regional centres. All the Conservatives are doing is reflecting concerns of local people. And that surely has to be what politicians must do, particularly those in opposition.
Lessons should be learned from what has happened over the last three days, particularly over presentation and fact checking. But let's not fall for any media hype that this is some sort of crisis moment. It isn't.