The Today Programme gave us a great example this morning of an interview with will be used by media trainers ad nauseum over the next few months. The lessons were twofold. Never go into an interview with nothing to say and never underestimate the ability of a member of the House of Lords to go for your throat.
The two protagonists were Paul Coen from the Local Government Association and LibDem Peer Lord Oakeshott. They were talking about Icelandic bank investments by local authorities. Coen displayed astonishing complacency and said that not a single authority had acted recklessly and everything would be alright on the night. Oakeshott went for him and gave an example of a council - Winchester - which had been putting money in very recently. Coen said all the banks invested in had a Triple A rating, which was clearly rubbish, as Oakeshott quickly pointed out. Coen then complained that the Peer was getting personal, which made me laugh out loud.
Coen should never have done the interview. He had nothing to say and thought he could get away with reassuring platitudes. His performance made both himself and the LGA look idiots.