Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Robinson Bests Peter Mandelson on Newsnight

I much enjoyed Newsnight tonight. The clash between Nick Robinson and Peter Mandelson was a joy to behold. Mandelson just about kept his calm, but I have rarely seen Nick Robinson be so aggressive in his questioning. But aggressive in a good way. He didn't constantly interrupt Mandelson, but kept giving him rope to hang himself. Mandelson didn't quite do so, but at times you could tell he was a tad rattled.

And the final question will be pored over in minute detail by all Westminster watchers. Nick Robinson dangled a carrot in front of Mandelson and he just couldn't resist devouring it. Asked if he might become Prime Minister Peter Mandelson said that might be one comeback too far. But he certainly didn't deny he had thought about. Watch it on the iPlayer.

I hope to be interviewing Mr Mandelson myself in the not too distant future. It is safe to say I am looking forward to it!

37 comments:

Uncle Bob said...

Yes, I've blogged about it myself tonight. I've really been impressed by Robinson the past two nights. A lot better than his day job. Hopefully he can be the Newsnight anchor more often as he seems to be flourishing in the job. Who'dathunkit!

Jess The Dog said...

I like the "Mr Mandelson". Brings to mind a few things...

...Mandy's need to ditch the peerage for a decent Cabinet job or the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs post

...the sleaze of pot-noodle instant peerages for political advantages

...rubbing the nose of the "people's party" in it's own pile of patronage

...an awkward invite to a "do you know who I am" correction

Banksy said...

pored over, not poured, unless you means scorn

Johnny Norfolk said...

I must say its good to see the BBC giving Labour a harder time. Its long overdue or are all the lefties on holiday. Robinson has presented Newsnight better than anybody.

Lord Elvis of Paisley said...

"I hope to be interviewing Mr Mandelson myself in the not too distant future"

Take a good supply of silver bullets!

Anonymous said...

I think it's profoundly offensive to refer to His Royal and Imperial Highness as "Peter Mandelson". Use his proper title, you wanky little oik: the Great Panjandrum, Nabob of the East, Lord of Sedge and Bee, Grand Admiral of the Ocean Sea, Warden of the Northern Marches, the Post-Democratic One, the Arch Suppressor, Stepper-Onner of Europhobes, Father of NuLab, His Royal and Imperial Highness Baron Lord Mandelson of Foy, Unholy Roamin' Emperor.

And don't you forget it, Dale.

Man in a Shed said...

I caught the end. I can't help thinking that someone in Newsnight is trying to make a point.

You also had the unusual take on climate change and the holding the met office's feet to the fire.

Not the normal Guardianista stuff at all.

What can they be worried about ?

Max Atkinson said...

Unfortunately, I missed what sounds like a classic encounter. What people tend to forget about Mandelson is that the only proper job he ever had outside politics was when he worked for LWT as a back room boy to one the finest interviewers ever, namely Brian Walden, for more on which, see http://tr.im/uv9D

With such 'training' in his formative years, it's hardly surprising that he usually manages to flannel his way through interviews when sitting on the other side of the fence. But, from what you say, this sounds like a 'must see' encounter and I look forward having a look at it on iPlayer.

John Pickworth said...

"I hope to be interviewing Mr Mandelson myself in the not too distant future"

Where upon, no doubt, you'll be able to dangle your own carrot Iain? ;)

But yes, Nicky Robinson looks very much at home on Newsnight. I hope we'll see him in this role again.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that he talked about coming from behind!

Anonymous said...

he worked for LWT as a back room boy

Boom! Boom!

JBW said...

Iain Dale said:

"Asked if he might become Prime Minister Peter Mandelson said that might be one comeback too far."

Good grief - I thought he was the Prime Minister - when did he get demoted?

Bryan Dunleavy said...

That wasn't my take on the interview. I thought Lord High Everything Else had mastered his brief, made a seemingly plausible case for Labour's economic policy in ways that Gordon Brown could never do.He cleverly presented the Labour Party as the underdog and as a "fiscally responsible" party that actually had a grand plan.
I'm not sure anyone would actually believe any of this guff, but it did sound good.

Cardinal Richelieu's mole said...

Some proper journalism from Robinson! Almost makes the licence fee appropriate.

It was good to hear there will be no cuts rather only, in Mandelson's own language, "fiscal adjustment". The world is saved after all.

Anonymous said...

Given the latest statements by Mandy on all subject areas, he clearly is the PM already. McDoom is just too dim to reaise it has happened and that the Liebour MP sheep have not yet been told by the whips who to follow.

Surprised Mandy did not turn up for the interview wearing a coronet.

Pete-s

John Moss said...

At the point where he got passionate towards th eend, just before the "do you want to be PM" bit, his eyes nere leave Robinson. That is when he is telling the truth.

At all other times he has a "tell", as they say in poker school. His eyes move anywhere but on Robinson, usually to the left.

When he does that he is lying and/or spinning.

So, Iain, when you interview him, have something interesting in the room and sit Mandelson so he can easily slide his eyes to it. Whenever he does that go in hard!

Anonymous said...

Why would you want to give credence to an unelected undemocratic autocrate who has lived off the taxpayer for years? Twice found wanting in government and brought back. What does that really tell you about Liebour? Did he ask him why the Liebour party reneged on their manifesto pledge to hold a referendum on the Lisbon treaty?
There is a hell of difference between what politicians say and what they do. Mandelson and the rest of the old hard left liebour party under Brown are certainly found wanting in this respect and that is why no one believes a word they say. Why should they.

James Higham said...

Mandelson, PM, would just put the icing on the labour cake.

Rexel No 56 said...

Sorry to be a cynic Iain, but if Toenails was tough on Mandelson then I suspect it was because Mandelson decreed that it be so.

Rember that the Lord of Darkness is several moves ahead of mere mortals like us.

R56

DespairingLiberal said...

I suppose this is all yet more proof that the BBC has a "built-in left wing bias" as so many of you claim?

When Cameron comes in, will you be leading the charge to sell the BBC to Murdoch at a knock-down price?

I do hope so, because then instead of BBC4, Radio 4, Radio 3, Radio 5 Live, Radio 2, BBC3, the BBC News website, etc, we can watch wall-to-wall repeats of Friends, Road Wars and the Simpsons that we've already seen 932 times.

Unsworth said...

I'm surprised that you'd even consider proximity to Mandelson. He's absolutely toxic. You'd be wise to don full Nuclear and Biological Warfare kit before entrance to his lair.

And is Toenails growing some testicles, then? Wonder why that might be. Maybe, even for him, the penny has finally dropped.

jon dee said...

Robinson cleverly revealed the void and deviousness in Labour's thinking.

Mandelson's discomfort at being expected to discuss facts rather than his la-la PR spin, was amusing and tragic.

trevorsden said...

If you are interviewing Mandelson - make sure you take your nasty pill beforehand. Don't get drawn into any of this 'jolly hockey sticks' banter.

There is absolutely no point at all interviewing Mandelson if you go along with his dissembling disseminations and distortions.

Mandelson already IS prime minister. Its totally ironic that after years of undermining Blair and plotting to remove him, that Brown now must concede to Mandelson in order to survive. I look forward in the election campaign to seeing them buying ice creams for each other.

Robinson was not too aggressive quite frankly - the key embarrassment for Mandelson was that he would not say the word 'cuts' and used any form of words he could that meant the same but implied something different.
He also claimed the tories were relishing cuts whereas labour - well labour were different.
It was an inept performance all strung together with a nose in the air pomposity which made me realise what it would be like to have Kenneth Williams as PM.

Carry on up the Quango.

williambrinsmead said...

New Labour was built on lies, prospered by lying and is sustained by lies.

Mandy is liar in chief.

Anonymous said...

Don't bother interviewing mandelson, iain. he'd eat you for breakfast - metaphorically, perhaps physically, too.

Weygand said...

Yes, rather than the gurning Paxman with his silly non-question questions, Robinson was forensic in his demolition of Mandy.

I loved the request to Mandy to explain why he kept talking of 'fiscal responsibility' when he meant cuts.

As for the 'maybe Mandy for PM?' it was wonderful to see his victim fall so smoothly into the trap - McBroon will not have liked that.

Give Robbo the job full time and let Paxo go back to panto where he belongs.

killemallletgodsortemout said...

I hope you go hard on him, Iain.

Anonymous said...

I suppose this is all yet more proof that the BBC has a "built-in left wing bias" as so many of you claim?

Let's think about this logically: if Nick Robinson interviews Mandy on the BBC and our response can basically be summarised as "Sweet Christ on a bike! Robinson was *actually* tough on Mandy? I can't believe it! A BBC presenter actually challenged the ZanuLabour line?" what does that suggest?

Does it suggest that the BBC is usually fair, even-handed and tough-minded in its response to the left? Or does it suggest that the BBC is so pro-Labour that *one* tough interview in twelve years is cause for amazement? If you can honestly look at the BBC - and listen to the accounts of BBC staff admitting their pro-left bias - and think that they are unbiased and treat all political parties equally, you're mentally deficient.

Don't take this the wrong way, DespairingLibtard, but I'd consider it a great personal favour if you would, at your earliest convenience, contract bowel cancer and die in agonising pain in a country that hasn't discovered morphine.

Anonymous said...

Notice Mandy didn,t turn up on Paxo's watch!!!!!!

Richard Abbot said...

Notice that the only half decent interrogation of new labour in years occurs during a very quiet news summer.
When the BBC really puts the boot in to the Tories in the run up to the election they can say 'we're balanced, look at x'
The bias of the BBC is do dangerous precisely because they can't see that they are biased. They think they are middle of the road, representative and balanced.
Like the Obamedia do in the US. Shockingly twisted and distorted coverage produced by those that mean well. Heaven protect us from those that mean well

Anonymous said...

Like the Obamedia do in the US.

Yeah, Fox is a den of liberal Obama-lovers - and what about that birth certificate?

I think, Richie Boy, you want to be on David Icke's site, not Dale's.

Convince Me said...

If Mandy were to become PM, would it be wise to have a leader who cannot criticise the EU for fear of losing his pension?

Anonymous said...

Was Robinson really that tough with him? I only saw the end. Mandleson repeated again and again that the Conservatives were anticipating cuts “with glee” - he used the word “glee” twice or more - (in contrast to noble, “caring” Labour who were metaphorically crying into their beer about “fiscal adjustment”).
At no point was this challenged. Mandleson wasn’t asked to offer the slightest shred of evidence for this charge of “glee”?
This is all Labour have left now that the Labour Investment v Tory Cuts bollocks has been blown out of the water.It’s “we’ll make cuts too, but they’ll enjoy it more than we will because they’re nasty”.
That‘s the line and Robinson let him get away with it.

Uncle Bob said...

Anonymous at 12:01, not so much a cause for amazement as a cause of hope. I hope tory politicians get questioned like that (and give more convincing answers too!). And I hope Mandy isn't the last Labour minister to be on the receiving end of Nick Robinson delivering a good question and pressing for an honest answer.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it's the way my mind works, but the thing I found most interesting about the interview, was the strategically placed red ministerial box. It obviously wasn't there by accident. What was it supposed to convey to the TV audience? Power perhaps.

Answers on a post card please.

Richard Abbot said...

My mistake, of course, Fox is the only news organisation in the US and MSNBC, CNN and CBS are all figments of the my fevered lizard dominated imagination.
Further evidence of my Icke-esque paranoid is given by Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, David Gregory, Katie Couric and Charlie Gibson who in reality all supported John McCain and have publicly professed their love for Sarah Palin. I just mis-heard it that they were all in the can for Obama.
Its them pesky reptiles, i can't get them out of my head.
Coventry City Forever.
At least identify yourself you stupid arse.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1.59 Perhaps it has some meaning in samba land.