The great thing about having a blog and a Twitter feed is the ability to judge whether you have hit the right note. Or not. Readers are not slow in coming forward to give their views and they cannot be ignored. OK, there are always some people who if I said the sun was hot, would contend that I was exaggerating, but if you discount the usual troublemakers and nutters, it's possible to get a clear view of something I have done.
Apart from comments on the previous thread, I got two emails overnight from Daniel and Emma (you know who you are) which caused me to reflect properly on the Newsnight interview. It's quite clear to me now that the only thing anyone will remember from that interview is when I said to Hayden Prowse: "Your parents must be really proud of you". That single line obscured any other valid point I made during the five minute discussion. People perceived it as smug, patronising and condescending.
Even those who agreed with the point I was making - that it was incredibly rude of him, having accepted an invitation to the House of Commons from a man whose garden he had dug up, to then record their conversation - felt I had gone over the top with that remark. Upon reflection, I think they are right, and I hold my hands up. I got it wrong and I apologise for that. It was not a preplanned soundbite, although I did go into the studio intending to take Prowse to task for what he did.
I've done a lot of media interviews over the last ten years. I wouldn't do them if I didn't think that I generally get it right more often than I get it wrong, but the thing that you never stop doing is learning. And the lesson from this appearance is that although you want people to remember what you have said, it must be for the right reasons. Be careful of using phrases which the non-aligned viewer may see as insulting to a less experienced participant in the discussion.