Sunday, October 04, 2009

Marr & Cameron In No Score Draw

I've just finished watching Andrew Marr's interview with David Cameron. It was curiously uninteresting. Marr interrupted Cameron's answers every ten seconds which led to it being rather disjointed. He didn't really lay a glove on Cameron, but on the other hand Cameron wasn't sparking on all cylinders either.

The only moment of 'squrim' came when Cameron was asked how much his personal wealth was. Marr clearly viewed this as Cameron's 'pill popping' question. I thought the best answer would have been "I'm worth a good bit less than you, Andrew".

Cameron was calm and strong on Europe, reasoned in his explanation of the new welfare and employment proposals, and made clear that election debates should take place during the election campaign as well as in advance of it.

So all in all a pretty low key and headline free interview. You can probably file it under 'job done'.

55 comments:

Victor, NW Kent said...

The interview was unremittingly hostile. Yet Cameron did not lose his rag as Brown did with Boulton.

The question on "how much are you worth" was ridiculous and impertinent, asked of anyone at any time.

The implication that a wealthy person could not govern in the interests of the working class must inevitably lead to the presumption that we need a pauper as Prime Minister.

Siberian Tory said...

Yeah it was a bit dull.

There's no way the "what are you worth" question is going to resonate like the pill popping one.

I didn't think Cameron gave a particularly interesting interview.

I also got the impression Marr was trying to rebuild his bridges with Labour.

Mike Law said...

He may have been "calm and strong on Europe" but I'm as confused as Marr with regard to what he was on about re a referendum.

Anonymous said...

Being kind to cameron I think. Probably his worse ever interview, didn't answer anything and seemed to dodge the most important questions.

The TV debates may not be the pushover you and others think.

Ian said...

"Marr interrupted Cameron's answers every ten seconds"

This is becoming an irritating trend among interviewers. Adam Boulton did this repeatedly to Gordon Brown, resulting in the infamous stare/storm-out.

What's the point of an interview if you don't let the interviewee speak?

no longer anonymous said...

Cameron should have responded "none of your business".

I mean seriously, how is it relevant? It's not as if Nlair and Brown were/are paupers.

tapestry said...

Cameron is less of a leader leader, than a binder together of various factions, and independent-minded individuals.

Andrew Marr wants a full-blooded Mrs Thatcher to walk into his studio, but he gets an as-if John Biffen, always able to understand the other person's viewpoint.

I see the current Conservative Party as having the look of a rugby scrum with a thoughtful captain and vice captain, holding them all together.

tapestry said...

Andrew Marr wants a full-blooded Mrs Thatcher to walk into his studio, but he instead gets an as-if John Biffen, always able to understand the other person's viewpoint.

Cameron is not a leader leader, but a binder together of opposing factions and independent-minded individuals into a unified whole.

I see the Conservative Party as being like a rugby scrum.

Ray said...

I agree it was close, but the fact that it was Andrew Marr that was squirming in his seat, and doing all the gesticulating, and somewhat frustrated, would give it to Cameron on points. I must confess to being somewhat frustrated over not knowing what he intends to do about Europe myself.

trevorsden said...

It would seem that 'interviewing' these days consists of 'interrupting'.

I don't draw a difference between Boulton and Brown And anyone else and Cameron.

Also it would seem that someone only considers himself a good interviewer if he asks an embarrassing question.

The real issue for voters in these interviews is how the politician handles them and so far brown is bottom of the class.

Anonymous said...

Cameron does not have Blairs skill in interviews like this,but not many do have.WOW 30 million in the bank,no wonder he looked a little bit rattled.On the Lisbon treaty he looks very weak on policy...still none the wiser.

Weygand said...

Cameron should have said "Me rich - I think you must be confusing me with Tony Blair".

trevorsden said...

tapestry repeating something twice does not make it any more sensible.

Neither does lefties parroting a mantra totally disconnected from reality make their comments any more true.

The key reality is that Labour and Brown are saying that just a bit of efficiency will get the deficit down (Their secret plans bely this).
This ignores the harsh fact that from 2001 to 2008 Brown added the the debt he ran deficits when we had positive growth. So even when we were in the good f=tiimes not only did brown not pay back debt, he kept adding to it!

The reality which Tories are being clear about is that not only will there have to be significant cuts (secret labour plans show cuts of 9% in dept budgets) - but the whole way govt operates will have to change.

norman said...

I am not a Europhile, remain a healthy Europhobe and hence understand the balancing act of Cameron and not Farrage's rant which some posters want. Farrage is for his self-serving interest and lives in the world of 1960s. It is all very well saying Norwegian and Swiss ( who are mainland European countries and this in my travels in Europe makes a significant difference, and have survived EEC and post-EEC, unlike Britain) but Britain did go into EEC, that is fact of history. The EEC developed into a EU and a conservative PM knew all along this and let the people down. Thatcher did what she could to reign in the EU.
But the reality today is the world has changed and the world outside the EU- USA,China, India, Brazil, and countries in SE Asia want to deal with EU and not Britain. The ASEAN block wants EU block. The Farrages, the Cashes (he did cash in as an MP isn't he!!)want their names in headlines and want to fight the Major war. If the Lisbon treaty is ratified by all the EU countries, the referendum will only isolate Britain as the rest of the emerging world, the Chinas and Indias no longer recognise Britain as a "power" of any significance. The Commonwealth is an useless group. The best approach for Cameron is to make friends with the right of centre Merkel and her coalition. This I feel he is not doing despite his differences with the EU Conservative Group. The Labour likes nothing more than the Lisbon Treaty war inside the Conservative party and a few bloggers are obliging them.

Jess The Dog said...

Workmanlike is probably an adequate description. Marr was trying desperately to prise open Cameron's rather convoluted holding position on Europe, probably the most difficult issue.

From Cameron's answers, and from Hague's comments yesterday, I'm inclined to believe that Cameron's stance is a temporary one and, if President Blair is to be foisted upon us, the Tories will rapidly change tack to capitalise on the wave of Euro unpopularity.

Stu said...

Who cares what Cameron has in terms of wealth. The usual left wing politics of envy drivel from Marr.

Anonymous said...

"Cameron was calm and strong on Europe"

I must have missed that bit.

Anonymous said...

Nonesense Iain - this was the first time I have seen Cameron seriously rattled - on Europe, on the impact of his policies on unemployment,(ie it will rise according to independent economists) on his previous call for less regulation of the banking industry. He was seriously in trouble today and will be screaming at his advisers for not anticipating and preparing him well enough

Wefooked said...

Marr interupted Cameron because the latter would not answer the question. By refusing to give a categoric assurance that we will have a referendum even if the Treaty is ratified by the Czechs and Poles Cameron has lost my vote and, I suspect, a lot of others. It matters to me not one jot that if by agreeing to a referendum now we influence the Czechs and Poles. My interest lies in ensuring that the British public finally has some say in how we are governed. Labour has ensured we do not have a say. Cameron should have the balls to give us a vote and to live by the result. Unless Dave gets his finger out I shall be putting my money on Labour getting re-elected. And God help us all.

Anonymous said...

The Bullingdon club photo? Other than this has been done to death, will Marr now be showing all his guests embarrassing photos from their youth?

golden_balls said...

Interesting question although the pill popping question was far more intrusive.

Does anyone who has 30 million in the bank really understand what its like for joe public.

I would say no

Call me no referendum Dave said...

Yes good interview by Dave. Like Brown he has NO intention of holding a referendum.

Now it is out in the open for all to see that the only party who will is UKIP.

Any chance of Boris taking over from Dave before the election? He wants a referendum.

Anonymous said...

By the time of the General Election (probably on May 6th) the treaty should be ratified - the Czechs expect to ratify it by the end of March at the latest.

As a result the Conservatives will have to put their policy in the manifesto and people will know the position when they go to the ballot box.

I don't really see how you can reverse the ratification of a treaty.

canvas said...

I thought David Cameron could have been a wee bit more personable during the Marr interview. A few more smiles and some subtle humour would have gone a long way > (as you suggested, Iain, with the "I'm worth a good bit less than you, Andrew" line). It certainly worked wonders for Tony Blair and Barack Obama. I think that's probably why DC didn't really connect with the viewers during this Marr interview.

Regarding the forthcoming debates -DC needs to be wary of coming across as a bully. He musn't appear too aggressive. DC must appear confident and amiable. That's why George Osborne is so unpopluar - he comes across as a sour puss and totally unemotional.

The issues they discussed this morning are serious but that doesn't mean DC can't show a little humanity from time to time. Andrew Marr offered David Cameron the perfect chance to do that today - but DC failed to empathise with the human cost of the recession.

Wefooked said...

PS And I just got 14/1 at William Hill. Let's all hope I wasted my money.

jamie said...

"I'm worth a good bit less than you, Andrew"

But, of course, he isn't. Are you saying Cameron's best response woudld have been to lie?

McKenzie said...

Oh it was job done alright Mr wannabe desperado. The upcoming weeks/months are going to be hilarious. Glad to see you are not bucking the trend. Do keep up the nonsense.

cmp said...

Your doing your bit for party unity Iain but it wasn't a great performance. His position on Europe is weak and Marr showed that.

VotR said...

A close tie. Cameron handled his answers well, and endured the performance destroying interrogation such as the £30 million question, unlike a certain PM who looked like he could have done with a few pills to calm down a bit last weekend.

Anonymous said...

" reasoned in his explanation of the new welfare and employment proposals"

What?

He didn't get near to explaining what it would actually mean. Will it really mean offering actual paid jobs to the unemployed (and no doubt requiring them to take them) or will it just be NuLab's policy of providing slave labour to bad employers?

Anonymous said...

I thought he was a tad poor; he dodged the awkward questions so clumsily I think he's given the 'un-decideds' a chance to move their votes away. A pity; this week sees the firing of the starting gun. Let's hope for a rousing speech this week.

John said...

Right, so you think he should have evaded the wealth question but that Gordon should have been honest about the drugs question? If we have a right to know about our leaders' health, then we sure as hell have a right to know about their wealth! Personal circumstances have a huge bearing on personal priorities and views, and Cameron is yet to demonstrate that he can detach himself from his own privilege and understand what the rest of us need - therefore he needs to be frank about just how detached his own experience of recession is from everyone else's so we can make a judgement. I don't understand why you'd promote obfuscation on such a critical point - it's not really in keeping with the openness you generallt promote, Iain.

Anonymous said...

the question about wealth is fair enough, worth millions but takes on an unnecessary mortgage purely to maximise the expenses he can claim.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, Victor NW Kent, asking about Cameron's wealth is 'impertinent'?
Not to worry, as he indicated, his only wealth is the combined his/hers salaries, and two houses, the constuency one being paid for by you and me.
Cameron rich? Nah!
Quite ordinary really, probably a lot like you.

Jaques Delors said...

Marr very effectively exposed Cameron on the European referendum issue.

It's John Major all over again, except this time the "bastards" are the British people.

He's lost already.

Doomed said...

Dave blew it. He looked ill at ease and nervous.

Jimmy said...

""I'm worth a good bit less than you, Andrew"."

No doubt, but the question was about wealth.

Auntie Flo' said...

Why didn't Marr ask Brown how much he is worth?

Given Brown's inherited and acquired wealth, I am sure the answer - or death stare - on that would have been illuminating.

Brown's Tory mother was a director of a large family company with a finger in almost every pie, she had dividend income from that as well as a trust fund and, almost certainly, inherited wealth from her company co-owning father.

When Brown claims that his family could not have afforded private health care, he is not being honest.

He and his siblings were born in an exclusive private hospital which is the Scots equivalent of Queen Charlotte's in London.

Brown's family lived in a large, detached manse worth millions now. His father, no poverty struck vicar, had a very nice car and a very lucrative job as the (Head?) of the 425 year old school where Brown was educated - under his father's eye?

When the poor vicar married, his bride wore silk and tiara..in war time. But then, she could afford it.

Why didn't Marr ask Brown about his wealth?

Man in a Shed said...

Intresting the BBC never produces the "Brown Sugars" photo ...

Still I thought DC did very well - given the bowling from the interviewer, who was intent on forcing errors rather than revealing policy.

Cameron had a good point on why Brown had said nothing of any substance about the finacial mess the country is in.

I liked his answer on regulation also - as it fits the facts. Brown was warned again and again but the regulators, but took no action.

The boom fueled by debt was very much Brown's creation.

Peter Baxter said...

The Labour trolls are out in force today, Iain!

Cameron was exceptional today: strong, forthright, clear on policy but showed he had a sense of humour too.

As for his own personal wealth: what of it? He's worked hard to make the money he has and deserves every penny. Or does Marr work for free?

Swing-voters would have been very impressed this morning.

ollie said...

I didn't see the interview, but after reading various blogs, it seems two thirds of the people who saw it said Cameron was oddly below par.

Well, it's going to get a whole lot tougher for him in the following weeks and months.

Forget the circus spectacle of a Marr interview - he has become nothing more than an appalling caricature.

Cameron has Europe hanging over his head like the sword of Damocles - and unless he grasps the issue and makes sense of it, his probable premiership will be blighted before it has even begun.

Victor, NW Kent said...

I am not sure which of the many Anonymi replied to me at 1.22 but I can inform him/her/it that it isn't his/hers/its business how much I am worth either. Whatever it amounts to it is mine as I was brought up in poverty, real poverty.

I was, however, taught some manners at my grammar school and then in the regular army.

Andrew Marr, who got a court injunction last year to prevent his own private life being discussed, lacks any concept of objectivity. He also lacks manners and intellectual rigour. He was, incidentally, educated at a fee-paying school and earns in excess of £600,000 per annum. That is 4 times Cameron's salary.

cherami said...

Odd how Marr is seen as a raving Trot by the Right and a lickspittle capitalist by the Left.

He must be doing something right.

neil craig said...

He was questioned on the EU referendum & interestingly finessed his position. He said that he was not going to say whether he would or wouldn't have a referendum if the treaty was ratified before the election because he didn't want to make it easier for the Czechs & Poles to choose not to delay it.

Now maybe he is just whistling but the only logical way that works is that, if driven to it, we will have a referendum but he doesn't want them to rely on that. It also strikes me that if it is ratified before the election, which seems most likely, he will have to make a decision.

My opinion is that the Conservatives have little to fear from going for a referendum. Whatever ructions it would cause would be less than the damage to Labour/LibDems from the repeated reminding the voters get that both of them made manifesto pledges to support a referendum & cynically broke their word as soon as the last election was over. Voters don't like such contemptuous behaviour.

If the constitreaty is ratified the Conservatives should adopt the official LibDem policy of having a referendum on membership. Because it is, officially, LibDem policy it is difficult to call it extreme & they would be in a cleft stick. It should be a 3 option referendum - status quo with treaty / leaving / associate membership like Norway & Switzerland

DespairingLiberal said...

But he isn't "worth a good deal less than you" - he is very, very rich and much of it from hedge fund speculation and contacts. The best question from Marr would have been "did you short on banks and if so, which ones and when?"

Quite depressing to hear the Tories trotting out the usual assaults on the poorest and lowest in society (disabled, etc), especially from a man with a disabled child.

Clearly though the bloated contractor companies and private operators who are sucking the blood of taxpayers and draining the public sector dry are not going to get any flack from Cameron.

Me said...

As someone who patted David Cameron on the back in Bath two weeks ago while saying 'good luck', I thought he was poor today.
Sure Marr was a disgrace, showing photos from Cameron's past and impertinently asking him how much he was worth, but on Europe, unemployment and financial regulation, Cameron lacked conviction.
He also lacked humour, fight and common sense. He smacks of someone just wanting power rather than having convictions, but this is mostly because of the way the media and the country now is: the cultures of soundbites, 'gaffes' and political correctness create a huge gulf between the voters and those they elect.
Let's hope when he's in power some of the convictions return.

Anonymous said...

Marr is a lazy moron. The story about David Cameron having more than £30 million was due to the below(took me 3 minutes to find):

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/specials/rich_list/rich_list_2009/article6154814.ece

It is a DIFFERENT David Cameron who is worth £38million!! (it was reported in the Daily Mail or Daily Express that Cameron was on the Sunday Times richlist because of the above link . . . it has then been repeated again and again by lazy journalists. Now Marr has repeated it. What a lazy moron.

Anonymous said...

Just seen the interview, and Dave was terrible.I agree with Victor from Kent,there is no respect today to our leaders. Marr, Kavanaghn from the sun paper and Andrew Bolton are very rude.The next election will be very nasty indeed, i also think it will be tight.If i was a betting person i would bet on a no overall majority.thankyou Shirley

Anonymous said...

Cameron says he doesn't want to unveil his policy on what he'll do if the Czechs and Poles ratify the Treaty because he doesnt't want to interfere in the process, but he's written to Vaclac Klaus. And we're not allowed to know what he's written!! Back to the good old days of secret diplomacy!!! Why can't he just say what he'll do?

Anonymous said...

If at the end of an attack interview, someone says your performance was a bit dull, you have won and won big. Well done Cameron you get how to handle the media. No gaffes, no silly lines for them to repeat, no losing your cool, no walk outs and no angry scenes. Cameron knows what to do and Brown doesn't.

Victor, NW Kent said...

Thank you Anonymous for that link. The £38-million David Cameron is not the politician at all.

The £600,000 a year Marr is, however, Andrew Marr of the BBC. He is also the same Andrew Marr who got a court injunction last year to protect his own privacy.

Mike Law said...

Recorded the Politics Show and am just now watching Eric Pickles - awful, awful, awful!

Only saving grace: Miliband was worse...

Quietzapple said...

It was smithereen of well scrubbed Bullingdon Party most of us thought.

Paul Linford said...

I'm surprised someone with your knowledge of the media and publishing world Iain would think that Andy Marr is worth anything like £30m. He may be well-remunerated by the BBC, and he may have made a bob or two out of "My Trade" and "The History of Britain," but £30m?? Come off it.

Alexis said...

Anonymous said...
2Marr is a lazy moron. The story about David Cameron having more than £30 million was due to the below(took me 3 minutes to find):2

There is some confusion here - Marr and commentators. It is widely known that the total wealth of Cameron's FAMILY is about £30m.