Saturday, March 06, 2010

Ain't Gonna Happen

Peter Hitchens' Mail on Sunday column makes for hilarious reading this week. This is how it starts...
David Cameron has twice refused to be interviewed by me, once for this newspaper and once for a TV programme I made about him for Channel Four. When I have sought to question him at Press conferences or public events, he has been highly reluctant to speak to me. I understand this reluctance, and take it as a compliment, but I do not think it is creditable or right.

Oh purrrlease. Peter knows very well that every political leader gets hundreds of interview requests every month. Quite why David Cameron would choose to grant an interview to a columnist who has been uniformly hostile to him is anyone's guess. He then goes on to list the eight questions he would ask Cameron were he given the chance. Most of them make Jim Naughtie's questions look short and illustrate the pointlessness of Cameron being interviewed by Hitchens.

What on earth would it achieve

Next, he'll be suggesting that Gordon Brown should give an exclusive interview to Andrew Rawnsley...

24 comments:

tapestry said...

Hitchens needs to discover the art of constructive criticism.

Witterings From Witney said...

Iain,

Sorry but I cannot agree Hitchen's column is 'hilarious'.

If David Cameron is not prepared to make time in order to be interviewed by someone who is critical of his views and beliefs only leaves him, in my eyes, in a poor light.

Three times DC was challenged to a public debate in Witney on the question of Britain's membership of the EU and three times he declined. Why? What reason can any politician have not to defend his/her political views unless it is because they are unable to do so.

Invited instead to a Cameron Direct event (which is not a public debate, but a Q&A session) when I did apply on the first publicised date of one, surprise surprise, no places were available.

To refuse to discuss certain topics does DC no good and does not play well in the minds of the electorate.

Iain Dale said...

Cameron has done lots of interviews with hostile interviewers. But if I were him I wouldnt agree to be interviewed by Peter Hitchens either. He has a closed mind,so what's the point?

Witterings From Witney said...

Whilst not completely agreeing with your point on Hitchens, as previously explained - leaving that to one side, refusal to publicly debate? That cannot be a wise move Iain - it leaves the thought that either he cannot substantiate his views or knows that he would lose.

I think you would agree it is 'our' sovereignty - if one may use that word - that is at stake, not just his. As such, it is not his decision to make - is it?

This denial by DC is but another example of the usurpation people's 'powers' that has been so prevalent over the last decade under Labour

Unsworth said...

Who is this Hitchens guy, anyway?

cherami said...

Hitchens needs to learn to ask questions - like Chilcott and co and Cameron at PMQs.

Questions need to be pointed, sharp and not answerable with 'yes' or 'no.'

Cameron is surprisingly bad at it so are almost all television interviewers today.

S.B.S said...

Cameron should talk with Hitchens, as he is more conservative than Cameron, I would certainly be more inclined to vote conservative if Cameron followed the Hitchens mode.
I am a conservative member of many many years but will not be voting for the wind-bag Cameron.

Jimmy said...

"Who is this Hitchens guy, anyway?"

The brother of a famous journalist.

Jonforest said...

What would it achieve? Cameron might learn how to be a Conservative

Malcolm Redfellow said...

Quite why David Cameron would choose to grant an interview to a columnist who has been uniformly hostile to him is anyone's guess.

Come what may, in six month's time, to whom will he speak, then?

I thought a PR-operator, even one who tried to sell a failing TV-company, felt some kind of duty to persuade and explain. But, then, I spent forty years as a professional (and, at times, political) communicator, addressing and interchanging with all those put before me. So what do I know?

................................. said...

No leader of any party, past or present, would give an interview to Peter Hitchens; the man's as mad as a box of frogs.

I remember Blair openly laughing at him during Labour's 2001 election press conferences. The man truly is an idiot. I mean, just look at those weird things he used to post in Guido's comments!

ILLIBERAL DEMOCRATS said...

It is simple - Hitchens wants someone else to ask those questions.

Why go to that length otherwise? There are TV debates and the like you see. Hitchens probably thinks some other person, probably from the left will pick them up and ask them.

Hitchens is campaigning for folk not to vote. This is so he thinks another more rightwing party can replace the Tories. Hitchens wants another 5 years of Gordon Brown so a new right wing party can take over. Problem is there will not be much of what Hitchens wants to Conserve left after 5 more years of Brown!!! Hitchens is a sort of Michael Foot in reverse. Interesting talking point but in the real world politics and elections do not work like that.

davidc said...

cast iron dave bottles it - no suprises here,nothing to see , move along

Salmondnet said...

Cameron is frit. A Conservative leader should jump at the chance of having an interview published in the Mail on Sunday. The problem is that Hitchens would expose him as the neo-liberal he is.

Craig Ranapia said...

Cameron should talk with Hitchens, as he is more conservative than Cameron, I would certainly be more inclined to vote conservative if Cameron followed the Hitchens mode.

Yeah... And Hitchens' brother Christopher has better odds of getting face time with the current US Secretary of State and her husband -- two people C.H. has slagged off at some length and remorseless and pathological liars.

While I find the Brothers Hitchens endlessly entertaining, and occasionally insightful, I think they both need to learn the difference between a question and a statement.

Jabba the Cat said...

Hitchens minor has an over inflated sense of his own importance coupled with a seriously closed mind.

If Hitchens minor had his way we would be living in a Christian fundamentalist state with the death penalty for smoking a spliff.

Fortunately for the rest of us Hitchens minor is stuck in his corner with little chance of getting any traction out into the mainstream.

Best ignored.

Hitchens major, otoh, is often interesting reading even if one does not necessarily agree with him.

Anna said...

Peter Hitchens, and others of his ilk such as Heffer & Warner, seem intent on persuading voters not to vote Conservative. Now that would be a reasonable position for a Labour or LibDem supporter, and the latter do attack Conservative policies and articulate alternatives. That's fine, this is a democracy, you make your choice in the polling booth. What Hitchens et al do is proclaim themselves as 'real' Conservatives but smear & attack while never articulating viable alternative policies, and not one of them will admit the simple truth that whatever you think of Cameron, he's put the Conservative party in contention again. Rightly or wrongly, the world has moved on since their heyday and they can't stomach it. I'm not a convinced Cameroon, I voted for David Davis in the leadership contest, but maybe I was wrong. You have to work with what IS and maybe Cameron is more in tune with the today I find a bit confusing, maybe he is the one chance we have to get rid of this appalling government and I will vote for him despite the exhortations of Hitchens and his like-minded brigade whose recommendations would ensure another Labour victory. Who knows, maybe they're not as Conservative as they like to proclaim - they're certainly an effective Labour fifth column! UKIP flirters might like to take that on board.

Victor, NW Kent said...

Peter Hitchens is an ex-Trotskyite as is his brother. He is a man of extremes with a political philosophy built on quicksand.

He should not be allowed top interview any politician of any stripe as any interview would be Hitchens interviewing himself with the victim in soft focus, the butt of his tirades.

Even the old Right should stop taking him seriously.

Nigel said...

>>Sorry but I cannot agree Hitchen's column is 'hilarious'.<<

You're quite right.

Depressing drivel would be a far more accurate description.

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Me said...

Peter Hitchens is an idiot. Watch his brother humiliate him on YouTube in a debate a year or so ago (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4eT0fFcqEs).
If we still have a Labour government after May 6 it'll be people like him and Heffer who are partly to blame.

Robert said...

We will have the pleasure this week of Dave being savaged by Alan Titchmarsh.

enquiringmind said...

Split each of those questions into parts a), b) and c) and the session would still be shorter than your Total Politics interviews Iain - which by the way are an ideal example of the fact that long-winded interviews are not necessarily boring (unlike most interviews conducted by Mr Naughtie).

Besides, Peter's questions are perfectly pertinent.

It would be nice to see the Hitchens Bros double-act on Question Time again, that was a most amusing edition of the show.

The Grim Reaper said...

If this was posted over at Guido's place, we'd now be seeing a repeat of the "I am Peter Hitchens" incident from a few years ago...

He's a columnist who is capable of writing brilliantly, but doesn't most of the time. Most of his columns are utterly cliched drivel, which is a crying shame.