Wednesday, April 07, 2010

My Consistently Inconsistent Advice on Dealing With Michael Crick

Earlier on today a couple of commenters - Scary Mary and Grim Reaper - spotted an apparent inconsistency in what I wrote in THIS blogpost comparing Gordon Brown's electoral strategy to Michael Foot's compared to THIS one which ventured some advice to first time candidates.

On 4th April I advised candidates...

"Your only media focus is local. Ignore Michael Crick. He's not there to help you."
Yet this morning, with reference to Michael Crick's film on Newsnight where Gordon Brown appeared to take my advice and ignored his blandishments to comment on anything, I wrote...

"There is a way to deal with journalists like Crick, but ignoring them is not one of them."

Now, even I can spot an apparent volte face there, and so, it appears, can Mr Crick himself, who has written THIS blogpost, saying that I have left him confused. Well, as ever, I wish to perform a public service and clear up the confusion for those who understandably think I've made a right tit of myself :).

My advice to first time candidates stands. You won't win with Michael Crick, or any other national journalists. So ignore them. They're not there to provide you with free publicity. They are there to encourage you to say something disloyal or embarrassing. So if you say nothing, you can't lose. You're not important enough for them to film you saying nothing.

But if you are Prime Minister and you repeatedly ignore Mr Crick, even when it's only you and him on a train platform, you look a bit of a dick. What Gordon Brown should have done is do what David Cameron does when he encounters the Crickster. He engages in merry banter and ignores his questions. Cameron is then filmed looking as if he has a sense of humour, Crick's got his clip, the world is happy and God is in her heaven.

So I have been entirely consistent in my advice, even when it appears inconsistent. Capiche?

I'll get my coat.

17 comments:

Mirtha Tidville said...

Crick`s film simply reinforces the image of the unpleasant, broody, charmless and unappealing man he is.....

Bird said...

I can't see the point of Crick. He definitely shouldn't be on Newsnight where he looks an absolute lightwaeight. Paxo must hate having to ask the sniggering little twat about political situations.
Crick built some kind of reputation as an investigative journalist and political biographer. He came down with a bump after his long-awaited but dud biography of Michael Howerd.
Before the Howerd book, the legend arose that the most chilling phrase to a politician was, "Michael Crick is in the waiting room".
Nowadays, the response would be, "throw the little creep into the street".

John said...

First gaffe of the campaign. Poor the Dale.

Michael Heaver said...

When I've encountered Michael Crick he seems fair enough.

If a Party Leader can't deal with a journo then how can they hope to run the country?

skynine said...

Just tell him to Crock off

Unsworth said...

So the camera never lies, eh? But at least Cameron understands the game and does it quite well. Brown is so bleeding arrogant - or stupid - that he thinks he's above all this.

DespairingLiberal said...

Nah. You just got caught out and now you're trying to make it sound like you meant it all along.

Bird, you underestimate Crick - Newsnight viewing figures for example increased when he came onto the programme. He is one of the best journalists the BBC have out there, which is perhaps why you want him off?

Mark said...

is Ben Butterworth the UK's "Joe the Plumber"?

Phillip Lawrence said...

Your not a right tit Iain. Perhaps a left one. But I like tits, perhaps, just perhaps, a little bit more than you.
Mind you Crick is an arse. A bid hairy Turkish wrestlers bottom.

cassandra said...

"and God is in her heaven"

Aaaah, another enlightened believer in the one true God I see!

Daniel Earwicker said...

What you meant to say, in other words, was "Ignore Crick's questions".

This is hardly a major error on your part. In fact you could reasonably claim that the rest of us are idiots for not realising what you meant in the first place! :)

Old Holborn said...

Funnily enough, as a first time candidate, I'm in the Guardian tomorrow.

Mick Turatian said...

Michael Crick is good at what he does which is not at all the same thing as his predecessors on Newsnight, Martha Kearney and Mark Mardell. He falls short of being a political editor even for the shambles that Newsnight has become.

He and Gordon Brown are both victims of the Peter Principle in that they have both been promoted beyond their level of competence with the important distinction that, for all that, Crick is entertaining and likeable whereas Gordon is an unremitting coital docking facility.

Hughes. said...

It's not the first time I've said it, but Crick is politics' own Dennis Pennis.

In days of old he'd have been a court jester. I can just see him capering around with a bladder on a stick.

scottpompuy said...

you're generally full of shit Iain, but i understood and agree with you on this one (even before the clarification)

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

Good advice Iain. I'd only add: never, ever, in any circumstances whatsoever, allow him into your home.

That goes for Crick too!

The Rt Hon. Grim Reaper said...

Name-checked by Iain Dale on his blog? That's rather made my day, truth be told.

At least you're honest about this. You may perhaps have succeeded in turning that epic fail into a win. On those grounds, I consider myself owned.

* I bet some of you reading this haven't the faintest idea what I'm saying.