Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Are the Conservatives becoming media shy?

There have been some occasions recently when the Tories seem to have gone a bit media shy. Michael Gove recently refused to debate directly with Ed Balls on TV about schools policy and insisted on being questioned separately. I must say I found this very odd. It is exactly the sort of thing that if Balls had done to Gove, the Tory bloggers and tweeters would have been up in arms about and insisting it would have been because Gove would have wiped the floor with him.

Then today on the "World At One" on Radio 4, the Conservatives declined to put anybody up to talk about the Lord Ashcroft situation. I am afraid I don't buy the "no-one was available" line. I am certain that if Labour were under the cosh about something they would have been straight on there as they always are in that sort of situation. I am pretty sure there have been other examples of Tory media shyness of this nature previously too.

The government has been rightly pilloried in the past for bottling out of media opportunities to defend itself (usually as I said by the Conservatives) but it does seem quite odd that there are growing examples of the opposition doing it too.

Is this a sign that we can expect this sort of disdain for public accountability to continue if they win the election?


Cardinal Richelieu's mole said...

Reprehensible. See "Lord Oakeshott is a Very Grand Man" - Iain Dale 3 March 9:39 PM for another example of the same phenomenon - @

Mark Thompson said...

CRM - Yes I saw that. If that account is true then it was silly of Oakeshott to behave like that as if he is above mere bloggers or something.

More generally and for clarity, I also do not like to see my own party do what I blogged about above either. I do think it happens less frequently than with the other parties though, perhaps that's because we struggle to get our fair share of airtime anyway so the idea of turning down opportunities is hard to justify!

Cardinal Richelieu's mole said...

A valid aspect though is that politicians should not have to jump when the infotainment industry demands. I commend those politicians who refuse to co-operate if they do so for sound reasons associated with the weaknesses and errors that permeate the infotainment industry and not to escape fair scrutiny and accountability.