Saturday 4 June 2016

The "Leave" show

I haven’t watched much TV lately, but something I did watch last night was the ‘Leave’ show, starring Michael Gove and Faisal Islam on Sky. Also present, Kay Burley and “the public”. 

Faisal Islam seems to have turned into Mehdi Hasan. That irritating, non-stop hectoring style is just up Mehdi’s street. I’m really surprised that no-one has mentioned it.

Ah! I’m wrong. Janet Daley has:
In spite of – or maybe because of – being relentlessly barracked and harassed by Faisal Islam, Mr Gove won the room. He repeatedly got spontaneous applause from the audience. In fact, he seemed to gain in confidence as he went on, looking amused rather than defensive even when Islam absurdly likened him to Mr Trump.

I didn’t see the ‘Remain’ show, starring David Cameron (and I haven’t caught-up with it yet) so I don’t know if Faisal Islam was just as exasperating and intrusive with Dave as he was with Mike, but relentless pursuit of a yes/no answer to an ill-conceived ‘killer’ question is pure Mehdi, and a bit Mishal too. 

Have you (or have you not) stopped beating your wife?  Have you? Have you? Have you?

How many economists have come out on your side? How many? Name one. 
Can you guarantee that no-one will lose their job as a result of leaving the EU?  Can you? Can you guarantee that the weather will improve on June 24th? Can you?

No, Faisal made matters much less clear with his obtrusive interventions. A skilled, less terrier-like interviewer would have calmly let the questions and answers flow, one after the other. We would have learned more.

From the reaction of the MSM, I really did wonder whether I’d watched the right programme. Maybe they’d been watching the real one and I’d somehow stumbled upon the dress rehearsal. 

The chap in the audience who compared  Gove’s ‘Leave’ advocacy to a World War 1 general waving the flag and saying "over the top, men!” did have a point, but prediction is not a science, and that particular argument is predicated upon the certainty and stability of a turbulent and unstable EU, which of course there  ain’t. 


  1. Like you, I only saw Islams attempted drive-bys on Gove.
    Journalism has really sunk to low levels when Islam is regarded as a "heavyweight in the making".
    Brian Walden was the best interviewer I saw-Jimmy Young was also , by far , a better pundit that gobshites and bitesize bullshitters like Islam.
    Rule number one is SURELY to let the bloke answer your question...and then follow the logic to get to the truth.Robin Day used to do it-as did Walden, Cole among others.
    Yet sixth form arses like Islam run the game these days...and we`re left with going online, ignoring them MSM.
    Which we do.

  2. I don’t have Sky, so I didn’t see the programme, but it’s an affliction that seems to have spread across most of the broadcast media. Humphrys or Naughtie can be just as bad on the BBC, and have clearly learned nothing at all during all their years on the job. Whether it’s the need to promote a particular political point of view, or a simple case of ego’s getting in the way they seem to have forgotten that the most important skill for any interviewer is the ability to listen.

    Robin Day could be a tough customer at times, but at least at the end of an interview you felt that you had gained some knowledge of the subject.

  3. I think Sky News is articulating the Murdoch line: he was us in the EU but not committed to full integration...he wants us in there arguing for pro-American policies. Pro-American = pro-free market = pro-Murdoch = what we see in reality.

  4. Faisal Islam's interviews with both David Cameron and Michael Gove were both disrespectful of the interviewess and of the great decisions that have to make. During both interviews he was not listening to the answers but looking at his i-pad, where someone in a backroom was, presumably, typing in the questions to ask. the questions from he audience, in both interviews, were far more penetrative.

    When you think of interviewers of the past, such as Robin Day or Brian Walden, you must think that we have plumbed the depths.

    Christopher Scopes

    Christopher Scopes

  5. Anyone here this morning's Today programme with Nick Robinson going almost apoplectic when questioning a Leave spokeperson. Having given Will Straw for Remain an easy ride, during which he helpfully translated something as "we just should just admit this is the truth" rather than put the Leave side, he then said to the Leave spokesperson Stephen someone, "I am going to force you to answer" when the man had answered and answered well, but in a way which Robinson, who is Eurofanatic to his core clearly did not like.

    Add this to extraordinarily biased tweet from Laura Kuennesberg telling us we should take a Leave claim about additional future payments with a "bunch of salt".

    Well, you can see how they're feeling with Leaving leading in 3 polls.


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