Sunday 23 April 2017


In the interests of DNA-based blogging impartiality, we will be posting transcripts of all the introductions to The Andrew Marr Show between now and Brenda from Bristol's election day on June 8th. Then, after it's all over (and Brenda can go back to normal life again), we will compare and contrast them and draw any conclusions that are worth drawing: Who will get helpful introductions? Who will get unhelpful introductions? Or will everyone come out as happy or unhappy as all the rest?

And so it begins....

Here's today's main introduction:
Good morning. Jeremy Corbyn was the rank outsider when he stood as Labour leader. He smashed all expectations, he survived a coup and he was massively re-endorsed by his own party shortly afterwards. Roundly mocked by the media establishment, it's worth remembering that no proper socialist has ever been as close to Number 10 as Mr Corbyn is this morning. So for the moment, forget the polls, let's have no foregone conclusions. Today, Jeremy Corbyn tells us what kind of Prime Minister he would be. Another party leader, Paul Nutall, joins me to explain why he'll go into this election promising to ban the burka. And I'll be talking to Leanne Wood, Plaid Cymru's leader as well. And I've been chewing the fat with one of the surviving legends of the great age of British rock - Sir Ray Davies of The Kinks. And reviewing the papers today as a nail-biting election kicks off across the channel, Benedicte Paviot of France 24. And two old hands - Kevin Maguire of the Daily Mirror and Sarah Sands the outgoing editor of the Evening Standard. All of that and more coming up in a while. First, the news with Tina Daheley.
We'll also be transcribing the introductions to each political interview. First, Paul Nuttall:
Now then, UKIP have been making news this morning, as we have just been hearing. So what is really going on? And does this party actually have a real purpose any longer? Paul Nuttall, its leader, joins me now. 
Then Leanne Wood:
Plaid Cymru, the Party of Wales, has had a vision of that country's future as a semi-independent country inside the EU - the option, of course, which is no longer available. So, what is their real constitutional vision now? The party leader, Leanne Wood, joins me from Cardiff.
And finally Jeremy Corbyn:
Now most of us have seen Jeremy Corbyn in short bursts in news bulletins or at Prime Minister's Questions. But now he is fighting to become Britain's next Prime Minister, there is a vast range of policy issues we need to hear more from him about - on foreign policy, the economy and of course, Brexit. He's here now. Good morning. 
Who came off best there? Who came off worst? Does it display BBC impartiality at its best? (I'm keeping my powder dry on those till the election. I'll let you judge in the meantime).


  1. "Mocked by the media establishment, no proper Socialist has ever been as close to No. 10 as Mr. Corbyn". Which is fair enough, I suppose. So Marr sets us up to expect him on his best behavior during the interview. During the paper review, Marr highlighted a Sunday Telegraph headline about the Tory chairman saying 'Corbyn puts UK at terror risk'. Clever foreshadowing.

    After the silly opening question about Dawn Butler's moronic statement about Theresa May rigging the election (easily put down by Corbyn with the prepared line), Marr at first seemed to give him the softest ride imaginable. Spending so much time no Trident and nuclear weapons seemed a bit out in the weeds when there are more important, immediate issues. But Marr had an agenda, and was building up to it. We got a little bit of anti-war stuff in general eventually, when Marr asked Corbyn if (as PM) he would tell Trump Britain would not join in any strikes on Syria (or anywhere else). Marr tried for a gotcha moment, to get Corbyn to state openly that he would suspend all air strikes. To further pursue the 'Corbyn is weak, appeases the terrorists, etc.' agenda, he then went for the big one: would Corbyn give the approval to send a drone strike to kill the ISIS leader. Corbyn had another easy, prepared answer, about not supporting terrorists in any way, but he would want to focus on whether or not these sort of strikes actually accomplish anything. It's a fair point, and was basically what he said about air strikes earlier, and Marr was left to figure out whether or not he'd accomplished anything with this segment. Not really, but it turned out to be the only challenging bit of the entire interview.

    Marr's next hardball question: What's the deal with all these new bank holidays you'd set up? Corbyn's defense did sound a bit silly, that Britain had fewer bank holidays than Europe or Japan. Oh, and it will demonstrate Britain's diversity. Don't you think that's a good thing? Marr gave a half-hearted attempt to point out loss of productivity and cost to the taxpayer, but he was't feeling it.

    The rest of it was perfunctory main policy questions: ending privatization of bits of the NHS, capping executive salaries (starting with corporations with public sector contracts), end grammar schools, Brexit, immigration. All of it allowed Corbyn to calmly lay out a picture-postcard view of a Socialist government in action. Marr acted as if his job at this point was just to get Corbyn to make mini policy speeches, with only the occasional perfunctory query.

    If anyone complains about anti-Corbyn bias on this one, they're imagining it. But that's not evidence of Marr getting it about right. Based on the line of questions, and how Marr followed up with each answer, Corbyn's foreign policy was the only thing Marr thought might be a problem for him. He would love to see the kind of Socialist Britain Corbyn painted for him.

  2. I see that the BBC are describing Mr Macron as a 'Centrist' politician - pro EU, one of us, likely to be the next French President etc. Surely French voters' rejection of mainstream establishment politicians should be described as a 'populist' move. But, seemingly 'populist' can only apply to 'far-right' in the BBC corporate brain.


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