Sunday 17 September 2017

The Sunday Politics

The swallows must be getting twitchy. Autumn will soon be upon us, and all the Sunday morning political programmes are now back.

The Sunday Politics looks much the same, except for having a new presenter - Sarah Smith.

Smiley Smiley Sarah Smith

She may have to work on her wit and whimsy lest she makes it a glum watch every week. Dullness doesn't make for enjoyable viewing.

Will she prove as even-handed as Andrew Neil? Only time will tell, but she seemed even-handed enough to me today...

...with one possible exception: It will be interesting to see how she handles Labour Party interviews, particularly if there turns out to be a pronounced difference in how she treats hard-left and centre-left Labour interviewees. The pro-Corbyn interviewee today certainly got much tougher treatment than the New Labour interviewee. We'll see if that's a one-off over the coming months.

Also on the subject of The Sunday Politics...

Thinking again about Julia Hartley-Brewer's complaint on Question Time that she's "the sole Leaver on the BBC panel...most of the time" (which wasn't true about most of her QT appearances), that must have come about, in part, because of her appearances on The Sunday Politics where the three journalists on the panel each week almost invariably consist of 1 Leaver and 2 Remainers.

Indeed, scanning through the episode list for 2017, there have been 25 editions this year. Only one panel has been 'two against one' in favour of Leave. The other 24 have been 'two against one' in favour of Remain.

That's a striking imbalance.

Even the dodgy defence that Andrew Neil is assumed to be a Leaver and, thus, somehow balances it out (dodgy because AN was scrupulously fair on the Brexit issue) will surely no longer hold now that AN is gone, and I doubt anyone seriously believes that Sarah Smith is a closet Leaver.

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