Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Paxo stuffs himself

There was a priceless interview on Newsnight last night. Paxo got Jeremy Browne on with Steve Webb and seemed to be endeavouring to set up a sort of policy "rats in a sack" debate. You might call it an attempted "wonks in a sack" argument. So, Paxo raised about three points of policy and seemed to be expecting Jeremy and Steve to be at each other's throats and tearing each other's hair out within seconds.

Instead, there came wholehearted agreement from the two LibDems.

Oh dear.

Paxo's balloon was deflating by the second, accompanied by, to his credit, self-deprecating remarks about the wisdom of the "let's get them fighting" interview strategy.

What had me squealing with glee (I am sorry, I have to take my pleasures where I can) was when Paxo, being somewhat flummoxed as to how to continue the interview, allowed a pregnant pause which Jeremy Browne, with admirable bullishness, filled by saying something about another subject which he wanted to talk about. It was an initiative which Paxo gratefully allowed to continue, because he obviously didn't have a clue what else to say.

It was a remarkable example of a Paxo interview collapsing in a heap and control of the interview passing to one of the interviewees.

In the end, Paxo managed to tease out an admission of a "fag paper's" difference of approach from Webb and Browne on the arcane minutiae of some policy area which was so obscure that it has already escaped my memory.


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