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Brown bamboozled and Cameron got Nicked!!!

By Angela Harbutt
April 15th, 2010 at 10:10 pm | 2 Comments | Posted in Election, UK Politics

One clear winner on the first leaders debate tonight…Nick Clegg.

The talk will now be of David Cameron being “Clegg-lite” rather than the other way round.

Nick was an easy winner. The ITV news poll of 4000 people put Nick not just ahead – but a country mile ahead (and am told that You Gov poll for Sun also gives it unreservedly to Nick).

Nick had some wonderful touches – simply excellent eye contact with the viewer – talking into the camera time and again – oooh that was good, relaxed attitude (so relaxed he was positively laid back – and er hmmm had his hands in his pockets most of the evening), a grasp of the facts and figures, constantly distancing himself from the other two parties … oh and lets not forget the name-checking those that asked the questions at the end (buy the person that thought of that one a bottle of something bubbly)… A very polished performance.

Brown was, well Brown – fish out of water- this is not his natural environment (still not quite sure why he agreed to do this). Perhaps it is a result of his physical disability but if you cant look people in the eye they will be disinclined to believe you – and Brown never once looked down the barrel of the gun – into the camera – to talk directly to the viewers. His disability should not prevent that, that’s surely the disfunctionality of the personality. It was also funny that Gordon insisted on calling Nick into his defence on several occasions ….”I know Nick agrees with me”…. (Nick largely looking bemused!!)

Cameron will be bitterly disappointed- the programme exposed yet again his lack of detail – but perhaps more importantly – he is supposed to be the man of style over substance – well tonight there was no style or substance….. He looked first uncomfortable – then increasingly deflated and defeated. His insistence on name-checking a place or person he had visited in recent weeks on every question started out sound phony and ended up just down right ridiculous…methinks he protested too much about being in touch with the ordinary bloke. Give it a rest Dave..

The big question we have to ask ourselves of course is ..can tonight’s performance be converted to a 2-3% boost in the polls? If it can…its game on.

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Lib Dem love-in IS on its way

By Angela Harbutt
March 11th, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Comments Off on Lib Dem love-in IS on its way | Posted in Liberal Democrats

Well, Well.. No sooner is my ink dry stating that a Cameron Mockumentary is on its way,  I am told that we are to get a Cleggfest too, courtesy of good old ITV. Having deployed Piers Morgan and Sir Trevor to cover the other party leaders, we must surely expect an interrogator of the fairer sex to cover Nick Clegg’s softer side (might as well tick gender balance while you are at it ITV). So will it be the uber sexy Katie Derham or Mary Nightingale perhaps? 

No tx date yet but watch this space….

(UPDATE: Word is its Mary )

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ITV’s inevitable cave-in to Tory pressure

By Angela Harbutt
March 11th, 2010 at 12:16 am | 1 Comment | Posted in UK Politics

aka “When Trev Met Dave”

Following on from the lucicrous Piers Morgan “interview” with Gordon Brown, Andy Coulson’s badgering of ITV (pre and post interview) has paid off.

This Sunday we get to see “ITV Fuck Up – Part II”, as Sir Trevor McDonald does his ITV duty and provides the Tories with a reciprocal “soft touch” mockumentary about Tory leader David Cameron.Word has it, its all Samantha telling us why Dave’s her man, and various lovies concurring that “Dave’s the man”….with lots of “exclusive access” words all over it. Er yeah right.

Hmm….You see what happens when the Light Entertainment boys are let off their leash ? The rest of ITV are left picking up the pieces.Still, I bet Mr Coulson’s laughing. Gordon gets sleazy Morgan, Dave gets SIR Trev no less. Nice one.

So the only question remaining…… How effective were the media guys and gals at the Lib Dems at extracting their pound of media flesh? Who is the man at Cowley street beating down the door of Peter Fincham demanding their hour loved-upness  from ITV? Nick Clegg – multi-tasking, parent extraordinaire (in 5 languages no less) must be on its way, surely….

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Lib Dems – go back to your constituencies and prepare to complain….

By Angela Harbutt
February 8th, 2010 at 9:48 am | 9 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

ITV has announced that on 14th Feb 2010 it plans to broadcast a one hour “interview” with Gordon Brown. Not a hard hitting political examination of the Prime Minister – his policies and actions over the last four years. Not a series of interviews where Gordon Brown, David Cameron, Nick Clegg (and possibly others) are likewise interrogated.

No. This is Piers Morgan interviewing the PM.  No other politician at any other point, just the PM. This is Piers Morgan – former editor of the pro-Labour party Mirror newspaper, up until 2004 (when he was sacked). This is Piers Morgan, Gordon Browns mate. Piers Morgan who interviews the likes of Cilla Black, Katie Price, Boris Becker,Dannii Minogue,Ronnie Corbett, Vinnie Jones,  and.. er…oh.. the Prime Minister (weeks before a general election must be called). Piers Morgan who says of Gordon Brown (presumably with a straight face (and fingers crossed behind his back)) He’s one of the most famous people in the country, yet remains a man of mystery to many.  I have known Gordon Brown for over 15 years – he is a man who has enjoyed great triumph, suffered terrible tragedy, and will soon face the biggest challenge of his career.” Sound like a one hour party political election broadcast to you too?

Much has been said about how cynical Gordon Brown is to use this programme as a vehicle to gain public sympathy etc. I dont care whether he cried or stripped naked and did the hokey Cokey – what I care about is how the hell those people in charge of ITV let Gordon Brown’s mate interview Gordon Brown within weeks of a general election without any regard to their internal or external commitments to impartiality.  

ITN must be spitting teeth. All that time and effort ensuring that their news coverage over the course of any one period is “balanced” and “fair”and then boom! some idiot head of Light Entertainment who can’t see past the ratings or dare not challenge the over-inflated ego of Mr-Big-Bucks-Morgan goes and blows it. What useless, dim-witted idiots are in charge down there these days?  

Personally I cannot see how this can be allowed under OFCOM rules – there is a whole section (Section Five) concerned with ..”Due Impartiality and Due Accuracy and Undue Prominence of Views and Opinions“.

The mad thing is, you can’t actually complain to OFCOM BEFORE the programme is broadcast. Once it has been broadcst and everyone complains, presumably ITV will have to ensure that Nick Clegg  and Dave Cameron get their moment in the sun with their best mates in the interviewers chair too …and before the general election is called. If I were Dave or Nick I would get my mates to nip over and get an interview in the can now and just send them to ITV for broadcast – seeing as how thats TV is made down there now. What a joke ITV are.


Sadly their website is broken at the moment. UPDATE: The website is now working – it makes it very difficult to complain prior to programme transmission but you can try or you can call OFCOM on 0300 123 3333 or 020 7981 3000 or write to them at  Ofcom, Riverside House, 2a Southwark Bridge Road,London, SE1 9HA and simply ask them to post date your complaint about the “Party Politcal Broadcast brought to you by Piers Morgan” to Feb 15th (day after the interview is broadcast). Just tell them it seems to break just about every rule in section 5.


This you can do by emailing (duty officers logs get sent round the big boys – or at least they used to) copied to the or call 0844 88 14150.

I understand that some libertarians out there will shrug and say that OFCOM should be scrapped and every broadcaster allowed to do what the hell they like. And I have some sympathy with that view. But until the point that OFCOM is scrapped and whilst ITV pretends to operate a news code of conduct then I think we have a right to expect it to adhere to its and OFCOMs rules.

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A Party Leaders debate on Sky – you are kidding right?

By Angela Harbutt
October 5th, 2009 at 6:00 am | 10 Comments | Posted in UK Politics

election-debate2So I understand from a joint press release on Friday that BBC, ITV and SKY have jointly agreed to offer the leaders of the three main parties in England (Gordon Brown, David Cameron, Nick Clegg) the prospect of a three way TV debate – one each hosted by ITV, Sky and BBC.

 I have two questions….


Am I the only one to question why SKY gets a seat at the table when its owner has already declared for one of the party’s involved? Rupert Murdoch’s SKY operation cannot be considered impartial – and I for one would support any of the parties that declined to take part in a debate on that network.

2. WHY JUST A LEADERS DEBATE ? – lets see the lot of them…

I understand that the media are gagging for a “presidential” debate between the leaders . And we might wish that the leaders were “presidents ” standing on their own tickets – but they are not. David Cameron cannot control the ultra “get out of Europe” brigade, so sits on the fence on the issue, Nick Clegg cannot move without the “Federal Policy Committee” approval and Gordon Brown is ….well… fighting everyone in his party…. and teetering on the brink of a coup ….

These are not “presidents”. These are leaders of complex , fractious groups, who without exception, are facing bigger internal battles than they are external ones. I knew that politicians had lost touch with the real world – but when did the broadcasters lose the plot?


(Nothing on Sky thanks a lot – your boss has made his views clear already).
Four debates on ITV , BBC1, BBC2 and Channel 4  (these all have independent news programmes that are unbiased).

Each debate covering one of the 4 great offices of state . This would involve the Prime Minister, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Foreign Secretary and the Home Secretary and their counterparts from the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties. At least that way we would get to sample a range of talents from across the parties not just the figureheads. Strikes me as fairer all round (and much more entertaining I’m sure)….


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