Paxman Pushes 100% Tory Agenda 93

There are enough viewers for the televised questioning and interviews of Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May tonight to have some effect on the election. May finished with a very positive reaction from a substantial section of the audience to the repeated assertion that “No deal is better than a bad deal” with the EU. She was playing to her xenophobic, UKIP-leaning core support. Why this kind of deranged nonsense is apparently not alienating more urbane Tories in greater numbers, I do not really know. I presume they believe they can control her.

I think that Corbyn came over as calm, likeable and humorous, whereas May came over as tense and unpleasant. Again the tension and narrowing of the eyes when asked a hostile question was truly striking. But what struck me most was another quite stunning demonstration of media bias.

Paxman interrupted Corbyn while he was answering very much more often than he did May. But the true bias came over in the selection of questions asked.

It was widely reported in the Sunday press that the Tories were to refocus their failing election campaign on Brexit. So what did Paxman concentrate on in his interview with May? Brexit. He opened the short interview on the subject of Brexit, and crucially he returned to Brexit for the closing three minutes, allowing May to repeat again and again the slogan “No deal is better than a bad deal”, which obviously was going down very well with her supporters in the audience.

Paxman appeared to be asking for clarification of what it meant in giving her the chance to repeat it again and again, but made no argument as to why it is a fantastically stupid idea in this context.

By contrast Paxman spent the entire interview with Jeremy Corbyn on no subject at all except the Tory chosen subjects to attack Corbyn – alleged support for terrorism, reluctance to fire nuclear weapons or murder in drone strikes, lack of support for patriotism/the monarchy.

The equivalent treatment for May would have been to spend the entire time focused on the Labour preferred subjects – the NHS, education, benefit cuts for the disabled. In fact, Paxman only grilled May on security, immigration and Brexit, the chosen Tory subjects, other than a token reference to social care, on which Paxman let off May extremely lightly over her lying about the U-turn on the manifesto.

While Paxman’s questions were superficially hostile, by choosing only favourite Tory subjects he gave May an easy get-out. The equivalent fake-hostile question to Corbyn to allow him onto a favourite subject would be “You say you will abolish tuition fees. But surely the economy cannot afford that?”

There were nil such questions allowing Corbyn to move on to one of his favourite subjects. May received nothing else. Paxman is an openly acknowledged Conservative. That was very plain this evening. But despite all his efforts, Corbyn will still have shaded it with all except those primarily motivated by racism.

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93 thoughts on “Paxman Pushes 100% Tory Agenda

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  • Mark

    Paxman is an utter joke now; a celebrity and nothing more, still dining out on ‘did you threaten to overrule him?’ and believing that such persistent hectoring is what political questioning is. Andrew Neill is a Bill O’Reilly wannabe who genuinely thinks he’s the hardest working man in the UK, and the least said about the incredibly biased Kuenssberg the better. With this kind of personnel on offer, is it any wonder the media refuse to give Corbyn a fair deal?

  • Paul Barbara

    @ Andrew May 29, 2017 at 23:03
    ‘…..I’m astonished there’s a credible allegation that, just one week before the Manchester bombing, May has effectively helped pardon a Libyan national who committed a murder in this country….’
    But was he guilty? Or was it another stitch-up like Lockerbie?
    ‘The Murder of Policewoman Yvonne Fletcher’:
    ‘… Just four minutes later at 10.19 am a 3-shot burst of automatic fire rang out. Yvonne Fletcher was hit by the first bullet in the upper right back. Bullet entry angle was 60 degrees from the horizontal, with an exit wound visible below the left rib cage. If the entry and exit wounds are lined up with her known height, and her televised position when the shots were fired, the line of fire backtracks precisely to the top floor of 8 St James Square. No other building in St James Square is high enough or at the correct azimuth to facilitate the sixty degree shot. At the coronial inquest into her death, creative media deception “proved” that Yvonne Fletcher was killed by a shot fired from the first floor of the Libyan Bureau on her left-hand side, at only 15 degrees from the horizontal!
    The continuous television video sound track records the crowd chanting, followed by a bullet strike on a human body, followed in turn by the sounds of three equally-spaced very fast shots. By far the most important point proved by the sound is that the camera microphone located outside the Libyan Bureau recorded the `whump’ of the bullet striking Yvonne Fletcher before it recorded the sound of the three shots being fired. What this means in layman terms is that the bullet which killed her was supersonic, and was fired from a position more distant from the camera’s microphone than Yvonne Fletcher herself. This analysis alone proves the shots could not have been fired from the Libyan Bureau under any circumstances.

    If the shots were fired from the Libyan Bureau they would have crossed over the camera microphone before the first bullet hit Yvonne Fletcher, i.e. the microphone would have recorded a different sound sequence: first a single shot, then the bullet impact, then shots two and three – whether the bullets were supersonic or not. There is absolutely no trace of this latter sequence on the audio, which also destroys the claim made at the coronial inquest that two 9-mm Sterling sub-machine guns fired at the same time from the Libyan Bureau. The professional television audio proves in absolute scientific terms that no shots were fired from the Bureau, nor from any other building on the eastern side of St James Square that day.
    The camera positioned outside the Bureau panned left and right, showing demonstrators massed along the pavement on the inner square. When the shots were fired, this camera zoomed in and filmed the demonstrators falling sideways to the ground towards the camera’s left. So their physical response was to shrapnel and noise from the opposite direction: exactly the line of fire from 8 St James. The massive kinetic energy and inertia of the high velocity assault round fired at her from 8 St James Square, knocked Yvonne Fletcher to the ground in precisely the same direction as the demonstrators, once again proving the direct line of fire. The second TV camera at 8 St James then zoomed in to show Yvonne Fletcher rolling from side to side on the road, dying on national television in excruciating agony for the greater good of the “international community”.

    It is no great secret that many embassies stock weapons for use in self defence, which are normally limited to handguns loaded with jacketed or solid lead bullets of standard military type, normally 9-mm parabellum, designed to remain intact and not expand on entry to the body. In the case of the 9 millimetre 115 grain bullet fired by defensive pistols, and sub-machine guns such as the Sterling, energy falls from 341 foot-pounds at the muzzle, to 241 foot-pounds at 100 yards. Quite enough to cause serious injury, but rarely death if hit in the upper right back at fifty yards. Conversely, the energy from high velocity 7.62-mm burst-fire assault rifles such as the Belgian FN or German Heckler and Koch51, firing a 150 grain standard military round is a massive 2,288 foot-pounds at 100 yards. Enough to go straight through a policewoman with energy to spare.
    The full Fletcher autopsy report will never be made public, but details released at the coronial inquest into her death are sufficient for military experts to prove that a 9-mm parabellum bullet fired by a Sterling could not have been responsible for the terrible damage inflicted, even at point-blank range. After entering WPC Fletcher’s upper right back the single bullet damaged the right lung, completely destroyed both lobes of the liver, shredded the large inferior vena cava vein leading to the left ventricle of the heart, caused damage to the spine and cut the pancreas in half, before completing its 12 inch track through her body and exiting below the left rib cage, continuing on to cause further injuries to Fletcher’s left elbow. Massive injuries like these sustained through 12 inches of human tissue, can only be caused by the colossal hydrostatic impact and inertia of a full bore (7.62-mm) high velocity assault round…..’

    So there could well have been other reasons for letting the ‘accused’ go. And before anyone screams ‘conspiracy theory’, it is backed up by EVIDENCE, rather than Government and MSM pronouncements.

    • Mark

      Indeed. Quite why anyone who wants to put in motion the end of the world is considered the sane one and the safe bet is beyond me

  • Adam Morgan

    “Paxman Pushes 100% Tory Agenda” : hahahahahahahahaha

    Did you actually watch the Show as May was asked about the NHS, Education and cuts????? I’m not sure how he gave May an easy get out after he made very bold statements with the whole purpose of undermining her and pointing to mistakes and failings in her career? Not to say that Jeremy Corbyn got it easy either, but I thought one thing I do agree with you is that he handled some of the criticism very well.

    Surely a better use of this kind of debate would have concentrated on questioning their manifesto’s on a practicality and monetary perspective, rather than the shambles of an interview which it became all about Paxmans ego and perspective.

    This article is almost as bad as Paxmans interview style.

    • Johnny boy

      Er, “Paxman pushes tory agenda”, not “studio audience pushes tory agenda”. While the questioning may have been aggressive, the subjects were on the tory agenda, whereas Corbyn was kept off his agenda talking about argentina, NI, the Queen etc.etc..

      • Mark

        It was so desperate too, surely people will see that? I mean, with the greatest respect, who the hell cares now about the Falklands, the Monarchy etc etc I don’t and I lived through the first and am in no way a fan of the second, but I know that abolishing them isn’t on the agenda anywhere. The best that Paxo could hope for with this woeful heckling is to raise a few shackles with the older voters because the younger ones wont have a clue what he was banging on about.

  • Graham Ruff

    Quite agree Paxman was so biased it was almost a Tory election broadcast.Where it’s real democracy in all this

  • Chris

    Very good, I hadn’t thought of that, I just could see he was being easier on her in the way he spoke to her. And I didn’t know he was a Tory – I doubt many people do. That needs more publicity, as it does with other BBC interviewers (Humphreys, Montagu) – where to put it for best effect?

  • Margaret Shaw

    Paxman was definitely on the Tory campaign last night his questioning of Corbin was stupid as he has given comprehensive answers to these questions over and over especially on the overly biased BBC who have had their correspondents milking them for weeks. Corbin was cool and put up with the stupid questions with humour eventually forcing Paxman to show his true blue colours with ‘NO’ when Corbin said ‘are you going to let me finish? May was repetitive and bent on Brexit and lo and behold Paxman did nothing to stop her.

    • Sharp Ears

      Crikey! The other day it had 74k viewings. Now over 657k. Shake on Theresa.

  • Charlie Aerö

    Oh dear. The media is full of hackneyed headlines about “grillings!”
    He didn’t grill them, he didn’t even toast them lightly. Paxman is past it — those so-called interviews were as illuminating as a blown 12W bulb.

    His approach to Corbyn was simply to heckle him about things that AREN’T in the Labour Manifesto; after all, this is only an election debate so it’s clearly far more relevant to pore over the details of what somebody else might or might not have said 3 decades ago than to interrogate him on current policies or, I dunno, something as irrelevant as how to approach Brexit negotiations. It was as informative —and embarrassing— as watching a drunk harangue somebody waiting at a bus stop: when an interview spends so much time on what the subject DIDN’T say or what is NOT in the manifesto you know the interviewer has lost the plot!

    As for the approach to May – she’s spent 11 months unable to give any coherent idea of what success in Brexit could look like … and after that feeble interview we still have nothing. No guide to the strategy —aside from stupidly threatening up-front to walk out of negotiations in a huff— no idea what priorities she will hold out for except for completely rejecting FoM and the ECJ from the outset — two absolutist positions whose consequences will be dire … but barely discussed.

    Paxman let her spend almost the whole of the final three minutes mindlessly repeating her “no deal is better…” punchline without even a hint of any followup. Brain fade? There are many glaringly vital questions to ask about any “no deal” scenario, but Paxman flunked them all.
    Instead he just allowed her to burble on minute after minute with the pre-cooked slogan; he might as well have dozed off for all the difference it would have made. I found myself reading with the TV on in the background in case anything interesting happened — it didn’t!

    And, aside from this flaccid uselessness of the two interviews, there is the … curious choice of focus. Clearly it is considered vitally important to examine the minute details of what one or other figure might have said or meant about the IRA or similar over 30 years ago.

    And yet, in 2011 somebody in the government —presumably the Home Office, as it is their responsibility— decided to allow known members of proscribed terrorist organisations to travel from Britain to Libya to rejoin their fighting groups; one of these men was followed by his son, who returned to Manchester to murder 22 innocent civilians last week. Who was ultimately responsible for this decision, and how was it arrived at? Apparently this is of insufficient interest to merit even a single question!

    Three years ago, the Saudi foreign minister told John Kerry that they were funding Daesh [ISIS] in response to the USA’s support for the Shia groupings who had assumed power in Iraq post-Saddam, and yet several senior members of the British government have recently been happy to make official visits to Saudi Arabia in order to sell them more arms and “security” cooperation? Apparently this complicated contradiction is not worth a single question either!

    This stupidly blinkered (and lazy) approach to political interviews —so beloved of Andrew Neil and now, it seems, Paxman too— obsessively trying to leverage some trivial minutia to force the subject into saying something stupid or embarrassing at the expense probing their deeper views or understanding of more important issues, is infantile and ultimately impotent as it reduces the whole process to a charade of performing monkeys regurgitating sound-bite ‘facts’ they barely understand served on a bed of pre-digested pabulum. A spelling bee would be more incisive and revealing.

    • Robert Dyson

      Just my impression. All these media events are just theatre to get ratings, little about informing people.

  • Jacomo

    To be fair, this election is all about Brexit. Every other spending commitment or policy will be affected by it.

    It’s a weakness for Corbyn. Other than ‘protecting workers’ rights’, he can’t seem to find an eloquent and succinct way of explaining how his approach would differ from the Tories’.

    I think the Labour manifesto was poorly judged and should have made a couple of eye-catching commitments while focusing more on Brexit.

    • Johnny boy

      Its solid, It has been thoroughly picked over and Corbyn can stand by almost all of it convincingly. An ‘eye-catcher’ would have been a target and its weakness would have been found. I agree he can’t find a succint way of talking about anything much, but he is eloquent, you just need to engage a few more brain cells to follow it, and that’s the problem.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      He’s very wise not to take a stand. He’s got as many, if not more remainers in the PLP as leavers, and they’re actively plotting to remove him. While the public at large voted leave. May’s saddled with the negotiations, and has yet to prove her competence, having spent some years proving the reverse. Corbyn’s giving her enough rope, with a view to the next election but one. He wants the ‘fuck this’ vote, he wants some UKIP-ish deserters back, and he has to keep the Blairites in suspended animation. Neutrality on the issue, while attacking some far weaker points of Tory policy and demonstrating economic awareness (Costed policies? Whatever next?) looks like good strategy to me.

    • J

      To be fair, this election is all about Brexit.

      Is it?

      It’s a weakness for Corbyn

      More so than May? Really?

      The general features of the landscape arevisible, but I’m not really sure how a shadow government not privy to the specifics of the negotiations can be expected to lay detailed analysis of their plans at this point except to explain what their principles are. Corbyn and Labour are doing that.

      And so are May and the Tories. They are starving the NHS of funds to turn opinion against it in order to sell off the infra-structure and turn it into the American model of an inefficient and exorbitantly expensive business. The NHS is a spirit of endeavour, not an enterprise. So no, on just that one aspect, leaving aside the environment, air pollution, fracking, nuclear energy, renewable energy investment, jobs, housing, homelessness, zero hour indenture-ships, corruption, greed, economic mismanagement, illegal war, immoral arms sales to murderous regimes such as Saudi Arabia, economic apartheid, criminal negligence with public safety, lying, profiteering, murderous foreign intervention, chronic inequality and so on, no, it isn’t all about Brexit.

      “…he can’t seem to find an eloquent and succinct way of explaining how his approach would differ from the Tories”

      The mote is in your own eye. The apparent lack of principle of a failed ideological experiment against the principled and coherent strategic investment in all our futures is precisely the point.

  • Eric Davies

    Paxman is generally I unliked and his bias was so obvious it just shows how worried the Tories are now knowing Jeremy Corbyn and his like minded Labour colleagues will form the government after 8 June.

  • Lewis

    I’ve just watched this and you’ve pretty much written down exactly what I suspected.

    I would be interested to see numbers on how many times he interrupted or spoke over each candidate…it was obvious he was right leaning.

    That said, a man earning millions a year is hardly likely to give a labour leader a fair crack.

  • David Simpson

    I listened to Paxman hectoring and interrupting Jeremy Corbyn for a few minutes, before giving up in disgust and going back to watch Bruce Willis in RED – a much pleasanter way of wasting my evening. If Paxman really is an acknowledged Conservative surely he should not have been chosen to do the interviews. That said I think Corbyn’s handling of Paxman actually did him credit and left Paxman looking past it. I’m biased of course. So May got to talk to her core supporters but I wonder how many of the rest of us she persuaded?

  • David Knopfler

    Worth noting also that Paxman interrupted Corbyn over 50 times where’s May around 6

  • Janette Kerr

    Paxman is a disgrace – no real interrogation of the manifestos, just cheap jibes.
    So how do we stop this blatant media bias? It happens everyday – even in the way that the R4 news reports statements by Labour and Tories but then often ends with a response by the Tories to the Labour position and never (or rarely) the other way round. It’s insidious.

  • Lu

    The thing I hoped he would say when talking to May about Brexit was that Juncker and Merkel think she’s ridiculous, they have said she’s living in another galaxy, so why on earth would anyone think she can negotiate anything without their respect?

  • Bobby McPherson

    Hi Craig is there something wrong with your website? When I try to read or share an article the whole page goes black

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