Sunday, 15 March 2009

Isn't there a good reason why so few top Tories appear on Marr?

Iain is fulminating again about the dearth of shadow ministers on the BBC. But it isn't the BBC's fault that the Shadow Cabinet is so lacking in strong figures, is it? Apart from William Hague, Kenneth Clarke and Michael Gove, they are a bunch of lightweights with far fewer strong politicians than the cabinet.

The Marr programme is intended to feature interesting interviews, not PPBs, though I concede that we should see Andrew Lansley properly interrogated about why he thinks the best thing for the NHS would be to allow arrogant consultants to dump on patients from a great height or Theresa May questioned about the Tories' backtracking on welfare reform (though I suspect that's not what Iain has in mind).

But given the choice between having a minister who is doing something and a shadow minister who has nothing original to say, who can blame Marr for having Ian Rankin or Hugh Orde on instead. The truth is that the dearth of interesting shadow ministers says more about the Tories than the BBC.

2 comments:

Iain Dale said...

Conor, you're normally more sensible than this. Are you telling me that Alexander, Purnell and Hutton are "stronger figures" than Mitchell, May or Fox?

A rather pathetic argument if you don't mind me saying so!

Conor Ryan said...

Iain, I'm not the only one arguing that the Tory team is pretty weak. And this does matter given the polls. Today's Times is pretty clear about the weaknesses on health. You mention three shadows and their Labour opposite numbers. And since you ask, yes I do, especially John Hutton and James Purnell, both of whom are streets ahead of their Tory shadows in terms of ideas.