Why I won’t be on ‘Daily Politics’ again

On Monday morning, I received an email at half past eight from the BBC asking if I would come on ‘Daily Politics’ to ‘chat about how Stand up for Labour tour makes politics more accessible and what these events can bring to political parties’.

My cautious mind thought ‘this sounds too good to be true – and if it’s too good to be true then it’s too good to be true’. Were the BBC really giving me an opportunity to plug Stand up for Labour for nothing?

I decided to consult my friends on Facebook to find out what they thought and the overwhelming response was that I should take up the opportunity to appear on the programme. So I replied to the BBC to say that I would be there.

I arrived at the studio in good time. The studio and its associated office took up the whole floor of a big building near the Houses of Parliament. I reckon there must be at least 50 staff working on the programme. The money and resources that the programme has at its disposal is mind blowing.

daily-politics-studio.jpg

It’s such a shame that with all its financial backing from the BBC, this programme dedicated to politics does very little to make political activity seem attractive or accessible. Its agenda is so Westminster focused that it seems to imply that all politics happens there.

I found out that the promise of a discussion about how Stand up for Labour can make politics more accessible was nothing of the sort.

When I saw the board outside the studio, I found that the title of the short spot on the show in which I would be featured was called ‘Jez Festival’. This was clearly a reference to a music festival that the Labour Party were gingerly suggesting may happen in June in North London. The ‘Jez’ bit was an attempt to make it seem like a celebration of a personality cult, whereas the Labour Party press release was talking of something called ‘Labour Live’.

So the ‘Daily Politics’ had made a press release about a possible music festival for Labour that would engage people through a mix of music and speeches into a personality cult story and it was in their ‘fun’ slot at the end.

Under the spotlight

I was rushed into the room just before the last segment of the show and the presenter, Jo Coburn, asked me: ‘What is the aim of this festival?’

I was a bit dumbstruck.

‘I don’t know anything about this festival’, I had to reply. I then tried to make light of this by saying that ‘this must be another BBC blunder’.

While Coburn tried to laugh this off, it was actually true.

I felt for her so I tried to add something about who I am and then to drop in a plug for Stand up for Labour (as my brother had advised), but this interview was moving away from me.

Coburn never seemed to listen to anything I was saying and always seemed to be on the point of cutting me off. She even started asking the Tory MP on the show what he thought about Labour Party festivals.

At the end of the show, as I went to leave she said: ‘see you soon’ and then turned to me and said ‘I don’t mean you. I won’t be seeing you again’.

I found that a bit unfair as I had only gone to the studio to talk about Stand up for Labour so it could hardly be my fault that I didn’t know anything about the festival.

Stand up for Labour travels all over the country with the aim of energising people who support the Labour Party, promoting political activity and a sense of community. On the other hand, ‘Daily Politics’ is firmly based in Westminster and promotes division between political parties and within political parties; makes politics seem cliquey and often misrepresents good ideas in order to suit its – frankly, very negative – agenda.

Rather like Clark Gable (or really more like a child trying to cuss back), I turned to Coburn and said: ‘And I’m glad I won’t be seeing you again.’

  • You can see the clip from Daily Politics here.

18 thoughts on “Why I won’t be on ‘Daily Politics’ again

    1. Captain Kemlo

      Everybody must realise that the current news and political environment is toxic to anyone left of centre – and I don’t mean those annoying fascist, identity politics nutjobs.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  1. Liz Segal

    Thank you for an insight into how the show works and has a preset narrative and agenda they are putting forward with no interest in presenting anything honestly. Can’t bear to watch that bloody Jo Coburn, I think she’s obnoxious, odeous and self-important, poor you for having to meet her.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  2. Alan Wisenner

    Used to think the Beeb were impartial and balanced when it came to News/Politics. Since I discovered social media this is quite clearly not true. They are subject to their masters, the Tories and this is very obvious by the absence of news they choose not to show.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  3. RICHARD EVANS

    Saw you on the show and it left me with the impression that Coburn was trying to make cheap fun of the event and its title. Wish you had had the balls to show the programme up for what it is. Easier said than done though!.

    Like

    Reply
  4. Giorgio Finella

    They had an agenda, a news story and thought you were involved. I thought it was a puff piece and your bit about stand up for labour was honest. It looked liked they’d booked the wrong person for the segment. Well done for keeping it together.

    Like

    Reply
  5. Helen

    I always thought she was a little better than her co presenter Andrew Neil, who is openly rude and hostile to those to whom he is politically opposed. I think being challenging to politicians is one thing, but rude to invited civi’s like you is just out of order. Just as well you are not having a second date!

    Like

    Reply
  6. Roger D Tew

    I feel that the program is a license for Andrew Neil and company to demonstrate their obnoxious, argumentative, insulting attitude as they continue to suck up to the Tory machine.
    I have written to the program complaining about Neil’s ignorant and at times insulting manner particularly to female guests as he demonstrates his bias. Abuse of this nature is totally unacceptable in today’s society and it is incumbent on the BBC to admonish Neil and his cohorts publicly!
    Some chance!

    Like

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  7. John Taylor

    Crispin……you were treat appallingly & disrespectfully by Coburn, thanks for standing strong against her nonsense & exposing how this shocking show works. The BBC is blatantly biased and has been for a very long time. It is very selective about what it reports and puts a ‘right-wing’ slant on everything.

    The BBC is not to be trusted one iota. It distorts the truth at every opportunity as it cheer-leads its own ‘consensus’ on everything from immigration, to ‘climate change’, to predominance of a neoliberal discourse as the best model for society.

    I therefore don’t listen to the BBC any more. It is as untrustworthy as Theresa May when she says the NHS is safe in her hands
    The BBC is a toxic organisation which should have been dismantled decades ago.

    Like

    Reply
  8. Pat Goodwin

    Thesepeople Coburn Neil, Marr are not just nasty presenters but bad journalists. They have large ego’s and are real knowalls and I knnow lots of people who could do their jobs. You just have to follow orders Simples

    Like

    Reply
  9. Pingback: #Marr’s slip is not manners. It’s the tip of a value-judgment iceberg (video) | The SKWAWKBOX

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