I LISTENED, appalled, as usual, to John Humphrys’ attempt to bully Alistair Darling on the Today programme this morning. He clearly loves the sound of his own voice more than he wants to hear answers from whoever he’s “interviewing”.
At one point he sounded as if he was quoting from a Conservative Party press release, almost as if he was gullible enough to believe it: “But it (the government’s investment in the NHS) has all been wasted,” he declared, as if this was somehow a profound truth rather than a duplicitous piece of nonsense invented by a party that hates the idea of a publicly-funded health service.
Alistair did well, considering. But it’s amazing how accepting people are of this type of unprofessional hectoring masquerading as political interviewing. “He did the same to Osborne,” one colleague informed me, as if that excuses Humphrys in some way.
I’m told that my immediate predecessor as MP for Cathcart, John (now Lord) Maxton, managed to give Humphrys a taste of his own medicine when he appeared in front of the House of Lords’ Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, of which John is a member. When asked what he saw as his role, Humphrys replied: “As representing the people against the politicians.”
John asked him: “But who elected you to represent the people?” Humphrys started to give a convoluted explanation of his unjustifiably high opinion of himself, and John interjected: “Answer the qustion – who elected you?” Still Humphrys wouldn’t give a straight answer, and when John asked the same question again, Humphreys responded: “If you will stop interrupting me I’ll try to answer!”