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Do politicians go to 'Smarm School?'

(9 Posts)
bubble99 Thu 04-Aug-05 20:39:35

Hazel Blears was on the radio the other morning. I told her to climb down before she burnt herself on the toaster........

Anyway.....I'm very sad to hear the Mo Mowlam is so ill. She's always struck me as a conscience politician, one who speaks her mind. I remember hearing her interviewed after she'd obviously upset the inner sanctum and been told to spout the party line on an issue. The words sounded so wrong and stilted.

Blears, Kelly, Jowell....they all sound the same to me. I imagine the Today programme is a trial by fire for a lot of politicians. They are live and often seem to employ the tactics used by contestants on Just a Minute....spinning out evasive non-answers until the end of the interview time. They also sound the bloomin' same, even down to the same voice tones. Are they coached in this? It drives me mad and I often switch the radio off in disgust. Mind you, I switch it off less now John Reid isn't Health Secretary.....couldn't stand him.

snafu Thu 04-Aug-05 20:43:57

They are pretty interchangeable, I agree. Although of course Kelly does sound like a public school swot... All trained to say absolutely nothing using as many words as possible. All devoid of personality or individuality.

V. sad about Mo as well. Anyone who can call Martin McGuinness 'babe' has got to have something going for her

monkeytrousers Thu 04-Aug-05 21:32:45

Yes, they are coached. They have to be as the media are just as slippery. It's a constant battle between the two. The media wants viewers or readers, full stop. Politicians know they won't get the coverage for a policy decision unless it's deemed 'news worthy' but also won't get full coverage with details included as they think readers and viewers will become board and switch over or buy another paper with a more sensational headline the next day. Reporters are always trying to force the agenda too, even when it's irrelevant to the real issue. It's sod's law basically, and we come off worse for it.

hunkermunker Thu 04-Aug-05 21:36:51

Yes, they have media training.

bubble99 Thu 04-Aug-05 22:05:40

But surely the point of media training is to enable them to get their point across? Their identikit personas/tones make me incredibly frustrated and cause the opposite result....I switch off.

monkeytrousers Thu 04-Aug-05 22:19:14

You're not the only one Bubble. But since the internet, people can get their information any way they prefer, so even the 'quality' media need to rethink their approach. Politicians are just reacting to the media and vice versa, and us out here needing the info get nada.

Milge Thu 04-Aug-05 22:59:17

they also have to remain "on message" during their tv appearances - personal views are not encouraged so they hide behind their media training and the party line - difficult to tell them apart.

edam Thu 04-Aug-05 23:06:15

Can anyone tell me, what is the point of Hazel Blears? Wouldn't a robot, instructed to spout whatever the party line is at a given moment, be just as effective?

monkeytrousers Fri 05-Aug-05 07:50:57


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