Andrew Marr bids for record-breaking number of different topics in one interview

I wonder if somewhere deep in the BBC there is a target for how many different topics must be asked about in political interviews each month and someone woke up this morning to realise that January’s quota is about to be missed. Or perhaps there was a typo in Andrew Marr’s contract and his BBC salary is based on number of topics covered rather than number of minutes of screentime filled.

Whatever the reason, this morning’s interview with Nick Clegg saw a helter skelter tour around a huge number of topics, making for a  comprehensive tour of current political issues but also a degree of superficial Q+A that did not shed much light on any of them. The number of times Marr’s questions were no more than very superficial in their references suggests that this style, whatever its reason, rather over-stretched him.

I suspect Nick Clegg went into the interview wanting to talk in some detail about his vision of fairness in a time of economic austerity as each time he half got going on such a topic it sounded like there were well prepared answers starting to come out, but each time also Andrew Marr quickly cut him off.

What we did get was a brief pop at Labour for not having a clear, coherent policy for delivering fairness when there is a deficit to tackle and a repeated emphasis on the need to make the country fairer – especially via targeted public services, such as the pupil premium, and changes in the tax system, such as a mansion tax. Fairness was also used to defend the benefits cap, on which the House of Lords votes tomorrow, Nick Clegg backed the principle of a cap strongly but added. “Of course we need to look at transitional arrangements … and the place of children”.

One sound bite of note: “I would like to see David Laws back in government”.


* Mark Pack is a member of the Federal Board and editor of Liberal Democrat Newswire. He is a candidate for Party President.

Read more by or more about , , or .
This entry was posted in News.


  • Michael Thomas 22nd Jan '12 - 11:50am

    First time I’ve watched Marr in a long time and was severely disappointed.

    Nick Cleggs interview sounded like something Smash Hits would ask a pop star. Short questions with no follow up.

    I want it to turn in to a party political broadcast for our party but some scrutiny and a real chance to answer in depth questions.

    I won’t be watching again if I ever have the TV on this early on Sundays again.

  • Michael Thomas 22nd Jan '12 - 12:05pm

    Sorry that’s “I don’t want a party politcial broadcast”

    Don’t write a Sunday morning after getting up so early. . Lesson learnt.

  • the other record broken was the number of times he interrupted his interviewee. Several times he interrupted before the end of the first sentence of an answer. Not sure what Marr is trying to prove, except of course that he doesn’t think LibDems should be in govt, but then we knew that! Maybe he’s on something?
    Despite it all Nick was as brilliant as ever.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?


Recent Comments

  • User AvatarDavid Evans 15th Oct - 7:41am
    Ian Martin - Thank you for reminding us. Indeed the Scott Bader Commonwealth provides an excellent example of Corporate Social Responsibility, but it rather ceased...
  • User AvatarDavid Evans 15th Oct - 7:25am
    I too wish Mike well, but I hope he has some real experience of UK party politics and not just the politics of nice people...
  • User AvatarThomas 15th Oct - 5:40am
    Richard Easter, Arnold Kiel - I agree with the renationalization of various public services including prison, security and public transport. But the Libdem can differentiate...
  • User AvatarRichard Easter 14th Oct - 11:44pm
    As Peter Hitchens said - hardly anyone would consider privatising the navy a good idea, so the idea that some things are best provided by...
  • User AvatarNigel Jones 14th Oct - 11:04pm
    Our Chief executives tend to be in the background as far as ordinary members are concerned. I hop Mike will engage with us about how...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 14th Oct - 10:33pm
    @ Richard Underhill, "Do you agree that the Bank of England and its euro equivalent have been printing money on a large scale? (although printed...