Truss car crash interviews on BBC local radio on cost of living and fracking

Having absented herself from the media for days, the prime minister chose to defend her decisions and Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget on BBC local radio. Truss appeared on breakfast shows on BBC Radio Leeds, Norfolk, Kent, Lancashire, Nottingham, Tees, Bristol and Stoke. Her media advisers clearly thought local radio would be a soft touch with presenters more used to talking about a church fete. So very wrong. The interviews were sometimes excruciating. You could hear pauses at times, as she struggled to find her scripted reply and to remember which radio station was interviewing her.

First up for the prime minister was an interview with on BBC Radio Leeds. As the first of the day, it wasn’t so much of a car crash for Truss as the later interviews.

Compare this to a BBC Radio Bristol interview a little later, where James Hansen gave Truss a hard time. Truss struggled to answer questions and continually returned to her script. She reminded me of an actor on the stage forgetting the lines and waiting for the sotto prompt.

Reacting to the BBC Radio Bristol interview, Daisy Cooper said:

It beggars’ belief that Liz Truss repeatedly failed to guarantee that people’s pensions will be safe. The Conservatives under Liz Truss have thrown away any shred of economic competence they had left.

She failed to offer any reassurance to people who are worried sick about the impact of this budget on their pensions, mortgages and bills. Instead the Prime Minister is digging in with this totally disastrous approach that only benefits the very wealthiest while the vast majority suffer.

Towards the end of her media round, Liz Truss spoke to BBC Lancashire, where she was repeatedly challenged by presenter Graham Liver on fracking. Under pressure, she struggled to get back to her script.

Wera Hobhouse MP said:

Truss’s excruciating inability to answer even the most basic questions shows her talk of local consent is a sham. From Surrey and Sussex to Somerset and Shropshire, people are anxious that they will soon be part of a hair-brained experiment, with no say at all.

Her own scientists refuse to say it’s safe, her own chancellor says it won’t bring down prices and we all know it will only worsen the climate emergency. Why is the Prime Minister determined to impose such destruction on the British public?

Once again Truss has revealed her contempt for rural communities. Their concerns: over water pollution, climate change, and the destruction of their local countryside are viewed as irrelevant by the Prime Minister.

BBC Breakfast presenter John Kay summed up the morning round of interviews by Truss saying, “the Tories obviously though BBC local radio presenters were soft.” No, they ain’t:

Former R4 Women’s Hour presenter, Jane Garvey was more acerbic:

Podcaster Dino Sofos said: “The PM is literally lost for words on BBC Stoke when questioned about mortgages”:

Liz Truss seems to live in a permanent world of denial, so she probably thought these interviews went well. The Tories have been scraping the bottom of the barrel for leaders for a while. Now it looks like the bottom has fallen out of the party’s barrel, as well as out of the economy.

* Andy Boddington is a Lib Dem councillor in Shropshire. He blogs at andybodders.co.uk. He is Thursday editor of Lib Dem Voice.

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8 Comments

  • Paul Barker 29th Sep '22 - 7:38pm

    On the face of it the Polls are all over the place but actually if you only take those since Friday only YouGov is out of line, the others all have Labour around 47% & Tories on 29% or 30%.
    We can forget about putting pressure on Labour, if we want to see Electoral Reform we have use persuasion & soft voices.

  • Latest, Lab 54. Con 21, Lib Dem 7. Tonight, you gov.

    Looks like 1945 all over again, except it’s bigger than 1945. Any bets on Truss still P.M. by Christmas ?

  • Paul Barker 29th Sep ’22 – 7:38pm,,,,,,,,,,,We can forget about putting pressure on Labour, if we want to see Electoral Reform we have use persuasion & soft voices…………….

    On electoral reform we are pushing at an open door with much of the Labour party grassroot members…The old adage about, “Catching more bees with honey than vinegar”, comes to mind..
    Anyway, with Labour on 54% and us on 7% we are in no position to ‘wield a stick’

  • Nigel Jones 29th Sep '22 - 9:48pm

    While it is obvious that the PM’s competence is open to even more question than when she was campaigning to get elected, there is another important matter too. That is trust and deception.
    She has gone around today telling people the maximum energy bill is £2500 and so many have believed that, even though experts have been explaining the truth. She has put all the blame on Putin (and right wing media are supporting her on that), when financial experts all say the current crisis is of government’s own making. She has also claimed that they have been working closely with the Bank of England, even though it has been forced to reverse its plans for financial control as a direct result of the budget.
    The Bank of England, the financial markets and loads of economic and financial experts do not trust her. So why should the people and should we be surprised ? At the start of her election campaign she and some senior Conservatives said Boris should have carried on (ignoring his lying and deceptive language) and poured scorn on Rishi Sunak for bringing him down. The immoral behaviour of the Conservative party is continuing under her leadership.

  • Nick Collins 30th Sep '22 - 1:06pm

    Those interviews would have been hilarious had they not been so pathetic. It has been said that a country gets the government it deserves; what did we do to deserve this?

  • Well done those interviewers! 😊

    I think we have a serious media problem – namely that, over time, the government has so put the BBC under its thumb that challenges like these are now seen as noteworthy rather than normal.

    It’s a slow process with many elements including political appointees to the governors, threats to its funding and probably many other subtle manoeuvres that fly under the radar.

    Media that is empowered to call out nonsense and worse is an essential part of a functioning democracy and essential to help lift the QUALITY of government generally, irrespective of specific policies.

    The BBC is core to that: I would cheer even if it called out a future Lib Dem government over some malfeasance. Moreover, as a public sector broadcaster, it should act as a backstop putting a limit on what the oligarch-owned print media can get away with in self-serving reporting. Otherwise, we are at the top of a steep and slippery slope with nothing to hold onto.

  • George Thomas 30th Sep '22 - 9:15pm

    Liz Truss doesn’t appear to be good at communicating and doesn’t appear to have any idea of what’s needed within the UK, how did she end up as Prime Minister?

    From Ed Miliband’s sandwich to Boris Johnson’s skeletons suddenly all coming out to Liz Truss being pushed ahead of Penny Mourdant and Rishi Sunak…this is, in my opinion, an outcome which suggests changing voting system in the UK is not sufficient and just making that change will still see too much influence by a few wealthy individuals spreading misinformation and too many people lapping it up.

  • David Garlick 30th Sep '22 - 9:38pm

    Is this what LD undercover agent looks like? Certainly she is not one but could anyone do a better job at destroying the Conservatives?

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