Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Andrew Marr says he was right to quiz Brown over pill-taking.

I thought this question was utterly out of line. Marr is pretending that the question is a valid concern, when in fact he is asking the equivalent of "Do you still beat your wife?"

We all know that Labour are sinking in the polls, so much so that Brown is said to be considering taking part in a televised debate with the other candidates - which gives us some indication of how bad things are - but it's still out of line to ask a Prime Minister if he is so depressed that he is on anti-depressants. The very asking of the question puts him in a no win situation.

Both Labour and the Tories have come out in condemnation.

Earlier, Neil Kinnock led an all-out Labour attack on the BBC, saying Marr had “cheapened” the corporation by asking Gordon Brown the questions about his health.

Lord Kinnock spoke of his fury at the interviewer's “poking and prying” questions. He told Channel 5 News: “I abominate them. The BBC is one of the greatest institutions in the world. They demeaned themselves, they cheapened themselves and the judgment of the journalist who asked the question has to be questioned.”

Tory MP Nadine Dorries also criticised the BBC and warned Marr not to “overstep the mark” with similarly personal questions when he interviews David Cameron this weekend.

Marr is attempting to defend himself by claiming that the question was perfectly fair:

“It was a tough question and I clearly thought carefully before asking it,” he said. “I decided it was a fair question to ask or I wouldn't have asked it.”

He said it was entirely his decision to ask Mr Brown about his health and nobody had lodged a formal complaint.

“Nobody in No 10 or in the government have contacted me about this at all. I have had no contact from anybody, probably to their credit,” he told the mediaguardian website.

Of course, nobody in No 10 has contacted Marr, why would they give this story legs? But I think it's safe to say that Marr has interviewed Brown for the very last time.


Puddock said...

I thought the other question Marr asked was even more stupid and offensive, when he asked if he was losing the sight in his other eye. What difference would it make to his ability to do his job? We've had a blind Home Secretary, and there is no reason why we could not have a blind Prime Minister. Irrelevant question and offensive to 'disabled' people.

Kel said...

I couldn't agree more Puddock. And to think he asked this because of something that he read on a blog boggles belief.