openDemocracyUK

Contemptible Paxman "interview" with Caroline Lucas

Stuart Weir
3 May 2010

Jeremy Paxman must have been one of those vile boys who tear the wings off insects or pick on kids out of the loop to bully.  What else can we surmise after watching his contemptible "interview" with Caroline Lucas last week? He was clearly utterly unsympathetic to the idea that she deserved a proper opportunity to discuss Green Party values and policies. Of couse, for her part she would have had to reply to relevant concerns.  However, he simply baited her in a parade of his own prejudices - would the Greens make everyone become vegetarians?  What did she think what was the proper family size?  Behind these questions lay the unspoken slur that the Greens would interfere in an oppressive way in family life and society.  

The questions were hung on general statements of concern in the Green manifesto for the future of the world, so someone had read it -  but clearly on the look-out for opportunities to take the piss.  The peremptory bluster revealed more about Paxman's own view of the proprieties of British politics and the audacity of the Green in seeking seats in Parliament - are they not aware that the 'British way of doing things' relies on an electoral system that acts to keep trespassers out of the House of Commons?  I thought of Lord Acton - power has done its dirty work on Paxman. I trust that this interview doesn't count as BBC political balance.

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