Tuesday 20 July 2010, 18:03
Last Friday Zac Goldsmith made a dramatic appearance on Channel 4 News.
The programme had accused him of not declaring some of his election expenses and he came into the studio live to answer the charges.
But Goldsmith seized the agenda and turned the interview around. He accused Jon Snow and his team of lying when they had said that he had previously refused to come on the programme. It is a fantastic scene which you can find HERE.
Goldsmith transformed the interview into an all out attack on truth and lies in journalism - at one point calling for "a new journalism".
What is fascinating is that his father, Sir James Goldsmith, did exactly the same thing 33 years ago on a BBC television programme at prime time.
It was an edition of The Money Programme in November 1977. James Goldsmith was a controversial businessman who had made a fortune taking over many old established British companies. One of them was Cavenham Foods which made Bovril.
The week before, the Money Programme had put out a film that accused Goldsmith of being an "asset stripper". He came on to defend himself - and what then happens is just wonderful.
Goldsmith takes over the programme. He accuses the two presenters of lying and starts interviewing them. He says their attack on him is part of "a malignant disease that is infecting this country"
One of the journalists bleats weakly: 'It's more conventional on these programmes for me to be asking you the questions"
I thought I would put up parts of the interview.
James Goldsmith is important because he used the power of the markets to break up the cosy patrician elite that ran Britain and its industries in the 1950s and 60s.
In the process Goldsmith helped transfer power in this country away from politics and towards the markets and the financial sector.
But 20 years later he decided that the giant market forces that he had helped re-awaken had become a threat to democracy. And in 1997 Goldsmith stood for parliament with his own party.
But he failed - and died two months later.
This year his son, Zac, stood for parliament and was elected. Zac has become an MP at a time when much of what his father feared seems to have happened. Our politicians are struggling to deal with a financial sector that seems no longer able to deliver the economic stability it once promised.
Maybe it would be better to interview Zac Goldsmith about what he - and his party - are going to do about the financial sector and their threat to economic stability and democracy rather than quibbling about the cost of circular stickers that say 'Zac'?
But it wouldn't be half as much fun.
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