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This Week - what a cast!

Messages: 1 - 6 of 6
  • Message 1. 

    Posted by alan997 (U1233723) on Friday, 30th November 2012

    Amazing. Looks like everyone wants to be on Brillo's sofa these days.

    For my money, Campbell and El Portillo are the A Team. Alan Johnson is good value and generally talks sense, but you always feel he's a bit the junior partner. Campbell and Portillo are the new Itchy & Scratchy par excellence.

    And then to get not just the genuine Fleet Street legend Harold Evans but David Frost as well - either one would be a big trophy, but both together? Plus Anne Diamond and that other woman who I'm led to believe is a Somebody in the world of journalism, well, our cup runneth over.

    And a cracking show they put on. As usual, El Portillo cut to the heart of the matter, neatly side-stepping government-regulation v self-regulation and pointing out that in this instance the big story was Cameron's ineptitude (at best) or craven sucking up to the meeja powers. "He had a powerful bargaining position and he threw it away. Thus turning the entire exercise into a total fiasco and an utter waste of everyone's time."

    Evans, Frost and Campbell also made strong and pertinent points - the former brace in particular taking advantage of their elder statesman status to say what others might think but probably wouldn't say ("We don't have freedom of the press; we have freedom of proprietors, to do and say whatever the hell they like.")

    But as ever, sadmanonatrain had the last word: "I wasn't terrified of the Murdoch press; I licked the behind of the Murdoch press."

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  • Message 2

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Reservoir Hamster (U14288323) on Friday, 30th November 2012

    Good post, Alan997. For me, Portillo is far and away the best political pundit around at the moment. Not just interesting, but illuminating.

    I can't agree with you about Campbell though. For me, he is the most monstrous wirepuller of all time. He has never had any mandate to influence the politics of our time nor had any more right than the average Joe to have his opinions heard in public, so why does he appear on our screens all the time? If his ego hadn't been so enormous he would have refrained from the constant interruptions last night that prevented us from hearing more from David Frost.

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  • Message 3

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    Posted by maestaf (U14145694) on Friday, 30th November 2012

    As this edition was about Leveson, I can just about understand Campbell's inclusion, but he's a journalist and former Press Secretary who has never represented anyone but himself. And Harold Evans was very poor value I thought. Apart from Andrew Neil's rambling introductions and the occasional duff celebrity guest, this is by far the best on political programme. Portillo has his own opinions, does not just toe the party line and frequently has an interesting insight into the weeks' events. In that, he seems to be almost unique these days.

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  • Message 4

    , in reply to message 2.

    Posted by zen cat (U14877400) on Friday, 30th November 2012

    I can't agree with you about Campbell though. [...] If his ego hadn't been so enormous he would have refrained from the constant interruptions last night that prevented us from hearing more from David Frost. 
    I just watched the Frost section again (from a link on Twitter), and I don't recall that Campbell was constantly interrupting. He did comment about how he and Blair would approach a frost interview, and it was good input, IMO.

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  • Message 5

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by zen cat (U14877400) on Friday, 30th November 2012

    As usual, El Portillo cut to the heart of the matter, neatly side-stepping government-regulation v self-regulation and pointing out that in this instance the big story was Cameron's ineptitude (at best) or craven sucking up to the meeja powers. "He had a powerful bargaining position and he threw it away. Thus turning the entire exercise into a total fiasco and an utter waste of everyone's time." 
    Earlier today on Twitter:

    Mark Steel @mrmarksteel

    If after all that the government was going to ignore the inquiry, they should have got someone more interesting to do it, like Pete Doherty

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  • Message 6

    , in reply to message 5.

    Posted by alan997 (U1233723) on Saturday, 1st December 2012

    Like him or not, Campbell was the co-architect of the New Labour project that took over where Thatcher left off and took commanding control of the nation for a decade. He may have been a 'wire-puller', but look whose wires he was pulling.

    More importantly in this context, he has the 'eagle-eye' take on politics and how it actually works in this country that makes him an invaluable contributor to a programme like This Week. He's never dull, and always worth paying attention to.

    As For Evans, I think you're being a little unkind - and unfair. His speech may have become a little drawly - he is 102, after all - but he made some perceptive comments perfectly clearly, and was amusing toboot: 'Don't go to her; listen to me!'

    I have to say it's become a constant joy to witness El Portillo's loyalty to The Party slip week by week under the assault of Cameron's incompetence. Tories like Portillo all but fetishise loyalty, but his patience with the current administration stretches ever thinner, week by week by This Week.

    It's fun to watch!

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