Monday 5 January 2009

The Boy George gets Paxmaned ... and Labour in genuinely funny ad surprise

Most worrying trait as we approached the end of the Christmas holidays? Flicking past BBC2 around 10.30pm, before remembering that Newsnight wasn't back yet, so having to engage with a film or something instead. (Or Celebrity Big Brother perhaps).

And what a good return episode it was. The coverage of the Gaza crisis included a combative yet fairly illuminating Paxman interview with the Israeli Ambassador to London.

Since these are such dark times, let us thank the Conservative Party for providing some light relief in the form of their risible new tax policies, clearly inspired by and modelled on the January sales.

There was much comedy in Paxman's skewering of Osborne, establishing that there was a 3 month sell by date on these hypothetical promises for any future Tory government which takes office in the next few weeks.

But the boy wonder looked pretty pale (or was it just the make-up) at the question of why, post-Corfu, he has given just one major speech on the economy while his party leader has given nine. I imagine that Paxman's statement that there is clearly a problem there will give pause for thought to the Tory leadership. (I see James Forsyth made a similar point this evening on the Spectator blog). Assuming they are keeping Osborne as Shadow Chancellor, as I have always thought likely, this will herald a more frontline role again for the Boy George, though the return of Ken Clarke alongside him in the Cabinet to shadow Peter Mandelson continues to gather steam.

(On which topic, the Labour Party has found a genuinely funny lightness of touch in skewering of a Cameroonian webcabinet MSN online chat, which I heard about because it is already winning plaudits on the blogosphere from LabourHome, Tom Miller, Sunny Hundal and others, which has not been the usual fate of the party's political propaganda).

And much as one should disapprove of the 'do nothing' and 'let the recession take its course' views of the Financial Times commentator in David Grossman's package, I was fascinated by the academic finding that goalkeepers fail to do the rational thing and stand still in facing penalty kicks, because they look silly. It will be interesting to see in the next few weeks which goalkeepers (David James perhaps?) out themselves as secret Newsnight fans in the next few weeks. One of those (rare?) occasions when the tortuous visual metaphors adds to the story, rather than obscuring it.

No comments: