Tuesday 20 April 2010

So what should Paxman ask Cameron?

David Cameron was washing his hair last night. But he's found his reverse gear on the Lexus and so will be interviewed by Jeremy Paxman this Friday night at 8.30pm on BBC1.

So the Conservative leader will not, after all, break an election tradition of the Panorama interview with every major party leader since Alec Douglas-Home. And it will be one of the rare occasions when he may face a sustained line of questioning with a large public audience. So what would be the most effective questions for Cameron in this (and any other) major broadcast interviews in the rest of the campaign?

Your comments, tweets and emails please would be very welcome. If anybody has ideas, I'll try to add the best to this post. Here are some quick thoughts from me.

I am still not sure exactly how he would answer a question along these lines:

I know you're very proud about how much the Conservative Party has changed. How much of your manifesto Margaret Thatcher would disagree with?

There are enormous numbers of questions about very odd features of the marriage tax break. But I am not sure the issue of whether £150 makes any difference, or even the message sent to single parents, get to the central mystery of what the policy is up to:

If the aim is to recognise marriage, why would a married couple, both earning £15,000, not get your marriage tax break unless the wife (or husband) gives up work and stays at home?

If anybody has a coherent answer to that one in the meantime, I would be fascinated to hear it.

And it's a bit old now, but I was astonished Cameron got off so lightly with nobody noticing the personal hypocrisy of his mistaken attack on the police last Thursday.

Do you still have the taxpayer-funded Lexus that caused the controversy over chauffering your shoes? Is that a better example of frontline services than the Hull police's crime unit that you criticised in the TV debate?

I am not sure we would get much new information from that.

What else? What are the questions that could elicit new information and put key parts of the argument and policy agenda under scrutiny?


Stuart White said...

How about: If your party has really changed from the party that introduced Section 28, why were you unable to condemn unequivocally Chris Grayling's view that B&B owners should have the right to bar gays if they want?

Or: ....why were you unable to support the right of religious groups (who wish to) to register civil partnerships on their premises?

Unknown said...

Could you explain why, in PMQs, you referred to the current deficit as 'larger' than all past Labour deficits combined in a blatant and cynical misrepresentation of real and absolute figures?

Could you explain, why, if the current economic situation requires the urgent action on the deficit, your manifesto contains £18.5 billion of tax-cuts, £14billion more than Michael Howard's in 2005?

Do you stand by your opposition to the stimulus package?

Anonymous said...

Given that the introduction of a voluntary register of lobbyists at the European Commission has been a total failure with very few lobbyists registering themselves, how can the Conservative Party justify backing a similar voluntary register in the UK?

Robert said...

Given that my (factcheck!) great grandmother was denied poor relief because she fell pregnant, and that made me very angry and upset when I appeared on "who do you think you are?" wouldn't your proposals for what you call the big society put the clock back on social care 150 years?

The MooseBlaster said...

How about:

'Do you feel that the reliance on constantly criticising the Labour party, dismissing the Lib Dems and failing to address people's concerns is helping you, or hindering you?'