Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Europe Already Biting Ken

We all know the BBC is backing Ken. But even they can't resist having a go over Europe.

This morning on the Today programme, Ed Stourton wasted no time in suggesting that Ken had "sneaked out" his change of heart on the Euro in that interview for the Central Banking journal. So perhaps he'd like to "clarify" his position for a wider audience.

Waving his cigar around, Ken blustered, dismissing Ed with an injunction to "look at the article in Central Banking".

But Ed wouldn't be deterred: "Are you saying your position has changed?"

"Maaah...irrelevant...made it quite clear...maaah....anyone who thinks otherwise is not living on the planet...only people who...maaah!"

"Your reputation is for straight talking...but this answer doesn't qualify as straight talking."

"Look, are you going to spend the whole interview talking about the Euro? It's not why I agreed to come on this morning..."

He was beginning to sound more than a tad tetchy, and his kneejerk was to turn on us party members. "Only a strange fringe of the Conservative Party think that an interview on peak time on radio should be all about the Euro."

And just listen to the way he says Conservative Party. It's more than a term of abuse- he sounds as if he's describing some weird child sacrificing sect. Certainly not a party he aspires to lead.

Two-thirds of the entire interview was spent on the Euro. But finally they did turn to something else: whether Ken's tobacco job meant he was a "merchant of death".

And just remember: all this was meant to be a gentle fire-side chat with a loving Auntie. Can you just imagine what Eurosceptic Gordo and the dark legions of New Labour would do with it?

Ken may have hoped his Europhilia was now safely tucked up in the long grass. What we heard this morning was a sharp reminder that it is not.
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