(c) Doc Hackenbush 2014
From the very first question, “Were you surprised, as I was, by the paucity of the deal that the Prime Minister brought back from Brussels?”, through “It makes a mockery of the idea that if we stay in Europe, we’re going to have tons of influence” (that’s supposed to be a question, by the way), to “We’ve lost 79 of 79 contested votes” (ditto) and “what do you make of the scaremongering that we wouldn’t be able to compete in the Champion’s League”, Ms Mensch is telling the interviewee what kind of answer she expects.
So it’s no surprise that Whitto answers the “question” about scaremongering by agreeing that, yes, there really is scaremongering. And her football knowledge is nothing to write home about: “We’d be more likely to have a few Pelés on the team if we Brexit rather than being stuck with the Klinsmanns”. Philippe Coutinho, Carlos Tevez, Sergio Aguero, yes, we get no footballers from South America, and it’s all Germans. Not.
Ms Mensch even allows her subject to tell the occasional whopper, providing it meets with her approval. So when Whittingdale mentions state aid rules and tells erroneously “If we wanted to support the steel industry at the moment, we would have to get permission to do that”, this is fine. Indeed, she picks up this line by ranting “Obviously, as a former MP for Corby, my blood boils when I see the EU trying to prevent us from taking measures to save our steel industry”. EU rules would not stop state aide to the UK steel industry.
The “interview” concludes with yet another leading “question”: “Let’s discuss the decision by Angela Merkel to allow the prosecution of a comic who satirized the obnoxious Prime Minister of Turkey. That seems to be almost literally incredible”. It was the Turkish President who was being attacked, but hey, details, eh?
And that’s it. Not a dickybird about Whittingdale’s recent Little Local Difficulty. But there will be a second part to the interview, where the media will be discussed … except that will be just “the BBC and complaints of bias”. One need not discuss Ms Mensch’s bias, though, as it is all too obvious. As for Heat Street being “no holds barred”, this is drivel. Whitto is being led to give answers, and he is being shielded from difficult questions.
Moreover, when she promises “No safe spaces”, Ms Mensch omits the two obvious ones: her media profile, and opportunities for her to score More And Bigger Paycheques For Herself Personally Now. Heat Street? It’s a dead duck..But I look forward to celebrating the site’s first birthday … if there is one.