Kwasi Kwarteng University Challenged

The answer to top pub quiz question “Which Cabinet Member once appeared on University Challenge” Kwasi Kwarteng guests on this week’s podcast release from Nick Robinson, who used the quiz show format to ask the newly appointed BEIS secretary his views on workers’ rights. Sadly, he appears to have lost a lot of his old free-market zeal…

Kwasi was pulled up one some old quotes from the book he co-authored Britannia Unchained:

  • “The British are amongst the worst idlers in the world”
  • “The UK’s system of employment law discourages small business from taking a risk”
  • “The UK should do whatever we can to cut the burden of employment regulation”

He tries passing the views off as irrelevant given the context of 2021, which to Guido smacks of convenient political excuse-making. Thankfully Kwarteng didn’t resort to the questioning with his University Challenge tactic: of repeatedly muttering the f-word…

mdi-timer 29 January 2021 @ 17:32 29 Jan 2021 @ 17:32 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Nick Robinson on Bad Journalism

Replying to Carole Cadwalladr, Nick Robinson tweets…

“Bad journalism is only talking to people you agree with and asking them questions you think you already know the answer to.”

mdi-timer 5 January 2021 @ 16:37 5 Jan 2021 @ 16:37 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Robinson’s Ed Argar Jibe Backfires

Health Minister Ed Argar impressively turned around an ambush by the BBC’s Nick Robinson, who argued that because Argar (who was not involved in Test and Trace procurement) favoured the company over local government because he once worked there. Robinson was a little lost for words when Argar informed him that in fact he worked in local government for four times as long as Serco, even as a Council Cabinet member for public health and social care. Oops…

The exchange is well worth a listen:

Funny how career politicians who have only ever worked for the state never get accused of being in the pocket of the public sector…

mdi-timer 11 August 2020 @ 10:07 11 Aug 2020 @ 10:07 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Hancock Gets Shirty With Robinson

Matt Hancock’s interview this morning on the Today Programme got feisty when he was being pressed on what the Government was considering as routes out of the lockdown. After Hancock was asked by Nick Robinson “whether and when you tell us how you might ease [the lockdown] even if you don’t exit from it”, multiple times, Hancock got uncharacteristically shirty:

“How we communicate as a government, as ministers, has a direct impact on the amount of cases we have, and therefore the amount of people who die. A direct impact… Let me please, let me finish the… answer!”

Hancock was adamant that he will refuse to answer questions on the next stage as that would dilute the Government’s messaging. Guido’s not convinced that line will or should hold. When it comes to Robinson’s earlier question “do you think I should stop asking questions about this?”, the answer seems to be an emphatic yes…

mdi-timer 16 April 2020 @ 09:01 16 Apr 2020 @ 09:01 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Nick Robinson on the benefits of Today boycott by ministers…

Nick Robinson on the benefits of the Today boycott by ministers…

“The ministerial boycott has actually been welcomed by many, who say it’s made for a better listen. To be fair to politicians, I think that is a comment on us as much as them.”

mdi-timer 5 March 2020 @ 11:18 5 Mar 2020 @ 11:18 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Nicky Morgan Hints at BBC Licence Fee Reform

Speaking to Nick Robinson’s Political Thinking podcast this week, Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan hinted that substantial reform for the national broadcaster might be just around the corner. Morgan said that the funding of the BBC is an issue that increasingly comes up on the doorstep: “why do I pay my licence fee, I don’t watch it, I don’t agree with it.” She went on to hint that scrapping the archaic licence fee was on the table going forward…

“This is the start of a process… people outside politics expect politicians to ask those questions, not just go ‘it’s all fine'”

Guido can’t wait…

mdi-timer 24 January 2020 @ 15:00 24 Jan 2020 @ 15:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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