The control-freak Coalition……
Liberal Democrats fervently complain about ‘the control-freak’ tendencies of Labour yet a couple of weeks into their nice shiny new government we have seen the government attempt to gerrymander the panel of the BBC’s Question Time not once but twice. Surely it would be enough that the government gets two representatives but no, not even that is enough for the cabal of Clegg and Cameron, who want to tell the BBC who represents the opposition too! Last week they refused to send on David Laws into bat because of the presence of Alistair Campbell and this week they have turned their guns on their own side.
The Conservatives right-wing maverick, Daniel Hannan MEP , was told he was 100% certain to be booked onto the show. However, quite clearly Downing Street had other ideas:
At around midday, I was telephoned by a BBC editor called Rob Burley. This was all terribly awkward, he said, but Downing Street was now prepared to put up a minister, and I was no longer needed.
Hannan blames the BBC but if I was in his position I would be looking closer to home for who would to blame. Given the controversial nature of some of Hannan’s views I wonder why Cameron was suddenly prepared to stump-up David Willetts? Could it be that they don’t want the nation to hear what Hannan has to say? I have genuine sympathy for the Conservative right which now suddenly finds itself excluded and marginalised like the awkward relative at a party that you fervently wish you could lock in a cupboard lest they terminally embarrass you. Having said all that I rather suspect long memories are quite common on the Conservative right….as is the capacity to nurse grievances for a long period of time. I am sure all this will not be forgotten….