The 'phone-in' with Gordon Brown on Thursday's FiveLive Simon Mayo Show was an utter waste of time. It was nothing but a vehicle for our glorious leader to repeat his propagandist mantras of 'hard working families', 'global downturn' 'not our fault mate' and 'I'm getting on with the job'...
WHY was it advertised as a 'Q&A session between public and Premier' when in reality, it was a Simon Mayo interview? When Mayo introduced Brown at 1 o'clock, he kept telling people to phone in with their questions. Some hope! - The phones just rang out and were then disconnected - I should know, I was trying to get through for nearly an hour. Mayo interviewed Brown at the beginning of the session for about 15 minutes, then took a couple of telephone calls and a couple of emails from the public. More Mayo questioning followed until the 1.30 news bulletin.
After that bulletin, Mayo invited phone calls and emails because as he said himself "We've only got the PM for another 15 minutes - so come on, get your questions in"....
Mayo then proceeded to Brown-nose for Brittttain without bothering to read any more questions out or take any more calls from the public.
WHAT WAS THE POINT?
For the whole 45 minutes, Brown only had to field 3 phone calls and a couple of emails. The content of which were credit crunchingly bland. The rest of the time was taken by Mayo interviewing and toadying. For those of us who bothered to put a question together - it was an utter insult.
I mean, Brown can field friendly full toss questions all day from the likes of Mayo. It is the public who are much more likely to hold him to account - but they were comsumately ignored - as per usual (apart from the very few dullards allowed to put their friendly questions to their party leader). I wouldn't have minded not having my question read out - if it had been because there were loads of other questions from the public being tackled by Brown. They weren't.
Mayo is basically a NuLabour luvvie anyway - hasn't he had grand weekends at Chequers as a guest of Tony Blair... (something else the public pays for). Why bother to advertise it as a public/PM Q&A when all along it was only ever going to be Simon Mayo honing his interviewing skills - is he going for the Jonathan Ross spot?