Thursday, July 06, 2006

Dirty politics

Tory blogger Iain Dale has done a lot to promote blogging in this country (and not a little bit to promote Iain Dale, but hey, why not?) and last night he was invited on to Newsnight to be confronted by Paxman. Now, the prospect of being even lightly grilled by Paxo would terrify most people, and in that respect I thought Iain did quite well (although on his blog, like most football supporters who've just watched their team on match of the day, he whinges that his best bits were left on the cutting room floor). My one reservation was that the area chosen for discussion ended up making Dale look a bit smutty. The 'political' story about Prescott is the one about the Texas billionaire, the Dome and the Casino. All good intriguing stuff. The angle Iain Dale was channeled down was the DPM, the secretary or secretaries and the shagging. All good News of the Screws stuff, but instead of striking a decisive political blow, Iain was made to look like a Conservative Party stooge (for David Davis's former campaign manager to say he hadn't spoken to senior Tories about these matters seemed to have even less credibility than Prezza's excuses) doing an impression of Piers Morgan. Perhaps it was Newsnight who chose the debating line, but for Iain, I think it was the wrong one. As Tony Benn often says, 'Don't wrestle with a chimney sweep... you'll only get dirty too.'