Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Dave Cameron: Petrol Down to 99 Pence a Litre Gaffe

David Cameron is live on Channel M. He has just claimed that the price of a litre of petrol has now "come down to 99 pence". UPDATE 17:40: Dave Ottewell says it was Diesel, wasn't clear. Not as bad an error as Clegg's pension gaffe. But seriously bad. And preface to lots and lots and lots of other statistical and factual errors. Will try to come back to this programme anon.

UPDATE 13:01: very strange live blog/twitter effort from Sarah Hartley here. Her so-called "live blog" wasn't. Dave Ottewell previewed the event at the Harpic-a-like the Blue Blog, again promising live blogging. And the MEN link to their own Dave Ottewell's blog is unadjacent to the right page. Spurious.
The Channel M front page currently doesn't link. Why did GMG stick £15 M into this Granada-lite effort? It could hardly be more different from real, relevant, refreshing community TV? Just a tired, pale imitation of grown up ITV. And thus doomed to fail its brief. And indeed fail its commercial desires. As part of GMG convergence and concentration business plan.


Anonymous said...

Chris, you always bleat on that the MEN Tory baits. The problem isn't the MEN at all, it is the Labour party. The fact is, the Conservatives are giving high profile shadow cabinet MPs face to face interviews with journos. When was the last time the Labour party offered this?

The fact is, Hazel Blears is a local MP and is instantly disliked, as she is always in the MEN. If the MEN got an interview with a non North West cabinet MP, they would snap it up in an instant.

David Ottewell said...

Chris -

I didn't promise I'd be live blogging - I said I'd be offering analysis later in the afternoon (which I am now doing).

And (to be fair) he was talking about diesel, not petrol.

Iain Lindley said...

Have to agree with your anonymous correspondent Chris - when is Gord Saviour of the World taking unprepared questions from MEN readers?

Chris Paul said...

Diesel? Really? Are you sure Dave? I couldn't find the VT or a transcript or the like to check.

Links from MEN web and MEN blogs and Conservatives Blue Blog all taked of live blogging. At the latter you said:

We'll also be live blogging at blogs.manchestereveningnews.co.uk.

You were not doing so. There was a signpost to Sarah's twitter. This doesn't look like much help.

Over-promised and under-delivered. And I really do think Channel M is the antithesis of community TV and that once again Andy was way outside his comfort zone.

Chris Paul said...

Anonymous, if you are going to post regularly like this you might like to get yourself an identity and let other readers know where you're coming from ... but to your points:

Chris, you always bleat on that the MEN Tory baits.

Can you link to this alleged bleating or explain this incomprehensible comment?

My comment on this event is on two main points. First, cameron talked twaddle and the VT or tape will show that. And second, Channel M and the associated digital media aren't really working properly.

The problem isn't the MEN at all, it is the Labour party. The fact is, the Conservatives are giving high profile shadow cabinet MPs face to face interviews with journos. When was the last time the Labour party offered this?

Obviously this occurs from time to time with Labour too. But in the nature of things govt people are busier with running things and also more choosy about what they do.

Wasn't there a Gordon Brown interview in the Obbie on Sunday? Mr Ottewell has spoken to party leaders and ministers as and when.

The fact is, Hazel Blears is a local MP and is instantly disliked, as she is always in the MEN.

So, she is instantly disliked because she is in the paper all the time? Wrong on both counts I suspect. But believing that you are demanding more appearances in papers?

If the MEN got an interview with a non North West cabinet MP, they would snap it up in an instant.

I'm sure the MEN know better than you or I what they are being offered and what they are asking for too. I have no information so couldn't possibly comment.

I think Cameron was pretty flakey, as was the programme, as was the so-called live blogging. And having some idea of the Channel M numbers and context and production values I honestly do not know why Cameron did this.

And my comments about Channel M stand. What's it for? What is it achieiving? Is it worth the investment? Does it fulfil the purpose of Community TV?

And is the concentration of media ownership with GMG a good thing at any level? Even for GMG itself soul-wise and journalism-wise?

Chris Paul said...

Iain - I have no idea whether Gordon is considering this option. And if Cameron started firewalking stunts in shopping malls I'm not sure he'd do that either.

But Blair certainly took part in such things, not sure if Brown has yet. I remember one on Education with Blair at a school in Moston where the MEN invited at least some of the audience.

Coverage of that event was stymied by Madrid Atocha bombing.

Chris Paul said...

Correction: That should say "VT or transcript" not "VT or tape".

David Ottewell said...

Yes, Chris, I am sure he was talking about diesel.

I personally think Channel M did a superb job staging a live debate. I think that for a local TV station - with a fraction of the budget of certain rivals - to get the leader of the opposition to answer viewers'/readers' questions for an hour is a real coup.

This is exactly the sort of thing that anyone who believes in local media, political accountability, etc. etc., should support.

Instead you snipe about the lack of live blogging and the fact my blog was 'unadjacent to the right page'. A real shame.

No fan of Dave said...

I was in the audience and it wasn't a bad event - although Andy Crane talked too much and not everyone got to ask their question.

Jim Hancock asked an interesting question about whether Cameron was still committed to abolishing the NWDA, to which Cameron performed a remarkable U-turn.

Just before Christmas he told the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce that he was committed to scrapping the regional development agencies. I heard him. I was there. And yet now he claims that "councils may come together and keep the Northwest Development Agency". A classic flip flop.

Also, if any reminder is needed of the extreme right wing element that's always lurking in the Tory background then up popped a particularly nasty bloke to ask how Cameron (who he was sure was going to be Prime Minister) was going to get rid of every immigrant that comes to this country to scrounge benefits.

I did not hear the audible intake of breath that the Guardian have reported online - http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/jan/06/cameron-conservatives-business-economy - but was not surprised at Cameron's response, that he would go "much further than James Purnell" in reforming the benefits system. So that's where the cuts will be coming from then.

One other notable question came from a chap at the back who quizzed Cameron over his remarks that a 2.5 per cent cut in VAT was making absolutely no difference to the economy. "Would you have supported a 2.5 per cent increase to 20 per cent then if it makes no difference," he asked. Cameron's answer: "errr, I only want to see tax cuts."

Oh, and he also peddled the lie that anyone earning more than £19,000 was worse off under last year's mini budget. This is absolute rubbish. Cameron has deliberately ignored the £600 that was made permanent in tax free earnings by Darling.

Kevin Maguire addresses this Tory lie very well here.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Chris Paul said...

Dave, Dave, Dave

Let's have it right. My issue with Channel M is that it is NOT a community TV station. It is just mini-me to Granada and it behaves like one during the broadcast segments. The music bits are OK wallpaper. the reading out of job adverts is just un-TV.

It is resolutely commercial, if loss making. It is owned by the main media owner in the city/region. It adds little. It is IMO a waste of GMG money and a waste of a community licence. These are supposed to provide alternatives not extra outlets for MSM. It will not get the numbers it needs.

If it were a real scrappy community station like NY cable or early experiments in the UK and it got Cameron on that would be one thing. But it's not. It's mini-Granada and it's tied to the biggest media player (near monopoly of print, lots of radio interests, this TV) in our city with acres of column inches, web coverage and so on that are what really justifies Cameron's participation. If it were genuine community tv, alt.tv it would be unlikely to want Cam anyway. Like the MEN he already has massive bandwidth. Comnmunity TV should be about people who don't have that.

Personally I think the blogging and twittering was unsuccessful. Whether the event was or not is another question. The Web 2.0 was either promised but did not happen or it did not exploit the medium. You did say there would be live blogging - which you deny above. I did not say that you'd be doing it personally.

As there's a by-election on in three weeks will you be offering an hour of live "TV" or at least pages and pages of newsprint to all the other parties involved in it? And no, you cannot expect party leaders all round.

Will Channel M host a hustings at that local level? Show that?

Everybody Hates Chris said...

So says Chris Paul
"Diesel? Really? Are you sure Dave? I couldn't find the VT or a transcript or the like to check."

No, but neither could you find one before making the initial allegation.

Very sloppy, CP.

Cameron spouts more than enough garbage to confront him with. There's absolutely no need for you to make more up. Old habits die hard I suppose.

Chris Paul said...

What a wretch you are EHC. Give you a break and you're back to your obnoxious tricks. An inch takes a mile. Bloody typical.

Having been let down by the "live blogging" (none) and "twitter" (rubbish) - the pointing out lack of these things isn't trivial quibbling Dave Ottewell if you're relying on them - I was able to go home and tune my television in to the signal from Winter Hill and WATCH THE SECOND HALF LIVE. Yes, I was that other viewer.

Cameron was talking ten to the dozen, scampering around in and out of weaselish and forked tongue, the poor host was struggling with him, the sound quality wasn't great, and it seemed to me that Cameron was gassing stench about Petrol.

Dave, who knows different, was I believe in the room with DC where things may well have been clearer.

It is not a case of old habits or "very sloppy" or making things up as you anonymously aver.

It is of Cameron bluster and modest production and/or transmission values combining to create the wrong impression in one of the two viewers' razor sharp brain.

Probably product values I think because the transmission is a lot better now than it was either in the first term of the franchise (when the holders were paying only for a rusty coat hanger level of service) or under the early days of the new massive GMG investment.

The sodding programme is ONLINE now at Channel M though strangely not trailed or directly linked from the front page. Though all sorts of other tosh is available there.

The sound is better via digital broadband than it was via terrestrial. But it is still boomy and a bit erratic. The programme has been edited to 49 minutes.