Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Cheap shot or reinforcing a perception?

When I saw the link to this Youtube video being sent around, packaged as a Boris gaffe, I expected it to be one of the Have I Got News For You moments that Boris Johnson specialises in; and by that i do not mean moments from the programme but the times when he looks like he is being tripped up by a comedian of Paul Merton's quick wit even when he is not. But then I watched it (well listened).

It is a radio debate between Johnson and Liberal Democrat candidate Brian Paddick, Johnson suggests Paddick was soft on drugs, as opposed to having a softly softly approach, Johnson perhaps is caught out by the semantic difference here. Paddick did suggest not arresting and charging cannabis users, not decriminalising them, and so seems out of his depth. But the clip seems really to offer a negative perception of both participants. Paddick interrupts Johnson, Johnson garbles the answer, could this make an audience feel more sorry for Johnson? Moreover, while it highlights Boris's inefficiency in interviews, is this news and so could it be read as just a cheap shot? Or, alternatively, does it reinforce a public predisposition towards Boris? Furthermore who is the main benefactor, as Paddick seems unable to change his standing, so far anyway, do these attacks, and the negative tone, benefit Ken Livingstone. All questions of strategy: and the wonderful unpredictability of political communication


The Cynic said...

This is why they are both going to lose, Boris is a pillock and Brian (the snail) is not a serious challenger as he has no chance. these two are giving the contest to Ken via the back door.

Anonymous said...

Even I would vote for Boris over Paddick after Paddick's performance on QT on Thursday. He didn't really understand that when Ken or Boris were asked a question it should be them who answer it without his butting in!! However, I think you are wrong 'cynic' to say Ken will get in via the back door, he'll get in because he is a seriously good politician. And refreshingly open about things that anger his detractors, like bending the Gov. over a barrel in order to get investment for East London, and inviting 'extreme' clerics to talks, as the woman in the audience said, once we refused to talk to Jerry Adams, and now look at N.I