“Put aside the rhetoric…”

A perfect example of how an overly-sound-bite-led politician can undermine his own credibility by refusing to stray from the script.  Indigenous politicians take note. Via Toby Harnden at the Telegraph blogs.

And the Guardian has a report based on the interviewer ITV News’ Damon Green’s response

In the two-minute 30-second version of the interview seen by the Guardian, Green tries six times to get Miliband to expand on his position about why he believes the strike action is wrong.

In each case he receives the same reply, that the strikes are wrong when negotiations are underway, the government has acted in a “reckless and provocative manner” and both sides need to “set aside the rhetoric” and “get around the negotiating table to stop this happening again”.

Green vented his anger at the Labour leader and his “handlers”, putting on a “convincing charade” of pretending to care about his line of questioning when they had a pre-planned PR line that they refused to go beyond.

“If news reporters and cameras are only there to be used by politicians as recording devices for their scripted soundbites, at best that is a professional discourtesy,” he said. “At worst, if we are not allowed to explore and examine a politician’s views, then politicians cease to be accountable in the most obvious way.”

Indeed.