Ming: the public’s verdict

by Stephen Tall on July 21, 2006

Three successive postings about Newsnight smacks of obsession, but – what the heck – I’m a blogger. Many commentators have passed judgement on Ming Campbell’s Newsnight performance t’other night:

Alex Wilcock (impeccably fair);
Jonathan Calder (contemptuous of Newsnight);
James Graham (Ming’s getting there);
Rob Fenwick (unconvinced);
Paul Walter (a happy bunny); and
Me (let’s get some perspective).

Oh, and of course Iain Dale was his usual friendly Lib Dem-loving self.

If you want to know what some real people thought, though, the Newsnight site has posted a few reactions here. They make pretty positive reading for Sir Menzies.

(Initially, I was surprised because the BBC’s public fora, rather like thegrauniad’s comment is free, is usually teeming with deranged lunatics dribbling bile into their keyboards. However, these are solicited views from audience members who saw Sir Menzies’s performance.)

Here’s a few reactions:

“I was impressed by him. His decency and kind of political righteousness was exuding and marks him well apart from Blair and Cameron.”

“He came across more personable than reported in the media and gave a good account of himself especially against the criticism of his age and passion for his policies.”

“He actually answered all the questions he was asked, there was no attempt by him to avoid awkward areas or divert the conversation. Overall he came over, as ever, with integrity and honesty.”

“I was impressed by Sir Menzies’ performance, but I am a keen supporter and had intended to vote Lib Dem in any case.”

“Sir Menzies’ performance was a credible one. The passion and charisma, which he so often lacks in PMQs, came out as he begun to feel more at ease.”

“The passion Sir Menzies has for politics is much more apparent in reality when compared to his television presence. … Sir Menzies represented himself and his party well. He has persuaded me to think again about considering the Liberal Democrats as a real and viable political force in British politics.”