‘How is it that MPs who think they are the voice of the people always make the people sound so boorish?’
by Stephen Tall on November 28, 2012
— Stephen Tall (@stephentall) November 27, 2012
Simon Hoggart’s sketch — which is brilliant not least for being a near-transcript — captures the theatre of the confrontation between old school Tory, Lord Patten, and the nu-skool Tory, Philip Davies:
Mr Davies started by demanding how much the resignation of George Entwhistle had cost. (Plenty). Then he got on to the interviews Lord Patten had given. He had gone on the Andrew Marr show. “You expect slow bowling and full tosses when he interviews you.”
Lord Patten tried to deflect him with humour. “You should see the others. I was on Singapore TV and fell asleep – during one of my own answers.”
So why hadn’t he gone on Andrew Neil? “I have too much regard for the boredom threshold of the British public.”
Would he have agreed if asked? “Probably not, because one interview on a Sunday morning is enough.”
“And because you thought you might get a tougher ride!” Davies snapped.
“No.” He told Mr Davies he would wait for the Pollard inquiry.
“So you will just agree with what Pollard says.”
“No, but I shall be better informed.”
“Are you not just a patsy?”
“I think that is extremely unfair – I would almost say ‘unworthy of you’. But I don’t think I will make that remark.”
And Mr Hoggart’s crisp conclusion cuts to the heart of the problem with neo-Paxman-wannabe MPs like Philip Davies who crave the limelight of a select committee where they can hurl insults in a desperate pitch for attention:
How is it that MPs who think they are the voice of the people always make the people sound so boorish?
You can watch Patten despatch Davies here — their confrontations begin at around 36:40 and 2:08:20…