Monday, 30 November -0001

Radio Review: 1 May

The election looms, but the PM was in for a rough ride

Written by Louis Barfe
Louis-Barfe-colour-176Nowadays, it isn’t enough for a political interview to be a bruising experience. If it goes badly for the interviewee, it’s called a car crash. Often I listen back to encounters that have been branded as such and think that they weren’t as dramatic as all that, but David Cameron’s grilling by a group of disaffected young adults on Radio 1’s Newsbeat was in another category entirely. It was more like a school bus with dodgy brakes plummeting into a ravine.

A medical student asked Cameron how his proposed seven-day opening for GP practices would work when a recent study suggested that as many as a third of GPs were ready to jack their jobs in as soon as they possibly could. Cameron claimed that vast numbers of new GPs had qualified since he took office in 2010. Even if true, Newsbeat’s Chris Smith thankfully wasn’t going to let him claim the credit, pointing out that medical degree courses were seven years long.

Cameron’s answer to the scourge of homelessness was that planning laws needed to be relaxed so more houses could be built. No mention of what the homeless would do in the interim. He was taken to task quite correctly by a transgender man for talking only of gay and lesbian rights in response to a question about doing deals with the homophobic DUP in Northern Ireland. He admitted he didn’t know the rate of the living wage.

Cameron was ill-prepared, blustering and sounded rattled. I can only imagine The Thick Of It-esque scenes that occurred afterwards. The young people and Smith did a far better job than I’ve come to expect from the likes of John Humphrys. As I listened, I could only conclude that Cameron doesn’t much care if he wins or loses on 7 May.

Louis on Twitter: @LFBarfe or email:

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