24 November 2014

PM PROGRAMME PAUSES PUZZLE



Tonight's Radio 4 PM news programme had a feature on pauses (a few minutes ago). but no one there had asked me to go on the show.

Nor had anyone bothered to ask me about how pauses work in conversation, speaking, presenting - whether on radio, television or everyday life.

Maybe the trouble is that there's no one at the BBC - including PM presenter, Eddie Mair (above), who has read any of my books. 

If he, they (or you) had done so, they'd/you'd have a fair idea about how pauses work in a wide variety of different settings. If the feature continues tomorrow, there's plenty of time to phone me or perhaps even read one of them.

I'm not very optimistic, but watch this space.

(P.S. note the quadruple alliteration in the title).

18 November 2014

Watching highlights from the third 2010 election debate makes me wonder (again) whether they're a good idea

The third Prime Ministerial debate

I've just been watching David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Gordon Brown (above) slugging it out in the prime ministerial general election debates (HERE ) and wondering whether we'll get to see and hear Messrs Cameron, Clegg and Miliband in 2015?

One thing I'd forgotten was that the BBC website magazine had asked me what I thought about the debate (notes under the above video clip).

But they haven't yet asked me what I think should happen in 2015 - even though I've blogged extensively about why I think it's not a very good idea.

I hope that, given my former associations with Paddy Ashdown, the Liberal Democrats, critical comments elsewhere on this blog about Messrs Cameron and Miliband, etc. the BBC doesn't think I have any political bias.

One of the things I take considerable pride in is the fact that none of my books, including the latest one published last month (Seen & Heard) is anything other than politically neutral.

7 November 2014

Is anyone serious about getting rid of Ed Miliband - other than the Tories and other parties?



How Ed Miliband lost his winning hand

Ed Miliband Faces A Fight To Save Its Scottish MPs
The Spectator (headline above, picture to left) was only one among many in the media, not to mention Labour MPs, Twitter - and almost everywhere else - discussing the barmy idea that a party leader can be safely disposed of as few as six months away from a general election.
On BBC's Question Time last night, Charles Kennedy (who knows at first hand what it's like to be deposed as party leader) spoke interestingly about Margaret Thatcher. He didn't mention the fact that she was deposed in plenty of time for John Major to establish himself as the new leader and then go on to win the next general election.
Nor did Mr Kennedy say anything about the fact that his predecessor, Paddy Ashdown, deliberately timed his resignation mid-way between general elections in order to give the new leader (Kennedy) time to establish himself with the wider public before having to lead the Liberal Democrats into the next election - and to go on to increase the party's number of seats in the House of Commons.
Regular readers will know that I've had my doubts about Mr Miliband's public speaking and presentational       style for the last four years. 
Wrong choice the Labour Party may have made when it elected him as leader after losing the last general election, but to suggest that he should pack it in now - whether by jumping or being pushed - is, to say the least, completely potty. In fact, long words fail me when it comes to commenting on the current pseudo-furore!

4 November 2014

The LibDems have a new 3 part list!

Wind farms infographic from the Lib Dems
I am grateful to Mark Pack for drawing my attention to this new slogan - for which I was not directly responsible, even though the third item is longer than each of the first two!

For those of you who, unlike me, didn't have their eyes tested yesterday, the list is as follows:

  • Stronger Economy.
  • Fairer Society.
  • Opportunity for Everyone.
As for why a longest third item is a good idea, all is (at least partially) explained in my books.

As for the main message about the growth of wind power, I fear that my brother and his wife will not approve - for reasons best known to Christopher Booker...