Am I the only one who is getting a bit sick of all this nonsense about Boris Johnson refusing to appear on the BBC’s The Andrew Neil Interviews – Election 2019 ?
Can someone tell me, what is actually in all this for Boris ? He is the leader of the Conservative Party, the Prime Minister and leading in all the polls. And he looks set for a working majority in next week’s election – which will enable him to get the Brexit deal he seeks, and push through the Election Manifesto he has put his name to. Why on earth would he want to risk all this by potentially being ripped apart in a 2019 equivalent of a public flogging by the competent but points-scoring Andrew Neil ?
Well, you say, all the other political leaders have done the interviews. True, but it hasn’t done many of them any good, has it (ask Jeremy Corbyn) ? Turning up to be ravaged by Mr Neil says more about the naivety of the other party leaders themselves (or the political operators who handle them), than it does about the Boris campaign’s decision to choose which outlets to get the Conservative message to the country. And the outcry – mainly inspired by the media itself and the other political parties who want to see Boris screwed over like their own candidates were, of course – is a lot of nonsense. It’s missing the point. Sure, I tuned in to see Mr Corbyn’s appearance on the show. His performance was woeful. But it had no impact on me apart from being very good entertainment. The same goes with Boris. Yes, it would be great to see Andrew Neil and Boris Johnson square up, but, whatever happened, it wouldn’t change my vote.
So lets get this into perspective. Boris doesn’t need to go on the BBC and be savaged by Andrew Neil. There’s no upside. Remember, neither the BBC nor Mr Neil are candidates at this election. And the candidates and the parties are free – in our democracy – to choose the platforms they want to use which they best feel suits their purposes when engaging with the public. There is a strong possibility that, this time next week, Boris will be back in Downing Street. But doesn’t it feel that it is the BBC which is trying to run the country in the meantime ?