Pity poor Jane Aitchison. Not only does she have the ignominy of contesting a seat named after a charity bear (type Pudsey into Google if you don’t believe me). But the Labour parliamentary candidate also found herself having to defend someone else’s four-year old tweets on BBC 5 Live. You have to ask yourself as a politician – why be interviewed by Emma Barnett?
Zarah Sultana, Labour PPC for the much more respectably named Coventry South, once wrote that she would “celebrate” the deaths of Tony Blair and Benjamin Netanyahu. Barnett asked Aitchison what her opinions were on the matter? Should Sultana be allowed to stand for the Labour party?
What followed was painful. Barnett reckons there was a pause of 12.5 seconds. I make it 12.7. Across the country listeners started twiddling knobs. Had the interview ended? Had the radio broken? Had Aitchison broken? All we heard was the scraping of plates. Maybe Barnett had eaten her interviewee alive. Too far Emma, too far.
I’m good at digging holes. I’m a mole. But I have to take my hat off to Aitchison. Because rather than use her 12.7 seconds to come up with a line, she managed to dig herself not a hole, but a veritable mine.
“People do celebrate deaths sometimes,” said the parliamentary candidate for Pudsey. Where was she going? Barnett prodded. “For instance, people celebrated the death of Hitler.”
There are bad interviews. There are really bad interviews. And then there are interviews where you compare Tony Blair to Hitler. An all-time car crash.
— Laurence Sleator (@laurencesleator) November 7, 2019