Channel 4 and the economy

Yesterday I agreed to go onto Channel 4 7pm news to talk about the economic crisis and the problems with the run away deficit. Late in the afternoon they sounded me out on my views. They probed my thoughts on George Osborne more than on the economy. I told them I would want to move the interview on to the real issues quickly, as there was nothing more to say about George, who had made a good full statement earlier that day.

Shortly afterwards I was told I had been cancelled.

They are becoming like the BBC. They want to run unimportant and non stories, and do not want hard hitting analysis of the real crisis facing our country.

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18 Comments

  1. Stuart Fairney
    Posted October 28, 2008 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Aren't they publically owned? They just seem to interview the Bertram Scudders of this world rather than focus on actual issues. On the bright side, if they manitain this standard of 'journalism' one can expect a drop in viewing figures, advertising revenues and hopefully, evolution will take its natural course

  2. rose
    Posted October 28, 2008 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Becoming? They have been like that for as long as I can remember. The Snow Show is far more offensive than, say, Today or PM, or even the World at One, each of whom have many redeeming features.

  3. Obnoxio The Clown
    Posted October 28, 2008 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    "hard hitting analysis"

    Glad to see your humility glands are still working, John. :o)

  4. T. England
    Posted October 28, 2008 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    I think it's about time the Tories told the BBC & "others" that they are no longer prepared to go on such programmes that show such biased towards them, lets see how they make a story without the other side!
    We will then see if the BBC & others are prepared to run a story that shows them showing biased to the Labour party & so the Tories can't go on their biased programme!

    An election is coming & as a TV taxed person I DEMAND fair play on a channel I have to pay for.

  5. Monoi
    Posted October 28, 2008 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Why didn't you play their game until you went live? What could they have done then?

  6. Matthew Reynolds
    Posted October 28, 2008 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Simple John – just sell off the BBC & Channel 4 along with the Post Office and give us long suffering basic rate taxpayers under the age of 65 a £480 one off rebate . That would give the economy a timely boost by getting extra cash to those who can least afford to suffer under the Brown Recession (i.e. the working poor & the coping classes ) and who are most likely to spend it. As an M&S employee I would love the punters to have more cash to spend as my job would be safer and getting that extra money would help me to make ends meet .

    This will help the feel good factor by boosting retail spending & confidence and might aid debt servicing and stop shops closing and jobs being lost.

    Channel 4 is just a neo US liberal left outfit – selling off that propaganda piece is in the public interest.

  7. Michael, Islington
    Posted October 28, 2008 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Grow up.

    It's a trick they try on all punters.

    Insist on a live interview. Insist on subject matter two minutes before air-time – or else. Complain politely and firmly on air if they try to alter the terms of the agreement.

    It's a question of who needs who, as you probably know.

    I assume you knew they were trying to use you to undermine Osborne and using the bait of an economic debate to tempt you into the studio.

    In his prime, Mandelson understood this all, and they understood what the score was. They wouldn't cross him because his control of the government machine was such that his disapproval would mean an empty studio. Game over.

  8. Blank Xavier
    Posted October 28, 2008 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Neil Postman wrote about television; he argued that the medium through which a message passes influences that message and that television, as a medium, converts all the messages passed through it into entertainment.

    Unfortunately, some of the messages we pass through television are not rightfully converted into entertainment. News – politics, recession, the economy – these subjects are not entertainment. They are serious issues which require thought and effort. Transforming them into entertainment is very harmful to our culture.

    • Stuart Fairney
      Posted October 29, 2008 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      Well put and quite right ~ thus Mr Obama maybe about to win the celebrity X-factor Presidency

  9. Johnny Norfolk
    Posted October 28, 2008 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    The media are just trouble makers. Stick to your blog John. You can make your point of view without it being manipulated and twisted.

    The Tories should put a one liner in their manifesto to the effect they will ensure the BBC keep to their charter on bias.

  10. Lola
    Posted October 28, 2008 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    I was going to ask you a question as to why there is no real debate about the total failure of Brown's economic and fiscal policies. But I now understand.

  11. mikestallard
    Posted October 28, 2008 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Good for you, John. I can name several politicians who would have delighted in betraying one of their own to the nation. And they are not all Conservatives either.
    Newsnight was so rude to politicians for ages that none would go on the air with their presenters. Now they have got a teeny weeny little bit more polite, I notice that people are drifting back.

  12. Sarah
    Posted October 28, 2008 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    How sad it is that not only Channel 4, BBC News and the Daily Politics seem pro labour despite what this Government has done to the country. On every programme they grill the Tories far more than the others. Paxman & Co., the man on 4 and Andrew Neil are the same. Then we come to the Sunday programmes and both Marr and Soper are of similar ilk, with the latter being downright rude. Surprisingly Paxman was not so hard on the Osborne story as I had expected.

    Yesterday I listened to Michael White on the Daily Politics and I was quite dismayed by his whole attitude when discussing Mandelson. What on earth is going on in our country. I hope if the Tories get in they will retaliate!

  13. Derek
    Posted October 29, 2008 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    I, myself, have not been impressed by George Osborne's grasp of the current economic woes. However, side-stepping this elephant trap was definitely the right thing to do.

  14. Adrian Peirson
    Posted October 29, 2008 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    The Osborne affair is a non issue, no money was accepted, it should be obvious that donations are or may be discussed.

  15. John
    Posted October 29, 2008 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Of course you were cancelled John. You had probably had a wash and shave and talked reasonable English. No filthy language or criminal acts. What did you expect.

  16. adam
    Posted October 30, 2008 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    I like the paper review on Sky News at 11:30.
    The lady who hosts it is very good.
    You should see if theyd have you on there.
    It is mainly journalists and radio djs at the mo.

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    Posted April 9, 2009 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    Ten tried and true suggestions that can be made to change spending habits that will help free up the money necessary to pay down debt, reduce stress, and begin living a debt free life.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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