Monday, 21 February 2011

Iain Gray Interview

For those of you who are unable to view BBC Scotland or missed the Politics Show yesterday lunchtime, Moridura has kindly uploaded the video section in which Isobel Fraser interviews Iain Gray.  I presume this was Mr Gray's attempt at gaining a higher profile after the poll results last week.  It backfired spectacularly.

Like many I congratulate Ms Fraser on her accurate research and incisive questioning. My cynicism compels me to think she unfortunately, may be replaced shortly once labour inundate the BBC with complaints about her performance today, because that's how they operate.

She's certainly been a breath of fresh air on Newnight Scotland and the Politics Show in the past few weeks.


Sophia Pangloss said...

Ah hae tae agree SR. It's been gey refreshin recently tae find masel shoutin at the telly oan account o whit the interviewee's sayin, raither than the interviewer!

Francis Urquhart said...

One anticipates that the situation in Libya will help Mr Megrahi get what he deserves?


CrazyDaisy said...

Morning Madame,

Watch his hand movements, NLP trained, probably by Common Purpose types! One word - denial, deluded, desperate, incompetent, unprofessional, drowning, adrift, directionless, numpty, donut, dismal, dreich, poor, impoverished, naive, bism, scunner, dunderheid.

Pick one as Grey is all of the above, even a cardboard cut out could have been more effective. Help ma boab if this fool gets anywhere near the position of FM in May 11.

Thinking about flying home to vote in person :) Have a braw day.


Jeanne Tomlin said...

I loved her holding up a paper [one that actually exists--unlike the ones Mr. Gray "holds up" in Holyrood] and proving him a liar!

What al-Megrahi deserved was a fair trial--not being railroaded by both the US and UK governments. At this point, I am convinced that it will be a century before it comes out whether he was actually guilty or not.

DougtheDug said...

Isabel Fraser wasn't throwing easy questions to Iain Gray so that he could bat them away as is the usual BBC style with Labour politicians but one thing she did not do was pull him up when he said at 2:02 that,

"Those papers include notes of telephone conversations where Kenny MacAskill offered to change his position on the Prisoner Transfer Agreement in return for movement on...(Isabel Fraser interrupts)...but it's very clear that they were doing a deal"

The simple truth is that the papers don't and Iain Gray lied when he said that. Neither the papers released by the Cabinet Office nor the papers released by the Scottish Government contain any notes of telephone conversations where Kenny MacAskill and Jack Straw discuss a deal.

The second thing is that as usual the BBC had the caption, "Scottish Labour Party", on screen. How many times does the BBC have to be told, there is no Scottish Labour Party.

JRB said...

I am sure Mr Grey is, in his own way, a lovely man, who no doubt, is kind to kittens and baby bunnies, and all-in-all a jolly nice chap.

his public persona leaves a great deal to be desired. He regularly fails to impress and most certainly does not inspire confidence.
His skills in debate and oratory as a politician seem sadly, lacking. His public performances, especially on television, border close to disastrous.

This was further exemplified by Ms Fraser’s interview.

One would have thought that Scottish Labour would have given him some basic skills training in public speaking, vocalisation, on-camera presentation, question answering, etc. Something is urgently needed to make him a bit more media savvy.

I can rest happy knowing he is kind to kittens.

Jo G said...

JRB, they had that with Blair. He was dishonest and we ended up in an illegal war.

What Labour need is someone honest. In any case Labour don't need to be media savvy up here. The Scottish media gives them plenty of support.

But Isabel Fraser, what a professional. Like you Subrosa I wonder when they#ll move her!

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

The question that exposed Gray was whether he knew of Westminster's and Whitehall's position after the deal in the desert?

Caught between a rock and a hard place, he chose to prevaricate. Why because, if he knew (which I very much doubt) it would show his position since to be one of a duplicitous hypocrite. And, if he admitted he didn't know, it would expose the Labour hegemony in Scotland as no more than a sub division controlled by Westminster, which it patently is.

Instead he chose to answer with the obtuse "If I had been the First minister, I would have opposed the release of Megrahi."[sic]

This has the level of rational and logic equal to a boxer being interviewed after a fight where he's been knocked out in the 10th round - If I knew he was going to do that I'd have knocked him out in the 9th.

A totally irrational answer from a vacuous mind. A 'senior' politician who gives no thought to whether justice has been served or distorted. A shallow man with little purpose and no commitment towards his country or its people.

subrosa said...

Aye it maks a difference Sophia no haein tae cringe at thon ither interviewers wha pander tae yon unionists.

subrosa said...

I've no idea Francis, no idea at all. All I know is that the situation must be terrible when your leader insists they will fight to the last.

subrosa said...

Morning Sir.

Dunderheid - love it.

Strange you should mention the hands CD because I've been watching them at FMQs too.

subrosa said...

Oh it will Jeanne, a 100 years or more. Can't have any relatives suing the government can we?

subrosa said...

I noticed that Doug, but I wondered if she felt slightly unsure about calling him a liar about that, just in case there were notes she didn't know about.

She did wave the paper and say there was no mention on that in a 'don't mess with me anymore' voice.

subrosa said...

I'm sure he is John and possibly good company when out of his political character too, but that doesn't make a leading politician.

He has had lessons John
and I believe more since then. We've paid for them of course.

DougtheDug said...


From the interview I understood that he was referring to the Cabinet Office Document that Isabel had in her hand. I've been through the papers released by the Scottish Government, the Cabinet Office and the Ministry of Justice and though Jack Straw discusses a deal with Des Browne where he thinks that he can get Kenny MacAskill to agree to including Megrahi in the PTA in exchange for legislation on the slopping out compensation and airguns there is no record in any of these papers of Jack Straw discussing that deal with Kenny MacAskill.

That record includes all the letters and the notes of telephone conversations. It appears that the idea of a deal existed only in Jack Straw's own head and never made it out of the Westminster bubble.

Either Iain Gray has read the Cabinet Office document and is lying or he hasn't read the document and is just repeating what people have told him about it. In either case on an issue of such importance it's not a good indicator of his character or of his abilities.

Doug Daniel said...

Jo G - you're certainly right that Blair's presentation skills and ability to cope well with the media did not change the fact that he was a deeply dishonest politician. However, it's still important that a party leader (and especially a FM) should have these sort of skills, because no matter how honest and intelligent a politician is, they need to be able to inspire confidence in people, something which you don't get from a bumbling oaf that clearly needs a script to talk from and who speaks like a bampot (for want of a better term). Certain politicians have leadership qualities, others don't. Look at John Swinney, who is widely regarded as one of (if not THE) best performers for the SNP, but whose leadership of the SNP was pretty disastrous. Iain Gray is the same, except without Swinney's intellect or skills. In other words, Iain Gray is a terrible politician, and a terrible leader.

subrosa said...

I know you'd done a great deal of research on this Doug. My take on the interview is that Gray insisted there were also 'notes of telephone conversations' and Isobel Fraser refuted that so he's bringing her research into question.

I suspected as much Doug that the slopping out etc is a lie conjured up by labour as a cover for their double speak.

It is an issue of importance and you're right, it shows the weakness of the man.

subrosa said...

Doug D, John S wasn't cut throat enough to be leader. He's too much of a 'fair' man. Those who criticised his leadership surely now realise their lack of support didn't help and John's confidence diminished instead of grew.

Now he's in a position where he appears comfortable and I hope he isn't pushed into trying for the leadership again. He's the rock behind the whole party at present.

Clarinda said...

It's like watching the hapless (or any one of CD's adjectives above)Wile E Coyote plunging off the edge of yet another cliff and hitting ever more sharp outcrops all the way down - you just want the agony to be over when he hits the ground. Just like poor Coyote, Mr Gray doesn't seem to recognise his limitations, perhaps unsurprising when surrounded by his delta pack of Kerr, Baker and Gordon with the once alpha female slinkng away to her den.

'The Man with the Honest Haircut' doesn't sound like a rootin' tootin' hero to me Subrosa - more of a Clapshot Western genre.

Jo G said...

Doug, sorry, I didn't put that very well. I'm not saying for a moment that Leaders do not need to be smart cookies. Of course they do. I'm making the comparison tho, look at Blair, the polished article and yet.......what did he amount to? A complete fraud.

I agree about Gray. I cringe listening to him sometimes but oh he does sleekit as well as any of that ilk. I personally think he was selected as some in Labour were determined not to select someone else who fancied his chances at the time but was rumoured to have invested a lot of time feeding the media emails and damaging stuff on Alexander before her downfall.

Dubbieside said...


I do not think you need to fear John Swinney being pushed into trying for the leadership again. JS is the perfect Finance Minister and looks and acts as such.

I think JS is also a well rounded individual who knows his strengths and weaknesses, and looks as if he enjoys swatting away political pygmies like Kerr at every opportunity.

Unlike a certain G Brown who was a disaster at both top jobs, JS will stay where he is and help Scotland prosper.

Apogee said...

Hi SR, I think CD just about nailed him, the only description I would add is pathetic.
I would certainly hope that Mr Gray never becomes the First Minister because he has demonstrated his total lack of ability for the position.
He was not given that hard a time. It just looked that way because he could not remember his story and cannot think on his feet.
If he can't hack it, that is not the interviewers fault, after all, she was asking questions on our behalf, not the Labour Party.

wisnaeme said...

Aye, evasive he was, perhaps because he hasn't the brains to be sleekit. I'm watching tonight's newsnight and Dougie Alexander has just been oan.
Burds o aa feather ....
Ah dinnae huv tae say oany mair, dae ah.

subrosa said...

Now now Clarinda, an old colleague of mine was very fond of Clapshot westerns. :)

subrosa said...

That's true Dubbie, I don't think I do. He seems perfectly content in his balancing role.

subrosa said...

Now Apogee, you're too kind. He was so determined to get his line about the slopping out etc into the conversation it all became a mess. Was a joy to behold.

subrosa said...

Naw ye dinnae wisnaeme. :)

Elby the Beserk said...

Leaving the above authentic Scottish gibberish behind :-) - how very pleasing to observe a BBC interviewer giving a Labour politician a hard time.

How long will she last?

Very good. 10/10 and more of the same down here, please, where the BBC still find it impossible to grant that Labour were the worst disaster to hit the UK since WWII. Indeed, they even did more economic damage to the country than WWII.

Some record.

subrosa said...

John Sopel would never undertake an interview with such enthusiasm Elby. I think he rehearses questions/answers with some of his guests before the programme as they're so glib.

Anonymous said...

Mr Gray is just so unconvincing. Thanks for sharing.

Allan said...

You think? Maybe it's just me, but I was a little dissappointed that Ms Fraser kept the Meghrahi is guilty line when it would have served her better, from a Devils advocate point of view of course, if she had thrown in the doubts about his conviction. Apart fr4om that, the interview was slightly more of a griling than Gray is used to.

Elby, you obviously missed wee Dougie getting Paxmaned last night.

subrosa said...

My pleasure Rab.

subrosa said...

I think she preferred to stick to facts in which she had written evidence Allan. There's no evidence (yet) his conviction is unsafe.

Aye that was braw last night so it wis.

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