Saturday, January 15, 2011

Lord Heseltine's Deathly Interview

I like Lord Heseltine. A great One Nation Tory politician. Used to have huge amounts of energy, which he expended in various ways - swinging the Commons mace at his Labour opponents or rejuvenating Liverpool after the Toxteth riots to name just two. He loathed Thatcherism and its creator, so it was never going to be the case that he would be particularly warm to an interviewer from that gospel of Thatcherism, the Daily Telegraph. And he's not a hugely warm person in any case. You could talk to Michael Heseltine quite happily until you realised that his eyes had glazed over and your presence had become nothing more than a background irritation. But the co-assassin of Margaret Thatcher is still a great man. And if he doesn't like you, I guess he's given up (if he ever tried) bothering to seek to hide that inconvenient fact. As the Telegraph's Bryony Gordon discovered when she went to interview him.

Her interview in today's Telegraph is glorious. Glorious because it went so badly, and she is a good enough writer to give us chapter and verse on what was clearly a car crash of an interview. Her opening line is a gem:

There is a faintly decaying smell in Lord Heseltine's living room, but I can't work out if it's coming from his musty carpets or our interview, which died a tragic death before it ever got going.

And her piece just gets better and better. If J.K.Rowling hadn't already done a bit of work on creating a super-villain called Lord Voldemort, you get the impression that Bryony Gordon might just have been able to pull out the stops in giving the role to Lord Heseltine. Cold and condescending, a man who prefers trees to interviewers - what a great guy. And what a great job from Bryony!

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