The celeb boat party was the most tone-deaf element of the Beeb's election coverage but Paxman wasn't far behind. Following his terrible performance and the success of the leader debates I hope, rather than expect, that the suits will realise that we're due for a break from the relentless 'why-is-this-lying-bastard-lying-to-me' approach. It should be obvious now that a blanket application of aggression works against honesty in answers and anyway, like viruses mutating to beat ever-stronger antibiotics, politicians just get better at dealing with it and saying less. On Wednesday's Newsnight, Paxman's constant interrupting of the Electoral Commission lady went beyond parody; but he was worse yesterday morning, doing the same to a series of grandees and largely impartial pundits who were genuinely trying to make sense of the situation. Paxman has no notion of when to turn it off, or even down a bit. The second and third TV debates showed that you can allow politicians to speak uninterrupted and they will seriously discuss the issues. Unmoderated Paxmanism is not only rude to the interviewee, it insults the viewer by assuming that he can't listen to everything said and then make up his own mind about whether the bastard was lying or not. Surprisingly often, they're not.
I'm with ZMKC in regarding yesterday as a rather great day in British politics. Not only did the BNP get their due thrashing, the three leaders gave two and a half excellent speeches which 80% restored faith in politicians. I like Cameron more and more (and even more having watched, thanks to Gaw, his exposure of Paxmanism back in 2005). Clegg is in a remarkably pivotal position, but he doesn't really have a choice. They're not going to get PR so all that matters to the country is that a Con-Lib alliance tackles the Debt Which Passeth All Understanding. I hope Broon won't be a toad in the ointment, as half his speech yesterday suggested he might be, and in the way that ghastly party fanatics like Harman and apparently Hain would be. This is an astonishingly critical time for British faith in politicians: a ConLib alliance would do wonders; a LibLab one would be unthinkable and I wouldn't care a hoot if Paxman were let loose on that.