My Ministerial Bashing Agenda
I am grateful to David Raynes for his response to yesterday’s Snowblog concerning the way politicians deal with bad news.
He’s quite right. It is quite possible that the reason the Minister doesn’t want to give me, or anyone else, an in depth interview about the ‘shambles’ in the Home Office drug area is because he thinks that I, or we, have an agenda.
Actually I don’t think I do have an agenda beyond that of the democratic principle of Ministerial accountability and the media’s inalienable role in that area. I do not believe the word ‘shambles’ betrays any agenda, but represented a deliberately provocative mechanism to try to persuade a Minister to address an issue he didn’t wish to. It was successful in this case.
The point Mr Raynes, is not that the Minister denied ME an interview. It is that, as is increasingly the case, a minister denied ALL interviews whilst allowing the IMPRESSION that he was freely available to answer questions about Mephedrone and about the resignation of yet another of the Drug advisory panel.
Here, I may leave myself open to accusations of ‘having an agenda’. I may be a simple non-scientist myself, but scientifically I would have thought the resignation over six months of no fewer than six different scientists from any scientific advisory forum is even slightly unusual – against the scientific norm.
Given that the Home Secretary appointed each of them; wouldn’t it be a good idea for him to answer a question or two about it – given that he is giving the IMPRESSION of openness and transparency? Or is it better for us in the media to go along with it and assist him to batten down the hatches on the basis that each of the resigned scientists are mad anyway?