I’m not sure what’s going on with the dates, but YouTube seems to think this video was posted on ‘April 23’, ‘7 hours ago’. Where I’m sitting, in southern England, it’s 9am on April 24. Referring to the comments I made some moments ago, that doesn’t add up.
So what’s the deal with that mock TV studio set? I said before that they didn’t seem to get it; now I’m convinced they don’t. ‘Doing things differently’ is not about doing a decades-old broadcast format (studio interview), but pushing it out via a new distribution mechanism (internet). Labour HQ worked out how to win the old game; and they did it so well. I saw Alastair Campbell up close a few times, and what a master he is. But – arguably because politics worked out the media in the 1990s – the game changed.
The irony is that Tony Blair is a genuinely magnificent communicator. I’ve spoken to him, one-to-one, and came away feeling charmed, engaged, connected. So what logic is there in forcing him behind two lines of defence: an interviewer, and such an ugly desk? He does his best, as does host John O’Farrell. But it’s a million miles away from the rough-but-genuine experience of Webcameron.
And then there’s the political point about an unpopular Prime Minister, reportedly a few days away from resigning, leading this venture into new online territory. Why? Why am I listening to Yesterday’s Man, telling me about the last ten years, when I want to hear about the next ten? And preferably, from someone who’s going to be around then?