Thursday, March 22, 2007

Michael Crick gets a bunk up!

I see from Justin Hinchclifft has been appointed Political Editor of Newsnight. Happily, Crick is replacing Martha Kearney who in the great BBC musical chairs, is moving to host BBC Radio 4’s The World at One. It is a role I think she will struggle to fill after the late great Nick Clarke.

Funnily enough I do not share the standard Tory view that Crick is to quote Hinchcliff, " an arch-Brownite and anti-Conservative scumbag...Crick has climbed the greasy BBC pole (in the same way as Paxo) by being politically pro-Labour, anti-Conservative and acting like a bully". I met Crick during the European elections in 2005 in Eastleigh where he was following Michael Howard around, researching a biography about him. The book on Howard was workman like enough, being broadly sympathetic, the main revelation being that one of Howard's parents was himself an illegal immigrant.

It was his book on Jeffrey Archer, 'Stranger than Fiction' that turned out to be the subject's nemisis and his subsequent reporting on Newsnight that in all probabality Crick will best be remembered for. It was this too that made Crick's reputation as something of a Tory hater. It is interesting that Crick is on the record as saying that he wrote offering to meet the then Tory leader William Hague to tell him about Archer's past as Archer began to make his abortive bid to become London Mayor but Hague denies he ever made the approach.

Locally, Crick has touched politics twice in recent years, both times during elections in Eastleigh. On the first occasion, Crick was down during the by-election caused by the death of Stephen Milligan. Crick interviewed the then young Lib-Dem Keith House who himself was hoping to be their candidate. House was a disaster, burbling and shuffling about before drying up completely during the interview. Controversially, Crick made the decision to run the interview which many thought being such excruciating TV, effectively scuppered House's chances of being selected.

More recently he took Chris Huhne to task for producing election literature that was financed by Huhn'es EU allowances and for Huhne misleading the public by producing leaflets that looked like they were produced by the Labour Party. With typical arrogance, Huhne shrugged off the allegations, I doubt he thought he had done anything wrong.

It will be interesting to see who now becomes Newsnight's main political investigative reporter.


Blogger Praguetory said...

He's also famous for having seen the photo of Blair gesticulating in a boater 14 years ago, but keeping quiet about it.

6:34 am  

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