Car crash on the radio

Natalie Bennett’s loss of thought in an interview today is what has happened to most of us who have been frequent public speakers. Such excruciating moments tend more often to win friends than to drive them away. In an age when people don’t want slick (I’ve always thought that Malcolm Rifkind was rather slick) then the occasionally stumbling, normal person of a politician has a lot to offer.

I’m looking forward to this event when Natalie Bennet, Barry Gardiner (the only MP who was one of the ‘Sodden 570’), Rupert de Mauley (a Defra minister), Kate Parminter (former chief exec of CPRE (amongst other things)) and Eilidh Whiteford will be getting their heads and their tongues around some environmental issues.  I’ll be there and will blog about it if you can’t be there yourself.

By the way, this is the Green Party’s mini manifesto for change.

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16 Replies to “Car crash on the radio”

  1. Poor old Natalie. As you say Mark, most of us can empathise with the dreaded brain freeze moment. Should have let Caroline do the talking. I can’t imagine her ever being lost for words. After her talk at Ralley for Nature, I remember thinking “if she doesn’t believe in everything she’s saying, she should be in Hollywood winning Oscars”.

  2. For it to happen once could, perhaps, be put down to nerves or not feeling well, but this isn’t the first time that Natalie Bennett has crashed and burned, it happened with Andrew Neil a month ago as well:

    It is fair to say that some of the difficulties are due to the inherent implausibility of many of the current Green Party’s ideas, the fact that they are ill thought through and out of touch with reality.

    For a start, how is concreting over large swathes of land for housing and all the associated infrastructure compatible with biodiversity conservation, food security, resource consumption and overall sustainability?

    Answer: it isn’t. Especially when there are hundreds of thousands of empty properties going to waste, which could be much more cheaply and sustainably renovated to provide homes for people.

  3. Shame you’re voting for the failed Labour party though Mark.

    The Greens at least have more evidence-based policies, aimed at promoting a sustainable and healthy lifestyle, both mentally and physically.

    Just what we as conservationists promote, surely?

  4. I have to say I think Natalie Bennett is a disaster for the Green Party, just at the time the party is gaining some ground and could exploit a widespread dissatisfaction with mainstream politicians…in the same way that UKIP has, and re-invigorated by this week’s revelations of ‘poor judgement’ by MP’s. I might sympathise with a bad radio interview…that can happen. But to spout policies such as giving EVERYONE £72 each week irrespective of relative wealth, supporting the right to join terrorist organisations, and promising to build 500K new houses with no clear understanding of (a) how much that would cost and (b) not being able to clarify where the money would come from anyway smacks of incompetence. I seriously thought about voting Green in May, and I don’t say that lightly because they cannot actually win power. But under Ms Bennett’s leadership I’m afraid they have become completely unelectable.

    1. Best vote for a party supporting a system that caused almost complete financial meltdown in 2007 and cost us billions and billions in a bail out then…

      That sounds like competent financial management.

    2. Actually Richard, the Citizen’s Income of £72 / week has the support of a wide range of mainstream economists. Natalie Bennet apparently just can’t explain it too well. The country probably needs 500k new houses and they’ll need a range of different sites including greenfield. Environmental policies do not exist in isolation, they require social and economic change and government intervention and investment. If the answer to even the most superficial change is always the Tory refrain of ‘where’s the money going to come from’ then the environment will remain the concern of a conservative minority who are perceived as primarily concerned about their own amenity.

  5. I don’t think it’s necessary for them to have it all mapped out now, is it?
    Are we phased by a politician being honest and faltering, not being afraid to show that they’re not quite sure yet, rather than the usual false assertions, fabricated statistics to hand, and later broken promises?

  6. Interestingly, we had a canvasser who called at the house on behalf of the Conservatives over the weekend. The canvasser left a poll slip asking who we would vote for and the options included the three mains plus UKIP but only an option for other. Now this struck me as strange given David Cameron opted out of the TV vote until the Greens were included. I wish I was making this up but it is perhaps indicative of all the double-talk in politics these days.

  7. I sympathise with her, but nevertheless it has raised some doubts in my mind as to whether the party is a credible option yet. I hope they are as they would be my first choice. I also find it interesting (but understandable given that this was the party leader) that this has seen far more publicity than the recent UKIP MP’s faux pas regarding renewable energy which I personally found much more entertaining and embarrassing!

  8. They’ll still get my vote. And later when we have no libraries, no healthcare, no badgers, no raptors, no safe SSSI’s but a guaranteed Trident I’ll feel a whole lot better!

  9. Sympathy for her but she has a permanent loss of thought on the major issues we all have to consider when voting.

  10. We amateur political analysts and wildlife (ourselves included) sympathisers are rather introspective regarding Natalie’s bad day, aren’t we.

    I don’t like the old adage that there’s no such thing as bad publicity and prefer that Mark responded by linking to the Green Party policy summary.

    It’s easy to attack Ms Bennett and the party for its unconventional, self-labelled as radical, policies and her moments of brain freeze, particularly when other mainstream parties invest heavily in carefully managing the media coverage of themselves.

    Unelectable, no, but the odds are stacked against the Green Party, not least because the electorate was scared into retaining a bad system (FPTP) and conditioned to accept that only a small proportion of Commons seats tend to change hands at a GE. So in this media managed context let us focus on its set of honestly costed and coherent policies that may defy convention, and hope or work hard to see the Green Party to excel on May 7th!

    1. Well, it will be even harder for the Greens to make ground when blogs such as this openly support the failed Labour Party.

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