‘Do you ever think you’re incompetent?’

This may be one of the most agonising TV interviews Dr Mumbo has ever witnessed.

It features British government minister Chloe Smith being put to the knife by veteran BBC interviewer Jeremy Paxman.

It’s an encounter best watched with fingers in front of your face…

(Begins at 6m, 17s)


  1. blc1981
    28 Jun 12
    2:26 pm

  2. Absolute gold.

  3. Marjorie Solomon
    28 Jun 12
    2:50 pm

  4. How awful! Another scalp for Jeremy Paxman. I remember his most famous one with Michael Howard in 1997: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uwlsd8RAoqI . Question is: who is more to blame, the minister or her media adviser? Howard survived the experience (and eventually went on to become leader of the Conservative Party) but will Smith make it through the next cabinet reshuffle after this disaster?

  5. Fridley
    28 Jun 12
    2:56 pm

  6. Bwahahaha….. Such an awesome interview. Wish Tony Jones was more like this… :-)

  7. Chris
    28 Jun 12
    4:41 pm

  8. Jeremy Paxman is famous for these types of interviews.

    I remember one where he asked the same question to a minister or advisor 9 times in a minute because she was simply not answering it.

    We need more of these types of interviewers here to be honest.

  9. bob is a rabbit
    29 Jun 12
    10:09 am

  10. I think Chloe held her own quite well – given the passive aggressive to out-right rude statements/questions thrown at her. I’d think Jeremy would be quietly impressed she didn’t crumble.

  11. Offal Spokesperson
    29 Jun 12
    2:12 pm

  12. Actually thought she did reasonably well considering she seems to have been hung out to dry by party leaders.

    Paxman swings between hard, intellectual, quality interviewer…and complete c0ck.

  13. Paul Williams
    29 Jun 12
    2:16 pm

  14. I think this should be compulsory watching for every young Lib or Labor aspirant chaffing to be a Minister… a little life’s experience and/or gravitas might’ve helped Smith but she was sent on as a sacrifice.

  15. Dai
    29 Jun 12
    2:23 pm

  16. Don’t you wish we had this calibre of reporting here in australia?

  17. Sam
    29 Jun 12
    2:41 pm

  18. Astounding that she didn’t tell him to piss off a few times there – are British MPs not allowed to do this?

  19. AdGrunt
    29 Jun 12
    2:44 pm

  20. Lesson to be learnt – be better prepared for the inevitable awkward question.
    Paxo later revealed he drilled Howard as he heard via his talkback that the next segment wasn’t ready, so he had to pad the interview. It then became a trademark to accentuate his interviewees slippery answers.
    If as a politician, you’re going to smirm, spin and evade, then you should expect to be nailed to the wall for it. Wish there was more here in Oz.

  21. di
    29 Jun 12
    3:03 pm

  22. Great interview – politican media training needs a revamp!

    I always find this material highly amusing for professional reasons. I’m a kinesics expert (body language) and the fact she reached for water (a distraction) that many times you know she’s guilty and/or dishonest. Liars always come down with cold/flu symptoms or the urge to pee instantaneously. People who argue the truth will do so passionately and not think about water or a dry mouth for one second (until their point is made). People who are making an honest point are not happy about changing the subject until they’ve made the point, yet she was so relieved each time he moved onto something different (despite it making her look worse each time).

  23. Damo
    29 Jun 12
    3:09 pm

  24. This appears as though it’s hard hitting interviewing/journalism, but the reality is his questions aren’t really probing or even interesting.
    What did we learn from it? Nothing. That a minister following their party’s lines slightly contradicts what they had said previously? The questions don’t seem to have required much research beyond Google.
    Is being a pompous jerk really the best we expect from journalists these days?

  25. bob is a rabbit
    29 Jun 12
    3:11 pm

  26. @AdGrunt – couldn’t agree more. My point being she did all three (squirm, evade, spin) quite well, all things considered.

  27. CB
    29 Jun 12
    7:18 pm

  28. “Real money in real peoples pockets”…where have I heard that before?

  29. Trent
    29 Jun 12
    9:23 pm

  30. Awesome, well deserved treatment by the sound of it. How much of a field day with he have with our rag-tag bunch!

  31. Laz
    29 Jun 12
    11:52 pm

  32. Haha, Wait till Malcolm Tucker gets hold of her!!!!

  33. Liam
    30 Jun 12
    12:05 am

  34. Shades of The Thick of It…


  35. archie
    3 Jul 12
    1:19 pm

  36. she should have just said it’s an irrelevant question Jeremy because such things never pop out of the blue…if as a minister the first time you hear of a decision is the day on which it’s formally communicated you’re not plugged into what’s going on