Ley: Are you worried that this collection of economic statistics we've seen today, including obviously the rising unemployment figures, will further destabilise the prime minister's leadership ?
Plaskitt: I'm not commenting on that issue as I made clear at the outset. It's not about that.
Ley: But you're -
Press officer: We're only talking about today's employment figures.
Ley: Sure, but you're a minister, you're a member of his government.
Plaskitt: Well, the answer's no.
Ley: You don't think it will?
Absolutely incredible that a government press officer would cut into an interview this way. All credit to the BBC for broadcasting it, and that is interesting in itself. Shaun Ley offers up an explanation of what went on in his blog, but does anyone think that the Labour-supporting BBC of old would have hesitated in cutting out the press officer's intervention? It wasn't live so they could have done so easily. These are the people who didn't broadcast Neil Kinnock making a fool of himself before the 1992 election for no reason that has ever been adequately explained and the people who ran biased media against the Conservatives for decades. Could it be that the realisation that Labour may not be in power for much longer has emboldened them? Could it be that emerging debate on the future of the BBC has made them realise that systematic political bias is not a long-term survival strategy? In that at least I think that the damage has already been done.