Media tart

I forgot to mention (being the modest sort that I am) that I had to go via the BBC studios in Hull on Monday, on my way to the station, in order to record an interview for the BBC World at One on the constitutional situation in relation to Scotland.   (The other week, I had to record a TV interview stood outside Hull station – on my debate for a Royal Commission on drug policy – with only minutes to spare before I caught my train.)  Over the weekend, I had to pop over to Sheffield to do a live interview (as well as record one) for Sky News on the result of the referendum.  I also did a live interview for  BBC Radio Wales on Sunday.   Readers of The Sunday Times will have noticed I was quoted on plans to change the position of the Lords Spiritual.  My media appearances tend to have something in common with London buses: nothing for ages and then several come along at the same time. 

For the avoidance of doubt, I should add that I don’t accept every media request for an interview that comes along.  If it is outside my field, or something that clashes with existing engagements, I turn it down.  There are media tarts and media tarts.  I am one of the more refined variety.


About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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9 Responses to Media tart

  1. franksummers3ba says:

    Lord Norton,

    Is it true that the new edition of the OED has added the word “apeerance” for which the primary definition is: “The political interviews on broadcast media done by a member of the House of Lords resembling those events undertaken by Philip Norton Baron of Louth”? Or is that just an unfounded rumour?

  2. Chris K says:

    Lord Norton, could you give us a flavour of what you said about Lords Spiritual in the House of Lords?

    • Lord Norton says:

      Chris K: I was commenting on the practical difficulties of bringing in representatives of other faiths. The problem is not one of principle but rather the practical one of how you make the choice. The advantage of the Anglican Church is that it has an hierarchical structure. One can thus identify the senior members. Few other religions have a similar hierarchy. The Roman Catholic Church does, but its priests are precluded from serving by their own church. (It looked as if Cormack Murphy O’Connor would be elevated, but that seems to have come to nothing.) How, then, does one choose who will represent the religions? What do you do about the Quakers, who have no hierarchy at all? Do you have something from Liberal or Orthodox Jewry, or both?

      In practice, members of various religions are already in the House but formalising any representation creates problems. That was the basic point I made.

  3. ladytizzy says:

    Over the weekend, I had to pop over to Sheffield to do a live interview (as well as record one) for Sky News on the result of the referendum.”

    A sentence perfectly representing a media tart if ever there was: had to? to Sheffield? at the weekend? more than 24 hours after the result? for Sky News?

  4. macarthursmutterings says:

    I’d been keen to see the article in the Sunday Times on plans to change the position of the Lords Spiritual, do you have a copy of the text? I would question whether we need Lords Spiritual at all in a modern House of Lords, as you say in practice, members of various religions are already in the House so let’s not go down the road of formalising any further representation and get rid of the Bishops at the same time….

    • Lord Norton says:

      macarthurmutterings: Because The Times and The Sunday Times have a paywall, it is not possible to do a link. To add to your undoubted frustration, I was also quoted in last week’s Sunday Times as well, this time on the cost of an elected chamber. I also did an hour-long programme on the Government’s proposals for the Lords, on Radio Wales, on Tuesday, but I have reason to believe that may also be beyond your listening reach.

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