Does Ed Miliband pass the Turing test?

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In a brief interview about strikes by public sector unions Labour Party leader Ed Miliband answers each question using different permutations of the same set of talking points:

I've had more intelligent conversations with a See-n-Say.

Damon Green of ITV News was the pool reporter. Green posted a lengthy account of his attempted interview with Miliband and considers how this sort of behavior by a politician harms representative government:

If news reporters and cameras are only there to be used by politicians as recording devices for their scripted soundbites, at best that is a professional discourtesy. At worst, if we are not allowed to explore and examine a politician's views, then politicians cease to be accountable in the most obvious way. So the fact that the unedited interview has found its way onto YouTube in all its absurdity, to be laughed at along with all the clips of cats falling off sofas, is perfectly proper.

Charlie Brooker, in the Grauniad, notes two other recent examples of this type of political interview, explains why this happens, and offers a hopeful solution:

The reason for the Speak-and-Spell tactic is obvious: in all three cases (Miliband, Osborne, Darling) the PR handler responsible must have figured that since the interview would be whittled down to one 10-second soundbite for that evening's news bulletins, and since they didn't want to risk their man saying anything ill-advised or vaguely interesting, they might as well merely ignore all the questions and impersonate an iPod with just one track on it....

Clearly an intervention is necessary. Next time you pass an MP being interviewed on the street, set off a party popper. Jump in and shriek. Get your bum out. Anything. Just to prompt some kind of authentic human reaction from either side.

And if you don't get an authentic human reaction, you might get something more spectacular:

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on July 6, 2011 1:04 AM.

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