Thursday, 4 December 2008

Doorstepping Adam Boulton and Buffhoon at sea

It was the North East Economic Forum Dinner in Gosforth Park. It was an interesting evening notable for the number of key businessmen and women from the region all in the same place. It was also a good opportunity to meet the Federation of Small Business and key Chamber of Commerce representatives. Geoff Hoon gave the keynote speech. I know I’m partisan, but it seemed he didn’t answer a single question with a straight answer – ie with a simple yes or no – and I felt this style of evasion upset the room. He was all at sea on the quaestion about the A1. Hoon is known as Buffhoon by Private Eye which is harsh but fair. They say Transport is a brief held by either those on the up or those on the gradual slide down - it is sadly clear the way he is heading.
Wendy Morton (prospective parliamentary candidate for Tynemouth) and I approached Adam Boulton, political editor of Sky News, over dinner and persuaded him to return and cover the general election in the North East. There are a number of great local stories here – and the political scene is changing dramatically. I believe Wendy is brilliant and will win in Tynemouth, where Labour’s Alan Campbell is clearly toast.
The technique of approaching someone who does not necessarily want to talk to you is called "doorstepping" - after the way in which journalists have to literally stand outside the unfortunate's home to get a quote. I am not sure Adam Boulton was expecting us when he was trying to eat his dinner but he needed to know and agreed to return with good grace!