This morning, on the offchance of Kay Burley having something worthwhile to ask about Covid 19, I listened intently to her interview with Minister of state for Social Care, Helen Whately. Here is a person of impeccable background; her father was a surgeon and her mother is a physician; educated at a private Catholic school for girls, she entered the sixth form at the independent Westminster School in London; thereafter, she went to Lady Margaret Hall at Oxford and became a member of the Oxford debating Society. So it goes on: a star in the making, intent on ‘getting things done in healthcare as a whole’.
Even with an early career at PriceWaterhouse Coopers as a trainee Management Consultancy and thereafter as a manager at Mckinsey’s in their Healthcare Division, something is lacking in her personality. She entered politics in 2015, has been savaged in various key interviews and has clearly been tutored in the art of answering questions.
On the other hand, Kay Burley was brought up in Wigan and has had a lifetime in the media. She was recruited by, so Wiki reports, heaven forbid, Andrew Neill, who will shortly be heading new channel GB News. With luck, she’ll be joining him, which means to me I can ignore the pair of them at one go.
Controversies? She’s full of them, as listed on Wiki. Like,
It started in 2001, with her claiming that there’d been a terrorist attack that had decimated the USA’s entire eastern seaboard. She was referring to the September 11 attacks in Manhattan.
The list is endless, such as when, in 2018, she commented on the use of the Burka to hide facial recognition by comparing it to the lack of facial expressions by Simon Weston, the war hero whose face had been disfigured in the Falklands War.
Bearing her repeated gaffes in mind, when interviewing Whately this morning, she insisted on getting an answer about students being forbidden to return home for Xmas, to be with their families.
This is where I began to get frustrated. Why on earth didn’t Whately respond by personalising her response? She could have thrown the question back at the inept Burley by asking what if the student concerned has Covid 19, and the rest of the household will assemble with mixed age groups? What then? Do you risk killing the older generations?
No doubt, Burley will retort, ‘I’m only asking on behalf of my viewers!’ to which Whately could smack her down by replying, ‘No you’re not! You could have said it yourself, instead of asking me, if you’d thought of it!’
Really, the pair of them are well-matched in gormlessness.
Three hours per selected weekday of Burley is more than I can stand. How much of this elected minister are we going to have to endure, when she clearly cannot think incisively? In political terms, no matter the pedigree, one cannot make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.