Boring, snoring questions

If you hadn’t already seen it in the newspapers, could you guess who might have written the following note and what they might be referring to?

“Tnks . . . except for boring snoring rachel reeves … playout was fun tho wasn’t it? telly MUCH netter than snooooozepapers innit?”

A semi-literate 15-year old perhaps, texting a bitchy comment about a teacher to his mate at the back of the class?

It’s hard to imagine that this is how the editor of BBC 2’s flagship news magazine programme talks about a senior politician.

But of course, Newsnight’s Ian Katz wasn’t talking, he was tweeting – and not, as he intended, to his friend but to his 26,000 Twitter followers.

For all those stick-in-the-muds who think Twitter was invented for the mentally deranged this news item will no doubt confirm their worst fears.

The “boring snoring Rachel” he was slagging off was the clever economist and MP Rachel Reeves, who is shadow chief secretary to the Treasury.

I’m not sure how you make Treasury ministers and their Labour shadows sound interesting, but it’s up to the editor to put them in the right context and it’s up to the interviewer, in this case the ever-acerbic Mr Paxman, to ask questions that provoke revealing answers.

The filmed package from the TUC conference in Bournemouth preceding the boring snoring bit was excellent. The studio questions to Rachel Reeves that followed were dull, although she answered them competently.

If Mr Katz thought the item was boring, it might have something to do with the fact that Jeremy Paxman has been presenting Newsnight for nearly 24 years. How long can he carry on his nightly grilling of politicians without it looking like a tired old ritual?

He’s not super-human and if he had been a female presenter the BBC would have eased him out long ago.

GARETH WEEKES, Deep South Media Ltd.