Is this the worst radio interview ever?

arrows2The BBC’s “flagship” Radio 4 Today programme is normally the bastion of intelligent discussion and debate (and racing tips).

But this morning at 6.25am, there was possibly the softest radio interview ever with a representative of the asphalt industry alliance on the need for more money to re-surface the nation’s roads following the recent wet weather.

For those who missed it (or can’t be bothered to listen again), here are those hard hitting questions in full:

  • I guess it won’t come as a surprise to many people that a representative from the Asphalt Industry Alliance will be telling us we need to fix our roads?
  • OK, so why is the problem getting worse?
  • I guess the weather hasn’t helped?
  • How do pot holes form?
  • Is technology in road building developing in such a way that we wouldn’t have to resurface new roads in the way we have to old roads?
  • Just very briefly, is there a bit of cost benefit analysis available to… [question waffles on for 15 seconds, but essentially asks the Alliance to say why the government should invest in the roads]?

Now, I know next to nothing about asphalt, but here’s some questions which the Today programme COULD have asked:

  • Isn’t it in the industry’s interests to make sub standard products that cause pot holes?
  • You work with government to repair the roads, who is accountable for ensuring we get the roads we need?
  • Given rain is not uncommon in this country – and there were no freezing temperatures this winter – why are the roads still breaking up?
  • Can you predict when more reliable road technology will be available so we don’t have to resurface roads so often?
  • How rigorous is councils’ system of procuring contractors? How many contracts end up with the big firms?
  • Just very briefly, how much profit do your members make on fixing each pot hole?

And these are just some of the questions, I hope, the spokesperson would have been expecting to answer given he was going on the Today programme.

Or maybe not anymore.

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Simon's an experienced campaigner and communications consultant with a passion for using marketing to make the world a better place. He has a track record leading multi-discipline campaigns, media relations, social media, stakeholder relations and public affairs activity. Simon's charitable, NGO and public sector client experience includes Anchor Care Trust and National Apprenticeship Service as well as delivering social media training sessions for organisations including Gas Safe Register and Scottish Government. A supporter of the underdog, Simon refuses to waver in his support of Coventry City.

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