Week 38: Hero – Michael Crick

by Charlie_East_West on September 22, 2013

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This week’s hero of the week award goes to Channel 4 Political Correspondent Michael Crick, for irritating UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom to such an extent that he ended up being hit over the head with a UKIP conference programme by Bloom – and ensuing the perfect storm for the worst ever day in the history of UKIP.

Imagine the following scenario. It is a hot sultry evening. You have just turned the lights out and gone to sleep. As you begin to drift off, you suddenly hear a buzzing noise above your head. You decide to ignore it. The noise gets louder and louder, and closer and closer. Eventually, something lands on your face. It is a wasp. You half-heartedly swot it away. As you try and get back to sleep, the buzzing noise returns, and you start randomly swotting the air. The noise suddenly stops, and you once again snuggle into your warm duvet. A minute later, the buzzing returns and the wasp lands on your face again. You once again try and swot the wasp, but it flies off. Your blood pressure begins to rise. You turn on the light and stumble across your bedroom to find a book to crush the wasp. You then begin to aimlessly hunt around the room for the wasp. You eventually give up the hunt, turn out the lights and try to go to sleep. As you lie down on the bed you are stung on the arse by the wasp. By this stage, you are apoplectic with rage. A good night’s sleep ruined.

For a politician, Michael Crick is that wasp. Over the years – on both Newsnight and more recently, Channel 4 news, Crick has an uncanny ability to seriously bloody irritate politicians through his relentless and iconoclastic style of inquisition. He pops up out of nowhere to ask a surprise question – often repeatedly, and often in unguarded circumstances – either in a crowded room, walking down a street or immediately after a difficult press conference.

On Friday afternoon, Godfrey Bloom became Crick’s next sting. Before Crick got to him, Godfrey Bloom was already in a bit of a pickle. He had proceeded to create a life imitating art scene from The Thick of It by addressing a UKIP women fringe meeting by declaring “this place is full of sluts”, and then, when picked up on the comment by a journalist, told him “you’re a sad little man”. Michael Crick then arrived to ask Bloom why there were only white faces on this year’s conference programme. Bloom exploded. He accused Crick of being “a racist” and when Michael Crick continued to interrogate Bloom in a chase down the street, Bloom completely lost it and hit Crick over the head with the conference programme. Meltdown for Bloom. Meltdown for UKIP. Victory for Crick.

Nigel Farage had a face like thunder. Bloom’s actions and Crick’s subsequent provocation occurred during the UKIP party conference. It completely destroyed both the conference and any remaining credibility of UKIP’s recent attempts to move away from the perception of being “swivel eyed loons.”

The journalist Nick Cohen, in appraising Newsnight and BBC practices shortly after the departure of Crick and other journalists, once wrote that “Crick adheres instead to the honourable belief that the job of the reporter is to create as much trouble as possible. He lives by his creed by bringing in scoop after scoop.”

Michael Crick deserves this week’s hero award – for making Bloom look like the buffoon that he is, for undermining UKIP, and for repeatedly getting under the skin of our politicians.

For anyone who has not yet seen Michael Crick’s sting on Mr Bloom – here it is in all of its ugly glory. Even Armando Iannucci couldn’t have dreamt this one up.

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