The Non-Ents Are Going To War
One in eight British men believe they could score a point against Serena Williams. Andrew Neil interviewed two of them last night.
The fact that a not-insignificant percentage of men massively overrate their abilities — particularly in comparison to women — is depressing, but not particularly surprising. Actual science tells us that men are far more likely to apply for jobs that they aren’t quite qualified for than women.
Sometimes that’s because we interpret our abilities more generously than the opposite sex. Sometimes it’s because we’re convinced that we can fake it until we make it. In the BBC’s interviews with Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson last night, both of those tendencies were brutally and horrifically on show.
When he’s on form Andrew Neil is a brilliant interviewer, even though — or perhaps because — he doesn’t prefix every statement with the words ‘As a Jeremy Corbyn supporter…’ Something that some very vocal and definitely-not-antisemitic parts of Twitter seem to feel should be mandatory at the BBC. Neil’s own views on Brexit are diametrically opposed to my own, but he’s a brilliant interviewer who doesn’t suffer fools lightly, regardless of whether their beliefs align with his own. Last night he was clearly prepped and ready to deal with the two heavy-weight fools coming his way.
Neil’s barrage of questions about Jeremy Hunt’s knowledge and experience was the kind of job interview that we all have nightmares about. At one point Hunt mentioned that he had been an entrepreneur (something you may not have been aware of). This was a bit of a mistake. Over the course of about ten minutes, Neil ripped apart the business career of a man whose primary claim to success is that he once managed to update a website in Wordpress. Briefly. Before going bust. Presumably, because he forgot to re-register the domain.
Hunt was then forced to try and answer a swirling tide of questions about his damascene conversion to no-deal Brexit. Looking like a Year 10 student who’d just been caught writing on the wall in the toilets, this was one of those areas where truth would likely have been Hunt’s only defence: I did it because the sixth-formers said I had to. Instead, he tried to style it out. It…