(Thanks for @spignal for pointing out the film)

Extraordinary ‘debate’ on Newsnight last night between Amadeu Altafaj Tardio (Ollie Rehn’s spokesperson) and Peter Oborne. Oborne repeatedly calls Altafaj Tardio ‘the idiot in Brussels’, a phrase that Paxman also uses, and Oborne is equally vile towards Richard Lambert, giving him a copy of Guilty Men.

I don’t know whether I am more annoyed by Altafaj Tardio who was just rubbish (but hell, he’s employed by Rehn, so are we remotely surprised?), Peter Oborne who was vile and offensive, Jeremy Paxman who let Oborne rant on and on, or Newsnight for having invited Oborne and Altafaj Tardio onto the programme in the first place. Oborne’s vitriol might have a place in the Daily Mail but it surely has no place on Newsnight.

[UPDATE 29.09.2011, 1500]
Bagehot Blog of The Economist has more on the story, laying the blame firmly with Paxman and the BBC. Turns out that Guilty Men is actually a new pamphlet by Oborne, taking the title of the 1940s book I (erroneously) linked to. More on Oborne’s thing behind a paywall here. Lastly, as if the BBC hasn’t had enough of Oborne, they are putting him on BBC Question Time tonight. Sigh.


  1. Tardio to Corriere Della Sera

    Well, what comes to Tardio’s statements about other cultures (probably in Feb 2012, about sauna habits to Corriere Della Sera), he really seems to be “the idiot in Brussels”. Not so serious but anyway a fool man’s words…

  2. Hmm, given that you have noted that the title of Oborne’s paper for the CPS is ‘The Guilty Men’, then I would suggest that the titling is apposite.

    You might not like the politics of it, but I would think to describe it as vile is a tad over the top.

  3. @ Daniel,

    “Is such a product placement legal on a public broadcaster?”

    Do you want him arrested?

    “He really made British Euroscepticism at it worst in the spotlight.”

    If you think Oborne’s bad, you should visit my site!

  4. Daniel Antal

    Isn’t Oborne doing this as a book promoter? Is such a product placement legal on a public broadcaster?

    Altafaj Tardio is paid do defend the common policy, I think it is really questionable if he did a good job on that, but I would not rule it out. He really made British Euroscepticism at it worst in the spotlight.

  5. Robinson

    Should we listen to Oborne, who was right about the EU and the Euro, or should we listen to Tardio, who did nothing but dissemble and lie his way through the interview?

    I’m sure 75% of the British viewers were calling Tardio an idiot too.

  6. Reino Mustonen

    Actually i am sorry… because i am from Finland and mr Olli Rehn is also from Finland. Mr Rehn is good for running village bank but NOT big wheels like economy in European Union.
    Anyhow, those places in EU are filled with political choices and we are now harvesting what we did plant. Best for job is second, suitable is first. What worries me is that those leaders are really thinking they are good at economy. And we know how it really is.

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