Letter of the week

Hovering overhead

Sky News have been making the most of the lengthy post-election negotiations, and they even have (or had) a helicopter flying around London to try to make it all more exciting. On Monday when Gordon Brown was making his first resignation speech of the week you could clearly hear it overhead. It was a curious speech, presented in such a low-key way that you might almost have missed what he was saying. You could imagine the headmaster saying "Speak up, boy, and apologize properly", but Brown couldn't quite bring himself to say that he was resigning.

Predictably, the right-wing newspapers were not happy. They had wanted Brown out, but became even more angry when he confirmed that he would be leaving. Their real fear, of course, was that it increased the chance of a Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition. For a few hours this terrifying prospect did seem to be a real possibility, but thankfully the moment soon passed, and last night Gordon Brown really resigned and David Cameron finally became PM.

The Liberal Democrats seem to have got a lot of what they wanted, including the promise of a referendum on the Alternative Vote system and various concessions on policy, but is this really an election that anyone would want to win?  You might think not, but 13 years out of power for the Conservatives (and considerably longer for the Liberals) obviously bring a different perspective.

The difficulty for Sky News is that a “rolling news” channel wants things to be happening all the time - and in public. And when the most exciting thing the Sky helicopter can find is Sky's own reporters interviewing other journalists outside the Houses of Parliament there’s clearly a bit of a problem - though there has been other excitement on the channel.


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