The fight between Owen Jones and Andrew Neil was compelling viewing – but did it change minds?

The fight between Owen Jones and Andrew Neil was compelling viewing – but did it change minds?

It was Left versus Right, young versus old, Guardian versus Spectator. It was Owen Jones versus Andrew Neil on the BBC’s This Week programme last night, tearing strips off each other and coming as close to blows as it’s ever possible on live TV.

For sure it made compelling viewing, and was certainly worth staying up for. But I ask you this – by making it into a heated battle, or allowing it to become a heated battle, as Jones did, did he convince anyone with his message?

I suggest that the only people he convinced were those who already agreed with his brand of politics. The rest, while gripped, wouldn’t have budged one little bit – and that suited Neil, as the host of the programme, far more than it suited Jones.

It’s a lesson that those on the far Left and, for that matter, far Right, never seem to learn: if you want to convince your opponents to change their minds, or consider the worthiness of your case, making it into a boxing match just doesn’t work.

Article date

January 11th, 2019

Robert Taylor

Media Trainer

@RT_MediaTrainer

My main passion is media training, and I’m proud to be one of the UK’s most experienced and successful trainers in this field.

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