Tim Blair


New Criterion



Monday, June 16, 2003
WHAT A PLEASURE TO HEAR Norman Swan's peformance as stand-in presenter of this morning's Radio National Breakfast programme.

Intelligent and business-like, and how often can you say that of an Auntie presenter.

True, for a presenter intelligence is often diagnosed from the absence of stupid utterances. Uncle learned years ago to disguise his ignorance in silence or anonymity, but the average communard is too arrogant to recognise he or she needs the assistance.

And from the absence of such meretricious tricks as pretending you've just thought of the question your minders have scripted for you. And then getting it wrong.

Business-like is easier to do, provided management values it. And Auntie doesn't.

Now, if Auntie could just teach Norman to speak English.

But have you ever heard a native-born Scot who could do that?