07.10, 1300 – Jonathan Hill (2nd Hearing)

This is the second hearing for Jonathan Hill. The first hearing review can be found here.
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Political Flair 9 / 10
Credibility 7 / 10
Energy 9 / 10
Warmth 9 / 10
Ability to connect with people outside Brussels 7 / 10
Likelihood of being approved by the EP 7 / 10
Overall rating 8,5 / 10

It needed to be straight down to business today for Jonathan Hill who didn’t need to prove that he’s a jolly nice chap nor that he *hearts* the EU. He just needed to prove that he knows the detail of the job ahead of him.

A smiling but clearly nervous Hill got a joke in within the first 10 seconds. And even though it could open him up to more accusations re his charm (an apparent crime amongst MEPs), it actually broke the palpable tension in the room and even watching the livestream, you could feel some of the stress flowing away.

Settling into the show, instead of listing what he wanted to do for the next five years, Hill told a story about the EU in 2019. It’s all going to be rosy apparently, but it was a good way to avoid a boring tick-box approach. Hill mentioned trust a couple of times (if you say it enough….) and then pulled a bit of a masterstroke by going into detail about SMEs taking on the big guys, leaving us in no doubt as to which side he is on.

During the questions, Hill got to show off his knowledge. And he dropped enough acronyms (SDG, CMU etc etc) to show that he now knows his stuff. Completely baffling to most people of course, but today was the day for playing to the MEPs.

After a vaguely plausible answer to the first six-million dollar question on his previous lobbying clients, Hill took the gloves off to Sven Giegold’s follow up question. Any implication that he is in the pocket of anyone Is. Not. True. he said, glaring at Giegold while making sure we all know they have already had several conversations on the subject. And while I’m not sure that calling a valid question is a “red herring” is wise, the steely side that Hill showed in shutting it down can do him some good.

A solid show. More tough roast beef than plum pudding. More Gary Oldman than Hugh Grant. Let’s see if MEPs go for it

Photo: CC License from flickr – original source here.

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