Preparation is the key to appearing in front of a Select Committee. It does though have to be appreciated that the best advice in the world is not always listened to.

Questions can be anticipated, responses crafted and the motivations of the committee members considered. All this feeds into putting the witnesses through their paces so that are fully prepared for what can be a grueling experience.

The pressure can do strange things to people but in this case the responses from the witnesses followed a similar pattern to previous media interviews. In other words, the approach to the Committee was the same as it had been to the media and to the lines of questioning put to them before.

This is strange to say the least and, from the media coverage, has been unsuccessful. The audience(s) and the context should have been built into the approach.

Maybe they were but maybe the witnesses just don't take the advice on board.