Tag Archives: Leaders’ Debate

Leaders’ Debate: An airhead’s view

I felt rather forced into watching the election debate last night by my other half, who accused me of not paying enough attention to the biggest decision this country has faced in a long time. Actually, I know all about making decisions. I am in the middle of making one right now. It’s getting warmer and it’s time to decide… will it be Gladiator sandals, flip flops or ballet pumps this summer? Anyway, I decided to show him I could take an interest in the Live Debate and besides, I love anything with Ant and Dec hosting.

After I had recovered from the initial disappointment that Ant and Dec weren’t  hosting and that the audience weren’t allowed to boo anything they didn’t like, I started to listen to what these three men were saying. My husband asked if I even knew the names of the party leaders, which of course I do.  David Cameron reminds me of my slimy Geography teacher; Nick Clegg looks like the dishy bloke who sold me my Renault Clio… crook… (car man not Nick Clegg); Gordon Brown looks like Crazy Bob from the pub who sings karaoke in his slippers. So now I have proved I know who they are, I feel I can comment on their policies and give my opinion on them.

To show I take an interest, I had a read of the campaign posters in the city on my way to Primark (jeggings £3). I must say though, I don’t think those with a picture of Gordon Brown’s face and the words “I took millions of pounds from pensioners last year, let me do it again” is a very good slogan for someone wanting to be Prime Minister again. Then after seeing the news from Rochdale on Wednesday, I realised he really does have it in for pensioners doesn’t he?

Last week there were discussions about Foreign Policies. Well I think we should deal with our own policies before we start bothering about theirs. So what did tonight’s debate have in store?

Tax Credits were mentioned, but no one seemed to admit if they were going to cut them, keep them or abolish them. I think the question that should be asked about tax credits is how do you fill in the huge and very complicated form correctly, so that in a month’s time they don’t ask for the money back, because (like me) you filled it in wrong and told them you had 13 children?

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Leaders’ Debate 2: the difficult second album

Would Cleggmania continue to ride rampant over what he would persistently call the “old parties”, or would his bubble burst as the electorate woke up from a seven-day bender wondering what the hell they ever saw in him?  In practice, neither.  This was closer to being the difficult second album which can’t have the wow factor of the first but certainly isn’t a flop.

Overall this was therefore more of a score-draw – with Clegg unable to sustain the hysteria of Leaders 1, Cameron getting more to grips with the format, and Gordon Brown hanging on in there. And that in itself is a mark of how much seismic change these debates have delivered for UK politics.

The fact that we can see it as a pretty normal outcome to have all the parties sitting on around 30%+ is remarkable.  If this sustains through to 6 May this will be something that has seriously not happened in our lifetimes (assuming you don’t count the weird Labour suicide-note politics of 1983).  You see even I am getting carried away.

Clegg being stationed in the middle this time round often got squeezed and picked on, and from time to time got sucked in to the old adversarial politics (or politics as you and I would call it) which he successfully derided last time.  It’s hard to be an outsider when you’re front and centre. 

Cameron by contrast benefited from being able to stand off to one side and distance himself, seeking to peg the other two together.  Indeed they all tried this, with Gordon’s slightly naff pre-prep line of “you’re like my two boys squabbling at bathtime”.  While that neatly re-cast the youth of both opponents as inexperience, it conjured up a pretty weird image of a large paternalistic Gordon looming over a naked Nick and Dave in the bath.  At least it did for me. Continue reading

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