An English Debate

Helen Mary – wonderful quote “of their 76 rules I didn’t realise that one of those was not to mention Wales”
Nicola was pretty bored.
For what it’s worth I think that’s a fairly critical 5 percentage points to Clegg.
The Independent agrees…
Oh, and blah blah blah…

  • Manfarang

    Old cast iron Dave looking a bit rusty.

  • Didint mention Wales.

    I thought the Plaid leader sounded really silly saying this straight after the debate.

  • Hold on: run that one past me again. Someone is surprised it was a programme aimed at the 40M of England? Rather than the 20M of the rest of the UK? Well, as the boy from East Cheam would say, stone me!

    For a very different, transAtlantic point of view, try Paul Begara (Bill Clinton’s real-life Toby Ziegler). The essentials for lazy toads:

    By exceeding expectations, Brown pulled off an upset.

    Brown’s dour and dark visage actually cracked from time to time, allowing a wry smile to break through. He launched some stinging zingers at Cameron, and while they were clearly canned, he delivered them with an energy bordering on glee. Brown’s risk was that he appear as a stiff, stern, scowling scold; while there was some of that at the start, he genuinely seemed to be animated and downright human as the fight was joined. He actually looked like he was having fun–and for a man whose idea of a good time is pouring over economic data, that’s impressive…

    Cameron, who was supposed to be Britain’s Barack Obama (and indeed is reportedly advised by President Obama’s former communications director, the estimable Anita Dunn) did not live up to his billing. Yes, like our president he is glib and handsome, but where Obama’s policy expertise is as deep and wide, Cameron relied effectively on anecdotes…

    Cameron’s risk was that he is seen as a rich phony. By debate’s end he still had not fully laid to rest the sense that he’s an empty suit–a $5,000 Huntsman Savile Row suit, to be sure, but an empty suit nonetheless.

    Cameron needs to counterpunch more effectively. Brown hit him again and again with shots like when he “thanked” Lord Ashcroft (the Tory zillionaire tax-dodger) for paying for anti-Brown posters that at least showed Brown smiling. Cameron flinched. Brown liked the smell of blood. “You can’t airbrush your policies like you airbrush your posters,” he said to Cameron, hitting the pretty boy where it hurts. Cameron had no comeback.

    … an energetic and opportunistic third-party candidate can usually steal the show. In that respect Nick Clegg tried, but didn’t do so consistently. He debated well, and scored when he interrupted a Brown-Cameron spat over immigration, saying, “This is part of what’s been going wrong for so long.” And during another fight over crime, he pointed at Brown and Cameron and said, “The more they attack each other, the more they sound exactly the same.” He should have had a line like that every time Brown and Cameron locked horns. He missed some opportunities, but he had a very strong debate. I wonder if he didn’t sense that he would benefit from Cameron’s less than stellar performance, so he picked his fights more carefully.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Malcolm, without looking up Paul Begara just yet, that is does not seem like an unbias report to me, ie. this guy has to be on the Labour payroll or at least “advising”.

  • Drumlins Rock @ 09:26 AM:

    Bias is in the eye and ear of the beholder.

    I am being hammered on who “won” by such unbiased sources as the Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mail, Murdoch’s Times and Sun, Ashcroft’s PoliticsHome. I merely felt such well-springs of cool, impeccable impartiality should be salted with a smidgeon of bias.

    And, yeah, for the record, Begara is an academic, media-friendly, semi-Irish American “hysterical liberal”. He even characterised that sanctified statesman, George W Bush, as a “high-functioning moron”. Obviously totally unreliable on all counts.

  • Dewi

    “Hold on: run that one past me again. Someone is surprised it was a programme aimed at the 40M of England? Rather than the 20M of the rest of the UK? Well, as the boy from East Cheam would say, stone me!”

    Not at all surprised – the whole charade is a Unionist stitch-up. Tangentially I’m still astonished that Cameron “allowed” Clegg to take part. There’s a real electoral risk / opportunity lost for the Tories in South West England.

  • Drumlins Rock

    undoubtly he is, lol
    Actually I dont mind the normal bias, its the suspicion that he is merely a trans-atlantic part of the Labour spin machine, could be wrong but some of the wording and details of his report seemed a bit too “campbellesque” I dont mind bias, not a fan of spin though.

  • Drumlins Rock

    Dewi, it looks like it must have been part of Labours conditions, plus a crying Clegg banging on the studio door wouldnt look good either.

  • daisy

    I thought they all came across as phoney and insincere. More charisma and inspiration in a plume of volcanic ash.

  • Seosamh913


    Absolutely. Cameron is trying to get himself over the line without making any mistakes which largely means saying nothing of substance and trusting that anti-Brown sentiment will suffice. I do find it curious just how unadventurous the LDs are in the circumstances, how cautious they are with no material attempt to meaningfully differentiate themselves from the others either in terms of style or substance. Perhaps ultimately they are more afraid of losing their existing handful of seats than they are about taking some chances to make any form of leap forward. Then again, maybe it’s just that they aren’t that different and have little to say that’s really worth listening to.

    ….yeah, actually I’ve persuaded myself that it’s probably the latter. Ho and indeed hum.

  • Greenflag

    malcolm redfellow ,

    ‘By exceeding expectations, Brown pulled off an upset.’

    Brown’s comments a few days ago sorry I forget the source when he ‘apologised’ for the earlier policies of kowtowing to banking and financial market deregulation showed that at least he seems to have learned from the ‘past’. Both Cameron & Clegg do not seem to have anything to offer re the economy. One supposes they are all waiting to see how Obama manages to get needed financial reforms legislated in the USA despite continuing opposition from the banking financial sector and the GOP .

    Kudos to Brown though for being so open in his admission that ALL the politicians ‘failed’ to take account of the real public interest in the matter of deregulation .

    Polls show Tories edging down . Cameron has to improve in future debates or he’ll do a Kinnock . Clegg must be pleased and Brown is doing better than holding on imo.