The Debate is not the last word

What a pity that most MSM pundits have abandoned their role as independent commentators to back their man or make excuses for him. The commentariat is still transfixed by the positives of the debates. But the big negative of this format of 72 conditions cooked up by the parties  is the glaring absence of expert and lay cross examination  that’s lies at the heart of routine  Question Times.  Audience pressure  would have blown apart the leaders’ conspiracy of silence over cuts or at least  would have embarrassed them  greatly. This was the biggest stich up since MPs’ voted against disclosing their expenses.  The broadcasters mustn’t allows the parties to get away with it next time.  The people must have their proper say.

I can’t find a single lateral thought, and I remember only one single bite. Brown sticks in the mind for all the wrong reasons, slotting into the classic loser’s role: looking shattered, going negative, left out of key arguments, failing to live up to his quite impressive opening pitch: ” I don’t get everything right but I know how to run the economy.”

Like an overkeen school debater, Clegg overegged his pudding. Cameron was utterly, deadeningly predictable  but got his points out smoothly. After the snap polls, little trace of his performance will linger. Whatever some people are saying, the debate may not clinch it. History shows that the last week of campaigns counts for a lot. For Brown, this begins with a one- to- one with Paxman tonight. In desperation, can he throw his crippling caution to the winds and find the self confidence to tell the truth?

  • SammyMehaffey

    I wonder has Paxman recovered from the lesson he got from that welsh guy on monday? Brilliant TV!

  • Brian Walker comes close to my inner feelings.

    These debates have been profoundly disappointing. For much of the time we had the usual talking heads (plus Clegg, who soon lost his novelty appeal and became merely a third) bantering the same slogans. Debates they were not.

    Brown was not the limp third portrayed widely, but decently worthy. Clegg was not the new gunslinger in town, no more than a decent provincial college lecturer: he had just enough glitz for it not to rub off at first touch. Cameron was at best slick and superficial, but no “heir to Blair”, no inspiration or Great White Hope, another PR man at home in a focus group environment. We were presented with degrees of mediocrity.

    The nearest thing to drama allowed was the occasional nodding or shaking head in the audience.

    Then there are the curious parallels between the instant post-polls and declared preformed prejudices shown in the main polling. Once again, Clegg’s gloss wore off, and the whole thing descended into repetition and the mundane.

    Beyond that there is another truth-to-be-told: the MSM had the scenario of this whole campaign scripted way back. The narrative has largely played to script. Just enough excitement to keep the audience from yawning too visibly, too habitually. One last thunderclap before the predictable denouement, then the “hero” of the hour walks off into the sunset, to appear as the nasty in his next featured part.

    That’s the other truth-to-be-told: the insatiable desire of the gutter press for fresh meat. Whatever happens next week, within days the new demigods will be revealed to have feet of clay. And the whole build’em-up-to-knock’em-down cycle is restarted. On the rare occasions when I am obliged for family reasons to pass through the same room as a soap-opera I seem to hear the same basic plots re-re-replayed.

    Politics, polity, the good of the people: this is not.