April 30th, 2010

The Third Debate

Apparently Cameron won. Apparently.

I couldn't see it myself. But then I can barely see Cameron at all. Or hear him. The camera switches to him and my mind immediately goes somewhere else. The only bit where he grabbed my attention was when Clegg went all Paxman on him and asked him the same question again and again- a question about immigration- and the Cameron Falls roared on, regardless.
He was similarly evasive when Brown twitted him about his tax break for billionaires. No, not evasive; that's the wrong word; he doesn't evade, he ignores. The words keep pouring over the edge at the rate of X cubic tons a minute.

He was in PR. Never forget he was in PR.

Clegg has a scheme to offer an amnesty to illegal immigrants who are already here and would like to become legal. Apparently this is a stupid idea. He kept saying, "Look, this is an existing problem and you guys aren't even thinking about it", but apparently that doesn't cut the mustard. Having schemes that address real problems in a sober and enlightened way isn't serious politics. Serious politics is saying "Send 'em home"- which was Gordon Brown's line.

A Labour prime minister mouthing a National Front slogan- ain't that great!

 Did he say it this time or did he say it last time, or did he say it both times? I'm not sure. The debates are running together in my head. The same things were said over and over again. And if you think I'm overly sweet on Clegg, let me point out that his line about "the two old parties" got to be awfully greasy around the collar.

They spent hours and hours prepping for these debates. I wish they hadn't. We only watch in the hope there'll be the odd flicker of spontaneity. There weren't many. Or even any. Our leaders are far less afraid of seeming characterless and boring than they are of the slightest verbal slip.

(The more I think about it the more I wish Brown had said about the woman who tripped him up yesterday "Well, she is a bigot- and so are you and you and you. Frankly I'm ashamed of the lot of us." but he daren't because he relies on the bigot vote.)

What I'd really like to have seen is the three of them sat in armchairs, with a glass of whatever they fancy at their elbows, along with a few random members of the public (really random- pulled off the street) also sitting in armchairs with a glass of whatever they fancy at their elbows- and there being no moderated structure at all, just the rough and tumble of debate- and everything short of physical violence allowed.  Now that would have sorted the men from the boys.

Which reminds me-  where were all the women? OK, by some curious quirk of spherical predominance all three party leaders are men- nothing we can do about that (or is there?)- but did all three moderators have to be men too? Couldn't the BBC have fielded Kirsty Wark, for example? Or is there something in the BBC charter about weighty affairs of state being the exclusive province of the Dimblebody family. Like it's a hereditary office or something.

What is it with the Dimbledums, anyway? Grandpa Richard was a lively cove, and fast on his feet for a fat guy, but the younger Dumbledores don't have his sparkle. David Bumblebee, with his boring insistence of repeating the question every time he moved to a new respondee, came over like he should have been carrying a gold tipped staff and wearing a tabard.  And he's about 100, isn't he? Tell you who I'd liked to have seen running the gig- Lily Allen.

And in conclusion, please don't vote for David Cameron. Please, please don't vote for David Cameron. Because if you do I will be really quite sad.