|The Manchester Debate
||[Apr. 16th, 2010|04:54 am]
Clegg won. |
Or- to put it more accurately- he made an impression. He was voluble, petulant, at times almost natural. Before last night we had only a vague idea of who or what he was. Now we know. He's Jimmy Dean left out in the sun and faded to a pleasing shade of yellow.
The other two did what was expected of them. Cameron warbled pinkly. Brown was stiff and worked his jaw like an old person with badly fitting teeth. He seems a little mad, but who wouldn't be after thirteen years at the top?
Brown was courting Clegg- as he will have to do for real if there's a hung parliament- but Clegg- lip curled and fist in pocket- had no time for either of the two grown-ups. If last night meant anything, we'll have a Lib Dem government after May 6- but we won't, will we? Tain't fair!
I saw a snippet of the debate on BBC World News and wanted to weep for my country. All three of your candidates can use complete sentences, with subordinate and relative clauses, and make their subjects and verbs agree! After putting up with Sarah Palin as an actual vice-presidential candidate, three reasonably articulate politicians on one stage seemed like a miracle to me.
Speaking from an English perspective, I'd have liked a little less formality, a little more down home folksiness, more evidence that they're capable of thinking on their feet. Clegg came the closest to behaving naturally- which is why all the commentators perceive him as having "won".
It'll be fascinating to see if it makes a difference to the polls.
It'll be the same old, same old. The electorate will be surfing along on a high, celebrating the coming of the Brave New World, then they'll get to the polling booth, get cold feet and go for the Tried & Tested. Pardon me for being cynical, but... I've seen it all before:-(
Lib Dems tend to come in fourth up here. It's a toss-up between Scot Nat & Labour. I follow my principles nonetheless, though my friends and family scoff at me for 'wasting' my vote.
Though I was a bit miffed at Vince Cable's 'mansion tax'. Tax the footballers and the bankers, by all means. But the last thing struggling owners of historic country houses need is to be hammered for owning a vast country pile. As 'Country House Rescue' regularly demonstrates...
Yes. I've seen it too- as I've written in the post I've just put up- but what happened last night has shaken me. I was resigned to voting for the appalling Phil Woolas, but now I'm not so sure.
I haven't thought about the "mansion tax". Perhaps the thing could be finangled so houses over a certain age- or with grade I or grade II listings- would be exempt- or treated less harshly. Would that be fair, or would it create terrible anomalies?
I'm sure they could work out a way round it. Even if it involved tax relief for renovation or maintenance work or something of the kind. It could be arranged in the same way as the bequest of works of art to the state occurs in lieu of death duties or whatever...