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Tony Grist

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The Third Debate [Apr. 30th, 2010|10:45 am]
Tony Grist
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.
linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: steepholm
2010-04-30 10:18 am (UTC)
Maybe there's a Dimbleby sister we never get to hear about?

(Apparently Gary and Phil Neville's sister is a world-class netball player, but somehow she's never become a millionaire on the back of it.)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-04-30 10:24 am (UTC)
Women's sport isn't real sport- not unless it involves the wearing of very short skirts (see tennis).

Incidentally I believe our women's cricket team is the best in the world.
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[User Picture]From: ideealisme
2010-04-30 11:12 am (UTC)
I could huff and puff and blow your house down with indignation...but alas I'm inclined to agree. Sport is another means of reinforcing male hegemony.

Jesus when did I start this feminism lark? It's ruining everything! :)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-04-30 11:22 am (UTC)
I'm quite keen on tennis- and it really bugs me how all the attention gets focused on blonde Russkies- who aren't all that good- to the detriment of the less glamourous players who wipe the floor with them.
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[User Picture]From: veronica_milvus
2010-04-30 10:44 am (UTC)
They are known in our house as the Dimblebobs. I don't know why. Likewise all the candidates in our constituency are blokes, but the Friend of His Clegginess might get my vote just because.. well, it would be something different. And you would need a 90% swing from a long noose to get anyone but the bloody Tories in here.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-04-30 11:25 am (UTC)
Dimbleby is one of those names that are intrinsically funny.

All our candidates are male too. The Tories have fielded an Asian bloke- but this is a Labour constituency where only the Lib Dems stand a chance of toppling the incumbent.
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[User Picture]From: ideealisme
2010-04-30 11:10 am (UTC)

argh!

I *hate* the Dimblepricks Junior. Sleek, self-important philanderers full of the mixture of amour-propre and limited self-awareness that allows them to cultivate their particular brand of privileged arrogance.

Camille Paglia called Jonathan Dimbleby a strutting popinjay and his wife blasted Paglia and called her pathetic. Then the popinjay left his wife for an opera singer and when she died an operatic death, just porked a twenty-nine year old and got her knocked up for fear of doing anything more original. Oh and he got a documentary out of his sob story too, courtesy of the BBC. That would be...you, lads. British taxpayers.

David Dimblebly left his wife for her married friend and likewise made sure he could start over.

What lovely, charming gentlemen. It makes my stomach turn to think they've any moral mandate to question England's political leaders, who all appear to love and respect their wives and children.

The irritating thing about those Dimblepricks is that everyone still seems to love them - including the wives they treated like toilet paper. I personally could drop them both into a pit of slurry and watch them die in a deadly embrace of nitrogen and be undisturbed, but that's just me.

Edited at 2010-04-30 11:11 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-04-30 11:31 am (UTC)

Re: argh!

I didn't know any of that- or if I did I'd forgotten it.

I can forgive really talented people a great deal, but the Dimblebiddies aren't especially talented. They do what they do with competence- but hardly with flair. They got where they are because of their dad- who actually was a little bit special.

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[User Picture]From: ideealisme
2010-04-30 11:38 am (UTC)

Re: argh!

Yes - other newsreaders have left their older wives, such as Gavin Esler. (I don't like him doing it either, and questioning politicians on a moral basis. Marriage ending adulterers who abandon their older wives for younger girls to start a second family forfeit moral authority in exchange for their right to do what they like, I believe. I don't have an issue with second partners being younger, as long as they're not the cause of marriage break-up. I do have an issue with that and believe one can't have everything. Censure is called for.)

With the Dimblebys, it's the extra arrogance.

And you're right - philandering of that nature, so desperate to put your virility on display - not the mark of a man of stature or intelligence.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-04-30 11:48 am (UTC)

Re: argh!

I can forgive Picasso anything (not that it's mine to forgive)- the Dimblies not so much.

I think there's something essentially pathetic about ageing Lotharios (unless of course they're Picasso.)

Your point about the tribunes of the people needing to be persons of unimpeachable moral worth is interesting. I really think you're onto something there.
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[User Picture]From: ideealisme
2010-04-30 11:55 am (UTC)

Re: argh!

Well not impeachable - I hope I'm not that much of a prig - but the act of committing adultery with a younger, nubile partner when one is married to an older woman and then leaving the older woman - that is a horrifically destructive act, even if it doesn't involve the more usual crimes. Esler & the Dimblepricks destroyed many lives between them, irreparably, savagely and painfully. That must surely bring one to a halt.

It's weird, particularly when the Tories had such a rough time in the eighties by the media for more minor, furtive adultery. Led by Rupert Murdoch, who has children by Wendi Deng, who cuckolded Anna Torv, who might have also cuckolded the first Mrs Murdoch, not sure about that.

I am obsessed with the cuckoldry of wives. I AM that Daily Mail reader. But it's a harmful and horrible act by the husband and mistress.

I kinda get the Picasso thing - though he really did seem to be a monster!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-04-30 12:42 pm (UTC)

Re: argh!

Picasso was driven by his art. That, finally, was the only thing that mattered to him. I was reading interviews with a number of the women in his life- and generally speaking- I think they understood. They knew they were taking on an extraordinary person- and couldn't expect an "ordinary" relationship.

Ditching the person who has supported you though thick and thin for a younger model is a despicable act. I'm totally with you there. People who do that lose my respect.
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[User Picture]From: ideealisme
2010-04-30 12:52 pm (UTC)

Re: argh!

You should so check out Yeats bio if you haven't already - particularly in his marriage and later years!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-04-30 01:55 pm (UTC)

Re: argh!

Oh, yeah....he was a pretty creepy old dude.
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[User Picture]From: veronica_milvus
2010-04-30 05:41 pm (UTC)

Re: argh!

No, don't hold back, tell us what you really think! LOL
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[User Picture]From: redatt
2010-04-30 11:38 am (UTC)
Leaders debate Channel 4 News live POLL RESULTS: Brown wins on 44%, Clegg is second on 42%, Cameron on 13% None of them 1%

And Nick Clegg apparently won the Facebook vote again.

I'm not looking at any other polls. I'm pretending they don't exist.

Channel 4 also has this picture: http://www.channel4.com/news/media/2010/04/day30/30_leg_540_30.jpg

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-04-30 11:50 am (UTC)
That picture is priceless. Cameron is not only out of step, but seems to be whistling a happy tune while the invisible bluebirds flutter around his head.



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[User Picture]From: endlessrarities
2010-04-30 02:39 pm (UTC)
Is that what happened in the debate last night? I don't think I was really listening.

I know what you mean about the Dimbleby clan. I lost it with David Dimbleby in The Seven Ages of Britain, or whatever it was, when he was talking about that 'pointed thingy' (or some similarly inane words) at the front of a Classical building. (It's a pediment, David. Even the twits could cope with that one, surely!!! If there's one thing I can't stand in a documentary, it's being patronised!)

Don't worry. I didn't vote for David Cameron. Nor did I vote SNP.

I voted Lib Dem, so there! And not because I was wowed by the Clegg-Factor. I might have voted Green as a Donald Trump protest vote, but we had no Green candidate standing. So Lib Dem it was.

A Liberal I was born, I graduated into Social Democracy, and a Liberal Democrat I shall always be.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-04-30 03:13 pm (UTC)
I've gone back and forward between Labour and the Liberals all my voting life. I forget who I voted for last time, but it was one of those. I believe I voted Blair in '97 (though with reservations)- and- like all the rest of us- have lived to regret it.

This time I'll vote Lib Dem.
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[User Picture]From: methodius
2010-04-30 04:18 pm (UTC)
According to the polls Cameron won -- do Brits like politicians who utter empty platitudes? Yes, he was evasive.

Why do I watch debates between Brit popiticians? It happened to be the most entertaining thing on TV.
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[User Picture]From: purchas
2010-04-30 05:51 pm (UTC)
I think it's more that they're thoroughly fed up with Gordon Brown- as they have every right to be.

There's very little real enthusiasm for Cameron- which is why the Lib Dems have been doing so well.

Gosh, South African TV must be boring!
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[User Picture]From: petercampbell
2010-04-30 05:32 pm (UTC)
There's something about David Cameron that's just completely dishonest and facile. Wasn't there a story about how someone had discovered a painting of Cameron from his university days, which showed him as a total Sloanite? The conservative party threatened to sue if it was ever published, and then the flat of its owner was broken into, and the painting was mysteriously the only thing to be taken.

I think that's what happened anyway - I was trying to track down a link to the story, but couldn't find it online anywhere.
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[User Picture]From: purchas
2010-04-30 06:02 pm (UTC)
There's a photograph of Cameron- with others, including Boris Johnson- in the get-up of the notorious Bullingdon club. There were indeed attempts to get it suppressed- but they were unsuccessful. Google "Cameron Bullingdon" and it'll come up- along with the very similar photo featuring George Osborne.
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[User Picture]From: petercampbell
2010-04-30 06:49 pm (UTC)
Just Googled it. *Speechless*
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From: (Anonymous)
2010-04-30 07:18 pm (UTC)

replying generally- Tories are horrid

I saw a little piece in the Telegraph business section - no I don't take it but it was the only readable thing in the doctors' surgery t'other day - and it was about the Tories supporting all the tobacco companies in their attempts to fight the upcoming ban on promotional stuff for tobacco products at point of sale. I never forget that Clarke is on the side of British American Tobacco.
Just one more reason why Tories are to be despised - no ethics basically!
Shall I vote Lib Dem or Labour in Chatham/Aylesford? I'd hate to let in the Tories. But I want to give the lib dems the true picture of their support, and voting tactically doesn't do it...
Jenny
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2010-05-01 08:36 am (UTC)

Re: replying generally- Tories are horrid

The tories don't have a prayer in this constituency, so I don't have to worry about a vote for the Lib dems letting them in.

Oldham has a Lib Dem council and a couple of Labour MPs. Our MP is the unspeakable Phil Woolas (it used to be Michael Meacher but they changed the boundary) and his majority is so small there's a very good chance he'll lose his seat.
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