First thoughts on the debate

Written By: Joy Johnson
Published: April 16, 2010 Last modified: April 16, 2010

This election won’t be won or lost because of a TV debate no matter how historic.    The result won’t hang on Brown’s smile, Clegg’s anxious tic or Cameron’s aggressive stance.  The May 6 result will be determined by the economy.

Commentators and experts who treat the electorate with contempt with their talk of emotional narratives, and the primacy of body language, are part and parcel of an election campaign that has been seeped in a deception.

When the bankers with their greed and recklessness took us to the brink there was a profound hope that it wouldn’t be a return to business as usual.  It was forlorn.  The debate that matters has already taken place.  Those who use public services or those who work in them have lost – the bankers aided, and abetted by their friends in the media have won.

Tonight during the TV debate Gordon Brown made it absolutely clear that Tory plans to take money out of the economy this year would be too great a risk.    Brown hammered home the issue of protecting jobs and the need to secure the economic recovery.  Keynes ruled tonight.

Polly Toynbee had written of a car crash waiting for Gordon Brown to happen.  It didn’t.  Brown was relaxed his arguments were substantial.

He openly flirted with Nick Clegg – depriving the Tories of victory is the name of this particular game.

In fact Clegg did well.  He had the best arguments on not replacing Trident (he was right – saving money by not replacing a weapon built for a Cold War is pretty obvious.)

Cameron wound up the debate by accusing the others of spreading fear about Tory plans.  He asked the viewers to vote for hope over fear. Cameron is slick – he looked all shiny and new rather, for all the  world, like a show pony.  But a Conservative victory would mean we would all need to be very afraid.


2 replies to “First thoughts on the debate

  1. Adam Colclough

    Did the earth move for you, during the big debate I mean, I’m afraid it didn’t for me.

    After ninety minutes we know little more about the three party leaders than we did beforehand. Nick Clegg is quite personable, David Cameron is rather too confident for his own good and Gordon Brown has a short fuse and struggles with things like making eye contact.

    If anybody gained from the debate it was Nick Clegg, who continued to show why the Lib Dems would be foolish to dump him as leader after the election, he might pick up a few floating voters and that could be useful for his party if there were a hung parliament.

    What about the second debate? Clegg will carry on as before, following the sensible thinking that you don’t change a winning approach, Cameron will raise his game and probably ‘win’ the second round, the good news is that if our debates are like those in the US hardly anyone will be watching. As for Gordon Brown, he’ll probably carry on as usual, and there lie many of the Labour Party’s problems.

  2. Adam Colclough

    Did the earth move for you, during the big debate I mean, I’m afraid it didn’t for me.

    After ninety minutes we know little more about the three party leaders than we did beforehand. Nick Clegg is quite personable, David Cameron is rather too confident for his own good and Gordon Brown has a short fuse and struggles with things like making eye contact.

    If anybody gained from the debate it was Nick Clegg, who continued to show why the Lib Dems would be foolish to dump him as leader after the election, he might pick up a few floating voters and that could be useful for his party if there were a hung parliament.

    What about the second debate? Clegg will carry on as before, following the sensible thinking that you don’t change a winning approach, Cameron will raise his game and probably ‘win’ the second round, the good news is that if our debates are like those in the US hardly anyone will be watching. As for Gordon Brown, he’ll probably carry on as usual, and there lie many of the Labour Party’s problems.

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