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.