Friday, 16 April 2010

General Politics at the General Election

Did anyone see the live debate between the three party leaders last night on ITV1?

As Mark and I rushed back from distributing leaflets around Ham with our bag of Chinese takeaway and sack full of excitement for the nights events, I couldn't help but be slightly disappointed by the outcome. I don't know what I was expecting exactly - I have watched the American versions in the past and do not wish to recreate the great lashings of Drama they seem to add to every shot and angle. Although at times last night, as the camera slowly zoomed in on a wistful and idealisitc facial expression of Cameron, Brown or Clegg I couldn't help expecting 'Land of Hope and Glory' to slowly fade in behind.

There was much of what was said I was expecting - a constant 'boys club' tussle by Gordon Brown and David Cameron which was unnecessary and did nothing to endear them to a disenchanted and disengaged public.

Altogether I think Brown did a good job in a very difficult role. He not only has to look towards the future, but come out of a really difficult time for the country and say 'we're still the ones who can get you through this'. He was constantly being questioned last night about his past 13 years with the party and 'why haven't you done these things before', but political parties, much like the public need that fresh boost in confidence and outlook in order to continue to grow.

Nick Clegg has been heralded by everyone as a clear winner in the debate, and he did show a new type of politician. His body language, speech and 'front foot' approach showed a man who had nothing to lose and, true or not, a man who had nothing to hide. I hope last nights events give the Liberal Democrats a real push in their votes in the coming election. Including the questioners names at the end of the show may have demonstrated some of the saccharine stickiness I found the American version guilty of, but it showed a shrewd man with very good oratory skill. I must admit, I loved it.

The biggest surprise was Cameron, the 'golden boy' of the group who began very shakily and preceeded to look like a deer trapped in the headlights throughout. His constant pushing of the Labour 'National Insurance' issue seemed misplaced and a little forced into debate, without having judged his audiences reaction. He didn't seem to have a rapport with anybody, looking away from others eyes and looking more than nervous where Brown and Clegg hit their stride.

I can draw no huge conclusion, but I am so happy this live debate has now been woven into the fabric of general elections to come. Any thoughts gratefully recieved.