25 thoughts on “The Leaders’ Debate

  • Fern

    Looks like the qualitative analysis from the political correspondents are still calling it for Clegg.

    Cameron didn’t do enough to change what happened last week. Reported on Sky just now.

    The Times political correspndent calls it for Clegg.

  • Tim

    Despite Kay Burleigh rabbiting on about Cameron winning it based on one poll for The Sun.

    Comres poll calls it for Clegg 33, Brown and Cameron on 30.

    Hey ho…

  • Sarah

    Jon Craig on Sky still saying that Cameron won based on YouGov, despite two other polls giving it to Clegg.

    Surely there’s a law against such misrepresentation at the time of an election?

    IMO the lesson here seems to be that Sky can’t be trusted to run a debate like this.

  • Doug Allanson

    I agree the questions were very unimaginative on foreign policy, didn’t really invite debate except on Europe.

    I think it would have improved matters if they had asked the questioners if they were satisfied with their answers like they do on question time as frequently the politicians got into sterile debates.

  • Sarah

    Newsnight suggesting that Sky’s Adam Boulton broke the rules by asking Clegg about today’s media smear headlines.

    He’s not supposed to mention issues that don’t arise in the debate.

    Quite a telling slip, eh, and interesting that the Sky moderator wanted to ensure this media agenda was raised even though it wasn’t raised in the public questions nor by the other leaders.

    IMO this Fox News type tactic shows that Sky can’t be trusted to run a debate such as this. Their interest is only in manipulating the agenda in their own corporaste interest.

  • Chris M

    Brown and Cameron were as good as they can be tonight – very PM’s Questions, all aggression, insult and condescension. Clegg was a bit off his game – poor on Trident and Iraq and Gordo’s helicoptors and snatch LandRovers in particular, but also weak on green issues. He can significantly raise his game once back on unbiased TV, and run away with the 3rd debate. In fact, a cynical thought is that he let the others back into this one to make himself look better next time. He’s far and away the best debater, quote Obama-esque at times in closing. Given his rough week with the kids and the frothing fascist press, he did ok.

  • Sarah

    Horrible hatchet job going on in Question Time against the Lib Dems.

    Just shows how much the media elite and Tweedledum and Tweedledee parties are rattled by the recent Lib Dem success.

    I’m sure people will see through this and support the only party which will give power back to the people through proportional representation, and represent all strands of British opinion rather than solely that which can be easily manipulated by the corporate elite.

    On a brighter note it seems the audience is not convinced by the smears.

  • Sarah

    @scousebilly

    I haven’t seen it so rigged since Nick Griffin appeared, or in earlier times Sinn Fein representatives were ambushed.

    It’s amusing that the media and corporate elite now think the Lib Dems are an enemy of the people.

    My faith is in the apparent contempt of the audience.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    Yes Sarah especially the 2.4 million donation. I noticed however a bright lady mentioned Lord Ashcroft that got an applause.

    As we can see the media are fighting for their lives by digging into the dirt pile.

    David Yelland

    Comment is free:

    Over the years the relationships between the media elite and the two main political parties have become closer and closer to the point where, now, one is indistinguishable from the other. Indeed, it is difficult not to think that the lunatics have stopped writing about the asylum and have actually taken it over.

    We now live in an era when very serious men and women stay out of politics because our national discourse is conducted by populists with no interest in politics whatsoever. What we have in the UK is a coming together of the political elite and the media in a way that makes people outside London or outside those elites feel disenfranchised and powerless. But all that would go to pot if Clegg were able to somehow pull off his miracle. For he is untainted by it.

    Just imagine the scene in many of our national newspaper newsrooms on the morning a Lib-Lab vote has kept the Tories out of office. “Who knows Clegg?” they would say.

    There would be a resounding silence.

    “Who can put in a call to Gordon?” another would cry.

    You would hear a pin drop on the editorial floor.

    Full story:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/apr/18/clegg-media-elite-murdoch-lib-dem

  • ScouseBilly

    @Sarah

    Yep, very true. I thought Ming fought off the Clegg smear attempt quite well.

    That guy in the audience who took on Cooper – “the State is NOT the economy (stoopid)” was excellent. Audience thought so too, so yes you are right the audience overall weren’t fooled.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    Craig – Your point about the polls and Yelland’s piece are powerful arguments for Nick to exploit.

    Hey maybe it is time for a little bit of Conservative media digging and bashing.

    Quid pro quo. Yes or No? – Yes or No Craig?

  • wendy

    the problem with foreign policy is that regime change both for the tories and lib dems brought forward leaders who are fully embedded in the neo conservative wars , the pro israeli lobby and nonsensical justifications.

  • Jeremy

    So now three polls are giving it to Clegg, two to David Cameron, but Sky are still headlining that the Clegg momentum has been eclipsed by Cameron.

    It really is time we wrested control of our public discourse back from these highly paid Murdoch shills.

    Murdoch supports Cameron, just as he supported Blair before him.

    Cameron ain’t change. Just more of the same Murdochism.

  • Tim

    Tories responsible for today’s smear attack on Nick Clegg.

    Not only are they still the nasty party, but their whole leadership have been unmasked as a nest of vicious liars. Each and every one of them when asked denied any link to the smear attack on Nick Clegg, even whilst they orchestrated it all along.

    How can disgraceful scumbags such as this claim to be change.

    From the BBCs political editor, Nick Robinson:

    “I now learn that political reporters from the Tory-backing papers were called in one by one to discuss how Team Cameron would deal with “Cleggmania” and to be offered Tory HQ’s favourite titbits about the Lib Dems – much of which appears in today’s papers.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/nickrobinson/

  • gwenhwyfaer

    Sarah: “It’s amusing that the media and corporate elite now think the Lib Dems are an enemy of the people.”

    Well, of course, they don’t – they think the Lib Dems are an enemy of the elite, and then only because they’ve come up from nowhere without being bought first. They’re hoping that nobody notices that their interests do not coincide with those of “the people”. After all, nobody ever did before.

    Doesn’t appear to be working any more, does it…?

  • kingfelix

    If these debates are going to function, the organisations hosting them should make available a live video feed of the control room and the director’s instructions.

    Nothing to hide, nothing to fear, right?

  • Owen Lee Hugh-Mann

    Although the Tories say they will scrap the identity card, they intend to continue with the plan to ensure all new passports from 2012 carry your fingerprint details. The governmemt will have a fingerprint database of any British citizen who wants to travel abroad. I don’t believe the government has any right to such information on innocent people, and the fingerprint system used in the UK is particularly weak. The inevitable massive expansion in the database will regularly give rise to numerous false identifications. Already, a man accused of burglary in a city he had never visited only escaped conviction because he was disabled and physically incapable of committing the crime. New “Labour” is even more authoritarian than the Conservatives; only the LibDems have pledged to scrap both the ID cards AND the biometric passports. Biometrics will do nothing to stop terrorism, but, as ever, this is the excuse used to further erode civil liberties and increase the surveillance state. If they have to be used, iris recognition would have been much more reliable, but the government opted for fingerprints instead, after they commissioned a report by the LSE which confused retinal with iris identification. As a result, of this idiotic mistake, the LSE recommendation was against iris identification because they mistakenly thought it wouldn’t work in cases of glaucoma etc. Yet such diseases would only affect retinal IDs and have no effect on iris recognition at all. It’s disturbing how such incredibly stupid unscientific errors were ignored even AFTER they had been exposed. Fingerprint recognition was also preferred on grounds of lower cost, but I expect the real reason it was chosen is that having a fingerprint database of the population was considered more useful for fishing expeditions by the police. Burglars don’t leave “iris prints” at the scene of a crime.

    Another indication of how professional security advice is ignored was the the decision several years ago to include RF coils in passports. It means that your details can be stolen using portable readers without you even being aware of it while your passport is in your pocket or bag.

  • mary

    I was going to say that the Murdoch babe Kay Burley is the partner of George Pascoe Watson, ‘political editor’ of the Sun (an oxymoron) but see that I am not up to date.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kay_Burley

    Pascoe Watson has just been on Sky News reviewing the papers and pushing their boy Cameroon.

    As I said before, it is all a farce and beyond satire.

  • writerman

    It was instructive to hear Cameron and Brown in total agreement about Trident and the perceived threat to Britain from… where? Iran and North Korea, and even terrorists armed with homemade nukes!? And Gordon has the gall to demand that Nick Clegg, “Gets real.”

    And this is the Prime Minister speaking, not some loudmouthed Tory biggot with a skinfull down the pub, pure, tabloid-style, hysteria.

    But one has to wonder about Clegg’s line on Trident, which, though commendable, is a bit “abstract” as we are talking about future threat scenarios.

    Why, given the polls, which appear to show a massive anti Afghan war majority, didn’t Clegg simply say, vote for the Liberal Democrats and I will withdraw our troops from Afghanistan within six months. This would have been easier to understand than the debate on Trident and would have given the electorate a clear choice and reason for voting Liberal Democrat.

    However, such a clear statement of intent, withdrawal from Afghanistan, sooner rather than later, would place Clegg firmly in the “anti-American” camp which Brown has already accused him of. As the UK is, in reality, a US protectorate or loyal vassal state, being percieved as anti-American is the kiss of death for a politician with ambition.

    The only worse smear is if Clegg was deemed anti-Israel as well. This would mean the end of the Clegg “cult” and his political hopes. This is why the conflict in the Middle East was avoided like the plague.

  • writerman

    Whilst we still retain many of the formal characteristics of a democratic state, in reality, democracy has been curtailled systematically over the last thirty years, as the “excessive” democracy of the “60s” was successfully rolled back by a newly resurgent ruling elite and their political wing, the major parties in Westminster.

    Obviously, the current trajectory is clearly away from democracy and tends towards a form of totalitarianism, which new-imperialism and it’s neo-colonial wars of agression, are only accelerating. It’s difficult to be both a successful democracy, and an agressive imperial power, though not impossible, as the United States has illustrated over the years. One can have substantial freedom at home whilst one crushes the freedom of lesser states overseas.

    But I think one should be under no illusions; rolling back the forces of reactionary imperialism, and revitalising democracy in the UK necessitates a break with the United States on a range of issues, and perhaps more importantly, breaking the power and influence of the pro-American ruling elite internally in the UK, as symbolized by Rupert Murdoch.

    I doubt that any election, that mere voting, has the power and momentum to do this, to initiate such a massive rupture. This would mean the UK casting off its chains and attempting to become an independent nation once more, rather than a vassal state, and as the establishment are dedicated to, and protected by the alliance with American interests, we are talking about breaking the power of the “ruling class” in Britain, and this is, easier said than done, and I would contend, doesn’t happen through the electoral process.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    We trained Iranian Naval officers in the early 70’s and today I know that some clearly head-up the Iranian armed forces.

    When our British sailors were apprehended in Iranian territorial waters they were treated with respect, even given cigarettes and new suits AND not subjected to rendition and torture, a direct result of the friendly British/Iranian ‘back-channel’ communication that still exists.

    Clearly Iran sees the benefit of spend on safe nuclear energy not nuclear bombs.

    The threat to world peace radiates from Israel where 48% of the Knesset are frustrated by America’s lack of progress in sanctioning Iran and are talking of a strike on Iran by Israel alone.

    Such a strike would de-stabilise the Middle-East and turn moderate Muslims into soldiers ready to fight for Islam in every corner of our world. That is the immediate threat we face in this country together with the sporadic bombs of the real IRA in Northern Ireland.

    Britain must never appear anti-American, we love the American people and we must be aware of their condition. They are recovering from eight years of dictatorship from the Neo-Conservatives.

    We must ensure President Obama ‘does the right thing’ by negotiating with Iran and getting tough with Israel to stop aggravating and stalling the Middle-East peace solution by continually building on Palestinian land and assaulting Gaza.

    That is not anti-American or anti-Israel, that is common sense.

    By looking closely at the corporate grip and the loss of liberties in America, we can obtain a very real picture of a Britain under Cameron’s Conservatives; as Owen Lee Hugh-Mann describes our lives would be under the ‘Big Brother’ corporate media microscope and synthetic fear would be recharged.

    Do NOT let that happen people.

  • angrysoba

    “The fact that Palestine did not even get a mention in a foreign affairs debate is truly shocking.”

    From what I understand here in Japan, Nick Clegg has trounced both of the other two in debates. Surely, he wouldn’t like to see it go Jenny Tonge* by bringing in such a divisive subject as Palestine/Israel.

    What is he to say? “Zionism is bullshit”? Or “The Israelis, or Israhellis as I like to call them, are no different to the Nazis”?

    Of course not, because Palestine/Israel is probably Kryptonite to the Lib Dems chances.

    As it happens I am somewhat looking forward to the possibility of the Lib Dems getting in there so it would be a good idea for strident controversialists to not offer ammunition to the enemies.

    * cockney rhyming slang for “wrong”.

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