For the first time in the UK an incumbent Prime Minister joined in live televised debate with the leaders of opposing parties.
Liberal Democrat Nick Clegg was always going to fare better than the other two as he was going in with nothing to lose and all to gain. With Labour’s Brown and Conservative Cameron pandering to him on the night (I suppose they were instructed not to publicly pick on the new kid) he grew a set of cojones and came out trumps. With the publicity he’s gained the Lib Dems have gone from long-standing laughing stock and also-rans to serious contenders. Betcha my Grannie to your old shoes they’ll try to shred him in the next two debates.
The performance of the other two? Brown looked stolid but tired and Cameron was patronisingly slimy as ever.
I guess what annoys me most about these so-called debates is that I, conceivably prematurely, foresee an inevitable decline of British politics towards the kind of show-boating and back-stabbing one-upmanship that will denigrate the almost faultless lives that our leading politicians lead.
What really bothers me actually is the fact that we’ve now agreed, nay, demanded! as ‘The Public’, to be impressed by the person who’s most well-turned-out. Because that’s (pretty much) all that the televised debates will be able to highlight.
With record viewing figures (average 9.4 million, peak 9.9, which “beat even Coronation Street”) being quoted in the papers, it almost seemed as if they were competing against the other “talent” shows that abound nowadays.
Fair enough to say, the media is having its predictable field day with the ‘who-looked-at-whom, who-wore-what’ inane chatter.