Friday, 30 April 2010

Election Debates

Even though I know thanks to viewing figures, that more people saw Piers Morgan want to go cruising with Kevin than saw Nick Clegg storm the Leaders' Debate, I felt it somewhat remiss of me to pass up this television extravaganza and make more than a passing reference to it.

In homage to a combination of caring who runs the nation, and having 90 minutes on my hands, I just watched the debate on iPlayer, and as I sat there, time ticking away, I suddenly realised why politicians are rarely on the mainstream media (except for Boris Johnson), and that's because they're quite dull and have a tendency to speak a lot without saying anything (except for Boris Johnson).

The politician I would most happily slap this accusation onto is David Cameron, who appeared to be flirting with liberal voters so often, it was somewhat reminiscent of Wile E. Coyote laying traps for Road Runner. I half expected to see a pile of Liberal ideas, as directed by a sign saying "Liberals vote here!" with a loosely concealed snare lying round it connected to an anvil overhead. Thankfully, though, generally, Wile E. Coyote is the one to get crushed, and to extend this metaphor, ideally, Liberals would see through it, while Conservatives would be aggrieved at his defection from their own ideals, and crush him mercilessly.

When he wasn't flirting, he was randomly making up policies ("Fine, we're not cutting free eye tests!") and generally, being vague and non-committal, whilst appearing bold and decisive. "We're setting a cap on immigration!" he proclaims loudly. What is that cap? No-one knows. Will it affect (I'm using Nick Clegg's figures here) the 80% of immigrants coming from Europe? No. So he's setting an as yet undetermined cap on 20% of immigrants. How he's managed to make this appear like a clampdown I cannot possibly begin to fathom.

Gordon Brown was braying loudly in the corner, "It's the same old Tory party!" (practically the new Labour slogan by the end of the debate), and, although it pains me to say this, he's right to an extent. We've had the "B&B owners should be allowed to kick gays out" incident combined with Philip Lardner's gem "Gays are not normal" (He was talking about the teaching of being gay as you know, an okay life choice, in much the same way as I had to learn about alternative theories for the creation of life on the understanding that they're all valid.) which were essentially, betrayals of the image Cameron wanted to present, that of a forward-thinking libertarian utopia, but not, I think, betrayals of how the party actually is. Cameron it appears, is trying to hold on to the traditionalists whilst wooing the Liberals, which is like trying to hold on to your wife while hanging around gay bars. It just doesn't work, and once you're found out, you come across in both camps as insincere.

Both leaders seemed happy to attempt to demolish the Lib Dem's amnesty on illegal immigrants who have done nothing wrong and are already here. I suggest that labour (And the lib dems, in fairness, who claimed that the other parties were ignoring the problem of immigrants that are already here) should check the system, which allows for application for "Indefinite leave to remain", ie. The right to stay in this country, after 14 years of illegal residence provided there was no unlawful activity (Link) which was inserted by the Conservative government of the early nineties. All Clegg is doing is tightening this current system, and freeing up resources for chasing immigrants who pose a genuine threat to the population. It hardly seems the kind of thing they should be allowed to leap on.

But then, they tried to leap on his opposition to spending billions of pounds on a currently working Trident nuclear deterrent, and instead to try and impose less nuclear weapons worldwide. So he wants to save money and get less nuclear missiles worldwide. That maniac. He'd blow us all up, if he hadn't axed the missiles he requires. He didn't even authoritatively state he was ditching them, but they have 9 to 14 working years left, and there's no need to make a decision yet, spending billions in a hasty decision. That sounds almost logical.

Clegg too, has Vince Cable as his treasury spokesman, who has a PhD in Economics and has lectured for the London School of Economics. By comparison, the alternatives Darling and Osborne, have a law and modern history degree respectively. I know they'd have workers with degrees in economics to work it all out for them, obviously, but I'd rather have a man who knew the area in charge. You wouldn't have a plane being flown by an idiot with two pilots behind him passing him notes about how to fly it, would you? Why is the economy any different, especially given we're all passengers in the hands of incompetent people.

Vince Cable has been credited with being aware the rise in credit and the boom market was almost inevitably going to lead to a crash (Surprisingly, it took a man with an economics degree to realise that if banks let people borrow absurd amounts of money to fuel an increasingly risky fund management programme, and then the banks lose that money, and the people aren't able to pay it back, then it's not going to work).

Essentially, though, David Cameron has spent the last 3 weeks petulantly moaning "I was winning, and I was meant to win, and that beastly Nick's gone and RUINED it!" and generally crying into his sour grapes, while Clegg seems to have magically conjured up some sort of, and it hurts me to say this, Obama-esque belief in the power of democracy amongst younger voters particularly, while Gordon Brown is essentially admitting "I may be crap, but I already know where everything is".

I understand this wasn't particularly witty, but one thing's for sure, if I see David Cameron, with his face like an enchanted pancake, standing on the steps of number ten, smiling and waving at his adoring fans, I will lose faith in politics forever.

1 comment:

  1. Not too biased towards Lib Dem, but as a Green voting Liberal (to stop the Tories) I like what you are saying.