Yesterday nerves set in amongst the political party leaders, along with questions regarding the benefits of the upcoming televised elections. We heard of nerves present in the political representatives for the three major parties. Although this was not to stop ITV broadcasting the event live last night at 8:30 pm or our ability to watch the blue, red and yellow team leaders debate policy and inform us of their proposals should they be elected on May 6th.
As our remotes were put into use, after the adverts we were to be greeted by the familiar face of Alistair Stewart. A presenter, an audience a location then there it was, the set! Many of us looked on in wonder confused as to whether 15 to 1 had come back to our screens. We saw David Cameron stood with Nick Clegg on his right and Gordon Brown to his left. I doubt any of us were expecting the podiums though? The set was decorated with a hint of blue red and yellow the colours associated with the three parties. One fact was left unclear on this well laid out stage; this was why each leader wore a bright tie of their party’s relevant colour. Could it be a simple way to add effect to the debate or, it may have actually been a way for the politically uninterested to recognise which leader stood for which party?
The show kept to a strict format that actually worked very well despite worries from the three men taking part. We were first to see an introduction from each Prime Ministerial candidate. To explain who they were, the main goals of the party and a general reminder of the state of Britain’s finances. This currently stands in excess of Â£905 billion worth of debt plus the addition of Â£55,000 pounds worth of interest accumulating on top every day.
The first thing that struck me was, as I have said, that we only saw the leaders of each party present. This seems rather strange to me as we are in fact electing a party of parliamentary members to band together to take up the reins of our government in May. Here we saw three men, yes MPs elect a prime minister to oversee the goings on, however the party we have passed on Downing Street to will still remain in power without this person. So the political leader cannot give us a detailed view into the thoughts of the party as a whole. We can only do this by speaking to the collective. The new PM could in fact view policy very differently to his party members, then again that is a small matter in regards to the whole hour and a half’s worth of debate so let’s move on.
The three parties have their own ideas as to what will be beneficial or detrimental to the economy, public and country as a whole. These came along with a slogan for their pursuit of the ballot during their campaign;
Labour- A future fair for all
Conservatives – Vote Tory even if you have never done so before
Lib-Dem- Building a fairer Briton
All parties wish to see our country recover from recession, although have different ideas on how to achieve this. For a long while now we have seen a Conservative argument that tells us we must start making cuts as soon as possible or by April of next year the fiscal tightening that we need to introduce will become a great burden upon Britain. We have been told how a reduction in waste and cleaning up of the current inefficient services will be far more beneficial than to throw more money into the flames. Well you wouldn’t attempt to fill your paddling pool if it had no sides would you? You could, yes but anything that went in would fall back out and go to waste. The same as if we were to place a light bulb without a filament into the light socket, we could pump as much electricity into the thing but never see the benefit of any light, just a meter consuming our sterling.
Opposing this precautionary measure are the other two candidates, both believing there should be more money (that we have not really got) put back into public and private sectors in the hopes of encouraging economic growth.
There is no great difference between the three parties in regards to other major issues such as crime and immigration, they tend to agree that both of these should be cut although each has a different idea as to which element of the problem is the cause, or at least the cause of the majority of problems emerging from that particular concern. In crime for example, Cameron believes this should be done by treating drug addicts that turn to crime (prevention rather than cure), Clegg thinks we should stop young offenders getting thrown off the right path into harder crimes and Brown believes we need to address this problem by making parents take more responsibility for their children whilst increasing our front line police force.
The parties are slightly further apart in regards to current political stance / position within government. Labour, being the current tenants of no. 10 and holding a fair amount of seating reservations within the houses of parliament, the conservatives have a slightly smaller amount of seating reservations in their possession and the LibDem are sharing the remaining seats with the smaller parties. Our government has seen a fair share of both Labour and Conservative reign whereas the LibDems in the form of the Whigs haven’t had the privilege since Charles James Fox stood as the opposition to the Tory, Pitt the Younger. They became officially known as liberals in 1868 after the party became segregated because of members’ conflicting views in regards to the French Revolution. Although unless you own a Tardis or time machine of some sorts the current British public are not generally aware of the effect of the party upon our economy.
This has meant that Tory and Labour now being the two strongest parties normally drown out the views of LibDem members. The public are not unaware of their existence but neither are they fully aware of their policies and beliefs. So with the coming of the first televised electoral debates, the LibDems would be the party to benefit the most from the opportunity to better educate the public of their ideas and proposals.
We all knew that Nick Clegg would have to grasp this precious time in the limelight with both hands, but we had not expected him to engage in such a tug of war with Labour and Tories that he could steal it altogether. Nick Clegg definitely had a handicap working in his favour which he very much took advantage of. We have seen the country operate under a blue and red flag which means along with successes there have also been a fair share of losses / mistakes / lies that have made their way on to both sides of the political field of play. So Clegg stands with no burden of past wrong decisions. However, we should consider the fact there is neither any evidence to prove the party’s worth.
So Clegg decided to use the power of naivety to his advantage. This coupled with the fact that many of the expected 12 million viewers probably did not have a full understanding of political practice, nor recollection of political events and current affairs. This, if you like, was to be his job interview. We had at first predicted that Clegg would band together with the party that showed similar traits to his, probably Labour. The two often take to agreeing upon policy and the best way ahead for the country. A very public example of this was seen during a recent Question Time broadcast where we were witness to the two parties, known to many as the combined Lib-Labourites, joining together to form and proceed with declaring war upon the one former conservative member, our London Mayor Boris Johnson. However this did not go as well as planned as many of the public thought more of the mayor for not stooping to the level of the political pressure group.
Clegg proved us all wrong. Instead of launching a supporting attack upon the Tories with Gordon Brown he chose to declare war (a very over confident and rather arrogant one) against both of the fellow podium placed politicians. He used an overwhelming amount of various tactics in pursuit of public affection, which sadly worked. Clegg referred to his oppositions as being almost the same as each other with statements such as “the more they attack each other the more they sound exactly the same”, which tends to be a very opposite view to that of the majority of the British public. His comparison tends to be less effective with the party’s choice of slogan alone. Both LibDem and Labour seem to share an interest in fairness being shown to the varying classes and stereo types within our society. Plus the Tory being the only party to tell the public that we need to take measures to recover from the aftermath of the red recession sooner, or face very tight fiscal belts in the very near future. This also seems to show us that this is, as Cameron would say, “simply a ploy” to win over voters.
Then, as fate would have it, there seems another rather strong similarity between the parties of Clegg and Brown emerging from our new found viewing of the debates. This may not be as much of an advantage to new boy Clegg as he thinks. Did you happen to notice? That over-confidence, the ability to tell the public exactly what they want to hear? With the worst recession for 60years seen at the hands of a Labour government…. How is it that Clegg seems to bear a striking resemblance in attitude, ego and age as well as the presence of inexperience compared to his opposition? Could it possibly be? No it can’t….. Oh but it is do you not see it? Does Clegg not come across a pretty straight sort of guy to you..? Oh yes what I saw behind that pulpit was not LibDem leader Nick Clegg, I saw an overwhelming resemblance to Brown’s predecessor TONY BLAIR! With his “holier than thou attitude” and belief that he is indeed indestructible and can promise Britain a change, can promise Britain a way out, can promise to feed not the 5,000 but the 12 million of us viewing with a stick of chewing gum in his back pocket… Is this actually allowed, surely two candidates from the same party cannot stand in these debates simultaneously? Although there he was Brown’s predecessor, the two of them using David Cameron as a podium based sandwich filling! Now surely we remember what happened to all the promises of Tony Blair after coming into power? Did you step onto the street in protest of the CSA who did not benefit neither parent nor the staff employed to check the inch thick forms? One wonders what idea the new Tony Blair will take and completely break apart just as Tony Blair Mk 1 did all those years ago??
Although, I sit here rather puzzled as to how the newly found Blair Mk 2 managed to induce so much faith amongst viewers at yesterday’s broadcast. A large majority of these being (strangely enough) the rather more impressionable younger generations amongst us. Clegg had also applied tactics not filled with statistics or data in support of his Blair-like approach but, a good few worst case examples that made us all feel slightly taken aback. The only problem being that those members of the public unable to process the information at the same speed it was reaching our sets, have had the shocking stories ingrained into their memories due to their sheer nastiness. These have become a deciding factor in their new found love of Tony Jr. As they remember the story and the fact it was used in the same paragraph that targeted the opposition. However, that is all they do remember, not the few boring sentences that came in between the two events. Cameron and Brown however did also engage in attacking each other but, this was done in a rather more civilised and quick witted fashion than Clegg’s smug example of over confident one-upmanship. This showed the two parties to be slightly more experienced in the cog-turnings that fuel the political machine. Brown and Cameron had agreed on the odd idea which had been received with due respect. Although in his alternative methods of persuasion Clegg upon hearing Brown agree with one of his ideas did not respect the PM’s view instead mustered a quite unappealing and very unimpressive form of laughter. This in my view, even with Brown’s recent failings saw the PM come off looking better than new boy and Blair imitator Nick Clegg.
So we saw proposals from both Brown and Clegg, which leaned toward more investment in hopes of bringing economic growth to Britain that they believe, may help us reduce the country’s current amount of DR and provide less of a fiscal tightening next year. With ideas for rail expansion proposed by Tony Jr and investment into various sectors from our current PM. Then on the other side of the coin came Cameron’s prevention method that will see us take cuts in certain areas but in hopes of balancing these out, a plan to make what services we have more efficient and cost effective to stop money invested blowing away in the wind. This, as Cameron has said, will reduce the amount of notches passed as we commence to tighten that fiscal belt in 2011. My personal opinion and my vote will be working in the favour of David Cameron.
The British public now await the next thrilling instalment of political debate and resurrection of ex Labour prime ministers to make its way to our screens on April 22nd.