Q So Mr Tory, how did you chap do? A. Mine was best
Q So Mr Labour, how did your chap do? A. No mine was best
Q OK, Mr LibDem, how did your guy do? A. Actually mine was best.
And so it went, on blogs, newspapers, radio. Lib Dems claim victory, deja vu from the chancellors debate, the public liked Cleggs style, we will see how they vote. The media liked him being the fresh new thing, as they liked Cameron a few years ago. That wont last. They had a big boost from being seen as an equal with the big parties. If any other party had been their, Plaid, SNP, even Ukip, they would have had that boost. As of course would the Greens, even better; our leader is no middle aged white man.
I thought it was a bit dull, there wasn't enough on the differences between them. If it wasn't for reading twitter comments, I would not have lasted the 90 mins. They kept me amused for a while.
Highlights were Cameron talking about China as a target for nuclear war, thats diplomacy. Not.
I have read Caroline Lucas comments, Wish I'd been able to be in the debates as well. People are being shortchanged if they're led to believe that there aren't real alternatives out there. I was saddened to notice that not one
of the other leaders mentioned the environment once - nor alternative approaches to the economic crisis.
Greens are standing on a manifesto of not only safeguarding the environment, but also fighting for fairness. The choice between safeguarding the environment and the economy is a false one - a massive investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy will create hundreds of thousands of new jobs as well as reducing emissions.
Our policies will ensure a move towards a sustainable society, whilst leaving 87 per cent of the population significantly better off.
I would be an independent and fresh voice to speak out for residents wishes - not whipped by my party, but able to fight for what people truly want - jobs, housing, better transport, lower taxes for those on lower wages, regulation of bankers bonuses and a serious commitment to tackling climate change.
Friends of the Earth have commented similarly.
Most people I've spoken to seem to put Nick Clegg ahead, but he was the one who most disappointed me. Why?
Well, the Lib Dem manifesto made a huge play of a green recovery - but he didn't mention it once. That worried me - when he was unscripted and off the cuff he seemed to forget it all.
On a lighter note, Slapometer had a different view that may cheer Cameron:
The final results for debate 1 were:
I'm watching it again, they all had some good moments. One difference with Clegg is he looked into the camera, the others looked at their opponents and the audience. Some thought that worked well.
Brown told some porkies that the others ignored, but they got caught by channel 4
The questions were not good. Q1 on Immigration, Q2 on Crime, Q3 in MPs expenses; too similar.
Brown seemed oddly keen to sidle up to Clegg, perhaps to isolate Cam. Brown had some proposals that were reforming, but why didn't he do it in the last 13 years? Who believes he would actually do it if given the chance? How does Clegg dare claim his MPS were clean? That wasted the first 30 mins.
Q4 Education; Brown usual waffle, every school a good school, then went on to talk about privatised academies. Not challenged, because the others agree. Cameron went on about excluding pupils, may be thats the way forward, exclude all of them and save money? Talked about spending money on the dept of education. Clegg on class sizes, did ok.
Q5 Economy, Cam on job tax, Clegg cuts and savings (including Trident), Brown support people. Cam on waste, Clegg those 2 are the same on cuts waste, but we are going to cut waste. (Isn't that just the same as the other two? Cleggtastic. And then repeated. Ad nauseum.
Another 30 mins of my life has gone by, just 30 to go.
Q6 Troops dying under equipped and under paid. Clegg goes for cuts, 2 admirals for every warship. Brown mentioned the war! Cam humbled by troops bravery, incredible athletes? Clegg on rollers that save lives. Brown, why are we in Afghanistan, chain of terror there and Pakistan. Cam wants nukes to defend us from Iran & China. Brown goes for Iran and North Korea. Clegg says the world has moved on, so why does he still want nukes? Just doesn't want trident. Cam goes for lack of helicopters. Again. Brown 'We are the best equipped in our history' makes no sense on many levels.
Q7 Health, ageing population. Brown; revolution that people live longer. Personal guarate on time till op. Have heard that one before. Cam; talks of his son. Sigh. Expand NHS, cancer drugs. Clegg priorities are all wrong, money went on managers & computers not A&E and maternity. Brown; more nurses, Doctors, no longer 2 years wait for ops. Cam; managers numbers going up 5x faster than nurses, sell home to get cancer drugs. Clegg; phony debate, Cam cannot provide tax breaks, cut strategic health authorities. Cam; NHS is excemped from our cuts, death rate worse than Bulgaria. Brown; screening. Clegg; honesty in this debate, cant give tax breaks. Cam; Clegg is promising tax breaks. Clegg; stop loopholes.
Q8 Care for elderly (havent we had almost the same Q already? Boring) Cam; residential care, reward those who have done the right thing. Clegg; lets work together, respite for carers. Brown; need a better system, care at home, take away anxiety. Cam; system unfair. Clegg agrees with Cam. Respite for carers (didn't he just say that already?) Repeat ad nauseum. Again.
Closing comments. Clegg; we are different to the two old parties, lets have something new and different. yada yada blah blah hope for the future. Give change a chance. Brown; I was struck (I may have dreamed that) by a question. Different recession to last time, fair to NHS, Police and Schools, Look forward to the next debate. Cam; repeated attempts to frighten you about the Conservatives. Values, work hard, raise a family, become old and I will be there for you. (Yawn)
So the large number of times they agree with each other doesnt show that they are all right, but that they are on the same agenda. So a limited choice. And some very poor Questions, and poor moderation.