Generally speaking the debate was superficial so I just want to quickly comment on the performances, superficially.
The spin is endemic so when I read comments about any of the Leaders in the debate, I know they are subject to some form of bias, or possibly unbiased and just taking the actions and words on face value, so I try not to be amazed by them, but with some comments about Brown I am almost taken aback.
The whole thing was sickeningly stage managed and practiced, I’m not saying there was no content to pick through, but the format was not true debate, more an over formulaic platform for mini speeches.
Clegg and Cameron are relatively-speaking natural, but every action from Brown; every single grin, shake of the head, sound bite and “joke”, had been conceived, practiced and then clumsily delivered. He was coached to within an inch of his life and even then he only appeared vaguely human..!
The “joke” that bizarrely got a laugh about his smiling on the Tory posters would have been devised weeks in advance and practiced ad nauseam, until it sounded like they were actually his words and he wasn’t just reading it from a card.
I’m thinking Mandelson came up with the “This is not ‘Question Time’, it’s Answer Time” jibe at the Cameron. Quite clearly not an off the cuff remark, left in the bag and could be used at any time. I can almost hear him practising the delivery, over and over again. “This is Answer Time David, I’m not a Question! No, no wait… What was it again Peter…?”
We could be in for some gems if he slips up in one of the other debates. In a pre-election speech he rolled out “The only thing I haven't been accused of is murdering that guy Archie Mitchell in the Eastenders”. Shows the potential to drop a clanger but was only enough for a piss take on Have I Got News For You…
And then the shaking hands with the audience…! I’ve heard comments that this was a great “idea”, as if Cameron hadn’t suggested it beforehand! If Cameron or Clegg had made move first he would have forearm smashed them out of the way! These were people who sat in almost complete silence for one and half hours, “Hello, er, you. Yes thanks for coming, you sat, er, very quietly. And yes, you… You were also silent and motionless. Thank you…” As he lumbered towards them I bet they were thinking “what the fuck does he want?”, “shit! I thought he caught my eye a couple of times, it’s hard to tell…”
Anyway his comment about the smiling posters was apt because Mandelson and Campbell have turned him into something close to what the Tories have portrayed on their posters, a grinning lunatic!
Finished article, ready for anything...
As superficial as it was, I think it will have interested a lot of voters. It would be naïve to hope that voters won’t make their final decision based on these shows and they are likely to be crucial to the outcome.
Nick Clegg has been given a perfect platform to drum up genuine support for his party. Cameron really needs to take some of the shine off his face and his team need to spend more time on his answers and less on his make up…
And we can expect more of the same from Brown, which could actually become amusing especially when contrasted against the positive spin and titbits on Twitter.
More to follow on the issues, the important part…
I swear I’ve got to read some of the manifestos soon and look more closely at the issues; otherwise I’ll be basing my vote on the opinion sections of various newspapers and mainly on this glorified debating society!
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