First round to Clegg. Brown did ok. Cameron came across as the spoiled school boy he is

No doubt about it, Nick Clegg had nothing to lose and everything to gain, and he surely made the most of the Great Leaders’ Debate.  He looked relaxed, assured.  He was even enjoying himself.  And he won the debate hands down.

In spite of the online polls, Gordon Brown came across as predictably competent particularly on the big issue of economics.   The contrast between himself and David Cameron showed Cameron to be shallow, indeed scared of figures.  He kept trying to change the subject.  This is the Tory’s Achilles Heel.

A straight debate on finance between Brown and Cameron would produce one decisive winner, and it wouldn’t be Cameron.  (How I wish there was to be a television economics debate between George Osborne, Alastair Darling and Vince Cable – actually that would be cruel and inhuman punishment for the Boy George …. but it would be fun!).

Cameron looked like the school sulk, clearly the less liked of the three by the others.  You could imagine Brown and Clegg finding an accommodation, and a Chancellor Cable would appeal to many.

Cameron may have polled well amongst Conservative supporters but did little to convince undecided supporters to vote for the change he is advocating. 

But there was something lacking in this debate, something that could have made a real difference.  It wasn’t a debate stifled by too many rules.  It was definitely enhanced by Nick Clegg’s presence, and the Lib Dems will receive a massive boost from this.  No, what was missing was a woman’s input. Can you imagine what a difference Caroline Lucas would have made.  Clegg would have responded positively, she would have brought out the best in Brown (as does Sarah), but it would have exposed Cameron further.  Have you noticed how he manhandles Sam Cam, holding her by the wrist and guiding her with an arm up her back?

First round to Clegg.  Brown did ok.  Cameron must learn not to come across as the spoiled school boy he is.  Actually I hope he doesn’t learn!

12 Responses

  1. There was a Chancellors’ debate BPB – on Channel 4. If anything the debates should be extended to all prominent front bench positions – I think we’d see ‘Team Cameron’ fall apart pretty quickly.

  2. The debate did absolutely nothing to educate/inform those who might not otherwise vote.

    To have watched more than 5 mins you would have to be a committed political creature – so already know how you will vote.

    The twitterage was the only interesting thing about the whole episode – and twitter was glorious… one day all public debates will be held that way.

  3. Voting for the Greens will make it more likely that a Tory government comes into power.

    • Labour lies. Labour hasn’t won an election in Brighton in the last 5 years, you’re old news here. The sad truth is that Labour would rather see Charlotte Vere win here than allow the first Green MP into Westminster.

    • Alexander, why don’t you fight on policies and your party’s record instead of the same old inaccurate refrain?

      Why sound like a cracked record?

      Despite what you say, the fact is voting Labour in Brighton Pavilion is more likely to let the Tories in not less here – and therefore the election of a Tory government.

      Besides, Labour promised electoral reform pre-its 1997 election – 13 years is too long too wait.

      And your 2005 election result is 5 years in the past.

      However, it would be much better if people voted on polices and records rather than cynical scaremongering.

      • Most people who I speak to on the doorstep tell me that they vote Green in the local elections but Labour in the national ones. The latest poll puts the Greens on the backfoot at 8%, behind the Tories.

        You will also find that (in the unlikely event of) electing a Green MP will give the Tories an advantage on a national level. One less Labour MP will make all the difference to them at this point.

        I understand that the Green party means a lot to you. That much is quite obvious. But at this time, when so much is now at stake, we need to put the national interest before all other considerations.

        If I thought the Greens would keep the Tories out, I would be backing you all the way. However, the evidence (gained first-hand) points in an absolutely different direction. And so I am backing Labour.

  4. Alex, I don’t know where you’re pulling those figures from but they stink. Reputable ICM poll put Greens ahead on 35% here in Brighton just four months ago. We’re not taking the polls or the bookies’ tips for granted mind you, we’re working hard to get the vote out.

    I don’t know if you agree, but out canvassing I find Brighton voters are quite candid about their voting intentions, not many “won’t says”. I’ve certainly seen Labour people out in the streets in the last couple of weeks but you have to remember we’ve been working flat out on this election for the last year, so we have a much better idea than you do of how the votes are stacking up. It’s the Green campaign which is capturing people’s enthusiasm.

    When Rod Liddle from the Sunday Times interviewed Nancy Platts last week he wrote “She volunteers with glum honesty that things have been “a little shaky” on the doorstep, with voters worried that by putting a cross beside her name they might somehow let the Tories back in. Platts’s two main opponents think she will come third. She does not seem inclined to dismiss that notion.”

  5. Alex,

    Two things to consider:

    1. The constituency boundaries have changed since 2005. This time around the entire ward of Hanover & Elm Grove is in Brighton Pavilion. This is a Green-held ward where we’ve had councillors since 2003. This inclusion will undoubtedly boost the Green vote.

    2. The polling, the betting and the electoral history all point to Greens having the greatest vote share in Brighton Pavilion. For example see this

    You write “electing a Green MP will give the Tories an advantage on a national level” – This I don’t understand. A Green MP would never support a Tory government – so a Green vote deprives the Tories of an MP and of support just as much as any other non-Tory vote, just that we’re more likely to succeed in this constituency.


  6. Labour have a notional majority of nearly 7000. So to win the greens need to win another 3500 votes off Labour and hope the Tory share doesnt increase. But it is obvious the Tory vote share will increase significantly. So the Greens are going to need 5 or 6 thousand votes atleast. So they essentially need half the Labour switchers and most of the Lib Dems.

    Not going to happen.

    But I actually agree with Brighton Sense. Why don’t we talk about the policies.

    Let’s talk about a 1 week cancer guarentee.
    Let’s talk about a Minimum Wage that has been steadily increasing.
    Let’s talk about SureStart.
    Let’s talk about the Boiler Scrappage scheme.
    Let’s talk about the first ever Climate Change Act.
    Let’s talk about maternity leave, paternity leave and a guarenteed free place in early years education.
    Let’s talk about the Winter Fuel Allowance.
    Let’s talk about a free tv liscence.
    Let’s talk about Neighbourhood Police Teamd and PCSOs.
    Let’s talk about linking the state pension to earnings.

    All of these things and many more were achieved under a Labour government working together. People are beginning to realise that voting green is a luxury they do not have in this election.

  7. The Tory vote share barely moved in the two council by-elections we’ve had. In Regency it went from 21.5% to 22.1% and in Goldsmid it went from 30.1% to 29.2%. David Cameron was even featured in the literature for the Tory Regency by-election campaign.

    I think there’s a core Tory vote in Brighton & Hove but most others have no appetite for supporting the Conservatives. So there’s not as much room for growth in the Tories. Their only hope is to split the progressive vote enough between the other parties that they squeeze past.

    Yes Labour have made some improvements over 13 years, no doubt about it, it would be hard not to over so long. But they’ve also done plenty of appalling things including two foreign wars, rampant privatisation, failure to deliver oft-promised electoral reform and growing inequality partly thanks to a ridiculously over-complicated tax system.

    There are too many people who will never vote Labour ever again after those betrayals. Given the Green’s strong local track record, we are the clear choice for ensuring Brighton Pavilion has a progressive MP in the next Parliament.

    • You speak about Labour’s “privatization” as though it has been an utter disaster, Kitkat. That isn’t the case. ISTCs in the health service have led to improved standards. PFI has allowed for rapid investment in public infrastructure that was sorely needed back in 1997.

      Quality should be the only yardstick, Comrade Cllr.

  8. Alexander, yes let’s talk about standards and quality… ISTCs are hardly a good example. They are hugely expensive:

    * They get paid regardless of whether they do the operations they were predicted to, and at a higher rate than NHS trusts do for the same piece of work;

    * They do poorer quality work which needs far more remedial interventions than NHS work e.g. 18% revisions from one ISTC’s work versus 0.9% for NHS work;

    * They cherry pick easy cases leaving the complex expensive ones to NHS trusts. For orthopaedics alone this costs Brighton & Sussex Universities Hospitals Trust £2-3 million a year;

    * PFI is hardly a charm – it has cost the taxpayer billions more than treasury-based lending and results in poorer quality services e.g. the Brighton & Hove schools PFI which was recently reviewed.

    Some links with more info on ISTCs:

    One transport: Train fares – skyrocketing; tube refurbishment – one contract collapsed completely; for public services privatisation makes no sense whatsoever.

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