Elections aren’t the easiest of things. I’ve been struggling to deal with the clash between working as part of the Liberal Democrat campaign team in Luton South and attempting to blog about the election. Last week it was the blogging that lost out. Lots to blog about but a lack of time or energy to do so.
One thing I missed out on was my reaction to the second leader’s debate shown on Sky News last Thursday.
I thought there were some extraordinary elements to Sky’s presentation. Other’s have written about how they thought they detected an anti-Clegg bias in aspects of it. But the thing that struck me was how over blown it all was. The woman who presented the post-debate discussion in the “spin room” was verging on the hysterical. Then there were the frequent shots of the images being projected onto the walls of the debate venue, which served no real purpose as far as I could see. It was as if the producers had said “We have spent a lot of time and money on producing these graphics and we are damn well going to show them”.
As to the debate itself, I go along with the general consensus that Brown and Cameron improved on their performances in the first debate and that all three leaders were much more evenly matched. I still thought Nick Clegg won, but only narrowly, and it was a better and more lively debate.
I said after the first debate that Clegg was capable of doing much better and he did. He was much sharper in this debate, less repetitive, and went on the offensive very effectively in defence of tricky Lib Dem policies. Yet I still think there is room improvement. To me it looked like Nick really got into his stride in the last ten minutes or so. I’ve seen people comment on how good his closing statement was. But my favourite moments were in the debate over the immigration question when he first challenged Brown and then challenged Cameron over the weaknesses in their policies. The Liberal Democrats were the ones who were supposed to be on the ropes on this question, yet Nick Clegg seemed to turn it round and make the responses of the other two look shallow.
I know I am being demanding but I want more like that from the Liberal Democrat leader in the third and final debate.
This content was originally posted on my old Strange Thoughts blog.