An earth shaking moment! -Not the volcanic eruption that grounded the world’s airports – the first ever UK Election Debate with leaders of all three parties on-stage together at Granada Television in Manchester.
It was an historic event which raised comparatively little dust. No-one punched anyone. It was thoroughly civilised and British as it should be. Most of the expected points were put across politely in response to questions offered from the audience. The trio on-stage answered a range of questions about health, schools, immigration, MP’s expenses, safe-guarding the economic recovery and so on.
Everyone came across as pretty human and not too rehearsed, although obviously they must have been studying like mad beforehand. Brown, Clegg and Cameron all acquitted themselves well, all noted and used the first names in replying to the audience members’ questions, a nice touch. Often they seemed to almost to agree on many issues – bit of a problem really in a debate where you really want to see a big fat argument – but that’s reserved for question-time in the House of Commons.
Occasionally those ‘almosts’ widened into much more like real disagreement. Brown and Clegg for the most part found it hard to disagree with each other but still tried. The bigger differences being between the two of them and Cameron than with each other. The heckles were genuinely raised a little between Brown & Cameron though on a few issues involving figures, where Cameron critiqued some numbers but could not provide costings of his own. Probably not the ideal tactic to use on an ex-chancellor. It was like “We’ll cut down on waste and save billions and scrap this (wait for it) Tax On Jobs” vs “Oh yeah – how ya gonna do that huh, c’mon show me” vs “Oh you two fighting about the same old things, not like me I’m sensible” – Brown also showed that he can be funny. Neither of these things were anywhere near as exciting as it sounds.
From the audience, tweets and polls immediately afterwards, Mr Sensible seems to have won round one.
Well done guys, we are all looking forward to round two.