15 April 2010

dull but worthy

The leaders' debate is dissolving into a consensual mush over long-term care now so I can round it up - pretty much as expected. Clegg probably came off best because he was very much on an equal footing with the other two. Brown and Cameron have very different styles but they both got a lot of points across. And that means, I think, that Clegg and Brown both get more out of it - in terms of net gain - than Cameron. Brown because he was expected to be crap and was actually OK, and Clegg because nobody can really call him a Mickey Mouse minor-league politician after this.

The Guardian tracker gave Nick the lead on the instant track, but their Twitter feed suggests that this was because a lot of people from Lib Dem central office were pressing the 'plus' reaction button on Clegg a lot. Well fair play to ya guys, but it does mean that any post-match statistical analysis will be worth sweet FA. Dunno if I'll be tuning in for the other two.

(By the way, with reference to my previous post, there ARE going to be Scottish and Welsh debates - next Tuesday - but no sign of a UKIP/Green/BNP debate.)


red two said...

I thought that Clegg did OK, but am surprised at the acclaim with which his performance seems to have been greeted. I guess I'm a bit out of touch... I used to get my current affairs off the radio on long journeys. No longer doing long journeys I have not really replaced that media so I had little preconception of what Clegg was like.

I thought he came across almost more like a stereotype politician than the other two... talking earnestly to the camera, uncomfortable hand gestures... but was perhaps the most unprepared, frequently having to repeat his initial soundbite when given a second bite on a subject rather than building on it.

Where he did well was in the occasional interplay between them, where he far outperformed Cameron who, as even I expected, struggled when challenged on anything relating to policy or detail. Cameron looked almost the smoothest of the three, despite clearly being nervous. If I'd not heard what was coming out of his mouth I'd think he'd done ok.

Gordon should just forget about smiling. As dour as he comes across naturally, it's far far better than the mistimed and unnatural afterthoughts that masquerade as smiles.

Not being as immersed in this as you, I found it reasonably interesting. Certainly intend to watch next week, although my vote, as with anyone in a non-marginal, isn't really worth an awful lot.

giroscoper said...

I think Clegg tailored his performance to the format best. All three were clearly trying to do that, but (for reasons unknown) whenever Brown smiles or laughs it looks like he's been taken over by aliens who are flicking a switch somewhere backstage. A bit like the "Rabbits" sketches in David Lynch's film Inland Empire where the laughter track comes in at inappropriate moments...

Cameron looked heavily made up - a bit like Shatner in one of those 60s episodes of Star Trek.

The interplay is what people remember from these events I think, and a simple repetitive message can work well. It's about the only kind of message that can get through in this format. That's what Cameron was trying to do with the "jobs tax" I think but he was inserting it at EVERY opportunity and it just became ridiculous.

Brown needs to just be the ultimate straightman - no gimmicks, just solid as you like. Oddly enough back in 2007 Labour produced a poster saying "not flash, just Gordon" and that sums it up. If I was Brown I'd be trying to make play of the fact that both other leaders are inexperienced - Johnny come latelys.