General Election 2010

The Leaders’ Debate drinking game (suggestions welcome) 1

It’s the second of the Leaders’ debates tonight, and I should be listening to it if I don’t get distracted by Episodes from Liberty City.

These look like they’ll become an election fixture, so it’s time to start thinking about a drinking game. Gather around your television or radio and take a drink every time-

Nick Clegg mentions Sheffield, where he’s an MP.

Gordon Brown makes a lame and obviously scripted joke.

David Cameron starts an anecdote with “Recently I was in <city> where I met a….”

Anyone mentions Eton.

The chairman has to shout.

You still find yourself thinking “So that’s what Nick Clegg looks like.”

Watching it on Sky HD bonus addition

Gordon Brown in high definition makes you shudder.

Not-sober-until-Sunday optional additions-

Anyone mentions Trident

Anyone mentions Afghanistan

Anyone mentions “Our brave troops (boys/men and women etc.)

Permanent liver damage (but worth it) bonus

Gordon Brown says “Of course Tony was lying about WMDs and we all knew he was.”

Who’s afraid of the big bad Nick Clegg 1

I listened to the leaders’ debate on Radio 4 last night, so I didn’t get to judge any of the body language. And I’m easily distracted, so I kept reading stuff at the same time and not paying total attention. With those provisos I, like so many others, am going to declare Nick Clegg the winner. His constant referrals to “Sheffield, where I’m MP” grated a little, but it wasn’t as painful as Brown’s laboured attempts at jokes or Cameron’s smarm.

So the Lib Dem leader has gone from “Who?” to a refreshing alternative to the tired other two. Therefore his performance is being attacked by MPs from Labour and the Tories. Tom Harris- whose online persona I quite like, even if he has now slipped into bitchy campaign mode- tries to tell us the debate wasn’t that important after all. Meanwhile John Redwood- who’s unlikeable online or off- tries to throw some mud.

Congratulations to Nick Clegg. He’s got the two main parties worried. Certainly, he’s not going to be Prime Minister, but he could end up holding the balance of power and that’s got Labour and the Conservatives worried.

It’s a two horse race, apparently. Let’s bet on the 100-1 shot

Tom Harris MP has pointed out the main problem with this election, though I’m not sure that’s exactly what he meant to do. Come May 7th we’ll have to put up with one of two unpalatable leaders. Gordon Brown is the least nauseating of the two, even though he’s not particularly likeable and the party he leads has given us Afghanistan, Iraq, PFIs, multiple useless laws and the Digital Economy Bill. Cameron tries hard to be likeable, but he’s still the leader of the Tory party. Which counts amongst its members people like John Redwood, former Shadow Secretary for the Environment, Transport and the Regions who goes out of his way to suck up to the climate change denier demographic.

So the choice is the devil we know or the devil we don’t want to know. Mr Harris seems to be saying that we can vote for change* all we like, but we’re not going to get any. No wonder so few people vote when the options are put to them in those terms.

*By which I mean actual change, not the Tories “Change” which is just them being on the other side of the chamber.

Trust me, I’m a politician

I used to know the world’s most reliable man. If he said he’d do something it wouldn’t get done, if he said he’d be somewhere at a certain time he’d fail to turn up, telling you he was only five minutes away meant he was in a different city. His combination of lies and incompetence was so consistent that it was possible to make plans based upon the opposite of what he said.

The General Election has reminded me of him. That the three main parties are launching their manifestos this week, starting with Labour today, is giving me more flashbacks.