Friday, April 30, 2010


It's Beginning to Look Like He's Won it

This election campaign nhas been extraordinary. For months in the run-up it looked like Cameron would walk it. Then his lead began to narrow and in early March a hung parliament became first a possibility then a probability. Some thought Camereon would blitz the televised debates but it was Clegg who did the dive bombing on the two big parties. I harboured wistful thoughts of a possible coalition between Labour and Lib Dems founded on a deal to bring in PR voting.

But, one has to be fair to Cameron, whom I have never liked- on more than mere tribal grounds I would argue- has raised his game.I had initially agreed with Jacob Weissberg, author of the brilliant Bush Tragedy, that Gordon, astonishingly given his disastrous Wednesday, had come back strongly and won the argument. This just shows how tribal conditioning determines one's perceptions. I was wrong, I had been aware Cameron had appeared very confident and in control when attacked- rather as he is at PMQs. Poll results revealed how the majority of the 9 million viewers had come round to agreeing he was the 'winner'. After a rocky start, he has mastered the new medium of television debating and eclipsed former wunderkind, Nick Clegg.

This doesn't mean that Dave was right and Gordon, bless him, wrong; merely that Cameron was the better presenter of his case; on the night Cameron emerged as the master of the stage. In future expect ever more movement towards this 'presidential' style of politics. Policy gets submerged in the showbizzy sides of ther media. It's their personalities which engage us- how they take the strain, do they perspire? do they wear too much make-up? It's politics as the X Factor, but it was a big hit and, rather like Simon Cowell, appears to be here to stay.

I think Cameron won on Thursday because he presented the clearest case, but Nick Clegg did defeat him on immigration despite having the worst policy.

It was Gordon Brown's worst performance. All he did was be negative about the other parties. He focused more on their policies than he did on his own. Nick Clegg was strategically consistent.
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