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Thursday 22 April 2010

Verity Murphy | 17:20 UK time, Thursday, 22 April 2010

UPDATE - HERE'S KIRSTY WITH MORE DETAILS OF TONIGHT'S PROGRAMME:

Last Thursday's Prime Ministerial Debate dropped a depth charge into the election campaign and Nick Clegg has been feeling the reverberations in the opinion polls ever since.

So the expectations surrounding tonight's "performances" are huge. And tonight the territory for the first half of the debate is foreign policy, global affairs and defence - immediately setting the Liberal Democrats apart from the Tories and Labour on not one, but two profound strategic, and ideological policies - the war in Iraq, and Trident.

The nuclear deterrent is non-negotiable for the two bigger parties, while the Lib Dems say the cost of a "like-for-like replacement of the Trident nuclear weapons system" is too high and want to find alternatives.

Europe is another fault line in the debate which will be overall I think, a tougher, dirtier affair than last week. They're all practising hard for it (once again Alastair Campbell is playing the role of David Cameron in Gordon Brown's rehearsals).

We will have the best of the debate, top notch analysis from our Political Editor Michael Crick who'll have the instant poll results on who won, and from our Diplomatic Editor Mark Urban.

Emily will be live from Bristol with a trio of political heavyweights - David Miliband, Paddy Ashdown and William Hague.

And here, our star panel of Danny Finkelstein, Peter Hyman and Olly Grender who will have been watching with the trained eyes and ears of political insiders, will give the three men no quarter.

Justin Rowlatt will track the reaction of undecided voters with "the worm" and will be monitoring all manner of social media - which has already been in ironic overdrive today after the front page attacks on Clegg. Now everything is "#nickcleggsfault". Even Peter Mandelson came to his defence.

Steve Smith is camped out as usual on the side of the M1 gathering the comments and criticisms from his Motorway Men and Women.

A TV critic and body language expert will score the gestures and tics, and how the three men responded to the straitjacket of 76 rules... and two sketch writers will tell us how they'll be writing it up in tomorrow's newspapers.

I do hope you can join us tonight on BBC Two at 10.30 for an hour-long debate special.

Kirsty


ENTRY FROM 1134BST

Anyone who thought the middle prime ministerial debate wouldn't generate much interest, think again.

Nick Clegg's performance last week and the subsequent Lib Dem poll boost is making a hung parliament look like a real possibility and has piled the pressure on all three participants.

Can Clegg match the expectations upon him this time? How will Cameron and Brown perform and will they turn on the Lib Dem leader this time?

Tonight, we have an hour-long programme focussing on the second debate with Emily Maitlis at the venue in Bristol and Kirsty Wark in our studio in London.

This week's debate is on foreign affairs and we will have analysis from our diplomatic and defence Editor Mark Urban and our political team of Michael Crick and David Grossman.

Justin Rowlatt will have instant analysis of how the performances have played out on the web and Motorway Man Stephen Smith will be finding out what the voters at the Donington Park services think.

We will be talking to senior politicians at the debate venue and our political panel will be gathered in London.

More details later.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    ..Almost a quarter of the low-ranking Taleban commanders lured out of the insurgency in southern Afghanistan have rejoined the fight because of broken government promises and paltry rewards,

    The report, titled Golden Surrender, by the independent Afghanistan Analysts Network, is highly critical of the British-backed Peace and Reconciliation Scheme (PTS), established in 2005, which it says has been left to flounder under bad leadership with neither the political nor the financial capital it required. ...

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/afghanistan/article7104508.ece

    bad leadership and soft corruption is what democracy is all about? afghanistan must be counted a western 'success' then?

  • Comment number 2.

    i bet they don't talk about the new afghanistan policy called 'churchills choice' that McChrystal [therfore the uk] has adopted.

  • Comment number 3.

    great innit? Only a fraction of the population can watch as we are all in hock to Rupert and his world order.....being 'make him very rich' so only a small number will see this extravaganza, I remember the Radio Doctor and he was always on the radio and he was always telling people off...even then. This is an affront to democracy and we should give all these important jobs to the dear old Beeb....pip pip

  • Comment number 4.

    What are the likely topics?
    War and Defence spending
    Europe
    Our relationship with the US
    China
    India
    Immigration
    Global financial regulation
    Global economy's impact on us / our place in it
    Climate Change (Perhaps all those last three fall under a heading of general ineptitude in gaining international concensus on things)
    Self-sufficiency

  • Comment number 5.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 6.

    I have not been surprised by the Lib Dems progress as their vote and ideological coherence was always going to remain solid and the other larger parties both have very soft votes and ideological conflicts.

    Hence both are starting to get internal conflicts that will distract as panic sets in and they realise that their right of inheritance by way of the pendulum swing of a two party first past the post system is probably coming to an end.

    If it does not then I really think that public disengagement and hostility is going to be magnified quite quickly.

    Meanwhile the shabby little smears and so on could really backfire on the status quo as voters sense that they are being cheated of their genuine choices.

  • Comment number 7.

    Can I suggest that Newsnight DON'T provide any more coverage of the BNP than they absolutely have to as the BNP are totally incoherent about what they are.

    The BNP is "not a Nazi party" but is full of National Socialists who admire Hitler e.g. Collett who has said he admires Hitler and also that AIDS was a good disease as it killed blacks, gays and drug users. He also was arrested recently for threatening to kill Griffin his leader - possibly just a publicity stunt but it does say a lot that that is what life is like WITHIN their party so imagine relations with external groups and individuals.

    I don't want to go on and on about why the BNP are evil Nazis but perhaps if their activists did not pollute this page and returned to the simple delights of their bouncey castle (as shown on BNP Wives on Sky) at their conference-in-a-field then I would not have to.

    Of course it must be a terrible concern for them in the future that some of the Collett crew may attack Griffin whilst he is on the bouncey castle and damage it.

    I so hope that it is not hired.

  • Comment number 8.

    As the far right activists who pollute this page, and who seek to get the oxygen of publicity via the media and also to ensnare a wider social grouping than their "intellectual" core base, seem to be in "full moon frothing at the mouth" mood is now a good time to expose the total incoherence of their views?

    I think it is.

    They will rant on about a "Jewish hegemony" on here and in the pubs and in the football grounds.

    But since the 1930's where is the evidence for such a hegemony and if there is such evidence why don't they go to court with the EHRC and their evidence rather than rant on like some adolescents who will run away when confronted with reality?

    If there was no Holocaust as it was "made up to put people off statists" why don't they take their evidence off to say the Djemjanjuk (alleged Nazi death camp guard) trial.

    "Its been refuted on the internet" they will whine. But if it is solid evidence on the internet it is solid evidence in the court. Take it there and stop bleating.

    If they wany publicity why don't they get out there and show the Holocaust was a simple matter of coordinating the millions who were involved as victims, perpetrators, witnesses and Allied soldiers.

    But these latter day Haw Haws will be silent and will instead whimper on about how the US has "de-Nazified" Europe.

    But as they themselves claim they are not Nazis - they are "modern and progressive".

    Like I say when its a full moon and you hear howling in the distance it ain't dogs its the gutless far right staying in the shadows.

    I hope that those who voted for them in Stoke and Barking will recognise that there are better homes for their votes than the evil BNP.

  • Comment number 9.

    Gango are you a member of the UAF as you know so much about the BNP?

  • Comment number 10.





    Today’ Today. ....

    John Humphries interviewed a leading Lib Dim this morning!

    And “they” say that Mr Brown has a temper! Let it be known that there is now a young pretender to the ‘title’! Roaming the corridors of power, and exercising that power, requires more than a modicum of control, decided;y not shown this morning! Somebody - whom just might be a little bit more in the limelight as of late - needs to look at whether some members of his team are up to the job? He might also want to consider that lime doesn’t burn for very long!



    Irony of ironies ....

    The Cabbie that is changing his vote from the BNP to the Lib Dims.

    Oh, how well informed the GBP are! A full 180 degree turn with eyes shut. Is there no hope? Doubtable following the ‘swing’ that supposedly took place as a result of the first “Z factory” show last Thursday.

    It is curious: Was the change to interest in the third party destined only to be substantially short term but has been unwittingly continued, and perhaps nurtured, by the media’s obsession with having to fill the ‘hours’ with something? Arguably some bizarre form of innocently (ignorantly?) constructed prophetic self-destructive pathology by the media? And what are we left with? A party that nationally doesn’t fully comprehend it’s own policies and those policies that it can remember are modified - according to the ‘headline’ reaction - even before they get in to ‘power’ sic. One must suppose that that is the real ‘change’ that is being promised? Normally they wait until they sit smugly ‘on the benches’ before changing their policy commitments whilst occasionally offering some placebo-like platitudes as to why their - former - policy no longer applies!



    Belgium appears to be the first to get the ball rolling with it’s proposed introduction of a law that will ban the Burqa. Somehow Belgique doesn’t really seem to have the courage to actually deal with the issue as it - fearfully - states that it introduces the legislation primarily on the basis of health and safety. The legislation appears to be a classic ‘sledgehammer stroke nut’ approach with the down-swing of the ‘cudgel’ that actually fails to deal with the more important issue of honest equalitarianism. It strikes that the representative religious body claims that the law will cause women to consequently be ‘imprisoned’ in their own homes! It would appear that they - the religion’s council - condone the replacement of one evil with another. Or is it that they are only concerned that females should remain under male, not religious, chastisement? So much for religion adapting to culture of the twenty first century. And, more worryingly, so much for the greater ‘civilised’ society abstaining from it’s stated commitments i.e. All are equal in the eyes of the law. (Of course if one were to be cynical one might add to this ‘unless it upsets somebody’!)


    Part two of the drivel known as ‘Party Anthems‘ was on last night. One probably would argue that you’ve paid for it so you have to ‘use’ it. Would it not be better to “use it” in BBC Training Days to demonstrate how to get viewers to turn off?

    ‘Coz I certainly did!


    And whilst in this frame of mind ....

    What! I say “What!”

    No ‘Pop up Politics’ lately? Perhaps it’s a bit too late to re-think they concept and Newsnight’s viewers will just have to be left out of election commentary? After all what do they know?

    I’ve got it! Use ‘Twitter”! After all everything, and I do mean everything, can be said in 120 characters! Can’t it? (Even tonight’s PM thingy seems to be aimed at the ‘twitter’ - should that be ‘twit’ - generation?)



    Two things seem to be noticeably missing from all the media’s election coverage ....

    Much time being given to any party other than the ‘Big Three’ and ....

    An end to it!




    And presumptuously ....

    How the english language is changing .... regardless of where one has been ‘educated’ it would seem ....

    TH has become D and -ING has become -INK.

    Perchance the threatened ‘cuts’ are already upon us!

  • Comment number 11.

    8 ..the far right activists who pollute this page..

    you keep saying that but as afar as i can see, except for jj, the only person with a one track mind mentioning hitler/holocaust all the time is you?

  • Comment number 12.

    8 thegangofone

    I guess you won't be voting BNP then!

  • Comment number 13.

    'THE THUNDERBOLT DRIVES THE UNIVERSE'

    Clegg (apparently) drives the agenda - BUT WHAT DRIVES CLEGG? WHAT DRIVES CLEGG? WHAT DRIVES CLEGG?

    By the end of their reign, most Prime Ministers are seen to be 'driven'; driven onto rocks of their own navigating. They HAVE to go ON and ON and ON!

    If we take that as a proven 'given', surely we should inspect Young Nick, BEFORE he metamorphoses into the 'Old' version? Statistically, he is just another ambition-freak, who will end in tears, but not until we have cried ourselves dry.

    MR CRICK! Might you put it to Young Nick and Shiny-Boy Dave, that STATISTICALLY, they are both LATENT BARKING? Can anyone deny my statistics?

  • Comment number 14.

    stevie @ #3
    Sky News is available on Freeview, admittedly on one of the MUXs that not everyone gets but it does mean that the vast majority of people with digital reception should be able to see this live.
    The percentage of homes with one of satillite, cable or freeview is up to at least around the 70% mark these days with the analogue signal getting switched off.

  • Comment number 15.

    #9 ecolizzy

    "Gango are you a member of the UAF as you know so much about the BNP? "

    No I just find that rather than reading Mein Kampf the general media throws up much useful information like court cases and arrests and so on.The Collett arrest was reported in the Independent as I said and so you don't have to go far.

    But remember your posture - you aren't the BNP you have just visited their website.

    So are you in fact a National Socialist or are you to frit to say?

  • Comment number 16.

    Will Oliver Letwin and Alistair "the rabbit" Campbell be remembered as the men who helped to break the mould and let the Liberal Democrats bathe in the oxygen of publicity that those power mad BNP people who post one here would so like .... ooh and they can't have it can they?

    I am not one to gloat as on merit the Lib Dems deserve their place in the spotlight and on merit the BNP deserve to be in the shadows where they belong.

  • Comment number 17.

  • Comment number 18.

    The BNP have been condemned by churches and the Army and the media and the Unions and almost everybody and now .... Marmite comes out against them!

    "The maker of Marmite is threatening legal action against the British National Party to stop it from using a jar of the spread in a party broadcast.

    Unilever said it had not given the BNP permission to use its product and was looking into taking out an injunction. "

    They are so incompetent intellectually and practically that for their election broadcast it never occurred to them to get permission from the manufacturers.

    Is it this manifest incompetence that has spurred such divisions within their ranks?

  • Comment number 19.

    Go1 #8

    This might interest you. And maybe others too.

  • Comment number 20.

    HEAVEN HELP MY HEART

    Just heard a med. student (on the radio) exclaim that she may be tempted to change her vote to the Lib Dems BECAUSE Nick Clegg has been 'picked on' by the media today.

    And this the Creme de la Creme??????????



  • Comment number 21.

    COME HERE, THERE'S MORE.............

    And D Cameron is apparently having a last minute re think before tonights 'showdown'

    About .................................................... His Hair!!!!!!!!

    I know the airplanes (most of them) are flying again. What about space ships. I either want to be on one, or book an 'alien abduction or three!'



  • Comment number 22.

    While the media get all hot with excitement over the second debate.

    A very important development has happened in the US by Senators Kaufman and Brown on legislation to break up the banks :-

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/22/business/22fail.html

  • Comment number 23.

    RELAX BYT (#21)

    I heard that Dave says he is going to 'be himself'. What greater penance is there, for a politician?

    However, the latest Tesco ad is nihilism, like, to the max. So the Apocalypse might just turn up before the election can be held.

  • Comment number 24.

    #15 Gof

    So are you in fact a National Socialist or are you to frit to say?

    Well young/old girl, I'm left of Old Labour, with a strong dose of Englishness, is that ok? So I'm a strict Socialist, but I'm also proud of England so a Nationalist as well.

  • Comment number 25.

    #20

    Well, BYT, most of us are conscious to a lesser or bigger degree about our looks. I've always preferred him with the hair slightly raised. I find it more appealing on some men.

    I won't watch the debate tonight but might do next week after his interview with Jeremy tomorrow hoping that he would have taken stock of what I've been telling him for a year or so which I shall not go into here.

    It's not that I have ready answers to all the problems anyway and may have slightly different views on this or that, like for example on their choice of alliance in the European Parliament, but I believe that the Conservatives are best placed to get the economy moving in the right direction and, as Kenneth Clark was saying last night on Newsnight, a hung Parliament may be a disastrous hindrance in this respect.

    mim

  • Comment number 26.

    #21

    Re:Your Space Ship Escapes, BYT

    I'd rather the game was stopped in its track.

    mim

  • Comment number 27.

    Having originally criticised BBC, I'm now grateful for their 'What They Stand For' website and have printed out the proposed policies for the 3 major parties and for 3 minor parties in order to compare topic by topic.

    Having now applied green (good), orange (doubtful) and red (rubbish) highlighters, I can now ignore the heap of junkmail electioneering pamphlets that have come through my letterbox and make a balanced choice for myself and family voters.

    Libdems get the red treatment for (amongst many issues) proposing to give 16 year-olds the right to vote and stand for election; for supporting a common EU asylum policy (more control); for moving toward a Citizens Pension based on residence, not contribution history (more evidence that having contributed to our society counts for nothing in pursuing the false idol of 'Equality'; and proposing 'name-blanking' on job applications to cut discrimination (another attempt to force-feed and deny differences); and to increase foreign aid (see my post yesterday re- abuse of aid-funding by yet another African ruler).

    Just to further upset an already disturbed blogger, I have had the green highlighter to the following minor party proposals:
    Withdraw from EU; halt all immigration; deport criminal and illegal immigrants; withdraw British troops from Iraq and Afghanistan; only commit British troops to conflicts which directly affect British interests; abolish HR Act and replace with a Bill of Rights; establish an English parliament; end positive discrimination that benefits ethnic minorities; reject all asylum applicants who have passed through ‘safe’ countries; restore national service (civil/military options); give judges the option of capital punishment for paedophiles, terrorists and murderers, where guilt is proven beyond dispute (DNA evidence)…and many more long-overdue sensible proposals.

    Which Nick should get our votes? It’s obviously No Contest!

  • Comment number 28.

    15 thegangofone wrote:

    'So are you in fact a National Socialist or are you to frit to say?'

    ---------------------------


    Should have read...

    'So are you in fact a National Socialist or are you too frightened to say?'


    ...when's your barmitzvah?

  • Comment number 29.

    British politics might just have changed tonight. Nick Clegg is just good at this, and the Lib Dem vote isn't likely to collapse. If that leads to a hung parliament and voting reform, our political future is going to be very different. Julian

  • Comment number 30.

    Another decisive performance by Nick Clegg - although Gordon Brown held his own and performed with confidence - what on earth happened to Cameron - he looks like a rabbit in the headlights. Just dire.

  • Comment number 31.

    What the hell is Kirsty wearing tonight?...

    She looks like she's dressed up for a funeral during the day....with the prospect of going onto a night club tonight!

    The skirt is apprx. two sizes too small.

    C'mon Kirsty...on your money, I'm sure you could afford a decent style advisor!

  • Comment number 32.

    #28 Crumbs DJ, I can tell you're not British! ; )

    Frit is commonly used slang for scared/frightened, or in fact lacked courage.

    http://www.peevish.co.uk/slang/f.htm

  • Comment number 33.

    G01 wrote in response - in part - to my post wed:

    go1 wrote: "...But you people contradict yourselves all the time"

    Irony/sarcasm clearly is not recognised by your still developing brain...that will come Go1 ...that will come

    go1 wrote: "The other day you were saying that the BNP were going to do well; Clegg wasn't and that "the Griff" would be a king maker."

    I refer you to my 1st comment


    Go1 wrote:
    "You don't even have the guts to admit to what you are."

    As far as I'm aware posters on here don't ask other posters what there political beliefs are or who they would vote for. But because your special - and on a mission in hunting down Nazies, i will indulge you.

    What I am:

    45Yrs 6ft1 blonde (strawberry) and blue eyes.
    I work every day - long hrs, jog, lift weights, meditate.
    Working class, Christian value upbringing but don't follow any orthodox religion. I made a lot of money in the porn industry - hung like a large mammal, but still very shy for some strange reason. Musician and comic.

    Does that answer your question gango?

  • Comment number 34.

    I think the media including Newsnight is incredibly biased against Gordon Brown. You really ought to look at Facebook and see the real reaction to the debate. I really don't know where You Gov are getting their information from.

  • Comment number 35.

    I find this whole American copycat style of election campaign ridiculous. I thought British politics was by far more deep, about real issues that affect people and define policies that affect our lives, not the caricature of the Americans. Also I found the media most disappointing talking of winners and losers of these debates. The objectives I thought were more serious, addressing the content of what was debated and the depth. It should not be a show of which men looked the best. Also we do not have a presidential system, these men are simply spoke persons for the parties. Nick Glegg was actually the worst, I believe as he waffles and seems to speak for effect and for the sake of it as in show biz, the content of what he said was poor. Gordon Brown addressed the issues deeper and with confidence, outlined his points and policies very well and consistently. It should be about the policies that define and shape our lives and future, the economy, education of our children, eradicating child poverty and such issues.

  • Comment number 36.

    #34 Perhaps the facebook crowd ought to look at this http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8636701.stm Alison.

    In particular this... Total government debt now stands at £890bn - equivalent to 62% of GDP.

    If you look at the graph you will find Gordon has managed to score the highest figures of debt.

  • Comment number 37.

    Not easy to pick a 'winner' to get my support. Gordon makes me retch. Here is a man who lead the country, nay perhaps encouraged the whole world to follow the contrived world of derivatives and speculation. Where 'making money' without a tangible asset, meant that true assets such as housing surged in price to the point that anything purchased made a great profit whether, it was painted purple, or even knocked down, but eventually priced people either out of the market, or into great debt, and then he refuses to accept it was HE who created the bubble that popped. Hell would have to freeze over before he gets my vote. Jeremy Clarkeson was right...

    There is something I don't trust behind the plasticine face of Cameron. I cannot get a picture of Odo, of 'Deep Space 9' fame, out of my mind! Where are his frown lines? So yet again not been able to vote for the Conservatives, since that grey pea-chaser of Spitting Image, 'minor-Major' took over from Maggie.

    Mr Clegg, could get my vote, except for his error of wishing to grant an amnesty to the illegal immigrants here. If we stopped mot immigration, then we would not need to build in every green space, these ghastly blocks of flats that are becoming ghettos as rapidly as they are being built...

  • Comment number 38.

    BIASED AGAINST 'GORDON'? DON'T YOU REMEMBER THE SONG? (#34)

    During the second debate, Brown was striking poses, babbling, grinning, 'laughing' (but with the sudden 'off' that gives the lie) and got locked into 'yes this and yes that and yes the other' - clearly some 'affirmation thing' that you do on a 'bonding weekend'.

    Surely you have seen the YouTube? http://www.freshnetworks.com/blog/2009/05/gordon-browns-youtube-trauma/

    Brown is the 'nutter on the bus' but he got off to run the country (into the ground). And don't think the other two are not nutters, that is all Westminster produces.

  • Comment number 39.

    the murdoch Sun/YouGov instant poll says that cameron won. with that much directorial manipulation i am hardly shocked.

    sky director showed cameron talking straight to camera for long periods, but cuts away continually when clegg and brown talk, to chop them up and not show them straight to camera.

    in future the direction and camera work should be left to independent impartial orgs.

  • Comment number 40.

    PAYING (#36)

    I wonder how much irreversible conversion of resources to rubbish must be undertaken - how many invisible, intangible units of virtual-wealth generated - to (notionally) 'bring the debt down'? Cyber-vaults, full of Scotch Mist Bonds, can only take us to an even greater collapse, come the day.

    Meanwhile the HUMAN DEFICIT grows apace. Mankind is ever farther removed from Nature, madder, and increasingly 'sick-well' i.e. riddled with disease, but propped with technology and pharmacology.

    Meanwhile our 'leaders' do a modern re-enactment of the medieval 'how many angels on a pin' debate.

    Oh - it's all going terribly well.

  • Comment number 41.

    #40 Meanwhile the HUMAN DEFICIT grows apace. Mankind is ever farther removed from Nature, madder, and increasingly 'sick-well' i.e. riddled with disease, but propped with technology and pharmacology.

    I have a theory on this Barrie. The technology and pharmacology is going to become too expensive, and most under 50s drink far too much. So there will be no need for OAP pensions in the future, they'll all be dead.

    I already hate these debates, pointless, useless, presidential. I thought we had party politics in this country, not just leaders of parties. It's so contrived, I feel I'm watching one very long Party Political Broadcast, without the edgy pictures. ; )

  • Comment number 42.

    It would appear that Gordon Brown shot himself in the foot on wind farms in the election debate tonight. Took great pride in how despite the " bad weather " he had installed a solar panel on his house because it was better at saving energy than the wind mill he originally envisaged. Then attacks Cameron for having reservations about the effectiveness of the current wind farm biased " renewable's " target. It just goes to show that the whole climate change political scheme is nothing but a pointless stock market parasite investment scam. Give it 15 years and all that we will have to show for it as a nation is a pile of worthless scrap around our coastline and countryside.

    Cameron can't get off the climate scam hook that easy either, what we don't need is more gas power stations even if storage capacity is improved as he proposes. He is alleged to want to run our country in the interest of its citizens so why not new Home Produced Coal, stuff the eco-fascists and their plans to generate more false business for stock market parasite currency brokers ?

  • Comment number 43.

    THE WISE MAN HAS NO NEED OF ORATORY (bogus saying)

    Obama has boomed that there is no dividing line between Wall Street and Main Street. He obviously has never read that sign that says: "This chip shop has an agreement with the bank: They don't sell chips, and we don't cash cheques."

    Looks like some kind of line to me BO! And I can see which side of it the power lies!

  • Comment number 44.

    I think order of leadership debate is the same as last week.

    First: Clegg
    Second: Cameron
    Third: Brown.

    Though this week, I think Cameron has closed the gap with Clegg. Brown couldn’t do any worse than last week, when he was terrible.

    Brown is still not looking in to the camera and addressing the millions of people at home. He’s an old style politician not used to the modern world of TV or the internet.

    I think Clegg and Cameron connect better with the people, they have a commonality with the people, they are someone you would talk to on the street, and are also sometimes aspiring. Clegg more so than Cameron, for me, Cameron is not quite cutting the mustard.

    Brown on the other hand is like a bank manager reeling off stats and figures. I sometimes wonder whether the conspiracy theorists are right and that Brown is actually a shape shifting lizard from the planet Vulcan!

  • Comment number 45.

    #33 kevseywevsey

    "As far as I'm aware posters on here don't ask other posters what there political beliefs are or who they would vote for."

    Ok now if you start throwing tantrums your mumsy wumsy will take away your keysey boardsey!

    When posters say that they think "the Griff" will be a king maker then readers tend to laugh out loud and slap their thighs - people who do so because they may agree with you may or may not be wearing lederhosen.

    "and on a mission in hunting down Nazies"

    No I am on a mission to make sure people don't believe the Nazi lies and that the Nazi's could actually find some dark place elsewhere where they can torment themselves without bothering decent people. In the manner that Collett has decided that he now does not like his party leader Griffin - though I don't think the law can accommodate his alleged threats to kill as part of his palace coup.

    But if you like "the Griff" but are not a Nazi then that's for you.

    Brons used to do national Front Nazi salutes.

    Griffin used to admire Hitler.

    As the Independent reported of Collett:

    "Collett's role as leader of the Young BNP was thwarted by an undercover documentary in 2002, in which he spoke of his admiration for Adolf Hitler and the UDA terrorist Johnny Adair. He was recorded saying that Aids was a "friendly disease, because blacks and drug users and gays have it". That led to a brief expulsion from the party. He was caught on The Secret Agent documentary in 2004 describing asylum seekers as "cockroaches".
    "

    I could go on and on but I have more important things to do.

  • Comment number 46.

    #28 debtjuggler

    "...when's your barmitzvah?"

    You have absolutely no idea why the huge majority of people despise you people do you?

    I am not Jewish and I don't subscribe to the idiotic notion of a Jewish "hegemony". I am very happy with the Jews in this country and many of my cultural heroes are Jewish.

    You people witter on but as I say in seventy to eighty years you have only come up with the most ridiculous lies and that shows that on some level you know how little substance there is to your ideology.

  • Comment number 47.

    #19 Newfazer

    I have no idea what you are trying to communicate but the last posts I read from you were on the theme of Holocaust "agnosticism" and your mountain of evidence - that won't be being used at the alleged Nazi death camp guard Djemjanjuk's trial ... because its nonsense.

    I gather that there is a far right website .... Storm I think ... that may be a better home for your profound thoughts.

  • Comment number 48.

    OVER-THE-COUNTER MICKEY FINNS (#41)

    Just a free 'exit visa' then?

    They could fit a shute in the mortuary wall, like the baby chutes in the convents.

    Hey! What about legalised murder? On balance, only the nice people would be left. Remember Quatermass and the Pit - the Martian purge?

  • Comment number 49.

    On the debate I think that this nonsense about Brown building up a slow burn response is nonsense.

    I would have thought that they will still lose 2-3 points - possibly not all going to the Lib Dems.

    I have said before that I think he did not look tetchy tonight but in the final debate where the polls will probably have him well down and he is in the last chance saloon I do wonder if he may not crack.

    Still he has the calm Alistair Campbell to back him and whilst St Blair of Iraq has his legacy of some 73 properties Gordon can look at his contribution to the national debt and the fact that Labour may be well on the way to third party status and oblivion if they don't have PR. They can fight it out as to who destroyed the Labour Party.

    Meanwhile Cameron should stop flapping as he knows that if he offers the Lib Dems PR he is the next Prime Minister by the looks of things.

    Sometimes you just have to be brave and bite the bullet for the good of the country.

    Its your patriotic duty David.

  • Comment number 50.

    They didn't address immigration from within the EU. The "debate" was an insult to the people and a stain on democracy. Three corrupt political gangsters who all agree on leaving the EU floodgates open and denying us any say on the matter. I was sickened by the whole sorry spectacle.

    These farcical debates are a disgrace. All three of them agree on the biggest issues like the EU and the hamstrung audience is not allowed to hold them to account, nor is the chairman and there are no political opponents allowed. An undemocratic stitch up of the worst sort.

  • Comment number 51.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 52.

    Green sex - how to be green about your sex - just love the American's
    deep-set affected voice - thrilling . And its only the beginning

    http://www.infowars.com/audio/201004/201004.html

    Thursday April 22 broadcast

    For those who seek spaceships - Hitler's hydro-zine headbangers researched anti-gravity spaceship devices so you should feel at home be sure to take the rest of the NN - SS mob on here. Enjoy the goose stepping on the moon.

    Giant leaps is what you take

    Goose stepping on the moon

  • Comment number 53.

    Worms seeking power via remote control by drone borgs propagated by
    the BBC.

    Now then Laura kuenssberg demonstrated a visually sophisticated
    hair-do. We visually engage via a rectangle - The Box. Diagonals
    within a rectangle create a dynamic - you notice them. Notice Laura's
    dynamic straight-line diagonal. But be sure to keep it straight, the eye
    enjoys going up and down them

    just don't mention 'worms'.

    Hair on a women's head is sexy but worms going up and down a straight-line ?

    All very distasteful - talk of the three worms going up and down . Copious
    use of the word 'smearing' -

    oh dear
    a real
    switch
    off

  • Comment number 54.

    Great show, I really enjoyed it. A couple of things spring to mind, highly relevant since today is St. George's Day, the collective winge coming from Plaid Cymru and the SNP I find especially grating. Are either party putting up candidates in England? Thought not. That pretty much scuppers their claim to be in the Prime Minister debates. And anyway, both parties are getting plenty of local coverage, which is where they most need it. Here in Wales, Plaid are getting equal exposure in the televised 'Town Hall' debates, ask Betsan Powys, she'll tell you. I'm sure the SNP north of the border are getting similar coverage. Which brings me on to the leaflet hoo-ha. Local candidates produce local leaflets and I'm sure the local electorate know witless scare mongering when the see it. Now, in Kirkcaldy, I expect local conditions, such as the SNP taking a wacking big donation from the boss of Stagecoach, could well have something to do with it. A point to remember: operators running unregulated buss routes do not like buss passes. Regards, etc.

  • Comment number 55.

    #51

    Mods

    I was talking of myself being an old by now bag 'provoking' all this fuss.

    mim

  • Comment number 56.

    THE DIVISION BELL IS TOLLING A DEATH-NELL. WESTMINSTER OR BRITAIN?

    'Divide and Rule' is an old adage - division is implicit weakness. In light of this: 'Divide TO Rule' (The Westminster Way) HAS TO BE PRETTY DUMB - and so it is emerging.

    In our adversarial system of governance, Her Majesty's (loyal) Opposition is required to OPPOSE. That speaks for itself. Yet Clegg is increasingly invoking COOPERATION! Might he end up in the Tower for DISLOYALTY?

    Cooperation is usually mooted in the face of a SERIOUS THREAT (e.g. war - though not a phoney war on 'Terror'). But is not the general decline in competence and contentment, of the occupants of these islands, A SERIOUS THREAT?

    Where is the sense in institutionally divided governance having, NOW, to bridge the dopey divide, WHEN IT DID NOT NEED TO BE DIVIDED IN THE FIRST PLACE? The politicians of Westminster, drawn there by - AND CONFIRMED IN - adversarial delights (wasting untold time and unaccounted millions) are ill-disposed to harmonious, optimum governance.

    Surely it is time to sweep away the whole Westminster ethos and its associated rosetted-ciphers; to put an end to party-gaming (while Britain burns) and to govern through the talents of individuals of proven integrity (not thespians cloaked in rubber-stamp 'honour').

    As an illustration of the madness of our political system, consider what happens WITHIN a party when two or more factions emerge. SHOCK-HORROR! "The party must come together or die!" "Any faction OPPOSED to the leadership mut be purged!" The party is pronounced SPLIT - de facto WEAKER.

    Let's make a start: SPOILPARTYGAMES

  • Comment number 57.

    Brown - 'Services only by the internet to save money' folks - major mistake - more
    locking us into banks
    And remember Labour don't want to break up banks I don't even think they have a clue about derivatives - I read one of Janet Tavakoli's books about 6 years ago stupid me ! I didn't realise its important! re-reading it and her others was shocking.

    When Brown starts talking about the banks and his ideas later today remember this piece of brilliance :-

    http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/better_regulation_action_plan.htm

    then ask yourself have the bankers really taken their hand out of their puppets you know what or are they making him say what they think will make us sweet .

  • Comment number 58.

    It doesn’t surprise me that a mass swath of labour support is going to the Liberals. The new labour party betrayed the proletariat:-

    * Abolished the 10pence tax band.

    * Allowed millions of immigrants in to the country taking working class jobs. When the working class complained that we found it hard to find jobs, the labour government accused the working class of racism.

    * The unemployed working class were pushed into any low pay work on pain of losing their benefits. The same treatment was given out to the genuine sick. The unemployed poor and sick have been treated like the undeserving poor.

    New labour cared more for the bankers - the multi billionaires, with unregulated casino style capitalism, no wonder the gap between rich and poor widen over the last 13 years. Now that the great economic bubble has burst, the working class will suffer, with more joblessness, and probably a high VAT rate after the election.

    If the labour party really did care about the proletariat it would rise the top tax rate up to 65p in the pound, so that it wouldn’t need to raise the VAT rate. Do we really want so many top financial professionals in our country when we are a trillion pounds in debt?

  • Comment number 59.

    GO1 wrote: "I could go on and on but I have more important things to do"

    like er, knock-up 3 more post..is the xbox 360 not working gango.
    Its a nice day gango, take your skateboard out for a spin and get yourself some sun. Something tells me you need it.

    If you want real news:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEYq_j2njEM

    Anyhow, meanwhile:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPB1psORIkQ

  • Comment number 60.

    #59 kevseywevsey

    "Its a nice day gango, take your skateboard out for a spin and get yourself some sun. Something tells me you need it. "

    When there are people out there who try to flog the duff idea of National Socialism via the back door and peddle cult hate ideas like the "Jewish hegemony" and suggest "the Griff" is going to be a big political force?

    No its St Georges Day and I will don my armour and take up my lance and charge that hideous dragon!

  • Comment number 61.

    #56 barriesingelton

    'As an illustration of the madness of our political system, consider what happens WITHIN a party when two or more factions emerge. SHOCK-HORROR! "The party must come together or die!"'

    In the case of Collett, the old BNP publicity officer, who was arrested by Humberside police for threatening to kill his leader one Nick Griffin - tubby guy, bobs his head a lot and likes lots of security guards, I don't think he suggested coming together at all ...

    If you have lots of individuals then the electorate has to work out how they combine and many would have similar views and would caucus.

    Political parties are a natural phenomenon and its the skewed electoral system and out of date constitutional arrangements that you need to change.

    We also need the political parties to combine with other groups of good will to take almost every last vote back from the far right.

    The evil hard core can be left to their own devices but lets not allow any more naive people to be drawn in by their snake oil.

  • Comment number 62.

    Interesting piece on the Wavertree election in the Independent:

    ' Crash landing for Labour candidate parachuted into Liverpool

    When you're campaigning in Merseyside, it pays to know who Bill Shankly is. Jonathan Brown goes in search of Luciana Berger'

    But local businessman Mike Lane, 57, was unconvinced: "She hasn't got a clue about any of the policies – and she didn't know who Bill Shankly was. Whatever happened to the working class people? They are parachuting these middle class people in."'

    Labour sent a candidate to Liverpool and did not consider local issues and culture?

    'Meanwhile Peter Kilfoyle, who is standing down from the neighbouring seat of Walton, said the local people were fighting back: "The main parties have lost their way. They see everything from a Parliamentary and Westminister perspective. It is all about getting people who will support their views in Westminister. On the ground there is a different perspective. People on the ground want their views represented. It is time for some kind of change." '

    Surely there is an argument for outside candidates of quality and to prevent local "mafias" but democracy is about bottom up strength and equality to preserve our democratic freedoms.

    Is this not one of the reasons why the Lib Dems are doing so well - they are not perfect but have a much more cohesive relationship between top and bottom?

    No matter how awkward I would hope that speedy common sense would prevail in any internal hung parliament deal proposals.

  • Comment number 63.

    Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian:

    "For Labour, that should prompt a radical conclusion. A government in power for 13 years cannot hope to win an election that is now all about change. Instead its best hope surely has to be to maximise its core vote to prevent a collapse into the low 20s on percentage points, a defeat even more absolute than that of 1983."

    I have been wanting to say this for years though it is obviously tongue in cheek:

    "Why can't Labour voters see that they are splitting the anti-Tory vote and that they should vote Lib Dem?"

    Actually I am not anti anybody barring the BNP and that's only because they are a Nazi party with a very thin coat of paint over the top.

    If Labour are in the low twenties and the BNP are exterminated in Stoke and Barking then I may well supp an extra glass or two on election night.

  • Comment number 64.

    Last night's debate was on the eve of St George's Day, but that didn't rate a mention from our Big 3 Leaders. Neither have I heard it mentioned on BBC News, though the constant repetition of what the Big 3 promised and their performance was compelling, in a remote sense; so I used the remote to switch off.

    More out of cultural habit than feeling, I then hung out my two flags, the Union Jack and the English Flag. These were the only flags to be seen on display in my area, apart from another England flag which, on closer inspection, had the red cross overlaid with what looked like a black chicken on a black football - no doubt some symbolism there!

    The Americans are proud to be Americans, and our devolved bits (Scotland, Ireland and Wales) all celebrate their National Day.

    So why have we abandoned our pride in nationhood?

    I suggest that it has been deliberately removed from our psyche by mass immigration, together with large doses of love of diversity, positive discrimination to ethnic 'minorities' and a legally induced 'racist' shame, such that Patriotism = Nationalism = Racism.

    Vote for the Big 3 and in few years time we will be flying only the European Flag and our schools will cease to teach any English History.

  • Comment number 65.

    Brooonnn still helping the illegal immigrants

    http://www.scottishsundayexpress.co.uk./posts/view/170870/Migrant-arrest-team-axed-as-new-Gordon-Brown-lie-exposed

    We actually know one or two of these Border Agency people. At a rough estimate they say probably 50 illegal immigrants a day smuggle themselves in at Dover, and are never found.

    Nice one Browny

  • Comment number 66.

    #64 Indignantindegene ~

    So why have we abandoned our pride in nationhood?

    Scared we will be called racist bigots, followed by there are no such people as the english, you are all immigrants to this isle.

    Now if it had been Divali, Eid, Chinese New Year, Guru Gobind Singh’s Birthday, St Andrews, St Davids or St Patricks day, it would be shouted from the roof tops, showing all the celebrations for these great days.

    If we fly the flag or say St George, we are fascist.

    Happy St Georges day one and all : )

  • Comment number 67.

    GO1 # 60 - I detect some natoinalism in your post. Hopefully it does not mean that I have to be crucified on the day of the patron saint of the devloved bit which I live in.

  • Comment number 68.

    THERE'LL ALWAYS BE AN ENGLAND?????

    #64 II

    I was about to post this early this morning, but was called out. Not too late I hope.

    Let the name callers do their worst. I LOVE this Island on which I live; I love London where I was born (especially the river), I love the multi cultural urban sprawl I grew up in (NW London on the 60’s/70’s truly was a melting pot); I love all the points I have enjoyed spending time from the tip of Cornwall, the flat reedy broads, the Welsh marches, St David’s Head, The Industrial Midlands, The Yorkshire dales, The Northumberland Coast, the Scottish West Coast and Western Isles (apart from the dreaded Dragon - midge!) and the NE of Scotland that I have called home for the past 20 years (despite the cold icy rain today). I am British, I am English, I am a Londoner (born of Heinz 57’s) I am an ex-pat. I am who I am!

    "Red White and Blue
    What does it mean to you
    Surely you're proud
    Shout it aloud
    Britons awake!....

    There'll always be an England
    And England shall be free......"

    Yesterday, at a multi national writers group in my locale I railed slightly at the ‘Scottish Nationalist bent of the tutorials of late and delivered a couple of hearty renditions of some key speeches from Henry V. Excerpts below for which no apologies.

    Henry V - Act III, Sc i.

    "Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
    Or close the wall up with our English dead.......

    And you, good yeoman, ........
    whose limbs were made in England, show us here
    The mettle of your pasture; let us swear
    That you are worth your breeding;
    .....
    Cry 'God for Harry, England and St George.'

    I shall be watching Henry V tonight – probably Ken Brannagh’s version, whilst enjoying good old F & C after a fashion.

    Happy St George’s Day. Even if he WAS Turkish!

  • Comment number 69.

    #68 God Bless you BYT: even if he doesn't exist!

    I too love my country which, just as you describe it, has within our climate and culture contained all the DIVERSITY that most of us ever wanted or needed.

    I actually feel somewhat guilty for having spent many years working on overseas development projects, but am making up for that by spending every summer touring each county and shire and revelling in the history and beauty of it all. Here's hoping for a English Summer.

  • Comment number 70.

    MORE AN ARTHUR MAN MYSELF - BUT THE MESSAGE IS THE SAME (#68)

    I doubt this is the last time I shall be moved to post this, BYT.

    WHITHER ?

    The sinew of integrity is strained
    in Britain’s GM-green unpleasant land.
    Britannia’s conquering wheel is spoked by doubt,
    while waves she ruled defer to other law.
    Our God, perplexed, now spurns this Sceptred Isle,
    fouled – rudderless – set in a leaden sea.
    Noblesse no obligation dignifies
    and ‘Great’ of Britain’s boast contrives to grate.
    Where once true Heroes’ feet strode legend hills,
    false idols rise, precursed by Mammon’s gold
    and though no booted foe made Britons yield
    yet, soft subversive step now trips our land.
    With black of psyche’s deep, life’s flame we fuel,
    as light of honour fades from Arthur’s Jewel.


    PS Word is, Arthur was a Hobbit!

  • Comment number 71.

    #70 Barriesingleton

    Since you have the inside knowledge, do you know if
    a) Albert Ross really IS an Albatross?
    and
    b) Nogging the Nog IS really an Arab?
    and
    Ivor? Is HE an Engine?

    and if Life really is a Lemon, can I have my money back? Please Sir?




  • Comment number 72.

    Looked in tonight first time in ages see what the talking heads are opining and they're all standing around on stilts or something fhs can't be getting on with that makes me feel positively nervous close to screaming and simply had to switch off eventually I mean do you have any idea how ridiculous you all look at least do it with a wine glass stuck in your hand to make it credible plus none of us are getting any younger you know what's the point of expending all that unecessary effort.

    better be sat down next week btw what a storm in a teacup over the leafleting more crick hysteria like all that stuff about the nanny which just went on and on going nowhere.

    Course you could have your commentators standing on their heads next time that would be ok spose and just so fantastically valid TV go on I dare you or even different positions every night that would be just so incredibly edgy.

 

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