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No surprises

Nick Robinson | 17:39 UK time, Tuesday, 6 April 2010

This was not a day for surprises. It was not a day for detail. It was more a day of impressions carefully created and choreographed by the party machines.

College GreenThus, Gordon Brown opened his electoral pitch by declaring that he came from "an ordinary middle-class family from an ordinary town" - "unlike the other guy" being his unspoken thought.

"I am not a team of one," the prime minister declared with the Cabinet at his side - this a reflection of what Labour perceives as a strength and a confirmation of their fear: that their leader is a potential weakness.

On the road, he was accompanied by the woman credited with making him more ordinary - his wife Sarah - as he popped in to people's houses and to their canteens - presenting himself as more underdog than powerful incumbent.

But David Cameron had seen that coming. He declared that he was fighting for the "Great Ignored" at an outdoor rally with Parliament as his backdrop with his wife Samantha at his side. His implicit message: we are on your your side, not theirs.

Nick Clegg had to make do with a political wife - Vince Cable - who like Mrs Brown and Mrs Cameron is regarded as a key electoral asset. They are pitching their campaign as a contest between the old politics in the form of Labour and Tory and the new in the form of, well, them.

So far, so stage-managed. But it is only Day One and the choreography is - in its own way - rather revealing.

Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    and it will go on like that until some reporters start to ask the question that people want answers too

  • Comment number 2.

    are you only going to be following brown aroundv then, what about the other parties or do they not count from the view of the BBC, they need
    to get there man back in power ?

  • Comment number 3.

    "I am not a team of one," the biggest lie so far, many they all go down with him, they should have got ride of him while they had the chance , it will come to haunt them for years, shoes a man in with no vote, then going on for 3 years for the country to have no vote, and the missed opportunities to oust him and have an election and a general election at the same time, ah democray the Zanu_Liebour way

  • Comment number 4.

    So Cameron is out on the streets connecting with the general public.

    Brown is in Morrissons canteen with a handful of union selected and approved "ordinary voters."

    As you point out Nick, very revealing...


    Fire up the Quattro!

  • Comment number 5.

    Nick says it was more a day of impressions carefully created and choreographed by the party machines.

    Indeed.

    In our England, if you were watching the media today, you really would think that there were only three parties campaigning in this General Election.

    That is not this Englishmans idea of democracy or even basic fairness.

    Voters living in England do have more choices.

    Democracy England 2010.

  • Comment number 6.

    It is difficult to believe that Gordon Brown wants electoral reform. He always seems more interested in playing to the gallery, stealing a march on the opposition or ignoring issues until they become headline news.
    Is there anything he really believes in?

  • Comment number 7.

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

  • Comment number 8.

    Brown says he comes from "an ordinary middle-class family from an ordinary town"

    Let's hope he soon returns.

    If he wishes to play a part in his home-town politics, perhaps he should stand for election in the Scottish Parliament. But, down South, the people of England have had enough of him.

  • Comment number 9.

    The spotlight will be fully on Cameroon and his side-kick Osborne now. So far Cameron has acted like a yapping Dachshund tinkling on one issue before running off to tinkle on the next. There is little or no substance in what they have proposed so far - just wheezes. Had they been in power when the financial collapse happened, Britain would be in a deep Depression by now. Every call on the economy they made then was desperately wrong. Brown has proved what he did was right (applauded and admired around the world for his action/direction when the chips were really down). Better the devil you know! Five more years in SAFE hands please!

  • Comment number 10.

    'the prime minister declared with the Cabinet at his side - this a reflection of what Labour perceives as a strength'

    What they perceive as a 'strength', anyone with any sense perceives as a bunch of incompetent spineless lackies not fit to stick on the end of a broomstick.

  • Comment number 11.

    Oh my goodness, 4 Nick blogs in as many hours, can hardly keep pace! Can't imagine how some of the slower types are managing. Has Robin posted on here yet? No, guess not. Anyway, words words words ... sick of them. Let's have a picture.

    What we need?

  • Comment number 12.

    British government cowardice!!!

    Why is it that Brown feels the need to hide from the truth. Release the Saville inquiry and release it now!!!

  • Comment number 13.

    But we have had to wait so long for this election that the next 30 days or so is going to be an anti-climax however hard the pundits try to tell us otherwise.

    I think most people have already made their minds. The line up of chameleons outside Number 10 this morning was very telling.

  • Comment number 14.

    You are quite right Nick,no surprises,did you expect any? Gordon was his
    usual uninspiring self,meeting selected people only,who didnt seem to ask
    him anything of interest.What a boring lot!

    I have heard both Milliband Snr.and Jnr.and of course the loathsome Balls
    preaching the party line.Deadly dull stuff.

    Will we get any surprises? Not from this shower!They have never been even
    remotely interesting up to now,why should that change?

  • Comment number 15.

    Gordon can choreagraph all he likes.Can he tell the truth? The promised reforendam on the EU TREATY SPRINGS TO MIND.

  • Comment number 16.

    "I am not a team of one," the prime minister declared with the Cabinet at his side.

    True! They are all equally capable - and now the Labour Party will face the wrath of the electorate for the mess they have created.

    They should have made Brown walk the plank long ago. Now they will all sink together.

  • Comment number 17.

    "But David Cameron had seen that coming. He declared that he was fighting for the "Great Ignored"."

    Who are "the Great Ignored"? Perhaps someone here could enlighten us. I would say people outside the key marginals are "the great ignored". I doubt that is what he means though, as the Conservatives are against us having a fair voting system. Perhaps its an implied reference to anti immigration anti Europe voters?

  • Comment number 18.

    david cameron declared that he was fighting for the "Great Ignored".
    it would be hilarious except for the fact that he may become prime minister. so little he represents and truly fights for. if he is elected it will be a huge blow for social harmony and the start of dire period of government not seen for decades.

  • Comment number 19.

    Exit Brown stage left to the strains of "The Dying Swan".

  • Comment number 20.

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

  • Comment number 21.

    Having the entire Cabinet outside Number 10 only highlights Brown's weaknesses, Blair would never have done such a thing!

  • Comment number 22.

    So far, so stage-managed. But it is only Day One and the choreography is - in its own way - rather revealing

    yeah than any meaningful question that has been managed to be asked of GB
    by NR

  • Comment number 23.

    Yup, nice choreography with these starlets prancing around daintily in clodhopper boots. Shame it's turning out somewhat clumsy. More verbal pollution to cloud the airwaves and, well, the air? Miasma, I'd say. Smells like it or something similar.

  • Comment number 24.

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

  • Comment number 25.

    The BBC of all organisation need to get their political balance in order.

    The female presenter on BBC 24 has just said to Ben Bradshaw, ...but the public wants change....." as if this were an accepted fact. This message is the Tory party's only message and its biased of the BBC to conduct interviews with such remarks.

  • Comment number 26.

    It would be nice if someone from the media asked Mandleson the questions the electorate want to hear answered. Would you dare ask him Nick, how he could afford his multi million pound London villa, just for starters.
    Could you also ask him if he believes Gordon Brown to be a proven liar.
    Anyone else out there got any questions of Mandleson?

  • Comment number 27.

    Sagamix isn't a team of one either !

    Perhaps thats why he likes Gordy and Unite-Labour (or is it Labour-Unite?) so much, they have a lot in common ....

  • Comment number 28.

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

  • Comment number 29.

    Why was the last blog "meeting the people" closed after only 25 comments. Too many anti labour postings?

  • Comment number 30.

    #4 fire up the quattro,

    Wonder why a BBC series choose the Audi Quattro to use a prop
    for a TV series.

    Why not a Triumph Dolomite 16V Sprint one wonders ? was it that
    "Made in England" had been distroyed by the 1964-1979 period of
    governement dominated by Labour,

    Shows you what they did for British Industry ,

    Truimph MC (John Bloor 1989) made a comeback when the scene had been set
    to allow that to happen by Lady T.

    Trouble is this lot have put us in a worse situation than in 79

  • Comment number 31.

    Cameron is in Leeds, playing triumphant music, not unlike Neil Kinnock did when he took the public for granted........

    Nothing positive just anti Labour statements and motherhood statements about the need for change and the idea that he offers choice. As one of "ignored" people he claims to want to help I cannot see how such platitudes will help me. Where's the beef Mr Cameron? Still Blair got elected based on such nebulous messages.

  • Comment number 32.

    I must say I'd like to see Mr Cable's reaction in a studio debate to you calling him 'Nick Clegg's political wife'.

    Being a man of good humour, no doubt you would take his rejoinder in good part, Mr Robinson??!!

  • Comment number 33.

    Sagamix We appear to be on yet another Blog basically saying the same as the other three today in as far as the date of the GE has been anounced.

    All the main culprits were there standing outside Number 10 except for TB. They are all looking bemused as they never thought there would be another election in their lifetime.

    Just a thought was it known by the Courts that GB had bought an advance return ticket to Rochester (cheap rate) before considering the rail strike to be illegal. Nick says it was all stage-managed but it would have been so much funnier if GB was left waiting an empty platform to be met by Bob Crow and his merrymen.

    So in conclusion a jolly day out for all three leaders but remember last time.

    Day 1. All went well
    Day 2. John Prescott punches some geezer.

    Happy Days ahead.







  • Comment number 34.

    IR35
    You said the biggest lie so far was Brown said "I am not a team of one"

    No surely not. There are so many lies but I am sure there have been bigger ones.

    PS Why didn`t Mandelson see the Queen and announce the date of the election I thought he was in charge.

  • Comment number 35.

    17 DHWilko

    "Who are "the Great Ignored"? Perhaps someone here could enlighten us."
    ==============================================

    I think they are the people who do not feel represented or heard by the current government. or indeed the system of government.

    This may or may not be party political point - "Listening" Gordon didn't last long did he ? - depending on your political tendencies. But I think it is fair to say that a good many people do not feel represented in how our country is governed.

    Time for change. Call an election !

  • Comment number 36.

    25. Tony Geo wrote:

    "The female presenter on BBC 24 has just said to Ben Bradshaw, ...but the public wants change....." as if this were an accepted fact. This message is the Tory party's only message and its biased of the BBC to conduct interviews with such remarks."
    ========================================

    On the other hand, it gives him the perfect cue to sing Gordys praises unchallenged in rejecting this claim. Bias on a plate ! Though knowing Ben Bradshaw he probably agreed with her.

    Heaven forbid that the BBC should broadcast the Tories "only" message ! How is this biased exactly ?

  • Comment number 37.

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

  • Comment number 38.

    #9 History will show that your friends in the ZANU_LIEBOUR party made ALL the wrong calls for 13 years

    1) Dismantelling the BOE FSA suppervison system

    2) Keeping House prices out of the inflation target

    3) Minimum wage and Imigrantion

    4) Rescuing the Scotish banks and Northern Rock

    5) QE

    6) Removing the need for Mother/father on the Birth Certificate

    7) Wars all over the place

    8) doggy Dossiers and Dr Kelly's Death

    9) The Leo Blair Kidnapp plot

    10) the list is endless

  • Comment number 39.

    #38 PS IR35 too

  • Comment number 40.

    "
    Thus, Gordon Brown opened his electoral pitch by declaring that he came from "an ordinary middle-class family from an ordinary town"
    "

    I don't care where he (or cameron) is from; it's whether or not they can do the job that matters. And as Brown's destroyed the economy with 13 years of insane spending and waste and has a complete inability to understand basic maths/economics, the fact that he came from an "ordinary family" is not something that I'm particularly impressed with.

    Looks like we've got a whole month's worth of the BBC following Brown around "meeting the public" (or, to be more truthful, shaking hands with pre-selected card-carrying members of the labour party who are pretending to be part of the crowd)

    If Brown ever met real members of the public, and not his own hand-selected union members and labour party activists pretending to be members of the public, he'd get booed, hissed, and probably punched in the face.

    Did the BBC ever report on the war hero who refused Brown's hand who walked off in disgust because of how Brown had treated the military and said that he felt like he wanted to punch Brown's lights out?

    Let's hope Brown visits an army barracks sometime over the next 4 weeks and gets to meet a bunch of ordinary squaddies, and not a pre-selected tiny minority of labour-supporting soldiers (if there is such a thing as a labour-supporting soldier anymore, which I doubt). I'd enjoy watching a bunch of ordinary squaddies turning their backs on him and simply walking away in disgust at what the lying, smearing idiot's done to them over the last 13 years.

  • Comment number 41.

    #18 do you actually live in the UK ?

  • Comment number 42.

    #25 you are getting picky, I'm sure if I was not working I could
    find many more examples about BBC bias the other way towards ZANU_LIEBOUR

    particulary where the questions that should be put are NOT put because
    it would be too difficult for there own team to answer. Case in point
    I tried to get a point to Jack Straw minister of Justice, But no he was allowed to have a party political broardcasr on R5L , trouble is questions about the Family Courts are NOT allowed to be put QED

  • Comment number 43.

    I am going to ask the question again - Where is Mandelson? Why was he not at the side or perhaps behind Hon. Gordon Browns ouside no 10 this morning?
    Further more does Mandelson shop in Morrissons like the Prime Minister?

  • Comment number 44.

    25. At 6:43pm on 06 Apr 2010, Tony Geo wrote:
    The BBC of all organisation need to get their political balance in order.

    The female presenter on BBC 24 has just said to Ben Bradshaw, ...but the public wants change....." as if this were an accepted fact.


    You're right. Most of the BBC 24 hour news presenters do appear to think that they are more important and interesting than any of the news they present or the people they interview. They're certainly better paid. And half of them can't string a sentence together. And we're going to get them wall-to-wall for the next month! Aaargh!

  • Comment number 45.

    You got it right Nick the labour party ministers regard their leader as a potential weakness. Has any body else noticed this weakness?

  • Comment number 46.

    #30

    Very true, by the end of the 70s we British were building substandard crap... when the workers actually came to work rather than standing on the picket line.

    the BBC didnt really have much of a dilema to pick the audi, just think, of the alternative...

    Fire up the Maxi?

    dont make me laugh

  • Comment number 47.

    #16 me

    I wrote "They are all equally capable"

    This was a spellcheck error! I meant to write 'culpable'.

    But in a strange sort of way, they are also equally 'capable' as the whole cabinet is equally without talent.

    It would be wrong to put all the blame on Brown. Those timid Labour MPs who obediently played follow-the-leader without challenging him as he ran amok must now accept the consequences of their folly.

  • Comment number 48.


    Just to draw bloggers on these blogs attention to this blog over on the BBC Internet blog and these following additional "House Rules" now apparently in force for the duration;

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/messageboards/newguide/elections.shtml

  • Comment number 49.

    #46 cracker

    fire up the Marina

    Fire up the Allegro

    a Rover SD1 would have just about passed muster I guess

    But the cost of running might have been a bit much for the BBC


  • Comment number 50.

    21. At 6:38pm on 06 Apr 2010, Darren wrote:

    "Having the entire Cabinet outside Number 10 only highlights Brown's weaknesses, Blair would never have done such a thing!"

    Actually it was a weakness of Blair (and Thatcher from who he modelled himself on), no government is a 'one-person-band', giving such an impression only shows up political arrogance - non of the current political parties, other than the 'one-person-bands' (literally) are giving out such an impression.

  • Comment number 51.

    Fire up the Quatro,then Print a few million UB40s cos that's what we'll be needing. The only growth industry will be the dole queues as usual under the Tories, I'd say 3.5 million by Sept 2011 if Dumb and Dumber get in. Ah well at least Richard Branson will have paid less NI, that's a relief!

  • Comment number 52.

    36. At 7:43pm on 06 Apr 2010, StrictlyPickled wrote:
    Heaven forbid that the BBC should broadcast the Tories "only" message ! How is this biased exactly ?
    //////
    It was the context that showed bias. Bradshaw was answering a question and emphasising economic recovery and she interjected. She did not say "The Tories say people are hoping for a change?" she said the people wanted change as if it was an agreed fact.

  • Comment number 53.

    "The great ignored" sounds a polite way of saying the great unwashed!

    Heaven forfend that such Freudian associations,slips of the tongue,casual ribaldry should enter the vocabulary of our great democracy.WIll Cameron bend the knee to a mandate from the great unwashed? Will the Queen say let them eat soap?







  • Comment number 54.

    38. At 7:49pm on 06 Apr 2010, IR35_SURVIVOR wrote:
    #9 History will show that your friends in the ZANU_LIEBOUR party made ALL the wrong calls for 13 years

    At least they got the abolition of the abuses of the IR35 system correct. Tax avoidance is so anti social even when its within the rules as Lord Ashcroft has found.

  • Comment number 55.

    43. At 8:02pm on 06 Apr 2010, estaing wrote:

    "I am going to ask the question again - Where is Mandelson? Why was he not at the side or perhaps behind Hon. Gordon Browns ouside no 10 this morning?

    But he was, to Browns right (camera left), as can be seen in the following panoramic image, Mandelson can be seen behind and just to the left of Mr Darling;

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/nickrobinson/100406cabinet_ap226.jpg

  • Comment number 56.

    Today I herd Mr Cameron announced on the BBC news that Iraqi war was e,legal, If that’s the case, If or when he gains the power of god’s will he be pursuing the prosecution of the criminals who were involved?

  • Comment number 57.

    I watched some of todays posturing on Dutch TV, it must be said that PM Brown came across poorly, could he not make more of an effort?.

  • Comment number 58.

    Breaking News:

    A New poll of the great unwashed shows Cameron,Brown and Clegg running neck and neck.

    The votes between the parties are now so close there are reports that feet as well as necks will be counted if there is a "Hung" parliament. Each party will elect scrutineers with a nose for fraudulent entries including soaping,washing and bathing although I understand sea bathing will be exempt.

    Stout people will be unable to vote twice.

  • Comment number 59.

    Its absolutely pathetic to try and hide behind indirect class attacks, it sums up just how weak a government they really are when this is all they can come up with....

    He even had to resort to a rent a crowd at one point.My local area had a sudden splash about how they are going to spend 62 million on new schools, amazing its announced today ???

    The problem is its not 62 million of new money just rehashed what already had been promised and after all that its pfi which is just a way of sticking it on the credit card as if we didnt have enough credit problems as a country.....

    It was however good to see a full picture of the cabinet as it will be good on election night to cross off those relegated to having to find alternative employment.Including i hope the guy at the front.

  • Comment number 60.

    #54 you must be having a laugh, IR35 has been one of the biggest failures that GB brought in.

    It attacked relatively low wage hardworking people whilst leaving the very highly paid ones to remain untouched. But it even failed to be properly worded to even catch the alleged lower paid tax avoiders too.

    It was just a bone to keep the backbenckers happy, a fop like the ban on fox hunting, the real tax avoiders in many City type firms and often many highly paid "staff" at broadcasting corporation where not effected by this,

    Think you need to do some serious research on this subject before making comments on a area that you no nothing about, as that is quite clear from your statement

  • Comment number 61.

    Gordon Brown is not 'ordinary middle class'. As Andrew Neil pointed out during the 'toffs' debate, Brown is from the Scottish elite. A 'son of the Manse' and educated at a highly academic school in seperate classes. As the son of a church minister I'm suprised he was never taught the story of Joseph and Pharaoh's dreams : the original boom and bust story (7 years of plenty followed by 7 years of famine). He might have learned to save during the good/boom years.

  • Comment number 62.

    "DHWilko wrote:

    Who are "the Great Ignored"? Perhaps someone here could enlighten us. I would say people outside the key marginals are "the great ignored". I doubt that is what he means though, as the Conservatives are against us having a fair voting system. Perhaps its an implied reference to anti immigration anti Europe voters?"

    Only one of the three main parties wants us to have a fair voting system - the Lib Dems. At least the Conservatives aren't trying to change the system to benefit them like Labour are.

  • Comment number 63.

    " lefty10 wrote:
    david cameron declared that he was fighting for the "Great Ignored".
    it would be hilarious except for the fact that he may become prime minister. so little he represents and truly fights for. if he is elected it will be a huge blow for social harmony and the start of dire period of government not seen for decades."

    The Tories will have to go a long way to be more dire than the current Labour party! Labour came to power after preaching a message of hope and yet wasted ten years and a massive majority.

    Now we have Labour promising the same promises they made in 1997. Back then the message was "Things can only get better" perhaps now it should be "Won't be fooled again".

  • Comment number 64.

    Boasting "self sufficiency" and no need for OUR cutbacks the Nationalist parties will have a much larger role to play in this election than anyone has so far given them credit for. With very little to lose themselves, and all to gain, including, amazingly, the balance of power.

    Oh to have the SNP as a kingmaker!

    Beware!

  • Comment number 65.

    1. At 5:50pm on 06 Apr 2010, IR35_SURVIVOR wrote:

    and it will go on like that until some reporters start to ask the question that people want answers too

    Fat chance of the BBC (or is it Brown Broadcasting Corporation) asking any difficult questions of their chums in NuLab, pigs will fly first.

  • Comment number 66.

    9. At 6:09pm on 06 Apr 2010, duckoff wrote:

    The spotlight will be fully on Cameroon and his side-kick Osborne now. So far Cameron has acted like a yapping Dachshund tinkling on one issue before running off to tinkle on the next. There is little or no substance in what they have proposed so far - just wheezes. Had they been in power when the financial collapse happened, Britain would be in a deep Depression by now. Every call on the economy they made then was desperately wrong. Brown has proved what he did was right (applauded and admired around the world for his action/direction when the chips were really down). Better the devil you know! Five more years in SAFE hands please!

    -- You are joking, right?

  • Comment number 67.


    I bumped into the local tory candidate at the railway station giving his pitch.

    I asked him two simple questions that directly relate to me and my individual cirmcumstances.

    The first was to do with my private sector pension and how my employer has been able to, ignoring the wishes of the workface, simply close our final salary pension scheme. Whilst I might add substantially increasing their dividend payouts.

    The tory answer, well sorry there is nothing we can do about that, it is upto your company to decide what to do.

    I then asked him about, despite a well payed job, why I was requiring a 30-40% deposit and significantly higher than base rate mortage to get onto a property ladder where prices are stagnant or falling.

    The tory answer, well sorry mate there is nothing we can do about that it is upto your bank to decide what to do.

    So basically that's the tories for you. Government can do nothing for an average young white male. We are as usual to fend for ourselves.

    I shall be casting my vote elsewhere, time for change ? What a joke.

  • Comment number 68.

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

  • Comment number 69.

    Everyone would say that economics is a "dark art" but what the Cons are now pedaling is verging on hilarious, surely even the true blue neocons on here must feel a little edgy about the transition from "austerity/we're all in this together" through to Tax cuts for NI,tax cuts for marriage, tax cuts on IHT!!!

    It beggars belief that on the one hand they pedal that the greatest danger is the deficit THEN they offer tax cuts!!...Get real Dave, fire up the quatro and don't stop till you reach Belize!

  • Comment number 70.

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

  • Comment number 71.

    What a shame the BBC cant produce a balanced report from this Tory reporter.

    Why not ask the questions of Cameron who jumps on every bandwagon to try and gain power.

    Slick slogans - no substance - no details - vague promises

    I remember the 80's when the Tory government was in power - unemployment, poll tax, hospital waiting lists, large class sizes, underfunding etc. etc.

  • Comment number 72.

    67 - so which party IS able to save your unaffordable final salary pension and make banks return to irresponsible lending?

    Let me know which party, they'll be one to avoid.

  • Comment number 73.

    Does anyone else feel insulted by being referred to as " the great ignored ".
    A similar phrase that springs to mind is " the great unwashed ".
    I think that " the great ignored " may be considered as not being part of the privileged few around Mr Cameron.
    He needs to behave more like a statesman to impress the voters. His advisors should be told.

  • Comment number 74.

    Hasn't anyone at the bbc noticed that the middle class background of the guy who outspends his revenues by 3 billion a week was either dropped from the officially published speech or hastily inserted at the last minute outside Nr 10 for playing to the gallery, i.e. the beeb, the guardian and the mirror?

    http://blogs.ft.com/westminster/2010/04/tory-pointy-heads-spot-changes-to-official-transcript-of-brown-speech/

  • Comment number 75.

    18 "if [CAmeron] is elected it will be a huge blow for social harmony and the start of dire period of government not seen for decades."

    What as opposed to a Labour Government that has presided over increased inequality, rising teenage pregnancies, rising youth unemployment, falling educational standards when measured internationally and the biggest recession seen for decades to go with record borrowing and rcord debt.

    And that's the yardstick to masure 'dire' against?

    Cameron would have to target Trident on town centres to do worse.

  • Comment number 76.

    43. At 8:02pm on 06 Apr 2010, estaing wrote:

    Further more does Mandelson shop in Morrissons like the Prime Minister?


    Do they sell Guacamole in Marrisons?

    And Gordon Brown doesn't shop in supermarkets, he would get lost in aisle 19.

  • Comment number 77.

    aqualung C,

    "It's absolutely pathetic to try and hide behind indirect class attacks"

    Depends what you mean. Personally attacking an individual - saying they're not "up to" the job because of where they happen to have gone to school, for example - is poor. So if that's what you mean, I agree with you. But if you mean that it's "pathetic" to be concerned about the prospect of this great country of ours, here in the 21st century, fifty odd years after we were meant to have left all the "ruling class" nonsense behind ... concerned about this country again being run by a cabal of ultra privileged men all drawn from the same narrow social elite, then I'm sorry but you're very wrong. It's not a partisan party political issue; I'd be equally concerned if there were, say, five Milibands in the Labour cabinet - it's just an issue which happens to be particularly moot for the Conservatives. Or these Conservatives rather. The issue, generically, is "Born to Rule" - are we happy with this concept? I'm not. And perhaps it's because I have egalitarian beliefs that I feel so strongly about it. If a person (you?) doesn't have those beliefs, it's no surprise that they will fail to see the issue ... but failing to see something doesn't mean it's not there.

  • Comment number 78.

    strictly pickled,

    "Sagamix isn't a team of one either!"

    If this is another one of those scurrilous "multiple IDs" allegations, Mister P, I will see you in Court.

  • Comment number 79.

    #67 SotonBlogger:

    You really are quite pathetic. You expect the government to do everything for you - and that is wrong. Yes, the banks have tightened up their lending. probably quite right too. But if you are so credit-worthy as you make out, then either you are embroidering the truth, or there are other reasons why you have been refused a mortgage that you are not letting on about.

    Likewise your private company pension scheme. Your company probaly had a good pension scheme, which Brown simply destroyed. What can the Tories do about that? In view of the complete mess they will likely inherit, and not being party to the books yet, again probably not a lot. Perhaps later, just not right now.

    I sympathise (to a small degree) that you cannot get answers you want, but for heavens sake just stop looking for the government to do everything for you. That's why we are in the mess we are in - too many people like you have relied on the government. The problem is that the government consists of people like you and me, but most likely with less intelligence. Wrong to rely on them.

    I don't have any answers for your questions - I've been retired for some time now (and on a state-only miniscule pension, so don't think of me as being some rich bloke - I'm not), but by using some initiative I get by. You should do the same.

  • Comment number 80.

    Nick, you're very gentle with Dave and help him to get his points across. It's lovely.

  • Comment number 81.

    The DAY of the TriFidiots has arrived [sequel to the A ward winning hire a cab age for three grande a day],salt water ,garlic and plenty of Bnp is our last hope to SHUT down their mobile venuesian fly traps .

  • Comment number 82.

    lily @ 33

    "Happy Days ahead."

    Yes, I really am looking forward to it. The few weeks of a General Election campaign are when I come alive. Colours are brighter, food tastes better, everything looks a little more attractive than it usually does. Yes, even David Cameron. I worry for him though ... David Cameron. Not sure he quite has what it takes. If he doesn't, of course, it's far far better that the fact gets exposed before May 6th and not after. Too late then. Too late for us, I mean.

  • Comment number 83.

    Yes it would be nice and may I say honest of the bbc to'ask the questions the electorate want to hear' instead of a continual dribble of opinion from the journalists who it seems to me would be better served writing about Cheryl Cole for Hello magazine.
    How someone like Nick Robinson can be called a 'political editor' leaves me a 'mere nurse' speechless. It is clear the likes of Andrew Marr, Nick Robinson think they can patronise the public with 'titbits' about their feelings as to how GB/DC/NC might be feeling...wives...style...dress..photocalls...plastic...slickness...etc,
    etc.
    Stop patronising the public from your lofty detached 'club'. Journalists fraternise closely with politicians to the extent that you cannot separate fact from 'playground gossip'

  • Comment number 84.

    Nick - just what is the point of having a blogg then moving on so qucik that I cant even find the original blog - you still a Tory AND against debate???

    Come on you reds!!!!

  • Comment number 85.

    eaton rifle,

    "what the Cons are now pedaling is verging on hilarious"

    Mmm. "Let Sunshine Win The Day". He seems to have got back to where he once belonged, doesn't he? ... way back ... back before we even had the complete collapse of the western financial system. Would be lovely if we could really do that. Almost as lovely as if trees were made of high quality Belgian chocolate. They're not though, are they? ... trees made out of chocolate. Not in this life. Totally out of touch with reality is the worry here. One of the reasons (as I explain in my note to Lily above) why I'm a little concerned about him. And even more concerned about the prospect of the "Great Ignored" electing him. Best to keep ignoring them if this is what they're planning to do.

  • Comment number 86.

    I can see Dave Vince and Gordon IN A FIRED UP QUATRO on bricks , being momentarily accosted by 1000 sultry confused BeLizans under the caption

    "They should have gone to specsavers"

  • Comment number 87.

    DH Wilko @ 17

    "Who are "the Great Ignored"? Perhaps someone here could enlighten us."

    You misheard, DH (pls see 68). The "great ignorami" is what he said. Strange pitch since most of those votes are already locked down for him, I'd have thought.

  • Comment number 88.

    86 Or QUICKFIT

  • Comment number 89.

    There's a lot of spinning & airbrushing going on. Are the electorate like sheep, flocking to vote? Are we lambs to the slaughter, again?

    Let's give all organised political parties a bloody nose - bring on the None Of The Above candidates! There's still time for a change the politicians won't want.

  • Comment number 90.

    #69 Eaton

    To be honest, I don't think the election will be won or lost on whether the sums all add up. It's virtually impossible for an opposition party to have real figures to work with as the Treasury only releases information that suits it, with numbers carefully massaged.

    The public (and opposition parties) have a right to know how the economy really stands - we should be able to see the books NOW, not wait for them to be cooked. We should have full access to the accounts. It is after all 'our' money, not theirs.

    I would also like to see an end to the so-called 30 year rule that allows information, minutes of meetings, correspondence, emails etc to be kept secret.

    When a new government takes office, all that information should immediately be made public. This would focus politicians' minds as they would know if they don't tell the truth, they will be quickly found out out.

    To use your Quatro analogy, it's shameful that only now in 2010 are we finding out what really happened in the early 1980's.

  • Comment number 91.

    60. At 9:27pm on 06 Apr 2010, IR35_SURVIVOR wrote:
    #54 you must be having a laugh, IR35 has been one of the biggest failures that GB brought in.
    /////
    A laugh? Well just a little.

    Certainly the majority genuinely working as a contractors or with a case that they are taking some risks, have complied with the rules. But the nature of tax avoidance is that people find work arounds. However, some phoney contractors realised that they could not justify their tax status for the way they were working.


  • Comment number 92.

    71. anmb wrote:

    I remember the 80's when the Tory government was in power - unemployment, poll tax, hospital waiting lists, large class sizes, underfunding etc. etc.

    =======================================================

    Some of us remember the late 70s when the unions were striking, dead went un-buried, huge piles of rubbish crawling with rats, my school was shut many times because of striking teachers, tanker drivers went on strike so no heating school shut again, oh and a very large debt with Dennis Healy asking for help from the IMF. that Debt was tiny compared to now.

    Oh and as for protecting frontline services in the NHS this tired government are cutting the nurses on the frontline NOW.They have also cut funding for cancer patients by nearly 20%.



  • Comment number 93.

    Why did Nick R. make a comment like: 'She (the Queen) is hoping, like everyone else, that the electors return a clear decision.'
    Indeed, I hear he says that: 'Everyone' wants a one-party (Labour or Conservative) overall majority in the Commons.
    Why would everyone want that which implies an agenda set by one party's policy 'think-tank'? Consensus politics, needing cross-party agreement, works better than English dictatorship: e.g. in Scotland and most of Europe.
    Roll on the snowball effect! It happened before, a century ago: sweeping Labour into power for the first time. The Liberals lost impetus, and spent a hundred years adrift.
    Now, we might see the great ignored properly noticed again.
    Perhaps votes may be cast FOR policy substance, rather than AGAINST personality ; and common-sense politics might prevail!

  • Comment number 94.

    Greensleeves

    I know I suggested a makeover for Gordon, but the dying swan costume???

    Perish the thought!

    Hysterical image that-well done!

  • Comment number 95.

    Sagamix

    not entirely sure who these young men are in your pic, though one did look suspiciously like George Osborne.

    Very smart and serious looking lot I have to say-but who is no 7?

    I hazard a guess that you are showing the Conservative party 'toffs' as GB et al calls them. If ao, have you got a pic of all the Labour 'toffs' - equally silver spoonfed as I understand it....

  • Comment number 96.

    Boilerplated

    BBC thread rules during the election are interesting-does this apply to blogs too, and if so, will this mean UNBIASED moderation with off topic comments getting bounced and true debate being allowed?

    Have to confess that I doubt it!

    I have a feeling I am going to get rather queasy over the next few weeks-so much emphasis on polls and pictures the days will pass in a haze of spin and dizzying lurches from one to another party.

    Watching BBC news tonight and Newsnight, seems to me that 116 seats for a Conservative win will be almost impossible to achieve.

    Heaven help us if we get a hung parliament-Great Britain will complete it's final transformation into Little Britain, and us poor average Jo's will be kicked and trampled on.

    Time for a resurgence of faith. Anyone wants me I'm on my knees in my local church.

  • Comment number 97.

    Each time we have had an election I have hoped to see ANY kind of political leader in my rural seaside village-how lovely it would be to see one this time-it would certainly be a first!

    Our constituency has always been Conservative-I just hope that the fight for marginal seats doesn't cause the candidates to be complacent about what they think are safe seats.

    Perhaps the candidates should visit my village on a weekend-they could meet hundreds of potential voters from other constituencies, not just ours.

    What a pipe dream that is-I've never even seen a candidate on polling day here. The party that takes the trouble to visit us will be the party that gets my vote.

    A physical appearance will mean much more to people in places like ours than all the media hype will ever manage.

    Knock on my door, whatever party you are from-tea, homemade cakes, and a walk along the beach. I'll only let my dog out if you start talking spin!

  • Comment number 98.

    As someone on the blogs has already pointed out and some commentaters, the great ignored are rich poor, black white, etc etc, but not the middle class, single people etc. So Dave has included himself in his own definition but not GBrown. Hence Brown says what he says. The blogger (on here I think) pointed out that the middle classes are the majority and that they were the great ignored. Hence Nick's blog.
    So Nick does read the comments.

  • Comment number 99.

    The LibLabaConocracy will awake on may 7 with an apple in its mouth, a gleam in its aye and its 0 pairs off to seek alternative employment for themasses.

  • Comment number 100.

    93. At 00:07am on 07 Apr 2010, Flash wrote:
    Why did Nick R. make a comment like: 'She (the Queen) is hoping, like everyone else, that the electors return a clear decision.'

    oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

    The electorate may yet give her Royal Ladyship their clearest decision yet, that they wish for a hung parliament ...preferably overdrawn and quartered in the Tower UNTIL THE PRISON SHIP ARRIVES to take them carrot and swagmen to a billabong in Asstralia where they can waltz the waltz for the last time.

 

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