If you are the Raith Rovers supporting son of a third generation miner in Kirkcaldy, or a fully paid up member of the Bullingdon Club you will, of course, disagree with what follows.
Nick Clegg produced a game changing performance last night: he won’t be Prime Minister, but on the basis of last night few would worry if he had a real chance (he doesn’t). And when it comes to the poker game that a hung parliament would bring, he might not be chip leader, but he now has a big stack.
Sure, he had the advantage of being on the same platform as Brown and Cameron; he got the same amount of time as the behemoth’s to his left; and, unlike in the Commons, the live audience didn’t leave when it was his turn. But he still had to deliver, live, in front of all of us.
Think on this. He seemed to have more time than the others; the audience were captivated much more with him than the others (who seemed politically to his right, old fashioned and out of touch) and those sitting in the studio and watching at home saw someone talking more sense and taking on “these two”.
He was fearless throughout, unlike his opponents.
On the BBC news this morning Andrew Pierce and Kevin McGuire have just agreed for the first time. On anything: that there were no big gaffes and The Boy Clegg done good. They did all but give him a wee pat on the head.
You might not hear this much in the right or left wing press, but look behind the headlines: the Big Boys are afraid… very afraid. Clegg and Cable are more than credible and capable on the basis of performances that allow us to see them live and in the flesh.
You don’t need to watch the entire 90 minutes to get a snapshot of what swing voters might be thinking right now, just the last five minutes. In fact, Clegg got the last words before they all did their final 90 seconds. And he nailed it. Debating is about being in the moment, and there was little enough of that in the whole hour and a half: it was a bit too formal but had its moments.
In that last minute and a half the fresh faced Lib Dem named all the questioners (a masterstroke) and gave his position on all the matters that arose. He had you believing he really could hold his own up there. And at the beginning he called them “these two” which is cheeky, and only credible if you can stand the heat.
At the end Dave held Nick back on the stage while Big Gordy waded into the crowd to press the flesh, a little to eagerly. He was maybe thinking Nick might just be his new best friend because Clegg bested both Brown and Cameron by some distance; and we all saw it live.
But, Nick, you needn’t wear a yellow tie next time, or ever. Take the fight right to them in the next debate…wear a red and blue one..
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