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TV debates: UK general election threatens to overshadow showpiece

The three leaders of the major political parties in the 2010 general election in the UK - David Cameron (Conservative), Nick Clegg (Liberal Democrat), and Gordon Brown (Labour).
The three stars of the TV Debates 2010 production – from left, David Cameron (Conservative), Nick Clegg (Lib Dem) and Gordon Brown (Labour)

Ah, the pre-election TV debates – veritable crack for the right-on, gullible ‘engaged’ young voters.  It’s a great new medium. What was politics before this, just general elections?

And that’s what makes all this fuss about the Greens so terribly important!  The purpose of the TV debates…

… *blather*.

This all seems fairly straightforward. Nothing to get into a fluster over. Poker metaphors may be well worn, but if you’ll indulge me – David Cameron is simply pressing his advantage. He’s got the most ‘chips’ and he’s trying to close out the win by bullying the other players with a big bet.

That gamble could backfire if all the smaller players hold their nerve, shove all in, and come up with better cards. They each have to make their stand somewhere before May’s general election.

This writer still holds hope that the new spirit of inclusiveness will spiral yet further, to the extent where John Shed – a persona made briefly famous by a comic stand-up routine several years ago – will be allowed to take his rightful place between the Monster Raving Loony Party and the Liberal Democrats.

Of course, more air time for Al Murray and his Free United Kingdom Party (FUKP) would do as a compromise.

But this is all by the by. TV debates are all theatre; this is the fireworks show to keep you looking up in the sky while all the furniture is rearranged right under your nose.

Stop caring about the show. Shout over it.

“I’m sorry, can I see the full budget deficit figures?

“And can you help me find my Legal Aid – it seems to have disappeared?

“And why can’t I get a full-time job, but you’ll give me a mortgage for a house without a second look – even though you’re not building any bloody houses?”

Words:  Sean Gibson

Image: Mark Botham

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