The Battle for Number 10: Paxman Wins Round One

by Charlie_East_West on March 27, 2015

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The election campaign has begun. The parliamentary term of 2010-2015 has come to a close. Retiring MPs like Jack Straw, Gordon Brown, Jeremy Browne, Malcolm Bruce, Tessa Jowell and Brooks Newmark gave their farewell valedictory speeches in the House of Commons. So it is a goodnight and good luck to the good, the bad and the ugly of many within the recent history of British politics.

So let the fun and games begin. Last night saw the first set piece TV debate of the campaign. Or rather, a Q&A session between Jeremy Paxman, a studio audience and David Cameron and Ed Miliband – co hosted across Sky News and Channel 4. The whole affair was bizarre. Cameron looked nervous, Miliband acted weirdly and Paxman looked and sounded like a headmaster who was scolding some rather naughty pupils for being caught smoking behind the bike sheds.

Both Cameron and Miliband actually looked completely out of their depth. It was like watching the interview episode from The Apprentice where candidates get their CVs trashed by a Lord Sugar henchman.

The major theme to take away from this event is that both leaders looked lightweight. They came across as trying too hard to impress. It was rather unedifying. If say, Bill Clinton had faced Paxman, then we would have seen a political heavyweight in action. Unfortunately for Britain, neither Cameron or Miliband are in the same league as Clinton.

This lack of grativas within the top tier of British politics is disheartening. After Miliband had finished off the interview by yelping “hell, yeah.” Paxman even had the temerity to ask Milband, “are you alright?”. As for Cameron, he just threw out a few tried and trusted rhetorical phrases, ducked out of answering any question and came across as a man without any substance whatsoever. He has been our Prime Minister for five long years, and yet he looked like a middle aged intern on a job interview. We expect better from our Prime Ministers.

The only clear winner from last night was Jeremy Paxman. He was the only man in the arena with any trace of gravitas. As for our two leaders battling it out for the keys to Number 10, it was a nervy, underwhelming and distinctly weird performance. Neither man sounded prime ministerial. We the voters expect more but unfortunately, we get much much less.

This is unlikely to have any impact in the polling. The only outcome from this will be even more voter confusion and a disheartening realisation that neither leader is particularly up to the job of leading the country.

The only silver lining (for Labour) is that Katie Hopkins tweeted that she would leave the country if Ed Miliband was Prime Minister. Labour should plaster this message all over the country. They would win by a landslide.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike Killingworth March 27, 2015 at 3:04 pm

I think we have known that neither of them are up to the job of running the country for some time. Can either of them even win an election?

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Sandy watkins March 27, 2015 at 6:43 pm

Bring on Nigel Farage that’s all I’m saying. Labour and Conservatives have done a good job of keeping him out and not discussing real issues like immigration and the EU! Less people and we wouldn’t have to worry about the Health Service being overstretched or housing being short. What’s the matter with people that they can’t see this!!!

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Ray_North March 28, 2015 at 10:26 am

Because a lack of inward migration doesn’t mean socio-economic success it’s far far more complicated than that – have a think about it, the outward migration from, say, Ireland, has been massive over the years – have they found it easy to fund and run their social services because of that? No, they’ve struggled in exactly the same way – immigration is only a social problem when the indigenous population feel insecure due to the lack of opportunities afforded to them, and it is only an economic problem when immigrants are being used as low wage workers at the expense of the indigenous population by unscrupulous employers. The UK has, without doubt, benefitted over the years from he influx of immigrants from the days of the Saxons to the days of the Eastern Europeans – we should embrace it.

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Bob Andrews March 28, 2015 at 2:11 am

@Sandy

You seemed to have taken a wrong turn, you are looking for the Daily Mail.

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Fionauk512 March 28, 2015 at 6:32 pm

@Sandy

Farage is a braying fool who offers no solutions but knows how to press some hot buttons for those who feel the modern Britains demographic threatens them in some way.

Less people would not ease the pressure on the NHS, have you not noticed how we rely on non British born medical staff to see to our needs. If we stop that flow of skills we could be in hot water, and despite all the scaremongering about benefits etc for immigrants I believe that it is more likely that those that are fit, able to work and contribute taxes to the system make their way to this country via the EU.

Perhaps more emphasis should be placed on employers who pay low wages to low skilled immigrant workers, driving down wages for everyone and then get subsidised by the state via tax credits. They don’t really mind those welfare payments do they? Make them pay a living wage.

And a Katie Hopkins free zone would benefit everyone.

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Eddie Kaye March 28, 2015 at 8:14 pm

TBH Fiona, Farage is the richest guy in the poorhouse. He is exploiting the fact that you cannot fit a bus ticket between the three main parties, and none of them are reaching out to the man on the Clapham omnibus.

There is a vacuum just outside the political establishment where the Ukip per resides. That is where Farage et all lie in wait to shift the debate to the EU and immigration.

This is where serious debate in this country arrives on its way out of the windows.

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John Stone March 29, 2015 at 7:24 pm

Whilst I very much see myself as of the left, I cannot help but feel that this country needs to have an honest debate about population. It is clear that the population increase driven by economic migration and especially to England has stretched public services and is adding to the already significant pressure on the environment. Labour needs to engage in and even lead this debate.

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