Leaders Debate 2, The Empire Strikes Back

If I was a Liberal Democrat, I’d be searching for a way out of this strange artificial reality. True, it is nice that things have so unexpectedly turned their way; their polls have risen, the press is taking them seriously, the whole election debate is about how everything has been forever changed by their rise. But can this possibly be the real world? It’s a dream, a fantasy concocted by their damaged brain hooked up to a life-support machine.

But while we’re stuck in this dream, lets discuss it. Last night there was the second of the Leaders Debates, this time hosted by Sky News and on Foreign policy. Nick Clegg had a lot to live up to this time around, all eyes were on him to see if he’d pull off a repeat performance. David Cameron, on the other hand, had the pressure of an irate conservative party behind him, a party in turmoil over the rise of the looney liberals, whose fortune has scuppered Tory hopes at an outright win.

The panic that is currently rife in the political establishment is clear to see. Labour are suddenly claiming we’re going to get destroyed by Iran if we don’t have Trident. The Tories are warning that anything other than a vote for them will cause economic meltdown. All the right wing press are smearing Clegg so desperately they don’t care how petty and moronic they appear. With all this as the backdrop, Clegg took them on in the second debate, right in the lion’s mouth: Sky News.

Did he do as well as last time? Or was he obliterated by collective outrage? Well, neither. Both Brown and Cameron went for him, trying to tear his throat out and leave him bleeding in the middle for all too see, but Clegg managed to deftly avoid their blows, though without landing decisive ones himself. This was always going to be tricky for Clegg. The British public are incapable of having a sensible discussion on Europe and Clegg was forced to admit his pro-European stance to a scowling studio. But over-all he held his own.

Highlights include:

Final summing up speech by Clegg which was uplifting and inspiring.
Charlie Brooker on Twitter responding to Brown’s likening of Cameron and Clegg to his boys squabbling at bath time, “Brown’s boys must have bloody boring bathtime squabbles.”

Lowpoints include:

Two absolutely daft questions from the public. One on the pope and the other on how candidates personally try to reduce their greenhouse emissions. Both questions can only be answered one way so we were given the same response from each. No candidate was going to say “The Pope’s a rotter who should be shot” or “Sod the environment, I hate sorting through my rubbish for plastic and glass”. Don’t people realise when they’re asking a question that politicians can’t give a variety of answers to?

So, a win for the right wingers this week with their sustained attacks on Clegg. Can he fight back for the final debate? We’ll have to wait and see..

LABOUR: 2.5
CONSERVATIVES: 2
LIBERAL DEMOCRATS: 4.5

(Leaders Debate 2 Score: Cameron 2, Clegg 0.5, Brown 0.5)

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