If you didn’t tune into Channel 4 this evening, then you missed a truly thrilling televised debate. True, the audience at this debate were yawning, looking at their shoes and scratching their arses, but it was thrilling, damnit!
The event was of course the Chancellors debate, with Chancellor Alistair Darling, George Osborne and Vince Cable battling it out over the economy. Perhaps it was because they weren’t party leaders that they had the freedom to actually discuss issues of worth, but it was the best piece of politics we’ve had in ages.
As many predicted, the Liberal Democrat’s lethal weapon, Vince Cable came out best, putting the others to shame. However, the debate benefited the others too, as Darling came across measured and thoughtful. Even George Osborne showed himself in a better light, though he was clearly held back by confused Tory policies. Time and time again he would say something that you could tell he internally disagreed with and this led to his answers seeming muddled, pulled too far in every direction with Cameron’s obsession with good headlines.
Great stuff, highlights include: Vince Cable refusing to ringfence the NHS budget but saying that he would prioritise mental health as it’s already woefully underfunded, and Darling cracking a gag about cross-party cooperation when accused of stealing a tory policy.
Looking forward to the leaders debates which’ll be far more bloody, but far less informative.