So let’s have a heated debate! The party leaders lined up on Thursday evening to take turns at bashing David Cameron, because, let’s face it, he deserves it. It looked a bit like an afternoon gameshow, which to be honest isn’t far off the mark. It’s just seven to one instead of fifteen to one.
Quite shockingly, when reading the leaders’ biographies before the gameshow – sorry, the debate – I discovered that I am older than all seven of the party leaders and I’m not even that close to claiming my alicsammin buspass. But I’m even older than Nigel, which is gobsmacking, since I had always thought that Nigel Farage had been brought to us from the 1950s.
The three female leaders were there too, invited only because the broadcasters ran out of excuses not to invite any women after insisting that Nigel Farage had to be there because they reckon he gives good TV. It’s that post-masturbation smug grin of his, amazingly there are people in this world who are not put off by it.
For the Greens Natalie Bennett started by telling us that there’s no need for austerity. She was followed by Nigel, the gameshow had only just started and already Nige was putting all the blame on immigrants. Nick Clegg said he was really really sorry for everything. Nicla promised the hand of friendship to people across the rest of the UK and told them that together, hand in hand, we can give Westminster an almighty kick in the nads and get rid of Trident and austerity at the same time, which got a cheer from me.
Davie did his middle class patronising thing, like he was a Scottish political commentator complaining about working class people not being respectful enough when they talk about politics, and this time Dave wasn’t agreeing with Nick. They were followed by Lianne Wood who broke the world record for the number of times that anyone has ever said Plaid Cymru on telly. Then Ed Miliband got his forefingers and thumb stuck together with superglue and told us he wanted to be prime minister.
Ed kept looking directly at the camera and waving his superglued hand at us. Nigel Farage had a very shiny face and kept interjecting excitedly like a chimpanzee that had just discovered a barrel load of amphetamines. Nigel told us he was pissed off that “the canny Scots” were getting lots of freebies courtesy of the English taxpayer and said that Scotland should get less money. Nicla told him he was talking out of his monkey bum and pointed out that Scotland paid more in taxes. Then she laid into Ed Miliband, who was doing his best to keep his head down while he separated his forefingers from his thumb, for supporting the Tories’ austerity plans.
Where are the 12 billion cuts in benefits coming from? Which benefits are going to be cut? Nicla demanded that Davie spell that out. Who is going to lose out? Davie didn’t answer. Then Nigel got his chance and he blamed it all on foreigners again.
Why does Ed keep staring unblinkingly at the camera when he’s answering a point put to him by someone standing right beside him? It’s starting to creep me out.
The second question was about the NHS and how we can ensure that it’s properly funded. Nige got to answer first and he blamed it all on foreigners again, if the UK didn’t have to give money away to foreigners it could afford to abolish car parking charges at hospitals. Nicla pointed out that car parking charges at hospitals have already been abolished in Scotland and said that the SNP was utterly opposed to the creeping privatisation introduced by Labour and pursued with gusto by the Tories and the Lib Dems. All over England and Wales people were watching her and going “Ooooh so that’s why they wanted independence.”
Then there was some more waffle from the main Westminster party leaders and Ed Miliband did his unblinking staring at the cameras thing again. His fingers are still superglued together. This might be because in previous telly debates he’s done the waggy finger thing, but it was pointed out that this is a gesture most often found in the videos of suicide bombers and isn’t a good look for someone who wants to be prime minister. So the Labour PR folk got out the superglue. It’s as plausible as any other explanation. Don’t ask me what any of them were saying, because by this point I was thinking that we’re less than halfway through the proceedings and I was wondering whether I could cheer myself up by self-harming. Then Nigel blamed the problems of the NHS on foreigners with HIV and instead of self-harm I nearly harmed the TV screen with a shoe.
Davie’s speaking now. I can summarise it for you: “Lie lie lie lie lie, irrelevant, dissembling, lie, shiny face, smug git, lie.” Not coincidentally this is also the content of every Tory party political broadcast for the past 100 years.
Dear God, and it’s only half time. It’s at times like this I wonder why I ever gave up drugs. It’s immigration next apparently. Nigel’s gone on about little else for the past hour.
A wifie asks how the parties would deal with immigration. Ed does a staring eyed sub-Nigel impression. I’m really getting freaked out when Ed stares at the camera with his superglued fingers. He doesn’t blink. Are his eyelids superglued too? He looks like he’s wondering whether he’s left the gas on in one of his kitchens. This is the burning question of Ed’s election campaign so far.
Lianne Wood speaks some sense. The problems of this country were not caused by Polish building site workers but by bankers and the financial industry – by people like Nigel Farage come to think of it. Then Nicla gets to weigh in with actual facts and stuff and shows that it’s the women in this debate who are the only ones acting like grown ups. Ed’s still staring unblinkingly directly at the camera. I am seriously freaked out and don’t think I’ll sleep tonight. Davie came out with more shiny lies. But it’s Nigel who is really excited and happy now, the pub bore who’s allowed to bore on national TV on his favourite boreathon.
Davie said that there are three sides to the coin on immigration. Eh? Not entirely sure what shape his money is, and you’d think he’d know what with having a personal fortune in the millions.
Nicla said that it’s important to remember that diversity is a strength. See what I mean about women talking sense? She’s actually making a plea for a sensible and fact based discussion about immigration in a room with Nigel Farage in it. Ye’re on a hiding to nothing there Nicla, but kudos for trying. The women are streets ahead in this debate.
Ed’s staring unblinkingly at the camera again. His fingers are still stuck together. I’m scared. He keeps talking about those of us at home. At home, like he’s going to come and glue our fingers together. Davie Cameron weighs in, having lost his three sided coin, there’s no point trying to give a precis of what he’s saying because now all the men are shouting at once and in any case if it comes out of Davie’s mooth it’s bound to be a lie.
Nicla tries to get Davie, Ed and Nick to agree that since they were telling us last year that we’re a happy family of nations that none of the nations of the UK will be dragged out of the EU against its will. None of them answer.
Last question now. Thank god. A student sitting in front of a man with a seriously impressive moustache asks what the leaders will do for young people, who are faced with being worse off than their parents. Cue some meaningless waffle from Ed and Davie. Davie answers her by going on about pensions, because pensioners are young people as far as Tories are concerned. Nick Clegg comes across surprisingly well, although no one is going to forget that he’s still a lying bastert – he begs forgiveness for the student fees thing, but he’s not going to get any. The cameras cut back to the questioner and the background moustache. Neither look that impressed.
Nicla points out that in Scotland we don’t have tuition fees. She tells us that she’s from a working class family and is only standing there now because she got a free education. It’s morally wrong of politicians to deprive young people of the same chances that they themselves got. She gets a round of applause from the audience. Then it’s Nigel, who blames it all on abolishing grammar schools, and foreigners.
Then there’s some general shouting between the men as they all blame one another for the financial crisis – the fact that they’re all equally to blame doesn’t seem to occur to them. Natalie Bennett gets to speak and reminds them that they’re supposed to be talking about education.
Ooooh we’ve got a heckler. A woman stands up during a Camerondrone and says that the boys aren’t listening and aren’t addressing the concerns of the questioners. Cameron says that we have brilliant armed forces, let’s say thanks. Smug patronising git. The woman in the audience yells: “Shut up! We have veterans homeless on our streets!”
Gaun yersel hen! At last, a real human gets to speak unscripted. There’s an off camera slamming of a door. She got ejected. Proles shouldn’t make sensible points without permission.
The only people saying anything sensible in this debate are women. The parties which are opposed to austerity and the old boys’ network are represented by women. The parties which seek to change the system to make it fairer and more representative are led by women. Can you spot a wee theme here? It’s clear now – in Scotland vote SNP, in Wales vote Plaid, and in England vote Green. Here come the girls.
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