August 1578: Ksar El Kebir- Battle of the Three Kings
Nick Clegg did well in the first TV debate by all acounts. The polls suggest a surge towards the Lib Dems, which if repeated on May 6th, would liven things up no end.
Labour does not seem to be too bothered, even as polls suggest it has been pushed into third place. I do not think anybody, except maybe for Gordon Brown and Ed Balls, expects Labour to get an overall majority. However, for the Conservatives, who for a long time have expected an overall majority, the chances of a hung parliament increasing is not good news at all, and they seem to be panicking. The general consensus is Call Me Dave did not do very well in the TV debate ('Ex-Carlton TV PR Flak Not Very Good On TV Shock!') and it must have galling to have been out-Obamafied by Clegg.
Nick Clegg: 'Bitter, Dave?'
Dave did himself no favours by telling an anecdote of a 40 year old black man from Plymouth who told Dave he supported tighter immigration controls. The problems being, all else being left aside, (i) Dave claimed he had been in the navy for 30 years, which defies basic mathematics (unless you can join the Navy at 10); (ii) the man was 51 and had been in the Navy just 6 years, which hardly inspires confidence in Dave getting to grips with the numbers involved in reducing Britain's deficit; and (iii) the subject of his ancedote did not say what Dave claimed he said. If you want to make up your own Dave-like anecdote, you may want to try this, which comes up with various plausible Dave bon mots.
Consternation about Dave's performance was reflected in the hardcore Thatcherite press coverage of the TV debate. For instance, Simon 'Don't Hassle The Heff' Heffer, pompous priggish Thatcherite bore par excellence, was not impressed by Dave's performance.
Simon Heffer: 'Vote Labour and see Elevenses banned by the Politically Correct Brigade!'
Fellow Thatcher worshipper Charles Moore was not happy either. How dare those Liberal Democrats stop us Tories get an overall majority with less than 40% of the vote?
Charles Moore: 'Brussels and BBC-backed Bolshevik Bounder Clegg deserves a damn good thrashing!'
Anyhow, the Tories have started their fightback against the Lib Dems. According to the BBC:
In the Sunday Times, [Shadow Foreign Secretary] Mr Hague argued a vote for Mr Clegg was a vote for the "European super-state" that would give away "more and more of the powers of this country".
It seems to me a bit late for the Conservatives to attack the Lib Dems for their supposed softness towards the European Union. As I said in a post a couple of days back, the Lib Dems should be ashamed of their behaviour in Parliament to scupper a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. It's the main reason why I won't vote for them. However, I think it equally disgraceful that the Conservatives dropped their 'cast-iron' guarantee of a referendum on it as well. Attacking the Lib Dems for their alleged softness towards the European Union has the potential to open a proverbial can of worms for the Conservatives.