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...a blog by Richard Flowers

Friday, April 16, 2010

Day 3391: Debate Night – WE RULE!

Thursday:

Live! From Personchester! It’s the quiz of the week, er, the first live tellybox debate between the leaders of the three largest UK political parties.

Your host is Mr Alistair Stewpot of Police,Camera,Action!

Prime Monster Mr Frown will provide the POLICE; Conservatory Mr Balloon will supply the CAMERA; and Captain Clegg, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, is the man of ACTION!

Here is Mr Stewpot

Stewpot: good evening, and welcome. We’re here at the first general election debate and we have very strict rules. Ladies and gentlemen you are live on Channel Three: please do not swear. Or applaud.

First let’s hear the leader’s opening statements:

Captain Clegg: Hello! I’m different to the Labservatives

Mr Frown: Remember, I just destroyed the economy but the Conservatories are really, really scary

Mr Balloon: Bleep. Thank you for purchasing the Leader-bot 500. I am programmed in over six million forms of public relations.

Stewpot: right. First question. Person in audience…go!

Ted Whitebread: I want to ask about immigration

Frown: immigration is evil. I want to stamp it out!

Balloon: I couldn’t disagree more. Immigration IS evil! I met a – uploading – a black man in Brighton once and he said: “are YOU thinking what I’M thinking?” That’s why I want to stamp it out!

Clegg: immigration is NOT evil. There is good immigration and bad immigration and we would try a different approach to try and prevent the bad while making the good work better

Frown: I agree with Nick–

Stewepot: I’m going to have to stop you there. Next question!

Valerie Victim: I’ve been burgled seventy-nine times this week, how can you stop it happening again?

Balloon: I recently met a – uploading – a victim of crime in Cardiff. Everything in her house had been stolen and so they set her on fire and burned her son to death. And those murderers were set free from prison after only one week of community service. That’s why we want to be tougher on crime!

Frown: we have increased production in the tractor factories every year for the last fifty years and that’s why we can put more police on the beat to beat up young people who might one day be criminals and take their DNA so that we can prove it when they do. That’s why WE are tougher on crime!

Clegg: the Labservative policy of just sending more and more young people to prison for short-term sentences just doesn’t work. Acting tough doesn’t work. We would have a different approach: community justice that WORKS.

Frown: I agree with Nick–

Stewepot: I’m going to have to stop you there. Next question!

Anthony Punter: Aren’t MPs all crooks?

Clegg: I’m afraid that some of them, the flippers and the tax dodgers have got away with it. Not one Liberal Democrat flipped or dodged tax.

Frown: we want reform – we’d let you sack your MP

Balloon: no, we want reform – we’d let you sack your MP too

Clegg: [springs elephant trap] You both SAY that, but then you both voted AGAINST it!

Frown: I agree with Nick–

Stewepot: I’m going to have to stop you there. It’s time for a commercial break. Oh wait: there aren’t any! Next question!

Simon Exam-Fodder: why is school so boooooring?

Balloon: I want more discipline! Spank me nanny! Bleep, disregard! I recently met a – uploading – a schoolmistress in Stockport. And she told me that all the school-kids today carry knives and beat up teachers and if they are expelled then the appeal panel sends them straight back to school. That’s why I’d sell off the schools to bizarre cults and let them expel anyone who questions their ways without any appeal.

Frown: we’ve doubled the production from the turnip farms every year for the past hundred years and that’s why we’re able to give every new teacher their own City McAcademy, where they can do exactly as they are told by the seven-hundred page guidebook provided by my colleague Mr Balls.

Clegg: [tears up rule book with bare hands] I’m not allowed to ask you questions, but you can just nod. Is it that you think that the school aren’t allowed to teach you anything interesting or creative? Yes? Well, we want to pass a law to STOP the Government meddling in schools all the time. That way, when we give an extra pupil premium to help the worst off pupils, the SCHOOL gets to decide how it’s spent, not some minister at a desk in Whitehall.

Frown: I agree with Nick–

Stewepot: I’m going to have to stop you there. Next question!

Professor Plum: I’m sorry but aren’t you going to do anything about the trillion pounds debt hole we’re all in?

Frown: when the global crisis was caused by events completely outside my control through the totally irresponsible lending by banks I had to stop telling you to keep borrowing from the banks in order to act to save the world, and that’s the only reason that anyone has any money at all left to for me to spend on hospitals and schools and police and tractor building…

Balloon: Mr Frown is trying to tell you he can protect hospitals and schools and police and tractor building. But because of the enormously huge deficit he’s created, he just can’t do that. Er, but I can! I recently met a – uploading – a leprechaun in Levenshume, who looked remarkably like Gideon Oboe, and HE said to me: “somewhere over the rainbow” and if I can find that pot of gold, I can give it to my chums, er, use it to fill the hole in the deficit.

Clegg: the Liberal Democrats are the ONLY Party to set out how we will pay for everything we say we will do and what we will cut to try and bring the deficit under control

Balloon: oh no wait! The Liberal Democrats want to promise you a seventeen billion pound tax cut. I’d LOVE to offer you a seventeen billion pound tax cut but I can’t pay for it–

Clegg: do you want me to tell you how I’d pay for it?

Balloon: er…

Clegg: I’d pay for it by raising the rate of capital gains tax so that it’s the same as the rate of income tax, and I’d make the benefit that rich people get for their pension contributions the same as the benefit that everyone else gets, and I’d bring in a mansion tax, and I’d tax polluters.

Balloon: er… er…

Frown: I agree with Nick–

Stewepot: I’m going to have to stop you there. Next question!

Nina Healthinsurance: can you spare a few coins for the hospital fund?

Balloon: Sorry, I don’t carry change. But I recently met a – uploading – a charming granny in Greenwich, and she had had to sell her house and all her possessions and her nine grandchildren into slavery just to pay for the drugs she needed, and I don’t mean BAD drugs either, but the good stuff. Bleep, disregard! The stuff she needed for her cancer, but we could CURE cancer if only we could make enough saving to not raise the NI and then spend the money that we’re not going to get on drugs… hang on… we’ll make the cuts and not raise the money and spend the money we haven’t raised to…no wait, I can work this out…

Clegg: How can people believe Mr Balloon when he promises to spend lashings of cash on the NHS when he’s also promised to slash the deficit and spend money on tax cuts for millionaires and married couples and house buyers. It’s just not credible.

We want to protect the services people want by rooting out the unnecessary bureaucracy and target culture and redirect that money to where it’s needed.

Frown: I agree with Nick–

Stewepot: I’m going to have to stop you there

Jonny Kilroy: why can’t my mates in the army get any proper helicopters? Or body armour? Or boots?

Frown: as I said to the Chilcot inquiry and subsequently had to correct, no request for funding by our brave soldiers was turned down, by which I mean provided it was submitted to me by our brave soldiers on the correct form signed in triplicate by myself and Tony and the American President and at least two of his parents or guardians. And that is why our brave soldiers had as many helicopters as they wanted, although we had actually sent them to Iraq for five years first and then we had to adapt them to the terrain in Afghanistan because obviously flying through the air makes helicopters very sensitive to the terrain and did I mention how brave our brave soldiers are?

Clegg: There are these brilliant people in my constituency make a thing that goes on the front of your tank to protect it from running over bombs. That’s brilliant and it’s British. The Americans use them. The Americans say they save lives. But we can’t afford them.

What our brave soldiers need – oh look, he’s got me doing it too!

We have two admirals for every warship, and a dozen Brigadiers for every Brigade. It’s time we spent money a bit better on a bit of that British invention.

And I’d scrap Trident and spend that money on things we actually need too.

Balloon: You can’t do that. I want Trident so I can nuke China.

Frown: I agree with Nick–

Stewepot: I’m going to have to stop you there. Next question!

Jemima Pensionfund: whose going to look after us when we all get old?

Clegg: I had a great answer for you, but then all the money got flushed down the big drain marked “banks” so instead I’ll turn my weakness into a strength and say that I’ve got some good ideas, and Mr Frown has some good ideas and Mr Balloon has some good ideas so I appeal for all politicians to all come together

Stewpot: Stop now! Goodnight!




So that was the debate, but who won?

Well, the ITV News poll called it for Captain Clegg.

And the Political Betting/Angus Reid poll called it for Captain Clegg.

And the Grauniad Blog responses called it for Captain Clegg.



And the Times/Populus poll called it for Captain Clegg.

And the Sky News/Fizzback poll called it for Captain Clegg.

And the Sun/YouGov… yes THAT YouGov… yes THAT The Sun called it for Captain Clegg.



And the Mail. The Daily Hate Mail. The. Mail. Called it. For. Captain. Clegg.


Much spinning in the aftermath. Most hilariously: after "Ask the Chancellors" the Tories were LOUD in their complaints that Mr Dr Vince had an UNFAIR ADVANTAGE because he was in the middle and seen to be DOMINANT

After tonight's debate, several "independent" sources (which means SOMEONE was spinning it to them all!) said "well, Mr Balloon was at an UNFAIR DISADVANTAGE because he was in the middle and seen to be under attack from both sides!"

To which an UNCHARITABLE person might say: well you DID ask to be in the middle! It's not anybody else's fault that your guys are RIUBBISH!


We were doing pretty well. We had a nice little lift off from the successful launch of our excellent manifesto. WE knew he’d be good in the debate.

But here’s the thing: everyone was saying that he only had to turn up in order to come away a winner. But we all really KNEW that if he’d just “turned up”, if the papers could call Mr Balloon the winner – like they EXPECTED too; heck, like HE expected them to – or even if they could call Mr Frown the winner, then the story would all have been about that with a footnote page 94, “also present was Captain Clegg of the Lib Dems who did jolly well for trying”. We knew he really had to WIN.

And he WON.

I believe this is called a GAME CHANGER.

Because before this, the Labservatives were lovebombing us because they were a little bit scared. After this, they will be bombing bombing us, because now they are a LOT scared.

.

3 comments:

Richard Gadsden said...

To be fair, Fox News didn't call it for Captain Clegg; they called it for Sarah Palin.

Futility said...

A stunningly accurate summary, Mr Elephant. Bravo.

boggits said...

Very good :)