Clegg and Cameron out score beleaguered Brown

Posted on: 16 April 2010 by Gareth Hargreaves

David Cameron and Nick Clegg shared the spoils in the first of three live prime ministerial debates while Gordon Brown again failed to convince the watching nation.

So we have had our first Leadership Debate on TV! Am I any clearer as to who should lead our country for the next five years – a little. I am sure of one thing though, and that is who should not lead us - Gordon Brown!

He had his chance this evening to come out fighting but failed from the outset. At the very beginning he looked just like Richard Nixon in the debate with Kennedy – tired, self conscious and very uncomfortable. Clegg and Cameron’s youth prevailed and they both seemed more at ease with the process than Brown.

He was of course at a major disadvantage as he was defending 13 years of Labour government. This really showed when he was putting forward his vision of elderly care for the future –a vision where everything is done to make those last year’s of life comfortable. The problem was that he had, had the chance twelve years ago with the Royal Commission on Long Term care and did diddly squat!

Clegg did very well and gave as good as he got but lost marks for failing to qualify his vision outside the sphere of his own constituency of Sheffield. However, he  presented effectively the case that all our woes are down to the two parties who have run the country for the past 60 years.
What was very evident was the youth and confidence of Cameron and Clegg came over all the way through the debate. Both argued their case well and confidently and their lack of years did not detract at all.

Brown seemed tired and very out of his comfort zone - constantly reiterating his election mantra: ‘leave us in control and don’t risk the recovery – we know what to do to make it good again’.

Of the three of them Cameron was the most like a leader and held his confidence throughout. Clegg matched him in presentation and delivery. The Clegg/Cameron duo was by far the clear winner. Brown embarrassingly tried to align himself with Clegg repeatedly saying ‘Nick would agree with him’– which Clegg quickly rebutted! This part of the debate was quite sad and cast Brown as a desperate man.

Who will be our next Leader- on the outcome of this evening it’s Cameron. However if the polls are right he will not have a majority in parliament so will need Clegg and the Liberals' support.

On today’s showing this would not be a bad thing and may well prove to be a winning team to get us moving again. A clear election winner would be the best outcome but I’ll live with the ‘dynamic duo’ if I have to. Brown is out of it!

Next week we will see them again. Will Brown make a comeback? Could Lord Mandelson reinvent Mr Brown yet again? I think not!

It’s time for the Cabinet to start looking for their comfortable sinecures in industry. On the discussions afterwards Alastair Campbell was there saying how well Brown did– now there's a turn up for the book as they hate each other with a vengeance. Still, desperate men do desperate things in desperate situations!

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