Thursday, April 3, 2014

That debate

I have a confession to make: I did not watch either of the Nick v. Nigel debates. Well, really, I couldn't, not having a TV set and having better things to do with my time. Yes, indeed, that patch of paint just was not going to dry without me watching it. Nor have I, as yet, read what the Boss had to say about the second debate on EUReferendum but I gather indirectly that he was rude about both participants. That, I am sure, will surprise those readers of this blog who have not read his analysis. I also gather that it is only the Farage supporters who have attacked him in return. The Cleggies don't care or don't read EURef.

It has not escaped my attention, though, that Mr Farage is deemed to  have won the debate with popular opinion going 2 to 1 in his favour. I have not seen the figures as to how many people actually watched either of the outings, especially the second one. Nor has it escaped my attention that there are calls for Mr Farage to be included in whatever TV extravaganza there will be in 2015 during the election campaign and for the Conservatives to do a deal with him rather than Mr Clegg.

To both of which Mr Cameron can reply with one argument: as long as UKIP has no MPs doing a deal with them is a meaningless concept and why should their leader be part of that TV debate, rather than the Greens (one MP) or George Galloway (himself an MP).

All that is, however, in the future. For the moment I remain underwhelmed for two reasons. One is that I have yet to see any evidence that anybody outside the Westminster bubble, which includes the media and political bloggers (guilty, as charged!), apart from a few political geeks and the entire membership of UKIP, cared enough to watch and express opinions.

Secondly, I happen to remember all those TV debates in 2010 that Nick Clegg was deemed to win hands down. (How David Cameron and whoever was the leader of the Labour Party must be laughing now!) There was, if you recall, much talk of a Lib-Dim surge on the back of that stellar performance, the only question being whether they would come second or actually first.

We all know what happened. As I said at the time:
For, sadly, the Lib-Dims increased their share of the vote by a measly 1 per cent, lost five seats, did not take several seats they were confidently expected to do and did very badly in the local elections (not that it makes any difference). Their reward: places in the Cabinet and the Deputy Premiership for their incompetent leader.
I have said it before and, no doubt, shall say it again: until UKIP starts winning seats in the House of Commons or, at least, come close, they will remain marginal and all the brouhaha about their performance will remain irrelevant, no matter how many pictures, articles or blog postings there are about Nigel Farage, who, I gather, is about to celebrate his 50th birthday at the Ritz. No, astonishingly enough, I was not invited.


  1. You didn't watch and yet you still comment on what your boss told you. You have become as irrelevant as he has.

  2. I didn't bother to watch either. I will admit now that I am a member of UKIP. No I don't have excuses other than I used to be a member of the Conservative party. Is that a reason. No. I suppose not. Anyway. I did however, see the comments on Guido's site and was thinking "can the DPM really be that bad". Well yes he was which made Farage look great. Did we talk about nothing else at work the following day? Nope. Talked about wine. Talked about errrr work. But the 'debate' was not mentioned.

    1. That's pretty much my situation. I've delivered leaflets for UKIP in the past, though without much enthusiasm. I would love UKIP to be a serious contender, but the fact is that they aren't and probably never will be unless they can attract and keep some serious political thinkers at the top of the party. Everyone who's read EUReferendum and this blog over the years knows what their history is in that regard.