FINALLY, at last, and after much to-ing and fro-ing, there has been some kind of agreement and there will be a televised debate between Cameron and Miliband.
Clearly there was never very much to gain for the current Prime Minister, to look, as he does, all shiny-faced and Prime Ministerial, going head to head with a prospective usurper doing his best to look prospectively Prime Ministerial. It was a calculated risk, on the Tories behalf, to take a hit early on to avoid the potential of Miliband performing well in the debate. Presumably there was the genuine fear that without a backdrop of baying posh people, and away from any troublesome bacon rolls, that the substance of Ed’s words might actually prove more reasonable. But there is a time and a place for reasoned debate, and it’s not after the dissolution of parliament, during the run-up to an election, because that would detract from the important issues, according to Cameron. Neither, does it take place before the dissolution of parliament, during PMQs, according to the the same man, albeit a shinier version in 2008 before his plastic veneer had started to age.
Wait, I’m confused; when should the reasoned debating actually take place? It’s still very hard to say, even though Miliband devoted large portions of his PMQs yet again this week, to, er, debating the issue of debating. Since then, Cameron has moved the goalposts so that there will be a debate, not face to face but individually. Not really debating, then, more like avoiding questions by talking loudly with exaggerated hand gestures. And it’s to be with Paxo, who is completely toothless by now and will probably turn up in a wooly jumper with a mug of cocoa. After which there will be the multi party debate where we will all drown in the noise and fury from UKIP and the stuttering silence from the Greens. And all of this will not satisfy Labour as a real contest.
So, forget all that ‘finally, at last,’ nonsense from the top of this page, the pre-debating portion of the debates is far from over. But if the real event ever does happen we can suppose that everyone will be warmed up.