Friday, 16 April 2010

Election Update

Britain broke with tradition today by having its first ever party leaders' live election debate.

For non-British readers, we've never had these before because the party leaders have a live debate every week while parliament is sitting at Prime Minister's Questions. So we weren't really very sure what was going to be new and different about these election debates (except they last for 90 mins whereas PMQs in parliament only last 15 minutes).

Anyway, we couldn't watch live out here in the Azores but I've had a quick scan of the BBC website (the veritable oracle of good political reportage) and my reaction is this:-

Gordon Brown - craggy and Scottish - incumbent Prime Minister. Leader of the Labour Party (centre left), the party of Tony Blair which has been in power with a majority since 1997. Apparently the PM's got a shocking temper and claims of bullying his staff hit the headlines a few weeks ago. I'm not generally in favour of ethnic minorities in high offices of state but I quite like Brown - the bullying claims sent him soaring in my estimation.

David Cameron - youthful and fresh-faced. Leader of the opposition Conservative ("Tory") party (centre right). The party of Mrs Thatcher, in power from 1979 to 1997. Cameron went to Eton (same public school Princes William and Harry went to) and is therefore a "toff" - English for upper class but pretends to be a man of the people. His wife is called Samantha and is commonly known as "Sam Cam". She is pregnant which will be a great electoral asset.

Mick Huhne (pronounced "Hughn") - youthful and fresh faced. Leader of the Liberal Democrat party (centre-centre). Never been in power since Nineteen-Umpteen. (I think I'm right in saying David Lloyd George was the last Lib PM and that was the 1st World War). I know even less about Huhne than I do about Cameron.

Sorry, I cocked up the pictures above - this (below) is Cameron (I think):-

And if you think I'm taking the mick, then the BBC made the same mistake on their website earlier, I kid you not. These fresh-faced and youthful politicians, younger than oneself, are easily mixed up. This is Cameron (leader of the Mrs Thatcher party) honest:-

Who will you be voting for? This should help:-

(Apparently Cameron's actually called Clegg or am I mixing him up with someone else?)


Kathie said...

The US was treated to a few sound-bites from the debate on this evening's network newscasts. Apparently more give-and-take (a good thing) occurred than usually happens in US candidate debates.

BTW, if you think the boy pols make YOU feel old, you can't even begin to imagine MY trauma. I concur that Cameron & Clegg look indistinguishable (maybe even undistinguished?), although I think they may have been wearing different color neckties from one another this evening :-)

Kathie said...

Excellent review of the debate by the Washington Post's Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Tom Shales:

Re telling the candidates apart last evening, Shales notes:
"Barack Obama's preference for solid pastel ties has apparently been internationally influential -- Brown wore a color that looked like pink but could've been maroon, and Clegg wore a solid yellow that could've been gold -- while the conservative Cameron seemed to be following in the tradition of George W. Bush's favorite, baby blue."

So the guy in your photos was Clegg, not Cameron (interchangeable as those whippersnappers may be, appearance-wise).