“I agree with Nick”, and other interesting quotes.

Some called it boring, some suggested Harry
Hill or even cage fights were needed, but I thought tonight’s first
Leader’s Debate wasentertaining, exciting, funny and brilliantly
balanced, and I wasn’t the only one: 36,483 Twitter users thought so
too.

In a first for UK politics, Nick Clegg, David Cameron
and Gordon Brown appeared next to one another on a show that Brown
stated may not be as exciting as the X-Factor or Britain’s Got Talent,
but the debate gained higher viewing figures and a hell of a lot more
Tweets than the shows watched by what I imagine to be a very different
audience. (Is mass culture changing?)

The debate has been
described as ultimately being a metaphorfor the question, ‘who do you
want to be PM?’, and if that is at all accurate,the people who didn’t
tune in are in for a surprise when they pick up their newspaper tomorrow
morning.

Two things happened that I found particularly
interesting tonight (aside from the Twitter feed), firstly, the one
candidate who was said to have encouraged the debate from the beginning,
the same candidate who has been called a ‘PR man’ is the one that lost
out. David Cameron looked the most tnervous from the moment the title
music began. It’s true the debate gave a very nerve-wracking situation,
and I admire all three of them for having the guts to stand up, without
ear pieces, without pre-written scripts and without a break or their
team’s advice for 90 minutes (the unbroken 90 minutes also created quite
a problem with people’s bladders too, from what Twitter updates told
me, mine included). Aside from complaining of needing a
toilet break though,Twitter was a fantastic source for the best quotes
of the night. A few of my favourite include:

Ian Douglas: You were in Hull, David? What colour are they there?
#leadersdebate

ntlk: Gordon agrees with
Nick! #leadersdebate

MarkBorkowski: David
Cameron’s barber should beshot

ntlk: Clegg
is on fire tonight, and Brown seems to be having fun as well
#leadersdebate

#leadersdebate wasn’t the only trending
topic to come out of the debate on Twitter, predictably. Nick Clegg
earned his name aside compliments while David Cameron’s name was just
that –accompanied with an ‘s’ at the end, suggested for things like
‘David Cameron’s hair’ and David Cameron’s make-up’, but the best
surrounding him had to be #minoritybingo. This was the accusation that
David Cameron was simply working his way through minority buzzwords, and
even mentioned my own home of Hull embarrassingly!(Questions quickly
arising as to whether he actually knows what people from Hull look
like), though one Tweeter made a fine example of the notes Cameron had
in front of him:

http://tweetphoto.com/18558284

The
second thing that surprised me tonight was the completely new angle to
politics. Newspaper cartoon strips have likened the debate to a boxing
match with a clear winner, and this is a good representation of the
politics we knew before tonight: The two main contestants are allowed to
go for each other, often bringing personal clashes into play, and
appearing as two school boys without much sense being made in between.

The
decision to put the presenter in charge of speaking times and turns was
the best part of the show: nobody argued directly to each other without
going off-track, each candidate took their turn to speak and (mostly)
stopped speaking when they were told to pass the spotlight over. If this
could be done in the House of Commons, I think this would be the best
improvement politics could ask for.It’s not often
I’ll praise Gordon Brown, but tonight he surprised people. I was
expecting an uneasy and nervous PM, but instead we got a confident,
well-prepared and even funny man with jibes of thanks to Lord Ashcroft
for funding an advertising campaign featuring him smiling for the first
time in two years.

The television debate was a damn
good idea, not only has it given potentially millions of people the
chance to get a glimpse of personality as well as policies, but saved so
much time trawling through campaign websites and mostly biased news
reports to decide who to vote for.

In addition to this I
feel it has brought the UK into modern politics (though it may have
initially come kicking and screaming). The US Obama election created a
global buzz and left many people wishing they had the ability to vote
overseas and tonight this was recreated for the UK, quite genuinely.

One
Twitter user suggested Clegg could be the UK Obama, I gathered they
meant in the sense of creating a buzz out of nowhere rather than global
success but it still showed the level of impact tonight had on the UK:
people are excited about politics again, and this time, we have a say in
it.

There’s only one more question I have: am I seriously
considering changing my birthday plans to be able to watch the second
one?

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2 thoughts on ““I agree with Nick”, and other interesting quotes.

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