I know I said yesterday that was going to yammer on about the virtues of double decker buses, but again, something else has come up that is fantastic and interesting and, well, historic for the UK.
I’ve mentioned before that the general election (for MP’s, Prime Minister, etc) is coming up on the 6th of May. Last night was the FIRST televised debate for the three main contenders for the Prime Minister’s seat. Gordon Brown (Labour Party), David Cameron (Conservative Party) and Nick Clegg (Liberal Democrats) politely battled it out in front of an audience and nearly 10 million television viewers. Brown and Cameron have consistantly been said to be the two main contenders for the seat, both having quite a lot of time in the media and political spotlight. Clegg and the Lib Dems however are the newcomers on the scene, and boy has that scene changed after last night!
I have to confess–other than the system itself, I’ve never been interested in UK politics. Sure, I get riled up when they talk about the MP’s listing 2nd and 3rd homes as an “expense” and so on–it’s like bankers’ bonuses to me. And actually, the only reason I even watched the debates, initially, was because they were the first ever. But I gotta tell you, once they got going, I really got into it. From immigration to schools to the economy, the three gentlemen were exactly that… gentlemen.
Closing Statements: (Brown then Cameron and then Clegg)
The debates, of course, have a lot of room to grow and to improve. Audience participation was heavily scripted (like the USA, really) but no clapping or booing or noises of any sort were allowed. It was a bit creepy, really. I would have liked to see the audience making more of a buzz; how can a candidate handle a political post if they can’t handle a studio audience?
N and I both declared the winner for ourselves before the debate was even over: Lib Dem Nick Clegg, who until last night hadn’t really been taken seriously. And you know what? The newspapers, radio and tv agree. Click here for Telegraph article. Clegg has absolutely changed the face of this election, whether he wins or not. He’s turned the race from a two-party battle of old ideas and old arguments to a three-party race. He’s got fantastic ideas, he’s young and he’s absolutely engaging. I adore him, and if I could vote, I would definitely cast mine in his favor. N and I both agree that the UK has been run for too long by old politicians with old ideas who don’t give a hoot what our generation are left with after all is said and done.
If you’re bored/curious/interested, the whole debate can be seen below. And if you’re from the US and can’t see the videos, then let me know, please.
So that’s my Love London for the week… the first-ever Prime Ministerial debates and Mr. Nick Clegg. Bring on the remaining two debates and election day!
Ps. Still no planes in, out of, or over the UK and now a good chunk of Europe. And they’re saying now we’ll probably get some residual ash. But it’s “nothing to worry about”… of course.