I make no apologies for the frequency of political blogs during this election campaign. I’ve always been fascinated by politics – hell, when I was 14 I stayed at a friend’s house and watched the entire 1992 Election Night coverage. And that was in the days before Red Bull. The ebbs and flows of these campaigns fascinate me, and following the slow start, this year’s is turning into one of the most unpredictable and intriguing in recent memory.
Tonight, the main point of interest is that the gloss may just be starting to come off the Lib Dems following Nick Clegg’s triumphant emergence in last week’s Leaders’ Debate. Rumours are gathering of a killer expenses story regarding the Lib Dem leader which is about to surface. Quite what this will add to what is already in the public record (pretty bloody high property expenses claims, claiming the costs of a business class flight when he flew economy…) is unclear at this point – it’s interesting that his whiter-than-white image is still going, when what expenses have already been revealed pretty much torpedo part of Clegg’s “new politics” agenda. Also it’s not yet confirmed which newspaper this is going to appear in. Will it be about his UK Parliamentary claims, or delve deep back into his MEP past to reveal something else? If the latter it would be doubly interesting, given the rumours at the weekend that the Tories delved deep into Clegg’s historic expenses claims from when he was a member of the European Parliament, yet came up with nothing dodgy. Or maybe this is just Westminster Village flim-flam, and nothing’s about to come out at all.
Regardless, this afternoon was already a bad one for the Lib Dems, albeit relegated to the Daily Politics show on BBC2, which isn’t exactly going to enthrall the nation. The programme has been running various debates between the various parties’ representatives for important departments of state, and today was the turn of the would-be Chancellors to battle each other. The Lib Dems seem to be starting to fold slightly under the inevitable more intense questioning, none more so than Vince Cable, who since the one line that made him the nation’s most popular politician had seemed unassailable in people’s affections… until maybe now. Watch as presenters Andrew Neil and Stephanie Flanders make mincemeat out of him (sorry about the source):
So the mask may be slipping slightly, but there was one moment today in the endless parade of interviews that was a real car-crash. The presenters simply couldn’t believe their luck about this, fighting as they were throughout the interview segment not to break out into hysterical laughter. The party? UKIP. The leader? Er… who replaced Nigel Farage? No idea. This guy. Him. Now the laughing stock of Westminster. This video has to be seen to be believed, quite possibly the worst television performance of all time by a party leader:
Now that’s comedy. And why I love politics. You never know when brilliance like this is going to happen.