Archive for the ‘The Great Debate’ Category

Telegraph’s friendly fire fuels Clegg campaign

In David Cameron, editorial, ge2010, Gordon Brown, Nick Clegg, the conservatives, The Great Debate on April 23, 2010 at 09:55

With great thanks to The Daily Telegraph, Nick Clegg got just the boost in exposure he needed to come very close to clinching the second of the leadership debates in Bristol, last night.

We were left puzzled over why the Telegraph decided to run with the story they did, yesterday, mainly because there really isn’t much of a story there at all.  It was intended to – evidently – depict Clegg as just another one of the boys.  It back-fired though into a massive crash as Clegg looked – once again – more the victim and outsider to traditional ‘jobs-for-the-boys’  politics, surging ahead in many polls following the debate.

The Lib-Dems played the scandal perfectly, not giving it the purchase that was intended by simply brushing it off as nonsense and by not reacting in any substantive way at all, really.  It was a master stroke by the Clegg handlers and an inspired bit of public relations.

What it will mean for the Tories is yet to be seen, with Cameron coming across much stronger last night – though still falling short of the target of ‘knock-out punches’ in the Sky debate.

Dave does seem to be loosening up a bit, but the Tories need to concentrate on letting him be himself as the election looms ever closer.  PR is about taking calculated risks, and so far the Tories seem – with a few exceptions – reluctant to do this, opting instead to stay in the safe, calmer waters of generalization and vagueness.

All is not lost, though, as Cameron has proven himself more than capable of serious political discourse in the past.

We think he needs to 1) stop assuming the electorate to be incapable of grasping complex political concepts, 2) open up all the stops on the console of the Cameron organ – let fly, be passionate, take the risks, 3) hammer away at the Lib-Dems and Labour – concentrate on policy, not personality.  The electorate is much more intelligent and informed than – we think – any of the leaders appear to believe.

Bring it home, Dave.  We know you can do it.  The question is, do you?


God save the Queen – and the Internet

In The Great Debate on April 16, 2010 at 09:57

It was almost universal, this morning.  Nick Clegg came out on top of the leadership debates, last night.  Though it may be because both Cameron and Brown were mindful of the gigantic cloud of deadly and evil volcanic dust from the money-nicking, holiday cancelling godless Icelanders.

Quietly dignified and staying on message regardless of where the two traditional parties tried to toss him, Clegg worked the venue like a pro, even though we did find it disconcerting whenever he stared right at us.

What was remarkable about these historic debates, from our point of view, was the sheer volume of tweets that it produced.  At one point, as we watched the #leadersdebate hash-tag, there were more than 17,000 tweets in just under 60 seconds.  With people from all across the country live-tweeting, live-blogging and having debates of their own back-and-forth on Twitter, it was a multi-faceted, value-added spectacle.

But how did new media affect it?

There were tweets from Eric Pickles, William Hague, and a virtual cornucopia of analysts and pundits, all competing on behalf of their Chosen One.  Viewers were able, for perhaps the first time in history, to interact live with senior party officials, without moderation or the interference of handlers.  It was definitely an atmosphere of participatory government the likes of which Great Britain has never before seen.  It was, in our opinion, the very epitome of a strong and vibrant democracy.

John Prescott, the former deputy-PM, was even tweeting in his hallmark off-the-cuff, devil-may-care way.  He even responded to several tweets from the general electorate.  That simply could not – or would not – happen in places like China or Iran.

More than anything else, it illustrated that perhaps Great Britain isn’t so far gone as many think it is, with regard to democratic ideals.

It was a triumph for new media, and a big win for the Conservative manifesto.  In effect, it was just what The Dear Leader Dave wanted.  The electorate actively participating in the government of Great Britain.

We should be proud.  God save the Queen – and the Internet.

We’re over out status update limit on Twitter, so…

In The Great Debate on April 15, 2010 at 22:17

…here’s our final word on the debate:

#leadersdebate I mean, SHIT! Hugh Abbott could have done a better job than Gord OR Nick!

“Serious” number-crunching analysis on how the new media world played into the poll results, in the next 24-36 hours.