The commentators 15-01-15
...on the great debate
They should do it. Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband should push ahead with their threat to “empty chair” David Cameron in a series of general election television debates. And they should see where it gets them. The debate about the debates is getting ridiculous now. There was some good sport to be had by the Prime Minister’s opponents over his ill-judged decision to pretend he’d developed a burning sense of injustice towards the Greens and the failure to grant them major party status. But talk about overplaying your hand.
- Dan Hodges, Daily Telegraph
Sorry to burst the Westminster bubble, but the television debates are not going to happen and David Cameron is not going to suffer in the court of public opinion for his prudence/ cowardice (delete according to prejudice).
- John Rentoul, The Independent
Elections should be between real options, not between leaders who disguise their fear of radicalism with waffle about transformative authenticity, realism and delivering change. Real Labour would be a beacon, not a guttering candle. Political choice has become a meander across a landscape of echoes. Real Labour would restore contact with real politics.
- Simon Jenkins, The Guardian
Without broadcast debates all we are left with from the parties are contrived photo-opportunities, manipulative adverts, sloganising posters and deceitful leaflets. Politicians bleat about apathy yet there is no more effective way to promote political engagement than through TV. In 2010, 22 million viewers watched the debates, far more than were canvassed by party activists.
- Leo McKinstrey, Daily Express
Television debates encourage the worst tendencies in modern politics. They are won by politicians with the best soundbites, sharpest suits and most hair.
- Tim Montgomerie, The Times
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