I am still convinced that Britain’s adoption of American-style leadership debates is destroying whatever good is left to that nation of unwashed miscreants-and may even be responsible for the worrying downward spiral in successful knife crime completions-but I watched the whole thing yesterday and came away with several revelations, not the least of which is that if I had to live on an island where I were subject to Gordon Brown’s dour Scottish baritone on a regular basis I would be glassing people until the whole country ran out of stemware.
Anyway, the second debate is generally considered to have been a draw, or a slight victory by Nick Clegg, leader of Britain’s third party, whose growing popularity has caused so much fear in Conservative ranks that they might be shut out of government that they have resorted to begging their allies in the press (which is pretty much all of the major papers, save one or two) to rubbish him. (A particularly excellent example can be found here, which amply demonstrates the xenophobia and insularity for which-apart from poor hygiene and stabbiness-the English people are best known.) Clegg seemed fine last night, if a little squishy at certain moments (one pined for his predecessor Charlie Kennedy, who would have probably shown up drunk-if at all-and lightened the proceedings). Still, between Conservative Leader David Cameron’s posh oleaginousness and the Prime Minister’s glassing-inducing drone, Clegg struck me as perhaps the best choice out of the three to run the country, particularly given his stance that Britain should scrap its nuclear program and replace it with an arsenal of giant knives. Pandering? Sure. But it makes a certain amount of sense.