BBC hosted a seven-member leaders’ debate yesterday. Prime minister Theresa May chose not to attend and sent Home Secretary Amber Rudd instead.
There are limitations to the productiveness of a seven-person debate lasting two hours but there were some obvious observations.
Amber Rudd spouted lies and gormless platitudes about Tory achievements and plans that elicited laughter from the studio audience
Amber Rudd stated her support for arms sales to and British military expertise for Saudi Arabia to assist with that country’s carpet bombing of Yemeni civilians and said she supported such actions because it helped the arms industry. (Welfare State For The Arms Industry)
Jeremy Corbyn continued his consistent coherent presentation of Labour’s plan and embodied leadership.
Caroline Lucas, Angus Robertson and Leanne Wood dealt with both Rudd and Nuttall expertly, as one would deal with petulant untrustworthy children.
Even funny little Tim Farron had a few clever prepared lines that he uttered at the right time, particularly those aimed at the absent Theresa May.
(Paul Nuttall dribbled some incoherent nonsense about Islam and immigration.)
The debate proceeded as expected with the expected winners and the expected loser: Theresa May.
False reaction from media
The right-wing and centrist media and their counterparts among politicians could not claim (as they would like to have done) that Amber Rudd had won the debate or that Jeremy Corbyn had been shambolic. So, they chose to invent a couple of themes.
Theme 1: The debate made no difference
Clearly, it cannot be known immediately if the debate made a difference to anyone’s voting intentions. To state that it certainly hadn’t made a difference is a deliberate ploy to undermine opposition to the Tories and deny the success of Labour’s campaign. An invented theme aimed at directing opinion.
Theme 2: Shouting between panelists = Coalition of chaos
There were a few moments during the debate when several people were speaking at once. Given that there were seven politicians present such moments are not surprising and they occupied a small portion of the time allotted for the debate. The ‘coalition of chaos’ soundbite had been prepared by the Tories and distributed to the compliant media who were happy to use it, knowingly.
The TV debates are part of the election campaign. They are not a significant part nor a useless part.
Peremptory dismissal of the debates by the anti-Corbyn, pro-status quo mob is indicative of their fear. They can see the losing post looming. They have nothing but nonsense.