FARAGE – V – CLEGG - THE LBC EU DEBATE
I watched the LBC/SKY debate between Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage over “Britain’s” membership of the EU. I thought Nigel Farage did very well. Although he is not as polished a debater as Nick Clegg, he was certainly able to more than hold his own. From an English nationalist point of view, it was also interesting to hear him confirm repeatedly that he was “British” and to emphasise that what he is concerned about is “Britain’s” place in the world. His comments will have firmly and finally nailed UKIP’s colours to the mast of Britishness!
So far as Nick Clegg was concerned, there was again talk of “Britain” and “British” interests, although Clegg is not as enthusiastically patriotic about Britain as Nigel Farage, he did take the crown by saying that:- “I want us to be Great Britain, not Little England. And if you feel the same, then now is the time to make your voice heard”. My response to Nick Clegg is: Now is the time for a voice standing up for England to be heard!
After Nick Clegg’s performance over student “top-up” fees, we all know that nothing he says should be taken as anything more than a useful line spun for the moment, but it was entertaining to see that even applies to his rhetoric about “our country”. After the 18th September, we may be moving to the end of “Great Britain” whatever the Westminster and Whitehall Establishment may want (memo to Nick Clegg :- E + S = GB therefore GB – S = E).
One very interesting aspect of the discussions that Sky TV showed afterwards, was interviews with the various political commentators like Sky’s own Adam Bolton and many other media lovies. They all seemed to think that Nick Clegg had won the debate. This is an interesting illustration of the point made by Drew Weston in his book, ‘The Political Brain’, that people tend to be completely blinded to what other people think during political debates because of their own political identity.
The opinion polls show that by far the majority of people thought that Nigel Farage had won. This is, of course, for the same reason, in that those people are seeing only what appeals to their political identity.
Putting these reactions together shows that the leading commentators in the British media are so politically divorced from the views of most normal people that they have no instinctive understanding of how most normal people will react to a political point.
It seems that “liberals” think that political debates are won by making precise nit-picking points rather than statements with emotional punch.
The other thing about the debate was that it was very nice to see a studio audience in a TV debate not as carefully selected for Leftist bias as we always seem to find with BBC selected audiences! I wonder if we will see usual BBC audience bias in the BBC hosted debate in a few days?