The Blog of
Nadine Dorries
Posted Friday, 16 April 2010 at 12:09



I just can’t quite get myself worked up to the extent others are with regard to last night’s debate and Clegg’s performance.


There are a number of reasons for this.


 It was the first debate and the new boy on the grown up block was only ever going to command full attention.


After all, people are very used to hearing Brown and Cameron. They receive top billing on the R4 Today prog 8.10 spot and whatever they pronounce is repeated on the news. The images of both are frequently beamed into every sitting room, a number of times a day.


The public know David Cameron and Gordon Brown well; they have lived with them through their pain of loss, have passed comment on everything their wives wear and get to hear every time one has his bike nicked or chucks a mobile phone.


Last night, as the cameras started rolling, the public were presented with a new star in the Westminster leaders cast. A man they knew very little about, other than he has slept with about 30 women.


That fact alone makes him interesting to watch in a ‘how did he manage that?’ kind of way.


Nick Clegg utilised a tactic that won’t wear twice. The plague on all your houses and I am the motherhood and apple pie alternative wont wear during he second debate, the public will by this point expect much more in terms of depth.


He was also fairly duplicitous. His pronunciations regarding MPs who have bought homes and made a profit was a dodgy move. I am sure that there will be some wily journalist who will today check how many Liberal Democrat MPs have bought homes using a Parliamentary allowance and who have sold and made a profit, including the more well known former MPs such as Ashdown and Kennedy. Clegg didn't contain his comment to flipping, he used the words gain and profit.


His response to every question was opportunistic. He can of course say anything he likes because he will never have to deliver and will therefore never be challenged and neither Cameron nor Brown can highlight this fact without appearing arrogant.


I believe Cameron was holding back. If I was his tactician, I wouldn’t want him to resoundingly win the first debate. We saw the best Clegg has to offer last night. From here on in it will be much tougher for him.


The media have now raised the expectation of the public and for next weeks debate they will expect an all singling all dancing Clegg to skip out onto the stage and steal the show.


When and if that doesn’t happen, the disappointment and sense of failure will be all the greater. We all know the tactics of the British media, they put you on the pedestal and then they let you..

Contact Nadine
Nadine Dorries MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
Telephone: 020 7219 5928

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