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Clegg vs Farage debate – a one legged bum kicking contest?

(74 Posts)
Isitmebut Fri 21-Feb-14 16:24:21

Mr Clegg must have had AT LEAST three Weetabix the other day, as he has challenged Mr Farage to an EU debate, which in reality is his opponents one specialist subject.

If the debate covered the spectrum of domestic issues, policies, history of party, history of winning by-elections via protest votes, even a bit of Work Experience running the country – Mr Clegg, if he could get a word in, would IMO be the ring master.

But on the EU, I would compare this mismatching to a lone one-legged man, entering a bum kicking contest, and unfortunately, Mr Farage would have the matching set when it all kicked off.

Personally I believe this country DOES need full disclosure on the all the ins and outs of EU membership, but as we are already ‘in’, the time for that debate is when we GET an EU yes/no referendum - as both Labour and the Lib Dems are ideologically entrenched as ‘(stay) ‘ins’ without a vote - and therefore the only winner will be Ukip getting even more taxpayer expensive MEP’s where they don’t want to be, but cannot do a thing about getting us OUT.

nennypops Fri 21-Feb-14 17:36:49

I don't think so. The reality is that when Farage gets into any discussion on the EU his weaknesses on pesky things like facts are regularly exposed. I hold no brief at all for Clegg, but he has proved that when he gets into these debates he does rather well. Though I do agree that it is a bit pointless having a full-blown debate about it until at least the beginning of next year.

claig Fri 21-Feb-14 17:47:45

Agree with nennypops. But I think it is basically a win-win for both. Farage will win over more voters when he spells out his position even if he stumbles on some facts as nenny says.

But Clegg and the LibDems are absolutely desperate. There are about 30% of people who want to be in Europe and Clegg will hope to convince some of them that he is the man.

It will get high viewing figures because people will tune in to watch Farage, and Clegg will hope to gain off the back of that.

This is why I think Clegg is doing it, because it is absolutely desperate for the LibDems

"On Thursday The Times reported that Tim Farron, the president of the Lib Dems, has warned that the party faces the "fight of our lives" in May's European Parliament elections

Voicing fears that the party could lose all of its 12 MEPs, Farron said the Lib Dem's “very presence in the European Parliament could be at stake” in a submission to the party’s spring conference next month."

ohmymimi Fri 21-Feb-14 19:23:27

Nige has accepted the challenge (C4 News).

ohmymimi Fri 21-Feb-14 19:30:45

I'll be interested to see if old Nige will actually be able to muster any facts' not his strongest area. Not that it should be a hindrance to him; political facts and the British voting public are strangers to one another. Never underestimate how little the British public know about politics. And those who do know something only see things through the distorting prism of their own prejudices.

ohmymimi Fri 21-Feb-14 19:34:07

That errant apostrophe is a comma floating on the hot air the debate will generate.

MyCatIsFat Fri 21-Feb-14 19:45:48

Well my first thought when I heard that news was that Nige will slaughter him grin As Isitmebut said, Europe has been Nigel's special interest for some time now and if he's half as good as he is when he's performing in the European Parliament then poor old Cleggy will get a proper mauling. grin

Then reality set in.

To hold a televised debate will require a broadcaster to host it. That broadcaster (especially if it's the Beeb or C4) will no doubt have a hand-picked studio audience ready to shout Nigel down every time he opens his mouth.

So, not really looking forward to it now. Just think it's a pity that all things EU are continually swept under the carpet.

Still can't understand why Cleggy made that offer to Nigel. confused

Cleggy is going to have to see Headmaster Dave who is going to be very upset with him as he struggles to keep the 6th form focused on their A levels (forthcoming election) and not on the election of the Head Boy. grin

But whatever happens it's win win for Cleggy as he picks up some more EU Brownie points towards that nice retirement post on the gravy train, as a Commissioner in Brussels.

<puke emocion>

ohmymimi Fri 21-Feb-14 20:06:39

Last time old Nige was on 'Question Time' he got a good crack of of the whip. Those EUphiles at the lefty Beeb must be slipping at their claquemongeing. Maybe old Note threatened to best them 'round the head with an 'Express' beforehand. And back to reality .........

MyCatIsFat Fri 21-Feb-14 20:18:50

The Telegraph's now saying that the next GE 'Leaders Debate' on the telly may just be between Dave and Ed, although there may be another with the 'minor parties' grin

Isitmebut Fri 21-Feb-14 20:56:28

That’s it, game will be over after 10 seconds, Farage to win, on a first round toe poke to Clegg’s little (brown) tea towel holder.

MyCatIsFat….A debate between the two main parties kinda makes sense as one of them is guaranteed to form the next administration in 2015, in whatever permutation – so it would cut out a lot of prime time ‘different politics’, noise.

MyCatIsFat Fri 21-Feb-14 21:26:25

That�s it, game will be over after 10 seconds, Farage to win, on a first round toe poke to Clegg�s little (brown) tea towel holder

Will be worth watching for the comedy value. grin

Clegg's prescence in the last 'Leaders Debate definitely skewed voting at the last GE as the unenlightened swooned over his 'good looks' without considering his politics. I expet Dave would rather not have Cleggy there as Clegg will doubtless attack Dave to make himself look more independently-minded, leaving Dave to try to explain to the public how he managed to co-govern with Clegg for the last 5 years!

Ed will want Cleggy there as politically they can gang up on Dave. Ed's pretty weak on his own (without Gromit).

One thing is certain - none of the 3 of them want Nigel on the show grin

longfingernails Fri 21-Feb-14 21:40:57

Britain is pro-Europe. It is not pro-EU.

Farage will win easily - and even wishy-washy former Lib Dem voters won't bring themselves to feel sympathy for the traitor on tuition fees.

Isitmebut Fri 21-Feb-14 22:51:26

Re “the traitor on tuition fees”.

Personally I blame the populist policy that promised to send 50% of our children on to higher education, but like everything else, didn’t overly concern themselves with the cost - leaving that to someone else to sort out.

Just another cynical political time bomb left for the opposition, designed to cause maximum damage. If only all that effort was channelled into sorting out their problems, rather than passing them on. IMO.

longfingernails Fri 21-Feb-14 23:38:47

Agree. University places should be cut drastically. The concept of the local education authority and the rest of the 'blob' needs to be put out to pasture (Gove is doing this, albeit in a rather limited way). That would allow real social mobility in our society once more.

None of which negates the fact that Clegg is largely seen by those who voted for him in 2010 as a traitor.

nennypops Sat 22-Feb-14 11:15:47

Farage will win easily - and even wishy-washy former Lib Dem voters won't bring themselves to feel sympathy for the traitor on tuition fees.

No, Farage's supporters will claim that he has won easily. Whether he actually does needs to be left to the judgment of more knowledgeable viewers.

Isitmebut Wed 26-Mar-14 23:58:29

I did not hear the radio debate tonight myself, but it appears that the public think that the 'blokey' Mr Farage easily won.

Apparently ‘the intellectuals’ thought that Clegg had the better of it, as he had loads of facts and figures.

Does there lay the problem, the public aren’t interested in facts and figures, they want passion and effective, easy to understand soundbites; no wonder people say that politicians don’t ‘engage’ with them, many problems/policies can’t effectively be explained in a soundbite.

Round 2 next week should be interesting.

claig Thu 27-Mar-14 07:45:10

'Does there lay the problem, the public aren’t interested in facts and figures, they want passion and effective, easy to understand soundbites'

That is what I have been saying for ages.

The public knows that so-called "facts and figures" are manipulated and biased and that teams of think tank advisers and PPEs from Oxford and teenage scribblers from public schools who have never had a real job in their lives, have prepped people for hours in an attempt to bamboozle the public with information overload. But the public wants heart and passion and conviction, not a train timetable read out by a robot.

Clegg probably prepared for hours with his sleeves rolled up as teenage scribblers were called on for advice about the best possible strategies. Spin was spun and they all had fun and thought that that was the way to get Farage on the run.

Meanwhile, down at the Bull and Bush, after yet another barrel had been rolled out and Mother Brown had just finished another knees up, Farage prepared by downing another pint, lighting up a panatella and aiming for the corner pocket on the pool table.

BBC reporters, educated at Oxbridge, were probably aghast and asked Farage if this was the best way to prepare. Farage looked them in the eye with a steely resolve and told them straight "truth shall prevail". This was a revelation to them, "truth" had almost become an alien concept to them, so used were they to "facts and figures" and politicians' spin. They were flabbergasted when the public declared Farage's performance a win.

Now there's consternation at LibDem HQ, the bigwigs, the charlies and the spinners don't know what to do. There's another round next week. There'll be more "facts, facts, facts" because that is their one-trick pony act. They will call on the best and the brightest (who like the rest have never had a real job in their lives) but whatever they do they shall fail because they don't understand that the "truth shall prevail".

claig Thu 27-Mar-14 08:31:16

From Brussels to Balmoral and even to the HQ of the Bullingdon Club, every television set was tuned in to the Great Debate. Bureaucrats, bigwigs and Berties loosened their cravats and prayed that their man Cleggie would make the people's champion, Farage, look like a prat.

At Labour HQ everything stopped as progressives tuned in to the Great Debate and in Number Ten, TVs were tuned in to see if it was now too late. Farage was aked why Cameron was not debating and he said that Cameron "was running the country" or was "running from something". I don't know if that is true, but he's probably now got the runs.

In Mayfair Gentleman's Clubs, the Bullingdon Club probably ordered the champers to be put on ice as they gathered around the tube in the expectation that the result would be nice.

Cleggie opened up with "facts" and in Brussels and the Bullingdon Club and at LibDem HQ, Labour HQ and Conservative HQ there was a tremendous cheer. They jumped from their seats, hugged each other, and declared victory. Now what would the people's champion do? But at Oxbridge, they had never read Aesop's Fables, they were far too clever for that. They had never heard the one about the turtle and the hare.

Farage demolished Cleggie's "facts" with consummate ease, and there was consternation in Brussels and the Bullingdon Club, and whoops of joy at the Bull and Bush. At the Bull and Bush, Mother Brown said "the drinks are on me" and the ordinary people high-fived each other and said "we're going to win", when is she going to get them in?

As time went on, there was worried silence in Brussels and the Bullingdon Club, and raucous cheering and whooping and high-fiving at the Bull and Bush at Farage's performance, and even more so when Mother Brown said she was getting another round in.

And then it was over. The final bell had tolled. There was dejection in Brussels and the Bullingdon Club. Cleggie had done his best, the spinners had prepared him as best as they could, but they could not help but fail, for the "truth shall always prevail".

WestieMamma Thu 27-Mar-14 08:33:02

Nick Clegg knows a lot more about the EU than people realise. Don't forget he spent years working for the European Commission in Brussels before becoming a politician. Then he was an MEP for several years before being an MP. When I was doing my law degree he gave talks on the workings of the EU and EU legislation.

claig Thu 27-Mar-14 08:54:54

WestieMamma, that is Cleggie's Achilles Heel - he is EU through and through - and Farage isn't.

'I did not hear the radio debate tonight myself, but it appears that the public think that the 'blokey' Mr Farage easily won.'

The reality is it was very close, it was nearly 50-50 and Farage only just pipped it. It was disappointing because Farage should have torn the spinner to shreds by hitting him on unemployment and the resultant cost to the taxpayer to pay for it.

He should have easily wiped the floor with the "expert on the EU" but he did not go for the jugular. He was far too nice to Cleggie. It was a missed opportunity. He should have demolished him, but he didn't.

Like the Loch Ness Monster, Cleggie will rise again, bruised but not beaten. Let's hope Farage goes for the jugular next week.

Isitmebut Thu 27-Mar-14 10:35:59

Claig…re your view of the interest in the debate “from Brussels to Balmoral, Mayfair, the Bull & Bush” and all points north, south, east and west – tell me, where is the EU on ‘the peoples’ list of concerns – how many people actually tuned in last night?

I know I never bothered and I follow politics, so based on the “facts” I suspect that you are getting a bit too excited about this debate; Farage is a slick politician, he is not the second coming.

So here are a few “facts” that you and others might be missing;

Fact 1: Ukip are a wasted vote, practically they can do NOTHING to bring the UK out of the EU and/or stop EU immigration here, despite their pretence to the electorate.

Fact 2: The current UK net immigration figure targeted ‘below 100,000 a year’ from the roughly 500,000 annual figure in the 2000’s, depends on how many lucky UK citizens immigrate from our shores, so literally a 'moving' target.

Fact 3: During the 2000’s, the EU citizens that has an automatic right to travel/work here that Ukip tell us was the main cause of the UK jobs, housing, and other social problems, is incorrect.

If you look at the UK immigration figures throughout the 2000’s, in most of those years up to TWICE AS MANY Commonwealth and ‘Other’ citizens were given the right to live and work here, that presumably our government would have had some control over.

Fact 4: Farage & Ukip are a political omni-shambles, not my qualified view, it’s the view of those that were/are close to “the freakshow”, including Farages wife.

“UKIP members are fantastic people. Unfortunately, they are lions led by a preening show pony”

“Inside the Ukip zoo…"
“Ukip's new London headquarters is a chaotic environment where workers are sex-obsessed and volunteers frequently leave work early to go to the pub, it was claimed today.”

“Former employees say that the office in Mayfair is often full of workers' pets, while staff regularly take their clothes off and compile lists of people they would like to have sex with.”

“Nigel Farage's wife, who works as a secretary for Ukip, has reportedly described the office - which the party moved in to last year as part of its push to become a major political force - as a 'freakshow’.”

claig Thu 27-Mar-14 10:55:46

'how many people actually tuned in last night?
I know I never bothered and I follow politics'

Every bureaucrat from Brussels to Bognor Council, every bigwig in politics and the media, every member of the Bullingdon Club, every petty party apparatchik and every progressive on the party payroll from Penzance to Primrose Hill tuned in last night in trepidation of the anticipated trouncing of their chum Cleggie by the people's favourite, Farage.

Sky News ran it for 3 hours solid. There were more Tories MPs there than there were UKIP people according to UKIP's head of media.

And I can tell you we all watched it at the Old Bull and Bush too. It was a historic night, and when the final bell tolled and when the polls declared Farage the outright winner over Cleggie, Mother Brown ordered yet another round and led us all into a rousing rendition of "Roll Out the Barrel"

"Roll out the barrel - we've got the blues (Tories) on the run!"

LumpySpacePrincessOhMyGlob Thu 27-Mar-14 11:14:14

Oh claig I actually could cry with laughter, god bless you. grin

Whenever I read one of your posts I imagine that you live in a black and white film.

claig Thu 27-Mar-14 11:17:32


The old films are the best. They don't make em like that anymore, alas.

Isitmebut Thu 27-Mar-14 11:17:32

Oh dear, oh dear, you sound as if you're still a bit squiff from last night. lol

FYI for anyone in Brussels to worry about Farage, there will AT LEAST need to be an EU Referendum, and only one political party that will form a 2015 government will offer that - and guess what Einstein, 'getting the Tories on the run' won't help with that.

Ukip WILL come first or second in the EU elections, placing a load more sub standards (who don't think we should be there) into Brussels on huge taxpayer salaries/expenses, well done, more beers and barrels all round. Democracy at work, marvellous.

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