Monday 19 January 2015


 The argument over whether David Cameron should appear in Leader debates and whether or not we should have them illustrates the range of views,most of them wrong, about democracy and television among our political class.

Of course we should have leader debates. The Prime Minister has almost presidential power and a presidential role and the nation should see them and make it's own judgement on who they want as PM.They should also be able to see Osborne and Balls head to head and Hunt versus Burnham

But that's it. Like it or not ,and an increasing proportion of around a third don't ,electors will be choosing between two parties which can form a government, and that choice needs to be informed by their perceptions of the people who'll be governing. So leader debates must be head to head and restricted to parties which are contesting all seats and which can rule.

That's what Cam really wants to avoid because he's quick and smart but can't resist a knee to the groin and he knows that kind of nastiness doesn't come over well on television .So he needs an excuse to wriggle out.So he's seized on the greens for that

Good excuse for the Greens should appear and OFCOM is wrong to rule them out but they should appear in a second round of debates in which all the leaders of all the parties put their case.

We should have learned the lesson in 2010 when for some strange reason Cleggie was allowed to play with the big boys and won the match because it's so easy for a third party to hold out glittering prospects, be all things to all men and more to women, and look exciting as opposed to the stodgy compromises of power .

The result was Cleggmania. Next time it could be Farage frenzy But look where Clegg mania  got us. And him. And the Lib Dem party which will now have to pay the price of five years of posing in power and breaking its promises.In their own interests third fourth and fifth parties should be kept away from that.It might give them delusions of competence, even in his case omnipotence.


Watch for more turmoil in currency markets this week as Greece moves nearer to its election and Draghi tries to get his quantitive easing over Germanopposition.Down for the Euro up for the Swiss franc .Andt the pound? If the government  doesn't manage to bring it down the march of the makers becomes a hobble of the hopeless.Manufacturing revival needs a competitive pound

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