Friday, November 16, 2007

Nick wins Question Time despite truly awful Tie

Memo to the Clegg Campaign - can somebody please ensure that the hideous pink tie that Nick wore on Question Time last night suffers an unfortunate accident. I will confess to having tights that colour in the 80s, and just about got away with it because of my dark hair - but Nick's tie simply clashed with everything. It would actually have suited Chris Huhne better.

I think Nick came across better - Chris was a bit ponderous and remote as he often is in a question and answer situation, where Nick came across as a real human being. Nick combined astute analysis of the international situation, particularly as regards Russia with an ability to explain in a few words what it means for real people and what we should do about it, emphasising the importance of the EU.

Chris didn't need to do any of the "third Tory Party" stuff because David Dimbleby did it for him - and Nick was particularly good at deflecting that criticism.

In the main, though, both candidates said they agreed with each other in response to virtually every question. There are some significant differences in policy, but not much. This is why the way in which they communicate their ideas is so important - I believe that only Nick has the passion and appeal to do so in a way which will reach out to people who have not voted for us before.


Anonymous said...

We seem to have been watching different programmes. I thought Chris was a narrow but clear winner. Despite his tag as a communictor, Nick appeared uncertain at times and flanneled a bit under pressure. By contrast Chris's replies were pertinent and he contrlled the ever more irritating Dimbleby interruptions much better. No, I think I saw again what I saw at the Edinbugh hustings, the quiet steel inside a well-cut velvet glove. I've now made up my mind. Bring on the ballot paper!

Norman Fraser

Valerie said...

I thought the tie won too, but I was watching it on a 3x2cm box on the computer so maybe I didn't see it at full strength.

Norman - I think Nick gives the impression of thinking about the issues in original ways. Technically, it sometimes comes over as hesitation, but the overall picture is of someone putting thought into his answers. Not that Huhne's are without thought, obviously, but Nick seems to explore more.

Jeremy Hargreaves said...

I agree with you, Caron. This was hardly at all about policy differences (despite Dimbleby's valiant attempts!) and Nick did a far better job of relating what they both believe to what normal people are thinking.

pistor said...

I agree with "anonymous". Coming into the room when Nick was speaking and not seeing the screen, I at first thought I was listening to David Cameron - an impression not dispelled by later non-answers and some unfortunate bluster. Need I say more?

Anonymous said...

I rather liked Nick's tie! Anyway, I did think that Clegg was better, especially on the question of why he should be leader (it's not just about having the right CV). I also think on Trident/nuclear weapons Huhne is all over the place: he was shaking his head when Clegg set out what he thought was Huhne's position (Huhne seems to support - possibly - a "minimal" replacement system), but didn't actually contradict it when he had the chance. Paul (Graham)

Robin Young said...

Nick struggling to remember when, if ever, he had called Chris an opportunist was just embarrassingly awful. He improved later, but boy, did he need to! Oddly my wife objected to Chris's tie (which I thought matched the set), but she let Nick's pass.

Amy said...

I have to admit to being very impressed with Chris's tie - I'm a big fan of the Duchamp! puts him up in my estimation...

But it was Nick's fire and passion that really made me smile and realise I was really glad to have the opportunity to vote him into the leader's job.

Norfolk Blogger said...

As someone who has been tagged by the Huhne camp as being pro Clegg, I have to say Huhne won it, but only narrowly.

Just my opinion, but I have been critical of Huhne's campaign up until now so have no reason to make up what I felt. Oh, and my wife who has no interest in politics was more impressed by Huhne too (but she did go to bed after half an hour).

Anonymous said...

Valerie, I don't agree. One thing I've noticed about this contest is that Cleggies seem to claim virtues for Nick that I just can't see. I think in this case a hesitation is a hesitation and that can be fatal in Westminster politics.

Wishing to better explain my reasoning I find that luckily someone else has already written up a post very similar to my own views. See Bernard Salmon's

'It's Make My Mind Up Time' at


Caron said...

Thanks for all your comments. I still think that Nick's genuine, passionate style will connect with more people than Chris'. I have great respect for Chris but see him in more of a Shadow Chancellor role, making the best of his environmental and economic expertise.

The only two things Nick and Cameron have in common are that they are young and sound a bit posh. Although, interestingly, you can tell the effect of 9 years in the north on his accent. When he says things like "answer" he does it with a short a, not a posh awh.

Cameron is one dimensional and insincere. He will say anything and compromise any of his principles to get the Tories elected. Nick, on the other hand, wants to bring our values to a new set of people. He is a genuine, passionate advocate of our cause.


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