Another day, another development: now Young Dave has, after all, agreed to appear before The Inquisition Of Pax Jeremiah. Score one Baron Mandelson of Indeterminate Guacamole and Big Al, who will have impressed on Pa Broon the importance of going through with the “masochism strategy” in order to paint Cameron into a corner and make him look indecisive for once.
When Cameron will appear on Newsnight is yet to be confirmed, and it’s possible that he will be last of the three leaders to be grilled – not the ideal spot. Meanwhile, on this morning’s delayed Andy Marr Show, Pa Broon appeared remarkably relaxed – well, relaxed by his standards – and happily conceded that he had not won last week’s debate on style.
But where Labour did score well was in their ability to brief and spin in the immediate aftermath of that debate: their message was brief and to the point, that their man had provided the substance and Cameron had not. And Big Al, on his blog, shows he is not at all unhappy with the Lib Dems doing well. Why so? Dead easy – it puts more pressure on Young Dave, without Labour having to move a muscle.
There are two leaders’ debates left, and their subject areas are much more to Brown’s liking: world affairs is up next, and finally the economy. Labour will be looking to pull back some ground in both. Clegg can score on anything to do with the Iraq war, but again, Cameron leads a party that was if anything more fired up for the conflict than any other. And he’s not exactly had a good banking crisis.
So Labour will be satisfied with where they are now. The Lib Dems may not generate as much “bounce” with the next debates: they will be happy with maintaining position. The Tories, on the other hand, aren’t happy at all: William ‘Ague has resorted to playing the Euro-scare card against Corporal Clegg, perhaps forgetting that trying to whip up Europhobia in 2001 got him and his party thoroughly trounced.
And Young Britons’ Foundation CEO Donal Blaney, whose blog is still off air, has suggested via Twitter that the Tories should re-hire Lynton Crosby, the same man who brought them defeat in 2005 and finally finished John Howard’s premiership in his native Australia. The various Tory cheerleaders across the blogosphere are starting to wobble badly: on ConservativeHome, Jonathan Isaby has decided it’s the Beeb’s fault. This might make him feel better, but it won’t help his party.Because it’s not the Beeb, or Clegg, or Brown, or the papers that have got the Tories where they are now. It’s the Tories themselves.