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Thursday 15 January 2015

Letts Ignore Dave’s Defeat

Regular visitors to Zelo Street will already be familiar with the tendency of the Daily Mail’s odious Quentin Letts (let’s not) to call Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) for Young Dave, whatever happened. Cameron can have had a complete mare, but Quent will rescue it in the retelling to reassure Mail readers that it all went jolly well, and the other lot were totally useless, especially Mil The Younger.
Harry Potter and the Gobshite of Arslikhan

But yesterday brought a problem: Cameron got trounced. Adam Bienkov from politics.co.uk observed “That was Cameron’s worst ever PMQs performance. No wonder he doesn’t want election debates”. The centre-right was similarly unimpressed: Isabel Hardman of the Spectator put it directly as she Tweeted “And Miliband won those exchanges hands down”. There was more.
He says Dave lost

On the much vaunted get-out clause suggesting that Miliband is scared of having the Greens included in the leaders’ debates, Mark Ferguson noted “‘I’ll debate anyone the broadcasters invite to debate’ says Miliband. So he’ll debate with the Greens if they’re invited. Let’s get on with it”. But get on with it was something Letts was most certainly not going to do, well, not until he’d rewritten the script to favour The Blue Team.
She says Dave lost

And so it came to pass: “Alas, all of Labour’s farmyard fandango was for nothing... QUENTIN LETTS sees an outbreak of clucking at PMQs” read the headline. Yes, Mail readers, Quent wants you to look over there while he spins: “The Prime Minister has refused to join the TV debates unless the mighty Greens are included … If the Greens can do to the Left-wing vote what Ukip has done to the Right, Mr Cameron would be happy”.
And as for the Greens being a problem ...

As for being chicken, “Mr Cameron turned the cowardice allegation on its axis and accused Mr Miliband of being the one who was running scared. ‘Why is he so chicken when it comes to debating with the Greens,’ he asked Mr Miliband”. Quent has carefully edited out the part that Mark Ferguson picked up on. And he certainly isn’t going to admit to Mail readers that Dave was, by this point, shambling badly.

Mr Cameron noted that there were now just ten PMQs left until the election and Mr Miliband was unwilling to ask him about job creation, growth, energy and other policies. ‘If he’s got any questions left will he please ask a serious one?’” Very good Quent, but what you didn’t tell the readers is that Dave said that after Miliband had asked all his six questions, knowing he could not ask another.

Then, to back up Letts, the Mail’s political editor James Chapman weighed in withExcuses all round! Chaos over TV election debate as David Cameron refuses three-way showdown with Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband”. Did Dave say that? What the heck, it helps confuse the readers and makes sure they don’t find out that yesterday’s part of the Tories’ campaign did not turn out necessarily to their advantage.

Expect lots more of this in the coming months. Paul Dacre will want that gong badly.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

On Daily Politics yesterday BBC's Nick Robinson gave a very good explanation of the Ofcom process for assessing which parties are eligible to be represented on the debates.

UK wide parties can only be considered
Level of representation in Parliament
Results in recent elections
Opinion poll ratings

Take all these factors into the mix for all parties and Blue, Red and Yellow are in, UKIP also get a seat, the Greens don't because they fail to meet the threshold for selection.

Despite this detailed and factual explanation Brandon Lewis dimissed it as "Nick Robinsons's opinion".

That' how desperate they are - they can't even give a cogent argument for Greens's being there, just dismiss facts as non valid opinions.