Here’s a chance for the BBC to show true political impartiality – next Monday, from 8.30 to 9pm, they should show Jeremy Paxman sitting quietly in a chair with an empty chair opposite him. Occasionally, they could flash up the caption ‘You’re watching a Panorama special: Jeremy Paxman interviewing David Cameron. David Cameron has declined to appear. Next week, we’ll do the same with Gordon Brown if he doesn’t turn up.’
Of course, they could just reshow his interview with Nick Clegg. I’m sure there are many creative ways to fill the empty half hour of TV.
Talking of Nick Clegg:
Yes, today’s main election news story was the launch of the Liberal Democrat manifesto, which (with fingers crossed and wood touched) seems to have gone rather well, with a great reaction from the press and other commenters. My favourite? A tie between Ben Goldacre‘s ‘Lib Dems giant win on science‘ (echoed by the Times here) and Greenpeace’s executive director John Sauven describing it as “the most progressive environmental policies of all the major parties“.
In short, a rather good day for the Liberal Democrats, capped off by a great performance from Nick Clegg, which bodes well for the debates, particularly his grasp of the detail of the party’s policies. Tomorrow night’s debate could make for some very interesting viewing.
Meanwhile, campaigning goes on here in Colchester. Unfortunately, a couple of long meetings this afternoon meant I couldn’t get out on the doorstep today, but got out this morning to deliver 120 more leaflets, taking my total up to 120. And without being on the doorstep, I still managed to pick us up another vote – the first I’ve ever done through Twitter. After talking about how the Lib Dem broadcast embedded above features Brian Eno’s ‘An Ending (Ascent)’ (and you can hear the album Apollo that it comes from on Spotify), my friend Frank (author of the excellent TV blog Cathode Ray Tube) Tweeted how that was the final clincher for him to reject the Labservatives.
22 days to go, and less than 24 hours until the first debate begins and we wait to see just how it effects the election. But I’m sure the news channels will have journalists talking to other journalists within moments of it finishing to tell us exactly what we thought about it.