April 19th, 2010

It’s Not Just the Leaders Debating
Hague, Miliband and Davey Next

Given the profound effect ninety minutes of television has had on the fickle electorate, it will be worth keeping an eye on the other debates happening in the run up to polling day.

The Daily Politics have organised almost all of the contenders for the senior cabinet positions to have a grilling from Andrew Neil. Today sees the first of such battles between William Hague, David Miliband and Ed Davey. The Beeb’s specialist reporter in each field will also be taking part in the interrogation.

If you want to put your money where your mouth is, Smarkets punters right now reckon Hague is still favourite to be the next foreign secretary and Ed Davey has only a 12% chance of getting the job. The fun and games begin this afternoon on BBC Two at 14.15. Miliband has been on fighting form butting the boot into the Tories since the campaign began, though anyone should be wary of entering the ring with Hague. Especially Davey who is notoriously dull on camera…


  1. 1
    Gordon says:

    The cold glass eye rules,

  2. 2

    We’re all debating together.

  3. 3
    Just shoot the lot of em says:

    fuckin hell , is may the 6th getting further away or is it me?

  4. 4
    Just shoot the lot of em says:

    whats the bet millitwat calls the tories nazis ?

  5. 5
    Nick2 says:

    Yep, saw the plug on today’s DP. Unfortunately can’t watch Hague humiliate the other contenders live, but hopefully can dload (sorry, ‘watch’) off iPlayer later.

  6. 6
    Adler says:

    Politics aside. David Milliband is quite good on foreign affairs. Pity he is a Labour controlled fuck up.

  7. 7
    The Dirty Rat says:

    Billy will down 10 pints of ale and come out fighting. When he is on form he is untouchable.

  8. 8

    The fight back starts here, Hague needs to squash the millipede and the other non entity from the LIbLab pact

  9. 9
    Just shoot the lot of em says:

    gotta admit billy is one of my fave mps , brilliant speaker

  10. 10
    Up sh1t creek says:

    I will be recording for any gems, especially on their Europe love-in policy.

  11. 11
    Leaky pipes says:

    I think during Thursday’s debate, Dave should do the plate spinning routine, Nick the juggling the ferret routine and Gordo the trifle down the trousers routine. If this is what our politics has come down to, they can all fuck off and the country gets what it deserves.

  12. 12
    Inflation be my name says:

    get metal and get it fast

  13. 13
    Adler says:

    Ed Davey! Who? Someone with profound learning disabilities?

  14. 14
    Brown Hater says:

    Brillo will not tolerate any clap trap from any of them, to be fair to him. He is very good and impartial – he treats them all with equal contempt.

    Thee BBC needs some real political clout and it is generally only Brillo that delivers! What they see (or anyone sees) in either Dimbleby is beyond me…

  15. 15
    Dick Tator says:

    Oi, that was mine. Stolen from Matt in the Telegraph last week.

    Get yer own stolen quotes!

  16. 16
    Just shoot the lot of em says:

    good point , brillo is the only bloke on tv that trys to get a answer to the question asked

  17. 17
    Lizzie says:

    I for one will not miss “the boy Milibands”. I wonder why Ed always looks so “vacant”. Haig at least is interesting.

  18. 18
    It's a done deal says:

    This is just as applicable here as it is in the US


  19. 19
    Just shoot the lot of em says:

    i liked it , summed up the way i felt , so i did steal and i am unashamed about it

  20. 20
    Islingtonmike says:

    “Dull” is the new black.

    My gerbil is waiting for a call from Brillo at this delicate moment of our island’s history.

  21. 21
    Blofeld of Clerkenwell says:

    Is this Smarkets company worth dealing with, or is it some shady offshore organisation run by some Bond villian type?

  22. 22
    Dick Tator says:

    Good man!

  23. 23
    John Bull says:

    He never smiles, but he’s no mug. He’s a good speaker, but there is no life in his eyes – very hard to fathom as a person.

  24. 24
    It's no fun trolling when you guys are so depressed says:

    I saw most of Neil’s half-hour interview with Davey last night. Two points: (1) Neil gave him a pretty easy ride, and (2) Davey was remarkably candid, and wasn’t afraid to admit to weak points. Although he did get tied in knots about inventing another £30bn of cuts in thin air.

  25. 25
    Road_Hog says:

    Couldn’t we bring the election forward three weeks, I’m bored already and it isn’t going to get any better.

  26. 26
    Anonymous says:

    Debate, en masse.

  27. 27
    Lizzie says:

    I agree Brillo is very probing, politians rarely answer the question. I watched him interview Davey the other night, I think Brillo gave him a really good “going over”, and exposed the lack of experience of the LibDems on a number of issues. saving money on cancelling Eurofighter planes which haven’t been ordered by the MOD is impressive.

  28. 28
    John Bull says:

    I wonder what colour his hairs will be today?

  29. 29
    Human Rights Watch says:

    Hague is only used to debating with a silly girl who sells equality and feminism down the river for her fugly man. The who thinks being the next labour leader is her god given right!

  30. 30
    Just shoot the lot of em says:


  31. 31
    Canary Wharf Rat says:

    Interesting but even if Hague begins to expose the shortcomings of Lib policy it wll go largely unreported as the media love in with Nicky baby carries on in full swing.
    This was reported as the internet election, I just did a quick trawl of the 3 major party’s sites. Poor, poorer & poorest. Gary Barlow takes centre stage on the Con website…..Nice!

  32. 32
    Andrew k says:

    Should we strt reporting the polls in term of seats and not percentages- as % give a misleading state of the parties status

  33. 33
    Groundhog says:

    You know you’re at political rock bottom when the campaign slogan is vote for us or you’ll get them. 90% of debate is how shit the opposition are compared to our side, not we have the ability to deliver progress.
    I want someone to inspire me to vote for them rather than the fear of not.

  34. 34

    Britain’s got effluent

  35. 35

    Michael Foot was Labour’s expert on the foreign affairs front. That Indian journalist bird for one.

  36. 36
    Just shoot the lot of em says:

    Aint Lady Thatcher busy at the moment , we need her balls to sort this fuckin mess out

  37. 37
    Dumbskull says:

    My knuckles Camerons head. Knock knock,anyone in there?

  38. 38
    Lincolnshire Squire says:

    Time to weigh in the scrap.

  39. 39
    jgm2 says:

    I can think of little more inspirational than getting rid of the economic lunatic Brown.

  40. 40

    What’s the fucking point? They all agree – or claim to agree – on every point of any significance, and they’re wrong on all of them.

    Joe Public seems determined to vote for the chap with the nicest smile, and when policy differences are next to zero and all you have on offer are three different brands of socialism, you might as fucking well.

    I really dont’ care.

    Know who I’m mad at? My missus. Not Gordon Brown, not Cameron – her. She was the one who stopped me emigrating ten years ago, and now we’re fucking stuck in this doomed nation. Stuck. Doomed. Fucked.

    Have a nice day.

  41. 41
    In Y Outy says:

    last night I heard the midnight news on radio 4 for the first time since 1987. Gone had the in depth analysis of the news just a lite dusting of information,crap,I won’t be listening again.

  42. 42
    sockpuppet #4 says:

    the more it inflates the louder it will pop.

  43. 43
    Mine d'Boggles says:

    You have had your Day. You want inspiration? Sorry, Groundhog, expiration was the order of Groundhog Day.

  44. 44
    School for Scoundrels says:

    The greatest indicator that Labour are utterly useless is that there is a cabinet job for Mike and Bernie Milliband in it….

  45. 45

    Nolan on R5 last night pinned Lyn Featherstone down. When she couldn’t say which regions in England require immigrants for LD local immigration policy.

    “You don’t seem to know any figures. Not even in a most general way. Are you sure you’re ready for government?”

  46. 46
    Blue Lady says:

    Too true. Brown is trailing percentage wise but could still end up with the most seats. If the Tories win, they must end this bias in favour of NuLiebore. At the last GE they got 3% more votes than the Tories but ended up with a big majority. They got less votes than the Tories in England but ended up with 92 MORE English MPs. We could end up keeping McMentallist as PM even if he polls less than anyone else. If we had devolution like the rest of the UK England would be Tory and we would not have to put up with this disastrous PM who stole our pensions and destroyed our country. Some democracy eh?

  47. 47
    Mine d'Boggles says:

    Yes, nice observation: dead eyes. Reminds me of Mandelsohn – unmoving dead eyes and a voice like the old speaking clock.

  48. 48
    Centre Parting says:

    it’s all very well getting excited over these narrow issue interviews, but Clegg’s improvement in the poles from one dull TV programme shows that no amount of clever political argument and ideas will affect the voting intentions of electorate, the majority of whom aren’t bright enough anyway.

  49. 49

    If you hurry you can catch one of Gordon’s rescue ships. I’m sure they’ll take you as far as Spain.

  50. 50
    sockpuppet #4 says:

    the media. you know how it works. from pop idols, film stars , to flu and clouds of volcanic ash.

    Hype it up, knock it down, celebrate down the pub.

    Gary who?

  51. 51
    cassandra king says:

    This month has been the longest most drawn out period of time I can ever remember and the summer of 76 seemed to last a bloody lifetime.
    This month seems to have gone on and on as if time is trying to wade thru cold treacle, these last few year have gone by in the blink of an eye.

  52. 52
    jgm2 says:

    For similar reasons Frank I’m mad at myself.

    I knew it was fucked. We had the house sold and the money in the bank. A bundle of money. The pound was buying over two dollars and 1.5 Euros. I knew Scotland was finished and I kind of had my suspicions about the wider UK.

    I even researched schools and houses in Canada.

    And I fucking well discounted it. I thought naaaaah, they couldn’t be that fucking stupid could they? They just couldn’t be that fucking stupid. They’ll cut spending. They’ll ‘do the right thing’.

    Memo to self. Never, ever, ever underestimate how self-serving, cynical and outright evil your government can be. Never.

    Nope. It’s fucked but it’s my own fault for putting up with it. I had every chance to get the fuck out and I didn’t. The best I can do now is buy some gold or some Canadian dollars – lots of ‘em.

    On the upside we didn’t buy a very big house so we can just about afford to burn it to the ground, up sticks and still fuck off to Canada. There is nothing here for the next generation.

    It’s fucked. Completely fucked and getting more fucked by the day.

    And all the moron voters want to be given is a ‘positive vision’. I’ll give you a positive vision – get rid of Brown, get rid of this incompetent government, cut public sector pay by 25% (head-count or paypacket – same result) and in three years time we’ll be on the road to recovery. That is the best case fucking scenario.

    That’s as upbeat as it is possible to be given this monumental Brownian clusterfuck.

  53. 53
    Up sh1t creek says:

    Foreign affairs Lib Dem style…. it was right to not allow the people the right to vote on the Lesbian Treaty.

  54. 54
    Anonymous says:

    Got my name on the Sky pollster list for Thursday. So after putting the pitbull out then ordering more cider and frozen microwave chips and pizzas from Tesco Direct round the corner I’ll send my text to vote for Cleggy. Sounds like a true Northern name so must be sound.

  55. 55
    Up sh1t creek says:

    Go listen to some D:Ream then, I’m sure things will get better then. :)

  56. 56

    So we can say again ‘the country gets the government they deserve’. Those who know better move to Italy, France and Spain.

  57. 57
    I hate New Labour says:

    Are you referring to the Government of all the talents? Surely not?

  58. 58
    Cherie Blair's Shadowy Past says:

    Hey, don’t look at me, I voted for Hitler and got Ed Balls.

  59. 59
    School for Scoundrels says:

    Well if it’s all the talents, there should be a song and dance act, and why not a fucking enormous useless dribbling lump? (Schnorbitz, not Brown)

  60. 60
    Ed Davey says:

    I agree with Nick

  61. 61
    David Miliband says:

    My boss agrees with Nick

  62. 62
    Dobbings says:

    Sorry Cherie I thought you said “I voted for Hitler & got balls”

  63. 63
    William Hague says:

    If there is no overrall majority Dave will agree with Nick.

  64. 64
    Andy Carpark says:

    Burger King at Wetherby services. Still the people’s pisshead.

  65. 65
    Clegg for PM says:

    Hague is fatally wounded over Ashcroft….lame duck

  66. 66
    Ponderables says:

    would an assassin be a villain or a here.

  67. 67
    Ponderables says:

    get your finger out Cherie Cameron yo bitch

  68. 68
    Al says:

    Sad little Troll, go away and squeeze those spots.

  69. 69
    Ponderables says:

    stopped watching it as soon as I heard that stupid excuse for an being said Churchill

  70. 70
    Miliband says:

    The Conservatives are a bunch of Nazi’s

  71. 71
    Cleggs northern doopleganger says:

    Clegg allegedly claimed the full amount permissible under the Additional Cost Allowance, including claims for food, gardening and redecorating. The Telegraph also said Clegg claimed £80 for international call charges, a claim he said he would repay. He claimed the maximum allowed additional costs allowance in expenses from the taxpayer for his second home in the year 2007-2008.

    Clegg became the first party leader in modern political history to call for a Speaker to resign following his handling of the expenses scandal, describing Mr Martin as a defender of the status quo and obstacle to the reform of Parliament.
    In response to revelations about MPs’ expenses, Clegg set out his plans for reform of Parliament in The Guardian. Speaking about the plans, he said: “let us bar the gates of Westminster and stop MPs leaving for their summer holidays until this crisis has been sorted out, and every nook and cranny of our political system has been reformed.” He argued for the “reinvention of British politics” within 100 days, calling for a commitment to accept the Kelly expenses report in full; the power to recall members suspended for misconduct; House of Lords reform; reform of party funding; fixed term parliaments; enabling legislation for a referendum on AV+; and changes to House of Commons procedure to reduce executive power.

  72. 72
    Alan Douglas says:

    Pointless exercise – so much over-talking that I could not hear far too much of it.

    If Neil and his partner don’t become more strict, and permit clear statements without interruption, why bother trying to listen to a fishwives’ squabble the minute anything became interesting.

    Alan Douglas

  73. 73
    Dave says:

    “Given the profound effect ninety minutes of television has had on the fickle electorate…”

    Awwww… boo hoo hoo hoo… Guido’s Cammy isn’t winning anymore….

    Aww, bless…

  74. 74
    Anonymous says:

    Is that all in the LibDem manifesto now?

  75. 75
    Mr Ned says:

    Ditto, except I never had enough equity in the house to pay off my debts, so I am still stuck with it, although I also looked into moving to Canada. My wife found an idyllic little cove in Nova Scotia where we would be roughly equidistant between relatives in the UK and in California.

    We also thought like you that things would improve, and now we are looking at permanent lib-lab government as far as the eye can see!!!

    The ONLY slight glimmer of hope is the idea that perhaps, with PR there might be enough of us to vote UKIP or B&P to force the leaders to listen to us.

    That is an incredibly unlikely and tiny tiny glimmer of hope, I know, but the only one I can see at the moment.

    Seeing the cock-a-hoop anti_British, thick as pigshit, British hating, racist, sexist and heterophobic fuckwits who support labour jumping for joy at the thought of labour winning by coming THIRD BEHIND the lib dums really makes me feel sick. If labour canvassers come to my door, I may be forced to kill them.

  76. 76
    Golden Days says:

    I’ve said it many times- it’s a scandal that doesn’t get the reporting it should.
    If Labour polled fewer votes than the Tories or the Libs, would it be possible for Brown to stay on? I suspect that “legally” it would, given that the law is an ass, but morally could the leader of the third party be PM? And would Clegg think it right to support him? Answers on a postcard or this blog.

  77. 77
    Golden Days says:

    What goes up can come down. A nation that is stupid enough to fall for talent show politics could easily fall out of favour with the youth Clegg. After all, it’s not the policies that count- they’ve been known when the Libs were on 20%- it’s the novelty of a new face and the idea of not voting for the troughing Tories and Nulab, though of course Lib troughing was pretty vigorous.

  78. 78
    angelnstar says:


    Read Boris Johnson on Cleggie’s “opaque minestrone of waffle!”

  79. 79
    angelnstar says:

    ps. If Tony Blair were standing in a leadership debate, he would probably win. Look how he turned out and the sort of PM he was.

  80. 80
    Keen Eye says:

    Davey was sharp, bit puffy looking but healthy and not dull; Hague was robotic and vague, a glassy eyed and impotent midget and had not seen the inside of a gym for many a moon (Dave will never let him be Foreign Secretary); Milliband looked in charge and even said a ‘sorry’.

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