By Lee Scott
May 5, 2010
“I agree with Lee”, not the words of a Conservative voter but the Liberal Democrats’ endorsement of me on BBC1 on Sunday while discussing the leaders’ TV debates of the previous weeks.
It’s not often that the Lib Dems concede to Conservative wisdom, so allow me a moment to enjoy.
You’ll be curious to know what prompted this surprising show of support. Well it’s this.
People watch telly. So it’s not rocket science to acknowledge that putting up those who seek to lead this country on telly, so the electorate can take a longer look, has to be a good thing.
Neither is it rocket science to point out that it also exposed the Lib Dem’s policies as flimsy. Over the course of the debates Conservative leader David Cameron grew in strength and stature while Nick Clegg floundered due to the lack of detail behind the thinking.
The audience at the live show broadcast from Colchester, Essex clearly agreed and spontaneously applauded.
They also agreed with my point that Gordon Brown has been found wanting in his treatment of Gillian Duffy, the Rochdale pensioner, not for his unguarded dismissal of her but because he couldn’t by his own admission answer her very reasoned questions.
I’m astonished that he found her questions so hard to answer; the same points, economy and immigration, are the top subjects on the doorsteps of Ilford North.
So in conclusion I’ll say again what I said on TV: whatever anyone says these TV debates have engaged the public in a way that nothing has done in previous elections.
We’ve seen turn-outs go down and down, and therefore the debates have got to be a good thing.
Personally I’d like to see them a little less sanitised with the audience being able to participate a little bit more rather than not being able to clap or react.
After all active participation is what democracy is all about.
Lee Scott is the Conservative candidate for Ilford North.
This blog is part of the JC.com's On The Campaign Trail blog for the Election 2010 where candidates in key Jewish areas have been invited to blog. Read more on our Election 2010 page