Monday, April 19, 2010
Perhaps the best strategy might be to strap each of the 'three' candidates into a steel chair. Interrogate them as to policy.
See then just how much a politician dares to deviate from the script. And who might squeal if leaned on a little.
The public has already witnessed a rudimentary 'block-in', sans canned laughter and applause. Roped together on a cardboard podium, it might yet develop into a genuine three legged race.
Frankly, even at this early juncture it's already looking a little over rehearsed.
The same questions persist. Who is really to blame for the bungled Northern Rock heist ? Was RSB's involvement in the Goldman Sachs fiasco entirely a result of gross incompetence ?
It has always smelled like an inside job.
When pressed, Mr. Brown promised to dig a little deeper. Try hammering broken matchsticks under the fingernails.
Mr. Blue had little to say. He didn't seem to have learned his lines at all, but then again. Mr. Yellow had already stolen the show, such as it was; the only one out the three invited to put on a show who appeared even remotely lean. Hungry.
Not a bravura performance exactly, but nonetheless the only Equity Card holder there not calcified with stage fright.
Confined to the wings, Mr. Salmon - in homage to Mr. Pink - relied on some tired slapstick to generate at least one column inch in the morning's review.
He can do that routine in his sleep. He has had plenty of practice at Holyrood.
Still. Unlike in the US, we prefer to run through our campaigning at a breakneck pace. Fill in the blanks - the policies, that is - with impoverished improvisation. It adds to the drama. With less than a month to opening night there is time enough to jot down a few choice words on the back of a cigarette packet.
Save the ad libs for Oscar Night. The BAFTAs, at least.
As Mr. Brown keeps reminding us, it's sleight of hand over substance. There is no flair in British politics. Precious little honesty or stomach for unpalatable truths.
Cue the party music.