Video: British party leaders square off at second debate

I’m unqualified to comment but thought there might be reader interest in the video, especially given the ominous posts trickling into the righty blogosphere lately about Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg. The LDs are to the left even of Labour, especially on foreign policy; typically they’re a third-party also-ran, not unlike the greens in America, I guess, but Clegg blew Brown and Cameron away at the first debate and now suddenly his party’s in the thick of it. Don’t read this post about him at the Corner by Nile Gardiner with the lights off or you might have nightmares tonight. The Weekly Standard, straining to find a silver lining in his ascent, settled on the old morale-booster of being one catastrophic defeat away from total victory:

Obviously, this seems be a huge blow to the Conservative Party, but before we get too panicked, there may be a small silver lining. Assuming that Cameron loses, Britain will be stuck with either an unstable Brown-led coalition or an unstable Clegg-led coalition (my money is on Clegg) – meaning that Britain could be back at the polls in a snap election before the next term expires. Furthermore, Clegg is likely to live up to his billing as “the British Obama” by driving the country off a left-wing cliff and horrifying voters that failed to read his policies carefully. Under such a scenario (or under an illegitimate Brown coalition), both the LibDems and Labour will lose credibility after governing together, thus sending the electorate into the waiting arms of the Conservatives. Furthermore, as the moderate Cameron would likely resign the party leadership after a humiliating defeat, the Conservatives are likely to be under more conservative leadership by the next election (as Cameron takes a lot of heat for running so far to the center as to blur the lines between parties).

Sky News has a dandy user-friendly video page of the debate up on its site, which you can access by clicking the image below. I recommend the opening statements, the clips on Afghanistan, and the closing statements, as you’ll find Clegg hammering at the shiver-inducing message of “change.” Exit quotation: “A misplaced sense of superiority, sustained by delusions of grandeur and a tenacious obsession with the last war, is much harder to shake off. We need to be put back in our place.”


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