Will the great debate happen, and if so – where?
There is so little wiggle room.
Nothing so defines the current political contest as the contesting measures that have finally aired from both major parties for paying off the debt.
A pay freeze on higher public sector pay and and delay in the national age of retirement.
It doesn’t really matter now who says it because both measures will be deployed whoever wins the next election.
This is unsurprising perhaps, but the Tory party is under pressure. Not only caught in its own headlights but somehow unsure ahead of the vast challenge of actual power.
True confident Tory morning did not dawn on the Today Programme this morning..there was confusion about what would happen to women’s retirement age.
The Tory leader had to have his remarks ‘updated’ by subsequent off the record briefings.
David Cameron is not yet mobbed by his own members..maybe they are already too used to him….a victory of sorts, but a danger too.
This is a party that thinks it could, perhaps, will win.
It is also a party than cannot explain why, but thinks somehow it might also have the election stolen from it. By whom is unclear.
It is in this febrile environment that the great debate is stirring. Which combination of leaders will debate, which anchor person’s sense of self importance will prevail? Indeed which Channel?
One entrant is my own Channel 4. Look no further than last night’s Twinge on the fringe here, in which my colleague Krishnan conducted live debates with Conservative pols on twitter in a packed room…..hottest ticket since the same event at Labour last week.
I have no authority for saying this – but I hope Channel 4 will get into bed with YouTube and conduct a mass interactive debate..perhaps like CNN’s YouTube lash up with Obama last year.
Even news agents in Manchester sell brollies – it rains so much.
We are awaiting Shadow Chancellor George Osborne’s keynote speech..it feels like Budget Day? Will he ever deliver one for real?
I shall be back to you later in the day.