Nicola Sturgeon, representing one of the most under-populated segments of land in Europe, telling us about the benefits of immigration while seeking to erect a border between Scotland and the rest of Britain was just about one of the more absurd moments in last night’s debate. Then Milliband, to watery applause, accused Farage of wanting to “exploit people’s fears rather than solve them”. Prrrlease! And this from a man who brings you a daily litany of fictitious horror stories about the impending cuts to the NHS and its imminent collapse. On and on they droned and one has to say, if it weren’t for Farage’s comedy stints, we’d have had to switch over. And then he came at us, out of the blue corner, Farage, the Jeremy Clarkson of British politics, fists almost flying, called Miliband a liar. “You’re lying about the NHS, you’re lying, you’re lying, you’re lying”. Fantastic, and of course he was and does, regularly lie about a range of things. Farage says the things that other politicians dare not speak because he will never be Prime Minister, but we are all quietly grateful for the laughs and the sharp intakes of breath as he strains credulity. He’s unelectable in a way that Clarkson can no longer work on Top Gear, but he’s marvelously entertaining in a sea of largely monotonous and predictable debating last night. “The real audience is sitting at home,” he said near the start, accusing the BBC of recruiting a biased audience and instantly alienating the one group of people that even a child performer knows they have to have on their side. You’ve got to admire the bloke.
“This election is about getting rid of the Tories,” said the Sturgeon. That’s odd. And there’s us thinking it was about Labour and the SNP wanting to run Britain and promising not to run negative campaigns. And talking of negativity, we noticed yesterday’s Guardian compared Cameron’s absence from last night’s debate to Roy Hattersley’s refusal to go on Have I got News for You in 1993 and reminded those of us who failed to recall this momentous occasion (not) that he was replaced by a tub of lard. The Guardian suggested we might take the role of the tub of lard at home by filling in Cameron’s responses ourselves. Not necessary, really. Dear old Farage was an admirable tub of lard in the sense that he provided the only real opposition to the rest of the assembled chorus. Miliband’s replies were pretty standard and repetitive as he harped on in the first person about all the things “I” was going to do for the “working man”. The Labour Party hardly gets a look in when he’s around. And get this – his refusal to bomb Syria was even taken up by President Obama (yes, he really did say that). Way to go Mili, but what on earth are you on, man? Miliband and Farage, one-man bands. Not so much representing political parties, more a couple of people feeding massive egos. And finally there was Trident, with Sturgeon and the Greens wittering on about why we don’t need it since it’s never going to be used. Yeah, like ISIS is never going to push the button the second it gets hold of a state with nuclear capability? These people are so naïve they make Chamberlain’s guarantee of peace in our time on the eve of WW II seem almost realistic.