SMITH’S SOAPBOX: Leader-less leader debate became a Remoaning orgy A murky panto with Nuttall the villain

Thursday’s leader’s debate encompassed everything I currently detest about modern Britain – liberal elitists virtue signalling with little substance, and mocking the opinions of others.

With the Prime Minister and Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn refusing to take part, the stage was left to UKIP’s Paul Nuttall, Liberal Democrats’ Tim Farron, the Green Party’s Caroline Lucas, Plaid Cymru’s Leanne Wood and the SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon. What followed was predictable.

The two hours was essentially a socialist circle-jerk with Nuttall (the sole pro-Brexit leader) standing around, looking to pick up any scraps but being heckled by the around him, particularly Wood and Sturgeon, leaders of parties in my opinion both far more tribal, nationalistic and racist than UKIP. The audience, with whom Nuttall engaged with eye contact rather than staring down the camera-lens like the others, were against him too, laughing at every quip aimed at him by Wood and Sturgeon, turning it into a bizarre left-wing pantomime of which Nuttall was certainly the villain.

If Nuttall had refused to have taken-part, he would have doubtlessly been mocked for doing so, but it would’ve left the parties willing to form a liberal coalition to stop the Conservatives together on their own, agreeing with each-other. It would have surely turned the stomach’s of many watching, who would have also surely turned the channel over. It was a non-debate anyway, given the leaders of the two main parties weren’t even there. Theresa May seems unwilling to talk to the public, and her and her party’s incompetence are actually making a race of this election, giving Corbyn and his ultra-left stance a faint but existing chance to at the very least make it less of a landslide than possibly thought but he didn’t have the nerve to turn-up and actually make a go of what was essentially a free-kick at the Tories.

At the end of the day, I believe that if the party leaders don’t drop noticeable clangers during these debates, the debates themselves make no real bearing on the election. I miss the old days when party leaders just got off their bottoms and met the public, and did that up until polling day, rather than walking onto a garish set that resembles a cross-between a dating show and a control room of a Vulcan starship (and given the size of Leanne Wood’s ears, it made that more realistic).

This is quite possibly the most uninspiring and depressing General Election since developing an interest in politics, and I’ll go into more detail on the reasons for that in the next Soapbox. Until then I’ll be keeping this in my dreams.


Jack Oliver Smith is the Associate Editor of New Media Central UK. Follow him on Twitter @MisterJackSmith