Friday, April 30, 2010

UK General Election 2010: The Final Leadership Debate

Eight million people watched the final leaders' debate last night between the leaders of the three main parties:
  • The incumbent Prime Minister and leader of the Labour Party, Gordon Brown  
  • The leader of the Opposition and Conservative Party leader, David Cameron
  • The leader of the Liberal Democrats party, Nick Clegg
The theme of last night's debate was about economic issues.

The questions from audience members were about spending cuts, taxes, taxpayers funding the banks while ordinary people are worse off, how to rebuild the country's manufacturing industries, immigration, housing, abuse of the benefits system, and education.

In his opening remark, Gordon Brown made a passing reference to his embarrassing blunder on Wednesday (when he left his microphone on after an encounter with a woman in Rochdale so he was heard calling her 'a bigoted woman') :

"There's a lot to this job, and as you saw yesterday I don't get all of it right. But I do know how to run the economy in the good times and in the bad.”

All three leaders seemed in a fighting spirit and there were times when some of the bickering seemed to be quite intense, particularly when Brown and Cameron had a heated exchange about inheritance tax.

The discussion about immigration was interesting but it had all been said before in a previous debate. I'm still shocked that Nick Clegg proposes an amnesty for illegal immigrants. It's rather a slap in the face for those of us (like me) who came here legally.

About housing. Cameron said stamp duty should be removed for the first £250,000 and that there should be changes to planning rules so more houses could be built. Clegg proposed converting empty properties into more homes. Brown stressed the need to get building societies and banks to start lending again.

I've only mentioned a few points from the debate. A full transcript of last night's leaders' debate is available on the BBC website.

I wonder if any of the televised debates had much impact on voters. Did you watch last night's debate? Did it change your views in any way about how you would vote?

4 comments:

  1. i know some people view the amensty as rewarding the gulity but at least the lib dems are trying to address the problem of what to do with illegal immigrants already living here, and i dont see many alternatives we cleary cant find let alone deport hundreds of thounds of people.It is a ONE time solution to get those who under certain conditions like those who speak english and have employment into the system and then you can get tough on those trying to get IN illegally. it is a one time offer as well but the tories would have you think that an protential immigrant would say 'if i go to britain stay hidden for 10 years i might get a ammensty' people dont think like that anyway thats just my take on it thanks for reading.

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  2. I agree that the problem regarding all the illegal immigrants needs to be addressed and I can see where deporting thousands of people probably wouldn't even be feasable.

    Interestngly, I've just read (via The Daily Zeitgeist) that we already have an amnesty on illegal immigrants via the 14 year residency rule:

    'Simply explained, the “14 year rule” allows anyone who has been in the UK for 14 continuous years to be granted indefinite leave to remain.'
    http://thedailyzeitgeist.com/2010/04/21/the-illegal-immigrant-amnesty-already-exists-in-uk-law-the-14-year-rule-explained-3/

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  3. My feelings and thoughts about it all this time are very different to previously. I won't be voting for the Conservatives or Labour, but as to who I will vote for I'm still very undecided! Flighty xx

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  4. It's proving to be a very exciting election indeed especially because there are still a lot of undecided people like you Flighty! I don't think anyone can confidently predict the results now.

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