British · Politics

BBC Leaders Debate. The Good, The Bad, and the “Can I finish please?”

DING! DING! DING! its round 2. Or 3. Or 4 depending who you care about. I resumed my position from the other night- curled up on my bed, still nursing a hangover, munching on Shreddies and hoping to see someone throw another metaphorical right hook over at Amber Rudd. It seems the 2 years since the last leaders debate have caused me to forget how messy they are. I’ve never heard more grown people say “can I finish please” more in my entire life. If, like any other normal human being with hobbies and a life, you were doing something else and missed the debate then read on! (please read on anyway thanks fuel my ego).

1st place: Caroline Lucas 8/10

Absolutely smashed it. Not one person landed a good punch against her, meaning Lucas is probably the only person to walk away entirely unscathed. She had some long periods of silence, which causes her to lose a couple marks, but absolutely everything she said was on message and well received by the audience. Her consistent and passionate defence of openness, tolerance and unity was music to my ears, and probably a screaming noise of terror to Paul Nuttall’s. Lucas was consistently a sobering and reasonable voice in a sea of verbal shit throwing, she really drove home May’s absence in the question on leadership, provided an assault on the Tories record of arms dealing to countries with human rights violations, and mounted an impassioned plea for climate change action, all while delivering some spicy one liners.

Sadly for her, I can’t imagine it will matter at this stage, it probably isn’t going to be enough to change anything around, and the party is still only really contesting 2 seats, but nevertheless, she did everyone proud. Makes me regret my 2015 Green Party vote a bit less.

Pros:
On message
Appeared passionate and reasonable
Defence of immigrants went down well with the audience
Hit some good one liners, didn’t take any punches

Cons:
Often left silent for a while
Talked over on multiple occasions, which made her look timid

 

2nd place: Tim Farron 7.5/10

Farron easily had the best closing statement of the lot. He told people to turn over and watch bake-off, because if Theresa May doesn’t think you’re worth her time, you shouldn’t give her it *gunshot, gunshot, gunshot, cash register*. He did well driving his party line on brexit, criticising Corbyn and Rudd to set himself as the real opposition. At one point he actually called the UKIP/Tory alliance BLUKIP, which was genuinely the most painful childlike thing I’ve ever been forced to listen to and I shall be awaiting an apology for it. He also provided a noble defence of our immigrant work force, he was let down by being constantly interrupted, and constantly having to ask if he could finish made him look like a child on a stage of people who know more than him- at one point, Corbyn literally silenced him by waving his hand. But once again, debating proves to be his strong point.

Pros:
Brexit message was well delivered, as was that on the health service
Audience received him well on immigrant defence
Closing message was the embodiment of a fire emoji
Defence of Single Market membership was pragmatic and a good attack line

Cons:
Fucking BLUKIP was the worst thing I’ve ever heard
“Can I finish please”

 

3rd place: Angus Robertson 7/10

Consistently a 7/10. Not once did he drop below this mark. Not once did he rise above it. Kind of like that friend who’s never essential to have around, but he’s alright when he is. At one point I thought he was going to square up to Paul Nuttall, which would’ve been golden, but that didn’t happen. Robertson was clearly well prepared and was doing most of the interrupting which came across quite well. He also followed Farron and Lucas in their defence of progressive values. Literally can’t complain about him, just wasn’t enough to knock my socks off. Would recommend as a debater, not a boyfriend.

Pros:
On message

Cons:
Fundamentally boring.

 

Joint 3rd place: Jeremy Corbyn 7/10

While he got the same rating as Robertson, he was notably different. He reached full 10/10 at some points, criticising Rudd on the line that “she’d never even been to a food bank” and his defence of our education and NHS was the best on the stage. However with questions on security, immigration and the economy, it wasn’t exactly his strongest lineup and because of this he was hit a lot from all angles which makes him probably one of the biggest victims tonight. At one point, when the subject of the Manchester bombings came up, I genuinely thought he was about to fuck up, he wobbled massively and I’ve never seen him sound so unsure. If it wasn’t for all the questions thrown at him, his actual message was quite good, he stayed positive throughout and didn’t criticise May’s absence too much, which could be seen as a positive or negative thing. Overall, I think he thought it would be enough to simply turn up, but he didn’t seem as prepared, and he wasn’t as sharp. When questioned on his “fantasy finances” by Rudd, there was no mention that his manifesto was fully costed and there was no quick snapback. While his charming disarm may have worked against Paxman, in the ring with 6 others, it just left him out too much.

Pros:
Very strong message
Emotive arguments throughout
Cons:
Didn’t handle his weaker subject well
Was slated from all sides
Wobbled on the security issue
Seemed off the ball

 

5th place: Amber Rudd 5.5/10

Okay, take this one with a pinch of salt. Firstly, I think Rudd is one of the most dangerous members of the Tory Party. I am literally completely 100% biased against her. Furthermore, out of all 7 candidates, Rudd had the hardest lot of them all. Not only was she not her party’s leader, her late father had passed away just 3 days ago. Whatever anyone says about her party, her performance or her message, you cannot deny that it took immense levels of personal strength to do what she just did tonight. She, her family, and her party, should be extremely proud of her perfomance.

Rudd’s problem came from 2 directions. 1) Everyone loves to bash the Tory Party, its easy point scoring. 2) The audience weren’t fucking stupid.
Rudd was the only person (besides Nuttall but he doesn’t matter) grilled more than Corbyn by the leaders. The audience literally openly laughed at her at one point when she said “judge us by our record.” On a question about living standards, she muttered something about the deficit, which had Philip Hammond levels of robotic-ness and when it came to the question on leadership Rudd got absolutely slaughtered, but there was literally nothing she could do about it. She was attacked on the NHS, education, her treatment of immigrants and about brexit, it was quite hard to watch. However, she did bash home that Tory message, even I could agree that the panel which would make up the supposed ‘coalition of chaos’ was hectic, and she started off well by hitting some good lines at Corbyn’s ‘money tree’. Honestly, her biggest flaw was that she wasn’t May. She was dealt a shit hand and managed to come out of it alive.

Pros:
On message
Hit good one liners

Cons:
Got slaughtered by the other leaders
Isn’t Theresa May
God laughed at by the audience

 

6th place: Leanne Wood 5/10

Completely and utterly irrelevant. Not once did she fuck up, but there wasn’t a clear message and there wasn’t any punches thrown. She made one single good point about Labour’s record in Wales, but besides that she may as well have stayed at home and watched on TV. She just existed for an hour and a half on stage, and then went home. Every now and again she piped up, which was nice I guess, but I literally cannot think of one stand out moment at all besides when she engaged Paul Nuttall in a weird conversation about divorce. It was funny, but it was honestly quite weird. Cheers for coming though, Leanne.

Pros:
Aint any

Cons:
I’ve had more interesting shits.
7th place: Paul Nuttall 3/10

You know that one kid in class who could never read properly, but always put his hand up to read so all the other kids had to endure him trying to figure out how to pronounce ‘door’ or some shit? Paul Nuttall is the political equivalent of that, except he just says Muslims. That was his entire message. Immigrants. Muslims. It was like he just thought “yeah that’s a dumb thing to say IMMA SAY IT.” At one point he said that UKIP will always be outsiders- which isn’t exactly a winning message. Oh he also supported the imprisonment of people without trial- just to destroy any arguments that might’ve suggested he was a regular human not piloted by an 8 year old kid who is just trying to fuck things up. It was genuinely the most UKIP thing I’ve ever seen.

Pros:
Very UKIP, if you’re into that.

Cons:
Is Paul Nuttall
Immigrants immigrants immigrants
Very UKIP, if you aint into that.
Basically he’s a fucking idiot.

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