Tonight’s TV Debate

Daughter number 1, J, is up from the deep South for the weekend. She has not really come up specifically to visit us for Easter, but to attend a party. The party is to celebrate the 21st birthday of K. K is the granddaughter of my sister (sadly deceased). My wife and I had three daughters and my sister had three sons. As a family, we have always kept in touch, though not in each others pockets. Every now and again, we have a get-together. these get-togethers are always great fun.

So J arrived and the wine flowed, and conversation and laughter became more and more noisy, as is usually the case.

Personally, I wanted to watch the debate, by herself preferred Endeavour. Herself prefers to watch ITV 3. She enjoys ‘living a life of crime’, ie. watching the crime programmes on ITV3. There’s Marple, Morse, Wycliffe, Endeavour, Poirot, Touch of Frost, The Vice, Cracker, etc. Failing ITV3, there’s Five USA, with NCIS and CSI. Yes, the episodes have been seen a dozen times each, but, well, who can blame her if that is what she prefers? There again, other ‘likes’ are Flog It, Antiques Roadshow, Pointless, Eggheads, Emmerdale, Coronation Street, East Enders and the OZ soaps. Let us not dwell.

So I decided to watch it on my laptop. But daughter 2 wanted to watch the debate as well, so she over-road herself (I dare not!), and we all watched the debate – sort of. Most of the time, the girls argued among themselves and herself pulled her face.


To be honest, I thought that the whole thing was a farce. I think that Cameron must have received quite a bit of coaching. It was clear within a few minutes that he was going to adopt the posture of incumbent PM. He acted the part pretty well – kept a straight face (no head shaking, laughing, interrupting – just a quite attention to what the others were saying). It was noticeable that he did not discuss. He made statements, mostly relying upon the governments record. “We have rescued the economy”, he said, “Continue to trust our plan”.

I think that that was a clever tactic. While Sturgeon moaned about Scotland and X moaned about Wales, and the OZ sheila who represents the Greens said nothing about greenery, and Miliband made promises, and the boy Clegg dithered sweetly, Cameron looked benignly on.

A special word for our hero, Nige.  This was not the best of forums for him. He is better in a one to one situation or a small group of three or four. But he still managed to make his points strenuously. Not for him the nuances of a billion in income from the mansion tax to be spent on Y. No, just cut the bloody costs of foreign aid; stop HIV infected foreigners arriving here and getting free treatment when they turn up at a hospital, having ostensibly arrived here for a holiday; trade with the world and the commonwealth especially; dump the extravagant EU.


But what interested me especially is the clear indication that these sort of ‘debates’ are totally useless. Only a few subjects were addressed, and then only superficially. Where were the questions on foreign policy? The Ukraine? The UN WHO and the failure of that body to do its duty regarding Ebola? Where were the questions about the thousands of new laws and regulations? The complexity of the tax system? Tax avoidance and evasion by the wealthy? Absurd levels of regulation and control, both home produced and EU produced?


All in all, I cannot but mark the debate as anything but an amusing interlude, of no significance or use whatsoever. Let us hope that it is the last one ever, and let us hope that subjects like freedom, self-sufficiency, self-reliance, medical profession  produced fear and hysteria, get some sort of recognition. For example, the more that the medical profession produce fear and hysteria, the more the costs of the health service will increase. It is inevitable.

Crazy ideas start to proliferate in academia. According to academics, if hundreds of millions of pounds are spent on flu jabs (in that ‘hundreds of millions’, I include not only the cost of the jabs, but also the advertising, doctors and nurses time, transport, etc), then billions of pounds-worth of additional production will ensue as a result of ‘work-days not lost’. Clever stuff…. except that no firm with any sense would undertake to fill orders without reasonable staffing cover and reasonable leeway in the time-scales. The ‘work days not lost’ are not a gain. They are superfluous days which can be used in other ways. But the probability is that the ‘superfluous days’ will actually be ‘finishing a bit early’, and the lack of staff will result in ‘some overtime’. Neither of those alternatives result in ‘costs to the taxpayer’ or the Nation. At worst, it will be shareholders who lose out a bit.


But it was fun at home (despite herself pulling her face). I have my own ‘feminiza’ in the form of my three daughters. Only the eldest is married and she has had four children. The other two are single. But all of them are strong women, even though they know nothing about the workings of cars and machinery in general. By ‘strong’, I mean emotionally ‘tough’. That idea is a bit weird. We all know that women tend to be more emotional than men – they weep easily. How can they be described as ’emotionally tough’?

It is because they can more easily recognise artificial emotion than men can.


I am blessed by having such a coven of daughters. Many are the occasions of “Dad, can you just….” which, far from making my heart sink, fill me with joy.

Do not all fathers of daughters feel the same?







2 Responses to “Tonight’s TV Debate”

  1. smokingscot Says:

    Your wife is in the majority on this one. 7.35 million people elected to watch the debate, meaning about 55 million felt they had better things to do.

    • junican Says:

      Yes, SS, but I’m not sure that your maths are legitimate. First, it is unlikely that youths generally. are interested in such things, especially if they are too young to vote. So the proportions must be assessed with regard to the adult population – 40 million? Secondly, there will be millions of people who are working or have other commitments. I don’t know of any way to assess those numbers.
      So, to me, 7.35 million is a sizeable portion of those who were in a position to watch ‘the show’.
      Not that it matters!

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