Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Lobbydog at the speeches on day one...

The Lib Dem leader’s opening address of his General Election campaign was decidedly lower key than that of his rivals’.

It was in a dusky room at Lib Dem HQ with an awkwardly set up camera shot that made it look as though Clegg’s body was pointing in one direction while his face went in another.

Party officials had at least taken the effort to push as many young women into the shot as possible.

Voters would face a choice between the old politics (everything but the Lib Dems) and the new (the Lib Dems), he said.

Meanwhile over at the South Bank two dozen hacks and TV reporters were stood pointing their cameras at a black box, which Cameron was expected to spring out of at any moment.

But that was not before a throng of 150 thrusting Tory types were ushered in to encircle it. There was young, old, black, white, Asian, Christian, Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist, Jedi etc.

Then Dave bounced down some steps and on to the box to reveal the central plank of the Tory campaign – not wanting Gordon Brown for another five years.

It’s undoubtedly their most powerful tactic, but not one that will achieve the party’s ultimate goal of informing voters what the Conservatives stand for.

Dave did say he was fighting the election for what he called the “great ignored” people of Britain – one observer responded “why can’t the Lib Dems fight it for themselves?”

Meanwhile over at Downing Street the PM was struggling with a PA system that meant the first part of his speech sounded like it was delivered down a drain-pipe.

He chose to be surrounded by the cabinet – a serious party of Government was the message perhaps – who flanked him as if they were having a school photo taken, pushing up a smile.

Gordon told reporters he had not forgotten where he had come from, but spent less time saying where he was going.

No gaffes yet, but give it time. We have four weeks of electioneering to go.

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