Rewind back to 2009 and David Cameron – leader of the opposition was demanding Gordon Brown should accept the challenge on live TV.
In the past 3 weeks Cameron appears to be backtracking. His insistence on the Green Party’s inclusion has been spun as weakness by his political enemies. But is this the case?
The 2010 debates were billed as “Prime Ministerial” debates. Meaning, a debate between those most likely to take the keys to No. 10.
The terminology has changed, and the broadcasters are now referring to these deabates as “Leaders” and not “Prime Minesterial”! This is all Lynton Crosby and George Osborne (Cameron’s closest advisers) need to provide an escape clause. By insisting the Geen Party be included they are well aware the SNP will take up a legal challenge to the format, citing Nichola Sturgeon be included, especially given she leads a party larger than all other contenders except the Tories and Labour. This is exactly the chaos Crosby and Osborne seek. There is an imperative. Cameron cannot go up against Nigel Farage and come out unscathed on ‘Immigration’ and the ‘EU’.
Yet the Prime Minister is between a rock and a hard place. By avoiding Farage, he will appear weak and ineffective, but should he dismiss Crosby and Osborne’s advice, he will not only expose himself to humiliation at the hands of the UKIP leader live on national television, worse, he will alienate his closest friends and allies as well as encourage his detractors.
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