Chicken Dave, Cowardly Cameron those are two phrases that I have typed and uttered repeatedly to describe our out esteemed PM since this television debate farce began. The truth though is that I have never considered his avoidance tactics to be driven by a fear of going toe to toe in a debate with Ed Miliband. I believe he is driven by cynicism and contempt, cynicism about what it takes to win an election in his position and contempt for the wishes of the voting public. It made me angry so I resorted to name calling, my bad.
If David Cameron were to ask himself the following two questions. Does the majority of the voting public want these debates to happen? Does the voting public deserve to have the two likely leaders post-election debate each other and lay out their vision for the future? He would accept, the two seven way debates and one head to head debate proposal that's on the table.
What is good for the voting public and British democracy, is not what is foremost on his mind. Last time out our democracy took a step forward with the Leaders debates, this time around we are looking to take a step back, which does not bode well for the future.
The Tory party with the help of the British media at large, have successfully defined Ed Miliband as an awkward, bumbling, Wallace and Gromit caricature. David Cameron has a cynical, though maybe not inaccurate view, that at this moment in time, a significant enough number of voters will be asking themselves, can they trust a man, who can not even comfortably eat a bacon sarnie to run the country.
If Ed Miliband is seen to hold his own in the debates, especially the uncluttered one on one debate with Cameron, some of those who may have been uncomfortable voting for the caricature of Miliband, may see him with fresh eyes. In a tight election like this, it could make all the difference.
The contempt of Cameron and the establishment for the British voter has never been clearer than in the debate about the debates. The Tories have a voice, Labour has a voice, the other political parties have a smaller voice, the broadcasters have a voice and so does the Westminster Village punditocracy.
The only ones without a voice are the voting public, we wail and tweet our views to, the likes of the BBC, ITV, Sky, to insiders like Dan Hodges, Adam Boulton, Pippa Crear and countless other inside the bubble journalists and pundits as they exchange snarky comments about Cameron's latest debate maneuver, but our words are just piss and wind to them, signifying nothing. They lounge in their Westminster cocoon pontificating that the debate about the debates is stale and tired. Maybe to those who breathe and eat politics, morning, noon and night it is.
Out here in the real world, we are counting our pennies to see if they will last until payday, we are wondering when we will get a pay-rise. Questioning how can we make work pay when 2/3 of your wages every month go on the rent/mortgage and transportation. We are worrying about a thousand other big & tiny things but that does not mean we do not once in a while feel anger and frustration that David Cameron will not debate Ed Miliband and give us a clearer idea of the choice before us.
So while you guys & gals inside the bubble are playing your inside game, having a laugh and a snigger about the latest political maneuverings of Cameron or Miliband. Whilst you are busy scoring the game of politics, wondering why the rest of us are becoming so disengaged from the political process. Take a moment, take a look in the mirror and ask yourself if you really add anything to the debate or are just regurgitating the establishment consensus.