Almost the last word. Consequent to my mission to bring you the widest waterfrontage of political debate available anywhere in this election, I have been, naturally, canvassing opinion on the televised debates and the campaign in general from people called Duffy.
Ready? 1. Mrs D Duffy, of Liverpool: D Cameron: "Did extremely well". G Brown: "I feel a bit sorry for him, he's done his best". Overall: "Three debates is enough". 2. Mr James Duffy of Bampton, Oxon: "I haven't been paying that much attention as I am far too busy with my successful handyman business which you will find listed in Yellow Pages". 3. Carol Ann Duffy, poet laureate: No reply as yet. Mrs Joan Duffy of Glasgow: "No faith in any of them whatsoever. I shall be voting for someone with no chance as a protest". 4. Jack Duffy, English tutor, of Aberdeen: Inclined towards a Lib-Lab coalition. Best use of English: too close to call. 5. Duffy, singer: see 3 above. 6. Mrs Laura Duffy, Duffy School of Irish Dancing, St Albans: Floating voter. 7. At least one Duffy fell asleep.
Anchormen and apathy
Wait, though: a verdict from Jonathan Maitland, author of The Complete and Utter Guide to the 2010 Election. Maitland, also given the ambitious task by ITV's Tonight programme of organising a meeting of apathetic voters, has this on the most important tussle: "D Dimbers: kindly headmaster, unjudgeable, as broadcasting royalty. Ask his butler. Alastair Stewart: appeared to have been plugged into v high voltage mains immediately before transmission. Adam Boulton: exact opposite: like a man temporarily distracted from the enviable task of consuming a large consignment of sausage rolls. All of them: glorified timekeepers. Next time: Ant, Dec and Nicholas Parsons (all above)." Note: Number of people at the apathy meeting: One.
Clegg's in the frame
Laugh? D Cameron (best imagined in cockney with arm resting on microphone stand): "Tony Blair? It's great to have him back in the country. He's one of the few people who can actually afford another Labour government..." Next, N Clegg, during a break (yes!) in the snooker at the Crucible (try Yorks accent): "I was thinking what can I say... they're snookered ... the reds are going down the hole ... and then I remembered the blue's worth more than the yellow..." Not quite ready for Glasgow yet, lads.
Glasgow! Janey Godley, former city landlady, now top comic, in The Herald on short-changing Gordon, twice, when he was Chancellor: "I wondered if either he didn't notice or was too scared to confront me. But I decided that maybe he just couldn't add up." She should have tried it on the famously tight Tommy Cooper; here he is in a pub: "You've got to understand, it's not the principle of the thing, it's the money." But Gordon can be very funny: who else could have pulled off that car crash yesterday? And this is one of his favourite gags: "How do you call a dinosaur in for its dinner? Tea, Rex!" Come on, that must be worth a vote somewhere!
Show me the money...
Exciting! I've just had an email from D Cameron, offering me a contract to help the Conservative Party to run Britain. Flattering, but I've had to ask two vital questions: 1. How much are you paying? 2. Are there expenses? So far the response situation closely resembles Duffy 3 above. More as I have it.