>As you know, I was a bit impressed with our boy last night. But don’t take my word for the fact that he was good. He didn’t have quite so far to go to convince me, but he gets a fair bit of praise from some hard nosed journalists.
Obviously the Torygraph is going to back the Tories but even Benedict Brogan couldn’t deny that Vince had done well, or, rather, “defended his saintly mantle”. He has the cheek to accuse Vince of exploiting voter cynicism when the Tories’ whole broken Britain narrative attempts to deceive and scare.
The Herald never knowingly says anything remotely nice about a Liberal Democrat but they gave Vince 7 stars in total, equal with Alistair Darling and well ahead of Osborne, lagging behind with 5. This is what they had to say about him:
Presentation: Came across as the sage economist. Also aggressive on Tories. Had the best one-liners and clearly won over the audience, receiving most applause. ✸ ✸ ✸ ✸
Star rating: ****
Argument: Was most direct on cuts and on the need to curb bankers’ excesses ✸ ✸ ✸”
They reckoned Osborne needs to “up his game” and Darling lacked clarity on future cuts agenda.
The Guardian is more effusive in its praise of Vince being unequivocal about about his clear victory over the others, citing his “bravura performance” and reminded us of one of his best lines of the evening:
Cable prompted the first laughter and applause of the evening when he said: “George, last week you went round denouncing these government supposed savings as complete fiction – which apparently a lot of them are. You are now using these fictional savings to finance your tax cuts. That is utterly incredible.”
The Times Debate Jury was unanimous in its praise of Vince but for some reason isn’t letting me link to it at the moment, so you’ll have to make your own way over there.
Vince was the Scotsman’s clear winner.
And the Independent’s. They said:
The cult of Cable lives. The Liberal Democrat went into this debate with the most to lose, but he none-too-gently reminded the audience that he did indeed warn about the impending crisis, the candy floss economy founded on debt and a housing bubble – and they warmly applauded him.
And the clearest sign that Vince done good? Tom Harris, with the air of a man who knows his guy has been gubbed, puts the boot in with typical Labour arrogance. The voters may well wipe the smirk of his face in a few weeks’ time. If even Benedict Brogan is rushing down the betting shop to put money on us doing better than expected, then anything could happen.