The UK is walking into this election facing the realisation that Northern Ireland is the only part of our country that is anywhere near comfortable with itself.
The legacy political parties ask themselves why this is all happening. If they had any sense of the mood of the country, they would realise that tonight’s debate was the perfect example of the problem.
The public wanted real engagement, but what they got was endless debates about how to run the debates. Westminster wonks and shiny-suited smartarses at party headquarters thought that was clever. But in reality they have shown exactly why insurgents Nigel Farage, Alex Salmond and Natalie Bennett are gaining traction in the polls.
The leaders did not face each other; that was too much to ask. Instead the main two parties reheated Jeremy Paxman, for a sad reminder of what Newsnight used to be. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Kay Burley was forced to pretend to be David Dimbleby in a turgid Question Time fake.
The questions were primary school, the answers were polished and no one learned anything about the two men who want the keys to Number 10. Have you ever had three shredded wheat? What’s your biggest regret? What do you admire about the other guy? Would you like a foot massage? What’s your favourite pizza topping? Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz
This was as close as the UK will ever come to the vomit-inducing celebrity interviews we see US TV presenters undertake on the red carpet at the Oscars. Tonight was selfish, it was all about the Westminster Village indulging itself.
When those smug party managers ask themselves who won the featherweight debate that never really was, they should realise that everyone lost. Cameron and Miliband, English and Scots, Welsh and Irish, Conservatives, Socialists, Greens, Gay, Straight and everyone else. All losers.
If this is what our politics has become, then how can major parties complain when we become a four party system?
Cameron – 0
Miliband – 0
Broadcasters – 1 (for effort only)
Technocrats - 100,000,000
British People - DISASTER