The much-discussed BBC leaders debate was, in the end, a bit of a damp squib, all told.
There had been a frisson of excitement earlier in the day when it was announced that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had made the last-minute decision to take his place in the debates, with Theresa May resisting the urge to change her decision not to take part, and we were all expecting a right good tear-up at Senate House in Cambridge between representatives from the seven major UK parties.
However, it never really materialised, with relatively few blows being landed and no one particularly standing out, perhaps with the exception of the Green Party’s Caroline Lucas, who was consistently engaging throughout.
Despite not impressing quite as much as during his head-to-head with Paxman on Tuesday, it was widely agreed that Corbyn’s decision to turn up had been a good one, with May criticised throughout for not bothering to show up – in truth she was damned either way: if she’d appeared it would have been ‘another U-turn’ and if she hadn’t she would be accused, as she was, of not respecting the public enough to debate the issues in a general election that she herself had called.
It was undoubtedly smart politics by Corbyn’s team and even got the thumbs up from the House of Cards Twitter account.
However, home secretary Amber Rudd, who was on a hiding to nothing and under constant fire throughout, put in a solid performance, despite consistently droning on about Corbyn’s ‘money tree’, wheeling out the predictable ‘coalition of chaos line’ and being openly laughed at when she asked the audience to ‘judge us on our record’.
She was also responsible for the most bizarre moment of the entire debate, when she revealed to the watching public that she had absolutely no idea how Monopoly works.
Talking about Corbyn’s “fantasy economics”, she said:
“It’s as though he thinks it’s some sort of game, a game of Monopoly perhaps. Where you ask the Banker for the red money to buy the electrics, the green money to buy the railways, and the yellow money to buy the gas works.”
Yes, you read that right guys. Amber Rudd has clearly never played Monopoly in her life. Which, considering she is a Tory, we find somewhat surprising; after all, accumulating wealth, owning property and extracting maximum value from tenants is kinda their game isn’t it?
For the record, green notes are worth £20, yellow notes are tenners and red notes – well, they don’t even exist.
And you can’t buy gas works – the other utility alongside the electric company is the water works.
We suppose Monopoly isn’t exactly realistic these days – the idea of free parking in London is a somewhat fanciful idea, while rent prices have increased somewhat since the 1930s.
And, considering it was later revealed that Rudd’s father had passed away just 48 hours before the debate – something which made May’s decision to send her as a stand-in look all the worse – we’ll give her the benefit of the doubt for now.
But seriously, Amber, give Monopoly a try, we think you’ll love it – and if you need some tips to win every time, try these.