It never ceases to amaze me how the old and deeply false assertions about deficits and debt reemerge at election time. This time is no different despite the fact that the deficit in Britain as a percentage of the GDP is very low and the total debt to GDP very manageable.None of the leaders in this BBC debate including Ed Miliband of Labour, Leanne Wood of Plaid Cymru, Nicola Sturgeon of the SNP, nor Natalie Bennett for the Greens pointed out that what counts is to whom the debt is owed, domestic savers and banking institutions as opposed to foreigners and foreign hedge funds and that there is no intergenerational burden since the younger generation inherits not only the debt obligation but als0 all of the assets of the previous generation including all the public infrastructure which was built and financed by government spending which has been financed in part by deficit spending.It is a great pity that the politicians even progressive ones do not understand these fundamentals of public finance and intergenerational transfers. However, it must be said that once again the women leaders tried to put effective pressure on Miliband to try to be somewhat bolder in his campaign with respect to public finance and not simply offer as one of the leaders suggested Tory light fiscal conservatism.
There were also mini debates on the health care system, immigration , defense and foreign policy and post election plans on working out a coalition should Labour fail to get a majority.They were interesting and often heated debates. Farage played his by now expected role as the voice of xenophobia and English nationalism but also asked some interesting but mischievous questions of the other leaders. In the end I suspect Miliband emerged from the debate with his leadership persona largely intact and gave more than he got in the exchanges. Nicola Sturgeon scored some points in her exchange with Miliband regarding the likely need to co-operate with SNP to ensure that the Cameron Tories are ousted. David Cameron lost by his absence as the dynamic of a likely Labour led government has become clearer.