It’s absolutely no surprise to me, that Gordon Brown should rule out a televised debate with David Cameron. We’ll never get this if it’s decided on an election-by-election basis. The ‘front runner’, with too much to lose, will never agree to it; the ‘runner up’, with everything to gain, will always push for it.
So here’s my solution. Agree not to have one this time, but commit your party – no matter who is leader – to have one at the following election. It’s too far away for anyone to know what the state of the parties will be, or indeed who their leaders will be; so it puts their commitment to democratic expression alone to the test. And as for any claim that it would make UK politics into a so-called ‘beauty contest’… what do you think it is now?!