The body language points to a Lib-Lab pact
The immediate post-debate polls were unequivocal in their result: David Cameron won.
But these same polling organisations are also united in their view that a hung parliament is the most likely outcome next week, and - let's be honest - whether or not the Conservatives win the most votes or the most seats, it is more likely that a Lib-Lab coalition will try to form a government than a Con-Lib coalition.
Just look at the body language.
While Nick Clegg and Gordon Brown verbally trashed each others' policies and character, they were positively flirting with each other through their bodies.
Only seven per cent of communication is through words: some 38 per cent is intonation, speed and volume of speech; the remaining 55 percent is received via the body.
This peculiar photograph shows both Nick Clegg and Gordon Brown engaged in what movement psychologists refer to as 'mirroring':
We can make others feel comfortable by mirroring or matching their mood. When two people enjoy similar things, they tend to move in sync with each other. This does not mean that every single move they make is exactly the same, but rather that their moods are the same.Essentially, Nick Clegg and Gordon Brown may have engaged in a Benedick and Beatrice game of verbal loathing, but their body langiage indicates that they are flirting with each other; they are bonding.
When a person finds something in common with another, an instinctive fondness develops between them. This same effect is replicated by mirroring. In mirroring, you need to tune in to the other person’s movements and imitate them, not mimic them. Also, these actions should not be done in the same pace as his/hers, otherwise, the person might take it instead as mockery. Generally, the mirror actions should be done after 10-20 seconds, and must be done naturally. The other purpose of the mirror actions is to show the other person that you accept and respect their views without them noticing it. In effect, he/she will subconsciously see you as an open-minded person.
Mirroring is flattery: we immitate those we like and admire. If someone is doing what we're doing, we feel they're on the same level as us and in the same mood as we are. When body language and speech characteristics are mirrored or synchronized between people, this tends to assist the process of creating and keeping rapport (a mutual feeling of empathy, understanding, trust).
So, since it appears that there is to be a Lib-Lab union, and we know only too well the manifest failings and falsehoods of the Labour half, it is worth focusing for a moment on the Liberal.
Nick Clegg came unequivocally unstuck trying to hide his unpopular policies.
He tried to hide his euro policy. In the debate, Nick Clegg said: ‘No I’m not advocating entry into the euro.’
But last year, he thought the euro was an ‘anchor’. Last year, Nick Clegg told the Financial Times that the euro would ‘anchor’ countries against the ‘vulnerable exposure to international financial markets.’ (The Financial Times, 21 January 2010).
And his manifesto advocates joining the euro. ‘We believe that it is in Britain’s long-term interest to be part of the euro.’ (Liberal Democrat Manifesto 2010, p67).
He tried to hide his policy for an amnesty for 600,000 illegal immigrants. He said: 'I'm not advocating an amnesty…’
But Nick Clegg has previously called his policy a ‘selective amnesty’: 'And most controversially in our proposals…also establishing a selective amnesty, if you like, a route to earned legalisation for the up to 600,000 people who have being living in this country invisibly, illegally, often exploited by unscrupulous employers and others’ (approximately one minute into this video).
And his manifesto promises illegal immigrants an amnesty. ‘We will allow people who have been in Britain without the correct papers for ten years… live here long-term to earn their citizenship.’ (Liberal Democrat Manifesto 2010, page 76).
And he tried to hide the facts about immigration from outside the EU: 'You say numbers, can you now tell me, am I right or wrong that 80 per cent of people who come here come from the European Union…?’
But official statistics show Nick Clegg is completely wrong. In 2008, net foreign migration was 251,000 of which 63,000 or 25 per cent was from the EU. Over the past five years the average has been 31 per cent (see Table 2.01a).
And he tried to hide his benefits policy: ‘We all agree benefits should be conditioned. We all agree they shouldn't be dished out for free if people refuse to take up work.’
But his DWP spokesman says benefits should not be conditional. Asked about the LibDem benefits policy today, their Work and Pensions Spokesman Steve Webb said: ‘[Questioner] “Just a very quick yes, no question. If somebody, long term unemployed, or, or even more recently, turns down the first job offer, will you do what the other two are doing which is remove their benefits after two weeks or after a month?” [Steve Webb]: “No we won’t because what we need to do is look at the demand for work, and there’s not really enough of that...”’ (Daily Politics, BBC 2, 29 April 2010).
And Nick Clegg tried to hide his VAT bombshell on houses: '…the second thing we need to do is invest in the kind of things we need… affordable housing...’
But his manifesto promises to levy VAT on new homes. Liberal Democrats would make it more difficult for first-time buyers to get onto the housing ladder. They want to levy VAT on new homes, which is currently zero-rated: ‘We will equalise VAT on new build and repair.’ (Liberal Democrat Manifesto 2010, page 81).
We all know that Gordon Brown says one thing in public and quite another in private. So, it appears, does Nick Clegg.
It may be a marriage made in heaven. But it be an unendurable purgatory for the nation.