By denying smaller parties the opportunity to express their views and engage in debate before the election the government and the media are preventing the electorate from evaluating alternative political programmes and are presenting the public with a stark choice - between the three major unionist establishment parties: the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats. It is only right that representatives of other parties, including the SNP, Plaid Cymru, Mebyon Kernow and the Greens, should have their say. If not, what hope is there for real democracy?
Were the Liberal Democrats to be denied this opportunity to debate their policies on air there would be an outcry.
"It is no accident that freedom of expression is one of the first things restricted by oppressive regimes – and even democratic governments when their leaders are criticised."
A Voice from the Labour Heartland - Peter Mandelson